Monday, November 20, 2006

Five Little Known Facts

I always wanted to be part of the "cool kids" gang, especially in high school. It mattered less in college, but wherever large groups of people gather, I want to fit in. I want to be accepted as part of the gang.

So imagine my delight when I received a meme tag from Dawno! I grinned, I laughed, I clicked on the link. As I read the meme, I realized I had seen this before. On Kristin Nelson's blog! A literary agent! It feels like some sort of strange "six degrees" game, and I'm excited to play.

I'm supposed to write five things about myself that few people know, and then tag five others to do the same. I wonder how long it will take me to come up with these five things….

1. I attended a taping of The Price is Right in April of 2001. I think the episode aired in July of that year (I have the video tape somewhere). During the spring of '01 I attended classes in Los Angeles (filmmaking, screenwriting, interned), and one of the last things our small class did as a group was attend the taping. There is a secret to getting picked for Contestant's Row, by the way.

Audience members are interviewed by producers in groups of five. They ask you about the show, how often you watch, what you're memories are. I can a few canned responses, but one of my friends put on a show. She said she used to pretend to be sick in order to stay home from school and watch. She explained her favorite games, how much the show meant to her.
She was called down to Contestant's Row. I was sitting next to her, and for that brief three seconds it took the camera to find her in the audience, I was on TV! Woot!

2. I own seventeen foreign language phrasebooks (plus Spanish, Italian, German and French dictionaries). I bought the phrasebooks years ago while participating in a PBEM RPG game. My character was a linguist, and she spoke many languages, so I bought them for research. Most of them are Lonely Planet books, and besides the basics, I have Nepali, Hindi & Urdi, Quechua, Ethiopian Amharic, Hungarian, and Thai.

3. I collected Beanie Babies. Yes, those small, plastic-bean filled toys that TY mass-produced for years. I received my first in 1995 as a birthday present. It was a Goldie the Goldfish. I thought it was cute and immediately packed it away in a box. Fast-forward four years. Beanies are hot. My sister collects them, so I decide to collect them. We troll the Sea Shell Shop, Hallmark, Mizzen Mast, and several other small shops along Rehoboth Avenue. We check for the new releases, the rare ones, the cute ones, and especially the bears. We spend too much money and have way too many Beanies.

On the upside, my Goldie is worth about two hundred dollars. On the downside, I don't sell her, and now she's not. Most of the other Beanies have since been sold for about a dollar each at various flea markets. I hang onto a few of them.

One is a skunk. I bought her the night of a scary car accident, had her in the car at the time, and squeezed her tight for hours afterward. I kept a wolf and panther, in honor of The Sentinel (an old favorite show and TV fandom). I also still have Goldie, my birthday cat, and a few others given as gifts over the years. Haven't bought a new one in a while, though.

4. I am a Wing Nut. I adore The West Wing, and have faithfully watched all seven seasons. My roommate owns all but the last season on DVD, and we have had marathons. We even invented a drinking game. Almost everything I know about politics is from watching it (okay, so I do remember a few things from high school). That show introduced me to Bradley Whitford, for which I am forever grateful. The man has the cutest smirk in Hollywood. It also gave me an appreciation for Matthew Perry as a serious actor (something I never thought possible until his two-episode appearance that culminated in the Vice-President resigning).

I may not have always agreed with their politics, Will Bailey annoyed me in every scene he appeared, and we didn't get the series finale I was hoping for (where was the Josh/Donna wedding, folks?), but The West Wing will always be one of my top ten shows.

5. I can sing every song in the Buffy, the Vampire Slayer musical episode, "Once More With Feeling," and quote the lines verbatim. I can even do this while insanely drunk (and have done, at least once that I recall). It's quite scary. Or humorous, depending on your point of view.

Well, those are five things. Now I need to tag five other bloggers.

Sounds of Serenity in Chaos
Webb Pages
Zonked Out
Life, Writing, and Other Things

Friday, November 17, 2006

Ups and Downs

Yesterday was strange. Just an overall strange day.

Maybe strange isn't the correct word. Exhausting is good, or even emotional. I started the day super-excited, because next week's work schedule allows me time to travel home for Thanksgiving. I had feared I couldn't manage the trip, but now I can be with my sister and parents, and my sister's three dogs. We're having dinner in her apartment (with those dogs), so it's going to be an experience.

Then I got cramps. So the day turned rather sour. Got home and discovered that two items I ordered online the day before had already arrived (!!!!). Yay! for Christmas presents. I took a long, hot shower to counteract the cramps (no dice), and then channeled my energy into the nerve to post a short story to the Share Your Work section of the AW Watercooler (I've gotten some very helpful crits, so Yay! for nerve). Got sleepy, made coffee.

Started another co-writing session with Serenity, and joined the StarChat. Always fun. Then I watched Grey's Anatomy.

Normally I love this show, but tonight I was angry. They gave George's dad cancer. I love George. He's the sweetest character on TV, and TR Knight (actor) is just an adorable person. And maybe I reacted this way because in September I found out that my own father has cancer, but I was furious. I spent half the episode crying, and could barely watch the rest of the George scenes. I mean, I know he's a fictional character, but I wanted to call him and say "I know how you feel." I barely paid attention to the other storylines (something to do with a nanny, Meredith's mom, and McDreamy in a bathtub).

So fresh off that downer, I start chatting with another AW member. He really liked my short story and agreed to help me fine tune it! We're meeting in the chat room on Sunday to go over it!!! I was just on Cloud Nine. He really thinks that - after some work - it's publishable. Woo Hoo!

Then I made the calcuated error of expressing this joy to my roomie, who had already had a bad day. Oops. But we talked it over later, and all is well now.

Tired as I was, it took a while to fall asleep. And then I dreamed about...something weird. I remember tracking someone through a series of island sandbars or something. With train tracks connecting them, and an SUV with split tires so you could drive it on the railroad tracks. Very odd.

But I woke up to find my kitty purring by my side. So that made me smile.

What made you smile today?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

"Vibrating Moonlight" -- Available Now

I was going to blog about tonight's solicitation experience (no hookers were involved, I swear!), but have found a more worthy topic. Jason Tudor, a long-time member of the forums has published his first book of poetry through Lulu. I was head-over-heels for him just from that, because Jason is a pretty great guy. Then I went all gooey inside when I realized he had thanked me (chaostitan), along with many other members of AW, in his Author's Notes.

I tell ya, there's just no feeling like it. That all of the hours I've logged on AW learning and (hopefully) teaching have paid off in some way. That someone found a nugget of gold in all the tailies that I've tossed out into the literary community.

So to say thank you, I'm posting Jason's press release and encouraging all to please check it out. I'll be ordering my copy soon.

Georgia author releases first book of poems

ATLANTA -- Real people whose lives succumb to fear, disgrace, joy and revenge are the subjects of a new book of poetry by author Jason Tudor, available now.

“Vibrating Moonlight,” a full-color, 64-page book, was released Nov. 7. The book is published by “Vibrating Moonlight” includes 48 poems written during 2006 and while Jason was stationed in the Middle East.

The poems in “Vibrating Moonlight” include Jason’s full collection of “Blue Rock” works. These poems were included in the collection of the same name. Readers will also delve into works about faith, women, life & death and more.

Other poems include:

• Looloo Lemon -- The story of a seemingly innocent girl whose wanton self emerges.

• Only Once a God -- A work that reflects on the mortality of everything.

• Last Minutes of an LA Stripper -- The tough life of a woman who tells people she’s working her way through medical school.

• Surgery on Aisle 5 -- What it means to be caught up in the vanity of a 21st Century society.

“Almost all of these works emanated from time spent writing the ‘Blue Rock’ poetry collection, an amazing collaboration of people and work, which I am most proud of,” Jason said. “This book wouldn’t have been possible without the spurning and motivation of people all over the world who brought ‘Blue Rock’ to life.”

In a book that Jason designed and oversaw the choice of illustrations, “Vibrating Moonlight” is available from by clicking this link:

For more information, visit Jason’s Web site at

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Another Nanite Joins the Fray

I am very excited about participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this year. I attempted the exercise last year, and fell on my face. My creative energies were just not in my chosen project, so I quit after about 15,000 words written (that WIP has since passed the 55k mark, so Yay, me!).

This year, it's a different story (literally and figuratively).

Serenity and I finished the first draft of our co-written, 114k word novel, The Third Side: Trinity, just a few weeks ago. I have never had so much fun writing a story, and we spend the two weeks leading up to NaNo plotting out Book Two. The characters are exciting, the world intriguing, and the storyline engaging (okay, so maybe I can't give an unbiased opinion here). I'm so glad I can spend the month in the minds of these folks, telling another story about them.

Plus the chemistry between Jeremiah and Alannah is positively explosive.

As of right now, we are 6160 words into the novel, with twenty more minutes of writing time until Grey's Anatomy. Not bad for two days work.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Review: Playing With Fire

Sometimes it doesn't matter that a book's title is an overused euphemism. "Playing With Fire: Tales of an Extraordinary Girl" by Gena Showalter easily overcame that small handicap and was an enjoyable over-too-soon read.

I've begun dabbling in the Paranormal Romance genre, and Gena's book is the second that I've finished so far (meaning yes, I picked up another by a different P.R. author and couldn't get past sixty pages of stilted, head-hopping prose by a well-known author of this growing genre). "Play With Fire" tells the tale of Belle Jamison, a girl who just wants to keep a full-time job, take care of her dad, and maybe get a boyfriend. When a mysterious man dumps a secret formula in her latte, Belle wakes up a week later with powers of control over the four elements.

And as hokey as the premise could be, Gena pulled it off brilliantly. Belle's powers are controlled by her emotions (fire from anger, ice from cold, etc…), which provide some amusing scenes early on. The handsome hero is Rome Masters, an agent who tracks down paranormal disasters and neutralizes them. It's love at first sight (and first singeing, apparently) as Rome decides to go against orders and help Belle, rather than turn her in. But he does have a secret power of his own (which I picked up on almost right away, so it wasn't any sort of shock when Rome finally reveals it to Belle) and an ulterior motive (and it's not just sex, which was refreshing).

Speaking of sex, holy cow, does this book sizzle! But with the promise of eroticism, of teasing, taunting lovers who can't consummate their intense emotions without Belle burning down the house (or car, or cabin, or wherever they are at the time). And the fun is in how they deal with their searing attraction, while helping Belle learn to control her newfound powers.

I've already picked up another of Gena's books ("Awaken Me Darkly") and definitely recommend the author to anyone who likes stories of the paranormal. The romance is just a perk.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Rummage Sale!

They are just the best thing ever. Like a huge, chaotic yard sale, but cheaper and with more people.

My town is hosting one this weekend at the local equestrian center to benefit a local hospital. I drove down this morning and spent almost four hours walking around the two huge rooms of donated stuff. The two sections I scoured the hardest were Books and Women's Clothing.

Dozens of tables and boxes of books. Hardbacks for $1, paperbacks for fifty cents (even the large trade!), kids book for a quarter. After a full hour poking and pilfering, I had nine new books for my collection (a modest number when many people were filling up boxes!), including One Hundred Years of Solitude, A Canticle for Leibowitz, Stranger Than Fiction, and a collection of JD Salinger stories. I found a kids book called The Empty Grave that I remembered by the cover alone, but have no idea what it's about. Plus a copy of the film Sheena. All for six bucks.

Then I wandered some more before entering the fray around the Women's clothing. Talk about a free for all. In boxes, under tables, on top of tables. This is from where the term RUMMAGE sale was taken. I ended up at the T-shirt/blouse table for over an hour, sorting through tops from Old Navy, Gap, Abercrombie, Aeropostale, JCrew, Nine West, Liz Clairborne, and more. Name brands. I bought nine new shirts for three bucks. Three dollars!!!

Ecstatic over that one I kept going, ignoring my lunchtime hunger. I browsed other sections, such as Linens, Collectibles, Framed Art, Lamps, Holiday Items, and Toys with no luck. On my way out, I poked into a few boxes in the Housewares section and landed some new Tupperware containers for fifty cents each (sandwich size, small bowls, and butter stick holder). Another four bucks.

Not a bad haul for four hours and thirteen dollars. I'm tempted to go back tomorrow morning, since it's only a two day event. And my wallet definitely isn't cringing.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Deep Core Armageddon Day

Time for another round of the AW Chain. Number seven, to be precise. Previously, on Peregrinas, quidscribis wrote moving from Quebec to Sri Lanka. The differences in language, culture, landscape, and tradition. Things that make one human being seem so different from another, even though beneath those surface items, we are all the same.

The irony of writing this now is that while I read the previous post, the film Armageddon was playing on the TV behind me. The specific sequence of events was the launch of the shuttles into space, when the President gives a voice-over about saving ourselves from extinction, over half a dozen shots of men and women around the world, listening to translations of the speech. The eyes of the world are on the drillers, and we are all in it together.

Ever notice that it's always America that saves the world? We did it in The Core, Deep Impact (with a little Russian help), Armageddon (another token crazy Russian), and Independence Day (no Russians). Granted these films are made with an American audience in mind, but talk about self-aggrandizing. I want to see a movie where Tibet saves the world. Just because they haven't yet.

Let's share the wealth. Make someone else a hero for once. After all, every one of these movies make a point of showing just how similar Americans, French, Russian, Dutch, Japanese, and Egyptians are to each other. Prove it, Hollywood. Let Denmark save us all from a nuclear winter, or show how China blows the Boston-sized asteroid out of space.

I have only one request: no Ben Affleck.

Next up is Oswann at BCOM.

And the rest of the chain:

Atomic Bear
XThe NavigatorX

Thursday, October 05, 2006

In For It Now

It had to happen sooner or later.

I didn't want to, but felt I had no choice.

I turned on the heater. It's just too darn cold without it.

Oh the joys of autumn.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Huzzah Huh?

Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man? To be directed by Jon Favreau (Swingers)?

Did I miss something?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Cut Him Loose

What's the old saying? If you love someone, set them free?

A few days ago, I dove headfirst into a stalled WIP. I have written about 12,000 words since Monday evening, and still have a lot of steam left. I don't know where the energy is coming from. I just know that it's time to finish telling this story. These characters have something to say.

It's set in the same universe as "The Watchman Project," the book I'm querying to agents, only twenty-five years later. Several of the old characters are…well, older now. And there are two new characters that I adore. I can't get enough of them and their awkward love story (not Meredith/McDreamy awkward, but just as complicated).

They aren't the problem. The problem is one of the supporting characters. He's a nice guy with a nifty superpower, but he just doesn't have much to do. Even in the climax (God bless outlines), he serves mostly to feed information to the main protagonists. He doesn't affect the story enough to really justify his presence.

Ever read/see the stage play version of "The Outsiders" by SE Hinton? The character of Steve Randle is removed completely, and his lines are distributed to other characters. At first I was annoyed. Then I thought about it, and I realized that Steve served little purpose in the story, other than to be a counterpoint to Sodapop. The story works just fine without him (as staged, because I think the novel gave him a little more to do).

Well, my character reminds me of Steve. His lines could be reassigned, and his character removed completely without really hurting the narrative.

I just hate gutting a character. Especially when, in my mind's eye, he looks like David Wenham.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Stop! Or the Kindergarten Nanny Will Pacify You!

I nudged my way into the AW Blog Chain Round 6 pretty quickly this time. It's the closest I've ever been to the top of the list. My posts tend to end up in the bottom five (makes me sound like a contestant on American Idol).

Over at Mad Scientist Matt's blog, he wrote about Vin Diesel as inspiration.

Stop laughing.

I admit it. I am a Vin Diesel fan. So what if he can't act his way around a brick wall? The man his seventeen-inch biceps and a deep, sexy voice! What more does a girl need?

A couple of days ago, I watched The Pacifier. Definitely not an award winner, but clever enough. Who didn't laugh at the sight of a muscular man dipping a naked, poop-covered baby into a toilet? Or doing the Peter Panda dance? It's a new take on an old concept that I've enjoyed for a long time: action hero forced to look after children.

Stop laughing. XXX and A Man Apart were no worse than some of Ah-nold's early stuff.

Anyway, The Pacifier is just the last entry into this sub-genre of the family comedy. Way back in 1993, we got to see Hulk Hogan dance around in a tutu in Mr. Nanny. It's been a long time since I've seen this one, but I seem to remember the kids causing Hogan to fall down the stairs (a tried and true staple of the genre, so what is it with kids and stairs?). And in a shocking twist….okay, kidding. Typical ending: kids melt his heart, and he saves the day.

Let's go back a few more years to 1990's Kindergarten Cop. There's just something hilarious about a former body-builder-turned-governor who makes a room full of five year-olds cry. Granted, I was ten when I first saw this one, so some of the more adult humor was completely lost on me (kind of like watching Spaceballs at age nine, I just didn't understand what it meant to "give good helmet").

So we've got Schwarzenegger, Hogan, Diesel.... Hey, how did Stallone manage to avoid falling into this genre? Oh yeah, he got Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. Never mind.

Next up is At Home, Writing
Enjoy the Chain!
Just a Small Town Girl
A View From the Waterfront
Southern Expressions
Mad Scientist Matt
Organized Chaos
At Home, Writing
Writing From Within
Pass the Torch
Fireflies in the Cloud
Sounds of Serenity
Kappa no He
Infinite Vanity
Gillian Polack
Of Chapters and Reels
Curiouser and curiouser
The Road Less Traveled

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Done, Done and Done!

Most writers have that Dreaded Trunk Novel, the one they started but can't seem to get quite right. It haunts them, remaining on the fringes of our subconscious, never letting us forget of its existence. Because one day, dammit, it will be good enough.


I pulled my trunk novel out its virtual trunk (the dreaded Idle Ficion Ideas folder) a few weeks ago, and began a total re-structure and polish. Scenes were moved, deleted and added. I added a frame to the existing story that encapsulates a major theme of the novel. I removed every "suddenly" from the manuscript, and removed some erronious moments of telling.

I think my baby is ready to present to the world. I just can't tell for sure. My beta has read two different incarnations of this story, so (as much as I love her) it's difficult to judge its improvement by her (always welcome) opinion.

(see how I suck up?)

I suppose finding a second beta is the way to go. Someone who can read a contemporary novel with fresh eyes, and give an honest opinion of the story. Is there a hotline I can call? Something like 1-900-RENT-A-BETA?

Hmmm...sounds like tropical fish store.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Happy September...Kinda

It seems somewhat ominous that a new month should begin so gray and rainy, as the remnants of Tropical Storm Ernesto crawl up the eastern seaboard toward my location. Certainly makes for a wet Labor Day Weekend.

But let's celebrate some good things about September. Cooler weather is on the way, after a summer of humidity and oppressive heat. The leaves will begin turning in a couple of weeks. Christmas is inching closer and closer. School starts, so there will be fewer children in my store, running amok with inattentive parents, breaking merchandise and being a general nuisance.

My longest-running PBEM is relaunching today, and I am excited about that. We have a new home, new forums, and lots of great plots waiting. I had hoped for more new players before we started, but I'm sure they'll come along soon enough.

I even submitted my Watchman Project query to Miss Snark's Crap-O-Meter. Suddenly I am very nervous.

It has also been a solid week since I found out my dad has cancer. Follicular lymphoma, to be exact, a non-Hodgkin's form. I got very drunk last Friday night and cried for a long time. But the doctors are optimistic, and gave him 70/30 odds. They're good, but I wish they were better. He had his first round of chemotherapy on Wednesday (first of three 3-week treatments), and had a bone marrow biopsy to make sure it isn't anywhere else. We'll get the results next Thursday. Arg!

I've written about my dad on this blog before, and I don't know what I'd do if....nah, positive thoughts.

I just wish I would stop dreaming about my grandmother (my dad's mother). She died in June, and I've dreamed about her two nights in a row. Do you think she knows I'm worried about her son?

Friday, August 18, 2006

AW Blog Chain, Round Four

I should have saved my previous post for the Blog Chain, as the subject of parents came up in Simon's post at The Hal Spacejock Series. Alas, I shall endeavor to write something new for my entry into Chain #4.

His mention of Australia jogged my memory a bit. I still keep in touch with a small group of friends from high school, mostly guys my own age (I was always the girl that guys were friends with, but never dated). For the last few years, we've been tossing around plans for a trip to Australia one summer. Go over for a week, hang out and see the lovely country. I'm not sure why we picked Australia, but I'd love to go. I've always wanted to go.

The trouble is that I am poor. I work in retail, and I'm lucky if I net $20 grand a year. I have student loans, credit card bills, car insurance, rent, and utilities every month, which leaves very little grocery and fun money. That last few times I tried to save some money up, my car broke. So I'm not tempting fate again.

One of my best friends called me a few weeks ago, and he mentioned the Australia trip.

Did I still want to go?
Of course!

But they are thinking next year or the year after, and I don't know if I can save that much. And I tell him that.

What if money wasn't an issue?
Um, Eric, my friend, money will always be an
But what if it isn't?
Then I guess I'd be in.

He offered to pay for me. Out of the blue and like it wasn't even a big deal. Eric and I have known each other since the first grade. Twenty years, next month. Even if I don't end up taking his offer (I teeter very close to that "too proud to accept charity" line), I am amazed at his generosity in offering.

It's a wonderful feeling, to know that I have friends like that.

The next link in the chain is Of Chapters and Reels.

Also, here is the entire Round 4 Line-Up.

Pass the Torch
The Road Less Travelled
Fireflies in the Cloud
Even in a Little Thing
The Secret Government Eggo Project
Curiouser and Curiouser
At Home, Writing
Mad Scientist Matt's Lair
I, Misanthrope - The Dairy of a Dyslexic Writer
Beyond the Great Chimney Production Log
Flying Shoes
Everything Indian
The Hal Spacejock Series
Organized Chaos
Of Chapters and Reels
Just a Small town girl
Midnight Muse
Kappa no He

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Parental Protection Rights

I love my parents. I really do. But one of these days I will smack them both upside the head with something hard.

They have a bad habit of not telling me when something medical is happening with my dad. He has high blood pressure and a history of clogged arteries in and around his heart. Two angioplasties (I'm too lazy to look up the proper spelling) in the past seven years, plus a handful of operations to relieve numbness in his leg. Nine times out of ten, I find out about these surgeries AFTER they have taken place. I hated it when I was in college, and I hate it now.

I've lived on my own (as on my own as I can be with a roomie and two cats) for the last three and a half years. I'm twenty-six years old. I'm not a child, and I don't want them to continue to protect me from my dad's medical problems. They've worried about me my entire life. I think I have earned the right to worry about them once in a while.

I called my dad last Friday night to tell him I'd be visiting for two days. Here's the conversation...

Dad: When will you be here?
Me: I'll drive in Sunday morning, and leave early Tuesday, because I have to work that night.
Dad: I--hold on.....{muffled sounds, speaking to my mom}...going {more muttering and mumbling} Okay, never mind.
Me: What about the hospital?
Dad: Oh, she heard me. I'm going in Wednesday for some test.
Me: For the thing that was wrong with your foot?
Dad: No, I've just been having some backpain.

Okay, so I accepted that. Sunday night, it's dinner with the 'rents, plus my older sister. She hadn't a clue about the hospital tests until I told her, so we both attacked after dinner was over.

Turns out that the backpain is a lump, situated between his kidney, liver and pancreas. The Docs are doing a biopsy on Wednesday (TESTS???? Gee, thanks for downplaying it, Dad). So far blood tests are normal, and he doesn't have any other symptoms, so the Docs are pretty sure it's not malignant.

So I throw the whammy question: If I hadn't overheard you on the phone the other night, when would you have told us about this biopsy? The day after, or when you got the results back?

Mom and Dad share a look. "When we got the results back."

I almost threw my corncob at his head. I know they want to protect us, but I want to know these things! I don't want to find out that not only did he have the biopsy without telling us, but that it's cancer (but pray it's not). I've told them, but it never sinks in. Ever since, I have had two lines from The Patriot stuck in my head.

Heath Ledger: I'm not a child!
Mel Gibson: You're my child!

But Mom called last night, and the biopsy went well. Dad will be home tonight or tomorrow, I think. Now it's just waiting until his appointment next Thursday....

And now to end this rant on the immortal words of Inego Montoya: I hate waiting.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Gee, How Original.....

I love the idea of (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) guest starring on . The man needs more work, and more exposure. Julian Bashir was one of my favorite characters on DS9. Did I mention the accent?

My problem with Alexander Siddig guest starring on 24 next season? He's a recurring baddie. Siddig is of Middle-Eastern descent, so it leaves no question about who the big bads are. Again. ::sigh::

On the upside of casting news, Eric Balfour is back as techie Milo, reprising the role he played way back in season one. Someone new for Chloe to torture. I love continuity.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I just love spreading good news. One of my favorite actors is coming back to TV. For a few episodes, anyway. But I'll take what I can get. I don't normally watch House, but for David Morse, I'll make an exception.

House Exclusive: David Morse Joins Cast!
Here's some fresh House prattle for you kids: The show has recruited former Hackster David Morse for a multi-episode arc. According to exec producer Katie Jacobs, Morse's character — a cop named Michael Tritter — will face off with Hugh Laurie in a battle of egos. "House is going to piss off the wrong guy, and
that guy just happens to be a cop," Jacobs reveals. "[Tritter's] really going to hold House accountable. We're going to have some fun with that."

Sunday, August 06, 2006


I have to give myself and my co-author a huge pat on the back. I don't think I've ever had such a productive writing day. Between the two of us (over both MSN and Yahoo Messenger), we managed to write 7900 words of our novel (31 pages). The novel now stands at just over 55,000 words. It's difficult to project a final word count, but I'd guess somewhere in the neighborhood of 90,000.

Time to listen to some Chevelle and go to bed. My butt needs a rest from this desk chair.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

JLo A Psychic?

She must be, since she saw the obvious failure-in-the-making that is the big-screen Dallas movie, and dropped out of playing Sue Ellen.

Now the question on my mind is this: When will Shirley MacLaine come to her senses?

Sunday, July 30, 2006

More Eighties Remakes?

You know, I think Hollywood is in trouble. And the first sign of trouble is the lack of creativity spewing forth from the local cineplex. And perhaps the most troubling sign of all is the proliferation of remakes. Not just TV show-turned movie. I'm talking about remaking a movie that's less than twenty years old.

The two most recent (and horrifying) examples? Revenge of the Nerds and Adventures in Babysitting. I kid you not.

How do you top Anthony Edwards, Robert Carradine, Timothy Busfield, Curtis Armstrong, and Brian Tochi? Seriously. How???? You don't. If this becomes another Ben Stiller/Vince Vaughn vehicle, I think I'm going to vomit. Nevermind the fact that they are too old for the parts....

And AiB? Starring Raven-Symone? I think my heart just stopped as I typed those words. Um, anyone remember the story? Suburban white kids lost in the bad streets of Chicago? Elisabeth Shue singing in a black jazz club? Can you really see Disney allowing Raven to utter the infamous line, "Don't f*ck with the babysitter"?

I mentioned remakes to my roommate last night, lamenting to her: "Why do they have to keep remaking the classics?" I paused, thought about it, and then deadpanned, "I guess it wouldn't make sense to remake a bad movie."

Unfortunately, what tends to happens is that remakes of good movies become bad movies.

Another vicious cycle.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Fat Attack!

I usually check out the news articles posted on the MSN homepage. They are there when I log on, so why not? One in particular caught my attention this evening, and I linked to an article about the worst fast food offerings out there.

You can read the entire article here. I've quoted a few sections that just made my stomach churn and my toes curl.

