The Road Ahead

I know that I don’t log onto WordPress much these days and if you’re still following my blog then thank you. I honestly appreciate everyone who has commented and giving me encouragement. The thing is, it’s difficult to reach a big audience on WordPress and this blog feels a bit directionless to gain a solid following. I mostly want to write about pop culture in regards to film and TV. I want to discuss plot lines, tropes, characters, etc. And I’m not sure if this is the best place to do it right now.

That being said, I might still make a post on here from time to time, but I’m moving on to other blogging sites. I want to experiment and see if I can reach more people. Right now I’m making articles on Movie Pilot and you can follow my journey there by clicking on this handy dandy link: https://creators.co/@doniyork. I don’t have much up there yet, but I’ll probably convert some of my older posts and update them for Movie Pilot.

You can also follow me on Twitter using this amazing link: https://twitter.com/DoniYork17 where I post about life, coffee, and links to upcoming articles. I hope you guys stay around, but if you don’t then thank you again for following this random blog of mine.

I’ll try to post monthly or bi-monthly just to keep it alive, but you’ll mostly be seeing me elsewhere.

Later days!

 

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Exciting News!

I recently got 3 of my poems published in a literary journal! They appear in this month’s issue of Indiana Voice Journal and you can read them here. A few years ago this same journal was the home to my first published work and I’m incredibly grateful to be among the many talented writers this journal promotes once more.

I also want to encourage rising or risen writers to submit to Indiana Voice. The people behind it are dedicated to the craft and love giving new writers a chance to show off their work and gain exposure.

You can also follow them on Facebook or Twitter for updates.

Art in the Form of Words

Since it’s World Book Day, I thought I’d share my top 5 stories with you all along with my favorite quote from each.

1.) The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

2.) Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

“The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”

3.) Dream Thieves – Maggie Stiefvater

“He was brother to a liar and brother to an angel, son of a dream and son of a dreamer.”

4.) The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton

“Stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold.”

5.) Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – J.K. Rowling 

“Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.”booooks

Additional mentions:

A series of Unfortunate Events – Lemony Snicket

“Miracles are like meatballs, because nobody can exactly agree on what they are made of, where they come from, or how often they should appear.”

Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner

“Some days in late August at home are like this, the air thin and eager like this, with something in it sad and nostalgic and familiar…”

 

Which stories have stayed with you?

8 Good Things in 2016

2016 hasn’t been easy by any means and I know people are worn down by the year as a whole. I also know some of us (me included) are concerned about the aftermath being carried into 2017. It’s hard not to feel cynical, but I’m an optimist at heart. Even if I join in on the 2016 meme, I don’t think this year was a complete waste. Let’s end it on a happier note and remember the good in 2016.

1.) Great Year for Movies

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Remember this is the year that brought us Deadpool, Captain America 3: Civil War, Rouge One, Shin Godzilla, and Doctor Strange. Those are only a few of the films that made a brighter weekend for many of us.

2.) Great year for Superheroes

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Aside from phenomenal blockbusters with our favorite Avengers, this year was also good for superheroes on the small screen. Netflix gave us season 2 of Daredevil (and introduced Punisher who was fantastic) and Luke Cage in beautiful looking and heart pounding first season. We also got a 4 night crossover event from all of the DC shows on the CW. On a personal note, I also started watching all of the DC shows this year and as someone who grew up reading DC comics and watching Teen Titans and Justice League, it was wonderful falling in love with all my old favorites again.

3.) Televised Live Shows

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I am a musical theater nerd. I can’t help it. Only I live 2 or more hours away from cities that put on big shows so besides that one amazing Chicago production of Wicked, I haven’t seen many theatrical productions. I love that some channels are now doing live productions for people to watch at home who may not be able to travel to the theater let alone afford the tickets. This year we were given Grease Live and Hairspray Live, which I adored and I can’t wait for more!

4.) Cubs Win!

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I’m not a baseball fan (or even a sports fan), but my hometown is 2 hours from Chicago and most of my family adores the Cubs. My dad and grandmother especially do and seeing them get excited over this historic win made me happy too. Also, how can I not feel proud of my home state?

5.) Hamilton Mixtape

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Some people may say Hamilton is overrated, but I don’t care. It’s wonderful, give it a listen.

6.) Dirk Gently

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2016 gave us some great movies, but also a great show. I love Douglas Adams and seeing a version of one of his novels come to life was a blast to watch. There are only 8 episodes in the first season, but if you haven’t watched it yet I recommend it! It’s ridiculous, heartfelt, and witty with A+ casting.

7.) Little Celebrations

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On a small note, just remember that someone met the love of their life this year. Someone traveled for the first time. Someone got married. Someone got a promotion. Someone adopted an animal. Someone graduated. Someone found good friends. Someone finished their novel. Someone found a sense of purpose. Someone binged a whole series on Netflix and lived with no regrets (this last one is me).

8.) My Personal Successes

hooray

I haven’t accomplished great things, but I did have some personal successes this year. I finished 2 more semesters of grad school. I had 3 poems get accepted into the International Pop Culture Conference for 2017. I reconnected with some old friends. I had a bit more courage this year to chase after the things I wanted and to break out of my shell a little more. This year I want to be more courageous, kinder, and wiser. Yes, I did just ask for the end results of the Wizard of Oz.

 

Feel free to comment with your best memories this year. Sending out good vibes for 2017!

Christmas Reading

Ah, Christmas break. It’s arguably one of the best times of the year because A.) Good food and B.) Time off work. And time off work means catching up with that reading list I made over the summer that never got completed. Only during the holiday season I usually want some festive reading material. After all, tis the season of Christmas movies and specials so why not add in books?

The only problem with festive reading is that my break is never quite long enough to devour full length novels despite some Christmas classics out there that deserve attention. That’s why this year I’ve been turning to short stories and poetry because they satisfy my book craving and fit into my schedule. Right now I’m on the hunt for short Christmas stories, but I haven’t quite found what I’m looking for yet. That doesn’t mean the search isn’t fun though. The more I research poems and short stories, the more authors I’m introduced to who would have slipped under my radar.

I also discovered that some of my favorite authors have posted their own holiday special from series online. Maggie Steifvater wrote a Raven Cycle holiday short story, which is everything I ever wanted and more. I discovered it last year and I’ve found myself coming back to it already. The nice thing about short festive stories is that they can be easily read year after year to keep the tradition alive much like my favorite holiday films.

christmas-story

I really want to throw this blog post out to you guys though. What holiday stories do you fall back on or have discovered this year? Also, if you know any good authors of short fiction or poets please recommend them in the comments!

Write What You Know

Everyone knows that phrase uttered in every creative writing course. The famous, “write what you know.” This is solid advice for writers both new and experienced. My only problem is that people tend to take it at a face value. They assume they should only write about plots or settings that they know well. If that were the case, then fantasy and sci-fi wouldn’t exist. I doubt J. R.R. Tolkien truly experienced a trek to Mordor.

Writing what you know doesn’t always have to be a place. Sometimes putting qualities you see in yourself or those around you into your characters is writing what you know. Sometimes looking at the way people speak to one another or the way emotions are handled in times of stress or happiness is writing what you know. To create a character who breathes, it helps to be perceptive on the way real people think and act.

When I write, I tend to give my cast a few of my own flaws. This normally happens organically, but once I pick up on those characteristics I start to explore them. Since I know this trait firsthand, it becomes easier to write someone with the same faults or personality quirks.

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I have a character I’m writing now who is a “golden boy.” He feels a great deal of pressure to make something of himself and he’s terrified of what will happen if he amounts to nothing. Yet, no one else in his personal life has placed this stress on him. His friends and family don’t care if he becomes someone important or not. Fame doesn’t mean much to any of them because they’re content with just finding happiness even if that means living a simple life. The sad thing is, he sees this and he understands this, but that stress just gnaws at him. He’s created this pressure himself and now he’s stuck with it.

This is an aspect of me. This is something I’ve gone through my whole life and am still dealing with. I just hope people find that rawness to the classic golden boy character. I know that when I fall in love with characters, I fall for ones who have this underlining realness to them.

When you write, don’t assume you’re tied to one place because you want to draw from your own life. Think about yourself. Think about the people you see everyday. Look at those characteristics and write them. Let your characters breathe.

Write what you know.

 

 

 

Under Construction and What to Expect

Hey everyone!

You might have noticed I haven’t been posting much lately  (or maybe you didn’t, doesn’t matter because you do now). I don’t have a good excuse for my lack of writing, but I need to stay on top of it. I also need to give this blog a makeover because of how cluttered it is. I have too many themes going on at once with little to no direction. So, I’m going to do some late summer cleaning to get this place organized. The game plan is:

  • Post twice a week.
  • A “Sunday Writing Session” where I’ll do a post about writing tips or how my own writing projects are going.
  • A “Pop Culture Wednesday” where I’ll discuss television shows, movies, genres, you name it.
  • An “Art Day” on the first Friday of every month. This is when I’ll post something art related like photography, a craft, a painting, or a short prose. Since art takes time, I can’t make this a weekly thing even though I’d love to.
  • I’ll accept requests for things you want to read (piece on an upcoming movie, old movie, writing questions, and more). You can make a comment on a blog post, on the “about” page, or you can contact me through social media on Twitter or Instagram. Both are set to private because of my day job as a TA, but just let me know you’re from WordPress and I’ll accept the request. You can also send me an email at doni.york92@gmail.com if you’d like.

Thank you all for sticking with this blog, reading, commenting, and liking my posts. I love the community here and I’m ready to change things up a bit!