Forever on the watch for good new horror, I found this trailer for “The Barrens” which IF they don’t go with the “Dad’s crazy” bit (Which I’m feelin’ they’ll play up but will deliver on the devil instead), I’m thinkin this might be genuinely scary. Take a look:
The Director, Darren Lynn Bousman, did Saw 2, 3 and 4, so we know he can pull off an intricate plot (see also convoluted?), but entertaining. He also did “11 – 11 – 11” which scored 10% on the tomato meter over at rotten tomatoes and got 20% with the audience… not good. But… damn. Did you see the devil thing at 1:48? Blink and you miss it. Could be good right?
“The artist’s way” by Julia Cameron is one of those well known books for Artists on, as the book cover says, “Discovering and recovering your creative self”. More than one person suggested I pick it up, the bookstore staff were very familiar with it, and has 289 5 star ratings on Amazon. By the time I cracked the spine, there had been quite the buildup to how important “The Artist’s way” would be.
To cut to the chase, I gave it a 3/5. Disclaimer here: I read through it and did many of the exercises, but did not engage in the 12 week course, half hour to hour daily commitment it was designed to be.
The good was that it had the exercises that encourage people to make new connections with the content that help reconstruct beliefs about yourself and creativity. For the right person, I imagine it’s as inspiring as those Amazon.com rave reviews say it is. BUT, the lesson comes from a spiritual framework. To be fair, it says, smack dab on the front cover, “A spiritual path to higher creativity”. But it’s not as general as described from the start. Terms like “Artist’s prayer” and references to the “creator” abound make for a more narrow focus of spiritually. Out of context, but here is an example of content, “It is very important to understand that the time given to morning pages is time between you and god.” Because it’s misleading in that respect, I say that this book’s approach is not for everyone because of its framework.
I have another complaint: the authoritative tone throughout. It’s strong writing, sure, but it really distances me from the work when I don’t completely agree with some statements (of which there are only a few). Different subject matter, I know, but a contrast would be the way in which Stephen King talks in his opinion in “On writing”. It’s much more casual and easy to read that way.
That being said, there are many great gems and exercises between the front and back cover of “The Artist’s Way”. It’s one of the only creativity-based books that boast “process” AND “content” to make lasting changes if you really take part in what the book has to offer. Pick it up if you think you can make it through and ESPECIALLY if you can commit to the 12 week program. It’s unfortunate that I don't know of a similar book without the spiritual framework (any suggestions?). The closest thing I can think of is to pick up a book like “Mind Over Mood” that has many of the same exercises and adapt what you learn to explore and discover creativity.
Not that I do those things anyway. Ok, I do one of them... but not after seeing this video.
So I was scanning Vimeo for new horror when I came across an excellent Dark fairytale with some great production value. I mean, check out the way those two branches make up the title (Below). In the vein of grim cautionary rhymes of our youth (Think of about the plague as described by the dark "Ring Around the Rosie" and go from there. This one's not for kids), and has a pretty interesting twist in the end. Take a look:
Was there more? I took a look at the Bloodycuts site (and you should too) to find that Suckablood was indeed part of a small series. I got in contact with Ben Franklin, Creator, Producer, Editor and dark mastermind of Bloody Cuts who gave me permission to post their first episode in the series below. Take a look:
It’s BRANDON Conenberg’s by the way. And as disgusted as I may be, there’s something intriguing about this trailer that makes me wanna watch the movie. To be certain. Brandon’s “Antiviral” looks to be in line with his father’s (David) legacy of weird and shocking movies. The whole celebrity obsessed has been done before, sure, but in as strange a way as is depicted in the trailer below? Take a look.
Weird? Am I right? And that soundtrack to the trailer is excellent. That scream loop starting at 1:31 is pretty intense.
So, it has an artsy feel and an interesting choice or lead, yes, you’ve see the pale protagonist before, he’s Caleb Landry Jones, and he’s been in X-Men First Class, Contraband and No Country for Old Men.
