Tuesday, May 16, 2017

What Makes an Unsympathetic Hero?

Sometimes I like to push the boundaries when it comes to my heroes. Rian Sherron, the central character to my Atrophy series, is a good example of this. He's dark and twisty, and I've always wanted to see exactly how dark and twisty I could take him, how far I could push the line on his behavior before the readers decided he wasn't a hero any longer. Admittedly, there have been some scenes in the first three Atrophy books that were either toned down, or completely changed by the time of publication because my editor was worried Rian had crossed that line -- and given that my Atrophy books are with a romance publisher and predominantly read by romance readers, I possibly couldn't be as dark and twisty as I wanted with Rian, than I could if I was writing straight sci-fi.

Despite testing the boundaries of that gray area between good and bad, I'd never given too much thought to what makes a hero unsympathetic. Not very deeply anyway, until an episode of The 100 two weeks ago. Just skip ahead if you're not up to date on The 100 and don't want to know.

For those of you who don't watch it, here's some framework to base my point: The 100 is a post-apocalyptic TV series that started out as a teen drama, based off the book series of the same name by Kass Morgan. However, in the four seasons since it began, it moved beyond the constraints of a simple teen drama, and way beyond the original premise of 100 teenagers being sent to Earth, after the human race survived the nuclear apocalypse 90 years earlier by living on several cobbled-together space stations. Of course those who survived on the space stations were surprised to find survivors on the ground, who had regressed back to a clan type of society, with justice often being served through black-and-white judgements and using a lot of violence to solve issues.

In the fourth season, it was revealed that all of the nuclear power plants around the world that have been left unattended for almost a hundred years are all melting down. This will result in a massive death wave that will kill all life on earth. For the first part of the season, the main protagonist, Clarke, was trying to find a way to save everyone, not just the people of the Ark (the space station which ended up crashing to earth) but all of the Grounder clans as well.

They found a bunker, but of course the bunker can only hold so many people, so then the fight began over whose people would get to survive in the bunker. Honestly, the people of the Ark have a bit of a superiority complex over the Grouders. In part, I suppose you could say this is justified. Whoever ends up in the bunker needs to know how to run to bunker -- the hydroponic farm, the water and air filters, etc. The people of the Ark have this knowledge from surviving on a space station, while the Grounders do not as they've been living for three or more generations without technology.

The Grounders agree to have what they call a Conclave -- one representative from each clan fights to the death, and whichever representative survives, that clan wins the bunker. Not believing they can win this fight (and according to Clarke "doing what's best for my people," which had been a reoccurring theme for her over the seasons, most often to the detriment of her morals, putting her on a darker and darker path) Clarke devises a way to "steal" the bunker for the people of the Ark to survive while everyone else is distracted by the Conclave.

When this revelation came out at the end of the episode, I was actually quite shocked that Clarke had made this move. For me, that was the tipping point, and she became an unsympathetic hero. She was now looking more like the villain. This was especially highlight in contrast to Octavia, who had fought in the Conclave as the representative of the Ark people, and won. When she fronted the grounder council with her victory, she announced that her people wouldn't take the bunker for themselves, that they would instead share it equally with all clans -- 100 of each. It starkly juxtaposed the growth the two characters have had over the four seasons -- they have both experienced loss and hardship, but while Octavia started out as a somewhat shallow and wilful girl, she became the hero that found a way to save everyone. Clarke started out as a serious, responsible girl with a deep moral compass, but she had become the antihero, making a decision that would only save those she deemed more important, even though she had always said the people of the Ark and the Grounders should be considered equal.

There was another instance an episode or two before this, where Clarke also tried to take advantage of Grounder law to stage a coup and become leader of the Grounders so she could decide for them how to handle the coming disaster and division of the bunker. But it backfired, which I was glad for, because it left me feeling very uncomfortable -- for me, Clarke seemed to have this superiority complex. Yes, she said the people of the Ark and Grounders should be equal, but when they wouldn't confirm to her idea of what should be done, she tried to take advantage of their beliefs for her own gain. Maybe she technically had noble intentions, but her method was insulting to the Grounders and their beliefs. I'm not sure if this is what The 100 writers intended, but that was how I digested it.

So, through these few pivotal choices, for me, Clarke had become the unsympathetic hero. However, as I was thinking about what the writers could have done differently, or why they put Clarke on this path and what it might mean for her future (something I regularly do, because it's fun and I think it helps exercise my story telling muscle) I questioned how I would have felt about her actions had it been one of the male protagonists, say Bellamy, who did these things. I realized that while I still wouldn't have agreed with these methods, if it had of been Bellamy or a male character, then I would have probably seen it as him taking charge and been more amiable to accepting, heck, even being impressed by the lengths he was willing to go to for what he believed in. And that is where my hard-wiring from being brought up in a society that teaches us to judge women more harshly, that is still entrenched in sexist, patriarchal ideals, impacted into how I viewed Clarke's actions, simply because she was a woman.

But the point of this post wasn't to get all political. I still haven't properly explained what makes an unsympathetic hero. From my personal point of view, it's where a character reaches a point that no matter what they do after, they are no longer redeemable. And this is my jam. I love a good redemption story line. All you need to do is find any of my posts about Agents of Shield's Grant Ward. He did some horrible things, a lot of them were not easy to watch. But the darker he got, the more I wanted to see him redeemed. Even when he got infected with an alien organism and went completely evil, I still prayed that somehow he would get his second chance. For many people, Grant Ward became the unsympathetic hero and was thus irredeemable after the end of season 1 when he initially betrayed the team and his true Hydra loyalties were revealed.

For me, even though Ward constantly did bad things, he was still likeable. With Clarke, she has also done a number of bad things, and I reached a point where I no longer found her likeable. Though, after my introspection, I decided to reverse my judgement and give her a second chance. It'll be interesting to see when, how, or even if Clarke will start her redemption. She's hurt and betrayed a lot of people, especially Bellamy who always stood by her no matter what anyone else said, but when she left his sister, Octavia, locked outside the bunker and facing death, that was obviously a deal breaker. As for Grant Ward, it's complicated, but in short his character was killed and sadly he probably won't be getting any redemption.

When it comes to my own characters, especially Rian, I feel that so far I am achieving what I'd hoped for -- some people don't like Rian, they find him brash, reckless, and selfish. Some people are loving him, and are looking forward to his redemption. For me, I want to drag Rian down into the darkest depths possible, before bringing him back up for his redemption. Though, as previously stated, publishing through a romance publisher may hinder me in that a little. But that's not to say I might not have other avenues to explore the monster inside him.

In general terms, I think there's a balance, an equation that needs to be met to create the difference between a character being unsympathetic or not. And that is weighing likeability/reasoning against the character's actions.

So, the darker or more horrible a character's actions, the more likeable or the deeper the reason for these actions needs to be. For Rian, I use the fact that he endured years of unspeakable torture at the hands of aliens as the reasoning behind his actions. He's on a quest for vengeance, and nothing will get in the way of that. This doesn't excuse his actions, especially when those he cares about are the ones caught in the crossfire. It simply gives the reader an understanding. They do with it what they will.

Secondary, I have the fact that even though he is broken, he still loves his sister and cares about his crew, even though he may not exactly show it, he protects them (sometimes from himself) and will go above and beyond for them. He has their unwavering loyalty, which I think speaks to the likeability factor. Thirdly is his confusion over the feelings he has for Ella, a priestess he inadvertently rescued from the aliens, which leaves the reader hoping that he will start finding his redemption through her, through love.

Of course, the one thing I've over looked is the fact there are some deeds that will immediately and irrevocably make a hero unsympathetic, no matter how you try to redeem them or make them likeable. Socially unacceptable things like rape, racism, sexism, etc, so these will need to be avoided, or the reader will be completely alienated. With the caveat that yes, I know sometimes people break these "rules" successfully. But it's not easy, and takes a very skilled writer.

So, there we have it, after a very long post, my take on what makes an unsympathetic hero.
Looking for other writerly information? Then just search the tag writing advice or so you think you can author on my blog.





Saturday, May 13, 2017

Just Finished Watching... Las Chicas Del Cable (Cable Girls) on Netflix

Actually, I finished it a bit over a week ago, but hadn't gotten around to writing this post.
I'd been waiting for this show to appear on my Netflix catalogue since I finished watching Gran Hotel last October and some internet stalking research revealed that many of the same people behind Gran Hotel were now working on a Netflix original called Las Chicas Del Cable, including the lead actor, Yon Gonzalez.
Season 1 part 2 released last week (or was it the week before?) with little fanfare, but man, was I excited when I saw it there. However I made myself wait, as there were other shows I was watching and was guessing that once I started Cable Girls, if it was anything like Gran Hotel, I wouldn't want to watch anything else until I'd binged all the episodes.
And I was right.
So right.
Cable Girls is set in early 1920s Madrid, based on a group of four women who struggle for their jobs and independent lifestyle as operators at a telephone company, against the social norms of the time. Like Gran Hotel, this show is in Spanish, so be prepared to read subtitles. And as happened with Gran Hotel, I'd gleaned enough Spanish to understand that what was being said wasn't always exactly the same as what was translated on the subtitles. Though, I did see it mentioned somewhere that English dub was available, but I didn't look into it, because I actually enjoy listening to the Spanish being spoken.
I'm not sure what I expected of this show -- not for it to necessarily be Gran Hotel all over again (because let's face it, nothing is ever going to be Gran Hotel again!) but the first half of season 1 managed to surprise me in a lot of different ways, all good.
To begin with, Yon Gonzalez (who played the lead part of the swoon-worthy Julio in Gran Hotel) played a much more polarizing character this time around, named Francisco. There was no good or bad for this character, just a whole lot of gray where what he wanted often ran in opposition to his duty and the life he'd built for himself.
In the first episode, we were introduced to Alba, who starts working at the phone company under the fake name of Lidia, blackmailed into stealing from the company, not knowing her childhood love, Francisco, is the company director. However, Francisco is also BFFs with the company owner's son, Carlos, and married to the company owner's daughter (whose name escapes me right now).
Years earlier, Alba/Lidia and Francisco were split up only moments after arriving in Madrid to start a new life together, due to a misunderstanding which saw Alba/Lidia arrested. Her rescuer ends up being a Madam who runs what basically amounts to a brothel, I think, and she teaches Alba/Lidia how to survive. She spent the next years thinking that Francisco simply abandoned her, while Francisco never knew what happened to Alba/Lidia.
Until she turns up at his company as one of the new operators. Francisco recognizes her right away, but she tries to pretend he has her mixed up with someone else. He isn't fooled, however, and her suddenly reappearing in his life sends him into a bit of a tailspin.
Francisco is in an interesting position. The owner of the phone company trusts him in running things more than he trusts his own son, Carlos. Meanwhile, Francisco is all but a brother to Carlos, so Francisco is constantly trying to manage the father's expectations, his own duty to the company, but also take Carlos' side when he clashes with his father. Of course, you have to throw in a few secrets that Carlos doesn't know about between Francisco and Carlos' father when it comes to running the company. Plus Carlos has a secret of his own.
Then the really messy interpersonal stuff comes into it. At first Francisco is determined to win Alba/Lidia back, despite already being married. But then circumstances force him to recognize the damage his actions will have on his home life, possibly extending into his professional life. Most of this is not helped by his scheming secretary, who ends up spying on Francisco on behalf of his wife.
And of course, this show wouldn't be complete without the love triangle. Alba/Lidia also caught Carlos' eye from her first day on the job, and her continuous rebukes to his charm only tempts him more. Finally, circumstance forces Alba/Lidia to get closer to him, and at first she only plans to use him, but of course, feelings get messy, and she becomes torn between Carlos and Francisco. Every time it seems she might be able to move on from Francisco -- which would probably be the healthier thing for both of them -- some other revelation or circumstance pushes them back together.
Part 1 of season 1 ended on a cliff hanger, which I usually hate, but in this case it was all so well done, I couldn't be cranky about it. But I am now impatient to see the second part of season 1, which won't be coming for a few more months at least.
And here I haven't even mentioned all the other breath-stealing things going on with the three other female main characters. Cheating spouses, sexual confusion, secret fiancees, hidden pregnancies, and all kinds of situations that kept me up until the early hours of the morning watching episode after episode.
If you are a fan of Gran Hotel -- heck, even if you're not and just love a good period drama -- then Las Chicas Del Cable is definitely worth your time.
For me, I'll be eagerly waiting for the second half of season 1 to drop, and in the meantime, might even do a Gran Hotel re-watch to tide me over.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Agents of Shied - 4x21 The Ward/Fitz Parallel Set in Stone

I hate to say I told you so... Who am I kidding? I love saying I told you so! Totally called the Ward/Fitz Parallel two episodes ago.
I almost wasn't going to write a post about AOS today, I kept telling myself to wait until after the season finale next week and do a season 4 wrap up. But I couldn't help myself. Because there was one line Fitz said in this week's episode that will go down as one of my favorites of the entire season.
"I'm just like Ward."
Oh man, the feels. The dawning understanding on Fitz's face, in that moment completely understanding original-Ward for the monster he was, now having that same monster inside him, it was brilliantly executed by both the writers and the actor, Iain De Caestecker.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
In this week's episode, everyone except Mack escaped the Framework. This actually has to be one of the best overall AOS episodes out of all four seasons so far. We had Mae and Coulson locked in a room together with the enemy outside, the two of them trying to figure out how to escape their underwater prison, while hashing out some of what had happened while the Mae-LMD had been in place. Coulson almost admitted to Mae that he'd kissed the Mae-LMD, but couldn't get the words out. Mae filled in the blanks, but assumed that her LMD self had tried to kill Coulson.
He totally jumped on the excuse, and it was one of those laugh-out-loud moments I've missed seeing. Even in a tense situation where death is a real possibility, the AOS writers still manage to get some humor in there, which only gives the whole make-up of the show that much more depth.
Then we had the now human Aida/Ophelia. While Fitz tried to come to terms with what he had done and who he had been in the Framework, he was also dealing with the new Aida/Ophelia. For a moment it looked like he was going to talk her around, that she might actually come good and not be the sociopathic Ophelia/Madam Hydra from the Framework. But then when Fitz admitted that Gemma was the one he'd always love, Aida/Ophelia/Madam Hydra lost her shit and went on a killing rampage.
With multiple inhuman powers, and some other secret that hasn't been revealed yet -- one that Fitz and Mae were in on, something about the inhumans they experimented on in the Framework -- Aida/Ophelia was apparently unstoppable, and escaped what was left of the Shield base, leaving a number of bodies in her wake.
Source: stydiaislove on Tumblr
The silent reunion between Gemma and Fitz was gorgeous and heartbreaking. But Fitzsimmons fans better not get their hopes up. I'm guessing there are some rocky times ahead for Gemma and Fitz, especially now that Fitz sees himself in the same light as Grant Ward, who he spent the better part of two years hating. As I said in the last post, I know a lot of Fitz and Fitzsimmons fans are absolutely hating what the writers have done to Fitz, and I'm sorry for them, but I absolutely love it. Take a good character and give him that hint of darkness? Totally sold. I can't wait to see what the AOS writers are going to do with this new dark side of Fitz going into season 5. Will he get the path of redemption that Grant Ward never took?
Speaking of Ward, I'm confused and hopeful over Framework Ward. I'm hoping we'll see him in the next episode. I can't imagine that the writers would leave such a massive thread not tied up. There was no real conclusion to his story line when Skye/Daisy left him at the TV station to ensure Coulson's broadcast wasn't interrupted. Given that he was once a pivotal character, I just can't believe the writers wouldn't give fans some conclusion to whether he lived and got his Skye back, or got killed making sure Daisy and the rest of the team made it home.
If we don't see anything of him in the next episode, with Yo-yo in the Framework to bring Mack home, then I'll have one last little slither of hope. And that hope is that after Aida/Ophelia became human, but before the underwater base got torpedoed, Framework-Ward also managed to come through, getting a human body and escaping the flooding facility. Maybe he went up the stairs when Coulson and Mae went up the elevator. Maybe he managed to hide on the submarine. And during the first two or three episodes of season 5, he's going to randomly appear, surprising everyone.
This would be so great to continue the Ward/Fitz parallel. Because now we have this good Ward who was brought into Shield by Victoria Hand, is loyal and an all round good guy, while Fitz has two lives worth of experience affecting him, one of which he was the bad guy who did all the wrong things, just like Original-Ward.
Yes, I am praying hard that the writers have decided to bring Ward back for season 5, and we'll see some semblance of the original team for what could be the final, epic season.
Oh, and I also have to mention, I was happy to see Robbie Reyes, aka Ghost Rider made his way back to our dimension in the last few minutes of this episode. The season four finale is looking like it'll be amazing.

Monday, May 8, 2017

It's All About the Narrative

I have a confession to make. A deep, dark confession no author should ever have to make, but nonetheless, it is the truth.
I don't read books any more.
*Gasp*

Okay, okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but not completely untrue. In the past two years, I would be lucky if I've read more than fifteen books. I've started and DNF'ed probably twice that number. It seems that unless a book immediately catches me and pulls me in deep, I don't have the patience to finish it.

Interestingly enough, over the last few years, my consumption of TV series has increased exponentially. I've realized for some time now that I'm getting my regular dose of character, narrative and story line through TV in the same way I used to get it from books. And I wondered, what kind of author does that make me? I actually felt embarrassed to admit that I'm an author who hardly ever reads, because it seems like an oxymoron. An author who doesn't read? Then how am I meant to keep up with the trends in the market if I'm not exposing myself to them?
More on that in a minute.

So I was going along, trying to fit time to read into my hectic schedule -- working around my kids and everything that comes with family. Like many authors, I have a second job to help pay the bills because what I make from my books just isn't cutting it at the moment. And of course there are my own books to write and all the extras -- edits, website upkeep, social media stuff (which I am not good at sticking to on a regular basis anyway). This isn't my excuse for not reading, this is just a statement of fact.

My secondary problem to this is my internal editor. I long ago forgot how to turn it off, so unless a book is really written well and can seamlessly pull me into the story, those mistakes are like flashing neon lights that give me a headache. Also, I worked out that if I'm reading an e-book, I'm more likely to notice the mistakes, probably because the words are on a screen and my brain is now hardwired to see any words on a screen as "work" because of my own writing.
I'm not claiming to be perfect over here, I know some editing errors have slipped through in my own books, but I think if you connect with the writing and love the characters, then it's easier to overlook those minor errors. Which is why some people will love a book I don't, or I might love a book someone else can't stand.

That being said, when I watch a TV show, I'm never completely switched off. On some level I know I'm analyzing the dialogue and character actions, taking in the story in a way most people probably don't when they watch TV. Just as bad writing can make me put a book down, bad writing in a TV show can make me turn it off and look for something better.

My editor and agent have mentioned that I'm a very visual writer, and indeed, you'll find reviews of my books that say things like "I felt like I was watching a TV show or movie!" or "this book would make a great TV show!" Personally, when the whole "show, don't tell" thing finally clicked for me, I realized something startling. When a story comes to me, it's like I'm seeing that story play out on a screen in my head. I'm not inside my character's head, I'm watching them do their thing like I have my own personal cinema for one. And I recognized in my early writing, I was telling people the story happening inside my head, because that's what I thought an author was meant to do. However, I clearly remember having that light-bulb moment when I realized what I needed to do was show people the story happening in my head, and like a writer would in a screenplay, rely more on what the character wasn't saying -- in their posture, movements, physical reactions, etc -- to convey my narrative.From there, my writing took on a life of its own, Atrophy was written, I got my first book published and everything started falling into place.

For me, getting my fix of story, character, and everything that comes with it on the screen is a good thing -- obviously I'm a very visually stimulated person. And I think this could become true of my generation and generations coming up. Think about how many people communicate through visuals -- emojis, memes, gifs -- these days. The book should not get lost in this, to be purely taken over by TV shows and movies. There is nothing quite like being curled up on a couch, lost in an awesome book for a few peaceful hours. And one day when my kids have grown up and my life is less hectic, I know I'll get back to reading possibly a book, or two, or three a week like I used to.

For now, a TV show or two in the evening before I go to bed are serving me well. And in this way, with most TV shows, I'm getting a double dose of story arc. There's the episodic arc, confined into that single episode: the beginning, or inciting incident, the obstacles and confrontation of act two, then the climax and descending action of act three. Secondary to this will be seeds scattered of the season or series arc; the overall plot driving the characters and story to the culminated climax of the show's season.

In essence, this is the same three act structure most novels use as well. Novelists are story tellers. Screenwriters are story tellers. It's just that the medium is different. But does this mean we have to rigidly stick to one or the other if that's where we're producing our art? Obviously, a person is going to need some specific tools when producing the end product; a novel is not set out the same way a screenplay is. So yes, in that case, watching a TV show will not automatically mean a person can write a novel, or vice versa.

However, for those experienced in the format of their chosen profession (these days I could pretty much set out a novel with my eyes closed) I think as long as we're regularly taking in some form of story, be it novel, comic books, TV shows or movies, then the way we consume it shouldn't really matter.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Just Finished Watching... Shadowhunters S1 & S2A

I know, I know. Shadowhunters? REALLY? Don't I have anything better to do with my time?
This show seems to be either loved or seriously canned. I'm guessing most of the fan base would be a younger demographic (teens and twenties) and a lot of those would be fans of the books. However, I also know fans of the books who hate both the movie and the TV series.
Either way, season 2B will be airing come June, and in my experience, a TV series only gets a season 2B (like Teen Wolf began doing after starting as a limited episode series and becoming super popular) if they're doing really well. So obviously the team that produces Shadowhunters is doing something right.
Oh, and as usual, spoilers ahead if you're not up to date on this series.



So. This show. Where to begin?
Well, I suppose with the obvious in saying that I haven't read any of the books, and didn't see the movie, so I was coming into this series with a clean slate -- no preconceived ideas about what it could or should be.
I'll admit, this show started off rough. And when I say rough, that's a polite way of me saying it was seriously not great. I found the dialogue awkward at times, occasionally found myself lost as to what was happening (if I'd read the books, I would have known what was going on obviously) and a lot of the acting was a little... I'm not sure. Maybe stiff?
I had trouble with Clary. Simon was annoying as anything (getting turned into a vampire was pretty much the best thing that could have happened to him, though it didn't completely fix the annoying factor) and Isabelle was a little over-blown.
The only ones I didn't have much of a problem with were Alec and Magnus. In fact, they were probably what kept me watching.
I'd heard and seen bits and pieces of the Malec ship floating around places like Tumblr, so I knew it was a good one, probably a ship I could get on board with, which after the episode where Magnus first saw Alec and said "who is that?" I totally did.
The scene where Alec left the alter of his wedding to kiss Magnus? Yes, while I'll admit it was a little cliche, it was also epic and I loved every second of it.
By the end of season 1, I was invested enough in the Clary/Jace ship (what do they call that, Clace or something?) that when the big reveal of them being siblings happened, I was suitably shocked and grossed out over their kissing, but also sad because I felt that, especially for Jace, he was way past the point where he would be able to get over the feelings he had for her very easily.
How could a person who'd been falling in love and obviously very attracted to someone ever only see them as a sibling after?
This was definitely highlighted later, when Jace got locked up in the City of Bones and was dreaming of Clary. When he woke up, he admitted to Hodge (a Shadowhunter locked in the next cell) that he couldn't stop thinking about her in THAT way, and his own disgust in the fact that he wanted his sister.
I have to hand it to the author and TV writers, this created some really great tension, and I think it was around this point that the series had finally settled -- the writing had improved and lines delivered more naturally, the actors appeared more comfortable in their roles, and the production quality was definitely up. It's not very unusual for this to happen -- a series starting off rough before becoming really great. I think exactly the same thing happened with Killjoys.
Anyway, going into season 2, I was definitely hooked, and watched it way too fast. Sometimes that's the problem with Netflix and doing the binge watch. You don't take the time to really let events of one episode sink in before you're watching a second and third.
Season 2 only got better and better, especially toward the end when everything was coming to a head with the soul sword.
The twists that came out in the end -- that Jace had angel blood, not demon blood, and wasn't actually Clary's brother after all were handled really well. I was a bit on the fence over Simon and Clary getting together, so it looks like I'm #TeamJace.
The thread about Isabelle getting addicted to vampire venom was just great, though I found it annoying that the guy (whose name I can't remember, the one who was in charge of the institute) who got her addicted in the first place never faced any real consequences, even after Alec found out. Of course, the revelation happened in the midst of all the shit going down with Valentine (Clary's father and the big bad of the series) so they can probably be forgiven for this oversight. But I'm hoping the writers address this as they get into season 2B.
The other plot thread that really hooked me was they mystery around the vampire Raphael.
In trying to help Isabelle with her addiction to vampire venom, the pair started falling for each other. During the last 2 episodes, Raphael told both Alec and Magnus that he had feelings for Isabelle, that he hadn't felt that way about somebody in a long time.
However, when Isabelle tried to kiss him, he shied away and told her he wasn't like that, and wasn't interested in sex. It seemed he was about to confide the reason for this to Isabelle, when they were interrupted (I think by Alec storming in).
Later in the final episode, when Raphael finds Isabelle after the fighting has finished, he tries to talk to her, but she tells him they made a mistake (or something to that effect) and she didn't want anything to do with him anymore.
Obviously being that Isabelle puts so much worth in her sexuality, when Raphael didn't want to be physical with her, she took that as a personal insult, not realizing that his reasonings were all about him and had nothing to do with her. Now I really want to find out what secret Raphael has (I'm guessing it's got something to do with the hints we've gotten about Raphael's strict catholic upbringing... I think it was catholic... before he became a vampire. I would even hazard a guess to say he's a virgin, despite how old he is) and beyond this, I really want Raphael and Isabelle to end up together... but in a healthy way. Not in an addicted-to-vampire-venom way.
And the final icing on the cake for season 2? Jace finding out that he wasn't Clary's brother after all (talk about mind screw!), and when he went to tell her, finding her happy in that moment with Simon and deciding not to say anything.
Oh, which reminds me. Also loved the scene where they rescued Simon from Valentine. It had seemed like Clary had turned herself over, and let Simon drink from her because he'd lost so much blood. But it turned out to be Jace using the shape shifting rune. Definitely didn't see that one coming! Which I mention, because in the end, Simon found he could go out into the sunshine. My guess is it's because he drank Jace's angel blood. Now, whether this is permanent or temporary, we'll have to wait and see.
Phew!
Suffice to say, by the end of season 2, Shadowhunters had a lot of great elements working for it. Are there better shows out there? Probably. But this has firmly won a place in my guilty pleasures watch list, and if the quality keeps up, then it'll probably stay there for a good long time.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Agents of Shield - Post 4x19 Hangover and The Ward/Fitz Parallel.

