Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Significance of Oranges

Did you know that in the movie, The Godfather, the director used a motif of specially-placed oranges to signal coming danger?

The Don kicks over a basket of oranges when he’s attacked by Sollozzo’s men. Fanucci tosses an orange during his final stroll through Little Italy. Clemenza grabs a pitcher of wine with floating oranges as he tells Paulie to go do his job, then later kills Paulie for not doing his job. Tessio reaches across Mama Corleone to grab an orange during the wedding, literally crossing the Corleone Family, which later has him killed.

There are many more examples and the oranges are just some examples of Coppola’s mastery of mise-en-scene, or in laymen’s terms, the symbolic placement of all elements in the frame. In Part I, Coppola shows a fish pattern on the bar window where Luca Brasi is strangled, foreshadowing the scene where Sonny receives a Sicilian message: “Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes.”

In the Lake Tahoe scene where Michael tells Fredo, “You’re nothing to me now,” check out the row of life rafts outside the window. Across the left of the frame, where Michael sits, there are plenty of rafts (safety), but to the right, behind Fredo, there are none (danger). These particular rafts take on even more significance when you consider where Fredo ends up at the end of the movie. (Dead in a lake.)

Now I need to watch the movie again and see how to use this in writing, forshadowing. I’ve heard about themes, and symbolism in stories but this is the first clear picture I’ve had in my head of how that can work. How can I translate this from a visual art form to words that make the vision clear? I think it will take work, but be challenging to try. Anyone know of other examples?

One commenter will win an electronic copy of Privy to Murder.

Spring is here.

Rain and clouds and spring, all here today. Yay-flowers will bloom. Trees already in bloom. I need to spring forth and start writing more. I've been in a promotion mode, reading mode and neglecting putting new words to the page. Not good.

If I want more books out there, must write them. But, I have to admit, I'm not displeased. The new Privy has been out for less than a month, and I've sold a couple a day. Thing is, selling is good but the actual writing is where it's really at.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Free on Kindle

Yay, Privy to Murder is free on Kindle. I'm having a problem with links on this computer, but if you go to Amazon and do a search for Privy to Murder, you will see that the Kindle edition is free today and tomorrow. Get your copy now. Even better, write a review for Amazon. Tali Cates would love to live on your phone, Kindle or PC.

Still working on my urban fantasy and a new Tali Cates mystery.

Completely off the subject, I discovered a lot of the music styles I like start with C, like my name. Classical, country, celtic, classic rock. Strange. Never noticed that before. But then, I'm a mixture of odd likes and skills. I play the hammered dulcimer (could you have a more obscure instrument?) I paint with pastels, write paranormal mysteries, non fiction infection control books and poetry. I bird watch, clog dance, like experimenting with different wines and know a little karate. I'm also a registered nurse. So, what do you think, Rennaisance woman or ADD?