Monday, September 24, 2007

Fits and Starts

Once more, its all about the writing. Though, isn't it always?
After writing a prolific 50 pages or so the week before (around about 14,000 words) I followed it last week by doing absolutely nothing. Of course, I actually do have a reason for writing nothing after writing so much (and no, it wasn't because my brain overheated and leaked out my ears in an extremely messy goo). You see, everything I write, I pass onto my sister-in-law, who is actually responsible for my love of romance, having introduced me to them when I was 18, which in turn made me realize I wanted to write. So, when I'm a best-selling, famous author, I'll be forever thanking her for guiding me onto the path of my career. Anyway, back to my original point. As my SIL is also a very prolific reader, much like myself (meanwhile, I've decided the word of the day is going to be 'prolific') I like to give her whatever I've written to get some good, honest feedback, as I can count on her to be brutally honest, when some other people might be inclined to simply gush 'oh, its so good, I'm sure you're going to get published one day soon!'
I can also count on my SIL to give me good advice about how the storyline and characters are developing, especially when I'm having some issues. Which brings me to now.
I've got to a point in my current WIP where I could go with the story, all of which have points for and against them. I must admit, there is one option that I am leaning towards over the others, but for objection's sake, I'm going to ask my SIL which option she thinks I should take, and probably have a nice long discussion on the merits of each. So in the meantime, I'm not writing anything while she reads what I've written so far.
And that's where I'm up to today. Once again, I'm hoping that this manuscript will be the one to see me over the line, and have taken an entirely different tact on trying to get published. So, competitions, here I come.
Oh, and if I can think of one, tomorrow I might try for a Top Ten Tuesday. But I'm not making any promises. For all I know, another month could slip by before I make it back again! So slack... I know.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sadly Neglected

Oh dear. More than a month has gone by since my last post, how utterly horrifying.
Once again, the past weeks have not been uneventful. They continue to be filled with baby-related goings-on, and up until last week, lots of working. Then I lost my job. Ok, technically I haven't lost it altogether, since my boss is hoping that by the time I've had my baby and am looking to go back to work, she'll be able to put me back on again, but in the meantime, I had to start my maternity leave a little earlier than anticipated.
I actually wasn't at all upset about it. I mean, ok, obviously we don't have as much money coming in now, but there is a bright side. Now I get to spend lots of time writing. I don't have an excuse not to any more. On Monday I sat down and wrote 20 pages of my current WIP, and sketched out some other new ideas I'd come up with. Today I'm hoping to get about 10 or so done, and this all means I'll have a finished manuscript in no time that will then be ready to go off to RWA comps, agents and maybe some publishers. Maybe this manuscript will be the one to get me over that line from the unpublished wilderness to the madness (I'm sure) that is the life of a published author with a new baby.
Just as a side note, I'd always imagined that somewhere along the track I'd get published, and then I'd settle in to start having babies. Funny how some things don't work out like you plan.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

MIA - Where Have I Been?

Has it really been over a month since I posted? Apparently yes. How totally slack of me!
Well, I can tell you that it has been a very interesting few weeks since I last checked in here. I think it was the week after the last entry that I received 3 rejections in 3 days. That was possibly the best week of my life (not). By the third one, I was angry. I was bitter. I wanted to throw my computer against the brick feature wall in my lounge room. And then I realized something.
I hadn't been enjoying writing for a long while. A few months at least. I'd been so busy writing to agents, hoping I'd get my break, convincing myself I didn't care that much when I got rejected (all the while screaming in my head "WHAT DO THEY WANT? WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO FOR GOD'S SAKE?"), forcing myself to soldier on and finish the manuscript, that I'd forgotten why I started writing in the first place all those years ago. I'd become resentful and begun to hate the thought of sitting down to write, which is quite possibly the worst place a writer can find themselves. Worse even than writer's block I feel.
So I took a step back. Literally, since I had to quell the urge to smash my computer. I had to think about things. Luckily that weekend I had a meeting with my writer's group. I talked to them about it (thank god for those girls, otherwise I might go crazy!), I re-assessed. I came up with a new plan, because I can't function unless I have a set strategy in my mind, which is funny since when I write, I don't plan anything at all.
Anyway, because part of me is just so stubborn, I'm going to send out one more proposal to Tor Paranormal Romances, since they accept unagented submissions. I still have the ms out with 2 other publishers and 2 other agents, so that's at least 5 opportunities that could come to something.
Luckily, hitting the second trimester of my pregnancy seems to have revived my writing-mojo, and I've been back to my usual prolific self (oh, and its just over a week now until I have my 19 week scan and find out if the baby is a boy or a girl, I can't wait!). I've got several comps lined up over the next few months that I'm going to enter, because I had been telling myself that no matter what happens, I was going to start entering comps this year. One of the manuscripts I'll be entering in these comps I'm hoping to start querying agents about when it's finished and I've got some feed back from the judges. So it's kind of like starting all over again. Of course I hope my publishing contract is waiting sometime in the near future, and I'll admit that being impatient is one of my biggest flaws. I just really need to get back to the basics of why I'm a writer and remind myself that it could be a good long time before I get published, if ever.
But back to baby-related news, which is always entertaining. I went to a pregnancy class last week, and we did some water aerobics, so all of us expectant mums stripped down to our bathers. As I was the new chick, I of course got asked the questions "how far along are you, when's the baby due?" When I told them that I was 17 weeks, they just looked at me for a bit and then one of them goes with a bit of a laugh (you know, the laugh when something's not really funny, but if you don't laugh you just might stab the person you're talking to with the nearest blunt object?) and she said "oh, and you're not even showing yet." When what I'm sure she really wanted to say was: "are you even pregnant... BITCH!"
There were other girls there who were as far along as me and they had huge bellies! I just look like I've maybe eaten too much. In fact, with all my clothes on, you can't even tell I'm pregnant, and I'm almost halfway through the pregnancy. The lady who was running the class told me that often girls of my stature don't get very big, especially with their first baby. I'll probably get to nine months and be lucky if I look a day past 6 months pregnant. So I'm just going to thank myself lucky that I'm probably not going to get so big that I'll no longer be able to see my feet. And that I'll be able to wear normal-people clothes, just maybe one size bigger than what I used to. Because, seriously? Maternity clothes = yuck. I have not yet seen one attractive maternity outfit that I would be moved to pay the extremely ridiculous price of double what normal clothes would usually be. Like, what? Because they have to use extra material, they have to charge double the price? And coz us fat pregnant ladies can't fit into anything else except a coupla bed sheets tied together we have no choice but to buy them? $60 for a top? $100 for a pair of pants with extremely unattractive elastic around the top? No thank you.
So that's the last few weeks for you. I'm feeling much better about my writing, and can't wait to enter these comps and get some feed back from the judges. Oh, and I'll make sure another months doesn't go by before I get back here!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Agents on the Brain... Still

Morning!
You know, I get the feeling (from reading blogs) that these agents I'm waiting to hear from are just really behind in submissions, so I guess they're not ignoring me or anything, they probably just have huge piles of stuff on their desks and genuinely don't have a clue where in that pile my little ol' manuscript might be.
What I should do, and should have done months ago, is finish the damn thing and then offer them the full ms. Since it was only half done when I started querying it, they all only asked for partials.
I mean, its at 87,000 words right now. I only have about 10,000 words between me and completion. And why can't I do it?
Because I'm pregnant. Apparently.
No, not 'apparently' pregnant, that bit is definite, but 'apparently' my drive to write went out the window when the little parasite... ahem, I mean, beautiful little darling was conceived. Seriously. The week I conceived, I just started finding it impossible to write anything. And this trend has continued over the past 12 weeks. And will probably continue for the next 6 months. I could have written the end twenty times over by now, but my brain refuses to cooperate. Its a really strange phenomenon. But I will persist! 10,000 words is nothing! I am going to finish it, and then I'm going to write to these agents and tell them they really need to read the whole thing, because I am a genius...
Ok, maybe not, but I seriously think that SOMEONE needs to take me on soon. I mean, I have 6 completed manuscripts sitting on my computer. They could be making money for someone right now. And I have heaps and heaps of ideas for future books. So I could continue making money for someone in the future. I'm not a one off shot, and one day I'll prove it.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Dean-arific

Hello!
Partly because I promised it, and partly becuase Cafrine requested it, here is some great Dean moments, complete with pictures. I could have gone on and on and on and on, becuase let's face it, Dean gets some good lines. But I picked some of my favourites from Season 1 and then tracked down some screencaps to go with it (curtesy of supernatural.tv). I'm thinking I might try to do one for Sam eventually too, coz some of those screencaps just need to be shared with the world!


1) Steam-showers are AWESOME!













> Steam-showers with Dean in them? Yes, they certainly are



2) Stow the touchy-feely-self-help-yoga crap















3) Dude, you fugly














4) I hope your apple pie is frickin’ worth it!














>No, no its not




5) First we’re going to find the handsome devil and then we’re going to beat the holy crap out of him

















6) Are we talking misdemeanor kinda trouble, or a squeal like a pig kinda trouble?
















7) Then what? I hand him over to the cops and say 'Lock him up, officer, he kills with the power of his mind?’
















8) I taste GOOD!














> Yes, Dean, I'm sure you do. And I'm sure there's about a bazillion women out there who'd like to find out just how good that is...
To put in context: this quote was from Wendigo, but I felt that this picture was much more fitting of that particular phrase.



9) Oh, sweetheart, I don’t do shorts
















10) When someone says a place is haunted, don’t go in















11) That attitude right there? Is why I always got the extra cookey

















12) So you found some beetles… In a hole… In the ground… That’s shocking, Sam



Wednesday, June 6, 2007

What to do?

I have this problem. I don't know how to fix it. I've done what I think I need to do, but it got me nowhere.
You see, at the moment I have out 2 proposals with publishers (and them being publishers, I don't expect to hear from them anytime soon), but I also have 4 proposals out with 4 different agents. My problem is that these agents all have certain time periods in which you should contact them if you haven't heard back from them.
I waited the allotted time for all 4 agents, and then I emailed them (politely, I feel) to remind them that they had my proposal and I would really like to hear back from them in the near future as to what status my proposal has. Are they having trouble deciding whether or not they like it? Is it sitting under a pile of other unread manuscripts on their desk and they just haven't got around to reading yet? Has it gone on the reject pile and no one's quite got around to sending me a form rejection yet? Did they even receive the damn things?
Do you think any of these agents answered my emails? No. Not one.
So what do you do in this situation? I don't want to have to keep emailing them. I don't want to turn into a serial pest. I'd like to be able to send some of these agents some of my other work if they decide they don't want my paranormal.
You know, most of them have blogs, and they make it sound so easy to email them and remind them they have it and you're waiting to hear back. It's just annoying when they blog about one thing and then do another.
I know they're busy, I'm not trying to be a bitch, I know my little manuscript is far, far from their list of priorities, but seriously. How hard is it to take five seconds to say "still unread" or "no longer interested" or "i don't know where it is, but you're annoying and I don't want it any longer."
I suppose I'll wait another few weeks, and then try again. In the meantime, I'll be sending out more proposals, and hope they don't hold onto them in indeterminate silence as well.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Supernatural Best Quotes Season 1

Hey!
So, to totally get my mind off everything else going on, I've decided to put up my favourite quotes for Season 1 of Supernatural. Once season two is over and done with, I'll probably do one for that as well. And I also want to do a list of Deanisms, becuase really, they're just so funny. I could have done a Top Ten Tuesday I suppose, but I couldn't be bothered organizing myself. Also, these are in no order whatsoever. Here we go!
(Disclaimer: I'm taking no responsibilty for the fact that these may not be at all funny out of context, but I love them, so they're here.)

1) Sam - "I don’t understand, Dean, we burned the damn thing."
Dean - "Yeah, thank you Captain Obvious."
> Well, Sammy, that wasn't exactly helpful...

2) Sam – "Dean, you gotta update your cassette collection."
Dean – "What’s wrong with it?"
Sam – "Well, number one, they’re cassettes. And second? Black Sabbath, Motor Head, Metallica? It’s the greatest hits of mullet rock."
Dean – "House rules, Sammy. Driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cakehole."
> I just love the delivery of this, it was brilliant.

3) Sam – "What I said before, about mom & dad, I’m sorry."
Dean – "Hey, no chick flick moments."
Sam – "Alright… Jerk"
Dean – "Bitch."
> Ahh, brotherly love.

4) Dean – “It looks like you’re gonna leave town without me.”
Sam – “What are you talking about? I’m not leaving you here.”
Dean – “Hey, you’d better take care of my car, or I swear I’ll haunt your ass.”
Sam – “I don’t think that’s funny.”
Dean – “Well, it’s a little bit funny.”
> Yeah, Sammy, lighten up. On the other hand... Dean was going to die, what cruel world would take such a hot, hot, boy away from us?

5) Sam – “When are we going to talk about it?”
Dean – “About what?”
Sam – “About Dad not being here.”
Dean – “Oh. Well, let’s see... um... never.”
> I don't have anything to say except that's just so Dean.

6) Sam (on the phone) – “Dean, where are you?”
Dean – “I’m in the middle of nowhere with a killer truck on my ass.”
> Ok, this is one of the ones that's not so funny out of context, but the way Jensen Ackles said it was just priceless.

7) Dean – “Don’t worry, I’m sure there’s something in Fitchburg worth killing.”
Sam – “Yeah? What makes you so sure?”
Dean – “Because I’m the oldest… which means I’m always right.”
Sam – “No it doesn’t.”
Dean – “It totally does.”
> That brotherly bond at its best again.

8) Dean – “Sam, how’d you get here?”
Sam – “I stole a car.”
Dean – “That’s my boy.”
> Stealing is against the law, but to save Dean, we'll allow you anything!

9) Dean – “When we were at the hospital, I saw a patient, an old woman.”
Sam – “An old person, huh? In the hospital?”
Dean – “Yeah.”
Sam – “Whoa, we better call the coastguard.”
> I love this one becuase it was a momentary role-reversal. For once, Dean was being totally serious and Sammy was taking the crap out of him. It was great.

10) Sam – “Hey Dean, I’m sorry.”
Dean – “What for?”
Sam – “I’ve really given you a lot of crap, for always following Dad’s orders, but I understand why you do it.”
Dean – “Oh God, kill me now.”
> I just love Dean's reactions to some of the stuff Sam comes out with, they play it off each other so well.

11) Sam – “So burning the body didn’t do anything?”
Dean – “Sure it did, now it’s pissed!”
> Well next time make sure it's the body you need to be burning and not something else. Duh.

So, that's all I've got for season 1. I'm sure there were a hundred more great moments, but they're the ones I really loved. One day soon I'll post some Deanisms. But that's all for now!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Like a Hole in the Head

I have a head cold, my hubby gave it to me, coz you know, when you're married, you just have to share everything. Luckily its not too bad, just a bit of a sore throat and lots of tissues needed. But still, it's enough to make me feel achy and miserable.
Meanwhile, I've written a whole 12 pages on that novella I decided to write for that competition. If I keep going at this rate, I'll never make the deadline. I have no idea what's going on with me at the moment. Usually when I decide to start a new project, I get all excited and whip out 50 or so pages in no time. I could have it half finished by now. Instead, the couch is calling me, so that's where I'm headed. Maybe when I get rid of this annoying cold, I'll really get into it.
I'm distracted, I know I am. Writing is apparently not the most forgiving endeavour in the world.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Obsessed or Vigilant?

I haven't managed to move much further on since the last post. I've still been keeping an eye on the query letter critiques they're doing over at the BookEnds Blog, but luckily I seemingly haven't made any of the other mistakes the agent has been pointing out in other people's letters. As for my own prospects, I'm beginning to get into "I'm not sure how to proceed" territory. I have several proposals out at the moment, and there's one agent in particular I've been waiting to hear back from. I might have talked about this before. I was told that if I hadn't heard in 12 - 16 weeks, to email and find out what was going on with it. Well, I emailed at 12 weeks, just to check in, but didn't receive a reply. Now its reached 16 weeks and I suppose I should email again to once again ask how my proposal's going. But, when does a querying writer go from politely enquiring to being a pest in an agent's eyes? I'm aware that they're most likely very busy, and my proposal is way down there on their list of priorities, but I'd just really like to know what's going on. I suppose emailing at this point wouldn't be considered pestering, since that was the instructions, but what do I then do if I still don't get a reply? I guess I'll get the answer when they're good and ready to, but I hate waiting more than anything, and would just like to get things wrapped up so I can continue moving forward. Since I sincerely think that this agent may not take my paranormal (not because there's anything truly wrong with it [I hope!] but because of what I talked about a couple of entries ago, with the whole market-saturation of paranormal romance), and if that's the case, I'd really like to offer them my action/suspense, since I'm in love with that at the moment and think it has good potential. So I guess I will email them, and see what happens. I can only do so much!
Speaking of doing so much, I've decided to enter this competition at Wild Rose Press, so I have 20,000 words to write and polish to publishing standard by the 30th of August. But I've already done lots of research and written 2000 words today, so I've made a good start. And I get to write a historical time travel romance, which I've always wanted to do. My problem is going to be containing it within 20,000 words, since once I get a story going, I tend to keep going and have no trouble (usually) writing a 100,000 word manuscript. Anyway, I'd better write this email before I lose my nerve and then get back to writing my new ms. 2000 down, 18,000 to go!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Dammit!

