A Writer’s Film

The-Magic-Of-Belle-Isle-Morgan-Freeman1Often, I keep track of films I watch that have a serious writer’s theme to the storyline.  Most recently it was The Magic of Belle Isle staring Morgan Freeman and Virginia Madsen. First off, I highly recommend this to any writer.  It’s a charming look at how imagination can and is a part of our lives, along with the story of a struggling writer. Plus it ends well and is a charming, charming story.

f03e818295b65975c3f4c94054b4314dOne of the things that got to me most about the film was the relationship Morgan Freeman’s character, Monte, has with his typewriter. At the start of the film he says “She’s a black-hearted whore, and I’m done with her.” Slowly, with the pushing of nine year old Finnegan O’Neil, he starts to write again and by the end of the film, you know he is back in sync with the machine.  There is a line where Finnegan asks Monte why he doesn’t use a computer.

Monte’s response. “I’m going to answer your question in return for blessed silence. Look at that machine. I like that you have to write a bit slower on a manual, I like the way it sounds, I like the way the letters bite into the paper, I like that you can feel as a genuine human being doing the work.”

Sometimes I forget the magic of using my typewriter. I haven’t had the inclination to pull out the Royal (he/she needs a good name instead of just Royal unless I want to envision Royal Wilder from the Little House on the Prairie series).  I actually haven’t had the inclination to do a lot of writing to tell you the truth.  However, whenever I see typewritten words or poems I just inwardly sigh in happiness. When I see someone using a typewriter I want to hug them. And when I see the love of a typewriter expressed in a film, it just makes me want to write to the screenwriter and thank them for making my day.  It doesn’t happen often, because honestly, there are not that many writer-esque films. So when I do see one, I pay attention.

1002004004848400Another film that made me want to start using my Royal (somebody help me name the darn machine) was Shadows in the Sun staring Joshua Jackson and Harvey Keitel.  Along the same lines as Monte, a line by Harvey Keitel’s character says Weldon Parish: “Typewriters make you think about the words you choose more carefully, because you can’t erase them with the push of a button. ”   (side note: great ideas, very cheesy film)

For some reason, even though I know all of this it’s nice to hear it in a film, or a book, or some random post. Little writer’s reminders are nice.

liberal_arts_2012Lastly, just because we are on the subject of writer’s films, I want to mention a new film that I HIGHLY recommend along with The Magic of Belle Isle.  This film is an independent film by actor Josh Radnor titled Liberal Arts.  I won’t go into a description because you can read about online everywhere. Just watch it.  If you love inspiration from all around, classical music, good humor, humor on life and college, and just an all around good feeling when you get done with a movie, then you need to see this.  It’s charming and you just want to meet Josh Radnor when you get done, especially since he wrote, directed and starred in the film.  So so very good.

One last thought.  I think the typewriter used in The Magic of Belle Isle was an Underwood.  I had the opportunity of having my grandfather’s machine, but it didn’t work and he ended up finding someone that liked those kind.  While I still wouldn’t really want one, man, those have got to be one of the coolest looking typewriters around.

Signing off

~Kate

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A Peek Into Kate’s Obsessions

Currently I’m obsessed with several things, which in turn has taken up my time so that I’m not writing blog posts like I normally would. Granted, I usually only get one a week posted, but I haven’t even done that. I’m so far behind my norm that it’s getting out of control. At this rate, or as it stands, I have to type up at least 5-8 posts and try and schedule them for the month so that I can have a bit more downtime during the holiday season.

But until then, here is a peek into my current obsessions and time consuming pursuits. Usually I have three periods during the year where I’m obsessed with something. Springtime usually means Jane Austen, though it seemed to run more mid summer this year. Spring was Georgia O’Keefe, this time around.

