A Little Stardust is Good for the Heart

If you love fantasy, visual delights and an excellent story, make sure you see STARDUST (fantastic website - be sure to check it out). I saw it last night and LOVED it. Its fairytale deliciousness is in keeping with Neil Gaiman's wonderful book by the same name. And I think of all the superb actors in the movie, including Charlie Cox, the lead (fabulous!), De Niro was my favorite. He blew my socks off! No spoilers here, but I think you'll love him, too.

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So afraid he'll fall from the enormous pedestal I've erected for him, I'm always strangely relieved when another one of Neil Gaiman's projects thrills me. He's an unknowing mentor of mine, in his writing style, his talent and the kind and gracious manner in which he treats people. Before I started writing, I discovered his journal (he was blogging long before it was the "in" thing to do) and I was amazed at his constant communication and the easy manner in which he connected with his readers. There was a realness and an honesty in it that really impacted me. At the time, I didn't know I would someday be writing seriously, but I remember thinking to myself, "I want to be just like Neil"...well, of course, in my own Fran Friel way, but you get the picture.

Now, to put the man on an even high pedestal, the final straw that broke my resistance to being a writer and inspired me to finally get off my arse and do what I was supposed to be doing, was Gaiman's short story collection, SMOKE AND MIRRORS. For me, it sparked a bit of magic inside. The stories had a simplicity in their approach, or perhaps it was that honesty again...yes, vulnerable honesty. BUT to me, they were far more complex than they appeared on the surface, almost as if there was more written between the lines, and certainly more written IN the lines for those who wished to sink deeper than the basics of the story. I've experienced this same thing in his other work since, but suffice to say, SMOKE AND MIRRORS inspired me to finally start writing, rather than watching the magic from outside the alchemist's window.

So, poor Mr. Gaiman doesn't even know, but he's my muse, of sorts, and so high on that pedestal he sits, no mortal could remain there without toppling, eventually. But then again, I have a sneaking suspicion Neil Gaiman may be something more than a mere mortal.

Here's a little Gaiman interview for "fanboys" like me. Enjoy!
MySpace Comic Books: NEIL GAIMAN answers YOUR questions!

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Wickedly Yours,
Fran Friel