Anti-Rant: Last Night in Sweden

Evidently Trump cited the horrific events that happened “last night in Sweden” during his love fest campaign rally for the 2020 election.
Nothing happened in Sweden.
This would be just another alternate fact in the increasingly bizarro world America is now inhabiting were it not for Twitter, which immediately adopted the hashtag #lastnightinSweden. The tweets there will warm your heart (especially if you like Ikea and the Swedish Chef).
Also, I’m moving to Sweden.

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It’s All in the Reflexes

I’ve been reading The Official Making of Big Trouble in Little China and finding it tremendously comforting. I bought the book because it’s about my favorite movie of all time, but I’m finding it comforting because it’s reminding me to swing as wide as I can while telling the best story I can, and then let go and let the Girls in the Basement take it from there.

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Expectation and Reversal: A Video Explanation

We’ve talked about setting up expectations and then reversing them in a way that makes the reader/viewer see things in a different way so they feel engaged and delighted instead of swindled (the infamous Gotcha). I love this video because it’s a great short visual for that concept:

My fave is the lightbulb that lights up instead of breaking; not just a reversal but a delightful surprise.

Originally on Vimeo.

Setting and Placeholders

Sooner or later, I need pictures of my settings. This can be difficult because I’m making stuff up, so I end up doing really sloppy photoshop work. As with all the collages I use, the setting pictures aren’t art work, they’re brainstorming exercises (while I’m working on them) and touchstones (while I’m writing.) The best thing about them is the process: searching for things that feel like the setting (instead of look like the setting), thinking about what the picture needs, the details that my characters would see, the way the environment around it looks . . . all of that helps me get past “It’s a bar on a rainy cobblestone street.”

The book got far enough this week that I really needed the exterior of Hell Bar. Continue reading

Women Sitting Next To Christmas Trees

I found this link on the AV Club to this page of forty-three pictures of women sitting next to Christmas trees in the fifties and sixties.

Okay, skipping over why anybody did a search for women sitting next to Christmas trees in the fifties and sixties, there’s something about vintage pictures of women that always makes me wonder what the story is; in this case, where they were coming from when they stopped by the tree, where they have to go next, what they think of the photographer, of the person standing next to them in the frame or just out of it, why they thought that outfit was a good idea, and if Christmas made them want to take an ax to the entire family (that may be me projecting from the Christmases in my youth). I get that with all vintage photos, but especially the ones with women because women were so often silenced back then, and what they were thinking was so much truer than what they were saying, and what they were thinking is right there on their faces. Like this one: Continue reading

Thank You, Susan B.

susan-b-anthony-grave

I saw Hillary’s name on the touchscreen and I cried a little. Then I voted and got in the car and cried a lot. I never thought I’d see this day. And now, fingers crossed, my granddaughters will grow up thinking, “Of COURSE a woman can be President.” I wept both times Obama was elected, really proud of my country. I hope like hell I’m still proud tomorrow morning. Because otherwise we have this:

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