Monday, October 13, 2014

Comfy Prison Cells

I was telling one of my wonderful (albeit newer) blogging friends, Mel, that I've been in a bit of a slump lately, avoiding my blog (and just about any social networking). She more or less told me to write something on my blog--ANY LITTLE THING. I don't know what purpose this serves, other than giving my writing slump the middle finger, but I've decided to follow her advice. So here's my feeble attempt to write...any little thing.

Last night I watched God's Not Dead for the first time. Clint recently installed a large roll-up projector screen into our backyard patio, so now we can watch movies outside at night. It's pretty amazing. We've used it twice now, and both times we sat in the spa for the entire two hours, turning into prunes as we enjoyed the show. The first movie was a few weeks ago--The Truman Show. I can't even describe how beautiful I find this movie. The fact that Truman's entire world...his very nothing but a's like a heart-warming version of The Matrix. I loved watching the truth--the bigger Truth--slowly dawn on him, and I loved following him as he clumsily plowed his way through all of the giant boulders of grief--disbelief, sadness, anger, defeat, and, at last, freedom.

God's Not Dead was wonderful, too. I haven't looked into any reviews of the movie, and I'm sure the secular world has found many ways of tearing it apart, but I, not being a movie critic who looks for poetry and great acting and cinematic brilliance, found it to be poignant and heart-rending and just damn feel-good from start to finish. This particular scene, featuring a well-to-do business man (with questionable morality) visiting his dementia-inflicted mother, struck me the hardest:

This isn't the first time I've heard an analogy involving a prison cell so comfortable and pleasant that the one imprisoned within never considers leaving. The Truman Show illustrates this point, too, with Truman feeling at peace inside the world fabricated just for him--a most lovely cage--until he is given an urgent reason to search for more. 

Contentment is probably the biggest weapon in the devil's arsenal. Welcome to America--Land of the Free and Home of the Bound.

Today I have spent the entire day outside in the sun. I guess it's autumn in other parts of the country, but here in the desert, we're experiencing summer at its finest. Trinity had a friend over, and Carey (Clint's dad) stopped by for awhile, where we lounged at the patio table, chatting about family and life. I just love Carey, and not only because he scratches my itch for deeper conversation (though that helps). But that's a whole other post. Now everyone has left and I'm still outside, squinting to see the images on my smudged laptop screen, but the sun is sort of glaring at me as it creeps toward the western horizon like it has some sort of score to settle.

Yeah...I think I've lost this battle (my nose is practically touching my screen now, and going inside IS NOT AN OPTION 'cause I"m way too happy out here), so I'll end this post. But hey, I wrote any little thing.


  1. Good job Jodi!
    That's it. I am writing "any little comment."

  2. is my official 'any little' reply.

  3. OMGEE! Is that Dean Cain?! This is really interesting, that movie clip. I haven't seen this, but I did see The Truman Show and LOVED it, though I admit, I didn't think nearly as deep about it as you did. I wish I had. It's such a beautiful movie. I'll have to ask my brother if he's seen God's Not Dead. It sounds right up his alley.

    It's been storming here off and on several times a day almost non-stop the last couple of weeks, in between a few hours of sunshine here and there. I like it though. Fits the mood I've been in lately.

    About this writing slump: I sooo understand wanting to hide from people. I've been in a writing slump, too. I haven't written a word all month, not even a blog post. All the posts that have gone up so far this month were written last month, going up without me so it looks like I'm fine, but I've been struggling for weeks. The pressure to make this next story better than my last one is wigging me out. I just want it to be perfect.

    But I was holding a book in my hand this afternoon and smelling it (^_^) and I said to myself, "This is what I'm working towards. This is what I want so bad." For some reason it made me feel better. I met the author this summer and she is amazing and signed my book. I sound crazy now, but I feel like her positive energy is in the book. I'm just going to sleep with it tonight. And maybe read some of it. Lol!

    And now this post has me thinking, have I been in a comfy prison cell of not writing? Sure, right now, it's easier not to write because I'm neurotic and scared, but I know it'll get to the point where I have to leave and be uncomfortable because that's the only way I'm ever going to get to hold my book in my hands. And smell it. ^_^

    And now I've totally left a mini book on yer blog. Perhaps, this is a warm up for the marathon to come. :P

    1. I love storms Krystal! Whenever it rains here, it's like a holiday, and everyone actually stops to smell the roses (except for in this case, roses are rain).

