Saturday, July 19, 2008

Broody is Better

He steels his focus on you, flexing every muscle in his perfectly cut jaw line. Someone is up to moral standard breaking, poor oppressing, woman disrespecting - in a word, evil. From the near-tears in his eyes and the hard set of his delicious features, you know that he'll do whatever it takes to protect, love, and fix the problem. He bleeds for the side of right, and, gosh-darn-it, you love him for it.

He is the subject of my. . . interesting mash-up here. He is the Broody Boy - the hero that's not always the lead, but you think he should be. And when he is the lead, "Oh!" what joy. He fills up the movie/show/novel like steaming-hot bath water. Other stories are built around a theme, but when the Broody Boy gets inside of the tale, it just grows.

So you find that characters like Daniel Jackson from Stargate, Doctor Who (I'm partial to #10), Cleric John Preston of Equilibrium, and Star Trek's Mr. Spock not only delight you, but meld you into the story so completely that you can still hear his voice long after you've left the theater or turned off the plasma. He is the light of the good and the courier of the whole point. And Broody Boy is not necessarily the quintessential good guy. Sometimes he's just the bad boy that fell down a rabbit hole into "right land." (ie: Angel and Spike from Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, Jayne from Firefly/Serenity)

If you have yet to enjoy the Broody Boys of entertainment, I do suggest giving them a try. You may have already fallen in love with one, without knowing it. Here's a short list of Broody leading men.

1. Harry Potter. Come on. Sooooo broody.

2. Edward Cullen of Twilight fame. He's a vampire. He can't help it.

3. "Blondie" (Clint Eastwood's character in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly)

4. "Neo" from the Matrix trilogy. Anyone who wears that much black. . .

5. Horatio Cain, CSI: Miami. So the one-liners are cheesy. You can forgive a Broody Boy a fault, can't you?

(Broody Boys mash-up created by me for csibeauty's Why Choose contest on

Whedon Drops the Hammer

. . . like he always does. Your watching along, giggling school girl-like in front of your monitor and wondering if the fun will ever, ever stop. Then "Bang!" it happens - the kitschy superhero comedy you were thrilling to turns into some super serious social commentary. I mean, I hate to ruin the movie (don't worry, it's ruin-proof) in oh so cliche fashion, but....she dies in the end.

What? Wait...Why am I surprised? Isn't this why I watch Joss Whedon merchandise? Why, yes it is! I wasn't really expecting anything less from Dr. H's Blog. So how is he still able to shock me like this?

I suppose he's my kind of creator. Please understand, I hate joining fan clubs. They're usually creepy and smell of sweaty junior highers who haven't bathed since they lined up for the attraction last week. But I can't help it. The more I watch Act III of Dr. Horrible, I get this strung out sensation of intimate deeper meaning, while, at the same time, strongly suspecting that his work has no deeper message than what the characters do right in front of my face. It's almost enough to SQUEE. (I said almost - don't push it.)

If you enjoy good screen candy, this is for you. If you want your fiction to have a message - also for you. If you're more like my favorite line from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and you "don't give an ass rats," you still have a comfy place in Whedondom.

(Note from the author, editor, and post master [because they're all me]: I wrote this at 1 am, so feel free to let me know just how kooky and badly written it really is. Seriously. It'll be a good laugh when I wake up. I kid - I'll make corrections as they're needed. Thanks. *cheesy grin and wink here* )

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Secret Pavarotti Compartment

Watching the second act of Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog, I came to an old conclusion once again. Everyone in Hollywood must have a secret Pavarotti compartment on them. Unlike old Hollywood, where you had to proclaim your ability to sing, dance, and act on your resume, new Hollywood asks that you hide your vocal abilities until some talented and enterprising creator (such as Joss Whedon) asks to borrow them for a project. Judy Garland and Gene Kelly would have been a bundle of surprises in modern Hollywood.

I first saw the SPC principle at work when my college dorm mates forced me to watch Moulin Rouge. I hated it. But I couldn't take my ears of Ewan McGregor. Obi wan can sing? Well? Get out! Then there was the musical Buffy episode. That was a whole new revelation. Joss Whedon writes musicals? Decent musicals? No way! Now there's Dr. H and his fabu Sing-Along, and the strange sensation of Mal Reynolds (yes, I know - his real name is Nathon Fillion) performing his chords out.

So what other performers are hiding gold in the Secret Pavarotti Compartment. What would Stargate SG-1 have been with a musical episode? I would certainly have loved to hear Daniel Jackson angsting in song for all his lost loves, and wouldn't Sam Carter have a perfect swan song in "Why Do All My Love Interests Die?" Of course the coup de gras must be Col. Jack O'Neill singing the jazzy number "Magnets: The Answer is Magnets."

The Rave About Soundwave

I talk about the Decepticon Soundwave's reported appearance in the second Transformers movie on No Hiatus tomorrow. In the article I make some not-so-kind comments about the robot's geeky eighties persona. The monotone voice. The tape cassette altermode. The red, white and blue color scheme. How could I resist? I can't help but wonder What's the Rave About Soundwave?

Soundwave was the intelligence guy on the original cartoons. He ran around seeking information for Megatron to then go and destroy. I suppose that's the ideal job for such a robot. In some comics and toons he was Megatron's right hand bot (instead of StarScream as it was in the movie) and could be even darker than his boss.

Under those descriptions, I think we have a pretty juicy character. I can see why Roberto Orci and crew would want him on board for Revenge of the Fallen. But just in case they haven't already thought of it (don't worry, they have) here are three ways to make Soundwave not a mountain of cheese:

1. Get rid of the monotone. Sorry, but I can't even take those monotone answering machine vocals seriously. Please, give Soundwave a voice!

2. Bring his design into the twenty-first century. That shouldn't be a problem. The production design team for the first movie already did that with Prime, Megatron, and the rest. I can only hope they abandon the "All-American Decepticon" color scheme.

3. Alternate altermodes. Let's face it - half the technology that Soundwave transformed into in the 80's is now totally obsolete. Do they even make those microcassete recorders anymore? Maybe it will be a digital camera or a Black berry. Hmm, I smell product placement.

Unequaled Brain Power

Equilibrium fans welcome use your brain!

I originally looked up the Equlibrium fansite in order to research a story. What I found was an intimate group of e-friends who's IQs easily out-matched mine. Smart fans from around the world had somehow instinctively converged on this one spot, celebrating Kurt Wimmer's slightly-less-than-popular, post-apocalyptic flick.

At first, it was like finding lost relatives. It was amazing to be apart of a group who appreciated good science fiction as much as I did. But then I read more of the forum posts. The majority of the discussions involved the psychology, history, and philosophy of the human race (the cream of Wimmer's themes). There was actually a thread entitled "History and Philosophy." Even the younger users seemed to have the utmost of insight when it came to the human machine and it's portrayal in Equilibrium. My immediate thought: "I'm waaaayyy out of my league."

Can it be true? A fandom that includes no "What's your fav paring!!!!!" thread? No "OMG THE LEADING MAN IS SOOOO HOOOOTTTT!" I'm in shock. I have nothing to loathe on this site. No teenie bopper antics to turn my nose to nor shake my head at! How will I ever survive?

I stayed on and read a bit - participated in a few writing threads - and found a modern day classroom. If you're ever there, may I suggest the writings of user Aedh. He is, after all, the "Resident Evil Genius."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Where Can I Get a Sword?

Did you know that you can watch every episode of Highlander anytime at I just found out this week. Guess what I've been doing ten hours a day. Nerd Alert!

Yep, I've been having the ultimate Highlander marathon with my good friends Duncan MacLeod and gimpy, old Joe Dawson (my fav). Highlander was another one of those uber-hero shows that were so popular in the nineties. There was also The Legendary Journeys of Hercules and Xena: Warrior Princess, both of which were subjects of my girlhood "homework parties" on weeknights. Don't tell Mom, but no homework ever got done during an episode of Hercules, Xena or Highlander.

These were perfect heroes. In the nineties, Mary Sue and Gary Stu reigned triumphantly. The creators of Highlander and the like, managed to build an atmosphere in which the perfect man/woman could exist. These heroes kept going until all others had given up or fallen. They never turned down the wrong path, but for the rare occasions when it was the right thing to do. And most spectacularly, all of their opponents either came over to their side after a heart-felt chat, or died for their misguided ideals. (Which usually turns into a light show on Highlander. Oooo, pretty!)

In the case of Hercules and Xena, we have a viable background in the Mary's and Gary's of Greek Mythology. Have you ever read the Iliad or the Odyssey? There's Odysseus and Achilles just to start! And of course in Highlander you're dealing with immortals that may have lived during those glory days, and therefore pulled that mentality of honor, nobility, and dogged perfection of character into the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Totally realistic? No. Without cheese? Definitely not. I'm saying they have a basis in the literature and culture of old.

So, for the rest of the summer, I plan to watch dazzling sword fights and enjoy the never ending parade of unlikely scenarios and impossible heroes. In my noggin, they are all real. That's the way the world should work.

My Poor, Naked Fingers

That's right. The gloves are off. I'm coming at my writing with the grizzly, Winston Churchill version of criticism. You haven't seen this much self-loathing since (well, pick and episode of Dawson's Creek where Jen did something stupid.)

No, it's nothing new. I've always been my worst critic, which I consider a perfectly healthy attitude, within reason. Unfortunately, I'm looking for Wilde and Poe and only Honesty is necessary, no? When does a role model become an obstacle to fresh creation, and when does that consideration become arrogance? There's a heady ball of wax. An interesting woman once said, "I paint for me. If others don't appreciate it, that's their business, as long as they keep it to themselves." We're related. ;)

Ways to "Winston Churchill" Your Writing:
1. Give it the Grammar Nazi treatment. Run it through every grammar checking software you can find. Have a friend proofread all of your work. Heck, call up your high school English teacher and have them give it a once over. And when they're done, call your college professor. Don't stop until you've beaten every ounce of bad grammar from those naughty written works! (Sorry, I get excited.) Perfection is highly noticeable.

2. Let a pro look at it. I have the blessing of knowing a few professionals who are willing to lend me an eye to improving my work. If you don't have that outlet, try writers' conventions. There's usually a group of professional writers on hand for the specific purpose of helping amateurs improve their craft.

3. Question everything. Go through all of your writing over and over again. Use every thing you know and hunt for the things you don't, then apply that knowledge to every line of prose and poetry. You'll probably find yourself making improvements (however minor) every time. Remember, perfection is highly noticeable.

Do your creations please you? Do they please others? And does that matter? Tell Marphlets all about it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Horrible In A Good Way

If you do nothing else this year (how lazy of you), check out Joss Whedon baby Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. (Please, pardon the review cliche) I fell out of my desk chair snorting at this Sci-Fi esque musical event. I have never been this impressed with Neil Patrick Harris - ever.

Oh so kitschy villain, Dr. Horrible, is horribly attracted to Penny of the laundrymat, but Penny is in love with Captain Hammer, Horrible's nemesis. Throw in Moist as the sidekick who's super power is the ability to make things damp. Fat Monkey, that's good stuff!

This Bad Art You Speak Of

We'll start with my first, called "A Lady and Her Knight." I drew this last year when I hadn't attempted anything close to art since the macaroni necklace I made Mom in Kindergarten.

I drew the horse based on a carousel piece, and modeled the female figure after an illustration for a Fantasy novel. The knight I did with no inspiration whatsoever. Hence, the lack of form.

I wonder what art means to you. Is it your soul purpose in life, or a means to a wealthy end? Some of our greatest works of art come from people looking to make a buck. Then there are those uber-artists who feel the art itself is tainted by the needy spirit of its maker. Perhaps you just picked it up to pass the time - a little Superman sketch here, a little characature doodle there.

Art is yet another way for me to find words for the page. It's very often an extra outlet when I don't have the time to flesh out a story. A sketch takes less time and it helps get the pesky pieces of random plot out of the ponder box.

The Poodle Hair Behind the Pen

I grew up in Texas. Not Hillbilly Texas. Not Adios Texas. No, I grew up in Wear-Your-$500-Pumps-With-Your-Cowboy-Hat-At-The-Opera Texas. That's right, I said Houston. A suburb of Houston, actually. Before that there was a tiny military town and another town that I still can't find on any map.

My school years were full of the uneventful fits in private school that you've seen in bad 80's teen flicks. College was also mundane. . .wait. I think I met my husband there. Yep, that's about it.

So here I am. No, my hair's not naturally curly, and no, I didn't perm it. I slept in curlers like any thoroughly trailer-park cliche.


The Drain Pipe Method

I hate writing. I type and type, ink my pen to death, and I'm still not satisfied. I feel like a drain pipe in Seattle. My creative juices have been dumped into an entire Puget Sound of works, but the rain keeps on a comin'. This means that I've got a whole lot going on at once and have to treat my schedule like a battle plan in order to get it all done, and done well.

I'm listening to Beck's Farewell Ride at the moment. And no, I'm not angsting. I frequently change my playlist to include an increasingly varied pallet of music, in hopes that it will keep my writing fresh. I mean, if I'm going to obsessively pour this out on willing eyes, I might as well try to produce something new.

"So there you have it: a letter opener." - MST3K.
That's why I have a blog, a fan fiction site, and a myspace page. I need to share. I'm currently working on three fanfic serials. The first is a Star Trek piece encompassing each of the five series. The second is the one that flows most easily from my brain - Makers of Roads - a spin-off ish serial about a group of Ancients during the last days of their Milky Way empire. Last but not forgotten is a sequel of Kurt Wimmer's Equilibrium. My apologies to Mr. Wimmer.

I also write poetry (not fanfic poetry) compulsively. I'll post a little bit of that here along with some snippets of my short stories and serials. It is also my pleasure to do a weekly Sci-Fi news blog on NoHiatus (the blog) every Saturday.

Happy R&W