There are a few agent blogs that I like to read, they're interesting and they give you lots of hints on how to approach agents and the way you should go about putting together your proposal package.
Today I was reading Bookends Blog in which one of the agents offered to critique people's query letters to give us an idea of what works and what doesn't.
Well, apparently I'm already waaay on the wrong track. In the first example, the opening paragraph of the letter thanked the agent for the opportunity, etc etc, to which the agent responded:

Don’t thank me. I didn’t give you an opportunity and it sounds sniveling. Be strong right up front. There’s no need to thank me, because your story is so good I should be thanking you for giving me the chance.

And when the closing paragraph thanked her for her time once again, she also wrote:

And don’t thank an agent for her time. Your time is just as valuable as mine. Simply let me know that you look forward to hearing from me. Stay strong. Think car salesman.

My query letter?

Thank you for inviting me to send you this proposal package for my paranormal romance manuscript, The Last Shadow. Also, thank you for replying to my query email so quickly, I sincerely appreciated it.

And the last paragraph?

Thank you for the time you are spending to read over this proposal, I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Dammit!
But I don't have time to be upset about it, since I have to rush off to work now. Maybe I'll have a moment of despair over it later this afternoon.
PS... I was just trying to be polite!
Oh, and by the way, yesterday I wrote a total of 4663 words for BIAW.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

BIAW So Far

Well, it's Tuesday and I've been participating in BIAW for 2 days now, how utterly exciting!
Yesterday I wrote 2907 words, which I thought was a good start since I've been so seriously slack lately. Today so far I've written 2396 words, though I do plan to continue, to try and get myself over the 3000 word mark, leaving me 9000 words or so to write between tomorrow and Sunday. Since I'm working for the rest of the week, I thought it might be a good idea to get out as many as I could early on.
But enough about that, as fascinating as I'm sure it is.
BIAW has actually been a little tough for me so far. Not the actual writing part, just because I have to totally admit I'm going through a "woe-is-me" stage at the moment. Maybe that's why I just haven't been able to bring myself to write these past weeks.
Fine. I'll admit it. All of the rejections I've gotten off agents the past months are not rolling off me like water on a duck, as I may have previously led you to believe. Don't get the wrong idea, my resolve to be published is still kicking, alive and well. But I guess you can only get so many rejections before the negative thoughts start creeping in. It's not all bad, as I may have been making it sound. I have had some requests for partials (though no requests for a full ms, but that could have something to do with the fact that I'm actually yet to finish the damn thing), though quite obviously the rejects outweigh those.
So, what negative thoughts am I having, you may wonder? Unfortunately its the usual round of "why am I bothering with this? Obviously it's not good enough to be published, my writing isn't strong enough, my characters aren't working, the story isn't interesting enough blah blah blah."
Most of these doubts I just push aside and forge on, ignoring that evil little voice in my head.
However, in all honesty, I'm beginning to think I missed the Paranormal Romance Train. Here's an interesting little story:
When I began writing, I wanted to write Historical Romance, and I did. Three complete manuscripts. Actually, I banged out the first one really quickly, then the other two I slowly wrote over the past couple of years, because despite whatever else I happen to be writing, I love my historicals the most, and hope to go back, fix them up (because believe me, they need fixing, the first one especially) and get them published. At the time when I started writing, six years ago, Regency Historicals were huge. They were all the rage. Authors like Julia Quinn, Suzanne Enoch, Karen Hawkins, Gaelen Foley, Sabrina Jefferies and Elizabeth Boyle were dominating the market. They were the benchmark. Everyone wanted their books, everyone wanted to write like them.
With the absolute saturation of historicals on the market, I soon realized that it was very hard for a debut author to have anything historical published, when one: there was that saturation happening, and two: they were going up against the authors as mentioned above.
So I put my dreams of publishing historicals aside and decided I was going to write something else. I came up with an idea. I loved Buffy, the whole Vampire/paranormal thing was something I'd enjoyed, though at that stage I'd only read one or two of Christine Feehan's Carpathian series. There were a few paranormals about at that time, but not many, and the idea I had was original. I wanted a male character who thought he was the last vampire, and I was going to put him up against the very people who slaughtered his own, a race of Immortals.
So I wrote and wrote and wrote. Admittedly it took me a good year or more to write the manuscript. I was studying and working at the same time, so my personal time for writing was limited. But in 2005, I had a manuscript ready to go. I sent it out, and of course got rejections and some more rejections, but a proposal that went out in September of that year stayed out, a certain publisher kept it. They didn't send it back. In fact, they kept it for a year. In that time, paranormals started coming out like they were a new brand of Coca Cola. Sherrilyn Kenyon was making a killing (no pun intended) with her Dark Hunter series, and other paranormal authors were seeing success left right and centre.
I was worried about my proposal. I still loved the idea, but the story I'd written and characters I'd used just didn't seem right, and it had taken me a while to see it. So I experimentally started again, aiming to have a darker, more intense story than the first. It had new characters, so of course a totally different feel to the first.
That certain publisher finally sent it back, and to my excitement, the editor herself had written to me, no form rejection for me this time!. She said that while she was intrigued by the idea, she didn't like the characters or story, so wouldn't pursue that particular work. Maybe I read the letter a thousand times (or more) and totally over analyzed it, but I felt by her wording that the subject was not entirely closed should I wish to pursue it. Since I had several chapters of the new/same story sitting there, I edited the hell out of them and sent them back, only to find out a scant few weeks later that this particular editor had moved on from that certain publishing house, much to my disappointment. So, as of now, my proposal has sat at that certain publishing house for a good eight months. But at least they haven't sent it back, which is the far better alternative, though obviously not as good as just agreeing to publish the stupid thing.
I do have a point to this long story, and that is I feel Paranormal Romance has reached a point where Historical Romance was a few years ago. There is such a saturation of Paranormal Romance on the market at the moment that it's not funny. I love paranormal, but it's starting to ruin it for me. You see, there are great authors, like JR Ward and Sherrilyn Kenyon to name two, and then there's the saturation. Seriously. Some of the paranormals I've read, or attempted to read lately, have been a real disappointment.
IMHO, these books are getting published on the uniqueness of their idea alone, and because paranormal is such a big hit at the moment. It is quite obvious that with some of these authors, their ability to write was not the first thing that caught the editor's attention. Some of them are debut authors (which is great for them, having achieved success!) and I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, that their writing will improve with age and experience (says me... who might as well be a spring chicken). Perhaps I shouldn't be too critical, since you find this phenomenon with any genre in any corner of the market. There's the authors who weave stories so successfully that the book is over before you know it, and then there's the authors who are so clumsy they can barely keep two paragraphs together. Until recently, there'd only been one instance in my reading history where I'd been so frustrated with the writing that I literally threw the book across the room. But unfortunately, this occurrence has been happening more and more often, which is also starting to make me wary of buying books which are by authors I've never read before. But, what goes around comes around, and since Karma is a clever woman, I hate to think what some critiques might say about my books, should I ever get them published!
So what I'm saying is that I've missed the Paranormal Romance Train. Despite having worked on this idea for a good four years now, despite the fact that paranormals were barely a dent in readership statistics when I started, I missed the ban-wagon (or is it band-wagon? I don't actually know, which is why I should probably avoid using such cliches. And cliches are like a death knell anyway. If an editor was reading this, they'd probably say 'she's managed to fit 50 cliches into this one post, I'd hate to see what her manuscripts look like.' For the record, I do avoid the old cliches in my manuscripts, but for informal writing, they are such fun!), and now I'm quite sure that editors and agents alike are quite sick of seeing "I've written a paranormal romance about vampires and I'd like you to consider representing me/publishing my book," whenever they happen to open a letter.
So I'm giving myself until the end of June. I'll finish the manuscript (after all, I only have about 20,000 words left to write) and I might send out a few more query letters here and there, but when June 30 comes around, that'll be it. The paranormal will be going away. You might think it a waste to put away a project I've been working on for four years or whatever, but to be quite frank, I'm sick of paranormal myself. Besides, I've got an action/suspense romance half written that I started last year. It's been calling me back, the characters trying to distract me away from Vampires and Immortals. So, for the second half of this year, I'll be sending out queries for the action/suspense romance. There's not so many of those about at the moment. A few, I'll grant, but we're not drowning in them like the damn paranormals. Lets hope I can actually get somewhere with this manuscript, and not get bulldozed over by the Romantic Suspense Train, if indeed it happens to be on the way. You can never tell in this market. I have heard said that Westerns are going to come back big time. All I have to say is: AHHHH!!! I've never liked Westerns, so I don't think I'll ever find myself reading any of those. And I'm not writing what I think will get published, contrary to the evidence of it. I'm writing the stories that are clamouring for attention in my head. It might mean that I never get published, but at least if I write them down, the characters won't be running around in my head any longer, shoving each other out of the way in order to get my attention.
But like I said before, what goes around comes around. Maybe by the time I'm 50, paranormals will have been and gone, and come back again, and my story will be shared with the world then. In the meantime, I pray that I might be able to eventually get my historicals published. I don't know why, but I love them so!
Sorry this was The Longest Entry in the History Of JessAnastasi.blogsopt.com, but it had to be said. Wish me well, as I take on yet another new path.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Concerned

