xerinmichellex: (film: GWTW - Scarlett & Mellie)
I just caved and bought Poldark on DVD; even though we're only on Ep. 3 here in the US.

I bought it knowing I would end up binge watching it as soon as it arrives; even though I'm supposed to be writing.

I bought it; even though I've turned into complete Poldark trash and have watched each episode twice (something I rarely do).

But it's okay, because I also bought Death in the Haymarket for book research. That totally validates my purchase of Poldark!

Literally me right now:


xerinmichellex: (film: Star Wars)
There's too much stuff happening today, so let's see if I can hit them all:

1. "May the 4th Be With You"

Unofficially today is "Star Wars Day" so to all the Star Wars fans, happy May 4th. I have seen a lot of Star Wars resurgence on Tumblr and people coming out of the woodwork for Star Wars since the extended trailer hit. I guess 2015 is the year of Star Wars. (Sorry, Avengers/Marvel. But you're also owned by Disney. . . so maybe 2015 is the year of Disney?)

Anyway, Vanity Fair has the Star Wars gang on its cover. There's also a Behind-the-Scenes video that contains minor spoilers; so be on the look out for that, those that want to stay unspoiled. (I'm including myself in that gang. Speculation is fun and okay, but no ACTUAL! REALLY! TRULY! movie spoilers. Thanks.) Anyone else think Daisy Ridley is a dead-ringer for Natalie Portman? If she is not a Skywalker/Solo kid, I will go out and buy a hat and eat it.

ETA: Of course after I post this, the entire article appears online. There's minor spoilers about secondary characters. (I didn't read the article; so there may be spoilers in there, too.) But there are lots and lots of pictures!

2. Happy 86th Birthday, Audrey Hepburn


(GIF SOURCE)


I've been on an Old Hollywood/Turner Classics Movie kick as of late, and while I wouldn't consider myself a huge Audrey Hepburn fan, I do love her. Not solely because of her talent and acting career. (Though, if you've never seen Wait Until Dark, you must!) But she was a damn fine, caring and compassionate person. She's proof that beauty not only lies outside, but matters inside, too.

3. 129th Anniversary of The Haymarket Affair

So, I'm not going to lie: The first thing that comes to my mind whenever someone mentions "May 4th" is The Haymarket Affair. It's been on my mind lately--more so than how it relates to The Book--but because of the events in Baltimore right now. I'm not saying both cases are the same (even the strikers of 1886 didn't bother getting the under-served African American community involved). This is where I add another recommendation--Death in the Haymarket by James Green--and tell you that people with power have always, and will continue, to misuse that power until they are called out on it.

I salute all those in Baltimore who are peacefully protesting, who are bringing attention to the injustices in their city and around the entire country. I hope Freddie Gray and his family get the justice they deserved. And I hope the people that matter--the lawmakers, the civil rights protectors, the gatekeepers who can make the changes that are desperately needed--heed the words that the protestors are saying.

4. Nurses's Week

Some of you may know that my mom is a nurse. (She works in Maternity, FTR.) Nurses are severely under-appreciated and over-worked. They are the busy bees that make a hospital run. So, go out and hug and thank a nurse this week.

5. One month until Hannibal premieres

It knows why it's last on my list of things today.
xerinmichellex: (film: Jane Eyre - Jane)
My hand on a Bible, I swear I was going to start (earnestly) on The Book today.

That was, until Thursday, when someone on [livejournal.com profile] ohnotheydidnt posted the Wikipedia page of People Who Have Disappeared Mysteriously, which leads to the list of unsolved deaths, and I found the Taman Shud Case (Warning: The dead guy's dead face is RIGHT THERE when you open the page. It isn't anything terrible; but still, I figure someone might have a squick and better safe than sorry.), which I've seen mentioned a couple of times on Cracked*. . .and, guys, I fell down the plot bunny rabbit hole.

*Honestly TVTropes, Wikipedia, and Cracked are, like, the Holy Trinity of Not Getting Shit Done Today (or This Weekend, as was my case).

What happened to him? Was he poisoned? Was he a spy? That Jestyn lady knew more than what she was saying, right? Who stole all his identification? Was he a Russian spy? How come someone did an excellent job of covering up his identity but left the book lying around? WAS HE AN AMERICAN SPY WHO PISSED OFF THE SOVIETS?

