Sunny side – down?

Yesterday I received a response from an agent the very same day I sent the query. Wow, what a first! It sounds a little crazy, but despite the fact that it was a rejection, it’s a huge relief to be able to move on in search of another agent.

I must admit, I had thought this agent would have been perfect for me. She handles both mid-grade and YA (I’m having difficulties determining which category my story falls into, perhaps more on that later) and even mentions specific interest in other-world stories.

I feel as if my query is very well written. So I am definitely in that phase where I feel as if the story sucks. It has to suck. Why won’t anyone at least read the manuscript? Oh, because the manuscript probably sucks too.

I had a lot of faith in this project and it’s very difficult to not lose that. But to be honest, I haven’t had that many rejections. I haven’t even sent it to ten agents yet. So… buck up, hey?

If you’re not sure how to feel after reading this post, it’s because neither do I! Ha!

P.S. I entered a contest to win scholarship for the Backspace Writers Conference in New York. Winning is based upon votes, which will open March 5th. You can see my entry now; just look for Entry 20!


Hunting witches, taking names

Okay. So. It’s been a while since I’ve been here. For some reason, I just can never manage to do all of the things. Like, when I’m exercising and reading all the time, I can’t find time for writing or the blog. And vice-versa. I need to work on that. Maybe that’s my New Year’s resolution. (I hate defining those.)

Let’s get right into it, shall we? I’m not here to talk about myself. I’m here to talk about HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS.


Redband-trailer-for-action-adventure-film-Hansel-and-Gretel-Witch-Hunters

First off – what is wrong with critics these days? Critics have been picking this movie apart left and right, with only an 18% approval rating. But audience members have been loving this movie. Not only has every single viewer that I know loved it, but Rotten Tomatoes’ meter has been suggesting 65-70% approval from the audience. That’s is a huge gap!

These dark-spinned supernatural/fairy tale movies have been such a let down in the past. I always look forward to them, and am rarely satisfied. Brothers Grimm. Snow White and the Huntsman. Van Helsing. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Too much hype, not enough meat.

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This wasn’t the perfect movie. There rarely is a perfect movie, and of course when there is, it’s generally defined by one’s biases. But I thought it was great. I am very much against revving up peoples’ expectations lately, so this is not much of a review (like I used to write). But I here are the reasons why I thought this film was great:

  1. It was funny. Some critics thought the one-liners were forced, some of the swearing unnecessary. I thought it was flippant and cute.
  2. It was gory. But not too much. Just enough to satiate myself without freaking out my friends. Well done.
  3. It was creepy. The makeup was a bit much, but it did the job. I loved that the main witches were very “traditional,” but that there were also very artistic, original ones as well.
  4. The main characters were genuine with each other. That moment where they found each other again? Ah! I truly believed Renner and Arterton were siblings with an arguably unhealthy dependence on each other*. Loved it.
  5. It didn’t take itself too seriously. The action scenes were rough, it had its moments of cheesiness and the writer/director had no problem displaying Hansel and Gretel as imperfect.
  6. It was fun!
  7. **

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Like I said, it wasn’t perfect. But I’m fairly confident that most audience members will enjoy it. Have you seen it? What do you think?

* I tend to have an addiction to fiction in which the main characters are unhealthily attached to each other, usually because of the experiences they go through. It will be a blog post some day.

** I may have an unhealthy attachment to Jeremy Renner. This post is undoubtedly biased.

 


Stylemma

c. Mannequin Productions

Some of the people closest to me that I’ve been having a quarter-life crisis of sorts when it comes to style. I recently became determined to stop paying large prices for items of clothing that largely came out of China. It mostly started from my rage about how places like Anthropologie charge $250 for dresses most likely made by slave labour.

I thought it would be easy. You get what you pay for, right? (Except at Anthropologie.) Or so I thought.

It seems that almost everything is made in China. On my tag-scouting spree, everything I wanted to purchase was made there. I can’t tell you how heart-breaking I found this. I mean, I know that we source a lot of things from there because of the cheap labour, but I didn’t realize just how much. For some reason, I had it in my mind that the unethical companies were, like, Walmart. And that was it.

