Cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and cardamom are just a few spices that instantly conjure up Christmas. I am using them in mulled wine, cakes, cookies, hot chocolate and coffee. I know turmeric and cardamom are not really spices for Christmas, but I think they deserve to be on my spices list for Christmas. Cinnamon is obtained […]
This week, make some magic.
Children have the ability to believe without bias, to find wonder even in the most mundane of places and objects. As adults, we become dulled to the magic inherent to life, and perhaps we stop seeking it altogether. However, as photographers, we have an opportunity to reclaim it. Magic and beauty can be conjured in the simplest of photographs, which may then inspire wonder in the viewer. Continue reading Magic — The Daily Post by Jen H.
October is Black Speculative Fiction Month and like legions of others, I am celebrating it something fierce.
Why does Black Speculative Fiction Month matter?
Black Speculative Fiction Month matters because now more than ever our stories must be told and our voices must be heard. Black Speculative Fiction Month matters because too often at cons and writing events, I’m the only nonwhite guest in attendance.
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It was a night of line strolling and rolling in the aisles. The 2016 Mississippi Greek Weekend Step and Comedy Show, hosted by comedian and Zeta Phi Beta soror, Sheryl Underwood, was lit. Continue reading Sheryl Underwood Inspires Audience at MS Greek Weekend Step & Comedy Show
Fantasia Barrino is, unapologetically, an open book. The reason she shares so much of herself is because she believes someone somewhere will benefit from her experiences. Continue reading Fantasia shares a glimpse of the process behind making “The Definition of…”
If you don’t know by now, Lela Loren plays Angela Valdes, Ghost’s mistress on the oh so hot Starz drama, Power, now in it’s third season. In a nutshell, Ghost (Omari Hardwick) is a complicated, three-headed monster of a character. So naturally, Continue reading Power’s Lela Loren explains how they captured Tommy’s drug rage
Check the process behind this version of ‘Breathe Life’ sung by Craig David, then peep the official video.
We know them — the kids who read before they are potty trained, play classical piano before entering elementary school, or compute high school math in first grade. While the world shudders, in reality, most child prodigies rarely become influential change agents.
Why not? According to Adam Grant, in his New York Times article, How to Raise a Creative Child. Step One: Back Off, what holds them back is that they don’t learn to be original. They strive to earn the approval of their parents and the admiration of their teachers. But in their perfection, they don’t get the chance to innovate. In adulthood, these prodigies may become experts in their fields — but only a fraction of these gifted children become revolutionary adult creators.
Grant explains how the gifted may learn to play Mozart, but rarely compose their own original scores. They conform to codified rules, rather than inventing their own. Ironically, research shows that those who are bound for creativity are less likely to be embraced by their teacher — they have their own ideas.
In comparison, the most creative artists didn’t have elite teachers — their first lessons came from nearby instructors who made learning fun. Mozart showed interest in music before he took lessons, not the other way around.
Read Laurie Futterman’s entire article to find out what’s killing creativity.
About the featured image: Just like Mozart, Mary Lou Williams started playing the piano at the impressionable age of four. She became a professional musician at the age of eight. Learn more about Williams in The Little Piano Girl: The Story of Mary Lou Williams, Jazz Legend available at Amazon.
Dramatic conflict is the backbone of quality screenplays. What better ways to raise the conflict in your screenwriting than modulating the tension in your story?
Tension in your writing can be defined as a period of elevated emotional intensity.
Here are some ways to effectively utilize tension in your story:
1) BURSTS OF TENSION
Tension can be either short lived or sustained. In order for tension to be effective in your script, it must be ACTIVATED, SUSTAINED and RELEASED. Prolonged tension will only tire and disengage your audience.
2) MACRO INTENSITY
The levels of tension must be manipulated to hook your audience. Firstly consider the overall level of danger in the story arc.
In the macro story, the tension needs to be escalated in a “SAW TOOTH” format. This is basically the attack-sustain-release model. Think about the set pieces in your story and how they correlate with periods of tension. My preference is for…
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Ours is a youth-oriented culture. A glance at the tabloids tells us of the exploits of the young. There is not as much of a platform for the artistic achievements and accomplishments of the older or even the middle aged. We falsely believe that creativity belongs to the young, and so, when we pass a certain age, we tell ourselves we are “over the hill.” We ignore the fact that many artists create well into what might be called their “dotage.”
The idea that creativity fades with age is false.
Twenty-five years ago, I wrote a book on creativity called The Artist’s Way. Over four million people have worked with that book. I have taught many live classes and have often found my just-retired students to be the most poignant. Setting out to write a book on creativity and aging, It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again, I discovered that many of us have a fiery passion we long to express in our golden years. As we turn our hand to the page, crafting a memoir of our time on the planet, many dreams surge to the fore. It is not “too late” to begin their pursuit. Often, our life’s experience gives us a “leg up” in creating meaningful art. Comfortable in our own skin, we may find the gift of candor as a passion that has been brewing for decades pushes to the fore with energy and conviction.
We are taught to believe that negative equals realistic and positive equals unrealistic. Nonsense.
Internalizing these destructive messages, we believe we’re “too old,” decide it’s “too late.” But “I’m too old” is something we tell ourselves to save ourselves from the emotional cost of the ego deflation involved in being a beginner.
In the moment of creation, we are ageless. We feel both young at heart and old and wise. “Artists work until the end,” my photographer friend Daniel said to me recently. Yes, they do. This is why retirement from one career— even if it is our major career—is not, by any means, “the end.” Because the act of creating something, anything, renders us timeless, because the act of creation is led by that inner, youthful part of ourselves, we continually reinvent our lives through our art. The capacity to create is as innate as our very life force. I would even say that our creativity and our life force might be one and the same.