Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Review: Broken

I've read romance, but hadn't tried a erotica until a friend handed me a copy of Megan Hart's Broken. It's part of Harlequin's new Spice line of erotic novels.

Explicit sex abounds (hello! Erotica, remember?), but the miracle is that it never grows tiresome. And part of that is the hook of the novel. Once a month, married therapist Sadie has lunch with Joe, a man she met quite by accident. And every month, Joe tells her a story about one of his sexual conquests. Sadie imagines herself as the star of each of Joe's stories, but not because she secretly wants Joe.

Sadie's husband Adam is a quadriplegic, the result of a skiing accident four years ago. While half of the book consists of Joe's erotic tales, the other half is a tender, tough, terrible, loving and heartbreaking portrait of a married couple, once wildly in love, now just struggling to survive. They alternately love each other and hate each other. The author does a wonderful job of showing Sadie's internal and external struggles, both with her husband, her job, her family, and ultimately, her lunches with Joe. Is mental infidelity still cheating?

The ending is, in a way, predicatable, but never trite or contrived. It hit me hard, and while the book might not appeal to traditional romance readers, it's a love story worth experiencing.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Great Word Chopping Challenge

Boy, what a month it's been. Craziness at work. Nuttiness at home. Ups and downs with the writing. Summer is almost over, which means Christmas is around the corner. And we all know what that means. Christmas Eve dinner with my extended family, wherein I will deflect questions about my lack of love life and my continuing status as an unagented, unpublished writer. But that little drama is still four months away, so no use worrying about it quite yet.

What have I been up to, you ask? And what the hell does my blog post title mean?

Frequently on AbsoluteWrite, a thread will pop up (very often from an overzealous newbie) asking about word counts. The common theme: "I've written a 200,000 word fantasy/thriller/mystery/whatever, but agents say they won't take anything over 120,000. I can't possible cut anything, because my baby is perfect the way she is. Since my book is so awesome, do you think the agent will make an exception?"


Once a month. Seriously.

It got me to thinking about editing and cutting and making a story stronger. I pondered two books that I wrote several years ago. They were originally one long novel, but it kept growing in scope, so I split it into two average length books. Together, their word count was approximately 170,000.

I love those books. I love the characters and the world and their unique powers. It's been part of my life since the year 2000. I had queried the first novel as a standalone, unsuccessfully, for nearly two years before my final rejection arrived this summer. I had planned to simply stick it in a drawer for a while and move onward with other projects. And I did. For about a month.

Then I started thinking about editing and word count trimming. Did it really need to be two books? Were all of those subplots necessary? Could I trim it down to a manageable 120k words without losing the overall story?

No. No. We'll see.

So I opened up Word and pasted both documents into it, and thus began the Great Word Chopping Challenge. I excised an entire subplot that, while fun and research-heavy during the first draft, wasn't absolutely needed for the story to work. I chopped out whole scenes. I cut two beloved flashbacks. I removed extraneous details, excessive dialogue tags, and about a hundred "nods, smiles, and grins." The words melted off, leaving a tighter, leaner story behind. I finished with a word count of 119,890.

Was it painful to cut away favorite scenes/moments? Hell, yes. Was I proud of myself once I hit the delete key? Definitely. Do I think this single novel is an improvement over the duology? Yes. Why? Dunno.

My point is that it can be done. Words can be trimmed. Often, getting rid of that extra fat will make the overall novel healthier and happier. Is this true in all instances? No. Some stories are just long. I'd love to see the original duology in print, but if the combined version is what sells, then I'll be satisfied. It's a story I want to share with others, whether it's the Theatrical Release, or the Extended Director's Cut.

Either way, the challenge was worth it.

Happy Chopping!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Next time, I'm taking the whole day off.

Never work half a day when you're trying to arrive someplace on time. It just makes for an unpleasant day. Or an unpleasant half-day, as the case may be.

