Dec. 23rd, 2009 12:38 pm
jetpack_monkey: (SLJ - One Badass Mofo)
As I've mentioned more than a few times here, I've been having a hell of a time getting my movie-reviewing groove back on. The last time I successfully completed a review was in August, which is simply ages in Internet-time. My total review output for 2009 was seven reviews (six for Classic-Horror.com and one for SciFiBlock.com), about one-third my average. I didn't write anything for C-H's annual Shocktober event, typically my writing high-tide.

So it's totally appropriate that when I finally got back on the horse, it was for a movie with a title like Black Dynamite. I went to see this at MADCAP with the visiting [livejournal.com profile] coltsbane and it was (mostly) awesome. My review is over at Cinema-Geek (and yes, this makes eight reviews in 2009).

Can you dig it?


Aug. 27th, 2008 08:52 am
jetpack_monkey: (The Invisible Man - Writer's Block)
Look, it's another post about Nate and his on-again off-again relationship with his Muse.

I've been trying to get a review written -- any review for a month now. I haven't written anything since I finished my review for Scars of Dracula in mid-July. This is especially problematic because Classic-Horror has almost nothing for September right now and I also have eight reviews due for our October review marathon.

I need a spur -- a film that fires up my intellectual interest in horror or, alternately, is a really easy target (the former tends to work better over the long-term).

There are three options -- I can review a film I hope will be very good that we haven't reviewed yet, I can re-review one of the 31 films that I own that need better reviews, or I can review something terrible (my last two reviews have been negative, though).

jetpack_monkey: (Arthur Dent - Bloody Hell)
I've been reading "Wish You Were Here: The Official Biography of Douglas Adams." Highly recommended book. It's very much written in the spirit of Douglas, and makes me miss him all the more. Yeah, it was released to coincide with the release of the movie, but I'll forgive it, because it's a good read.

One thing that struck me about Adams (other than the fact that he was a giant and a left-hander) is that writing was, for him, a difficult process. Editors would have to lock him in hotel rooms to get him to finish books. He was notoriously late with everything. He once famously said, "I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."

So why? Why why why did he continue to write if he it was so difficult for him? This is a question of special pertinence to me, because I find myself much the same way. Each word is an agonizing process, pulled from the skin of my fingers by powerful suction.

I think (and I haven't arrived at this part in the biography where I suspect the conclusion will be the same) that Adams loved having written. He loved the satisfaction of seeing his work complete and down and read. He loved seeing other people's reactions to what he did. He relished the effect of the writing.

I think I admire him more for that. Some find immense pleasure in the act of writing, but he had to tackle that like a gigantic obstacle on the road to something much more ephemeral. He did something he found profoundly difficult because he liked what happened afterwards - something that wasn't necessarily guaranteed.

It's my desire to be as strong as Adams was. I want to write and take a lot of baths and write some more (and how did he at 6'5" manage to fit in the bath? If he were still alive I'd pick his brain about that). I would like to be able to say, "Damned this may suck now, but it will totally be worth it when I'm done."

It's a thought, anyway.
jetpack_monkey: (Default)
I'm staying at Mom's this week, watching her dogs while she's in Long Beach, CA at a conference for medical librarians. The nice thing about this setup is that Mom's laptop is hooked up to the 'net, but it doesn't have all the frills and fringes that tend to keep me on for all hours of the day (like, say, Trillian).

I'm hoping to use this week to springboard some new habits that'll keep me off the computer and into the more productive real world. Writing, reading, playing with the dogs, going outside and enjoying the omggasp fresh air.

I won't say that I won't be posting as much, because every time I do say that, I end up posting more than usual. So, uh, whatever.

Nice extra bonus to all of this is Mom has a huge TV, so watching Farscape Season 3 should be pretty trippy.
jetpack_monkey: (Amelie - The Scurf of Yesterday's)
Words. They form the foundation of human communication and the source of most human miscommunication. Words can uplift and words can tear down. Words can explain or obfuscate. They can be exciting or drab. They are the most powerful weapons in a person's arsenal, and the most soothing salve. Words surround us. They inhabit us. They're in our homes, our workplaces, our playplaces. They can be anything.

But the worst thing they can be is potential. Mere glimmers of possibility stuffed inside a brain that is waiting for "someday" to let them out. Someday when the person is good enough. Someday when there's more time. Less stress. A larger desk. A closer coffeeshop.

