Daily Dialogue: Mommy Dearest

Today’s experiment involves me stepping out of my comfort zone a little. I’ve noticed that what a lot of my characters have in common is that they’re tortured. Gonna try writing a neurotic character this time. What’s the difference twixt a tortured character and a neurotic character to me? I think neurosis is a result of being tortured. Like… someone with shell shock (or its more sterile term, PTSD). They were tortured and developed a neurotic tendency. Not everyone who’s tortured is a wreck, though. But one of these women who I’ll write stream-of-consciousness-style for 40 minutes is a neurotic mess.

If you’d please open your eyes, that’d tell me you’re ok.


C’mon. C’mon, I need you to open your eyes, Molly.


It was just a hit! One hit. Y’know, like boxers. We’re strong, aren’t we? Women are strong. We can take… We can take what you just took, right? With a smile, yeah?


Please, Molly, I know it was a mistake. You know it was a mistake, right? C’mon, you gotta know. I mean, who’d use an ax like that on purpose?


Ok, how about this? You wake up, and we’ll get ice cream. You always love ice cream. We can get the bubble gum kind. No, that’s too far away. We’ll… We’ll make the bubble gum ice cream.


Yeah, we’ll just get some sherbert and gumballs and mix ’em together. It’s the same, right?


Goddamnit, Molly, I am your mother! Listen to me and open your fucking eyes!


I didn’t even hit you that hard! Hard, it was an ax. So what? Women are strong. I know! I know what’s wrong! I gotta take the ax out! Stupid me! There. Now open your eyes. C’mon, baby, open your eyes. Open them. Open your eyes. Open your eyes.


If you don’t, we can’t watch your favorite movie. See? Here it is. Here it is right here. You wanna watch it, don’t you? You always wanna watch it. Yeah, let’s watch it.


See, it’s started! Is it too loud? It’s too loud? Lemme turn it down. There, is that better?


What do you want from me? I’m trying… trying to do the best I can. So much blood… Is that what you need? A bandage? Yeah, that’s it. I’m gonna go… I’m gonna go get you a, you a, bandage. St-stay right there, yeah?


Ok, here we are. I could only find the small ones, so we’ll have to use them all. They’re your favorites, see? With the stars and frogs! Open your eyes, Molly. They want you to! The stars are twinkling for you and the frogs go hop-hop! Look, this one’s doing a dance! The frog’s doing a dance for you, Molly!


How many will we need? Let’s count. The cut’s pretty… pretty big, so we’re gonna need a lot. I say five. What do you say? You say five, too?


That’s how many fingers we have on a hand. And toes on a foot. And points on a star. Like on your bandages! We say five bandages? Let’s try.


Eight. We were both wrong, Molly! Oh, darn. You’re patched up, so open your eyes.


You’re… You’re right, we need to put the blood back in. But how do we do that? Can you tell me how we can do that, Molly?


A straw? That’d take a long time. And who’s gonna do that?


I guess I will, if you think so.


In your mouth? Oh yeah, because the ax hit your neck! The blood will find its way back easily! You were always a smart little girl.


Blood’s supposed to do that, don’t worry. It looks lumpy but it’ll fix itself once it’s back inside you. How can it not? Everything and everyone wants to be a part of you.


We better hurry, you’re starting to turn cold. I’ll… turn on the heat. I’ll turn on the heat so you can feel better until we get all this red stuff back in you. All this fruit punch and cherry bits. Then we can get that ice cream. You thought I forgot? I’m your mommy, how could I?


Oh, silly. You can’t keep the bandages on forever. Those frogs are gonna hop off and those stars are gonna shoot away once you’re all better. You’re gonna have a scar, too. Scars are sexy. Guys love scars. Girls love scars, too. If you love either, that’s… that’s ok with me.


Aww. I love you, too. Do you think we got enough blood inside? That’s all I can fit in the straw. Those cherry bits grew too big.


You don’t want them, they’re too big. And they smell bad. No, baby, you stay away from those.


Now open your eyes. Open… open your eyes. Molly, open your eyes. Molly.


You’re still too cold? What? What do you want from me? Open your fucking eyes and tell me what you want!


My blood? Why?


I didn’t give you enough?


The cherry bits and the blood that your dress soaked? You’re right! Oh, how stupid your mommy is!


Thank you. How much do you think you need?


I don’t know, either. What if… What if I cut… cut my wrist and you take what you need?


Are you… Are you ready?



40 Responses to “Daily Dialogue: Mommy Dearest”

  1. Holy crap that was dark! But I couldn’t stop reading it for one second. Well done.

    • Thanks. I live in a dark world, but I try to make up for it by making the people in it interesting enough for readers not to mind too much. You and a few others made it to the end, so I guess I did good. Someday, I’m gonna reread everything I’ve written here and wonder how you all put up with my shifts in tone.

      • I can understand how some people wouldn’t be able to make it to the end of that one. But, personally, I was riveted. Even after I completely understood what was going on, I couldn’t stop reading. I had to know how it ended.

        And I don’t think it’s a matter of putting up with shifts in tone so much as growing with a blogger. It’s something we all do as writers and people. 🙂

      • I think it ends a little cliché now, but that’s me beating myself up. I mean, there hasn’t been enough stories about a mother accidentally(?) killing her daughter for a cliché to exist (and I hope it stays that way).

        As for the tones, it’s one part me reflecting the things I like and one part me not wanting to bore myself. Writing two people talking for a long while is “hard” work, and to do it daily makes it even more “difficult.” I’m VERY grateful to be able to take an idea and build from it. A lot of people can’t make the spark a flame. I’m also VERY grateful that ideas come to me easily. Some people bang their head for years before an idea comes out. I also know that boredom is the worst thing that can happen to an artist. So, as I write these things and feel that they can become a monster story or an exploitation story or a love story, I go with it. Anything’s better than being bored. Some people aren’t as onboard with the end result as others, but that’s fine. I’m completely selfish in my writing, so it’d be weird if I looked for the approval of others.

        This is a long reply to a question that wasn’t asked.

      • I don’t think your post was cliché at all. And even if it was, who cares? There’s nothing new under the sun. What’s new is your interpretation. How you tell the story. And I think for only using dialogue between two people, that you tell your stories very well. There’s a lot of writers that I know who would be incapable of such a feat.

        I don’t think writing for you is being selfish. Personally, I think it’s the only way to write. When I try to write for others, it kills my creative spark. I get disgusted with whatever project I’m working on, second guess every single word, and finally toss the entire thing. Not everyone will like what you write – you may not always like what you write – but that can never stop you.

        I write because I have all these things floating around in my head and if I don’t let them out in small doses, then they become obsessions and I find myself unable to focus on daily life. We build worlds out of words and if the world isn’t already real to us, than how can it be real to someone else? (Wow, I should have called my blog “Building Worlds Out of Words.” Hell, I just may.)

        So…. do you ever take your dialogue and turn it into a longer story? Cause I bet you could string together a number of old posts and come out with a short story or novella. I’d definitely read that.

      • Thanks for thinking that way about my stories. I feel the same way you do about writing for others. It might be a little ironic because I’m currently working with a director on my first paid screenwriting gig, but I care about the end result at least as much as he does, so that’s fine. It’s not something I’m gonna do often since I’m a frustrated director, but it’s good writing experience. I’ll never be a hired gun, though. The notion of taking a creative job and not having a big enough say in the end result is death, to me. Because of that, I’ll probably never be a mainstream anything, unless I accident my way into it like David Lynch. Which is great, because I’d hate to be Brad Pitt.

        I joke around with my friends (and it leaks into those writing exercises sometimes) about how writers are essentially paid to be psychotic. They have to create a fake world that they believe in (the more detailed, the better) and they have to pretend that they’re multiple people (each as different as possible from the other). I don’t tell this joke too closely to a psychiatrist’s office, though. They’re already out for writers, using their art as therapy and getting paid for it. “Building Worlds Out of Words” has a nice rhythm.

        The closest thing I’ve come to making a longer story would be the two posts I made about a heist (https://darknessopera.com/category/heist/). During a bout of arrogance, I thought that when I have enough of these exercises, I’d sift through them and pick the best ones to put in a book. Because I wanna dabble in as many mediums as possible and to have a book of stuff people can do onstage is an awesome idea to me. I’ve already written a novel, “Lie.” It’s an eBook and you can find it for two bucks at places like Amazon and B&N. It’s about four women who go on vacation to help one of their own through a tough choice. I liked writing it a lot and will maybe write another one soon. Right now, like I said earlier, I’ve got a professional screenwriting job (caught me between rest stops, actually). The director’s away for two weeks, but I was given 25 pages to write while he’s gone. I’ll be done with that by day’s end, which’ll send me straight to another writing thing that’ll take me into the early morn. It’s a show a friend and I are working on. We meet Thursdays and detail episodes for seasons. This season is his, so I get to kick back and just write, so I won’t have to worry about being burnt-out today. Tomorrow, and next week, I’m working on a script for the BBC. They’re taking open solicitations from all over the world that are due next month, so I’m taking advantage of that. Then I’ll dive back into the script I’m writing with that director until it’s done. Then I’ll have a lot of time on my hands, except on Thursdays.

        I was gonna get back into making a comic I was starting to work on (about a friendship that falls apart), but I found that I don’t have the creative stamina required for drawing so much. I tried training myself like I have with writing, but the will sputters out to entropy. Then the idea came to me to turn it into a novel, and that was a nice idea. Then I thought about a novel idea I had before the comic idea, about a spy infiltrating an asylum. Then I wrote “Bullets and Knives” and thought that’d be a fun thing to turn into a novel (it was Knives using every cliché about broken homes as the reasons why she’d be topless in front of a tank that did it). So I’ll have plenty for you and the rest of the world to read by the end of the year. It’s just a matter of figuring out which of those three to do…

      • I agree completely! The last thing you want to be is a sellout. With that being said, congratulations on the gig! As long as you’re true to your vision and yourself, then you will never be just a paid gun. I know it can be difficult not letting others sway you but as writers, it’s something that we have to be strong about.
        I’ve tried on several occasions to explain to “non-writers” what we have to go through – as you so aptly put it – be psychotic – but it’s difficult for them to understand. I’ve always left it at, ‘It has to be real to me in order to make it real to you.’ Because you’re right, we have to have a multitude of competing personalities, scenarios, plots, etc, etc, etc. And if you’re anything like me, you work on multiple projects at once and they can vary in scope and degree. For example, I have one novel that I’m finishing (hopefully) my last draft on that’s a paranormal thriller but then another novel I’m working on is a fake memoir about office life and yet another one is about a teenage girl in love with a mental patient. Three completely different genres and audiences. But I’d have it no other way. I like my writing to be as diverse and varied as the novels that I read (and I do read a lot!).
        Don’t worry about sputtering out on the comic. Personally, I love drawing and painting, but it doesn’t give me nearly the same satisfaction as writing. I think that’s because it’s easier for me to make people feel what I want them to when I’m spelling something out. Although novels, poetry, prose, etc, are left up to individual interpretation, I still get to intentionally tug the strings. I’m not as good at doing this when I paint.
        No matter what you decide to do, you have your hands full. I look forward to checking out your work (you’ll have to let us know when it airs). Also, I searched for “Lie” – what name is it published under?

      • I heard the perfect reply to the “Where do your ideas come from?” question that I’m using whenever I get asked. It’s quick and it’ll never get old. “Out of my mind…” as if I’m out of my mind. Go ahead, try it. I’ll wait. It’s true and it saves you a ton of grief. The thing I worry about sometimes, as a paid psychotic, is having different voices. I mean, a writer has a particular voice and it’d be a fool’s errand to try to change that. But to have characters who don’t sound the same within the skill of the writer, that’s the thing to watch. It’s not that I’m lazy when I write traditional short stories or when I wrote “Lie” (by Rathan Krueger… because I was clever enough to have my name in the banner. What? I wasn’t? Huh. Stupid me…). I just get tired of writing “she said” or “this character said” for sentences on end that I make sure the characters are defined enough that I could have a page of nothing but quotation marks and no one would be confused. That comes from watching films. No one takes the time mid-conversation to say… “‘I’d like,’ I said, ‘to dance until my feet explode.'” Well, maybe in a student film.

        I kinda juggle projects at the same time, but it’s more like I work on one until the steam leaves it, then jump to the other, then back and forth until at least one is done. It’s something I learned as late as last month, actually. That it’s ok, nay, expected to have more than one thing going. Not to the point where they’re distracting or overwhelming. But there’s a point during a project where you’re stuck on a problem or you can’t force the pen(cil) to work. Instead of being miserable and drinking yourself into an Edgar Allan Poe stupor, just jump to another project. It’s only irresponsible if you pass a deadline. I found that my problem was with me having lulls in creativity is that I didn’t stay creative (wow, Captain Obvious…). When a project was done, that was it for me for a while. Or I would have bursts of creativity and when they were done, I left creativity alone. Not like this year. Always have something going everyday.

        Agents must “love” writers like us. Those who don’t bother sticking with one genre so they’re not at all easily marketable. But it’s better than being bored. And you’re right in your writing being as… “contradictory” as your tastes. I think it’d be great to one day look at a body of work and think, “Huh. Couldn’t pick a genre, eh?” I’m more of a film guy than novel guy, but I’ve been bouncing twixt mediums lately, like comics and music. I see myself getting into novels soon because of this BBC thing I’m working on. It’s a play, so there’s a good chance no one will see it outside of England. It was originally a sci-fi TV movie, but I didn’t read the fine print and it’s only available to people in a certain part of England. Since I’m an American, that pretty much ended that. However, there’s also this play thing. I’ve never written one, but I’ve wanted to write one for a while (one of my goals is to own a black box theatre and do wild plays in it). But I’ve never written a play before. A few films, but the formats are different enough that I can’t just type a screenplay and call it a night. Because of that, I have to research. One of my favorite actors has done a series of one-man shows, so I’ll be ordering a book with all of those in it soon. Then I thought that I should think of a film I like that was adapted from a play and buy the play’s script. “Glengarry Glen Ross” came to mind, so that’ll also be in the mail. During today’s planning, I thought that one of the characters would be an expert on Cleopatra and Catherine the Great… mainly because I have a book on each of them on my shelf that I’ve been putting off reading for a while. What were some of the last novels you read?

        (cripes, can you tell I’m a writer by the length of this thing?)

        I’m not sure how I feel about drawing except that I enjoy it as much as I do writing. It’s just harder for me now, for some reason. It’s not like I ever drew everyday. Nor did I draw anything I thought would get a strong reaction from someone (I mainly did people and clothes, character design stuff). Or rather, not a reaction I’d expect from my writing. Colors and I don’t get along, so painting and I would hate each other. I have one idea, but that’s the only painting I have in me. I’m more interested in photography, but only as a hobby. Studies of the female figure and emotions. Maybe pat myself on the back about it someday and put some pics in a book. But definitely not a career. No, I’m an artist who uses words in as many mediums as possible.

