Fabulously Facetious Friday

It’s Friday! Or at least, it is in my timezone. And that means it’s time to carry on the tradition of ever-so-occasionally posting quotes from my Quote Book, a little notebook I carry with me at all times to write down the strange things I hear people say. Snarky comments may or may not be involved.

“You know you’re late to dance when you’re buttoning your pants in the street.”
Thought I’d start out with pants, since approximately 20% of the quotes in this book involve pants. So…yeah. Pants.

“Actually, all the people are dead by now, but I added some more screaming because I thought it would go well with the elevator music.”

“Why is there a tooth in my slipper?”
“Ohhhh, that’s where it went!”

“You could put your ear on an injury and use it as an ice pack.”
It’s a cold winter, what can I say?

“I’m going through the carcasses of your lunch.”

“Will you hold my phone? I need to put my pants on.”

“Why are you guys so excited about murder?”
“Because we’re writers and we murder people for a living!”
I didn’t say that…noooo.

“Some people are good at everything, like me. I excel at architecture and animal husbandry.”

“I remember your dog, he’s definitely dead.”

“Do you think if I mixed Cheetos in with my rice noodles it would make them taste less like soggy cardboard?”

And finally…
“It’s Jack Harkness, how is he supposed to keep his pants on?”

Pants.

14 Reasons to Always Carry a Hardcover Book

1. Books can be very handy while standing in a long line–whether you use them to while away the time or whack the people in front of you out of the way.
2. Similarly, books provide instant entertainment in any situation in which you have to wait.
3. Don’t feel like talking to people? Read a book.
4. A hardcover book will provide the perfect disguise for any ordinary burglar, spy, or detective: simply sit in a public area and peer at people non-suspiciously over the top of the pages.
5. Having a book makes you look innocent. Veeeery innocent. No officer, I did not rob that bank across the street, I was just siting on this park bench here reading my book.
6. If you are going somewhere and you need to look important, bring a thick book with a title like “Inconclusive Enigmas of the Pestilential Proprietors” and be seen reading it. People will assume you are dedicated, studious, and intelligent.
7. Contrary to #3, if you have to talk to someone but don’t know what to say, just talk about the book you’re reading.
8. Depending on how you present yourself, carrying a book can either make you friends or make everyone leave you alone, whichever is more to your tastes.
9. You can learn so much from books. Education, people.
10. The book is mine. My own. My precious.
11. Worried about self-defense? Carry with you the thickest hardcover book you own at all times, and you can hit someone over the head with it if needed. NOTE: This only applies in situations where someone else instigates the aggression.
12. They make very comfortable pillows! …sort of.
13. If you don’t want to be seen by someone, a book is a great thing to hide behind. Their gazes will pass right over you.
14. You’ll never be without a friend if you have a book by your side.

The 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who: A Few Thoughts

I just got back from watching the 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who. Twice. I would love to post a very fangirly, spoilery ramble about my thoughts, but I may save that for tomorrow. Today, I would just like to take a moment to commemorate what the 50th anniversary really means, and how much this show means to me.

50 years. This show has been running for 50 entire years. That’s more than triple how long I’ve been alive. It is so fascinating to see how times have changed since then. Wars have been lost, and won. There have been moments of bleak despair, and moments of untarnishable hope. Perhaps recently there has been a bit more despair than hope, but I know that it was the same way when Doctor Who first aired. Inventions have been created that were unimaginable since then, new technologies and innovations and medical discoveries that have shaped the world we know around us. Yet through all of the changes the core of the show has remained the same: a loveably mad Time Lord with a blue box, off to see the Universe, to save the day, to have adventures. And no matter how much the show changes in the next (hopefully) 50 years, that core will remain the same.

I wanted to do something really special for the 50th. It’s not every day a brilliant TV show celebrates its anniversary of being around for an entire fifty years. I wanted to watch all the Classic Doctors, or cosplay a different character every week, or bake another TARDIS cake, or write an epic fanfic, or do drawings, or write long, in-depth, character analysises. But, even though I have had an apallingly large amount of free time recently, I still have other important matters to attend to, like homework and NaNoWriMo and my ongoing mission to seek out new life, new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before (or maybe just traverse to the fridge to grab some ice cream to eat on my procrastination endeavors). I think that represents another theme of Doctor Who: the importance, in spite of staggering events, of the little things, the ordinary things we take for granted. So you could say that my tribute to the 50th anniversary is that I just kept on doing what I normally do, if in a rather more excited fashion than usual.

