Poem: Next To You

Arms, hips, thighs
Legs and ankles
It’s more than just warmth
Heat that simmers
Smooth skin against rough

Then it’s boiling
Breath gasps
And breathing in
the chaos of
Something glorious

Chaos so beautiful
It hurts to look at
Even clichés sound better
Next to you

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Outlander Season 3 Episode 8 Review: First Wife

I liked this episode a lot more than the last few we’ve had. There’s a lot of truth to this episode, and I don’t just mean Jamie finally coming clean about things he’s left in the dark. There’s truth for Claire, too. In that she finally seems to admit to herself that maybe this was all a mistake.

I think it goes without saying, really… beware, spoilers ahead!

Photo credit: Starz.

Jamie and Claire return to Lallybroch with young Ian. However, things aren’t at all like they used to be. Jenny and Ian’s children are grown with children of their own and Jenny is not willing to welcome Claire back with open arms.

Jamie is just about to tell Claire about his marriage to Laoghaire, when the woman of discussion barges into the room with her daughters in tow and calls Claire a whore and all these terrible things. Naturally, Claire is devastated because she had no idea Jamie was married.

She packs to leave, but Jamie stops her and the fight that ensues between them is very passionate and packed with emotion. Jamie seems almost mad that she had left him, and she is equally heartbroken: he’d told her too! He accuses her of not knowing what it is to live half a life and she fires right back at him. He didn’t really think that life with Frank was happy, did he?!

She goes to leave, and Jamie stops her once again and tries to force affection on her. She slaps him in the face. They grapple on the floor, and then their fight turns to passion and they are wrestling out of each other’s clothes and having sex on the floor. Jenny comes in and throws a bucket of water on them, and tells them to stop it because they are upsetting the rest of the household.

Claire wishes they could tell Jenny the truth about her disappearance but Jamie claims she won’t understand. The next day, Claire has packed and is going to leave, but Laoghaire shows up and threatens to shoot her. Jamie steps in the way, and gets shot instead.

Claire performs excellent surgery on him, and young Ian stands back and watches, completely in awe. Claire notes with some affection that he is the only one who calls her auntie. After Claire has him sewed up, Jamie tells her about what happened with Laoghaire. Claire gives him a shot of penicillin, because Jamie is burning up. She also asks Jenny to give her a second chance. She can’t tell her everything, but she does still love her. Jenny seems to slightly warm up to this.

Claire reunites with Ned Gowan, and he advises them both on what can be done about Laoghaire. He says that technically Claire and Jamie’s marriage is the one that is valid, because it happened first. Laoghaire wants alimony in exchange for not taking Jamie to court. Jamie comes up with a plan to get the Jewels from Silkie’s Island that he had found while in prison.

Young Ian volunteers to fetch them, because Jamie is still hurt. Claire confesses to Jamie that she thinks coming back might have been a mistake. She had a life, a career and friends. Jamie says that they are mated for life. She still seems uncertain, but they are forced to throw their uncertainties to the side when they realize that young Ian is in trouble. He is intercepted on the island and taken away on a ship.

Well, what worked?

  • I want a relationship as passionate as Jamie and Claire’s. Their fight was packed with emotion and very much-needed!
  • Young Ian’s infatuation with Claire is very sweet.
  • We love Jamie’s sister because she is a strong woman; stubborn, independent and intelligent. It is for this reason, she doesn’t accept that Claire would just disappear for twenty years and not come looking for her brother.

What didn’t work?

  • It makes sense that Jenny is suspicious about Claire’s absence. And I wish they can tell her and Ian the truth.
  • Claire and Jamie’s relationship seems on such tenterhooks. Even though the bond between them is still there, there is still so much hurt. Have they really resolved anything?

Will they be able to move on from this? I hope so! Although, it’d be very awesome if Jamie could follow her into the future. Just a thought.

What did you guys think?  Happy Sunday!

Outlander Season 3 Episode 6 Review: A. Malcolm

I can’t tell you how bummed I was last week when I tuned into Outlander only to find that I had to wait another week to see Claire and Jamie’s reunion! well, now that it’s happened, what did you think?

Beware, Spoilers ahead!

Photo credit: Starz

The episode begins where episode 5 left off. Jamie wakes up from a faint and he is shocked to see Claire is not a dream, but is very real and touchable. Both feel awkward and happy to see each other and the connection is still there…whatever that connection is, exactly.

Claire tells him about Brianna, and Jamie tells her about his son, Willie. It is bittersweet when he looks at the pictures of Brianna. Finally, he gets to see this living, breathing character that we’ve come to know and love, but the moment seems to just remind us that poor Jamie is stuck with the watered-down version. He’s missed twenty years of her life! And he won’t get to see his son much, either.

Claire learns that Jamie is not only a printer, but a smuggler of alcohol, too. Oh, and by the way, he lives in a brothel. Not the place Claire was hoping to spend her first reunion night with her husband, but well, I suppose one can’t be choosy if their husband thought he was doomed for bachelor life to the end of his days.

Claire meets some of his new friends, and reunites with Fergus, which was a treat. Everyone is all shocked to see her, (she is supposed to be dead after all,) but she makes up a story in which she thought Jamie was dead, so she escaped to the Colonies.

Jamie seems confused as to why Claire came back, and she seems almost crushed that she has to explain it to him. I mean, she still loves him, but neither one of them come out and say it. She thought he was dead, and he had convinced himself that he had lost her forever. Seeing each other in the flesh, seems to remind them of what they have lost between them, and what they could gain by coming back together again.

The sex scene was steamy; both need and passion and awkwardness all wrapped into one, but I felt jipped they glossed over the catch-up details with a voice-over narrative from Claire while they ate. In a nut-shell, “they got to know each-other again,” before getting down to some steamy reunion sex. I can’t believe I’m saying it, but we needed more conversation, and less sex here.

The episode ends with Claire getting attacked by a stranger who is looking for Jamie. Gee, that sounds familiar. Really. She gets attacked so soon?

Well, What Worked?

  • The details that reminded us that time has passed: Jamie’s glasses, Claire’s mentioning of her gray hairs.
  • The conversation about Brianna.
  • The meetings between Mr. Willowby, Fergus, and Jenny and Ian’s kid.
  • And the steamy scene between Claire and Jamie. Any scene where you get to see Sam Heughan’s butt is a win.

But What Didn’t Work?

  • Glossing over the dinner they had together where they catch up on each other’s lives, shut the audience out of the connection they may or may not have rekindled. Clearly it’s there, but…it felt like we missed something.
  • Do people really take that long undressing each other? Like ever? Even strangers? This seemed more for the audience’s benefit, than their own.
  • Jamie’s elusiveness about what he currently does for a living is a bit annoying, and almost seems like a step down for Claire. She’s grown up a successful career woman, but now she’s back to just being a wife to a husband who lives in a brothel, and now has to worry about getting raped or attacked by every other man she meets.

Remind me again why going back in 18th century Scotland sounded like a good idea? Oh, Jamie, right. True love across the ages, and all that. I mean, at least in the end, it’ll be all worth it? We hope?  I guess we will have to keep watching to find out!

What did you guys think?

Poem: Morning, Love

Nothing more sexy 

than an early morning

roll over, sleepy smile

“Morning,  babe”

One semi -foggy look

bare chested and rough hair

beard thick and hand-touchable 

God, I love the deep brown

eyes that crinkle and beckon

smooth skin and warmth 

so luxurious and sink into

until there’s nothing more natural 

than saying, “Good morning”

to the one you love

The Princess Bride, Ginger ale and chicken and stars soup

My last post was too long ago! I was house sitting for my mother last weekend and between working and errands, I think I’ve tired myself out. And although I slept nearly twelve hours last night – I know twelve! (I could probably sleep forever if my boyfriend would let me,) I have a terrible sinus headache today and I’m feeling just plain lousy.

Feeling “under the weather” made me think of all the things I used to do when I was sick and the foods that I would like to eat when I was a kid. (Something that hasn’t really changed now that I am twenty-six).

princess bride 2First things first: Choice of entertainment – The Princess Bride.

It was a movie that I always used to watch when I was sick and I still do. I’d alternate between the princess bride and the Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. The music that plays during the shire scenes in the beginning is so relaxing and calming for me. As for The Princess Bride, well that’s a given. It has everything for someone who just wants a good story before bedtime: romance, adventure, fantasy, humor, sword fighting and great characters.