      Yes, that is indeed Dean Cain. He does a great job playing a douche bag in this movie. ;) But yeah, ask your brother if he has seen this...I'd love to know what he thought.

      It was so encouraging to read about your own experiences with writing slumps. Okay, I guess that's bad (like "Yay, Krystal has them too!") but you always seem so confident in your writing and tend to pull out the big numbers for WIP reports, so now I'm thinking "If Krystal feels like this once in awhile, then this is totally normal." I know I've said this before, but the whole thing reminds me of oil painting. Every time I "think" I'm done with a painting, I start over-analyzing it, thinking "This could use some more shadowing" or "these lines could be a bit more crisp," etc., and there is simply no end. Pretty soon my canvas is this blobby, bottomless pit of paint. This is how I feel about my WIP. It will simply never be done, because there is always SOMETHING that could stand to be improved. And I am so ready to slap my name on this thing and call it DONE, but every time I think I'm almost there, more issues arise. After awhile, like you put it, the pressure starts to get to you, and it's really easy to saunter into that comfy cell of NOT WRITING and hang out for awhile, because dang life is easier and awfully pleasant in there.

      I love how you are using your signed book as a source of comfort and inspiration. I'd hug just about anything if I thought I could somehow absorb its magic juju. ;)

      THERE. I left you an equally rambling reply to make you feel better about your mini-book. :P

  4. Yay! You did it, and I stopped in and met you because you actually took the time to blog. See, good things happen when you listen to that muse (aka, annoyingly loud friend) on your shoulder. =) I bring you cheese and good wishes. Keep blogging. (And enjoying the sunshine.)

    1. Haha Crystal--I'm glad my random "breaking my blogging fast" post was able to draw you in! ESPECIALLY since you brought cheese (was that to go with my 'whine')--? ;) I LOVE CHEESE. Thanks for the good wishes and for stopping by!

  5. Well, I say this is better than "any old thing"... I'm glad you wrote.

    It's funny, I read something recently about the truth always bubbling up, that it wants to be found out. That's how I've always felt about the Truman Show. And, the synergy between the lies that we tell and that comfy prison cell... Well, I think some people do a terrible disservice to themselves by locking them into complacency. Especially at the cost of their true spirit!

    Keep writing, girly.
    <3 mel.

    1. I agree Mel. It reminds me of Plato's Cave--those people living underground their whole life, chained to a wall (don't get too excited--haha), thinking THIS is the real world, unaware that there's so much more to life than a bunch of dancing shadows. Then they emerge from the cave, and it hurts, but damn is it glorious.

      Okay, I might be a bit over-dramatic. ;)

      Thanks for your encouragement! (And sorry I'm such a lousy responder lately).

    2. And "Unknown" is Jodi, btw, in case that wasn't glaringly obvious. =)

  6. Jo, I love that you're over-dramatic.

    I also love that you mentioned being chained to a wall... um... *squirm*

    1. Haha! You know I'll look for any excuse to throw in a few chains and stuff. ;)

  7. I haven't seen that film yet but I've heard good things. Slumps are no fun, but they definitely happen... I've been in one since July (or earlier, really) and reading your blog reminded me that I even had one of my own (hah)! Good for you getting any little thing down ;) I'm so amazed by your ability to watch movies outside in the yard.... Man, I miss the U.S. for things like that. I miss northern California weather big time. Sigh. I think we might retire to Phoenix.

    Hope your slump is over, but I do think everyone needs a break from social media every so often!

    1. The movie-outside-thing is SO AWESOME Cheyenne. It reminds me of going to the drive-in theater as a kid, except for it's in my own backyard. Something about being outside makes even a mediocre movie feel a little more special.

      I love Arizona! Phoenix would be a nice area to live, or at least, one of the outer cities.

      I am no longer in a WIP progress rut (I've been editing like a crazy person this week), but now I'm in a social networking rut. I CAN NOT seem to get caught up. I need to quit my day job so I can play with you girls all day. ;-)


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