Wednesday, March 28, 2012

In Which The World Ends. Sorry.

I think the world may be about to come to an end.

You're probably wondering how I know this. These signs have been subtle. We're not talking rain of toads or fire or anything that would be a clear indicator that it's time to start stocking up on canned goods and finally start building that apocalypse bunker in the back yard (although, now to think of it, a rain of toads might be a bad time to start that project.). But there are signs that make clear to me that something strange is going on around here. Something that makes me think if I lived in Sunnydale, it would be mid May and not the end of March.

But don't take my word for it. Judge for yourself:

Apocalypse Sign #1:

I don't have any desire for anything chocolate in any way, shape or form. I don't want cookies (as evidenced by the fact that there's a batch of chocolate chip cookies that have gone untouched by me for two days now. That's totally unheard of!). I don't want cake or muffins or candy bars. I don't want any of it. I received an email from a potential new beta reader offering to bake me a chocolate cake and my first thought was "Deal breaker!"

Apocalypse Sign #2:

I now have HBO. In my house. If you're my brother or sister-in-law, you're probably making some sort of sounds of shock right about now. If you're anyone else, you have no idea why this is a sign of the impending apocalypse, but it is. To understand we have to flashback to a little over a year ago, right before HBO's epic series A Game Of Thrones was due to be released. I wanted to watch it. Bad. Really, really bad. I'm a freaking epic fantasy nut. I loved the books and I desperately wanted to watch the series. But in order to do so, I needed HBO but I couldn't (and still can't) make any changes to the cable account because it's in The Man's name. The Man did not see the need for HBO so no matter how many times I brought it up (and I brought it up a lot), he stood strong and we didn't get HBO. Even though I told him he could cancel the channel just as soon as the series ended its season, he wouldn't go for it. So I didn't watch the series until recently when it came out on DVD. By then, The Man had given in and read the first novel. He's not yet read the second. But I have and now the second season is set to begin on Sunday and I really want to watch it. So I brought up the HBO thing again a couple of times. Not nearly as many times as I did last year. Nowhere near as many times. I'd resigned myself to knowing that I'd have to avoid spoilers (yes, even though I've read the book, I still don't want to know what's going to happen on the show) and wait until the DVDs were released. And I was cool with that. Mostly.

So imagine my surprise yesterday when The Man told me he'd added HBO to our cable package. And by 'surprise', I mean suspicion. When I asked him why he was being so nice, he responded with, "I'm not being nice. I'm just trying to get you to shut up about it."

Hmmm. I can feel a song coming on...







Apocalypse Sign #3:

It's snowing outside. Yes, I know it's March and I live in the White mountains and snow this time of year, and even in April, is not unusual but, c'mon, Mother Nature. This time last week, it was 80 degrees and sunny and I was napping in my hammock. I mean writing. I doing lots and lots of writing. But isn't there some kind of rule about how once you get to break out the hammock and your sandals, you don't have to go back to parkas and boots until next winter? Because if there isn't that rule, there really should be because this is just mean.

Apocalypse Sign #4:

I actually got a lot of work done yesterday. A lot. There are no more yellow post-it notes covering my storyboard. And once I finish these last two scenes, this round of rewrites/edits will be done. Not to mention, I actually had a moment where I thought, "Hmm. This novel isn't half bad. In fact, it might be almost okay."

In Conclusion:

We're all doomed. Sorry to break it to you like this. If we're all still here tomorrow, I'll be blogging about my plan for the A to Z Challenge. The phrase "winging it" will likely be used. A lot.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tagged! I'm It!


I know you've been seeing this Meme all over the blogosphere and now it's made it's way here to My Pet Blog. Murees Dupé over at the Daily Drama of An Aspiring Writer (drama? I know nothing about drama...) was kind enough to tag me and provide me with an idea for my post today. Hooray!

If you're unfamiliar with the meme, here are the rules:

1. Go to page 77 of your current MS (manuscript).

2. Go to line 7.

3. Copy the next 7 lines/paragraphs and post them as they're written.

4. Tag 7 other authors.

My current MS is, of course, Effigy because I have done nothing else with my life (and perhaps never will). The scene currently found on page 77 (I have to say currently because it'll change just as soon as I get my act together on those damn rewrites...so again, probably never.) is one where the MC, Haleine, accuses her husband, Maddox, of murder. Ah, good times. Anyway, here's the excerpt:

“You are a murderer,” she said.

He kicked her stomach in retaliation. As she fell forward, he grabbed her throat and stopped her. He pulled her closer and closer to him until their faces were so close, they nearly touched.

“I am king,” he said. “I am king ordained by a power higher than you or your damned law!”

He screamed the last of it at her and then pushed her away. She fell back against the carriage door and rested there for a moment before confronting him once more.

“You are a murderer,” she gasped. “You are a murderer ordained by the powers of hell and I will shout it from the rooftops until every living being on this earth knows it.”

Maddox turned away from her. She started to move off the floor but did not get far. Without warning, he whirled around and struck her face with his elbow. She made no noise as she fell nor did she make a sound as she lay on her back, stunned by the pain and the taste of blood in her mouth.

“You will shout nothing,” he said as the carriage came to a stop. “Am I understood?”

Aaaaaaaand, that's gonna do it for me today. I'm not tagging seven other people because well, because I never do that. But if you haven't yet been tagged and would like to see what exactly lurks on the seventh line of page 77 of your manuscript and share it with the world, then please, consider yourself tagged. Just let me know because I'd love to read it.

Happy Monday, everyone. Hope you have a great week.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Happy Hunger Games (A Review)


This post is a review of both The Hunger Games movie and the audience with which I saw the film. As such, there is the distinct possibility that spoilers will abound from here on out so if you're a spoileraphobe, you may not want to read this review. Please consider yourselves warned.

You should also be warned that I'm running on about two hours of sleep so my normal level of incoherence will likely be magnified.

So, now that I've gotten that out of the way, allow me to say Happy Hunger Games.

I went to a midnight show last night (this morning? I'm so confused) because I love me a good midnight showing of awesome movies. I went to a midnight show for each of the Harry Potter movies and had the time of my life at each and every one. My Partner-in-Crime for most of these excursions was my sister, B. And as we are both fans of the Hunger Games trilogy, we decided to extend our tradition to this newest film series.

We arrived at the theatre three hours early and the line was already out the door. Fortunately, the odds were in our favor and Global Warming had provided us with a uber warm March day (seriously, it was 80 degrees on Thursday). The first person in line arrived at 3:30 that afternoon and had done so (so she claimed) because she didn't want to wait outside in the heat. But as she's also the woman who was twelve hours early for the last Harry Potter film, I'm not sure we can take her at her word.

Anyway, we got inside the theatre probably around 10:15 and managed to get seats. There were a lot of roaming bands of teens who needed a good slap upside the head making this process much more difficult than it needed to be. I say this while wholeheartedly acknowledging the fact that when I was a member of one such roaming band of teens invading Disney movie premieres, I probably needed a good slap upside the head as well. But whatever. We got fairly decent seats and settled in to wait. I had a copy of Catching Fire to help pass the time. B was re-reading The Hunger Games.

So while we sat there for an hour and forty five minutes waiting for the movie to begin, I came to the realization that there are so many stupid, stupid people in the world and, for some reason, they were sitting within earshot of me. What's the exact opposite of a brain trust? Because that's the group who surrounded us. At one point, I looked at B and said, "Next time, I shall buy out the entire theater so we won't have to deal with this." B's response was "Well, that won't be expensive at all..."

Sure. Be reasonable. Whatever.

There was a woman sitting in the row behind me who didn't even known The Hunger Games was a book. It wasn't that she hadn't read the book, it was that she didn't know there was a book at all. The two MENSA members sitting to my right hadn't read the book. And proved it by talking throughout the entire movie, making predictions about what would happen next and getting every last one of them wrong. I may have thrown some popcorn at them but that can't be proven.

