Saturday, June 25, 2011

How Far Over The Top Do You Camp?

Question: How far over the top can one movie go?
Answer: Rent “Bubba Ho Tep” and find out.

Elvis is alive. He’s living out his last days in an East Texas care home. He is sick and the movie is too, way sick. Hide from the movie if you get queasy when people use the terms pustule and genitalia in the same sentence (like I just did, but worse).
The thing is, many years ago, Elvis (played by Bruce Campbell) switched places with an Elvis impersonator and missed his chance to switch back because he accidentally barbecued the contract. The real Elvis now shares a room with John F. Kennedy (played by Ossie Davis… yes that Ossie Davis) and together they must defend their care home from an Egyptian mummy, who is having a dandy-old time sucking the resident’s souls from their, well, from you know… back there.
All that, and yet I still recommend the movie, just leave the logical part of your brain on the shelf when you screen it.

I know, I know, if you are anything like me you are probably asking yourself, “Why didn’t I think of that? How could I have let that little gem of a plot slip through my hands?” Well, you did. Get over it. The question is, what are you gonna do now? I’m personally working up something with Jerry Lee Lewis and a Kraken, the working title: “Great Balls of the Leviathan”.

Munk’s opening line:
Eye’s like dinner plates, tentacles like sewer lines… goodness, gracious, the great balls of the leviathan.
Munk’s opening line is yours to keep, use it. Note: this week’s opener is so filled with wonk, that if someone actually uses it, they must share.

On a more deferential note, Mr. Peter Falk died this week. During his acting career he helped tell many a beautiful story. Remember him reading “The Princess Bride” in “The Princess Bride” to a very young Fred Savage? In another of my favorite films, “Wings of Desire” by Wim Wenders he portrayed an aging film star. The film contained one of my all-time favorite quotes: "But no one has so far succeeded in singing an epic of peace. What is wrong with peace, that its inspiration doesn't endure and that it is almost untellable?”

Okay, enough serious, here he is Jerry Lee, the prince of over the top with Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On, It’s worth watching if only for his hair acrobatics at around 0:36 seconds… wow.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Catharsis Consommé

Blog de jour: two subjects, one tag, one aphorism, and no rants.

Sujet une: today’s entry began simply enough, being that it is summer and the kids are out of school, I was considering how difficult it is to find time for all of the things I would like to do. I was doing well, tapping away at my keyboard, creating gleeful witticisms (thanks DUO), when something went suddenly and terribly wrong. Storm clouds of vitriol rolled across my Doppler radar feed. Before I knew it, I was ranting. My simple blog entry had become an manifesto touching on everything from the Butterfly Effect to the global consequences of our daily moral judgments. On I went, bashing through barriers of blogosphere decency, smashing the good intentions of well-intentioned intenders. I really made an illogical mess of things before I was through and as I sift through the rubble, trying to piece together what went wrong, I realize that recovery is still a ways off. Has this ever happened to you? Has an unknown need for catharsis ever consumed your blog?

Sujet deux: I enjoy building. I find all aspects of the work relaxing: the brainstorming, the drawing, and the physical-ing. I rarely find time to build anymore. I am writing. My dream life would have me writing for a living, building for fun, and hugging my family. The skies would be sunny except when it rained and people would stop killing each other, God damn it… You see, here is where things went wrong. This was the actual start to my original blog and as you can tell things devolved at a drastic pace.  I don’t think train wrecks happen this fast, but then I can’t tell for sure because those that I’ve seen have all been in slow motion. Now, rather than go into all of the conditions that led my train-of-thought into the canyon-of-angst, let me just finish what I started…My wife and I built a house (family and friends pitched in), since, I have added patios and decks and walkways and finished the basement and landscaped the yard and built a woodshed and… and, I miss it. I don’t just miss seeing the results, I miss doing the work: particularly during t-shirt weather. It’s what I gave up to write.  What do you give up to write?
Le Tag: Thanks again to D U Okonkwo, the gracious Londoner, for tagging me… DUO’s blog is overflowing with the joy of writing and can be found here:

L’aphorisme: following a quick sift through the rant, this is the only thing of value that I found… Acceptance is as powerful as righteous tyranny… and often less harmful.