Last weekend was Shore Leave 29, my annual SFF convention experience. We like to arrive around 4pm, get settled into the hotel, and have a leisurely dinner at a nearby Baja Fresh before activities begin. The hotel is roughly an hour-thirty from my apartment. So on Friday, I agreed to work until 2pm. It would get us on the road by 2:45, if all went well.

All didn't go well.

My fellow manager (the one who is relieving me at 2 so I can hit the road) calls and says she forgot she had an 11 am dentist appointment. She may be a few minutes late. A few I can handle. To me, a few is five, ten minutes. Whatever.

My sister calls around noon. She's at the hotel, but they need a credit card that can hold the room bill until Sunday (we always pay cash, since three people split it). She doesn't have one with a large enough balance. I do. The hotel faxes over a sheet for me to fill out. I wait. No fax. I call back (on my cell, since the office phone at work had been on the fritz for a week by that point). They refax. I get it. A customer issue at work delays me returning it. Sister calls back. It didn't go through.

What? I panic, because I knew I had a large enough balance. Our third roommate didn't have a card. So sis calls her boyfriend, hoping he has one. Meanwhile, I get on the phone with Capital One, hoping to get a customer service rep and figure out what the hell went wrong (I was planning on using a cash advance from this card to pay for my share of the hotel expense). I am on hold for thirty-five minutes. "Please stay on the line, and you, too, will receive our personal attention."

Yeah, right.

I hang up, frustrated beyond words that I've wasted so much time (but I was in the stock room, opening new merchandise with one hand, so at least it wasn't a complete waste). Sister calls back; boyfriend had a card that held us the room. Phew.

Two o'clock rolls around, and I'm raring to go. I want to hit the ground running, because I have to stop by the post office and mail another full manuscript request (yay!) before we leave. 2:10 now. *taps foot* *checks watch* Okay, this is more than a few minutes. My associates are watching me with trepidation, afraid my head will spin off my shoulders. My relief finally arrives at almost 2:40 (!!!). I get out the door five minutes later, because I had to talk her in (store slang for explain what's happened, where we are with sales, if there are any problems that need to be addressed).

I zip in and out of the post office. I try to use my Capital One card to pay for shipping, but it comes back with an "over balance" message. WTF? Okay, fine, I use my debit card. My frustration level is so high that I'm swearing a blue streak at traffic all the way home. I finally get there and storm into my room to plug in my dying cell phone, and I call Capital One again.

"We are currently experience high call traffic...."

I burst into tears.

I'm one of those people who cries when I get really, really frustrated. It's my body's way of venting, I suppose. I felt a little better afterward. My roommate calmed me down, and we figured out a solution to my hotel money woes. After a few minutes, we were packed up and ready to go. Finally hit the road at 3:40 pm.

Made it to the hotel by 5pm on the dot. As soon as I got there, the day's frustration melted away. It was my weekend to geek out, have fun, and just revel in science fiction and fantasy. I had a great time, laughed loads, and discovered a new favorite saying:


Truer words were never spoken.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Grabby Hands

Random observation of the day:

SciFi Channel is airing Final Destination 2. Not a great film, but it gets points for starring Michael Landes (*pants*). I left it on in the background and look up from time to time. Tonight it occurs to me that Michael grabs AJ Cook an awful lot in this film.

He knocks her down and away from the speeding car.
He grabs her so she doesn't run after her now-mowed-down friends.
He grabs her so she doesn't run toward a piece of glass that is about to smush a kid.
He grips her arms during one of her visions.
He hugs her (twice) after Isabella has the baby.
He knocks her down again, this time as a hospital room explodes.
He grabs her to keep her away from Clear's roasted body (the girl likes to race toward dead people, I don't get it).
He holds onto her again when she starts talking about self-sacrifice.

You know you've watched a movie too many times when these are the things you notice...

Friday, June 22, 2007

One Year Later

One year ago today, Anna Eva Meding passed away at the wonderful age of 88 years old. I spent the day thinking of her, trying to come up with a post that showed how much she meant to me. To describe what a wonderful, complex, loving woman she was. The funny thing is, I couldn't think of a thing to write, because what she meant to me is so ingrained in who I am that it's impossible to put it into a few hundred words.

