The Moment in Mad Max When Tom Hardy Removes His Face Device

Lord, self never wanted to like Mad Max: Fury Road.

She saw the trailers and was — OMG, this movie’s been taken over by Charlize!

Not that self has anything against Charlize.

But seriously — where is Mad Max???

Today, in Banff, after an afternoon spent learning how to make a book (not writing — scrapbooking! With many famous writers alongside. So nice to have non-verbal expression, for once! Also, the store was absolutely delightful, and so was the owner.)

Wait a minute, self was about to write something about Mad Max. (Er, would you believe self has only seen a handful of movies this year? And it’s nearly half over! Must correct that situation pronto!)

Anyhoo, Tom Hardy. In that facial gear, self kept thinking she was watching Gerard Butler.

Not, however, when he finally succeeded in prying off the unholy device. And —

Ladies and Gentlemen, a new generation has arrived. His FACE, dear blog readers. THAT FACE.

Tom Hardy, you are so beautiful. After that, self never looked away from the screen once, not even while she was madly scribbling lines of dialogue into her take-everywhere notebook. She can barely decipher her scrawl now.

Self must also mention this other presence:  Nicholas Hoult.

That boy. Okay, while not beautiful like Tom Hardy, he is moving. Self has seen him play a zombie, play a 12-year-old, play Jack in the Giant Beanstalk movie, and she always always finds him terribly easy to empathize with.

In fact, self would have to say the BEST lines of dialogue in this movie (What? There was dialogue? Hold on . . . Indeed there was! Not of the Shakesperean variety, mind you! But close, lol!)

For instance, somewhere in the middle of the movie:

Nux:  There’s high ground just beyond that thing.

Furiosa:  What thing.

One of the Brides:  He means the tree.

OMG, do you see what self means about the dialogue? It is economical, it is brisk, and it does the job!

Next line of memorable dialogue: Wives (aka Breeders) having a squabble. One wants to give up and return to her oh-so-unholy breeding activities. The other wives chase after her and tell her:

You. Are. Not. Thing.

Loved it, loved it, loved it.

Do dear blog readers know that self has a science fiction story set in a dystopian (apologies, but she has to use that word) future? And it is called Thing? It was published in the New Orleans Review, 2012.

Yes, you brides who are all played to great blank affect by possible real-life models: YOU ARE NOT THING.

Three cheers for George Miller for using such a great line in his movie.

And now to Nick Hoult’s lines:

I live.

I die.

I live again.

There was just something so nihilistic, so even Nietzsche about that line. About the movie, in fact. Captured the despair of the characters perfectly.

So, when the credits finally rolled, self waited to see those words:

DIRECTED BY GEORGE MILLER.

Well done, sir. If she were in a movie theatre alone, she would have clapped.

Stay tuned.

Chapter XXVIII, FOLLOWING THE EQUATOR: Pudd’nhead Wilson Quote

Self does remember telling dear blog readers a little while back that each chapter of Following the Equator began with a quote from Pudd’nhead Wilson.

And many’s the time she fully intended to share a Pudd’nhead Wilson quote, but that resolution usually fell by the wayside because she is having so much fun reading the Cassandra Clare trilogy, The Infernal Devices.

But now self will make a Pudd’nhead Wilson quote. Here it comes. Ready?

  • Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Only Self’s Twentieth Infernal Devices Post: CLOCKWORK PRINCESS, p. 116

Self adores every Magnus Bane/ Will Herondale interaction, huh.

In Clockwork Prince, p. 404 (True, self still hasn’t mailed it back to her niece. Even though she promised), Will goes to Magnus’s house and meets the werewolf (and head of the lupine clan) Woolsey-Scott. (This is where it gets a little confusing for self, as whenever she reads the name Woolsey she immediately thinks of Cardinal Woolsey in some British historical event. Most likely one involving Henry VIII?)

Will is a little confused, because Woolsey keeps flirting with him. He says to Magnus, “Your note to me did have something to do with demon summoning, didn’t it? This isn’t you . . . calling in your favor, is it?”

