In the writing room right now ...

In the writing room right now ... I have taken down the brown "butcher" paper that held ideas, photos, drawings, and my hand-drawn maps and plot outlines for the past five or six books. I've placed all those items into three-ring binders, and cleared the deck for paintings and photographs that involve courage, as I move forward in GHOSTKEEPER, the new novel set in Lyndonville, Vermont. My 1850 Vermont adventure THE LONG SHADOW is under contract with Five Star/Cengage -- I will give you a publication date as soon as I know! Scribbling lots of poems, too. And there's a possible route to publication of the "Vermont Nancy Drew" novel I built on Wattpad (see right-hand column). Yes, I guess I do like multi-tasking! How about you?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Great Gatsby Goes to the Screen: That 1922 Glamour and Risk

Baz Lurhmann’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby opens on May 10, and stars Leonardo DiCaprio (as Jay Gatsby), Carey Mulligan (as Daisy Buchanan), and Tobey Maguire (as Nick Carraway). For many moviegoers, there'll be some justified wondering about whether the film's version of the Roaring Twenties is exaggerated -- was there really such a gap between rich and poor, wealthy and hard-scrabble?

The short answer is: Yes. Although today's wealth gap is wider in terms of dollars, the 1920s showed Americans what that famous American Dream could look like in terms of costly clothing, money enough to eat and drink what and where you wanted, glamour and glitz. Fitzgerald's book is now a researcher's treasure trove, containing not only telling details about life, but also emotional levels that can be explored and used for measuring some points of view as we construct historical fiction dating back to the 1920s.

I kept Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and many newspaper articles on hand while crafting COLD MIDNIGHT. If I could have slept with them under my pillow, I would have! (But the print makes me sneeze.) It especially mattered in terms of the relationship Ben has in the novel with Colonel Bateman, as well as Claire's restricted grasp of her own town -- which had its "high life" way outside her own working-class experience.

I plan to see the film sometime in the next week or so, to enjoy Luhrmann's take on "what it was all like." I can hardly wait!

No comments: