Shana Silver: YA writer

Tag Archives: friday five

Sorry about the lack of blogging this week but I have a good excuse! Look at what I accomplished this week:

1.

Sent revisions of my Peter Pan retelling to my agent. Killed a lot of darlings (though not Wendy Darling) in the last pass but it was worth it.

Screen shot from the best Peter Pan adaptation: the 2003 version.

2.

Completed the outline for my new novel. The outline bulged to 10k and reads more like a bare bones first draft. It even has some dialogue in some places. Now I just need to flesh it out and make it awesome!

 

3.

Began writing said new book. I’m only about 900 words in so far, but progress is progress!

 

4.

Started baby proofing the house because the baby learned to crawl! I also played an infinite number of games of “How big is Quinn?” “So big!”

 

I am preemptively putting this task on the list in the hope that writing it here holds me accountable to it this weekend:

5.

Spring cleaning! It’s time to switch my drawers from sweaters to short-sleeves and make the whole house shine. Yes, that means I’ll even wash the windows, which is one of my least favorite tasks on account of me being 5’0″ and have to stand on a stool. (Okay who am I kidding? I’ll make the husband do that job while I take care of the easier, lower to the ground ones.)

 

Next week I’ll be back with more writing advice!

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1.

It’s that time of year again. Time for March Madness. Which means it’s time for me to humble brag that several years ago, back when I was a computer animator, I designed all the March Madness graphics that air on CBS. Basically what that means is the score ticker, anytime they show the brackets, any time they give statistics: I designed and animated those graphics. I no longer do computer animation (now I work in publishing designing mobile apps and other digital products) so I’ll continue to savor my claim to graphic fame until CBS redesigns once again.

The graphics are more important than the games, I promise.

 2.

When March Madness rolls around, I always get nostalgic for 2003, the year Syracuse won the NCAA tournament. I’ve mentioned this before on the blog but I’ll share it again. I was a senior in college at Syracuse University that year, and it’s one of my greatest memories from my time at college. I remember the night of the championship fondly (despite the alcohol I consumed that tried to make me forget). I got to the bar at noon to stake my spot for the 9pm game. Yes, that means I skipped all my classes, but that’s okay. Almost everyone did. My husband–who was also a senior at Syracuse that year–went to class drunk, and he wasn’t the only one. (I promise, we are MUCH more responsible now than we were back then.) I believe at some point I ate dinner while still holding my spot in front of the TV, but I can’t be certain. Right before the game started, I left my precious spot to use the rest room and when I got back, some chick had pushed my friend out of the way and took over our stake out. I attempted to fight her.

If you know me at all, you’ll know this is hilarious. Imagine a puppy yipping at a Doverman. I can barely hold my own in an argument, let alone a physical fight. Not to mention that lifting five pound weights is difficult to me, which probably doesn’t bode well in terms of putting some force behind a punch. Thankfully for me, the bartender stuck up for me and made the girl vacate our spot because we had been loyal for 9 hours all day (and the tips we gave him didn’t hurt).

And the first thing I did when Syracuse won the game? I called my parents in excitement. Yep, that’s how cool I was. All the other students are hugging each other and celebrating and I took out my phone to tell my mommy about my day, lol. After the requisite cheering, all the students had so much energy, we spilled into the streets. Because it was Syracuse, it was of course snowing. We had nowhere to go once we entered the streets so we all just stood there, thousands of students crowded outside in the snow, jumping up and down to expel the energy. I ran into my husband (who was just a friend at the time) wearing his Halloween costume for no reason at all.

It was one of the best days of my life.

 

3.

Speaking of being nostalgic for college, I’m excited for this weekend because one of my college friends is getting married. This is awesome for several reasons:

  1. I get to see all my college friends at the same time!
  2. I get to dress up in a fancy dress and put on false eyelashes.
  3. I get to dance all night and stay up past 10pm (something I haven’t done since I had a baby).
  4. I get to sleep through the night without being interrupted! Well, unless the husband decides to snore, but in that case I have a Plan B. (Plan B is to kick him out of the room and make him get his own hotel room.)
  5. It’ll be my first night away from the baby, which is a milestone in and of itself.

 

4.

On last night’s GLEE, the characters revealed songs that were their “guilty pleasures,” as in the songs they were ashamed to admit they actually liked. It made me wonder if I had a guilty pleasure. I mean, I listen to a LOT of bad and embarrassing songs, but I fully own up to it. I’m not ashamed at all. Spice Girls? I know every lyric. Ace of Base? Reminds me of High School. Britney Spears? I dressed up as her for Halloween several years in a row. 90s Alternative Rock? I still love every single one. Barry Manilow? Who doesn’t love Mandy.

And then…

I figured out what my guilty pleasure is.

A song I embarrassingly listen to way too often. A song that makes me nostalgic for 8th grade when I used to go on newsgroups to trade VHS tapes so I could watch the Japanese episodes before they dubbed them into English. And no, I didn’t understand a word of the episode. I didn’t care.

I’m talking about a theme song. Both the English and Japanese version, it doesn’t matter. I love them both equally.

5.

Another thing I’m nostalgic for? WARM WEATHER. WTF, Spring? You and I are in a fight.

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1. I’ve been outlining a new book. I love love love this brainstorming phase. There are all these possibilities: characters to shape and mold, first love to experience–both between the characters and between me and the book, plots that can go in any direction. I’ve been having fun tracking several different plot lines to see where they could take me. This exercise has been great because it’s helped me see that my original plot idea wasn’t BIG enough to carry through the book. And then I came up with a new plot that was Too Big for just one book. I’m now playing Goldilocks to find the one that’s just right.

2. I’ve also been revising another book of mine that’s almost ready. It’s amazing how many times I can read it and still adore it. And how it surprises me every time I read it. Or maybe that’s just me being forgetful.

3. Another thing I’ve been doing is updating this website, installing a few new nifty plug-ins (now this blog is mobile device friendly!) and trying to no avail to fix the damn tag cloud in my sidebar that will not confirm to the sidebar’s width no matter what I do.

4. My new fave past time is teaching the baby tricks. She’s mastered high fiving, clapping, and sleeping. YES, SLEEPING. I know, right?

5. Watching the Lizzie Bennet diaries. I’m late to the game on this one. But a marathon weekend of watching and I’m all caught up on the 8+ hours of content. In related news: I am in love with their Mr. Darcy.

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1. I’m going to NEW YORK COMIC CON tomorrow and I CANNOT WAIT! It’s nerd heaven! I’m planning on going to a Buffy and Angel comic panel, meeting Spike (aka James Marsters, but really just Spike), attending a YA heroine panel and many other things.

Also, I am wearing a custom made Doctor Who shirt! Pics to follow.

If you see me there (among the other 100,000 attendees, say hello!)

2. As far as a writing update, I’m revising two books that are really close to being done. I just received some awesome notes on one of them from my agent and I cannot wait to implement her changes this weekend! I’m hoping to get both revised by end of October so I can participate in Nanowrimo.

3. I’ve been outlining my nano book for several months now, just here and there whenever plot points come to me. Now the book is pretty much all plotted out. I’m so excited about this book! I’ve been wanting to write this premise since I first conceived it when I was in high school. It was mostly just a premise and it took me a long time to find the right characters for the story. But I have them now and I HEART them. The book is sci-fi, so it’s a bit of a departure from my contemporaries, but hopefully in a good way, and this will definitely be the most challenging thing I’ve written. I love a good challenge!

4. I’m also excited because I found out my office is most likely sending me to the UK the last week in November! I mostly have to do work stuff while I’m there, but I also plan on kidnapping David Tennant. I’m taking requests for other cute British boys I should stow away in my suitcase home. I also hope to take home an accent and get rid of this American one I’ve been carrying around my whole life.

5. I can’t think of a number 5 so I will just say have a good weekend!

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This is how special I am: two people flew from England to NYC to train me at my new job. I’ve been working with them all week (which is why I’ve been MIA from the Internet during the day) and it’s been awesome. Mostly because they say adorable things. So today I bring you my five favorite British things I would like us to adopt in America. Most are phrases they said, but one is edible.

1. “Do you fancy a coffee?”

FANCY?! I must start using this. It’s so much more elegant than, “Do you want to get some coffee?” The word fancy made the workplace seem like an extravagant ball where I was wearing a fancy gown instead of business casual clothes.

2. Blimey. It’s not just a myth! People really do say this across the pond! However, so far they haven’t said “bloody ‘ell” like my boyfriend Spike.