And what exactly might that little favor be, Pretty Boy Will Herondale?

BWAH. HA. HA.

Never fear, dear reader. Author Cassandra Clare never actually goes there. But there is enough double entendre sprinkled about to set the gears spinning. And to fuel 900+ fan fictions.

READ ON IF YOU LIKE SPOILERS. EVEN TEENSY ONES.

On to Clockwork Princess. In which Tessa Gray is being so tiresomely devoted to Jem Carstairs. No wishy-washy back and forth for this girl! She loves the dying angel. As would we all. If we happened to live in a Victorian novel. Freudian analysts would have such a field day with this: Tessa Gray prefers a dying (and certifiably angelic) boy to the virile boy because she secretly fears . . . DUN DUN DUN

Anyhoo, enough of that twit. Magnus Bane is turning out to be quite an ambivalent character. Never once does he express any kind of feelings for Will, but hello, it’s all in the sub-text.

p. 116

“Take this.” He folded it into Will’s hand.

Will looked at him in confusion. “This was Camille’s.”

“I gave it to her as a gift,” said Magnus, a bitter quirk to the side of his mouth. “She returned all my gifts to me last month. You might as well take it. It warns when demons are close. It might work on those clockwork creations of Mortmain’s.”

“True love cannot die,” Will said, translating the inscription on the back in the light from the corridor. “I can’t wear this, Magnus. It’s too pretty for a man.”

“So are you.”

Will, Will, Will. Can you be any less thick? Do you not see how ridiculous this whole situation is? You are in love with a woman who doesn’t love you, and in the meantime you keep asking favors of Magnus Bane, which will have to be repaid at some point, and . . .

Never mind.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Lugubrious Bridget: CLOCKWORK PRINCE, pp. 494 – 495

There is a new servant girl at the London Institute of the Shadowhunters, one Bridget.

She is a most interesting person.

AGAIN: SPOILERS. THERE WILL BE SPOILERS.

Since her arrival, she has been singing the most lugubrious songs. For instance, here’s the song Bridget sings when Tessa is about to change into Jessamine and meet her dastardly half-brother Nate to find out what he can reveal about nasty Mortmain aka the Magister.

So John took out of his pocket
A knife both long and sharp,
And stuck it through his brother’s heart,
And the blood came pouring down.
Says John to William, “Take off thy shirt,
And tear it from gore to gore,
And wrap it round your bleeding heart,
And the blood will pour no more.

And just before Jem announces his engagement to Tessa, Bridget can be heard in the kitchen, singing:

‘Twas an evening fair I went to take the air,
I heard a maid making her moan;
Said, ‘Saw ye my father? Or saw ye my mother?
Or saw ye my brother John?
Or saw ye the lad that I love best,
And his name it is Sweet William?

Anyhoo, that engagement announcement scene just about broke self’s heart. And Will Herondale is the first (naturally) to congratulate the happy pair. And self wished for nothing more than for Jem and Tessa to go off somewhere, crawl into a hole, and die.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Shut Up, Throat!

Self is soooo soooo tired of the cough.

She’s had it almost a week since Sunday. It’s that wheezing kind, the kind that has your chest heaving in the middle of a very important reading. While everyone is concentrating so hard on every word that falls from the reader’s lips, you’re there in the back trying to quell your . . . explosion . . . of icky phlegm . . . from landing on someone’s shoulders or back.

Today, she apologized again to Dan, her neighbor across the way. Because he must be thinking to himself, GOOD LORD HOW LONG IS THAT WOMAN’S INFERNAL COUGH GOING TO LAST? He swears he doesn’t hear a thing. Not true. Because she can hear when someone’s coughing in the hallway just oustide.

Plus, Dan’s Canadian. Think a Canadian’s ever going to be rude enough to tell self: Will you muffle your coughs with a wet towel or something? Man oh man! How long is this going to go on?

