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Not Enough

Exercise #140 : "Not Enough"

The Tao Te Ching says, "To know you have enough is to be rich." What does your character not have enough of? Make a list.

This exercise makes me think of this quote:

It's a good one, eh? I've always liked it. I also like the aesthetic of the artwork. It gives a feeling of hastiness and rashness that I believe further supports the need to own what we see immediately. Good job, Hugh, whoever you are.

1,2,3, GO!
  • gumption - There's a movie starring Kate Winslet as Iris called The Holiday in which she meets this old man, Arthur, who is actually a successful, Oscar-winning screenwriter straight from the Golden Age of Hollywood. In a pivotal scene, the two are out having dinner, and he asks her why she doesn't behave like the leading lady of her own life.
He says, "Iris, in the movies we have leading ladies, and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason you're behaving like the best friend."

Iris responds, "You're so right. You're supposed to be the leading lady in your own life, for God's sake. Arthur, I've been going to a therapist for three years, and she's never explained anything to me that well. That was brilliant." She takes a pause. "Brutal, but brilliant. Thank you."

Throughout the movie, Arthur encourages Iris to mimic the leading ladies from old movies. Irene Dunne, Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Crawford... It is this "gumption" that my main character needs to find. She is moving blissfully through life without having to do much other than wake up every day. Thankfully, circumstances force her to do more than wake up, but she still needs to grow a good bit.
  • She also doesn't have enough adversity in her life. This ties in to the gumption thing, but, as I said before, her life has always come easily mainly because of her father's wealth. It might seem like a stretch, but it is adversity that shapes a person. It's how they deal with it that really forms their character.

  • She needs a sense of humor. Fo' realz, yo. My MC is boring. Ok, maybe boring is a bit harsh, but she takes everything so seriously. Her coping mechanisms are intense, and she always seems to have a stick up her butt about something at any moment in time. So she just needs to relax and laugh a little.
Five minutes up already? Whoops. I meant to come up with more than just that. I guess it's my own fault for being so verbose on the first bullet point.

Speaking of verbose, I have a funny story... kind of. It's an anecdote from my childhood.

As a little girl, specifically in English class, I frequently tried to wow my classmates with my mature vocabulary and frequently would use words that, in truth, I had no idea what they meant. Verbose was one of those words. I had an idea of what it meant, but I thought it made me sound smart, so I used it.

"Not to be verbose, but-" I said haughtily, but my teacher interrupted me. It was a blessing in disguise, because I had no idea what I was going to say next.

"Stefanie," she said, "would you care to let the class know what verbose means?" She wasn't doing this to make me feel stupid, but I did this frequently. My classmates would look at me with their eyes all glazed over. There goes Stefanie again.

For a moment, I panicked. What in the hell does verbose mean? Of course, I thought in much less crude terms, being a young'n. I had no idea what to say, so I just blurted something out.

"Well," I began a bit too confidently, "it means when you say a lot."

My teacher smiled. "Right. Now what were you going to say?" Whew! I pulled that one out of my ass. Good thing I've always been talented in the skill of b.s.

The rest of the class went on as normal.

Funny. I haven't thought of that story in a very long time, but it just popped into my head. Man, I was such a self-important little spitfire! I was always right, and no one could convince me otherwise. Now, I tend to be a little proud even nowadays, but I've gotten so much better. It's something that I really took it upon myself to work on. No one likes to be around a Proud Patty. She's oppressive and all sorts of annoying.

Well, this post is long enough. I hope everyone had a lovely Easter!



Beth said…
Lol! You sound JUST like me as a little kid. I was the worst know it all. Good thing I got over that. >_> <_< I think...
Cinderita said…
Thank you. Thank you for reminding me about the "leading lady". The Holiday is one of my most favorite movies, and you just reminded me of why.

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