Movie focus: relationships

Lately, every movie I watch I lament or rejoice over the relationships. Sometimes I wonder can a storybook film come true. I thought about that after watching Tyler Perry’s movie I Can Do Bad All by Myself. Mister wonderful walks into her life and six months later; (my estimated guess) they marry and start a new life.

A happily ever after can come true. In June of 2009 two people at my church began dating and in October, four months later, he proposed—not quietly either. He got on his knee in front of the entire congregation on a Sunday in which the church celebrated the completion of its new edifice and was being videotaped.

So, maybe I do believe, beyond the screenwriter’s imagination, that man meets woman and they live happily ever after. Of course happily means different thing to different people and comes at the price of honesty, trust and forgiveness. Let’s not forget communication. And these elements seem to be my movie focus; whether I’m watching the film for the first time or fifth time.

Here’s a few relationships I’ve laughed, cried (not really, I’m not a crier), and mourned over.

Despite criticism of the Julie & Julia Project, I relish the movie, Julie & Julia, starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. I didn’t think to read the book or read the blog because I love and appreciate eating food, not cooking it; therefore reading complicated recipes under 20 minutes does not appeal to me.

However, the movie is more about relationships than about cooking. And the relationships are ripe for eating: hot and spicy. As comedian Steve Harvey says in his book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, a man’s love is to profess, provide, and protect. Both husbands did just that in the movie by supporting their spouses’ dreams.

Julia Childs (Streep) and Julie Powell (Adams) need to find fulfillment in their lives and with the loving support of their spouses they find strength within themselves as successful women and create a strong husband and wife bond that does not seem easily broken.

Another film I fancy is Maneater. This Lifetime movie is hilarious and shows how one woman learns that she doesn’t need a man or a husband to take care of her. Unfortunately Clarissa Alpert (Sarah Chalke) is a fun socialite that, yes, you guessed it, eats men… hers, and her friends. She gobbles them up based on money, status and looks. In other words, she is clueless to the meaning of relationship. By the end Clarissa discovers how real women take care of themselves and live within their means, with or without a man. I laughed and lamented.

And then there’s Waiting to Exhale, which I have seen too many times to count. However, on New Year Day, when I watched it again, I did not laugh, lament, or cry… I got angry. (OK I did laugh and mourn. The fire was my favorite scene.) Four women, who are not maneaters, try to find a good man to profess, provide and protect.

I could go on and on, with He’s Not Into You and Break Up; but I will not. Twenty ten shall find me writing, writing and revising my own novels and maybe even a screenplay (or not).

Until the next blog….relish your relationship.

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A Writer’s HBO Movie

Anytime I see Bette Midler and Stockard Channing starring in a movie, I want to watch. Tonight while surfacing I discovered both actress featured in Isn’t She Great . A movie about how Jacqueline Susann writes Valley of the Dolls, and at the height of her success, learns she has breast cancer.

This 2000 film, directed by Andrew Bergman and written by Paul Rudnick, took my breath away.

One, the journey of a writer who did not start her life wanting to be a writer, but an actress. Two, a man who believed in the talent of a woman and marries and supports her on her journey. Third, the desire to succeed despite the storm: an autistic son, breast cancer, and publishers rejection.

A lesson I have learned from author Susann, who also penned Once is Not Enough , The Love Machine, Every Night, Josephine, Delores , and Yargo, persistence and personality.

The Storm

Never underestimate the storm; only know how to row through it. At 9:00am this morning, my mother and I rejoiced at the great plans we saw before us. We connected in a special way that often doesn’t happen until mother and daughter have been through similar storms.

Over the phone, my mother reminded me that count it all joy and to remember that when you stop playing on the side of evil, the storm rushes in, floods your boat, weighs you down, soaks your plans. But you have to hold on and remember whose you are and who you serve.

The day moved along steadily with many wonderful final Christmas treasures for my girls. I praised the Lord from Poughkeepsie to Newburgh and back to Fishkill.

And then, I sat to relax–play Farmville–when the storm drenched me from head to toe. I couldn’t catch my breath. I exhaled and gulped down a mass of water. I choked. I coughed. I, momentarily, grew teary eyed. I listened to the noise, the wind, the sorrow whirl around me. Chills slivered down my spine.

As I settled into the storm, riding the waves, I remember the verse I posted on Facebook this morning: I know who holds the future, And I know who holds my hand; With God things don’t just happen–Everything by Him is planted.

