Here, There be a Writer

Sunday, December 27, 2015

ROW80 Yearly Wrap Up to Round 4

It's been a long time, Dear Readers!

Between the holidays and my own world turning upside down and around I haven't done much with my goals. But I also had decided sometime ago that I needed to reevaluate my goals as a writer. Also, it being the end of the year, I thought I would review some of what I have accomplished. It's been an amazing year, and even with the split and the subsequent divorce in 2016. I am feeling a sense of peace, mostly because of the fact that these choices while new and scary feel right.

This Year:
     *David and I are working on being friends. We still consider each other our best friends, but with a break-up there is a massive transition has to happen. That requires distance, time, and introspective soul searching. I cannot speak for him, but I know that I need to figure me out. I send him love and know that anything worth having is not easy, but will be better down the road. Thank you to all my friends for being there me and for David. It'll take time and is not easier, as I am learning, but I am determined to make it happen;
     *Learning to be single. See, its been a while and things I took for granted  being in a relationship, and now being single feels weird and scary. In this process I have discovered going on dates with myself to be oddly rewarding and keeping busy is the best thing for me right now. Also, I am not a cheap date; :-)
     *I am taking the next step into being a writer. I started picking out stories that I have wanted to work on editing, improving, and sending out to beta readers, and this submitting for publication. Also, I wrote two children's stories and the one (Little Lost Sheep) is now is the final revision stage, after having 5 beta readers return edits. I am now preparing an artist packet for perspective illustrators. I am going to get this thing published by 2017 (by hell or high water). Maybe that's a lofty goal, but its what I want;
      *I love to write and finding that passion again, with a little less furiousity, as I am working on the editing part now. But, not being afraid to write something or at least try something new. I even have a Channillo series for poetry, Here, There be a Poet. Go check it out!
      *I love theatre too much to quit, but am really making a choice what shows I do. Auditioning for MacBeth next month, becasue Shakespeare. and this year I directed, Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap. I performed in Zombie Prom, A Golden Age of Radio reenactment, and wrote/directed/acted in Here Comes Snoopy Claus, the Hammondsport Xmas show, and participated in three 24 Hour Theatre events;
       *I traveled to Hartford, CT to attend Connecticon and visit with my friend and mentor, James Owen, ALL BY MYSELF!!
       *I enjoyed the summer and had no commitments. This means I attended several graduation parties, went to Avon's Flea Market, went to Sterling's Renaissance Faire, visited old friends while having new adventures, Weird Al concert, and a lot more that I cannot remember at the moment.
      *Read ALL the GAIMAN (well most of the Gaiman). I have a reading goal of 40 (revised) books and at 38 books. Trying to make that goal by the skin of my teeth. Finally finished my current book to movie adaptation review from last year. Favourite books I read this year Amanda Palmer's The Art of Asking, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and The Bloggess's Let's Pretend it Didn't Happen. I also read a crap ton of Agatha Christie's novels;
      *Also, I got to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Krampus, The Peanuts Movie, Pan, Mad Max: Fury Road, four separate live Riff Trax events, and The Book of Life (I think are were a few others, but that's what I can remember).

It's been a full years, speed bumps and excitement all around. What have you done this year, books reads, movies, watched, adventures had? Leave me a comment below, Dear Readers. I would love to hear from you.

A Round of Words in 80 Day, a blog challenge that know you have a life. Visit the Blog Hop to see what everyone else is up to.


Friday, December 18, 2015

Inkheart: A Review

I watched the movie. I did.

Inkheart. It was a movie. A movie that I watched.

Oh, Brendan Fraser... ~shakes head~

I don't really know where to start.

Okay, there are SPOILERS! You have been warned...

Usually when I do these book to movie reviews I have a long list of things that were incorrect, misrepresented, poorly done, or were actually done right that needs to be recognized. I get a thrill out of pointing out the obviously incorrect stuff, pausing the movie and yelling at the TV screen (often) because they glossed over this point or that point.

