Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Most people think of the game when you refer to clue when in reality they should think of the amazing moving staring Tim Curry. I love Tim Curry, I always have. I loved him in Annie. I loved him in Legend. I loved him in IT. I loved him in Rocky Horror Picture Show. And, most recently, I loved him as the creep-ball serial killer on Criminal Minds.

I would have to say, that Tim Curry was the Johnny Depp of the eighties, in the sense that he took the most out there roles and flourished in said roles.

If you have never seen Clue, stop reading this blog, go order it online. It will be the best ten dollars you ever spend in your life. This movie is incredibly underrated. Not only is Tim Curry front and center as the buttling butler, but you have Christopher Lloyd, Martin Mull and the always amazing Madeline Kahn.

This movie is rife with some of the best one liners ever written into a script. If you don't know the premise of Clue, six guests are called to Mr. Boddy's mansion for a dinner party where they find out that they all have something in common, they are being blackmailed by Mr. Boddy.

Well, not shockingly, Mr. Boddy dies. And, lead by Mr. Boddy's butler, Wadsworth, the charming and attractive (well, at least to me) Tim Curry, they try to figure out who killed Mr. Boddy.

Only, things get worse. And the bodies start to pile up.

This was one of my favourite films when I was a child. I used to make my father rent it every other week. The only movie that got as much attention from me as Clue was The Munsters At the Museum movie. See, even as a child I had taste. Though, I must admit, I certainly missed some of the jokes. Youth and innocence was one of my follies.

I leave you now with the trailer. And please, don't be a fool...go get it!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Ants, Rants, And No Pants

Well, I am wearing pants...so that's a little bit of a lie. Regardless, we have made it through another week and on this wonderful day which we call Fri, I get to post my Vlog. How exciting for all of you. I talk about my birthday and ants and busts.

Busts on bust.

Hope you enjoy the six minutes we have together.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Expanding My Horizons

I've decided to grow as a person and by doing so, I will bring to the world a little more culture and pizazz. Or at least I will bring a flicker of amusement to the followers who read my blog...all three of you. As you may very well know, I already have a sweet little feature on Ye Olde Blouge (that's French, but not really, I just made it up) called Melodic Mondays. This is every Monday (duh) and it is when I take the time to recommend to the masses new/old music that I adore. On top of that, Fridays around this hovel are a little something I call, vlog day. And if you couldn't piece it together, it's where I post my vlogs, just so that I can get a little more exposure. I love being exposed...I mean...ahem.

It seems as though the Tyson-Fanatics have been clamouring and demanding more. I know, shocking. (It's mostly shocking because I just made that up.) So, in order to give the people what they want, I am going to be adding a brand spankin' new feature. No, no, the feature won't be me spanking people. Although...you know...that sounds like a better idea than the crappy one I came up with. My hand would get sore. Maybe I won't paddle peoples behinds.

Every Thursday, I will be drawing a picture on a post-it note. I will then take a picture of that post-it with my phone. Then I will email said picture to my account where I will save it to my computer and then embed it in a blog.

Whew. Sounds like a lot of work, right? Well, it isn't. But needless to say, I am doing it all for you. Yes, you. The dedicated fans who come by to peruse my blog, listen to the music, and, now, enjoy the craptastic drawings my hand and brain create.

Here is the first one, hope you like it:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I keep losing followers.

On my blog.

On my twitter.

On my Facebook.

It's like rejection letters. You know you shouldn't take them personally, but still, it stings a little.

Do I not entertain thee? Am I not funny enough?

Before you go, couldn't you put a suggestion in the box. How can I keep you around? What can I say to make you stay? What would you like to see in my tweets, statuses, blogs and vlogs? Open your mouth. Maybe things don't have to end this way. And don't give me those excuses. It's me. It has to be me. You aren't the problem. I'm not kicking followers off my Twitter.

Maybe I offended you. Maybe you need thicker skin.

Is it my swearing? I can fucking curb my cursing.

Is it my inappropriate comments? I don't have to be so rude and disgusting.

Is it the way I think I am queen of the universe? Because you can blame that on my upbringing. I always wanted a sceptre and crown. Don't I look pretty in it.

I apologize for whatever I've done. Chances are, it will happen again.

I don't understand why you leave, without so much as a word. Couldn't you at least say goodbye? I mean, you just up and go, without batting an eye. What about me? What about my feelings? I mean...actually, to be blunt, you're kind of rude.

I don't need you anyways.

Oh, that's just the anger talking.

Ah! Another one, gone...lost to someone more amusing and with a cuter nose.

Whatever shall I do.


Friday, November 19, 2010

The Written Word

Long before I was a writer, I was a reader. When I was young, I had a bit of a tough time learning how to read. My parents thought I was doing fine, but lo and behold, I was actually just memorizing what they were telling me. They figured this out when they shut the book and continued to 'read'. Boy, did they feel foolish. But at least they caught it. In grade two, they, the bigwigs at the local elementary, sat down with my parents and discussed my 'learning'.

The conclusion was, I wasn't learning very quickly.

In my defense, I came from a family of six kids, there really wasn't enough time for my parents to sit down and teach me how to read. Each kid simply couldn't get the right amount of attention. And so, my troublemaker brothers got the attention while I sort of coasted by unnoticed. This is where my world building came in handy, I simply created the friends and attention I needed. The truth is, there were other forces working against me. I didn't like my teacher that year and there were a lot of other kids in my class, including one unsightly girl who liked to beat other people up. Thus what was happening at home was happening in school as well, the troublemakers got the attention and Little Tyson drifted on by, wide-eyed and sneaky as can be. See, I had something else working against me, laziness. I didn't want to take the initiative to ask for help. In my head, asking for help was wrong. So when the teacher said, read these pages. I just shoved my book into my bag and headed home with no intention of ever asking for help or telling someone that I was having trouble learning how to read.

To this day, I still have trouble asking for help.

Regardless of the excuses, I was zipped off into a 'learning impaired' class. Yep. You heard it here first. I was in a special class for people with learning disabilities. Actually, I loved that class so much more. I went there for only two hours a day, but in that time I got the attention I so desperately craved. And I also learned how to read.

Once I got it, there was no stopping me. I consumed everything my fingers could reach. I hauled a book around with me everywhere I went. And I sat up at night reading, instead of eating cookies and watching the Bulldog and Drummond movies my parents used to force us to watch. Reading provided for me the same thing writing would provide for me a couple years later, an escape. Some of the books I read when I was a child are still my favourites, like Harriet The Spy, The Outsiders, The Secret World of Og, and, my personal favourites, a plethora of Christopher Pike books.

My love for the written word only developed further when I started reading things I shouldn't have been. Sharing a room with my older sister, of about five years, afforded me the luxury of delving into John Saul, Anne Rice, Dean Koontz and Stephen King books. Oh, the horror, the sex, the mystery--how I loved those books. So while the people in my classes were partaking in such classics as The Secret Garden and The Borrowers, I was snug as a bug in a rug curled up in my bed rereading the sex scenes in the Witching Hour, enthralled in Misery and delighting in Come The Blind Fury. These books marked a point in my life that I treasure-it's when I realized how important creation is.

Wait...where was I going with this?

Oh, right. Today my writing defines me. But without my love of reading I doubt I would have made it to this point, the point in which I chose to write over eating, sleeping, drinking and developing healthy, lasting relationships. Unlike a lot of other people, I'm not picky. I have never really partaken in any High Fantasy or Science Fiction, but I am a open minded sort of lady and would do so, if recommended something. In the past year, I've connected with a lot of writers and read A LOT of stories. Of the hundreds of writers I have come in contact with, there are a select few of about twenty who have really made an impression on me with their writing skills.

Here I need to pause and explain something.

What I like to read might not be what you like to read, or that weird chick in your office who chews on her hair. This is something called, different strokes for different folks. I can appreciate good writing, where the words blend together so sweetly it's like eating a summer-ripe strawberry. But the thing that really draws me into a story is characters. I love my characters rife with emotion, brimming with attitude, and tormented souls. Which is probably why my own work reflects these things. And the people who have cause me to stand up and take notice are ones who know how to develop the hell out of a character.

Which is why this weeks vlog gets a dedication to a very special author, Cody James. She has immeasurable talent for the craft of writing. I hold her in high regard. And I love her dearly. And so...it's Vlog Day! It's focused on this little lady and hopefully this does something to give her the exposure she needs. Please take a look.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dear Writers: We Are All Nuts

After the rather bleak and "depressing" blog about writing last week, I thought I owed my dedicated followers, fanners, and lovers, a more positive and upbeat excerpt from my brain. Writing isn't always bad, but like most things in life, when it rains, it pours. And while there are bad writer days, I find, for the most part, my writer days are good ones because they are the days I am able to sit down and open a vein into a whole other world.

If you are anything like me, you long to write. I have a 9-5 job (well, technically 5-2 job) that takes me away from my laptop for nine hours a day. Yes, I do feel sad about it, as if abandoning the little hunk of technology. When I leave before the sun breaks the hills on the horizon, I look longingly at "my spot". I never want to leave, but I'm an adult and I have to pay my bills, so I zip up my jacket, pull up my collar and step out into bitter reality (the working world).

The hours I spend at work are filled with fun things like copying and pasting, correcting other peoples mistakes, and staring out the window trying to ignore the fact that the hours, minutes, seconds are dragging by. It's painful, really. No, I'm being serious, I feel physical pain some days. Throughout the day little bursts of ideas well up and I get excited. Thrumming with eagerness to get home, sit down, power up and get down to business, I motor through my day. And when I sit down, my word document open, I heave a contented sigh, because for me, this is home.

My ass has left a perfect, comfortable nook in my couch, one that cannot and will not be duplicated in this lifetime.

The struggle of being published is certainly a trying one in a writer's life. It's one of the least enjoyable processes in the world. It weighs on your self-esteem and you question whether you should even be writing. It's a tedious process filled with broken hearts, love, loss, insomnia and weight gain. But we still write. Why?

Because we love it. It might hurt at times, it might feel defeating, but we wield the pen because we enjoy doing it. Sure we bleed, sweat and cry over our works, dumbfounding the people we share space with. And of course, by the end of a novel we've exhausted our fingers, brains and will to live, but still...we sit down and do it again.

The truth is, it's rewarding. We get to stand before the masses and say, we write. I'm the only person I know in my reality, meaning the people I can physically touch, who has ever written a book. And I know a lot of people. So what makes me so stinkin' special? Why are we the ones who are blessed with the ability to put words to paper?

I don't know!

From personal experience, I've learned not everyone is creative. For the most part, the average person lacks the quick wit and imagination to brainstorm ideas. It's why we, as writers, cultivate a support groups of other writers. So we aren't alone and when we bounce an idea off someone and ask what they think of something we don't get, "I don't know, is that realistic?" On more than one occasion, I've had someone tell me they can't understand how my brain works. How do you sit there and simply create? For us, it's simple, we simple write what we think, but how did we kick down the door to our imagination and invite it in for a tea party?

The answer is: lunacy. We are all nuts.

I am a firm believer that you have to be half cocked or off your rocker to create. There's a reason why artists go crazy...because the demons won't let them sleep. Of course, every one's writing process is different. Some people want silence, others a nice cuppa, and others still need to smoke a big, fat joint and listen to The Roots. To each their own, but the common thread is, we are all nuts.

If you break it down, it's insane to even entertain the thought of writing, let alone actually sitting down and doing it. Not only is it an art you suffer for, one you might never get total fulfillment from, but it's one that is so time consuming. It encroaches on areas of your life you never thought anything could elbow in on. Like bathing or having sexy times. But there you are, soapy the dirty bits and thinking about how one character is going to murder another character. The internal banter is never-ending!

And so, I have yet to meet a 'writer' who isn't batty as hell. Okay, okay. You're a writer, and you're reading this with a scowl thinking, I'M NOT A LUNATIC. Step away from the defensiveness and view this from an outsiders point of view.

You would rather stay home and write than attend a good friend's birthday party. You talk about your characters like they are real. The norm for you is sleepless nights, constant mulling, talking to yourself, talking to your characters and your care an concern for your surroundings is tossed out the window. Someone could be sitting next to you talking, but you don't hear them because your writer brain is turned on. You throw your hands in the air and storm off saying, "this character is an idiot" as if you didn't create them. Often you're seen, frantically searching your purse for a pen and paper in order to write down a smarmy thing you MC would say. You tell people that when you finish a book it's like you didn't even write it. Ever so often when editing your work, you laugh out loud and exclaim something is "so funny" because you don't remember writing it. On more than one occasion you've woken in the night, flicked on the light, blinding the person next to you, and started writing in the notebook by your bed. Upon completion of a novel, you sit back with a grin as if you've just had the best sex of your life.

If that's not insane, I don't know what is.

And your general lack of care for personal hygiene and presentation during NANO isn't helping.

The irony of this whole thing is...we are damned if we do and damned if we don't. Can you imagine how crazy we would be if we didn't allow the creativity out? We'd explode! It would be gruesome, the carnage would be immeasurable. The lives lost would be catastrophic.

The truth is, I'm a vessel for creativity, as you are, and when the time comes to write, write is what I do. That's my job, no matter if it doesn't pay the bills. If I don't put those words down, who will? It's my responsibility to tell the story in my head. And publishing isn't the reason I started writing. I never had a choice, so I'm going to enjoy it.

And even though it is time consuming, and others don't understand it, I still love the creation.

And for the record, I wouldn't want to be doing anything else.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

One Writer's Bad Day

Last night, I couldn't get to sleep. I felt like my head wrote a memo that hadn't reached my heart and the question 'what am I doing' rang through the night. I imagine all writers feel this way at one point or another, or am I completely alone in the frustration and disappointment that accompanies putting your work into the world? Maybe it was the article about the plagiarising that swept the Internet last week, the casual way an agent writes back 'not for me' thirty seconds after a query is sent, or seeing the struggle of many authors--some good, some bad--as they clamour for the lusted after spot with an agent, and hopefully a publisher.

The age old saying, "Anyone can write" is true through and through, but the debate over whether everyone can write 'well' is still being had. Can creativity be taught? Can we all learn to be excellent writers? What is the difference between natural talent and learned talent? Which one reads better? Do you have the characters? The plot? What is voice? Do you have it? And in the end, who will hold the holy grail, stand on the mountain with it raised over their heads and shout, "I did it"?

These are questions I cannot answer, though they say it is the dedicated ones who will persevere. Doesn't that thought break your heart? It is not the ones with the best novels who will win out in the end, just the ones who never give up. How...uninspiring. That means many writers, who write sheer crap, could very well be published simply because they don't listen to anyone or take any one's advice.

And maybe I am one of them. The first rejection I received was scathing. I was young, inexperience and, after rereading it last week to a dear friend, I have no idea why I didn't throw the towel in then and there. So, perhaps I am the dense of mind and heart. The agent pretty much flat out told me that my bad writing wouldn't get me anywhere...and so, I have been told. Should I have listened?

After spending an exuberant amount of time on the Internet in the last year and a half, I've seen it all. I've seen great stories with bad writing, bad stories with great writing, bad stories with bad writing and great stories with great writing. And the common thread these stories shared? For the most part, they were unpublished and unagented. The slushpile truly is the great common denominator.

As they say, we are all in it to win it. But the cold, dead-fish of truth is, we all can't win it. Only a select few of us will win it. And right now, it's all about being a stubborn git who refuses to back down. If I was Rocky Balboa, this might not be such a tedious task, but I don't have arms the size of hams, and I am growing weary of the fight...and watching the fight. Isn't that the nitty gritty? Because not only are we ringside watching everyone else battle it out, but we're also in the ring with them. This is why I choose friends who don't write my genres, so I don't feel like I am trying to pummel their faces with my meaty fists in order to get to the top of the pile of manuscripts--some good, some bad.

From the inside, it feels like a rat-race. And I can only imagine what it looks like to the agents and publishers. Oh, and here's the most depressing thing. With Twitter and blogs and vlogs and newspapers and facebook and social-networking, we don't even have the luxury of thinking agents/publishers are evil, moustache-twisting, sadist who set our manuscripts on fire to light their two thousand dollar cigars. Nope. They're people.

Thank you social-networking for taking away the people I wanted to blame for my misery. Now I have to take responsibility and act like an adult about it. Phooey.

To make matters worse, there are so many bloody rules. Agents have rules, publishers have rules, other writers have rules and every one's opinion of what's hot and what's not is different. No adverbs, no 'ing' endings, don't use "should, could, would", watch the personal pronoun starts, there's not enough names, too much tell, not enough dialogue, don't have more than one POV per chapter or book or series or page.

Well, here's a big fat weary sigh for you.

Last night, I picked up a book someone bought me. Upon review this could have been the catalyst of this blog. The book was terrible. I won't tell you what book, because I am don't participate in the name game, but it was published by a very big press and was a national bestseller. Well, kick me in the head and call me Suzy. It broke every rule! It jumped POVs like a Mad Hatter, it was over run with adverbs, the characters were flat, everything started with "he,she,her,him" and to make matters worse, the author was really unfortunate looking. This only confirmed my greatest fear, I will never be published because crap like this is eating up the paper my books should be printed on.

Excuse me while I clear my throat and take a chill pill.

Is this jealousy speaking? I suppose in a sense it is. What I want is a gypsy woman with a gold tooth, purple and green shawl and glass ball to tell me yay or nay. That's it. If someone could just tell me one way or the other if I will pass go and collect my two hundred dollars, I would be forever in their debt. If yay, I will plug away, edit, revise, write and create. If nay, I will do the same thing, but at least I can smother this little ball of hope keeping me up at night.

