December 24, 2010
I was going to make a cake, too, but I think that's probably not a good idea. I think I'll take a nap instead.
December 21, 2010
The other problem is that I don't have many ornaments. Last year (and this year), my friend Jill put up a gorgeous beach-themed tree and upon seeing her handy work (she's way craftier than i am), I decided my tree would have a beach theme. Then, at some point this year, I decided I'd put two trees up. The beach one would go in my bedroom (which also has a nautical theme) and the one in my living room would reflect my little unabomber cabin in the woods.
In the end, I went with what was supposed to be a natural, lodgey-like tree, but even still, it looks pretty pathetic. The only thing saving it is the gorgeous bow and pine cone ornaments my dear mother made for me.
Anyway, here are a few pictures of my Charlie Brown tree. I will say it looks better in real life; my camera's battery is very low.
This picture didn't turn out so great, but this is one of my favorite ornaments. It says "Welcome" on top and "Mountain Lodge" on the bottom, with a picture of a black bear on it, as well as a fish hanging off the bottom. That was the ornament that set the supposed theme.
Here, you see one of the cute little pine cone ornaments my mom made for the tree. You also see one of my Santa ornaments. He's carrying what I believe are snowshoes (don't laugh, no one from Atlanta knows what shoe shoes are). I've got a few of these types of outdoorsy Santas; one is holding a kayak. They're pretty cute.
Again, this looks way better in real life, but here is the bow my mom made for the top.
And the finished product. I have a bar separating my kitchen and living room, and I kind of just put it in front of it. I was going to put it next to the rock fireplace, but that corner of my living room is sort of a disaster area right now, because it has two TVs in it. (Long story.) In addition to the pine cones and ornaments that look like props from Sarah Palin's Alaska, I've got red balls, little red jingle bells, gold tinsel, and clear lights.
December 20, 2010
To the point.
Over the summer, I was looking for something completely unrelated when I accidentally discovered some YouTube videos of Ed Helms playing with a bluegrass band. I was kind of surprised by this little find; after all, Helms (to me, anyway) had just been an awesome reporter for the The Daily Show up until that point. That particular night was not a great one for me - let's just say I had some time on my hands - but after spending an hour or so on YouTube, soaking up this Hollywood dude's talent for bluegrass...well, let's just say Helms has a new fan in this goofy writer girl from Atlanta.
In a dream world, people like Helms, who are ridiculously talented and seemingly decent people, are the stars who always grace our stages and our movie screens and our TV sets. With his roles in The Office and The Hangover, it looks like he's well on his way. With any luck, more people will jump on the Ed Helms bandwagon, and he will still be making us laugh til we cry and forcing us to tap our toes to the sweet sounds of his banjo when we're all 80.
There's not much I can do to make that happen, but this post is my tiny contribution. Without further ado (ado = nonsensical rambling), here are ten reasons why you should worship at the shrine of Ed Helms. Or at least hope to see more of him in the future...
1. The Daily Show. As I just mentioned, most of my knowledge of Helms came from The Daily Show. I don't know how much writing and producing the actual actors do, but I imagine that even with all the smart people who work behind the scenes and all of the editing that's done, you've got to be a little bit of a smart person on camera, too. I've seen many "correspondents" come and go; some are okay, and very few of them are great. Helms is definitely one of those few who just killed with the interviews; he made them look so easy and seamless. I was actually looking for a video to post here and ended up watching, uh, more than one. Anyway,there are so many great segments Helms did for The Daily Show; here is one of dozens of examples.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Total Eclipse of the Art|
2. Bluegrass. Growing up in the suburbs with a passion for bluegrass, most of my friends weren't exactly clamoring to borrow my music collection. Really, finding someone who shared my passion and who was also under the age of 50 was kind of difficult. I'm not talking about those people who listened to Alison Krauss and Union Station or the soundtrack to O' Brother Where Art Thou and declared themselves fans (though both of those are amazing and helped make bluegrass a little more mainstream); I'm talking about the people who truly feel the music and love it for all of its wonderful qualities. So, as I said, to find out this Hollywood guy who is not much older than me has a passion for it (and I'm pretty sure he does, see: LA Bluegrass Situation) sent more thrills up my leg than Chris Matthews sitting next to President Obama at the White House Christmas party.
