This spiritual comedy, created by Eruch Adams and directed by local filmmaker Katie Damien, will have you laughing your a%$&$ off. The film was produced by a partnership between Gorilla with a Mustache and Angry Unicorn Entertainment. Here's link to the trailer.
Stay tuned for more opportunities to see this incredible film.
One of my favorite poems in the world is "The Laughter of Women," by Pulitzer Prize winner Lisel Mueller (scroll down to read the poem in full), and this week, I was reminded of it. I have a group of girlfriends with whom I make a visionboard each year. We get together sometime in January and cut up magazines and think about what we want to call into our lives.
But this year we decided we would do a second board mid-year. I'm pretty committed to my vision board, so I felt a little adrift at the odd timing of the event. What was I supposed to do in the middle of the year?
I decided I would only cut out images to which I felt drawn. An hour later, I was looking over an odd assortment of images: a new washer and dryer, a fiddle leaf fig tree, lots and lots of water activities, beach paddleboarding, surfing, kayaking, pretty long dresses and a pair of nice ta-tas in a beautiful bustier.
We talked about boobs, why they're great, why they're not, how they look whn they're big, how to take care of them, bras, and it was really funny. We laughed.
I went home a little healed. A little lighter.
Women laughing together is a subversive act. It connects our joy, and laughter, like orgasms, comes in its own time (pun intended) and can't be controlled. The spontaneity of laughter, the way it resists control or demands, lends itself to freedom and understanding.
Get one or two of your girlfriends together this week and laugh. Tell dirty jokes. Or drink a bottle of wine and go watch the sunset.
Do your best to have fun.
We all deserve it!
I've reached the point in the mother arc where Eldest has mostly stopped talking to me.
There is a constant flow of information: where his soccer game is, which movie he and his friends want to go to, what kind of shoes he needs for camp. The list goes on and on, but when he recently returned from a five day sojourn, and I asked how did it go, he turned to me and said "Good." Then he walked back to his bedroom and closed the door.
Ever persistent, I followed him to his room and knocked lightly on the door before entering. "So do you want to go back?" I asked.
"Yes!" he nodded, if not enthusiastically then at least with force.
"Would you go back right now if you could?" I asked.
"No," he said. "I'm exhausted."
My inner life coach cheered that he was able to recognize what his body needed while I waited to see if he would tell me more.
Did he meet a girl he liked? Did he perform in the Talent Show?
Did he figure out if he believed in God?
"Cool," I said and walked back to the kitchen to finish the dishes.
I have done my job, I told myself, sudsy hands furiously scrubbing. The silence means I've done my job.
This is the litany of a teen parent. Grouchy, grumpy, not wanting to talk about it is the new norm.
He's developing his own sense of self. This is important work.
I have been accused of being 'too much' more than once in my life: too loud, too direct, too bossy. And for the most part, I'm unapologetic about those monikers. They mean I'm doing the work of a good feminist in today's too polite society. Civility has ever been about controlling the voices of women. But when it comes to Eldest, I am working on sitting down and shutting up, at least for now, because he deserves to have privacy. My son deserves to have an interior room of his own.
So I did not go back and knock on his door. I finished the dishes and went back to work on my novel.
I share this to remind myself. And if you're the parent of a teen, I share it to remind you: sometimes rejection is right on target.
A fast read, this novel is a fun peek into France in the early sixties. The language is simple, and the story focus small. I'll admit, I didn't fall in love, but I had fun reading while it lasted.
The novel centers around Charlie, the main character, who is the young, soft-spoken son of an important diplomat. Mostly left to his own devices, Charlie spends his days avoiding his tutor and exploring downtown Marseilles.
One day Charlie witnesses a robbery and realizes in the same moment that he was one of the robbers' marks. Excited by his proximity to the crime, Charlie defends one of the criminals to the local police, thereby earning himself an unexpected friend.
I remember the feeling, from my childhood, of becoming involved in a secret dream, and then allowing that dream to take hold and let a deeper part of myself grow into being. Colin Meloy captures that same excitement and determination in this novel. Charlie has found a country to which he wants to belong, a gang to which he wants membership, and he sets about trying to become one of the whiz mob.
The illustrations in the novel are done by Colin Meloy's wife, Carson Ellis. They're unique, stylistic vision of the book lends the story a strong aesthetic that only further's the novel's comprehensive world-building.
My favorite part of The Whiz Mob was that the author rifled my pockets twice, totally by surprise. Misdirection works! I appreciate when a book can do the thing it purports to be telling a story about, and with all eyes watching, it's a pretty sleight-of-hand. Final word: if you're headed to the beach, take this book along for a bit of mischievous, totally harmless fun.
There is a meditation one of my teachers taught me in which I sit, with one hand over my chest and breath deep into my lungs, imagining my heart as a flame. I focus on that flame and watch it grow brighter with each inhale. Brighter. Still brighter. I spend time with the flame of my heart and learn its rhythm, listen to its soundless aliveness.
This meditation is hard for me. My attention wanders off. But I have learned to noticed when that flame feels refreshed. This past weekend I attended the March for our Lives in Asheville, and listening to the teens speak, I felt the heat and the strength of their hearts light up and ignite the fire of my own.
Today I have to run an emergency drill at school. The last few weeks I've spent many hours of daylight and some very dark hours in the night sitting with the reality of the danger that our children face. And I feel bowed down by the responsibility for caring for those children. I feel embarrassed that I'm not more knowledgeable about security and guns and chain of command. I find myself feeling that I shouldn't have to know about these things. And then correct myself to stop thinking from a place of should. What is is what is real. I am in this moment, and the world is what it is.
One of my favorite mantras: there is no way out, only through. These are the times we live in. My children live through the news cycle. They live through the many reversals of legal protections and environmental legislation that my parents and the parents of my parents fought to put in place. They live through having no health care. They live through crushing student loan debt. They and I live through these moments that seem to come so fast that there is no way I can keep the flame of my heart alive through all of it.
Then I am confronted by those who have been through so much more. The many black brothers and sisters who have carried the burden of making it through over the last several hundred years. And I show up to my own pain and uncertainty with a renewed commitment. I breath into the fire of my heart and I breathe out hoping to make it brighter. I breathe through and into the pain I feel that the world is such a painful, unjust place. And I sit for a few minutes, letting my heart break, using the kindling to build hotter flames.
Then I get out there and do.
characters who craft something beautiful and redemptive from their love, however imperfect, in such a way that it feeds not just the individual but a whole community of people. That tension is not resolved by the finish of the book, so much as encapsulated for the reader to inspect and ultimately make her own decisions about the truth.
I finished this book at 3 am after not being able to release myself from its clutches! Now I am driven to deconstruct it as a writer to better understand it, but for all you spectators out there, Night Circus is a performance not to be missed!
I was driving home from a very magical New Year's Eve celebration yesterday. Highway unraveling before us, after two and half hours the car was full of long legs and stale farts. My five-year old kept screaming to turn the music up, while my husband and I tried to finish at least one conversation, and I suddenly remembered New Year's resolutions. I had brought out my journal that morning but gotten distracted amidst packing and forgotten to focus my intentions for the year.
So I asked Hubby if he was going to make resolutions, and he seemed disinclined. I started thinking out loud about my list, and finally after getting down to about the fourth or fifth one (I LOVE an opportunity to make a good list), I asked him if he would write them down for me. And he did. And he emailed them back to me before we had to pull the car over for the littlest boy to puke (He has a sensitive stomach, poor guy, so nothing new there.)
This little excerpt just goes to show: Writing is a solitary task, but it doesn't happen alone.
Every success takes a team of people working to create it, every mile parker, every goal post passed. Every list created. As I step into 2018, I am reminded to be thankful for all those folks who make me a better writer: Hubby who tirelessly reads and discusses everything I create, my beta-readers, family, agents, and friends, all who participate in the creative work of my life.
When I grew up, the archetype of the starving artist or the troubled artist really didn't speak to me. You know the story: brilliant (usually) man who fails his family and is self-medicating with a variety of substances who also somehow managed to produce an incredible piece of art in his sixty plus years. It's no wonder that I still have a hard time calling myself an artist. I still prefer the term a friend of mine coined--creative worker.
But the older I get, the more I mine the other side of creativity's story. Tilling the soil of my soul nourishes not just me but those around me, and I reminded again that thankfulness and teamwork is at the heart of it all. And what a beautiful garden I live in, amid all the heartache and struggle and injustice. So to all of you writers out there. Keep working on it. Keep connecting. And make something new and beautiful with which you and others can fall in love.
Happy, happy New Year all!
This year has been tough, people. But when I really start to write them down, I realize I have so many things for which I am grateful. Here are a few:
kale salad w/ too much lemon juice
singing around a fire
a bottle of red wine
Beatrice & Cordelia
the way Eruch guards the flame of our family
keeping track of water bottles
finally knowing when to quit (sometimes)
a little yoga every day
inching toward the black
trust in myself
consent in romance novels
my mother's wisdom
my father's wit
outlining a new novel
fig tea cake & mushroom hot chocolate
It's about writing a book people won't put down. It's about being committed to the product AND the process.
Now get back to work!
Normally, I am not a fan of turning a noun into an adjective.
But in this case, I can't help myself. I love Scrivener! And I wanted to offer a quick shout-out to the delightful folks who introduced this program to me (Hubby--forever I thank you). If you are a writer, try it. It cost a measly $40, which is an incredibly low cost for such an incredible program. In writing my most recent novel, I found it so easy to navigate. Here's a link to buy the program.
I organize by scene within each individual chapter, and especially in these last couple of months of editing, it's been so great to review the way my chapters are working and make quick on the fly changes that don't take hours. I also love switching between the more visually appealing index card view and the linear, text document view. I've learned a lot about how my brain organizes information and what works best for me.
And as I'm plotting my next novel, I'm learning all over again why I love it. So thank you to programming gods who created this incredible tool.
Writers, write on!
Coranna Adams is a writer, filmmaker, and educator from Asheville, North Carolina.