The drawings, of course, and the long character analysises and the cakes and the cosplays and the fanfics and the speculations and the Trock band I’ve decided to call Cardboard Dalek, will come later. Just because this is a celebration of the past 50 years doesn’t mean this is the end. Perhaps there’s another 50 years in store for us.

Sometimes I don’t feel like a real Whovian. I only started watching the show in June, and even though I’ve seen all of New Who I haven’t seen a single episode of Classic Who, yet. Still, even in that short time this show has done so much to better my life, cheesy as that may sound. I’ve always been an optimist. It’s one of the qualities I despise in myself, actually, though I have no control over it. I’ve been restless lately. Nowhere to go but school and home for the past six or so months, and that wears on me more than being busy does. It’s getting me down. But Doctor Who has helped restore in me something I never thought I’d loose: hope. For every moment that rips my heart out and leaves me sobbing there’s another that fills me up with the wonders of the Universe. There is such a strong sense of wonder, of hope, in the creation of Doctor Who, that it can’t not rub off on me.

One of the things I love about Doctor Who is the number of things it can be at once. Funny, terrifying, suspensful, adventerous, deep, profound, entertaining, heartbreaking, inspiring–all can happen within the space of of just a few minutes. And I love it. I love that this is a show that can make me kaugh and cry at the same time. That whatever mood I’m in there’s generally some quote from the show that describes it perfectly. It makes me think, it makes me sad, it brightens my day, and it consumes me with its dimensions. Maybe I am obbsessed, but why not? There are so many wonderful, wonderful things about this show that it’d be a shame for me not to be.

And of course, there’s the music. The music is absolutely fantastic, brilliant, molto bene. It’s become my favorite thing to listen to. So much so that I’m dancing to a song composed by Murray Gold for a choreography assigment in dance class.

When the Doctor lands in a new world, the earth shakes. His presence has such a huge effect on the lives of those around him, whether for good or bad, and it changes them. After meeting the Doctor briefly only once, Lorna Bucket decides to join the cleric military just to have a chance to see him again. He has that much influence. The Doctor has shaken up my world as well. Provided a new and interesting thing to spend my fangirly time on, to ponder and to question and to be inspired by. And I am grateful.

I wanted to weave a bunch of quotes through this post, since there are so, so many I like. I wanted to choose the absolute perfect quote to end on. Well, as I’ve said, there’s a lot of things’s I’ve wanted in relation to the 50th anniversary special, so I’ll take my leave in the words of the Ninth Doctor, a message to the show I have come to love:

“Before I go, I just want to tell you, you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And you know what? So was I.”

The Night of the Doctor: An Analysis

If you are a Whovian (translation: Doctor Who fan) like I am, you’ll know that the minisode The Night of the Doctor aired a few days ago (it can be watched here, and I reccomend you do so to be able to understand this post). It features the Eighth Doctor, and as someone who has not yet seen his only other onsceen appearance, his movie, it may be a bit presumtuous of me to post an analysis without more of his character to go on, but I have really been wanting to write this. I have not yet seen Eight’s movie for lack of trying. I would like to take a short moment to glare at whoever decided to damaged the library’s only copy.

I wasn’t sure whether to just dive right in wih my feelings or go frame by frame, so I think I’ll do some of both. And again, as I have not seen Eight, some of my interpretations could be totally inncorrect, but bear with me.

I’ve been hearing quite a lot over the past few months about Eight fans’ worries about Moffat entirely messing up Eight and getting his character wrong, so I was relieved to hear that many of them were satisfied with the minisode, because I am too. I thought it was very well done and I was very happy that Eight finally got a regeneration. But more on that later.

0:09 Is it just me or does the computer sound rather smug here? Just a thought. Computers can have a way of sounding exraordinarily smug.

0:18 EIGHT!!! When I watched this minisode for the first time, that was also the first time I’d seen/heard the Eighth Doctor, and I immediately loved him. Maybe I’m biased because I know so many wonderful Eight fans, but I really like his opening lines in this, and the way he says them. “I’m a Doctor. Though probably not the one you were expecting.”

During the theme, more fangirling over Eight ensues. I sorely hope the movie will be ready at the library soon because I want to see it now more than ever.

0:38 As a side note, I like the way Eight walks here. That sounds strange, but it puts me in mind of brave adventurers and Shakespearean swordfights. Perhaps that’s the costume. I love Eight partially because of the costume. (Which I am not entirely sure is the same as his in the movie, so if you know, comment?)

