Thursday, August 1, 2013

#40 out of 40 — Reflections in a GoldenEye

And so we arrive at the final -- and slightly delayed (see below) -- post of this series.

Since the post is longer than usual, I'm going to break it up into sections.

Novel and Such

First, the obligatory stuff. The last two days were days 55 and 56 of the writing streak. I added 1,200 words to the novel each day. In my last post I was at 18,700, so we're now up to 21,100. Not an inherently significant number, but it does mark at least one milestone, which is crossing 20K words. (It may mark a second milestone. If the final draft doesn't come in too much longer than my targeted 81K, I'm now past the one quarter point.)

More books!

Achieved my fitness targets (miles and calisthenics) yesterday and today.

Double O Seven Extravaganza

And now for some explanation of the delay in this post. The answer is simple: yesterday I stayed up all night, and so the two days kind of bled together for me. Yesterday evening (7/31) at around 7 pm we started a James Bond movie marathon, which kept going until 8 am this morning (8/1). During said I watched four and a half movies: Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), and the first half of Diamonds Are Forever (1971).

Most of these I'd never seen before, and some of them I'd only seen pieces of, so long ago I barely remembered. I won't try to condense my individual reactions to all of these films, except to say there is a sort of delirious quality, a cumulative effect of mounting unreality, that derives from watching these films one right after the other. Not only because of the films' continuity and how that reinforces one's belief in a preposterous universe where Bond is possible, but because at least the first three listed above progressively escalate in scope and ambition.

I mean, Thunderball is large in scale (Fort Knox underwater planes, atomic bombs, for Heaven's sakes), but You Only Live Twice is SO HUGE it's kind of a joke -- but one the film seems to be in on, even more so than the previous four entries in the franchise. There's something a little surreal about that, specially when you haven't slept in 24 hours.

If you pay close attention to the plots (probably a mistake) there's at least a dozen WTF moments per film. Probably the funniest comment in our marathon was made by my gf a little after midnight. After I objected to some technical aspect of how radioactivity was being dealt with in one of the flicks, she looked at me and said, "As though James Bond isn't fully radioactive by now." Quite right! In general the logic-defying plot moments start coming hard and heavy whenever the villain has Bond in his grip but doesn't kill him on the spot. Or when the entire success of a joint MI6/CIA operation hinges, for example, on a woman falling for Bond and defecting. And so on. But for every one of those moments there are ten other moments of pure thrills, funny one-liners, clever gadgets, stunning set designs, incredible landscapes. And the splendid scores. It was fun.

Daily Blog Post Series

Now that it's a wrap, it seems fair to ask how rewarding it was to write these posts, and examine if there were any learnings for me in the process.

In short, the last comment of the previous section applies equally to writing these posts. The series provides a record of the most significant doings and happenings from the last forty days, and that's as much as I could ask from this little exercise.

But looking back on the series of 40 entries, it's easy to see that during the more recent ones there were times I resorted to just listing out the things I did in bullet format, without any color commentary or attempted insight. That's an inevitable side effect of writing the posts last thing at night, when tired. Then why not write them earlier in the day? Because it would take away time from doing other things. One way around this, I discovered, is to start an entry in the middle of the day, save it as a draft, and add things as they occur. But I certainly didn't do that consistently. So that's something to consider in the future if I ever go through another phase of diligent blogging.

And if I was going to do this series over, I'd probably try to stay truer to the original intent of chronicling non-events, quiet moments. My tendency is to gravitate to measures of productivity, things that can be quantified, rather than the quality of particular experiences, because I'm naturally goal-oriented and I want to determine whether I'm hitting my goals or not. So that's a good take-away for me.

That said, I'm now going to wind down and finish Diamonds Are Forever. And I'm sure I'll post again soon.

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