3.13.2012

Dennis Lehane: Patrick and Angie.

I love Dennis Lehane books. I think his writing is smart and hip and his plots are well constructed and engaging.
I stumbled upon this video and thought it was interesting how he says two of his most famous characters (Patrick and Angie) are the two sides of him (Logical and Emotional.)


Usually every character I create have a little bit of myself. Yes, even the bad ones, but it didn't quite click until I've heard what Dennis said.

I suppose pulling out specific traits from the writer's own personality (logical, emotional, etc.) to be the character's foundation help to systematically construct characters that are intrinsically intertwined and potentially opposites. What a recipe for conflict!



Thinking about identity and symbols.

In 2010, I had to have a surgery to remove a growth the size of a pecan from under my eyelid. For years I had it in there and just thought it was normal; sort of everyone having one side of their body slightly different from the other. It was a wake-up call to start paying attention to myself and to the little idiosyncrasies of my body.

I stare at myself in the mirror: hair is only half as thick as it was fifteen years ago, the elasticity of my skin giving away like a rubber band that had been stretched out for too long. I ran my fingers over the inch-size stretch mark that materialized in my stomach two days before my son was born as if letting me know he was ready.

I feel grateful for being alive, I feel grateful for being healthy, and I feel an immense sense of peace because I know I haven’t lost my youth, I’ve used it.

The little marks that shape our bodies are what makes us who we are, and the symbols that we incorporate in our lives are part of our identity.

So, next time you look in the mirror, be sure you'll never be more beautiful than when you look at yourself through your imperfections—your story.

3.08.2012

Kony 2012 - Racist?

I've actually read in a CNN article yesterday (I've included the link but the post was removed for some reason) by Jeb Boon that some scholars have claimed that the Invisible Children's movie "Kony 2012" is racist and it implies that rotten Africa needs white/U.S rescuing, blah, blah, blah.

Seriously? Why everything must be corrupted into stinky politics, and schemes, and race, and shit?

Why can't we just be human beings trying to help other human beings?

Obviously there is racism out there. People are naturally judgmental of people who differ from themselves. We all judge based on appearances. Oh, look at that girl's outfit. So, trashy! Got a stripper poll? Look at that guy's mullet. Really? Eighties are over, pal.

I recently felt it myself: On my birthday, I went to a tattoo studio with my husband and my son. When I walked in there all the eyes fell on me and I've never felt more unworthy. It was like they were thinking: You? Seriously? Who do you think you are? Go back to your average, boring life, you can't handle a tattoo.

I didn't get the tattoo by the way, but only because all the artists were booked that day.

But this video is so important and goes so far beyond race. Sure, it puts the U.S support as essential to ending Kony's reign of terror, but so what? The U.S has the technology and the resources.

If I need help publishing my book who I am going to ask: my neighbor who is a hair stylist or Random House? The thing is Random House will hang up on my face, but if there were millions of people calling on my behalf then things might turn out differently.

I've known about Invisible Children for a while, I've used one of their videos as a theme for a speech class in 2008. I proudly use my "rescue riders" t-shirt all the time.

This video is inspiration for a Western youth that so very often alienates the problems of the world and it proves social media has transformed the way we access (and interact) with information.

I'm sure the problems of Africa as the problems of other countries (e.g. my beloved Brazil) are much more complicated than what this video entails. I fear that as soon as Kony is captured a successor (may even be their own military) will take his place doing the equally revolting atrocities. But should we stop trying to do the right thing because of that? No. I don't think so.


KONY 2012 from INVISIBLE CHILDREN on Vimeo.

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