Mind the Art

Salutations.

It’s been over a year since I posted thoughts, ideas, or press in this particular digital storefront window.

I haven’t been creatively dry during that time – more like adrift, periodically bobbing into project shores, and then floating back out to sea.

stormyseasI blame a heavy storm of negativity for my limited activity. Negative thoughts, people, and actions on a global scale.

It’s hard to create joy and laughter when you see an almost endless stream of tears around the world. And for me, constantly using ANGER and OUTRAGE as inspirational fuel is much like powering a family camper with nitro, or playing handball with C4.

So I step back a bit, float, contemplate, or … sometimes for too long … close the shutters.

Not productive. Not self-sustaining. Not the way I wish to meet each day.

So, I’m back.

True I will not post on a daily basis because – as I said in a post some time ago – I enjoy the doing of things. And when you’re busy participating in life, you don’t always have time to comment on same.

Still, I’ll do my best.

Jeremy BritThe late actor, Jeremy Britt once told me that at certain times in his life he’d “felt like an empty vessel.” And in order to both portray a certain role, and to just live, he had to “fill it up” with elements of life.

I believe that may be true for all of us. Certainly it is for me.

To create art, one must live life. So as I am fond of saying to friends, family, and students … go forth and be brilliant.

Posted in Method To My Creative Madness | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

KID REPORTERS & THE SUICIDAL SEAMAN! Part 3 of …

This gallery contains 1 photo.

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE A CHILD’S CAPACITY TO COMPREHEND I have to agree with The Carpenters (old singing duo) about “Rainy Days and Mondays.”  They do have a downer slant to them.  At least that’s what I felt that drizzly Monday in … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tell The Damn Story #147: HOW TO TELL THE DAMN STORY SUMMER SERIES (Part 2) – Getting The Work Done

The Boys Are Back in Town!

This week, Alex and Chris are back with Part 2 of their month-long workshop, the “HOW TO TELL THE DAMN STORY SUMMER SERIES.”   

Pop culture king Caseen Gaines and spoken word poet and children’s book creator Toney Jackson have returned.  This time they’ll discuss getting the BUTTS in the SEATS!  How to get down and get the work done.

Remember this series takes up episodes 146, 147, 148, and 149, creating an opportunity for us to use episode 150 as StoryFest (the three-sectioned, weekend long interview clips package). That would be a cool way to celebrate this milestone.

Click here to hear.

Want to be more a part of this?  Send in your methods for nurturing inspiration.  Where do you find it?  What do you do with it?

Have any questions, or suggestions for episode topics?Leave your thoughts in our comments section.  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com

Alex Simmons, writer/speaker, consultant with his InkPot Award. Chris Ryan, Author of mysteries, children’s books, screenplays and novels
Posted in Tell The Damn Story (Satellite) | Leave a comment

Tell The Damn Story #146: How To Tell The Damn Story Summer Writing Series – Part One

This week, Alex and Chris launch a month-long workshop, the “HOW TO TELL THE DAMN STORY SUMMER SERIES.”  Each week in July, we will join with special guests to focus on a different aspect of the creative process. 

This episode features non-fiction pop culture king Caseen Gaines and spoken word poet and children’s book creator Toney Jackson to explore inspiration.  We’ll discus where it comes from, how to work with it, respect it, and keep it flowing so you can Tell Your Damn Story! 

Click here to hear.

By the way, this series takes up episodes 146, 147, 148, and 149, creating an opportunity for us to use episode 150 as StoryFest (the three-sectioned, weekend long interview clips package). That would be a cool way to celebrate this milestone. What do you think?

Leave your thoughts in our comments section. Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com

* Want to be more a part of this? Send in your methods for nurturing inspiration. Where do you find it? What do you do with it?

Posted in Tell The Damn Story (Satellite) | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tell The Damn Story #145: TTDS PRESENTS “BLACKJACK: ONLY SECONDS LEFT TO LIVE” and More …

This week, Alex and Chris present a Blackjack story created by Tim Fielder in the furious wake of Charlottesville, back in 2017.

Fate worked against us publishing it at the time, and during each subsequent horrific racist tragedy. But George Floyd changed that. We can no longer let Tim’s tale remain just among us.

So we came up with a way to share this emotional, daring story. We tell its backstory, and then we present Blackjack: Only Seconds Left to Live as an unrehearsed audio experience.

The tie-in to present day will be obvious, and our discussion afterwards connects many elements that convinced us that now is the time to share this tale. And we have much more coming.

Click here to hear.

And don’t forget to leave your thoughts in our comments section. Or write to us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com

Tim Fielder
Alex Simmons, writer/speaker, consultant with his InkPot Award. Chris Ryan, Author of mysteries, children’s books, screenplays and novels

Posted in Tell The Damn Story (Satellite) | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Tell The Damn Story #144: WHAT “IFFING” TWILIGHT ZONE SEASON TWO

Looks like it’s … Day of the Bearded Men.

And no, we’re not PC cursing in the title.  

Alex and Chris enjoy a fun and intriguing episode of Tell The Damn Story with special guest pop culture author, Caseen Gaines ( @caseengaines ), speculating about the upcoming season 2 of #twilghtzone.

We show and use our respect for @jordanpeele as a springboard to play “what if” about themes, issues and storylines using episode titles as prompts. 

Come share some big fun, a wide range of topics, some good laughs, and an occasional deep thought, all aimed at psyching fans up for Season Two of THE TWILIGHT ZONE. (Cue the eerie music.)

Click here to hear.

Have a thought about this episode? Sure you do. So leave a message in our Comments section.

