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10 things-October 2013 edition

I haven’t done one of these in a while. But here are 10 things that are currently keeping me sane (which is a heavy task between writing a novel, taking my MFA classes, teaching college composition, and maintaining the high levels of self-AWESOME that everyone is accustomed to from me).

1.)    Donna Tartt has a new novel out (and I’ve ordered it). Ms. Tartt is basically a flat out badass. The Secret History, her first novel, is often cited as being her best. And it is amazingly brilliant. But, her second novel The Little Friend, is one of my favorite novels of all time. In the years since it was first published, I have read it five or six times. It is exquisite and sublime and if her new novel The Goldfinch comes anywhere near to its wonderfulness than I am going to be one happy clam. Here’s a conversation between her and her editor that was up on Slate.

2.)    Daniel Alarcon has a new novel coming out this month, too! Like, what? It is a bountiful month indeed. Alarcon’s first collection, War by Candlelight, was filled with gorgeous stories including one of my top 100 “A Strong Dead Man.” His novel, Lost City Radio, is on my list of best first novels. So basically all I have for this one is ridiculously high expectations. Here’s some more info from Alarcon’s website.

3.)    The Pinocchio lizard, believed extinct, was recently spotted. Gorgeous, no? Here is an article up on National Geographic!

4.)    I have been getting back to baking. I was thrown off by starting school up, but, now I am into pumpkin scones and deliciousness full speed ahead. This weekend will be chocolate-stout cupcakes!

5.)    I am hard at work on the novel. Stage magicians are in this. STAGE MAGICIANS. That should just make everyone happy.

6.)    I have a prose poem coming out soon from Cease, Cows and one of my favorite ghost stories that I’ve written will be in the winter issue of Supernatural Tales. These are both wonderfully fantastic publications. So, I’m doing the happy dance of writerly acceptances.

7.)    I started a new interviewy project of Extremely Brilliant Creative People and so far have had the chance to interview the fabulous Dan Pankratz and the amazing ean weslynn. Next month, there will be a pretty awesome poet being interviewed too, so stay TUNED.

8.)    I have found out that the town I’m now living in not only has a shop with a pretty kickass puppet collection but that there is also a store that carries treacle. Treacle tarts will be made. I have wanted to make them since I first read Harry Potter and I could never find proper treacle. Until now. Sound the freaking trumpets!

9.)    Squashes are out. And squash season means one thing: ravioli. From scratch.

10.) My people continue to be amazing and as always a moment of thanks for having them in my life. Plus, then I have someone to make food for. It is win-win.

So, not all is bad in the world of Pints and Cupcakes. This seems a good time to remind all you, Dear Readers, that if you want more daily updates and rantings than consider following me on Twitter @PintsNCupcakes


Happy October!


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ean weslynn: the interview

Dear Readers,

Here at Pints and Cupcakes, I like to think that all great artists should gain as wide an audience as possible. In that spirit, I am inaugurating a new post. Every month or so, I plan to feature an interview with an EBCP (Extremely Brilliant Creative Person). I hope you all enjoy this new segment on your favorite blog (I’m your favorite, right? Right? Guys??).

For my first ever EBCP interview, I have chosen the wonderful and insanely talented ean weslynn. I met ean weslynn (he’s a fan of no all-caps in his name and so I’m respecting that throughout) quite a few years ago now. I met him through his writing and was insanely impressed with his storytelling skills. I came to know him on a more personal level and was just insanely impressed all around. He’s hilarious, wildly intelligent, and so imaginative in his works that basically I just want to listen to him talking about his work around the clock (and, usually, with writers that is NOT the case, let me tell you). So, here Dear Readers, is a small glimpse into the mind of AWESOME.

Ean photo yes, he is in a onesie and on-set.

1.)     When did you begin writing? And why?

I’m gonna start this out sounding pretentious but even though I didn’t start writing until later in life, I was always a storyteller.

From a young age I knew that I liked making people laugh but it wasn’t until I was well into my twenties that I realized I could do it while not in the room.

2.)     Describe how you approach an idea for something you’re going to write

Ideas are as common as they are fleeting.  Normally when I have an idea I write it down (thank god for the notes app) and then promptly forget about it.  I try to go through my note app once a week by emailing myself the note, bullet point it and then use it as an action list. I go down the line and implement edits, flesh out story concepts or whatever the note may be.

This works well when I have time to work but I’m not sure what to start with.

3.)     You’re currently working on some screenplays…tell me everything about that process and also what you’re working on

I’m currently working on a few things.  A short. A web series. A feature. A TV pilot. A PSA and another web series, cause why the hell not?

Each process is different.  Most were my ideas; some were not.

For instance, the short is a collaboration.  My producing partner’s idea that we developed together and then I went off and wrote it by myself.

The web series was a one-off idea that people seemed excited about so I spent some time with it.

The feature became a feature when the story I was writing was too short for a TV series concept but too necessary not to write.

