Dreaming in Tennessee

Anecdotes, general musings, and registered work from a wannabe.

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Location: Nashville, Tennessee, United States

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Weekly Update

Screenwriting: I've hit a snag. Actually, I hit the snag Thursday & I was too busy Thursday and Friday to really sit down & think about it. But the weekend's here & I'm giving up some time with my fam to hash this out. I'm not going to post about it specifically yet, not until I find a way out, hopefully.

Weight Loss: I LOST 10 POUNDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had heard from a friend that the first week he lost 7 lbs; so I was counting on at least 5. But 10 is really excellent. I have no thoughts of giving up this diet anytime soon. There is a big difference between Atkins & 6 week, however. On Atkins, you have to count your veggies, too. They do have carbs & you are not supposed to go over 20 net carbs in a day (thanks, shawna). So I've been watching my veggie intake, too, & reserving salads for dinner. Also, since I have so far to go, I think I may take induction for at least 2 more weeks (as long as I don't get bored with the regimen).

Height: 5'3"
Weight: 177
BMI: 31.4% (still obese, people. still yuck)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Look at Me! I'm a Gymnast

Yesterday, Jim from theawfulwriter commented on my harry potter post & mentioned he had blogged about it, too. I reread my two posts & realized something. In all of my blogging, not once did I mention what I loved about the book. So, I kicked my own ass. (you don't have to applaud, jeez)

Top 10 scenes/subplots I loved from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: (in book order)

1. Narcissa & Bellatrix's scene at Spinner's End - Rowling had already portrayed Bellatrix as one of the most ruthless Death Eaters. Someone who could delight in killing her own cousin. But here she is, surprised at the depth Narcissa would sink to protect her only child. It's a complete understanding of full-bodied characters and plays out well in supporting the whole plot of the story.

2. The 4th book did an awesome job at the end where Moody, Lupin, & Arthur gathered around the Dursleys & "warn" them to treat Harry better, but thank goodness Rowling had Dumbledore simultaneously chide them for their treatment of Harry and Dudley. He wasn't overly threatning/accusatory, just honest. That blanket honesty made them actually think about what they had done. Wonderful.

3. Tonks and Lupin falling in love. Lupin deserved to find someone. Period.

4. U-No-Poo. 'nough said.

5. McGonagall letting Neville know his grandmother failed her Charms O.W.L.

6. Dobby and Kreacher fighting over Harry. You knew it had to happen. & Dobby got in the last punch!

7. Draco confiding to Moaning Myrtle. The scenes involving Draco have shown him as spoiled, selfish, cruel, terrified, or envious. Never have we seen him vulnerable.

8. Hermione continuing to look for any way to make the Half-Blood Prince female, even though she thinks the Prince may be a bad wizard. & if a woman would run for president, I would vote for her, even if she were a republican.

9. "I am not worried, Harry". . . "I am with you."

10. "No, Draco,". . . "it is my mercy, and not yours, that matters now."

& there were many more. There's a reason they printed over 10 million copies of just this last book.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire II

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire, Part Deux
Pants on Fire: The Ending
Pants on Fire Ends
My Pants Are on Fire Again
My Pants Are Still Burning
(Wow, I don't care how you word it, sequel titles sound like shit. Or am I just randy?)

Oh, well, on to the real blog:

Note: This is not the standard disclaimer. While I am not yet a paid writer, this is good advice. If you don't take it, ok. (shrugs) I'm not your Mommy. & if you do take the advice & still produce crap, don't blame me. You put the ink to paper.

I just said on Saturday that I wouldn't be giving out any screenwriting advice on here. Yet, here I am, barely 24 hours later, pounding out writing advice to anyone who'll listen. Sure, it's general writing advice, but come on. I don't comment on "general" writing blogs, so this advice is directed towards the screenwriting side of the scribosphere & you should all know it.

On Saturday, after that post, I read John Donald Carlucci's blog about a problem with his RomCom. He's writing it, pretty much, based on a true-life event & it's not working. He asked for advice from those who have been there & I put my ha'penny in.

When it comes to poetry or short-stories (cannot say for sure on screenplays as I haven't tried it yet, but I assume so), I never write well about a subject that is too close, timewise, or taken directly from my life. Unless I change something about it. (I'm ging to use my previous poetry posts on here as examples; you might want to read them if you're actully going to read about them. The 1st is under the post "Will They Ever Learn?" and the others are under "The Rat's Star." If you've read the other posts, you know I am a coding idot & have no idea how to create links to different parts of a page.)

-----------------------------------------------

"Terrorists: Beware" - This was written just after I read about the second wave of attacks in London last Thursday. The message is stated too obviously to be moving & my multiple slaps to your face only numbs the experience. Note: I will rewrite this after I have gained a bit of emotional distance. & I have a feeling it will work better as an iambic pentameter, but, man, I suck at rhyming.