Or send an email to:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com

Alex Simmons, writer/speaker, consultant with his InkPot Award. Chris Ryan, Author of mysteries, children’s books, screenplays and novels
Posted in Tell The Damn Story (Satellite) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tell The Damn Story #143: HOW TO TAKE OLD WORLD THEMES & CREATE PRESENT DAY MOVIE and TV GOLD!

For filmmakers and novelist what’s old is new again, and again, and again!  

It always has been! And Alex & Chris do a Bill and Ted by going back in time to prove it

First, remember long time DC author/editor legend Denny O’Neill, who passed on June 11th.  

Then they jump back-and-forth through time to explore classic tropes (story themes) that are being updated and renewed in clever and creative ways.  From Kevin Smith to Greta Gerwig to Jordan Peele, creatives are encouraged to look at classic form and ask “What If” as a means to tell the damn story reflecting modern sensibilities.  

So listen as our hosts discuss the creative and thought-provoking process behind it all.

Click here to hear.

Do you agree or disagree with our POV?  Leave a message in our Comments section.  Or send an email to:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com

Alex Simmons, writer/speaker, consultant with his InkPot Award. Chris Ryan, Author of mysteries, children’s books, screenplays and novels
Posted in Tell The Damn Story (Satellite) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tell The Damn Story #142: REFLECTING LIFE THROUGH ART, OR THE UNCOMFORTABLE ROAD TO PROGRESS CAN INSPIRE

Whatever genre we choose, the stories we tell past, present or future, benefit from what we see, experience, and learn. For all artists time is the canvas and living the brush.

This week Alex and Chris record a sequel of sorts; checking in on humanity’s progress both national and global and human. The world is generating material that will influence articles, books, films, music and more for years to come.

So our hosts explore their thoughts and some uncomfortable questions, all in pursuit of finding avenues for creativity, progress, dignity, and humanity. Always staying true to how they tell the story.

Click here to hear.

What has inspired your creativity recently?

Share it in our comments section. Or send an email to: TTTDSOnAir@gmail.com

Thank you.

Alex Simmons, writer/speaker, consultant with his InkPot Award. Chris Ryan, Author of mysteries, children’s books, screenplays and novels
Posted in Tell The Damn Story (Satellite) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tell The Damn Story 141: HOW CREATIVES HAVE AN HONEST DISCUSSION OF RACISM IN AMERICA

This episode Alex and Chris “tell the story” of creatives dealing with racial conflict in America in their lives, past and present.  

What does that have to do with writing and creative art?

Everything.

How it has influenced, as well as been reflected and revealed by whites and artists of color is key to present and future mindsets.  What do our hosts have to say about it? 

Check it out.

Click here to hear? 

Then … What do you have to say about it?

Please leave your comments and questions here.  Or write:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com

Alex Simmons, writer/speaker, consultant with his InkPot Award. Chris Ryan, Author of mysteries, children’s books, screenplays and novels
Posted in Tell The Damn Story (Satellite) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tell The Damn Story #140: Is All Art Political & All Artists Merely The Voice?

This week Alex and Chris explore a multitude of answers to the question, Is All Art Political? And, Are All Artist Obligated to Create Political Art?

Using examples from the #MCU #MarkTwain, #DCComics, #AynRand, #GeorgeOrwell and many other works (including their own) Alex and Chris discuss in detail the Creatives ultimate obligation to her or his or their art.  

What motivates art?  

Is all art subjective or political?  

Or do artist have the right to be humans who create art, whatever the form? 

Is there a universal answer, or only more questions?

All this and a bit more on this episode.

Click here to hear.

On this topic we’d truly like to hear your opinions pro of con.  That’s what discussion is all about.  

So please leave your questions or comments right here in our Comments Section. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com

Posted in Tell The Damn Story (Satellite) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Tell The Damn Story 139: Raiding Our Creative Energies, A Childhood Blessing

Today Alex and Chris celebrate creativity long past and brand new! 

We discuss the documentary “Raiders” (NetFlix) which is all about a group of 11-year-olds who decided to re-create “Raiders of the Lost Ark” shot for shot,  the seven years it took them to get it done, and then re-uniting years later to do one last scene.  And we discuss their actual film “Raiders of the Lost Ark- The Adaptation” (YouTube). We See it is a celebration of the pure creative urge, and we tie directly to both Alex’s own childhood filmmaking memories and the hordes of young people creating on TikTok right now. 

Yes, we may be in a new golden age of creativity right when we need it the most! So celebrate with us. Here’s to all the Creatives who Tell Their Damn Story!

Click here to hear.

Please leave your questions or comments right here in our Comments Section. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com

#RaidersOfTheLostArc, #Raiders, #Netflix, TikTok, #RaidersOfTheLostArcTheAdaptation, #KidFilms, #kidsimagination

Posted in Tell The Damn Story (Satellite) | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Simmons Talks Creativity On International Podcast

Hey Folks: Talk about Social Distancing! This morning (5/14/20) I was interviewed on the program, THURSDAY NIGHT LIVE, out of Yekaterinburg, Russia!

Once again, it was a challenge to hold back my usual super energetic storytelling, so the interpreter could get in there. But like before, it was an all around fun experience.

Denis Legusha Anna Voronkova Alexander Kunin Nastia Danilova Jérémie Nsingi Iorsh Alexey Maria Astafyeva.

Comics, diversity, Russia, creative writing, plotting stories, creating compelling character,

CLICK HERE: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=3204295039602853&id=100000671648777?sfnsn=mo&d=n&vh=e

Posted in Tell The Damn Story (Satellite) | Leave a comment