South by Southwest 2019 (SXSW) Days 9 & 10: The End

The smorgasbord of music, movies, workshops and more is finally over. I’m relieved and still recovering, but I’ll also miss the creative energy. I won’t miss the lines, craziness on 6th street, scooters everywhere and long days trying to see as much as I could. There was a Day 10 but it was mostly for gaming (though I did attend the softball game and barbecue). In this post I’ll do mini-reviews of the remaining three films I caught and share my thoughts about what it all means.

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South by Southwest (SXSW) 2019 Days 7 & 8: 3 Movies & 2 Bands

I’m sitting in the Elephant Room in downtown Austin, Texas at 10:45 on a Friday night, the second Friday of the huge conference and festivals, SXSW. It’s an underground jazz club — literally — it’s in the basement and named for the prehistoric mastodon fosssil in the stone wall. It’s in between the 40′ acts. Graham Reynolds and Golden Hornet just played his own compositions, a rock / jazz / classical hybrid with trombone, violin, standup bass, drums and him on keys. The cat can play. While people talk and drink, come and go, I decided to post this blog, or at least the beginnings of one.

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South by Southwest (SXSW) 2019 Days 5 & 6 = Walking. Weird. Wonderful.

After two more days of seeing films and comedy at South by Southwest, and walking well over 10,000 steps per day as a volunteer and then participant, I’m even more exhausted than last week.  But it’s Wednesday, so that means it’s time to tell y’all (who actually are reading this blog) what’s the big deal about SXSW. In addition to telling, I’ll do some showing. Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW: Real Artists Don’t Starve, by Jeff Goins

Jeff Goins is a successful blogger, podcaster, coach and author of five books including The Way of Art. In Real Artists Don’t Starve, he draws numerous examples from history and modern times to illustrate his points. You can read all about Jeff at his web site: https://goinswriter.com. Also, this book has its own site: https://dontstarve.com.

This book came to my attention due to a note from Nori Rose, the Bluebonnet Witch. Thanks, Nori! As a temporarily unpaid writer, I checked it out for free from the Austin Public Library. What a socialist institution if I ever heard of one! Free books that you take home, read and return? Outrageous! But I digress, as I’m wont to do. Here are some of my thoughts on his book.

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Mmm… A Melange of Musings on Monday

Sometimes there’s no one theme that presents itself for a post.  Instead, a mixture of many motifs manifests.  (Alliteration apparently attracts A Dude. )  I’ve noticed myself thinking about three main topics:   1) creativity, especially the art of writing, and the necessity of commerce; 2) all the bicycling I do (and to a lesser extent, walking and yoga), and 3) issues about nutrition and health.  Of course I also consider weightier things like the temporary end of the federal government shutdown, the sad passing of a former neighbor, and the goings on in the lives of friends, family and my town.  So I’m gonna touch on the three themes, and perhaps we’ll stumble upon some insight or wisdom useful to you.  But sometimes, a blog is just a web log of what’s going on, and its not going to change your life.  To quote the farmer in the movie Babe, “That’ll do, pig.  That’ll do. Continue reading

Thoughts on Melissa McCarthy’s Movie About a Writer’s Struggle to Succeed

It’s the opposite of my last post about being inspired by creative people. The recent Melissa McCarthy movie Can You Ever Forgive Me?” paints a bleak picture of a lonely, struggling writer who turns to forgery to pay her bills.  McCarthy was nominated for a Golden Globe for her moving portrayal of one author’s quest for respect and success.  It’s difficult to write about a movie without spoilers, but I’ll try.  This isn’t a review so much as some thoughts about the difficulties for writers to be creative and stay true to their vision while dealing with the realities of commerce.  This is a theme I often struggle with as I continue to blog and write my book without any compensation in sight.  A review in Town and Country was titled Can You Ever Forgive Me Is the Funny-Smart-Sad Crime Caper You’ve Been Waiting For”  .  By the way, it’s based on a true story.

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Finding Your Muse: How Being Around Other Creative People Helps You Create

Last night I attended my first Third Thursday free event held by the Texas Writers League.  I’d heard of the League, but it took me hearing their director Michael Nolin speak and also met him at another event, the One Page Salon, to get me to a TWL event.  After the panel, I went to a book release party for OPS host Owen Egerton, who has helped inspired me to keep on writing and to call myself a writer.  At the latter event I met a couple involved in the Austin film industry, and had a good long conversation with them about their art.  And then a fellow blogger made a really heartfelt comment about a recent post of mine.  A day later I still find myself energized by this synchronicity.  So I gotta write about it.

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