Writing Advice: Too Many Things At Once


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Organize Ideas (a.k.a. Pen your master plan!)

I’ve learned that whenever you got a lot going on at once in your story, it’s helpful to make a list – or several – for what you want to happen. It may work for those who love organization (like me!). Write bullet points for the big things that will happen in the following chapters and then details will come along while you pen down those scenes.

If you get stuck on one chapter while you’re organizing (because you’re not sure which domino brick will fall next), make one miscellaneous list for the rest of the story. You’ll know where to put those things eventually. In my experience, things fall into place on their own as you write. Sometimes you may also (accidentally) come up with a new and better move for your story!

Some ideas you might end up tossing, who knows, or recycling for another time or an entirely different story. A professor of mine once advised us to save the ideas we truly love. If we can’t find a place for them, put them on the shelf.

P.S. Do not be afraid to let things go: It might be brilliant plan at first, but the characters might surprise you. For example, a certain plot line you had in mind somehow doesn’t feel right because the people in your story developed differently than originally intended. So as a result, their reactions, words, actions as well as motives/desires/fears might change. I’ve had to readjust the climax for my novel more than I can count. Well over five times – probably more – but you get my point.

Borrowed from averagemedgirl on Tumblr.

Borrowed from averagemedgirl on Tumblr.

Don’t Think About Publication


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Borrowed from The Writer's Circle (Facebook page).

Borrowed from The Writer’s Circle (Facebook page).

“I am going to finish that novel. I’m going to go on with the series till my characters have reached the end of their journey. I’m going to write all those little stories swimming inside my head. I’m going to revise my poems till they’re perfect. I’m going to pen that screen-play no matter what. I’m going to compose that song. I will trust my gut and follow my heart.”

These are things that creative people need to tell themselves daily.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to work on your project every day. This means that you write because you are a writer. You play and compose music, because you’re a musician. You write poetry, because you are a poet. You write screenplays, because you’re a playwright. This goes for other areas of creativity. It’s the love for the art! That’s why we do it, not to become famous and rich. If your goal is to make money, you’re in the wrong profession. I can guarantee you, even if you become published – which would be flippin’ fantastic (!) by the way – that doesn’t mean you’re going to roll around in hundred-dollar bills. Poetry, for example, there’s practically no money in that. Published poets may become noticed for their work and make a name for themselves, but none of them will quit their day job.

My advice to you: Don’t worry about publication. Don’t worry what agents and publishers might think. Don’t even think about it.

Tell the story to yourself first. Get friends to read it and give you feedback. Revise the Hell out of your draft; multiple edits will strengthen your characters, your plot and your language. Polish your writing. When you reach out to agents/publishers, make sure that your manuscript is a good as it’s ever going to be, because once someone’s accepted it, most publishers won’t allow you a lot of time for editing. Plus, prepare yourself for a lot of rejection.

It’s going to be tons of work, yes, certainly, but never forget, you’re creating something for yourself. For you. Not the agents, not the publishers. Regardless of your intentions with your work – whether you want to get it out there – create with love and passion. I know it sounds cheesy, but believe in yourself, man. Trust that you got something worthwhile to say and just do it. Create something.

Don’t think about publication. You will spend enough time handling the business aspect of this world once someone has said yes. Besides, if you know you’ve put your best foot forward, count yourself a winner.

Exhibit Visits: International Children’s Books


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Part 1 of “Colorful Hand Prints” trilogy. 

I waited for weeks. Whenever I went to the library – whether I was taking a short-cut to the University Center, going there to work or strolling to the coffee shop for a caffeine boost – I stared at the interior windows displaying children’s book and beautiful pictures from children’s stories and fairy tales. The Clarke Historical Library has always had interesting exhibits, but this one has grabbed my attention more than anyone else. I think it started when one day, I passed one of the windows – in a hurry, per usual – realized what I’d just seen, stopped and turned around. Several printed lines shimmered in the light, repeating the same thing in different languages: “Read a book to me.” One of the lines was in Swedish: “Läs en bok till mig.”


Since then, I checked if they were officially open as often as my schedule allowed me. When they finally completed the exhibit and opened their doors, I came by twice, checking the titles, admiring the pictures and searching for the Swedish author Astrid Lindgren whose stories had a huge impact on me as a child, as a reader and as a writer. (The second time I came by to take photographs; you can check out the album here.) If you ever ask me what made me want to become a published author, I’ll tell you it was J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone that finalized that decision. However, for as long as I can remember, I’ve always been writing. When I was younger, I wrote short stories and poems, drew maps, made up my own games, put together my own magazines and bound my own books. Some of them were spell books, because I was really into magic and fantasy growing up. Others were instruction books on how to train your Pokemon or how to maneuver your way in the woods without getting caught by trolls, witches and what have you.

I probably should mention this: I grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere and my family owned land which consisted mostly of woodsy areas. It’s no surprise that I found stories taking place in the woods compelling. Although, to be perfectly honest, there were times I found the forest frightening, but usually only at night, because one of my greatest fear as a child was that whatever hid behind the trees and beneath the rocks would eventually find a way to get inside our house. On at least one occasion, on a night I couldn’t sleep, (I might have been seven years old or so) I thought I saw a person sneaking around in our kitchen. My bedroom was across the hall and I saw her through my open door: an elderly woman dressed in all black, with a hunchback, yellow eyes and tangled, gray hair. Some sort of witch, I thought. At one point, she turned and glared directly at me. Looking back at that memory, I think that maybe my eyes played a trick on me or perhaps I was really asleep and dreamed about the witch. But the point I guess I’m trying to make here is that one of the reasons why Lindgren became such a successful author was because she could take childhood scares like mine and portray them so well in her stories. And no matter how bad things got, the children in those stories found a way to get back to safety; it was ever better when they also beat the monsters.

At the exhibit, I couldn’t find any Swedish books at all, only some copies by this Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. Over a week later, I visited the exhibit a third time and asked the people working there (really nice folks BTW) why they had so few books from Scandinavia. They explained that while they have other world literature in stock, the books on display are solely those that have been donated by Francis and Mary Lois Molson. One guy named Ryan was especially helpful and brought all the Swedish children’s books they had. In total, they have 32 books in the back; that includes the young adult ones, but I didn’t take a look at those.

20150306_101618I had a lot fun skimming through the volumes and two books I recognized: Ronja Röverdotter and Barnen i Bullerbyn (Ronja Robber’s Daughter and The Children in *Buller-Village [?]). Here’s the thing that made my trip: Ryan told me they are going to hold a reading in a couple of weeks, and they’re looking for people to read at least book in the language it was originally written in.

So on Tuesday, April 7, I am going to be one of the people reading a children’s book in a language the audience probably won’t understand. Don’t worry, though; afterward, we briefly summarize what the story was about and translate the message behind it. The time slots for the event are 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. If you’re interested, you should stop by the library on that day. I’m not sure what time I’m going to read yet, but I’m excited.


Side note:  The story about Ronja Rövardotter contained many strange creatures – some of them dangerous, some of them plain annoying – but to give you an idea how interesting Lindgren’s creations were, here are “Vildvittrorna” (roughly trans: “the wild withers”), and “rumpnissarna” (trans: … [unavailable]).

POEM: “The British Museum Reading Room”


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The British Museum Reading Room

The British Museum Reading Room

Try not to drool. How lucky the people of London are to have a place like this in their neighborhood. I love the Park Library here in Mount Pleasant, Mich., but you can’t compare its high ceiling and open space to a fricking dome. I’d love to visit the reading room one day and browse the shelves or settle down with Sylvia Plath and a cup of coffee. Do they allow drinks in there?

This place poem by Louis MacNeice preaches the choir. It paints a picture beautifully as well as build in a sense of awe. I wonder how I would feel reading this after having visited the reading room myself. Maybe I’d love it even more. Today I had a lovely conversation with a grad school recruiter named Rob who loves reading and who thinks it’s “so cool talking with people who are passionate about writing.” He told me a couple neat stories, one in which he went to Africa on a business trip and he was in the area that appears in Ernest Hemingway’s Green Hills of Africa. When Rob came back to the States and read that book, everything came alive to him more than ever before. He felt such a love for the landscape, because he’d been there and seen it with his own eyes.

“The British Museum Reading Room” by Louis MacNeice

Under the hive-like dome the stooping haunted readers
Go up and down the alleys, tap the cells of knowledge--
    Honey and wax, the accumulation of years--

Some on commission, some for the love of learning,
Some because they have nothing better to do
Or because they hope these walls of books will deaden
    The drumming of the demon in their ears.

Cranks, hacks, poverty-stricken scholars,
In pince-nez, period hats or romantic beards
    And cherishing their hobby or their doom
Some are too much alive and some are asleep
Hanging like bats in a world of inverted values,
Folded up in themselves in a world which is safe and silent:
    This is the British Museum Reading Room.

Out of the steps in the sun the pigeons are courting,
Puffing their ruffs and sweeping their tails or taking
    A sun-bath at their ease
And under the totem poles--the ancient terror--
Between the enormous fluted lonic columns
There seeps from heavily jowled or hawk-like foreign faces
    The guttural sorrow of the refugees.

reading room

I’m not going to analyze this as much as I’ve done with other poems, but I’d like to point out a few things:

* MacNeice uses exaggeration in order to make an ordinary, calm scene epic: for example, “haunted readers,” “cells of knowledge,” “these walls of books will deaden the drumming of the demon in their ears,” and “under the totem poles–the ancient terror.”

* The portrayal moves like a film. We get snapshots of the visitors in the reading room, the people who authored the books, even though they’re not physically present, but you can still see them through their printed words –

Cranks, hacks, poverty-stricken scholars,
In pince-nez, period hats or romantic beards

– and you gotta appreciate that MacNeice brings in the pigeons. They’re part of the urban landscape; they also contrast well with the historical building and the high value she puts on it.

* Then there’s my favorite part:

Some are too much alive and some are asleep
Hanging like bats in a world of inverted values,
Folded up in themselves in a world which is safe and silent

The books aren’t just books; they’re objects of mystery, waiting on a shelf for someone to rattle them awake and bring them back to the living world.

* It’s interesting that she chose to entice the audience by beginning inside the reading room and then leading us outside. It may be a way to suggest that we need to actually walk through those doors to see the magic for ourselves.

Announcement (March ’15)


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Short announcement for those who follow the blog closely: With the exception of today’s entry “How to Write Women (2): Impressions,” nothing else will be posted till Tuesday, March 17. March 24.

I’m using this break to put the entire blog through a make-over as well as planning future entries more carefully. With graduation sneaking up on me and the considerable school work load, I cannot dedicate as much time to this blog as I want to. In order to make sure things at least come out on Tuesdays and Saturdays, I’m going to make a few adjustments.

Thank you to those who keep coming back and thank you for your patience.

How to Write Women (2): Impressions


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“I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all out lives.” ~Jane Austen

“I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.” ~Virginia Woolf

“I have not ceased being fearful, but I have ceased to let fear control me. I have accepted fear as a part of life, specifically the fear of change and the fear of the unknown, and I have gone ahead despite the pounding in my heart that says: turn back.” ~Erica Jong



As a follow-up to the blog entry discussing How to Write Women, I thought I would offer you guys food for thought about what makes a female character a GREAT character. To start with, I’m showing you three quotes by female authors expressing their opinion and understanding of woman hood. There are a lot more in this article. What I’m trying to say with these quotes is that if you’re in need for inspiration, look at women around you, women who write, women who accomplish things on their own, and look for examples in fiction. It’s important for people to unlearn these stereotypes, expectations and double-standards. Like I’ve said before, creating a female character shouldn’t be harder than writing a male character.

