Clarion West Write-a-Thon 2017: Week 6 Update

Top Secret Code Name of Current Project: Fedoras and Trust Issues
Current Pitch: Hardboiled fairy tale noir!
Slightly More Detailed Pitch: In an alternate post-WWII America, a cranky, bisexual PI and his ace, teenage Girl Friday try to solve the disappearances and/or murders of three different women.

Number of Unexpected Arguments Between Characters: 1
Number of Big Reveals This Chapter: 1
Number of Secret Plans Involving Murder: Well, lots. But in this chapter? 1

Song From Current Project Playlist: “Elias” – Ramin Djawadi, Stephen Coleman, & Hollywood Studio Symphony

Goal Met: YES

Last week of the Write-a-Thon, and I have met my goal! I wish I could just slack off now and go indulge in some fanfiction, but unfortunately I really need to keep up the pace to meet my deadline. I did, however, reward myself by buying an unconscionable amount of books from Barnes & Noble. The multiple shipping notices I received from them yesterday made me downright giddy.

This latest chapter is a relatively short one. It’s a scene pretty much lifted straight from “The Price You Pay Is Red,” and I wasn’t really expecting any surprises . . . only to find myself writing a brief but surprisingly intense argument between one of my protagonists and his love interest. And it was Prince, for once, playing the role of the idealist, while mild-mannered Hank was the angry cynic during the fight. It’s kind of a role reversal for both of them, but (hopefully) not out of character in scene, and I found it kind of exciting. One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about turning these stories into a novel is having more time to spend on the side characters, especially Jack (obvs, since she’s no longer a side character), Hank, and Mr. Nguyen.

On the other hand, giving Jack a POV meant I had to add even more side characters–because unlike what too many stories would have you believe, most ladies have lady friends of their own. I didn’t want Jack’s whole world to be populated by people who were only important to Prince. So, there may or may not still be a Battle Royale going on for screen time (so to speak), because, as anyone reading this probably knows, I can be a wordy motherfucker sometimes.

Finally, Your Last Random Line of the Week:

People here, we don’t revolt. We just step over the bodies.

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Coming Soon-Ish: A Whole Bunch of Trailers From Comic Con

It’s been years since I’ve been to Comic Con, but my little nerd heart still fills with envy every July. All that cosplay, all those panels, and so many, many trailers.

Fortunately, you can get most of that online now.

The Defenders

This looks pretty damn awesome.

I’m not gonna lie: I never actually watched Iron Fist. I figured I’d at least try it, but I read so many crappy things about the show that my already lukewarm interest just fizzled out. There are so many shows that I’m actually interested in trying; I couldn’t make myself waste time on one I just didn’t care about.

I have, however, read a bunch about the show (and have, of course, watched Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Daredevil), so I’m hoping I’ll be more or less prepared for The Defenders because it looks pretty great. Evil Sigourney Weaver looks AMAZING, and I’m absurdly excited by the shot of her and Madame Gao together, like, holy shit, BADASS VILLAINESS ALERT. (I should probably be counting Elektra in that, too, but I had very mixed feelings on Elektra after the giant mess that was Daredevil’s second season.) Meanwhile, our heroes–well, the three I actually care about anyway–are just perfect. I like all their banter, the not-exactly-camaraderie between them. (Particularly, “God, you’re weird.” Jessica Jones is the best.) I am, as ever, super excited about the team dynamics.

But. One thing? It has occurred to my sister and I that Claire is the only character who’s crossed over to all four shows, the only character currently connecting all of our heroes together, and I need to be absolutely clear about this: if Claire dies so that our heroes can have a thematically relevant “push,” I will burn things to the fucking ground.

Otherwise, I’m into it.

Thor: Ragnarok

I almost didn’t watch this trailer. They already sold me with the teaser, and once I’m hooked, I usually try to avoid seeing too much before watching the actual film itself. Ultimately, though, I caved and I’m actually glad I did because this is a spectacular trailer. Still. It’s the last one I’ll watch voluntarily. (I mean, within reason. If a Ragnarok trailer plays while I’m at the movie theater or something, I’m not, like, gonna close my eyes, stick my fingers in my ears, and sing “LA LA LA” to avoid it. Mostly because I’d rather not get murdered by angry nerds. Or at all.)

But man, this looks great. I’m into ALL of it: Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, Jeff Goldblum as Alien Jeff Goldblum, a team-up between Thor and Bruce/Hulk, another team-up between Thor and Loki, Cate Blanchett as the Goddess of Death. (Seriously. I NEED that hat. I NEED IT.) The action looks spectacular, the music is perfect, and oh my God, Hulk talks! Like, for more than three words at a time!

