Friday, June 29, 2012

Hangin' with my bad self

So I'm flipping through the selection of new releases on demand and feeling pretty 'meh' about it. I'm beginning to think I might be getting too picky, but then I remember the last movie I watched (can't remember the title, but it took place in Wales and it involved teenagers, a couple of whack jobs, an abandoned orphanage and people dying violent deaths) soooo, yeah. Still, every title I look under reveals something unpleasant. What's this... wait, it's got Julia Roberts in it?! Oh HELL no. Dwayne Johnson? Really? Do we need to go there? It's  been several years and I still don't smell whatever the hell the Rock is cooking (or want to...). And Bindlestiffs? What the hell does that even mean? All I know is the description lost me at 'The story unfolds as they surrender their virginities to hobos, prostitutes and crack fiends'. Oooohkay. I think I'm all set.

I switched to Netflix, and yeah, we've already discussed the 'categories' that pop up {insert evil laughter here} but you know what? They don't change films often enough. And I'm not interested in sequels to movies like Hostel or the Human Centipede. I'm also kind of sick of the same old same old with horror flicks. You know what I mean:

1. Found footage! Yep, I think we need to lay this one to rest for a while. It was fine with the low budget filmmakers who were trying to be innovative and create a good story with the bare minimum. It worked with the Blair Witch Project. It worked with Paranormal Activity (the first one, anyway). Now it seems like everyone's doing them and *yawn* they're just not bringing anything new to the table.

2. Abandoned mental hospital. Word of advice if you happen to find one of these bad boys in your travels? DON'T GO INSIDE! I mean, duh, these people were nuts, of course their ghosts will be too. If I counted the horror movies  that used this as a setting, I'd be convinced that there are haunted asylums everywhere.

3. A parent (or parents) moves to the country after the death of their child( or a divorce) to start fresh. Then bad things happen. Really bad things. Half the movies I looked at had this in their description.

4. Zombies. I hate myself for saying this, but zombies really have taken over the world and I'm not sure I like it, because they make a lot of really shitty movies. I'll take Night of the Living Dead or 28 Days Later, or even Walking Dead any day. But there's just too much other stuff and most of it sucks. Even George Romero's most recent film Survival of the Dead was one big giant suckfest (A whole other rant...)

Ah, hell, I could go on, but do I really want to? I need a glass of wine...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Going to Hell? Let me Draw you a Map...

This isn't something that I've thought too much about in the past, because the majority of my writing takes place in the real world. The book I'm currently querying takes place in Providence, Rhode Island. I lived there for four years (college) and still visit frequently, so it is a very familiar place to me. In my story, I used a combination of real places and fictionalized businesses.

My current WIP is a bit different. It takes place in the 'Underworld', which is a mishmash of various mythologies, religions and beliefs about the afterlife/what happens after death. I've approached it as a geographical place that exists on a different plane from our own and twisted some of the traditional beliefs. It is an alternate life from the one lived on earth.

 Purgatory, for example, is the 'Hub' of the Underworld. It is a crossroads, the place where souls first arrive. Death, the deity responsible to bringing souls to the afterlife, has his headquarters there. There is not a single Grim Reaper, it is a profession and there are many of them. All reapers settle in Purgatory.

 Heaven and Hell are the other 'main' locations, and they contain various kingdoms, cities, landmarks-- like Hades or Valhalla.  I'd also like to incorporate mythological creatures and deities as characters. Charon, for example, ferries two of the characters down the river Lethe in exchange for a share in the goods they're smuggling in from earth.

Putting it all together is a daunting task, to say the least. I want to make it my own, and mold the mythologies to fit my story, but I also want readers to pull something familiar from it. I'm working on something that really interests me--I've always been fascinated by mythology, folk tales, and everything in between. At the same time, it has really taken me out of my comfort zone and writing has been slow. It will be interesting to see where this leads...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Coolest Game Ever

Zombies really are everywhere. I mean, who wouldn't want to bowl over a bunch of wooden zombies with an equally wooden bomb? I'm partial to the one with his brain sticking out the top of his head.

They kind of remind me of those 'Little People' I played with as a kid. Only much, much cooler.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Withstanding the Test of Time

I have been a huge Social Distortion fan since college and I can STILL listen without getting tired of them. I've seen them live a few times and can't say I've ever seen a bad show. While their newest album 'Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes' is not my favorite, they still rock. Machine Gun Blues is my favorite track on the album, and they did a pretty cool little 'mini movie' for the video:

So, if I had to pick, what would my top ten favorite songs of theirs be? Here they are, in no particular order:

1)Mommy's Little Monster
2)Cold Feelings
3)99 to Life
4)Don't Drag Me Down
5)Sick Boys
6)Story of My Life
7)Reach For the Sky
8)Ball and Chain
9)Machine Gun Blues
10)Bad Luck

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Weirdest. Dream. Ever.

Or, it's up there anyway--I've always had lots of vivid dreams. Last night, I found myself walking a path through the woods with my daughter. We came to a river, and there was this huge wooden platform attached to a bridge. It had a roof, benches, and these two guys were standing there fishing. One of them started to tell us to go around, that the bridge was next to the platform, not behind it. I apologized and felt stupid because I didn't want to bother them. Then my daughter climbed up on the platform, grabbed a fishing pole and one of the men started coaching her on where to cast the line. I stood on the bank and watched, then glanced underneath the platform. Instead of water, there was only mud. Sitting in the mud was a dirty, ratty looking teddy bear that had some kind of small green creature crawling over it...eating it. I looked closer, and it was Kermit the Frog. He was moving over the teddy bear, inching along like a snail, and then he'd stop and latch on. I was like, WTF? Then I woke up.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Very Handy Fashion Tip?

Do NOT keep any electronic devices in the pocket of your hoodie when you go to use the toilet. Murphy's Law says that if it can fall out of that pocket it probably will. And really, who wants to fish their MP3 player out of the toilet? I didn't.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


I'm sooo glad tomorrow's Friday!!! So glad, in fact, that I added two extra exclamation points to the previous sentence.

 I don't hate my job, but I don't particularly love it, either. Half the time I'm like 'Why am I here?' Then I remember I have bills to pay and that nobody's interested in hiring a college educated thirty-something with no relevent job experience. Factor in that there isn't a job that I'm really interested in anyway. I mean, all I want to do is write and paint. Ideally, that would be my profession. Is it realistic? I like to think so, but then again, fifteen years (!) since graduating college and instead of having a career I'm slogging away doing mind-sucking manual labor and making fourteen bucks an hour.

Believe it or not I'm not complaining! I had children right out of college and chose to devote my attentions to them rather than focus on a career. I worked part time at a library, but spent most of my time home with them. And that's when I really honed both my writing and my art. Would I have had time to do that with a full time career? Probably not. Now, a couple years ago, necessity forced me to jump into the work force with both feet (and both fully encased in cement. ha.) So I'm feeling a little stretched thin and honestly? I'm sinking. I've never had to do it all before--work, pay bills, take care of my children & home. Somewhere I try to fit in my writing. Often my house is left unkempt. And then there's that nagging problem of the things that won't go away...I won't talk about them, though.

Wow, that really sounds depressing! I try to just suck it up, though. I mean, I could be saying to my family--to quote Peter Griffin-- "I don't have a job in the world." And that, my friends, would suck even more than the job I have now.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Facebook can suck it

I don't have anything against Facebook, I just don't feel like using it. I've got two accounts--one for 'the real me' and one for 'pretend me'. One I never use and the other I mostly lurk about and read what other people are doing. I do enjoy seeing what friends and family are up to, but rarely feel like posting anything...or even reacting to their posts. I don't care for the new layout, either. It looks like a vomit puddle of too much information...WAY too complex and requires too much effort to read through people's profiles. So unless I see something in my news feed, I usually won't bother poking any further.

What is the point of this post? *Sigh* I guess just to vent a little. I get tired of seeing how miserable people are. I get tired of posts like 'making dinner' and other play by plays of somebody's life that --I hate to say it--I don't really care about. I don't think a social networking site should be a measuring stick for how much you love your children, or whether you care enough about a certain issue, nor  should it be a means to talk trash about other people. I've seen some pretty shitty stuff posted on people's facebook pages, and all conveniently done from behind the safety of a computer keyboard. Ah well... 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Labels, genres, blah blah blah

As I finish tightening and tweaking my novel, I am also trying to figure out who to target when I submit. Reading through submission guidelines for various agents and adhering to them is a project in itself. THIS is the one part I didn't miss in the whole process. I HATE self promotion! It feels icky (<--I know, genius, right?) and goes against everything in my nature. Worse yet, my story doesn't really fit into a specific genre.

On my crit site, Scribophile, I have it tagged as "paranormal romance".A love story is central, but I'd hesitate to call it a romance. The story is more about the MC and how this 'love' has affected her life...and death...and the choices she's made. And the ending isn't quite happily ever after, either. It seems almost too dark for your typical romance...the paranormal kind or not.

Paranormal? Well, yeah. MC dies, she meets a grim reaper, hangs out as a ghost for a while,then she comes back as a zombie. Lots of paranormal stuff going on. But that's not really a 'genre'.

Zombies? Ghosts? Doesn't that make it horror?! Hmmm...I don't know? It's not really scary, and it's not really meant to be scary. It's a little morbid. The humor is dark and ironic and sometimes just silly. But scary? I think if you compared it to a zombie movie 'tone-wise'  it would be more 'Zombieland' than 'Night of the Living Dead'. And I'm not sure I'd call that horror.

Of course, while there is a sense of humor to it, the entire book isn't funny. There are lots of dramatic scenes. Tough choices. Inner reflections. You know, serious stuff.

So I'm left I just NOT categorize it and hope for the best? I can't think of an author I've read that I could compare it to as being similiar (though that is kind of a no-no in pitching, but I think it would be helpful to figure out where a piece fits). Ah brain is fried.

Friday, June 1, 2012

This Blog Design...

Well, quite frankly, it sucks. It's temporary though! I'm going to actually do something design-y. Four years of art school I should be able to come up with something. Stay tuned...