Monthly Archives: March 2012

Supernatural: Bugs/Home

This week I watched “Bugs” and “Home,” two episodes about houses and family. Is it true that you can never go home again? Read the rest of this entry

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Belly Up to the Bar, Boys (and Girls)

Last week, in honor of the arrival of St. Patrick’s Day, we talked about setting a story in Ireland. On the heels of the holiday that drives people into drinking establishments better than any other, it seems only natural to segway into a discussion of a locale that also pops up with regularity in storytelling: the bar. Read the rest of this entry

Let’s Make it a Little Irish

In 1996, having just completed my freshman year at Brown University, I packed up a backpack and joined three friends on a three-week trip backpacking in Ireland. This was a huge step for me: it was the first trip I planned on my own and took on my own, without any parental involvement or supervision. It was my first trip overseas. Besides all that, it was to Ireland, a place I had been dreaming about visiting for many years.

Ireland, I am happy to say, did not disappoint. Read the rest of this entry

Place Matters

Would The Hound of the Baskervilles be the same chilling tale without the moors? Would True Blood still be True Blood if it were set in San Francisco instead of Bon Temps, Louisiana?  Would we be so captivated by Jay and Daisy if The Great Gatsby didn’t have the post-WWI Long Island 1920s as a backdrop? Read the rest of this entry

Supernatural: Skin/Hook Man

Here we have a pair of episodes that, together, demonstrate what in this show works and what doesn’t. Let’s begin with a look at Episode 6 (where a LOT works): Read the rest of this entry

My Muse of the Week

People who create find their inspiration wherever they can: from life experiences, history, settings, people-watching. In Stephen King’s On Writing, he describes how Carrie was born one day while he was doing a repetitive mindless task. His thoughts wandered from a magazine article he had read linking telekinesis with puberty to a memory of cleaning the girls’ locker room while working as a janitor during high school: boom, the opening scene for his first novel came to life.

This week, I am finding my inspiration from another creator: Neil Gaiman. Read the rest of this entry

Giving in to the Mess

This is way more organized than I feel right now.

My first draft is a mess. I’ve been playing around with writing for a long time, so I know that first drafts are always a mess. I hate messes. I’m a very organized person, at least when it comes to matters of the mind. As a former attorney, I am trained to think in terms of categories and elements and factors. I like lists, and outlines, and checkboxes, and little colored tabs on notebooks to find things quickly. When something becomes too much of a mess (a project, a craft, a room) I’m likely to abandon it and start fresh rather than work through the disorganization. But I can’t do that this time, because I really care about this story and this character.

When I started this novel, I had this clean, clear picture of what the story was about, the journey the heroine would take from start to finish, how each character in the story would help her get there, and what made the narrative unique. It started out swimmingly, and I churned out something like 20,000 words in just over a week. I know. Insanity. Read the rest of this entry

Supernatural: Phantom Traveler/Bloody Mary

If we’re scoring these Season One Supernatural episodes by creep factor, Episodes 4 and 5 win for creepiest of the season so far. Read the rest of this entry