The Writerly Habit

This blog is about my struggles to get into the habit of writing regularly.

The Hobbit Director Finalized...Finally

It's been five long years since The Return of the King was released by New Line Cinema, thus completing the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I'm sure all of us hard core Tolkien fans couldn't help but wonder, the first time we saw Bilbo in The Fellowship of the Ring, whether or not The Hobbit was going to follow. There were rumors for a long time, but due to some financial issues, the project was put on the back burner. Then there were rumors as to who would direct it. Now those rumors can be squashed, Guillermo del Toro has in fact signed on to direct what will be a two film version of The Hobbit, with Peter Jackson as executive director. He will be moving to New Zealand for the next four years to work on the films. Hopefully, we'll have the first installment by 2010.

I remember reading The Hobbit in the seventh grade. I loved it so much I read it twice. That was the first time I could remember reading a book and then watching the film. Of course in this case it was the 1977 animated version. I might read the book again, just to get ready. I hate to say it, I love J.R.R. Tolkien, but I found it so hard to get through The Lord of the Rings. Once I got to the council of Elrond, I would just fall asleep. To me, The Hobbit was so much livelier.

Anyhow, I've been working on a new novel. Right now I'm mostly making notes, researching, and outlining. I just moved, well I'm still in the process of moving, so that has taken up a lot of my time. I'm hoping to finish moving and unpacking this weekend so I can really devote some time to it. The whole college thing is up in the air. I wasn't expecting to move out so quickly, so I had to drain all of my savings to do it. Now I'm looking into loans. I'll keep you posted.

Rowling to Settle?

U.S. District Judge Robert Patterson Jr. has urged Vander Ark and Rowling to settle their case. He called it a "legal close call," so I'm guessing the laws are fuzzy in this area. I don't know if Rowling will back down unless RDR states it will not publish the Harry Potter Lexicon. I don't think I would, all those years of hard work to just have some hack capitalizing on it, trying to make money off of your original ideas. This case really means a lot to the publishing industry. What will authors need to do to protect their property? Was this brought about because Rowling allowed and endorsed the site to post info about her books? I've heard of a couple of fantasy writers that demand all fanfic and fan art be taken off of websites because of violation of intellectual property. Are all authors now going to have to do this? What impact would this have on the fans? I hope, for everyone's sake, that RDR agrees not to publish.

Rowling Testifies Monday

J.K. Rowling will testify Monday in a lawsuit to block the publication of The Harry Potter Lexicon by Steven Vander Ark. If she wins, Rowling will do much to establish and writer's rights to their intellectual property/creations. I used to write Xena fan fiction, and more recently, World of Warcraft. Now if I were to publish that on a website for other fans to read, I don't see the harm. In fact, it may spark interest in the shows/games themselves. I couldn't imagine trying to package it up into a book and make money off of it. I didn't come up with those characters, worlds, etc. What right would I have to profit off of them. If I want to publish a World of Warcraft novel, then I'd have to submit it through the company as it is their intellectual property. Really, if Vander Ark considers himself a fan of the Harry Potter series, he should respect the author and not try to rip her off.

That's all for now kiddies.

Eminem's Mother Sued

Eminem's mother, Debbie Nelson, is being sued by her then manager/agent Neal Alpert. Alpert claims she was under contract with him when she agreed to do the book but he has seen none of the profits. The details aren't exactly clear. I think it's amazing that a manager can collect 25% of the profits from a book. I don't think literary agents even collect that much. Hmm...I don't know. If it were me, I'd be kind of pissed if someone was trying to get 25% off my earnings for something that had nothing to do with them. If he promoted the book and acted as a literary agent, then maybe...but 25%? From what I've seen it's 15% for domestic sales and 20% for international. The book was released in 2007 (UK) but has yet to hit U.S. shelves.

Check out the Science Fiction and Fantasy writers warning on dishonest literary agents. Knowledge is power people. Never ever pay a reading fee.

Back in Black

Ah, my devoted readers (both of you)...I'm back. So, why have I been gone for two months? A string of medical problems, both physical and mental have prevented my return. That's all in the past now. Things are rather dark for me right, music, the poetry I write, etc. So what's new in the literary world? Well, the Pulitzer Prizes are out for 2008. Here are the winners:

In History: DANIEL WALKER HOWE for "What Hath God Wrought: the Transformation of America, 1815-1848"

In Biography: JOHN MATTESON for "Eden's Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father"

In Fiction: JUNOT DIAZ "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao"

In General Non-Fiction: SAUL FRIEDLANDER "The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945"

In Drama: TRACY LETTS for "August: Osage County"

In Poetry: ROBERT HASS AND PHILIP SCHULTZ for "Time and Materials," by Robert Hass and "Failure," by Philip Schultz

Feels like the Oscars. For those of you unfamiliar with the Pulitzer Prize, check out their site. Sad to say, I haven't read any of these books. In fact, I haven't read many books this year. Depression has a way of gripping you, so the only thing you can do is while away the hours watching boring television or mindlessly surfing the internet.

Also in the news, a new unit of HarperCollins is trying to do away with author advances and give them a larger share of book profits (up to 50%). The new unit would also discontinue the practice of allowing booksellers to return unsold books for refund. This would eliminate a lot of cost for the publisher and increase author profits. I think this is a fantastic move! Way to go HarperCollins.

I did, if you will remember, check out the Arrowgrove School of Erotic Writing. Well, I have to say I was very disappointed by their product. Most of what they sent was generic writing reference. There were four lesson books that comprised all of the erotic material of the course. Each one was maybe twenty pages long. I have a book on writing erotic fiction that is easily three times as long. There just wasn't much content. Their market guide, was actually a book of Canadian national organizations...not a single publisher among them. Truly not worth the $698 I paid. I had expected lengthy material on writing erotica, that was after all the entire reason I wanted to take the course. Ah well, maybe one day my college will offer one. Not likely, as I live in a very conservative town but a girl can dream.

So what am I doing now? Well, I just finished registering for the summer semester. I figured it's time I finish my degree. I keep putting it off because of money but I don't really have that excuse now. I think I just didn't want to take the math classes lol. I'm terrible at math. I even signed up for creative writing II in the fall. I'm really excited about that one. I really want to do it this time. We'll see. I usually convince myself that I can't actually do it and withdraw. Wish me luck...err fortitude. Wish me fortitude.

On a side note, while perusing books at Borders today, I found a trade paperback of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. It's a must see movie full of rich macabre and downright spooky details. Feed your inner goth cookie. Mind you, I didn't like the ending. I rather like Helena Bonham Carter and don't feel that she got what she deserved. Check out the movie though. I think I might go back and snag that book...I have a coupon anyhow. :P Funny though, Depp's character has a certain perpetual glower and responds in the most minimal way possible. I'm eerily reminded of my own dear fiance.