Three things have happened to officially kick off this year's holiday season... shall we hear?
Thing the first: Mate and I had a movie date--and that needs some talking about.
I spend relentless hours explaining to students the difference between an archetype and a cliche. An archetype is a form, a story or character or symbol mold to use as a framework on which to build a story on. A cliche is when the story is told in tired words, leaving the framework threadbare and transparent. A storyteller's job is to cover that framework with details: real people, doing real things, particular moments, particular words, true emotions. There are truly only so many stories, and the archetypes are easy to predict, but the depth of the storytelling determines an original story.
I was thinking all of this after I saw Avatar.
Most of us could predict the storyline and the outcome, simply by watching the very first 30 second trailer.
The depth of the storytelling made that framework lush with details--it was visual storytelling at it's most glorious, and it did justice to a noble archetype in spades.
Awesome. Just awesome.
Of course, another thing that occurred to me was that Cameron and I have two things in common.
The first thing is that since he poured his own money into this project, I'm now in very good company as an independent writer. He's an indie too!
The second thing is he has killed off important people for the romantic HEA in movies before. Everyone watching the movie is aware that in Cameron's world, NO ONE IS SAFE. This is important--it makes the suspenseful moments at the end of the movie that much more suspenseful--no one is safe. He could take anyone out at any time. This could end badly. Brilliance! I'd like to say that I did the same thing because I too am brilliant, but the truth his, I'm a sadistic bitch with a twisted need to make myself cry. And then inflict it on everyone else. But the result is the same. So, you know, me and James--we'll do lunch.
Okay, now on to the second thing.
Mate and I went Christmas shopping today. It was hard buying on a restricted budget--I'm afraid I didn't do it gracefully. I REALLY didn't do it gracefully when we ended up going to the whip-spiffy rich-white-people's mall. I hate malls in general but there were two things we needed from this place. Thing one: It has an Apple store, and Mate gets a discount, and iPods were on the menu for the big kids, so, well, there we were. Thing two: It has a Disney store, and Princess and the Frog dolls were not to be found anywhere else. So there I was, hauling my white-trash ass (sans make-up--my eyes are acting up again, and I looked like a naked mole-rat with bad skin) through the area's swankest mall, and I had to go bobbing for corndogs like a good dorkfish by (get this!) LOSING MY KNITTING. It was simple-- a mega-Moschi hat in saturated pastels, I'd started it during Avatar and was about halfway done with the ball of yarn. And I lost it in the mall.
Mate said he'd go back and get it for me, but, as broke as we are, and as much as I loved that mega Moschi, I would have paid somebody else the cost of the yarn just to tell me I did not have to go back in there.
And now to the third thing.
My final edit of Promise Rock has been sent in to my editor. Go me. I'm hoping I can take a page from Cory's book and start vomiting from sheer nerves. It would feel much the same as I feel now, but at least I'll lose weight, right? As it is, I celebrated by stuffing Christmas cards. They may get sent out by Christmas Eve--and you all know that's not the latest I've ever sent one, so we'll call that a win!