McDonald’s Deluxe Breakfast is a smorgasbord of bad-for-you foods—including eggs, sausage, pancakes smothered in syrup and margarine, hash browns and a biscuit. In moderation, any of these items could be an OK (if occasional) breakfast, but add them together and you’re looking at a grand total of 1,220 calories, 550 of them from fat, including 17 grams of saturated fat.

Burger King’s Triple Whopper With Cheese is a perfect example of why more is not better. A regular Whopper With Cheese already delivers 760 calories, 47 grams of total fat including 16
grams of saturated fat. But when you triple it up, this meal tips the scales at 1,230 calories and 82 grams of fat including 32 grams of saturated fat. (And that’s before you order a side of fries!)

Popping into Cinnabon for a Caramel Pecanbon isn’t exactly a breakfast of champions. This gooey pastry packs 1,100 calories and 56 grams of fat, while providing virtually no worthwhile nutrients.

The fried chicken seems like an obviously unhealthy choice at KFC, but it’s actually not the fattiest item on the menu. The Mashed Potato Bowl With Gravy contains 690 calories and 31 grams of fat, nine of them saturated.

Makes me want to go eat an apple.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The New Picture In Town

I feel the need to explain a bit about my new Profile pic (and to continue spreading Connor yumminess).

At Shore Leave this year, I plunked down the extra fee for a Photo Op with Connor Trinneer (Enterprise, Stargate: Atlantis). I have loved the character he played on Enterprise since the moment he appeared on-screen. There's just something about wholesome southern good-boy-ness that makes me melt.

Anywho, here's the photo in all its colored glory, plus autograph. We actually chatted for a moment about the merits of drinking Pedialyte while suffering from a cold (we both had one that weekend), as he signed this photo. Anyone who sits at a table and autographs for four hours, and then does an hour long Q&A is okay in my book.

And it doesn't hurt that the man is adorable.

Friday, July 21, 2006


You can thank my friend Shelly for this post. During an IRC chat last night, we started talking about the different things we liked to write. I recalled how much fun I had writing essays in college, and that some of them were quite humorous. She asked if we would ever see them posted on my blog.

Your wish is my command. I found my little plastic file box full of multi-colored floppy disks shoved under the nether regions of my desk, the whole thing covered in dust. And cat hair. Gross.

Disks perfectly preserved, the relics of a by-gone day (so by-gone that the computer I use now didn't even come with an A-Drive when I bought it three years ago). I found the essay I had mentioned, written in the spring of 2002. As I reread those words, I found my fingers inching toward the delete key, the space bar, and various other editing tools.

I refrained, and instead, present this essay in its final grade glory (I don't remember what the grade was, but this is the draft I turned in). Minor caveat: the Christian references are not meant as any sort of bashing against Christians or non-Christians. I attended a private Christian college, so most of our papers had this theme.

Kelly M.
ENG 304W
Final Draft
The Snob in All of Us
Everyone has been accused or accused someone else of being a snob at one time or another. If you're shaking your head and thinking "not me," you are either a shut-in or in denial. Snobbery affects all of us, even when we don't realize it. While we all think of that Barbie girl from high school who made fun of our faded sweaters and holey jeans, the word "snob" has not always carried a direct negative connotation. Let's take a closer look at what this word really means.

According to my tiny, desk-sized Webster's dictionary, a snob is "a person who considers himself better than anyone else and who looks down on those he considers to be his inferiors." I know a lot of Christians like that. Unsatisfied with this definition, I turned to that from which great knowledge comes: The Internet. After scrolling down past the ample "Try your search for snob at" listings, Dictionary.Com provided me with a number of satisfying definitions from, among other sources, Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary. My little desk-size will now retire to its shelf in shame to gather dust.

So what is a snob? According to the internet--which is never wrong--a snob is, 1) a townsman, 2) a journeyman shoemaker, and 3) a workman who accepts lower than the usual wages, or who refuses to strike when his fellows do. Certainly not the definitions we think of today. If they were answers on Jeopardy, we would likely come up with the questions, 1) What is a citizen? 2) What is a traveling cobbler? and 3) What is a scab?

Ah, but hidden amongst numerous pop-up ads, I found a much more satisfactory definition of a snob. "One who tends to patronize, rebuff or ignore people regarded as social inferiors." Sound like anyone you know? If I listed names, there would be no room for the remainder of my essay, so we'll leave that as a rhetorical question. Combined with Webster's previous definition, we can now define snobbery as the act of looking down on someone because you feel they are inferior to you. Yet snobbery is not only limited to looking down on people. The things you can patronize, rebuff or ignore are limitless. A snob resides in all of us.

Now don't confuse snobbery with personal preference. "I like GAP clothing because it fits me better" is a personal preference. All well and good. "I can't believe you buy your clothes at Wal-Mart. Lerner New York is the ONLY place to shop." That is snobbery at its capitalist best. I knew a girl like that my first year of college. The idea of wearing the Kathy Ireland K-Mart collection made her break out in hives.

I've already succeeded in weeding out the clothing snobs amongst us (you know who you are). I was recently clued-in to the existence of fish snobs. Really. A student here on campus--we'll call him Jarod--said he will not waste his time with fish that do not hold his attention. Jarod is very careful about the fish he allows to live in his tank. Strange? Perhaps. I suppose there is a moral lesson here about discrimination, but I'll leave that to the philosophers out there.

In the art world, there exists what I will call the Thomas Kincade snobs. You see, there is a belief in the art world that you cannot be truly appreciated as an artist until after you are dead. For examples, please type "Picasso, Pablo" or "Van Gogh, Vincent" into your favorite net browser and hit Search. Among this sect of artists, it was once commented that there is only so much oxygen in the art world and people such as Kincade and Christian Reese Lassen suck it all up. I suppose it would do me well not to tell them I am a big Lassen fan. I even have one of his calendars.

The truly amazing thing about snobbery is that it does not discriminate. The word "snob" can be applied to anyone, regardless of gender, race, horoscope or shoe size. Especially Christians. And if that offends you, don't read further, because I can assure you it doesn't get any nicer. And if you're waiting for lightning to strike me dead, you're out of luck. Yes, Christians are snobs. Some Christians are culture snobs. I speak specifically of those people who will not go see a movie/read a book/watch a TV show, but declare it moral garbage on the grounds that it "isn't Christian." After I clue them into the fact that Christian is a noun and not an adjective, I will ask if being a snob is considered "Christian?" If Aunt Bessie and Uncle Remus condemn "Lord of the Rings" as supernatural filth unworthy of their attention (or the three hours it takes to watch the entire thing), are they not rebuffing what they consider inferior? Snob.

This element of snobbery is most readily found in the ever-present argument between pre- and post-millennialists, fundamentalists and liberals. Should we engage culture? Post-millennial liberals will nod, give a hearty YES, and then show scripturally supported reasons why we should. Pre-millennial fundamentalists will shudder, cast you from their inner circle for uttering such nonsense, and then show scripturally supported reasons why we should not. Enaging culture? Puh-lease. As if Jesus ever went out onto the street to converse with average folk or eat dinner with his Gentile neighbors.

Perhaps what irks these Christian snobs the most is popular culture's ability to flourish no matter how much they denounce, rebuff, patronize, or ignore it. Yes, ladies and gentlemen of the Christian Culture Snob Sect, Harry Potter is here to stay. But I suppose it is the duty of the snob to hold their ground and never give in to that which is inferior.

Unfortunately, with snobbery always comes those discriminated against, rising up in anger and/or defense. For every Evangelical Weekly article telling us why our children should not read Harry Potter, thirty more elementary age kids are rediscovering their love of reading in the land of Quidditch and Hogwart's Academy (that's in England for those of you who don't care to read Harry, but quickly enough offer up your opinion that it is garbage). Some artists hate Thomas Kincade, yet thousands of average folk collect his paintings, calendars, throws and greeting cards. You may love shopping at DKNY, but I find the prices at Wal-Mart much more appealing. And once, if you are lucky enough, the high school Barbie will trip over her trendy shoes and fall on her perfectly painted face.

Snobbery is not always easy to pinpoint. For the easy-going individual, nothing appears out of the ordinary. Ce la vi, to each his own, and all that jazz. But beneath that casual exterior, faded jeans, and Salvation Army T-shirt is a firey intolerance for brand labels. A lover of poetry may have the deeply hidden hatred for that insidious, five-line gremlin called the limerick. Snobbery is harder to pinpoint in some people, but everyone has something to hide. Even if they won't admit it.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

AW Blogger Chain, Round Three

I stepped out of the Second Round of the because of personal reasons, but here I am for Round Three. Previously, on Southern Expressions, Andrea wrote a little about technology.

One piece of technology in particular caught my attention: cellular phones. Nowadays we have cameras on our phones, internet on our phones, and some can even record video. And here I thought that a phone was for making a call to someone. Silly me.

I have a small Nokia phone. It's text message capable, but I don't use it. I don't even have my voice mail set up. It's mostly for emergencies, or if I need to call someone while I'm out (at the store, stranded on the side of the road, that sort of thing). It's not attached to my ear or my hip. I don't talk on it while I'm in line at the grocery store, and I think those Nextel walkie talkie things are the work of the Devil. I have a camera for taking pictures and internet on my computer.