0:46 When the Doctor says “Welcome aboard” and Cass says “Aboard what?” with so much longing in her voice, the way she smiles hopefully after she says it because she sees an escape, it’s heartbreaking. Especially considering what happens shortly afterward. I find the Doctor’s ability to instill hope in people so wonderful, it’s part of what makes the show so powerful, and that as well makes this moment particularly sad.

I love the music that plays while they’re running back to the TARDIS. Very dramatic and adventerous.

1:04 “I wanted to see the Universe.” The words spoken by so many throughout time and space by many a wanderer. Often in scenarios that sooner or later result in death, injury, destruction, or heartbreak. Every time I hear this line I like to think about how huge the Universe is, how dangerous, and how beautiful. And how we can none of us fully comprehend any of it.

1:06 “Is it always like this?” “If you’re lucky.” I love that brief little exchange. It’s so Doctor-y, and for me a touch nostalgic too. It makes me think fond, happy thoughts of a certain Time Lord and all his regenerations.

1:13 We’re starting to build up to it…

1:20 …and BAM! The pure and utter loathing in her voice when Cass says “Don’t touch me” is still moving to me. A few seconds ago he was her salvation, and now she couldn’t hate him more.

1:22 Oh Eight…”I’m not part of the war. I never was. I swear to you.” And then later he says he’s one of the nice Time Lords. I would love to see Time War episodes of Doctor Who to analyze Time Lords before, after, and during it to see how they change.

1:31 “Well look on the bright side, I’m not a Dalek!” “Who can tell the difference anymore?”
Oooooooooohhhhhhhh. Thses lines. These two lines are so, so powerful every time I hear them. The implication that the Time War has been so corrupting that the Time Lords are morally no better than their enemies, the Daleks, is staggering. This is part of why I’m okay with Eight being relieved of the burden of the Time War. He already gets hurt an exponential amount in the EDAs alone, I’d hate to think of him having to go through the entire war, especially because the Doctor has always been just that–a Doctor, a healer–and the war would change that.

1:37 Though I’m mad at Cass for hurting the Doctor, I can see why she does it, and I admire her dedication. She seals the door. She would rather die than associate with a Time Lord. Again with the power of the Time War.

1:41 “Go back to your battlefield. You haven’t finished yet. Some of the Universe is still standing.” Again. How terrible, how truely, utterly, horrifically brutal the Time War must be. And I don’t think Eight could have withstood all that evil as the Doctor. The Doctor is strong, but that much bad changes a person.

1:49 “I’m not leaving this ship without you.” Oh, Eight. Valiant to the last.

2:14 When I first heard them mention “Karn” I thought they said “Khan”, which led me to immitate Captain James Tyberious Kirk in a long, dramatic scream of “Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!”

2:24 I think the music that plays here is part of the episodes The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon, though I forget what the track is called at the moment.

2:31 I’m not dead yet!

2:32 I think the music that plays here is what the siren sings during The Curse of the Black Spot in season six.

2:52 “Four minutes? That’s ages. What if I get bored, or need a television, couple of books, anyone up for chess, bring me knitting.” I love you, Eight.

3:13 “Keepers of the Flame of Utter Boredom.” “Eternal Life.” “That’s the one.” Have I mentioned how much I like Eight? This quick exchange gives very good insight into the Doctor’s character.

3:45 I love the whole exchange with Eight saying it isn’t his war, and the Sister of Karn (I don’t know her specific name) countering that he can’t avoid the Time War forever, because I think it applies well to real life. Wars are inescapable, no matter what you do or where you live.

3:52 “Because you are a good man.” “I call myself the Doctor.” “It’s the same thing in your mind.” “I’d like to think so.” These lines are wonderful food for thought. What is good, and bad? What is the Doctor? Doctor means healer, but is it ever anything else than that? (Also I think the music playing here is Space 1969 from series six.)

During the whole part where the Sister of Karn is trying to convince Eight to join the Time War, I think she sounds very much like Galadriel. Not here voice, but the inflections, the tone, the way she uses volume and rhythm and whispers.

4:26 “You’re a part of this, Doctor.” “I would rather die.” “You’re dead already. How many more will you let join you?” Death as a theme is always very interesting to analyze in Doctor Who because the show has a lot to say on the subject about death and who’s responsible and its impacts.

5:05 Eight makes the decision to become a warrior.

