Previous Entry | Next Entry

white2
Another rough night last night. Is this becoming the insomnia journal? It has been before, so shall it be again. Spooky's calling my doctor in a bit to see if we can double the Prazosin tonight. Tiddley pom. Dreams I won't get into. I lay in bed until sometime after three, then took an Ambien (insuring I'd be a zombie this ayem), got up, and listened to the Audible.com version of Daughter of Hounds until almost four.

Yesterday (which followed a good night's sleep) was unproductive. I have a story due in at the beginning of July that must be both supernatural and noir. Which should be easy as pie for me. I've certainly done it before. But I'm having trouble finding the subject matter of this particular story, trying to avoid lame, done-to-death plots, like hard-boiled, world-weary male detective falls in love with femme fatale who, it turns out, really is a femme fatale (i.e., vampire, siren, succubus, werewolf, etc.). I am looking for the artful solution to this problem, one that won't make me yawn. Because I love the marriage of noir and dark fantasy, when it's done well. Last night, trying to sleep, thinking about potential stories, the title "The Maltese Unicorn" popped into my head. Gagh. No, I will not be writing a story called "The Maltese Unicorn." I wanted to punch myself in the face just for thinking of it.

My thanks to everyone who bid in the lastest round of eBay auctions. Another round will begin soon. Meanwhile, have a look at Spooky's sea-glass jewelery at Dreaming Squid Dollworks.

Last night we watched Olatunde Osunsanmi's The Fourth Kind, a film so stupid that not even Milla Jovovich could redeem it. And that's saying something. I actually enjoyed the most recent Resident Evil film, almost entirely because of the presence of Milla Jovovich. Don't get me wrong, I (obviously) love the "faked documentary" approach, when it's done well. Here, it's not. Never is it even halfway convincing. And don't get me started on the Sumerian ancient astronaut nonsense. Not a good movie, at all.

Anyway, enough for one morning. Comment if you dare. Lately, the number of those who dare has fallen off rather dramatically.

Comments

( 45 comments — Have your say! )
whiskeychick
May. 7th, 2010 04:11 pm (UTC)
.No, I will not be writing a story called "The Maltese Unicorn." I wanted to punch myself in the face just for thinking of it.

I have had those moments when in an insomniaic haze I've thought of ideas that are face-punching worthy.

You made me laugh reading your own story of such.

I look forward to a noir+dark fantasy tale from you. You do them so well.

Here's hoping sleep visits you at the appropriate time, place and length. I do so understand the battle with Monsieur Insomnia. He is such an evil one
greygirlbeast
May. 7th, 2010 04:13 pm (UTC)

You made me laugh reading your own story of such.

I think the worse part was I actually considered doing it for about fifteen seconds.
whiskeychick
May. 7th, 2010 05:09 pm (UTC)
more laughing. At least it wasn't 15 minutes.
txtriffidranch
May. 7th, 2010 05:20 pm (UTC)
DO IT. It can't be any worse than "Fear and Loathing on Babylon 5".
tsarina
May. 7th, 2010 04:15 pm (UTC)
I am now trying to imagine the Maltese Unicorn as a hard boiled detective story written in the voice of Lois Duncan and possibly involving a cult of teenage girls with Lisa Frank decorated Trapper Keepers and switchblades. It's really making my morning.
greygirlbeast
May. 7th, 2010 04:19 pm (UTC)

I am now trying to imagine the Maltese Unicorn as a hard boiled detective story written in the voice of Lois Duncan and possibly involving a cult of teenage girls with Lisa Frank decorated Trapper Keepers and switchblades. It's really making my morning.

I actually had to stop and look up Lois Duncan, Trapper Keeper, and Lisa Frank...and now I wish I hadn't.

Edited at 2010-05-07 04:20 pm (UTC)
tsarina
May. 7th, 2010 04:52 pm (UTC)
Ahh, the weird fragments of my childhood.

