Where Desire Meets Destiny

Friday, December 29, 2006

And Another Year

Another New Year will soon be upon us. I'm not going to say how fast this year has gone by because I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that way.

With each year I get a year older and, I fear, no wiser. But I keep plodding along, hoping that something of what I've experienced has seeped into my mind and my soul.

I have, as always, the same old resolutions. Lose weight, exercise more, save money, etc, etc, etc.

To be honest, I'm just going to go with the flow this year. That doesn't mean I don't have any goals. I've set some, to be sure. But my primary goal is to just take each day as it comes. One day at a time. Spend more time focusing on what's in front of me at that moment than on what's behind me, or what may or may not be coming ahead of me.

I doubt that will make the time go slower but, maybe, it will at least help me to appreciate the passage of it.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Another Quick Post

I really need to not only update the sidebar on this blog but to post more often.

One of my resolutions for the New Year.

It's just so hard finding the time between writing my stories, trying to get in a good bout of reading every day, working full-time and all the other sundry things one must do to get through the day. *sigh*

I truly hope to do better in 2007. I'd really like to post more on my blog and visit other bloggers too.

I finished my goals, writing-wise, for the last quarter of this year. I have five short stories out in the wilderness awaiting a thumbs up or a thumbs down. I'm currently rewriting a story that was accepted some time back but the anthology went belly-up. I'm also making notes for a novel I will start in January.

One of the things that helped me, I think, accomplish my goals these past couple of months was being very specific about what I wanted to do on a particular day. Instead of just writing, "work on short story" on my t0-do chart, I wrote something like "revise scene where hero and heroine first meet" or "deepen description in last scene drafted."

It seemed to help. When I get home from work, most of the time my mind is totally fog-bound with the stuff I've had to deal with all day and if I didn't have a specific task to accomplish writing-wise, I just stared numbly at the computer screen.

I've been reading Syd Field's updated and revised books on screenwriting. I have no desire to write a movie but I've found that screenwriting books can be very helpful for writing fiction. Anyway, Field said that the hardest thing about writing is knowing what to write. Amen to that.

So, by being more specific when I write my to-do list, I have a specific goal in mind when I sit down at my desk. As I said, it helped me get four short stories written in two months. That might not sound like a lot, but for me it was a lot.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Quick Post

Just a quick post to say that it's definitely not a white Christmas here! Unless it snows between now and Sunday. Which the forecast is not predicting so far.

Not a bit of snow to be seen anywhere. We had a snow storm a few weeks ago but the temps shot up into the upper 40s and melted it all away. This has been going on now for a number of years. Snowless Christmases and this in a state that I remember, as a child, pretty much being covered with snow from November until March!

And I saw on the news Monday that New York was in the 60s! In the middle of December!

Global warming, anyone?

I'm just about to get started on editing two short stories so that I can mail them out tomorrow. Are they ready to be mailed out? Probably not. But is any story ever really ready to go out into the cold, cruel world?

It's just like with kids. Eventually your stories, just like your children, have to leave home.

Except, unlike with kids, unless you have more children once yours leave home, of course, you send a story out and start working on the next one.


Sunday, December 17, 2006

TNT and Lord of the Rings

I would have posted this on Saturday but I've been sick as a dog for the past week with a nasty cold, so I spent all yesterday resting. Really don't feel that much better today, but I have to go back to work tomorrow so, among other things I must do today, I also have to finish editing a short story for submission tomorrow.

Anywho, today, Sunday, TNT, is showing all three Lord of the Lord Rings movies, starting at 11:30 Central Time, so for anyone who doesn't have the DVDs or has them but just doesn't feel like sticking them in the DVD player, you can watch all three in a row today on TNT.

Of course, you'll have to deal with commercials breaks, which I tend to mute until they're over, but it'll be a chance to see the entire trilogy in one day.

I still remember mid-December of 2001, 2002 and 2003, when I, and a host of others to be sure, was eagerly anticipating the release of a new Lord of the Rings movie. It really added a bit of excitment to doldrums of winter.


Monday, December 11, 2006

Pan's Labyrinth

I'm not sure how wide a release this movie will get but it's one I would very much like to see.

Pan's Labyrinth, although it looks like a fairy tale for children, is definitely not for children. It's described as a fairy tale for adults and, from what I saw in the trailer, it looks like the kind of dark fantasy movie I've been wanting to see for quite some time.

A brief synopsis: Set in 1940s Spain against the postwar repression of Franco's Spain, a fairy tale that centers on Ofelia, a lonely and dreamy child living with her mother and adoptive father, who is a military officer tasked with 'ridding the area' of rebels. In her loneliness, Ofelia creates a world filled with fantastical creatures and secret destinies. With Fascism at its height, Ofelia must come to terms with her world through a fable of her own creation.

As I said, it's definitely not for young children as the movie is rated R but it looks incredibly imaginative and original and, trust me, imginative and original is something that I can't resist in a movie.

If, for some reason it's not released here, I will definitely look for it on DVD.


