Today was a day for catching up and discussing/brainstorming with friends. In between my other tasks, a recent post from my friend Rose prompted a lengthy conversation with her and also Hannah about topics ranging from reading to remakes, including Terminator and Batman. That reminded me how much I had two projects related to Batman movies, a paper about the Dark Knight Trilogy and an eBook about female characters in all Batman movies. I don’t have time to work on that now, but it gave me a lot of good food for thought. And with all the exchange I had with Rose and Hannah, I have enough material for an actual post some time this month, I think!
I also had the lovely surprise of seeing Helka stopping by to say hello on my blog tonight and I am thrilled to be back in touch with her. I am looking forward to more discussions about research work and lots of Yoko Tsuno ramblings (and fangirling as well). I mentioned it before but I really enjoy how WordPress has become one of my favorite social platforms (along with Twitter as ironic as it might sound). I find it practical to stay in touch and get to discover new people’s work as well.
In between wrapping Christmas presents and other things today, I wrote the introduction for my fifth book chapter, and things are clearer in my mind about how to approach this piece about Cameron in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, with comparison points with Blade Runner and the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica. I’m going to start the first section of the chapter after I finish this post.
Oh and December 18, 2013 means that we have exactly two years to go before seeing Star Wars Episode VII; and it made me giddy! I am pretty optimistic about it, because having had serious issues with some of the Expanded Universe a few years ago, my politic is that what I don’t like in the Star Wars universe get ignored by my mind. So, I might or might not like the new movies, but more Star Wars is always the opportunity to hope for more goodness!
And just for that, I’m sharing my Star Wars video Heroes again:
This morning, my brain woke me up at 6am, after barely two hours of sleep. The little monster had decided that I had to do its bidding (for a change) and that it was already time to go back to writing my book chapter, though I had reached my daily goal yesterday, and had even worked on some other side things. So this morning, I wrote two new subsections of my chapter about Battlestar Galactica and Blade Runner. Before having breakfast, I chatted with my father about how my brain is always plotting my demise. Then it hit me.
The perfect illustration for Me Vs My Brain is the clip from the Muppet Show that I posted to open this chapter. Guess who the little devilish pest impersonates? That is exactly what I am going through with my brain, especially as I’m unable to shut it down even when my body asks for mercy. I really am looking forward to being able to take a break during December, because I really need it, no matter how my brain tries to protest with all I could be working on. I know that I need to ensure my to-do list is fully handled before that, but I shall win. I hope so at least. If you hear cackling, this is likely my brain.
So, AcWriMo went beyond all expectation today, as I actually wrote the equivalent of 3 days of writing goals in a single one, since I wrote 3 subsections of my chapter, meaning I wrote 2695 words today, bringing my total AcWriMo count to 16380. As always, I am only counting the writing I completed for my book Women in Science Fiction Television. Once November will be over, I will go through all my blog posts written during this month and add the word count to my total, out of curiosity, but what matters in my AcWriMo goals are the two chapters and now the third extra goal which is my paper about Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight, which I hope to tackle next week.
Speaking of writing, this time in a non academic way, I was very interested in two posts which brought up the notion of history for characters’ development:
- 4 Reasons You Should Care About History by Hannah Givens
- Stuck With Your Story? History Can Help! by Rose B. Fischer
Being able to be rooted in the character’s history can also help a lot when you write many characters (no matter whether it’s fan fiction, RPing, original fiction). I think it helps being able to “switch” between characters without losing their savor and uniqueness, because taking this step back makes it possible to approach them for who they are, what they went through as not to blend everyone together.
Yesterday wasn’t my most productive day when it comes to AcWriMo, but I caught up today and my total word count is now 9986. I am glad to reach the 10K as soon as I tackle another sub section of my third book chapter. It feels great to be able to expand from my paper about Boomer in this specific one. Returning to studying Blade Runner, especially as a comparison point, is also something I had been wanting to do for a long while. One thing I always love about researching and writing is when the first ideas and key points you focus one eventually leads to so many other things you didn’t think about in the first place.
So, I am deep in my book project, and am going to keep focusing on it for the most part in the upcoming months. That is likely why I had another book idea last night. I have the actual structure of it, sections, chapters, and so on. It would likely be as big as the Women in Science Fiction Television one. I would love to focus on it after being done with the current one, which is contracted. The topic would be the comic book series I recently mentioned: Yoko Tsuno, by Roger Leloup, which was created in 1970 and is still on-going. This series is an outstanding work in terms of female characters, and this book would study them as heroes, villains and all the other options that exist. There would be also analysis of the mythical imagery, the eastern spirituality, family and the notion of otherness, as those characters cross continents, planets and time eras. But anyway, I will safely keep my notes until I have time and energy to devote to this project!
