Posted by: Trisha Leigh | April 20, 2011

Turn that Frown Upside Down

After I posted my blog on Monday, I started to think about how negative the content read. It’s all about peeves, about things that irritate me and make me want to scream and throw things.

Maybe that was just the kind of mood I was in on Sunday night, but today is Tuesday and I’m thinking we should flip those negatives and talk about things that make me LOVE stories, be they books, movies, television, whatever. This time, since I’m being nice, I can even give some of my favorite recent examples. So here we go.

1 – When I find a character I can fully relate to. They feel what I’ve felt, are destroyed and rebuilt by experiences I’ve had, they learn lessons (often much more gracefully) than I struggled to learn. They make me realize I’m not alone in this life, that no matter what I’m going through, others have likely survived something similar. (recent examples: Jenna (Jennifer) from Sweethearts by Sara Zarr. Blair from Gossip Girl, Ali from The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks)

2 – Not being able to predict the ending. I read like a rabid dog panting after its next meal and watch even more movies and television. To say its hard to hide twists from me is an understatement, which makes those moments when it happens all that more precious. (recent examples: The Pericles Commission by Gary Corby. Inception. Fringe. The Vampire Diaries television adaptation)

3 – A really well done happy ending. These are so hard to pull off without being cheesy, to make the reader or viewer want more and more of a happy couple instead of being bored as soon as the drama ends. When it’s done right, these are some of the most heartwarming moments. (recent examples: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. 127 Hours. Slumdog Millionaire.)

4 – A really well done tragic (or just realistic) ending. Just as difficult to do right, in their way, because the audience probably isn’t going to like it, or get up afterward feeling good. Still, if you do it well, they’ll realize it’s honest, if not happy. (recent examples: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks. County Line by Bill Cameron. Gone Baby Gone by Dennis Lehane. Juno.)

5 – Writing so fabulous I’ll pick up the author’s next project without hesitation. I’ve read tons of debut novels in the past twelve months, and enjoyed the heck out of their stories. It’s something special when someone wins your faith as a writer, not because of allegiance to a particular set of characters or stories. (recent examples: Sara Zarr, Gayle Foreman, Francine Rivers, Sean Ferrell, Bill Cameron, Carrie Ryan, just to name a few.)

6 – A world so rich and original I want to step inside it, even if there are zombies. (recent examples: The Forest of Hands and Teeth books by Carrie Ryan. Divergent by Veronica Roth.)

If you haven’t read some of these, or seen some of these, I obviously recommend each and every one. Sometimes I catch myself being negative, or pouty, or just plain crabby and I don’t want those kinds of days to become a normal kind of day. I’m going to make an effort to enjoy today, and laugh at the things that might make me want to cry.

What makes you fall in love with creative material? Anything to add? Any favorites of your own?

What I’m watching right this minute: The on-a-roll Kansas City Royals.

PS: Happy Birthday to my college roommate Sumer. It’s also Hitler’s birthday, but I swear they’re nothing alike. Well, not much. 😉 LOVE YOU SUMER!



  1. The world is what I fall in love with. I am grieved when a good book ends.

    There are some characters I’d follow anywhere. Even Zombieland.

    You are great, Trisha. Love you.

    • I have never seen Zombieland, but I want to. Recommend?

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