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!

 

A Time for Thanks

Thanksgiving is two days away for those celebrating in the United States, and I’m salivating at the prospects of pumpkin pie, turkey and stuffing, pumpkin pie, ambrosia and rolls, pumpkin pie and, well, you get the gist. For me, I love to plop down onto the sofa, stuffed to the gills with good food rumbling inside of my belly and surrounded by my loved ones watching my most anticipated event of the season… The AKC Dog Show, of course!

Yes, my love of dogs goes beyond borders, kingdoms and realms. They put a pep to my step and bring out the ooey gooey talking, lovey dovey heart of a child the second I lay eyes on my pup. *sigh* She’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of in a dog, and she never lets me down. Always devoted to my mundane habits of tap, tap, tapping away at the keyboards or midnight kitchen jaunts stealing yet another glass of water after my foggy mind attempted to write down a concept ripped from my dreams. Yep, she jumps to attention, her velvety soft ears pointed in my direction, and her gaze giving me the once over just to make certain I’m safe. I melt in those pools of soft chocolate, and I thank my lucky stars for the gift that she is.

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Of course, I’m grateful for my kids, too. Oh, yeah! My kids rule the roost in this family of complete and normal dysfunction. *wink* We’re no less dysfunctional than the rest, this I know, but we excel in our failed attempts at hitting the laundry basket or keeping all the peas on the plate. Sure, some land on the floor and get stomped and smashed to smithereens, trailed through the house in a final blaze of glory, while the pup even turns her nose up at it before plopping down on her half of the couch in a huff. “Silly humans,” she must think as she refuses eye contact for the next five minutes in hopes of shaming we mere mortals into tossing her a salmon flavored treat, down on our knees, begging for her forgiveness.

And I digress. Family. Right. You know, we’re all family if you think about it. My dog is as much a part of this family as the humans. That’s what I love most about my spouse, children and pup. If someone is ill, another fixes meals or picks up the laundry or simply sits by our sides binge watching Netflix or HuluPlus, sympathizing and caring in the best way we know how. We have our ups and downs, but our family is strong and have weathered many a storm. To this I am THANKFUL. GRATEFUL. BLESSED.

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So, while many are posting days of ‘Thanks’ during the month of November, I’m there with ya, shouting to the world how wonderful these people (Canines, too!) are by my side, but it’s no different than the other 11 months out of the year. I choose to live each day with a grateful heart regardless of the month.

One final word of ‘Thanks’ goes out to all my family near and far. Merriam-Webster lists “Family” as “a group of people who are related to each other,” or “a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head,” but I beg to differ. My family constitutes those in my household but extends to those special friends in my life that are neither ancestrally related or by marriage. My family circle is blessed this Thanksgiving with wonderful family and friends living in Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas, Michigan, Colorado, California, and Australia and is enriched by those I’ve met through writing from the UK, Norway, India, France, Germany, Canada, Japan and the list goes on and on. There’s lots to be grateful for, and I wish all my family and fellow #NaNoWriMo writers a wonderful end to November.

Best of luck, happy eating, and, of course, happy reading/writing!

KD

Writing in a Hailstorm

Good Day to everyone! After what feels like a lengthy absence, I’ve hit the ivory of my keyboard to write again. A hailstorm pelted my life for the last couple of weeks, but I’m up and running again for what will surely be an extraordinary next couple of months. Time to catch up on all things written;-)

While the last couple of months have been filled with illness, it has also been a refreshing breeze. Not allowed to read or be on a computer, I’ve had ample opportunity to observe life and disconnect from the internet which has been spectacular. Creative minds never cease, and it is to this trait that I laud for my sanity with a ban on electronics.

Okay, I’ll admit, at first I panicked. What? No electronics, you say??? Are you nuts? I’m a WRITER, but these quickly diffused once the lurching and knotting of my stomach lessened and my mind unfroze. This would be a time of opportunity; not for sitting on the couch with a gallon of ice cream and a box of Kleenex. Pride, barely intact, I propped my chin up on a pillow and plastered a smile on my face, resolving to see this as a springboard and not a road bump.

The next steps fell in trickles then downpours once the first one took shape. As most would agree, sleep was in order. Lots and lots of sleep was achieved. If sleep were an Olympic event, I’d have a shiny gold medal right now. Next, hydration. Contrary to popular belief, wine is not for hydration. I know, a shock to me, too! So, I settled for my next favorite beverage: water. It sounds bland, but I spiffed it up with lemon juice and reveled in the fact that I was tripling my vitamin C intake. The pharmacist in me was doing backflips, I can assure you;-)

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Info on Vitamin C found at NIH.gov

After the sleep and hydration came…meditation. Yep, you heard it from the lion’s mouth. I’ve never been one to incorporate meditation in any kind of way into my daily life, but without the crutches of entertainment/stress relief coming from the internet or TV, I had a ton of time on my hands. Being a “Type A” personality when it comes to certain venues in life, I needed a stress reliever. What was I to do?

I remember in college taking a relaxation/meditation class for one of my general education requirements. At the time, it was an inconvenience, but let me just say that it came to the rescue in my time of crisis. Albeit approximately twenty years later, give or take a few years, I have been extraordinarily grateful.

As a side note, I’ve been told to practice yoga, and while I’m sure it helps others, each person is different. Having arthritis, lots of the positions have ended up hurting my joints rather than helping, and that’s okay. I think I’m more of a Tai Chi kind of person anyway.

Back on track, the meditation was word focused, and I have to say that as absurd as it sounds, the word “relax” helped me to…well, you know…relax. Silently repeating “Re” on the inward breaths and “lax” while I breathed out helped the contorted mass of muscles in my neck, shoulders, lower back, etc… I couldn’t believe it! After ten minutes, I opened my eyes and felt like a bowl of Jello. Decidedly better than a ball of wire, I immediately determined to meditate prior to every writing session. It clears the mind and lets the fountain of words flow onto paper.

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Photo via Tribunist.com

Once my symptoms cleared a bit, I admit, I binged on Netflix. Well, sort of. I can only watch a couple of shows before I have to turn it off. Drat you seizures! BUT, it was the rocket to my mood that I needed. All I’m saying is if you haven’t seen the show Superstore, you’re missing out.

The remnants of illness linger, but I’m ready to gradually increase my workload over the next couple of weeks. It’s phenomenal to be back on the computer, hacking away at the keys. Hopefully, the rest of the year will be smooth sailing. Of course, I’ll look like a walking Halloween sign for the remainder of Fall and Winter seasons as I must wear a mask, but I’ll have plenty of hilarious tales to tell you with all the stares and encounters I get upon my journeys out into the world.

So, until then, read lots, eat well, and write often!

Happy reading,

KD