http://bethanymaines.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Aug2016-Logo-op3-300x69.png 0 0 Bethany Maines http://bethanymaines.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Aug2016-Logo-op3-300x69.png Bethany Maines2017-03-23 01:45:302017-03-21 05:49:26Reading vs. Writing
by Bethany Maines On Monday night fellow Stiletto author J.M. Phillippe (visiting from Brooklyn) and I attended the local open mic night from Creative Colloquy. The evening celebrated Creative Colloquy’s third anniversary and featured the Washington State poet laureate Dr. Tod Marshall. Creative Colloquy’s mission is to connect writers with their community and celebrate their works. And in keeping with that mission, Dr. Marshall reminded us in the audience to both battle for the arts and to rejoice in our creative communities. As with every time I go to a reading event I'm struck by what different skills reading and writing are. It's difficult to differentiate the presentation from the work being presented. For every rushed reading, there’s one that gives space for the audience to savor the moment. For every mumbled poem, there’s one that echoes from the rafters. For every awkward and misplaced laugh in the middle of a story, there's one that ought to be a comedy special. Delivery, timing, and pronunciation, all take a reading from blah to amazing. Or at least important enough to make people stop talking to their friends at the table. Are the amazing readings better? Or just benefitting from better delivery? It makes me wonder: what could I be doing to present my own work better in live readings? Should we authors all be forced to take public speaking classes? Improv classes? Should we be forced to listen to recordings of ourselves (God nooooooooooo!!!)? Is there a secret trick that I could be using? What if I just I hire an actor to read for me? In all probability I shall simply have to rely on the very exclusive, top secret trick of practice and repetition. As long as no one makes me watch a recording of it, that will probably be fine.
http://bethanymaines.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Buffy.jpg 324 392 Bethany Maines http://bethanymaines.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Aug2016-Logo-op3-300x69.png Bethany Maines2017-02-23 09:00:002017-02-22 02:58:28The Long and Short of It
I watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer when it was first on television. It was the first time I'd watched a show that combined the episodic weekly tale with a long-form, season long story arc. Whether or not you enjoy fantasy and teenagers killing things, the inclusion of a "big bad" (Buffy slang for the seasons main villain) made Buffy a tremendous innovator in TV. It was an innovation that impressed and continues to impress me. The ability of the writers to maintain the critical pacing of the weeks mystery, while at the same time building a seasonal arc that culminates at the right point is a difficult writing feat. Most stories require that a character to fulfill a certain role to advance the story. But with multiple stories playing out at the same time the characters actions must serve several different purposes at once. Accomplishing these goals at all, let alone well, is something I aspire to. And while I have experimented with this type of writing before in my Tales from the City of Destiny, I have never tried to do a true over-arcing long form story across multiple novels. That is until now. Starting last December, I have gone headlong into plotting and writing a new five book crime series. I'll be excited when I can finally share more details about the series. But until then, I'm asking for inspiration to help keep my creative juices flowing. What TV shows do you love that combine short and long form elements and crime or action?
http://bethanymaines.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/funny-pictures-history-parenting1.jpg 476 492 Bethany Maines http://bethanymaines.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Aug2016-Logo-op3-300x69.png Bethany Maines2017-02-09 01:45:302017-02-07 22:43:59Parent Traps
A recent trip to the grocery store reminded me that Valentine’s Day is upon us. As I cruised down a particularly pink and red aisle I saw wall to wall sets of movie themed Valentines for kids. Which made me realize that as my spawn starts to become an actual kid certain things are barreling down on me. Valentines. Birthday parties. Teacher gifts. And all of them cause me to think – what the hell? When did teacher gifts become a thing? I don’t remember my mom having to essentially tip any of my teachers. Teaching is an arrangement in which someone gets paid to show up and tell things to small people. It was a nice arrangement with very clear cut guidelines – show up, learn/teach, go home. Now all of my friends with older kids are dithering about teacher gifts around Christmas. I recognize that teachers aren’t paid enough, but crappy set of lotion at Christmas is not going to make up for that. And suddenly if you have a birthday party for your kid there have to gift bags for the children who attend. Birthdays are the day when everyone shows up and gives the person celebrating a gift. Why are we now bribing people to attend? If I have to bribe you to show up then you are not my friend. I suppose the alternative theory is that the small children cannot handle the sight of someone else receiving gifts. But… Isn’t that the entire point of parenting – teaching your kids to manage their own emotions? So wouldn’t gift bags just be me supporting your poor parenting? Valentine’s Day has now become a flashpoint for grade school bullying. Better give a Valentine to everyone or you’re a bully. Sounds lovely. You know what that means in reality? It means that I have to buy Valentines. A kid can make four or five Valentines, but no grade schooler is going to hand-craft an entire classrooms worth of Valentines. So now I’m stuck supporting the Hallmark industry? Swell. Can someone figure a way out of this for me? Can I just carbon freeze my kid at three? Or can I start a social revolution for those of us who are anti-social? Somebody help!
Originally posted on The Stiletto Gang 02.08.17
Originally posted on The Stiletto Gang 02.08.17