I didn't want to be. Concerned, that is. I'd like to go on pretending that everything is dandy, and that June is not looming like a large semi-trailer on the horizon, ready to plow me down in my little car of obliviousness, as I'm putting along on the freeway of publishing.
I was all set to take on 2007. I had a slogan, I had a plan, I was determined. Now June and the halfway point of the year is just around the corner, and what do I have to show for it but a new pile of rejections. Don't get me wrong, I'm not feeling sorry for myself. I'm not writing this entry in self pity, my resolve is not wavering. But did I think I'd have an agent or publishing contract by now? Possibly not. But did I think I would feel closer to achieving that goal? Definitely yes! Am I becoming more obsessed with the idea as time wears on... reading my last few entries will give you that answer!
Of course for all the rejections I've gotten, there are still a handful of proposals out there that I'm hinging my hopes on, one in particular. But the way the year is flashing by is definitely scaring me. You see, when I decided to become a writer, I set a very specific goal for myself.
I would be published by my 26th birthday. Why, you ask? Well, it's very simple.
One of the authors who inspired me to become a writer myself was Julia Quinn. Ms Quinn had her first book published when she was 25. This was going to be my bench mark. Thus, by the time I turned 26, I would have one of my very own books sitting on my bookcase. Almost six years ago now, when I was 19, this age and subsequent goal seemed like a very long way away. I had ages to get there. I wasn't worried. Sure, the publishing industry was not a very friendly place at times, it would be a huge challenge, but I knew I could do it. I had no doubts whatsoever.
But then I spent four of those years studying. I got engaged and then married, I went on numerous holidays to the tropics, we contemplated children, and then low and behold, I find myself a scant few months away from my 25th birthday.
So you can probably see why I vowed to make 2007 my year. The fact that it's now almost half over has my brain scattering about, re-examining my strategies to this point, trying to decide if I should try another tact, come at it from a different angle. But I know deep down, whatever I come up with probably won't make a difference.
As much as writers probably don't want to admit it, a whole chunk of this industry comes down to two very basic things. Persistence and luck. Persistence to keep sending out proposals even though you think you may have been rejected by every person possible in the industry, and luck that one day your manuscript will just happen to land on the right desk at the right time and your break will happen instantly, as if you haven't just spent the last decade tearing your hair out, trying everything to get the attention of agents and editors.
So what will I do if yet another year goes by, my 26th birthday comes and goes without a publishing contract in sight? Well, I may have a moment (or several) of despair, I may sit in a corner for a while, rocking back and forth as I try to find my sanity, which obviously fled me when I decided writing was a good career choice. But in the end, I'll gather my (likely tattered) resolve, pick up the pieces of my ideas and continue on. I might not get published until I'm 50 (and wouldn't my husband be horrified at that idea? I keep him silent about my lack of paying work and lack of house work in favour of writing on the promise that I'll get my "break" soon and then at least I'll have a dribble of income coming in. Little does he know that I don't care about the money, I just want to share my stories). But I know one thing for certain, I definitely won't get published if I give up, and luckily I don't have the capacity for giving up within me. Once I've decided to do something, I just keep going until I get where I want to be. I guess I've just never taken on something so big that has eclipsed so many years before.
With all that said, I still pray to the fates every night that someone, somewhere, soon will give me that chance I've been waiting for.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

New & Exciting!

It's Saturday morning here in Oz, and absolutely nothing exciting is going on. I still haven't managed to stick myself in front of my computer long enough to get any real writing done, I'm telling myself that I'm saving it all up for BIAW. In reality, I'm enjoying my holiday in Procrastination Land (according to some esteemed RWAus members!) waaaaay to much, and no doubt I'll catch the very last train I can out and arrive for BIAW just in time to stress myself into writer's block. Actually, I've never had writer's block, so let's pray that I don't start now, coz that would be a serious disaster! I'm so close to finishing my WIP it's not funny. I don't know why I just don't sit down and do it already!
Anyhoo, as entertaining as my lack of writing apparently is, I actually came here to post a short (obviously) message about this great new forum that's started up on the internets lately.

The Best Forum in the World

Many intelligent, witty, entertaining people stop by and discuss the staple of human existence, aka TV. Ok, since I'm a writer, I quite clearly could be shot for saying that TV is the staple of human existence. But come on, people. I truly think (as a genre writer, I would) that TV is quite good for our imagination. But that's me. You see, I don't just watch TV, I analyse the story, I'm thinking about the script, the words that have been used and what sort of impact they create. TV shows and movies are like living books to me, and I do so love my fiction. Of course, I am very picky, I won't just watch anything and I certainly won't watch reality TV (blah!). I want to be challenged, I want to be inspired, which is why I always find it so sad when the most original show ideas are cancelled prematurely -- don't get me started on Firefly again! Meanwhile, coincidentally, Nathan Fillon's new show, Drive, was cancelled by Fox after only 4 eps or something, and now they're calling the poor man The Show Killer.
In my opinion, NF is a brilliant actor, Joss Whedon's idea for Firefly was brilliant, and it's sad that in this shallow, consumerist environment, if a show isn't immediately meeting some ridiculous ratings quota, they're cancelled in favour of cheaper reality shows, just so that the studios that are already making a bazillion dollars a month can then make a bazillion and one dollars a month. Perhaps I'm getting too cynical in my old age, but if I see one more brainless reality TV show (and yes, Big Brother has just started again here in Oz, and it's driving me crazy) or another generic cop/lawyer/detective/whatever show, then I might possibly rip the cable right out of the wall and forsake it all for DVDs.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Not So Scary Now

This is only going to be a quick entry since I'm actually supposed to be having a shower and getting ready for work (yes, I like to write at the most inopportune moments), but I just wanted to say something.
As you know, I'm desperately -- ahem, I mean determinedly, trying to find myself an agent and subsequently a publishing contract this year. It's been six long years since I decided that I was going to be an author, six years of writing and rejections and... well, you know how it goes.
When writers decide they're going to send their work out, this is no small thing. It means people are going to be critically looking over your work, looking for flaws, looking for reasons not to publish it. For many writers, this experience is very harrowing. For myself, I was prepared. This is my career, so I treat it like a job. Sure, rejections aren't fun, but I always keep in mind that whoever has rejected me is not actually rejecting me personally, it's just that in a business and dollars sense, they felt that my work would not be a beneficial business transaction. So I shrug my shoulders, learn what I can and move onto to the next candidate.
But I'm getting off topic. Even scarier than sending letters to publishers is sending letters to agents. For some reason, us writers (especially the newbies) are terrified of agents. Why? I don't know now. You see, since I've been querying agents, starting at the end of last year, I've found them to be nothing but straightforward, friendly and very helpful. They're not the scary people we seem to think they are at all. They want to be able to help you get published, but it's up to us to do our best, write the best query letter, synopsis and manuscript that we can, all to make their job easier.
So, all I really wanted to do was thank all the agents who have been so nice and helpful to me, yes, even the ones who rejected me. I have no doubt that somewhere out there, one of you is meant to be mine.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Nowhere to be Found

