Month: March 2012 (Page 1 of 2)

holy week…

We’re moving into the best part of the year, the liturgical year. You may think that is Christmas, but you would be wrong, in my book, at least. Easter is the best! It is the promise of new. It is spring. The awakening. The bountiful. The miracle. Easter with bunnies and eggs, jelly beans and almost everything that is wonderful about sweets.

One of the books I always read during Lent is The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. My copy is from 1961. It’s an old book. Almost bereft of cover, the price at the top right hand corner is $1.95.  But this year I couldn’t find it, and I almost didn’t miss it until I started thinking about the end of Lent, the beginning of Easter and all that information about the art of temptation. This is reading about sin and greed as a ‘good’ thing. We read  Screwtape’s instructions to his nephew Wormwood on how to undermine faith, and bring more souls to their master. When I was younger I thought of it as an ‘opposite’ book. Just do the exact reverse of what Screwtape suggests and you are golden.

As I grew I realized the exact reverse was harder than it seemed to a thirteen year old. And, during Lent, The Screwtape Letters are a gift, a reminder. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

turn signals…

I’m pretty sure there are turn signals on every car on the road today. Well, maybe not the antique cars, like the Model T’s and so on, but every other car on the road. And yet, it is amazing how many drivers fail to use them. Talk about a lack of civility!

Ah, but you’re thinking, this is a little thing, the real problem is in politics or cable news shows. No. I disagree. Our politics have been bloodthirsty since the beginning. Good lord, it took a war for us to be a country. And then it took years, years I tell you, to get the whole federal versus state thing worked out and that only lasted until the middle of the 1800’s. True, slavery was a part of that, sadly true. But at issue too was states rights. And that issue is still out there, states are suing the federal government over the health care bill. So, to quote Lucy, Good Grief! does anyone really read their, no, our history? And our history shows that we can disagree.  But history is not the subject. The devil is in the details. Or. It’s the little things that count. Would you think the world more civil if the people you meet said ‘excuse me’? Or ‘thank you’? Or just ‘please’? I think the answer is yes. We can turn off the politics, the cable news shows. But it would be very hard to turn off our interactions with others.

Back to turn signals. LOL, a personal crusade of mine. Signal to move lanes and to turn. Not tough, you don’t even have to put your arm outside the window!



books vs video….

and by video, I mean anything that would be visual. So TV, movies, DVD, video games, etc. I realize if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you think I don’t read books. I do. It’s just that I sometimes find it harder to review a book than a video.It’s that visual person thing, but then again, it is also the fact that I grew up reading without the benefit of CGI or video games. I did a lot more reading than watching video.

Now. On to John Carter. The movie. I liked it. There were parts where I laughed out loud. To me, it was an adventure. And outsized, fantastic adventure, and Burroughs prose was full of action and suspense and in some ways, terror. John Carter said or thought something  and he was on Mars. I didn’t remember the medallion. And there he was like a god, small ‘g’ of course. And he fell in love with the beautiful princess. Remember too, this was a different time for women, not that they were fragile, but there were not the fighter we see in the Disney movie, John Carter. Not that Dejah Thoris was in anyway normal, she was a princess on the Red Planet.

I remember Edgar Rice Burroughs‘ books as being on The Index that was published in The Tidings, the LA Archdiocese newspaper in the 1950’s. Not banned exactly, but not on the approved reading list either. But Mom and I loved Tarzan and John Carter on Mars, well, it was one more adventure. And I we knew that Tarzana, the town just down Sepulveda Blvd you turned right and you were in the town where ERB lived. He died long before I started to read. Johnny Weissmuller, who played Tarzan, lived just down the road a piece in Woodland Hills.

There are lots of good adventure books out there. Lots. But somehow I miss the fact that they can create or recreate the most fantastical of stories and we can see them. LOL, with just the video, it feels very Fahrenheit 451.

critique time…

today, critique time, and I always go in thinking, “Yowzer! I have nailed this.” And. I come out thinking, “Whoa! I have so much more work to do.” Good times. 🙂 Now that is a good critique group. Here are three things I think a good critique group does:

1. A good critique group talks about your work. Not you. They identify [or not] with the characters and they work with you to make sure your characters are honest.

2. A good critique group encourages the work you are writing. They look for the good stuff, and help you to focus on keeping the good and getting rid of the not-so-good.

3. A good critique group wants you to be successful, they provide information, support and a little bit of therapy.

The best critiques I have EVER had were the ones where the person critiquing asked questions. Why does your character want to go into the basement? If your character gets in this mess, how are planning on getting him/her out? 

Done now. Off to critique and to find out. Sigh. At some point in time, they are going to say, send!

unresolved subplots…

Apparently I am a much more visual person than I previously thought. I have my DVR set to record all of the my favorite shows, regardless of whether they’re reruns or not.  Just because. Well sometimes there’s nothing on that I want to see and so I’d rather reread a book or revisit an episode than go to something new. This past episode of  Grimm. You know the story, right? Present day, a police man, named Nick Burkhardt,  a descendent of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, the fairytale brothers. These, then,[via NBC]  are true tales, the brothers told the stories because they could really see all the daemonfeuer’s, or, fuchsbau, or lowen.  In Grimm, the TV show, our erstwhile scion of all things fairytale, is a policeman, and, he’s rather a live & let live kind of guy. If they aren’t breaking the law, you know, enslaving, using, killing and/or eating normal everyday people, well then they can live. But if not, they are hunted down like the criminal they are and poof. By whatever method poof happens, it happens.

Now. Onto unresolved subplots and the strange things in the dark Grimm.  Although the website says Captain Renard is Nick’s politically adept superior officer and a descendant of a powerful line of Grimm royalty, I’m not sure I get that. Wouldn’t he have known all this time, prior to Aunt Mary, that is, that Nick was a Grimm? Is he trying to keep Nick alive? Does he want Nick dead but can’t kill another cop? Or is he using Nick to make sure that the fairytale population is kept in check? So a Grimm royal is part of the ‘fairytale’ bit, not really of our world? We’re into the second season, so a bit of resolution, if not total resolution would be awesome. Okay, yes, I am able to live with my disbelief suspended here, I’ll wait a while.

But, then, last week’s rerun of Let Your Hair Down. Whoa! There’s this young girl, abducted nine years ago, who fought off her kidnapper and survived in the woods all this time because she is a blutbad, like Monroe [who may be my favorite character, if for nothing else than his own perception of reality]. Great! Right? Until one night, when a very normal couple, camping in the woods are kidnapped by a ruthless drug dealer cum MJ grower. The couple thinks their life is over  when Voila! the guy is killed. They run away, get the police, etc. etc. We see them one more time telling the police all they know. Then ruthless’s two brothers want revenge for their brother’s killing and they kidnap the guy and hold him prisoner in their basement. With me so far? Okay. They, ruthless’s brothers, go out into the woods, there is the denouement, Nick and Monroe are there to save the young girl, ruthless’s brothers are wounded and captured, the now sixteen year old abductee is safe, Nick takes her home to her adopted mom. Tears, hugs, a cute little pink barrette, all good. Last scene: Nick home in bed with Juliette, she’s amazed her found her. All done. Really? WHAT ABOUT THE GUY IN THE BASEMENT? Sheeze. I tell you. This will bug me for a while!

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