Thursday, May 22, 2014

How I Found the Write Path

Carrie Butler, who often gives helpful advice to writers on her blog, posed an interesting challenge: write a letter to a younger version of yourself, when you first started writing.

Dear self:

Right now, you’re writing as a way to relieve the frustrations and disappointments in life. Keep at it. One day you’ll finish the novel you’re writing. After that, you’ll realize you need to get past that and go on to write other short stories and novels. It’s not that what you’re writing right now is so horrible. It’s that you’ll grow so much in this skill, you won’t have trouble leaving it behind to go on to greater things.

Keep on reading and watching what you love: science fiction and fantasy. You’ll read The Lord of the Rings again someday, believe it or not. Make sure to watch the reruns of Star Trek: The Next Generation. (I know, it’s still playing, but keep an eye out for reruns.) When the SciFi channel shows their version of the really weird movie Dunewatch it and note the phrase, “The sleeper must awaken.” That is what will happen to your life.

You will become the person you never imagined you would be: the one who goes to conventions and conferences and pitches your manuscript to professionals. Watch out for females who seem to have a sexual attraction to you. This is not ego; this is a lifestyle among people who travel frequently, and it is a snare to avoid.

Do not be offended at the lack of capitalization after colons or the single spaces after periods in this letter. Fads come and go, even in capitalization and punctuation. This, perhaps more than anything else, is evidence that this letter is from the future. No investment or job advice is included, since that would alter the timeline.


Mark Murata
“I give permission for my entry to be included in the e-book compilation without royalties and/or separate compensation.”

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Review of Godzilla

I saw the new Godzilla movie. He gets along so swimmingly, it could be subtitled, Godzilla Joins the Navy.  If you like giant monster movies, you’ll want to see it. If you don’t get this genre, there’s nothing really new about it to drag you in. Although, they’re a little coy with this movie: often we just see the plates on Godzilla’s back or its tail, rather than a full view of the monster.

Okay, so what follows are spoilers, kind of. Instead of summarizing the plot, I’ll make a few wry comments. As is typical with Godzilla movies, the initial human interest scenes before any monster appears are rather boring. Yes, they do need to set up the why behind what’s happening, but the humans just are not interesting when you came to see a monster smash skyscrapers.

I’ll reveal that Godzilla fights two monsters, both of which reminded me of the monster from Cloverfield. So the makers of this movie can think of it as Godzilla vs. Cloverfield.

The marketing has been odd. The military speech in the trailer above does not occur in the movie. And the scene at the end that reveals Godzilla wasn’t in the movie either.

Also, the second trailer above makes it look like the Statue of Liberty was damaged, which made me wonder how Godzilla got into the Atlantic, but that turned out not to be right. And I don’t remember the phone conversation between the husband and wife that way. It was more like he simply told her to stay put (which didn’t turn out to be the greatest idea).

Elizabeth Olson (the older sister of the Olson twins) is rather striking. They do such intense close ups, her eyes rival the size of the monster.

So have fun with Godzilla Joins the Navy or Godzilla vs. Cloverfield or Godzilla vs. Elizabeth Olson’s Eyes

Monday, May 5, 2014

Robin Hood

Last week I attended a middle school play. Among other performances were eighth graders who recited their own compositions on historical figures like Augustine and Eleanor of Aquitaine. There were also recitations of Bible verses and Shakespearean quotations. The main part of it was a play (really a series of mini-plays) on the adventures of Robin Hood.

I was having more difficulty with my new camera than I should have, so the only presentable picture is this one, showing the hand-sewn costumes for some of the female players.

Obviously, this doesn’t do the costumes justice, and it’s the typical awkward sort of picture that shows more of the background than the people. But this was a good evening with all the students having to play their parts, acting out surprisingly long lines of dialog by memory.

In a previous entry, I showed the head of Covenant Christian Middle School, Sara Loudon, in period dress.  


Someone took a much better picture. It’s so good, I suspect this was done during rehearsal.

Click to enlarge

At the play, it took me a few moments to realize the girl was Robin Hood and the guy was Little John. Shrug. 


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