I have done absolutely no writing over the past few weeks. Ok, I can't say no writing, since I actually wrote a whole 3 pages of my current WIP the other day, but ask anyone who knows me, and they'll say this occurrence is down-right unnatural.
I don't know what's going on, but I intend to rectify this situation. From the 14th to the 18th of May, RWAus are having this little party known as BIAW, or Book in a Week. It's where you nominate a number of words you intend to write and then spend all week sitting in front of your computer wondering what on earth made you think it was a good idea -- No! Not really. It's actually a really good idea. And if only I actually had time to sit down and write a whole book in a week.
I've nominated myself for 15,000 words. Which I guess is about 60 pages. I think (hope) that once I get into the swing of things, I won't have too much trouble getting this done. Although, if my recent performance is anything to go by, then I might be in a whole lotta trouble.
Anyhoo, we'll see what happens.
In other news, I've been sending more letters to agents, and other query letters to publishers, so I suppose I haven't been totally useless. I swear, I'm going to get a publishing contract this year, even if I have to type so much that I get blisters on my fingers and I bleed from the ears from using my brain too much (isn't that a lovely image?).
Also, Cafrine's website is undergoing a transformation. Of course I know what's happening to it, but I'm not going to tell! You'll just have to wait with bated breath until next week when all will be unveiled (hopefully).
Otherwise, I'd better start getting myself back into the swing of writing before BIAW arrives and bites me in the butt.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

AWOL

Yes, I am still here, though you wouldn't know it if you've dropped in at any time over the past week. Nothing interesting has happened, nothing at all. I didn't get abducted by fluro pink elves who took me to their fluro underground lair and tried to sacrifice me (being sacrificed is classier than being killed, according to El Deano. And yes, I have been visiting the TWoP forums... so what? If you want to blame someone for that, I'd start by looking in Cafrine's direction) to their hot pink fairy god in exchanged for blue and purple fairy floss.
So I have absolutely nothing to say, no TTT, no quote of the week, nothing even remotely entertaining to write about. This was just to say that yes, I've been AWOL.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Moments That Made Me Cry

As promised, my TTT of moments that made me cry. Cafrine also decided to get in on the action and do one of her own. I'm sure she's going to totally show me up on this one, since last I heard she had about 25 moments and was trying to shorten it down to 10. I thought this list was going to be easy as, but when I actually sat down to write it, I kept coming up short. Nonetheless, I did make it. As usual, there are spoilers abound...


10) Robin Hood, the Disney cartoon version – Ok, kinda dumb, and it certainly doesn’t make me cry any more, but when I was a kid, the end of this movie never failed to set me off. You see, in the end, the castle Robin Hood (who was a fox) is in catches fire and he has to jump into the moat. And of course he doesn’t come back up, and Little John (a bear) is standing on the bank with Maid Marian (also a fox, lucky for her and Robin Hood. Somehow, she was cousin to King Richard, even though he and Prince Edward were Lions. When I was a kid, that never bothered me, but now? Weird). Anyway, they all think Robin Hood is dead, and so do I, so I cry, even though I must have watched that movie a zillion times (and I’m not exaggerating. I have it on DVD, I still watch it all the time. The music… it’s just so good), I still cried every time. But not anymore. Well, not much anyway.

9) Everafter – Yes, yes, it’s a sappy girly movie, just another version of Cinderella. But when Danielle (played by Drew Barrymore and brilliant) is out-ed as not being an aristocrat at the ball, I cried so much. She was in the beautiful angel costume and despite saying he loved her, the prince (who’s name I can’t remember right now) didn’t stand up for her when he learned the truth (bastard!) but luckily he made up for it later on!

8) Romeo & Juliet – I wasn’t really a Leo DiCaprio fan (until I saw The Departed recently. Boy, can that kid act, and do intense like you wouldn’t believe. Now I have to take him seriously), except who didn’t cry when they saw this movie? The bit that always makes me cry the most (apart from the end when they get their wires crossed and kill themselves) is when Romeo’s best friend, Mercurio, gets shot and then curses both their houses. That scene was done just brilliantly.

7) Stargate SG1 7.18 Heroes Part 2 – In the end of part 1, we know someone’s died, and the clever, clever writers try to lead us to believe its Jack (but of course I didn’t fall for it, because, well, it’s Jack. They’re not just going to kill him off), and throughout this whole episode, you pretty much have no idea who it is. Daniel has it all on tape, and the nosey documentary-maker is trying to find out what happened… can’t you see they’re all upset? One of their friends is DEAD you moron! Ahem. Anyhoo, towards the end, we see Daniel’s tape and find out that it was Doctor Fraser who had died (which I totally never got over. She was such a great character, and as much respect as I have for Lexia Doig [after all, she did manage to land one of the hottest guys ever] she’s just never going to make up for Doctor Fraser). Then they have the memorial in front of the gate…and everyone was all teary, and it was just so damn sad. Oh, and I just have to say, getting away from the whole tear-factor, part 1 of these 2 eps had one of the best Jack-quotes ever: “I hope shots of my ass serve you well.” Classic.

6) Dark Angel 1.21 And Jesus Brought A Casserole – I only just saw this, so it’s still pretty raw. Max and the other X5s decide they’re going to go in and take down Manticore, they’re sick of spending their lives on the run, and figure if Manticore is no more, there won’t be any reason for the government to hunt them down (I’m sure they’ve got that a bit wrong, but I haven’t seen the second season yet). So they do it. They go in, set explosives in the place and then make their way out again, except Max goes back to stop Brenna who was going to try and foil their plan. On the way out, Max runs into a clone of herself, an X7, and gets shot, straight through the heart. Now, this part wasn’t the bit that made me cry, not even when Logan found her and was all like “Max! No! NOOOO!” The bit that got me was when they took her back into the compound, along with Zach who’d also been shot. They try to revive her, but her heart’s been too badly damaged. Zach manages to get a gun and demands they transplant her. Except the only heart they can transplant into her is another X5’s, not any old heart. And then Zach starts saying “fight them, Max. Make sure you fight them for me!” And I started going, “wait, what are you going to do?!?!” And then next thing Zach shoots himself in the head so they can use his heart to save Max. The ultimate sacrifice, so touching, had me crying so much.

5) Farscape 2.22 Die Me, Dichotomy – Scorpy’s neural clone has taken over Crichton’s mind, and he tries to escape. Aeryn goes after him, and Scorpy-Crichton crashes into her plane and she has to eject. Except her eject seat lands in a lake and she drowns. Crichton gains control long enough to listen to her go down. Later, they have the funeral, and its heart breaking. Crichton’s tied up, because they don’t know if and when he’ll turn into Scorpy-Crichton again. As he looks down into her coffin (or whatever the thing she was in was called) you can just tell he was thinking he might as well have taken a gun and shot her, because it was his fault that she was dead. I also cried when Zhaan died (though not too much, coz I didn’t like her very much), but this was much worse. I also cried when Cricthton died… and when Aeryn went to that planet of seers because she wanted to see him again… ok, I cried a lot throughout this whole series, but if you go and watch it, you’ll know why.

4) Stargate SG1 5.21 Meridian – All I have to say is that Daniel died… Or Ascended… or whatever he did. Either way, he was gone, and certainly not coming back. Fans everywhere cried, they ranted ‘what’s the point of watching Stargate if Michael Shanks is no longer on it?’ They started up websites, they wrote letters and eventually MS came back, and everyone was happy. But then we went back and watched that ep again. And despite knowing that he wasn’t gone for good, despite knowing he was coming back, we still cried. When he and Jack are talking, just before he goes and Jack’s like “where are you going?” and Daniel’s reply was “I don’t know, but I’m ok about it.” (or something to that effect) just gets me every time.

3) Brokeback Mountain – This movie was so raw, and so confronting. People either loved it or hated it. Personally, I loved it. Both Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal were brilliant. All I wanted was a HEA (happily ever after) for them. I just wanted them to ranch up somewhere together and raise horses and live HEA. But of course it wouldn’t have been so brilliant if they’d got their HEA. When Jack was killed and Einas was left with it, it was so sad. Then, when Einas went to Jack’s parents house and found the shirt hanging in Jack’s wardrobe with the blood on it that he’d thought he’d lost from that first summer, I cried and cried. For a while, Cafrine had an avatar of those shirts on her yahoo messenger, and every time I saw it, I got teary. Just a bit.

