Monday, October 25, 2010

Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow. ~Mark Twain

I'm the Master Procrastinator.

So it was with great interest that I read the book review written by James Surowiecki of The Thief of Time – a collection of essays about procrastination – edited by Andreou and White in the October 11 edition of The New Yorker. (Did you notice the date? October 11 and it is now Oct 27 – yep I am a master)

Various reasons for procrastination range from Socrates – who says it ignorance, that we must want what is bad for us – to laziness - to my FAVORITE and not only because I am NOT ignorant or lazy but the theory that appeals to the writes in me is as game theorist Thomas Schelling proposes we are a “divided self”

Schelling says we are different beings – contending and bargaining for control. The one who makes plans and the one who fails to carry them out.

So, yes I am still at 35,000 words for Love By Design - but since being stuck I entered a contest (The Emily), submitted Playing For Keeps to Carina Press and wrote/submitted a short story to Woman’s World.

For the next 11 days I will be un-plugged. No blog, no Facebook, no email – no nothing – but there is pen and paper – so here is my plan that me and my divided self came up with

I will have completed my long-awaited sci-fi short story.
I will have handwritten the next scene of Love By Design and sketched in the details needed for the previous 2 scenes.
I will do research for my next book after Love By Design.

I’ll report back by November 9th. “Make it so” – as Jean Luc Picard would say because even though I’m the Master Procrastinator I know that…

Procrastination is opportunity's assassin. ~Victor Kiam

Sunday, October 24, 2010

It is not the word made flesh in writing that we want, in fiction and in poetry, but the flesh made word – William Gass

When I was a child tattoos were associated with sailors and bikers but that day is long gone. It seems the masses have tattoos. Not me. I don’t even have pierced ears.

A book was recently published on the subject of literary tattoos. I love the idea of a literary tattoo. I often thought that if I WERE to get a tattoo I would do a feather pen with a few ink drops coming out of the pen.

But an actual quote from a favorite book? Hmmmm…..had to do some many many great lines…but I think it would be this line from The Little Prince.

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye."

Of course that could change tomorrow–which is why I’ll never get a tattoo-that-well it hurts doesn't it? And I'm only a couple of years away from sagging skin and those beautifully tattoo words will end up looking like streaked or melting ink.


And what about copyright infringement? LOL – see I’m always thinking – of course if I stuck to Shakespeare like Megan Fox did I wouldn’t have to worry about copyrights.

How about my own writing? Is there a line I would pick from my own tomes (a big LOL) to have sketched into my skin for all time? Yes the first stanza from one of my poems – here it is

God's grace
blankets the earth
in peace
wrapping mankind
in HIS
warm embrace

So what about you? Do you have a tattoo? If so what is it? If not what line or passage would you choose whether from your own writing or someone elses?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

If there’s any part of you that still believes in us..give me your number..I won't call for 8 years, December 24, 2004. Christmas Eve." Desmond -Lost

Part 7 of 7 Romances of Lost or Lost is a Romance Novel

Penny and Desmond

The above scene is what happens eight years later.

Desmond and Penny is my favorite couple from Lost. Maybe because Desmond is such a free spirit and Penny this proper rich girl with a inner free spirit who is madly in love with him - and of course her father hates Desmond - even offers him money to stay away from her - of course he does not take this in typical hero fashion.

Thank you for indulging me as I work my way through my obsession with Lost. Maybe it will hold me over until the series comes out on DVD.

If there is one quote from Lost that sums up the meaning of Lost it is when
Jack says to group: "If we can't live together... we're going to die alone."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

“If I can kick drugs, I can deliver a baby.” Charlie from Lost

Part 6 of 7 Romances of Lost or Lost is a Romance Novel.

Of course in typical male fashion he is no help in doing so.
Charlie is a minor rock start drug addict and Claire is the unwed pregnant girl who was going to give up the baby for adoption.

Apart they are a mess but together they are the sweetest couple. Lost main theme is redemption. Charlie’s redemption is in sacrificing his life to save the people on the island. As he is preparing to do so you see him flash to Claire and Aaron’s face as if to affirm his reasons for doing so.

But I chose the above scene because it is so beautiful. It happens in the ‘sideways’ where they are all finding each other and remembering their love on the island. Listen to the soundtrack. You feel the emotion radiating between them. It's a powerful moment.

"We are already together." Isabella from Lost

Part 5 of Romances of Lost or Lost is a Romance Novel. -

Lost gets all Historical Romance on us in this episode.

It’s the late 1800’s. Isabella who had become very sick, died when Ricardo (Richard) was unable to bring her medicine. He accidentally killed the doctor after forcefully taking the expensive medicine when the doctor refused the wife’s cross in exchange. He sentenced to be hanged but a prison priest refuses him absolution and agrees to go to America (not knowing he will be sold into slavery) so he can redeem himself so he can go to Heaven to be with Isabella. Remember, back then peasants relied on the priest for guidance.

Eventually he agrees to immortality (long story) because he his told he will never redeem himself. (even though it was a truly accidental killing and never would have happened if they had Medicaid back then).

Anyway In the above scene it is present day and he is about to turn to the dark side and Isabella appears.

And darn it I cried again.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Kate: It's just that you... and the tattoos... don't add up. Were you one of those hardcore spinal surgeons or something? Jack: That's me. Hardcore.

And then Charlie says : "If you two are done verbally copulating, we should get a move on."

Part 4 of the Romances of Lost or Lost is a Romance Novel

Jack and Kate – the second half of our love quadrangle.

In this romance the bad girl Kate gets the good guy Jack.

During the seasons of Lost, Kate couldn’t choose between the ‘bad’ boy Sawyer or the ‘good’ boy Jack. As in the real world (and by that I mean this world) girls are attracted to the bad boy – have their fling – and end of with the good boy once she realizes she can’t change the bad boy.

Though Kate was on the run from the law - like Sawyer and Juliet - Jack and Kate complement each other making up for each others limitations and faults.

Friday, October 15, 2010

"It doesn't matter who we were. It only matters who we are." Juliet from Lost

Part 3 of the Romances of Lost or Lost is a Romance Novel

You’ve heard of a love triangle but what about a love quadrangle?

Sawyer and Kate? Sawyer or Juliet? Jack and Kate? Jack and Juliet?

Lost leaves you hanging until the end.

In the end it’s the bad boy who gets the good girl. And Sawyer is oh so bad…and I’ve based my hero in my work-in-slow-mo on him.

Yes, Sawyer and Juliet are soul mates but gee it took a lot of soul searching for them to get there.

In the real ‘island’ world Sawyer is a con man and Juliet a doctor. In the ‘sideways’ world he is cop (probably to atone for being a con man?) and they re-connect by a hospital vending machine.

Their kiss scene in a episode called LaFleur won the Best Kiss of Lost in a showdown on the ABC website. And as a former winner of the New England Romance Writers First Kiss Contest (shameless plug) I’m sharing the clip up above. It's very sweet.

One more thing – Sawyer had nicknames for everyone on the island
For example, Kate was Freckles and Juliet was Blondie
(my hero in Love By Design does the same thing)

So I just want to make it known that when I used the Sawyer Nickname Generator on the ABC website – Sawyer calls ME - Sunshine. Got it Juliet?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

“em, Hurley, when a girl asks you how they look you say "good" ok??” Libby from Lost

Next up in my Romances of Lost or Lost as a Romance Novel Series is....

Hurley and Libby’s relationship was classic Beauty and the Beast. Okay not classic as in the cliché tortured hero – disfigured by war or accident but still has a smoking hot body – but this hero is usually bitter and mean to everyone including the heroine until her love changes him.

Not so with Hurley who could never be confused with a male model – it’s his sweetness and innocence that warrants teddy bear status. Beastly but only in facial hair.

Libby sees the real Hurley and in the sideway worlds we see a touching scene of Libby kissing Hurley and he flashes back to the island and remembers…

If you haven’ seen Lost it’s complicated – hell if you’ve watched Lost it’s complicated.

Monday, October 11, 2010

"Remember when all you had to give me was a flower?" Sun from Lost

The Loves of Lost - or Lost as a Romance Novel

First up is Jin and Sun.

A plot device used sometimes in romance novels is that of the hero and heroine being from opposite sides of the track (so to speak) Jin is the son of the poor fisherman seeped in Korean tradition and Sun is the daughter of a rich Korean mob boss. Star-crossed lovers who had many problems but in the end they were meant to be together.

I know they are people who thought Jin should have left Sun to drown because of their daughter back home, but there is another school of thought who think they were the perfect parents because they put their marriage first. When the daughter is grown she will realize she came from a love more powerful than life.

I think the important lesson of Lost is that when we find each other we are no longer lost.

I cried during this scene made all the more powerful by the choice of music that not only tugs at the heartstrings but stirs the soul.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

"If you want a place in the sun, you have to expect a few blisters." Loretta Young

The above quote is so true! Here are some other great quotes from Loretta Young - oh and let me know how you like the new look of my blog - should I go back to the old template? Try again? Go back to the old one?

