My World Building Blogfest post, in which I discuss Kutaisi, Georgia, is here.
Today, 28 January, the Re-introduce Myself Blogfest, the creation of Stephen Tremp, is being hosted by Mark Koopmans, Elise Fallson, and C.M. Brown. Basically, it’s a short, brief way in which to re-introduce (or introduce) oneself to the blogging community.
I began this particular blog in March 2011, though for almost 10 years prior, I’d had a fairly popular website at Angelfire. I’m over the loss of that site now, since losing it (and being unable to recover some of my files) helped me to move on in my writing and my life.
I’ve been writing since 1984, literally as long as I’ve been able to write. It’s just something I’ve always done, not something I began as an adult or in response to some book fad. I began with picture books, then began writing longer stories at probably around age eight. My great writing (and reading) love is historical. I also have some soft sci-fi books on hiatus.
It was kind of depressing to discover, after I began querying again a decade after giving up far too prematurely, that superlong historical sagas, with ensemble casts, spanning many years, in third-person omniscient, and multiple storylines aren’t exactly in vogue anymore.
When I think of historical fiction, I think of writers like Leon Uris, James Michener, and Herman Wouk. You know, LONG books, not stories that are all of 350 pages. I’m not going to hack out hundreds of pages or important subplots and characters just to kowtow and bring my books down to some arbitrary “word count.” They wouldn’t be nearly the same stories anymore.
My tastes have never been in step with what’s current and popular anyway. I love silent and early sound films, classic rock, and classic world literature. Modern things just don’t do it for me. I gravitate towards things that have stood the test of time, and I always know I get into them for the right reasons instead of just getting into a writer, band, or actor because of current popularity.
Even when I finally fell for a band who got famous in my lifetime, that still wasn’t much of a victory, since their debut album is over 30 years old by now. I just can’t win!
I’m also participating in the Express Yourself meme again this week. This week’s question is:
“What movies do you watch over and over again that you can practically quote them word for word?”
For me, that’s an easy answer. I fell in love with Laurel and Hardy in July of ’96, at age 16, and they helped me through one of the darkest nights of my soul. I will love them till there’s no more breath left in my body. So many years later, I still remember how sad I was, during my junior year of high school, when I found out that both of them had died quite a few years before I’d been born.
I’ve seen a number of their sound shorts so many times I really can recite them backwards and forwards. Examples include Men o’ War (1929, their third talkie) and Helpmates (1931, one of their finest sound shorts). I even know the gags by heart, and their body language and facial expressions.
I’ve also seen my favorite Rudy Valentino film, Blood and Sand (1922), so many times I also practically know it by heart, both by scenes and intertitles. That was my first Valentino film, on 17 November 2004, and I still remember how my heart literally skipped a beat the first time I saw him in motion.
I also know a lot of my favorite movie, The Inner Circle (1991), by heart. I’ve seen it so many times since I first discovered it in July of ’96. I was able to videotape it before the History Channel sadly discontinued Movies in Time. It’s based on the memoirs of Stalin’s film projectionist, and depicts life in the Soviet Union during the Great Terror, WWII, the period right before Stalin’s death, and the horrifying mob scene at Stalin’s funeral.
I proudly own my timewarped tastes.