Monday, 31 March 2014

Once Upon A Time, Season 3, Episode 15 "Quiet Minds"

 Or better title, “Someone Dies"

Emma and the others try to figure out how Mr. Gold is still alive. Hook mentions how he overheard Neal talking about trying to bring back his father when he and Belle were headed toward the Queen's castle.

Zalena stands at the edge of Storybrooke and uses the dagger to summon Rumpelstiltskin. But guess what? Mr. Gold has broken free of the hold the dagger has on him and is running amok in the forest.

I thought that was impossible.

Emma and Hook arrive to tell Belle that Mr. Gold is alive. She vows to search every inch of his shop for any kind of clue. Hook stays with her in case the witch shows up.

One year ago, Belle and Neal go through Rumpelstiltskin's castle to figure out how to bring him back. Belle says she loves all of him, even the dark parts. When the enter the library, a candelabra comes to life calling himself Lumiere.

How original, ABC.

Neal storms through the door at Mr. Gold's shop and collapses to the floor.

Emma brings Henry a bagel and hot chocolate. She arranges a play date for him with Grumpy. Henry tells her he knows she's lying and something is up. He begs her to tell him the truth. Emma asks him to trust her and that she will tell him everything...but not right now.

Emma visits Neal in the hospital, but he's just as clueless as everyone else. He doesn't remember anything that happened in the last year. His palm has a triangular scar that looks like the 'Deathly Hollows'.

Ten points for a Harry Potter reference!

Emma tells Neal that Henry doesn't have any memory of his old life. Neal is upset that Henry thinks he's basically a deadbeat parent instead of the grandson of Peter Pan.

Belle finds it interesting that she's never seen Lumiere before. He said he was cursed by Rumpelstiltskin and hidden away for years. He can only come to life when his candles are lit. Belle explains that she and Neal are trying to bring Rumpelstiltskin back to life because he's warm and cuddly now.

Lumiere says he'll help since Rumpelstiltskin is the only one who can restore him to his human form. Lumiere reveals a magical book with a key inside. This key will unlock the vault of The Dark One. The end has a symbol of a triangle.

After Neal and Belle blow the candles out and leave the room 3W shows up and it's clear he's a small part of her diabolic plan.

Zalena arrives at Mary Margaret's apartment with orange juice. Mary Margaret is upset because she wants to be hunting down the wicked witch instead of hanging out doing nothing. Zalena touches Mary Margaret's belly and says she's not having this baby without her.

Raise your hand if you think Mary Margaret's baby will have bat wings and a monkey tail.

Regina goes to the farm house to find 3W. Instead, she finds Robin Hood. They decide to track 3W together. There's a spark and they wonder if they met during that year no one can remember.

Hook and Neal discuss the pros and cons of using dark magic to bring back the Dark One. Neal is determined to leave the hospital. Then things get weird when Hook hugs him. Hook had a thing with Neals' mom, remember? And then he sort of helped raise him after he landed in Neverland. And now they're trying to date the same girl.


Belle and Neal walk through the enchanted forest talking about how Mr. Gold ended up sacrificing his own life to save the whole town. They come across a frozen lake and Lumiere tells them the vault is under the ice.

Emma and David also walk through the woods discussing what's best for Henry; should they tell him the truth or let him return to New York and be blissfully unaware? They hear a scream and run to find Mr. Gold having a break down. He says his head is filled with voices. Then flying monkeys show up to complicate matters. Mr. Gold escapes while Emma and David are busy fighting the monkeys.

Regina goes through the pantry looking for traces of magic. Robin Hood mentions how Regina doesn't seem so evil to him. Regina said she used people's fear as a tool, and she earned the name of the Evil Queen. There's a spark between them. He figures they should have a drink of whiskey.

When he hands her a glass, his sleeve rises to reveal his tattoo.


She has a flashback to her time with Tinkerbell and the true love episode. She freaks out and splits.

Thank you. Takes a bow.

Emma finds Neal in the woods and she tells him his dad is running around crazy.

Lumiere gives Belle and Neal directions to the vault. They're about to use the key when Belle figures out Lumiere is lying. He spills the beans and says 3W forced him to trick them. Neal doesn't care, he only wants to get his father back. Belle warns him that using magic without considering the cost is the same mistake his father made.

He turns the key and it burns his hand, leaving the triangular scar. The ice melts and a form rises from a inky pool.

Emma tells Neal that she and Henry had a great life this past year. Neal pries if they were happy. Emma tells him about her demon boyfriend. They laugh and this is followed by a moment when they just stare at each other.

Belle calls Emma and says the scar on Neal's hand is pictured in a book she found in Mr. Gold's shop. It's a key used to open the vault of the Dark One. But here's the catch, if you take someone from the vault, you have to replace it with another life. Neal collapses in front of Emma.

Rumpelstiltskin comes out of the vault holding his dagger. He runs to Neal and Belle. It soon dawns on them that Neal is going to die as payment.

3W arrives and gleefully watches the scene. Rumpelstiltskin tries to use his dagger to magic Neal better, but she tells him he can't have Neal and the dagger. He ends up absorbing Neal's body and the dagger flies to 3W.

She picks it up and says, “You got your son, but you lost yourself.” Rumpelstiltskin begins his crazy talk. She then orders him to kill Belle.

Lumiere has had enough. He does a fire curse thingy and binds 3W allowing Belle to escape.

Emma realizes that Neal and Rumpelstiltskin are the sharing the same body. She does her magic—no not the lie detector thing, the convenient magic thing.

Neal begs Emma to 'magic' his father out of his body even though he knows it will kill him. It's the only way they'll know who the real witch is. Mr. Gold appears and Neal collapses.

As he dies the music gets intense. Neal tells Emma it's okay that Henry doesn't know who he is and he thanks his father for showing him what sacrificing yourself for true love is all about.
Emma and David rush to tell Mary Margaret she's hired the wicked witch to help deliver her baby.

Zalena arrives and taunts Mr. Gold over Neal's corpse. Mr. Gold says it's only a matter of time before Emma and the others come for her. She says she doesn't care because she has him under her control and that's all the power she needs.

Mary Margaret and David go to tell Belle that Neal is dead and Mr. Gold is a slave to Zalena.

Emma goes to see Henry. She sits him down and tells him that she was on a job to help his father, but instead of being the dude who sent her to jail he was actually a hero. She then says he's dead and the person who hurt him got away. Henry nods like this is completely normal. He asks what they're going to do now.

Emma gives the horizon a steely eyed glare and says she's going to stay and get the person who killed his father.

Whoo-hoo! Wild west gunfight here we come!

Need more Storybrooke? You'll find my recaps for ALL of the Once Upon A Time episodes (even from the very first season) on my Pinterest page here.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Once Upon A Time, Season 3 Episode 14 "The Tower"

Or better title "Face Your Fear, Lose Your Sword"

Charming searches the castle for a crying baby. He finds the nursery empty, but Emma is there fully grown and wearing a gown. She asks him to teach her to dance because her first ball is tonight and she's nervous.

They have a daddy/daughter dance and Emma tells him all of this was taken away from her because he failed her. The sky darkens and she tells him not to fail the next baby.

He wakes in a cold sweat. Snow White is by the window, super happy to be back in her castle. She tells him that she's pregnant. He's excited but Emma's lingering warning echo inside his head.
Emma and the others play Nancy Drew, trying to figure out which person is 3W (Wicked Witch of the West). Regina suggests someone watch out for Henry since flying monkeys are kidnapping people and a crazy witch is on the loose.

Zalena taunts Rumpelstiltskin with his dagger (while it's in her possession, she can control him). She shaves him with the dagger and monologues about how it's important to hide the rotten ugliness that lingers inside their souls. She has a diabolic plan but she's keeping that a secret for now.

Darn her!

Rumpelstiltskin starts to spin gold, slowly going crazy.

Zalena enters Mr. Gold's shop and strikes up a conversation with Belle. She wants to buy a baby gift for Mary Margaret since she'll be the midwife. Belle graciously offers to find something. As soon as her back is turned, Zalena freezes her and heads straight for the safe.

She magics it open and retrieves a lump of...something?

David, Hook, and Emma search Regina's office for clues. They find a holly berry. David knows exactly where they grow, not far from the toll bridge. Mary Margaret calls, telling David he has to come back to the apartment to meet the midwife.

Really, Mary Margaret? He's looking for a witch.

Charming sneaks to the royal barn to have a few nips from his royal flask. Robin Hood shows up with his golden arrows from the Queen and they talk about how tough it is to be a dad in fairy tale land. Charming confesses he's losing confidence and can't ignore the overwhelming sense of dread.

Me too, Charming. Me too.

Robin Hood tells him of a root that will help overcome any fear, but he needs to be careful because that part of the forest is haunted.

Pfft! Haunted shmaunted.

Zalena and Mary Margaret giggle about boys until David shows up. He questions why Mary Margaret would hire a stranger to take care of their baby with a mysterious witch on the loose. Zalena makes them cups of tea with her own special blend.

Oh, that's what the lumpy thing was in Mr. Gold's safe.

How stupid are these two?

Charming finds the magic root without too much difficulty. He hears cries for help and discovers a tower with no door, only a high window. He climbs the thick brown rope. He makes it to the window and discovers the rope coils along the floor and is in fact a braid belonging to a young woman.

The princess says her name is Rapunzel. Her parents rule a distant kingdom. Her older brother was supposed to be the next in line for the throne, but a terrible accident occurred and now Rapunzel will inherit the kingdom. Worried she would not be a good Queen, she sought the night root to quell her fears of inadequacy. But before she could return home a witch attacked her and chased her into the tower. And she's been trapped for years. 

*cough* info dump *cough*

Scary music tips off Charming something sinister is about to happen. The cloaked witch arrives and begins to climb up the tower.

Zalena has a Dr. Phil episode with David and Mary Margaret. She tells them it's unhealthy to keep fear bottled up.

It's also unhealthy to take a drink from a stranger.

David finishes his tea, gives them a smile, and goes back to the woods to look for flying monkeys. 

Regina takes Henry for ice cream. They meander about Storybrooke talking about how small towns are better than a big city like New York. 

No one normal would ever say that.

Henry lets it slip that Emma is awesome, but he'd really like to have a bigger family.

Hook and Emma find the holly berries and start looking for a house. She confronts him about his lost year on the Jolly Roger. He says nothing, but she knows he's lying.

She has that super power, remember?

They talk about Emma's ex-boyfriend and Hook says he's glad she back on the market. It starts to snow and they stumble across a farm house.

David tracts their progress but he's being followed by the cloaked witch from Rapunzel's tower. Luckily he has his sword and cell phone. He leaves Emma a message that he's about to fight the wicked witch.

Back in the tower, Charming refuses to leave Rapunzel. He fights the hooded figure. At the same time, David fights the hooded figure in the woods. 

When do you think he'll realize he's fighting his fear and not an actual witch?

Hook and Emma approach the farm house. Emma notices the storm cellar is locked. Hook convinces her it's best to wait until they have magical back up in case flying monkeys come out at them. She uses her cell phone and hears David's message.

David attacks the hooded figure. The hood falls back and he sees himself.

Back in the tower, the hooded figure looks just like Rapunzel. Charming tells her that she is the witch, it is her own fear that is keeping her prisoner. The night root makes it happen. 

He tells her she has to defeat her fear of ruling the kingdom. She has to kill the witch in order to escape.

David tries to fight his own fear. He wins when he confesses that he's afraid he won't be a good father. He stabs the cloaked figure and it disappears...but so does his sword. 

Ta da! Spell broken. 

I guess Zalena put night root in his tea.

Rapunzel confesses that she was drowning and her brother jumped in and saved her, but he ended up dying. Her fear is that her parents will not forgive her. Charming brings Rapunzel back to the castle where her parents are waiting. He sees Snow White and confesses his fear of being a father. 

Cue the soft piano music.

Snow White tells him not to worry because they're going to do this together. 

Through the magic of conveniently written dialogue, we learn that when David faced his fear all of his courage was transferred to his sword, but unfortunately that sword is not in the possession of the mysterious witch.

Got that?

Zalena oozes with charm with Mary Margaret.

