Friday, August 30, 2013

Short story: Three little words

In order to get myself in the mode of refreshing my writing process, I thought it would be fun and challenging to write a weekly short story based off of random moments in my life. This will prove to be quite hilarious...there are a lot of strange stories that come or of La La land.
I got to talking with a co-worker about words and how the implication can transform into something entirely different. The meaning of them change, the way we use them change, and the cool factor may go from lame to awesome. It’s interesting to see how some words that used to mean something insanely derogatory, is now used in a way that makes you seem like a bad ass M F’er. Or on the flip side, something that was considered the epitome of cool is now seen as dumb in the trying to be ironic and failing. Words intrigue me, and the meaning we put behind them…so here is a little short for your enjoyment :)

There is quite an absurdity to life in your mid twenties when you are dating. It’s actually strange how certain moments grab hold of you and you are unable to twist your thoughts around it to move on to more interesting productive actions. You sit, you stare, you glance off into the distance realizing more than a hour later that you have achieved absolutely nothing at all but to idly obsess over one single moment, whether it be good or bad you can’t stop from thinking about it.
I sit here and stare, off into nothing and think of the moment I said those three little words that should never have passed through my lips. Three little words that should never had surfaced, should never had seen the light of day, but there it is. Out in the open for all onlookers to see, the spot light blazing in my eyes as I said it, and I know the man standing in front of me most definitely heard it. Why, why did I think that was a good idea, why did I say it. Those words are secret, they are just for me to know, just for me to hold on to but they bubbled up out between my lips before I could stop them and in reaction his face completely bled of color. Speechless is what they call it, but it more looked as though I hit him full on in the face with a MAC truck. “You what?” he said to me, voice shaking with surprising volume.
My mouth froze sticking in movement as though cotton had been shoved down my throat yards at a time. Nothing spilled from my lips this time, I was stuck in a desert of silence. He blinked, and I blinked back, he huffed loudly and I sighed with anxiety. It was done, I said it, and there was no going back. Finally my eyes closed, and I felt it, the shame and remorse over what I had done. I just couldn’t believe it, how could I have been so stupid. The walls of protection guarding my well being had been up and tightly locked for a reason, but that night, that one moment a fissure broke loose one brick and in quick secession the entire barricade broke loose. It was over, I had crossed the line, and there was no going back now.
A tender hand lifted my chin from my chest, and it made me nervous to look up, but I bared my responsibility to react only to find my eyes colliding with a bright and smiling face. “Say it again,” he said deeply, no longer allowing an ounce of nervousness to enter his tone. “Say it again, I want to hear it.”
It was a joke I had thought, there was no way he would actually want me to repeat what I had just said, no possible way he was being sincere. In all my years never had a situation like this turned so quickly, no one else had reached this platform of trust with me like he had, but still I was uncertain. I had said it once and immediately regretted it, now it would just be pure torture to see him walk away after I uttered the syllables out loud a second time.
“Are you sure?” I asked hesitantly, not quite trusting of my voice. It shook like a wobbly leaf blowing in the autumn winds of Chicago, it was a miracle my voice was still hanging on intact.
“Of course I am sure,” he said with sudden excitement, only causing my muscles and bones to immediately give away with relief. His eyes blazed brilliantly, an honest and vivid blue filled with complete and total understanding. He quickly rummaged through his pack tossed idly on the ground and dug out a tattered paperback book. On the cover read “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.” My eyes snapped back up to his with a shocking impact slapping into my chest. “You too!”
“Say it, I wanna hear you say it again,” he said, pulling me closer so that my lips barely grazed his ear.
My lips parted and without hesitation I said the three little words that I had kept hidden and close to my heart, the dark secret I was too afraid to ever admit until this very moment. “I’m a nerd.”

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The meet cute moment

I think my favorite moment of a movie or a book is the Meet Cute, the moment when two characters meet for the first time. It always seems so idyllic and for the most part completely random (which in turn makes it seem completely ridiculous to “search” for your loved one when divine intervention will eventually drop them on your doorstep right?).

It never ceases to amaze me when people tell me how they met, probably one of my favorites so far is actually my parents. My dad walked in to get a haircut, and at the time my mom cut hair. He came in three weeks later, and asked her out on a date. BAM! Meet cute, and they have been married for 25 years now. Strange to think that a random task, getting your hair cut, could change your life forever.

I sometimes take this to the next level, “If I don’t go to the store right this second will I pass up the most adorable MEET CUTE EVER!!!” Probably not, I think the best example is a long ago movie I remember watching in film class the 1938 Bluebeard’s Eighth wife. They both go to buy pajamas and the man says to the salesman: 'I just need bottoms'. The woman says: 'I just need a top'. They look at each other, eyes lock and they realize, they are meant for each other.

Living in LA I meet a lot of people on a daily basis, and I can think of multiple times that I randomly met someone and sparks flew but for some reason neither of us went for the good old “call me, here’s my number.” Maybe I am old fashioned, but I would like to think the guy would ask for my number and call me as soon as he gets home because he can’t stop thinking about me. No… that too romantic comedy-esk of me?

Still regardless of how cliché and overly adorable these moments are in life, movies, and books, the inner sap inside me wants them to always be overly adorable and extremely over the top cliché. Let’s be honest, a great meet cute are the ones that make you expel your inner girl sound “Awwwwwww… how cute!”

My favorite top meet cute moments:

Time to get super mushy, you ready for this……

1)Tristan and Isolde….because who doesn’t LOVE a tragic love story

2) Scott Pilgrim…he already knew he was crazy about her, but their eyes met and it was perfect. Well for him it was until the crazy XXXXXXX's got in the way!!

3) Serendipity…now that whole movie was based around the meet cute…and the meet cute deux! Talk about KISMET!!

4) A good year…they already met once as kids, but then they meet again very… intensely!! He ran her off the road, she subjected him to being stuck in an empty pool

5) The Holiday…two women swap houses and find their TRUE LOVE…(which is also where I began to truly fall in love with the meet cute)

6) PS I love you….yep, idly walking through Ireland and you meet Gerard Butler…that is a winner!

7) Letters to Juliet…so freaking mushy, but I think I love when characters meet and first hate each other on principle but end up liking each other because of that little thing called attraction

8) Love this one is full of love obviously, but my favorite story is the prime minister and his new assistant who actually drops the F bomb when she first meets him, honestly it was more adorable because they had English accents.

9) No I WILL NOT MENTION TWILIGHT….dumb meet cute….and he looked horrendiously pale, wth was up with his hair?!

10) Ok it has to be said….TITANIC….because she was about to plummet to her death and he saved her, well perhaps she never would have done it like he said, but she did slip and he caught her. Looking at propellers I call Shenanigans! (Kinda coincidental that Kate Winslet in the Holiday is the character that asks about the meet cute…and she honestly has one of the most intense ones EVER!)

So that is my epic list of mushy love meets. Perhaps one day I will get to write a fantastic short about my own meet cute

Monday, August 26, 2013

Why do you hate me words!!

Have you ever tried to write a story and consciously think of the words you are not allowed to use. It’s way more difficult than you would think. As I am reviewing some of my chapters, which I dubbed “the hacking project” I noticed how often I cross out the same words. You don’t even realize it when you first start writing how many filler words creep into your sentences. You need to hit a certain specified word count, it’s not about pages, it’s about how many words you dump on the reader. Every genre has its own rule about word limits, and for me I have to whittle my novel down to about 80,000 words. My first thought when I realized this…..HOLY CRAP! I am about halfway through the first “Manny” and I am already at about 75,000 words. This….is a problem. And thus, the hacking project begins.

Doing a read through I notice words like; that, had, very, which, there, just. And then there were sentence starters like suddenly and immediately. You realize quickly you don’t need these words, they are filler and completely pointless. If you were to just skim a novel you completely delete words like; the, is, that, he, she, then, if, where, and…these words aren’t always needed.

Even as I write this blog here I can easily insert words that I don’t need and it makes every sentence that I write a lot longer than it really should or needs to be. (35 word count)

Rewrite: As I write this blog I insert words I don’t need, making every sentence I write longer than is should be. (21 word count)

This is where you have to take into account the artistry of writing, what do I keep, and what do I delete? The words become your enemy, and I actually begin to HATE them. These hated words creep into every sentence, needlessly, I hack away at them with a vengeance. WHY DO YOU RUIN MY SENTENCES WORDS!!!! But then some sentences, I have a deep crush on, they are so beautiful in their description that I have a hard time cropping them down. Sometimes, I just love words…

The sun rose majestically through the crisp fall clouds spraying the early morning dew drops with hues of pink, orange, and yellow. Song birds twittered nervously in the naked trees, dancing back and forth on shaking limbs anticipating the storm brewing in the east. (44 words)

The sun rose in the crisp of dawn, song birds dancing back and forth in anticipation of the brewing storm. (20 words)

Which sentence is better? Are either of them any good? Do the extra words add anything to the canvas in your mind? Sometimes writing isn’t fun when you over think it, and many times I wish I could go back to just writing to write, and not caring how many damn words are in every single chapter. If you don’t like them, skip them!! Ok well, I guess I could whittle my 750 page novel down to 350 pages…if you really want me to, but I won’t like it one bit!!

Back to the chopping board….

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Oh to live in La La Land

Time to veer off topic just a bit into my daily life in La La Land.

I live in Los Angeles just over the hill from Hollywood, and it's easy enough to say we have practically perfect weather every day. Today sitting on my balcony it is a mild 86 degrees, though I am also in the shade, I'm pretty sure I would be a baked cookie right now if I was in direct sunlight. I'm white, I'm freckles...aka...I fry like a little potato (because I'm Irish, GET IT!) Anyways, perfect whether, a nice breeze, and what am I doing......I AM ON MY BALCONY STARING AT MY COMPUTER SCREEN. Wow...get a life Jessica!

I love living here, at first it was wild and a little crazy, the dating scene isn't all that great...a lot of fish in the sea yes, but not all of those fish are Grade A poultry, most are bottom of the tank scum suckers. The best parts about LA, is the diversity of things to do, places to eat, bars to go (craft beer YES PLEASE) there are way to many distractions here and as much as that can get me in trouble sometimes, I freaking love it!
 Me and my Friends at Cinespia about to watch The Princess Bride...and that man in black is the Dreaded Pirate Roberts! This is probably one of the coolest parts about the summer, they play outside movies at the Hollywood Cemetery (no we don't sit on the graves you crazies, there is an open park area) projecting the movie up onto the side of this building. It's fantastic and a ton of people usually show up. I am going this weekend to see Breakfast to come soon :)

The city lights of the's no wonder you can't see too many stars this city makes too many of its own twinkling lights!!
Lazy pool day with my's a rough life I tell you.

So I work in Hollywood at a Post Film house, not to be named for obvious reasons, and I love PEOPLE watching. I can in a span of five minutes see a cute couple holding hands walking down the street, a surly old man mumbling to himself, a gay couple buoyantly bouncing along in brightly colored perfectly put together outfits, a guy wearing a skirt and a tub top?...that's a guy right?...I'm pretty sure that was an Adams apple...that was a really cute skirt, a fake blonde in a skin tight dress with what I guess you would call a Grade D personality...totally fake, a punk rocker in full black spiked boots and more metal in their body than pre-teens at a Justin Beiber concert.....the list goes on and on and on. So many people, so much diversity, so many interesting topics, so many interesting lives!

LA is like a pool of stories, thoughts, hidden secrets, and strange worlds, step out into the unknown and unusual and you never know what you will come across.....

Stay Tuned: I think I am going to start doing a random short story once a week, just to keep the juices of fresh writing flowing. I'm pretty sure that will start this week. So come back here and check it out!!! See you soon...I think I'm gonna go walk the PUG!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

My Muse

 I get asked why I like to write, how do I go about the process of writing, how do you even begin to start writing a novel????!!!!???? Music is what helps me write. For me it's not about going from beginning to end, it's more about knowing certain scenes and moments and writing around that. Most often, a certain song will give me a certain emotion, and BAM I have a scene floating through my head like a movie on repeat. I see it over and over again as I listen to the song over and over again and I can't help but write it down.

Sometimes I see writing my novel as fun, sometimes its more of a need to get all of this story out of my head. It's quite intense to carry an entire trilogy in your head at all times. I see it over and over again, how I want it to go, what I want to happen next, what struggles and adversities the characters will conquer.

