Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Monday, July 30, 2012

on writing success - chris vogler's memo to disney execs

In the long run, one of the most influential books of the 20th century may turn out to

The book and the ideas in it are having a major impact on writing and story-telling, but
above all on movie-making.  Filmmakers like John Boorman, George Miller, Steven
Spielberg, George Lucas, and Francis Coppola owe their successes in part to the ageless
patterns that Joseph Campbell identifies in the book.  The ideas Campbell presents in this
and other books are an excellent set of analytical tools.  With them you can almost always
determine what’s wrong with a story that’s floundering; and you can find a better solution
almost any story problem by examining the pattern laid out in the book.

Brave concept art

Sunday, July 29, 2012

the well written - george macdonald

Her face was fair and pretty, with eyes like two bits of night sky,
each with a star dissolved in the blue.

- George MacDonald, The Princess and the Goblin

By Katy Smail

Saturday, July 28, 2012

from unexpected places - street style aesthetic

Below - a modern day fey's dress?  A crazy coat for one of your crazy characters?
A futuristic ear dressing or the mark of a magicked creature?
Dream bigger, keep writing and telling stories.

Via Wayne Tippets
Via The Locals

Via The Sartorialist

Friday, July 27, 2012

on reading - diane setterfield

All morning I struggled with the sensation of stray wisps of one world seeping through
the cracks of another. Do you know the feeling when you start reading a new book
before the membrane of the last one has had time to close behind you? You leave the
previous book with ideas and themes -- characters even -- caught in the fibers of your
clothes, and when you open the new book, they are still with you.

- Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

By Taho

illustration - swallowing smiles

These dreamings by swallowing smiles (deviant art) encompass themes of loneliness,
compassion, burden, mourning, wonder, magic, and fancy through color combinations,
switches in proportion, and the addition of little things like a crown, tears, a horn, and
insides.  Each is an amazing tale in the great and ever-growing world of stories.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

the well written - erin morgenstern

Chandresh’s guests remain there until just before dawn, and when they do finally depart 
there are three times the number of diagrams and plans and notes than there had been when 
they arrived, strewn and pinned around the study like maps to an unknown treasure.

- Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

If you haven't read it, it's wondrous, so you should.
And take a look at some great fan art below:

Tonight by Cleonique Hilsaca

Tsukiko from The Night Circus by Michaela Lydon

Penelope by Makoviczki Dora

Dixon (a.k.a. Widget)

Le Cirque du Reves by Sam Schechter

Consequences of Love by Kaiya

Celia Bowen by Anne-Julie Aubry

The Snow Queen

Young Celia Bowen by Qixuan Lim

the well written - virginia woolf

Beauty, the world seemed to say. And as if to prove it (scientifically) wherever he looked
at the houses, at the railings, at the antelopes stretching over the palings, beauty sprang
instantly. To watch a leaf quivering in the rush of air was an exquisite joy. Up in the sky
swallows swooping, swerving, flinging themselves in and out, round and round, yet always
with perfect control as if elastics held them; and the flies rising and falling; and the sun
spotting now this leaf, now that, in mockery, dazzling it with soft gold in pure good temper;
and now again some chime (it might be a motor horn) tinkling divinely on the grass stalks
—all of this, calm and reasonable as it was, made out of ordinary things as it was, was the
truth now; beauty, that was the truth now. Beauty was everywhere.

- Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

By Viva Waite

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

from unexpected places - sweet paul magazine

Who sits around these tables?  Who eats these foods?
Who makes them?  One of your characters perhaps?

Via Sweet Paul Magazine

on writing - david mitchell

When you show someone something you’ve written, you also give them a sharpened
stake, lie down in a coffin, and say, “When you’re ready."

- David Mitchell, Black Swan Green

By Karolina (deviant art)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

a dreamer's wisdom - walt whitman

Resist much, obey little.

- Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

By Mary Doodles

photo stories - solve sundsbo

A tightrope walker.  I recently saw one while visiting Niagara Falls - an act tinted with magic.
The man who recently crossed the falls on tightrope got his start with the Flying Wallendas,
a group of circus performers spanning seven generations.  What an interesting back story.
Think of all the other characters found at a circus - bearded lady, the ones that lay on beds of
nails, the contortionists, lion tamers, illusionists.  What about some obscure ones, new ones
from our own imaginations?  What are their histories and futures?  What might they dare to do?

Via Man About Town #1 AW 2008

Monday, July 23, 2012

the well written - jeffrey eugenides

We knew, finally, that the girls were really women in disguise, that they understood love
and even death, and that our job was merely to create the noise that seemed to fascinate them.

- Jeffrey Eugenides, The Virgin Suicides

Via Muse Productions

Sunday, July 22, 2012

on reading - tim o'brien

But this too is true: stories can save us.

- Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried

By Berk Ozturk

illustration - loonaki

Loonaki illustrates long-haired beauties discovering, breathing, being, loving nature.
What kind of water spirit, mother earth, rainbow girl stories to these inspire?
Let the characters run wild in your mind.

As Ray Bradbury says in Zen in the Art of Writing, Characters would do my work for me,
if I let them alone, if I gave them their heads, which is to say, their fantasies, their frights.


Find a character, like yourself, who will want something or not want something, with
all his heart.  Give him running orders.  Shoot him off.  Then follow as fast as you can go. 
The character, in his great love or hate, will rush you through to the end of the story.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

on writing - walt whitman

I am large, I contain multitudes.

- Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

By Laura Siadak

photo stories - flirtation

Flirtation and love can be cast in thousands of ways, each one catching the reader
in the love story as well.  First a glance, then a word, a laugh, a touch.
Here are bits of inspiration for writing these things.

Photos by Viola Cangi