Thursday, January 26, 2012

Top 22 Best TV Kisses (Part Two)

And here we are, back again for part two of my Top 22 Best TV Kisses (as rated by me). As I said in Part One, some shows get a multiple mention and that is just because the awesomeness cannot be contained to just one kiss. So, read on for some more juicy lip smacking!

12) The Vampire Diaries - Damon and Elana
Damon Kisses Elana... And This Time Its Not A Trick
We were all shocked at the end of season one when Damon kissed Elana. No, we weren't surprised that Damon would try that, but that Elana actually kissed him back. Of course then it turned out to be Katherine and our moment of shocked joy fell burning to earth. There have been many Damon and Elana 'moments', many of which you can find fans spending way too much time obsessing over on the internet, moments that have brought them closer together. Little by little, Damon has become the sane brother (though he did some questionable things, we always knew that underneath, Damon had a true heart), while Stephan has gone totally dark-side. I must admit, I love Evil Stephan, similar to how I loved Angelus on Buffy. The only difference? I wanted Angel to come back eventually, despite my enjoyment of Angelus. While on Vampire Diaries, I'm happy to see Evil Stephan stick around as long as he wants. However, we saw this week, with the fall out of Elena telling Stephan she kissed Damon, that perhaps the old Stephan is hidden deep within Evil Stephan somewhere and he may be coming back sooner than we think. I haven't read the books, but have heard that Damon and Elana do get together in them. I'm hoping this transfers over to the TV series... if you can't tell, I'm totally Team Damon.


13) Farscape - John and Aeryn
At One Stage There Were Two John Crichtons and They Still Couldn't Get Their Relationship Straight
A bit like Lois and Clark, from episode one it seemed that John and Aeryn were meant for each other. I actually think their love story is one of the best archetypal romances stretched across a series I've ever seen. And like Lois and Clark, everything that could keep these two apart did until viewers were left wondering "is it too much to ask for a happy ending?" John wanted Aeryn from very early on, but she had issues. At one stage, there were two John Crichtons running around and he had the weird situation of being jealous of himself. One John went off with Aeryn, and at last the relationship between them evolved. Except that John died and Aeryn had to return to the other John who loved her, though she felt he wasn't the same man. Then she found out she was pregnant and the complications compounded. I loved that we got to see John die, even though he didn't really. And there was a great several-episode arc where they went to a planet that had a special formula that could tell you if two people were genetically compatible through a drop of this substance on the tongue followed by a kiss. At the end of a tortuous journey, where it seemed like John would get frozen for eighty years, John and Aeryn used the tester, but then never said whether they matched or not. From the goofy grin on John's face, I have to assume they did. Truly, this relationship kept me glued to the screen. And I think I also feel another Farscape re-watch coming!




14) Pretty Little Liars - Aria and Ezra
Slow Motion Running Into His Arms
Okay, Pretty Little Liars is my guilty secret. I freaking love this show! Aria and Ezra are easily my favorite on-screen couple of the moment. In some ways its wrong, yes. He was her teacher and they always knew they'd be in a serious amount of trouble if anyone found out. But they met and got together before either of them realized he was her new English teacher. And though they tried to stay away from each other, they fell in love quickly and neither could deny what they felt, no matter the seriously complicated (and possibly illegal) nature of their relationship. In this kiss, Ezra had decided to leave his teaching position because of Aria, he knew he couldn't be her teacher and keep seeing her. So to have Aria, he took a teaching position at the local college instead. There was a misunderstanding between them about why he was leaving and for a while it looked like they might break up. But then on the last day of school, as he's packing his car to leave, Aria realizes she can't be without him and rushes to find him.
Yes, the Slow Motion Running Into His Arms To Be Passionately Kissed thing could be considered cliche, but it was actually done very well by the writers and production team, making for a heart wrenching moment.
These guys have been lucky enough to have some great kisses. Just this week past, we saw a romantic Kissing In The Rain reunion scene. After Ezra decided to tell Aria's parents about them, things went (unsurprisingly) bad, with Aria's parents forbidding her to see him any more. So they'd had some time apart, with Ezra wondering what the right thing to do was. Obviously, in the end his love for Aria won out. Can't wait to see where things go for them in the coming weeks.



