Wrote 3000 words last night without realizing it--I just started typing up ideas I'd had and before I knew it, I'd outlined most of the second half of the story. I'd been struggling with this idea that there are three characters on a journey who each have arcs--lest that sound totally pretentious, they are literally on a journey to somewhere. This is for the fantasy thing I'm writing, by the way--and they each gain something at the end. But I realized there was a slight distinction I was making--I was giving them rewards without actually having them earn it. How had each character actually changed, you know? It's sort of the difference between having a timid character shriek his way through a story and be rewarded for simply surviving vs. having that timid character find some courage inside himself and emerge a stronger person. I realized I was letting characters see too clearly too soon. Having them realize, "Oh, this is what I need to do" is going to clear up the problem too quickly. If I have them realize, "Oh, this is what I need to do, but... aw, hell, I really don't want to do that," we might have something to work with. Maybe they're not ready to change because of greed, or fear, or doubt, or physical weakness; it's different for each character, of course. So I went back through several different points and did some attitude corrections--"No, he's still got to be fairly uncooperative at this point. And drunk"--and I feel pretty good about the whole thing.
"Heaven Can Wait" star Jack Warden dies at 85. Awww, I loved him in While You Were Sleeping.
The new full trailer for The Fountain. It's amazing. I just keep watching it, and watching it...
New pictures: Scoop, The Ant Bully, Little Miss Sunshine, Casino Royale.
A status report on Neil Gaiman's roster of film adaptations.
Wrangler on a Snake:
This is the office of Jules Sylvester, Hollywood snake wrangler and behind-the-scenes star of the upcoming movie "Snakes on a Plane." A professional animal trainer for 27 years, Sylvester has done more than 330 movies, plus countless commercials and photo shoots. "Vermin wranglers is what we are," says the jovial 55-year-old herpetologist, owner of Reptile Rentals. "Everything nobody likes, we've got it."Radical Snake Action is, by the way, the name of my new imaginary band.
"My big criteria on this movie was do not hurt my snakes," says Sylvester, who names all his animals but then affectionately calls them "sweetheart." No snakes were injured during the production, he says but Jackson "flogged the snot" out of the rubber stand-ins.
Fear of Snakes Drove Primate Evolution, Scientist Says. Damn straight.
A fun twist on the anonymous hate meme: you can only express your rage and loathing as someone else's character. "Elmo's not in the mood for your moralizing bullshit, Big Bird."
Look at the rose... then read the description. Amazing. (Thanks, alpheratz!)
Late-breaking ETA: 'Pirates' salts away $321.7M over 17 days, remains #1.