Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Baby Boomers, What Are We To Do?

There's a new genre of writing developing called Boomer Lit, What is boomer lit?, apparently being brought to you by the same people who developed, or for whom, YA Lit was developed, us Baby Boomers. Now that we're aging (retiring), what are we to do? How are we to fill our days? What is expected of us? What do we expect of ourselves? Of course, our writings will reflect the answers to those questions. But actions speak louder than words. So, what are we to do?

Are we to sit back and luxuriate in the large and small fortunes many of us have amassed over the past forty years? Are we to pat ourselves on the backs and watch T.V. off into the sunset? Do we go out with a whimper or a bang, to borrow from T.S. Eliot? We came into the world rather quietly, I believe. I don't think our parents realized what they were doing, what they were unleashing on the world, when they produced us out of the goodness of their hearts and love for each other. Our parents were the products of The Great Depression and WWII. We children shared in the spoils of their victory.

My father was a U.S. Marine who fought in the Pacific. He was never one to boast about the war. In fact, I don't think I've ever heard a single WWII veteran boast about what he did. They were too busy getting back to living. The war was their launching pad to a new era and a new way of life. Like so many of the men who fought in WWII, my father came off the farm to live a different life than his parents had lived. He experienced too much in the war to ever go back to just struggling on the farm. And there was no blueprint for my father to follow, or for many of the men back then to follow. They had to figure it out for themselves. And they did. We are a part of their experiment.

I plan on writing more and more about Boomer Lit and living this end-stage of my life. Hopefully, I'll be better in old age than I was in my youth.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Breakfast at Tiffany's, or Holly Golightly's heavy heart

[Movie Review, Breakfast at Tiffany's]*

The 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany's has, no doubt, one of the most beautiful musical scores in "Moon River", an opening song that intimates the delicacy of this movie. If the movie lives up to this score, then a high level of success has been achieved.

Holly Golightly is a confused, heavy-hearted girl, who hides her confusion and sadness behind a happy-go-lucky, frivolous mask, a mask that has to break if she is to become a genuine person. Her agent, OJ, calls her a phony, but a genuine phony, because she believes all the phoniness. She is living a life totally different from the one she knew as a child, while, deep inside, she is still that child.

Holly's childhood, which is at the crux of her problems, is not dealt with much in the movie, which is perhaps its chief weakness. We simply have to take Holly as she is without knowing much about her. Deep inside, Holly is afraid to love. She substitutes having fun for living. She simply doesn't take life seriously enough. And when she meets up with love, she runs away from it instead of running toward it. How to change directions is at the heart of the movie. Will she change directions? Will she stop running from love and start running toward it? Finding out is really the joy of this movie.

I felt genuine empathy for Holly Golightly. And the movie indeed lived up to the musical score. I could watch it again and again.

* This is a new venture for me: reviewing movies. A lot of writers do so on their blogs, and sometimes I just want to throw my two cents in. Ninja Alex has just run a blog hop in which people list their top ten movies. Pretty interesting to see the lists. Some movies pop up over and over again. Most of them I've never seen, so I've got some catching up to do. Happy movie watching.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The ups and downs of writing.

To be honest, I haven't written anything in about three weeks. After a fabulous Jan. and Febr., I've run out of steam. I guess I'm facing the old writer's block. Going out of town for a few days and getting sick didn't help. But now it's just plain writer's block. How do I get the wheels spinning again? I've seen many posts that help you break out of writer's block.

I know the only real way to do it is to start writing: just write anything to get the juices flowing. But, right now, I'm just unable to do it. The past few weeks, I've told myself "Monday I've got to start writing a story". But the past few Mondays have been tied up with doctors' appointments for either me, my wife, or my grandson. Just can't get started. Then Tuesdays haven't been much better. Oh, I have a thousand excuses. The truth is that I just can't do it right now.

So I've been doing some other things.

I've started developing my website. It's nowhere near ready to go live. I'm just beginning to format the first page. So far it says R Patrick Hughes as the title and the next line says Author. That's it. That's as far as I've gotten. But it's pretty thrilling to see that I've actually got something, that it is possible to do it. It'll probably take me months to finally go live with it.

I listened to a terrific interview between authors CJ Lyons and Joanna Penn. the creative penn (I tried to link up to the actual interview, but couldn't figure out how). Ms Lyons doesn't blog, tweet, or participate in any social media, if I remember correctly. She only has a website. And she has millions of sells. She says blogs are for writers (not your readers). Websites are for your readers. Readers aren't interested in your writing life; they are interested in your product, and that's what the website is for. So I'm jumping on the website bandwagon. I just can't afford to pay someone two or three thousand dollars to do it for me. So, I'll just do it myself.

If I'm truly suffering from writer's block, I at least want to spend the time productively.

How about you? Have you suffered from writer's block? How do you overcome it? Do you have a website? Do you want to set one up?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

When you've bitten off more than you can chew....

Writing a short story a week for 50 weeks was way overly ambitious. Not that I haven't done it, because, thus far, I have. But last week's story was very short, less than 2k words. And this week's story is nowhere in sight. I was out of town over the weekend, and I came home with a bad cold, perhaps a touch of the flu. Writing a story this week isn't going to happen. So, I'm revising my plans.

The story a week was putting too much pressure on me, anyway. I don't need it. I'm now on the "I'll write a story as I can" mode. Hopefully, I'll be working on something continuously more or less, but no more deadlines. I'd still like to try writing a minimum of 500 words a day, but that absolutely was not happening. There are just too many activities going on in my world to manage it. But I still think it's a worthy objective.

Hope you're meeting your objectives as writers.