Drink of choice: Ginger Ale.

Whether I’m suffering from the stomach bug, or a terrible head cold, ginger ale is calming on the stomach and refreshing. When you’re told to drink lots of liquids to feel better, why not have it taste good?

Food of choice: Chicken and Stars soup.

You know the Campbell’s chicken and stars condensed soup that the Progresso commercials say are not adult food? Yeah, that’s the one! haha 😉  But there’s nothing like some good saltines and butter and this hot soup when your head is pounding or you’re just ready to go to sleep.

Well, now that I’ve made myself all nostalgic and wishing Mom was here to sooth all ails, I’ve got a question for you all.

What do you like to watch/eat/drink when you are sick?

It’s all about comfort here, people. And these are definitely my comforts when I am ill. Hope everyone is having a great week so far.

Happy Writing!

8 TV Shows to love and find inspiration from

I get a lot of my inspiration from great TV shows, and I think people sometimes forget that TV Shows are only as good as the writers behind them. It has to have all the pieces in the formula to make it complete: great characters, an interesting and believable world and a great story.

I get inspired by these great stories and characters and love them sometimes just as much as my favorite books. So I thought I’d share some of my favorites of the past several years and why I think they deserve a good watch.

(It all depends on what you are into, too.) Me, I love science fiction/fantasy and alternate realities, but mostly I love great characters and these shows have all that and more:

8. Once Upon a Time Once-Upon-a-Time-Poster

From the brilliant creators of LOST, the first few seasons follow Emma and the other characters of Storybrooke, Maine in a world where fairy tale creatures don’t know who they truly are. The show presses you to believe in them as you follow these troubled characters and hope that they’ll be able to find true happiness. There’s true love between Snow White and Prince Charming, and despite the clichés, there happens to be something different and fresh about each character you see here, and you will see all sorts of fairy tale characters from multiple worlds.

7. Chuck1024x768chuck_sarah1

One of my favorites, but clearly not up to par as a show like Game of Thrones. Chuck is about “Chuck,” a man who works at a Buy More (think Best Buy) whose life changes when he has a super computer downloaded into his head. Mostly I love this show because of Chuck played by Zachary Levi. Others might know him as the voice of Flynn on Disney’s Tangled. He’s that awkward, yet handsome nerd that everyone has in their lives and knows and loves. He’s relate-able, there’s action, there’s chemistry, and instead of becoming repetitive, the show and the characters continue to grow throughout the seasons.

6. BonesBones_(1)Bones is about forensic anthropologist, Dr. Temperance Brennan, and how her partnership with the FBI helps them solve murders. I love the chemistry between Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and FBI agent, Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz). It is a relationship that definitely has more depth to it than just physical chemistry. You begin to understand that at the end of the day, these two are best friends, and can overcome any odds together. Plus, there’s a great cast and a humor that evens out the gruesome deaths and murders that the crew solves on each episode. Without the chemistry between all the characters, this show would have died a quick death a long time ago.

5. Downton Abbey

DowntonAbbey1A period drama that focuses on the lives of the people who live and work in a large house, “Downton Abbey” that functions in the early 1900s and into the 1920s. Each character faces trials and tribulations, and the characters downstairs, (the kitchen, maids, footmen, etc.) are just as important as the lords and ladies of the manor in all their finery. Maggie Smith delivers great one liners, and the costumes, colors and dialogue transports you to a world that is very different from the one we live in now. I have a hard time writing after watching this show, merely because the character’s accents and mannerisms get in my head and it is sometimes hard to switch it off! It is a great show if you need to escape for a while.

4. Breaking Bad

Breaking-Bad-Season-51It is fourth, merely because there are other TV shows that I love more, however, this one takes the cake when it comes to great writing. The show is about high school chemistry teacher, Walter White (Bryan Cranston), who is diagnosed with lung cancer. He decides to make and sell crystal meth to leave a legacy for his family.  I love the bro-mance between Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston’s characters, and each season amps up the suspense as you’re taken along with Walter White on his journey of self discovery. It challenges the idea of right and wrong and each episode feels like a movie – there’s a lot of cinematic moments, great landscapes; Vince Gilligan is a pro when it comes to the awkward conversation.

3. Game of Thrones

Game_of_thrones_castGeorge R.R. Martin’s books come to life on the screen, the phrase “Winter is coming,” should be heard throughout the realm – this show airs on HBO on Sunday nights, although now we have to wait a whole year for the new season! The show follows several characters, (more than several actually) as they make their way through the seven kingdoms; some with desires for the throne, some with dragons, some with destinations of their own. There’s gruesome deaths, sex, love, fights, dragons, and epic fantasy. If you love all that…then this show is for you. The show doesn’t skimp on the special effects either…it is HBO after-all. Not for the faint of heart, but that’s what makes it so great.

2. LOST

lost-headerAnd yes, I wrote it in great big capital letters, like it appeared on the show. (Writing it in lowercase just seems an insult to the show really.) LOST follows the lives of several survivors of a plane crash on an island somewhere in the south pacific. Unbeknownst to them, there is a greater purpose at work here as we learn how these characters lives are interconnected. There are so many themes in here for the starving English major: Death/Life, Science/Religion, Heaven/Hell, Right/Wrong, Retribution/Rebirth; it is a conspiracy theorist’s paradise and the skies the limit on what may or may not happen here. I fell in love with this show, and it is definitely worth it to see great actors, Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, and of course Josh Holloway’s dimples.

1. Firefly

FireflyI don’t know if you have heard the story: Firefly, the almost was. It aired for 14 episodes, when producers cancelled the show, not realizing (apparently) that it was starting to grow a fan-base; a fan-base so large that they were able to make a movie to conclude the show! I don’t know if there is a producer somewhere kicking himself for the mistake (there should be!) but had this continued on for five or more seasons it would have been a huge hit. Like every Firefly fan, it bugs me to no end that there weren’t more episodes to this show…ANYWAY…

Firefly follows Captain Malcolm Reynolds and his crew on Serenity as they ‘keep on flying,’ in the black; taking jobs when they can, either legal or illegally all while trying to exist under the empire of the Alliance, which tries its best to make the little man feel very small and insignificant. It touches on the idea of freedom and what it truly means; as well as friendship, loyalty and love. But mostly what draws you in is the great characters – a testament to Joss Whedon’s writing skills, of course. Viewers are usually hooked after the first episode. (I know I was!)

Well, that’s that! If you have other great TV shows that deserve a good watch, let me know! I’ve also recently started watching Orange is the New Black – and that one has got me hooked as well!

Happy Writing people!

 

 

 

 

Dawn’s Rising – December Update

I took a few candle light pictures when we had the power out back when hurricane sandy blew through. I guess is how they used to do it, huh. I guess all that is missing is a fountain pen.

I took a few candlelight pictures when we had the power out back when hurricane sandy blew through. I guess this is how they used to do it, huh? All that is missing is a fountain pen.

When I launched this blog at the end of the summer, I had a few ideas in mind:

I was unemployed, I had nothing better to do and I needed to find a strong writing community. I wanted to finish my first “crappy” novel and I wanted to have fun doing it. And I wanted to find other TV lovers out there who felt just as passionate about imaginary characters that I do.

***I found that writing community and have been encouraged by the go-get-’em attitudes that other struggling artists like myself have out there. And I’ve been able to keep up with my favorite TV show – a happy shout out to all my fellow Once Upon a Time fans out there!

But where does this leave me on the progress of my “crappy” novel?

Me being silly!

Me being silly!

I got a new job, (recently) full-time, with mediocre pay, that is more or less at a call center, where I take chats and try to sell things to people online for a company. While the job is easy and the people are friendly, it is definitely something I don’t see myself doing for a long period of time; and while I am struggling with the fact that I am so bored already with this job, it has, inadvertently, put me back on track with the writing of my novel…

Awhile ago, I even created a lovely banner up above^ to help motivate myself and set a deadline, but well, life kicked in; I had to start this new job to pay the bills, and boys distracted me again. (Guys really are a kryptonite when it comes to my writing, gah!) And…I only got about 1/4 of my crappy novel written.

But, never fear! I am back to writing it again. I don’t have a dead-line as of yet. I think the important thing is to push myself to write, even if it is just for my own pure entertainment. And on that note, I wanted to give you guys a preview, even though it is probably too early for a preview, but I wanted to prove that my novel-in-progress Dawn’s Rising does exist and I intend to finish it!

excerpt from Dawn’s Rising – “The Hub”dawns rising cover page

          “The Hub” turned out to be a restaurant. A bar and grill in the middle of nowhere, on a flat, dry rock where everything looked the color gray, even the low building they were walking towards was an ash grey color with a white-capped roof. There was a blue neon sign that said “The Hub,” in cursive lettering, hanging crooked on a single, dark door. It flickered on and off in the darkness, although the stars above them were casting their own light. Angel had never seen so many stars in her lifetime and the sky felt closer to her than she had ever felt it before. She felt like she could suffocate in it, breath in its purple blueness and cough out a super nova.

            Except for the building and a few cacti next to and behind it, The Hub was the only thing…anywhere. That and a gray-purple dirt, that stretched on for miles and miles and what might have been the ridge of low, hard purple mountains in the distance. 

            “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” said Clint, next to her. He must have seen her awe-eyed expression as she walked in the dry, cracked dirt next to him. The boy with the dreads, who had introduced himself as Ian was walking just ahead of them, and Angel could see the faint outline of Neil and Chase several feet in front of him.

            “Where are we?” she breathed.

            She watched Clint’s clean, handsome face as he appeared to think for a bit. He was short and broad-shouldered. “Center of the Universe probably…half-way between this and that,” he said.

            “Were not on earth anymore?”

            “No,” he laughed. “But don’t worry…you’ll be alright.”

            She listened to the sound of their feet kicking up dust in the darkness. She was still in a dream. She must be. “Why are we here?”

            “Boss likes this place because of the people he can find here. It’s…like an information hotspot.”

            “The Hub,” said Angel. “Like the center of Universe?”

            “Something like that,” he said.

            “So…we’re on another planet?”

            “Not exactly. More like a gray rock floating in the middle of nowhere…like a Meteor. At least…that’s what Neil told me one time,” he said.

            “It’s…nice,” she said, because she couldn’t think of anything else to say. Her heart was pounding. How could they breathe? She was trying to understand. “Who are we looking for tonight?” she said, faintly.

            Clint shrugged his wide shoulders. “Dunno. Anyone he can find I would guess.”

            “A demon,” said Niel loudly right in front of them, the small gold ring in his ear glinting in the darkness. Angel and Clint both flinched, slightly. “We’re looking for a demon.” They were so busy talking, that they didn’t realize they were right in front of the building and the three other guys were standing there, waiting.

            “But don’t worry, we won’t let him get you,” said Niel. Chase just winked down at her, laughter crinkling at the corner of his eyes.

Well, what’d ya think? Thoughts below if you got ’em! 😉

Dawn’s Rising – Angel, My Angel

Sometimes you’ll stare at your word processor all day and only a few worthy sentences will come out. Sometimes it’s those sentences that surprise you the most…

In Dawn’s Rising, one of my characters, “Chase” plays guitar. I have a scene where my main protagonist “Angel” is sleeping on the couch and Chase is perched on the end of the couch playing a song on his guitar to her. They don’t know each other very well at this point, but it doesn’t mean the resulting song doesn’t have meaning:

            Angel like a gem

            that glitters when she speaks

            angel, my angel

            stronger than she thinks

            don’t you know you’re angled?

            multifaceted blue

            angel, my angel

            I love you…

I have never written songs before and wish I had the talent to find the music that belongs to these words I wrote last night, but I hear them in my head, and that’s good enough for me.

It’s a slow song, like a lullaby that has a few verses to it and this is just the first one, or the only one that’s he’s written so far. He has a deep voice, but not too deep, with bit of husk to it. The result is a voice that is sexy, rough and smooth at the same time…like the sound of someone’s voice when they first wake up in the morning.

This is a perfect description for Chase, who’s normally put together, but still a bit rough around the edges.  He would not have the perfect tenor’s voice. His voice would be more like the earth: rich, and dark and deep; full of mystery and longing. Full of a thunderstorm, the lightning that crackles just beneath the surface.

I love the poetry behind it, though. Even songs, no, especially songs should taste good on the tongue, too.

Dawn’s Rising – Meet Chase Holden

My craptastic cover for Dawn’s Rising. All I can say is: Isn’t Photoshop just awesome?

Well, worked on Dawn’s Rising a little bit last night and just wanted to write a quick post to say that it still amazes me sometimes the power that some characters can have over the writer.

I’d been having trouble working on the story lately, and then I tweaked a few things and viola! My characters come alive with attitudes and minds of their own.

Sometimes it’s as simple as a name. This novel is teaching me a lot about the importance of names and how the name should match the character in all ways!

I used to firmly believe that it was the name that made the character, and if the name isn’t right, well, that’s that. How foolish I’ve  been!

While the name definitely does have to be right, if you are set on a name, you have to match that character to the vision you have. For me, whenever I let go of my original plans and let the characters form themselves, (go by instinct), I seem to have a better story and more rounded characters.

They show me where they want to go, who they want to be with…etc. I’d been trying so hard to stuff a character in a name, only realizing last night, that the reason the name didn’t fit was because I had created the wrong character. I gave him a different personality, a different body type, a different attitude and then he’s there. He’s real, he’s handsome, he’s stubborn, he’s thoughtful.

So meet…Chase Holden: He’s tall, about six feet. With a musician’s type body, long and lithe, with broad shoulders and strong arms. He’s got tan skin and short, dirty-blond colored hair, with green eyes. (He uses these eyes to his advantage…the clever bastard!) He can be ass sometimes certainly; he’s got his own form of mood swings. Right now, I have him wearing blue jeans and a long-sleeved blue, flannel shirt. On the outside, he lives simple…but don’t let that fool ya, this one is complicated. He does play guitar! He’s got a secret. And only Niel knows it. 

Hmm. What can it be? 😉 Time to focus on writing…Hope everyone has a fantastic day!

Self Publishing — Great Writing or No?

I was doing some reading today on Smashwords.com and was taken to this page: http://blog.smashwords.com/

It is Smashword’s blog, where there is an interview with a self published or “Indie” writer, Rachel Higginson. (For those of you wondering what Smashwords is, it is a company that helps you create your own eBook. Out of all the eBook publishers out there, they seem to make it the simplest and the cheapest to publish to Kindle and all the other Electronic stores and I have chosen them to publish my own eBook.)

Rachel expresses in the interview, how she had a dream of being published since college, but all of the queries that she sent out to publishers kept getting rejected.

Now, she is a self-published writer and making a living at it! The article felt inspiring to me, who has the very same aspirations…to see my work in print and to make money from it someday.

Nasty spider who built its web in the corner of my house. Sometimes the art of writing is like a great web–there are so many different strands that make up the greatness of the whole, that sometimes one weakness can corrupt the overall structure.

I have not read Rachel’s work, so I cannot say anything as to the quality of her writing…but if she is a best seller, it must mean that it can’t be too terrible right?

My biggest fear is this: to present something that I might consider a work of art to the general public and have it be trash. There are many best sellers out there that have been critiqued for that very reason (Stephenie Meyer for example). They write a novel that reaches a large audience of people and while their characterization and their plot line isn’t original, or their writing, something in their story drew people in.

While one can argue that the writing is not great, the writer has presented an idea that is catching. While the plot is mediocre, and the writing cliché, I would like to argue that in some cases, there is a way to write good cliché.

And perhaps this is the case in many self-published novels. While editors are waiting for that next, great, purely, original idea, the readers and general public are saying: No, we like simple and we like fun and no amount of originality can make up for a good, simple and relatable read.

While I want to be a great writer and to be appreciated for the art of my writing, I also want to create a book that is relatable and fun for a wide audience. I think to create something that is relatable and fun to read is also difficult, because it comes down to style. Every writing style is different, just like every writer behind the writing is different.

My question is this: Is there a way to write well, but also make it accessible?

You see books out there classified as “great reads” but they are not best sellers. And while great reads are not always easy reads, they are not always the most interesting either.

Is there a way to write intelligently, but also make it accessible?

I think, that when it comes to a great writer, great writing is all about balance. And every self published author, must find their very own balance. Finding that balance, on the other hand, is a whole different matter…