Instead of an essay, I've decided on a word collage. Things that, while they may seem random to you, mean something to me.









Every story she ever told ended with the same phrase, so it seemed appropriate to sign off with it: That's the way it goes.

I love you, Grandma. I miss you.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

It's Not Rocket Science

I love that grocery stores have those Self Checkout lines. Yes, I know it means fewer cashiers, but even before they became popular, I rarely saw more than a third of the available registers at use. The number hasn't seemed to change much with the installation of Self Checkouts in grocery stores across the country.

I like using the Self Checkout because it's more peaceful. I don't have to smile at a discontented cashier who looks about as happy as a constipated gorilla (especially if I've had a bad day, and I look as happy as said gorilla). I can scan my club card, scan my groceries, pay, bag and go.

At least, I used to bag my own groceries and go. Now some stories have wandering baggers, who toddle from line to line and bag the groceries.

Grocery baggers are nothing new. Larger chains used to have them all the time. And bagging groceries does not take a degree. Just common sense. Don't put a jar of spagetti sauce on top of the bread. Don't put canned goods on top of the eggs. Double-bag heavy stuff so the handles don't break.

Every bagger who's bagged my groceries has managed to follow all of these simple guidelines. However, one exists that is never followed. Given that it's summer and very hot, this one should be first and foremost in every bagger's mind: put cold stuff together!

For crying out loud!

Don't put my non-dairy creamer and deli meat in with the box of rice. Don't put two frozen dinners in with my bread. Put the creamer, meat and frozen dinners in one bag; put the rice and bread in another. I don't want my room temp stuff getting damp or accumulating moisture. And I like my cold stuff to stay cold on the way home, thank you very much.

It's not rocket science! Like things together! Which one of these does not belong?


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Couple of Throw Pillows, A TV News Reporter....

Whaddaya think?

Who knew changing the look of my blog was so easy? Probably thousands of other Blogger users who've already done it. *snicker*

I love the new digs, and hope to add a few more features over the next couple of days.

Monday, June 11, 2007

100th Post

I hadn't given much thought to what my 100th blog post would be about, so imagine my surprise when I decided to blog about a great rejection.

Some folks will say that there is no such thing as a great rejection. A rejection is just a rejection. Period.


I submitted a full manuscript two weeks ago. This morning I received an email rejection from the agent, and while the "no" stung a little, the message contained enough hope to soothe the wound. She said I had a lot of strong prose, stronger than a lot of writing that passed her desk. She also felt I had a sympathetic heroine.

The major downfall for her was some of the plot turns. Some didn't feel natural, and those reservations prevented her from taking on the novel. It definitely gives me something to look harder at tomorrow (day off = editing day).

She closed the letter by inviting me to submit future projects, if I find myself without representation and another book available. *swoon*

So there it is: the good, the bad, and the hopeful.

Friday, June 08, 2007

AW Blog Chain 9

I haven't participated in an AW blog chain for quite a while, and I'm ecstatic to be back. I neglected the poor thing for a few months (the blog, not AW, heaven knows I spend too much time there).

If may be so bold as to quote from A View From the Waterfront (the lovely blog that preceded mine), Alan writes: What will Kelly at Organized Chaos do with this thread?

What, indeed?

Alan blogged about food security in Alaska. I have to be honest here--I never pondered the notion that food would be a problem to get in Alaska. Why? Well, I admit to a somewhat limited worldview, since my life has been spent in Southern Delaware and Northern Virginia (with a brief stopover in Los Angeles and Pennsylvania for college). I know Alaska is snowy and cold, and most of its major cities are along the coast. Dummy me never really understood why until I read his post: food.

My roommate is a huge fan of "Deadliest Catch," and she could probably write me an essay on the importance of seafood to Alaskan survival. Or on the sound a grown man makes when a crab pinches his nethers. I imagine it contains swear words.