Munk’s Opening Line:
The brown dwarf swung so nearly, I felt my mood change.
Munk’s opening line is yours to keep, use it.

This week’s music (I love the opening to this song…): One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer by George Thorogood and the Destroyers
 Eve’body funny… now you funny too.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Crazy Change

Why I am, as a writer.

I’ve always counted my life experiences among my greatest assets.
I am not an Army, Navy nor any other type of institutionally defined brat, but I have moved, and moved often. Why my brattiness you ask?... purely my own design.

Before my fourteenth birthday my family and I had inhabited at least eight homes scattered over four states, Alabama, California, Oregon, Kansas, and then California, and Oregon again; couple that with required school moves and I was the definition of an adolescent nomad. After that, things stabilized, if only a bit. Four years in Newberg, Oregon led to two colleges, five stays in Alaska, two in Colorado and one in California before finally settling in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.
Perhaps my numerous transitions help me to write, I know they push me to write. I am a storyteller and am rarely without a new idea, though as I get older, I fear my muse will-wane (rhymes with... Lil-Wayne). My desire now is to write stories in a manner worth sharing. Any artist worth their sanity understands that taste plays a huge role in books chosen, so I realize my stories (anyone’s stories) can’t appeal to everyone. But I am desperate to develop the skills of plot hooks, character voice and scene pacing so that the task of writing, and thus the reading, becomes more fluid and more accessible.

I have thus logged three years on my first-novel-training-ground, and based on my past that’s a pretty long stay, but worth every second.

I just realized something. Perhaps writing is a way for me to recapture the excitement of moving, embracing the unknown as it were. I love my lush, Douglas Fir shaded valley, I love that my family is growing and learning and finds security in the familiar surroundings of a small town. The smell of the fresh cut grass the cool evening breezes... but sometimes, I just need to get away.

Someone once said... "The difference between an artist and a person that's crazy, is that the artist has a two way ticket and the crazy person only has a one-way."

How does your past impact your writing?

This week's opening line was submitted by (okay, perhaps "extracted" from) the prophetable bard... L.G. Smith.
"Get your damn finger off of the mouse, Munk."
Munk's (erm... LG's) "Opening Line" is yours to keep, use it. Munk... note: no mice were injured during the writing of this blog.

This week's music: for you Cake lovers out there, this is a must see streetwise review video of Short Skirt/Long Jacket... love it. "She's trading her MG for a white Chrysler LeBaron." ...if she was a little more like the broad in this song...

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Nova Jackson: Ejects!

For many of you, Jodi Chamberlain’s name is already familiar as the creator of the Syntropy trailer (the YouTube video off to the right there… the one showing Booker and Annabelle running in the cornfield… awesome). Well, Miss Jodi is as prolific as she is talented, in addition to her videos and fine art (click the link and then go to "paintings"... you might just fall in love), she has completed the first episode of a highly entertaining (okay, crazy-ass-fun) graphic novel series designed specifically for digital media, Nova Jackson: Ejects!

The trailer…
If you are interested in downloading a $2 copy… the link to the Barnes and Noble page is here.

But wait there’s more! The story of Jodi's career change, from office fodder to whatever she considers herself now, is worth a read as well, and is listed here at the Huffington Post (fun huh?). Just what drives this 5’2” sailor to do so much of what she does? Where I fret and sweat whether my work is good enough to share, she just knows hers is.

Munk’s opening line(s)…
Wallace set about doing the only thing he could think to do, and that was to lick the chocolate from Stacy's neck. There was a chance she was allergic, after all.
Munk's "Opening Line" is yours to keep, use it. Munk 

This week's music "Lights Out" by DobleFlo (video by... you guessed it.)