The easiest way to crush your laurels is to lean on them. Loretta Young

A charming woman... doesn't follow the crowd. She is herself. Loretta Young

Certainly tears are given to us to use. Like all good gifts, they should be used properly. Loretta Young

I do not hold with those who think it is all right to do whatever you want so long as it doesn't hurt anyone. Who's to be the judge of that? Loretta Young

The split second she ceases to care is the only time a woman ceases to be attractive. Loretta Young

She considered herself a devout Catholic but she was no angel for sure. (Had an affair with the married Clark Cable and had his child) So it is no wonder Marlene Dietrich said of Loretta Young....

"Every time she `sins,` she builds a church. That`s why there are so many Catholic churches in Hollywood." - Marlene Dietrich

Friday, October 8, 2010

Every end is a new beginning – proverb

Yeah, but no I haven’t finished my latest work-in-progress, or rather work-in-slow-motion, Love By Design.

I still have 15000 words until The End, but I’ve been thinking about chapter endings and chapter beginnings. I always try to end a chapter in such a way that it will make the reader want to turn the page – and it doesn’t have to be a so call ‘cliff hanger’ just something that intrigues the reader to - well – read on.

But it is also important not to leave the reader hanging when she turns that page to the next chapter. Of course, readers of such authors James Rollins or Tom Clancy know that they do leave the reader hanging because they have multiple POV’s and action going so they jump around.

Romance is a little different especially when you are only using the hero/heroine’s POV (and it’s not a romantic suspense)

I thought I’d share an example from Love By Design

It’s the end of Chapter 20 – I’m in Victoria’s POV. She is arguing with her mother who is a rich socialite with powerful friends. The mother disapproves of Russ and tells him to stay away from Victoria.

“I’ll have you deported.” Evelyn pointed at Russ, her bony finger barely holding up under the weight of the four-carat diamond ring.
“If you do I’ll follow him to Australia,” Victoria threatened back.
Evelyn drew back her hand lifting it to her chest and turned toward her daughter. “You wouldn’t.”
Delighted by her mother’s appalled reaction Victoria couldn’t help but take it one step further. “No, you right, I wouldn’t. I’ll marry him.”
It wasn’t the look on her mother’s face that was priceless but the silence that followed.

Of course we know previously that at this point Victoria is just saying this to piss off her mother. So are you wondering what Russ is thinking at this point? I know I was so I started Chapter 21 in his POV with this...

M-m-m-marry him? Russ resisted the urge to make a break for the door and catch the next flight out of the country. No green card was worth marriage not even if it got you into Heaven. Hell, he’d swim back to Australia if he had to.

So that is my little take on chapter endings and beginnings.
I leave you with this quote by I Ching –
“No good ending can be expected in the absence of the right beginning. It is too late.”

Sunday, October 3, 2010

"No, I said, if Keanu doesn't take off all his stuff neither do I." - Vera Farmiga

LOL. Vera Farmiga joked the above when an audience member asked about the choice made for the love scene (Keanu and Vera are under the sheets and after we see her pull down the sheet and she has a bra on and Keanu a t-shirt).
Keanu wanted to make it clear that they did not ask her to undress (he's so sweet) and that's when she joked the above.
Vera also said "People do do it with clothes on."

On the second day I went to the screening of Henry's Crime staring Keanu Reeves, Vera Farmiga, and James Caan. I didn't know what to expect so imagine how happy I was to find out that they were going to give a Q&A after the film. Keanu and I in the same room. (I will forgot about the other 300 people in the room and that I was all the way in the back - damn it I could've gotten a front row seat - damn, damn, damn! but I digress)

Here is the synopsis of the film:
Sleepwalking his way through life, Henry (Keanu Reeves) gets an unexpected wake-up call when he becomes an unwitting participant in a bank heist. Rather than give up the names of the real culprits, he takes the fall and discovers his true calling. Having done the time, Henry reasons he may as well do the crime. Discovering a forgotten tunnel connecting the bank to a nearby theater, he recruits his old cellmate Max (James Caan) to aid in the robbery, all the while playing the lead in the theater’s current production where he finds himself falling for his leading lady, Julie (Vera Farmiga).

I loved it. It started slow but that was because we are in Henry's ordinary world and indeed 'sleepwalking' through his life- before the inciting incident - once that happens it moves fast and is a very funny film. James Caan is hysterical. Vera Famiga has some great lines and Keanu's very funny line comes at the very end.

After the film Keanu and Vera took the stage to take some questions. I didn't take any notes because I wanted to live in the moment and bask in Keanu (lol). Both of them were engaging and appreciative of the audience's response to the film.