-----------------------------------------------

"barely breathing" - This was originally written exactly as it happened, right after it happened. Here it is, for your reading horror:



That's Life, Death, Me

The seaside is very calming
When looked at and listened to
Inside of a quiet car.
My father, the macho, vulnerable
Man that he is, is driving
On the beautiful ocean road.
My mother is sitting in the
Passenger seat, squeezing his hand.
Behind her, my younger sister
sits singing to the radio,
Briefly forgetting what is to come.

I guess that's life.

We're there.
Here we are.
All peaceful.
Quiet.
Just seeing my grandfather at the morgue.

We tread in through the glass door.
Glass is always so fragile.
What could be better than a warm
Greeting by a nice, tall lady.
She should really dye her hair again.
The roots are showing.
Yes, of course, everyone is going to see
The body.
A separate viewing room is always
Nice.

We parade into the small,
Dark viewing room.
Peering through the thick glass,
We see my dead grandfather.
Too bad he wasn't yet emblamed.
The cold, bluish haze before me
Did nothing. To the disturbance. To me.

Guess that's death.

Weeping is an awful sound.
I turn to my living family.
Seeing tear-strained faces
Openly uncontrolled
Is even worse.
My father is a blur of tears.
My mother is a blur of tears.
My sisters are a blur of tears.
I turn back to the glass mirror.
I am nothing.

That's me.



Surprising, no? (& creepy, too, yes?) The two seem to have nothing in common. Yet, a year later, I reread the original & started to write this poem.



in my dreams

in my dreams,
i walk to your gravesite.
i stand there, waiting,
wishing, hoping, to feel
something, but i cannot.
i know you are not there.



I changed it, allowing myself to imagine what it would've been like if I had been there. But that change wasn't enough. I could not make myself go on. Stumped, I reread what I had just written & realized it sounded like a love poem. No, I thought, it would sound better as a love poem. Here is the 3rd version.



wherever you are

i walked to your gravesite tonight.
i saw the pale-face moon
as he darted behind a sunken cloud
to get away from my scowl.
he had no right to be there.

i stood for the longest time,
covered by the shadows of the night.
knowing you couldn't see me. or feel me.
knowing it was just a hole where your ashes
resided. knowing you weren't really there.

so i stood.

and wondered why.
why i was staring down at a grey marker,
scratched with oh, so endearing words.
why your ashes were imprisoned in stone,
when they could have been cast into the wind
to whisper forever among the chorusing birds
and comforting willow trees.
telling them of our secrets.
telling them of the time when we lay
in your parents' bed and you held
me so tightly i could barely breathe,
and, as i pressed my body next to yours,
you carefully caressed my cheek with your chin.

but soon i felt the steady teardrops
of rain, bringing me back from my safe memories.
and i knew it was my turn, this time,
to leave.

so i came back here.
to our sky-blue room.
kneeling beside our bed,
encased with sheets crying out
for a wash and knowing it's not coming.
talking to you now,
wherever you are.

i just want you to know that i miss
you.

i miss you.



The nature of the relationship, the exact circumstances (my grandpa was buried, not cremated), & the outcome are all "lies." Yet, these changes allow me to express my true feelings of loss more completely than the "absolute truth" ever could have. Note: Even if you don't like the final version, you must admit it is better that the 1st. Must, I say!

-----------------------------------------------

"He Is" - The final version is actually the only version. While in college, I gave it to an evangelical friend of mine studying to be a foreign missionary &, when she looked up with tears, I decided never to change it. Then how does this conform to my advice? I'm an atheiest/agnostic, as I was when I wrote it. (I've gone back and forth, coming to the conclusion that I don't really care.) This poem came from a poetry class where the assignment was to write after reading another peom in our books. Every time I tried to write a poem from one that had moved me, I couldn't. The experience was too fresh for me. & I felt like even an "homage" was not better than the original, so why do it? Then I read Sexton's poem, felt mostly "of course, that's how I would feel" & asked myself what here friend would have written back. That's the heart of the poem, the friend's POV, not mine.

-----------------------------------------------

"denial" - There was only one rewrite on this one, but the final is very much like the original. The POV is mine. It is from a "love" relationship. They were both friends of mine. They did get married. I wrote it only 6 months after the wedding. The difference? I never went. I was invited, yes, but woke up too late & missed it. (It was at 2 pm. My normal wake-up time was around 7 am at that point in my life. The night before I had been drinking with friends, got back in the very early morning, and somehow forgot to set my alarm. - hmmm) Anyway, here is the 1st version.



i laughed

i laughed.

i laughed when i saw
how crazy you two
were acting, how you
shoved the first piece
of the cake
into each other's
light-filled faces.
how you chased
one another around
the room pretending
you didn't want
to be near each other.

i smiled.

i smiled when i saw
you dancing the waltz
together. the dance you
had decided you
would take lessons
for this occasion,
when you know you
have two left feet.
and when you kissed
so gently and stared
deep, deep
into each other's eyes
knowing you were
within reach of forever.

i cried.

i cried when i came home
and saw a faded
picture of us, holding
hands and smiling
because we were
together.

i cried.



