Tag Archives: epic

A short film full of win

This is insanely well done.

I salute you, filmmaker peoples with remote-control car collections, Michael Bay obsessions and creativity oozing out of your pores. GIVE US MORE.

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This is Guy Bergstrom the writer, not the Guy Bergstrom in Stockholm or the guy in Minnesota who sells real estate or whatever. Separate guys. Kthxbai.

Guy Bergstrom. Photo by Suhyoon Cho.

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that won some award (PNWA 2013). Represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

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Filed under The Glowing Tube

Music Video Monday: A Tour De Force of ’80s Videos

If you were breathing during the ’80s, you will remember these songs and videos.

If you weren’t yet alive and walking around, you may recognize some tunes from this thing they used to call the radio, which plays random songs and ads you don’t control, no matter how many buttons you push, though you could use these things called telephones to call the DJ to request a song, win prizes or try to get on live air to say something horrible, clever or horribly clever.

The clip from Top Gun still cracks me up. How did we ever think that movie, or Tom Cruise, was cool?

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Filed under 2 Music Video Monday

The Nikon D-50 of Infinite Beauty ($200 or best offer)

It’s wrong to say that this camera can make a plain-looking person look good.

With enough practice, you can wield the Nikon D-50 of Infinite Beauty and turn a random man with a mustache into Tom-freaking-Selleck.

Puny little point-and-shoot cameras are for nancypants who don’t care about beautiful photos. Want a real camera, but don’t want to spend enough for a Bahama cruise? Man up and get this D-50.

This is a true SLR, which is a fancy and geeky way of saying it’s a real camera instead of a toy for tiny boys and girls.

You can swap out lenses. With a little knowledge and the right settings, you can shoot in the darkest of nights — or take shots of lava so hot and bright it burns your retina. Continue reading

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Filed under 5 Random Thursday, Photography

Gertrude Stein is a literary TRAIN WRECK

I know the name Gertrude Stein, and understand that she is some kind of Giant of Literature.

HOWEVER: For the first time, I’ve read some actual words Stein wrote and published.

Not even gigantic hits of marijuana chased with tequila shots would make her stuff (a) understandable or (b) enjoyable.

She isn’t somebody I’d tell a new writer to read and emulate. If I actually cared about the new writer’s sanity and career, I would tell them this: read her words, then DO THE OPPOSITE.

Check out one of her famous poems, Sacred Emily, which starts like this:

Compose compose beds.
Wives of great men rest tranquil.
Come go stay philip philip.
Egg be takers.
Parts of place nuts.
Suppose twenty for cent.
It is rose in hen.
Come one day.
A firm terrible a firm terrible hindering, a firm hindering have a ray nor pin nor.
Egg in places.
Egg in few insists.

Continue reading

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Filed under 4 Writing Secrets Wednesday

The Red Pen of Doom guts THE NOTEBOOK

THE NOTEBOOK

(The title makes sense, since the story turns on an actual notebook.)

by Nicholas Sparks

Chapter One: Miracles

Who am I? And how,I wonder, will this story end?

The sun has come up and I am sitting by a window that is foggy with the breath of a life gone by. (Melodramatic and clunky.) I’m a sight this morning: two shirts, heavy pants, a scarf wrapped twice around my neck and tucked into a thick sweater knitted by my daughter thirty birthdays ago. The thermostat in my room is set as high as it will go, and a smaller space heater sits directly behind me, clicking and groaning and spewing hot air like a fairytale dragon – and still my body shivers with a cold that will never go away, a cold that has been eighty years in the making. Eighty years. , I think sometimes, and dDespite my own acceptance of my age, it still amazes me that I haven’t been warm since George Bush was president. I wonder if this iIs this how it is for everyone my age?

My life? It isn’t easy to explain. It has Not been the rip-roaring spectacular I fancied it would be, but neither have I burrowed around with the gophers. I suppose it has most resembled a blue-chip stock:

(end of page 1)

the notebook by nicholas sparks

THE NOTEBOOK by Nicholas Sparks. A book that belongs next to Hemingway. A movie that should have won many, many more Oscars, yes? Nicholas Sparks was ROBBED.

Notes from the Red Pen of Doom

The biggest problem isn’t the line editing, though it’s clunky. While clearly first-person P.O.V., he keeps inserting needless attributions like “I wonder” and “I think.” Here’s the monster problem: 90 percent of page one is spent telling the reader — repeatedly — that the first-person narrator is (a) 80 years old and (b) seriously obsessed with talking about how cold it is.

Space on page one is precious. It’s for raising narrative questions that won’t be answered for 400 pages. Compelling questions.

Life or death. Together or alone. Freedom or slavery.

I can imagine a story where being 80 years old and cold is the problem. Maybe a doctor is headed to a remote Alaskan village when his snowmobile breaks down. He’s  the only doctor within 200 miles, the only hope for a mother who’s in the middle of a labor gone wrong. Now you’ve got public stakes and private stakes. If he doesn’t strap on snowshoes and get past hungry wolves and polar bears, he’ll die, and the mom in labor might die, and her baby might die — and they’ll be no doctor out in the bush for a lot of people.

So: a cold old man becoming warm can matter a lot in a story.

Not in this story. On this page one, it’s boring.

Continue reading

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Filed under 4 Writing Secrets Wednesday, Red Pen of Doom