Monday, November 30, 2009

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters; and Withdrawal

I just saw a television commercial for Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. It was a shortened version of the book trailer I saw on Austenblog a while back. For some reason every time I think about these Austen/Monster Mash-ups I can't banish the image of the creative(?) team behind this franchise with their feet up on the board room table crushing beer cans against their heads and laughing. Probably unfounded, but I can see the conversation going something like this:
1- Dude, let's do something really funny, like a parody.
2- Of what?
1- Ooh, something really boring and old that no one, like, actually reads.
2- What about that movie with Keira Knightly? Pride and Prejudice, I heard it's also a book.
Again probably unfounded, but I chuckled inside at the image. I'm sure the people behind this are very deft bussiness men, they are certainly making a lot of money, but for their Sea Monster scenerio may I suggest that Persuasion is more nautically oriented, though not as popular so I suppose it would fall down in the money part of the scheme.
Also chalk this up to the possiblity that I may actually be suffering from NaNoWriMo withdrawal of all things. I don't have any novel to come home to at night, and I finished the novel I was reading this afternoon, so I don't have that to come home to either. I'm waiting to start reading Middlemarch because two of my friends want to get in on that too, we might start our own book club blog so we can all discuss it together, I'll link it to this site. Feel free to join us if you want to climb that mountain over the winter holidays as well, or if you already have.
It's not even December yet, I have got to pull myself together, but I have always hated that feeling when I'm between books. I need a life- though this weekend I spent an evening playing Rock Band with some friends. I suck at guitar; the strumming and button pressing at the same time really gets me. I used to play a bit of piano which involved both hands, but the strumming was ridiculously hard for me to accomplish simultaniously.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Winner! 50,248

I just logged my winning word count into the verifier on NaNoWriMo's website! Apparenly only 10% of participants actually make 50k each year; chalk it up to my extreme stubborness and my determination not to let my story die, as dangerously close as it came.
This is a blissful moment, and I get my little winner icon for this site now, I'm going to go upload it right now.

Friday, November 27, 2009

45352, and Collision Part 2

I have hit 45352. I am in the home stretch and I'm really starting to think I can do this, especially because I realized that December doesn't start until Tuesday, not Monday as I previously thought. So what if my sleep pattern may be permanently screwed up and several of my personal relationships in decay? I'm feeling good.
For a non-sugary reward, I finally watched the second part of Collsion saved on my DVR. Lucy Griffiths was the highlight of the program in my opinion, though Douglas Henshall was quite good as well. He portrayed the different emotional layers of his character very well, but Lucy's character was the one I found the most sympathetic. She was focused on quite a bit and had a quiet, but empowering end to her story.
The story itself was a bit of a mess, many, many layers and jumps forward and backward that the subtitles barely help keep straight. Although some of the stories were intersting it felt like way too much going on. (Just like the first season of the strangely addictive Glee.)The ending was also very peculiar in a post modern sort of way. All of a sudden the narrative (not voiced mind you) asks what would have happen if the accident had never occured, and all the victims are seen continuing on their journey, riding in a sort of passive, Elysian Fields way while piano music- by Chopin I believe?- plays whistfully in the background. I'd give it a B.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Ha! I broke 40,000! Of course it isn't technically yesterday does that mean that it was part of yesterday's word goal or today's? I have no idea, but I am so happy.
"Des, go to bed," my reasonable roommate called out to me about an hour ago.
"Not until I've hit 40k!" I triumphantly answered.
And I did it. I was so happy because:
1.) I'm writing literary fiction which isn't really plot driven. It's about characters with all sorts of "significant feelings," and "expressing thematic ideas," blah, blah, blah- I ran out of my plot a while ago. (see post below)
2.) After running out of my originally planned plot several thousand words ago I hit up "Adoptable Stuff" a thread list on the NaNoWriMo site. I found some ideas to adopt to stretch out my story, and it totally works with what I originally intended.