If you think I’m exaggerating, think about the picture of Supergirl I put up here. Unlike certain people complaining about how “unsexy” it is, I am in love with that outfit, because she looks cool and still a bit girly, but nothing about it overly flaunting or unpractical.

One woman from Indonesia pointed out how unreasonable people are for disliking the new Supergirl costume:

“There are so many people upset with the new costume of Supergirl because she isn’t baring any skin at all. People say that her hands/midriffs/thighs should be bare, and the tights make her look like a grandma. Well, first of all, no. No. Stop sexualising female superheroes. There are comments on IGN where men say that “supergirl is means to be sexually attractive to men and now they won’t watch the show.” Don’t. Women do not exist to be sexually attractive to men.

For the record, this costume looks pretty badass to me. In an age where everyone has a decent camera phone, Supergirl can hardly afford to be flying around in a miniskirt that literally makes it impossible to fight without flashing someone. The bare midriff? Not professional, or practical. That’s like expecting Superman to be shirtless, and wearing boxer shorts instead of tights. The costume is form-fitting and conservative, like they’re meant to be. It’s street smart, dark and practical. And it completely complements Henry Cavill’s Superman costume. That one, if you remember, outlines all his muscles, but plays it conservative in the crotch area, unlike the comics where he wears red underwear outside his suit. I don’t see why Kara Danvers should be overly sexualized with boobs and bare skin when Clark Kent isn’t.

Black Canary, The Huntress, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Gamora, Black Widow, Mockingbird, these are the female characters from the comics on TV right now, and they all have 21st century pragmatic outfits that help them. Hold the women to the same standard you hold me. That’s what equality is.

National Women’s Day (March 8)

Now turning away from the superheroes, I want you to consider those who manage to make something for themselves despite having imperfections and/or disabilities. As easy and tempting as it may be to create a character who is awesome in every way, I think we have to tell stories without a personified antagonist, too, because there are many different kinds of battles that people have to go through; sometimes merely due to who they are or aren’t.


* Terry Galloway, (1959-…), writer, director and performer who has been deaf since the age of nine. I highly recommend reading her memoir MEAN Little deaf Queer; it addresses the challenges she had to go through as a deaf person and how she came to terms with her sexuality.






* All day yesterday, the Facebook page “I fucking love science” posted pictures of women you should know, such as Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin who discovered that the universe itself is mainly composed out of hydrogen, but she never received credit for her work and a few years later, a man claimed to have come up with that theory. I put an album together on Facebook for you to flip through them.



* Another woman I want to bring up is Chantelle Winnie, a black model with Vitiligo, which causes a loss of pigmentation. I think it’s admirable that she doesn’t let other people’s prejudice affect her judgment or her view of herself. The Guardian posted some photos of her on tumblr with the quote: “If one day I’m all black, I’m still a model. If one day I’m all white, I’m still a model. I am not my skin. I am a model with a skin condition.”

Chantelle Winnie; photo by Mary Rozzie for The Observer

Chantelle Winnie; photo by Mary Rozzie for The Observer

What Makes a Reader and Character Connect


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Characters are people and people connect through stories and empathy, thoughts and situations that we can relate to. This entry brings up several important lessons to writing a great protagonist.

Originally posted on A Writer's Path:


How does a reader connect with a character? This is a well-debated question, and one that many authors have asked themselves. It can mean the difference between a novel’s life and death.

View original 774 more words

Arrow’s Face-Plant


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**Story Time entry #6 . Published twice a month.**


“Arrow” had a fabulous run before launching into season three. It truly did. I took this TV show into my heart and I loved it with all my soul.

And now it’s dead.

Granted, it’s had a few decent episodes: “The Calm,” “The Brave and The Bold,” “Midnight City” and “Nanba Parbat.” I’m personally fond of “Corto Maltese” and “The Magician” because my favorite character Malcolm Merlyn had a strong presence there.

Overall there have been too many filler episodes; they wasted a lot time building up to the big fight between Oliver Queen and Ra’s Al-Ghul. It actually stopped feeling like a build-up after the fourth episode. I just wanted them to move the story along, because it makes no sense for Ra’s to just chill in the Lazarus Pit for months on end. For a show that used to have clear goals in mind, it’s disappointing to see that the writers have no clue what they are doing. It has caused a train-wreck of plot holes, people acting out of character – especially Felicity Smoak – slips of logic (like in “Uprising”) and repetitive archetypes.


1. The Journey to Heroism: Palmer and Laurel

2. How They’re Breaking Characters: Felicity and Diggle

3. The Sexism: Stop Killing Good Women

4. Sloppy Storytelling: Focus on “The Origin of Felicity Smoak,” “Sara,” “The Climb” and “Uprising” (I’ll keep that section brief.)

5. Mistakes in Season 2 Finale


Ray Palmer in (15) "Nanda Parbat."

Ray Palmer in (15) “Nanda Parbat.”

1. The Journey to Heroism: Palmer and Laurel

The writers seem to have forgotten what made Oliver Queen and Sara Lance heroes. It certainly takes a lot more than personal tragedy. Let us remember that Oliver decided to save his city not because he lost his father under horrible circumstances; he became a vigilante to right his father’s wrongs as well making up for all the terrible things he did himself when he was younger. Helping people was his redemption. Similarly, Sara desperately wanted to be something more than a killer. She felt so awful for joining the League of Assassins and committing heinous acts for five years that she couldn’t even face her family. Her path to becoming a hero was when she gradually morphed from Tar-Er Sah-Fer to The Canary.

Ray Palmer decided to build this superhero suit because he witnessed his fiancee dying and there was nothing he could do about it.

Laurel Lance said to Oliver she wants to help people like Sara did, but we all know she’s talking out of her ass; she wants revenge.

Both of these characters are trying to be like Oliver and Sara not due to noble aspirations, but they do it out of grief and anger. They have no clear goal in mind either. Oliver has his list. Sara protects women throughout the city from being beaten and/or raped. Based on her experiences onboard the Amazo, she knows only too well what it’s like to be at the mercy of men.

I would have been more accepting of Palmer’s initial motivation if the writers hadn’t screwed up the relationship between him and Felicity. Let’s get something straight right away: Stalking isn’t cute. Stalking isn’t romantic in any way. At first, Palmer and Felicity bond over the fact that they’re tech nerds – which I am all for – but then it turns creepy. He sends her flowers and candy, calls her, emails her and does so in abundance. He comes her apartment unannounced! He buys the company she works for so that she technically works for him and slyly offers her a job in the Queen’s Consolidated building. Very creepy.

I would have much rather seen them forming a friendship bonding over common interests and genuinely beginning to care for each other on a steady pace. Everything about their relationship feels forced and it’s all happening because Palmer more or less controls the circumstances. For this to work, their relationship has to have a greater sense of team work and respect.

In regards to Laurel, I believe the writers could have created The Black Canary without killing the original Canary. Sara should have trained Laurel; pure and simple. How often do we see one woman supporting another woman on television? Rarely. I think it’s sexist thinking that only a man can teach a woman how to fight. Besides, the reasons behind Sara’s murder don’t even make sense. If you’re going to kill off an amazing character like Sara Lance, you better have damn good reasons; otherwise your story is going to suffer.

2. How They’re Breaking Characters: Felicity and Diggle

Like I said earlier, a lot of people on this show are doing things out of character. Or they’re being plain unintelligent, like someone peed in their cornflakes.