Part of the film shows Caan asking Keanu what his dream is - an audience member asked what their dreams were.
Vera said an eye surgeon but then she got benched from soccer and got her heart broken and a friend made her try out for the school play from there she was encouraged to continue in acting - Keanu makes fun of her for the eye surgeon dream - Keanu said he knew at 15 he wanted to be an actor and asked his mom if it was okay (he's so sweet) but before that he said a conductor of an orchestra, race car drive, or a nuclear physicist.

Which made me laugh only because my son Steven wanted to be a nuclear physicist but ended up taking Broadcast Journalism.

After they were done Keanu waited outside signing autographs and letting people have their pictures taken with him. He is so very sweet. And too skinny. The man needs one of my chocolate chip cookies. And boy would have that made my husband jealous.

This is how the conversation would have went if I had:
Husband: "You gave him one of your chocolate chip cookies?"
Me: "It's just a cookie."
Husband: "You don't love me anymore?"
Me: "But it was just a cookie."
Husband: "Couldn't of you just have kissed him?"
Me: "Next time hun, next time."

Saturday, October 2, 2010

"Women directors are alphas - they have to be." Jeanne R. Berney

Here is my report from the Woodstock Film Festival.

Since it was my first year attended I only signed up for 1 event on Saturday and one on Sunday.

Amazing Women In Film
Thelma Adams (not in picture)has twice served as the New York Film Critics Circle Chair. She has written for “The New York Times,” “The New York Post,” “O: The Oprah Magazine,” “Marie Claire,” “The Huffington Post,” “Interview,” and “More.” Amy Dotson (in the middle) is the Deputy Director of IFP, the nation’s oldest not-for-profit membership and advocacy organization of independent filmmakers. She provides ongoing support and mentorship to over 350 independent filmmaker alumni each year and serves the independent film industry and community by connecting them with new, ‘off-the-radar’ creative talent.Joslyn Barnes (on the left) co-founder of Louverture Films, is a screenwriter and Emmy-nominated producer. She is the author or co-author of numerous commissioned screenplays for feature fi lms including the upcoming “Toussaint,” “The Cosmic Forest,” and the award-winning “Bàttu.” Jeanne R. Berney (on the right) For the past several years, Jeanne R. Berney has served as Director of Public Relations and Marketing at the Film Society of Lincoln Center

Random Information Discussed

Dotson: Sees increase in women of all ages and outside of the normal NYC/LA mainstream becoming involved in film

Barnes: She feels women involved with film is trending down –citing stats such as
-Only 2% of cinematographers are women
-Women directed only 15% of the top 250 movies.
-Only 30% of reviewers are women

Barnes: Points out that if this were a panel of men their family wouldn’t even come up. There is an inequitable expectation for women versus men.

Dotson: Networking and mentorship is so important
If you are stalled or told no – ‘just find a way to make it happen. You have to decide if you are in it for the money or for the love of it – this will decide the movies you want to make.

Barnes: When women are producing or directing they hire more women.

Adams: Still a large disconnect between women’s fiction – example - Eat, Love, Pray was directed by a man.
- The Runways – the moment (1976) when her high school music teacher tells Joan Jett that girls don’t play electric guitar falls flat – the male director didn’t understand the importance of that moment for women (GREAT POINT)

Dotson and Berney discussed the Dove Campaign

Barnes: Biggest obstacle is the link between financing and distribution. The story could be great but if sales estimates aren’t then the film doesn’t get made

Dotson: Discussed a recent trend of hiring a Audience Builder Producer.

Barnes: Not only are your competing will other films but with other forms of entertainment. Says while video games may give the player a certain feeling of democracy and freedom they are being monitored. (I thought this was an interesting comment)

The floor was opened to questions. There was one woman who said she finished a script. Barnes asked her what is was about but she wouldn’t say because it was autobiographical. Or was she afraid someone was going to steal her idea? I don’t know.

There was more to this panel discussion than I scribbled down here. My thoughts are scrambling around inside my head! It was enlightening discussion and I’m glad I attended. Next year I'll sign up for more panels and films. It’s always fun to be around creative people whatever the form.

It was a great day - even if I can't report a Keanu sighting...sigh

Friday, October 1, 2010

To deny women directors, as I suspect is happening in the States, is to deny the feminine vision. Jane Campion

Today I'm attending the Woodstock Film Festival for the first time. I have tickets to the panel on Amazing Women in Film and on Sunday I'm going to see Henry's Crime.

I'm so excited....I'll be more excited if I don't get lost!