I was celebrating and wondering if I should call one of my friends... then I realized it was a somewhat indecent hour on the eve of a day most people will need energy to spend on their families. So I came here to tell you. All three of you or so, as I suspect that's all the reading this blog gets most days. Well, I love the three of you and think that if you've ever had any inclination to write anything, but have never had the drive to just do it, you should NaNo with me next year. Or join me for Script Frenzy in April. I was checking out the site a minute ago while still on my 40k high, I had to stop myself from signing up immediately. I decided that I will wait until the "Script Frenzy 2009" changes to 2010, that seemed wise.

I want that "NaNoWriMo 2009 Winner" banner so bad!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I finally reached the goal I had for yesterday...oh well. The crux of what my novel's really about is becoming clear to me, in December (hear that inner editor, not until December!) when I go back and start editing I'm going to have to adjust a few things to make the theme and feeling cohesive overall. I finally know where it's set for one thing!
There is one tiny little problem. I don't know if I have almost 15,000 words worth of plot left. The story's pretty close to over and I don't want to take another random dare from one of the forums. I've already taken about four dares to keep things moving and I broke out the Plot Device Jar. I made it a few years ago to put little phrases like "An inheritence is gained," and other prompts that might change the direction of the story. Some verging on cliche, some completely bizzare. I think I originally thought of making it when I read that August Wilson I think, kept a jar of character traits on his desk or something like that. A few of the dares on NaNoWriMo's thread have been so good I added them to the jar even though I can't use them right now in this story.
Maybe I'll just kill someone off or make an epilogue... I'll update in a day or two. Next Monday's December. (Screams of horror)

Monday, November 23, 2009


Okay, didn't make 35,000 but still. Whoa. Even some of the stuff I just wrote thinking, "Whatever comes to mind, I'll put down," turns out to have significance. Some character revelations have come out of that spew. Thank you subconscious.
More great Threads from the NaNoWriMo's site:
Please injure my MC
Calling All Drunk Dialers
Morgue Visiting Hours
REALISTIC Superpowers… yeah, I know.
Forks? Weapons of Death?
Prison, hard time, all that.
I chased my character through Wal-Mart today…
Be SAD Dammit!!!!

It is quite an interesting sub-culture actually, the NaNo people. There's a whole vernacular I'm gradually learning. In one week it will be December and it will be over much to the relief of friends and family who are tired of hearing me say, "I can't, I'm writing a novel!" or, "Stop interrupting my noveling!"
I can't wait until the script challenge in April, I have so many ideas! However a lot of things are going by the wayside: laundry, dishes, academic research, my hair.
All for my art I guess.
Planning on at least a two hour marathon tomorrow.
Also, first week of December I will be reviewing Wiloughby's Return by Jane Odiwe, a new sequel to Sense and Sensibility and "A Tale of Almost Irresistable Temptation" according to the subtitle.

Friday, November 20, 2009

So maybe I should be working on NaNoWriMo

But I've been playing around on Robin Hood boards instead. The first couple times I took their Hero or Villain quiz I got Much. I don't think I'm like him at all. So I'll be honest, I been trying to get Marian, I realized that a key question that set Marian apart was one of the last ones. It asked about working with others, and I had been misreading it. The way you take the quiz is a bit annoying, rating one way or the other and it was very easy to vote the exact opposite of the way I actually meant. I'm pretty sure that question is what did it, I didn't really change my other answers very much when I retook it. I did take it just for fun once and purposely skewed it to get Sir Guy.
It's true though, like Marian I can be a little bit stubborn, impatient, indecisive, but my heart's always there.
Feel free to comparably waste your time.


