Remakes and Reboots and Flops, Oh My!

Like many, I have bemoaned the fact that Hollywood seems stuck in the past, refusing to look to the future. We need new ideas! We need new stories! I mean, who needs a Mad Max reboot?

…actually, no. Forget that. I do. I need Furiosa in my soul. She gives me such fierce joy. But seriously. Ghostbusters? That movie was practically perfect! Why would you–

Scratch that. Holtzmann is my happy place. Don’t touch.

Mine.

This is why Hollywood keeps doing it. Because we (or me, at least) keep buying! I loved Pacific Rim so much. But with that ending–I mean, come on. How are you going to make a sequel?

Spoiler alert–they made a sequel. And it looks bada##. You can bet my butt will be in a theater seat the first week it comes out, grinning at John Boyega as Stacker Pentecost’s son and squealing delight when my adored Mako Mori comes onscreen.

I thought Star Wars should have stopped at Return of the Jedi. As each prequel came out, I wished harder that they had just stopped at the original trilogy. But I had to see The Force Awakens, and now I love Rey, Finn, Poe–and you better believe there was some serious screaming at a certain point in the trailer for The Last Jedi, zomg…

Thor Ragnarok…well, everyone probably knew I was going to see that. It has Loki in it! I probably would have skipped The Dark World but for Loki, but I’m hearing such …

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Lessons in Letting Go

Last month, due to a file transfer glitch, I lost all my cell phone photos from the past year.

I had taken a lot of pictures–maybe three or four hundred. I tried troubleshooting, but as far as I could tell, they were just gone, vanished into the ether between the phone and the computer.

At first I was shaky and stunned. A whole year, gone.

I don’t usually take pictures of people, so I didn’t lose precious baby photos or anything like that, but I love shooting day-to-day photos around my city, my garden, architecture, and far-flung locations when we travel. (We’d gone on one international vacation in that year. It was the only time we brought our full-scale digital camera. So I didn’t lose all evidence of our trip.)

But by a few days later, I felt much calmer.

It’s true that not all the photos were exactly gone. I’m on Instagram and post often, so many of the photos survived there, though only in a low-res, square format.

It may also be true, as my spouse pointed out, that I took so many photos that no single one was particularly special to me.

But I think something else is going on.

Theory the first: I use photography as a form of mindfulness, to remind myself to look for moments of beauty in my not-particularly-beautiful urban life. It’s why I enjoy Instagram challenges, taking a photo roughly every day for a month. It’s a form of self-care. The …

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It Gets Everywhere

The stars have aligned, friends, and I am finally taking a beginning drawing class at my local rec center. (I’ve tried to take this class a few times before, and it either gets cancelled, or it’s at an impossible time, or…)

It’s two hours every Monday for the duration of October, and apparently each month the teacher picks a technique for everyone to practice. This month we’re doing straight pencil drawings (which is good, because that’s what I wanted, and if it were charcoals or pastels or something I would be disappointed) and working on reproduction using a grid. Basically, you draw a grid on whatever you want to copy, and a grid on your paper, and then you painstakingly copy everything, square by square, to help you get everything in the right place.

We’re doing M. C. Escher’s Drawing Hands (just one hand, so as to not go insane). I mean, we are anyway, but it’s the thought that counts.

On one hand, I’m not wild about copying another picture, even one by Escher. It’s a good technique to know, I suppose, but I’d really like to learn more about how to draw in general.

On the other hand, I get two hours to myself to do nothing else but draw, which is relaxing and wonderful, and it really helps clear everything out of my brain.

So, you know, it evens out. Though I do really just want to learn how to draw, and shade. Specifically shade. I am …

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Spending My Inheritance

Surprise! It’s me again. Siri Paulson is taking a well-deserved wrist break, so we’re switching spots.

Last week, I posted about my wonderful grandfather. I would talk about him more, but I don’t need another cry right now. So I’ll talk about the fun he and Grammy (they plotted the inheritance together) gave me.

Friends, for the first time since I lived in a studio apartment where my bedroom was my living room, I have a TV in my bedroom. I bought a TV and a blu-ray player, a new keyboard (because my other new one is driving me up the wall and round the corner) and a new set of PC speakers because only the right one works of the current pair.

I also bought my daughter a TV for her room. She can now play videogames in her room and stop rearranging the furniture in the living room which she never then puts back so no one else can use it! I mean seriously, when you walk into the living room and the couch is a foot from the entertainment center…!

Ahem. TV in my room. It sits on top of the hutch of my desk, so I won’t be terribly tempted to watch it when I am trying to work. My neck would start hurting pretty quickly, I imagine. It sits perfectly for me to watch it from my comfy, awesome new bed, though. Last night I snuggled up with my eighteen-year-old cranky teenager and watched Moana.

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Beating Writer’s Block…Again

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m prone to long periods of not writing fiction. These tend to be accompanied by self-flagellation and an existential crisis: if I’m not writing, who am I? Then comes depression (or sometimes that happens first), which makes it even harder to write, and round and round I go.

The only way to break the cycle is to start putting down some words.

This, obviously, is easier said than done. It’s intimidating, especially if you’ve been away from the blank page for a while.

In the past I’ve tried fanfiction, though it’s not normally my thing, or played around with a completely different genre–not to try selling, just to play with. This time, since the beginning of the year, I’ve gone through several different stages. It’s working, so I thought I’d share…

1. First I resurrected my own blog. It’s not fiction, and doesn’t completely fill a need for me in the way writing fiction does. But I do blog with an audience in mind, and putting together coherent opinion pieces or travel posts is good practice in writing down the words, finishing a piece, and shipping.

2. Then I branched out from non-fiction and started writing the smallest possible thing every day. On some days, they were fragments of stories that didn’t and probably won’t go any further, but mostly they were haikus. I’m not trying to become a published poet, so I was writing …

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So, How About That Plan From Last Month?

Last month I regaled you lot with my sewing plans. (And I realized I never linked you to my sewing Pinterest board, which is here, and which you can see is still getting healthy usage.) And I said I’d check back this month and let you know if I’d actually gotten on the actual sewing part of this madness.

The answer is no! But it’s more complicated than me just being lazy (or actually working on writing things, like I was supposed to, though I did do that).

I picked out two patterns to do. I cut out the pieces (which was harder than necessary because said patterns are in books and you cannot cut up library books). And then I hit the problem.

The average American woman is 5’4″. I believe they make patterns for people who are 5’7″. I am 6’1”. So I cut out my patterns and then remembered that I can’t just use a pattern, I have to modify a pattern. I have to lengthen it in the right spots (such as, say, arm holes) and move darts and all sorts of wizardry. Actually, in the past, it’s been easier to take men’s patterns and make the shoulders narrower than mess with women’s patterns, but it’s been five years and I forgot.

(The last clothing I sewed, five years ago, was a brocade vest and spats for a steampunk costume. I made the vest without a pattern, and luckily spats are not picky on sizing.)

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A Creative Interlude

Good morning!

Do you ever have those times when you really should be working on something, but something else comes along that sounds like way more fun? Or, like, it doesn’t matter if anything ever actually does get done, because planning is fun? And shopping for supplies, and picturing doing it, and…

…anyway, this is me right now. And what I’d like to be doing, at least theoretically, is sewing. Not sure what exactly has brought this on. It’s probably a combination of having too many writing projects going, the fact that I hate half my wardrobe, and the fact that I used to sew all the time, but haven’t touched my machine in four…maybe five…years.

So first I went into the planning stage. My planning stage mostly involved reading tons of blogs about upcycling clothing and starting a Pinterest board. I’ve also checked out some sewing pattern books from the library. Somewhere in the Pinterest stage I went from upcycling clothes to just making clothes from scratch.

That might be because I actually did a couple of upcycling projects. The kids and me made slouch hats and arm warmers from old sweaters and hot glue, and I also took an overly large t-shirt I got from giving blood and turned it into a workout tank top. Upcycling urge conquered, I guess.

So now we’re on the sewing from scratch phase. At the end of last week, the small, somewhat mobile one and I hit our local Joann’s, where …

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