Saturday, April 25, 2009

National Humor Month, Part the Third

It continues to be National Humor Month. Apprentice Writer continues to think that people can benefit from a laugh no matter what their own personal nation is.

Movie: Today, recommendations for niche audiences.
1. Kids - At 12, Junior Apprentice Writer #1 is at the age of painful desire to be as cool as possible, so he would never admit if he thought a movie was funny. At 8, by contrast, Junior AW #2 leaves no doubt about whether he thinks something is amusing. The two movies of recent history that made him giggle loudest and longest were 'Kung Fu Panda' and 'Mr. Bean's Holiday'. The former with spot-on voice casting, some very cool homage sequences of classic movies (the escape from the dungeon scene is the best in the movie, bar none) and really is very funny. The latter is perhaps more of an acquired taste and less appealling to adults, but there is something very reassuring about a movie without a single superhero, special effect, explosion, Broadway musical number or cartoon character effortlessly entertaining a jaded child audience.

2. Viewers who recognize '80's style music videos - AW is neither a big Drew Barrymore nor Hugh Grant fan, so she can't explain why she watched 'Music and Lyrics'. Having zero expectations, she was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable she found the skillful digs at those classic music videos (the opening and closing sequences are note-perfect spoofs that had AW crying with laughter and would probably be meaningless to music lovers of other eras), dinosaur rockers, and Hugh Grant mocking Hugh Grant. By which AW means it's as if he's playing himself, if he were a musician.

Book: Regular readers of this space know of AW's mad love for Elizabeth Peters' hilarious Amelia Peabody series set in Victorian-era Egypt and England. What readers may not know is that Ms. Peters also writes an equally memorableAmerican contemporary sleuth heroine, the redoubtable Dr. Vicky Bliss. After a long absence, Vicky has returned to the literary scene, in 'The Laughter of Dead Kings'. And the big kicker is: the story takes her to Egypt. Is it possible that two two series will intertwine? AW is fifty pages in and delerious with curiosity to find out. Report forthcoming.

Reality TV: For anyone who has not yet beheld the magnificence of Stavros Flatley (which upon viewing is revealed as a brilliant, brilliant name for this act) AW begs you to do yourself a favor and watch.

(We interrupt this post due to technical difficulties. We are inexplicably unable to post a link for this clip. We recommend surfing to the Youtube site and entering 'Stavros Flatley' for your viewing pleasure.)

Writer Advice: Today, the conclusion of Lisa Gabriele's tips on becoming an author.

"....#10. If you are lucky enough to get a publisher,
read every single word of your contract. Even the fine print, rendered in 11some godawful font. Get a lawyer to look at it. In fact, show it to all your friends, make copies and distribute it amongst family members, near and far. Go ahead and throw it out of a low-flying airplane, letting the evidence of your genius waft and scatter down your luckless street, because, can you believe it, someone's actually paying you to do this? Isn't it awesome? Then sign the damn thing.

#11. If you are not writing, writing, writing,
you should be reading, reading, reading. But you shouldn't always be reading, reading, reading what you have just been writing, writing, writing. That is called a block. Reread #3. But not over and over and over again.

#12. Do not write in public.
Do not bring your laptop to Starbucks. Do not scribble in restaurants. Other people are eating. Unless your home has burned down. Unless you are, in fact, homeless. Writing should be done in the privacy of your own dank, personal hell. You wanted this nightmare deadline, didn't you? You brought this on yourself, always talking about how much you wanted to be writer, OHHHH, you have SO much to say to the world. Well then, shut up and write it, and leave the rest of us at peace with our low-fat lattes and our mediocre lives, our RRSPs and our cottages.

#13. Above all, avoid cliches like the plague."


Wylie Kinson said...

Oh - a big HELL YES on Stavros Flatley. LMAO. Even funnier if you watch an old clip of Flatley from Lord of the Dance -- then you can really appreciate the subtleties of the Greek imitators.

Thanks for posting those tips. I've thoroughly enjoyed Lisa Gabriele's tips :)

M. said...

Wylie - I just realized I haven't googled Lisa Gabriele. I wonder what else she's written?

Julia Smith said...

'Leave the rest of us at peace with our low-fat lattes and our mediocre lives, our RRSPs and our cottages' - LOL!!

Thomma Lyn said...

Ha! Love the writing tips. Wise and witty, both!

And Mr. Bean's Holiday made me chortle, too. :-D

M. said...

Julia - yes, her definition of mediocrity was funny!

TL - Mr.Bean is a curious phenomenon. Beloved on planes (since it works despite anyone's language) yet kind of astonishing for many reasons. Apparently he's a wildly educated person IRL.