Ramblings from the Desert

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. ~Benjamin Franklin

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Location: New Mexico

Author of the urban fantasy novel, The Music of Chaos, and the paranormal romance, The Canvas Thief.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Phooey

Snow, phooey.

Yeah, you heard me. Phooey.

I know, I "love" cold and wet. But yesterday it was gorgeous, crystal clear blue skies and warm. Today it's thirty something.

Mostly, I'm annoyed because this puts a damper on my horse time. The J-man and I watched some more of the LOTR extras on DVD. They showed how the trainers worked with the horse(s) playing Shadowfax. Lots of at liberty stuff, because he doesn't wear a saddle or bridle. The neat thing was that the trainer was using a clicker to signal a right response. A clicker! "Yippee," says this clicker trainer, feeling vindicated.

The trainer used two whips, one to indicate direction, another for impulsion. At the moment, the Nikster is working pretty well of hand signals, but he gets confused. (It's always the trainer's fault, not the horse's; old axiom drilled into my thick skull as a kid.)

I wonder if using a combo of the lunging whip/dressage whip would help? His newest "trick" is going well. I stand in front of him. Lift my left (or right) arm, holding it out straight from my side. Wait a beat and then make a circling motion with my right and say "Forward." He should move past me on the left. Actually, he's got it pretty well on the right, but it takes a few tries on the left.

I want to train him to move to a mark like the LOTR horses do. Should be easy with clicker training.

But it's cold, wet, muddy and nasty out. And the Nikster hates getting wet. Phooey.

Friday night...
Instead of killing green-blooded alien bastards, we rented a movie. (Actually, with Halo 2, we get to play as the green-blooded alien bastards.) Anyway, here's my take on the "The Bourne Supremacy."

Staring Matt "No, I didn't boff Jay-Lo, but I still have a career" Damon, Joan Allen, Franka Potente, and Karl "Hey, it's Eomer!" Urban.

"The Bourne Supremacy" picks up soon after the "The Bourne Identity." Jason Bourne (Damon) is back as the amnesiac former assassin, trying to simultaneously recollect and escape his past. He and girlfriend, Marie (Potente), are hiding out in an idyllic seaside village in India. Marie spends her day shopping the colorful market, while Bourne spends his running, literally and metaphorically, away from his demons--in this case, the persistent shadowy memories of an assassination he thinks he committed. The arrival of a Russian assassin, Kirill (Urban), triggers what will be a series of hair raising chases (on car and foot).

Like its predecessor, "The Bourne Supremacy" is chase heavy, but doesn't degrade into tedium largely because of hero Bourne. Bourne's strange juxtopisition of everyman sensibility (no clever lines before killing the bad guys) and uber-cleverness, keeps each chase sequence taut. Bourne soon learns that he has been framed for a murder in Moscow, which naturally sets off a whole chain of events. As can be expected with the world of spies and assassins, things are not what they seem and it's sometimes difficult to discern the "who" and "why" of the plot.

Joan Allen is a standout as the capable and smart CIA "handler," Pamela Landy, a woman at ease in the traditionally male dominated world of spies and covert ops. Kirill, the assassin, has little to say, but Urban's game portrayal has a sort of dark charisma.

With settings ranging from Russian to India, Bourne gets more in more travel time than a host on PBS's "Globe Trekker." Worth seeing, if only for the settings.

Recommended.

Listening to...
Bonny Tyler's "Holding Out For A Hero" over and over.

Writing...
Went through my latest batch of critiques. As I suspected it would, the reaction seems to be filtered through gender, with the feminine side "getting it" and the "male," not so much.

(Actually, that's ragingly sexist. One of my regular critiquers, a guy, got it.)

Since it is a blatant romance (G-rated), I suspected as much. (Critters does have a few female critters who are card carrying members of the "genre police". I expect to get at least one critique from a "female someone" complaining about romance in fiction.)

One reader thought it was a "redemption-story." Interesting interpretation, but since I really didn't set the male protagonist up as being anything but a little mischievious, not bad/evil, this wasn't my intent. Another male reader complained that the end was telegraphed way in advance. Again (at this point, anyway), I stand by the structure. That's how romance works. You know the guy and the girl will end up together. It's not a question of "who" or "what," but rather "how."

Anyhoo, the variety of opinions and backgrounds at Critters is always interesting (and often helpful).

Speaking of romance, I think I'll work on Pinnochio's Dream. Cold, nasty days are usually good writing days.

Cheers,

P.K.

 

Graphics and Content Copyright © Patricia Kirby 2005