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Juan Farstrider

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    Wheels, Time, Ofs, chess, comedy, bad comedy, mythology, politics (but I can and will shut up about them in the same way it used to be impolite to take about cancer), music, food (eating, cooking, growing, composting, complaining about, driving ridiculous distances for, etc), theater.

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  1. There's someone in my town that has a very sturdy looking green house, well a passive glass structure, but it doesn't look like he does anything with it. I had a tall narrow light cheap thing that I would roll out of my garage a little after sun rise and roll back in when the sun was setting. It got hot in there. But where I am, it is really windy. It is strange in that it seems to come in years. Some years are windy, some aren't. But the year I tried this, it was windy. It was blown over more days than it wasn't.
  2. I was going to work on some things I have started already. I began looking for ways to edit and improv a one act play I wrote a while ago. But I had no time on Nov 1st, and on Nov 2nd after the end of my day I had a new idea. I think it is a pretty cool idea so I wanted to share as a way to make one's own prompt or to jump start a thing. I sat down specifically to start a game civilization, to use the geography and early explorations to set up a world to write in. After two days of writing I realized I was creating a story that takes place within a world I already created, like 3 or 4 generations after another project I'm working on (a screen play). It was a coincidence that the major geographical features that the game gave me matched pretty well with something I started writing and created beat sheets for. I'm about 20% into the 50,000 word goal for the month, and of course it's horrible as writing but the idea I think is strong and I want to get as much written of the story as I can, hopefully finishing the story, before editing and making it read better. It's very 'talky' now, a lot of dialogue between characters, a decent sense of how the various characters talk and what their deals are, but not so much of the writing filling the eyes along with the ears if that makes sense.
  3. Yes! After looking at the various clubs I see they are not dependent on having finished the books. I ended up joining two. I may even consider starting one, if I feel like what I'm thinking about serves a need and if I can like commit the time to it.
  4. The thing for me was having room to cure it. I am in the north where we get a good winter and we have to grow "hardneck" garlic. I can't speak for warmer climates like SoCal where they grow softneck. Basically hardneck goes in the ground in well-drained soil (raised beds are great for garlic) in October or November with a good watering. Keep it weeded and fertilize in the spring, cut off the scape for a bigger bulb, and depending on how much rain you get you might not really have to water it very much. When the leaves turn to brown, around late july or august, you take it out, shake loose dirt off it, and cure it. I put it in my attic where I usually have an attic fan running to cool the house. It wants air flow, to help form the skin. After two weeks it should be cured, when you can clean it up better, cut the burly beard at the bottom and cut the stems off of you haven't already. I'm not a particularly good gardener at all but seems pretty fool proof. The only person I know who had trouble with it had some pretty consistently soggy beds as the problem.
  5. (Hi. I'm new around here, but jumping in on this thread anyway). I am glad this thread exists, as maybe it will serve as some peer pressure exerted on me to keep up with my garden tasks. I'm pretty sure for most of us here it is time to get beds ready for next spring or to be planting things that like to out in the winter, like the garlic I have yet to put in the ground.
  6. Hi, I'm new to the Stedding. I'm a gardener who is very inconsistent in tending to it, and maybe I'll share some really unhealthy recipes or worse: share some cheats to legitimate recipes that make things I can't seem to do doable. Also yea books!
  7. I have to admit, I clicked on this video for salacious reasons, but what this writer went through and his own insecurities and his journey is worth hearing about. It is very much about standing up for yourself in what you write and what you won't write. He mentions writer's processes but only towards the end and not really in any specific way. I guess you have to pay him for that ;^) I hope this kind of content is welcome.
  8. There are so many ways improv is used for writing, but it definitely comes from performers and directors more so than writers or English majors. It is not much different than turning improvised music into a written piece, and their are as many routes from i to w as there are people or groups. The oldest way I know about goes back to the Compass Theater and early Second City days, that's how it was told to me. It was taught to me as an exercise called "screen writers" but I don't know if that is a great name for it. Basically a director, or just someone, has a notebook and pen, and about 5 or more people get up divided evenly or as evenly as possible if an odd number. (They might have preferred odd numbers, but that's me speculating on very little data) on either side of the playing area. A suggestion (random word, newspaper headline, anything) is offered to the group that is up, and they do quick improvised two person scenes. The first person on the one side of the room initiates the scene, generally with a line of dialogue, miming an activity, and anything else you use to initiate a scene. The first person on the other side then comes in and responds/reacts and helps build the scene and they play the scene till the either they self-edit and end the scene or the person writing calls it. They next scene is started and joined by the second person on each side. This continues in order till everyone initiates an idea, either inspired by the suggestion or by something they saw in one of the scenes. Then they all sit down and figure out what was worth keeping, and how to best put forward the comedic idea in any given scene. It might lead to "well it would be funnier if they were (some job or some kind of person), or if they were (some other place)" or things along those lines. It's not necessarily the case that these things got written down all that quickly. I think it is the case that a lot of the sketches performed at the Second City were written down until long after they were established and worked on stage. They might have been something like the scenario plays used in commedia dell'arte. Another way is to have people ready to play, and before you start, make two lists: one of adjectives, and the other of jobs or circumstances or anything. Then, you play those combinations and see what comes of it. The more you do this, like anything in improv, the further away you get from hoky/corny stuff and into things the group would find have more meat on the bone. This is a quick way to generate a ton of material, most of which might be useless, but it is so quick that after an hour or two you could have 15 ideas worth exploring with even if you threw away 40 (depending on how fast you play). The key is how you play the ideas, not if the idea seems good or not (like anything in improv). I saw people create scene around a homeless beggar who was also a financial adviser, and it was brilliant because of how it was played. Something I didn't see much of in NYC but I think is more common elsewhere and might be how the Groundlings do things, is just when you are improvising and you find a character you like playing, keep playing them and write for them. In NYC when I was active there, that was looked down upon (it was very hipsterish and snobbish and "cool" at least to themselves. One teacher who moved to NYC from Chicago took half a class to remind us that nothing about this is cool, no one doing it was the cool kids in high school and she rattled off all the nerds and outcasts who were idolized because they got famous.) I only add all that to say that I don't know much about the details about that approach, because rather than perfect a character, everything I did and was taught was about finding ways to play as many different and varied characters as possible. The very great Lennon Parham (who can be seen on the show Bless this Mess as Kay) had two shows of her own with her writing partner Jessica St Clair, where both were based on their improvisation. I don't know how they came up with the premise for the shows, but the episodes all started with them improvising a bunch of scenes as all the characters, and then getting together with the writers and writing the episode. The show The League was largely improvised where scenes were set up with "you guys are doing this. Action!" and they might play a scene many times till it worked. The drawback to that is that great lines that came as result of something unique in the moment (like maybe involving some element of surprise) that the director liked and wanted repeated were difficult to reproduce the way it hit the first time it was played. It might come down to like schools of acting, but the kinds of acting where you do not expect each performance to be the same are like improv-friendly, and ones that perfect the one way it is played might be tougher to work with in improv-- I think. The show Ten Items or Less was improvised. The guy behind it, Jon Lehr, had actors come in for auditions; but, when they got there, they all had to fill out job applications for a job at a small independently owned supermarket called Greens and Grain. One actress thought this was the cruelest joke her agent could possible pull on her to tell her to give up on acting. However it was that she filled out the application though, it got her the job. The applications became the basis for the characters they played on the show. Over my time in that stuff, I came up with variations on exercises that I felt really could lead to improvised sit-coms or "dram-edies" (because after a certain point, improv is about playing good scenes and trusting the process. It might not be funny but it better be good, and regardless of how wacky a character might be, they have to be human and real), I've tried them out with people in a couple of ways, in workshops and in classes, and with a group that wanted to create a something big, but that group fell apart due to scheduling issues. I found that certain improv long-forms (The Slacker in particular) lend themselves to creating 'playable' worlds where movies or sit coms can be born in. I think certain processes lend themselves to helping to build episodes, but that is still an idea that sits on the back burner for me now. I'd be lying if I pretended I didn't want another crack at putting together as director a group of people to co-create sit-coms or web series using these improv things. I put a lot of time and engergy into it. NYC is too expensive for me to commute into.
  9. I agree 100%. When I used to write songs I felt like I had to get the bad songs out of me, or the bad ideas or the bad ways of saying things out of me, or they'd weasel their way into everything I was trying to do. So I definitely agree with the idea of continuing to write even (or especially) if its bad not just with the idea that could be changed and edited and save but to get it out of the way the way we throw out bad food rotting in the fridge every once in a while or less. Another teacher I had talked about keeping a folder on a table (really, table, not a computer he said) where any and all ideas he had would go into. When he was inspired to write something, he'd write it; and when he was out of inspiration or ideas for it, rather than force it he'd just stick it in the folder and move on. Either inspiration for that project would return and he'd continue it, or he'd review the folders and suddenly pieces would fall into place for something. He also wrote for a high-stakes late night TV show that everyone knows and he didn't use this approach for that. He had to have two different approaches, one for his writing and another dictated by how that specific writing room worked to get a show out 4 nights a week.
  10. Hi! I'm new in town. I do a bit of writing, and am supposed to be doing more. I got into it writing sketch comedy which I would perform in ratty little basement theaters in NYC, and for classes in that kind of thing. That was an outgrowth from acting an improv. I'm very big on using improv for writing and co-creating, and I've taken a few classes on that and have been on like a low-key look-out for people to like direct in that kind of thing. I have two drafts for pilots that are in need of writing and editing. One needs a big overhaul actually in terms of the vocabulary in the world. I also have a screen play that is sort of in a circling pattern for now. Two of the sketches I wrote I turned into one act plays, and my sketching writing in general has sort of turned into that. I have a sketch that I wanted to make into a web series, a parody of the HBO series Young Pope, but that show died so the joke is like over. I saw this club and saw the NaNoWrMo forum entry and figured I'd join up and prepare to do the writing for November thing.
  11. I had a sketch writing teacher who told us it's better to see "writer's block" as the normal state of affairs instead of seeing those moments where the ideas and dialogue are coming faster than we can write them down. If we treat writer's block as the normal state, then we don't get hung up about it. She also gave the same advice everyone else does: just write anyway. I think forcing ourselves to write just one word and stick with it and then finish the sentence is important. Then just deal with the truth of what ever you wrote. Is it stupid? Deal with it, but leave it on the page and move forward with it-- it is like the idea of incorporating the "mistake" into the pattern so that it is not a mistake at all because it makes sense in the overall structure. Another teacher I had spent a lot of time on making us write with various implements and on various medium, and to do it walking around or with the paper leaning on a wall, or all sorts of weird combinations. Her idea was that writing is a physical process, so the variations in how you do it physically will lead to new things you write that you'd otherwise not write. She also had us like stretch and relax all our muscles and clear our minds and she would walk us through a kind of meditation where we left what ever we were thinking about when we came in to the room and like centered ourselves in the space we're in. Being physically and mentally connected to the space you're in and like fully present and open to what ever impulses come to you is a good state to be in. Just write, without judgement. Hi, I'm very new here. I joined the club to type this response, before I even looked for the introduce yourself thing (which I'm assuming is here).
  12. Thanks, yes I started checking them out, but I feel like I will be most useful only after I actually finish the books.
  13. very cool that you were just randomly searching and found this place and found out about the up coming show. The show is part of why I started reading. I saw how people who loved the AOIAF books got into the GoT show (till the last season or two when ... opinions differed) and I figured let me try to read all these large books before they air the show. I better get back to it.
  14. Ich komme aus dne USA. Nein ich spreche kein deutsch, weniger als ein bisschen. Ich versuche aber zu lernen. I come from the US, no I don't speak German, less than a little bit. I am trying to learn though. (I hope the above is right. I would have typed Ich spreche nicht die deutsch, I'm not sure which is right) For where I am in the books (tonight I might finish CoT) I think Egwene has a a tough set of choices to make but up till now she's managed masterfully. The only thing I can fault her for is not letting Bryne go in and take the fight to the tower right away when the surprise would have been overwhelming. But I'm reading. No lives are in my hands. She leaped into the deepest end of the commander in chief role with no lessons or swimmies on her arms. Nynaeve, how is she not bald from all that braid tugging?
  15. Very cool topic! I too am on my first read through and I understand why we say it that way because there are so many characters and things that it really is much blurrier in my mind than it is in the books. I have to reread it to see it more clearly the same way I would look at an impressionist's painting from different angles to take it all in. WoT has changed me in, so far, in small ways. I started thinking about writers in a new way in that I see Jordan as a writer of chapters. Like his complete thoughts are chapters, his paintings are the chapters. Some writers I see as writers of great sentences, like Tanith Lee is someone who either gives you a great sentence or doesn't. Some writers give you ideas and their wrestling with those ideas is either engaging or boring. Some writers have what is essential a great outline of a story, and the writing might actually be lame but the overall story is enough to keep you going, for me that's Asimov. Another, bigger, thing is because there are so many characters and so many sets of traits divide up amongst them all (the Browns, the Reds, the Two Rivers folk, the Mayeners, etc) that you can see in one place all the traits we all have and how they work together or how they inhibit our ability to function. Any book might do that, but the vast scope of these books lend themselves to it, especially when we see events play out across different points of view. I think I'm starting to become more OK with being who I really am in life and I'm kinda old. I've bounced around through many different groups of people and professions and socio-economic classes and have recently walked away from like all of them to reflect on the world (weird, yes; pointless, yes; but the world is in a kind of Flux right now and it has been in such a state in the past too, so worth stepping back and taking a longer view I think). Not that this comes from the books, but in real life I find myself asking in my own head "is this person lying to me and/or to themselves? How much of their BS should I tolerate andwhere do I draw the line?". Better, I've returned to holding myself to that standard. Somehow after my 20s I slipped in that department.
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