Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Blood of Heroes

How had I never watched this movie?

Classic late-80s apocalypse movie with strange blood sports that make no sense and people who make a living making armor out of spare tires in a desert wasteland while these pale vampire people rule the abandoned underground cities and watch the more formalized version of the blood sport for fun. It even has Rutger Hauer. It was apparently written by the same guy who wrote Blade Runner, which is how I found it. Comb through IMDB profiles and you can find some interesting stuff.

The surprising part about this movie was that the main character - our plucky hero who wants to join the blood sport team heading through his little town so he can make it to the big leagues in the city - is actually a she, played by Joan Chen of Twin Peaks fame. And holy crap - unlike a lot of other crappy post-apocalypse movies, she actually gets to kick ass! And have meaningless sex! And kick some more ass!

The brutal band of blood sport folks (who go by the ridiculous name "juggers" and run around with chains and dog skulls and yeah, but Mad Max made no sense either handwave handwave) also includes a tough female equivalent of a line backer whose whole face is a mass of scars and a big African American guy with tribal tattoos.

Did I mention that Chen's character breaks people's legs and bites a guy's ear off? Brutal blood sport, right? And she doesn't even have to die at the end! Oh frabjuous day!

J. and I enjoyed this little post-apocalypse romp for its sheer ridiculousness, lame dialogue, silly storyline, and crazy blood sports, but it really stood out to me not because of its B-movieness (I'll watch just about any 80s post-apocalypse show and get some kind of enjoyment out of its craziness), but because it did that thing that is, sadly, really different - I got big brutal heroines and a diverse cast of characters.

I just wish they'd been better actors with a budget and a non-ridiculous script. There's a lot of window dressing here that makes no sense (and let's not even get into the ridiculous of the dog skull thing. Or the chain wielding. Or the... yeah, anyway).

I'm telling you, the Nyx books would be awesome on film.

For a more coherent summary of this bad movie, which helped explain some of the absent, meandering plot to ME, as well, see here (it is worth mentioning - which the reviewer doesn't - that our heroine has sex with two people on the team, not just the team leader, and eyes up some male prostitutes, and she pays no whore price for doing so. Her sexuality feels totally on par with the men's [read: a real person], which I appreciated).

I can be satisfied....

...when just *one* reader "gets" a story.

I'm not sure this makes me a very marketable writer.

I think we are far too in love with being mass-loved. I don't write the sorts of stories that get me mass love. I write about machete-wielding matriarchs.

It does make me wonder, tho, what all of us are writing for? The day job writing pays the bills. The night job writing... more and more these days, I wonder what it's for. It used to be a great way to funnel a lot of anger; a great way to wake people up. We get so complacent in our soft, cozy lives. I've spent the last year oh-so-cozy in mine after nearly two years of terror involving crazy people (one of them being me), chronic illness, job loss, homelessness, grunt work, and soaring medical costs. I live knowing full well that Bad Things can and will happen. You roll the dice. I know what I'm in for. And it makes the soft, quiet, cozy time that much more precious.

I already know what's in the closet. So it does make it hard to visit the horrorshow on purpose at the keyboard every night, when you know it's really out there somewhere - waiting.

Thoughts on Spock/Uhura

One of the quibbles I had about the new Star Trek was the "oh man, the one female character is having sex with her commanding officer" thing. It sucked, cause Uhura was in all other ways such a great update of the character. But see, I was reading this from the perspective of a white chick.

Here's a much more interesting take, which turns Spock/Uhura from EpicFail to EpicWin:

Uhura being single in TOS was not empowering.

She was single because the male leads were all white and as a black woman she was less of a person than them, she was less of a person than a white woman, and the fact that this serendipitously ended up meaning that she didn't have to spend all of her time mooning pathetically after dismissive men does not make that any more acceptable.

She got to sit in the back and rarely do anything and have her sexuality ignored not because they respected her so much as a colleague and a person, but because she was not a full, real human being and when you're not a full, real human being the idea that actual people would ever desire you or romance you or love you is ridiculous. You are invisible.

I love it when somebody points something out that makes me read an entire situation totally differently.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


For fuck's sake, you guys.

Link roundup.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Yes. That is me. But I'm alive. Posting will continue when I learn to manage my time more wisely.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

"Wonder Maul Doll" Live at Escape Pod!

You can check out my story, "Wonder Maul Doll" today at EscapePod!

Bonus graphic violence warning!

Monday, July 06, 2009


I think the reason so many porn spammers try to follow Nyx is because she uses the word "fuck" a lot.

Today's Stats

Only had two regular workout days last week instead of four. Annoying. On the other hand, it was a short and busy week.

When J. and I stopped at Wendy's at 1 am for a "snack" on the way home from our fireworks party on Saturday and I ordered a baconater, I turned to him and said, "This is why married people get fat."

"It's one roadtrip!" he protested.

Then I was reminded of why I don't eat fast food anymore. I felt sick after eating the damn thing, and wished I would have just kept to the almonds and string cheese. But oohhhhh the IDEA of a baconator is just... well, the idea is better than the real thing.