  1. Colin O’Donoghue as Captain ‘Killian Jones’ Hook

    Once Upon a Time
    This season of OUAT has been incredible. The plot is so incredibly ridiculous and fabulous that I don’t even know where to start. The family tree of Henry is on beyond the realm of normal thought. But it is so cool. The story makes you just keep coming back for more. Not counting the character of Captain Hook.  Killian Jones, as his real name happens to be, has got to be one of the sexiest actors on a drama right now. Not only is he incredibly charming, he has this way with words (an Irish accent doesn’t hurt), these devilishly good looks that he gives Emma, and an actually really good heart. I’ve even delved into the fan fiction realm regarding what is known as ‘Captain Swan’. Oh, the fan fiction and Captain Swan speculations out there will keep a girl’s heart fluttering at an alarming rate.  Pardon me while I go hyperventilate into a bag or sob in the closet.  All kidding aside, I’ve gone a bit fan girl on the whole show, and my Tumblr account     shows it with various OUAT fan posts, quotes, videos, and chatter between other diehard OUAT fans.  #LongLiveCaptainSwan

  2. Tyler+Hubbard+CMT+Music+Awards+Wonderwall+ZbMiZAHQCaelFlorida Georgia Line I’m not sure when I decided to actually listen to these guys, but I think it was right after the CMA’s that I actually didn’t watch. I missed them, and I think I was on Tumblr and there were posts about these boys. Well, I decided to listen, finally, to their song “Cruise”.  And that was it. I fell in love with them. Due to the ‘love’ part, I’ve now used Tyler Hubbard as a model for a new novel I’m busily tapping writing away at. It’s been a blast to look them up, see pictures, hear songs, and *gasp* see them play at the AMA’s, which was incredibly cool, despite my father rolling his eyes in disgust. Sorry, I know it isn’t ‘real’ country, but it is fun.
  3. Luke Bryan playing a ‘classic’ bro-country song (That’s My Kind of Night)

    Which brings me to my next obsession. Bro-Country Blame it on FGL, but now I’m slightly overdoing the bro-country music (I’m not even sure I know how to spell that) It’s this new genre of non country that has swept the music charts, just in case you don’t listen to country, like me, or haven’t heard the term. Singers like Luke Bryan, Jake Owen, Chris Young, etc., sings songs that seem to have the themes of girls with no name, painted on jeans, moonlight, a truck, always the weekend, always summer, possibly a rap bridge, and beer.  It’s sad. It’s the farthest thing from country next to Taylor Swift and her pop queeness. But I love it and since I’m writing about a singer who sings bro-country, well, listening to it helps. It isn’t because it’s catchy…. ‘Aw Naw

  4. Fernando Sor

    Fernando Sor
    This is a recent obsession and it hasn’t taken full hold over me. Recently I was invited to see an homage of Fernando Sor at my local theater, which is really quite small.  The homage was done by the talent John Doan. I won’t go into details about him, you can see what he does on his website, here, but it gave me a taste of modern classical guitar. It was stunning and moving and I was left breathless as I heard this most amazing music played. Now, I haven’t had the opportunity to hear a lot of Fernando Sor’s actual compositions, but I’ve started looking and so far, it’s really quite wonderful. Something I plan to use for part of my novel.

So, four obsessions isn’t that bad, but they do take up time. It’s interesting that three of them are music. But as I’ve always been one to love music and have it on all the time, it’s not unusual.

I’m curious, what are any of you obsessed with? Something embarrassing like Once Upon a Time? Or something more innocuous?

Let me know.

Signing off

~Kate

Journal Notes – The Great Pumpkin

This is from my journal, October 31, 2012

 

We’re watching Charlie Brown and The Great Pumpkin.  I love The Great Pumpkin.  Linus is such a dear.  The other night was a perfect Great Pumpkin night.  The nights where the clouds billow and a damp breeze comes down from the mountains.  You can smell wet leaves and the fresh, sharp scent of a freshly started fire.  It only comes in mid to late October.

