Ring Rant

25 August 2002

Days left to deadline: 6.

Days left to final draft goal date: 4.

Pages of The World Builders written (total): 143. (Some work on the new ending, some more descriptive work.)

Less than a week now. I can definitely do this. I mean, we've known that for awhile, but really, it'll be good, I'll be happy with it. Neat. I wrote a synopsis last night -- "a synopsis," you will note, is a good deal more like "an answer" than like "the answer." I was singing synopsis carols as I wrote it. I'm not sure whether that's a really bad sign or not. Anyway, you can read it here. Let me know if you dislike it in general or if you dislike parts of it. I won't be offended, especially if you say "I know your book isn't lame, but this part makes it sound really lame."

(I don't actually expect to get any responses here. Heathah is the only one who said anything about my last synopses. Still, for what it's worth.)

(Now I'm going to wander around singing "For What It's Worth" for the rest of the morning.)

Sarah's bridesmaid present glass hanging thing is making rainbows on our floor. I am fonder of it than when it was not yet making rainbows.

Last night Mark flipped on the movie of "Brave New World." He watched Leonard Nimoy wearing my grandma's church suits. Then he flipped it off. Er. You know what I mean. And I watched Disney's version of "A Ring of Endless Light." ARGHHHHHH. A Ring of Endless Light is a Madeleine L'Engle novel. "What was that one about?" Timprov asked me this morning, trying to place it. "Death," I said, and he rolled his eyes at me. "Of course it's about death, it's a children's book. They're all about death." The movie, however, was not about death. The movie was about very, very low-budget environmentalism. I knew they would ruin the book -- I watched it in train wreck mode. I had suspected they would make Vicky, not Suzie, The Cute One, and they did. I had not suspected that they would cut John and the Rodney family, make the Austin parents absent and snotty, gratuitously insert Zachary's father, change Adam from a mature and thoughtful young man to a teenage doofboy. I was not surprised by this, nor by the cheesy dolphin graphics. What really upset me, though, is that they overturned the message of the book completely. I thought they would miss it; they managed to oppose it.


In the book, for example, the Austins' and the Rodneys' head-on, honest, straightforward dealings with death and grief were in direct contrast to Zachary's evasions and suicidal flirtations. There was no such contrast in this movie. Nobody was honest about much of anything. In the book, geeks could be attractive, and science, religion, and art could coexist without problems. In the movie, no.

Philip and I talked, awhile ago, about how rare it is for TV and movie families to genuinely care about each other. If there is one thing that always, always happens in a Madeleine L'Engle book, it is that the reader knows the families love each other, even when they fight, even when giant brains have them trapped in columns of...yeah, okay, well, whatever. You always know they love each other. That was really muted in the movie, when it was there at all. There were some scenes where you could tell they were trying to show how special things were with Vicky and Grandfather, but he wasn't even willing to be honest with her about his leukemia. That changes a relationship where he respects her and her poems into one where he patronizes her. I've been privileged to have an adult relationship with grandparents and great-grandparents, and with great-aunts and -uncles. I know that it's possible to have an adult relationship of that type, and a trusting relationship, without having a relationship that's really of equals. But nobody treated Vicky like an adult in the movie, and she didn't act like one. Kind of messes with the coming-of-age part of that coming-of-age story.


Ah well. I finished The British Folklorists and moved on to Kate Wilhelm's Abyss (no "the" -- I got it wrong the other day on my book list). I think it's a good sign that I'm more interested in my book than in other people's right now, but I do want to see where she goes with this. It's one of her earlier works.

Mark and I went out on a date for tea yesterday afternoon. The tea shop people were kind of dorks, but the scones were very, very happy things, curranty, with creme fraiche and lemon curd and raspberry preserves for on them. And we shared a quite happy pot of decaf Earl Gray. I was a little sad, as we wandered through the knickknacky portion of the tea shop, because they had teacups and saucers, and I looked at them and thought of my grandmother, the one I never knew. She collected teacups and saucers, and I thought if she had lived I probably would have gotten used to looking for them all the time, to picking out special ones that she would have liked, that would have been to her taste. I never got to do that. I picked out one with delicate blue flowers, but I didn't buy it, because things are not as they could have been, and buying a teacup wouldn't change that.

Ah well. Timprov wasn't doing very well when I woke up this morning, so I'm hoping that good food will help. I've been thinking about having a celebration for sending out the book. It'll be after WorldCon. I know that for the last one, we met at Au Coquelet and proceeded to Long Life, but, well, that worked out pretty well, and I'm thinking it might be a plan for this one, too. I haven't contacted anyone about it yet, though, and I might not until after WorldCon. We'll see.

On the commercial rant from yesterday -- the other commercial that really amuses me is Daimler-Chrysler's latest. The one where they talk about how Americans are used to borrowing other people's stuff and making it their own. And the general idea is, we're the same guys who did hot dogs and rocket science, buy our cars. But I really don't think that "German rocket science" is the best association in the world. I don't think you want people associating them with Von Braun and "We aim for the stars, but sometimes we hit London." "We bombed the crap out of your allies, buy our cars!" I mean, I don't blame modern Germans for what Germans of the 40s did...but I do blame them for bringing it up and making the association themselves!

I have a rant brewing -- well, less a rant than something more gentle. A musing, one might say. I have some thoughts brewing about writing and violence and things we write about but don't approve of. But I don't really have the time for it this morning, so I'm going to save it for tomorrow. And work on the book, of course. Take care.

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