Wednesday, April 28, 2010

sequels make me sad.

I know I'm not alone in this.  I can list tons of movies over the last several years which started off strong, brilliant, even, but were tarnished by unnecessary, sub-par sequels.  Shrek, anyone?  Or, how about Pirates of the Caribbean?  So it's no surprise that I am profoundly unhappy to learn that Dreamworks Animation is calling How to Train Your Dragon their "next franchise."

Please, NO!  I can understand making a sequel if the purpose is to continue the book series on which the original was based (a la Harry Potter or Twilight), but if it's just for the big bucks?  If the second movie isn't called How to be a Pirate (the second of Cressida Cowell's books), I may abstain from watching.  This has me trembling with sadness.

A few days ago, I was worried that HTTYD would leave theaters prematurely, and wanted everyone I'd ever known to go see it.  Now that I know it's doing so well that Dreamworks has hoisted it up to relieve the dwindling Shrek, I almost want to recant and say, "Just wait for DVD," so that it will stop making money and no longer hold a cash-cow potential.  For all of its flaws (and I'll admit, it has some), it's far too honest, too sweet, too emotional-- to good, even!-- for that.  I mean, I haven't seen a better movie in theaters in the past five years (or, at least, not one that made me so irrepressibly happy), and the LAST thing I want is to see these beloved characters get sucked into the Dreamworks whirlpool.

Can you imagine how heartbroken I would be to show up to a movie theater in 2013, and hear Toothless voiced by Chris Rock, or something like that?  Surely this is NOT the direction they would go.  Surely they will be able to retain the heart and depth of the original... I hear there is even going to be a television series.  Oh... I can only hope that the original directors stay with the project.  And, even if the next five to seven years of the proposed Dragon franchise are dotted with horrendous additional storylines, uncharacteristic pop-culture references, and a slew of hokey merchandise...
                                    at least we will still have the original.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

nothing, in particular

Well, now I know that figuring out what to write in your second-ever blog post is even more difficult than the first.  I want every post to be about something, but I can't decide what.  The most famous/addictive blogs are always about one thing.  Whether it be raising foster kittens, cooking through Julia Child's recipes, or sharing daily wedding tips/pictures... these are the sorts of blogs that catch eyes, and sometimes get turned into books and movies.  Granted, that is not my goal in the least, but I feel like it would be easier for me to write if I had some focal topic, other than just an endless slew of what-I-did-todays.

So what focal topics can I offer?  Living way out in the country was my first thought, but it's not like I'm the only one who does.  Living here is far less interesting than, say, living on Mt. LeConte.

There's always the cat, but it sort of creeps me out when I read blogs from the 'pet's point-of-view.'  I'm not that kind of a person... at least, not yet.  Let's hope I can hold it off for a while.

Running is interesting, to some. The fact that I'm registered to run a marathon in six months should be interesting to all, considering my lack of experience and abysmal athleticism.  This can be where I document my gruesome training and ultimate unraveling at the 18-mile mark on 10/10/10.  Let this not be a self-fulfilling prophecy, but perhaps one day this will be made into a movie-- one that shakes its finger, as if to say, "Don't run a marathon if you are physically incapable, or you may die, or turn into human spaghetti."  A morality play for couch potatoes and theatre majors who get themselves confused with the cross country team.

A runner friend of mine said the other day, "You are one brave woman."  Am I?  You've been running since middle school, and I'm brave for doing a marathon after only running for a year?  Uh-oh.  I think the word you're looking for is "stupid," not brave.  My 2:55-finishing husband has tricked me into believing that, just as "anyone can cook," anyone can run 26.2 miles in one go (in less that six hours).  This may be my downfall.

If I'm dramatic enough, it could work.  But these are just silly fears, things that gnaw on my brain and get in the way of my primary feeling, which is that I enjoy running enough to desire the training, and that I will most likely not die on October 10th, and that if I walk some/don't finish, no one will hold it against me.  I also doubt I want to devote an entire blog to the experience.

I like writing, but after mentioning it in the last post, I felt very self-conscious and pretentious.  Joshua and I go hiking a lot, but I don't want to only talk about that, either.  Maybe I'll just stick to the "slew," and write what I know.  It won't be concise, and there will be many topics, but I'll probably enjoy it more , and chances are, so will you.  Can it be decided, then?  Julie Maughon is writing a blog about nothing, in particular, which may include (but won't be limited to) living way out in Rockford, the cat, running, hiking, noteworthy occurrences, good movies/music, traveling, various amusements, reading/writing, et cetera.

