Binge Worthy TV and Writing

Hello, my friends! It’s been a couple of busy weeks. The second book of The Protectorate series is still being retyped after a data loss earlier this year, and life has gotten in the way. BUT I’m happy to report that it’s almost time to release it for all my wonderful readers to consume.

I have also been knee deep in birthday planning, painting, researching for book number three, parenting, and just trying to stay afloat and in one piece. As everyone knows, life likes to sucker punch and jerk people around, and I’m no different. However, I’m riding this one out, and I’m enjoying the ride so to speak. Help comes in the form of TV. Specifically, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon.

Oh, the beauty of binge worthy tv at my very fingertips. They call to me, lulling me to “Pick me, Pick me!” AND, of course, I’m more than willing to oblige. What’s on the TV, you ask? DC’s Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow have me riveted.

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Now, let me start by saying that I’ve been immersed in reading and writing for a couple of years now. It’s rare for me to binge watch anything, but when I do, it’s all or nothing. Thus the term binge;-) Having said that, I haven’t watched a couple seasons of anything listed above.

*gasp*

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At this moment, I imagine the indignant words spewing forth from your mouths, the horror at my inattention to some of the most fascinating shows on TV, am I right? Let me stop you right now. Save the popcorn you want to throw at the computer, save the warranted indignation. I am in the process of rectifying the abysmal oversight, and I’m happy to report that I have caught up on all of Arrow, season two of The Flash (working on the rest), and I’m watching season three of Legends.

Okay! Now that I’ve cleared the air, let me just say that I absolutely love these shows. There are those that only watch DC and those that favor Marvel, but I’m in both camps. By the way, I’m a Star Wars and Star Trek junkie, too. Thought I’d put that out there. It may be unthinkable for diehard fans, but I am who I am.

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Anyway, recently I’ve been watching Legends, and I had an epiphany that relates to writing. For anyone that watches these shows, or others similar in nature, there are the good guys and the bad. I was watching last night and got to a climatic plot point with Rip on Legends, and I seriously wanted to throw something at the TV. At the beginning of the series, Rip was portrayed as a damaged, but lovable, character that recruited this team full of misfits to save the world from extermination. To be honest, I got excited when the series came out because Arthur Darvill was cast as Rip. I’m also a Dr. Who fan, and I just knew that he’d make this show a must see, and I was right. Well, at least for me.

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At any rate, I was drooling at the bit when it came out, and I was not disappointed. The character drew the audience in. He was mysterious, serious, and in control. I. Was. Hooked. Needless to say, I rode the waverider with the crew, and lamented when at the end of season one that two characters left. How could the second season be any better? Heavy heart in hand, I watched. Except, I was surprised. They didn’t disappoint in their hilarious, yet serious, trials and tribulations. This time, though, Rip’s character underwent a vast personality change, and I found myself loathing him. How could Arthur Darvill be sooooo vile? Pulling my hair, heart in my stomach, I watched the unthinkable happen, and I wasn’t enthused. I tried to separate the actor from the character, and it was difficult to say the least. I thought, gosh this man can act!

It got so bad that I actually wanted the Legends to kill Rip! Yep, I said it. He needed to be squelched. Destroyed. Annihilated. And then the gut churning, hair pulling, white knuckled response stopped.

PLOT TWIST!

Rip was saved. Evil had not won. His lovable, encouraging personality had been restored, and I lamented over ever thinking that he should have been killed. Oh, the shame!

And then it hit me! 1) Arthur Darvill is an incredible actor (the other cast members, too!) and 2) Those writers need a bottle of champagne, a raise, and some applause. You see they’ve drawn the audience in to the point of disgust, raised blood pressures, and beer spillage. The writers have cast a spell on us lulling us to love, hate, then love again. This is story writing. This is what we as writers yearn to do. We spend thousands of hours pouring over our words, taking classes, getting critiques, developmental editing, copyediting, etc… The list goes on and on. This storyline was an Ah Ha moment in my life as an author.

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What was that, you say? It’s a great idea to take a step back. It’s pivotal to watch a play, ballet, sports, movies, and TV. As an author, it’s critical to be able to learn character development, what draws an audience in, and sometimes it’s not in a book. Sometimes it’s not in a class. Sometimes, it’s in a play, the beauty of a ballet, and also in binge watching TV.

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So with my hat in my hand, I thank the writers and actors in Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow for their expert plot twists, their character development, and for some good TV. Thank you for allowing this weary writer to regain perspective and relax. You have my undying gratitude.

I want to hear from you! What are some shows that you watch for fun? Tell me! Comment below, and until the next time, keep working on your dreams, keep putting one foot in front of the other, and keep believing. We’ve got this!

Cheers,

K.D.

P.S. Make sure to get up and walk around a bit while binge watching. Gets the blood pumping and makes it more entertaining!

 

To Write or Paint?

Hello friends! Another week, another adventure. Well, an adventure into painting that is. After staring at my walls, trying to come up with the latest plot twist, I decided it was well past time to repaint them. After years of family abuse of pen marks, pencil drawings, paint explosions, and other various tried and tested tortures they have suffered, I grasped that five gallon paint vat, mixed it until my fingers ached, and poured the vaporous mixture into the bucket.

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How I relished the silky taupe that would soon make my walls bright and cheery again.

After about five minutes of staring down at the paint, glistening eyes and all (drat the vapors), I swiped them dry with my shirtsleeve and with gusto I tackled the nearest wall. Roll after roll it took on a sparkly sheen. Up and down the ladder I went, cutting in near the ceiling and at the baseboards, and when all was said and done, I stood, shoulders squared, chin up, and beamed at that gloriously painted wall.

Of course, I felt proud. Who wouldn’t?! Muscles I hadn’t felt in decades gave me a swift ‘Hello’ in the form of stabbing, shooting pains, and my legs trembled at the exertion, but I was not going to let anything dampen the exultation thrumming through my veins.

Satisfied, I stepped back and turned around, half expecting congratulatory slaps on the back for a job well done, but no matter. I was proud. Proud…

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And then, with a feeling of impending doom, I viewed the multiple walls yearning to be painted, and an overwhelming panic ensued. What. Have. I. Done????

*sigh*

Buck up soldier! Time to get the paint on, am I right?! So, I rolled up those imaginary sleeves, tightened that ponytail, and stared down those walls that taunted me from around the room. I would not perish! They were going down.

The ladder, which I thought helpful, turned traitorous with each painful step, and the endless sight of unpainted walls mocked me, but I kept on. Swipe after painful swipe, I tackled those obstinate walls, and when three were done (did I mention that I’ve got 18 walls to paint?) I leaned against the kitchen counter and exhaled.

Now, four days later, I’m still painting, and I’d rather be writing. I will NEVER complain about writing again. I think I’ll be dreaming about walls for the foreseeable future, but there was a silver lining in all the drudgery.

First, I’m sore which means I’m building muscle. Score! Second, I’m proud of those freshly painted walls. It was time, and third, painting shares similarities with writing.

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I know some might think I’ve inhaled too much vapor, but hear me out. Painting requires attention to detail. It also requires dedication and determination. I know that many writers would agree that to make it as an author, we must be both dedicated and determined because it’s easy to just give up. However, where’s the fun in that? Moreover, painting utilizes layers to cover up flaws or enhance them, and so does writing.

Anyway, I’ve had a crash course in painting, and once completed, I will not be painting walls ever again. However, I’m grateful for the ability to do it, and I appreciate those that paint for a living. You all get the biggest of high fives!

So, after I complete this painting excursion over the next few days, I will cherish my time for writing all the more. What about you? I want to hear from you. What are you up to? TV, movies, books, or painting, I want to hear about it. Leave a comment, and join the fun!

Happy reading,

K.D.

Put the Book Down!

Hello, friends! Another week, another blog post. It’s been a jam-packed week of research, editing, and rewriting. But the common theme? Books!

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Historical books, suspense, dystopian, and all things fantasy litter my desk and clutter my shelves. I’ve got the U.S. Civil War on the brain for my next novel, and I’m devouring Origin by Dan Brown at night. Hour long slogs, interrupting an already claustrophobic day of work, through Nashville traffic gets my family to ballet practice, but it’s SO worth it.

I sit in sweet solitude parked in a crammed lot of extrovert parents, and I sink down in the driver’s seat, sunglasses donned and sun visor down, as my introvert self avoids contact of any nature. I relish each turn of the page. Black script jumps off the pages and enlightens a middle-aged mind, taking me on a far off adventure, or reminding me of the importance of history (lest it repeat itself!).

Ah, the wonder of those sweet hours (yes, hours) of alone time where the usual day’s stressors (painting walls, laundry that could rival the Himalayan mountains, annoying solicitors that don’t take no for an answer, sticky floors yet to be cleaned, and a yard threatening to swallow us whole if not cut) can thunderously dissolve and books become my salvation.

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Of course, as a writer, books are my life. However wonderful I know that they are, to a non book lover (gasp), they are quite the nuisance. Although, I have to say that my loved ones appreciate my infatuation with the written words, they do find them rather cumbersome to walk around.

So, what would any sane writer do to tackle this all too familiar issue? Kindle, you say! Kobo, Amazon, Apple and other sites grant the reader’s delight in thousands of books all at our digital fingertips! Hundreds can be stored in a teeny, tiny space. Gone are the paper cuts, stubbed toes, and bruised hips. What more could anyone want, am I right?!

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Wrong!

You see, after all is said and done, there’s nothing I love more than the smell of a good book. The tangible nature entices; the sound of pages turning (sigh). It delights my neuronal synapses in a way that the digital copy can not. Don’t get me wrong. I still read digitally, but my LOVE awaits in those paperbacks yearning to be bought (my sweet precious).

Of course, the clutter continues, and until I can afford a decent library the size of the Smithsonian comes my way, I will continue to buy those darlings. I hope my family and friends will grunt (silently), bear it, and understand (probably not). If not, it’s been a fun ride. How I’ll miss their faces;-)

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Just kidding!!! I’m building shelves and determining which ones I’ll give to our local library and shelters. They shall not burden my family longer, and yet, when the last breath leaves this mortal body, may my lovely family surround me, and a novel be ever clutched to my chest.

I want to hear from you! Who else is a book hoarder? What are you currently reading? I look forward to your comments.

Happy reading,

K.D.