tuesday links

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I swear, every time I think I’ve had a hard week, the next week gets even more difficult. Sigh. I’m unusually grumpy today and not quite sure why. So, planning on blasting the Clash and ignoring everyone today while I take out my energy on my massive to-do list once I get to work.* Tuesdays! I hate you.

  1. Which words do you find yourself repeating over and over again? My fingerprint words are probably “so” and “rad,” though not necessarily together.
  2. If you’re in New York, you can visit Central Perk.
  3. Hey Marshmallows! The first episode of Play It Again, Dick is online!
  4. The co-creator of Beetlejuice/The Addams Family (who happens to be my writing mentor) and one of my best friends wrote a new web series called Cindy. You can watch the trailer now and their Kickstarter will be up soon! And yes, I will probably write about it on a future Give Them Your Money! post, but as always: full disclosure. It’s such a cool project, and I feel like there’s a lot of people who will really love it.
  5. A great read on where nine famous women were in their lives at 27 years old. As I’m coming up on 25 and still not quite “living the dream,” reading this made me feel a lot better.

*Posts are written at night or in the morning, even if they go up while I’m at work ;).

 

weekly writing update

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What I’m Reading & Watching

Still on my Gilmore binge. Lucky for you folks, it’ll be available on Netflix October 1!

I’m not currently reading anything – debating if I want to try another Gaiman novel or dive back into the Outlander series. And, I guess, since I don’t know what to read, I’ll just watch another episode of Gilmore Girls while I think about it…

What I’m Writing

I’m still working on Script #1’s rewrite, which is good (well – the fact that I’m working on it is good, anyway), and beginning the very, very rough outline of an idea I had for a graphic novel. I’ve also been blogging quite a bit which, I realize, may not count towards my “formal writing time,” but certainly takes up a lot of my “bullshitting while pretending to write” time.

What Inspires Me Right Now

This panel with the ladies of Shondaland is fantastic for so many reasons. If you have any interest in diversity (of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, ableism, etc) on television, you should check it out.

What Else I’ve Been Up To

I don’t quite know where this week went, to be honest. But! Yesterday was my mom’s birthday, so that was pretty great.

Writing Quote Of The Week

From Shonda Rhimes, one of my all-time inspirations:

“You want to be a writer? A writer is someone who writes every day, so start writing. You don’t have a job? Get one. Any job. Don’t sit at home waiting for the magical opportunity. Who are you? Prince William? No. Get a job. Go to work. Do something until you can do something else.”

Have a good weekend, friends.

top ten – movies to rewatch

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In which I couldn’t find Jurassic Park and accidentally grabbed Empire Records instead of the Princess Bride, because I was attempting to blog before drinking coffee. Never again.

There was a hashtag trending on twitter last week, #TopTenFilms, where you would list 10 favorite movies that you love to rewatch.  This lead me to think about other “Top Tens” I have…and the more I thought about it, the more I realized it could be a feature on the blog! I figured I could start with what I tweeted – including why I love these films – and then write about other things in lists of ten.

Picking ten movies is nearly impossible, and although there are a lot that I’ve put in my honorary mentions, there’s a reason why these ten are my favorites. I always talk about the rewatchability of a film marking the difference between a great film and a favorite one. I have so much respect for something like There Will Be Blood, but it’s not a film I care to rewatch over and over again. Same for 2001: A Space Odyssey, which absolutely changed my life and the way I see films, but remains a movie I’d prefer to only see in movie theaters. I have made one amendment to my original list, though. Originally, I had listed Annie Hall. Personal feelings about Woody Allen aside for just a moment, it was a monumental  movie experience for me. It was the quintessential movie about falling in and out of love, full of all the classic Woody Allen-isms. It was a lesson is smart, witty dialogue, and writing unconventional endings that the audience would love, even if it went against expectations. That said, I haven’t been able to watch it since his Dylan Farrow published her op-ed, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to watch it again, so off the list of rewatchable films it goes.

Without further ado, here are my #TopTenFilms:

10. Clueless – There’s something irresistibly endearing about this 90s adaptation of Emma. It’s quotable, fun, and sweet – the perfect movie to watch with friends or in the background while you get some blogging done. I definitely went to a Clueless/Spice World Double Feature Drink-A-Long at the Downtown Independent and it was one of the best movie experiences I’ve ever had.

9. The Empire Strikes Back – Perhaps my favorite of all the Star Wars film, Empire is everything a sequel should aspire to be. It also features my favorite Han Solo moments, Yoda!, and one of the biggest reveals in film history.

8. Jurassic Park – I remember watching this as a little kid and not being allowed to watch past the part with the rain. When I was finally “old enough” to watch the T. Rex scene I thought I was an adult! Ha. It’s everything you could want in a summer blockbuster – interesting characters, a premise that could almost come true, dinosaurs, and Jeff Goldblum. Beth wrote a great post about the film here.

7. The Princess Bride – Is there any movie more quotable and universally loved than The Princess Bride? The way it subverts expectations while still utilizing common fantasy tropes is wonderful. It’s clever while never condescending, and sweet without being mushy. Also, it’s the one movie I like more than the book.

6. (500) Days of Summer - I cannot tell you how many times I’ve watched this film, or how influential it has been on me as an aspiring screenwriter.

5. Harold & Maude – Forever grateful that my best friend introduced me to this gem in high school. It’s the sweetest and weirdest love story, with a perfect script written by Colin Higgins and one of the greatest movie soundtracks of all time. I even wrote a paper on it! I can’t recommend this movie enough.

4. That Thing You Do! – There’s something sugary sweet about this film in a way that makes it irresistible. Guy is my dream guy (ha!) and the soundtrack is, once again, one of my favorites. The rise and fall of a one-hit wonder band is not necessarily an easy story to tell, but fantastic casting and writing makes this movie work for me every time.

3. Reality Bites – You guys already know how much I love this film from this post, but honestly, it remains one of the most influential films I’ve ever seen.

2. The Godfather – Perhaps the only “classic” film I rewatch on a regular basis, The Godfather appeals to me on every level. It’s a crowd-pleaser, since it’s a story about the mafia. It’s a history lesson, tracking the rise of drugs in the 70s. It’s a story about the American dream, and what that means to two different generations. It’s so multi-dimensional that I find something new every time I see it. It’s a master class in writing a movie score that emphasizes your story, on how to light a film, on how to write an epic story spanning generations.  I think it’s the greatest  film ever made, and I can never get enough of it.

1. Almost Famous – This is my favorite film for so many reasons, but it comes down to the fact that it makes me laugh and cry every time I see it. It features one of my favorites scripts, favorite performances (Kate Hudson as Penny Lane), and favorite soundtracks. It is, to my liking, the perfect movie.

What about you? What are your #TopTenFilms you love to rewatch?

P.S. – If you’re curious, this piece from The Atlantic explains why people love to rewatch television & movies.


Honorary mentions: Wag The Dog, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Wizard of Oz, Good Will HuntingMean Girls, The Departed, Pan’s Labyrinth, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Who Framed Rodger Rabbit?, Empire Recordsso many! I’ve got a serious movie rewatching addiction.

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TV on DVD

There’s something so relaxing about organizing my bookshelves. I finally built a second shelf (i.e. found a shoebox that fit), so that I can fit two rows of DVDs per shelf. Functional and organized? I can dig it. This bookshelf is comprised of some of my favorite things: my fledgling record collection, comics & graphics novels, set of notebooks, and my ever-growing collection of TV on DVD – there are at least 25 different shows here! It’s calming to see everything in order, and easy to find things. Oh — and that thing you see peeking out from the second shelf? Definitely the tail of my Jurassic Park T. Rex.

give them your money! – star power and the 9th wormhole

I can’t tell you how much time I spend browsing through Kickstarter/Indiegogo projects, trying to find things that are not only interesting, but different from the sort of stuff that I can readily find in stores today. What I love most about crowd-funding is the ability to prove consumer interest in particular product, whether it be a comic, a novel, or a web series. Money talks, and shows big corporations that people are willing to support things that they might have otherwise thought were a risky venture.

