Help I Have No Writer Juice

by Noa (’16)

If you’re anything like me, you may come across a point in your life when you find yourself staring at a blank document or notebook page or Textedit (your free Word trial ran out), with an assignment due tomorrow and absolutely no idea what to write about.

We should all just move to Canada.

“…you should probably quit and just move to Canada…”

You probably feel a bit drained, as if your supply of writer juice has magically evaporated into thin air and all that is left is a crumpled little shell of a person, banging your head against your desk in frustration and hating your brain and hating everything, especially other writers who probably have loads of writer juice stocked in the shelves of their brain while you don’t and it’s unfair and life is unfair and you should probably quit and just move to Canada because it’s only going to go downhill from here. Unfortunately, science has not yet discovered a cure for such thoughts, although there are a few websites that I have stumbled across on the internet (while procrastinating from said writing assignments), that I’ve found very useful:  

http://oneword.com/ gives you a one-word writing prompt and sixty seconds to type down any ideas that pop into your brain. It’s awesome because it’s much less intimidating than staring at a blank document— you don’t have to worry about if what you’re writing is good or bad (you only have a minute, after all.) Also, once you’re done writing, your work can be published (don’t worry, you can do it anonymously, or you can use your real name) and you get to look at what other people have written too. There are all types of people on the site, some experienced and others not so much, and their writing alone may be enough to spark a little bit of inspiration.

http://thestorystarter.com/ generates a random sentence for you to start your story with, and it’s (probably) not cheating because the sentence is generated randomly, so technically (maybe) it’s not plagiarism. Okay, I wouldn’t recommend copying the sentence word for word, but it’s definitely a great source for inspiration, and a lot of the sentences are weird enough to come up with some awesome plot ideas.

And remember, “Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life… Besides, perfectionism will ruin your writing, blocking inventiveness and playfulness and life force (these are words we are allowed to use in California).”- Anne Lamott

“Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something—anything—down on paper. A friend of mine says that the first draft is the down draft—you just get it down. The second draft is the up draft—you fix it up.”- Anne Lamott

Every writer's worst nightmare

Shadows Are Awesome

by Noa (’16)

We’re only scaring on alternating Tuesdays.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: When I was in eighth grade, I was actually kind of terrified of shadowing. Not just because I was already terrified of all things involving high school (I didn’t even want to THINK about my portfolio until I absolutely had to), but also because everybody seemed so much taller and older and scarier than I was used to. Also, I had a sort of justified fear of getting completely ditched by whomever I was assigned to follow around, as I had been the first (and only) time I shadowed a high school. Obviously, this unnamed high school (*cough—Brandice—cough*) did not have as awesome shadow buddies as Creative Writing shadows have! Not only, as I have experienced, do the shadow-ers of Creative Writing seem genuinely awesome and well-read and writer-y, but the Freshman, as well, are really glad to have them. I mean, after having experienced the shock of being yanked from the eighth-grade throne of middle-school reign, it feels really good for our egos and our hearts to finally have something to show and teach a younger person, versus being the very small Freshman who has to ask about how to get to second period. Also, we have a panini press, which all the shadows seem to have loved. So, any eight grader who may have stumbled upon this blog, come shadow Creative Writing! We’re not scary, I promise!

Apocalypse Now at Cine/Club

by Noa (’16)

It’s safe to say that seeing Apocolypse Now as my first Cine/Club experience left me completely blown away and guaranteed my further (voluntary) interest in Cineclub’s films. Coming in, I had expected my first film viewing to be tedious and boring, having never seen or heard much about Apocolypse Now and having been informed that the movie would be “really, really long.” Instead, I found myself completely engrossed in the story of Benjamin Willard, an army captain who is sent on a mission by his military superiors to “terminate” a colonel gone rogue. I was perhaps even more absorbed in the images of the film, from the brilliant pain and insanity of Willard in the opening scene to the ominous shadows obscuring the face of the colonel, than the plot itself. These images, combined with the frenzied and panicked rhythm of the soundtrack, left me with a deep feeling of uneasiness and tension that heightened both the film and the film viewing experience in the best possible way.

(Midori) Never had a film left me so completely and utterly terrified as Apocalypse Now had. Coppola’s use of imagery, motif, cinematography… Even something as small has failing to focus the shot on something left me gulping for air. Anyone who has ever watched almost any film with me can tell you that I cry. A lot. I get easily carried away by the plot, by empathy for the characters (part of the reason why I love going to Cine/Club), but during the entire run of Apocalypse Now, I didn’t cry. Horror left me in a state of shock, hopelessly gaping at the screen, and flinching almost constantly at the scenes. It’s definitely a movie I will carry with me for the rest of my life.