Sunday, January 27, 2013

Short Post and a Song #38: At least I'm willing to discuss my feelings like an adult. Unlike YOU, Grammar Check.

I have roughly ten to fifteen mini-arguments with Microsoft Grammar Check per day. They don't tend to get much more complex than this:


"Howlin' for You" by The Black Keys

Priest: "I once choked a chupacabra to death with my own bare hands for not saying grace."
Other Dude: "...What?"
Priest: "Don't ask. You'll never know what I'm talking about." 

Sir Dan Ellington is 100% sure that this song goes like this: 

"Banana nut bread, banana nut bread! BANANA NUT BREAD, BANANA NUT BREAD!!!"

Try ever listening to it again without that blaring through your head. It cannot be done. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Short Post and a Song #37: I might be speaking from personal experience.

Dear any budding children's book authors out there: 

If you feel inspired to put a tentacle monster in the story you're working on, just remember how similar the words "tentacle" and "testicle" are. 

Remember and proceed with caution, my friends.


"Fortunate Son" by Creedence Clearwater Revival

You may recognize this tune from, oh, I don't know—EVERY movie involving the Vietnam War since the beginning of film and wars and time. I wish I could say this song served as a soundtrack to my rambunctious adolescent days of riding in the back of pickup trucks and dancing around bonfires. But instead my main familiarity with this song comes from my AP History class in high school. Once we took our final exam we still had a month of school left and spent it listening to 60's protest music in between vehement lectures from my teacher on why JFK assassination was the biggest sack of bullshit on this earth.

The trucks and bonfires would have been awesome, but my APH teacher was pretty cool too.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Short Post and a Song #36: No one sits in the Bartlet's chair but the Bartlet.

Aaron Sorkin wrote the movie The American President in 1995 before he created The West Wing in 1999. In The American President, Martin Sheen plays the Chief of Staff to Michael Douglas’s President Andrew Shepherd.

In The West Wing, conversely, Martin Sheen plays President Josiah Bartlet, deliverer of booming, inspiring speeches, defender of children, and patriot king of men.

The American President is a fine movie and all, but I spent the whole time expecting Martin Sheen to tell Michael Douglas to get the hell out of his chair.


"Hopeless Wanderer" by Mumford and Sons

"Hopeless Wanderer" is a song I heard a few times while writing before I bothered to look up the lyrics or think very hard about what the song meant at all. I would just smile when it popped up on my playlist, happy to hear the song with the awesome banjos again. 

When I finally did look up the lyrics, it made me love the song exponentially more. I know every member of Mumford and Sons can play ten million and twelve instruments, but these dudes are poets are heart, every one of them.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Short Post and a Song #35 (and some additional ramblings): I bet the Breakfast Club went on to become Bender's own little squad of Space Monkeys.

Warning: I'm about to give away the end of the movie Fight Club. If you have not seen or read Fight Club, I recommend that you immediately do both—preferably movie before book. Then I want you to come back and be disappointed that you did all that work for a joke that wasn't even that amusing and was really more about the movie The Breakfast Club anyway. I'll be waiting here patiently.

There's a scene in the movie The Breakfast Club where assistant principal Mr. Vernon asks student Bender to hit him. And it made me think of the scene in Fight Club where Brad Pitt asks Edward Norton to hit him as hard as he can. And then I wondered that if Bender had hit Mr. Vernon as hard as he could, would The Breakfast Club have turned into Fight Club? Both movie titles have the word "Club" in them. Both feature oddball brunettes with too much eyeliner. They're practically the same movie already.

What if Bender and Mr. Vernon were the same person the whole time? 


"The Violet Hour" by The Civil Wars

Here's another Civil Wars song for you because they are my favorites. This one doesn't have any lyrics—just piano, guitar, and violin. There's something haunting and sad in this tune, which suits Moorhouse perfectly. 

I've been working on my WIP a lot. I know I've been saying that for a while now, but it's never stopped being true. "Work" has just often translated to making piles of mediocre drawings of monsters and endless lists rather than writing the actual novel itself. 

The "actually writing the novel" part of the work didn't start in earnest until somewhat recently. Now it's hit me like a train ... which is why I took down the prologue I briefly previewed on this blog. 

When I'm coming up with a new idea, I love to talk about it with whoever will have me. I am deeply indebted to the friends and family who allow me to talk their ears off about the ideas bouncing around in my head in the early days of a story. I figure out my ideas through talking and am very grateful that Steely Dan and others don't mind listening.

Eventually I reach a certain point with a book, though, that I don't want to talk about it anymore. I become satisfied with my plan (or lack thereof, as has been the way of this novel) and suddenly talking about the book goes from a helpful tool to a possible hindrance. There was a time for discussion, for planning, but now is the time for action. You don't map out a plan of attack, charge onto the battlefield, then sit down and start discussing the plan all over again. You face the attack and adapt as well as you can to the unexpected. You have faith in your plan and yourself and focus on getting through to the other side.

Please don't mistake my battle metaphor for an implication that my book isn't going well and has been this great trial. I was just trying to make writing sound more badass than it really is. The book's been going well—I do miss writing more than a handful of lines on the blog every week, though. Blogging activity will continue to be on the lesser side for the next few months, but I'm hoping to sneak attack you with a few legitimate posts in the interim.

P.S. Sorry this is a few days late. The combination of two weeks in Ohio followed immediately by my cousin visiting left me unable to get my shit together until now. I know a fairy dies every time I post a Short Post and a Song on a day that does not begin with the letter "S," and for that I am truly sorry.

P.P.S. Never mind. Apparently I wasn't clear on the rules of what kills fairies and what doesn't. I'm pretty sure we're actually okay on this one.