Last week I participated in the NYC Midnight Short Story writing contest! It was intense, but I had the chance to expand my writing skills. The contest works like this: you are assigned a genre, subject, and character and then you have 8 days to produce a short story. I had horror, retirement, and a security guard. In case you were unaware, I don’t write or watch horror. Though, I read some classic horror, such as Edgar Allan Poe. So, I tried to channel my favorite story of his, The Cask of Amontillado. One of the reasons I love that story so much is that it isn’t necessarily scary, but does it make you feel wholly uncomfortable. The contest was a lot of fun! My best friend and fiancé went over some of the drafts with me to help with developing the characters and increasing the elements of suspense. I went through at least 4 different drafts before settling on one to send. I still feel that it is lacking, but I had a 2,500 word limit. I doubt I’ll formally publish it, so maybe after I get feedback from the contest judge, I’ll post it on here for y’all to read!
I also finished listening to Anna Kendrick’s Scrappy Little Nobody (2016). Anna Kendrick is one of my favorite actresses. As she is not an author, I am using her book for the 26 book 2017 reading challenge for the category of “a book by someone who isn’t a writer.” One thing I do enjoy about these celebrity novels (I’ve also listened to/read Tina Fey’s Bossypants and Amy Poehler’s Yes Please) is that they remind us how human celebrities are, amidst all the celebrity worship. They have fears, courage, love, joys, and sorrows just like every other human on this Earth. I prefer reading these autobiographies over magazines of interviews with them. I don’t need to know all the latest scoops about their personal lives, but I want to know what they think is important to know about them.
Anna Kendrick is a down to earth girl from Maine, who knew she wanted to be in theater since she was five or so. Her parents and brother were supportive and even helped her take theatre opportunities in New York. When she was seventeen she moved to LA, where she had no money, no car, and no friends. While it did not happen quickly, she eventually made friends and caught breaks in some big movies, such as Up in Air and Pitch Perfect. The first movie I noticed her in was Twilight, as Jessica. Her discussions of what happened in those movies were great. I love that she was only on set for two weeks of the final movie, which was nice for her because it was supposedly super cold. They filmed in Canada.
It was also nice to learn about some of Anna’s insecurities. She experiences impostor syndrome in that she feels fake in a world of glam. It was comforting to know that someone who has won and been nominated for so many awards still suffers the same insecurities I do. By admitting this, she challenges readers (me) to just go out and do it. Be who you are and the rest will fall into place. It will feel weird. It will feel uncomfortable, but that is how you grow as a person and as a professional. I am glad I took the opportunity to read/listen to this autobiography by Anna Kendrick.