Stranger Things

On #StrangerThings and Nostalgia

Kids and El

When I look back on my childhood growing up in the ’90s, my mind floods with memories of riding bikes through forest trails, playing games on consoles that now look ancient, and creating worlds that dripped from my imagination and into real life. I look back at this time fondly, even through bad or awkward memories, because being a kid in the ’90s held a certain sense of wonder and hope, like anything was possible if we just dreamed hard enough.

Curiosity Door

This is the atmosphere I felt when I started watching Netflix’s Original Series Stranger Things, and is probably why I finished it within 24 hours of watching that Dungeons and Dragons opening. It brought me back to a time when I remember being safe, a time before we had world news and fear media pushed in our faces every waking hour, at least from my point of view.

Chapter OneStranger Things

Stranger Things starts with the disappearance of Will Byers and what that means for a small town in 1980s Indiana. The cast includes different groups of related people, starting off with the kids: Will’s friends Mike, Lucas, and Dustin. Mike’s older sister Nancy opens another layer with boyfriend Steve and Will’s brother Jonathan. Finally Winona Ryder leads the adult crew, with police Chief Jim Hopper.

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As one child disappears, another is found, this one being a young girl with a shaved head and supernatural powers like telekinesis. She takes up with the young boys and lives in Mike’s basement in secret.

El EggoEl Eggo

This layered view of the show’s events provides multiple layers of discovery and nostalgia. We see the silly innocence and imagination of the kids, then the ever-changing whirlwind of being a teenager, and finally the helplessness of what comes when you’re an adult without all the answers.

Mom lightsMom lights

The characters are all pretty fantastic. The dialog of the kids is refreshingly realistic, with arguments, jealousy, and discovering feelings for the first time.

Cute look Mike El

Nancy, Mike’s older sister, presents a character I really started to enjoy as the show went on. She starts out as someone not in the “popular” group, but emerging into it, which leaves her best friend Barb in a pretty rotten situation.

Barb

Love you Barb

I loved the awkwardness of showing this era of teenagedom, where friendships change, not always for the best, and the emergence of actual sexual relationships are unbelievably complicated, yet so simple at the same time. Nancy grows from a self-conscious girl who follows along with the cool kids, to a pretty kick-ass lady who decides she’s going to follow her own path and be friends with who she wants to be with.

Nancygun

I’m not going to do a full rundown of the show, because I want you to go watch it if you haven’t. Suffice it to say that I loved it, and I’m incredibly pleased to see it’s being green-lit for a second season. I’m ready to fall back into that world and see what other secrets lie in Stranger Things.

Super hugsSuper hugs

Wreditor Post: My Writing Process

Every writer has their own way of plotting and writing. Some do it completely on the fly, while others are fastidious organizers. I like to think that I fall in between the two, but am more on the organized side. I have a step-by-step process of working on a book. Once I know which of my 20 or so book ideas I want to work with, I put it through my process.

 

Step One:

First I do a very rough outline of what I want to do: characters, main plot ideas, big scenes, ending. No one sees this rough sketch (and half the time I can barely read it myself!)

 

Step Two: Setup

Once I have an idea of my basic themes, I create a few references for myself. The first is a gallery of inspiring pictures.

 

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Then I put together a playlist of appropriate music. In the case of this WIP, it was a mix of classical tunes and soft music with great lyrics.

 

PLNocturne

 

 

Step Three: Plotting

 

Once my Inspiration Bank is ready, then I break out my plotting book. (I used to do this on a bulletin board, but find the book easier to use, especially if I have many scenes).

I write an entire page plotting the basics of the book from beginning to end, then I break up chapter by chapter and write down the main points on index cards.

 

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When I finish each chapter, I jot down the word count, when I finished it, and then write down some notes for items  to remember for later or notes for the second draft.

 

Once I’m done the first draft, I’ll let it sit for at least a month and work on something else. Then I’ll do a read-through and create new cards for each chapter with revision notes. I don’t have an example for this WIP (still first draft).

 

Basically, that’s how I write. When I actually write I go wherever the story takes me, but I like to have an outline so I don’t run into a block, and to keep track of spontaneous ideas and changes.

 

So, are you a plotter or a pantser, or something in between? What’s your writing process?

Odeum Movie Rec: Ruby Sparks

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This movie was so adorable. The premise is that Calvin is a young writer who can’t live to the pressure of writing a second novel. He’s in therapy, he can’t write, and he’s miserable. Then his therapist suggests to him that he should write a page about someone who would naturally like his dog. Calvin has a dream about Ruby, and begins to write about her obsessively.

