Saturday, August 27, 2011

Saturday at the Movies #65 - Seasonally appropriate

Nope, not summer flicks; I'm on the east coast, so it's all about Irene. Realistically, I am more likely to be watching Moonlight or HIMYM episodes or Brideshead Revisited this weekend, but were I to theme a private film festival around the weather, I submit the following for consideration:

I know reviews of this one were all wet, but it's still on my to be viewed list:

The title alone begs inclusion:

A far reach back into the vaults for this one, but plot and title apply:

Absolutely cannot believe I have not yet seen Bogey and Bacall in this one, but soon:

Okay, my first exposure to the classic mentioned above was the song below, but it's also a good reminder that storms will pass. Be safe, East Coasters, and see you on the other side of Irene.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Happy Dance Friday #63 - singing in the rain

Since Hurricane Irene has decided to come visit the east coast (may her visit be short and uneventful) the theme for this week seemed obvious. Okay, that and the fact that I've always thought dancing on a wet stage was both impressive for the audience and challenging for the dancers.

First, a modern take on a classic:

A SYTYCD classic:

and one filled with Glee.

Stay safe, East Coast people

Friday, August 19, 2011

Happy Dance Friday #62 - Love for Sasha

If there were ever a year that I wanted SYTYCD to end in a tie, it was this one. Choosing between Melanie and Sasha is nigh on impossible, so even though the show had to pick, I'm giving Sasha her moment in the sun here.

Classical ballet training? Backup dancer for Adam Lambert's tour? Alvin Ailey training? No. Freaking. Surprise. For any of it.

Oh hedgehog-haired beauty, I sometimes forget my age, too, but I can only do Travis Wall choreography in my dreams.

On a semirelated note, I officially declare (since this has been the first entirely Mia Michaels-free season) the mantle of "contemporary choreographer who can rip my heart out every single time" has been passed from Mia Michaels to Travis Wall. :touches Mr Wall on shoulders with tip of scepter:

Back to Sasha. Christina Applegate was completely right. Sasha can put her finger on a wall and break the audience's heart. Whatever it was she went through (and if I were to later find out that Ms Mallory has Method training, I will not be at all surprised) that she drew on for this performance, I want to give her a standing ovation for surviving it with beauty, grace and strength. I know I've shared this one before, but it bears repeating. Sasha holds her own with Kent Boyd, which is a tall, tall order. This is one of the great ones. For the duration of this dance, we live in their world.

I could gush about how great it is to find a female dancer with such a strong sense of self, but it's better to show it with one of her solos.

What I love about her most, though, is that she has her head and heart in the right place with strong family ties. Her love for and friendship with sister and fellow dancer, Natalia, shines through bright and clear. Next year, I want to see Sasha superbusy, juggling duties as an All Star (I hope I hope I hope) and supporting Natalia when she gets her chance in the top twenty (more hope more hope more hope.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

NaNo is Coming!

Acting Like Animals: I Give Up!

Yes, I know it's the middle of August, but trust me, the picture is appropriate.

A couple times a year, my RWA chapter does a Book In Six Weeks project. Think National Novel Writing Month, but without a set word/page count and it lasts two weeks longer. Normally, I start planning far in advance, and by the time the actual BISW starts, I have a fully loaded resource notebook with rough outline, character notes and any other guides I would need for flying into the mist. This time, I thought I could wing the whole thing. I was wrong. Oh so very wrong.

No mistakes here, the page counts I turned in for the official record are honest, but instead of coming out of this with a rough draft of a novella, which had been my plan, I worked on assortment of projects. All needed, all good, but what I wanted was to come out of this with a novella I could polish and send out before the end of the year, and that did not happen. Good stuff happened; I finally got out of that mire of polishing the same (expletive deleted) chapter in a finished ms and made significant headway into writing lesson plans for my level two Fanfiction To Fantastic Fiction course (privately called "Fred" until I think of a better name for it) and a rough idea for a possible future could-be-novel-could-be-novella. No novella draft, though, and that drives me nuts.

Which means that with November coming faster than one who is not intending to write fifty thousand words in thirty days might expect, it's idea time. At the moment, I got nothing. This makes me cranky. Currently polishing an ms that has been getting some nibbles, so that's where most of my attention goes, but I like the sprints like BISW and NaNo for getting a novella out. There's something special about getting from once upon a time to happily ever after in a short span of time. Because it's me, that's going to be a rocky, angsty road, but they get there, trust me.

So. It's now August, and I'll want/need time for character work and research before the NaNo starter's pistol sounds. Readers, what kinds of historical romances would you love to see but can't find on the shelves? Future characters, my door is open. You are invited. I'll leave a light on.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Happy Dance Friday #61 - Melanie Wins!

My reaction to the verdict:
 - They see me dancin', they hatin'...
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 animated gif - Boingy Boingy Boingy
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I had an inkling from the first audition that Melanie had a good chance of taking the whole thing:

Melanie, performing at a Dancers Responding to AIDS benefit:

No surprise at all why she had multiple judge's favorite dances (as did runner up Sasha, who will get her love her next week because she is also awesome) but the one I wanted to see (and darnit, they didn't call *me* for a favorite dance pick, but then again, the gals did only perform it the night before) was Stacey Tookey's repressed housewives story - because that's what it was. I could read the whole story of two friends supporting each other in wanting something more than what they've been told they can have, but still held back by the fear of the unknown. I could read the "I want/but no, we can't/but I still want" fight within both characters together and separately, and again, when Melanie, in the dark, turns and looks back over her shoulder, beyond the fence, my heart, it breaks.

In the very nice coincidence department, a song from the playlist from one of my WIPs -where the heroine actually was named Melanie long before Ms. Moore auditioned-:

Friday, August 05, 2011

Happy Dance Friday #60 - one week to finale

Can we be at the end already? Gah. No. Feels like we're only getting started, but it is exciting to know who our final four will be.

No doubt at all why Melanie and Tadd are both in the finale, and the Spencer Liff Broadway routine gets my idea hamster running:

Sasha absolutely cemented her place in the top four with this routine with all star Kent and one lucky wall:

Rounding out the final four, we have Marko, here with Caitlynn, who was thisclose, but when the other two females are Sasha and Melanie, um, yeah. But Marko:

I will miss Ricky's solos, which I liked better than his partner work, but, well, when the other two guys are Marko and Tadd, see above:

Lovely to see Christina Applegate as a guest judge, and extra points because she does have dance credentials as well as being flat out gorgeous and endearingly enthusiastic.

I am ashamed to say I had never heard of the Bad Boys of Dance before, but now that they're on my radar, I must investigate:

As for winner predictions, this year is going to be a tough one. My gut says either Sasha or Melanie, and it will be thisclosebetweenthem. Really no bad way to fall for this one. Is it bad of me to want it to be Melanie a leeeeetle more solely for her facial expressions when she receives good news?