***** Five Stars *****
General synopsis: Behind the scenes of Sea World. The emotional lives of the trainers and their “Black Fish.”
-Abuse/ Innocence Lost/ Death: If you have the stomach for watching puppies get kicked you may be able to tolerate the abhorrent amount of physical abuse that the whales are subjected to in this documentary. From teeth racking, to food deprivation, isolation, to being locked in storage sheds, this abusive undertone is devastating. Still, some of the most thematic emotional abuse centers on the mother orcas (in the wild and at SeaWorld) being ripped from their young calves and the screeching screams that are heard thereafter. This repeated offense was just one example of emotional innocence lost. Death was a theme not only suffered by the whales but by the dedicated trainer’s who were ignorant of the history and emotional decline of the “fish” they loved.
The only thing confusing about this documentary are the reviews. Many of the one star reviews dictate that this film is a propaganda piece. This is interesting simply for the fact that it is mainly centered around eye witness testimonies of “average” SeaWorld goers who happened to witness the brutality, as well as actual trainers who worked for the park first hand. It not only shows the severe mistreatment of the orca, but the horrible deaths and mutilations of trainers. There is no falsity in emotional responses of their testimonies and if telling their stories has made SeaWorld “look bad,” as a result that seems to be a fair trade for the families that have lost their loved ones (human and orca alike). In all honesty, I’m appalled. I’m appalled that this institution is still alive and kicking. As a people with free will, brains, and emotional responsibilities, I’m surprised that anyone who has a beating heart would ignore this and continue to frequent the park.
In an ever evolving extroverted world, it can be hard for us quiet introverts to remember even our basic needs like drinking enough water, and taking a moment to let the body relax. I was speaking with a friend this weekend and she reminded me of this fun little pyramid to keep in mind, just to re-center yourself after a stressful weekend.
When the introverted brain is over-stimulated it can lead to a "burn out" effect. This can be a dangerous time if you don't give your brain and body the space it needs to re-charge. The danger falls in not having the resources to stand up for yourself or devise easy solutions. Because the brain is at its limit, if you are pushed during this time you may be over compliant and simply agree to whatever pressures are going on in your life because you can't process the outcome.
TAKE TIME, to revitalize your resources, let your brain store all of that information from the overwhelming events into long term memory so that you can process them (that's how introverted brains store information, they're actually born with a different canal that processes situations). So give yourself the love and rest that you need and let the extroverted world miss keep spinning. It'll be there when you're recharged and ready to climb mountains.
When you think you're finished with your novel, but discover that you're only half way into Act II... This is a common occurrence as we move with hesitation towards our third Act. This hit me hard last week and my immune system crashed and I got sick. No surprise. I'm a neurotic-writing-little-thing and thinking that I still have half a book to write FREAKED ME OUT. So... here are some little tricks that should help the next go around. If anything helps. IF ANYTHING HELPS!
#1 - Don't freak out. I know you already did. I know you are right now. But grab ahold of that wild mind of yours, take a seat and breathe. I don't care if it's in a paper bag or if it's doing vinyasa, just BREATHE!
#2 - Call friends and see real-life-folk. If you have any left after hobbit-holing yourself to finish your little "masterpiece."
#3 - Forget not freaking out. Freak out.
#4 - Breathe. Right? Didn't we say that already?
#5 - Stop referring to yourself as we.
#6 - Definitely leave your house and talk to real people instead of your protagonist. Who's acting more like an antagonist right now. Hahahahahahahah
#7 - Don't laugh to yourself, by yourself, while writing your blog. In your room. Alone.
#8 - Stop weirding yourself out.
#9 - Totally weirded out.
#10 - Don't tips always end at 10? Something about marketing efficiency and the level of the modern man's attention span? Good. Okay, pull yourself together. End with this. It's going to be okay. Go outside. Pick a flower. Remember flowers? Roll around in the grass and know that your story lives fully and completely inside of you. You'll get there. Go gently into that goodnight. Pick up your pen, or open your laptop. You've got this. Even if you freak out<3
This week I hit a bump. More like... crashed into the side of my story and crawled lifelessly towards my plot wondering where I went wrong. This happens to us as writers. Especially as we approach the Third Act of our stories. I wrestled between going back to chapter one, or plummeting forward. I've started over before, and sometimes it's necessary. But in this case I'm going to just finish the damn thing, then rework it as a whole. Any further plot points or what-have-yous that need sorting out, will reveal themselves as I finish the work. And (hopefully) I won't end up at this same point the next go around. So my advice for this week... press on writing warriors! Finish that draft! Share your experience hitting the wall in the comments below<3
When writing a novel it's easy to get lost the closer you get to the third act. The story's coming to a close, the ending is in sight and *sputter *sputter *sputter, you run out of gas! Don't fret, you're not alone! After all of your labor, let's face it, you're tired! And you have every right to be. But you must, I say you must keep pushing! Here's a few tips that help me, feel free to add your own in the comments, remember we are not alone. Struggle is universal!
