Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Given the nature of the subject matter of the new novel (a simple twist on a haunted house) I keep feeling compelled to write in the dark. It just seems apropos.

Well, I’ve extended that idea. I’m trying out something new. I decided to have a little ‘ritual’ each time I set to bring the story to the page. Right now it merely involves a few simple bits such as ceremoniously lighting a candle. Maybe it will develop even more 'steps' as time goes on... I just figure it should have a séance quality to it.

I tried it out last night and will again tonight.  So far it’s got a lot of potential. It lent a spooky aura...not just the glow of candlelight but being aware of the emptiness surrounding me. I really did feel more connected to the characters than before.

However, it’s also true that I found the writing to be slow-going. But not in the sense of not knowing what should be there nor even having trouble scribbling to the page. Rather I kept belaboring over the choice way of putting it down. That’s happened to me before, but, this time in reverse.  Unlike before, it hadn’t been me who objected to the words I'd write. I thought them just fine.  But my guys in the story didn’t seem to be very appreciative. So I’d re-craft what I had (at one point realizing an unintentional double entendre that HAD to be disposed of since there are no romantic feelings between the two of them) and wait until they approved. These guys seem to be giving me great impressions of how they feel rather than spouting out the story bits. Not that they aren’t forthcoming with what’s happening in their tale, they are very much so, even to the point of surprising me already. But with say, Jeremy, well, he wouldn’t stop rambling and I had to write like a madman to keep up with him. These two are wading in each moment, making sure I totally grok what they’re experiencing (even if it doesn’t appear directly onto the page) and hence I’m trying to carefully distill the essence into those ‘choice’ words.  Instead of the slowness frustrating me, I reveled in it - absorbing the atmosphere.

It’s so remarkable... how each book develops differently.

As for the music playlist I compiled before... it’s working pretty well. I might have to tweak it a bit. But then, I haven’t gotten through all of the songs on it yet either.

And so my ‘ritual’ will continue... and I certainly hope it produces great results. (Well, duh. ;] )

Of course, I won’t be able to utilize the ritual every single time. For I don’t plan on writing solely at home in the dark of night. I often bring my work with me.  If I’m in a café or by the lake... well, no candles can be lit. But whenever I write at home, I’ll fire up the steps to composing. It will be interesting to see if I can notice a distinct difference or not.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Pain of Joy

I came across another one of those crazy word wonderments.


One can be overjoyed, but what about just joyed?
Nope, not really.  It doesn't count as a word in the dictionaries I checked.

It's odd, since it takes wee bit less effort and one less word to say
 "It joyed me." than it does to say "It brought me joy."

And yet - "enjoyed" is fine, which again, causes more to be there than necessary, it would seem.

Apparently it had been okay to say "joyed" at one time, since we find it in use by Shakespeare in 
Henry IV, Part 1
Poor fellow never joyed since the price of oats rose, it was the death of him.

No, I didn't pore over the the Bard to find that... nor did I know it off the top of my head.  The only reason I know it is because Dictionary.com had it listed as a quote for "joy."  Hmmm.  And yet it doesn't appear AS a word.

Words can be weird.
Maybe I just notice and care because I work with them?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

An "X" for 'Jeopardy!'

This time Jeopardy! didn't have an answer regarding the famed eternal youth, rather someone who could be construed as having a Peter Pan Syndrome.  He's also one of my favorite characters as well.

The Correct Response.
But that's not the reason that I am posting this answer.  It happens to be one of the rare instances where Jeopardy! is incorrect.  What's worse, the clue says to be more specific.  Well, if we're being specific, one of the words used here does not count as right.  I bring it up because it's actually an 'issue' in the film.  Ramona Flowers (the girlfriend) corrects him over and over until the technicality is revealed.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Peter ZEN

Bart started thumbing through the book on the left,
The Little Zen Companion.  It's a collection of (what else?) but Zen-ful quips by David Schiller.

Well, look what's right on page 3!

