Thursday, October 11, 2007

October 11, 2007
Cool at night but still hot in daytime (yesterday's high of 105 is a record). Quite nice to wear long pants on the morning bike ride.

Bandits In Black
"Liked 'Our Favorite Bandit'. I often wonder why he got tagged with the monicker 'the Kid'? He really wasn't much of a kid, more like a mad yearling bull.

"The black and white is good, it lets us think color!

"Snow is back in the Alberta Rockies!"
—Bill Dunn

I asked Jason Strykowski to pick up the Elmore Leonard short story 3:10 To Yuma which was among "seven clalssic tales of the West from America's premier storyteller." We both thought it would be a good exercise to see exactly what they got from Elmore's version for the two movies. I put the paperback on my nightstand and thought I'd read it in several bites, but the sucker is only two dozen pages long! Finished it in one sitting. They weren't kidding when they said, "Based on a short story." What's amazing to me is how they fleshed this out into an entire movie—twice!

In Elmore's short story, the outlaw's name is Jim Kidd ( hmmmmm, I wonder if Joe Jidd was poached from this?). The deputy with his prisoner are coming from Fort Huachuca, not Bisbee, and there are maybe three scenes: riding into Contention, waiting in the hotel, a brief fight at the train station against Charlie Prince (a half page) and then they jump on the mail car and as the train pulls away, Kidd says, "You know, you really earn your hundred and a half." That's it.

Jason speculates it's the title that gives it heft and the kid is probably right.

Spent most of this morning trying to corral The Top Secret Project down into a clean and mean narrative (absolutely no help from the Top Secret Writer who sniffs, "I'm not writing a short story, I'm writing a screenplay."). Managed to knock a big hole in it (the project not the TSW's head) and I'm hoping to have a working document by tommorrow. Still, it's been a marathon run and I'm used to sprints. Gee, I wonder if William James has anything to say about this?

"Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task."
—William James

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