On the occasion of the National Gay Pride Month, I want to share some words from my journal from 2017.
I am madly writing down every single word that’s coming out of Solomon’s mouth. This is amazing. How can love be exclusive? It can only be universal and all encompassing.
Andrew Solomon: How the worst moments in our lives make us who we are:
We don’t seek the painful experiences that hew our identities, but we seek our identities in the wake of painful experiences. We cannot bear a pointless torment, but we can endure great pain if we believe that it’s purposeful. Ease makes less of an impression on us than struggle. We could have been ourselves without our delights, but not without the misfortunes that drive our search for meaning. “Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities,” St. Paul wrote in Second Corinthians, “for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
I would have had an easier life if I were straight, but I would not be me. And I now like being myself better than the idea of being someone else, someone who, to be honest, I have neither the option of being nor the ability fully to imagine. But if you banish the dragons, you banish the heroes, and we become attached to the heroic strain in our own lives. I’ve sometimes wondered whether I could have ceased to hate that part of myself without gay pride’s technicolor fiesta, of which this speech is one manifestation.
I used to think I would know myself to be mature when I could simply be gay without emphasis. But the self-loathing of that period left a void, and celebration needs to fill and overflow it, and even if I repay my private debt of melancholy, there’s still an outer world of homophobia that it will take decades to address. Someday, being gay will be a simple fact, free of party hats and blame. But not yet. A friend of mine who thought gay pride was getting very carried away with itself, once suggested that we organize Gay Humility Week.
And neutrality, which seems to lie halfway between despair and celebration, is actually the endgame.
In October, it was my 50th birthday, and my family organized a party for me. And in the middle of it, my son said to my husband that he wanted to make a speech. And John said, “George, you can’t make a speech. You’re four.”
“Only Grandpa and Uncle David and I are going to make speeches tonight.” But George insisted and insisted, and finally, John took him up to the microphone, and George said very loudly, “Ladies and gentlemen! May I have your attention, please?” And everyone turned around, startled. And George said, “I’m glad it’s daddy’s birthday. I’m glad we all get cake. And Daddy, if you were little, I’d be your friend.”
Here’s the speech:
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What Makes A Story Compelling?
If you’re a story teller or aspire to be one, remember this. The main reason why stories become classics are because they put a true mirror to the life of a given time period. Great stories are relevant and universal. They show how and why life changes for most of us.
Compelling stories showcase the vulnerability of humans and the fragility of life. They also have these four qualities. Brevity, Honesty, Humor and Courage. These stories must grab you while reading, haunt you after reading and change you forever.
Story Flow Of A Compelling Story:
• Life is in balance, nothing new or eventful.
• Inciting incident: Life goes out of balance.
• To restore balance, the hero’s subjective expectations crash into an cruel objective reality. This is the fundamental conflict.
• Call on the protagonist to work harder with less resources, make difficult decisions, take action despite overwhelming risks, and ultimately prevail or fade.
Inciting Incident –> Pole 1: Hero Acquires Burning, Life and Death Intention –> Obstacles –> Compelling Page Turning: Overcoming Obstacles Drama To Reveal Success Or Failure –> Pole 2: Success Or Failure Tension
Kinds Of Ironies in Stories:
* DRAMATIC IRONY:
In this type of irony, the audience knows more about the immediate or future circumstances than the characters themselves. Ex: A character is going to meet a person that the audience already knows is dead.
* SITUATIONAL IRONY:
The most used form of irony, the irony of situation happens when there’s a discrepancy between the result the character expects to the actual outcome.
Words Of A Compelling Story:
• Start With The Setting
• Few words as first sentence, but packed with info.
• Parachute it. Start the story from the middle.
• Show, Don’t Tell. Example: Hairs on the back of my neck stood up.
• Paint A Picture
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