Tag Archives: Dr. Who

The good, the cursed, and the entertaining

This weekend was supposed to be dedicated to Autumn chores, and a few small items to move my writing career forward. On the good news front, I got the hoses coiled up and stored for the winter. I also managed some blogging, and sent my critique submission to the gang to dissect.

I didn't get the furnace filters changed. The fact is, I don't have to change them at all. This is because I live under a curse. I've lived under it since high school, and possibly longer. Maybe high school is just where I first noticed it.

Maybe I'm being punished for some prideful act. I really don't know what it is, but the curse is real. It works like this: If I spend money on something I don't absolutely need, I will be punished in short order with a necessary expense that makes me wish I hadn't indulged.

We bought our camper, and immediately had to buy our daughter four new tires. Tires aren't cheap any more, even cheap tires aren't cheap.

We bought my wife a new car, let's just say the furnace filters don't need to be replaced. We need not only a new furnace, but a new coil to go with it. This stuff is like a foreign language to me. If the repairman said I needed a new warp drive or flux capacitor it would make more sense to me. The end result is financing more stuff that I didn't plan on.

I'm making notes. Life is a big part of the character arc in my next story. The fact that you cannot plan everything will be part of the story. (The later part.) Stuff happens, it's very realistic, and it ought to resonate with readers. I'll make it more philosophical in the book, and it won't involve a curse. If you can't break the curse, write a book about it. What else can you do?

This week has been a wild ride on the entertainment front. Glenn died on The Walking Dead. He's one of those I considered untouchable. There is a conspiracy theory going around the internet now that he isn't really dead. Yeah right, more like undead. Still, it was unexpected, dramatic, and delivered the powerful emotional experience of good fiction.

I got all excited when it looked like the grave of the Headless Horseman was discovered on Bones. I was lukewarm to the idea of a Bones/Sleepy Hollow crossover, but it was great. The dead redcoat turned out to be General Gates, and it wound up being a fun story. A little Headless Horseman goes a long ways, and I think leaving it as a teaser was the right move.

It looks like the Reverse Flash is back on The Flash. It remains unknown whether he is good or bad. Special Agent May is back on SHIELD, and I'm glad for that. May and Colson are the main reason to watch the show. I expect good things ahead.

I've slacked off on Dr. Who. I really don't know if I like Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. I don't know, because I can't hear a word he says. The production team must have changed, because the dramatic music tends to drown out the dialog. I recorded the episode this weekend, and may get around to watching it. I want to, I just feel excluded from enjoying it.

I chose to record Dr. Who, because I watched Ash vs The Evil Dead. Bruce Campbell is back, and in a role that lets him shine. The show was hilarious, and I anticipate a great reunion between he and Lucy Lawless in a future episode. Hail to the king, baby!

That brings me to The Last Witch Hunter. We just got back from the movie, and it was wonderful. I'm not a Vin Diesel fan, but he was acceptable. The story is pretty standard fare these days. I loved seeing the Game of Thrones girl again. (Rose Leslie) It's nice seeing her do something more than trying to kill John Snow.

What pushed this over the top for me was the visuals. I saw things I never imagined in this movie, and loved them. Having a drink at Chloe's witchcraft bar became a bucket list item for about ten minutes. Then Vin Diesel burned it down. The “good” witch visuals were wonderful, even beyond the bar. Tiny scenes like a view of a florist shop, or the herb garden were creative as hell. ( So many mushrooms.)

There were a few nice twists and turns, and some great use of plants and payoffs. I enjoyed this movie more than any I've seen this year, and I've seen some big films this year.

There you have it; I'm broke, entertained, cursed, and inspired. Oh, and the hoses are all put away. How are you doing?

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Out and about

I finished up my critique group stuff this morning. The guys had some good suggestions, and I made a few changes.

We wound up at the camper place to pick up a gas fitting to hook up our outdoor stove. This was followed by a trip to Whole Foods. I had a wonderful peach and pancetta panini there. Sounds weird, tastes wonderful.

We stopped by the Boise Co-Op because my wife wanted a few things over there. I found the first pumpkin beers on the shelf and brought several home. I am an admitted pumpkin beer junkie.

Somewhere in there I wrote another Macabre Macaroni. I have two now, but need two or three more. I like to plan ahead, and not wait to create them. I'm pretty happy with these. I also sent off a couple of guest posts to friends who invited me over. Love those guest posts and visits.

I also had a fun idea for Macabre Macaroni this year. I need to keep mum until mid September, but some of you might be able to play along. What can I say? I'm an author and I get ideas.

I booked a blog tour for Will O' the Wisp. I have it set up right before Halloween, because it's a great Halloween read. Somewhere in there, I'm going to release my book of short stories. They might also make decent Halloween reading. Just in case, I'm including a free sample of Will O' the Wisp in the back of the shorties. Everything is starting to tie together quite well. It may not all work, but it won't be for a lack of effort. I'm considering doing another Amazon advertising campaign over the top of all this. The last one wasn't uber successful, but it wasn't a failure either. Approaching Halloween, it might be more productive, plus the blog tour, etc. Should I do it? What do you guys think?

I also wrote a fun Lisa Burton post to throw out there right before the short stories go live on Amazon. I did a tiny bit of research on how to make an active table of contents, but haven't gotten very far on that project. I have two new pieces of Lisa art that I'm dying to share with everyone, but I need to wait for the release. Two more are coming to support my novel, The Playground.

Tonight, we returned to Old Chicago to work on my beer mini tour. I only need to drink two more to earn my beach blanket. This is right before we take the camper to the Oregon Coast for our vacation. It's a tough job, but I'm up to the task, and we'll have a cool beach blanket. One more full work week before I'm on vacation, and I won't have to go back until early September.

This means I'll have to use some of that time to choose an outline. I'm really struggling with this. The politically correct crowd may have changed what I need to write next. As horrible as that sounds, I need to be aware of such things.

Tried to talk my wife into continuing our night out, but we're home now. There are any number of small breweries we could have visited, but she wasn't up for it. Therefore, I'm watching classic Dr. Who episodes while I write this. The Waters of Mars is on right now. It looks like some weeping angels are up next. I'm not disappointed. These were great episodes.

How is your Saturday night going? Did you write anything? Do you have any promotional events coming up?

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Let’s talk about television.

I get some of my inspiration from television, and I’ll bet most writers do too. We are products of our environment, and television is all around us. I decided to talk about what I’ve been watching this fall. Here they are, in no particular order:

Dr. Who. I may be the only person in the world who isn’t onboard with Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor. The problem isn’t his, it’s one of poor production. BBC is running this with the theatrical music overpowering the dialog. I really don’t know if Capaldi is good or not. I’ve only heard about a third of what he said. I’ll keep watching, because it’s Dr. Who, but I’m losing interest.

Sherlock. I’m so excited that BBC America decided to run this show over here. I got to see some episodes that ran on PBS a few years ago. So far, I’ve seen these episodes, but it was a few years ago. I like the fact that each episode is about two hours long. They have more time to mesmerize me. Really excited to see what happens after R. Falls.

Selfie. Keeping with a loose BBC connection, I only watched this because of Amy Pond… I mean Karen Gillan. They teamed her up with John Cho. It’s a modern rebelling of Pygmalion/My Fair Lady. Gillan is hilarious as a self obsessed office worker. I never thought it had much staying power, but I’m sad it was cancelled already. I recorded it and watched it when it suit my schedule. It was up against a highly anticipated show called…

The Flash. I really want to like this show. I’m being patient, because Flash is one of my favorite characters. Right now they’re stuck in bad guy of the week syndrome. My biggest issue is that I think it was miscast. I prefer the old Flash with John Wesley Ship. I’m not offended by the racial diversity the network is obviously attempting, but… When I read the comics, Iris was a white girl. This seems to be a comic trend. I heard Marvel is doing something similar with Ben Grimm. I’m being patient with this show.

S.H.I.E.L.D. This show is much better than last year. They’ve allowed a bit of character growth that most new programs overlook. The episode when Coulson and May infiltrated the party was awesome. May was so out of character working under cover it was funny. It looks like Ward is going to be forgiven, and I think that’s a mistake. I also like the changes between Fitz & Simmons. They were a bit cloying in season one.

Sleepy Hollow. I really like this show. The cast carries the load here. The relationship between Crane and Mills is wonderful. The little bits of Crane being out of touch with modern times are hilarious. It’s a nice spice in an otherwise grim show. I’m not impressed that the horseman is one of the four horsemen, Death. I also don’t like the idea they gave him an invisible head and dialog. Sometimes the monster should remain a monster. His scare factor went from boiling to simmer. Someone once said The Force was so much cooler before we learned about metachlorians. This is how I feel about the horseman. I was a bit disappointed in the 30 pieces of silver episode. Everyone goes there. Crane and Mills carry the show.

The Walking Dead. This show was always good, and it still is. The world is genuinely dangerous, and cast members die off with regularity. There is no safety in knowing a character will be back next week. It’s gritty, scary, and dangerous and I like it.

Last Man Standing. It’s Tim Allen, do I need to say any more? The guy just cracks me up. They poke fun at very current events and do it from a standpoint of common people. The supporting cast is good, and they’ve been allowed to grow a bit too.

Note: There are no reality shows on my list. I was tired of them years ago, and quit watching them all together.

So what’s on your list? What have you given up on? What did you pick up? Is anyone still watching Bones or Once Upon a Time?

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You call this a Blog?

I’m completely slacking off today. I tried to catch up with everyone’s blogs, but I’m sure I missed someone. I’ll try to catch up completely in the next day or two.

I set the recorder for the Dr. Who premier and watched it. I had a hard time hearing it all. It was like the dramatic music drowned out the dialog at some points. There’s probably a writing lesson in there somewhere about not letting the setting overwhelm the story, but I’m too lazy to be brilliant right now. Watching a dinosaur cough up the Tardis was pretty cool.

I printed out all the critique stuff I need to read, but haven’t worked on them yet. We meet Thursday, so I need to get on with it.

Tonight I really should edit another chapter of The Cock of the South. I have an artist working up some cover sketches and I’m watching for the Paypal invoice. Things are looking promising so far.

It looks like being gone wounded my stats. Nobody unfollowed, and I actually gained one. Instead of forty views per day I was at around ten. It makes sense, I didn’t post most of the weekend. Next weekend will be more of the same, but I might squeeze one post in.

Now I’m drinking an Anderson Valley Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrel Stout. I also downloaded Dead Man’s Party and am rocking out to Oingo Boingo. (I promise not to dance for you.) Maybe I’m feeling the approach of Halloween.

Perhaps my Muse is telling me to take a night off. I’m off to a Dead Man’s Party with my big beer.

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The best part about Christmas

The best part about Christmas is a new Dr. Who Christmas special. I’m sad to see Matt Smith move on, but I expect good things from the new Doctor.

I’ve been watching the Doctor all night. Everyone went to look at Christmas lights, but I got stuck raising dough for dinner rolls tomorrow. Several hours with the Doctor is fine with me.

Merry Christmas everyone.

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Time to goof off, in a wibbly wobbly timey wimey way.

Lorelei sent me an email today. She told me to have my assistant, Lisa the robot, meet me at the writing cabin. She set up interviews with supporting characters for my new story. I need some friend characters and a bunch of “townies”.

I emailed back and said, not this weekend. It’s time for me to do something else. I may have some time on Sunday, but on Saturday I have plans. I’m spending Saturday watching Dr. Who, leading up to the 50th anniversary show.

Lorelei’s okay with it. She’s bringing a growler of porter and pizza. Fish sticks and custard are more appropriate, but not quite as tasty.

She sent me a selfie in her River Song getup. “Hello sweetie, see you Saturday.”

Some weekends you just have to indulge yourself. Apparently, Muses do too.

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What can Writers Learn from Television?

No, really, I want someone to tell me. Here are a couple of observations I’ve made over the years.

For TV, the main character has to have the right job. In order to get involved in amazing things, the MC has to have credible opportunities. This is why we see so many shows about cops, doctors, and lawyers.

People branched out and we see firemen, coroners, and police psychics. It may have been popular, but in real life, Angela Lansbury would never stumble across hundreds of murders. There aren’t too many shows about water department workers for a reason.

This applies to novels too. There has to be a reason for things to happen. In a novel, an average guy can stumble across something bad, spectacular or amazing. He isn’t going to have access to the big guns or the cool science though.

Character is important. I watch Once Upon a Time, but for the wrong reasons. I’m watching it for a bad example. Some of the main characters are flat and boring.

Regina/Evil Queen is horrible. She is always going to say the most vile thing. She is the first person to bully or make a threat. She’s the one who says, “You’re lying.” Lana Parilla is being wasted here. She’s smoking hot and looks great in fairy tale clothing and her mayoral suits. The minor background they gave her is too little too late.

Mr. Gold/crocodile/Dark One/Rumplestiltskin/Beast is great. He’s evil too, but he’s a complete character. He has a touch of humanity, and I feel for him when he loses his son or Belle.

Snow White and Prince Charming are boring. They’re always goody goody, and are as predictable as sunrise.

Story is important. I’ve never seen it, but how can Hostages go any further than one season? Bad guys take a family hostage and force one of the parents to do something horrible. I just don’t see this lasting ten years.

Dr. Who is at the other end of the spectrum. It’s been going for fifty years and shows no sign of slowing down. The possibilities are limitless.

I have a lot of words down, so I’ll start summing up. Our stories need believable circumstances, even in science fiction and fantasy. We need sympathetic and believable characters. We need a fully fleshed out world too. One that allows for twists and turns in the plot, and might even allow for a sequel if fans support the first one.

So, back to my question. What can TV teach us? I’d like to get the comments going. Let’s hear some opinions or issues I didn’t address.

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