Monkey With a Typewriter

"...Look at me. I worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty."
- Groucho Marx in Monkey Business, 1931

Monday, February 15, 2010

Music Monday - Air



Air is fantastic ambient music when you need to relax, focus, and/or write. I'm not big on pure electronic stuff, but something about this just gets my brain in the right frame for creativity. Their album Moon Safari is full of gems like this one, highly worth checking out.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Ol' Hurry Up and Wait...

Last summer I was all set to begin work filming a short script I wrote, and for reasons too various to mention, the project kept getting pushed off, pushed back, ignored...I canceled a trip to Oregon in hopes of getting it done, but it was not meant to be. The good news is that my filming partner is doing some camera shopping for a different project, but it's going to open up possibilities of making more stuff, and it also means I need to give that script a good dusting off and a rewrite. We're setting April as our filming target, we have actors, a location, a script (well...by Sunday or so we'll have a script) and then we're gonna start storyboarding and getting things done!

Hopefully it'll make the rounds in some short film festivals, or at the very least you'll find it on YouTube and the like. There's a lot of stuff I'd like to write for film projects, so stay tuned! The Untitled Ten Minute Film Thing is gonna happen in 2010!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Music Monday - Brandi Carlile



I love a well-traveled voice, and it blows me away that the voice owned by Brandi Carlile is younger than mine. She was born in 1981! But the heartache, and true passion in her voice amazes me. Give it a listen and have your heart broken just a l'il bit.

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Bad News from Blogger...

Blogger (the software that powers this here thing) is stopping support of FTP blog publishing. What does that mean? I can no longer host this blog on my own web server. Not too happy about that. It means everything I post has to be hosted on Google's servers (good for visibility, I suppose), and it also means I have to get creative with some custom domain naming.

The awful part is that I have several web clients whose sites I configured to use blogger to update their pages. I'm not sure how the new Blogger's gonna work, but something tells me that's all out the window now, so I'll need to find some creative ways to keep things going. It won't be a problem.

But I JUST redesigned this blog, and now I have to go figure out how to make it play nice with the new Blogger, and get things working the way they're supposed to. There will be some new widgets on the sidebar though, so that will be cool, and I'll probably get an easy-to-remember subdomain going, like journal.monkeywright.com.

Stay tuned!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Music Monday - Bright Eyes



"Language just happened, it was never planned; and it's inadequate to describe where I am, in the room of my house where the light's never been, waiting for this day to end..."

I was going back through my CDs, looking for music I haven't listened to for a while, and came across "Fevers and Mirrors" by Bright Eyes (Conor Oberst). The man has a way with words. Every song attacks emotion and every lyric sears into your psyche. Which is to say, he's another melancholy artist that I really enjoy listening to when I write. It's certainly not the happiest album in the world, but today, you should make it mandatory listening.

"Once the page of a calendar is turned it's no more. So tell me then, what was it for?"

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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Danny Wallace and the Centre of the Universe


This book is more of a long article, really, as it was part of a series of Quick Read Books published in England. Danny Wallace is one of my favorite comedic writers. He has a child's fascination with the world around him, always willing to go anywhere and do anything in the name of...well, mostly he only needs a very small reason to do anything. In this case, after having discovered his new apartment was near the center of the world (Greenwich, where the line of demarcation between the eastern and western hemispheres lies), he does a Google search for the center of the universe. And he discovers it's been found! It lies in a town in Idaho, right in the middle of the street. When Danny finds that the name of the town is Wallace, he decides it's cosmic fate, and he must travel to the Center of the Universe. Danny usually has a message in his books about the interconnectedness of people, the importance of our lives, and our place on Earth (it's subtle, butt it's there). There is some of that with this book, but the enjoyment (for me) came in the fact that the entire story takes place over the course of 24 hours and makes a tiny town seem like a bustling city. Another reminder from Wallace to look around you, lest you miss life passing you by.

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

This is book 2 in Sanderson's Mistborn Trilogy.

I was quite taken by Sanderson's first novel, Elantris. It was an amazing work of fantasy told in one volume, a rare find these days. I'm not a huge fan of Fantasy in general. The books all tend to be cookie-cutter, spending a few chapters building their world, explaining magic, creatures, the lay of the land, etc. I prefer books that get into character and politics, the latter of which Sanderson does quite nicely. At the end of Mistborn, the evil Lord Ruler had been defeated, the skaa (a slave class) had been freed, and the entire political spectrum of the world had shifted.

Book 2 begins with Elend, the loafing, somewhat brattish son of a nobleman, assuming the throne and attempting to put his political ideals into action. He's determined to forge a democracy where a centuries-long dictatorship once stood. There's an immense amount of political maneuvering to be done, and thankfully Sanderson paints these in broad strokes, not getting bogged down in minutiae while still creating a solid and believable "West Wing" scenario.

Vin, the titular Mistborn from book one, has grown into her powers, and now stands as Elend's royal bodyguard. She's overworked, as noblemen from around the land are all seeking to displace Elend's new government and seize power for themselves. The book continues the overarching storyline (the quest to understand who the Hero of Ages was, and why he'she would be able to save the world, and what went wrong when they did). The city falls under siege by two invading armies, and Elend must work to secure his people's safety while Vin works to solve the greater mysteries: the Mist that envelops the world at night seems to be lingering longer into the day, and at times seems almost sentient. On top of that, another powerful Mistborn stalks her in the night, with plans of his own for the future.

The book suffers a bit from "second part syndrome", setting things up for the third book while tying things up from the last book. The action sequences are tightly paced, and I'm definitely excited to see where this all leads. Unfortunately, late in the book, I discovered pages 528-560 were missing from my copy, and I got this a long time ago through Amazon, so there's a couple of things I'm missing (pretty important stuff for book 3 setup). I'll have to hunt down a copy in Borders and sit and read...

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