Felicity Smoak: Her heart isn’t in the crime-fighting business like it used to, which I understand. Other than that, she’s been just annoying this season. In ep. 7-“Draw Back Your Bow,” she acted incredibly shallow. First of all, I don’t get why she would feel even remotely affectionate towards Palmer, because he’s a creepy weirdo (he pinged her phone in the next episode!). Second of all, just because he’s handsome and offers her a nice dress and a diamond necklace, they aren’t solid bases for liking him or forgetting that he likes to stalk her. Her little speech at that restaurant about how great Palmer is felt out of place and dishonest. If the motivation is to make Oliver jealous or if she feels torn up and confused about the state of her life, then I would understand her behavior, but we never see her actually handling Oliver’s rejection or addressing it on her own.

There were some other moments when Felicity said things that made me think, “Who are you???” For instance, in ep. 9-“The Climb” she says she’s afraid that Oliver won’t kill Ra’s. In what universe would she encourage him to fall back on that habit? When he killed the Count on her account, Felicity apologized to Oliver for putting him in that position. Why are we falling back on this ‘To Kill or Not to Kill’ issue anyway? It was resolved in the last season finale.

Another moment that stands out to me is when Felicity tries to comfort Laurel after a nasty Vertigo dose (ep. 13-“Canaries”): Felicity argues that Laurel can be a hero, because “unlike Sara,” Laurel has a light inside of her. What happened to “once you let the darkness inside, it never comes out”? What happened to Laurel assuring her little sister that she’s a good person at heart? Sara proved that she’s not a killer anymore at the end of season two, like Oliver did! I’m all for women bonding, but the nature of that exchange makes me cringe.


* John Diggle: Let’s just face it, the writers don’t care about Diggle any more. Pretty quickly, they moved his plot line on embracing fatherhood and starting over with Lyla Michaels to the back-burner. Frankly, there hasn’t been enough good ol’ Dig wisdom in this season. Whenever he has given someone advice, he’s come across as a grumpy old dude rather than the Yoda-type of counselor we know. When Roy claimed he was Sara’s killer, Dig was an asshole; he should have known that Roy was starting to remember that time he was high on Mirakuru and killed that police officer. Instead Dig seemed to believe it fully and said Oliver should kick Roy out of the team. Where did that hostility come from?

Then when Oliver said he doesn’t want to die like Sara did, Dig urges him to talk to Felicity: “Tell her how you feel.” This is mostly a case of bad wording: She knows how he feels. Slade Wilson, who’s stuck in an underground cell at the end of the world, knows how Oliver Queen feels about Felicity Smoak. Dig should have said something along the lines, “Let Felicity know that. Tell her you’ve changed your mind, that you want to be with her, and that you’re going to be invested in your relationship.”

Three of these women are no longer with us (borrowed from summer-glau.com).

Three of these women are no longer with us (borrowed from summer-glau.com).

3. The Sexism: Stop Killing Good Women

I don’t know how many of you saw “Flash vs. Arrow,” but there’s a scene between Felicity and Caitlin Snow where they come up with a solution how to fight Prism’s ability to make people enraged. At one point Caitlin says, “It’s so nice to have another woman to talk to,” and Felicity enthusiastically answers, “I know!”

Yeah. There are not a lot of women on Arrow, but the writers have no problem killing off the few ones they have (Isabel Rochev) or removing them from the picture somehow (Mckenna Hall, Helena Bertinelli). It seems hardly fair. I understand why they killed off Moira Queen; that had to happen for Oliver to start having serious self-doubts and it went along with Slade’s promise to ruin his life. But I think they should have kept Isabel alive and imprisoned her along with Slade. I’ll expand on that later.

Additionally, consider how many times they create a conflict founded in a woman’s death:

* Malcolm Merlyn wants to level the Glades, because his wife Rebecca was murdered and no one tried to save her.

* Slade Wilson lost his mind when Shado died.

* Ray Palmer began building the suit because of his dead fiancee.

* Quentin Lance picked up a drinking problem because his daughter died/disappeared. His marriage also fell apart.


Laurel Lance in “Midnight City” (season 3).


“Woman dies and all hell breaks loose.”

It’s is a story trope that’s been done to death, especially on this show. Back in October, I hoped that they were going to take a new route. In fact they stated that season 3 was going to deal with identity issues, but as soon as they kicked the Canary off a rooftop, that topic got lost in the Who-Dun-It?

Maybe you can argue that getting Sara killed would cause Laurel to deal with the same problem – identity – but I think that’s demeaning. Laurel becoming the Black Canary should be something empowering, not an outlet for her baggage. The two sisters deserved better.


Sara Lance in "Heir to the Demon" (season 2).

Sara Lance in “Heir to the Demon” (season 2).

4. Sloppy Storytelling: Focus on the four following episodes

“The Origin of Felicity Smoak” (ep. 5)

* Unlike what they do for Oliver, it seems like the writers just wanted to get Felicity’s background out of the way. Bringing up two big issues from her past was too much for one episode, because you can’t run full circle with both at once. I think having her ex-boyfriend return would have been enough, because it raised the topic of suicide, which is what Felicity believes Oliver committing by not trying to have a life outside the foundry. They nearly made that theme in bag, except neither Felicity nor Oliver addressed the elephant in the room. (So close.)

* The mother didn’t have to be there. She could have showed up for another episode if you ask me. For one, they didn’t really dwell deep enough into the problems the two were having – the problems they brought up was a lot of superficial stuff. The comments about the father did not click with me either. Why did he leave? How come these women can’t get along? Does Felicity subconsciously blame her mother for “driving Daddy away” and that’s why she wants to be nothing like her?

* I don’t buy the resolved mother-daughter relationship at the end. A life-long conflict doesn’t get resolved by putting the people in a near-death situation. It will make them appreciate each other more, but you won’t see them walk arm-in-arm, giggling like little girls. It doesn’t happen.

“Sara” (ep. 2)

Laurel has showed the world once she’s capable of murder. So when she chased Simon Lacroix like a madwoman, none of us were surprised. It annoys me, though, that Oliver’s reaction was simply, “At least you didn’t kill him.” Yes, because he took the bullets out, but that’s not the point. She pulled the trigger. She made a decision to kill. The whole point of him urging her to back away was to stop her from becoming a killer. He failed and he doesn’t face that fact for even a second.

Oliver’s a hypocrite, too. He told her, “If you do this, you can never come back from it.” Didn’t he come back from that? Hello? It was the theme of season two.



“The Climb” (ep. 9)

* The red herring was unnecessary: “Oh, the blood matches Oliver’s somewhat…” No, we know that Oliver didn’t kill Sara (he’s got an alibi for crying out loud, ask Barry Allen) so why even go there? It doesn’t make sense scientifically either, because the blood sample can’t match Oliver’s; it can be similar genetically, but it can’t match. If Felicity really compared the sample to people who had been arrested for a felony in the past two years, Thea Queen would have showed up. DUI, remember?

* The reasons behind Sara’s murder are indeed illogical: Merlyn has worked so hard to stay in hiding so why would he make himself a target and risk enduring Nyssa’s rage? I can see this plot working out only if Merlyn had corrupted Thea so badly to the point that she chose to kill Sara, for whatever reason you may cook up or whatever encouragement Merlyn may give her.

* Don’t try to tell me Merlyn seriously believed Oliver could beat Ra’s, that’s absurd. If only the student has hope of beating the master, then Merlyn places in that role, not Oliver.

"The Climb"

“The Climb”

“Uprising” (ep. 12)

* They did a lot of telling instead of showing: Sure, Thea can help redeem Merlyn as a person, but he shouldn’t be aware of that. Even if he truly wants to be a better man, show us how she makes him a better man, let the change be subtle. Please don’t tell the audience what to expect; we can figure it out.

* There’s one huge plot hole that bothers me: In this scenario, Merlyn leaves Starling City after killing a man, but back in the second season, Merlyn told Moira Queen that he left after their one-night stand. He said that he felt so guilty for betraying Rebecca’s memory that he couldn’t bare staying around. What, did the writers forget that happened?

* I don’t like that they changed the reasons why Merlyn wanted to destroy the Glades. It wasn’t just that his wife died, it was that people walked by and never tried to help her. That little piece of information made him believe that the Glades was inherently sick and that nothing could change the people living there.

I could go on and go about this episode – didn’t like it one bit, even Brick lost his appeal – but I’ll leave it here.

Isabel Rochev in "Unthinkable" (season 2).

Isabel Rochev in “Unthinkable” (season 2).

5. Mistakes in Season 2 Finale

The last season finale was phenomenal, no question. However, one thing didn’t sit well with me: They killed off Isabel Rochev and Sebastian Blood way too early. Of course, I get that they can’t change this, but I want to point out that they missed two really cool opportunities. They’re both power-hungry characters, one loves using money to get what she wants and the other loves wielding political power. Erasing them wastes potential conflicts.

Honestly, I’m not sure what you could have done with Isabel, but keeping her prisoner on Lian Yu seems more interesting than having Nyssa snap her neck.

In regards to Blood, I loved that character and I think they could have easily used him for the third season. He said to Oliver, “If you tell anyone about my mask, I will tell them about yours.” Imagine having a mayor who was secretly a villain and you’re Oliver, having to keep your cool so that this a-hole doesn’t reveal your identity. I would have loved to see that! It never made sense to me that Blood would stick around in City Hall only to be killed by Ravager (a.k.a. Isabel). Plus, they turned the mayor election into such a huge deal that season, but this time, they threw someone in the fray without a fuss.

The writers may have thought they made it easy for themselves by crossing these two names off their list while in actuality, they started digging their own grave.

Essential writing skills: a few interesting publisher terms


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These are dandy terms to know when you’re getting yourself involved with publishers and agents.

Originally posted on M J Wright:

Like all professions, publishing has its own terms – many of them plain English words that mean something different within the field. Today I thought I’d share a few of the more interesting ones.

  1. The way books should be sold, cover out (the best way to display them). I wrote this one... The way books should be sold, cover out (the best way to display them). I wrote this one…

    ‘Title’. This has two meanings in the publishing industry – (a) The identifiying name given to a book, in the sense we usually know it; but also (b) a particular book. For instance, if I’m contracted to write a new book, it’s referred to as my ‘new title’.  Publishers, similarly, don’t talk about the ‘number of books’ they release in a year – it’s ‘number of titles’. The distinction helps avoid confusion with ‘book’, which to the industry can also mean ‘stock unit’. I can always tell whether an author’s worked with the trad publishing industry for a while or…

View original 342 more words

Poetry Tuesday: “Immortal Sass”


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Poets may be remembered as romantics, radicals, philosophers, the grandfather by the fireplace, the one shouting from a podium, the lover, the freedom fighter… but let us not forget how several of these word players expressed their sass and wit when the moment called for it.

In other words: "Don't touch my shit."

Shakespeare’s grave in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford.

William Shakespeare (April 23, 1564 – April 23, 1616)

“Good friend for Jesus sake forebeare, To digg the dust encloased heare, Bleste be ye man yt spares thes stones, And curst be he yt moves my bones.”

In other words: “Don’t touch my shit.”


Sylvia Plath (Oct. 27, 1932 – Feb. 11, 1963)

plathFun fact: Many quotes are falsely attributed to Plath, like “Girls aren’t machines that you keep putting kindness coins into until sex falls out,” and “I’d tell you to go to hell, but I don’t want to see you again.”

Yeah, be careful. The Internet is tricky business.




Ezra Pound (Oct. 30, 1885 – Nov. 1, 1972)

“The technique to infamy is to invent two lies and to get people arguing heatedly over which one is true.”

borrowed from counter-currents.com

borrowed from counter-currents.com

Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014)

“Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”

borrowed from cnn.com

borrowed from cnn.com


I’ll leave it here for now and see if I can find more sassy lines poets have uttered in the past. What are some of the coolest lines your favorite poet has ever uttered?


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