Tuesday, December 11, 2007


The Amateur Dramatic Hour continues at my place. Not only am I finding the character development and improvisation exercises from acting class useful for getting into the head of the character who sees the world in the opposite way from me, but it turns out it's useful for adding actions to the scenes with other characters. If I have to think about how I would act out a scene, I can't rely on interior monologue, so I have to find physical cues, and then I can put that in the scene.

So, yeah, I'm still working on that book I wrote in fifteen days back in August. That was just the bones of the story. Then I rewrote it to get it into the right form. Now I'm rewriting it to make it sing. Each draft seems to take a little more time. That fifteen-day book is going to end up taking me three months or more to write (I haven't been working on it non-stop since August).

Since I had a cold, rainy Sunday, I indulged in one of my favorite holiday activities: Curling up with the Christmas lights on, appropriate Christmas music, some hot cocoa, some cookies, and a seasonally-themed book. This weekend's reading selection was Hogfather by Terry Pratchett. Now, it's not technically a "Christmas" book as it takes place in an alternate world that has different religions from our world, but it does involve a Discworld winter holiday that looks a lot like Christmas. Instead of Santa Claus/Father Christmas there's the Hogfather who brings gifts to good boys and girls and who sits in a store to visit with kids. But what if nefarious forces take Hogfather out of the picture? Then someone just has to fill in, and Death is up for the job.

It says something about the genius of Terry Pratchett that he can make Death such a sympathetic, fleshed-out (no pun intended) character. Death really doesn't get humanity, as much as he'd like to, so he doesn't understand why poor kids get worse gifts than rich kids do, even if the Hogfather is the one bringing them, and he sees right through one-time acts of charity meant only to make the giver feel good about himself while having very little to do with what the recipient wants or needs. Things get really interesting when Death, in his night as Hogfather, decides a few changes are in order. Meanwhile, someone has to find out what happened to the real Hogfather and get him back before it's too late.

I got this book at the library, but I'll have to buy a copy because it needs to be reread to catch all the little jokes and nuances, and I could see myself re-reading it as an annual tradition because it does make some very pointed reminders about the way we celebrate the holiday season.

It turns out that the ION network (apparently what PAX evolved into) is showing the British Hogfather miniseries tonight and tomorrow night. I think that will be my present-wrapping time. I do hope it's good. The IMDB reviews have been pretty positive, but I'm always nervous about seeing a book I've loved brought to life on the screen.

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