Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Blog

I’m back! At least I’m trying to convince myself about getting back to curating my personal blog after turning into an author for a few months. I’ve missed you, and to be honest, even I missed me!

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been MIA over the last several months hunkered down writing a children’s book. I loved the process. I mean, who wouldn’t want to get lost reading and writing about classic and epic movies all day long, right? I certainly didn’t expect to find it difficult to do, but some aspects about this writing process were tough.


Preview of a page in "101 Movies To See Before You Grow Up" by Suzette Valle

Preview of a page in “101 Movies To See Before You Grow Up” by Suzette Valle

In fact, the hardest part of being secluded with my computer for hours each day was letting go of a movie after I had done all the research and written about it. Each of the 101 pages that will make up this children’s book took days to write! Days! I’d do my “garbage down” first and then I’d go back after a few hours and re-read it, make changes, adding, editing, and then I’d let that page sit for a day. I’d come back to it the next day and make more changes. Later that day, I’d do this all over again when I started the next page.

Sitting for hours a day wasn’t good for me physically either. So I’ll warn you not to look at my rear for a while.

Then there’s the noise. Distractions were everywhere!

I know understand why writers go to the mountains and lock themselves up in serene environments. I didn’t have this luxury. My neighbor decided to rip up their concrete patio and pool, and resurface them with new cement. Double freaking jackhammers going at it for weeks! The darn saws are spinning and grinding as I write this today. Ear plugs? Got those. Noise-Cancelling Headphones (Thanks, Sony!) with calm music, too. But writing with these artificial noise reducers is not the same. Why? Because then I had to struggle to hear my own thoughts, and they’d get rather loud, too.

Oh, and then there’s life. Eating, tending to my dog (my princess!), and keeping up with my daughter away at college and my son who is forging his career after college are also important. And then, there’s my husband. The one who put up with this the most. I have to thank him for bringing us dinner many nights during this writing process!

But these minor irritations don’t come close to the strong feelings I developed for my new friends.  “The Hobbit,” “The Goonies,” and Ferris Bueller brought me much needed joy and adventure from the comfort of my desk. “The Princess Bride’s” Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin, Saul Berensen of “Homeland,” I can never take you seriously again!), was a funny surprise for me. John Lassater was one of my strongest inspirations to keep digging into each of his films. The man with a vision! Dare I say that perhaps if Lasseter hadn’t been fired from Disney over “The Brave Little Toaster’s” debacle, animation as we know it today may not have evolved the way it did — seems like that could be the pivitol moment in his career that changed the face of animation for ever!

Roald Dahl’s books-to-films are a treasure for us all to appreciate! Directors’ dogged determination to make these into movies took everything including a tear or two — as in the case of Tim Burton and “James and the Giant Peach.” I share his emotions.

Movies. If I considered myself a cinephile before this, I think I’m a die-hard one now. I’m sure I’ve talked my friend’s ears off about the facts and interesting backstories most of these films have. I never imagined how much work it takes for each concept, someone’s idea (like James Cameron’s “Avatar”)  to actually make it to the silver screen.

I am in awe of filmmakers and their films.

They’ve touched me in a way I couldn’t have foreseen, and will continue to do so each time I go to the movies and take in one of their masterpieces.

For now, I’ll try to tell you how and why each of the 101 Movies in the book are significant — some will transcend even our children’s generation and will continue to impact minds and heart for decades to come.

Thanks for putting up with my movie rants. And, hey, please go get my book! It’s on Amazon! Please and thank you.

Suzette xxoo


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