Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween? Bah, humbug!

Okay, okay, "humbug" is usually associated with Christmas, but you get the idea.

I don't like Halloween.

Oh, sure, I liked it as a kid, dressing up and getting lots of candy just because you were cute, but I fell out of it as a teen and I guess I just kept falling to the point that I actually kinda wish it didn't exist. I lived with someone for about 8-9 years and he felt the same about Halloween as I did, which was great. On Halloween night, we would go out to dinner, maybe do a little shopping, then usually ended the evening at Barnes and Noble or Borders, looking for and test-reading books that we would never buy. We'd stay out until 9:30-10:00 or so, then head home. All the little trick-or-treaters would be home, coming down off their sugar highs. And if someone did dare to ring the doorbell after 10:00, we didn't answer.

Now I live with my mother in a very kid-oriented neighborhood and I can't escape the madness! Mom doesn't like Halloween any more than I do, but rather than escape with me, she buys candy and gives it out because "it's the right thing to do."

Bah, humbug.

I'll suffer though it, I'll endure and then...and then...

That's right, NaNoWriMo kick off is at midnight tonight! My writing group managed to secure a meeting room at a local hotel for a couple hours (free of charge, thank you thank you thank you!) We're expecting about 20 writers to show up tonight. I missed last year's midnight write-in because...well, I fell asleep. That won't happen tonight, mostly because I know the core writers in our group (hmm...I guess I am one of those core writers now) and if I don't show up, they'll come to my house, drag my butt out of bed and make me go to the hotel and write. Probably still in my pajamas, too! I won't inflict the reality of that image on anyone, so I'll be there.

It's 9:00 am--15 hours and counting! I need to hit the shower and then go to the library for some last-minute research, then lunch, then to a friend's house to help her with a little computer work. After that, it's home to charge up my laptop battery in case I can't get an outlet at the write-in, do a little laundry, get some rest, and get ready to write!

Fabulous lettering from Daily Drop Cap

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pressing Onward

O-kay, so my call for some steampunker help went unanswered. Never mind, said I, for I shall press onward on my own and see what I can see. I picked up a copy of "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" from the library and I liked it so much, I bid and won a copy off eBay. I'm also bidding on "Wild Wild West"--the movie, not the TV show--and should have that won later tonight.

Now, I may be generalizing, but it seems like the people who didn't like "LXG" are those who loved the original graphic novel by Alan Moore. And to be fair, I also read that and can understand why those who loved the graphic novel didn't like the movie. Changes were made to the story to make it more appealing to a wider movie audience which the novel-lovers hated, but I liked the changes. It made "LXG" different...not better, not worse...just different.

Not to mention it gave me a rather interesting idea for my own steampunk novel...which will be shelved until after November. I have my NaNo novel already planned it out and it is most definitely not steampunk.

I recall seeing "Wild Wild West" when it came out and enjoying it, but I don't remember much, so I'll have to see it again before I tell you what I think of it.

And I have a small list of novels to look for next time I'm at the bookstore (courtesy of So I think I'm in pretty good shape to begin my slow, steady indoctrination into steampunk.

Until later, everyone. Goggles on!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Steampunkers, I need your help!

This month is Steampunk month on and though I've never been much of a fan of historical novels, I'm finding myself drawn...hypnotically...almost magically, you might say, to the steampunk genre. So much so that I gave thought to abandoning my half-plotted NaNo novel in favor of a steampunk story that hatched in my mind.

I think I've successfully beaten that impulse down, but the interest remains. Can any steampunk afficionados recommend any good books or movies in this genre? I've never read anything steampunk nor seen any movies and I want to so I can see if this is something to pursue. Oh, I did see Wild Wild West with Will Smith and Kevin Kline. I think that qualifies as steampunk.

The story was okay, but it was all the gadgetry that captured my attention in that movie. And, see, that's what interests me the most. The gadgetry, the "inventions" are just these: (all images here snagged from this post on

LOVE the laptop! The fashions are pretty amazing, too, though the last one is a bit scary...just what is he hiding behind that mask?

This appeals to me, but I'm still not sure help me out and point me toward some good books and movies so I can explore this genre some more and decide whether it's for me or not.