Playing and Discovery

A friend who’s an actor recently shared this interview with Mark Rylance talking about spontaneity and ‘playing’ with other actors as a way to develop character. The part I like starts around 1:40 minutes in:

I don’t do a lot of plotting when I’m drafting a novel, so I can totally relate to to this idea of being in the moment with characters, and the joy of discovery that comes with that. Even though I’m married to a playwright and have a lot of friends in the theater, I never thought about spontaneity and character development in the same way in terms of acting. But it’s really cool to see that artists can have similar methods of exploration, despite working in different artistic spheres.

Do you feel a sense of play and exploration in your writing or other artistic work?

Translating Hagrid’s Accent

I love this fascinating look at the complications of translating Harry Potter into an international bestseller and maintain its sense of British-ness and wordplay.

Also, I totally didn’t realize that that was how Quidditch got its name.

No matter where you may live and what languages you may speak, we can all feel part of the wizarding world.

Talking Good: on Grammar and Communication

Love this video about language, linguistic prescriptivists and descriptivists, and why it’s okay to bend the rules.

I’m a big rule-follower, especially when it comes to language. (I’ve gotten a major thrill from referencing specific sections in the Chicago Manual of Style in non-writing work conversations.) But communication is more than a set of rules–each situation has its own flow and language is a living entity that evolves with time.

So maybe let it go the next time someone uses “me” instead of “I” when telling you about their day. That doesn’t mean you don’t respect language–it just means you respect communication.

NaNoWriMo Highs and Lows

Last year I took part in National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo and wrote 50,000 words of a new project. It was a lot of fun and a lot of work, and I’m so glad I joined the challenge.

The beginning of the month brings a lot of enthusiasm, but sometimes the expectations of NaNo don’t match up with the realities. But the tough days don’t have to get you down! Take a look at this video I made about the NaNo highs and lows:

If you’re tackling NaNo this year, don’t worry about the bad days. Keep going, take breaks as needed, don’t worry about editing and let your creativity fly. You got this!

In Dreams, We Enter a World That’s Entirely Our Own

Because fall always makes me feel like rereading Harry Potter, I couldn’t resist sharing this lovely stop-motion video by unPOP:

I love how Harry Potter fans have made such awesome work–videos like this one, fanfic, song parodies, etc.–based on the book series we love. Books like these definitely outlast the individual reading experience.

Amelia Earhart’s Forgotten Footage

Some fun Amelia Earhart news for the week! A film of Amelia Earhart, taken just before her final attempted flight around the world, surfaced recently after sitting on a shelf for fifty years.

In 1937, Earhart was preparing for a flight around the world. Photographer Al Bresnik went to take pictures of Earhart at Burbank Airport, and his brother, John, joined him. Unbeknownst to anyone, John took a short film of Earhart, and his son discovered the contents of the film decades later. Check out some of the footage in the Associated Press clip below:

It’s unclear whether this footage was taken before her first attempt or second attempt, but either way it’s a look at Earhart within a year of her disappearance over the Pacific.

It doesn’t add a lot to Earhart’s history or clear up any details of her disappearance, but for me it’s a reminder that the public is still interested in her life and her story. Learning about her during the research process for The Chance You Won’t Return was awesome, and i loved realizing why Alex’s mom connected to Earhart so deeply. Even these little glimpses of her feel like they give us a clearer picture into who Earhart was and where she went.