A quote that certainly embodies the spirit of Barrie.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gobbles of Thanks

I'm most thankful for having such wonderful friends & family.
Especially Bart.  He's cooking in the kitchen right now...
since we're hosting our first Thanksgiving.  [I better go help! ;) ]
And may I extend my thanks to any and all fans out there!

p.s. - Am I the only one who can't stop thinking about Scott Pilgrim today?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Yet Another PAN Window Opens...

Seems like the window to let Peter Pan in just won't stay closed...

(I can't help but think this would both please and disturb Mrs. Darling!)

Coming in 2011 is a 6 issue comic book series from SLG Publishing
by R. Rikki Simons & Tavisha Wolfgarth-Simons is

Peter Pan and the Ghosts of Neverland

The pixies of Neverland have befriended Peter Pan for as long as he can remember. But truly, they are not Peter’s friends. Whenever a child says they do not believe in fairies, a fairy of Neverland drops down dead. What better way for fairies and pixies to keep themselves safe from oblivion than to imprison upon their magical island a child who will believe in them forever — a child who will never grow up. Every day is a new world to Peter, and under the fairies’ spells he forgets the faces and names of the Lost Boys and pixies who have played and died by his side. But one night, a hundred years after Wendy Darling first found Neverland, Peter starts to realize his life is only an illusion. The pixies, in their panic, decide Peter needs a more familiar distraction to keep him linked to Neverland — and so they look to the spirits of long deceased friends, ghosts whose squabbles once kept Peter’s interests far better than any living Lost Boy: Tinkerbell and Wendy.

The general idea of this is quite interesting. I kind of like that the fairies (called pixies here) are not actually the friends of Pan. It certainly seems like something that could be true given their personalities as laid out by Barrie. The Neverland is definitely construable as a type of prison. But would having Peter there to believe in them really save them from all the "full of sense" kids out there? Peter couldn't even stop Tinker Bell's light from eventually going out. Then again, since it's possible that Tink's demise could be just from natural causes rather than a nasty child's words one can hardly blame Peter's lack of belief. Perhaps this is addressed in the story? I also rather like the concept of "ghosts" being used, since Barrie had quite a bit of them peppering his thoughts and stories other than Peter Pan's adventures. The ghost of Wendy Darling is intriguing... I always thought of Hook as a ghost. (Not for a story, just in general.) But incorporeal Wendy? That has some promise. Depends on the execution. (Pun noted.) I'm a little skeptical in general, given the pointy ears, but then, I'm known as a stickler for the details. ;)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

PAN at the Window Yet Again

Another Peter Pan movie is coming...
sort of...

I'd heard about this one the first time it showed up on the horizon way back in 2006.  But, as with anything and eveything in Hollywood, the changing of hands and decisions and delays caused it to wait by the window for a while.

This new film won't be a direct version of Barrie's tale.  It's of the "re-tooling" variety.  Here, Captain Hook is a former police detective in search of the child-kidnapper Pan.  Doesn't sound too bad in the sense of having a little fun with the tale.  I also recall it being set in New York, though the filming is set for Europe next fall.  The script (at the time of 2006) is by Ben Magid and it's (currently) just called PANBen Hibon will direct.

I wonder if it will just be a romp in the sense of playing around with the elements, but not including any of the deeper psyche.  One would hope it does do so, considering "profiling" is so much a part of the "police mythos" we've come to expect regardless of how much its grounded in reality.  (Which of course it is... but stories tend to exaggerate the truth.)  The other factor that makes it seem like it won't miss the levels of Barrie is that it's reportedly "dark."  Of couse, that could just be a reaction to the "child napping" aspect being played up.

Here's hoping it's a good take on it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Let the Music Fit the Words

I did begin the new novel.  But not until way late on Sunday night/morning.  My weekened wound up full with stuff that I hadn't anitcipated at first.  Plus a little proscrastinating on my part.  Just a wee little bit.

I’m happy to say that the characters are quite vivid for me. Despite my having thought about what they might say next in their conversation, I never really knew. But when the pen went scribbling, my guys did in fact speak up. And I’m quite pleased with their rapport. I already see their relationship and personalities even with the little bit that I’d churned out.

It turned out to be just a little for I couldn’t help but need music to write to, as per my usual penchant. Sure, I could have just picked something on the spot... but then that song would have ended and I’d have to choose another. That would have disrupted the flow for me. Sure, I could have set it to a particular album, but then... which to use?

Thus, since my flow would be stop and go anyway, I carried through with what the guys were saying and then began my “playlist” for this book. That entails going through my list of songs and deciding which are appropriate or might be inspirational for each particular story. Some of my choices came directly from the characters looking/listening over my shoulder.

So I expect the next round of writing to go quite well, considering that the guys are forthcoming with themselves and I’ve got a collection of tunes to play in the background.

Now if only I had a title! This will be the second time I’m starting a novel and don’t know what the title is before I begin. Sure, titles sometimes change anyway during the course of it, but not always. It’s a little disconcerting not having the name of the book, especially since it’s one of the first questions people ask. Oh well... I’ll just have to live with it. It worked out fine for Jeremy’s story. I didn’t have the title of that book until three-quarters of the way through!

A Little Lesson on Teach

Just had to share:

On this day in history -

1718 English pirate, Edward Teach (a.k.a. "Blackbeard"), was killed during a battle off the coast of North Carolina, near Ocracoke Island. British soldiers cornered him aboard his ship and killed him. He was shot and stabbed more than 25 times.

One of the most infamous pirates to be sure.  And yes, he's mentioned in Sir J.M. Barrie's masterpiece.  We learn that Captain Hook had been Blackbeard's bo'sun.  For the record, a reference to his ship is one of the hints to Hook in my book Peter Pan: Betwixt-and-Between.

Blackbeard is also going to appear alongside everybody's current favorite buccaneer in the upcoming installment of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Saturday, November 20, 2010

And They Shall Speak...

I should be starting the new novel any time now.  I've been through the notes and ideas.  It's taking shape.  I don't have all the details worked out, but then, I never truly do.  That's part of the fun of writing, to make discoveries along the way.  But I've got enough to go on and thus begin.  I expect the pen to be lifted at some point this weekend.  I've also been researching based on something one of them said before.  It's amazing how a little delving into stuff can lead to so much more digging and items to look up!

I might also fiddle with an exercise I still have from one of the classes I've taken at some point - I'm guessing it's from my days at the Young Master's Constortium for the Arts back in middle school.  It's called "Twenty Questions to Ask a Character" by Winifred Madison and it, as can be expected, jumpstarts the traits and "rounded" qualities of the players in one's work.  For you see, I am still looking for that one guy's (the blonde) motivation.  I'm quite certain of what he does and I'm equally certain there's a good reason.  He's just being very secretive.  Which is good from a certain point of view, in that the other characters wouldn't be aware of his behavior anyway.  He doesn't come into the story for a little while yet.  And even though I like to write out of sequence, I'm itching to figure out how to handle and execute the first scene.

Here's hoping the guys speak up when I call!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Looking for Gold in those Yellow Bricks

We all knew it would happen.
We just hoped it wouldn't happen.
But I'm afraid it is.
<--- That.  Remake.

They're even using the 1939 script.

If you ask me, doing a remake would make more sense if they stuck closer to the book.  Then again, the famed movie arguably has a lot of stuff much better than Baum's quick tale.  Sure, today's movieworks with OZ would be fun, but this seems to me to be a case of "just because you can... doesn't mean you should."

Dear Robert Zemeckis, WHY?

Can't we just leave it as is and rejoice in only having OZ re-tooled in the upcoming film
OZ: The Great and Powerful?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How to Fly?

See how the Darling children are flying here?

You know what I've often wondered?  Is that a comfortable way to fly?

I mean, really.  Parallel to the ground so that you have to lift up your head and thus risk a crick in your neck?
Not just your neck, but your upper torso often needs to be bent.  Try it out on the floor and you'll discover... no, it's really not all that comfotable.