And the squealing... oh my god the squealing. I've never gone to a midnight showing of a Twilight movie (AND NEVER WILL), but I imagine the squealing was on par with that. And this was before the movie even started. Every time a Hunger Games picture flashed on the screen during the pre show trivia, so many people would squeal. And then squeal some more. Then, when the movie actually played, they squealed every time Gale appeared on screen. All right, so I kind of wanted to do that too. I wasn't a member of Team Gale until I saw Liam Hemsworth. But I don't want him for Katniss. I want him for me.

(Sorry, honey.)

Now, I've gone to several midnight shows and I love going to them because you know the people sitting with you are real fans who are real excited and it creates an awesome energy that makes the entire experience even more fun. And you clap and you cheer and hoot and holler and have a grand old time but this audience was an entirely different creature altogether.

An annoying creature on the level of Chamber of Secrets Dobby (not Deathly Hallows Dobby) or Jar Jar Binks.

Before Catching Fire comes out (they're filming it now...), I hereby promise to devise a short but accurate IQ test to administer to any and all people who ask me, "Are these seats taken?" because I did NOT pay ten dollars to be annoyed by annoying people.

One last thing about the audience: wanna see a group of people totally freak out? Pack a bunch of diehard fans (and the people sitting near me) into a theatre to watch an highly anticipated film and then make it just freeze right before the end credits start to roll. Cue giant gasp and then bring on the panic and chaos. This is what happened in our showing. The movie just stopped, like someone had pressed a pause button. Then the screen went black and then started to do that snowy thing that indicates your cable's out.

The audience did not deal with this well. People (not me) were out of their seats, yelling to the projectionist. People in the back row were banging on the glass. People ran out of the theatre, presumably to track down some sort of theatre employee or go on some kind of killing spree— hard to say, really.

B and I just sat in our seats and waited to see what would happen. Eventually things started up again and for a while we thought they were started the entire movie over again. Then it disappeared and came back on later in the film (Katniss's fight with Clove at the Cornucopia— an awesome scene by the way) and then disappeared once more and popped back up at Katniss and Peeta's fight with Cato (another awesome scene) and ran from there. This time we got to see the end. The whole thirty extra seconds. But hey, we didn't know that's all there was. There was much hilarity from the audience at this point. It was funny.

But enough about the audience. Let's talk about the actual movie because I did say I would do that. This would be the part where you really have to worry about spoilers.

*IF YOU WANT TO AVOID SPOILERS, STOP READING NOW*

I thought it was well done. I enjoyed the cast (especially Liam Hemsworth. Hello, salty goodness!). I think Jennifer Lawrence was a fantastic Katniss. Elizabeth Banks is mostly unrecognizable as Effie Trinket and Lenny Kravitz makes a great Cinna. Woody Harrelson was wonderful as Haymitch. Obviously, there were cuts and changes and, for the most part, I was cool with them.

One of the biggest changes was the ability to see the Gamesmakers making the game. They showed a control room where the tributes were tracked and the twists (such as the fire that drives Katniss back toward the pack) were implemented. There were additional scenes with President Snow (played so well by Donald Sutherland) that helped establish the effect Katniss was having on Panem. After Rue's death (which made me cry), they showed a riot in Dictrict 11 which played out so beautifully (even if the first thought in my head was Jayne Cobb's voice saying, "y'all had a riot? On account of me?"). I've read the books multiple times and I was still so worried and tense. There were scenes of Haymitch working the Capitol population to help Katniss. His notes included with Katniss's gifts are a riot. We were able to see the members of District 12 watching the Hunger Games. At the end of movie, there's a scene with head Gamemaker, Seneca Cane, that alludes to his death that's only mentioned in Catching Fire.

Good stuff, I thought.

But with all the goodness, there were three scenes near the end that I thought were lacking the emotional punch the book had. The first scene was Katniss and Peeta's time in the cave. It was significantly reduced for time purposes, I assume, but I think the Katniss/Peeta dynamic suffered because of it. The second was Katniss and Peeta with the berries. It just felt more powerful in the book. The third was Katniss and Peeta's post Hunger Games interview. The interview in the book was so much more powerful and meaningful I wonder why they didn't pull more of the dialogue straight from the pages.

