Julia Fox Is Intriguing


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The more I learn about Ye’s new muse Julia Fox, the more I find her intriguing. She seems rather…wide open…about her life, but unlike Kim Kardashian, she seems to actually have some discernible talent.

Fox seems like an actual person worth becoming a stan of, unlike most of the Kardashian clan that seems to simply fill a cultural niche because…they fill a cultural niche. (I exclude Kendall from this evaluation because she is actually gorgeous enough to be a model.)

I’m impressed that Ye would pick Fox, of all people, to be his muse. As a creative person myself, I could definitely see where she might inspire art. (Especially dat ass — holy shit.)

But she’s more than a pretty face and thicc ass, she genuinely seems like an interesting person unto herself. I honestly barely know anything about her, but the information I’ve passively learned about her in dribs and drabs has been compelling.

I look forward to her coming unto her own in the 2020s. Maybe, if things like Fox continue to bubble up to the cultural surface, not everything will be a dystopian hellscape of civil war or autocracy.

Hollywood, Australia?


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’m a nobody in the rural part of a fly over state. I don’t know anything about anything. But in my travels around the world over the years, I have noticed that people from Perth, Australia are some of the most unique in the world. They’re very interesting, creative people.

So, whenever my mind wander into what might happen to some of the deeper Blue portions of America like Hollywood, I think of Perth. If the movie industry were to, en mass flee autocratic America, they would do worse than to go to Perth. Now, Perth is in the middle of nowhere. It’s pretty much a long ways away from everywhere.

But the weather is decent and it would be a great place for all the Deep Blue Hollywood types to live once Hollywood is finally consumed by Immersive Media. I have to note, in passing how annoyed I am at how many center-Left people already have one foot out the door when it comes to the United States. I mean, come on, people, you don’t have the gumption to stand and fight for the freedoms that have made you so wealthy?

Ugh. Fuck that and fuck them.

But anyway, the issue is — we all have to prepare for some severe turbulence in the United States between now and no later than January 2025. Everyone is going to have to pick a side based on what they believe. It’s just sad that so many Twitter liberals who could otherwise help the cause of saving freedom and democracy in the United States are cowards and would rather run away than help defend the idea that the America really is the land of the free, home of the brave.

Or put another way — just because Trump was too stupid and lazy to “not lose” the 2020 election, doesn’t mean he won’t be able to “not lose” the 2024 election. We’re totally fucked no matter what. We’re just not going to muddle through this crisis like we have with other major events in our history in the past.

The years 2024 – 2025 will be the biggest political crisis in American domestic history since the secession crisis of 1860 – 1861. Either you’re prepared for it when it happens, or you’re not.

Good luck.

We Have A Beginning!


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Well, if nothing else, I have a stable first few lines of the first novel in this series. It’s really, really good. Everything else the last few days, however ,has been in a severe amount of flux. I’ve rearranged the order of the first act a dozen times in the last 48 hours.

My literary hero.

What’s more, after making such a huge deal of how I was making the chronology of events tighter, tonight I turned around and made it exactly what it was to begin with. But at least I have a reason for doing so — I’ve realized that if I’m going to do bad things to character, I probably need to give them enough page time so you like, actually care about what happens to them.

That’s a huge flaw in a lot of thrillers — they open with a dead body and the reader hasn’t even had time to take their figurative coat off in the figurative theatre yet. So, my first act now gives a lot more page time to two characters that are going to have something bad happen to them.

My struggle for me as the writer is to make you character about these characters in a way that is interesting enough that you’ll keep reading even though in real terms Nothing Is Happening. (I’m being a little harsh on myself — a lot is going on, but if you had no emotional attachment to the novel going into it I could see you thinking that in some respect.)

I’m supposed to get my cast off tomorrow, so that will be something of a New Era for me. As such, I’m pretending to myself that I’ll stop fucking with the outline and actually get back to writing one a second draft. I’ve really, rearranged things. The story flows a lot better now and there’s a lot more room for character development.

But there comes a point when I’ve got to stop fucking around and get back to writing. Breaking my ankle has definitely reminded me that I have a limited time on this earth and death be no proud, as they say.

Anyway, I’m really, really pleased — with the first novel’s beginning, if nothing else. I’ve got to power through and wrap up this second draft as soon as possible. I think I’m going to continue to use the weekends to read and develop the other novels in this series.

I just have to keep an eye on the calendar. If I don’t get more serious, it will be year from now and I’ll still be struggling with the second draft of the first book. Ugh.

Hollywood’s Generational Reboot



by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Now, this may all happen in the context of America pulling itself out of the ruble of a Second American Civil War, but Hollywood is ripe for a massive series of reboots of existing IP.

I say this because all of the major franchises at the moment are pretty much dead in the water. They’ve been strip mined to the point that audiences — or at least the audiences that grew up with them, are worn out. As such, there is going to come a tipping point when studio execs realize that there is a whole generation or two ripe to re-introduce franchise after franchise to.

