"All the world's a stage, and the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts."

- William Shakespeare

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Her?

Go watch a few episodes of Arrested Development if you weren't aware that my blog post's title is actually the greatest quote of all time...

There's actually a purpose to this post, don't worry. And it has to do with her:


That's Anne Hathaway, for anyone who doesn't frequent movie theatres. She's been in such movies as The Princess Diaries, The Devil Wears Prada and Get Smart. I used to like her a lot more back in the day when she wasn't so aware of how 'amazing' she is... Now she usually bugs me in her newer movies, but that could just be the ol' bitterness talking, so I'll try not to completely bash her in this post in case any of you out there think it's cool to see someone rise from humble beginnings and then enjoy their power a little too much. As Herman Melville would say, she is a woman "whom prosperity harmed."

...Still, I could just be reading too much into what I see, so I'll shut up about all that now.

The real reason I bring Hathaway up is because it was just announced that she will be co-hosting the 2011 Academy Awards with her recent co-star, James Franco (you'll notice I seem to have no argument as far as Franco is concerned).

...I know there's no need for his picture to be included in this rant,
But who said I needed a reason??...

So... I'm just wondering what exactly the Academy is thinking. Why Anne Hathaway? Don't they usually ask comedians to host? Or Tony Award winners (in Hugh Jackman's case)?... I don't know about you, but whenever I watch Anne Hathaway try to be funny, the only thing that runs through my head is "Stick to the sentimental stuff... That seems to work for you."

And please don't tell me she's going to try to mimic Hugh Jackman because there's no topping his performance. Plus, when he sings, he looks like he's doing it to have fun; when Hathaway sings, it looks like she's doing it expecting a standing ovation.

And what do her and Franco have in common besides a recent movie? Franco's an introverted actor who writes on the side (and you wonder why I love him) and Hathaway's an extrovert who seems to love the spotlight. If the Academy had chosen James Franco and Seth Rogen to co-host, that would have made all the sense in the world; or they could've hired some more movie legends like Billy Crystal, Alec Baldwin or Steve Martin... But an actress who's only recently gone from 'up and coming' to 'attracts a crowd'... where's the logic?

If you haven't noticed, I'm trying to say I'm feeling a bit precarious about the 2011 Academy Awards. I miss the good old days when Billy Crystal hosted. But hey! Even if everything goes awry, I'll still get to watch James Franco for a few hours straight, right? And maybe I'm being too pessimistic... Maybe the Academy made a good choice... maybe. All I can do is wait and see.

Keep it real!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

weekend wars

I'm not actually going to talk about MGMT, the band my post's title is an obvious reference to... but I am going to talk about the battles I've faced this weekend.

That sounds more exciting than it actually was.

On Saturday morning I woke up with a jolt upon remembering the fact that I have a presentation on Wednesday that I still haven't started. So instead of spending my Saturday morning leisurely watching Christmas movies (I don't care if everyone thinks it's too early), I was jumping into the ol' minivan (aka the bane of my existence) and driving to the Mississauga Central Library.

It wasn't until I reached the library that the first interesting development of my morning took place. I was searching the library's online catalogue for anything and everything discussing Emily Dickinson (the topic of my presentation) and stumbled upon the name Christopher Benfey. I'd heard the name before - my grandpa likes to mention him whenever we discuss my budding career in writing. He's a published author and relative of mine who seems to be obsessed with Emily Dickinson. Bonus for me. Oh wait - no it's not. 'Cuz he lives in the States far away and my presentation is in three days! So I can't really pump him for information in between ice breakers, all over the course of about a day and a half...

When I left the library, I decided to make a quick stop in Chapters (because I was in a booky mood... even though I've sworn off buying stuff again - this time my reasoning is that Christmas is just around the corner, so going on a shopping spree is probably the worst idea on the planet... Take note friends, because I don't want to get you an awesome Christmas present only to find out you bought it for yourself last week... but enough on this tangent).

So I was in Chapters and happened to buy a Christmas present or two for friends while I was in there, but mostly what I ended up doing was wallowing in self-pity. On the bright side though, I learned a very valuable lesson: when you're an aspiring author, stay the hell away from all book stores and libraries because all they do is serve as a reminder of how many people get to do what you can only dream of. This also used to happen whenever I stepped into a Blockbuster or left a movie theatre, but those experiences have finally lost their sting.

Anywho, now it's Sunday afternoon and I should probably be working on that Emily Dickinson project or one of my other school assignments, but instead I find myself blogging about my feelings. Ha!

...I don't know where that sarcasm came from... I should probably have a nap or something...

I wanted to go to the gym but there's no car in the driveway and even though I used to make fun of people who drive to the gym, I find myself embracing my double standards because it's cold outside. That's enough to keep me indoors, thank you very much.

I want a car.

This car, in particular:



But, until then I guess I'll just walk to the gym in the freezing cold... or do something productive, like homework...

Either way, I'll leave you alone now.

Keep it real!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

hallelujah! ...almost

I've been up for almost 24 hours... I had a nap from 1 to 3 am this morning, so I guess I didn't actually pull an all-nighter.

I was writing an essay for my Anglo-Saxon Lit class and I just finished in half an hour ago.

Hallelujah!!

But I still have a few more assignments due before the end of the semester...

(Hence the almost.)

Still, the Hallelujah Chorus keeps running through my head.

It may have something to do with the youtube video my mom showed me this morning when I was three quarters of the way done my essay...

Check it out!