15) Pretty Little Liars - Toby and Spencer
Spencer Defies Her Family And Chooses Toby
Again with my guilty secret show. I'm going to give the cutest couple award to Toby and Spencer. For me, this union was a surprise one, but one that works fantastically. Spencer is the straight-A, always wanting to do things right girl, while Toby is the black sheep of the entire town. He spent some time at a juvenile detention center for lighting a fire he didn't light and then ended up as suspect number one in the case of Allison's murder. He and Spencer unite to investigate their suspicions against his step-sister, Jenna, (for Allison's murder. And Spencer also believes Jenna could be 'A' who is blackmailing the four girls), in which time they come to see each other in a new light. A few episodes later, Spencer is attacked at a carnival. Her mom (and I think her sister) had warned her to stay away from Toby, because much of the town still believes the worst of him. As they're leaving the carnival, Spencer sees Toby waiting for her. At first, she starts to walk away as her mother tells her. But then after a tense moment (where Toby stands there looking heartbroken) Spencer defies her mother and goes to Toby for comfort after her ordeal, leaving her mother and sister looking on in shock.


16) Battlestar Galactica - Kara and Lee
What Never Was But Should Have Been
Right from the beginning of this series, Kara and Lee had history. Deep history, complete with her being engaged to marry Lee's bother before he died. When I started watching Battlestar Galactica on DVD, I hoped that I was going to get another John and Aeryn type romance. But a short bit of googling revealed the disappointing truth. Though it seemed like they should have been together, Kara and Lee never quite got there. At one stage they were both with different people, even though they clearly had feelings for one another. In season four (correct me if I'm wrong) we find out that one night, soon after the settlement on New Caprica, Lee and Kara give into their feelings, with Lee going so far as to admitting he loves Kara. All excited for the future, he vows to tell Dee (the woman he was seeing at the time) if Kara will tell Sam (her boyfriend). The following morning, Lee wakes up alone and shortly after, discovers that Kara has rushed off to marry Sam. Heartbroken much? Hell yeah! The pair eventually come full circle as both their spouses die in different circumstances, yet even with the end of the series, nothing was really resolved between them. We got even more history, that Lee and Kara had almost had drunken sex while she was still engaged to his bother, on the first night Lee and Kara met no less! However, in the last moments of the show, Kara literally disappears into thin air, leaving more questions than answers.


17) Stargate SG1 - Jack and Sam
Even Though She'll Never Remember
The Groundhog Day episode of Stargate (circa season 4 I believe) goes on my list of best episodes of anything ever. I love it. The first time I watched it, I laughed so much I cried. The writers and actors just pulled it off so well. It had been obvious for a while that Jack and Sam had feelings for one another. Jack even goes so far as to admit his feelings at one point, during an interrogation to discover a Goa'uld assassin. Throughout the seasons, the emotional tension was done quite well, but to stay true to the military basis of the Stargate program, there was no way they could ever be together and still remain in the SG1 team together. And what sort of series would it have made if not for Jack, Sam, Daniel and Teal'c?  Well, still a good one, as we later found out when Jack left. But back to the kiss. In the episode, Window of Opportunity, where Jack and Teal'c get caught in a time loop, at first they do everything they can to escape it. But then Daniel makes the off-handed comment that they could do ANYTHING they wanted and know that in a matter of hours, things would go back to the way they were. Well, the party was on after that. But even in the throes of Groundhog-Dayness, Jack still did things by the book, giving General Hammond his resignation just so he could kiss Sam. And she'll never remember.


18) Stargate SG1 - Daniel and Vala
Sexual Tension Much?
Ah, Daniel and Vala. Talk about a love/hate relationship. These two played off each other so brilliantly right from the word go. I loved that Daniel got another chance at love after the whole Sha're disaster. Technically, by the end of the two movies that wrapped up the series, Daniel and Vala weren't together (I don't think... can't remember clearly now. Add it to the re-watch list), but in fact, the two of them did live an entire lifetime together.
Late in season 10, Daniel, Vala, Sam and Teal'c get trapped on a ship. It takes them like fifty years to find a way out of the time dilation field they're stuck in (or whatever it was) in which time Daniel and Vala are together. When they save themselves, they all revert back to the age they were when first trapped, except for Teal'c because he was the one to set off the device. Unsurprisingly, Teal'c never tells either Daniel or Vala what developed between them during those years, leaving them to start the process of discovering each other all over again.


