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.

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KID REPORTERS & THE SUICIDAL SEAMAN! Part 3 of …

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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

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Tell The Damn Story #133: In Creating Characters It’s Hard To Get Better Than Olmos

Today, Alex and Chris turn to veteran actor Edward James Olmos for wisdom and guidance when it comes to contributing to story. At least they do in the second half of this episode.

In Part One, they talk about what is going on and how they are dealing it all.  They also suggest how others may deal, and Chris goes on a mini rant rejecting the term “new normal” for our current challenges.

In Part Two, our duo uses the Olmos wisdom to discuss the importance of choices, from character and performance, to costuming and setting to help Tell The Damn Story.  Olmos’ experiences lead to discussions of their own choices in Loeser productions (LOL) and offer insight into how all of this applies to the creative process.

It’s a fun and informative episode from our heroes. Well, Maybe they’re just each other’s heroes.

Click here to hear.

*Here’s a link to the first of the three Edward James Olmos interview clips.

We’ve enjoyed hearing from you!  So please leave your questions comments right here in our Comments Section.

Or write 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

 

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Tell The Damn Story 132: Turn Left At “The Grind!”

And BATTLING THE GRIND This week Alex and Chris dive deep into the struggle that we’re all facing; the war against boredom. While outlining some of the challenges they suggest ways to keep yourself occupied and your spirits up, inside the house, outside the house, with the social distancing, and online. Do not despair. Do not give in. There is hope. There is life. There are literary and cinematic distractions. And … there is really interesting trivia on your favorite artists — past and present — somewhere on the Internet!

So listen tight and take notes.  🙂

Click here to hear.

*In response to a comment Chris made in the show, I mentioned an old Terry Thomas movie. Here’s a link to it on YouTube. A MATTER OF WHO.”

We’ve enjoyed hearing from you! So please leave your questions comments right here in our Comments Section.

Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com

#amwriting #writingtips #authortips #terrythomas #severtiesmusic #U2 #koolandthegang

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Tell The Damn Story #130: How Do You Tell This Story? Dance, Sing, Draw, Write!

We’re two days early! Yes we are!

In light of the quickly escalating coronavirus, Alex and Chris discuss social distancing and the hardships and blessings that presents to creatives. Ideas and opinions abound and we are interested in what you think about these unprecedented times. Give us a listen and then tell us what is on your mind.
Reach out and leave your thoughts, tips, questions and comments right here in our Comments Section.
Or write 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

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Tell The Damn Story #129: WITH SUSPECTS AND RED HERRINGS, WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE? IT’S A MYSTERY!

Red Herrings and Other Suspects

This week Alex and Chris sing the coronavirus blues, absolutely diss Agatha Christie, and discuss structuring a mystery, the value of red herrings, and why we need suspects, all accomplished between our usual chuckles.

Click here to hear.

We know you’ve got’em. So leave your thoughts, tips, questions and comments right here in our Comments Section.

Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com

#agathachristie #amwriting #authortips #writingtips #amwriting #amwritingmysteries #mysterywritersofamerica #redherrings #suspects

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

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Tell The Damn Story #128: How To Face The Fears of Telling A Damn Story

Go in deep with Alex and Chris as they embrace the pain.  

This week they’re talking about the times when writing caused them pain or was painful or was inspired by pain of some kind – emotional spiritual, sleep deprivation, all sorts of stuff. As a matter of fact, Chris even reads from one of his novels.

The idea is to encourage aspiring creatives to push past the pain sometimes encountered while creating and also to be aware and judicious about using personal pain in your creativity.

Click here to hear.

We know you’ve got’em. So leave your thoughts, tips, questions and comments right here in our Comments Section.Or write 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
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Tell The Damn Story #127: A Story By Any Other Name. Or Finding Yourself, Your Voice, And Your Genre.

Alex and Chris talk about, well, almost everything in an attempt to explain the chicken-or-egg maze run of a creative finding voice and proper genre. From Chris’ ongoing transitioning from pure Indie writer to traditionally published, to expectations for editors, to, in our ongoing Get Your Write On section, examining Alex’s idea of strongest genre choices and how it helps creates, we exclude nothing in our goal to offer a portrait of the many considerations we must embrace to further our creative dreams.

Click here to hear.

Agree or disagree?  Did we leave out any genre or sub genres? Let us know.

Leave your thoughts, questions and comments right here in our Comments Section. Or write 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
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Tell The Damn Story #126: Are ReWrites An Author’s Path To Heaven or Hell?

In this episode, Chris and Alex explore the next segment of their GET YOUR WRITE ON series. Rewriting — how to seed what you need in your stories so  the climax to pays off.

They talk almost exclusively about the secret pleasures of rewriting. There’s finishing your first draft, reading it, finding what your story needs, and then going back and seeding those plot points and character moments and foreshadowing, etc. that will make your story sing. Come for the jokes, stay for the rewrites!

As authors, how your book, play or movie ends is the last chance to leave your audience feeling satisfied. They want to look back over the experience and feel you faithfully lead them on the journey, and that the ending made sense.  Rewriting is your opportunity to get the cuts, clues, and characters just right.

Click here to hear.

Agree or disagree?

Have any rewriting tips you want to share?

Then leave your thoughts, questions and comments right here in our Comments Section.

Or write 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
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