Writing Advice

Book Review: “Catching the Big Fish” by David Lynch

book review david lynch author writing

If you’re looking for an easy yet eye-opening read, this book is great. It’s a collection of very short essays on Transcendental Meditation, creative inspiration and anecdotes from critically acclaimed filmmaker David Lynch (Twin Peaks, Eraserhead, Blue Velvet).

“Negativity is like darkness. So what is darkness? You look at darkness, and you see that it’s really nothing: It’s the absence of something. You turn on the light, and darkness goes.” – David Lynch

Even if you’re not familiar with his work (or if you are familiar with it but don’t love it), the book offers great insight into one of the most creative people alive today. Few could argue that Lynch wouldn’t be invited to a seat at that table. His contemporaries certainly agree–some of his admirers include Stanley Kubrick (The Shining), The Coen Brothers (Fargo), Alexander Payne (Sideways, Nebraska), Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko) and JJ Abrams (LOST, Star Trek), Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Inception, Memento), and Martin Scorsese (Goodfellas).

Lynch has long been a proponent of Transcendental Meditation, and although I’ve never tried it, he makes a compelling yet not in-your-face argument to give it a try. Of course, practicers of “true” TM will tell you that you must go to a certified TM instructor, but thanks to the internet, you can easily research how to properly meditate at home, reaping all the benefits without the price tag and the hassle of going out.

transcendental meditation book review

You can’t deny the facts that meditation greatly enhances your body’s natural functions, increases circulation and mental clarity, and decreases stress. It seems win-win and it’s no wonder it helps in getting the creative juices flowing. So next time you’re suffering from writer’s block, a creative cramp, stress… whatever it is… give meditation a try. Many of the world’s foremost creatives, thinkers and over-achievers swear by it. You’d be in good company.

Check out the book on Amazon here:

22 Movies About Writers

Next time you set out to write the next Hollywood blockbuster and you don’t know where to begin – don’t forget that dozens of critically acclaimed films have been written about writers! While it may be too obvious a choice for some, don’t forget the incredible diversity and creativity in this collection of films – from The Shining to Adaptation, there is some seriously juicy material to be discovered when you dive inward to your writing experiences for writing inspiration! Fun side note: Meryl Streep does a lot of films about authors.

 

movies about writers

Julie & Julia

Frustrated with a soul-killing job, New Yorker Julie Powell (Amy Adams) embarks on a daring project: she vows to prepare all 524 recipes in Julia Childs’ landmark cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” Intertwined with Julie’s story is the true tale of how Julia Child (Meryl Streep) herself conquered French cuisine with passion, fearlessness, and plenty of butter.

 

author stories

Saving Mr. Banks

Named after the father in author P.L. Travers’ story “Mary Poppins”, Saving Mr. Banks depicts the author’s fortnight-long meetings during 1961 in Los Angeles, as she is persuaded by Disney in his attempts to obtain the screen rights to her novels.

 

writer movies proofreader

Misery

A few days after being rescued and sheltered from a car crash caused by a blizzard, by a nurse who claims to be his number one fan, a well-known author begins suspecting the mental health of his savior.

The Hours

The story of how the novel “Mrs. Dalloway” affects three generations of women, all of whom, in one way or another, have had to deal with suicide in their lives.

Capote

In 1959, Truman Capote learns of the murder of a Kansas family and decides to write a book about the case. While researching for his novel In Cold Blood, Capote forms a relationship with one of the killers, Perry Smith, who is on death row.

Finding Neverland

The story of J.M. Barrie’s friendship with a family who inspired him to create Peter Pan.

Atonement

Fledgling writer Briony Tallis, as a 13-year-old, irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister’s lover of a crime he did not commit. Based on the British romance novel by Ian McEwan.

Shadowlands

C.S. Lewis, a world-renowned Christian theologian, writer and professor, leads a passionless life until he meets a spirited poet from the U.S.

Sophie’s Choice

Sophie is the survivor of Nazi concentration camps, who has found a reason to live in Nathan, a sparkling if unsteady American Jew obsessed with the Holocaust. They befriend Stingo, the movie’s narrator, a young American writer new to New York City. But the happiness of Sophie and Nathan is endangered by her ghosts and his obsessions.

Adaptation

A lovelorn screenwriter becomes desperate as he tries and fails to adapt The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean for the screen.

Shakespeare In Love

A young Shakespeare, out of ideas and short of cash, meets his ideal woman and is inspired to write one of his most famous plays.