Still speaking of writing, I found myself reflecting on my writing because of my friend Rose’s recent post: Dear Writer, Have You Ever Been on the Point of Giving Up? I realized that I have been there on a couple of occasions. Back in 2007 and 2008, I felt that I was going to give up on writing original fiction, no matter how I have a children novella finished, a young adult novel as well, despite my wish to revisit a couple of elements in it, and ideas for maybe four or five other novels, all Science Fiction or Fantasy. It was in 2008 that I joined a role playing board, and since then it has been my outlet for fiction writing. I haven’t really touched any of my original fiction projects since then though I know I will return to them one day. Being able to still write fiction in the Star Wars universe, with friends helps my need for creative writing.
When I embarked on my Ph.D. in Fall 2009, I already had gone through a fair share of academic papers, including one BA and three MA level dissertations. With lack of support at my university when it came to my Ph.D. the struggle to find call for papers to submit to all on my own was a very good learning experience in the end. It forced me to be even more autonomous and spread my wings in terms of research, not only for places to submit, thus eventually attending events or publishing abroad, but also to extend the scope of my topics of study and writing. Thanks to this experience, I was able to become a better researcher and writer, and I am glad that I could gain something that meaningful, although I couldn’t complete my Ph.D. I still hope to restart one in a few years, and this time complete it, especially as I even have an idea of topic for my thesis, which I would love to work on!
The past few years have seen me focus on original non fiction/academic writing, and I have realized that while it was my “second” calling when it comes to writing, it has become my primary one and has brought me a lot on a professional and personal levels. I had always enjoyed research but I had never thought that I would love academic writing as much as I do now. And I’m definitely planning to do AcWriMo again next year!
The structure to the third chapter of my book Women in Science Fiction Television gave me some trouble yesterday in comparison to the previous two I completed. It was ironic since I had worked more on part of the subject (Boomer/Tyrol from the 2004 Battlestar Galactica and Deckard/Rachael from Blade Runner) over the past few years. I eventually won over the fickle and pestering writing muse! It isn’t how I had originally thought I would approach my topic, but I’m all good as I think it works just fine. I wrote the introduction last night, which means that my AcWriMo word count is now 9024! I’m really glad that this challenge happened this month, so I am able to really push for better goals (as my original one was to get three chapters written by the end of the year, and now it’s to get said third chapter done by the end of this month) In between my editing work on another project is still going well, so productivity abounds and I hope it continues as such.
On the TV front, I have caught up with all aired episodes of the new Beauty and the Beast and now wait for next week episode like every other viewer. After my few doubts about the new angle of the show in the first couple of episodes of the second season, I was reassured with what I saw next. I think that they have a much more solid arc than I first thought. I then tried to delve back in two other shows whose pilots I had found okay: Dracula and Arrow. The second episodes of both shows just made me lose complete interest. Even Dracula which had some good plot aspects and Rhys-Meyer’s great performance, couldn’t keep me interested. As for Arrow, I wanted to like it, but I was just bored out of my mind. So I gave up on those two series.
I went back to Lost Girl, as I had seen nothing except the first season. I jumped back into the universe at once and am enjoying the second season. Even when I don’t really care about some of the weekly investigations, I still love all the main characters: Bo, Kenzi, Lauren, Dyson, Hale, Trick. Those six are so great and with many interesting dynamics within the group. The relationships between the characters are what keep me watching episode after episode. It is one of the casts I like best from on going shows those days. I am glad that I still have fifteen more episodes to watch in the second season and that I have thirteen more with the third one. And knowing that there is already a fourth season to start soon, well… It is great to know that some shows still last more than one or two seasons!
And to finish, here is the latest video I posted on YouTube. It is an ensemble Harry Potter tribute, on Edyta Gorniak’s song One & One. The video is called The People Who Care. [WARNING: It seems that the video is blocked in the US though, so sorry to American viewers or anyone else who sees it blocked.]
I am thrilled to say that I finished a second chapter from my contracted book Women in Science Fiction Television. I can’t believe that it came together in such a quick and efficient way. Now it is off to be proof read, and I am planning to start another chapter by the end of the week, since the next two or three days will be mostly devoted to eBook editing for another project. I already know which chapter I will tackle next, one that focuses on characters from both the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica and Blade Runner. As for AcWriMo, I can say that I wrote 8405 since the first day of November. Now my new goal, since the first one was achieved so promptly, is to complete another book chapter before the end of the month.
