What to Do When You’ve Run into a Block

…stumble backwards and exclaim ‘ouch’ perhaps? I jest, of course, that’s not the same block I am referring to. Think, instead (if your pounding head will allow it), of writer’s block. My sage trilogy of advice on this common issue is as follows:

Write – I don’t care if it’s crap, I don’t care if you don’t want to or you’d rather play video games, write. It’s a way to get out of this block you’ve put yourself in. Because that’s the real issue here, you’ve put yourself into this block, you’ve mentally told yourself that there is nothing else to write about this particular subject but that’s not true. yes, you may be distracted, yes you may have run out of ideas for the present time but it’s not like you’ll never come up with new ones. Write something, anything, different than what you’ve been working on or similar to what you’ve been working on, it doesn’t really matter. Just write.

Read – read, read anything and everything. Articles, interviews, novels, novellas, poetry, even comics. Just sit down and read because in reading you glean inspiration and ideas on your own work.

Walk – yes, I said it walk. The simple action of walking will allow you to broaden your horizons, get your blood pumping, and some much needed exercise, as well as get you out of the house, room, hole or chair you’ve been tethered to for the past few hours, days, months or years whilst writing. I would suggest, if you could, for maximum benefit of this idea, that you walk outside. Rain, shine, snow or sleet – much like the mailmen – walk, just around the block or to the store or down some hidden trail you’ve always wanted to explore. It helps, trust me.
There you go, three lovely ideas that you can try if you ever experience writer’s block. Simple, easy, and healthy (quite unlike the other ideas I’ve encountered which include – drinking oneself into a stupor, banging ones head against the computer keyboard, and going out and committing a crime just so you can feel again). Try my ideas first, please, then go onto the others.

With that said, however, do you have sage advice that has worked for you? I look forward to a flurry of comments as my ideas cannot be the only ones. =)

Warm regards,

P.s. – Just so you know, I’ve written this entire post with only one hand as my cat – Raven – has commandeered the other by lounging on it. I believe props are in order, yes? [If not, no worries, I’ll pat myself on the back for you. =)]

Hunger Games Hysteria

(Random Monday Posting Aside: Sorry about missing the last two weeks, I’ve been busy with a new addition to my humble family – three new kittens! It’s been crazy but I’ve grown quite fond of them. Now, enough with my ramblings, onto the Hunger Games Hysteria post – enjoy!)

It’s been two weeks since the Hunger Games movie crashed through the theaters, causing viewers hearts to pound with excitement and eyes well up with sadness. I’ve been watching the various uproars of viewers – from racist slurs, Twilight comparisons, and people who just hated the film, to those-too-excited-for-the-next-movie diehards and must-turn-everything-into-a-love-triangle romantics, all the way to motion-sickness commentary, when-did-THAT-show-up-in-the-book comments, and those-people-who-just-think-the-movie-was-good viewers – and I figured it’s high time to give my two cents.

The book, I feel, should be commented on first, since if we did not have the series we would not have the actual movie to watch.

I must admit, at first, the book did not catch my eye as immediately as I would have liked. I had randomly chosen the novel off the ‘Re-Use-Me!’ shelf of my hotel room, thinking I could use something interesting to read on the plane ride home. I sank back into the uncomfortable seats always found on airplanes, opened the novel and began my grand adventure into the Hunger Games. By the second page I had to force myself to keep reading, the narration was strange, the first few chapters were a bit slow, and I wasn’t too keen on the main character of Katniss. However, after I plodded through the first section where Katniss and Gale are providing for their families and we see their dreary district, I found myself smack dab in the middle of the reaping ceremony where Prim’s name echoed around the square. Amazing. Katniss’ reaction – spot-on, exactly like a big sister. The scene reminded me of The Lottery, a short story I once read and thoroughly enjoyed in college. After that, I loved it. The action, the romance, the terror and emotions charging through the entire series, the characters were formed, had good arches, and seemed quite connected to one another in ways we, the reader, would not find out until later. I became a huge fan of the work. It’s inspiring, well-written, has a good female lead, and is sci-fi in a way that a lot of people can enjoy (not just the sci-fi geeks out there, and I mean that in the nicest way because I am deep within their ranks).

When I heard the movie was set to air in March I was psyched – psyched! – I told my friends, told my parents, told my co-workers, put the date on the calendar, put the date in my phone, everywhere I could I reminded myself that The Hunger Games would be coming out on the 23rd. The week of my thrill could not be contained, I positively beamed with it.

March 23rd comes rolling around, a Friday, a payday, and Hunger Games day, a good day all around. Yet when I looked in the Play section of the newspaper I found a rather scathing review of the movie I so looked forward to. This particular critic seemed to loath the movie, the book, the entire franchise even, putting down the acting, the scenery, the characters, pretty much everything he possibly could within the constraints of his article. I took the critique with a grain of salt, after all our newspaper reviews tend to be a bit skewed anyway movie-wise, but was I disappointed that the first thing I read about the movie turned out to be bad? Yes, I was. That night I went to the movie, armed with my bottle of water, a huge cinnamon roll from Jitters, and an open mind ready to be filled with this movie.

And, I have to say, the movie was good, great even! There were issues: Yes the camera movements were a tad bit awkward, there could have been a bit more characterization within the arena, and they added a ton of capitol stuff that never entered Katniss’ first-person narration… but those small things should not downplay the entire movie. The emotions were lovely, the action scenes rolled by without a hitch, the tracker-jack poison scene made me feel her disillusions, and the movie ended in a way which made me want more. Plus, it was about two and a half hours yet the movie didn’t drag on and on.

Overall, I believe it was a very well done movie indeed. The haters and racist folk can sit in a hole and scream for all I care, the movie was fun to watch, thought-provoking just like the series, kept to the books quite well, and made me want to see the next installment.

And, in the end, isn’t that what movies are all about?

Warmest regards,