Awards – Not Really Caring

Mind you I am happy when my friends win award, and should I ever be so lucky to be even nominated for an award I will be thrilled, but aside from those cases, awards don’t matter that much to me.

There will always be awards given to films, stories, songs, and other projects that didn’t work for me. There will always be projects that I think are heads and shoulders better than their competition that lose. (Yes I am looking at Titanic and L.A. Confidential.)

However even when projects I love lose that doesn’t mean a lot. After all the book, story, song, and movie remain unchanged. The reason I loved or admired them remains unchanged and I do not need the validation of others to make me feel good about my tastes.

So congratulations to everyone who has won an award, to those nominated, but also to those who create, fight, and keep on going without the acclaim. We are all artists and we are all in the arena.

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Novel to Film

There is a witticism that the book is always better then the movie but in my opinion this generally represents elitism on the part of the speaker. The truth of the matter is that novels and films are two very different art forms and direct comparisons are generally unfair to both. It is like comparing sculptures to paintings and fault paintings for their lack of three dimensions and sculptures for the lack of brush strokes.

Now having said that direct comparisons are unfair I want to expand my position by asserting that you can still judge if a film fairly adapts the source material. This is different from proclaiming one superior to the other. You can read ‘The Maltese Falcon‘ or you can watch the 1941 adaptation of the same name. Neither is better than the other, both are classics and the 1941 film is faithful to the characters, themes, and mood of the novel the elements required for a successful adaptation.

There are films that I enjoy more than their prose predecessors. Jaws strips the story down to the core elements and by doing so heightens them, the loss of an affair or a mafia sub-plot strengthens the thriller aspects of man vs shark. The Hunt for Red October loses a tone of Americans always bests their enemy, to present amore balanced story of men in conflict and the terrible costs of that struggle.

I am current reading the novel The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro and it was adapted into a movie of the same name in 1993 starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson.

It concerns an English Butler, Mr. Stevens, his relationships to his employers Lord Darlington, his father, and the housekeep Miss. Kenton. Stevens is so utterly repressed and committed to his sense of duty that his is unable to expression his feelings for others, even as his world tumbles apart.

This is a drawing room drama, with tension expressed in quite conversations and constrained by station and class. It is not a movie for those enamored of Bayhem. (Can you tell I really do not like the movies of Michael Bay?)

This novel, which won the Booker Prize, is an example of fantastic writing. Presented in the first person point of view the author pulls off the amazing feat of letting the reader see what the first person narrator is incapable of, his own motivations.

The film adaptation is so faithful, in character, tone, and theme, that as I read the novel it is Anthony Hopkin’s voice I hear in my head and it hasn’t clashed with the movie once. The producers, Director, and screenplay authors performed a masterful feat of capturing the heart and soul of this novel.

The film is not better, the novel is not better, but both are fantastic.

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Book Review: Fair Coin by E.C. Meyers

Ephraim Scott is having a challenging adolescence. The departure of his father has sent his mother spiraling into depression, dead-end jobs, and drunkenness. The girl of his dream, Jean, doesn’t seem to know he exists, and he and his best friend Nathan are regularly the target of abuse and bullying. So when, after tragic and mysterious circumstances, a seeming magical wish granting coin falls into possession, Ephraim thinks that all of his troubles have ended. However things aren’t what they seem and soon he’s running for his life with disaster spreading in his wake and lives of everyone he’s ever cared about hanging on his decisions. Continue reading “Book Review: Fair Coin by E.C. Meyers”

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Book Review: Blameless

The third book of the Parasol Protectorate series opens with a disgraced Alexia, once again in her mother’s home, living with her step half-sisters, exiled from Woosley Castle and her love husband Lord Conall Maccon.

Desperate to clear her name, Alexia delves into the nature of the soulless and the roguish history of her late father. Pursued by assassins and vampire of ill repute, Alexia’s quest takes her across the continent until she is confronted by Italians armed with pesto. With solutions to former mysteries becoming mysteries in their own right, Alexia discovers that there is more to her father and herself than she had suspected. Continue reading “Book Review: Blameless

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Well, I am enjoying it

Thanks to a friend of mine I am now watching the HBO series “Game Of Thrones.” I must

your host warming the iron throne

say that when HBO pulls out all the stops it can kick ass on lavish production that rival any big screen theatrical film. (Due tot he same friend I became a fan of HBO’s “Rome” which was another kick-ass series, but not fantasy.

I have not read any of the books, nor am I really planning to. It’s not that I have a disdain for the books, if I did I wouldn’t be watching the series. (It took me three years to give the show Buffy The Vampire Slayer its day in court because I had such disdain for the film.) Rather my reading time is very limited and I have to chose quite carefully what ti read, because otherwise I’ll read too much and write too little.

 

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Symapthetic Villians

I think one area where I seem to out of step with a lot of fandom is on the subject of Gollum, and just how much sympathy did that character deserve in The Lord Of The Rings. I have heard from numerous people that they view Gollum as a sympathetic character, and like Frodo, they view him with pity. Color me unconvinced.  I’m with Sam on this, he is Slinker and Stinker and neither of those aspects generates much in the way of pity for me.

Those who argue that Gollum deserves pity usually take the tack that fate dealt him a cruel hand by putting the ring in his path, and that the ring perverted him, turning him into the miserable, evil creature that we meet in both the revised The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings.

Bullocks!

Let’s take a look at the characters and their interactions with The One Ring. Continue reading “Symapthetic Villians”

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A project idea

There has been an idea rolling around my head for sometime now that seems to suddenly be gaining traction and momentum. The idea is to take the four short stories of mine that have earned Honorable Mention at the Writers Of The Future Contest and publish them as a small ebook.

I would also add in a copy of my first short story sale, What Everybody Wanted, bringing the word count of the entire collection to about 50,000 words. Equal to the small SF novels of the 50’s and 40s. I have found the means to publish it as an ebook that would be available to all the major ebook readers such as the Nook, the Kindle, and the iPhone/iPad. I was thinking about a price of 99 cents for the collection.

A couple of issue need to be resolved before I move forward on this project.

First, do I want to re-edit the stories? I have changed, particularly in my sentence construction, since these shorts were written. On one hand if I edit them they will be stronger for it, yet then they will not represent the stories that almost placed in the contest so in someways it feels dishonest.

Second, if I re-edit them then the project I think should be shelved until I finish the re-write of Love and Loyalty. Do I have the time for such a project?

Third, What about cover art? I have looked at royalty-free images and I can license an image quite reasonably for my purposes. (well under $50, so the investment would be minimal.) However would that look good enough? That sort of talent seems to escape me.

 

Opinions? What do you people think?

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