Was busy for a bit there, the second book got accepted by the publisher in only about 2 weeks after we submitted it. The feeling is starting to sink in that the first book wasn't entirely a fluke, and that we're actually able to write these things with vigor. It also struck me that I'm actually pretty good at this plotting thing and really figuring out the motivations and reasons underlying the things that happen in a book.
Also finding that I'm able to find my own voice given reasonable time and something to really concentrate on; however, it's not helping that the short story lady hasn't gotten back to us on the Valentine's Day short stories. *laughs*
I watched both Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and X-Men: First Class and the juxtaposition of the two was startling.
I love love love Brad Bird. Love how he directs, love his sense of story and how to cut it down to the bare bones of what has to be shown and how to fit an audience's expectations of genre, character, and story. I loved his Iron Giant and Incredibles, and I have to say that I truly enjoyed his take on Mission Impossible. Just watching it it was easy to see that he knew the series, knew the in-jokes, and knew how the franchise could be used to within an inch of its life. And he and his whole crew delivered, in spades.
The action sequences were breathtaking, the locales exotic in all the right ways, and the characterizations and the underlying guts of his people were solid to the series and type. How much they all had to trust each other in the situations they were being put in really hit home in how they did things. The cinematography did the miracle of showing what drove and really held up Ethan Hunt, the protagonist, with only one spoken line about it. I especially loved the ending. *laughs*
It was a great ride.
In contrast I really didn't like X-Men: First Class. at all. FAR too much dialog, far too much exposition on various ideologies, and far too little showing how the relationships between all the fantastic people worked and what they actually meant to each other. There were a few lovely instances, but they were too fleeting. And the rest were too shallow, and often expounded upon in the dialog rather than *shown* in the simplest things. They didn't use the full capabilities of their actors. I especially hated the rather wooden ending, that seemed to rely on a well, we all know how this ends, so why don't we just get to it already sort of feeling... *sighs*
I will admit that I got all excited about the Avengers preview in the theater, especially after seeing Thor and seeing Robert Downey Jr. in Sherlock Holmes and loving his lines as Tony Stark. *laughs* I'm so glad that they actually got all the actors from the recent movies rather than going cheap. *laughs* I'll also admit that part of me now wants to watch Captain Amerca just to finish the set, and because I liked both the Iron Man movies and Thor enough to try it out. Though the X-Men movie dampened my enthusiasm, hope still springs eternal.
I've also read the first three books in the John Rain assassin series and enjoyed them all, and am bemused that Barry Eisler's reading list in the back of all the books is almost identical to my own. That's going to prove interesting, especially given what I've observed of Eisler's writing style. I'm already flexing some of those underground killer and political corruption muscles in the wake of the Bob Lee Swagger novels, but now it's getting more and more pronounced in the latest book we sold to Torquere and the fourth book on our docket where I"ll get to take my mob-linked killer for a spin. Really am enamored of the redemption for the lost theme, especially since Cowboys vrs Aliens and a few seasons of Leverage and thieves turned good.
It's also informing my take on how the quasi-legal group of Misfit Toys is going to get going and where and how and whom they're going to run into as they take a sort of techno-justice into their own hands. Though... I'm also reading Walter Jon William's Implied Spaces and halfway thinking of just jumping right into Journey to the West metaphor made real, where his has been Arabian Nights.
Ideas. I have a mountain of ideas, the problem is which one to spend a chunk of my life turning into something others will see as well. And knowing that the blender of my mind is going to turn it all into something entirely unique to me, and halfway still dreaming of a Magic West after the drive through the desert.
Especially after watching this little bit of artwork based on cars and driving and cities. There's something brewing in the back of my head having to do with Route 66, the LA Way of Life, ghosts, and the end of era of petroleum. Of course Dog's efforts with prosthetics, seeing a legless long-distance runner in his marathon specials, a few frames of a comic with a girl with limb replacements that are interchangeable, and contemplating Transformer possibilities has been entertaining.
I've also been stirring into the mass 90-Day Geisha, Connie Willis' Christmas stories, a stack of Brockman SEAL romances, and a dozen old wuxia movies. *laughs* It's getting a little crowded in my head, and I wonder how it's going to spill over. *grins* Especially since I'm also reading Joe R. Lansdale's Hap and Leonard books, which has a straight white guy and a gay black man and their truly buddy adventures into murder, mayhem, and what Robert Block called "the kind of mystery that would make Agatha Christie hide under the bed." Those are giving me all kinds of new dimensions for bad guys. Gah.
It's nice being home. Being back in my familiar spaces with the memories and longings, and experience of the drive and visiting and being out of my comfort zones and still enjoying what I do. My fortune tonight in my after-dinner cookie was, "Your love of life is harmonious and happy." I think it's true as a grounding influence for what I really am. *laughs* I've also had fun making a sleeve for my Kindle Touch, which has been a lot of fun to read, too.
And kinda wanting that to come out in the stories... it's going to be intriguing to see what happens.