This morning I watched a few minutes of an E.R. rerun from way back in season two or three (ah, the George Clooney days). A patient used a cell phone the size of a paperback novel (although not quite as wide), with a pull-out antenna and a flip-out cover. You remember the type. Just like you remember the brick-sized phone that Zack Morris carried around on Saved by the Bell, circa 1993.

As cell phones get smaller and smaller, they become more noticeable in TV reruns and movies. For me, at any rate.

24 is a great example of modern cell phone technology. In season one, Jack Bauer and Company had small flip phones that they actually held up to their ears. By season three, they had those hands-free cords that connects a little earpiece to a mike that hangs by your mouth. Season five (this year) gave Jack the little cordless earpiece. In two years his phone will be the size of a hearing aid, with no handset required. Just wait. I'm calling it now.

And I can't believe I just googled this, but has a long entry about the history of cell phones. In case you're interested.

Next up in the chain, Kappa no He.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Catching up

Golly, it feels like weeks since I last posted here. Life has taken quite a few sharp turns lately, keeping me away from my little corner of the blogosphere.

My grandmother passed away on June 22. She was eighty-eight years old, and she had been battling uterine cancer for almost two years. It spread to her bones, but she fought as long as she could. Grandma was a fighter, and I loved her strength. My half-brother Tim was with her when she died, and I'm glad of that. She wasn't alone.

I went home to my parents' house in Delaware. My father, sister and her boyfriend, and I finished cleaning out Grandma's apartment on June 24th. My birthday. It was a surreal thing, to give away furniture that she had owned for as long as I can remember, to go through old photographs and her jewelry box, to throw away shoes and slips and stained shirts.

We thought that the insane thunderstorms that weekend would prevent us from having the funeral on Tuesday 27th. Seaford was flooded in several places, a dam had broken near Nanticoke Hospital, and the Wal-Mart parking lot was under water. But water recedes, and the sun was shining by the time we reached the cemetary. It was a nice service, but trying so hard to block tears was exhausting.

I returned to work that Wednesday, and a sore throat crept up on me during the evening. My Friday, it was a full blown head-cold, complete with fever, sore throat, coughing, and chest congestion. I never felt awful enough to call in sick (not that I could have, with two of the four managers on vacation this week), but work was miserable.

I did manage to see Superman Returns this past Sunday. I had to give it 3/5 stars. It lost a whole star because of Kate Bosworth. I just DO NOT like her as Lois Lane. She is too young to be an experienced, award-winning reporter and a five-year old son. She doesn't have the screen presence for such a strong, confident character. It ruined what probably would have been a great movie. For me, at least. Brandon Routh was fantastic. Kevin Spacey and Parker Posey were priceless ("Gee, that's really something Lex." "Wait for it." ::waits:: "Gee, that's really something, Lex.") James Marsden more than makes up for his lack of X3 screentime here, and we get to see his eyes!

Now I am poised to head for Shore Leave, still sporting a cough and runny nose. ::insert sarcastic snort of choice:: Oh joy.

My roommates at the convention may stick me in the hallway if my coughing keeps them up, but no matter. Connor Trinneer will be there!! As will Jamie Bamber. My best friend will tell you all about my Connor and Jamie obsessions. They rank right up there with my Patrick Dempsey obsession. Hopefully I'll return with fun autographs, some great pictures, and more cool memories.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A Buffy Sort of Day

Something put Buffy on my brain yesterday, and I honestly can't remember where she came from. But I had a day off today, so I decided to start watching my DVD's of . From season one. It's like revisiting old friends. Innocent Willow, dorky Xander, over-stuffed Giles, and Buffy when she still had a figure.

With the episodes on in the background, I continued to surf the 'Net, and I came across an interview with Buffy-creator on the Wizard Entertainment website. It's a fun interview that covers the gamut of Joss's various professional endevours (TV, movies, comic books, etc...).

I wanted to share this particular section, because it sounds like something I'd buy.

BENDIS: [Laughs] Oh, speaking of, I saw on the board tonight they announced the new Buffy comic. You’re gonna write a new Buffy comic?

WHEDON: I am, in fact. This was originally a concept that was designed to tie in to some Buffy movies that are probably not going to happen. So now the comic is out there twisting in the wind by itself. But I have this arc; this concept of what I refer to as “Season 8” of “Buffy,” which is the “What happens next?” Although it’s very much more comic book in scale and style and time frame. Everyone’s like, “What week will it pick up during?” And I’m like, “It’s not quite like that.” What I’m doing is working with Georges Jeanty. He’s gonna be drawing the first four, which I’m writing. And Jo Chen’s gonna do the covers. I’m a huge fan of hers. I have this arc laid out which I’m sort of writing up as where I want the series to go and then I’m gonna be bringing in anybody from the camp or any of our friends who have the time to do arcs within that. Just sort of servicing certain beats and then going off on their own. Because at this point, it’s sort of fair game. There are certain characters I’ve been saving because I thought I might make movies about them, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.

BENDIS: Why isn’t that going to happen?

WHEDON: I think money is standing in the way. What is ever in the way? What ever makes anything happen or not happen?

I'd love to see this comic come to fruition (even if I still hold out hope for a "Spike" TV movie).

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Does the World Need Another Remake?

First Will Smith brought The Wild, Wild West to the silver screen.

Now rumor is Eminem will star in an update of Have Gun, Will Travel.

What's next? LL Cool J and Lil Bow Wow do Bonanza?

I suppose one good thing could come of the new HG, WT. Since he basically played himself in 8 Mile, we can finally answer the lingering question: Can Eminem actually act?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

AW Blogger Chain

The best part of participating in the blogger chain is the excuse to spend so much time reading other people's blogs. I just read quidscribis's entry on her lovely blog. She talked about the Edmonton Oilers being in the Stanley Cup finals this year, and while I have nothing to say about hockey (except that I'm a huge fan of Disney's Mighty Ducks films), it made me think about oil.

Stay with me, this is going someplace fun.

Recently I have spent a lot of time thinking about a trip that my dad and I made across the country. From December 30 to January 5, 2001, we drove from Lewes, Delaware to Los Angeles, California. I had just been accepted to the Los Angeles Film Studies program, and would be spending my spring semester at that center, interning in the business, and taking classes in filmmaking and screenwriting.

As much as I adored my time in LaLa Land, I treasure that week I spent on the road with my dad. Along the way we visited , Little Rock, Oklahoma City, The Petrified National Forest, Hoover Dam, , and a California Ghost Town. We drove parallel to old , and even on it for a short stretch. We stopped in antique malls, trading posts, souvenir shops, and even a mall.

We discovered Bucket of Blood Street, which intersected with a railroad (go figure). I wore out my camera taking nine rolls of film (one whole roll for the petrified forest alone). I have two scrapbooks of the experience, including my time in L.A., and the drive home (that time we took a northern route across Colorado and Kansas).

So where's the oil? What does this have to do with anything?

I saw my very first oil rig on that trip. Just a few of them dotting the Oklahoma landscape, but it was a moment. I had not been further west than Ohio at that point in my life, and the oil rigs were the first truly new thing on that trip. Something I had never seen in person before. There would be many more things before the week was over (dry gulches and desert plants, the Painted Desert, Vegas), but those rigs were the first.

As a family, my dad has taken us fishing, crabbing, to the mountains and ocean, to theme parks and water parks, antiquing and caving. But that trip is a special memory. Something just the two of us shared, and an experience I will never forget.

And I now pass the baton to Wendelynn.

Frankenstein Scandal

They call it a cheap horror movie.

I call it an episode of Bones.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Windfall Worth Picking Up?

I decided to give NBC's summer show a chance. I don't usually watch shows in the summer, because they have a tendency to end up cancelled (unless they are reality shows, or air on USA/TNT). But the concept intrigued me (20 people share a $300 million lottery ticket) and the cast had a decent pedigree (Boomtown alums Lana Parilla and , and 24 survivor Sarah Wynter). Plus .

The verdict? Blah. The pilot didn't catch me. I'll give it one more week, but that's it.

While the idea is a good one, the show suffers from its bloated cast. Twenty winners means twenty show regulars. That is too many characters. Even now, I can only remember the names of four of the characters. They spend time trying to show you all of the winners (the hard-working mom who suffers through two jobs and annoying trailer park neighbors, the punk teen with an angry dad, a divorcing couple whose storyline was beyond predictable, a rebel with a past wooing an upperclass lawyer), and each ends up suffering for lack of screentime.

I have no feel for any of the characters, and the little love triangle they set up between Gideon (Gedrick), Nina (Parilla), and Beth (Wynter) is both tiresome, and a little icky (but icky for a purely personal reason*). I mean, yes, Gedrick is a hottie, but dude! I'd stick with Luke Perry any day, especially with that post-Dylan Walsh maturity he's developed.

I'll give it one more ep to see if it sticks.

*The personal reason is the fact that on a PBEM I run, I cast Gedrick, Parilla, and Wynter as siblings. Four years ago, before this show was a twinkle in its creator's eye. Seeing them making out just gives me the willies.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Spin This

Well, it seems that while God will give Pat Robertson an advanced weather report, He won't give him advanced warning of a fatal plane crash.

Spin this one, Pat.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

It's a Mad, Mad World

Yes, I know that it's a movie. I've seen it. I was referencing Mad Libs, those wonderfully insane little stories you tell at sleepovers with your closest friends. Replacing something simple with something gut-wrenchingly funny.

