The good news: After a week of intense work, I finished typing up several dozen pages of handwritten notes from August and September, leaving me now with 62 pages (22,000+ words) of Hot! Disorganized! Note-Taking Action! And! AND! Then I sorted all the notes out and copy-pasted them into the appropriate scene documents. AND THEN I started listing chapter titles I might like to use. I've actually spent many years being anti-chapter titles--not in the abstract, but I came to feel that whenever I tried to use them, they came out really twee. Maybe they still do, but actually coming up with a title instead of "the Limehouse sequence" made me feel like I was finally pulling the story together into something coherent, and that's the one thing that's been making me panic. I've had several moments of deep, deep writerly despair these last two weeks, actually--suddenly being overwhelmed by the feeling that I'm in over my head and I have no idea what I'm doing and, furthermore, there's nothing that can be done about it, either. At which point that giant stack of notes probably saved me, because it gave me busywork to keep plugging away at even when I felt like giving up. And now that I've typed all the notes up, a lot of the fog has lifted, in no small part because I've got most of my revisions and new ideas at my mental fingertips, if that makes any sense. I'm sure I'll probably despair again at some point in the process, but for now, I'm feeling better.
(The funny thing about "feeling like giving up" is that there's no actual giving up that's even possible. I mean, what am I supposed to do? Stop working on Black Ribbon and do... what? Write something else? Whatever problems I have here, I'm going to have with anything else. I mean, sometimes projects just aren't meant to be, but that wasn't the feeling I was getting. It wasn't the feeling that Black Ribbon was just completely DOA--it was the feeling that it was a great idea that I just wasn't a good enough writer to hash out. And if I felt like I wasn't a good enough writer, well--it's not like I'd be a good enough writer for anything else I had in mind, right? I mean, yes, this is me psyching myself out--the point itself is moot. You're a writer, so you write. I think at the heart of it, it was this feeling that I didn't know what to do and I'd have to sit here, aware that I was making a mess of it, but unable to stop. You know how pregnant women sometimes get to the hospital and get scared and start freaking out mid-labor and say, "I don't want to do this! I don't want to have a baby"? And obviously they can't not have it at that juncture? I think it's a panic a little like that--if I can't give up, what the hell am I going to do?)
The bad news: My mother was pulling out of the parking lot at work yesterday, and another woman wasn't paying attention and totally crushed her bumper while pulling out from the side. We have a $500 deductible, but it's a few thousand dollars' worth of damage. Also, the police found the dogs who killed Lauren's cats--the guy had six dogs he claimed to have "rescued," although he's apparently suspected of dog-fighting them (so timely! so current!), and they actually mauled a woman (well, her arm) a street away from us as well. No legal action as of yet, but They Know Where He Lives, etc.
Updates on The Seeker:
Another way to support Susan Cooper: "I understand the concern that increased book sales may look like the movie made a boost. If you want to support Mrs Cooper, I put the books on an amazon associate ID. You can click on the links below to order her books through Amazon.com. I can get a count of these sales and release them to the press as related to a PROTEST of the movie. I will also donate the 4% associate fees to the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance, an organization which Mrs. Cooper supports as a board member. If you can not order via Amazon, or do not care to (S&H and all that), please reply to this post with your name and the name of the bookstore where you bought the books to be counted in."
IGN's review: "The Seeker has everything you've come to expect in a young adult fantasy film: a vaguely British setting (although it was shot in Romania), unsubtle Christian symbolism, wool and wizardry, wise old mentors vs. black-clad villains, and an awkward adolescent protagonist who finds out that he's actually someone special. Alas, this hodgepodge of genre staples is exactly what's wrong with the film.... While there is some nice cinematography to be found, many of the angles and the choppy editing -- along with a painfully cheap-looking medieval battle set-piece -- make The Seeker seem like a shoddy Sci Fi Channel production." O snap.
The AV Club's review (D+): ("In a typically clumsy sequence, Ludwig unknowingly buys his first magical sign from a shopping-mall kiosk, for no evident reason").
