Tag Archives: The Time Traveler’s Wife

Emilie’s 2010 Best List

I’ve been thinking about this post in the back of my head for the last few weeks. And now it’s come time to look back at my favorites of the year…

Books are pretty easy because I read fewer books this year than…ever. At least, any year since I’ve been keeping track and that’s a decade’s worth of reading. The last time I read fewer than 100 books in a year was my second year of grad school and I read considerably fewer than 100 books this year. So my quantity was down, but not the quality – a read quite a few books this year that I’d had on my to-read list a while.

1. Kai Meyer‘s The Dark Reflections Trilogy and most of The Wave Walkers Trilogy
2. Rebecca Cantrell‘s A Trace of Smoke
3. Audrey Niffennegger‘s The Time Traveler’s Wife
4. John Kennedy Toole‘s A Confederacy of Dunces
5. Alice Sebold‘s The Lovely Bones
6. David Madden‘s Abducted by Circumstance
7. Mary McMyne‘s Wait. (manuscript)
8. Suzanne Collins‘s last Hunger Games book Mockingjay
9. M.O. Walsh‘s The Prospect of Magic
10. Stieg Larsson‘s Millennium Trilogy (still working on the last, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest)

In the interests of full disclosure, I have some reservations about labeling some of these “best,” as I had some issues with a few of these books – notably Stieg Larsson’s books and The Lovely Bones – but they are unconditionally the ones that I invested the most time in, spent time thinking about. And there are some absolutely stellar BEST books on this list. And, of course, I read dozens of short stories through my work with Narrative, several of which I’d love to put on a best list, but can’t disclose. Interestingly, there’s no non-fiction on my list this year.

I actually saw quite a few movies in the theater this year, or maybe they stand out because I quite liked so many that I saw there. Rentals were often disappointing – slightly better than I’d expected or boring or not as good as I’d heard. So this is tough, but the movies I enjoyed the most this year:

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (I have to do it, it was so good…)
2. Inception (I saw it 3.5 times in the theater)
3. Toy Story 3 (Pixar has always been really smart with these sequels)
4. Easy A (it was as funny and good as my favorite 80s comedies)
5. Red (it was like Sneakers jacked up, so of course I loved it)
6. Exit Through the Gift Shop (of course, it’s about Banksy)
7. Going the Distance, Get Him to the Greek (a tie)
8. Twilight: Eclipse and How to Train Your Dragon (a tie)
9. Nine (I love musicals)
10. The Kids are Alright

Honorable mentions: Last Station, Hereafter, Black Swan, True Grit, Despicable Me, The Ramen Girl, St. Trinian’s, Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, The Young Victoria and Coco Before Chanel.

TV had to take a serious back burner this year because I never knew when I’d get home from work and had so much going on. This list is basically comprised of the shows that I kept up with in the chaos. Also, it should be said that I watched every episode of Law & Order SVU through Season 10 this year.

1. So You Think You Can Dance
2. Survivor
3. Castle
4. Glee
5. Raising Hope
6. Dancing with the Stars
7. United States of Tara
8. How I Met Your Mother
9. Bones
10. Fringe

My super notables:  The Tudors, In Plain Sight and 30 Rock.

I might go so far as to say that music was one of my biggest influences this year. I probably went to more concerts this year than I have every other year combined. Because my favorite songs are generally still my favorite songs from last year and the year before (with a few new exceptions), I’d much rather outline the best concerts of the year and the cds that I’ve been listening to obsessively.

CDs:

1. Lissie‘s Catching a Tiger, as well as her EP Why You Runnin’
2. Roisin Murphy‘s Ruby Blue
3. Mark Growden‘s Saint Judas
4. The Dresden Dolls‘s Yes, Virginia…
5. Black Gold‘s Rush

Shows:

1. Dresden Dolls at Tipitina’s in New Orleans
2. Black Gold at Howlin’ Wolf in New Orleans
3. Citizen Cope at Howlin’ Wolf in New Orleans
4. Simon Lott at Hi Ho Lounge in New Orleans
5. Mark Growden at Circle Bar in New Orleans

I think that just about covers the highlights of 2010, so all that’s left to say is Happy 2011!

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Show business, y’all

You might remember that in my (re)birth(day)(2010) post, shortly after my birthday, I mentioned that I got called in for a movie for two days. That movie was (at the time) called Brother’s Keeper and it stars John Cena, Patricia Clarkson and Danny Glover (the first and last of whom I met briefly while I was on set). It was an awesome experience.