      • First, let me say, this is one of the most engaging conversations I have been in in a while. With that out of the way….

        I read and reread your response, and frankly, I love it! “Out of my mind….” Oh god, how true that is! I tell people all the time that I’m crazy, actually I say, “Wait, didn’t anyone warn you that I’m crazy? You should have been warned before getting involved in any way, shape, or form, that you would regret this.” For some reason, they don’t generally seem to understand what I’m trying to say. Huh. Go figure. But if you’re not psychotic, I guess you couldn’t understand. And since I don’t tell most people that I’m a writer (yeah, a little shy about that still even though I’ve been doing this my whole life) they don’t understand when I say, “Sorry, I was in my own world,” that I mean, literally, I was in a world of my own design that is contained completely within my mind. (So I guess you shouldn’t feel stupid about not putting your name in your banner. I didn’t. Hell, my peeps on FB don’t even know I have a blog and the only friend/family member that knows I do this is my husband but he doesn’t even read what I post. Which, don’t tell him, I kind of prefer that. Not that he doesn’t enjoy my writing, but it’s kind of freeing to feel like I’m posting anonymously. And now I’ve answered a question that you didn’t ask.)

        It can be annoying with the whole, “he said/she said” bit, but I’ve spent years finding ways to work around it. Describing instead actions, emotions, facial expressions. Especially with the novel I’m currently editing. It’s told from 3rd person omniscient (because I like the idea that I can jump around from one character to the next, explaining all of their thoughts and emotions as I go. Well, that, and I like telling the same story from different perspectives. Because it can change the way an entire chapter can read just by changing the perspective from an adult’s to a child’s. Think of it: Kaboom! Mind blowing.)

        I hate when I get stuck on projects. I do my best to not give myself deadlines because it’s a sure indicator that I will get stuck. Or that I will write a chapter and then rewrite it and rewrite it and rewrite it and walk away disgusted and come back, destroy it, then get upset because it was a work of art and try to find a copy of it only to realize that I really hated it so I will rewrite it again and not be able to move forward in the project at which point I realize I should have walked away and worked on something else or read a book or whatever. Basically, I’ve learned you can’t force creativity. No matter how hard you try. But it doesn’t stop any of us from trying.

        And screw agents. Get with the program. I don’t want boxed in! The question I would pose to them is: do you only read one type of novel? Do you only watch one type of TV show or movie? Do you only enjoy one type of music? Do you only eat one type of food? Well…. Yeah, I didn’t think so. So why would I only write one type of story? How much sense does that make?

        Good luck with the playwright. That’s one medium I’ve yet to tackle and honestly, don’t know if I’ll ever try. It doesn’t appeal to me as much as other forms but that could change. I know they are famously difficult but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth the effort – especially since I enjoy going to plays. (Hmmmm, a seed planted, maybe?) Shame about Sci-Fi. They have odd requirements. But that’s ok. You’ll find a way around it. What you’re working on with the BBC – you said it’s a series, right? – if so, don’t count on it only being seen in England. English shows have gained a lot of traction with American audiences and there have been a number of spin-offs as well. As far as your character is concerned, if you can work in the time to read up on those 2 great ladies, hell, give it a whirl! See if you can’t make a realistic expert character. My only word of advice: make sure to not go overboard on the facts. It’s too easy to do – especially since you put in all this time researching and then realize that all your hours were wasted because you only need to toss out a few small details. And even if you toss in a whole bunch of facts, come editing time, you end up cutting them out anyway. That can be frustrating. (To answer your question, a couple books I’ve read recently and would recommend: A Reliable Wife, Catching Genius, Hyperbole and a Half, I Thought You Were Dead, and Chump Change – sorry, this could be a really long list!)

        And I understand completely about art. It doesn’t come to me the same way writing does. I’m good with colors and everything but I don’t envision things to draw or paint in my head the same way I do characters and worlds – sadly it’s easier for me to paint a picture with words than an actual paintbrush. But as a fellow writer, I think you understand.

      • I’m glad to be decent enough at conversations for you. I’m usually the guy at social occasions who looks at everyone and doesn’t say much nor gets much said to him (great time for people-watching and character-storing). Joke’s on them, they’re missing out on a prime piece of convo. In their defense, I hate small talk, so if that’s all they have to say, it’s better that they don’t bother me. Ditto bad interviewers, but that’s a rant for another day.

        Maybe people chalk up your crazy warning to things they heard girls say in high school. Then it hits them. “Oh no. She’s an artist who knows she’s crazy! She’s a self-aware artist! The next step is oblivion!” Then they explode. Or rather, that’s what happens in my head. Don’t feel bad about not dropping the writer bomb often. I am and have done a few things that you’d think one would talk about, or at least keep in their back pocket. Alas, I leave my merits in my coat at the door. I thought about it for a while and figured that it’s because who I am and what I’ve done hasn’t been for anyone but myself. Since that’s the case, I’m the only one who needs to care. So I don’t feel the need to tell anyone. I can see how that might be misconstrued as shame, but trust me, it’s not at all. However. If someone feels that they’re better than me and they’re obviously not, I have no shame in shaming them. And it’s fine that your hubby doesn’t read your blog. Well, it’s not FINE, but it’s fine, in a warped, writer sorta way. “I’m glad you understand that it’s perfectly ok for strangers to read my writing but not the love of my life, dear. Who wants pie?” I doubt that conversation wouldn’t be as accepting.

        I annoy myself as a writer because I’m a loner and the thing that would make me feel oh so accomplished would be to write a long story with one character. But no. Nooo, Scumbag Brain won’t let me. It wants to have a large cast and intermingling. Stupid brain. I had a novel idea about jumping from an adult’s to a child’s perspective. Actually, it was a couple, their child, then the child’s imagination. The reasons for that aren’t nearly as adorable as the set-up sounds. But it is indeed kaboom(!).

        No, it’s just a play for the BBC, though I hope it leads to a series. Or rather, me working on one. I’ve been a lifelong “Doctor Who” fan for three years (another ramble, another day) and I’m using the play thing as a way to start my path towards writing at least one episode. Thanks to J.R.R. Tolkien and Stieg Larsson, I know where the line is on details and to never cross it. I overprepare when it comes to planning characters, but I don’t use all the details. It’s good to have them in a pile, though. Also, to allude to things and have the reader/viewer build a world in their head. Y’know, take ownership. What’s your top two favorite genres at the moment?

        Yeah, I understand about words being a better paintbrush than a paintbrush. I’ve been told that my writing is cinematic, so that makes this cinephile proud. I’d like to try purple prose someday, though. I keep threatening myself into almost doing it.

      • You’re such a wonderful mess! I find it difficult to believe that people avoid you in social situations; however, as a fellow writer, I kind of get it. I tell people all the time that it’s much easier for me to put my thoughts into words if I have a sheet of paper in front of me than it is for me to just say what I’m thinking. If you hand me my favorite mechanical pencil (I’ve had the same one forever) and a notebook or scrap of paper or something, I will fill it with sideways writing in a matter of minutes. (Don’t ask me why it’s sideways across the paper, but it really is and I’ve given up trying to write on the lines. It destroys my creativity.) But a piece of paper isn’t asking me to make small talk. It’s blank. And I can fill it any way I choose.
        The worst is when co-workers realize that I’m crazy. And they NEVER get to find out that I’m an artist. Because work is one place where I never talk about being creative or artistic or anything. I’m in accounting (worst profession ever) and they can’t comprehend that I can actually use both sides of my brain (not being egotistical or anything. I know that I’m a rare breed and feel fortunate). But I guess this is why I rarely make friends with others in my own department (bean counters don’t understand me) and end up cube hopping (I’ve had over 20 jobs in the last 15 years – amazingly, never been fired, always quit. And, believe it or not, some of these jobs I worked at for 2-3 years and I’m really, really good at what I do. I just hate it, is all.)
        It feels weird when people guess that I write. But that’s normally after they’ve gotten into a real discussion with me and realize that my speech is peppered with metaphors, similes, and obscure words. As far as hubby is concerned, he does read some of what I write – but normally not what I post. He’s never been a big reader and I’m ok with that – in a “warped writer sorta way.”
        It’s difficult writing novels and even when you’re done, you’re not really done. As a writer, you still don’t get that sense of accomplishment. Instead, your brain starts picking it apart and telling you everything that’s wrong with your work and even if it doesn’t, immediately, it’s on to the next project – it doesn’t let you revel in the feat of conquering the world inside your head. (Have you ever heard of “I’ll Be There” by Holly Goldberg Sloan? If not, check it out. Holly is like you: a writer and producer, having done movies, plays, series, etc., and the novel is written from many crisscrossing viewpoints. Different but very well told.)
        Lord, I’m rambling.
        My point is this: if you can carve out a little bit of time, why not try your hand at the novel you mentioned? Your brain might surprise you. It might let you tell a long story that you can sprinkle purple prose into. (Don’t know why that gets such a bad rap. It’s kind of fun to do as a writer.) If you can write a play, I’m sure you could write a novel. Or novella. (My goal is to write flash fiction. I’m kind of long-winded and struggle with it.)
        If you end up writing ANYTHING for Doctor Who, I will forever be in awe and proud and jealous and hate you. I love that series. I’m still mad about the way they left Amy and Rory with the stone angels.
        Oh, to answer your question: I don’t have favorite genres. I have favorite titles or authors and I have A LOT of them. A good book is a good book. Like good music is good music. Or a good movie is just that. I don’t care about anything outside of the fact that it was able to draw me in, help escape from my brain, or inspire me, and make me feel. To me, that’s the very definition of art.

        How about you? Got a favorite genre?

      • You know, everyone says that after I mention me at social gatherings. Maybe I should get it put on a t-shirt and wear it when I go out. I have a mechanical pencil that I’ve had for years, too. The Zebra M-301, 0.5mm lead. Only use it for drawing, though, so you can imagine it hasn’t been used as often as it’d like. I never thought to write in pencil. Hmm. The Japanese write sideways and they invented haiku along with anime and Pocky, so you’re in good company. Oh, maybe I don’t write in pencil because I always carry something to write with in a pocket, and the pencil I have has a metal shaft that doesn’t go away. I’d probably get stabbed a lot. There’s suffering for your art, and suffering.
        Ah, accounting isn’t so bad. It’s just making sure that you’re not taken advantage of by the money people who’ll come a-knockin’ for a novel. However, it is tragic that your co-workers will never find out why you’re crazy. Must be torture for them. I imagine that accounting is a logical profession, so to have the Queen of the Land of Do-As-You-Please running around is bad enough. But to not understand why even if she decided to tell… Poor accountants. Poor, poor accountants. The best part of quitting your job the first time? Being hired 19 more times. So at least you’ve got what they want. There’s that satisfaction with your work, though…
        I guess I’m lucky in that I don’t dwell on my previous work (something these writing exercises are helping with, because I can barely remember one I wrote a few days ago). I mean, I’ll spot the foibles but it’s more of a warts-and-all thing for me. That and a bit of gloating about me finishing something I started (something I found is a lot more rare that I thought). Now, there are some things I’ve written that I’m… “ashamed” isn’t the right word. Mildly embarrassed by. Yeah. But the things I’m proud of outweigh them.
        I think people react badly to purple prose because not everyone who does it does it well. So they assume that ALL purple prose is bad. I’ll do the novel soon (but which?). The play gets top priority because it’s due on March 31st. I wouldn’t wanna juggle the play and novel, then start thinking the novel’s a better idea at the moment. With choosing which novel idea to go with, I should probably ask myself which can I tell whenever and which can I only tell now. It sucks to put off a good idea only to come back to it at a point when you’re not the person who should tell that story anymore. Happened to me at least once before.
        Awe, pride, jealousy, AND hatred? With that kind of list of emotions, how could I not be involved with “Doctor Who” someday? It’s funny, to most people, I come off as The Twelfth Doctor. To those who bother with me, I sit somewhere twixt Ten and Eleven. Awkward, friendly philologist.
        No favorite genres, novel-wise. I tend to read more factual books, mostly because I can see the ending of a lot of fictional novels within the first few chapters. It’s like that with some films, but I’m only dedicating two hours of my life to them. I’m usually two hours into a novel before I see the end, and there’re many hours to go. Factual novels add to my useless trivia pile, which makes my writing richer and me no one’s friend during trivia night.
        I write with women for a few reasons. I’m a guy and an artist, and as an artist I wanna challenge myself. Being a guy, a gal’s mind doesn’t come easily to me. So I threw myself into the deep end and told myself to stay in that world. I don’t think that women are the mythical mystery sphere that art and time made them to be. Because of that, I treat the female characters I make up as real people (though these exercises don’t show that off as clearly as I’d like to). So far, so good, because no woman’s ever told me that I got them wrong after any of the exercises. I’ve done a few unlikable women (not nearly enough, though… the characters I gravitate towards are interesting to watch and likability never comes up) but no women that could not be. Yet. I also like looking at women more than men, so that’s another reason I create predominantly female characters. Hey, I’m allowed to be shallow, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the quality of my art.
        I agree that paperbacks are better than eBooks, but one’s a lot cheaper to produce than the other.

      • Ah, the Japanese. Love it. I didn’t realize that they wrote sideways…. Maybe I was Japanese in a former life. Which would be awesome and explain my love for their culture.

        And I’ve never thought to feel bad for my co-workers before – well, at least not because I don’t tell them that I’m a writer. Eventually they figure out that I’m not completely balanced, but most let it go since, like I said, I’m really good at my job. They just think I’m “off.” Like maybe I need a helmet when I go out in public or something. Though really, I’m being hyperbolic. I’m not that bad. Most of the time… Besides, accountants are pretty anal retentive people. They need someone around who can shake things up a bit. And trust me, not complaining about how many jobs I’ve had – it’s been inspiring and is the reason why I’m about 200 pages into another project.

        Do you have much more of the play to write? Are you set to make your scheduled deadline? And I have to ask (forgive me if I space out on this part and you already told me), what’s the play about? Could you use it to inspire you to write a novel? I know there are a lot of works out there like that – where one work of art inspired another work of art (I’m assuming that because you’re writing it that it is a work of art. Obviously, this compliment is based upon your blog.)

        As far as any other novel ideas are concerned, have you at least jotted them down? I hate when I don’t and end losing the idea completely. But, the truth is, there’s ALWAYS way too much floating around in my brain for me not to write ideas down.

        Yes, and yes. And hatred. Not directly aimed at you, just in general. Maybe at the universe? But…. If you are a Doctor incarnate, then how much right do I have to be upset? (Though really, I’d just be happy for you. I know how much work goes into being a full-time author and how often you can starve – which is why I ended up in accounting.)

