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Sometimes You Have to Work WITH the Crazy

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Since my last post here, I've written over 60 posts at my website. Looks like the move over there was easier than I anticipated. But a few things have popped up in the last few days that made me miss this space, and the LiveJournal community as a whole. There's comradery here that isn't found in many places on the web. This is a place where fandoms aren't simply accepted but encouraged, and where friendships flourish between people who may never meet face to face. I miss that, and more and more I'm finding that I need that. I need a place where I'm accepted, where I can be "unironically enthusiastic" as John Green would say.

These feeling started a few days ago when I realized I was really geeking out all over my blog. I had that sudden terrible feeling of self-consciousness, like I knew I was being judged by some random faceless person. I realized I was making a conscious effort to not mention certain names or things in posts more than once a week because I don't want people to see me as a drooling fangirl. I want them to take me seriously.

Then it hit me: There is no reason I shouldn't be taken seriously just because I like certain things. If people are going to judge me on my love of science fiction, they won't read my posts anyway. Besides, there is no negative correlation between the things I love and the quality of my work. If anything, watching Firefly and Doctor Who and Star Trek: The Next Generation over and over again will make me a better writer. Reading Harry Potter and Lord of The Rings again and again can only help my writing improve. So what if people think I'm a geek or nerd or dork. They're right.

As much as I have embraced my geekiness, as often as I have taken the label of geek as a high compliment, I was still worried about the impact it would have on me professionally.

I know it's silly. I have never gone into the bookstore, picked up a book, and thought "I can't buy this. The author is really into The X-Files." And the chances are slim that an agent or editor or publisher will read my blog and think "I can't work with her; she likes comic books!" Those people are looking at the quality of my work, not how may times I mention Felicia Day or Joss Whedon.

Despite my best efforts, I continue to have two online personas: the casual geek girl who writes fanfic here, and the more straight-laced grown-up geek there. Here, I write to friends; there, I write to potential clients and customers. And I hate that. I hate that I feel like I have to separate those parts of who I am as a writer. I hate that I don't trust myself to look professional while writing about the things I love.

Until I can justify the separation and bring these pieces back together, I'll keep writing the "casual" stuff here. I suppose everyone needs an outlet. For the time being, this is mine.
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I'm really terrible at this.

Day Thirty-Two

Day Thirty-Three

To make it up to you, a song I'm playing over and over at impossibly high volumes.

A Better Son/Daughter by Rilo Kiley.
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Well that didn't take long. Here are the links from this weekend.

Day Twenty-Eight

Day Twenty-Nine

Day Thirty

Day Thirty-One

Sorry about that guys. I'll try to do better from here on out.

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I have a confession.

As much as I lurve science fiction and fantasy, I don't do horror. Can't do horror. Generally stay away from horror at all costs.

There are exceptions, of course. At one time, I owned almost every title Anne Rice ever published. I'm a dedicated fan of Poe, "The Pit and the Pendulum" being one of my all-time favorite stories. The first graphic novel I ever read was The Crow (which is much darker than the movie).

Movies or books that continually ratchet up the tension and suspense without moments of release get me. My levels of anxiety are naturally high - pile on more and more, and pretty quickly I'm trying to crawl out of my skin.

I mention all this because of the newest drama on BBC America - The Fades.

It is supernatural fantasy horror with ghosts that kill and eat humans and a group of people trying to stop them from taking over the world. It is NOT about zombies. It's funny without being campy, and is (at least to me) really truly scary.

I'll be honest - I didn't think I would like it. I didn't know too much about it, though, so I gave it a chance. I recorded the first episode (and the Nerdist special that aired right after) and waited almost a week to watch it.

No, that's not quite right. I had free time to watch it before then, but I refused to watch it at night. The first afternoon I had free, I watched.

Oh. My. Cheesus. I was blown away.

The story is engaging and intriguing. The characters are brilliant and flawed and masterfully played by a very talented young cast.

That looks like so much marketing copy. Here's what the website says:

"Written by Jack Thorne (“Skins,” “This Is England ’86,” “Shameless”), “The Fades” is a coming-of-age fantasy drama showcasing the supernatural skills of a reluctant teenager named Paul (as played by Iain De Caestecker, formerly of “Coronation Street”).


Thorne says of the show: “What makes ‘The Fades’ different is that it is a fantasy show rather than a science fiction show. It’s about fairly ordinary people, none of these people act or behave like they’re superheroes. “The Fades” is about the world itself being an extraordinary thing and how you battle it. This old school fantasy element combined with some pretty original characters – I hope is what will make people want to watch." "

However you categorize it, I fucking love it. By the middle of the first episode, I was rooting for these people. Iain De Caestecker does an amazing job as the reluctant... I hesitate to say hero, but that's what the character is. Paul has been thrust into this impossible situation. He's only getting the basics of the story. He has no clue what's really going on. And when the weird shit starts happening all around him, he makes the decision to go toward it, to not run away.

His best friend Mac, played by Daniel Kaluuya, is endearingly annoying. I was afraid he was going to just be annoying, but as the series goes on you can see why he does what he does. He's the dork we all knew in high school, or quite possibly, the dork we were in high school.

