Storytelling is a process of discovery, for you and the subject matter. Here are four essential exercises for helping you identify stories that you are uniquely wired to tell:
1. “Art is a corner of nature seen through a temperament,” says Michael Rabiger in his book, “Directing the Documentary.” Artists as story tellers, must pay attention to themselves first, what moves them and motivates them for good or ill. Continue reading
Whether it’s a novel or a tweet, a script or an op ed, all writing deserves our best thinking and words. All the time. Sure, it’s hard work. But the pay off of catching—and keeping— readers is worth it. Here are 4 writing clues to make your writing as compelling as it can be: Continue reading
Chris’s documentary subtitled, Why India celebrates Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg, was featured at the launch of a new museum in Tharangambadi, in the state of Tamil Nadu on Friday, August 14, 2015. The Consul Generals of Germany and Denmark joined Indian leaders at the event to mark the beginning of a collaborative project, which preserves the revered 150 year legacy of the Halle-Danish mission Ziegenbalg began in 1706.
The Francke Foundation from Halle in Germany initiated the event and screening with the intention of returning to India many of the historic records and artifacts pertaining to the history of Tamil life and culture that have been in the foundation’s archives for more than 300 years. Continue reading
Straight from Jo’s bookshelf, here are some time-tested pieces of advice (in no particular order) from great writers on the writing process, and why we should approach it with care:
•”If you don’t think cheaply, then there at least won’t be the quality of cheapness in your writing . . . Any discipline can help your writing: logic, mathematics, theology and of course and particularly drawing. Anything that helps you to see, anything that makes you look. The writer should never be ashamed of staring. There is nothing that doesn’t require his attention.”—Flannery O’Connor, “The Nature and Aim of Fiction” in Mystery and Manners Continue reading
With so many helpful lists out there, LampPost Media wanted to contribute one of its own for anyone interested in telling spectacularly bad stories:
1. KEEP IT RANDOM: Create a super complicated plot with lots of characters and conflicts, settings and dialogues so no one knows what’s going on. Or better yet, have no plot at all. If you can’t answer the question, “What’s your story?” in one simple sentence, you’re on your way to a truly terrible one. Congratulations.
2. LET IT GO: Forget about a plan or a structure or an outline of any sort. Telling a story is so easy, whether in print or on camera, it just happens organically anyway. No need to think it through. Continue reading
On a trip last week to Sydney we took in the Caryl Churchill play “Love and Information” at the Sydney Theatre Company. Seven fine actors played 100 characters in almost 70 vignettes during the 105 minute performance. And the issue the playwright, director and actors explored? How we relate to one another and process life in an age flooding us with information, distracting our attentions, but providing very little meaning. Good art critiques culture, and helps us rise to the precious elements of life despite the gravitational pull into the meaningless. Continue reading
Out of its 96 authors, Upper Room Books has featured Jo Kadlecek, author of Woman Overboard: How Passion Saved My Life, this month on its website. Though Jo’s book was published in the fall of 2009, editors at Fresh Air Books, an imprint of Upper Rooms, wanted to highlight a few of its back list authors and their works. Usually, the spot is reserved for new works but Woman Overboard struck a chord in the editorial team.
The featured piece also includes a guest blog post that Jo wrote on transitioning to Australia (hence the swimming pool!): When Passion Makes a Move. We hope you’ll take a look and spread the word about a memoir we think will speak to your own journey of passionate pursuits.
Like exercise, vocational muscles need attention. So here’s a bit of how we’ve been working out with our brains and fingers, typing and thinking, lately:
When he’s not out kayaking, Chris is finishing up a series of study guides for Hendrickson Publishers on the theology of work that he was commissioned to write. A few that he wrote for the series have already been published. And he’s been switching from writing to video editing, finishing two short promotional films for higher education clients in the U.S. The films will be used to promote events from their web sites. Continue reading
Here’s Jo at the end of a 2 1/2 hour non-stop hike around a national park a few weeks ago. Whew! It was a good athletic challenge, up hills and across rocky paths. It helped that the day was gorgeous and the scenery amazing. But what made the difference for her was all those years of little league sports, then college club soccer and regular biking and hiking trips. They kept her going!
Chris, too, has been shaped by the story of sport—playing cricket and rugby growing up, and now walking thousands of steps each day—his wrist band keeps track—and kayaking up the river. Continue reading
Chris’s documentary film, “Beyond Empires“ is going global! And he’s here to tell you (see how ready he looks here to tell you?!) that the film is now available to purchase for your home or school library or church or conference or special screening party or upcoming birthday—or any place that might need a good story right now.
So please tell a friend or a colleague, or the friend of a colleague. (Or see what others are saying about the film.) Just tell anyone who might be interested in how a 23-year old German Lutheran a long time ago could become a national hero in India 300 years later. Talk about inspiring . . . Find out more HERE!