Tag Archives: Humor

Sometimes life is funny.

Thoughtful Thursday – #244 – Stream of Consciousness Writing

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I usually write with stream of consciousness because it’s easy and therapeutic. Here’s an article about several writers who use this method very effectively. From Quiklit.com.

10 WRITERS WHO USE STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS BETTER THAN ANYBODY ELSE

By May Huang

A narrative technique that has perplexed and fascinated readers for centuries, the stream of consciousness technique has been used by many writers to trace the seamless (and oft erratic) musings of characters such as Mrs. Dalloway and Stephen Dedalus. Below are 10 writers whose works – ranked amongst the finest in English literature – feature the stream of consciousness technique.

Okay, but what is Stream of Consciousness?

Stream of Consciousness is a type of writing that originated with the works of psychologist William James (Brother of Novelist Emeritus Henry James). Basically, its purpose is to emulate the passage of thought through your mind without any inhibitors. For that reason, sentences become longer, less organized and more sporadic in style. Its lack of structure is not for everybody, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any order. Stream of consciousness permits deeper patterns of order to emerge, ones based on the genuine movement of information in your brain. It also permits writers to simulate different forms of consciousness, such as dreams, comas, drug use and hallucinatory seances.

  1. Dorothy Richardson

Considered the pioneer of the stream-of-consciousness technique, 20th century British author Dorothy Richardson was the first author to publish a full length stream-of-consciousness novel: Pointed Roofs. In fact, it was in reviewing Pointed Roofs that British author May Sinclaire first coined the term ‘stream-of-consciousness’ in April 1918.

On one side was the little grey river, on the other long wet grass repelling and depressing. Not far ahead was the roadway which led, she supposed to the farm where they were to drink new milk. She would have to walk with someone when they came to the road, and talk. She wondered whether this early morning walk would come, now, every day. Her heart sank at the thought.” from Pointed Roofs

  1. William Faulkner

Recipient of both the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, American author William Faulkner used the stream of consciousness technique to great effect in The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying, exploring the depths of different characters’ inner conflict through disjointed, unpunctuated narrative. In one short paragraph, the reader is at once exposed to different smells, sounds and movement:

“Nonsense you look like a girl you are lots younger than Candace color in your cheeks like a girl A face reproachful tearful an odor of camphor and of tears a voice weeping steadily and softly beyond the twilit door the twilight-colored smell of honey suckle. Bringing empty trunks down the attic stairs they sounded like coffins […]” – from As I Lay Dying

  1. James Joyce

Dublin born writer James Joyce employed the stream-of-consciousness style in all of his novels, including Finnegans WakeA Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and – of course – the 1000-page, 265,000-word long Ulysses. It is easy to get lost in any paragraph in the novel, as the protagonist Stephen Dedalus guides us quickly – and disjointedly – through his thoughts and surroundings. One moment he is asking himself, “Would you go back to then?” and the next he is on Grafton street, pondering whether to buy a pincushion while the “jingle of harnesses” sounds in his ears. Then, out of the blue, he answers himself and concludes that it would be “useless to go back.” Next thing you know, he’s moved on to Duke Street and we’re not quite sure how he – or we – got there.

  1. Virginia Woolf

 

Recognized as the most important feminist writer (and perhaps one of the most important writers in general) of all time, Virginia Woolf used the stream-of-consciousness technique to great significance in her work. Paying scrupulous attention to detail and describing even “the footman’s hand,” “parcels and umbrellas.” Woolf takes readers through different minds, perspectives and surroundings in Mrs. Dalloway. She makes us wonder who is speaking – and about what.

  1. Marcel Proust

French writer Marcel Proust also used the stream-of-consciousness style in his works, notably in the seven-volume long Remembrance of Things Past, in which even the simple childhood memory of eating a petite madeleine plunges one into the “vast structure of recollection.” Reading Proust, one is caught up in the taste and smell of the pastry, “the water-lilies on the Vivonne” and “Sunday mornings at Combray” – all of which are memories that converge in the narrator’s stream of consciousness.

