Books


NaNoWriMo 2009 is upon us. I will do it, but I can tell you I will not finish. I have too much going on this month between moving (new apartment, yea!), a short trip back home, and other fun stuff, I won’t have much time for that kind of writing. Just getting back in the habit of writing will be accomplisment enough this NaNoWriMo. Have a great time, WriMos!

There aren’t many movies I’ve reviewed twice. I’ve seen HBP twice now and I still love it. Maybe I’ll see it again. I still think it might be the best of the movies. Of course nothing will beat Sorcerer’s Stone for the wonder of it all. Yes, there are some departures from the book, but I think they make complete sense given the time contraints. It enabled the writer and director to keep the flavor of the story when they had to cut certain scenes for time. The changes were quite clever, I thought.

Spoilers after the cut.

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I’ve been delighted the past three weeks to get to know my new teammates through happy hour. It’s too busy to really get to talk at work. I felt pretty isolated at first, until I realized that it was just that everyone is so busy. Now, thanks to happy hour, I don’t feel like the stinky kid anymore.

Tonight, as it was my supervisor’s last happy hour as our supervisor, I decided to stay longer than I have been. It’s a good thing I did. I discovered that there are a few True Blood fans on my team, and even better a Unicorn! Woohoo!

Thanks again, Old Man Bobby, for being cool with me cancelling our plans at the last minute so I could stick around for “team building”.

I saw HBP yesterday afternoon. I’m seeing it again tomorrow. Yep, folks, I actually liked it. I really haven’t thought of a complaint yet, which is astounding quite frankly. Man, let me tell you, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson have really grown as actors. I am glad that the powers that be toned down the surrealism I read about in one article. There was just enough darkness in the reality scenes and just enough surrealism in the Pensieve scenes. By the way, Well Done on those Pensieve scenes.

The screenplay is really well written. They make some pretty major changes to certain scenes while remaining absolutely true to the storyline. The changes they made make complete sense considering the time constraints of a film and the size of the book. I think you’ll be pleased with the detail that went into the movie. All the snogging? It’s there. All the darkness? Trust me, you won’t be missing that either. They did a really great job of showing how hormones will out, even in the face of the return of He Who Must Not Be Named. Really well done, that, and with wonderful emotion from the actors.

I sense a gush coming on, so I’ll close before I say too much. Let me just say that if this is what they can do with one film, I can’t wait to see the detail that goes into the two-part Deathly Hallows.

This is good news. Isn’t that feeling of accomplishment wonderful? I hope to feel some of that in regard to my own book soon.

 

Guarded Optimism

  • Jun. 22nd, 2009 at 11:55 PM
ireland

I almost hate to say anything here, for fear of jinxing it… but for what it’s worth, the last six weeks or so have been the most productive period I’ve had on A DANCE WITH DRAGONS in… well… a year at least, maybe several. In the last three days I’ve completed three new chapters. Not from scratch, mind you, these were all chapters that had been partially written, and in some cases rewritten, for months if not years. But they’re finally done, and I’ve just reread them, and I’m almost convinced that they’re Not Crap.

We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.

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(Thanks, Hollywoodstreams, for the video.)

Between getting firing, job hunting, getting hired, training, adjusting to my new job, and the general tunnel vision I’ve had for New Moon, July somehow snuck up on me. My friend asked last week if Harry Potter comes out this week or next. I must have looked at him so strangely. I thought, “He’s crazy! It doesn’t come out until…Merlin’s Pants! It’s July 1st!” I saw the latest trailer in the theater. I still have such high hopes. It really looks like it will be spectacular.

Hana has been coming up quite a bit in my Searches, so I thought maybe it was time to revisit this topic. Some time ago I posted about Hana Pestle and her Need (get it?) to find her way onto the New Moon soundtrack. She has a sort of Tori Amos/Alanis Morissette sort of sound. Her song is beautiful and fits New Moon perfectly. I still think it’s a great fit for the scene in the forest after Edward leaves, but others on Hana’s MySpace page proposed it for the “blank pages”. That’s a great idea! I could see a montage of Bella walking around like a zombie with this playing over it. It would really make the audience feel the emptiness of that period of Bella’s life.

