Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Chapter 13

Short chapter today. 31,300 words total

Monday, July 26, 2010

Chapter 12

30,100 words total

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Chapter 11

27,000 words total

Friday, July 23, 2010

The "Other" Zombie Professor

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Review of GOTLD

A little late to the party, but interesting.

Scope: An Online Journal of Film and TV Studies - Review of Gospel of the Living Dead

It's a somewhat grudgingly admiring analysis of my non-fiction. (I'm an "essentialist" - gasp!) But really, he does a good job of seeing the Christian framework as useful and not distorting, even if he finds it more problematic and less interesting than I do.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New Edition

The Simon and Schuster reissue of D2L is now available for pre-order at 1/3 off!


Pleas stock up for all this fall's gift giving holidays - Christmas, Hanukkah, birthdays, etc.! And really, how many how fast it sells will determine whether they buy the rights to the sequel. And all of that determines whether or not I ever sell the movie rights, etc. So it's kind of a grass-roots, snowball kind of an effect, and you can have quite a bit of influence on the future of zombie horror, and on the future of Kim's standard of living, for your small, $10.12 purchase. (which will not, BTW, be charged to your credit card until it ships!)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Final Destination - The Comedic Opera!

That's what it was like! I walked to the end of the driveway to retrieve the trash can. And what do I see? one of those GATOR 4x6 things, careening right toward me at about 35mph, being forced to my side of the road by a big truck that's trying to pass it on our too-narrow street. And all I can think is "Great. I'm going to be killed by a souped-up, out-of-control GOLF CART?!" It all flashed before my eyes. It'd probably pin me to the back of my wife's car that was parked in the street there. It'd probably be carrying a load of wooden dowels and plywood, that'd tear loose and fly forward, impaling me as the board hit me in the throat and decapitated me. Then, of course, since it was driven by some City DPW dude (read: Deep Pockets), my wife would be able to sue for a gazillion dollars to live in comfort with her new husband and I'D STILL BE DEAD! BY GOLF CART!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Chapter 10

24,100 words

Chapter of almost all dialogue. Only a complicated fight scene would tire me out more

Totally Forgot My Toy Story 3 Review

Then I saw NickM's and I was inspired to write it finally.

First, most basically, it works as a "mature" kid's movie. The terror and threat are real. It doesn't matter that you "know" they can't "Really" go into the furnace: when they're going into the furnace, it's as real as it is in any adult movie. It's what I've always craved in kid's movies - real emotional involvement and therefore real learning. (Since yes, I take it kid's movies are more overtly didactic than adult movies.)

Now, all that being said, the movie's been analyzed (as in Nick's) for a lot of more complex levels of meaning. I'd underline the personal/psychological. I think it's about the crisis of identity, either in the modern world, or in late middle age (which is what the toys must be, in toy years): Buzz can be Good Buzz or Bad Buzz or Spanish Buzz, all at the flick of a switch - BUT he's still Buzz! Same for Potato - he can also be Tortilla Head. In what does his consciousness or self reside? His eyeballs (envy, gaze)? Lips (speech, reason)? Ears (sense, relatedness to others)? What if you stuck each of those on three different food items? would there be THREE potato heads? And in what sense would they be "potato"? No one knows! Ken can dress in a million outfits, and his orientation is highly questionable, and he can be on the good or Bad team both in the course of 90 minutes! Woody (rigid, law) tries to maintain a constant "self" in this whirl, but it's impossible.

I'd say, with IRON MAN 2, it's the best I've seen this year, but that's scant praise. It's a great movie for any year.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Chapter Nine

21,300 words total

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chapter Eight

19,400 words total

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New Reviews of Old Stuff!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Seven Chapters In!

And we're at 17,650 words

Two sentences I kinda liked:

And all of these calculations came together into one hypnotic swirl, the overpowering but elusive impression of this thing that was simultaneously sanctifying and desecrating.

"I don’t hire mad men, Ridley, and just because you’re not crazy from religion doesn’t mean you’re any less crazy.”

