Favorite Horror Films: 4: Dracula

Standard

460px-Bela_Lugosi_as_Dracula,_anonymous_photograph_from_1931,_Universal_Studios(www.wikipedia.org)

When I first considered doing an examination of my favorite horror movies, I thought that going decade by decade would be sufficient, but I realized that some periods have far more excellent films than others.  A simple examination of 2-4 movies from the 1930s will not work, so I am going to look at one film at a time for that decade. I will begin with Dracula, a film I love, and which I have taught in college classes such as Literature and Film and Gothic and Horror at both Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA and Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA.  I also hold the novel to be an excellent and very important book.

dracula_movie_poster_style_f

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

Dracula, made in 1931, and released for Valentine’s Day–a nice touch–was a huge success and established Bela Lugosi as a top box office star. This production was itself based on the very successful theatrical play Dracula by Hamilton Deane and James Balderston. Stoker’s novel did not see great success during his life, but after his death and the success of the play, it became one of the best selling novels of the 20th Century–worldwide.

Carl Laemmle Jr, capitalized on the story’s growing popularity and produced the movie.  Tod Browning, who had directed Lon Chaney Sr. in several movies, directed this piece. This film is highly atmospheric with a Gothic set and influenced by German Expressionism. Lugosi was brilliant with his authentic Hungarian accent and menacing presence. His performance and voice set the standard for the image of Dracula and vampires for decades to come. Dracula was a sensation and terrified people; today’s audience would probably find it slow and not at all frightening, but that reflects our jaded views that have been glutted with gore as the staple ingredient of contemporary horror.  This film depended on story telling, atmosphere, and acting. The film’s success created an era of classic horror films through the 1930s and part of the 1940s with Universal studios leading the way.

Additionally, Dracula is generally accepted by most film critics as one of the best horror films made.  I certainly consider it to be one of the best and most important.

dracula_spanish_big

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

It is an interesting and little known detail of film history that in addition to the English language version, Universal also made a Spanish language film at the same time.  The  two films shared the same sets, and the same basic scripts, but with different actors and a different director: George Melford directed, and Carlos Villarías stared as Dracula.  While not as well known, an argument can be made that this is a better film than the more established English language version.  If you ever have the opportunity to see it, I recommend that you do.

Thoughts From Chaucer and Shakespeare

Standard

Today I will offer a few quotations from writers from earlier eras about creativity, learning, and teaching.

Geoffrey_Chaucer_-_Illustration_from_Cassell's_History_of_England_-_Century_Edition_-_published_circa_1902

(illustration from Cassell’s History Of England – Century Edition – published circa 1902)

“And gladly wolde he lerne, and gladly teche”

“And gladly would he learn, and gladly teach.”

These are the Middle English and the Modern English versions of this quotation from “The General Prologue” of The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. This idea is of enormous importance to me, because I am both a teacher and a life-long student.  All people should try to continue to learn throughout their lives and to teach someone else the wisdom they have amassed.

shakespeare

(Portrait of William Shakespeare, attributed to John Taylor
NPG London)

“Suit the action to the word,

the word to the action, with this special observance,

that you o’erstep not the modesty of of nature. For

anything so over-done is from the purpose of playing,

whose end, both at the first and now, was and is, to

hold, as ’twere, the mirror up to nature, to show virtue

her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age

and body of the time his form and pressure.”

                                William Shakespeare (Hamlet Act 3. Scene2. lines 16-23)

Shakespeare speaks to the importance of representing life and humanity as it is and to examine the world in its complexities; it can also be an injunction for all creative efforts. I do not mean we should eliminate abstraction, metaphor, or altered forms, but that, at our core, we are creating art about humanity and our world.

Keep learning and keep sharing what you know.

The Work of Cendrine Marrouat and David Ellis

Standard

Here is a post to celebrate and promote the work of Cendrine Marrouat and David Ellis!

Rhythm Flourishing: A Collection of Kindku and Sixku
Authors: Cendrine Marrouat & David Ellis
Genre: Multimedia – Poetry with some photography (non-fiction)
Release date: September 3, 2020

Synopsis:

‘Rhythm Flourishing: A Collection of Kindku and Sixku’ showcases two unique, brand-new poetry forms created by Cendrine Marrouat and David Ellis, the co-founders of Auroras & Blossoms, a platform celebrating positivity and inspiration in art.