Our new Ripley?

There will be much waling and gnashing of teeth by Baby Boomers and GenX, but in the end, we’re all going to see ourselves throwing down $20 at a streamer showing us a start-from-scratch reboot of Alien, Blade Runner, Die Hard, The Terminator and maybe even The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Just take Alien, for instance. I could very easily see Zendaya play a totally new Ripley in a totally new version of Alien that would start the whole franchise fresh. Give her a three picture deal and finally sort that particular franchise clusterfuck out once and for all. You get a hip horror director a three picture deal as well when you do this and you’ve just made yourself half a billion dollars.

What’s interesting is the James Bond franchise is, as of this moment, doing fairly well. It seems to me Henry Cavill — despite some unsettling blind items that allegedly are about him — would be the perfect new James Bond. He’s definitely who I think of when I think of “James Bond for the 2020s.” He’s got the Right Stuff for the role.

James Bond For the 2020s.

Anyway, I guess what I’m pointing out is, we’re just about to see a generational changing of the guard. This happens every once in a while, when people too young to remember The Good Olde Days, discover The Beatles, or whatever. This time, it will be Hollywood and it’s going to be pretty lit. A lot of the strip minding errors of Hollywood’s past should be fixed (I hope) because the studios know they have great IP on their hands and all they have to do is give the new versions of these beloved franchises some forethought before they roll them out to Xennials.

A Movie Concept Dedicated To Bringing Fun Back To The Theatres



by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I have a lot — A LOT — of movie ideas rolling around in my mind. One concept that I think someone, somewhere should do is kind of like “Battlestar Galactica 1980” meets Star Wars: A New Hope. The story would go something like this — it’s the modern day, when out of the blue a rag-tag group of space aliens fighting some sort of Galactic government swoop in and settle on the planet.

You would have all the archetypes of Star Wars, only set in the modern world with our modern technology. You would have all these exotic space aliens doing their thing among humans, all along with idea that the Galactic government might at any moment attack earth.

lulz. meh

And, if you really wanted to make things interesting, you do all of this in context of Red and Blue America, with Red America doubting everything and Blue American embracing all the aliens and preparing for a fight. Or something. Something like that.

But the point would be it there would be fun aliens and just an interesting story. No “woke” effort to sell a message or toys to little kids. Just a story about an Iowa farmboy who wants to save his girlfriend who is kidnapped and is now on the other end of the galaxy. Or something. You get the picture.

Absolutely no one listens to me, though. I can’t even get a 1,000 unique views for this site. So, meh.

‘Mare Of Easttown,’ Stieg Larsson & The 5 Novel Project I’m Developing & Writing


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I can still remember exactly how it came about that I started the process of going from writing two books to now five books. These first two books were meant to be a direct homage to the Millennium series that Stieg Larsson wrote before his tragic death of a heart attack. I was lying on the couch, thinking about both the novels and the fact that Trump turned out to be so fucking lazy and stupid that he could not even do the most basic of autocratic things to stay in power.

I rolled over in my mind the strange little town that I come up with — which was meant to be something of a thinly vailed allegory for Trumplandia, when it occurred to me that I had this huge backstory as to how a small Southern town might endup in such a bizarre situation.

I thought about how Trump was no longer president and how the context of the two books would change. Then it occurred to me, why not tell the very compelling story of the two major events that led up to the opening of the then first book in the series.

So, a bit later, I sat down and began to sketch out the plot for these two prequels and I was very pleased. What I did not realize was how hard it was going to be to finish even a first draft of the first book. Along the way, I saw Mare Of Easttown and it occurred to me that THAT was the vibe I wanted for the first prequel. (Which readers would not immediately know was actually a prequal because my intent is to sell the novels in chronical order.)

Then, even later, it occurred to me to split the first book in two, so now I have five novels to work on.

But back to the first book. In the back of my mind, I keep thinking about how great Mare of Easttown is and how I want to write a novel that is as good as that show was. I really enjoy developing and writing female characters because I find them so much more of a challenge and also I’m irritated that people like Olivia Wilde and Jessica Chastain apparently think men, by definition, can’t write well developed female characters. Or, at least, it’s a lot more difficult for them.

Anyway, I’m finally working on the second draft of the first novel. I hope to wrangle me a literary agent by the end of 2022 (or, at least the fall querying season.) But I’m also working on the other four books as I work on this first book. So, it’s at least theoretically possible that I will have additional novels in the series complete when I try to find a literary agent.

I’m have a lot of fun now because I am really into the groove of things now. I have figured out how *I* develop and write novels.

My Hot Take On Why ‘Don’t Look Up’ Was A Storytelling Disaster


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I keep ranting about this because, much like Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart, I was in the sweetspot for its intended audience. But, as with Booksmart, I bounced just about at the inciting incident. I fucking hate Booksmart for reasons similar to why I feel Don’t Look Up was a real missed opportunity.