Music begins it for me...the very first scene that popped into my head when it came to this novel, before I even had a set story line in place, was actually the very last scene of the first novel. I was listening to Muse before one of their shows in 2010, I always love listening to an artist right before I go see them. Now I had been listening to Muse for quite a while, but for some reason this time when I listened to them I was practically slapped in the face with an idea. The song was Knights of Cydonia and it was the pinnacle climax moment of my future novel that suddenly began to play in my head.

It was amazing, wonderful, intense, and....I ran home and wrote it all down as best as I could before the idea disappeared. Then...I put it away.

It wasn't until I first moved to LA that I actually started to really think about taking this novel writing seriously. I remember sitting on my porch/balcony in my first apartment in Downtown and I was messing around on my laptop and that song came on my playlist, Muse. And suddenly I thought, "Where the hell did that scene go!" The idea came swiftly, and I just started to fill in the information around what I knew. The single novel quickly spilled over into a trilogy and before I knew it I had three books outlined.

None of this is to say I am close to done, this story has a long way to go. But for me, it all started with Muse and the rest of the story filled in with other songs that also pushed me towards the realization that I HAD to write this novel. I never went to school for writing, I went to school for 3D animation, but still...I suddenly owed it to myself to get this story out on paper. I hope one day I can share it with the world.

If you haven't seen the video to Knights of Cydonia by Muse you really should, it's awesome!!!
Muse Video: Knights of Cydonia

Side note: I think once I am actually done with the first novel I am going to write up a playlist of music to go with each chapter, it heavily influences everything that I have written. It's only fitting to call it My Muse...

Friday, August 23, 2013

Of course I will be amazing....I am Batman....said Mr. Affleck

This really has nothing to do with my own life, purpose, or reason for blogging, but I feel like when something happens that practically everyone is talking about I have to make a little comment about it myself. (I think more for cataloging purposes than actually feeling like my opinion means anything what so ever to anyone else)

So….Ben Affleck as the new Batman. This seriously came as a HUGE shock to practically everyone I have talked to. I don’t think this is necessarily horrible, but then again I really don’t see Ben in the black suit and the roughened voice wearing a cap and the black eye makeup. It just suddenly makes Batman seem hokey…kinda weirdly lame because I like Mr. Affleck to Daredevil, and that character in his arms was pretty much ridiculous.

HOWEVER, none of this is to say that Ben isn’t a great actor, I actually think he is an amazing actor, and a PHENOMENAL director. Argo was brilliant, and the Town was freaking amazing. Both movies I loved him in. Of course my favorite would be Goodwill Hunting, no one can deny the amazing quality of the acting, the script, the whole movie was amazing! Especially the accent… “You like apples? How about ‘dem apples?”

I can’t honestly say that I think that Ben as Batman will be a total disaster, but I do have to admit that the Batman Superman movie might actually make it a bit….worse than it already seems it’s going to be. I really hope to be proved wrong, but I really didn’t enjoy Superman (Although Henry Cavill as Superman wasn’t so bad, he held the role really well…picturing him beside Batman and fighting each other? That doesn’t go over so well in my brain). And now trying to think of Batman talking to Superman, really Ben, are you going to use the Batman super secret rough voice and say things like “I am better… because I am Batman!”

I guess time will tell with this one, but so far I think the axe has fallen on this decision, I have yet to hear a positive outlook on this team up. I would love to hear some feedback about this one….

Writers's chilly in here

The blinking cursor of the blank page states at me...blink...blink...blink. The rapid fire disappearing trick gets on my nerves fast. Why won't the words flow, I know what I want to say. I have the scene playing over and over in my head, but it won't run down the spine of nerves into my poised fingers waiting for the direction of words it must type. Ugh....

I don't consider this writers block, I consider it writers freeze. You see I have this novel I'm writing, yes its a trilogy, that I already know. And it's planned to be a YA series, I believe. Lets call this project Manny (aka...the manuscript...dun dun dun ). The ideas of Manny play over and over again in my head like a movie, but sometimes I just freeze up and can't seen to type a single sentence. I feel like this is worse than writers block, because I know the scene, the words are just rudely ignoring me, running away into the folds of my brain, they are hiding.

I feel like I have reached almost the middle mark, I have about 12 chapters under my belt, and I'm shooting for atleast 23. I hope this damn writers freeze will go away, Manny has way to much work to be done on it...and my deadline for completion is the end of December. I will make it...I am a novelist after all...right...RIGHT?!

side note: I have been thinking of ways to find an agent to help me on this adventure. I am hoping to go to the writers conference to spark some helpful ideas with that. Into the chasm of the writing world I shall go hence forth! (yeah I totally did that in a British accent in my head...I have no idea why).

Random picture of the day!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

I'm a novelist...?

I remember talking to my mother one day and I told her "I think I want to write a novel." She responded with, "Are you sure? You don't sound very convinced of it." Ever since I can remember I have been writing; short stories, little picture books, and I had at that time two novels I was apparently "working" on. But at the time I told my mother about it, she asked why I never was open about what I loved and wanted to do. She made me realize that in order to want something, in order to really make something of yourself you have to own who you are, who you strive to be.

When ever someone used to ask me what I was doing when I was furiously typing on my laptop I always replied, "writing." Even to the people that seemed interested in what I was doing, I used to shy away from the truth. It was almost as though I was afraid of what they would say.

Now, I am amazed at the positive response I get when I tell people I'm writing a novel. The best one so far was "holy crap girl, aren't you a rock star!!" It made me feel great!! And every day from here on out I own who I am, I am proud to be an artist, proud to be a writer, I'm proud to be a total nerd.

Soon to come....
More info about this novel and where I am in the process so far. But stay tuned, soon I will be dropping some text from the first chapter!!

My Blog is Now on KINDLE!!

A little awesome news, my blog is now available on Amazon Kindle! Isn't that totally rad?! You can subscribe to my blog through any format of amazon kindle and read it anywhere on the go, now you won't always need the internet. You can read my crazy silly blogs at any moment. I knew you would be as excited as I am about it :)

Funny picture time with this little happy note:

Before there was my little pug Dude, there was Lyonel <3

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

MTA: movie trailer addiction!!!

The lights dim as the glowing light of the screen blares to life, the subtle savory taste of butter and salt waft through the air as you dip your hand into the popcorn bowl. Tinkling sounds of a studio logo flash across the screen and a smile splits your face as you ready yourself for the adventure, the bleeding sorrows, the action packed thriller, the dystopian drabness, the conquering hero, the failing villain…the trailers have begun and you can’t contain your excitement.

I think you can tell by now that I am so totally and completely movie trailer obsessed. I don’t even necessarily wait until I get to a theater to watch the trailer, I pretty much search for new trailers on a daily basis. They are exciting, a small piece of wonder and giddiness prepping you for the awesome theatrical adventure to begin!!

Some trailers are amazing and grip you right from the get go, and some are a little ridiculous and beyond the point of “really, now why did you just make me watch that?!” I think what I love most about movie trailers is the moment of glee when the date of the upcoming release flashes before your eyes and the first words out of your mouth to your movie watching buddy is “Ohhh I can’t wait to see that!” BAM!! Excitement, thrill, and anticipation. I almost love anticipating a movie more than actually watching it….almost. Trailers give me a buzz of wonder, and they lead me to an emotion to attach to that upcoming movie. I love the specific songs that they use, the typography and the opening line that starts the next two minutes and thirty seconds of your life with building anticipation. A trailer is all about leading you in, making you feel like you are a part of something, giving you just a taste so that you desperately want more More MOOOORE!

I think the best trailers are the ones that don’t give too much away, if a trailer is over the 2.30 mark I usually stray away actually because I feel like they are just giving way to much about the movie away. My favorites are the :30 second teasers, that for the most part don’t tell you anything at all, they merely give you clips of the movie, a couple of awesome lines, and some epic music and you are hooked, you will wait to see that movie, and you will probably wait all night long at the midnight showing to be the first person in the theater just because of the :30 seconds you spent watching the gloriousness of the trailer two years previous. It’s completely intoxicating, and I am not ashamed to say I LOVE MOVIE TRAILERS, and I AM ADDICTED TO WATCHING MOVIE TRAILERS!

I do have some recent favorites, and even though I may have watched them already, I have to say that they trailer gets me excited to watch them all over again….it’s like eyeball candy and I just want it again and again.


Wolf of Wallstreet

The Counselor


Monday, August 19, 2013

Movies that make me go weeeeee!!!!

I have to say for a movie obsessed person, I don't know every movie. As a close friend of mine likes to point out on an often occasion "you are showing your toddler" every time he mentions something that was way before my time.
Even though I can't tell you every actor of every movie, or that one director that did that one movie that practically no one knows about (I'm not quite that hipster/under ground)...I can still say I love movies, love the experience of watching them, get giddy over the trailers waiting for them, and wait until they are released to the public to watch over and over again the the comfort of my home.
Movies to me are a visual book, a way to get absorbed in a different story, a different world as someone else. I always walk away from a movie with a different emotion than when I walked in. Like after I saw underworld I thought tight black leather was amazing, and that it would help me with my badassery of killing evil werewolves! After watching Tristan and Isolde I thought about my long lost love that had been shipwrecked on the barren shores of LA...besides that is totally plausible!
My point is that every movie affects a person in different ways and even though I have yet to make a top 10 list of my favorites, I have managed to put together a jumbled list of movies I could watch over and over and over

1. Star wars...and you know I mean 4-6 not 1-3...even though I admit I have seen all of them multiple times, the last three I could watch on repeat again and again.

2. Hook..I can't imagine my childhood without it.

3.the princess bride..any body want a peanut

4. Some like it hot....I have only seen this twice, honestly. But I would watch it over and over, its a classic that must be given the credit it's due

5. ALL the Harry potter movies...perhaps that ages me, I don't care. Its the star wars of my generation and the story you will never get tired of watching

6. Inception...did the top ever fall over at the end!!! I want to know!!!

7. Ever after....I can quote pretty much the entire movie

8. A league of their own..I always said chicks who play softball are awesome, but baseball too...we girls are amazing!!

9. Little Nemo...this cartoon terrified me at first, but the magic of it was too intriguing. I watched it again and again. (I like the idea of a dirigible in movies for transportation. Its a cruise in the sky.)

10. Treasure of the first movies to use 3D cg objects and 2D traditional cell animation

11. Gladiator...besides the amazing cinematography this movie tugged at my heart strings

12. ALL lord of the rings...or LOTR for you fellow nerds out there.

12.  Bourne series...because lets be honest, Matt Damon is a total bad ass

I think an actual top 20 movies will be in order soon, but for today I will keep it at this....
I love movies because they open my eyes to world I have never, or could never see without them. They give me emotion, a sense of meaning, or purpose, they fill my day with laughter or thoughtfulness, they speak volumes in such a short amount if time. Movies may be momentary, a short clip in a mountain of memories, but those beautiful moments that captivate us will live for eternity in our lives if we let them.

Ok, rewind...lets watch it again!!!!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Stretched Thin...

I wake up on a Sunday morning and struggle to push my eyelids apart. I was up late again the night before, and I didn't get all that much sleep. Up late? But why.... 1)partying 2)drinking 3)super hot date....actually none of the above. I hit a spark of "AH HA!" and before I knew it I was up till 2am working on my novel.

Now, early Sunday morning after a hike that I am pretty sure almost killed my little puppy, I come home and am overwhelmed with everything I want to do, have to do, need to do, should do, might do, and am actually GOING to do.

Grocery Shopping
Build external wear on 3D model
Finish character design for freelance
walk Dude
play with Dude
feed Dude...again
scratch Dude's belly
listen to Dude whine and get distracted....again
Make more coffee
Dinner with Bestie
Write more because I have another EUREKA moment

Like I said, so  many things I want to do, I guess it depends on what I will actually get done. Like this blog, some things just dont seem to take precidence over what I need to accomplish. But this is a nice break from the MUST do things, and more something (stop WHINING Dude I will get you a treat in a minute!!) that I will pick up here and there.

Things to look forward to...
I am about halfway through my novel, the first in a trilogy. I will start giving more updates on that adventure soon

I am almost done with a new 3D character, though I haven't worked on in a bit, so we will see where that one goes

Vacation...when does that happen?!?!

Till I am here again :)
The Girl Nerd