Kudos to Tight Writing!

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Manifest Season 2 started a few weeks ago. I am enjoying the season so far. The writers have expanded the story world and increased the stakes for a number of our significant characters. There are a few things that are kind of awkward (i.e., the Jared/Michaela/Zeke situation), but even those things set up a bigger (potential) pay off later. I will write a more in-depth review of all of my thoughts and feelings later on. But there is one thing that happened during this past week’s episode that I must absolutely address now. There are major spoilers ahead. I will place the-thing-that-must-not-be-named below the line.

Continue reading Kudos to Tight Writing!

Makin’ Moves

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Last year I decided this year would be the one where I make moves. I say to myself all the time, “If I want my life to be different, I have to do different things.” I totally acknowledge I may have picked it up somewhere, or maybe I made it up myself. Repeating it to myself has become a sort of impetus to change. That, and reciting the “Five Truths About Fear,” as outlined in Feel The Fear… And Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers to myself. I might write more about those later.

For 2020, I didn’t make a resolution so much as I set an intention. What is the difference one may I ask? I am not sure, other than I haven’t had much luck with resolutions. But intentions seem to be working well (knock on wood, throw some salt, fingers crossed or whatever folk magic is needed to keep this statement real).

To keep my intention, I decided to get more involved in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy writing community here in the Bay Area. I’ve gone to events and have left leave the house to go to places where I am invited (gasp). As a result, I am learning more about my beloved genre and industry and feel less alone on my path of weirdness.

I also decided to get more involved in an online writing community I’m a part of called 10 Minute Novelists, specifically the 365 Day Challenge. Not only am I an administrator of that group, but I am also in charge of one of the Dark Fantasy accountability groups. There, I get to support other writers and, thus, help myself. I get to focus more on my craft and to immerse myself in writing and creativity rather than focus on the current garbage nightmare of our current political landscape.

And the final piece of doing new things is to go after writing opportunities. I’ve been submitting more and getting more rejections. Rather than feeling down by the rejections, I savor them. They’re proof I’m actually doing something rather than stewing on the sidelines wishing I was doing something. And they haven’t been all rejections. I am now a new book reviewer for Tor.com, and my first review went up just last week

All of this is to say that, so far, my third week of 2020 is going well. There are still a lot of changes afoot, I think I’m coming to a point where I feel I can handle them.

 

 

And Now My Post About 2020

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Okay, so now I am going to write the post I had planned for January 1st – sort of. I mentioned earlier that 2020 is completely different for me. I put into the Universe that I wanted change, and the Universe was like “Great! Here you go!” And that sums up what these first eleven days have been. In this last week alone, I’ve had personal and professional change. The two have been intertwined, one feeding into the other. I feel my soul rearranging itself in my body. It’s nerve-wracking, but not surprising. The set-up for this time had been happening in the last few months of 2019. I thought the last few months of 2018 was the breakdown and 2019 would be about building the new. Well, that turned out not to be true. Live long enough, and Life will prove you wrong.

And I am lucky in that way. I get to live, a lot of people don’t. Last month a former long-time friend passed away. Most of my feelings around that are muddy and complicated, but one thing is clear: a renewed sense of ownership over my life. That sense began forming itself before I learned of her death, recent events just cemented it. Events that are within my immediate sphere and without it, signaling change is in the air.

And, frankly, it scares me. It makes me uncomfortable. These feelings aren’t new. I’ve ended up in situations where these feelings we foisted upon me. I had no control. Now I am taking control. I am doing things, on purpose, that scare me and make me uncomfortable. Things that make me grow, and there is a blessing in that.

I want to be badass and carefree. I want to say, “2020 will be the year, and everything will be perfect!” I want to be totally self-assured about taking control of my life and steering it into new directions, but I simply can’t. Not at this particular time. Maybe it will happen tomorrow, next month, or this summer. I may not have (metaphorical) brass balls, but I do have a quiet yet persistent confidence. I am confident in my path and who I am as a person, which is already an improvement over previous years. Instead of fear stopping me, I’m letting it inform me. It’s a sign that I am growing out of my comfort zone. Ironically, feeling my fear is my comfort. And it gives me permission to be steady and careful as I blaze a new path

2020 Blows My Mind

This is not the post I intended for this day. I had a different post planned (though “planned” is a bit of a strong word) summarizing 2019 and moving forward with 2020 with a renewed passion for writing. But then I saw this as I sat down to write it:

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I post this picture because….

It blows my mind.

It’s fucking insane.

I don’t know how to describe it. Yesterday, it was 2019. I’ve known for over a year that 2020 was coming. I knew it 2018 that 2020 was coming. I’ve known since I understood the concept of time that this date was coming. It’s a logical progression.

So why the illogical response?

Maybe it’s because I was born in the last quarter of the previous century and we’re already twenty years into a new one?

Maybe because I always thought of 2020 as a television show with Barbara Walters, not a real period of time.

Maybe it’s because the year 2020 was always “the future” for me, like in the books and television shows I watched growing up. But 2020 isn’t the future –

It’s NOW.

(And there are still no flying cars, teleportation, nor a hint of the Federation coming into being – but that’s a different post.)

For some reason, seeing 2-0-2-0 makes it truly a new decade for me as opposed to 2-0-1-0. I don’t know. The 2010’s always just seemed like an extension of the 2000s to me. (See first “Maybe”).

Or, maybe my brain is catching up with time. When I was in school, I learned about the ’20s and now- it’s the 20’s again. This year is also five years before the year I turned FIFTY. That’s real. Like, 50 is a real thing in my brain now (just as I was getting the hang of this 40’s thing). I guess if there was ever a point where my mind should grasp reality – it should be now.

Seeing those one’s, two’s, and zero’s in that particular order just screams RESET or NEW CHAPTER to me. Those numbers make this New Year seem different than all the others because it is genuinely new to me. I feel it in my blood, in my bones, that it is different. It is not only a new decade but a marker that we’re 20% into this century. And this realization gives me new breath, fresh energy, and new ideas I can’t wait to share with the world.

So you’ll get the original post I had “planned” next week.

Stay Tuned!

Goodbye 2018

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In the last few hours of 2018 I want to thank all my readers. I’m grateful to you all. I went from vowing to post every week to doing considerably less than that. But the nice messages I received help me to keep going and I appreciate them.

I am also grateful to this year, in general. It’s been a bitch, healthwise and personal-wise, but I know these things had to happen. Gentle taps on the shoulder from the Universe wasn’t getting the message across, so a slap in the face was needed. I’m smart enough to leave it there and get things moving in the right direction. And even the bad hasn’t been all that bad. They were things that needed to be done and now I feel like I’m on the threshold of a whole new world and I didn’t even have to leave Oakland. Who knew? (Besides the Universe – obviously).

2019 will be a good year, definitely a more creative one. One of the realizations I had was that I put so much energy into other people that I fail to invest energy in myself. I’ve spent years, tears, and thousands of dollars gaining skills, insights, and abilities that have never gone to my benefit. 2018 was about ending that. No more hiding behind others. 2019 is about letting my light shine and knowing it makes a difference.

So, I wish you all the very best New Year!

The CW’s Elseworlds takes me away…

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Can we talk about Elseworlds for a minute?

Oh, my god! That was some of the most fun I had watching an hour of television in a while. It was campy, silly, and FUN (Did I mention that already?). All the things that I am about right now and I am here for it!

Elseworlds is the annual Arrowverse cross-over event on the CW. In the first crossover, Supergirl was introduced to the Arrowverse. Supergirl, which launched on CBS, takes place in a separate world from Barry, Oliver, and the Legends gang. That crossover was definitely good, but the focus was on introductions and the fallout from Flashpoint (a crisis on the Flash which had repercussions throughout the Arrowverse).

The second crossover was a bit lighter. The gang from two Earths and a time machine all came together to attend Barry and Iris’ wedding. (Side note: On the show, traveling to go to ANOTHER EARTH to attend a wedding seemed easier and cheaper than attending a destination wedding on THIS Earth. Seriously…wtf?) The personal drama was a little less angsty, however, angst is part of the deal on CW shows. I’m pretty sure it’s in the contract. But, rightfully, all the teams were more focused on stopping Nazis from taking over the planet. (If only our electorate was so proactive…)

But this third crossover was a hoot and a holler. Of course, they had a little angst (again… contract!), but they embraced the camp and even had a Smallville throwback which made me scream with laughter and clap my hands. The energy of this episode was positively off the charts and you can tell the cast was just having a good time. Even granite-faced Stephen Amell (And this is not an insult. The entire man is granite, that’s a huge part of his appeal) couldn’t hide the sparkle in his eye as his played Olivier-as-Barry. The actors were just having a good time and that manifested in a dynamic episode full of action and joy.