3. Banjo. Not only does he love the bluegrass, but he plays it, too! I saw Helms play the banjo on The Office and thought it was a fluke. Turns out he seems to be pretty passionate about that, too. Oh, yeah, and he's also damn good at it. I know everyone knows he sings and plays the piano, thanks to The Hangover, and I'll admit, he's good, but the banjo-playing is amazing! It's smooth and flawless - you just have to see it for yourself. I wish there were more places to hear him play, but here are a couple of the good ones I found on YouTube.
(Just wait until you get to 1:43 on this one.)
Here he plays and sings!
4. Atlanta Okay, many of you won't care at all about this, but as it turns out, Mr. H is from Atlanta. Obviously, this has very little to do with his talent...or maybe it does. In my humble opinion, Southern folks are better at a lot of things than regular folks are, and they do those things with better manners. Just sayin'. Which brings me to...
5. Not a douche-bag. I can't verify this, because I don't know the man. He could be the world's biggest asshole and just be really good at hiding it, but for the sake of needing ten things to complete this list, I'm going to assume he's not. Honestly, I've only seen two or three interviews with Helms and in all of them, he seemed to be a very down-to-earth and pleasant guy. I know he could be faking it to promote his stuff, but until I see the paparazzi video of him telling fans to stick their pens where the sun don't shine because he's not signing autographs, I'll go with "not a d-bag."
6. The Office. When preparing this list, I knew I didn't want to talk about The Hangover because so many people already know him from that, but I knew I couldn't get away with not mentioning The Office. I really just started watching the show last year, but I have seen every episode now. I'm so sorry to say I just don't think it's as good as it used to be, and I don't see it surviving once Steve Carell leaves. There is a lot of other talent on the show, but there are two actors who really stand out. One of those is Ed Helms (for what it's worth, the other is Craig Robinson). Helms plays Andy Bernard as smoothly as he plays the banjo. It's like he was born to play that character (wait, maybe he IS a d-bag...just kidding). On top of that, he seems to have fun doing it.
6. Hilarious. Ed Helms is funny. Period. He's funny when he's acting, he's funny when I see him on The Tonight Show, and he's funny in the few clips I've seen of him doing stand-up. One of my favorite quotes is by Ethyl Barrymore: "You grow up the day you have your first real laugh...at yourself." I think the greatest people are the ones who don't take themselves too seriously, whether it be a politician, a doctor, or an actor. Again, I don't know Helms, but does this seem like a guy who takes himself too seriously?
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Helms - Battle of the Bulge|
7. Voice-overs. Have you ever seen those Hotel.com commercials with the little red-headed claymation dude? Did that guy sound familiar? That's because, you guessed it, it's Ed Helms. According to Wikipedia, an ever-reliable source, Helms does lots of commercial work and has voiced a few minor cartoon characters. Kind of cool, huh? Here's one of the Hotels.com commercial that seems to come on every time I turn on a TV.
8. Civil War Movie. I don't know if there is any truth to this (well, obviously there was at some point, but I don't know if it's still on anyone's table), but in doing my research for this post, I read that Helms is working on what he describes as a "Back To The Future kind of comedy about Civil War reenactors who are sent back to the actual Civil War." I guess I'm kind of a Civil War geek, but when I read about this, I LOVED the idea! Hopefully, it's in the process of becoming a reality.
9. Dolly Parton. I ran across this article a couple of months ago. In it, Helms says, "Even to this day, I still think that Dolly Parton is one of the sexiest, smartest, sassiest women ever, and there's just something about her energy where she has everyone wrapped around her finger. I don't know what it is…she's smarter than everybody and it’s just really sexy." All I'm going to say about this is you can't go wrong with a man who loves Dolly Parton. (I know there's a joke involving my gay cousin here, but I am way too tired to figure it out.)
10. Cedar Rapids. I've heard several great things about the film Cedar Rapids, which stars Helms, along with Sigourney Weaver, John C. Reilly, and Anne Heche. Luckily for us, it is going to be released early next year, and it's also going to the Sundance Film Festival. Also up for next year is the sequel to The Hangover. Whether it's more TV, movies, music, or any other type of project, I am very excited to see what the future holds for Helms.
This concludes my list. This was actually pretty fun; it required a little more research than I usually have to do, but it was well worth the time. I really do hope we see more of Helms in the future, and I hope you do, too. So, what are you waiting for? Write a letter to your local Congressman and demand more Helms! Now! (Just kidding. Don't really do that.)
I'd also like to add, for the record, that I do not spend as much time on YouTube as it may seem.
December 18, 2010
1. "I and Love and You" by The Avett Brothers
I actually love almost everything I've heard from these guys, but this was the first, and I'm pretty sure I listened to it non-stop for a few months. It's got a sad optimism to it that's hard to turn away from. It took me back to my UGA days, and as the summer came, and life took some twists and turns, it became the soundtrack to that, too. I love this band because it doesn't really fit into any specific category. Sure, it's pop-rock, but they've got a little folksy bluegrass thing going on, too. Whatever you want to call it, it's awesome.
2. "Rye Whiskey" by The Punch Brothers
I just discovered the Punch Brothers in June, when their new album, Antifogmatic, came out. Just like with the first band, I loved everything I heard; it's hard to pick a favorite song. The whole band is freakishly talented and fun to watch play, especially Chris Thile. He's got this indescribable magnetism when he's performs; it's hard to turn away. If you're not even tapping your foot about ten seconds into this song, you probably need to check your pulse. It's like a drug that gets under your skin and into your veins, and upon listening, you'll find you just can't get enough.
3. "Fuck You" by Cee Lo Green
I will never forget the morning my friend, Candice, showed me this video. She was trying to cheer me up (I had all the reason in the world to be in a "fuck you" kind of mood), and I have to admit, it worked. No matter who pisses you off, all you have to do is listen to this song and it will put you in a good mood. I promise! Gwyneth Paltrow almost ruined it when she sang the "Forget You" version on Glee, but even that was just proof that literally nothing can ruin this song. The funniest version of the song I've heard was the "Fox News" one Cee Lo sang on The Colbert Report. (Fun fact: don't refer to Cee Lo Green as "the guy from Goodie Mob" in front of a group of teenagers. It will make you feel ancient.)
I wanted to make this a "Top 10" list, but I suck at writing music reviews, and things got a little tricky because I had this great list of songs, but I realized none of them (with the exception of the three above) really, uh, spoke to me. Yeah. Much of what I've listened to this year isn't exactly new.
Anyway, there are tons of bands and musicians who came out with some really good music this year (Florence and the Machine, Mumford and Sons, Adele, Carolina Chocolate Drops, and even Kanye West, I hate to say) and there are some songs and artists I'd kill myself if I knew it meant never having to hear their dribble again ("Hey, Soul Sister," "Whip My Hair," "Just the Way You Are," and absolutely anything by Katy Perry). You'll just have to find those lists on another website. I'm sure there are thousands of musical year-in-reviews being created by people with horrid taste as I type this.
I do want to start with more "top 10" lists, though. I used to do it all the time and it was a good excuse to keep myself blogging regularly, so I'll see how that goes.
So, what were your 3 favorite songs of '10?
December 16, 2010
Every website I’ve visited over the last 48 hours has featured big, bold headlines about John Boehner. Is it about some great piece of legislation the former and soon-to-be Speaker of the House is sponsoring? Nope. It’s all about whether or not the man cries too much.
Is he an alcoholic? Does he have psychological or emotional problems? Did his daddy not spend enough time with him when he was a boy? Let’s spend our valuable news space analyzing whether or not a successful businessman and politician cries too much.
Now, I’m no Boehner fan, but it’s not personal. I think we need new leadership throughout the Legislative Branch. Boehner and Pelosi – I’ve read that story before and I really hated the ending.
But give me a break! We’ve got this absurd omnibus bill full of ruthless spending, talks of government shut-downs, Julian Assange, Wikileaks, tax cuts, Afghanistan, men shooting up school boards in Florida, nasty winter weather across the globe, airport security treating travelers like sex slaves, the DREAM Act, the GOP taking over Congress, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, President Clinton, Al Qaeda, etc. I don’t care if John Boehner tears up when he’s talking to Lesley Stahl (I’d cry if I had to spend that much time with a CBS reporter, too) and I don’t care if he gets a little misty when he watches Bambi. I just want someone – anyone – in Congress to do his or her damn job and for the media to report on it accordingly.
If John Boehner can go back to Washington in January, get Congress out of my personal business and into the business of cutting spending, I don’t care if he lies down on the floor of the Capital Building and sobs like a little girl every day for the rest of his life.
I do realize I am talking about the same media, who just weeks ago, spent more time analyzing Bristol Palin’s run on Dancing with the Stars (read: a teenager competing in a talent show) than what’s going on in Afghanistan, but I guess I still have this little pipe dream that one day, someone will step up and report on some important issues. Unfortunately, I’ve already braced myself for five months of wedding gown speculation and what finger foods Wills and Kate will be serving at the wedding. Shoot me now.
