I haven’t done a post like this since October (October!), and really the only big change I can point to, besides my new obsession with Doctor Who (see number 2, below), is Permanent Spring Showers.
But now the online challenge/novel is completed and the poetic/prose epilogue goes up on Friday, so I’ve no excuses. I have got to take this on again, give my monthly insight into my brain, or at least my daily life.
One of the things I have always aimed for in these posts (and most posts) is honesty. Don’t laugh! Seriously, for a fiction author that is hard to do. Do you know how easy it would be for me to create a character of me? My wife points it out to me all the time when my little “exaggerations” enter a real life story. Usually we are at gathering with friends and I start to talk about something that happened (usually around my kids who are a lot more entertaining that I am), and she will do this thing with her eyes and after a few minutes, she will finally have to interrupt, explaining that what I said was not exactly true.
Well, it was true in a way, right? Okay, nevermind, here are my five things for this month:
Pina Bausch and Pina
My wife is a modern dance choreographer, dancer, and educator (She also has a blog here). Being married to her over the last ten years has made me a fan of this artform. Now, I’m not ready to discuss dance in any classroom setting, but I am growing in my knowledge around it, and I can also point to some really great theatrical experiences. For example, I’ve seen the companies of both Merce Cunningham and Paul Taylor (I missed seeing Bill T. Jones’ Lincoln piece, I’m still angry about missing that). Basically, for those uninitiated, I have found that there is no artform more emotionally arresting on a stage than modern dance. I’ve had pieces get me angry, make me feel uncomfortable, question my perception, and I’ve had performances that have moved me to tears (Paul Taylor’s Promethean Fire quickly comes to mind). Last week, my wife and I saw the movie Pina. I highly recommend it. It was made originally for IMAX 3D, but it is too late for that; however Criterion (I love this distribution company) has just released it on DVD and Blu-Ray (here). It is a great introduction not only to her work, but also to modern dance and what it is capable of. Since seeing the film, we have also watched the documentary Dancing Dreams, where Pina introduces high school students to modern dance. Pina (who sadly died a few years ago) is quickly becoming my favorite choreographer. I highly recommend you check this stuff out…. now I need to start a petition to get her company to tour in my state.
Do you read my blog? Did you read this post? Did you catch the little reference in Chapter 23 of Permanent Spring Showers? Well, for those that don’t know I am now a big fan of Doctor Who; and, sadly, I am now all caught up on Doctor Who episodes. Yes, I am stuck in the same boat as the rest of you as we countdown to the return of the good Doctor on March 30. Wait! I am more than caught up, I am rewinding and watching my favorites again. For example, last week I did a River Song marathon (and if you don’t know who I mean by that, you are in for a treat), and I am thinking about re-watching the episodes with the Master next. Not to repeat too much of what I said in my original post, but I am captivated by the sheer audacity and imagination potential around the show. Frankly, you can do anything in his universe. Fantastic.
In October of last year I bought my first TeeFury t-shirt and my wardrobe has been changed ever since. Teefury is a great site where independent artists have their shirt design showcased for one day and only that one day. So each day there is something new to see; and my interest in what is coming next (and the possibility of not being able to get something after 24 hours) has become part of my morning ritual. I now have shirts related to Back to the Future, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Game of Thrones, Monty Python (combined with Darth Vader), etc.; and over the holiday season their shirts were all I gave my brother and sister-in-law. Being as nerdy as me, they had no problem with that. Check out their site (here)… but be warned… it is addicting.
Each episode of the wonderful WordGirl (one of the highlights of PBS Kids) ends with a dancing monkey named Captain Huggy Face. Let me repeat that: Every episode. Dancing monkey. Captain Huggy Face. The fact the show also teaches vocabulary(and shows the proper way to use the word) is just a great bonus. Every morning, as I prepare my kids’ lunches for the day, my lucky children are sitting watching the customary two episodes; and I wish I could be there by them. I can’t! I have parenting stuff! Things need to get done! I’m an adult, people! Yet, I still run into the room each time to see the monkey dance. Come on, it’s a dancing super monkey!
Epic Mickey 2 & the Wii
I loved the first Epic Mickey. It was fun, creative and made me laugh out loud a few times. It tapped into what makes Disney (and especially Disneyland) special and was clearly created by fans like me. Epic Mickey 2 was to be my award for finishing Permanent Spring Showers. The fact is I just began the game and I am a little disappointed so far. See, one of the charming bits of the first game is that it was all done through pantomime, now the characters talk. It feels like something was lost with that change. Granted, I’ve only started the game (and things could improve), but it was a little jarring; wondering if success has ruined the franchise already. So it made the list since I’ve been waiting so long to play it, but there should be a footnote by it with the note: We’ll see…. I also added the Wii to this point because my 5-year old son just discovered Sports on it and it’s been a riot playing baseball and tennis with him each night. We are totally bonding over the system. So yeah, I love my Wii right now.
If you liked reading this post, why not check out one of my books? I’ve had four novels published Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare, A Jane Austen Daydream, My Problem With Doors and Megan. You can find them via my amazon.com author page here in print or eBook (The eBook for my new books Maximilian Standforth… and A Jane Austen Daydream are only 3.99), or as an eBook on Google eBooks here. Thanks for reading!…