Monday, November 22, 2010

That Ole Writing Life

I know I usually begin this with some appropriate quote, but my appropriate quote machine died. Well, the hard drive part did anyway. Was my writing backed up? Of course.

It did make me think that I never had this sort of problem when I was banging the keys on the Royal, and I used to be more accurate at landing "nothing but wastebasket" with my wadded paper shots.

And I do remember wrangling with the ribbons as I tried to squeeze the last bit of ink from them.

As the good old days. Actually, the Royal was a dream. It followed my first machine: a child's typewriter where each and every letter was accessible only after turning a metal wheel. A turn-turn B turn-turn... Welll, you get the idea. And I wrote 60-page teleplays with that machine and subbed them to an agent in Hollywood. Ah, innocence.

But now, here I am bemoaning the death of yet another hard drive.

The things we do to spin yarns, tell lies, and make up shit. Huh?

Back to the grind. I'm working on UNDER STRANGE, STRANGE SKIES, the second book in the HERITAGE series and reading Michael Koryta's SO COLD THE RIVER. I'm also wondering when the next James W. Hall novel will be available.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Egg on the Face of the Book Snob!

This is what I posted on October 7: "OK, I'm that weirdo who hasn't seen any of the three films made from (Dennis) Lehane stories, so it was easy to tackle his stand-alone titles without prejudice. Having knocked off GONE, BABY, GONE, I looked at that film first. Ben Affleck had to be crazy to cast that very Irish-looking woman as Angie Gennaro, and where was her spunk? And Cheese became a Haitian? Sorry, but the best I could do was fast forward through the film. So call me Book Spoiled."

Now call me wrong. This past weekend, my husband and I sat down and watched Ben Affleck's version of GONE, BABY, GONE. We've both read (and now re-read) all the Kenzie-Genarro books as we prep ourselves to read MOONLIGHT MILE, the sixth book in the series and a follow-up to GONE, BABY, GONE. While a good bit of the story was left out or changed (a Haitian named Cheese?), I think Affleck quite beautifully captured the sensitive and complex nature of Lehane's original story. Casey Affleck nailed Patrick, as did Michelle Monaghan as Angela Genarro and Amy Ryan as Helene. One suggestion I have is to play the deleted extended opening and ending available in the bonus section. The extended opening particularly caught a better sense of Patrick and the relationship between Patrick and Ange.

Mr. Affleck, please forgive me.

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Reading: Jim Thompson's THE KILLER INSIDE ME, Jim Crumley's THE LAST GOOD KISS, and Ed Gorman's STRANGLEHOLD.

Writing: Nipping and tucking and wild with scissors with HERITAGE and working on the first draft of a short fiction piece called "Trading Cards."