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Speaking of Parallels


Let's see. I think in the original, we have something like this, in terms of major characters' world views or "values" (in the current language of talking about virtues and vices):

Ishmael = pantheist / agnostic

Ahab = devil worshiper (basically), Faustian

Queequeg = idol-worshiper with a heart of gold, his god is impotent but he isn't

Starbuck = Christian; his god is variously conceived as good/bad, but therefore he is impotent

Stubb/Flask = modern men, atheistic and/or materialistic, addicted to temporal goods (I've really never understood the point of having both of them on board as they seem kind of redundant)

Okay, as far as I can see, everyone can be moved into a modern narrative w/o too much change, EXCEPT Queequeg and Starbuck. (I mean, they could, but I'd have trouble conceiving of them that way.) Ishmael has to stay the same, for sure; Flask/Stubb are a stock type of the modern world (nothing's changed since Melville for them, I don't think). Ahab would have to have the supernatural elements played down, but I think I can pull it off w/o too much change.

So for the other two. For me, casting Queequeg as a Christian of a decidedly mystic bent sounds like a more believable, modern analog, than having him belong to some more "exotic" cult (also helps defuse some of Melville's backward ideas about race and savagery and civilization): he worships something sincerely and faithfully, this faith energizes and drives him forward, but it's never 100% clear that this thing he worships is REAL (just like poor Yojo is described as a well-meaning, but rather inept god who sometimes gets accidentally set on fire and has to be unceremoniously extinguished). And when I think of Starbuck moved into a modern key, I think of a secularist of a very optimistic sort - the kind of person who believes in human perfectibility and progress, and who's confused and confounded by man's depravity. And yes, I could cast him as more of a milquetoast Christian character for some of that effect, but milquetoast isn't what I'm trying for: he's courageous enough (as in the original) but his outlook doesn't allow for some kinds of evil, is how I conceive of his problem in either version. And as with Melville, who wants to include a (partly) admirable Christian character to balance all the wicked westerners on the boat, I'd like a (mostly) virtuous secularist character, to balance off Stubb/Flask.

All right, bearing in mind that in neither version is Christianity portrayed as unambiguously "right" but some synthesis is hinted at, and w/o getting all "How dare you make the secularist the weaker first mate?!" - any thoughts on how to spin or nuance it further? Thanks!!

Zombie Car

Not to be confused with the "zombie truck" that delivers to Mic's house!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Excerpt and Word Count

Word count = 14,160

Here's an excerpt from the sermon near the beginning. As you probably know, Moby Dick starts with a sermon on the book of Jonah. Here we are near the end of a sermon the Raising of Lazarus.

“But there’s that other, final piece to this story, my friends. God loving us isn’t quite enough. We have to believe, or it does nothing. That’s really the point: all this, this stuff we see around us – it’s so that we might believe. It’s not just that God loves us no matter what: we have to accept the love no matter what. If we say, ‘No, I want my brother back now!’ if we say, ‘No, you got to show me you love me in this way!’ then we don’t believe and God’s glory can’t be shown and we’re in the darkness like Lazarus in the cave, or we’re weeping like his sisters, blinded by our rage and sorrow. I’m as bad as all of you when it comes to demanding God’s love in a certain way: I’ve been alone for years now, all of my family and most of my friends gone. I killed people, same as the rest of you did.” Again the forefinger and gaze, though much softer this time. “Killed people on the steps to this old church, I did. All that wickedness, all that blood and death – and all the little bright spots in between, and all the darkness all around it,” he accompanied this with frantic, almost pained gestures, poking at the air in front of himself like he was picking specks off a piece of laundry hanging on a line, and then sweeping both hands in circular motions on either side of his head, “– all of it was for God’s glory, if I’d only see it that way and stop making it into my own pain, my own pleasure, my own loss. And that’s why it ends the way it does, ‘And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, ‘Loose him, and let him go.’ Hands – bound; feet – bound; face – bound.” He held his wrists together, as though they were tied together, and looked imploringly to the ceiling. At the beginning of the sermon, Ridley might’ve still been able to look at such a display with irony or detachment. Now – not at all. Instead, he could almost feel ropes cutting into the skin of his hands, smell the dank and must of the grave, feel his breath catch in his chest.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Return and Recap!


Triumph of The Walking Dead