Friday, August 30, 2013

Comic Relief: Shifting Titles

Remember awhile back when I wrote about shifting adjectives (click here)? I thought it might be fun to try that exercise on movie titles to see what funny combinations turn up.

First I chose ten movie titles consisting of only two words. I wrote each title on a separate piece of paper, mixed them up, then randomly selected each one so I wouldn't be tempted to orchestrate the list. Here it is:
  1. Rear Window
  2. Finding Nemo
  3. Die Hard
  4. Roman Holiday
  5. Groundhog Day
  6. High Noon
  7. Citizen Kane
  8. Toy Story
  9. Funny Farm
  10. Star Wars
Then I shifted the first words of each title one notch, and tried to think of ideas for a comedy film.
  1. Star Window
  2. Rear Nemo (He finally found his son, now he's gotta raise him through the teen years.)
  3. Finding Hard (Everything comes easy for Helga, so she sets out on a variety of bizarre and silly ventures searching for something to challenge her abilities.)
  4. Die Holiday (A man is determined to kill his least favorite holiday…Halloween.)
  5. Roman Day 
  6. Groundhog Noon (Groundhog, Chattanooga Charlie, challenges Punxsutawney Phil to a shadow duel at high noon, whoever resists running from his shadow is the winner.)
  7. High Kane
  8. Citizen Story
  9. Toy Farm  
  10. Funny Wars (Class clown, Andrew, goes to Clown College only to discover being a goofball there is serious business.)
Okay, my brains are drained. I would love to hear your ideas for these titles!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Writing...It's not a hobby or pastime.

I have an "on-call" part-time job driving cars. While talking with co-workers, I mentioned a little writing retreat I hope to have someday. One of the drivers said, "Oh, are you trying to become a writer?"

My hackles rose, but I bridled my tongue and responded, "I am not trying to become a writer, I am one." I really wanted to ad: "Just like you are not trying to become a jerk, you are one."

I drive cars and other odd jobs to get out of the house, and to avoid hermit status. The income helps fund my writing expenses. Dennis Lehane said, "I would tend bar, load trucks, chauffeur -- do whatever it took. But from the moment I took my first writing workshop, I was a writer." I can relate to that.

And consider this quote: If there's a writer in your life who you love, don't call what they do a "hobby." On the other hand if your long-time nemesis is a writer, be sure to undermine their confidence by referring to their life's work as a quaint pastime. (Andrea Cremer)

Writing is not a hobby or pastime, so word of warning: Don't ask me if I'm trying to become a writer. I might lose the Mrs. Nice Guy. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Motivation: Don't fear the crayons.

This is a continuation of last Monday's post. (See Motivation: Get the crayons back.As I mentioned, I checked the book out of the library. The quote I used last week turned out to be a heading for an entire section on the subject, which seemed directed at me. It read:

So you've got the itch to do something. Write a screenplay, start a painting, write a book, turn your recipe for fudge brownies into a proper business, build a better mousetrap, whatever. You don't know where the itch comes from, it's almost like it just arrived on your doorstep, uninvited. Until now you were quite happy holding down a real job, being a regular person...

Until now.

You don't know if you're any good or not, but you think you could be. And the idea terrifies you. The problem is, even if you are good, you know nothing about this kind of business. you don't know any publishers or agents or venture capitalists or any of these fancy-shmancy kind of folk. ...

Besides, if you write a book, what if you can't find a publisher? If you invent a new piece of world-changing software, what if you can't find a financial backer? If you write a screenplay, what if you can't find a producer? And what if the producer turns out to be a crook? ...

Heh.  That's not your wee voice asking for the crayons back.  That's your other voice, your adult voice, your boring and tedious voice trying to find a way to get the wee crayon voice to shut the [heck] up.

Your wee voice doesn't want you to sell something. Your wee voice wants you to make something. Theres a big difference. Your wee voice doesn't give a [darn] about publishers, venture capitalists, or Hollywood producers.  

Go ahead and make something.  Make something really special.  Make something amazing that will really blow the mind of anybody who sees it.

If you try to make something just to fit your uninformed view of some hypothetical market, you will fail.  If you make something special and powerful and honest and true, you will succeed.

The wee voice didn't show up because it decided you need more money, or you need to hang out with movie stars. Your wee voice came back because your soul somehow depends on it. There's something you haven't said, something you haven't done, some light that needs to be switched on, and it needs to be taken care of. Now.

So you have to listen to the wee voice or it will die...taking a big chunk of you along with it.

They're only crayons. You didn't fear them in kindergarten, why fear them now? ~Hugh MacLeod, Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity, pp. 26-28.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Comic Relief: Shoulder Angel

Sitting at a table at the BYU campus, yesterday, I happened to look up and recognize a celebrity walking past... Matt Meese, a talented cast member of Studio C. I  asked, "Where were you when I needed a shoulder angel?" He laughed. (What a nice young man.)

Here are three hilarious sketches with Matt as the Shoulder Angel. I have a hard time choosing a favorite.

I think this video introduces the Shoulder Angel. Great comic moments!

I love his reaction to Shawn Bradley in this one.

Matt's athletic ability amazes me.

Check out Studio C for more comic sketches.  Good clean comedy.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Motivation: Get the crayons back.

I liked this quote so much, I searched for the source and checked the book out of the library.

Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the 'creative bug' is just a wee voice telling you, "I'd like my crayons back, please." ~Hugh MacLeod, Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity

Friday, August 16, 2013

Comic Relief: "Hello?"

I found this funny quote on-line. So true!

I love how in scary movies the person yells out "Hello?" as if the killer is going to be like "Yeah I'm in the kitchen, want a sandwich?"

(No citation.)

Monday, August 5, 2013

"Block" Buster: Protect your writing time.

I frequently get blocked because I've allowed too many other things to bump my creative time. How often must I learn this lesson:

"You have to protect your writing time. You have to protect it to the death." ~William Goldman

Friday, August 2, 2013

Comic Relief: Super Lazy

This fits me...

I'm super lazy today!! Which is like normal lazy, but I'm also wearing a cape...