I Bet Terminators Never Get Ridiculous Enduring Head Colds

I’m back!  I’m aliiiiiiive!  You can tell I’m (mostly) healthy again because I am no longer choosing sleep over television, so all is right with the world.  😉

And a good thing, too, because I had to turn in book five of my new Pet Trouble series this week.  Isn’t that crazy?  Book FIVE?  And the first two aren’t even out yet!  Boy, I hope you guys like them!  :-)  I really love writing them.  I mean, hello, dogs, for one thing, and hilarious sixth grade catastrophes, for another.  I’m trying to hang out with lots of dogs as much as possible for research purposes right now, which according to me means I have the best job ever.  🙂

Book five is about a big, sweet, shaggy Newfoundland named Yeti (after the Abominable Snowman) and a girl who’s named Heidi after my cousin’s almost-two-year-old, who is ridiculously adorable.  I hope that when she grows up she likes her namesake!  (well, first I hope she’ll want to read these books!)

Every time I write a new book, I rediscover all over again how my favorite thing to write is dialogue.  Maybe because I talk too much, so it’s easy for me to imagine characters doing that!  :-)  And my least favorite thing to write is setting — long descriptions of scenery, etc. — maybe because I’m unobservant (some writers are! shocking but true!) (at least about scenery…I guess I like observing people) and I’m perfectly happy indoors.  But I’m trying to work on this writing flaw of mine.  Usually what I have to do is go back through my first draft (before I send it to my editor) and work in more setting and descriptions around all the fun dialogue. 

But that’s OK; that’s what revision is for.  So if you know you’re good at one element of writing and not so great at another, don’t be discouraged.  I say keep writing while you’re excited about your idea — try to make it all the way to the end!  You can always go back to fix/add stuff later. 

That’s not just advice from me; that’s also what Stephen King recommends in his book On Writing, which incidentally is AWESOME.  One day I’ll do a whole post about my favorite writing books, but rest assured that one is on it.

I’ve also learned that in the last week or so before I finish a manuscript, I have to pretty much give up on accomplishing anything else.  That includes answering emails, seeing people, and cleaning the house (ESPECIALLY cleaning the house).  It’s too hard to concentrate on other things while I have Impending Deadline hanging over my head, even if I’m only working on it 6-8 hours a day.  You’d think I could answer emails sometime in the other hours, but it’s like that would overload the system or something.  Mysterious!

Anyway, if this happens to you, too, I find it helps if I warn my family in advance that this is going to happen.  And at least it’s just for a little while!  Luckily I have a lovely husband who doesn’t mind stacking the dishwasher himself (even if he does it WRONG!) (<–hilarious sidenote: pretty much every girl I know thinks her husband stacks the dishwasher wrong) (but I’m totally right; he really does!  all wrong!) (oh, I love him anyway).  Still, I’m glad I’m not like this all the time (er…as far as I know…). 

Meanwhile, all this writing and being sick has made me WAY behind on television!  Adam and I are literally going to have to have an all-day Battlestar Galactica marathon after we get back from California next week (for a super-thrilling top-secret mission which I will tell you about when it’s over).  I’m behind on Lost, Heroes, House, Chuck…pretty much all my favorite shows!  Crisis!

The only ones I’m all caught up on are the Friday night awesome sci-fi tag-team of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Dollhouse, so I’m going to talk about those!  Yay!  Time for a TV rant!  (Well, I can’t talk about what I’m reading, can I?  I’m guessing there aren’t many of you reading Pawprints of History right now, so you’d have no idea what I was talking about.) (Although, speaking of which, it’s pretty adorable.  Famous historical people who love their dogs!  Awwww!  All right, maybe I will talk about it at some point…)

Then again, apparently not many of you are watching Connor Chronicles either, which is terribly sad!  I kind of love this show.  They just killed off my least favorite character (yay thank God finally!), but first they managed to make her actually have a point, and it was very cool and surprised the heck out of me.  I LOVE that.  I love when TV shows surprise me!  And this show is twisty-weird-fascinating.  It does all kinds of things I didn’t see coming (unlike, say, Heroes, which has been predictable as all get-out lately).

The best part of Connor Chronicles is Summer Glau as Cameron, the hot terrifying teenage female Terminator.  She also played River in Firefly and Serenity, which makes me wonder how she feels about being typecast as the eerie, enigmatic, strangely funny, incredibly dangerous kick-ass chick.  But I’m so glad she said yes to this, because she is far and away the funniest part of the show (also the scariest).  Yeah, I like my apocalyptic darkness with a little humor.  🙂

Which is why I’m not crazy about Sarah Connor herself, who is SO SERIOUS all the time.  I mean, I know she has to save the world and protect her son from evil killer robots from the future, but sheesh.  John Connor, on the other hand, actually manages to be funny now and then, and I think there’s a strange fascinating chemistry between him and Cameron that makes me want to see what will happen next.  For the most part, I think the writers are handling it all really well, even if not every episode is perfect.  Man, I hope it gets renewed!  I want more!

And for those of you who haven’t fallen in love with Dollhouse yet, hang in there.  All the reports online say it gets better starting with episode six (not this week but next).  I like it, but it feels to me like it got poked a lot by people who don’t understand Joss Whedon or don’t think he’s commercial enough.  For instance, I don’t think we really need lots of half-naked Eliza Dushku to make it a good show (although more half-naked Tahmoh Penikett would be OK!).  ;-) 

Then again, I can’t stop my editorial fingers from twitching, so maybe I would have messed it up if I were the network heads as well.  (Except in this case I’d be more likely to say, "Oh, it’s Joss Whedon?  Let him run free!  Release the Whedon!  Whatever he wants!  Throw money at him!")  There’s really just one major thing I would change at this point: KILL TOPHER.  Man, that guy is ANNOYING.  Why is he the only brains of this operation?  Who would put him in charge of anything?  I think he’s supposed to be the comic relief, but he is Not Funny.  Grrrrft.  I don’t think I’ve ever felt this way about a Whedon character before.  (Nope, I loved Dawn.  I didn’t even mind Connor.)

So far episode 2 was my favorite.  Episode 3 was neat mainly because we found out Eliza can sing (holy pipes!) and episode 4 had some funny moments.  I’m hoping for more of Amy Acker and Harry Lennix as Boyd (love him!) and, of course, more Tahmoh Penikett please!  He’s kind of drifting in subplot land right now; I want him to meet Echo and get on with the tortured-hero stuff already.  But I’m sure Joss has a plan.  We’ll see what happens (hopefully!  keep watching!)…

OK, that’s enough burbling from me.  Just to warn you, there might not be a blog next week, since I’ll be traveling (exciting mysteriousness!), but I’ll see what I can do!  :-) 

Quote of the Day:
Derek (finding Moishe shot in the head):  You said you were gonna have a talk with him.
Jesse: I did. It was short.
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles