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Shanna's Journal
Shanna's Adventures in Publishing (and in life)
Creative Overload 
9th-Jul-2012 09:56 am
blue box
It was a weird weekend for me because I had this sudden need for silence. I didn't even want to watch movies. I spent Friday night and much of Saturday lying on the sofa and reading a book about France during the Nazi occupation. Then because contrast is fun, I spent much of Sunday lying on the sofa and reading a really ditzy chick lit book. When I did watch movies, they were very strange choices (for me). Saturday afternoon I got the most bizarre inclination to watch the second X-Men movie on one of the HBO channels. I thought I'd seen it, but I didn't remember much in the way of events, so maybe it was imagery from the first and third (which I did watch on HBO when they were first on). The beginning of this one seemed most familiar, so it's possible I started trying to watch it and turned it off. Mostly, this was on as background noise while I read so I could hear Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen talk. I didn't much care what they said as long as I could listen to their accents/voices.

My biggest impression out of this was: Why isn't James Marsden a bigger star? Not that he had a big role in this (they kept him off-stage through most of the movie), but it reminded me of other movies he's been in. He's gorgeous, can sing and is capable of being really, really funny. He just about stole both Hairspray and Enchanted, and was so hilariously dorky and charming as the "Mr. Wrong" in Enchanted that I was actually a little disappointed to see her end up with "Mr. Right" instead of getting to know her prince and falling in love with him for real. This is a guy made for romantic comedies, and he was as good in 27 Dresses as that horrid script would allow anyone to be. I don't know if he considers that a fate worse than death (some actors do) and takes just about anything else that comes along, but he doesn't even seem to be making it as an action/horror star, either. (I have a growing list of actors I'd like to see in good romantic comedies, but then I suppose that requires that someone write good romantic comedy scripts and that studios know a good romantic comedy script when it bites them on the nose and are willing to fund and produce such scripts.)

Sunday I watched Girl With a Pearl Earring on one of the HBO channels because I'd read the book and Colin Firth was in it. I'm not sure what I thought of it, to be honest. It seemed to be fairly faithful to what I remembered of the book, and it seemed to capture that world pretty well. It's very minimalist, focusing a lot more on imagery than character/plot/dialogue. Colin Firth is rather charming, but has hideous hair. I did get a giggle fit when I realized that the whole movie is essentially the Colin Firth Love Actually plot, only he's a painter instead of a writer and at least he and the maid speak the same language, though she doesn't speak much at all. After that, it was hard to take it too seriously because I was adding Love Actually dialogue. (And now you know why seeing movies with me can be a fun/irritating/surreal experience.)

My real issue all weekend was that my brain seemed to kick into creative overdrive, generating ideas at an alarming pace. Everything seemed to send me spiraling off into some tangent. I think that may have been why I needed to reduce sensory input. But it wasn't the kind of creativity I could act on immediately. I'm not an artist, so I couldn't just rush to the canvas. I got a few ideas I might be able to play with in the current project, but mostly I was furiously spinning out ideas for a future project that with any luck (if the book on submission sells and I have to write the rest of the trilogy) I won't be able to write for a couple of years. I got out my notebook and wrote down those ideas as they hit me, and they came from the weirdest places -- from books I was reading to things I saw on TV. When I finally get around to writing this book, it should be awesome. At least, it is in my head. It always loses something in the transition to paper.

But for now I need to work on a publicity plan for the new releases and then get back to revising the current project and maybe implementing those new ideas.
9th-Jul-2012 05:14 pm (UTC)
Nothing against the guy by all means, he's an excellent actor, but I think James Marsden is starting to get typecast as the guy whose girlfriend will leave him for someone else. At least he got someone in Enchanted who appreciated his fairy tale smarm.
10th-Jul-2012 03:16 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, wasn't he also the guy who got ditched in one of the Spider-Man movies -- the perfect guy who still couldn't keep the girl?

Though that particular aspect of Enchanted bothered me a bit. It was essentially a case of "pairing the spares" and trying to make the main characters look better by reassuring us that the people they were ditching were going to be happy. Nothing about the woman in Enchanted gave me any impression that she'd be happy as a fairytale princess, and it came across like "Oh, those silly feminists, they talk a good show, but give them a glass slipper and they turn to jelly."
10th-Jul-2012 03:25 am (UTC)
No, it was Superman Returns -- the guy who helped raise Superman's illegitimate son.

Possibly it's the fanfic influence, but I figured she jumped at the opportunity to rule a whole kingdom rather than something small like a company.
10th-Jul-2012 01:52 pm (UTC)
Well, if they need to cast his brother, the guy in Spider-Man 2 would be good casting. I can see why I assumed (wrongly) it was James Marsden. I mean, aside from the typecasting of the perfect guy who still can't keep the girl.
9th-Jul-2012 06:29 pm (UTC)
I think you do a fairly decent job with the transition from head to paper.
10th-Jul-2012 03:16 am (UTC)
Oh, but you should see the genius that's in my head. :-)
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