Category Archives: Thoughts

Amazon Prime original series explores life of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald

If I could create a decade as glitzy and glamorous as the 1920s and omit the z-the-beginning-of-everythingoppression of women and minorities and the economic crash soon thereafter—I would. I love the idea of the ‘20s. Well, I love “The Great Gatsby” idea of the ‘20s.

When I first read “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, I was enthralled. It quickly became one of my favorite books. When the film was released, I couldn’t have been happier with Leo DiCaprio’s performance. So when advertisements for “Z: The Beginning of Everything” began popping up on my Facebook, I couldn’t resist being drawn in.

The Amazon Prime original series isn’t a re-hash of “The Great Gatsby.” It’s the story of F. Scott Fitzgerald, played by David Hoflin, and Zelda Sayre, played by Christina Ricci. Zelda, Fitzgerald’s wife, greatly influenced his writing. And as much as I love Fitzgerald, I think I love Zelda more. She’s noted for being wild and outspoken; Fitzgerald dubbed her “the first flapper.” She wrote extensively in her journals, and much of that writing inspired Fitzgerald; although inspired may be a gentle word. Fitzgerald used direct quotes from her journal without her consent on a number of occasions.

The name of the show comes from a Fitzgerald quote: “I love her, and that’s the beginning and the end of everything.” He might be a bit prophetic in his statement. The pair’s tumultuous romance was marked with overindulgence, booze, and passionate arguments. But the show begins, well, at the beginning. The pilot episode, released Nov. 3, 2015, explores Zelda and Scott’s first meeting, Zelda’s relationship with her family, and her carefree attitude. She fights with her father, dances with many different men, and does as she damn well pleases. Ricci’s performance is spot on.

Zelda is—in my eyes—a total feminist badass. She is the embodiment of independence and boldness. She is uniquely herself and will not apologize for it. I admire that.

Amazon will release the full first season of “Z: The Beginning of Everything” Jan. 27, and if you are at all a fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s work, I highly recommend you watch it.

How do you write?

I bet you didn’t know today was National Handwriting Day—and to be fair, I didn’t either until I stumbled upon the Twitter hashtag.

Although I do a plethora of writing by hand—journaling, letter-writing, list-making, scheduling—it struck me that I don’t write most of my prose by hand anymore. I believe the last story I wrote completely by hand was five years ago. Technology has consumed that part of my life. I used to carry a notebook for ideas; now I simply jot them in the “notes” section of my iPhone. When I’m interviewing someone for an article, my laptop comes along. While I usually still have a notebook and pen on me, what could be deemed my most important writing is almost exclusively written and saved electronically.

According to Forbes, National Handwriting Day was established in 1977 by Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association (WIMA). Forbes quotes WIMA saying, “Handwriting allows us to be artists and individuals during a time when we often use computers, faxes and email to communicate. Fonts are the same no matter what computer you use or how you use it and they lack a personal touch. Handwriting can add intimacy to a letter and reveal details about the writer’s personality. Throughout history, handwritten documents have sparked love affairs, started wars, established peace, freed slaves, created movements and declared independence.”

Perhaps the next time I write a story, I’ll sit down with a pen and paper. Hopefully by the the time it’s complete, I’ll be able to decipher my chicken scratch and find the words in the scribbles.

What’s your favorite way to write? Leave a note in the comments below. Let’s discuss!




Word Wednesday: Travesty


This Wednesday’s word is: Travesty (noun): a false, absurd, or distorted representation of something. (verb) represent in a false or distorted way

The challenge? Use this in some form of your writing this week. Whether it’s a poem, short story, a chapter, or an article, slip this word in, and then tag Sitting in Spilt Ink in it on Twitter (@Spiltinkblog) for a chance to be featured on the site! 

‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ is far from unfortunate

As many fans of children’s literature will know, Lemony Snicket’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events” was released as a Netflix Original Series on Jan. 13—a Friday, fittingly.

The Netflix original series “A Series of Unforunate Events” was released Jan. 13.

“A Series of Unfortunate Events” follows the story of the three Baudelaire children after their parents are killed in a fire that destroys their home. They are passed from relative to relative in search of a place they can call home while simultaneously trying to escape the clutches of the dubious Count Olaf, played by Neil Patrick Harris.
I read the series voraciously in grade school and was overjoyed when the film, which encapsulated the first three novels, was released in 2004. Despite the film not absolutely thrilling me, I was disappointed when no more films were announced, and I patiently waited 13 years. It was worth it.

Harris as Count Olaf is frightening yet extremely enjoyable (and that’s coming from someone who liked Jim Carrey’s performance in the film). And the children, Violet (Malina Weissman), Klaus (Louis Hynes), and Sunny (Presley Smith), are perfect for the roles. This run of the series seems to be a lot more racially diverse in casting as well, which is fantastic. Continue reading ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ is far from unfortunate

Word Wednesday


This Wednesday’s word is: Tranquil (adjective): free from disturbance. 

