Humor, Tragedy, And a Nobel Prize for Literature

Humor, Tragedy, And a Nobel Prize for Literature

Today, August 17, 2018, Sir. V.S. Naipaul celebrates his 86th birthday.

Recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001, British author Sir V.S. Naipaul was born in Trinidad to parents of Indian descent. Sir Naipaul earned a government scholarships, attended Oxford and worked for the BBC for a short time. His early novels and short stories received a number of recognitions and awards.  A House for Mr Biswas (1961), was based on his father’s life in Trinidad and received high praise.  Later in his career, he wrote about colonial and post-colonial societies and alienation of the individual in the process of decolonization. Sir Naipaul was knighted in 1989 and holds honorary doctorates from Cambridge University and Columbia University in New York, and honorary degrees from the universities of Cambridge, London and Oxford.

“One always writes comedy at the moment of deepest hysteria” ~ Sir. V.S. Naipaul

An insightful man, Sir. Naipaul.  And he nails it, doesn’t he?  Humor and tragedy are a mere knife-edge apart, and comedy emerges in force when things seem to be at their very worst.

My thoughts….

V.S. Naipaul Quote and HeadshotComedy cushions the blow. Humor can be used to soften an intimidating (or terrifying) message. The reality may not be any easier, but swallowing the pill is less unpleasant.

For as long as governments have existed, satirists have used humor not only to poke fun at leaders, but to call them out.

Humor helps normalize overwhelming experiences and nudges us to look at a situation from different angles. That may reduce some of the stress and fear.

As with shorter skirts during wartime, humor offers a distraction.  A bit of silliness, maybe some physical comedy provide an opportunity to turn away from the awfulness around us and just smile a bit.  At the darkest times, those little bits of light sustain us.

And finally, humor draws us together, providing a bond with others. We’re all in this together, after all, right?

And with that, I will refrain from sharing further my thoughts on the buckets of funny stuff emerging in these last few years. Because, even with humor, that is just a depressing place to go. Instead, I’ll share that A House for Mr Biswas has been added to my ever-growing to read list.

You can learn more about Sir V.S. Naipaul here.


Photo credit JackNL under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.  Quote from brainyquotes.com

She Wrote Her Bestseller in Her Bedroom La-Z-Boy

She Wrote Her Bestseller in Her Bedroom La-Z-Boy

“I wrote The Hunger Games in a chair, like a La-Z-Boy chair, next to my bed. I had an office, but my kids sort of took it over”. ~Suzanne Collins

Today, August 10,2018,  Suzanne Collins celebrates her 56th birthday.  

Suzanne is a television writer and novelist, and is Amazon’s best selling author of all time. She’s best known for The Hunger Games Trilogy, but back in the day she wrote for children’s programs on Nickelodeon, including Clarissa Explains it All and Little Bear. 

Suzanne Collins Quote Picture Wrote in a La-Z-Boy Recliner

Suzanne Collins wrote The Hunger Games in a corner of her bedroom. I can picture her intended writing space, her office – cluttered with craft supplies and game pieces and action figures and a dress-up bin in the corner. I see her quietly closing the door behind her, turning, and stepping gingerly as she maneuvers past those painful plastic bricks strewn on the floor. At her ergonomic office chair, she removes Baby Doll and friends, carefully placed for a recent tea party, and arranges them on floor beside her desk. She takes a seat, indulges in a deep calming breath, and spins the chair towards her desk. 

And gazes at her horizontal surface, hers, and every single square inch is buried under youthful projects and folly. That glitter will turn up in her paperwork for eternity, and there’s those missing socks. And who thought they could hide a C- paper here of all places?

Okay, I admit it. I’m describing my writing space, not Suzanne’s. I’ve never been to her place, and I expect she’s doesn’t have a glitter problem as serious as the mine is. But there it is. In-my-face visual evidence of the many competing priorities of my day. I’ll wager I’m not alone. I find it encouraging that people-way-ahead-of-me also slip away to a place of peace and quiet, where they can expel the mind clutter and get some words down. Suzanne Collins found a way and so will I. And so can you.

This post is the first in a little series about the logistics of writing. Where we write, how we get the words recorded, what tools we like to use – we each have a process. I’m going to share my thoughts and experiences; some worked, and some didn’t.  I’ll delve into the whys and the what-fors, I hope you find purpose in these posts, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

And now, off to find a space where I can get my creation groove back on track… 

Photo credit Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash and Suzanne Collins quote from www.brainyquote.com

Farewell PPW Blog

Greetings Readers…

Time for a changing of the guard.

