Thursday, August 9, 2012

August Theme: A Walk to the Couch (Platte F Clark)

I like to think of myself as an avid indoorist, thanks to the US Army. Sure, hiking was enjoyable once, and then I was introduced to the “forced march.” Sleeping under the stars was at one time thrilling, until the government had me do it in sub-zero temperatures using “cold weather gear” which turned out to be a promise rather than a descriptor. And taking deep breaths of fresh mountain air lost much of its appeal as gleeful sergeants chucked CS (orto-chlorobenzylidene-malononitrile) gas canisters at us and watched the hilarious results.

Maybe I’ll return to nature and commune at some point, but in the meantime when I need to walk away from writing for a bit I love watching movies with my kids. And not only movies, I love many of the current cartoon series on Disney, Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon. There’s an art form there, crafted in 11 and 22 minute chunks, that I find inspirational. Okay, maybe not front-leaning-yoga-on-the-beach-at-sunrise-as-a-sea-turtle-slips-into-the-ocean inspirational, but still kind of neat.

I enjoy storytelling on all levels, and there’s an artful abstraction at work when you only have 11 minutes and you want the audience to empathize, worry, cheer-on, and laugh over such a short arc. I think it’s fascinating to see what resonates with my kids (I have seven, including four teenagers, so I end up doing a lot of ad hoc focus groups). So for me, I’ll recharge the writing batteries with an animation-fueled laugh-fest with my kids (we also love classic Three Stooges!) Of course that may also explain why I authored a book called Bad Unicorn, and why there’s a stuffed squirrel impaled on the cover.

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you, Platte! I honestly think watching movies / TV dramas is "work"--every bit as important as keeping up with the latest books!