What Is Story?

Maple, 1989: A Painting in Lloyd Hall, The Banff Centre

Wendy Allen, “Maple, 1989″: Collage, Mixed Media, Lloyd Hall, The Banff Centre

A few thoughts self scribbled down after yesterday’s symposium/discussion between mentors and participants here in the Banff Writing Studio:

  • The end of a novel is not the end of a STORY.
  • The writer is not responsible for hope.
  • Sample story: Someone comes. They make someone miserable. And then they leave. (Or maybe they don’t leave. Thereby extending the misery? Wouldn’t it be so Deus ex machina for the cause of misery to just pick up and go?)

Self this afternoon finished reading the first story in the Bluestem Spring 2015 issue:  Meagan Cass’s “ActivAmerica.” Oh, it is a good one. Here are a few of the gorgeous sentences:

Out on the track, the cold settled over our bodies like wet cement.

*          *          *

“No weather exceptions for non-management,” the monitor told us, his face shining with Vaseline, heavy lines around his mouth, dark shadows under his eyes . . . “You’d have to check the binder . . . I think there’s a liability clause.” I didn’t want to know his story, what they were paying him and who was sick in his family and why he needed the money. I only wanted to kick him in the shins.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The $10,000 You Don’t Want to Spend (If You’re a Struggling Writer)

Reading Susan Kushner Resnick’s “The Heartbreak of Publicity: A Cautionary Tale”, in the November/December 2013 Poets & Writers (Clearly, self is way behind in reading magazines she’s been subscribing to for years and years). Read the rest of this entry »

Wall 3: New York City

From the WordPress Daily Post site:

Walls are “where stories are read, voices are heard, ideas are shared.”

Below are a few pictures of walls from self’s peregrinations today, St. Patrick’s Day, in the great, ever-inspiring city of New York.

It was a blustery, chilly day. Self overheard this conversation, while sitting on the steps of the Metropolitan having a lunch of shish kebab and lemonade from one of the truck vendors on Fifth (And it was a pretty good shish kebab!)

Young Woman (wearing a dress, leggings, boots, and an absolutely radiant smile): “I just flashed everyone.”

Friend (seated behind self on the steps): “I know. It’s such a fucking windy day. Love the outfit, though.”

Chinese Courtyard, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

Chinese Courtyard, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

St. Patrick's Day Parade Wall of Flags! Viewed from the steps of the Metropolitan Museum

St. Patrick’s Day Parade Wall of Flags! Viewed from the steps of the Metropolitan Museum

Wall of People? We're all waiting for the parade!

Wall of People? We’re all waiting for the parade!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

A Review of “The Interview”

For self to like a review enough for her to post bits of it on her blog, it’s got to be funny.

So, you all know about “The Interview,” right? The movie that ended up starting a Mexican stand-off between North Korea and the United States? The movie that had self making statements like: It is a God-given right that Americans watch what they want, when they want, and especially on holidays like Christmas, when all the shopping malls are shut!

Then “The Interview” came out, just as Chris Rock said (to Jon Stewart on The Daily Show) that it would, and judging from the remarks floating around the lobby of the Redwood City Century 20 on Christmas Day, the general consensus seemed to be: This is a stupid movie. Why the North Koreans ever felt it was so threatening — IDK (with shoulder-shrug emoji)

Finally, self lands on rogerebert.com (which she’s avoiding since coming to Mendocino because there are no movie theaters in the vicinity, and she’s too lazy to drive all the way to Fort Bragg, and anyway even if she did make it to Fort Bragg, they’re not showing it), and reads a wickedly entertaining review from Steven Boone. It’s so entertaining, self wonders why she never heard of Steven Boone before. So here goes (Note: The worst barbs are reserved for James Franco)

  • “The Interview” is nothing new, but it looks great.
  • You expect Kanye West and some X-Men to show up. It’s the visual approach filmmakers like Edgar Wright and various cohorts of this film’s star, Seth Rogen . . . spent the past decade indulging, to give their flouncy bromantic comedies the sizzle and swagger of a good romantic adventure.
  • Rogen’s co-lead, James Franco, takes a break from winking roughly one-third of the time . . . Early in the film, and for much of it, he is simply trying too hard. Imagine James Dean aiming for Will Ferrell speed and pitch. In Franco’s relentless hyperactivity I sense immense fear, of not supplying enough energy to this gargantuan film, of not giving Rogen enough to volley back.

