Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Summer!

Summer solstice today, and in LA the temperature's in the 80's and sunny.

As it should be.

This is the longest day of the year, and as a person who grew up in a state (Hawaii) where the days stayed pretty much the same length all year ('cause Hawaii's close to the equator) I have a strong love for this day. I still find it very odd to have daylight around 8pm. When I visited Ireland in August a few years back, I took photos without a flash at ISO 100 at 10pm at night. To me, this is miraculous!

In ancient Egypt, the summer solstice marked not only the day the sun was at its highest, but the beginning of the all-important inundation of the Nile.  In their mythology, it was at this time that the sun god Horus defeated his uncle Set, Lord of Darkness.

Which reminds me, lots brewing right now, writing-wise. Can't share, but it feels good to percolate. I am coffee! A strong, slightly bitter brew no doubt.

Monday, June 13, 2011

In Which My Tweet is Quoted at Ew.com

Did you see episode nine of Game of Thrones yet? If you have, you can see that I'm quoted in a (SPOILERIFIC) article at ew.com here.

If you haven't, don't waste time reading this. Go and watch, little grasshopper! Go now, I say!

I read the books by George R.R. Martin first, loved them, and was thrilled when HBO announced they were adapting them for cable TV.

And here's the thing. The series isn't perfect. But in some places it's actually better than the books. This is coming from a book lover, from one who has read all the books several times.

They proved it big time last night in episode nine, entitled "Baelor." Again, it wasn't perfect. Some of the exposition in the middle dragged a bit, although the acting and character work was as always fabulous.

Then they got to the final scene of the episode, a scene which, in the books, is infamous and celebrated amongst fantasy readers. I won't spoil it for you here, just in case you haven't seen the show or read the books. (Go do both! Now, fucking now!) But after I first read the scene, I literally sat there dumbfounded, mouth agape, for five minutes. It's bold, it's harsh, it's completely wonderful.

So I knew what to expect with this ep of the show. I knew it was coming. I was thrilled to see what they'd do with it, braced for the emotional impact.

It was far better than I ever could have dreamed.

How often does that happen? So I tweeted about it. Fifteen minutes after the east coast feed of the show ended, I tweeted. "I read the books. I knew it was coming. Still, it was shocking, horrific, and fantastic. #gameofthrones #baelor."

And ew.com used it in their article.

I'm too famous now to bother telling you more. *sniff*

Actually, I didn't gain a single twitter follower from it. But it was pretty cool just the same.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

More Food For Thought on Blogging

A veddy interestink post by writer Kristen Lamb here about why you shouldn't blog just about writing if you're a writer.

The main reason? It limits your audience.

I've struggled along with what to blog about on this blog a bit. How focused on a topic should I be? How often to post?

So this sort of article from an expert is helpful.

1. Post three times a week. (Gulp.)

2. Write about stuff you like and that the general public likes. Throw promos for your book in there somewhere and make it feel organic, by gum.

Of course, I don't have a book to promote (yet!). And I do post about stuff I like - movies, Ancient Egypt, writing, travel. I haven't gotten up to three times a week. That's partly because I don't have anything to promote! Why bug people when you have little to offer?

Perhaps I shouldn't view my blog as "bugging" people, ey? Step #1.

One of the issues is that I work in an industry that makes things I love - TV and film. This is a good and lucky thing for me. But it means I can't really blog too freely about the product it produces. I can't rave about my fave TV shows too much or rant about ones that suck. I work with these people! That's not cool.

But I do love and can discuss things like: old movies, language, bodysurfing, travel, history, poetry, art, animals, RPGs, underdogs.

So I'll ponder how to make a blog identity out of some amalgalm of that.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

My Favorite Movie in On

It's The Searchers and it's on AMC right now and I can't tear myself away except during the annoying commercials. I already own the dvd, which comes from an amazing print, but this is one of those movies, like Jaws or Casablanca, that when I catch a glimpse of it on TV, it ensnares me for hours.

I know folks have issues with it. They think it's racist. And indeed, John Wayne plays a racist bastard in the film. But the film thinks he's wrong. In fact, one of its major themes is that our entire country is based on racism. What else could've made us think we had the right to take it from the people who were here before us?

The movie's about other things too - vengeance, love, and how an old love can turn vengeance into forgiveness. But ultimately, the racist old blackguard played by Wayne can never be forgiven, can never be part of civilization. He made America possible, but he's too awful to ever be let inside. We wouldn't have to live with our terrible past, now would we?

The ending is justly famous. Wayne brings home the girl (young Natalie Wood) who had been kidnapped by Indians (I'll call them that here, not Native Americans, since that's how the movie refers to them), whom he had sworn to kill himself. He couldn't kill the daughter of the woman he loved, no matter how much he despised the fact that she's now "tainted" by living with Indian chief Scar. He saved her, redeemed himself, in a way. But it's not enough. It'll never be enough. As he said of the dead Indian who's eyes he shot out, he's doomed forever to wander between the winds.

Blogger won't let me post this widescreen (it's shot in 1.85), so it's best viewed here. Or see the slightly cropped version, below.

It used to be cool to be adult. To be sophisticated, witty, worldy, intelligent, insightful.  Nowadays the movies are full of people who all desperately want to be younger and dumber.  I don't get it.  This is the world I'd like to live in: