Sunday, December 27, 2009

Five Past the Century Mark

I know I said I'd return next year... but I couldn't let this day (having not honored it before on this site) go by - especially since it is a 'special' date in that...

one hundred and five years ago today,
Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up
took the stage. The famous adventure (as opposed to the "lesser known" Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens) of the eternal boy has not ceased since.

Bravo, Sir J. M. Barrie!

And thank you!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

'Tis the Season

Let us not forget that the Darling children's adventures with Peter Pan began at Xmas-time.
(Makes it all the more devastating for George and Mary, eh?)

Wishing you the brightest & merriest!

I'll be back to "rant" in the New Year.
(I assure you I'll be working on Peter Pan: Betwixt-and-Between in the meantime.)

For YOUR meantime, I'll leave you to ponder:

Why don't the Cratchits give presents to each other?

(The answer could be they're too poor...
but then there's that old idea that making them is better...)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tending the Gardens Once Again...

Thought I report on how it's going on the Pan front...

I've been re-reading (and tweaking) Peter Pan: Betwixt-and-Between. I'm happy to report I still am pleased with what I have on the page. Often that's not the case. So I'm quite glad that I don't have to proverbially start from scratch. I'm also surprisesd at my word count. It's much more than I thought. So, it's going rather well.

I'm on the third chapter of my work... and I've just realized (far later than I should have) that it would behoove me to re-read Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. When I returned to this project, I had not been sure I would wind up back into it. Well, I am, and so I shall have to read Barrie's work again.

How delightful that I have excuse to have a gander at this edition. Looking forward to it.

It's also quite fun because now I have first hand experience with Kensington Gardens. It's much more exciting and immersive than it had been at the first go around. I've already incorporated some of my personal knowledge into the text.

And so... I shall continue work on my interquel to Barrie's classics. As I may have mentioned before, it is not a bridge than spans all the way to Peter and Wendy. It's just the tale to fill the gap of how Peter Pan 'grew' to be a boy in the Neverland. Just - as if that weren't enough.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Kensington Disney

I came across these on the web. I'd just been going through some sites I'd saved to go back to and never really have... and lo and behold.

I suppose this is what Disney's Kensington Gardens would look like, eh?

Idealized for sure, for I can tell you... it's a MUCH longer walk to the Round Pond from any gate that looks like that!

Interesting to see the Darling kids in other clothes, isn't it?

And what's with the Hobo? I'll just bet he factors into this story's plot, if there is one.

It reminds me of a short comic about Peter Pan by Disney. I have it somewhere. Or at least I did. Not sure where anymore... I should look for it. It featured the Darlings on summer holiday... and wouldn't you know it, but the place they vacation is a spot for Hook's treasure (or something near to this plot) and Tink shows up to warn them... with Pan not far behind. You can guess the rest... Hook's foiled, the kids get the treasure.

If I do find it, I'll post a few pix from it. For I bet posting it all would be some sort of infringement. Besides, it belongs in my Peter Pan collection.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Wrong Write - If It Pans Out...

Well, I’ve tried many times to “get going” on the book I’m writing.
I’ve heard from three of the characters… and from them have learned a great deal more about the details as well as quite the additions to the plot. I’ve written a little on it… revised it even more and am happy with what I have down.

But the fact remains that it’s just not flowing.

Not even main character Thom is spilling forth information rapidly.

I’m beginning to wonder if I am in fact trying to write the wrong story.

Lately, given the prolonged interest by my faithful reader and fan Anon, as well as chatting online and in person with Hook & Jill author Andrea Jones, I find myself once again delving into the mysteries of Sir J.M. Barrie’s eternal boy. Whether it’s trying to discern what Barrie meant in certain places, rediscovering scenes I’d not paid as much attention to (since those scenes became irrelevant for the writing of Peter Pan’s NeverWorld), hearing a great bit from a fairy or wanting to revisit what I’ve written… I just might have to put Thom and his world on hold again. He won’t mind for he’s very understanding. (As you may know, he even let me stop the second book in his series mid-way through the writing of it so that I could attend to the very vocal Jeremy Strache.)

Thus, I believe that I am going to go back and have another gander at Peter Pan: Betwixt-and-Between and the second book of NeverWorld. If I’m as inspired as I think I am, I’ll pick up and try to complete one. Or both. For at the time, I’d been writing each of them simultaneously.

Besides, there’s this line in Peter and Wendy:

Liza was in a bad tamper, for she was mixing the Christmas puddings in the kitchen, and had been drawn from them, with a raisin still on her cheek, by Nana’s absurd suspicions.

It may just be in the text because of Peter Pan’s history as a Xmas production. Either way, Barrie’s Darling children begin their adventure during the Holiday Season. Maybe I’ll take that as a further sign that my suspicions are not absurd and I should be renewing my interest in spinning stories about the Boy Who Never Grew Up.

No promises, as I might not fall back into it easily. But I think it’s worth a try.

If not, I’ll have to prod Thom again to start talking.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Snow Reason for It...

need wooly hats,
scarves and gloves?

They're not going to be COLD,
are they?

Oh, sure, I know it looks cute.
And it seems like they should be dressed.
Just me over-analyzing again.
Jeepers...the kinds of stuff I question...
(rolls eyes at himself)

The image comes from this page,
and is available otherwise there.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Carol...

A Christmas Carol, in any form since the Dickens text, is essentially nothing more than a remake. Yet unlike the epidemic, the appeal of this story withstands time, inviting new adaptations and never dulling the glow of the original. No, not all versions are great, but each one has its moments. For it’s hard to miss when you’re aiming with material right on the bull’s eye from the start.

And here we are, 166 years since Dickens first brought it to life, able to partake in a most dazzling and faithful (but fresh!) silver screen extravaganza full of life.

Bravo to Robert Zemeckis and Jim Carrey for presenting another holiday gem.

In the previous post I mentioned a hope that this version would become the definitive. It’s close. I can honestly say this is my favorite cinematic presentation of A Christmas Carol. I might even go as far as to say my favorite adaptation, period. I would say that, definitively, but, like Scrooge, I learned a thing or two.

It should have been obvious to me (but then kindness, compassion and celebration should have been obvious to Ebenezer, too) that there cannot be a definitive. For as much as I loved this movie, I didn’t have a completely satisfied glow, either. Why not? Well, I found myself missing tidbits of other productions. Whether an actor’s looks or delivery of a line, an insert indigenous to a production, the magic of the stage (like the “snowing window” of Chicago's The Goodman Theatre) and well, you get the idea. The tale itself outshines any presentation.

That said, Bravo, again.
How wonderful to live in this "day and age" when such fantastic worlds can be brought to life. And quite literally, since performance capture is all the rage. Zemeckis dropped us right into an ideal Dickensian landscape. Looking both realistic and stylized, we couldn’t ask for a better atmosphere. And in 3-D, we may as well have been carrying a walking stick.

Using such sophisticated animation allowed for some wonderful new imagery. Such as the Ghost of Christmas Future. Ever seen a solidifying shadow in motion? I have, thanks to the team at ImageMovers Digital.

It’s quite balanced between sugary and brooding, delivering its share of thrills with a touch of slapstick to lighten the mood. Quite honestly, overall, it does have a darker tone and can be pretty scary.

I also enjoyed the choices made for a lot of bits. Such as varying the methods of the Ghosts use to bring Scrooge to a new scene. Past looked quite a bit like flying around London with Peter Pan. Present waves his cornucopia torch and the floor is transparent, whisking the room as a frame over rooftops with directional torch thrusts… and as I recall (memory could be fading) a fading in and out of the Future. Another example of a nice touch is watching the Ghost of Christmas Present aging convincingly throughout their time together. Not just his appearance achieved by animation but in his movements a la Jim Carrey’s acting.

And a moment on that… Carrey. Imagine the psychological ramifications of playing Scrooge at every age in the production. And on top of that, all three Ghosts of Christmas. Wow. The only other major instances of that would be Dickens himself getting into the heads of the characters and Patrick Stewart, who did the one man show. It just seems powerful to me – to act out the entire life of one man who needs redemption. And also his “tormentors,” whom Zemeckis saw as aspects of Scrooge. Carrey pulled it off beautifully.

Some liberties are taken. But nothing that undermines or detracts from the experience. Even in one of the more peculiar choices, I can see the rationale immediately. And any and all of them can be chalked up to the nuances "indigenous" to various versions, which I spoke of earlier.

If I had to say something I did not like, it would have to be a matter of personal taste. I think of Fred, Scrooge’s nephew, as blonde and younger, for some reason. That’s just me. And the depiction of Bob Cratchit had to grow on me. Bart noticed a line missing. Present never said, “but most of all beware this boy” among the litany of forewarning bestowed in the scene. Just pointing it out, for the scene in the film certainly held its own as match for the uneasiness the text causes. (It’s one of the scary bits!) And not that other bits aren't absent, but then, they're certainly excusable given the wonders added this time around.

Did we need another artistic interpretation of Dickens' masterpiece?
You bet we did, given that we've never been able to see it, as they say, "quite like this."

I’m as pleased as Fred’s punch. Something else to look forward to each Xmas!

Thank you ImageMovers Digital, Disney, Jim Carrey, Robert Zemeckis and all your crew.

You’ve given us a wonderful gift from the past, in our present, for the future.

Is It Xmas Yet?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

H-OO-k Tatt-OO

Imagine that those capital O's up there are wide eyes.

Eyes opened to one of those minor details which mean a lot.
When Andrea Jones and I watched Hogan's Peter Pan, she pointed out Captain Hook's tattoo in this scene. I'd noticed the the tattoo before. But she told me what it depicts. It's none other than the Coat of Arms to Eton College. (As you may already know, Hook attended Eton.)

Bravo, P. J. Hogan, for this great detail!
(And thanks to Jason Isaacs who allowed himself to be painted as such!)

By the way, today Bart & I have our Xmas with Banky & Clara. Part of the festivities will include seeing the new A Christmas Carol movie. You can be sure I'll let you know what I think.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Break Out the Cage - Magic's Afoot

I'd been all set to write a "real" post... and then I saw this.

Right up my alley...
looking forward to it, even it just turns out to be "merely" entertaining.
I'm especially fond of what's going on at 2:14
I hope it's what I think it is - nice homage.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

'Ware Santa...

My how times change!

I’ve been listening to old Xmas radio shows.
A favorite of mine: Fibber McGee & Molly.

In one of them (not Fibber), Santa Claus comes to visit. A little boy’s mother tells Santa that the boy has been naughty.  She then asks Santa to give him a good beating.

I don’t think that would be accepted in a program produced today.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Avast Ye! What a Weekend!

For two rounds of the sun,
me hearty and I served the Pirate Queen on deck three.

Let me rephrase that.

Over the weekend, Bart and I welcomed author Andrea Jones into our home.

I refer to her as the Pirate Queen because Andrea penned the magnificent novel Hook & Jill, which deals with not only one of the greatest pirates of them all (Captain Hook) but her own feisty female buccaneer of grand repute. You might already know from other posts (or by the whopping clue in this text) that her novel is set on the shores and waters of Sir J. M. Barrie’s fantastic isle. Hook & Jill is a “reworking” of the story of Peter Pan. Andrea played a “What If?” game with the original tale, veering it off into a grand adventure. [For more on this concept and how much I love it, see my post(s) here.] Ever since I met Andrea at her appearance at The Book Cellar, she and I have been emailing or chatting via Facebook. Eventually we realized the necessity of getting together again in person. As she had not yet seen Andrew Birkin’s The Lost Boys, I invited her to view it on our big TV. Quickly this turned into an old-fashioned “Sleepover” and we’d been planning it over a month - having set a date when both our schedules could match. Well, it finally happened this past weekend.

We had a delightful visit. Bart made Andrea’s acquaintance outside of cyberspace for the first time, and we all had a pleasant chat over the delectable vegetable soup Bart made from a recipe of one of his dearest friends, La Trix. After a while, though, Andrea and I must have driven Bart crazy with our talk of Barrie. Later on, Andrea and I watched P.J. Hogan’s Peter Pan. I bet you’ll believe that we stopped it every minute or so, eager to express our opinions. We shared which parts we deemed lovely or brilliant to what disenchanted us. I rather enjoyed Andrea’s take on certain elements, as this film is largely what inspired her to write her novel.

Later, Bart bestowed culinary magic upon us once again. A roast bone-in loin of pork marinated with orange-pineapple juice, cilantro and chipolte peppers along with baked potatoes and a mixed green salad with balsamic vinaigrette. (He’d been making dinner while Andrea and I watched the movie.) A lot more conversation ensued, and again Bart graciously dealt with our pontifications about Barrie’s masterpiece. Not that we only spoke of that subject, of course.

We had intended to watch Birkin’s mini-series, as I said. But after dinner, Bart retreated to the computer and Andrea and I remained at the table. I showed her my collection of obscure books that have to do with Peter Pan - ranging from ill conceived sequels to rare comic adaptations. Andrea had a list of items regarding Peter Pan’s NeverWorld - bits she enjoyed, questions she had, etc. We also discussed the presentation the two of us are to give next year at an author dinner in Wisconsin. (More on this as the event approaches.) Well, the next thing we knew, the bells reached three in the morning! How Time flies when you’re discussing the Neverland! Obviously we did not get to Birkin that night. But I did show/introduce her to an episode of Fox’s Peter Pan & the Pirates before bedtime. (Not to mention we realized we’d never gotten to the orange spice cake Andrea brought! {I'd been worried she would bring one of jolly thickness with green sugar on it! ;) }]

The next morning we went to brunch at a favorite haunt of Bart and I. (You might know from the dust jacket flap of my hardcover that going to brunch is a frequent activity.) When we returned, we began Birkin’s The Lost Boys. Bart watched with us, as he thoroughly enjoys the biopic as well. Andrea had been drawn in just as we had upon first viewing. But alas, we could not complete the entire show before she had to catch a train. We knew we'd have to continue the viewing at a later date. Oh what a shame - another get together. ;)

All in all, we had a marvelous visit. The long awaited “Sleepover” turned out to be as much fun as it sounded. Quite the thrill to talk shop with a fellow Barrie enthusiast. How delightful to learn more about the life and craft of a cherished author friend. Thank you, Andrea, for coming to stay with us. I so enjoyed sharing and “playing” in the Neverland with you!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Bits of the Story Leap Out...

Still reading Peter and Wendy.

I'm actually much further along than the part I am (sort of) mentioning, but I just had to share.

I came across a very telling scrap of evidence which might reveal...
...that I am correct in my calculations as to the "real" identity of Captain Jas. Hook.

It's a wonder I never noticed it before. But then, given that Hook only appears in Peter Pan's NeverWorld by mere mention, it might not be so surprising after all that I didn't stumble upon it before. For I have not belabored over the puzzle of the Captain's past.... just tinkered with it.

Of course, much like a lot of odd tidbits by Barrie, it could also be interpretted another way.

You didn't really think I'd tell you what the clue is or my theory on his identity, did you? No, sorry, saving that for a possible (not a guaranteed) book in which I present the origins of Hook, or at the very least how he wound in the Neverland. Maybe some day...

