Writer’s Block isn’t A Writing Problem

            Okay. We’re doing another writer’s block post because it’s happening again! I am full of funny Tik Toks, advertisements, I have energy for editing, I can still make poetry, I’m writing this blog post right now! But the thing of it is, I don’t know where to take the book I’m writing now. Should I just scrap it and start a new one?

            I’m currently writing Book 2 of The Tooth Fairy. Krysathia, her boyfreind, and Marlene all share one brain cell in Yuma. Marlene’s house is haunted. There’s a witch somewhere in there, with a massive garden in the desert. The city can’t pin excessive water usage on her. Marlene gets someone special. All these components, a story does not make.

            The second is a very rough idea. It’s another Gishlan book. There’s a prince. He is the younger brother of the beautiful princess. Where she is dark and beautiful, he is pale and ugly. Where she’s tall and thin, he’s short and fat. Oh, and she’s 3/4 mermaid, while he’s 3/4 human. Genetics! They’re each going to inherit one half of Gishlan. Because no one ever notices him, he goes around playing super hero (vigilante?) until the little dude gets way over his head. I feel like we don’t have enough awkward boys with chub and stutters in literature. I want to make a human human-merman.

            Anyway, I’ve been sitting here like “Huh…” for a few weeks. But you know what? It’s not a writing problem.

            If attacking your writer’s block on the page isn’t working for you, try this advice instead: Fix your day to day life! Figure out how to work smarter at your day job! Eat a whole pie at three in the morning! Wear your favorite dress for absolutely no reason! (Yes, even you people’s who be like “BuT i’M a MaN” Go find your favorite dress!) Go to the movies in furs and diamonds like it’s 1940! Fall in love with a lovely mistake with brown eyes. Bring the brown eyed lovely one of those giant roses from Hobby Lobby! Join an underground art club!… Suddenly leave that underground art club because commitment is terrifying! Get a tattoo to prove you’re not afraid of commitment. Go hiking, and take a bunch of pictures for the Insta of Gram so you can look cool. And ope. Look. A book just fell out of you during your potty break.

            My solution to writer’s block is to start living life out loud. Honestly, I am just busier than a cat on a hot tin roof, and I’m about to make myself late to work trying to finish this blog post, which is also work. ADIOS, MIS AMIGOS!

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Enjoy the Best, Attend the Movies

            “Enjoy the best, attend the movies” was painted on the side of Torrington’s historic Wyoming Theater. (Check out this article about our beloved theatre.) I saw it every day on my way to work for years. Pretty rad old tymie sign if you ask me. So Helen, why are we talking about movies? I thought we were book people! As a whole, we are entertainment people. We work in the entertainment industry. Books are entertaining. Which is why I can relate to “The Way I Am” by Eminem so hard.

            During the first part of the ongoing apocalypse I found my solace in movies. I mean, I was unemployed and my friends were dead. Watching five movies or more a day was pretty common for someone in that situation before Covid. I promise, Covid didn’t help any. I didn’t just watch movies, I consumed them. I got online, made memes with the screencaps, which, when a bunch of people did it all at once it attracted the attention of the creators. I chatted up writers, directors, voice actors, animators, the intern at the studio, anyone who would talk to me about my favorite movies. We were all trapped inside. It was nice to comfort each other. Bruh, I know way too much about Swan Princess. (I like animation. Bite me.)

            Watching all these movies from the Goodwill pile changed the way I saw the world. I learned to add Hollywood flair to my work. Like, I learned about how sometimes cinematic creators will use a particular color to portray a mood, or as a symbol. For instance, one of my friends pointed out that Carmen Sandiego (the new series remake. Haven’t seen it.) is about to win a fight when the background is red.  But when the background is blue we need to worry for Carmen. She’s vulnerable. She’s outmatched. She’s in trouble! Red is a warm color, and blue is a cold color. When you feel on top of the world you feel like, well, “hot stuff”, when you feel sad you, you have “the blues”. It’s things like that I started seeing and noticing when you watch a crudton of movies and then go discuss them with your friends.

            I feel like it gave me a subtle streak. If you’ve ever met me in person you know subtle is not my middle name. I’m a big girl, who wears boots everywhere, and because I came from a community populated by German and Russian immigrants I am extremely direct and generally speak my mind. Subtle doesn’t come naturally to me! I play trumpet! You ever hear a trumpet try to play subtly? Anyway, because I’ve had a visual on beautiful storytelling, I feel like I’m more equip to sneak in these odd little details.

            Like foreshadowing! Foreshadowing is done best when it’s not clapping your audience in the face. Like, foreshadowing would be watching the king fall asleep on the throne and his crown slips off, a few chapters before the crown is taken from him by a foreign power. Even though he knew the threat was there, he chose not to do anything until it was too late. Not subtle would be me watching you and your girlfriend of one month have a white trash screaming match in a Walmart parking lot. Then when you walk by I would whisper “Foreshadowing“. The only thing it would be foreshadowing would be a miserable romantic relationship, and the loss of our friendship because sometimes I’m neither funny or helpful.

            Dude, all I’m saying is don’t be afraid to study movies. They’re just visual story telling. We do stories here. Learning new techniques isn’t plagiarism. Sometimes it’s easier to consume because the director knows you haven’t showered in four days, are no longer capable of sentient thought, and are surviving on cheese puffs. They literally just spoon feed you a good yarn. It’s great. Go embrace the movie magic, fambilam.

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