Last night, my husband and I went to see the 12:01 am showing of SATC 2. It made me so happy to see the girls again and to check in on what their lives are like these days. It's so weird how fictional characters can seem so real. Overall, the movie didn't quite live up to my expectations, though. It wasn't as emotionally satisfying as the first movie, so I missed that punch in the end that I have come to expect from Sex and the City - you know the part that makes me cry. But on one point the movie did not disappoint - the GLAMOUR! It was definitely all about the fashion and the fabulous lives of these NYC women. The whole trip to Abu Dhabi was pure decadence, and it left me wishing I could afford to go on a trip like that with George or with my best girlfriends. Of course, once you see the movie you'll see why, by the end of their trip, I sort of changed my mind. Maybe Vegas? Or the Caribbean? Middle East - not so much.
This time around, the movie explored the idea of 'traditions' and how women (and men, I suppose) are dealing with the traditions of family, career, and especially marriage. Is it okay to make our own rules in marriage? Is it a sin to admit that your children are driving you crazy? Questions like this are important to women in today's society, and SATC, as always, cuts right to the heart. The movie had me laughing and bouncing in my seat right from the start, and I loved every minute of it (Okay, so the Karaoke scene wasn't my fave). I just wish it had been able, like the first movie, to bring the point home and give me that emotional punch that I love so well from the series. In the end, however, if you're a SATC fan, it's a must-see. I, for one, will go see it at least one more time while it is in the theaters.
Okay, so technically the movie doesn't come out until tomorrow, but G and I have tickets for tonight at 12:01 AM. I am so excited! I hope it's every bit as good as the first one. Here's the trailer for the movie. Can't wait!
The excitement for Sex and the City 2 continues, but damn, this pain is unpleasant. I had to have some oral surgery yesterday, and I thought I was tough enough to handle it - no big deal. Until I pretty much passed out and my husband had to catch me. He had his hand on the phone to call 911, even. Yikes! Luckily, I forced myself to try to wake up and take some deep breaths. He got me back into the bed and got me a cool towel. It was about half an hour before I started to feel better, but wow, that was scary! In light of that, I'll be staying home today all day, resting.
I'll just leave you with one of the most iconic parts of the SATC show - the opening. Ah - can't wait until tomorrow night at midnight!
Last night's LOST series finale was brilliant. Yes, there are still a lot of unanswered questions, but what would be the fun in being spoonfed the answers? Part of the legacy of the show is the debate and the questions. I personally feel that they cleared up enough to make me satisfied. I also cried like a baby just about the whole episode. For a television show to be able to make me feel emotions like that, bravo to both the writers and the actors.
For one, the 'heart of the island' is a light that is the 'light within every man'. In a way, it is the spark and beauty of the good in all of us. Definitely a religious theme. The man in black has tried to put out this light for years in an effort to get off the island. In the form of John Locke, the man in black's spirit actually does convince Desmond to put out the light - but all this does is make it possible for the new Jacob (which is Jack) to finally kill him. Then, Jack has to save the island by saving the light. He sacrifices himself for that.
Then, after he dies, laying in the bamboo forrest just as he did when the plane first crashed, he goes to a purgatory (the Sideways flashes). There, he meets up and remembers his life with those who meant the most to him. Their souls gather there and reflect on the impact that they had and the life that they lived together on the island. Once they have all remembered, forgiven each other, and seen and held those that they loved the most, they are led into the light so they can 'move on'.
From comments around the internet, it looks like so many people didn't understand the finale. Some people took the ending to mean that everyone died on the initial plane crash and the island was some kind of purgatory. That's NOT what happened. Christian tells Jack, "What happened, happened." It was all real. In the end, Jack died, but as he died, he saw the Ajira airlines flight take off. That means that Miles, the pilot, Kate, Sawyer and Claire and Richard all got off the island and went on to live out their lives. Hurley became the new protector of the island, immortal for a long time, possibly centuries, while Ben became his 2nd in command, just like Richard was for Jacob. (I'd like to think Desmond got better and ended up taking the boat back to his family) Everyone who died on the island, like Jin, Sun, Alex, etc. They all really died. And everyone's souls created this purgatory sideways where they could meet up and recognize each other so they could find forgiveness and love before moving on. That's my take on the finale. Anyone out there want to disagree, I'm happy to listen to comments, but I feel very satisfied with this ending.