2) Grey’s Anatomy 2.34 Detoriation of the Fight or Flight Response – The last ep of the season and the reason why every time I heard Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol I cried for about six months after. Meredith and McDreamy had to put their dog down, it had cancer (I think, I was too busy crying). I’m unreasonably attached to my puppy, Molly, so the thought of having to put her to sleep had me bawling. Then Izzy manipulated things so that Denny would have to get an emergency heart-transplant, then Denny asked Izzy to marry him, then he went off into the theatre. Then Burke got shot, and looked like he wasn’t going to make it. Then Denny was ok, but then suddenly he died. Izzy turned up in her princess gown, all ready to tell him she’d marry him, except he was dead and no one had realized yet. Then they started playing Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol. Over this song, they showed Izzy lying next to Denny, and man, I’m gonna cry just thinking about it again. So basically I spent an hour crying, and every time I heard that song for so long after.

1) Buffy 2.22 Becoming Part 2 – After spending the night together, Angel looses his soul and becomes Angelus, then starts tormenting Buffy and her friends. In this ep, the Scoobies have come up with a plan to restore Angel’s soul, while Angelus is off planning mayhem. In the end, Buffy and Angelus are facing off as a Demon awakens. Just as the demon begins sucking everything into hell, Willow completes the spell and Angel is back. Except it’s too late. The only way to close the portal to hell is to kill Angel, since it was his blood that opened it. Angel falls to his knees, his soulful chocolate eyes full of tears. Just when we think they’re going to have a tear-worthy reunion, Buffy stabs him in the heart and sends him to hell. No matter how many times I watch it, it still makes me cry.


I'm planning on doing a TTT favorite opening scenes next, but I don't know if I'll get it done for next tuesday or not, I've got a very busy week ahead, so I'll see how we go!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

A Page at a Time

So its Easter again, and in my home town, that's no small thing. Good Friday and Easter Monday are public holidays (4 day weekend, WOO!), and there's a huge Easter festival that goes for the whole entire weekend, complete with parade on Monday. Starting tomorrow morning there's a book fair at the YMCA, and the books are selling for next to nothing. Seriously, you can get a whole bag of books for less than twenty bucks, Its great and I go with my sister-in-law every year. Of course, every book-enthusiast for fifty miles goes as well, there's lots of scrapping and elbowing and shoving going on, but it's all part of the fun.
Anyhoo, quote of the week:

"I believe we choose our own destiny."

This was said by Max on Dark Angel. Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for season 2 to be returned to my local video store so I can hire it out and watch the rest of it. I thought this quote was interesting. You see, I always believed that destiny was thrust upon you, that no matter what you did, it would eventually catch up with you and put you where you're meant to be. But this quote got me wondering. Maybe it's more that destiny is presented to you and it's up to you whether or not you choose that path, or continue on doing whatever's safest or easiest.
Whichever it happens to be, it still makes you wonder about your choices. Like if I had of gone right instead of left 3 years ago, where would I be now? And are there really alternate universes out there where other versions of ourselves are living with the opposite choices we made? Are we only one in a million possible outcomes to what our lives could have been? Ok, we're getting a bit into the twilight zone with that stuff, but sometimes I do wonder.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Favourite Moments from a TV Show / Movie

So, it's Tuesday again. Where do the days go?
Well anyway, this week I do actually have a TTT (because I wrote it last Thursday) and what a shock, I'm actually posting it on Tuesday. I may have already said, but I've decided to stick with the TV/Movie theme for a little while. The reason being is because it's easy and I don't have to think about it too much.
Meanwhile this week I've been watching Dark Angel on DVD. I kept hearing about how good it was, so decided to check it out for myself. Luckily, the rumours were true and I've been thoroughly enjoying it. I love the post-apocalyptic America theme they've got going on. Very interesting. Many people have told me how much they love Logan, and I can see where they're coming from, however for some reason the actor (Michael Weatherly) reminds me of a less-intense version of Michael Shanks (who plays Daniel Jackson in Stargate), and that's all I keep thinking when I'm watching it. I mean, there was this ep where he was thinking about killing himself, because he didn't want to live his life in a wheel-chair, and the only thing I could think was "well, that's gonna piss Max off." If it had of been Daniel Jackson contemplating suicide, I would have been yelling at the TV, and then probably cried some.
Anyway, it's unfortunate that these shows seemed to get axed prematurely. DA only got 2 seasons, which I guess is better than the not-quite 1 season Firefly had. It seems that if the idea is too original (female genetic super-soldier in post-apocalyptic America, a western set in space sometime in the future, etc) the show gets axed in favour of more generic things like CSI, Law & Oder, more CSI, another Law & Order, NCIS (which is CSI except set in the Navy), CSI the third, and one more Law & Order, just to make sure all bases are covered. Oh, and don't forget Crossing Jordan (which I won't say too much about, coz I actually don't mind it. Woody, he just cracks me up), Bones, Without a Trace, Cold Case, Close to Home and all the other shows that have basically the same theme, but with different characters. And if we don't want to watch one of those, we can watch reality TV, which, for the record, I have hated ever since the first season of Big Brother aired here in oz.
So I'm only a little bitter at the total lack of viewing choice, especially since our television stations here in oz are CRAP and put the good shows (like Stargate) on at 11 o'clock or later, if at all. What's with that?
Hmm, well, I didn't come here for a rant about the total crapness of TV at the moment (too late) I came to post my TTT. Of course there's some spoilers ahead, so only read on if you've already seen the following TV shows/Movies, or don't really care. Enjoy!

10) Clueless – Ahh, the movie that was like the holy grail to a generation of teens in the 90s. I love this movie. It’s so dumb, but it’s so full of morals. Has any teen movie matched it since? They’ve tried, but never succeeded. In this movie, it's the moment when Cher realizes she’s in love with Josh, her goofy kind-of step brother that I love. I don’t think he was officially her step-brother, but he was something anyway. She was walking along the street, after failing her driving test spectacularly, and then realized that she loved him. It was such a classic, cute moment, one of the reasons I love to watch it over and over.

9) Buffy 3.32 Amends – After coming back from hell, Angel is even more tortured and brooding than he already was (who knew such a thing was possible?). He decides the world and Buffy would be better off if he was dead, so he goes to a lookout over Sunnydale and waits for the sun to come up. Buffy catches up with him and gives him hell for being weak and wanting to take the easy way out, and lots of crying goes on for both of them (meanwhile, these guys spent a lot of time crying), and then suddenly it starts to snow. It’s Christmas morning and there’s been a freak cold-snap and snowstorm, the first ever in Sunnydale, California’s history. So I guess it wasn’t Angel’s fate to die that day. In the end, Angel and Buffy walk down the street hand in hand as the snow falls about them and a radio announcer states that there won’t be any sun out all day. It was a beautiful moment.

8) Angel 1.8 I Will Remember You – It was a hard choice between this ep and In the Dark, 1.3, where Angel is given a ring that makes him immortal, which means he could actually have a half decent life with Buffy, except he chooses his density over Buffy and smashes the ring. Anyway, I chose this ep because after Angel gets some sort of demon blood on him and becomes human, and spending (I think) one day with Buffy as a ‘real’ boy, in the end, Angel realizes he has to go back in time and make like the day never happened. I think maybe because Buffy gets killed. I don’t remember what the reason was. All I remember is that the fates send him back in time to do things over and though he remembers the day he and Buffy spent together, she doesn’t. In the end, after he has his do-over and doesn’t become humanized, he and Buffy have an argument and Buffy leaves in a huff (she did that a lot!). This moment was both sad and poignant, and obviously one of my favorite Angel moments.

7) Bend It Like Beckham – I love this movie. Not only because Jonathan Rhys Meyers is so hot in it, but because it was really good for a lot of different reasons (too many of which there are to list). The moment I love the most is when Joe goes to Jess’ house to try and talk her parents into letting her play football. It’s so adorable, and we realize that maybe Joe feels a bit more for Jess than just that of a coach.

6) Farscape 1.22 Family Ties (I think, sorry if I got this one wrong!) – Crichton’s finally caught Crais, who’s been chasing Crichton all over the galaxy, trying to kill him. Crais is locked up, and Crichton’s sitting on the outside of the cell, asking a few questions. The moment that really gets me is when Crichton says (and I don’t remember exactly what the wording was) “Do you know what it’s like, having someone hunt you down? I just want to know why, why can’t you just leave us alone?” As he asks this, a tear runs down his cheek. Tough guys who cry? I have the biggest soft spot in the world for. It gets me every single time. Like the ep in Supernatural where Dean and Sam have to go back to their home town because they realize there’s something evil in their old house. Dean calls his dad for help, and of course gets the message service because Daddy-Winchester doesn’t want to be found. As Dean says, “Dad, I just don’t know what to do.” he’s got tears in his eyes and I fall in love with him just a little bit more. Oh look, I just have to make that a point all of its own.

