“Filled Flat Storage Space”, a story to write

I had a dream, it could be a beginning.

I’m a woman in a yellow room of an hospital or asylum. I’m locked with two other women with no importance.

A visitor comes, a woman too, who brings me a couple devices : strange spectacles with a blocked (but removable) eye, a blazing metallic spiral. I’m very interested in those.

These are things she brought me to “make me think”. As if I was desperately hungry of “things to think about”.

She was also talking to me in a mysterious and smiling way, giving me ideas to munch, as gifts.

Then I had the sight of a row of notebooks, on a shelf.

In a way, thanks to this friend from the outside world, I get ideas, I munch’em, and transform them into words.

 

What do we do with this? A strategy to escape the asylum? Or like in Silence of the Lambs, does the friend use me to investigate on complex things? What happens when one day she doesn’t come anymore? What are these devices? Who were these persons before the locking up?

Thanks for reading! Have fun!

 

 

 

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Tropes & Clichés and other blocks of storytelling

I write this because I believe that English uses the word “trope” in a different way than in French. It’s a rare word here, and I had to check in dictionaries to understand it.

I hear that in the world of telling stories, a trope is like a “little structure”, linked to other words : conventions, stereotypes, clichés, but also “twists and turns”.

  1. Big tropes, archetypes with capitals like : The Chosen One. The Artifact of Power. The Damsel in Distress. The Knight in Shining Armor.
  2. Typical narrative structures like : enemies to lovers, tough guy secretly sensitive, forbidden love,
  3. Situations or plot elements : “there’s only one bed”

 

It leads to many questions & paths :

  • Tropes by categories (ex : Fantasy Tropes : quest, dark lord, hero, good vs evil, blah blah)
  • Clichés are boring, aren’t tropes boring?
  • New tropes?
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clich%C3%A9 Clichés are irritating, right?
  • Platitudes. Stereotypes.
  • Tropes are good because familiarity.
  • When tropes are predictable to the point of boredom.
  • Are predictable tropes clichés?
  • Tropes as metaphors.

 

Well, it’s too big. Creativity and storytelling, finding the frontier between good tropes and boring ones, etc. I need a book. You have an idea?

Thanks for reading!

 

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Instagram : _bodylanguage_

 

 

Montaigne, skepticism & casual forms (does it work for bloggers?)

Skepticism questions the possibility of certainty in knowledge.

Montaigne was a French philosopher (1533-1592), his “Essays” (the word “Essai” in French means “attempts” or “tests”).

I know you won’t read Montaigne (988 pages in translated English, paperback, $27) – I once read an interview of Orson Welles who said it was the book of his life, and he had one copy next to his bed all along.

This guy was a mess, and he wrote his essays for years, in French (in this time, you had to use Latin if you were a serious scholar), like… thinking all along.

 

With the goal of describing man with complete frankness and using himself as his most frequent example, Michel de Montaigne first published his “Essays” in 1580. This collection of 107 chapters encompasses a wide variety of subjects – he saw the most basic elements of man as variety and unpredictability. “What do I know?” This embodies the spirit of the entire volume, for it reflects both the inquisitory search for intellectual knowledge as well as the more personal anecdotal quality of a work that has had an enduring impact on both French and English literature for hundreds of years.

 

He flits around, from a thought to another. No rigor, no plan. Really!

  • “I love the poetic gait, by leaps and gambols”
  • “I lose myself, more by permit than by inattention”
  • “My ideas follow each other, but sometimes from far away”
  • “Wisdom has its excesses, and has no less need of moderation than folly”

 

So : breathe! Life is short! Your blog is not perfect, it’s bricolage and brain odd jobs. Who cares? Share! If Montaigne can do it, you can do it!

Is this casualness French? Nope : wisdom & folly, there are everywhere, little soul, right?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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Mrs Fahndrich & The Cliff House

I don’t even remember how I found this little picture of the Cliff House. First I saw this woman in a dress, meditating about the sea on the sand, and liked this big strange house in the background… I was sure it was a painting.

The same morning, watching portraits made by Hugo Erfurth, I met this young woman, a romantic dreamy face, like an old Virginia Woolf cousin.

Two haunting pictures the same day. Two ladies, watching in the same direction… Maybe thinking to each other?

 

 

Hugo Erfurth (1874-1948) was a German photographer known for his portraits of celebrities of early twentieth century. I never found who Mrs Fahndrich was, but this picture was taken around 1930 (I think).

The Cliff House was a hotel near San Francisco, who survived many incidents, including explosions (!) and the big Earthquake, but burned – in 1907 (I think).

 

Well, nothing else, sorry. I just wanted to share what I’d call two “romantic seeds”. You get two old photographs and your imagination begins to run. Mine did anyway. What’s the story behind? What caused the fire? Who are these women?

I want to read a book on each. I want to write a book with Mrs Fahndrich visiting the hotel. Maybe causing the fire. Because of a terrible love affair. With another woman. Or her mother. Also, I find the way the hotel was build was like…. calling for disaster. Too cliffy, right?

 

Have a nice day!

http://scribol.com/anthropology-and-history/history/the-night-san-franciscos-cliff-house-burnt-to-a-cinder/

https://mashable.com/2015/05/07/cliff-house/

 

 

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The Juxtaposition Principle

ONE

I’m a bookseller, and this morning I talked with a lady who needed books and inspiration to write something for a funeral.

It’s easy to find this, but always in “squares”. Wells.

I mean, you’ll find things from Catholics, from Philosophy, in Spirituality books, in Literature, Buddhism, etc.