The movie has since been re-titled Legendary and the trailer has just come out! If a scene looks like it takes place in a gym, I was probably there. My job was to run the scoreboard for all of the wrestling scenes, which were mainly shot at the same time, during those two days. So check out the trailer:

So, around April, I referred to my “new job,” which has been keeping me busy still. I’ve alluded to the fact that I’m working on a movie. But I haven’t said much more than that.

The same team that made Legendary — WWE Films — is making several movies in New Orleans, back-to-back. Brother’s Keeper/Legendary was the second film. In April, I started work on the fourth film and we’ve just finished the fifth and are about to begin the sixth. I don’t know much about the third film, but I was lucky enough to see the first film, Knucklehead, and it’s very good–very funny and charming. I can’t wait till it’s officially released. It shows up on Netflix, but without a release date yet.

I love my job, but it doesn’t leave much time or energy for anything else. I’ve been taking lots of notes and feeling very creative – but not very much writing at all. Reading also went by the wayside. I usually read at least ten books a month, but I think I’ve managed five since April. Maybe. I have  been watching movies, though.

Which has been something of a big deal. I *hated* the films The Time Traveler’s Wife and The Lovely Bones and reading the books they were based on became something of an issue in how I perceived the movie. Loved Eclipse, though I knew I would. Hated the remake of Bad Lieutenant (also filmed in New Orleans), which I knew I would. I never knew Mackenzie Astin (Iron Will!) was the younger brother of Sean Astin, which I discovered while looking up some facts for my last post. Thought Crazy Heart, while good, wasn’t as good as I’d heard, and Valentine’s Day was better than I’d expected (especially near the end, the last scene with Julia Roberts). Leap Year and When in Rome were both supremely cute, darnit! Found myself ruminating on both The Young Victoria and Amelia several days after I watched them. And The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus moved me in indescribable ways.

I’m going to have a hard time picking my best of the year in movies, though maybe an easy time with the books category since I’ll have read so few. Though I WILL make time for Mockingjay when it comes out at the end of next month. I probably won’t have much of a choice. I read the first book in one single night, all night, even though I had to be at work for like 7 a.m. the next morning. 🙂 It comes out on a Saturday, so maybe I’ll have to stay up all night and into the day Sunday reading it and then go to work. But I WILL read that book.

So, that’s the skinny on my job and a general overview of all the writing/reading I haven’t been doing and all the movies I’ve seen lately.  In case you were wondering. 🙂

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The May Lovely Bones Challenge

***Warning ahead of time: There are SPOILERS following! Mostly, for the movie The Lovely Bones, maybe also the book and The Time Traveler’s Wife.***

A while ago, I watched The Time Traveler’s Wife, which I’d just finished reading, on Maurice’s suggestion. I Tweeted:

is watching Time Traveler’s Wife. Very different from the book. I’ve no idea how this movie would seem to me if I hadn’t read the book. 12:18 AM Mar 30th

Thus began a conversation with Morganafq (Donna K), who I’ve never met in person. I can’t really remember how we came onto each other’s Twitter radar, but I suspect it’s STYCD-related. Morganafq does movie reviews under the heading “From the Rental Queue,” (#FTRQ), so it makes sense that she saw my Tweet and chimed in.

Donna K @emofalltrades I haven’t read the book TTW but recently saw the film. I thought it bland and without depth but saw potential. About right? 1:16 AM Mar 30th via Seesmic

@Morganafq: kinda felt like a Cliff’s Notes of the book. Only, a Cliff’s Notes that would’ve made u get a C- because there big were changes. 11:20 AM Mar 30th via web

@emofalltrades Thanks for the input – I’ll definitely check the book out as I thought the story seemed solid. 🙂 11:37 AM Mar 30th via Seesmic in reply to emofalltrades

@Morganafq: It is solid, good word. I had my issues, but was impressed with the way the author “built” the story (she’s a book artist). 3:48 PM Mar 30th via web

More recently, I Tweeted:

was really disappointed with The Lovely Bones for just about a thousand reasons. 12:54 AM Apr 27th

And a second conversation began:

Donna K@emofalltrades OMG I just watched that! How awful was that movie? No emotional anchor whatsoever. I’m so disappointed, truly. 1:03 AM Apr 27th via Seesmic in reply to emofalltrades