I’m ready for this, you guys. I’m so, so ready.

Justice League

Eh. Flash made me laugh a couple of times, especially the line, “It’s really cool you guys seem ready to do battle and stuff, but I’ve never done battle. I’ve just pushed some people and run away.” HA. I suspect that he and Wonder Woman are easily going to be my favorites. And I’m definitely into J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon.

Still, I feel like my reaction to this trailer was more lukewarm than most, partly because some of the action feels muddy to me, or perhaps because I just couldn’t get past the line: “Superman was a beacon to the world. He didn’t just save people. He made them see the best parts of themselves.”

Cause like, no? I mean, traditionally, sure, that’s exactly what Superman’s supposed to be around for, but you don’t get to just throw in a bullshit line like that after Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman, where Superman was kind of a glum asshole and half the country didn’t trust his alien ass. That is some what-the-fuckery of the highest order. I am not okay with this.

Ready Player One

This is . . . sort of interesting? It’s been quite a while since I’ve read the book, which if memory serves was enjoyable enough, though I liked it more in concept than execution. That’s kind of how I’m feeling with this first trailer: I’m still interested in the world, in OASIS, in catching all the many, many pop culture references. Considerably less into the VO, however, and many of the CGI/action scenes. I’m not exactly blown away by the look of the film, which is a unfortunate. A story like this, you kind of want it to look spectacular. You want it to look like nothing you’ve ever quite seen.

Then again, it’s only the first teaser. I might be more impressed with other trailers down the road. All I know is, at this point, even I’m starting to get a little tired of everyone’s 80’s fetish. Can we finally skip forward a decade, please? (In the film’s defense, there are 90’s references here: the most obvious one being The Iron Giant. But that line “I wish I’d grown up in the 1980’s like all my heroes” . . . yeah. Cue some serious eye rolling.)

Stranger Things

Speaking of 80’s nostalgia.

I’m definitely more excited about this than Ready Player One. Cause, like, c’mon. Thriller. Plus, so much great spooky imagery and just . . . I don’t know, neat stuff. Sorry, apparently I have no articulation today.

I’m super interested in Will, which is cool because last season was mostly about the people around Will. (That’s not a knock. That’s what first season needed to be. I’m just happy to see second season move past that.) I completely forgot they got Sean Astin for this, which is obviously perfect 80’s casting. And Eleven! ELEVEN!

If I had a negative–and I’ll admit there wasn’t much of one–my initial reaction to seeing Jonathan was this: Oh, right. So you still exist. *sigh*

But honestly, there’s so much awesome here that I’m pretty sure I can deal with Jonathan. And hey, there’s always the chance that he gets eaten by a monster!

Westworld

Nice little teaser. Atmospheric. Violent. Solid music choice.

I don’t have too much else to say about this except that I’m interested, and for the love of God can we find Elsie yet? (Preferably alive, but I suppose I’ll take confirmation of her dead body, too.)

Voltron: Legendary Defender

VOLTRON! While I’m extremely bummed to hear that Season 3 is only 7 episodes, I’m ecstatic to hear Season 4 is coming out in October. So. Okay. I can handle this.

I’m pretty into this trailer. (Definitely more, anyway, than I was into that weird leaked footage or whatever that came out a month or two ago.) I’m happy to see that we haven’t just skipped ahead to a time where Voltron is up and running again, like, I definitely want to deal with Shiro’s disappearance, not just easily replace him and move on until he’s found. Hopefully found? I’m interested in seeing what the team dynamic is like without Shiro: like, there ought to be changes, not just a single scene of Keith angst–although I’m all on board for the Keith angst. Still, I don’t want Shiro to permanently vanish. I like Shiro!

Anyway. I’m jazzed. Less than two weeks to go!

Bright

I’m interested in this. I don’t know if I’m quite as sold as the rest of the internet, and the words “from the director of Suicide Squad” make me shudder just a bit, but a cop movie with orcs and elves and fairies and Will Smith? I mean, how could I not be at least a little interested?

Also: Toyota Corolla. Yes.

Star Trek: Discovery

I feel like every Discovery trailer leaves me feeling pretty iffy, and this one is no exception. Some of it looks interesting: casting, some nice shots. But the trailers still aren’t grabbing me intellectually or emotionally yet, and I really wish I could shake off all the ‘doomed Captain Michelle Yeoh’ vibes I seem to be getting.

Mostly, I have no new thoughts here other than disappointment that Jason Isaacs has an American accent for no good reason I can tell. Also, it’s been officially released that our hero Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) is Sarek and Amanda’s adopted daughter, and while the creators have promised that there’s a great, non-continuity-breaking explanation for that, I’m raising an extremely skeptical eyebrow here.

Come on, people. Haven’t we already deja-ed this vu? Have we not already learned our lesson that giving Spock a sibling that no one’s bothered to mention for decades is a really lousy idea?

Riverdale

Okay, I had my problems with this show by the end of the season, but I absolutely have to check out Season Two now. Oh my God. The melodrama. I laughed so hard at this one line. I’m not even going to tell you the line. I think you’ll know it when you hear it.

I’ll admit to some confusion: I thought Cheryl’s Evil Mom made it out of the fire unscathed? Maybe I’m remembering wrong? Or maybe she ran back into the burning house for some reason? (Perhaps to save Spooky Granny, who was the one I actually thought might have burned alive?) Either way, what matters it that Cheryl is as charmingly disturbing as ever. I appreciate this.

Also worth a mention: do they not have ambulances in Riverdale? Or was it actually quicker for Archie to pick up his bleeding and bullet-ridden father and haul him to that hospital from the 1950’s? Oh, Riverdale, and you’re amazingly outdated town aesthetics. On a positive note, I’ve discovered that my interest in Archie himself has picked up a bit, now that he’s possibly keeping dark secrets and there’s nary a hint of an acoustic guitar in sight. Maybe we can keep that up?

Supergirl

Meh. I mean, I’m still going to watch it. I think S2 was definitely an improvement on S1, but this trailer does so little for me. Normally I’m all about the weird, strange dichotomy between superhero and alter ego, but Kara acting like the decision she made to choose duty over love is an essentially alien choice, and how her whole life as a human has been a lie and angst angst blah blah, just, nope, not here for that. Besides, if two seasons have taught me nothing else, it’s that when Kara gets angsty about something, it usually means she reacts like a snappish 13-year-old, and it’s literally my least favorite thing about the show.

On the upside, I perked up considerably when Adrian Pasdar appeared.

Legends of Tomorrow

This looks like considerably more fun, although some of the footage is old, and I had to roll my eyes a little at the line “Rip has been hiding something from us,” because, like, of course he has. That’s basically what Rip does. (Also, Victor Garber’s Titanic joke, which made Mek laugh and made me go, “Oh, you assholes.” Although we both agree with the sentiment: never, ever step foot on the Titanic.)

I am, however, into Billy Zane and all the circus stuff. And “DIE, CLOWN” definitely cracked me up. Is that a band name? It oughta be a band name.

The Flash

Aaaaaand back to the angst, although I’m actually a little more interested in this particular angst. Seeing the dichotomy between how Iris and Cisco are coping without Barry is kind of fascinating, and makes me wish that Barry was going to be gone for longer than an episode, which I seriously doubt. I love that Iris seems to be leading Team Flash, and I find myself desperately hoping she won’t just disappear on the sidelines when BA returns. I really shouldn’t let myself hope that hard.

I’m . . . okay that Caitlin appears to be on Team Flash again, but I need the show to actually address her dual nature, not just act like everything’s okay again. Cause, like, Jesus, that was one of the only things I praised about the goddamn finale. I’m also pretty bummed that her hair is brown again (c’mon, her Killer Frost look was the best!) and that Tom Felton is apparently leaving the show. That’s disappointing. I liked Julian, and if he’s not going to be around, I really need Caitlin to just be single for a year.

Arrow

Bleh. Not really feeling it.

Considering the nature of last season’s cliffhanger, I’m not surprised about how little we see from most of the cast. (Other than Black Canary, who apparently does survive.) Unfortunately, that means half this trailer is just summarizing the season finale, and the other half is all about Oliver’s relationship with his son. What’s interesting to me about this is that I probably could’ve been okay with William as a recurring character earlier, like Dad + Mayor + Vigilante could have been interesting to see if they balanced it right. But if their whole relationship is just gonna be William, like, semi-brainwashed and blaming Oliver for everything, up to and possibly including his mom’s death? Yeah, I’m not really up for that.

Inhumans

This trailer looks a little better than the first one. Unfortunately, Medusa’s already terrible wig somehow looks even worse in motion. The effects here are pretty awful, and this isn’t some low budget show on TNT or Syfy. I’m not forgiving that crap.

I want to be interested in this. I like superheroes. (Obviously, considering how many superhero trailers I just talked about.) I like Ken Leung and Iwan Rheon. There’s a giant dog. I’m excited about a hero who only speaks through alien sign language. Unfortunately, said hero is coming off awfully blah to me thus far. Rheon appears to be disappointingly typecast, like, I kind of wish he was playing Black Bolt instead. (Or if they actually got a deaf actor, maybe? I don’t know that much about Black Bolt, but couldn’t they use a computer generated voice for the few times he has to speak and kill people?) And I’m still not sure if the show is connecting to Agents of SHIELD, even though AoS is where we were introduced to the Inhumans in the first place. (Agents of SHIELD, man. They’ve been so screwed over by Marvel.)

Finally, Teen Wolf

This trailer isn’t from Comic Con. The season premiere is airing this Sunday, and I decided not to watch any more new footage before then. But I figured I’d post this trailer I saw a couple weeks ago, since it did manage to reignite my interest, what with Stiles and Derek and Jackson and everyone else who isn’t Danny coming back again. (Poor Danny. We’ll never know what happened to you, will we?)

The idea that all the humans are going to be, like, infected with fear or something and turn on all the supernatural folk is kind of fun. My obsession with the show has seriously waned after the last disappointing season, so I’m glad that this trailer has managed to grab me again. Cause, like. Final season. I have to finish it.

But people. I am not here for what appears to be a steamy Scott/Malia hookup in the shower scene. No. Don’t do this, show, not in the last season. Don’t be the Chakotay and Seven of Nine of MTV.

Be a dream sequence, or there will be fierce-if-relatively-impotent disapproval.

ETA: Apparently, they’ve chosen to be the Chakotay and Seven of Nine of MTV. Goddamn it, show.

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Clarion West Write-a-Thon: Week 5 Update

Top Secret Code Name of Current Project: Fedoras and Trust Issues
Current Pitch: Hardboiled fairy tale noir!
Slightly More Detailed Pitch: In an alternate post-WWII America, a cranky, bisexual PI and his ace, teenage Girl Friday try to solve the disappearances and/or murders of three different women.

Number of Murder Weapons Discovered: 1
Number of Brief, Fever-Induced Hallucinations: 1
Number of Snow White references in this chapter alone: At least 5

Song From Current Project Playlist: “Sinnerman” – Nina Simone

Goal Met: Halfway there

Making some progress. Still slower than I’d like, but I’m actually on schedule. I have to keep reminding myself of that because my Writer Brain routinely waffles between “holy shit, maybe this could be great” and “Jesus Christ, this is the worst thing I’ve ever written, burn it, BURN IT NOW.” Lately, I’ve been feeling more the latter than the former, and the temptation to put the novel away and write basically anything else is very strong.

You’re stronger, I try to tell myself. You are mighty like Thor. This declaration is not deeply convincing, but it does make me smile.

This week’s chapter: Prince, still trying to wrap his head around the potential fallout from the Big Discovery he made two chapters ago, finally finds the Scene of the Crime and does some sleuthing. Couple more chapters, and we’ll hit the big, climactic showdown shit. And two short wrap-up chapters after that, we’ll finally be at Part III!

Guess it’s time to go back to work. One more week of the Write-a-Thon to go!

Finally, your Random Line of the Week:

I understood money coming before blood.

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The 4th (Probably 4th) TV Quotes Challenge – ANSWERS

Let’s get right to it, shall we?

(Also, this is mostly spoiler-free, but it does assume you’re up to date on The Flash and iZombie. If not, you should probably skip those sections.)

1. Santa Clarita Diet

“Nice try blending in, you handsome, thick-haired son of a bitch.”

“Eric doesn’t own a football, or anything else that might make him come outside.”
“That’s exactly what he said, only with less implied criticism.”

“Check this out. She said she started a new spin class, but really she’s having an affair with a guy named Bob”
“No way.”
“Yeah. She accidentally linked her cell phone to my computer so I can see all of her texts. Today Bob copied and pasted all of the lyrics to Stevie Wonder’s “Part Time Lover.” Which seems lazy and on the nose.”

My favorite thing about this is that, for the first time ever, I got to use the BOB pseudonym for a character named Bob.

I binge-watched this series in, like, a couple of days, and while it sometimes relies a little too heavily on its “we’re not equipped to handle zombie life/we’re realtors,” hook, for the most part I really enjoyed the show. The dialogue is snappy, Timothy Olyphant is hilarious, and I love the family dynamic between Sheila, Joel, and Abby: it really anchors the whole show. I’m particularly eager to see how the second season resolves that last cliffhanger. Curse you, cliffhangers!

2. The Flash

“Okay, let’s just try it again. This time up the creep factor, like, a lot more, and make it a little more sincere, like you really love me but you’re going to have to kill me anyway.”

“Do you think your guns can stop God?”
“Why in the hell would God need to rob banks?”

“I’m so glad you’re back cause we’re about to die.”

Oh, The Flash. You can be so vexing sometimes! Still, I hold out hope for Season Four. I am entirely delighted that our Big Bad isn’t going to be a Speedster for once. (Seriously. You can’t just keep making faster and faster villains without losing serious credibility. What would the next one even have been? A literal speed demon?) I’m excited that Caitlin isn’t completely back on the Side of Good; hopefully, that will allow her more time for character development. At this point, I’ve basically given up on the idea of Iris having character development, but I’d loved to be proven wrong about that. And when Barry inevitably escapes or gets released from Speed Prison, I think we really need a full season free of time travel.

Musicals, yes. Crossovers, absolutely. But definitely let’s take a huge pause button on the time travel, please and thank you.

3. iZombie

“Well, I hope you like jagerbombs and homoerotic subtext.”

“Really? You’re gonna go with the Boy Named Sue defense, huh?”

“Well, I appreciate the pep talk, big fella, I really do, but I don’t think there’s an emoji that rightfully expresses my feelings about losing $50k a month, you know?”

One of the few shows that nobody got, which only proves to me how tragically underrated it really is. iZombie’s third season was probably my least favorite, unfortunately, but there were some great standout moments, and I love how witty and ambitious the whole series is. This is a procedural that isn’t afraid to change the status quo from season to season, and that’s exciting to watch. I’m definitely interested to see where things go in Season Four, now that the whole world knows about zombies. I’m also really happy that Bozzio’s back, because I always really liked her and Clive.

If we can just avoid any unnecessary love triangles in the future, though, that would be great. Also, funny as the show often is, sometimes Liv’s case-of-the-week personalities are frustratingly one-note. Like, okay, maybe I don’t know any dominatrixes personally, but I feel reasonably confident that they’re not in Dominatrix Mode during every aspect of their lives. Same goes for the D&D Master. Personality traits aren’t quite the same thing as hobbies or professions. (That being said, the group playing D&D was definitely one of the standout moments of the season. Clive, man. Clive is the best.)

4. Orphan Black

“I tried to say ‘eff it’ today, and I blew up my whole life. I just wanted to say ‘eff this’, ‘eff you’, and I effed it, I effed it all up.”

“Felix. Gay friend.”
“Acting coach.”
“Oh, that’s . . . perfectly fine here.”
“Which one?”

“What’s wrong with your voice?”
“I have a cold.”
“Yeah, it’s one of those really bad ones that messes with your . . . syntax.”

Orphan Black is one of those shows that I absolutely adore for the characters (and for marveling over the amazing talent of Tatiana Maslany) but not always for how it integrates those characters into the main plot. I’m actually several episodes behind in the current season. (They kinda pissed me off in the second episode, and then I got really into Avatar: The Last Airbender, so we haven’t quite gotten back to it yet.) Regardless, the show’s given me a lot of joy over the years: the various crazy Allison/Donnie scenes, the Helena and Sarah road trip, any of Siobhan’s many badass moments, the clone dance party, Felix’s truth voice, etc.

This is also the only show on this list that I’ve cosplayed a character from. (So far. Liv from iZombie could be fun to dress up as, and I’ve actively considered cosplaying a character from Show No. 9.)

5. Gilmore Girls

“I already wrote his name in my revenge notebook.”

“You do or say anything to upset Jess and make it harder for me to keep him on the right path, I’m gonna put your head through a wall, any wall, you can PICK the wall, but it’s gonna be a wall, okay?”

“What’s she like?”
“She jogs.”
“Enough said.”

As much as I didn’t like the Gilmore Girls revival–and with a few small exceptions, I really didn’t like it–I still enjoy watching scenes from the original show, especially the earlier seasons. The dialogue is spectacular, and I love so many of the characters: Paris and Emily and Lorelei and Lane and Luke and Mrs. Kim and even Rory, once upon a time. Though I think it’s fair to say that my least favorite part of the show was always Rory’s love life. I was probably the only person in the world happy to hear she didn’t end up with Dean, Jess, OR Logan, and I would have given a whole lot to see a season where she didn’t have a love interest at all. Alas.

6. The Librarians

“So, your explanation for having impossible grades is that you ‘O Captain, My Captain’-ed them?”

“I’m home. But before someone asks me to throw another shrimp on the barbie, just know I will punch you in the throat.”

“Cassandra, please do not fangirl over the arch-villain.”

I had delayed watching Season 3 because I assumed it would come to Hulu eventually. When it completely failed to do so, I just gave up and bought it on Amazon–and then ended up re-watching the whole series because I’d forgotten how much I liked my super silly fantasy-adventure show. In these dark times, sometimes what you really need is team dynamics, terrible CGI, and group sing-a-longs that can defeat mind control.

I still think first season might be the strongest overall (this is definitely a show that does better with its case of the week than its overarching season shit), but I’ve loved plenty of episodes from years 2 and 3 too. In fact, “And The Point of Salvation” still remains my favorite Librarians episode to date. (Side note: when I started the show, Ezekiel was easily my least favorite character, which was odd considering how much I should have liked him: I mean, a Korean-Australian thief? OMG, YES. After three seasons, however, he’s somehow become my favorite–or at least tied with my other favorite: Jenkins.)

(Actually, come to think of it, Ezekiel was never really my least favorite. Flynn has been, and forever will be, my absolute least favorite. Sorry, Flynn.)

7. Lost

“Everything’s going to change. Have a cluckity-cluck-cluck day, Hugo.”

“So, you wake up in the middle of the night, you grab your Jesus Stick, and you race off into the jungle. You don’t call? You don’t write?”

“What is that? Some kind of code?”
“No, John, unfortunately we don’t have a code for ‘there is a man in my closet with a gun to my daughter’s head,’ although we obviously should.”

I honestly haven’t thought about Lost in a while. It, well. It obviously had its problems. But it is one of the rare shows I actually stubbornly stuck with from beginning to end, despite a couple of times I came awfully close to jumping ship. I didn’t hate the series finale quite as much as everyone else did, but that’s mostly because by the time we got there, I had pretty much given up on getting the answers to almost anything: after all, they had so many unsolved mysteries going into that finale that the only way they could’ve solved them all in time would’ve been to chuck any semblance of a script in favor of a Q&A with all the characters lined up on the beach. (In retrospect, that might have been absurdly meta and delightful.)

The show might have been frustrating at multiple points, but it did have some highlights: the pilot, for instance, is probably one of the most solid pilots in TV history. And if nothing else, I have to be grateful to it for introducing me to a number of talents, most especially Michael Emerson.

8. The 100 

“You’re the most beautiful broom in a broom closet of brooms.”

“Without the treatments, we die. What are we supposed to do?”
“Die.”

“Who we are and who we need to be to survive are two very different things.”

Another CW show that nobody got. The 100’s first few episodes were kind of excruciating, but it did quickly manage to jump from Exceptionally Generic SF YA to Gritty Badass Apocalyptic YA. And while third season was certainly marred by some poor storytelling decisions, I still find an awful lot to like about this show, especially the female characters. Who would have thought that I’d grow to like Octavia as much as I have? God, I hated her in the beginning. And from Octavia to Clarke to Abby to Emori to Echo to Raven (ALL HAIL RAVEN), these are some badass women who are constantly faced with ruthless decisions and hard choices that is their responsibility to make.

I’m just saying. Unlike some other CW shows I could name, this is NOT a show where the women are around only to define the men.

9. Voltron: Legendary Defender

“As everyone knows, vomit is NOT an approved lubricant for engine systems.”

“She’s not my girlfriend! She’s just a rock I met and admire very much.”

“How’s your wound?”
“My wound’s great. It’s getting bigger all the time.”

I feel like I’ve talked a lot about Voltron lately, so I’ll keep this relatively brief: I tried this out on a pretty random recommendation, and while the first episode was basically just a bunch of setup, by the end of Season 1, I was pretty into it. By the end of Season 2? I was hooked. Season 3 comes out next month, I believe, and I’m super pumped. Must. Resolve. Cliffhanger.

(Also, in case it wasn’t obvious, Pidge is the character I’ve considered cosplaying from this show. Cause Pidge is the best. Although I’ve also found this Anti Mind Control Jellyfish Hat, and I’m trying to tell myself I don’t need it considering all the other things I want to buy . . . but it may be a losing battle.)

10. Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

“So, if the compartment was locked, how did you get in?”
“I hit the lock with me shoe.”
“Your shoe seems to have the ballistic capabilities of a .38 revolver.”

