Friday, October 31, 2014

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Welcome to My Nightmare (1975)

Do you think he's smiling?
1) Tell us about a bad dream you've had. After a recent trip to the zoo, where I was fascinated by the alligators, I had a scary dream about one of my reptilian friends. I was asleep on the beach with arm stretched out and awoke to a gator approaching me, mouth agape.

2) Sam is not crazy about spiders. What frightens you, or gives you "the creeps?" In addition to gators (who I kind of dig), squirrels and clowns make the the list.

3) This week's featured artist, Alice Cooper, has always liked to dress up. Performing as Alice, he wears garish eye makeup. In his first group, he and his bandmates dressed as the Beatles. Will you be wearing a costume this weekend? Nope.

4) Alice says his makeup was inspired by Bette Davis in his favorite horror movie, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? This Halloween weekend, will you seek out horror movies and scary TV shows, or will you avoid them? While I have been known to enjoy having the crap scared out of me on occasion, I'm just not in the mood right now.

5) Born Vincent Furnier, Alice used to tell reporters that he and his band got the name Alice Cooper from a Oujia board. Have you ever tried a Oujia board? Yes, when I was in junior high. But I wasn't very into it.

6) Alice and his band (also called Alice Cooper) were discovered by music manager Shep Gordon while playing in Venice, California. Have you ever visited Venice, California or Venice, Italy? I've been to Venice, CA, and thought it was quirky/charming.

7) In 1970s England, a morality campaigner named Mary Whitehouse persuaded the BBC to ban Alice Cooper. The ensuing publicity resulted in such a bump in record sales that Alice sent Ms. Whitehouse flowers. Do you believe in censorship? Or should adults be able to choose to see/hear whatever they wish? While I'm not a fan of censorship, I do appreciate the warnings and ratings that show up on the beginning of a show or movie. I like knowing in advance if I'm going to see something violence or intense.

8) Today Alice has a popular syndicated radio show, Nights with Alice Cooper. Listeners all over the United States, Germany, Denmark, New Zealand, and the UK hear him introduced as, "a man for whom even Dr. Phil has no cure." Do you watch Dr. Phil? I'm not a viewer, but I do like his accent. Where is he from? Is that a Texas twang I hear?

9) Did you get many trick or treaters this year? What candy did you give them? I didn't get any trick or treaters this year. However, I did ride the el with a Disney Princess this morning, and I saw a man in a shark costume signing in with building security.

November with Liza Seebury

November is Nanowrimo, or National Novel Writing Month. So beginning at midnight, people all over the country will begin pounding out works of fiction, hoping to hit the 50,000 word mark by November 30.

This year, my completely fictional heroine is Liza Seebury, a 17 year old from Williamsburg, Virginia. Her parents, worried about the impact of the impending Civil War on their "precious petal," send her away to visit friends in the still neutral Nevada Territory. Out there, in a new and completely different world, she begins to question the teachings, values and suppositions of her old life and discovers strength and passion within herself she didn't know she had.

I'm excited about writing this because I've been thinking about this period a lot ever since seeing Gone With the Wind on the big screen last month, I miss Williamsburg, and it will be fun to write a character with a big arc of development. The thing is, at the beginning of the story, she's pretty hideous: spoiled and most definitely racist. Of course, much of that is just part of being 17, and much of that comes from being a product of the antebellum South. It will be nice for me to find things to admire about her as she matures and evolves.

My title is Compact of Fire, taken from Shakespeare.

"Love is a spirit all compact of fire, Not gross to sink, but light, and will aspire."

Wish me luck!