  1. Jack Kerouac

American writer Jack Kerouac’s On the Road is now remembered as one of the defining novels of the Beat Generation – as well as a modern example of stream-of-consciousness writing. Originally written over a course of 3 weeks on one scroll of paper (deemed the ‘original scroll’),On the Road is based on Kerouac’s road trip across America, a journey at times vividly recounted in continuous stream-of-consciousness prose, fusing both description of land and memory:

The brown hills led off towards Nevada; to the South was my legendary Hollywood; to the North the mysterious Shasta country. Down below was everything: the barracks where we stole our tiny box of condiments, where Dostioffski’s tiny face had glared at us […]” from On the Road

  1. José Saramago

Portuguese Nobel Prize Laureate Jose Saramago, like Woolf, also liked to alternative between narratives and use stream-of-consciousness in his writing. In Blindness, Saramago uses long sentences and eschews quotation marks to enhance the seamlessness of his prose, allowing the stream-of-consciousness to run free of interruption:

The very air in the ward seemed to have become heavier, emitting strong lingering odours, with sudden wafts that were simply nauseating, What will this place be like within a week, he asked himself, and it horrified him to think that in a week’s time, they would still be confined here, Assuming there won’t be any problems with food supplies, and who can be sure there isn’t already a shortage, I doubt, for example, whether those outside have any idea from one minute to the next…” – from Blindness

  1. Samuel Backett

The second French writer on this list, Samuel Beckett used the stream of consciousness technique in his Three Novels (Molloy, Malone Dies and the Unnamable) to deliver a stream of observations and musings on time and existence. In fact, Molloy defies conventional grammar and tense rules in order to emphasize the continuity of the narrator’s non-stop train of thought:

What shall I do? What shall I do? now low, a murmur, now precise as the headwaiter’s And to follow? and often rising to a scream. And in the end, or almost, to be abroad alone, by unknown ways, in the gathering night, with a stick.” – from Molloy

  1. Fyodor Dostoevsky

Although Crime and Punishment is Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s best-known work, his 1864 novella Notes from Underground also sits amongst the classics of Russian literature. Throughout the novel, the ‘Underground Man’ expresses his continuous train of thought through long, comma-filled sentences (even in brackets).

If you take, for instance, the antithesis of the normal man, that is, the man of acute consciousness, who has come, of course, not out of the lap of nature but out of a retort (this is almost mysticism, gentlemen, but I suspect this, too), this retort-made man is sometimes so nonplussed in the presence of his antithesis that with all his exaggerated consciousness he genuinely thinks of himself as a mouse and not a man. It may be an acutely conscious mouse, yet it is a mouse, while the other is a man, and therefore, et caetera, et caetera.” – from Notes from Underground

  1. Toni Morrison

83 year old African American author Toni Morrison published several books on slavery, the most compelling of which is undoubtedly Beloved. The story of a ‘ghost baby’ who returns to her family in the form of a grown woman, Beloved is both a harrowing tale about the horrors of slavery as it is a testament to the unrelenting power of memory. Morrison uses stream of consciousness in one of the final chapters to reveal the intermingling of three characters’ thoughts:

Beloved

You are my sister

You are my daughter

You are my face; you are me

I have found you again; you have come back to me

You are my Beloved

You are mine

You are mine

You are mine

I have your milk

I have your smile

I will take care of you

You are my face; I am you. Why did you leave me

who am you?” – from Beloved

 

 

Your Mind

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Dont’ believe everything your mind tells you.

Especially if it is negative.

Don’t talk to yourself about yourself.

Most of the time it is false information.

The antidote.

Gratitude

Be thankful for everything.

Codependent Denial Patterns

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Codependents often…….

 

. have difficulty identifying what they are feeling

. minimize, alter, or deny how they truly feel

. perceive themselves as completely unselfish and dedicated to the well-being of others

. lack empathy for the feelings and needs of others

. mask pain in various ways such as anger, humor, or isolation

. express negativity or aggression in indirect and passive ways

. do not recognize the unavailability of those people to who they are attracted

from CODA.org

Alice 105.9, Radio Station, Denver. Colo.

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“I was up really late last night

making voodoo dolls for,

well,

never mind

you’ll know who you are soon enough.”