“No. I mean, yes! Yes, but no, I’m supposed to ask you.”
“Well, we could all die waiting for that to happen.”

“Oh, Miss Fisher’s gone on holiday again, sir.”
“Huh. Anyone dead yet?”
“Only one so far, sir.”

Finally, I was so-so on Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries during the first season, but I enjoyed it a lot more during the second. Not sure why, exactly: it just became a nice comfort watch for me. Phryne’s 87 million talents are sometimes a bit ridiculous, but she’s still a fun heroine to watch, and I absolutely ship her with Jack, who remains my absolute favorite. (What can I say? I’m a sucker for the dry wit.) And while I just can’t bring myself to care about Hugh one way or the other, I do quite like Dot and how her character has grown and changed over the past three seasons.

Well, that’s it for today, folks. Thanks, everyone, for playing!

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Clarion West Write-a-Thon: Week 4 Update

Top Secret Code Name of Current Project: Fedoras and Trust Issues
Current Pitch: Hardboiled fairy tale noir!
Slightly More Detailed Pitch: In an alternate post-WWII America, a cranky, bisexual PI and his ace, teenage Girl Friday try to solve the disappearances and/or murders of three different women.

Number of Times I Had To Go Back And Edit A Previous Chapter: 3
Number of Times I Rewrote The Same Damn Scene: 6
Number of Expletives Spoken: 37, give or take

Song From Current Project Playlist: “Turn the Page” – Bob Seger

Goal Met: Surprisingly, yes

I only had to write one chapter this week, a short chapter even, and let me tell you: it was a monumental pain in the ass. Okay, maybe not monumental, but I was definitely grasping and clawing for every other word. Part of the problem, I’ve discovered, is very typical of my quote-unquote writing process: as I work on new material, I keep realizing how much needs to be added to an earlier section, or how a scene I wrote six chapters ago is completely wrong and needs to be entirely rewritten. In an effort to maintain a sense of forward momentum, I’m trying to curb that impulse by just keeping a list of all the stuff I need to fix so I can work on it after I finish this draft . . . but sometimes I just can’t fight that bone-deep need to rewrite the shit out of my previous work. One would assume, at least, that I’d produce better first drafts than other writers. Let me hasten to assure you this is not the case.

That all being said (or vented), I did get the chapter done. It almost entirely consists of one phone call between friends and sets up a meet that may or may not be a trap. It’s also the kind of chapter you write knowing that it won’t fully pay off until the end of the book, when All is Revealed. So, I can only assume that I’ll be frantically rewriting this scene 20 chapters from now too.

Finally, your Random Line of the Week:

Seemed like a good place to go to ground, if people were after you. Which by the way: why are people after you?

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The 4th (Probably 4th?) TV Quotes Challenge

So, I haven’t done a Quotes Challenge in a while. I mean, it’s practically a summer tradition, right? Don’t answer that. I’ve decided to go back to TV for today, but maybe I should try a book one sometime. Would anyone be interested in that?

If you’ve never played before, here are the rules: I’ve picked out ten TV shows and given you three quotes per show. Anytime you see the name BOB, it’s a stand-in for the character’s actual name. (Look, I can’t make it that easy.) Comment with your guesses and have fun! (If you play, Alyc, feel free to email me your guesses if the first three comments don’t succeed. I swear, I don’t know why my blog hates you so very much. I am working on it.)

Here we go!

1. “Nice try blending in, you handsome, thick-haired son of a bitch.”

“BOB doesn’t own a football, or anything else that might make him come outside.”
“That’s exactly what he said, only with less implied criticism.”

“Check this out. She said she started a new spin class, but really she’s having an affair with a guy named BOB.”
“No way.”
“Yeah. She accidentally linked her cell phone to my computer so I can see all of her texts. Today BOB copied and pasted all of the lyrics to Stevie Wonder’s “Part Time Lover.” Which seems lazy and on the nose.”

2. “Okay, let’s just try it again. This time up the creep factor, like, a lot more, and make it a little more sincere, like you really love me but you’re going to have to kill me anyway.”

“Do you think your guns can stop God?”
“Why in the hell would God need to rob banks?”

“I’m so glad you’re back cause we’re about to die.”

3. “Well, I hope you like jagerbombs and homoerotic subtext.”

“Really? You’re gonna go with the Boy Named Sue defense, huh?”

“Well, I appreciate the pep talk, big fella, I really do, but I don’t think there’s an emoji that rightfully expresses my feelings about losing $50k a month, you know?”

4. “I tried to say ‘eff it’ today, and I blew up my whole life. I just wanted to say ‘eff this’, ‘eff you’, and I effed it, I effed it all up.”

“BOB. Gay friend.”
“Acting coach.”
“Oh, that’s . . . perfectly fine here.”
“Which one?”

“What’s wrong with your voice?”
“I have a cold.”
“Yeah, it’s one of those really bad ones that messes with your . . . syntax.”

5. “I already wrote his name in my revenge notebook.”

“You do or say anything to upset BOB and make it harder for me to keep him on the right path, I’m gonna put your head through a wall, any wall, you can pick the wall, but it’s gonna be a wall, okay?”

“What’s she like?”
“She jogs.”
“Enough said.”

6. “So, your explanation for having impossible grades is that you ‘O Captain, My Captain’-ed them?”

“I’m home. But before someone asks me to throw another shrimp on the barbie, just know I will punch you in the throat.”

“BOB, please do not fangirl over the arch-villain.”

7. “Everything’s going to change. Have a cluckity-cluck-cluck day, BOB.”

“So, you wake up in the middle of the night, you grab your Jesus Stick, and you race off into the jungle. You don’t call? You don’t write?”

“What is that? Some kind of code?”
“No, BOB, unfortunately we don’t have a code for ‘there is a man in my closet with a gun to my daughter’s head,’ although we obviously should.”

8. “You’re the most beautiful broom in a broom closet of brooms.”

“Without the treatments, we die. What are we supposed to do?”
“Die.”

“Who we are and who we need to be to survive are two very different things.”

9. “As everyone knows, vomit is not an approved lubricant for engine systems.”

“She’s not my girlfriend! She’s just a rock I met and admire very much.”

“How’s your wound?”
“My wound’s great. It’s getting bigger all the time.”

10.”So, if the compartment was locked, how did you get in?”
“I hit the lock with me shoe.”
“Your shoe seems to have the ballistic capabilities of a .38 revolver.”

“No. I mean, yes! Yes, but no, I’m supposed to ask you.”
“Well, we could all die waiting for that to happen.”

“Oh, BOB’s gone on holiday again, sir.”
“Huh. Anyone dead yet?”
“Only one so far, sir.”

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Clarion West Write-a-Thon: Week 3 Update

Top Secret Code Name of Current Project: Fedoras and Trust Issues
Current Pitch: Hardboiled fairy tale noir!
Slightly More Detailed Pitch: In an alternate post-WWII America, a cranky, bisexual PI and his ace, teenage Girl Friday try to solve the disappearances and/or murders of three different women.

Number of Plot Relevant Breakfasts: 3
Number of Minor Plot Holes Caught This Week: 1
Number of Irritated and Slightly Shifty Coroners: 1

Song From Current Project Playlist: “This Devil’s Workday” – Modest Mouse

Goal Met: Not exactly

So, I’m a little behind this week on my two-chapter deadline. Luckily, I have the next two nights off and I’m pretty sure I can finish them before Sunday . . . well, before I go to bed Saturday night, anyway, which of course will technically be Sunday morning.

The writing itself is going okay, other than that nagging plot hole that I have to fix. (It’s not a huge plot hole, but it vexes me, and I don’t like any of my current solutions.) Right now I’m working on a chapter where our heroes are going over what they know before making a plan of action–a plan that our Girl Friday will secretly judge as dumb and disregard roughly five seconds after she agrees to it. The main challenge here has been shifting the POV; in the original story, we saw this scene through Prince’s eyes. Now we’re seeing it through Jack’s, and Jack and Prince both share a secret right now that they have different perspectives on. It’s kind of fun for me. Minus the goddamn plot hole.

After that, my next chapter has some Big Revelations: the why of the murder case, if not exactly the who. Also, some mildly gooey but also emotionally stilted relationship talk between Prince and his love interest. Is it wrong to hardcore ship your own characters? It’s wrong, isn’t it?

Here’s your sad confession for the day: I was daydreaming about adding big speculative elements, but realized it wouldn’t be right for this story, no matter how much fun it could be. So instead I started daydreaming about how I could add those spec elements in a fanfiction, a fanfiction for my own goddamn unpublished, unfinished novel.

Sigh. I will not do this thing. I will not. There have to be limits to my ridiculousness.

Finally, your Random Line of the Week:

You had to hope wildly, foolishly, recklessly . . . and then make as many contingency plans as possible when those hopes broke upon the shore.

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