November 8, 2013

Stuff and Things 11/8/13

What I'm Writing
I don't have an excerpt from my current NaNo novel that I like well enough as a stand-alone scene to share (although I'm on track, even as I write this a bit ahead), so I'm taking an excerpt from my 2011 novel, Transfer, instead. It was inspired by the song "Transfer" by Five For Fighting (good song. Google it). It's set in the early 1960's, and I had given it the rather grandiose tagline of, "The story of life after love at first sight." Mainstream fiction with romantic leanings.

And let me tell you something: I hated this novel. I mean, you always get to that point, but this one was special. I despised it. Writing it was like pulling teeth. I mean, there wasn't even a talking squirrel (writing a squirrel is surprisingly fun. I recommend it). I couldn't even open the file until a few months ago, and when I did... it was actually kind of good. I hate myself a little for liking it, because it tried to kill me. But this is the one I've seriously been trying to edit and polish up(during non-NaNo months), because it's pretty commercial (although I did manage to fit in some reincarnation themes. Because I'm me).

Anyway, this is one of my two favorite scenes (the second is at the end and kind of spoils the whole thing). It's towards the beginning. The two main characters (David and Delilah: I had a thing for D names that year) have been snowed in for 3 days at a tiny train station in the middle of nowhere. To be honest, it's a hook-up scene, but it's not dirty. It's obviously not meant for small children, but it's not explicit.

David supposed that he should have realized this was going to happen. A man and a woman, snowed in at a little train station, an obvious attraction between them. But he would have liked to think that his self-control would have lasted more than three days. After all, he always prided himself on the fact that no matter how unhappy he was in his marriage, no matter how many temptations he faced, he had never been unfaithful to his wife. He’d seen his fellows and his peers and his co-workers go off with their secretaries and cocktail waitresses and women from bars. He’d watched them go home to their wives with lipstick on their collars, stinking of beer and another woman’s perfume. David had sworn that he would never be that man. He supposed that he could comfort himself with the fact that he didn’t plan on going home to his wife in the near future, if he went back at all.
But now he was here, on one of the two cots they had set up, with a woman that wasn’t his wife. David knew that he should be feeling guilty, but he wasn’t. Because this was their clean, white, snowy world, and nothing could sully it. The outside world couldn’t impinge on their reality. Here, he wasn’t a married man, and she wasn’t the runaway bride that had broken her family’s heart. Here they had no pasts, no baggage, and no complications. Here they were just David and Delilah, just two lost souls that had found each other in the snowy little transfer station in the middle of nowhere.
“Are you all right?” David panted into the crook of her neck. It was damp with her sweat. Her hair clung to it in little ringlets. David couldn’t stop staring at them. “We don’t have to... We could stop...” But David wasn’t sure that he could stop. It had been so long, and there was such a pleasant heat rising in his body, and god when she sighed like that…
“Stop being so damned respectable,” Delilah gasped. “Just love me.”
That was something David had no problem doing.

Thought? If you don't say anything, I'm going to get a complex.

Movies- Beyond this point, there be spoilers

Captain America actually pleasantly surprised me. It was pretty good. After the disappointment of Thor, my expectations weren't too high, but Captain America didn't really follow the standard "superhero movie" format. It was more character than action driven (as a good origin story should be), and I really liked how they subtly poked fun at some of the more common superhero tropes (like when the Hydra agent tried to distract Steve by throwing the little kid into the river, and the kid just popped right up saying, "Go get him! I can swim."). In fact-- though I really hate to say it-- it could have used a touch more action. It started to drag a little around the one hour mark, and I feel like we didn't really get to see Steve Rogers be Captain America enough. Though, as complaints go, it's a pretty minor one.

And as female leads in a superhero movie go, Peggie Carter is probably one of my favorites. She was strong, smart, and independent, but they didn't throw that in your face and force it down your throat the way other superhero movies do. Her relationship with Steve was much more realistic. The timeline in Captain America was a lot longer than in your average superhero movie, but they didn't rush it at all. My one complaint, and again, it's a minor one, is that we didn't see her interact more with "Skinny Steve." They tried to make Peggie a character that appreciated Steve from before the super-soldier serum, but she just came off more maternal than anything else. And that made some of the flirty bits after he hunkified a bit weird. But oh my GAH, at the end, when he's on the radio with her, I started to cry. It was heartbreaking.

And... umm... about that ending... err... he didn't actually defeat Red Skull... the Tesseract did... and that was a bit anticlimatic. I mean, from a writer's point of view, I totally get what they were trying to do. Steve first proved that he was hero material by being willing to sacrifice himself, and so it's totally fitting that that's also his ultimate heroic moment. But it's also a superhero movie, and I wanna see the good guys triumph over the bad, not the bad guy get defeated by an inanimate object. Urgh, I'm so torn because it's good storytelling, but it's not the sort of visceral satisfaction that I'm used to.

Also, I wish there had been more Howard Stark. I know the movie was a little too long as it was, and I know that of all the things to cut, that was the best choice. But I just can't help but feel like there were a lot of good stories there that we didn't get to see.

Agents of SHIELD- It was a good episode--better than the last one, at least-- but either I'm just not invested enough in the show, or it just came along too early, because I wasn't scared for Simmons. Like, at all. This is a show with Joss Whedon's name on it; there's no guarantee that everyone's going to make it out alive. I did like that it wasn't the world at stake. For once. It was just Simmons. But I didn't cry. It's very easy to make me cry. I got more teary when Coulson was sitting alone with that doomed firefighter than I was when Simmons jumped out of the plane. That quiet, hopeless moment, that broke my heart. Not the overly dramatic, overdone "genius gets infected and s/he's the only one who can find the cure." I think that was the plot of like 12 different Stargate episodes. And countless Star Trek episodes. And I think a Farscape episode.

But that moment with Coulson and the firefighter, that's why I haven't given up on this show yet. Because that was human and good. Understated and beautifully tragic. That's the sort of thing that I expect from the Whedons, even if it's Jed and Maurissa instead of Joss.

Supernatural- Funny, but filler. And I'll say it again: after nine years, Dean, don't you know better than to keep a secret from Sam? Especially one about Sam? Because it's not like that's ever caused a problem before. Also, I miss Benny. T-T Not for a specific reason. I just kinda do.

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