The Libertine

The story of John Wilmot, a.k.a. the Earl of Rochester, a 17th century poet who famously drank and debauched his way to an early grave, only to earn posthumous critical acclaim for his life’s work.

Becoming Jane

A biographical portrait of a pre-fame Jane Austen and her romance with a young Irishman.

Miss Potter

The story of Beatrix Potter, the author of the beloved and best-selling children’s book, “The Tale of Peter Rabbit”, and her struggle for love, happiness and success.

Author! Author!

While facing the stress of his play being produced on Broadway, a playwright deals with having to raise his son, his stepdaughters, and his stepsons.

Julia

At the behest of an old and dear friend, playwright Lillian Hellman undertakes a dangerous mission to smuggle funds into Nazi Germany.

Finding Forrester

A young writing prodigy finds a mentor in a reclusive author.

The Shining

Jack Torrance, a writer and recovering alcoholic, takes a job as an off-season caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel. His young son possesses psychic abilities and is able to see things from the past and future, such as the ghosts who inhabit the hotel. Some time after settling in, the family is trapped in the hotel by a snowstorm, and Jack gradually becomes influenced by a supernatural presence and descends into madness.

Quills

Inspired by the life and work of the Marquis de Sade, Quills re-imagines the last years of the Marquis’ incarceration in the insane asylum at Charenton.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

An oddball journalist and his psychopathic lawyer travel to Las Vegas for a series of psychedelic escapades.

8 ½

Guido Anselmi, a famous Italian film director, is suffering from “director’s block”. Stalled on his new science fiction film that includes veiled autobiographical references, he has lost interest amid artistic and marital difficulties. As Guido struggles half-heartedly to work on the film, a series of flashbacks and dreams delve into his memories and fantasies; they are frequently interwoven with reality.

Sideways

Two men reaching middle age with not much to show but disappointment, embark on a week long road trip through California’s wine country, just as one is about to take a trip down the aisle.

6 Keys to Writing a Good Newsletter

A newsletter is often distributed to share information among people with common interests.
Schools, clubs/organizations, social service groups, and others share information that is of
interest and relevance to the target audience. Some newsletters arrive in the mail while others come electronically. No doubt, you likely receive one or more newsletters and at some point, you will have the opportunity to be involved in writing and distributing news for your favorite group. Here are six keys to writing a good newsletter.

1. Know your audience and get their interest.

 

Take a few moments to decide what topics will interest your audience. Make sure that the content you are putting in the newsletter will connect with the readers on a personal level. Use the six questions of who, what, when, where, why, and how to give your newsletter versatility. Each article needs to give relevant information that will keep your audience interested. You may have to do a little bit of research on the topic(s) in the newsletter but that will make it more valuable for your audience. It is important that you cite sources from your research in the newsletter articles.

2. Simple and easy to read format.

Use a font (size and type) that is easy to read. Consider using a slightly larger font if your target audience is older. Make sure the format is easy to follow. When possible keep the complete article on one page so that people do not have to search for the remaining paragraphs on the topic. Black text is always best unless you are trying to highlight a few words. Some people have difficulties in seeing certain colors so black type is always best. Make sure your vocabulary is concise and comprehensible so that everyone of all reading levels can easily understand the content.

3. Use Interesting Headlines and Pictures.

Use action verbs and write dynamic headlines that grabs the attention of your audience. A picture next to a headline might be the best combination because the picture will grab the attention of your reader and the headline will sell them on the idea that this is must read information. Without an interesting headline, readers may skim over articles. It is also important that articles with more than a few paragraphs have sub-headings to help break up the text.

4. Have your information accurate, timely, and engaging.

Include a variety of topics and sections that will make your newsletter more interesting to a larger audience. It is best to split your topics equally among activities and news that has occurred since the last newsletter and new items that will be coming up before your next publication date. A calendar of events is always welcome in a newsletter. Above all else, make sure the information you provide in your newsletter is accurate.

5. A table of contents is helpful.

A table of contents is very helpful. This can be placed on a side bar or in a small section. Having a table of contents turns the newsletter into a resource that people know they can easily grab and find the information relevant to them now.

6. Grammar and Spelling are important.

After writing your articles, proofread for typos and edit all articles for consistency of writing style. If multiple people have contributed, make sure that the entire newsletter has the same tone and writing style. Always have multiple people proofread for spelling and grammar. Once you believe you have edited enough, go over it one more time.

These six keys will help you develop and deliver a quality newsletter that will make your
organization the envy of the community.