Tag Archives: Nathaniel Hawthorne

Seven Steps on the Writer’s Path: The Journey from Frustration to Fulfillment Book Review

Nathaniel Hawthorne once said the following:

“Easy reading is damn hard writing.”

In 2003, veteran writers Nancy Pickard and Lynn Lott co-published the book, Seven Steps on the Writer’s Path: The Journey from Frustration to Fulfillment. Using their experience and the experiences of other writers, the authors guides the reader through the process of writing via a series of 7 steps. The 7 steps are as follows: Unhappiness, Wanting, Commitment, Wavering, Letting Go, Immersion, and Fulfillment.

I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed because the process of writing is universal, regardless of whether one is working on their first novel or their tenth novel. From my perspective, the book is a reminder that while writing is never easy and success is never guaranteed, there is always something to be learned in the process.

I recommend it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Review, Books, Writing

The Critics Were Wrong (Maybe)- The Scarlet Letter (1995)

Adapting a film based on a novel is like walking a tight rope. The screenwriter or screenwriters and the production staff must be true to the novel and it’s fan base, but the movie must also be appealing to audiences, regardless of whether they have read the book.

In some cases, the movie succeeds. In other cases, the movie is a failure and readers, especially traditionally minded readers are reminded why the book was and still is the better medium.

In 1995, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter was adapted for the big screen.

In 17th century Massachusetts, the Puritan lifestyle is law, spoken and unspoken.

A newcomer, Hester Prynne (Demi Moore) arrives in the colony. She believes her husband Roger (Robert Duvall) has died at the hands of the local Indian tribe. Relishing her independence, she starts a secret love affair with Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale  (Gary Oldman). The result of the affair is a child. Refusing to the publicly name her child’s father, Hester is forced to wear an a scarlet A (for adulteress) on her outer clothing. Then her husband reappears and starts to stir up trouble.

Were the critics wrong? In this case, no. The screenwriting and production team tried very hard to walk the fine line of being faithful to the book while attempting to fill in the seats at the cinema. But try as they might, the film is not very good.  The other issue with this film is casting. At the end of the day, Demi Moore was not only wrong for Hester, but her accent was questionable. Robert Duvall did not give me the chills that a villain of his sort would normally give. The film’s only saving grace, cast wise is Gary Oldman.

Do I recommend this movie? No.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Movie Review, Movies, The Critics Were Wrong

Flashback Friday-Easy A (2010)

A reputation is a funny thing. A woman’s reputation is an even funnier thing.

In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic novel, The Scarlet Letter,  Hester Prynne is accused of adultery. Her punishment is to wear a scarlet A on her clothing, marking her as an adulteress.

The 2010 movie, Easy A, is an interesting twist on the novel. Olive (Emma Stone) is a good girl. In terms of the social rank in her high school, she is a nobody.  Her best friend, Brandon (Dan Byrd) who is gay, begs her to help him. To stop the torment by his classmates,  Olive pretends to sleep with Brandon and loose her virginity to him. Word soon gets out that she will do the same for other social misfits. Then things get out of control. While all this is happening, Olive is reading The Scarlet Letter for one of her classes.

What is interesting about this movie is that it proves that human nature is one of the few constant things in this world. There is an interesting sub-commentary in this movie about the double standard between men and women. While Olive is slut shamed, Brandon and the other boys that she pretends to sleep with become heroes. But by the end, Olive is able to break the sexual stereotype and move on with her life.

I recommend it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Feminism, Flashback Friday, Movie Review, Movies