I am not saying the Inkheart is guilt free. But I actually looked at it from a movie perspective first. And then I considered the gross inconsistencies. First, it had Brendan Fraser. I am not generally a Brendan Fraser fan. It wasn't that he acting was terrible, oddly enough he was entertaining. My biggest beef  is that he wasn't British sounding enough. His daughter, Meggie, Elinor, Fenoglio, even Capricorn was British (or at least British sounding). It was a bit distracting to have one person without some form of an accent. Was it enough to ruin the movie? Eh, probably not. But is was distracting.

Looking at it from the book perspective there were a number of things that were glossed over from the book, or not even touched. This is usually what makes me loathe or gently despise a movie made from a boo. When I looked at the story as a movie it was actually entertaining. I missed a lot of the subtle character work the Cornelia Funke included in her book with Dustfinger and Resa, as in the book he did not know she was Meggie mother and Mo's wife. There was also this attraction Dustfinger had for her and made Dustfinger a stronger character. They skipped a lot of those bit and a shame too.

Okay fine, I can believe the characters were real in the movie. Sort of...Resa got shafted, as she had less build up, less vested in her character, except that she was Meggie's lost mother.

There was the ending. It was not he same. Where do you want me to begin? Mo reads Dustfinger back into Inkheart, end of story. That definitely a cop out, happy ending bull crap. There's the Shadow, when he died and not quite in the same way did not produce the creatures that the Shadow had killed who survived in the book to live  with Elinor. And of course everyone else who was alive, the beast and Black Jackets whom had been read out of the books returned to their origins. More cop out it seems.


Not a bad ending, but it felt like a typical Hollywood happy ending where they wrapped everything up in a pretty package with a bow on top.

As for content, it was inconsistent for my tastes. I wanted more of the bits with Basta, his back story and character. I also felt they rushed to name drop Resa and her story, as mentioned above. Paul Bettany was an amazing Dustfinger, though and Eliza Hope Bennett as Meggie was a really good choice. Although they made she a bit older in the movie than in the book, a small gripe if you please. Capricorn wasn't as much of a dick as he was in the book, but seeing as they made a family friendly kids fantasy movie, you can only make a villain so much of a dick. As for location and even cinematography , the whole movie was gorgeous.

The best I can say is it was a so-so family friendly fantasy movie (here Dear Readers, have some alliteration). To compare it to the book, you will find yourself disappointed. The book was over 500 pages, there's a lot to cover there. Yes, the movie is going to gloss over much of it. Will I watch it again, maybe? (if there's a Rifftrax available or booze. Maybe both) If you prefer a good story, read the book. If you  like a fun fantasy movie and can handle a non-British Brendan Fraser, then watch the movie. Did I expect anything less from Hollywood? Not really. I kinda was hoping it would have been terrible to watch, because then I could have laughed and mocked it. Oh well! It was still entertaining.

My recommendation is to read the books, all three of them. You will enjoy them if you like fantasy. I am currently working on a re-read Inkspell!

Have a fantastic day, Dear Readers!!!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Story of The Thing They Made

So, I receive a piece of sloth mail from a fellow Amanda Palmer fan yesterday. This was right before I was to head to the one-time performance of Here Come Snoopy Claus. It is a show that was created and birthed within two weeks. David, Kaylara, Sara, and myself came together to write and direct a show based on the Peanuts characters and with the help of Anna, Ryan, Lily, Amanda, and some adorable Woodstocks (Wendy, Tess, Daphne, Owen, Aubrey) we made a thing, a thing that never existed before.

I am forgetting that this sloth mail I received suggested I do something CRAZY. To tell a story.

I thought that doing Here Comes Snoopy Claus was pretty crazy and then I thought, maybe I should write a story about it. I tried something different. It is a bit of a rough draft, but here is my thing of the thing that was made and performed yesterday.

Enjoy, Dear Readers!

Once upon a time there were four souls. They would spend their days creating stories for the world which they inhabited. These souls were storytellers. Each telling their own stories, in their own ways for the good of the world.

But today they came together to make something.

Their world was a place filled with strife and sadness, but these souls were beings that love to make art and beauty and love.

So one day, these souls met in a not-so-secret place and discussed the making of a thing. Something never made before. This was a thing that would bring much joy to the world.

