Thursday, July 30, 2009

So Whose Fault Is It?

I'm a huge fan of So You Think You Can Dance, mainly because I know I can't. Oh, sure I can rock it out a little, if there's enough Vodka bravery in me. But what those kids do? Not a chance.

This season I've started to notice something though. And this little something is starting to really ruffle my feathers. I know this because I've been yelling at the TV, always a clear sign something is bugging the crap out of me. Brilliant surmise, I know.

If a dance sucks, it's never the choreographer. NEVER. Instead these poor dancers, who've just busted their ass trying to turn what was clearly a lame routine into something worthy of riding the "Hot Tamale Train", stand there smiling eagerly while the judges tell them they didn't "commit " enough.

I get editing, I get feedback. I even get that these dancers need to take whatever they are given and rock it to the best of their ability. I also understand they need to learn how to take criticism. But COME ON.

Some of those dances were so dumb it would've taken a miracle to infuse them with life. Just once, I would love it if Nigel said, " Well, you weren't given much to work with,Italicbut you gave it your all."

Maybe they should make the choreographers have to compete as well. Let the people vote for their favourite! Bet that would keep things a lot more honest than this current vomit-worthy you-are-just-the-most- brilliant-choreographer-EVER love fest.

Two hip hop routines by the same choreographer get thumbs down from the judges, and you're telling me the dancers screwed up?


The dancers sure impress me, though. Because even though they must be tempted sometimes, not one of them has ever broken down and lipped off a judge. As writers, getting feedback can be hard, but at least we don't have to sit there on TV and smile about it.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Second Time Around

When I started STILL MISSING I had a premise, a few key scenes in mind, then the rest just happened organically. This time around things are a lot different. I have a contract for one thing, which means I had to hand in an outline and I now have a deadline. Although the process of writing an outline had its share of challenges--can we say, hair pulling, teeth gnashing, pure terror, and night sweats--I was glad to know my editor loves the idea of my next book BEFORE I spent a year of my life writing it.

Now I'm charting, creating a time line, and sticking index cards all over my wall. In short, doing all the things I didn't do with the first one until I was many drafts in and trying to write my way out of a corner. And this time I’m going to research upfront if it kills me! Trust me, there’s nothing like discovering all your scenes involving police are based on American shows. “But they did it on Law and Order,” isn’t a good defense!

On a side note, because I tend to get sidetracked easily, how many of them are there now? Feels like every time I turn on the TV there’s a new Law and Order. I’m waiting for the Canadian one. Law and Order: Special Beer Unit. No? How about Law and Order: Criminal, eh? Okay, okay, sorry. It’s early.

Anyway, what I was trying to say is that writing STILL MISSING was one hell of a learning experience, but I don't regret any of it. Every one of my mistakes taught me something. Even if it was what not to do the next time!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

What is it About Hotel Rooms?

So I've been working out of town all week and staying in a hotel--you may have guessed this by my back to back posts on TV shows. Anyway, as I looked around this morning, I realized I'm a slob when I'm on the road. At home I'm very clean, not anal, but everything has its place. Here...ummm...not so much. I have things stacked everywhere. Dishes on the counter. Clothes on the floor. Wrappers. ( Well, I am on the road.) It's pathetic.

Now in my defense, I do stay here for days and I travel with my dog, who comes with nearly as much stuff as me. But she even turns into a slob. Her bed is thrown into the corner, her toys are all over, and she's sprawled on the couch-- scratching her belly and burping. (Not kidding.)

I always leave the room clean when I check out, even tidy the bed first, so I'm not sure what the deal is. Maybe it's because I know I'm only here for a limited time? It's a house-cleaning vacation? My little act of rebellion against myself? Well, whatever the reason for my mess, it's time to walk my dog. I think she's in here somewhere....

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My New Addiction

Considering I'm a former realtor, who didn't much enjoy her time as a realtor, you wouldn't think I'd want to spend an hour watching people buying houses, would yah? Well, I discovered this show called House Hunters, then I found House Hunters International! Maybe it's more enjoyable because I'm not the one pounding the pavement showing the same house twenty times to someone who later decides they are just going to rent for a year, but for whatever reason, I love this show. They, of course, only ever seem to have three to pick from, but I love placing bets on which one they'll choose. Will it be the fixer-upper, the one with the view, the pricey town home?

I especially like the international one because I get to see all these different homes in exotic locations. I find it fascinating, the different market values, the unique layouts of the homes depending on what each culture considers important. And with each one I play along mentally. Ooohh, it would be lovely to have a vacation home in Italy. I too could cook dinner parties and host them on the terrace overlooking my grape vines. ( Never going to happen, the cooking part.)

Or do I want that beach home in Malibu, but which to choose? The one with the ocean view for $45, 000 a month or the fully furnished one right on the beach for $ 75,000 a month? Suddenly I find myself crunching numbers, torn between my two new loves, feeling the pressure because someone else may make an offer that night. Crazy!

I still don't want to be a real estate agent, but I sure do miss looking at all the homes!

Hmm, maybe I should call my realtor.