I think you can tell it was still too close. Luckily, I wrote this one too for a poetry class & I happened to get a great teacher, with some awesome notes.

If you can write your own true-life event already (without sacrificing "emotional truth" for "absolute truth"), more power to you. If you can't, change something. POV, circumstances, outcome, actual reltionship, characteristics of the pro/antagonist, etc. . . It doesn't matter. Just change something.

& if that doesn't work, change something else.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Comments, Visitors, Links? WTF? Am I Just Rambling?

Hey, my first blogger comment. I can't believe it. Thanks, moviequill.

Cojones refuses to comment. She says there are too many horrible bloggers out there already & commenting on even a decent blog encourages the bad ones. (I'm pretty sure I shouldn't take this as an insult, but you never know with Cojones.)

Anyway, I know I've had other visitors bc of the counter, but I still pretty much feel like I'm talking to myself on this blog. & that's ok. I'm not not going to be offering anyone advice on screenwriting; anything I could say would be just a regurgitation of what I read on other sites, written by people who are actually have a career in screenwriting or are about to. (& if you don't know where they are, click on a link.)

Also, I do read many more blogs than I have links to, I just can't decide who to link & who not to. I don't comment very often, compared to how many I read. Maybe I should link to the ones I check every day? But if you're reading my blog, I'm sure you came from somewhere along the scribosphere & already know the blogs you love. I think I'll leave it where it is.

Shit, I just previewed this crap & came up with that title. I hate rambling.

The Rat's Star

So, I got spanked three times yesterday. It should've been four, but generic hasn't kicked my ass yet for that comment I made. After the third spank, I cut over to her blog, looking for something funny, & (I think bc of my expectations) I felt like I was reading something out of "The Employee Handbook, Chapter 7: Rules for a Politically Correct Conference Meeting." (http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=12199804&postID=112199882972220891 )

The first spanking was on "The Blank Page" by Derek (http://www.theblankpage.us/archives/2005/07/sources_for_dom.html#comments), & I understand his point and agree on a level. But while a constant dreamer on the inside, I am a total pragmatist to everyone else. I think if I hope too much, it's just that much harder when you fall. Depressing, huh? Ok, I'll stop.

The second time was from David (http://www.davidanaxagoras.com/2005/07/21/my-procrastinatin-ways/#comments) & this is the only time I actually disagree. I felt like Debra on Everybody Loves Raymond in the episode where Ray tells her "Well, don't feel that way." Can't help it. I just do.

The third came from the only person who knows both me, personally, & this site. My friend from college, I'll call her Cojones (that was her sign on for the school email/system; first initial, second initial, last name; laughed my ass off when I found out about it, & had to explain it to her when I realized she never took Spanish), didn't like "Terrorists: Beware." Cojones (shit, that's just funny & suits her, too) doesn't think it's my best work & worries that other writers will think I'm a hack. (I have to say I completely agree on this one. I absolutely do not do well when I'm too close, timewise, to a precipitating event.) She wants me to hurry up & fix the fiction links so she can read some of the stuff I've written since then. (When I have more time, assuming I can figure it out, I'll set up the side to open a new page.) Cojones, hope you like them better than "Terrorists: Beware."

Note: In case anyone wants to know, the title is from Anne Sexton's "With Mercy for the Greedy." http://www.americanpoems.com/poets/annesexton/642

In order from when they were first written:



barely breathing


i came back here
to our sky-blue room
to kneel beside our bed,
encased with sheets crying out
for a wash and knowing
it’s not coming.

i walked there tonight
and saw the pale-faced moon
as he darted behind a sunken cloud
to get away from my scowl.
he had no right to be there.

covered by the shadows of the night,
i stood there for the longest time
and wondered why.

why i was staring down
at a grey marker, scratched
with oh, so endearing words.
why your ashes were buried
behind a layers and layers of stone,
when they could have been cast
into the wind to whisper forever
among the chorusing birds
and comforting willow trees,
telling them all of our secrets.
telling them of the time
when we lay in your parent’s bed
and you held me so tightly i could
barely breathe.





He Is
in response to Anne Sexton’s “With mercy for the Greedy”


dearest anne,
in your crumpled-up,
water-dryed letter
to me, your scribbled
scratches tell me
of you knowledge
of your sins.
and your needs.
and what you
are seeking
is belief,
and mercy.
and how your poems
are your refuge,
the vaseline
on your bloody
cuts and bruises.

my love,
don’t you know
that is Who and What
He IS.
He is the One
Who is Knowledge (the wise friend
whose eyes tell of listening with the heart
and speaking from the soul),
Need (the water that quenches our thirst
when we have just come back
from running the race
and walking the walk),
Belief (the faith, the faith that is bestowed
upon us with grace from above;
like the sun’s healing warmth
after a day of cold rain),
and Mercy (a blanket
for all of the greedy and homeless),
including you, love.
you, too.

