alice in wonderland

Christine – Better Novel Project

Christine is the blogger behind, where she’s breaks down the key parts of three popular works of fiction and shares her findings. These are her good things.

Good things to read.

Matilda by Roald Dahl. As I work on my YA novel, I’ve been rereading my favorites from when I was little. It’s great to experience the wonder again, and at the same time, take the story off of the pedestal. You don’t realize as a kid how much you are filling in with your imagination. It’s a nice surprise to go back and see it’s just one word after another, not actual magic.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. This is might be the best book for writers that is not about writing. Any creative pursuit is a real mental game, and this book gets you in the zone.

I signed up for Jeff Goins’s newsletters and read them as soon as they arrive in my inbox. I’ve learned a lot about honest marketing and connection this way. It’s geared toward writers and bloggers, but it’s mostly about self-promotion in a manner that adds value into the world instead of sleaze.

Good things to watch.

Hugo. Martin Scorsese’s film version of the Brian Selznick’s book, The Invention of Hugo Cabrey. This movie makes me want to clutch my hands to my heart and sigh. More than anything, it makes me want to be a better writer. The “everyday magic” is just lovely as a movie, especially when woven in with bits of real life film history.

Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers. I will read or watch anything concerning the hero’s journey. This DVD is especially worth it to see the bonus interview with George Lucas, who explains how myths inspired Star Wars.

Alice in Wonderland, The Disney Version. This will always be my favorite, and one of the only movies I can tolerate to put on “in the background” while I do other things I find it very soothing even on mute.

Good things to use.

Time Timer. This is my productivity must, because it doesn’t involve my phone, and unlike apps or my computer clock, I can put my my writing program into fullscreen and be distraction-free. As a bonus, it doesn’t make the annoying tick-tock like a normal kitchen timer.

Kikkerland Kraft Notes. I recently changed over to these notebooks, and I am hooked. The paper is really thin like onion skin, but somehow even inky pens don’t bleed through it. I love the natural brown color, and I feel less intimidated by the price that I am willing to write down all my ideas, instead of waiting for the good ones that are “worth it.”

Moleskine book light. Don’t go to sleep without an open notebook at your side! You might be more willing to force yourself out of that in between state and get your ideas down with this cute bendable book light.

Connect with Christine on Twitter, @BetterNovelProj.


John Lennon – Beatle

This is John Lennon and these are his good things.

What are good things you’ve read?

The Three Stigmata by Dick. According to the book so fascinated Lennon that he considered making a movie about it.

Alice in Wonderland by Carroll.  In his 1980 interview with Playboy Lennon said that images in the song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds were from “Alice in Wonderland.”

It was Alice in the boat. She is buying an egg and it turns into Humpty Dumpty. The woman serving in the shop turns into a sheep and the next minute they are rowing in a rowing boat somewhere and I was visualizing that. There was also the image of the female who would someday come save me — a “girl with kaleidoscope eyes” who would come out of the sky. It turned out to be Yoko, though I hadn’t met Yoko yet. So maybe it should be “Yoko in the Sky with Diamonds.”

Dylan Thomas. Who Paul McCartney suggested was the main song writing influence on both Lennon and Bob Dylan.

What are good things you’ve watched?

El Topo.  “It was thanks to John Lennon that the film acquired a worldwide distribution. He was so impressed by this movie that he urged a close friend of his to buy the rights and take charge of distribution.”

When Jimi Hendrix first got started Lennon, Paul McCartney and other Beatles along with Pete Townshend went to hear him play.  Hendrix was so good that Eric Clapton was reported leaving the show saying “You never told me he was that fucking good.”

And what were tours like?  They were like Satyricon.  Lennon said, “we had that image. Man, our tours were like something else, if you could get on our tours, you were in. They were ‘Satyricon,” all right.”

What are good things you use?

Patek Philippe watch.

Spring Court shoes from the Abbey Road cover among others.

Rickenbacker 325 guitar though Lennon admitted he was never especially good at playing one.