Monday, June 13, 2005

giving credit where due

Well, Eric Martin at Lone Star Stories rejected EOTL, too (talk about fast turnaround), but he recommended I send it to Jintsu, which publishes novellas as e-books. I dunno, I'm kinda like, if I wanted to go the electronic route, I'd just post it myself. I'm not sure if I'm gaining anything to e-publish something people have to pay for, because I'm of the opinion that they won't. I could be wrong.

Anyhoo, I watched two movies this weekend: Unforgiven, the Eastwood opus of 1992, and White Noise, with Michael Keaton. They were both decent and both flawed in different ways, I think. They did their jobs.

The first half of Unforgiven was... not boring, but rather stiff, in my opinion. I felt the dialogue was awkward and there was inadequate interaction between characters to really get a feel for who they were--especially with regard to Eastwood's retired-gun. Hackman was supposed to be the bad guy, but in my mind he was far more reasonable and sympathetic than anybody else (makes you worry about me, eh?), at least up until he started whupping Morgan Freeman. Freeman was his usual endearing and accessible self, and had some of the best dialogue in the movie. The ending was definitely memorable. Not quite what I had expected. Subtly done. Almost too subtle, really, but very much in keeping with the other "great" westerns I've seen. It occurs to me that the Western gunslinger, with his unexplored past, personal demons, and taciturn attitude, is really the original post-modern hero. Nothing really changed at the end of that story. Couple people died, the hero finished his job and went home a little richer. Our understanding of him was perhaps enhanced, but I'm not sure that was enough to deserve a Best Picture award.

White Noise was more engaging and accessible. The characters were rather shallow but endearing enough to do the job. It was, in my opinion, as sad as it was scary. There were plenty of spooky moments--enough that I kept flashing back to the movie all night--but ultimately the story didn't hold together. I'm a little ambivalent about what could have been changed to make it work--I don't think all the questions should be resolved in a ghost story; that robs it of its power. But several things just seemed inconsistent or random.

While I was searching for markets yesterday I ran across Whispering Spirits Ezine, which might be a good venue for the Trace séance story, if I can keep it under 8000 words. Of general interest, however, was an article in their current issue titled, "Why Ghosts Must Be Scary: A Writer's Lesson." Check it out.

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