Overall, it's a good movie. Yes, there's violence and the film makers don't shy away from that. The movie's rated PG-13 so it's excessively gory or anything but they don't flinch. There is some herky jerky camera work used during the fight scenes so if you're prone to motion sickness, be prepared for that. There's one moment, toward the end, involving the muttations that make just about every last soul in the theatre jump right out of their seats.

I'm going to see it again Saturday night. I wonder if I shall jump out of my seat a second time. I wonder how annoying the audience will be... Here's hoping the odds will ever be in my (and yours) favor.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Stuck



I think the title of this blog probably says it all.

I'm stuck.

Until I started writing this post, I was spending my morning looking at a blinking cursor, hating it for mocking me with its ever ready readiness and willingness to get down all those brilliant thoughts I have.

Or had.

I can't say I've had any for a while now.

Except that I did just think about my need for cake. Or cookies. Or some kind of cake-like cookies. Cake-like cookies are always brilliant.

I wish I could bake. Actually, no. I more wish I still had friends nearby who would be willing to bake for me. A couple years ago, TheHeather made me some cookies that were just perfect. All right, so she made them for my mother's holiday cookie party but they were so good, I may have decided to keep them for myself. May have, mind you. This is all just speculation.

Now I'm looking for the recipe for those cookies because I'm sure I have it somewhere. Why I need to find it, I'm not sure as all I'll be able to do with it is fan myself or get a paper cut. It doesn't seem to matter, however, because all I'm finding are my recipes for Sangria, Southern Comfort Slush and Brandy slush. Wow. This blog really does, on occasion, make me sound like a complete lush, doesn't it? Please know that I'm not. I haven't had any alcohol since my two day hangover following TheHeather's bachelorette party last August.

That's right. I said a two day hangover. And the second day, I had to go to The Store. They were amused. I was not.

Live and learn, kids.

But, once again, I'm digressing. I know, I know. What else is new?

It's just that if I'm not blogging, I'll be back to staring at that stupid judgmental cursor (yes, it is possible I am assigning some traits to the cursor that may not actually be there) and beating myself up over the fact that I'm not done with this thing yet.

Here's a current shot of my storyboard:



Each stupid little post-it is something else I need to fix. Then there are the four pages of highlighted notes on things that need attention. I thought I could go and do some of the easier ones, just so I could be working on something and toward something while letting the bigger problems sort themselves out in the back of my brain, but as it turns out, THERE ARE NO EASIER ONES. I did all of those already. All the rest involve the tearing apart of scenes and the idea of doing that is just so damn scary that I'm daydreaming about cake like cookies instead of working the damn problem.

Which is me, isn't it? I am the damn problem. I always have been. I need to stop looking at the big picture and just focus on one post-it at a time and in any other arena of my life, I can do this just fine, just not here.

If this book were writing itself, it'd be done already. If someone else were writing this book, it'd be done already. But
unfortunately for this book, it got stuck with me. If I can't get my act together soon, I imagine my characters shall stage a mutiny and go in search of some other author.

When they do, I hope they find Joss Whedon.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Got Green? The Blogfest




Top o' the morning (or afternoon or evening) to you on this fine Saint Patrick's Day, the day that we're all Irish. Or is that drunk? Whichever it is, I'm cool with it. Today's blogfest is hosted by Mark Koopmans and is all about celebrating this fine holiday in 333 words (I'm warning you right now, I didn't count my words). Click on the pic below to find a list of all participants.


Here's my Irish tale o' glory:

I got my first passport when I was in my sophomore year of college. I was a part of a choir that was about to embark on an European singing tour and so I got a passport. Then, because I am immensely stupid, I didn't go on said European singing tour. I'd like to say I've grown smarter with time but you've all been reading this blog long enough to know what a blatant lie that is.


Oh, hey, look at that. I'm digressing.

Anyway, it wasn't until November 2002 that I was able to use my passport to travel to a country that wasn't Canada.

