Ode to October

Click HERE for the Audio Edition!

 

October.

Time to read

the stories of Ray Bradbury,

the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe,

and the novels of Daphne du Maurier.

October.

Time to watch anime like

Soul Eater,

Hellsing,

and Black Butler.

October.

Time to see TV shows like

Dark Shadows,

The Addams Family,

and The Twilight Zone.

October.

Time to revisit films like

Young Frankenstein with Gene Wilder,

The Raven with Vincent Price,

and the work of Alfred Hitchcock.

October.

Time to listen to music by

The Rasmus, HiM,

and Nightwish.

October.

Time for sweaters, scarves, and hot soup,

for shadows, smoke,

and morning mist.

October.

Time to curl up under blankets

with cats and cups of hot chocolate

mixed with Baileys Irish Cream.

October.

Time that is in two places at once,

the month that is both eight and ten,

Julian and Gregorian.

October:

Time to celebrate the things that go bump in the night

and try, oh so convincingly, to pretend

we are not afraid of the dark.

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Should the Cat’s Cradle have film reviews?

Hello, readers! I have a question for you. Well, a couple of questions, really.

The main focus of The Cat’s Cradle is (supposed to be) writing, specifically in relation to fantasy novels, structured around personal experience and anecdote. However, I also like writing reviews of films and television shows along with a large dose of fangirling.  Some of these kinds of reviews have already popped up, but I try to keep them to a minimum. After all, this is supposed to be a writing site, not a movie review site.

But I do enjoy writing about things I really loved (or hated) about stories in other media, even if it doesn’t directly relate to writing. Over the last few years, I’ve done a few “reviews in sequence” where every day or week for a certain span of time, I write a brief review of a film that is part of a series or franchise. The two I’ve done so far are “7 Days of Star Wars” from 2016 where I watched Episodes I-VII, one each night for a week, and wrote reviews about each one, and then “The Merry Months of Marvel,” where I reviewed one Marvel movie each week starting in January 2018 and ending in May 2018. Currently these are only found on my private Facebook, as I didn’t want to flood The Cat’s Cradle with this off-topic random content, so they’ve only reached a very limited audience.

Ideally, I’d like to have a separate “blog” section on The Cat’s Cradle to post geeky gushing, but my WordPress site is, by necessity, very simple since I have neither the funds to afford purchasing a more complex theme/skin, nor the skills to modify what I have beyond some basic cosmetics. Right now, I can only add static pages rather than individual entries, and apparently this Piano Black theme has been retired, so if I try to overhaul the site, I may not be able to switch back if I decide I don’t like the new look. I don’t really want to do that if there is little to no interest in my screen-rants.

Plus, there are a bunch of other questions I need to answer before making such a change:

  •  These reviews are fun to write, but will they distract me too much from working on my regular entries and my novels?
  • There are already a lot of sites that do far better, more in-depth, and more entertaining reviews than I do, so do I have anything new to add?
  • If I can’t add a second scrolling blog to the current site, do I just work post them in with regular entries (with a special tag, of course), or should I just make a whole new site and link the two? (I already do have basic access to another site, Geek La Femme, but I technically did not create it. It is essentially abandoned, but I don’t know if I can or should resurrect it in any way.)
  • If I do make a new site or section, do I move the reviews that I already have done over to that new place (which can create a host of dead links) or leave them where they are (which may leave people confused and the organization system muddled)? And if I decide to make a new site, should I take my content from Geek La Femme (which includes reviews of anime and video games) and add it to the new one?
  • If I write or post any such reviews, should I add them to my Audio Editions, even though I get behind on the regular ones so often? (Recording them doesn’t take long, but editing can range from 2 to 4 hours, and I have little enough time as it is.)

So what do you folks think? Should I bother with this or just let things rest as they are?

Influential Books: Introduction

But all my life I’ve wanted to be the kid who gets to cross over into the magical kingdom … Because even when I was a child I knew it wasn’t simply escape that lay on the far side of the borders of fairyland.  Instinctively I knew crossing over would mean more than fleeing the constant terror and shame . . . There was a knowledge that ran deeper – an understanding hidden in the marrow of my bones that only I can access – telling me that by crossing over, I’d be coming home.

That’s the reason I’ve yearned so desperately to experience the wonder, the mystery, the beauty of that world beyond the World As It Is.  It’s because I know that somewhere across the border there’s a place for me. A place of safety and strength and learning, where I can become who I’m supposed to be.  I’ve tried forever to be that person here, but whatever I manage to accomplish in the World As It Is only seems to be an echo of what I could be in that other place that lies hidden somewhere beyond the borders.