19) Castle - Rick and Kate
She's Pretending But He's So Not.
This show is a perfect example of a series where we are constantly wondering "will they/won't they?" Everyone knows Castle and Beckett are in love with each other. In the end of season three, when Kate got shot and things were looking bad, Castle even told her he loved her (to which she now claims she doesn't remember anything that happened when she got shot). Yet the two of them are so stubborn, neither will give an inch toward getting together. Sometimes they'll date other people, which inevitable makes the green-eyed-monster appear. Yet none of their other relationships ever work out. They just keep circling back to one another. The only kiss these two have ever had was when they were attempting to sneak into a building and trying to convince the guard outside that they were no threat. When the security guy came over, appearing all suspicious of them, Beckett went for her gun. But just like a scene he'd put in one of his books, Castle pulled her into his arms for a heart-stopping kiss. For him, it was all too real. Yet Beckett kept her cool, never giving any hint that she'd felt anything from the lip action. The moment after, when she turned away and Castle had to collect himself was done brilliantly by Nathan Fillion, who, coincidentally is one of my favorite actors (Firefly. What can I say? I can also say "Doctor Horrible." Brilliance!) These two are so much fun to watch, they work so well off one another. I choose to believe that eventually Castle and Beckett will get their act together. Or course, I can see where the writers might fear it'll be the beginning of the end for the show. Unfortunately, often when the lead characters sleep together, it ruins the dynamics and viewers are lost in droves.

20) Warehouse 13 - Pete and Myka
Would It Ever Work?
That's the million dollar question. These guys go so well together as friends. They're so close, there's a lot of trust and yes, a lot of love between them. I can see the potential for them to develop that friendship into something stronger, but I don't necessarily think it will take the show to the next level. However I stand ready to be proven wrong. So prove me wrong, Warehouse 13 writers! But back to Pete and Myka. There was one episode where they woke up naked in bed together and couldn't work out what they'd done the night before. Hilarity ensued, as it does in a lot of Warehouse 13 episodes. That's one of the things I really love about this show. It can be serious, and touching, or poignant. And then sometimes its laugh-out-loud funny. For me, that's what makes a well rounded, fantastic show that I'll come back to again and again. Like Castle and Beckett, the kiss between Pete and Myka wasn't a real kiss at all. Myka had body-swapped with a mirror, so technically it wasn't even Myka that kissed Pete! Still, he got totally whammied when, to cover the fact they were lurking outside the potential-bad-guy's room in a hotel, Fake Myka laid one on Pete. And just like Castle, it totally bowled him over. But I had to laugh toward the end of the episode, when he had worked out it wasn't really Myka. One of his reasonings was "because Myka never would have kissed me!" I would like to see some episodes where these two do get together, but just for the duration of the episode -- something like a love-spell relic that tricks them into deciding they're going to get married. Or an alternate universe relic where they meet a Pete and Myka who are together. Something that gets them together, but will ultimately result in them not being together at the end of the show. There I go again, telling the writers what to do... And while I'm here, I just want to say that Warehouse 13 have had some really great guest actors on, from other shows I love to watch, which just makes it even better!

21) Dark Angel - Max and Logan
I Wish It Had of Been Alec But I'll Take What I Can Get
Don't get me started on shows that were cancelled before they really got a chance. Okay, so Dark Angel got two seasons (Firefly got half a season. Brutal, Fox. Really brutal.) but still, the last episode of season 2 was a cliff hanger that will never be resolved. Max and Logan kind of had a star-crossed-lovers thing going on. Things happened which meant they couldn't ever be together, namely a DNA specific virus given to Logan that would kill him if Max so much as touched him. Yeah, it was sad, but I was never that upset about it. Because along came Alec (Jesen Ackles, you can do no wrong... except when you think its a good idea to be on a show like Dawsons Creek... let's just forget that, shall we?) and then I was more interested in seeing something develop between Max and Alec.
Of course, there was that one episode when they'd been ordered to... *ahem* make the next generation of little baby super-soldiers, but nothing really came of that.
From some of the hints dropped, I really think the writers may have moved in that direction, the tension between Max, Logan and Alec was already becoming apparent toward the end of season 2, with Logan believing at one stage that Max and Alec had spent the night together. But alas, the axe fell and we were left forever wondering.



