Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Pause to Clear the Decks

I am so frustrated at the moment. I spent much of the day trying to sort out the rules of that critique group, and I've decided to quit. I don't have time to sort out all these catch-22s, and find ways around them. All this fighting and spinning of wheels. I used to get paid $100-150 to cover a 120 page screenplay. I really don't need this much hassle to get the rights to read and critique a chapter before someone else beats me to it.

I've just got too many things on my plate. I need to take some time to clear the decks.

And while I sort things out, what I need to track here on the Daring Novelist blog is my reading. I've got to stop tucking my reading time into corners for a bit and be accountable for it. I'll be reading lots of things - including the partially done manuscripts I'm working on. (And I'll likely start editing them too.)

Today I read most of the first novella in Enter The Saint - a collection of Simon Templar stories by Leslie Charteris. The first book is "The Man Who Was Clever" and it's great fun. Of course the style of the period it so make The Saint a little too perfectly heroic - but I keep imagining him played by George Sanders and he pulls it off beautifully.

I've never seen the George Sanders versions of The Saint, except in some YouTube clips, but the man could pull off dry, witty, sardonic, charming villainy like no one has since (except maybe Clifton Webb) and so he wears perfection like a Saville Row suit. Much as I like the Roger Moore version of the Saint, the original Simon Templar was an "anti-villain." (Just like there are anti-heroes.) He has everything that the very best villains have, except instead of taking over the world, he turns his powers on other villains.

I may have a few things to say about Psychological Warfare and Con Games in mystery fiction soon. (I'm also a bit curious about The Saint's girl friend, who makes a brief appearance, and he promises to stop trying to make her live a safe and respectable life and that they will face down the "massed gangs of bad hats in New York, Chicago, Berlin and London" after he is done with this case - which he won't let her into. Will he live up to his promise? Will she make him?)

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