That terrible sinking feeling in my heart

I dropped A at the train station today after his long weekend at home in NYC. I really do try to be blasé about the whole thing, but I miss him terribly when he goes back to school. :(

Still, my personal growth has been doing better than a box full of VitaGrow. Amazing what sheer boredom can do when your kid is away at school.

This weekend, we saw "Persepolis" -- a brilliant animated film, and I recommend it -- for the teenage/adult set. It has political and mature content. If you are studying Iranian/Middle East history and culture, it may open your eyes a little bit. Most people in our audience stayed until the credits were completely finished.

We also saw D.A. Pennbaker's "Dont [sic] Look Back" at Film Forum (stop! if you're reading this and live in New York and love Bob Dylan, Pennebaker himself will be at Film Forum tonight! Go, puppies, go!).

And then we saw that film by the Coen brothers. Can LaMai tell everyone that LaMai thinks the film requires some replay but is brilliant? Yes, LaMai can say so. Even my best friend in London (see: rediscovered childhood friendships thanks to MySpace) said it was "slow moving but really good." Good film on which to talk philosophy -- the major themes touched on in the film are fate, predestination, chance and free will. And who you believe to be the main characters turn out not ot be so. The dialogue was just brilliant and the suspense/fear factor was more about what you don't see than what you do. I recommend it for adults only and very mature teens.

Last night A worked on his school Wiki entry on the French Revolution. I found a French Revolutionary song for him to upload (which I used to sing with him when he was little). Yes, it's "Ah, ça ira!" I know the lyrics are horrible, especially since they're about hanging aristocrats from lampposts (I must have been singing the Edith Piaf version). But they add a dose of realism to the Wiki entry.

We listened to Dylan songs. I didn't grow up listening to Bob Dylan (he had long since done the motorcycle crash and took a hiatus before reappearing in the mid-late-70s), so he is my "new" favorite musician - up to 1966 and maybe up to the Basement Tapes.

I have also started reading Charles Bukowski. How did I not know Bukowski before?

Anybody reading this blog who is also a writer? Do you have any writer's block exercises you'd like to share?


Manda said...

Writer's block exercises? Hmm. Sometimes I go to a cafe or park and sit and watch people/animals and force myself to describe things in detail. . . Snippets of conversation are fun to play with. Or I revisit something from when I was a kid and make myself write it. I try writing the same thing from different points of view so I can get into every character's head. That kind of thing.

drliz said...

One thing I do is just write ANYTHING.

I mean anything. It could be one word fifty or more times. Just keep writing.

Like automatic writing, free association. The idea is, maybe you're blocked because you don't really want to express some things? Maybe you're censoring (unconsciously of course).

So in this kind of automatic writing you're almost letting the words be an art material like clay, instead of words as we usually know them, as conveyors of "reality".

Let them just form their own abstract shapes.

Or, as David Byrne said:

Stop Making Sense

Hornblower said...

What they said.
Just write. Even if it's the phrase "I don't know what to write. This is a stupid waste of time." over and over again. Turn on a timer for 15-30 mins and write. Then get a drink of water, do some stretches, look at something natural (plants, grass, animals) and repeat.

Also try chaning formats. If you usually type, try handwriting or v.v. Try doodling. Try doing a mindmap or a collage.

If you're not moving forward because there's a hole in the story, or a point you're not clear on, or a part you're afraid of - that's a slightly different issue, but the beginning is the same. Just write, with no expectation about the outcome, about the content or the product. Focus on the process & it will come.

Have you checked out Tharpe's Creative Habit? Also recently recommended to me & I'm just starting it but it looks good: The Right to Write by Julia Cameron.