Hello my lovelies! I asked for it, and you gave it to me. So here you are! Answers to the AMA (Ask Me Anything) questions I requested on Facebook and Instagram! Excitement abounds, as we hold our breaths in antici….pation!
Let us begin, shall we?
- Chad jumps in with a toughie! He asks: “How hard is it to continue to blog? Do you run out of ideas? What percentage of comments about your blog do you find frustrating?”
- I’m overlooking the three-for here, Chad, because they are interesting questions . To your first point: yes and no. It’s something that I enjoy doing. It makes me happy to toss my brain droppings at an unexpecting world. But it is one of those things that can get easily lost in the shuffle of life. I try to schedule out a day or half-for blogging once a week. And, of course, it limbers me up to work on other writing, as well as helping me schedule that other writing work in. It’s a practice, like Kung Fu or something.
- Do I run out of ideas? Oh good gracious no! I hold extensive conversations with myself, and sometimes I just have to settle the issue in a blog. Or I can always do an AMA…
- The comments that frustrate me are the ones that are never posted.
- Jenny asks: How does she get the black, henna tattoo she gave herself while mildly intoxicated and disturbed by puppies, off her hand?
- Baking soda? Strong detergent that removes oils, rubbing alchol, mineral spirits? Good luck.
- Deborah asks: Is there another job or skill, trade, or occupation that you ever considered trying or at least learning besides your writing?
- Kudos on a good question. I actually didn’t formally study writing in college. So, I suppose the answer is, I have! I took an audit on small business planning and propsal writing at Temple. I trained in ESL and taught in Costa Rica for three years. I also trained to be a paid, written translator, which I did more towards of the end of my time there. I gringofied text to ensure native usage.
- I also studied film and art, and that came with some unusual uses, and joys. Including: screenwriting, story boarding, classical oil painting, how to coil a cord, wire things, sound edit, sculpt, draw from life, draw the human form. I also took a lot of wonderful humanities courses, such as Shakespeare (history plays and tragedies), Medieval European History (plague! yay!). I even took a class in which I wrote both Jungian and Freudian analyses of fairy tales. That’s how I discovered Joseph Campbell. Yeah, so no regrets there really.
- Charles asks if I have any advice for aspiring writers. Mos def!
- Firstly, write. Write some more. Then more. Just, you know, write a lot. Write about your characters, write about the setting, the view point, what you want to say. Write everything about your story. Then forget about that stuff and let it inform your work from the background. And keep a way of recording your thoughts with you at all times. Ideas are slippery.
- Secondly, STUDY YOUR CRAFT! You may have the bestest idea ever ideaed in the history of ideas, but execution is everything. There are standard guidelines regarding formatting, beats, plot points, etc. Learn these things! Find freedom in the form. Practice writing synopses. If you see a film or read a book, ask yourself: What genre is this from largest concept to smaller? For example: Comedy, Crime, Heist. Base your stories on one or two word ideas, such as “unrequited love.” Constantly challenge your characters, and raise the stakes. Conflict is drama. Try explaining books or movies in two sentences or less. “While facing threat X, hero must deal with Y and Z, , in their struggle to accomplish A, while learning the value of B and C along the way.” This will keep your mind right when you find you get bogged down in details in your work. Fake being a Pro until you are.
- Lisarae desires to know: Who inspires me the most, living or dead and why.
- Everything inspires me. Life is. And it doesn’t last. I don’t need to say “Yes!” to it all, but if something bothers me, that is inspiration as much as any joyful example. I make my meaning and justice as I can. I question everything, find what’s interesting, satisfy curiosity, take in what is good for me, reject what is wrong and try be free and young of mind. And when I fall, I just drag along until I can stand again.
- Mente sana en corpus sanum.
- Also, I totes made up that answer because I can’t think of just one person. But it doesn’t make it less true. Carl Sagan & Walt Whitman are big influences.
- Barbara wants to know my shoe size:
- Six female. Exactly six. And no other size ever. Just how it be.
- Barbara also was interested on where she could see my answers.
- Here, darling.
- Dave demands to know why reality programming is so popular.
- Money. A little while back the writer’s union striked. The studios realized it was cheaper to just send out small video crews, use non-union talent, and no script. Pay your writers!
- Seth states that his questions are too niche to garner much reaction.
- Well, you write broad statements.
- Jo Ann has a thought experiment: There is a room with a single light fixture in the ceiling, no doors or windows. Turn off the light switch, where did the light go?
- Oh my god why am I sealed in a windowless and doorless crypt! Is there a bottle of wine down here? And I can’t reach the light, which is on the ceiling.
- Mark got all deep with: Do the answers meet my expectations?
- Do I have a choice?
- Jak came in with: Have you seen “The Witch?”
- Yup. Loved it.
- Jezebel wants dirt: And asks if I could marry anyone else, who would it be? (proviso: cannot be Morrissey)
- I’m not married. I tried it out, and I’m not a fan. The legal and health stuff is important, and I kinda like Quaker weddings, which are legal in the Quaker State. But, yeah, in general not a fan of weddings, and marriage just seems artificial, and harder to get out of than in.
- And, Stan, obviously.
- Joe asks: What is the best, Baltimore-based, crime/drama that he should absolutely watch?
- It begins with a W and ends in IRE. Jerk.
- Sue wants to know my favorite food.
- That which I grow myself, of course.
- Kelly Anne asked a question about event horizons
- Kelly Anne thinks I’m Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
- Marilyn wonders what advice I’d give to an eight-year old.
- Get dirty, turn over rocks, ask questions, question authority and received wisdom, read books, try something that scares you regularly.
- @sperzeproski Wants to know which is my favorite Star Wars movie, and why?
- The first one. Star Wars. It’s a revolutionary sci-fi-action, drama film that changed how films would be made forever. The story follows a young farmboy named Luke Skywalker, who dreams of leaving his nowhere planet, until he discovers a message in a second-hand space MacGuffin that contains a desperate plea for help from a beautiful Princess dressed in white. Luke’s search for answers soon leads him on the adventure of a lifetime, as he joins a group of rebels fighting an Evil Empire with the power to destroy planets, and discovers that he can control a powerful Force that can work for good and evil. This film changed the cinematic landscape forever. Gone were the taut, pessimistic dramas of the early seventies, while the film industry embraced an optimistic view of good vs evil. The models, and computer tracking developed by the need to shoot realistic models with complex movement, introduced film to computers.
- Fruitocrat came up with the winner: Why are you scared [to do an AMA]?
- Tom Hardy says that he looks both way before he crosses one-way streets because he has no faith in humanity. Personally, I find that revealing personal information can be used against me. And faith in humanity or no, people terrify me.
- But, to by honest, I had a fun time! Although I had to skip a bunch of questions that assumed I was Google, I enjoyed answering, and evading, everyone’s questions!
So! What do you think of my answers? Should I do this again? And, if you want me to clarify or call BS on my answers, drop a comment below!
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