 

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I rarely have time to type a post for the actual time I want.  Right now as I type this, it is mid February. I was going through my journal after a week of being ill and I just needed to see what had been going on lately. (I sometimes refresh my memory on what I want to write by re-reading the pages)  I found my post/entry on this and though, wow, what a great little thing to have typed up for October.

 

I happen to love The Great Pumpkin, and I look forward to watching it every year after growing up and NEVER watching it.  So what if I’m 31 and I like an old cartoon.  My father still enjoys it.  What’s not to love?  It’s endearing.  It’s kind of tradition.  Right?

 

Hoping everyone has a spectacular and safe Halloween.

 

Signing off

 

~Kate

 

Journal Me Journal You

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Mr. Statham’s caption : A lot on my mind, about time I write it down…

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I am  stealing borrowing the two above pictures from Mr. Statham (not the real Jason Statham, but a friend who I swear could be the Man and I mention him in a post from three years ago if you click the highlighted name).  He just posted these tonight on Facebook and I immediately fell in love with them and told him that I was going to use them for a blog post.  My only comment is, that journal is empty! and I think a fountain pen might be needed.  Just saying. But, then, does Jason Statham use a fountain pen? Probably not.

I have not met many men in my life that write in a journal.  Granted, I don’t know tons of men, and most of the ones I do, are old…. So I find it kind of cool and sexy  in a writer-esque sort of way to see that a guy is writing in a journal.  And the mood in the setting is just so very Poe and The Raven to me. (the candles and the moodiness of the look) I can’t explain why I find this so inspiring, but I do.

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My ‘midnight’ writing and guest (my dachshund). Not quite as cool, but I have my fountain pens and my Paris pictures and star light…

I am not one to have much of a ‘setting’ when I write.  I write when I get a moment, though as of late, my journaling is at midnight.  I do a lot of midnight entries.  Since the 19th of September, I have spent half my midnights writing in my journal.  Dealing with guy trouble and thoughts that are too big to write about in the day.  Generally more macabre at that time, but I’m more inclined to get to the heart of my troubles when I’m tired and it’s dark out.  I can ‘sob’ out my issues when no one is around.

Writing in my journal is so very private in a way. I know I wrote not long ago that I was inclined to take my journal with me wherever I went (read the post HERE), and while that’s true, I still like my thoughts private.  When something is really troubling me, I like to be along with my thoughts and not feel pressured to get my writing done.

Part of the reason for my midnight entries, which are dated that way as well, are because my life is hectic. I do not have much time in the day for sitting down to voice my thoughts.  I’d love to, but I rarely have time. The few times I do, it’s right after lunch when I have a cup of tea in hand and a few moments to spare.  But at night I stay up. I am such a night owl it’s scary sometimes. So I write. I also play on Tumblr and read emails, but I like to write then.

Adding to this slightly disjointed post, pardon, but it is after midnight. I never said my thoughts were clear at this point…..  It’s always interesting to see the journals people use.  Mr. Statham’s is clearly a guy’s journal.  Brown or black leather, smooth, simplistic, unlined pages, simple pen.  Totally masculine.

But then there’s me.  Right now my journal is a flowery composition book.  As will the next two journals after this one. I need lines because I write on a slope. I need composition books because they are big enough to get my point across without going through two journals a year.  I ramble so I need plenty of room to fit in everything.  And I have been using my fountain pens religiously to write with.

Fountain pens are kind of sexy.  Trust me.  Especially filled with the different inks.  Right now I’m in a Burgundy Mist and Sepia mode.  I just got through black and a unique mix of the Burgundy and black because I was too lazy to clean my pen before I filled it…  Colors reflect my mood.  Sepia is my conservative mood, while Burgundy….. well no boring thoughts were conceived when writing in a wine colored ink….. cue naughty wink

And now I have written a blog post, instead of writing in my journal like Mr. Statham. Now it’s late and I have sleep that is needed, so I shall close.  I’m curious about you dear reader.  If you are a man, do you keep a journal?  What do you write with?  What type of journal do you use?