3. One of the UK people mentioned the timing of the trip randomly worked out because his friend was having a “stag party” in NYC this coming weekend. It took me a moment to figure out he meant Bachelor party!!! OMG! Stag party puts an image in my mind of Harry Potter’s patroness mingling with other patronesses. (Why yes I am a nerd. Why do you ask?)

4. And a bachelorette party is called a Hen party! Now I feel I missed out because I only had a bachelorette party and not a hen party. For this one I’m picturing my girlfriends and I putting on our finest jeans and going country line dancing on a farm while sipping champagne out of milk bottles. Also, hay gets stuck in my shoes.

4. This last one isn’t a phrase. It’s a candy bar. More specifically, a cadbury creme egg CANDY BAR. Not in the shape of an egg. This blows my mind. They brought us a box of chocolate bars and when I saw this, my eyes kind of bugged out. It was made by cadbury but would it taste the same?! It does! And in a more convenient shape for eating on the go (I don’t know about you but the egg shape always leads to sticky hands). Also, there was an Eclair flavored candy that really tasted like eclairs!!

Not my photo but that’s what it looked like.

I’m really hoping besides the stuff they’re trying to train me in that I also absorb their accents.

So what do you say, Americans and Canadians? Shall we start saying Fancy and Blimey? Replace zucchini (or zu-chee-nee as they called it) with corgettes and eggplant with aubergines? Shall we combine “isn’t it” into “in’it”)? I think so. Let’s start this trend here!

Also, I love that I knew more about British TV than they did, haha. I was telling them all about season 5 of Skins, which just started airing over there. They hadn’t seen it yet. I have. Go me! My excessive TV watching has now made me an expert in TV from other countries.

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I’m always thinking about things that happen to me in real life that, if I’d read it in a book, I wouldn’t believe it could really happen. Things like coincidental circumstances that happen all the time in real life come off as lazy writing in a book. The character didn’t actively pursue that coincidence, they didn’t earn it. It’s a good lesson in that the argument "But it happened!" isn’t a good enough excuse when crafting a novel. Real life doesn’t come in 3 neat acts. So I thought I’d list 5 things I’ve noticed in my life and how they would never work in a book.

1. Every single good female friend I’ve ever had is the older sister to a younger sister. Seriously. Every single one of my friends has a sister. No brothers in the mix. No older sisters either. No third sibling. My friends from camp, from high school, from college, from my sorority. Now, I’m not talking about every girl I’ve ever met, but simply all my really good friends. I always thought this was weird. And if I saw this in a book, I’d like, "Oh come on! That’s not realistic!" Unless the premise revolved around the older sisters banding together or something. This is probably why most of my protagonists have sisters, but the odd thing is that I’ve twice written about a younger sister when I’m the older sister.

2. Those same friends I mentioned above? They’re all 5’3" and under. Maybe I’m just drawn to short people because I’m short and feel a little uncomfortable next to someone tall. Maybe there was something in the water where I grew up.

3. I don’t have one friend whose parents are divorced. Not only that, none of my parents friends are divorced. Everyone is still happily married for over 20 years, with one exception of someone who became a widow. In this day and age with such a high divorce rate, it would seem unrealistic in a novel for everyone to be happily married.

4. In high school, I was the girl who removed one embarrassing accessory and then became hot. We’ve seen it a few times and we’ve all rolled our eyes. Remember in SHE’S ALL THAT when Freddie Prinze Jr. had to fine the "ugliest" girl in school for a bet and they chose a girl with a pony tail, glasses, and….the worst thing of all…paint splattered OVERALLS. NOOOOOOO. Not overalls!!! She could never overcome that! And then the audience is supposed to be shocked when she lets her hair down, puts in contacts, and exchanges the overalls for a dress and looks hot. For me, I got my braces ON in 9th grade. Most people I knew were getting them off. I had stubborn baby teeth that clung to my gums and refused to part with me until my dentist had to force them out of there himself. From the moment I got them on, I stopped talking. I stopped smiling, which if you know me, is a very hard feat for me to accomplish. I became super shy. I was so beyond embarrassed by my braces that I sat in class and barely participated–also hard for me because I liked to raise my hand and prove I had the answer to the question. I talked to my friends but no one else. And by no one else, I mean guys. There was a reason I didn’t have a boyfriend or even a love interest (I mean, one that wasn’t unrequited) for most of high school. And the day I got the braces off senior year? Everything changed. I started talking, participating in class, smiling (it’s my best feature). I flirted with boys. I started acting confident. So it’s no surprise that suddenly I had a lot of interest from boys. I got invited to parties I wouldn’t have been on the radar of before. I went on dates. Actual dates where the boys paid. It felt like it happened overnight, but it wasn’t just simply getting the braces off. It’s was a change in my attitude. I was pushing boys away before and now I acted approachable. Still, I think often of how many times I roll my eyes when this sort of thing happens in a movie because it’s so damn convenient.

5. I did well in school. And the reason for this was that I wanted my parents to be proud of me. I would get upset if I got a B on a test because I was afraid of disappointing them. They were great to me and I wanted to show them how much I appreciated it by getting good grades, getting into a good college, and doing well for myself. I never rebelled. I never got punished because I never gave them a reason to punish me. I didn’t even have a curfew because as long as my mom knew where I was and who I was with, she didn’t care how long I stayed out. And I was never doing something bad. She was even excited when I went to parties. I never got into a car when the driver had been drinking. We had a rule about that too–if I ever found myself in that circumstance, I just had to call my parents and one of them would pick me up, even if it was in the middle of the night. Of course, I never had to act on that rule. Basically, there was no conflict between us. My parents let me do what I wanted and mostly I wanted to make them proud. In a book? LAME. And boring. Protagonists need stronger motivation than keeping their parents happy! They need a goal, a want. And of course, conflict drives a story. I didn’t really have any that.

What are some things that happened in your life that would never work in a novel?

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1. I met my fab agent Sarah LaPolla for coffee and amazing cupcakes this week. She’s just as awesome in person as she is online! We had a great chat about everything from my projects to Buffy to Jared Leto turning scary after My So-Called Life to books to writing to the Carousel Mall in Syracuse. I’m so glad I work in NYC and was able to meet her!

2. I’m also excited because she loves my revisions to ALICE and the synopsis for my WIP. Alice is going on submission very very soon! So please keep your fingers crossed for me (and if you want to perform any witchcraft spells for book selling, send the mojo my way). And now that I’ve gotten the thumbs up on my WIP, I’m so excited to finish writing it. I wrote 2/3 of the first draft during nano and the synopsis helped me smooth out some of the plot kinks that had cropped up during the first draft. Can’t wait to apply the changes to the book!

3. This weekend I get to have dinner with fab YA writers Jessica Love, Jen Hayley, and Melissa Remshard. I’m very excited! I love writerly dinners!

4. Speaking of Jen, we generally gchat all day long and one day this week I made a silly joke. Except we’re writers so that silly joke turned into a book premise for a high-concept sci-fi with a dystopian tone. We started world building, discussing what society would be like if my joke actually happened. And the next thing we knew, we had a plot and a fully realized world and super hot love interests and two protagonists we both adore and scenes that sound so fun to write. We started outlining and it all just fell together so easily. We both have other projects to complete first but then we’re co-writing this baby!

5. I’m super jealous of everyone going to ALA in San Diego. I went to the one in Boston last winter and I had the best time. Have fun, attendees!
 

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1. Does anyone read the Buffy comics? And if so, did you read the latest issue. I MUST DISCUSS. I’m freaking out over it! 

2. I’ve been working on my revisions this week and I’m really loving the changes! The major obstacle seems to be time since I’m also on another work deadline and have been getting home after 9:30pm. By the time I get home, my brain has already checked out for the evening. But that’s what sneaking in edits during the day at work are for! Also, coffee. Aside from a tiny, unimportant obligation that is my sister’s engagement party (I kid, I kid, I’m excited for it), I plan to devote the rest of the weekend to revising.

3. Sadly, due to work deadline and revisions, sacrifices had to be made. Fitting, as I had to sacrifice getting Last Sacrifice signed at Richelle Mead’s NYC event. I actually left for work super early that morning to take the subway in the opposite direction of work and pick it up at the Penn Station Border’s (since it was the only bookstore I could find that opened before 9am that was within a reasonable distance of either Port Authority or my office). And luckily–Richelle had stopped by earlier in the week and autographed all the store’s copies. So I got it signed anyway! I didn’t get to see her in person but that’s okay. I’m only halfway through the book due to lack of reading time but I love it so far. Dimitri! Sa-woon.