And I have a serious crush on Jay, played by Sophie Wu. The character straddles the line between popular and real, and Sophie plays that awkwardness beautifully.

Unfortunately, it's only a six-part series. Fortunately, the Brits are quite adept at giving a fully-fleshed story in such a short run. Next Saturday, January 28, they air the third episode. If you missed the first two and don't have BBC America On Demand, there are a few videos on the site but... You won't get a good idea what's going on, so you're kinda out of luck unless you can bribe a friend that has them recorded or has access to On Demand. Or, you could just buy the DVD. Trust me, it's worth it.
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I've been using a posting client for about a week. I'm still learning the quirks and tricks of it as it compares to the site itself. Because I don't know how to use it perfectly yet, I lost a good chunk of text that I wrote yesterday. It's totally my fault for not saving it properly, and it wasn't more than a couple hundred words, but it really pissed me off.

My early morning workout endorphins are wearing off and my lack of sleep is catching up with me. I'm grumpy. Grumpy and the internet don't play well together. Before I run across something that really hulks me out, I'm going to go watch cartoons and outline stuff to post later this week.

Teen Titans, GO!

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The post I made last night? Wasn't supposed to post until today. Damn.

Oh well. I'll just come up with something new and exciting for today!




Okay, how about I just link to some stuff I think is pretty neat?

DailyLit.Com - I don't know how I missed this, but I think it's going to be my new favorite thing. They describe themselves thusly: "DailyLit: Great stories and knowledge in under 5 minutes a day. Read books online: get short installments by daily email (or RSS feed)." Basically, you search through their library, pick a book, then they deliver it a chunk at a time to your inbox or RSS reader. For free.

I've recently rediscovered my love for RSS, so this is perfect for me. Also, free is right in my price range.

John Scalzi has a new book coming out in June: Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas. I wants it, precious. Click through to see the cover and you'll see why. Well, one of the reasons why. Here's a terrible nerd confession: I've never read any of Scalzi's books, yet I read his blog daily. Old Man's War has been on my "Need To Read" list for a long time.

Chuck Wendig linked to a fascinating Reddit thread about glitches in the Matrix, i.e. weird, unexplainable moments when reality isn't quite right, beyond mere deja vu (like the black cat scene in the first Matrix movie). I was throughly freaked out for a good hour or so. Really interesting stuff.

I don't have any "glitchy" moments; mine are more paranormal than anything. Like when my great grandmother visited me in my dream the morning she died. Or when my grandfather visited me in my dream the day he died. Or watching my daughter play with ... someone, even though she was alone in the room. I've written about my little encounters before, but I think those posts are long gone. Maybe I should write them again.

In the past month, I have seen references to "S.M.A.R.T. goals" all over the place. This is usually a good indicator that the universe it trying to tell me something. So today, when this article popped up on my RSS feed, I thought it a good idea to pay attention. I finally took some time and wrote out my goals, separated into different categories like "Work," "Life," and "Running." Maybe this will be the kick in the pants that I need.

This seemed to work out pretty well. I might do posts like this more often if you guys like them. Let me know what you think.

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Becker Vineyards Iconoclast Cabernet Sauvignon 2010. Texas Hill Country wine at its best. I wouldn't lead you astray on something as important as wine. Bonus, if you find yourself near Fredericksburg (west of Austin), you can visit for a wine tasting and get 6 samples for $10. That's a hell of a steal.

Wil Wheaton's Radio Free Burrito Mix Tape Volume One. Random brilliance. Quite possibly my new writing music. Most definitely my favorite blog. One of my favorite people. (I'm so late to this particular party, TPTB might take away my geek card. Better late than never, I hope.)

Last night, I stayed up late watching this:

PAX Celebrity Game, Part 1 - YouTube

then this:

PAX 2011 Live D&D Game, Part 1 - YouTube .

Today, I really want to play D&D. I've never played a table-top RPG. I want dice. Lots of pretty, pretty dice.

(By the way, Scott Kurtz is another one of my favorite people. He does this and this.)
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This writer says that if I want to be a real writer, I have to do this thing. Another writer says I should really do this thing. Attend this workshop, that writer's group. Read book after book after book of advice, even though all the books pretty much say the same damn thing. This person says I need to do this, but this person says I need to absolutely never do that. "Writers write." "Write what you know." "Writer's block is a myth." "Writer's block is when your imaginary friends won't talk to you." "If you want to be a writer..."

"If you want to be a real writer..." is how I read it.

Because you aren't a real writer unless you do that, even if you can't afford it or it is somehow beyond you, out of the realm of things you can do given your current reality.

I have a nearly-4 year old, no income, and little hope. I can't afford 6-week-long workshops in cities 2000 miles away. I would love to, but I can't.

Does that mean I'm not a real writer, or that I will never be one?

I've read so much advice from so many different "authorities" I couldn't tell you who said what. But I can tell you how much of a gut punch it was to read that, if only because of who said it and how much I admire him - personally and professionally.

"If you want to be a writer, read this: [link]."

I do want to be a writer, sir. And I thought I was well on my way. Apparently I was wrong.

{[( Yes, darling. This is but a moment of doubt in the long plod of my career. I recognize it; I understand it. I was already overwhelmed with other stuff. This just tipped me over the edge. )]}

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