22) NCIS - Tony and Ziva
Okay, So Technically They Were Undercover And Faking It
I must admit, despite how much I enjoy NCIS, my viewing of it has been a bit spotty, I've missed episodes all over the place. It always gets put up against other shows I want to watch (like Supernatural... as good as it is, it's not going to beat the Winchesters). Still, the relationship between Tony and Ziva remains one of the most entertaining on TV at the moment. Yes, we all know they have feelings for one another, but like Jack and Sam, protocol keeps them apart (among other things). In season 3, us poor saps of viewers momentarily got tricked into thinking Tony and Ziva were finally getting together... only to later find out they were undercover... figuratively as well as literally. Still, the moments they spent together were all too real, leaving fans wanting more, more, MORE! They're up to season 9, with no sign of ending the show yet. The question on every fan's lips is will Tony and Ziva ever actually get together?

Well, there you have it. My top 22 Best TV Kisses. Hope you enjoyed the show. I've got some thoughts on other tv/movie based posts I'd like to do, including season 5 quotes of Supernatural. So keep an eye out for those coming up this year.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Top 22 Best TV Kisses (Part One)

As rated by me!
So the other day I randomly decided to do a post on my favorite TV kisses. At some stage I'll have to do an updated list as I'm discovering a whole new bunch of great shows I love at the moment. So here goes. Some shows get multiple mentions, but that's because they're so brilliant. These are in no particular order.

1) Once Upon A Time - David/Prince Charming and Mary-Margaret/Snow White
We All Knew It Was Coming But It Was Still So Damn Good. 
This show had me hooked from minute one. Seriously, I love it. Fairytale characters living in our world, not knowing who they are? Romance, action, mystery? Sign me up! Mary-Margaret (aka Snow White) and David (aka Prince Charming) couldn't stay away from each other. Only problem? In this world, David Charming is married to someone else. I had wondered how long the writers were going to draw their story out to keep them apart. So I was very glad to see this past week the characters were brought together. They spent all episode trying to come to terms with the fact that they couldn't be together, yet fate kept throwing them in each others path. In the end, they both realized they couldn't resist any longer, which made for an emoitionally intense (and watcher satisfied) kiss.

2) True Blood - Eric and Sookie
Eric Kisses Sookie... For Real This Time!
This was a kiss worth waiting for and if I had of tried to put this list in order, this one would have made my top five. The writers had teased us a few times with either Sookie or Eric dreaming about one another, so it wasn't the first time we'd seen these two with their lips on each other. But this first real kiss was something apart from those dream-kisses. At first, Sookie tried to resist, but Eric was having none of that. The kiss really showed the passion between them they'd been trying to deny. And I really loved how it ended, with Sookie saying "okay, I get it, I'm irresistible..." with Pam interrupting to say "Blah Blah Vampire emergency Blah." Which consiquently had to be one of her best lines ever. The writers broke the tension between Eric and Sookie really well with that, and left us wondering where that kiss would lead. Of course, most of us knew where. I must admit, I liked this kiss when Eric was still cold, distant bad-ass Eric. He became a bit less Alpha when he lost his memory and while I enjoyed his devotion to Sookie, I didn't like the way he'd totally changed by the end of the season. And I also didn't like Sookie's decision that she loved both he and Bill, meaning she could be with neither of them. Can't wait to see where the writers take us in season 5.

3) True Blood - Jason and Jessica
Finally Give In
I really loved that in season 4 of True Blood, Jason came into his own as a character, cementing his position in the dynamics of the show. Making him a cop was a brilliant idea by the writers, it gave him much more depth and an important role. When Jessica and Hoyt didn't work out, at first I wasn't very impressed. But then when things started developing between Jessica and Jason, I was more than satisfied. Didn't see that coming until Jessica gave Jason her blood. Of course, as per the True Blood world rules, that meant he started having hot dreams about her. Jason did try to do the right thing and stay away, after all, Hoyt was his best friend. But circumstances kept pushing them together and every time Jason saved Jessica (as above, sorry about the blood-spatter) it brought them closer and closer until they both gave in. The first kiss, when Jessica knocks Jason to the floor, was one of those ones that makes you laugh and feel happy for the couple all at the same time.

4) Smallville - Lois and Clark
Well, It Was Destiny After All
With so many kisses to choose from, how was I meant to pick just one? These two had everything; kisses that almost happened but didn't, kisses where they thought they were kissing someone else (when Clark pretended to be Green Arrow to cover for Oliver... which technically I think was their first kiss) kisses under the influence of mind-altering substances, kisses in other dimensions. Its exhausting, really. But okay, truthfully I do have an easy favorite. I think the best one was at the end of season 9, when Clark thought he'd be dying to save Earth from the Kandorians. He asked Lois to meet him as the Blur and ended up kissing her goodbye. It was at that point that Lois worked out the Blur was really Clark.

5) Supernatural - Dean And Jo
Dean Kisses Jo Goodbye And Breaks My Heart 
You know, when Jo was first introduced to Supernatural, I didn't really like her character. She was young, thought she knew everything and wouldn't listen to reason. The attraction between her and Dean was instant, but for a whole lot of reasons that were never explored (mainly I think because Dean knew what sort of guy he was and couldn't give Jo what she wanted or deserved.
Plus he was scared of her mom, Ellen) the two of them never got together, despite some great tension between them. After the episode where Sam goes dark-side, possessed by Meg, and tracks Jo down, I started to change my mind about her. I had hoped that something would come of her and Dean. I didn't necessarily expect them to get together, but at least hoped she'd feature in some more episodes. I think the writers missed a good opportunity by not utilizing her more. Anyway, she never appeared again until the episode where she dies. The goodbye kiss between her and Dean was heartbreaking. Yes, I cried. And wished again that they'd been given a chance. You could say that considering how things ended between Dean and Lisa, it was probably a good thing Dean and Jo didn't get a chance to screw up each other's lives. But since Jo was a Hunter and knew all about the life, I think a relationship between them would have been far different.

6) Supernatural - Sam and Ruby
Its So Bad Its Good
Oh, we all know Sam getting it on with a demon can't be a good thing, but it was just done so gosh darn well. At this point, we're all hoping Ruby really is the good-bad-guy she seems to be. And poor Sam is so broken since Dean went to hell and Sam can't do anything about it. Sam wants salvation, but as we find out later, this was just Ruby putting Sam where she needs him to be for the Grand Evil Plan To Free Lucifer. 
I think both the actors, Padalecki in particular, portrayed this really well. You could see every nuance of Sam's struggle. He knew he shouldn't, yet his grief, frustrations, the fact that he'd gotten so damn lost all collided into this one moment where Ruby saw his vulnerability and struck. The complexities of Sam's internal battle resulted in a highly intense scene. Maybe one of the best in Supernatural to date. That, and when Dean finds out Sam is exorcizing demons WITH HIS MIND and the resulting confrontation between them where Dean takes a few swings. I think this story arc really made the show.

7) Supernatural - Castiel and Meg
What He Learned From The Pizza Man
Okay, so this kiss isn't in here for the romance. It's here simply because I killed myself laughing over this. Meg kissed Castiel to distract him while she nicked his Angel-Killing-Sword-of-Awesomeness, but after, Castiel decided to take matters into his own hands. He turned the tables on her, going so far as to push her up against the wall and kiss her like there was no tomorrow (which, for Cas, sadly he didn't have that many tomorows left.). He finished by saying "I learned that from the Pizza man" in reference to the porn he'd been watching earlier in the episode. 
I think Misha Collins played Castiel brilliantly. He and Dean worked off each other almost too well, which made for some really great Supernatural moments. In this scene in particular, Dean's reaction is half of what makes it so funny. He doesn't know where to look or what to think. Dean's face at one point was a perfect example of WTF? I only wish I could have found a better picture to show that!

8) Buffy The Vampire Slayer - Buffy and Angel
Kissing A Vampire Isn't A Good Idea... Unless He Has A Soul
Oh, Buffy and Angel. I grew up on these guys, Buffy was the same age as me through high school and I lived for a new episode every week. There were so many kisses I could have chosen from, and truthfully, its been a few years since I've watched my Buffy DVDs (I think I feel a re-watch coming on). Some of the most memorable were their first kiss, of course. And also the one where he changes back from Angelus just in time for Buffy to stab him and send him to hell. I think the best moment though, which isn't a kiss at all, was when Faith poisoned Angel and the only thing that would save him was the blood of a slayer. Buffy tried to catch Faith, but it didn't work out. When she returned empty handed, it was to find Angel close to death. With no other hope, she offered herself to save him. And we see that maybe, despite everything that's happened between them, they'll end up back together... Until Angel got his own show and took himself off to L.A.

9) Buffy The Vampire Slayer - Buffy and Angelus
For A Moment, Love Conquered Evil 
Unfortunately I couldn't find the actual picture of when Buffy and Angelus, while possessed by the ghosts of two dead lovers at Sunnydale High, kiss reenacting the final moments the two spent together. Because Angel can't die, the haunting loop is broken and the two ghosts are able to resolve their differences, ending in a kiss. After the ghosts leaves, for a moment the kiss continues on and you see the spark of Angel still in Angelus, before he realizes whats happening and runs off. Buffy is left confused and probably a little more hurt that she has lost the man/vampire she loves. Yet from that moment, hope is kindled that somehow, they will find a way to overcome Angelus and have Angel returned.

10) Buffy The Vampire Slayer - Buffy and Spike
Geez, Get A Room Already
And a bit of shirtless action doesn't hurt. Buffy and Spike... they loathed, they fought, they sung and at last they kissed. The rest of the relationship was very up and down, especially after Spike attacked her in the bathroom. Then he went and got his soul back, which made the dynamics even more interesting. While I loved the Spike and Buffy relationship, they didn't have the star-crossed-lovers thing going on that Angel and Buffy did. And I don't know that Buffy every really loved Spike, a realization he comes to at the very end of the whole show, when he sacrifices himself to save her and the others. And aren't we glad he did? Because when Spike transferred over the Angel, it made for some of the best moments in the whole Angel series (Spike fighting the Angel puppet? Classic!). But back to Spike and Buffy. The episode they first kissed in (for real I mean. There was that extremely hilarious episode where something whammied them with some magic mojo and they thought they were getting married), Once More With Feeling, is my favorite episode of anything ever. I can get it out and watch it over and over. It never looses its fun. And yes, I do sing along!

11) Angel - Angel and Cordelia
Draw It Out A Bit Longer, Won't You?
I was always a bit sad that the whole Angel and Cordelia thing never worked out, then of course she died... (she did die, didn't she? My memory is spotty). It just seemed as if fate had a different idea. Every time they seemed to be getting somewhere, something would crop up to force them apart again. It was a relationship rife with landmines. Still, the moments they did get together were usually very sweet and poignant. And the viewers reveled in every single one of them. 

Phew! I think we've had enough emotional highs and lows for one day. Tune in for part two of my top TV kisses, coming soon! 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Unstuck Update

So I had to go back and delete the scene I'd been stuck on and attempt a re-write. Then that still didn't work, so I went back and deleted the whole chapter. I had to put some serious thought into the love-scene lead in and decide what I really wanted to reveal about my characters in this scene.
After tossing around some ideas, I found the right way to go about it and just as I'd hoped, everything flowed from there. I've done 5000 words in the past few days and am now getting into the second half of the book and heading toward the story climax. Exciting times!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Stuck

If you've followed this blog long enough, you would know by now that I have an issue with writing sex scenes. Not because of the actual sex, but because of the emotional complexities. I'm obsessive about getting my love scenes right, because in many ways, they are the most important scenes in the books.
These are the moments when the characters are stripped back (not literally... but okay, yes, that too) and vulnerable. The seconds in time where they can't hide what they truly feel.
To write this kind of scene, I need to be really deep into the character's POV so the words flow without too much trouble.
What I shouldn't do is stop writing and leave the scene either just before the sex scene is about to happen, or halfway through the sex scene. You think by the number of books/novellas I've written, that I would have realized this long before now.
But no. Earlier in the week, I got to nearly the halfway point of the novella I'm working on and was writing a scene that would lead into the first love scene. And that's where I stopped for the day. So of course, the following day when I went to continue on, I found it really hard to put myself back into that scene... and continued finding it hard for the next few days, only writing one or two hundred words here or there. Now I worry that the scene is going to read disjointedly, but somehow I have to find a way to push myself forward.
I have considered skipping it altogether for the time being and coming back to it, but I've never been able to do that. How can I write what comes after the sex scene if I don't know what happens during the sex scene?
So, maybe today, or possibly tomorrow... definitely sometime this week. Somehow I have to get myself back into that flow and let my characters have their moment so we can get on with the rest of the story!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Dark Side of the Internet

