Favorite foods as inspiration

Anyone have certain cravings for food when you get inspired to write? Or do specific foods inspire your writing?

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Lots of people turn to music, art, television and the outside world for inspiration, but what about food? It’s a huge part of our everyday lives and I believe those who really appreciate a good meal lead happier lives overall since eating is such a necessary and daily thing.

I find a certain peace and joy from eating. The truth is I absolutely love to eat. It’s almost a hobby for me. I’ve always loved to eat and was for years pleased with the simplest foods; bean and cheese burritos, homemade macaroni and cheese, raspberries and blueberries…easy treats. My husband is an excellent cook but rarely has time to do so these days so I’ve taken more to cooking. In doing so I’ve discovered a whole new world of flavor and grown my tastebuds. I now eat far more foods than I would have in past years. My experiences with food often mirror my inner life and have a very real emotional connection. My eating patterns change (both frequency and what I eat) based on my mood and sense of life. What I mean by sense of life is that daily inspiration we all seek to find happiness and meaning.

I’ve been finding some amazing recipes on Pinterest. You should try some of the ones I’ve pinned. Look at my food board here:

http://www.pinterest.com/jennifertressen/food-favorites/

Does food inspire you? What foods do you yearn for?

The Glamorous Life of a Writer

I love being a writer. It’s entirely glamorous you know.

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In case you can’t tell from the photo I am being entirely sarcastic. Writing is a completely unglamorous profession, at least my career is. I spend more days in my yoga sweat pants covered in a combination of kids’ food and dirt from trying to serve lunch, sweep and type a few lines all at the same time.

Most days I accomplish more serving of food than sweeping or typing. So, I decided to start this new series of posts about the true life of a writer…behind the scenes.

This is what writing looks like!

Follow me on Twitter to see more of these “The Glamorous Life of a Writer” photos.

https://twitter.com/JenniferTressen

 

Quentin Tarantino and the dark side

“Everything I learned as an actor, I have basically applied to writing.” – Quentin Tarantino

I love this quote for I feel exactly the same way. For those of your who don’t know, I grew up in the entertainment industry as a child actor. Well teen actor really, since I started at the age of 12.

Watching awards shows this past week has made me think of this even more. I always loved literature, but I became a storyteller when I started acting and learned the importance of stories and how to interpret them.

Although I’ve never met him, Quentin Tarantino seems to be a very mysterious man, but really I think he’s just one who is more in touch with his imagination and self than others. I did meet Quentin’s father Tony a few times and by all accounts during our encounters he seems to be a man who has found a way to make money off his son’s name and fame, however cannot at all craft a story like his son.

Quentin’s movies are not my cup of tea, but only because I’m not one who is typically into the crude language and violence found in his films. However, his storytelling is incredible and nothing can take away from that. Fan of the genres he works in or not, it’s perfectly crafted. And he’s right, it comes from an acting standpoint. He understands where the heart of the character originates and creates worlds around them. He follows their journey instead of making a brick road of a plot and forcing a character to travel down it.

Are his films dark?

Absolutely, because he’s brave enough to go there. He lets go of the fear and dives right in. He touches those places that are uncomfortable and make people squirm. He’s a master at it. There are many other filmmakers who do the same, they simply do not express the emotions with the same physicality and verbiage seen in Tarantino pieces.

I think I have a dark side as well however I am not yet brave enough to expose it. Maybe someday…

Hey, a picture of me! Don’t get used to it.

Since I’ve never really posted any photos….here you go.

A shot of my husband and I last night at an awards gala.

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It’s fun to get dressed up every once in a while.

🙂

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Fill in the blank…An ugly personality destroys a pretty face because___

Fill in the blank time!

I’m working on some monologues for my new books coming out this year; Moments of Truth: Monologues for Women and More Moments of Truth: Monologues for Teen Girls and Young Women.

I often develop monologues around a central idea or a person I’ve known at some point in my life. So, for fun I’m reaching out to you for some ideas on one this week.

“An ugly personality destroys a pretty face.”

Fill in the blank with a “because” statement.

“An ugly personality destroys a pretty face because__________________________________________.”

Let me know what your opinion is on the topic. I look forward to reading your responses!!!

Being Scared of Failing

I have to confess, I have a fear. A fear of failure.

