The “Write” Space

(Ha ha. Oh, puns.)

This is where I was writing for a long time:


I have a really cool desk, but since I work from home and spend all day sitting at that desk and staring at a computer doing a different kind of writing than the fun kind, it’s not exactly the place I want to sit and do creative writing at the end of the day. Plus, the bed has all those comfy pillows to lean against.

One problem though. When I sit on my bed to write, seems like I have a really hard time focusing. (Candy Crush, thou evil temptress!)┬áSo when Jordan told me that this marketing guru guy, George Lois, suggests doing your creative work “comfortably in a formal setting,” I applied that in my own way and appropriated our recently acquired reading chair as my official writing space:

(We still use it as a reading chair too.)

(We still use it as a reading chair too.)

I really didn’t think it would make that big of a difference, but oh boy it so did. It’s like when I sit in that chair to write my brain knows that it’s writing time and not play time, and I focus so much more easily. And I get excited to sit down and write because I know it probably won’t be as much of a struggle as it used to be.

Plus, as an added bonus, I can usually fall asleep better now because when I get in bed my brain knows it’s sleep time instead of create time.

Life Aquatic and the Subtle Amidst the Loud

This was my laptop desktop image during my year in the MFA. Jordan put it on my computer, and it reminded me 1) that I have a cool husband and 2) to keep dreaming big.

This was my laptop desktop image during my year in the MFA. Jordan put it on my computer, and it reminded me 1) that I have a cool husband and 2) to keep dreaming big.

Watched Life Aquatic again, years after watching it for the first time. First, I have to say — I forgot how SAD it was. When we hit play, I did not expect to have my face drenched in tears before it ended. Somehow I’d completely blocked the sad part out of my memory and it came as a pretty big shock.

But the sad part is really not what I wanted to talk about. When I think about Wes Anderson as a director, what stands out the most are his exaggerated characters, his eye-popping production design, his picture-book-like cinematography. It’s all so noticeable and loud (and always so pleasing to the eye on so many levels), but watching Life Aquatic this time reminded me where Wes’ genius really lies:

Even though his characters are always so bigger-than-life and so odd, the relationships between characters—what’s going on between them—is handled more subtlely. It’s not that you can’t see the filmmaker’s hand there too. Just like everything you see on screen, just about every word feels like it’s there for a purpose. It’s definitely scripted.

The genius of it though, I think, is that to understand what the story is really about, you have to look past all the oh-so-satisfying “noise” of the production and examine the story being told in the tension between sentences, in the direction of someone’s gaze, in what’s not being said.

That’s one reason that several days after watching what might come across to some people as a silly, weird little movie, I am still thinking about the equally silly and weird characters and contemplating what it is that they’ve taught me about life and myself.


Warm Bodies(es): Two Stories I Wouldn’t Want to Live Without

WarmBodiesPosterAfter going goo-goo over the Warm Bodies film, I finally read the book and am kind of blown away by the fact that although the two versions may include a lot of the same events—may even feature some of the exact same dialogue—they couldn’t have felt more different. It’s almost like two completely different stories and I love, love, LOVE that they both exist.

The movie = charming, funny, touching.

The book = introspective, melancholy, complicated.

Mood-wise, the film feels more like a Nick Hornby and the book leans toward, um, maybe a Cormac McCarthy feel?

The thing is that though the two versions are different from each other, in the end they’re both about the same thing: love, what it means to be human, what it means to have hope. But while they use essentially the same characters and the same plot, they explore their themes from different perspectives and this is fascinating and lovely to me. It says something about stories, how alive they can be and how they can grow and change depending on who’s telling the story, whose reading/watching/listening to it, and when.

And we need different perspectives in the world, different renditions of the same story. It teaches us more about ourselves and it’s one thing that keeps us civilized.

So thank you, Isaac Marion, for writing the book and thank you, Jonathan Levine (and associates), for making the movie. I’m so glad I live in a world with both of them.