And yet, that's the popular way to depict flying.  Not just with Peter Pan and company, but often with other flying characters such as Superman.  Why is that?  Because it looks cool?  Yes, I can see the desire to "look upon the world below" and this way lends itself to that... but wouldn't that position become tiresome?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking it in the sense of  dismissing it as valid.  Likewise, I don't necessarily think that another depiction would be any better or worse.  Just curious is all...

It's also interesting to note that in most stage productions, Pan & company are upright while flying.  Naturally this results from how the flight contraptions are designed, as it wouldn't be feasible to create the 'parallel flight' on (over?) the stage.  And yet... when productions (such as film or animation) are able to produce "flight" without the visible harness and such -- the natural inclination is to do it the 'parallel' way.

What did Barrie write in his novel regarding the "flight habits" of Peter Pan?

In this ‘first’ example there is no description.

“I say, Peter, can you really fly?”
Instead of troubling to answer him Peter flew around the room, taking the mantelpiece on the way.

Later, in the same (Nursery) scene, the Darlings' attempt is put this way:
They were not nearly so elegant as Peter, they could not help kicking a little, but their heads were bobbing against the ceiling, and there is almost nothing so delicious as that.

Bobbing their heads. Hmm. If it’s true that they were parallel to the ceiling, it could be that they bobbed their heads while laying flat. But doesn’t it seem more likely that they were “standing too high” in mid-air?

When Mr. and Mrs. Darling return with Nana, looking up at the window, Barrie says:
...and most heart-gripping sight of all, they could see in shadow on the curtain three little figures in night attire circling round and round, not on the floor but in the air.

Again, no “laying flat” is stated, nor necessarily implied.  Furthermore, one does not normally think of kids circling round and round in any other way but on their feet... and the fact that it remarks that one's image of the scene needs to be "elevated" could indicate that they're upright.

Other than saying they delighted in flying around church spires and whatnot, we get just these passages about “how” they flew -

Regarding Peter:
He could sleep in the air without falling, by merely lying on his back and floating, but this was, partly at least, because he was so light that if you got behind him and blew he went faster.

Okay, sure, in this instance he’d be “parallel” - but then, that goes without saying since that’s a natural relaxed position and he’d not get a crick in his neck to do so.

Wendy says:
"And even though we became good at picking up food, see how we bump against clouds and things if he is not near to give us a hand."
To which the Narrator explains:
Indeed they were constantly bumping. They could now fly strongly, though they still kicked far too much; but if they saw a cloud in front of them, the more they tried to avoid it, the more certainly did they bump into it. If Nana had been with them, she would have had a bandage round Michael’s forehead by this time.

That one sort of implies that their heads are going 'first' but then one can argue that they'd more likely see them before running into them, outside of Barrie's humor, I mean.  However, it can also be supposed that the kicking might mean in the sense of swimming, hence horizontal.

They were now over the fearsome island, flying so low that sometimes a tree grazed their feet.

Grazed their feet? Hmm. Although it is true in the “parallel” way of thinking as well, is it as strong an argument against it? Would not their tummy scrape the trees, then - or are feet only mentioned since toes extend a little beyond?

Can we assume, then, that since Barrie specifically mentions Peter Pan on his back and had been accustomed to seeing “upright” flying in the many times he’d seen his play that Pan and others do not in fact fly ‘parallel to the ground?’

Again, I’m not suggesting that it’s wrong. Just that it could be... and thus, I wonder.  And yes, the 'parallel flying' does "look cool."  Of course, it might actually be one's natural way of doing it, since the only similar experience available is swimming, as stated before.  By the same token, though, we cannot swim forward upright, so it might be more fun to be able to do so.  Or perhaps being horizontal is just plain more exhilarating?

For the record, I did (on account of having seen it before [yes, in Disney] as well as the Superman films as a kid) picture Peter Pan and others flying that way in Peter Pan’s NeverWorld.  However, it’s also true that I envisioned upright flight as well.  Sort of an "as needed/called for" kind of thing.  It's certain, though, that I have always pictured Peter Pan hovering about for no damn good reason other than being able to do it. I even made sure to present this idea in the novel.
Rising into the air for no particular reason other than the fun of it...
Fox’s Peter Pan and the Pirates and Peter Pan no Boken also have the eternal boy “needlessly and charmingly flighty” as well.

So what do you think? How does Peter Pan fly?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Little Red Riding Hood Rides Again

Hollywood is bringing us at least one more version of Little Red Riding Hood.  But not without a spin.  I reported on it very briefly once before when I first heard about it.  Such a long time ago that I'd forgotten there's a werewolf involved in this adaptation.  Apparently a lycnathrope is part of the tale in some of its earlier manifestations.  (For the record, I'm all for such a 'twist' since I am a fan of werewolves.)  But something someone said in the comments about the upcoming (March 11, 2011) movie prompted me to go and look it up.   It had been said that the Brothers Grimm version had a werewolf as well.  I happen to have a collection (just little paperback books) of the complete set of their stories so I picked it up and read...

I'm not sure if I ever heard the tale outside the general knowledge and (ahem!) retellings of it as a kid.  In the version/translation that I have, it's not a hood with a cape attached but just a little red cap.  Little Red Cap, as far as I can glean from the text, doesn't come across a wolf-man in the forest.  No, just a talking wolf.  But talking animals are common in fairy tales, so that's no big deal.  Granted, the illustration had the wolf upright on his hind legs and he wore fine clothes (completle with a snazzy hat and shoulder cape) but a drawing to accompany it isn't always a definitive piece of evidence.  Thus, it doesn't seem to me that a werewolf is in Grimm.  I'd love to know of any evidence that anyone can bring to this forest...

...but what really struck me is that the tale contains a sequel in and of itself.  Yes, really.  There's a quick little "addendum" of how Red Cap/Hood went back to her Grandmother's house on another trip with some goodies.  She meets another wolf - but she is not fooled again.  She isn't led astray by the wolf's temptations nor does she spill any information about where she's going. She is followed, however, and during the visit Grandmother notices the wolf, who jumps up on the roof.  There he waits for Little Red to leave so that he may gobble her up.  But Grandmother has a plan on how to dispose of the wolf so that Red may leave safely...

I'll leave you to find out what happens on your own.

I'm currently looking forward to the film Red Riding Hood.  Here she's a young woman, of course, but then, it will be playing up the (inherent) sexual tensions in the story.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Date to Treasure

I got a little surprise today when I went to Google.  I hadn't been aware that the great Robert Louis Stevenson had been born on this date.  And the reason Google decided to change its logo to harbor one of his most beloved tales?  It had been 160 years ago.

So hail to he who created one of the best books ever written!

And I can't not mention his wonderful characters who are the crew of the story, most notably Jim Hawkins and Long John Silver.

Obligatorily I must point out that Treasure Island is connected on purpose to Peter Pan, or rather the other way around.  Sir J.M. Barrie and Stevenson were friends and Captain Hook scared the daylights out of Silver (aka Barbecue) even though Silver had been described as the most feared pirate.

This year also marked another milestone date of birth - Barrie's of course.  150 years.
Hmmm.  I didn't realize they were 10 years apart. 

If you've never read Treasure Island, let this historical day prompt you to do so and you can find out wht it's deemed a classic.  More than well deserved.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pan Through a Special Window

This year for the Christmas windows at London's famous store Harrod's passers-by are treated to sights from one of the most famous stories to come out of that city- none other than Peter Pan.

They're using the 2003 P.J. Hogan film as the basis.  Since the costumes and such for that were quite amazing and arguably spot-on, it's a bit of relief to not have to have some other wacky or 'flawed' version.  Then again, if it had been done with as much care and flair as Janet Patterson's designs in the film,  it would have been great to see another take on it.

