Are you in the messy middle, at the gateway of contemplation (which is my tattoo!), in the space between “no more” and “not yet”? Then listen to my brilliant and inspiring friend and writing mentor, John Bucher, on the Story Gatherings podcast. Link to podcast episode here: http://storygathering.libsyn.com/a-conversation-with-john-bucher-on-liminal-space
The day before Thanksgiving, I wrapped up my third run at NaNoWriMo and hit my 50,000 word goal for my third novel. I’m giving the novel a good long rest on my desktop until I pick it up again to begin editing in early 2020.
Here’s the draft synopsis:
“After a succession of personal tragedies, Libby Farina runs her family’s Italian bakery on Mulberry Street in the year 1910 in New York City’s Little Italy. As the city around her swirls with innovation and its often dire consequences, a stranger arrives on her doorstep near death. Who is he and how will his presence in her life, however brief, forever change her world?”
Here’s to two solid weeks of heads down writing to finish my second novel by 8/31. This weekend I completely revamped the plot line. Tough work and worth it. Don’t be afraid to do this. If what you’ve written isn’t working, toss it onto the slush pile and try again. Don’t let the good keep you from the great.
I found summer camp for science nerds – but even better because it’s during the Fall, my favorite season. And I’m going!
Yesterday I was listening to Ologies podcast and Alie Ward mentioned Sci Comm Camp, a gathering that takes place over a long weekend in November outside of LA. There are workshops, fun presentations, and plenty of downtime to connect with people who love science and are passionate about sharing science with others.
Given my graduate studies in biomimicry at Biomimicry 3.8 and Arizona State University, my desire to spread this practice as far and wide as possible, and my love for collaborating and learning from others, this seems like the perfect event for me. Plus, I’m hoping to sneak in a trip to see some L.A. pals while I’m there. Already looking forward to November!
Today’s filmmaking lesson: the quality of the camera only gets you so far. What matters more is the filmmaker’s taste and ability to tell a story. A film with a lower grade camera and an A+ filmmaker will create a far better film than a high-end camera and a mediocre filmmaker. A class can teach you about techniques and the technology. It cannot give you taste. It cannot give you the story. That is up to you. Yes, a camera will give you the settings you need, the resolution, etc. But what matters most is what you put in the frame and how that frame drives the audience to keep asking, “And then what happened?” Without that emotional need-to-know, the greatest camera in the world will do nothing for a filmmaker.
Yesterday I had my first meeting to be considered as a director of photography on a small film. Still many more meetings to have and it’s by no means a done deal, but just the fact that this meeting happened at all so early on in my Double or Nothing Media venture is thrilling!
In my camera class we talked about the concepts of critical focus and framing each shot with the subject of greatest significance. Parallels between filmmaking and life aren’t lost on me. I’m grateful for the reminder and encouragement as I make massive changes in my life and career right now. It takes a village to start and run a business.
She gave me 2 priceless lessons: we all have time to write and never give up. As a single mom with 2 kids, Morrison wrote her first novel, The Bluest Eye, in 15-minute increments each day because that’s all the free time she had. It took her 5 years to write it.
She kept writing despite her novel’s low sales. 3 years later, her next novel, Sula, was nominated for the National Book Award. Her following novels received mixed reviews, but she remained determined.
In 1987, 17 years after publishing her 1st novel, she won the Pulitzer. If you have a dream project, work on it bit by bit. Don’t let critics sap the joy you get from your work. Toni Morrison lived her life with passion and unending grace. She taught me to keep writing.
You were the GOAT, Ms. Morrison. How lucky we are to forever inhabit your multitude of worlds through your gorgeous books. Rest in Power, because that is what you gave all of us—the power of our own language, our own stories. What a life. What a gift.
We have only so much time and the stories that mean the most to us are the ones we need to take the time to tell. What I love best about storytelling is its urgency, how a good story won’t you leave you alone until you tell it. It will follow you around, tap you on the shoulder, and whisper in your ear. The longer you ignore it, the louder it becomes, until you just have to bring it to life.
Most of the time my tenacity is a real blessing. Sometimes, it causes me to take a path that I make harder for myself when it doesn’t have to be difficult at all. All I have to do is change my mind. (Haha – easier said than done!) All I have to do is decide that right now in this moment I have everything I need to tell the stories I want to tell, the way I want to tell them. (Also easier said than done but I’m getting better at this bit.)
The universe often has to give me the same lesson multiple times, especially if it’s a lesson I don’t want!, until I learn it and don’t have to go through it anymore. Maybe this is true for you, too. Maybe this perspective helps, and if it does, I also hope it helps you know you’re not alone. I’m right there with you and I believe in you. I believe in us. And I believe in the power of stories and storytellers to bring a better world into existence. So let’s just do that, okay?
Let the filming begin! I’m so excited that my camera kit arrived and I can start getting a feel for filmmaking with my hands, heart, and mind. Let’s tell some stories that matter, shall we? Take one…
We’re just one week away from the next New York City’s Secrets and Lies storytelling show at Caveat. Secret societies! Organized crime! Saucey ways that New Yorkers make a living! We’re cooking up something extraordinary for you with an A+ kickass cast. We can’t wait to see your gorgeous faces, tell you stories, and give you prizes from Untapped Cities! Grab your $12 tickets by clicking here and join us on Tuesday, April 9th at 7pm. Wondering what the show is like? I made you a little video to give you a sneak peek: