Monday, February 12, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Stephen King's "It"

As it turns out, It has an unearned reputation. Pennywise the Clown is not the scary part of the book. Maybe he’s scary in the film, I don’t know, but in the book he’s only a symbol for a much bigger evil. It the creature is a glimmer or a spectre—she (yup) can change into whatever form she needs to, and Pennywise is her friendly shape, to lure children to her den. So let’s start there—clowns have been destroyed forever thanks to Stephen King. I’m okay with that because honestly, they weren’t doing themselves any favors before Pennywise. Clowns can rot, but I do want more people to read It.

Pennywise is arguably not even what the book is about. The heart and soul of It is the found family created by the Loser’s Club—a group of exhaustingly brave kids. By the end of their journey together, they’re bonded in more ways than one.

Without spoiling a major emotional event of the book, I will say I read the end of It through uncontrollable tears. Movies and television shows pull at my heart strings pretty easily, but I don’t remember the last time a BOOK had me in tears. Probably The Fault in Our Stars, which was about four or five years ago now, and nowhere near as powerful. 

Spoilers ahead, though it’s not a play-by-play of the book.

Monday, January 29, 2018

A January Playlist

Andrew Keenan Bolger (Newsies, Tuck Everlasting) puts out monthly playlists on Spotify, and I really liked that idea. I decided to try my hand at it, and then write little blog posts explaining my picks on here. So that's what I'm doing. See under the cut for the full list/explanations.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Fixation Friday: The Beat Goes On

It's been a bit of a rough week here. Ups and downs in the weather meant super fun migraines early in the week, followed by a sprinkling of depression. But! A few walks to and from the library, some comic books for review, and a possible trip to Annapolis this weekend have me optimistic. What happened this week? I'm so glad you asked.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Fixation Friday In A Pineapple Under the Sea

A few weeks ago, the soundtrack to The Spongebob Squarepants Musical was released on Spotify. I can't stop listening to it. I've literally looped it like a toddler with a VCR remote (my age is showing and I don't care). I wrote an article for Monkeys Fighting Robots while the show was still in development about how excited I was to see it come to Broadway.

Now, I've had major objections to musicals based on kids shows/movies in the past. I hated Seussical so much that it became a joke among my friends, and my bestie Sara bought me the soundtrack for Christmas. I used it as a coaster for a while. Eventually, I warmed up to it as it was our spring musical that year. How could I resist? The same team created both Seussical and Ragtime--one of the greatest modern musicals in existence--and they didn't phone it in when working on the former.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Fixation Friday

Oh hey wow a week has gone by! Let's talk about this week in the life of a writer.

Writing Like A Girl

This week I wrote one of the longest articles I've ever written, "Nancy Wheeler’s Unpopular Feminism In ‘Stranger Things 2’". By the time it was done is about the length of a 10 page paper using college formatting. I wrote the article originally as a response to another post on the website "Vice".
I remember very distinctly during my interview with Kotaku explaining that I was not a feminist writer.  I didn’t want to consistently answer the question ‘what does it feel like to be a girl in the gaming industry?’ Of course, part of the reason for that reluctance is that it feels horrible.  At the time, I was nervous that I would be pigeonholed into writing from a specific perspective—and not even a perspective that I found particularly important at the time.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Fixation Friday

 Hey look it's Friday here's a list of things I can't stop thinking about.


I love getting mail, especially when that mail is personal and not just a letter telling me I need to update the warranty on the car I don’t own. I found Postcrossing when I was looking for a pen pal/letter writing community, and fell in love immediately. The community sends and receives postcards all around the world. The only thing you pay for is your postcards and postage! You can even put what type of postcards you would like to receive in your profile—for instance I have requested Harry Potter and cat themed postcards, along with some other silly things I would like to see. I love hearing about how other people live their lives, and seeing just how similar we all are regardless of our circumstances.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

NaNoWriMo (where the No means NO)

Welcome to November! This year I'm spending November committing a blasphemous least one that offends my own personal sensibilities. Normally I embark upon National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo, but for the first time in almost a decade I'm not doing the thing. Instead I’m spending the month getting ready for Pitch Week, a competition that will take place in June when I go to Vermont and share the manuscript for The Last Stand along with elements of a developed marketing package with a panel of judges from the Green Writers Press publishing house. Confused? Good. All will be explained in time.
Here's a beginner's FAQ, and then we'll return to the regularly scheduled blog post.

What the heck is The Last Stand
Oh that? It's a novel I've been working on in one form or another since I was about 13.  It's a Western but with magic know what? Spoilers. More on this later.

What the heck is Pitch Week??
Alright, slowball question. Pitch Week is a competition where writers come together in Rochester, VT to share their manuscripts and marketing plans with a panel of judges from a publishing house. This year that publishing house is Green Writers Press, and I have been invited to take part in the competiton based on samples I shared from The Last Stand

So what's your marketing plan?
All in good time, my friend. But in case you want a sneak peek, good news. This is part of it. ;)

Here's an unrelated photo of one of my cats.

Regularly Scheduled Blog Post

Oh hey look at that we've returned to the blog post I originally planned before you started asking all those pesky questions.

Deciding not to take part in NaNoWriMo was actually pretty tough. I have known about this self-led initiative for almost 20 years. In fact, without NaNoWriMo, The Last Stand would probably never have existed at all. I’ve been writing in my free time since I was in middle school and The Last Stand started as a story about my friends and I in the old west. Exactly two things exist from the original draft: the main character's red hair, and her love affair with the piano player at the saloon where she works. The original draft trafficked in played out tropes, stereotypical conversations, and two main characters with the same name. I don’t know what you expected, I wrote it when I was 13.

It wasn’t until college, however, that I started taking the National Novel Writing Month challenge: to write 50,000 words in the span of 30 days. After a couple of failed attempts with novels that went absolutely nowhere, I won for the first time in 2008 while I was studying abroad in Canterbury, England. At that point I had written plenty of other things since what was then called "The Western", including several other exercises in genre.  But I couldn’t get the western out of my head. Every October while I toiled over what project to tackle, "finish the western" inevitably found its way on to my list of ideas. 

Finally, in 2016, I took the plunge to either finish the book or abandon it forever. After several years of completing 50,000 words with ease, I also challenge myself to complete 100,000 instead. I fell shy of the goal, but ended with a draft that felt like a complete story. And so Draft Zero of The Last Stand was born.

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? You may be asking. WHAT'S THE BOOK ABOUT? You're screaming to yourself and your fellow commuters as you read this on a train or something. AND WHAT IN THE FAT HELL IS DRAFT ZERO?

Guess you'll have to wait until the next post to find out more.