If it's Thursday, it must be....
Okay, sports fans, first things first.
The results of our latest contest. To refresh your memory, the assignment was:
If you could spend one unbridled night with any fictional character in the world, who would it be? Why? What would you do?
Turns out, we’re going to have TWO winners. Mario and I reviewed all the entries and here are our choices.
Winner #1. Jennifer Rinehart!
I hate vampires.
No, not just because they drink blood and defile the innocent, no, I
mean I really, really hate them.
I know what you're thinking: what a kook, she might as well say she hates leprechauns or dragons. But I mean it in the most personal way.
Vampires are ruining my life. So if I had a choice of who I would
want to spend the evening with it would be with Abraham Van Helsing.
Maybe he could help me rid Powell's Books of the blood sucking ghouls hanging out around the cookbook section (don't ask me why they're there, they just are). Sure, they look cute and non-threatening, but I'm not willing to risk eternal damnation to get a copy of Emeril's newest cookbook. They're at the laundromat too, I see their glowing faces hovering over the discarded dryer sheets. The same with the
parking lot at Macy's, Bed, Bath & Beyond and my absolute favorite store, World Market. As if they need to stock up on rattan placemats or tiny travel sized jars of lemon curd.
In closing, I think Van Helsing would be an invaluable source of information on slaying the undead. I have a notepad and pen ready to take notes and an unused giftcard for Olive Garden. I hope he likes Italian.**This one got points for sheer audacity. Who would tell two vampire writers that they HATE vampires. But she makes some pretty good arguments. Besides, we’re assuming this was written with tongue firmly in cheek, right, Jennifer? Right? Jennifer?**
Winner #2. The Tot--
I would choose Anna Strong because I like her best because she’s pretty. We would have a play date. First, we’d do ballerina dances. Then we’d go to the dinosaur museum. Then we’d going to the mall and go buy lots of new shoes, maybe some earrings too. Then we’d get our ears pierced and get our nails done in bright red with sparkles. Then we’d go to the park and play—I think she’d be really good at tag. Then we’d go to ChuckECheese. Then it would be time for bed and she’d read me a bedtime story. Anna’s really good at telling stories.**I can hear the groans out there—but Mario made this his first pick without ANY pressure from me. And think about it, how often does Anna get invited to play? (Not counting the time she spends with Lance and that’s a different thing altogether.) And except for the ChuckECheese thing, Anna thinks this sounds like a pretty good plan. Ballerina dances, new shoes, earrings and the dinosaur museum—what girl wouldn’t like to spend a day like that?**
So now, I just need the winners snail mail addresses and the prizes are on the way. They can be sent to: Jeanne@jeannestein.com
Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all who entered. We had a lot of damned good entries, some very original, all fun to read. I think we have some writers in the audience.
Which brings me to a related article for you aspiring writers out there:
Simon & Schuster and Cheerios Cereal is sponsoring its third annual New Author Contest for previously unpublished authors of children's books.
Entries are being accepted through July 15, 2009 and the winner will be announced in
March 2010. There is no cost to enter. The Grand Prize is $5000, with two first
prizes of $1000 each. Here’s the link
for more information.
Now, some disturbing news:
From writer Chris Cowan:Today's (3/24/09) Washington Post's Health section has a lead article about the effect of the new law about lead in things for children. Any children's BOOK printed before 1985 has to be tested for lead (at $300-600 per book) or cannot be "distributed," (i.e., sold OR even circulated in a library, apparently).There doesn't appear to be an exception of any sort. And it doesn't appear that "Children's Books" have been well-enough defined, either. Would this affect a 19th century Little Women? Or Alice in Wonderland? Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn? Black Beauty? Kipling's Just-So Stories and The Jungle Books? Or Tolkien's mid-20th century "The Hobbit?" Or any children's books some of you have written that were printed before 1985.Oh, and this also affects board games and dolls. So clasic Barbie and your grandparent's Scrabble set (to say nothing of the Candyland cherished from one's childhood) come under The Ban as well. Isn't chess a board game, too? And pre-1985 bikes are covered because the tire valves might have lead, even if the rest of the bike doesn't. What's next -- a Berlin-style book burning? Oh wait -- that would cause airborne lead pollution. I happen to think there's a quantum difference between enforcing no lead paint on new toys that one's toddler may mouth and this. But then, obviously my mental capacity has been affected by all those pre-1985 books I grew up reading. (But not eating.)
also mentions what the effect is on secondhand and used book stores as well. It’s devastating. What do you think?
