The Top 5 Things I had to cut from “The Force Isn’t With Me Anymore,” my new essay up on Tablet

My new piece up on Tablet, “The Force Isn’t With Me Anymore,” is about how my lifelong love of Star Wars is clashing with my commitment not to go to the movies. Yes, it is true, this fangirl, the child formerly known in some circles as “Chewbecca,” will not be watching “The Force Awakens.”

O Death Star Play Set, how I miss thee!!

Writing the piece was loads of fun: I got to relive many happy minutes of my childhood. In the original draft, I described the scene when I received my beloved Death Star Play Set (from Kenner!) in loving detail, and included all sorts of wacky stuff that I had to cut for length before turning the article into Tablet. 

Editing out all that material was painful, and so I give you…

THE TOP 5 THINGS I HAD TO CUT FROM “THE FORCE ISN’T WITH ME ANYMORE:”

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Orthodox Women Talk: Roundtable about media consumption

OWTHi, everyone! I know I pretty much never post twice in a day, but I’m hosting this month’s Orthodox Women Talk. Our panelists include:

  • Tali Simon
  • Melissa Amster
  • Ruchi Koval
  • Rivki Silver
  • Keshet Starr
  • Estee Lavitt
  • and yours truly.

This month’s question is this:

How much do you engage in popular music, movies and other forms of entertainment? What factors have contributed to that choice?

Wow! We’ve got a lot of variety in responses. Let’s see what our roundtable panelists have to say... Continue reading

How writing a novel differs from writing a screenplay: my last post on STORY

After reading my earlier posts on STORY, you might think I’m 100% sold on the book. I have to admit that I’m a fan, but I do have some quibbles, largely on the adoption of screenwriting techniques for short story or novel writing.

Differences between writing for readers and for viewers that limit the utility of STORY:

1) (The only one I noticed pointed out by McKee) You may get inside the characters heads and explore their thoughts in literature. This creates a greater intimacy between the narrator and the reader. It also means the conflict can be much more subtle and much more interior.

2) Some readers like descriptive, sensory details that can’t be experienced with film — smell and touch can be better evoked, for example (unless you’re viewing in smell-o-rama).

3) The audience must work harder when reading print–in a good way.

4) When contrasted with other useful literary guides, you see some shortfalls. Continue reading

Movies vs Books: in theaters 2013

Living in Los Angeles, I’m pretty much surrounded by billboards. About half of these advertise television shows or movies. These billboards are usually lost on me because I neither own a TV nor go to the movies.

And then, there was the trifecta of Fall 2013. Continue reading

Books–still better than TV?

Liel Liebovitz, on Tablet Magazine this week, argues that TV is for Dummies.

old TV

Photo of Sanyo TV courtesy of Kevin Simpson via Flickr

Like most titles, this one exaggerates Mr. Liebovitz statement: that even if TV has achieved more creative sophistication than ever before, it still fails to reach the majesty of the written word (or something to that effect). In his mind, books are still king. He bases his argument, as I understand it, on the inability of a visual art form to capture the interior life of characters, using a passage written by Henry James as evidence. In the first hour online, Mr. Liebovitz has received 19 comments on his article.

Well, I haven’t had a TV set in my home since 2000, so I can’t really attest to the increase quality of television programming in the last few years. Continue reading