O man unfathomable. - Perhaps NOT!

And one other curious mention by Barrie which I'm re-noticing:

Then [Peter] got into the nest, reared the stave in it as a mast, and hung up his shirt for a sail. Shirt? He's dressed in leaves, isn't he? Well, yes... BUT: This scene of course parallel the bird's nest boat which allowed the flightless infant Pan in Kensington Gardens to cross the Serpentine. It also shows that Wendy (and other mothers) did indeed change Peter Pan's outfit fromt time to time. (Just in case anyone thought my new togs for Peter to be off course.) Then again, my "interpretation" of what he wears is based on the photographs Barrie took when he dressed up Michael Llewellyn-Davies as Peter Pan.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Calling for the PAN of Barrie's Classic!

So I've been reading through Peter and Wendy (a.k.a. Peter Pan) again on account of that really cool event that will be happening this weekend [which I hope to have permission to write about here.]

No matter which version of the novel being addressed, there is always too much missing. Ridiculously so. Sure, I understand that cuts and tweaks usually need to be made when transferring it to the visual medium. But does that always have to be the case? I've decided no.

If I ever am able to present my own filmed adaptation of Barrie's masterpiece, I am going to do using several parts. It seems the only way to be able to include it all (besides one VERY long film) is to spread it over several sections. I'm imagining the proverbial "mini-series." I'd also like to see it done in realistic motion-capture CGI animation. In many ways, it's the "best of both worlds."

It's truly a shame, for instance, that we always lose the full gamut of Mrs. Darling's fears and toils regarding the coming of Peter Pan. Do you even know about her scouring the floor with a candle in a panic for footprints? And She rattled the poker up the chimney and tapped the walls. She's really freaked out! I mentioned the loss of Mrs. Darling's interactions before in this post.

And none have fully realized the flight to the Neverland. What of the real duration? Where are the bouts with the birds? The touching of shark fins? And the Darlings fearful at being left by themselves when Pan darts off to some adventure without them?

It would also require the alluring task of adding some dialogue for passages such as: [Wendy] gave him a look of the most intense admiration, and he thought it was because he had run away, but it was really because he knew fairies. Wendy had lived such a home life that to know fairies struck her as quite delightful. She poured out questions about them, to his surprise...

If ever given the chance, I want to include it PAN (ALL.) And yes, there would HAVE to be a Narrator for the salient quips included as such.

If you've never read the original, please do so... you'll be surprised at how much you're missing!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What the Dickens? A Bit of Christmas Past!

I don't know about you, but I find things like the parchment writings of Charles Dickens fascinating. Bart and I feasted upon much in Dickens's house during our visit to London this past summer.

And now the New York Times has given us a treat for Xmas. Take a gander at

A Christmas Carol in its original form, even with some tweaks and changes.

Click here.
(Thanks to Tall Guy for bringing this to my attention on Facebook.)

Oh... if you're wondering why I have not yet 'reported' on the new Robert Zemeckis 3-D version... I have not yet seen it. Bart and I wanted to go with Banky & Clara. Clara (understandably) just couldn't "do" Xmas until after Thanksgiving. As it stands, we'll probably have to see it not this weekend, but the next. (I'll be doing something very cool this weekend, which I hope to be able to post about - the decision isn't entirely up to me as someone else is involved.) But rest assured, I shall indeed be seeing the new film version. As I said in this post, I'm quite excited. How I've lasted this long is a Festivus Miracle!

Until then...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Remakery Horror

Okay, if you've been reading my posts,
you know that I "so" have a "thing" about movie remakes.

Short version: It's out of hand. Few and far between are movie remakes worthy / warranted / ideal. But otherwise, it's just maddening.

Who would have thought I could find something entirely NEW (get it?) to get vexed at regarding the proverbial reboot?

The original movie came out in 1979.

The remake came out in 2005.

The NEW remake is already being handled. So... maybe 2010?

SERIOUSLY? We need another version of this movie? So soon?

Why not just make a haunted house film and have people think "Hey, that's kinda like that other one..." and not slap the 'name' on it. Hasn't this town suffered enough? Oh sure, the "recognizable" name is what allegedly will draw people to it. Instant money bucket? PERHAPS, but so soon? It could be, however, that someone is just not yet satisfied with the manifestations of the Lutz family's plight and feels the need to rectify it. If so, I admire that, I really do... but so soon?

Have we all gone mad?

Make us believe in the unbelievable INDEED!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Art Thou Curious?

Want to see

my depiction

of the

NeverWorld ?

Click here.

As always, this creation serves only to amuse myself.
It's not meant to be a stunning piece of art.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Don't PANIC - It's HERE!

Peter Pan's NeverWorld
is now available in PAPERBACK!
Just in time for the Holidays...
It's slicker, less expensive and has extra pix!
Fly on over for your copy here...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Crow...You'll Feel Better

On my TiVo’s WishList is, you guessed it, Peter Pan.
Using it, I am able to check and see what programs have anything to do with Barrie’s eternal boy. Usually I just get a list with the movies that aren’t worth their salt.

But sometimes there’s a little gem like this program.

