Friday, May 23, 2014

Deep Thoughts with Christina...

I long for the day when cheeseburgers don't taste delicious and I won't have to bend into a pretzel and hold my breath (and stomach) in order to paint my toenails.

I usually give up at the last two toes and paint them blind as I am not capable of the yoga-like maneuvering required to see them.

Beauty is hard.

And now I want a cheeseburger.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Adventures in Streaming: The 100

I like to hate-watch TV shows. I'm currently hate-watching The Tudors and gleefully complaining about it on Facebook. But I'm nearing the end of that and I need some new pop culture heroin for my veins. I have mad love of teen dramas so I started watching The 100. It's lousy but I keep tuning in, like I've got streaming Stockholm Syndrome.

The 100 is a particularly maddening show because the premise is so good. The Earth done got nuked and a bunch of survivors got on a ship called the ARK and outta dodge. Eggheads said Earth wouldn't be livable again for two hundred years. So the survivors live on the ship, dress like they're in the real world from The Matrix*, and have a murky political system with a
Chancellor and a council. The problem is, it's only been ninety-seven years and the council knows the ship can't sustain the number of peeps on board for another hundred plus years. They gonna die when the oxygen runs out. Oh noes! Now here's where it gets cool. This is an unusual show because they don't give a shit about kids. They don't value them, they see them as a burden on their already burdened ship. So kids get jailed for breathing wrong.So they have 100 kids in jail for various petty and a few not-so-petty crimes. They decide the kids are expendable and shove 'em all on a pod and drop that thang to Earth. But not before equipping the kids with wrist band telcoms and telling them how important it is to keep them on. I'm sure the disenfranchised youth can be trusted with that, right?

Anyhoozle, the kids are basically told, if you peeps die, it'll suck to be you. But if you manage to live that means Earth is sustainable. So we'll all hop pods back to the motherland and ya'll will get pardoned. We good, homies?  Then it turns out, Earth is sustainable, but oh-so-effed up. Radiation fog that kills, snake monsters, nuts that make you hallucinate. It's a Brave New World except that the idiots took off their wrist bands. Spoiler?

Anyway, that's the premise that was spoiled by terrible actors, a main character so inconsistent and hypocritcal that she might as well be a Fox News anchor and a bunch of romance BS no one cares about because everyone is an asshole who deserves to die, except the one character I liked, who died for no reason. Unless acting-while-black (AWB) is punishable by death, now.So here's my review of  The 100 as I watch the latest episode on Hulu. 

Shut up, Clarke.

You want more? I don't have much more.  I don't know where the CW went awry. Sometimes they do such a good job. Elena on Vampire Diaries is one of my favorite teen drama heroines. She's so tough and smart and honorable. But Clarke is the very worst kind of person. She's humorless, self-righteous and thinks she needs to be everyone's moral compass. Which, they really need one, but she has self-serving morality that goes out the window every damn episode. The last four episodes have
pretty much gone like this:

Clarke: Bellamy I think we should do [insert whatever stupid idea Clarke has that will make things worse].

Bellamy: That's stupid. Don't do it. 

Clarke: I'mma do it anyway. Oops that was a bad idea. Bellamy fix it!

Bellamy: I hate you so much.

Clarke: I know. We're so gonna bone some day.

So it's all murder, mayhem, bullies who pee on people, love triangles that can suck a two-headed deer dick and some seriously uncomfortable racial undertones. Like really uncomfortable. Watching a room full of Caucasian kids stand around while one chained up a brownish man and whipped him with a seat-belt buckle was a touch distasteful. Especially coming off of the murder of the only black character who was immediately replaced by a black extra who suddenly developed lines long enough for quotas to be met.

It's a mess. I hesitate to even call it a hot mess. It ain't hot. It's room temp, baby. Well, mostly. Because Bellamy? He's so freakin' hot.

Don't worry. I IMDB-ed him and he's thirty years old. So while I'm still tragic, I'm not yet skeevy... Well not as far as you know.

* For some reason, I made this. Don't ask questions.*

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

IWSG: Twirling Mustaches and Piles O' Podcasts

IWSG Clicky for Linky
1st Wednesday of the month is Insecure Writers Support Group. It’s a blog hop where you post about the joys and difficulties of being a writer.

I'm a goofball and I posted my IWSG post last Wednesday. Calender reading skills, I no has them. So you get a two-fer this month!

I recently attended a workshop on plotting hosted by the Capital City Writers. Our instructor, Louise Knott Ahern was fantastic. During the workshop, I had a realization as to why my story has ground to a halt. Even though my main characters have back-story and wounds, I still don't have a strong sense of what motivates them and their exterior goals are pretty murky, especially for my hero.

