Inspiring Quotes From Famous Authors

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Sylvia Plath

Even the best writers get stuck from time to time, and we have all experienced writers block. Most authors agree that the first draft is going to be horrible, but as Sylvia Plath says, “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

So I wrote this blog post with the intention of helping you push through that writer’s block, by getting inspired by these amazing tips from famous authors:

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William Faulkner

“Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read!” -William Faulkner 

William Faulkner reminds us that writing is a skill, not a talent. Good to remember when we’re sure our writing isn’t good enough. Because we can always get better as long as we write.

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Anton Chekhov

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” -Anton Chekhov

Chekhov beautifully demonstrates the concept of “show, don’t tell.” The best thing about this quote is that Chekhov uses the concept to demonstrate itself. He doesn’t just say “show, don’t tell.” He shows us how with vivid imagery.

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Toni Morrison

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” -Toni Morrison

This quote from Morrison is inspiring because it underscores what really matters when it comes to writing: passion for your subject matter. What better reason to write a story, and what better way to get a feel of the market, than to write the story you want to read?

“The first draft of anything is shit.” -Ernest Hemingway

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Ernest Hemingway

Wise words from Nobel and Pulitzer winner, Ernest Hemingway. To accept a crappy first draft is the first step to becoming a writer. Better if you can accept it even as you write it. Because any writing process is a long one. There’s writing. And rewriting. And then rewriting again. And with so many steps, why strain to write something great in the first draft?

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Nathaniel Hawthorne

“Easy reading is damn hard writing.” -Nathaniel Hawthorne

This quote is one to keep in your back pocket whenever writing gets tough or when another writer makes writing look easy. If it’s easy to read, it was hard to write. Enough said.

How To Handle And Conquer Life’s Transitions

Life is full of twists and turns, changes and alterations, and sometimes they are not always that easy to handle. Here I have outlined some of the key tips for coping with change – because we all go through it and sometimes we need a little reassurance.

Anticipate Feeling Down

No matter what kind of change or transition you are experiencing, you are bound to feel a bit down. Whether it is a positive or negative change, we can feel a loss for what we are leaving behind and anxiety about what is ahead. This. Is. Normal.

Acknowledge These New/Old Chapters

As you transition into whatever new stage in your life, it is paramount to acknowledge that you are leaving something behind. You are ending a chapter. What is even more important is to acknowledge the new chapter that is beginning. Spending your time harping on the past has rarely done anyone good. So, appreciate that old chapter, send it off into your past, and embrace the new.

Think Positively; Embrace Opportunity

Transition is hard. It is easy to forget that while something not-so-ideal may be happening now, it is not necessarily forever. Try to focus on the positive as much as you can. Think of this transition as an opportunity for growth and to allow yourself to embrace change in a positive, productive way.

Locate Support

It is very important to reach out for support during this time of great upheaval. Whether it be your old friends, family, or a counselor, leaning on others for moral support is essential to a more seamless transition.

Be As Realistic As Possible

No one experiences change the same. Sometimes you have good days and sometimes you have bad days. This is all part of the new chapter you are beginning. Try to give yourself a break and embrace these ups and downs. Patience is important here. It may take time to adjust. It may be great one minute and terrible the next. But these are natural effects of transition and change. Allow yourself a good chunk of time to adjust – be realistic about it – Rome was not build in a day… or so they say.

Amazon In Talks with AMC and ESPN for Live Streaming Services

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Live stream services like Apple TV, Playstation Vue, and Amazon Prime have been giving traditional cable television a run for its money.

As younger generations begin to lose their interest with traditional cable, more and more households are subscribing to live streaming services, increasing the number of available platforms and providers for the service.

Now, Apple TV, Playstation Hue, and Sling TV will have to compete  with Amazon TV and its potential powerhouse features. According to tech news outlet DigitalTrends, Amazon is currently in talks with both AMC and ESPN for possible collaboration between the entities.

The e-commerce giant has been making some serious strategic moves as of late. Now, it hopes to gain territory in the live streaming entertainment market. Recently, it has added stand-alone subscription streaming services for dominant networks like Showtime and Starz for reduced prices. Now with the potential to add two other powerhouse networks like AMC and ESPN, Amazon has the potential to gain some valuable market share from “cord cutting” demographics.