I went to Ireland.

I've always liked Ireland. I've always felt an affinity with the country even though I'm not Irish. Maybe it's because I've watched Darby O'Gill And The Little People more times than I can count (does anyone else feel like singing a verse of "Pretty Irish Girl"? Or is it just me?). Maybe it's because my family hosted four exchange students from Belfast when I was growing up. Maybe it's because it's just always struck me as an awesome place. But whatever the reason, when The Man and I decided international travel was in our future, Ireland was the only place I wanted to go.

So we went and I got my very first stamp in my passport.

We stayed in Killarney and the very first place we went to see was Ross Castle on Lower Lake (as seen on the left. Please note, I didn't take that picture. I did take a lot of pictures. Just not with a digital camera so I don't have access to them for this post). We were too late for a tour but I was happy (so, so happy) to just wander around the outside of the place. The second place we went to was the
Killarney Book Shop where I proceeded to buy British copies of the Harry Potter books.

The third place we went was the Danny Mann Pub where I sang along with the band (The Man was amazed by how many of the songs I knew) and had the following conversation with the bartender:

Me: I'd like an Irish whiskey, please. I am in Ireland so I would like an Irish whiskey. I don't know anything about Irish whiskeys but I would like one, please.
Him: Are you already drunk?
Me: No. But I get that a lot.
Him: Okay. How about Jameson?
Me: Is that an Irish whiskey?
Him: Yes.
Me: Then that sounds perfect.
Him: Do you want ice?
Me: God, yes. I'd also like a pint of Guinness.
Him: Of course you would.

So I took my whiskey and my Guinness chaser back to my table where I proceeded to burn a hole right through my throat. But after a while (and another couple of pints), I found I didn't mind so much.

Other highlights of the trip included a tour around the Ring of Kerry. Of course, it was so foggy that day we couldn't actually see anything (I mean absolutely nothing) but our tour guide was terrifically funny and one hell of a driver.
We stood on the beach in Waterville and took pictures of every rainbow we saw. All right, I took pictures of every rainbow we saw. The Man kind of stood off to the side and rolled his eyes a lot. What can I say? Irish rainbows just seemed different. We counted sheep and when our tour guide pointed out the tallest mountain in Ireland (Carrauntoohil), we begged to be allowed to climb it. He said no. Maybe next trip.

We also got to see Blarney Castle and while I did walk all the way to the top of the castle, I skipped kissing the Blarney Stone. I'm pretty sure I photographed every square inch of the building and the grounds though so I think that should count for something. Besides obsessive.

We shopped at the Blarney Woolen Mill store, bought a bunch of fisherman sweaters and wandered around the city of Cork for an afternoon. We drank more Guinness and I discovered that I do not like lamb.

But I liked beer and whiskey well enough and that was good enough for me. And while I never imbibed enough (those were the days when I could hold my liquor. Better anyway.) to be able to practice my Irish yoga moves (see below), I'm certainly willing to go back again some day and give it another go. But seriously, I really just want to go and look at more castles.



So Happy Saint Patrick's Day, everyone. If you're celebrating, please do so responsibly. Remember, kids, designated drivers make you cool.

Sláinte!



Long Time, No Blog

Heeeeeeey Kids! (Name! That! Reference! If you dare...)

I'm back. Did you miss me?

No, wait. Don't answer that. It'll just depress me because right now I'm imagining y'all squinting at the screen and saying, "What the hell is this site and how did I end up on it?"

So let's just move on.

My return here means my time at The Store is done (at least until they shine their bat signal again. Yes, I have decided to liken myself to a superhero. A retail superhero. Wait. That sounds lame. Never mind...). It was its usual laugh riot. I wrote a smattering of new work themed haiku (you may have seen them on Twitter and/or Facebook), got flipped off by the Store Manager for being a smart ass (yep, I wrote a haiku about that) and one day, I was sent home from work early because— wait for it— I was getting too much work done. True story.

Pause for contemplation and reflection. And confusion. So much confusion.

