Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Nicholas Cage and The Magic of Writing

I'm trying to be upbeat after the Cards 18-4 loss to the Houston Astros last night and another day of hot and humid weather predicted (100+ degrees) for today. To escape reality I'm thinking about going to the movies, which reminds me of the last movie I saw.

A few weeks ago I took my grandson Michael to watch "The Sorcerer's Apprentice." Michael really liked the movie--so did I. Nicholas Cage starred as Balthazar Blake, a master sorcerer who travels through time in search of an apprentice to inherit the powers of Merlin, the famous wizard.

I don't know why, but Nick Cage is one of my favorite actors (we'll forget about "Wicker Man"). Back to "The Sorcerer's Apprentice." As I watched and listened to Balthazar try to convince a guy named Dave he was the person to inherit Merlin's special powers, I noticed simlarities between having magical powers and a being writer.

As soon as I got home I jotted down some bits of dialogue from Balthazar to Dave and from Beth, Dave's love interest. Their advice to Dave about his special gift can also apply to writing:

* Take time to listen (I need to work on this.)
* You have a gift (I hope.)
* Clear your mind (Easier said than done.)
* Don't abuse your gift (I'll try not to.)
* You have a unique way of looking at the world (Thanks!)
* Be subtle (Okay.)
* Believe in yourself (I'm trying.)
* Take time to be with those you love (This is true for everything!)
* Imagination is important (Yep.)
* Be true to your heart (Yep again.)
* A good pair of shoes can work magic (Oh, yeah! I really like this one.)
* True magic is inside you (I'm still looking.)
* You have to be a little crazy (Hmm. I resemble that remark.)
* Never give up (Need to forget that last contest loss and rejection.)

Who would've thought Nicholas Cage would make me think about ways to become a better writer? Well, one of the suggestions is "You have to be a little crazy."

Do any of these simaliarities between magic and writing stand out to you?

Have you seen any good movies lately that made you think about writing?

Or, do you have a favorite movie starring Nick Cage?

28 comments:

  1. Donna--I love Nicholas Cage too. "Moonstruck" is one of my favorites...I love the movie "Once." It's about songwriting, and thinking of it as I am recommending it, I am not sure if my love for it comes from 1) my fondness for the song "Falling Slowly," that is considered the title song 2) my love of an underdog story 3) my attraction to sad movies or 4)perhaps the writing process is not such a core theme, and I need to rewatch it before I trumpet so much praise...I have a few friends who tell me I need to see "Stranger than Fiction." I don't usually run to movies starring Will Farrell, but my friends say this is very different than his normal flicks. Of course, "Sideways" is a movie about writing in a sideway manner. I think many nonwriters did not figure out what all the phone calls and waiting for phone calls was about until late in the movie. (But probably, you already know these movies, but in case you don't, perhaps you might enjoy them.)

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  2. I wrote about this on Facebook but I saw THE LIGHTNING THIEF just over the weekend, and I thought how genius the author was to have such a great story and share mythology with young children. When I see great ideas like that, it inspires me to keep writing!

    Margo
    http://margodill.com/blog/

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  3. Hi Sioux,
    Thanks for your suggestions.
    "Moonstruck" is a good one. I heard "Sideways" was also a good movie. I haven't seen it yet, but I'll check it out.
    There's one just released on DVD called "Ghost Writer" that I want to check out, too. Anybody seen that one?
    Donna

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  4. Hi Margo,
    "The Lightning Thief" is great! I rented a DVD of it, and Michael and I watched that one, too. He was enthralled. I was happy because it only cost $1 to rent from the Red Box.
    Donna

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  5. Love this! You have to be a little crazy is my favourite - oh so true! :)

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  6. I love "Music and Lyrics" - a romantic comedy about, well, music and lyrics and believing in yourself and finding your way back again and...okay, so I also like Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. :)

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  7. I thought of another one, and as I was reading the other comments, I thought of a second one I left out.
    The movie "Into the Wild" is based on a true story of a young man from a well-to-do family; he went into the wilderness to learn how to survive on his own...He kept a journal to chronicle his experiences. In the movie there are sexual situations, some nudity, and some colorful language;there is also a book with the same title.(Hal Holbrook has a minor part; I think the other actors were not known to me prior to watching this movie.)
    Another book is "Freedom Writers," also based on a true story. A teacher, along with her high school students, learns about the power of writing. (Hillary Swank is the star.)

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  8. Over the weekend my husband and I watched "Away We Go" with John Krasinski from "The Office". I thought the movie was cute (in a good way). It had a nice story and moved pretty quickly. The movie was about an expectant couple and their search for the perfect place to plant themselves, raise their family and live their life: home. During this movie, as I do during a lot of movies I watch, I found myself thinking of how fun it would have been to write the book. I take great pleasure in writing, I like to laugh with my characters and I think being the author of this book would have been a lot of fun.

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  9. Donna, you are a better person than I am. I'm in WAY too much of a funk after the Braves' loss to the Mets last night to think of anything.

    Well, okay. I'll think of one thing. I think there's a bit of magic in writing. Like have you ever written something-you know you wrote it because it's in your laptop documents-but it's entirely too good to have come from your brain? How else to explain that feeling of wonder, surprise and pleasure, but magic?

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  10. I love Nicholas Cage, too...most of the time!! My favorite of his is It Could Happen to You. He's the cop and wins the lottery, shares it with Bridget Fonda. SO SWEET! Anyway...I can soooo relate to what Cathy C just said. That actually happened to me recently. I read something online at Tiny Lights, that I had written a month or so before, and it so blew me away that I couldn't believe I wrote it!! It was the weirdest writerly feeling I've ever had!!

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  11. How about, You Got Mail. I am an avid letter writer and I love a handwritten letter but if getting a letter by email is the way a person goes, so be it.

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  12. Donna,
    These comparisons certainly have a ring of truth; my favorites, believe in yourself and be true to your heart.

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  13. Great analogy, Donna! I'm with Cathy C. and Becky--the best writing conjures magic for me. Just the idea that somebody else's little squiggles on a page can bring back a memory or create something completely new? Pure magic.

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  14. Hi Jemi,
    Sad, but I'm afraid it's true.
    Donna

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  15. Hi Madeline,
    Thanks. That's a good suggestion.
    Donna

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  16. Sue,
    Thanks. Those are more good ones.
    Donna

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  17. Hi Jennifer.
    Thanks. That's another good suggestion and a great way to look at movies.
    Donna

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  18. Hey Cathy,
    Well tonight was better for the Braves and the Cards.
    You are right. It's an amazing experience to write and wonder "Where did that come from?" When it happens to me, I count it as a blessing.
    Donna

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  19. Hi Becky,
    That's a great Nick Cage movie. I forgot the name of it, so I'm glad you reminded me.
    And magical writing is an amazing experience.
    Donna

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  20. Hi Barbara,
    Another good one. And got love you for writing letters.
    My grandson got one today from his 6th grade teacher welcoming him to junior high. Michael was so excited to get his very own letter.
    What a treat.
    Donna

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  21. Hi Linda,
    Yet. We writers have to believe in ourselves, and definitely gotta have heart.
    Okay. Now I'm trying to remember the lyrics to the song, You Gotta Have Heart, miles and miles of heart. When the odds are saying you're not gonna win, that's when the grin should start . . .
    Donna

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  22. Hi Tammy,
    That is so true. Writing is an amazing, magical, and mystical experience.
    Aren't we blessed to be writers?
    Donna

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  23. Yes. Best to forget about The Wicker Man! My favourite Nicolas Cage film was Con Air. "Put the bunny back in the box", was my favourite line.

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  24. Those definitely are great tips & things we all need to be reminded of--especially the shoe one! ;)

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  25. Hi Ellie,
    I forgot about "Con Air" and the bunny line. How funny!
    Donna

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  26. Hi Krysten,
    I was wondering when someone would mention the shoes.
    Donna

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  27. Another movie is Mrs. Paltrey at the Claremont. The local ibrary may have a copy. It's about a young writer that befriends an elderly lady and their friendship.

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  28. Hi Barbara,
    I've never heard of that movie. Sounds interesting.
    Donna

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