Archive for February, 2014

Stand by Me set: A Generation Later

Wil Wheaton recently shared this, and I think it’s something so cool that more folks should see it.

I’ve mentioned before how much I like the movie Stand by Me. It easily makes it 0nto several of my Top 10 lists of favorite movies – writer-related movies, King adaptations, stand-alone stories. Point is, it’s a good movie.

There’s this guy that does site visits, filming them now and remixing the footage (side-by-side shots with the original, or fades from the original to the current state and vice versa). You see where this is going, right (even without seeing the screen shot below)…he did this for Stand by Me. And I felt most of the same emotions I did from when I first watched the movie. If you have 15 minutes, it’s worth it, especially if you know the movie fairly well.


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The Beatles (on Sullivan): 10 Feb 2014

Actually, this one is from 50 years ago. Thanks to the Grammys, I was reminded that 50 years ago (yesterday – HA!) the Beatles made their debut on the Ed Sullivan show, officially marking the start of Beatlemania in the states. There are two groups that I still have physical copies of all of the CDs for (of “official” studio albums). I’ve made no bones about one of them being Rush (of which, I also have copies of all their live albums, and solo-projects). The other? In case you couldn’t guess by context: The Beatles.


*Edit to Note: The previously chosen video, of the 1st actual Ed Sullivan show, was pulled, so I’m changing to a 1963 TV Concert, Beatles live on the BBC.

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Repurposing: Predjama Castle

Castles are awesome. Wait, I think I’ve said that before…but it doesn’t change the fact that they are. It’s one of the icons that comes to mind when anyone mentions “fantasy genre.” Castles are where history can come to life (especially if it’s been tirned into a museum), or where history can be brazenly stolen, um, repurposed for writers needing interesting story elements.

Enter Predjema Castle in Slovenia.

Built into a cave. Legend has it that there was a passage through the cave that allowed the castle to still get supplies while under seige.

(The links above go to two different articles – the second is the Wikipedia page. The photos are pulled from, via a google search)

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Jan Res 2014 Day 5

Wednesday. The last day.

This is the day where the schedule flips, with the classroom session being taught in the morning and critique sessions in the afternoon.

I took “Magic, Rituals and Religion in Horror, SF & Fantasy” with Scott Johnson (new blog), because it appeals to my world-building sensibilities, and figured it would help several of the ideas that I’ve been kicking around for the last couple of years. I’ve heard rumor of this module (it’s not a regular offering), so I figured best to grab it while I could.

(I took more notes for this one session than I did for the entire rest of the week. Safe to guess I got a lot from the session.)

After lunch was the workshop session, but only two instead of the usual three, before the graduation.

Graduation. The end of the road. This was the fourth group that I’ve seen finish the program, but this one was more…meaningful? I guess that’s the closest I can find. These are folks that were staples since I started the program. Some of them, I still remember pieces of stories they I had been involved in workshop sessions for (one of which was during my first ever crit session in the program, in those first days when I was questioning if the program was really right for me). With the amount of personal reading and stories that I’ve had to critique while in the program, the fact that I remember their stories at all, let alone some of the specifics of those scenes this far removed, says something. Outside of my own “class,” many of them were the first ones I really started connecting with. June will be different without them there.

Afterward, there was the usual packing for the drive back, with intervals of mingling in the hotel lobby, a group dinner, and starting on work for the term. And sleep. Lots of sleep.

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Jan Res 2014 Day 4


Another day slow to wake, finally getting up around 7:30, but headed to campus by quarter past eight.

Workshop in the morning, much less to process since my work wasn’t being discussed. After lunch, the first of the requisite “guest speaker” sessions. This was an odd residency for the guest speaker. Normally, the guest is only here for a day, a long afternoon session for the program and a public event at night open to the public. This time, though, he’s serving as a guest lecturer for the university for the semester, so he’s also taught a few of the modules.

The session was good, a discussion about “What Makes a Genre Classic?” (which included several examples of percieved works, influenced by the fact he’s from the UK).

During the dinner break, those ofus with a “Mystery” bend went off to dinner (there are genre specific dinners/events, open to anyone in the program). It was our usual Italian place, a fair clip from campus, but an easy drive after the first trip out.

The night session, discussing “Truth in Fiction” was the usual short block for the public (about an hour), with a signing & reception after.

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Otherside on MVM

It’s been a while since I’ve had some Peppers on a Monday…Inspired by yesterday’s appearance in the Super Bowl Halftime Show, I figured it’s time to fix that.

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RIP, Philip Seymour Hoffman

It’s always sad when a good actor dies, even more so when a good one dies young. Despite his more recent (deserved) success, I still think of him as the kid on the receiving end (even if only tangentially) of a whirlwind called Al Pacino from Scent of a Woman. Hoffman had range, playing both character and lead roles, in anything from comedies, to dramas, and even summer-blockbusters (villain in MI:3).

And he was only 46…

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