As the awesome Random Danni pointed out to me, I am basically living my own version of Office Space.

How right you are, Danni. How right you are. Every time I think The Store can't possibly get more absurd, I show up for another shift. I really need to stop doing that.

So, as it turns out, I am too efficient for The Store. Now I just need to figure out how to translate that into other areas of my life, namely my writing. We're half way through March and I'm still stuck in the rewrites and edits phase that I had hoped to have done back in January. This is depressing too so I have decided to incorporate a new tactic.

Bribes.

Obviously I am pathetic for having to do this, but lately I've been wanting to take a road trip to Mike's Pastry in Boston (An awesome bakery found on Hanover Street in the North End) because they have giant cookies and cakes and brownies and all sort of other delectable treats (they're famous for their cannolis. I personally don't care for cannolis but I hear they're good.) and I have an addiction to sugar. And taking long road trips for the sole purpose of buying giant cookies. Don't judge me.

But anyway, I want to do this so I have decided that as soon as I complete my rewrites and edits and get Effigy into the hands of my unsuspecting beta readers (Yep. Getting back on that horse. Again. Stupid horse.), I shall reward (and distract) myself with a visit to Mike's Pastry.

And when/if I finally get Effigy out into the world, I shall reward (and distract) myself with a double bladed battle axe. Or a matching pair of short swords. I haven't decided which one yet.

But that's another blog post for another time.

Just one last thing before I disappear to try to make some editing/rewriting headway...

Today is my sister B's birthday. (Your gift is in the mail, B, I swear.And I'm not just saying that like I do to the electric company every month about their check.) Help me wish her a good one.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, B!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

WIP: The Movie

This might be my last post for a time as I have some sure to be fun shifts at The Store coming up (that new spring line apparently won't put itself out) next week so if I am to leave you (however briefly), I'm glad to do so with something as fun as this particular blogfest hosted by Kyra Lennon at Write Here, Write Now and Rachel Schieffelbien at Writing On The Wall.





The purpose behind this blogfest is to indulge every writer's fantasy: what our beloved stories would look like on the big screen. Participants have been asked to cast the movie as well as build a soundtrack. The second part of this is easy as I have built several soundtracks for my WIP, Effigy. The first part, however, was surprisingly difficult. In the interest of time, I have only cast the two main characters. For a more complete list, you can click HERE.

The role of Haleine Coileáin, the story's central character, I'd probably award to Jennifer Lawrence (yes, she of "The Hunger Games" fame). Or Rose Leslie (you may have seen her on Downton Abbey and rumor has it, you'll soon see her on Game of Thrones). But honestly, I don't know. I've always had a hard time deciding this one. Here are their pictures:





The role of Haleine's love interest, Dana (no last name), is currently going to Joseph Morgan of The Vampire Diaries fame because I have a wild crush on him and his voice is really, really sexy. Don't judge me.



So now that I have thoroughly embarrassed myself, let's move on to the soundtrack, shall we? As I said earlier, I've created several soundtracks for this book. When I stumble across new songs I like better, or the story evolves as I take a freaking lifetime to write the damn thing, some songs go, some songs stay. Again, in the interest of time, I'm only going to post two songs. If you're interested in seeing the complete (and current) soundtrack, click HERE. Just be forewarned that there are spoilers on that page. Some people don't care about things like that but others do. So, please, consider yourselves warned.

This first song made the very first soundtrack and has pretty much been the only song to survive all these long years. It's Sarah McLachlan's Do What You Have To Do:





The second song I'm going to post has really come to define Haleine. It's been on the soundtrack almost as long as the first song. It's Natalie Merchant's My Skin:





Well, that's going to do it for me today. Thanks for stopping by and thank you to Kyra and Rachel for hosting this blogfest. I'm looking forward to hopping around to see what everyone else has going on.

Have a great weekend, everyone. I'll see you soon.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

An IWSG Post. Kind of.

It's the first Wednesday of the month which means it's time, once again, for the brainchild of über blogger, Alex J. Cavanaugh, to take center stage on writers' blogs everywhere. For an explanation for this phenomenon or for a full list of participants, click on the IWSG logo on the left.


