Monday, January 25, 2016

Shadowhunters: TV Review

The Mortal Instruments series is one of my favorites. I was obsessed with the books when I first read them and was incredibly excited when the movie was set to come out. I thought Jamie Campbell Bower was the perfect Jace, and I loved Robert Sheehan in Misfits, so I was excited to see him as Simon. And I couldn't believe they got Jonathan Rhys Meyers to be Valentine.

And then the movie came out. It could've been worse, but it also could've been better. I didn't think it was so bad to cancel the rest of the movies though. (I admit, I don't remember the movie that much, so it could be just wishful thinking.)

I was less excited about the TV show. After, JCB and Robert Sheehan, I just didn't think they could top those actors. But I was interested in seeing how they would re-envision it for the small screen, especially on ABC Family/Freeform. And since it's one of my favorite books, I figured I'd give it a try.

The budget seems much bigger than I expected. They have some decent special effects and the Institute is much more high tech (and also much different than I pictured it in my head or in the movie). Dominic Sherwood is a decent Jace, although I miss the British accent that Jace has in the movie. I really don't like Katherine McNamara's portrayal of Clary. She's whiny and annoying, (and doesn't seemed fazed with running in stiletto boots, despite that not being her her normal look. Though obviously that's not McNamara's fault). I do like Matthew Daddario's portrayal of Alec (which I was iffy with in the movie). He's very subdued and seems like a stick in the mud, which is exactly what he's supposed to be.

The writing is not great, and some of the character choices don't make sense, but it's still early in the season. I feel like pilot episodes usually aren't great, so this series could get better. I've also watched the second episode and it seems like the pacing is still a bit off and they're getting bogged down with the world-building (I mean, it is a lot). This series also about the characters, and right now, the audience doesn't get much from them. To me, that's the biggest flaw, and I hope they can sort it out in the episodes to come.

I'll probably keep watching and hoping it gets better, simply because I loved the books so much.

If you've watched the first few episodes, what did you think? Will you stick with it?

Monday, January 18, 2016

New Years Resolutions - A few weeks in

As many people do, I made New Year's resolutions. But many people don't follow through with them or tend to stop after a few weeks in because of fatigue or business or what-have-you. So I wanted to do a check in with my New Year's resolutions.

I think I've done better expected with this one. According to my handy wall schedule, I've played Ultimate frisbee almost every other day. This is all because I signed up for two leagues, but I've been sticking to it. I've also been going to a dance class every Saturday. This kills my body for the rest of the week, but it's really fun, and I can feel myself getting stronger. My arm workouts, I've done, but they are, as always, last minute things I forget about. But overall, done well in this category.

Because of the above and because my story is so hard, I haven't been writing as much as I've wanted to. I've done okay at writing every day, but it hasn't been much. 250 words usually, 500 if I'm lucky. I just feel kinda stuck in the story. I don't really know where I'm going, so I've been putting it off, which isn't what I should be doing. My brain is also dead after school, so I haven't had enough time to really sort out the story. I've done a bunch of outlining, but it's still like pulling teeth every time I write. Anyone have any suggestions?

So far so good. Now I just have to keep up the pace.

This actually has been harder for me because of the late night Ultimate games and early bed times. But I'm carving out some time for this, though it might impede my writing schedule. (Though maybe it will help to get the juices flowing.)

How have your New Year's resolutions been going?

Monday, January 11, 2016

This story is hard.

I've been writing my current WiP for what seems like forever. In reality it's only been a few months off and on (more off, really, than on). But every time I write, it feels like I'm pulling teeth to get the words on the page.

This story that I'm writing is complicated and complex. I'm a perfectionist, so it's hard for me to let go and just let myself write, because I want everything to be perfect. But obvi it's not going to be; it's a first draft.

I know my ending (kinda), but I don't know the middle at all. So every time I write, I have to outline (which I do on paper), and then type. But it leaves me uneasy because I don't know where I'm going next. It's the first time I've written like this, but I haven't been able to make a full outline for this story, despite trying multiple times.

This story also has a large world. It's based on three different races, with different traditions and languages. As someone who loves linguistics, I want to create some words for each of these languages. So it's going to be a big project. Most of this is going to come in the revision stage, so I haven't thought of most of it, which might be holding me back subconsciously.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm ready to write this story. And I might not be. But once I get a first draft, I can put it away and save it for later if that's the case.

I just need to complete a first draft first.

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year's Resolutions: Writing Style

As the New Year approached, I started thinking about my resolutions. I do love making resolutions, because it's a time to start fresh and work on oneself. I always have these grand ideas of what that looks like, but I don't always get the details right. So this year, I'm going to be detailed in the three areas that I want to work on.

This always falls off the band wagon for me (is that the right expression?) because it just takes so much time. So this winter I joined two winter leagues for Ultimate frisbee. That means I will have games twice a week. I also want to take dance classes on Saturdays. That means at least 3 days a week I will be exercising. For good measure, I'd like to do an arm workout once a week (it only takes like 15 minutes, but I consistently don't do it). I've even started a wall where I write down what I've done so that I can see my progress. And this year I actually have motivation and a timeline, because I'm going to the Dominican Republic with my students in March for a service-trip.

I want to write every day. For me this is the best way I write, but also the most difficult, because I have zero time. I coach sports before school starts, so waking up early isn't an option (because I am non-functional at 4:30 in the morning) and stay at school til 5. But I want to change that. I want to leave school by 4 pm every day, so that I can come home and write for an hour. Not sure how that will work mentally, but for now, that's my plan. I'll change it if I need to. I'm not setting myself a word count for the day, just as long as I write something. If it's two sentences, while not ideal, at least it's something. And some days that might just happen.

I really like blogging, but again, don't always have time (see above). My goal is to have a blog post every Monday. It could be about books, writing, movies, or just general life, but something, ever Monday. I'm not sure it that's a realistic goal, but that's what I've set for myself.

This isn't a resolution, because for me, reading is like breathing. I read a few chapters every night before I go to bed and I want to continue to do that.

Do you like to make New Year's Resolutions? What are yours for this year?