Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sigh ...

Well, I figured it was about time to do the little dance that I do nearly every year around the beginning of fall: am I going to participate in NaNoWriMo or not? Seriously, it's an annual ritual, and each time, I always regret whichever decision I actually made, even if I've rationalized it to the nth. Last year, I opted out and instead completed the Mass Effect challenge, which was fun, sure, but I felt like BTVS' Spike watching through a window vampires eat their Thanksgiving human after the chip was placed in his head. The year before that, I did actually participate but only got a little over 6000 words into it before giving up, but I was going through a very deep depression at the time, so finding the emotional energy to do anything except breathe and occasionally getting out of bed was nearly impossible. I'm actually surprised I was able to write anything, let alone 6442 words, so in a way, I guess that was an accomplishment in and of itself. In 2012, I got much closer to reaching the goal of 50,000 words - I got a little over 35,200 - which made me feel kind of like a failure since I'd been able to be A Winner the previous year. 

And so that brings us to 2015, the year in which I will, again, join my fellow NaNoWrimers (this is now my term for them) to the race to the finish*. I've been talking about my new project, Paradiso, for a while now, and I figure it's time to go ahead and just do it. I'll be doing a lot of preparation over the next month, which is a new approach for me. My strategy for tackling NaNo is pretty much the pantser way: just go for it and hope for the best. But with Paradiso, I actually have to do some research (looking into history, physics, terraforming, cybernetics, and that's just the beginning), and although The Legion** has some pretty complex web-weaving, Paradiso is much more concise and is considerably less "epic," in the sense that I don't believe it will develop into anything further than a novel instead of being told over five novella arcs. 

So wish me luck! And if you are doing NaNo, please feel free to click HERE to go to my profile page and add me as a buddy. We can all use a little camaraderie during the month of November, can't we? 

* I'm still going to complete my Reboot challenge, which I'll post about later on in October. 
** I actually moved a lot of what was on my old website, A Million More to Go, into a new tab on this blog, and a lot more is to come over the next few months there. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

New(ish) Experience for Me

Back in college, I had a panic attack just as I parked my car in the lot in front of where I worked. I'd never experienced one before - and didn't realize what was going on until my boss mentioned it - so I forced myself to get up and walk into the building, where I was lead to the break room and allowed to let it pass before opening the store. Other than my body going into shock after catching on fire*, I never experienced another one.

Until yesterday.

Monday, September 7, 2015

... On Mental Illness

A few years ago, I took Abnormal Psychology and had a damn blast. The final project (that also doubled as our final exam) was to pick a character or historical person and diagnose them with the various disorders I had learned about over the semester, complete with DSM codes, and because I am a giant dork, I picked Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker. I literally had two pages of disorders and whatnot, and even my professor was like, "Wow, you were incredibly thorough with this. Even more than I requested." Mental illness fascinates me in so many ways, but it wasn't until a few years later that I found myself trying to diagnose my own mental health.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Life with Pets: Flea Baths - A One-Act Play

Back in the quaint little awful place known as Small Town, TN, JUJU sits in her living room, scratching at her legs and swatting at phantom bitey creatures, while ZOLA occasionally jumps and barks at her own ass. BITSY sits high in the former window now kitty ledge that leads into Juju's office, biting at her tail, and BINA's and KITKAT's bodies twitch with every itch, having given up on ever being bite-free. 

It is the Great Flea Infestation of 2012. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

So last month ...

How can it already be September? The last eight months have been a sort of bizarre blur of happiness, insanity, sadness, frustration, inspiration, and a whole bunch of other emotions that I can't even remember.

Monday, August 31, 2015

31 Day Miami Vice Challenge, Day 31: What I Would Like to See Next

Honestly, after the fiasco that was Miami Vice: Remix and the underperforming film in 2006, I'm not sure the world needs any more Miami Vice. There are just some things that belong where they are: in the past. We already have the progeny of the show - The Wire, Breaking Bad, Law & Order, CSI: Wherever/Whatever/Whathaveyou, Justified, Longmire, The Shield, etc. - so it seems kind of unnecessary to flood an already oversaturated genre. It wouldn't be right to turn it into a comedy, either, because that would simply enrage fans of the show, and we all know how bloodthirsty fans are when it comes to the objects of their obsession*.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

31 Day Miami Vice Challenge, Day 30: Portrayal of Drug Use and Drug Users on Miami Vice

I really did choose the more complex challenges for the end of the month, didn't I? Today's challenge actually ties into yesterday's, something I didn't actually intend when I selected the order, but hey! It makes for a nice segue.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

31 Day Miami Vice Challenge, Day 29: Diversity on Miami Vice

Wow, it's already Day 29 ... where did this month go?? Like seriously, I feel like this month just started.
Via Wikipedia
Anyway, diversity. For a show produced in the 80s, as I've noted elsewhere during this challenge, Miami Vice was exceptionally diverse, unlike its younger cousin, CSI: Miami*, where even the Latino characters were ridiculously white-looking. The main characters were surprisingly evenly distributed: white Sonny, Switek, and Zito; black Trudy and Rico; and Latina/o Gina** and Castillo. Throughout the series, you saw all sorts of ethnicities cross the screen: Colombian, Haitian, French, Italian, Thai, Vietnamese, and Irish. And those are the ones right off the top of my head. They were cast in both the "good" and "bad" roles, sometimes against stereotypes. That's actually pretty impressive, even for today's standards.

Friday, August 28, 2015

31 Day Miami Vice Challenge, Day 28: Favorite Jan Hammer Music

Jan Hammer did some wonderful work on Miami Vice, and it is difficult to choose just one from three years worth of episodes (they recycled his work once he left the show after I think Season Three). But if I have to pick, it would have to be what has been called "Dorothy's Theme." It's used effectively in so many scenes, like here (from "Milk Run"): 

But here's the original (sorry about the quality, but I have no control over it because Youtube):

It's perfect for Dorothy's character (and any scene that is about innocence lost), and it makes me miss this series all the more. Well, the first three seasons, anyway.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

31 Day Miami Vice Challenge, Day 27: Most Dated Event/Concept

God, what about this show isn't dated? That would probably be the easier question. From Sonny's giant car phone to the sports cars to the architecture, I cannot think of a show that is more obviously 80s, even revelling in it. That's not a bad thing, of course, seeing as I get such a delight out of it, but it's more than a little difficult to nail it down to one single example.

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