        “Awkward, friendly philologist.” That’s a whole lot better than being called a “Word Nazi.” Sadly, I get that one quite frequently. (Here’s an example of why: conversation I had with my husband yesterday: Me: I wish they’d get that felled tree out of the parking lot. Hubby: “Felled?” Do you mean fallen? Me: No. Felled. F-E-L-L-E-D. As in, was caused to be knocked down by the snow. You know, felled as in: He was felled by a swift kick in the gut. Hubby: Whatever you say. I’m going to let this one go. Me: Argh! I feel like I’m single-handedly trying to save the English language. Hubby: eye roll)…. After writing that down, I realize that I may need to work on some of my issues.

        I’ve read a fair amount of novels where I felt the ending was transparent but I kept reading for sheer enjoyment of the writing style. And if I’m not enjoying a book by about the 20th page, then I stop reading. I’m not investing any more time into a novel that I’m not enjoying than I would into a movie or series or anything else (outside of work) that I’m not enjoying. Trust me when I say I’m quick to walk out of a theater. And nothing wrong with useless trivia – I’m full of it. At one of my former jobs, I was nicknamed, “Quick Fact,” because I always had one on whatever topic was being discussed. I feel like a dabbler of all things and an expert at none.

        How dare you say women aren’t mythical and mysterious! Of course we are(n’t)! You’re going to let the secret out and find yourself in a lot of hot water with an angry horde. …. Though I must agree. I know the conventional wisdom is to write from your personal experience and about things you know, but I feel that it’s more enriching to challenge yourself and write about what you love. You can always delve headfirst into a new subject and find that it’s fascinating and thus a topic worth exploring.

        The world is too magnificent and implacable and vile and unpredictable to stick with one genre or style or topic. If we all stayed in our bubbles, then progress would never be made. And life would never be lived.

      • And the Japanese write sideways because they grew up on a culture of scrolls. Scrolls rolled armwise instead of floorwise. They also didn’t adopt spaces between words until European culture stepped in with their ships and isolationism takedown. What about Japanese culture do you love?

        I have a lot more play to write. I’ve gotten enough ideas down to the point where I can start using my best friend, the note card. I tried really hard to make it a four-act play because I like symmetrical numbers and three-act plays are the standard, but I took the fourth act out even though I had a plot for it. Seemed superfluous, like I wanted it there more than it needed to be there. I’d rather gripe that my play has a typical act count than gripe that my play has an act that shouldn’t be. So I have my note cards on my corkboard. First, I put up one for each act, then details of the acts on those cards. Now, I’m breaking each act down further into scene note cards. From there, I can just write, look up, write, check off, write, etc. I’ll definitely make my deadline since the hardest part’s been taken care of, filling pages with nonsense and forming an idea out of them. The play is a generation snapshot. I hesitate to use “the voice of a generation” because there’s more than one voice in the world. Anyone can take a picture, though. I noticed that my generation doesn’t have a piece of fiction that encapsulates everything about them, so I wanted to try my hand in it. I could use it to write a novel, but I’m not. Two reasons. Maybe three. One is that an opportunity came up to enter a screenwriting contest. Since there’s no rule that I can’t adapt something and no rule in the playwriting contest that says I can’t adapt the play, I’m gonna enter the story in both contests. I’ve never adapted my work before, so it’ll be an interesting experience. Because of that and my disdain for repeating myself, I won’t adapt it again for the page. Two mediums is enough for me. The last reason for not making it a novel is that I’d like to get back into poetry, so I wanna find an idea that I can turn into an Illiad sorta poem. I haven’t written poetry in years and I realized recently that all of my poems were written out of randomness. I essentially sat down, told myself to write a poem, and did it. I never put the planning into it that I do with everything else I write. And poetry allows for a lot of creativity, as long as one doesn’t go too mad with free verse. So I’ll probably take one of the three ideas I mentioned a while ago and turn it into a novel-length poem.

        I have a composition notebook full of random ideas. For writing novels or films or songs. Plus, I always carry around a moleskine. I also text myself an e-mail in case I’m too lazy of an American to reach for my pant pocket and make do with my coat pocket. So I’m always prepared for ideas.

        I’ve found that fighting the good fight with English language is all about inflection. I have a friend who I remind sometimes of how to use English. He’s not bad at it, he’s just been felled by the same mistakes others have made for decades. I know it can be annoying, so I make sure to sound as self-mocking as possible. Steal their thunder so I don’t get hit with a book. “He himself”/”she herself”/”they themselves”/”we ourselves”/”I myself”/”you yourself” are my biggest offenders. People say those to sound smart, but they’re really being redundant. “He himself is a rube, wouldn’t you say?” is “He he is a rube, wouldn’t you say?” is that person being stupid. Also, madness is a state of dementia, not an emotion. And bring back the Oxford comma.

        I’ve started reading novels again (Margaret Atwood’s “Handmaid’s Tale” is currently on the slab) and am worried. I know what I’m like, a quick read and a hoarder. I know that I’ll finish all the books I have and will want more and will start making mistakes. Getting books for superficial reasons. Then I’m stuck with a bunch of crap. Then I stop reading for another few years because I can’t trust a book. Woe is me.

        Ah, no one’ll listen to me with what I’ll say about women, so your secret’s safe. They’ll think I’m a radical who makes up stuff, then chased outta town as a heretic. Another reason I’ve chose to write selectively about women is because I don’t see enough things out there about women that I’m interested in. So I’ll make them.

      • You realize we’ve written a novella, right?

        And I love everything about Japanese culture. Their characters are pure calligraphy – which to me, equals art. But I have a long list of stuff that I love, including: statues, vases, paintings, music, anime, game shows, fashion – you name it.

        I used to have a ton of note cards – back before the days of writing everything in a word document. I think I still have them somewhere in my house – though where would be the question. Now, I use a combination of Excel and Word – think: list of chapters, summary guides, character descriptions, plot outline, etc. But I tend to be one of those writers that sits down without an outline – that comes after the fact. I almost like that my plot and character development can be a surprise to even me.

        But considering you have a deadline and I don’t…. It’s good to have a plan and what you’ve outlined, would definitely work to keep you on track. (Though I must brag: I gave myself to August to finish editing my current project and I’m on page 213 of 350. At my current rate of 2 pages a day, I’m gonna make it!)

        I like generation snapshots: that peek inside of what life is like at a certain point for multiple people at different ages and places in their life (hopefully, I understood what you were saying correctly and didn’t just make an ass of myself). And since you already have a plan to adapt it from a play into a screen write, I don’t blame you for not also turning it into a novel – well, that, and there’s that whole disdain you carry for typing, “he said,” “she crooned,” “he pondered,” “she whispered,” etc., etc., etc.

        Have you ever read Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff? It’s an exceptionally written verse novel and after reading it in high school (I’m giving away my age), I always wanted to try to write a story like that. It’s creative and flows – reads like poetry. If you think you’re up to it, you should definitely try to turn your Illiad-like idea into a verse novel.

        And thanks for the shout-out to “felled.” I snickered out loud and got dirty looks from my coworkers. Most of the time, I don’t even correct people anymore. Sadly, I’ve given up. The only time I stand my ground is when they question words or phrases that I used. Then I turn into a dictionary/thesaurus. For some reason, I feel the need to spell out a word before giving the definition and then a string of similar words that could have been used in its place – at which point, I’ve gotten the question, “Well, why didn’t you say _______ instead?” Argh! You don’t get it!

        I do my best to ignore the redundancy of speech – there’s almost too much to combat. And there’s definitely too many instances of words being improperly used. That’s what the current pattern of speech is based on. (Cra-cra makes me absolutely crazy. My lip snarled at the very thought.)

        I don’t understand the vehemence so many feel towards the Oxford comma. It’s extremely useful in separating items in a list: He bought apples, oranges, and pears. Without the comma, suddenly the “apples” are all by themselves and “oranges and pears” are a part of the same gang. It’s only common sense.

        Pace yourself! It’s easy to binge read, and just like when you “binge” anything, the more you do it, the more likely you are to encounter crap. And there’s a lot of crap to wean through. If you need recommendations, I’m obviously overflowing with them. I’ve devoured a lot of books in my time.

        No one cares what I think about women. I’m not like any other female I know.

      • We have, eh? Must be one of those post-post-post-modern novellas. A friend was gonna make an anti-zombie zombie novel that was a series of blog posts, but he never followed through. Shame that.

        Anime, you say? My tastes veer towards the dark (“Berserk,” “Black Lagoon,” “Elfen Lied,” “Witch Hunter Robin,” “Attack on Titan,” “Ergo Proxy,” “Akira,” “Guyver,” “Boogiepop Phantom,” and “Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust”), but there are also curveballs. Being a guy, I have to like “Dragonball Z” (I do a great Vegeta that I’ll drop on an unsuspecting fan someday). But that’s not a curveball, that’s expected. “Sailor Moon” isn’t expected, though (Mercury and Saturn forever). There’s also “Animation Runner Kuromi,” “Welcome to NHK,” “Soul Eater,” “Read or Die,” “R.O.D. the TV,” “Excel Saga,” “Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi,” “Initial D,” “Azumanga Daioh” (this one always surprises anime geeks, especially when I say which is my favorite character), “Burst Angel,” “Last Exile,” “Kill La Kill,” “Puni Puni Poemy,” “S-Cry-Ed,” the works of Satoshi Kon, and “Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children” (I count it, damnit). Plus all the others I’ve forgotten. Like “Haunted Junction.” And “Steam Detectives.” And “Silent Moebius.” And “Neo-Ranga.” And “Escaflowne.” And “Ranma 1/2.” And so on. What about you?

        I’m too afraid of technology failing me to put all my important writing processes in a computer. Blame the Terminator films. I also like clutter (as long as it’s contained). Like when Gandalf was in the library of Minas Tirith in “Fellowship of the Ring.” But then, I’d love to live in Minas Tirith. Before the siege. Or after, when Aragorn cleaned everything up. Stones are heavy.

        No, I haven’t read “Make Lemonade.” My reading material before I got back into the swing of things revolved around Anne Rice, Anne Bishop, Neil Gaiman, Jacqueline Carey, Chuck Palahniuk, Kim Harrison, Christa Faust, and Lilith Saintcrow. Basically, me wandering Borders (yeah, it’s been that long since I picked up a fiction novel) and pointing at something. The world of books is massive, and I don’t like to be disappointed, so I stuck with what I knew. Wait, I bought one other boxset twixt Borders and last month. Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy. I looked it up and although the style is interesting, I don’t think I’ll enjoy it. I like my stories dripping with Sturm und Drang and/or biting satire and/or Gothic tendencies. If you have any of those on your shelves, I’ll be glad to take suggestions. But the important thing to know is that you were once in high school. Now your secret identity is ruined. Ha ha. Ha ha. Hee.

        ::pulls up a chair:: Share your feelings and thoughts about women with the group. I find that women have the most interesting outlooks on themselves. Helps me understand them better, and gives me more pallets to create with. I don’t need to ask myself “What’s the male perspective on this?” because I’m a guy. I just have to think. However, the female perspective is trickier since, y’know, I don’t have female eyes. I do listen, however, and I have a good imagination (that’ll only get better with books! ::high-fives self::), so I have a decent pair of female glasses for my third eye. I guess it’d be a female monocle, wouldn’t it?

      • First, I’m sorry for the ultra-late response. I was kind of under the weather last week. Moving on, that was a long list of anime! Most of which I’ve either heard of or watched. Some of my favorites (at least so far) are Yu Yu Hakusho, Code Geass, Death Note, Attack on Titan, Soul Eater, Fairy Tale, Bleach, Naruto (which is a love/hate relationship – I love the series but hate the stupid every couple of month fillers), Angel Beats, We Without Wings, Laughing Under the Clouds, and Steins;Gate. (And I also count FF VII: Advent Children – such a beautifully done movie.) Some of the series I’m currently enjoying are Assassination Classroom, Death Parade, Space Dandy (it’s so nonsensical), Unbreakable Machine Doll, and The Future Diary. (I know there are a couple others but I’d have to log in to Funimation to look them up.)

        Trust me, we could probably sit here all day listing out animes that we’ve loved or hated (Casshern Sins, Black Butler, Aquarion, WitchBlade, K, BlazBlue, Deadman Wonderland, etc, etc, etc).

        Does “contained clutter” really exist? I’m not sure I’m sold on such a concept. My parents were basically hoarders (long before the TV show) and once clutter gets to a certain point, I start freaking out and cleaning up everything. I’m like a cyclone putting the world back together – well, at least back in order – the order that I think it should be in.

        That’s quite a list of authors. Although my tastes in novels vary, and I enjoy sci-fi, fantasy, and “goth undertones” in shows or movies that I watch, I don’t read a lot from these genres. Even Anne Rice – so revered. I hated her style of writing. But I loved the movies. Go figure, right? So, I guess I can’t really suggest much there. But if you’re looking for novels that make you feel or represent strength or are if you enjoy good vs. evil – those are things I can help you with. (And damnit, you better keep my secret identity to yourself. Here you go, blabbering to the world.l Argh. So frustrating!)

        Mmmmm, time to try to psycho-analyze me? Careful. You might not like what you find.

        Here’s a hint to the female mind and the way that it works: if I am in traffic, and the vehicle in front of me is going a little under the speed limit and is holding everyone back (meaning there’s a line of cars snaking its way behind it), the moment said vehicle turns or otherwise removes itself, I speed up because I don’t want everyone to think that it was me holding us back. As though it matters what they think. As though my speeding up by 5 miles is going to get anyone to their destinations that much faster or safer. As though someone is going to follow me to my own destination and ask why I was driving so slow. As though there are serious consequences for going a little under the speed limit. Even worse, if it seems like the people behind me are truly agitated, tailgating, flashing their brights, etc., then an entire scenario following this conflict will play out in my head: sometimes they’ll speed past me, even though there could be a double-yellow line, then they’ll scream or flip me off, and I’ll return the favor, causing them to stop their vehicle and force me into a physical confrontation in the middle of the street and it’ll end with us all in the hospital. (It’s a little weird in the female mind.)

        That’s all you get for now.

