Friday, February 25, 2011

Five Question Friday...

I totally stole this from Must Read Faster It looked like fun and I needed a not-so-serious post just to put something up. So here goes!

1. Can you drive a stick shift?
Yes. At like 5 mph... well, maybe faster, but let's say I'm not proficient, just passable. Now a stick shift tractor? Totally!

2. What are two foods you just can't eat?
Anything still breathing, and anything associated with feces. I'll try most anything, and I HAVE had haggis, but beyond haggis, nothing rear-end oriented.

3. Do you buy Girl Scout Cookies? What is your favorite kind?
Peanut butter patties!!!

4. How do you pamper yourself?
Do nothing all day but write/writing associated activities and/or reading

5. What is your nickname and how did you get it?
The funniest is Cow-Hips. I got it back in high school because while I wasn't scrawny at all, I did/still have very prominent hipbones. Like, REALLY prominent. When we would rough house and stuff, I was renown for hip-checking. I could send people sailing and they usually got bruised by my boney hip. So Cow-Hips became my nickname. It's a weird one, but the people who gave it to me loved (still love) me. The other is Artemis, which is now my pseudonym. I got that one because of my aversion to boys, and dating and my propensity for running wild.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

LK Madigan

I did not know LK Madigan. But still I knew her. I knew her because she was a writer, like me. I knew her because she had the same dreams I had. And she DID touch those dreams. She created things. Those things affected other people. She put herself into everything she wrote, and by reading what she wrote you met her, even if you never actually met her. So I knew LK Madigan without ever knowing her. And I miss her laughter without ever having heard it. Her laughter, her voice, her presence will live on in her writing for me. So many people who did actually meet her have put up things in remembrance. At first, I didn't think it was my place to put up something, since my memories were just ersatz glimpses of a wonderful and much loved person. Now I think it's a good thing so say that I will miss a woman who impacted me simply by following her own dreams, by indomitably existing in the world while she was among us.

These are the lyrics to a song called 'When I Go' by Dave Carter - another soul whose time was too short among mortals. It is how I want people to remember me when I have gone, and I hope that those who did know LK in life will think it a fitting eulogy to her. It's my little eulogy, from one writer to another.

Come, lonely hunter, chieftain and king
I will fly like the falcon when I go
Bear me my brother under your wing
I will strike fell like lightning when I go

I will bellow like the thunder drum, invoke the storm of war
A twisting pillar spun of dust and blood up from the prairie floor
I will sweep the foe before me like a gale out on the snow
And the wind will long recount the story, reverence and glory, when I go

Spring, spirit dancer, nimble and thin
I will leap like coyote when I go
Tireless entrancer, lend me your skin
I will run like the gray wolf when I go

I will climb the rise at daybreak, I will kiss the sky at noon
Raise my yearning voice at midnight to my mother in the moon
I will make the lay of long defeat and draw the chorus slow
I'll send this message down the wire and hope that someone wise is listening when I go

And when the sun comes, trumpets from his red house in the east
He will find a standing stone where long I chanted my release
He will send his morning messenger to strike the hammer blow
And I will crumble down uncountable in showers of crimson rubies when I go

Sigh, mournful sister, whisper and turn
I will rattle like dry leaves when I go
Stand in the mist where my fire used to burn
I will camp on the night breeze when I go

And should you glimpse my wandering form out on the borderline
Between death and resurrection and the council of the pines
Do not worry for my comfort, do not sorrow for me so
All your diamond tears will rise up and adorn the sky beside me when I go

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

del Toro Dreams, and Monstrous Things...

So I had this random dream last night wherein Guillermo del Toro was making a movie out of Evernow. *pauses to catch breath, even though it was just a dream* Either you will think that del Toro turning my book into a movie is the most utterly amazing thing ever in the existence of my little monster-loving brain, or you will not get it at all. Suffice to say that IF del Toro ever even READ (and liked) Evernow, I would go into paroxysms of ecstasy. Much less if he ever made a movie out of the book.

Truthfully, childlike adoration and gaganess aside, Guillermo del Toro is, for me, what the Great Masters were for the art world. He is a Master in his own right, able to transform the world around him with a mere word or touch. His mind is a doorway into as-of-yet unseen dimensions. But he creates these amazing windows for us so that we can glimpse those places. And he has this unreasonable gift for reaching inside you and grabbing emotions you didn't know you had. All of this while surrounding you with gloriously magnificently rendered monsters. Monsters that both horrify and entrance. My kind of monsters...

Aaaaanyway... the whole dreaming about del Toro turning Evernow into a movie really sort of got to me. I'm not at all the sort of person who imagines her books up on the big screen. I have no secret desires to be an actress (although stunt riding would be totally fun, and I do think it would be awesome to sit for like five hours and get turned into some sort of beastie) and I rarely ever think along the lines of 'what actor would play which character' in my stories. However, some actors were already in my del Toro dream, playing various roles. Who knows where dreams come from. Maybe in some alternate dimension, an alternate del Toro IS making an Evernow movie, and I managed to somehow glimpse it. Maybe I ate some rotten cheese before bed. Or maybe I'm just harboring secret desires even from myself. The point is, I've been up for hours and I'm still getting the shivers when I recall the del Toro dream and the movie based off a book that hasn't even landed me an agent yet. And I've sort of gotten this list together of what actors would play what characters. And at this moment, I don't care how silly it is. I don't care that it'll never happen. I don't care that it's all fantasy. I'm embracing it. So without further ado, here's a little line-up of my own casting, along with a little blurby on why I think each actor/actress would be great for the part.

First off we have Sarah Polley in the role of Evernow. I have loved her since Avonlea, and frankly I adore her to no end. There has never been anyone else in my mind who could capture Evernow's manners, strength and vulnerability. Although Sarah looks like the girl next door, she can certainly kick serious ass and yet easily captures the nuances of emotion and heart that elude many actresses.

Next up would be Evernow's counterpart, partner in crime and devoted best friend, Clara. Although she's smothered in self-doubt and insecurity when they first meet, Evernow immediately sees a strength within Clara that will not be denied. Kristin Stewart is SO much more than vampire candy. She has the scope and depth to portray a girl who feels that her own identity is a burden to others, but who over time grows into herself and realizes that life is to be seized by the gonads.

What else can I say about Kevin Durand besides YUM? I mean, really, that's all there is to it. But if I have to, I can add that it's going to take a big guy all around to stand up to Evernow when she's pissed off and Kevin Durand is a guy who could look decent doing it. Good-hearted but dominating Tank is the warrior who first decides to take Evernow into the settlement where she meets Clara. Although Tank and Evernow never do see eye to eye, their relationship is a hippo-dance of respect, intimidation, and trust, with neither willing to give over to the other.

If I didn't have a character that was perfect for Doug Jones, I'd write one in just for him. That's how much I love him. He is the most gracious and gently mannered celebrity I've ever had the good fortune to met. This picture was taken at Dragon Con (yeah I'm wearing lingerie. And horns. What can I say? I mean, it WAS Dragon Con) Anyway, I'm sure that Doug doesn't remember me (unless he has a thing for horned 50's pin-ups...) because he meets hundreds of fans every year. He knew he wouldn't remember me the moment he met me. But he acted like he'd known me for years. He thanked me for wanting to see him, for waiting to see him, for supporting him as an actor. He told me that people like him wouldn't exist without people like me. I even got a hug. A really good hug. Doug understates his own abilities, citing good writing, good directing, good co-stars. But the truth is that Doug is an utterly amazing actor, and he is unquestionably my number one pick if I could choose anyone in the world to portray the Fey character of Shade in Evernow. It's hard to describe Shade's character without giving away too much, but suffice to say, that if you want someone to play a pivotal, vital, inhuman character, you need an inhumanly gifted actor. Doug Jones is the man for the job.

Uriah Amberton is an irrepressible charmer. You can never be sure if his cocky demeanor is a put-on or a warning of what lies in store for anyone who crosses him. As different from Tank as day and night, easy-going Uri usually lets his Tank lead the way. But there are shocking secrets in Uri's past. Luke Goss stole my heart the moment I saw him in Blade 2. Then he won my undying adoration as Prince Nuada. He's played many other roles and done a wonderful job in them all. But Nomak and Nuada have always stayed with me because in both cases, Goss portrayed honestly bad bad guys but they were bad guys that weren't JUST bad. They were characters that did awful things, but did them because of deep underlying reasons. In Nomak's case it was revenge for a life of agony, a life that had been created solely for someone else's benefit. In Nuada's case, it was out of love and the desperate devotion to his dying people. They were bad guys who had suffered bad things at the hands of others, not just mindless thugs. I need someone pretty and completely confident for Uri's part, and Goss fits the bill perfectly.

Michael Christian is maybe one of the most complex and chameleon-like characters in the story. Again, without giving any spoilers it's hard to articulate the entirety of Michael Christian's character, but Paul Bettany could nail him, and that's all you need to know. He's the sort of actor that can convince you to love him in one sentence and loathe him in one glance.

Elliaer is a young Fey boy who becomes Evernow's confidant and devoted companion. Although he and Evernow met under violent circumstances, Elliaer sees the goodness within her and readily offers his friendship to her. Just as she has never cared that humans are supposed to hate Fey folk, Elliaer has never cared that he should hate humans. Alex Pettyfer is a rising star who has both the looks and the skill to make it in any costume or character. I can't wait to see him in Beastly!

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Dangers of Trigger Finger... And Other Seemingly Random Dribble...

I sent a query! I had it all planned out neatly. Of course, I've rewritten the thing several thousand times already. Then my sister, code name Fenris, read it. And I changed it a few more times. Then she read the ten pages that went with the query. And I changed that a few times. This was on top of some changes I made to the ten pages (that turned out AWESOMELY) at the suggestion of Christi. Thank you Christi! Fenris noticed those changes (most of them) immediately and loved them. Anyway, so I had all of this neatly plotted out and lined up and sitting pretty in the 'compose mail' section of my email. But I intended to read it all just one more time. You know, for good measure. Just in case... And then my index finger had a seizure. Or a spasm. Or maybe it was like a fart in the bloodstream. I don't know. Whatever it was, my finger hit the enter key, and since the cursor was hovering over 'send' (cause I'd tried to send the stupid query about three times already) the thing sent. Even though I wasn't ready to send it. Although I WAS ready. I just wasn't ready ready. Sooo I squealed like a pig in the slaughter chute, as if the noise and writhing might somehow be useful and it wasn't useful at all, just disturbing to everyone around me who thought that something was, you know, ACTUALLY wrong. Which, of course, it wasn't because I'd already made everything as good as it could be. The only part of the process that wasn't ready, was me. Funny how that works.

Christi (yes, I intend to hire her to go everywhere with me because she's so smart, and, well, she makes me feel smart by sharing her smartness with me) gave me the advice that in the future, I should leave the address box empty until the very last thing. That way I can play all I want with things and they can't go anywhere because I haven't told them where to go yet. I learn a lot of stuff by the hardest. This won't be one of those lessons. Next time, I'm leaving the 'where to' until last.

But, all of this momentary drama got me thinking. That and a comment left by my very good longtime friend, code name Perryn, on my Facebok status when I blathered about my trigger finger. Perryn's comment read: 'Maybe your finger is just smarter than you are. Maybe it got sick of waiting for you.' He might have something there. Maybe my finger was smarter than I was. It was those fingers that scratched out the first line to Evernow. The one line in the entire book that I promise has never been changed. The one line that several established authors have laughed at and loved. I didn't think about that line. I just felt it and my fingers wrote it. Maybe sometimes your fingers know better than you do. Maybe all you have to do is let them write whatever they want instead of whatever you THINK you should write. It's easy to get caught up in editing and editing is a good thing. But you can't edit something if you don't have enough of it to edit. After all, editing is sort of like debriding a burn. But first you have to have enough tissue - both damaged and undamaged - in order to be able to cut away the bad stuff so you can find the good stuff.

So the next time your fingers have an urge to write something, even if your head is telling you not to write anything that's not perfect, ignore your brain. Brains are overrated. Unless you're a zombie and then it's another matter entirely... But I digress. Let your insides decide what to write and let your fingers give it life. You can always trim the fat later.