Atlas Shrugged

Atlas Shrugged is one of those books I’ve been meaning to read for some time. I’m a little intimidated by the 1,000 plus pages and have procrastinated because of it. I can’t complain too much because I’m reading The Girl With Dragon Tattoo, and that is roughly 600 pages in paperback. Maybe it’s good practice Atlas Shrugged? (number of pages not content!)

The movie for Atlas Shrugged came out this weekend, and I’m motivated to read the book. I prefer to read the book then the movie (Water for Elephants comes out this month!). I’ve never tried it the other way although I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on The Godfather or The Shining.

Like all books that become movies, if Atlas Shrugged the movie is sub par, I don’t want it to ruin my reading experience.

I’ve heard nothing but great things about the book so I know I won’t regret the time investment. Movie wise, I’m hearing mixed reviews. Rotten Tomatoes didn’t have anything too positive. I’m hearing and reading a lot of words like “low-budget” and “unfamiliar cast” which never spell anything good for a movie. In this situation, it’s the message that’s important.

I understand the movie to be the anthem for conservatism . I guess, it depends on who you talk to. Ayn Rand wasn’t a Republican, but she wasn’t a Democrat either. I’ve learned she was an individualist and devoted much of her efforts to fighting communism. I can get behind that. I worry the book does a better job conveying the message of limited government and self-reliance while the movie is preachy in the same regard and turns people off.

I’ll have to wait and find out. I know that Atlas Shrugged has been regarded as one of the best novels of the 20th century and can’t wait to discover it – right after I’m done with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Ice Cold Man

I recently came across a song on my iPod that got my creative juices flowing for a short story. “Ice Cold Man” is a song by Probot, which the side project of Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters. Turns out that Grohl is into metal and a few years ago decided to enlist a who’s who of metal vocalists to record an amazing metal album. I love it!

So “Ice Cold Man” is one of those songs that’ll grab you. The lyrics are beautifully apocalyptic. The guitars are slow and haunting and match equally creepy vocals. To top it off the song ups the tempo about halfway through with a juicy solo. Metal fans can certainly appreciate this gem.

If I’m interpreting the song correctly, “Ice Cold Man” is about the last man on earth in a nuclear winter. The apocalyptic imagery is strong. The song isn’t about how the nuclear winter happened, but it’s more about what’s left. Powerful stuff and it has me influenced me to try get some writing done outside of my novel. A lot of my writing energy has gone to my novel. Taking a detour might be just the thing to prevent novel burnout down the road.

I’m always curious what inspires people to write novels or short stories. For me, it’s not always music, but the news, movies, talking to people. I guess I’m always paying attention and if I see or hear something I start to envision how I draw out a story.  I’d like to see what inspires others to write; drop me a line!