Tuesday, 31 July 2012

New Summer Olympic Events Just For Canadians

My sister and I waiting for the flame to go by.
November, 2009. Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Okay, I'll admit it, I'm an Olympicoholic.

Two years ago, when the flame came through Halifax, I cheered on the side of the road as the runner went past. And I cried.

Today, we get twenty-four hour coverage. And that's fine by me because I'll watch anything at anytime.

I cry when they show the parents in the stands. I cry when they focus on an athlete, telling how he grew up in poverty, but through sport rose above his circumstance to become a gold medallist.

Maybe it's the pageantry, or the heart pounding race for the finish line, or maybe I just like looking at the awesome bodies on the male divers.

Whatever the reason, I can't stop watching.

However, the Summer Games, for a Canadian, are a little harder to watch than the Winter Games, where we usually get a few gold medals—being surrounded by snow all the time, it's natural to excel at bobsled.

So, as an Olympicoholic, and proud Canadian, I've come up with some 'Summer Events' Canadians would kick butt in.

1. The Barbecue Assembly. You may laugh, but have you ever tried to put one of these monsters together? Only a Canadian with a belly full of beer can pull this off in less than an hour.

2. Being Nice. If you're in a crowded room, the person squeezing through the bodies saying, "Sorry...excuse me", a hundred times, is a Canadian.

3Golf Ball Retrieval. Per capita more Canadians golf than any other country. That results in a ton of little white balls lost in the forest. And we always get our balls.

4. Making Out. According to a recent survey, Canadians are getting up close and personal on a more regular basis than any other nation on the planet.

5. Black Bear Wrestling. Especially if they've stolen our golf ball.

Enjoy the Olympics, my friends!

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Monday, 23 July 2012

The Bachelorette Season 8, Finale episode...FINALLY

Here's a story of a lovely lady...
photo credit, xfinity.com.net
Whoo-hoo, here we go. After ten agonizingly long episodes full of drawn out editing only made bearable by the awesome jewelry and clothes, ABC finally gives us closure on Emily's journey of love. But not before making us sit through the most agonizingly long episode evah.

Emily spends time letting us know she's still confused about who to love more, and that she hasn't decided if the guys will even meet Ricki before the final rose ceremony thingy. But let's get into the good parts. Now that Emily has whittled the pack down to Jef 'with one f' and Arie, it's their turn to meet THE MAYNARDS.

*cue the Family Feud theme*

Dear Jef,

Since you're meeting your potential future in-laws maybe jeans and a t-shirt was a bit casual?

That's all.

Love,

Your Aunt Bethany

Each family member gives their own take on the unique situation. Emily's mom, Suzy, takes him aside and asks, "Are you sure?"

"I want to marry her," Jef declares. "I'm set on it... There's not a single ounce of me that would leave her, ever."

Aw, that's nice Jef. Although, if you don't get a rose, the black SUV will come take you away regardless.

Emily's big brother, Ernie, brings the serious factor up a notch. "She's not going to settle if she doesn't feel right about it," he tells Jef. "The last man that she brought home was Ricky, and he was a perfect guy. Since then, every guy has tried to live up to who he was."

Wow! What can Jef possibly say to that? Think, man, think! "I've never been so in love with a girl," Jef says. "She's the best thing that ever happened to me."

And it works! Ernie's frosty expression melts like an ice cream cake at a birthday party in July.

Big Daddy Maynard is up next, and you can actually hear Jef swallow. But that skateboarding, poofy-haired kid has brought his game today. He looks Emily's dad in the eye and says, "I'm an old-fashioned type of guy and I definitely want to have your blessing before asking Emily to marry me...if it goes that way."

And what does Big Daddy do? "Well Jef, if you sincerely mean that, you certainly have my permission."

Geez, seriously? That's it?

Okay, bring on Arie! Zoom-zoom!

Arie tells us, "I need to make an amazing impression today. These could be my in-laws."

Yeah, that's how it works. Congrats on figuring out the confusing logistics of it all.

Dear Arie,

If you want to make a nice impression with Emily's family, just pretend you're Jef. Also, avoid speaking a different language in front of them.