AOS writers, you have made me ashamed that after the season 3 finale, I vowed never to watch this show ever again. If I was wearing a hat, I'd take it off to you. Whatever old-timey thing that means.
When season 4 premiered, I stuck to my guns. I just wasn't interested. I didn't care enough to tune in every week when the one character I enjoyed seeing the most had been killed. But then in my travels one day, I saw a promo where *gasp* WARD WAS BACK! So I scrambled to catch up on all the episodes of season 4 to prepare myself.



I have to admit, even without Ward, I enjoyed the first half of season 4 almost as much as I enjoyed season 1. It's just a pity that after Winter Soldier torpedo the entire AOS series premise, it took them two more seasons to claw their way back to greatness (in my sole opinion, anyway).
So, as to the reason we're all here today... And it probably goes without saying, if you're not up to date on AOS, then this post is going to spoiler the hell out of you.
From a story point of view, what the writers have done with the Framework plot line is a kind of evil genius, and it loops all the way back to the end of season 1 when Ward was revealed as a Hydra agent,
Once that little bombshell was exploded, people seemed to be divided right down the line when it came to Ward -- they either loved him or hated him. I fell into the former category. No matter what Ward was up to, whether he was being a complete sociopath, trying to help the team for his own murky reasons, or even when he became Hive, Ward was the one character I wanted to see week after week. He was the kind of character I love -- what I call a gray character. One that leaves us with the question of is he truly a bad person, or deep down a good person who ended up on a dark path?
The AOS writers, I think, have now answered this question in the most brilliant way they possibly could have,
Though I doubt it was this simple, in my mind, the AOS writers sat down and said "if we're going to make one of the team go evil in the Framework to highlight that any good person can go bad depending on circumstance, who is the most purely good hearted, lovable character on the show?" The answer, of course, is Fitz.
Some of the hardcore Fitz and Fitzsimmons fans are absolutely hating this story line, and the unforgiving side of me thinks "well, now you know how Ward and Skyeward fans felt at the end of season 1!"
Fandom battles aside, in many ways it was brilliant of the writers to use Fitz for this plot thread. However, the one reason that stands out the most is the fact that he was one of the people most hurt by Ward's betrayal -- maybe even more so than Skye/Daisy, given that the pain inflicted on Fitz was both emotional and physical.
The writers have gone to great lengths to highlight how easily, with a few changes in past circumstances of a person's life (which, if you're not up with things, is what the Framework is all about--fixing a person's biggest regret, which changes the outcome of the entire world), the path to good or evil can be taken by anyone.
For Fitz, fixing the regret that his father was not part of his life put him on a dark path. Possibly an even darker path than Real-World Ward took.
In the Framework, Fitz killed an innocent woman, and though we did see him question himself over this later, it was still clear he was doing what he thought he had to in order to maintain his beliefs and reinforce his world view. Which was exactly what Ward was doing when he betrayed the team at the end of season 1.
Even though Ward killed people who didn't deserve it (like Victoria Hand, who, incidentally, was responsible for bring Framework Ward into Shield, not John Garrett) at least the people Ward did kill were agents, whose hands wouldn't have exactly been clean, and knew what they were signing on for when they decided to join Shield or Hydra. All's fair in love and war, that old chestnut. Killing an innocent woman for no other reason than to prove a point is arguably far worse.
Meanwhile, the writers have carefully made sure the audience recognizes that Framework Ward is nothing like Real-World Ward -- having him apologize to Gemma over what Real-World Ward did to her, mentioning to Coulson it was Victoria Hand who had brought him into Shield, telling Skye/Daisy outright that he is not anything like the other Ward. Which, I'm sure is only making fans more attached to him. He is the potential realized of what Ward could have been, if not for his misguided loyalty to Garrett.
The way I see it, I (and other Ward fans) are either going to be wildly rewarded and giddy with happiness by the end of the season, or completely heartbroken all over again.
I'd like to make a call on which way it's going to go, but I'm 50/50 on both options.
And I really do think there's only one of two endings for Framework Ward.
One, he'll sacrifice himself to save the rest of the team so they can make it home. This will give him the death of a hero, which a lot of fans wanted after all was said and done with the Hive thing. I'm hoping this isn't his ending, as for a start, people would be expecting it, and secondly, there would be so many missed opportunities for interpersonal story lines going into season 5.
The other option -- with the revelation that Aida is attempting to make a real body (which I had been guessing for a few weeks now), Ward will be able to come out of the Framework, and become a real boy. This of course means the original team will be back together for season 5, which would be like a dream come true. I can only imagine the kinds of turmoil this would cause to begin with -- Coulson having to face his guilt over the merciless way he crushed original-Ward's chest, resulting in the Hive problem. Fitz newly understanding that he possibly judged original-Ward too harshly for the things he did, because Fitz will have a new understanding from the Framework that anyone can all too easily end up on that dark path. Skye/Daisy's feelings for him that possibly never really went away, even though she was with Lincoln for a while. The possibility that they will end up together after all.
I'm practically drooling from the juiciness this could all bring.
Of course, knowing the AOS writers, there's every chance they will come up with a third option completely out of left field that I've got no way of guessing.
Honestly, as long as Ward is in season 5 somehow -- as long as AOS gets renewed and there is a season 5, I'll be one very happy fan.



Tuesday, April 25, 2017

So You Think You Can Author

Coming out of a rather long blog hiatus -- same old story. Been super busy with all kinds of things meaning I barely have time for any of the extras, including this blog. Social media? Pft. Pretty sure my computer can't remember how to find facebook. Speaking of computer, mine died, and I'm currently working on my slow-as-shit five year old laptop which hasn't worked the same since it was sneak attacked by the Windows 10 update.
All these things aside, there have been some very exciting things happening behind the scenes, but until they're confirmed, my lips are staying sealed.
But, for some reason, all these happenings have made me a little introspective, leading me to remember why I wanted to be an author in the first place. Would I have still wanted to go ahead with it if I'd known exactly what I was getting myself into? Probably. Ah, who am I kidding. I totally would have still gone through with it, coz I'm stubborn to the point of stupidity.
So, in the interest of putting my experience to use, I decided to compile this list of reality checks for anyone thinking of becoming an author.

#1 - I wanna be famous, bitches. 




Oh sure. This is the hot track to being a Z-grade celebrity. The paparazzi just can't get enough... of everyone else. Last week I walked a red carpet (actually it was red with some blues and greens and golds... it was a really ugly hall runner at a doctor's office. But I totally worked it in my torn jeans, T-shirt that had Vegemite stains on it from grubby toddler fingers and my hair in a messy bun that hadn't been brushed in about two days.)
But look at JK Rowling, George RR Martin, Stephanie Meyer. They're living the dream. Yes, they are, but for 99.9999999% of all other authors, the best you can hope for to gain that kind of notoriety is to piss off a high-profile reviewer or two on certain social media sites that shall remain unspoken and then get trolled for few months. Of course, the cost of that might be any other book you ever write, but if you're in this for the fame, then I guess you technically got what you wanted.
If fame is your only goal, then you'd probably be better off auditioning for the next season of RuPaul's Drag Race or The Bachelortte. At least that way you might end up with more than a thousand twitter followers.

#2 - Dolla dolla bill, ya'll.




Money. Who doesn't like money? Apparently 75% of authors. Hah. We don't need money. We're starving for our art, living on red wine and baguettes like this is Paris in the 1920s.
Seriously, if you want to make money from writing, then get a job writing instructional manuals or political press releases. The likelihood of making a living from your books is getting harder and harder every year. Who can be surprised when something like 5 million books were published last year alone? There are only so many readers out there, and they don't seem to have much more money than authors.
Yes, there are pool of traditionally published authors who can live off their sales, but because of market saturation (among other factors) this small pool of authors is shrinking.
Of course, there are plenty of accounts out there of self-published authors making piles of money, but from what I've seen, it's either luck, or they're social media buffs and the hours they work to make that money requires a huge amount of commitment. Want to work ten to twelve hours a day, seven days a week? Want to churn out eight or ten books a year? Then sure, you'll probably make a bucket load of money. And I'm not knocking people who do this if that makes them happy. Personally I like having a life outside of my computer screen and that's part of my over all career and life choice.

#3 - I love giving shit away for free. Here, take my kidney. 



Pirates. And not the fun kind that say "arrrgh me hearties!" Some authors have committed half their life to campaigning against those who illegally share and download books for free. Some authors stay out of it with the old "I'm just one person, what can I do?" While some authors have gone so far as to argue that pirates are actually good for their sales. Whatever the case, the pirates aren't going away any time soon. Personally, I'm on the fence, but only because my opinion on this swings depending on my mood and what kind of bills I have sitting on my desk. Sometimes  I think "it's great that people are even reading my books and love them, even if they didn't buy them."
Other times, when I need money for something and don't have it, I think if every person who'd downloaded one of my books for free even paid half of what my publisher sells them for, then I could pay for my kid to go to the dentist this week. Whether you hate them or accept them, pirates come with the job description. You just have to learn to live with the fact that somewhere, someone out there is giving your shit away for free.

#4 - I just want to get hit in the face over and over again for like ten years. 




When you were younger, did you ever say to yourself "I want to do a job where people constantly judge me. Where I get told over and over that I'm not good enough. I want to do a job where I'm totally alone and the only one who actually believes in me is me. I want my friends and family to be completely baffled by me and continually ask why anyone would do this to themselves. I want to spend half my life interacting with people in my head and get no medication for it. And I want to do it for free! Where can I sign up?"
Of course, I'm talking about traditional publishing. Sure, if that sounds too hard, then you can now chuck up the first thing you ever wrote on Amazon and wait for the cash to roll in (see point #2). Of course, if anyone ever found the first book (or ever first four books) I wrote, I would sell my own mother before admitting they were mine because they were that bad, even though I was under the delusion for years that they were awesome and I would soon be a best selling author.
It took me almost ten years to get published with even a small, barely known publishing house (that subsequently shut its doors) and then get an agent. Of course, I'm still small potatoes. My publisher isn't considered one of the "big 5." That's a target I'm still aiming for.
When I wrote my first book, I probably would have sat in a corner and cried for days if I'd been told it would take sixteen years (and counting) to get that "big 5" contract. I've never counted all of my rejections, both from publishing houses and agents, but it'd easily be over 300.
Even once you get that validation via your book being published, you'll still get stomped on. Some readers will hate your books. And they'll have no qualms about telling the Internet. If you're really lucky, they'll use gifs and memes to ram home their point of how much your book was like poking themselves in the eye with a spork over and over. So if you enjoy getting told "get lost, loser" on a regular basis, then being an author is definitely the right job for you.

#5 There's a book inside me. Please, God, somebody cut it out.




There are people talking inside your head. You walk around constantly narrating your own life. "As she washed the dishes, her fingers became all wrinkled and prune-like, and she realized it was an apt reflection of her failed hopes and dreams." Stories explode out of you randomly and with force like a geyser, so violent that it's starting to effect your employment, relationships, and sleep. You write fan fiction and hide it from your family like you've got a shameful addiction to drinking Hershey's chocolate syrup straight from the bottle.
This has always been my problem (the story part, not the Hershey's chocolate syrup. That's a whole other issue), and it started while I was still a teenager. I had stories inside me, but I was too young and naive to realize that by giving into these urges, I was effectively boarding a roller coaster that I could never, ever get off.
It's a cliche, but some people say writing is in their blood, and this has been true of me. Writing is more than a compulsion, it's like it's in my DNA. It's not a choice about whether or not I do it. It's more a fact of when, where, and how. Even if for some reason I decide to stop publishing, I just know that I'll still be writing stories to the day I die.
This is why despite years of rejections, despite the fact I'm still not making a living from this gig after sixteen years, why I don't go all cyber-rage over the fact that people download my books for free -- the fame I could take or leave -- despite all this, I'm still here doing this and hopefully will be for a good, long time.

Still here? Didn't run screaming into the night at the horror? No matter your reasons for wanting to be an author, and if you only take one thing away from this, then make sure it's the part about the roller coaster, because it's a pretty accurate depiction. You'll have the highest of highs and lowest of lows. You'll be scared, you'll be excited, you'll be happy, depressed and everything else in between.
And if I can pass on a single piece of advice, then that is something I heard Jennifer St George talk about at an RWA conference about seven or eight years ago. She said if you spend long enough in this industry, then everything will happen to you at least once. Your publisher will close down. You'll find yourself out of contract. You'll get glowing reviews. You'll get horrible reviews that will make you question every word you've ever written. And so much more.
So far, I've found this to be pretty accurate and reminding myself of this has definitely helped me through some very hard times and choices, including my first publisher closing its doors.
And now I'm going to finish by quoting an Aussie hip hop group, the Hilltop Hoods:
"See the haters under rate us and this status takes years. But it ain't where we're at, it's how we made our way here."

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Just Finished Watching... The Man From U.N.C.L.E


Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows I'm not a movie buff. If given the choice I'll always watch a TV show. But I decided last night to dig up something on Netflix. The last movie I watched was Superman: Man of Steel with Henry Cavill. I found his portrayal of Superman brought a... I don't want to say darkness. Maybe an intensity (???) to the role of Clark Kent/Superman that hadn't been seen before.
So I thought another Henry Cavill movie might be just the thing.
What I didn't see coming was that his character wouldn't be the hero of this movie. I mean, his character was a hero -- usually one that I love, one of those ones where you never quite know if they're bad or good. He played Napoleon Solo, who'd been a young soldier in WWII, who stayed on in Europe after the war finished, but ended up making himself rich and becoming a career thief. When he was captured, the US government offered him a job in the CIA instead of jail time, so he became one of their best agents.
But I'm sorry to say, as well as Mr. Cavill portrayed his role, he was totally out-shone by Armie Hammer, who played a Russian spy Solo was forced to team up with to stop a nuclear bomb being built and delivered to the Nazis.
I'm not sure if it's because Hammer's role of Illya Kuryakin, (I think Solo called him Peril, as in Red Peril? Someone correct me if I'm wrong. While he called Solo Cowboy) had more depth, or that Hammer simply brought extra game, but I was definitely more interested in his story arc throughout the movie. Next on my list, I now want to watch The Lone Ranger, in which Hammer had the starring role next to Johnny Depp, even though I'd heard that movie got canned because of Depp's portrayal of an Indigenous American (sorry if that's not the PC term. Indigenous Australian is the correct term here).  
Of course, I probably can't go without mentioning the pseudo-love story. There's always a girl, and in this case it was the daughter of the scientist building the nuke. Solo goes in for her first, but Kuryakin is not far behind. At first it seems the not-so-damsel in distress is going to be Solo's love interest. At least that was my assumption. But once Solo is paired with Kuryakin, the former takes more of an independent role, while the latter assumes the cover of being Gaby's fiancee.
You could say it's one of those forced-proximity things, but Gaby and Kuryakin have pretty good chemistry from the get-go. This only builds as she proves she can take care of herself, and the twist of the movie is revealed.
These crazy kids almost-kiss three times (or was it four?) with each subsequent almost-kiss heightening the tension between them. But every time, something or someone interrupted them.
At the end of the movie, it looked like they were all set to go their separate ways, until they get the information that their little trio has been tasked to stay together for the time being and form the group U.N.C.L.E. Which stands for United Network Command for Law Enforcement.
So of course I immediately googled to see if there was a second movie coming out and when. Luckily there is (at this point in time anyway) but it's not slated to release until 2019, which is not surprising since it was considered a flop. Probably lucky it's getting a sequel at all. Still, I really enjoyed this movie -- it had a great balance of action, suspense, deadpan comedy, the almost-love-arc and actors who gave it that little extra something.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Going Back to the Valiant Knox


With the final two books in the Valiant Knox series coming out later this year (Cover Fire in June and War Games in November) I'm immersing myself back into the world of the battleship Valiant Knox and the crew. And I'm also going to be celebrating. A lot. This will be the first series I've written to completion. And you know what? I want to share the excitement with everyone!
I have plans. Lots and Lots of plans. These plans involve giveaways, an awesome new facebook group for my fans, and basically having a whole heap of fun while I work towards this milestone.
Want to hear about these super fantastical plans when I get them organized? Then find me places like twitter, Facebook and of course my newsletter.
In the meantime, if you haven't had a chance to check these books out, go find them! You've got a whole four months to read them before book #3 is out!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

My Go-To Gluten Free Muffin Recipe

After A LOT of experimenting and frustrating baking experiences since my daughter had to go gluten free, I think I've finally hit on a winner when it comes to muffin recipes. It only took me a year (that was sarcasm, I never expected it to take an entire year to work out one decent muffin recipe. Next goal is to improve on my bread recipe, which I still haven't perfected)
Sorry to people with nut allergies, but this won't be the recipe for you as it has almond meal in it.
These muffins have turned out moist, not crumbly, and perfectly light, not dense as can happen with a lot of gluten free baking. Or, at least, that's what happens to me. It's either crumbling apart, or had the consistency of concrete. They're also tasty without being overloaded with sugar. I used honey, which I know while still is a sugar, I figure is a bit healthier than the white refined stuff. The chia seeds also give it a little extra health kick.
Oh, and sorry about the un-glamorous picture. Food photography is so not my thing.

Ingredients:

1 cup Almond meal (or Almond flour? I don't know if they're quite the same thing)
1 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup chia seeds
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup milk (I used goat's milk, but you could use coconut, almond or whatever your preference)
2 bananas (or 1 cup of other ingredient such as blueberries etc)

Method:

1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit

2) In a bowl, mix in the coconut oil, honey, eggs, milk and mashed banana (if that's what you're using, otherwise leave this ingredient out until the end) and mix until well combined. If the coconut oil is going solid due to coming in contact with cold ingredients like milk, heat gently in the microwave until it melts.

3) In a second bowl, add the almond meal, buckwheat flour, chia seeds and baking powder.

4) Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until well combined. (If using blueberries or some other ingredient, add them now and mix in)

5) Spoon into muffin tray and bake for 20 minutes in the oven.

