Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Book Review: Dancing on the Head of a Pen

I received Dancing on the Head of a Pen by Robert Benson from in exchange for an honest review, and read it in one day! It is a fairly quick read on the craft of writing, with just enough nuggets of wisdom to change your approach to your own writing. Granted, you don't want to model your writing life to be exactly like his, because you are YOU, but I bet you will pick up at least one thing that may help you in your quest for completing that book already.

As someone who has been writing the same book off and on for years, I related to the fact that writing fast is not the same as writing well. (He calls it a writer's pause, rather than writer's block.) I tend to edit as I go, so that most parts are as close to finished as they can get without a fresh pair of eyes reading them. Even though the first draft is taking forever, the editing is about 70% done. I am just taking the scenic route to getting published. I also only write when I am inspired by the muse, but his tips on how to make writing every day work will be helpful with that issue.

I laughed out loud when I read this: "Any writer worth his ink stains can think of a small army of things to keep him from writing. If he does not have enough imagination to invent the excuses necessary to keep him from writing, he likely does not have enough imagination to write a book." I have, as recently as today, used having a book about writing to read as an excuse for why I am not writing! I am the queen of procrastination, so I definitely have the imagination to write a book. The fact that this book was so short made me feel less guilty about using it as a stall tactic. I recommend it to writers who, unlike me, don't want to spend so much time reading the guidebook that they can't enjoy the trip.

I could spew out all of the tidbits I got from this book, but then you would have no reason to read it yourself, and from it each writer will glean different things. I will leave you with one of my favorites, which was a quote from writer Eric Maisel: "You do not have to write a book today. You have to go into the room, close the door, start your engines, and move your fingers until the working takes over." And when you do that, the work will turn to magic.

Great book! Pick up a copy for yourself, or give it as a gift to the writer in your life!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Why I'll Never Go To The Movies Again

Ever go to the movies on senior citizen Wednesday? Unless you are a senior citizen, I don't recommend it. Not meaning any offense to the elderly people who are civilized and have manners, because I know they exist. They just were not at the matinee of Gone Girl today. All my life I have heard older folks complain about the manners of young people, but really, I think when you sign up for AARP they are actually giving you a license to do whatever you want, and say whatever you want without having to care about the other human beings with whom you share the planet.

When we sat down, I opened my noisy Twizzler package and placed them in a napkin, so as not to disturb others by crinkling my wrapper every time I went for a tasty treat, and I also turned off my cell phone. The theater was not full so we sat with two empty seats between us and the people already seated. Naturally two people that knew them sat in those two seats, leaving me leaning over for two hours, battling my husband for the armrest, and not being abe to cross my very long legs without kicking the lady next to me. Of course it goes without saying that there were noisy wrapper rustlers all around us. We are not Spring chickens, and I don't think I've ever been the youngest person in a theater before, but after I looked around the theater, I leaned over to my husband and whispered, "We're the whippersnappers.".

During the previews, they talked, which is fine (although they should have paid attention to the part where it tells you to turn off your cell phones), but when the preview for Fifty Shades of Grey came on, I felt like I was watching it with my mother, and then one asked the other if she'd read the book and she said she HAD.


Two people's cell phones went off during the movie. Now, had I forgoten to turn MY phone off and it rang, I would have been fifty shades of RED as I hurried to shut it off. Not these people. They let it continue to ring and then we were all alerted to the fact that they had a voice message.

During a scene where Neil Patrick Harris is about to have sex with a woman, they lady in front of me said to her friend, "He's gay, you know." Lady, everybody knows that, and I was having a hard enough time suspending disbelief about his character portrayal without your input.

After the movie ended, we had to wait to get out of our aisle because the woman on the end was literally so fat she was STUCK in her seat! Then after waiting for a stall to free up in the ladies room, I step into the stall and the old lady who had just been in there had peed ALL OVER the seat! How is that okay? How have you been on this earth as long as you have, and think that the person who uses the bathroom after you has to wipe up or sit in your pee?  Newsflash: They clean the restrooms at the theaters. We were at the first show of the day. You were probably the first person to use that toilet since it was cleaned that morning, and I would be willing to bet that before you peed on it, it was probably cleaner than your toilet at home!

The senior citizen fun didn't end inside the theater either. Not one, but TWO car alarms were going off, with the drivers inside. Probably the same two people who also did not know how to turn off their cell phones....

Anyway, I just felt the need to share this little public service announcement. Just don't go to the movies on senior citizen discount day. Let them enjoy the movie on their own. You will enjoy the movie much more if you stay home and watch it on Netflix. That's our new plan.