No, Dan being Canadian, he very sweetly assures self that Jesse, down the hall, has been apologizing for the same thing (Self has never actually seen Jesse about. Not since last Wednesday, during a reading at the Wild Flour Artisan Bakery downtown, when we shared zinc lozenges)

She doesn’t know if it’s the dry weather here in Banff, or just general run-of-the-mill tiredness, but man. She swears she’s going to kill herself if she wakes up tomorrow still coughing. And this is only half of 2015. How lovely. The rest of the year awaits.

Having a cough for one whole week during a residency is the equivalent of using a sick bag during an airplane ride: Your airplane seatmate never wants to speak to you again, no matter how many times you gargle in the plane lavatory. Hope you weren’t heading home from an AWP Conference, because you can just kiss that connection good-bye.

She’s trying to write her 18th century WIP, so as a way to distract herself (Can you believe it’s PAST MIDNIGHT? How did that happen?), she makes a list of things she intends to include in the chapter she’s currently grappling with, things sufficiently 18th-century-sounding, like:

  • hourglass
  • wind
  • seawater
  • gust of wind
  • night
  • darkness
  • the shore
  • the sky
  • the sun

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

What? What? What? NOOOOOOOO!

SPOILERS GALORE AS PER USUAL

p. 293 of Clockwork Prince:

Tessa and Will have another stake-out. This time, instead of a Vampire Ball, it’s a Demon’s Ball. Not as interesting, but hey, this is the ball at which beautiful Will Herondale keeps saying Tessa’s name, over and over, because “I love your name. I love the sound of it.” It also helps that she’s wearing a very tight corset because her dress belonged to Jessamine, that incorrigible, shameless, flirt, and a corset makes even the most flat-chested woman look curvaceous.

So they’re finally alone on a balcony, and —

“So there you two are,” comes a voice.

DRAAAAAT! That Warlock Magnus Bane has followed them!

The two whirl away from each other in shame, and Magnus says, “Let me guess. You had the lemonade.”

!!!##@@!!!

The lemonade “had a bit of warlock powder mixed into it,” says Magnus. “The kind that lowers your inhibitions.”

Damn you, Magnus Bane! Damn you to Warlock Hell or wherever!

Stay tuned.

CLOCKWORK PRINCESS, p. 212

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

Every death scene, no matter whose (with the possible exception of Benedict Lightwood’s) — kills self.

Really, really kills.

The characters say things as they die that — UGH.

Since self’s favorite thing in The Infernal Devices is the dialogue, the fact that someone is dying is a really good reason to get those FEELZ out, in verbal manner.

And on p. 212 — eyes gushing like a faucet, self experiences a death scene.

(It ain’t Will’s, though — BWAH. HA. HA. If it were, she’d never read another word of the series)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: CLOCKWORK PRINCESS, p. 41

During a climactic action sequence involving a giant worm (Think Tremors, the movie), this sentence:

  • The worm’s thin, annulated tail was wrapped around his knees.

SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER IF ONLY SELF HAD A SHORTCUT SO SHE DIDN’T HAVE TO KEEP TYPING OUT THE WORD SPOILER

Self tried to picture it: a worm with its tail wrapped around its knees. Would that mean Benedict Lightwood Iteration (i.e. Worm) is sitting on his or its bum, with its tail wrapped around itself? But hold on, how would a worm have knees?

Then, with awful pitching of her belly, self realizes, those are not the Worm’s own knees that its tail is wrapped around. Those are Will Herondale’s knees!

Oh no oh no oh no oh nooooo!  Self can’t, she can’t even!!!!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Beginning Clockwork Princess

Self is knee-deep in current WIP (18th century Filipino priest! Tons of incident! A secret love!) but she still has to find out what happens to Will Herondale.

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

Clockwork Princess, the third book in The Infernal Devices Trilogy, begins with Tessa in a gold wedding dress.

You know what self likes so much about Infernal Devices author Cassandra Clare? She never lets her two main men, Magnus Bane or Will Herondale, wallow.

So Tess Gray broke Will’s heart in Clockwork Prince. Now, it’s off to the new, which is taking care of Will’s younger sister, Cecily. It is wonderful seeing Will through her eyes!