Thanks for letting me work it out.

Friday, April 16, 2010

a handful of thoughts, to get you started.

     Writing one's first (actual) post on a new blog is highly intimidating.  I can't decide what to say.  I feel like a lot more happens in my life than I can capture in any sensible, creative way, to post here for others to enjoy.  I suppose I could just start with a handful of thoughts.

1. I am very happy with springtime.  We agree with one another.  I have always loved seasons, relished in the changing world every three months (especially the dramatic change every six), and have been known to say that my favorite season is generally whichever one comes next.  But there is something special and different about spring, and its segue into summer.  Nothing beats the summer.
   (Just wait, I'll be saying the same thing about the autumn, come September.)

2.  I am also very happy that I do not have any real allergies, especially after learning that Knoxville is the #1 worst city to live in at this time of year.  Oh, and Louisville was #2.  I suppose it just follows me around. My apologies to everyone who has been affected by this.

3.  Moving into a new house is way more fun, I think, when the house is small and out in the country, than a giant thing in the suburbs.  Just to clarify: we are renting, not buying.  The property we're moving to (including our landlords' house and their nine acres) is for sale, but we'd never be able to afford it, not for another 20 years at least.  I'm sure I will have much more to say about this house, once we're really there.  I had a blast this past week, just going by myself to exist there for a few hours at a time.  It seems so much like a place you'd go to visit, and it's surreal to think of us actually living there.

4.  I brought several boxes of things to the house the other day, and I found some very entertaining old journals of mine.  I sat and read my old thoughts, laughing throughout.  Some of these things made NO sense whatsoever.  Some were leftover notes from classes and sermons.  Some were from creative writing assignments about which I had completely forgotten.  The last one I opened was from the summer of '07.  It had a "Sliced Bacon" sticker on the front (remember those?).  I opened it, and saw my first-ever musings of the short story (turned not-so-short story) I've been working on for months now.  I SQUEALED.  If Joshua had been there, he would have thought I'd gotten crawled on by a tarantula or something... except I was happy about it.

5.  I love how writing something makes me feel like I've been reading a book.  Several times in the past day or so, I've stopped and thought, Wait, what is it that I've been reading? before realizing that I haven't been reading anything at all (that I haven't written first), for weeks.  This is not to say that what I've been writing is any good.  I've been enjoying myself with it, but I doubt anyone else would take much interest.  Also, it's one of those things that has been rolling around inside me for so long, I feel painfully nervous about it, and over-protective.  It's that deformed, decomposing infant-mutant, gnawing at my ankles, that Dr. Malone used to talk about in class.  The idea is that it won't let you alone until you fix it, give it a face and life.  This, my professor used to say, is what creative writing is all about.  Half of me wants to ask everyone I know, "Would you read something if I wrote it?" but the other half begs, "Please, don't look at it, just let me hold on to it.  You won't like it, anyway."

5.a.  One other thought about writing:
      It seems to me that the more excited I get, the more inspiration/funny connections I see, everywhere.  For instance, I'm writing about a valley, and then we found this house... which is in a valley.  One of the characters is named Violet, and then I saw a small tub of violet fragranced balm at Earth To Old City, and, nerd that I am, took it as a sign (and bought it, of course.  It smells very slightly of grape slushies).  Then the actual violets came out, and I couldn't help but think of them as a sign, too, or at least a little pat on the back, a nod of approval, or a tug in the right direction.
     But the wildest connection I saw was the trout lily.  In the story, I had already written about a plant with a yellow flower that wouldn't bloom for seven years.  On Easter Sunday, I discovered trout lilies, which have been around since the dawn of time, probably.  I associated them immediately with the aforementioned plant in the story, based solely on appearance.  Then, after researching, I learned that their yellow flowers don't bloom for the first seven years, either.
     Oh my. 

     So, there's a little bit about me.  I like spring.  I like writing.  I laugh at myself.  I am easily excitable, especially concerning make-believe.  I see meaning in a lot of meaningless things.  I am insecure.  I am trying to be more open.  Just don't expect any masterpiece out of me, or for anything I ever write to be published, and I'll be okay.  :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

the pencil box

"In an old, rosewood pencil box" comes from a sappy, lovely British comedy. It's where the two long-lost lovers both claim they've been hiding each other for 'all these years.'

Netflix has it. "As Time Goes By." It makes me think of college and my grandmother and writing thank you notes, all at the same time.