Thursday, December 17, 2015

Fixing The Phantom Menace

Here we are. After a thirty-two year wait, finally, her eon December 17th, 2015, the world will finally be able to watch the sequel to Return of the Jedi. What a glorious day. The last thing anyone needs to do on a day like today is dredge up old wounds and talk about the last Star Wars movie that opened to massive, massive hype following a long break between films. You know, The Phantom Menace
No, nobody wants that.

But let's do it anyway.

Now I am not doing this to take another crap on the prequels. But, they are fresh in my mind, as I geared up for the new film by rewatching all 6. In doing so, I was struck by a surprising thought--The Phantom Menace isn't that bad. No, really. There are far worse movies out there. Believe me.

But it isn't that good, either. Now that I've written a book or two, and made some mistakes along the way, I've discovered a couple of things. One, I am more forgiving when things go wrong. Creating plots and characters that entertain and make sense is hard. Really hard.
Two, when things do go wrong, I like to brainstorm on how these plots and characters could be fixed. I have to do it with my own stories all the time, so it's only natural that the urge would strike me while viewing others. 

Which brings me to Episode One. How would I make it better? Can it be fixed? Could it have gone from mediocre to good, maybe even great? We'll never know. besides, my proposed changes probably suck, too. Even if they don't, George Lucas wasn't exactly going to call me up to serve as a script doctor.  I was like a freshman in college.

Nonetheless, here are five changes that I believe very well may have rescued The Phantom Menace from mediocrity. In the interest of fair play, I tried to hue close to what we were presented with. I don't think it'd be realistic to completely change the plot or remove characters. My hypothetical changes should be looked at as adjustments to the nearly-final draft, not the first.

The Voices
The first change I prose is a simple one--change the voices. Every single voice from a non-human character is horrid. The only exceptions would be Darth Maul--his voice isn't great but it works--it's used sparingly regardless--and holdovers from the original films like Jabba the Hutt, C3PO, etc. Those voices were locked in, whether they worked or not (they all do, though).

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Adolf Hitler in Oz

Review of Adolf Hitler in Oz

This might sound kind of funny, but to me, Oz is a real place.

Then again, maybe that doesn't seem so funny to you. Maybe you grew up watching the famous movie as many times as I did. Maybe you read some of the books, or saw some of the belated sequels. Maybe Oz is real to you, too.

So when I heard that Adolf Hitler was coming to Oz, needless to say, I was concerned. After all, we know what he did to Europe. Would Oz fare any better?

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Lady and the Tiger

When great things happen, artists are inspired. So when the epic events that captivated our city some two weeks ago transpired, needless to say, I was very inspired. My first reaction was to compose a poem, as witnessed here. But the urge to document this great event was not satisfied. So I began a new attempt, a short story, one that should stand for all time as a historical record of the fine achievement of one lady who dared to “cross the line” one early morning in November. Tiger Lady, I salute you; may this story in some way do small justice to your triumph.

Furthermore, it will stand as a record of the time I swiftly and completely torpedoed any chance I ever had at having a writing career. I doubt very seriously I will sell another book once this masterpiece is unleashed.
Without further ado, as I prepare to bid adieu, allow me to present “The Lady and the Tiger.” I would say, “Enjoy”, but I make it a point to never demand the impossible.

Or, A Work of Considerable Importance

By Someone Who is Not Jeremy Morong 

The parking lot was vast. It was long and cold. When cars would zip by on 13th Street, the drivers and passengers inside would speak of what once was: Rosenblatt, the home of cheering throngs who delighted in the exploits of college baseballers. But no more. At this late hour it sat empty, but only temporarily, for it eagerly awaited teems of mini-vans and SUVs that would arrive loaded to bear with eager children and beleaguered parents. They would journey forsooth in search of the big city pleasures found at the world-renowned Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo, the enterprise that had taken over this plot of land, the first phase of their plot for world domination in the field of zoology. A lofty goal, perhaps, but achievable, as it was no mere row of cages like the zoos of yore; this fine facility boasted wild jungles, shark-filled oceans, and a rolling savanna, among other recreations of the natural world.  
The lot was not quite empty, however. One car dared to makes its residence here, idling loudly as it crisscrossed two handicap parking spaces. When the engine quieted, a gentle voice could be heard within. “Dear lady, please wake up.” This was followed by a tender shaking of the woman’s shoulder.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Review of Spectre aka Bond 24

James Bond has returned! This time it's in Spectre, a James Bond movie that functions almost as sort of a greatest hits set of the 23 prior films. Of course, there are plenty of references to the prior films starring Daniel Craig, and this movie does a good job of tying them all together. But the allusions go much deeper than that, with references to older Bonds. Some references are implicit (the skeleton imagery of Live and Let Die, a fight on a train out of From Russia With Love, battles up in the mountains akin to On Her Majesty's Secret Service) , others are more explicit, such as the return of Ernst Blofeld and the ejection seat.  

I enjoyed the film. It's entertaining. It's Bond. There's tons of what makes James Bond James Bond. But the truth is, while greatest hits sets have their place, I've always preferred listening to the original albums, with the songs slotted in their proper place rather than the haphazard running order in which those collections are often assembled. Ultimately, I feel somewhat the same with this film, with the parts never quite reaching a fully satisfying whole. Still, Craig continues to play the part well, and there's enough going on for most to find something to enjoy, and likely a lot more than that.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A Poem About a Woman Who Broke Into the Zoo and Was Bit by a Tiger That She was Trying to Pet and Take a Selfie With…Allegedly

She stuck her hand inside the cage,
And oh! That Tiger felt such rage,
If only she knew better at her age,
But no! His jaws would not assuage,
Through the iron bars, standard gauge,
And oh! They’ve made the front page,
The world is naught but their stage,
But no! Her finger gone, a costly wage.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Compton: A Little City You Might Have Heard Of

Compton: A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre is a record by a 50-year old man, allegedly hip hop's first billionaire, and as such, perhaps it's not always clear who this album is for--old school rap fans, those into modern sounds, a wide audience, a limited one--but one thing is certain: it's not for lazy people. It's there in the song titles ("All in a Day's Work", "It's All On Me"), it's forefront in the lyrics ("Don't ever call me fortunate, you don't know what it cost me, So anybody complaining about they circumstances lost me"), and it lurks in the grooves, some of which do take time to absorb. But the effort is always  rewarded, as they consistently reward repeat listens. 

While not perfect by any means--the murder scene that closes "Loose Cannons", while cinematic, seems an odd fit; the clapping during the speech of "All in a Day's Work" is either pretend, phony clapping or clapping from phony people; at times, the vocals are over-processed and abrasive. Still, this is a master at work. Comparisons to Dre's previous albums are inevitable, but it's no matter; those weren't perfect, either, but we like them anyway (Eazy-E gay jokes and a barrage of misogyny were never going to age well). 

If we're willing to forgive the sins of Dre's prior albums, then so to should we appreciate Compton. As yet, that has not necessarily been the case; reaction seems mixed. Maybe when the DVD for the movie this album was inspired by drops, people will begin to catch on. Until then, for me it's Dre Day, and I'll be celebrating.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Hummel Park Legends Come to Life

So I was on TV this morning...

For those not aware, my new short story collection The Legend of Hummel Park and Other Stories is available now. Right here. You should really pick up a copy because, well, why wouldn't you? You know you need to read more. Stop talking about it and do it!

Anyway, we shot it last week, and they did a fantastic job of editing the story together. I loved the shifts to black and white and the images they spliced over me reading from the first story. Loved how they panned around the cover image. The folks at Channel 6 did a great job and had a lot of fun with it, which was the whole idea behind me writing it. It's fun.

Well, except for the people dying part. But other than some gruesome murders, assaults, and so forth, it's fun! And from time to time, maybe I have something to say, but not in a way that gets in the way of it being fun. I hope.