Now some of this might diminish some as the group heads to Gotham City in tonight’s episode (which I’ll watch tomorrow). If you’re familiar with the DC Universe you know Gotham is not a place for joy or fun. In fact, the place can make the Arrow of Season six seem like Disneyland. But it’s still exciting as this is when Ruby Rose as Kathy Kane makes her debut and we get to see what her show is all about. I’ve been hearing good buzz, so I hope it works out. I’ll definitely find out tomorrow night.

I’m back…

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Okay, NBC, I see you.

Okay, folks. It’s been a minute, a minute and a half, really, but that’s life.

While the month of September was a deluge of health challenges, the month of October was a ton of personal ones – and a vacation. I may write about the last 90 or so days of my life, or I may not. But, right now, I want to talk about the show Manifest.

I am excited because I just saw the seventh episode and it was one of the best episodes of the season. As I stated in my initial review, I’m always a sucker for an out-of-time/ fantasy story and Manifest delivered. Up until this point, I was pleasantly entertained and somewhat intrigued by the mystery. I tend to be very loyal to television shows. Once I start watching one, I keep doing so unless it pisses me off – royally. At the moment, I can only think of a handful of shows that have that possess that dubious distinction; for example, the last season of The 4400 and Sleepy Hollow (Seriously, why would they do Abby that way!?), and the last two seasons of Heroes (from the early Aughts). So as long the Manifest surfed the waves of mild entertainment, I was likely going to stick with it.

Well, apparently, that was not good enough for the writers because last night’s episode raised the bar!

Not to get too spoilery (Is that a word? I’ve decided it is), but the mystery went from interesting to compelling. This is more than Early Edition – (does anyone remember that show?), 4400-esque mystery of the week scenarios. Yes, that is still the format of the show, but it has become more. The last two episodes have really emphasized the connection among the passengers and what it all means. No longer are these passengers unfortunate (maybe) singularities dealing with the aftermath of missing for 5 ½ years. Now these people are a part of something bigger in a way that’s more concrete than I’ve seen in similar shows. And the people around them are being sucked into their world so much that they are almost as much passengers of MA 828 as the people on the actual plane. The thing I am most excited about is the character arc of Deputy Director Vance, head of the investigation into what happened to flight MA 828. Again, not to be too spoilery, but the pivot of this character not only gives him depth, his transformation gives gravitas to Ben’s efforts to understand what happened to him and the other passengers, and ups the suspense factor by several notches. And even this character’s pivot may not be as straightforward as we might think. Sure, Vance might be [BEEEEEEEEEEEP] this time, but who’s to say he won’t pivot again or pirouette or grand jetè even? The dude’s NSA, let’s not put anything past him.

When I wrote my initial review over a month ago, I had questions as to whether this show had the fuel to maintain its flight. Well, at the seventh episode mark, this vehicle seemed to have refueled and I’m excited to see where it goes next.

NBC’s Manifest Takes Off

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[Yes, I skipped a week. Sorry! To make it up, please see this recap I wrote for Manifest]

April 7, 2013

That’s the date 191 people boarded Montego Air 8-2-8 from Jamaica to New York. It landed November 4, 2018. For those on board, only a few hours passed – both mentally and physically. For the rest of the world, including those closest to the passengers, it’s been five and a half years.

That part is on the television promo. Spoilers are below the fold…

Continue reading NBC’s Manifest Takes Off

Better Late than Never…

Hello faithful readers!

It’s not Saturday, but I’m updating my blog this week to note that I have nothing brilliant to add. It’s been a rough summer. First, work was insane, and now my body decided to implode. My mental energy has been too busy thwarting dark thoughts to engage in creative endeavors. I really hope that all comes to an end soon and I can regale you with tales of magic, love, and maybe terror (I’ve been in a dark place lately). I hope to have something new next week.