~ There is only one journey: going inside yourself. ~
- Rainer Maria Rilke


Campari Tomatoes... ~ Saturday, March 25, 2006

...are really tasty. Ciara had told me they were bursting with flavour--and she's right. They really are. They do remind me a bit of grape tomatoes, but they are larger, and therefore more usable, in sandwiches and the like. Funny--I hadn't even heard of them before chatting with her last week, and then, this week, there they are, prominently displayed, in all their glory. And I usually do scour the tomato aisle for likely-looking suspects, so I'm sure I would have noticed them before.

At any rate, I recommend them to any tomato lovers who might happen to stumble upon this page. Also, if I forget about them, this will be a reminder.

On the other side of things, the Tazo Vanilla tea latte (the pre-mixed, "just add milk" one litre box) is not as good as the Tazo Chai. Just FYI. To be more specific, it's got more of a bitter taste, which I am not as fond of, but others may like. I think mum likes that slightly bitter edge in certain teas, from what I recall.

::Posted by Anduril Elessar @ 11:16 AM::::



"V for Vendetta" ~ Thursday, March 23, 2006

We saw it Wednesday night--and I really liked it. Definitely a cool, literate piece of film with that dark, graphic novel-y quality that I so enjoy. I also really liked the way the film so skillfully combined motifs from the Guy Fawkes story (as if progressing from the question of "what set of circumstances would justify a future Guy Fawkes figure's plan to blow up Parliament?"), the Count of Monte Cristo (for the personal story arc) and the Phantom of the Opera (though a far more intriguing version of it).

I liked that there was a darker side to V's personality/persona--and we saw his ruthlessness not just in his actions towards the oppresive regime and its leaders, but also in what he did to Evie. That he was a humorous, articulate and compassionate figure added other interesting facets to the character, even after he has done what some might regard as unforgivable.

The movie itself was well crafted, and I would love to sit down with a notebook and jot down all the turning points for the main plot and subplots of the narrative--and there were many of the latter, all very smoothly woven together. I also found the use of montages very effective--one with the backstory of a gay character (who, herself, is also a backstory) and one that is followed by a nicely-done wink to the audience. The existence of montages as a way of providing relevant backstory effectively but with great brevity is unique to the cinematic medium (film, tv etc.)--I sometimes wish I had recourse to it in written fiction as well. Though of course even in film it must be used in moderation, I imagine. But it can often be supremely powerful as a way of conveying to the audience, in a series of flashes that wonderfully mimic insight, an intuitive or thematic connection between multiple story strands and motifs (the Brit tv series "The Singing Detective" provides what for me was one of the most satisfying, effective and powerful examples of a potent, climactic montage to tie everything in an intuitive, rather than a linear, fashion).

The film was also nicely spiced with references and quotes, well-delivered. My one issue with the acting was that I found Natalie Portman's British accent unconvincing/jarring at times. Otherwise--I've always found Stephen Rea a likeable screen presence, with his rather lugubrious face, and I like Rupert Everet as well (haven't seen him since the Forster flick days--Room With a View and Maurice). And Hugo Weaving did a fab job in a challenging role, where he had to act and win our sympathies without recourse to facial expression.

I also found certain points in the film genuinely moving--which doesn't often happen to me anymore.

The film also nicely flirted with so many relevant contemporary issues (terroism/activism/revolution, fear as a tool for the infringement of rights, political extremism, etc.). And, though the finale was not altogether out of the blue, the positive outcome of one storyline was tempered by the negative outcomes of several others--ultimately a satisfying conclusion on all counts.

*sigh* So enough procrastination. Back to work.

::Posted by Anduril Elessar @ 3:58 PM::::


My dirty little secret (don't worry, Tom knows) is that I read the ends of novels--usually when I'm about fifty or so pages in. Sometimes a little further--it depends on how engaged I am by the book, but certainly well before I actually reach the ending by reading the book in a linear fashion.

Why? Those who do not do as I do may well wonder. Tom is incredulous and cannot believe that I would "ruin it"--the reading experience--that way.

Several reasons.

Firstly, I am often disappointed in the resolution of a book (or of short stories that begin well and then just fall flat or get silly or in other ways. It just feels as if the writer didn't know where to take it, so he or she went for the easy way out--I am reminded of this as I read through some of the latest subs for Margin). Reading the ending for novels (it's not usually worth it for short stories, since they're short) at least assures me that it's not going to be an "it was all a dream" scenario or something equally silly and cliched. I don't always understand, out of context, what the resolution actually is, but if it seems interesting or reasonably complex, that's an assurance that I'm not going to be totally wasting my time.

Secondly, I often abandon books--if it doesn't hold me, I will put it down (sometimes with a touch of compunction, and sometimes with none at all) and will often not come back to it. Many are the books in my house with a bookmark still lurking somewhere amongst their pages. Reading the end will sometimes pique my interest and keep me reading to find out how the narrative reaches that end point.

Doing a quick skim over the final pages of a book generally just helps me determine if I think the book is worth the effort or not. Since for me the journey is at least as important as the destination--if not far more important--knowing the destination is worthwhile frees me to enjoy the journey with less of a niggling doubt about whether I'll be annoyed by the ending. Knowing the ending, for me doesn't ruin or undermine the journey, it enhances it.

As a writer, I also know how difficult it can be to craft a really satisfying ending--so I want some concrete assurance that the writer whose work I am reading has managed to do that, at least to some extent. I don't watch movies that way mainly because they're usually only a few hours long (aside from the logistics of trying to get to the end first, if it isn't on dvd)--a book is usually much more of a time commitment.

I should add, though, that there are some books or films where I haven't liked the ending but I've still felt the overall experience made the watching/reading worthwhile. But those tend to be the exception more than the rule.

::Posted by Anduril Elessar @ 9:33 AM::::



"Rize" and Krumping ~ Tuesday, March 21, 2006

We saw a fascinating film on Saturday night, entitled "Rize." A documentary about the rise of a new dance form which originated in some kind of clowing hip-hop dance style (Tommy the hip-hop clown in South Central LA). I really thought it might be a mocumentary at first, when some kid's mother was saying "Out here, the kids are either with one of the gangs, or with one of the clown groups." And I thought--have I misheard, here? A gang or a *clown* group?? Like the clowns are strong enough to keep the kids out of *gangs*?

But it was true. Apparently, there's a profusion of so-called "clown" groups in South Central. And they consist of young people who basically do this form of hip-hop dancing called the "stripper dance" with moves layered over it that make it (apparently) into a clown hybrid dance. But, even though Tommy and some of his guys really do go and clown at kids' birthday parties and things, it soon becomes pretty obvious that the meaning of the word "clown" has morphed significantly in the region.

And while Tommy still wears the rainbow wig and the white makeup, most of the other guys and gals use some sort of dramatic face art *sans* the usual clownish tropes of wigs and red grins.

And then, there's the form that emerged from this clowning dance, called "krumping". It's dark, it's urban, it's violent and intense and amazing to watch. And yet, it's also very visceral and tribal (Tom and I were commenting on that, and then, a few minutes later, the film made that inter-connection explicit). The youth who do it are working off their anger, and exploring their ancestral roots. At any rate, it's something I've never seen before--really original stuff (not that I know a *ton* about dance forms). There's a trance-like, sacred, but also martial quality. Like a dark, very disturbing and really fast tai chi.

And in this context, the clown face paint has morphed into more minimal facial markings that evoke some sort of urban, tribal patterning.

The film depicts a face off between the clowns and the krumpers and I kept thinking--wow, this really doesn't do anything to dispel the fears of those who find clowns scary and disturbing to begin with.

At any rate, it's powerful, fascinating stuff.

::Posted by Anduril Elessar @ 9:05 AM::::


An early-ish start today--and two posts. I'll do separate ones for each subject.

Yesterday was unusually rewarding--for which I have David Trottier and Robert McKee (both of whom wrote books on screenwriting) to thank. Thank you both. Trottier has written a very simple and practical primer on things like the three act structure etc. McKee's book is useful in a different way--it breaks down multiple aspects of story and narrative in very interesting ways. Ways that all make sense--ways that I read about and thought "ah--I knew that at some level, but never thought to put it that way".

McKee is the guy whose workshop Donald Kaufmann (Charles Kaufmann's non-existant twin) attends in "Adaptation" (in one scene he's doing situps and has got a copy of the McKee book I've been reading, _Story_, on his chest). The film emphasises McKee's "method" as being formulaic and so on, but IMO the terms are general enough to apply to all except the antiplot (which he also acknowledges as existing etc.). The book actually has an incredibly large scope and reads very well. I would, in fact, argue (based on admittedly flawed recollection of a single viewing of the film, years ago), that "Adaptation" follows the same pattern of conflicts, turning points and escalating stakes that McKee advocates, but they're internal and PoMo, rather than the external, action-oriented iteration that Donald advocates.

