Journal ~ update on words, song, Mockingjay

I’m in the middle of a nice little creative phase at present. The dayjob work levels went from one extreme to the other, and the latter half of November has presented lots of lovely time for me to catch my breath.

And lots of lovely time to work on finishing the second draft of this novel. It’s been slow going for the past several months, due to travel, work and plot tangles, but I really feel I’ve come out the other side. The end is in sight! I’d be so happy if I finished before Christmas. (That gives me, er, exactly one month…)

There’s also been a lot of singing in the past six weeks, with two concerts and involvement in several songs. It’s been wonderful to work with several different groups of people, some new and others familiar.

One of the songs River Wide River Deep was an original composition by Jack Tenan. He recorded the whole thing and has posted on Soundcloud…

That’s Jack singing lead vocals and playing all the instruments, with myself and my friend Christina singing backing vocals. I think it came out pretty well!

When I haven’t been singing (or rehearsing), most of my spare time has been spent reading. But I did manage to get out for some entertainment.

Tea Party smallFirst, I made it to a concert by The Tea Party a couple of weeks ago. Twenty years after its release, the band performed its seminal album The Edges of Twilight end to end. This album is one of my all time favourites and it was awesome to hear the whole thing live.

And then a couple of nights ago I made it to the cinema for the first time in ages to see The Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 2. The movie is really well done, and, from what I can remember, very close to the novel. The special effects were amazing.

My main complaint is related to the story/novel, rather than the movie itself…. i.e. most of the stuff that happens (Katniss and her warband trying to get through the Capital to assassinate President Snow — with a very high body count) is ultimately pointless. Well, OK, maybe not pointless… they ended up being a distraction for Snow, allowing the rebels to have their own victory. But I find it unsatisfying that a large part of the resolution of the trilogy is not due to any agency of Katniss’s. She’s essentially a pawn (as she is for most of Mockingjay). And, OK, yes she does take matters into her own hands right at the end, but that smacks of revenge, rather than a desire for greater good. (And, indeed, much of her motivation to kill Snow also lies in revenge.) Bottom line, I don’t really find Katniss heroic.

Is Mockingjay actually commenting on that? Is it exploring how the so-called “heroes” who people get behind, who give people hope, are often far from heroic? Because Mockingjay makes no bones of the fact that Katniss is a propaganda pawn for the rebels. I suppose I wanted her in the end to escape from that role. I wanted her decision to act for herself and go after Snow to mean something for the people she represents. But it really doesn’t.

OK, rambling. Thoughts?

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