Alice 105.9

Radio Station Denver, Colo.

There Is No Such Thing As Failure

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There is no such thing as failure.

There is only information.

If something doesn’t work out there is important information there.

Don’t put emotion into it.

Just detach from whatever the situation is.

Stop agonizing and create distance.

Do not berate yourself.

Don’t project or make it worse that what is.

If your mind is racing tell it to stop immediately.

 Distance will allow you to see what the information is.

From there you can decide which way to go.

Georgia Piazza

James Mottram, Casting Director

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James Mottram

James Mottram

 

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Welcome to the first of many fascinating, strange and wonderful interviews for purelysimplewords.com blog. The objective here is to share inspiring stories of how important it is to follow your dream.

 

 Meet Mr. James Mottram, he has been a Casting Director and Assistant Casting Director for such films as “Precious”, “NY Undercover” and “Suits”.

 

 Actually James and I are old friends who lost touch a very long time ago. Through the miracle of Face Book we were recently reunited and got caught up on the past twenty years. In this interview James will enlighten us on what casting is and his current role in the Casting business. He will also share what he has learned and will pass those lessons along to you.

 

 Casting has been around ever since humans have been doing theater and not much has changed. In the early stages of a theatre/movie production the cast is picked through auditions in front of a panel. The panel consists of a producer, director and choreographer (if necessary). Through the process of elimination finalists are chosen. It is not just the ability to read lines or dance or sing. The panel looks for chemistry between the actors. This is an important component to make any production successful.

 

 Thank you James for taking the time to chat with me at purelysimplewords.com (PSW) about your experience in Casting.

 

 PSW: How did you get started in the Casting Business?

 

 JM: Thank you for having me here. I started working a job at a telephone answering service that a lot of actors and casting directors used to get work. I started asking the actors when they checked in if they did extra work. If they said yes and were union I directed them to call certain casting directors. It worked out where a certain casting director liked my work in helping find appropriate actors. They eventually got a film and brought me in to cast all the extras.

 

 PSW: What made you move from NY to CA?

 

 JM: I had wanted to try my luck out here in California. Since I wasn’t getting any younger I decided to just go for it. My Mom had passed away and there was nothing keeping me in New York. I can still assist in casting extras in New York because I have a New York cell phone number and a computer.

 

 PSW: How long have you been doing this work?

 

 JM: I have been doing this work for twenty plus years.

 

 PSW: Whom do you deal with e.g. actors, directors and writers?

 

 JM: People who do extra work that are union and non-union. I mostly deal with actors and Assistant directors who give me the extras breakdown (what they need for any given day).

 

 PSW: What were the three most difficult things you have done or had to go through in your career?

 

 JM: The first is an unreasonable director who wants things to happen last minute and no matter how hard you try you can’t do it. For example, this one director who was also the star of the movie changed his mind at 11 PM one night and wanted to do a different scene for the next day. That would entail using 10-15 kids, which was going to be impossible since the call time as 7 AM, and the kids had to get permits in order to work. Since it was so late that was not going to happen. The second is unprofessional actors, who don’t show up on time and when they do get there they give you a look like I am here, deal with it. And the last thing, sometimes they just come to meet their future life partner.

 

 PSW: Have you had any jobs in CA?

 

 JM: My most recent job is where I cast background on a small project, which needed about 50 people for a 7 PM call going till 4 AM, and I was just hired for the job about 2 PM the same day. However I made it happen and got them all the people they needed and everyone was happy.

 

 PSW: Describe you ideal day?

 

 JM: My ideal day is when a director knows what he wants and the actors show up in wardrobe ready to work and all is good.

 

 PSW: If your life were a movie, who would play you?

 

 JM: Woody Harrelson

 

 PSW: If you could have one super power, what would it be?

 

 JM: Curing Cancer

 

 PSW: If you could spend a day with one person, living or dead, who would it be and why?

 

 JM: It would be my late boss Sylvia Fay. She taught me so much about the casting business and I feel there is so much more I could learn from her. I want to tell her thank you for the time to teach a no nothing kid all about the casting world and I will always remember her and thank her.

 

 PSW: What are your favorite movies?

 

 JM: I like scary movies and old movies like “Meet Me In St. Louis” starring Judy Garland.

 

 PSW: Would you recommend Casting as a career? Why/why not?

 

 JM: Sure I would. It is so rewarding and does your heart good being able to hire someone and give him or her work; it is not a 9-5 job. It’s more like 5 AM to 9 PM. sometimes seven days a week. So if you don’t want to work those kinds of hours don’t get into the casting business because your social life will go out the window.

 

PSW: What is the strangest thing that happened to you on the job?

 

 JM: I wouldn’t say it was strange but I worked on the movie “Precious” and cast a young girl to play a jump roper. Well they wound up firing one of the lead girls and upgrading the girl I hired from an extra to a principal actor. That made me very happy.

 

 PSW: What do you do for fun?

 

 JM: I watch tennis matches on TV, volunteer to walk dogs, listen to music and people watch.

 

 PSW: What do you do in your free time?

 

 JM: I love to go for walks and just stay home sometimes and read.

 

 PSW: Are you a morning person or night person?

 

 JM: Morning but when I can I love naps.

 

 PSW: What do’s and don’t do you advise for anyone wanting to be in casting or acting?

 

 JM: Be professional and don’t take rejection seriously if you want to get into acting, study the craft. Look into doing some theatre (you won’t make any money) but you will get experience and learn most casting directors. When a director receives actors’ headshots, resume and business card the first thing they look at is where they studied and the theatre they have done.

 

 PSW: What do you plan to do next?

 

 JM: More casting, it’s time consuming and not a 9-5 business. A lot of hard work but it’s so worth it giving people jobs.

 

  Thank you James for your generosity in sharing your knowledge of the Casting business. To contact James email him at j_mottram@aol.com.

 

 James is truly an interesting person and full of life. I hope he is an inspiration for you to stretch yourself and follow your dream just the way James did. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vampires

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Here’s a post from Seth Godin.

Here he explains the influence of negative people in your life and how to handle them.

Seth always had timeless advice. Pleasssse read.

The care and feeding (and shunning) of vampires.

Vampires, of course, feed on something that we desperately need but also can’t imagine being a source of food.

You have metaphorical vampires in your life. These are people that feed on negativity, on shooting down ideas and most of all, on extinguishing your desire to make things better.

Why would someone do that? Why would they rush to respond to a heartfelt and generous blog post with a snide comment about a typo in the third line? Why would they go out of their way to fold their arms, make a grimace and destroy any hope you had for changing the status quo?

Vampires cannot be cured. They cannot be taught, they cannot learn the error of their ways. Most of all, vampires will never understand how much damage they’re doing to you and your work. Pity the vampires, they are doomed to this life.

Your garlic is simple: shun them. Delete their email, turn off comments, don’t read your one-star reviews. Don’t attend meetings where they show up. Don’t buy into the false expectation that in an organizational democracy, every voice matters. Every voice doesn’t matter–only the voices that move your idea forward, that make it better, that make you better, that make it more likely you will ship work that benefits your tribe.

It’s so tempting to evangelize to the vampires, to prove them wrong, to help them see how destructive they are. This is food for them, merely encouragement.

Shun the ones who feed on your failures.

Posted by Seth Godin on December 16, 2013

Energy

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A person’s energy can tell you more about them than their own words – author unknown. Energy is real, and you can feel it, see it, hear it, taste it, so pay attention.

inspire4better.com

Two Things To Remember

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There are two things to remember.

If it makes you happy, do it.
If it doesn’t then don’t.

from: inspire4better

So simple, so true.

Thoughful Thursdays #25

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The blips on the radar of your life.

 In case you don’t know what a blip is here’s the definition I will be using:  something small within a larger context.)

Here are some bad blips.

It was the last time you had a difficult time. The time when the difficulty was small. The other time when the difficulty was extra large. The time you lost something or have some setback.

 Then there are the good blips.

The accomplishment that made you proud. Something new and shiny caught your attention. The ordinary days where all is smooth.

 Now what the “blip” does all this mean?

 It takes good blips and bad blips to balance out your life.