I read an article this morning about the plagiarism problem Amazon is having. (article: Amazon's Plagiarism Problem) This isn't the first time I've read about people (I refuse to call them authors. They're not authors, they're thieves) blatantly stealing other people's work. And I'm not talking about the pirates who offer your ebook for free download. I'm talking about people who copy your work, slap a new title on it and "self-publish" it as their own book.
As an author, this scares the bejesus out of me. Its one thing to be vigilant to make sure your book isn't being offered for free download (luckily this hasn't happened to me yet). That's a challenge, but not impossible. You know what is next to impossible? Finding your book if its been put out somewhere under another person's name and a different title.
There was a case last year of some silly person trying to pass off a JD Robb book as their own, on Smashwords I think it was. Now that's ambitious, and downright stupid.
I'd like to say I don't understand why people would do this, but I do know... it all comes down to money.
Anyway, back to my point about finding your own book with a different cover. This is the stuff nightmares are made of. My mind straight away made up a scenario where one of my books makes it into the Amazon top ten, with all those royalties going to some scumbag, and then having to prove the work was originally mine. Don't think I'm being dramatic. There are countless stories of authors having to jump through hoops just to prove what they say is true, being treated as if they are the criminals. There really is something wrong with the system when the thief is getting off scott-free, while the author is the one being vilified.
I just hope Amazon and similar organizations can come up with a way to start fixing this issue.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Good Start

I know we're just a bit over a week into 2012, but I have to say, I'm quite happy with how my new career plan is panning out. Now that I have a clear direction, its making things a lot easier. And with two different projects on the go, and enthusiasm in spades, the words are flowing pretty easily at this stage. In the coming weeks I plan to get my current novella finished, and then will put it aside. In the meantime, I'm going to edit the first three chaps of my new young adult book and sub it to the publisher, before going on to finish it while I wait to hear if the editor wants to see the entire manuscript. Once it's finished, I'll be putting it aside to go back and edit the novella, and then send it to the specific publisher I wrote it for. I've found working on 2 projects at a time much more efficient. It seems helpful if I break from something and then later edit it with fresh eyes. And it seems to work even better when I've been writing something totally different in the meantime.
So as it stands, the career plan seems to have come together quite well. I guess a few months down the track with prove whether or not its going to yield some results.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Welcome to 2012: Year of the Unspecified Goal

I may have mentioned on here that in 2011, my goal was to get an agent. Unfortunately that goal morphed into selling my sci-fi romance, Atrophy, which didn't work out so well. I became a bit obsessed and couldn't see my ultimate career plan any longer.
So getting an agent in 2011 didn't work out so well. This year, I've decided I'm not going to focus so blindly on one direction. Don't get me wrong, I still want an agent. I believe in order to get to where I want my career to end up, an agent is a necessary ingredient. However, while I query agents, I'm also going to be pushing myself out of the comfort zone I found in 2011. Writing and submitting to Noble is easy, I have a home there now. They're my base and I will continue writing manuscripts for them throughout the year, I have several planned.
But I also want to increase my market exposure (*gasp* this is starting to sound like a... business plan! OMG how grown-up of me) and to do that, I've decided I need to publish with (possibly) several other small to medium publishers. Of course, publishing with one of the "big six" wouldn't be half bad, but I think part of my problem is I keep trying to leap for the "big six" except I can't quite reach them yet. I need to build up the ground beneath me... if that makes sense.
So, with that in mind, I guess I'm going for a multi-pronged approach this year. On one side I'll keep up with querying agents, while on the other I'll be submitting to places such as Carina, Avon's Impulse line (I already have submissions out with both of these publishers) and Samhain. I'll also be exploring a few of the smaller e-presses, such as Entangled who have a open call out at the moment which pricked my interest.
If that's not enough, I've also started a young adult manuscript for an open call a publisher here in Australia put out recently. This all might seem like a lot to take on, but I've gone so far as to set timelines and word count aims. I'm lucky that when I put my mind to it, I can churn out a lot of words in a short amount of time. The other day I wrote 6000 words in one day. The YAW manuscript is going to be 50,000 words long. I'm already 9000 words down and plan to have it finished in the next 8 weeks, which is where the timeline and word count goals come into play. At that point I will submit it to the intended publisher and move on... but not before I take a short break. As much as I'm all about putting in the long, hard yards this year, I'm also smart enough to realize burning out won't help me one little bit.
So that's where I'm at. In November I felt despondent and lost, wondering how I'd pull myself and get back into things this year when 2011 didn't yield that results I wished for. Now I'm re-energized and looking forward to what 2012 and my Unspecified Goals will bring.