Writing is hard. At its most personal, it's a lot of grueling work just to leave your deepest insecurities laid bare on the page, given a permanence that may outlast even the writer. There's a myriad of reasons to not even start writing.

And there's one really lousy one. But it's the best lousy reason in the world. Because.

And just because, today, thousands of people today are letting fly with their fingers furiously humming over keyboards, frenetically stabbing at notebook paper with their Bic pens, or simply staring off into the infinite void that starts just beyond the wall in front of them, searching for that turn of phrase that makes everything sensical.

They are all participants in National Novel Writing Month 2004, striving to hit that 50,000th word, so they can be declared a winner in a contest against themselves. There is no prize -- no cash rewards, fabulous stereo systems, gift certificates to Denny's -- just pride. Pride, and an accomplishment that few can claim: they got those potential words out. They wrote a novel.

And for these people, I have nothing but respect. They are the brave soldiers on the battlefield of creativity, firing rounds of dialogue during subplot skirmishes. The few, the brave, the utterly bonkers.

Keep 'em comin', folks. 50,000 or bust!


Nov. 15th, 2004 02:12 pm
jetpack_monkey: (Cardboard Tube Samurai - vs. Airawyn)
I'm 6/7 days behind on my Nano.

jetpack_monkey: (Default)
I'm starting my Nano over. I'm taking this morning to figure out a new plot, characters, basic structure, etc, and then I'm wiping the slate clean.

Worry not for my ability to complete the thing on time, however. Any novel writing I do in November counts towards the 50,000 - so my goal is to do the rebooted 50,000 in the next 18 days, but if I can't do that, I have about 12,000 words worth of leeway.

The scene montage thing... was an experiment. It was an interesting one at that, but it's really better suited for brainstorming - something I should have done in October. Maybe something will come of the wackiness, I don't know.

I do know that some future project will involve monkeys with jetpacks and a giant mutated lemur in middle management with penchant for flared suits.

This is just not the novel I want to be writing right now. It's a good novel, don't get me wrong. There's a lot of potential to the storyline, and I may go back and rejigger it later (cutting out the extraneous scenes or spinning those off into a third novel).

In any case, I don't know *what* I'm going to be writing now. Probably genre. Something that extrapolates the lessons I've learned in the past two years:

Lessons! Woo! )

Anyway, suggestions welcome for the novel. Challenges, also. The plot will probably be something fairly action packed. I'm tempted to write cyberpunk, except that the closest I've ever come to the genre is watching Blade Runner a dozen times.

*sigh* I really need to read more.
jetpack_monkey: (Default)
Mom came by to drop some stuff off, saw how out of it I was looking, and asked me how I was.

I think I must have cried for half an hour.

No need to clog the flists up )

In other news, is 25 dollars a day enough to eat on in San Diego?
jetpack_monkey: (Default)
You know it's bad when you have a short story due Monday in your Creative Writing class, and all the opening paragraphs you can think of start with the words "Xander Harris..."


I need an original story idea with original characters somewhat stat. Thinkthinkthinkthinkthink...
jetpack_monkey: (Default)
I'm surprisingly active today. I washed the table on my deck, which had been covered in grime for what looks like months (possibly years) before I moved in. I took out the garbage. I've written several e-mails related to Classic-Horror. I edited and posted a review, and did some housekeeping around the long-neglected staff pages.

I say surprisingly active because I have not slept since 1 PM. Yesterday.

Why this sudden burst of energy? Why all this activity and bustle?

I'm prepping.

On Thursday, Mom came over. Ostensibly to give me my souvenirs from Washington D.C. (my very first shotglass! How sad that I'm using it as a drinking cup in my bathroom), but really to cut me a check for whatever I couldn't pay on my bills this month. She was pretty shocked to find I didn't need that much, but I live pretty simply.

But it was so uncomfortable for me. I know she's happy as hell to help me if I need it, but I don't want to have to need it. I'm 21 years old. I should only be accepting parental assistance at this stage if I'm in school, which - my one community college course this summer aside - I am not.

So, I decided to put it in gear. If I wait my entire life for inspiration, I'm never going to create anything. I wrote 8 pages of material the other day on a deadline. It was a good 8 pages. Could use a little polishing, but the basic ideas were there.

* I began working on Classic-Horror pretty consistently again.

* I cleaned off the table outside.

