Do or Do Not.

Archive for September, 2005

Trailer Park: Harry Potter, “Shining”

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  • The trailer for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (QuickTime or Windows Media) looks pretty impressive to me, even though as one of my co-workers noted, it seems that they’re trying to shove too much impressive stuff into one two-minute trailer. Still, it’s a pretty massive book, much bigger than the three previous books in the series, and I’d bet they wanted to show as much of the material as they could so the people who’ve read the books could feel good that the filmmakers have retained as much of the story as possible. I just finished reading “Goblet of Fire” a couple of nights ago, and to date it’s my favorite in the series. There’s a ton of Very Important Story Details they’re going to need to convey, both points local to this story and to the larger “Harry Potter” mythos, and I’m really curious as to how they’re going to squeeze it all in. I swear, that movie’s going to have to be three hours long, easy. Anticipation Factor: 90%
  • For those of you who maybe haven’t really thought about the effect that editing has on the movies you watch, take a look at this brilliant “trailer” for Shining, a family comedy-drama about a writer looking for inspiration and a boy looking for a father.

Written by Allen

September 30th, 2005 at 11:44 am

Posted in General

Meme: 23/5

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The lovely Amy hit me with this 23/5 meme–go to the twenty-third post in your blog, pick the fifth sentence and then try to expand on it, the themes that are either explicitly or impliclty present in that sentence. So I dug up said post and said sentence, which I reproduce now exactly as it was presented then (on May 26th):


(Yes, it was in all caps. Go look yourself if you don’t believe me.)

The original context for the sentence was in dicussion of the first draft of John Irving’s Until I Find You–a draft he threw away so he could rewrite the book in third person instead of first. I was simply astonished by the fact that he was able to write one single piece of fiction that was so horrendously long…well, you can go back and read the original post if you’re interested.

To expand on that sentence somewhat–well, obviously I’ve been having some issues with my fiction lately, largely in the getting-my-ass-moving-forward front. As you might have noticed from the sidebar, my first draft has been stuck at a little over 15,000 words for about a month or so. Not all of that has been directly related to a lack of motivation, of course; my father’s recent illness (he came home from the hospital yesterday, by the way), helping my boy Jay drive up to New England from Florida, plus any number of other sundry happenings have helped divert my attention from the manuscript long enough that I’ve found it incredibly hard to pick up where I left off. (To be fair, some of my problem has been purely a lack of motivation.)

I know that word count isn’t the measure of whether or not a story or a novel is successful–that would be like saying the main reason I dig The Killers’ “All These Things That I’ve Done,” for instance, is because that song has just the right number of notes. That’s clearly ludicrous. But numbers work for me, they keep me going. Watching my word count has the same effect for me that all the fancy readings on the treadmill do: both give me a measurable objective against which to gauge my progress. I might not be able to use that info to judge quality, but at least I know how close I am to being done.

Realizing just how far away I am from being done with that draft, however…looks more and more like I have to re-think that “end of October” deadline. Grr.

Written by Allen

September 29th, 2005 at 9:50 pm

Posted in Memes,Writing

Mond…er, Tuesday Photo: Pun’kin

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We took the girls to the pumpkin patch on Sunday for Laurel’s first expedition pumpkin-picking. (Well, she went last year, but wasn’t walking yet and couldn’t really get around looking at the pumpkins, so we don’t really count that time.) One of the biggest reasons for going was just to get out of the house for a little while since Terry had spent most of the previous 40 hours or so in bed with her nasty stomach flu-like thing.

I can’t say Laurel truly understood just what it was we were trying to do; she wandered among the pumpking for a couple of minutes and then followed her big sister over to look at the cows instead. But I’m presenting this picture both because of the goofy look on Laurel’s face…and as the Official Do or Do Not Monday Photo Welcome to Fall Picture. Huzzah!

(And yes, thankyouverymuch, I do sometimes take pictures of subjects other than Laurel. But c’mon, she’s just so damn cute!)

Written by Allen

September 27th, 2005 at 1:30 pm

Posted in Photography

Happy Birth-Jay!

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Today’s the thirty-first birthday of my most excellent friend Jay; unfortunately, even though he just moved up here to New England, we’re not going to get to hang with him on his b’day because of an unfortunate and sudden attack of disgusting-type sickness to Terry. So he’ll just have to make do with this birthday shout-out in lieu of our presence.

Jay’s a fantastic photographer–he was, in fact, one of the main strengths our college newspaper had when we worked there together. I was able to use a magazine-style format for the paper with full-size photos on the front page because I knew I had Jay as my photo editor and therefore I’d always have quality pics to put there. Jay’s also a thoughtful and dedicated friend, and one of the most capable people I know–he has the ability to dive right into just about any task and get it taken care of.

So happy birfin’ day, Jay, and we’ll see you as soon as we can!

Written by Allen

September 24th, 2005 at 11:05 am

Posted in General

Link: “Notes on Making Art”

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On the heels of last night’s whiny post about not being able to muster up much in the wy of momentum on my writing right now, today I found (via 43Folders) this link to The Scarlet Letters’ “Notes on Making Art.” To some degree it’s more suggestions along the lines of what I’ve been trying–keep moving forward, don’t sweat the editing until you’re doing with the first pass–but it has a couple of other nice insights in there for anyone who finds themselves stuck in first-draft hell or I-ain’t-got-any-damn-ideas hell. Though this site seems focused on visual artists in particular, the ideas are written in such a way as to be applicable to any whichever art form(s) you happen to dabble in:

How to have “lots of ideas”: permute. Start anywhere. Once a piece is done, try varying some aspect. Think of all the variables that could have permutations.

Hopefully these ideas will help kick my ass back in gear and I can start making some more progress! I’ve started thinking maybe it’s time to kill a character, just to give the plot somewhere to go, though it seems awfully early in the story to break out that particular gambit. Hmmm. Much pondering to do.

Written by Allen

September 23rd, 2005 at 8:51 pm

Posted in Writing