And a Happy New Year to all. Except anyone in ISIS. Speaking of which, does anyone really have a good idea what the final outcome of the current diplomatic spat between Iran and Saudi Arabia will be? From the point of view of the West, I suppose that any intensification of the centuries old dispute between branches of Islam that involves keeping it within the boundaries of a few countries in the Middle East is not entirely a bad thing, working on the principle that while they're busy killing each other over there, they're not plotting new ways to kill the innocent in our countries. But it is, of course, even better if no one is killing anyone anywhere, especially over religion.
I've been on another beach holiday to our favourite seaside area. More about that later.
In the meantime, I didn't mind this article about the idea that all stories are the same. (Even if you have heard this discussed before, and you probably have, you should read it for the somewhat startling quote by director Guillermo Del Toro.)
Lately I've been feeling mildly interested in trying to be creative again. This is usually prompted by the fact that I can't find science fiction that interests me much anymore, or when I feel that movies are stuck in a bit of a creative rut, even while I enjoy them. (By the way, Christopher Orr notes that some critics - including him - have been revising their initial enthusiasm for Force Awakens.)
But, as always, whenever I start vaguely thinking of stories I would like to attempt to write up, my mind drifts back to what other books or movies they resemble. As the article about stories says, there are a million books out there explaining how to write a novel (or script), but I am not sure that there is any that can stop this defeatist feeling before I even properly start getting ideas down. Dreams often feel novel, but it is rare that one makes a compelling idea for a lengthy story.
Anyway, sadly, it's off to work...