A Massive Plot Hole In ‘Glass Onion’ — SPOILERS!

by Shelt Garner


Ok. I got a bone to pick with Rian Johnson about the latter part of what is otherwise a really great movie.

So, one of the key moments of the movie is someone gets shot. Then that weapon just magically is never mentioned again. What the what?

A group of people are trapped on an island with an murderous idiot with a loaded weapon and that murderous idiot just lets the plot unfold as if he doesn’t have a gun? What? We see the weapon shot twice, so if it had, say, six bullets you would have four more bullets that could be used to influence events. That doesn’t even address that issue that a handgun, by definition, can be used as a threat.

All I can say is Johnson is lucky I was so invested in how interesting the plot was that I was able to push that annoying “what happened to that gun?” feeling in the back of my mind out of the way long enough to finish the movie.

The MAGA Slogan ‘Go Woke, Go Broke’ Is Performative Bullshit — It’s Hollywood’s Poor Storytelling That’s The Problem

by Shelt Garner

Conservatives of all stripes feel really, really put upon by the “woke cancel culture mob.” They to the point that they are willing to destroy American democracy so they can use the hard power of the government to end the “wokeness” they perceive is hurting their feelings.

One of the favorite slogans of the MAGA New Right is “woke woke, go broke.” This is bullshit. It’s bullshit because it fits the narrative of the greater MAGA New Right echochamber of podcasts and Fox News. The issue isn’t so much that Hollywood has “gone woke” as it is showbiz has lost sight of their power: telling a good story.

I could watch a pretty “woke” movie without blinking an eye if it told me a good story and the representation that it strove for was organic to the story. It’s when the story is lacking that I start to roll my eyes, check my watch and dwell upon how the movie is trying to browbeat me with a “woke” message.

If the story was good — I wouldn’t care because I would be so engrossed by the tale I was consuming.

The issue is, of course, that America is cleaving into two nations, one Red, one Blue. And the moment Blues get as angry as Reds — that’s it, the country will probably have a National Divorce and, as such a Second American Civil War. At the moment, Blues are pretty oblivious to the dangers they face when the ascendance of Reds because Reds are such cry babies that you wouldn’t believe that they are going to push majority Blues out of the country with their extreme policies once they’re in power again.

But, here we are. There’s a real risk that that very thing might happen.

It’s all very bonkers and, as such, 2023 – 2025 could be one of the most turbulent eras in American history since 1865.

All Systems Go

by Shelt Garner

All systems are go for me to start writing the second draft of my novel as of about the afternoon of New Year’s Day 2023. I have given myself that deadline because I keep fucking futzing with the outline and if have any hope of actually finishing this fucking novel I’m going to have to stop doing that.

I hope to spend New Year’s Eve reading and watching a shit ton of movies and TV shows to kind of recharge my emotional batteries since I can’t like, do what I want to do which is go to New York City for a few days.

Anyway, I’m feeling pretty good about the status of this novel at the moment. I’m really pushing myself creatively to just about as far as I can go. I’m no Gillian Flynn, hell, I struggle to reach Stieg Larsson. But I can tell a good to great story and all I want to do at this point is not embarrass myself. My real goal in the near term is to write a second draft that is good enough that my eventual, inevitable beta readers are interested and engaged enough to finish the whole damn thing.

That’s really the dream at this point.

If I can achieve that goal, then my next goal would be to find an editor to take things to the next level. THEN be querying in the fall of 2023. THEN get an agent and sell my first novel before I drop dead.

Three Questions About My First Novel, Answered

by Shelt Garner

Challenge accepted.

Critical question: Does your protagonist have a real character arc?

Yes. The issue is one of redemption. My heroine not only feels betrayed, but she has a craving for redemption in the eyes of a very specific, small community. As such, she changes as she struggles to achieve that goal of redemption.

Critical question: Do the events of your plot have a strong causal relationship?

This has been a really rough thing to address as I’ve been working on this novel over the years. But the issue of “but, therefore” has become a little easier for me to use organically in the novel’s plot as things have progressed.

Critical questions: Does your protagonist have a higher-order goal in your novel? Does what they’re doing make sense, in terms of trying to achieve that goal? And is the way the world responds to those efforts convincing?

