24 Jun 2011

Jane Eyre - again!

And this one looks very promising indeed. I've seen every movie/TV version of Jane Eyre, and usually it doesn't really fit with the image I have in my head ... how can it? But I love Jane Eyre and will give this one a shot. The reviews are really good, so fingers crossed!

22 Jun 2011

At the movies

I went to the movies this weekend. I love movies, and don't mind seeing two or three in a row, provided I get a chance to pee and fill up on popcorn in intermissions. I will always be grateful that Norwegian TV in the 6o's and 70's only had one channel - there was a movie on Saturday, a theatre show every Tuesday, a detective show on Fridays and the Opera on Sundays afternoon (A young Placido Domingo in Tosca made me fall in love with ... opera. Pavarottis spindly legs just didn't hold the same attraction. And Placidos voice was better too). Why I'm grateful? Well, if there had been such access to movies and TV that we have now, I doubt if I would have read as much as I did, and subsequently become a writer. I'd be a couch potato of huge dimensions ...
But we did have the movie theatre in town, and every Saturday afternoon we'd go. The Tarzan movies - you never quite forget Johnny Weismuller, do you? Or Ben Hur. I cried for days after that one.
Sorry, I was going to tell about this weeks movies.

Source Code. Poor Jake Gyllenhaal is stuck in quantum physics. He's re-living the last eight minutes of a dead man's life, to stop a terrorist attack. Not so bad, actually. Jake is cute and you do feel sorry for the poor man. It's sad, so if you're going to the movies to see happy endings and song birds, not so much.
 X- men First Class. Not a fan. The movie was okay, and I would have enjoyed it more if it hadn't been a prequel because then I could have looked forward to the sequel. So I don'l like prequels. Why would you make three good movies about X-men, then go back and make a film about something we already know? I don't see the point, really. It feels like the producers and the director sat down, couldn't come up with a good story for number 4, and then made a prequel, because there is loads of fans and money to be made.
I haven't seen the latest Star Wars movies for the same reason. I don't want to know what made Magnetor og Darth Vader bad - I already know most of it through the first movies. So no, thanks

I also see DVD's ... I run old movies on the computer when I write, but sometimes I see new releases.

 The Tourist. I looked forward to this for a long time. Johnny Depp and Angelina - smoking hot! But then it wasn't. It was about as interesting as a fizzed out soda.  Where was the chemistry? It was just sad, and I think the story is to blame. It seemed like a good idea, but when you figure out the plot after ten minutes of movie, there's something not right. Perhaps the chemistry got lost because of that. There was a debate among critics whether this was a comedy or a drama - or perhaps a thriller?

But I have to say I find the name of the director inspiring: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck ...

Morning Glory. Funny and enjoyable. Rachel McAdams is like the Energizer bunny on esspresso, but she is enthusiastic and sweet,  Harrison Ford charmingly grumpy and Diane Keaton in good form. I read critics saying the movie didn't show news as serious enough. Of course it didn't - it's a comedy!
That's all folks!

17 Jun 2011

Old computers never dies ...

I've spent half the day in the attic. Not something I do if I can avoid it - it's huge, dark, dusty and I've co-written a horror story about it. It didn't help to write about it, I still get spooked.
But the other day I pulled an old book out of my shelves. It was the first book we got published - way back in 1995. And I'm no different from other writers, I like to have my books in the book shelves where I can see them. I never read them, only I did now.
And it wasn't half bad. There's a few beginner's follies and some weak language, but on the whole the story works. And I wanted to take a look at the original manuscript, perhaps tweak a few things, and perhaps even put it out there as an e-book. Just to see how it would be received.
Except I can't find the bloody manuscript.
Back when we wrote it, we did a first draft with pen and paper, then I put it in the computer - it was back in my secretarial days. (One that looked like this one). Unfortunately, I didn't take any backup. Or if I did, I can't remember where the disks are. But the computer is somewhere in the attic, and so the manuscript should be retrieveable. If I can find the thing.
I'm pretty sure it is because since I don't throw away computers, there's at least four of them lurking up there. There's the small Toshiba we wrote two crime novels on, there's the 17'' Acer that I spilled diet coke on, and there's a humongous stationary computer - the screen alone takes half a room. I know I should get rid of all of them, and I don't keep them for sentimental reasons. I'm just not comfortable with throwing away something with so much personal information on it.
If I had only remembered to copy everything on the old harddrive to the new, I'd be okay and I'd never had to rummage through the attic anymore. Also, I'd never have to panick when I spill something on my computer. Or something like this happens:

And no, I don't have cats. This also happens with children and dogs, or even with just me in the room ...
Nowadays, I copy my most important manuscripts on my smart phone - how cool is that? I've got six manuscripst on my phone, and it's nice knowing they are there. I also have program that copies everthing to a server outside my computer. Absolutely recommended - use DropBox or something similiar. Mine is curtesy of the internet provider - it costs very little and I've already extracted a few documents from it... 

13 Jun 2011

From a serial writers diary ...

I'm almost up to speed on my new plan. I was heading for 1500 words a day, and I have managed on average about 1340. That's a lot better than I was afraid of before I did the math.
There's no use getting stressed about not hitting the expected goal here because Life happens, and some days there will be fewer hours for writing. That's just the way it is.
Besides I can't write all the time.
My brain needs some R & R - or at least time to think about the story, to let it unfold, to mature. Otherwise I just keep going and then I write all sorts of stuff that has nothing to do with the mainstory, and I have to rewrite more than I like.
So what happened to ruin my average?

There was the toilet that needed replacing, the painter who came to look at the windows (they are in desperate need of paint. The windows, not the guy), and the tileguy, the one who will repair the wonky bathroom floor (the tiles keep falling off - or would that be up, since it's the tiles on the floor?) Anyway, it's all those little practical things that seems to take so much time and effort, and they just have to be done.
The trick is to write as much as possible despite all the disturbances.
I put earplugs in my ear, I write until 5 o'clock in the morning, and I sit outside in the sunshine with my notebook and pencil, and loads of coffee. 
But not always.
Today I haven't actually opened any manuscript. The entire day. That's very, very unusual.  I did some research, went to see a big house and got a lovely tour of the building. I bought some books.
So yes, I did do some work. I just didn't write.
And tomorrow I'm going to the annual summer party at my publishers. To meet other writers, eat good food, get a sunburn (actually it's going to rain, but there will be plenty of sunshine nonetheless).
So not much writing tomorrow either.

2 Jun 2011

On writing ...

Advice on writing can be iffy. I this article in The Guardian a bunch of writers have been asked to give their best advice to other writers or writers in the make. Take a look: Ten rules for writing fiction. Some of these advices are obvious - write and read - others are of the more humorous type: Never go to London. Never go anywhere. I'm always curious about how other writers work. It's a question I've asked lots of fellow writers. Some know excactly how they work, others just start on page one and keep going. The only thing writers have in common, is that none of them work in the same way. After all, it's not about the pen, or the chair and desk, what computer you  use, the lucky troll on the bookshelf, or how many words per day. (There's alway someone who writes faster than you, anyway)  It's not about how you organize the plot, or fine tune your characters or even tell your story. 
It's about writing until your fingers ache. And then you write some more. And sooner or later it will all fall into place.
That's the only way to get your own voice, and all the writing classes, books on writing or good advice in the world can't replace actually writing.
But advices are nice to read. I'm always inspired by other writers advice because it tells me that other writers struggle with the same things and that we would all like to find an easier way to do the job. 
Except it's not supposed to be easy. It's supposed to be demanding, challenging, inspiring and making fingers ache. If not, none of us would have bothered working with this.
So good luck and keep writing!