Then… she appears in his house in the flesh. Once he comes to terms with her existence, he introduces her to his brother, who thinks Calvin has gone insane. They pull a test to see if Ruby is a product of Calvin’s writing, by writing that she speaks fluent French without knowing it. After this is confirmed, the love story really begins.

This movie is adorable and yet so real at the same time. It deals with actual “New Adult” issues like finding your place in the world and learning to be happy with yourself. It also deals with the ways people change in relationships, and how sometimes, even though you want to change something about someone, if you ever could try, the results would be disastrous.

Check it out if you have a few hours to kill and are looking for a cute film with some substance.

Sunday Scribbles #writingprompt

Hey All,

 

I hope you had a fantastic holiday weekend and stuffed yourselves silly!

 

This week’s post is a new thing I’m doing to encourage writing beyond my novels and to keep up with my photography. So, since this is the first time, it’ll be two-for-one.

This is how it goes: I post a photo, and your challenge (along with mine) is to write something inspired by it. Could be a poem, could be flash fiction, could be the first chapter of the next awesomesauce novel. Then for fun, post your work in the comments section if you want to.

 

Here are the photos, both taken at one of my cottages up north.

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Scribble Away!

Author Interview: Lindsay Leggett

No Wasted Ink

I met Lindsay via twitter where I chat with many fellow writers and authors. I am pleased to introduce her to you here on No Wasted Ink.

Author Lindsey LeggettMy name is Lindsay Leggett and I currently reside outside of Toronto but originate from Northern Ontario. Beyond writing, I am also an editor, marketer, and hobby collector. Some of these hobbies include learning languages and many instruments. It can be a problem.

When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing since I can remember. I think my first ‘novel’ was about thieves who stole my cat. It was ten pages and included (horrendous) illustrations. From then on, writing became as big in my life as breathing. Poetry, short stories, epic novels; you name it, and I was working on it. I’ve since learned how to rein in my imagination (sort of).

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I…

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Odeon Film Rec: Like Crazy

If you don’t know me well yet, then you might not know how much I love movies (and how many I watch!) Some of them are just so awesome that I have to share.

This rec is the indie romance Like Crazy.

 

I honestly almost watched this movie like a hundred times. The cover was so gorgeous, but for some reason I thought the cast was  a bit older and the film would be more focused on technical details. Well, I was wrong.

Like Crazy beautifully shows the story of young University students Anna and Jacob as they fall in love. Only, Anna is from England and needs to return home for the holidays. After she stays longer than her Visa allows, she’s no longer allowed to go to America. The two must fight for their love from across the ocean while dealing with their blossoming new lives and careers in different locations.

This movie was so skillfully directed, visually it’s just beautiful. The plot is also something a little different. It feels real. It isn’t just about the exciting romance of youth, but about the consequences that come with age and the difference one little mistake can make in the rest of your life.

This baby’s on Netflix, so if you haven’t seen and are up for a beautiful indie film, check it out. You won’t regret it.

Haunted at Seventeen for @novaren

When I was seventeen I thought of myself as somewhat of a ghost hunter. I wasn’t actively searching, but I never turned down an opportunity to go somewhere creepy.

In a small town called Mattawa, there is an old hospital that has since been shut down; however, it is attached to the new hospital addition, and if you time it right, you can sneak in after the cleaning staff to check it out.

A little history on this hospital: this was the fourth incarnation of the Mattawa hospital. The previous three all burned down.

One of my best friend’s mother was in the new version of the hospital, and she had snuck into the old building during the day. She said it looked like it was just abandoned in the 50s: All of the old beds and furniture was still there, like a memory that won’t let go.

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We went to visit her mother at nighttime, and of course, got incredibly bored, so we decided to sneak into the old hospital building. We found the entrance and made our way toward the doors leading into the old brick building.

… Only, we couldn’t do it. Once we were within six feet of the doors, we both stopped moving. I remember having a terrifying feeling of being stuck in place, my excitement driving me forward, but *something* else pushing back on me. And it wasn’t just me, my friend felt it too. It was pressure. Something did not want us to go into that building.

I felt like we were stuck for a few minutes, but it could’ve been only seconds. At the time it felt like an eternity. As soon as we could move, we ran away from the building and back into the new area of the hospital.

The sad part of this story is that they have now torn this heritage building down, like so many other old hospitals. Its secrets were taken down with it, I suppose, and whatever was trying to keep us out might be in peace (I can only hope).