This Time With Feeling!

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Hey everyone!

 

Today I want to talk to you about interjections. More specifically, I want to talk to you about the post modern interjections we seemingly use every day. But first (from Merriam-Webster):

 

Interjection (n): an ejaculatory utterance usually lacking grammatical connection…

 

Sure I know there’s something in grammar that’s called an ejaculation but I’m not gonna say what I was thinking at first.

Snoopy had to make ends meet somehow

Snoopy had to make ends meet somehow

So yeah. Awesome! Cool Beans! Cray Cray! Amazeballs! These few words are creeping into more of our everyday speech. If you’re like me, you would shake your head at that last sentence. “Surely Flobo, there’s no way words like that would run amok in my vernacular.”

First, I say get that monocle off your face. Secondly, thanks to the Internet, some words that seem to be regional or community-specific are mixing with our everyday speech. Twenty years ago I, or a younger more attractive version of I, noticed there was only one type of person that would say things like “Like, Totally!,” “Gnarly,” and “Whatever!” in a sentence: Characters that were Southern California stereotypes. And for those of you who were more familiar with Southern California, the term “Valley Girl” (or Guy) made more sense. What about today?

Here’s an experiment. Head to a coffee shop (or library, or park, or what have you) and eavesdrop on a conversation. Take note as to how many times people use “like” as a hedge word. That is, how many times they say like to stall as they think to complete their next thought. It truly is fascinating.

But I digress. This is about interjections. More importantly, this is about why we use the kinds of interjections that we do.

It seems when someone is ecstatic the word “Amazing!” is used over others. When something is really appealing or interesting it’s “Awesome” as opposed to “Keen” “Far Out” and “Superlative.” As you can see interjections vary on time period and the background of the person speaking. The problem that arises is one of overuse, “awesome” in particular. What was once a mammoth word to describe something just on this side of comprehension (i.e. an “awesome God”) has become a word that is used when someone finishes an uninteresting story (i.e. “That’s awesome. So what’s for lunch?”)

That’s definitely something to consider when drafting your characters. Everyone remembers Doc Brown’s exclamation of “Great Scott!” from the “Back To The Future” movies because it was different, and actor Christopher Lloyd said it with such conviction. Take a moment to think how the characters you create would act when something surprises them. A character that says “Holy Sh!t!” brings a different set of personality traits to the table than a character that would say, “Egad!”

 

Just CRAYCRAY food for AWESOME thought!

-F

 

One Thing Leads To Another

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Hello y’all. Today’s blog is sponsored by 80s band The Fixx:

Haha, just kidding. I do want to talk about the things that inspires us to write (or create or perform). Conventional wisdom states that inspiration should be linear. You know, like a straight line. For example:

Reads  “Twilight” —> Decides on making the characters more kinky —> Changes character’s name to avoid a cease and desist letter –> Releases “Fifty Shades Of Grey”

Okay, that was cynical. But true

Conventional wisdom isn’t “wrong,” but many times it doesn’t paint the complete picture. What I’ve learned in my experience is that inspiration is a lot of time interconnected from seemingly disparate parts. Like a spider web.

You can picture yourself as the guy in the costume if you like..

You can picture yourself as the guy in the costume if you like…

Music plays an instrumental role in my writing process. I’ve mentioned on this space before that my first book, “By The Ounce And Other Tales” was inspired by the sweet sounds of Celtic Woman. Beyond that, I’m a big advocate of using architecture as a jumping off point for my work. When the topic comes up, I’m not shy in proclaiming my love for the period of time where Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Streamline Moderne were in their prime.

Streamline Moderne

Streamline Moderne

Not only have I used them as a guide for story (e.g. What kind of situation would a character living in that time period go through?), I’ve also used the visual cues for my writing structure (e.g. A storytelling style that matches the smooth edges and elegance of Streamline Moderne)

I encourage you to explore your own personal web of influences. Who knows, “one thing may lead to another!”

 

I get bonus points for working in the title, right? Right?!

 

–Flobo

Happy Independence Day

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From PPN Studio

America, F*** Yeah!

 

Independence Day is this Friday and I can’t be any more excited for one of the USA’s most patriotic holidays. I mean, look at that picture above. Any bet that eagle is going to land in a baseball stadium on the hunt for apple pie it’s so American!

 

 

Happy Holiday and keep creating!

 

–Flobo

I Wrote a Blog. What Happens NEXT is CRAZY!

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What’s going on, people?

On a recent edition of the Entertainment Distilled podcast, we poked a bit of fun of the increasingly devious ways websites get you to interact with their content. Sometimes called “Click Bait,” these articles use sensational titles (and sometimes even outright lie about what the article is about) to get you to click through. Personally I’ve become jaded–even angry with myself–when I see an article that’s obviously using cheap click bait tactics. Angry with myself because even after I shake my head in contempt, I click anyway.

 

Curiosity killing the cat and all that.

No seriously, these are actual titles to articles on the web:

LG Gets Ruling From Supreme Court; What Happens Next Will Shock You

Here’s what Kanye Gave Kim as a Wedding Gift

23 Things That Inevitably Happen When You Start Getting In Shape

You get the idea. In fact, in a turn for the meta, noted offender of this practice The Huffington Post reposted a spoof video from College Humor that distills my frustrations to a simple vid.:

This Time, “What Happens Next” Will Really Blow Your Mind

You get the idea. Sure duping people to land on your page may work once or twice, but you have to have engaging content to KEEP people at your destination. Admittedly “HuffPo” is pretty good at this, but there are scores of sites that simply aren’t.

