A personal diary keeping people abreast of what I am working on writing-wise.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004


I think we should re-adopt the phrase "in love" to take over the more serious crushes we have in our life. It's become so heavy, we've lost the innocence of the phrase. It occurred to me while watching Merchant Ivory's The Europeans, where Lee Remick's character often refers to the young boy who is "in love" with her, and in that context--and in the context of most period society dramas, including I believe the oft-mentioned Nancy Mitford books--it's completely allowable. In fact, the stories themselves would not even exist without these heartfelt interactions. I mean, I have crushes like mad; the list of girls I have crushes on would fill this blog--but there a couple who I wouldn't mind being able to distinguish as the ones I am "in love" with, since they are more special.

Who are they? Wouldn't you like to know!

And, of course, I would extend this to movie stars, as well. Because I am completely in love with Jeanne Moreau.

Christopher McQuain (who unbeknownst to himself made a very obscure cameo in yesterday's section of The Everlasting, filling the role of a snotty music reporter) gave me a copy of Tony Richardson's 1966 film Mademoiselle on DVD for my birthday. Birthday presents of movies or books or even albums that you have never heard of but that completely fit your sensibility are the best, and so Chris wins big time with Mademoiselle.

Jeanne Moreau plays the title character, a teacher exiled to a small village in France where she is completely alone and totally out of place. As one character suggests, in Paris she would be just another woman, but in their town, she is a goddess. What they don't know is that she is behind the recent spate of arson that has plagued the village, and as the film opens, she has escalated her crimes to include flooding the farm of a dwarf who lives nearby. The townspeople are more than happy to blame it on the Italian who is spending his days chopping down trees and pleasuring their wives, and as we discover, they aren't too far off the mark. The crime spree is a result of the pent-up desire the mademoiselle has for Manou, the hunky working man.

The script for Mademoiselle is by Jean Genet, and though I have never read his work (what am I? a goth?), this film seems right in line with what I know about him. Mademoiselle is about the politics of desire and what it will drive people to. Moreau's life in exile is an unnatural one, and as a result, she rails against her fellow citizens and against nature itself (right after she causes the floods, she smashes a nestful of tiny bird eggs in her bare hand, just because she can). The release of her sexual tension follows immediately after her worst attack on the village, and it has dire consequences for the source of her release. The games of humiliation she plays with Manou in the forest are primal, taking her to that natural state she has longed for, giving her the strength to stand back up and leave the town that oppresses her.

Current Soundtrack: Kings of Convenience, Riot on an Empty Street

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website

Saturday, June 26, 2004


Some quick capsule music reviews:

Klang, No Sound Is Heard: Perhaps the most pleasant surprise so far this year, if only because I expected it to not be very good. This is Donna Matthews from Elastica's new band, her lo-fi outfit. Some live MP3s they released last year were pretty unremarkable, but I managed to get a cheap vinyl copy of this minialbum and gave it a shot. Klang is a charming affair. It's not the spiky new wave of Matthews' former outfit, but more like a Sonic Youth-inspired flipside of the same. Little ambient drones, simple vocals, and a rambling nature that seems more exploratory than lost. A quiet little earworm worth tracking down.

Divine Comedy, b-sides to "Absent Friends": My favorite b-sides of the moment come courtesy of the title track of the latest Divine Comedy album. "Anthem for Bored Youth" (on the 7") and "Mr. Right" (on the two-track CD) are the sort of witty narratives that defined the band in their heyday, and have a more literate humor than can be found on recent tracks like "My Imaginary Friend" and "The Happy Goth."

The Ordinary Boys, Over The Counter Culture vs. The Killers, Hot Fuss: Two young bands tipped for greatness. Of the two, I find the Boys more agreeable. Their debut album reminds me of Ash's Trailer, a young hodgepodge that they need to get out of their system that's fun for what it is, but is only the first step towards them being truly great next time ("Just a Song," for instance, points to less frenzied depths, with a vocal style that reminds me of Strangelove and Ballroom, while other tracks remind me a tad of Marion). They follow a very traditional model of youthful British boys with snot on their guitars, but it feels refreshingly unpretentious right about now. The Killers, on the other hand, seem a couple of a paces behind. They are more straight ahead, reminiscent of a late '80s college rock American band. They have one truly godawful track on the record ("Glamourous Indie Rock & Roll/Change Your Mind"), some pretty cool ones ("Jenny Was a Friend of Mine," "Smile Like You Mean It"), and the rest are halfway decent. It's all a bit thin, though. It makes me think this was what Interpol might have sounded like two years before Bright Lights, and unlike The Ordinary Boys, I think The Killers may have been better off getting this out of their system in private.