you tell me of how you wore
my own cross, my dog bitten cross,
around your throat,
instead of around your heart.
perhaps that was the mistake.
perhaps you need your own cross,
your own worn and scratched cross.
so that you can hold onto it
around your heart,
where it was always meant to be.
if that is your need,
He will provide.
and I will be here,
shoulder-ready.
a friend for when you need
me, and when you think
you don’t.
that is Him in me.




denial


returning home
from your white
wonderland, i looked
at our picture on my
bookshelf. the sunlight
reflecting off of it
was glaring into my
eyes, denying me
my sight.

it reminded me
of the way your faces
glowed for each other
while you danced,
holding on so tightly
pressing two into one;
like they were filled
with an inner lamp
dazzling everyone
around you, saturating
the banquet hall
where we feasted
on your requited love.

and there was i,
waiting at the table
in the farthest corner
of the dance floor,
trying to see you.

Weekly Update

Screenwriting: I've fallen behind, a little. I'm 1 page behind, & I've got another 5 more to do today. Oh, well, not a big deal.

Weight Loss: I gained 1 lb. Now, this is not good. Of course, it might have something to do with using exercise time for writing. But I'm changing my diet anyway; one can only take so many Slim Fast Shakes and Lean Pockets. I'm going with a combo of No Carbo & 6-week Body Makeover. 6-week Body Makeover suggests (basically) 5-6 small meals per day, with no more than 2 oz of lean meat/fish per meal, as many veggies (not including carrots, which are high in sugar) as one wants, & a strict control of how many oz of carbs per day. So, my diet will consist of 4-5 meals per day, 3-4 oz of lean meat/fish per meal & as many veggies as I want. I'm not a big fan of steak or pork anyway, so it's not a big deal to give them up. Carbs (pasta, bread, cereal, yummmm) is a totally different matter. But I'm telling myself 1 week at a time &, if I don't lose any weight, I can quit.

Height: 5'3"
Weight: 187
BMI: 33.1% (obese, people. yuck) http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/bmi/bmi-adult.htm
Size: 16

Friday, July 22, 2005

Which Begs the Two-Part Question: How Many Then's Can One Paragraph Possibly Hold & Do We Really Need Names?

From Query Letters I Love:

http://queryletters.blogspot.com/2005/07/help-take-bite-out-of-bad-queries.html#comments

"This script is about a vampire that has a brother. Since childhood his brother was always jealous of him. The brother felt their mother gave the older brother more attention then she gave him. They both were in love with a human but she loved the older brother. Before their mother died she gave the older brother a hooded robe were he could go into the sunlight to see his love.

In a rage the younger brother killed the human woman and blamed it on humans. He then tried to turn his grief stricken brother against the humans and get the robe from him so he could rule all vampires. The brother learned the truth of what happened to his love and about his younger brother's plan. Then, he fell in love with another human. He tried to keep her a secret but the younger brother found out and was trying to kill her. He then tricked his younger brother into believing he was going to aid him in the war against the humans but turned on his brother killing him to save the woman he loves and for the human race. He became leader over the vampires."



Now, I know I'm going to be filing this under my growing list of what_to_remember_about_screenplay_writing, but should I put this in the long column of Do's or the even longer column of Don'ts. . .hmmmmm, this is a puzzle.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

When Will They Learn?

There have been 4 more explosions in London today. http://www.cnn.com/

Ridiculous. Heaven forbid, but I am going to paraphrase a scene I remember from "Growing Pains." The scene is in the episode where the Seavers' come home to find that they've been robbed. They have a family meeting in the living room and Carol hypothesizes getting rid of their more expensive material possesions, since that is what burglars want & without them, they would not be robbed again. Jason brings up more and more possessions in question & Carol recommends getting rid of everything. Jason finally asks, "What if they want your security?" Carol responds, "That's silly. No one can steal my feelings." "Exactly," says Jason. "No one can take our sense of security. No one can make us afraid."

(Note: This scene is from the '80's so I am sure that I have not been entirely accurate, but I think you get the gist.)


Terrorists: Beware

You do not have the power.

You have the ability to instill fear of your bombs,
But you do not have the power to instill fear of you.
You have the ability to drop a package and run,
But you do not have the power to comfort the wounded.
You have the ability to destroy our buildings,
But you do not have the power to destroy our peace.
You have the ability to take our bodies,
But you do not have the power to take our spirits.
You have the ability to cause pain,
But you do not have the power to heal it.
You have the ability to make us cry,
But you do not have the power to make us laugh.
You have the ability to hate,
But you do not have the power to create hatred.

You do not have the power.










http://www.werenotafraid.com/about.html

We are not afraid to ride public transportation.

We are not afraid to walk down a crowded street.

We are not afraid of each other.

We are not afraid to say that terrorism in any form is never the answer.

We’re not afraid is an outlet for the global community to speak out against the acts of terror that have struck London, Madrid, New York, Baghdad, Bazra, Tikkut, Gaza, Tel-Aviv, Afghanistan, Bali, and against the atrocities occurring in cities around the world each and every day. It is a worldwide action for people not willing to be cowed by terrorism and fear mongering.

The historical response to these types of attacks has been a show of deadly force; we believe that there is a better way. We refuse to respond to aggression and hatred in kind. Instead, we who are not afraid will continue to live our lives the best way we know how. We will work, we will play, we will laugh, we will live. We will not waste one moment, nor sacrifice one bit of our freedom, because of fear.

We are not afraid.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Just Bury Your Heads in the Sand, Why Don't Ya

http://imdb.com/news/sb/2005-07-19/

Few Protests Over Theater Ads, Say Movie Chains
Despite numerous published commentaries of late about how movie theater ads are driving away patrons, exhibitors maintain that they have received few complaints from the public about them and that many moviegoers actually like them. Pam Blase, a spokeswoman for AMC Entertainment, which operates the country's second-largest movie chain, told the Houston Chronicle that the chain receives one complaint for every 600,000 guests. Terrell Falk of Cinemark USA, the nation's third-largest chain, added that recent research concluded that filmgoers regard ads as "just part of the experience." His remarks were echoed by Jim Kozak, editor-in-chief of In Focus, the magazine of the National Association of Theater Owners. "When [patrons] get there early to get a really good seat, they like to have something to keep them busy, something to do besides talk to the person they came with."


Wow, you know, when I get together with some of my girlfriends for lunch, we always agree on how men just don't try hard enough in a relationship. We know that we are doing everything we can to make sure he's happy and loved, but it's the men who just don't care enough to be there for us anymore. & just bc this is coming from a bunch of women doesn't mean you should think it's biased. Oh, no. We certainly wouldn't think/say anything just to make ourselves look good.


(Without the sarcasm) In numerous buz classes at college, we were constantly told that studies have shown less than 1/10 customers will actually complain before taking their buz elsewhere. Wake up, movie chains! "Elsewhere" for moviegoers now means home, especially with DVDs coming out so quickly. Also, who in the world shows up early for a good seat? I always show up 5-10 minutes late just to be sure of skipping the ads.

If I Could Have My Cake & Eat It Too

!!!!!SPOILERS!!!!!SPOILERS!!!!!SPOILERS!!!!!!

Note: This blog is about what I wish had been done differently in Book 6. Please do not read it if you haven’t completed the 6th book as it may ruin the book for you. Also, to keep other readers from accidentally reading this blog during scrolling, I have purposely changed the font color to fade into the background. In order to read the blog, simply highlight the text.

I am a little disappointed.

Not incredibly disappointed, just a little disappointed. Some of the things that I love the most about the book series previously seem to be missing in this installment.

Disappointment #1. Neville's missing scene. I wish there had been a scene where Neville gets to show better results with his new wand. In Book 1, Ollivander comments that a wizard will never get as great results from another's wand as his own. Since Neville had been using his father's old wand until Book 5, where it gets broken in the fight in the Ministry, I was looking forward to seeing him display some pride with the better results his own wand should show.

Disappointment #2. Lack of humor. I wish there had been more humor. The best thing about the Harry Potter book series was the amount of humor in the smallest of descriptions/phrases. (2 examples, not even the best ones.Book 1, ". . . as they watched a gorilla scratching his head who looked remarkably like Dudley, except that it wasn't blond." Book 3, Ron said during Divination class, "I'd like to see Uranus, too, Lavender.") Rowling's said that Book 6 necessarily took a darker turn bc of Voldemort being out in the open now, but I still think that a lot more humor could have been injected throughout the school year. Especially since everyone I know living in a post-9/11 United States and post-7/7 United Kingdom are still able to find humor on a, somewhat, daily basis. (I hope that doesn't offend anyone.)

Disappointment #3. The beginning. I wish it had started on a regualr Dursley day and we get to "see" when Harry gets Dumbledore's letter. I wanted to be part of the waiting and hoping with him. (I have an ?unethical? fix for this, for me anyway. Read #4)

Disappointment #4. The ending. Not the precipitous moment near the end (if you read the next blog down, you'll know why), but THE ending. I had gotten used to the previous endings in the series and, for me, the Hogwart's Express had come to symbolize the official ending of the Harry Potter series. & the way she has the ending, I have the feeling that Book 7 will not open with Ron & Hermione telling their respective parents that they will be spending the summer at the Dursley's before heading off to find the Horcruxes and, eventually, fight Voldemort. I wanted to be there for that.

So, because of #3 & #4, I wrote my own beginning & ending. For me, it completes the book even without #1 & #2. After reading the book again with my own re-writes, I've found that I'm no longer disappointed. (I question the ethics bc Rowling has said she is not a fan of fanfic. But the changes to the beginning & ending are for me, & me only, so I hope she doesn't mind.)

