Thursday, January 19, 2012

OH MY GOSH! Stefan Salvatore Was In Roll Bounce!

Before we get on to the subject alluded to in the title, agent Meredith Barnes is doing something pretty cool over at her blog (it involves giving out query critiques) in celebration of her agency's recent success with e-books. So let's celebrate some e-books! Such as those of Lorena Dureau, whose e-books you can get for $0.99 and Dan Streib whose protagonist is described as "James Bond meets Anderson Cooper." Congrats to them!

Back to the topic at hand...

Am I late on this? Did everyone else know? Why did no one tell me about this in all the three weeks since I became a
Vampire Diaries fan?

Alls I know is that I walked into my sister's room and her TV happened to be turned to the 2005 flick, Roll Bounce. Staring (Li'l) Bow Wow and Nick Cannon, Roll Bounce is an underdog story about a roller skating competition set in 1970s Chicago.

In case you were wondering what racy, hedonistic activities Stefan Salvatore was up to the 70s, I can now tell you that he was a member of THE male roller skating team to beat, the Sweetwater Rollers. (And I don't think he was very nice about it, but seriously, what else would you expect from a ripper?)

To be honest, I didn't recognize him at first. I was too caught up in the graceful movements and masterful choreography of the routine. (Stefan's got some mad roller rink skillz.) But ultimately, there's no mistaking that brow, furrowed or not.

Bring on the the polyester and sequins!

Please - PLEASE! - watch the first 38 seconds of this clip! You have to see the coordinated roll way/snub.

And of course, the big final skating number by the reigning champs (Stefan's over the main guy's right - his right - shoulder)

Music and Me and Did Anyone Else Think Mumford & Sons Were From Tennessee?

I didn’t used to have specific songs or playlists for my stories as I work on them. But these past couple of years, I’ve been finding myself picking out songs and thinking, “Hey, that’s exactly how Character X feels and/or went through!”

I think it has something to do with the fact that these past couple of years I’ve actually been working on longer projects for extended periods of time. When your mind is so deep into a story, it’s going to make connections all over the place. Some songs have lyrics that fit perfectly for specific characters or relationships between characters. Others just have a feel to them that fits my story in some way or another even if the lyrics aren’t an exact match.

So here’s my current WIP playlist:

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

There’s one song missing. “Annie” by Elefant which goes right before “Thistle & Weeds.” They didn’t have it available on So here it is from Youtube:

Is it just me or does this playlist make my story seem kinda dark, or at the very least on the downer side?

My inner goth is pleased, but I think I need a playlist part two. Subtitle: Hey, some characters in my story are actually happy and functioning people! I swear.

“No One’s Gonna Love You” and “Thistle & Weeds” are sorta my cornerstone songs. They were the firsts on my list and speak to certain characters/relationships in a very definite way (which may diverge from the songwriters’ original intent, but whatevs. It’s art. It’s interpretable). When I was stuck in my writing once, I listened to the two versions of “No One’s Gonna Love You” (Band of Horses is the original) over and over for like 30 minutes until I figured out what I needed to do.

I love “Thistle & Weeds” because I can really see and feel a storm building and escalating when I listen to it. (It's best to listen to it SUPER loud to really get the effect). I also feel it aptly represents a certain character of mine’s back story. She’s kinda scary crazy, but she wasn’t always like that. It built up over time and escalated to the point where she is now.

Also, the lyric “The sky above us shoots to kill.” Awesome! What a way to describe lightning! I wish I was as good at describing stuff.

Speaking of Mumford & Sons, I wasn’t the only one who thought they were from Tennessee, was I? Maybe this exposes my shameful preconceived notions about banjos, but I pretty much assumed that anyone playing them is from a southern state of the U.S. (Don’t get me wrong, I can get down with some Bluegrass. The banjo is an instrument to be respected.) I’d probably listened to the Mumford & Sons CD about 30 times before I was like, “Hey! Heeeey. Southern people don’t say ‘can’t’ like that. Or ‘plant.’ Or ‘all.‘ Or ‘been’! What is this deception!?!”

Plus, to me the leader sing from this band has a similar tone to the lead singer from Kings of Leon and Kings of Leon are from the South(-slash-Midwest). So, you know, associations. And apparently one of the guys in the band is called Country! And were is country music from?

Whatever! My assumption was valid leap in misjudgment!

Mumford & Sons really gets down with some banjo.

