« Forward Looking Isn't Forward Thinking | Main | America's Got Talent »

Coming to A Town Near You

I wonder if I can get back into yonder blogging habit during the month of December. If so, we'll have posts from at least four cities in three countries on two continents. T-minus 20 days till Bob and Larry embark on the North American holiday tour. Kind of like rock stars, without the stardom. Or the rock.

Speaking of rock, the new Killers album/CD/whatever is aces.

Just back from a remarkable talk by Ronan Bennett. I've not read any of his books, nor seen any of his films, but he's got quite the story. The talk was sponsored by the screenwriting program at City U, but we aspiring novelists (fuck me, how pretentious does that sound?) were strongly encouraged to attend.

Best piece of advice (and I paraphrase):

It's not so much about writing what you know, but it's all about writing what you feel.

Best exchange of the night (that the moderator didn't count on). Again, I paraphrase:

Moderator: So you wrote your first novels and screenplays without ever taking a class or working in a group?

RB: Yes.

Moderator: And you just wrote without knowing the plot or the ending?

RB: Yes.

Moderator: That sort of goes against the orthodoxy, that you should have the story mapped out.

RB: Is that the orthodoxy?

Moderator: Yes.

RB: Well that should be taken out back and shot.

There are no rules, there are no formulas. Just write the damn story.

:: :: ::

So what have you been doing?

Saw the London production of August: Osage County, which was every bit as mesmerizing as it was when I saw it in New York. If you're anywhere near London between now and the end of January, you should make the effort. Amy Morton's performance cannot be beat.

Also saw Changeling last night, which was good but not brilliant. A few holes in the plot that left me scratching my head (no that's not dandruff), but a well-crafted film and Ms Jolie didn't bug me at all (she can do that sometimes). Post-film conversation led us to talking about the Oscars, and we have nary a clue as to what will be up this year. Any favorites that are slipping my mind? Yeah yeah yeah, Heath will get the posthumous nomination, but who's Angie baby (she is a special lady, isn't she?) going to get put up against?

Speaking of being bugged, I've got to (which reminds me, a student wants a lesson on the difference between "have got to" and "must" tomorrow) finish this novel that's been working my nerves. Then I'm going off the list and read Revolutionary Road, which I've only just discovered in the past couple of weeks. And, did you know, that David Sedaris reads it once a year? That's high praise indeed.

That's enough rambling for now. Oh, wait. I had Larry proof a book review I wrote on Saturday before I sent it off to my Lit Crit instructor. I'd been reworking it for several hours and needed a pair of fresh eyes (since none were available, I chose Larry ... thanks very much, I'm here all week, try the veal, tip your wait staff).

Anyway, he said, "It's very clear and well-thought out. Much more so than on your blog."

Awww, and I thought he never read this.

Anyway, it made him want to read the novel I was writing about (Sarah Waters' The Night Watch, which I recommend although it's not as good as Fingersmith), so I guess it wasn't all bad. We'll see what kind of mark I get come Wednesday night.

Okay then, that's enough. You're still reading this? Lord, it must be a slow night.

Let's see if I can't get in one post a day for the rest of the year.