4. I love TV but I’m kind of excited to have a short break where nothing’s on so I don’t feel obligated to watch every single show that airs. More free time for writing! (Or Buffy. *puts on halo*) The break is very brief though because I think ABC Family shows come back the 1st week of January.

5. Speaking of TV, I haven’t done this in a while, so I’ll put my thoughts on the latest episode of all my shows:

Vampire Diaries: Still my favorite thing on TV right now. DAMON! Though I feel deceived by last week’s previews. I was beyond excited for something that turned out to be a fake out. However, DAMON! I just love that they keep the plots moving so rapidly, keep introducing new tensions and conflicts, keep the characters interesting. I’m all about Caroline and Tyler now. Good job, writers.
Glee: Coach Bieste made me seriously ball this week and may have surpassed Brittany as my favorite character on the show. Who I’m not loving? Finn.
Gossip Girl: It captured my attention briefly with the hate sex but so far this week I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch. Bad sign.
90210: I used to despise this show, now I like it a lot more than Gossip Girl. Though I am seriously over Adrianna being a diva.
Life Unexpected: My DVR rebelled and decided not to tape the last two episodes. Not cool, DVR, not cool. I know the show is pretty much done next week but eventually I’ll watch the final episodes, probably over Christmas week.
How I Met Your Mother: I actually found it funny this week though I don’t remember what it was about a few days later.
Big Bang Theory: OMG I loved last night’s episode so much! Specifically when Penny suggested that Sheldon, er, solve Amy’s horniness problem and the viewer thought he would do one thing and he did something so Sheldon-like. Perfect!
Chuck: I haven’t been paying all that much attention to the last few episodes which is sad because I used to love this show!
The Event: I’m sad this isn’t doing well in the ratings because I think it’s awesome! I hope they’re from the future and not aliens.
Raising Hope: I think this show is hilarious with a seriously cute baby.
Hellcats:
I’m such a sucker for love plots. I wasn’t that into this show UNTIL they revealed the main character, Marty, lost her virginity to her male BFF, Dan, back in high school. Cue me shipping them and being way into the show.
The Middle: This show is so, so funny. I love!
Cougar Town: RIP Big Joe. This is the kind of show that really appreciates it’s loyal viewers because there are certain jokes you won’t get if you haven’t scene every episode. I love that.
Modern Family: This is probably my least fave out of the three on ABC but I still find it hilarious.
Better With You: Racked up about 10 episodes on my DVR, not a good sign.
Nikita: Ditto above. I planned to catch up eventually but I don’t feel invested enough. Though Devon Sawa appearing in an episode may convince me.
Grey’s Anatomy: I’m over the Cristina-can’t-perform-surgery storyline. I love Dr. Avery and Sarah Drew’s character. I’m interested in Mark and Lexie. Everything else? I think Callie was justified in slamming the door in Arizona’s face last week. I loved them as a couple but Arizona pissed me off by leaving and telling Callie she didn’t want her coming. (Yes, I know that was due to the actress’s maternity leave.)
The Office, !!@$& My Dad Says, Outsourced: These have all been removed from the DVR. I don’t miss them.
Desperate Housewives: I like Gabby’s storyline. I like Paul-the-villain’s storyline. I’m not really that into anyone else’s.
Brothers and Sisters: I probably have 8 episodes backed up on my DVR and not desire to watch them. I think I’m done with this show.
Survivor: Really? Two people quit on day twenty-freaking-eight? You couldn’t make it 12 more days? That bothers me. Quit on day 3, fine, I don’t get to know you and I don’t care. But to me if you made it almost a month, you can still it out for another week and a half. But clearly these girls were delusional so they couldn’t see that reasoning. Everyone I liked got voted out so I don’t really have anyone to root for now. I think most of the people left are dumb.
The Amazing Race: Oh, I love Brook and Claire so much! They’re so positive and upbeat! I hope they win!
Angel: I finally finished the entire series. LOVED the Spike stuff. I was conflicted about Fred’s death. She was such an awesome character but Illyria was also super intriguing!
Community: I LOVED the Christmas claymation episode. This show is hilarious. Watch, more people!

I think that’s everything. What did you watch and like recently?

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1. A video I edited for work made it onto TMZ! I’m very excited by this. I had to go through all the footage and find the best outtakes and then edit them together. http://www.tmz.com/2010/09/01/kim-kardashian-facebook-video-message-cameo-stars/

Video editing is a lot like revising. I have a random bunch of scenes and I have to find a narrative between them to keep the viewer’s/reader’s attention. It’s great when my day job can be considered research (or practice?) for writing! haha.

2. Don’t forget there’s still plenty of time to enter my contest to win a signed copy of LOSING FAITH by Denise Jaden! Don’t fret if you don’t win this time, I’ll have several other opportunities to win a signed copy over the next few weeks.

3. I finished my Buffy re-watch marathon that took me all summer. I can’t say how much I enjoyed this. And I can’t say enough how in love with Spike I am. This rewatch ended up being another good lesson in characterization and plotting for me. Back in high school when the show first aired, I was IN LOVE with Angel and was so depressed that he left for his own show that I stopped watching Buffy, which was by far my favorite show. I’d seen random episodes since then but not the entire arc. Now I realize not only did I miss out, but I was wrong.

Because this time around I didn’t like Angel at all. Instead I fell for Spike. Now, back in season 2 Spike was my favorite character, only because he was an interesting villain, different from other vampires. But I wasn’t rooting for him when I first watch. This time, I was.

*SPOILER ALERT*
I tried to analyze what exactly changed and I figured it out. Angel is intriguing at first because he’s mysterious. He’s a good vampire fighting bad vampires, which was the concept that initially made me love him. But Spike is too eventually. Yet there’s a major difference between them. Angel is only good because he’s cursed to be. As soon as the curse is lifted, he doesn’t love Buffy, tries to kill her and all her friends–and ENJOYS torturing her. Spike did too at first in season 2, but by the end of the season, he makes a deal with her to save the world. Angelus could never do anything like that. More importantly, when Spike fights on the side of good, it’s because he CHOOSES to. Angelus gives into the demon inside him. Spike overcomes it. He goes out on his free will to earn a soul to be a better man for Buffy after being horrified by his own actions. Spike has the capacity to love as a vampire with and without a soul, Angel does not. Angel leaves Buffy at the end of season 3 to give her a "normal" life. Spike knows Buffy can never have a normal life and doesn’t try to change her, he tries to change himself to fit within her life.

But really, it all comes down to one essential point. Angel is a good guy who turns bad. Spike is a bad guy who turns good. And what I find the most interesting is that I like Angel better when he’s BAD and Spike better when he’s GOOD. I like where they end up, not where they start off.

I noticed, after watching, that most of my favorite book love interests have the same essential story arc. Edward Cullen is a vampire who chooses to be good. I think one of the greatest cliffhangers (or maybe scenes) ever in a book is the end of SPIRIT BOUND by Richelle Mead. (And then there’s Logan Echolls–bad boy turned good.) I always thought I liked the idea of a good guy turning bad the most because BECOMING PART 2 is probably my second favorite episode of TV ever (right behind SELF-ESTEEM when Jordan holds Angela’s hand on My So-Called Life). But I have never been more enthralled then when watching Spike transform himself into a good guy. And he doesn’t jsut do it for Buffy. Buffy dies and he still helps fight alongside the scoobies and raise Dawn. There’s no ulterior motive there, and he’s still soulless at that point. *swoon* So it’s the bad boys turning good that I like more.
*also, um, the sex scene where they make the house fall down? HOT!

And subconsciously, I must have always known I like bad boys turning good or good boys turn bad because I’ve been exploring this theme for the last year in my WIP.

4. I’m glad I finished the Buffy marathon when I did because I CAN’T BELIEVE FALL SHOWS START NEXT WEEK. This is good and bad. Bad because now I’ll be stressed again trying to tape 5 shows in a single hour, like Mondays at 8pm but good because…

This man has been off my screen for far too long.

And what do you know! It’s another bad boy turned good because he made the choice to. Surprise surprise why I like him.

5. Speaking of bad boys who turn good, that brings us to Veronica Mars episode 17 discussion. Hopefully well worth the week and one day wait. All that really means is that we just have to be a bit more patient to discuss next week’s episode, which is my favorite (and everyone else’s!).

This episode definitely moved the season-long plots forward. More time was spent on those than on the mystery-of-the-week, which was a refreshing change. We got a ton of new information about Lilly’s murder, the info that Keith had already gathered, about Abel Koontz, and even Clarence Wiedman.

Things I loved:
-The Logan/Veronica interaction, of course. In a blog post about fictional boys I love, I can’t ignore this. I think this definitely pushes them closer. Veronica expects Logan to rat on her to his friends but instead he not only keeps her secret, he asks her questions about it, helps her out by revealing information only he knew. It’s obvious he wants to help, that he cares about solving this case just as much as she does. And maybe he also cares about her. Sa-woon.
-Vinny VanLowe. He’s a great character. I love his cocky "Private Eyes" song, thinking he totally figured Veronica out when she outsmarted him. Like she always does.
-And last but not least, I LOVED that Keith accepted that Veronica was not going to stop investigating and he decided to join up with her, letting her into the safe and everything. Their relationship is one of the best father/daughter relationships I’ve seen and I love that even though he’s mad that she went behind his back, he loves her enough to stick by her. These two are a team at home–and at work–and the case was the only thing causing a subtle rift between them. But now it’s not, because they’re a team on this too!

The mystery of the week wasn’t very intriguing and was very obvious from the start. They tried to throw us off by having the guy appear innocent only to have actually hired Vinny. Still, there was enough good to out way the bad.

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(Note: I didn’t have time to get up the Veronica Mars discussion yesterday because I got swamped with work and an uncooperating computer. So see bullet point 5 for this week’s discussion.)

1. Speaking of the computer. I’ve had a graphics work station in my apartment for about 7 years now. Turns out though that computers don’t have that long of a life span. I mostly did work on it in SD video (i.e. lower resolution and square shaped) back in the day and haven’t had a work-from-home job in a while. I just started one that requires HD footage and the computer FREAKED OUT. First it rebelled by ignoring the keyboard that was clearly plugged in and installed. Then it was like, "Folder? You want to open a FOLDER? That’s absurd. I’m just going to sit here and blink at you. LA LA LA. I can’t here you!" That apparently wasn’t enough to sway me away so it went and got infected with a virus. My computer is suicidal.

Well, HA, computer. You’re being replaced. My husband is building me a brand new graphics computer from scratch that will make you look like a simple calculator! It was so cute watching him. I don’t know what the hell he’s doing, just that it sometimes involved me plugging various things into the mother board (???) because I have smaller hands. He’s so awesome. So hopefully I’ll be up and running this weekend with my shiny new graphics computer. I still have my trusty mac for writing/internet surfing.

2. I am jealous of everyone going to SCBWI LA but I will counteract that jealousy by saying that I preordered Mockingjay for the Books of Wonder release party on August 23rd! So there!

3. There’s still plenty of time to enter my contest to win INFINITE DAYS. Just saying…

4. Why am I so addicted to BIG BROTHER? I don’t even really like anyone in the cast that much.

5. This is probably one of my favorite episodes. It has so much going on. Clues to Lilly’s murder! Veronica singing! Awesome dialogue! ("Veronica Mars is…smarter than me." "Oh, you stop it!") A great mystery of the week! Logan being awesome! Veronica being clever! (The display with the time lapse cameras, anyone?) Veronica making the most out of a bad situation! She’s suspended. Most kids would be upset about it. Not Veronica, she sees it to her advantage so she can eavesdrop on the guidance counselor’s sessions with the other kids.

We learn a lot during those sessions. Duncan is on meds? Weevil loved Lilly? Logan blames Veronica for Lilly’s murder? It was definitely interesting to hear their side of the situation and watch Veronica’s sneaky ways of doing it.

I also love the misdirection with the school’s secret society. Veronica–and the viewer–is led to believe they’re hazing people hard core and they’re a society to be feared. Really, they’re just a bunch of lame boys doing silly pranks like streaking and karaoke. I also like when Duncan has to speak in gibberish to Veronica. Believe it or not, this episode ended up being good research for my new WIP, though I had forgotten all about it before I watched.

I thought the mystery of the week was really well done as well. I remember not figuring it out when I first watched and all the motivations were completely believable.

Also, one more shout out for the way Veronica solves this particular crime. I thought it was really clever, especially the line about the dollar bill and Veronica Mars being smarter than Lamb. I also like the part where Veronica takes a look at the HORRIBLE piece of crap fake ID and she says, "Not only am I falsely accused, I’m genuinely offended." Ahh, I love her.

The only part I didn’t love or maybe believe was the end with Lynn on the bridge. I always hoped that was a red herring. It just seems like a very extreme reaction that wasn’t built up enough.

What did you think?

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