Theories, Hypotheses, & Wishful Thinking for Book 7

!!!!!SPOILERS!!!!!SPOILERS!!!!!SPOILERS!!!!!!
Note: This blog is what I think could/may happen in Book 7 &, as such, contains spoilers for previous books through Book 6. Please do not read this if you think my theories, hypotheses, & wishful thinking may ruin Book 7 for you, as I am 99.9% positive on my theories. Also, to keep other readers from accidentally reading this blog during scrolling, I have purposely changed the font color to fade into the background. In order to read the blog, simply highlight the text.


Because some guesswork may seem "obvious" to most people & others will vary from "improbable" to "what-is-she-crazy?", I'm spending less text on the ones that I think everyone suspects will be in the last book.



Theory #1. Wormtail will play a central role in protecting Harry from Voldemort. In Book 3, Dumbledore is pleased that Harry saved Wormtail from dying & says, "Pettigrew owes his life to you. You have sent Voldemort a deputy who is in your debt. . . . When one wizard saves another wizard's life, it creates a certain bond between them. . . and I'm much misstaken if Voldemort wants his servant in the debt of Harry Potter." I think this will come into play while Harry is trying to find and destroy the Horcuxes (rather than at the end while Harry will be battling Voldemort, particulary bc of Theory #3).

Theory #2. Voldemort's use of Harry's blood in Book 4 will be one of the reasons for his death. When Harry tells Dumbledore and Sirius of Voldemort's use of his blood, Rowling notes this text, "For a fleeting moment, Harry thought he saw of gleam of something like triumph in Dumbledore's eyes." While it is possible that the reason for Dumbledore's "triumphant" gleam may have something to do with one of the Horcruxes left, since Dumbledore apparently suspected by the end of Book 2 that Voldemort had created a number of Horcruxes (Book 6 by Dumbledore, "Four years ago, I received what I considered certain proof that Voldemort had split his soul. . .The diary had been a Horcrux."), for Dumbledore to know at that point in Book 4 that one of the Horcruxes would involve the use of his blood is highly unlikely. It is more likely that it will have something to do with a curse/countercurse that will be used at the final meeting.

Theory #3. Dumbledore had another reason for believing in Snape, Snape never betrayed Dumbledore, and Dumbledore's death was planned by Dumbledore. (What?) In Book 6, Snape makes the Unbreakable Vow with Narcissa Black to complete the mission if Draco fails ("And, should it prove necessary. . . if it seems Draco will fail. . . " whispered Narcissa (Snape's hand twitched within hers, but he did not draw away), "wil you carry out the deed that the Dark Lord has ordered Draco to perform?". . . "I will," said Snape.), which meant that Snape would die if it fell to him to finish the mission & he chooses not to (After Harry has overheard Draco's and Snape's conversation about Draco's mission, Harry talks to Ron about it over Christmas at the Burrow. Harry says, "What happens if you break it, then?" "You die," said Ron simply.). Once Harry gets back to Hogwarts, Harry relays the conversation with Dumbledore (Harry says, "Yes, sir. I overheard them during Professor Slughorn's party. . . " Dumbledore listened to Harry's story with an impassive face.) In his reply, Dumbledore ends with, ". . .let me reassure you that you have not told me anything that causes me disquiet." This is particulary important bc at the end of the book, when Dumbledore is facing Draco on the rooftop, he has known about Draco's plan to kill him for some time (Draco says about the necklace and mead, "Yeah, well, you still didn't realize who was behind that stuff, did you?". . . "As a matter of fact, I did. . . I was sure it was you.") Since Dumbledore was sure that it was Draco & the fact that Harry's "revelation" did not surprise or upset him, it is necessary that Dumbledore already knew about Draco's mission from Voldemort and Snape's Unbreakable Curse. Who else would have told him but Snape? From this point on, Dumbledore has 3 choices, 1. Draco could kill him, 2. Snape could choose not to kill Dumbledore if Draco's fails and choose to die himself, 3. Snape could kill Dumbledore. Option #1. Dumbledore didn't want Draco to kill him and he didn't want Draco harmed either. He says, "Killing is not nearly as easy as the innocent believe. . ." and he tried to get Draco to "[c]ome over to the right side." Option #2. This would have been a good plan if Dumbledore was the kind of wizard to think of himself first. But he wasn't. He has always wanted whatever was best for Harry (From Book 5, he says, "I cared about you too much. . .I cared. . . more for your life than the lives that might be lost. . ."). Dumbledore would easily choose whatever option held the best chance for Harry. Therefore, option #3. By allowing, actually I believe ordering/begging Snape to kill him ("Severus. . . please. . ."), Dumbledore achieves his greatest advantage. He tricks Voldemort, and every Death Eater, into truly believing Snape has chosen evil. He allows Voldemort to think that Snape will commit any act, even going up against the only wizard Voldemort has ever truly feared, for the Dark Lord. Dumbledore gives the good side an inside man,someone who can undermine the Dark Lord at every turn, even though they don't know it yet. For those of you still not convinced, consider these 4 points about Snape's behavior. Point #1. At the time that Snape kills Dumbledore, Rowling uses this description, "there was revulsion and hatred etched in the harsh lines of his face." I think the revulsion and hatred is for the act he is about to do. What is also important is that Snape does not say anything back to Dumbledore. He does not gloat about fooling Dumbledore for the last 17 years. Yet, he does gloat to Harry that he is the Half-Blood Prince & Harry did not realize it for less than the year Harry has known about the nickname. Point #2. Snape does not harm Harry and does not allow another Death Eater to harm Harry. Snape chooses to use deflecting spells when he can. Another Death Eater used the Cruciatus curse on Harry and Snape stopped him (. . . excrutiating pain hit Harry. . . he would surely die of this agony. . . "No!" roared Snape's voice. . . "Have you forgotten our orders? Potter belongs to the Dark Lord- we are to leave him!. . .") The Dark Lord's orders are that they are not to kill Harry; Voldemort will deal with him later. I am positive Voldemort did not say, "& be sure not to cause him any pain, either." Point #3. He only gets angry at Harry enough to somewhat hurt him when Harry calls him a coward. (". . .you coward-" "DON'T-" screamed Sanpe, and his face was suddenly demented, inhuman, as though he was in as much pain as the yelping, howling dog stuck in the burning house behind them- "CALL ME COWARD!") "Pain" not anger, not hatred, not defiance, "pain". Point #4. He did not kill Professor Flitwick, Hermione, or Luna when he had the chance & no one could've stopped him. He only stunned Professor Flitwick and asked Hermione & Luna to check on it to keep them out of the way. None of them were expecting an attack from him &, in any case, he could have probably killed all 3 of them even if they had.


