this may be the weirdest post I've ever done because I keep losing the wireless connection here in my friend's house. So I'm going to paste what I have and hope I can get it to work before I get kicked off yet again. You'd think I was in the middle of nowhere like Sandy instead of here in San friggin' Diego.
First of all, congratulations, Ann, for winning our Bad Santa Contest. Your entry was great. It turns out that I met Ann in Daytona the last day of the Romantic Times Booklovers convention two years ago. I was in the lobby waiting to go to the airport and sat across from three women who were friends of Laurell K. Hamilton. Laurell had just left for the airport and we started chatting and one thing led to another and in one of those serendipitous moments, I found out that one of the women, Vicki Pierce, was not only returning to Denver, too, but lived about ten miles from me. Anyway, Ann was one of Vicki’s friends and we ended up having breakfast together and talking about writing and life and all things under the sun as writers do when they get together.
I must add, however, that when Ann submitted her entry, she did not include her name so being chosen the winner was entirely fair and above board! Right, Mario? Right? Mario?
Anyway, Ann, you’re fabulous cache of valuable prizes is winging its way to you—including the most sought after trophy in the writing world today—the famous devil duck!
was interesting so I’m reprinting it. Ten movies that were better than the books by David Coddin:
“The Graduate” (1967): Charles Webb's novella has no soul and no style. Mike Nichols' generation-influencing film, which introduced the world to Dustin Hoffman and gave Anne Bancroft the role of a lifetime, had both. Screenplay: Buck Henry.
Cirque Du Soleil
“The Birds” (1963): There's nothing wrong with Daphne du Maurier's novel, but it flat-out can't compete with one of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest works. The Bodega Bay setting is breathtaking; the invasion from the sky horrifying. Screenplay: Evan Hunter.
“Shane” (1953): Yes, “Shane” was a novel (written by Jack Schaefer) before it became a film. Today, the book is forgotten. Not the sweeping motion picture, cherished for its cinematography and for iconic performances by Alan Ladd and Jack Palance. Screenplay: A.B. Guthrie Jr.
“Babe” (1995): Dick King-Smith's “Babe the Gallant Pig” was the inspiration for one of the most surprising films of the '90s. It moved and captivated adults as well as children, and it should have won the '95 best picture Oscar. Screenplay: George Miller.
“The Godfather” (1972): No disrespect to Mario Puzo's book, but Francis Ford Coppola's film elevated the story of the Corleone family to a whole new level. Has any American movie since 1970 become as much a part of the cultural lexicon as this one? To his credit, Puzo also wrote the screenplay.
“The Wizard of Oz” (1939): In fairness to L. Frank Baum, whose imagination was legendary, how could his own storytelling compete with Judy Garland, one eye-popping set after another and “Over the Rainbow”? Screenplay: Noel Langley.
“To Have and Have Not” (1944): Ernest Hemingway knew a little something about writing, but it took screenwriters Jules Furthman and some guy named William Faulkner to punch up Papa's 1937 novel. The presence of Bogey and Bacall didn't hurt, either.
“From Russia with Love” (1963): Actually, you could substitute just about any of Ian Fleming's smart but unspectacular James Bond novels here. His Bond is a bore. This film, the second Fleming book adapted, is the most pure (gadget-and gimmick-free) 007 movie. Screenplay: Johanna Harwood.
“Carrie” (1976): Most movies made out of Stephen King novels or stories have failed, at least artistically. One that not only didn't fail, but which exceeds the book in drama and shock value is the 1976 Sissy Spacek vehicle. Screenplay: Lawrence D. Cohen.
“The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming” (1966): I just caught this again recently on AMC and was reminded what a hoot the Alan Arkin-starring film is. The book, called “The Off-Islanders,” by Nathaniel Benchley, pales in comparison. Screenplay: William Rose.
I think I agree with most of them. Can't really discuss it now though or my computer might crash-- What do you think?
Richard Leigh, a writer of alternative history who unsuccessfully sued Dan Brown for themes in his novel, The Da Vinci Code, died on November 30. He was 64. His book, Holy Blood, Holy Grail, was released in 1982. In it, he claimed Jesus fathered a child with Mary Magdalene and the bloodline continues to this day. Leigh and co-author Michael Baigent sued Brown's publisher Random House, claiming The Da Vinci Code "appropriated the architecture" of their book. The suit was thrown out because “the ideas in question were too general to be protected by copyright.”
Okay-- I think that's it. I'm in San Diego where the weather is beautiful (mid 70's) and we're staying at our favorite place-- with friends right above the bay. Spending my days signing stock at book stores and preparing for events at bookstores here and in LA. Now if the computer would just cooperate and let me post this, my life will be complete...