Monday, June 20, 2011

Cliffs behind the Highland Light

Monday, June 20, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cool

There’s an interview with me over on The Book Connection, as Annabel, giving some background on ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT.

Good weekend. I got some good writing in on Friday and Saturday, but didn’t get much student time. I was feeling pretty lousy. Better, but not myself.

We drove over to the arts festival in Falmouth. It was well done, but there wasn’t anything we couldn’t live without. We stopped at the farmer’s market Mahoney’s Garden Center sponsors on the way back. I grabbed an oregano plant and they had an edelweiss plant. As in the little white velvety Alpine flowers. I saw a lot of them when I was actually in the Alps, years ago, and thought it would be fun to have a plant.

We took it easy on the deck in the afternoon, reading and hanging out. I cooked pork chops in a honey tangerine glaze for supper.

We watched INCEPTION on HBO. What a frustrating movie! Convoluted just to be convoluted. If they’d stripped down the storyline a bit, it would have had more impact. Also, I kept getting ahead of it and waiting for it to catch up, which I don’t like. I don’t like to sit there, tapping my foot, saying, “Yes, I figured that out twenty minutes ago. Where were you?” to the characters. Ellen Paige’s character was mis-used — the way they set her up, she should have been able to re-architect the dreams while they were in them — that should have been what made her so special. Joseph Gordon-Leavitt was great, as usual, and I wanted more of him in the film. But then it wouldn’t have been as much of a star vehicle for DiCaprio. I find true ensemble pieces much more interesting than star vehicles. This pretended to be an ensemble piece, at time, because there was a “team” involved, but the supporting characters weren’t developed, for fear they’d draw focus from the star. I wonder if it was originally written as a true ensemble piece, and then re-written to be a star vehicle. Although, a well-written piece properly cast can still create memorable supporting characters with just a few, well-placed lines, provided the “star” is secure enough not to demand those types of scenes are rewritten. It could have been a great ensemble movie; instead, it was a mediocre star vehicle. The production design was gorgeous, though.

Sunday was a quiet day. Got some good writing done, caught up with my students (finally), and am grateful that this group is so motivated and dedicated that they kept up with the work and supported each other even when I was too sick to stay on top of it. But I’m healing well, and getting my energy back. And now I have an anti-venom recipe that I can whip up from stuff I keep in the house, and it takes about ten minutes.

Read Henning Mannkell’s THE FIFTH WOMAN. The translation reads awkwardly and seems to oversimplify the stories (which are pretty depressing anyway). I wish I could read them in the original language, so I’d know how much of what bothers me is the writer and how much is the translator. Skimmed through some of my research books. Wrote a proposal and submitted it.

Costume Imp made us carmelized French toast for breakfast yesterday, and I cooked spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. So, we’re eating well! The farmers’ markets are opening, but it was such a long, cold winter and such a cool spring that not much is yet available.

Watched the premiere of FALLING SKIES last night. Much better than I expected. I was worried Noah Wylie would do a variation of his Librarian character, but he’s really made Tom unique. I was prepared to dislike Drew Roy (who plays Hal), because there’s been so much fuss about his looks in the pre-release marketing, but he was good, and the way he and Wylie play off each other is great. And they’ve got Colin Cunningham as the Sawyer of this group, which should be interesting. It’s inventive, the writing’s good, the pace is great — they reveal information actively while moving the story forward and giving you just enough backstory so you get a good sense of the enormity of what happened, without tedious clumps of information thrown at you. And they start out in my home state (supposedly — I don’t think they shot here, it looks a lot like Vancouver to me), which amuses me. They’re handling a large ensemble, and defining characters quickly, but memorably. They’ve got some interesting female characters who are played by interesting actresses — although they’ve acquired another blonde, so I’m wondering if one of the blondes gets killed off during the season.

Will watch the finale of GAME OF THRONES at some point this week. I was kind of surprised that so many viewers are so upset Sean Bean’s character was killed off. A) Sometimes really good actors don’t want a multi-year commitment, so enjoy their episodes and what they contribute when they’re there instead of having a fit; B) it was announced months ago he was the co-star in Ashley Judd’s new series, so DUH, he can’t hold major roles in two shows unless they’re shooting at the same studio and have worked out a schedule that would be brutal — days on set are usually a minimum of 16-18 hours for major characters, even if they’re not shooting every day, and you only have 8 shooting days to do an entire, one-hour episode; and C) from what I hear, the series follows the books quite closely, so if you want to know whether or not your favorite character lives or dies, go look it up! They weren’t keeping it confidential to build buzz, like they did on LOST. The information on the character’s probable destiny was readily available, so stop acting so shocked and betrayed.

Hopefully, Bean’s departure means more screen time for Dinklage! 😉

Anyway, I’ve got a lot of work to do for the Mermaid Ball this morning, writing to do, and checking in with students. I better get back to the page.


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available from Champagne Books.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.