The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible - Vladimir Nabokov

There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you - Zora Neale Hurston

21 May 2013

A touch of darkness

Blogging again? I know. Two years and now bam! You can tell I'm twiddling my thumbs while querying and completely unable to work on my next manuscript because my whole future is in limbo...but that's another issue.

One useful thing I've done is a survey all of the story ideas and half-completed or full draft manuscripts lying around on my hard drive. There's some awful stuff--and some really great stuff! I'm NOT telling you my blockbuster action movie idea because in Hollywood it's all about the concept, but I am so working on that some time. And you know? The manuscript I completed five years ago has some cool points to it as well as intense thriller scenes. All I have to do is rewrite the whole thing and there's something there.

One thing I have noticed is that either my ideas are comedies or something with an edge of darkness (is this a sign of split personality or just a Robyn Willams or Tom Hanks-esque comedy/tragedy thing? I've noticed that the best comedians make the best dramatists but that's a post for another day).

Actually, even the comedies have a touch of darkness. Dark happenings, cruel parents, ominous portents, vile baddies...I think it's me. A while ago, I caught some co-workers telling scary stories of hearing my laugh late at night...sure I've made people tremble and stammer and fear me, but not intentionally. I'm a sweetheart really! Sure I can quote all Darth Vader's lines in the original and Maleficent was my favourite character in Sleeping Beauty, but that's not all there is to me. I think it's my voice. I actually have a voice! Yay! But it's a slightly creepy one.

I've tried to smother it and that doesn't work. The goody-two-shoes characters sound so artificial. It's my villains that shine, and my heroes only shine when I give them a touch of darkness (but working on the side of good) that makes the bad guys tremble. I've realized I have to be true to my voice and embrace what makes my stories mine. Being creepy worked well for Stephen King. But is the horror genre dead? With all the romance/supernatural stories out there does anyone remember what it's like to be afraid of a vampire's fingernails scratching at your window (i.e. Salem's Lot)? Does anyone remember the delicious chill of true fear?

Maybe it's time to get writing again and remind them.

17 May 2013

Best and Worst Movies Remake Blogfest

My blogging routine is still completely out of wack (by about two years thanks to my gorgeous but exhausting 2-year-old boy), so I'm easing back in with one of my favorite activities--blogfests!

Best and Worst Movie Remakes is something I could rant about for hours (thanks Alex J Cavanaugh Stephen Tremp, Livia Peterson, and Al Diaz for feeding my addiction), but I'll be brief:

Best Movie Remake:

Fright Night - I loved the original 1985 version when I was a kid (who can forget Jerry Dandritch eating that apple) but the 2011 version was *gasp* better. I credit David Tennant (my favorite Doctor and my favorite vampire hunter) for that.

Worst Movie Remake:

Total Recall

Sure Schwarzenegger's Total Recall was campy, but it had MARS people. I love Mars, and if we didn't have such a crummy space program I would so be there as the resident xenobiologist. But more than that, the 2012 version had an elevator going through the core of the planet. Do you know how frigging far that is when you could more easily have a plane? Or better yet, enslaved local labor? Or domes? No, much easier for me to believe in aliens having built a terraforming device on Mars that's just sitting there waiting to be activated. Yes, totally believable. Also, the 1990 version did a better job of making me think the main character was just dreaming the whole thing. I love that 'is it real or is it all in their head?' doubt that can keep me discussing the movie long after it's over.

I just noticed I have a Colin Farrell theme going here, so nothing against him--it's all down to the writers people. Write well and you make the world a better place.

Thank you for listening to my rants and bring on the next blogfest!