Autism Awareness Month

J is for … Juxtaposition — and a Wednesday Worthy

Juxtaposition. A satisfyingly long word. In its simplest sense, it means placing something next to something else. In film, it is particularly  “the contiguous positioning of either two images, characters, objects, or two scenes in sequence, in order to compare and contrast them, or establish a relationship between them; see also sequence, symmetry, and composition.” That definition is quoted from the AMC Filmsite’s Film Terms glossary. Juxtaposition is an excellent tool for writers as well, to highlight similarities or differences in character, setting, or action. As in film, two disparate characters in juxtaposition can bring depth to the writing, and can draw the reader further into the story. Today, I’m placing two similar blogposts in juxtaposition. Yesterday I told you about books written by Canadian author Beverley Brenna, today I have interviewed Bev specifically about these books and about Asperger’s Syndrome which informs and challenges the main character’s life in both books. This is, again, by request of my friend Pat Tilton, whose blog Children’s Books Heal, continually brings to the forefront of our consciousness an awareness of kids with special needs. For Autism Awareness Month in the U.S., then, I am juxtaposing the book recommendations yesterday and the interview today. (Again, I apologize that this post is longer than the suggested standard for an A to Z post. I believe you’ll find it well worth the extra time it takes to read.)

I is for … Improv

Improv. Improvisation. Acting without the roadmap of a script. Some actors revel in it, others, I suspect, dread it. A website like learnimprov can help a person to understand the basics, but there’s nothing like just getting up there in front of people and doing it. (Scary as that may sound.) Improvisation is also a facet of music, especially jazz. Have you ever listened to a really good jazz pianist take off and go where the music leads? It’s amazing. Improv can also be a great tool in writing, not that it’s usually called improv in this application. It’s useful if one is stuck, feeling the brick wall of writer’s block. At such times, try improv. Let the ink and the thoughts flow and take you wherever they want  to, without a roadmap, just like acting without a script, or playing music without a score. Improvisational skills are also good to have when one is a blogger. I had all my posts for the A to Z Challenge written and scheduled when my friend and writing colleague, Patricia Tilton, emailed me and asked me to re-post a couple of posts from my old blog for Autism Awareness Month which is recognized in April in the United States. So I changed my script a bit. I’m improvising, and sharing with you reviews of a couple of books that mean a great deal to me. Click the magic words:

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