I did it! I have astounded myself at how much I can achieve in such a short time when I really set my mind to it. Denying myself internet distractions probably helped as well. I can't pat myself on the back too much because A) don't want to overextend my shoulder and B) according to my "Daily Goal" I should be at around 30,300 by today. Blast. Well, since I will not be in CA on Sunday night to participate in their write-a-thon "A Night of Writing Dangerously" I'm going to have my own. Probably not six hours long, my friends and family may become concerned, but I will try to have.... 35,000 words by Monday. That is terrifying, but I must do it. I wrote 5000 words in two days and about 10,000 this week. I can totally write... 15,000 in three days. Maybe. But I'm supposed to go to a movie on Saturday. Well it's a goal, okay, it's what I'm aiming for.
My reward for being so diligent is to review the latter half of "Raditude" and post some of my favorite thread names from the NaNoWriMo site.
First: "Raditude"- "Trippin' Down the Freeway" is a little more... Green Album to me maybe, not overly impressed, but it captures some of that classic "awkward with women and relationships" feeling the Weezer is master of. Catchy though.
"Love is the Answer" was very experimental. It was in a Bollywood style, which isn't a bad thing, I actually went through a Bollywood movie phase and still secretly love settling in with one occasionally. The song is very mellow and distinctly not cynical or self depreciating which is refreshing to hear on a Weezer album. Amrita Sen offers her vocals to the track and sounds beautiful.
"Let it all Hang Out" captures a very current feeling among the public. The need to go out on the weekend and let loose, there are multiple references to the recession and the stress from everyday life connected to it. Although, on the surface not an especially poignant song, it may be an important hallmark of the attitude of the times- and they make a reference to Vitamin Water which makes me happy.
"In the Mall" is a driving anthem about shenanigans in the mall. Eh, okay.
"I Don't Want to Let You Go" brings back more serious undertones touched on in "Put Me Back Together" showing a deeper emotional realm than most of the other songs. The only thing on the album I would refer to as a ballad. I think River's voice sounds fantastic on it too, but I just love his voice which this song really showcases.
Overall I give this album a B. There are a couple fantastic songs that I have unintentionally found myself singing in the shower and a few are just okay. I do see levels of experiementation along with a return to some of their earlier sound. Maybe this is a stepping stone toward a new era of Weezer...
Okay now for funny thread names- all are from various participants of NaNoWriMo, none of them belong to me or are created by me:
The Pros and Cons of Believing Santa Claus
Medieval Backpacks
Weird, Gross, and Creepy Mythology
My character threw away all her anti-depressants, now what happens?
Help give my character personality
Evil/Horrible Things that the British Invented
I need to blow up a bridge!!!
Instant stabby death

These are gems. I still maintain that their forums alone are reason enough to do NaNo.
Agenda for the weekend looks like:
1. Where the Wild Things Are (I hope!)
2. Robin Hood
3. Collision part 2
4. 15,000 words
Maybe I'll sleep at some point. Talk to you Monday.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Poetry and Other Forms of Procrastination

I've been pondering "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot. Until recently, I had never even heard of the poem, in school I studied "The Waste Land" of course, but didn't know much of Eliot beyond that. However, recently people around me have been quoting it, making allusions to it and the other week I read it for the first time.
The poem is beautiful and the language is mesmorizing, lulling even. But what does it mean? It is called a love song, but the main character is conspicuously alone, disconnected, indecisive. Not even the sirens, or mermaids as he says, call to him. They are luring someone else. My favorite verse:
"For I have known them all already, known them all
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room
So how should I presume?"

I think it may be one of those poems that everyone will take in a completely different direction depending on their own state of mind and experience. Still, it's beautiful and I have been thinking of it all afternoon.
Poetry used to be my passion. I wrote poems all the time, but suddenly stopped for some reason that is still a mystery to myself. Lately however, I've had a penchant for sonnets. (Stop the eye rolls- just because it reminds you of high school English class, sheesh). I've written quite a few in the past week. All of this creative energy should be poured into my NaNoWriMo, but as the title says, I've been procrastinating. A friend of mine asked me to describe my story to her and I reallized I do know what I want to happen and where I want to end up, I've just got to *Woman-Up* and do it.
I'll be back when I've hit 20,000 words.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Reviews: Part 1 Collision, "Raditudes"