It’s probably held me back more than I even realize. I’m scared of not being able to do things, falling flat on my face with projects and looking like a fool with work. I have come to recognize the fear in myself but still do not know what it completely means. I’ve found that I just have to do the work though, no excuses, and put it out there to be judged. Good, bad, indifferent…I’ll never know and never be able to grow more if I don’t take that risk.

I have to stop letting the fear of failure stop me from writing something that perhaps could be incredible. Maybe it’ll flop and I’ll be criticized up and down by people, telling me to find a new career. But just maybe I won’t. I’m holding onto hope for that.

On that note, I always make New Years resolutions and accomplish some, but never all. I think it’s because I set the bar too high. This year I made very reasonable resolutions. I’m listing them below and you all can keep me accountable.

Teach my four year old to read

He’s getting to the point where he’s ready and I want to instill the love of literacy that I have in him. He already loves books so this will be a fun adventure.

Potty-train my two year old

My youngest will be two next month. It’s time to get him out of diapers and into big boy underwear. While potty training is not the most fun experience I will love not having to change diapers again!

Publish more books

Obviously this is a big one. I need to publish more books this year. Hopefully I’ll get three new books out to you all.

Grow my Twitter/blog/Facebook following to 2000 total

I’m fairly new to all this social media but I’d like to grow my fan base and followers on all platforms. You can follow me on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/JenniferTressen, on Instagram here: http://instagram.com/jennifertressen and on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/jennifertressenauthor?ref=hl.

Sell items on Etsy

I like to craft (mostly sewing) in my spare time. I find it to be a good mind relaxer. I’d like to try and sell a few things on Etsy perhaps. If not on Etsy I’ll design items for Zazzle. We’ll see where the year takes me.

Drink less wine, more water

I used to drink more water than anyone else I ever met. I always had a water bottle in hand. Then I had kids and all that went out the window. I want to commit to drinking more water this year…and less wine!

Laugh more, worry less

The biggest one…learning how to stress less. More laughing, less worrying.

What are you resolutions?

What “Not” to Do With Your Book: Mistakes I Made

The decision to write a book is exciting. There are dreams of fortune and fame when your book becomes a bestseller along with the hope for a movie deal and reporters lining up to interview you. However, like many things, the decision to start a book and the actual completion are two very different things.

Finishing a book is such a relief. Some people see it as a celebration, which it is, but more so it is a weight lifted off your shoulders. You did it. You made it to the end. Nowadays with the self-publishing industry in full bloom people think all you have to do it write the book, hit “submit” and that’s it. Fame and fortune will be headed their way in no time. But it doesn’t work that way. Not at all. The process is long and painstaking. There are no guarantees regardless of how hard you work. It’s brutal.

My first book was released in 2008. I thought it was a brilliant idea. I wrote it quickly, made my own cover on Photoshop and sent it off into the literary world. Looking back on that first release I’m embarrassed. It was, and honestly still is, a brilliant idea – a monologue workbook for actors. However, my finished product was a train wreck. The text was riddled with typos and formatting issues. The cover was hideous, simply what I was capable of in a couple hours time without spending a dime. It was destined to fail. Yet somehow it didn’t. At its core it was a good book; one with real value for its market. I had a good idea but did poor execution. I’m lucky it wasn’t trashed by people in reviews. I’m also fortunate it’s still continued to sale all these years.

The problem was I was in such a rush to get the book out and have something to show for the idea that I skipped all the most important steps and dove in too quickly. I didn’t know what I was doing. I went in blindly and felt my way around.

Here’s my advice…

  • Don’t rush the process. Write what feels right and go with it.
  • Edit. Edit again. Then edit once more.
  • Have a professional cover made.
  • Develop a marketing plan.
  • Begin promoting the book before its release. Long before…if possible. (I’m still learning how to do this)
  • Send out screeners early in order to get reviews.
  • Create an online platform through social media, writing articles, blogs and more.

Last year I rereleased my first book Moments of Truth: Monologues for Teen Girls and Young Women. It is now fully edited. I didn’t change the cover and am kicking myself for this, maybe I will someday, time will tell. It has been selling quite well for a book that I hardly ever promote. It’s still a good product.

Which brings up some other news…I will have a new Moments of Truth book out this year – possibly two. I am making it into a series. This year you’ll see Moments of Truth: Monologues for Women and hopefully More Moments of Truth: Monologues for Teen Girls and Young Women.

I’m very excited to see what I can be accomplished this year.