Hot hot hot!

15 min free weights this morning
10 min bike ride to work
20 min weight lifting w/ trainer at work
20 min cardio w/ trainer at work
10 min bike ride home
20 min Wii Fit

Hot Eats

Breakfast: Egg mixed with spinach, tomato, & cheese
Lunch: Chicken curry, low carb tortilla, and string cheese
Snack: 2 tbs peanut butter mixed with 1/4 cup peanuts
Dinner: Pork chop and asparagus
Snack: 5 low carb peanut butter cookies (they were DELICIOUS)

Hot Sugar

Breakfast: 98
Lunch: 161 (had to lower my insulin before cardio at the gym)
Post lunch: 209 (I always forget that the peas in the curry have more carbs than I think they do)
Dinner: 77
Post-dinner: 80

Friday, July 03, 2009

The Writing Life (or, lack thereof)

I worry these days that my writing isn’t as good as it used to be, because all the choices I make seem to be poor ones. I’ll go through a story or a scene and realize that what I chose during the first pass was totally inappropriate. I keep thinking I’ve lost touch with the words, that there’s some kind of innate feeling for plot, character, structure, that went by the wayside. It’s made the last year of writing incredibly slow-going and difficult.

It wasn’t until tonight, as I went through and worked on the heroes story, that I realized what I was doing. There wasn’t anything different about the choices I made the first time through now than there was three years ago. The difference is, they’re *transparently wrong choices* now. As I go through and clean up the words, I’m seeing the errors – and where those errors will lead – a lot sooner than I would have a couple years ago. It’s like playing a chess game. You can see where this one wrong piece is going to get you somewhere you don’t want to go. So you go back, and back, and back, and figure out exactly where it’s going wrong. You fix that piece. You go forward. Then back, back, then forward.

It’s such a slow fucking process that it makes me feel retarded. I feel like I’m making stupid mistakes that I never used to make. But when I look back at my old fiction, I can see the same mistakes. The differences is, when I wrote them then I wasn't aware of them. When I write a story very quickly - something incredibly inspired that I feel in my gut the whole way through - sometimes the emotional weight of it can mask some of the bullshit for me. That's what those nice gut-punching writing sessions were like. Now, usually, my stories come out like this: bursts and spurts and lame-duck circling.

I feel like a completely broken writer because I can actually see where things are broken. It’s not that they weren’t broken before. It’s just that I can see it now. And it gets me stuck.

I’d call it a blessing, except that’s it’s slowed my writing down considerably, in no small part because it’s caused a total lack of confidence. I just sit here and look at all these broken pieces and I think, “How the hell do these fit together?”

I’m working through the writing funk slowly, but it’s torturous, and it’s been paralyzing me this last year. I started up regular writing times again this week, for the first time in... well, the first time since I had a book 1 deadline. I gave up regular writing times when I moved out of Steph and the Old Man's place, and writing has been sporadic since then. Again, I don’t know if this is good or bad. There’s a big change going on in my writing life, and I don’t know if it’s for the best or not. I won’t know for awhile yet.

I can see broken things now. I just need to stop letting that paralyze me. Failure only really happens when you give up, and not writing much this last year has come perilously close to that. Sticking in the trenches… well, I don’t know. Sometimes you get to hop into another trench on down the line. You get to advance. But in the meantime, you’re keeping your head down a lot, and pissing in a bucket, and that does get old after awhile. I mean, when you start drinking your urine out of the bucket, do you figure you've been in long enough to quit? Or do you wait for dehydration to set in and just pray for rain?

I'm thinking I'll dig a well.

Must be a holiday

Heavy thump-thump of fireworks outside my window. We're less than a mile away from the downtown fireworks show, which plays on the 3rd and 4th. I can see the fireworks from my window here as I'm typing. If I wanted a proper show, I only need to walk out my front door and sit out on the grass in the park next to my house. J. and I did that during the memorial day fireworks.

I really like this house, especially now, when the weather's not too hot or too cold. Everything in my life feels just right.

This Month's Budget

June Budget = -$176.49

+ $247.85 in celebratory expenses

= -$424.34 last month.

All of that went on my credit card, but at least the IRS got their payment for the month?


Doing math for July.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Burn Notice

I love this show. Yes, it's formulaic, and silly at times, but man - it's got smart writing and consistently strong female characters, which you just don't see very often in these "damsel in distress" types of shows (let's face it - you don't see this very often, period). I like that all the characters aren't white bread (this is Miami, afterall), tho they could do a lot better on that front (I heard season three mixes it up a bit more, but I'm only halfway thru season 2 right now).

I also love the formulaic episode paired with movement of the overall "bigger" plot. Reminds me a bit of Quantum Leap in that sense. Each episode is self-contained, but there's a bigger story riding just underneath, to the point where it ends up being the subplot.

Smart writing, lovable characters.

Yeah, you just don't see enough of that.