Besides that, I have finished the first season of the new Beauty and the Beast, and really loved the first season. That was a nasty cliffhanger, which once again made me think of Dark Angel while watching that show. It is also interesting that the interaction between Catherine and Tess made me want to watch Cagney & Lacey at last. Of course, this is unlikely to be possible for a good while, but between that and conversations about that older show with a friend of mine, I just am all the more interested in checking it out. As for the new Beauty and the Beast, I am currently catching up with the second season’s episodes which have aired until now. I still like it, and I think it has potential, but I really didn’t expect what happened to Vincent. I’m still not sure I’m blown away by this decision, but I’m curious to see how they are going to resolve that new big issue.
Once I am done catching up with the available season two episodes of Beauty and the Beast, I am planning to go back to Arrow. I had only seen the pilot and thought it wasn’t bad at all, although the pilot didn’t get me the way Beauty and the Beast and Continuum ones did, for example. I still plan on seeing more of Arrow, to get a better idea of it, and see if I enjoy the show more as I keep watching.
I love sitting quietly on Friday night and reviewing a productive week. It is always a nice feeling and tends to inspire me to have a productive weekend as well. I completely reorganized my work space – i.e. my room as I work from home for the time being – this week. It had been on my mind for a while, and for different reasons, including a talk with a documentary producer/director who is going to come interview me next month as a vidding expert for a project about fandom. I needed to reorganize things so I basically turned half the room upside down and except for a small shelf, I finished to set everything up today. Sorting many personal papers, rearranging all my book collection and also computer station did wonders to de-clutter not just my space but my mind as well. I feel even more eager to work on my writing now, and I will also be able to vid more easily with the new layout. So it was quite a wonderful idea!
I am still feeling accomplished with the publication of my eBook Gender Dynamics in Star Wars: The Old Republic, A Focus on Female Characters with Thought Catalog. My first ‘solo’ US publication is quite a big step for me, and made me reflect on how far I have come since April 2012 when I was published for the very first time. It is very encouraging and comforts me in my desire to focus on my passion of writing, especially on Science Fiction, Transmedia, Gender Studies and Fan practices and communities. As much as I hope to delve back into fiction one day, I know that non fiction is really something I enjoy tremendously and don’t consider stopping doing at all now. I believe that this is a way for me to blend both my scholar interest and my fields of predilection when it comes to my media consumption.
Speaking of writing, I have finished the first draft of one of the chapters for my upcoming book on Women in Science Fiction television. It is the seventh one (as I decided to begin by this one since the different chapters aren’t actually related to one another) and it will probably be the longest one in the book. I still need to add a good many quotes and references to it, but this is one of my favorite pieces I have ever written. While the topic (a comparison between Caprica Six in Battlestar Galactica and Dana Scully in the X-Files) was inspiring to me to great extents, it went beyond my expectations. I hope to complete the second draft, with all end notes included, some time next week, so I may being to write the third chapter, which will focus on Kara Thrace in Battlestar Galactica and Jaime Sommers in Bionic Woman.
I also had that idea nagging at the back of my mind when I went through my book and DVD collection, to write a book about both Ridley’s and Tony Scott’s movies. I have thought a lot about their filming styles over the past few years, and since Tony Scott’s passing, I have been itching to write something about his work. Since Ridley Scott has been one of my favorite film makers since I was a teenager (my first inspirations to get into media studies were the original Star Wars trilogy by Lucas, Kershner and Marquand, and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and Gladiator) I have also wanted to write about his movies as well. So I guess this will give me further food for thought. I can foresee note taking in the upcoming months, but it might be a venture to explore end of 2014 after I am done with the current book project I have under contract!
Now that my computer station is reorganized, I feel the vidding bug biting even more than during the past few weeks. I still want to work on my 300th video, which will be a Scully tribute, but there are other ideas swirling in my mind. I am currently toying with the idea of allowing myself a “vidding retreat” some time during the upcoming couple of weeks. I tend to have a blast when I mostly vid more than anything else during a few days. It tend to work wonders for my muses. So once I get to where I want with the book chapter, and likely more eBook editing work, I will see about putting on my vidder’s cap!
On that vidding note, I shall leave you with one of my latest videos, which I posted on YouTube a couple days ago. It is my first Game of Thrones video, which I made this summer. It is a Daenerys tribute on Set Fire to the Rain by Adele. It only features clips from the first two seasons, which reminded me that I still need to watch the third season. I am hoping to make more Game of Thrones videos in the future, as there are so many characters I like and so much epicness on screen, but this song always sounded so fitting for Daenerys that I had to start with this one.