Saturday, July 24, 2010

How 'bout a dose of Pavlov to Help You Write?

© 2010 Frederick Doot

This post goes out to my fellow writer's group friends who inspired me to start this blog and continually inspire me to be a better writer. Hopefully this can help you..

I'm in various stages of writing four short stories, a novel, a feature-length screenplay, and research for another screenplay. Just recently after downloading new music and enjoying it while writing, I've begun to affiliate certain music (specifically genres or playlists, albums, etc.) with each work I'm writing. I'm calling this the Putting Pavlov to Work for Your Writing..surely I'm not the first to think of it, but it's definitely working for me so I suspect it may work for others.

Now, even riding in the car, when my MP3 mix turns to Seraphim Shock or any other goth-rock/metal song, my mind immediately starts to churn ideas and scenes from the ghost story I'm working on. When Roger Clyne or Springsteen comes on, my mind switches into “My Friend Jack”-mode, another short story I'm working on. I'm fortunate to have a wide range of musical tastes, so I've actually created different playlists to listen to during each writing session. And ya know what, it's really working, and I'm excited.

I've found this even helps when experiencing writers block. I find it helpful to have a few stories to work on at once. If I've hit a block with one story, I'll try switching to a different story. If all stories hit a block, I'll go into research mode, which doesn't require much creative effort. But I've find that lately my research has taken a back-seat a bit, as my writers block is becoming minimized. Why? I'm finding the music is stirring my creative juicing (a salvation of the brain, if you will) and is really helping my writing. I hope it can do the same for you..

So give it a try. If it works, ring a bell and give yourself a bone, you deserve it!

Friday, July 23, 2010

या क्नोव वहत रेअल्ली तंग्लेस माय लाइन?

Ya Know What Really Translates My Titles?!?!

First off, my apologies for the foreign language title..I don't know why this post defaulted to it, but it did, and I can't figure out how to fix it, so let it be written (in Arabic or Hebrew or Yiddish would be cool, or some other language I have no clue about) and let it be done..

Anyways, as you can see, my promise of a few posts a week has already been broken. Rest assured, I will try to make up the missing posts with a whole bunch of posts over the next week or so on a myriad of topics and will catch up. I don’t think I have any followers yet, so it's no harm anyway. This post will be part of an ongoing series, “Ya Know What Really BLANKS my BLANK” Series..and in this inaugural post - Ya Know What Really Straightens my Curveball? My beloved but unhealthy on oh-so-many-levels, the New York Mets.

It's been widely debated that the Mets are most in need of a starting pitcher. We started the season with a stud in Johan; a potentially manageable but headcase in Pelfrey; the oft-injured and still iffy John Maine; 2nd year starter Jon Niese who was looking really good last year prior to his ugly hamstring injury fielding a throw at first base last fall, and the god-awful, dreadful Oliver Perez.

Well, Johan is still Johan, consistently well-above average but receiving no run support, hence the mediocre W/L record; Pelfrey had an incredible first half (Cy Young like numbers), buuuuuut, Steve Somers summed him up brilliantly tonight, "He's gone from the Yips to the Yikes!" and has regressed in the 2nd half..all Mets fans gotta believe we can get the 1st half Pelfrey back and get back the confidence he seems to be lacking today; Maine is injured again and seemingly forgotten..Don LeGreca says he won't even throw another pitch in a Mets uniform..we'll see..I like the guy, but he's never seemed to be healthy enough to reach his "potential"; then there's Niese, who had an injury early in the year that set him back for a bit but has really, really come through since, establishing himself as a solid #3 pitcher in the rotation, maybe even more..; and finally there's Ollie Perez..just back from the DL, his velocity is maxing out around 86, not the mid-90's that made him quasi-effective in the past (due to his lack of accuracy, he actually could get batters out as a wild pitcher confusing batters with decent speed, no command and the occasional sick slider..) now he's a pedestrian pitcher with no speed, no command, a 12mil per year contract, and a mindset that he's a MLB pitcher, refusing to go to the minors..this is the LAST THING the Mets need.

To replace Maine, the Mets called up RA Dickey, who was the butt of many-a-joke upon his signing this off-season as a washed up 36 yr old ineffective knuckleballer (he was the "Mets savior" I think I proclaimed at the time) who (despite looking like we pulled him from a Phish concert) turned out to be a veeeeerrrryyy effective pitcher for the Mets..ERA under 3, a consistency of quality starts AND the ability to go deep into games - he's been damn near a savior for the Mets..and it's sooo fun to watch knuckleballers when they're on (which he usually is..); and Takahashi who had some issues over the past few starts, but *may* have righted the ship (I still think he's best suited as a long man out of the bullpen). So we have a solid Johan; a potentially great, potentially horrendous Pelfrey; a seemingly solid Niese; a seemingly solid Dickey; and Takahashi (who should be in the bullpen) who may be replaced by the dreadful Perez (I vote no-confidence in Jery Manual's managing abilities at this point..bring me back Bobby Valentine, or heck even Wally Backman.)
What does that mean? We really, really need use a respectable professional starting pitcher. Aside from that, I'm content with our starting rotation.

With that said, it's now 12:15 and I'm sitting at Hooters watching the game, drinkin' a beer and eatin' a salad, very excited that the Mets actually learned how to score a run (3 actually..whoah! 3-1 vs the Dodgers in the top of the 8th..). Time for Parnell to throw a scoreless 8th and K-Rod make me queasy in the 9th.

Sooooo, next post on sports will be one of the following: Why one of the following suck/s (Jerry Manuel, the Yankees, George Steinbrenner, A-Rod, Lebron, Gary Bettman), the Mets offense, the Mets bullpen and why K-Rod needs to stop just pointing to The Man, and start asking for some divine intervention to actually make a clean save, or the Jets and why Jets fans might actually have a reason to be excited.

If you've gone this far, thanks for reading..and as always, feel free to comment. Until then, I bid you adieu..

- doot