Sunday, April 19, 2009

National Humor Month, Part the Second

It continues to be National Humor Month. Still don't know in what nation specifically, still not letting that stop us from using the opportunity to share fun bits and bobs.

Movie Two more which Apprentice Writer greatly enjoyed but which didn't seem to get a wide audience were 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' and 'Leatherheads'. Astute readers will observe that they share the common denominator of George Clooney. Mr. Apprentice Writer would observe that AW will say she likes anything in that category. To which AW would reply, "Oh yeah? 'Michael Clayton'. Take that."

So, what's to like? Well, George really does have excellent comedic timing. There was a happy mix of overt and subtle humor in both films. And both made fantastic use of music and carefully thought-out backdrops and settings. All very nice, even though AW has not read 'The Odyssey' in original form nor does she get American football to the slightest degree.

Book AW whipped through 'The Spellman Files' by Lisa Lutz in very short time, and can report that it really is as good as the buzz promised. Original idea, unpredictable storyline, fresh and endearing (despite large flaws) protagonist, and, AW's biggest weakness: excellent secondary characters. A large part of the humor is black, so be warned that it's not a daisies and rainbows story; there is a subplot about willfull self-destructiveness and alcoholism, and the nature of family obligation towards someone excercising free will. The dynamics of the Spellman clan are described as 'a functioning dysfunctional family' which captures it well. They are certainly never boring. AW can't wait to pick up the next in the series, 'Revenge of the Spellmans', and then on to the most recent release, 'Curse of the Spellmans'.

Blogpost Came upon a note-perfect description about what it feels like to be a new writer at a significant milestone, written according to gaming-type instructions of a few years ago, a.k.a. when AW made her first and last attempts to wade into gaming mindset. It made her snort with laughter. Take a look:

Writer Advice Continuation of 13 ways to become a writer, taken from 'Good Luck with the Sex Scenes: The Writing Profession' by Lisa Gabriele (via The National Post):

".....4. Have a Muse.
If none is apparent, hire one from the back pages of your local urban weekly magazine. Get a receipt.

5. Start Young.
God, not too young. But ask yourself, 'Is 35 considered young, anyways?' Then stop worrying because it is so not young.

6. If you are going to write a memoir,
ensure that you were wonderfully poor, or terribly rich, or survived a brutal warand in the end, you came out pretty much OK. If the above criteria do not apply to you, write of baseball.

7. Good luck with the sex scenes.

8. Stay away from ghostwriters.
They don't really exist.

9. Get an agent.
Thank the agent in your book. Give her billing just above your benevolent high school English teacher and right below your crazy, misunderstood mother."


Julia Smith said...

I love 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' - love it! I'm a big Coen brothers fan. And 'Leatherheads' features John Krasinski, whom I adore. Two big checkmarks there, as far as I'm concerned.

I'll make sure to keep receipts for my Muses! LOL!!

Wylie Kinson said...

Haven't seen Leatherheads, but did enjoy O Brother...
You should check out Burn After Reading - also with Mr. Clooney and the amazing Frances McDormid (sp?)

LOL at 'Good luck with the sex scenes'!! Especially after our recent crit session :D