TV Discussion #14: Your Lie in April

0000HelloDragonlings!

I’ve missed a week of discussions because I’m a slacker. Today, we’re discussing a new anime I started watching called Your Lie in April.

I’ve been watching this show on Netflix.

Episode #2: Friend A

The three friends enter Toma Hall to watch Kaori play the violin. The last time Kousei was in Tama Hall, he bombed his last performance. The competitors are all playing the same piece, but when Kaori comes on stage, she plays the song in a completely different way than the piece was written, making everyone (except the judges of the contest) stand up and fall in love with her playing.

Honestly, I didn’t even know the song was the same. It was so different than the pieces before it.

After her performance, there was an intermission in the competition, and something Kaori says brings back flashbacks in Kousei’s mind of his mother. She mentions she doesn’t care about the competition, and he remembers his mother’s words about the only place that matters is first.

Watari is a bit of a womanizer, but he gives Kousei a bit of advice that I liked as well. He has a girl who likes him but he’s got another young lady he seems to be courting too. Watari’s a bit of a weird one. Every girl seems to like him, but he doesn’t seem to stick with just one. As such, it’s hard to believe that a young lady like Kaori is interested in him, but I guess it’s more because love is strange.

Favorite Character

Kaori Miyazono is a strange young woman. She is free-spirited and wild, but willful to those she finds disrespect her. She’s outgoing and a little bit reckless, but I love her all the same.

Memorable Quotes

“That’s got nothing to do with it. Cute girls have crushes too, man, just like the rest of us. And because she’s in love, she’s even cuter to you. So you fall for her, even knowing it’s not going to happen.” ~ Ryouta Watari

Have you watched this show? What did you think of it? Talk to me about it!

0000ThanksDragonlings!

TV Discussion #13: Your Lie in April

0000HelloDragonlings!

I’ve missed a week of discussions because I’m a slacker. Today, we’re discussing a new anime I started watching called Your Lie in April.

I’ve been watching this show on Netflix.

Episode #1: Monotone/Colorful

There are so many things going on with each of the characters in this episode. It’s mainly about a violinist who convinces a pianist genius who hasn’t played in years to be her accompianist for her competition, but there’s so many other things going on as well.

Kousei Arima is a pianist who hasn’t played piano in a couple years. He quit shortly after his mother died. He was a great pianist, but turned away from it. Tsubaki Sawabe is Kousei’s neighbor and best friend. She plays softball and her team is heading toward regionals. Ryouta Watari is the school’s soccer star and friends with both Kousei and Tsubaki. Kaori Miyazono is a violinist who wants Tsubaki to introduce her to Watari.

This is a drama for sure, but it’s not like American dramas. There’s hints of comedy and romance to balance the drama, and it makes it great. This episode makes it seem like there’s a couple of love triangles and unrequitted love as well, but I don’t see it much past this.

There are clips back and forth in time as we see Kousei’s last performance after his mother’s death and modern times. He’s a student and loves piano, but he doesn’t completely turn his back on music. He doesn’t play anymore, but he transcribes songs into sheet music.

It’s obvious from the moment Kousei meets Kaori that he’s fallen for her, but I don’t think it’s obvious to anyone else -even him. He just assumes she brought color and music back into his life. She challenges him in ways he hasn’t had in years, and it’s awesome. Even if she is interested in his best friend instead of him.

Music plays a big part of this show, and I love the emphasis on different kinds of music and instruments. I think the only thing I don’t like about the episode is how everyone calls Kousei the “ever-dependable friend A” as if he doesn’t have feelings outside friendship.

Favorite Character

Tsubaki is the best friend anyone could ever have. She comes across as bossy sometimes, but she has a clear idea of what her friends really want to do even if they are scared to do it.

Memorable Quotes

“Miwa told me something. She told me, when you’re in love, the world just starts looking more… colorful.” ~ Tsubaki Sawabe

Have you watched this show? What did you think of it? Talk to me about it!

0000ThanksDragonlings!

2017 NaNoWriMo Update #2

0000HelloDragonlings!

NaNoWriMo is over in about three days. Yeah. It’s happening… *internal screaming*

I’ve actually won, but I did so working on multiple different projects, and while I’d planned on working on two projects, other projects reared their heads and demanded to be worked on.

First, the stats!

2017NaNoWriMoWinner

Next, the projects!

Mages’ Sacrifice (Shifters & Mages, book 4)
Nicky, head of the Council, has betrayed them, but before any of them can get their hands on her, she vanishes and no one, not even Myles, can find her. Puck is preparing for what feels like will be the final battle against the Hunters, but her mage-partner, Cassie, seems to be hiding something from her, and if she can’t figure out what it is before it’s too late, it could be the end of everything as they know it.

“Solace” (a Moon Blessed story)
When Brijit, a serving maid, seeks solace at the fountain one evening, she meets K’la, a gargoyle and lone guardian of the castle. They strike up a quick friendship, but betrayal threatens their friendship when Lord Devin learns of the gargoyle and seeks her assistance in taking over the throne.

Broken Laws (Werelings, book 2)
Clara is a filmographer hired to follow a triathlon star as she trains for her next big race, but when she’s pulled over and accused of stalking, her world takes a turn for the worst. Braden is different than the rest of the werelings in his Pack. An officer of human law first and a follower of Pack laws second, he has trouble following the rules of his people when his brother pulls a heinous stunt in human laws that’s perfectly allowable in Pack laws.

Lastly, updates!

Shifters & Mages series

I am unhappy with this series overall. I’ve been getting writing done. Heck, Puck’s Choice is ready for publication as soon as I get a cover for it. However, the rest of the series is in shambles. Why? Because I keep cutting pieces from one book to put in another. (This is why I originally wanted Puck’s Choice to be a friggin’ stand-alone. *growls*)

Development of the series has changed over the years. Originally, it was a stand-alone, and then Jenna popped up her head and said, “Hey! What about me?!?” so I turned it into a series that was supposed to have five books. Then it turned into three novels and three novellas. Now, it looks like it’s changing again.

Yes… again…

The more I tried to work in a Hunter subplot for Jenna’s Story, the more I felt like I was just adding fluff to thicken it from novella length to novel length, and I hated it. So, I took out that subplot and I’ll be turning it into another novella.

That means the Shifters & Mages series will end up being two novels and four novellas. *headdesk* Seriously? Seriously, series? I mean, come on!

On top of that, I decided that I’d take out the dual personalities of Hunters’ Betrayal as well. It started off in Rand’s perspective, flipped back to before the Salem Witch Trials to Michael’s perspective, and finally back again, but now it’s just in Michael’s perspective. That said, the length of the novellas are changing. There were supposed to be three novellas, all around 25,000 words, but I felt like I was forcing Warren’s Rage to be that length, and now I can breathe again, because I feel like I can cut a lot of fluff from it now.

At the moment, after all these edits, the works are sitting at the following progresses:

  • Puck’s Choice (73K) – ready for publication
  • Jenna’s Story (53K) – needs complete re-write
  • Warren’s Rage (26K) – needs edit
  • Hunters’ Betrayal (17K) – needs edit
  • Scott’s Investigation (17K) – needs complete re-write
  • Mages’ Sacrifice (38K) – writing first draft

There’s a lot of differences in all those word counts. I have a feeling that when I finish the re-writes of Jenna’s Story and Scott’s Investigation, they’ll end up being around 20K or so. There’s a lot of things I think could be dropped from Jenna’s Story, and thanks to some ideas I had for the end of Hunters’ Betrayal, I need to cut a lot from it in order to make it make sense with the rest of the series.

Basically, I have my work cut out for me, and I have to play Doctor Frankenstein for a bit. I’m starting to understand what P. T. Wyant means when she talks about cutting and splicing and editing her multi-book (I think it’s up to thirteen novels) series. I’m so glad I don’t have that many books in this series. I’m struggling with the ones I have.

Because, let’s face it, this is a bit disheartening. I thought I was nearly done with the series, and… I’m not. Can I get done in the time I wanted to? That’s a good question… I’m not sure.

That said, I’m leaving my release dates up in the air now. I don’t know when the series will be ready for editing because I don’t know when the next book will be ready for edits. Because I don’t know when they’ll be ready for edits, I don’t know when they’ll be ready for publication. *le sigh*

Wereling Trilogy

This is a series I’ve been keeping hush-hush since I switched to this site. It was something I wanted to start a couple of years ago based off a short story I wrote… so long ago I can’t remember when.

Packless
I have a cover for this and a basic blurb and outline for this novella. I’m not certain how long it will be, but the goal is to be between 20-45K. This will be based on ancient Greek times and features Aesop.

Broken Laws
I started writing this one for NaNoWriMo this year, and currently, it’s sitting at 35K. I’m not happy with the direction it took, and I need it to end a certain way to flow into the next book. I expect the re-written version will be anywhere from 35K-45K. This is the only title in the series I don’t have a cover for, but I’m working on it.

Wereling
This is basically a re-write of the original short story with more character development and more backstory. It’s going to be the last in the trilogy, and I also expect it to be somewhere between 35-45K, but I already have a cover for it, so once it’s done, I’ll be ready to publish.

Moon Blessed

This is the LGBT anthology I wanted to hand-write during NaNoWriMo. I worked on it the first two days, but then didn’t the rest of the month. I do plan on finishing them in handwritten form before typing them up, but for now, they’re still on the to-do list.

  • Changeling – ready for anthology inclusion
  • Solace – writing first draft
  • Moonlight Dance – need to write
  • – need to write

Since I already have a cover for this anthology, I just need to write, edit and publish this anthology, and I’m hoping to do that some time in 2018. Guess that means I need to get to work.

I have gotten a lot done this month, but I also have a lot of work to do. Bring it on.

0000ThanksDragonlings!

2,000 to 10,000 by Rachel Aaron

Friday Feature

2,000 to 10,000 by Rachel Aaron

“Have you ever wanted to double your daily word counts? Do you sometimes feel like you’re crawling through your story? Do you want to write more every day without increasing the time you spend writing or sacrificing quality? It’s not impossible, it’s not even that hard. This is the book explaining how, with a few simple changes, I boosted my daily writing from 2000 words to over 10k a day, and how you can too.”

Expanding on her highly successful process for doubling daily word counts, this book, a combination of reworked blog posts and new material, offers practical writing advice for anyone who’s ever longed to increase their daily writing output. In addition to updated information for Rachel’s popular 2k to 10k writing efficiency process, 5 step plotting method, and easy editing tips, this new book includes chapters on creating characters that write their own stories, practical plot structure, and learning to love your daily writing. Full of easy to follow, practical advice from a commercial author who doesn’t eat if she doesn’t produce good books on a regular basis, 2k to 10k focuses not just on writing faster, but writing better, and having more fun while you do it.

About the Author

Rachel Aaron lives a lovely, nerdy, bookish life in Athens, GA with her seven-year-old son, loving husband, and obese wiener dog. Other than her own books, the internet knows her best for writing very fast. To find out exactly how fast (and read sample chapters from all her books), visit http://www.rachelaaron.net!

She also writes action packed, romantic Science Fiction under the name Rachel Bach.

Disclaimer: All images pulled from Goodreads and Amazon.

Recommendation

[Youtube discussion video I’ve filmed]

Joust by Mercedes Lackey

Friday Feature

Joust by Mercedes Lackey

National best-selling fantasy author Mercedes Lackey creates a vivid, dynamic fusion of the cultures of ancient Egypt and legendary Atlantis with the most exciting and believable portrayal of dragons ever imagined. The first book in this thrilling new series introduces us to a young slave who dreams of becoming a jouster-one of the few warriors who can actually ride a flying dragon. And so, in secret, he begins to raise his own dragon…

About the Author

Mercedes Lackey is the acclaimed author of over fifty novels and many works of short fiction. In her “spare” time she is also a professional lyricist and a licensed wild bird rehabilitator. Mercedes lives in Oklahoma with her husband and frequent collaborator, artist Larry Dixon, and their flock of parrots.

Disclaimer: All images pulled from Goodreads and Amazon.

Movie Discussion #2: Made of Honor

0000HelloDragonlings!

On today’s discussion, we’ll be talking about a movie made in 2008, a romantic comedy (my favorite genre of movie actually despite my not talking about one before now): Made of Honor.

Made of Honor

I have a lot of feelz for this movie. It’s been one of my favorites ever since I first saw it, and there’s not a lot that comes close to holding a candle to it. Except maybe Leap Year, but that’s another discussion.

So, the premise of this movie is that Tom climbs into bed with the roommate of the woman he was trying to sleep with and they become best friends over the years upon their shared honesty with each other.

Over the years, Tom becomes a bit of a man-whore, which is frowned upon, but I will give him props. He’s honest with the women he sleeps with, and he does abide by a sense of rules that makes up for his man-whoring ways – especially once we meet his father who’s marrying his sixth wife, a woman his son’s age. Still, Tom is loyal to Hannah and they get along so well, it’s hard to see them as friends rather than a couple with an open relationship. Seriously. If we hadn’t been introduced to Tom (years after he and Hannah met) sleeping with a woman who wasn’t Hannah, I might have thought them to be a couple. They do all of the couple-y things. All. Of. Them.

And it’s even more apparent when they’re together at the reception of his dad’s wedding just how much she loves him. Almost painfully so, but not nearly as painful as seeing how blind he is to her feelings for him. It’s one of those times where I want to reach my hand through the screen and slap him. Man! What’s wrong with you?

But why doesn’t she ever say anything to him about it? I have a couple of theories. One, he’s a man-whore. He knows this. She knows this. There’s no qualms there. She also knows that, as such, he’ll break her heart. Oh, he might not mean to, but he will. Undoubtedly. Two, she’s denying it herself. I don’t think she wants to be in love with him. She likes having him as her friend. She likes keeping him at a distance. They’re being a couple would change their relationship, and I don’t think she wants to accept that in the end.

Either way, she doesn’t tell him, and it takes her leaving the country and meeting another man in order for Tom to get his own head out of his ass and realize his best friend is going to leave him. And of course… he loves her too much to let her go.

A lot of what follows is painful to watch sometimes as the whirlwind romance between Hannah and Colin develops. Poor Colin. He never really stood a chance. Maybe that’s why he and Hannah wanted to escalate the wedding. A fortnight. They’d only known each other a month, but they wanted to get married in A FORTNIGHT?!? For those who don’t know, a fortnight is two weeks. Two weeks. So, after six weeks of knowing each other, Colin and Hannah were going to be married.

Talk about a shotgun wedding. It was doomed from the start for that reason alone. It bothered me that none of her friends, and I mean none of them (Tom included), tried to talk to her about the insanity of marrying a man she just met and had only known for a few weeks and move out of the country to be with him. I understand Colin was a good guy, but I can’t help but think… What if he hadn’t been? This is how abusive relationships are formed. But in a hour’s worth of screen time, it was only mentioned once. Once. Gah!

That said, I still love the movie. It has humor and wit and I love how some of the characters are sarcastic son-of-a-bitches. They be my peeps, yo. The wit is strong with these people. It’s not the best movie out there, and there are a lot of cringe-worthy scenes, but it amuses me and is a feel-good movie more than anything.

Favorite Character

I realize that Tom is the main character and the movie’s about him and how he changes as he discovers he’s in love with Hannah, but it’s Hannah I love. She’s funny, smart, and she really knows what Tom needs/doesn’t need in his life.

Memorable Quotes

“You know, I’ve only truly been in love once. The most amazing woman in the world. She was my best friend. But I was young, stupid, and I messed it up. My great list of mistakes, that was the greatest.” ~ Thomas Sr.

“Come on, what are you there for, man? Take the shot, win the game, and bring her home. And stop running up my long-distance phone bill with these crazy calls.” ~ Felix

“Look… Hannah. You know, I pride myself on being honest with everybody. But there’s somebody I’ve been lying to for a very long time: myself. Because the truth is… Is scary. And 10 years ago, I got in bed with the wrong girl. She turned out to be the right one. I love you, Hannah. I always have. And I always will.” ~ Tom

Have you watched this movie? What did you think of it? Talk to me about it!

0000ThanksDragonlings!

TV Discussion #12: Ouran High School Host Club

0000HelloDragonlings!

This week’s discussion is… you guessed it… Ouran High School Host Club. Long title. Amazing show.

I’ve been watching this show on Netflix. As an anime, it is in Japanese, but the version I’m watching is English subbed. I don’t know Japanese. Sorry folks.

This will be the last discussion on the show as I actually binge-watched the rest of the show (There’s twenty-six episodes.) and am ready to move on to another anime already. If you’d like to know more about the show and what happens, check it out on Netflix. I did discover that the English version is on there as well. *facepalm*

Episode #10: A Day in the Life of the Fujioka Family!

Tamaki doesn’t know the first thing about Haruhi’s life at home (AKA, a commoner’s life), and after he has a nightmare, he decides to take it upon himself to “check up” on Haruhi and make sure she’s alright. The rest of the Host Club joins him and insanity and hilarity ensues.

First, the boys drive to her house in expensive limo-like (Or are they limos? I can’t remember…) cars, and the landlady wonders – aloud, mind you – if they are Yakuza, which is the Japanese mafia. Yikes! Great compliment in a way, but if I heard that about someone, I’d be crossing the street and avoiding their gaze. Don’t look at me. Don’t look at me. I did nothing wrong. Don’t look at me.

Next, as they come across Haruhi’s home, one of the young men asks if Haruhi is really bad off if she lives in such a nice home. Kyoya informs the group that, in fact, several families live in the building known as an apartment complex. I get that their rich, but do they know absolutely nothing about the world outside theirs? Apparently not.

There’s a lot of promises made, and then broken, as Tamaki tries to advise the host club on things not to say or do in order to insult the commoners, but then he does all of them himself. Not only that, but his advice is unnecessary because he doesn’t know the first thing about them himself as he, himself, has been coddled most of his life. *facepalm*

The real kicker comes when they meet Haruhi’s dad, who’s dressed as a woman, as he is a transestite and works at a bar (I think?) or similar. Ryoji, or Ranka when he’s dressed as a woman, is a kind man and a lot like Tamaki in many, many, many ways, but he throws the host club off at first because none of them expected a woman in the household (They totally mistake him for an actual woman.) and they know Haruhi’s mother is deceased. We learn a lot about Haruhi’s upbringing and how Ryoji became Ranka and why.

On top of that, we get to see Ryoji grow as she settles into the idea that his little girl is growing up, and she’s got a great group of friends – yes, even Tamaki, who he initially has bad vibes about due to the jests about his antics from the others – who care about her and bring her out of her shell. I love seeing the moments when parents realize their children aren’t children anymore and stop worrying about them as much because they realize they’ll be just fine on their own, and that happens with Ryoji here.

Favorite Character

Ryoji/Ranka has a hard role to play as Haruhi’s only parent, and I admire him greatly. He’s a lot like Tamaki, or Tamaki’s a lot like him (whichever way you want to put it), but he cares about his daughter a lot and does everything he can to make sure she has the best possible future. He also doesn’t stand in her way when it comes to her dreams.

Memorable Quotes

“Those young men are driving such fancy foreign cars – they’re not Yakuza, are they?” ~ Landlady

Have you watched this show? What did you think of it? Talk to me about it!

0000ThanksDragonlings!