Brandy, Afrodisiac: I looked into this because Timbaland did the bulk of the production, and I try to keep my ear on whatever the man does. He makes a sample of Coldplay's "Clocks" sound good on one of the songs here, so you know he has magic. Also, the tracks by producer Kanye West truly reveal how hollow West's work is beyond a couple of songs; he seems so very small next to Tim. Anyway, a great r&b record, probably my favorite so far this year, which is really saying something since I've never cared for Brandy before. Ian Shaughnessy does a track-by-track much better than I could, so check his out. I completely disagree with him about "Who I Am" as an opener, though; while as a song removed from the whole it might not be much, as the intro to the album, I think it's perfect. It's like a statement of intent, laying the themes out for the listener ahead of time. A good choice in my mind.

The Cure, The Cure:I didn't have high hopes for this album. Various television performances of "The End of the World" left me pretty cold. It sounded like The Cure doing a bad version of themselves from ten years ago. Thankfully, this is not how the whole record sounds. Instead, we get an angry Robert Smith and a dirtier, rougher production, with shades of Teutonic chilliness. Jen De Guzman and I seem in complete agreement that it's like a whole disc of the grouchier, more abstract cuts from Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me and Wish (in fact, I think she stole the observation about how many times Bob says "fuck" from me!). I wouldn't have minded a couple of pop morsels, but hey, if Bob wants to be pissed off, I'm not going to talk him down.

I'm also enjoying the new Beastie Boys (the album Hello Nasty was pretending to be) and the new Cowboy Junkies (a bit of the same old, same old, though—the 'Neath Your Covers disc that comes with, featuring versions of Cure and Neil Young songs, is worth the price of adission).

UPDATE FROM YESTERDAY: Sign a petition against Bush's Kerry-is-Hitler ad here.

Current Soundtrack: The abovementioned Klang and Ordinary Boys

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website

Friday, June 25, 2004


So, like a lot of good little liberals, I saw Fahrenheit 9/11 today. Beyond my interest in the topic, I felt it was a good thing to send a message with my money that Americans do want to see films like this, that we do want more than one point of view (much the same way Christians did with Passion of the Christ, though I have a feeling they're even better at mobilizing). I have my problems with Moore, sure, and it irks me that Disney giving him the boot proved most people don't know what censorship actually is, but then most people don't know what irony is and my life is built on a solid base of contempt for humanity anyway, so what do I care?

Anyway, I was shocked to arrive 45 minutes before the first showing and see the crowd. I had anticipated a good turnout, but I was gambling that 11:45 on a Friday morning would be less crazy than later showings on the weekend. Portland is a rather liberal town and I expected quite a bit of the self-righteous jackass element to show up and make the screenings a free-for-all. Unfortunately, due to Fandango and apparently affluent white folk ready to pay an extra buck per ticket, about half the screenings were already sold out and I had to go to the second one. I'm happy to report, though, that there was only one loud idiot chiming in during the film, and she shut up as the movie got serious, before I could point out to her that I had paid for the film to give me commentary, not her. (Though, frankly, I enjoyed the irony of someone loudly declaring that Metallica were sell-outs at the end of the trailer for their forthcoming documentary before watching a man who makes for-profit movies about how corporations are bad and then goes to one of the worst to get funding.)

And I guess since I am already off track from the movie itself, I should note that other shenanigans were at work. About 20 minutes into the film, the screen went blank, the lights came on, and the most gentle fire alarm I've ever heard went off. A recorded voice actually asked us politely to leave! Everyone did, but as soon as we hit the street they were telling us to go back in. False alarm, or politically minded monkeywrenching?

The movie itself: I enjoyed Fahrenheit 9/11. Of the Michael Moore movies I've seen, it's the most well made. It's largely down to the fact that the character of Michael Moore that he cultivates for himself was largely absent. He was letting the facts drive the bus. There was a lot of information I was not aware of, and some of the personal stories told were emotionally devastating.

I would, however, quibble with Moore's technique. While I understand that filling the first quarter or so with his cheap jokes has the effect of lulling us into a sense of comfort before suckerpunching us with the hard stuff, and thus possibly increasing its effectiveness, I take issue with it for two reasons. (1) It suggests a lack of faith in the power of the footage and the facts he has that he needs to bring out the dancing monkey to get us on his side, and (2) it stacks the deck against him as far as changing the mind of anyone that is not already in his choir.