What do you think of the trailer?
Which would you rather see, Antiviral or David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis?
Amazon.com ratings and reviews can be so misleading. I remember hearing about “on Writing” a while back and scanning for direction as to whether I should buy it or not. I got lost in comments that the book was more entertaining than useful. That’s not the case. While “On writing” is very entertaining (and even had me laughing at parts) it is also very useful. Be warned, those little writing gems (and they are write down worthy) are largely packed into the fourth quarter of the book however. I wonder if some reviewers even made it that far.
The front end is full of backstory and is where King ropes you in, like identifying with a character from a work of fiction. By the time you get into the applicable bits on writing, it feels more like a conversation than teaching. You won’t find list of writing do’s and don’ts listed in bold and in steps (Though there is a section of first draft to second draft changes of King’s “1408”). Mostly What you’ll find is an informal approach enriched with exampled of King’s experience and comes across as so personable that you may feel like you’re sharing stories by a fire.
It’s an easy read, and will have you reading it long into the night. I highly recommend this book and give it 5/5. I didn’t pick it up a few years back when I could have because of misleading reviews. Mistake. If you like writing, do go out and get a copy. It’s the “one-of-a-kind classic” “The wall Street Journal” says it is on the book’s back cover.
Friends of the Dark Opera, Donald and Mitchell of liquid comics (HERE) are putting on an exciting Art contest. That’s right, ART. That means, send in your drawings, painting, photograph… anything art! And first prize gets a printed out, hold in your hands, physical issue of their comic, signed! Pretty sweet deal if you ask me and it’s incentive to get you creating. Take a look over at THEIR WEBSITE for more details on the contest (There are pretty cool 2nd and 3rd place winner prizes).
Deadline's August 20th/2012. Check out their profile here under friends of the Dark Opera. It’s worth a look.
Can you pump out 100 + pages of story in 3 days? Sure you can. It’s not easy - it’s a grueling challenge/contest known as the “3 Day Novel”.
It’s a brutal exercise in goal setting, pushing through blocks, dealing with horribly rushed writing and discouraging editing, and struggling to keep distractions at bay. Meeting the challenge though has never made me feel more accomplished (albeit drained) as a writer. It is the most intimate and intense that I get to be with a piece of work – It is after all, pretty much the only thing you will have time to do in the span of the three days. It’s definitely worth a try and can recommend it whole-heartedly.
The online novel “29 Digit Lock” found in the “creative works” section of this website was in fact my first attempt at the 3 day Novel in 2009. I have been entering in the competition each year since.
The contest takes place Labor Day weekend and is based on the honor system. The goal is to complete a novel, start to finish in those 3 days. You can do some brainstorming as to what you are going to write about and think of story line, but you can’t start the novel until the first morning of that weekend. First place gets to be published!!
Sure, it’s 50 bucks to register (if done before Aug 15th, $55 after), but you get a nifty certificate right around after Christmas when the winner is announced (who could be you). AND it’s a great way to hold yourself accountable to complete the challenge (and finally produce that novel you always wanted to get out). Also, “3 Day Novel” needs to read every 100 + page entry which is a HUGE amount of work which is worth the cost to support.
3 Day Novel This year! Who’s with me?
*While I’m writing this, memories are coming back to me about the competition, especially that feeling you get at the end of the first day, like you barely put a dent in the word count and story progression and wonder how you’re going to make up for it the second day. And oh that second day, the questioning, the furious pace of writing, battling those distractions, writing through the boring parts… and midnight the next night… the end. The feeling like “that’s it, it’s done”, as incomplete as you think it may be. Good times.
YOU should take a look and join me in this year’s 3 day novel. CLICK HERE for the link to the website
CLICK HERE for their Facebook Page
CLICK HERE for the 29 Digit Lock 3 day novel entry that I did in 09’
Welcome to the Dark Opera
Celebrating and Inspiring Creativity
'Like' our Facebook page
'follow' us on Twitter
'Subscribe' to the Youtube channel!