Live streaming of new episodes are a huge reason why many still choose the conventional cable or satellite route. For many others, access to live sports coverage is an even greater incentive to stick with cable and satellite outlets. However, with the possibility of these negotiations with ESPN coming to fruition, Amazon may very well gain an upper hand over its cable, satellite, and digital competitors.

Amazon already has a great deal of experience dealing with networks like AMC, negotiating for licensing rights of the network’s past seasons. This of course made negotiations a lot easier for the e-commerce giant. Apple on the other hand has had trouble carrying out similar transactions, partly due to its commitments with larger broadcasting networks like FOX, ABC, NBC, and CBS.

AMC particularly has seen record-breaking ratings thanks to its hit shows The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and Better Call Saul. According to Variety,  remains television’s most popular entertainment series for key demographics. In fact, last month’s mid-season premiere racked up a whopping twenty million viewers. AMC reported an additional 1.125 million digital viewers within the first three days of its premiere, which is highly relevant to Amazon’s future aspirations.

DigitalTrends however states that the endeavor’s success depends largely on prices. Sling TV’s most enticing selling point is its $20 per month Best of Live TV package, which includes networks like ESPN, and CNN among many others. Amazon will surely have to provide competitive prices if it hopes to gain market share.

If you liked this post and would like to read more on media and entertainment news and info, check out my Twitter @JenniferReichert. Thanks for reading!

Oscar Controversies Take Center Stage In 2016

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Controversy over this year’s 2016 Oscars continue to mount as more and more African American actors and directors refuse to attend the award ceremony. The recent controversy is a result of the lack of diversity present within the Oscar Nominee pool. African American actors and directors are rejecting invitations and boycotting Hollywood’s most prestigious ceremony. One personality caught in the middle of the cross-fire is Chris Rock, who was given the honor of being this year’s Academy Awards host.

According to CNN, Chris Rock has received significant pressure to drop his role as host, and to instead join the boycott against the Academy’s lack of diversity. He however has been deflecting these calls to action. Although Rock has stayed largely quiet about the controversy, reports suggest he has decided to rewrite his monologues. Entertainment Tonight reports that Chris Rock and his writers have decided to scrap the old script, and carefully develop a new one in lieu of the controversy. Academy Award producer Reginald Hudlin stated:

“Chris is hard at work. He and his writing staff locked themselves in a room [to write a new script]…He’s that brilliant, and I have 1000 percent confidence that he will deliver something that people will be talking about for weeks.”

This may very well become an accurate prediction of what is to come from the acclaimed comedian.

As for the boycotters, actress Jada Pinkett Smith and director Spike Lee are two of the many big names that have been most vocal against the Oscars. Smith criticized the awards ceremony via twitter, stating:

“We are rarely recognized for our artistic accomplishments. Should people of color refrain from participating altogether? People can only treat us in the way in which we allow.”

The primary issue is the overall lack of diversity in the Academy itself. For Spike Lee, the battle over racism in Hollywood is not with the Academy Awards, but with the very top of Hollywood Studios and Cable Networks. Hollywood executives, producers, and the Academy simply lacks diversity, many critics and professionals in the industry assert.

Whether the boycotts will affect future Awards Ceremonies or not, only time will tell. For now, we only know that this controversy is a major buzz in the industry at this time.

If you liked this post and want to read more on media and entertainment news, check out my blog for more info. Thanks for reading !

Oscar Best Picture Nominees

The 2016 Oscars are upon us and it’s time to review what the best picture nominations are (and if you haven’t seen them all, it’s time to get to it!)

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Bridge of Spies

Director: Steven Spielberg | Starring: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan, Alan Alda | Historical drama-thriller film | Based on 1960 U-2 incident during the Cold War and follows the story of a lawyer, James B. Donovan (Hanks) tasked with negotiating the release of an American pilot for a soviet KGB captive.