* I put in an Ebay bid for a really cheap 486, Windows 95 laptop with a mere 8 megs of RAM and semi-decent batteries.

* I made a deal with [livejournal.com profile] airawyn to complete my novel.

All of these things are going to get my back in gear, not as a Writer, but as somebody who writes. Classic-Horror is something I know how to do, I'm comfortable with the material, it puts me in a position of authority which gives me confidence. I cleaned off the table outside to give myself a sunny space to work with fresh air and a connection to the world.

And I bid on the laptop (which it looks like I'm going to *steal* for 20 bucks) because it gives me a comfortable place to work. When I'm on a computer, I zone out. The world around me kinda drops off, and it's just me and the screen. It's like a little haven of tunnel vision. On a cheapass laptop, all I have is an open copy of Notepad to focus on. And I can work anywhere. On my deck. On my writing desk. In bed. At the coffeehouse. Anytime it strikes me, I can boot up. And believe me, I don't need any real prodding to boot up a computer.

SONOFABITCH. Somebody leapt in at the very, very last second and stole it away from me. Goddamn. Fuckin' vultures...

Anyway. I will get a cheapass working laptop. If anybody has one in their closet, I'm taking donations. I'll cover shipping, but I can't kick in much beyond a 20 for the actual unit. Plus I can promise a mention in the acknowledgements of my soon-to-be bestselling speculative fiction novel. And maybe even a nod in the fabulous sequel. Which I haven't even begun to conceive, but it'll happen, because I'm a big whore.

So, yes. I'm starting the gears towards getting something cool accomplished. And suddenly, I'm reminded of a quote that I read yesterday in this interview - "I hate writing. I love having written."

So it's become for me these days, and I will perservere.

If I don't fall over from exhaustion first. :D
jetpack_monkey: (Default)
I'm sick of being pretentious.

Soak that in for a while, because it doesn't mean exactly that, but it sure would be fun if it did.

Longish, but somehow worthy if you're interested in what's *really* been going on in my head )
jetpack_monkey: (Default)
Yes, It's my Monday post... At a fucking ungrateful hour of the day, but you know you'll read it anyway if you're the type to read it anyway...

Please let me know if that made sense.

* Jobless
Still don't have a new temp position, but you know, as long as I score one within the week, I'll be fine financially speaking. I actually could even not have one until next Monday and still be okay. All things considered, however, I would prefer to have one sooner than later. It's a thing.

* Broken Lizard's Club Dread
It's a movie. It has Bill Paxton as a washed-out Jimmy Buffet could've-been who still gets miffed that people remember Margaritaville and not his own Pina Coladaberg, which was recorded seven years earlier. That's about the most clever joke in the whole film, honestly. Well, that and the unwilling voyeurism sequence, which actually produced audible laughter. In any case, it's a pretty bad movie. I described it to [livejournal.com profile] qkellie thusly - take the very worst players from the very worst years of SNL, and ask them to write a slasher movie. They'd probably come up with this.

The film also holds the distinction of containing one of the world's fakest British accents. You know the kind, the stiff upper lip, drawn-out vowels kind of English accent that abso-fucking-lutely nobody has. Sure, the character's a prig - doesn't mean he has to sound completely unbelievable.

* Writing
I've been not writerly lately. Angstily so. I keep trying to write, but I just don't have the drive... I can't put one word behind the next...

So I've decided (on good advice from [livejournal.com profile] airawyn) to take a break. Like a concentrated, "I'm not going to think about writing; I'm just going to work on other aspects of my life" break.

I'm a writer. It doesn't mean I have to be, you know, a Writer. That's not fair to me, to identify myself so closely with it. And frankly, it's way more pretentious than even I'd care to lay claim to.

So, yeah. Other than my Angelathon entry and journaling adventures of all varieties - I won't be writing for a while, until it comes back to me to do so.

* The Monster Legacy Collection
Farkin' rocks. Buy the whole thing. It's a bargain, yo. I watched the entire Frankenstein series consecutively. It was of the good. Also, I love the polystone busts that came with. I could, however, do without the featurettes where Stephen Sommers explains how he raped the old movies to make Van Helsing.

* Icons
I, uh, made some new ones, and decided to stop with the crop jobs and just have Photoshopped icons again. I could become pretty good at it someday, maybe. Or I could just make dopey little ones. There will be a seperate icon post in [livejournal.com profile] _callmelanky_ about what's sharable and what's not.

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