Girls, what about you?  Tell me, do you like plain or fancy journals?  I’m curious too as to when you like to write.  Do you like writing in the morning when you wake up, thoughts fresh and clean, or do you like to get down and dirty at night?

And because well, I can’t resist, the lovely, handsome, every girl wants him…

Mr. Jason Statham (because I don’t feel I should post my friend’s picture without his consent. But trust me, he really, really looks like this guy)jason-statham12

Signing off

~Kate

The Buzz of It All

yellow jacket's dinner

Yellow jacket on a raspberry flower. These are guys I don’t mess with per say, but they are marvelous as well.

The humble, darling honeybee.  There is something so special about them and yet, I think people forget about them.  Right now I find them hard to forget as I am usually elbow deep in them as I pick raspberries.  they fill the rows of canes with their steady hum as they buzz throughout the blossoms.  Reminding my of W.B. Yeats’ poem, The Lake Isle of Innisfree:

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,

And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:

Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,

And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

The imagery that this poem invokes is utterly romantic in form.  While I don’t live in a bee-loud glade, bees are a constant here.  I wouldn’t know what to do without them around all the time.

honeybee on a rasp

Hanging in there for dinner

I have a very pleasant relationship with bees, absolutely adore them, and probably like them way more than most people do.  I think the bees know it as well. I can thrust  my hands into the canes to pick, bumping up to bees and not having to worry about being stung. Sure, I have been stung, but that was when I rested my hand on a bee.  And the poor dear did not make it out alive.

Glutton resized for Picassa

Gluttonous honeybee on a raspberry flower.

Bumble bees and those beautiful, black, bombing Carpenter bees don’t die if they sting you (love that alliteration) and I have the experience to back that up.  Who knew you shouldn’t pick up Carpenter bee females from possibly drowning in the pool.  It would have been fine had I not used my bare hand.

But I respect bees, and they respect me.  I am forever rescuing honeybees that are half drowned by my watering.  And I hate to see the older girls slowly fade away as they are dying, until one morning you find the still form of one in the dewy grass.  One who will never move again.

Bees are my friends.  A friend of my family is deathly afraid of bees.  She is allergic, I think, so stays far away from them.  It brings to mind a poem I read the other day in  Orion magazine‘s September/October issue about a woman that has an uneasy reltaionship with Shasta daisies and bees.  The bees love her daisises which are around her mailbox, and she’s allergic to bees.  You can read the poem in the picture below.

PerilloI love the line “Going to the bees’.  Actually, I just love the whole darn thing.  I’m fortunate that I don’t have to worry about bees that way.  I putter along, picking berries, brushing buzzing, fuzzy bodies, brandishing my camera when I remember to have it on hand.  I adore taking pictures of bees. I wish I could have a catalog I’ve done of every bee.  As in I want to catalog every bee with pictures and more pictures.  I adore bees.  And I like the thought of going to the bees, when I’m out picking in the hum drum sounds.

And that is itself is the buzz of it all.

Signing off

~Kate

Owl Valentine

Little owls from Feb 14, 2013 Bing

I absolutely adore this image that was from the Valentine’s Day Bing homepage.  It’s sweet and it kind of makes me think of several things.  Obviously the first thing is love.  A couple of little love birds, right?

But then after staring at it for a moment, and a comment or two from my mom, we decided it’s a couple of little old ladies sitting together and one has to fix the other’s feather that is just out of place.  It mustn’t be.  Just like if you have a hat on and a bit of the decoration is tweaked.  It has to be fixed.  These are just two of the best friends ever.  They do every thing together.

Doesn’t it look like that?

In writing, I find some of the simplest things can become great ideas.  I want to write about two little old lady owls that are best friends.  They have tea together every day, or take a walk through the park.