In college, my roommates and I often unwound with a book of Mad Libs (and often some accompanying alcohol). We would do two or three in one sitting, often driving each other to tears in the process. I could never read them out loud. I didn't have the self control.

Yesterday I stumbled across a little fuzzy notebook decorated with snowflakes (a gift out of an Advent basket from Jen's grandparents). In it I had written our "Best Of…" quotes. Lines that were funny, quotable, and unforgettable. I wanted to post a few here. Hopefully you, dear reader, will enjoy them as well.

*Beverage warning*

At present, we are sneezing directly over Louisiana.

A ghoul, in Asian folklore, is a gaseous spirit that forgets graves and feeds on the toes of the dead.

My "Dream Man" should, first of all, be very scary and purple. He should have the physique of Tom Hanks, a profile like Oprah, and the intelligence of a parrot.

He should whisper sarcastic nothings in my nose.

Her eyes are like two beat-up pools of Jello.

Karate will enable you to defeat any banana who attacks you.

This should secrete your opponent's collarbone and dislocate his/her loincloth.

You are about to give birth to a vending machine.

We are here to celebrate her earwax.

You will inherit a large sum of tornadoes from a dear, departed doormat.

All I had was a couple of scrambled envelopes and a glass of tears.

You said you provided guests will a welcome basket of Slinkies. All I found in my room was a trashy fire hydrant filled with old opinions.

Don't throw toenails at policemen.

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me a vulture in a tangerine tree.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Support AbsoluteWrite

It looks like AbsoluteWrite won't get its database back without a legal fight. Jenna and her band of Merry Men (ie, the Heroes of the AW World) will be recreating the forums using the cached pages that members have been saving for the last week. It's amazing what you can find on Google with a little patience and a lot of free time. My hat is off you to folks.

Any spare pennies will be greatly appreciated in our efforts to restore AW as a valuable resource against scam agents, as well as a friendly community for writers.

A few more friendly links:

The AW Refugee Camp. Come check us out, and migrate back when the AW forum is re-established.

Dawno has a CafePress Store to support the AW restoration efforts.

Writer's Beware 20 Worst Agents. Always a good one to repeat.

Mac quoted it first, but it also bears repeating: You can't stop the signal.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Bauer versus Bauer

This is what a small group of writers do in a chat room on a lazy Sunday afternoon. And just an FYI, the real and were not actually there. But I'm sure y'all knew that.

The Actors
Peggy as Barbara_Bauer
Chaostitan as Jack_Bauer
Serenity as Tony_Almeida
Shwebb as Jenna_Glatzer

It was a dark and stormy, seriously.

[Barbara_Bauer] Jenna are you ready to rumble?
[Jenna_Glatzer] Barbara! DArling! I'm a big fan! me/ smooches Barbara
[Jenna_Glatzer] me/ smooches Barbara
* Barbara_Bauer wipes off smooch
[Jenna_Glatzer] Okay, now it isn't working. Crapola.
[kaostighten] backslash is in the wrong place Jenna
* Barbara_Bauer reminds Jenna itt's /me
* kaostighten is now known as Jack_Bauer
[Jack_Bauer] I've warned you about using my name, Babs.
[Jenna_Glatzer] Oh. /smooches?
* badducky indignantly munches on baby carrots.
* Barbara_Bauer waves to Jack
* Jack_Bauer (smooches)
[Jack_Bauer] dang
[Jenna_Glatzer] oh. me/ smooches?
[Jack_Bauer] no
* Barbara_Bauer thumbs her nose at Jenna
[Jack_Bauer] move the / to the other side of me
[Jenna_Glatzer] me\ waving
[Jack_Bauer] yikes
[Jenna_Glatzer] nope. won't work for me!
[Jack_Bauer] its /me waving
* Jenna_Glatzer waving.
[Jack_Bauer] There ya go!
[Barbara_Bauer] :)
[Jack_Bauer] Fire alarm is off again.
[Jenna_Glatzer] Oh-kay. I"m dumber than usual!
[Barbara_Bauer] Jenna: ha! I've got you all kerfuffled
[Jenna_Glatzer] I did. THanks.
[Jack_Bauer] I'll kerfuffle you, Babs!
* Barbara_Bauer ducks and swings at Jack
[Jenna_Glatzer] Babs, honey! You're going to die a slow, painful, riddled-with-links death.
[Barbara_Bauer] No, no, not the link death!!!
[Barbara_Bauer] Anything but that
[Zonk] *eyes BB suspiciously*
* badducky wades through the sea of satire and reaches for the pearl of widom.
* Barbara_Bauer informs badducky that isn't really a pearl
* Jack_Bauer tackles Barbara to the ground
[Zonk] *blinded temporarily*
* Jenna_Glatzer listening to iPod that peeps bought her.
* Barbara_Bauer kicks and screams
* badducky knows that it is a pearl if Barbara Bauer wants me to avoid it.
* Barbara_Bauer pinches Jack
[Jack_Bauer] OUCH
* Jack_Bauer karate kicks Babs
[Zonk] this is almost as good as the play...
* Barbara_Bauer falls on ass
[Jack_Bauer] Careful, lady! I killed a guy with my feet once!
[Barbara_Bauer] by the smell?
[Jack_Bauer] Yes.
[Jack_Bauer] Wanna sniff?
* Barbara_Bauer gags
[Jack_Bauer] Jack is kicking Barbara's azz. With stinky feet
[Serenity_] cool :D
* Barbara_Bauer runs up behind Jack and sucker punches him
[Jack_Bauer] Spoil sport!
* Barbara_Bauer doesn't like to play fair
* Jack_Bauer does a sit and spin, and hits Babs in the ankles
[Barbara_Bauer] mwa ha ha
[Barbara_Bauer] oof
* Serenity_ is now known as Tony_Almeida
[Jack_Bauer] "Barbara Bauer, you have the right to remain silent."
[Tony_Almeida] Can I help, Jack?
* Barbara_Bauer crawls over to Jack and bites him in the knee
[Jack_Bauer] Woohoo.....ack!
* Tony_Almeida Tony grabs babs by the hair
* Tony_Almeida and yanks, *hard*
* Barbara_Bauer pulls out the bobby pins holding her wig
[Jack_Bauer] Tony! Look out!
* Barbara_Bauer lets TOny have her hair
[Zonk] o no not the wig! *covers eyes*
* Barbara_Bauer staggers back
* Jack_Bauer stares at Bald Babs
[badducky] Well, this has been... Something.
* Jack_Bauer bows
* Barbara_Bauer cringes
* Tony_Almeida Tony stumbles back as he is shocked beyond reasoning by the hideous nature of the 'true' Babs
* Barbara_Bauer give the evil eye to Tony
* Jack_Bauer snatches the eye away and throws it into the ocean!
* Barbara_Bauer falls down, her power gone
[Jack_Bauer] Just in case
* Barbara_Bauer vanishes in a puff of smoke
[Jack_Bauer] Ha! We have foiled your evil plot! You shall ensnare and eat newbie writers no more!
* Barbara_Bauer is now known as Peggy
* Jack_Bauer is now known as ChaosTitan
[ChaosTitan] That was fun
[Peggy] and only a faint "I'm a real agent" could be heard, carried by the wind

Special thanks to Zonk, badducky, Peggy, Serenity and Shwebb for participating in this cathartic farce (or ignoring us while we participated).

Friday, May 26, 2006

AW and X3

The gem that is is back. The main site has a new home. The forums will take a while, but things are starting to slowly chug back to normal around the 'Net as I know it.


I went to the theater to see : The Last Stand tonight. No real spoilers (because you seriously don't want to be spoiled!), just some quick thoughts:

Eric Dane as Multiple Man. Seven Eric Dane's in a row. Yum.

Finally we see the original X-Men in one film: Jean Grey, Cyclops, Beast, Iceman and Angel. Very cool.

How awesome is Kelsey Grammer as Beast, quoting Churchill while whaling on the baddies. Woo hoo!

Amazing visuals, amazing effects. And the creepy kid actor from Birth.

Just now realized that Ben Foster (Angel/Warren Worthington III) was the guy who got all his face jewelry ripped out in The Punisher. With Rebecca Romijn. I wonder which Marvel franchise they'll pop up in next.

All in all, I enjoyed the film. And if you haven't seen it, stick around after the credits are over. There's something at the end you won't want to miss.

Save & Support AW

One of these days I'll get around to finishing and posting my review of the Desperation TV movie that aired Tuesday on ABC. For now, I'm continuing to support my fellow members in any way that I can.

MacAllister's blog has a nifty little button that leads to Jenna's book, The Street Smart Writer.

Jenna Glatzner, owner and operator of posted a heartfelt thank you to her blog. She is a generous person that I feel priviledged to have chatted with on the forum.

AW may not be what it once was before this mess, but the people are the soul of a message board. And the people from AW are not going away.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Continuing AW Saga has a new server. ::happy dance:: The main page is back up, but it will be a while before the forums are returned to normal. It's amazing, the power of this one obnoxious woman to affect the lives of hundreds of writers.

Just doing my duty to reveal scam artists to the public at large.

Yet another great post by Miss Snark. She's my hero, with her gin pail and pointed stilettoes.

