Adorable pig from 1995

Babe

(Certificate G)

1995. Just like a nursery rhyme, Australian film, “Babe”, is about a farm pig who thinks he is a sheep dog. After being won by farmer Arthur Hoggett (interesting name) at a fair, the pig Babe embarks on a journey and makes friends and enemies of a bestial nature in the process. Great entertainment, “Babe” is winner of Best Comedy at the Golden Globes this year and a box office hit.

 

Reviewed by Peter Veugelaers. Rating from 1996.

Published 1996, GiveWay.

Gandalf beats Potter in 2002

Rings – Potter 13 – 3

2002. The Academy award nominations were announced on February 12 with The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring grabbing thirteen nominations. The Lord of the Rings, based on Catholic author J.R Tolkien’s trilogy of novels about good versus evil, was filmed in New Zealand during the late 1990’s and beginning of the millennium. Nominations for the film include Best Picture, Director (for Peter Jackson) and Supporting Actor for Sir Ian McKellen as wizard Gandalf. Continue reading

Today’s pet peeve is middle of the road blues

I was in a middle of the road church. They still had principals, and even encouraged if not ‘enforced’ them, but when it came to the faith, it was middle of the road. I realized though that the faith is not middle of the road. Jesus preached turning away from lifestyles of sin and putting one’s faith in him. The gospel of Jesus is a radical thing. One is told to follow him. So, a church is middle of the road to attract more people, but it does not explain the gospel, the basis of the faith. So, middle of the road is an annoying problem as it’s not the gospel.

All considered, but not all chosen

I’ve been reading and my reading cast a thought. That music is significant in the lives of others. It could equally apply to movies. I’ve heard it before, and I considered it again and it became more inspirational this time. That if movies are a significant reality in people’s lives, then I as a reviewer and writer of film must relate to this reality and do so genuinely. Hence, I have changed my review category to be called “review mix” in that various films, music and books are considered. However, although I may consider all movies, in the end I do not choose every single one.

Back in 1998: at the Oscars, would it be night of “Titanic”?

Oscar mania

1998. Within the typical Hollywood environment of movie deals and money making comes an event that pats the best filmmakers and artists that year on the back. It seems innocent enough. It’s all about celebrating, partying down, and giving out awards (and some artists really do deserve them). Because of this glamorous night Oscar winners are certain to accrue more money from moviegoers to go into producers’ accounts. It is really an advertisement to one billion people worldwide. It’s the Oscars. Continue reading

Preparing devotional books in my mind’s eye

I have enough devotions for the equivalent of a book’s worth of devotions, one month’s worth, but with the second book, another month’s worth, there is still some editing and additional writing to be done. I am writing and editing at this stage. I am thinking of publishing though.

The spiritual life is an answer to being ‘left behind’

What’s on my mind devotionally this week is a verse of scripture that is in the gospel. Jesus said: “Better to enter into life maimed than to have you whole body thrown into hell.”

The spiritual life Jesus offers is also an antidote to feeling left behind in life. Continue reading

The challenge of change, but Steely Dan’s debut underwhelms

Can’t Buy a Thrill

Released November 1972. Written 2022.

Written by Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. The vocals are by Fagen, Becker, David Palmer, and Jim Hodder. Donald Fagen also played piano, electric piano and the plastic organ, Walker Becker played electric bass guitar, and Jim Hodder played drums and percussion, with Jeff Baxter (guitar) and Danny Dais (guitar). Gary Katz produced the album. Can’t Buy a Thrill boast the most interesting lyrics and perspectives of 1972. Continue reading

The word with those connotations: ‘sly’

The Word for Today is ‘sly’. It means having a nature that is cunning and deceitful. The key here is in the nature, otherwise the meaning of the word would fall. Without cunning and deceitful emanating from a nature, sly would just be cunning and deceitful but that can’t exist by itself. Somone is cunning and deceitful. Someone is sly. Sly is an adjective so it describes an inner nature. Someone exists or lives in that nature. He is sly.

