March 9th, 2005

photowhore

(no subject)

I'm learning more and more about the power of feed syndication!  For those of you who dig the photos, I've created a Livejournal syndication of my photo gallery.  I sometimes put-up pictuers that I never get around to writing about.  Likewise, I seldom post EVERYTHING of a particular set of photos.  Now, whenever the gallery is updated, you can be told via your LJ friend's list.  It puts a little thumbnail image representing the new gallery and a text description of it.  When you click the image, it takes you straight to the new album.  The syndication account is soopaphoto.  Just go there and add it as a friend if you want this capability.  The feed which aggregated today currently contains 20 "new" albums since it was the first pull of info through the feed, so expect it to litter your friend's list if you do it today.  If you wait until tomorrow, then you'll only get new updates in the future.  I think this is really cool.

I made an offer a few days ago to host photos for anyone on my friend's list that needed it.  If some of you more photo-minded journalists are interested, this same synidcation feature would be available to you as well.
cummings

write what you know

I think what is meant by the old writer's addage "write what you know" is not so much that you have to have had a multitude of life experiences, but that you don't try and tell the stories of people you have no possibility of understanding. If I wrote about a New York City dweller or a South American caballero I would be exposed as a fraud very quickly. While my life-experiences may have been limited as a young writer, I could take what experiences I did have and formulate characters out of them. I was familiar with a variety of characters from which to draw in my every day life: blue-collar workers, teachers, potheads, preps, farmers, middle-class suburbans. I simply modeled characters on people I knew. There's always a story be told.

I'm sure everyone has their own approach to the creation of characters. I always chose to create a character "sketch"; a psychological profile of sorts. What made them tick? What were their beliefs, their motivations, their fears? What were their weaknesses and strengths? How did they speak? What was their choice of fashion? I wrote small backstories for each character so that -I- knew them. 

Assuming you will ever come to some Buddha-knowledge about the inner-machinations of the human condition by virtue of life-experience will probably leave you ultimately feeling like a failure. Many people with similar backgrounds and underlying issues achieve very different outcomes due to circumstances, random events, environment, sheer will and pure luck. As a writer, you have the opportunity to CREATE the motivation (cause) and DICTATE the action (effect) at whatever levels of complexity you choose with your prose. As long as you're honest about the characters you choose to conjure, in situations you are qualified to create, then you'll be just fine.

Finally, I think writing is like a snapshot. It captures not only whatever the writer is trying to present, but it is also a snapshot of the author and their view of things at that particular moment in life. If an author chose to write the same story over and over, at five year intervals, it would likely always be different; not just in words on a page but in the general tone and viewpoint. None of them would be wrong, just different because of the time-in-life it was written. Artists reflect life and the angle at which the mirror is held varies as the author grows, but the reflection is always a valid one.