As a scientist-in-training in the field of biomimicry and a beginning filmmaker, the Imagine Science Film Festival is a perfect lab for people like me who want to use the medium of film to ignite and inspire curiosity and wonder about our natural world.
The New York City-based festival kicks off this week on Friday, October 18th, and runs through next Friday, October 25th. There are events each day at various locations around the city, and the majority of the films are short-format. Whether you’re interested in science, filmmaking, or a combination of the two, this festival is a wonderful way to see new research that’s emerging as well as new ways of explaining and communicating science. Get a feel for the festival by check out the trailer at https://vimeo.com/363581326
The whole schedule is available online, along with links for tickets sales, and here is a summary with all of the direct ticket links for each:
Friday, October 18
Opening Night of the Imagine Science Film Festival | The spaces between utopia and dystopia, gene editing, and the post-anthropocene.
Saturday, October 19
Science for Nanos: Taking Flight
Film program for kids at the Imagine Science Film Festival | Whether by wing, flipper, jet, or rocket, everyone must leave the nest someday.
Can humanoid robots be our friends? Scientists and tech visionaries believe that artificially intelligent robots will become an integral part of everyday life.
Sunday, October 20
Films on perception and memory, consciousness and identity, and the spaces that lie between mind and circuitry.
Tales from the Biosphere
The surface of the earth teems with stories, a drama which has played out over millenia. Will we continue to play a part of it all?
Monday, October 21st
Symbiosis Lab: Talks, Films, and Drinks
Watch six working scientists and six pro filmmakers as they compete to create new genre bending works in science filmmaking.
Tuesday, October 22nd
Self-care, Alchemy, and Other Life Hacks
Each year we save some of the most audacious reconfigurations of scientific themes for a program of largely animation and experimental film
The film program in which we allow some of the phantoms banished by science back into the proceedings.
Wednesday, October 23rd
This program collects 4 brilliant experiments in light, landscape, perception. Luminous photochemical effects. Climactic celestial events.
Thursday, October 24th
Eyes on Elsewheres
How do we observe that which we cannot experience directly? Whether searching the surfaces of distant planets or peering into the quantum world, science seeks to extend our perception ever further.
Friday, October 25th
Six new science films in which emerging filmmakers and working scientists have been paired and supplied with production funds to create new genre bending works in one week examining all aspects of emergence.
I’m closing out this week on a really wonderful high note! I’ve been put on retainer with one of my fantastic clients in my independent product development consulting practice, DoubleOrNothingMedia.com. In exchange for about one day per week, I’ll be able to fully cover all my expenses plus a little extra. I love this client and the work I do for them is creative, gratifying, and impactful.
This happy news also gives me a huge amount of flexibility and peace of mind to pursue my independent projects over the next few months in my writing, biomimicry practice, and film. I’ll also use this time to seek out other clients as well. So I definitely won’t be resting on my laurels, but instead making hay while the sun shines with the stress of being a business owner subsiding for a bit. I’m so grateful.
I know there are a lot of you out there, slugging it out as independents and trying to establish your own businesses and consulting practices. I want you to know it’s possible; it’s not a pipe dream. It’s hard work and it takes time, but it’s attainable.
Thank you to so many of you who have been cheering me on, especially during this challenging rollercoaster of a year in 2019. I appreciate it more than I can say. Happy weekend, friends.
The writing moment I love best: I write a scene, do research for the next scene, and find an eerie, wonderful synchronicity with secret history I uncovered in my research and never knew before. These magical moments makes me feel that the story I’m writing is meant to be written by me. It’s happened to me many times, especially in the course of writing my second Emerson Page novel. Every single time it happens, I’m amazed.
Hi all! Quick question for you: I’ve thought about starting a biomimicry podcast because there isn’t one (which is shocking considering there’s a podcast for nearly everything!?) If I did start one—interviewing people who practice, use, teach, and study biomimicry, and talking about new cool biomimicry inspirations—would you listen?
In case you haven’t heard of biomimicry, it’s the practice of applying the genius designs of nature to the human-built environment. This could be products, systems, processes, buildings, whole cities, you name it! If humans design it, looking to nature for design inspiration and guidance will make designs more sustainable, efficient, and beneficial for the planet. Check out more about what biomimicry is by visiting https://biomimicry.org/.
I spoke to five DC-area schools about parent involvement in education, and folding diversity, inclusion, and mindfulness into their curriculum for a piece I’m writing for The Washington Post. I’ve freelanced for The Post for four years and this is my favorite piece I’ve written for them. It’ll be in the October 27th Magazine. I’ll post a link or PDF of it when it’s live.
If you’re a writer looking for some encouragement in your process, I got you. There are so many of us out here and you are not alone on your journey. If you walk your fingers over to Twitter, check out these hashtags for encouragement, resources, and inspiration:
#NaNoWriMo (stands for National Novel Writing Month):
Every year in November thousands of people around the world attempt to write 50K words in a month. It’s how I wrote the first draft of my first novel. I’ll be participating again this year to work on a completely new book – historical fiction romance set in an Italian bakery in New York City during the early 1900s.
#MSWL (stands for manuscript wishlist):
Agents and editors tell you what types of books they’re looking for. Great if you’re in the query writing stage.
Started by author Claribel Ortega, this is an encouraging stream of tweets from authors attempting to complete their current manuscripts by December 21, 2019.
Now open for submissions, this is a way for non-agented authors to get their current pitches in front of agents for their consideration.
Happy writing, friends. We’re in it together!
This summer wasn’t the one I expected or wanted, though it was absolutely the one I needed. The adversity and disappointments made me stronger and more compassionate, and for that I’m very grateful. Welcome, Fall. I’m so happy to see you. I’m ready for whatever you bring.
How can I write a book per year for the next 10 years? I tossed this idea around in my mind this morning as I thought about tremendously prolific writers I admire.
Here’s the math: write 250 words per day for 360 days. That’s a book. 250 words a day? I could write that while my coffee’s brewing. That’s only half a page. That’s almost the length of this post.
Yes, that’s just a first draft. It needs LOADS of editing and rewriting. Yes, if you’re a planner and outliner like me, that takes time, too. Yes, there’s research. And yes, marketing is also time-consuming and extremely necessary. And you have to also pitch your own work if, like me, you don’t yet have an agent.
But in my mind this breaking down of this enormous task moves it from possible to probable. I could write a book every year. And that to me is exciting.
This week I went down to Little Italy to revel in the joy and desserts of my ancestors, and to do some research for my next novel that will be set there in the early 1900s. The San Gennaro Festival runs through this weekend and it’s an absolute delight. If you’re in New York City, wonder down to Mulberry Street where you’re sure to find some characters and cannolis.
It’s a happy 9th Gotcha Day for this little guy! Today my sweet dog, Phineas, is 10 years old and he’s been in my life for 9 years. How grateful I am that when I rescued him, he rescued me right back. I’m the luckiest. Here’s to two pawfuls of life, buddy, and many more ahead.