12 to Midnight, Books, Movies and TV

Reading, Watching, Writing

05.02.05 | 1 Comment

I’ve been reading Good Omens for the last few days. It’s funny stuff, but I can’t say I’ve laughed out loud yet. Maybe it’s just me. Those of you who know me know I have a sense of humor with a hair trigger. Still, it’s a fun read. I’m probably half-way through it right now.

This reminds me… I’ve been trying to think of a non-commercial place to which I can link book titles. For movie titles I’ve been linking to IMDB lately. I like linking to sites with reviews and detailed descriptions, but I’m really not trying to pimp the titles. By the same token, I have no interest in looking up individual author sites or something of that nature. I’m looking for a one stop shop for book information that’s not a bookseller itself. Any suggestions would be welcome. Otherwise, I’ll keep linking to Amazon or Overstock.

Speaking of Overstock, here’s a message to their ad agency. It’s time for a new TV commercial. Your directions to “think O” does not make me think Overstock. I makes me think “orgasm”. Of course, that may be intentional. Still, it’s time for a new approach.

Anyway, back to the news. If you haven’t checked out Darth Vader’s Blog, you’re really missing out. Like all blogs, remember to read from the bottom of the page up.

On Saturday I watched I, Robot. It was fun, but it waffled between cheese and coolness. They did some stuff with dynamic camera motion that I really liked; spinning, motion tracking, and so on. It was fast enough to heighten the action, but well framed and slow enough that we could still tell what was happening on the screen. That’s where some directors and editors fall short. The editor cuts the action sequences so fast that you literally can’t follow what’s going on. These scenes didn’t fall prey to that kind of ill-used technique. Of course, they could have called the movie “Gone with the Wind” for all the similarity with Azimov’s book, but I’d already detached myself from that kind of expectation before I ever rented the movie.

I mentioned last week that they posted the Serenity trailer online. I guess I should have added the website to my daily watch list. They posted an announcement about tickets to a special sneak peak of the movie in 10 cities– including relatively nearby Austin. Of course, the tickets went like hotcakes and were long since sold out by the time I found out about them. While I was checking out the rest of the site, I did find all sorts of new Serenity (Firefly) -related media. One of the things I came across was a short video of a Con appearance by Joss and three of the cast members. Check it: WonderCon Clip 700k.mov . Or, you might be interested in the fan site: FireFlyFans.net Good stuff.

Writing is a skill and a discipline. It is something that has to be practiced or it atrophies. Writing a blog (at least, the way I write a blog) doesn’t count. (The way Kyle writes, in which each post is a small essay, does.) I’ve done a lot of editing over the last two years, but not that much writing. The difficulty I had in writing our May issue of Modern Dispatch clearly illustrates that. Writing those seven pages was like pulling teeth. Actually, the writing wasn’t that difficult. It was the outline that I just couldn’t work out. It took a day and a half to produce an outline I could live with, but much less than that to actually write. Still, it’s a pretty strong warning signal that I need to jump in and do more writing. Real writers write every day, whether they feel like it or not. Writing is a discipline, and the Lord knows I don’t have much of that. Hopefully in the future that will start to change. Hopefully you’ll see more things coming out of 12 to Midnight with my name on it. I’ve been so focused on the layout side of things that I’ve neglected my own writing for too long.

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1 Comment

Comment by Jerry
2005-05-04 10:03:02

Don’t be so tough on yourself. The layout takes up a lot of your time and you have a baby. Its amazing what you do achieve. And it is appreciated. Things will pick up and you’ll get to write. It all depends on balance.

I seriously believe when you lose the long drive that things will improve for you. Think of the extra time you will have then and try to focus to use it well with family and writing.

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