      • Ah, it’s fine. At least a Weeping Angel didn’t get you. Although, I never really saw the problem with them. They jump out at you and stuff, but things tend to go pretty well for all the people they send back in time. Even Rory and Amy got to spend their lives together in that building. But we’re talking anime and the fact that you’re better now. I didn’t watch Naruto, but I know all about long waits. Dragonball Z had the (mis)fortune of existing alongside the manga, so to keep from running past it (because the episodes were essentially manga chapters), the anime had to pad episodes with A LOT of fluff. A. LOT. Luckily, Attack on Titan doesn’t do that. The episodes are manga chapters, sure, but there’s no padding. There’s some rearranging, but you could hold pages up to the screen and say, “Yatta! No waste!” Then triumphantly eat a stick of Pocky. Ah, what the heck, two sticks. It’s Attack on Titan. Actually, there’s giant Pocky, and it is a Titan that we’re dealing with. I’ve wanted to get into Fairy Tale, but there are so many episodes. It’s not NEARLY as bad as One Piece, though. Still, it’s a journey through Fairy Tale. Then again, I’m the guy who spent a summer watching almost 800 episodes of Doctor Who. And I do wanna watch more fantasy anime. More anime, in general, really. Now is the best time to be an otaku (if you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend the two-part series from about 20 years ago, Otaku no Video). Anime’s cheaper than it’s ever been, and streaming sites allow you to watch shows for even cheaper. Despite that, I haven’t watched nearly as much anime as I used to ten years ago. It doesn’t have anything to do with time. I haven’t figured out why. Maybe it’s to do with these phases I’ve come to accept from myself. Instead of forcing myself to read or watch something, I wait until the moment hits me. Weekends are usually my binge time, and I’ve slowly been picking anime to watch on Netflix. So rejoining otakudom is in my near-future.

        I hate being disappointed by anime, beyond the meh endings some tend to have. Like Claymore. I was really looking forward to watching that. An ultraviolent series in the vein of Berserk with a female lead? How could it go wrong? I found out how, and couldn’t get through the first disc. Witchblade hurt because I was a big fan of the comic, and the anime was a disappointment. I wasn’t expecting the comic, but I was expecting something better. I was also distracted by the fact that EVERY TIME someone got into a car, they put on a seatbelt. Every. Time.

        I think that instead of “contained clutter,” you could say that you’re fine until clutter reaches a “saturation point.” What’s great is that you can apply the term to just about anything. I use it when I talk about watching or reading or listening to too much of the same thing. For instance, I’ve been watching nothing but Korean films for the last two weekends and I’ve just about made it to my saturation point. It’ll take me a long time to reach that with anime, though, since I’ve been a fan for so long. Saturation points are something I’m (very) mindful of with novels now because I love reading and I don’t wanna leave it. So I jump around genres instead of sticking with one. It was another reason I hadn’t touched a novel until recently, because all I did was read urban fantasy novels. But, going back to what you were talking about, too much clutter is bad. I have a lot of stuff (not to heights of hoarding), but it’s not cluttered. It’s very organized, despite the mass, to the point where someone said that I must be psychotic. I haven’t had anyone over since. I kid, I kid.

        YOU DON’T READ ANNE RICE?!?! That’s fine, I don’t expect bibliophiles to love every author. What don’t you like about Anne Rice (ditto sci-fi, fantasy, and Gothic novels)? I’m a fan of good vs. evil stories if there’s a gray smear, or you’re not sure which wins in the end. Actually, I enjoy regular g-vs.-e stories, but a lot are lazy. They think they can get me to care about the hero because they wear a white hat, but it’s not that easy. They don’t have to be an antihero, but they do need to get me to care. A heroic story from the villain’s perspective is nice, too. I went digging in a cabinet and found a few unread novel for me to get through someday (Threshold by Caitlin R. Kiernan, Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire, Whitechapel Gods by S.M. Peters, and two Chuck Palahniuk novels [Haunted and Tell-All]). There’s also a two-novel series by Jacqueline Carey, The Sundering, that’s essentially Lord of the Rings from Sauron’s perspective (Banewreaker and Godslayer). Methinks whenever I decide to get back into fantasy novels, I start with those. Right now, 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami is treating me great. After that’s done, I get to choose twixt Consumed by David Cronenberg (one of my favorite directors), Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas, and The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker. I finished Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan while you were down with the sickness. It’s a chick flick that guys would wanna see. Funny, because I found out that it’s being adapted into a movie soon. I’m disappointed that authors feel their novels need to be adapted now. Ten years or so ago, I was always excited to hear about adaptations. Then I reached my saturation point with those and felt like there were too many. After hearing Alan Moore (a famous comic book writer who made, among other things, Watchmen and V for Vendetta) and Morgan Freeman talk about the demerits of adaptations and how novels channel imagination, I’ve become disappointed in adaptations. They rob the potential reader a little (or a lot) of what their mind can create. I have a nifty imagination, so I don’t mind not watching adaptations anymore. I just have to buy novels before they get those tacky pictures from movies on the cover. ::shudders::

        Ah HA! The female mind isn’t so different from the male one. I think everyone speeds up after the slow idiot in front changes lanes, though I think what happens after the speed change is a little different. I think guys are fine with speeding up. Making sure with brainwaves that the other drivers know that it wasn’t them. If they get passed and the bird, they’ll speed past them and hope they don’t get caught at a red light. Because it’d be embarrassing to make such an effort to go away only to be stopped. Getting into a fight, not so much. I mean, we probably imagine getting into fights, but it’s more one-sided robot stomping sessions because traffic’s so slow. Good times. C’mon, you ladies have to have stronger enigmas than that.

      • Did you really have to jump right in with the Weeping Angels? They are soooo creepy! I have a friend who has always been afraid of stone statues and the 1st time we saw the Angels we joked, saying that we were going to make him watch the episodes with us, and then drop him off at a cemetery. (We’re horrible friends, I know.) But that last episode, with Rory and Amy, and the Statue of Liberty, really got to us. First, those were some of the creepiest Angels. Secondly, we were angry that they said it would be their last adventure, and this is how they let it end? Are. You. Serious? I don’t care that they got to spend eternity together. What a sucky way to have to do it. Your life on repeat. Stuck in one room. Forever. I call “shenanigans!” (I can’t believe I spelled that correctly.)

        I have also had the (mis)fortune of watching Dragonball Z. I just didn’t know that the reason it was so drawn out was because they were doing the series and magna concurrently. But…. It is the anime that lit a fire in a litany of future forever fans. And I’d be lying to say that I’ve watched every episode of Fairy Tale. I enjoyed it but it wasn’t as epic as some of the fans make it sound. (Just my opinion – for anyone who may be crazy enough to read through all of our conversation. Shouldn’t be so touché. Yeesh. I know how you geeks can be.) Ok, now that I’m done addressing the imaginary people reading this… Never got into One Piece. A couple episodes and that was it. But I love the figures.

        Fantasy anime has its up’s and down’s – pretty much like any genre can. But when it comes down to it, isn’t most of anime fantasy? (Oh, and if you’ve not watched it, I bet you’d love Psycho Pass. Just a feeling I get from reading your blog.)

        I agree that Claymore was a disappointment. I didn’t finish that one either. And I guess I enjoyed (most) of Witchblade because I was still new to anime. But I haven’t watched it again – which should say something. If I enjoy a series, I will put it on my “to rewatch” list. (These include: Death Note, Code Geass, We Without Wings, and Angel Beats, among others.)

        If you saw my house right now, you could say that it is saturated with clutter. And it’s about to start driving me CRAZY. My husband has been working on some cosplay costumes (yeah, we’re those kinds of people), and my living room has been taken over. There is cardboard, glue, pvc pieces, rubber yoga mats, material, wigs, masks, etc, etc, etc, etc, littering the room. And I know it won’t last much longer, but…. Deep breath. It’ll be ok.

        Just like it’s ok if you haven’t had anyone over. We should hide our shame. There’s nothing wrong with letting your artistic/creative side takes over as long as there is organization to the insanity of clutter.

        No, Anne Rice isn’t my cup of tea. Her purple prose extends for too many paragraphs/pages. Again, enjoyed the movies – which at least means that her plots and characters were solid. And I don’t know why I don’t read fantasy-type novels. I used to. I read The Lion, Witch, Wardrobe, as a kid and loved it. Also read a series of dragon novels that I wish I could remember the title for because I know my niece would love them. I even remember reading some fantasy novels as a teenager. But the older I got, the further away I got from those. (I think it has something to do with not wanting to be like my weird dorky brother that needs a hobby/life/job/woman. He’s the kind of troll person that lives in their parents basement well into their 40’s and only leaves then because he managed to get hurt and get a settlement that enabled him to move out. But as soon as that settlement is spent, he’ll be back. Like a crawling wart. Not saying he currently has a settlement, or lives in the basement, but he’s that kind of person. Which it’s sad that this is why I don’t read them and not because I read Gilligan’s Travels – which I HATED. Because I distinctly remember reading fantasy novels after that.) Eh, I might have to give them a try again.

        If a story can’t get you to care, then it’s an epic fail. Period. I actually manage 2 blogs (completely different from each other) and I just finished writing a post about the old ‘90’s Spawn movie and although I love Spawn, the movie failed because it didn’t make me care. Like, at all. And any story that doesn’t make me care, is a failure. It doesn’t matter how great the concept, the struggle, how epic the battle. If I can’t connect with your characters, or if they’re not believable, or if they are stupid for the sake of keeping a story moving forward, then I’m going to walk away feeling dissatisfied.

        I’m going to look up Crazy Rich Asians – only because you recommend it – I normally despise chick flicks. With a passion. Completely unrealistic. My husband tried to coerce me into writing some so that I can get published quickly but I can’t comprise my values like that. Besides, it would be way too irritating.

        Oh, where to even start with movie adaptations. I have a love/hate relationship with those. If they are done correctly, then **Applause*** If not, wave my sword in the air, screaming, ***I will never forgive you!*** Either way, don’t want a book with a cheesy movie cover. Sharing in the shudders.

        And no, I don’t think the female mind is that much different than the male. Though I do think you missed the WHY behind my speeding up after someone turns. It’s about the perceived perception of the other drivers around me. Not about the fact that I’m now free to go the speed that I want to. Hope that makes sense. Even if not, that’s ok. I’m not your typical female. I’m too logical to make friends easily and my childhood is too sordid to be able to relate on a personal level to many others. Well, that, and most of it’s blocked out. For now. I’m terrified of what’ll happen when those memories surface. I’m sure I’ll be a much more interesting specimen for you to dissect when they do.

      • I have a tendency with all things to pull from really popular, or really obscure references. I could’ve mentioned Gangers, but they weren’t bad. They just wanted to live and cope with being copies (my favorite monster of New Who). Going even more obscure, I could’ve gone with Axons, from Classic Who. But I’m not the kind of fan who flaunts his knowledge (despite what the last few sentences show). I don’t really flaunt anything, though I could. I don’t see the point because I’m a fan for me and the only one I’d really be flaunting to would be myself. And that’d just be weird. It’d be like that moment in Day of the Doctor when Ten and Eleven saw each other with glasses and a fez, except a lot less adorable. However, I don’t mind smiting someone who thinks they’re better than me. Fie, I say. Fie, fie, even. But back to Weeping Angels. I also have a friend who’s afraid of statues, and the puck in me would love to surround his car with them. The realist in me reminds the puck that it’d cost too much money. Then the puck is saddened. I was warned to not call shenanigans often, so I tend to forget about it. It’s like “fie.” Once I get on a fie/shenanigans bender, I can’t stop. Because so many people and situations deserve it.

        Dragonball Z (and Dragonball) are far more influential than people give credit to. For instance, no one announced the name of their attack before they said it until Dragonball. Now, it’s a staple in anime and video games. Gamers would riot if Ryu stopped shouting “Hadouken!” Ditto if a female gamer got “uppity” and had talent and/or an opinion. Just bashing hate-filled gamers behind Gamergate. I understand hating someone who beat you in a game and wanting to bash their head in for being cheap with the sweeping kicks, but it’s because they beat me or they were cheap. Not because they were women. If you don’t know what I’m talking about and wanna shake your head so much you might get Alzheimer’s, look up Gamergate. Another DBZ fact? Super Sonic, of Sonic the Hedgehog (in)fame, looks a lot like Super Saiyan Goku, eh? And at least DBZ knows what it is and hasn’t betrayed that. Have you seen what sort of stuff Gainax has got Rei and Ayumi, of Neon Genesis Evangelion, slinging for the past two decades? There’s a HUGE discrepancy. Then there’s the stuff I’ve slowly been seeing for Attack on Titan. I forget how much shame Japan doesn’t have. Caught the live-action teaser trailer for Attack on Titan yet?

        Psycho Pass has met this psychopath, yes. Among other reasons, I liked it because the heroine wasn’t, shall we say, stupid (see also: Soul Eater’s Maka, Attack on Titan’s Mikasa, and Witch Hunter Robin’s witch hunter, Robin [had to find a woman whose name didn’t start with “m,” and I take any chance to remind the world of Witch Hunter Robin]). Maka stands out particularly at the moment because I remember when she made Black*Star balance the scales for getting him hurt. I could talk about that show for hours. And I’m not afraid to admit that Death the Kid is probably the anime character I can identify the most with in all the anime I’ve seen. As for your query, you could argue that most anime is fantasy. But I mean hardcore fantasy, like Record of Lodoss War. The Irregular in Magic High School caught my attention on Netflix and I’ve slowly been enjoying that. I’ve been bouncing twixt that, Luther, Addams Family, and Avengers. Look at those eccentric tastes…

        If you like Witchblade, don’t be afraid to admit it (even if you’ve only watched it once). I wish more people wouldn’t be afraid to admit to liking things simply because not a lot of people like it. At the same time, don’t be a jerk about your fandom. Being a snob solely because what you like is obscure (if there’s one thing I hate, it’s people who wear obscurity like a badge). So what if I’m the only one for miles who enjoyed Burst Angel, Requiem From the Darkness, and Welcome to NHK? I liked them and that’s enough for me. ::generic baka pose::

        I knew a guy who did a very bad thing to friends and the costumes he was supposed to make for them. If you stick around long enough and see something horrible happen to a guy who makes costumes for cosplayers, I’m not talking about your hubby. That’s a revenge for three women. I thought about getting into cosplay again, but I’m not wired to dress up with the prospect of spending my con weekend getting my pic taken anymore. I’d be good at it, nay, great at it, because I’d love to not be me for a while. I like myself, I just also like being other people. I know I’d be an awesome Vincent Valentine, for instance. I know I can pull off that attitude and walking in those crazy shoes. But you can’t cosplay and tell people not to take you picture. You’d be that first bottle of ramune you get that confuses you because you have no idea how it works. Because of that, part of me takes a pragmatic approach to cosplay: novelty t-shirts and coats a-go-go. I have The Twelfth Doctor’s coat, but I also wanna get the coat made that Heath Ledger’s Joker wore. I also want a red coat, and there’s a cosplay store, Abby Shot, that sells Dante’s coat from Devil May Cry 4. I roll up the sleeves of my trenchcoat, so I’d feel particularly at home with Dante’s since the sleeves are already rolled. Abby Shot also sells Doctor Who items. Speaking of the good Doctor, I’d like to get you addicted to a free, official game on your smartphone and/or tablet. Doctor Who Legacy. Mwa ha. Ha ha. Ha ha ha. Ha.

