Friday, October 28, 2011

MISFITS Review- I Love British Superheroes

I’ve been fighting the flu this week, and I spent my sick day off watching a fantastic British television series called MISFITS, by creator and writer, Howard Overman.

Yeah, that’s right. Fourteen hours curled up in bed, watching a science fiction comedy-drama about a group of teenage juvenile delinquents who while doing community service get caught in an electrical storm and get SUPER POWERS.

After the first episode, I was hooked. The characters are uniquely flawed, sharp, witty and, okay, a little creepy. The characters powers are a reflection of their worst fears and insecurities--only majorly twisted. As the season progress, the characters evolve. What at first are flaws become their strengths. By the end of season two, I'd fallen in love with them.

I'll be honest, this show has bumped Buffy the Vampire Slayer out of it's long running position as my favorite comedy series. The lines are quick and witty. I laughed so hard I forgot I was sick. But this show is for mature audiences only (think Game of Thrones). No kiddies should be in the room when you're watching.

Season One and Two can be found on HULU,  The third season reportedly starts on October 30, 2011 on E4. I don't know if I get this station, but I plan to find out.

For a more indepth review, check out this review on Bleeding Cool.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I’m biting my nails.

I finished the rough draft of Djinni. Now, I’m waiting the prerequisite couple of month (which I can never get through without cheating) before I edit the manuscript. I thought I would do National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo or Nano) in November as a way to keep my mind busy.

Which leads to my dilemma.

I have two stories that are vying for attention. Both are equally exciting and challenging. Either would stretch my writing skills and be a fun project. But there can be only one. Cue the Tina Turner in Thunderdome voice--TWO NANO PROJECTS ENTER, ONLY ONE LEAVES.

I’m leaning toward choosing the middle grade action adventure—think Goonies in the Hood. It’s called THE GOLDEN APPLE and is based off of a short story I wrote in college. It has a twelve-year-old boy protagonist and his friends who help him in his quest to find the golden apple.

Writing from his perspective and his voice will be a challenge. Also, I’ll have to dial back the horror a bit. Not much ‘cause it has giant spiders, mummy’s, cemeteries, fairies and magic swords. Oh, there might also be a dragon for my son. He’s obsessed with dragons right now. There's also gangbangers, drug addicts, and the love and strength only good friends bring to you when you're down and out.

The other story is YA, and it’s also a different sort of project for me in that it has four points of views--three boys and a girl. Which means four very different voices, personalities, and perspectives to experiment with. YAY! It’s a full blown horror; although, a bit tongue in cheek. I’m having fun with it as evidenced by my working title STINK. 'Nuff said.

Choosing the project is not the main issue. By November 1st, I imagine one of the projects will latch itself into my psyche like a sucker-jawed parasite and won’t let me go until it slurps my creativity dry.

No, I’m having a hard time waiting for the big day.

I wish instant gratification came in can, like cheese and whip cream. I could just eat it with crackers, or to save time, hold the nozzle over my mouth. Yeah, I really hate waiting. And to be perfectly honest, I highly doubt I’ll be able to withstand the temptation of dabbling.

Maybe for my Nano experience, I can just deduct the words I end up writing before the big day from the total word count at the end of the month. Or give up on Nano all together and do my own thing.

Well, okay then. I guess my problem has been resolved. Now that I’ve absolved my guilty conscience by busting myself out to everyone reading, I’m off to go write.

Monday, October 24, 2011


I finally gave up catching bugs for the Theo the toad. The weather changed, the pickings were slim, and I was sick of running around the yard with a jar and net every night. My neighbors were always very polite and asked after Theo, but whenever they walked off, I could see them shaking their heads.

Theo had grown large enough that he could eat small crickets, so I went to the local pet store. Small crickets are sold for 12 cents. Did everyone hear that...12 freaking cents. Good grief, if I'd known how cheap they were I would've gone there sooner. I bought a bag of thirty, thinking I'd feed Theo three a night.

Theo was one happy little toad. He finally had food that didn't try and fly away.

Apparently, crickets have a high mortality rate. Well, at least mine did. They started dying fairly quickly. I also have a feeling that crickets are cannibals just like tadpoles. There wasn't much left of their tiny carcasses when I did a body count the next morning. I decided it would be best to place a few extra crickets into Theo's bowl. I thought since his living quarters was more organic than a glass jar, the crickets survival rate might rise.

That night, I dropped six crickets inside his bowl. I figured he'd make them last, right.

The next morning, I looked in the bowl to see this bloated, waddling creature that only flinched when I poked him. Of course this freaked me out. I immediately put him back on a two cricket a day diet, but Kiwi told me, "Mama, no toads have ever died from being too fat."

I'm not sure where she came by this bit of logic, but if it's decreed by Kiwi, it must be so.

Theo- A bloated toad.

Monday, October 17, 2011


For the last few weeks, I’ve done a lot of puttering around.