There are several raunchy quotes from the movie, of which this one is the most tame:

“Welcome to the jungle, baby, welcome to the jungle. Na na na knees.”

Too, too hilarious!

Stay tuned.

 

San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday 18 January 2015

“Two great talkers will not travel far together.”

—  Spanish proverb

Quoted in Quotable Traveler by Larry Habegger, p. L3 of the San Francisco Chronicle (18 January 2015)

Eavesdropping: Downtown Redwood City Century 20, Christmas Day

WOMAN:  “I saw The Interview yesterday.”

MAN:  “Did you?”

WOMAN: “And that was the stupidest, most asinine . . .  The idea that North Korea was threatened by it . . . ” (eye-roll)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Movie Quote of the Day: Saturday, 22nd of November (2014)

From Carla Meyer of the Sacramento Bee:

Team Peeta members will be disappointed that Hutcherson, who is such a reassuring presence in these movies, appears infrequently in “Part 1.” Hemsworth appears more often. But not only is Gale the less compelling love interest, Liam is the less compelling Hemsworth brother.

Speaking of Hemsworth brothers, yesterday, at Palo Alto Square off Page Mill Road, self watched Eddie Redmayne play Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything.” His performance was very, very good.

Before “The Theory of Everything” began, there were six previews, two of which featured People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive, Chris Hemsworth.

In Preview # 1 Chris Hemsworth is a raw sailor on a whaling ship (The movie of course is In the Heart of the Sea, Ron Howard’s attempt to channel Peter Weir, which to self appears an unwinnable task LOL), and in Preview # 2 he plays a hacker. With the casting of Hemsworth in the latter movie, hackers of the world have with one stroke been elevated to the sexy. Bravo!

The final question is: Who is James Marsh?

She knows he directed “The Theory of Everything,” but who is he really?  Has he directed other movies that self has already scene? Indubitably. Good thing self has time on her hands today, Saturday. And it is raining. So she can spend time on the internet doing research on this fellow.

Stay tuned.

 

Professional Critic: “Interstellar” Movie

The best “Interstellar” review self has read so far is by Noel Vera, on his Critic After Dark” blog.  Here’s the opening paragraph:

Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” starts out very Grapes of Wrath and ends up a little Book of Genesis. Along the way you see the influence of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (of course); design bits from “Alien” and “Star Wars”; story details from (though I don’t see Nolan ever confirming this) “Marooned”, Brian de Palma’s “Mission to Mars” and (guessing he’d rather die than admit it) “Field of Dreams”; imagery from “The Right Stuff” and (this Nolan does admit — it’s a much tonier source) Tarkovsky’s “The Mirror.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Robert Greene Analyzed, 500 Miles From Home

Self doesn’t have her copy of  Robert Green’s The 48 Laws of Power with her. Shucks! She’d love to get some guidance from it today.

Luckily, there are reader reviews on Amazon that are peppered with quotes.

Quotes such as:

  • “The only means to get one’s end with people are force and cunning. Love, also, they say, but that is to wait for sunshine, and life needs every moment.”
  • “So much depends on your reputation — guard it with your life.”
  • “Always say less than necessary.”
  • “Win through your actions, never through argument.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

J Lo, PEOPLE Magazine, 10 November 2014

Self reads People Magazine whenever she gets on a plane.

So, since she flew to LA several days ago, she of course has the current issue, the one with Katie Holmes on the cover.

Self hasn’t yet reached the Holmes article, but she’s just finished reading the one about J Lo, who has a new book out. The book includes details about her divorce from Marc Anthony.

Here’s an excerpt from the People article:

Part of loving yourself is about forgiving yourself — which is something I’ve always struggled with.  Being ambitious, being a perfectionist, means I’ve spent my life beating myself up for not being good enough, or for screwing something up. It took a long time, but I finally figured out that I wouldn’t have half the instincts or insights I’ve had as an artist over the years if not for those screw-ups.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

« Older entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,579 other followers