        As much as I was “meh” about the Spawn film, especially after the awesome Spawn animated series, I might get belligerently meh if I watched it again. I keep getting flashes of the almost-final fight taking place in the living room. And how Angela was only in the R-rated version, and even then, she was only in one shot. One. Shot. One of the most important characters in the comic, and she only gets one shot. I haven’t touched a Spawn comic in years, and I don’t plan to because McFarlane took back the entire purpose of creating Spawn. He didn’t like that Superman was all-powerful and nigh-invincible, so he made Spawn and gave him a power cap. Do whatever you want until the counter reaches zero, then you’re doomed. I understand that Al Simmons is a popular character, but don’t take away THE reason you made the character. Well, that and the gore. Well, there was also the sex. Well, most of that’s probably gone now. The movie did have a nice soundtrack. Ditto Queen of the Damned. What did/do you love about Spawn?

        I take no responsibility in how much you love/hate Crazy Rich Asians. I know that superhero stories are unrealistic, but they’re supposed to be audacious fantasies. What’s chick flicks’ excuse? I’m against the romance genre, in general, for two reasons. One: they’re saying that all it takes is for two people to be near each other long enough and, BAM, they’re in love. Two: they’re saying that what happens naturally in a relationship (the… “I GOTTA BE WITH YOU ALL THE TIME!!” phase blending into the “Hey, it’s cool that you’re here. Want some chips?” phase) heralds the end of the relationship and you must keep it in the upper register forever unless you’re a horrible lover. I feel that some people go into a relationship expecting a dog, when they’re really getting a cat. Dogs are always super-excited to see you and are always all over you and licking you and wanting to do stuff with you. Cats enjoy your company, but they have their own lives. And they like their nip.

        I didn’t explain the car thing properly. What I meant was that what you do and what men do are the same up until after someone flips you off. I don’t have a wide circle of friends, but I don’t want one. I’m fine with the few I have. Most people are disappointing, anyway. Although I could talk about anything, there are only a small amount of things I like talking about repeatedly and/or at length. I’m not much of a smiler, so the ol’ smile-and-nod routine is lost on me. So it’s best if most of the world leaves me alone. Definitely not the best mindset to go into entertainment with, but I’ll make it work. As for those memories surfacing, and at the risk of sounding cold, I’d be fine. My exposure to them would go as far as me opening and closing the browser. Not NEARLY as bad as those around you who’d have to put up with you opening the Maw of Tartarus in your mind, essentially.

      • Ohhh, I forgot about Gangers. They were super creepy as well. Some pretty twisted stuff there. Sorry, all Classic Who references are beyond me – I’ve only watched the New Who. Though, I must admit, the fact that you’re a superfan kind of caught me off guard. But then again, you did binge watch it over the course of a summer. Hmmmm, maybe I should pay more attention to the subtle details. And wouldn’t the cost to surround your friend’s car be worth it? They’ll probably hurt you in some horrible way to extract revenge, but c’mon, ya know ya wanna. If you do, make sure to take pictures and send them to me. I’d have to see that.

        Unfortunately, I am familiar with Gamergate. I’m always amazed at the perverse reactions that accompany ego stomping. Like you said, the issue wasn’t that they were beat but that they were beat by a female – a gender that is less. Women are belittled and discriminated against more often than the average person cares to admit. The video of the lady filming herself as she walked around New York caused such an uproar, and most women, myself included, wondered why. This is something we face on a daily. We deal with leerers, potential rapists and kidnappers, stalkers, chauvinists, etc., etc., etc. Personally, I’ve had a guy break into my house and leave me presents, a different guy come to my job and bring me lingerie, been out walking and had drivers hollering at me through the car window, trying to get my number, following me for blocks on end, (this has happened multiple times), been followed home, had guys offer to buy me “whatever I wanted” as long as I agreed to go home with them, been denied promotions, had a boss that was so threatened by my gender and intelligence that he gave me the lowest ratings he could on my review so that he could start the process to terminate me, and let me say, this list could go on for a while. Because not only am I female, but I’m intelligent, and tiny. When most meet me, they expect one thing and then I open my mouth and destroy their perceptions. I’m supposed to be a cute thing to look at and I’m so much more than that. Shame on me. (Sorry, that was a long rant.)

        Can’t wait to see the Attack on Titan movie! Of course, there are already naysayers but pshaw! I say, pshaw! Personally, I despise when female characters are made to be weak or stupid or in the way. What kind of role model is that? How is that your heroine? (Though I’m sure at this point, this revelation is not revealing.) Frankly, there’s so much anime out there that it’s impossible to have seen or heard of all of it. It’s the same way with movies, books, music, art. My anime watching is pretty mainstream but my music – that’s a whole different conversation. It’s rare when I find a music head that can keep up with me – and not because I’m being a snob – no, it’s because I’m passionate. I could rant for hours and not be bored with this topic. I love when I find someone that can introduce me to new genres or artists and when I can do the same. To have just enough in common to know that the music they’re recommending will be to my taste, but not so much that nothing additional is added to my library.

        But my husband and I hold a closer interest in anime than we do music. Most of the stuff I listen to, he turns off when he gets in my car, or shakes his head like, “What the hell is she listening to now?” and then I turn it off on this behalf. Not to say there’s zero common ground there or anything, even though that’s what it sounds like. Anyway, we cosplay because it’s fun and for no other reason. You see, he’s a kitbasher (don’t know if you’re familiar with the term but basically he breaks toys and puts them back together to create something new) and he enjoys the building process. Right now, he’s busy building me the scythe from RWBY (which is a series I love!) and building armor for his Spawn costume. It appeals to that side of him and since he enjoys it, I encourage it. I don’t mind being stopped for my picture – it’s one of the best parts. But we always make sure we walk the convention and buy what we want before we change. I don’t want anyone stepping on my cape or anything.

        Spawn is appealing for a number of reasons – most of which you already listed. I hate the proverbial Superman. His power is to have all the powers. (What are you – Cartman?) For all that strength, he never makes the necessary sacrifices to ensure the future safety of those he loves. When the world is vicious, you can’t be afraid to show your dirty side. Which Spawn repeatedly did – in the series and comics. But not so much in the movie. There wasn’t enough depth, the right characters never showed (i.e. Angela, who is almost as iconic as Spawn), and watching the fight scenes was like watching toddlers bicker – just less cute.

        Ahhh, you see the fallacy with chick flicks. Unrealistic. Impractical. Demeaning. I wear a skirt so that must mean that if a handsome guy walks by that I’ll instantly lose my mind, start picking apart my once-solid relationship to figure out a way to be with him, and go on a crazy rampage because I took advice from my single friends – who, by the way, are single for a reason. Freaking hate ‘em. The natural progression of love is to move into the less “excited” realm. If you forever have romantic love than your relationship must be pretty shallow. Your brain must have the same number of cells as that completely reliant dog that is coddling in your lap. (For the record, love my dog. He’s much better than my stupid cat.)

        Smile and nod is how I’ve survived. Too many people feel threatened by me, for one reason or another, and my coping mechanism has been to smile and laugh. Some of the things I say can be harsh and if I laugh, then people think I’m joking, even though I’m dead serious. Having too many friends is overrated. I would rather have a couple of people that I can be myself around, who understand me, than a large group of people that I must wear a mask for. I wear enough masks without having to specially create one to fit in with people whose main concern in life is whether or not they fit in and are wearing the right fashions. “Be pretty but don’t be smart,” is the mantra. “Be socialable but don’t be cultured.” What kind of way is that to live?

        I would rather have my demons, flaws, and solitude than be brandished a traitor to myself.

      • The most twisted episode is God Complex. It’s one of my favorites and every time I watch it, I’m amazed that it snuck out. I feel that every Doctor from New Who has an episode that’s far darker than the show it’s a part of (not that I’m complaining one iota). With Nine, it was Boom Town (when The Doctor and the Slitheen debated ethics). Ten had Midnight (a simple story that showed how horrible humans can be). I mentioned Eleven’ God Complex. I’m not sure Twelve has had his yet (to go off on a super-geek tangent: Twelve is My Doctor and my favorite character in Game of Thrones is Arya, so to find out that the actress who plays her is gonna be in the upcoming season of Doctor Who is… is beautiful). His last three episodes have a particular heaviness about them (Dark Water, Death in Heaven, and Last Christmas), but so does Kill the Moon. He’s an embarrassment of riches, that one. I don’t know how just yet, but I told myself to make it to the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff before he regenerates. It’s funny, Peter Capaldi is a lifelong Whovian and he showed up at the Experience as Twelve for the tenth anniversary celebration. There are videos of him and I’m almost sure that he’s having more fun than the kids. I would.
        Classic Who is great because I love B-movies and with that era, I got almost 30 years of B-movies about one guy. Back in those days, you got a group of episodes that tell a story, called “serials.” Serials were as short as two episodes (like with Edge of Destruction and The Rescue) and as long as 12 episodes (The Dalek Master Plan), but most were either four or six episodes. If you can get past the fact that they’re LOW budget, you’ll find that they’re great. Classic Who has my favorite Companion departure (Jo Grant in The Green Death), one of my favorite Companions (Romana, a Time Lady [my other faves are Donna, Jo, and Clara]), and my favorite story of my favorite monster (The Tomb of the Cybermen, with… y’know). I loved Jo’s departure because it was so subdued. It wasn’t the emotional bombast that New Who is used to (I’m fine with bombast, just not with practically every goodbye). She was The Third Doctor’s Companion (one of my faves) and she met someone who reminded her of a younger version of him. Their final farewell was simple, but there was a lot of stuff between the lines. Romana (short for Romanadvatralunda) was great because she was a Time Lady and could keep up mentally with The (Fourth) Doctor. She probably had the most badass departure. They were trapped in a pocket universe and were finally able to get free, but she decided to stay and be their Doctor. She’s president of Gallifrey now, though things are kinda complicated. There are two Romanas running around now, the president and her future regeneration (this is from the audio dramas, which are canon thanks to Eight’s speech in Night of the Doctor). The future regeneration is played by Juliet Landau (Drusilla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer [one of my favorite characters on the show]). If she manages to appear on an episode with Twelve, I’ll be inconsolable.
        Cybermen are my favorite monsters because they’re villains who want you to be your best (by making you one of them). I love bad buys with that schtick. Tomb of the Cyberman (a Second Doctor serial) is my favorite because it’s the best one about them. “Lo,” you say, “Cybermen have had plenty of episodes in New Who.” Yes, but they’re not really about Cybermen. You could argue that The Next Doctor and Nightmare in Silver are, but they’re it. Even as awesome as Dark Water and Death in Heaven were, they were more about everyone else and Missy than Cybermen. Tomb of Cybermen was essentially a warning to not get too curious, which is a fantastic moral. “Lo,” you say, “what about Daleks?” I think that they have great moments, like in Destiny of the Daleks. The Doctor had Davros in a room with him and wouldn’t give him back. The Daleks corralled a few prisoners, lined them up by the door, and killed them one at a time until Davros was back with them. They also bring out the best in The Doctor, like in Remembrance of the Daleks (a serial for Seven). He, for lack of a better term, was tired of their shit and tricked them into blowing up their star and talked the last Dalek on Earth into killing itself.
        I’d love to surround my friend’s car with statues, but that’s a lot of money for one joke. Maybe I’ll just buy a small statue and have it roam. Paranoia is far more entertaining than a spook job.

        The interesting thing about the video of the woman, with ALL the commotion it caused… nothing changed. Women still get treated the same and it looks like it’ll stay that way for a while. I hear horror stories of women being groped at conventions when they cosplay and I just wanna scream at the guys “Don’t ruin a good thing! They wanna dress as characters from comics and things, and all we have to do is not touch them! I mean, we can take hugs if they offer and trips to their room if they offer, but stop fucking with the dream! They WANT to look awesome! They PAID! Let’s not ruin this and their lives, men! If you really wanna touch something, they sell body pillows at that booth down there. Touch those! After paying. Touch those and enjoy the sights. Oh, and no matter what you think, she’s not asking for it. Cosplay is love, give me Pocky.” It’d be great if that worked, and I was that con’s honorary king. But a lot of guys feel entitled to women, that they can do whatever they want to them. To shine a dark light on Classic Who, I know of at least one Companion who had a hard time behind the scenes. At one point in Talons of Weng-Chiang, Leela was dressed like a Victorian page boy. There was a scene where she jumped out of a window. They didn’t have a stuntwoman around and Louise Jameson wasn’t gonna do it, so they dressed a stuntman up (Stuart Fell, I think). From behind, the two looked exactly alike and Stuart had to put up with a lot of bum slaps. He talked to Louise about it and she said it was just a regular day.
        A guy bought you lingerie? For some reason, I think it being in your size would be more disturbing than just the act of him doing it. Because that involves looking at you for a long time, or worse. Instead of taking that line of thought down a dark road, I’m gonna imagine that he bought a lot of lingerie and can do nothing with it except reenact Rocky Horror Picture Show in its entirety as a one-man show. Then he snaps a heel and plummets to his death. Much better. One of my goals as a mythmaker (anyone can tell a story, but not many can make myths) is to create a prismatic view of women. Part of that means switching gender roles in situations (like what you went through) and watch the magic happen. Because of that, some women will think I’m anti-women because I made a woman character an unrepentant rapist (but it’d be “ok” if it was a guy). And I’m prepared for that. I don’t know how prepared yet, but I think I could take at least one proverbial brick to the head.
        I always figured that tiny people were the most dangerous, especially for tall people. They can pass you in the dark and you’d never know.

        I was a live-action Attack on Titan naysayer until recently. Not because of the trailer, but because I reminded myself to judge it for what it is and not what I want it to be. However. I am gonna call shenanigans on one thing. A while ago, they released character posters. One of them had a woman with a bow and arrow. If she isn’t murde– If she doesn’t meet her obvious end, I’m gonna be angry. Because it’s obviously a grab at Hunger Games and Katniss. There aren’t any bows and arrows in the manga or anime, and Titans can take cannons to the face. Cannons. She better get all kinds of dead.
        I have a broad taste in music (I confuse people in karaoke bars), but there are definite leans toward genres. Thanks to anime, Dance Dance Revolution, Para Para Paradise, and late-90’s radio, I have a healthy obsession with dance music. I have a gay friend who, when I first met him, thought he was gonna show me a whole new world of dance music. Gays love the dance, right? That ended up being one of my biggest disappointments. He didn’t know diddly, and I had to donate to his iPod. I’m always hesitant to suggest things because I know how important a respected opinion is, and I like being respected. So I’ll suggest… four songs and hope at least one sticks. If you listen to them in order, there’ll be a fun genre transition. Assuming you like them. White Elephant by Ladytron, Sticle Goale Cumpar by Rona Hartner, My Strange Uncles From Abroad by Gogol Bordello, and Girl Anachronism by Dresden Dolls. There. That should be random and potentially frightening enough.

