lars and the real girl

Okay, I’ve got to admit I thought this movie just looked silly. And I don’t mean silly in a good way. Oops, bad of me because this, fellow movie fans, is a great film. In a few weeks, loads of North Texas Romance Writers will gather for the NT Two Step, with guest speaker Michael Hague (screen-writer). Honestly, I don’t know what all great stuff he’s going to teach us, but I can’t wait. I do know that he will be dissecting the film ‘lars and the real girl’ during our Sunday morning workshop. To that end, I finally broke down and watched a movie that from the snippets I’d seen appeared too ‘silly’ for […]

To theme or not to theme . . .

It’s not really a question of ‘can I theme or not’. Because the bottom line for writers is they must possess an ability to craft their words around theme. I’ve posted before that themes and I don’t get along, see eye-to-eye, hey, we don’t normally exist on the same planet. I scandalously use my critique partners, my English Liter-major collegiate daughter, even my two kids still at home to grasp the concept of theme and shove it one more time — forcefully — into my brain. Image my delight, okay, it was more like downright squeals of excitement when I discovered while teaching (4th grade) today, an insider’s tip for building theme. Three simple ideas, […]

Summer Movies

Ooh, I just love summer for the laziness that comes embedded in the forever days. While some of you are sweating and working away — whether under the blast of overworked A/C units or in the blaze of Texas sun — a few of us find a certain moment each day when ‘Summer Time’ shows up. It’s more a state of mind than an actual tick on the clock. It could show up first thing in the morning, when I’m trotting my dog around the block before the sun becomes ferocious. It could be late evening, when I’m swatting away mosquitoes and cussing the latest device I’ve purchased that guarantees ‘nary a skitter for a […]


Went to see the movie, Atonement, last night. Definitely not intended for the entertainment-ONLY bound movie goer. Atonement should be recognized for its brilliant directing, a deep ‘wow, I got think about this’ plot-line, and a symbolic use of color that I’ve seldom enjoyed in a film. I told my daughter, an English Lit major, that Atonement really is a must-see film. The English papers she could write alone from this one movie would make it well worth the $9.50 entrance fee. The only hint I’ll give to you who haven’t seen it . . . be prepared that the movie is a series of flashbacks. Each scene is replayed twice. First, from the main […]

Character Name

What’s in a character’s name? How does a writer select the perfect name? Is it the symbolism behind a name? Some personal preference? Just what comes to mind? I recently watched I, Robot. Great film, heavy symbolism, terrific imagery – well worth the invested time to watch. However, it was one character’s name that stopped traffic for me, one name that held center stage, the robot: Sonny The meanings behind such a simple name captured my attention. Was the robot so named because . . . 1) The doctor considered himself to be the figurative father of all these robots, but specifically this one that existed only because of his creative powers. He made Sonny […]


It is in fact a disturbing movie, definitely not for the under 13 crowd, maybe even not for the over 13 crowd if serial killers bother you. Disturbia brings the serial killer right into the suburban neighborhood, which is where most are said to lurk, and makes the film very creepy. Growing up, we had a next-door neighbor who was notorious for her partially open blinds, night and day. She was a lonely little (or not so little) woman who’d never had kids and didn’t get the constant noise and fracas the neighborhood group made. We thought she was creepy—spying on us—but maybe she was on to something. In Disturbia, spying turns out for the […]

Classic Movies

This week celebrates John Wayne’s 100th anniversary, and one of the networks is running 100 hours of marathon John Wayne. Does it date me to admit I remember watching his movies for real and not as re-runs? Tonight they played the classic Red River. True heroism in every sense of the word . . . oddly enough the real hero of the movie wasn’t John Wayne, alias Dunston, but the young boy he’d adopted by the name of Matthew Garth. Great hero name–down to earth with real meaning behind it. A mature Matthew Garth, hardened by the Civil War, returns to Texas and Dunston, his surrogate father, only to find the ranch he loves and […]