So at any rate, yesterday, armed with super sticky post-its, a whiteboard and dry-erase markers, I plotted out the main storyline of the Regency, and the two primary two sub-plots, separately. I worked through all the scenes, buildups and turning points, grouped by storyline, each with its own separate catalyst, inciting incident, act structure etc. (and each in a different colour). Then, since they were all stickies, I moved them all into the narrative order I'd need to tell the story, with each scene slotted into the order I'd need it. The dry erase marker was then used to work out the timeline of the story--when each scene takes place in the context of the narrative.

And now, it's all there, and it feels comfortable and in control and really really great. :-D Of course, the real proof will be in the pudding--I'll have to see how it all comes together when I start writing. But hopefully this will be an excellent aid to getting this book done, finally.

Of course, I also learned about a writing contest for young adult fiction (but you don't have to be a young adult to enter, from what I understand--I should double check). Deadline: end of March. So I'm working on something for that, since there's no entry fee, so it's only the cost of postage. It will be nice to have something "out there" again. It has been a while.

So, the actual writing, from my whiteboard planning, will have to wait, unfortunately. *sigh*

::Posted by Anduril Elessar @ 8:46 AM::::



Gus Van Sant's "Elephant" ~ Saturday, March 18, 2006

A chilly day today, notwithstanding the blue skies and lack of snow on the ground. I walked over to Starbuck's first thing (it took about an hour), and I was glad of my big coat, gloves and so on. But it was still a pleasant enough walk.

Since I'm in screenplay mode, I kept imagining a filmic depiction of the walk--a shot of the protag going up a wooded residential street; then along a main road with cars swishing by; a wide field; a forest; railroad tracks; the tall, eclectic buidings of a university campus. And all that to indicate the passage of three weeks or so and the protagonist's epic walk. I think I've walked greater distances, but I guess because I hadn't eaten much (a small granola bar before I left) and the terrain was so varied, it really did feel epic and as if I had travelled a vast distance.

We saw Gus Van Sant's "Elephant" last night. I have to say, my feelings were mixed. It definitely felt self-indulgent and somewhat inconsiderate of the filmgoer's level of engagement. There was one sequence (it might have been a single steadicam shot; I wasn't paying superclose attention) in which I think the entire first movement of the Moonlight Sonata was played, while we saw some kids playing football, then focussed on one of them, and followed him around in real time as he walked up stairs, down stairs, opened a door, walked in etc. Not super high stakes or highly engaging viewing.

I was caught between wanting to see if Van Sant was going to pull it all together in some appropriate and engaging way that gave us a big payoff for all our waiting (he sort of did...), and just feeling irritated and frustrated with the lack of consideration or the arrogance of expectation that we as viewers would be willing to sit through an hour or so of this sort of tedious K-mart Realism (or would that be Walmart Realism, now?).

And indeed, the first hour truly did consist of the camera following various characters around the school--with the occasional blip of interest as we realise it's not a totally linear narrative and we are seeing the same (Walmart Realist) scenario played out from mulitple points of view, interspersed with periodic cuts to an advancing storyline of the two catalyst boy figures as they go through their lives in the day leading up to the focal events. We also had some fairly long sequences of clouds. Just clouds.

So, how did Van Sant add resonance to the long shots as a camera followed someone walking around the school? The repetition pulled us out of the tedium and made us imagine that we were seeing some sort of pattern or getting different POVs on the same inconsequential events (did I mention that the dialogue felt somewhat banal, flabby and improvised? And indeed, I found out that it actually was largely improvised--surprise, surprise. It did feel real, though. That definitely is how people talk--no film stylization or tightening in the interests of giving us something a little more engaging to watch--nothing so plebian for Mr. Van Sant).

Ultimately, all of this put us in the POV of one of those shoot'em up video games, as the final events came into play. Or rather, it puts us into an exceptionally boring version of one of them.

Which brings us to the real payoff, IMO: the randomness and tedium of the general action and film also meant that we felt the tedium, randomness and banality of the violence that followed. Some build up, but no glamorization, no heroism, no excitement--just some sense of horror or disgust at what's being done and sadness that a given character has been killed. It's all as blah, and flat as the rest of the film. Which is a great message--assuming that anyone who might be prone to that sort of action would actually sit through and watch the whole film.