So this is the part where you need to talk me out of the painstaking work of research, plotting, developing a cast of characters--all of which I've started to do re: Taman Shud--and set me straight. Tell me that doing a one-off adult, crime novel is not the best way to go about breaking into the literary industry. This is the part where someone just needs to say, "Look, you've worked on The Book stuff for almost 4 years. You've got an interesting world, well-developed characters, a plot that knows where it's heading, etc, etc, etc." "FOR GOD'S SAKES, THERE'S ALWAYS NANO!" (But you were going to do that other novel.)

HELP ME, PLEASE, BECAUSE I DON'T THINK I CAN STOP MYSELF!!!
xerinmichellex: (stock: snowing downtown)
Some randomness updates, I guess:

1. We can downgrade from Level Green to Level Yellow because I didn't have to go into jury duty!



#blessed

Relatedly: I'm in Level High Purple because I have to miss the Homeland finale due to the family's Christmas get together on December 21st. One thing people should know about me: Don't fuck with my television schedule. Ever. Secretly, I'm hoping I can flounce out of there before 8pm; but my mom only wants to take one car up to my uncle's house; and while I could leave her and my brother behind, I don't think she'd appreciate that.

Also: Gracepoint Speculation, Christmas shopping, and a podcast in a pear tree )
xerinmichellex: (stock: autumn)
Some updates:

1. Reason #Oh-I-Can't-Even-Keep-Track-Now why I shouldn't be allowed to engage in the "outside" world when I'm trying to write things: This week's Sleepy Hollow (the one with The Weeping Lady) sent my brain into a tizzy for a story idea that I've been waffling on. I'm scrambling now to get some research and plot things pinned down in time for NaNo. Yes, I'm gonna do NaNo. No, I don't expect to hit 50K in a month because there's a very loud part of me that KNOWS I cannot just throw things on a paper without a reason. My hope, though, is that the "frenzy" of NaNo and the basic "pushing yourself through the writing process" will help quiet that voice of self-doubt. My goal isn't the 50K or finishing a novel; rather it's to get back into the constant flow of writing every day and re-gaining some of my confidence.

The basic premise for the NaNo novel is a Hatfield/McCoy type rivalry between two families (that may have supernatural ties, I'm not sure at the moment) and the two youngest members of each family try untangling the centuries long feud and put an end to a curse affecting both families. It'll be part mystery, part ghost story, heavy on the gothic tones, and maybe have some witches thrown in. . .? Again: I haven't decided on a lot of things.

(Additional info: This was the shiny idea that caused me to look up lunar cycles back in July.)

2. I'm trying to finish up my Christmas Wish List because HOLY SHIT October's almost over and then it's Thanksgiving and THEN "the era of pumpkin will fall and the northern winds whisper peppermint everything" (source) AND THEN it's Christmas AND THEN IT'S 2015, and I've basically wasted another goddamn year of doing nothing and getting nothing done and BOOOOOOOOOOO!

3. I'm pretty. . .grumpy overall, and feeling exhausted for no reason (although I should probably try to go to bed earlier than I am), and over everyone's shit, and over being over everyone's shit because I, in turn, feel shitty because of how unproductive I'm being. Basically, I've been like this towards all things lately:



A couple upcoming posts (hopefully):

--I promise a Sleepy Hollow post (this one on Tim Burton's version) is on the horizon and I'd like to post it near-ish to Halloween because, fuck it, I've accepted it as my favorite movie ever for a ton of reasons.

--A fun* Halloween post

*Note: The word "fun" may only prove to be fun to the poster and not to the actual reader of the post.

--I guess since I'm doing NaNo, I'll be posting weekly updates on wordcounts (or lack thereof) and other nonsense. Woo.
xerinmichellex: (tv: Hannibal - Hannibal Lecter)


Yup. Pretty much sums me up.

(Eek. New episode tonight! New episode tonight!)
xerinmichellex: (film: Sleepy Hollow)
First, let's all admire the new layout. Oooh, ahhh. I wanted something to match my tumblr; and this what three days of coding, re-coding, losing half the code sheet after a copy-paste accident, and saying to hell with it!, results in. (If I never see/type another layout code again, I'd be very pleased.)

Second, A Doctor Who Re-watch update...or not-update as is the case. I knew I never, ever should've written that post because whenever I mention something I'd like to/want to do, it never, ever happens. And then I feel bad because I feel like I let people down. I did start the re-watch and was clipping along nicely, until I got to "The Long Game". Then I got sick. Then I fell behind my planned schedule: I wanted Seasons 1 and 2 done by August. It's mid-September and I still haven't moved passed "Dalek". Then more shenanigans surrounding the 50th sprung up, and I got really angry, and my reviews would be nothing more than rants on the state of Doctor Who, and that really doesn't open up to much discussion.

The true heart of it is that I just cannot devote myself to writing up reviews. I'm at that point--either because of personal things or because it's been so long since I've written anything--where the sheer thought of writing words is exhausting. Seriously--this post right here has taken me two days to freakin' write. Half-assing reviews wouldn't work either; it's just not in my nature. Perhaps I care too much about what I write--yes, even about rinky-dink reviews--but I've always been one to choose quality after quantity. So, it's become a matter of prioritizing. If I'm only good for a couple hours of quality writing, I really need to devote that time to The Book. And to even get a couple hours of good writing for The Book, my sole focus needs to be on The Book. (I can already tell that if regulate weekends to Doctor Who it'll spill into Monday and Tuesday of obsessing over what I'm going to say about DW.) (Homeland also starts next week, so my Mondays are a wash anyway.)

I hope once The Book is in a workable first draft, I can re-start the re-watch. Realistically, this probably won't be until next year; and since Doctor Who isn't returning until late 2014, I want to be all caught up before the "next era".

Finally, I've been in the mood to watch Gothic movies, in part because Halloween is coming up and, most importantly, because I'm trying to capture a certain atmosphere with The Book--isolation, paranoia, fear, all the things that make up a good Gothic story. So, I've complied a list:

List this a-way )

Combing through other people's lists of gothic movies, "gothic" seems to mean different things for people. Movies like The Craft and Crow kept popping up; and while they're "gothic" in nature, those aren't the type of movies I'm looking for. Nor am I interested in ghost stories/haunted houses--although quite a few show-up on the list. I'm mainly looking for movies that evoke the atmosphere I'm trying to recreate. Bonus points if someone's sense of reality is at the heart of the story, too. (For Doctor Who fans, think along the lines of "Tooth and Claw", "Hide", and "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS".)

I'd like to find a few more "gothic" stories without any supernatural under-current, so suggestions are wonderful. (And, Rhoda, whenever I get this mini-Gothic marathon going, I'd love to post reviews at [livejournal.com profile] candycorncomm...providing I don't run into the same issues with the [failed] Doctor Who Rewatch.)
xerinmichellex: (stock: key and lips)
So after much hemming and hawing, I've gotten Tumblr: thewriter-anachronism.

I'm ashamed to admit that it's a mess right now. I'm reblogging and liking a lot of things I've had links to concerning The Book*, along with other random things that catch my fancy (favorite books, movies, tv shows, etc.) (God help us all when Homeland, Doctor Who, and Hannibal come back for the next season.) Right now, it's purpose is to collect the scraps of inspiration or things I like. Meaning, I won't have it replace this blog or anything.

*Fun Fact: anything tagged "tironcity: ___" pertains to The Book.

In other, unrelated news: I've become addicted to Candy Crusher Saga. My addiction isn't so bad (I COULD STOP IF I WANTED TO!) that I'm seeing the multi-colored candy when I close my eyes; but with this and learning to navigate Tumblr, I'm clocking in more time on the internet than I care to admit. The sadder part is that I don't have a Facebook, and I'm not about to get one just to play a game. Therefore, I use my mom's because she had the ill-fated idea to give me the password so I could care for her crops on FarmVille when she's at work. I've already gotten past 5 levels, but Level 23 is kicking my ass right now.
xerinmichellex: (tv: Doctor Who - Ten/Rose)
...you receive a birthday postcard from your car insurance agent--a guy you've never had a conversation with, let alone met--wishing you a happy 25th birthday. I think it's nice...once I got over the shock of seeing "25" written out. (I'm so old!) Not to mention this is the first birthday postcard I've gotten from him in ever.

Although, as I'm typing this out, I think car insurance premiums go down once you hit 25; so the postcard was probably more of a "Congrats on lower your monthly premium!" than an actual birthday wish. Especially since car insurance is super expensive for females under the age of 25. I guess turning 25 isn't so bad (but I'm so old now!) if it means car insurance agents think that, by turning 25, I've turned into a responsible adult driver. (I'll have you know, I'm an excellent driver. Once you hit a hydrant marker your first time behind the wheel of a car, you can only go up.)
xerinmichellex: (film: GWTW - Scarlett O'Hara)
Or, as it's known around my house, December 21st.

Since Australia and New Zealand are still around, I think it's safe to say that, once again, an end-of-days prophecy has failed to live up to its prophetic destiny. Ah, well; maybe one day. (For the record, I wasn't too worried about the Mayan Prophecy. I'm more worried about everyone else who believes in the prophecy. That reason alone, I'm staying inside today. Anyone who does venture outside, please be safe.)

So, my plans for the apocalypse? Laundry. My mom always taught me to never talk to stranger, always look both ways before crossing the street, and make sure I have a clean pair of underwear for the apocalypse.

xerinmichellex: (stock: berries & snow)
I spent a week trying to code a winter/holiday layout and failed miserably, and I'll be damned if I have a temper tantrum over a fucking LJ layout. So, I just threw this up and to hell with everything else. It's from [livejournal.com profile] thefulcrum; no modifications, what you see is what you get. (There are a lot of pretty, fancy layouts over there. This one may make an appearance sometime next year.)

I can't believe Christmas is 19 days away. (Although, from the weather here you wouldn't know it's supposed to be winter. We've had 60° temperatures over the past 3 days. I hope this doesn't mean a harsh winter is on the horizon.) With that in mind:

-Technically it isn't the holiday season yet because I haven't had a Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks (see funky, spring-like weather above). I should rectify that. Mmmm, peppermint-y mocha. Also signs that it isn't the holidays: our Christmas tree isn't up, no snow, I don't want to strangle anyone who's blood related, and I'm not sick of seeing red, green, and white together.

-I still need to buy presents. Like, all of them. By "all of them" I mean two: one for my mom and one for my brother, both of whom have given me no gift ideas. Zip, zero, nada, nein. So guess what? GIFT CARDS FOR EVERYONE!!!

-Ovation is running their annual Battle of the Nutcrackers. (I've mentioned my obsession with The Nutcracker, right?) Compared to last year, I'm actively avoiding the marathon because anytime I hear the opening bars of "The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" it triggers scenes from the Nutcracker retelling I'd thought about doing, and then I spend half an hour thinking, Well, maybe I could salvage it by...NO! No, you've put it to bed. LET SLEEPING NUTCRACKERS LIE!!! (I've also had to avoid most holiday commercials, too.) Which is okay, because I've already seen the ones they're marathoning and my favorite--the one from Germany--is not included in the line-up.

-I'm ready for the new year. I know it sounds like a cliché, but I hope the new year brings about a fresh start for anyone who needs it. I know I'm ready to leave all the crap of 2012 behind. (Pretty sure I said the same thing about 2011. Oops.)
xerinmichellex: ([stock]: fountain pen)
1. I'll be so glad when Election Season is over and the phone-bank calls STOP. I think we're averaging 5 calls a day. Also, I was not aware that when I early voted 4 years ago, that information was going to be collected for the candidates. Twice, I've been asked if I plan on early voting again and if I need any information regarding the nearest polling place. (For the record, I early voted again on Friday.) I'm at the point where I'm not even answering the phone if I don't recognize the number. ALSO! If I don't pick up the phone the first time, calling 3 more times in a row isn't going to change the situation.

2. I knew watching Homeland live would be the death of me...but I had no idea I'd be in this much agony. Especially with everything that's gone down in the past two episodes. (I promise a post focusing on the show later, because a lot of what is happening is fascinating from a writer's perspective.) Now that Rupert Friend's character has been introduced--which, if you remember, was the initial reason I started watching Homeland--I am a very, very happy girl.