This isn’t a rant, but I kind of wish there was a bit of a moratorium on this method before we wear it out completely. This actually reminds me of pop music. No seriously, here me out. Pop music tends to go in waves in which other genres are appropriated for the masses. In the 70s, it was Disco, In the early 2000s, hip-hop beats were everywhere, and in the 20Teens, EDM is all the rage. Currently music is looking for the next big thing, but every couple years it does move on to the next genre du jour. Do you remember when just talking into a webcam was all you needed to become Internet famous? Well, what happened? People became savvy and needed something more to stay engaged.

What exactly did they need? Well, CLICK HERE to find out! (Just kidding)

 

–Flobo

 

Summertime Goals

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Summer is here!

Well, unofficially it is here…officially we have to wait a week or two. I got BIG PLANS for the summer, and I want to get a lot of them squared away. For example:

 

1) Finally finish that first draft of my next novel

2) Write down a treatment for my next screenplay

3) Actually win some money on a trip to Vegas. Or at least, make it to Vegas

4) Take a performance class. Now’s the time I think

5) Finish reading two books (to be named later)

6) Attend Comic-Con.. Maybe make some connections this time around. *crosses fingers* Maybe get a comic idea sold

7) See the Mets when they come in town to play the Dodgers. (LGM!)

8) Learn a cool party trick.

 

What can I say, I love lists… They hold me accountable!

 

–Flobo

Media Guilt

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What’s up? Today, I want to talk about “Media Guilt.”

 

No, not the stuff when the local news tries to make you feel guilty about something. Rather, the self-imposed kind of guilt of not checking out a show/movie/book that’s in the zeitgeist. This is related to the more well-known “Netflix Guilt,” that is when you procrastinate watching something in your queue that has been sitting there.

 

Part peer pressure and part failure of time management, that Harry Potter sequel set in middle Earth featuring those morally ambiguous detectives seem to just fly past your radar. Your friends love it, your parents talk about it, and there’s even a couple of Buzzfeed posts about it,but for some reason you are out of the loop. Now, I’m a comic book fan, but one of the more recent television shows I feel best represents this phenomena (to me, at least) is the CW show, “Arrow”

Which sort of looks like a logo for a fast food joint. "One Arrowburger, please!"

Which sort of looks like a logo for a fast food joint. “One Arrowburger, please!”

Comic book nerds, young adult drama lovers, and haters of the previous two groups alike have raved about this program starring plucky protagonist, Oliver Queen. Personally, I don’t feel this arrow is “my” Oliver Queen, but I usually keep this criticism to myself. After all, the show is put together really well. Alas, for some reason I just can’t bring myself to sit down and watch a sequence of episodes consistently. I would catch a clip here or there, or watch my significant other watch an episode, but my mind has already made up it’s mind that it has missed the bus.

 

Even in this day and age of perpetual timeshifting. Figures, right?

I guess because I am such a fan of comics, I am usually called out for my lack of enthusiasm about the show. This usually gets hit with the “friend rationale.” You know what I’m talking about. Your friend recommends a show you should watch by using vague terms an misleading rationale.

“You haven’t seen Breaking Bad? It’s sooooooooo good!”

“Mad Men? That’s definitely a show YOU would like.”

“Trust me, if you haven’t seen The Wire, you’re missing out!”

I almost feel that there has been some sort of pop culture convergence. You must watch “everything and all at once.” It almost feels like a homework assignment, which–I am sure–defeats the purpose of entertainment. I swear in a few years time, we will all have apps that will tell us if a show/book/movie is worth our time.

“Sorry, I would love to watch ‘True Blacklist,’ but my app says no.”

 

 

I LOVE Writer’s Retreats

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For the people who read my blog often (yeah, both of you) you’ll know how much I love writer, road trips, and getaways. But what happens when you COMBINE THEM?

 

It started with a writing partner. We would take two days (usually during the week because it was cheaper) and head out to an Indian Casino hotel to write. There would be diversions like the pool and fitness center when we needed them, and there would utter silence and clean accommodations when we didn’t. It started as a lark, but has become an important tool in my writing (especially long form) process.

There is something special about going to a place far away from the regular distractions of your home to place that’s different. You won’t get lazy in your favorite chair nor you wouldn’t  do chores you’ve been putting off because you want to put off writing even more. Plus since you are out of town, you’re not obligated to hang out with friends if you don’t want to.

"Hey, wanna hang out?" "I'm actually writing today." "Oh, so you're not busy. Pick you up at 8?" -Pic courtesy of itakejoy.com

“Hey, wanna hang out?”
“I’m actually writing today.”
“Oh, so you’re not busy. Pick you up at 8?”
-Pic courtesy of itakejoy.com

Recently, I took a Writer’s Retreat to wrap my head around my next novel (Called Project #Book5). Taking a couple of days off, I went to a business hotel some thirty miles from my home. It was close enough not to wear me out from traveling, but there was enough amenities (courtyard, on site dining, decent wi-fi) where I didn’t have to leave. There’s also something about putting “the money where the mouth is.” When you rent a space, I think that helps take writing out of “I’ll do it if I have a free hour or so” and it becomes “How much can I write today.” In my case, I felt my novel was progressing aimlessly. Characters were all over the place, and I felt as if I was forcing the relationships between the characters. Well long story short, after my little retreat the landscape became infinitely clearer. To top it off, I believe I have a solid “exit strategy” on how to work out the climax!

 

My advice to any writer/creator is to take a trip away from your normal surroundings. You’d be surprised how much it may help you

 

 

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