Friday, November 30, 2007


This is what I did on Thanksgiving, spending it with family in California. It was a quick trip, tucked into everyone's schedule, but worked out well.These shots are on Hwy 1, near Pescadero overlook. I take lots of photos, but love the ocean ones the best. After the traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner, we saw tallships, heard the blast of their cannons, had fish and chips and clam chowder at the marina's Barbara's Cafe north of Half Moon Bay, spent a few hours on the Bay's beach, and walked around Pescadero's tourist shops. My favorite photos are of water and I use it in my books, i.e. the psychic triplet trilogy. My painting of Lake Michigan's lighthouse is at my website. I spent a personal retreat there, and would love to do the same on the NW coastal area. Love the West coast and have dreams of visiting the NE one.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Beowulf, The Movie

When Beowulf, the movie, first opened in my town, I had to see it. One of my favorite books is a young adult translation of Beowulf and I was anxious to see how closely they compared, the movie and the book. I should add that there are several books written about this legend. I'm a fan of epic poetry in which many of these legends have been portrayed. (If you ever get a chance to read Olaf's Sagas, don't pass it up.) But let's move on to the movie and my thoughts about it.

The cast choice was exquisite, the medium was a blend between animation and human form. The movie industry may have a hard time deciding exactly where this movie falls so far as awards. There's lots of action, emotion, good against evil, cursors, dragons, and the larger than life hero. I particularly like Anthony Hopkins in this movie, and Beowulf's sidekick, whatever his real name is, I would like to see more in movies. I think he was the sheriff in Lake Placid.

The details in this movie, including the sparkling of light on snow, are infinite. The angled shots add to the dynamics. But most of all, I loved the interaction between the characters. The dialogue was magnificent, including Danish mixed with English. It was almost lyrical and in places the viewer got the gist/impact, if not the exact words. Grendel was my favorite pure animation, and the back story which I don't want to ruin for you, added so many layers of motives.

I don't know that this is made for children's viewing movie. There is some nudity. There is also blood and gore, that may not be appreciated at a young age. The sexual innuendos are clear. Monsters are definitely terrifying.

This may be where we are at in relation to adult animae. It's a beautiful portrayal, though I would have liked it stronger ending. The one fault that I could find in this movie, is that there needed to be more of a transition between young studly Beowulf, and the older version. Still, those rippling six-packs and powerful body was beauty in itself. I was of course expecting Angelina Jolie to be beautiful. There's a lot of emotions in this story between the players and the good portrayal of a legendary hero right down to the scars he would have worn. A good movie worth seeing, for the right age group with that interest.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

From the Trenches

If you're a writer, you have definite ups and downs. And few start out with a perfect sale. Generally, there are rejections, then some good rejections and perhaps, then, if the fates be with you, a sale. A must read is The Writing Business is a Killer: Advice from the Trenches at Murder She Writes. A big fat list of hefty players say "making it" ain't easy. Tess Gerritson, Lisa Gardner, etc. all have plenty to say about their pre-pub days. Quite the little pkg of interviews that says how they marketed, if they had an agent, how many rejections, etc., all good info for writers who think breaking into the business is easy cruising.

It took me about 7 years to finally meet an agent and then my first sale. I like to think that living remotely and without Internet in those dark shaky days handicapped me. The truth is, I didn't have a clue and only when I hooked up with serious published writers and went to a conference, did I begin to understand that this business is TOUGH.

Reportedly only one quarter of all ideas from the most highly published writers are accepted. Reportedly, an editor's desk can have 10,000 manuscripts waiting to be read. Folks, it is tough, but not undo-able. The ability to take and use editorial input is a real plus. Callouses that protect your inner fragility are essential. Regimentation essential, also. And a good support system.

Do try to check out this post with interviews from the greats, midlists, etc. Great info at Murder She Writes.