Project 313 – Post No. 081

I happen to come across THIS video (and a few others) and had a few thoughts . . . and yes, they sang that song in Soldier Soldier (HERE). Also, some might recognize a (future/current) Game of Thrones character. Who knew they both had other whole different careers they moved onto?

Anyway, one of the thoughts relates to emotions. I wrote about emotions a while ago, and this isn’t another foray into that topic . . . well, mostly. 

Specifically, it struck me how singers “emote” the lyrics and melody. Emotions are, as I had pointed out, external manifestations of internal feelings. So, if you want to fool an audience into believing you’re sharing a feeling, you emote. Mostly through facial expressions but body movements and poses also help. Side note: a ballet dancer emotes strictly using body movements and poses exaggerated so as to be easily recognized. 

No, I’m not claiming discovery of something new nor even offering a new interpretation of the topic . . . I’m just introducing where my thought took me. Specifically, writing.

Writing — I think — can offer an even more immersive experience in the exploration of feelings and the resulting (often involuntary) emotions. That goes both for the reader and the writer. 

I could talk about the necessity of “matching” emoting to the feeling or you’ll likely won’t get the desired emotional response. If you hear the above song played with a different tempo and style and the singer is beaming smiles and making silly faces, well, you probably won’t arrive at the same emotional response. 

Likewise, describing a tragic event in a work of fiction using lots of humor and puns conflicts and confuses the reader. Meaning, it works best if your presentation matches the subject. The visual presentation does a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to “guiding” the audience toward a particular emotion. For instance, the song Don’t Worry Be Happy offers great visuals to the message even as it talks about bad stuff happening.   

I mention the visual presentation because my process for writing is heavily reliant on me visualizing scenes as part of capturing the feeling I’m trying to convey. I always assumed that’s the same for all writers but in listening to interviews, that’s not a universal thing. 

I also visualize when I read a book. That’s one of the reasons I don’t like long drawn-out detailed descriptions — they interfere with my visualization because my visualizations reflect my experiences in life and not necessarily those of the writer. When I don’t like a book, it’s usually because I can’t visualize what the author describes; meaning, what they say is happening doesn’t ring true or is asking me to go in emotional places I don’t want to visit. (Trigger warnings are currently a big thing — while I can understand the motivation behind them, I think they’re going well past the reasonable . . . but, that’s just me and a different topic.)

That’s the danger with something as complicated as a book . . . the responses can span a broad spectrum and the writer has only marginal control as to how wide a response their work will elicit. 

As an example, when I watch the Don’t Worry Be Happy video and see a smiling Robin Williams, I get a touch of sadness . . . because I know the ending of his story and because the video is then in direct contrast to his circumstances and life. There’s no way the producers, directors, and other people associated with the making of that video could have foreseen the eventual incongruity of the visuals to the song. 

Where am I going with this?

I don’t know . . . well, maybe I do. I was thinking about the number of writers I’ve heard express difficulties in their creative efforts specifically because of the currently contentious times. I think — based on personal experience — it’s because reality today is so oppressive that it interferes with, or trumps, escaping into fantasy. Literally, regardless of the wisdom of it, you don’t dare not pay attention. 

I also thought about the films popular during the Depression Era (HERE and HERE). Movies that were popular were movies that took people’s minds off of things and offered some hope and perspective. To be sure, there were serious movies dealing with the harshness of life, but people wanted — and took in — a healthy dose of screwball comedies and musicals and generally upbeat tales. 

I hear various writers giving advice to other writers that this is precisely the time when they must buckle down and write . . . because people need what writers can offer.

. . . maybe . . . I say maybe because what I hear is more a call for “resistance” writing than writing to entertain. And, in fact, that’s what I see being sold. I don’t think I’m good at “resistance” writing. I would be good at “you done screwed up and we’re now frelled” writing. 

A quick perusal of recent posts — and my musings therein — tells me it’s probably good that I’m not writing. If I were writing, I think I would reflect my current pessimistic view of humanity . . . although, I suppose I could write about a mythical world where greed, cruelty, selfishness, stupidity, ignorance, and general disregard for others is dealt in draconian fashion. 

. . . I think I better not; it wouldn’t be good for my inner calm. Also, the swath my ire and condemnation would target — and thus alienate — a vast portion of humanity. 

And now, the photo:

Project 313 081

Is that metaphorical, or what? 

. . . probably “what” . . . 

I came across some old scans of cartoons I clipped from the newspaper and I was shocked! Shocked, I tell you. 

I mean, that’s funny but I realized that’s not just any kid . . . it’s Young Willie. It made me even more depressed because I only have a few cartoons of Young Willie and I cry for all the goodness I might have missed.

What I need is something to cheer me up . . . so I imagined a world where natural phenomena didn’t “just happen” but had to be cultivated. I then imagined rainbows had to be planted and cared for until they sprouted . . . but, what would their seeds look like? Well, they would be arranged in a . . . Rainbow Seed Ball, of course.  

Rainbow Seed Ball

And . . . that’s it

Some of these posts will likely be longer as the mood hits me, but most will be thus; short, uninteresting, bland, and relentless.

You can read about Project 313 HERE.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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