Thursday, January 30, 2014

Procrastination is the name of the game

So, originally I was going to cast a few of my favorite books (including Howl's Moving Castle which I have already done elsewhere). But then Cassie got me started on recasting Harry Potter. Since I didn't know about 90% of the actors on her list I decided to make my own, and since I was procrastinating writing a paper, I naturally went way overboard. Keep in mind many of these are "well nobody could really do it, but I could accept _____ trying," cause we all know it will never EVER be the same. Names in parentheses are Cassie's suggestions that I would also find acceptable. Anyway, here it is (in vaguely the same order as Cassie's list):

Moody: Robert Carlyle
Dumbledore: (Michael Caine) John Hurt or Dustin Hoffman
Kingsley: (Samuel L. Jackson) Idris Elba or Orlando Jones
McGonagall: Lindsay Duncan
Hagrid: Lee Arenberg
Bellatrix: Emilia Fox
Lucius: Tom Felton
Umbridge: Kathy Bates
Sirius: Colin O'Donoghue or Aidan Turner
Lupin: (David Tennant) Douglas Henshall
James: (Daniel Radcliffe)
Peter: (Martin Freeman) Elliot Levey
(if you haven't seen the Tennant/Tate version of Much Ado, you really should. Levey plays a diminutive Don John, and does a wonderful job of it!)
Snape: Mark Strong! (or if they take a while to get to it, Ben Barnes)
Young Snape: Asa Butterfield?
Lily: Louise Brealey
Petunia: Carey Mulligan? (I wanted her in somehow, and while I'm not entirely sold on the idea, she can pretty much do no wrong, so I let her have it)
Quirrell: Jonathan Aris (no, seriously, just think about it a minute)
Lockhart: Bradley James, Nathan Fillion or William Moseley
Barty Crouch Sr.: Clark Gregg (amirite?!)
Ludo Bagman: (Nathan Fillion)
Voldemort: Lars Mikkelson (trust me, those of you who watch Sherlock, as soon as you see this Sunday's episode, you'll believe me.)
Arthur: John Finnemore (because he's a hilarious person, though I'm iffy on putting a radio actor into a visual part)? Martin Freeman (because he is my mental image of down-home British man)? Arthur Darvill (because, let's face it, he could do ANYTHING!)
Molly: Karen Gillan (if against Arthur Darvill), Catherine Tate
(just for that one line - you know the one)
Tonks: Eve Myles
Trelawney: Alex Kingston

Other characters
Vernon: James Corden
Peeves: Andrew Scott
Narcissa: Michelle Pfeiffer
Voice of Dobby: John Finnemore (Put him in this role, and I will back him to my dying day)
Fleur: Holliday Grainger
Filch: Jonny Lee Miller
Fudge: Robert DeNiro
Cedric: Robbie Kay
Ollivander: Bernard Cribbins
Grey Lady: Katie McGrath
Alice & Frank Longbottom: Elizabeth Henstridge & Iain de Caestecker
Regulus Black: Colin Morgan
Mrs. Figg: Una Stubbs
Rita Skeeter: Kristin Chenoweth

Other Actors 
Mark Gatiss
Andy Lee Potts
Michael Socha
Emma Rigby
Patrick Stewart
(and a few more I'm forgetting, but I have a meeting in 10 minutes, so I've gotta wrap it up)

And yes, I AM aware that these people will never be the right ages all at the same time. That's what makeup is for, right? :P 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


I don't really have any casting gripes. I mean there's been movies where I'm like "What?!" when I hear the casting news, but I always hold that you have to see the movie first. Like, I really didn't know what to think of Anne Hathaway as Cat Woman, but when I watched the film, I thought she was fantastic. And looking back, I can't really think of any films I wish had been done differently.

I don't even want to point a finger at Micheal Gabon. I love him, frankly, in the third film. And I think a lot of the later gripes with his character comes less from the idea that he was miss-cast, but more from Dumbledore being poorly written in the script. And since Gabon refused to read the books, he didn't have the prior knowledge he needed to be like "You know, I don't think Dumbledore would attack Harry after he put his name in the Goblet of Fire." Maybe that's giving him too much slack. I but I think he was acting as the character as written in the script, so I tend to place the blame there.

What I DO wish that David Yates had directed all 8 films and Micheal Goldenburg had written the screen plays for all 8 films. Can we get hold of a time machine and fix all of that, please?

And I want the remake of Fahrenheit 451. If we could just do that, please. That would be fantastic.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Is It Time for the Harry Potter Reboot Yet?

So, there's this ongoing, constant, never-really-concluded-just-put-on-temporary-hiatus discussion/debate in my household (spanning three households now) about how to remake the Harry Potter movies.

No, sorry, that's not quite right. The discussion is never how. How was pretty universally agreed on from the beginning: HBO miniseries spanning seven seasons. The question is always who.

Some choices are obvious, immediate, and non-negotiable (despite Maggie's best attempts): Patrick Stewart as Mad-Eye Moody, Michael Caine as Dumbledore, and Samuel L. Jackson as Kingsley (Maggie only argues on the first two. No one I've ever met argues with the last). But with many, many others, we go round and round and round.

