Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday at the Movies #36 - Mahogany, still to be seen

Yep, still have not seen Mahogany, though it stands to reason that I should have. Filmed in 1970s, check. World of fashion, check. Diana Ross strutting her stuff and Billy Dee Williams doing the same, check and check. Anthony Perkins, check. Iconic music, check. (I remember when our sixth grade gym class had the theme song playing when we had to improvise interpretive dance) Tumultuous and possibly triumphant, possibly tragic love story woven throughout? Check, but still I have yet to view its wonders.

I remember being dazzled by the images in the trailers and ads when the movie was new, but alas, I was too young to actually go see it. Couldn't keep me from hearing the song on the radio, though.

Girl from the projects in Chicago aspires to be a superstar in the fashion world, while her homegrown gentleman friend has concerns closer to home. Love? Ambition? Both? Wrap it all in a kaleidescope of costume and scenery and it's a perfect recipie for an Anna friendly movie, and scenes like this are only a teaser.

Do you know where you're going to?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Happy Dance Friday #42

Some days, you're the windsheild, some days you're the bug. So far, it's not even noon, but everybody I've talked to via IM or email has been the bug either today or last night. I figured some Billy Idol would be appropriate. Zombies and shillouettes ensue, so skip if not your thing:

I haven't seen Billy Elliot yet, but I have to admire the kid's sticktoitiveness.

Since it's been one of those days, I will close today's post with the following:
funny pictures - can't play nao.  iz on zombie watch.
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I'm doing it again.

"It" in this case being the "From Fanfiction to Fantastic Fiction" workshop I presented at Savvy Authors last year. They asked me back this year, and since last year was such a blast, I jumped at the chance. Click on the link for more information.

My past life in the world of fanfic taught me a lot. One of the most important things is that we have to love what we're writing. Readers can tell if the author is invested in the story or phoning it in, and starting from a place of love (especially in romance) is the best possible foundation.

These days, I squeal in fangirlly glee over shippy moments in shows like How I Met Your Mother or Bones, and while it's probably only a coincidence, I prefer to consider that Bones' grad student, Vincent Nigel-Murray is a reference to Hannah Howell's Nigel Murray from Highland Honor, the second installment in her long running Highland historical romance series.

There's absolutely no reason for me to make any connection between the Bones character and the one in Hannah Howell's books, as they're very different characters but I am very fond of both, so the fact that they share a name gives me the happies. Similarly, when someone on Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior refers to Mick and Beth doing something, my brain goes right to Moonlight. My brain fills in that "my" Mick and Beth are off doing something related to the case somewhere in the background and will connect with the rest of the team later. Never mind how long it would take the profilers to figure out "my" Mick was a vampire and any name confusion. Moonlight Beth would fit in quite fine, to my thinking.

Yeeeah, once a fangirl, always a fangirl. What long time loves affect your current writing, reading or viewing?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Saturday at the Movies #35- To Be Seen/Oh The Pretties

Most of this weekend will be spent either playing Sims3, reading or mushing paint around, but I do plan on actually getting to the theater in the near future, because there are some gorgeous films coming out. I know some haven't gotten the best reviews, but who cares? I can freely admit to going to some movies for the sheer visual factor and there's nothing at all wrong with that. Plus I have loved fairy tales since I was a wee princess myself and if they're darker edged, all the better.

Red Riding Hood caught my attention instantly, especially since my art crush, Michelle Ward, has also been inspired by the look of this one.

Beastly: I have loved the Beauty and the Beast story since I was that wee princess, a time which overlaps with my brief love affair of horror comics. Though I honestly can't remember titles, authors or artists, I do have two all time favorite entries from such readings, one of which takes place in an abandoned skyscraper. I think that was probably the start of my ongoing love affair with things that should be full but are empty (more on that later) so when that all gets mushed together, it's pure Anna-bait, and Neil Patrick Harris seals the deal (which of course requires a "what up" from his alter ego on HIMYM.)Enough blathering. I want to see this.

Water for Elephants: I had absolutely no interest in the book, but wow, the look of this movie drew me right in. 1930s, circus, Reese Witherspoon. Happy sigh. Though I'm genre savvy enough to go into this expecting the love story to Not End Well and will have to investigate to see about possible triggers (former caregiver here, and animals being hurt/killed) but other than that, oh the eye candy and story looks promising.

Pirates of the Carribbean 4: On Stranger Tides: I have no words that will not come out like an excited fangirl squee. No Will or Elizabeth in this one, but that's okay, they're living happily ever after. We get Jack, mermaids, zombies, Bluebeard. One seat in the front row, please, with popcorn and Hot Tamales.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy Dance Friday #41 - mostly rambling

Mostly rambling this week, because A) YouTube is being pokey, B)my brain is mush from the last couple of days and I must reserve the two remaining brain cells for the query that must go out this weekend and that writing thing I keep hearing about. Still, I hate to miss a post, so a smattering of stuff.

I won't ask any of you to follow the convoluted trail that led me to "Rock Me Amadeus" making a return as an earworm, but I love the opulence and grandeur:

Nobody is ever too old for the alphabet song if accompanied by disco dancing Grover:

The remnants of my brain not dedicated to "must keep writing" and "I need a nap" go to the Sims3 game this week. While these are not my Sims and not footage from my game (still figuring out stuff on that front) I love how the Sims dance:

What random bits of fun give you a lift at the end of a difficult week?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saturday At the Movies #34 - 70s To Be Seen

Maybe the fact that I was a kid in the 1970s that gives this particular decade an aura of intrigue, wanting to know what it was like through adult eyes, (I know, probably a lot of the same stuff; taxes, housework, work-work, family stuff) but I have a soft spot for movies made during or set in that era. A few on my to be viewed list are here:

First up, The Summer of '42. My parents had some record with the theme song on it -with lyrics- and I fell madly in love with it, playing that song over and over and over again. I was eleven, and had no idea about the movie's plot, but I was also madly in love with the Wonder Woman tv show, which gave me a strong interest in WWII settings for dramas. I am a sucker for a good coming of age story, especially one with a bittersweet tinge to it. Add in the cinematography and the fact that Jennifer O'Neill is flat out gorgeous, and I'm there. As soon as I can find a copy on DVD, that is.

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore: Is that a great title or what? With Ellen Burstyn and Kris Kristofferson in the leads, I'm already interested, and a creative type trying to reconcile necessity with the urge to follow their calling, definitely want to see this one. Plus it has the first and original appearance of one Florence Jean Castleberry, whom I, as a youngun, thought was hysterical in the sticom, Alice, though I'm suspecting there are a lot of liberties taken in the adaptation. Compare and contrast movie:

annnnnd sitcom:

A Star Is Born: Barbra Streisand, more Kris Kristofferson, rising star, falling star, "Evergreen," tortured lovers...pure Anna bait here.

An Unmarried Woman: Jill Clayburgh's iconic performance; I could probably leave why I want to see this at that, but it's also a peek into what happens when a life crumbles and a woman gets thrown into the deep end and has to figure out how to swim. She will be missed.

Time to hunt down some of these now that I'm old enough, and maybe some Chuckles and a Charleston Chew to nibble whilst I watch. What 70s classics (filmed in or set during) should I add to this list? Share your favorites.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Happy Dance Friday #40 - what measure is a happy dance?

When I first started with Happy Dance Fridays, the idea was to make myself blog more consistently. That's it. Slapping a couple of YouTube videos I'd found interesting made for an easy post, and while I may not be putting on dancing shoes myself every day, writing a heroine as a dancer lets me do that vicariously. Ballroom, Broadway, competition, exhibition, it's all good.

I'm still looking forward to the new season of So You Think You Can Dance and all the wonderful moments that will be captured there. New-to-me dancers to impress and dazzle and make me search the interwebs for more. All good stuff there as well.

I love seeing classic stuff reinterpreted for a fresh perspective, such as the mashups we see on Glee (plus rain is my second favorite weather after snow, and I love when there's water on the stage):

Music that makes me want to dance or puts a spring in my step counts:

Some of the dance pieces I love the most don't fall into the "happy" category as they aren't upbeat, but those that affect me on a deep and profound level that goes past entertainment and straight into that place where art and truth meld with emotion, such as this piece choreographed by Mia Michaels:

Then again, to quote Dr Who's Sally Sparrow, "Sad is happy for deep people" and I think that counts, too.

What constitutes a happy dance for you?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

We have a default read for spring,huzzah

Back when I had my most recent reading slump, the book that broke me out of it was The Immortal Highlander by Hannah Howell and Lynsay Sands. While I'm still not a vampire fan by any means (though Mick St. John, call me. Yes, you can bring Beth. In fact, I insist. Moonlight forever.)I am usually up for a good Highlander (while I'm on the topic, Duncan MacLeod, call me. Yes, you can bring Tessa. In fact, I insist.) story and the novella length means I can get from once upon a time to happily ever after sooner than with a full length novel. My immersion in the world of the MacNachtons and MacAdies began, and as I'm currently on the second to last book in the series to date, my eyes start drifting to the TBR shelves.

Hannah Howell has long been a staple in historical romance, and while I'd started her Highland series back when, well, back when, let's say, I hadn't been keeping current, so there's quite a few titles. Which I don't think is all the books covering the Cameron and Murray clans, and since it's the Highland part more than the vampire part (though I do find that handled well; normal people with a few wee differences) I think working my way though the Camerons and Murrays through the spring will be right up my alley. I really appreciate when linked books go through multiple generations rather than stay in only one, and this definitely applies here.

I'm starting at the beginning, once I'm done with the last Highland vampire installment I have on hand, which will be a trip down memory lane for the first few books. Which will be interesting, because I don't think I read them in order when I started and I'm pretty strict about that these days. Also looking forward to my perspective as a more mature reader and writer. Since Typing With Wet Nails was meant to be primarily a writing and reading blog, I'm planning on this being a step in the right direction.

I've found that picking a default read, be it theme, author, setting or something else goes a long way in staving off reading slumps. Have you ever set a default for those don't-know-what-to-read-next times? How did that work for you? Hannah Howell fans, chime in; which of her historicals (vampire or otherwise) are your favorites?

Friday, March 04, 2011

Happy Dance Friday #39 - Despicable Me (and the ms that eats me whole)

Only one post away from the big 4-0 for Happy Dance Friday, and thanks to E. Catherine Tobler for suggesting Despicable Me as a clip source. I still have yet to see the actual movie, but if these aren't in the dictionary next to "happy dance" then I need a new dictionary. That and the fact that the edits I've been struggling with on the current ms have now given way to rewrites that are making the whole thing oh so much better that I have got to get my groove on here.

BeeGees music, a supervillain dancing with his little girls, and minions, oh mercy, the minions:

I want dancing boogie robots:

There may not be any dancing in this clip, but I sure do like Agnes' outlook on turning a disappointment into a win:

That about sums up my feelings with struggling to the point of writer insanity with a chapter that would not get in line with my edits...but turns out it wouldn't turn into a butterfly because it wasn't a caterpillar but a Cheeto, and as a Cheeto, turned out to be quite the tasty snack. I love when that happens.