Thursday, November 25, 2010

Revenant jacket

I've tried not to spam you with too much REVENANT stuff lately, but today I can't help sharing the final jacket design:





Click the image for a larger view!

I'm excited, but this still seems so surreal, ya know?

Mmmm . . . turkey and chocolate cake

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to my American friends!

(And whoever else wants to join in, please do!)

I am thankful for a low-key morning of sleeping late, reading half of Rachel Hawkins' Hex Hall (so delightful!), and only having to worry about making one dish for our Thanksgiving meal with friends:

cake
Too Much Chocolate Cake! (The chocolate glaze is supposed to be more drizzly, but hey! It's CHOCOLATE CAKE, FTW.)

The only bad thing is my stomach ache from drinking too much tea and licking too much chocolate glaze. :(

Happy Day, everyone! I am so thankful for your friendship. ♥♥♥

P.S. Steve is now suggesting we put chocolate sprinkles on top of the glaze. Thoughts?

[cross-posted from Livejournal]

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Five of fall color

Our fall color is just about at its peak right now, and though central Oklahoma isn't exactly known for autumnal beauty, I still found a few nice shots to share with you.

1
The young maple in front of our house. I deliberately shot into the sun because I liked the way the light peeks through the leaves.

2
Pumpkins on our front patio. This is the first year my crepe myrtles have had such fine color -- perhaps because someone finally told me I was overwatering them? Notice the neighbor's yellow tree across the street.

Now for a change of pace . . . some photos I took last weekend on the OU campus.

3
A tree across the street from the law school. Steve sees this one from his office window and takes cheer!

4
These trees haven't really turned, but it's always nice when the fall mums are planted on campus!

5
Two (or three?) ash trees mingle their leaves.

Happy weekend to all!

[Cross-posted from Livejournal]

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Jane Eyre trailer!





I was so delighted when Michael Fassbender was cast as Rochester, and so far I am still very pleased!

It's a small thing, but I'm quite relieved to see a dark-haired Blanche Ingram. (This rarely happens.)

Just a wee glimpse of Jamie Bell as St. John -- I'm looking forward to seeing more.

Simon McBurney doesn't seem right as Brocklehurst -- too gentle? -- but I can deal with it.

I'm sure I'll have more thoughts after I watch it a few times.

What are your thoughts!

Monday, November 8, 2010

A magical discovery

This past Saturday evening when Steve was at a law school function, I was rather desperate for something different to watch on TV -- something he wouldn't mind me watching without him. After much fruitless searching, I stumbled across The Secret of Kells on Cox OnDemand.

I googled it before watching, of course. I had no memory of it as an Oscar nominee! (It had noms and wins for plenty of other awards, too.) I understood from the title that the story somehow revolved around the Book of Kells, but when I read that the hand-drawn animation was styled after the manuscript's illuminations, I figured it was worth $5.99 to check it out.

The film opens with a rather unremarkable "precocious boy gets in trouble" goose-chasing scene, but once Brendan gets to the forest, the real magic begins. In the following scene, the young hero is introduced to an oak tree by mysterious sprite Aisling (notice also the white cat Pangur Ban, who stole my heart):




In this haunting scene, Aisling and Pangur Ban help Brendan escape a locked cell in the abbey tower:




These clips do not come close to representing the film's beauty -- I do hope you'll check it out on a bigger screen! (It's available at Netflix.)

(I would love to have stills from the forest scenes, like this one, to hang on my walls.)

[Cross-posted from Livejournal]

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Five -- in which I gather comforting links

In the not-so-distant past, I effused about Laura Miller's The Magician's Book: A Skeptic's Adventures in Narnia. After reading it, I so admired Miller for her candor, wit, compassion and eloquence. I still love the book, but I'm a bit miffed at Miller right now after having read her slam of NaNoWriMo at Salon.com. Hey, I totally get it -- NaNo doesn't sit well with everyone. For many folks, it's not the best method. That's fine! But did she really have to get ugly about it? I just don't understand why she's so deeply offended by the idea of quick-drafting a novel. (And neither did a lot of her commenters. You'll find some classy responses there. Oh, and some rude ones, too, if that's your thing. heh.)

1. Fortunately Nova Ren Suma tweeted a link to this response to Miller from Carolyn Kellog at the LA Times. Nice refutation of each of Miller's arguments, Ms. Kellog! If any of you are feeling sore about NaNo haters like Miller, read this article.

2. You might also read L.K. Madigan's initially cheeky but ultimately inspirational Rules for Writers. I've never seen a metaphor forced so beautifully. BE THE CORN, as Lisa Schroeder would say!

3. Then there's Myra McEntire's You Gotta Believe at Adventures in Children's Publishing. She addresses just about every feeling of inadequacy or fear that I've ever experienced on the road to publication. I wanted to shout "Hallelujah" when I finished reading!

4. I also got a kick out of Brian Kell's recent post on the tragic disconnect between a great idea and what actually ends up on the page. Check it out here.

5. Finally, I gotta take this back to the writer whose book helped me get unblocked. I know each of us has a unique method of composing that first draft. But if you're like me and sometimes despair at how the writing on the page doesn't live up to the grand idea in your noggin, consider Anne Lamott's words:

For me and most of the other writers I know, writing is not rapturous. In fact, the only way I can get anything written at all is to write really, really shitty first drafts.

The first draft is the child's draft, where you let it all pour out and then let it romp all over the place, knowing that no one is going to see it and that you can shape it later. You just let this childlike part of you channel whatever voices and visions come through and onto the page. [. . .] Just get it all down on paper, because there may be something great in those six crazy pages that you never would have gotten to by more rational, grown-up means. There may be something in the very last line of the very last paragraph on page six that you just love, that is so beautiful or wild that you now know what you're supposed to be writing about, more or less, or in what direction you might want to go -- but there is no way to get to this without first getting through the first five and half pages.
(Bird by Bird, pp 22-23)

This may even be too wild and loose for me -- I'm a planner/outliner and don't usually jump in and romp with such abandon, but I do write things that make me cringe. And I just fix that stuff later. If it's not fixable, it gets cut. The main point is DON'T BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF. Just get something on the page.

Do YOU have any other pep talks to share? If so, link in the comments!

Happy Friday and Happy Writing!

[Cross-posted from Livejournal]