Here's the list as it stands today. Tomorrow, most of it could change. And don't hold back, girls. I am more than open to suggestions (except that Patrick Stewart is Moody, Michael Caine is Dumbledore, and Samuel L Jackson is Kingsley).

(Note: I'm bad at movie-ing, and at TV-ing, so you may notice that a lot of these names come from a handful of mainstream shows that I happen to have time sometimes to watch. There's a lot of Game of Thrones and BBC on here. Also, we don't limit ourselves to British actors, because where's the fun in that?)

Firstly, the kids. I'm not casting the kids (okay, Maisie Williams as Hermione and Sophie Nelisse as Luna, I'm casting two of the kids). Here's why: As bad as I am at actors, I'm even worse at child actors. The actors who are child actors in my head (we're talking Freddie Highmore, Asa Butterfield, and Thomas Brodie-Sangster) turn out to be, like, 23 when I look them up on IMDB (which sucks a lot, because hello, Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy, Neville Longbottom, done and done. ... Time traveling Harry Potter cast? No, no, no, this is hard enough as it is. Especially since that would just mean Tom Felton and Matt Lewis would keep their roles). Even Maisie Williams and Sophie Nelisse are old for the parts. I'm bad at child actors. They don't stay children long enough! So I will leave the children to be cast from the pool of the up and coming.

The other problem I run into with this is that so many of the adult roles are just so perfectly cast that I can't see anyone else in them ever at all. But for the purposes of this post, I'm pretending I have a gun to my head and have to make new choices. For instance:

McGonagall? Is Maggie Smith. Always and forever, she's not allowed to die, she always always always has to be around to be my McGonagall. But gun to my head? Maggie Smith. Okay, gun to my head and you might actually shoot me? Yeah, Maggie Smith, but Michelle Fairley as a far distant and vastly inferior second choice. You might recognize her as the actress whose talents were totally wasted in 7.1 as Hermione's mother.

Hagrid? Robbie Coltrane, man. But I will also accept James Nesbitt (looking more like Bofur than like himself) or Jonathan Rhys-Davies.

Flitwick (and every other diminuative character)? Warwick Davis (how else will we play the "Hey look, it's Warwick Davis!" game?) But Peter Dinklage will do if absolutely necessary.

Bellatrix? Helena Bonham Carter. Lucius? Jason Isaacs. Umbridge? Joe Walker Imelda Staunton. I haven't had time to ponder alternate actors for those roles yet, but I'm open to suggestions.

As far as the Marauders go, these days, we really like Robert Downey Jr for Sirius and David Tennant as Lupin. I'm in love with the idea of DT playing Lupin, but I will accept arguments for Jude Law, especially played against RDJ. James Potter goes to Daniel Radcliffe (given that he's stated it's the only way he'll come back to do more HP), and Peter? Martin Freeman, because I like the visual of Peter as a small man, playing into the grossly mis-named Napoleon Complex.

Snape? Richard Armitage, but think Guy of Gisbone more than Thorin or John Thornton (North and South? Anyone? Anyone?) Although Tom Hiddlestone made a good showing in the running for a while, as did Ben Cumberbatch. But Ben's got the voice; I'm not sold on the aesthetic. Young Snape goes to Isaac Hempstead Wright.

Lily is, as of yet, uncast, though we are thinking Emily Watson for Petunia (note: that's Emily, not Emma).

Quirrell and Lockhart go to Ben Schnetzer and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, respectively, while Goblet of Fire cameos Barty Crouch Sr and Ludo Bagman go to Mark Gatiss and Nathan Fillion.

And Voldie himself? Well, that's where we've landed with Benedict Cumberbatch for the time being. I'm sold on this aesthetic. Have you seen him as Frankenstein's monster?

Other bit parts we've put actors to include Jason Segall and Alyson Hannigan as Arthur and Molly (yeah, you'll give me a look at first, but think about it. I mean, really think about it for a second. Let it get under your skin. You'll fall in love with it, I promise), Esme Bianco as Rosmerta, Sean Bean as Scrimgeour (he has to play someone who gets killed, and I'm sorry, it can't be Moody. He'd kill as Moody, yes he would. But Patrick Stewart. Non-negotiable), Rose Leslie as Tonks (though Chase is pushing hard for Billie Piper, which I can also see, though he just wants the Doctor Who throwback, but I can't complain, as I do have not one but two Sherlock/Watson teamups potentially happening), and Evanna Lynch as Trelawny.

And this massive list doesn't even begin to include the people I just want to see somewhere in some role that I've yet to land upon: Sally Hawkins, Jennifer Ehle, Felicity Jones, Emilia Clarke, Miranda Otto, Jonny Lee Miller, Hugh Dancy, Karl Urban, Fran Kranz, it just goes on and on. So, please, ladies. If you have suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

But Patrick Stewart is Moody, Michael Caine is Dumbledore, and Samuel L Jackson is Kingsley. Just so we're clear.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Casting Cluster-Fucks

Cassie, I love this topic.  It gives us all a chance to rant a bit, and boy, when it comes to this, do I have ranting to do.

Percy Jackson and the Failympians:  One of the main reasons I won't go see the Percy Jackson movies is that the casting just straight-up sucks.  Apart from the fact that the "child" actors are too old (don't even get me started on that), I feel like the adult actors are just kind of...there.  I really feel like they threw these movie together because they knew it would be successful because of the books, not because they wanted to bring the books to life, and it irritates.  Okay, it's true, I don't know who I would put in for the child actors, but I've given a bit of thought to the gods.  For instance, what about Richard Armitage for one of the "big three" (i.e., Zeus, Poseidon, or Hades)?  I can also see Robert Beltran from Star Trek: Voyager in one of those roles, but maybe as Hepheastus instead.  And speaking of Star Trek: Voyager, how about Jeri Ryan as Athena?  Serinda Swan is cast as Aphrodite, and I agree that she should be a goddess in these movies, I just don't think it should be that one.  Maybe later on, if/when they make the Lost Hero movies, she could be Kione?  Or Hecate, the goddess of magic, who we see in House of Hades.  I know that I would never have cast Pierce Brosnan in these movies at all, that's for sure.  Also (and I know you're all going to hate me for this one), I disagree completely with the casting choice for Hermes in Sea of Monsters.  I love Nathan Fillion, but I don't like him for this role.  I think Hermes, being a god known for his ability to fly, should be someone built a little thinner, like Aiden Turner (or Kili from The Hobbit movies).  I dunno...I just can't seem to bring myself to actually see these movies, and it's because of the casting choices.  Oh, and Tyson...I cannot stand what they did with Tyson's casting...

Maleficent:  Here's another one that I don't know if I'll see because of a casting choice.  I dislike Angelina Jolie quite a bit, so when I heard that she was Maleficent, I was unhappy.  Again, if you need a tall and statuesque female, Jeri Ryan could easily be made up to look just as sinister, or Peta Wilson from The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.  I'll probably still go to see the movie, or at least see it when it comes out on DVD, but my expectations are low.

Dumbledore:  Oh, how I can't stand Sir Michael Gambon.  I know Ian McKellen is typecast as Gandalf, so that's not an option, even though I think he would have done really well.  I also like the idea of Gene Kelley, though, who was cast as Grandpa Joe in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  He has the playful nature of Dumbledore, but he knows how to be serious as well.  And he wouldn't have man-handled his own least, I hope not...Honestly, the fact that Sir Michael Gambon played a leading and much-loved role without first reading the books to get a handle on the character is enough for me to miss Richard Harris.

As for Avatar: The Last Airbender...I don't think that movie could have been saved...

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Recasting Game

So,  I recently found out that they're making The Giver into a movie this year, and I am not in any way okay with anything that they're choosing to do with it, and what really gripes my ass most of all out of the myriad of problems this film has going on is the casting.

Jeff Bridges (Jeff. Bridges!) is playing the titular character because he's the one making the movie, so he's allowed to do that, and the kids are being played by actors who rang from 17 to 24, but it's "all right" because they're aging the characters from 12 to 16 so that they can throw in a completely unnecessary illicit love affair between Jonas and Fiona, and I just --

I'm supposed to be posting a topic. Not a rant. *deep breath*

Anyway, the topic is this: What television series/movie/show/what-have-you would you recast given the chance? Could a different cast have saved The Last Airbender? Who should play Dumbledore in the inevitable Harry Potter remake? These are the questions I put to you. I look forward to your answers.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

What the heck am I supposed to do with this?!

Alright ladies, so I have about 8 seconds to talk about the letter 8.

Whoops, I mean number. Can you tell it's the first week of school, plus I've been working extra? *is a zombie*

I was gonna do this whole thing about how I, unlike most people who have 5- or 10-year plans, have an 8-year plan, but I ran out of time, so basically, I am seriously hoping I will be graduated and have my first major career-path job 8 years from now. That's the important stuff. Trust me, you didn't miss much.

I also had this really cute short story planned out in my head that had a lot to do with the letter number 8, but considering I didn't have time to write up a factual post, you can imagine how much time I had for fiction. I'm not telling you what it is though, cause maybe I'll get to use it for another post someday.

8 is actually a number I've seen a lot lately. For example, yesterday I figured out that if I take 3 classes per semester I will take approximately 8 more semesters to graduate. Since I have been taking 4 classes per semester, this is a nice thing to know. On the other hand, starting next year I will also have an assistanceship, so perhaps it will be a good idea to cut back. We shall see.

Also, (I just HAVE to work this in somehow, because BIG NEWS) 8 is twice as many months as I have until May. You know what's happening in May? Katie does, because I *might* have screamed at her over the phone about it for eight minutes or so. It's a super good thing, and I'll give you a hint: it's going to mean I'm much more busy than I thought I would be this semester, but in a good way.

Give up? Okay, I'll tell you. I GOT A PAPER ACCEPTED TO A CONFERENCE! Like a real "big-people's" conference, where real scholars present. In fact, it's kinda the Film Music Conference in the United States. WOOHOO! Where does the busy part come from, you ask? Currently the paper is about twice as long as it should be, and according the comments I got back from my professor, needs a s**t-ton of work to, you know, not suck (wording-wise, mostly. He liked my concepts, so there's that.) Add to this four other courses, all of which will have final projects due sometime around two weeks before this conference, and yeah, I'd say you probably won't hear from me anytime between April and June.

This post has been brought to you by the letter number 8 (seriously, I keep doing that. And I claim to be an academic librarian! SHAME ON ME!!!) Also (quite by accident, I might add) it has 8 paragraphs. Now excuse me while I go see if I can find some sleep somewhere (maybe I left it under the bed...)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Eight Stories Reimagined

Okay, so, I like fairy tales.

I know, I know, I should warn you before I drop a bombshell like that. But it's true. I like fairy tales. I like fairy tales so much that just about 100% of my original writing involves them in some respect.

So, last week in my New Years Goals, I talked about how I want to write more this year, and how I have a bunch of projects that are sitting around waiting to be finished, and yes, the majority of them are fairy tale related. So I thought I'd talk about them, since, lo and behold, there are eight (more or less).

1. Deliverance

Deliverance is a massive, massive, 120,000 word novel I wrote over the course of two years for various Nano-related projects. It is a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. I wanted to write from the view point of one of the classically overlooked number, so Deliverance, my narrator, is princess number eight, and the novel is so long because it tells much more of their story than just the dancing through their shoes bit every night. This is this month's project, because while the novel is finished, it's amazingly not great because I decided to "pants" the novel when I started it -- write without planning and with only the vaguest idea where I was going. Which is why the beginning especially is full of holes and partial plot points that never went anywhere and a noticeable lack of foreshadowing for what ends up happening. So I'm working on draft two, to try and fix a lot of those issues.

2. The Minstrel Queen

This year's Nano project that isn't even close to being finished. It's a novelization of my favorite fairy tale, The Lute Player, and it is kickass and awesome and I really want to finish my version, but gah motivation is a thing that I lack. My novel is the story of a merchant's daughter destined by prophecy to be a great queen, regardless of the fact that that was never a life she wanted. But she meets her prince and falls in love and marries him, but then he finds out about her prophecy and believes that she lied to him. Then he goes off to war and is captured, and she is the only one who knows he's still alive. She disguises herself as a minstrel boy to go free him, but once she does, he can't see through her disguise, so has no idea it's his wife he has to thank. In his mind, she's still an object of hatred, and she can't bring herself to reveal the truth to him because she wants him to recognize her on his own. 

3. "Untitled Beauty and the Beast Story" part 1 and 2

I actually had this written and completed and was super proud of it, and then the flash drive it was on got corrupted and I lost the whole thing (BACK UP ALL YOUR WORK IN MULTIPLE PLACES AND HAVE A HARD COPY). And while I had sent the story to Maggie, I'd sent draft one, which I had rewritten and reworked about six times since draft one was completed. So I've decided to start over from scratch, rather than try and rework that old draft again. Basically, this is the traditional BatB story (not Disney's; the original), but it ends in the middle. It's Beauty (Annabella) writing down the story of what happened to her when she's trapped in the cellar, unable to make it back to the Beast in time to keep her promise. So, if you know the story, you know what will happen. But she herself doesn't, and the short story ends before the happily ever after.

But cool a story as the above is and will be, I do feel the need to resolve it, especially since I did tweak some aspects of the story and don't get around to explaining them. Basically, in this part, Bella's niece, the daughter of the sister who was so horrid to Bella, finds her aunt's journal (part 1) up in the attic of her home and becomes obsessed with finding the castle in the woods and discovering how hr aunt's story ended. Again, had this all finish, and lost it, but at least with this one, I was never fully satisfied with the ending.

4. "Just Another Vegetable: A Modern Rapunzel"

When I did my fairy tale review project last year, I discovered that no one is modernizing Rapunzel. So I decided to. The short story I posted earlier on this blog has a character, Kale, who is briefly mentioned as a friend of Darcy, the narrator of that tale. Kale, I decided, is my modern-day Rapunzel. Her username on a website dedicated to fairy tales is JustAnotherVegetable, and she is an adopted sixteen-year-old who believes her mother is trying to ruin her life. Except that, rather than make the "witch" the supreme evil of the story, she's just an overprotective mother trying to keep her daughter from going down the wrong paths in life. But the tighter she holds, the more Kale struggles to get free. She sneaks out one night, runs away with her boyfriend, and gets pregnant. I'm splitting the prince into two people, and bringing my Rapunzel back to her mother in the end.

5. "Untitled Princess and the Pea" retelling

Remotely related to Deliverance, this short story is based off a short play a group of students of mine wrote a couple years ago. They did a bunch of little fairy tales and decided to rewrite Princess and the Pea. I'm taking a lot of their ideas and working them into this story (with permission). Queen Remembrance (one of the sisters from Deliverance), has a son named Earnest, and she wants to find him a girl who can serve beside him and help him be a better king, so she devises a series of contests to help find the perfect adviser. But she twists the contest and tells people that it's to find a true princess, sensitive, generous, and obedient, to win the prince's hand in marriage. This is to weed out the obvious gold diggers. Verity, a young farm girl who is friends with the prince without knowing it, hates this contest, and when she gets roped into participating anyway, she's determined to use her time with the queen to speak out for the good of the kingdom.

