Monday, October 26, 2009

Contrived and Predictable Has it's Merits!

I love movies, but believe when it comes to choosing and enjoying them I have the maturity of a teenager. Case in point: I have been to three movies in the theatre within the last few months: Inglorious Basterds, District 9 and The Proposal. I must learn that if a film critic finds a movie “intelligent” or “a multilayered, rewarding work” I should steer clear of it at any costs. But if the review states that the show is “…as predictable and comforting as a Happy Meal” or “shamelessly derivative, contrived and predictable” these movies are right up my ally.

When I leave a theatre, I want to feel as if I have been entertained. I want to have laughed, cried, clenched my seat in fright, or even resisted the urge to cheer on the hero/heroine. I want to be engaged in the story—to be sucked in. I don’t want to feel compelled to think about what societal message the director might be portraying or what hidden symbolism embodies a character’s actions.

I pride myself as a “thinker”, but when it comes to the cinema—I seem more interested in piffle. Of the tree before mentioned movies, the only one I really enjoyed was The Proposal. Chucked full of contrived and predictable plot lines with a healthy dose of shoddiness, The Proposal made me laugh, caused me to forget stressors in my life for a moment and step into a bit of romantic fairy tale.

It is for this reason I am a terrible movie-mate. My best friends enjoy those highly intelligent, mind stretching, award winning films while I just don’t want to put that much effort into the pastime. Why does all this matter? Quite frankly, it doesn’t mean anything at all. I just felt the need to proclaim my propensity for mediocre movies aloud, accept it as a part of who I am, and cease guilty about it. There, I said it (or wrote it).

So, this weekend we purchased, On Demand, three movies: X-Men Origins: Wolverine; My Life in Ruins; and Ghost of Girlfriends Past. For the first time in a long while, I enjoyed every last one of them. I got my money’s worth, didn’t feel cheated of the time, and was entertained -- just like any other teenager on the planet.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Writing Wherewithal!

Writing is definitely a craft. Like an athlete, a writer must practice in order for their talent to be honed. It has been over three months since I have written anything for publication and it is quite obvious that by allowing this craft to become stagnant, it has become laborious to revive. But here I sit in the dark with my computer, and I wonder if restoration is possible.

It isn't that I have nothing to communicate, it is that I can't seem to find that allusive “balance” I am constantly seeking. Everything I see, do or experience is fodder for a blog, but lately I can't seem to compose. The words are there, but the wherewithal to do the work is not.

I have always been an advocate that teacher's of writing must write themselves. It is important that we understand what our students are experiencing when they write. Perhaps her lies an epiphany—sometimes it is simply too difficult to write, or too arduous or perhaps inconsequential. I am really not sure which tag properly identifies my motives, but I feel compelled to come out of the fog.

The lack of motivation to write is like being separated from one you love—it is a feeling of abandonment and torpidity. Salvaging this union will no doubt take hard work and practice. I am unafraid of either, but both take an incredible amount of time and energy. It is time to step up to the plate, but why does it seem so difficult?

The problem is simple and I know it. I have become lazy. Sometimes, it is easier not to write at all than to expend the amount of energy it takes to compose well. Perhaps it doesn't matter if the writing is great or significant—perhaps sometimes it just matters that you DO IT! Quite a lesson for writers, no matter what their age.