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This is a “preview” of my actual website, courtesy of WordPress.com (and their advertisers).
Check out the new & improved Mikibits.com site, or click Subscribe to get it sent to you fresh from the oven (like cupcakes!). ^_^

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2021 in Blog, News

 

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That “Scattered” Feeling

That “Scattered” Feeling

Where I realize that working on too many things at once makes it hard to finish any one of them.

So, there I was, blithely flirting with YouTube addiction, looking up videos about storyboarding for my Batteries project (the one with the piranha), when YouTube’s silly autoplay-some-random-video thing started playing this video without warning, titled “The drawing advice that changed my life,” (by Struthless).

Since I’d been feeling a bit stymied by life of late, I was a little curious about life changing stuffs…

Turns out, it’s a vlog by an Australian artist who felt like he was being super creative, but felt “scattered” and not going anywhere despite being creatively active. He had all these ideas and projects, but not much forward motion.

Meanwhile, the guy he was working for and his wife were making a name for themselves making sculptures of a dog and a rabbit in different social situations. The same dog and rabbit each time, sometimes larger than humans, doing something mundane, like drinking coffee together.

You should get the story from the source (at the link above), but the gist of the video for me was … really quite immense. The moment he said the word “scattered,” I realized he was describing exactly how I’d been describing myself for a while, regarding my own creativity: Super busy on lots of things, but apparently not moving much.

Only a minute and a half through a ten minute video, I realized I was dividing my time between so many projects I loved, I wasn’t getting any of them done.

So, mind already blown by this dude talking on a porch, I’m continuing to watch the video for …

The Advice

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Posted by on February 19, 2021 in Blog, Memoir, Motivation, Writing

 

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So You Think You Can’t …

So You Think You Can’t …

Where we poke fun at one fine fallacy that keeps us from enjoying our full potential, because we don’t know any better.

“I can’t … “

You can put just about anything after those two words… I can’t draw. I can’t swim. I can’t write. I can’t fly. I can’t drive a manual stick shift. I can’t roller skate. I can’t juggle wombats.

I don’t know when we first pick up that phrase, but I imagine for most of us it was pretty early on. And those things we learn early on are hard to shake, too. Like shyness, or comic books, or an aversion to broccoli.

I remember as early as kindergarten, there was already that peer pressure to compare our creative work with the work of others. We look over and notice the next kid’s finger-painting has a nuance ours can barely aspire to. And that little girl can stack blocks in a more collinear fashion than seems natural.

The embarrassment at such a young age, when adults expect so much of us, like remembering the order of words, or this staying vertical on two too-tiny feets thing. It’s simply so much easier to sit down, stick our lip out, and give up on the whole idea to save ourselves further embarrassment.

“I can’t,” we say. I wonder who taught us those words?

Well meaning (or clueless) teachers or parents might tut-tut and simply agree with us, offering thoroughly unhelpful comforts, like “I guess your sister got all the talent for that in the family,” or “you’ll never make a living doing that anyway,” or “I’ll never get that paint off the cat.”

Actually, I think I heard the middle one later on, regarding something I could do… never mind.

Perhaps you gave it a really good try, but the right mentor wasn’t handy at that moment to ease you over the one tiny bump to “I can”. Perhaps you were on your way there, but some jealous person decided to insult your efforts at a sensitive moment. Perhaps you simply lost your patience.

And “I can’t” was ready.

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(Pssst… (o.o ) … ( o.o) … I’ve gone ad-free over here. You can also Subscribe to all the silliness fresh from the oven–like cupcakes!) Shhh… don’t tell anyone.

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2021 in Blog, Fiction, Memoir, Motivation, Screenplay, Silly

 

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Process: The Online Workshop

Process: The Online Workshop

The fourth in a series about finding your writing process, discussing the value of finding other writers to help tow you in from the vacuum of space.

For a writing process, this one is a little different. But it is one that has truly helped me to develop (and re-find my love for) several of my short works and poems, as well as scenes and chapters from my longer work. It also provided a happy relief from that vacuum so many of us writers find ourselves creating in.

What I’m referring to is the online writing workshop. These come in lots of flavors and forms–including the Meetup.com variety, but sadly the pandemic has put a hurting on those for a bit.

Most online writing workshops involve sharing your work–or chunks of it–online for others to read and review, like a regular in-person writing workshop or writer gathering at the local coffee shop.