On an episode of Mork & Mindy, “Mork in Never-Never Land,” Mork visits his pen pal, Peter, in the mental hospital. Mork from Ork, of course, doesn’t get the concept of an asylum. His pen pal reveals himself as the real Peter Pan. It’s actually quite charming. He tells Mork you have to grow taller, but you don’t have to grow up. Peter tries to spread cheer and laughter among his fellow inmates. But he seems to have lost his sense of adventure, having put himself away because no one believes in him anymore. Mork believes, of course, and breaks Peter out to face the world – but more importantly, help Mindy out of the doldrums from not getting a much wanted scholarship. “Pan” tries to make Mindy crow. He says it will send away the bad feelings. Just let the little person inside out, and crow, be silly and refuse to not have fun. In the end, it works. The show also has the obligatory scene where this Peter Pan is actually flying at their window to say goodbye.

The exchange between Mork & Mindy rushing to the wndow:

Mindy: I don’t believe it! We’re on the second floor! He flew up here!
Mork: I know!
Mindy: Did you help him to do that?
Mork: Do you really want to know?
Mindy: (with a smile) No.
Mork: Me either.

All in all, a fun and meaningful use of Barrie’s character.
Dash a bit of Don Quixote into the mix…and enjoy.*

* What leapt to mind immediately as I typed that: this post. Interesting.

Friday, November 20, 2009

At What COSTume?

Hey, look, it says here in the book he’s supposed to be wearing leaves.
Oh. Okay. Put some on at the last minute.
Wait a sec. We’ve got his tunic way too short. With those tights? It’s obscene.
Ah, yeah. Okay, put some shorty shorts with hasty jaggedness.
But he doesn’t wear shorts.
Who cares?
I wish we could jazz up his outfit some.
Yeah, yeah, all right. We’ll throw on some hideous stitching down the front and stuff.
In the movie he’s got pointed ears. We should give him -
Eh, s’good enough. Just send him to the parade.
But -

Even as a child, I’d been a stickler for making characters look the way they’re supposed to in the film. For instance, I rarely wanted plush Disney characters because the rendition just didn’t look the same as the character I loved. More like an unreasonable facsimile. Sure, I understand that it doesn’t always “translate,” so to speak, as a toy or real-life outfit. But to me it looked like they never even tried. “Eh, s’good enough.” Not that I wanted it perfect, but I didn’t want something that only vaguely resembled the character either.

So here we have Disney’s Pan at the park, spruced up a little? I think it not only looks ridiculous, but the inconsistency is troublesome for me. (Imagine that!) They could at least have given the actor pointy ears! There’s bound to be some precocious child who’s disappointed as hell.

(Of course, Peter Pan doesn’t really have pointy ears. See here.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


You probably know by now that I love remakes.
But you probably already know that sometimes, just sometimes, it seems warranted.

Well, I've known about the remake of Fright Night for some time now.  I've not been happy about it, until now.
Maybe I'm okay with it.

In the original movie, Charlie Brewster watches a late night horror show (the kind with a host who bumpers the commercials.) Much like Svengoolie or Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. When Charlie believes a real vampire (played by Chris Sarandon) has moved in next door, his only hope is to seek the help of Peter Vincent, the Great Vampire Killer (played by Roddy McDowall) - the host of the late night horror host program, "Fright Night." Peter Vincent tries to tell Charlie that's just a character he plays. But when Charlie is proven correct - the neighbor is a vampire - Peter Vincent must step up to the role. It's a great little movie. Very well balanced between comedy and horror. Personally, I think that's a difficult genre to pull off.

It doesn't need a remake, though.

Unless you put a twist on it...? Such as... the "meta" approach.

In the new movie, the Charlie Parker character will be a fan of Fright Night. As in, having seen the movie. The movie I just spoke about. Well, wouldn't you know it but a vampire moves in next door? Since the late night horror host format is not as popular as it had been during the first movie... who can he turn to? The only person who can help him is Chris Sarandon... after all, he played the undead dude in the first movie...

Last night visiting at Banky's, I told both Banky and Clara this idea.
They agreed. It's just silly enough to work.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Clarification in the Pan Novel

My faithful reader “Anonymous” (both of this site and my work), who now posts as “Anon” brought up something when re-reading Peter Pan’s NeverWorld (for the third time.)

If Michael is in the Navy, why is he called private and why is there a general? Very good question. I suppose my little scheme didn’t work as well as I hoped. There are two answers. First, my own.

As told in the book, Michael has bounced around, so to speak, between varies countries and various military groups and fought in many wars and conflicts. Perhaps it should have been more clear that in his own mind, it all blends together. To him, one is the same as the next. By having both types mentioned (group and terminology) it’s supposed to represent his eternal amalgamation of it all. As for why his superior officer uses the “wrong” terminology, Michael’s been bleary-eyed, overtired from staring at the blip on a screen, as well as sinking into his own thoughts, haunted by them. Michael’s not hearing properly.