Some interesting and not so disturbing news.Dr John Casson
claims to have unearthed Shakespeare's first published poem, the Phaeton sonnet, his first comedy, Mucedorus, and his first tragedies, Locrine and Arden of Faversham.
He also explores the plays Thomas of Woodstock and A Yorkshire Tragedy, and claims to prove that a 'lost play' called Cardenio is a genuine work by Shakespeare and fellow playwright John Fletcher.
He has published his findings in a book, titled Enter Pursued by a Bear.
And one of our faithful readers, Gina, sent us this:New York, NY - March 16, 2009 - Building upon sixteen years of water cooler programming and soaring ratings growth following its most-watched year ever, SCI FI Channel is evolving into Syfy on air and on-line beginning July 7th, it was announced today by Dave Howe, President, SCI FI.By changing the name to Syfy, which remains phonetically identical, the new brand broadens perceptions and embraces a wider and more diverse range of imagination-based entertainment including fantasy, paranormal, reality, mystery, action and adventure, as well as science fiction. It also positions the brand for future growth by creating an ownable trademark that can travel easily with consumers across new media and non-linear digital platforms, new international channels and extend into new business ventures.
My comment- Huh?
Gina also adds: Syfy is a Polish equivalent for "crap", "junk" or "syphilis".
Supposedly another of the reasons for the change is that Syfy is easier to text than SciFi. Oh yeah. That makes sense.
Interested in the Hugo nominees for this year? Check it out here
From Shelf Awareness & Variety:
Joel and Ethan Coen are working on an adaptation of the classic western True Grit by Charles Portis for their next project. An earlier version featured John Wayne's Oscar-winning performance.
According to Variety
--and to the surprise of no one familiar with their work--the Coen's adaptation will not be "a traditional remake," but "will be more faithful to the Charles Portis book than the 1969 pic." True Grit "reteams the brothers with producer Scott Rudin, their partner on the Oscar-winning No Country for Old Men."
Portis' novel is about a 14-year-old girl who, along with an aging U.S. marshal and another lawman, tracks her father's killer in hostile Indian territory.
But while the original film was a showcase for Wayne, the Coens' version will tell the tale from the girl's p.o.v.
Okay, I can hear you saying out there—so who cares? I only mention it because the original True Grit has the distinction of being the movie that turned me off the Oscars FOREVER. When John Wayne was given the best actor award over Jon Voigt and Dustin Hoffman (both nominated for Midnight Cowboy) I vowed NEVER to watch the stupid program again. And I haven’t. I’m very proud of that actually.
From the Hollywood Reporter
Clive Cussler’s suit over the bomb Sahara is turning out to be very expensive for him. He has been ordered to pay another $14 million in legal fees to Crusader Entertainment. That makes it a total of about $23 million if you include his legal fee. As the Reporter comments: Few would have ever guessed that a controversy over script approval could ever get to be so expensive. The movie itself is said to have lost $80 million.
Now for fun stuff:
First pictures of Alpha in his lair – suitably creepy, isn’t it? And who is that piece of man candy on the chair in the background?
A great picture of the Dollhouse set.
Love the direction Dollhouse is going. We did kind of guess that the FBI agent’s neighbor across the hall was a doll, didn’t we?
I guess Life on Mars has been canceled. Too bad. I liked that program. The sound track rocked.
Castle was so-so. The too good kid is grating. The plot was not very original. It’s a good thing I like Nathan. And Sue Grafton and Stephen King may appear in future episodes as poker playing buds. Can't wait for that!
Last night’s Lost was also TOO good, too, but in the right way. SPOILER
: Sayid kills young Ben—but wait, isn’t old Ben there on the island? Will he disappear? Great cliff hangar.
One of these days, I may learn to embed these videos, but until then, I have to send you to a link
. This one is worth the trip. It’s a Snickers vampire commercial. Cool
Now I’m off to meet Mario. We’re signing at the Greenwood Village Barnes & Noble. Wish us luck. The weather forecast is for 6 – 12 inches of snow.