Note Mrs. Darling in this one! [Click to enlarge]
All in all, it's very cool - although it does seem a shame that Pan is so "static."  Captain Hook has a pose of sorts so why not Peter?  Oh well... it does bring to mind the wonderful scene in the movie surrounding the lines:

So, Pan, this is all your doing.

Ay, James Hook, it is all my doing.

A rather cool feature of the windows is hanging screens on which clips of the movie are projected.

More info and also a video about the "making of" which does show the screens in action to watch (as well can be found at this site.  (Click on a tab for the video.)

If only I could make the trip to London!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

ANOTHER Pan? Maybe Not.

We literally have Another Pan out there.
Sorry, couldn't resist the pun.

I've known about this book for quite some time but for one reason or another I haven't yet reported on it.

Written by Daniel and Dina Nayeri, it's a follow-up to Another Faust, but this one obviously deals with our famous eternal boy.  Here, however, he's a young man at a college who leads Wendy on a trip through magic and mystery underneath the school.  Or so I've been able to gather.

As I've stated before, this type of novel doesn't grind my gears because it's not meant to be set within, extend nor be Barrie's original tale.  It's a re-imagining, to borrow a word from a previous post.

I've seen mixed reviews about it.  I've been toying with reading it myself, but a recent review that I read says that it in fact has very little to do with the original Peter Pan storyline - in the sense of following Barrie's tale.  That's disappointing, to me, at least.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Using PRIME Fairy Tales for OPTIMUS

Here's something very cute that I also found on the internet.  It's an advertisement for the LG Optimus.  It's a "mash-up" of several fairy tales, including the very modern one of Star Wars.  Yes, my favorite boy hero is in it, too.  Granted, it's not entirely faithful (like the hook placement for one thing) but then can we really expect a smattering of fun to be accurate?   And I have to say that I really like the extra "joke" in there regarding what would otherwise be "offensive" to me in the combo of Star Wars into Pan.  It brings to mind a one word line of Jack Sparrow's:  Pirate.  I also really like that Peter's outfit is comprised of leaves (even though it doesn't appear to be in the 'still' depicted on the video [it comes further into it.])

Just on the level of claymation alone, this little gem is to be appreciated.  Enjoy.
(And no, I have no affiliation with LG Optimus.)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Space Pan

Back in June of 2009, I posted about other ways to "interpret" the story of Peter Pan. Not so much that these ways of looking at it are intended, nor to be believed, but just for the fun of a new lens.

I've come across another one on the good ol' web of pixels.  My faithful reader and fan Anon came up with a very similar imagining of it in the comments. But I do think the specificity of this idea warrants a mention.

How about taking MY extension of Barrie's work to a whole different level?  Suppose that we combine Pan with alien abduction stories?  Taking kids/people from their bedrooms late at night and whisking them away through the sky.  Tinker Bell could be a sort of device that levitates them from their beds.

Odd*, yes, but still a fun way of focusing on it.  Yes, it does sort of make it "less" that Pan would therefore need a craft to fly.  But perhaps he steals Hook's ship, or a "longboat" from it?  (Not that I condone the flying pirate ship.)

* At the precise moment that I typed this word, someone said it on the television.  Cue the Twilight Zone music  ;)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Surprised to See Him

A couple of posts ago I described how I had one character left to draw. But his actual visage eluded me, as I'd been somehow tainted by another character of mine that shared only very remote traits. So, in an attempt to bring him to paper, I just started to draw.

I began with a stroke that I don't normally make... couldn't shake the feeling that he's a blonde and then looked up hairstyles from the era that I know he lived, found inspiration and kept on going.

To my delight and surprise, I suddenly had a clear image of this mysterious guy. He's not at all what I thought and yet I knew I had it right.  No "objections" from him at all, just a smug greeting.

I then gleaned more about him, as sometimes happens. Still don't know his motivation, although I could definitely "see" the potential for his actions in his bragging nature showing through.

It's moments like these that make me happy - the odd discovery that fiction is quite real on some level. And no matter how many times I experience it, the feeling is always just as astounding.  Which I've said before, but it really bears repeating.  Each time.