Why? Because she has a sword full of courage, that's why.

Hook, David and Emma return to the storm cellar. The lock is busted. Inside they find an empty cage full of golden straw. 

*Light bulb moment*

Need more Storybrooke? You'll find my recaps for ALL of the Once Upon A Time episodes (even from the very first season) on my Pinterest page here.


Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Top Ten Items I'd Steal From My Favorite Books


1. Nancy Drew's blue convertible. And a picnic basket in the backseat full of homemade snacks from Hannah would be nice too.

2. The violin case from The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. I would fill it with chocolate bars.

3. The goose from Jack and the Beanstalk because you can never have enough golden eggs.

4. The conch shell from Lord of the Flies so I can be the speaker and have all the attention.

5. Laura Ingalls' lunch pail from Little House on the Prairie. I've always loved the image. Plus, it would be handy when collecting all those golden eggs.

6. The invisibility cloak from Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone.

Think of the sneaking around you can do! Be careful of eavesdropping though, sometimes you don't want to hear what others really think of you (especially Professor Snape).

7. Pixie dust from Peter Pan and Wendy.

Imagine having the ability to fly without aid from a broomstick or a magic carpet!
Rush hour traffic? Not for you. Late for a date? No worries. Need to get to class before the bell rings? Easy peasy.

8. The Everlasting Gobstopper from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

It's candy. No explanation needed.

photo credit,

9. The blade from The Subtle Knife.

Slice through parallel universes and bend the space/time continuum? Sure, okay. Plus, I bet you can make a salad in seconds.

10. Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice.

Since it's my blog, I'll bloody well put him here if I want. And yes, I want Mr. Darcy.

What item would you like to take from a book?

Monday, 24 March 2014

Ninja Librarians? Yes. They exist and They're Awesome

My bosom buddy in the writing world, Jen Swann Downey, is launching her debut middle grade action adventure novel, THE NINJA LIBRARIANS: THE ACCIDENTAL KEYHAND.

The Ninja Librarians

Coming from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky April 15, 2014
Twelve-year-old Dorothea Barnes can hold her own in any fake Renaissance Faire sword-fight, but she despairs of ever finding something more important to do with her sword. Then she stumbles into Petrarch's Library, the sprawling headquarters of a secret society of librarians. Ninja librarians.

The Library's wings stretch into every century that has passed since the invention of the written word. The librarians who serve it pursue an important mission: Protect those whose words have gotten them in trouble. They pull heretics off of stakes in fourteenth century Spain, track down stolen manuscripts through the wilds of ancient Persia, and maneuver always against those who prefer to control the flow of ideas and information for their own gain.

Dorrie wants nothing more than to be allowed to stay and apprentice with these unusual librarians. Some of them, however, fear Dorrie has connections to the Foundation, an old and ruthless enemy. The Library's Director of Security would like to send Dorrie home and permanently close the door on the twenty-first century behind her. When a traitor arises from within the Library, events pull Dorrie into a pivotal role. But in order to save Petrarch's Library, she may have to erase herself from its history, forever.
Check out the trailer here.
You can pre-order Ninja Librarians here.
Find Jen on facebook, twitter, and her website.
And stayed tuned because awesome Ninja Librarian swag is to follow in the next few weeks... 
Jen stopped by (virtually) for a quick interview. She looked great and smelled nice.

What inspired you to write The Ninja Librarians?

Many things! Picture a tornado with its load of cows and corrugated roofing and origami swans. (Tornados are packed with origami swans) My love for librarians, my magpie obsession with history. A picture of a girl at a Renaissance Faire. But mostly, a mental image of a sprawling library connecting up different times and places. I love libraries (as in shiver and palpitate for them) and the kid (eh-hem, and adult) in me continues to enjoy imagining exploring and sleeping and waking in an endless varied dusty shining accidental-secret-filled magical one.  
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
In my mid twenties, when I was short of rent money and sense, I tossed off some truly AWFUL picture book manuscripts, thinking that I could "you know" make a quick sale and solve my rent problem, if not my sense problem. (of which I was, naturally, entirely unaware). These manuscripts had "messages". Big fat messages with just enough story spackled between the individual neon letters to hold them together.  Terrible! There's nothing less enjoyable than a message disguised as a story. In my older humble opinion, meaning (and message) must spring out of story.
That said, if readers, along with Dorrie begin to get a palpable sense of the courage it has taken (takes) in many times and places for individuals to simply express their opinions, I won't be sad.


What was the hardest scene to write (no spoilers!)?
Well, judging from the number of times I RE-wrote the scene, I'd have to say the beginning! The whole first two chapters really. There were so many strands of the story to set in motion, clues to plant, relationships to paint, and Dorrie's state of mind to convey, all while trying to balance that against the need to get the story moving and the reader properly invited in, and settled on the edge of a seat with a mug of cocoa perched precariously on lap.
Which character do you relate to the most? Why?
Well I suppose I'm sort of split. Not to be predictable but as a first time novelist. Eh-hem. Er. Young timeless remembered me feels deeply for Dorrie's desire to have agency and a means to defend those she cares about in a world where dark threatening shadows are sensed if not seen in their detail every day.  Older, occasionally reflective me, running a family zoo, and trying to make best most responsible choices in an imperfect world probably relates most to Hypatia and her efforts to keep the immediate "family" working and functioning together and trying to make that be a good thing for the larger world. Most everyday me relates mostly to Phillip and his desire to eat the most he can of the next good thing.
Outside of family, what was the greatest support while you wrote this novel? 

Besides you? ; )  And my willing critiquing victims? (May they enjoy their freedom and peace until I'm done with the first draft of Book 2) I'd have to favorite children's authors. Whenever I felt lost or unsure of my craft, I would pick up books by Eva Ibbotson, and Dodie Smith, Lloyd Alexander, Terry Pratchett, and Betty MacDonald. Sometimes the point would be to sink with vivifying pleasure into their delicious story-telling. And sometimes I'd be studying just how they'd managed to accomplish what they did. The pacing, the conveying of character, the braiding of funny and serious, etc.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
That isn't already out there? Let's see...Always seat yourself on a thumbtack when commencing writerly work....

No, stop! Don't! My real advice?

Take your writing seriously in the good way. Give it your regular attention. Make it your work. Protect your work time, work place. Build your manuscript bit by bit, day by day.

I know some people love to jump "write" in with the drafting, and it really works for a subset of those people ; ) but, consider doing your plotting up front.
Consider giving yourself lots of extra time to plot up front. Consider, investing in an index card company. Really. Buy some company stock. Then buy some cards. Lots of cards. So that you never have to be stingy with them. So that if you wanted you could pave a mile of interstate with them.
Write out your progressions of plot points on them for various character or plot arcs. Capture your random ideas. "Oooh, her pencil should have a clown head eraser on it!". Capture your questions about character motives.
Capture all those little ideas for interactions, character tics, scraps of dialogue. Why? Because index cards can be shuffled, easily organized, easily boxed, easily arranged and re-arranged, easily pinned to foamboards, or laid out in great narrative lines on your living room floor. Be friends with index cards!

Set a word count goal for yourself every day you intend to draft. Not "I'm going to write for two hours" but "I'm going to write 750 words today".  Force yourself to meet it even if you have to hurry and some of the sentences don't exactly make sense.

Don't edit yourself as you're drafting. Think of drafting and self-editing as two absolutely distinct processes. Invite your first draft to suck. Dare yourself to let it. Play.

When you're stuck...WALK!  You'd be amazed what plot knots will unravel, and what character development revelations that will blossom when you walk. Which will be great, because your pockets will be stuffed with blank index cards, and you'll have a pen in your hand. Never leave home without them. You will only remember the tiniest percentage of what you conjured on your walk, or at the grocery store, or on the drive home if you wait until you're home to try to get it down.

When you think you're done revising and its ready to share with agents and editors, let that be a sign that its not. Give yourself at least a week away from the manuscript, preferably two. Revise. Rinse and Repeat. At least three times.

Lastly? Don't let worries about a perceived genius deficit  or "writer unworthiness" keep you from starting or finishing a book. Just be a person committing to writing a beginning, a middle, and an end. Unlike genius, its easy to tell whether you have one of each of those, or you don't. 

What did you have for supper last night?
Baked fish. It didn't go well. Never use a recipe off of the internet that calls for cooking spray.
Is there an actor who you think looks like your MC?
Well the real question I know the name of any kid actors? Or any actors under 30 for that matter! Here's a picture. I got off the internet. I had to watch a thirty second advertisement for the privilege! I'd say that's about how I imagine Dorrie....
Vanilla or chocolate?
Chocolate. Even if there was only vanilla in the world.

 As a little kid, what did you want to be be when you grew up?What didn't I want to be! But most often.....a spy.

Last book you read.
Suffrage Days: Stories from the Women's Suffrage Movement. Because in Book Two....: )

Thanks, Jen!

Once Upon A Time, Season 3, Episode 13 "Witch Hunt"


Or better title, “Family Feud"

The Wicked Witch of the West (I'm going to get carpal tunnel, lets just call her 3W) goes through the Evil Queen's (EQ) jewelry and dresses enjoying her new found digs.

EQ and Snow White come up with a plan to break the protective spell and then ambush the castle. A flying monkeys tries to scare them, but EQ does some hocus pocus and turns it into a cute stuffed bunny. She gives it to Robin Hood's son, thereby earning a look of admiration and surprise from him.

Ah, the romantic subplot is taking shape.

Back in Storybrooke, which is also present time, David and Mary Margaret tell Emma right after she and Henry left town limits, Regina cast the curse and then everything went black. But instead of the enchanted forest they woke up in their beds back in Storybrooke. Everything was the same—except that Mary Margaret is very pregnant.

Hook saunters around the living room. He says they all went back to the enchanted forest at first and they all decided to go to the Queen's castle. Instead, he took off and lived happily by himself on the Jolly Roger. Then one day a bird arrived with a message to return to New York to save Emma. The vial of memory potion was wrapped inside the note. It was signed by Snow White.

This seems pretty normal to everyone and all heads nod in union.

Grumpy and another dwarf break up the family reunion to announce that another member of Storybrooke has gone missing. David tells Emma that for the last few days people have started to go missing. Among the missing is Neal.

Hook tries hard not to fist pump the air. Emma decides the only way to solve this mess is to retrieve everyone's memories to find out who cast the new curse.
Charming and the rest of the gang are troubled by the existence of murderous winged monkeys. Belle tells everyone they exist in a land called OZ. Snow White doesn't believe her because that's just too crazy. I mean come on...flying monkeys?

EQ lets the fairy tale folk know that OZ is very real and if a flying monkey is in the enchanted forest, then 3W is the one who has taken up residence in her castle. She refuses help and plans to take down the protective spell on her own thereby allowing Charming and Snow will storm the castle...or something like that.

Henry is enjoying being the new kid in Storybrooke and everyone pretends not to know him. Mary Margaret comes up with the story that she and Emma were cell mates.
Funny moment. I enjoyed that.

Regina sees Henry and she drops her coffee cup. Emma takes her aside quickly and explains that Henry has no memory of Storybrooke. They're both back because of a new curse and missing year's worth of plot...yada yada yada.

While Regina whines about not being able to give Henry welcome back hugs. Emma is determined to find out who cast the spell and she's going to use her super power to scan every person in Storybrooke.

Seriously? Her lie detecting super power?

Robin Hood and his merry men hunt in the woods of Storybrooke. While chasing a wild turkey, Little John comes precariously close to the town limits. Instead, he gets plucked off the trail by a flying monkey.

No! Oh wait. I have no connection to this character and therefore do not care what happens to him.

Emma deducts the flying monkeys are kidnapping people if they try to attempt to leave Storybrooke.

In a town hall meeting, Regina tries to convince everyone that she had nothing to do with the new curse, but no one is buying it. Sick of being good and not getting any credit, she decides to return to her evil ways.

One particular woman, who looks a lot like 3W without make up, smiles to herself.

Robin Hood finds EQ and thanks her for saving them from the flying monkey. There is some flirting then she tells him to back off because she has to sneak into her mother's castle for some potion ingredients to help her break 3W's protection spell. He said he can help because he breaks into stuff for a living.

Emma arrives at Regina's office. The blow up in town hall was a ruse and they're hoping to flush out the real culprit.

EQ and Robin Hood navigate a booby trap course to sneak into the dungeon of Cora's castle via the family crypt. She's concerned to find the door already open, which is impossible because it was a blood spell. He tells her about his late wife and EQ mentions she's lost a son... in a way.

Mary Margaret tries to get Henry off his Nintendo DS and invites him to take him to the library. He agrees and runs for his coat.

Why not? Because an ex-con friend of my mom's is my friend too.

Seeing that Mary Margaret is hugely preggers, the woman from the town hall starts talking about babies. She recognizes her as Snow White and explains she missed the first curse so this is her first trip to Storybrooke.

The woman is 3W. She says her name is Zalena. Back in fairy tale land she was a midwife. Mary Margaret is so excited she hires her on the spot. Zalena gives her a creepy smile and says she'd be honoured to help with Snow White's baby.

Does anyone else think the baby is going to be a flying monkey?

David and the others find Little John unconscious in the woods.

EQ takes Robin Hood into Cora's bedroom. She rummages through drawers and starts to mix a sleeping potion. Robin Hood tries to convince her she has something to live for and that the pain of missing her son will ease with time.

She tells him the curse can only be broken by true love's kiss, and Henry is her true love. As soon as the protection shield is down, she'll let Snow White and Charming storm the castle and then she'll take her sleeping potion.

That sounds air tight to me. Well, until his shirt sleeve rips or something exposing his tattoo.

Regina's attempts at mimicking Hook's memory potion fail miserably. Emma comes up with another idea to trick the town's people. Only the guilty person would be worried that Regina was making a memory potion. They can set a trap and get that phony just like Scooby-doo.

Grumpy is the town blabber mouth. He goes to the hottest place in town, Granny's pub/diner/laundromat, to spill the fake beans. After his speech, Zalena sneaks away.

David and Robin Hood take Little John to the hospital. Dr. Whale (Frankenstein) starts to assess him but is quickly thrown back when Little John sprouts wings.

No. Not butterfly wings. Weird bat wings. He turns into a flying monkey and well...he flies away.

Emma and Regina wait in her yellow bug for the mysterious enemy to fall into their trap. Regina asks Emma what Henry's life is like in New York. Emma says he has lots of friends and is very happy, but Emma decided to return with Hook because the old Henry would have told her that heroes always come back.

True dat.

When they see someone in the window, they race to the office. Regina assures Emma that she put a blood lock spell on the door (ew) thereby trapping the culprit inside. They find the darkened office in shambles. A figure hides in the corner, but before Emma can get a good look, a plume of green smoke fills the air and they disappear.

Regina is shaking in her heels. Who could be powerful enough to break one of her spells?

EQ works her magic on the castle, confident in her black, bedazzled bustier as she takes down the protective spell. When it disappears, Grumpy gives the word and the fairy tale army surge toward the castle.

EQ grabs her sleeping potion and says a little prayer that one day Henry will wake her up. From the shadows 3W sweeps into view. She steals the sleeping potion from Regina and begins to monologue, like all villains do.


EQ says she could care less about a witch from OZ.

3W says her name is Zalena and she doesn't want the castle. EQ asks how she managed to break the blood lock spell on her mother's crypt.

She taunts EQ about Cora then leans in and calls her sister. She explains that since Cora knew a green baby would never snag a prince for a husband, she abandoned her.

Growing up in OZ without a mother was no picnic apparantly. EQ says Cora was a terrible mother so she probably was better off. Then 3W drops the bombshell that she knew Rumpelstiltskin. She hates him as well because he abandoned her too.

Zalena has some issues and her main plan of revenge is to make her sister suffer.

Perhaps this involves being spray painted green?

But EQ isn't afraid, she's thrilled to have an enemy again.

Needing a little pick me up since their trap bombed, Emma takes Regina to meet Henry. They shake hands and smile. She hides her breaking heart well.

David and Hook arrive with news that the missing people are probably being turned into flying monkeys. They talk about green smoke and it's obvious 3W is the one who has cast the new spell. Emma asks, “Why is she in Storybrooke?”

Zalena takes a food tray out to her secret backyard prison. Rumpelstiltskin is being held in a cage. He refuses the food and tells her she shouldn't have brought him back. She only smiles and says, “Eat up, we've got work to do.”

And this is where I stomp my foot. Of all the fairy tale characters who have died she brought back Rumpelstiltskin?!!! Hey, if you're going to bring back someone from the dead, you make sure it's the hot Sheriff.

I will never give up hoping!

Need more Storybrooke? You'll find my recaps for ALL of the Once Upon A Time episodes (even from the very first season) on my Pinterest page here.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Once Upon A Time, Season 3, Episode 12, "A New York City Serenade"

Or better title “Time Warp Nausea”

ABC gives us a quick recap of last episode with Hook showing up at Emma's apartment one year after she and Henry left Storybrooke with completely new memories.

When he tries to explain that her family is in danger she tries to slam the door in his face thinking he's crazy.

Maybe it's the guyliner.

Hoping she'll remember with a kiss, he lays one on her only to receive a knee in the front part of his leather pants.

Operation 'Get Emma', attempt #1 ... failure

Now let's get in the time machine because we're going to find out what happened to everyone else when Emma left Storybrook exactly one year ago.

Prince Philip meets up with a pregnant Aurora for a picnic, but a plume of purple smoke soon overtakes them. They shudder with fear. When the smoke clears Snow White and the gang are all present.

Snow White tells a shocked Aurora, “We're back.”

It's present day again. I know this because ABC put PRESENT DAY on the screen.

Fresh from another successful bounty hunter job, Emma meets her boyfriend for dinner—some English dude who gets his hair done by the stylist of One Direction. When he gets up from the table, Hook swoops in.

Operation, 'Get Emma', attempt #2

He says he knows she's an orphan. Then he slips a piece of paper with an address that will tell her who her real parents are. She says he's crazy, but he replies, “Use your super power and you'll know that I'm telling the truth.”

Um...what? Wait, you mean the super power of having convenient magic show up when it's most needed?

