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Most writers daydream about two things: the day their book appears on a best seller list and the day it gets made into a movie. I’m quite certain I’m not alone in admitting that I mentally cast all the characters in my novel a long time ago. And, if I’m being completely honest, I’ve also thought about costuming, set design, camera angles, and the award-winning score.

I’m not a fool. I know it’s extremely rare to have your book made into a movie…but it’s fun to dream. Although, there’s one rather enormous detail that I choose to blissfully ignore: the fact that authors aren’t usually involved or consulted when their work gets made into a movie.

Granted, this isn’t always the case – Stephanie Meyer is on the set of every movie in the Twilight Saga, but that’s the exception not the rule. Consequently, authors are sometimes less than thrilled with the end result because any number of things can go wrong: the wrong actors are cast, key scenes are cut, or the author’s original intentions are lost in translation, like these 7 worst film adaptations. One of the most famous examples of an author hating a film adaptation is Stephen King of The Shining.

Unfortunately, it seems like there are more disappointments than successes when it comes to adapting written work for the big screen. But, while I can think of many more book-to-movie adaptations that I didn’t like, there have been a few that I really loved.

For example, I thought Eat, Pray, Love with Julia Roberts was a great representation of Elizabeth Gilbert’s soul-searching journey through Italy, India, Indonesia. I felt Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen was exquisitely translated to the big screen. And, of course, there’s my long-time favorite: Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook which I’ve watched at least a dozen times.

I’ve also heard that the movie version of To Kill a Mockingbird (my favorite classic) was excellent, but I haven’t seen it yet, so I can’t comment.

I’ve racked my brain trying to think of other movies that I loved,  but those three are all I can come up with. So I ask you…which film adaptations do you love?

You’d think that legendary authors like Capote, Eliot and Welty would’ve had very formal writing habits to produce that caliber work, but you’d be wrong. Today I stumbled upon this article, “Weird Writing Habits of Famous Authors”, which exposes the truth: some of the best known writers produced their work lying down, half in the bag or with a painted face. One even pinned her stories together like a patchwork quilt.  

It got me thinking about my own writing habits, which are pretty tame in comparison. Nonetheless, I have a few weird ones:

I like to write in my pajamas. (But who doesn’t?)

Before I sit down to write, I splash my face with cold water to make me more alert and soothe my eyeballs.

I write in my home office, which must be quiet as a tomb, with a faux fur blanket on my lap and fingertip-less gloves on my hands.

I always have a 16 oz. cup of Wawa’s french vanilla coffee with french vanilla creamer within arm’s reach.

I do my writing on one computer and my research on another because I have computer hypochondria (the fear of downloading something that will screw up my computer and cause me to lose my manuscript).

After I finish my coffee, I chew Orbit Bubblemint gum two pieces at a time.

When my writing session ends, I superstitiously save my work in at least 2 places.

What about you? Do you have any weird work habits?

I never thought I’d say this, but I can relate to Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Last week, at the Coca-Cola 600, Earnhardt Jr. ran out of gas before crossing the finish line. Right now, I’m in the last lap of writing my novel and I too am riding on fumes. I can see the checkered flag waving in the distance, but the finish line seems like it’s a million miles away.

Do you ever find yourself riding on fumes in the final stretch of an endeavor? What helps you make it across the finish line?

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