So I wasn't quite sure what to talk about today. I'm still damn insecure. I may have even gotten more insecure; I can't be sure. I still worry about everything and anything but I'm tired of word vomiting it all over this blog. And as tired of it as I am, I know it's not anywhere near as tired of it as you are.



And since I didn't know what to post today and since I'm late for my shift at The Store, I thought I'd just cheat today and post this:




Enjoy!


Monday, March 5, 2012

What I Did This Weekend

I had an interesting weekend, filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. I have to apologize to a few people (you know who you are) for that lowest of lows part— I hope I didn't get too much of my crazy on you. But if I did, put a little club soda on it. That should help...

But anyway, let's move on. Here's what I did over the weekend:

1. A lot of sitting. Friday night/Saturday morning, a system of snow, sleet and ice moved through the valley and knocked out the power so The Man and I were left sitting on the couch staring at each other all day. Got very boring (Can anyone out there Name! That! Reference! I'll be so proud if you do). No electricity, no internet, no nothing. Man, I couldn't even do the laundry. It was almost more than a pair of internet junkies like us could take. Fortunately, the power returned before we were forced into a "Lord of the Flies" scenario.

2. Watched the movie 50/50. Have you seen this movie? If you have, how awesome was it and how mad are you that the stupid Academy didn't nominate it for best freaking picture of the year? If you haven't seen this movie, I highly recommend it.

3. Watched Captain America: The First Avenger. It was all right. I'm really only watching all these superhero movies because of Joss Whedon so don't throw rotten vegetables at me for being ho hum on this. I did enjoy Tommy Lee Jones. Especially his line "if you have something to say, now's a perfect time to keep it to yourself." I promptly tweeted it.

4. Won The Legend of Zelda. This is (probably sadly) the highest of my highs this weekend. This is a nintendo game first released in 1987. I've been trying to win since then. I mean, not like constantly or anything— I'm not quite that pathetic— but yeah, it's been on my list of life goals for a very long time now. And yesterday afternoon, I finally got to cross it off. Of course, now there's some sort of second quest but it'll keep.

5. I almost accomplished the goals I set last Monday. They included finding the kitchen counter (done), giving Big a daily belly rub (done), completing three thirty minute work outs (done), and completing three new scenes for Effigy (not as done as I had hoped). So, three out of four isn't bad. If it was a pop quiz, it would be a passing score. It's those new scenes. I finished two of them. I almost finished the third. It has a beginning and an end. It just doesn't have a middle yet. Or a whole lot of focus but I'm working on it. I've also decided that I need to write yet another new scene. I do believe this is what we call the snowball effect. I do believe I am moving in the wrong direction.

So here's my new list of goals for the week:

1. Complete three thirty minute work outs.

2. Complete two new scenes for Effigy.

3. Stop deciding that Effigy needs new scenes.

That's gonna do it for me today... how was your weekend and what's on your to-do list for this week?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Another Blog Award? For Moi?


S.L. Hennessy over at Pensuasion has awarded me with the Kreative Blogger award.

The rules (guidelines?) of accepting this award state that I am now to share seven interesting facts about myself. Since the last time I did this, I let it slip that I once contemplated becoming an opera singer, therefore destroying my "badass mystique" (not my word choice, but one I love), this time around I decided to call in an image consultant: my brother.

Sure, you might see it as me getting my brother to do my homework for me. Or maybe you're viewing it as a show of complete and total lack of creativity on my part but trust me, when you read my list, you'll be glad I did. He came through in fine fashion. Not that I expected anything different...

So here now, for your reading pleasure, are seven interesting "facts" (wait...did I just use air quotes?) about me:

1. I am a rabid fan of televised Arm Wrestling Championships. Did you know there's a Michael Jordan of arm wrestling? His name is John. John Brzenk. Go ahead... Google him. You know you want to.

