Monday, 30 January 2012

Once Upon A Time, Episode 11, Fruit of The Poisonous Tree or Bite From A Poisonous Viper


She's only thinking about those damn apples.
A recent storm has wrecked Henry's playground castle. Emma finds him under the structure, digging frantically. He shows her where he's hidden a rusty red box that has the story book safely inside. Henry tells Emma it's important to keep it hidden from the Evil Queen—and the viewers too, because then we'd know all the stuff and that would kill the suspense.

Emma talks with Mary Margaret in the diner/pub/laundromat. But Mary Margaret cuts the conversation short when she gets a booty text from David. Meet at our place. I'm guessing it's the Troll Bridge.

Sidney Glass (the magic mirror) shows up drunk and tells Emma he's been fired as Editor from the news paper because he uncovered a dirty secret about the Mayor. He asks if she wants to help him reveal the Mayor's master plan of destruction by breaking into her secret files. Emma refuses, knowing that as Sheriff, she has to at least appear like she's following the law.

The next time we see Sidney he's all funked out in eyeliner, gold jewelry and bright colored clothes. I guess he's going to an Adam Lambert concert. But wait! He's inside a pillow filled room.

Ah, he's the Genie. But if he's a Genie, how does he end up in the mirror? I'm guessing we'll find out.

With a puff of smoke the Genie appears on a beach in British Columbia, Canada (it's cheaper to film up here). Anyway, we see that it was a King who rubbed the lamp, and he listens patiently to all the wish rules, like no wishing for more wishes, that kind of thing.

The King is a content man, and says he already has everything he needs. Seriously? Not even an ice cream cake? Come on. Everybody loves an ice cream cake!

The King becomes concerned when the Genie tells him granting wishes for losers for thousands of years has been a real drag. The King then wishes for the Genie's freedom.

Sidney Glass, sort of.
Kind of like Disney's version of Aladdin, but backwards.

Before the King makes his last wish, the Genie warns him wishes come with a price—but no money back guarantee. The King refuses the last wish but instead grants it to the Genie. The Genie tells him his only desire is to find true love; that and a pair of shoes without pointy toes.

The King takes the Genie to his castle and introduces him to his daughter, Snow White, and his wife, the Evil Queen. Except no one knows she's evil yet, so she's just the Queen. The Genie is smitten.

Henry's castle gets torn down. Project permits move fast in Storybrooke. He's upset to find the book has been dug up and is missing. The Mayor arrives and Emma gets all defensive saying she just destroyed the thing Henry loves the most. METAPHOR WARNING. The Mayor says even though he loves it, it can still hurt him.
Emma is super mad and calls Sidney, saying she's ready to bring down the Mayor.

Mary Margaret meets David at the bridge. Toldja! He has a romantic picnic set up for her. They embrace and he tells her they'll figure something out tomorrow. Translation, he won't tell his wife. I'm starting to dislike the cowardly David.

Sidney tells Emma the Mayor stole fifty thousand dollars from the town finances. He encourages her to use her illegal bails bondsman skills, but again Emma says she has to play by the rules.

The Evil Queen watches a royal banquet as the King bestows praise to Snow White, proclaiming that she, just like her dearly departed mother, is the fairest in all the land.

Oh dear, the Evil Queen looks like Kim Kardashian the day after her wedding—pathetic and disenchanted.

She runs out to look at the moon, and of course spend time with the frickin' apple tree. The smitten Genie follows and tries to comfort her. The Queen tells him that no matter how much she does for the King, he will always love his first wife more. The Genie gives her a mirror and says she is fairest in the land.

Fair as in hot, not fair as in plays by the rules.

Emma and Sidney go over documents in Mary Margaret's apartment. She tells them it's okay to do something bad for a good reason. Like, say for instance, dating a married man who you once had a child with in a far away land.

Sidney tells Emma she has to be stopped. They confront the Mayor and she's cool as a cucumber. Sorry, but any incriminating documents got destroyed in the fire that Mr. Gold set so Emma could get elected Sheriff.

Isn't that convenient.

Emma leans over the desk and says, “Yeah, we've got nothing.” But she actually planted a bug. Now they'll get to hear whatever the Mayor does in her office. (Insert fart joke here).

The King is upset and shows the Genie the Queen's diary. He's found out she's in love with another man. Okay, does he read her diary every night? This is so weird. Why would he do that?

The King realises he can't make her happy, but he also feels betrayed. He tells the Genie that love makes people do crazy things. It also makes them write silly love songs. But what's wrong with that? I'd like to know.

He asks the Genie to find out the identity of the man in the diary. The Genie looks in the mirror. Oh! Here he is, staring back at me!

Emma and Sidney eavesdrop as the Mayor discusses a money drop off with the city's stolen funds. They follow her that night. They're right on her tail, should catch her any minute....and the brakes don't work.

Smash! One of the million thousand trees in Storybrooke dies.

Sidney checks the car and says the brakes have been tampered with. Mr. Gold hobbles out from behind a tree carrying a briefcase. He tells them everything comes with a price. Yes, even wishes.

He explains he was meeting the Mayor. She bought a piece of his land. Mr. Gold then gives them another pearl of wisdom and says that emotional entanglements lead to dangerous paths. Which is ironic for a man hobbling around the woods in the dark.

The Genie waits at the apple tree humming 'tie a yellow ribbon...' And now this song is going through my head.

The Evil Queen's father brings terrible news that she's in the dungeon. He gives the Genie a box and a creepy looking key. He tells the Genie it will give her freedom.

Emma and Sidney break into the Mayor's office setting off the alarm. She hacks into the computer and quickly copies and prints the exact files they needed.

Isn't that convenient.

Emma starts opening drawers, looking for Henry's book, but all she finds is a large key ring filled with the above mentioned creepy keys. The Mayor shows up and Emma doesn't miss a beat when she covers her skinny jeans butt by saying the alarm alerted her to the break in, and as Sheriff, she had to respond.

SMOOTH. It's almost like someone wrote it for her and she's just saying lines.

Back in the dungeon, the Evil Queen is doing hard time adorned in her jewels and gowns. She tells the Genie her love grows stronger for him. The Genie offers her the box. She uses the creepy key and lifts open the lid. Inside are two obvious computer generated snakes.

But these vipers are special. The Genie notices they are native to his homeland. They stand and calmly discuss how their deadly venom can kill within only one bite. This is her freedom? Death? I smell a rat.

The Evil Queen talks about embracing death as her freedom and slowly—no wait much slower than you're imagining—reaches her hand toward the vipers. But the Genie grabs her hand and suggests if the King happened to know hypothetically speaking, she would be released from the dungeon. Tearfully, the Evil Queen hugs him.

Henry writes down as much as he can remember from book. The stranger/writer/motorcycle guy shows up and tells Henry he's a writer. Henry questions why he's in Storybrooke and the stranger says, “for stuff.” And then he leaves.

Emma learns the Mayor has plans for some kind of building...a castle maybe? Sidney tries to convince Emma they need to alert the town. He shows her pictures he secretly took of her and Henry at the playground. The Mayor had him follow Emma's every move. She destroyed the castle on purpose because it was something they shared.

The town meeting begins and Emma charges in announcing the Mayor has been taking funds to build a mansion in the forest. The people 'oh' and 'ah' like they're watching Wheel of Fortune.

Emma calls her a thug. Snap!

The crowd of people, who are really crowd people in fairytale land, gasp and 'oh my'.

But the Mayor is prepared with a power point presentation, and shows plans of a castle playground to be built in the woods for all the children to play safely. Does that line make anyone else uncomfortable?

Ew. Dateline Predator alert.

The Genie stands at the foot of the King's bed and opens the box of deathly freedom, unleashing the snakes. And since they're from his homeland, and he still has a little bit of power left, he gives the international snake sign for 'bite the King'.

The King uses his last breath saying he should have used his last wish. No kidding, brother. Seriously, would an ice cream cake lead to this? I don't think so.

Clearly not concerned with death and dignity, the Genie confesses he's the guy the Queen is in love with but then asks the King for forgiveness. Dude, you deserve what's coming.

Mr. Gold tells Emma she'll never take down the Mayor without his help. Emma refuses then begins to trade “Oh yeahs!” with the Mayor.

“Oh yeah! I know you broke into my office that night!”

“Oh yeah! I know you messed with my brakes so I would hit a tree and die. There are frickin' trees everywhere in this town?”

The Mayor threatens Emma with a restraining order saying that Emma doesn't get to see Henry unless she okays it first.

Dear ABC, didn't we go over this during the Jiminy Cricket episode? Check it out.

We see Henry and other random kids (who are random peasant kids in fairytale land) are playing at the miraculously finished playground, far away from anything. Perfect for kidnapping. Dateline *cough* Predator. 

Emma sits in her car and uses the walkie talkie to tell Henry that she has to stay away for a bit, but promises to keep looking in Storybrooke for the story book. Henry thinks it's probably missing forever.

Gee, yeah, probably. Now what can they do?

Hmm...someone is breaking the lock of a rusty red box. Hey! It's the stranger/writer/motorcycle guy. *Yells 'Plagerism'*.

Emma meets Sidney at the diner/laundromat/pub. They clink glasses promising to keep fighting the Mayor.

When the Genie tells the Queen she is now free, she gives him the news flash that the guards identified the vipers that killed the King are from his homeland, and that he has to leave or risk death.

She got all that while still in her dungeon?

Dear ABC, oh...never mind.

The Genie realises he was set up by the Evil Queen and her father.
The Genie says she is his true love, and that they will always be together. He holds up the lamp and takes the final wish to always look upon her face.

NO!!! Well, he had it coming. Screaming, he wakes up in the mirror.

Sidney visits the Mayor and hands over a tape recorded conversation he just had with Emma. They're in cahoots. Emma is still under surveillance.

Predictions for next episode. David tells Mary Margaret he will leave his wife just as soon as they use up their airmiles points. The writer/stranger/motorcycle guy will go to the pub/diner/laundromat and say three ambiguous sentences to Ruby/Emma/Henry.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

What's Your Story?

Are you worried that your story is so totally awesome and unique you don't even want to breathe a word about your query because someone will take your idea it's just that amazing?

Well, cool your heels sister, chances are your completely original, never-been-seen-before-idea, has already been written.

RELAX. Apparently every story is basically a remake. There is a common belief that every story ever written falls into one of seven categories.

  1. Tragedy. Where the hero with a fatal flaw meets a tragic end.
  2. Comedy. Not necessary a thigh slapping, laugh fest, but always a happy ending, usually of the romantic persuasion.
  3. Overcoming the Monster.
  4. Voyage and Return.
  5. Quest. Ah yes, it is the journey and not the destination that propels the plot forward.
  6. Rags to Riches.
  7. Rebirth. This is where the main character has an epiphany and discovers a new meaning of living.
I tend to agree with this list. But then why do we keep writing the same stories over again?

Probably for the same reason musicians keep writing songs with the same notes that Bach and Beethoven used. And the same reason fashion designers come out with new ways to wear pants and jackets each season.

The theme may be the same, but the characters, settings, and dialogue are different. Every story is a window display but how you dress up the mannequin makes all the difference.

Let's look at the list again. I've put a classic and contemporary novel beside each one to demonstrate how wonderfully different two of the same story can be.

  1. Tragedy. Macbeth by Shakespeare. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  2. Comedy. Emma by Jane Austen. When It Happens by Susane Colassanti
  3. Overcoming the Monster. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
  4. Voyage and Return. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll. Reckless by Cornelia Funke
  5. Quest. Lord of The Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare
  6. Rags to Riches. Cinderella by Brothers Grimm. The Fortunes of Indigo Skye by Deb Caletti
  7. Rebirth. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver.

What theme does your story fall into? Get any new ideas for your MC? Will they meet a tragic end or have a happy romantic ending?

Next Monday I'll be blogging the latest episode of Once Upon A Time.


Monday, 23 January 2012

Once Upon A Time, Episode 10, 7:15 or better title, Nothing Much Happens

She is the key to finding Schmexy!
Little Red Riding Hood is going through the blue woods! Hooray, Ruby finally gets some air time. We all know she has a wolf in her story. Who else has a special connection to wolves? Yes, Schmexy! I'm so excited.

The episode begins with a close up of the strangers mysterious suitcase. Henry is curious about this new development and begins a polite but intrusive interrogation. The stranger says he came to Storybrooke because there's something he needs to do here.

Easy on the details, man. I can only type so fast.

It begins to thunder. Storm's a comin' folks. A-ha! The box is a weather maker. 

Mary Margaret rushes from her apartment to wait at the pub/diner/laundromat with a book. She glances at the clock. It's 7:15.

Ahhhh. Ooooh. Something happens at this time that is very important or else the writers wouldn't have given this episode such a lame title.

Enter David (Prince Charming). He orders two coffees and notices Mary Margaret pretending to read. He tells her he's on his way to his job at the animal shelter. Yes! Go talk to the wolf about Schmexy.
They smile and look goofy at each other for a few minutes. She watches him take a coffee to his wife, patiently waiting in the car.

Ugh. Oh yeah, Catherine.

Emma shows up and says she's acting like a stalker. Mary Margaret confesses she comes in everyday at the same time, because that's when he regularly gets his coffee. She looks pitiful and says love is the worst and wishes there was a magic cure.

Did somebody say wish?

Snow White is hiding in the bushes with a bow and arrow about to take out a peacock, but she's no Katniss Everdeen and before she can fire a shot, the bird gets frightened away by Little Red Ridding Hood (Ruby/Red). Really? Not Scarlet.

Anyway, Red has a basket of goodies for her friend, Snow White. Can you guess what I'm thinking? Yes! Where's the big bad wolf that will lead us to the Sheriff and a compelling plot?

Red tells Snow White that Prince Charming still plans to marry King Midas' daughter. Snow White is visibly upset and wishes she could forget her true love. Red looks uneasy and tells her there is a man who grants anything you wish for, but she is scared to tell his name.

Snow White reminds Red, “I helped you when no one else would.” I have a feeling we should remember this little tidbit for future episodes. Let's file this away. Click. Done.

Phantom of the Opera.
Snow White rows a wooden dory in a dark and gloomy swamp and meets Rumpelstiltskin on what looks like the set of Phantom of the Opera. He declares she really is the fairest of them all. She asks him to cure her broken heart.

He gives her a vile of swamp water infused with one of her hairs. Ew. If she drinks the potion, she'll forget Prince Charming. He tells her love has killed more than any other disease.

Um..I thought it was high blood pressure.

He asks for one of her hairs in return. Again, lets just file this away for later. Click. Done.

Mary Margaret bumps into Catherine at the corner store as she's buying a pregnancy test. Oh dear. That means Prince Charming has been giving her the royal treatment. While Mary Margaret fights the urge to not have a temper tantrum in the aisle at the unfairness of life, the Mayor sneaks around a gum display and warns her to be discrete because their lives are private.

What an annoying witch/busybody! I hate her.

Prince Charming stands on the balcony looking for Lauren. Sorry, I mean he's looking 'forlorn'. The King confronts him about his love for Snow White. As future King, Prince Charming has to forget her and marry Midas' daughter and to love only her. The wealth and safety of the kingdom depend on it.

Yeah, because every royal wedding has been steeped in true love. *rolls eyes* 

But Prince Charming has a plan. He sends a letter with a dove. Dude, you killed a Dragon! Take your sword and ride into the night and find her.

Mary Margaret walks along the forest—Storybrooke is covered in trees—she finds a dove ensnared in a trap. Since she is a friend of all birds, except peacocks apparently, she drives directly to the ANIMAL SHELTER!

Excellent! Find the wolf with the freaky eyes. He will lead you to Schmexy.

What? A girl can dream, right?

David is standing beside an empty fish tank (it's an animal shelter not the dentist office!). The vet, in an obvious metaphor on the writers part, explains the dove needs to find her own flock she has migrated with or else she will die alone.

Mary Margaret is determined to return to the forest and reunite the dove with the others, who unbeknownst to Mary Margaret, ditched this dove on purpose. David reminds her (and us) there's a storm a coming. She says the dove doesn't deserve to be alone and leaves humming, Beyonce's "Put A Ring On It."

Emma has traded her leather jacket for rain wear, and is packing enough gear into the trunk of the police car for a rescue at sea. The Mayor asks about the mysterious stranger, citing there's something familiar about him. When the Mayor mentions he was chatting up Henry, Emma gets all mother bear and promises to check him out.

Snow White is about to drink her own hair tonic when a dove miraculously delivers the hand written note from Prince Charming. Like the owl post in Harry Potter! He asks her to come to him if she still loves him, and he will marry her instead.

Why not send a message back with the dove?

Mary Margaret is driving in a horrible rainstorm to deliver the dove back to her migrating flock. Stupid.

Snow White sneaks into the castle but is caught by one of the guards and thrown into the dungeon. Desperate to go to her true love, Snow White tries unsuccessfully to scale the rock wall only to be laughed at by another prisoner.

It's Grumpy! As she tries to pick the lock, Grumpy tells her he was in love and worked at a diamond mine but got framed for stealing jewels. His true love left him and he went to jail.

Fear not, because everyones favorite dwarf arrives to save the day. Of course I'm talking about Stealthy. Stealthy? There is no dwarf named Stealthy. What is this, the Smurfs?

Stealthy is true to his name and frees them both.

Mary Margaret falls down the side of a cliff leaving the dove trapped in the cage, forever. Way to go, dumb-dumb, now you're both going to die.

But Stealthy isn't the only one saving the day. Through the miracle of predictable plot sequence, David shows up, rescues her, and leads her to shelter.

Back in the catacombs of he castle, Snow White and the two dwarfs split up, resulting in Stealthy being killed by a castle guard.

And then there were seven.

The King orders Grumpy's death, but Snow White runs into the scene and offers herself in his place.

David and Mary Margaret find an abandoned cabin with three bowls of porridge waiting on the table.

Bears! Run!

Soon he has a fire going, but she's still shivering, and rebuffing any effort he makes to warm her up, know what I mean. He stupidly asks what's bothering her.

Mary Margaret confesses her feelings for him haven't changed. David tells her he only gets coffee at 7:15 because she's always there reading her book. They stare at each other, lean close...and almost kiss.

Mary Margaret pulls back and tells him about Catherine buying the 'pee on a stick test'. David is clearly shocked.

Emma questions the new mysterious man about his box. Unfazed, he tells her he's going to make her wait and gives her a speech about carrying it to strange and mysterious places. This guy is like the Ring Master at a flea circus. I bet that frickin' box is empty.

Emma agrees to let him buy her a drink, and he opens up the box and shows her a typewriter.

He's a writer. Poor bugger. I can only imagine the amount of form rejections that are in his future. He leaves the pub/diner/laundromat, giving Emma a rain check on the drink.

His name should be Slick.

Mary Margaret sees the rain has stopped and takes the dove outside as David follows behind trying to get a few words in. Amazingly, the flock is waiting. Mary Margaret releases the dove and she flies into the sky, reunited with her family.

Without warning, Katniss fires an arrow into the flock taking down several doves for a nice shish kabob. If they were Mockingjays she would have let they them fly to Florida.

David tells Mary Margaret that even though his wife might be preggers, he's still in love with her.

We cool? Good. Let's make out.


Mary Margaret pushes him away and takes the high road—literally, the rain washed out the lower pathway. She tells him they have to forget each other.

The King has Snow White in his clutches and talks about the 'love disease' (otherwise known as herpes). He tells her she has to lie to Prince Charming about her true feelings or the King will have Prince Charming killed.

Let's not forget this is the dad who sent his first son to a death fight with a dragon.

Snow White shows up in his bed chamber in order to tell him personally she doesn't love him.

Like me, he finds it hard to believe she came all the way and broke into the castle only to tell him, no thanks, let's just be friends. Especially done up in her leather pants and fur jacket, if she's not goign to a Black Eyed Peas concert, she's looking for love. He takes her by the shoulders, leans in...and nothing. These two have had so many 'almost kisses'.

Catherine confides to David her test was negative. She wants them to see Dr. Hopper for marriage counselling. He agrees and I'm super confused.

David again stays with his wife, and instead of going out every morning, he decides to make his own damn coffee.

Snow White leaves the castle crying. She's joined by Grumpy and...well, you know the others. Together, they mourn the Smurf that no one knew about. She shows them the elixir that will take away her pain. Grumpy advices her not to take it, even though he's lost someone too.

He doesn't want his pain erased. He needs pain. It makes him who he is. It makes him Grumpy.

Hmm, I wonder what makes Happy, happy?

Grumpy convinces her to put the bottle away for another day, and to just whistle while you work.

Mary Margaret is staring at the clock in her apartment... 7:15. Emma is there holding her hand. Be strong, girl.

Beyonce enters and sings, "To the left, to the left... "

Prince Charming rides on a horse and finds a little cottage. Red comes out of the thrushes like she's been combing the area for baby Moses. She tells him Snow White is shacking up with a bunch of little dudes. Prince Charming leaps back on his horse, determined to find her.

Grumpy enters the cottage with the great news that Prince Charming called off his wedding. Snow White is laying on her birch tree, queen size bed looking more like a pampered goddess than the housekeeper. She stares back confused. Grumpy sees the empty bottle of elixir.

Mary Margaret and David still end up getting coffee at the same time. What can he possible say to make her kiss him? He's already told her he loves her, and that they're meant to be together. Everything in his life feels fake except when he's with her. But she's always pushed him away!!

David finally tells her the four words every girl wants to hear her true love say.

My wife isn't pregnant.

Hallmark couldn't have phrased it any better.

Mary Margaret and David start making out in the middle of Storybrooke. Um...hello, Prince Cheating.

The Mayor glares at the couple from her car, and I have a feeling Mary Margaret is going to get an apple pie bomb in the mail.

Predictions for next episode: The stranger sells his typewriter to Mr. Gold for a lock of Snow White's hair. Henry walks around with his backpack but skips school anyway. The Mayor considers wearing pink, but then decides to keep going with the gray/black/white thing.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

My Secret Weapon Against Bad Reviews

As long as writers put out stories, reviewers will be...well, reviewing. I'm not published (yet), but I'm already prepared for what will inevitably happen. The Dreaded Snarky Review.

This is my plan. I will never read a book review. I also have a plan for avoiding shark attacks. I stay out of the water.

I've learned that compliments are nice to hear, but it's the negative comment that follows you around like a shadow. No matter how many times to try to shake it off, it's always there. You could receive loads of lovely reviews, but it will be the one criticism you obsess over.

At least, that's the way I know I'll react.

My mom after reading a bad review (not exactly as shown).

However, I'm a curious girl so I also have a backup plan—my mom. She'll read all the reviews and be my filter, only telling me the good stuff. My mom says things like, “...every Tom, Dick and Harry...the much does it cost to send this by e-mail?”

She's not exactly proficient with a computer, so I don't have to worry about her going all ferocious mother bear by responding with a totally embarrassing post if someone dares to say my book isn't spectacular.

The purpose of the book review is to give an opinion. It's not about advising the author how to change their writing style or how the story arc could have been tighter, that's the job of agents and editors.

Writing a thoughtful review is hard work. The reviewer shouldn't have to worry about how the author is going to react because it's not for the author, it's for other readers.

If a review is cruel and unnecessarily demeaning, then it will be obvious that it's not a dependable review, but rather an excuse to make a few jokes at someone's expense. This speaks for itself and retaliating will only bring more attention to the nasty review.

But then again, there's no such thing as bad publicity, right?

Finally, it's naive to think everyone will LURV your book. Of course there will be bad reviews. You just have to be ready to handle the good with the bad, which is important because you don't want every Tom, Dick and Harry to read your ranting rebuttal on the interweb...FOREVER.


Next Monday I'll be blogging the latest episode of Once Upon A Time.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Once Upon A Time, Episode 9, True North

As Henry reads a comic book, two kids browse through the corner store. Hold on. Corner store? I thought Ruby's pub/diner/laundromat was the only store in town.

The girl talks with Henry, and he gets all red faced and smiley. She keeps his attention as her brother hides items in Henry's backpack. When they begin to leave the store, the pharmacist accuses the girl and her brother of shoplifting with Henry as an accomplice.

Back in fairytale land, where forests are abundant—seriously, everyone's story takes place in a forest—we see a woodsman chopping down a tree. The shoplifters are actually Hansel and Gretel. Their kindly hardworking father tells them to collect firewood.

They're in the forest, it should take them two minutes. The father gives them a compass, telling them that families should always find a way to each other. They should also find a way share the bathroom in the morning, but that's another story.

Once the kids have found a few twigs they hustle back, only to realise their father has vanished. The Evil Queen's carriage almost runs them over, and one of her guards breaks the compass. This compass is getting a lot of air time.

Do you know what else used to get air time? The Sheriff, that's who.

The kids manage to fight off the guards and struggle with the Evil Queen. She likes their tenacity and fighting spirit. She decides not to kill them, but instead gives them a quest, which is different than giving them a guest.

The Mayor storms into the corner store after the pharmacist called her about Henry having a backpack full of unpaid goods. I can't help but notice he has a head cold. Would you trust a pharmacist with a head cold? Come on, he's surrounded by medication?!

The Mayor convinces the congested pharmacist that Henry is innocent. Sheriff Emma shows up and questions the kids. They say their parents are poor and will be ashamed. Emma reaches for the toothpaste they tried to steal, and furrows her pretty brow. Wow, she's so gullible.

The Evil Queen, looking like she's going to a Prince concert, is wearing her best 'Purple Rain' tribute outfit complete with a tiny black cowboy hat. She uses Hansel and Gretel in one of her grand schemes. If they complete a task for her, she promises to find their father.

Didn't we just establish this in the last scene? Dear ABC, You're giving me cramps.

I guess they paid for that green screen and they're going to use it as much as possible, damnit!

Emma drives the kids to a nondescript house. The girl feeds her another story about shy/poor/invisible parents. Emma lets them out of the car, and then pulls away.

Why is she not following them inside? Because she's not wearing the right leather jacket today, that's why.

The kids duck away to their real hideout—some creepy basement where they film all the horror movies. They hear someone upstairs and go to investigate, which is the opposite of what happens in the horror movies.

A-ha! Emma confronts them and the girl confesses they don't have any parents.

Emma brings them to Mary Margaret's. School records show their mother died, and that the dad is unknown. Adament about keeping them away from Social Services, Emma pleas with Mary Margaret to keep them at the apartment while she looks for the father.

When Emma tries to get a copy of their birth certificates, she finds out the Mayor has already taken them, and has called Social Services. She informs Emma the brother and sister will be separated, and taken to Boston where lovely group homes await them.

Emma refuses, but the Mayor tells her as Sheriff it's her job, and also, she's the only one who can leave Storybrooke.

Hit the pause button. Dear ABC, If Emma's the only one who can leave, how can the kids leave too?

At the delicious gingerbread house of the Blind Witch, the Evil Queen tells Hansel and Gretel to get the black satchel inside, but warns them NOT to eat anything. I see nothing that could possible go wrong.

Henry visits Emma at the Sheriff's office telling her the true identity of Hansel and Gretel. He reminds her that no one comes or leaves Storybrooke, so their missing father must be in the town somewhere.

Has anyone checked the pub/diner/laundromat?

Henry sheepishly asks about his biological father. Emma gives him a small smile and says she met him working the night shift at a diner. He was training to be a fireman, and came in every late shift for pie. They had some fun, but then he moved on with his career, and she got in some trouble and went to jail. After she found out she was pregnant, she tried to find him and learned he died saving a family from a fire.

Hmm. This sounds too good. I think she's lying.

After lying, oops I mean talking to Henry, she gets an idea and asks the kids if they have a keepsake from their mother. Gretel gives her the broken compass. Hansel doesn't have much to say. In fact the compass probably got a bigger paycheck than he did for this episode.

Quietly, Hansel and Gretel break into the Blind Witch's house. Holy gumdrops! It looks like Willy Wonka threw-up all over the place. Every surface is covered in cupcakes, cookies and sugared candy. As the Blind Witch sleeps by the fire, Gretel reaches for the black satchel just as Hansel picks up a cupcake piled with purple frosting. Again with the color purple, I'm sensing a Prince theme.

He takes a bite and the Blind Witch wakes up, showing us her outrageous glaucoma infliction. The fireplace erupts in flames, illuminating a pile of tiny human bones.

Emma goes to the pawn shop and shows Mr. Gold the compass. He examines the piece bestowing the quality of the crystal. He tells her it was actually bought in his shop by a Mr. Michael Tillman.

Funny, I was expecting something like Mr. Bob Axeman.

Emma finds out Mr. Michael Tillman is the town mechanic. He shrugs saying it was only a one night stand on a camping trip. He says he's barely managing the shop, and can't afford to raise two kids.

What do you expect? Everyone in town goes to the pub/diner/laudromat.

She tells him they have been alone since their mom died, and how they'll be split up if he doesn't claim custody. Unmoved, he tells her he can't give them what they need.

Mary Margaret is making cookies with the kids and Henry. No one goes to school when the script doesn't allow for it. Emma tells Mary Margaret the father doesn't want the kids and confesses she told Henry a bogus story about his real father being a hero.

Yup, saw that coming.

Inside the gingerbread house of doom, Gretel manages to steal the key from the Blind Witch. She tosses it to Hansel who unlocks the cage, and helps his sister push the Blind Witch into the stove. Gretel grabs the satchel and they both escape, leaving the Witch to burn in her oven.

Hmm, that was easy.

The Evil Queen eagerly takes the black satchel, her eyes growing wide as she reaches inside.

What is it? A new pony tail clip on? A spell to bring back the Sheriff?

It's a red apple. Yes, THAT red apple.

The Evil Queen admits to Hansel and Gretel that she's sent many children into the Blind Witche's house, but they are the only ones to have escaped. She admires their cunning and offers them a place in her palace. Hansel thinks having his own room with cable and Nintendo Playstation sounds pretty cool, but Gretel stands her ground, saying they would never want to live in a horrible place with her, and that their father will come for them.

Emma puts the brother and sister in the car to go to Boston. Henry pushes away from the Mayor and tells Emma if the kids leave Storybrooke something bad will happen. Something bad has already happened, Henry. The Sheriff died!

I need closure and maybe some therapy.

As they approach the town limits, the car breaks down. Wow! *rolls eyes sarcastically* I did not see that coming.

The Evil Queen holds the apple, looking in her magic mirror and sees Snow White with the dwarfs. I'm guessing she found them with the help of her whistle made by Schmexy Huntsman *sniff*. The guards bring in the long lost father, bound as a prisoner. The Evil Queen asks him to explain why the kids refused her. He tells her because they are family, and family always finds one another.

The Evil Queen doesn't like all this talk of loyalty to family. She has so many layers. Let's not forget she ends up cutting her father's heart out.

Hansel and Gretel wake up in the forest, convinced the Evil Queen has set them free. The compass is broken, but Gretel smiles and takes her brother's hand as they walk deeper into the woods. A wolf is howling in the distance. Quick! Find the wolf and follow him...all the way to the animal shelter in Storybrooke.

Emma stands by the stalled police car and calls for a lift. Guess who shows up?

No. Not the Sheriff.

The broken compass begins to spin and points in the direction of the tow truck. Hooray, it's the woodcutter/mechanic. Emma confesses she lied about the car, and that she wanted him to see the kids before he made his choice.

He realises she's taking them to Boston to live in some horrible Charles Dickens inspired orphanage. And through the miracle of television, he sidesteps the slew of paper work and red tape, and decides to keep them.

Emma returns to Mary Margaret's apartment and talks about finding her own birth parents. She mentions Henry's theory that they're actually mother and daughter. They laugh about it because that's as crazy as some guy getting sole custody of two kids he can't even prove are his.

Mary Margaret sees Emma's baby blanket. *Gasp* Will she remember? She lifts it to her face, takes a deep breath...and puts it back down.

Emma is sitting in the police car, reading through old news paper clippings. Henry shows up with pie for her because that's what he does best. He reminds her that she's changing things in town, and they're closer to breaking the Evil Queen's curse.

Hello...what's this? A stranger arrives on a motorcycle. He takes off his helmet and looks a little like Schmexy, except he's not, you know, so I don't like him.

He says he's just looking for a bed. Emma points him in the direction of Granny's Bed and Breakfast. I'm thinking once he gets a look at Ruby in her short shorts, he'll pick bed over breakfast. As he races off, the camera spends a little extra time on his old fashioned suitcase strapped to the back of his bike.

Quick! What fairy tale character had an old fashioned suitcase?

The mysterious music starts, and Henry reminds Emma, and us, that strangers don't come to Storybrooke.

Who is the stranger? The Pied Piper? Jack from the Bean Stalk? The Muffin Man?

And what about the pharmacist with the runny nose? Not a very good cover...Sleeping Beauty. *wink*

Who do you think the stranger is?


Thursday, 12 January 2012

No Faking Allowed

The elusive YA voice—when done right it's effortless to read (Judy Blume). But done poorly it's as awkward and ineffective as parents trying to use slang to talk to their teens.

You can't fake voice in YA.

It's essential to keep you MC's voice contemporary yet timeless.

FOREVER, by Judy Blume, was published in 1975 but Kathy and Michael still sound and act like teens today.

I hit pay dirt the other day when I found my diary from high school. I remember being a fairly happy, well adjusted teen, but holy sweet fancy molasses!

Imagine my surprise when I read my sixteen year old self begin each entry with I hate ___. The blank was usually filled in with one of the following: hair, clothes, parents, school, my nose!, and basically life.

At sixteen I was convinced everything in the above list would be solved by having a boyfriend. I also drew a lot of a lot. Weird. I don't remember them being that important to me.

Some parts of the diary are hilarious. Take my word for word account of my secret crush actually asking me out. I transcribed it exactly, including all the exclamation marks and poor grammar.

I was at my locker getting ready to leave for Halifax, thinking I had to hurry because my mom would be there to pick me up soon, when I heard someone behind me say hi. I turned around and it was HIM!



“Why all the books?”

“Oh, I'm leaving early with my mom.” Oh my God, I can't believe he knew where my locker was. I hope my hair looks okay.

“Are you doing anything Saturday night?”

Oh my God! He's asking me out!! I wonder if we'll go see a movie, I wonder if he'll pay, I wonder if we'll go out for supper, I wonder if I'm if I'm taking too long to answer.

“Oh yeah,” I say. “I am. I have to babysit at nine.”

“Oh gosh, that's too bad.”

STUPID BABYSITTING!!!! Wait! We have Wednesday off.

“Um...we have no school on Wednesday, there's an in-service.”

“Oh, I didn't know that. Want to do something Tuesday night?”

Oh no, my first date, my first kiss, my first boy I bring home to mom and dad. I can't put myself and (name has been removed to protect the innocent) through all that agony. Save yourself while you can!!!

“Yeah, sure,” I say.

“Okay, talk to you Monday.”



Not exactly riveting dialogue, but that's exactly how I wrote it, so I'm sure it's close to the real thing.

As I continued to read my diary, I found some parts upsetting. I was so selfish and cruel in my opinions. I wanted to reach into the pages and give my teen self a shake and say, “Snap out of it!” like Cher in Moonstruck.

But that's the reality of being a teenager. I'd forgotten how even the most inconsequential event (he didn't even look at me during History class!!!!) was earth shattering.

When I was young, I felt everything to the tenth degree. I was spontaneous and irrational. Logic and patience were rarely practised. I made my choices based on emotions embedded in insecurity...which sucks to live through, but makes great diary reading.

Find your YA voice by remembering how it FELT to be a teenager. Look at your yearbook. Go to the perfume counter and try and find the scent you used to wear (Ruffles by Oscar de la Renta.). Listen to the song that was on the radio when you broke up with your first boyfriend—that's where you'll find your voice.

Writing YA isn't about using the right slang, it's about remembering what it was like to be young.


Next Monday I'll be blogging the latest episode of Once Upon A Time.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Once Upon A Time, Episode 8, Desperate Souls

Have you seen this man?

Have you seen this unicorn?

Right away I knew something was wrong when the unicorn wasn't running through the forest. Instead there was some cloaked guy with a torch. Where is the unicorn? I had a lot of plans for that unicorn.

We see Rumpelstiltskin spinning wool. I can tell by his teeth that he hasn't turned into the creepy gold-flecked guy we've come to know.

Ah! This is HIS story.

A young boy barges into the hut with news that the Duke and his horsemen have entered the village.
Apparently the Duke has been at war with the ogres, and once children in his kingdom turn fourteen, he takes them as soldiers to fight the war.

Kids against ogres? Really? This is the Duke's master plan?

When the parents of the latest peasant girl soon to be G.I. Jane, try to fight the Duke, a menacing figure hidden by a hood and cloak sends an invisible choking spell through the air like some kind of psychic Vulcan. The parents fall to the ground, helpless.

The Duke smiles—the hooded figure is called the Dark One, and he's obviously on the Duke's side. This is particularly troubling to Rumpelstiltskin because his son will be fourteen in three days.

Back in Storybrooke, Mr. Gold is brushing up on his decoupage in the back room of his pawn shop. Emma enters (wearing a slightly darker version of her usual red leather jacket, more of a maroon actually). She complains about the pungent odour and he explains something about goats and glue. As they discuss the smelly product, I can only think of two questions.

Where is the unicorn? And why hasn't anyone mentioned Schmexy Sheriff?

Then Mr. Gold confirms my worst fears. The Sheriff is dead. *GASP* It's okay, I still have a theory. By the way, did you know the first stage of grief is denial?

Mr. Gold tells Emma that since it's been two weeks since Schmexy died *GASP* she can be the new Sheriff. He offers her a box of Schmexy's things, left unclaimed. Emma isn't exactly sentimental, especially since the last time she showed her true feelings, the guy she kissed ended up dying.

But Mr. Gold convinces her to take the two walkie talkies for her and Henry to play with. It's important to cherish the time they spend together, he tells her, because you never know when an unexpected ogre war will break out.

Emma finds Henry at the playground and she gives him the walkie talkie and playfully says it's for operation Cobra (their plot to break the Evil Queen's spell). But Henry says they should stop trying to fight the curse. The Mayor killed Schmexy and she could kill Emma.

Then he gets all philosophical and says that being good means playing fair, but evil can do whatever it wants, including hurting people. He doesn't want to upset the Mayor anymore. Then he adds for good measure, “You never really believed, so what difference does it make?” Oh, that's cold.

I believe Henry! Yes, Schmexy may have died, but I believe that wolf with the freaky eyes knows something. Please, someone go to the animal shelter! The animals in this village always have the answers.

*Hangs head* Sorry, still in denial.

Emma goes to the Sheriff's office and looks at Schmexy's badge. Okay! This is when she'll figure it out. The wolf is the key. Find the wolf.

But before Emma can go on my scavenger hunt, the Mayor enters, proceeding to tell Emma she can no longer assume the job as Sheriff, and then fires her as Deputy.

How does Emma deal with this? With a few glass of whiskey and by breaking Mary Margaret's toaster. Mary Margaret walks in and begins putting away the groceries as Emma complains about how the Mayor not only killed her almost boyfriend, but also fired her.

Wow, this sounds exactly like the conversation I had with my mom last week.

Mr. Gold visits with a copy of the town charter. He explains to Emma that two people with a common goal can accomplish many things, but two people with a common enemy can accomplish anything. And two people with a common cold can accomplish next to nothing because they're so miserable and full of mucus.

Rumpelstiltskin and his son, flee into the night. Along the dark forest path a beggar asks for money. Rumpelstiltskin is kind and says he has nothing to offer except wool...three bags full, in fact.

Suddenly they hear horses. Wait! Is it the unicorn?


It's the Duke and his horsemen. The Duke recognises Rumpelstiltskin as a runner, and blames him for leaving the war, causing the ogres to get the upper hand.

One little guy with a limp made the difference between a fight between ogres? Come on. Hagrid was half-giant and even he needed an army of wizards to help him.


We also learn Rumpelstiltskin's wife was so embarrassed that he single handed lost the battle that she left him and their son, BellFire. Seriously, that's the kids name—Bellfire. The Duke threatens to kill the boy on the spot. Rumpelstiltskin pleads for his life and the Duke makes him kiss his boot. Hey, worse things have been kissed.

After the Duke rides away, happy to have humiliated another peasant, the beggar wobbles out of the darkness and tells Rumpelstiltskin he'll be his benefactor. can you be a benefactor if you're a beggar?

At the Mayor's office, Emma interrupts a news conference and explains that after reading the town charter, she's going to run for Sheriff against Mr. Glass, aka the talking mirror.

Over a bowl of gruel, in Rumpelstiltskin's hut, the beggar tells him that the Duke controls the Dark One with an enchanted dagger. Realising this will save his son, Rumpelstiltskin makes a plan to enter the Duke's castle to steal the dagger.

At the pawn shop the Mayor confronts Mr. Gold saying she knows he helped Emma. Mr. Gold tells her to never underestimate someone who's fighting for their child...or the last piece of chocolate cake.

Emma finds Henry in a booth at the diner/pub/laundromat. Seriously, doesn't this kid ever go to school? His grandmother is the teacher, doesn't he think she'll notice his frequent absenteeism?

He's reading an article about Emma being in jail as a teenager. She's furious and plans to retaliate with her own smear campaign. Henry reminds her that good can't be evil, and he warns her not to trust Mr. Gold. He keeps those two creepy dolls by the cash register, and more importantly she already owes him favor.

I remember Henry. Emma made a deal with him so Cinderella could keep her baby. Trust me. Go watch the episode.

Emma challenges the Mayor back in her office about exposing her delinquent past. They walk out of the building arguing.

Whoa! A sudden explosion traps the Mayor. While fire burns around them Emma considers her pleas for help. What will Emma do? Run I say. Run like the wind. Run like Forrest Gump.

Rumpelstiltskin and his son are boiling wool outside their hut, making torches. He tells him about the Duke's magical dagger, and that if he owns the dagger he'll own the Dark One. If he kills the Dark One, then he'll have all the power.

Thank you for explaining that because the beggar had me so confused. So, let's recap. Rumpelstiltskin is going to use the power to free children from having to fight in the war. Cool. Okay. I just have one question.

Where is the unicorn?

Back in the burning Mayor's office, Emma runs (yay! let her burn I say) and gets a fire extinguisher, (boo). As Emma helps the Mayor hobble out, the press is there to get a picture.

Emma and Henry can't believe how her reputation as 'delinquent' has suddenly turned 'hero'. And then she a wool rag. Hmm. Who could have planted a combustible material composed mainly of wool???

Emma confronts Mr. Gold about sheep oil and wool, and foreshadows what's about to happen in fairy tale land the next scene. Mr. Gold admits he knew she would save the Mayor and planned the whole thing to give her campaign a boost. Emma is outraged and still refuses to work with him.

Back at the Duke's, Rumpelstiltskin and his son find a stack of hay conveniently left beside the castle and set it on fire. Once inside, Rumpelstiltskin easily finds the dagger inscribed with the name ZOSO.

ZoSo—otherwise known as the district in Manhattan, between Central Park Zoo to South Street.

While Mary Margaret is putting up posters of Emma, she runs into David, who tells her that he's now working at the animal shelter. YES! Quick, take Mary Margaret and talk to the wolf. He will lead you to Schmexy.

Sorry, still in denial.

David puts up a poster of Emma's rival, Mr. Glass, saying that his wife Catherine, is a friend of the Mayor's. He doesn't seem so charming now, does he? Mary Margaret stammers she's out of staples and runs away. I would have stapled an Emma poster to his forehead, but then again, I'm not Snow White.

Mary Margaret meets Emma backstage as she prepares for the debate with Mr. Glass. I can't help but notice she's wearing ANOTHER leather jacket. Who is the sponsor for this show anyway? Emma talks about wanting to show Henry that she can win and be the hero.

Mr. Glass takes the stage and stammers a bit. Why is the mirror unable to speak in his human form? Just cleaver irony on ABC's part? Maybe he should hold an empty frame in front of his face.

As Rumpelstiltskin runs out of the burning castle with the dagger, he tells his son, Bellfire (honestly they have such weird names on this show), to return to the hut and wait for him.

He summons ZOSO and the cloaked figure appears. Rumpelstiltskin is shaking with fear as the Dark One reminds him that it's his son's birthday and the Duke's Guards will be showing up to collect him for their army. He convinces Rumpelstiltskin he's too scared to use the power to stop the Duke, goading him on. Rumpelstiltskin has no choice, and he stabs the Dark One. His hood falls back and his face is covered in gold glitter.

Gold glitter? Where have I seen that before?

The Weasleys
Slowly, the Dark One turns back into...the beggar. The beggar laughs, and says he's finally released. Power and magic, he warns, always come with a price.

Of course it's expensive, ask the Weasleys.

Rumpelstiltskin realises he's now cursed, and asks why he was chosen. With his dying breath, the beggar tells him he recognised his desperate soul. Rumpelstiltskin's hands begin to turn gold.

Mr. Glass is on stage giving his closing remarks as the Mayor mouths the words from the front row like a mother on Toddlers and Tiaras. Emma gets up and tells the crowd the fire was a set up by Mr. Gold, and she doesn't want to win by lying. Everyone turns around to watch as a disgusted Mr. Gold hobbles out.

Emma goes to the only establishment in town, the pub/diner/laundromat for a drink. Henry shows up and gives Emma one of the walkie talkies. Smiling, he tells her that he's proud of her, and they should start working on operation Cobra again.

Do know what else you should work on? Operation unicorn.

The Mayor begrudgingly gives Emma the Sheriff's star. The people liked that she stood up to Mr. Gold and voted for her. Conveniently the victory party is in the room out back. It must suck for other businesses in Storybrooke.

Rumpelstiltskin arrives in his village all glittery and nasty looking just as the Duke is taking away Bellfire (giggle) to fight the ogres. Rumpelstiltskin tells them he's the Dark One now and goes crazy stabbing the Duke and all of the guards.

Terrified of this creepy version of his dad, Bellfire backs away. Is anyone else having 'The Shining' flashbacks?

Anyway, Rumpelstiltskin tells him not to be afraid. He won't have to go to war now, and that he will always protect what belongs to him. Grinning his dirty smile, Rumpelstiltskin cackles that he's not afraid of nothing.

Well, except brushing and flossing.

Emma walks into Schmexy's old office and sees his jacket hanging on the coat rack. She looks a little sad, and I have to say it's about time. There hasn't been a lot of mourning going on for Schmexy this episode.

I'm now in the 'anger' phase of grieving.

Mr. Gold walks in and tells her everything went exactly how he planned. Everyone is afraid of the Mayor he tells her, but they're more afraid of him.

Emma asks why he wanted her to be Sheriff. That old trickster gives her a look and says, “I know how to recognise a desperate soul.”

He reminds her that she owes him a favor, and now that she's Sheriff she'll be more useful to him.

Predictions for next episode: Henry goes to school long enough to film a scene. A wolf starts following Emma around and she makes it Deputy. Ruby finally gets more than three lines. And where is Sleeping Beauty?!

Do you think Schmexy will come back? And what happened to Bellfire?


Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Confessions Of An Unpublished Writer

Every time I hear someone say author, it sounds like they're saying the name Arthur, but with an English accent. I would love to be an author (see? now you hear it too!) but I am still a writer without readers—aka an unpublished person.

When people learn I have a literary agent, they usually ask two things. "What's your book about and when will it be published?"

The first one is easy. "YA paranormal romance," I reply. Then I explain that getting published is hard work, lots of luck and good timing. "It would be nice," I shrug, "but it's been really interesting seeing this side of the industry."

Here's the truth. I want to get published so bad I can taste it. I would sell my mother to a band of camel traders to get a contract. And that's just the beginning of my confessions. Scroll down for the rest of the dirt...

  1.  I day dream about my characters at my job.  
  2. Sometimes I practise my signature to make it look pretty and interesting so I'll be ready for book signings.
  3. Alex Pettyfer in 'Beastly'.
  4. I've already cast the movie they'll base on my novel. Alex *cough* Pettyfer.
  5. I stalk the YA section of the bookstore and stare at the spot where my novel would be shelved alphabetically. After I randomly pick a book and flip through a few pages, I always get depressed because I'll never write that well. Last week a clerk at the Chapters noticed me. "Can I help you?" she asked. "You look disappointed." In so many ways, I thought, in so many ways.
  6. Publishers Markertplace is code for awesome stuff that happens to other people who aren't me. 
  7. I'm convinced my agent is part of an elaborate ruse backed up by my family as revenge for all the practical jokes I've played on them. 
 So, if you see me slouched in the YA section, just give me a sympathetic nod, pat me on the shoulder and say, "Don't worry deary, someday you'll be an Arthur."

Do you have any confessions?

Next Monday I'll be blogging the latest episode of Once Upon A Time.


Monday, 2 January 2012

Favorite Author Quotes

Writing is solitary. It's you, the blank page, and your characters. With self doubt taking up residence on your shoulder, constantly staring down your work, sometimes it's hard to believe what you're doing is worth while. This can't be explained to someone who doesn't write—trust me.

I discovered the best advice comes from writers themselves. Here are a few of my favorite quotes. Hopefully one will kick the self doubt off your shoulder.

“First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him!” Ray Bradbury

“I have been successful probably because I have always realized that I knew nothing about writing and have merely tried to tell an interesting story entertaining.” Edgar Rice Burroughs

“It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly.”  C.J. Cherryh

“A writer never has a vacation. For a writer life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.” Eugene Ionesco
“I try to create sympathy for my character's, then turn the monsters loose.” Stephen King
“A science fiction story is a story with a human problem, and a human solution, that would not have happened at all without its scientific content.” Theodore Sturgeon
“As for the adjective, when in doubt leave it out.” Mark Twain
“The only thing that works with writing is that you care so passionately about it yourself, that you make someone else care passionately about it.” Judy Blume
“Number one rule for fiction: Coincidence can be used to worsen a character's predicament, but never to solve his problems.” Vivian Vande Velde
“Good stories are not written. They are rewritten.” Phyllis Whitney
Amen to that, Phyllis.
Do you have any favorite quotes to share?
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