Ok, not as great as I hoped. I was a little upset by that fact that within the first five minutes we know which characters are going to die in the accident. That ruined some of the suspense for me and made me feel like I shouldn't become emotionally invested in these particular characters. The structure was a little confusing as well, without the sub-titles I would have been totally lost. I know there are two more parts to go, but I'm still waiting for the "so what?", the theme, why the story of all these people in this collision are important and how they connect to each other beyond the simple visceral experience. Also, this may just be me being an ignorant American and I know it was impportant to the plot but, is it commonplace for ambulances to take less injured patients to diners? That struck me as strange.
On the positive: Fantastic cast! Alum of Pride and Prejudice, Robin Hood, Doctor Who, Primeval, Torchwood, Being Human, The Twelth Night, Sparkhouse, and many other great programs. Some of the stories are interesting and intruiging. Did one man purposely become onvolved in the accident? Why was one of the survivors found possibly murdered shortly after leaving the hospital? Why was there a man hidden in the furniture delivery van? Some of those questions will inspire me to tune in to the next part. As well as Lucy Griffiths- even though I think she looks better as a brunette- she is refreshing in a contemporary role and a sympathetic character.
I was irresponible today and bought Weezer's new album, "Raditude". I just put it on my computer and haven't finished listening, but will post my initial impressions. Alot of people have had negative comments about this album, but in a way it reminds me alot of their "Blue" album. There's something kind of early rock/punk about their radio single "If You're Wondering if I Want You To (I Want You To) that is reminiscent of songs like "Buddy Holly". The poetic angsty-ness of "Put Me Back Together" pairs with songs like "The World Has Turned (And Left Me Here)". There is also a sense of shamelessly reveling in witty geekiness which I find irrestible. I did have to ask "What? Is that Lil' Wayne?" During "Can't Stop Partying". That was a slightly confusing song. Four more to listen to, I'll post further thoughts later. So far it's not my favorite album, but doesn't warrant alot of the bashing it's been given.
Oh one thing that upset me a little: you can only get the bonus track of Weezer doing two covers in one of Kids and Poker Face if you buy the album on iTunes. Grr. I refuse, it's not fair. Why are you so cruel iTunes? Always keeping things for yourself.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Entertainment of the Weekend

Oh Robin Hood, how you consume a pathetic and socially unacceptable percentage of my thoughts. This week's episode was a major moment with Robin and Guy; it gave fantastic insights on the boys that became the men and how the "bad blood" between them goes back to their fathers. Who cares if it doesn't completely mesh with the backstory that has been implied for the past two seasons? Well... some people care, but besides throwing off the timeline and amount of history between characters a bit, it actually makes alot of things make even more sense in my opinion. I still, stubbornly insist that they should not have killed off Marian and that S3 could have been much more interesting with her. Maybe once the American premiere of S3 concludes in a few weeks I'll post my rewrite of the S2 finale and new outline of S3. Although I must give credit where it is due, the writers did very much redeem themselves in the end of this season. But not 100%
Tonight is the premiere of Collision which has Lucy Griffiths- Lady Marian herself appearing in it. Many BBCA viewers will find familiar actors in this series. I'm excited, Place of Execution has me feeling positive about Mas Contemporary. I'll post my notes later this week.
For books: I have been reading Girl, Interrupted. It's amazing, I'm obsessed. I've never seen the movie, but need to read the book for a class I'm taking. Though I'm not sure what this says about me, I find it fascinating to read about experiences with mental illness. I read The Bell Jar in high school- changed my life. The book is not a cohesive A-B-C plotline, but a collection of memories of the author's experience in the mental hospital. It's as if she wrote each chapter, each episode in the book as it came to mind, not in any order but the one her mind drew up. I can't wait to watch the movie and see how they arrange the plot.
One other bit of exciting, geeky news: BBCA has announced they are showing the final three Dr. Who specials starring David Tennant in December! Can't wait.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Kurt Vonnegut

And since I am just procrastinating instead of doing real work or NaNoWriMo, I may as well say that in all the chaos of life, I forgot to post that Wenesday the 11th was Kurt Vonnegut's birthday. Slaughterhouse Five and Cat's Cradle are some of my favorite banned books (for lists of the 100 most challenged classics and the most commonly banned books in recent decades check out and celebrate Banned Books Week the last week of September each year- I proudly wear my "I read banned books" pin). That was a long aside. I apologize.
For incentive to pick up some Vonnegut check out "15 Things Kurt Vonnegut Said Better than Anyone Else Ever Has or Will". Be aware a few quotations contain some intemperate language. My link button is stil acting childishly, so copy/paste my friends, copy/paste:,1858/
It has inspired me to read some of Vonnegut's earlier works.
So it goes.

