The One Hundred and Seventy-Eighth Post: The One Where I Am Trying Very Hard To Stay On Task…

Remember when you were younger and you had that one pet that was a little… over-friendly? I had such a pet – a grey and white cat named Shadow. He was a… simple creature. Very affectionate for a cat – always greeted me in the morning when I walked into the living room with a friendly meow (it could have been a demand for food, but indulge me in my memories). Whenever I sat down to watch TV or read a book, he would hop up in my lap and nuzzle my hand. When I was feeling down, this would be the prefect tonic for me. His gentle purring and the warm weight of him on my lap would help me to shuffle off the woes of the day. He never clawed, bit or scratched at me. He was a very good kitty.

Until I tried to read or do schoolwork, then it was a little different. Reading for pleasure was different – paperbacks can be held with one hand and turned with a minimum of fuss. Schoolbooks? Not so much. Even when I did my schoolwork at the dinner table, I would feel the inevitable pressure of four paws and kitty belly (there was no such thing as feast or famine for our cats, it was either feast or ‘this again?’). When I would eat dinner, I’d have to shoo Shadow out of my lap and scoot my chair in as close I could and still breathe. 85% percent of the time, Shadow was a welcome part of my day, but that 15% got rather irritating.

What does this have to do with my writing? Well, new plots that come up are like Shadow – they immediately hop into my lap and start nuzzling my hand. Sometimes, I can indulge them to their fullest and other times I have to set them down and say later. Sometimes, they go along and quietly wait on the floor to be picked up and petted. Other times, they leave for another room.

Then there are the Shadows. Those plots that hop in my lap regardless of where I am to snuggle down and gently put their paw on my hand. I got one of those right now, so I am going to work on it, since I am only doing the re-writes on the weekends and planning one novel in the morning and writing another one when I get home (for those of you playing at home: The Quietest Heart; Out, Out Brief Candle and I/O Error). This new idea I think would actually work as a script for a series. Given the advent of Netflix and YouTube, this could be a practical project. The idea? A cult deprogrammer goes toe to toe with a cult leader who always seems to be one step ahead of him as far as hiding certain people and making which ever subjects the main character can get to a little harder to crack than others. The deeper the main character does, the further away he seems to drift from his support and family. Is it a battle of wits, or a subtle trap?

Right now, I’m doing the background research about cults, deprogramming and the such. So, I am fairly certain I am appearing on some database. I wonder if they’ll let me have a cat to pet affectionately?

Oh, well – I must shower, shave and plot. Have a good day.



Seething Apathy

The One Hundred and Seventy-Seventh Post: The One Where I Go On and On About Marvel…Yes, Again…

Disclaimer: I am a Marvel Fanboy.

Iron Man 3 is definitely the way I would want to end the franchise, if they’re going to end it. Everything is brought together, all the loose threads are brought together and the main character comes away a lot better than when he went into the movie (in fact, the opening takes place before the first Iron Man movie to give us a look at what Tony was before his changes). I even like the idea that they refer to the Avengers movie, showing that there is continuity even in between movies. I am not going to give away plot points for this movie, but I will remark about the one thing I like about the current crop of Marvel films and even the Rami Spider-Man films.

As gifted and as talented as the heroes are – they’re still people at the end of the day. Horribly flawed people that can manage to go past that and do great things. As much as I like this line – he’s also an alcoholic narcissist on borrowed time. Captain America isn’t just The First Avenger – he’s a man out of place in every way possible. Spider-Man? Wow, are his therapy bills going to be enormous. Yet, as much as hubris seems to be a mindset for a lot of these characters, they manage to get their minds right in time to save the day. While this isn’t strictly the purview of Marvel – I am fairly certain if we had our parents gunned down right before our childish eyes the last thing we would do is transform ourselves into this. More than likely, we’d grieve and go on our way with which ever aunt or uncle is going to raise us.

What I like more about the Iron Man series, and particularly the way the series ended (thus far) is that we got to see Tony Stark become transformed into a hero almost unknowingly. Captain America asked for it, but he had to earn it. Spider-Man didn’t want it, but took it because of his uncle. Thor was born into it and it was expected of him. Tony? Didn’t want, didn’t seek it out and her inheritance wasn’t bound up in it, but when the call was made – he took it up with only a couple of hesitations. Unlike all the others, he still had a lot of issues accepting the mantle – which is something we don’t see a lot of other heroes do. We don’t see Batman (in his Dark Knight incarnation) standing in front of the window shivering from a panic attack about how close Bane came to killing him. We don’t see Captain America having a quiet crisis of survivor’s guilt if he watches Saving Private Ryan. While some people would say that stoic fearlessness is the hallmark of a hero, I would disagree. The hallmark of a hero is seeing a situation where one’s death is almost certainly guaranteed… and plunging headlong into it even though that person is scared beyond his wits. That’s what makes Tony Stark a hero in The Avengers and what makes him a bigger hero in Iron Man 3.

Go see the movie, and wait for the after-credit scene. It’s hilarious.



Seething Apathy