Check the story out at the link below, and thanks very much to Jenna Jaynes and Channel 6 for making it happen!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Thoughts on the Midnight Circus Reading

So Midnight Circus had its first reading, and it was glorious.

For those not familiar with Midnight Circus--not enough are--it is EAB Publishing's flagship publication, a quarterly literary mag that attracts talent from around the world. That's no joke; the submissions have come from a worldwide pool. It's awesome.

I happen to be the Production Manager of this fine publication, which is a pretty simple job despite the fancy title. All I do is make sure that every submission received is reviewed by people far more qualified than me. Well, those types of people are easy enough to find. Once the stories and poems are whittled down, I format the interior so that the scattered and various submissions become a book. It's fun. I get that little thrill that comes from creating a new piece of art without all of the torture and agony that often accompanies such an endeavor.

When it comes to the reading, I wasn't sure what to expect. As mentioned, this was the first one. Things usually go wrong the first time you try something. Would anybody show? Where was this UNO-Kaneko Library? Or is it the Kaneko-UNO Library? What was EAB thinking with this? Do people really come out to hear writers read?

Turns out, they do. Indeed they do. Somehow or another, I ended up with the job of adding chairs. Seems like a very Production Manager-y thing to me, so I was all for it. Seats would fill up, new arrivers wouldn't have anywhere to sit, and so I'd go to the back and grab more. Easy enough-- people seemed to arrive in pairs, so I'd grab a couple, set them up, and then grab a couple more, just in case, knowing nobody else would show up because we were already pretty full.

Then I'd repeat the process.

I think we added an extra 25 chairs to the 30 or so initially present--the people kept coming. It was great.

And why wouldn't they come, because the lineup was fantastic. Let's run it down. These aren't all names you might know now, but with any luck, you will soon. A.E. Stueve was killing it as MC. The readers: Jeff Lawler. Carrie Helmberger. Liz Kay. Kristen Clanton. Jeremy Johnson. Barbara Schmitz. Julie Rowse. Karen Shoemaker. All of them have appeared in Circus. Lots of talent, which was evident from the first reader, and they kept on coming. Honestly, this was the first reading I've ever attended, it always seemed to me that it would be a little awkward to hear writers read because it feels awkward for me to share my stuff. Well, I get it now.

Myself, I went through a bevy of emotions. This piece isn't about me, it's about a great night, but I can't help myself. As these creators kept reading, and knocking the breath out of the room, my thoughts went something like this:

This is great. Good stuff. Wow, great writing. This is really good. Ha ha, that was funny. So was that. Holy crap, I can't take it anymore--stop being good, people, you're making me feel bad. I call myself a writer? These are writers. I quit. I retire. Finished! Done! Matter of fact, I should just leave the room and return as a simple observer, because who am I to pretend I can lick these people's boots? Go out a wannabe writer and come back as whatever the hell I am.*

And so on. You know, self-doubt and all that stuff. But then something shifted, and while this great writing continued to come at me, I had a realization. An epiphany, if you will. I began to think crazy thoughts, like, well, maybe I do belong here. I thought of things I had written that might lack in certain areas, but can hang in others, and I thought, you know what, I could do this, too. My work could share the stage with these insanely creative people. Maybe I don't, um, suck? (Hey, why don't you buy my new short story collection The Legend of Hummel Park and find out for yourself, huh?)

So that was fun.

Great night.

*This presents a problem, because if writing isn't about figuring out who the hell you are, and who we are, then I don't know what it is.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Review of Lies Jane Austen Told Me

As a writer, I tend to believe that, ultimately, there are two reasons people write. Some do so simply because they want to, perhaps expecting notoriety, financial gains, personal entertainment, or something else. Others write because they have to. Myself, I have to write: there are stories rattling around in my head, stories of fiction, and they won't leave me alone until I get them out. I either write, or go nuts, probably.
I say this not to talk about my own writing, as much as I enjoy doing so, but to discuss Julie Rowse's book Lies Jane Austen Told Me. In truth, this is not a work I would have sought out—the dating life of a Mormon woman? No offense, but what do I care? Yet after blazing through the first 90 pages or so, I found myself enjoying the book and eager to read on. 
Still, as much as I was enjoying the book, I won’t deny that I would sometimes stop to grapple with a question: what made Rowse decide this story had to be told?  The book is well written, yes, and I was intrigued by a culture I knew little about. But that didn't give me my answer. What made Rowse want to share what is a highly personal story with the world?
Then, around the midway point, Rowse began to write of her fiancĂ©. He had been mentioned, briefly, earlier in the text. At the time, I wondered why the mention had been so scant. Clearly, this was an important part of her story. Here was a woman who was dying to be married, born in a culture that apparently believed the ultimate goal of a female was to become a wife and a mother, and yet she only wrote briefly of a full-fledged fiancĂ© without going into further detail?  
But as I read more about this man, it all became clear.  
Why did Julie Rowse decide to tell her story? I could be wrong, but I don't believe that she wanted to write this book. I am not certain she was bursting to showcase her personal insecurities and difficulties. No, I believe Rowse felt she had to write it, if not for herself, than as a potential warning for others. People who are willing to sacrifice their own personal integrity to live up to what we—all of us—believe society demands of us. Set in the context of this world, one that Rowse has respectfully brought us into (she is quite clear in stating the many benefits she has derived from her faith), this Mormon culture that seems to value one role for woman above all others, we are given a stark example of the many outside pressures people allow to measure themselves. 
This book dares to ask—is it worth it? Are there costs that we should refuse to pay? If so, what are they? What line are we not willing to cross to meet the expectations society has put on us?  
Rowse needed to tell this story. Chances are, you need to read it. 
(Full disclosure: I was given an advance copy of this book as EAB Publishing had published my last book. I did some minor copy editing on it while reading it. It had no impact on my personal thoughts of the book.)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Exhaustive Review of All Four Sherlock Holmes Novels and 56 Short Stories

There's no bigger waste of time than reviewing the Sherlock Holmes series. They are great, everyone that can read has read them, and no doubt everyone has enjoyed the 4 novels and 56 short stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as much as I did.

Wait. You haven't read them? Oh, you read them many, many years ago? Or you read a couple of them, or maybe just one, because they made you in high school? My God, man, you've found an even bigger waste of time than reviewing the original Sherlock Homes tales, which is reading reviews of those tales when you could be reading them right now.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Review of Swiss Family Robinson

I love reading the classics, particularly adventure classics, but Swiss Family Robinson didn't do much for me. There were strong passages, but for the most part, the story consisted of the family finding an animal, which they would tame and make a pet of, or of them finding another sort of animal, which they would kill and eat. The Disney version wisely added pirates. This book could have used pirates. The end.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

My Review of Bloody Lies

Say Nebraska decided to hold elections for something insane, like an official state crime. There would be little debate; the top spot would go to the infamous 1958 Charles Starkweather killing spree, which stretched from Lincoln to a few miles past the state border into Wyoming. Inspiring both films and music (Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska, the films Badlands and Natural Born Killers, among others), the impact of that notorious crime has been widespread. 

But if it was up to me, we’d all take a closer look at another horrific tragedy: the murder of a happily married couple, the Stocks, while they slept in their farmhouse in Cass County, Nebraska. In Bloody Lies, author John Ferak gives us the opportunity to take such a look. This crime, and most especially the subsequent investigation, deserve as much attention, if not more, than the one glorified by movies and music. The lessons learned are simply too important to ignore. 

Bloody Lies opens with a description of the murder. It is frank and unflinching, but necessary for us to recognize the heinousness of the crime. Included with this are three photos of the victims. Needless to say they are hard to look at. Whether or not they were required is tough to say, but it cannot be denied that the pictures allow us to see for ourselves exactly how brutal the crime was.

From there, the book essentially splits into two halves. The first covers the investigation of the crime through interrogations, crime scene analysis, and so on. Ferak unreels the facts in it a straight forward fashion, letting the story speak for itself—and what a story it is. I was familiar with the generalities, having followed along in the Omaha-World Herald, yet I found myself enrapt. As uncomfortable as the material can be, the quick pace of the book kept me completely involved.

Ultimately, despite having solid alibis and dubious motives, two individuals are held responsible. Why? Because the police have a confession. We learn that this confession derived from an ethically troublesome and frightening interrogation of one of the suspects. Damn the facts, the investigators have what they want and they’re going to run with it. Reading the excerpts of the interrogation quoted at length, it seems clear that the suspect, Matt Livers, is all but fed a confession, the words very nearly put in his mouth. It is difficult to resist feeling anger when Livers, a young man that has a slight mental handicap, is instructed to “stand up” and admit his crime. Incapable of understanding the abstract meaning of the phrase, Livers literally stands up from his chair.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Review of Katydids and Poems for Kids

There are all kinds of good books, and I don’t much care where they come from, so long as they come from somewhere. Keep ‘em coming, I say. This one? Katydids and Poems for Kids: But Mostly Poems for Kids? I don’t know what recesses of Jeremy Johnson’s mind these poems sprung from. Like I said, I don’t care. I’m just glad they’re in print, where we can all enjoy them.

Now, I have met Jeremy, and he’s a super guy. But I’ll be honest. It’s a good way to be, because lies tend to trip over themselves, and we don’t want that. See, I wasn’t sure I wanted him writing kids that I would read to my poems—wait a second, let’s try that again. I wasn’t sure I wanted him writing poems that I would read to my kids. I wasn’t certain because that’s kind of a big thing, right? You can’t just sit there and read them any old thing. I’m trying to raise future high achievers in a way that I can live through them vicariously, because I haven’t done much myself, and I can’t risk feeding them rubbish.

So I did something very wise—I opened the book up and began to read for myself, before endangering my children’s futures. If it was bad, no big deal, because I can always spare the brain cells, being that I don’t drink nor read Shades of Grey books. I gots plenty of brane sales so it’ll be….good.

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Phantom of Faerie Mountain Review

This is a very enjoyable book. The characters are engaging and relatable, with the bulk of the fast-moving story taking place in a perfect Scottish setting. Abby is the heroine who gets sucked in to the action very early, literally landing on the hero, Rory.

It was refreshing to not have Abby's primary concern be sucking face with the hero. Her mind is on her mission, and Rory and Abby treat each other as people rather than objects of lust. The handling of Rory's Scottish accent was particularly well done--there's enough to absorb us, but it is never difficult to read. A mysterious hound, Finlay, dips in and out of the story to gently lead Abby on her way; I was reminded of Aslan from the Narnia series, without the baggage of having to symbolize a deity. The story has a satisfactory conclusion while leaving the door open for the rest of the planned trilogy, which is not always an easy feat to accomplish. Overall, I enjoyed it, and think most readers would as well (it is appropriate for all ages).

Friday, July 3, 2015

Rainbow Blog #7

Short and sweet today.

Big chapter, but let’s not dwell on that—let’s focus on this great line instead: “Months are different in college, especially freshman year. Too much happens. Every freshman month equals six regular months—they’re like dog months.”
Nailed it. So true. I can remember taking finals and looking back at the start of the semester like we had ridden to school on a horse and buggy. Then you’d go through it all again the next semester.

Lots of romance stuff in this one, and roommate's boyfriend is now roommate's ex-boyfriend. Well, he has been for awhile, but they neglected to tell..well, anyone really.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Rainbow Blog #6

All right, in the interest of preventing myself from rambling, and droning on and on, and beating a dead horse, and dragging things out, and to keep the posts clear and concise, and not bogged down with too much commentary, and to prevent them from being repetitive, and redundant, and filled with pointless information I have decided that we will limit each chapter to no more than 4 salient points going forward, to strive for brevity, so as not to take up too much of anyone’s time, including my own, in order to keep these brief and to the point, so as not to beat around the bush, and to prevent them from being repetitive, or lollygag, but to come to a direct point, to bring things to a head, swiftly and immediately, and to prevent them from being repetitive, without undue waste or mindless chatter. Thank you.

