It was recently May 4th. Don’t mock. An argument could be made that it is a more appropriate holiday than the following day. George Lucas has said that he was inspired by of the earliest Celtic stories of Arthur and the paladins in The Mabinogion and reimagined it as a space odyssey. He emulated the story that caught his attention in childhood and paid homage while creating a different aesthetic.
He used Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with A Thousand Faces. He lifted themes from Akira Kurosawa and Star Trek. And let’s not forget J.R.R. Tolkien who took some of his story plots directly from another heroic source, Beowulf.
There was a French female rugby player who was a shoo-in for the French national rugby team. The Olympics were on the horizon. She even got the five rings tattooed on her forearm. One day she was jogging through the woods, a place she regularly ran, when a tree randomly fell on her. No storm, no wind, no lumberjacks, nothing.
It just fell. As if the hand of God or Mother Nature pushed it on her. Had she started her run a few minutes earlier, or a few seconds later, the tree would have fallen harmlessly across the path.
Having finished two novels and grown tired of rejections, I began to write a third novel. I had a clever idea and a marvelous, operatic ending in mind. 35.000 words in, I realized I’d dead-ended. I stuck my stack of legal pads in a box (this was before home computers walked the earth) and sent the box to the dump.
From February 2020 on our reality has shifted from one hot mess to another. Oh hell, who are we kidding? Dare we trace our slippery slope a bit further back? We all have experienced some struggle. Some more than others, we respect that everyone’s experiences are different.
NCW member and famous author Jim Davidson has graciously agreed to lead a writing retreat this spring in Nepal in conjunction with NCW’s annual conference. Jim’s third book, Jim Davidson’s Adventure Cookbook, will be released on April 20, 2021.
I don’t know why anyone would trust me with hiring practices. Nevertheless, I have been on both sides of the job interview process. When I conducted interviews for positions in a Texas library, I had a canned set of questions I was supposed to ask. Among them was the single-most hated job interview question of all time: Tell me about one of your flaws.
St. Patrick’s Day Reading Suggestions Because Being in a Crowded Bar Might Not be a Good Idea During a Pandemic
The pandemic is forcing another stay-at-home celebration, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in style. Besides cooking our favorite Irish foods, drinking Irish beer, and watching Irish programming, we can honor great Irish literary traditions by reading books written by some of her best authors.
In my blog post last month, I wrote that audience is a necessary, though problematic, consideration for the author. A quick recap—written communication changes, depending on the audience. The way you say something will depend on who’s reading. In some cases (genre fiction), audience expectations will actually shape the finished piece, from pacing to plot outcome.
As a writer, the best gift I ever received was to hear my scene being brought to life by professional actors. I was invited to participate in a playwriting class at a regional theater. I had never written a play, nor did I think I was about to. But the course needed one more participant to happen. After a little nudging, I thought, “what the heck?” It couldn’t hurt to look at writing from a different perspective. Right?
My novel launches in July of this year. It has been a long process full of rewrites, edits, revisions, additions, subtractions, frustrations, and inspirations. Looking back on this beast’s earliest iterations, I wonder how many versions did it go through to get to here.