Living here in the continental US, it's hard to imagine not having immediate access to all sorts of groceries. If I want steak, I go buy steak. If I want shrimp, I go buy shrimp. If I want peaches, I go buy peaches (although ripeness is negotiable, depending on the time of year). The idea of subsistence foods being provided by the Federal Government just astounds me. It sounds like something we do to villages in South America, not to our fellow Americans in the great white north.

It truly instills a sense of respect. Respect for the folks who carve out a life and a living up there in Alaska. A place that is fifty degrees in the summer and can have upwards of six months of constant sunlight in certain areas is not a state I'd want to live in. But my hat is off to those that do. It's a beautiful state, and you have been blessed with its wonders.


Well, not the post I thought I'd create for this chain (I just watched The Guardian, which takes place in Alaska, and was prepared to go off on a tangent about films set in Alaska....alas...).

Next up is Williebee.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

It's the small things in life that tickle me most.

Like walking into a bookstore with no intention of purchasing anything (yeah, right) and walking out with a book you had forgotten about. I loved Star Trek: Enterprise, and watched all four seasons during its abbreviated run on UPN. I'd gladly buy the DVD's if I could afford them (I do accept gifts!).

I've picked up a handful of the tie-in novels that Pocket Books publishes. Some, like the Daedalus duology, are excellent. Others, like *Deleted By Nice-O-Matic*, sucked eggs. Still, I first heard about "The Good That Men Do" during last year's Shore Leave convention, when editor Marco Palmieri gave a preview of upcoming Trek books.

Needless to say, a book that explains Trip's "death" in the show's series finale and revealed he did not, in fact, die at all, was immediately added to my Wish List. I adore the character of Trip Tucker (can you tell by the avatar?), and Connor Trinneer is such a sweetheart in person. Sick as a dog, he still shows up to do his scheduled talks and sign hundreds of autographs. *sigh*

Anywho, I haven't read it yet (come on, I've only owned it for about eight hours), but look forward to it. Once I finish this one, I will finally (finally!) read the next one in the Crimson City series. Dunno why I haven't yet. Yeesh.

Forgetful much?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

'The Return' Should Go Away

It is a rare movie that makes me want to stalk up to the clerk at Blockbuster and demand my rental fee back. The Return, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, is one more film on that rather short list (which includes The Grudge, Wolf Creek, and Starsky & Hutch, among others).

Don't bother. Really.

It's billed as a psychological thriller, but the trailer makes it look like a haunted house/horror flick, so imagine my surprise when nothing remotely scary happens for the first...oh...what's the running time of the film?

Anyway, it did explain itself by the end, but I was so thoroughly confused during the first hour of the movie that I just didn't care. I was too excited to realize it was over to really care how it ended. Don't get me wrong. I love a good psychological thriller (The Usual Suspects and Unknown come immediately to mind), but this one was just bad. The script was schizophrenic, the characters bland, and the overall look of the film unimpressive.

Unless you are a die-hard SMG fan, skip it.

I wish I had.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Back on the Chain

It's been a while since I've participated in one of the AW Blog Chain's. Number 9 just started, and I'm near the bottom (as usual, I'm so slow at joining these wonderful chains). It'll be a bit before it's my turn, but I wanted to post the entire chain. A few familiar blogs and a couple of new ones, too.

I've got some reading to do.

Virginia Lee: I Ain't Dead Yet!
hunt & peck
Life, Writing, and Other Things
Food History
A View From the Waterfront
Organized Chaos
The Road Less Traveled

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I Should But A Lottery Ticket

It's been that kind of day. :)


I checked my email this afternoon, and found a reply to an agent email query I just sent on Sunday evening. Expecting a rejection (hey, it was fast turnaround!), I found a request to read the entire manuscript. Woot! <---I don't know what that means, except to convey excitement.

I spent the next hour bouncing around my apartment, startling the cats, and hoping I had enough toner in my printer for the job.


My roommate, who has been actively seeking a new job, has a phone interview set up for tomorrow. She also received a call from another place with comparable pay to her current position, responding to a resume she sent them a while ago. I've got my fingers crossed for her.


My sister finally received the results from her Maryland Certification Exam. She passed, and is a licensed therapist! Yay, sis! More money for her, which is a great thing.

*happy sigh*

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

I'm glad that I've reached a point in the agent-querying process where a rejection doesn't feel like a personal slight. Maybe a year ago, but not now. It's part of the game. Maybe it's because I've had nothing but rejections so far, but eh. It is what it is.

I received my SASE back from Curtis Brown, LTD. A partial request for Warden's Trance that I mailed five weeks ago. Great turnaround time. It was a rejection, but a nice one. I didn't mind. I've only sent out five queries so far. One other rejection, two no replies, and an email request for the first twenty pages (sent!). I don't consider the two no replies as rejections yet (after a few more months, then yes).

Time to start sending out some revised queries (thanks to the wonderful folks at the Fangs, Fur and Fey hook contest, I've tweaked it a tad).

Cross your fingers for me.

Friday, May 18, 2007

"Momma took my eyebrows."

Anyone who saw last night's "Grey's Anatomy" should recognize the title of my post. Poor Cristina. No one deserves to have their eyebrows stolen on their almost-wedding day, and it gave way to one of the best lines of the show. The one best (I can't remember word for word) was delivered by Derek to Burke, about being the best man and sleeping with his wife in ten years. Dratted bad memory!

An otherwise stellar episode was, once again, ruined by yet another "I'm in love with you" declaration from Izzie. Is it me, or does her affection fluctuate by season? I mean, if we're to believe that the first fifty-odd episodes of this show cover one year, then in that amount of time, she's been in lust with Alex, in love with Denny, and now in love with George. That's pretty special. (<---please don't miss the sarcasm, it's dripping down the sides here)

Callie's request to have a baby was hilarious. I knew the wedding wouldn't happen, but I admit I was surprised that Burke called it off (for the right reasons, of course). I was just shocked that he left town like that (poor Cristina!). Alex once again deserves to be smacked for not asking Ava to stay (not that Jason London is a bad fall-back). I have adored their storyline, and hoped to see the actress stick around. She brought out Alex's human side.

Meredith needs to have her head removed from her keister. Why, oh why does that woman have to put all of her romantic hopes and dreams into the success of other people's relationships? It's annoying, and it makes her out to be queen bitch. Derek's "Let me off the hook" speech was heartbreaking, because she couldn't even respond to it. Other than to insist that she get Cristina down the aisle. As if making sure Cristina and Burke get married (two people who shouldn't be!) will somehow make everything right with the universe. *headdesk*

It's amusing that the narrator has become the least likeable character on the show (only one tier down from Izzie and her issues).

On another medical show front, I've been hit-and-miss the last two or three years with "E.R." It hasn't been the same show since Noah Wyle left, and I just can't see John Stamos as anyone but Uncle Jesse. But I've tuned in for the last handful of episodes (yay for Abby and Luka tying the knot!), mostly because I kept hearing that Goran Visjinc and Shane West wouldn't be back next year. And I love Stanley Tucci; his new character is a trip!

First, kudos for not killing anyone off. As soon as they mentioned a high alert level and Luka flying to Croatia, I had images of a fiery plane crash. So glad they didn't go that route. Abby needs some happiness. But the Literal Jaw-Drop Moment of the Year Award goes to Ray's hospital reveal. Oh. My. God. If you haven't seen it, I won't ruin it here, but wow. Did not expect that.

And is it sad that I was laughing while Neela was getting trampled by that fleeing mob? I dunno, I just don't like her right now. Maybe I have a natural inclination to dislike whichever female the hot guys are fighting over. Oh well.

How did the medical finales score?

Grey's: A- for emotional trauma
ER: B+ for shock value and Stanley Tucci

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Close But...Eh, Who Wants Cigars, Anyway?

The ballots are in and the judges have decided. The winner of the Fangs, Fur and Fey contest has been announced, and it's....

Not me. Ah well, there was stiff competition from some of the entries. Congrats to the winner. On a somewhat comforting note, I did unofficially tie with another author for second place. That's the kind of thing that makes me smile.