Review: The Seeker: The Dark is Rising. "There could have been a good movie made out of Cooper's lame series, but Fox was clearly more interested in kicking over the most accessible fantasy-lit rock and sending what they found through their creakiest and most unsupervised assembly line. The movie they've produced is dead on arrival." HEY, WAIT A MINUTE--!
eruvadhril says here in the comments, "Just so you know: it was way, way worse than we thought. Specifically, there is no Walker [Jonathan Jackson, cut from the movie, apparently] AT ALL. There is no Sign of Fire. And the Sixth Sign? Will's SOUL, of course. He can use the full power of the light now that he's found the other five signs. John Hodge, this is not an episode of Captain Planet."
The Seeker currently at 23% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Which is even lower than it was last night.
Lashings of linkspam:
Hip-hop stars rally for Jena Six. "When the latest call for a protest over Jena Six came, it wasn't led by Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson, but rapper-actor Mos Def." Well, that's because Mos Def is a very hoopy frood.
Myanmar junta unplugs Internet.
Before last Friday's blackout, Myanmar's hit-and-run journalists were staging a virtuoso demonstration of the power of the Internet to outmaneuver a repressive government. A guerrilla army of citizen reporters was smuggling out pictures even as events were unfolding, and the world was watching.Jury awards $6.1 million in McD's strip case.
"For those of us who study the history of communication technology, this is of equal importance to the telegraph, which was the first medium that separated communications and transportation," said Frank Moretti, executive director of the Center for New Media Teaching and Learning at Columbia University.
Since the protests began in mid-August, people have sent images and words through SMS text messages and e-mails and on daily blogs, according to some of the exile groups that received their messages. They have posted notices on Facebook, the social networking Web site. They have sent tiny messages on e-cards. They have updated the online encyclopedia Wikipedia.
They also used Internet versions of "pigeons" — the couriers reporters used in the past to carry out film and news — handing their material to embassies or nongovernment organizations that had access to satellite connections.
Officers find ecstasy in Mr. Potato Head.
"Instead of office chair package contained bobcat."
"Silverman can lick a dog, but is she funny?"
Lost Writers Eye The End.
Fantastic celebrity portraits, or, Johnny Depp in Fur. "Robert Wilson, renowned modern artist and theatre director, is bringing his exhibition of 'live' VOOM portraits to Moscow. Brad Pitt posed for him in his underwear in sheeting rain. Isabella Rossellini was represented as a doll. Isabelle Huppert acted the part of Greta Garbo."
Clooney marriage bet with Michelle Pfeiffer now at 100,000 dollars.
‘The Kite Runner’ Is Delayed to Protect Child Stars.
trailer_spot: Sweeney Todd, 27 Dresses, Semi-Pro, Weirdsville.
The Golden Compass: Hi-res studio shots of Eva Green and Nicole Kidman in costume; Golden Compass Trailer to Debut at Rockefeller Center (wait, how many actual trailers are we up to now?). Plus: Golden Compass dolls from Tonner! I want them to make a Serafina so bad. Also: Ian McKellen voicing Iorek? I'm actually a little sad about this, as I came to really like the voice in the trailer. Kathy Bates is apparently also doing a voice (just a hunch: Hester? Listen and tell me that's not her) and Christopher Lee will actually play a member of the Magisterium
'Prince Caspian' concept art.
David Heyman Talks Harry Potter Cast and the Future; David Yates Says Young Voldemort Cast; No Name of Actor Given.
Sean Astin Willing, But Not Hopeful For ‘Hobbit’ Role; ''The Hobbit'': Is Peter Jackson coming back?; 'The Hobbit' Gets Healthier. I mention that last link, by the way, because it took me way too long to realize who that was in the accompanying photo. Damn.
'Halo' Movie is Officially Dead.
Directors Chosen for 'Hellraiser' Remake.
Sam Bayer to Direct 'Near Dark' Remake.
Brett Ratner replacing Len Wiseman on Escape from New York.
McG To Helm Terminator 4 ?
Official I Am Legend Site Launched.
Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley to Star in 'Splice.'
Universal Grabs Kid's Book 'The Night Tourist.'
Martin Freeman Unloads: Nudity, Selling Out, And Why He Makes Everything Melodromatic.
The He-Man Woman Hater's Studio Club. "Nikki Finke reports that Warner Bros. production president Jeff Robinov is putting out word that his studio is shifting to a completely phallocentric development slate, apparently blaming underperforming, lady-based entertainments like The Brave One and The Invasion for his studio's recent slump." Sigh.