To help me row the boat in the storm the ever true: I know not by what methods rare The Lord provides for me, I only know that all my needs He meets so graciously. What God promises, God will provide.

Students, what r they thinking?

Amazingly, when professors and instructors gather, they chat about students. Despite the subject, educators are concerned that their students are not learning and are careless about earning grades.

I’ve learned earning and getting grades seem to be the same, for freshmen; although not. Many freshmen will say “I tried hard,” “I put my best effort in that paper”; yet that doesn’t constitute an ‘A’. It’s showing up, following directions, and being accountable.

More than anything, freshmen most realize high school is over and professors will not give grades and pass, at least we hope not, student based on looks, smiles and or complements.

Yet, we all want one thing…for our students to excel, to be accountable.

When changes take place

Saturday the check engine lit up on my dashboard. The last thing I wanted to do was pay more money to have another fixed on my car. For the past two years, or longer, I had been forced to take care of the maintenance of my car. At that time I begin to listen to the hums my car murmured.

In order to keep tabs on the routine checkups I created a maintenance list with dates and costs. Every three months, I remember the oil change and if wipers were needed to go to Walmart, which was much cheaper than Valvoline.

Then each time I went to the mechanic, I asked questions, and reread my receipt to verify what was being done to my car. So, in August when my steering wheel began to shake, I knew car trouble and thousands of dollars was about to take place.

And it did. Only I walked into Mavis for one new tire and tire rotation and my rotors checked. I left with two new tires and the ball and joint replaced and a list of need to fix items and their cost. Within the next three week, I budgeted the cost and made an appointment to have my rotors fixed, a bar underneath (still don’t know the official name) and wheel alignment. I actually received a free wheel alignment on my second visit.

I was not quite happy with the ride of my vehicle, it felt like the back jumped and squeaked. But in the back of my mind, I recalled years ago a mechanic informing me that new rotors or spark plugs give the care a different feel until broken in (like a new pair of jeans or shoes).

Imagine my surprise when the check engine light lit up on my dashboard on Saturday and did not disappear on Sunday after getting an oil change without the ability to get an inspection. Not again.

However, today, Monday, Nov. 30, 2009, the mechanic at Healy Brothers said I took really good care of my car and my car only needed a diagnostic check, in which the check engine light disappeared. I was ultimately happy with myself. And I remember my $20 coupon to top off my car care.

The day after

I woke up this morning missing the life of Shelia, the character in the novel I wrote for NaNoWr. I did not create Shelia specifically for the 30-day novel contest. She was a character that emerged in a short short I wrote several years ago title “Girl in the Mirror” and have continually revised (from short short to short story, to play format).

When Shelia and her story resurfaced in a longer form, I realized this story itself, whether titled “Girl in the Mirror,” “The Choker” or “Deliverance” all have the same theme (but don’t ask me to explain it, at least not right now). I’m unsure what will happen with this story but what I know for sure is that it needs to be told.

And that is where I hesitate. Genre. An ugly word with too many biases and crossovers. Yes, I want the novel, if that is where the piece is headed, to reflect the religious inspirational market. Christian fiction, specifically. However, I realized that will not happen because in the book world of Christian fiction, there are rules and during the 30-day novel challenge I broke all the rules: sex, homosexual lifestyle, divorce, parental favoritism, murder; yet the characters experienced divine deliverance in which the Christ-like walk should reflect.

I must say that many of those same attributes were reflected in God’s holy Word and many of those same biblical figures wrestled with breaking the rules, man’s rule. Anyway my writing life will be interesting if I take this first crappy draft to the next level or leave it where it lies: Winner of the 50,000 word novel 2009 NaNoWr Challenge.

Just wanted to say

that I have been procrastinating coming to angchronicles because I’ve invested in a Blackberry 30 days ago and finally connected to Facebook. I have new gadgets in my life and am really enjoying them.

My Blackberry has forced me to change my calendar from Outlook to Google teaching me that I can tackle technology and not get stuck in one mode. In addition my daughter insisted I get fb. I already had an account but no reason to join the social networking game. Now, I’m hooked on Farmville (level 16) and have a few friends that I stay in contact with.

Gadgets are not so bad. Did I fail to mention that I’m also addicted to Word Mole on the Blackberry and up to level 8.

With my new gadgets I’m actually writin more. I only 7,000 words short of the NaNoWrMo contest, which ends Nov. 30. I have been committed to writing every morning, sometimes in the evenings and at long stretches on weekends.

A great feeling all do to gadgets.