Who knows. This may never go anywhere, but I have the idea stuck in my head.  It’s cute and charming.

What say you?

Signing off

~Kate

The Many Versions of Captain Hook

It seems to me that I have seen a fair amount of Peter Pan and Captain Hook inspired stories. For me, the classic Hook is the Disney version. Silly, ridiculous and a total nut, he isn’t super scary and is my most favorite Disney villain. I adore Captain Hook.

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Dustin Hoffman‘s portrayal was next as far as hilarious. You can’t really view him as a horrible villain especially when he loses his hat and wig and you realize he’s bald.   He’s so insanely afraid of clocks, he goes completely mad in his clock museum.  Yes, he’s far from scary.

Then we come to Jason Isaac’s portrayal. He was ruthless and kind of scary.  Taking the role of Mr. Darling, then as Hook, he captures some of the fear we feel towards our father’s at points.  Fear and respect, but I found him to be deadly.  And very villan-ish.

More recently there was was Rhys Ifans‘ playing the dreaded Captain, but in a new way. The Neverland mini series gave a slightly sexier side to the Captain, who first starts out as a fencing teacher, and a bit of a gentleman thief on the streets of London.  This has actually been one of my more favorite versions, partly because he was kind of so good looking.

Finally I saved the best for last.  Like I’ve said, I’ve seen a fair amount of Captain Hook portrayals, but none are quite so sexy, quite so deliciously evil (with a good side), quite so wow factor than the marvelous, gorgeous, sexy and all around perfect Captain Hook as Colin O’Donoghue‘s Killian Jones. ABC’s Once Upon A Time has taken and flipped every fairytale we know, but none quite so good as this version of Captain Hook.  He’s sexy, (did I mention that?) he’s charming like you wouldn’t believe, and he’s really not quite as bad as he could be.  Sure he tried to take a heart or two. Sure he’s working with the evil Cora. And sure, you can’t really quite trust him, but, he did tell Emma he wouldn’t have left her on the beanstalk.  That speaks for something doesn’t it?  And he didn’t kill her when he had the opportunity to when they were all trying to go through the portal.  Come on, if he likes Emma, he can’t be all bad.  Besides, he’s so gorgeous, you can’t make him truly evil.  Gorgeous people are not evil.

I could post pictures, and videos, and love sonnets to the new Captain Hook, but then I might look a bit like a stalker.  And pardon the raving.  Colin O’Donoghue and his Killian Jones character, are now the model for one of my hero’s that I’ve been writing about for 7 years.  I’ve never found anyone that fit the bill for my character of Rafe Simon, which after some retrospect I feel is not a worthy enough name for someone as gorgeous as Colin O’Donoghue, and now I have.  I will be posting soon on Escaping the Inkwell, about my characters, so more lovely pictures to drool over will be included.

Now, I’m curious, what other versions of Captain Hook do you enjoy?  Would you believe I have never read the original Peter Pan, so I don’t even really know what Captain Hook is like, except for what I’ve seen.  I’m horribly biased I think.

Well, I’d love to know anyone else’s thoughts on this villain, and Killian Jones…..

Signing off

Kate

Being Proactive

I am being incredibly proactive.  I just finished writing my post for Christmas.

Next year.

Yes, I decided that I never get around to a proper holiday post, so why not do it now, while I’m in the spirit and have major inspiration.  I need to add a picture, but I have it all ready for the 24th of next year.  It’s kind of fun.  Like a little present to myself and all my readers.  Now, sure, it takes away the surprise if I tell you now that I already typed it up, but will you actually remember that I told you that?  Probably not.

I’m never one to be very good at blogging on time.  In fact, I’ve become quite horrible about it.  I was much better with the WordPress challenge of Postaweek  last year.  It was much easier when I had a deadline.

But I’m trying.