Lois Duncan is an odd duck. My favorite was her creepy boarding school for artsy kids who end up possessed by ghosts. I may have to go out and buy again some of those books I read in school libraries in the late 80s, because I read on her website that she's "updating" them by giving her characters cell phones and whatnot. (An idea apparently from her publisher, as part of their repackaging for their paperback line.)
greygirlbeast
May. 7th, 2010 04:57 pm (UTC)

Spooky laughed when she read I had to Google all three.

because I read on her website that she's "updating" them by giving her characters cell phones and whatnot. (An idea apparently from her publisher, as part of their repackaging for their paperback line.)

That is such a bad idea. There are not words for how bad that idea is...
tsarina
May. 7th, 2010 05:05 pm (UTC)
I have to admit, I had a couple Lisa Frank folders with brightly colored unicorns on them in elementary school...

This idea of "updating" books seems like the idea of someone in marketing and finance who thought 'kids these days must have cell phones in their books!' It really depresses me. I'm all for transformative work and retelling stories in new ways - but a hacky cut and paste to insert cell phones and digital cameras is bullshit.
greygirlbeast
May. 7th, 2010 05:07 pm (UTC)

This idea of "updating" books seems like the idea of someone in marketing and finance who thought 'kids these days must have cell phones in their books!' It really depresses me. I'm all for transformative work and retelling stories in new ways - but a hacky cut and paste to insert cell phones and digital cameras is bullshit.

Exactly.
whiskeychick
May. 7th, 2010 05:12 pm (UTC)
did she write the one about the two red-headed girls...one like a foster kid or something? I remember reading them in late 70s...or am I thinking of the wrong author. At any rate...your idea above made me spit up my tea. Laughing and chai is not a good idea.
tsarina
May. 7th, 2010 05:29 pm (UTC)
There's one involving a creepy cousin who comes to stay with a girl, but I don't remember if they were red heads.
ulffriend
May. 7th, 2010 09:26 pm (UTC)
I can NOT imagine the school in "Down a Dark Hall" with cell phones, email, and texting...rather defeats the idea that the kids in the school are unable to contact anyone on the outside. I don't know why publishers insist on this sort of update - books are of their time. Next thing we know, Almanzo Wilder will be picking up Laura Ingalls in his new Prius...
whiskeychick
May. 7th, 2010 05:12 pm (UTC)
...and switchblades.

/snort.
xjenavivex
May. 7th, 2010 04:57 pm (UTC)
I hope you find just the right plot for your story and soon. It will be exciting to see what you come up with. I admit to laughing at the digust over your Maltese Unicorn title.
greygirlbeast
May. 7th, 2010 05:00 pm (UTC)

I admit to laughing at the disgust over your Maltese Unicorn title.

If I punched myself in the face every time I had an idea that bad...well, there would be a lot of bloody nose.
xjenavivex
May. 7th, 2010 08:55 pm (UTC)
Your good ideas more than make up for any bad ideas you might have. The tricky part is that I suspect you could make a bad idea fly like no other.
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
May. 7th, 2010 05:30 pm (UTC)

How about a male fatale who really is a male fatale falling in love with a female detective, from his point of view?

Or just doing the whole thing lesbian, or with transgendered characters...

Problem is, yeah, role reversal/inversion is still pretty obvious.
txtriffidranch
May. 7th, 2010 05:19 pm (UTC)
Sorry: it's lack of time, not lack of interest. The Day Job just got particularly intense, I'm still unpacking from the move, and I'm trying to get my greenhouse and outside growing areas set up for a television interview at the end of the month. (When I say that my life could be videotaped and sold as some mutant fusion of Doctor Who and The Red Green Show, I'm not kidding.)

Edited at 2010-05-07 05:19 pm (UTC)
greygirlbeast
May. 7th, 2010 05:29 pm (UTC)

(When I say that my life could be videotaped and sold as some mutant fusion of Doctor Who and The Red Green Show, I'm not kidding.)

