Archive for August, 2007

These are some darn fine kid’s books, but the movie looks . . .

Posted in YA Books on August 24, 2007 by Matt

The Dark is Rising

So I was over at a friend’s house the other day and saw this battered, beaten up old copy of a children’s novel from seventies. The cover was this great, frightening mural of scratchy illustrations depicting charging horses and cloaked ghost-men. The title on the cover was The Dark is Rising.

Now for those of you who’ve seen the trailer for the new movie of the same name – stop a moment and take a breath. This book is actually part of a fantastic series of books by Susan Cooper that have little to no resemblance to the teeny-angst shown in the trailer. Granted, the movie seems to have beefed up its credentials by casting Ian McShane (the brit we love to hate from Deadwood) and Christopher Eccleston (Dr. Who!), but still the whole MTV opening makes me a wee bit queasy.

But back to the books and that great cover. Here’s the thing – that cover is spooky. Genuinely spooky. If I were a young adult I’d totally pick it up and proudly brandish it as antidote to all those Gossip Girl pink and baby blue books that are littering sis’s desktop. In fact, I was so impressed by the sheer presentation I ran out to the local bookseller and bought me a copy. Only, the modern cover is nowhere near as cool. It’s slick, sure. But scary, nah.

Bring back the scary says I. And go read these books.


Outline . . . Shmoutline!

Posted in Powerless, Writing on August 20, 2007 by Matt

I started the second Powerless book today and it took about a page and a half before I was reminded why I don’t outline. I’ve already deviated from the course I set for myself and you know what? That’s fine by me.

I know some authors who are meticulous outliners, top-notch strategic planners, and it works for them. But I really can do no more than follow LOOSE notes or scribbled ideas. There is just a certain kind of creative energy that I get when I am actually in the middle of a paragraph – a freedom that doesn’t come to me when I’m trying to think “big picture”.

The only other time I get that kind of idea storm is . . . well, when I’m in the tub. I know, I know. The rubber ducky is my muse.

A few weeks back from Clarion . . . just don’t ask me about it.

Posted in Clarion on August 20, 2007 by Matt

Cause I don’t yet know.  Not yet.  Maybe later.  Maybe.

That’s not to say that there aren’t things that I’ll miss.  Here’s a few:

Running through the eucalyptus forest in the early morning.

Evening walks to the ocean bluff.

Being surrounded by excited, talented people dedicated to the same things I am.

I won’t, however, miss the food.  I can swear to that.

More to come on this topic as I process it.

Blogging again for the first time . . .

Posted in Uncategorized on August 11, 2007 by Matt

Well it’s a start at least.  I’ve tried this before and I admit that the last go-around was a bit one sided.  I was distant, non-committal and would disappear for days or even weeks on end.  But I’m a different person now. Honest.  I’ve learned from my mistakes and I can be the blogger you deserve.

So c’mon.  Let me hear you say it – You had me at ‘Blog’.