May 29, 2008
I’m going to start writing the next book. I’ve outlined most of it. I have a real sense of the characters and the plot. I’m excited to start putting words into it.
The story will explore falsehood and half truths in a hostage situation. Virtually every character will be misled somehow, somewhere, in ways that could dramatically alter how the hostage-taking resolves. Even the reader will be misled.
Although I love to write – I’ve really struggled to get at this project. I don’t know how other authors do it because it is very difficult to find time to work when you juggle different jobs, family, and other responsibilities (e.g., mowing the lawn). It’s not that I can’t find an hour here or there but the problem is writing requires LARGE BLOCKS of time. You can’t sit and peel off a couple of paragraphs and then do something else. You need to sit, get your head into, find the characters, and then write. Even worse then writers’ block is the experience of getting really into the groove of a chapter, having the words come easily, and then having to stop!!! AHHHH. Breaking your writing groove is awful because you never know when you’ll get that kind of flow again.
Anyway – I’ll keep you updated on this project.
May 29, 2008
I recently started reading Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s book Book of the Dead. It’s kinda of a continuation of a storyline that includes Agent Pendergast and crew. I’ve liked almost everything these guys have done, either as a pair or solo. A recent book from Child, Deep Storm, was great. I really want to read the new Preston one, Blasphemy.
But Book of the Dead didn’t hook me. I got halfway thru and barely anything had happened. I’ll finish it sometime but you know a book hasn’t got when you don’t give it a second thought at times when you aren’t reading. Unlike the book that replaced it as my current read – Preston’s BLASPHEMY!!
May 21, 2008
Oh No! I love Will Ferrell. Kicking and Screaming is one of my favourite comedies. But Semi-Pro wasn’t that good. It’s a basketball comedy with Will Ferrell as the coach/owner of an ABA team in the 1970s who are trying to get merged into the NBA. They have to win games and put people in the stands in order to do it. The movie is slow and only rewards with a few funny bits.
If you want to see something really funny you must go to Will Ferrell’s comedy website: www.funnyordie.com – I guarantee you’ll find stuff that makes you laugh out loud. Start with the Landlord if you haven’t already seen this classic Ferrell short film.
May 15, 2008
Looking for a feel-good, seamless, fun summer movie experience.
Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man – perfect. Fun, good story, great special effects – seamless. I can’t say enough about how fun and entertaining this movie is. You’d have to be a real snob not to sit back with your popcorn and just take it all in.
Go, pay the $15, and see this movie.
May 14, 2008
So the premise of the new book I’m working on is this: how much faith do we place on the things we believe.
It has helped a great deal to have a theme to play around with as I continue to outline this project. It happened in a very natural way. As I got to know my main characters, as I saw how they interacted with one another in the outline, and especially as I started to rough out a chapter by chapter – it was clear. All of the characters believe things that aren’t necessarily true. Some have false beliefs because of mental illness, some misinformation and some because of jumping to conclusions. The end result is a series of misbeliefs that circle around and around and collide with devasting consequence.
Don’t you just want to start reading right now?
May 8, 2008
This is a good example of a movie I don’t like. It’s a strange detective story with Willem Dafoe as the lead detective. There’s a few other interesting supporting characters but it’s mainly about him.
And what is it about? Who knows. That’s why I don’t like it. The movie tries incredibly hard to be artsy with long, drawn out shots (that don’t build suspense or interest), and overly dramatic close-up shots. Long periods of silence. All the characters being disturbed and morose. It’s a terrible film.
Unfortunately, I watched it through to the end hoping for some type of conclusion. The film was very consistent in terms of being disapointing right to the start of the final credits. There is no coherent ending. Maybe it’s a film you have to watch more than once to understand. Screw that.
May 8, 2008
I am an avid consumer of mainstream entertainment – mainly books and movies. I’ve almost always got a book on the go and generally watch a number of movies every week.
My preference for books generally does not line up with so-called “literary” fiction. I enjoy action/thriller/mystery type books. I particularily enjoy stories that combine elements of real mysteries or scientific facts with a fictional storyline. Some of my favourite authors include Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child (together or separate), Michael Crichton, James Siegal, and, at times, Dean Koontz (especially a couple of his newer books).
As for movies, I watch a bit of everything. I enjoy movies that aren’t overly heavy or dramatic and I generally refuse to watch musicals. I’ve enjoyed most of M. Night Shymalan’s films with “Signs” being one of my favourite films overall.
Check back to this blog category often for new reviews or comments.
May 2, 2008
So I’m getting my head into a new book – to write, not read.
I knew that I wanted to try and write about something that I know quite a bit about and something that was good fodder for a novel – a hostage negotiation. In my day-job I am a consultant to the Halifax Police and the Nova Scotia RCMP on hostage negotiation (in the police world this stuff is all called Crisis Negotiation). Thankfully, there aren’t a lot of such situations in Nova Scotia but I’ve done a number of calls and lots of research in the area (including having a paper published in the Journal of Police Crisis Negotiation). I know what goes on during these things and what goes on behind the scenes.
The other thing I knew I wanted to incorperate was psychiatric illness – in another part of my day-job I work at a forensic psychiatric hospital and have lots of experience in dealing with chronic and severe mental illness.
So the kernel of an idea – a hostage taking at a group home for individuals with psychiatric illness. Now I have to come up with an ending!