No. He means her ability to tell if people are lying or not.

Oh. Okay. *Rolls eyes*

Emma is intrigued, apparently Regina forgot to imagine fake parents for her so the orphan bit with a burning desire to find her birth parents is real. She takes the slip of paper and Hook tells her to meet him at Central Park the follow day.

Snow White congratulates Aurora on the upcoming birth of her baby. Without a place to stay, Snow White says she and Charming are taking Regina's castle back—with a begrudging Regina along for the ride because she's trying to be nice now and everything.

After they leave it's obvious Aurora and Prince Philip are scared for their unborn child and they debate whether or not to tell 'this season's dangerous villain' *cough* Wicked Witch of the West *cough* that Regina has returned.


Thanks ABC, I'd have no clue without that huge prompt across the screen.

Back at the restaurant Emma's boyfriend has returned with a fancy dessert but not his English accent. He proposes on one knee and things get awkward when he starts bringing up his furniture business as a way to sway her vote.

She says she needs time to think. He's super cool with that.

Henry (who has been growing quickly since last season) finally looks normal as a fourteen year old instead of a thirteen year old being made to look like a ten year old.

Ouch! Math headache.


They play video games while Henry tells her that she should give the boyfriend a chance and not all dudes are like his father. They rehash how Neal set up Emma to spend time in jail for his crime and that he doesn't even know Henry exists. She asks how he got so wise.

Grumpy and the dwarfs celebrate that they're back in the enchanted forest. Jiminy Cricket arrives and says more fairy tale characters are popping up all over the place. Charming asks Grumpy to spread the word that everyone should make haste to the Queen's castle for shelter.

I bet the actor who plays Jiminy Cricket is a bit upset about this new development.

Hook saddles up a horse and declares the Jolly Roger is his home, not the enchanted castle. He tried being a hero and that didn't get him any hot lovin' from Emma.

Snow White accuses him of going back to being a pirate now that Emma is gone. He says he was always a pirate.


After Hook gallops away, Neal comes up with the idea of returning to his father's castle because maybe Rumpelstiltskin is somehow alive OR maybe he can find something that will take him back to Emma.

Snow White reiterates the rules of Regina's curse. “It's a reset,” she says sadly. “With no more portals. The only way to cross over is with another curse. And that will NEVER happen. It's impossible.”


Rules don't matter on this show.

Henry asks Emma if she's still... 

Oh, sorry. PRESENT DAY

Henry asks Emma if is she's still worrying about the proposal.

Nope. She's thinking about going to the secret address given to her by the sexy leather clad dude. Emma goes to the address and she discovers it's Neal's old apartment.

Why is his stuff still there? This is New York City. The police should have cleared it out when he stopped paying rent a year ago.

Emma is shocked to find a camera with Henry's name on the strap.

Sorry I have to interrupt. Emma is wearing plaid pants in this scene. There is no place on the planet that these would be okay. Just sayin'...

Unable to ignore this bizarre coincidence, she goes to Central Park to meet Hook. She's convinced he's working with Neal to try and steal Henry from her. Instead, he talks to her about curses, castles, and stuff like that. To further convince her he's on the straight up, he offers her a vial of magic liquid that will help her remember. “Take a leap of faith,” he tells her.

She handcuffs him to the fountain and whistles for the police to arrest him.

Belle and Neal trade theories that Rumpelstiltskin staged his own death. They're determined to find his dagger.

Snow White gets nostalgic as they approach her childhood home. Then Grumpy alerts her that Regina is missing. Snow White finds her burying her enchanted heart. “It hurts to miss Henry,” she explains.

Snow White basically says suck it up, I'm a mother who lost her kid too. Don't be a dummy, keep your heart and you'll find happiness.

Hey, remember the episode when Robin Hood's son helped Neal get to Neverland? He's Regina's true love!

Regina is swayed by Snow White's logic and she does her own heart transplant. But before they can share a cup of flavoured tea to celebrate this milestone in their relationship, something swoops out of the sky. It gets close enough to scratch Regina.

The flying beast is scared off by Robin Hood.

My nerves. I'm brilliant!

There's instant dislike on Regina's part. I can see where this is going. She'll hate him until she sees his tattoo and realizes he's her true love.

Robin lets them know the flying beast is something he's never seen before.

*Time Machine back to the future*

Emma talks with Henry about how she's ready to move forward in her life and maybe, just maybe she'll think about marrying the fake English accent dude. He tells her to listen to her instinct and stop worrying. Everything seems cool until she looks at the pictures she had developed from Henry's camera.

Hook is busted from jail by Emma. She demands to know how those pictures of her and Henry in a place called Storybrooke can exist.

Did anyone ever see Henry with a camera in any previous episode? No? Me neither.

See? Rules don't matter in this show.

Hook tells her to ignore logic and instead, listen to her instinct. He hands over the vial of memory liquid. And since Emma is all about trusting your instinct, she forgets about the boyfriend who just proposed and takes a sip from the vial offered by the crazy guy she just busted from jail.

Emma downs the whole vial and her brow instantly furrows. “Hook,” she says, her voice heavy with regret.

Robin Hood reunites with Neal and Belle on the forest path as they journey with the others to the Queens' castle. When they arrive Regina discovers the castle is surrounded by a protective spell. Until she can discover who has taken over the castle they have to camp out.

Hook and Emma share a drink at her apartment reminiscing. He tells her that he was hanging out on the Jolly Roger when he received news that a new curse had been placed on the enchanted forest. He was able to cross over. He needs her to return with him to Storybrooke to save her family.

She's bummed because her life was fantastic and now she has all those crappy memories again. The boyfriend shows up and he's brought his accent with him. She tries to explain that 'a ghost from her past' showed up and she has to go back home to resolved some issues.

He begs her to chose a future with him instead. When she turns him down, he morphs into a flying monkey. She grabs a pipe and starts swinging. She sends him crashing to the street, far below.

The next morning she makes breakfast for Henry and says, “Do you believe in magic?” He, of course, has no memory of Storybrooke. She tells him she has a new case and that he's going with her ... you know... for an adventure.

Hook arrives at the door. She tells him to help with her luggage. She says, “Henry, lend him a hand.”

Hand. Good one. Get it?

She puts on her red leather jacket and takes the yellow punch buggy to Storybrooke.

Hook tells her he doesn't know what effect the curse will have on everyone's memories this time. With Henry asleep in the backseat, Emma goes to Mary Margaret's apartment. David opens the door. He remembers Emma, but the last year had been erased. Mary Margaret comes down the stairs and she's very preggers. So they know that it's been at least nine months since the curse was cast. But they don't even know who's responsible.

Back at the Queen's castle, a flying monkey arrives with a drop of blood. A witch in a black hat with green skin takes the drop of blood and adds it to a vial, talking about how her revenge is now complete.

Oh, how original! Another witch with another revenge.

“The Queen may be evil,” she smiles, “but I'm wicked, and wicked always wins.”

So does fourteen on black, just in case you're at the roulette table this weekend.

Need more Storybrooke? You'll find my recaps for ALL of the Once Upon A Time episodes (even from the very first season) on my Pinterest page here.

Congratulations! You made it to the end of this post. As a reward, enjoy this video of The Police singing Every Little Thing She Does is Magic.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

The Bachelor, Season 18, Final Episode, "Hot Dog! There's No Wiener"

For the finale, Juan Pablo's family are flown to St. Lucia to meet the final two contestants. The gang not only includes Carmella, but Juan's cousin, Rodolfo.

Claire is first up and she's practically knitting baby outfits. She tells his family she wants four children and later says to the camera, "I could 1,000 percent see myself a part of Juan Pablo's family forever."

Hmm, one thousand percent? Isn't that impossible.

Nikki, on the other hand is a nervous Nelly. Which is surprising since she's already met the Brady Bunch at Carmella's dance recital.

Something I'm sure she's still confused about.

Juan uses this moment to talk about himself and how honest he is.

Yeah, to a fault.

Juan's mother is also honest, like brutal. She uses the phrase "super hyperactive" and mentions that he can sometimes be very rude.


Then his Dad takes Nikki aside, explaining that Juan Pablo isn't the easiest guy to live with. "He thinks he knows the truth in everything."

Um, great parenting job.

But we're not done yet! Rodolfo tells her, "Juan Pablo's a really great guy, but when things are getting rough, he'll walk away from the relationship."

Right. How did this guy get chosen again? Oh, right he auditioned for The Bachelorette. What if Desiree had chosen him?

Juan Pablo needs one last make out session date with each contestant to see who deserves to be the big winner.

Because this show is so ridiculous I feel completely justified in using the term 'winner.'

Claire tells the camera that while she and Juan were in the helicopter he told her something that "that no woman wants to hear."

No return policy?

Actually, she hints that it was insulting, offensive, and just made her feel awful. Then she adds, "Maybe he's not the man that I thought he was."

Newsflash, it's only been a month. You don't know him at all. Unless you count that time you went swimming after midnight...

But Claire decides this date should be used for super serious stuff. She tells him she wants their relationship to be more than physical.

He strokes her leg and says, "I like what I have seen during the entire adventure."


Claire then says, "That's the kind of stuff I want to hear. I want to hear about more than like, 'I like kissing you, I like kissing you.'"

I guess Clare is over his helicopter faux pas. She begins to gush about the possibility of a BIG RING.

Why? Because she's going to be the winner, that's why.

Nikki takes a different approach. She says, "I'm in love with this guy. I want forever with him." So she decides to write him a love letter.

Who is she kidding? If she really wants to win this thing, she'll send him photos of herself in a bikini.

Anyway, the date ends with Nikki crying on the couch.

Claire arrives at the kiss and cry podium dressed like the girl who holds the large check for a lottery winner. She holds his hand and gazes into his eyes.

He says, "I appreciate you being here and trusting me all along, but I have to say goodbye to you."

Cue the wrath of hell.

"I saved this moment for the man of my dreams and I thought that was you and I thought I knew what kind of man you were," she says.

Juan Pablo decides to let Claire in on a little secret and wants to tell her the exact, precise moment he knew she wasn't going to be the winner.

My nerves. I have seen it all.

Claire grows a backbone. "It doesn't matter to me," she tells him. "I lost respect for you. I would never want my children having a father like you."

After she and her 'off the shoulder teal gown' depart, Juan gives us this pearl of commentary, "Whew. I'm glad I didn't pick her."

Dear ABC,

Maybe next time interview the Bachelor's parents about what kind of guy he is before signing him up for the show.

Nikki is next in a deep blue gown with a high slit, but there's no guarantee he'll pop the question.

Why? See earlier remarks by Juan's family members.

Nikki tells Juan that he is an amazing person and that she's waited a long time for this moment. "I can't imagine spending my life with anyone else. I love you."

He replies, "Just know that I love so many things about you."

But not actually you as a whole person like thing.

Juan finds a loop hole and tells Nikki that he promised her father that he would only propose if he was absolutely sure about it. Then he hits us with this slice of mathematical genius.

"I'm not one hundred percent sure that I want to propose to you. At the same time, I'm one hundred percent sure that I just don't want to let you go."

Then he adds, "I like you a lot...a lot."And he offers her a rose. Yup. Just a rose.

And she takes it.


This is followed by the live "After The Final Rose" show, but to tell you the truth I turned off the TV.

You see, I'm one hundred, no, one thousand percent sure I don't need to see or hear about these wackos anymore.

No big winner. Unless you count the viewers, since this season is finally over.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

I Am Currently...

Loving: Almond milk. Seriously. My cappuccino have never been so yummy

Reading: CRESS by Marissa Meyer. The third book in this sci-fi series is turning out to be my favorite yet. And the best thing is that Marissa followed me on Wattpad! So now we be like besties and such. Next up is ALLIGATOR  by Lisa Moore. I love her writing style. I'm always underlining phrases!

Watching: Downton Abbey has completed another season and I'm currently going through withdrawal. However, starting up this weekend is the continuation of season three of Once Upon A Time. From the promo it looks like the wicked witch of the west is going to be the villain this time. And we'll probably get to see Emma and Hook play that flirting game which Neal keeps interrupting. Team Hook!

Thinking about: BLACK FRIDAY, the sequel to NIGHT SHIFT. Wattpad readers have been so supportive that I couldn't leave them hanging. This book has been so fun to write. I promise big reveals, plot twists, and an ending that will make the readers hate and love me at the same time.

While waiting for edits on BUSGIRL BLUES, it's been a nice distraction to escape back to Willard's department store. I discovered that sharing my stories for free is quite liberating.  

Anticipating: Launching BUSGIRL BLUES into the world this fall! In the next few months I'll be finishing final edits and finally getting a peek at the cover. *pinches self*

Until I hold the actual book in my hands, I'll keep believing this is an elaborate practical joke.

Wishing: For an early spring with lots of sunshine. My goodness, it's been a long winter.

Making me happy: Everyone I care about is healthy and happy. Never underestimate the power of a comfortable, ordinary life.

How about you?

The Bachelor, Season 18, Episode 9 "The Women Tell All"

Or better title "The Women Whine A lot"

The worst thing about reality shows is that prior stars participants keep showing up, trying to mooch some camera time. We have to listen to the host probe ask Catherine about her wedding night with Sean. I'll spare you the witty banter because there was none.

Now it's time for the only reason people tune into this show; to see the women dish dirt.

Let the complaining begin...

First, there are the usual shots of Juan Pablo's chest and various other muscles. Yeah, we get it, he's hot. However, ABC seems like it's taking a page from Andi's playbook and begins to hint that maybe Juan is too hot and therefore must be superficial.

Most of the girls (some I don't even recognize) must have been talking with Andi backstage, and they use their last precious seconds of fame to call out Juan and his lack of interest in anything that wasn't related to his hotness.'s like ABC is trying to create drama to fill the hour and a half show.

Kelly, the dog lover, says the show doesn't portray what really happened and editing is to blame.

It's reality TV, not real life, dummy.

Andi pipes up hoping to get another close up and says Juan wasn't looking for a wife, he was looking for a girl friend.


Of course. What kind of psycho signs up for a show thinking they'll fall in love with a complete stranger after a month? Oh...never mind.

It sounds to me like Andi is still pretty miffed that he didn't beg her to stay when she decided to leave the show. But she's a lawyer, so whatever she says must be true, right?

Actually, coming on the show to find a girlfriend or boyfriend would make much more sense. Maybe he's the only sane one of this bunch. Well, except Sharleen and Renee.

Kat turns up the heat a notch and calls Juan out for his ever changing rules on kissing and making out in the ocean with Clare.

Remember that debacle?


Sharleen sits with the host and defends her reasons for leaving the show. Most importantly she knew a proposal was on the line and she wasn't ready to commit to that yet.

She must have some sort of connection still with him because she ended up defending him when the losers non-rose receiving contestants, complained he was never curious about their lives.

Renee is next but I fell asleep during her video montage. But, guess what? She's engaged!

Hooray! Is it the little league coach?

Andi is up next and she holds no punches. Her main complaint, other than Juan not asking about her favorite ice cream flavor, is that he told her she barely made it into the top three.

Well, she was the one who dumped him, so I don't blame him for trying to save face. Plus, she's a lawyer and they're totally into telling the truth.


After that painful ordeal, it's time for Juan Pablo to sit and take his medicine. 

He says from the very beginning he wouldn't change anything and was just trying to be honest. He explained why he took things slow with Renee, but then he wandered off into weird kissing rules and I started to nod off again.

When I woke up Cassandra was all red faced and calling him out for being unfair to Renee's son, Ben.

Um...I think someone's still bitter about getting dumped on her birthday.

There's a boring discussion about being fair and equal and I really think if these women were concerned about those issues they wouldn't have signed up for the show anyway.

Moving on...Andi is still hoping for Juan to cry and admit that he should never have let her go. She brings up the whole 'you're looking for a girlfriend not a wife' argument.

Sharleen attests that he asked a lot of questions about herself.

Gee, maybe he only asked those kinds of questions to women he saw as potential wives.

Kelly the dog lover, is tired of the audience clapping at everything Sharleen says. She brings up Juan Pablo's remarks about how there shouldn't be a gay Bachelor. As the daughter of a gay parent, she was really offended.

Juan requests to ask to speak with Kelly privately after the show to better explain what he meant. Victoria pipes up from the back row and says she's tired of him using his poor English as an excuse.

Remember Victoria? She got loaded and proved to the whole world she's a mean drunk.

Sharleen parachutes in and rescues Juan again by saying in a particular conversation they had about that topic, he was open-minded.

                                                                            Lucy Goosey ;)

Lucy, 'the free spirit' ends the whole thing brilliantly. She says, "We're not in a game, we're in a relationship and all we wanted was to be treated equal by you." is a contest. And you lost.

The host dangles the carrot by saying the final episode is something we've never seen before and to prove it, ABC shows us a teaser trailer.

There's bikinis, making out, beaches, and girls crying by themselves on hotel beds.

Yup, that sounds brand spanking new.

Here's what will happen next week. He'll pick Nikki. Clare will cry her 'tender heart' out. The End.

Actually, I'll be shocked if they're still together. I'm kind of wondering if Sharleen might change her mind.

Anyhoo, rumour has it that Andi will be the next Bachelorette. I hope the guys bring their bullet proof vests.

Juant more episode recaps?

The Bachelor, Season 18, Episode 1 "Girls Just Juanna Have Fun"
The Bachelor, Season 18, Episode 2 "Boobs, Blindfolds, and Bathroom Breakdowns"
The Bachelor, Season 18, Episode 3 "Splashing, Soccer, and Poolside Sobbing"
The Bachelor, Season 18, Episode 4 "K-pop, Karaoke, and Kissing"
The Bachelor, Season 18, Episode 5 "Making Out, Freaking Out, and Backing Out"
The Bachelor, Season 18, Episode 6 "Geysers, Good-byes, and Gagging"
The Bachelor, Season 18, Episode 7 "Reality Bites, Miami Nights, and Cat Fights"
The Bachelor, Season 18, Episode 8 "Bull Riding, Bullseyes, and Bullying Big Sisters
The Bachelor, Season 18, Episode 9 "Overnight, Overcome, and Overboard"

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