By taking elements of found poetry and Japanese poetry forms, Cendrine and David have developed a style of poetry known as the Kindku. The collection also features a selection of gorgeous images and poems from Cendrine’s own visual poetry form — the Sixku.

Enjoy a divine series of poems inspired by a variety of well-known poets including Elizabeth Bishop, Emily Dickinson, John Keats, Emma Lazarus, William Wordsworth, Lord Byron, William Butler Yeats, Christina Rossetti, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Maya Angelou, Sara Teasdale, Pablo Neruda and many others.

Learn how to write your very own Kindku and Sixku by reading this book and when you are done, consider submitting them to Auroras & Blossoms for publication.”

Relevant links: https://www.cendrinemedia.com/Rhythm-flourishing (Amazon, B&N, etc.) – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54741107-rhythm-flourishing.

Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography
Authors: Cendrine Marrouat, David Ellis & Hadiya Ali
Genre: Multimedia – Photography with some poetry (non-fiction)
Release date: March 16, 2021

Synopsis:

‘Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography’ is a unique collection of artistic styles that bring together different innovative concepts of both gripping writing and stunning visual imagery.

In the first part of the book, photographer and painter Ali introduces us to two of her favorite photographers by reimagining and recreating images in the nature of her photographic idols — Irving Penn and Karl Blossfeldt.

In the second part, photographer, poet, and author Marrouat shares a selection of her reminigrams, a digital style that she personally created to honor and pay homage to the early days of photography.

Author and poet Ellis rounds things off with a series of pareiku poems (the poetry form he co-created with Marrouat), offering fresh outlooks for his sincere, heartfelt adoration of photography of the past.

A fascinating and compelling book, ‘Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography’ will leave you with a deep sense of appreciation and a greater understanding of photography.
PoArtMo Collective is a gathering of inspirational artists, writers and photographers that combine their talents to produce positive, mixed media projects that stimulate the minds of the people who delve into them.”

Relevant link: https://abpoetryjournal.com/seizing-bygone-light/ (Amazon, B&N, etc.) – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57127979-seizing-the-bygone-light.

A follow-up interview with Cendrine Marrouat and David Ellis will appear on this blog in the not too distant future!

Reviews of Get The Draft Done! Helping Writers Finish Their First Draft by Charles F. French

Standard

getthedraftdonecovera-1-e1584804547435

Must Read for Writers!

“As a writer, I have always found writing the first draft of my novel to be a daunting process. I had the novel idea, had some idea of how I wanted it to start, and how I wanted it to end. But after reading this book, I now feel I have the tools and confidence I need to get my first draft done without any obstacles!

I definitely consider this book a must-read for any writer who is struggling with their first draft! And if you’re looking for a good recipe for an omelette, this book has that as well.”

Do you write? Then you have to do drafts and need this book

“Ah, the draft!! Any writer knows good work takes many drafts and edits. This book will help you get it done and done correctly.”

The book is a treasure.

“For five long years, I could not finish the first draft. After reading this book, I finished in three weeks. Great read!”

 Available on Amazon

Cover Reveal For French On English! by Charles F. French

Standard

Hello everyone!

I am very excited to reveal the new cover for my revised book, French On English: A Guide To Writing Better Essays.

French On English

This lovely cover was designed by Judy Bullard.

If you need a cover for your book, please contact Judy.

Custom E-Book Covers

email for Custom E-Book Covers

 

Available on Amazon

GetthedraftdonepossEbookcover!-page-001

Get The Draft Done! is available here: Amazon.com

GallowsHillFinalCoverEbook

Gallows Hill can be found here in ebook.

Gallows Hill in paperback can be found here.

An interview about Gallows Hill can be found here.

32570160

Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

coverIPScookbook

Available on Amazon

Grading Is Done!

Standard

low angle photo of fireworks

(Photo by rovenimages.com on Pexels.com)

Yay! I finally finished grading for the second summer session classes I taught at the Muhlenberg College School of Continuing Education in Allentown, PA. I had two courses in the second summer session: Literature and Film and Renaissance Plays In Process, and both courses had a full enrollment.

