Writing Escapes

As you create your jaw-dropping art, it’s important to invest in outside sources, even commune with the competition, i.e. everything that is not your masterpiece. “Stop, look, and listen, baby,” says Elvis in the song “Rubberneckin’,” which should be everyone’s philosophy.

Here is what I’ve been enjoying this week:

Emergency NYC (Netflix): We all have a boundary we dare not cross. Mine had always been Game of Thrones, but then I saw the corpse trucks outside our nearest ER during COVID, and a lot of death beyond this. Sam and I watched this show out of wanting to celebrate health workers, the real heroes of the city. The show definitely takes us deep into this-is-too-much territory, so I recommend one episode at a time. But if you ever need to honor those who go toward a crisis, this is it.

The Diplomat: For those of us who’ve followed Keri Russell since Felicity, rejoice! A master of intense, suspenseful drama, Keri takes us on a breathless journey through the eyes of a character whose stereotypically rough edges make her perfection for a regime that desperately needs her. She has always been easy to love. I would have cut the scene where she beats up Rufus. That was stupid.

On Writing and Failure by Stephen March: This is a must read for writers who catastrophize over not being Colleen Hoover. Failure is normal, maybe even extraordinary, you secret James Joyces. The best part, it’s short, witty, chock-full of dishy writer anecdotes. And lots of f-bombs!

Snacks: If you write, you know the importance of brain fuel. My new writing snack of choice comes with a story. I have an author relative who inhales peanuts and regularly chokes on “peanut dust.” I’ve listened to the hacking over decades, wondering should I call 9-1-1 (I don’t)? Eventually, the dust follows its downward path, and my relative eats them again. So peanuts have always grossed me out a little, but now I eat them with heedless abandon since (mostly) giving up sugar.

In proper CNN-ian style, I’m signing off for now, wishing you many words put together into sentences–and other things.


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