Great. Now I have to go Google The Red Green Show.
txtriffidranch
May. 7th, 2010 09:08 pm (UTC)
I've been arguing that those two shows are actually the same program for years. In fact, I have a warped theory that The Red Green Show was just an attempt to keep Doctor Who alive in Canada during the "hiatus". You have our main character with a penchant for impromptu solutions, a vehicle that holds more crap on the inside than you'd ever figure by looking at the outside, a strange younger relative but no peek at any other family, and an ever-changing assemblage of companion weirdos. (And then there's the implacable insane foe who constantly fails in his attempts to humiliate the hero: when you get to Ranger Gord, you'll see what I mean.) And then there's even science projects...
whiskeychick
May. 7th, 2010 06:15 pm (UTC)
the red/green show! awesome!
txtriffidranch
May. 7th, 2010 09:10 pm (UTC)
My paternal grandparents were Canadian. I think the fascination is genetic.
whiskeychick
May. 8th, 2010 05:04 am (UTC)
I grew up right on the border. It can be environmental, too. :D
txtriffidranch
May. 10th, 2010 01:16 pm (UTC)
I understand that, too. I was born in Michigan, and you have a few too many members of my mother's side of the family that look at the show as a documentary.
fusijui
May. 7th, 2010 05:27 pm (UTC)
Having never emotionally matured past age 8, I have little choice but to ask, IS THAT A DARE?

Prazosin! One of the docs at my institute is big into prazosin-for-combat-related-PTSD research. Well, prazosin-for-anything, really. We're joking that he's trying to get them to put it in the HVAC system, but it's not that funny. Not a bad idea, really, either.

Re: the Maltese Unicorn, there's no requirement that your "supernatural and noir" story also has to be "serious and respectful", is there? Spade slowly and sourly unraveling the web of lies leading him to the rain-slicked ruins of Ġgantija, where lounges the cunning Maltese Unicorn itself, using virgins as salt-licks -- and is that a carrot in Sam's pocket?
greygirlbeast
May. 7th, 2010 05:33 pm (UTC)

Re: the Maltese Unicorn, there's no requirement that your "supernatural and noir" story also has to be "serious and respectful", is there? Spade slowly and sourly unraveling the web of lies leading him to the rain-slicked ruins of Ġgantija, where lounges the cunning Maltese Unicorn itself, using virgins as salt-licks -- and is that a carrot in Sam's pocket?

I'm usually not suited to comedy, though it's not a bad approach. I'm just rarely good at it. I rarely even watch comedies...
fusijui
May. 7th, 2010 10:03 pm (UTC)
You know your strengths; far be it from me to advise. But as the sage of antiquity said: Comedy is not pretty. And (IMO) it's best cold and black. That noir theme of an isolated man manipulated and screwed by those damn femme fatales could -- recast using horned Neolithic Bond villains of ambiguous sexuality (and lots of glittery rainbows, and flowers braided into their manes) -- be played for shits & giggles. But read as serious tragedy, as sincere mythopoeisis, though, it could be HILARIOUS!
chris_walsh
May. 8th, 2010 01:02 am (UTC)
You can experiment in Sirenia Digest, though. Just sayin'. Not sayin' nothin' you don't know. *nudges*
slothman
May. 7th, 2010 06:16 pm (UTC)

A story title like “The Maltese Unicorn” could be a challenge: just how far do you have to get from the glittery-rainbow unicorn before you stop feeling like punching yourself in the face and start thinking “I kind of like this!”? I’m reminded of the line in Poul Anderson’s Operation Chaos about no red-blooded American male being willing to admit he’s qualified for the unicorn cavalry...

One thing that I learned from playing Ars Magica is that you can find amazingly weird things in original sources (Pliny the Elder’s Natural History is much, much weirder than any Monster Manual); Richard Garfinkle managed to have great fun with that in Celestial Matters. The only data point I’m dredging up right now, though, is that technically “unicorn” could refer to a rhinoceros...

greygirlbeast
May. 7th, 2010 06:17 pm (UTC)

The only data point I’m dredging up right now, though, is that technically “unicorn” could refer to a rhinoceros...

Or a dildo.
jreynolds
May. 7th, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC)
Or both. Rhino horn as an aphrodisiac/sex-toy type of thing. Which could play into the whole unicorn thingie (why do they like virgins anyway?)on a suitably odd level.
tinkbell
May. 9th, 2010 01:38 pm (UTC)
well, my first thought was something porcelain, but you might have something with the dildo.
joecrow
May. 7th, 2010 07:17 pm (UTC)
I would buy the HELL out of a book called The Maltese Unicorn.