I had a wonderful time teaching these classes, and of course, I had much to grade at the end. That leads to a question–who is the person who assigns these papers anyway? Hmmm . . .

And now it is time to finish syllabi for the Fall semester which begins in one week!

And I can also return to writing. I had to take a few days off to complete my schoolwork.

Get The Draft Done! by Charles F. French

Standard

GetthedraftdonepossEbookcover!-page-001

Do you have difficulty finishing a first draft of your book? This problem is extremely common and has a variety of reasons, but there are solutions for this issue. I have become somewhat of an expert on finishing first drafts, and I want to offer help to those who experience the frustration of never completing or taking far too long to finish a draft.

13419286_107261596365479_1669962131930926510_n

A question that can be asked is why do I know anything about this situation? How am I qualified to offer any kind of assistance? The answer is my experience as a writer. I am a hybrid author—both a traditionally published writer of French On English: A Guide To Writing Better Essays, and a self-published writer of two novels: Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 1, and Gallows Hill: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 2 and a cookbook based on the characters of the I. P. S. – The Investigative Paranormal Society Cookbook. I have become an expert on creating first drafts in the last eight years of writing. That is when I committed to being a writer as well as a professor of English. In those years, in addition to the books I have mentioned, I have also written my dissertation for my Ph.D. in English Literature, 3 academic papers, two short stories, one other finished novel, and three first drafts of other novels. This is not to say that all I do is write; that is completely on the other end of truth. I teach college, I am a husband and grandfather, and I also enjoy life.

From Get The Draft Done! Helping Writers Finish Their First Draft (12).

What does my book offer to you? I address that question in the “Introduction”:

According to The New York Times, about 81% of Americans dream of writing a book and becoming a published author. Very few writers, less than 3% finish their books, and even fewer receive publishing deals. Many writers find themselves somewhere in this group. While these seem to be daunting odds, it is important to understand though it is not that they are somehow stacked against you to keep you from achieving success; rather, it is that you probably do not have a plan in place to write a first draft and then to do the necessary revisions and compete in the publishing world with an understanding of its difficulties. In order to do those things and have a chance for success, you need to develop the writer’s mindset.

Instead of thinking about doing the first draft with anxiety or fear attached, this book is going to teach you a way that will redefine what it means to get the draft done.

The first draft does not have to be perfect, and it will not be.

The first draft does not need to be a certain length (not for the first draft!)

And it does not need to be thought of as an entire book – it will certainly need major additions and subtractions.

I am going to give you the strategies and tactics I use, every day, to write approximately 150,000 words a year. That is the equivalent of two first drafts! Once you have these techniques in your writer’s toolbox, you will be more prolific, less likely to succumb to writer’s block, and you will have a finished first draft. This completed draft will be the initial and largest step towards becoming a published author.

This book does not cover the act of revision (that is my next book). It also does not deal with getting an agent, a publisher, self-publishing, marketing, or what subjects you should write about.

This book is intended to help you get from the first word to the last word of an initial draft.

This book will help you to get the draft done!

So, let’s get started!

Epstein, Joseph. https://www.nytimes.com/2002/09/28/opinion/think-you-have-a-book-in-

you-think-again.html

This book is available amazon.com for $9.99 for the paperback.

GetthedraftdonepossEbookcover!-page-001

 

Get The Draft Done! is available here: Amazon.com

 

GallowsHillFinalCoverEbook

Gallows Hill can be found here in ebook.

Gallows Hill in paperback can be found here.

An interview about Gallows Hill can be found here.

32570160

Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

FOE_Cover_French

Available on Amazon

coverIPScookbook

Available on Amazon

 

 

Quotation From Edward Gibbon On Responsibility

Standard

BBC206171

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again.”

                       Edward Gibbon (From The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire)

Quotations On Education

Standard

Margaret_Mead_NYWTS

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.”

                                                                              Margaret Mead

 

thomas-881249_960_720

(https://pixabay.com)

“The mind once enlightened cannot again become dark.”

                                                                              Thomas Paine

 

1920px-Plato_Silanion_Musei_Capitolini_MC1377

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.”

                                                                              Plato