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Showing posts from March, 2016

My Salt Lake City Comic Con FanX Schedule

I'm going to be on a lot of panels at the show this weekend. It's hard to believe it's here already, but I'd love to see you there. Unlike year's past, I will NOT be having a table to sell books from. At this point, I have one signing at the Shadow Mountain Booth, so if you want to grab a book or have it signed, you're going to need to do it there during that hour. And you're going to want to do that anyway since I'll be sitting next to Claudia Gray and she'll be signing nifty new posters for her new Star Wars book I can't wait to get my hands on. Here's a link to my schedule in case you want to check it out from the FanX website, but I've included it below as well. THURSDAY 1:00 PM - Who is Kylo Ren  - Room 151A The mysterious Kylo Ren shocked the galaxy with his actions in The Force Awakens. But what drives the man behind the mask? Our panel gets to the bottom of what makes him tick... Fellow panelists include Jimmy Martin

Anatomy of a Scene: Citizen Kane

I could have chosen practically any scene out of Citizen Kane for this column. It's a movie brilliant in its writing and I think it helps open up storytelling so much. I think part of it is because of how it was made.  In Michael Chabon's book The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, the characters go to a screening of the film when it was new in 1941 and Chabon is able to illustrate the impact the film had on the artists of the time and I think it still impacts storytellers of all sorts when they sit down and watch it the first time. Here's Joe Kavalier's take on Citizen Kane from Chabon's novel: It was that Citizen Kane represented, more than any other movie Joe had ever seen, the total blending of narration and image that was. . . . the fundamental principle of comic book story telling. . . . Without the witty, potent dialog and the puzzling shape of the story, the movie would have merely been an American version of the kind of brooding, shadow

All Art Has An Agenda

All art has an agenda.  Some people say that like it's a bad thing, but I'm here to tell you that it's a feature, not a bug. Every piece of writing tells you something about the perspective or worldview of the author. Even the absence of "an agenda" is an agenda. What brought this on recently? I've seen too many people online upset that the new Ghostbusters film is pushing an agenda of gender equality because every member of the new crew is a female. I honestly can't wrap my head around how this is a bad thing. The movie looks at least mildly entertaining and will probably be at least as good or better than Ghostbusters II . And now my daughter will care more about it, which excites me. There's literally no downside. But some are still upset. Why? Because in a society where men hold all the power, no one blinks when there's a team full of men, but when it's all women, suddenly it's not realistic. That's a symptom of somethi

The Importance of Role Models

Kurt Vonnegut wrote at length in many books and essays about his writing process. He would sit at his Smith-Corona typewriter, smoking Pall Malls like a chimney. It was easy for me to imagine myself just like him. It was so easy that every time I sit at my typewriter I yearn for a cigarette. I've never smoked a cigarette in my life. It's a powerful thing, reading about people who seem like you, doing the thing you want to do. Sometimes, I'll be writing in my coffee shop at my computer, feeling that I'm not doing real writing because I'm not shaving a pencil into the saucer of my coffee cup, agonizing  over the structure of every sentence and placement of every word. I want every word to be honest and true, and my writing to be clear. It should be torture. I'm not Hemingway, but reading him talk about writing, it puts an idea in my head of what writing should look like. Every time I'm facing an open window, looking out over the mountains of Salt La