Saturday, September 21, 2013

Don't Mess With the Wizard of Oz!

The Wizard of Oz was released in1939, a year before I was born. The movie was a wonderful cinematic event,  a movie that began in black and white and changed to color. It also included a perfect set of characters, as we all still know and love today. It received an Oscar  nomination for  Best Picture of 1939, but it lost out to the grand Civil War epic, Gone With the Wind.

Today, in September 2013, seventy-four years later, film producers have converted The Wizard of Oz to 3D. Frankly, I don't want to watch anything in 3D.

Why mess with a perfect movie?

At around age ten or eleven, I think, Mother allowed me and my younger sister go to the movie theater to see The Wizard of Oz. Yes, it was several years old, as was I, but what did that matter? Today, the seventy-four year old movie still holds the allure it did back then.  Making it into 3D won't make it any better.

When my little sister and I settled in the theater and waited for the movie to begin, I couldn't wait to see a film in color. Before this, we had gone to the Rose Theater to watch Saturday Afternoon Matinees starring Western cowboys--Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Lash LaRue, Hopalong Cassidy, and the Lone Ranger.

The movie began with a grand entrance, but all in black and white. I watched with great intensity, waiting for the color to begin. But it didn't. After a while, through my near-sighted eyes, I squinted. Maybe I saw a little color.

I punched my little sister's arm. "Do you see color?" No, she said. I told her , squint your eyes. I think I see color when I do that.

Well, we convinced each other this was true. But when the real color came on the screen, I almost fell out of my seat. From then on, I sat forward on the edge of the seat to make sure I didn't miss anything.

However, being a natural born fraidy cat, the flying monkeys scared me silly, and I curled up in the seat and closed my eyes.

Many years later, when our son and daughter-in-law brought the grandsons to Texas, I rented the movie The Wizard of Oz. I think they were seven and six. I let them drag old sleeping bags and pillows into the living room so they could sit or lie down and watch the movie. Their dad--our son--got on the floor with them, and I popped the video into the player.

The younger one lay down besides his daddy and watched every minute of the movie. But the older one became frightened right away, and he chose to stand behind me in my recliner and watch from afar. When those flying monkeys came screeching out, the child ran around into the dining room and hid in a corner. Talk about a fraidy cat! I tried to get him to sit with me, but he'd have none of it.

Imagine the flying monkeys in 3D.
I'd be the one to hide in a corner.

I just don't understand re-making any classic movie. An old black and white should not be colorized. A silent movie should not be made into a "talkie." And a excellent classic such as The Wizard of Oz should not be in 3D.

Next thing I know, the movie people will colorized all those old black and white Westerns, and add 3D.

They've already gone too far when they allowed Johnny Depp to be Tonto.

And that's a wrap.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Crossroads--Decisions, Decisions

Whether an author or not, we all face moments of indecision. Sometimes these moments stretch into long periods of time.

~*~Go to work, or be a stay-at-home-parent.
~*~Keep the old minivan a couple more years, or buy a new SUV-After all, life is short.
~*~Buy  a new dress for the anniversary party, or wear last year's--who would remember anyway?
~*~Stay with the old job for security, or launch into unknown territory to do something you love.

Some decisions are trivial and some are life-changing.
Consider, though,  decisions based on a problem that is purely personal. These decisions won't change my life or destroy the way I live.
At this moment, my problem concerns my writing and which direction I'll take. I could do one or the other, or perhaps both eventually. But for the moment, only one can take center stage.

My first novel was Western Historical Romance, and so were the next three. Writing this genre is fun, almost like fantasy, and filled with action.

But along the way, I wrote several contemporary romances. While I enjoyed writing those, I couldn't wait to return to westerns with a romance set in the Old West. Since the return to this genre, I've written six novellas, and almost have a full-length finished--another "Texas book."
Now, I'm at the crossroads again.

I have made one decision--that is to write novella length for a while, whether contemporary or western historical. If I yearn for prints, I can always put them in a collection, as I did with the Dime Novels--titled Lone Star Dreaming, or put them in a boxed set.

Here are my two possibilities:

I. Western Historical Romance:

Mail Order Bride Series titled "Trinity Hill Brides." First one concerns a man eaten up with guilt and has separated himself from the community to live and survive in the hills alone. A citizen of the town, a wealthy, elderly lady, takes it upon herself to order a bride for him. I could use the same lady as the source for other brides.
Question: Is this category of romances still viable? Do Mail Order Bride Series still sell? I have loved every one I've read over the years, but are authors still using the vehicle? Are readers still reading them?

II. Contemporary Romance:

Small Town Texas Series titled "Welcome to Del Rey, Texas." First one--maybe--is now titled Lily Marie, but should be something else--concerns a young university professor in a small college. She is rather prim and proper, and her best friend is another professor. They teach the same thing, so they spend time together. He's somewhat of a nerd, but they get along well. Enter the new football coach in town, and he moves into the small empty house across the street. Now, her life changes.
Are novellas selling as well as I think they are?
Of the two options above, what is your opinion of which would draw the most readers?
If you're an author, do you write in more than one genre?
If you're a reader, do you stay with one genre, or cross over to another some of the time?
Thank you for visiting my blog. Comments are not only welcome, they are wanted!

Celia Yeary
Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
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Note: Photo of Couple: Connie Breton and Kyle Chandler from "Friday Night Lights."