I've been twiddling my thumbs about what to do about it. Then the other night, I found the Helping Writers Become Authors blog. She has 241 free podcasts on writing. Seriously, it's awesome. You can read her articles and then also listen to the podcast at the bottom of the post, which is a great way for me to learn and retain the info. I'm working on the character building section right now and learning a ton about story craft. I feel like I'm getting a writing degree, except I'm a cheapskate and its free. Huzzah!

Conor's mother needs a wax.
Back to my epiphanies... my hero is a problem. He has a partially fleshed-out backstory, no external goals and he's such a goody-goody that no amount of hair-pulling, lip-biting sex appeal can rescue me from a case of the yawns when I try to write his perspective. He needs grit.

Also having an issue with my hero's hyper-critical mother. She's so two-dimensional and awful that every-time I write her into a scene she might as well be tying folks to the railroad tracks whilst twisting her evil mustache.

So, with all of this learnin' I'm getting, it's become clear that I cannot get ahead until I figure my characters out. This puts me in a bind. I gave myself until the end of the summer to finish it and I'm only halfway through. So do I rewrite the first twelve chapters to give me a better sense of where the story should go or do I race for the finish line while writing my hero as a bit of a different person than he was before?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Adventures in Streaming: "I Think We're Alone Now"

Rainbow Dash for the win, bitches.

What you may not know about me is that I love terrible movies and bizarre-o documentaries. How bizarre? I sat through a documentary on Bronies. The whole thing.

Which prompted my hubs to ask, "Why, Christina? Why?"

Why else dear husband? Because. I. Could.

 To be honest, I actually have an obsessive need to know things. All things. Random things. Like I don't just buy a vacuum cleaner, I spend a week researching and reading reviews before I purchase one. Same thing with hair products and purses. I am a knowledge hoarder. I need to know everything. I'm the person who listens to your story and asks, "And then what happened?"

For example, I Googled My Little Pony images for this post and ended up reading five different articles of varying degrees of bat-crap-crazy about the fans of the show. This in turn led me to some forms of MLP fan art that no decent human should have viewed.

And no I'm not linking it, you creepy perv.

I digress. Tonight's Netflix adventure was not about Bronies (wipe your tears). It was a documentary called, I Think We're Alone Now. It's a poorly thought out film that follows and exploits two delusional, obsessed fans of Tiffany. You remember Tiffany right?


So anyhow, the filmmaker interviews these two incredibly unstable people and their friends and then puts them together in a hotel room to annoy each other. Then they meet and hug Tiffany at a concert and one gets mad at the other for trying to one-up his experience. Oh and the one guy was arrested and had a restraining order on him in the late eighties for trying to "woo" Tiffany with a handful of white flowers and a Japanese sword.   

It's as depressing, sad and uncomfortable as you can imagine.

I learned nothing except stalkers are terrifying and I'm glad I'm not famous.

Also that one should never try to draw in one's eyebrows with black liquid eyeliner. Especially if one is a strawberry blonde.

Good times.

On a scale from one to awesome, this was pretty awful.

PS according to a Zimbio quiz on which My Little Pony character I would be, I got Spike. The dragon servant whose bodily functions are controlled by the ponies. That shit is racist. Also, I cannot express to you enough my vast disappointment at not being Twilight Sparkle. My life is so hard.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

IWSG: Blah Blah Blah

1st Wednesday of the month is Insecure Writers Support Group. It’s a blog hop where you post about the joys and difficulties of being a writer.

I've not made as much novel progress as I hoped this month. Partly because my job has become a bit busy and I've been exhausted. So I come home, putz around on Pinterest, staring at pictures of pretty people and then I watch three episodes of The Tudors on Netflix which I've finally gotten around to watching. I loathe it, but I cannot stop watching it (and complaining about it).

I really like to complain about it. My husband hasn't watched one minute but he could tell you everything about it. I haven't been this happy to be annoyed since I binge-watched Bridezillas. 

I digress. I had a fantastic ten page critique by professional editor Teresa Crumpton and she gave me wonderful advice. She taught me many things, all of which slowed my editing to a crawl. It turns out it was a lot easier just writing whatever dreck came to mind rather crafting sentences that pop and figuring out how to start paragraphs without -ing verbs.

So after editing my -ings and extra verbs today, I got bored. Then I spent the evening reading bad reviews of cheesy photo studios. I'm counting it as research into my hero's career and not at all the whim of an ADHD woman who loves reading horrible reviews.

That's it. No glaring successes. No true failures. My novel isn't progressing as fast as I need it to. I vowed to finish it by the end of summer but it's only half written. Ah well.