If only there was more good news. You know? Lately it seems as though the publishing contracts and acquisitions by an agent are a trickle. And bad news is aplenty. Books are dying, they say! Agents are quitting! Slushpiles are growing! Publishers are closing! Half as many books are hitting stores! People can't read!

Give me good news or give me death, I say.

Don't get me wrong. There are the shining few who come through with a post, status or thread about how they're holding their golden ticket, but they are the minority, and lately there isn't enough of them to encourage me. Of everyone I know who has snagged an agent from the publishing ether, they all say the same thing. Landing an agent and publisher is all about two things. Timing and luck. Which does two things, it makes us think, some day it will be my time to get lucky, and, so the heart, blood, sweat, tears, and cookies I fed into my manuscript doesn't matter?

And last night I had this sinking feeling that my time was running out and I had to confront the fact that I'm not very lucky.

People write for very different reasons. Some write because they had a dream, some because they see how easy it is for some authors who have dreams to get published, some because they want to dabble in something arty, some because their bored, but then there is a select few who do it because they have to. Does that sound odd?

If you're a writer who HAS to write because you do not have a choice, because you would go insane if you didn't, please line up on my left.

A very loving and caring man took the time to try and reassure me with tales about hockey players and athletes. But there was a point to his rant about natural athletes, how Michael Jordan was cut from his high school Basketball team and how some hockey player from Princeton was flat out told he wouldn't play in the NHL because he was too big but who then went on to be place with a great team and make a million dollars a year. The point was that some people have tenacity. It seems simple enough, doesn't it. And he only reiterated what everyone says, perseverance and determination, but he said it in a way that made sense.

Sometimes it isn't easy, not even for the people who have natural talent and the drive to do it.

I'm not saying I am one of the ones who has this coveted 'natural talent'. And, at this point, after my crappy writer's day, I don't even know if I have the perseverance for this whole slushpile mess, but what I do know is that I am one of the ones who has to write. Is it physically impossible for me not to write? No, of course not, I can put the down the pen (how old fashioned!). But my brain won't stop going. And while we sit around for a friend's birthday or Christmas dinner and everyone is thinking about awesome memories and the year gone past, I will be wondering how Falcon will get out of the situation she is in, and if I ever will write that storey about Mason and Lena set in San Francisco. It's just how it works for me.

The irony is, I'm not even querying right now. I just had a bad day. O-o

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Excuse Me While I Write My Ass Off

Well, it's November. Writers across the globe have sat down at their computers, fingers poised over the keys, and they're going a little mad. Some of them have wrote three thousand words, others haven't even started, and the rare few have already finished their fifty thousand words. Kidding...I don't think anyone has yet, I mean it is only the fourth.

Up until last year, I didn't have a clue what NANO was, to be honest, I thought it was a Pokemon of some sort. Secret power? I have no clue. Lo and behold, it's National November Writing Month, and it's driving my Twitter and Facebook crazy. The tweets, the updates, the exclamations that they won't be able to complete even though it's only the fourth.

They should really call it, NANOWRIGOCRAMO, National November Writers Going Crazy Month. No seriously, I don't even think some people bathe, or leave their computers, or avert their gaze. I worry about a few of them, myself included.

Last year, I sat down to participate in NANO, and I hammered out the fifty thousand words without batting an eye. Well, okay, that's a lie. I was trying to get my book to the desk on Authonomy and didn't have a moment to spare. I thought I was busy THEN. So, why is it that I feel completely swamped this year?

I'm not trying to get my books to the desk on Authonomy, but still, it's almost as though I don't have a moment to spare. Eating? What's that? Sleeping? Yeah right. No wonder writers are all a little insane. I blame the sleep deprivation.

I sat down to dissect what's on my plate and what I can and cannot hack out to spare up more writing time.

No, that has to stay, unfortunately.

But I really enjoy doing it, and even though it certainly is the most time consuming (after the job that is) I really don't want to cut it. It will stay.

I only really write one or two, maybe three at the most, posts a week. I think I can handle that.

I don't do that as it is.

Ding. Ding. Ding.

I'm sorry, but I have to cut out speaking to all the lovely people I've found on the Internet. I love you all, dearly, but you're damaging my word count. And so, scarifies need to be made in order for me to complete my NANO book. This is goodbye.

Well, I'll just check Twitter one more time...

And Facebook...

Okay, I'll just check in the morning...

After I write 1,000 words.

Oh, someone sent me a direct message...I should reply.

And someone new is following me...I should thank them.

Someone commented on my status...It would be rude if I didn't write something witty back...

Hmmmm. This might not work.