Now, I know when he gets serious, it's quite effective and hard for an intelligent person to discount--hell, I think he made a film that is comparable to Hearts and Minds when it comes to message and impact--but that's if they are still putting any stock in what he's saying. By showing the extremity of his Bush bias and making fun of the man so ruthlessly (and, yes, deservedly), he plays into the hands of the people who see him as a sensationalist muckraker. I could see a Republican audience listening to his voiceover about the last three years being a dream and puzzling over Bush's thought processes and deciding they are watching a film by a man with an axe to grind and tuning out, letting it color the real journalism that works its way into Fahrenheit 9/11 later. (Sidenote: This applies to Mel Gibson and Passion of the Christ, as well. Wouldn't your faith be better served by showing the good teachings of Jesus, rather than fetishizing his suffering?)

I'm normally not one to hold an artist responsible for an audience not getting it, but only if I feel the artist has considered how he or she is presenting the art. Were enough pieces given for the audience to put it together if they expend the required effort? In Moore's case, yes, there are the pieces there, but the way he tosses them out may seem top cavalier, and he might have considered that more if he really wanted to make a film that could sway people and inform them.

There are also a couple of moments of exploitation. Mainly, the grieving mother of a lost soldier when she breaks down in front of the White House. If Moore were the compassionate man he portrays himself as, wouldn't he walk into frame and give the woman some support, rather than letting her weep for an extended period of time? It's hard not to imagine him standing back, rubbing his unkempt beard, thinking, "Oh, this will play great in the sticks."

Still, go see Fahrenheit 9/11. It's worth it. It's enlightening, and certainly not as muddled as the message currently running on George Bush's website. Seriously, what is he trying to say with his "The Faces of Kerry's Democratic Party" campaign? Am I missing it because I agree with what everyone in the clip says? And what is the deal with the Hitler imagery? It's like he's comparing himself to Hitler. The MoveOn.org tag made me wonder if it was some kind of computer hacking, to be honest, just because it makes no sense. And if the Bush camp is attempting to compare Kerry to Hitler, then absolute shame on them.

Current Soundtrack: The Cure, live at Coachella 5-2-04

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website

Tuesday, June 22, 2004


The June installment of "Can You Picture That?" is now up at Oni Press. I review City of God and Trainspotting.

I turned in Legal Drug vol. 2 last night...about two weeks early.

Current Soundtrack: Jane Birkin, The Best of...

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website

Monday, June 21, 2004


I found the tape I made for myself a couple of years ago to be my "get in the mood" listening for The Everlasting. I know I posted some of these choices earlier, but here is the full list of what was on my stereo in the beginning phases. (And I managed to get my tape player working again, so I can attest this mix is still effective.)

Manics - The Everlasting
Mansun - Legacy
T. Rex - Cosmic Dancer
Suede - The Wild Ones
Lara Michell - Crimson Flag
Miss Red Flowers - Velvet
Embrace - My Weakness Is None of Your Business
James - Waltzing Along
Small Faces - Autumn Stone
Gene - Drawn to the Deep End
Geneva - Closer to the Stars
Geneva - No One Speaks

Tindersticks - The Not Knowing
Suede - The 2 of Us
Rialto - Untouchable
Venus In Furs - Tumbling Down
Suede - Indian Strings
Aztec Camera - Stray
Primal Scream - I'm Losing More Than I'll Ever Have
Low - Lord, Can You Hear Me?
Leslie Gore - Sunshine, Lollipos, & Rainbows
Herman's Hermits - The End of the World
Depeche Mode - Stories of Old
[deleted track for space: Spiritualized - Broken Heart]
Gene - Save Me I'm Yours


I finished the first draft of Legal Drug vol. 2 about fifteen minutes ago. Now I am off to answer some comics-related questions for the 2005 Novel & Short Story Writer's Market.

Current Soundtrack: the printer asking for paper

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website

Saturday, June 19, 2004


Gravitation vol. 9 was turned in last Monday, right on time; I've started Legal Drug volume 2 for the end of the month. The plan is to follow it with the next Ai Yori Aoshi and Gravitaton books by the end of July, because the third Clamp School Paranormal Investigators novel is due at the end of August--which means I need to get as much of The Everlasting done as humanly possible, too, in case the Tokyopop work sucks that entire month away from me.

