Beautiful line

It’s by Roger Ebert, in his review for Nights in Rodanthe: “Paul doesn’t evacuate because of some dialogue he is made to say.” I don’t see how I could love anything more than that. It’s even better in context, too. And, as for why I was reading about Nights in Rodanthe. No idea. I was feeling around, seeing if Blindness was going to be watchable (pun?), then got all excited about Appaloosa, and suddenly, bam, there I was finding that beautiful and perfect line (only other movie write-up line I’ve ever loved this much, almost, was a non-review somewhere did for The Astronaut’s Wife, where, instead of actually commenting on the movie, they re-presented a condensed/mocked-up form of the script, which exaggerated all the weaknesses etc. It was beautiful and perfect, had Johnny Depp wearing a pink boa, I think, but even the day after I read it (years and years ago) I wasn’t able to find it again).

read more

Lost in the Funhouse (with a television set)

So, the LOST writers claim not to be lost at all. They’re not just reeling the episodes out from nothing. It’s all going somewhere, somehow, some perfect way. Moreover (first time I’m using that word. cool, yeah?), they also guarantee that this crazy upside-down inside-out unfantasy island, it’s not some form of limbo or purgatory, where dead non-MILLENIUM (the Kristofferson one) plane passengers go, and I’m guessing they’ve probably — and this would just be good marketing, because the audience right now needs the stories they ingest to ‘matter,’ where ‘mattering’ is pretty much qualified by how ‘real’ or ‘truthy’ the thing is, which, in LOST’s case, comes down to, well this: —* also suggested in some sidelong way that neither is this some side-dimension, some parallel reality. Rather, it’s our world, it’s deeper into our world, it’s the world we could step into at any moment, as establised by six famous ones actually stepping back into what would seem to be our world.

read more

T-minus 24: Brown U.

I’m there tomorrow night, Family Guy* territory. Reading stuff aloud. Maybe eating a cookie or two, answering questions. Here for more specific type of info.

Too, thanks to my students, I’m now hooked into Salad Fingers. Better late than never, I figure.


* which I’ve still yet to ever see an episode of — though I did accidentally tune in once, some Star Wars tribute/mockery stuff going on that looked pretty intelligent. fun, at least. if I knew it better, though, I could maybe snag some image of somebody reading stuff aloud there, use it here. but alas.

read more

My New Favorite Hour of Television.

a Clevenger nod

FRINGE, yep. Best series opener I think I’ve seen. And that’s including the white bears in LOST, the aliens in X-FILES, the space jellyfish in STAR TREK NEXT GENERATION, the plummeting cheerleader in HEROES, the (if I’m remembering correctly) sewn-up mouths in MILLENIUM, the look on Tom Vail’s face when Alyson denies knowing him in NOWHERE MAN, and even the tomfoolery in BRISCO COUNTY, JR. Too, they’ve set the dynamic up well, it looks like. That’s always the trick with serial drama: come up with a formula that can spit out episodes without ever quite ratcheting up to the truly ridiculous. It’s why detective shows tend to work more than anything else — because you just plug the same team or p.i. or whatever into a new ‘case.’ It worked in the stars too, for Kirk & Company, was even their mandate (okay, ‘mission’). And Olivia Dunham, she seems to be consciously modeled on Julianne Moore’s character in THE FORGOTTEN. Which is a good choice. And the show itself, at least the debut, seemed to be cobbled together from things that had worked elsewhere. Again: smart. And, granted, we could see most of the twists coming, but the level of the writing, for me at least, didn’t lessen their effect any. It maybe even made it better, in that it was satisfying that the things you didn’t want to happen finally didn’t happen. [ spoiler alert . . .] Like, say, what a mistake it would have been to have given her a steady guy. You never want your protagonist to be so stable, right? To have any kind of homebase to return to? And the block-letter, in-scene-yet-invisible-to-the-characters location title things (surely there’s a less clunky name for the effect), they’re the coolest. And the effects this lot was able to get away with, especially the zombies on a plane part. Very impressed. Throughout. Will be there til it’s over, but’ll be watching this one again before next week, too.

read more

Seven Things I Learned Today

from trying on just a whole lot of women’s clothes:

1) While I can wiggle into 9/10 pants or slacks, 11/12 is a lot more comfortable.