It just frustrates me to hear people say it was a crappy ending because "they were dead the whole time." Of course, I guess you have the freedom to take the finale however you want. It's not the most important issue in the world. I just encourage you to watch it again if that's what you think happened. I got something totally different out of it, myself. Well done writers, I say. And truly some of the best acting television has ever seen. What an amazing show that really created a whole new way you can present a TV show. It was truly epic, and I will miss it.
Yes, I know it's Saturday, but I want to keep the countdown going! This scene is one of my favorites, which is totally morbid, of course, but amazing. This scene just goes to show you that even after six seasons, the writers and characters were still finding ways to shock us. Here is the part of the episode "SPLAT" where an old party friend of Carrie's falls out a window while trying to smoke a cig. "I'm so bored I could die." Seriously. Last words.
I am off to go writing this morning, but I wanted to get a new Sex and the City clip. One of my favorite scenes is when Aidan moves in with Carrie and they fight over space in the closet. The dialog is more than brilliant! When she says, "You can stay here with your boxes of shit, and your shoe eating dog, and you can knock yourself out putting on the Rogaine and the Speedstick." OMG, I love it. Brilliant. Enjoy!
In honor of Sex and the City 2's release in just 7 days, I thought I would do a little blog countdown. :) I have been so excited about this movie coming out! It's like getting a chance to visit with my girlfriends and see what they've been up to for the past couple of years. True SATC fans will know what I'm talking about here, right ladies? Yes, it sounds insane, but these women are a part of my life. Even though they are totally fictional, they are more real to me than a lot of people I actually know. If that makes me crazy, then I'm okay with that, haha.
So, the countdown begins! 7 days until the release of Sex and the City 2!! I actually have tickets for the 12:01 AM show, because I just don't want to wait. And in honor of this wonderfully happy occasion, I am going to post links to some of my favorite video clips in the television series.
This first clip is from the Season 2 Finale, one of those episodes that just touched home for me. At the time, I had just broken up with someone who basically said some of the same things to me that Big says to Carrie. This scene has my heart.
When I was younger, I used to sleepwalk. I don't think it was ever really a nightly kind of thing. At least I hope not. How in the world I managed those stairs without ever falling, I'll never know. (Okay, so I did fall down them several times, just not while I was sleepwalking.) I didn't want to believe my family when they first told me I was sleep walking. I thought my sister was just making fun of me. But one particularly memorable morning, I came down and Mom and K were laughing at me. I asked what was up and they told me how I was sleeping walking the night before. They said they were all watching TV when I came down the stairs, stood in the room and said some kind of mumbo jumbo, then walked into the kitchen, got a wine glass out of the cabinet and put it in the freezer. (Apparently, I was big on putting things in the fridge and taking things in and out of cabinets.)
When I didn't believe them, Mom said, "Look in the freezer, then." Sure enough, when I opened the freezer, there was a wine glass, all frosted and cold looking. Definitely not a glass that had just been placed there, so if they were playing a joke, it was something they'd been planning for a while. That was the first time I really believed them. Then, I also remember one night when Dad woke up and grabbed me as I stood at the top of the stairs. I remember waking up, disoriented and scared. He had heard me walking around and thought I was going to fall down the stairs, so he grabbed me. That's when I knew for sure that I had been sleepwalking. At least a little.
Well, I think it might be happening again. I have this Jenny Craig Maple Nut Cereal that belongs in the cabinet with all the other non-refrigerated Jenny food. Every week when I come home from my consultation, I put the non-perishables in that same cabinet, all together. A few days ago, I opened up the fridge to find that the cereal was on the top shelf of the fridge. I moved it back to the cabinet, confused as to why I would have put it in the wrong place. Then, this morning, my day to actually eat the cereal, it wasn't there yet again. Instead, I found it in a completely different cabinet, by the sugar. I am positive that I didn't put it there on purpose when I moved it the other day.
It makes me wonder if I'm sleepwalking some nights. Is that part of why I feel so tired some days despite my seven or eight hours of sleep? Is sleepwalking dangerous? I hope not. G said he might set up a webcam and try to catch it on tape or rig it to make a loud noise if there's movement. I'll keep you updated on any experiments :p.