5:09 “I don’t suppose there’s any need for a Doctor anymore.” *sobs* This minisode is riddled with powerful lines.

5:24 The music that begins here is more from series six, but again, I’ve forgotten the track.

5:34 There’s been lot’s of discussion about why he only mentions certain characters, and not Grace, who was his companion in the movie, but the one I like is a sad, spoilery one so SPOILERS FOR THE COMPANIONS MENTIONED IN THE MINISODE with the exception of Molly, whose story I believe isn’t finished yet, these are the companions that have died, which is so powerful and so interesting. OKAY SPOILERS DONE NOW.

5:48 “Physician, heal thyself.” EIGHT!!! He finally gets a regeneration. Not only that, but he gets a regeneration with beautiful, chilling, heartbreaking last words. I cried, and I haven’t seen Eight apart from this minisode. The fact that he’s casting off his title as Doctor, that he’s trying to cure himself of helping others because there’s a war on, is powerful and staggering and tragic and heartbreaking and so many words I could fill a page with them. I love his last words so much, and in my Doctor Who book it lists them as “unknown”, but now I have crossed that off and written in the words the fandom has waited for for 17 years.

6:21 Still more series six music.

6:36 “Doctor no more.” I just…I can’t.

Comments? Critiques? Questions? Thoughts?

A Few of My Sketches

Speaking of serialized posts, I’ve been meaning to post a few photos from my sketchbook here, so I thought I’d share some today. Here they are:

Le Drawing Number One

I apologize for the sidewaysness. I was having technical difficulties. This one started out as a random picture that popped into my head of a Victorian lady after she was jilted at the altar, but then I wanted to make the picture colorful and I added a fez and she sort of became sort of a female Doctor. I mean, she looks nothing like any of the Doctors, she just seems really Doctor-y.

Tenth Doctor Yeah

I started this a few months back after I watched Ten’s regeneration (sniffle sniffle). I’m not totally satisfied with it, but I thought I’d share it anyways. Again, I apologize for it being sideways.

The Enigmatic River Song

Urgh. This one didn’t turn out as I was hoping either, though I am proud of the hair. I am not proud of it being sideways.

Another Drawing

This started out of a character of mine but ended up not being the character. Of all the drawings I’ve posted it’s my favorite, although the image quality isn’t the greatest. Like I said, technical difficulties.

And that’s all for today. Hope you liked the sketches!

My Ships Sink Because of Canon

My appologies for the outstandingly bad puns in the title. If you haven’t been living as a hermit in a metaphorical cave like I have been the past fifteen years, you’ve probably heard of something called shipping, often spoken about with complaints about something called canon. If you haven’t heard of either of these words before, let me define them for you:

1. Shipping: the act of pairing two characters (or even people) together as a couple, usually but not always romantic.
2. Canon: the actual things that happen in the original work of fiction (Darth Vader being Luke’s father is canon)

People often use these two terms in the same sentence when they’re complaining about couples that aren’t actually couples in the original work of fiction. Hence, my ships do sink because of canon, just not all of them.

I’ve been meaning to post about my feelings on fictional romance for a while. Why I tend to generally dislike it, examples of the types of couples I actually do ship, and so forth. Originally I was planning on squeezing this all into one post, but because I love to overanalyze characters, I’ve decided to make it an ongoing series, title to be determined. This post I’ll reference in all future posts because in it I aim to explain why, exactly, I tend to dislike fictional romance.

I think that often times in fiction romance is poorly written. It takes over the plot or the life of the character, or there’s too much snogging right from the start, or the characters spend the entire time telling each other I love you without ever telling why, or the main guy/girl involved is gorgeous and alluring (because they always are). I could fill the list with hundreds of reasons why, but in this post I’m only going to focus on a few.

I’m not typically a very cynical person. I get romantic notions in my head about the rain and the snow and the trees, and I’m a foolish optimist, but when it comes to romance in fiction I am. I guess it’s because there’s rarely ever a time where I can see a happy (read: still in love with each other) future for the characters involved. Two teenagers who kiss after barely a week of being “in love” are not likely to be truly happy with each other for long, therefore I can’t ship them.

To build on my previous point, many characters barely have the chance to get to know each other before the start sneaking out in the shrubbery. One of my main problems with a lot of YA fiction is the sheer amount of underdeveloped romantic subplots. A girl will see a mysterious, gorgeous, brooding boy and instantly fall at his feet. It works in reverse, too. When I ship a couple I want to know that they fit well together, that they’re not just in love but best friends too, that together they’ll be an unbeatable team of perfect synchronization. Though teenage hormones mean that a quick and quickly added romance are most accurate, I still won’t ship a couple who I feel have no character development or personality.

I also dislike it when romances are, well, overly romantic. A passionate kiss in a moonlit apple orchard becomes significantly less romantic when there are passionate kisses in the apple orchard every other page starting at the exposition. I’m fine with kissing & things of that category in books, but I really don’t like it when it seems like that’s all the characters spend their time doing. Having the first kiss be in the first few chapters is also a sign of a poorly written romance in my mind.

The Beauty Effect. This happens in many romances and never fails to annoy me. A character will meet another character and is so blown away by their gorgeous physique that they instantly fall in love with them. Or, even if this doesn’t happen, the love interest(s) of a book are generally extremely attractive, sometimes more attractive than anyone else. I understand that in today’s society that has become a large component for romance, but I wish it weren’t such a big one.

I’ve spent a lot of time telling you about the types of romances I don’t enjoy, but what about the ones I do? Well, you’ll see examples of those in upcoming posts, but I’ll give you the general idea of it now.

I love to cry over fiction. It’s one of my favorite pasttimes. So naturally one kind I really like is that two characters who are obviously suited to each other don’t end up together. Generally this means a death, because there aren’t many other times when the romance just doesn’t work out in the end, but really it can be anything. I’ll sob and yell at the book and curse the author for not making it happen, but I know those romances wouldn’t be nearly as good if everything turned out well in the end. I’m like a Weeping Angel; I feed off of potential energy.

I also tend to like pairings that aren’t strictly canon, merely what I like to call “interpretive canon”, which is something that isn’t strictly canon but basically implied. Or I’ll ship something that isn’t canon at all because I think the characters would fit well together.

As you’d imagine, I also like romances that are generally the opposite of the things I highlighted above–developed, thought out, and not overly smoochy. And there are loads and loads of other criteria, but this post is rather long and you’ll see examples in future posts. So for now, I must sign off. Live long and prosper, readers.

Plans for NaNoWriMo 2013

As I have previously mentioned, for the past two years I have participated in National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. This year I also participated in Camp NaNoWriMo in April and July. Well, it is that time of year again, where the month of November quickly approaches and I frantically make last minute preparations of characters, plots, settings, and stock up on junk food (how convenient that NaNo begins the day after Halloween). I thought I’d post my plans for this year’s NaNo on my blog.

I’ve always been rather partial in my writing to the genre of fantasy. The four novels (as well as a couple on the side) I have previously written have all been fantasy, and this year’s novel is no different. However, my novel this year takes a bit of a different shape than in years previous.

In every fairy tale I’ve ever heard, the main character is always insurpassably lovely, “the fairest maiden of them all”. Even in most of the books I’m currently reading, and certainly in nearly every YA book I’ve ever read, there is always something beautiful about the main character or love interest. But what if there wasn’t?

Meet Cinder, a teenage girl who isn’t beautiful, pretty, lovely, exquisite, graceful, poised, charming, or in any way possessed with the graces of a fairy tale princess. Her mother died when she was a baby, her father not long after he remarried, and now she lives with her arrogant stepmother and vane stepsisters. And they are beautiful.

So, if you can’t tell, the main plottline of the story is based off of the story Cinderella; I’m actually planning on titling my book Cinderugly. But I’ve changed up the traditional tale and added in quite a bit, including a corrupt government system, a prince she loathes but somehow still keeps having to save his life, Death as a characters, mysterious black envelopes appearing in many kingdoms leading people on various missions, subplots that are really other famous fairy tales, LGBTQA+ relationships, and a team-up of princesses, princes, commoners, and age-old characters that may just have to save the world.

I’m really excited about my idea and have already started prep work for it. I hope to draw up a map of all the kingdoms, and if I do, I’ll try to post a picture here. In addition to Cinderella, I’m also using plots based on Hansel and Gretel, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, and The Twelve Dancing Princesses. I’m also referencing countless other stories in the book.

And that is my plan for NaNoWrimo 2013. I’m a bit apprehensive this year because I’ll probably be in rehearsals in November, and it’s my first time trying to write 50,000 words, which I’ve never even come close to before. And I’m writing by hand. So that’ll be scary.

What about you? Have you ever tried or wanted to try NaNoWriMo, or even just written a novel before? Got any survival tips for this third-timer so she won’t keel over with exhaustion halfway through the month?