The TV pilot was the inevitability of my time as a novelist.

The PSA was the result of a drunken pool-side conversation with an acquaintance.

And the other web series is something that just kept coming back up in my head.

But once I start writing it’s always the same process: write it.  Print it out.  Edit with pen and Sharpie.  Put in the edits.  Print it out.  And if it’s in bad shape I type the whole thing back in to promote scene cohesiveness.

4.)     When I first met you, you were working on a novel/ series called The Freshman 15. Can you tell me about that project and where it stands now?

Writing a novel was a great experience because it made me realize I’m not a novel writer.  As I wrote the prose for Freshman 15 I found myself writing it as if it were a TV show.  After self-pubbing the book on amazon and then reflecting upon the experience it made me realize that the entire time the story itself wanted to be a TV show, I was just not in a place to see it yet.

5.)    I had the delight of reading some extremely funny and smart short scripts you’ve written for a potential web series (Day Drunk Gays). Would you describe this (as you’ll do it way better than I will)?

Four gay guys + infinity mimosas + camera = why hasn’t someone else already done this?

6.)    What got you interested in working more on screenwriting than on novelling?

When you tell someone that you are a writer, they will inevitably tell you about how they wish they could be a writer, and then they will go into great detail about their great idea that you should totally write for them.  A little while later, they will ask you who some of your favorite writers are.  This question always embarrassed me because my favorite writers are TV writers.  Joss Whedon, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, Jane Espenson, David X Cohen just to name a few.

7.)    You have done some producing…What was that like?

It was funny, I fell bass-ackward into producing, it wasn’t my initial goal because honestly I didn’t know what it entailed.  It wasn’t until I was on set for my first production assistant job when a producer turned to me and said ‘you are a producer.’

My nosiness, along with my ADD and my desire to have my fingers in multiple pies means I’m a natural.

I have learned a few things though for those who aren’t sure what a producer does. A producer does whatever they can to help everyone else do what they do.

In short, producers make shit happen.

8.)    Ideal shows you’d love to work on, projects you’d like to be involved with, etc

Sadly, the one show I would have loved to been a part of was canceled shortly after I moved to LA.  For those of you who haven’t seen ‘happy endings’ please do so immediately.  It is a great show full of manic comedy and great characters that are easy to relate to.

9.)    You’re also getting into acting…Where/when/ why did you discover that as a passion?

In truth, I’ve always been a performer.  Singing in church from the age of three until I was smart enough not to be down with church anymore (around 9) but luckily that was the time I could join the school choir (save the arts!)

Musical and show choir dominated my high school career, but when I matriculated at UW-Madison I decided I no longer wanted to be on the stage.  I wanted to be normal.  Something I share in common with the protag in the Freshman Fifteen.  But as is always the case, those born into the spotlight can’t stay behind the curtain for long.

That makes me sound up myself, but in reality, I got back into acting for a selfish reason, just not the one you’d think.

If I act in the things I write, that’s one less person to have to deal with, plain and simple.  I know how it’s supposed to sound, feel and I don’t like having the option of blaming someone else.

10.) Thing you think every writer should know

I’m not good at being brief, so i have a few things that every writer will find out in their own time:

1) Writers write.  

2) Writing is actually rewriting.  No, actually, rewriting is writing, yeah, that’s it.

3) If you don’t enjoy writing it, no one will enjoy reading it.

4) There’s no such thing as writer’s block. 

This one needs a little explanation:  I’ve found that if I can’t write about what I want to write, it’s because there’s something else I need to write.

So I write whatever is going on in my head.  I just get it out. Sometimes it’s personal stuff, other times it’s a new idea I’m more excited about.  Sometimes it’s my brain’s way of telling me that there’s something wrong with the scene: a character missing, a plot point, or something more fundamental like motivations.  But I never know until I write it out.

11.) Thing you’d most like people to get out of your work

Catharsis. Be it laughter or crying.  Preferably a mixture a both.  My favorite moments of narrative are where they are so honest, so primal that you lose control of your body.

12.)  Writer you’d most like to meet.

Joss Whedon.  He has not only inspired me, he’s inspired other writers that inspire me.  His dialogue is so totally his own, I hope that one day people will be able to tell something I wrote simply by hearing the characters talk.

13.) TV show you could imagine living in

This one goes back up to Happy Endings.  But if it has to be a current TV show…True Blood.  I loves me some True Blood.

14.) what is coming up next for the world of Ean Weslynn?

ean weslynn is going to have a nap and zen fire zee missiles.

15.)  the most difficult thing you find about writing in ten words or less.

Making sure what’s in my mind gets on the page.

Bio: ean is a writer, actor, producer and all around human being living in LA.  he’s single (for good reason) unavailable guys to the front of the line.  (oh this isn’t a dating profile is it?)

To contact ean with questions about his work: Eanweslynn@gmail.com

For more on ean weslynn and to become even more of a fan of his insanely brilliant awesomeness:

Twitter: @eanweslynn



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