Onwards and upwards.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Another One Down

If anyone wondered where I've been for the last three weeks, here it is: writing like a mad demon.

I never realized how intently focused I could get on a novel until I started writing the latest. Exactly seven weeks ago. And now it's finished, at 104k words. I have never written so much, so fast. I thought writing the last one (Warden's Trance) was special, but boy howdy! This one (Ace's Wild) takes the prize. It's a sequel to the story I finished in March. Now that they are both done, I can go back and rip through the first novel with my editorial hat on.

I entered the query hook for Warden's Trance in the contest run by the lovely authors at the Fangs, Fur and Fey livejournal. I was asked to send in pages, and the crit is posted here. The notes I received are fantastic. Very helpful. Definitely stop by, especially if you are a fan of paranormal and urban fantasy. It's a great blog.

I get to start paying on the new car next week. Joy of joys.

Saw Spiderman 3 on Sunday. Okay, so it wasn't the greatest movie ever, or even better than the first two (and let's face it, what third films ever are?), but it wasn't terrible. So many people are trashing it, and I just don't get it. I really don't. And I suppose I don't want to get it. I went to see a high-octane, entertaining movie. I was entertained. I laughed. I even jumped once. I got to see James Franco in his undewear. Do I really need more in a film?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Progress on One Front

I've been a bad little blogger. I told myself that I would get my butt in here and write at least once a week. *smacks wrist with a ruler* I should pick a day, make it a new habit to write an entry on that day.

Wednesdays makes sense, for now. Why? Because it's my week-marker for the Work-in-Progress. I started writing the novel on a Wednesay, and it's the day I check for my 10k-words a week goal. Four weeks into it, I've surpassed the 60k word mark. I think I'm making my goal, and then some. Two more weeks at this rate, and one of two things will happen: 1) I'll finish it, or 2) my wrists will fall off. Both events are likely.

However, the pain is worth it. I am enjoying this novel immensely. The heroine, Dahlia, is a supporting character from another novel who popped into my head before the other was finished and demanded center stage. Writing in first person is an amazing exercise in creativity, because the entire plot has to center around one character. Getting events to intersect with her life is challenging, but I love a good challenge. She's exciting, persistant, curious, and falling in love for the first time (send your sympathy in the form of cyber-chocolate).

Back in the real world, I finally got a new car. New-to-me, at any rate. It's an '06 Ford Focus SE. Cute little four-door sedan, pretty silver color. I'd post a pic, but I don't have a digital camera or a camera phone (I'm not a technophobe, just poor, and poorer still once the car payments begin). I love driving her, though. She handles much better than my old Jelly Bean ( '96 Taurus).

I also emailed that idiot Amazon Used Seller about my books (still not here as of today, 4/17). I got an email back saying that there was a postage error, they received the books back on Saturday, and reshipped. Uh huh. Anyone ever hear of a freaking courtesy email? Seven dollars shipping on two paperbacks that are three weeks late, and they can't even bother to let me know my books are on the way? *has finger poised above the feedback button*


Ahem. Sorry about that.

As you were...

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Nothing Especially Wonderful

Nothing huge to blather on about right now, I just wanted to check in.

I hit the two week mark on my latest WIP (second in a series to the paranormal romance I finished last month), and am sitting pretty at 29,000 words. I gave myself a 10k/week word count goal and have certainly surpassed it. I predict that I'll either burn out next week, or finish this one in record time (it doesn't hurt that this is one of the coolest plots I've ever done).

Finished reading Gena Showalter's latest, The Nymph King. Loved it. Wasn't sure I would, but I did. I'll do up a review for it at a later date. Right now I'm waiting on the next two books in the Crimson City series. I am so annoyed and will never buy from this bookseller on Amazon again. I purchased both from them, hoping for a shipping combo. Nope. I choose standard shipping. Seems this yahoo uses parcel post (I paid seven freaking dollars!) because my expected arrival (for books bought 3/25) is 4/3--4/17!?!?! Excuse me, but what?

