September 30, 2009

The movies showing in Promoland Posted by Lorraine (L.L.) Bartlett, also known as Lorna Barrett It seems like I've been gearing up for promoting my next book for at least ten thousand years. I've been going over lists, cleaning them up, ordering bookmarks, postcards, printing labels, yada yada yada. Putting this all together is fun and yet incredibly boring. . .kind of like my last day job. I would look stuff up on the Internet, cork it into spreadsheets--rinse, lather, repeat. It was boring all right, but I didn't mind because I would listen to books on tape. I could do all that work and still get lost in a story. (And, okay, I admit it--I enjoyed the work. And I enjoy doing all this nitpicky stuff getting ready and doing promotion for the books, too.) I've already listened to my favorite audiobooks I love Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray -- in fact, I listened to it twice -- and her StepBall Change is another one I love to listen to; and I can't forget Barbara Michaels' The Dancing Floor, and Dick Francis' Straight, either. But I ran out of stuff to listen to so there was only one thing to do: open the DVD Library. First up, Superman--yup, the original. There's something wonderful about that movie. It's like three movies in one. The opening on Krypton is neat, but my favorite part is the part in Smallville. Glenn Ford only had a small part, but he was wonderful as Pa Kent. And that scene in the wheat field--wow--what cinematography! And then there's the Superman story itself. Is it any wonder I watched it three times? (Of course, then I made the mistake of watching Superman II, which is inferior in just about every way. I never had the courage to watch Superman III . . . was there even a IV? (Shudder.) Next up, Galaxy Quest. I love that movie. I must've watched it about 40 times (never saw it on the big screen). It was the second movie I bought after I got my first DVD player. I couldn't believe I could actually watch Tim Allen and actually like him by the time the credits rolled. Oh and I can't forget another one of my all-time favorites: Groundhog Day. Somehow I never get bored watching Bill Murray spend that day over and over again. And then I watched Airplane. That dance scene in the bar with Stayin' Alive playing in the background is a classic! My DVD library isn't all that big--and I have a lot of movies on VHS, but I don't have a VHS player in my office, so I can't watch some other favorites like Pleasantville, Field of Dreams, Eddie and the Cruisers. Rats. So I guess today's movie will probably be Pollyanna. Yes, the one with Hayley Mills in the title role. It's wonderful (and it's L-O-N-G--about 2 1/2 hours. I can get a lot done during that movie and not have to get up to change it.) Have you noticed a theme that all these movies have in common? Friendship and love. I never get tired of that scenario. Maybe that's why I write about it in all my various series. The relationship between the brothers in the Jeff Resnick Mysteries, and the relationship between the sisters in the Booktown Mysteries. In 2011 you'll be able to read about the friendships Katie Bonnier has with her new-found friends in the Victoria Square Mysteries. Okay, where is my Pollyanna DVD. It's time to jump into work for the day. And what movies do you enjoy watching over and over again?
See you in court? posted by Jeanne Munn Bracken Friends, I have been laid low by a bug. A bug without a name--nothing like swine flu or even garden variety influenza. Just an annoying bug that has kept me confined to quarters for several days, and my doctor says I can't go back to work til Monday. In the meantime, I am hacking and rattling and not worth a damn to anybody for anything. I don't even have the energy to finish up the semi-final draft of the cancer book that is supposed to go to press in "early October". Gulp. I think I caught this bug last Wednesday when I escorted my husband to a teaching hospital for a routine test, the one with the prep that takes two days and proves that, at last for a while, the testee is not "full of shit." Anyway, we sat in a crowded waiting room for over two hours while other patients came and went. This did nothing to improve Mr. Grumpy's mood, which had gone south about the time of the second bottle of fizzy "bowel prep" stuff. There were no spare seats, some people were sitting on stairs and window sills, and the guy next to me coughed the whole time. I was faithful with the hand sanitizer, but apparently one must gargle with it for full efficacy, and I didn't. My bad. But don't worry about me. I now have excellent drugs and expect that I will be back on my feet pretty soon. In the meantime, I am stuck at home. I do have a huge TBR (to be read) pile of books, mostly mysteries, by my bed, and I've made my way through several of them, but a lot of the time I just don't feel like reading (which should tell you how sick I really am.) So I have been reduced to watching daytime TV, a questionable pleasure I haven't had for many years. With cable, there are a lot more programs to choose from. Quantity does not equal quality. Still, in an effort to use the time as research, I decided to limit my viewing to courtroom shows. Not fictional dramas--real live courtroom reality programs. Judge Judy was the limit of my acquaintance with these shows. Now I find that there are people's courts, divorce courts, and a whole bunch of other choices: Judge Alex, Judge Lynn Tolle, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Judge Mathis...frankly, I lost count. And I discovered the truth: it is impossible to overestimate the stupidity of some people. I saw people suing their spouses, their mothers, their kids, their boyfriends, their girlfriends, their sisters and brothers. They sue over high school yearbooks, cell phones (how do they rack up such large bills?), old pickup trucks...the list is endless. I couldn't help but think that any writer who wanted some plot ideas could pick up a lot of pointers from these shows. My favorite was the divorce hearing where the bride admitted the trouble started on the wedding night when they got home from the bar and faced the groom's kids, who, being underage, were too young to have joined the celebration. I don't know about you, but I might have suspected that the marriage was doomed from the start. I'd say it pretty much proves that truth is stranger than fiction.

Lorraine Bartlett

Five women, five weekdays, many surprises.

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