...but it's been pointed out to me that I'm, y'know, insane, so there's that, too.
martianmooncrab
May. 7th, 2010 07:34 pm (UTC)
really is a femme fatale

when reading noir, they always seem to use the female spider theme for that ...
miakodadreams
May. 7th, 2010 09:03 pm (UTC)
Secondary characters
I tend to find the stereotypical main characters of noir a little hard to identify with, but the secondaries have a lot of potential that gets brushed aside. I'd look at them -- the detective's secretary, or a clever and perceptive waitress from his favorite diner, that sort of thing. (Yes, I did just flip through the Arkham Horror investigators for inspiration.) Love that game...
greygirlbeast
May. 7th, 2010 09:37 pm (UTC)
Re: Secondary characters

I tend to find the stereotypical main characters of noir a little hard to identify with,

Never been a problem for me..which may not be a good thing, I know.
valdary
May. 7th, 2010 09:24 pm (UTC)
My first thought on seeing Maltese Unicorn was of those little malt flavoured balls covered in chocolate, maltesers, so I was envisioning a weird Willy Wonka style story with unicorns sculpted of Cinder toffee.

Though thinking about it "The Falcon's Malteser" is a very good children's detective book.

I am tired also, though only because of watching late telly for inconclusive election results.

Hope you get back into a sleeping groove.

mojave_wolf
May. 7th, 2010 09:51 pm (UTC)
Is it horrible that I can actually imagine this being a decent story?

Of course, my first thought was to imagine it as a pure humor piece, which isn't normally your style (in anything I've read so far, anyway), but I could see you doing it not in a "funny ha ha" spoof way, but more in a "funny ha-wait, omfg that is so sad and why am I bleeding to death and this really isn't funny at all" way. I still think that story could work.

Also, I was about to recommend An Evil Guest until I remembered your blurb for it was one of the reasons I picked it up (my kind of thing exactly, but I usually for some reason can't appreciate Gene Wolfe the way others do. This wound up being the first thing I liked by him since There Are Doors back in the 80's).

& appropriately enough for this post, I just finished Farewell, My Lovely" on Tuesday.

I watched the first Resident Evil for lack of anything else to do at the time, and suprised myself by really liking it. I still really like it. The second one, not so much (tho I've seen worse movies, and with you on the yay Milla Jovovich). Haven't seen the further sequels.
jessamyg
May. 7th, 2010 10:29 pm (UTC)
Fourth Kind
And Fourth Kind looked like it might have been a film I would enjoy... thanks for the warning, but curiosity will still probably get the better of me. "The Maltese Unicorn"? Better to avoid I think!

Peter H
cimeara
May. 7th, 2010 11:34 pm (UTC)
Wellll... "The Maltese Unicorn" -could- refer to quite some MacGuffin, if you go Hitchcock instead of Chandler.

I support the Red-Green Show as awesome, though it's superficially very corny.

It will be cooler nights this weekend. Maybe that will help? We shifted rather quickly to summer weather and I found the adjustment hard to take.
cimeara
May. 8th, 2010 02:36 pm (UTC)
Ah. Apparently someone went Sherlock Holmes with it, according to IMDb.
chris_walsh
May. 8th, 2010 01:17 am (UTC)
Would going meta work? Call it "Supernatural Noir." ...with that period, to make it seem final and stuff. Think what Charlie Kaufman did with Adaptation, if that would inspire you.

Or think of it this way: would this be the sort of story Sarah Crowe could write?
stardustgirl
May. 8th, 2010 01:43 am (UTC)
I'll dare, though I usually subscribe to the idea of better to remain silent and thought a boring twat than to open my mouth and remove all doubt. Or something like that.

I had no idea what Prazosin was, so I went to Wikipedia and found:

Since 1983 prazosin has revolutionized the management of severe scorpion stings.

I'm not sure why I find the Drug Marketing Speak so hilarious, maybe because I'm hearing this in my head in the voice of Johnny Fever from WKRP.
fusijui
May. 10th, 2010 05:34 pm (UTC)
I work in research, not marketing. So I can only claim credit for involvement in the clinical trials that demonstrated the efficacy of a drug, not for the name given that drug: e.g., lubiprostone. (4 tha win!!!)
( 45 comments — Have your say! )