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Category Archives: Overview

New Year, New Rules

Busy Schedule

If you’ve been waiting for new posts on this blog, you’ve been waiting a long time. I’m truly sorry about that. I tend to overextend myself and since I’m also a perfectionist, things like putting together blog posts get shunted to the side.

Since I’ve realized that with my current schedule I can’t possibly Read the rest of this entry

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Place Matters

Would The Hound of the Baskervilles be the same chilling tale without the moors? Would True Blood still be True Blood if it were set in San Francisco instead of Bon Temps, Louisiana?  Would we be so captivated by Jay and Daisy if The Great Gatsby didn’t have the post-WWI Long Island 1920s as a backdrop? Read the rest of this entry

Prepare for President’s Week!

JFK swearing the oath of office

“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Like kings and queens, Presidents have long fascinated writers and audiences alike. The Office holds power, but restrained power, meaning that the President is doomed to be perpetually frustrated by the gap between what he wants to accomplish and what he can accomplish. The Office brings with it celebrity but also criticism that is rarely heaped upon even the most downtrodden Hollywood star, putting to the test an individual’s self-confidence and ability to perform knowing that half of his audience is guaranteed to be angry with his choices. A President’s private life is exposed to the public, putting a strain on his relationships with his family. And…oh, yeah, there’s that thing where he’s got a metric boatload of responsibility for the fate of a world superpower.

With all the conflict situationally embedded within the Office, it’s no wonder that the President regularly appears as a character in stories. In some cases, an actor will personify a real President in cameo, lending a sense of reality to a fictional story. Other times, an actor will portray a real President in order to make a comedic point, as in the countless SNL skits mocking our esteemed leaders. Most interesting, however, is when a story features afictional President as a main character.

Making a fictional President allows us to test situations a real President might find himself in (admittedly, some of these are a little unlikely to occur) and see what he (or she…we can hope, right?) is made of. Presidents are, after all, just people, and people have limitations. Pushing a character to those limitations and allowing him to rise or fall is the meat of a good story. Pushing the stakes as high as possible — to, say, the fate of a nation — is the gravy.

Join me this week as I take a look at some fictional Presidents and what they say we, as a country, might want in our actual leaders. Who are some of your favorite fictional Presidents, and why?

Welcome to Wedding Week!

Two events coincided with the launching of Creatively Unhinged that made it simple to choose an opening theme. First, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, a holiday traditionally associated with love and romance (and heartbreak and loneliness, as well). Second, just last week, the 9th Circuit decided to make history by declaring California’s Proposition 8 (amending the California Constitution to prohibit gay marriage) unconstitutional, and I realized that instead of just love and romance, there was a perfect theme:

Weddings!

If you’ve ever had a wedding, or planned a wedding, or been in a wedding, you’ll know of the stress caused by these blessed events. There are landmines everywhere. Will Josephine be angry if she’s not asked to be a bridesmaid? Will the dog eat the ring? Will the reception hall be destroyed the day before the event? Will Aunt Georgia kill Uncle Wally if we sit them at the same table? Will I still fit into the dress on the big day? Is the horny groomsman going to try to sleep with all of the bridesmaids, or just the vulnerable ones? Will someone get cold feet? Read the rest of this entry