Thoughts

Just Checking In

When I wrote the draft of this post, I wanted nothing more than to put my pen down & go back to bed.  I’m starting a new writing routine where I get up early to write–inspired in part after reading Twyla Tharp’s book The Creative Habit.  I know that all successful writers have a specific routine set aside to get things done but I’ve always had a haphazard approach–a sort of write-when-you-can attitude.  The problem is that I usually find something else to do & rarely give myself the time to sit & focus on the page in front of me.  I’m trying to change that with this new routine, but seriously guys, I miss my warm comfy bed at 7am.  Sacrifices, right?

So, just a general post for now on what I’m reading/watching/enjoying right now.  Speaking of writing & artistic struggles, I watched Barton Fink for the first time a few weeks ago.  I’ve been gradually making my way through the Coen brothers’ films & I’d put this one off because I’d heard its one of their more artier films.  The basic plot for those who haven’t seen it: A New York playwright, Barton Fink, heads out to Hollywood to write a screenplay after the success of his latest Broadway play.  Fink struggles to write something on deadline & finds himself entangled in more & more Hollyweird encounters.

I won’t say much more, in case you haven’t seen it, but it’s really great!  Although the movie becomes more & more fantastical, there’s nothing that won’t throw off those who are familiar with the Coens’ other films.  There’s something novelistic about it as well.  Maybe this is because the story itself is about writers & writing.  But this film has expertly crafted visual homages to Billy Wilder, David Lynch, & Stanley Kubrick that aren’t just recognizable but also reinterpreted for the Coens’ vision.  These well-integrated visual elements reminded me of reading a book that is responding to another previous work, like Frankenstein responding to Emile or Dostoyevsky’s Demons literally calling out Turgenev by parodying him.  However, you might want to unravel Barton Fink, it’s an interesting film & enjoyable for those who like genre mashups or cautionary Hollywood tales.

Also on the topic of Hollywood tales, both my husband & I have been enjoying You Must Remember This‘s summer series on Charles Manson in Los Angeles.  Host Karina Longworth has a 10-episode run exploring Hollywood of the 60’s & how the cultural changes of the time not only informed Manson’s warped artistic goals but allowed him access to some of the famous names at the time.  Last week’s episode explored Kenneth Anger’s career and his ties with Manson associate Bobby Beausoliel.  But the episode that moved me the most, so far, was focused on Dennis Wilson’s friendship with Manson.  I didn’t go into the episode totally ignorant of the Beach Boys’ connections to Manson, but what I was ignorant about was just how dark the Wilsons’ lives were behind the friendly image the band projected.  If listening to true crime-related stories aren’t really your thing, then definitely check out Longworth’s other episodes.  Her previous series was a fascinating group of stories about Tinseltown during WWII.

Finally, I’ll wrap things up on a lighter note.  Do you like silly browser games?  Do you enjoy Internet snark?  Have you watched Zero Punctuation?  If you answered yes to these questions, then you should play Hatfall, the new free browser-based game created by Yahtzee Croshaw about Yahtzee Croshaw.  You might think that’d be repetitive & self-referential but you clearly haven’t played a dating sim where the object of your affection is a hat.  And your life is that much sadder for it.

Seriously, I played this for a few hours & I had to make myself stop.  But then again, I’ve blogged before about Mr. Croshaw’s previous projects so call me fangirl all you want.  Ok, that’s it for now.  I should have a post about the latest issue of Fight Club 2 up soon!

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