Labels: dreams | sleep
Wow, I forgot what it's like to get up before 8 AM. It sucks just as much as I thought it would :P. Yes, I know, I am so spoiled. But getting up this morning is all in the name of good writing. Now that I snagged an appointment with my absolute number one dream agent (squeeeeeee!) at Nationals, I have to get off my bum and write, write, write!!! This novel needs to be in tip-top shape by the end of July. So, with newfound motivation, I find myself up early to meet a writing friend at Cafe Carolina for three hours of writing bliss. And believe it or not, I'm meeting a different writer friend tonight to write as well. Lesson? You can never have enough friends who are writers :).
Well, last night's Survivor Finale was a huge disappointment. Heroes vs. Villains was truly one of the best seasons out of the past 20 Survivor Seasons, and I so wanted Russell or Parvati to win. It's funny because all I've told my sister about it for the past couple months is that I'll be happy if anyone but Sandra wins. And of course... Sandra won!
Last night on the live broadcast, Jeff asked her whether being the first ever to win two seasons makes her the best Survivor ever and she said yes. I beg to differ here. Sure, she won two times, but I think part of that means she is the luckiest Survivor. She certainly wasn't the best physical player and she really didn't do a very good job on the strategy. She just happened to make sure that she pissed people off less than anyone else.
In my opinion, Parvati is the best Survivor ever to play the game. Not only does she have an All-star win under her belt, she made it to the final 3 in one of the toughest seasons ever, and she's played the most days of anyone in the game... Jeff said something like 114 days? Insane. And I love to watch Parvati. I would watch her on every season if I could. She is just so damn cute and her personality is so incredibly likable. I think she reads people really well and makes good alliances. She's also a huge physical competitor, winning the second most individual immunities in the history of the game.
But the third finalist is also one of my favorites ever to play the game. Russell Hantz. Definitely a villain. But oh so fun to watch. I picked him to win at the beginning of the season, but sadly, he didn't receive a single vote. I had a feeling that might happen going into the finale last night. Too many people on the jury hated him so much for the way he played the game. In Russell's eyes, I think he believed they would respect him for being able to make it all the way through the game the way he did - clawing and fighting his way through. Instead, they resented him for changing the game. They hated him for telling lie after lie and making people trust him only to have him stomp on their hearts. Personally, I think Russell is a mastermind. He has the uncanny ability to know exactly what he needs to do or say in order for people to act the way he wants them to. Unfortunately, he doesn't have enough finesse to pull it off without pissing them off first, haha. I was very happy that he won the Sprint player of the season award. Between him and Parvati, they made it one of the most fun seasons of Survivor to watch ever (second only to Fans vs. Favorites, which Parvati won).
Next fall they will be in Nicaragua with a whole new set of Survivors. Changes I hope to see this time? I think it's time for the immunity idols to be gone from the game for a while. They influence things too much. It's time for them to switch that out for some new game play.
I know it's only Friday, but my eyes are already turned towards Monday's Agent and Editor signups. RWA's National Conference at the end of July holds many exciting moments I'm sure, but the most important from where I stand is the agent appointment.
Last year, I wanted to pitch my contemporary series romance to the editor at Silhouette Desire. I got my wish. She had time available, I pitched to her, and she asked for a full manuscript! That's why I'll be attending RWA as a PRO this year instead of a general member (one step up from last year). Even though she ultimately rejected my manuscript, the important thing is that the conference pitch gave me the opportunity to get my work in her hands as requested instead of having to wait until she found time to wade through the slush pile.
This year, I'm aiming at a completely different genre. And instead of setting my sights on a particular editor, I'm looking at an agent. A dream agent, actually. She's taking appointments this year, and I'm so anxious to see if there are still times available Monday morning or not. Please, please let her have some slots available still by the time I can sign up! See, sign ups are staggered. People who finaled in the Golden Heart this year got first dibs. Then Golden Heart finalists from previous years. Now, this Monday, it's PRO and PAN members, starting at 8AM Central Time. That puts me a full week ahead of the General Membership, which is where I was last year. I can only wait and see if that's enough to get my appointment with my dream agent.
Of course, I know that just getting an appointment isn't enough. I still have to figure out an amazing pitch. And even then, she may not be interested in my book. I get that. I also know, however, that whether she likes it or not is out of my control. All I can do is write the best book I can and get it in front of people who could take it where it needs to go. Until Monday's signups, I have a feeling I'm going to feel butterflies in my stomach!
My 14th book of the year. And it made me cry. This is also the first thing I've ever read by Elin Hildebrand. I really enjoyed this novel. The reason I picked it up was because a reader on a random forum recommended it for seeing how an author uses multiple points of view. I am so happy that I discovered this author!
Here's the basic story: A group of 4 couples are best friends on the island of Nantucket. They name themselves the Castaways and do everything together - vacations, celebrations, etc. But then one day, while celebrating their twelfth wedding anniversary, one of the couples, Greg and Tess MacAvoy drown when their sailboat capsizes. The novel is about how each of the remaining six friends (told from each of their points of view) deal with this tragic loss. Weaved throughout the novel is also the mystery of what really happened. Everyone has their own secrets. Affairs, pills, fears, etc. And everyone blames themselves for Tess and Greg's deaths. What makes this novel particularly heartbreaking is that the couple also left behind their seven year old twins - with no will stating who should take them in case of their death.
I definitely enjoyed this novel. Hildebrand's use of multiple viewpoints was captivating. It let me feel as if I really got to know each of the six main characters inside and out. Like I was seeing all of their secrets. I sympathized with each of them, as each character was flawed, yet beautiful. I think you'll like this book if you're looking for a more introspective, narrative book that explores people's thoughts and grief after a tragedy. However, don't expect an action-packed thriller or mystery here. While there are hints of mystery and questions about what happened, the main story focuses on the people and how they handle the death of their two best friends.
Everyone back in Georgia is expecting me to come home for Memorial Day weekend. Especially my Mom, who reminded me last night that if I don't come home, I won't see my family until July 4th at our beach trip. I realize that is a long time to go without seeing everyone, but at the same time, I feel like I am already taking too much vacation time between now and RWA Nationals.
So, I'm making a deal with myself. My word count goal for May 31st is 51,000 words. If I reach that goal early and have the full word count finished by the 27th of May, I can take the time off and head to Georgia. If I don't? Well, if I don't have the 51,000 words down yet, then I can't really afford the weekend off. G will be gone to a bachelor party that weekend, so I will just take the entire three days and write my ass off until I reach my goal. One way or another, I need to hit that word count goal on time so that I can keep on schedule. I do not want to go to Nationals without a completed novel to pitch, and right now, that's the most important thing.
As of this moment, my word count is just over 28,000 words. Eep! That means I need 23,000 words written in the next two weeks. Is that even possible? Well, I know it's possible for some people, but what I really mean is... is that possible for me? Yes! My inner voice says yes. I just have to work harder and keep my eye on the prize. And as far as the May trip home goes, I may not know if I'm going until the last minute. We shall see.
Saturday at the monthly Heart of Carolina Romance Writers' meeting, some of our published authors talked about tips for writing a series. Since my current work in progress is being written with the intention of making it into a trilogy (at the very least), I was extremely interested in what they had to say. One of the things they mentioned that stuck with me was that every writer needs to make a 'series bible'.
What exactly is that? Well, it's a notebook or a file or a folder where you keep all the important information on the series. Stuff you'll need to remember in order to write the subsequent books. Character biographies and descriptions. Photo inspiration. Floor plans of the houses. A timeline of events, birthdays, etc. Secondary characters and their role in the book. If something is true in book one, it still has to be true in book two. That means that if a minor character's wife died in book one, you can't suddenly have her alive and well in book two - unless you explain it somehow!
The same is true for eye color, past events, locations, descriptions, etc. Even down to the color of the couch in the living room of a certain character. For my books, the magic system is going to be important. It's not something I'm likely to forget, but I want to make sure that I stay consistent. A quick reference sheet on the magic system will make remembering a lot easier. I'd rather flip through a notebook than have to read the entire book again when I'm on a deadline (God willing).
Maybe it's wishful thinking to start a series bible, but I did exactly that yesterday. I printed out pictures of actors who will serve as inspiration for my characters. Here are some of the things I believe will be important to include in my series bible:
- Character descriptions, biographies, and photo inspiration. How each character's magic works and what their character arc is going to be both in each book and in the entire series
- Plot outline for each book
- Zombie information (such as what they look like, how they sound, how they move, whether their bite is going to turn you into a zombie, etc.)
