My Second Creative Track Will Be Photography


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

It has occurred to me that it sure would be nice to know how to use a prosumer Nikon camera. So, as such, that’s my goal. I’m going to save up for a while I then buy a really nice Nikon camera — probably something like a Nikon 750 — and then throw myself into learning how to use it properly.

I do this for a number of reasons.

One, I honestly don’t have anything to take pictures of at the moment, so there’s no rush to buy just A Camera. So, I can take my time and save up the money necessary to buy A Great Camera.

Also, photography is something I’m natively good at. The main issue is buying and learning the equipment. With writing, I love doing it, yes, (Sorry Fran Lebowitz) but I’m more of a storyteller than writer. I love how a great photo is self-evidently great.

And, in a sense, it’s a lot easier to have photography as a second creative track because it’s a different skill and it’s easier to use a different part of my mind than it is it to, say, using writing in two different ways. (Though, I still have an acute interest in in screenwriting.)

But all of this is long term. Something could easily happen to cause it to all fall a part. If you don’t like me doing this with my life, you can fuck off — you have no vision and why are you reading my blog in the first place?

A Half-Assed Review Of The Movie ‘Nobody’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Let me begin by saying I almost always walk out of movies these days, since I started working on a novel. It really takes something special for me to stay. So, when I say I walked out of “Nobody” the moment I figured what the plot was, that should not be taken to mean I didn’t like it or that you shouldn’t go see it yourself.

I did like it. And you should go see it yourself.

And, really, up until the moment I figured out what the plot was going to be, which, in this case, what just past the inciting incident, I thought I was going to finish the movie. But the moment I realized 1) the inciting incident was extremely contrived and 2) the movie was so violent as to be pornographic and bounced.

But the general conceit of the movie was great as was the implementation. I just couldn’t stand the violence, which was gratuitous and boring. Yet, I could see someone a little bit younger than me who didn’t mind such over-the-top violence enjoying the movie a great deal.

Though, I will note, there must have been some way to not have the inciting incident be sooooo contrived. If the protagonist had such an extensive secret life, why not come up with something a bit more organic that didn’t involve random people being at just the right place and time to cause the story to move forward.

Yet, I am extremely picky about storytelling because I’m working on a novel. So, lulz, two thumbs up. Go see “Nobody.”

Male Author Angst


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’m beginning to wonder if, by definition, a man writing a story involving women is “problematic.” I say this as someone you is center-Left and extremely empathetic to many Leftist causes.

It’s just when I see that there are actual people who like crap like “Booksmart” it makes me wonder if I just have to suck it up and do whatever the fuck I want with my novel, damn the consequences. I hated Booksmart with a white hot rage for a number of reasons. One was out Olivia Wilde went way, way, way out of her way to make sure her heroine was a plain Jane. I felt this selection was an insult to the audience.

We go see movies — or novel — for escape. We want to see hot people do hot things that make us laugh, or cry, or have personal catharsis. When someone who is hot like Olivia Wilde specifically picks a plain person in an effort to prove a point about Hollywood and beauty it really fucking grates on my nerves

Hollywood is an industry. “Doubledees, doubledees” as the old SNL skit goes. Or, to put another way, sex sells. I really like Olivia Wilde. She’s smart, attractive and talented woman. But give me a break, lady, you could not possibly have been so na├»ve as to think the moment you started your career in Hollywood it wouldn’t be more about T&A at some points than your acting ability.

The reason for the above rant is the novel I’m working on. I just want to entertain people. I just want to give them a thought-provoking, allegorical thriller that wallows in Trump Era tropes. But I often find myself mulling some pretty dumb things. Like, why can’t I have a hot heroine? Why can’t she be sex positive? How do I have a really interesting woman without haters at VOX simply telling me I’ve created a thinking man’s “sexy slutty assassin?”

Ugh. Fuck Vox. They’re why we can’t have nice things.

It’s very frustrating. I just can’t win because I’m a member of the patriarchy. Or, put another way, I’m self-aware enough and look at enough Twitter to know that even if I do what I want to do — create strong, interesting female characters — that because I’m a man who hasn’t — uh — lived my life according to the media narrative that I’m inevitably going to be “canceled” for some bullshit reason.

And, yet, all that’s just me venting. I’m really sensitive at times, especially when it comes to my art. I know I’ve come up with a great, great pop-lit novel. If that means I have to endure the slings and arrows of outrageous woke fortune, so be it.

Subscribe to my Soundcloud. Thanks for attending my TEDx Talk.

Why Phoebe Waller-Bridge Is Such A Creative Inspiration

Yasss queen.
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

All my heroes are dead. Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, John Lennon, Steve Jobs and Prince. All. Dead.

But one person who is alive who I get a lot of creative courage from is Phoebe Waller-Bridge. That woman has creative ovaries of steel and so as this novel’s development begins to quicken in pace (at least for the time being) I ask myself, “What would Phoebe Waller-Bridge do? Would she go there? Yeah, of course she’d go there.”

So, whenever I come up with an issue I, myself, have about the scenario I’ve come up with, I now address it head on. I wallow in it. I say to the audience, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. But we’re going to talk about it so much that any worries you had about that possibility are eliminated.”

It’s wild how two things have really, really helped speed things up: establishment of a canon and pretty much totally flipping the script on some huge influences on this novel. A lot of problems have been fixed rather abruptly, so — for the time being –development is rushing full steam towards the end of the first act. I’m just letting my mind go down the rabbit hole of the most extreme possibilities to make a point about how fucked up the Trump Era is.

This helps the plot because it adds both drama and obstacles to the Hero and Heroine’s goals heading into towards the second act. A lot of avenues I had not really thought about have opened up and they’re organic to the concept and universe, so it’s really just a matter of free styling as I think up what would happen as part of the most obvious sequence of events.

The plot, characters and universe are getting far, far better because of this so, at a minimum, I feel cautiously optimistic that I won’t — at the very least– embarrassment myself.

Let’s rock!

V-Log: #Impeachment, #Writing A #Novel & Thoughts On Susan Orlean

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

This one is a fun one. Enjoy.

V-Log: The State of My Novel & A Rant About The Perils Of Modern Storytelling

Some thoughts.