I stopped keeping track of time for this last leg of the challenge. I long beat my goals, and I'm tired. (The end of the semester is tough.) And I'm doing good work.
On Sunday and Monday I got the last run-through on the book done and sent it off to beta readers (wait, I think I have one more person to send it to...) I'll do one more proofing run after I get the feedback.
I did not get 5 Twists fully formatted and uploaded yet. I spent a little time playing with html, and creating a perfect CLEAN template. However, I discovered that, contrary to popular belief, Word does not do a clean job of turning html into a Word doc, so I need to continue using Word for the original document.
I really seriously can't wait until Smashwords accepts html.
Upload day, I think , will be Thursday. I have to work Wednesday, and I want to get my blurbs and author note and all that right. So I'll post that book announcement on Friday.
Christmas is the deadline for feedback from beta readers on The Man Who Did Too Much. I won't be able to get the paper book laid out before New Years, but the ebook should be ready sometime next week. (That was one of the reasons I was experimenting with my workflow for 5 Twists -- in case I wanted to upgrade my prep methods on Man Who.)
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (WB, 2011) This isn't a classic, so it doesn't count, but it was beautifully done. It lives up completely to the first Robert Downey Jr. Holmes. It's still intelligent, yet nicely silly. And it features Stephen Fry as Mycroft!
This is the very first time I have ever been impressed with a depiction of Moriarty. (Whenever I hear a Holmes flick features Moriarty, I always prepare myself for disappointment, and I've, um, never been disappointed in my expectations of disappointment before.) Jared Harris does a fine job, but he was also given a lot to work with in the script. And the movie features an incredible climactic confrontation between Holmes and Moriarty at the end. Even though it had to be an action scene, they managed to make it a full battle of high intellect, too.
The Lady Vanishes (Gainsborough Pictures, 1938) I've been thinking about meticulous preparation before production on writing, and that made me think of Alfred Hitchcock. I will be writing more about Hitch and about this flick soon. (In particular a scene with some brandy glasses near the end.) The Lady Vanishes is probably the height of Hitchcock's British career, made only two years before coming to the U.S. to make Rebecca. It's light and silly and cheery, and yet full of suspense, and packed with so much irony it might require chelation therapy for excess heavy metals.
The story is an old trope, and the best ever done with this particular formula: a young woman meets an old lady on a train. The old lady vanishes, and the young woman can't get anybody to believe she ever existed. But unlike so many imitations which beat the premise to death and get boring before The Truth is finally revealed in a startling twist (much too late), this one keeps the premise in check. It's something that drives the action, and allows us to see continuing vignettes of all the little dramas, all the characters on the train.
See you in the funny papers.