Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Thoughts On "Padding"

Last night we watched "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" as a family. The one from 1979.

It's SO boring!

The movie could have easily been an hour-long television episode, complete with commercial breaks. The makers spent an unbelievable amount of time on special effects. I mean unbelievable. If you've seen it, you know what I mean. It made me say, "What on earth were they thinking???"

The plot (when you could find it among the special effects) was thin and had no tension, as if even the cast knew they were in a boring movie.

It got me to thinking about my "completed" manuscript that is suffering from neglect, needing revision/editing. I think one of the reasons I'm reluctant to dust it off and work on it is that I'm not sure if I really have enough story for a whole novel. It's too short. I've got some ideas for added scenes, but I don't want to add padding.

It seemed to me as if the Star Trek movie creators took an hour-long television episode and padded it out with special effects to make it movie-length. (According to the Wikipedia entry, that's more or less what they did.) The padding was very boring, and it made the whole movie seem boring.

I don't want to do that with my novel.

I hope I can think of something. If not, I may seriously need to shelve it and focus on one of the other four ideas competing for my attention.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The NEW U.S. Passport!

My daughter got her passport in the mail this week. It’s pretty!

Mine from 22 years ago was just a little book with my picture and info on one page and blank pages for visas. The new ones look exactly the same on the outside down to the Navy blue, but the inside it’s completely different. I don’t have my old one to compare to because it’s off with the State Department proving I’m a U.S. citizen, but I know my old one didn’t have scenic pictures of the United States on the visa pages, or a colorful bald eagle on the page with my picture.

They say the passports now have some kind of chip in them for scanning recognition. And my friend Carrie thinks the pictures on the visa pages are printed like our money somehow so they can’t be counterfeited. But I just think they’re pretty.

And now I have the song going through my head from Captain Kangaroo, “Picture pages, picture pages, time to get your pictures pages, time to get your crayons or your pencils…”