6. "Untitled Squire's Bride" retelling

God, this one's been sitting on my hard drive for forever, 1500 words of a beginning that I've never given a chance to go anywhere. Really, I just want to mainstream the story because I love it and hardly anyone knows it. I'm focusing on the servant character, I think. I don't know. This one is still just a collection of half-formed ideas.

7. "Untitled Snow Queen" novella.

So this is one that's been bouncing around in my head for a long time. It's another modernization, again born out of my fairy tale review project and wishing that more people who adapt it would veer away from the romance between Gerda and Kai. I've made them cousins. Kyle is a wild kid who is always getting into trouble, so when he disappears and they find his motorcycle in the river, everyone assumes he died, and what's more, "always knew he was coming to this." The only person who doesn't believe he's dead is Grace Anne, his shy, quiet, insecure cousin. She knows something's wrong, and the more she studies the river, the surer she becomes. She figures out that there's some kind of magic tied to the bridge, so she goes to jump, but a boy from her school sees her, thinks she's trying to commit suicide, and jumps after her to save her. So she ends up having to take him along on the journey as well. I'm actually pretty excited to get started on this one, since it's been adapted poorly a number of times.

8. Reimagined: Fairy Tales for Our Time

Eventually, I want to have enough of these short stories to put together into an anthology. So I've got the six listed above, and there are two I've already finished: "How a Knight in Dented Armor Saved a Disappearing Maiden," which I posted part of earlier this year, and the practically required Cinderella story, "How the Ash Girl Found Her Prince," a story where everything about the Cinderella Story goes off without a hitch until the prince comes and proposes and Cinderella (Ash Ann) decides she'd rather marry the cobbler who made her shoes, much to the chagrin of her Fairy Godmother. :)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Creature Feature!

As a couple of you may know, I have an idea knocking around in my head, one that involves characters loosely based on us.  I was having a bit of a conflict in my head about it because I wasn't sure which direction I wanted to take - whether I wanted to do something semi-autobiographical or whether I wanted to launch the characters into a world of fantasy, mystery, adventure, and mishap.  Now, I'm not saying that our lives are boring (far from it), but let's face it, the completely impossible is more interesting to read and write, so I decided that if I did ever manage to flush this out, that is the direction I would take.  The characters befriend each other in college, and their special abilities are spotted by a mutual professor, who then becomes their guardian and / or guide.  They then travel across the U.S. or even throughout the immediate area to investigate and / or stop strange creatures and happenings.

Part of my research of these creatures is watching a show called Monsters and Mysteries in America.  I listen to origin stories, behavior, and physical descriptions, and take notes.  Since some of the data is a little unorganized and inconsistent, the details for the stories are still a little fuzzy.

So, what I am doing with the number 8 is listing eight of the creatures / beings that I would like to use during this series of stories, should I ever decide to fully write this.

Bigfoot.  This is probably the most frequently seen and most widely rumored creature in the United States, so it would be a little dumb for me to ignore them.  We all know the physical description - half human, half ape, with bulky, hairy bodies and large foreheads.  Sometimes they're aggressive towards humans.  Other times they're more benevolent and stay away from humankind.  Tangential to the Bigfoot or Sasquatch is the Yeti or Abominable Snowman, which is either going to be a separate species altogether or a Sasquatch that has aged (causing its fur to whiten) and is retiring to the snow-capped mountains to live out the rest of their days in absolute solitude.

Pukwudgie.  A legend in and near the swamps of eastern Massachusetts, the Pukwudgie behaves the same way as the Hinkypunk of Harry Potter lore.  I don't know yet whether they'll carry a lantern, but the concept is the same.  They try to lure travelers off their path, and only when the traveler is led astray, they are able to snap them up.  People in the swampy Massachusetts area say that the Pukwudgie are under a curse which disables them from attacking their prey directly, so they've learned to entice them instead.  I don't know whether they will change their shape or not to become something more alluring (i.e., a helpless kitten, a child in distress, a hot guy,...) or whether they will do something like emit a fog that will put the victim under a spell, but they will have some sort of enticing behavior.

Vampire.  (Now, while I maintain that the characters I have in mind are only loosely based on us, some of the aspects stay the same.  Cassie, don't worry, if a vampire is used, your character will adamantly refuse to accompany the group to hunt it down.)  Apparently, New Orleans has a pretty big vampire problem, so I'm going to use them.  Few people realize this, but the vampire bat is actually named after the creature, not the other way around, so I think I want to take these creatures back to their original abilities and origins.  Bats are not involved.  Vampires don't turn into them to fly.  They can fly on their own because they're freaky and supernatural.  Moreover, there are going to likely be two types of vampires.  The first are the "Western Vampires," which feed on blood to survive.  The second are the "Eastern Vampires" or the "Asian Vampires," which feed instead on energy or life force to survive.  I think what might be cool too is to have victims of the Asian Vamps become zombies.

The Wallows.  These are creatures of my own design.  A Wallows is a creature made out of emotion, and they need to feed on said emotion to survive.  They latch onto humans who they sense are suffering from their respective emotional state and follow them around, exasperating the human's condition and feeding off that emotion until it becomes too much and the human goes mad or dies.  There are different types, and each one looks a little different depending on which emotion they represent.  Irewallows, for instance, represent anger and resentment.  Idlewallows represent sloth and laziness.  Miseriwallows represent sadness, grief, and guilt.  Ragewallows represent rage and acute anger (though I'm considering calling them Wrathwallows instead).

The Wolfman.  Like Sasquatch and the Vampire, Wolfmen (or werewolves) are pretty well-known.  Half human, half wolf creatures that do not have a human's reasoning powers.  They walk upright, but can also run on four limbs.  Usually they eat roadkill or livestock, but if they can get their hands on a human being, they will.  However, I don't know whether a bite from a Wolfman will turn the victim into one as well because of the following creature.

Dogman.  Unlike a Wolfman, a Dogman is much shorter, and has a fully-formed canine head with a human torso and arms.  There is also a spiritual aspect to them, whereas the Werewolf is more of a physical creature.  What I'm thinking is that instead of werewolves having the ability to turn humans into werewolves with a bite, it's the Dogmen that do it.  Because they are so like dogs, when they bite a human, a human becomes a little of both and take on a slightly spiritual aspect.  Maybe...I'm still working on it...

Shadow People.  In the town of Maryville, KY, some of the locals claim that they are being stalked by tall, two-dimensional black shadows.  Even when a room has all its lights off, they can still be seen against the dark because of how pitch-black they are.  Their eyes glow red, they are inhumanly tall and thin, and they seem to haunt their victims over an extended period of time.  One of the witnesses on the show said that he has seen the same one (one with a cowboy hat) since he was a small child.  It even followed him to college!  While I think playing off of this idea is pretty cool, the Shadow People don't seem to be doing anything harmful.  They just kind of haunt and scare people.  Honestly, though, for those of you who watch Doctor Who, all I could think of when I saw this episode was, "OMG THE VASHDA NARADA ARE REAL!!"

Rougarou / Leugarou.  Yet again, we have the Louisiana Bayou.  Apparently Louisiana is a kind of hot bed for paranormal activity and straight-up weird shit.  The Leugarou (which the locals pronounce as Rougarou) is almost a werewolf, but there are varying descriptions of what they look like.  Some say that they are cursed by some voodoo witch or shaman to endure a curse for 101 days, transforming into a half human, half beast every night.  Others claim that they are transformed by the full moon, or that they can even transform at will.  Some say there is a set physical appearance, while others claim that a Rougarou can take any form it wants, like a shapeshifter.  What is consistent, however, is that a Rougarou can be anyone - your friend, your neighbor, your family - and you wouldn't know until that person transforms and kills you.  Another rumor is that the only way to lift the curse off of a Rougarou is to shed the Rougarou's blood.  Not all of it has to be shed, but if a Rougarou is cut, they are cured.

So there you have it.  Eight freaky creatures for my characters to fight, figure out, heal, or help.  Details are still fuzzy, of course, and I'm still brainstorming, but I do intend to keep watching Monsters and Mysteries in America for more ideas.

Also, if you guys have any suggestions for creatures, let me know!  It would be cool to use those!

Friday, January 10, 2014


The number 8.

Do with this what you will. That is all.


2014 Goals

You know, one of these days I'm going to learn that I really should figure out what I want to post before assigning topics. In my defense, however, my REAL winter break finally started yesterday when I finished taking the entrance exam I failed the first time, so I gave myself the evening off to knit and watch TV. That's right, I get FIVE WHOLE DAYS where I don't have to do anything for school for break. And I'm still going to work for three of those, to make up for being home for two weeks. Ain't grad school great?

As I mentioned in my topic post, I'm not a huge fan of the term "resolution." It has come to mean something that we try for the first few weeks of January and then inevitably fail at and give up on (ironic, considering the root word of "resolution" is inherently stronger than "goal"). So, instead I usually write some goals, or "I will" statements. It seems to work for me!

1: I will not let school work overwhelm me this semester. Last semester I spent far too much time in a terrible mood because I was terrified of not getting my work done or doing it well enough. I did almost nothing besides schoolwork, sleep, and grocery shopping, and it kind of turned my apartment into the "scary study/sleep place" instead of a home. I've been working this past week on reclaiming it (amazing what you can do with a few snow days!) - I've rearranged and I now have an office I can close off so the work is shut away, and created a "book nook" where the desk used to be for reading and crafting. Already I'm loving it so much more!

2: Relatedly, I will eat better. I bought way too much fast food and junk last semester, and I never exercised. Net result? I regained all that weight I lost a few years ago. This semester I will allow myself time to cook, shop correctly, and exercise (or more often, walk between home and school instead of taking the bus), and as a result I won't be able to help losing weight (in theory anyway).

3: I will keep track of my unscheduled time better, and therefore keep up better with things like this blog, my book blog, and catch up calls with friends. I will also make an effort to give myself time to do some recreational reading each week, even if it's only a few minutes here and there.

4: I will apply for internships. I was gonna say "I will get an internship" but let's face it, they're pretty competitive, and there's no guarantee I would actually get one no matter how many apps I put in. I CAN however guarantee that I'll apply to some!

5: I will focus more on the things that make me happy. I've noticed that being happy is not something that is particularly valued in our society. I mean, everybody will say "I want to be happy" if you ask them, but have you ever noticed how much we put down the people who actually admit to being happy? Think of how most of the rest of the world talks about fans and fandom - it's not very nice, and all the fans are doing is publicly admitting that something makes them happy! It's even worse in academia - admit that you like something, that it makes you happy, and you automatically cannot have anything worth saying about that thing. Being happy apparently precludes objectivity. I am NOT OKAY with that. So, I've started an (anonymous) tumblr where I post daily-ish about things and events that make me happy, mostly to remind myself that being happy is a good thing.

Happy 2014! Good luck to all of us keeping our goals!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Is it my day to post? I don't know even know anymore. It's been a while since I've been on here. I'm so glad I've set it up so I get emails when this blog is updated because it reminds me I'm supposed to be contributing.

New Years resolutions? Let's just call them goals, shall we? I feel like with that term I will feel less guilty if it takes me a little longer to reach it than I hoped. These are in no specific order.

1. Fanfiction. I have an Outlaw Queen (Robin/Regina) saga forming in my head! AHHH! I did not want this to happen! I avoided sagas with my HP fics because I knew they were a lot of work and took forever to complete. And I really didn't want to go there. I still don't! But it is so exciting! And I don't think I can get out of this one.

Also, sidenote, I've noticed that with HP, I mainly wrote about my favorite characters - Remus, Tonks, Snape. But with ONCE, I write mostly about Regina and Archie. I love Archie, so he's the exception. But I'm going to have so much Regina stuff and I don't particularly like or dislike her in any strong sense. But I am very interested in who she could have been, so that's where the fics go. Also, I have a fic planned for the future that is mostly written from Neal's point of view. I don't even like Neal. I think he's a douchebag. But it's written with the idea that he stayed with Emma and they raised Henry together and then went to Storybrooke to break the curse. So, I guess that also kinda falls in line with who Neal could have been.

2. Novel. I want to fix up Merlin and then send it out and see what happens. I'm really struggling with this part where Arthur acts completely out of character and we don't really get a lot of insight into why that happens because the book is written in first person from Merlin's view. So, I'm struggling with making this scene not be so jarring. I don't want it to seem like it just happens because I needed it to, but because Arthur is actually dealing with a lot of crazy stuff Merlin doesn't have insight to. But I'm fighting with it. Once I can get through that, I'm sure the rest of the editing process will flow well. Maybe I should just edit everything and come back.

3. Job. I have a job, as I mentioned, but I'd really like something that pays salary.

4. House stuff. James would really like to get out from under the house that neither of us is particularly happy with. And I agree it's a good move for us to make, but it's going to take a lot of work/time/money to fix things up, and I really thought I'd have a real job before we did this. It's a good thing, needs to happen, but ugh.

5. Wedding stuff. The plan was for us to get married this Oct, which is still the plan. But with stuff and the house and me not having a real job, we are questioning if we should do the wedding in a different, less costly way. And we're not sure what that looks like, and house stuff is going to come first. So, yeah, we'll see.

Monday, January 6, 2014

My Goals Number Seven

 *Scowls* Hey. Blogger. Why you gotta be making me into a liar and a failure seven days into the new year? When I know I'm gonna be super busy on Monday, so I actually write my blog post early on the weekend and schedule it to post automatically on Monday, why would you do a thing like say it's scheduled to post and then change it to a draft when Monday rolls around? Not cool, Blogger. Not cool.

I totally had this finished, saved, and scheduled to post on Saturday. I swear.


Happy Epiphany/12th Day of Christmas!

Yay Resolutions (and not just because I'd already typed and written most of these out for Tumblr)! 

My goals for the coming year are seven-fold:

1. Reading
 As you lovely ladies probably know, I keep track of my reading every year, and I set myself a goal to reach. Last year, my goal was 120 books, which I met, barely. But the sad reality of my life at the moment is that I am no longer working a job/jobs where I am paid to read a crap ton of books, like I was as a librarian and teacher of Story Theatre classes. Instead, I am working a job where I’m lucky if I have the energy at the end of the day to pick up my book. So I’m scaling back my goal to 100 books, 50 of which must be books I haven’t read before. This averages out to about two books a week, which is absolutely obtainable for me if I manage my time efficiently (which will be a recurring theme in the goals for the year).

2. Writing
I prove every November that I am fully capable of writing 50,000 words in a month, 10,000 words in a weekend, and, when pushed to the max, 8,000 words in five hours. So there is absolutely no reason beyond poor self-motivation and time management for so many of my story ideas to remain unwritten. Therefore, this year, I will write a story or at least 15,000 words of a story each month. If I meet this for a month in a timely fashion, I should feel free to write two stories. Six of these stories I work on must be original, the other six can be fanfiction. I have a list of short story ideas that is currently nine items long, and I have three unfinished novels on my hard drive, to say nothing of all my fanfiction plot bunnies. I want to significantly reduce that number by the end of the year.

3. Cooking
So, I’m a very timid cook. I have about six recipes that I know I can make, and I just sort of cycle through them and supplement with box meals. I would, however, like to learn to cook more, and more broadly. This includes gaining confidence in cooking meats beyond chicken and ground beef. This folds in with learning to cook healthier, too.

4. Money
I’m getting married in a year and a half. Two months ago, I drained my savings to make my portion of the safety deposit on this townhouse, which was a necessary expense, but it means that I have $2 in my savings account currently. I don’t make a whole lot at the moment, but I need to start managing my finances better and putting money away for my wedding and all its related expenses.

5. Weight
I’m getting married in a year and a half. I would like to be thinner when that happens. I’m not setting a specific goal because I don’t want to fixate on a number, but I do need to develop an exercise schedule and then keep to it. I started doing that in September and did really well until the move, at which point it fell by the wayside, so I'd like to pick it up again. I’m getting married using my grandmother’s wedding ring, and my goal at this point is to lose enough weight so that it fits. Beyond that, I just want to live a little healthier.

6. The Book World
I realized the other day, while visiting the bookstore, that the Caldecott and Newbery and Printz awards are being announced in like a month, and for the first time in two years, I haven’t the slightest idea what books are in the running or considered to be favorites. Since I moved and am no longer working at a library, I’m so out of touch with the publishing world, and that’s really sad to me. I want to get back on top of the literature coming out in children’s and YA genres, in knowing about it, and in having read it.

7. Project Commitment
 So, I'm currently contributing in some way to three blog projects. One, of course, is this blog. The second is a teen lit review blog, and the third is a blog adaptation of Persuasion called Only Annie. The first two, I submit posts and reviews to, the third I serve as a beta reader for, and as you all have noticed recently, I'm really bad about fulfilling my commitments in a timely fashion. I can and do make all the excuses in the world, but the truth is, any and all of these commitments only take 20-45 minutes of my time if I would just sit down and be disciplined about doing them. So I'm going to be better this year.

Basically, what my goals come down to is really the same common theme: I'm 25 years old. I'm officially an adult. I've been reliably told that you never really reach a point where you actually feel like an adult, but I can at least start faking it better! :)

Saturday, January 4, 2014


Happy new year to all!

So, what will I change about myself this year?  I guess there's a lot of answers to that, which I further guess is a good thing, right?  I know not all changes are good, but that is the goal: to better myself  =)

First, I resolve to get a job quickly after earning my paralegal certificate.  I have an internship with the local public defender's office, and in the past, they have created jobs for paralegal interns who they thought have rocked enough to stay.  I would love for that to happen, but should it not, the networking and experience will be invaluable.

Really, the resolution is more about moving out, and I resolve to, at least, start looking for a house or condo to call my own.  This, of course, cannot happen without an income, which cannot happen without a job, hence the previous resolution  =P  It's not that I don't love my mother.  I love her more than anyone in the world.  But it's time to be on my own.  It's time to be a big girl and stop being dependent on Mommy.

Third is working out.  There is a sorely-neglected elliptical machine downstairs in the basement that Mom wants to bring up, and I resolve to start using it.  I also received a Pilates workout tape for Christmas that I can't wait to start using.  I want to make the elliptical and Pilates tape into a regimen, starting out with three times per week and working up to four or five times per week.  I don't want to lose weight.  I just want to feel better about myself.  I feel like I don't have any energy, my appetite is screwy, I have no endurance, I've been feeling a little down in the dumps, and when it comes to heavy lifting, I'm next to useless.  From what I understand, working out can help in all of these areas, and I am greatly looking forward to the effects.  I plan on getting a set of weights and a yoga mat to help enhance the workout even more.  That way I won't feel so useless and pathetic when helping people do things.

There are other things that I want to do this year, but they're not so much resolutions as they are general goals for the next couple of years.  I want to take some sort of martial arts or self-defense class (I believe I mentioned a Jiujitsu academy close by) and to perhaps get my CCW permit and corresponding firearm.  Maybe those things will happen in 2014, but if they don't, that's okay.

I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe new years eve.  Be careful out there, too!  The snow (at least up here) is getting a little insane!


Friday, January 3, 2014

New Years' Resolutions

Hello ladies! Let's kick this new year off right. Tell us about all your New Year's resolutions. Or, if you're like me and dislike the term "resolution" or the idea of them being specifically "New Year's," share a few goals you have for 2014.

Also, just a reminder that I'll be putting together the final version of the questionnaire in about a week and a half. Please have a look at the questions I posted on Facebook and let me know if there are any you want added!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


AAAAAAHHHHH. So apparently shooting your gun is how they celebrate new year's in the south. HAPPY 2014!!!