So I Watched It...

I watched the final part of Place of Execution and I was not dissapointed. The moral ambiguity is captured so well; a particular line stands out to me (not quoted exactly) "In this case truth and justice are not the same". It was definately worth the watching- if you missed it check out the videos on
As I wrote that I swallowed my gum. Fantastic.
NaNoWriMo is seriously kicking my butt. Current word count is only around 11,000. Very shabby considering it's the 13th. I knew how hard this would be with my current schedule this month, but I was optomistic- that was my first mistake. Next week my theatrical obligations will end and then I will have to seriously buckle down on this. I already have an idea for the script writing challenge in April, I'm very excited about that.
Oh, and I have a new project for the holiday season (mid-December to mid-January I'm thinking): Reading George Eliot's Middlemarch. It is a beastly long book, but I've been meaning to read something of Eliot's for ages and haven't done it. A friend of mine is also planning on climbing that mountain and we have decided to have weekly sessions (on Skype if not in person) to check up on each other's progress. I'll journal about it on here as well to make me feel more obligated to continue with it.
I still want to do a series about film adaptations as well... that might be too much for one month, we'll just see how it goes.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Crazy Week

I am way behind on my NaNoWriMo word count. I knew that this would be a tough month to attempt this because of all I have going on. However, my theatrical obligations will over soon and I can (hopefully) get myself back on track.
I have not seen the conclusion to Place of Execution yet, it is waiting patiently on my DVR. This Sunday Collision premieres of Masterpiece. I am actually very excited, Place of Execution has my hopes up now. This Saturday will also see a major revelation on BBC's Robin Hood in a long flashback that somewhat contradicts some earlier parts of the show... but we'll pretend it doesn't.
Also, I have just heard of a new film about Keats! It's called Bright Star and is about the young poet's romance that inspired a poem by the same name. Not living in a major city, I must patiently wait until the little arthouse theatre in the next town gets it. This could be a while, but in the meantime I have watched the trailer and looked everyone up on IMDB. Playing Keats is the same actor that appeared as Sebastian Flyte in the recent adaptation of Bridehead Revisited- not my favorite film, it lacked many things, but the cast was quite good. I hope Bright Star doesn't dissapoint; I am uncharacteristically optomistic about it!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Book Tech: Hot Man Edition

Oh, and a little Happy November gift for all the ladies: (sorry, but I can't get the link button to work lately, so copy and paste in your address bar)
Fantastic British actors Dominic West, Greg Wise, and Dan Stevens read excerpts of classic and more contemporary novels so you can enjoy a "more seductive coffee break". Or, as I call it: Bedtime Stories! I imagine if I ever married a charming British man with a nice speaking voice, I would have him read me excerpts of classic novels whenever I couldn't sleep. Until then, for my insomnia and yours, enjoy!

Place of Execution

Alright... so after writing about 2000 words for the innagural day of NaNoWriMo, I decided I would check out Materpiece Contemporary's latest offering and I'm very glad I did. This was only part one, so I look forward to the coming conclusion of the story. At first it seems a fairly straight forward story of an impassioned detective catching the murderer of a young girl. However, the story quickly develops with more layers of intrigue and ambiguity.
In modern day London, Catherine Heathcote, a divorced reporter with a troubled daughter, tries to make a documentary about the case of Alison Carter's murder. In her interview with George Bennett, the lead detective, she uncovers some unusual facts about the crime and the evidence used try Alison's stepfather (played by the adorable Greg Wise). The story is told largely through extended flashback scenes and has many great performances.
Check it out!

Current word count: 3018 ... about 6% there I believe?