Anyway, what about you? Do you have a playlist to go with your novel? What’s on it? I loves music and to know what other folks are listening to. If’n you ain’t got no playlist, tell me yourn favorite song from 2011.

Or of the week. This here’s one of mine. This song is loud and discordant and brief and fast, and I loves it.

And oh, my gosh! I just found out this band is from Bowling Green, Kentucky! It has just been a southern-fied second half of my post, hasn't it?!

I think I got too excited about that...

Happy Friday, ya'll!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Nice Rambley Bit For My First Post of 2012 (I even talk about writing)


It’s 2012 and nobody told me?

I was supposed to start preparing for the apocalypse. You know, stock up on canned food, Purell, and DVDs. Get my zombie survival kit together. Etc.

A hope everyone has had some happy holidayness in their lives. The great thing about Christmas is that it provides solid evidence of how the people in your family see you. As in: “Hey, these earrings are really weird. Just odd and strange and abnormal in every way. I bet Cacy'll love them!” Le sigh. It’s hard being the “artsty” one in the family. I'm not that weird, Mom. Really, I'm not.

But I do now boast a new favorite necklace:

(Made by this company.)

Freakin' awesome. And it matches this ring I got a few month ago:

(This guy also makes Lego jewelry.)

(Check him out.)

So sometimes they get it right. Even though, of course, Christmas is not about the presents. Is the lie we tell children.

In other topics, I finished the preliminary revision of my rewrite. (You know, when you go through and fix all the obviously bad stuff before you let anyone read it. There was this one scene in particular that was so bad that if it had been a published book I was reading I would have written the author an angry letter. Fortunately, no one shall ever have to see that scene EVER. Though I kinda want people to read it after they read the new and improved scene so that I can be like see, SEE what I saved you from…before I forced you to read it. Anyway…)


Printed out for easy reading by people in my life who don’t like reading long stuff on the computer. (You gotta work those margins and font size to save some paper.)

I know there’s all kindsa fancy technological computery ways to breakdown the editing process, but this is how I revise when it comes to re-ordering half the scenes in the book:

First I type up a list of every scene in the manuscript and color-code them according to like characters or what part of the story it deals with or something. I don't know. I just like colors.

After cutting the list up, I re-order the scenes as needed.

Then tape 'em down to blank sheet of paper so I can easily refer to them when I go back to my computer to start moving things around in the actual document.

Who needs Scrivener? (Okay, I probably do. But it costs money, see. Plus, cutting stuff out and using tape is fun. Ask any four-year-old. Tape and scissors are the best things ever.)

The thing about finishing something and coming to the point where I’m waiting for other people to read it is that I’m left with a “What now?” feeling. What should I do with myself right now considering that if this were yesterday, I’d have been working on that thing I just finished.

I suppose I could read something. Maybe re-watch the fourth season of Buffy or all the episodes of “Life After People” I recorded. I should probably clean my mess of a room which I’m sure is a fitting reflection of my life in general. I could work on a blog post.

All of the above?

Well, I did all of the above. So what now?

In the bigger picture in which I’m always working on some writerly endeavor or another, what now?

Eh, I’ll figure it out.

But you know, going over my manuscript, setting is one of the changes I’m happiest with when it comes to all the decisions I made for the rewrite. Originally, I’d set the story in some made up middle of nowhere town. But for the re-write I thought, why don’t I bring them home. My hometown of Los Angeles, that is.

Because of this change, I’ve set some of my scenes in what I think are interesting parts of the city. I might not have thought to use some of these types of locations if I’d stuck with a made up town.

Which I guess means I'm not as creative as I lead people to think I am.

(The Venice Beach Canals is one of the interesting places in L.A. I do not use in my story.)

Besides, people talk trash about my city. Saying it’s a wasteland and the people are shallow (to which I respond, maybe that has something to do with the part of the city you hang around). But I love my sprawling town. According to popular music, it never rains here and we know how to party. And you can believe that because popular entertainment never lies to us. Ever.

(Now that I think about it, I didn't set any scenes in my book around water, which is kinda odd cause I love water-adjacent locales.)

So…that’s probably enough a ramblin’.

No, wait!

Doesn’t anybody finish their games on Droidwords? Or is it just nobody wants to finish the games they start with me? I’ve been waiting for my sister to make a move for like six months now! Some people!

Okay, now I’m done.

Have a Happy New Year anyone who made it to the bottom of this post. The rest of you…a plague upon your houses! (Not really, I give you permission to have happiness in your new year too.)