“A black statue of a bird”

Yesterday was, I know, not the type of post you expect here. It’s Saturday. Let’s smile.

Okay, I want you to name a classic film….

In the hallway, outside my office. A writing inspiration. [Photo by me, 2016.]
In the hallway, outside my home office. A writing motivation. [Photo by me, 2016.]

…No, no, hang on, not that one. Come on, I mean the title is right there! What kind of “challenge” is that?

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Victoria Again Reigns

Have you been watching Victoria? We set up to record it before we went off to France. We came home to find the first three episodes happily awaiting viewing.

Screen capture of the Evening Standard, September 4, 2016.
Screen capture of the Evening Standard, September 4, 2016.

I know I’m a bit behind, but we should be caught up this week. We watched the first episode last night. Based on its reviews and its ratings, ITV seems to have a big hit here.

At my birthday get-together back on Sunday, when I told her we’d recorded it, my 18 year old niece highly recommended it.

I asked: “Who’s playing Victoria?”

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“Like an old school Mafia novel….”

The Associated Press tweeted the other day about a mass arrest and indictment of mafia guys in Philadelphia:

“An old school novel.” We understand what Mr. Rodriguez is alluding to there. The mob has been “immortalized” in modern literature, perhaps most (in)famously in Mario Puzo’s The Godfather.

While I know there is certainly ample material around enabling authors to produce such tales, and they may be well-written and readers may enjoy them, personally the genre is not my thing. I will never forget once seeing my (now late) novelist uncle (who’d previously been a NYC detective, and was almost killed twice working undercover), telling a television interviewer dismissively: These guys [are so inept they] couldn’t even run a newsstand without a baseball bat.

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View Of “UK Resident Of American Origin”

As you may have heard, a man with a knife slashing at people killed sixty-four-year-old American Darlene Horton and injured half a dozen others in London’s Russell Square on Wednesday evening. If learned, as of this writing his motive has not yet been made public. (“Mental health” issues have been cited by police.) As to a description of him circulating in British media, including on the BBC, ITV news’s Charlene White took issue with it on Twitter:

Via Wikipedia, one uncovers that Ms. White was born in London. That same source also states her parents were “Black Carribean.” Given her tweeted reference to Jamaica, I will assume for discussion’s sake that means they were born there and moved here to the United Kingdom.

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Sophie Deserves A Mention, Too

I’ve got so much going on right now. My head’s spinning. To better explain what I mean, first here’s that excerpt again in case you missed it the other day:

Sneak Peek into  "Conventions." Click to expand.
Sneak Peek into “Conventions.” Click to expand.

I’ve got that French ship captain, who I’m finding is quite an interesting man as a write more of him. And of course there’s the “heroine” in that scene as well (but I don’t want to tell you yet who she is or what she’s doing where she is). That’s just for starters.

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From The 17th Century Roof Space

Well, I got through sorting out all of the major furniture. Everything makes some “sense” now in the new house. All that remains are boxes here and there – and there are still quite a few.

But the weekend is approaching, and it is starting to look like our home. Having again had enough of unpacking late yesterday (and while the Mrs. was once more away in Lisbon on business for two nights), I decided to pull out the DVD of all DVDs: Casablanca. (I know, I’m a devil when home alone!)

Photo of a scene in Casablanca on DVD. [Photo by me, 2016.]
Photo of a scene in Casablanca on DVD. [Photo by me, 2016.]

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“Retro-Fittings”: Not Creativity In My Book

We have learned that Star Trek’s “Sulu” is to be “re-imagined” as gay. Believing that to be “right…for our times,” Guardian writer Ryan Gilbey is clearly pleased by that writers’ decision. Interestingly, however, LGBT activist, and original “Sulu” actor, George Takei, is clearly not:

Screen capture of the Guardian, July 10, 2016.
Screen capture of the Guardian, July 10, 2016.

Mr. Takei’s disapproval obviously disappointed Mr. Gilbey and quite a few others:

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“In My Life”

We’re off later to see what will be our latest house starting on Friday. Another moving week ahead.

As I told my dad the other day on FaceTime, “It’s in Hertfordshire, which is pronounced Hartfordsheer.”

“Is that near Midsomer?” he joked.

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“Absolutely, Tom Cruise would be perfect!”

Tom Cruise playing the “Jack Reacher” character infuriated many devoted readers of the book series. I know about this mostly based on what I’ve read about the controversy. Also my wife loves those novels, and she explained why he wouldn’t have been her “first choice” for “Reacher” when she’d read initially that it was to be Mr. Cruise in the role.

The biggest (no pun intended) complaint regularly seen is that the relatively diminutive real-life Mr. Cruise in no way resembles “Reacher.” The character is apparently nearly 7 ft tall and consists of pure muscle. Some on “social media” were quick to point that out:

Screen capture of Facebook.
Screen capture of Facebook.

Yet in fairness to any filmmaker, casting a “superman” is always a challenge. When a fictional character is outlandish, trying to locate a human actor who largely resembles him/her on the pages, let alone one who can also ACT well enough, is naturally not easy. Making that task even tougher is when it’s also supposed to be the STAR of the potential film, for it’s then suddenly necessary also to try to find one from among a very small pool of actor possibilities who will hopefully also FILL cinemas.

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Sounds Of The Times

What writers do odd-habits-wise. All have their foibles. For example, I’ve read one who noted that while writing she keeps pictures of her characters pinned to the wall in front of her.

I usually listen to music. Writing the Atlantic Lives novels, I [re]played lots of 1980s-90s music. Hearing the likes of Roxette once more helped me move my mind back to that era.

Screen capture of my IPad music.
Screen capture of my IPad music.

I’m leaving Dad’s today and returning for a few days to my “hermit-life” in the Catskills. Before I came down here (to Pennsylvania) I’d been rewatching John Adams, the 2008 HBO miniseries about one of America’s founding fathers. The other day I was particularly caught by the music used in the balloon ascent over Paris scene, and found myself thinking, “That’s gorgeous.”

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