So--I admired the final result, as well as the confidence required in order to do the setup that would lead to that final result. But I don't know if the payoff--the feeling of flatness in the face of a violence that would normally be glamorized (even if it's also being vilified or shown as a big-slow-motion-visceral-horror-of-it-all tragedy) on film--was really worth the overall dullness of the filmic experience for me.

::Posted by Anduril Elessar @ 4:26 PM::::



A Coup D'Etat ~ Friday, March 17, 2006

A reasonably early start today, as we're having contractors in to remove old toilets, put down new floor, install new toilets. And all sorts of related fun. So, I may not make it out for my walk until later (depending on how prompt people are). With any luck, it won't take too long.

And then, a walk in the glorious afternoon!

I *think* I may have a breakthrough on the Regency--though I shouldn't speak too soon... I'll just keep my fingers crossed. I may only do a bit of writing on it today, and instead restrict myself to doing comprehensive notes on the subject.

An article in April's Harpers concerns the question of the plausibility of a Coup D'Etat in the U.S. It's a panel of various military experts (profs, ex and present officers etc.), discussing such questions. I've read a couple of pages in, so far. I don't know how I feel about the article. On the one hand, it's a valid question, IMO, given the current climate. On the other, once the experts had more or less--and fairly plausibly, IMO--discounted the possibility of a coup as such, questions like "can you think of any circumstances, otherwise unforseen, that might arise that would make it easier for a coup to take place" provoked some ambivalence on my part--perhaps it's a good thing to know or think about. But it also seemed a little alarmist--these hypothetical, "maybe, if circumstances were just so etc. then there might be a coup" scenarios which seemed to involve things like biological warfare, isolating/quarantining cities and so on. It sounds scary, but how plausible is it--versus how likely is it to just be pure, blind worst-case scenario thinking that we've been conditioned, by media hysteria about pandemics, to believe is plausible?

It's a little frustrating to not know how likely things like that really are. But I guess the reason we don't is because it's an opinion thing--I'm sure that even biologists with some expertise in the subject would have differing views on how likely each scenario is, depending on their particular world views and attitudes towards what may or may not happen--as well as the extent to which they are able to separate "possibility" from "likelihood".

And on that happy note, I will leave you for the day--and possibly for the weekend.

::Posted by Anduril Elessar @ 9:13 AM::::



Dirty Dancing and the importance of packaging ~ Thursday, March 16, 2006

"Dirty Dancing" was on the channels yesterday (i.e. one of the movie network channels), so I watched it. Very interesting indeed. Though it had felt formulaic in the past--and IMO it has its flaws--it also hit every one of the turning points and a goodly number of the setting and scene structure posts that are outlined in the screenplay books. So, one argues, no wonder it was a hit. But I imagine that there are also many screenplays that hit all those points, but in which the chemistry between the actors, or some other factor just causes it to fall flat as a film.

Still, it's kind of cool to see how such a diverse range of films still end up conforming to the three act (or sometimes the five act) structure. Fascinating.

And, a brief demonstration of the importance of packaging:


(hopefully the link will work)

Tom sent this to me a few weeks ago and it gave me a chuckle. Very well done, IMO. "The Shining" as a romantic comedy and heartwarming tale. How very interesting!

I'm feeling like I'm on the verge of getting a cold today (sneezy, achy and a little bit of a cough), which is rather frustrating, since I had great plans to go out walking. I may yet do it and hope that the cold holds off. But I'd want to do it from the house somehow--so that there's somewhere to turn back to if I end up feeling too crappy to continue to where I plan to go...

If that makes sense.

I've made some notes about the screenplay. But it's all pretty vague yet. I'm kind of looking forward to plunging into all this planning and stuff, getting the scenes hammered out and so on. I think it will be kind of cool to feel like the writing is the final stage. Though I have jotted down sequences of dialogue as well. The plot has me a little stymied, but I'm hoping it will come.

The Regency's plot also has me stymied, but hopefully something will break through with that as well. Sheesh!

::Posted by Anduril Elessar @ 9:11 AM::::



Dot the "i" ~ Tuesday, March 14, 2006

An earlier start this morning, but to what a day outside! In contrast to the rainy but balmy 15 degrees of yesterday (and there was even sun in the late afternoon), today is cold and miserable. The wind cuts right through everything and there's a fine dandruff of snow dusting the ground. Yuck!