I like the way that sounds, puttering…

It’s not as controversial as the actual word I’m thinking and using it won’t make my kids banish me to the time-out chair for using inappropriate language. Always a plus in my book. Being a good role model means remember to use words like puttering or sugar, hot dog, holy cow, Dude…or my favorite, frak (the kids say they know what the BSG translation for that one means…bad Mommy).

Sorry, I’m rambling. I do that.

Back to my puttering, which included fiddling with my blog? Urgh. I think I've finally worked out the kinks—those hair pulling, hive inducing, screaming into my pillow, most frustrating idea ever issues.

Work has been super busy. It must be the crazy weather: hot, cold, sunny, pouring rain. It confuses the heck out of people, which means an increase in my workload. Once I get home the last thing I want to do is write so I've been avoiding my computer.

The new fall shows have started, and I’m all caught up on Supernatural, Vampire Diaries, and Secret Circle. I’m also addicted to a few more (The Walking Dead premiered on Sunday). I won’t waste space by detailing all my TV viewing vices. Thank goodness for DVR. I can watch my shows whenever I want and not take time away from writing.

This brings me back to my work-in-progress and the lack of effort I’ve put into finishing it. That’s actually where I am right now in the story. The last chapter. Or what I thought would be the last chapter when I started puttering around two weeks ago. I had the ending outlined in my head, but I couldn’t force myself write…The End. It didn’t feel right. I wasn’t completely invested in how the story would wrap up. So I procrastinated.

I thought about it. Daydreamed out multiple scenarios.

Luckily, I have a twenty minute commute home with nothing to worry about except whether the herd of buffalo broke through the fence and blocked the freeway again (I missed that major accident by an hour). This is the time of the day when my creativity flows without boundaries or the stressors of daily life. The idea for an alternate ending started to form, and I let it take its own shape and consistency.

Those of you who write know this feeling. The giddy relief when inspiration strikes. )


The new ending is different from the one I had two weeks ago. It just goes to show how important it is to follow your instincts. I’d promised I’d finish by November 1st (#WIPFTW) and pushed myself toward that goal. But in trying to finish, I almost lost sight of where the story needed to go.

Live and learn, right.

So, I sat down to write it up and couldn’t do it. I waffled. I liked the idea of the new ending, but I couldn’t decide if I liked it better than the old one. So, I puttered around some more. Finally, I talked to my friend JAllen, and he suggested writing both endings. So, that’s what I’m doing. I’m hopeful that one will be more dynamic than the other and my decision on which one to use will be clear. If not, then I’ll let my critique partners take a vote and decide.

So I'm curious. How does inspiration strike you? Do you know how your book will end before you start writing, and then follow your strategically laid out plan all the way to the conclusion? Or does the story morph as you write? Do you ever dig yourself a plot hole then wonder how you will ever get out? And if you do, how do you find your answer?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Kiwi Sandro
My beautiful daughter, Kiwi, is growing up guys.

I can't stop it. I wish I could. I still see her as a chubby-cheeked toddler. She's been pestering me for her own blog since 2007, when I started my Family History Blog.

Kiwi became entranced by the idea showcasing her writing and artwork. I kept putting her off by saying she needed to wait until she was older. With every birthday that rolled around, I’d get the same request. “Mama, can I have my blog now? Pleeeese?”

I have finally given in to the inevitable (plus,all the whining, pleading, and begging). We set up her blog over the weekend. She’s thrilled. I’m so excited for her. She’s a very talented 12-year-old. She wrote her first book in first grade--Magic Rainbow. By third grade, it had become a four book series and featured her own artwork. For her last birthday, we bought her a graphic's pad. I’m so proud of her accomplishments, and I'm glad she's not afraid to share her passion for the arts.

So, please, check out Kiwi’s Comic Corner. Leave a comment and follower her. She’ll be giddy with excitement to know that people are actually seeing her work.

Many thanks,

One proud, Mommy.

Monday, October 10, 2011


It was the last week in September and I wanted a mini vacation before the summer ended. I planned the trip all week. We’d head up the mountains—a day trip to  McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park. We’d do a little hiking. Maybe head down to the lake for a swim and picnic. It’d be brilliant.

We woke up early, dragged the kids out of bed and packed them into the car. The sky was overcast… full of mutinous gray storm clouds that mimicked my husband’s face when he realized we had a three hour drive ahead of us.

An hour into our drive it began to rain. When I say rain, I don’t mean a sprinkle or a drizzle. The sky opened up a washed away all the dirt that had accumulated on my car from my weekly commute to work.

I couldn’t believe it. I was shocked and, well, irritated. I mean what the heck? It’s Northern California. We don’t get rain in September, just scorching 100 degree temperatures that feel like your face is melting off even when standing in the shade. Luckily, I had grabbed a bunch of jackets for us just in case, because by golly, I refused to admit defeat by canceling our trip.

It was worth it.

We were all a little cranky by the time we arrived. One look at the falls changed all that. It was absolutely breathtaking. We walked the trail through the forest to the lake. It didn’t rain the whole time. It was a reminder of how beautiful our world is and how small a slice we get to see in our day to day lives. I'm glad my kids have this amazing memory of our family trip.
 McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park

Lake Britton

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