Sunday, October 2, 2011

This is no longer my blog!!

Realized I should leave a helpful note here to let you all know that over a year ago, I put together a sexy wordpress site, combining blogging and my stories all in one place. Click the "home" link above or enter into your browser to navigate there.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Ah, dear Christ.

Somewhere, I stumbled upon this blog today.

Now, I am saddened, knowing that I will never get those three and half hours of my life back.

Still, it was a riveting read. Not recommended for diehard Twilight fans. It will almost assuredly piss you off. But for those of us who spent all the books with a niggling feeling that Edward guy was just kind of...I don't know...creepy, this really is illuminating!

Definitely recommended (if you read nothing else), the post about domestic abuse here:

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Shutter Island

Warning: SPOILERS abound. Do not read this if you haven't seen the movie and actually care about it being ruined for you.

I wanted to call this post Shutter Island the Problem with the Unreliable Narrator, but unfortunately, that in and of itself would be a spoiler, so, well.

I will begin by talking about why I think Shutter Island does, in deed, have an unreliable narrator. The unreliable narrator is a literary device used in stories by both Edgar Allan Poe and Agatha Christie. "The Cask of Amontillado" springs to mind. In it, the narrator of the story tells us all kinds of stuff that ain't actually true, because he's a nut job who's justifying the fact he's about to murder Montreigor (or whatever his name is). It's a cool literary device, and one that until maybe ten years ago, was very rarely used in film.

All that changed with Fight Club. See, before Fight Club, you could be pretty sure that if you saw something on film, it actually happened. Fight Club, however, threw everyone for a loop when one of the main characters turned out to be a figment of the narrator's imagination. (It's worth mentioning that Fight Club was a book first, and also that it's not Chuck Palahniuk's best effort.) After Fight Club, movies with unreliable narrators abounded. It's a little tricky to call this an unreliable narrator. After all film is not really narrated. There can be voice overs and various techniques of that sort, but film is presented in such a way that it invites the idea that it is in fact impartial. After all, I am SEEING it. This, of course, makes the unreliable narrator conceit, in which one gets to the end of the movie and realizes that everything that happened didn't ACTUALLY happen even more powerful. But I SAW it, you think. What?

Okay, so there was Fight Club. There was The Sixth Sense. There was The Village. (Okay, there was like every M. Night Shyamalan movie ever made.) There was The Others. There was The Skeleton Key (to an extent). There was Memento (arguably a step up from Fight Club). There was Secret Window. The list is endless.

I guess the point I'm trying to make here is that this little nifty plot twist has been DONE TO DEATH. It was cool ten years ago. It's passe now. So I can't help but feel a little disappointed with Shutter Island. Because it was a really freaking good movie. So when I got to the end and the end was, "Actually he's crazy and nothing he said was true," I just felt...disappointed. I really expected something so much cooler.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Insatiable, by Meg Cabot

My best friend Chelsea gave me Meg Cabot's vampire book, Insatiable.

There's a lot to love about this easy read. It's 450 pages, but I read it in a day. It's hard to put down, very funny, and full of inside-vampire-jokeyness.

Meena Harper (yes, the similarity in name to Mina Harker from Dracula is intentional) hates vampires. She's pretty pissed that she has to write a vampire story line into the soap opera she writes for. That's why it's doubly hilarious when she falls for the prince of darkness, Lucien, who is Dracula's son, and the current vampire lord of the world.

The story is essentially the story of Dracula. Meena is, well, Mina. Jonathan Harper is Jonathan Harker, except he's Meena's brother and not her fiance. Lucy Westerna is Leisha (Meena's best friend. Thankfully, she lives and doesn't get like eaten by wolves or whatever and turn into a vampire.) Abraham Van Helsing is Abraham Holtzman and (for fun) Alaric Wulf shows up. (If he's got a Dracula counterpart, I missed it.) Lucien is, of course, Dracula.

This is a nice little spin on the Dracula story. It's chick lit Dracula, which is too cute for words. I liked it all. I couldn't put it down. It was fun.

My only beef, and it's a small one, is that I kind of wanted something cooler from Meg Cabot. This little vampire tale comes off about as well as Avalon High--in other words, all the major players are there, and they do their parts, but somewhere in the middle of the silliness, the essentials are lost. :(

Cabot satirizes the vampire genre. She does a good job. But while she accurately describes what makes vampire romance tick (i.e. it's hot to think a guy is fighting against his nature just because he loves you) she doesn't quite capture the same feeling with her Lucien-Meena romance. Maybe it's because we as readers can tell (spoiler!) it's doomed from the start.

Maybe she should have thrown some werewolves in for good measure?

Or maybe it's just that the story of Dracula is waaay overdone (Salem's Lot, anyone?) and doesn't entirely benefit much from this plasticky revamp (no pun intended).

Overall: A fun, fun, fun, fun read, but nothing new here, folks. :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

On teenage romances...

Finished the Jessica Darling quintet by Megan McCafferty today. I didn't find myself particularly satisfied. Sure, I wanted Jessica and Marcus to get together after everything that had happened. I mean, I kind of did.

In some ways, I was just pissed off at Marcus. The guy has pretty much walked out of Jessica's life a bunch of times. Her lack of finding anyone else seemed, to me, just sad. Sure Marcus is intriguing, but I'm not sure if that's what anyone truly wants from a relationship--someone intriguing. I just started to feel as if, even though they had this long and sordid history, they hadn't spent much time actually together.

It got me thinking about teenage romances in books (even if Perfect Fifths takes place when they are in their twenties, they still have a teenage romance), and about what makes the culmination of one actually satisfying. One thing that makes it tough, I think, is that most people do not end up marrying their high school sweetheart or forming a lasting connection with them. So the idea is a fantasy to begin with, making it a hard sell to readers.