Has anyone heard anything new about the soundtrack? I don’t see anything online, myself. Until we hear anything, there’s always SMeyer’s playlist.

I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to hear Peter Dinklage was cast as Tyrion Lannister in HBO’s adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire. He’s a tremendous actor. Tyrion needs a strong actor like Peter Dinklage. Outstanding! I can’t wait to hear more.

 

Does anyone else think that Skandar Keynes would make a good Jon Snow? I haven’t given much thought to casting until just now, and he just popped right into my head.

 

( Photos from IMDB )

Dead Until Dark is the first book in the series, known alternately as The Sookie Stackhouse Novels or the Southern Vampire Mysteries, and is the book on which the first season of HBO’s True Blood was based. HBO did a pretty good job. They made some big changes, but I liked the changes they made. So, if you’ve seen the first season of True Blood and are interested in reading the books, don’t let already knowing the story get in your way. Like I said, there were changes, and also it’s only the first book. Everything will be brand new after that.

If you haven’t seen True Blood and are looking for some vampire books to read (ahem, Twilight fans), here’s what’s up with Miss Sookie Stackhouse. It’s been two years since The Great Revelation, when vampires “came out of the coffin.” Thanks to the Japanese invention of synthetic blood, vampires no longer need to feed on humans. They have revealed themselves to humans and wish to become part of society. Sookie is a self-described barmaid and telepath, living in Bon Temps, Louisiana. She’s always been something of a misfit because of her special ability. When the vampire Bill walks into her bar she realizes she can’t hear his thoughts. For the first time in her life she can have a relationship with someone without knowing every thought in his head. And mayhem ensues.

For those of you who have read Twilight and are thinking the I-can-read-everyone’s-mind-except-yours storyline sounds familiar, the Sookie books actually came out before Twilight. Everyone who writes vampires puts their own little spin on it. They keep some traits from previous authors and invent some of their own. Charlaine Harris is no exception. She has created a world that is sometimes dark and gritty and sometimes just plain hilarious. It’s reads like a supernatural soap opera.

The eighth book is due out in paperback in April. The ninth book is due out in hard cover in May. There’s a lot of vampirey goodness to go around here.

Here are the titles:
Dead Until Dark
Living Dead in Dallas
Club Dead
Dead to the World
Dead as a Doornail
Definitely Dead
All Together Dead
From Dead to Worse (out in paperback in April 2009)
Dead and Gone (out in hard cover in May 2009)

Thank you TVWeek.com for posting this tid bit.

TVWeek: Vampires are big in pop culture right now. Have you seen “Twilight’?

Mr. Whedon: I saw “Twilight.” And it’s—what can you say? It’s absolutely like crack. It strikes a tweener chord that’s just as loud as the apocalypse. You cannot deny the power of it. It just works. And I sort of like that.

TVWeek: What about HBO’s “True Blood”?

Mr. Whedon: I’ve seen less of it. “Twilight” makes its own rules, as we all do. It takes what it wants and discards the rest but ultimately, it is kind of classical. They’re puffy-shirt vampires in a sense.

“True Blood,” I think, is more what we see in a lot of the comic books, which is, “Let’s deconstruct this and explore what it would be like if [vampires] were really among us.” It’s more postmodern.

TVWeek: Did you watch “Moonlight”?

Mr. Whedon: I did not. I actually don’t love vampires. Anne Rice was definitely a life-changer. It was wonderful. But at the end of the day, I’ve really kind of had my fill.

You know, Buffy wasn’t going to necessarily fight vampires. The idea was always there’s a monster, she fights it. And when I did the Buffy/Angel romance, I thought, “There’s no way in the world I’m getting away with something this cheesy.” I thought, “People are going to laugh at me.”

Over the years, I’ve gotten a better understanding of why vampires resonate so much. I even came up with an idea for a vampire film recently … but then I saw there was this glut, so I thought I better ease off of that. It’s still in my consciousness. But I think I need to spend some time with some Frankensteins.

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