I always have a reservation about this word because it implies a bad or wrong centered nature. But is describes a reality. Sometimes there are people we may come across that are sly which is scary. But sly is a word I keep at a distance and use it rarely as the word must fit the character, the story, the sentence, etc.

Children reviewing films

Can a child review entertainment? We were asked to review Gandhi. Gandhi is a “mature” film, but the kids wanted to watch E.T. and The Dark Crystal. But could we have reviewed those fantasy films let alone Gandhi and reviewed them effectively? It can be done, by some. Continue reading

It’s not unusual

The weather here is not typical for the season. But it has happened at this time a few times before in the last decade or so, so although untypical, is not unusual. I would like to see what happens in three weeks. Going by the times before, we should get more typical seasonal weather then. If not, it would set a precedent.

What’s on my mind devotionally

What a disaster before me! I might have thought of a gospel verse because of hearing about all the slew of events taking place in the world and how the world is crumbling but is this a reaction to media input or reality. Not only are there stories on major disasters, but people caught up in the middle of them. Continue reading

Update: devotional writing

Eventually got around to writing a devotional this week, and am thinking about how to publish the devotions I have, as one publisher cannot work with me due to their way of doing things (i.e. delivery of renumeration), so have thought of self-publishing e-books. But I will check out traditional publishers first to see if there are any others that are suitable.

Creation chorus: begin again

The creation

 

Six days unveiled the fresh green earth, the deep blue sea;

A display to behold of cosmic beauty.

Land and ocean rising in symphony.

 

At the end of each day, God’s greatness turned a page

And the earth resounded in God’s good grace.

 

God’s own, Adam and Eve, agreed; and

With a heart full of God’s undying love,

They celebrated the wonders they see.

 

 

A temptation and fall

 

In a garden of paradise, came a temptation.

From a certain one who

Fell to earth just in time for Creation.

 

Thrown out of heaven for wanting

To make the world in his image

And not God’s own, The Devil, once an angel,

Found a way to get into creation, and worm

His way into the heart of the man and woman of God

 

So seduced they were,

The temptation ended in a fall that poured out to everyone else,

May God grant the grace to everlasting life.

 

Take away the path to pain and

Prepare the way to life, again.

 

 

Justice

 

Jealousy ran deep and

Cain killed Abel

 

Blood ran from Abel’s body.

 

An innocent man’s blood cried out

As God said, Run, Cain, run,

You tiller of soil

The fertile ground has turned to red, cold blood.

You destroyed.

 

I seek an answer,

His blood calls out for justice,

A punishment so grave,

For this terrible thing you’ve done.

 

But may you confess and find in your heart the way out,

 

May you settle you in a town and

Become alive again

 

My son, my son,

Begin again

 

By Peter Veugelaers.

Gratingly realistic: drama movie re-creates the Boxing Day tsunami

The Impossible

Released October 11, 2012. review written 2022.

One may not grasp the difficulties of the survivors of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, but The Impossible pulled off the impossible, by making one feel something of it. The power of re-creation enabled this and while not the same thing is still a way of conveying the magnitude of the disaster that the viewer is forever changed. Continue reading

The truth

When objective reasoning is filtered through perception one is no longer able to tell the difference. In cricket, when it is obviously out it is obviously out and can be confirmed by a number of witnesses. Sometimes, the third umpire gets it wrong even with the benefit of hindsight. But perception has so taken over the truth.

Immediate concerns

Times are particularly challenging for many people. There’s expenses and the cost of living. One worries about money and where it’s coming from. Can one afford it anymore? One must get another job, another career, but just a job is enough, as one can’t afford a career at the moment. It appears we don’t live in prosperous times now. They say it gets better. That the good times will come. But not looking in the future, leaves you with the immediacy of the present. One focusses on the now. That’s real rather than the future. So, one decides to make the present work–somehow. One must or do the best one can.

The outlook is better

How does one respond to recent events such as the last three years? One mustn’t blame. It was his fault or someone’s fault. But if one survived and can see an opportunity in the mess, then one comes out with a better outlook and attitude than without. Adversity can make one see life anew. If one finds trouble, one adjusts their temperament to survive. One does not give up but can turn over with a view to stay alive and live. One can even think about how they relate to the Creator: what is my relationship with the Creator of the world like? How can I draw closer to God during adversity?

Redisturbed on trend?

 

What about recycled movies? Or a haunting little masterpiece and something more mysterious? What was 10 Cloverfield Lane (Pictured)? Redisturbed on trend? Another in a long list of disturbing movies? A thrill? A pill? A chill? A fill? You wouldn’t want to meet the disturbed character in this not that we could. Run a mile away, but watch from a safe distance, while it’s trending. Art. Don’t waste. Recycle. Do it again.

It’s quite easy really

A Christian perspective is quite easy really when it comes to it. Sure, one can think of theological and sociological things to bring up, while the ordinary, everyday filmgoer bites into an ice cream, and popcorn flows all over the place, but a Christian perspective is just this: it is reacting or responding to a film as someone who is a Christian. It is just reacting to the material and if faith is important to a Christian then there is a reaction or response that kind of way.

A nice place to post

This week I have been starting to post my pieces of writing through blogger as the other place was not technically working for me. Another place, Substack, requires a lot of work to get subscriptions to your blog, so I find blogger just a lovely place to post my older and newer work and get an audience where there are no hassles. Here’s my latest piece, here.

Deep red

Crimson is a rich sounding word. It means rich as well, as in a “rich, deep red” inclining to purple (but not exactly purple). I asked myself, how would you use this word? When would you use this word? Crimson is an adjective so describes something. The word sounds so rich it could be used to describe the inner state of someone, as a metaphor. His heart bled crimson. One would have to know what a deep red would signify if using crimson as a metaphor. His heart bled crimson, but what does it mean?

New venture

My experience at Vocal has been good thus far though there are some teething problems which are being sorted but nothing major as in major. I found my first article, before I submitted to the editors, prompted me to write to a certain word count and I found this good as it enabled me to try a little harder, think a little harder, and improve the article overall. If they accept the piece, I will be submitting more, until there comes a point that I should stop writing there for some reason, but for now, all is good. Continue reading

Reviewing the list of words in the notebook

One of the things I have been recommended to do is to keep a notebook of words. So, I have, as this helps me learn novel words. I write down the word with a memory jogger as to its definition. But I got to review these words every so often as some will slip through the memory and be forgotten. I recommend keeping a notebook of words that one can learn and to review them every so often so one won’t forget. It can only make one understand that much better.

 

On new posts

This blog has been various shapes and forms of which I think it has been a matter of experimenting with shape and form and content until coming to something satisfactory or a composite of all those. I trust that Talking Writing or peteswritingnotes.com is this, which brings back my notes on the writing life more to the forefront as well as keeping with positing old articles, etc, and new pieces when possible.

My aim, in the long-term, is to produce e-books (or some variation thereof) of articles and reviews, the kind of things I have been posting here for the last six months as well as include the material that did not get published here.

So, I am pleased to present Talking Writing…And Posting Writings which I trust is more in the form I find manageable. It means I can write freely about the writing life and publish writings when I like. A lot easier to produce and in turn brings more variety.

Genesis chapter one: God and creation

MEDITATION. I heard someone say where is God in today’s world which has gone to custard? If God was the creator, has he left us now? Is God an absent landlord?

Looking at how God created the world according to Genesis chapter one, shows God made an investment in creating the world like a caring father makes an investment in attending to his sons and daughters. Why would God change? Continue reading

The echo

Time makes such amends

For what’s missing in time

Just when life seemed hopeless

Along came time to soften wandering through the pages

 

Maladjusted by my unravelling

Depth and meaning were the challenge to my soul, but

Time had a way of healing,

For relief from superficialness.

I found soothing in an echo from time

The breeze blew toward me,

A grace I was assigned

Misaligned, I was, but saved despite the swirl of agony

In a moment of time

Praise

Taking the sheen off the praise

When what was delivered was good,

I got to get away,

Get back to the place where I am understood.

