WARNING: This movie will kickstart your heart and also make you want to quit your day job so you can stay home and write full-time. Watch at your own peril.
When I first settled in to blog at Open Salon five months ago, I had not creatively written a sentence since I graduated high school in 1980. I did, however, arrive here already armed with a few ideas that had been perculating around in my brain for almost three decades which I intended to use as blog fodder for the task at hand. By this time though, five months later, I have already worked those meager ideas up with all the window dressing I can muster, trotted them out, and they have all been received with incredibly generous praise and support for my efforts. So...I'm hooked. I've got the "jones." I need to write, and I need the feedback. Do you feel me here?
The problem is that I am now turning the corner from the easily forgiven rookie status of a "newbie" to a somewhat more permanent and ongoing status and I find that I have exhausted my initial backlog of ideas. Sophomore slump maybe? Could be a mild case of writer's block, right? Participating in a few Open Calls has bought me a couple weeks of activity, but clearly I have been somewhat stalled.
Ironically, early yesterday I was seized with the strange notion that I would write 90 posts in the next 90 days in order to deal with a this problem. Rash, perhaps extreme you say, but where is the irony in that? Well, it turned out that the evenings feature entertainment in the Thornton household had been previously selected, and my recent struggles as a blogger had nothing to do with the choice. We were actually going thru a pile of movies we had purchased at a Blockbuster "5 for $20" table to see if they had scratches on them, and I had no idea what this movie was about. Like anyone else would have, I suspected that its title, "Shakespeare in Love," suggested a somewhat classy romantic comedy. In guessing classy I turned out to be right in spades, with the added ironic perk that the film concerned itself with a case of writers block suffered by perhaps the greatest writer of all times.
In the 1998 film, the young playwright William Shakespeare has lost his inspiration and cannot write at all. The entire plot proceeds from there and the viewer is treated to writers Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman's venture as to who/what could have inspired such enduring works as "Romeo and Juliet" and "Twelfth Night." In answering said question we are treated to peeks into the troupes of actors of his day, theatre owners and their problems and motivations, the pressures of royalty and courtiers on the lives of commoners. All of it is fascinatingly written and acted. I was shocked at how convincing Gwyneth Paltrow was as a lady with a love of poetry and language passionate enough to rival my own. Dame Judi Dench's turn as the Queen by itself was worth watching the entire movie for. The excerpts of Shakespeare plays as they rehearse, particularly those from "Romeo and Juliet" are lyrical perfection. My soul took wing with every line. The whole experience reminded me afresh why I ever wanted to write to begin with.
As a modern entertainment piece it worked also. It was entirely engaging and fun throughout. It was fun to see a young Ralph Fiennes, Ben Affleck and Colin Firth. There are other fairly famous cast members as well, including Geoffrey Rush. If you haven't seen this yet, queue it up soon!
So I press on, now with a movie review under my belt. I have written poetry in several different styles, I have written personal memoir type posts, I have one current event piece, and of course the aforementioned (and almost obligatory) Open Call postings. What else will come to pass on these pages in the next 87 days?
Stop by tomorrow and find out!