I finished reading Grosse Pointe Girl, and I wasn't as happy with this edition as I was with the slimmer one Sarah published locally. They took out one of the more effective chapters, where the girls go to Mexico on a senior trip or somesuch, and they are nearly raped by a cabbie. It leant some teeth to the book and gave some consequences to their behavior. Plus, the final chapter of the high school reunion, originally presented as a poem, felt more tacked on in the longer version and infused with pop psychology that didn't ring true. It's still a good book, don't get me wrong, I just didn't feel as satisfied with it. (For a view of someone who totally disagrees, check Ian Shaugnessy's Falling Is Funny for 6/2.)

I have started reading the Paradise Kiss manga, though, and am really enjoying it. Ai Yazawa's misfit art students are more well-rounded than I would have expected from a punk-rock fashion comic. They are used comically, to be sure, but they are also real people and the story has honest emotions. One of the better soap opera mangas to be imported to the States, up there with Peach Girl, Ai Yori Aoshi, and Sensual Phrase.

Current Soundtrack: Thunderclap Newman, Hollywood Dream; Belle & Sebastian, Tigermilk

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website

Thursday, June 17, 2004


So, yesterday, I got to the end of what I was working on, and I realized I had wrapped part I of The Everlasting. It's a three part book (one part per relationship), and granted, I had the most work done on this section of any when I began the attack two-and-a-half weeks ago, but I had no idea I was this close.

Part I, "The Not Knowing," clocks in at 53,250 words. Which I think is pretty good. Numbers aren't my thing. Maybe my friends who know such things can reassure me. (Jen D?)

Better yet, I already had the first chapter of Part II done. So, "Never Alive Until Twenty-Five" is already on its way. Weirdly, yesterday was my birthday, and it's also Lance's birthday at this point in the story. So, happy to us. (Kelly Sue thinks that's my anecdote for Publisher's Weekly. I'm not sure if she was making fun of me or them.)

This entry has 3 lines that begin with "so."

Current Soundtrack: Supergrass, Supergrass Is 10 (Best of 1994-2004)

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website

Wednesday, June 16, 2004


So, apparently Ingmar Bergman worked for nine years with little success, making films that got some decent critical reaction in Sweden but did poor box office and never found a home in foreign markets. His studio told him it was do-or-die time, so in 1955, he made Smiles of a Summer Night. While he had dabbled in comedies about romance and societal entanglements previously, Smiles was where he got it right, and it not only became a huge success in Sweden, but wowed them at Cannes and traveled the world. And it's deserved. It's a smart period piece that inspires laughs through behavior rather than quick one liners (though, there are some of those). The characters are endearing, even when they aren't entirely likeable. And the comedy often laughs in the face of danger, teases of the bleakness that Bergman is more routinely known for.

People have expressed a lot of sentiments to me lately, regarding the alleged bravery of my striking out to write. Several have noted their own desire to do the same, but not sure if they can or should. I know of at least one person older than me lamenting that his film career has yet to zoom forth. And all I can think is it took one of the most renowned filmmakers of all time nine years to finally strike gold, so is a year or two more than expected really so long? I also recall being a young editor at Dark Horse, annoyed that Paul Pope was already producing amazing work at a tender young age, and Bob Schreck wisely said not to worry about it, we all work at our own pace.

And it's true. Sometimes you just have to wait until the stars align. The real challenge is to make sure you actually recognize that they have when they do. That's what ultimately separates the art from the pose.

I am crawling my way through my Criterions, watching the discs I have yet to watch. I am alternating. Every other film I view is from the collection, and I am working in order--only jumping the line to watch the new ones. (And, of course, I am skipping what I have already watched.) All told, over the time I've been collecting, I've watched more than half of the 240 or so, and this past Sunday hit #50 of my upward climb--Fellini's And the Ship Sails On.

If Smiles of a Summer Night is a testament to the drive of an artist just finding his way, then And the Ship Sails On is representative of the artist who has stayed the course and remained interesting well into his later life. Made in 1984, And the Ship Sails On is a whirlwind of creativity. Beginning as a black-and-white silent film and fading into gorgeous color, this story of a cruise ship full of opera singers on their way to scatter the ashes of a fallen comrade is visually dazzling. Its narrative is like the ocean itself, rolling on in constant movement, yet always changing in ways we may not expect. European princes, war-torn refugees, and a sick rhino all share the same deck with the singers, and Fellini finds great delight in their unpredictable reactions to one another, exposing human foibles nd the fragile divisions of class. He also takes great care to create an exciting film to look at, one that adopts the artifice of a staged opera to the medium of moving pictures. That's not real water they float on, but undulating, glittering fabric. It comes as no surprise, then, when ultimately the camera pulls back and reveals the Fellini himself behind it.