The challenge? Use this in some form of your writing this week. Whether it’s a poem, short story, a chapter, or an article, slip this word in, and then send your piece to me. I’d love to read what you come up with! 

Word Wednesday: Revitalize


This Wednesday’s word is: revitalize (verb): to imbue (something) with new life and vitality. The challenge? Use this in some form of your writing this week. Whether it’s a poem, short story, a chapter, or an article, slip this word in, and then send your piece to me. I’d love to read what you come up with! 

New year, new focus

Hello dear readers,

First off, thanks for following Sitting in Spilt Ink. I started this blog some time in 2012 with no real focus or goal in mind. There have been times when I don’t post an update for months, yet Sitting in Spilt Ink rarely looses followers. So, thanks for sticking around, and I promise this year will be better.

There are a few things I’m excited to begin work on this year. One (which I’ve already begun) is the Emerging Revolutionary War book series. I’m the managing editor of the series, which is composed of entry-level, 192-page books on battles, people, and important events during the war. I design (and sometimes edit) books for the Emerging Civil War series, so if history is your thing, please check them out. Emerging Civil War will also have a book on Civil War pop culture coming out in 2017 (if I’m not mistaken), in which I’ve written two chapters. But I’ll post that when it comes time. Continue reading New year, new focus

Fun little exercise

I normally wouldn’t share these types of posts, but it just looks rather fun to do this one. Perhaps I’ll make this a regular thing when I’m looking for something to warm up my fingers and mind for writing -hrg

Thinking: About organizing how I’m organizing my planner for the coming month/quarter/semester/year. Long-term goals, what I need to be doing daily/weekly/monthly to achieve those goals in the time frame I’ve set.

Enjoying: the gluten-free pizza muffins my mom made for a New Year’s Eve appetizer. There were four left over; now there are three.

Feeling: determined and optimistic. I’m not really into “new year, new me” because I think you can do great things in your life no matter the calendar date. However, I just graduated university in December, and I was accepted into a master’s program and offered the graduate assistantship position, which covers my tuition and gives me an office with the professors. I’ve committed myself to a few good habits in my professional and person life, and everything seems brighter.

screen-shot-2017-01-02-at-12-14-05-amWearing: leggings, boot socks, and one of my friend Anthony’s shirts (It has this image to the left on it, so how could I not steal it?)

Needing: I was going to say “Absolutely nothing!” But then I saw that my water bottle was empty, so I need that refilled.

Wanting: Until I’m satisfied with the amount and quality of work I’ve accomplish today, so I can justify going to sleep.

Listening: the band Ghost

Making: this blog post.

Eating: I actually already answered this in “enjoying” because I evidently equate all enjoyment with what I’m eating at the moment.

Drinking: nothing because my water bottle is still empty ):

Why I’m halting my NaNoWriMo novel already

It’s November 3, and I’m already stopping my NaNoWriMo expedition for this year. Not to worry, fellow writers, I’m not abandoning my project—just reevaluating.

This year, I tried to be something I’m not: a pantster. For those of you who don’t know, a “pantster” is someone who writes their novel without planning before hand. They fly by the seat of their pants, if you will.

Continue reading Why I’m halting my NaNoWriMo novel already

In defense of loving

The idolization of aloofness and mystery clouds our minds. We are a world in love with not being in love and obsessed with the idea of no attachments.

Fighting through the smoke, we miss the greatest gift we are given: love. I don’t mean the kind of love that happens under moonlight skies on starry nights. Nor the kind that covers a room in rose petals. That is romance. I mean love.

I mean kissing your friend goodbye or holding her hand through a rough moment. I mean picking up sushi to share to surprise someone for no reason at all. I mean driving and hour and a half just for dinner and a good conversation. This is love.

When we wade in the water only deep enough to have people to party with or have a game night with, we miss the connections that form when people open their hearts to one another. This isn’t an easy task. It’s hard to tell who has arms trustworthy enough to fall into. Everyone has fallen victim to a false friend in some way or another.

But what matters is what we do after that. Do we crumble our true selves away and no longer open our minds and souls to others in the hopes that they will not hurt us? Or do we perservere like walking on glass through the shattered pieces of our hearts, pushing on no matter how it hurts?

If you love, you will get cut. But if you don’t, you will never feel the warmth of a friend’s smile and the comforting touch of their hand. You miss the joy of doing for another just because you can. If you never choose to love, you may still be loved, but the truest form of happiness comes from giving, not receiving.

When you inevitably get battered and bruised by someone whom you’ve loved, the others will emerge and help you to your feet. Friends and loved ones will wipe off the dirt and bandage your scrapes. And all the love you have given will come back to you threefold.

Because of this, I am thankful that I have loved.

“You’re the one who is weak. You will never know love or friendship. And I feel sorry for you.”

Harry Potter, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix