Sunday, 30 December 2012

Christmas Comes To Storybrooke

It was a great idea NOT to invite Regina to the party.

The last time we saw the good fairy tale folk of Storybrooke, Emma and Mary Margaret had returned from the enchanted forest and all was well.

But wait! What is that on the horizon? A tsunami? A pod of Orcas?

Ew! Storybrooke is full of plot holes.
No! It's a pirate ship and the two occupants are promising to make things a whole lot more interesting in the land of no magic...except, well, when there is magic.

So, before Emma and her royal parents start making Christmas cookies at Granny's pub/diner/laundromat, here's a warning that their New Year's Eve may not ring in smoothly.

"Captain Hook Is Coming To Town" Sung to the tune of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town"

You better watch out,
You better not spy.
You better not gloat,
I'm telling you why.

Captain Hook is coming to town.

He's making a list,
Of people to curse.
Cora's there too,
With a heart in her purse.

Captain Hook is coming to town.

He sees you with his sexy eyes,
He uses guy-liner, too.
His leather pants squeak when he sighs,
But, don't you be his fool.

O! You better watch out,
You better not spy.
You better make sure,
You pick the right side.

Captain Hook is coming to town.

He's looking for that crocodile, 
Who chopped off his left hand,
He's not afraid of Mr. Gold,
'Cause Cora's gonna rule the land.

O! You better watch out,
There's gonna be mayhem.
Hook might be cute,
But ain't no Sheriff Graham.

(Big Finish!)
Captain Hook is coming to town.

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Wednesday, 19 December 2012

The True Meaning of Crumbfest

This will be my last post until after Christmas. I wanted to share one of my favorite audio books with you as a thank you for stopping by my blog: The True Meaning of Crumbfest by David Weale. It would be a fantastic gift for anyone on your list from ages three to one hundred.

From Rattling Press...

David Weale's Christmas classic charmingly rendered by a five year old narrator.

Eckhart, the hero of our story, is a tiny young mouse. He and his family have just moved inside for the winter. It's dark and cold in the walls of their farmhouse. But all of a sudden every year in late December their tummies are filled by a mysterious abundance of delicious crumbs. The mice celebrate with feasting and call it Crumbfest. No one knows why it happens until Eckhart solves the mystery.

In 2001 a five year old Antonia Francis performed Crumbfest for her Mom's community radio show. The irrepressible energy and charm of Antonia's narration made it a perennial favourite. This is the original radio broadcast, recording flaws and all. The roughness of the recording sets off brilliantly the perfection of Antonia's performance. Here is The True Meaning of Crumbfest, told as only a five year old Antonia Francis could tell it. An underground classic.

Click here for a sample. Keep in mind this is an old recording, once you get through the first ten seconds it clears up nicely.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Night Shift

In the heart of Manhattan, a historic building hides a century old secret...

I've been writing and talking about NIGHT SHIFT for so long, I felt it was time to give it a face.

At Willard's department store, none of the security guards survive long on night shift, and sixteen-year-old Daniel Gale is about to find out why. Tired of endless hotels and living out of his backpack, he ignores the clerk's gossip about the old building being haunted and takes the job as the newest night guard.

On his first shift, Daniel narrowly escapes a fatal drop down the elevator shaft, and is rescued by Mary, a bossy and intriguing girl who is far too beautiful for after hours inventory.

Anticipating every night shift as a chance to be with her, Daniel thinks his traveling days are over hoping that New York City is the place to call home. But as his life becomes more entwined with Willard's, Daniel senses unnatural changes and bizarre coincidences, both with Mary and the store itself. Soon he suspects Willard's is hiding something more sinister than gossip about ghosts—something that could make him the next casualty of the NIGHT SHIFT.

NIGHT SHIFT is currently looking for a publishing house to fall head over heels in sloppy love with.

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Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Feeling The Joy

I wrestled this out of the archives from a year ago. It was originally posted on December 15th, 2011. My blog was brand new then and only eight people read it, but I think the message bears repeating...even after a year.
This time of year my wallet is full of lists—those crumpled up, half crossed off reminders that I still have things to do.

The best thing about lists is drawing a line through the last item. I feel entitled to celebrate by hanging out at the book store with a gingerbread latte, making fun of the titles by adding “in bed with no clothes on.”

Try it, it's funny. The Clockwork Prince In Bed With No Clothes On. See?

Lately though, when I peek into the vortex of disorganization that is my purse, I continually find unfinished lists, and that means no gingerbread latte for me. I begin to resent all the errands, which I now call 'things that get in the way of stuff I really want to do'.

I love the holidays...really I do, but sometimes the work involved in putting the Merry in Christmas leaves me exhausted and more bitter than Scrooge.

Alistair Sim, the best Scrooge!

With baking, mailing packages, and making sure everyone knows their line (yes singular) for the Christmas play, I roam the Shopping Malls—otherwise known as the black hole of commercialism—and my holiday mojo gets sucked away.
I drag my parcels through the parking lot, getting my coat dirty from brushing up against the salt encrusted cars. Bah humbug is right, life would be so much more enjoyable without all the fuss.

Then, on Sunday, I listened while someone talked about feeling the joy.

Feeling the joy?

How can I feel the joy when I have all of these things to do? If I don't wrap the presents and make the cookies, who will? Like most profound moments of epiphany, their answer was simple—you feel the joy in everything you do.

One of the coolest chicks out there, Gwen Stefani, said it best, “What You Waiting For?

And truly, why delay the happiness? I realized I have a choice. Instead of begrudging the baking and shopping, I can be thankful that I'm able to buy my groceries instead of having to depend on the food bank to feed my family. And that baking with my kids is a chance to make a memory, not another chore to be completed.

There is a tangible sense of freedom when you exercise the choice to be happy.

I'm putting off dusting/vacuuming to read Christmas books with my kids. Instead of madly decorating to make everything perfect for a family party, I'm laying out all my ornaments for my beautiful nieces to have a go at the tree.

Today, I suggest you make the choice and feel the joy. Don't wait until everything is crossed off, because guess what—there's always something you forgot. So sit back, get a gingerbread latte, and read How the Grinch Stole Christmas In Bed With No Clothes On.

Cheers! *holds up latte*

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Monday, 10 December 2012

The Dating Game, Storybrooke Style

Welcome to The Dating Game, where one lovely bachelorette interviews three hopeful fellas. But here's the catch folks, only the viewing audience can see the handsome chums vying for the honor of being picked.

Now let's meet our bachelorette! She grew up in an orphanage, and hopped through a series of fosters homes. After a brief stint in jail, she settled into the cozy career of bounty hunting. These days she wields swords, fights Evil Queens, and breaks curses. Meet, Emma Swan!

The lovely Bachelorette, Emma Swan!

Emma gives a little wave to the audience and shifts in her stool. She glances at the large screen that separates her from the three male contestants.

He always tells the truth, travels by motorcycle, and is handy to have around the camp fire. Meet Bachelor #1!

Hey, check out my cool typewriter.

August Wayne Booth gives a shy smile and tugs at his red handkerchief tied around his neck.

When his ship comes over the horizon, the seaport village men lock up their wives. He likes long walks on the beach, breakfast in bed, and leaves his women always wanting more. Meet Bachelor #2.

Arrrr you ready for some lovin'?

Captain Sexy Eyes winks and salutes the audience with his hook.

He holds down the law, volunteers at the animal shelter, and manages to have the perfect amount of sexy stubble every day. Meet Bachelor #3.

Is there a problem officer?

Schmexy clears his throat and nods.

Emma tosses a flaxen wave over her shoulder. “Bachelor #1,” she begins, “if you had to give yourself a nickname, what would that be?”

August glances up at the ceiling, and touches his chin. “Well, I guess it would be Honest Abe. I can't tell a lie.”

“It sure as hell isn't, Mr. Dependable,” Captain Sexy Eyes snorts. “You left Emma in the orphanage and caught the next bus out of that filth hole.”

“I was protecting her!” August whines.

“The only thing you were protecting was your arse,” Captain Sexy Eyes says.

“Whatever!” Emma huffs. “Okay, Bachelor #2, what is your best pick up line?”

“Oh, Lovey,” Captain Sexy Eyes grins. “All I need is to stare at you from across a crowded room. By the time you walk over, talking will be the last thing on your mind.” He demonstrates his 'look' for the audience causing a cacophony of cat calls.

Emma licks her lips and pushes up the sleeves of her red leather jacket. “Bachelor #3, which is more important; a good sense of humor, an intelligent conversation, or having a passion in life?”

“A killer bod!” Captain Sexy Eyes calls out.

Schmexy looks pained. He runs a hand through his hair. “Um...well, I think all of those things are important. But, for me, the most important thing is—”

“Boobies!” Captain Sexy Eyes interrupts.

August folds his arms in front of his chest and gives him a disgruntled look.

“What about you Honest Abe?” Captain Sexy Eyes nudges August with his hook. “You're thinking it, too! Come on, you can't tell a lie...remember?”

Emma impatiently crosses her legs. “I'm still waiting for Bachelor #3 to answer, guys!”

Schmexy rubs a hand over his stubble. “I guess I would say the most important thing for me is—”

“Say it!” Captain Sexy Eyes nudges August again. “Say, boobies!”

“Oh my, God,” Emma sighs. She flips to her next index card. “Bachelor #2,” she begins, “what song best describes your life and why?”

Captain Sexy Eyes taps his steal hook against his lower lip, frowning in deep concentration. Then he wiggles his eyebrows at the audience, and gives them another smile. “Sexy And I Know It!” The music suddenly starts playing. He climbs up on his stool, gyrating to his anthem.

“Bachelor #3,” Emma yells over the whistles from the audience. “Describe your idea of a perfect date.”

“Well,” Schmexy begins quietly. “That is, I think the most important thing is—”

“All right, goddamn it!” August takes off his red handkerchief and wipes his brow. “I'm thinking of her boobies! Are you happy now?” He starts to cry.

Captain Sexy Eyes rolls his eyes, and makes the crazy sign toward August.

Schmexy says, “You're being a bully. Leave him alone, he's done nothing to you.”

The mischievous smile leaves Captain Sexy Eyes' face. “Says the man who took Emma's mother into the forest to kill rip out her heart as a trophy for the Evil Queen.” He snorts at the end to show his disgust.

“But I freed her,” Schmexy rebuts. “And then I helped Prince Charming escape from the Evil Queen's castle. If it weren't for me, Emma wouldn't even exist.” He leers at the Captain, daring him to respond.

Say, you seem nervous for just a walk in the woods.

August sniffles, making them turn in his direction. “I'm the one who brought her to this place without magic. If it weren't for me...”

Hands up!
“Oh, hold on, chap,” Captain Sexy Eyes puts up his hook, stopping August. “Is this the part how you left her as an unprotected infant, then finally managed to catch up to her on the night she was arrested, but instead of stepping in to help her, you let the boyfriend go free? And even when Emma got out of jail you left it up to Henry to find her, like...ten years later?”

Schmexy and Captain Sexy Eyes stare August down.

“When you put it that way,” he says to his boots.

Emma closes her eyes and lets out a deep breath. “Like I was saying,” she tries again. “Bachelor #1, if you were to propose, how would you do it?”

“He'd get down on one knee,” Captain Sexy Eyes starts, “and show you his big wood.” Schmexy laughs and fist bumps him. August bites down on his handkerchief and stomps his foot.

“Bachelor #3,” Emma begins, her voice rising. “What is the most—”

“Wolves,” Schmexy says quickly.

“I didn't finish the question,” Emma says.

“Doesn't matter,” Schmexy tells her. “Wolves are my answer to everything.”

Captain Sexy Eyes gives him an unsure look, then scoots his stool farther away.

“Okay,” Emma says slowly. She flips to the next index card. “Bachelor #2, who do you think should pick up the tab on our first date?”

“Let's get real, Lovey.” Captain Sexy Eyes walks around the screen and struts over to Emma. “This contest was over the second you saw my silhouette,” he says, motioning with his hook to the screen still hiding August and Schmexy.

Emma blinks back at him as he leans in closer. She counts the silver studs in his ear.

“Who do you want?” he asks playfully. “A weepy excuse for a protector who bolted on you the first chance he got, or a confused outdoors man who smells like wet dog?”

Emma glances at the screen again. August is hunched over, still raking with sobs. Schmexy is curled up on the floor, appearing to be sleeping.

Captain Sexy Eyes drops his voice to a throaty whisper. His stubble grazes her cheek as he moves closer to her ear. “Or me...the total package.”

Emma lightly traces the curve of his hook with her finger tips. He gives her a wicked smile and reaches for her hand.

“Thanks for the offer,” Emma says, pulling away. “But I've already had enough alone time with you.”

“Are you mad?” The hurtful tone to his voice is unmistakable.

“No,” Emma motions to the corner of the studio where Jefferson is leaning against the wall, waiting for her. “But he is.” She turns and whips her flaxen waves hitting Captain Sexy Eyes in the face. “Later, losers,” she calls over her shoulder. Jefferson pockets his eyeliner and holds out his arms to her.

Paisley is the new black.
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Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Top 5 Most Frightening Things Writers Think Of While Falling Asleep

Oh, Bella. You think you have worries...try writing.

We've all been there—that moment when the heaviness of sleep settles in, and you feel yourself drift off. Then BAM!!! You jolt upright like you've been attacked by a cattle prod. With eyes wide open, your heart pounds as a list of horrible possibilities run though your mind.

Here are the top 5 most frightening things writers think of while falling asleep...

#1. You attached your vacation photos to the query instead of the first ten pages of the manuscript.

#2. Your ex-boyfriend will post on Facebook that the book is really about him.

#3. You just realized that the character you killed in book one is essential to the plot in book two.

#4. You have no idea how time travel is supposed to work!!!!

#5. If you die before your book gets published, your family will use the horrible Christmas picture that you hate as your official author photo.

And here's the bonus...

BONUS. Your parents will buy your book, and then read the steamy sex scene that YOU wrote.

Sound familiar? Do you have any fears to add to the list?

Monday, 3 December 2012

Once Upon A Time, Season 2, Episode 9 “Queen of Hearts”

Or better title, "Logical Headache"

Belle isn't impressed with her rescuer.

Inside the castle of the Evil Queen, a hooded figure walks up the steps with a meal for the prisoner, but he's stopped by the guards. A wild sword fight breaks out and is over two seconds later. Captain Sexy Eyes throws off the cloak and bursts into the cell. He frees Belle from her shackles with his hook. But he's only there to get information about Rumpelstiltskin and how to defeat him. When he realizes Belle is still loyal to Rumpelstiltskin, he knocks her out.

Harsh much?
The Evil Queen comes in looking like a cross between Grace Jones and Prince. She tells him about her plan to take everyone to a land without magic. When Captain Sexy Eyes gives her a shrug, she entices him with an image of his hook slicing through a powerless Rumpelstiltskin. In return, she wants him to make sure that one person doesn't follow them...Cora.

Grace Jones


The Mayor and Mr. Gold pace the floor while David remains in his magical coma in the back of the shop. Mr. Gold plays devil's advocate and tells the Mayor they should destroy the portal since Cora is so super bad and amazingly evil that there's no way Mary Margaret and Emma can defeat her. Plus, if they somehow DO manage to beat Cora to the portal, would it be so bad for the Mayor if Henry only had her left?

He's slick that Mr. Gold. How can the Mayor resist his logic?

Mary Margaret, Emma, Mulan, and the heartless Aurora, go to Rumpelstiltskin's cell, in search of the bottle of powerful squid ink. All they find within the cavern's cracks is a scroll with Emma's name written over and over.
Jinkies! A clue!

Henry reads his only book to a sleeping David. The Mayor walks in and gives an Oscar worthy performance telling him that she and Mr. Gold are going to prepare the portal for Mary Margaret and Emma's arrival.

And by prepare the portal, she means destroy it.

She and Mr. Gold enter the mine and find all the diamonds the dwarfs just leave unguarded for anyone to take.

That makes perfect sense to me. Definitely no loop holes with that logic.

Mr. Gold takes out a wand and casually mentions a dead fairy and fills it up with the magic from the diamonds.

Remember the Cinderella episode when he killed the fairy godmother? 
The Evil Queen hexes Captain Sexy Eyes' hook so that he can remove a heart and enchant it at the same time. However, he can only do it once.

Let's file that bit of info for a later episode.

She shows Captain Sexy Eyes, Jefferson's hat and tells him he has to enter the land where her mother has been banished.

Guess who's going to Wonderland? I believe this is time to do some gloating. Click here.

Why the ear thing, anyway?

Captain Sexy Eyes arrives in Wonderland under the watchful gaze of masked courtiers and pays respect to the 'elephant-thing' that is Cora.

Thank you! *bows*

He thrusts his hook into her chest but she only laughs.

She has no heart, dumb-dumb! She's hiding it somewhere special. maybe in a chest in the bottom of the sea? *Cough* Davy Jones Locker *cough*

Where is her heart? Ask this dude.

Cora turns the tables and grips his cardiac muscle. Gasping, he confesses the Evil Queen was the one who ordered her death.

Emma stares at the scroll with her name as the others keep searching the cell. Mulan finds an empty ink bottle. Just when things can't get any worse, Cora and Captain Sexy Eyes arrive and close the bars, trapping the girls in the cell. Aurora grabs the compass from Emma and tosses it to Cora's waiting hand. The others are baffled until Cora gives Aurora's heart a good squeeze.

Emma tries to make a deal with Captain Sexy Eyes, but he only teases her by dangling his dried bean in her face. Sorry, I mean the last magic bean taken from the giant, which I'm assuming he'll rehydrate or something.

No matter, the chicks are totally screwed by the end of this scene.

Grumpy and Ruby discover that all the magic diamonds are gone. They alert Henry since he's the logical choice, being the only nearby ten year old who is busy reading to his comatose grandfather.

Henry is so upset that the Mayor has lied to him about trying to be good that he ALMOST slams the book shut, gosh darn it!

Emma tries to break through the bars but it's useless, so is the whining as everyone tries to take blame for the mess they're in. Emma, in particular, complains about not fulfilling her end of the prophecy. Mary Margaret will have none of it, and leads the gang in a cheer about good versus evil.

I wonder when they'll realize the magic ink is already written on the scroll. Oops, that would be logical. Better let things evolve at their own pace.

Cora and Captain Sexy Eyes head to the magical lake that restores what was once lost.

Thank God, because this plot needs to find some logic.

No worries when you've got magic.
Cora doesn't even raise an eyebrow at the dried up desert. She merely raises her hand and a geyser erupts—and by the looks of those awesome special effects, the magical lake will soon be full.

Back in time in Wonderland, Cora let's Captain Sexy Eyes live. She convinces him that she's the only one who can help him kill Rumpelstiltskin. In return, he promises to get her close to the Evil Queen to rip out her daughter's heart.
Captain Sexy Eyes shows the Evil Queen Cora's body, just like he promised. She leans over the coffin and...holy spray tan!

She's supposed to be dead, not on an outlet shopping spree bus tour.

The Evil Queen weeps and apologizes to her mother. She says love is her weakness, and that she had to kill her because her love for her is too great. 

And that, of course, logically speaking, would make Cora her greatest know, because she loves her so much.

*Brain explodes*

Let's not forget this is the girl who ripped out her father's heart to complete the curse.

It's not eyeliner, it's face paint for guys.
Cora slips out of the coffin and explains to Captain Sexy Eyes that she no longer plans on killing her daughter. Since she still has a place in her heart, she's ready to do a little waiting. They stand on an island in their little corner of fairy tale land, protected from the curse that sends everyone else to Storybrooke.

They discuss how they'll spend the next twenty-eight years while they wait for the Savior and blah, blah, blah...and then their quest will resume. Cora knows that Regina will lose everything, and that's the time when she'll need Mommy Dearest the most.

Mr. Gold and the Mayor walk through the forest and stop at the well.

Mary Margaret finally makes the connection that the squid ink is on the scroll. She blows over the paper (just like she used to spy Regina doing) and the magic cloud opens the cell. Aurora asks Mulan to tie her up because she can't be trusted.

Whoa, things just got kinky.

Cora and Captain Sexy Eyes stand at the edge of the magical lake that Cora magically made. He sprinkles in the ashes from the magical wardrobe, and a magical whirlpool if by magic or something.

Mr. Gold uses the fairy Godmother's wand and summons a dark cloud. A bolt of lightning pierces the well. He tells the Mayor (and us), that no one, not even super smart and magical Cora, can survive coming through that web of electricity.

Cora hands Captain Sexy Eyes the compass, but an arrow slices through the air, knocking it out of his hand. Emma and Captain Sexy Eyes do a little sword fighting while Mulan and Mary Margaret deflect Cora's fireballs. She vaporizes into thin air, leaving the bag that holds Aurora's enchanted heart falling into the whirlpool.

Captain Sexy Eyes reaches out and snags the bag. Mulan manages to grab it from him. He and Emma roll around on the beach as they continue to dual. He ends up straddling her, and says, “When I jab you with my sword, you'll feel it.”

Dear ABC,

Seriously? No really...seriously?

Emma has an amazing stroke of luck and realizes she's lying on top of the compass. She distracts Captain Sexy Eyes long enough to push him off and give him the face punch the writers deserved for that last line.

*Cough* 50 Shades of Grey *cough*

Ruby and Henry arrive at the well to confront the evil doers. Mr. Gold responds by throwing Ruby across the woods, knocking her unconscious. He turns to Henry and calmly explains that Cora will kill them all if she gets through the portal.

Can't Henry see the logic?

Emma and Mary Margaret battle a newly re-appeared Cora. Cora is ready to take Mary Margaret's heart but Emma, that silly klutz, does it again and jumps in, making Cora's fist go through her own chest. But Cora can't take out her heart! Why???

Well, in Whoville they say, her heart was too good, and too full of love. Plus her blond hair totally kicked the evil Barbara Hershey with her Botox and fillers.

*cough* Harry Potter *cough*

Dear ABC,

If the key to deafeating Cora was finding the ink, why would Mary Margaret waste all of it opening the door of the cell? Shouldn't someone have yelled out, "Hey, don't use all the powerful ink! That's the only thing that will help us defeat Cora!" 
Mary Margaret and Emma hold the compass between their hands and jump into the magical whirlpool.

Their only hope is that they pronounce Diagon Alley, correctly.

Don't think too hard, just trust my logic.

The Mayor and Henry battle scruples. Henry reminds her that she's supposed to be good, and that she needs to have faith and blah, blah, blah. The Mayor can't take any more of his logic. She puts her hands over the well and sucks up the electricity...or something logical like that.

Emma and Mary Margaret climb out of the well and they have a tearful reunion. Mr. Gold limps off before Ruby wakes up. Henry says the Mayor saved the day.

Hooray! Wait, what? Boo! Booooooring. I want the old evil one back.

Mary Margaret hurries to Mr. Gold's shop and lays a big wet one on David. The dwarfs gather around to watch. David wakes up, and they make out even more.

Mr. Gold puts the fairy Godmother's wand away...right beside a golden ball. Emma confronts Mr. Gold about creating the curse and making her the savior. He says he had no part in creating her, she's the product of true love.


Mulan holds the enchanted heart and presses it into Aurora's chest.

Gee, I hope it's the right heart.

Aurora excitedly tells Mulan her new plan to get Prince Phillip's soul back from the demon (Dementor knock off) and reunite it with his body. Mulan is super keen on this plan since she had the hots for Phillip as well.

Cora has a heart on for Hook's magic bean.
Captain Sexy Eyes stands by the magical lake and shows Cora his dried up bean. He dangles it right in front of her face! She looks unimpressed until he suggests they do a little gardening with the magical waters.

Henry hugs the Mayor and says he's happy she's really changed.

And guess where they're going to celebrate? Yup, the pub/diner/laundromat. And guess who's not invited? Yup, the Mayor.

It's perfectly logical for Henry to exclude the Mayor from the celebration since she was the one who took away the deadly electrical trap that allowed his mother and grandmother to return safely.

Yup, completely logical.

Mr. Gold puts a little salt in the wound, and I have to say, that's the best way to make the Mayor want revenge.

I guess she's lost everything. Who can help her now?

Oh, look! On the horizon! It's a pirate ship.

Predictions for the next episode

#1. ABC gets sued by that 50 Shades of Grey chick for stealing all her lines.

#2. Captain Sexy Eyes tries to lure a mermaid out of the magical lake with his dangling, dried up bean.

#3. The Mayor starts wearing white and black again because colors just aren't working out for her.

#4. Rapunzel shows up demanding equal representation.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

The Next Big Thing...

I got tagged by Jane LeBak, agent sibling and published author, most recently THE WRONG ENEMY.

The object of this particular tag is to pretend I am the next big thing….and that I’m being interviewed by Rosemary DiBattista.

Here it goes...

What is your working title of your book? 

JUST JESSE. And by the way, Rosemary, I love the scarf you're wearing in your profile picture.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The place all stories are born, Rosemary, the Island of Misfit Toys, of course.

What genre does your book fall under?

Oprah's Picks. And it you don't find it there, check out the YA contemporary coming of age section.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I like the readers to have their own mental image of the characters. However, let my say that Jesse is the kind of girl you want to see win in the end, and her love interest will make you swoon. There, knock yourself out.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Haunted by her father's death, seventeen-year-old, track and field star, Jesse Collins turns her back on an athletic scholarship and small town whispers to spend the summer as a camp counselor—only she didn't plan on a cabin full of delinquents, or an unlikely source to inspire her to run again.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

It's presently on submission with big starry eyes looking for a publishing house to fall head over heels in love. If that isn't in the cards, I would be more than happy to post it on wattpad. And let's not forget the red yarn tied through the hole punch approach.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

This baby came out fast. I wrote JUST JESSE in five weeks—hold the applause and/or rotten tomatoes. That was over two years ago. JUST JESSE has gone through two agents and sixteen far. I'm lousy at math, but I think it's far to say this is the opposite of an overnight success.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

It combines the emotional depth of Sarah Dessen's The Truth About Forever, with the commercial appeal of Ann Brashares's The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. Doesn't that sound all proper and professional? It should, my agent wrote it.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My sister. She's a big time runner and the reason I started writing. She's one of the first people to read JUST JESSE. Also, as nurses, we like to come up with ways to make money other than nursing. And it's common knowledge that writers are all stinkin' rich.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Jesse is dealing with a secret guilt about how her father died, which is revealed near the end when a traumatic event brings her greatest fears to light. That, plus some pretty awesome smoochy scenes.

Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.

Jane LeBak tagged me. You can find her blog here.

I’m tagging Arianna, the Texas Trekkie, because she’s one of my best cheerleaders. She’s busy working on her own epic YA fantasy series, going to college, and working. The girl never stops.

Also tagging Kathryn Rose. She recently signed with an awesome agent for her "Camelot meets steampunk" book. She's great to follow on twitter, too.

Also tagging Lisa Ann O'Kane, YA writer and former zoo keeper. Check out her blog for all things writerly and wild!

Happy blog hopping!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Once Upon A Time, Season 2, Episode 8 “Into The Deep”

Or better title, "Sleepy Heads"

Not exactly the gang from Sex In The City.

Cora greets Captain Sexy Eyes at the base of the beanstalk, furious he doesn't have the compass. He says he has a plan, and that their revenge themed trip to Storybrooke is still set. But Cora isn't charmed by his steely gaze, (or hook) and she leaves in a purple cloud of smoke.

She reappears at the safe camp, and makes an army of zombies with her enchanted hearts.

*Cue the music to Thriller*

Aurora confirms that the boy in her dream is Henry. Mary Margaret recognizes the fiery room from when she bit the cursed apple and fell into a deep sleep. The girls come up with a plan to communicate to Henry that Cora is back in power.

Henry wakes with a start and tells David and the Mayor the good news that Emma and Mary Margaret are all right.


Then he follows with the bad news about Cora.

Boo! money is on Cora and her tribe of zombies.

At Granny's pub/diner/laudromat, Belle and Mr. Gold are enjoying the hamburger platter special. The date is broken up when the Mayor walks in with news that Cora is on her way to Storybrooke. Mr. Gold isn't concerned since he taught her all she knows, and he easily defeated her the last time. The Mayor leans in closer and motions to Belle. She tells him things are different this time because he has someone to lose.

Emma, Mary Margaret, Aurora, and Mulan trek through the forest and come up with a plan.

This is the super sophisticated plan—they set up another camp again! and prepare to let Aurora sleep... again!

Why did they leave the last camp?

When Mulan discovers Aurora is burned, she tries to convince her to stop. Aurora pulls away, adamant that this is her time to help the others—plus she likes all the lines and close ups she's been getting.

"We could run faster if you didn't have all this fabric!"
Henry prepares to fall asleep under the watchful gaze of David and the Mayor. Mr. Gold tells Henry a bedtime story full of special clues.

"Prince Charming and Snow White defeated Rumpelstiltskin by tricking him into using a quill full of magical ink from a octopus deep in the water, which was retrieved with the help of a mermaid."

*Takes deep breath*

Did you get all that?

I'm guessing it was cheaper for Mr. Gold to just say it instead of ABC hiring more actors and building an elaborate underwater set.

Emma paces worriedly as Aurora sleeps at the latest camp site.

These girls have set more fires than the dudes from Fahrenheit 451.

Among the roaring flames, Henry tries to yell the instructions about the ink, but the fire is so loud Aurora can't get the whole message. Aurora wakes up and finds herself in the middle of a zombie attack.

District 12 rules!!
Mary Margaret does her best Katniss impersonation to fight Cora's undead henchmen. Mulan has another plan and takes Aurora away speedy quick. But the zombies easily catch up, and kidnap Aurora.

For zombies, they move pretty fast.

Henry wakes up with a burn on his arm. David and the Mayor exchange a look that can only mean one thing—it's too dangerous for Henry to return, that or they're accusing the other of silent farting.

Aurora is kept prisoner in the pit. Cora brings in a meal and promises that she can bring Phillip's soul back. But Aurora is plucky with a capital 'P'. She refuses Cora's offer...and her plate of linguine with clam sauce.

A crow lands on Mary Margaret's shoulder with a message from Cora. Through the magic of inter-species dialect, Mary Margaret tells Emma and Mulan that Cora will kill Aurora if they don't bring the compass by nightfall. Mulan is indebted to Prince Philip, and has sworn to protect Aurora. But Emma isn't budging. Mary Margaret comes up with another plan—if she falls into a deep enough sleep, she can access the room.

Mr. Gold cures Henry's arm. David refuses to let Henry return to the room, and offers to go in his place.

Hook 'em, Danno!
Captain Sexy Eyes wakes up Aurora and helps her escape the pit. She's suspicious, but he tells her that she must find Emma, and once he steals the magic fairy dust from Cora, he will help them get back to Storybrooke on his ship.

The Mayor makes the sleeping potion for David. Henry enters while she's mixing and boiling, and they talk about how she hasn't been using magic...well, except for that time when she killed her dead lover. She promises Henry to never, ever, ever use magic again...well, right after this potion is done.

Mulan finds a poppy to crush into a sleeping potion for Mary Margaret.

The Mayor puts a drop of her potion on a spinning needle for David—I guess fairy tale characters like to do things the old fashioned way.

Mary Margaret takes the poppy concoction, expecting to meet Henry in the burning room.

Mr. Gold tells David that since this is his first time going under the sleeping curse, he won't wake up in the room, but will need to find it on his own. David wakes in a dark room lined with mirrors

Oh! He's in the Hall of Mystery in the basement of the Ministry of Magic. Ten points for Gryffindor!

Mary Margaret stands in the middle of the 'disco inferno' calling out Henry's name.

Bombs away!
David takes his sweet slow time staring at all the mirrors. Finally, like three years later, he realizes the floor is hot to the touch. He breaks through the tile and falls down through the ceiling of the burning room.

Suddenly...all at once...without if by magic, he and Mary Margaret see each other at the very same time. But the flames won't let the tragic lovers touch.
“You found me!”

“I will always find you!”

Blah, blah, blah...give the message already, freaks.

David tells Mary Margaret the jar of ink in Rumpelstiltskin's cell is powerful enough to defeat Cora. Mary Margaret realizes with horror that David has put himself into a coma on purpose. The only way to save him is with—say it with me—true love's kiss.

Hold on, wasn't he asleep for twenty eight years because of the curse? Whatever.

Mary Margaret wakes up and goes all blubbery as she tells Emma she has to get back to Storybrooke speedy quick to kiss David.

Um...that's the plan anyway, right?

Emma calms her down and reiterates the above logic, but uh-oh...where's Mulan?

Running through the forest to trade the compass for Aurora, that's where!

Is that a heart in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
Cora enters the pit and sees Captain Sexy Eyes. She prepares to pierce his heart with with his own hook, but he tells her there is a special gift for her inside his leathery man pouch.


Cora puts her hand inside his pouch and looks impressed. He's smug and tells her she can get everything she wants.

Gracious! This just turned PG-17. Damn that lucky, Barbara Hershey.

Mary Margaret finds Mulan and tackles her, but Aurora shows up before any hair pulling can begin. She tells them Captain Sexy Eyes let her go and can be trusted...

Cora holds an enchanted heart and mouths the words that Aurora speaks.


Hook, that sexy fella, got her literally. And now Cora controls Aurora.

Predictions for the next episode

  1. David makes less stupid mistakes while he's in his coma
  2. Belle enjoys her hamburger and decides to get a tattoo
  3. Cinderella and her Prince have worked enough back shifts at the cannery to put a down payment on an RV and they go camping at Storybrooke beach where the new lifeguard keeps running back into the water, insisting she's a mermaid
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    Thursday, 22 November 2012

    Busgirl Blues

    Hey folks,

    BUSGIRL BLUES is my YA contemporary romance novella that will be featured on wattpad in the new year.

    Sixteen year old, magazine quiz junkie, Kelsey Sinclair wants to make this summer unforgettable by (hopefully) seducing her secret crush, Blaine Mulder. Armed with romance advice articles, Kelsey tackles true love with scientific precision, including getting a job at the seaside restaurant that overlooks the yacht club where Blaine teaches sailing.

    However, visions of rendezvous on the beach are clouded when the new kitchen guy's laid back attitude and smouldering stare quickly get under her skin. With his renegade demeanour and unpredictable stunts, Luke is the opposite to Blaine's golden boy reputation.

    Determined to follow through with her original goal, Kelsey ignores her growing attraction to Luke, certain he's not the guy for her. But when she finally manages to get Blaine's attention, Kelsey worries the magazines are all wrong, and that sometimes the best matches are the ones you least expect.

    Monday, 19 November 2012

    Once Upon A Time, Season 2, Fanfiction episode "Splitting Heirs"

    Since there was no episode for November 19th, I wrote my own. Enjoy!
    Ruby takes on her wolf form and runs through the darkened woods of Storybrooke, relishing the feeling of the wind through her fur and the moss under her paws.

    She stops, tilts back her massive head, and fills her animal lungs, but before she can yelp out her own orchestra of yowls into the night air, a howl breaks the silence. Ruby whips her head around—she's not the only wolf in the forest tonight.

    Her nose picks up an unfamiliar scent, this is someone or something she's never met in Storybrooke. She begins to track down the mysterious beast. The camera focuses on her wolf eye.

    The camera pans back and we see Red snarling at Snow White and Granny. They quickly put the magical cloak over Red, bringing her back to her fully clothed human form. Snow White leads her away from the tree where Peter was chained just moments ago.

    Devastated, Granny explains Red's true identity. As the mob of villagers grows closer, Snow White takes Red and they disappear into the thick darkness. Granny faces the men and tells them the beast escaped. She points to the tree where Peter's ripped clothes lay strewn about.

    “See?” she says. “It was Peter all along. I had him trapped, but he turned under the full moon and fled. You'll never catch him now, he's probably half way across the valley.”

    The group scratches their heads, upset the hunt ended in such an unspectacular fashion. Granny urges everyone to the pub, promising that drinks are on her.

    God love that Granny, she knows how to work a crowd.

    Once the mob and their flickering torches disappear into the trees, Granny searches the ground around Peter's belongings. Her fingers curl around something cold. She picks up a slim silver whistle and tucks it into her fist.

    A woman enters Mr. Gold's shop. A crooked smile tugs at the corner of his mouth. “Well, this is a pleasure,” he says. “It's been a long time, Val. How's the salon doing these days?”

    She ignores his question and turns her head to the side scanning the rest of the shop, making sure they're alone. Her long blond braid snakes over her shoulder reaching the crook of her elbow. “I've been checking the lists of missing persons,” she says, her voice shaking. “But he's not there.” She tucks in her chin and demurely scans the glass counter, but her desperate eyes search in vain.

    “What you're looking for is not for sale,” Mr. Gold says. “But I might be willing to trade.”

    Her gaze snaps up. “Anything,” she offers.

    Mr. Gold leans in close, “I want the most powerful thing you possess.”

    A little girl sits in an elegant castle room as her mother stands behind, combing her hair. “Now, Valerie Ann Ella,” her mother begins. “You are a princess and must act accordingly.”

    Valerie makes a face and squirms on the velvet cushion. “It's not fair,” she pouts. “Fridolf gets to run and play outdoors while I'm stuck inside having my stupid hair pulled.”

    “It will not do you any good to compare yourself to your twin brother,” she orders, pinning an elaborate braid in place. “Besides, you should be grateful for the beautiful golden comb your father gave you.”

    “Fridolf got the better gift,” she rebuts. “Father said it can tame any beast and summon help no matter where you are.” She crosses her arms. “He's father's heir. Why isn't he the one suffering with lessons on how to be proper?”

    She pushes off the chair and goes to the window overlooking a grassy courtyard. A young boy with shaggy brown hair tumbles and plays with several dogs. He puts a small silver whistle to his lips, and the dogs immediately sit down at his feet.

    As if he can feel her stare, he looks up and a grin spreads across his face. “Vee!” she shouts. “Come down, I've found a new trail in the forest for us to explore!”

    With her mother shouting protests, Princess Valerie scampers down the stone steps and races off with her brother and their dogs.

    Granny sits inside her log cabin, rocking in her chair, missing Red. A knock at the door breaks her train of thought. Rumpelstiltskin waltzes in and waves his hand at the meagre fireplace making it roar to life.

    “Enjoying the quiet life? Must be a real change from locking up your grand daughter every month,” he chuckles.

    Granny's mouth is a tight line. “What do you want?”

    “I've come to collect of course!” He spins around and puts his arms out to the sides in a grand gesture. “I don't give out those magical cloaks for nothing. Thanks to me your Red can run around the countryside hiding her true self.”

    Granny hits him with a hard stare. “All I want is for her to be safe and happy. Thanks to you, she's on the run and away from her family...not exactly what you promised.”
    He cocks an eyebrow and holds out his hand, letting her know he's only here for one thing.

    Granny stomps her foot, making one of the floor boards lift up. She eases it back, and puts her hand inside. She pulls out a tiny box and hands it over. Rumpelstiltskin smiles and lifts the slim silver tube.

    “Pleasure doing business,” he bows. He pauses at the door, and takes in her lonely little room with it's tiny fire.

    “I feel as if she took my heart when she left,” Granny confesses.

    “The heart is irrelevant, Dearie. It's the soul that matters.”

    Valerie races ahead of Fridolf, her dress covered in mud. She laughs as he slips and trips with the dogs. She sprints to the garden where her parents, the King and Queen are waiting. Breathless, she collapses on the grass laughing and ignoring her mother's disapproving stare.

    Suddenly, Cora erupts into the garden in a swirl of purple smoke. Her eyes sweep across the garden, then zero in on Princess Valerie's mother. “Rapunzel! How dare you wear a Queen's crown!” she shrieks. “You are no more royalty than a toad in a well. It is my young daughter who is destined to be the great King's next bride someday, not your snivelling ragamuffin.”

    Valerie's father stands boldly in front of his family. “Your powers are useless here, witch,” he defies. “You locked her up once in a tower, but we outsmarted you. Blinded by the thorns, I still found her, and my newborn children. Her tears of joy healed my eyesight. Be gone,” he commands. “Your evil power will never be enough to break our hearts again.”

    Cora smiles, “How foolish of you to think it's your hearts I'm after.” Her gaze locks on Valerie. With a wave of her gloved hand, Cora sets the garden on fire. The castle explodes behind them. The Queen huddles over Valerie, trying to protect her. Another blast of wind and Valerie feels her mother's lifeless body fall away from and crumble to the ground beside her already dead father.

    Cora laughs and snatches up Valerie. “Your heart and soul with suffer with every breath you take,” she promises the young princess. Valerie lunges for her parents bodies, but Cora's hold is strong. She gallops away with Valerie over her lap.

    The last thing Valerie sees is Fridolf standing at the edge of the forest with his dogs, tears streaming down his face. She stares at him and knows he can read her face. Run, she tries to tell him, run back into the forest and hide...forever.

    Val returns to her shop—"Split Ends", Storybrooke's only beauty parlor. Ruby is waiting by the counter, pretending to check out the nail polish and asks for a trim. Valerie bites her lower lip, sensing that Ruby is lying. Ruby gets frustrated with Val's hesitation and blurts about her little run through the woods. She smiles widely and says. “I found him. He's alive!”

    From the street, Mr. Gold watches Val hug Ruby.

    A hooded figure enters a pub full of unsavory characters. A teen aged Valerie wipes her sweaty brow while evading the customers grimy hands. A toothless man behind the bar slaps down a bowl for her. She frantically spoons the mush into her mouth. He barks out an order, and nods to a table of leather clad thugs.


    “The Queen's guards,” he sneers in her face. “They show no mercy for scullery girls.”

    Valerie swallows the last of her pathetic supper and takes pewter cups of ale to the guards. One grabs her long blond hair and yanks her back. Suddenly, all their hands are pulling her closer, groping the tattered skirt and apron. She lets her arms go slack, pretending to give up, but before she can reach into the secret fold of her skirt, the hooded figure thrusts a knife into the air between the guards.

    Valerie takes her golden comb and swipes it along one of the guard's chin. A waterfall of hair grows like an unstoppable beard. The others are stunned as stumble and trip in the messy trap. But each time Valerie's comb touches them, hair springs forth, out of control. The hooded figure grabs Valerie. They race out of the pub, where a horse is waiting.

    “Who are you?” she asks breathlessly, tucking the golden comb back in her pocket. “Why did you save me?”

    He pulls back his hood and gives her a genuine smile, “My name is Peter,” he tells her.

    Val storms into Mr. Gold's shop and slams her golden comb down on his glass counter so hard the crystal mobile of unicorns hanging from the ceiling shakes. “Take this as a trade,” she starts. “Please, I'm begging you. Ruby says we're so close.” Her voice catches and the tears start to fall.

    Mr. Gold tilts his head. “We both know there is no magic left in that comb, Val.” He reaches under the glass and places a delicate bottle on the glass counter.

    “What's this?” she sniffs.

    “I need you to fill this for me...with your tears.” She reaches for the bottle, but he puts up a hand, stopping her. “Not tears of sadness...tears of joy.” He reads her expression and begins to explain. “People in this town are in a race to find magic. And the most powerful of all is love. Your father's blindness was cured by your mother's tears when she saw him stumble out of the forest, desperately looking for her.”

    Valerie sniffed again. “How do I know you won't create another horrible spell?”

    Mr. Gold holds up the bottle, “I know how it feels to be ripped apart from someone you love.”

    “And I'll cry tears of joy?” she asks guardedly.

    He reaches under the counter again, bringing out the small wooden box Granny hid under her floor. He opens it and hands her the small silver whistle.

    Val's eyes grow wide. She races out of the shop, her blond braid swinging from side to side. “You'll need a shovel,” he yells at her back.

    Peter and Valerie make a camp in the forest. He tells a fantastic tale of being lost in the woods last winter. He came upon a wolf, caught in a crude trap. Unable to let the magnificent beast suffer, he freed him and their shared body heat allowed them to survive the bitter night.
    In the morning, the wolf led him out of the forest. Peter felt badly for the creature who had a leather collar that was digging into it's flesh. When he cut away the binding, a silver whistle fell at his feet. The wolf then simply loped back into the forest.
    When Valerie gives him a sceptical look, he further explains about the night Red turned on him, but when he blew the silver whistle, it stopped her from attacking him. He barely managed to escape with only a few scratches, but dropped the whistle as he fled. When he finally returned, Granny told him that Red had run away for good.

    Since then, Peter's been searching for her. He's heard of a man who can grant any wish and he wants to find a cure. Valerie tells him about Cora destroying her family, and selling her off as a slave at the nearest village. She's tried to escape, but the woods are full of Ogres and ruthless renegades. Her only hope is that her twin brother is still alive.
    The Huntsman lets Snow White escape. He makes her a whistle out a stick and tells her to run deeper in to the forest. With his red eyed wolf by his side, he returns to the castle knowing he has to give the Evil Queen a fake heart.
    He kneels at the castle wall and stares into the red eye of the wolf, his only family since his own went up in flames. He ties the silver whistle around it's leather collar, “You have my soul,” he tells the wolf. “As long as you run free, so will I.”

    Val and Ruby stand at the edge of the forest as the full moon to comes out from behind the clouds. Val blows the silver whistle. Through the darkness the wolf with the red eye limps toward them. Ruby changes into her wolf form and joins the wolf as he leads them deeper into the forest.

    Peter and Valarie stand in front of a massive castle. The door opens and Belle lets them in. Rumpelstiltskin sits sideways on his chair letting one leg dangle over the golden armrest. Peter explains what they've come looking for.

    Rumpelstiltskin gives them a quest—locate a golden ball at the bottom of a well on the other side of the enchanted forest. If they return successful, he will give them their hearts content.

    Val finds the red eyed wolf lying on his side, his breathing is labored. Ruby begins to paw at the dirt, showing Val where to dig. The shovel breaks through the moist earth easily and Val soon feels the shovel hit something solid. She wipes away the dirt off the surface of the glass casket. Ruby yelps from above and jumps down into the grave in human form. She helps Val raise the lid.
    After months of searching, Peter and Valerie break through thick vines and find the well. It is a dark bottomless pit. Peter volunteers to go down. His voice echoes back up to her, then finally he yells out that he's found it. But before Valarie can pull him back up, a massive cloud engulfs the land, sending all the characters to Storybrooke.

    Mr. Gold finishes the shallow grave and wipes the dirt on his green apron. The glass coffin fits perfectly. He isn't sure the plan will work or if he even needs this to fulfil his master plan, but the unique casket will preserve the body for as long as he intends.

    He grabs his cane and hobbles out of the forest. He's almost run over by Sheriff Graham, looking wild and talking about a wolf he's seen in his dreams. Mr. Gold's eyes flick back to the secret grave and he says, “Don't you know that dreams are a memories of a previous life?”

    The red eyed wolf stumbles into Ruby's arms as she helps him lay over the body. “He's dying,” she tells Val. “This is his last promise, as the lone wolf from his pack...this is his duty.” She fixes Val with a steady gaze. “They share the same soul, their bond is stronger than Regina's magic. His heart was crushed, but it can beat again.”

    “He looks like he's sleeping,” Val cries, looking into the face of her long lost twin.

    Both women crouch down. The wolf instinctively crawls forward until his breath washes over Sheriff Graham's still face. “Blow the whistle again,” Ruby tells Val.

    With one last breath, the wolf closes it's red eye and slumps to the side. A second later, Sheriff Graham takes in a sharp breath and opens his eyes.

    The bell above the door to Mr. Gold's shop tinkles. Ruby walks in and puts a full jar of Val's joyful tears on the glass counter.

    “Does Storybrooke have a new Sheriff?” he asks, not looking up from his polishing.

    “He and Val have a lot of catching up to do,” she says, leaning on her hip. “Regina won't be so happy to know you've resurrected someone.”

    Mr. Gold only chuckles, “But it wasn't me, was it? I believe you and Val, and a certain loyal wolf can take credit for that.”

    Ruby starts to leave, but then she pauses.

    Mr. Gold finally looks up and meets her gaze. “Anything I can do for you?”

    “No,” Ruby switches weight between her feet a few times. “I just wanted to say it's cool how you helped Belle get the job at the library.”

    “Love is capable of many things, Ruby,” he says. “As long as the heart and soul are willing.”

    She frowns uncertain, and then leaves the shop.

    Mr. Gold looks down at the golden ball inside the polishing rag. He gently places it beside the spot where the whistle used to lay.

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