With Tessa adorned in her wedding finery, there is a sudden arrival from Gabriel Lightfoot, and the following conversation ensues between Gideon (who has moved into the London Institute and secretly pines for Sophie, the ladies’ maid with the scar on her face) and Gabriel:

“Is father hurt?” Gideon went on, coming to a stop before his brother. “Are you?” He put his hand up and took his brother’s face, his hand cupping Gabriel’s chin and turning it toward him. Though Gabriel was taller, the look of a younger sibling was clear in his face — relief that his brother was there, and a flicker of resentment at his peremptory tone.

“Father . . . ” Gabriel began. “Father is a worm.”

At first self was thinking: Benedict Lightwood, worm — well, in the metaphorical sense. Right? Right?

But no. Cassandra Clare does not shrink from making one of her trilogy’s main antagonists turn into an actual worm. It’s just so, so — Kafka-esque!

Woman, you are brilliant. Just, brilliant.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Broken: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is BROKEN:

  • Capture something broken:  broken windows and tools, an old window, a toy never fixed, and so on.

Each of the pictures below depicts something “broken” — whether it’s Anthony Burgess’s disturbing novel of social dysfunction in an England of the future ruled by thugs, A Clockwork Orange (the book was in a visual art exhibit at the Walter Phillips Gallery here in Banff), a preserved dinosaur head, or an installation representing America’s involvement in the war in Afghanistan:

Anthony Burgess's CLOCKWORK ANGEL

Anthony Burgess’s CLOCKWORK ANGEL — Ooops! Self means A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. Self’s got too much Infernal Devices on the brain, dear blog readers!

Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum at Drumheller, Alberta

Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum at Drumheller, Alberta

Harriet Bart, American:

Harriet Bart: “Enduring Afghanistan” – map of Afghanistan rendered in dog tags, at the Walker Art Museum, Minneapolis

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day, CLOCKWORK PRINCE, p. 389

Self is still reading Mark Twain, but to Twain does not belong the Sentence of the Day (Is that even correct grammar, self? Something wrong with the construction, apparently. Nevertheless)

She has reached p. 453 of Clockwork Prince! And tomorrow she mails the book back to her niece in Calgary, who lent her a hardback collector’s edition. Thank you soooo soooo much, Karina, for introducing self to The Infernal Devices! (And oh by the way she’s still into Peeta Mellark, and she still writes Hunger Games Everlark fan fiction, and she’s also still in the Banff Writing Studio, but none of that matters now, because, because — now she has to reveal her Sentence of the Day!)

SPOILER ALERT MAJOR SPOILER ALERT DO NOT READ IF YOU HATE SPOILERS

The climax of Clockwork Prince is when Magnus Bane kisses Will Herondale.

Ooops — NOT!

Clockwork Prince is a really great novel. Self would have given it five stars if not for all those wasted scenes between taking-so-slow-to-die Jem Carstairs and that Silly Twit Tessa Gray.

There is no sentence like a Cassandra Clare sentence when she describes Will Herondale in action. Allow the slight digression, dear blog readers, but self will never forget that sentence on p. 446 of Clockwork Angel when Will was hurrying to save Tessa from the evil and lascivious clutches of a certain gentleman (This is Victorian London, after all! Did you perhaps think this was a Sarah Waters novel — BWAH. HA. HA!), and he has to ride bareback through the streets of 19th century London, and he has to take out his stele while on a dead run, and he hits a locked door in the Institute, whereupon:

He slashed the stele across the door’s surface, creating the fastest Open rune of his life.

Now, in Clockwork Prince, tiresome Jem has broken a leg or something and is completely useless against a giant automaton and Tess’s dastardly brother Nate has been quite brutally slappiing Tess about, and only Will is left to protect Tess from an explosion set off by one of Henry’s infernal contraptions, and of course after it goes off Tess is all sad because her evil brother has died, and very belatedly she looks at Will and notices that he is lying very still because:

His gear had been shredded all along his spine and shoulder blades, the thick material torn by flying shards of razored metal.

EEEEK!!!

NOOOOOO!!!

So once again, Cassandra Clare has dug in the knife and self can’t even.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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