One of the more remarkable films I have seen in a while.

Current Soundtrack: The Cure, Bloodflowers; Jonathan Fire*Eater, Tremble Under Boom Lights

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website

Friday, June 11, 2004


Can I also just say...

(Click on pic to buy, but more info at the Low site.)

Current soundtrack: Klang, No Sound Heard


Work on The Everlasting today was the writing equivalent of sewing, stitching the patches together to make one pair of pants. Not as productive to word count as the straight-ahead sort of typing, but ultimately has now made it so I have a bigger chunk of solid narrative, and puts me closer to the end of Part I of the book.

I was reading a translation of a Morrissey interview from the French magazine Les Inrockuptibles today, and really dug this bit:

You grew up with vinyl: how do you feel about the dematerialization of music?
I’ve never downloaded any song from the Internet. I was offered an iPod, I didn’t even succeed in opening the box… I find it sad: music deserves efforts. How can you love a record that arrives so easily? When I was a child, accessing to the music I loved was difficult: it was not on radio nor TV… Even if music was my only love, it was a permanent fight to get it into my arms. Without records and their mysteries, I would never have become what I am now. They shaped me, every single I possess is linked to a special feeling. I was touching them for hours, looking at the diamond landing on the record with fascination… I was going downtown by bus, and on my way back, I was reading the covers, I was learning them… I spent afternoons in records shops to look at the credits of each album… All is too easy now: listening to music, creating music, becoming a star… Every 12 year old kid with a computer can make a record - technically at least. Shows like « Pop Idol » have just one goal: to humiliate music, show it as a frivolous, inept, inoffensive thing.

Current Soundtrack: My Bloody Valentine, "Soon;" Depeche Mode, "Everything Counts (Bomb-Beyond-The-Yalu Mix);" Luna, "Season of the Witch"

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website


My review of Tezuka's first volume of Buddha is now online at Artbomb. (Thanks again, Peter. And thanks to Anne Ishii at Vertical for info. And Greg McElhatton. No thanks to Ronald Reagan for fucking up the mail today so I can't get my copy of The Leopard.)

Oh, and can I just say...

Current Soundtrack: Graham Coxon, Happiness in Magazines; Janice Long show, for the Nancy Sinatra "Let Me Kiss You"

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website

Tuesday, June 08, 2004


I forgot to mention that the second Comic Book Idol is underway. The main site should have links of everywhere you need to go. The first assignment was for everyone to draw the online strip I did with Patrick Scherberger as a three-page comic. It's kind of interesting to see the different approaches and styles. Also, I am one of the judges this round, so you can see me be a jerk! And here we thought I was done crushing people's dreams!

Current Soundtrack: 808 State, Outpost Transmission


Last night I went out to see Sarah Grace McCandless read from Grosse Pointe Girl (which I have also been reading again on my own). It was a good time, she has a nice dramatic flair and handled questions with great humor. Was a little too much like Dark Horse old home week, though. Lots of people I can't believe I saw, employees from Christmas past.

I shifted gears over the weekend, moving from The Everlasting to the next installment of "Can You Picture That?" and reading Tezuka's Buddha to review for Artbomb. I started on Gravitation vol. 9 yesterday and got halfway through. I think that's going to be today's focus, too. See if I can just get it finished. That gives me the rest of the week to proofread (my deadline is Monday). It was a new experience doing some work for money.

Current Soundtrack: Cowboy Junkies, The Caution Horses

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website

Friday, June 04, 2004


Christine Norrie has done a silly little cartoon about me. She's a weirdo.

I finished Rucka's A Gentleman's Game: A Queen & Country novel today. Shit. I got to the last 80 or so pages and knew I had to reconfigure my life to devote time to finishing it. It just gets so good, and he puts Tara through hell. I think fans of the comics are going to be thrilled.

Current Soundtrack: Ash, Meltdown live disc


I am going to say this once, and once only. For those of you who write and say stuff like, "I expect to see The Everlasting in stores by Christmas," it's a nice sentiment of encouragement, but it doesn't work that way.