Enjoy!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Just Finished Wathcing... Teen Wold Season 6A

Actually, I finished watching it last week, so forgive me if things have gotten a bit hazy, I've watched a lot of other TV shows, read 2 books, done some edits and written several chapters of my own book since then. And a warning before I start, if you haven't seen the latest season of Teen Wolf, then click away! Click away now before you see any spoilers! ...Unless you want the spoilers, in which case, I can respect that, being the occasional spoiler bitch myself. Go right ahead.


So, where to start? Firstly, in case you've been living under a rock and didn't know, season six is the final season of this brilliant show. After 6B airs, that'll be it. No more crazy Scott McCall pack adventures forever.
It's good that they're going out on a high, coz there's nothing worse than a TV show descending into utter suckage before finally being booted off the air. But that being said, I don't think I'm ready to let go yet, and I'm sure many fans feel the same. I've got a vague plan that once 6B has wrapped up, I'll buy the season 5 and season 6 DVDs I don't have yet, and then sit down to watch the entire thing from start to finish in one long binge fest that'll definitely last a few weeks at least.

Anyhoo, this season, I felt like it wasn't like any other season we've seen so far. The tension was way up, and everything seemed to happen so fast. On the show, the events apparently happened over three months (as Scott told Stiles when he finally got back from the other side or wherever he was) or was it three weeks?
Nope, pretty sure he said three months. But if you had of asked me, I would have said the timeline unfolded over a few days, maybe a week or two at most. So I think the writers might have missed the boat a little on making sure the timeline was coming across correctly for viewers. But this was just a minor problem, and I can see why it happened.

The writers seemed to have so many threads running in this season. First, the riders of the storm (who were the Big Bad for this story line), then Stiles being taken and Lydia trying to remember him, then the fact that Stiles's mom was back, finding clues like in the other town where the riders had taken people, the only person left was a banshee. Parrish made an appearance or three, there was the Nazi guy from last season who was temporarily the new science teacher (what is it with supernatural psychopaths becoming teachers at that school?) then there was Scott's mom -- Melissa, and Allison's dad -- Chris Argent, who were off on their own shenanigans and suddenly had a thing.

For so many years, I was like "why didn't they just get Scott's mom and Stiles's dad together? Would have been so cute!" But Melissa and Argent? Oh mamma, they were actually really hot together. I so didn't see that coming, but I was on that ship 0.002 seconds after their first scene together in this season. The kiss in the last episode? Okay, it was a little corny (would have been less corny if Melissa hadn't said "that was so hot" after Argent had just been in a wild-wild-west style shoot out with one of the riders, like she was the seventeen year old) but it was also totally gratifying for the sudden and intense chemistry that had sprung up between them. I REALLY hope they do a lot more with this into 6B. I just want to see the look on Scott's face when he realizes his mom is getting it on with Allison's dad.

I did have a point before I got distracted by the Melgent... Arlissa? I don't know what the hell they're
going to call that ship. Anyway, before I got distracted by that, I was saying that I think the writers had so many threads on the go, it was hard for them to have any downtime. So I think there was stuff we probably missed, important information that was skipped over in favor of showing us the really important moments.

This also meant we didn't get to see the usual expected Teen Wolf scenes of the gang sitting around discussing things, or the occasional detour into humor that gave us breathing space from the heart stopping drama. Of course, this could have been in large part due to Dylan O'Brien's accident on the set of the third Maze Runner movie (which I'm so sad about, coz it now probably means that movie will never get made) which I believe meant the writers had to maneuver around him not being able to work. So the fact that Stiles wasn't even in nearly half the season (except to be mentioned by Lydia) meant that much of the goofy fun that comes along with Stiles was missing.

Whether intentional or not, this season seemed to be all about giving the Stydia fans what they'd been waiting for all these years. From the very beginning, when Stiles was taken and told Lydia "remember I love you" (don't know about the Stydia fans, but that caused me some momentary heart failure), to Lydia feeling like she was missing something and slowly piecing together that someone important was missing, to telling Scott she couldn't remember him, but she thought she was in love with him, to finally remembering him, and then her efforts in trying to get his dad to remember and finding a way to bring him back.

All of this accumulated in a reunion that I'm sure the fan were not disappointed in. First, Lydia remembered the moment when she first fell in love with him, even if she didn't realize or couldn't admit it -- which turned out to be the day she'd kissed him to stop the panic attack he'd been having, which was way back in season three or something. After that, Stiles managed to break through the supernatural... um, barrier? Gateway? Rip in the space-time continuum? Whatever it was, he got through, but ended up back in his jeep where he'd originally been taken from. Then it was a matter of spending half the episode waiting for him to find Lydia.

In the end, she saved him from getting shot by one of the riders. The first thing she said was "I didn't say it back." (talking about when he'd told her he loved her right before being taken). And Stiles replied with "you don't have to" right before they ran into each others arms for the kiss that Stydia fans had been waiting six years for.
I'm sure they weren't disappointed. The scene was done fantastically, and it's going down as one of my favorite ever couple moments. For six years worth of build up, I'm sure no one was disappointed with how they finally brought Stydia officially together, and the fans who'd been crying "endgame" were validated.


I'm sure more than a few fans were feeling a serious case of emotional jetlag after all that.
But the writers knew what they were doing, wrapping up the final episode with the pack leaving their last class, Stiles feeling a little ripped off because he missed most of the action while he'd been disappeared by the ghost riders. In the hallway, Scott made a comment something along the lines of "it feels like nothing's changed" (in regards to the fact that they were now officially finished high school). Stiles looked over to where Lydia was at her locker, and when their gazes met, there was something much more substantial there now. Stiles replied with "everything has changed." After that, he and Scott got in the Jeep and drove away into the sunny afternoon.

Now, its going to be interesting to see where the writers/creators take things from here into season 6B. I've seen online that there's going to be a time jump of a few months, so I can only speculate that the gang will either be just about to start college, or maybe have started college and be home on their first break, or away at college and forced to come home to deal with whatever latest supernatural crisis is happening. I'm sure fans will also be dying to see how the Stydia relationship has progressed. Of course there are plenty of rumors and fan speculation, one of the most popular being whether Stiles will finally become a werewolf. Unfortunately the only thing that can answer these questions is time. No word on an exact date for the second half of season 6, the promo just says "coming this Summer" which could mean any time between the beginning of June and end of August.

Personally, I'm looking forward to the season 6B premier as much as I'm dreading it. With every episode I watch, I'll be getting more sad about the fact that it's one less episode left until the series is finished for good.