Cabbages and Kings

A diary by the authors of the Louis Kincaid series

My Photo
Location: Fort Lauderdale/Elk Rapids, Florida and Michigan, United States

We are the New York Times bestselling authors of the Louis Kincaid series and other stand alone thrillers. We have taught writing at major conferences for ten years.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Day 15: Intermission!

This was a good day. Got a chapter finished and so did Kelly. In honor of that, we deserve a break. Let's have some fun. I saw this little quiz on one of my fave blogs and I have to admit, I had trouble figuring out my answers.

So I thought I'd ask you guys. Go get some Sno-caps and fill in the blanks:

1) Worst well-regarded film
2) Most overhyped film (note that this is slightly different from above; the first measures the absolute badness level, while the second measures the delta between reputation and actual quality)
3) Worst film to win a best picture Oscar
4) Most disappointing film (ie should have been good but wasn't)
5) Worst movie, full stop. (Must have been a major motion picture release--no direct-to-video, or film festival torture tactics, please)
6) Worst movie with good direction (ie terrible script, awful acting, producer interference, etc)
7) Biggest unknown treasure

Here's my picks:
1. "Unforgiven" (sorry, Clint)
2. "Cleopatra" (Even Richard Burton couldn't save this toga dog)
3. Vintage: "The Greatest Show on Earth" (Jimmy Stewart as a murdering clown!) Modern: "Crash" (a total wreck)
4. "Godfather III"
5. "Staying Alive" (John Travolta as a loincloth-clad Broadway gypsy; a crass sequel attempt to cash in on "Saturday Night Fever")
6. "2001"
7. "Cinema Paradiso" (okay, it won best foreign film but it's still my fave "little" movie. I also have a soft spot for "Downhill Racer" (Robert Redford going against type as a bastard Olympic skiier)

What say you?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Day 14: Is there such a thing as GOOD procrastination?

It has been a rough two weeks. Kelly and I are having real problems getting traction on this new book. And when things aren't going well, it's pretty easy to find excuses. When the going gets tough, the tough...

Fold laundry.
Do the Times crossword puzzle.
Read blogs.
Write blogs.
Watch soap operas.

I've never been a soaps fan and even after I quit the day job to work at home, I never gravitated to daytime TV. Until this year. This year, I found the greatest time-killer, the best reason not to work, the most riveting soap opera in our times. Yup, you got it...

Kelly and I have been completely mesmerized by this historic battle. I have to say, rather shamefully, that I am 57 years old and although I have voted in every election since I was 25, I never really followed politics very closely. It tells you how issue-savvy I was in my youth that I voted for Gerald Ford only because he was from my home state. But this year...this year, I think this campaign has been a good distraction for me. I have learned more in the last six months about how this government works than I had in all my decades before. It has been enthralling. Some, however, say it has been ugly. To paraphrase Otto von Bismarck's famous quote: "Politics are like sausages, it is better not to see it being made."

I disagree. If I have learned only one thing from watching this campaign it is that we need to pay close attention to the sausage making.

Allow me a different metaphor. I'm left thinking that politics is a little like baseball. Both are best appreciated if you know the strategy, the rules, the history, the personalities behind the game. What does it say about me that now, in the fall of my life, I can explain the in-field fly rule and the Texas caucas system? I'm hoping it says I am maybe a better voter than I was in my Gerald Ford days.

The epic Democratic primary campaign is over now. Kelly and I are, like the candidates, decompressing and trying to get back to our work. Yesterday, I finally finished a chapter I had been agonizing on for two full weeks. Is it a coincidence that I finished it on the day the Democrats finally declared they had a "presumptive nominee?"

I can't go back to mere laundry-folding after this. So I signed up.

The book will get done. But so will other things. I guess this is just procrastination I can believe in.