Buy a Poppy

Monday is Memorial Day which means that outside every Krogers and Sam’s Club and fill-in-the-name-of-any-high-traffic-store-here is a guy in uniform, usually elderly, with a bunch of cheap flowers and a can, making me feel guilty because I’m not shelling out for them. I’ve seen those poppies all my life; in the little blue-collar town I grew up in, you wore one of those on Memorial Day because the VFW was everywhere, and everybody you knew had either served or knew somebody who had, and I have mixed feelings about that town. Plus the flowers are poppies because of John McCrea’s “In Flanders Fields:”

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

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The Oil Spill Logos

Like everyone else, I’m sick and angry about what’s happening in the Gulf. Greenpeace is doing something visual about it, saying “[BP’s] nice green logo doesn’t really seem to fit them too well, so we’re running a competition to find a logo that we can use to rebrand BP.” You can get more information about the contest on their website, but the Flickr slideshow of entries is already huge and sobering.
Like this one:

And this one:
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Maybe This Time: The Cover

Remember how much trouble we had coming up with a title for Maybe This Time? You should have seen the hell we went through trying to get a cover. It had to say “romance” and “supernatural” and “quirky” and “fun” and “dark” . . . It had to practically babble, in other words. We got a lot of stuff that was too dark, too chick-litty, too young, too . . . well, you should see for yourself. So here are just some of the cover concepts we went through. Click on the thumbnails to see them up close:

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The Popcorn Dialogues

For those of you who missed the madness of the past weeks on Argh Ink, Lucy March (aka Lani Diane Rich) and I are about to begin a project called The Popcorn Dialogues. With the help of the Argh People, we have compiled a list of 36 American romantic comedies that the group felt met the criteria of having a romance at the center of the story while being legitmately funny and technically excellent (character, plot, pacing, etc.). For the next nine months, we’re going to examine one of those movies in a podcast every Friday night, analyzing it to see what makes it work, why we love the parts we love, how it could have been better, and how we can apply that knowledge to our own work in hopes of getting better at what we do. Continue reading

How We Broke the Blog

So it turns out that blogs aren’t designed for the kinds of conversations we keep having. Those conversations are supposed to be on forums, of which we have one. So we have two choices:

We can move all the discussions to Cherry Forums and fight them out there.

Or we can keep them here and stop nesting comments to the fifth level or whatever it is. It appears to be the nesting that goes that wonky. Continue reading

ARGH! Replacing A New Leaf

I can’t believe they don’t have A New Leaf on DVD. That’s so wrong.
So there’s another poll. I went back and pulled some romcoms from that period. Discuss here and then vote in the poll.
Meanwhile I will go check to see what else is not available on DVD. Grrrrrrr.

1967 Barefoot in the Park
1978 Heaven Can Wait
1979 Love at First Bite

And just so you know what you’re missing, here’s the poster for A New Leaf: Continue reading

American Romantic Comedy: The Final List

Depression Era
1934: It Happened One Night: Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable
1938: Bringing Up Baby: Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant
1939: Ninotchka: Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas
1940 (January): His Girl Friday: Rosalind Russell and Cary Grant
1940 (December): The Philadelphia Story: Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant
1941: The Lady Eve: Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda

Postwar Prosperity, the Cold War, and Civil Rights
1950: Born Yesterday: Judy Holliday and William Holden
1957: Desk Set: Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy
1959: Pillow Talk: Doris Day and Rock Hudson
1960: The Apartment: Shirley MacLaine and Jack Lemmon
1964: Father Goose: Leslie Caron and Cary Grant
1966: How to Steal A Million: Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole Continue reading

Name That Rom Com Blog

Lani and I are going to put up a blog just to keep the podcasts sorted and in one place, and we need a name for it. Something rom-com-ish with a touch of snark that’s short and pithy and doesn’t devolve into an unfortunate acronym or sound too cutesy. “Happily Ever Laughter” has been done. Have at it. I’d offer a prize for the winner but I’m abysmal at that, so let’s see how this works out and then I’ll turn everything over to Mollie. Continue reading

American Romantic Comedy: The List

We went over three hundred comments on the previous post, so I put this up even though the 00s aren’t done yet so we didn’t break the blog.

Here’s what I’ve learned from all of this: a romantic comedy is a funny love story. Not a funny story with a romance. Not a romance with some funny moments. It’s a funny love story. I know, this isn’t a change from anything I’ve said before, but it’s simpler.

A romantic comedy is a funny love story.

So first you ask, “Is it a love story, is this story about the relationship or does it just have a relationship in it?”

And then you ask, “Was it really funny? Did I laugh? Or were there just some funny moments for comic relief?” Continue reading

American Romantic Comedy: The 00s

So you go and vote for the last three for the nineties back on the previous post and we’ll move on to the nightmare that is the 00s. I looked into the list of romantic comedies from the 2000s on Wikipedia, and it runs for pages. So I went with this shorter list instead. Many of them I have not seen since I haven’t gotten out much in the past ten years, so if there’s anything I’m missing or anything that doesn’t belong here, say so, please. I’m not impressed with most of the ones I did see, so I’ll be the Grump on the Blog this time through. Oh, and I made a deal with the Wedding Singer People so 50 First Dates is a lock here.

Looking ahead, I see I have already deleted some. Well, you know the drill; talk me into them and the delete goes away.

Oh, and this is Argh’s 500th post. Yes, I’m amazed, too. 500 of the suckers. Will this woman EVER shut up?
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