Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from June, 2017

Frisky Friday - Combating Frustration and Loneliness

[caption id="attachment_10523" align="alignright" width="300"] Image created using Bitmoji[/caption]

If you're a fan of X-Men, you probably know a bit about Rogue and her powers. She's basically like a puritan succubus in that she takes life energy without having to get naked. She's very strong because her power also gives her the ability to use the power of another mutant for a time. A force to be reckoned with, for sure. But it also means she can't physically connect with others without possibly killing them. There could be a message in there about the benefits of chastity, but I have no interest in talking about that today or possibly ever.

Think about how sexually frustrated she must be though. I mean there's the 'I haven't had sex in a year or two level' where you feel like climbing walls, and then there's Rogue. She's far from the only superhero that has sexual challenges. Bruce Banner usually hulks out if he ge…

Thoughtful Thursday - Balancing Life's Pieces

A puzzle I won at a friend's Steampunk barbecue really resonated with me. It's James Christensen's piece called Balancing Act. The piece shows a man balancing items like hearts, flutes, clocks, yin-yang symbols, soccer balls, cake, angels, devices, bottles, fruits, vegetables, keys, candy, and more with his nose, both hands, and one foot while the other foot rests on a living turtle. Life is a struggle between religious beliefs, eating well and treating yourself, exercising, enjoying games, time, love, learning, and more. Coins are falling out of his money bag as he attempts to keep the balance. The object the turtle is walking on looks much like a chess board. Also in the picture are the skull of a long dead turtle, two prey animals, and the statue of a king who is staring at this farce. The man himself is dressed in possibly Elizabethan attire suggesting culture is another thing we must balance. There is an unopened package on the table, probably because he's been to…

Warrior Wednesday - The Book of Five Rings pt 2

[caption id="attachment_11040" align="alignleft" width="300"] Image created using Bitmoji[/caption]

Today, I'm continuing my examination of The Book of Five Rings, which is known by many martial artists, but has implications for all areas of life. In case you missed the first part, I've linked it below.

I: Earth

II: Water

The second part of the Book of Five Rings is titled "Water". Musashi talks about being the same person in all endeavors. He advises that we should be able to peacefully acknowledge all things without letting them distract us from what should be at the center of our focus. We should be able to maintain a state in between relaxation and alertness at all times. It's like he's saying we shouldn't be locked in fight mode, but we shouldn't be so relaxed that we are unprepared for a fight.

How might that translate in the day-to-day life of an office worker? Always be looking at what other job opportunities are out t…

Theatrical Tuesday - Rise of the Animals

At B-Movie Club this weekend, we watched "Rise of the Animals". No, not the David Attenborough special. The Chris Wojcik masterpiece where even vegetarian animals craved human flesh.

Director: Chris Wojcik
Writer: Chris Wojcik
Film Studio: Whacked-Out Entertainment
Budget: $7000 (estimated)
Gross: Unknown
IMDB Rating: 3.7/10



Synopsis: In a world where animals have turned on humanity, a teen travels across the country in search of the girl of his dreams.

*** Spoilers ahead ***

Premise

Our hero Max, played by Greg Hoople, has one last pizza delivery to make before making it to a movie with his buddy (Adam Schonberg). Trouble is, it's in the bush at some cabin and they'll be slightly late to the movie. After some difficulty they reach the cabin and by then there's no way to make the movie, but the wary travelers are in luck as this cabin holds a plethora of drunken teen girls. Max's longtime crush is visiting from Canada and they hookup despite her having a boyfriend. Max…

Merry Monday - Taking the Reigns

[caption id="attachment_4711" align="alignright" width="300"] Image created using Bit Strips.[/caption]

I forgot to post on Saturday. I meant to, but I got into taking control of other areas of my life and have been so full of inspiration to write that I just couldn't spare the time.

On the weekend, I discovered that the Kindle app has something called collections. In the early stages of writing Scion, I downloaded every free book about survival. This made it hard to find any of the books I had before the survival ones. Now, all my survival related books are in the Survival collection and I removed almost all of them from the carousel, so I can access only the books I want to read soon. I also made collections for specific authors like Marie Bilodeau as I have several of her eBooks in my Kindle app and though I'm done them, I'll probably want to reread them at some point, so I don't want to delete them. I also had a lot of recipe books that …

Frisky Friday - Sexual Moral Alignment

[caption id="attachment_10523" align="alignleft" width="300"] Image created using Bitmoji[/caption]

​This one is for the role players out there. How well do you know your sexual side? Where do you fit on this moral scale when it comes to sex?

BuzzFeed has a short NSFW quiz to help you find out. You can take it here.

I hope you enjoy the weekend. I plan to write, watch movies, and clean.

Salut,
R~

Thoughtful Thursday - Bans Don't Help

I'm very light on the word count this week, but I'm not upset about it. With my script, I've been reading Save the Cat and thinking about the story more before I get back into it. I've also been working on cultivating the habits that the successful screenwriters have. With the rest of my writing, I've been focusing on a number of other things around my home, thinking about how to get the time I need to also fit in fitness, and making my way through the pieces that are nominated for Aurora Awards.

I suppose I'm odd in the writing community. I never suggest that something never be written about. I learned long ago that blanket statements aren't helpful and neither is banning something. I can't positively say that teens are watching 13 Reasons Why more than they would've otherwise been, but when one shines a spotlight onstage, the audience tends to hyper-focus on that circle. When the Catholic Church bans books, the sales of those books tend to skyrocke…

Warrior Wednesday - Cross-training

[caption id="attachment_11040" align="alignright" width="300"] Image created using Bitmoji[/caption]

Martial arts are a great workout, but it can be easy to forget that we need to do other exercises to ensure total body fitness. That being said, it doesn't have to take a lot of time or be a miserable experience.

One of my Iaido mentors, 8th Dan Hatekenaka Sensei, does hot yoga when she isn't practicing Iaido. She practices Iaido every day whether there is class or not.

Now Iaido is great for many things. Swinging a sword about takes *some* strength, so it works the upper body. It's important to mention that we try to get a sword that is a reasonable weight. Many are only a couple of pounds because they are a giant razor and don't need to be heavy in order to cut things. Also, a light sword should be able to be swung as thought it were heavy and a heavy one as though it were light. It also is helpful to prevent repetitive strain injuries. We a…

Theatrical Tuesday - What's With All The Remakes?

In short, they're easy money.

It all comes down to a marketing term called Brand Recognition.

If you remake Dirty Dancing, chances are that many of the females and some males who saw the original, will go see the remake based on nostalgia. Even though we know the magic was in Patrick and Jennifer being the couple, we hope to feel like we did when we first experienced the original.

Remakes are happening constantly even if we don't see it because the movies are given different names. I'm reading Blake Snyder's book Save the Cat, and he said that Superman is just an updated Hercules, Jaws is a retelling of the Greek Minotaur myth, and that Road Trip is a more modern Canterbury Tales. He also said that The Fast and the Furious is a remake of Point Break.

One need only search for a title on IMDB to see that it's likely been remade. The Fly for example was first made in 1958 and remade in 1986. The story changed slightly, but it won't be surprising to me if it's rema…

Merry Monday - Getting Somewhere

[caption id="attachment_4711" align="alignleft" width="300"] Image created using Bit Strips.[/caption]

This weekend was a little on the warm side in Ottawa, so instead of doing martial arts, I stayed home and puttered away at some home projects. I now have only one drawer left to do for my kitchen. It's strange. I'm having to retrain myself to get a fork as they don't live in the dining room anymore. My sharp knives are temporarily in the dining room while I make the last drawer bottom. I'm filled with a low-level joy at having a chunk of my home back together.

After cutting drawer inserts from the scraps of flooring, I read online about what projects to do with linoleum. I then cut out coaster sized pieces from this chunk that really couldn't be put to another purpose. I set those aside for a time when I'm feeling crafty. Once I get everything cleaned up and the drawers done, I want to paint over the mural I started in my living roo…

Symphonic Saturday - What Makes A Song Great?

All art forms are subjective, which makes them hard to analyze with any certainty. A song that may give someone goosebumps, may hurt the ears of another. Some songs are timeless and resonate deeply with people and others can get stuck in our heads when we don't even like them.

A song can be technically perfect and convey no meaning. Another can be flawed yet stir something primal within us.

And how it is heard can change the response as well. I enjoy classical music on vinyl or through my computer speakers, but those pale in comparison to a live performance. Yet some bands are awful live and so I'd rather hear them through my car stereo.

For some people, the lyrics are what touch them the most. For musicians, they often hear the instrument they play the most and determine whether a song is good simply from a small part of it.

It's fascinating when you think about it.

And there doesn't seem to be a way to ensure a song will be well received.

Because music speaks to you differ…

Frisky Friday - Cybersex and Sexting

[caption id="attachment_10523" align="alignright" width="300"] Image created using Bitmoji[/caption]

Have you ever done it?

A lot of people are scared to try it. Some don't know what it is.

I like to think of it as engaging in a written fantasy with another person.

They're not physically in the room with you, but they are telling you what they would do if they were.

It's quite likely things would play out differently were they actually there, but it can help you learn what a new partner is interested in before you go there with them. Think of it like practicing a speech in front of a mirror or playing through a scenario in your head, only you're doing it with the other person.

And hey, no worries about STIs or accidental pregnancy.

Hope your weekend is steamy ;)

Salut,
R~

Stepping Backward

Sometimes progress looks like moving backwards. My pattern is written in such a way that the instructions aren't telling you exactly what they want you to do. It said,"Pin handle to FRONT AND BACK sections..."




I followed it literally believing they knew something I didn't about making purses, so those are two different straps attached to one side in the picture. It was awkward to sew and didn't make sense to me. Reverse engineering of my old purse helped me right this before I got too far into making the new one. I had to rip out some stitches because of that.

It should've said, "Pin one handle to the front section. Pin the other handle to the back section."

Perhaps I should write them and suggest a revision in the text. Maybe I could start a career in writing sewing patterns instead of novels and movies.

Why didn't I just do what I thought was right in the first place? I've done that with sewing patterns before too and had problems. They can…

Thoughtful Thursday - A Mishmash of Things

Today's post... I almost forgot to post one. At lunch I had a Somersby and then about an hour later fell asleep. Oops...

Anyway, I'm plodding along in my course and found a neat website for helping you think about the goals you are pursuing, so I thought I'd share that.

Last night was fun. I went to help a friend's storytelling club out. My job was to sit in chairs and listen to stories. The first chair I sat in was the most perfect story it could've been for me. The young man talked about his love of Harry Potter and his hope for meeting his Hermione and Ron and perhaps his future love on the train. As one of the founding members of the Ottawa Harry Potter Society who used to work at a train company, I just really connected with it. Also, he spoke of his grandmother who he couldn't talk to much because of a language barrier, and I had the same thing with mine. Anyway, you can go hear their stories free this Saturday. Here is the information.

I'm having a roug…

Warrior Wednesday - The Book of Five Rings pt 1

[caption id="attachment_11040" align="alignright" width="300"] Image created using Bitmoji[/caption]

Today, I want to talk about the Go Rin No Sho or The Book of Five Rings. I want to focus on the first portion. The copy I'm currently using is the graphic novel version by Sean Michael Wilson and Chie Kutsuwada. It's important to note that there are many versions of this book worldwide and so many interpretations. I'm going to talk about what it means to me at this current juncture in my life and where I am at in my martial arts training. I fully expect to revisit this post and study different versions of the book many times in the future.

I: Earth

There are many ways to do anything in the world whether it is the practice of salvation through participation in a religion, the honing of a skill such as sword making or making clothing, medicating oneself against physical or mental disease, and training for sport, theatre, or combat. Whatever you lear…

Slow and Steady

After more than an hour between cutting, pinning, and sewing, I have one strap completed.



Very little of that time was actually spent sewing. Strap number 2 is underneath the completed one. Pinning has taken the bulk of the time. I should be able to get the other strap done today. I should also be able to attach the pockets to the sides of the purse. This will get me up to step 7 of 29.

There have been moments where I think Yoda may be right:



This project is teaching me a few things, like that purse straps aren't fun, but I'm mostly enjoying the challenge and looking forward to a new purse.

I'm thankful the weather is cooling off to normal seasonal temperatures. This makes it much easier to get things done.

Well, I best get back at it.

Tiny Samurai

Theatrical Tuesday - Free Courses

Sometimes free courses are great. Sometimes they are missing a lot of important information. The last course I took on Screen Writing has left me feeling disappointed. When I look back at the PDFs, a lot of the information is a repeat of the week before and isn't helpful to me in my quest of writing a movie. I feel like I would've spent my time better by reading Save the Cat. Even some of the sequence titles listed in that course are from Save the Cat. Maybe I'll see if Chapters has a copy in town, so I can get back to my script. I'm feeling I lack knowledge of structure as movies require it more than novels do. Things are supposed to happen at specific times in a movie to ensure the audience enjoys the show. Blake Snyder called them beats.

I've not had this issue with free courses through Coursera as they are complete university courses and ensure they cover as much as they can in the time. That particular course may have been a marketing gimmick in part and I'…

Getting Started

All right, so I had a couple of snags last week. My outlet was too far from my machine, which I knew, but I also knew I had an extension cord that would take care of that. Do you think I could find it?

Of course not.

Then, once I did find it, I couldn't find the cord for my machine.

I realized I could start a project anyway as my purse is falling apart and I had a pattern and fabric. So I got to work cutting out the pieces:



This morning, I ironed them despite the heat warning we are under in my city. Then I started the pockets.


So far it's going pretty well. I'm a little unhappy with my iron as it never seems to get all the wrinkles out of anything. I might need a better one at some point. It's also possible I just need more ironing experience as I tend to buy clothes that don't need to be ironed.

The nylon liner material is a bit challenging to work with, but part of this project is to test my materials and shake off the rust.

I'm missing one notion, a magneti…

Merry Monday - Prose in the Park

[caption id="attachment_4711" align="alignleft" width="300"] Image created using Bit Strips.[/caption]

On Saturday, I dropped by Parkdale Park to visit writing friends and take in two panels at the 3rd annual Prose in the Park. The first was called "The Musicality of Fiction," and I enjoyed listening to the authors speak about music and their books that feature it. I might read all three when I can afford the books and have the time. The authors were Sean Michaels (Us Conductors), Susan Doherty Hannaford (A Secret Music), and Robert Barclay (Death at the Podium). Mr. Barclay said something that I feel was misinformation. He believes young people don't go to many of the orchestra concerts at the National Art Centre because the maestros choose only old music from long dead composers. This, I and the other young people beside me, felt is incorrect. While I love the idea of them choosing to play some film scores and such, the reason we rarely go …

Symphonic Saturday - We All Have Struggles

I have days where I'm really not feeling remotely happy. Where it's so damn hard to see the positive. I'm a divorced, unemployed woman with food allergies and an autoimmune condition. Sometimes it's REALLY damn hard to smile.

And this week in particular has been hard. I had several days where I could barely walk because the ankle I hurt multiple times back in my roller derby days was upset between the dancing and martial arts on the weekend and the two days of dismal weather that followed. Pain killers didn't help. I also didn't have the spare cash to do anything even if my ankle wasn't tempting me to request amputation. The only thing I managed to do was buy an inexpensive cane because the golf club I was using to hobble around the house with looked ready to break if it kept bending that way.

Then I had a frustrating day where I questioned my ability to write anything at all, especially movies, because Imposter Syndrome is part of being an artist. And songs.…

Frisky Friday - Dirty Dancing

[caption id="attachment_10523" align="alignright" width="300"] Image created using Bitmoji[/caption]

After yesterday's rather long and heavy post, I thought today I'd share this fun movie review of Dirty Dancing with you. It's very sex positive and for anyone who has seen the movie, it's funny too.

Hope you enjoy it and have a great weekend.

Salut,
R~

Thoughtful Thursday - Writing About Race

Today on the blog I'm continuing my discussion on research. It seems there are some writers who are clueless on how to do this today at even a basic level or they're lazy. Especially when it comes to talking about race in their books or scripts. Their default method seems to be to ask a question in a Facebook group which is predominantly full of white people. This always devolves into some attack on someone for their response as some white male feels the need to mansplain why it's OK for him to confidently state, "Black, white, Asian. If you use yellow, you're an asshole," but you can't say, "Most I have spoken to have told me they prefer black." Apparently you are speaking on behalf of a whole race when you do this, but he is not. Also, you must provide sources. He doesn't need to though. He is an obvious authority on the subject matter being a white male.

Having been in dozens of different writing groups on Facebook, I've seen this part…

Warrior Wednesday - Mind vs Body

[caption id="attachment_11040" align="alignright" width="300"] Image created using Bitmoji[/caption]

There are many times I know exactly what to do in martial arts, but my body loses part of the instructions along the way.

Sometimes it's a matter of my muscle strength not being fully developed yet. For a long time, I'd fall over. I've been working on my core and it's helping when my problem ankle isn't the cause. My right Achilles tendon regularly gets inflamed and is a jerk.

Sometimes the brain just gets in the way entirely and tries to micromanage things. This usually results in a meltdown as my body tries to figure out what my brain wants when my brain isn't entirely sure because it doesn't understand what Sensei is saying or doing things on the opposite side of the body just feels wrong.

And sometimes I know exactly what to do and have done it successfully many times before, but for some unknown reason I can't currently do …

Theatrical Tuesday - Popcorn Flick

Popcorn flick is a term that I'm not fond of. It's supposed to denote a film that has only one good thing about it, often only special effects, and is thus considered mindless entertainment.

The odd critic has suggested that Wonder Woman is a popcorn flick.

Let's break this down while attempting to be spoiler free:

The lead character is a female from a foreign land. It wasn't that long ago that women and supporters were marching for human rights including reproductive choices, freedom from objectification, pay equity, and more. There's also banter in the film about women working toward the ability to vote.

The actress is Israeli. In a time where there is so much pain happening in the Middle East, when there are terror bombings happening in London, an actress from a marginalized community is leading a franchise about a badass goddess warrior who tries to help humans be their best selves.

The story features a goddess helping several humans who are struggling between the c…

Merry Monday – A Wonderful Weekend

On Friday, I went to see Wonder Woman. I was a little down as I couldn't find my Wonder Woman hoodie and also struggled to remember where my car keys were last. Normally, I'd just grab my spare set, but those are currently broken. When I got to the theatre, I had an epiphany. My place is tiny and as it's getting cleaner, I can more readily see the things I own. With my hoodie nowhere to be found, I realized it had to be in my car. It was! I stripped in the parking lot and donned my hoodie. I was now ready to meet my friend and her brother.

We were going to a regular viewing instead of 3D along with her brother. We had fun playing Timeplay. Then enjoyed the trailers. And then the screen went blank.

The movie wouldn't play.

As we were close to the door, I ducked out to let them know there was a serious problem. Then I seized the moment for a bathroom break. When I returned the lights were on and we were waiting to hear if they could fix it.

They couldn't.

But hope was not…

Symphonic Saturday – Writing Songs

I've been involved with music for decades now. In elementary school, they started us with recorders, which sounded terrible and I am truly sorry for our teacher's ears that year. I still have my recorder. I should pick it back up and learn to play it properly.

From there, they bused us to another school for wood shop, home economics, and music. I next took up the clarinet. I never got good at the clarinet, but maybe in the future I'll get back into reed instruments. The following year, I tried the trumpet, but wasn't given proper breathing instruction and headaches made me switch back to clarinet.

In high school, I took classes in music and also joined music-related clubs. I was a member of the choir, though never a lead singer. I played clarinet in band and in class until the year a new teacher came and formed an all brass band. I picked the trumpet back up and loved it. The months I couldn't play due to wisdom teeth extraction were horrible. I took a guitar class a…