Chapter 13
1. Cath doesn’t want to go to a party that roommate’s boyfriend is having because there will be drunk people galore. “I don’t like to talk to drunk people.” I can relate to this as a fellow non-drinker. Sorry drinkers. But Cath, holing up in your room is not the answer, either.

2. THIS IS NOW MY FAVORITE CHAPTER. With all apologies, here’s the truth. Until I find a typo within your book, I’m sorry, I just can’t get all the way into the book. I start worrying that I’m reading the creation of some kind of robot or something, potentially sent from the future, because with each book I’ve had a part in, whether it be writing or editing, despite scouring them for typos or formatting errors they always find their way in. Frankly, it pisses me off. So I need to see a typo somewhere when I read, no matter how minor. I need to see the author “bleed” a little bit. I need to know they are human.

So, after 147 pages, I have seen Rainbow Rowell and her team of nearly flawless editors bleed. What is the typo? Oh, it’s no big deal: “and his face with filled with disgust and decision.” No big deal, yet it made me deliriously happy. Or maybe only a little bit happy, but deliriously happy sounds more interesting. #writerstryingtowrite

3. Nick is a perfect fit for Cath even though I don’t want him to be, yet in this chapter we’ve got roommate’s boyfriend making her read her stories to him and so he’s proving to be a good fit for Cath as well, just as I thought he might. And this is why I don’t do love triangles in my books. Because seriously, which one of these fine gentleman should she end up with? The guy who writes with her and seems to be a nice guy, or the one who is read to by her and seems to be a nice guy? I can’t decide. How could I decide as a writer? I couldn't. I'd stare at the computer for hours and hours. So I don't do love triangles for that reason. Well, that and I would be absolutely awful at writing them. 

4. Roommate shows up and there is some definite tension abounding. In abundance. Abounding tension abounds in abundance in chapter 13. Roommate knows there is some unspeakable chemistry floating in the air between her boyfriend roommate's boyfriend and Cath.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Music of the Fourth

For the fireworks operators, putting together a Fourth of July playlist seems to be old hat. You mix in some of the orchestral majesty of "Stars and Strips Forever," throw in "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood, work in Louis Armstrong singing "What a Wonderful World" for class, then add in a pop song by the likes of Taylor Swift or Katy Perry to show your with the times, and call it a night.

But don't we deserve a little better? Aren't there are other worthy songs out there that deserve some shine? Indeed there are. Come on fireworks operators, let's step our game up. Here are some of my personal choices, and I'm sure there are many other worthy contenders.

1. Rick Derringer, "Real American" aka Hulk Hogan's theme song.

I'm just going to lay down my ace card--why the hell is this not song used in fireworks shows? By rights it should be our national anthem, but since it's not, let's give it some love elsewhere. There is simply nothing more American than the thought of Hulk Hogan cleaning the wrestling ring of bad guys while this song blares through the arena (preferably those commies Sgt. Slaughter (circa 1990-1991), Nikolai Volkoff, and the Iron Shiek), with the possible exception of Hulk Hogan shredding his bass guitar in front of exploding fireworks, as shown in the video.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Owning It

There's a famous line from the Kevin Smith film Clerks: "I'm not even supposed to be here today!" That's how I felt when strolling into my spot behind the teller line at the bank branch located inside of a Wal-Mart Supercenter. I wasn't supposed to be here. I wasn't supposed to be inside of a Wal-Mart--I hated Wal-Mart. The branch I had been working at, close to home with a great bunch of co-workers, wasn't supposed to close down. I was supposed to be home, with Abby, enjoying a Saturday, a perfect summer day. I wasn't supposed to be working when I had already worked the last two Saturdays.

I wasn't supposed to be, but I was there.

Worse, I had screwed up. A small pile of work awaited me, left behind from the night before--checks, deposit slips, loan payments. There wasn't much, sure, but every piece represented a transaction that wasn't processed for a customer. I hated making mistakes like that. It was embarrassing.

I slumped down in my chair and began the process of crediting customer accounts. I had done it many times before when other bankers had made the same mistake. For the most part, the errors would go unnoticed. Other than one account, the customers had healthy bank balances and a couple hundred bucks gone missing wouldn't have effected them over the night. As long as that one customer didn't notice, it would be smooth sailing.

Then the phone rang. About that one customer. . .

"Yeah, I just went through the checkout line and my blankety-blank card wouldn't work, so I couldn't get blankety-blank breakfast this morning. I know I put a blanking deposit in there and should've had plenty of blanking money in there and would you tell me what the blank is going on there? I'm through with this bank and I'm going to tell everyone I know what a bunch of idiots you all are."

Turns out he noticed.

My first instinct was to lie my ass off. It was easy enough. All I had to tell him was that something must have gone wrong in the back room, there's no telling what, and dang it, I'm as mad as you are about those idiots. The back office was a bunch of nameless, faceless people that he couldn't call and cuss at while I was living, breathing person that could be cussed at, and quite vehemently. So what if the backroom was innocent? They made terrific scapegoats. The words were right there; I only had to say them.

Rainbow Blog #5

One chapter today, which would be….
Chapter 12
*Roommate’s boyfriend appears and begs her to read him some of her fanfiction. Things are heating up indeed…
*Nick shows up later and he also got a bad grade on his assignment. Empathy occurs. UGH! This will only make Cath and Nick closer. We don’t want them closer.
*Roommate’s boyfriend “ran his fingers through his hair, making it stick up in the middle in sandy blond plumes.” Hmmm.
*But “(roommate’s boyfriend) wasn’t even that cute.” Uh-oh. I would kill for some italics here, because italics could change everything. You know, if Rainbow wrote he “wasn’t even that cute” it implies he’s cute, just not that cute. We can work not that cute. But the way it is written it implies he is not cute at all. Not sure we can work with that when my prediction is for Cath to end up with roommate's boyfriend.

*This will be the last one of these for a little while as I have a little project to work on for a bit...back with more soon though!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Rainbow Blog #4

Busy day today, yet I managed to read more than I planned so we'll make this one quick and dirty. These were workmanlike chapters, moving the story forward but not a lot of stuff to really go on tangents about.

Chapter 8
*Short chapter here, lots of talk about Nick's lips.

*Wren is on something called a Skinny Bitch diet. Good for her.

*Cath has gone boy crazy, apparently, but so far this has not resulted in her dating or doing anything freaky with boys. Which is OK, because that might make things a little awkward between Cath and me.

Cath wonders why the boys around her seem so different from those in high school, and wonders how it is possible that they have changed so much. They now have a "heaviness in their jaws" and their "chests (now) buttressed." I'll have to ask Abby if my chest buttresses. 

Chapter 9
*Cath is going back to Omaha to see her crazy and weird dad, but before that she decides to go get a Starbucks, which just so happens to be where roommate's boyfriends works. He gives her a Big thing happened there and really took their relationship to the next step.

*Stuff happens with her dad and he tells her to talk to her mom, and Cath gets way too mad about it. I feel like I don't even know Cath right now seeing the way she's taking this news.

Chapter 10
*Some stuff happens, but only 4 pages worth. On to chapter 11.

Chapter 11
*Cath fails a writing assignment for submitting a piece of fan fiction. I agree with the bad grade but disagree with the professor's contention that it is plagiarism. Using someone else' characters in new scenarios is not plagiarism. This major setback for Cath leads us to a moment where I realize I have no idea of what it means to be a freshman girl in college...

See, to take her mind off her bad grade, Cath decides to hold an "Emergency Kanye Party." This involves blaring Kanye West music while dancing on top of your bed. Apparently she used to do this with her sister, but since they're not getting along so well right now, she's going solo.