2) Extra-large in a blouse isn’t even a large in men’s sizes.

3) People will watch you, if you carry enough blouses and pants suits into the dressing room.

3b) That makes it better, really.

4) Even when I’ve got them on, still, women’s clothes are hard to get into.

read more

The Missing Image

From Ledfeather. Was digging through an old box today and came across it, but now can’t find it on my hard-drive. Anyway, it’s the one I talk about in the author’s note at the end — the one that pretty much started the whole novel. It was supposed to get included in the book, too, an endpaper, on the back cover, something, but somehow isn’t. So, in lieu, here it is now (lo-res, last-minute scan, sorry).

read more

Demon Theory afterward Afterword

If only I could. But this would definitely be in there, right along with the TOTALL RECALL/2001 saga:

“The ‘Road to Perdition’ novelization was a nightmare, frankly,” Collins says. “I went after it for obvious reasons — I didn’t want a ‘Perdition’ novel written by someone else out there. I proceeded to write the best novelization of my career, staying faithful to David Self’s script — which was already fairly faithful to my graphic novel — but fleshed out the script with characterization, expanded dialogue scenes and just generally turning it into a quality novel of around 100,000 words. After I submitted it and had the New York editor say it was the best tie-in novel he’d ever read, the licensing person at DreamWorks required me to cut everything in the novel that wasn’t in the script. That I was the creator of the property held no sway. I was made to butcher the book down to 40,000 words.”

read more

Around the Net in 8o Seconds

Though, to be honest, I don’t even think there’s links yet for just all of this:

Right before Valentine’s Day 2009, I’m in Chicago for the AWP Conference. The panel I’m on: “Digi-Analog: Bringing Together Print, Online, and Alternative Delivery Methods for Literary Journals, led by JW Wang. You may know him from Juked.” Don’t which day that panel is yet. I think I said this earlier, but can do it better now: March 18-21, 2009, it’s FC2’s annual Writers on the Edge. This year in Ceurnevaca. Not sure if I’m released yet to post the workshop descripts for the other writers doing this, but I’ll post mine anyway:

So one argument and I don’t necessarily disbelieve it is that punctuation is just a parasite that all it is is the side effect of writing words down in these lines that it’s just a clumsy visual approximation of the natural rhythms of speech that in prose fiction are pretty much exactly what’s supposed to lull the reader into a state where the story can work or or a better way to say it maybe is that that unbroken patter and burble and spike of words is what transports the reader not off the page but into it face first ankle deep and evermore. But yeah, sometimes a comma sure is nice, right? Here we’ll talk about this, both in terse, nervous, over-punctuated sentences we try to laugh off and in long unbroken fragments that wander and forget themselves and then find each other in surprising ways. And we’ll do some writing as well. And never stop

read more

There Comes a Point

I’m usually all in support of an artist making money doing whatever. Sure, I respect Springsteen and the U2 guys for not hawking anybody else’s wares, but I hardly begrudge Dylan pushing lingerie or BB King selling Whoppers1. And it’s not the ‘wares,’ the inherent goodness of lingerie or Whoppers, that makes what they’re doing any less of a sell-out. It’s that the commodity that’s ‘them,’ I figure they can do with it what they want. And it’s got to feel good, too, pulling a fat check just for lending your celebrity like that. Or maybe it’s a comment on that celebrity, even, I don’t know. And anyway, for me to look askance — like my askance looks aren’t A) stagey in the first place, and B) below the radar anyway — at their deals with the corporate devils would be the same as saying that I’d never do anything like that, given the chance. And, c’mon. I’ve got to at least be half-honest when talking to myself, I think: given the opportunity, I’d probably wear a jumpsuit with Linens & Things patches all over it. Standards are good to talk about and all, but the way I see it, making a buck, which I could actually maybe possibly do something good with, it’s not the same thing as saying No, no, don’t take me out behind the chemical sheds.3

read more