— page 60 from The Onion Girl by Charles de Lint

 

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Prolific Penmasters

It’s ironic that the three writers I look up to the most are also some of the most prolific.  Mercedes Lackey has dozens upon dozens of novels.  Many are collaborations, but many are not, and even collaborating takes a great deal of time and effort.  Oddly enough, she started off as a writer of fanfiction and was a protegée of Marion Zimmer Bradley, one of the mistresses of sci-fi and fantasy.  J. Michael Straczynski writes for 10 hours a day, every day, except on his birthday, Christmas, and New Year’s.  He says, “If I don’t have an assignment, I’ll write a short story, I’ll write a spec script, I’ll write a novel. I just enjoy the hell out of it.”  Out of the 110 episodes comprising Babylon 5, he wrote the scripts for 92 of them, plus all of the movies.  Joss Whedon has created several cult classic television shows with some of the most unique and memorable mythologies and characters.  He worked on BuffyAngel, and Firefly as writer and director during the 2002-2003 television season, and said that he only feels his best when he’s writing:

“You know, I always get cranky when I’m not writing,” Joss admits.  “I’ll be mad and I don’t know why.  I just feel like I’m angry with everybody and I hate everything and life is a sham.  Then I’ll realize I haven’t written anything. And rewriting doesn’t count.  It has to be an original script” (Havens, 158).

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Writer Shout-Out: Chuck Wendig of ”Terrible Minds”

I’m afraid that I don’t have much to say this week, mostly because I just finished the third season of Castle and I’m frothing at the mouth trying to get access to the fourth season.  (No, I do not have regular TV and no, I am not willing to wait a week for each episode to air.  Not when we have the Interwebz, bitches!)  *ahem*  At any rate, I did want to share a delightfully foul-mouthed writers’ blog known as “Terrible Minds” by Chuck Wendig, Penmonkey Extraordinaire.

My writing group spent this past Sunday discussing two of Mr. Wendig’s articles, 25 Things Writers Should Start Doing and 25 Things Writers Should Stop Doing (Right Fucking Now).  If you don’t mind cursing and some interesting but anatomically impossible metaphors, then I highly recommend reading some of the articles of “Terrible Minds.”  He treats the material in an irreverent manner that is hilarious to read, but the subjects and suggestions are quite viable.  I don’t agree with everything he says in each article, but it’s still worth taking a look and is fun to read, for both newbies and professionals.

Some examples, in addition to the ones above, to give you a taste of this juicy goodness, are as follows.  Hope you enjoy!

A Long Look At “Show, Don’t Tell”

25 Reasons I Hate Your Main Character

How To Be A Full-Time Writer:  A “25 Things You Should Know” Investigative Report

25 Lies Writers Tell (And Start To Believe) 

Ten Things You Should Know About Writing Screenplays

25 Things You Should Know About Creativity 

 

Pictures and Apologies

Sorry everyone, but there will not be a more substantial entry this week.  I was at Katsucon 2012 over the weekend, so I’m still really exhausted and trying to readjust to real life.  The con was great, although it was more stressful than anticipated and not very vacation-like.  Still, awesome panels and I debuted two new costumes:  Botan from Yu Yu Hakusho and Dark Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

If you are interested in reading about my con adventures, please check back on this entry in a few days or so.  I should have a link up at that point.  Until then, enjoy these pictures!

Botan from "Yu Yu Hakusho"

Botan from “Yu Yu Hakusho”

My brother cosplaying Himura Kenshin from "Rurouni Kenshin"

My brother cosplaying Himura Kenshin from “Rurouni Kenshin”

Dark Willow from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"

Dark Willow from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

Just a Quick Update

I apologize, but I’m afraid there will not be a large entry this week due to the fact that I am very ill.  I got to battle the unseasonal winter weather this past Saturday.  My car died when I stopped to get gas on the way home, I had no coat, no gloves, and had to help my younger brother push my car out of the way for the duration of the storm.

When I returned home, my house was without electricity.  No electricity means no heat, since I have been relying on electric heaters to warm my house until such time that my furnace could be fixed.  I stayed the night at my parents’ house, and returned home the next day when the electricity returned.  (Thank you, Storm Elf, for your lovely quilt.  It is soooo warm!)   And, yesterday morning, Shipley appeared to make my furnace all better.  She’s purring like a kitten now.

However, my little escapades in the snow gave me a sore throat and fever, so I’ve been tucked in bed most of the day with an IV of Sunny D in my arm.  Just my luck that National Novel Writing Month began today while my brain was all fizzled.  So I’ve been struggling to make my word count between watching episodes of Babylon 5 and napping with a wet washcloth on my forehead and kittens covering my lap.  And I did it!  I wrote 1794 words today, and the daily goal is 1667!  So, despite the fever, I’m off to a good start.  Let’s hope I can keep it up.

So, I apologize for the mostly-non-writing-related entry this week, and crave your indulgence until next week when hopefully my brains will be a little less scrambled.  Until then, write on, my fellow Wrimos!  Write on!