From Sarah, With Joy

Writer querying two novels and some other word babies. I tend to effervesce.

New post every Monday

Monday, March 30, 2015

Art is Parable

Well, we are on the first few days of our trip. We spent Saturday at the Arizona Renessaince Festival, and had a blast. (At least until the heat got to me. I'm kind of pathetic when it comes to heat.) But we had a super great time and I left the owner of what I'm calling my Dr. Facillier hat :)


Anyway. Yesterday was a bit of a rest day at my roommies folks house in Arizona. We went to church with them and the lesson in Sunday School was about Jesus' parables in Matthew 13. That's the parable of the sower, which in a meta way, is a parable about parables. This is where Jesus talks about why He teaches in parables in the first place. 

It made me think about storytelling and art in general. Of any kind. Movies, music, theater. The people who listened to Christ's parables all came away with a different experience and individual lesson, and its the same when we read a book in a book club or go with friends to a movie. We're sitting next to them, yes, but nobody in the theater is really watching the same thing.

Here's what I think: whether or not a person believes in a universal truth, art is meant to convey Truth. Even if the artist is only trying to convey their own personal truths, if they are genuine and honest, others will relate to it. They will learn something. And another reader or viewer will relate to it in a completely different way, and learn something of their own.

But you know, for all the times we're told not to be didactic or overt, I don't think Christ's parables or any art for that matter would carry as much meaning. We're not trying to force our opinions on anybody, but that's different than having a voice, having something to say, and defending what you believe in. And I don't think that's a bad thing at all.

Sarah Allen

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cruella's Cool Cousin Has Purple Hair

I did it! Now off to Disneyland!



Sarah Allen

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Monday, March 23, 2015

And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon


The dish ran away with the spoon. And over the years the dish became faded, with a stain and a chip on one side. She would catch her reflection in the cupboard window and worry that she was no longer vibrant enough for the spoon; that she had faded past the point of no return. The spoon came home one evening and the dish finally gathered her courage and told him how she felt. He looked at her, water-stains down his bent back, a smudge on one side. He said, “You have never been more beautiful.”

Sarah Allen

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Bill Nighy is Adorable No Matter What You Say

It's been a crazy few days. So when I came home last night and my roommate was lying on the couch doing the I-Finally-Finished-My-Taxes-And-It-Took-All-Day groan (it sounds a lot like Tina from Bob's Burgers) it was like okay yeah, today is cancelled. Let's go have fun.

Of course for us that meant going to see The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Have I mentioned how much I love old British men? Oh I have? Three hundred times?

I really think this movie and the first should basically just have been called Bill Nighy's Face and Also Maggie Smith. But seriously. Bill Nighy. In both of the Best Exotic movies he does this thing where he gives a speech and the camera sort of zooms close and his mouth is drooped and his eyes are the loneliest, most desperate thing you've ever seen. Any man who can pull off that face, especially if it comes with a British accent...I'm gone.

The moral of my story here is basically that its probably a good thing I'm still single, because I won't really be in the age range of guys I'm attracted to for another, like, decade. And I think I'm okay with that.

Seriously though. I've been teased (good-naturedly) about my taste for older guys since basically I was a sophomore in high school, and when it happens I just like to point out one simple fact. Do we all realize how freaking fantastic my life is going to still be in about 30 years?

Sarah Allen

For more frequent updates, writing tips, and funnies, follow on FacebookTwitterGoogle+
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Monday, March 16, 2015

A Good Girls Guide to Being Aggressive

So I'm not really an aggressive person. Like at all. I am super self-conscious about being pushy or annoying or intrusive. My best friend and I spend way too long picking movies because I am so paranoid about picking something she even remotely doesn't want that I can't make any decisions.

But sometimes sitting back quietly isn't the right option. Lately I've been trying to learn the difference between confidence and pushiness. And it's been paying off.