Many years ago, an utterance of certainty,

Which I forsook,

Could they be so right,

When the praise is so good,

And delivers in ways that are wonderous.

I lift my soul and hand go up, the arms raise

Wonderful release,

No more the exercise of pain,

Inflicted by something unseen,

The shine comes back,

And I’m found again.

A vow of poverty to write

Do you give enough? I feel I don’t whenever I read the passage in the gospel of Matthew about the rich young man as if I am rich, which I am not.

Saint Francis of Assisi took the passage literally and lived a life of poverty. Isn’t the writer’s life the same? A vow of poverty to write. Not that I am in that boat at all… Continue reading

A life giving word

As crude as the priest put it,

The answer he gave made sense,

Although I questioned the expression,

The answer resounded in spirit

I knew he was right.

I knew its truth.

I, myself, did.

The woman he was talking to listened

Wondering if this is the answer to

The dilemma in her life

(Her fatal suffering)

Albeit God was with her and

God was in the solitary voice –

Even when it’s not the prevailing wisdom.

The water flowed tranquilly,

To rescue her on hearing.

If she took it.

A genre filled with life

When is the abundant genre appropriate to write today? Perhaps not these days. But what about past days? Future days? Sometime ago in a person’s life? What was the narrative? Somehow, what is it? The abundant genre is about blessings, full of blessings, over filled with blessings. Even those blessings in disguise…hidden ones, silent ones, quiet ones. Still filled ones. Even goodness.

Bittersweet to hunger

Kind of nice, but bitter

The taste of convenance

Easy.

Homemade.

Over there, not.

Nowhere to find.

In the place I call home.

Kind of nice, but bitter,

Going cold, always sour.

My Sweet,

You never complain,

Alternatives, what?

I wouldn’t change a thing!

Except if it was mud cake in the face.

I am glad you are here

You will not go

For this is bitter to a hungry man,

And it tastes good.

 

When will thou arrive?

 

By Peter Veugelaers.

Strait through

A straight line I go alone

Steps along the way

The spring is infectious

Buoying me every day

Veering not to the left or right and not by design,

The course I am is full and sublime.

 

Remember me? Shouted a boy by other means a man

Are you still who you are,

Or have you gone lame?

I was who I was, I said.

And that is all I said.

 

Wanting to probe some more,

I anticipated a shock,

A meeting of no mere reunion,

A rude interruption.

 

I kept on going

Not fearing what lies ahead.

A bit maimed and bruised,

But I must cruise

Just get me to the other side.

Even if I die, alive.

 

A straight line I go alone

Steps along the way

The spring is infectious

Buoying me every day

Veering not to the left or right and not by design,

The course I am is full and sublime.

 

Not widely known

I have no idea of the matter but I trust the reference book is correct. This is on the matter of who co-wrote the play Where the Rainbow Ends. The reference book cites that Reginald Owens was a co-writer which isn’t stated on Wikipedia. The reference book says he was the brain child of the play as well.

I have a good feeling the reference book is right, although I could be wrong. Clifford Mills is cited as the co-author (along with Reginald Owens) in the reference book. On Wikipedia, Clifford Mills wrote it with John Ramsey.

But where is Reginald Owen on that Wikipedia page? “It is perhaps not widely known that the famous children’s play Where the Rainbow Ends was the brain-child of Reginald Owen…” the reference book says (Page 13, Film Review 1973-74).

Alive

The rain is about to fall.

So, they told us.

But it didn’t come.

They all breathed a sigh of relief,

So, did I.

I enjoyed the sun, while it was there,

On a day,

Of heaven spent joys.

The rain might have fell,

But was kept back for more,

More of you, the sun,

Love of the rays flowed through

My heart rejoiced, for the sight,

Not blinding,

But alive,

And death did not gnaw.

Looking up

I looked up.

peace overcame the dreary sky.

the clouds left behind,

a ray of light broke through

Shining bright over the heads of us

as I looked from the window,

inside the room.

I was watching the change,

I was looking up.