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That said! I cannot begin to tell you how stoked I am about today’s featured project: Star Power and the 9th Wormhole. It’s a comic (RAD) about a woman (AWESOME) who is an astronomer (KICKASS) who gets special powers and has to save the world (HECK YES!). From their page: “Star Power is the story of a young astronomer in the distant future who finds herself chosen to wield an ancient cosmic force, becoming the last of the Star Powered Sentinels and the last hope for civilization in a galaxy largely fallen into barbarism. It is a tale of adventure, heroism, and space. Because space is awesome.” They are raising money to compile the first five issues of the comic in printed form.

There’s so much discussion about the role of women in comics, and I’m relieved and excited that a story like this exists – because we need diversity in storytelling and in comics, and this seems like a good start. I’m excited about the idea of a female superhero saving the world! If you look through their page, you’ll see that all the money raised goes directly to fund the printing of the comic in a bound book. Rewards for this project seem cost-effective and reasonable. It’s transparent funding, which I appreciate. If you’re curious about getting a peek before you spend, you can check out their site here.

If Star Power sounds like the sort of comic you’d like to see in your local comic book shops, check out their Kickstarter today!

tuesday links

Cute things and good reads for your Tuesday blues, friends.

  1. Fun Vanity Fair interviews from Toronto International Film Festival with Reese Witherspoon, Adam Driver, and Jennifer Garner – there’s a lot more on the site, if you’re interested! The best part of following film festivals is compiling the list of movies I want to see…and with the rise of VOD helping out independent films, I just might get the chance to. So awesome.
  2. The Ducktales theme redone with actual ducks is just about the greatest thing you’ll see today.
  3. A fascinating piece on Teach for America.
  4. A piece from the New York Times on “Why Flunking Exams Is Actually a Good Thing.”
  5. I really love all of the shirts + sweaters from Furry Little Peach – how cute is this shirt and this sweater?

A bonus for all my friends who are fans of the Beatles: check out this site promoting the rerelease of many of their albums in mono. Gorgeous…and a definite temptation.

P.S. – did you see the Apple announcement? Crazy!

 

weekly writing update

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What I’m Reading & Watching

Halfway through season three of Gilmore Girls. Slight spoilers in the next paragraph (though the show’s been off the air for years, so…whatever).

Last night, I saw the episode where Paris finds out she didn’t get into Harvard. When I first saw this episode, in 2003, I was only 13. I had big college dreams but no sense of what would actually happen – no sense of how the process worked, just the naive idea that if I worked hard, I could go wherever I wanted. Rewatching last night reminded me of the moment I found out I didn’t get into Berkeley out of high school – it was devastating. I had worked so hard with the singular goal of going to Cal, only to see my dreams burn down in the span of a minute.* I hadn’t thought about that day in awhile, but while watching the scene where Paris breaks down, it all came flooding back to me. The college landscape changed from 2003 to 2007 (when I applied), and has only gotten more difficult as the years have gone on. My brother is currently in the process of applying for college and I definitely don’t envy him – it’s a crazy process. Anyways – really effective writing that hit way too close to home. Good job, Gilmore writers.

What I’m Writing

I FINISHED MY OUTLINE! AND I WROTE FIVE PAGES! AND I KEEP WANTING TO WRITE MORE!!!!!!!!!! This is very exciting! I’m so happy to finally be writing again- it feels right. Let’s hope I can keep it up! I’ve also been posting here regularly, and I just came up with a couple of new weekly series. Pretty exciting stuff!

What Inspires Me Right Now

I love how Gilmore Girls manages to turn every line of dialogue into a relevant pop culture reference. It’s so hard to do – trust me, I’ve tried – and watching their show has been a masterclass.

What Else I’ve Been Up To

Swimming (I’m the jerk that waited until September to start swimming), dreaming about pizza without actually getting any, cooking, and eating lazy puppy chow & drinking wine (see above!) while marathoning watching Gilmore Girls.

Also, I’ve been going to a lot of concerts, including Elvis Costello & Ben Folds tonight! Hurray!

Writing Quote Of The Week

From Toni Morrison:

I type in one place, but I write all over the house.

Have a good weekend, friends.

 

*For those not familiar with my entire life story, I ended up going to community college for two years and transferring to Berkeley. Saved money and went to my dream school! Talk about a win/win situation, though I definitely didn’t see it that way at the time.

 

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