Saturday, March 27, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
(Forgive my blatant attempt at trying to be Southern, which I know is ridiculous, but still bear with me).
So, ya'll know how I started the blog. I met Khy and I got tangled up with some wonderful authors and ta-da! Alley of Books was born.
Well, the way I see it, I have to pay homage to them and recognize the importance of the Festival.
Well, its back. And its BIGGER!!
Tonight we have:
Monday, 3/15 (NYPL, Tompkins Square Branch, 331 East 10th Street, 6pm):
First Draft to Final Draft – Talking About the Writing Process featuring:
Now, you know how much I love Gayle. And Sarah, Carolyn and Natalie are just fantastic! And I'm just as excited to see the others!
So, if you're not doing anything tonight, just come on over to the Tompkins Square Branch, of the NYPL to enjoy with us!
Until next time,
Friday, March 12, 2010
What is magic? There’s the Harry Potter/ Gandalf wizarding kind, but I’d also like to make the case for a subtler kind of magic that’s sometimes easy to miss. The kind of accessible, everyday magic I find in flowers. And laughter.
When I was first writing Forget-Her-Nots, lots of people – critique partners and editors I met at conferences - wanted me to make it an all-out, whizz-bang fantasy novel. They wanted flower witches and warlocks and the grand, showy kind of spells. I resisted, because I wanted my novel to have more of a connection to the rhythm of ordinary lives. I want anyone who reads my novel to wonder: is the magic of flowers possible in my own life?
My answer is definitely! It’s a statistically proven fact that receiving a gift of flowers can make you smile and brighten your life for several days. Spending time outdoors with trees and flowers has repeatedly been shown to be healthy for us. As I said in my guest post for the Book Butterfly, science is finally catching up with our intuition that we need the magic of flowers in our lives. (http://butterflybookreviews.blogspot.com/2010/03/spread-flower-love-blog-tour-amy.html .)
In fact, doesn’t it seem kind of magic that more beauty and sweet scents in our lives can make us happier? And now that spring is here, plant a tiny flower seed in warming soil and watch it transform itself out of sun, water, and earth. Just try to tell me there’s not a kind of magic in that!
A few days ago, I heard the Dalai Lama laugh in a radio interview. His laughter was infectious, like sweet like bells ringing through me. His personality and his joy rode the radio waves out into the universe. I couldn’t help smiling. Flowers and laughter are the most magical things I know.
If there is such a thing as everyday magic, perhaps that’s what novels described as “magic realism” are getting at. There is a magic in our everyday lives, whether we choose to see it or not. Sometimes you have to be looking for something to be able to see it. Lots of readers have told me that they see flowers differently after reading my novel. They are more attuned to the transformative possibilities of blooms. Yay!
So what’s magical in your life today?
I hope happiness returns to you all. After this dreadful weather we've had so far I think we could all use a breath of fresh air!
(Personally, its one of my favorite flowers!)
Until next time,
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Lightstorm Entertainment Production (20th Century Fox)
- Art direction
- Film editing
- Original score
- Best picture
- Sound editing
- Sound mixing
- Visual effects
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
The Young Victoria
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The Hurt Locker
The White Ribbon
WINNER: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
James Cameron, Avatar
Lee Daniels, Precious
Jason Reitman, Up in the Air
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
We normally don’t do movie reviews but this movie was just asking for it. Made on a God-knows-how-many-million-dollars budget, conceptually conceived in an age when Sunny Deol was considered an awesome actor and having used technology that transforms 6 foot men into 10 foot tall smurfs, Avatar has been pretty much the talk of the town, as far as movies go.
The story, which isn’t much to write home about anyways, follows a paraplegic ex-marine Jake Sully, who is mentally linked to the avatar of his deceased twin brother. This avatar is a hybrid cross between a human and a Na’vi, the resident sentient race of Pandora. The program is an initiative to convince the Na’vi to relinquish their land so that humans can mine Pandora for Unobtanium.
What follows is a clichéd tale where Sully assimilates the Na’vi culture and gradually becomes one of them – an angle better visited in The Last Samurai. The romance angle between what’s-her-name and Sully is also half baked and there are almost no tender moments that would indicate any amour, unless you consider hissing like a cat and smiling devilishly as remotely affectionate. And I thank my stars I live in a world where I do not have to go through some crazy testosterone-driven ritual to prove my coming-of-age. Rife chauvinism, the alpha-male dominance and ‘White Man’s Greed’ are some of the other clichés that are peppered generously throughout the movie. Yawn.
I could not help but marvel at James Cameron’s legerdemain. Like a practiced magician, he has diverted attention to something spectacular and gotten away with a substandard backbone. Twice. As with Titanic, where the sinking of the ship was almost incidental, here too the story is, to use my favourite slang word, lame. And twice he’s laughed his way to the bank. The visuals are awesome. No other word for it. The colours are rich, the scenery delightful and the Hanging Mountains took my breath away. Sadly once you leave the theatre, no character really stays behind with you a la Yoda or Darth Vader from Star Wars or Aragorn from LOTR or Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean. And there’s talk about a sequel.
. For a movie that takes itself too seriously and was fortuitously released about the same time as the Copenhagen Climate conference 2009 , it fails to do justice to the ecological concerns that it attempts to raise.
Thankfully for Cameron, his ‘shock-and-awe’ tactic, to bombard the viewer with stunning graphics and pray he doesn’t pick out the limp storyline has worked. I give it a 2 on 5 and those points are solely for the visuals. Watch the movie but do not take it too seriously.
And the next person to say ‘A-va-taar’ gets it from me.
Hate mail can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers