glitter_n_gore: (heather mason)
Because apparently this is my new yearly ritual for Women In Horror Month! If you missed my ten-year retrospective from last year, follow this tag. My barometers (that I almost never stick to rigidly, but it helps me focus) are: grossed $25 million or higher domestically by the end of the previous year, and starring a female protagonist. I also include an “honorable mention” of the next movie down on the box office gross. My source for the numbers is BoxOfficeMojo.com.

If a movie is in (parentheses) it means I haven’t seen it yet and/or can’t tell from the marketing or trailer if the protagonist is a woman.

For this year, I’m including sci-fi thrillers as well as straight-up horror movies because it was a pretty cool year for genre films in general, especially with female protagonists, and I want to talk about alllll of them! Also, instead of doing capsule reviews like I did before, I’m going to focus on a different movie in each post. We’ll see how many I can get through before the end of the month. Let’s DO THIS!!

Ghostbusters - $128.4 million
The Conjuring 2 - $102.5
Arrival - $90.8 million
(Don’t Breathe) - $89.2 million
(The Purge: Election Year) - $79 million
10 Cloverfield Lane - $72.1 million
Lights Out - $67.3 million
(The Shallows) - $55.1 million
(Passengers) - $45.3 million
(Nerve) - $38.6 million
(The Boy) - $35.9 million
(Ouija: Origin of Evil) - $35 million
(When the Bough Breaks) - $29.8 million
The Forest - $26.6 million
The Witch - $25.1 million
Honorable mention: (Blair Witch) - $20.1 million

So, remember back during the summer when everyone was convinced that the Ghostbusters remake was going to be some kind of colossal failure? And after it came out, there were all these think pieces trying to explain why no one was watching it and how reviews were lukewarm and it was okay but not that great? Well, I dunno what your personal experience was with this movie, but GUESS WHAT? It’s not only topping the list, it’s topping it at more than $25 million ahead of the next-highest place on the list. BOO-YAH! Emphasis on the “BOO!”


Abbie and Holtzmann doing their happy high-five dance


The other thing I saw mentioned--and this was the case in my theater too--was the number of little girls in the audience who were super excited to be there. The upcoming generation now has something I never had growing up: an all-female team of superheroes to look up to. And that is rad as Hell. Making a version of Ghostbusters with all women means something to me, and to the kids seeing this movie as their first exposure to the franchise. It's not just about the brand, or the Hollywood remake machine, or the nostalgic craze for the 80s and 90s that's permeating All The Things right now. This is a movie with a team of women, all in their thirties and forties, all unmarried and childless, who are struggling financially but uniquely intelligent and driven to do some good in the world, none of whom have any romantic entanglements whatsoever, who are never ogled by either the camera or any of the other characters at any time, who come to their big, climactic battle scene dressed in loose-fitting tan jumpsuits, sensible shoes, and their hair tied back.

For the first time in my life, I feel like I have a movie I can point to full of role models that I don't need to defend or justify in any way. The fact that this is rare enough to comment on is a bit sad--as is my understanding that there are still way too many people who were left out here representation-wise. What I'm trying to say is we female geeks have been taking whatever scraps the world sees fit to throw at us for decades. Still, given how often I've gotten my hopes up and been disappointed in the past, I'm clinging to this movie like a lifeline. Despite its flaws. I didn't know how much I needed it until we were driving home and I was still beaming like a fool. Every time I’ve watched it since then, I love it just a little bit more.
glitter_n_gore: (underworld)

Behold! My Belated Official First Post of 2017!!



I, uh, watched a lot of movies last year. SO for my first official post of 2017, I’m doing a MASSIVE breakdown of the stuff I actually caught in theaters. Also, as you may have noticed, I have moved to DreamWidth! I’m still working on getting all the photos ported over here, so anything that links to Glitter n Gore is going to the LJ account until I get it fixed. Bear with me; I’ll make it work eventually. Meanwhile--movies! Let’s talk about those.

Cross-posted to [personal profile] rhoda_rants.

Capsule reviews below! )

What were some of YOUR favorite movie experiences from 2016?
glitter_n_gore: (leia)
Fellow geeks, it has been a good year for us. This is the sixteenth movie I made an effort to see in theaters in 2016. (I'm going to list the rest of them in a Year End Review post in a couple weeks; watch this space.) However, this year was rough in just about every single other way. I'm not going to talk politics on this blog. Not because I don't have an opinion or don't think it's important, but because I am still struggling to find the right words. If you know me, you don't need me to explain why living in America right now feels like wading through quicksand. But then, when I saw this recut trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, I wept:



After wandering through the 'net chatter elsewhere, I've discovered this wasn't an uncommon reaction. So now, after finally seeing the movie, let's talk about why we all needed Rogue One.

I am one with the Force, and the Force is with me. )
glitter_n_gore: (jean gray)
Damn, this was a good year to be a movie geek. Star Wars! The Avengers! Mad Max! Ex Machina! Crimson Peak! STAR WARS!! I saw a lot of movies in the theater, some of them twice, and I still haven't finished going through the back list. But what was it like for horror fans? Specifically, those of the female persuasion?

The Visit - $65.2 million
Insidious: Chapter 3 - $52.2 million
(Poltergeist - $47.4 million)
(Krampus - $42.7 million)
Unfriended - 32.5 million
Crimson Peak - $31.1 million
(Sinister 2 - 27.7 million)
(The Woman In Black 2: Angel of Death - $26.5 million)
The Lazarus Effect - $25.8 million
Ex Machina - $25.4 million
(Honorable Mention: Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension - $18.3 million)

That's a LOT of movies. Like I said, it was a good year. However you feel about M. Night Shyamalan, or remakes of classics like Poltergeist, or the unflinching cynicism of Christmastime horror-comedies like Krampus, chances are there was something for you to see and love this year no matter what. That's kind of a big deal. Having options is a big deal. Seeing so many movies catering to so many different sensibilities is a big deal. The comparative lack of presence from people of color in this list, regardless of the other good things I just mentioned--also a big deal. Again, there's a reason I decided to do this looking specifically at box office numbers, rather than what I personally thought was the best.

But let's be honest here: this recap is mostly gonna be me gushing about Crimson Peak.


via Tumblr


Read more. )
glitter_n_gore: (emma)
So guys! There's a new Star Wars movie coming out. As you may have noticed, I'm neglecting this blog badly. Ahem. But the reason is I've been running three--count 'em, three--separate review marathon series elseweb, and had to let something go. Anyway, we're approaching game time for The Force Awakens (yes, I have my tickets already OF COURSE), and I recently realized I have seen more movies this year than I have collectively in the past five--half of them in theaters. Why is that? Are movies especially awesome this year for some reason? Is there more big-budget, explodey-things fare that demands to be seen on the big screen? Have I found a larger number of real-life people who aren't my mom to go to movies with, instead of waiting for the DVD like I usually do?

A bit of all those things, but what I want to talk about today is this: Today's heroes are a little different from the heroes I grew up with. They're more flawed, more relateable, and more diverse. Funny thing, because most of the people playing heroes onscreen right now? Grew up at the exact same time I did.

Disclaimer:
I'm going to allow SPOILERS for The Force Awakens and all other films mentioned in the comments, and I won't be marking them because that tag is freaking impossible. But there will be none in the post itself.

Read more. . . )
glitter_n_gore: (louis)
Since I did a similar thing last year for Pride Month *just* before running out of time, I'm counting down my Top Whatever Queer-Friendly Movies/TV Shows.

Also like last year, I'm narrowing this down a touch to reflect the sort of things I actually watch. Matter of fact, when I started thinking about this I actually had to scale it back some. I'm choosing to see that as a good sign. Here are my parameters:

A) Visual media with canonically LGBT+ characters, as opposed to that awful, pandery bullshit known as queerbaiting. So no Supernatural, BBC Sherlock or Hannibal*. This tends to happen a lot with geek-centric shows trying to catch fans of SFF and Horror.

B) Completely fictional stories, as opposed to ones based on real-life events, which disqualifies Milk, The Normal Heart and The Imitation Game. (Although I highly recommend all three.)

C) Things I've actually watched and enjoyed, which disqualifies Lost Girl, The Legend of Korra and The Perks of Being a Wallflower, but they are all on my list.

*I do enjoy Hannibal, but the only canon gay character we've seen so far is Margot, and she wound up in a hetero sex scene. So no, I'm not including it for *this* Top Whatever list.

First, an honorable mention:

The Dreamers
This is one of only two NC-17 movies I've watched multiple times (the other is the original Evil Dead, obviously), and one of VERY few romances I've actually enjoyed. It reminds me a lot of Before Sunrise--it has the same casual pacing and naturalist dialogue, only with lots more nudity. I got the impression very quickly that Michael Pitt's character, Matthew, is bisexual, but I've seen arguments made that Matthew is only romantically involved with Eva Green's character, Isabelle. You could read it that way, since all the "romance" between Matthew and Theo is implied, never shown, but I disagree. The book this was based on had a polyamorous triad as the central relationship, and was very much present in the original script. That said, it's ambiguous enough that you could go either way here.


(20th Century Fox)

I just realized two of my choices here include Eva Green. Interesting.

Moar! )

That'll have to do for this year. At least it's still June. Happy Pride Month, everyone!

*throws rainbow confetti*
glitter_n_gore: (leia)
Episode IV: From Farm Boy to Rebel Fighter (A New Hope)

Hey guys! As I mentioned before, I'm doing the Ernist Rister order for this rewatch. Since it's numbered weird, I'll list "Part X" in the title to indicate where I am in the rewatch, list the "episode" number in a sub-heading, and do a wrap-up summary of "The Story So Far" each time to keep from getting lost. There will be Unmarked Spoilers all over the place, so tread carefully if you're one of the few people who hasn't seen these movies.

I'm also rereading the novelizations of all six movies, in the same order, at the same time. I've read them before except for The Phantom Menace and The Clone Wars, so what I'm hoping is I'll be able to share more background stuff that wasn't in the movies, comment on how things change when they're added back in with the re-edits of the original trilogy, and how it affects the characters' journeys. For this entry, I'm gonna focus on our establishing character moments by looking specifically at two of them: Luke Skywalker and Han Solo.

Yes, I'm watching the re-edits this time, because I have Points to make regarding story structure, pacing, and character development. Also, I cheated and watched the theatrical version of A New Hope beforehand. Oops. But what's interesting about that is, since it's been almost twenty years since I watched the director's cuts of any of these movies, I'm looking at it sort of fresh. There was a lot that I'd forgotten about the re-edits and exactly how things changed, and while it's extremely disorienting the first time you see it--rather like someone has invaded all your childhood memories and rearranged the furniture when you weren't looking--it's actually not that bad. Well, not this one anyway.

Let's do this!


(Image taken from Giphy.)


The Story So Far:
Young Luke Skywalker, after stumbling across a mysterious plea for help from the beautiful Princess Leia, gets tangled up in the Rebellion against the Empire. In the process, he loses his only family--his aunt and uncle, who raised him--but befriends Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, space pirate Han Solo and his co-pilot Chewbacca, and the captured Leia . . . only to discover Leia can pretty much rescue herself. Because she's awesome. He witnesses Kenobi's murder by Darth Vader, the Sith Lord who also killed his father (or so he's been told), and joins the Rebellion. Finally, after the rest of his strike team is killed or incapacitated, he (with Han's help) destroys the Death Star battle station and is welcomed back as a hero. Vader, however, survives.

