Monday, April 28, 2008

"I like livin'..."

How sad is it that I pop into my own blog a couple times a day just to look at the picture I put in the previous post? But it's a pleasant interruption from work, which is threatening to overwhelm me, so I'll take all the distractions I can. I showed my sister part of "Jeopardy" yesterday for the Dirty Dozen connection, and she was quite shocked and delighted that he was such a hottie in his 30's. But she and I like mostly the same look in our men, so I knew she'd dig him too.

I have a rough outline of the last half of POW done now, and more new words on a fanfic story. I have two fanfic stories left to write (well, two and a half), and then I'm done. They're pressing stories, stories that are driving me crazy to get them down. Don't think I've ever had that with any of my previous stories. I just wrote them for the fun of it. These last two, I have to write. Unfortunately, I also have to write the conclusion to Murder's Melody. Or maybe I'll just pull that story for good and let it die a hard and painful death in the incomplete files. I know what happens, I just can't get motivated to work on it with these other stories horning in.

What I'd really like to do is just sit down on a Sunday and finish off the second draft of "In Little Stars." Turn off the internet, stop watching my weekend movies with hot, drool-inducing actors, and finish the damned thing. Then finish "Blood of the Air." Because both are eating up valuable brain cells that I could be spending on POW and the DTD rewrites, but they won't go away no matter how hard I try to shove them into the cellar. If anything, they get stronger in my head each day I delay working on them, and my focus even simply working on an outline for POW was sketchy. I haven't been grabbed by stories this hard in ages. And it's a perfect pair of stories to end my C! fanfic career on, too, particularly BotA. I dig that!

Now, I just need to stop talking about it and get writing so they're outta my head already! Go! Shoo! Shoo!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

"Honest!"

Hee hee. Continuing my Ralph Meeker fling, I watched "Jeopardy" today. 1953, with Barbara Stanwyck. Quite a fun little thriller. I wouldn't mind owning this one at all. Some improbabilities, but still quite fun. And what made it so much fun was Mr. Meeker. Once he arrives on the scene, the movie jumps into high gear. Yowza, he's even better looking here (scruffy and disheveled), and he's got all the plum dialogue. His lines made me grin throughout. He's a fugitive from the law whom Ms. Stanwyck tries to recruit to help rescue her husband, who's trapped by a piling on the beach with the surf coming in. He's so very snarky and sexy and smug in this movie, and all in a carefree and careless way that make him even more appealing, and more dangerous, at the same time.

And Barbara Stanwyck is always an interesting actress to watch. I like how rather ruthlessly she decides to accept what she needs to do to get Ralph Meeker's help. I like how you can see the wheels turning. There's one funny scene where the front tire blows, and she waits around all casual and lets him discover on his own there's no jack in the trunk. Cracks me up. Then he gets to figure how to change the tire without a jack. And I like his solution... quite simple, but clever. And it cracks me up how proud he is of himself whenever he does something he thinks is cool. And where some may roll their eyes at the ending, it worked for me because both characters had changed because of their encounter, not just him. I like that a lot.

Eureka!

So, on the plane ride home, I did some POW thinking... and finally -- finally! -- things fell into place for the last half. I have the last line (which made me grin and grin), I understand what the other main character is doing, I figured out it's more of a noir mystery than anything else, and that let me pace the events I had more evenly and with purpose. Me very pleased. Me ready to continue writing on it now.

Only thing I haven't light-bulbed on yet is the setting. I want it to be cars and hats and trench coats and all 1940's, because I just can't envision it in another setting. And yet I cannot seem to explain such a thing logically within the context of the story. Is it an alternate 1945 with magic? Is it some random fantasy world and that's just where thing's have developed? I can't bear to change it to some more medieval-ish setting, I desperately want that 40's look and feel. I just can't figure how to explain it in the novel.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Kiss Me Deadly

I'm under the weather, and so finally had a moment to watch this movie. Suh-weet! Totally dug it. This is one I knew little about, other than Ralph Meeker was in it, and I only know him because he's Captain Kinder in The Dirty Dozen. He's so very nice and unassuming in Dirty Dozen; here, 12 years younger, he's totally my type of good-looking. He reminds me of an odd cross between Bill Paxton and Vic Morrow and a dash of a young William Holden thrown in for good measure. His character is selfish, arrogant, determined, and quite vicious when pushed. I was originally wondering how he'd carry a movie, but he's just fine, and he suits the sleazy dark underworld of this movie perfectly. His half-defeated, half-desperate line, "I didn't know," followed by the lieutenant's bitter observation: "You think you'd have done anything different if you had known?" totally sums up who he is. Absolutely love it!

This is quite the dark noir film. But it gives me many of the things I do so love in noir. Detective ignoring police advice and doing his own thing, femme fatale, cool cars, more stairways than a stadium, shadows and more shadows and creepy camera angles, opera, a few fights, a few guns, a few kisses, a few deaths, more than a few drinks, a protagonist who dishevels nicely and actually spends time in a hospital when injured. And best of all? I had no idea what everyone was after the whole film! How cool is that? I had my own (wrong) ideas that revolved ultimately around similar themes, but the reality was much much cooler. I'd say more but it'd be spoilerific and might ruin the fun.

It's interesting because I was just having a debate about mysteries the other day, and about how I'd started running into books that kept things a mystery and it pissed me off. This movie was the opposite. It did the mystery right, and kept me wanting to find out what was going on, and not turn it off in frustration (as happened with the book). This rather fascinates me, the what works, what doesn't, and gave me a better idea what to avoid in my own writing.

And the ending sound effects? Freaked! Me! Out! Thank goodness I never saw this when I was young. I don't think I'd have slept for weeks. I still might not.

I'm really curious to read the book now, see if it explains a little more.