1 - Roll around on the floor bemoaning your existence (I did that today), then think about where the feeling of giving up lives in your protagonist. Where is this moment in your own story? Do you see where you and your characters are stuck? What would they do in this situation?
2 - Binge watch Netfix, eat chocolate, then sleep! I call this the re-charge. Take a day off. Give yourself the weekend. But always start back Monday. Whatever the next Monday is, make it your bitch.
3 - Reach out! Writing can be isolating. If you have another friend that writes, ask if they want to write with you for an hour ( a writing sprint ). This doesn't have to be in person. You can do it via text, Skype, or what have you. Sometimes uniting two procrastinators is the only way to get things done!
4 - Write for 15 minutes. If every day has become unbearable to write, and trust me I've been there, then give yourself a doable time limit. Just 15 a day will get that chapter done!
5- Lastly, remember that your story can only be told by you. If you don't finish the damn thing, no one will. And your story deserves to be told. You are handcrafted, like the perfect cup, to hold the essence of what your story is about. It chose you, you chose it. You are uniquely qualified to tell your story. Screw the critics. Press on writing warriors! You've got this;)
Shakespeare has a great quote, “Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.” I like to remind myself when spinning in writers block, that it’s not my circumstances that stop me from writing. It's the demon within.
When we stand against ourselves in this manner, it can be excruciating and paralyzing, leading to days, months or even years before we challenge the fear and write again. The best trick I've found to keep that little devil in its place: I ask for ten minutes. Not two hours, not an entire weekend; but ten minutes.
I write for ten minutes every day, no matter what. If I want to write for longer, great, but I can literally stop, punch the time clock, and do other things after I hit my ten. It's like the spout on the kettle. Just that little pressure release, keeps me moving forward.
Somehow this always works for me. It takes the bite out of completing an entire novel or project that’s draining your will power. Just a little bit of motion, just a nibble, and you’d be surprised where you end up. I wrote my first novel Ivory this way. And I’ve used that same method again while writing the sequel to the Egyptian vampire novel Black Moon. And today, I employed it this morning when I looked at my computer screen and said, “This is pointless.” After squirming for ten minutes, I ended up wiring for two hours. So don’t give up brave hearts! Ten minutes is enough to take a bite and keep chewing until your little masterpiece is done!
I’ll write this weekend. I’ll write Monday. I’ll write tomorrow. I’ll write in the evening. I’ll get up and write in the morning. And around and around I go until I have crazy Einstein hair and I’m talking to myself like Golem in the corner because I haven’t used my creative outlet and actually done any writing in months! We all fall victim to this sometimes. Life kicks us in the nads. I get it. But the truth remains, unless we MAKE the time… we’ll still be sitting on the same idea seven years later (I know from experience). So here are some things, some totally made up things, that might work to get you writing.
Made up tip #1 – Hide your phone under your mattress. Let the world wait for a while.
#2 – Tell yourself in the mirror over and over that “you got this.”
#3 – Listen to the song Eye Of The Tiger and jog in place. Make sure you fist pump, this is a very important part of the process.
#4 – Watch something depressing on the news and tell yourself that it “could be worse.”
#5 – Imagine that you’re Data from Star Trek and have no human emotions. Not yet anyway (you don’t care if people hate your work).
#6 – Because I’m too lazy to actually write 10 tips, here you go; the end all be all. WRITE. WRITE. And then pat yourself on the back. Now that you’ve started, you can go back to ignoring your work.
“It’s the same with a story—we can’t solve the problem of our story but what we can do is inquire into our characters at various stages in our hero’s journey and allow our subconscious to build a bridge to that place where our hero experiences a shift in perception.” –Alan Watt
As a writer I’m struck by how often we have to walk the tightrope. That delicate balance between creativity and constructive criticism. You wake up, it’s time to write… then the wheels start turning. All of those voices, all of those critics, all of that noise starts in your mind and you stare at the blank page mortified.
Look at this photo. There he is, a wind gust from death, and he moves forward. It’s during these times that I weigh the known and unknown. I think about the brilliant editors whose constructive criticisms helped me find my style, and also the toxic critics who’ve torn down my work simply because they had nothing better to do on a Monday. It’s all balance.
Taking others’ opinions is important in order to grow in your craft, but when those voices out snuff your own and that beautiful light inside you dwindles… then you’ve already fallen to the death of your creativity. Remember, when it comes to standing still or listening to your gut, I say be as brave as lions, step out on that tightrope. No matter what they say about the way you walk. Just keep walking. Just keep writing. It's not them up there. It's you. And you can make it to the other side.
I've been writing for as long as I can remember, devouring tales like an anemic vampire roaming the streets in hot pink heels, always thirsty for more. This little bit of website wonder is my HUB. Not hubba-hubba. Just hub, thank you. I have links to my published novels, sewing, martial arts, nerd stuff, cosplay, Eco-friendly nonsense and just about all the bells and whistles that make this motor sing. Check out my books and stop and play for a while.
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