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Had a very interesting day today. Okay, not so very interesting but relaxing and fun. We started the day with a matinee. I love movies but my SO isn’t so fond of them. So usually I’m on my own at the theater on weekends when work calls my Precious away. (I know Precious sounds silly, but you should see the reaction it gets. I’m certain the teeth grinding can be heard for miles.) It’s just one of those loving little things I like to do to show how sensitive and caring I am.
As I was saying I finally drug the hermit crab out of the house and to the movie theater today. I must admit that crabby was a good sport over all about it when I ignored the sarcastic muttering of, “Just wants to see it because he’s in it.” We went to see Nim’s Island. We both enjoyed it a lot. It was a nice family movie with no sexual innuendo, no cursing or violence beyond flying lizards. The film was charming and sweet. It was a big hit with all the kids sitting around us and with the adults too.
Nim’s Island is the story of a young girl who finds herself alone on an uncharted island after her scientist father becomes lost at sea in a storm. She turns to her literary hero, Alex Rover for help. Only Alex, he isn’t really a high-flying adventurer. In fact, he is a she and she’s an agoraphobic writer who hasn’t left her house for months. But with the imaginary Alex Rover coaxing her along, she goes to help Nim, who it turns out doesn’t need that much help beyond someone to comfort her as she fears her father is dead.
As a writer I found this movie interesting on a whole different level. It was a good movie and I think will be one that does well. But the character of Alexandra Rover, the writer –played by Jody Foster, was fascinating to me. Not everyone creates characters the same way. Just pop over to Amarinda Jones’ blog (she’s talking about creating heroes today in a very tongue in cheek way) and you’ll see what I mean. What struck me is that I could identify so strongly with this character. You see her main character, Alex Rover –played by Gerard Butler, is very real to her. She’s written him through several books and fictional adventures.
The film shows several scenes where she, the writer, is having an actual conversation with her character. Okay, hand in air, I do that. Not always out loud, but for me characters are these separate entities, these people that are born from my mind and who drive the direction of the story. They don’t always wait for me to tell them what to do. They certainly don’t wait for me to tell them who they are, they tell me.
More than once I’ve had a character drop a bombshell on me. Once, while writing a scene where two characters were talking about a girl who had died, the character that had been her fiancé suddenly announced that the girl had been pregnant at the time of her death. It explained the animosity and ruthless quest for vengeance in him that I had been struggling to justify. He did it for me.
So those of you who are writers, care to share your character “birthing” process?
After the movie…yes, I did finally get back to the day I had, we went for barbeque. Now I fully admit to being an omnivore and am not ashamed that I eat meat. I fully support animal rights and think that there should be stiff penalties for those who harm animals. I personally think Michael Vick got off easy, but that’s a whole different argument. But for me, there is nothing quite like the smell and taste of good, old-fashioned, slow pit roasted barbeque. Anny Cook recently asked in her blog what the difference was between St. Louis ribs and baby back ribs. I asked. The manager said that St. Louis ribs are slow pit roasted ribs that are cut from the actual rib cage. Baby backs are the lower ribs and are filled not with actual rib bones but with smaller bonelettes and cartilage. Either way, both are good eating.
I was surprised to see that Charlton Heston died. His politics couldn’t have been more disparate from mine, but you had to admit the man could command his time on the screen. He was a true King of the Epic. Where muscles, violence, and speaking very loud are what’s called for. To many people his is the image that first comes to mind when you think of Moses. He was Legend before Will Smith in the Omega Man. And he was the human ambassador to the future in Planet of the Apes. The final scene of that movie is iconic cinema.
I’ve lately become disturbed by the names of people I see dying or who are celebrating birthdays that have me shaking my head in disbelief. I don’t mean people like Heath Ledger whose death was a tragedy and untimely. They aren’t the old school actors that my grandparents watched, but are people I remember watching in films that came out in the theater or in first runs on television. Joan Jett is turning 50. Joan Jett. 50. Now I’m not saying that she’s an old woman. She’s not. She looks damn good. But 50? Am I really that old? Why don’t I feel that old? I grew up watching Joan Jett on MTV. The Runaways played at the first concert I ever went to without a parent along to chaperone.
I wonder? Am I beginning my midlife crisis? Am I allowed to have a midlife crisis? What exactly is a midlife crisis? If you can answer any of these questions, please do so.