Yes. Her struggle — the reason why everything happens — is she wants redemption. She feel betrayed by events out of her control and as the story progresses, she addresses the issues associated with her existential need for that redemption.

A Drunk Rumination On My Time In South Korea.

by Shelt Garner

I’m drunk. I’ve had too much 100 proof whiskey and it’s only because of some food I’ve recently had that I’m cognizant enough to write anything worth reading. I find myself thinking about what happened to me in South Korea and I think the key issue is I waiting too long to leave the first time.

The late Annie Shapiro and me back in Seoul when I was young and cute.

Here’s what happened, as I remember it. Now, remember, Annie Shapiro is dead, so I can talk about these things without being too much of an asshole.

But, as I remember it, what happened is the nadir of my time in South Korea was the summer of 2007 when Annie Shapiro brought back ROKon Magazine behind my back in secret. It was REALLY GOOD and I was devastated and what she was able to pull off. She finally proved that she, did, in fact, love the magazine more than I did.

In hindsight, I think, everyone involved in the ROKon Magazine tragedy would have been better off if I had left South Korea for home at some point in the spring of 2007. If I had spend most of 2007 just kind of chilling out back in America then I could have worked out a lot of internal mental problems. As it was, I was living on fumes. (I managed to almost get hit by a van in the process, but lulz, that’s a different story.)

In hindsight, if I hadn’t wallowed in Seoul about how emotionally kneecapped by the failure of my version of ROKon Magazine in the spring of 2007, I could have gone home and maybe moved on to New York City or something. But….I was scared. I was scared to go home to failure so I stayed in South Korea, thinking maybe I could salvage my life there and spend the rest of my life being a well known expat in Seoul.

Then all hell broke loose when ROKon Magazine came back (in secret!) without me.

And, so, here I am, 15 or so years later approaching my 50th birthday realizing only just now that I’m just too old to ever do all the fun things in NYC that I wanted to do in my 30s. Even I get what I want, I don’t get what I want. Even if I manage to sell a break out hit novel — I can’t change how fucking old I will be when it happens.

That is very depressing on a number of levels for a number of reasons. Life is finite and I can’t go back in time. I have to process that there is such a thing as waiting too long. It’s extremely painful.

And, yet, I live to be creative for creative sake and I suppose it’s at least possible that I might, if nothing else, squeeze out a bit of fun at some point in my 50s. But that’s an extremely iffy proposition.

The MAGA New Right Wants To Burn American Democracy To The Ground…Because They’re Getting Their Fee-Fees Hurt?

by Shelt Garner

The interesting thing about the MAGA New Right is how upset they are about the soft power of smug, very online wealthy Twitter liberals. MAGA would do anything to be accepted by this tiny sliver of the American electorate. Anything. But because they can’t get the validation they crave, they are prepared to burn 250 years of American democracy to the ground because they’re getting their fee-fees hurt.

I’m not kidding.

I talk to my Traditionalist relatives and that’s the thing they keep bitching and moaning about — the soft power of the “woke cancel culture mob.” The “woke” nature of “cancel culture” makes them feel….uncomfortable. They “just want to be left alone” unless we’re dealing with female reproductive agency, then, sucks to be you, libtard.

As I’ve said before, the MAGA New Right not only has a huge fucking chip on its shoulder, but they love to conflate the soft power of the “woke cancel culture mob” with the hard power of the government. So, yeah, maybe there were some Twitter shinaignans…but that was soft power. It’s not like anyone was going to jail over that.

But, no, that’s not how the fucking MAGA New Right cocksuckers see it. They get REALLY worked up about the soft power of the center-Left to the point that they want America to be an “illiberal democracy” like Hungary rather than a bastion of traditional Western democracy.

It’s all very fucked up. Get ready, though — 2023 – 2025 is going to be lit.

I Loved ‘Glass Onion’

by Shelt Garner

I found myself drinking some pretty potent whiskey with some a new Netflix account and so the first thing I did was watch Glass Onion. Netflix left so very much money on the table by not giving this movie a wide and long theatrical release, but lulz.