Sunday, December 10, 2006

An Early New Year's Resolution

It's only December 10th and I'm already thinking about New Year's Resoltuions. Why?
I got on the scale the other day. Yikes! No wonder I've been feeling so uncomfortable lately. I've gained nearly 10 pounds! And trust me, those are 10 pounds I do not need!
So, of course, like millions of others, one of my New Year's Resolutions is .....drum roll, please.
To lose weight!
Yeah, like I haven't set that as a resolution every year since I put on all this darn weight! But, I figure I'm just gonna keep setting that as a resolution until I accomplish it. However, I'm not going to wait until January 1. I'm starting today. Slowly, however. Very slowly. Easing into healthier eating. Easing into daily exercise. And my goal, for now, is just to lose five pounds. Once I lose that, then I'll set another goal of five pounds and just focus on that.
And then, with a lot of hard work, hopefully, I'll lose all that I want to lose. About 65 to 75 pounds. More would be nice but I'm trying to be reaistic. I am getting older, after all. Years ago I used to wear a size 4. I'll never see that number on a dress or a pair of jeans again. *grin*
But I'll be happy being able to wear, oh, I don't know. A size 10? Yeah, that would be a nice. A size 10. *sigh*

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Hump Day

So it's Wednesday, Hump Day. That day in between Monday and Tuesday, and Thursday and Friday. I figure if I can get over Hump Day, then, with hope, it's a nice easy slide into the weekend.

My writing is going. Not as quickly as I would like but it's going. It's always a challenge squeezing the writing in during a 40 hour work week. Have to finish two short stories in order to submit them by the end of the month. Then I have one more short story, a little longer, clocking in at about 6,000 words that I'd really like to finish up before the end of the month but may be asking too much there. The deadline for that story is the end of January so have a little wriggle room on that one.

After that, on to some longer projects for 2007.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Quest for Fire

The movie Quest for Fire came out in 1981 and is probably known, if at all, and somewhat notoriously at that, for the scene in the film when the human male takes that giant leap forward from engaging in coitus doggy-style to doing it in a more "civilized" manner. Meaning the missionary position.

Having watched the movie the other day when it came on television, however, I was struck by the rather tender love story at the heart of the movie.

A brief synopsis. Quest for Fire takes place 80,000 years ago. A tribe of Paleothic humans, as a result of an attack by a more animalistic tribe, lose not only their cave but their precious fire, which they do not know how to make but rather is carefully tended by a somewhat inept fire-keeper who manages to douse the fire trying to cross a river.

Three warriors are sent out on a quest to find another source of fire, which means they must either stumble across it, perhaps from a lightning strike, or steal it from another tribe.

The hero of the movie, Naoh, is also the leader of the trio. He's the best fighter and comes across as the more thoughtful of the three. They eventually find another tribe of cannibalistic animal-humans who have captured the heroine, Ika, and are about to dine on her. She is the most human looking of the cast and appears to belong to, despite her nakedness, a more advanced tribe.

Naoh and his companions, however, are interested only in the fire the cannibals have in their possession. They subseqeuntly defeat the cannibals and steal the fire. Meanwhile, Ika, who has managed to free herself, decides to follow Naoh and the others.

Why? It's never fully explained but I think it's because Naoh was certainly strutting his Alpha male qualities when he defeated the leader of the cannibal trible in full view of Ika. However, Naoh and the others have no interest in Ika and try to scare her away by throwing rocks and snarling at her.

Ika doesn't give up and eventually manages to insuniate herself with the trio. Naoh soon claims Ika as his. Initially it's nothing more than animal rutting on his part. However, as the movie progresses, you begin to see signs that Naoh perceives Ika as more than just a sexual release.

Ika soon becomes homesick and, while Naoh and the others are sleeping, slips away to return to her own tribe. Naoh wakes up, reaches out for her and realizes she's no longer lying next to him. He jumps her and sees her running off into the distance. He howls angrily, then turns his back on her and kicks dirt behind his heels as if to say: Fine. Leave. See If I Care.

But, when he and the others resume their trek back to their tribe with the fire, Naoh stops. And he looks back. And there's a confused look on his face as if he doesn't know quite what it is he's feeling but he feels it. Deeply.

He turns around and goes back to where he and Ika had last lain togther. His companions follow him, clearly dumbfounded by his strange behavior. Once Naoh reaches the spot where Ika had been, he picks up the grass she had slept on, holds it to his face and breathes deeply of it.

Of her.

He lies on the ground and wallows around in the grass as if trying to wrap himself with the scent and the memory of Ika, while his companions look on totally not understanding what the heck is up with their leader.

Eventually, Naoh gets up off the ground and his friends are probably thinking: Okay. Great. He's got that out of his sytem. Now let's get back to the tribe.

But Naoh does not go back to the tribe. He goes in search of Ika.

Now, all the actors in the movie spoke a language that was created by Anthony Burgess and there are no subtitles, so it's almost like watching a silent movie.

Maybe that's why I was so struck by that pure and simple expression of yearning that Naoh has for Ika. Prior to the attack on his tribe, we see his people in their natural state and they pretty much follow the precept that the strongest survive and the weak perish.

So, for Naoh to not only find himself missing Ika, but forsaking his duty to bring fire back to the tribe in order to find her; well, that's no minor thing.

It's a step forward toward a more human expression of tenderness and yearning and, yes, love. You sense that he's not even sure what it is that is compelling him to find her. He just knows that he must find her.

Naoh's friends are totally baffled by now and refuse to follow him. They take the fire and head back to the tribe, while Naoh continues his search for Ika alone.

The point of this post? I guess it is, as I said. It was that totally pure expression of yearning and longing on Naoh's part, when he returns to the place where he and Ika had last lain together and basically wallowed in her scent, that just struck me for some reason.

Naoh had no words for what he felt for Ika. He just felt it and he acted on it. I liked that.