The second reason, as might be guessed, is meant to be an allusion to Barrie. When giving us information about Captain Jas. Hook, he never quite delivers a straight answer as to the whole. What I mean is, whenever one thinks information is pinned down, it pops undone by another. Not that it’s contradictory. It just doesn’t all fit, giving you the feeling that you’re missing a major piece of the puzzle. For example, Barrie tells us Hook was not his true name. To reveal who he really was would even at this date set the country in a blaze; but as those who read between the lines must already have guessed, he had been at a famous public school; and its traditions still clung to him like garments, with which indeed they are largely concerned. Okay, then who is he? Take all the other evidence/facts from Barrie and real history and there’s a pretty good candidate. Here’s the thing: Who I’m thinking of did not have a formal education. And there is no doubt that Hook attended Eton. Thus, I wanted to give a sense of “not-fitting” mystery to Michael as well.

I liked the idea of coupling the “non-fit” with the above, so that he himself feels awkward and “out of place” in the world.

Sorry for not making it more clear in the actual text.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Snuffed Out!

Well, I recently read that one of my new favorite shows has been cancelled. The rather clever and charming Eastwick apparently just doesn't have the desired viewership .

Why do I have the feeling that the two new shows that I rejected after one viewing will have a long and happy life?

Farewell, fair Witches. You'd well wishes from me.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Should We PANic?

Time to report on more Pan-derings.

Andrea Jones, author of the marvelous Hook & Jill, informed me of a book that is meant to be Tinker Bell centered. However, for all of you who just went “awwww” be aware that the Tink in this book is reportedly a brazen drunk. (Barrie’s Tink may be bitchy, for lack of better word, but I don’t think she deserves to be a full-on drunken tart.) There’s no word on when and if this story will ever be released. I’ll keep you posted. The author is Martha O’Connor and the book is Tink. Please note that I am not slamming her with my comments. Just my knee-jerk reaction. It could very well be that she justifies her spins on Barrie. But I’m also a harsh critic as you’ve probably figured out by now if you’ve been following along with me. (The picture is not associated with the book!)

There’s also one that's been out for some time now, but I have not yet made mention of here until now. But since I’m on the subject… It's a re-telling, of sorts, of the Peter Pan story, Tigerheart, by Peter David. I’ve not read it myself, to be honest. Since it is a completely new re-working of the story and not meant to be an adventure in the direct timeline of Barrie’s world, I didn’t pay much attention to it. I’ve read mixed reviews, however. This also harkens back to this post of mine. But by that I don’t mean this is doing that exact idea of a “Novel Remake.” For in order to be what I describe, the character names and situations would not be changed, just the way in which it’s told.

Never After is another “re-telling” of the story is by Dan Elconin. From the description, this one deviates greatly from the original tale with zombies and penis jokes. Yes, you read that correctly. I do like that “The Island” isn’t quite what it’s touted as… that’s true of Barrie’s island, too, and a fact that I like to emphasize myself. You can read more about it here. Call me a purist even when it's a re-envisioning, but zombies and penis jokes? No thanks.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Not Quite Write

Well, writing isn’t going as smoothly as I’d like…
For the record, I don't really believe in "Writer's Block." It's not that I'm blocked. I know plenty to get out on the page.

Part of the problem must be that I’m not in a flowing mode yet. I don’t mean the bits of story aren’t coming easily. Rather that I’m belaboring over crafting the ideal wording. The upshot is I’m pleased with what I’ve put to paper. But the downside… there isn’t much to love. So why don’t I just turn off the expectation and hammer it out into the perfect wording later? Well, I think I’m feeling guilty.

I do have a couple other projects on the burner. And I think I’ve boiled over on them faster than what’s brewing. Since I’m just not feeling the gumption to finish those tasks, I’m unable to freely compose with Thom (the character.)

Each of the to-be-completed tasks seems daunting… I can just see the snafus surrounding each one. Not pessimism. Realism, based on previous attempts. I suppose I just need to bite the bullet, buckle down and put my nose to the grindstone. (You know what? I never liked any of those expressions.)

One of the projects is that Query Letter for Midnight Chaser. Yes, STILL. Partly I simply put it away after being remotely satisfied with it… and also sick to death of it. I’d been hoping that I’d return to it with fresh vigor. Also, I had someone who’s extremely busy take a look at it for me. She offered, and I gratefully accepted her help. She did get back to me on it eventually, but I’d not been concerned with the amount of time. As I said, I’d put it aside on purpose. Well, I’ve tinkered with it given her suggestions, but I’m just back in the “not satisfied box.”

The other projects are related to Peter Pan’s NeverWorld, but they don’t involve any writing.

Back to the new book, perhaps I’m just not writing the “correct” bit to start the flow. So I’ve also tried picking up various sections of the tale. The result is a couple of finely crafted half-scenes. I also think Thom hasn’t told me everything. Oh, I know for certain that he didn’t, as characters like to spring bits of their story at you when you’re well into writing it. But here I mean that although I know the storyline, I might be missing a thread. C’mon, Thom… Oh wait… or rather you are waiting. For me.

I better get cracking, eh? (Another idiom for setting to work of which I am not fond.)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Another Neverland...(minus THE)

Once again, someone is imagining up a new version of the famed isle.
This time in a seven part mini series of comics from Zenescope Entertainment.
Their shtick: twisted versions of classic fairy tales.

It's called simply NEVERLAND. And, as per usual, there’s a “spin” on it.
It seems Peter Pan’s secret of immortality happens to be children themselves. Hence, why he kidnaps them to live forever. Only one child escaped…and that child became, yes, Hook. (Cross in this telling.) Pan is the bad guy here…
…and it’s dark, sexy, revamped and edgy. Of course.

If you’re interested in more, there’s an interview here.
Look for it in December.

My take? I'll leave it, thanks. Nothing against the effort. I've just had my fill of "dark, sexy, revamped and edgy" when it comes to classic stories.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I'm at It Again!

Well, it’s happened.
I’ve set to paper.
Yes, I have officially begun a new novel.
The third in a series of four is underway. Technically, it’s actually the “last” in the series. The fourth book, meant to be read fourth, serves as a prequel set thousands of years prior, shedding light on the events that shaped the era of the main story.

And so, Thom begins his final adventure.

Okay, he didn’t exactly “begin” his tale, as I am happy to be able to write out of order once again. There's an explanation in this post.

I know I "mean business" because I’ve also made a playlist for the songs and notes that will float around me as I delve into the words and world. My musical writing habits are talked about here. And I’m pleased to say that I’ve also selected some from Emily Bear. Looking forward to the inspiration.

I’ll still be working on the query letter for and submitting Midnight Chaser… yes, STILL honing that freaking query letter.

But here’s to Book 3… let the words flow!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

They Come in Threes

Sometimes all three of these things happen to the same
story for, as many believe, three is a charm.

- Peter Pan's NeverWorld
Three recent events regarding Barrie's eternal boy:

Moat Brae House in Dumfries, where J.M. Barrie played as a child has been saved from demolition. The fairy dust fell from Joanna Lumley, probably best known as Patsy Stone on Absolutely Fabulous. To have such a strong literary link with the greatest fairy story of all time is thrilling, she said. When in London, Bart and I chatted with the proprietress of an eatery shown in AbFab. She told us that Ms. Lumley has in fact been in a few times. Yea, fan boys! An awfully big thank you, Ms. Lumley, for the more than £2 million to restore this historical inspiration for the Neverland. More Info

Way back in April 2009, I posted about the Peter Pan Cover Competition open to child artists. Well, the winner has been announced. Congratulations to 11-year-old Anna Scott-Maxwell. The new edition sporting Scott-Maxwell's art will be published November 5th. And although at first glance simple, the art is delightfully deceptive. For what better cover than such a childlike touch and feel? It's not just a moon, it's the circle of Pan's existance. The flying bodies, trying to maintain order in a line, look more like shadows. It's wonderful. I'm sure other such messages are to be found, too. Brava! More Info

Break out the pipes, Pan! Yes, Peter Pan as a musical is coming again. Hippodrome Youth Theatre group is celebrating their Holiday season early, having won the rights to the George Stiles and Anthony Drewe show, after which it will fly into general release next year. Suffice to say I've not yet found the musical adaptation I can truly enjoy. More Info

Think happy thoughts.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Save the Series, Praise the Creator...

Today I am wearing my Godsend pendant. For unlike the past couple of weeks, I loved last night’s episode of Heroes. For the first time in a long time, it felt “old school.” The same inviting magic and cleverness that permeated the first season showed itself again, jam packed into a satisfying adventure peppered with humor in just the right places. And plenty of unexpected turns... and what an ending. I've been wondering what happened to him!! Ok, sure. It’s still worrying me with seemingly ignoring the Butterfly Effect. Yet the insistence upon mentioning it a few times in this episode alone (even making a not butterfly…MOTHRA! joke out of it) leads me to think they might just know what they’re doing after all. I hope so, obviously.

And yeah, I do have an issue with part of the plot shenanigans… but I’m hoping it’s moot in the way they’re constructing it. For those of you who know what I’m talking about… Doesn’t Sylar need Charlie’s ability to proceed as he did the first time around? Unknown… fact is he didn’t really seem to rely on her power. Maybe it can all work this way?

Last night’s entry into the past (both in writing and feel as well as literal storyline) also made me think about the fact that the first time around the SpaceTime continuum had been messed with many times by Hiro in order to make Save the Cheerleader, Save the World work. I always saw the Kirby Plaza scene as having happened at least four if not five times, with only that set of people arriving at the same time for the first time. As in, every time Hiro would try to stop Sylar, something new would be added until it finally “worked.” But here’s the thing: It worked only so that it would be a “future” that’s desirable to the good guys. Hmmm….

And to think it has crossed my mind that maybe they should just end the show with dignity. I have my thoughts on that here. But if it continues in this vein, viva Heroes. And as much as I like my ending, surprise me and surprise me well!

On IMdb, only creator Tim Kring is credited with writing the episode.

BRAVO, sir!
UPDATE: I resurrected the episode on my TiVo. Allow me to give credit where credit is due.
BRAVO! to writers Aron Eli Coleite & Aury Wallington.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Getting Wild...

Okay, allow me to have a "pointless" post again if you will.