        Thanks to that anime I mentioned, Otaku no Video, I know all about kitbashing. You should watch it with him. He’ll probably point at the screen a few times and shout “That’s me!” RWBY and I don’t get along (the rift begins…). I was a fan of the creator, Monty Oum for a few years before the show and was looking forward to it. Then I saw the trailers and thought that it was gonna be amazing. Then I watched the first episode and didn’t feel strongly about the characters. It didn’t help that around this time, I came across that other girl-with-a-scythe show. I watched the first two episodes of Soul Eater after enough of RWBY so that I watched enough minutes of both shows. Maka stole my heart and Death the Kid skateboarded away with it. I don’t think RWBY is a copy of Soul Eater, I just cared more about one than the other.

        I feel that dogs are the perfect enablers. Anything you wanna do sounds good to them. Cats act as the conscience that quietly judges you. Unless it involves fish or peppermint tea bags, you shouldn’t expect them to be on your side.

      • let me say, don’t give up on me. I’m going to reply to this but when I tried to read it, my eyes went extra blurry, like, “are you serious? you know we can’t look at the computer screen that long yet.” (fyi – had PRK surgery about a week ago & my eyes are protesting. dr says my vision is now 20/60 (compared to 2600/20) but I think they’re lying because I still can’t see the computer screen that well (I know it’s from the back lighting but still)….. so give me a few days. 🙂 cause I’m still enjoying this conversation…..

      • It’s fine. If your eyes are still hazy, I’m amazed and gracious that you managed to reply.

      • Yay!!!! Eyes are finally better. Stupid Lasik place left the bandage contacts in for almost 7 days too long – which slowed down the healing process and I couldn’t take them out because it hurt too damn much to try to touch my eyes. Oh well, $3500 and 2 weeks of pain / fuzziness / lack of mental clarity later, and I’m about good to go again.

        Moving on…..

        I feel like I just got schooled on Doctor Who. That was quite the breakdown of seasons and Doctor’s. With your knowledge and fandom, I can understand why it would be a dream come true to write an episode! I’ve never been that big a fan of the Dalek’s – I understand that they’re the Doctor’s mortal enemies, being that they were in the middle of an epic battle that caused the Doctor to destroy his own planet and be alone for like ever and ever but I always felt that this honor would have been better bestowed on a different race of creatures – even your favorite, the Cybermen. What better way to try to destroy a race than by improving it to be just like yours? Or, of course, the Weeping Angels. I understand their folly, how they only move when you’re not looking, but at some point, wouldn’t we all look away or blink or have the lights go out or something?

        But even worse, and creepier, in my opinion, were The Silence. Straight out of The Scream. Creatures that you forget about the moment you look away – how can you combat that? Only someone with the Doctor’s intellect could expect to go against such a creature and expect to save the universe.

        Although my knowledge of the Doctor pales in comparison to yours, I still enjoy the series and have been promising myself, for a while now, to give the older episodes a try…. I feel bad for the newest Doctor. The Eleventh was definitely my favorite and I wish he could stick around a little longer. Just a few more episodes. Please.

        As far as the statues are concerned, if you’re artistically inclined, I bet you could make a bunch out of paper mache and if you have a few people who think this would be great, I bet they’d help. And then you could make a bunch of roaming angels – which would be creepier because you know he’d destroy your angel every chance he got and then, when he wasn’t expecting it, BAM! new angel. I love this crazy idea so much that I’d do it but my friend now lives out of state. Maybe I should just mail him one.

        Unfortunately, women are still viewed as the lesser by many. And, as you said, there are too many men that feel it’s their god-given right to treat us however they like. This past weekend, I was fresh out the gym, went home, grabbed my dog, and took him out running. Old dude driving down the street came to a complete stop to tell me how great my ass looked and that my bouncing chest made him happy. What the hell makes you think I want ogled? I don’t care if you glance as you drive by, but please, freaking keep it to yourself. I didn’t invite your comments. It’s was 80 degrees out, so yes, I was wearing yoga bottoms and a tank top but that’s not your cue.

        I’ve been fortunate at conventions, thus far. But, cosplaying is still pretty new for me. I’ve only cosplayed once, and that was as Raven (not the Teen Titans version, but the actual adult version) and it was at a pretty small convention. I may be little, but I’m solid and feisty, and if I get groped, someone’s getting punched or kicked. And, this I promise, it will hurt.

        If you were to attend a convention and randomly jump onto a table with a bullhorn and pontificate your speech, you would get a standing applause from the women and probably walk away with your own haram. You would be viewed as a savior, someone willing to stand up for us, reminding others that we are more than just objects, we are more than the sum of our parts. It disgusts me when someone is made famous for that reason alone. That is no role model. That is someone with low self-esteem. The only way they can feel better about themselves is to have the focus of the world on them.

        And yeah, a guy actually bought me lingerie. I was 19, maybe 20 at the time, and was working in a women’s clothing store. He’d been in a couple of times, and said that he was shopping for gifts but never bought anything. After the 2nd or 3rd time, I refused to help him because of the off comments he’d make but he kept asking for me anyway. By name, of course, since he read it off my badge. After I refused to help him, he came back in every day for almost a month straight. Finally, near the end of this, he brought in a big gift bag and left it with the girls at the front counter, who had gotten in the habit of hiding me in the supply room when he was around. The next time he came in, we called the cops because every last item was in my size, and he was banned from the store. I caught him following me after I’d left work on a few different occasions. I can still clearly see his silver Chrysler tailing me, but after a while, he finally gave up….. I like your version of events much better than the reality.

        I’ve never had the thought that you’re against women after reading your blog. I’ve had the, “Damn, dude!” thought a few times. But that’s different. I think it’s important to explore the potential roles that we fill. Yes, we’re complex but we’re not complicated. And if I didn’t know better, I would have never imagined that your blog was penned by a man. Though I am surprised that you’ve not received a proverbial brick yet. There are bloggers out there that seem respondent on negativity and they leave trails of it in their wake. I’ve even received a negative comment, and I’ve only been blogging a couple of months.

        I didn’t see the character posters for Attack on Titan but have to agree completely. “She better get all kinds of dead,” is an appropriate sentiment for a character that can supposedly fight Titans with a sharp rock, some string, and twigs, I mean, a bow and arrow.

        I think most people share the misconception that all gay people love dance music. If I didn’t know so many, I’d probably share it. One of my best friends LOVES dance and techno and dubstep and he’s a well put together half-ginger, so when I met him, I thought he was gay. I’ve known him a few years and watched him go through a couple relationships and a part of me still thinks he’s gay. Now he could recommend some dance music for you. I have a few songs in my repertoire, but not many. I generally only listen to dance, techno, dubstep, or music of that nature, if I’m at the gym. What better way is there to get hype than to listen to the opening song from Soul Eater? Because, yes, that is on my player and I do cardio to it.

        Because I was finally able to read your response, just this morning, and my eyes are already going blurry, guess I’ve been staring at the computer screen too long, I’ve not listened to your suggestions yet. As soon as I get home (because there’s no better place for me to blog than at work), I will check those out and post a secondary reply – unless you beat me to it. 

        From my personal collection, a couple of recommendations in no particular order: Read All About It by Emeli Sande, God Knows Why by Nneka, Skin by Beth Hart (off Screamin’ for my Supper), Shatter Me by Lindsey Stirling, You Should Know Where I’m Coming From by Banks (because I’m a sucka for beautiful, painful ballads), Wing$ by Macklemore, Grant Me Serenity by Novel, King Shit by Spree Wilson, and Sittin’ By the Window by Harleighblu.

        Ok, maybe that was more than a couple but you were warned not to get me on the topic of music. I had to stop myself before I recommended anyone else. Somewhere within the list there should be at least one artist that you can appreciate. I never take it to heart when someone’s tastes differ from my own. When you listen to, well, everything, it’s easy to splinter. (If you decide to look for any of those and can’t find them, let me know. I will happily email you the tracks, along with some that you probably didn’t ask for.)

        Because I feel this way, that means there’s no rift because you didn’t like RWBY. If not for the fact that Netflix bundled the seasons together to create 2 episodes, I’m not sure I would have watched it. By no means was this my favorite series, but her character looks like fun to cosplay and hubbie has thoroughly enjoyed building my scythe – it’s been a challenge to extend his kitbashing skills to another area. (Gonna check out Otaku no Video. Sounds like we’d enjoy it.) Maka was so sweet and Death the Kid so…. anal. Everything symmetrical. In perfect alignment. How could you not fall in love with them? Have you watched any of the prequel yet?

      • My biggest goal with Doctor Who, actually, is to be the first/only American Doctor (the only time when it’s cool to be a number). That is, a Doctor played by an American. I act, though not nearly as much as I write. Luckily, being a writer-director means that I can give actor-me a few roles. It’s not so farfetched. Peter Capaldi, Twelve, was in Doctor Who before he was a Doctor (ditto Colin Baker, Six, and David Tennant, in a Big FInish drama… and Patrick Troughton played The Second Doctor and the villain in Enemy of the World) AND was in Torchwood. John Barrowman is half-American. Eight’s sole, proper live-action adventure was made in America. There have been plenty of episodes in the new series in America. And, if I could be the catty Whovian, I don’t feel that the show has properly apologized for Peri’s accent (Peri was an “American” woman and Companion to Five and Six). Second-best would be to write a few episodes. Like one with select Companions throughout the history over the show meeting for some important reason, but really meeting to argue who’s the best Doctor (who better to have such a geeky debate than the ones who’ve traveled with the mad man?). Or one that ends with The Doctor saving a planet by conducting a gigantic space orchestra with his Sonic Screwdriver while standing in the doorway of Sexy. Or The Doctor and his Companion being chased through a mine by a psychotic Cyberman. Or someone trying to catch a Weeping Angel to bargain with it so they can be sent back in time to see their dead love one last time. And so on.

        The Silence never bothered me because I wouldn’t remember them if I didn’t see them, and they seem pretty benign until you piss one off. Can’t piss ’em off if I can’t remember seeing them. The Vashta Nerada are kinda creepy, though (from the library two-parter). I can’t really be frightened of them because I enjoy shadows and to think that I could make someone I don’t like sidestep into one (accidentally, of course) that’d eat them is a comforting thought. Maybe too comforting. As for getting into the older episodes someday, I have to remind you to judge them for what they are and not what the new show is: half-hour, low-budget movies churned out week after week and meant to be disposed of like candy. Doctor Who accidentally became the rich tapestry it is today because William Hartnell, The First Doctor, got too sick to go on. Regeneration was introduced with him (but it wasn’t called that until when Three became Four). Because of that, the show was able to survive far longer than anyone intended and was forced, in a way, to make a rich mythology as it went on.
        Matt Smith leaving when he did was fine. I say that now, but when Capaldi leaves, I’ll be pretty much Tauriel at the end of Battle of the Five Armies (the only time I’ll ever refer to her “positively”). Crying over the only dwarf/Doctor I ever cared so much about while he lies dead in my arms as my Elven king shakes his head at me and reminds me that when Eowen got sad, she stabbed the Witch-King in the face, so stop being a whiny brat.

        A harem, you say? A real one and not the one that involves me getting whacked with a paper fan or punched to the moon by one of the more mannish women because I accidentally walked in on her taking a shower, or because she walked in on me consoling a woman and connected the wrong dots, or because I didn’t say the right thing when she wanted me to? Instead, I’d have the harem where ALL SHALL LOVE ME AND DESPAIR? Really, truly? I better buy my ticket and bullhorn.
        But seriously, it’s weird that I’d get a big reaction, if I got one, because I assume that there are enough guys out there saying the same thing (I know, I know, assuming is bad [but presuming is worse]).

        An anime opening that might make you cardio to your grave is the one for Black Lagoon (Red Faction, by Mell).

        Beth Hart and Lindsey Stirling are welcome new additions to my ranks. Beth, in particular. She reminds me of Alanis Morissette, and not in a copyish sort of way. I don’t wanna be so specific because there’ll be times when I’ll have to eat crow, but I generally like songstresses who have an ethereal voice. Amanda Palmer (of Dresden Dolls) and Ms. Morissette are already serving me up slices of crow pot pie. I think it could all be traced back to One and One by Robert Miles, featuring Maria Nayler. I love that song, but it was at least a decade between me hearing it again and finding out its name. All I could remember for years and years and YEARS was part of the chorus. This was before Google got on its shit and was able to find everything. All of this is a protracted way of saying that Laura Mvula isn’t for me.
        I’m not big on reggae, apart from Skindred’s first album (a reggae-metal band [Nobody is their most popular song]) and Here Comes the Hotstepper by Ini Kamoze. And the original Rich Girl, by Louchie Lou and Michie One. And Calabria, by Enur (if that counts as reggae). I’m more of a ska guy.

        Now, for another smattering of songs. Let’s take a ride with a little more… adrenaline. I guess I should drop the Eurobeat bomb on you, if you haven’t been hit by it yet. Dance Dance Revolution and Initial D are to blame if you don’t enjoy it. Vodka, by Mad Cow. From there, let’s take a trip to hardstyle with Slim Shore’s Syren. Then we’ll clash sequencers and electric guitars with Mindless Self Indulgence’s Hey Tomorrow Fuck You and Your Friend Yesterday. And let’s end by going full-metal with Blind Guardian’s Battlefield. There. That should rumble your guts to or from the speakers.

        I haven’t watched Soul Eater Not! yet because I’m a little hesitant to watch that world turn Shojo. I don’t have a problem with Shojo, I’m just worried that it might not be a good mix, since Soul Eater was more… manic in tone. And I should be back to writing my “…it’d done by a man?!” stories by the middle of May. The scheduling for the doc has been too erratic to get back to the habit I had. But it’s almost over. And thanks for keeping the conversation going.

      • Is it cheating if you write a role as a director with the sole intention of casting yourself? Can you be objective in determining whether or not you are the most suitable person for it?

        I ask that, knowing full and damn well, that if I were in the position to write a few episodes, I would try to sneak myself in there somewhere. But, I also know full and damn well, that I’m not a great actress. My strength lies in the written word – not the spoken. Mind you, I can debate, oh, I’m a great debater, and I won trophies while on the Speech Team, but these are not the same as acting. To me, an actor’s role is for me to forget that they are acting and my audience will always be aware of the fact that I’m putting on a performance. If this is not the case with you, than Bravo! I applaud! Please, by all means, write yourself in…. and if you can somehow manage to pull off the role of playing the Doctor, well, shit, you better send me your autograph. And let me come watch an episode get filmed. Or come do a signing when my hubbie finally gets his fandom store open. And then, like in the video of Peter Capaldi, I’m sure we’ll know that you’re having more fun than the fans. (Quick side note, I was at a local flea market Sunday and there was a teenager walking around dressed like Eleven and I had to smile. There wasn’t a convention or anyone else cosplaying but this kid loved the series so much that, literally, on any given Sunday, he was dressed as the Doctor. I was kinda envious. I bet he could keep up with your Doctor banter.)