More links of note about the whole mess:

Teh Ebil Librarian
Google Blog Search

And just because I haven't posted a link yet, here's the Writers Beware 20 Worst Literary Agents.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Miss Snark is my Hero.

Read all about it.

NVNC ID VIDES, NVNC NE VIDES: AW Bloggers - and Anyone Who Hates a Scammer

NVNC ID VIDES, NVNC NE VIDES: AW Bloggers - and Anyone Who Hates a Scammer

Just doing my duty to spread the word. More on the AW/Babara Bauer issue.

Oh Where Is My Website?

When someone takes away my favorite things, I get a little cranky. Usually I find them right where I left them. Coffee? Check. Bed? Check. Copy of Watership Down? Check.

::silence:: Hello?

::peers around the room::

Nope, gone. What is AW and why is it gone? The whole story is posted at Making Light, a wonderful blog that I frequent often. Suffice it to say, both Barbara Bauer and Stephanie the Host are in for a tough month from unhappy AW listmembers.

I'm just sayin'.....hell hath no fury like an author scorned.

"They were friends of mine."

Just a few quick things about the "24" season finale.

One: Someone please hand Jean Smart an Emmy. The woman is amazing.

Two: I'm going to borrow a phrase from the eighties that sums up my reaction to the whole "Martha seduces Charles" bit. "Gag me with a spoon!" And boy, the President doesn't have much stamina, does he? I think he redefined the word quickie.

Three: Chloe has an ex-husband? Since he's O'Brien, and she's O'Brien, it makes me wonder just when she divorced him. Before we first met her, or after?

Four: Jack Bauer, you just won an all-expenses paid trip to a Chinese prison camp! What are you gonna do next?

I guess we'll all have to wait until Day Six to find out. And I, for one, am looking forward to it.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Radical Chicks

I respect people's rights to have their opinions. Most of the time, I respect their rights to share their opinions. I just wish people, especially high-profile celebrities, would just make up their damned minds!

Way back in 2003, Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines said something about President Bush that caused lots of public backlash.

Then the Dixie Chicks recorded a new album, and Natalie apologized for her remark. (Coincidence?????)

Now that the release date of "Taking the Long Way" is looming close, Natalie has once again changed her mind.

Seriously, woman! Form an opinion and stick to it already!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

God's Weather Report

Apparently God told televangelist Pat Robertson that storms would hit the U.S. coast this year.


The man is stupid as a stone if he thinks people are going to take him seriously. I'm surprised I didn't stumble across this link in the Funny Pages.

"If I heard the Lord right about 2006, the coasts of America will be lashed by storms," Robertson said May 8. On Wednesday, he added, "There well may be something as bad as a tsunami in the Pacific Northwest."

Yeah, and there might be hail in Florida and a drought in Seattle. Anyone who has access to the Weather Channel homepage could have made those predictions.

For his next trick, Pat will predict that fights will break out this year during professional hockey games....

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Celebrity Sighting...Sort of

So a customer walks into the store yesterday. He is greeted, per usual standards, and allowed to carry on his merry way. I recognize him as a customer I've seen before, noteworthy because of his height. Tall, good-looking men always catch my eye.

I didn't think much of it until Dean, one of my co-workers, comes rushing up toward the cash stand, giddy as a six-year old on Christmas morning. He keeps hissing, "Redskins, Redskins," like it's a magical chant. For a moment, silly me thinks he's being un-PC about Native Americans.

Seems that Washington Redskins QB Jason Campbell likes to shop in the Retail Home Furnishings Store that I call, home.

Now if I was a football fan, I probably would have been as excited as Dean. Sports just don't thrill me.

Now if Patrick Dempsey had walked into my store, I probably would have peed myself.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Fight or Flight

It took me a few minutes to pick myself up off the couch last night after the season finale of Grey's Anatomy was over. I felt like I'd been sucker punched. But in a good way. In the way that only a truly amazing television show can punch you. Such exquisite pain.

I actually ranted a bit about the ep on a thread at the AbsoluteWrite message board, so I'll just repeat myself a bit.

The theme of the show was the fight or flight instinct, and I thought that Cristina was right in character. And as strong a person as she is, when it came to that moment where she had to be strong for Burke (for someone who always knows what to do), she froze. She fled. I never imagined her as the "flight" person, but that's what makes her so interesting.

And as much as I loved Denny, I can't help but see this as some sort of penance for Izzie. She's been acting like a total lunatic for the last four or five episodes. While I liked the whole "I cut the L-VAT wire" scene in the Chief's office, what she did was wrong. Period. Izzie has come a long way from the bubbly, blonde "Let's all be friends" girl she was in the pilot.

How much do I love Alex? The truth teller. No matter all the dumb ass things he does, or the stuff he spews from his mouth, in the end he always does what's right. He got through to Izzie when the others were powerless to help.

George and Kallie. Still not sure what I think about her, but I'm so glad George and Meredith finally had that talk. Where HE finally said he was sorry. Now maybe we can lay that unfortunate plot twist to rest.

Addison needs a big old hug. I think she knows that her marriage is basically over, she just doesn't want to say it. Or to hear Derek say it.

Poor Doc!

Let's see....the Prom thing was funny and sweet, but was anyone else a little confused? I mean, Camille passed out during intercourse, right? Don't people usually save that moment for *after* they've gone to the prom? Go, dance, drink the spiked punch, then go off to the hotel? So either she got two Proms for the price of one (which the poor girl deserved, I think), or she got busy before she even hit the dance.

How great does Patrick Dempsey look in a tux? ::puddles::

Meredith had her McDreamy!!!

And wow, what a scene!!! Although I spent half of it wondering who was going to walk in on them mid-coitus. Kinda glad they didn't get interrupted, though. "Meredith, what does this mean?" And no answer for him. ::sigh::

My advice for Meredith next season: Let Finn take you home. Give him a little good night kiss, lock the door, and then tend to poor Izzie. Think of your friend right now!

How long until next season?

Monday, May 15, 2006

The West Wing has come to the end of it's glorious run. Seven seasons of walk-and-talks, press briefings, budget meetings, back alley dealings, and Latin phrases (Post hoc, ergo propter hoc anyone?).

I admit, I am sorry to see the show leave the air. I love the transition to the new Presidency, with familiar faces in new roles, poised to create one of the best spin-offs this side of "Frasier." Alas, it is not to be. The actors have moved on, the sets are torn down, and there are new things on the horizon.

To celebrate a great series, I went back and picked out my ten favorite episodes, and put them in order, one to ten.

2.1 and 2.2 In The Shadow of Two Gunmen
4.19 Evidence of Things Not Seen
2.10 Noel
1.5 The Crackpots and These Women.
3.16 Dead Irish Writers
7.13 The Cold
5.5 Constituency of One
5.21 Gaza
7.18 Requiem.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Sudden Loss

It's amazing how a person that we never enjoyed the pleasure of meeting in real life can so affect us by their death. This time I don't mean a celebrity, although once in a while I do feel the loss (Christopher Reeve, Pat Morita).

This morning I found a forwarded email message sent by an RPG player on another board, informing me that a player on one my games had passed away. I read and reread the message, certain that I had misread the words. And as I came to understand them, I began to cry.

Jeanne was a wonderful, kind spirit. She always wanted to know how to do better, how to really interact in the game. She was funny off-list, and sweet in her messages. I knew that she had health problems, but never dreamed they were this severe. It will be difficult to imagine the game without her, and that sorrow is only a fraction of the loss that her family must be feeling now.

I have made some good friends over the years that I have enjoyed online narrative-based RPG's. A few I have had the good fortune to meet in person. I hope to make it to Scotland one day to meet another. In the meantime, this strange little past time that we all enjoy so much will have to be enough.

Jeanne, sweetie, you are missed.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

24: 3 a.m. to 4 a.m.

Because the poster at the Watercooler Blog was thinking the same thing I was, and said it much better than I could:

Speaking of Jack, it's not that I'm ignoring his exploits this hour — it's just that I'm so floored by his magnificent displays of badassery, I don't even know where to start. But here's one way to put it: Should I be at all concerned that I'm so utterly prepared for Jack to start laying waste to those around him, that the second things calm down and he gets a nice moment with Audrey, I'm vaguely anxious that he's going to smother her with a pillow? I'm sorry, you say the words "close your eyes," and that's just where my brain goes. Forcing an emergency landing at gunpoint? Of course. Leaping a fence to escape the Marines, his JackPack twisting in the wind? Perfectly natural. But, like, quiet tenderness? That's just plain unsettling.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Will We Ever Know Why?

Yesterday evening I received a call from my roommate. She told me she was just leaving work (about 30 minutes later than usual), because someone had opened fire at the Police Station two miles from her school in Chantilly, Virginia. She didn't know a lot of details, just that at several police officers had been shot, and that three major highways were closed off while police searched for a possible second suspect (the gunman was killed on the scene).

She said that someone had muttered "the dreaded S-word."

It took me a moment to figure out what she meant. Sniper. She had just moved to the DC Metro area during the Sniper Attacks. She lived through it every day, along with millions of other people. I had not yet moved out this area then, so I can only imagine the terror of those who remembered the feeling. The feeling of being hunted, of not knowing if crossing that Ikea parking lot in broad daylight would cost you your life. It's haunting.

