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Monday, September 26, 2016

The Privilege of Picking Your Problems



My dad has a mantra of sorts when it comes to life: "It's never as bad as you think it's gonna be, and it's never as good as you think it's gonna be." And while you will find exceptions to this rule, it's actually pretty accurate.

A few months ago, I was reading a book that pointed out there isn't a golden threshold where you've "made it" and everything is near-perfect in your creative career. Instead, the reality is, you just exchange one set of problems for another set of problems.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Rendering Temptations



I'm not sure how I got on the topic, but today I was thinking about temptations in fiction. Unfortunately, when I hear people talk about "temptations," I automatically think of shallow or cliche temptations used in fiction. In fact, usually I think of the sex symbol love interest you can often find in blockbusters that have a lot of action but little character development. Sometimes, though, I think of a protagonist who is having an affair.

But good temptations aren't shallow and they are heck-a-tense when done right. Sure, we understand that Frodo and many other people are tempted to keep The Ring for themselves--but that temptation becomes very powerful when employed in a key moment, like when Frodo makes it to Mount Doom, and no longer wants to throw The Ring in. You may have heard the story enough times that that moment of temptation might not have such a significant impact on you, but think back to the first time you witnessed it. After all the struggles and hardship, Frodo finally makes it Mount Doom, and we see him tempted to keep The Ring. We hate it. Maybe we almost even want to hate Frodo, but we can't really, because we understand it.

Temptations aren't just for the sinners, villains, and weaklings. Everyone has them, even people we admire, and they can be used for a powerful effect in fiction.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Salt Lake Comic Con Highlights and Pictures (2016)



As many of you know, I went to Salt Lake Comic Con recently. I absolutely loved it, even more than last year! Last year was my first year doing panels. Ever. This year went better because I knew what to expect and didn't have to do two panels back-to-back (with the second including a powerpoint). Instead, I had one thing each day. (Perfect.)

But I did have a new first this year: I moderated a panel--one on Fantastic Beasts. I think I did all right--either way, I got some good experience doing it. (And got to show some Hufflepuff pride by wearing Newt Scamander's scarf ^_^.) The fun part about that one, is we showed the trailer and everyone cheered after. I love Harry Potter audiences.