The Imitation of Christ was originally written in the Middle Ages by a monk, Thomas A. Kempis. It’s mind blowing devotional literature, to use the modern expression, but firmly in keeping with the essence of the best Christian devotional literature that points to God.Continue reading “The Imitation of Christ”
Sometimes, slight sense of irony in a sentence can add color to what would be a pedestrian line of writing and irony can brighten an otherwise flawed expression. It’s simply about the “art of writing” when one observes art in a piece that seems flawed.
Art of writing may be fused throughout the whole, ordinary, unexceptional flawed piece, to give it an air of mystery and aloofness. It is flawed prose in one sense, but how the piece is structured or designed gives an illusion of art through each line. How one does this is tweaking; in sum, making it sound interesting.
Spontaneity in some areas of writing may be misleading, to the editor and the reader. That’s because spontaneity is a one-off, yet the rest of the time, one’s been doing the run of the mill.Continue reading “Spontaneity”
The humble writer or artist and filmmaker for that matter, may shy away from publicity or at least attempt to. But, underneath, there may be a liking to the question, what will he do next? Will it be as good or better than the last thing they made? That’s when a writer and artist gets a little inkling they have made it. But what will be next? A widely received disappointment? After the artist has gained acceptance?
The writer and the artist are names that can be used interchangeably, in terms of function– the purpose is to create using kinds of media and materials–and in style–to ‘stylize’ and place, for an effect, which can include journalism, in terms of how elements of art are embedded in journalism, such as flow. Both can change style in a period of their vocation/career, but this can be normal to writers and artists who can naturally be spontaneous, experimental and adventurous.Continue reading “The art reflected on is worth studying”
On having written newspaper articles, the appropriate thing is “journalistic style”: punchy, sharp and to the point which is what newspaper articles should be. But two weeks ago I thought I’d never write that way again.Continue reading “Journalistic style”
Every parliament has some form of debating chamber, where the country’s leaders get together and fight out the issues and the bills that may pass into law. There is always a vote on some matter and the majority wins.
This very public sphere, where the issues get debated and won and lost, is where writers, reviewers and others have some sort of affinity with.Continue reading “In the public sphere”
Motivation can be an issue for a writer if not on assignment. I mean, although it’s possible for a writer not on assignment to be extremely motivated, it’s also possible that a writer not on assignment is unmotivated to produce their own material without much external pressure.
Writing on spec involves reading the writer’s guidelines of a newspaper or magazine, online or in print, and deciding to submit an article, poem, piece of art work, or story to that publication, according to their guidelines.
On the writing journey, there is at least one thing a writer can do to improve their work. It is to look closer at how they are putting something. Instinct to write is compelling, and then excitedly submit the work. The piece sounds okay or good, but look closer. Thinking twice can improve the piece no ends. Looking for ways to make the piece more interesting and compelling.
A few months ago I wrote several devotions. They were intended for a publication I had in mind. After I wrote them, I waited. One may wait. How the writing sounds one moment may sound completely different two months later. Which means in two or three months (or a matter of weeks in other cases) that writing may be taken to the cleaners or it’s perfect as it is.
It is not an easy road getting published, but I had some good news about a month ago that a meditation I submitted to a journal is being seriously considered. It has passed the “first round” or phase one and is on the short list as it was. The outcome, I’ve been told, will take quite a while, which goes to show how rigorous getting selected for publication can be. Not easy. Many other devotional pieces are in the same boat, but only a few survive.
Little things I pick up along the way…as I was reading a book, I stumbled onto a nugget of wisdom. The book appraised films for this or that reason and a reason a critic gave was personally illuminating. The critic said a certain director wasn’t prepared to go the places a subject or premise would naturally go. It clicked. If I am to write stories, write stories I am prepared to deliver on. Go to the places the subject demands. If I can’t go there, don’t write it.
While on the road of writing, if it’s full-time, part-time, casual, or as one can write in-between the necessities of life, sometimes there’s the urge to reach beyond the boundaries of one’s normal genres of writing. I’ve desired it and tried it, but tended to fall back on the predictable or the road well-travelled.
I was reading a book about screenwriting by Oscar winning screenwriters and in that book there’s one bit of content I remember well. American Beauty’s Alan Ball said he put off his writing project by cleaning his fridge. I know the feeling. One would sooner delay instead of dealing with the hard stuff.
Once one gets into the project and distraction becomes energy and activity, the challenge is getting it sounding right. There may be no right and wrong ways, but turning distraction into something which produces writing that’s at least readable are steps in the right direction.
There’s nothing like the feeling of relief when you know you’re done and dusted on something that had been following you around like an obsessive fan. But then you’re done with it–one can put that side of writing aside–and focus on what goes better. You juts know beyond a shadow of a doubt that that side of writing is not the way to go. So, out it goes, and in goes what’s going to work better. In fact, it’s so major that it’s sheer peace to know it’s over.
An underrated film is 1984’s 2010. I’ve watched 2010 again and enjoyed every minute of it, more so than before.
There is something spiritual about this film which for me gives it more buoyance than most films. It shows me there is something more out there and that someone is trying to get through to us—before we lose out on the essence that comes from outside of ourselves.
In the film, the “presumed dead” David Bowman, a scientist, reappears to his wife, his mother, and a scientist. Bowman comes with a warning for the scientist as well as a message that something wonderful is about to happen. The scientist takes the warning on good faith. Believing in it is not rational, but he must believe, to save his life.
I can just imagine it’s like God telling us to have faith and believe him because it’s going to be good for us, but we wouldn’t have a clue about what God’s talking about. That’s because thinking about what’s ‘out there’ is frightening, unusual and we are uncertain what we will find there. We want to protect ourselves from anything we are not familiar with. So, we hide.
But the other thing that Bowman tells the scientist is that by believing in his message and acting on it something wonderful is going to happen. This is like when something wonderful happens to someone who believes in the Christian message: that if one believes in Jesus, one can be awakened from living only for the material world.
Jesus holds his hand out and says, won’t you come with me? By saying yes to Jesus, something good happens in the spiritual realm. It is something we know has happened. God can get through to us, to know we can be “born again” from beyond this world, even as we live behind the walls that surround our earthly existences. 2010 is such a great film for raising this spiritual theme.
I love researching for the sake of it, to dwell on and absorb knowledge, but whenever a writer wants to apply research, one should know what it’s useful for before starting. Is it for a book? Is it to learn something to pass onto your readers? Pretty obvious stuff really. The trick is knowing why?
Maybe research for fun, full stop, no more than that. Become not a know-it-all, but useful in some regard that you never thought about before. Research for fun may come in handy somehow.
The vague possibility that one kind of story has parts that make other kinds of stories, but similar.
Revisiting a story I have been working on, on and off, over several years. The part reviewed today sounds okay, but could be better. Overall, the story has made significant progress since I first begun.