- Magic system rules (how does their magic work? Who has what abilities? Good vs. Evil)
- Details on the guns and other weapons used. If Crash is using an AK-47, I want to have a picture of one and understand the ammo. I want to know how heavy it is and whether you could attach a strap and sling it over your back.
- Rules and descriptions of the Otherworld.
Whew! I was so nervous when I heard that the Opryland Hotel had flooded and they were going to have to cancel the RWA conference for this summer. I was worried that RWA might not be able to find a new location. We are, after all, talking about thousands of people and some very specific needs. At the conference, there are over a dozen workshops taking place at any given time, so there needs to be at least that many meeting rooms available. Also, there have to be enough rooms with two doubles or two queen size beds to accommodate the group. Not to mention the dinners where they need to be able to seat and feed 3,000 people in the same room. Yikes! Not an easy task to find a hotel that can do all that and actually be available for the exact dates of the conference this July. Somehow, though, maybe thanks to a downturned economy, the RWA was able to do it.
So our new location is the Swan and Dolphin Resort at Disneyworld in Orlando!! Yipppeee!! I am so excited! They really could have moved it just about anywhere and I would be excited just to still be going. It's worked out great for me since I booked Southwest Airlines. They don't charge a fee to change my tickets, so I was able to book a new flight to Orlando and only pay the difference in airfare - which luckily was a mere $4! I am excited about the new hotel also. It looks fun and beautiful.
Now if I could just finish this novel....
James Patterson is the type of author that pretty much has everything he writes go NYT Bestseller. And so far, the few things I've read by him have honestly not lived up to my expectations. He also seems to do a lot of joint projects. Take this book for example. It's got someone else's name there in small print. Gabrielle Charbonnet. Who the heck is that? How much of the book did she write? The book is told from two different first person points of view. First, there's Whit, the seventeen year old football player who is also a wizard. Then, there's his sister Wisty (Wisteria) who is younger and seems to be more powerful. Oh and she's a witch. Now, if Patterson wrote the boy parts and Gabrielle wrote the girl parts, then let me just say that Gabrielle wrote far more of this book than old James did. And yet her name is teeny tiny in comparison. I guess everyone is free to make their own choices when it comes to what and how to write. But let me just say this: I'll be damned if I'm going to co-write a book with someone famous, do most of the work, and then have my name be in tiny print on the cover. Screw that.
Okay, so now that my little tantrum is over, I guess I should actually talk about this book. Did I love it? No. Was it okay? Sure. A young witch and wizard, who have no idea that they even have any powers, get arrested in the middle of the night by the New Order, a newly elected government. They are taken from their family and thrown into a jail with a bunch of other kids and have to figure out why they have been taken and what's up with these new crazy powers they have. Wisty can make flames shoot out of her body and Whit seems to be able to freeze time. As the book goes on, they must find a way to escape and reunite with their parents, and they must also learn to control their new powers.
It was a deceptively short book. It looks longer than it really is, because each chapter is only made up of 2 or 3 pages. That leaves a whole lot of white space at the beginning and end of each chapter. The short chapters certainly make it easy to keep saying, "Okay, just one more chapter, then I'll go to sleep." I wouldn't say this is a brilliant story, and I'm definitely not left eagerly awaiting the second installment, but it was alright. I don't know that I'll read the next book when it comes out. The characters didn't really hook me in to be honest. But, I won't be surprised if they decide to make a movie out of it. It's James Patterson after all.
Last night, I went to the Barnes and Noble at Brier Creek here in Raleigh to hear New York Times Bestselling author Kelley Armstrong read from her latest YA book. As a treat, she actually read the first chapter of a fourth Dark Powers book that hasn't even been published! It was, by the way, fantastic. She pulled me in right from the start with a scene about two girls swimming in a lake - and something mysterious deep in the lake that pulls them under. Spooky!
Kelley was extremely nice and very well-spoken. She answered a ton of questions (there was a good crowd), and signed books afterward. I bought a copy of "The Reckoning", her third book in the Dark Powers series. I dream of a day when people line up to get my autograph on a copy of a book I wrote that is actually published and sitting on shelves of bookstores around the country. It's definitely an exciting thought.
