July is a hectic month for me. I'll attend a novelist "retreat" (more of a mini-conference) just prior to the International Christian Retail Show, which I'll also attend for a day or two. This year it's in Denver. Some years, like this one, I also go to the Romance Writers of America national conference. Since I'm up for the RITA Award, I decided to go to Washington D.C., just in case The Perfect Life might win. I'll only be there for one and a half of the four days of the conference, but it's long enough to get to meet with friends and eat with my agent and attend the award ceremony. And finally there is the annual "Plot, Play, and Pray" retreat in northern Idaho where I'll meet with ten dear, dear Christian women writers (ages ranging from late 30's to early 90's) who have become my closest sisters in the Lord. We brainstorm books, we pray with and for one another, and we are as silly as grown women can possibly be (which is mighty silly). Oh, yes. And we eat, eat, eat.
This coming Friday, I'll be attending a seminar taught by screenwriter Michael Hauge. He advised us in advance of eight movies he will refer to throughout the day. I'd seen all but one of them at least once (and a few of them many times), but I decided to do a refresher course and watched all eight of them again so they'll be fresh in my mind. They are:
Million Dollar Baby
Good Will Hunting
A Beautiful Mind
I disliked one of the movies (Million Dollar Baby). I liked or really liked most of them even though I'm not crazy about some of the crude language included in several of the films. And I absolutely loved one (Shrek). What can I say? I love a good romance with believable conflict and a happily ever after ending; Shrek delivers that, along with lots of good laughs along the way. Now I'm eager to see what all of those films will end up teaching me about good writing/storytelling.
What about you? Are any of the above movies particular favorites of yours? Why?