Friday, November 5, 2010

What is...AgAiN?

So... which is it?

Is it just that I notice it more so than other subjects...
..or do the Answer Writers at Jeopardy! also have a fascination with Barrie's eternal boy?

The first ring in gave the correct question, however she phrased it as:
What is Peter Pan? Rather than "who." Not that her answer is at all incorrect.  I just would have said "who" myself.  Nice to know that this book is not so obscure.  Or did she just guess?  The inflection didn't seem like a guess.  Hosah.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Two Down One to Go

Well, I'm glad I listened to the character.
A little while ago I reported that I tried drawing one of the three I'm going to draw for the new novel.  I had not been happy with the result.  It didn't look like him in my mind's eye and he also 'told' me that I'd gotten it all wrong.  So, I had another go.  This time his personality is all there... and I'm convinced that I managed to capture him in lines.  There's been no objection from him either.

I've had some other bits of the tale come to me... looks like I will be writing this story after all.  I just hope that this guy shows up in words as well as he did in virtual ink.

The truth is I have three lines of the book... the opening three, which are dialogue.  But I know I'll not feel right about continuing if I don't get a picture of the third main character.  I've known about him the longest, actually, which doesn't explain why I didn't put him to paper first.  It could be because he's a little more mysterious and whenever I think of him, I bring to mind an image of a character from another book of mine.  But the two of them share very little in common so I'm a little confused as to why I think of the other character.  Well, I'll just have to try my hand at creating him in pictorial form as I do have a handle on him in the story.  I just need him to tell me his reason for acting the way he does... perhaps that's the bit I need to "see" him.

I probably sound crazy, but then, doesn't one have to be a little nuts to weave fiction?

Yes, yes - but you would have to be half-mad to dream me up.
- The Mad Hatter, Burton's Alice

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Not Panning Out?

Well, author Andrea Jones and I have been trying to schedule another 'play date,' if you will.  The last one had been almost a year ago.  We never did finish the screening of Andrew Birkin's marvelous presentation The Lost Boys starring Ian Holm as Sir J.M. Barrie.  I'm sure we will have more discussions on our favorite subject, as well as our respective introspective returns to the Neverland/World.  We were also hoping to take in the Lookingglass Theatre Company's new production of Peter Pan.  Unfortunately, though, the ol' scheduling bug keeps buzzing a fly into our ointment.

However, I recently looked up some reviews of the staging.  I hate to make a judgment without seeing the show myself, but from what I have seen and read, I am able to say with a great degree of certainty that I would not enjoy it.

Besides my normal pet peeves, such as the hook of the infamous pirate captain being on the being on the wrong hand and Tink being played by a person... it seems like the play is not very well received.  It's described as flat, unfocused and missing the core ideas of Barrie's story.

I think minimalism on stage has a definite place and can be done to great effect.  I've even seen a production called Alice's Adventures Underground which used a table as not just the tea table, but the Caterpillar's mushroom (which actors lifted above Alice's head to make her shrink) as well as turned upside down to represent the boat sailing down the Thames wherein Dodgson told Alice the whimsical tale about her at the beginning of the show.  Very creative and it had an aura of "Imagine with us!"  Now granted, I have not seen the Lookingglass Peter Pan, so it might in fact employ the same sense of wonder.  In fact, it's been praised for its acrobatics and choreography.  But from the pictures provided, I'm underwhelmed to say the least.

Darn it.  I'd been looking forward to another new adaptation, especially since it had been hailed as being on the darker side.  I tend to think of the darker side of Barrie's tale.  But truthfully, without the other side of the coin, the tale just doesn't work... which Barrie knew, of course.  And from what I've read, this production lacks the balance and command of his double-edged sword.
Oh well... I think this purist will be opting to not be disappointed.  A bald Captain Hook?  Not unless it's the one by Damion Dietz in the movie Neverland, thanks.

Meanwhile, Andrea and I might have to 'play' again in person in January.