So yeah, I have no idea what's really going on here. And I wonder what Kanye tunes she's playing? His music isn't particularly...danceable. I can't imagine dancing to Kanye west music. Not really. I guess there is a Fangirl playlist out there so I'll have to see if any Kanye tunes made it. (Two did: "I Wonder" and "Paranoid".)

Of course, I can't really imagine myself dancing to any music. Nobody wants that.

As you can imagine, roommate's boyfriend happens along and joins in. They dance... together (although Rainbow is sure to tell us "not too closely or anything"). This is turning into quite the love triangle. Nick, Cath, and roommate's boyfriend.

After the Emergency Kanye Party there isn't much more I can say about this chapter, my mind was kind of blown after that. It ends with Cath dining with roommate's boyfriend, so this was a big chapter for my prediction.

But I don't really know what happened here. The Emergency Kanye Party was not something I had expected. It's going to take me a little time to digest it. Guys don't have Emergency Kanye Parties. But maybe freshman college girls do...? This was a tough chapter for me--it almost felt a little voyeuristic. As a guy, it was as if I was given access to a world in which I did not belong. Sure, roommate's boyfriend was allowed in, but he's super sensitive, and blond, and constantly waving his hair from his eyes. There is no hair being waved from my eyes.

But Emergency Kanye Parties might become a thing. I mean, people are holding Emergency Kanye Parties on Youtube.

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This is getting heavy.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Rainbow Blog #3

Let's just jump right in. See the prior installments if you want to know what this is all about. And if you find out, let me know because I'm not quite sure what it's all about myself.

When last I wrote I had just finished up chapter 5. Hey, you know what comes after chapter 5? That’s right: chapter 6. Here we go.
Chapter 6
*Things are moving fast in the Nick-Cath relationship. Matter of fact Nick is doing a full-on Tom Cruise right now: “His eyes were set so deep, it made everything he said more intense.” If that doesn't sound like a Tom Cruise description than I don't know what does.
*Cath and Nick got an A on their group assignment. And now they’re going to be writing together…for fun. Hot and heavy indeed.
*Something’s going on with Cath’s twin sister Wren, but both Cath and myself are a little in the dark as to what.
*Hey, there’s a Husker game going on in the background during this chapter. I love the little references to local stuff like that. In a prior chapter, there was a mention of Valentino’s and I was all "hey, Valentino's, yeah!" I'm really looking forward to the first Runza mention.

There better be a Runza mention.
*All right, Cath goes out with her roommate and roommate’s boyfriend. Keep it on the back burner with this guy, Cath, and prove me right…you are supposed to end up with roommate's boyfriend!
*Cath is not calling her sister Wren and I have a feeling she is going to really regret that. Where did this come from? Seems kind of out nowhere for Wren to flake out in the way I think she is flaking out.
Or maybe it’s nothing. On to chapter 7.

Hey, here it is already--chapter 7! The bankruptcy chapter. (Lame little banker's joke for you there.)
Chapter 7
*I don’t know if I mentioned this, but Cath technically already has a boyfriend, Abel. But see, I knew early on that they weren’t going to last much longer, so I didn’t think it was worth mentioning. And yeah, they just broke up. See? He wasn't worth mentioning. Screw that guy.
*One of the justifications ex-boyfriend uses for the breakup is because her ACT score was 2 points lower than his new girl. Well, points for creativity…and points for douchebaggery.
*Rainbow, accurately, portrays text messages as not using proper capitalization and so forth. Am I one of the few people that try to be grammatically correct in texts? Well, as best I can anyway…
*OK, Cath and her sister are hanging out—false alarm.
I think.
*Cath thinks about both roommate’s boyfriend and Nick when they talk about love. This one might go all the way to the finish. She could end up with either one of them now and I would buy it.
*Uh-oh, roommate’s boyfriend is kind of macking on Cath’s sister Wren. Identical twin sister Wren. Hmmm. Not sure what that means. Perhaps all will be revealed in chapter 8...but probably not, we've got a long way to go.