Archive for October 15th, 2009

Heading for Albuquerque

At PDX, heading for Albuquerque for a square dance event.

Right after my last post about doing more rewriting than writing, I got another rewrite request — this one a second request on a story I’d already rewritten for the same market. I rewrote it as requested and sent it in, and shortly received some more feedback. Admittedly it was only a few nits, but I put my foot down and said no, that’s it, take it or leave it. Fortunately the editor took this response well.

Now I’m back onto the YA novel based on 3 previous short stories. Right now I’m in the “noodling and notes” phase, thinking out loud on paper (as it were) about the characters and setting and plot. I’ll be needing to do a bunch of research as well, but that’s not going to happen during this trip.

We’ve seen a lot of live theatre recently. Chicago’s “Second Story” troupe did a performance for the opening of Wordstock, a mix of music and story-reading that was kind of like a live version of This American Life but not quite so noodly. The first couple of stories were lots of fun, but the last one was quite sordid and we bailed. “Becky’s New Car” at Artists’ Rep was excellent, hilarious and poignant by turns with some brilliant performances — recommended.

Last night we saw the “Star Wars in Concert” extravaganza at the Rose Garden arena. We worried at first that we were in the wrong place or on the wrong night, because the crowd was clearly more sporty than geeky, but it turned out there was also a Trail Blazers basketball game at the coliseum next door. The Star Wars crowd was geekier and heavy with the eight-to-ten-year-old set, many of them in costume. It made me regret that I hadn’t had Star Wars to play with when I was eight.

The performance itself was spectacular — scenes from all six movies on a humungous LED screen while a tremendous live orchestra played a series of symphonic suites from the films, all held together by Anthony Daniels telling the story. Tons of fun, and it was clear that the Imperial March was everyone’s favorite. (“We are the Empire, we’re big and we’re mean / We are Darth Vader’s destruction machine / When we engage the rebellion in war / We’ll strew the galaxy with gore / ‘Til the last man is dead.”)

Seeing this summary of the six movies in two hours really brought home just how disappointing the prequels were. The scenes from the original trilogy were not as technically proficient, but the scenes from the prequels lacked soul, heart, authenticity — even with most of the dialogue silenced, you could still see how flat the acting was. Especially that pouty kid with the stupid goggles.