Tuesday Musings 5/30

My twin boys Teaghan and Gren turned two this last weekend. They said for parents of multiples the first few years are the toughest. A friend of mine had a neighbor who had twins, and he said that he didn’t remember his life during their first two years. I can relate to this phenomenon. Life has been a blur, and if I focus on individual memories and where they fall in time, I start to fall asleep. Regardless of the chaos, I am beyond blessed to have them in my life. It has made me a much better man. I didn’t know I was alive until I had this family.

  1. Summer is here. School is ending for my older kids. I remember how excited I was to sleep-in and not worry about homework. The lawns are a blinding green and alive, like metaphors in a suburban poem. I’m happy my kids get to experience summer as it should be. For me, it was a time to nurture my imagination. Books, games, movies, it all went wild in the summer. Sometimes when I stare at those shadows beneath the full trees and cottonwood seeds, I can still go back to those days of exploring the woods and sneaking stories before midnight.
  2. Media is still unpredictable. I constantly see stories in the news about how the modern audience is digesting a story. Some are going to Kindle. Some are going to paperback. Vinyl is coming back. Brick and mortar bookstores are hanging in there. I read this articles from newspapers that are trying to predict how people get their entertainment, and I’m positive there is no answer. It will always be fluid. If you have a story like Harry Potter in book form, people will read it. If you have a television show like Game of Thrones, people will watch it. I think if the story is good enough, and it stimulates people’s curiosities, it will always transcend the media it is associated with, and drive past our seven second attention spans.
  3. It is my firm belief with modern storytelling that the audience likes to be able to empathize with characters, especially villains. So many popular stories dive into POV from multiple cliffs. I remember in a writing class in college, one of my professors said that perspective was being hounded after by new writers. We were obsessed with the truth, but from which set of eyes did it come from. I think in this age of social media we kind of expect a community of voices instead of just one.
  4. This week has been heavy on theory and storytelling, but I wanted to mention a little tactic another professor told me about writing. I had this great textual analysis methods teacher at the U of M who suggested we keep an inspiration notebook around us. He said to take it everywhere. He even graded it. In this little book, you would write down words that inspire you. They can come from anywhere, from any form of media. Poetry, the Simpsons, or even the Legend of Zelda. Hold onto words that resonate with your soul, so you can dictate them later. It took me 12 years to take his advice. Better late than never.
  5. This week on Craft Corner I wanted to talk about modern vs classic storytelling. However, I have talked so much about craft already I think I’ll just talk about how when you become a father the societal assumption is you’re supposed to have your life figured out. I think children are the only thing that can make you figure out your life, because then you see what is important. You see how little idle time matters. There are a million moments happening at once, and you’re lucky to be there for half of them.

Jottings:

-Only about twenty days left in the third book of The Greenland Diaries. Phew. My audience is in for an insane ride.

-Watching Attack on Titan season two right now. Once again, fearless storytelling and great monsters. Anime is allowed to push the boundaries that live-action would not be able to get away with it.

-Finished Master of None season two. Really nuanced storytelling. It is almost like a subtler version of Seinfeld. Really good.

Sales of the Week: Currently, I have four books on sale for a buck on the Kindle: Beware the Ills, The Greenland Diaries, Seven Monster, and DOL 39.  Also, I’ve updated my Patreon rewards.  Give it a look. Click HERE to visit my Patreon page.

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