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Posted by on February 1, 2021 in Blog, Process, Review, Writing

 

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Delight and Happy Crying

Delight and Happy Crying

I thought I’d take a break from the serious writing stuff and share something I wrote in my journal nearly a year ago (2/1/2020) about delight, and crying. The good kind.

Background: OPB, “The Show of Delights”

I’m getting ready to get out of my car at Starbucks, but I can’t seem to stop listening to the radio. It’s OPB, doing a This American Life segment about Delight. It’s oddly delightful, beginning with the story of a poet who wrote a book about finding delight in his life every day for a year and what he learned about that. Turns out, it had a lot to do with curiosity and being open to finding new things that bring delight. It’s also about embracing your inner child, who sees everything as new; not the jaded way we adults look at things. Like when a kid runs in telling all the adults in the room that there’s a rainbow outside–a fairly common occurrence–and everyone runs outside and “shares a gasp” with each other.

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Posted by on January 27, 2021 in Blog, Memoir, Review

 

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Process: Writing in Sequences

Process: Writing in Sequences

The third in a series about finding your writing process, continuing with borrowing wisdom from the big screen to write your novel, using the 8-Sequence Method.

The 8-Sequence Method is nothing new. In fact, it began when cinema began, when movies were only as long as film reels could hold, about 15 minutes of rolled plastic. When they figured out how to quickly change reels in the projection room, the movies we know now were born; and even today when reels are rare, they are designed to give us an interesting turn of the plot every fifteen minutes or so. (If you write screenplays, you might want to check out Screenwriting: The Sequence Approach.)

It just works. Fifteen minutes is just long enough to give us some fun with the current state of affairs, but about the time we’re looking for something new to happen. Boom, the main character falls down and must reassess and set out on a new plan.

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Posted by on January 18, 2021 in Blog, Process, Review, Writing

 

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Process: Writing on Snowflakes

Process: Writing on Snowflakes

The second in a series about finding your writing process, continuing with evolving your story ideas from one powerful sentence to a completed novel, using the Snowflake Method.

Here’s a writing process we used in just about every intermediate and advanced writing class I attended in college (and I must have taken them all), from creating fiction to essays to screenplays, and it really did the trick to get us writing.

We never named it out loud in class, but it is the practice of evolving ideas by expanding them outward, like a snowflake. And it’s lovely. In fact there’s a wonderful Snowflake Metaphor, where the simplest evolution of a triangle (triangles again!) becomes the most complex structure of nature itself . . . in the form of a Fractal: a creature with a finite area, but an infinitely large perimeter. Much the way your own brain makes space for new ideas on its rippling surface, you can use those ideas for your story by expanding the perimeter of one simple story idea.

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Posted by on January 10, 2021 in Blog, Process, Writing

 

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Process: Writing for the Triangle

Process: Writing for the Triangle

The first in a series about finding your writing process, starting with writing toward the basic shape of all successful stories, the Basic Plot Structure.

I thought I’d start simple and work outward to the more complex, since that’s the most sane way to write stories themselves. In fact, it is the basis of one popular process I’ll go into later called the Snowflake Method. But first, let’s look at one underlying process or structure that seems to be common to all successful stories: the plot structure.

Whether you’re a Pantser or an Outliner, eventually a story must be honed into the right shape that is recognizable as a satisfying story. Any writer will already know this shape, resembling a triangle or a mountain, which our hero must climb to find their inner hero. It involves a Setup to get us up to speed on our fictional world, an Inciting Incident to rip our main character out of their comfort zone, a long series of ever-increasing obstructions for them to climb over, a Climax where they figure out what they needed to do from the start, and a Resolution where they find their new life.

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Posted by on January 1, 2021 in Blog, Process, Writing

 

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Let’s Talk About Process

Let’s Talk About Process

As a longtime writer, I’ve found facets and depth in that word, Process; especially when I realized it means something different for each writer.

One big chunk of my own Process involves a constant battle with the ever-present Resistance, which deserves a blog post all its own. But beyond that, I believe even marginally successful writers develop their own habits, tools, and practices that help get them from idea to completion more quickly.

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Posted by on December 25, 2020 in Blog, Process, Writing

 

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The Power of Puppy Face

The Power of Puppy Face

There’s nothing like a puppy face to make the world a better place, especially on days you really need one. For example…

Have you ever had someone unexpectedly completely ruin your day?

The sun is shining, you’re driving somewhere fun, life is good. Oh, here’s a merge up ahead… You turn on your signal to let someone know you’d appreciate a place to squeeze into the highway queue, when–

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Posted by on December 18, 2020 in Blog, Memoir

 

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