I wonder if the Chantilly police will ever know why Michael Kennedy decided to open fire on them, taking the life of a nine-year force veteran. It's sickening and it's sad, moreso because the victim's family will never know Kennedy's true motive for what he did.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Sleep Deprivation

So here I am, sitting in my desk chair at 2:36 a.m., trying very hard to stay awake until at least 3. Why? Because my store (the Evil Retail Establishment) is getting a huge face lift this week. Furniture move, new cashstand, new wall fixtures of various sorts, and lots of annoying "higher ups" in and out of the building offering their two cents. Know that old saying about how a camel is just a horse built by committee? That's what this week has felt like so far. The camel is useful in its own right, but not as aesthetically pleasing as a horse.

What does this have to do with staying up late? I have to work from 8pm tomorrow until about 3 or 4 a.m. Friday morning. The last night of this horrific relay is at least within eyesight, but it requires one more very late night. Hence staying up so that I can sleep in until around 1pm. Blogging at this hour seemed like an interesting experiment. I can read this in the morning to see if I can make coherent sense this late, with Rhapsody blasting through my headphones (Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway" at this precise moment in time).

I did find an amusing website about half an hour ago. Bad Cookie, for bad forture cookie fortunes. The first one I got was something about evil thoughts in my heart. Made me laugh.

A van got towed out of the parking lot a few minutes ago. I only heard it because the wrecker's truck has squealy breaks, and the sound was bothering the cats.

Here are my babies, since I've never shown them off here on the blog:

The tabby is Hannah. She's a little brat, and is more likely to scratch than allow you to hold her. The b&w is Anya. She is a lap cat (only when I'm at my desk), and rarely struggles when she's being held. You can hold her sideways, upside down, or by her armpits, and she just sits there. She'll glare, but she'll just sit there. If you have never seen a cat glare, it is truly one of the most hilarious things ever.

2:48 a.m. "You'll Be the One" by A Month of Sundays is now playing.

Only ten more minutes. Then I can crash.

I think I can make it...

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Review: Through Violet Eyes

Through Violet Eyes
By Stephen Woodworth

I picked this novel up in the Mystery/Suspense section of my local Borders. Normally I stick to the SciFi/Fantasy aisles, but found myself lacking for anything new in that familiar territory. So I ventured forth and found this little gem. I admit, I would have expected to find it shelved with SF/F, considering the little contemporary alternate reality thing the author has going on, but the novel is also a satisfying suspense story.

FBI Agent Dan Atwater is on the trail of a killer who targets Violets, a special subset of humans who are born with violet eyes and the ability to channel dead spirits. Violets work for a mysterious CIA-like group, who use them to let dead victims testify in court, to study dead serial killers and their victims, or to allow Beethoven to continue to compose music.

Someone is murdering Violets, and seemingly at random. Atwater is assisted Natalie Lindstrom, a well-known Violet, who is there to help him solve the case. They aren't quite Mulder and Scully (or for the newer generation, Booth and Bones), but they click and clash in amusing ways, as they attempt to find out who is killing Violets and why.

It's not a difficult read, and the storyline won't strain your brain. There are plenty of red herrings tossed into the story, and those who don't think about it too hard may be surprised by the crooked ending (I hesitate to call it a twist). But Woodworth knows how to tell a tale, and he built up this America where Violets are common, and made me believe it.

I look forward to trying out the follow-up to this one, In Golden Blood. I hope that Agent Atwater manages an appearance or two. I like this Violet world, but didn't glom onto Natalie as strongly as the author likely intended.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Galactica: The Early Years

Well, according to the website, Ron Moore is following in the fateful footsteps of Berman and Braga, and developing a prequel to his phenomenally successful update of Battlestar Galactica. Why? What on earth is possessing him? Oh right, the all powerful dollar bill.

Star Trek: Enterprise failed, not because it was a terrible show, but because no one knew what to do with it. Prequels tend to suck about as often as sequels (just ask Star Wars fans), especially as TV shows.

The concept for this BG spin-off is set on Caprica, 50 years before the Cylon attack. We may get the giggle-worthy sight of Adama as a toddler, but who wants to watch a series about a planet that, in 50 years, will be a Cylon-infested nuclear wasteland? Most of these people are going to end up dead.

Then again, people flocked to Titanic, even though they knew the boat would sink and thousands of people would drown. So what do I know?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Administrative Professionals Day

I found this article via the MSN Homepage. It amused me to realize that not even bosses are sure just who should be included in Administrative Professionals Day recognition.

Instead of Secretaries Day, why not just chip in for a big cake on the Friday before Labor Day and toast everyone in the office—wouldn't that be kinder, not to mention easier? I'd much prefer that to a holiday that's a catch-all for "attagirl," "I'm sorry for being an insufferable employer," and "we should talk about that raise."

Sounds like a plan to me. Now how to we go about getting a national holiday for Underpaid Overworked Retail Employees?

Friday, April 14, 2006

How To Avoid Doing The Work That Needs Done

Last night marked the third Official AbsoluteWrite Science Fiction/Fantasy Forum Chat. DamaNegra had the privilege of creating discussion topics (that dubious honor belonged to me last month, during a Semi-Official chat). She came up with some wonderful ideas.

However the chat delved into silliness rather early on, and the official topic never got its time in the limelight (although the entire chat was a good example of procrastination at work).

I truly liked the discussion topics, and thought that I thought I would post my responses here.

Things to discuss:


- Why do we procrastinate?

I procrastinate because it is easier than writing. Surfing the Internet, browsing chat rooms, doing researching, watching TV, even reading a novel, are all ways that I procrastinate from my writing. It is ten times easier to sit down in front of the television and space out for an hour than it is to plant my butt in my desk chair and write a thousand words.

I also procrastinate out of fear. Fear of finishing a project, of having to submit it and find out that it's no good. It is a common fear, I believe, among writers. Fear of failure. But not finishing a piece is the greatest form of failure, isn't it? Quite the predicament…

- What are the most common forms of procrastination?

Personally, message boards are my most common form. I will post, browse, read old threads, anything to keep that .doc file minimized on my screen. Anything I can do on the Internet, including games, keep me distracted more often than they should.

- How do you avoid distraction?

I kick out the cat and close the door.

No, seriously…it's difficult to avoid. If I turn off the TV, put on some instrumental music (popular music with lyrics is a distraction), and make up my mind to write, then I will. It is impossible to completely avoid distractions, but I can take steps to minimize them.

- Weird things that get you distracted:

I don't know if it's weird, but it's funny. My desk is next to my bedroom window. Now that it's spring, my cats spend lots of time in the window watching birds perching in the trees outside. I love to watch them chatter at the birds, so close and yet unable to pounce like the little hunters they are.

RESEARCH AND KNOWLEDGE in Science Fiction/FantasyThings to discuss:

- Which areas of knowledge would help one write a SF/F novel? (Ex. Biology, Mechanics, etc. etc.)

The areas of knowledge vary depending on whether the genre is Science Fiction or Fantasy. Traditionally, SF utilized science or technology as a catalyst in the story. Computers, space ships, weaponry, nano-tech, engineering, things like that, are elements of SF.

Fortunately, you don't have to have a degree in Engineering or Computer Science in order to write a successful SF novel. All you need is a library. Some elements require more research than others in order to make your story believable.

Fantasy encompasses so many sub-genres that you only really need to be versed in the rules of your sub-genre. If you write supernatural thrillers, know your subject's history (be in vampires, werewolves, or witches). If you write sword-and-sorcery epics, know your Renaissance history, Medieval weaponry, what elves and orcs are, and make sure you are aware of your contemporaries.

- How important is it to re-study and research these subjects in order to successfully create a world/technology?

It depends on how in-depth you use the knowledge within the story. If the story is a SF novel about computer viruses, you have to know your subject. You have to know computer science, because experts will be able to tell. If the story is a supernatural romance between a vampire and a telepath, a little research into both areas will help you create the rules for your world.

Your success depends on your audience. I think that SF fans are more likely to rip apart flaws in your science.

- Which will be more affected by the credibility supported by these subjects, SF or F?

Science Fiction, without a doubt. However, you still have to know your Fantasy history. If you don't know that Hobbits are Tolkien's sole creation, and try to write a novel about them, you're going to get into trouble. Elves, trolls, goblins, and dwarves are free game, just make sure you aren't copying their habits and traits from other sources. Be creative. Experiment.

Know your genre.

- In fantasy, is it really necessary to have knowledge of biology, anatomy and such studies to successfully create a race?

I think it is important to be familiar with biology. With reproduction (sexual, asexual, three sexes, or more), with growth cycles, with the familiar physical features of established races. You have to know that a creature with a five pound body and a twenty-foot long neck will not be able to hold its head upright (unless it is magical, or there is odd gravity on this world).

Knowledge? Yes. Intimate study? Not necessarily. It all comes back to what purpose the subject serves in the story.

- In SF, is it really necessary to have knowledge of mechanics, engineering, physics, chemistry and such studies to successfully create technology?

Same as above. Yes, knowledge is necessary. But the level of knowledge depends entirely upon the use of such technology in the story. Hard SF tends to keep tech front and center in the story. Soft SF is sociological in nature, more about the human experience than their gadgets.

Judge what you need, learn it, and then use it to the best of your ability. There is no harm researching a subject exhaustively. Learning is a great thing. We should learn something new every day. It's only when in-depth research becomes an excuse to procrastinate against the actual writing of the story that it becomes a hindrance.