5) Supernatural 1.9 Home – See above where Dean is crying. Ok, he’s not crying. He’s almost crying. But still, we all saw those tears!

4) Pride and Prejudice, The New One. At first I didn’t like Kiera Knightly as Lizzy. At first I just didn’t like this version. I didn’t like that they’d shortened six or so brilliant episodes into a couple of short hours. But when I stopped comparing it to the exceptional BBC series, I realized that I liked it all on its own. My favorite moment in this movie is where they’re at the ball, and D’Arcy asks Lizzy to dance. Of course for most of the dance, they’re snipping at each other, but towards the end, the rest of the room falls away and suddenly they’re dancing all alone. It was beautiful, and very well done by the writers/creators.

3) Stargate SG1 4.18 The Light – This was one of the great SG eps, for all the character interactions and dynamics. On an abandoned planet, an SG team finds some sort of palace. Of course Daniel goes off to get his archaeological fix, but little do they know, there’s something on the planet that causes people to become addicted. Daniel comes back after one of the team he was with killed themselves while earth-side. Daniel soon becomes quite obviously agitated and they send him home for some R&R (duh!). The next morning he doesn’t turn up for the trip back and Jack goes to his apartment looking for him. Jack finds him outside, hanging off the wrong side of the balcony. This scene was a great Jack/Daniel moment, while Jack is trying to talk Daniel off the railing, however it’s not the one I’m writing for. Later in the ep, once SG1 has been to the planet to try and work out what caused the problem, Jack is beside Daniel’s bed, while Daniel is in a coma from withdrawal. Jack is starting to show signs of agitation himself. Things go from bad to worse when Daniel flat-lines and Jack makes the snap decision to take him back to the planet. As they’re wheeling the gurney down the corridors, Dr Fraser is doing CPR to keep Daniel alive until they can get him through the gate. In the Gateroom, Jack hauls Daniel over his shoulders and then runs through the Stargate. When they arrive on the other side, there’s a tense moment while Jack tries to bring Daniel around. But luckily Daniel’s not dead (I would say ‘of course he’s not dead,’ but he does die/leads people to believe he’s dead several times over the course of the seasons!). As I said, this ep was particularly good for building the relationships between all the SG1 team member, but this particular scene was the pinnacle of Jack and Daniel’s friendship, which I think was somewhat shoved out of the way in later seasons for the whole Jack/Sam thing. Interestingly enough, this was also the point where a lot of the Jack/Daniel gay-undercurrent hype was going on. But don’t get me started on that again, just go read my Supergay Supernatural part 1 and part 2 entries from earlier this month.

2) Supernatural 1.22 Devil’s Trap – Dean, Sammy and Daddy-Winchester (who I always call Daddy-Winchester, in case you haven't noticed, because I can never remember his name. I think its John. Yes? I don’t know, I’ll just stick with Daddy-Winchester) have just had their butts kicked by the yellow-eyed-demon (aka Vlandach, see Supernatural Playthings entry). Daddy-Winchester got captured and Dean and Sam had to set off a fire alarm and dress up as firemen to get in to rescue him (and I could say something about Sam and Dean dressing up as firemen, but I won’t). Now, Dean’s not stupid, he checked with the holy-water to make sure there wasn’t a demon in Daddy-Winchester before they untied him, but nothing happened, and they thought the coast was clear. So the three of them drive to the freakin’ middle of nowhere, to some shack, to hole up and plan what they’re going to do next. Then they have some manly, heart to hearts, except Dean realizes that something’s not quite right with Daddy-Winchester. Mainly because Dean used one of the special kill-anything-evil bullets and Daddy-Winchester barely had a word to say about it. Because Dean knows that Daddy-Winchester would actually ‘tear him a new one’ for wasting the bullet, he realizes that it’s not Daddy-Winchester, but in fact Vlandach. I have much respect for the actor who played Daddy-Winchester, when he was Denny in Grey’s Anatomy, he was brilliant (see next week’s list of Top Ten TV Shows/Movies That Made Me Cry). But as Daddy-Winchester, he just seemed to suck the life out of every scene he was in. I don’t know what was going on, but something wasn’t working there. Anyhoo, my point is, that despite the fact that Daddy-Winchester’s character sucked, when he became Vlandach and started beating up on the boys and tauting them, he was great. He just did evil really, really well. And then of course they went through the moment of lucidity where Daddy-Winchester begged Sammy to shoot him and end it all. And then the ep and the season finished by them being hit by a truck. Obviously I just can’t say enough about it, but it was very fantastic.

1) Serenity – In the club where Mal and the crew are lining up some good honest work, River comes in and her ‘trigger’ is set off. She goes terminator and starts kicking butt left, right and centre. She’s even able to get one up on Jayne. Mal manages to get through the fray (using Jayne getting beat up as a cover) and grabs his gun just in time to bring it round at the same time as River gets her hands on a gun. For a tense moment they face each other on opposite ends of the guns, until Simon appears and using a special word, puts River to sleep. The scene was great. Although throughout the series we get to realize that there is a lot about River we don’t know, the whole little-River-kicking-ass scenario was great, and tied in with the ending of the movie really well.

So there it is. Tune in next week for Top Ten TV Shows/Movies That Made Me Cry...

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Meanwhile, I totally agree

Take that Channel 10!

...think you're so smart, learn how to use the internets, PLEASE!

Supernatural - Playthings

I wasn't going to say anything, truly, I wasn't, but I just can't help myself...
This week's ep of SN that aired here in oz was Playthings. Some people (not naming names, you know who you are) thought that this ep was sucky. Ok, yes, some of it maybe was sucky. It had nothing to do with the storyline of Ava and the yellow-eyed-demon (who, coincidentally, Cafrine and I have decided to call Vlandach, because it's frickin' annoying having to say 'yellow-eyed-demon' every time we want to talk about him. I mean, seriously, the creators/writers could have at least given him a name.), though this ep still did touch on the subject of Sam's destiny.
However, I have to say that I thought it was a classic and I'm glad the creators/writers took time out from the storyline to do it. This ep had all the snark and sarcasm that had been a little subdued (in Dean especially) since Daddy-Winchester died and Dean was saddled with the truth of Sam's existence.
Once again, the boys were mistaken as a gay couple, and asked by the owner of the motel if they wanted a king sized bed. She asked if they were antiquers and said that they looked the type. Of course, the boys were falling over themselves trying to explain that they were brothers, which never fails to crack me up. Next the porter came down to take their bags and the same conversation was played over, with the porter also telling them that they 'looked the type.' Now, Sammy didn't seem too perturbed by all this and took it in his stride. Meanwhile Dean was like "Dude, why do these people always think we're gay? What did he mean we 'look the type'?" Sam's response was; "Well, you are kinda butch, maybe they think you're overcompensating or something."
To which Dean went; "Heh heh... uh, yeah..."
Now wait just a minute (is what I yelled at the TV), what was that? Why did Dean just look extremely uncomfortable by what Sam said? I seem to remember last time the boys were mistaken for a gay couple, Sam was the one who was unimpressed and Dean made the 'honey' joke. In this latest ep, it seems their roles have been reversed. Is Dean starting to be concerned about his manhood being questioned, or is something else going on? I'm not going to speculate, I'm sure there's too many Deangirls out there who would send me abusive emails should I even mention the word 'gay' and Dean in the same sentence. But it did make me wonder...
And they so weren't helping themselves escape the gayness when they went through the whole "Sam loves to dress up his dolls" thing. Although it was totally funny. And I think Dean just wanted to get Sam back for the butch joke he'd made earlier.
Meanwhile, little Sammy got drunk, which was also totally entertaining. Some people have speculated that JP's acting skills failed him a little with the whole drunk routine, but I thought he did ok. I just loved that he made Dean promise to kill him if he ever went Dark-side, and Dean going along with it because he thought Sammy wouldn't remember in the morning. But despite a toilet-hugging hangover, Sam did remember. Now not only has Dean got his dead father's promise hanging over him, but also Sam's promise. It can only get better from here.

Slack As

So, apparently a whole week went by and I just didn't notice. I had an extremely lazy week this week, didn't work many hours, didn't do much writing. I did do some housework, which was very boring and only enticed me to be more lazy. I missed TTT once again and haven't even put in a quote of the week yet. Because the laziness is going to continue until at least the end of the weekend, I'm going to pull Quote of the Week from the +44 song I'm listening to right now...

