Sunday, November 27, 2005

Disorganised and guilty

I'm feeling guilty. I'm supposed to be organising the Cabbage Soup group and I've totally failed to either circulate details of the next exercise or set a date for the next meeting! I ought to do these things immediately after each meeting, otherwise they have a tendency to get buried among all of life's 'to do's. I must do these things today.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

In which inspiration strikes

I've been avoiding thinking about the next Cabbage Soup exercise. We're supposed to be writing chapter headings and an introduction to the non-fiction book we feel most qualified to write. The trouble is I'm not sure I know any subject well enough to write a book about it. Given lack of outstanding expertise perhaps the thing to do is to go for a subject area where there are lots of worthy but boring books published, and write one that's just a bit weirder? Hmn, I think I've just had an idea...

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

I admit I know nothing about screenwriting or film-making, so it's entirely possible that I'm talking rubbish, but I think there are some basic bits of good advice that apply to all writing. One of these is not to switch genres in mid-plot without a very good reason.

In a film like Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire surely there's enough to contend with in weaving together the threads of the various genres Rowling so skilfully plays with in her text - fantasy, coming of age, mystery, school story etc - without turning what should clearly be an action-adventure sequence into vaguely psychological blundering. The only explanation I can think of is that the over-blown dragon sequence used up so much of the special effects budget that they had to cut back on the maze. I found this particularly annoying as one of Rowling's greatest strengths is in giving abstract concepts solid form: think Dementors and Boggarts for depression and fear.

There are a few minor wrong notes - sadly Michael Gambon provides several - but what does work works so well that they're forgivable. The Death (she says, evasively, as if there's anyone left on the planet who doesn't know who dies) is handled sensitively, the teenage relationships are as excruciating as an unforgivable curse, evil personified is effectively creepy, and the overall tone of juxtaposed light and dark is just right.

I think I might have to go and see it again.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Free poetry!

While I'm wittering on about poetry I ought to mention the Poetry Library's excellent site where they put the archives of poetry magazines. It's a good way of getting an idea which might actually be worth subscribing to and/or submitting work to.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Virtual poet

As Cabbage Soup is working on poetry at the moment I thought I'd mention this new bit of technological wizardry. It's very clever stuff, but the idea of a poet reading his work aloud 52 years after his death strikes me as a bit weird. Mind you, some that are still alive fit that description...

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Today's shock headline

The BBC says the Internet is being used for creative purposes! Well, you don't say. This is news?

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Terse verse

Shhh... Cabbage Soup is writing poetry. Actually that's not why I've been quiet this week - I've just been busy - but I've still been writing my usual seven poems a week over on miso soup so I'm feeling better prepared for this exercise than most of the others.

Note: The other exercises, I mean, not the other members of Cabbage Soup. They all seem to be having fun writing poetry, some have already been circulated - ahead of the deadline!