Meet Your Heroes... )

(Cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] rhoda_rants.)
glitter_n_gore: (han solo)
So hey, look at that, it's not March anymore! And it's DEFINITELY not February anymore. What happened? I'll tell you: I didn't finish my retrospective. Surprise! I'll tell you what else though: I kinda felt like I was biting off more than I could chew, trying to cover ten years in that time span. So I'm going to leave the Box Office Retrospective at 2010 for now, and come back with the next five years for the next Women In Horror / Women's History Month in 2016. Sound good? Good.

That in mind, I'd like to return to my Film of the Book series soon, since I finally got a chance to see Gone Girl and it's every bit as brilliant as you've heard. I also saw both The Maze Runner and Seventh Son, which were varying degrees of ridiculous and try-too-hard, but surprisingly enjoyable despite--or perhaps because of--those things. I'll expand on that later.

But first, I need to talk about something more important to me than box office numbers, badass women in horror movies, or even vampires.

I need to talk about Star Wars.

Read more... )
glitter_n_gore: (arsenic and old lace)
There have been three feature-length films--the 1951 version with James Arness, the 1982 version with Kurt Russell, and the 2011 version with Mary Elizabeth Winstead--adapted from John W. Campbell's short story, "Who Goes There?" All have enjoyed varying degrees of success, although the best-known is of course the 1982 version directed by John Carpenter. It's also the most faithful to the source material, possessed Huskies, gooey gore-effects and all. What I find fascinating about this story is how long it's endured over the years, and how many people have revisited it. It stays relevent and paranoia-inducing no matter how many incarnations it goes through. I have a theory as to why.

The Thing )
glitter_n_gore: (samara)
Just to get this out of the way: I'm not gonna talk about Ringu 2, The Ring 2, Rasen, Ring 0: Birthday, or any of the other films that came out of the Ring world after the original Ringu, directed by Hideo Nakata, and the American remake starring Naomi Watts. Partly because I haven't seen any of those; partly because, with the exception of Rasen, the other films follow the movie-verse set up by Nakata and aren't true adaptations of Koji Suzuki's books. (In the same vein, I won't be addressing the books beyond Ring.)

That said, let's explore the now infamous story of a girl, a well, and a videotape. . .

Seven days. )
glitter_n_gore: (jean gray)
So, since I'm not that great at blogging regularly, and since I've noticed that I tend to write faster and more smoothly when I'm doing it longhand, I've decided to use one of my (many, many) notebooks as a Blogging Journal. Meaning, I'll write up blog-style "essays" (That's what we call these things, isn't it?) in one of my black-and-white composition books before typing them up. I don't know whether this will do any good or not, but it's worth a shot.

Anyway.

I've been thinking about the various challenges in writing in different genres. I've blogged before about the challenges in the time-travel plot specifically, and included a few examples in which I thought the subject was handled particularly well.

Another thing I've talked about before is that I read books (and watch movies and television) above all for the characters. I enter fictional worlds to meet new imaginary friends anf follow them on their personal journies. And I still maintain that a compelling cast of characters can make readers overlook a great number of sins like poor setting description, unambitious word choices, or a hackneyed plot.

However, one place attention to detail is absolutely necessary, no matter how great your characters are, is sci-fi. And I'll tell you why: the audience in sci-fi is not reading just for the characters. They will watch you like hawks to make sure you get the science right, in order to make the fiction plausible.

Historical fiction fans are the same way--you must get the history right, or the fiction won't fly.

I mention this because I've been fighting with the details yet again for "Hoppers." One of the great--and one of the damning--things about having a dedicated writers' group to critique you before the thing goes to print, especially when you have a novel with lots of weird technology, parallel universes, and time travel, is your fellow writers/readers will call you out on everything. And I do mean everything:

"Wait, how many alternate universes are there?"

"How does X Character know which world she's going into when she goes through Portal A?"

"Who's in charge of this evil empire anyway?"

"How do they get WiFi down there when the evil empire cut their power off in Chapter 3?"


And so it goes.

Some of these are questions I had in the back of my mind filed under Deal With Later while I was powering through the first draft--others are new things I hadn't thought about before. In either case, I now have to deal with them. Will my theoretical future readers ask all these questions? If they do ask, will it stop them from reading the rest of the book if they decide I have no idea what I'm talking about? Most importantly, can I live with myself if I know these questions need dealing with and decide to ignore them anyway, or should I commit to making this the best possible book I can write, even if that means many more hours of research and revisions?

Ultimately, that last question is one every writer has to answer for herself. Me? I'm doing the research. It'll take time, and I might not enjoy it, but the story will be better for it in the end.
glitter_n_gore: (stargate snark)
Here's what I'm working on right now:

"Hoppers," which needed massive revisions, is getting them as we speak, and I'm running it through a local critique workshop to see if the plot makes more sense now. Have you ever tried to write a story with time travel as a central theme? Jiminy Christmas, it is HARD! Having said that, I've also recently rediscovered my love for Doctor Who, and trying to do this at the same time has given me even more respect and admiration for the writers on that show. The episodes aren't always perfect, but still pretty damn good. This stuff is so, so tricky to plot. Gah!

I also have a new-ish WIP (meaning a handful of preexisting plot bunnies have joined forces, either for good or for evil, can't tell yet) that's reached 3k so far. Still early, but I have a new monster to play with (a burrowing parasite that feeds on negative emotions), ghosts, space ships, and a supernova. It's gonna be fun.

"The Fire Worker" is DONE, at least the first draft of it. Yay! I so love typing "The End" at the bottom of a manuscript. I know I still have proofing, editing, revisions, beta reads, and then the query-synopsis-submission process to look forward to. But none of that even takes place if you don't get to "The End" first. It was a hard place for me to reach, and I burned through several half-finished manuscripts before I got there the first time. I'm proud of it. Completion is something to celebrate.

Honestly, there's not much else going on with me right now. Well, it feels like not much, but really I have one novel in revisions, another in the beginning stages, a third resting, and a short story still out waiting its turn in the submission queue. But since I'm usually writing several things at once, it doesn't feel like much. It's weird, but I think it's good. We'll see.

Last book read: Moxyland, by Lauren Beukes

Currently on: The Wayfarer Redemption, by Sara Douglas
glitter_n_gore: (clockwork orange)
This post is somewhat spoilery--consider yourselves warned.

First and for the record: yes, I'm a Battle Royale enthusiast and dedicated Asia Extreme fangirl, but we aren't here to talk about which futuristic dystopia about a totalitarian government annually pitting its children against each other in a last-man-standing duel to the death came first or did it better. I do have a preference, but they are very different stories, and I happen to believe Suzanne Collins' claim that she hadn't read or even heard of Koushoun Takami's novel before writing hers.

So, what are we here to talk about? Well, first let me direct you to this excellent post by [livejournal.com profile] seanan_mcguire: Some thoughts about gender and literature. The Internet is no stranger to gender wars, especially the really nasty ones, and somehow they seem to be getting worse. In the literary quadrant of said wars we have YA paranormal romance in one corner, with their pretty dresses and broody Type A alpha love interests; in the other, we have so-called "boy books" about action and adventure and coming-of-age. The biggest point of contention being, not the actual content of the sub-genres, but the gender of the main characters and, by extension, their assumed target audiences.

Let me put it another way: certain readers who prefer not to read books with female protagonists say they avoid them on the off-chance that a romance will happen. As someone who isn't fond of romance on the whole, I get this . . . kind of. It has a twisted logic to it. Twisted, because, well, not all books with female protagonists are about romance. Just as not all books with male protagonists are without it. Using gender as an excuse to make assumptions about a book's content is perfectly ridiculous.

Now, about The Hunger Games... )
glitter_n_gore: (Default)
If you're a fan of Doctor Who, and if you know someone who isn't but probably would be if they'd just sit down and give the series a try, chances are you've uttered the following two words: "Watch Blink."



Perhaps not all, but most followers of the good doctor are quick to recommend this one particular episode as a primer for the uninitiated. It's not the beginning of the series, or even a season opener--it occurs towards the end of Season 3 of the newer shows, the David Tennant and Freema Agyeman years. In fact, the Doctor himself is confined to less than ten minutes of total screentime altogether, and none of the characters you meet here are at all relevant to the overarching storyline.

So what exactly is so special about Blink? )
glitter_n_gore: (frank)
Like monsters? Read this article by self-described "icky bug" fan and author Fred Hayworth.

Like zombies? Check out this book trailer for Mira Grant's Newsflesh trilogy--the second of which, Deadline I bought just last week.

As for myself, I haven't accomplished as much word-count wise lately as I'd like to. However, I am progressing in a slightly different way, and pleased so far: I finished my "final" edits for my YA dystopia, which I wasn't expecting to happen as quickly or easily as it did, so I'm starting the query/synopsis/submission process again. YA dystopias are reportedly "hot" right now, and I just happen to have one, and this manuscript is decidedly more polished than the last one I sent out, so I'm hopeful.

Also, I joined a sci-fi/fantasy/horror workshop last week with a focus on short story format. I haven't successfully written a short story before, so I'm taking a stab at getting the form and pacing figured out. It's a good group, and I've workshopped with them before, so I'm excited. Wish me luck!
glitter_n_gore: (Default)
I've recently added a few more things to my links list on the left.

The reason for this is a project started by some of the good people at AW, the purpose of which is to help promote one another in our various stages of publication.

We've also talked about guest blogging on each others' sites, so you might see something from one of them here soon, or I might link to a guest post of mine elsewhere. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, here are some recent tidbits on the blogging front:

Exploring Horror with Luke Walker--guest post on Fiona Dodwell's blog

Opening Chapter of 'SET--a novel excerpt from Luke Walker

Rock and Roll is Dead Again--announcement from Jenna Pitman ([livejournal.com profile] rejectedrefuse) about the new anthology from Blood Bound Books, including her story, "The Language of Bones"


And what am I up to? Well, let's see...

"Lucid" is creeping up on the 50k mark, which is exciting, but it's also starting to bog down which is not. I keep telling myself it's okay, it's just the first draft, I can fix it later, but EURGH!

"Sinless" seems to be occupying the most space in my brain lately. I'm focusing more on plot than word count with this one, at least so far, but I like the way the language is unfolding. I think I have a good monster here.

"The Time Ghost" is at a dead stop. Again. I'm about ready to trunk it and move on. But not quite.

"The Carrion Girl" has been put away "temporarily" owing to my need to remove a character and still somehow work it up to a decent word count.


Last book read: Roses and Bones, a collection of three previously published works by Francesca Lia Block. This puts my Books Read This Year count up to 25.
glitter_n_gore: (romy)
Greetings! I have many updates in my adventures in querying, and writing in general because I just don't seem to be satisfied unless I'm working on about three or four things at once. (I don't understand it either. I just can't stop myself.)

In Query Letter Hell: I have a response from the agent who read my full. It's "no." A very polite form rejection, they have too many clients to take on anyone else right now, thanks for sending it to them and being so patient, etc.--the usual deal. I knew what it was and what it would say the second I saw the letter. This one stung a little. I imagine this is how it works in the querying process, though. The further you get along the path of "maybe," the more disappointing it is when you eventually get the "no." Also, because this one actually took the time to read the manuscript, that says to me that my query letter is good, but the story itself might be lacking. Which means I might have more revising to do.

And here is where that little voice in my head pops up and chirps, "Does that mean we can put off the synopsis some more?" and I sternly tell it, "Dammit, NO!" I will figure this mess out if it's the last thing I do. (Which it might well be.)

So, speaking of the synopsis: I put a better one together, more lean, that makes a little more sense, and got some excellent feedback on it. So now I have a clearer idea of what I need to do with it, and how to make that happen. Still don't want to though. I think most writers hating doing these things.

As far as my other works-in-progress go, here's the word count tally:

LUCID, my YA urban fantasy/horror story: 28,000.

DEMIGEISTS, an older idea that's been knocking around my head for a while, a ghost story set in a school: 3,000.

THE TIME GHOST, my NaNo from last year, going in a decidedly different direction: 600.

Now, let me talk about THE TIME GHOST for a moment here, because it's my most substantial WIP right now apart from LUCID: I wound up with a grand total of 75,000 words once I finished my rough draft, making it the longest story I've ever written, ever. However, since I have a tendency to write short, I was struggling to make that word count and wound up with a LOT of padding to fill it out. I haven't yet mastered the art of writing economically and still making the story last long enough to fill a book.

However, here's what I discovered after looking at the manuscript again: the plot is wretched. It's messy, incohesive, hard to follow, and doesn't make sense. It's only towards the very end that it starts to get interesting, but after that it quickly falls apart again. What I did well with the manuscript was world-building, getting a handle on the government and species of my futurist, interplanetary peoples, and creating a top-notch monster. The characterizations are....not my best. I have one that I like enough to keep. So he's staying. Everything else, I'm rewriting from the top. Hence the low word count.

Also, this newer approach is veering into romance territory. I don't read much romance--meaning, I can count the romance novels I've read on one hand, and can only think of one that I actually enjoyed. It's just not my genre. With that in mind, if I'm going to write a story that blends sci-fi and romance, I need to do some research.

So I asked for advice from the good folks at AW, got some reading recommendations, and a brilliant suggestion: read a couple of the shorter, category romances and study them, not for style or wordplay, but for plot structure and pacing. The goal is to see how the romance/courtship plot fits in with the other half of the plot, how they mesh together, the amount of time spent on each, etc.

I don't see myself becoming a romance writer on the whole. But this is fun--I haven't had homework in a long time, and I've bought myself some black and white composition books to take notes in, because I love those things.

The first book on my required reading list is Ann Aguirre's Grimspace, a futuristic romance that I found shelved in science fiction. I actually bought Grimspace last week, because Aguirre is one of the authors who publically supported Jessica Verday in that YA anthology fiasco I blogged about last time, and in turn I wanted to support her. The fact that she's on my list of recommendations is just lucky. It's a space opera type novel, which spaceships and distant planets and government-issue androids. So far, it reminds me a little of Star Wars and a little of FarScape--both of which equal WIN.

Ending with Jessica Verday's The Hollow, which I finished just this week, I have now read 16 books total this year.
glitter_n_gore: (gambit)
Hey gang!

So, I reached my chosen goal for NaNo--60k by the end of the month--but it's becoming clear that I won't finish "The Time Ghost" in as few words as I suspected. I'm going to need at least 100k all done. Possibly more. But no worries. I still have a plan, and it's still moving forward. Actually, this is fairly exciting for me, because I have a tendency to write short. Having a healthy-length manuscript, rather than a skeleton that hovers somewhere between "novel" and "novella" no matter how I try to beat it into one direction or the other, is evidence that I'm doing something right.

Now, here's what I really want to talk about: "Dusty." It's a vampire story, I don't know if I've talked about it much before, but it's been "on hold" for several months now. The reason for that is it started to scare me. I've always been fairly sensitive to the horror genre as a whole, movies, books, whatever, but when you're the one in the driver's seat, it's a little different. The strange thing about this one is that it's frightening in ways I didn't expect. Parts of it are gruesome, but that's not what I'm talking about. Fear is so subjective, which is why you can talk about the same piece of fiction to two different people and get two different reactions, about exactly what was scary about it and why, or whether it was scary at all. This story is taking me into parts of my mind I haven't thought about much, buried deep enough that I didn't even realize they were buried until this came up. It's much more personal than I imagined it being. I don't want to go into any detail here, but the upshot of all this is: I put it aside when I realized where it was going. And now I've decided it might be better to follow it through and just see what happens.