        You could easily stretch your geeky debate over which was the best Doctor over a couple of episodes – just don’t turn them into back clip episodes. Those irritate me and I have a tendency to skip them – unless you do it like South Park where they changed all the endings to make them eat ice cream and say, “Now that was a sticky situation. Hahahaha!” Not suggesting that you end an episode with the Doctor and his companions eating ice cream, just saying that you can do a clip episode if you show a slightly different perspective or a potentially different ending than the original one presented. This way, your audience has a reason to keep watching, without the thought that they’ve already seen that episode and don’t feel like watching it again. Hope that makes sense.

        If you had to the opportunity to only write one of those scenarios, which would it be? Would you choose the Cyberman, Weeping Angels, or the gigantic space orchestra? Or would you choose to make someone “accidentally” sidestep into the Vashta Nerada?

        Luckily for us, Doctor Who has taken on a life of its own and now has its own cult following. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of blogs dedicated to all things Doctor. There are chat rooms, communities, FB and Google+ pages, Twitter and Instagram accounts. It is no longer a low budget mini movie. It is an epic event spanning generations of fans – each with their own favorite moment, Doctor, companion, episode, villain, and ending. It will go down in history like Star Trek and Star Wars, more popular than Firefly and possibly even Stargate. Because of the storyline, the possibilities are endless. And what more can we ask for? (Please don’t get so sad that you stab someone in the face. This conversation will be difficult to continue if you’re in jail.)

        Yes, I think you may have a harem, hopefully, if you’re lucky, a Highschool DXD type harem. Although there are a number of people trying to advocate that “Cosplay does not equal consent,” there are still too many silent. And too many unwilling to let go of stereotypes and outdated chauvinistic ways. But alas, I’m preaching to someone that already agrees with me.

        I’ve heard the song for Black Lagoon before but, unfortunately, even though it’s fast, the beat isn’t quite right. I murder, no, abuse, no, aggressively use (aha! yes!) the Arch Trainer at the gym, making it my bitch. Glad you enjoyed Beth Hart – my favorite album is Screaming for My Supper. There’s a distinct difference between this one and My California – being that she got clean and her sound is cleaner but I prefer the raw rage vocals. If you liked Lindsey Stirling, check her out on Youtube. She actually dances while playing the violin. It’s a sight to behold and I could waste hours watching. You may already know her, but another one whose voice I enjoy is Toby Lightman. She had a couple big songs back in the early 2000’s but never really took off. I think you have a 50/50 whether or not you like her. And once I thought back on it, I knew you wouldn’t like Laura Mvula – or half the other songs I recommended. They didn’t go along with the style/sound that you recommended – but it was worth a shot. (One more recommendation, another obscure artist that didn’t take off: Leah Andreone. You’ll probably enjoy her second album better, try Starstruck Bastard or Sunny Day. Raw, angry, sexual. Amazing.)

        Vodka, by Mad Cow – SCARY stuff right there. I think I might be more freaked out by that than the Creeping Angels or the Silence. After that one, was kinda nervous about looking up the rest. Like how Reggae’s not for you, I don’t think Eurobeat Dance is for me. But I listened to them – I swear I did. My guts still hurt.

        Looking forward to you picking back up your 45 minutes a day of writing 2 ladies having crazy epic conversations but am happy for you with the documentary. Where will it show? Like IFC or something? (Basically, where/when will I be able to watch it?)

      • I have no ego when it comes to art (unless provoked), so I could give up a role if better came along. At the same time, if I’m writing a role for myself, I’m writing towards my strengths. Also, I know I’ve got the role locked if I’m casting myself, and I wouldn’t look for others to play it. So: yes, I’d give it up; no, I wouldn’t look.

        With The Doctor, I’d make sure the episodes I wrote wouldn’t put me on a pedestal. If anything, I’d be less heroic. That type of character interests me the most (another reason why Twelve is awesome: he accepts that he’s not a hero and is just an idiot with a box). I’m good at debating if I had time to plan my argument. On the spot, I’m a stammering mess who fades into the shadows. Dressing as Eleven is cool… but it takes a certain level of dedication to dress as Six on a whim. Go ahead. Look him up. And wear sunglasses. You were warned.

        No, I won’t be the guy who makes the first Doctor Who clip episode. It’s gone almost a thousand episodes without one, and they’re stupid. I do like the idea of misremembered adventures, though. I mean, the Companions in that episode would be like the avatars of Whovians. Whovians are people. People forget things.

        I’m too selfish of an ideasman to choose one idea. I could combine the Cyberman and orchestra ideas, or the Weeping Angel and orchestra ideas, but not the Cyberman and Weeping Angel ideas or all three. The Cyberman and Weeping Angel ones are too good to share with another monster. I wrote a Doctor Who short story once. It was an idea I kept around for two years before writing it last year for a Doctor Who anthology eBook. It didn’t get chosen, which is probably for the best. One of my favorite planets is Peladon. A medieval planet, and one of the few that The Doctor’s been on more than once (Three was there twice: for “Curse of Peladon” and “Monster of Peladon”). I decided to send Nine and Jack there and called it “Annihilation of Peladon.” I haven’t posted it anywhere because someone might get notions of thievery.

        Toby’s not angry enough for me. Leah, Alanis, Tori, Björk… they’ve got some rage. Alanis, not as much as she used to. Björk, far more than what she started out with. Her latest album, Vulnicura, is more melancholic, but it’s her (first) break-up album. I haven’t lived with it long enough to settle on an opinion, but Black Lake might be my favorite song on the album. Anywho, I have a better idea of the dance music you might like, so I have four new songs for you. This one’s a cheat: Doctor?, by Orbital. Then there’s Love is Gonna Save Us (Felix Da Housecat remix), by Benny Benassi. Sound of Goodbye, by Nebulous Dreamer. And Lucky, by Lucky Twice. That’s a more random, less aggressive list.

        I don’t have a clue where the doc’ll be available, or when. Once it’s put together and sent to the proper person, it’s out of our hands. Unlike the rest of our projects… projects you can keep up with on our new page: artigianalefilms.com There’s even (half) a pic of me there somewhere.

      • Haha! Will Ferrell looks like the 6th Doctor! Although you warned me, I didn’t grab my sunglasses, but surely should have since they’re sitting on my desk.

        You know I was only half messing with you about casting yourself in a role, right? As I said, I would do it if given the opportunity. Frankly, from our conversations, I know you wouldn’t put yourself there if it wasn’t the right thing to do. And I expect nothing less than a dark, realistic version of the Doctor from you.

        I hope I didn’t offend you with the whole clip show thing. I didn’t mean to make it sound like I think that’s all you could do or something. For a man writing from a women’s perspective with new material on pretty much a daily basis, I already know you’re creative and can come up with a much more original idea than that. But, if I did, I’m sorry. If I talk to anyone long enough, it’s bound to happen. I suffer from foot-in-mouth and eventually, I will word something badly or just tell a bad joke and then *kaboom* everything blows up in my face. I’m really, really good at that. You’d think I would have learned my lesson by now, but here I am, in my 30’s and still trying to figure shit out. Which is sad since I consider myself a pretty good writer. But like you, I still need a moment to think about an argument or a debate. If it’s a topic that I’m extremely familiar with or have simply put a lot of thought into, then I’m golden. Otherwise, I’m useless. As I’ve proven with some of this conversation about Doctor Who. It’s made for fascinating reading, but I honestly can’t keep up with it. There are few things that I can say I am as passionate about as you are about Doctor Who. I’ve never been one to let myself get carried away by anything for long. Maybe my attention span needs some working on.

        It sucks your story wasn’t chosen for the eBook – their loss. I don’t blame you for not posting it. Sometimes I worry about the things I do post, wondering if someday I’ll find out someone became famous or won a contest or something with something I wrote. Because of this, I try to limit myself. Truth is, I only post things I never plan on trying to get professionally published.

        I’ve never really given Bjork a chance, which is funny since I love Tori Amos (especially her older stuff). But Tori’s been like Alanis, lost her edge as she’s gotten older or, more politically correct, more mature. Black Lake is a really long track – clocking in at like, 10 minutes, but it was worth every second. Thanks to you, I’m now adding her to my playlist. It was painful, dark, full of mourning. I could curl in a ball and cry to that for hours.

        You’re right, Doctor? by Orbital is a cheat, but that’s what made it a smart choice. I let Youtube pick what played next, and it chose The Box. Enjoyed that as well. Realized about halfway through Love is Gonna Save Us that my head was bobbing. Sound of Goodbye is getting added to my gym playlist. It has the perfect type of beat – the kind that motivates me to work out at a strong, quick pace, but not so fast I feel like my heart’s going to explode. Lucky reminded me of Vitamin C from back in the ‘90’s. Sort of pop-y, light-hearted, snappy. Just know, I appreciated the more random, but less aggressive, list. I’m still pretty new to dance, electronica, etc. You gotta be patient with me on this one.

        You weren’t kidding about there being a (half) pic of you. Congrats on the website, the crew, and the doc. I’ll be keeping an eye out for when it becomes available – though I hope you’ll also do a post about it, in case I miss it.

        One last quick note, I love your latest post – about women and sexuality. Not trying to give myself credit where it’s not due, but it felt almost like an extension of the conversation we’ve been having – like an explanation of sorts of why you write what you do. Bravo.

      • I’m not sure what kind of Doctor I’d be. On one hand, I love the clash of opposites. Looking at The Second Doctor, you’d think he’s mean because of his face. But he was one of the goofier Doctors. Same with The Fourth Doctor. Ten was traditionally handsome, but he was one of the cruellest Doctors. Eleven was also cruel, but hid it behind all-around goofiness. On the other hand, I love it when the kids get what they want. Twelve looks like how he acts. Ditto Six, Nine, and The First Doctor. So part of me would want to play in the darkness, and part of me would want to contradict it.

        Nah, you didn’t offend me. Something that gets lost in a text-centric conversation is inflection. I went on a tangent, sure, but I wasn’t aggravated. I just felt like kicking clip shows in the face for a few sentences. It’s one of the more annoying things about anime that I was sure had died until Episode 13.5 of Attack On Titan. It’s not released in America because it’s the beginning of the first episode (Eren under the tree), a bunch of clips, and the beginning of the first episode again. Now they’re going one step further with clip movies. The first season of Attack On Titan is being condensed and released as two anime films (alongside the live-action ones). Ghost in the Shell did the same thing, condensing the two seasons into two films, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying.
        I hope that I don’t come off as a Whovian snob, because I try not to be (unless someone needs to be punished). I try to treat my knowledge of Doctor Who, and of most things, as a condiment. A thing that enhances the flavor of the conversation. Now, I may say a lot about Doctor Who, and other things, but it’s never at the cost of the conversation and never to bloat my ego. Because inflection is lost here, I make sure not to say anything arrogant because I’m a very mock-arrogant person. I say things that would be dripping with arrogance, but my tone deflates all that. So there’s a lot more I could say about Doctor Who, but you’d think I was a jerk.
        I have a lot to say about Doctor Who right now because of how little time I’ve spent with the show. I’m as big a fan of Batman as I am of The Doctor, but I talk about the former a lot less. Partially because I don’t wanna shoehorn him into a conversation, but also because I’ve spent a lot more time with him. The intensity of my fandom has had nigh-three decades to even itself out. My Whovianism has had almost three years. It’s also expensive being a Whovian, because everything’s imported and the caretakers do a brilliant job of caretaking. The DVDs for the classic series are expensive, but they’re crammed with worthwhile special features. I’ve finally almost taken care of the pricier serials I want. Last night, I ordered the set with Space Museum and The Chase, two serials of The First Doctor. Space Museum is interesting because it’s about, well, a space museum, and it deal with time interestingly. When The Doctor and the gang show up, they can’t interact with anything because Sexy made them land out of sync with time. The Chase is maybe my favorite Dalek story (dueling with Remembrance of the Daleks and Asylum of the Daleks). It’s also a story that hasn’t been challenged in terms of epicness until when the Daleks stole all those planets (and a moon). The Daleks figure out time travel and chased The Doctor throughout time and space. What are some things you’re passionate about? Besides your hubby and being good at foot-in-mouth disorder?

        I have to play the name police with pronouncing Björk. I’ve grown up with people butchering my name, so I make it a point to get others’ names right (I also stick with whatever name I’ve been told first [to the point where I still refer to someone as Spanky because that’s how he was introduced to me: you’ve been warned]). I wondered what the umlaut meant over the “o” in her name, so I looked it up. “Byirk? That’s how it’s said? Wow.” But when you find out that it means “birch” in Icelandic, it makes a lot more sense. She’s definitely someone I wanna make a music video for. Hers are very artful and I don’t think someone could consider themself a visual director unless they made a Björk video. Look up Bachelorette, and Mutual Core. She has a lot of range. The start of her career was more poppy, then she drifted into the darkness and experimented with sounds. One album, Medúlla, is orchestrated mostly by mouth sounds. She’s a loon, that Björk.
        Tori’s days of Me and a Gun are long over, but I don’t think she’s lost her bite nearly as much as Alanis. Her second-to-last album, Flavors of Entanglement, confused me. There’s a song with her singing about tequila and a party and the only thing I could think of was “…but, but Uninvited. But… but Joining You.” I guess that’s what happens when only one emotion fills your art: when you lose that emotion, your art suffers. Like when Bowie gave up nihilism to be a pop god in the Eighties (I’m reading a book of his interviews over four decades which is why I brought him up [actually… no one needs a reason to bring up Bowie]). Was I making a point?

        You like those kinds of dance songs, eh? Well, if it’s a whuppin’ you’re a-wantin’… Let’s try Pretty Green Eyes, by Ultrabeat. Tell Me Why, by Supermode. Fly On the Wings of Love, by XTC Presents Annia. I’m an Albatraoz, by AronChupa. And, let’s go for five… How Do You Do, by Boom. That last one is a stand-out because it’s another song that haunted me for years. I heard it on the radio once in 2007, loved it, and expected it to come on again. It never did and all I could remember was that it had whistling. It’s an exercise in futility, asking people if they know a dance song with whistling. A few years later, I got fed up and spent a whole night looking for it.

        If you have a Facebook page, it’d be great if you liked the Artigianale Films page. The director runs it, so don’t make a Doctor Who joke on the wall. Does Facebook still have a wall? As for the sexuality post, it was more me feeling that I earned the right to talk about why sex and darkness pop up so much in what I do. I mean, there are still echoes of this stupid-long comment thread, but that was the main thing. There’s a lot of me in Marlene, minus the whole gender thing. That playful, annoyed aspect of her is very much a snapshot of me in face-to-face conversation. With me, it comes from puckishness. With her, it’s boredom. Both of us hate interviews, though, and we hate being late. The following post, about bodies, is more inspired by you, in regards to the stalking. There was a point where I pulled back because it was drifting too close to you. It wasn’t a censorship thing, I just felt that the dialogue ultimately wasn’t about telling the world what you went through, so I should stop there. And have a woman get kicked in the box.