I’m trying to get back on track to blogging more regularly, along with writing query letters and writing in general.  I’ve gotten bogged down in holiday cheer and the whole relaxing after a crazy summer and fall.  I have millions of ideas in my heads, and actually some time to write, yet I spend it futzing and reading.  Oh well.  Reading is important.

So, here’s to one of my New Year’s resolution of being proactive.

Signing off

~Kate

It’s Caturday!

This post is strictly for those over at Caterpickles. I saw this while perusing Tumblr, which I should never do after 12AM, but I’m a masochist at times. I fell in love with this picture and immediately thought of the 5YO and her mother.

But isn’t this the sweetest thing ever? I have to write something about Caturday. I like the sound of that.

Signing off
~Kate

Suspended for Long Hair

While I think most school dress codes are a good thing, there are times you sort of wonder.  There are always going to be times when a rule needs to be stretched and in the case of an Ohio boy growing out his hair for a charity, that is a time for such a stretch.  Below is the article taken from Yahoo news.

Student suspended for growing hair for charity Locks of Love

By

Shine On Blogger

 

By | Shine OnWed, 24 Oct, 2012 1:43 PM

Zachary Aufderheide has been suspended by his school for growing his hair even though it is for charity. (Facebook)Zachary Aufderheide has been suspended by his school for growing his hair even though it is for charity. (Face …What was supposed to be a thoughtful gesture for charity has resulted in a suspension for one Ohio teen.

Zachary Aufderheide, 17, of Canton, Ohio, is growing out his hair to donate a 10-inch ponytail to Locks of Love, an organization that provides wigs for cancer patients.

However, his growing hair violates his high school’s dress code, so Canton South High School gave the junior an ultimatum, cut his hair or face a two-day in-school suspension.

Only one inch away from his goal, Aufderheide chose the suspension. He doesn’t know what will happen at the end of the suspension, but is determined to donate his hair.

Aufderheide’s mother, Robin, tells ABC News that her son approached the school board in September to explain the importance of what he was doing and to ask them to support him in reaching his goal.

“I can understand where they’re coming from. They’ve had this dress code policy for so long, but I don’t understand why they can’t make one simple exception this one time,” Zach tells WKYC-TV.

Despite board members commending Aufderheide’s efforts, they still voted to uphold the school’s dress code.

“What he’s doing is against board policy. The decision on this one, tough as it was, was to follow the board policies written,” says school board president John Martin.

“I feel pretty disappointed with their decision because, honestly, I really put a lot of heart and soul into my demonstration, like, my presentation of the idea to them, and then when they just all unanimously voted against it…it was just kind of heartbreaking to me,” Aufderheide tells ABC News.

Aufderheide insists that he’ll maintain his hair at regulation length following the donation to Locks of Love.

Last winter, a Michigan teen was suspended for the same reason.

Seventeen-year-old J.T. Gaskins, 17, is a leukaemia survivor and wanted to give back by donating to Locks of Love.

“I’m fighting for them to make it an option for kids to grow out their hair for Locks of Love, to make it a part of the school and raise awareness for all cancer charities out there that can help patients,” Gaskins says of the petition he and his mother launched, asking the school to change its policy on hair.

“It wouldn’t be a change to where people find a loophole just to grow out their hair.”

“I’m fine with all of their rules,” Gaskins adds. “I just think that with this, they could try to make a compromise.”

The school responded to the petition with options for Gaskins, promising to support the teen as long as he styled his growing hair in a way that was compliant with school rules, kept out of his eyes and off his shirt collar.

In the end, Gaskins opted to look for a new school.

Should school’s hair rules make exceptions for Locks of Love donations? What about other dress code violations in the name of charity?

So, what say you, all my readers?  Personally, for a boy who has survived  leukaemia, I think this was a wonderful thing to do.  I also think this Locks of Love sounds like a very good charity.  As I just had my hair cut to shoulder length, it would be hard to have that long of hair for a while, but what a wonderful charity.  Something to think about for the future.  Check it out.

Signing off

~Kate