12 Winters Blog

Filmmaker Jovanna Tosello and a little Gogol

Posted in October 2010 by Ted Morrissey on October 3, 2010

In my last posting I neglected to mention a recent (exciting!) development regarding my forthcoming novel Men of Winter — perhaps it slipped my mind because it’s just too darn cool to be true. A couple of postings ago I mentioned attending the Route 66 International Film Festival and seeing a short animated film, The Magical Porno Theater, that was a real mind-bender. As I watched the film, I started ruminating about the fact that I really wanted to have some sort of video piece associated with my novel (I’ll use the somewhat crass term “a book trailer”), and wouldn’t it be terrific if the Magical Porno filmmaker, Jovanna Tosello, would develop something incredible based on Men of Winter? So I took a chance, found her on the web and hence her gmail address, sent my heart-felt kudos about her film and gingerly floated the idea of her putting something together based on my book, if she had the time and interest (expecting, quite frankly, for her to say thanks, but no thanks). I suspect you can guess where this blog is headed: she said yes. Wow. As I told her in my email, I would rather there was a video out there that drew attention to my book that was also a piece of art in itself, as opposed to any old trailer whose sole purpose in the cosmos is to sell a couple copies of Men of Winter.

Jovanna apparently originally hails from Reykjavik, Iceland, but now lists her location as Los Angeles. According to her website, she has a BFA in character animation from California Institute of the Arts, and she’s working on her MFA in animation and digital art at USC. You can check out The Magical Porno Theater on Vimeo, along with some of Jovanna’s other animated film work — and I highly recommend it. You can also find out more about Jovanna and view her work at her blogger site. To say that I’m thrilled to have Jovanna’s talent and creativity lending their services to my modest novel doesn’t begin to describe it.

In other news, I’ve been reading Adam Braver’s Crows over the Wheatfield, and his work always reminds me of the Russian masters, and as such I developed a yen for some Nikolai Gogol and have been reading a bit from Dead Souls (1842), a novel I’ve been curious about for some time. I wasn’t expecting it to be so downright funny. One of my favorite lines thus far occurs when the main character, Tchitchikoff, and his driver have lost their way at night in a terrible rainstorm, and they come upon a house, immediately to be greeted by some “ill-tempered” dogs — Gogol writes, “[O]ne, throwing back his head, gave a prolonged howl, with as much care as though he had received wages for it” (p. 41, 1966 Airmont edition, trans. Zoe Girling).

Meanwhile, I’ve been working away on the Authoress, my novel in progress, and am feeling very good about the way the narrative is shaping up. The writing is slow, but it progresses. I’m nearly finished with chapter 18 and am at the 290-plus manuscript page mark. It’s all rather nebulous, but I hope to have a complete draft of the novel by next summer, in about another 100 pages or so.


5 Responses

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  1. Nicole Watts said, on October 3, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    I am really excited about the video! I think it is a great idea! I can’t wait to see it and to read your book!! By the way I have been slowly reading some of your stuff from your webpage and I really like it! You are an amazing writer (just as I expected), and I am ecstatic that I have such an amazing role model! You will always be the one that pushed me (gently of course) into the right direction!

    • Ted said, on October 3, 2010 at 12:50 pm

      Thanks for the very kind words, Niki. I’m glad that you’re using your writing talents, and I was thrilled to see your first published poem (first of many I’m sure). (Now for the moment of truth — the one thing I can’t seem to get working on WordPress is my gravitar; let’s see if I come out that weird green geometric thing still.)

      • nicoleewatts said, on October 3, 2010 at 12:55 pm

        Haha, I think it is in the settings somewhere, because I changed mine to do it at some point. Good luck with it!

      • Ted Morrissey said, on October 3, 2010 at 6:45 pm

        figured out the gravitar thing — nothing was wrong with the gravitar per se, just had it set so it wouldn’t show up on blogs like mine (only cost me an hour of my Sunday afternoon to figure that one out)

  2. Ted said, on October 3, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    yup. 😦

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