Zayn is always the one you worry about. He always seemed to be the most fragile. And he wears it on his body.
So this “stress leave”, over a few photos that showed up on social media, and the ensuing anxiety for both him and his fiancée…I believe it. I believe that the only chemical involved here is love, and thousands of years of poetry and prose would argue that it’s the most potent one. He’s just 22, after all. At 22, there is nothing you won’t throw away for love. What I love about this story is that it’s about a boy. Too often, this kind of emotional intensity – perceived as weakness by many – is associated with girls. And Taylor Swift.
That said, again, he’s 22. At 32 you look back and you say, f-ck, that was a LOT of unnecessary drama. Read Full Intro
There was a LOT of Katie Holmes in Gossip yesterday. Like on top of what seemed like confirmation that she and Jamie Foxx are together, she posted a dance video to Instagram (which Maria covered in Smutty Social Media) and TMZ was all over her too…
Did that seem accidental to you? Or were we just watching media competition? Was Katie Day the result of a Katie Plan or was it just that gossip outlets were trying to catch up to each other? Let’s discuss later today.
Today I’m in the finals of Canada Reads. It’s a reality show book battle here in Canada. We started with 5 books championed by 5 different people on Monday and the last two titles are Ru, defended by Cameron Bailey, and When Everything Feels Like The Movies, defended by me. Read Full Intro
The Divergent Series: Insurgent opens this weekend. Shailene Woodley and Theo James have been on promotion for it for the last couple of weeks. As you know, if you’ve been reading this blog for a few years, I was big on the first book (review here), then medium on the second book (review here), and it took me five days to read the final installment when I would have happily pulled an all-nighter to finish if I had to (review here).
Maybe the movies are going in the opposite direction? For me, the first movie was practically unwatchable. Read Full Intro
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Been on a really heavy reading streak the last few months. By heavy I mean volume and content. Part of it is that I let my shelf get too high. And I’ve been preparing for Canada Reads. The debates begin next Monday. Click here to see this year’s list. I’ll be defending Raziel Reid’s When Everything Feels Like The Movies and trying not to get picked off first.
One of the most memorable books for me over the winter reading session was Catherine Gildiner’s memoir Coming Ashore. She writes about an era I’ve always glamourised (60s and 70s) in places I’ve always imagined living, a life that I’ve screenplayed a thousand times in my head. Like every good author though, she lures you with what you want and then ends up giving you what you need. Read Full Intro
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Amal and George Clooney were out for dinner in New York this weekend. As you know, they’re in town because he’s shooting a movie there with Jodie Foster. Or you could say they’re in town because she’s now a visiting lecturer at Columbia’s Human Rights Institute. "It is an honour to be invited as a visiting professor at Columbia Law School alongside such a distinguished faculty and talented student pool. Full Story
Did you know that it’s Chinese Valentine’s Day on Thursday? The Chinese Squawking Chicken gave me a list love matches and mismatches that I’ll post later this week.
Speaking of the Squawking Chicken…
I wrote a book called Listen To The Squawking Chicken that was released last year. THANK YOU for helping to make it a national bestseller! Today is the launch of the trade paperback with a brand new cover AND bonus content that includes an interview with my ma, the Squawking Chicken, and Feng Shui tips, and an FAQ, and more. You voted on the colour – here it is! For more details, please click here.
Would you like a copy? We’re giving away 10 copies. Read Full Intro
FameFlynet, Bauer-Griffin/ Getty Images
Drew Barrymore just turned 40 and has announced she’s going to write a collection of autobiographical essays. This is usually that point at which I’d piss and moan about celebrities who slip into any profession on a whim, but, um, I love a personal essay. And I think Drew will have some very interesting stories to tell. Full Story
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Whatever we may think of it, Fifty Shades of Grey is an unqualified hit, with $300 million at the worldwide box office and counting. In some respects, that’s a good thing: A movie by women, about women, for women is a monster success. Every time we clock a win like this, it gets that much harder to deny that movies by and about women can’t be profitable, or are somehow “risky”. Full Story
We studied Thomas Hardy for a few weeks in one of my elective Fem-Lit university classes one year. I was not great with attendance at the time. There was a casino that had just opened two hours away. My parents were out of the country. For several months, I made some very bad decisions. Can’t recall why I showed up for that session in particular – probably lost all my money – but I’ll never forget the discussion, even though I hadn’t done any of the reading. Full Story
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Duana taught me something I repeat often here on my blog. In her case, as a screenwriter, it’s about how the story and the audience relate, and how it’s the writer’s job to: Give them what they need, not what they want. I’ve been thinking a lot about this as we near the release of Fifty Shades Of Grey, reading reports of tension between the director Sam Taylor-Johnson, who’s admitted that she and author EL James struggled to agree on the creative direction of the film. Full Story
Have you read, I’ll Have What She’s Having? The author, Rebecca Harrington, experiments with different celebrity diets, from Marilyn Monroe (eggs whipped in milk) to Madonna’s arduous and seemingly impossible macrobiotic diet. It’s funny, yes, but also an illuminating look at what it takes to maintain the “ideal body” of the day. Full Story
As mentioned last week, I will be defending Raziel Reid’s When Everything Feels Like The Movies on Canada Reads in March. The book was inspired by the true story of a 15 year old boy called Larry who was bullied at school for wearing makeup and heels. In 2008, Larry asked another boy to be his Valentine. Larry’s intended Valentine ended up rejecting him. By shooting him twice in the head the next day. There are kids like Larry who are surviving in silence all the time.
“I don’t want to survive. I want to live.” Solomon Northup, 12 Years A Slave
Jude, our anti-hero in When Everything Feels Like The Movies is trying so hard to go beyond survival and to find a life. His story is provocative but relatable. His thoughts are irreverent but true. Read Full Intro
Have you read The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins yet? Are you reading The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins? It’s the hot book of the season. It’s the most disciplined I’ve had to be about a book in a long time. And it’s so f-cking hard to be disciplined about this book. To only take it 20 pages or so at once because the rest of life won’t leave me alone.
Since I’ve not finished, I can’t tell you what I think of it. But I can tell you that I can understand why everyone’s talking about it. So far, the pacing is brilliant. It’s commercial fiction at its best. And this is saying something because you’re in the head of a person who is a mess, you could say an intolerable mess. Still, Hawkins lures you along.
That’s what it is, isn’t it? A luring?
Great writing is a lure, sometimes a terrible one. Read Full Intro