Archive for July 28th, 2008

Influences…

In keeping with the previous post, I do want to say this, but it’s more “broad” than tying it into the writing prompt…

I think that is one of the neatest things to see/read, is the picking of the minds of people and finding out what their influences have been, or what styles they may enjoy.
Neil Peart has a section on his website titled “Bubba’s Book Club”, where he recaps some of the books that he has read, commenting/suggesting the ones that he especially likes. Stephen King has mentioned the authors that he enjoyed growing up. Musicians are well documented for saying where they were influenced “when they were coming up” and learning how to play… the styles, the sounds, the techniques or the showmanship.
It has also been surprising for me to “do my homework”, and uncover some great things that I otherwise may never have found. I will admit, the exact opposite could easily be said, that I may not like “the influence”… but it is still a discovery that I am grateful for making…
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le Tour de France

For someone who has been so enthused over the tour for the last several years, it took an email announcing this year’s winner to remind me that it had happened. To be fair, I had looked at some of the standing in the early days, even managing to see some highlights when staying at the hotel before going to the concert last weekend.

But my attention was unfocused, like a fan whose favorite team missed the playoffs. Postal/Discovery doesn’t exist anymore. Astana, the team where most of the key players from Dicovery went to (including the 2007 Tour winner), was unable to compete this year, due to issues from the team’s former staff.

There was Team Columbia, based out of the US, sponsored by the outdoor company, but I didn’t register to much with them. There was very little name recognition for me to follow this year, since cycling is not as ardently followed as it is around the rest of the world. And the publicity seemed to be very slight (not that I was in a position to be seeing a lot of it), but it just seemed like this was an off year to try and follow it.

I’m happy that the 2008 Tour has concluded, and my congratulations go out to the jersey winners. I just hope that a lot of the circling issues (the various governing bodies, “conference”/league issues, etc.) can be resolved to make next year’s tour better…

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Writer’s Inspiration

It is the inevitable question that is asked of “great” (read: consistent, best-selling authors… or the writing instructor)… “Where do you get your ideas from?” I think it is to simple of a question, and too broad of a canvas to ask to be painted.

Writers get ideas from the world around them… from life stories that have been lived, and places that have been travelled. I’ve heard it said that the key question a writer would consider is, “What if…?” and see where that takes them.
However, another interpretation of this “classic” (and, I agree, annoying-at-times question) should be, “What have been your influences, and your interests?” A writer is somehow going to incorporate elements (some overtly, others subconsciously) of the writer’s they have read, and the styles that they like. Stephen King read a lot of noir/pulp fiction and ghost stories growing up, and it comes out in his writing. Tolkien was into mythology, and created the Rings series.
Writers get their ideas by paying attention to what is happening around them, and filtering those events through their influences. And if they arrive at a story they would like to read, then it will come out of them, like rain from the clouds, allowing the imaginations of others to be nourished from their experiences…

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About Writing…

“Wil’s Wisdom” from Comic-Con…


This is an interview piece that Wil Wheaton had posted on his site, of an interview that was done at the 2008 Comic-Con. Overall, the interview is an interview, held in a large hall… (I only sort of listened through it when I was at work earlier today, with the volume low) but I’m sure it was a good interview…)

However, in the last two minutes, he recaps some of the best, simplest advice about writing, that a lot of us still need to fully grasp (one that I think I’ve pretty well come to terms with)… “Don’t be afraid to suck, and you’re going to suck.” He elaborates more, but that’s the fundamental point.
I don’t mind sucking (at a writer, at the moment), since I know it’s part of the process. The writing process requires a lot of exercise – practice, and pages of experimentation – to get past the suck. And even the best writers are going to have things that suck. But they write, and write through it, and beyond it… and that is more the mountain I face… logging the pages… but I am on that journey…

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Script Update

I’ve been working on a script… a shorter work (as I’m thinking about it, it could work about like Jon Bon Jovi’s Destination Anywhere – yes, I actually saw it when it aired, and had the CD). I’m shooting for about 60-ish pages (that’s where I think it will end up), and I’m wanting to finish it by the end of the month – July. But it’s something based on a song…. and that’s all I’m going to say about it right now…

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