Friday, February 26, 2016

Book Versus Movie: ROOM

Over and over again this happens: I see an intriguing book-based film trailer and hurry to read the book before seeing the movie, but then I like book so much that I never bother seeing the movie. Rarely do movies capture the nuances and subplots that make books so rich and satisfying. I'm especially disappointed with nonfiction adaptations--so much of the good information in the book never makes it to the screen (and probably shouldn't for storytelling purposes). Oh, The Lady In Gold, the book. Sigh.

So I never bothered to see Room. The book was SO clever--faithfully maintaining the POV of a five-year-old boy! Clever. Clever. Clever.

But then I found myself having seen 6 of the 8 nominees for this year's Best Picture Oscar. Our great indie theater happened to be showing both Brooklyn and Room, so a double-feature proved irresistible, despite my reservations about Room. The young actor supposedly did a great job…so...but the book was SO clever!

Even though I knew the entire plot, I found myself on the edge of my seat, caught up in intensity and emotion. I hadn't felt that way while reading the book. Only the mother's POV could deliver that kind of emotion--a mother's drive to protect, the heartbreak of losing her own childhood... The boy's voice came through in the movie too. Yet the movie, released from the constraints of a child's POV, also captured the dynamic relationship between the mother and son. I left the theater emotionally exhausted, and I couldn't stop thinking about that young mother.

I also couldn't stop thinking about how the book lost too much by being clever. That's a real danger for us writers, isn't it? We focus on coming up with the next BIG IDEA without wondering if the truth in the story will suffer. Maybe the most clever way to tell a story isn't always the best way?

Room the movie wins this battle. I hope it brings home some Oscar statues this Sunday!




Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Blogging Elsewhere!

Today I've posted on YA Outside The Lines! The topic is under the radar authors, and I've picked an author with a great YA voice who wrote in Germany during the 1930s.

Check out the post here: http://yaoutsidethelines.blogspot.com/2016/02/irmgard-keun-nazi-era-feminist-writer.html


Friday, November 20, 2015

Rah-Rah Write!

A couple of nights ago, I had dinner with several writer friends, and we got to talking about Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert's book about living a creative life. Different aspects of the book resonated with each of us.

I love the way she dismisses the notion that we should have to "suffer" for art.

My project this past year has been to put the fun back into my writing life. I joined a pen pal group with people all over the world. I'm working my way through a challenging writing exercise book. I've written a dozen short stories. Retreating a bit has reminded me why I write: I LOVE IT! (And I probably couldn't stop if I wanted to.)

Big Magic is an easy-to-read, light-hearted, and accessible cheerleading book--sometimes we need to remember that the creative life should be a happy one!


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Blogging Elsewhere

The bloggers over at YA Outside the Lines chose amusement parks as this month's theme. Yikes! Lucky for me today I happened to send my daughters off to Disney World--without me.

You can read the post here: http://yaoutsidethelines.blogspot.com/2015/06/today-mickey-mouse-means-letting-go-by.html



Friday, May 8, 2015

A Novel I Wouldn't Have Written If I Weren't A Mother

A few years ago, my daughter and I were talking about paranormal literature--which archetype would be the next big thing? My daughter joked, "don't mummies need a little love?" I laughed at her pun. But then I took it as a challenge. Could I write a mummy story? 

I ended up creating a campy funny-mummy tale that twists the genre a bit. You can read it for free on the Swoon Reads site: http://www.swoonreads.com/m/all-wrapped-up

Read the whole story at: http://www.swoonreads.com/m/all-wrapped-up

Daddy swears that his new Forever Cleo anti-aging cream will make Cosmo Cosmetics even more millions—but does that have to mean keeping an actual Egyptian mummy in the house? 16-year-old Tempe Cosmo knows that Daddy’s really hoping to develop yet another Ugly-B-Gone miracle cream—one that will once and for all cure her burn scars. Tempe decides to return the mummy but accidentally destroys the poor thing during a high speed chase with a mysterious limousine. Soon Tempe starts seeing hallucinations—how else can she explain the hottie wandering around the garden? And there’s all that completed History homework. Prince Siamun demands that she find him another mummified body so he can reach his wine-and-girls afterlife. Tempe’s adventure includes crazy mummy cults, self-discovery, and romance! http://www.swoonreads.com/m/all-wrapped-up


Just one more example of how being a mom has forever changed and challenged me! Thanks, girls!!!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Awesome Mother's Day Gifts For Writers

Mother's Day is coming May 10th. If you have a mom who loves to write, here are some great gift ideas!


Powell's Indiespensable Book Club

Good writers are great readers. Powell's City of Books (worthy of a pilgrimage to Portland, OR) will send your mom a specially-chosen, signed first-edition novel--along with some fun goodies that often relate to the story. Often they send another book too! Writers will also love the author interview included in the package. Packages arrive every six weeks or so.





LizzyKate Tea Of The Month Club

Nothing will help Mom achieve her word-count goals than a lovely cup of tea! LizzyKate will send a selection of three amazingly delicious, high-quality teas in cute packaging every month. You can choose from Specialty teas, Caffeine-Free teas, or both. LizzyKate also has a nice selection of tea-related products to keep mom happily sipping, and cruising along on that WIP!

Chocolate!

If Mom loves traditional truffles, try Legacy Chocolates. Looking for something a little more exotic? Christopher Elbow Artisan Chocolates will satisfy Mom's cravings. For gorgeous, girly, and delicious chocolate try Gayle's Chocolates. And if Mom is a history buff check out Kakawa Chocolate House's elixirs. Nothing brings you back in time like sipping Thomas Jefferson's cocoa recipe!


If you have young children, or teenagers who seem to spend all their money on lattes and concerts, remember it's more than okay to give yourself a Mother's Day gift! Happy writing to all you moms!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Mmm… Bunnies!

Aaah! The day that makes me an insatiable chocolate monster--one who has (more than once) taken a sharp knife and carefully shaved hunks off her daughters' chocolate bunnies during the school day.



(Please tell me I'm not the only one who has done this!)
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