I therefore may not end up getting in my 10,000 steps. I did do 15,000 yesterday, so if I'm counting for the week, then I'd probably only have to do 5,000 today, but I'd like to do as many as possible, regardless of the weather. Hopefully it will calm down a bit soon, and if I bundle up, I'll at least be able to get out to the local streets. And goodness, there are a few patches of blue sky emerging--how astonishing!

We watched the film "Dot the 'i'" last night. Since it was dubbed as "this year's 'Memento'", I'll confess that I expected rather more from it than I got. That's the problem with comparisons. Though they allow you to contextualise (if they're apt, that is), they also set expectations high (if the comparison is with something else that you liked). In this particular case, I did not think it was particularly like "Memento", any more than any other film that is told very slightly out of chronological order would be. And I do mean slightly. Narratively, I'd say that "21 Grams" is much more like "Memento"; even though the time/narrative sequence is fragmented in a different way, it's another movie that throws you off balance for a while as you try to assemble what's going on. I also ended up seeing both a second time, as a knowing viewer, so that I could see the earlier scenes in context.

So, I wouldn't say that the comparison between "Dot the 'i'" and Memento was particularly apt. Of course, there were a few kind of neat things--all the little meta-references, allusions and so on--that were somewhat interesting. But I pretty much guessed (or rather inferred, since they were fair and they did give hints) the first twist (that came very late in the film) and Tom guessed/inferred the second. We ultimately felt that the first half-2/3rds, which was overlong IMO (though I know it was meant to show us the building relationship between the two illicit points in the love triangle but really just made me a bit irritated with the heroine and had me wondering why the "other man" was so into her cause she seemed like a dork) was not redeemed by the twists and turns that took place in the final third.

So kind of a neat film, but not something I'd rave about. I liked Almodovar's "Bad Education" better--and that comparison seems a little more appropriate, with people not being who they seem to be, the whole acting tie-in (Gael Garcia Bernal plays an aspiring actor in both films), the allusions to other films and genres (Hitchcock films in BE and stuff like "The Graduate" etc. in DTI) and a twist cropping up some way into each film. But in "Bad Education" the twist at least made the characters more complex, multi-layered and in some cases repugnant. In "Dot the i", the twist made a flat character of one sort into a flat character of another sort, and the other two stayed more or less the same. Neither seemed particularly complex. Funnily enough, both films also featured the song "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps" ("Bad Education" did so in Spanish).

I have set today aside for reading all my library books (or sorting through them, at least, and giving some of them a closer look). Since I'm stuck on the Regency (and I will try to brainstorm or come up with other directions for how I can get my characters into the situation I need them to get into), I might as well do something productive! And I'm hoping (despite what I said above) to get a walk in--which may, in turn help me with my ideas, so long as the weather conditions don't end up proving so distracting that I get caught up in the physical. Though, on the other hand, that may be a good thing by way of getting me out of my thoughts for a spell.

::Posted by Anduril Elessar @ 8:13 AM::::



Umoja and Monday Morning ~ Monday, March 13, 2006

A late start today, following a busy weekend (probably part of the reason for the late start; I was exhausted this morning!).

Saturday morning, I walked to Second Cup (about half an hour or so? Maybe a bit longer) and Tom met me there (post morning ablutions). We had breakfast at Mel's (translation: a puddle of grease, disguised as eggs, toast, ham and French Toast). But what tasty grease indeed! Then, we spent a small fortune at HMV (all impulse purchases). I held out on several of the things I wanted in the hopes of getting access at the libraries. But alas, while KPL had some of the titles I wanted (none of them in), it did not have all of them. WPL had but one (also signed out). So, I was doomed for disappointment, though I did find a couple of interesting classical-type cds--one of old Russian choral music, and one that seemed kind of a fusion/contemplation thing done by a contemporary guy named Thomas Moore and the VSO.

We came home and I chatted with Glenn, then cleaned a bit, while Tom did a workout. Then, we went for dinner (takeout Swiss Chalet) at Mike and Becky's. The twins have grown amazingly--they were totally unrecognizable. It's just so remarkable to see. It hasn't even been *that* long since we saw them, but of course, by their compass (being only 5 months or so old now), they're about twice the age they were, so it's hardly surprising they've grown so remarkably. They're looking adorable and alert--at one point, Sydney was put in her little bouncy chair and she entertained herself looking around. It was so cute to see her tiny self entertaining herself and being so self-contained in a big world.

Sunday, it was up to the UU thing--I had hoped to walk, but alas, was too exhausted to go forth on foot. So, we drove in together. And then, we came home for a quick change, stopped at Costco for a quick bite (Tom was craving hot dogs) and then headed out to TO. We made good time and ended up wandering about Indigo at the Eaton's Centre (conveniently situated across the street from the theatre). I bought a book on walking that came with a pedometer (whose accuracy I question)--the book has some nice suggestions though, for making a walking plan, so that should be cool.

Thence to Umoja, which was fun. I definitely didn't know how I felt about it when it came on. It really felt like a showcase of exoticism, pre-masticated and reduced into easily digestible bits for a Western audience. But then I started thinking--is something like the "Lion King" not far worse, with its stage direction by Julie Taymor and its "africanesque" music by Elton John et al? At least this seems to have many African folk involved with the production, creation and staging etc. of the show--and the performers are also from Africa. And it at least touches on the hardship of Apartheid etc. (though very carefully--to make sure it's not too much of a downer for the audience or anything. The pain and hardship is mentioned but not shown or enacted).

So, I finally concluded that I was glad that it existed and was drawing such a wide audience. The other strange facets: I felt so much less ambivalent about Csardas, the Hungarian equivalent of Umoja, and I must wonder whether it's because it's a European thing. It feels less exploitative (but really, it's no more or no less exploitative, I think--that's just my bias coming to the fore). I mean, in many ways, it's the same--organized and created etc. by people of the background that is being depicted (or so I understand--I may be wrong) etc. So, both are depicting a certain exoticism or historical showcase, but neither are appropriations, in the way that "The Lion King" seems to have been. And the whole Paul Simon/Graceland issue is a different one altogether. My sense of that is that it was a symbiotic appropriation: Paul got a new sound and a breakthrough smash hit, while a number of amazing African musicians and artists also brokethrough borders and were heard by a Western audience to a degree that they hadn't previously been.

I even wonder whether it was Graceland, and the public's resultant hunger for those kinds of rhythms, harmonies and sounds that led to the popularity of Umoja with a mainstream audience (with stuff like the Power of One and Ladysmith Black Mombaza (sp?)'s NA tours etc. as the bridge). I mean, that music is so familiar and well known (in a way that the Csardas style of music and sound are not--and therefore feel more exotic to the ears)--as well as the patterns and clothing--that it borders on cliche at times.

I also liked that the production acknowledged the cross-pollination of the music--the American influences that came back and in turn changed the sound of what was being created in Africa.

So, lots to say about Umoja (and even more to think about).

After the show, we walked over to Hernando's Hideaway (despite the name, it serves Mexican food). Delicious! Thence to Tom's mum's place for a visit--and then home by about 10:40 or so pm.

A busy weekend indeed! And now, to work! I have multiple errands to do today, so I don't know that I'll get too much writing done--and I'm also a little stuck where I am, so that will undoubtedly prove an impediment as well! Hasta manana!

::Posted by Anduril Elessar @ 10:24 AM::::



Glorious Friday ~ Friday, March 10, 2006

Luck was on my side, or perhaps the Gods were smiling. I found my rain jacket-y thing yesterday at Costco (they had just been put out that morning!). The colour ("blossom") isn't really one of my faves, but I guess it's nice and cheerful and spring-y at least. And the price was eminently reasonable, which is always a bonus--and I've generally been happy with the clothing quality of stuff I've bought at the big "c".

I also managed to acquire three purples during my sojourn at Wallmart. The only micro-mini umbrella I could find that worked happened to be purple, and I just happened to glance over at my other two items (a clearance sweater and a novel) to find that they, too, were purple. The additional note of synchronicity was that the book was the latest/third book in Evelyn Vaughn's grail keeper books. I don't follow such things, and so I didn't know it was out (last week, I checked the pub's website for the March releases and there was no mention of it). Turns out, it was a Feb. release, and the folk at the shop just happened to have not taken it down yet. So, lucky me. I'm looking forward to reading it. I loved the first book--the second was okay. But this has a new protagonist, which can often revitalize things. So, yippee.