@Morganafq: Let me count the ways. 1) Suzie does nothing. I know she’s dead, but still. All that build up, and she DOES nothing? 9:03 AM Apr 27th via web

@Morganafq: 2) There was NO resolution for any of the other characters, even though we got really pretty shots of “where are they now.” 9:04 AM Apr 27th via web

@Morganafq: 3) Far too much style and far too little substance. 4) So confusing and precious. 5) Her 1st kiss = creepy. For all parties. 9:05 AM Apr 27th via web

@Morganafq: Basically, u summed it up w “no emotional anchor whatsoever.” Have u read the book? I was gonna, but now, I just don’t know… 9:06 AM Apr 27th via web

@emofalltrades Agreed on EVERY point you made about Lovely Bones. Haven’t read it but like you now I don’t know. I hear it’s vastly better. 12:20 PM Apr 27th via Seesmic in reply to emofalltrades

@Morganafq: Maybe one of us should read it and let the other one know. 1-2-3, NOT ME! 2:16 PM Apr 27th via web

@emofalltrades Oh no! You aren’t suckering me into this one! I’ll triple dog dare you to be the one to read it. 😉 3:06 PM Apr 27th via Seesmic in reply to emofalltrades

@Morganafq: Okay, so let’s make a blood oath (long distance) that we’ll both read it during the month of May and report back to each other. 3:38 PM Apr 27th via web

@emofalltrades What the hell… this could be fun, especially if we do a compare/contrast to the movie. Amazon here I come! 🙂 6:17 PM Apr 27th via Seesmic in reply to emofalltrades

So, we set up some rules for our May Lovely Bones Challenge:

[Me] Long isn’t too big a problem, but maybe we should max u @ about 2,000 wds. Seem fair? Rules! #1 Must have seen the movie b4 read book? 6:26 PM Apr 27th

[Me] #2 Must submit review/thoughts by midnight May 30th for publication on the blog May 31st. #3 Everybody has 2,000 wds. No more. 🙂 Yes? 6:27 PM Apr 27th

[Morganafq] I like it! Yes to all 3 rules, especially seeing the movie 1st. I want to know who really fell down on this – the author or Jackson. 6:42 PM Apr 27th

[Me] Yup, I think the pt of the exercise is the movie-book connection.  7:17 AM Apr 28th

So, here we go. Morganafq and I have each started reading. And by the end of the month, we’ll post our thoughts about the book and the book-to-movie transformation. You’re welcome to join in! But the key is that you see the movie first and then read the book for the first time. And you get your thoughts to us by midnight (my time, Central US time zone) on May 30th.  Enjoy, everybody!

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Fess Up Friday – the Saturday edition

This Fess Up Friday is also my “getting back to business” edition.

It’s been a strange week.

While the new word count on The Book is probably less than 1,000 for the week, I’m up to page 163 on the latest draft. So, it’s chugging along. But despite all this progress, my week has held significant distractions. Some pleasant, some not.

Peauxdunque (my writer’s group) had an informal lunch at Green Goddess to celebrate Sabrina’s birthday. I’ve rarely felt so relaxed and yet inspired as I do with these people, which is probably just what one needs from a writing group. I spent most of that day running errands, so did not get any work done on The Book.

And then there was the offBeat Magazine debacle, which sucked up a large part of my Thursday and Friday, in responding, discussing and just plain shaking. How to describe what about 36 hours of solid anger and frustration feels like in my body? Well, there were more emotions pinging around in there than even I realized. Still are, but I’m lucky and happy to be back in a place where I can work despite them, at least.

So while do not in any way intend to back down from my opposition to the cover and the aftermath reaction displayed by offBeat‘s editor, Jan Ramsey, I’m glad to get back to my work. While I’m gratified to see that people are reading and responding to the three posts I’ve written about offBeat‘s cover and their editor’s behavior, I’m just as gratified to see that the post generating the most traffic on my blog is the same one that’s been generating the most traffic since October. I would like to see a constructive resolution to the entire scenario and hope the magazine endeavors to find one that demonstrates respect for their audience.

Meanwhile, Maurice told me I had to read The Time Traveler’s Wife and I’m enjoying it far more than I expected. Especially since I didn’t think I had time to enjoy a 500+ page book right now. I look forward to celebrating the success of my friends, so look for a bragging on post very soon.

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