If you read my post/review of the Where the Wild Things Are movie, you'll recall that Clara and I both want Max's wolf suit. I'm the type of guy who would LOOK for it. Thanks to the magic that is the internet, I did find it. But it's
A) sold out B) a little pricey. It's on the net here.

Actually, I'd looked for it just after putting up that post. But I've been chatting with Clara online just now and showed it to her... and in the process of relocating it, I found these charming versions as well.

Could this be any cooler? Just about anyone who knows me is aware that I love skateboarding. The incredible "magic" of the sport, I mean, not actually skating myself. I don't have any desire to do it, but I'll watch it like there's no tomorrow. (Plus, it's also featured in my novel What If It's a Trick Question?)

And can this be any cuter? --->
NICE job on the Wild Thing suit, too.

Same here! Nice costumes!


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Ghost of a Chance

I spent some of Halloween watching shows of A Haunting on the Discovery Channel. No, I'm not going to tell you that it scared me. No, I'm not going to tell you I believed what I saw. Then again, I'm not ruling out the experiences as true. Not saying they are... I just tend to believe in the paranormal in general. So what am I going to say?

It got me thinking about the show Ghost Hunters. Again, I am neither crediting nor discrediting. But they spend so much time going to old prisons and hotels and such... where "activity" has been "known to happen." Seems logical, sure. But often it's someplace where it happens "occassionally."

I watched on A Haunting where a family had been, shall we say terrorized, by not only a few ghosts... but a demonic force as well. The strange occurences increased and very rarely ceased. Yada yada yada... they had to move out to maintain their sanity and lives. At the end of the program we're told that another family has moved into the house. So far the little boy has been haunting them, but they have no sign of the evil entity bent on descruction. Well, okay... but the "first" family began with such minor hauntings and it steadily progressed... so...

Here's the idea. Why don't we get the Ghost Hunters to that place (or any other) in A Haunting since we "know" that the activity can be seen on a regular frightening basis? Why are they hoping it might maybe happen on the one night they're allowed to have free reign of the otherwise non-activitied tourist traps?

Does that make sense? If we really want to "prove" such phenomena, why aren't we doing it logically?

Or maybe we just like telling ghost stories...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

What Scares Me...


Want to know what frightens me?

It's on the left there. And not this specific picture, no. (Although I don't particularly like looking it!) But these spooky characters in general. They just up my creep level beyond any hope of a comfort zone.

The only one that doesn't freak me out (yes, even the "cute" ones do - there's just something about a person 'created' in this fashion) is the one in The Wizard of OZ. No, I can't come up with a reason why he doesn't.

Oh sure, I've got other "fears" but we can save those for another time.

And let me take this opportunity to make a quick review:

Paranormal Activity - THIS movie is taking the country by storm?? REALLY?

I'd like to know two things.

1) How they accomplished some of those F/X so convincingly (didn't say scarily, just convincingly) on that budget.
2) How this is supposed to be the scariest movie of all time. Seriously?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

HEY! Is That a Fact?

There's a Japanese show where contestants are given random facts and they must discern whether or not they are true with an outburst of "HEY!" Or something to this effect. I learned about it from the 'net.

How did I come across such a strange show? Via Peter Pan, of course.
Recently they had one about Barrie's eternal boy. They tried seeing if people would believe that the reason no one grows up in the Neverland is because Peter Pan kills them before they can. This may or may not be true. I intend to put up a post on the idea (if I ever remember to or have enough gumption to write it out.)

There is a passage in the novel which can certainly be construed as such, yes. But it's not entirely clear, as can sometimes be with case with Barrie's Pan-Universe. I'll discuss it when I, um, discuss it. But for right now, it's kind of funny because the Japanese "game show" actually takes two different parts of the book and presents them as one clear fact. The thing is, they are just that - two different parts of the book and not talking about the same thing at all. Rather clever of them to try and fool contestants in this fashion, since it's a fact that each are actually in the book when most people would think such things are not in it.

The lines they use are:
The boys on the island vary, of course, in numbers, according as they get killed and so on; and when they seem to be growing up, which is against the rules, Peter thins them out...
in conjunction with
...and Peter was killing them off vindictively as fast as possible.

Now, as I said, I'll get to that first part in another post. But the second line is actually about grown-ups. The rest of the passage:

But of course he cared very much; and he was so full of wrath against grown-ups, who, as usual, were spoiling everything, that as soon as he got inside his tree he breathed intentionally quick short breaths at the rate of about five to a second. He did this because there is a saying in the Neverland that, every time you breathe, a grown-up dies; and Peter was killing them off vindictively as fast as possible.

For the record, I use this odd tidbit in Peter Pan's NeverWorld.

Here's the clip from the Japanese show. MOST of it is in Japanese, but it's worth watching to see the "scholar" present the "truth." Odd pictures of Peter Pan, too. Yes, it's a pet peeve that the drawings are derived from the Disney version.

It's also curious that he seems to think that the children can be dropped to their deaths. Doesn't he realize they can all fly in the Neverland? Just goes to show he's a sham. :)

Either way, it's a nice reminder that the Neverland (and NeverWorld!) are not always the happy, fun dream place we might think it is... it's dangerous and sinister, too.

* The image seen above is not related to the Japanese program.