It’s been a privilege and a pleasure to serve as Managing Editor for Pikes Peak Writers Blog. I’ve had the opportunity to work with a talented group of professionals, and I’ve enjoyed my run.

Today the capable Kathie Scrimgeour takes on the position of Managing Editor. You’ll recognize her name as she’s been contributing editor for PPW’s Sweet Success and Meet the Member. You may reach Kathie at editor@pikespeakwriters.com.

Although I’m stepping aside in this role, I’m not leaving. You’ll see me around as contributing editor for Birthdays & Quotes and perhaps the occasional post.


Profile Photo of Gabrielle V Brown Managing Editor Pikes Peak Writers BlogSee what I’m writing about at my  Facebook Page and weebsite..

Keep in touch! I can reached at gvbrownwriter@gmail.com

Blogging  from A to Z ~The Letter L

Blogging from A to Z ~The Letter L

blogging from a to z 2018 logoFriday April 13, 2018 ~ The Letter L

 

This month, I write about being a writer, alphabetically.

I’ve written nonfiction, short stories, longer pieces and poetry. My media has included everything from keyboard to fountain pen to crayon.  And yes, I’m working on a novel.

Please join me each day as I explore this craft and career of playing with words as I participate in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2018.

 

The Letter L

Learning

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”  ~ Henry Ford

Why I’ll never stop learning:

~ Research is fun. No, really, I get a kick out of tracking down, figuring out, and finally understanding something new to me.

~ Our world is in a constant state of change. And I hate to be left behind.

~ Readers can and will call me out on any inaccuracies.

~ Data!  I love data and information and compiling and comparing and concluding.

~ I want to keep my brain muscles fit and functional until I’m in the grave.

~ I’d like to appear slightly less ancient to those whippersnappers

~ Knowledge keeps my bullshit meter accurate.

~ And Mr. Henry Ford said it’ll keep me young.

I’m a lifelong learner. Are you?

Tomorrow, the letter  M …

 

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Blogging  from A to Z ~The Letter K

Blogging from A to Z ~The Letter K

blogging from a to z 2018 logoWednesday April 11, 2018 ~ The Letter K

 

This month, I write about being a writer, alphabetically.

I’ve written nonfiction, short stories, and poetry. My media has included everything from keyboard to fountain pen to crayon.  And yes, I’m working on a novel.

Please join me each day as I explore this craft and career of playing with words as I participate in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2018.

 

The Letter K

Keep

#WhatWasIThinking

You know when you look back at your last great idea and realize maybe it wasn’t? I admit to some absolutely horrible writing. You won’t see it, because it lives in my what was I thinking? file, not likely to see the light of day.

But I don’t throw those rejects out.

Even my very worst efforts get a second (or third) chance. I don’t delete or shred them; instead I place them somewhere quiet and unattended and wait.  Sometimes I wait months.  

Then I take another look. Anything salvageable in those pages? Perhaps an idea?  Or a character, setting or quirk I can use elsewhere?  That perfect turn of phrase, too good to shred? 

Anything worth saving I transfer to an appropriate location.  Please tell me I’m not the only one with folders populated with interesting vocabulary, or kernels of ideas, weird facts or half-written poems that might become something good someday.  Or that perfect turn of phrase that I just know will come in handy some day.

Though most of my work lives on my laptop, the cloud, the DVD backup, the hard drive backup….  okay, I should have written about backing up files on “B” day.  Just do it!

Anyhow…

The point is, most of my files are electronic, but I do have inspiration notebooks. There’s the one I carry around all the time, just in case. And I’ve got a bullet-journal-y book dedicated wholly to writing inspiration.  And recently I received a lovely creativity box in which I can save anything that motivates my muse. Just checked – the box right now contains a program from a British country fair. And I know why!  I should check that box more often!

Which reminds me – jotting down ideas is great, but not so effective if you never look at them again. Once I’ve written something down, my brain no longer feels the need to remember it.  So I have to remind myself to go take a peek now and then.

Back to the reject pile.  If, on second go-around, the piece appears to be beyond redemption, I hold on to it just a little longer.  As a low priority item, that little longer can be more than months. Then I take a look again.

Sometimes a bit of something-to-save appears.  Sometimes not.  If there really isn’t a single salvageable syllable, I ask the final question.

Will I be mortified if my family reads this after I’m dead an gone?  If yes, out it goes.  If not, then the poor little page gets saved.  So far, post-mortem mortification (see how I did that?)  hasn’t been an issue for me. I don’t discard my words.

Digital space is cheap and invisible, and maybe someday that piece will work.

What do you do with abandoned drafts?

#JustKeepIt

 

Tomorrow, the letter  L …

 

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