3. November's three days away, which means it's NaNo season. My first--and only successful NaNo year--was in 2009. And while I'm not (technically) participating in NaNo, I am using November to kick my butt into gear and get back into the rhythm of writing for most of the day. The last time I finished an actual manuscript was July 2010 (I checked). Back then, I was at the computer by 10 am and writing until 5 or 6 in the evening. So my goal this November isn't so much as getting to 50K, but it is getting back to this schedule. Of course, yesterday I realized that my WiP plot may not fit with my story; so I have three days to find a plot. No big deal. /sarcasm

4. And finally, a meme just in time for Halloween!

zombieplaylist_meme


1. "Left Behind" - Spring Awakening (Original Broadway Cast)
2. "Populace in Two" - From First to Last
3. "The Key (Instrumenal Clip)" - Emilie Autumn
4. "It Was You" - The Pierces
5. "Dead is the New Alive" - Emilie Autumn
6. "The Taste of Ink" - The Used
7. "2 Hearts" - Kylie Minogue
8. "The Point of it All" - Amanda Palmer

Eh, I think I'll skip this apocalypse. (If only #5 was #8 instead!)
xerinmichellex: (Girl & White Birdcage)
Fuck yeah, SURPRISE!insurance refund check that appeared in my mailbox today!

You are going straight away into the bank so I can use you for Emilie Autumn's new CD.

12 more days! 12 more days! WOOOOOOO!!!

Now, back to not-writing.
xerinmichellex: (The Young Victoria (Kiss))
Happy Valentine's Day to everyone! I've never had a valentine, so Valentine's Day is otherwise known as 4 More Days 'Til My Birthday Day.

Today I spent it doing laundry, organizing my icons folder, and (finally!) deciding on a new WiP. Tonight I'm curling up with chicken alfredo and watching my three hours of Tuesday night television: Glee, Ringer, and Justified. If I'm feeling ~crazy, maybe I'll watch the recent remake of Jane Eyre before going to bed. Don't want to exert myself *too* much. :)
xerinmichellex: (Young Victoria (Prince Albert))
Today is January 18th and it might not mean anything to you and it doesn't really mean anything to me...except for the fact that, in a month, it'll be February 18th, my 24th birthday. When I actually saw the date on the Yahoo! homepage and had time to process this, my follow-up thought was "Well, shit."

For the record, I don't think 24 is old. Transpose the numbers and THAT'S old. But 24 isn't old, even though it's one birthday away from being a quarter of a century. However, I don't want to turn 24 because 18-year-old Me thought by the time I was 24 I'd have my shit together. 24 was supposed to be that magical number where everything fell into place. I was supposed to be taken seriously; I was supposed to be an adult. And yet, I'm exactly in the same spot I was in a year ago, and it's my fault. I could've tried harder to get things done, to make things happen. I could've made my 18-year-old self proud instead of whining on the internet about how I'm almost 24 and look how mature I'm being about all this and it's so (not) OOOOOOOOOLD!

I'm going to try harder this year. I'm going to make things happen. Because in a year, when January 18th rolls around, I don't want my first thought to be "Well, shit. There goes another year." Because at a-quarter-of-a-century years old, I should have my shit together.
xerinmichellex: (Queen Victoria)
1. I am having a very Buster Keaton day today. I've tripped over my printer cord, only to have my foot get tangled up in it on my way back to the computer and I nearly cleared off my desk in the process of unwrapping my foot. I also caught my toe on TWO DIFFERENT steps going up on the stairs, not once, but TWICE. Only my stone face looks like this: >: - O instead of his which looks like this: : - |

2. Nothing kicks off a new week like another edition of What the Fuckery in the YA community. This time it's brought to you by the lovely people at the National Book Foundation. Here's the story (You announced the nominations by PHONE? And without saying WHO the author is, since technically they're the ones receiving all the accolades?) and here's a point-of-view piece by Libba Bray (seriously BY PHONE?). I'm in complete agreement with what Ms. Bray has to say. And might I add that Lauren Myracle has more dignity and grace than I ever would. I just cannot believe the gall of the NBA when it was their fault in the first place to ask Ms. Myracle to withdraw her book. Would it really hurt to have six nominations instead of five? Only one book is going to get top honors. I just....my head...can't....does. not. compute!

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