Here are the reviews that swayed my opinion:
Chicago Critic (also from where I obtained the pictures)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Good Spirits Last Night

I hope you all had a great Halloween.
Truth be told, it's my favorite holiday... yet I barely (if ever) do anything special for it.  I'm no longer the "wild party" type, so going to a spooky bash isn't really my thing.  I'm no longer Trick-or-Treat'ing, so I don't make rounds that way.  And I am often too lazy to decorate (but I do put some stuff out.)  Although I love the concept, I'm not all that into dressing up.  But otherwise, I find it the most intriguing and delightful.   (Except for the giant spider decorations on my block! - But that's rather the point, isn't it?)

However, yesterday I had a perfect Halloween!

This might sound pathetic to some, and it may be, but I rather enjoyed lounging around the house watching the many TV shows about the paranormal and hauntings plaguing the airwaves on account of the date.  Much to my chagrin, I had to keep switching around since I'd seen most of them before.  My fault for watching them whenever I can, I suppose.

Late in the afternoon, Bart left to go accompany his pseudo-cousin's kids on their Trick-or-Treat'ing.  Rather young kids - and they already had a gaggle of adults hovering around them, so I stayed home and kept watching spooky stuff.

Then, at dark, I decided I couldn't just sit around with no candy!  (We don't get Trick-or-Treat'ers since we're a building and not a house so there hadn't been any around.)  Thus, knowing myself to be deplorable, I paused the TiVo just as the skeptic husband would have his paranormal experience and ventured out anyway for something to snack on while watching.

I'm not out through the gate and I get a text message from Buttercup... who wants to know if she can come over.  Hosah!  I tell her I'll be right back (and it will take her a bit to travel to my place anyway.)  While on my way to the corner drug/convenience store to obtain my candy, I decide to cross the street (safely of course) at a place where one is not supposed to do so... why?  Because down the sidewalk going the proper way I see a tall, dark humanoid shape.  Looming.  Oooooo!  Not that I had any real reason to be scared but it did seem a little eerie.  Just standing there.  All dark, like a shadow person.  Not moving.  And here I just eariler had been watching a 'true' story of shadow people in a home!  It had been a real person and not a decoration, I'm sure... so I relished in the spooky nature, glad to have a 'fright' in fun and decided on an assortment bag of treats at the store.

Buttercup arrived and we talked for a while... and then Bart came back home.  Buttercup brought some spirits with her so we partook...and put on It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.  I had already caught it randomly the other night on TV (turned it on and voila! special treat) but Bart hadn't seen it yet this year... and Buttercup hadn't in many, too many, years.  Yes, I laughed at it all over again, as Peanuts is a favorite of mine.

Then we watched my favorite 'scary movie' - The Changeling.  I've been trying to convince Buttercup to watch it for many months now... but it's never happened either due to scheduling or the fact that she had been a little too scared to watch.  She actually loves scary movies, but, knowing that I revel in watching hauntings (as I did all day) and barely (if ever) get spooked by them and yet I find this one scary... well, she hadn't been so sure she wanted to see it.  (She's also been freaked by other movies that I didn't find frightful at all.)  But what better night than Halloween?  Once again, I found myself tensing up and ready to cry at a certain point, as always, but tears never come.  I just find it SO unnerving.  Other than that, though, I think I've seen it so many times that the paralyzing effect no longer applies.  Darn.  Buttercup truly liked it, though, in the sense of yeah...she got totally creeped out.

As an added bonus... I found myself scribbling down ideas for the novel I'm hammering out.  Yep!  Inspired by one of my favorite films.  No... not in the sense of stealing from it.  It's just that several of the scenes and/or subject matter sprung up ideas in my mind that I could find useful in other ways.  That spark I spoke of the other day turns out to be viable... and it looks as if I have something I can work with after all.  I still need the motivation from the one character... but then, I might start writing anyway without knowing that wherefore yet.  I'm sure he'll tell me as I go.

And so... that, to me, constitutes a great Halloween!