So I've been looking for writing gigs in a serious way for a while. Before Christmas I contacted a friend who works at a magazine and she gave me the contact info for one of the editors. I sent him a message and he back to me within a few days, thanking me for getting in touch and letting me know he'd let me know if something came up. A couple months past and I didn't hear from him, so I sent him another message. I never got a response, which normally would have made me shrink like a violet. But instead I geared up my courage and sent him another message, this time a fully crafted pitch for an article idea. And guess what? He gave me the go ahead.

So yes. Maybe aggressive isn't the right word, but its okay to be persistent. Its okay to believe that you can do a good job, and that editors are smart for hiring you. Obviously there are all those creepy, inappropriate, stalkery things we hear about and want to avoid, but there is a difference between harassment and not giving up.

So don't give up. You can do it.

Sarah Allen

For more frequent updates, writing tips, and funnies, follow on FacebookTwitterGoogle+
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Thursday, March 12, 2015

So I'm Going Back To School!


Whew boy. So there have been some big changes in the last couple weeks.

I'm going back to school! Back to my alma mater, my home away from home. Brigham Young University. I am, obviously, going into the MFA creative writing program (what else?). I can't even begin to describe how excited I am. I about had a heart attack when I got the email notification. And I recently got the packet in the mail that included the coming years class list, and that made me even more excited. There's a class on Poe! And religion in Shakespeare! And so, so, so many creative writing workshops! I start August 31st :)

There's a bitter side to such sweetness. It means I'm moving back to Utah. In a couple months anyway. That's not the bitter part: I came to the conclusion long ago that I adore Utah, and much of my family is there too. It's my home. The bitter part is that I am leaving Vegas, the Bellagio fountains, the amazing people I've met and worked with here, and my roommate of 7+ years. I've loved my job, and the people I've worked with, and when I told my supervisor what was happening it was a little heartbreaking how supportive and kind everyone was. And I can barely even think about not having my roommate with me, let alone write about it. That part is going to take some dying and resuscitation.

But anyway. This is a very positive next step, I'm absolutely exploding with excitement (and NOT thinking about living with strangers la la la la la) and it is already ridiculously gratifying to be able to put "MFA student" on my pitches to agents and editors.

So there it is. I'm working on pitching and applying and querying my heart out with the goal of having enough writing gigs of various kinds to support myself while I go to school. (Tips and leads of any kind in that regard are muchly appreciated ;). I'll keep everyone posted, and hopefully be able to provide some really good blog posts of all the things I'm gonna learn from people much smarter than me.

See you in The Beehive State!

Sarah Allen

For more frequent updates, writing tips, and funnies, follow on FacebookTwitterGoogle+
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Monday, March 9, 2015

Escape Route

Its better to be soft, like the smooth
skin of a lizard.
You need to be fast to skitter
across the scorching sand and away
from the
circling predators.
Its better to have tiny digging claws
that can get you covered and shaded
in seconds.
You lose
your tail, sometimes,
to get away,
but a temporary bloody stump
is better than dead.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Things That Have Been Motivating Me

It's been a crazy, crazy time, but here are some things that have inspired me and kept me going:

TED Talks: Okay, I know I talk about TED Talks a lot, but they are SO GREAT. These people are so smart and creative. Here is a great list of TED Talks for writers. Also here is possibly my favorite TED Talk of all:

Welcome To Night Vale: This podcast is so hard to explain, yet so genius. I love what they do with story and language. Check it out, you will not regret it.

Instagram: Maybe it's cheesy, but Instagram may have won out as my favorite social media site lately. It's so fun and easy and personal. I know we writers deal in words, and not images, but there are poets and authors all over Instagram doing awesome things. If you're on Instagram, let's find each other :)

Brooklyn Nine Nine and Backstrom: These shows are amazing and hilarious. Rainn Wilson and Andy Sandberg are comedic geniuses. These shows are absolutely worth checking out, and I feel better after watching them.

What's been motivating you lately?

Sarah Allen

For more frequent updates, writing tips, and funnies, follow on FacebookTwitterGoogle+
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