Wish me luck!
glitter_n_gore: (emma watson)
First things first: Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all ate more than is good for you, just like I did, and enjoyed it muchly. I also successfully avoided Black Friday by being on a plane most of the day. Booyah.

I finally hit my stride with my NaNo, The Time Ghost, and although it's shaping up a little differently than I intended, I did in fact reach 50k words last night. As you know, my goal for this year is a little more, but since I have the weekend in front of me still, I'm not worried. However, I am going to take a break once this month is over, just to give myself a pat on the back for picking up speed and making a personal best for myself.

So! Those of you who know me on my other LJ have seen my book reports before, but for those of you who haven't, what I do is give brief capsule reviews of the most recent books I've read (or in this case, am still reading) along with the corresponding cover art. I'm not sure what I'm trying to accomplish by doing this, but I like putting my opinion out there all the same.

Danse Macabre, Ghost Story, The Shifter, A Year of Disappearances... )
glitter_n_gore: (mikey)
That's "National Novel Writing Month," which for reasons I'm not entirely sure of, always happens in November. The idea is to write 50,000 words worth of material--doesn't even matter if it's any good, just something--in the space of thirty days. I did it last year and wound up with my first draft of The Carrion Girl, which turned out much better than I anticipated. It's the only thing that seems to shut down my inner psycho-editor, that part of my writer's brain that screams, "Must fix! Must fix!" at every poorly chosen word, extended metaphor, and purple passage I happen to get down until all I have left is a half-finished trunk novel that's been run so far into the ground that the kind thing would be to put it out of its misery. When you're trying to get published, the first thing you need is a full-length manuscript, even if it's not perfect, because otherwise you have nothing to work with. That's why I do this--to get myself from a mess of half-formed ideas to a full-length manuscript, which I then allow myself to edit to perfection.

My goal for this week was 10,000 words. I made it, but it wasn't easy. I have a story I really like (which I'll synopsize for you shortly), but whereas last year I was knocking out close to three thousand words a day, this year I'm barely scraping one thousand. In my defense, it's been a rough week. Between the house getting ransacked (they took some random things, like my high school ring and some silver dollars, but nothing outstandingly valuable), starting my new job as a legal assistant, trying to deal with various messes caused by the dermatologist's office and my pending switch in health insurance, AND MyChemicalRomance.com releasing a steady stream of epic, cheesy, awesome, ridiculous pre-album-release goodies that I WANT RIGHT NOW but can't have because I never buy anything for myself between Halloween and Christmas, I've been a bit preoccupied. (To be fair, some of the MCR stuff is free downloads, which rules, but still--distractions. Takes away from the writing bit, you understand.)

ANYWAY.

My NaNo story, at least what I've done with it so far, is shaping up thusly: Roughly five hundred years (give or take) into the future, Earth has been abandoned, and the human population has spread out across the galaxy, making friends with some of the alien species on other worlds. My protagonist, Paul Reid, is a "Pan Dimensional Anomaly Neutralizer," the best in the galaxy, and his team gets called everywhere to take care of pan dimensional anomalies wherever they occur. A "pan dimensional anomaly," by the way, is a ghost. The popular theory is that ghosts are not, as was previously thought, the spirits of the dead come back to torment the living, but small pieces of time folding in on itself which appear as people who have lived in the same place previously, and Paul's job is to mend the rip in the time-space continuum that causes these loops. However, when Paul investigates this phenomenon further he discovers the real reason for the time ghosts, and this knowledge might cost him his life--along with the life of his wife and child.

Inevitably some things change in the transition from idea to manuscript, but that's the basic gist of it. I'm working on making it make more sense. (Another job for the editing process.) My tentative title is "The Time Ghost." We'll see if it sticks.

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