Remember Me

We started a movie the other night hoping for a sweet love story to ease us from hectic day to bedtime. From the first scene, we knew we were wrong. We were in for some intensity. We were right.
Remember Me is a movie about people, and how lives are forever changed by things in our control, as well as things very much out of our control. I hesitate to call it slow because it sounds like a bad thing, but in this case, the pacing is part of its brilliance. The acting and characterization are exceptional, creating people who are real and relatable. And it has one of the most effective and unpredictable endings I have ever seen. With the strength packed into a subtle delivery, it’s more than touching–it’s a full-on grab that will keep its hold for days. What a rare thing for a movie to leave me so stunned, sobered, and contemplative. And a bit traumatized. I feel like this movie has picked me up and moved me somewhere else. That’s a powerful thing.

If you read anything else about this movie you’ll rob yourself of its power. Don’t read the synopsis on Netflix or IMDB, and whatever you do, don’t read reviews. Turn it on, settle in, and lose yourself in it. Once you reach the end, you’ll be so found you’ll be speechless.

1744 More Words, Barefoot

All day Monday was spent writing—in pink fuzzy socks, not barefoot like the title suggests—and I’m 1,744 words closer to the end. Not a big number for an entire day of work, but I’ll take it. I’m finally past a scene I was dreading and I’m proud to say I DID NOT CRY while writing it. Nope, I didn’t. NOPE! MY EYES DID NOT DAMPEN ANY MORE THAN USUAL EVERYDAY DAMPNESS AND THAT IS MY FINAL WORD.

I’ve started the read-aloud edit phase from page one during my weekday commute, so I’m both writing the end and editing the beginning now which is a great use of time but also kind of scrambling my brains. A once-a-week night off from books helps, especially when I’m lucky to see yet another great movie…
My husband briefed me on Barefoot, and at first I said, “Sounds really Manic Pixie Dream Girl tropey. Pass.” But as he scrolled past it online, I caught the words “bad boy” and I was like, “Wait, bad boy? Okay, sold.” LOL

Usually the MPDG trope is used alongside a geeky, stuffy, downer of a hero, with the MPDG heroine’s one and only dimension being used to teach the hero how to lighten up and live again. A “Wish Fulfillment from stir-crazy writers” as the article says. Add a bad boy though, and it changes the formula. (And who can turn down a bad boy hero? I mean really.) Barefoot might have contained hints of the MPDG trope, but the heroine was fleshed out enough to make it mostly disappear. The reasons for her MPDG qualities made sense to *her* story, so she became a real character to root for and not just a stand-in for a trope or a convenient motivator for the hero. Reviewers say it’s a knock-off of Tangled (another slight MPDG done well enough to avoid being tropey, in my opinion). I see that now, but I didn’t while watching it.

Another well-written, believable love story. Sweet but not cheesy, unpredictable enough to keep my interest. Good writing, good acting, good everything. Maybe not as good as In Your Eyes, but good enough to recommend.

TOATM Update – January 5

I wish I could report some hardcore progress on THE OAK AND THE MOON, but this book has its own pace, officially termed Taking Its Sweet Time. I hit chapter 38, which doesn’t mean much at this point because I don’t know how many more chapters it will take to get to the end of this thing. At least ten more. Twenty?

Christmas and New Year’s shamelessly gobbled most of my writing time, but with all that fun behind me I plan to buckle down and get some words on the page. I think I said this book should be in my editor’s hands in February? Well…hmm. About that…

Also to blame for stealing time from writing is our basement semi-finish we started weeks ago. We partitioned off part of our basement, stained the floor, painted the walls and ceiling, and now furniture and TV are here. Coming soon is a new chair and table for my new writing nook in the opposite corner, which should give me a better space to write. I’ll no longer be juggling my laptop, handwritten notes, Moore Family Tree (yes, book 3 is that complicated), and boat anchor Irish-English dictionary in my little bedroom armchair with no nearby table space. And the cat who’s determined to sit on top of my arm while this juggling is taking place.

End of the year leisure time didn’t allow much time for reading. I’m still working through BEL CANTO, which is excellent but a bit of a slow burn.

I did see two squeal-worthy movies:

In Your Eyesin_your_eyes

One of my new favorite movies of all time. Fans of my books will love this one. It’s a love story with a touch of the supernatural, pulled off expertly in every way.

It’s honest and charming and so human, it’s easy to forget the supernatural aspect of it. The simplicity of the story brings out the depth of character, and by the time the climax hits you’ll be yelling at your screen, rooting for these people. I love it when a movie can be romantic and sensual without being graphic, and can find a way to show the friendship that’s entangled in the deepest love.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
You *might* need to be a preexisting fan to squeal over this one. (Although some fans might be peeved over the changes to the TMNT mythology.) But I think I said “OMG YES!” about 500 times while watching it.

I have my criticisms of it but it’s all forgiven due to the fact that it’s TMNT and twenty-five years have not faded my fangirl crush on Raphael. (Okay, maybe shouldn’t admit that.) Nonstop disbelief-suspending action and the most unbeatable-looking villain EVER. Seriously. Shredder is so over the top you just have to go with it.

Boy Wonder

Best movie I’ve seen in a long time. Best revenge movie ever. Tension, story questions, and a hook that will grab you in five minutes. One of those movies that has you begging the hero to do things… and he does them. And it’s awesome. It’s a masterful use of an anti-hero. The violence is tastefully done–it adds to the story, doesn’t detract from it by making you wish you could unwatch it.

Yeah, I’m not the greatest movie reviewer. Just watch it.

Now I must work to make my hero as conflicted and badass as this guy is…

“Beware the Hero” indeed.