Bohemian Rhapsody

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide no escape from reality.

I do love the song. I wasn’t an enormous fan of the movie–primarily because I wasn’t that interested in the trajectory of the bad so much as I was more interested in Freddie and his life–but it was a perfectly good movie about a rock band.

I did finish reading Steph Cha’s Follow Her Home yesterday and I highly recommend it. The writing is exceptionally done well, and her character, Juniper Song, is terrific. I have some other thoughts about the book in my head, but am going to wait until they fully form before I write about it more. But…while I am sure I would have eventually gotten around to reading Steph–I’ve met her and like her–I am glad that I made a point of moving her up in the TBR pile. As I said when I was talking about the Diversity Project the other day, it’s the unconscious bias against minority writers I am fighting against within my own head and within my own choices, and trying to retrain/rewire my brain to not automatically move toward white writers when selecting the next book to read–even if they are women, who are also historically undermined as ‘not as serious as the men’ by not just the industry but by society itself. (I am really itching to start reading Alison Gaylin’s Never Look Back.)

As I’ve mentioned, my reading has always skewed more toward women than men; as a child, I preferred Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden to the Hardy  Boys (although the Three Investigators are my absolute favorite kids’ series, and they were boys), to the point where I was forbidden to read books either by women or about women for a period of time–which quite naturally made me want to read them even more.

The absolute best way to get me to do something is to either forbid me from doing it, or telling me that I can’t do it. Forbidding me makes me want it all the more, and telling me I can’t do something makes me want to prove you wrong.

I am ridiculously excited that Game of Thrones returns tonight for its final season. I am going to be terribly sorry when the show is over; I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the ride from the time Paul and I got the DVD’s from Netflix and starting binge-watching; loved it so much we paid for the HBO app subscription so we could watch it as it aired, once we were caught up. I do want to finish reading the books–I’ve only finished A Game of Thrones–and maybe if I get a long vacation on a beach somewhere, I can finish the entire series that has been published thus far. I really loved the book, and suspect I’ll feel the same way about the rest of the series. Yesterday I spent some time reacquainting myself with some of my favorite moments from the series over the years, thanks to said HBO app–the Battle of the Loot Train, the end of Ramsey Bolton, the trial of Littlefinger, the big reveal about Jon Snow’s parents, the Battle of Meereen, Daenarys conquering the Dothraki by killing all the Khals, Cersei’s revenge on the Sept–and was again, as always, blown away by the sheer scope and scale of the show, and how fucking fantastic it is from top to bottom. Game of Thrones, whether you love it or hate it, is always going to be considered one of the greatest television series of all time, up there with The Wire, The Sopranos,and The West Wing, and deservedly so. We truly are in a marvelous time for television programming.

Friday I was even more ridiculously excited to see the first trailer for the ninth episode of Star Wars and to learn its title: The Rise of Skywalker. I really cannot wait to see this movie, and I suspect we are going to go see it on opening weekend this December if it kills me. It’s very strange to realize that Star Wars has been a part of my life for over forty years now…and while the second trilogy, episodes one through three, aren’t amongst my favorites (I’ve not rewatched them very much), I still have a big love for all things Star Wars, and frankly, Rogue One just might be my favorite Star Wars film of them all.

So, after a really good night’s sleep and waking up later than I usually do, I am going to clean this kitchen and then I am going to work for a while. I might go to the grocery store; we need a few things, but at the same time I should also be able to get the things we need on the way home from work tomorrow, if they are, in fact, so desperately needed. I think I’m going to do that–wait, I mean–because if I’ve learned anything from the Termite Genocide experience, it’s that I hoard food and really need to use the things I already have on hand rather than go out and buy new things to prepare.

I’m actually looking forward to working today, if you can believe that, Constant Reader. I am determined to get the next chapter of the WIP finished, and then I am going to work on these other two ideas I’ve had, and then I am going to spend a couple of hours with the Gaylin novel.

What a lovely Sunday this will turn out to be.

Have a terrific day, everyone–and in one week, it’s Easter!

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That’s All

Nostalgia is something I rarely indulge in, because I consider it to be dangerous in its apparent innocence. We tend to look back at the past with a rosier glow; see it through cheesecloth and Vaseline smeared on the lens to take away the wrinkles and ugliness, make it seem prettier than it actually was.  My childhood actually ended when I was thirty-three and decided to live my life rather than continue to allow it to just happen; the events of my life prior to that influenced me and helped make me into the person I am today, so I cannot have any regrets or ‘what-ifs’; I love my life now and I like who I am. I try to live in the present and look ahead; plans and goals are helpful to keep one focused, but they also leave one at the mercy of whimsical fate. You never know, for example, when a hurricane is going to come to your city or a wildfire burn down your home and your plans turn out to be for naught; we are all at the mercy of nature and fate.

Nostalgia perhaps explains my love for the Star Wars films; the first film opened when I was a senior in high school, and I have been a fan ever since. I waited in line for three hours to see the very first showing of Return of the Jedi when it opened; the prequel trilogy was a sore disappointment to me. Yet The Force Awakens and Rogue One tapped into that magic I remembered as a teenager, looking up at the big screen and seeing an epic tale of magic and mystery, the battle between good and evil, between freedom and authoritarianism, play out with space ships and droids and light sabers, with heroes and villains that were easily identifiable, and American cinema, for good or bad, was changed forever.

Yesterday Paul and I went to see The Last Jedi.

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 There are spoilers hidden behind the ‘more’ cut, so don’t say you weren’t warned. Continue reading “That’s All”

Caroline

It is grim and dreary and windy outside this morning; gray and kind of nasty–the kind of day where you are grateful to stay inside and not ever leave (as of right now, my plan for the day is to stay inside and only go outside to take out the trash if I have to). I got all of my Christmas shopping done Friday and mailed the gifts that needed to go yesterday after I saw (drum roll please) Rogue One.

I. LOVED. It.

I woke up feeling crappy yesterday; congested and mildly feverish. In fact, had I not already bought the ticket on-line I would have probably changed my mind and stayed home. But I needed to mail my presents and stop at the grocery store, and had already paid for the ticket…so I went. (It did occur to me that if I was contagious, I could possibly Typhoid Mary the entire theater; but I wasn’t coughing or sneezing, and I didn’t have to turn over money or make physical contact with anyone. It wasn’t crowded, either–it was a ten a.m. show; so I made sure I sat by myself where no one else was sitting. So there.)

I will admit I was incredibly disappointed at the beginning when the big STAR WARS logo didn’t appear nor did they play the theme music; and I will readily admit I was a bit pouty about it. It kind of, for me, got off to a bit of a slow start which was necessary in order to provide back story, but once it got going, it was great fun. I’ll see it again, undoubtedly (Paul is seeing it with his mother this weekend, so I didn’t go see it without him; his mom suggested it last week when he talked to her, and so that was when I bought my ticket.)

Although after running my errands, I felt much worse than I did when I woke up. I tried to write but couldn’t, and finally abandoned the effort, retiring to my easy chair and my book. I finished reading it, then watched the last few episodes of Medici: Masters of Florence, another couple of episodes of The Man in the High Castle (season two started out kind of slowly but has definitely picked up steam), and another show I’ve been watching on-line: Yuri On Ice.

Yuri On Ice is a Japanese anime television series about Yuri Katsuki, a Japanese male figure skater. The show opens with him finishing last at the Grand Prix final, and questioning whether he should just retire. He is considered to be Japan’s best male skater, but he also is shy and introverted, with very little self-confidence, and also suffers from crushing self-doubt and anxiety, which is why he performs poorly. After graduating from college in Detroit, he returns home to his small home town in Japan, and while visiting the ice rink, is recorded perfectly mimicking a routine by five time world champion Viktor Nikiforov. The video goes viral, and Viktor, also questioning his own future in the sport, comes to Japan to be Yuri’s coach–Yuri has always idolized Viktor, and decides to give the sport one more year.

I’m really enjoying the show, quite frankly. I’ve never watched Anime before, so I don’t know if the weird lapses into over-the-top emotion from the characters is normal for Anime, but it’s the only thing that bothers me about the show. The character of Yuri is so incredibly well developed; and the skating sequences are absolutely amazing. As a long time figure skating fan, it’s only natural that I would enjoy the show, I suppose. I’ve long been wanting to write a noir about figure skating, and watching this show has really intensified that desire–plus, I’m writing something else, which always makes me want to write other things.

I started reading Exit, Pursued by A Bear by E. K. Johnston last night, and am enjoying it thus far.

All right, I need to make up for lost time today, so it’s off to the spice mines I go.

Seven Wonders

Paul left early this morning–4:45 am to be exact–and somehow I then managed to sleep in until ten. I have another late night of bar testing this evening, and had planned to get up early and head out to the mall to do my Christmas shopping for Paul as well as stop by the Apple store. Alas, I overslept, and while I could go ahead and get ready quickly and head on out to do it all, I’m also thinking I can just do it tomorrow. Yes, the weekend before Christmas is going to be hideous out there in retail land, but I also don’t want to be rushed. I took tomorrow off because I have some appointments in the late afternoon, but if I can get up by nine tomorrow morning, I can do it all: Target, Apple, Macys, and even Costco. I have tickets for an early (10:00 am) showing of Rogue One Saturday morning at the Prytania Theater, and I intend to get quite a bit of writing–and cleaning–done this weekend.

In other exciting news, my editor got back to me and was enormously pleased with the tweaks I made based on her suggestions for my story; I cannot make an official announcement yet but I am very excited. The name of my story is “Lightning Bugs in a Jar,” and I can’t wait to talk about it. Woo-hoo!

There’s nothing quite so satisfying as getting praise for your work, is there? Particularly when you’re an author. I always thought that the more work I published, the further along in my career I got, the easier it would get and the less self-doubt there would be. Alas, that isn’t true; if anything, it gets worse. Heavy heaving sigh.

Ah, well.

So, as soon as I finish this I am going to get cleaning and organizing around here so I won’t have to take time from my weekend to do it.

I really want to get this book done. I’m itching to get going on some other projects (as always).

All right, sorry for the brevity, but I need to get back to the spice mines.

But here’s a hunk for you in the meantime.