"The past is just the future with the lights on."

Intriguing notion, don't you think?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Mouth Full

Here it is, Friday again. I'd be glad that it's the weekend, except I have to work tomorrow, so I'm not as excited as I would be were I not working. Which is terribly interesting and probably caused you to skip down the page to find something else to read.
So apparently I had a 'corrupt' version of windows on my new Laptop/Notebook/Whatever-those-things-are-called. It happens sometimes, so say the boys at the computer shop where I bought it. They took off the first version I had on there, and put on a new one. I hope it fixes Internet explorer, because the damn thing was slower than dial-up (I'm on broadband, which is supposed to be super-quick, and was on my old laptop) and it's been driving me frickin' crazy. So now I'm trying to re-load and re-update everything, which is kinda boring, but made better by the fact that I'm munching my way through a bag of Maltesers while I do it. For some reason a minute ago I thought it would be a good idea it stick 6 in my mouth at once, and almost choked myself (duh) so now I'm back to carefully eating one at a time.
Oh, also, I got a link to a free on-line synopsis workshop, so hopefully I'm going to fix my problem of writing sucky-synopsis (is it synopsi in the singular? I have no idea).
Anyhoo, I actually came to submit my Quote of the Week, so I should just get to that.

"A wooden stake through the heart will kill just about anything. And if it doesn't, run like hell."
- Kyrian of Thrace

This quote is from one of Sherrilyn Kenyon's books. SK is brilliant, I can only dream of ever being that successful!
Well, I suppose I should get back to putting my laptop back in order. Blogging and emailing is only making the updates download slower!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Funniest Scenes from a TV Show / Movie

So, it's actually Wednesday, but I'm still going to post my TTT for yesterday anyway. I spent all day in Melbourne yesterday and didn't have time to post anything. Found out that I won't have to have an operation for the time being (WOO!) and yesterday we woke up to the sound of rain. It was great! I would have loved to just lie in bed all morning and listen to it, but we had to get up and go places.
Anyhoo, we're here for TTT, so here it is. The funniest scenes from a TV show / movie. Just a warning, there is some strong language and a whole lotta spoilers ahead, so stop reading if you don't like swearing or are planning on seeing any of the below TV shows or movies. Otherwise, enjoy!


10) Firefly Pilot Episode – While the rest of the team is out salvaging some goods from a dead ship, Wash is on Serenity, sitting in the pilot’s chair, waiting until they all get back. He’s not using the time to coolly slouch back and kick his feet up, nor is he studying the galaxy to decide where they’re going next. No, he’s playing with plastic dinosaurs.
Dinosaur A – “This is a fertile land, and we shall thrive. We will rule over all this land and we shall call it… this land.”
Dinosaur B – “I think we should call it your grave.”
Dinosaur A – “Curse you and your sudden but inevitable betrayal!”

9) Dude, Where’s My Car? – For those of you who don’t know, this movie is about two guys who wake up and can’t remember what they did the night before. Nor do they know where their car is (hence the title). They have a problem since they bought anniversary gifts for their girlfriends, which are in the car, so they spend all day looking for it. This movie is seriously stupid, and not to be taken seriously at all. Check brain at door before watching.
At one point, Jesse and Chester discover they got tattoos the night before as well. Jesse has Sweet across his shoulder blades, and Chester has Dude across his shoulders.
Jesse – “Dude, you got a tattoo.”
Chester – “Sweet, what does it say?”
Jesse – “Dude, what does mine say?”
Chester – “Sweet, what does mine say?”
Jesse – “Dude, what does mine say?”
And so it goes on, until they try to beat each other up. Dumb, but had me on the floor laughing.

8) Stargate SG1 – 4.6 Window of Opportunity – Ok, so it’s your typical groundhog day plot. Not very original, but so what? This whole ep was hilarious. My favorite part? When Tea’lc and Jack are playing golf into the event horizon of the stargate, until General Hammond finds out anyway.
Hammond – “Colonel O’Neill! What are you doing?”
Jack – “In the middle of my backswing!”

7) Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby – Yet another dumb movie. But, quite obviously, these are the types of things I think are hilarious. In this one, Ricky crashes his Nascar and then jumps out and starts running around the track, tearing his clothes off coz he thinks he’s on fire, all the while screaming: “I’m on fire! I’m on fire! Help me God! help me Lord Jesus! Help me Oprah! Help me Tom Cruise!”
Now I’d never actually been a big Will Farrell fan, but this movie was just so stupid, I love it!

6) Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery – There’s so many moments in this and the other Austin Powers movies that crack me up, no matter how many times I watch them. The most memorable? When Dr Evil pushes the button at the conference table in his evil lair and sends Number Two into the incinerator. Except Number Two doesn’t die. Dr Evil is trying to get on with his nefarious planning, but all you can hear is Number Two yelling: “Hello? Can anyone hear me? I’m not dead, just very badly burned, if you could just send someone in here to help me…”
At which point Dr Evil calls over one of his evil henchmen and asks him to take care of it. After which we hear: “Oh, thank god someone’s coming to help me. You see, I’m very badly burned, if you could just— (sound of gunfire and then a moment of silence) Ow! You shot me! You shot me right in the arm!”
It does go on for a little bit longer, but you get the picture. Hil-arity.

5) Fat Pizza – The movie based on the TV show. Basically it’s all about these guys who are wogs and proud of it. They totally play it up. If you’re the sensitive type, I’d advise you not to ever watch this movie or the TV show (which came back on Monday night, WOO!) It’s in no way politically correct. Like Southpark, nothing is sacred and they’ve broken every politically correct moral you can think of. In the movie, Pauly’s on a pizza run when he bumps into Ronald McDoggal (a rip off of Ronald McDonald, quite obviously). After which they get into a fight. Pauly says: “Your McBurgers are McShit, mate.” To which McDoggal says “I’m going to McF*** you up.” And the insults go on with Mc put in front of everything. Ridiculous, but effective.

4) Happy Gilmore – Everyone knows this movie. The first time I saw it, my stomach ached for three days after from laughing so much. When the champion golfer, (who’s name I can’t remember right now), realizes that Happy’s going to actually be a threat to him winning the title, he gives Happy a warning:
“I eat pieces of shit like you for breakfast.”
Happy – “You eat pieces of shit for breakfast?”
“Just stay out of my way, listen to what I say.”
Happy – “Or maybe I could go make something out of clay, or go sit on a bale of hay? I just may…”

3) Buffy – 5.18 – Intervention – Buffy’s off on a quest to speak to the first slayer, meanwhile Spike’s made himself a Buffy-bot. Xander and Anya see Spike in the Cemetary with the Buffy-bot and they’re… ahem. Well, you can imagine what Spike wanted the Buffy-bot for. When Buffy comes back and they realize what’s happened, her indignation is clear. “You guys couldn’t tell me apart from a robot?”

2) Dude, Where’s My Car? – Ok, I’m probably cheating by having two scenes from the same movie, but this one had to be on it’s own. Chester and Jesse go through a Chinese drive through for some food. Each time Jesse orders a dish, the little Chinese woman asks through the speaker “And then?” Eventually when he doesn’t want anymore, Jesse says: “And then, you can bring it out to the car ‘coz that’s all we want.” To which the speaker says once again “And then?” This goes on for several minutes until Jesse says “And then, if you say ‘and then’ one more time, I’m going to rip out this speaker and shove it up your ass (or something to that effect).” For a moment there’s silence, and Chester says “Dude, you totally showed her.” Until the speaker starts in with “And then and then and then and then and then…”
Also, in this movie, funniest quote from anything ever.
Chester - “Dude, it’s a barn.”
Jesse – “Is it red?”
Chester – “No.”
Jesse – “Then it’s not a barn…”
Seriously, just go see the whole thing!

1) The Mummy – After the steamboat our heroes are on sink, they end up on the opposite side of the river to the other party who’re trying to reach Humanuptra (sp?) before them. They’ve got nothing except O’Connell’s rucksack of arsenal. Benny, who’s leading the other party, yells across the river – “Hey O’Connell! Looks like I got all the hor-ses!”
To which O’Connell yells back in a mocking voice – “Hey Benny! Looks like you’re on the wrong side of the ri-ver!”
The execution of that little scene was perfect, and even though I’ve seen the movie a million time and know it’s coming, it still totally cracks me up!