While Booksmart was fucking preachy and caused me to feel attacked simply for being a “CIS white male,” Don’t Look Up was so hysterical and frantic in its desire to bang its message over my head that I just could not continue to watch it. This is not to say I won’t try to watch it again. Now that I know what I’m getting into, I may very well give it another go.

But let’s talk about why, despite such a great start, I found myself giving up on Don’t Look Up.

First, the movie seemed like liberal-progressive wish fulfillment. But, at the same time, it tried to hide this by couching everything in extreme bothsiderism. The POTUS in the movie seemed to be the some freakish Frankenstein’s Monster of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. This was done in to such a extreme manner as to cause me to first roll my eyes then later grow so frustrated that I gave up watching.

There was just too much going on with Don’t Look Up. It seemed a mish-mash of competing storytelling agendas. Was it supposed to be a political and climate change Mars Attacks or a modern day Network? Was it meant to scare the shit out of us about how we’re not doing anything about global climate change or was it just supposed to be an long SNL skit with better production values.

Here’s how I would have fixed it. I would given the movie a far more serious tone, something on a par with Arrival. I would shock the audience by how blase everyone was behaving about the end of the world until someone flipped out about it Howard Beale style.

Or, put another way, there was a Network-style drama to be had in Don’t Look Up. Not that there wouldn’t be humor in such a different interpretation of the concept, it’s just I would have preferred a mixture of Arrival, a Paul Thomas Anderson movie and, maybe Wes Anderson movie.

Something about how over-the-top and forced Don’t Look up in its humor I found very grating to the nerves. There was also just way too much screaming. I mean, cool it, folks.

Anyway. I’m going to try again to watch this movie. Maybe I can stand it more on a second go.

A Summary Of My Proposed Version of ‘Don’t Look Up’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Here’s what I would do. I would open this revised version of Don’t Look Up with our intrepid scientists calmly getting ready for their big interview on the Morning Drip. The camera would focus on the prosaic elements of their preperation. Noting flashy. The sound would be ramped up so you could hear every move as they straighten their clothes, etc.

THEN, when they go on the show, you would have your big freak out — we learn that everyone knows that the earth has less than a year before the end of the world and absolutely no one is taking it seriously. You give Jennifer Lawrence her big freak out scene and the story gets going.

And then here would the biggest difference in the two versions of the movie — my version is a lot softer and meant to be played for drama, rather than hysterical comedy. There wouldn’t be so much fucking chaos that would turn people like me off.

The plot would be direct and calm. You could even focus methodically on how the end of the world is being treated as a lulz until in the third act, we finally get around to doing something about it for the stupidest reasons possible.

And, what’s more, the movie wouldn’t be so fucking bloated in its run time.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge As Action Star


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

This seems like something of a gimmie, and up until recently Phoebe Waller-Bridge was set to star in a reboot of Mr. & Mrs. Smith that would have put her in a position where she could do as I’m about to propose: an action star. But she pulled out of the project for some reason, so lulz.

But I think Ms. Waller-Bridge has a lot of potential as a female action star because her comedy is very much Bruce Willis in Moonlighting. He was not the first pick for the lead in Die Hard and I think Ms. Waller-Bridge could be a huge, huge action star under the right conditions. She has the John McClain wise-cracking vibe to her, only with a British spin to it.

Hollywood’s next great action star?

She obviously can make Americans laugh, as shown with Fleabag and I think all she needs is the right vehicle and her career will go to the next level. Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t also point out that I think she would make a great Dr. Susan Calvin, robot psychologist.

I could see that being a whole franchise for her — there are oodles of short stories about Dr. Susan Calvin waiting to be adapted. My favorite is “Liar!”

I have no idea if anyone else realizes Ms. Waller-Bridge’s potential as an action star. Only time will tell.

Book 1: Imagine ‘Mare Of Easttown’ Staring Olivia Munn


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The first book in this projected five book series is beginning to coalesce. And, as they say, it’s a dumb thing to talk about who might play this or that character in any movie adaptation of a novel you’re working on. But absolutely no one listens to me or cares, so let’s daydream a little bit.

I mean, really, who’s even reading this beyond stalkers, haters and random people who happen to stumble across this obscure Website?

So, anyway, it’s occurred to me that Olivia Munn would be perfect to play the heroine of any movie adaptation of this first novel. She’s the right age and jibes with what I imagine the character looks like in my mind. She would have to learn a Southern accent if she decided to play the part, though. Wink.

The first few novels in this series owe a huge thematic debt to Mare of Easttown. That’s the work that I think about the most as I write these first two books and to a lesser extent the third book. But it’s thematic, not a one-to-one. The Mare of Easttown is something of a stepping off point for a story that is similar, but set in a much smaller (Southern) town than Easttown.

But Munn — mixed with someone else — is who I think of when I write this heroine. And, yet, I’m really being delusional. I’m a middle aged man that can come off as an Internet crank, so there’s a good chance nothing will happen at all when I try to sell these novels.

I going to keep the faith, though. I believe in myself. Keep the faith.