I remembered God,

the Father’s light shines on the

righteous and unrighteous alike.

He remembered me,

Just then.

He can send the rain,

For now, the light he sends.

Ways

The plan is this.

That it goes to plan.

What is the plan?

No pain in the game that’s lived in this life to get to where I need to be,

The need is great, no doubt I feel it strong,

Needy me, needy me,

Needing to get there,

Abide by the plan,

On hand,

Focused and dry,

No doubt in my mind

Got to do it do it do it

There is no turning back

Going forward, on track

Cannot stop, got to go,

Get in that place,

Where I want to go,

All obstacles I will put asunder

Until my life has got to where it wants

Then will I be?

Will I be settled within?

Calm and collected?

There will always be room for the break –

Into something new,

Jump right in.

I’ll stop what I do.

And go that way, the way

For it’s as fresh as new.

Help me see

You think you know it all. I got to help you, son.

The other guy is coming with a message you better here,

It will help you, I’m sure, son.

You are missing a few brains of that I have no doubt.

A bit dumb around the corners:

You sprouted wings like cauliflowers and cabbages on the sides of your brain.

But I am here, to help,

Unless some other together guy would get at you first:

The head guy. Amateur.

Bar the humble guy.

Who asked you,

Help me see.

For you see better than me.

Labour’s love

God did his work

And I am proud of the work he made.

It was awesome that he rested after six long days

I for one will sing in praise

To the awesome God who is not behind cloud

Shown he has the world at hand the marks of his love

Who toiled at building this place we call home,

He gave it his all.

And bent down, humble, and said,

This is yours,

This is mine.

Integrity

Whetting my appetite on a diet of malnutrition things I am supposed to not eat but eating them anyhow no one will see my diet of mental malnutrition but nevertheless I go ahead and hope for the best making sure no one sees me and I die a death, losing myself, my integrity, did I even regret the impulse that came over my brain in a haze of momentary lack of mindedness set on just one thing and forgetting I said it was mental malnutrition. The death of my soul, now a hole, and no one knows, but I die, alone. I jumped from thing to thing and the desire grew and blew and blew until it flew, and I’m left with the residual hue nothing like I wanted.

Circa 2001: Renewable energy generation in New Zealand – State of the nation

2001. New Zealanders will be consulted this year on climate change and related issues, initiated by the Government.

According to the Cabinet paper, early decisions and directions, more public education about energy efficiency choices and actions available in the residential, commercial, and other sectors, is to be considered.

Continue reading

Weight, fitness and body image

Why fat is “big business”

2000. Janeen Norwicki laughs. “The fat thing is in now,” says Janeen Nowicki. “It makes me laugh. They’re so late getting on the Ferris wheel really.”

Janeen runs Big, Bold, and Beautiful aerobics. When she started the business nine years ago, she says Continue reading

Television program induces fears

2017. Autopsy is a television series from Britain’s ITV studios that analyses the events around the untimely deaths of famous people. Dr. Jason Payne-James looks at the cause of death that is on the celebrity’s death certificate but looking closely at the evidence he concurs with the certificate or comes to another conclusion.

The subjects of the series are people well-known in film, music, and sports. The days leading up to the deaths of actors Robin Williams and Heath Ledger, and others, are analyzed.

In the episode I am looking at today, the life and death of the Irish-born, Manchester United footballer George Best is scrutinized.

Continue reading

Writing reflections is, well, a reflective exercise

I’ve been working on a book of reflections based on my readings of the Gospel of Mark. The gospel is from the Bible and I am aware of being accurate to the text and not saying something myself in my writings that was not intended by the writer of the gospel. But I am writing reflections and this genre is not explaining or expounding a text academically as one would when deeply examining what the author was saying. Reflections are simply hopefully effectively relaying my thoughts about what I read…meaning it is not a thesis on the text or a critique but a reflection on the text itself. I reflect from a devotional basis so it is not a reflective critique which has a soft edge.