2. I can be terse. Once, in flight school, I was laconic.

3. I voted for Ralph Nader. Well, not really, but it did keep the GOP from coming to my house every weekend.

4. I tried building my very own Chuck E. Cheese's by slowly stealing and re-assembling pieces from all the games. I named it Dave & Busters.

5. My name is Inigo Montoya but I wish it were River Tam.

6. I dream of writing for the Lifetime Movie Network. Also about tiny dancing cheeses, but that may not be related.

7. I am serious and stop calling me Shirley. I said before I prefer River Tam.

So thanks again to S.L. Hennessy for finding me worthy and thank you to my brother for my awesome list of facts. A couple of those statements, by the way, are 100% accurate. I'll let you decide which ones...

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

In Which I Review Books (February 2012)

I know you've all just been dying to know what I read in February. So here it is... some of my reviews this month, I'll admit, are much shorter than usual but I promise you'll still know on what side of the fence I am.

Juliet Immortal- Stacey Jay- A very interesting take on the Romeo and Juliet story. The cover is gorgeous and the first chapter made me swoon. I did think after that the story dragged in parts but overall, it’s really pretty good and makes me want to read the sequel when it’s released.

Seductive As Flame- Susan Johnson- Yep. Another formula following romance novel. I’m brain dead, I tell you, brain dead.

Catch Me- Lisa Gardner- Her latest D.D. Warren novel. A lot of this book read like a who’s who of Gardner novels as many of her past characters put in a cameo appearance here. I’m never one to mind cameo appearances. I always got a kick out of it when Robert B. Parker did it but this particular novel with four characters from previous novels felt like too much. Curious too to know why Bobby Dodge was nowhere to be found. Everyone else got to pop in to say hi, why not him? Anyway, the mystery is pretty good. I was a little worried early on. I read the book jacket blurb and thought, “Didn’t I see this on an episode of Monk?” But it turned out to be pretty interesting. I thought I knew whodunit early on but boy, was I wrong. Overall, I always enjoy Gardner’s novels. Not to sound condescending or anything (after all I am an unpublished nobody), but I think she’s come a long way as a storyteller.

The Name Of The Star- Maureen Johnson- An interesting book with an interesting premise. I saw a lot of things coming but it was still a good read that made me want to move to London to fight ghosts.

Shotgun Gravy- Chuck Wendig- A novella not for the faint of heart. I love Chuck Wendig. His writing consistently makes me laugh until I can’t breath but I did not love this story. I wanted to, I really did, but I just couldn’t. I don’t know if I’ll bother reading the next one but, let’s face it, I probably will.

Fever- Lauren DeStefano- The second book in the Chemical Garden trilogy. I really enjoyed the first novel, Wither, and so I was looking forward to reading this story. And I was kind of bored for the first half. I wasn’t invested in the characters or what they were doing. I’ve never really been a huge Gabriel fan and while Maddie is very interesting, she didn’t really seem to serve a lot of purpose (hope that changes in the third book) The second half was more interesting and left off without having really resolved anything so now I find myself in need of the third novel. Let’s hope this series stays a trilogy unlike certain other YA novels…

With Or Without You- Brian Farry- YA contemporary not for the faint of heart. It tackles some serious stuff and more than once just left me slack jawed and a little devastated. This is a very good, very intense read. I worried about the main character so much it made my stomach hurt.

Trail of the Spellmans- Lisa Lutz- (WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS...SO DON'T READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN'T YET READ THE BOOK. WENDY, I MEAN YOU!) First off, Isabel Spellman, I do believe I am your biggest sentence-enhancer fan. Second of all, while I am very glad to know that I can now date Henry Stone (apologizes to my own significant other...), I am so sad that he and Isabel have broken up. That development weighed down my enjoyment of the book because I really do love these characters. That said, the rest of the book is zany sentence enhancing (you’d get that part if you read the book) goodness. It made me laugh and then laugh some more. I need another one. Now.


And that's all she read. I guess that makes it time to check in on the "Yearly Goal-o-meter"...

Goal for the year: 60 books
Books read in February: 8
Books read in Previous Months: 10
Books remaining to reach goal: 42