Hypothesis #1. Droobles Blowing Gum will be some kind of safety net. In Book 5, at St. Mungo's Neville's mother, Alice, gives Neville an empty Droobles Blowing Gum wrapper and his grandmother remarks that ". . . she must have given you enough of them to paper your bedroom by now. . ." They were described as "highly gifted Aurors" by Neville's grandmother, who is prone to exaggerating, I should point out. But I do believe his mother, even in her present state, would probably be trying to give her son as much protection as possible. Another reason to believe this is that Rowling's own site, www.jkrowling.com, has her virtual desk littered with Droobles Blowing Gum wrappers. (This could simply be because she herself has admitted to loving chewing gum.)

Hypothesis #2. Draco will choose good. I think Draco's inabiity to kill Dumbledore is revealing. But I look to his confessions to Moaning Myrtle about being conflicted in his task as the compelling reason that he will, in the end, choose good. I believe this actually may only come about after Voldemort has killed one or both of his parents. Why? I can't tell you. i can't even explain it to myself. Just a hunch.



Wishful Thought #1. I hope Rowling brings Sirius back. In Book 5, Luna says, "And anyway, it's not as though I'll never see Mum again, is it?. . .You heard them, just behind the veil, didn't you?. . .They were just lurking out of sight, that's all." Please bring Sirius back, even if it's just for one conversation with Harry again.

Wishful Thought #2. I hope Neville and Luna play important roles. For me, both Neville and Luna are within the circle of main characters jsut as much as the rest of the Weasley family, Lupin, and Tonks. I love it when the underdogs have their day to shine. Don't we all?

Wishful Thought #3. Harry and Ginny will get married. (Actually, this is a wishful thought I have had since Book 4. She has the kind of pluck and bravery that seems to suit Harry very well.) Of course, this implies another wishful thought, that Harry will survive his final encounter with Voldemort. I absolutely expect Harry to defeat Voldemort in the end, but that's no guarantee that Harry will survive also.

WHEW!!! What a Week!

I am officially insane.

No, really, insane. I wait until the week I have to move & the week Book 6 arrives in stores to officially start my screenplay. What the hell was I thinking? People, moving is exhausting. I had to spend 5 hours of my Saturday telling my brothers-in-law what to do & how to set up my room just the way I wanted it. Sheesh, you'd think they could've at least taken the time to read my mind so I could get on with reading Book 6.

On top of this, my workplace has somehow gotten it into their collective head that I should be working while getting paid. What kind of crap is that? I did not sign up for this & if it keeps up, I'm going to have to take my lazy, fat ass somewhere where they appreciate workers who don't actually work. I know I can find a workplace like that if I just look hard enough.

Anyway...Unfortunately bc of that, I did not have time to write at work on either Monday or Tuesday. & today I am continually getting interrupted while trying to complete this blog. GO AWAY, PEOPLE! I have better things to do.

So, in order to keep up with what I promised myself, I have gotten less than 5 hours of sleep every night since Friday. UGH, I need at least 8 1/2 hours to summon the strength to be nice to people. Oh, well, I can always say I have "feminine issues" & then they'll have to leave me alone. (YEAH! "feminine issues" always works!)

So here's a summary of my updates. & I'm going to be posting a few blogs on Book 6 today (as long as I can keep these people off my back).


Updates:

Screenplay - Finished Treatment. It is 27 pgs long. Started on the screenplay Monday night. So far I've completed 13 pgs (3 pgs ahead of schedule, but that's bc of the way the scenes break down. & I may take the liberty of only writing ~2 pgs today.).

Weight Loss - Lost an additional 1.5 lbs. (I weigh in every saturday morning, but bc of the moving & busy week I left my blogging duty until today.) This is a new low for me since I started my diet (about 2 1/2 months ago). I must either be hitting a plateau or my body is so used to the diet & exercise that I'm now going with the norm (1-2 lbs per week). Also, most professionals recommend tracking your relative health by knowing your BMI; so, this Saturday I'm going to start keeping track of my BMI, too.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

So, luckily, I work for a company where I have a lot of downtime during the day (usually). Today, instead of writing, I decided to tackle those progress bars again because it was bugging me so much. Turns out, I was just missing one thing. In David's post, he has the code for the border as follows:

.prog-border {
height: 15px;
width: 205px;
background: #fff;
border: 1px solid silver;
margin: 0;
padding: 0;
}



& the code for the bar as follows:

.prog-bar {
height: 11px;
margin: 2px;
padding: 0;
background: #C9DDEC;
}



But I found that I had to add "div" to make it work on this site (I also changed the width & the color for the bar). I placed this into my code right at the end of the "/* Typography :: Sidebar" section. :

div.prog-border {
height: 15px;
width: 150px;
background: #fff;
border: 1px solid silver;
margin: 0; padding: 0;
}
div.prog-bar {
height: 11px;
margin: 2px;
padding: 0;
background: #00F040;
}



Then, once I added David's code to sync the two together in the "!-- Begin #sidebar :: left column :: blog archives, links --> " section, it worked perfectly the way he had it (just changing the #% to refect my "progress").

Obviously, those who are much better at this than I am already knew how to fix my problem. But I thought I'd post it just in case.

Oh, How Naive We Baby Writers Can Be

Wow, I always knew I was not a computer whiz, but, man, I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to code. I tried to take an hour each of the last couple of nights to sit down & figure out those progress bars, but, alas, I cannot. I'm in the middle of moving back in with my parents this weekend, so I should be able to sit down Sun night & get them on this site.

[FYI, I do have a job & can pay my own bills, but I want to pay off my credit cards by February. I'm estimating at 5 pgs per day, 6 days per week, I can complete a (really horrible) first draft screenplay in 4 weeks, or 1 month. I've also factored in 1 day for a solid workable outline (2 pgs), 5 days for a treatment (~20 pgs), 1 week break before looking at the completed first draft (to create some distance & during which a writer friend of mine is going to read it), 1 week to go over his notes & my own & change my treatment, 3 weeks to write a second draft, and, if it's passes my non-inducing-vomit test, post it here. Timeline of approx. 2 1/2 months. So, hopefully, by February, I'll have 3 specs/writing samples finished to choose from to query around LA. I've heard it's nearly impossible to get an unsolicited screenplay to an agent/producer, but it's the only shot I have from here. Of course, if I'm way off in la-la land & think I'm actually good enough to make the move, I'll gather up my trash bag full of K-mart clothes & take the next bus out.]

Monday, July 11, 2005

Blogging Virgin, Almost (kinda like high school, where it only counts if you mean it)

Woo-Hoo! Just started blogging on other sites for about a week or two now & so I started this site today. For a variety of reasons, really.

The main reason is that I'm trying to motivate myself into completing my first screenplay. (I know, I know. I sound just like another loser-Hollywood-wannabe who will never even complete 20 pgs of some shitty derivative screenplay. Maybe I am. We'll see, won't we?) So far, the only things I've written have been poems & short stories, mostly during my college days as I tried to figure out what the hell I wanted to do for the rest of my life. (How is anyone supposed to know that at 20? GOD, I considered a day well spent if I managed to get out of bed before noon & attend at least 1 of my 3-4 classes that day. Of course, that might explain why it took me 5 1/2 yrs to graduate.) If I can figure out how to use them, I'm going to steal David Anaxagoras' progress bars tonight, just in case I start to procrastinate. ("Just in case?" Yeah, ok.)

Since I'm a baby writer, I'm also going to use this site to post my work. Feel free to comment/email me on your criticism. Honesty is most appreciated, even if you think I suck. If you're a writer yourself, helpful insight on how to become a better writer is appreciated even more, especially if you think I suck.

So (after I get this thing constructed), take a look around. Hopefully, it's better than going to the dentist. (ok, hopefully, a lot better. maybe more like going to the movies. ooooooooh, maybe like going to a movie premiere, where you can meet and greet with all the A-listers who'll look at you with total derision the minute you say the words "autograph" or "screenplay" & then call security & get your ass thrown out with the rest of the wannabes. ...ok, maybe not.)