Farscape. You knew that was coming, right?
Watched episode Green-Eyed Monster on dvd last night, listening to the commentary by Ben Browder, who plays John Crichton and also wrote this particular episode. Listening to storytellers talk about the creative process is something that I could do forever. This particular episode is interesting because it’s mostly about the drama that goes on around the triangle of John, Aeryn and Crais, the slightly-off-center former PeaceKeeper commander who lusts for (as Ben Browder puts it) John’s girl. It’s this episode where John and Aeryn both make the decision to pursue the relationship, and it’s handled beautifully.
Ben Browder, in his commentary, seems somewhat uneasy about his own work; he keeps refering to himself as schmaltzy, when in fact there’s a wonderful mixture of strong emotion and tentativeness in the way John and Aeryn approach each other. You know the old addage about how porcupines mate; you can see it happening here.
Another movie/dvd to watch again and again, with or without the commentary, is Sense and Sensibility. I have great respect for everyone associated with this adapation, from Ang Lee (the director) to each and every minor character. But I’m in awe of Emma Thompson‘s work on the screenplay, and I recommend her commentary on the dvd very highly.
I’ve been writing very little, but thinking a lot. And reading constantly, about islands in the Caribbean just now.
It occurs to me that readers might get a little panicky, thinking that I’m sending the Bonners off to an island somewhere for the duration of book five in the series. Let me say: that’s not the case. The first few chapters of Queen of Swords do take place on such an island, but only a subset of the family is there.
I’m aware that many of my readers don’t like it when I take the action outside of upper NY state, but I hope they’ll stick with me. Most of novel five takes place in New Orleans and environs, with occasional peaks back at what’s going on in Paradise. New Orleans in 1814 was an incredible place, and I hope I’ll do it justice. Certainly I know my characters are all wound up about it.
Another problem I should mention: since there’s such a long gap between the time I finish a novel and the time the readers get to see it, I forget sometimes what they know already and what they don’t. I try very hard not to let spoilers into my discussions, but I may slip in a small way sometimes.
I have to go now and draw a map. Luke is requesting it.
And here’s the opening page of Thunder at Twilight, something I’ve been promising the members of the discussion board at yahoo for a while. See the “continue reading” link at the bottom of this post.
Excerpt: Thunder at Twilight. Forthcoming Bantam Books. Copyright Sara Donati. All Rights Reserved: no part of this text may be reproduced in any way without express written permission of the author.
Late Spring 1812
Carryckcastle, Annandale, Scotland
Set free by the death of a husband she had not wanted nor ever learned to love, Jennet Scott Huntar of Carryckcastle left home for the new world on her twenty-eighth birthday.
Jennet told her mother and her brother and her husband’s grieving family that she had chosen Montreal for practical reasons, and she ticked them off on her fingers: the family’s extensive holdings, the many friends and business associates to look after her, and the fact that Montreal was the closest city to the Bonner cousins in New-York State. These reasons, so rationally presented, fooled no one, not even herself: in a clan of men and women to whom reserve and restraint were as natural as breathing, Jennet was an oddity, unable to hide what she was feeling or even to try.
It was true that she was eager to see the cousins who lived deep in the wilderness of the endless forests in the state of New-York, but the first and most important truth was this: Jennet went to Montreal in pursuit of Luke Bonner, a distant cousin and the man she should have married instead of good-hearted, timid, practical and predictable Ewan Huntar, who had gone to sleep one spring night and died as neatly and quietly as he had lived. Of a bleeding on the brain, the doctor had announced firmly, to stop any rumors or speculations before they could start.
And there was another truth, a crucial one. Jennet had not seen Luke Bonner in ten years, but in all that time he had never married. A handsome young man from a well-respected family, with a quick laugh and a considerable fortune, all of his own making; he could have married fifty times over, and yet he had not. It was both an invitation, and a challenge. One that Jennet could not ignore.