      • The darkness is where you seem to thrive. If you ever got the chance to play as the Doctor, my only advice would be to embrace it. Personally, I like some of the darker episodes. They build depth and character. Not everything can be sunshine and rainbows. The Doctor can’t magically save every person every time (minus Amy and Rory. Still pissed about that despite what I’m saying here – that’s my own contradiction.)

        Good to know no offense was taken. As you said, that’s what happens when texting/conversing through the written word. Either way, clip shows deserve your contempt. They are lazy, and generally, poorly spliced into the storyline. Ever heard of Red vs Blue? They did the same thing with their episodes – condensed and turned them into movies. If you’ve never watched it, I think they’re on both Hulu and Netflix. The beginning episodes are just goofy and fun, but eventually, it gets kinda deep. Not really an anime, more of a stop motion action figure type series. Hard to explain but worth watching. At least I think so.

        No, you’re not a Whovian snob – just a passionate man expressing his new fandom. Did you know that there’s a Doctor Who fan convention called the Chicago Tardis? It’s at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center, November 27-29. Hey, if you decide to go (like you have a choice now), you have plenty of time to save up some money to buy some of the expensive imported items or dust your Doctor jacket off. (While I was on the Artigianale Films website, I saw that you’re in Chicago so I know you have to be somewhat close to this. Yeah, I actually looked through the pages. And I went on FB and liked the Film page from both my pages. No Doctor Who comments – besides, I don’t want anyone linking my personal blog to me. I still prefer the anonymity of posting.)

        My passions are few, I think. And kind of boring, for the most part. I’m a gym rat, I enjoy blogging, writing, reading anything I can get my hands on, and music. I’m quite passionate about music. Most of the time. I go through my fazes. But these are the things that saved me from my past and myself so I cling to them. I was never a big fan of watching TV or movies – they can take the fun out of visualizing, but they’ve grown on me. Outside of that, I really love my dog, Marley. See, told you I was boring on this front. Outside of pop culture and reading history books and making movies and going to Burlesque shows, what are you passionate about?

        On your point about Tori: when you compare Boys for Pele to Venus and Back, there’s a marked difference. The latter was recorded after Tori moved to the English countryside. I think she lost some of her inspiration when she did. Although I still enjoy her music, it doesn’t invoke responses like it used to.

        You’re really upset with Alanis, huh? I loved her first 2 CD’s but after that, her music felt watered down, like she’d lost a piece of herself, and no matter how she tries, she can’t find it. I’ve given up on her, like so many other artists. I don’t care if your music is edgy or angry, as long as it’s real. And it stopped feeling real. I believe all artists, all people, need to evolve. If you don’t, you get stuck, pigeon-holed. And I’ve never wanted my own works to be boxed in. Take for instance, Stephen King. All he’s allowed to publish is horror. Could you imagine how boring that would get after a while?

        Of all your recommendations this time, I enjoyed Pretty Green Eyes the most. The lyrics were sad, haunting, lovely – they juxtaposed with the beat perfectly. I can only imagine the crazy looks you got when you asked people if they knew of a dance song that had whistling!

        Let me say, I appreciate your pulling back about the stalking….. though, our conversation did inspire me to write a post about it. But isn’t that part of what being a writer’s about? Drawing inspiration from the world around you?

        For the record, this stupid-long thread is now over 23,000 words….

      • Trust me, I’d love to have a three-year run of Doctor Who at its darkest… but those pesky kids watch it and they want happy episodes. Or their parents do. I have two philosophies on darkness, though: make it shine (heh) or hide it in plain sight. By the latter, I mean have the tone be light but have the content be dark. It’s something that happens a lot in pop songs. Like that Pumped-Up Kicks song. It’s poppy and catchy and people remember the first part of the chorus… but the song’s about kids shooting kids. Or that Bruce Springsteen song, Born in the USA. People hear that title and feel patriotic, to the point where Chevy wanted to use it in one of their commercials… but the song is very anti-American. So that’s the compromise the darkness lovers would have to make: watching everyone’s reaction to a happy episode when they realize it was darker and more sad than the Ponds dying (that’s right, I went there).

        I’ve seen an episode or two of Red vs. Blue, but I don’t like Halo so it never interested me. The late Monty Oum, creator of RWBY, worked on some of those episodes. I know the show probably doesn’t have much to do with Halo past a certain point, but I can’t watch it.

        I’ve known about that Chicago convention for a while, but I can’t muster up the will to go. I’d wanna dress up like Twelve, which would make everyone wanna take pictures that I’d rather not, which would make me an outcast among Whovians for a weekend, which would make me EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE! There are people who’ve worked on the show there (last year had Mickey AND Rose), but I feel that I’d rather work with them than meet them for a few fleeting seconds. Not that I’m above that. Nope. Ask me about Dark Knight and Robert Englund someday. I’m a loner and not sociable, so going to a convention to meet other like-minded people never appealed to me. I’ve gone to conventions before and had a decent time, but the last one I paid to go to was… wow, ten years ago. I’ve been to one two years ago, but that’s because someone had a spare ticket. I did get to see Doctors 1-11 in a line as sexy women, though. That was awesome and confusing. It’s not that I don’t want to go so much as it is that I can’t find The Compelling Reason to Go.

        Your passions aren’t boring, just low-key. Not everyone has to wanna topple mountains. You might be able to if you keep going to the gym. What else am I passionate about… Women. That may or may not be easy to tell with my daily writings. I don’t feel that they’re superior to men (and vice-versa), but they are better to look at. That’s the only thing I can think of about women. Yeah, if I wanted Gloria Steinem and Camille Paglia waiting for me at my door with bricks and a rope. I’m not a feminist. If anything, I’m a humanist (dueling with his nihilism). What’s the difference? I feel that feminists work towards making women equals (which is great) or superior (which isn’t) by focusing on only the positive. Humanists show that women are equals, warts and all. I feel that having a superior attitude spells nothing but bad (dude-bros and the Third Reich spring to mind), so one gender saying that they’re better than the other is terrible. What else am I passionate about… Music, comics, tea, privacy, and that Doctor. I think he’s going places.

        David Bowie is the best example of an artist and their need to evolve. I don’t mean his looks over the years, they’re superficial. Having a 50-year career allows you to see how an artist stays relevant. Apart from that stint in the 80’s, he’s been great at staying true to himself. But how he presents himself through his music has changed drastically over the decades. No one would’ve blamed him if he stuck with the sound he had in the early-70’s, but he didn’t. The first major turn happened when he decided to be a soul singer with Young Americans. People stuck around for that, and I think that subconsciously gave him the confidence to go wherever he wanted after that point. Because 70’s rock isn’t soul music. Actually, he was more of a folk singer before a rocker, with The Man Who Sold the World. Anywho, my point still works. Being a big fan of dance music, I had a predisposition to enjoying Outside and Earthling (two albums in the mid-90’s). But through it all, Bowie stayed Bowie (mostly).

        Speaking of dance music, let’s get some more in your life. Like Kate Ryan’s Ella Elle L’a. And In-Grid’s You Promised Me. And September’s Cry for You. And Circ’s Destroy She Said. And… Zhala’s Prophet.

        Drawing inspiration’s great, and you don’t have to eat the whole cake. Wait, you’re a gym nut. You don’t have to drink the whole smoothie. You can drink part of it, or use part of the inspiration, and save the rest for later. I wouldn’t be surprised if pieces of your stalker story ended up in other things I wrote, as the subconscious plucks and tucks. And I don’t want you to think that I don’t want to read your blogs. I do, but I’m afraid of spillover. By that, I mean that I’m worried about creating a legion of stupid-long threads. I tend to leave a comment on every post I read, and they tend to grow. But if you think you can tame the hydra, I’d like to read your posts.

      • Happy episodes are “nice” but when it comes down to it, no one really wants that happy fairy tale ending – or, if they do, they are only the most superficial amongst us and their opinion isn’t worth a damn anyway. Pop culture is full of examples of darkness hidden behind light, or silliness, or a catchy beat. You named perfect examples, but one that always springs to mind for me is Adventure Time. Don’t know if you’re into it or not, but the Ice King’s background is pretty deep, dark, and messed up. For a cartoon show whose key demographic is children, they deal with some real issues in an imaginative way. If you don’t watch it, then I recommend starting with an episode called, “I Remember You.”

        Amazing that it’s been that long since you’ve been to a convention. But…. If you’re really a loner and as anti-social as you claim, I don’t blame you. If you were dressed in costume, you would have annoying people like me walking up to you, interrupting your interactions, every couple of minutes to ask for a pic – because trust me, I’m not shy about these things. If you want the experience without the hassle, have you thought of volunteering? You normally get in free, meet some of the behind the scenes people and celebrities, and only have to help out for a couple of hours. It’s kind of the best of both worlds.

        Low-key, huh? Maybe that’s a more positive way to look at my life. For the most part I see myself as lacking ambition or direction. I don’t really know what I want to do most days, just know that it’s not what I’m currently doing. Anyway, completely agree with your point of feminists vs humanists. It’s really no different than optimists vs pessimists vs realists. I wish more people could take off the blinders. The world is a beautiful place full of contradictions and ugliness. (Frankly, none of your passions surprise me. Except maybe tea. Yeah, maybe tea.)

        I think Kate Ryan’s legs are longer than I am tall. With that being said, I enjoyed the song – see there’s hope for me yet! But…. This is more dance music than I’ve probably listened to in the past 5 years combined. After a while, too much of any one genre sounds the same to me. It’s one of the reasons why my musical tastes are so diverse. I have to branch out. No different than my reading preferences. I can’t stick with one type of story. That gets boring and predictable.

        Gym nut or not, I prefer cake over smoothies! Who doesn’t like cake? I’ll tell you who – Nazis. Yes, Nazis. That’s why they were so uninspired and horribly cruel. They didn’t understand that life needs a little sugar to help you through the dark times.

        I’m honored that you’d like to read my posts. They’re a mixture of all the little pieces of me (which is what I chose for the site address). Some of them are about my cube experiences, others about my past, but mostly, I think, at this point, it’s a lot of poetry. Don’t worry, I can contain the hydra. I’m like you, I tend to comment on almost everything I read – it can be difficult not to. But that’s why I’ve not started up a thread on another one of your blog posts. I know (from direct experience now) how far this can go. Either way, at some point, this discussion has to end – at least for a little while. Besides, it’s probably the most epic thread post Word Press has ever seen.

      • Faerie tales didn’t always end happily ever after, nor did they end just “happily ever after” (the line went on: “until they died”), and those versions lasted centuries. I’m not really helping my “argument” in regards to darker Who, so I will simply bow. I tried watching Adventure Time more than once but I can’t do it. Invader Zim, with Ren & Stimpy, were plenty “Wow, this is for kids..” enough for me. I’m glad that kids who watch Adventure Time are getting some heavy science dropped on them, though.

        After thinking about it, I wouldn’t say that I’m antisocial. More like… I don’t know what to do outside the bush. Like Twelve. I understand that you’re supposed to talk to people, but they generally want small talk and I hate small talk. It doesn’t go anywhere and the same questions get asked that you wouldn’t need to approach if you just paid a little attention to the other person. I also tend to stare. Not at people, just places that people end up passing, so it looks like I’m staring at them. I just need a carer like Clara (someone who cares so I don’t have to). That’d save everyone a ton of grief and embarrassment, and I can have decent conversations with people who get past my small-talking carer. I’ve volunteered once and didn’t like the fact that I was missing everything I wanted to catch. I guess I just need to figure out a way to put myself in a situation at a con where I would want attention. The only thing I can think of is doing my Doctor Ha idea (combining The Doctor and Joker [the roles were reversed in that story that mentioned Doctor Ha and TARDY-Q, if you remember that]) because I’d have to be a special kind of asshole to do THAT look and shoo everyone away.

        Seeing that this’ll be my last reply for a while (or ever), I’ll do one last smattering of songs. It seems like you and Tori Amos haven’t had much to say to each other for a while, but she’s got the funny. Like in Mary Jane. Let’s remember Alanis as she was, bitter and great, by revisiting Are You Still Mad. David Bowie has something to say, too: I’m Deranged. And dance music would like to have the last word with Mono’s Life in Mono.

        All that’s left is you leaving your blog links.

      • What a befitting reply to end with for a while. Here’s my site:
        Though I’ve been debating just letting it go. I think I have a few more posts in me and then I’ll be done. It’s been cathartic – especially this conversation. If one of us is ever in the area of the other, we’ll have to look each other up. Like you, not much for small talk. Our in person conversation will either be epic or dead. Until next time, take care.

      • We’re all a little bit crazy. And if this article is right, then I was predisposed to be both creative and crazy. When my dad was a teenager, he spent a couple years in a psychiatric ward and was diagnosed as being paranoid schizophrenic. All I’ll say is that we didn’t own a microwave because the government could use its radio waves to listen to his mind…………
        Just some food for thought…….

  2. Oh, meant to ask: why do you always write from a female’s POV? (Just curious.)

  3. p.s. I found your book on Amazon… now I just need to download a Kindle app. I’m old-school about my books – I know I’m killing trees but there’s nothing like the feel of book in your hands. It’s a whole lot easier to curl up with a book than a piece of technology shining blue light in your face that has been proven to make it difficult for people to fall asleep. And, I guess it wouldn’t hurt for me to actually do this at home instead of at work. One day I’m going to get caught and I’m pretty sure that telling my boss I was blogging instead of working because I’m bored out of my ever blipping mind isn’t a valid excuse.

  4. You weren’t wrong about selecting random, potentially frightening songs. If I wasn’t so diverse in my listening pleasures, I’d probably be terrified and looking for a quick exit.

    Here are my thoughts:

    White Elephant by Ladytron – they had an interesting sound, a little overly synthesized for my taste, but it was an eclectic mixture of 80’s and British pop. Not bad, really.

    Sticle Goale Cumpar by Rona Hartner – jazz undertones, mixed with Tori Amos beats, would have loved it if the voice was more sultry. I think it was a little too “sweet” for the beat and the sound. But, if you like this, will probably like Laura Mvula.

    My Strange Uncles From Abroad by Gogol Bordello, sounds like a great Greek wedding band. Just made me want to jump up and writhe, I mean dance. I watched it on Youtube. Here’s my favorite comment posted to this: “The bass line contains the moans of pleasure from ten thousand women…” Based on this one, you will probably like Matisyahu. He’s an Orthodox Jewish Reggae Rapper (yes, you read that correctly).

    Girl Anachronism by Dresden Dolls – Musically, not necessarily my sound. I’d have to be in the right mood to listen to them. But, I can see why you’d like this one, based solely off the video. It’s like a weird burlesque show…. Speaking of which, when will you return to blogging? Any idea? How far along is the documentary? On that note, I really appreciate the fact that you’ve continued responding to this conversation despite the fact that you’ve not posted in a month.

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