Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Arabella of Mars

Arabella of Mars sounds like the type book I'd enjoy, and also the type book Hollywood would want to option for a movie.  It also reminds me of something akin what anime craftsman, Hayao Miyazaki, might have created.  I wish I could speed read about five times or more at the level I presently read at as there are far too many books I'll never get around to reading for various reasons.  I have a fantasy invention: What if scientist invented a chip you could install someway that activates the brain, and you could just skim books like those speedy readers of older television ads, you know the guys that just skim with their fingers down a page, and flip the page.  It looks like they could finish off a novel in a couple of hours--the time taken to flip thru each page.   There used to be a fashionable course or method to that some years back promoted by Evelyn Wood.  You don't hear much about that these days.

Anyway, I have too many distractions to be a very in depth reader.   Below though I'll post a link to an interview with the author David D. Levine.  He talks a bit about the craft of writing.  In it he says his approach to writing is to write clean.  In other words, he sort of proofreads and keeps his errors and such updated and to a minimum before moving too far along.  I think that would be the way I'd probably go about it, and might be the standardization for many other writers.  Just seems natural, to proofread your work before you move too far along on unless your story and ideas are just too immediate that they just compel one to manically get it all down.  And if all that inspiration or chunk of the story is coming to you so fast and furious, you'd probably be better off just outlining it, then go back and begin writing.   With writing like a lot of the arts, there are several ways to go about the craft.  I find that is true to some degree with creating visual art, photography, writing poems, songs, etc.  They sort of come in stages (or at least to me they do).  They first appear as ideas, I jot them down on paper to capture the initial idea, then try and produce some sort of rough cut.  Then you have to shape and work that into something.  I, unfortunately, can't say that anything has ever come to me fully formed, although I've heard artist claim that that does happen to them ie. Neil Young says that is the case for him, and maybe Paul Simon.  It must be wonderful to be so talented and have that gift.

At any rate, here's a review of what Arabella of Mars is about, and below that is the interview with the author.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Alien Interview Audio Book

Halloween is upon us, and I've been enjoying the change in the weather.  However lately, I've gotten some aches and pains, and I don't know if that just a part of older age, arthritis or what?   I've had occasionally bouts of arthritis when there would be certain changes in the weather, but whenever they've happened in the past they didn't stay long.  However I'd had this pain in my foot and hand that has lingered lately, and it's troublesome to a degree.

With Halloween  I've watched my fair share of horror movies.   Really more this time around than previous years.  Some have been good, but most really have been middling to fair, but there were several I was curious about so it has been fun to watch them.

I'm probably not going to remember every one of them, but a brief rundown would look like this:
 Annabelle--I caught this one this past Friday.  It got a lot of negative reviews, and there have been a lot of possessed doll stories in the past or so I read.  It is also a prequel (sort of) to the film The Conjuring, which I enjoyed, and I look forward to seeing the sequel, Conjuring 2 as well.  I enjoyed Annabelle to some degree.  There are a few scenes that I thought could go one way or the other, like  a scene in which the mother gets fed up and tries to smash the Annabelle doll.  It all involves these neighbors that are in cult that lived next door to the main couple and they've summoned up a demon that is within the doll.  Your mileage may vary, but I enjoyed it on some level.
Dawn of the Dead--by George Romero, is the sequel to the original Night of the Living Dead.  I've got it on DVD, but was eating supper and tired last night, and decided to re-watch it as it was somewhere in the middle of the airing of it.  It's the one where the survivors are taking cover in a shopping mall.  Some cheesy acting, and the zombies have this blueish greasy-paint effect, but it's still fun.
The Black Swan really surprised me.  I'm not too much of a ballet fan, but the way it was shot, the acting, the sets, the production, and story pulled me in.  In a broader sense, I guess you could call this horror, either way, it's a good film.   It reminded me of something like Dario Argento's Suspiria, both having ballet themes, and there's a bit of body horror in it as well, like David Cronenberg is known for.
The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock, I'd seen before many times, but it's one of those films I can revisit and still be entertained by it.  Tippi Hedren and Suzanne Pleshette are beautiful, but also have good roles and although you'd think since both had feelings for the same man, played by Rod Taylor there would be some kind of flair up, but Hitchcock subtly creates tension there, but doesn't have a full blown confrontation over it.  There is one scene in it that I had not became aware of, and I need to Google it or re-watch the film (again), as there was a death scene with one of the secondary characters toward the end.   Spoilers:  I'm not sure if that was the character played by Pleshette or another character, but it happens towards the ending when they stop at a house and pick up one of the little girls.  That's the thing about classics, they are worth watching multiple times, and you can sometimes glean something from them later.
Session 9 I'd heard about, and finally got around to watching.   An asbestos clean-up crew low bids on cleaning up the asbestos in an old abandoned mental asylum.  They are chosen as they low bid the job, but also they can get it done within a shortened amount of time.  The dynamics of the crew are shown.  One of the crew is dating an ex-girlfriend of one of the other guys in the crew, and there's friction there. Some get along well, while others tolerate each other.  The days tick by, and things start to unravel, and fray with in group.   While working in the asylum one of the men find a recorded taped session (nine sessions) with a inmate, Mary Hobbes,  that has a multiple personality disorder.   In his down time, he starts to listen to these tapes.  It's a pretty convoluted film, not totally satisfying for me, but was worth the watch. 

I've seen other films this season.  Halloween by John Carpenter generally airs here in the states.
I saw at least parts of the original film, along with II, III, and IV.  Halloween III is the only one that doesn't have Michael Myers in it, and perhaps one of the better sequels.  The original is a classic, but boy it does have some cringe-worthy acting in it.  Sequel II is okay, and brings back Jamie Lee Curtis.  III just goes off on it's own tangent, and was sort of about a novelty shop owner, and witchcraft.  IV is mostly about a little girl and Myers wanting to kill her.  Surprising for the ages of the little girl and the young woman playing her foster sister, they act pretty well.

I ran across this audio book on YT about aliens.  If you are a conspiracy fan or Roswell fan, you might enjoy it.   I'm not particularly diehard about either subject.  I tend to think along the same lines that Carl Sagan does about that whole incident--there really hasn't been shown any hard evidence on the matter to analyze.  That said, however, I don't discount that perhaps life might exist out there somewhere. It's called Planet X: check it out here.