After the book signing, a few local authors from my writing group went out to eat at an Indian Restaurant (very good food, btw). I didn't get home until about 9:30, and I was giggling when I went into the kitchen and saw this drawn on our chalkboard:
G and I write little messages to each other on the kitchen chalkboard from time to time. Never things like "Pick up some milk at the store." It's more like "I love you." Well, G has called me "Princess BunBun" ever since we were first dating, so this definitely made me smile and put a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart. What a fun and happy evening!
Wow, it's already May and I am only up to 12 books so far this year. Not terribly impressive, I know, but at least I'm reading. Ender's Game is a book that my husband loved when he was young, and he has been telling me I need to read it for years now. At just over 300 pages, it's a relatively short book, and I pretty much devoured it. If you are one of the few people who aren't familiar with this book, it's one I definitely recommend.
The New York Times says, "Intense is the word for Ender's Game. Aliens have attacked earth twice and almost destroyed the human species. To make sure humans win the next encounter, the world government has taken to breeding military geniuses - and then training them in the arts of war... The early training, not surprisingly, take the form of 'games'... Ender Wiggin is a genius among geniuses; he wins all the games.... He is smart enough to know that time is running out. But is he smart enough to save the planet?"
Little kids training to be war commanders. And I'm talking six years old leading a group in a war game and being expected to follow the rules and be excellent at every moment. Because of Ender, I had to know what happened next. He is a brilliantly drawn character. A clever mix of both killer instincts and compassion. This is one of the few books I've read in a long time that had no romantic story, but there is a love story here - between Ender and his sister and his friends. It's just not a kissy face type of love story. Who knew I could enjoy a book without a romance? But I did. Excellent book! Published first as a short story in 1977, then fleshed out into a novel in 1985, Ender's Game is one of those novels that will be on the shelves finding new readers for decades to come.
This morning, I heard the news that the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville is flooded! Yikes! Six feet of standing water is what one news article said. Possibly closed for months, said another. The RWA National Conference is scheduled for the last week of July, so hopefully the hotel will be repaired and open for business by then. All we can do is wait and see.
Of course, the most important thing right now is the safety of the people of Nashville. Apparently, thousands of homes have flooded and many people have been evacuated. I read on one site that over 19 people have been confirmed dead from the floods. I can't believe it! Thankfully, I heard from my friend Katy that their condo is okay for now and they are safe. My prayers go out to the people of Nashville and surrounding areas as they deal with this horrible flood. Isn't it crazy how something that can happen so fast can change your life? Things like this always make me think back to my house fires and how much one day can change things forever. My heart goes out to those who have lost their homes and many of their belongings in this flood.
This weekend, G and I went to the zoo. We both had an amazing time walking around and looking at the animals, but let me tell ya, there were other things to gawk at as well. Like the people visiting the zoo. It was crowded for sure. When we got engaged at the NC Zoo almost two years ago, there were maybe half as many people there. This weekend must have just been a zoo kind of weekend, despite the 90+ degree heat. Anyway, if the random selection of people (mainly I'm talking about women here) at the zoo this weekend is any indication of the health of women in the South, I think we're in some serious trouble.
I didn't do any sort of scientific evaluation, but if I'm guessing, I would say that at least 75% of the women at the zoo were overweight. And yes, I consider myself part of that group, for now. I'm losing weight with Jenny Craig and happy that I'm changing my life, but I'm still several pounds over weight. Of the 75% who were overweight, I would say that 50% or more of those were 50 pounds or more overweight. It was unreal. I can honestly say that I was shocked at how many people were obese. I guess it's good we were all at the zoo all day walking around, but damn. It's time we made some serious changes in this country. Sure, medical science has advanced enough to keep us alive for a long time, but what kind of quality of life are we cultivating here?
If it's bad enough that most of the women were severely overweight, don't even get me started on the children. Boys and girls alike. Little kids that looked to be younger than 10 years old who weighed over 100 pounds. Some probably over 150 pounds. It's sad. It definitely made me happy about the fact that I've decided to make some changes in my life as far as my weight and health are concerned. I'm just worried about our country as a whole if this weekend was any indication of the average American out there.
Anyway, fat people aside, G and I had an amazing time. Here is a picture of us visiting the bobcat area where we got engaged July 2008. I can't imagine my life without him, and I'm so happy he is my husband. :) It was awesome to get away together, if even for just a night.