Late to the Agents of SHIELD party: Superhero Saturday

Several times over the last few years when I’ve told people either how much I like superhero TV or how much I like The Avengers some version of this conversation has gone down:

Them: Oh, so do you watch Agents of SHIELD?

Me: No, I’ve tried several times to get into it and it just wasn’t …

Them: Yeah, the first few episodes aren’t very good, but it gets better

Me: When does it get better?  Could I just skip to that episode?

They then proceeded (and I’m not kidding, this has literally happened four or five times) to give a complicated explanation of how the first season of SHIELD had to build up to Captain America: Winter Soldier and there were several things they didn’t want to spoil that made the show better….and honestly, I’d kinda tuned out by then.

But one day last week the show was in my recommended list on Netflix (again) and I randomly chose an episode from later in Season 1.  That first episode was kind of blah…but it was okay….so a few days later I watched another one…and then another one…and now, well I’m a few episodes into Season 2 and willing to admit it’s pretty enjoyable.  (I think a solid 80% of the credit goes to Clark Gregg – Can I vote for Phil Coulson for President?)

It’s still not as dear to my heart as Arrow or Supergirl, but it’s a fairly fun summer binge-watching choice.  And I admit I’m pretty happy that I’ll never have to have the above conversation again.





Books & Gilmore Girls: Rough Day Recovery

Today was a crazy making day – one of those where you feel a little jinxed, one of those where your husband ends up pushing a dead car through a six lane intersection while you stare on in a mix of admiration and horror from the car behind him….but I digress.

On such days you always look for things to smile about – today’s thing (well besides chocolate and central A/C) was this video from Netflix celebrating Rory Gilmore’s love of books.

I love a lot of things about the Gilmore Girls – the intelligence, the pop culture references, the way they could seem nerdy and cool all at the same time.  But one of the main things I loved was that Rory Gilmore was the first fictional character I ever met who adored books as much, or maybe even a little more, than I did.

So don’t mind me I’ll be over here smelling my copy of Jane Eyre and quadruple stacking my bookcases until they beg for mercy.

San Diego & the Wonder Woman Trailer: Superhero Saturday

So I admit I’m fortunate enough to live in an area that has it’s own geek convention.  I’ve met a Superman, and a Green Arrow, and watched the 11th Doctor walk out of a Tardis – all of which were awesome experiences.  But this is the weekend where I sigh and think “I’d rather be in San Diego.”

Luckily, yesterday I was able to watch the live stream of Nathan Fillion and Stephen Amell’s NerdHQ panels.  And thanks to Comic Con today they released this…

My first thought, funnily enough, was how much the beginning reminds me of The Little Mermaid, but the rest of the trailer feels like a hybrid of two of my favorite recent superhero movies; the mythology of Thor and the recent history backdrop of Captain America. – with the groundbreaking addition of a female lead.  I’m especially fond of of her costuming and the fairly realistic/gritty look of thing.  (Though maybe the lasso could use a little work?)  In any case I can’t seem to quit watching this.

As a long time DC fan, it’s nice to actually feel this excited about an upcoming movie.


Angst & Gratitude: This Week in my Writer’s Life

Over the last week I’ve been listening to archives of Sara Zarr’s podcasts called This Creative Life It’s one of those wonderful things that you discover after it’s been running for years and you wonder why no one has ever told you about it before.

Zarr interviews all kinds of creative people (with a heavy dose of writers) about their creative process, the roadblocks in their work, and how they manage the joys and challenges that come from being a creative professional.

This experience has stirred up mixed emotions.  On one hand, I love being able to listen to these podcasts during the slow moments of my non-writing job. It keeps me thinking about my work and makes me feel like a writer even when I can’t physically be typing/scribbling away.  I also like that many of her guests have “day jobs” and talk about how to fit the writing life in around them.

The tough part of these podcasts is how much angst I feel listening to these talented people talk about doing serious creative work that has found an audience.   I’ve received two particularly tough rejections in the last month (tough because in both cases there had been some actual hope).  As a result I’ve allowed myself a few weeks to back off the submissions roller coaster and focus on writing my current novel.  But there’s a little part of my brain, that annoying practical side, that reminds me if I don’t submit, no one is ever going to read my work.

I tell people I’m a writer because I am.  I’ve finished three novels, a dissertation, over 100 poems,  and over the years in my other work life I have been paid to write blog posts and act as an editorial assistant.   But there’s still some disappointment and envy for the pieces I don’t have yet.

I know that the writing life I have now is a blessing – I have time, the basic resources, and at least some degree of skill for which I’m extremely grateful.  I also know that even once someone is published there’s still plenty of opportunities for angst and envy.  But I have to admit if I’m being honest about my experience right now –

I want more.

However, until then I’ll just keep writing – and being thankful for people like Sara Zarr and her guests who remind me about what I want, and why I’m doing this.


Who You Gonna Call? – Yep, Still the Ghostbusters

When I first heard they were recasting Ghostbusters with an all female cast I was definitely interested.  Why not make a movie with all women as the heroes – is that such a strange idea in the 21st Century?  Well apparently to some people it was – and I honestly couldn’t believe the amount of anti-female crap that got tossed at this film before anyone even saw it.

But then I saw the trailer – and I was worried.  To me it was all stupid gags and CGI nonsense.

Still, when a friend wanted to go see it this weekend, and also pulled the “I want to support a female led” movie card, I gave in and decided to give the new Ghostbusters a try.

Thank goodness I did.

As a person whose loved action and sci-fi movies since I was a little girl, I should have been prepared for how good it felt to see this eclectic blend of awesome women take on the adventure of saving New York from Slimer and Co.  I instantly identified with Kristen Wiig’s character Erin Gilbert, a woman trying to hide her nerdy, unusual past in order to make it in serious academia.  And almost every time mad scientist Holtz spoke or moved it was a laugh out loud moment.  (Also I didn’t think I could like Chris Hemsworth any more than I already did – I was wrong.  Don’t worry, my husband already knows.)

Was it perfect?  No.  There was in fact too much CGI, and the plot could have been a little more developed.  But it was a fun new story that honored the original – and the all female cast?

They were Ghostbusters.