Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I'll Adapt Rebecca

This week I read Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. Of course I watched the Alfred Hitchcock film of the 1940s--you know, the over-dramatic rendition featuring the world's class-act drama king Lawrence, SIR Lawrence Olivier.

I had never read the book before. (Mainly because the only copy for sale at Borders, up until this year, was a paperback featuring red satin and "Rebecca" written in gold a cheap romance novel one buys from the grocery store. Once a brown-back copy appeared on the shelf, I snatched it up immediately.)

When I read the book, I knew where it would go. I knew what the ending was because of that film. I was disappointed the whole time because there was no suspension of belief. I had an intrinsic feeling all along that I knew exactly what was going to happen next. But you know...I still enjoyed the book. I was disappointed that so many things could not be said in the film that were said in the novel. That's they way of films sometimes...for all their visual dialogue, there are things that they miss! I am always in flux between the two.

However, I feel that I could capture the novel in film better than whoever did it in the first place. I think a real reader needs to write adaptations. Instead of the English majors shrinking in fear, we need to take charge of writing adaptations. We need to capture the spirit of the novel for these filmmakers.

Who adapted The Count of Monte Cristo? Alexandre Dumas would have died had he seen that film.

And what about the almost happy ending in Lawrence Olivier's Wuthering Heights?

What about the way that Gilbert went to war in the Anne of Green Gables movies? WHAT?!

Well, anyway. In my Rebecca, Maxim de Winter isn't a cold bitter man with a theatrical though passionate love. He is real and deep and brooding and suffering. (And that's not my Maxim, that's du Maurier's Maxim.) Heath Ledger could have been Maxim. The quiet, unnamed protagonist is simple and plain and ordinary, but must be played by a powerful actress, though not a beautiful one. Rebecca is Megan Fox: aloof, gorgeous, evil.

There, have fun filmmakers. Call me if you want me to write the script. I can do it in 6 weeks. I expect hefty compensation. Believe me. My writing this adaptation is critical for the film's success.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

red : one

red : one
Originally uploaded by MichelleCox<36
Please enjoy my sister's new photography project. She finished her 365 self-portraits right as I am beginning mine. Her new project is a color project! Follow her :)

Blogger Boredom

I'm crazy. I can't be satisfied with the appearance of my blog for longer than 5 minutes. I have decided to force myself to be satisfied with one layout for at least a month. There really is no reason for the continual discontentedness! I will be satisfied with my abstract dandelions this month.

The month ends in three days anyway...ha!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Weekends, Worries and other things...

The week has been a long one and I am glad it is nearing its end. I don't like being without him and look forward to his weekend returns. I have lots of work to do and lots of things to concentrate on all the time, but having extra time to myself doesn't make it easier to get them done. Usually I start feeling melancholy and lonely for him instead of feeling more able to focus. I suppose this is something that I will learn in time. I'll figure out how to focus instead of getting distracted by feeling lonely, I'm sure...for now though, I am still living for the weekends! I am so glad to see him today. I've been counting down to today since about Tuesday...and it's finally THE WEEKEND! :)

In addition to this week being a complicated mass of things going on and me being distracted, I have also made some interesting decisions this week. I've decided that I might go back and get my high school teaching license...just to be more diverse. I would love to get my PhD and be a professor, but I need to first figure out if I have that drive within me. My struggle with the Master's thesis is making me wonder if I do. Maybe my big problem is my tendency to question myself about everything! I don't know...but I guess I need to figure that out too. Eventually.

Meanwhile, I must complete the work that is before me and worry about the future in the future. Worry is a really bad excuse for laziness.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Writer's Block

Writer's block is the worst thing that can ever happen to me, and it happens to me all the time. When people think writer's block, though, I don't think they are thinking of exactly what I'm experiencing. Even when I think of writer's block, I picture something a lot more elevated and impressive than what I am going through.

Writer's block happens to writers who are in the throes of a beautiful composition, an impressive work of art that is about to become a novel of mythic proportions. The writing is going well, the story is flowing with ease, and suddenly the writer is stuck for a word, stuck for a statement, stuck for...something...that puts a hitch into the beautiful tale.

Yeah, writer's block isn't that glorious at all.

Writer's block, as I experience it, is a black out period. Sometimes the period lasts for an age, a whole portion of a lifetime. Writer's block is more than a missing turn of phrase, a hesitant description, a hazy thought that cannot materialize itself into words. Writer's block is, for me, a complete mental breakdown of writing frustration. I cannot write what I must write, I will not write what I must write, I can and will write anything else but writing that is productive and useful. I will write blog posts explaining writer's block, but I will not--no, I utterly refuse--to write my thesis. I cannot imagine writing that important document, cannot remember what it is about, cannot fathom what was so important about the topic, and do not even want to write about it, whatever it is. Writer's block makes me despair for my life, my hopes, my dreams--which are ever and always writing--and causes me to imagine that there is no life for me, after all, since writing is all that I do. When I say that I am suffering from writer's block, the word "suffering" is aptly chosen. Suffering is an understatement. And writer's block is an understatement.

The Thirteenth Tale

"...silence is not a natural environment for stories. They need words. Without them, they grow pale, sicken, and die. And then they haunt you."
--The Thirteenth Tale

Writing is an important part of my life, whether I am physically constructing a piece of writing or not. I have recently finished reading a gloriously well-written novel from 2006. I was surprised by it as it is rather new for my taste, generally speaking. I was impressed by the subtle ability of the author to string words together, to paint a picture of characters worthy of my notice, to draw me irrevocably into a story that plays itself before my eyes like a delightful film I can't seem to turn away from. A story of this power serves only to remind me of the deep, burning desire inside of myself: the desire to create life out of ink on a page. Reading books--well, reading a well-crafted book--almost makes me wonder if, by some chance, film really is not my niche, not my calling, just a cop-out after all...

The book in question is The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. Some moments of the book inspire me delightfully, setting my heart into a flurry of anticipation, not only for the characters, but for writing itself, for books, for storytelling, for my own future. The inspiration offers me renewal. While reading, I become reunited again with that elusive yet vital part of my being: my writer.

"A good story is always more dazzling than a broken piece of truth."
--The Thirteenth Tale

Sunday, June 20, 2010

How Love Changes Everything

I've been thinking this weekend about how there is a huge difference between what I want and what love makes me want. I wouldn't call it a disparity that upsets me, either. I like who I am in love even if it's different from who I am without love. All in all, I enjoy the self that I am in love. Sometimes I let my dreams go, and sometimes I forget some of the things that I once considered to be of vital importance, but in my happiness, I often realize that those dreams don't matter so much anymore. I mean, sure, I still would like to make films, would like to travel and have adventures, would like to change my life on whim (not that I do that...) but when I weigh out the importance of these dreams, they don't really hold up to the more important aspects of life.

Lately I've been thinking about how much more important some of those dreams are by contrast. If I was in the position where I had to make a choice, I would choose love.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thinking About Dreams

Summer is a season of hope and dreams for me, but as I grow older, I find many of my dreams to be stale. Without dreams, I lose the essential part of myself that makes me "me." But, when I dreamed those dreams as a child, a teenager, even a young adult, I dreamed them with the anticipation of their eventual fulfillment. It disappoints me now to see how anticlimactic life really is. When will the fun, long-awaited part of it begin?

I would sound like a fool to say that life hasn't been beautiful, that it hasn't been filled with all of the elements that make life what it is: lessons, heartbreaks and love, memories of joy, adventures, and people who will never be forgotten. This is not the part that makes life sad for me, this is the part that makes the sadness of life bearable. It is impossible, though, to deny the sadness of knowing that certain dreams may not come true, especially those dreams that I still seem to hold out hope for. There are little things that I've always wanted, deep inside, and reading about them just doesn't make the cut anymore. I'm a terrible case of dissatisfaction sometimes, but where I once was content to dream and chose dreams over life, I am not unfulfilled by empty dreams. It seems useless to dream endlessly of certain things that have not occurred, yet without dreaming, I am not me.

So how do I keep the two happy without upsetting the delicate balance of each?