Well, off to my voice lesson. I've a feeling I won't be getting a surfeit of writing done today--I also went for an extral long walk this morning to test out my new raincoat. To my chagrin, it had dropped a goodly number of degrees by the time I finished my coffee and headed home, so I really had to boot it to not be deeply chilled. But the coat seems to perform its "100% waterproof" function expediently, so that's the important thing.

::Posted by Anduril Elessar @ 11:59 AM::::



32 short films about Glenn Gould and Rain outside ~ Thursday, March 09, 2006

But an early-ish start, which is good, at least. And it's warm out. I'm thinking of buying one of those jackets that everyone on the west coast who goes out walking on a semi-regular sort of basis has. They're kind of outdoors-y and cool but somewhat $$$. I'll check at Costco to see if there's something like that there (by some stroke of chance or great good luck).

I started off watching "32 short films about Glenn Gould" again last night, this time with the screenplay on hand. How fascinating to see what all is explicated in the screenplay (I imagine that at least portions of it, like the interviews, pre-existed the printed screenplay, which consists of a transcription of what the subjects had to say. And certainly, that seemed spontaneous enough, so I don't imagine they were fed the lines. Or is that naive of me to assume? That Yehudi Menhuin (sp?) would be willing to be fed fixed lines to say about GG?).

But it's interesting to see what was considered important enough to merit a fixed mention in the screenplay. It's also interesting to see how--for instance, in the short featuring the Steinway closeups, or the one about GG at Lake Simcoe, or the one entitled "practice"--the camera movements are really often a series of cuts, rather than continuous shots, though the screenplay seems to imply what I would imagine as continuous shots. That was helpful to me, because it made me realise--at least in part--what they mean when they say one shouldn't necessarily detail specific shots, but rather just outline what should be shown or conveyed and let the director and cinematographer work out how that might be done. Fascinating stuff. It's nice to have the films as well as the screenplays on hand for such comparisons. Though it would also be neat to have a screenplay in its "submission format" on hand, rather than the pretty, bound editons we get from the library. I'd just be curious to see how those read and look and interact with the final product on screen (though of course, I acknowledge that the interaction would be different for every film).

I also watched much of "Eternal Sunshine" last night (having recently read the screenplay). Very cool--I do like that film very much--the end is such a great moment, and so very well done. The two of them clearly still have feelings for each other, even though the explicit memories are gone. They love each other and so they jump into what they know will be a troubled relationship, because the attraction and, indeed, the love is all still there.

So, goals. In a dream world, I'd like to get to the end of my "revisions" today, and start doing a scene-by-scene outline and notes and so on for the second half of the book. But likelier, I'll get to, perhaps the end of the theatre scene (if that) and then have to leave the recriminations scenes to later, particularly since I'm still at the point where S, R et al. are out riding--and I still have to work out how to plausibly introduce Julian into the mix.

I also have errands: volkswagen, for an antenna; walmart, to return the umbrella, or possibly swap it; Costco, to find the aforesaid rain jacket. And, of course, some exercise, hopefully. Bonne chance aujour'd'hui (so easy to say, but have I spelled it correctly?! Where do the apostrophes go?!? Oh, the angst!).

::Posted by Anduril Elessar @ 8:27 AM::::



Hallo Marjorie ~ Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Hallo Marjorie, if you're visiting. Now is this boring, or is this boring?! :-D

::Posted by Anduril Elessar @ 12:32 PM::::



Goals for the day ~ Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Well, I've got great plans for today.

I'd like to finish reworking the scene with the Rossiters and do rewrites up to the end of the ball for certain. If I have time, I'd also like to get a start on the morning ride, and see how I can get Julian to intercept them and get him and Sophie some private time. He's furious, and decides he's going to really show her (that's why he brings La Sirene to the theatre).

I also need to get to the liquidators store to get knobs, pulls and hinges. I'll probably betake myself out for coffee at some point and either do more writing or read more about screenplays. Always a good pastime. And then I'll stop at the liquor store on the way back to get a few boxes so I can sort out stuff to take to Tom's mum.

Lastly, I want to go for one or two walks, because the day is glorious. Bright, sunny... and cold. But you can't have everything, and the cold is bracing--at least when you've bundled up properly.

This evening, we have "the new U", an intro to Unitarianism. Should be cool.


::Posted by Anduril Elessar @ 8:49 AM::::


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Anduril Elessar
Susan Deefholts

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