Embracing My Obsessions

Discovering various challenges in the blogosphere over the years has gently nudged me to re-embrace pleasures that get shuffled to the side in favor of keeping to my schedule.

A few years ago a reading challenge in honor of a book blogger who passed away got me reading titles that she had reviewed on her blog. At that time, I was so busy writing, or reading my fellow writers' books to review them, that I was no longer reading anything outside of a few genres.

However, if I'd never taken up that challenge, I never would have read Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer.

That led to watching the film version, directed by Liev Shreiber, which featured actor Eugene Hutz, who ended up being a singer and musician with Gogol Bordello. 

That in turn led to a full-fledged obsession with Eugene which hasn't dimmed and has given me creative inspiration just when I've needed it most--for example, when in the last hurrah of NaNoWriMo, the November writing marathon.

I've taken on a new challenge this year--a movie challenge. For a film-oriented person like me, the fact that even my movie watching has dwindled as my writing time increases has been almost painful.

Yet I discovered the 2012 Movie Madness Challenge just in time, as my crazy-busy year of 2011 was wrapping up. At first I thought, when am I going to crowbar time to watch movies? The very fact that I wondered such a thing made me take up the challenge even more quickly.

As with the Dewey Reading Challenge, this Move Madness Challenge has now led to me discovering a ten-year-old Russian historical drama, or telenovela, which originally aired in 2003/2004--Bednaya Nastya.

This in turn has introduced me to a new and brilliantly inspirational discovery: Russian actor Daniil Strakhov

Here's a fan video compilation that focuses on his character in Bednaya Nastya. 


I never know what sort of new passion will sweep me off my feet, but as a writer, I need these obsessions to wash over me. They feed my muse like nothing else could hope to do.

What sorts of things feed your muse? Do you crave being swept away like me?

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  1. Great blog post! Loved the fan video. That show looks great. I hope they have subtitles. :)

    I'm inspired by pictures, so Pinterest boards are working well for me.

  2. Hi Shawna - the link for Bednaya Nastya through viki.com does have subtitles. I haven't been able to get over to Pinterest as much as I'd like, but soon...

  3. Julia, I always follow your blog posts with such interest. You have such inspiring taste!

  4. Thanks, Paula. I've noticed that my photo of Eugene Hutz on Pinterest has been repinned five times and liked twice, but Daniil Strakhov remains on the edges of the North American consciousness. All it would take would be one role...indie film producers...he's in Moscow...go and get him...


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