Even many luxury brands were discovered to be sporting China tags.

I did stumble upon this link earlier today, and was once more surprised by how many popular luxury brands scored so low! Check it out for yourself.

Now, I’m not claiming to be any sort of ethical expert. There is probably ethical sourcing that still comes out of China. I am just shocked that my assumptions that a decent chunk of clothing was made in North America were shattered.

So if you have any suggestions for ethical brands that I could start looking at, or tips in avoiding an incredibly unethical wardrobe, I’d love to hear from you!


Tensual frustration

TENSE IS KILLING ME.

For the first time, possibly ever, I’ve chosen to write in first-person. First-person past, to be precise. I used to loathe first-person narrative, but for some reason, this newest novel will not come out any other way.

First-person past should be a hop-skip-and-a-jump for a third-person past writer like me. But for some reason, I CAN’T DO IT RIGHT!

I blame all of the first-person present novels out there. I just cannot my tenses right. And normally, I’m pretty adept at tenses. And right now, I feel like the paragraphs I was working on are now just a big jumble of complicated, confusing sentences. Ack!

In my search for help, I stumbled upon this page. I can’t really tell who the blogger is or why he’s writing about writing, but I think it is somewhat helpful. In the article he outlines the differences between past and present first person, and translates each tense into the other.

But seriously, if it doesn’t get any easier, I might have to change my tense completely! (It would probably be smartest to have this ironed out before Nanowrimo comes around, huh?)


Spam poetry

For the past couple days, I have been drudging through dreaded blog comments on the company website. It has been backed up for nearly two months, due to a shortage of resources.

Spam comments are always intriguing to me.  Does spamming a comment box really pay off, when most, if not all, companies have an approval process for their comments? I have no idea, but there is sure a lot of effort put into it.

To amuse myself, I wrote a poem using only spam terms from received comments. It’s mostly nonsense, but I thought I’d share it.

Bleak coloration connected

Create a stencil by cutting out the lines
I think it’s still Crabtree,
but he has been quiet since that non-catch on the first drive.
But then there was also this damaged brother
Consequently, so santa appears to be cited
thoughtless holocaust.
Goodness and treason,
trudged, torpedoed soul
Hunted, owned
The severe now want
considerably more why and vanity
pain-free.

Who knew spamming could be so emo?


Ritually ruined

Wait, what? November in two weeks?

I usually don’t have a hard time remembering that Halloween and Nanowrimo come smacking me in the face hand-in-hand. But with the past couple of months flying by (seriously, is this because I turned twenty-eight? That is so unfair!) I find myself sort of… lost in time.

For example, by now I would have:

  • Decorated for Halloween at home (October 1st!)
  • Decorated for Halloween at work (first work day of October)
  • Picked out a Halloween costume
  • Watched at least three black-and-white horrors or Halloween movies (I’ve only seen one – Nosferatu!)
  • Plotted out points for the Nano novel
  • Attended or planned to attend at least one ghost walk and one cemetery tour

Now, I don’t even know if I’m nano-ing, Halloween-ing or even ghost walk-ing! And you know what? I’m kind of okay with that. Maybe, instead of making use of the season, I’ll just let the season do its thing on its own, and enjoy it along the way.

Then again, that could be the cold medicine talking…

 


I’ve lost a month of my life.

Hey there folks,

It’s been a while! Life has been fairly exciting for me. Besides fighting off the most diabolical of colds, I’ve had a swarm of houseguests, an abundance of birthday celebrations and a murder of out-of-town drives. (My sister has decided that every multiple is better designated as a “murder,” starting with murders of yarn. I am prone to agree.)

Seriously. Where has the past 1.5 months gone? You’ve got me. I can hardly tell you. But what I can tell you is this:

  • querying agents is less exciting than you’d think
  • temporary graffiti garners less attention with more people
  • your own city is far better experienced as a pretend tourist
  • the Asian market is still one of my favourite places to be, and
  • I have a wedding dress!

Plus, only two more weeks until BOO!