But I know a book from a woman who helps the reader to cope with ordeal, in one single book, from texts and quotes from : journalists, priests, masters, buddhists, writers from other centuries, from today, etc…

It’s a great book because “help” seems to come from everywhere, and also because you feel these things are universal, and because it’s interesting to find links between different states of mind. It’s not a well, it’s an ocean…

TWO

I call the Juxtaposition Principle a way to (maybe casually, at least with a certain freedom) to present an heterogeneity.

Serve yourself.

THREE

In the bookstore I do this constantly :

If, for example, there’s an offer for pocket books, I will present 25 different books in a single front display, with : self help, sociology, philosophy, art, anthropology, music and history. Juxtaposition. I do it on purpose, and so there.

Usually, managers don’t understand that.

They want “massive bestsellers front walls”, with one single book presented by the hundreds. This says to the customers : “I’m huge, obey, don’t think : BUY!!”.

My way says :

  1. Let yourself be surprised
  2. There are many levels on this knowledge ladder : choose your stair
  3. It can be fun to find the links between the books
  4. You can be curious if you want
  5. I’m a bookseller and I present these to you, you can follow or not
  6. Maybe theres’s a message here : do you find it?
  7. What is the common trait here?
  8. These are NOT new books, but classics, or different ones : explore
  9. Disobey advertising, find your way into this tree!
  10. Be smart
  11. Etc

FOUR

I wrote an article about this Juxtaposition Principle about my Instagram. Because, evidently you see me coming : Constantly Random is an Instagram flaw

And I absolutely and willingly and by choice do this for my blog.

It’s not about fashion, or traveling, or IA. It’s about MANY things. Juxtaposition.

And of course, I know you know that there’s a little music hidden in this Juxtaposition here.

It doesn’t work that well, but I reached “real” 251 followers today, which gives me 430 followers in total. Not thousands, but I’m happy though. You my followers are curious explorers. And I love you.

Have a great day!!

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Instagram : tashaenpapier

Artists Unawareness & Prolificity

The single idea of “How we all create” and invent in art is fascinating. It’s a territory, where we can discuss about genius, work, inspiration, ideas, seeds, growing, building, speed, movements, failure, discoveries and bliss.

I could invent a whole blog about this – but it seems I like my “constantly random” thing. My French Toolbox is not a blog about this or that, but a state of mind…

I just read a Simenon interview (he’s a Belgian writer) who talks about “states” he crosses when he’s about to write a novel. He says that the story and the characters grows and simmers in himself for days, weeks, until he can’t restrain anymore and has to write.

Then he has to stay in that state for days, without interruption. He says that he has to be the more empty possible. Not thinking. As if he had to “receive” the story, without using his intelligence.

Simenon is considered as a master of crime novels. He wrote almost 200 books, and was said to be able to write 60-80 pages a day.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Simenon

Well, prolific artists (like Picasso or Victor Hugo) are maybe linked to this fast-non-thinking process, a trance. I have also often seen the other side : where “inspiration” is like a necessary wind which have to be used, criticized, canalized and judged during the whole process of creation. The critic inside the writing poet, says Baudelaire…

Also, we all confusedly know something else : there can be no start, in creativity, without a little burst, a little rush of EMOTION.

Thanks for reading!

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Herb List / Todd Hido

Miracle Mornings (for bloggers and duck hunters)

Well… this book (who tells you that it’s good to wake up early) is also a success in France. I just checked on ze Internet to discover they printed dozens of more, like Miracle Morning for writers, families, executives, whatever. Money is good, take it where it is!

We could offer a bigger variety, like MM to pee, MM mindfulness, MM for single fathers, MM sex and MM for photographers who like poetry, or MM for those who work on a thesis about Middle Age in Finland. Well, they did MM for Real Estate agents!

Well, it says : Wake up early. That’s all! The “not-so-obvious” blurb is wrong. It is. You just have to pull the idea-string to do it. Wake up early means… you have to jump into bed early (or you’ll be like a craving coffee sleepy slipperhead). It also means this :

You’ll have time in the quiet morning for yourself.

After all, in evenings, we all are drunk and exhausted by our day, right? Kids, noise, schedules, commuting, TV bullshittery, errands erranding, and so on : this is all melt and stuck in our head like a boule of grease, and at 8 PM you just look like an incoherent irritated dead hive.

Pill or no pill : Go to bed and sleep at 9 PM. At 5 in the morning you’ll be like a jumping happy zebra. Coffee, shower, then do what you like : blog, read, breathe, make love slowly, then go biking, or watch the sun waking up in colors, naked feet in the grass (if it’s summer – or all year long if you live in Califloridania).

Sshhhh…

Almost all my blogs articles are written hours before I go to work. I can’t do any good things in evenings – or maybe articles which are in need to be very casually written (yes, some of them need that).

Well, if you HAVE to wake up at 5 to commute & work immediately, that’s not fun anymore. I’m sorry! I lived like that for a year. I was back home at 3:30 PM and crashed in sleep anywhere in a minute, like a bovine patty-chip-dung : schplaff.

Not good for any creativity, I agree. The only thing I could do with this brain is to collect forks or avant-garde screwdrivers. Swell!

If you wake up at 4 AM because you are a hunter, I don’t like you. Killing ducks and deers is not cool. It hurts them. Not miracle morning at all! Gunshots during dawn, come on! It’s bad morning for animals, you disturb birds chirping, and it’s bad for your kharma. I wish you walk into a huge French cow chip, so there!

Have a nice day, everyone!

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