It helped me stay awake for the last few hours it took to finish my essay. I'm thinking Red Bull is what'll keep me awake for the rest of the day.

Have a good one!

And keep it real.

Monday, November 15, 2010

six weeks?!

I was just reading up on the few (ten) literary agencies I sent my query letter to and most of them say it will take up to six weeks before they get back to me.

Six weeks!

It'll practically be the new year before I find out whether or not anyone wants to represent my book. Represent, not publish. It'll take another few months for that ball to get rolling.

This is going to take longer than I thought.

I don't know if I'll be able to take all this waiting. I've only just mailed out the letters and I'm already losing sleep. As Sebastian the Crab would say, "my nerves are shot!"


What did I get myself into?

...Keep it real.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

life as an aspiring author

I had a few crazy ideas recently and I figured blogging about them is the best thing to do...

Idea #1: Try to publish a book...

Wait, scratch that.

Idea #1: Write a book;

Idea #2: Try to publish said book;

Idea #3 (and most relevant to this post): Blog about the process.

So, here I go (for anyone interested).

I wrote a book. The working title is Broken Silence and it's about a girl who finds out her step-brother is a crime lord... Weird, I know. I have no idea why this was the story just waiting to flow from my mind to paper, but it was. Anywho, the book is finally finished (a friend of mine is still editing it, but I actually finished writing it, so that's what I mean when I say finished) and now the less fun times come: trying to get it published.

I'm a little worried about bringing people along for the ride only because I'm not sure how long it'll last. Who knows? Maybe no one will want to publish it and then where would I be? ...But I haven't gotten to that part of the process yet, so I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

Tomorrow, instead of doing homework, I will be mailing out my query letter to ten different literary agents in the Toronto area. A query letter (for anyone who doesn't know - much like me only a month ago) is sort of like the back cover of your book plus a little bit about yourself as an author and/or person. It's supposed to get the agent interested enough in your book to ask for the first three chapters. It has to be a page tops. I think it's safe to say my query letter was the hardest thing I've ever written. I had to condense 256 pages (107,000 words) into three very short paragraphs. Somehow I managed. And tomorrow I'll mail it out.

And then I'll wait.

Super exciting, right?

If, by some miracle, my query letter peeks an agent's interest, they will then ask me for the first few chapters of the book. If the agent likes these first few chapters, they will then ask for my entire manuscript. Finally, if they like my book as a whole, they will agree to represent me to publishers. And then the process begins all over again, but this time around I'll have help.

Apparently Stephanie Meyer (author of Twilight - don't ask me why I know so much about that book) went from first draft to books on shelves within six months - the bad writing is proof. Still, her process was crazy short, but there's no telling how long mine will be.

But it all begins with the mailing of the query letters. So my publishing journey begins tomorrow morning. I'll keep you posted and let you know how mine turns out.

Keep it real!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Hardwicke Hardships

On Wednesday night my world shattered.

...Okay, well maybe it didn't shatter... but it definitely cracked.

I was perusing the internet like I usually do when I'm in a class that allows computers and decided it was time to check up on my old pal, Emile Hirsch (and by old pal I mean I wish he knew I existed... but he's a great actor nonetheless). So I was checking on him and discovered he was set to star in an upcoming remake of Hamlet which I was immediately skeptical of. He's going up against the likes of Sir Lawrence Olivier. No one wants to be compared to that.

Regardless, I wanted to see who was crazy enough to direct such a difficult piece and my heart (I'm pretty sure) stopped beating when I saw the name: Catherine Hardwicke.

You may not recognize that name, but I do. Unfortunately.

She was the director of Twilight: the worst movie ever made (well... that and The Happening).


If you were to ask me who my favorite director was, I wouldn't be able to tell you because there are too many. But ask me who my least favorite is and that's Catherine Hardwicke. Hands down.

Now, don't get me wrong here - I'm not blaming the story of Twilight on Hardwicke. Obviously she had nothing to do with that part of the monstrosity that is the phenomenon. But the movie itself, everything about it screams poor direction. That mixed with the fact that I've watched the commentary (I do that with tons of movies, not just bad ones - don't judge me) which gives one an inside look into the poorly thought out choices and ridiculous days on set when no one knew what was going on...

Just bad all around.

But the fact that she will destroy - I mean direct - Hamlet wasn't even the most world-shattering part of my evening. It gets oh-so-much worse.

For a brief moment I felt perhaps I was being too hard on Hardwicke. I mean, she made one horrible movie, but she also directed Lords of Dogtown which I've heard a few good things about. With only these two movies (and Thirteen, but I haven't seen that one either) to go on, it was hardly fair to judge her so harshly so I decided to look at her resume.

She's been a production designer on almost twenty films and has directed four (not including Hamlet or the other two that are listed as in production).

I'd known three of her four credits and the fourth one was the shocker.

She directed The Nativity Story. The director whom I've referred to for years as the one that can do no right - she directed one of my favorite movies of all time. A movie I thought to be incredibly well done. I adore The Nativity Story.


Crash!

(That was the sound of my world on Wednesday night.)

I actually feel like my world has flipped on its head. Right is wrong, left is right... and bad does good. What is going on?

I can't even conclude this blog. I can't end it with something like, "And now I like Catherine Hardwicke." All I can do is stare blankly at the screen (much like I did when I first discovered this life...well, perspective altering fact) and go, "uhhhhhhhh......."

When will this news stop making my brain hurt? I no longer know what to think...

"uhhhhhhhhhh.........."

Keep it real?