But, I think, especially in stories where there's been this long, long build up for two people to get together, it's hard to actually get them together without it feeling like a let down. And since I know that the new Jason and Azazel story (which I STILL haven't started drafting, guys, sorry) is going to be about the two of them apart, it made me wonder what in the heck I'm going to do to get them back together. (or, horrors, if they'll even end up together)

Thus far, in the J&A books, I've had the luxury of not really writing a romance story. The main plot of the books has not been getting Jason and Azazel together. They've been together. They've just been fighting to stay that way.

Thus, I haven't had to evaluate a lot of emotional drama, raising the stakes for them in the way that they feel. Now, I think I have to.

One thing that became clear to me at the end of Tortured was that Jason was not the person I would want my younger sister or niece or other young girl to date. Nope, Jason is pretty much a candidate for worst boyfriend ever. I mean, come on, the guy is violent, moody, keeps secrets, and KILLS people. He even almost killed Azazel. The thing is, I am pretty deeply in love with him myself. I think Azazel is too.

In a story, being in love with a guy with deep emotional scars is exciting and romantic. In real life, it's just scary.

I don't know how to heal Jason enough to make a viable romantic lead--the kind of guy I'd trust with a younger sister. But I guess I'm going to try. And on the way, I think there will be some gun fights. Because I do love me some gun fights. :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Supernatural Season Five Finale

All right, all right, I'm late with the watching, but last night I took a break from my Thursday night line up in favor of going to The Blue Moon for some beer, Speakeasy Boys, and good conversation. So, I just finished watching Supernatural like fifteen minutes ago.

Well. I'm not going to rehash plot details much. Mostly, I want to focus, like everyone else, on the fact that there's going to be a season six. Am I worried? Yes. Am I glad? Yes. I went into this season thinking it was the last one. (In case you don't know, the show's creator, Kripke, has been saying for like a year and a half that there would only be five seasons of Supernatural. He wanted to go out on a high note, yadda yadda. Then, just recently, they announced there will be a season six, just without Kripke.) I was sad. I like the idea of not having to say goodbye to Sam and Dean.

All that being said...I'm just not sure how this is going to work out. What will they do next year? How do you write a story after you battle the devil and angels and go up against God himself?

For fun, I've decided to imagine what I would do if I were a writer for Supernatural, and was told to pitch my ideas for season six. Here goes:

Okay, the first thing I'd do is let some time pass. So I'd come back, reshow the last scene with Dean in the house with Lisa and Sam outside looking in.

Two years later...

Sam is actually a ghost. He was shot by Bobby, remember? That looked fatal. Lucifer went back in the box, but Sam's body did not survive, and Sam's spirit did not go there. He's been hanging out trying to make contact with Dean for two years, but Dean can't see him. Ben, who is really Dean's son, let's face it, sees Sam. Through some hocus pocus, Dean finally does see Sam.

They'll find out that there's some way they can get Sam's body back, and they have to jump through tons of hoops to do it. That's the primary arc of the season.

Meanwhile, the demons are without Lucifer, wreaking their regular havoc. Dean, who tried valiantly to "go straight" and live a family life with Lisa and Ben, has settled into habits that more closely resemble that of his dad, going on long hunting trips and scouring newspapers for demon activity.

Conflict will arise from Dean's attempts to keep Lisa in the dark and safe (her safety will become big--hell, maybe she's even pregnant or something) and trying to protect Ben from the kind of life he lived as a kid. Ben, of course, who should be...let's see, he was like eight in season three, so we figure two years of the show plus the two years we're skipping...twelve--hmmm... Well, maybe we skip more like five years, putting Ben more like fifteen or something, so he's rebellious as all hell and crap? I dunno. Ben gets into the mix, of course figures things out, and Dean struggles with his role as a father, whether or not to teach Ben to take care of himself or not, with his own issues with his relationship with his dad, etc.

I think I'd tune in for that.

Okay, okay, I stole the Sam is a ghost thing from the last season of Angel. I still remember that moment being classic. "Blondie Bear!"

While I was watching the season finale, I realized something. I'm writing the same story. Jason and Azazel's story is about two people who are destined to be pivotal in the "end of the world." (I think this is why I have to write the new trilogy. I didn't actually have an apocalypse in the last one.) It's just that I've got two people who were teenage lovers, not two brothers.

With that in mind, I'd like to make a list of things that Supernatural did that I don't want to do in my new trilogy.

1. I don't want to incorporate the Judeo-Christian apocalypse literally. There will be no God or the Devil in J&A stories. Ever.

2. I don't want to waste perfectly good opportunities to create epic battles between my two main characters.

3. I don't want to fall into the trap of simplifying the ideas of good and evil.

4. I don't want my characters to have traits that make it impossible for them to grow, just so they're recognizable to the audience. For instance, Dean is always a smart ass and he can't stop seeing Sam as his little brother. In the last books, Jason was motivated completely by his desire for a normal life. In the new books, he will not be.

5. I don't want to create retcon-ish type devices that supposedly resonate with the audience when the audience only experienced it for the first time fifteen minutes ago. Sam's seeing of the toy soldier would have been epic if the toy soldier had been referenced in the first episode of the show. Instead, it was mentioned in a flashback at the beginning of the last show and then used in a decisive moment. I call this CHEATING!!

Kay. Well, I'm off to watch The Vamp Diaries and Happy Town now. Happy Friday all. :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Video Blog

Here's my very first video blog. The show I'm talking about in the first couple of minutes was called Moonlight.

The sound seems to be a little off... Don't know why that is. Anyhow, enjoy for what it is.