Here is the current plan: the book will be completed by end of summer; I then start shopping that draft to agents; hopefully, one of them will take me and start hawking me to publishers. Maybe we'll get lucky and you'll have it by Christmas next year. I am attempting to not go a comic book route this time. That way was very successful for Cut My Hair, and it made money for myself, Scott Morse, and Oni Press, but there are certain things a prose house can afford me that the comics world can't. First, prestige amongst the prose world. I need it for my ego. Second, resources to do all the other work so that I don't have to. It's that simple. I appreciate the fans I picked up in the comic book markets (and the ones outside), and hopefully it won't matter to you how The Everlasting is released. (This also means no illustrations.)

Also, don't expect any sneak peeks in any great length, so don't ask. Some people have seen the beginning of the book, as I was ready to show material at that time, but I have pulled back and am not sharing right now. This is a monarchy, and I am touchy about that stuff, so don't be offended. It's just how I do things.

It's been a good and productive week. I am happy with how it came out. I introduced a thematic element I was struggling with, and the whole thing is rolling along nicely. Yay!

Current Soundtrack: Camouflage, "Love is a Shield"

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website

Tuesday, June 01, 2004


As promised, Movie Poop Shoot is graciously hosting my "exit interview," as conducted by my pal Denny Haynes. I appreciate Denny's honesty in this piece, and he was given carte blanche to ask me what he saw fit, and I would do my best to answer the queries with the same candor. I didn't name a lot of names, as I thought I would, but as Denny assessed, there is a freedom to the answers since I have nothing to sell on the back of the piece. And the fact that he got quotes from freakin' Brad Meltzer and Chris Staros is quite shocking to me! I mean, I know those guys and they're pals, but I dunno...it's just nice. Denny also put three questions that were excised for space and flow on his blog.

I give Denny a lot of grief, particularly in letters columns, but the guy really is pretty cool. I've never seen him afraid to stand up for what he believes, no matter how unpopular, and he constantly looks for the good in people, no matter how loud I scream that someone is bad, bad, bad! He likes to bait liberals a little too much, but I like to bait everyone too much, so who am I? Anyway, thanks, Denny!

And thanks everyone else who contributed. Very nice things you said.

Current Soundtrack: The Majority Report on Air America

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website


I turned all four of my calendars. I like calendars, and I like turning them. The Audrey Hepburn one has a rather sombre, autumnal photo for June. Audrey with her hair down, in a forest, in a white shirt and black sweater. Kylie probably wins for best of the month, though, for a cut-up collage that actually resembles Faye Wong's To Love album cover.

This also means new picks for the video store. This month, I started with a desire to do Breakfast At Tiffany's and Party Girl, and used that as a theme to pick movies with central female characters that somehow go against the norm or buck convention. Here are my five:

Bay of Angels starring Jeanne Moreau, directed by Jacques Demy

Breakfast At Tiffany's starring Audrey Hepburn, directed by Blake Edwards

Contempt starring Brigitte Bardot, directed by Jean-Luc Godard

Gilda starring Rita Hayworth, directed by Charles Vidor

Party Girl starring Parker Posey, directed by Daisy Von Scherler Mayer

Lessons Learned Working In A Video Store: Pearls of wisdom gleamed from fellow employees--namely, male video store workers with big opinions on movies, and my reactions against said opinions.
(1) They think "sentimental" is a bad word, but I call this bad semantics. All films should be sentimental, as they should express some kind of sentiment. It's schmaltz that is the problem, overdoing it or expressing false sentiment.
(2) Films are manipulative by nature, so once again, branding them "manipulative" as a way to say they are not good is another failure of semantics. What they may be reacting to is when the cracks show, but all films must be edited in order to manipulate, in order to inspire the correct sentiment (see (1) above). This applies to all art; similar points are to be made for the term "self-indulgent."

Jeanne Moreau can manipulate my self-indulgence any day.

Still feeling my way through the new schedule. Did some writing in the wee hours last night, got up around 8 a.m., hit the gym first thing. Not sure if that's the best plan, as it's taking me a bit to get going after that. Maybe a late afternoon gym visit, just before the video store, would be better. I don't know yet.

My favorite bit from the 1:00 am session: "There was something to her smile when she said it, something different when there weren’t skyscrapers in the background behind her, when the air smelled like strange meat and pungent mustard. Lance liked seeing Ashley this way. He liked her free of her responsibilities, the stress that dragged her face down. He often rubbed her shoulders and he could feel it back there, between her shoulder blades, and it would crunch like flakes of cereal underneath his fingers."

Current Soundtrack: Pet Shop Boys, "Flamboyant" mixes; The Pretty Things, SF Sorrow

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website