Those books had better be wrapped in silk for seven bucks and three weeks to get here.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Holy Frak!

The third season of Battlestar Galactica has drawn to an end. After the nailbiting cliffhanger of season one, and the "uh oh" ending of season two, it's nice to watch the closing credits with a sense of mild closure. Even though I wanted to throw things at the screen when I saw the little "Returns in 2008" script, it won't be a long, crazy wait. There are even rumors of a TV movie in the fall, so that should feed my Jamie Bamber cravings.

Ah, now, where to begin?

The opening scene with Adama shaving and Roslin in bed gave me giggles. I hope they keep any romance notions on the back burner, because the friendship they have is priceless.

Baltar's trial. With no rumors of the terrific James Callis leaving the show, I knew that Baltar had to either get off, or escape prior to execution. I like that he was found not guilty, because the look of utter abandonment on his face when Lee and the Lawyer left him was priceless. Lee's witness stand speech was one of the most compelling monologues I've heard in ages, and every single point he made was true. Especially his own shortcomings and involment in leaving the settlers behind on New Caprica. Great turn when the elder Adama voted in favor of acquittal and pissed off Roslin. I wonder if she's so intent on Baltar's blood, because she can't stand to admit that she has failed at something along the way. That she's not a saint, either.

The Four. I still don't know if I believe that Tighe, Tori, Tyrol and Sam (doesn't that sound like a blues band?) are really four of the final five Cylon models. It seems too obvious, too easy. But I've heard rumors that one of next season's themes is exploring what it means to be human. Hmm... Either way, we still have one model left.

I so called Starbuck's reappearance. I just couldn't believe that my girl was dead, and that her big destiny was to explode in a ball of light. The look on Lee's face was adorable, when he realized who was in the bogey ship. Although I forsee a less than joyous reunion once she gets back on board the Galactica. They believed her head; she shows up not dead. Um, Cylon, anyone? Even if she's not (and I truly hope she isn't), they'll question it for a while.

Overall, I enjoyed this season more than last season (some of those episodes were very scattershot, like the writers weren't reading each other's scripts from week to week). There was a moment or two this year that made me scratch my head, but many moments that had me either cheering or thinking. It's not a perfect show (if it was, they would have let Dee die a few eps ago), but no show is perfect.

It does, however, continue to entertain me. It also continues to be one of the best written, best acted shows on television. Now if only we could get the Emmy voters to figure that out.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Ides of March

Okay, so I'm a day late. I just wanted to complain for a moment about the month of March. Two days ago, we threw open the windows and patio doors and allowed a little bit of warm, seventy-degree air into the apartment. It was wonderful.

Today, I keep glancing out the window to see how much more snow is on the ground. Yep, snow. First it was rain, then sleet, now friggin' snow! It's cold, it's snowy, and it's the middle of March.

Allergy sufferers will be happy (and I work with several, so trust me), but I hate this. It feels like a big tease. Give us warm weather, then give us snow and ice.

Damn you, Mother Nature!

Oh yeah, and a Happy Birthday to my sister, Dawn. Just remember, my dear, no matter how old you get....I'll always be younger. *rimshot*

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

To Boldly Go Where We've Already Been Before

The Star Trek rumor mill is once again bustling with word of the new feature film. Looks like they've decided to shoot themselves in the foot and go for a Kirk-era prequel. I'm sure that TOS lovers are salivating over the thought, but this is one recovering-Trekker who is less than enthusiastic. In fact, I would say I'm a bit sad. Unless they blow me away with trailers and advance footage well before release day, I will rent that one from the cheap counter in about three years (or whenever it lands there). I'm sorry, but they tried the prequel route with "Enterprise," and nitpicky, er…dedicated fans everywhere screamed foul.

Why would they do that again? Prequels are tricky, tricky, tricky.

The appeal of a prequel is to understand why something came to pass, how a character turned out the way that they did. What exactly don't we already know about Kirk and Spock from previous films, episodes, and books? The Kobayashi Maru was handled perfectly in Wrath of Khan, so why mess with it again? We know Spock and Sarek had a rough relationship. Why retread that? The first Enterprise mission was under Captain April, so we can't do that with Kirk.

