Good afternoon. Gigi the parti poodle here to introduce my novelist once again. This week my novelist learned her lesson. She made the mistake of not going grocery shopping earlier in the day and was accosted by a young child (said child slapped my novelist across the derriere with the length of her arm) with a marshmallow head of a mother. Dreadful. Although children under ten do not spread the Corona Virus as efficiently as children over ten they really should not be going about in a grocery store and putting their little paws on other patrons. I know we live in an age of classlessness and abysmal manners, but we are in the middle of a pandemic. As my novelist says, “if I can see you, you’re too close”. Wise words indeed. It is a good thing I was not the one doing the shopping. Had the child touched me I would have bitten the little moppet as hard as I could. Well, enough of that nonsense. Here is my novelist.
Since the first installment in my book series is coming out soon, I thought I would talk a little bit about writing it. Musicology, which is the name of the book series, was conceived because I wanted to write a story I could crawl into and live in. Something that would be fun and make me happy. I figured if I wrote it, it could make other people happy too. I originally penned it as one book and challenged myself to write a book with a word count on par with Atlas Shrugged or Infinite Jest in three years. And so, I did from 2012-2015. However, it is difficult to get readers to indulge in a book that long, so I thought it best to break it into a book series.
I had a couple of issues I wanted to address concerning a story of this nature. One was I wanted it to be funny. Dark and funny a satire on American television if you will. The other was I wanted to capture the entire experience of one season of a reality television show. There have been a couple of movies made about reality television: Sing, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, American Dreamz and One Chance. The problem was, as I saw it, that a movie runs too short to tell the entire story about an entire television season. Way too many details are left out. And so, I decided to write Musicology about a fictional television show and capture what goes on during the show, what goes on when the cameras go off and everything in between. And thirdly it had to be raunchy. Raunchy enough to hopefully get my book banned.
Let me tell you, I watched a lot of reality television during the three years it took me to write this book. Way more than anyone should be subjected to. There are times I love the shows and times I despise them. There is a lot of talk on these shows about having a “moment”. There are much fewer “moments” that happen than they lead you to believe. That is not to say there aren’t some but it’s usually one performer on one performance during one season. Sometimes you might get lucky and have two but the longer these shows are on the less likely it happens.
Some of these shows are better than others. The American version of the X Factor was near unwatchable and my heart goes out to those singers who competed on it. It was just a stupid show. I watched one female performer on the British version who indeed had a moment but not on the American version. And as you can see the American version was canceled.
The wackiest part about writing Musicology was after I wrote an incident sometimes the incident would happen in real life. Some of them were downright shocking. These scenes were supposed to be amusing fictional happenings. But they would occur in the reality television real-world kind of like The Simpson’s show which sometimes predicts events that come to fruition.
Musicology is not meant to be verbatim. It is a comedic satire after all not a treatise. It is not meant to be taken seriously but it doesn’t mean there wasn’t a fair amount of research that went into it and there are certainly times when things get dark and disturbing and hopefully crawl under the reader’s skin. Maybe even transgress on them and leave a bitter taste in their mouth. But then it should.
There is also a mystery/secret in the story which starts in the second book. The mystery/secret is not solved until near the end of the series. And I am hoping readers will have as much fun with that one as I did. Musicology is releasing in August 2020 and I will post its release date soon.
While you are waiting for my next post and the release of Musicology: Volume One, Baby! you can check out my other novel Chicane on Amazon.
This week there is no ScreenwritingU class.
STREAM OF THE WEEK: MOVIES TO CREEP YOU OUT: THE STEPFORD WIVES (1975) & THE TENNANT-Amazon Prime
The Stepford Wives (1975) is still as disturbing today as it was in 1975. That isn’t to say we haven’t come a long way, baby but one must wonder how much have men really changed? It’s the story of Joanna (played by the wonderful Katherine Ross), who is uprooted by her husband from 1970’s New York where she has been working on a career as a photographer and transported along with her two young daughters (one is played by a very young Mary Stewart Masterson) to the suburbs. The town they move into is called Stepford and right away Joanna realizes something is amiss. She makes friends with two other newcomers to the neighborhood Bobbie (Paula Prentiss) and Charmaine (Tina Louise). As the women try to organize a women’s lib group in the neighborhood, they begin to realize something sinister is at play.
The Tennant (1976) also called Le loctaire is a wonderfully weird film directed and co-written (adapted from the novel by Roland Topor) by Roman Polanski. It is the third installment in Polanski’s landmark apartment trilogy following Repulsion and Rosemary’s Baby. Polanski also stars in the title role of Trelkovsky a young quiet white-collar bachelor who rents an apartment which was just left vacant by the previous tenant a young woman named Simone who threw herself out a window. Concerned for the woman he visits her in the hospital where he meets Simone’s friend Stella. Trelkovsky and Stella have a connection and he starts to see her on and off. In the meantime, he finds himself dealing with his annoying and demanding neighbors in his new digs who seem to become more and more peculiar with each run in. The original script was penned by playwright great Edward Albee but relations between Albee and the studio went south and so Polanski ended up making the film.
SMART FILMS FOR SMART KIDS-THE ADVETURES OF TINTIN-Amazon Prime
The Adventures of Tintin is a swashbuckling 3-D animation film about the famous Tintin character and his wire fox terrier Snowy who tend to be more popular abroad than in the United States. Brilliantly directed by Steven Spielberg (don’t miss the opening scene) The Adventures of Tintin finds young whip smart reporter Tintin stumbling upon a mystery surrounding a sunken ship. He meets up with heavy drinker Captain Haddock whose ancestor was onboard with in the unusual cargo when things went awry. This gorgeous looking film is well paced and full of fun and thrills.