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Mad Max: Fury Road

Director: George Miller | Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne | Action film | Max Rockatansky (Hardy) and Imperator Furiosa (Theron) escape from the cult leader Immortan Joe (Keays-Byrne) and into the desert wilderness of a future wasteland where gasoline is a top commodity, coming second only to the most coveted resource: water.

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The Revenant

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu | Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, Domhnall Gleeson | Epic Western thriller film | Based on true events, the story follows frontiersman and fur trapper Hugh Glass (DiCaprio), who in 1823 was attacked by a bear and abandoned by his party in the wilderness.

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Director: Tom McCarthy | Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Live Schreiber | Biographical drama film | Follows the oldest operating newspaper investigation unit in the U.S., The Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” team as they follow child sex abuse cases in the Boston Area.

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The Martian

Director: Ridley Scott | Starring: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels | Science fiction comedy film | Centered around an astronaut (Damon) who is wrongly presumed dead and left on Mars. The audience sees his challenges to survive as well as what is being done to rescue him. The film is based on a novel of the same name.

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The Big Short

Director: Adam McKay | Starring: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt | Biographical Comedy-drama film | Based on a book of the same name, the story is about the financial crisis of 2007-2008 caused by the build-up of the housing market and the credit bubble.

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Director: Lenny Abrahamson | Starring: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, Sean Bridgers | Drama-thriller film | A woman (Larson) and her son (Tremblay) are held captive in a room for years until their release, where the 5-year-old boy experiences the outside world for the first time and how the two adjust.

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Director: John Crowley | Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson, Jim Broadbent | Historical period drama film | The film takes place in 1952 and focuses on a young Irish woman who has just immigrated to Brooklyn where she falls in love. Trouble ensues when her past catches up to her and the life she led before doesn’t quite mesh with her new reality.

The Best HBO Shows Ever

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  1. Deadwood: Best character = Al Swearengen. “Pain or damage don’t end the world. Or despair, or fucking beating. The world ends when you’re dead. Until then, you’ve got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man, and give some back.” David Milch’s gothic western drama was about a camp that turned into a full-blown town. It didn’t fit stereotypes. It didn’t fit any mold really. Just like the town itself, Deadwood was beautiful and ugly, sometimes at the same time.
  2. The Wire: Best character = Omar Little. This show is best enjoyed over and over and over again. Each time you watch this crime drama, you will find something else you didn’t notice before. The creator embeds layer on layer of meaningful content over visual perplexities that give this show it’s authentic and honest nature.
  3. Game Of Thrones: Best character = Tyrion Lanister… obviously. The show is almost as complicated and intricate as the novels it is based on. Catch phrases have been created (Winter is coming) and viewing nights have been established (don’t deny you are part of one) and now that the show is surpassing the books, there really is no way of knowing what will happen next!
  4. The Sopranos: Best character = Pauly?… With the cliffhanger of all cliffhangers ending this beloved series, this series is one everyone show take a stab at, at least once in their lifetime. Darkness, deceit, death… all mix together to create this family/crime drama that has already gone down in history.
  5. Oz: Best character = Bob Rebadow. HBO’s first dramatic television series, Oz got started in 1997, a time when television showed nothing too risky or weird, and that is why this is towards the top of the list. It was truly a show beyond its time.

Paid-TV Is Out – Streaming Is In

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Is paid-tv programming on its way out?

With the staggering surge of tv streaming platforms that have emerged over the last 10 years or so, it seems like networks are jumping at opportunities to create more content to be streamed directly to consumers/viewers.

HBO has recently signed Jon Stewart to a 4-year digital production deal where short-form content is the focus. This means shorter, more accessible bits of content available across a wide range of platforms.

More and more streaming platforms (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu) are creating original content exclusively for their online users.

Some may never give up cable. However, as generations get more tech and transportation savvy, you bet that tv providers will be eager to adapt to new trends and new modes of viewing.

You don’t even need cable to access these network-based streaming options. HBO Now is one such platform where you do not need a cable subscription to access the entire HBO stockpile of viewing content.

Cord cutting isn’t the end-all be-all of it. There is still a very lucrative and successful market for cable and premium network subscriptions. However, it is clear where things are heading and network television isn’t waiting around to see if things are or are not going to happen.

HBO is on the bandwagon, are you?