Woefully, I shall not be writing about writing tonight. The military is scrambling my brain with action verbs designed to make me list my accomplishments (achieved X, analyzed X, implemented X, researched X). Really this is aimed at the retiring military member, but since I’m sitting beside him and have my own workbook, I feel compelled to complete the assignments. Not for nothing did I graduate magna cum laude. (Please don’t even talk to me about why it wasn’t summa cum laude. I was robbed by unfair policies designed to benefit transfer students is all I shall say on the subject. Ahem.) I am an anal retentive, complete all assignments in triplicate sort of person. 🙂

Anyway, last night, in a tired stupor, I watched Capote. Oh wow. I have purposely avoided reading In Cold Blood for years. I am a wimp, a person who does not/cannot/will not watch the various horror movies offered over the years. When I was a teen, those awful Freddy movies were the thing. Not me, never watched a one. Friday the 13th? Uh-uh. I get skeered.

But now that I’ve watched Capote, I may have to read the book. And, in truth, as shocking as the crime was then, it’s pretty routine (unfortunately) today. We hear as bad or worse in the news.

I did not empathize with the killers. But I understood how Truman did, how it tore him up, how he used them and got his story. Philip Seymour Hoffman deserved his Academy Award (much as I liked David Straithairn as Edward R. Murrow). The performance is riveting.

One of the funny moments is when Nell Harper Lee gets a contract to publish her novel. “Congrats, Nell,” says a guy at a party. “What’s it called? Kill the bird? Bird killing?” Well, that’s a paraphrase, but still. Hilarious. That bird book. Oh dear.

So, if you’re at a loss for what to watch, rent this movie about a writer (an arrogant, queer–uh, both senses actually–little man) who obsessed his way into a book that destroyed him and changed the way people wrote non-fiction narratives. ICB made Truman even more famous than did Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

And he never completed another book.