I don’t know if one can do reflections from any kind of text, but I think copyright issues are the barrier to a writer taking any printed text and writing a book of reflections on it, although I don’t know. I know that there is a whole genre of devotional writing that uses the Bible but does not copy it. I know I am not doing anything wrong in using the Bible as a basis for a book of reflections, unless everyone who was writing devotions from the Bible has got it wrong. It is only wrong if copying the Bible exactly as it is for a profit, without permission; and copying it even without wanting to make a profit or commercial gain.

Copying 1000 Bible verses as they are written is okay with some Bible publishers, without seeking permission. It just depends on each Bible publication policy which is at the front of each Bible. Always check copyright notices at the front of each book you may want to copy in some way. There it will explain what one can legally do or not do with that particular book. And get a grasp of copyright law. Books are legally well protected from people trying to illegally copy them, but the copyright notice at the front of the book will inform of any leniencies, if any, and what you can do if you want to use a portion of the book in some capacity.

So far, my reflections have taken up one small exercise book, which I completed this week. For the rest of the week in terms of reflective writing, I just felt to blob, as if I have done enough for a little while in that genre or until I get my reflective writing mojo back.

The genre may choose you

I’ve been thinking. Of what use is a writer? When you reach a certain age, you look for a job or embark on a career and writing seems everywhere. When I look at this writing world, there are needs for newsletter writers, technical writers, and so on. A few will make money from creative writing and maybe even a living, be that screenwriting, novel writing and short short story writing, as well as poetry. Of what use is a writer? It seems what is missing now is the motive, the purpose, the over riding theme of why one wants to write. When I knew my reason for being it seemed to choose the genre. When the genre was “chosen” (or more likely drawn into), of what use is a writer when there are just a few publishing possibilities in that genre? What if one got in?

Thinking before writing

Am thinking is my favorite hashtag. Because when I am thinking I am thinking about how I can move forward, improve, or make something such as my writing better. A think tank can be the before writing process. Actual writing follows thinking or at other times a healthy dose of inspiration. This week I have been thinking. Thinking about what’s next to write. The devotion? Or the project? Or the devotional project? How will I write it? Would it work? We’ll see.

The writing life is fluid

Writing is never over. Even the so-called “off-seasons” have a purpose, to enjoy and do well, and to lead one into the next stage. One does not always have to be successful, as each stage has a uniqueness of its own.

At least that is how I think of it, in my experience. Live, learn, and develop (no one has ever made it) and move on to the next phase, consciously aware of the moving on or not.

The writing life can be built on stages or phases. One is in one stage then moves on to the next. Maybe this is not every writer’s experience, but I would say it has an element of truth in mine.

Sometimes, I did not know what stage or phase I was in, as the writing life takes over. But other times, one does know the phase and aims to do it like one would do a job, before moving on…

The writing life is never over.

The New Zealand spirit

2000. Kiwi spirit is what pastor and baritone Rodney Macann talked about in my interview with him in 2000. Rodney Macann was, in 2000, leader of the ministry team Wellington Central Baptist. Later, he was the NZ Baptist national leader. As well, he was singing throughout New Zealand and Australia with the major Opera and concert organizations like the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the NBR Opera NZ.

Continue reading

The solitude of the writer

I have had experience on my side, publishing credits, and an eye to improve for that next piece and the one after that and the one after that…until the writer reaches stuff to his or her eye. Then there are more things the writer may need to improve on. Later he starts thinking, I can relax. He’s done his best and whatever the publisher thinks, he’s always done his best. But, who really cares? Apparently, people do. 

Writing the relatable human side of characters

How can a writer let humanity flow in their stories? How does a writer share the human touch that the readers need? If people are not relating to you humanly, there may be something missing in the relationship for them. Therefore, the “human side” must naturally flow when one is only using words in writing. It is about being real and transparent. Being human is being real to the core (not having to show that all the time). Ideally, I am not pretending to be human for the sake of getting published (it won’t work and the editor will notice), but to be honest, while sharing those relatable human traits (liking coffee at 7AM) that make the reader relate while the emotional pull makes them empathize with somebody real.