“Don’t fight in the North or the South. Fight every battle, everywhere, always, in your mind. Everyone is your enemy, everyone is your friend. Every possible series of events is happening all at once. Live that way and nothing will surprise you. Everything that happens will be something that you’ve seen before.”
— Petry Baelish (Aiden Gillen) in HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” S7. Ep3: “The Queen’s Justice”
So my super-cool best friend sent me a big box of knickknacks as an early Christmas present, and its contents easily double as inspirations or writing prompts.
What you see up front in the first two photos is petrified wood, an obsidian arrowhead (dragonglass for defeating white walkers!!) and selenite crystal. The selenite will come in handy, as it promotes peace and calm — my 2022 New Year’s resolution is to chill the #@$% out before this world finally drives me to full on supervillainy. (I started picking out a costume on Friday after doomscrolling Twitter.)
The pottery she made herself. And the cigar box corral with its contestants is perfect for plotting out my planned western epic. Dammit, I hope I’m not giving away too many plot points here. (You’ve heard the expression, “Not my first rodeo?” It WAS the center guy’s first rodeo.)
This handemade leather-bound volume is about the length of my forefinger; it was an especially cool Christmas present from a writer friend of mine. She picked it up for me at a Renaissance Faire. She told me I could write all my “secret thoughts” here. (I’ve got a lot of ’em.)
I personally like to think that it looks like something out of Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” universe, like maybe the place where Roland inscribes clues about his quest. (I know he doesn’t need to search for clues in any of the books, but still.) Or maybe it’s a convenient pocket-tome for the vengeance-driven Arya Stark from “Game of Thrones” to keep her “list.”
I haven’t yet decided precisely what I will record here. I quite love it, though. It’s sitting on my desk as a reminder for me to write. (You know what would fit perfectly on a single page? All the progress I’ve made on my novel in the past six months. Maybe I’ll start with that.)
It’s true what they say about “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” (2019) — its script is almost completely brainless. It’s got about as much depth as the old “G.I. Joe” cartoon (1983-1986) that played after school when we were kids.
But I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t enjoy this. And I’m sure you know why — the big-budget, big-MONSTER special effects. They were spectacular — and sometimes they approached being unexpectedly beautiful. (It’s hard to explain here, but our eyes are treated to more than skyscraper-tall brawls between “titans.” We get a light show too — thanks to some confusing, thinly scripted, but nonetheless dazzling energy-based monster powers. It was really damned good.)
Add to this a generally excellent cast, and you might be able to forgive the screenplay for insulting your intelligence. I know that most people would name Ken Watanabe as the actor who truly classes up the joint. And there’s plenty of truth to that, but I myself would name Charles Dance as the movie’s biggest standout. The man’s craft is goddam Shakespearean, and I think he’s equal of the likes of Patrick Stewart or Ian McKellen. And I’d like to think that his throwaway line, “Long live the King,” was at least partly a fan-service reference to what I’m guessing is his best known role — Tywin Lannister on HBO’s “Game of Thrones” (2011-2019).
Based on my own enjoyment, I’d rate this movie an 8 out of 10 — with the caveat that I’m a kid at heart when it comes to giant monsters. If you’re the same way, then “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” might just become a guilty pleasure that you return to more than once.