Saturday, March 30, 2013

photo stories - nastya kaletkina

When I see these from Nastya, I am prompted to think she found
a mental institution for fairies deep in the woods and they let her
take photos for a day.  Though I doubt this is true, her pictures are

Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping
than you can understand.
- W.B. Yeats, The Collected Poems

Monday, March 25, 2013

on reading - carl sagan

A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts
(still called "leaves") imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One
glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps
someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the
author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to
you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding
together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one
another. Books break the shackles of time ― proof that humans can
work magic.

- Carl Sagan

Thursday, March 21, 2013

the well written - e.m. forster

She watched the moon, whose radiance stained with primrose the
purple of the surrounding sky.  In England the moon had seemed
dead and alien; here she was caught in the shawl of night together
with earth and all the other stars.  A sudden sense of unity, of
kinship with the heavenly bodies, passed into the old woman and
out, like water through a tank, leaving a strange freshness behind.

- E.M. Forster, A Passage to India

By Riccardo Testolin

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

on writing - story structure

The other day I stumbled upon this article by Chuck Wendig.  I
found many of the points helpful, and some helpful reminders.
Here are some of my faves, but I highly encourage you to go over
to his site and read the original post.


Structure serves story; story does not serve structure. A cathedral
is built toward certain considerations: the beauty of God, the
presence of God’s story, the need for acoustics, the accommodation
of seating, the sacrificial altar, the DJ booth, and so on. You design
a structure to highlight the type of story you’re telling. Using a non-
linear structure in a mystery story is so that you maximize on the
uncertainty and use the rejiggered narrative to create suspense.
Structure has purpose. Structure is where art and craft collide.


Loosely translated, “Every set of three is complete.” Even if you
ignore all other structural components, this is a good one to keep
an eye on — the Rule of Threes suggests that all aspects of your
story should have at least three beats. Anything that has any value
or importance should be touched on three times and, further, evolve
a little bit each time. Every character arc, ever act, every scene,
every setting, every motif or theme, needs you the storyteller to
call it back at least three times.

By Wonil Suh

Thursday, March 14, 2013

illustration - cendrine rovini

These works by Rovini are simply breathtaking.  Of her artistry
she says, "This is not a whim, I merely need this, I need to express
those things I have in me and floating around me, trying to make
them visible a little more."  Her main sources of inspiration are the
characters already in her head, who she has a hard time claiming
creatorship for.  When she has an idea, she's impatient to begin the
work, and can't wait for all to be in order so she can begin.  She
says, "I just follow the lines and colors arriving under my hands
directly from this space of my soul."  (Via Ana Pina)

Gaze into the fire, into the clouds, and as soon as the inner voices
begin to speak... surrender to them. Don't ask first whether it's
permitted, or would please your teachers or father or some god.
You will ruin yourself if you do that.   - Hermann Hesse

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

a dreamer's wisdom - henry miller

Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a
heartache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master
and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we
stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers,
our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets
quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is
capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same
source. There is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all
part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to
open up, only to discover what is already there.

- Henry Miller

By Gary Simpson

Saturday, March 9, 2013

on reading - on writing - joseph conrad

My task, which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the
written word, to make you hear, to make you feel - it is, before all,
to make you see.

- Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim

Thursday, March 7, 2013

photo stories - brock davis

These photos by Davis, taken with his iPhone, delight me.
Not only do they flirt at story, but they evoke a certain
melancholic, dazed dreaminess.

And what's fun (and an interesting exercise) is to brainstorm
what causes the perception of one mood or another in these
photos - the sun glaring on fine blonde hair, wet pavement,
a scowl, the churning of the clouds, contrast or lack thereof.
Then think of how you could and would express these
elements in writing, how you could make them come alive,
dancing before readers' eyes as much as they do in the photos.

Good description is a learned skill, one of the prime reasons
you cannot succeed unless you read a lot and write a lot. It's
not just a question of how-to, you see; it's a question of how
much to. Reading will help you answer how much, and only
reams of writing will help you with the how.
- Stephen King, On Writing

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

on writing - io9's short story writing tips

io9's Secrets to being a Super-Prolific Short-Story Writer.
Personally, I like #5 and #12 best.

1) Know how your story ends before you begin it. This
doesn't always work, but it often does — my biggest problem
with short stories is that I get halfway through and then have no
idea what happens next. Maybe I have a really cool setup or a
really interesting dilemma for my characters to face, but I don't
have an ending in mind. And this can derail a story for weeks,
or permanently.

During that first flush of invention, when you're creating the
story's premise, is the perfect time to try and imagine the ending
as well. Once you get stuck in to writing the thing, you'll be more
absorbed in specifics about the characters and situation, plus the
beautiful images you'll no doubt be crafting.

By Shiho

Monday, March 4, 2013

on writing - on reading - katherine paterson

It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to
give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch
their imaginations--something that will help them make sense
of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward
people whose lives are quite different from their own.

- Katherine Paterson

By Lumao

Friday, March 1, 2013

photo stories - shiho

These are snapshot-fairy-tales, aren't they?  I can't help but
think that next Snow White will bite the apple, some man will
fly through the air, a mermaid float on by, a fairy will kiss the
leaves brown, and (in the last) the camera will pan to chase
a boy in his descent down a snow-framed hole.

Be inspired.  Happy Weekend!