They talked and planned. 

The souls would throw ideas against the walls of these not-so-secret place. It was a grand time. Sometimes the idea balls would stick, others exploded, and still others bounced back and the souls had to duck to avoid the flying idea balls.

They did this for the longest time, about two days, until they finally had on outline of the thing.

The souls were very excited. They told others whom wanted to take part in this thing.

Over the next several days these souls met and worked separately on this thing. They brought in other friends to help built this thing that was filled with art, songs, happiness, comedy, and love. There was guitar music and karaoke echoing across the not quite frozen lands of the soul's world. They were surprised, because it was the bleak wintertide and usually that meant cold. But it wasn't cold this year, but warmth and much still green. 

So, the souls continued to practice their art until the grand day of unveiling to the world.

Meanwhile there was sadness, when one of the souls-the oldest became ill. They souls worried as they practiced. But fear not, this story is not sad. For the old soul sought help in healing and the other souls sojourned on. They-the souls vowed to honour their friend while he was healing.

The rehearsals continued. 

And then the day was upon them.

The souls rejoiced. The main four danced and sang with their friends. The  souls of the world that lived near and far came to see with what they had created. There were lessons learned and joy to be shared, which is all the souls really wanted, and what everyone else enjoyed.

The souls they sang! Their thing brought much joy to the world.

And at the end of the day, the souls climbed upon the backs of reindeer and llamas and flew away into the night to eat chicken tenders and honey mustard.

The End.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

RENT (the Movie): A Short Review

I have never seen a live production of RENT.

This is fact!

I remember in college, freshman year, when the halls of my dorm echoed with La Vie Boheme. I knew NOTHING about the show it was from, except that everyone was singing it.

This is also fact.

In 1999 or there about one of my bestest friends made me a mix tape that included this song about RENT. What?

More fact.

Sometime ago I purchased a CD of the show RENT, vowing I would at least listen to the music.

Truth, but I only listened to it once.

Okay, Dear Readers, you are probably asking yourself what is the point to this post. Plenty. See, I don't post anything on my blog that isn't about something I haven't encountered or experienced. If I haven't seen something I will tell you thusly and it will only be a brief passing statement on blog post X, Y, or Z. I will never string you along about anything, when I mention something, there is a propose. What I am trying to say is that after a decade or so, I have finally seen a version of RENT.

Now, I know you might be thinking does she mean the musical or the movie?

It was the movie. And before any of you jump up fretting about movie versus music, please see my review of Charlotte's Web (features the animated movie, the live action movie, the book, and the musical). I want you to know that I will watch a theatrical production (even if I have to buy a DVD of it first) of RENT in the future. Over the years I have heard a number of things about RENT the musical, RENT the movie, RENT this RENT, yes I watched the movie. And no, I didn't hate it.

Believe me I knew next to nothing about the characters, maybe a vague description about who was who and knew about five of the songs well enough. And yet I enjoy watching the WHOLE movie.

While it does kind of throw you into the world of NYC struggling artists and their messy lives, you do feel like getting punched in the feels. In a good way of course. OH THE FEELS!!! The acting, from what I can see, was good. I felt vested in these characters while I watched. Musically, I could enjoy all the songs, even got context on some of the songs that I didn't know before.

Some have told me that maybe it wasn't like the musical, but for a movie it was entertaining, touching, had a lot of musical moments, and I was entertained. I have a question to you, Dear Readers, have you watched the movie or the musical? What do you prefer? Leave me some love below...

If you were to ask me, Dear Readers, I could have to say the Mark is my favourite character. I could understand him and sympathize his arc. But, musically, I loved Mimi and Roger's songs, Light My Candle and I Should Tell You. As a whole the story is touching and give a real feel to this mismatched set of characters and their lives.

It was weird to not hear the standard dialogue that is featured in the musical version of the song RENT. But I think that was a directorial choice.

Note: it was nice to see Rosario Dawson in a musical role.

Overall, it was a decent movie, even go so far as to say a touching movie. It makes me curious to see a live production of it in the future.