It’s been a few years since I was in college, and admittedly, I only took a couple of journalism classes, but I don’t remember the required reading being Dr. Phil’s Life Strategies and O Magazine.
Dear media, please grow a pair. Put up or shut up, as the old saying goes. Report on real stories or see if you can get a spot sitting next to Whoopi and Joy. And it’s time for America to stand up and expect more out of the people who are supposed to be keeping us informed.
December 15, 2010
That is about to change, however. Today, I don't have any great quotes from the book that I can relate to. That's not because there aren't any; it's because there are too many, and I don't want to break any sort of plagiarism laws.
If you are a writer, an aspiring writer, a writer who feels like you are at a crossroads in your career, a person who is interested in writing as a spectator, or a person who writes grocery lists, the only advice I can offer you on this book is READ IT NOW. As I've mentioned before, I picked the book up with the intention of skimming it. Little did I know, I'd end up worshiping at the alter of Stephen King. The book is so rich with information; I really can't put into words how much I feel like it has changed me in the last two weeks. Maybe "inspired" is a better word. I've learned so much about myself, too.
Two things I have really taken from the book relate to my own habits. I am really bad at waiting until the last minute to do something, and I am very bad at budgeting my time. Combine those two things with having the attention span of a fruity fly and things can get a bit overwhelming. This is where the book comes in.
I need to make two big changes in my life:
1. I need to start reading more.
2. I need to write every day.
I love to read, but I see it as something I do only when I have time. Mr. King has helped me see it as something I should make time for. He calls it a tool of the trade (the trade being writing). And he's right. I am more inspired to write when I am reading for hours on end every week. I've always known writers read and should, but I never thought of making a point to do it daily.
As for the schedule, I work at home. Mr. King's advice couldn't have come at a better time. I got to a point this weekend when I was ready to give it all up and go apply for a 9 to 5, but I decided that before I get that desperate, I should try to implement a "work at home" schedule.
This last week was brutal. I was swamped with work. Sunday morning, I woke up and drove about an hour north to do some of that work and I was already stressed out because I was behind, but also because the weather was bad and the last thing I needed was to get snowed in some strange town without my laptop. So, I'm nearing the end of my trip and trying to find the last place on my list that I needed to visit. I have my dad on the phone and he is Google Mapping the area because you'd think it would kill someone in that town to put up a freaking street sign, when I see a dog who has obviously been hit by a car. His back end is all mangled up, and he can barely walk. I drove on, but I couldn't get that pitiful face out of my head, so I told my dad I had to go and called animal control, whose recording told me to call 911. After fifteen minutes of driving up and down this road, searching for the dog, and trying to convince the 911 dispatcher that I am not a total idiot because I don't know if I am going north or south on a nameless road in a town I've never been to, the weather was getting so bad that I knew I better get home. I had lots more work to do anyway.
I came home, took a quick nap, and settled in to spend the rest of the day typing until my fingers bled or carpal tunnel sat in. I was about two sentences into my project when the computer froze up. I went through the motions and finally restarted it. As soon as it restarted, a message from my anti-virus software pops up, and it says the software has been corrupted. Great. I finally break down and buy the best virus software you can buy after my summer of five laptops, and I still get a virus! It's not like I was surfing kinky porn, I was on freaking Wikipedia and a local county's government website.
At that point, I nearly lost it. All the work I'd already done, all the pictures I'd taken that morning, and several personal files that I hadn't yet backed up were gone. It'd take me a few days to redo it all. After spending half an hour wallowing in self pity, and whining to a few friends and family members about how I was going out to apply for a job at a bank the next day, I made one last attempt to get something on the computer to work. Suddenly, "My Documents" loaded without issue. I still couldn't pull up anything else, but there was a good bit of the work I'd done. I made a middle of the night trip to Wal-mart to buy a new flash drive and prayed to Bill Gates that Windows wouldn't crash again while I was gone. I came home, backed up what files I could salvage, and restored the ol' laptop to factory settings.
I spend Monday and Tuesday redoing the stuff I did lose and catching up on the work I'd planned to do all day Sunday but was unable to because...well, let's just say I was busy. I worked from 5:30AM to 1AM both days, stopping only to eat a bowl of cereal or let the dogs out.
But the whole time I was doing all of this boring, monotonous work, all I could think about was Stephen King. In the book, he talks about scheduling yourself to write. Locking yourself in a room and giving yourself a goal (1,000 words a day), and making time to write, not writing when you have time. I want that so bad I can taste it, so I decided virus or not, these 19 hour days I spend doing work that I don't love need to come to an end, or I will never move forward.
So, I've decided to start making more of an effort to work during certain hours and write at certain times. I also plan to make time to read each day. I've been in the habit of writing/reading each day in the past (when I was unemployed), and it does help.
Anyway, that was probably a pretty boring story, but I really can't say it enough: go get On Writing, read it, take notes, and then read it again. You won't regret it. It is, by far, the most inspirational books I've read. And I've even read one of Mitch Albom's books, so there!
December 11, 2010
After yesterday's incident, I sort of had it in my head that it couldn't happen again. Not this month, not this week, and especially not this weekend. The odds were in my favor, right? I got out today and ran some errands, came home and did some work, and tonight, I decided I wanted some cheese dip from my favorite Mexican place.
I placed my order and just like I always do and have been doing for years, I drove up to the restaurant, which is located in a strip mall, and parked in one of the only two available spaces. There are signs on these parking places, but they do not read "handicap" or "reserved for whomever;" they have always said "20 minute parking." I don't even look at them anymore, because that's what they have always said.
So, I get out of the car, cross the parking lot and start to go inside the restaurant when I hear someone scream, "Mam!" I stopped and turn around to see a guy coming out of the store next to the restaurant. I can tell he's pissed off about something.
"Can't you read?" he screams. "That's my parking place you're in!!!! YOU NEED TO MOVE YOUR CAR NOW!!!!"
I looked back and realized the "20 minute parking sign" now says "________ store parking only." I apologized - honest mistake - and explained I was only going in for a minute.
He continued to scream, yell, and act like a large child.
I finally told him I wasn't moving my car, he'd have to get over it, and I went inside to get my food. I told the girl at the restaurant about the incident, and she just rolled her eyes. "You're not the first person he's yelled at," she said. Apparently, it's been an ongoing problem.
Whatever happened to, "Excuse me, mam, would you mind moving your car?" Why must people yell and scream and act like five-year-olds?
I was so shocked when it happened that it wasn't until I got back in my car (after I got my food), that I realized what I should have said was, "Wow, sir. I was planning to come back to your store later to do some Christmas shopping for my dad, but you blew that."
Excellent way to represent your business, dude.
Oh, well. At this rate, I think I'm going to have to bring back my "Dumbass of the Day" post. For now, I'm just going to go post bad reviews of the jerk's business all over the internet.
December 10, 2010
***Warning: This post will have foul language.***
It never fails. Every year, between Thanksgiving and January 2nd, people who must spend the other eleven months of the year shut up in their homes, decide to descend upon the rest of society like locusts on Egypt. Not only do they look like extras from Deliverance, they have the social skills of the Nigerian Chimp Boy. You see them in the grocery store and the shopping malls, and in my case, you see run into them on the street.
I had gone to a local college to take some pictures for a story I'm working on and then I swung by Home Depot, where I proceeded to spend ten minutes debating whether or not to spend $30+ on a Christmas tree that would only be up for two weeks. I decided against the tree, pulled out of the parking lot, and headed down the road to get some gas, as I had been playing chicken with my gas tank for the last 24 hours.
The particular road I was on has one turn lane in the middle, for both right and left turns. Unfortunately, traffic was so backed up, that people who were turning left at the end of the road nearly filled the entire middle lane. I turned on my blinker and started to get in line behind them, but before I could, a car who was coming in the opposite direction got in front of me and turned into parking lot to my right. Once they had turned, I found myself about a car length behind the person in front of me and I started to move forward.
Well, just as I'm pulling up - and I didn't even have very far to go - the person who had been behind me, has swerved around and cut in front of me. It startled me and irritated me a little and I honked my horn at this car because he was driving so erratically, I almost hit him. I am not afraid to honk at a bad driver.
But unlike all the other times I've ever done it, this person decided he was going to get out of his car and come towards me. He screamed and I quote, "You fucking bitch, I ought to come fuck you up. You can't even fucking drive. You were in the fucking turn lane way too fucking soon, you stupid bitch." All the while, he was walking towards me. (I'd like to point out that obviously, he didn't see the other car who turned in front of me, and that is why I was in the turn lane "too soon," but again, we're only talking about a few feet here, so why did it even matter? I'd also like to point out that he was way too quick to jump out of his car, so he was obviously looking for a fight. But I digress.)
Walking towards me or not, it didn't take me six months of grand jury duty and two years of watching The First 48 to realize that "I ought to fuck you up" is a threat. And my first reaction was to lock my doors and get out of there, but I needed gas, dammit, and going in any other direction would not help my situation. Looking back, I wish I would have pretended like I was going to run over him or acted like I was getting a gun out of my glove compartment, but instead, I calmly picked up my cell phone and made a big deal out of making a phone call to...my dad. Also, I picked up the paper and pen I had laying on the passenger seat and made a very big show out of writing down his tag number. Once the guy saw what I was doing, he turned around, hopped back in his car and ran the red light.
I'd like to think I scared him, but who knows? I guess I should have actually called the police or something, but I don't know if they would even do anything. And besides, he had another person in the car; I lacked witnesses. Oh, well, I do still have the guy's tag number, and the make and model of his car. Who knew the Deliverance characters drove Honda Accords?
I'll leave you with "The Asshole Song" by Jimmy Buffett. Anytime I deal with an asshole (and believe me, this year has been full of them), I just give it a listen, and I feel surprisingly better.
December 09, 2010
I'm still on Stephen King's On Writing. I realize it's a short book, but let me just tell you, the only time I've had to read lately is...well, let's just say the book hasn't left my bathroom. Um, hmm, anyway, I'm at the point where King has just sold his first novel, Carrie, to Doubleday. I really can't express enough how much I love this book. As I mentioned, I've never read one of King's novels (with the exception being Carrie), but I definitely will be once I'm finished with this.
I just wanted to share one quote (it's from page 77 - he has just started writing Carrie) for today. Talking about what he learned from Carrie White, the novel's star:
"The most important is that the writer's original perception of a character or characters may be as erroneous as the reader's."
As I work on my "story," I've learned this is absolutely right. When I first started, I didn't love or know my characters the way I should have. I even tried interviewing them or filling out info on one of those stupid profiles to get to know them better, but it didn't help. I just felt like I was grasping for answers. However, once I started actually writing the story and getting into it, I learned more about my characters than I ever realized there was to know.
I think to write fiction, you have to be able to submerse your self into the world you're writing about. It took me a while to get to that point, but I managed to do it recently and it is the most wonderful thing you could experience as a writer - or in my opinion, it is. I studied acting when I was younger, and I'm not sure if I will ever put those skills to use, but I do every time I sit down to work on my story. I have to be these characters in ways I did when I was acting - even the ones I have very little in common with, and for me, that is the only way to write.
Anyway, I'm going to let great writers like Mr. King give all of the advice, but when I read something that validates how I feel, it just makes me feel like maybe I am doing something right.
December 01, 2010
I did take a little time to start reading Stephen King's On Writing this week, though. Even though I'm only about a third of the way through, I absolutely love it. I should back up and say I am not a big fan of King's novel, and that's mostly because I haven't read many. I read Carrie when I was in high school, and I started The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, but I just never finished it. I suppose I will one day.
And I honestly didn't expect On Writing to catch my attention in the way it has. In doing this "Writer Wednesday" thing, I've noticed that many writers have the book listed as suggested reading, and I happened to remember that my aunt gave a copy to my mom for some holiday a few years ago, so I stole it from her bookshelves when I was at her house the other day. I needed something to read the other night and didn't feel like starting any of the books I have on my "to read" list, so I picked it up, figuring I'd skim it and take it back to my parents' house. Well, never mind that; I'm reading this baby from cover to cover.
I'll try to write more about it when I finish it, but here are a few quotes that really stood out to me:
1. From the first forward, where he is talking about himself and a group of writers who formed a band, "We are writers, and we never ask one another where we get our ideas; we know we don't know."
2. Talking about when his mother first told him to write a story of his own (p. 28), "I remember an immense feeling of possibility at the idea, as if I had been ushered into a vast building filled with closed doors and had been given leave to open any I liked. There were more doors than one person could ever open in a lifetime, I thought (and still think)."
3. Talking about where stories come from (p. 37), "Let's get one thing clear right now, shall we? There is no Idea Dump, no Story Central, no Island of the Buried Bestsellers; good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky: two previously unrelated ideas come together and make something new under the sun. Your job isn't to find these ideas but to recognize them when they show up."
These are all about creating stories, and how they come to you. That has been an important part of my writing lately. I went through a long period of time where I had all these ideas floating through my head, but for the life of me, I couldn't put them together into one coherent piece. Finally, it just happened. I can tell you who and what series of events inspired the big story I'm working on now, but not how I came up with the idea. For a while, I thought maybe something was wrong with me, but thanks to Mr. King, I feel a little better about myself.