We know so much about the back stories of Kirk and Spock that it would be like watching a two hour rerun. *Snore*

Some prequels work. Many don't. Just ask George "I'm Making Three More Movies Because Now I Can Afford To Screw It Up Anyway I Want" Lucas. I have yet to subject myself to watching Attack of the Clones a second time, and it's not just because of the cheesy Roger Corman title.Now just to offer some hope, a recent prequel that worked for me was the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. Sure, we know that Thomas Hewitt becomes a psychopathic murderer/fillet master/skin wearer, but the fun of that movie was seeing how it all started. Who was his first victim? How did Holtz become the sheriff? How'd he loose his front teeth? How did Uncle Monty loose his legs? It was entertaining, in a gory kind of way, but it worked.

Why? Because the first TCM film (the recent remake, starring Jessica Biel) focused on the five teenagers. The Hewitt family and their creepy neighbors were secondary. We knew very little about them, or their motivations. The Beginning gives the spotlight to the Hewitts, and we begin to understand them. They're still psychopathic and demented, but at least now we know why.

Kirk and Spock have always been the focus of the original Trek. There is very little we can go back to learn that we don't already know. We know where they came from, we know were they end up.

Batman Begins (another successful prequel) worked for a different reason. Over the years Batman comics have given us a few different origin stories. They all feature common elements (young Bruce witnesses the murder of his parents and is raised by Alfred), but his journey from that moment to the various incarnation of Batman that have appeared in comics for sixty years, is often changed or not specified. It leaves room for interpretation.

Tim Burton touched on it in Batman, making the Joker responsible. Christopher Nolan touched on it in his prequel, making thugs responsible. There is no singular origin that all fans scream for as being The One.

If someone tried to do that with Trek (say, make Kirk from Michigan, instead of Iowa), fans would throw tomatoes at the director. If the writers chose to give Kirk a childhood friend who died tragically during a space mission, fans would be furious (we all know Kirk doesn't face death until Spock "dies" in Wrath of Khan). They'd revolt, cry foul, write letters of protest. We all saw what happened with small inconsistencies in "Enterprise." There isn't the same wiggle room for a Trek prequel that exists in other franchises.

Star Trek has always been about looking toward the future. So why the hell is Abrams so keen on digging up the past? If he can pull it off successfully, my hat is off to them. If not...well, I'll be silently thinking "I told you so....when's my 'Deep Space Nine' movie coming out?"

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Weather Man

Now I know why people threw stuff at Nicolas Cage in that particular movie. They just never know, do they?

The forecast for my town: Clear.

What's it doing: Snow Flurries.

Um, hello?


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Back from the Abyss


I am surprised and ashamed to see I haven't updated this blog in almost three months. Life got a bit hectic around Thanksgiving. Serenity and I finished co-authoring a novel in about six weeks (we missed our NaNoWriMo goal, but hey! We still finished.). Then came Christmas in Retail, and all the joys that go with it (she says with the appropriate amounts of sarcasm).

Oh well, no real excuses. But I hope to become more prolific on the blog, perhaps participate in the blog chains like I used to.

It's funny that I had forgotten about this blog until this morning. Remember the reason I first created it? To vent about being unjustly kicked off an RPG site? Well, late last night, Serenity got an IM from one of the players (completely out of the blue), asking if she had trouble getting onto the website. Obviously this player forgot that we had both been kicked out, and no longer tried to access the site (um, HELLO???). She wrote back and said so. Funny thing was, this whole thing is so far out of our minds right now that neither of us could remember exactly which player sent the PM. Didn't recognize her YIM handle.

Turns out the guy who owned and maintained their website forgot to pay for it. Sayonara.

It felt terrible to laugh over something like that. I know how painful it is to lose game posts, but I couldn't help a small sense of justice. This isn'g gloating, exactly. But that news reminded me of my poor, neglected little blog.

I've missed you, Blog. Let's be friends again.