While I would say that “Babylon” is my favorite film of the year, Glass Onion is my favorite movie of the year. Even though in hindsight the movie wasn’t nearly as interesting as it was as you watched it, while I watched it I was totally engaged. I was in the moment and the movie really did what a good movie does — give you interesting characters doing engrossing things.

All I can say is — Rian Johnson should stay as far away from the Star Wars franchise as possible. He is obviously not a fan of Star Wars and he is just not interested in what makes Star Wars so popular. But the man can direct a great murder mystery.

I say that the movie isn’t as interesting upon reflection because there just isn’t much in the way of red herrings. The person would assume did it, did it. There are a few left turns and misdirects now agan again, but in general…meh. But I have extremely high storytelling expectations and I loved Glass Onion. There was a compelling story and you wanted to know things would work out.

There were a few things I didn’t understand about this movie. Why was the character of “Whiskey” played but a non-name actress. I’m not picking on the actress who played the character, but she kind of faded into the background. I mean, imagine if Dua Lipa or even Kaia Gerber had played that character. Madelyn Cline is just sort of…there? I suppose that was kind of the point. They didn’t want a well known person to play the character so we our eyes wouldn’t be drawn to her.

Or something.

But, in general, I was extremely pleased. Highly recommend.

My Novel Is Getting Really Good On A Conceptual Basis

by Shelt Garner

I’m rather drunk as I write this — too much 100 proof whiskey — but I’m very much at the cusp of writing the second draft of my first novel and it’s shaping up to be really, really good. The big difference between the first and second drafts is the story leaning into character a lot more because of structural demands.

I have to establish to the reader why the fuck they should care about what’s going on with these characters. And, as such, you have to give the audience a few scenes that pretty much just let them get their bearings as to setting and mood and the like. The first draft of the novel pretty much start so late in the chronology of events that you were interested because something was happening, but soon enough you lost interest because, well, lulz, so what. You didn’t really know the characters and they were just words on a page.

I have fundamentally fixed that problem and now the novel is starting to feel (to me at least) like a real novel, like the type you might stumble across at the bookstore when you randomly grab a book as you walk the shelves.

Anyway, I’m probably going to wait until this Sunday afternoon to sit down and start writing on the second draft. Given that I really want to lay out the development of interesting, well thought out characters I need to kind of psyche myself up for striving for more Gillian Flynn than Stieg Larsson.

Oh, Jesus am I drunk. But content.

I am so excited about how good things are shaping up with this second draft. The big issue is how long the damn thing may shape up to be. That is going to be a real issue. And, yet, given it’s going to go both through a beta reader process and maybe — if I can afford it — an actual editor…I should be able to revamp the draft to the point that it’s a close enough to the sweetspot of 100,000 to be get published.

I Want To Name My Novel After A Beatles’ Song

by Shelt Garner

I just got done watching the movie Glass Onion and it was really, really good. It got me thinking about how there’s a very specific Beatles song that would be absolutely perfect for the novel I’m writing.


I’m just a rando nobody in the middle of nowhere and I while I know you can’t copyright the title of a of something, I’m well aware of how touchy of how Apple Corp is about protecting The Beatles’ legacy. So, the only way I would actually name the novel the title of a Beatles song is if I sold the novel and the publisher believed in it enough to talk to Apple Corp about it.

Though, the more I think about it, the more I realize that actually it’s the LAST novel in this projected six novel project where that particular phrase would be absolutely ideal, given what I’ve game out for the arc of the six novels.

Anyway. Lulz. Nothing matters.

I’m just an aspiring novelist and no one gives a shit what I think.

A Serious Flaw In Post-Apocalyptic Fiction

by Shelt Garner

Something occurred to me recently that has begun to consume the massive scenario-making part of my mind — there is a fatal flaw in all the post-apocalyptic fiction out there today.

It’s very First World-centric. So much so, it’s kind of ridiculous. Add to that that humans are far more resilient than they’re given credit for and the world of books like Station 11 are difficult to read for me. (That, of course, and how young the author of that book is, which makes me feel bad that I’m a late bloomer when it comes to writing a novel.)

Anyway, I don’t want to go into too much detail I like flipping the script on any well hone trope and this might make an interesting novel or screenplay. But, needless to say — unless you are using an extinction-level event as the basis of your scenario, civilization would probably bounce back far, far sooner than we give it credit for.