Love,

Your Aunt Bethany

But Big Daddy has already cast his vote, and ABC is eager to create an illusion of conflict. "I'm not sure why we're even going through the actions of seein' another guy today," he tell us.

When Ernie and Big Daddy ask Arie about on of their favorite past-time, Arie responds awkwardly with, "I don't know much about fishing."

True. You and Emily spent most of your time making out on the boat, not actually fishing. Let's not bring that up, okay?

But just when you think the black SUV is pulling up to the door, Arie races around the corner and captures the checkered flag. He presents Emily's family with a box of dead roses. Hang on, people, it's not what you think. These are all the roses Emily has given him.

Aw, shucks.

"That just touched my heart," Suzy tells us. However, since her heart is also full of Jef 'with one f', she has no idea which one Emily should choose. "I just love them both!"

Hey, Mrs. M, don't forget about the Host. He want to be in your heart, too.

Ernie takes Arie aside and let's him know a bunch of dead flowers aren't the way to win him over.
"You're very smooth in the way you talk," he says to Arie. "And you seem very practised and good at it."

He is good at talking, Ernie, not just English but Dutch as well. And he's also good at making out with your sister on camera.

Arie says, not in Dutch thank goodness, "I've been in love before, but I've never met someone that I've just fallen so hard for." That, plus talk of enjoying dating another single mom, brings Ernie around.

Really? That's all it took? But he knows nothing about fishing for God's sake!?

Ernie admits to the camera, "I had my mind made up before I met Arie, but he was spilling his heart out to me...I'm just at a total loss as to what to tell my sister to do."

I'm hoping that Big Daddy won't let me down and grill Arie like every protective father should. He listens to Arie's pledge of love for his daughter.

Big Daddy has been listening to the producer's pleas for more drama, and he gives a nice long pause before saying, "You seem like a very nice fella and I know she thinks a lot of you...(another pause) you say she's the love of your life. That's a doggone good place to start. I'd be proud to have you in the family."

Emily walks a triumphant Arie to the door, "You killed it!" she tells him.

Arie tells us in the car, "I think if it was up to Emily's family, I'd be the one at the end, not Jef."

Hmm, I wouldn't be sure about that, Arie.

The family weigh in with their opinions, which are useless because they're as undecided as Emily.

Gee, I guess one meeting isn't enough. Perhaps if this was real life and the dating lasted more than a month. What will it take to help Emily make up her mind? Certainly not more time or a doses of reality.

"Honestly, in that split second, it made me question everything," Emily cries to the camera. "The fact that I still don't know who the guy for me is makes me wonder if any guy here is for me."

Okay, ABC, you heard her. Emily want another show. Pick twenty-five more guys, please.

Emily and Jef meet for their last date, and she confesses her confusion over letting Ricki meet him or Arie. But Jef steps up to the plate, and tells her, "Just because I haven't met her doesn't mean that I haven't been thinking about her every day...(insert dramatic pause)...but it's up to you."

Emily decides it's now or never and takes Jef to meet Ricki.

"Can you say hey? This is my friend Jef," Emily says to Ricki. Jef wastes no time and totally goes into Blue's Clues Mode.

He had me counting by twos and able to sing out the colors of the rainbow by the time the visit was over.

After 'the visit' Emily and Jef compare notes.

"She really likes you," Emily tells him.

"I really like her."

Emily smiles and says, "I feel like you really get me."

"I really get you, too."

I ask you, has Hallmark ever come close to saying it better than that?

The next day is Arie's final date with Emily, but when she opens the door it's the Host.

Ew!

Hold-on! She called him to come over because she needs some counselling. "I was so scared I was going to get to the final day and still be going back and forth between these two perfect guys," Emily says, "but this just did it for me. I know that Jef is everything I've been looking for."

*Sigh of relief* The end is near.

However, Arie is on his way for his last date with Emily—like really last, eh. *wink* Unfortunately, he makes a stop at Den Paradera botanic garden to make a love potion.

Dude, a guy with no confidence is NOT sexy...at all.

And if you thought Big Daddy was the king of long pauses, his five second silent stare is nothing compared to ABC's torturous footage of Arie picking flowers and telling us how he's going to be engaged tomorrow.

He meets Emily and quickly uncorks the bottle of love potion telling her how he has to rub it on her arms and legs.

Painful.

He's so into the moment he doesn't realize that they're NOT making out as usual. When he finally clues in to her crying he asks, "What's wrong?"

Emily drops her bomb, "I felt like it was going to be me and you. And I don't know anymore. I never thought that I would have to make a choice between you and anybody. I always thought it was just going to be me and you, honestly. And then, you know..."

Come on! That's the best Emily can do? A bit cruel I think.

Arie's face falls as the reality hits him, but Emily keeps talking. "I honestly thought it was going to be me and you, but I have more confidence with Jef, you know?"

You know? Yes, we all know! Please stop ending your sentences with questions.

"I don't know what to say," Emily says, after speaking for hours.

"Don't say anything." Arie gives her one last kiss on the cheek, and then he gets up and walks away.

"Arie...will you wait for me?"

Seriously? Let. Him. Go.

Arie whips around and gets in the last word. "Good luck. I don't think that you're going to get the goodbye that you want. I don't know what you want...Thank you for sparing me the embarrassment tomorrow, I appreciate that."

Enough yucky awkward feelings, ABC, let's get to the moment we've all been waiting for...the Proposal Platform.

I can't believe I just wrote 'proposal platform'.

Emily doesn't waste any time when Jef sheepishly arrives (thanks for ditching the jeans and t-shirt).

"I really do feel like you're my soul mate," she tells him. "I love you, so so so so much. I knew you were the one for me. You were the only one who got to meet Ricki."

Jef leaves us with these words, "God puts the right people in our lives with the timing is just right." He finally gets down on one knee and proposes.

She instigates the pregnant pause and then finally says, "Yes."

ABC follows with a live get together, which I confess, I didn't watch. Sorry, but my mind was reeling with all of these questions.

What if Ricki decides she doesn't like Jef after all?

What did Arie end up doing with that love potion?

Will Sean ever love again?

When does Ryan's reality show, "Too Sexy For TV" come out?

Will Jef ever let the sides of his hair grow?

What ever happened to Kaylan's Mr. Magoo glasses?

Meanwhile back at The Ranch, Jef's parents arrive home and ask where their little Jefie-poo is...


Thursday, 19 July 2012

A New Twist On Literary Crushes

photo credit, girlfriends.blogspot.com
I have a secret crush.

For years I've swooned over pages of fictional guys, re-reading the 'best parts', seeing their crooked smiles and leather jackets so clear in my mind, as if they were real. I've been building my list for awhile, starting in high school with shy but brave, Ponyboy (The Outsiders), to my recent addition, that smooth talking yet troubled Adonis, Wesley Rush (The Duff).

Me reading, not exactly as shown.
photo credit, blog.wefeelsecure.com

This is hardly ground breaking news and isn't much of a confession...unlike other posts. *blush*

However, my secret crush is of another vein of the literary infatuation—the author crush.

Maybe it's their writing style, or their witty on-line presence, or perhaps it's simply their sense of style, but each one exhibits qualities I aspire to and truly admire.

In no particular order,

Beth Revis. She has a cool website, wicked sense of humor, and actually thanked my on twitter once. *puts hand over heart and sniffs* 

Elana Johnson. She should receive an award. Her blog posts are inspirational for any writer, no matter what stage in their career. And she's a teacher, so that gives her twenty extra points.

Gennifer Albin. I've been following Gen since her amazing success story on Querytracker when she was looking for an agent. She's smart, savvy and is a real cutie patootie to boot.

Stephanie Perkins. Love. Love. Love her writing. That, plus her fluorescent hair, makes me want to adopt her as my uber-cool, younger sister. If you know her, send her this link, please.

Maureen Johnson. I shouldn't have to explain. Hands down, the best person to take a road trip with. Imagine the snacks and conversation!

How about you? Who are your author crushes?

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

The Bachelorette Season 8, Episode 10 "What The Guys Really Think Of Emily"


This episode was contrived by ABC to get two more hours of our life. They paraded on stage the past rejects un-rose worthy gents, to get their side of the story, and a chance to confront reconnect with Emily.

It was full of already seen footage coupled with the guys cat fighting each other. Also, there was a live audience of woman, who snickered and rolled their eyes with such perfect choreography it was as if someone with cue cards was holding huge signs that read, “GRUMBLE” “CHEER” “APPLAUD” “BOO”.

It wasn't entertaining. If you want something entertaining, check out Emily's cover of CALL ME MAYBE. It's hilarious and should be shared with your friends on twitter and facebook.
Unforgettable Moments aka Guys Being Awkward

In a taped interview, the Host asks Emily to recall the most memorable moments of the show. I can't help but think the Host is enjoying dissing the guys in front of her.  

Is it just me, or is the Host a little weird?

During the play date in the park, Ryan told Emily she couldn't gain weight after they got married. “I'd still love you, but I wouldn't love on you as much.”

Guess what, Ryan? You're not going to get any lovin'.

When Emily is breaking up with Doug, he leans in a gives her a kiss.

“Clearly, we're not on the same page.”

Which would be the last page, plus these two words, THE END.

The Host Interviews The Guys aka Bro Brawl

Chris said, “I was so crazy about this girl that I reacted over the top.”

Like making bobbleheads?

Red flag alert!
photo credit, realitymusings.blogspot.com

Kaylan said, “I guess my humor is wasted on a lot of people. Americans like things to be sugar coated.”

I believe Dr. Oz would agree with you.

Ryan said, “Everything I've done with sports has prepared me for this moment.”

I feel the same way about child birth, Ryan.
Chris said, “I'm looking forward to falling in love with that right girl.”

Interesting, because I've seen the preview for The Bachelor Pad, and Chris, there's no LOVE going on.

Sean said, “This was the first time my heart was broken. No one wants to feel inadequate in any way.”

Okay, tall, handsome, blond, blue-eyed, rich guy.

When Emily comes out, the guys stand and smile like goof balls, including the creepy Host.

All the fellas take turns telling Emily how falling in love with her has opened their eyes to how beautiful the world is...well, all of them except Kaylan.

Emily facing off with Kaylan, not exactly as shown
photo credit, starstills.com
He sort of appologizes, but Emily calls him out and says he's a liar. They exchange some remarks and the female audience let's Emily know, she's their Thunderdome hero. 


Apparently Emily has been checking up on Kaylan's twitter feed and he's been posting a few snaky jokes are her expense.

Dear Emily,

Do not follow ex-boyfriends on twitter or facebook. Seriously.

Love,

Your Aunt Bethany

The show ends with a  fifteen second blooper reel that was more entertaining than the past two hours. Two hours I'll never get back. *sigh*

The best part of this episode was The Dark Knight Rising trailer. The worst part was the constant promotion for ABC's new brain drain fest, The Bachelor Pad. Please, trust me, just look away. 

Check in next Sunday, when I'll be blogging the final episode...finally.

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Saturday, 14 July 2012

And We'll Get Married

Emily Maynard, ABC's latest cash grab Bachelorette, has been busy keeping this Monday's finale show results a secret—that and making commercials with Jimmy Kimmel.

Emily and Jimmy, not exactly as shown
photo credit, projectionbooth.blogspot.com

However, since her visit to Dollywood, Emily has been itching to get into the music scene. With the phenomenal success with Carly Rae Jepsen's CALL ME MAYBE, Emily would be a fool not to take advantage a chance and record a cover of the catchy tune (but with her own unique lyrics, of course).


AND WE'LL GET MARRIED

Brad didn't end so well,
Don't ask me, I'll never tell
Then ABC called me and said,
Be our Bachelorette instead

I'd trade my soul for prime time,
Free clothes and jewelry are mine
The camera men are all set,
Now I'm 'The Bachelorette'


Twenty-five guys to pick from                                           
I smiled like it was the prom
I made headlines with my gown,
I make The Host act like a clown

Hey, I just met you,
And this is crazy
But take this rose please,
Emily and The Host Guy
photo credit, possessionista.com
And we'll get married

It's hard to look bad,
In these stilettos
But take this rose please,
And we'll get married.


All the other boys,
Try to chase me
But take this rose please,
And we'll get married

I picked you for the solo date,
You told me I looked just great,
I said, "Thanks, ya'll are cool."
And now I'm into you


photo credit, glitzythings.com
Free trips to Europe all the time,
Bloggers get jealous on-line
But I take it all so well,
'Cause I'm a Southern Belle


Twenty-five guys to pick from,
I smiled like it was the prom
I made headlines with my gown,
I make The Host act like a clown

Hey, I just met you,
And this is crazy
But take this rose please,
And we'll get married


Before I had my own show,
I missed boys so bad
I missed boys so bad,
I missed boys so, so bad
photo credit, glitzythings.com


Before I had my own show,
I missed boys so bad
And I was so sad,
I was so, so sad

Before I had my own show,
I missed boys so bad
And you should know that
And we'll get married



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Next Monday I'll be blogging the final episode of The Bachelorette.

Cheers!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

What Every Scene Needs

Where the magic happens...
Imagine your novel as a storyboard; a series of graphic organizers (sticky notes on the wall above your writing desk) displayed in sequence for the purpose of visualizing your story.

Each sticky note represents a scene with a brief description or illustration detailing what happens.

Now pick one sticky note. Is this scene essential to moving the plot forward? Could it be more effective at another point in the story or should it be pulled off the wall and out of your novel completely?

If you're not sure, go down my check list and see if your scene has what it takes to keep the reader interested.

Setting 

Ground the reader in place and time, but instead of saying it was a hot morning, describe how your protagonist is already sweating in their shorts and flip flops at the breakfast table.

Tension

What is at stake for the protagonist? What is preventing them from reaching their story goal? There should be conflict in every scene.

Emotions

Show how your characters are feeling. Describe body language. Connect the reader to the POV's emotional state. Don't forget about senses.

Dialogue

Employ key phrases for characters, but be careful of repetition. Nail the voice. Does it move the plot forward or is it just chit chat?

Action

Action can be as simple as your protagonist finally dialling up her secret crush, or as complex as a car chase through road blocks and marching bands.

Internalization

Have your characters give the reader information by either letting them know what they're thinking, or through flashbacks. Be careful not to give away all the secrets at once. Only enough to send your protagonist on another task that will lead to the next scene.

Hook

A development the reader wasn't expecting that throws more conflict toward the protagonist, and keeps the reader invested and turning the pages.
So, how does your scene measure up?

What are some of your favorite scenes from novels?



Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The Bachelorette Season 8, Episode 9 “Emily's Super Amazing Dry Tears”



Emily hoping to find true love, not exactly as shown.
photo credit, usatoday.com

We all know true love's kiss can do many things—break a spell, end a curse, reveal inner beauty, or in Emily's case, help her decide which guy will be Ricki's new daddy.

ABC spares no expense and flies Emily to Watamula, Curacao. It's a hot place with plenty of beaches so the producers made sure she packed only bikinis.


Smiles everyone, smiles!
photo credit, freewebs.com

Emily talks about how awesome it was to travel the globe making out with guys who fell in love with her. 

Wasn't there something about staying close to Charlotte because of Ricki?

Whatever.

ABC treats us to a film montage of the last three guys with Emily's voice in the background.

“Sean is the only who hasn't told me he loves me yet, and as a girl I need to get my head around that.”

He knows if he makes it to the end he has to propose right?

“Jef is the kind of guy that makes going to the grocery store exciting.”

Not only can he burp the whole alphabet, I bet he knows the jingles to Cocoa Puffs and Count Chocula, too.

“I call Arie, sweet Arie. And when I imagine a life with him, I know he would adore me forever.”

Or at least until the Botox wears off.

“After everything I've been through, it's made me look at love in a more realistic way.”

Oh yeah, this show has realism all over it. That's why they call it reality TV because it's so real. I mean it's lousy with reality. Haven't we all shared Emily's experience of jet setting around the globe while dozens of guys fight for our attention?

“I'm at a point where I just need to clear my mind and come to a decision.”

And everyone knows the best way to clear your head is to make out with three fellas.

Sean gets the first date on the island. He sees Emily waiting for him on the beach. “This place called paradise is super romantic,” he says.

Wow, not just romantic, but super romantic. This must be where the Avengers vacation.


The Avengers racing for the best spot on the beach.
photo credit, abduzeedoo.com

When you're with Emily, you not only get to go to Curacao, you get to go on your own private island. They hang out on their towels as Emily grills Sean about his last girlfriend.

The sun beats down and there is no shade. These two are so fair skinned I'm worried they're going to spontaneously combust. SUNSCREEN ALERT!

Sean talks about how how he doesn't have any doubts about their relationship. We all lean forward waiting for him to say those three words Emily's been dying to hear. He takes a deep breath and says, “I forgot what I was going to say.” Emily's shoulders slump and I have to say, I'm disappointed too, I was hoping for better jewelry this episode.

Magically, pillows and a six course meal arrive on their private beach. Sean manages to say how much he loves her without actually saying he loves her. He reads a letter her wrote for Ricki which is quite lovely and sincere. But Emily is STILL waiting to hear him say 'I love you'.

Emily, open your eyes. He's showing you, not telling you. For the love of Pete woman, let it go. Oh, never mind, he just spilled the beans.

Now Emily has all three guys officially in love with her. She gives him the golden key to her fantasy suite.

*cue the hot tub and gratuitous bikini scene*

Emily says, “Sean is so hot and so manly. Every fibre in my body is telling me to let him stay tonight. But every fibre in my head is telling me to take it slow.”

And every fibre in your cereal is a good way to start your morning.

Sean gives Emily a good night kiss and says there is no doubt that they're getting married.

Jef arrives the next day and Emily takes him for a sail. They talk about his parents (suspiciously missing from  last week's episode) and having kids. They confirm over a tray of pineapple kabobs that they 'get each other.'

They spend the rest of the day jumping into the water...like a hundred times. The underwater camera man takes many shots of Emily's bikini.

Jef says, “I now realize what spending time with someone you love means.”

Apparently it's about making sure you get your turn before she goes to the next guy.

Jef and Emily have a question and answer session during dinner. He asks why she isn't with anyone because she's so awesome and would attract awesome guys.

Yes, thank you! That was my question the very first episode.

She says, “There has to be that unspoken...I don't know. Something's always been missing.”

Like a noun maybe?

Emily's big blue ring looks like it could open up and have soft perfume that AVON use to sell. Remember those? They were so cool.

photo credit, missbargainhuntress.com
Emily and Jef continue to talk and the soft guitar plays on in the background. Emily tells Jef that she pictures him in her kitchen as she makes sandwiches for Ricki.

She also pictures him in her fantasy suite and she gives him the golden key.

But Jef pulls the gentleman card and gently turns her down. Emily tries to save face by thanking him for giving her the right answer and that she wouldn't have let him stay. She later tells us that she was upset because he robbed her of the chance to turn him down.

*rolls eyes*

Where are Arie and his twin brothers? He won't even read the note, he'll take the key and sprint to the suite.

Then Jef says, “There's a time and place for everything, and now is the time to bridle our passions.”

Jef, stop reading the back of Harlequin books.

Arie arrives the next morning and they're making out before the boat clears the shoal.

Emily tells us, “It's hard to talk because we always want to kiss each other.”

I cry for the amazing and witty chit chat that we'll never get to hear.

Arie and Emily spend the day swimming with dolphins, then have a private dinner that no one eats. Have you noticed that? But they're always drinking...

Arie is surprised to discover Emily gets up way before 6:30 in the morning. I'm sure makeup and hair have something to do with that. Emily tells him she would move to Arizona if they were to get married...you know, if it was the best for Ricki and everything.

All she wants for Ricki is to have a father figure to love her like a real dad. Arie says he wants to be Ricki's friend first and let the relationship build from there.

Hmm, a different approach from Sean, let's see how that plays out.

Emily says that as a role model she can't give Arie the fantasy suite key because she doesn't trust her inner fibres. In fact it makes her cry that she can't have him.


Emily arrives, not exactly as shown.
photo credit, frankensteinandmyrhh.wordpress.com
Now it's time for the Rose Ceremony. Emily dons a mermaid skirt and Phoenix necklace (wha?) and spends more of ABC's time doing a lot of crying and telling the Host she was hoping to get clarity on the island. He nods and says, “yeah...right.”

They continue to talk for the next ten minutes but there's nothing to blog about. *drums fingers on keyboard*

She finally says, “I try to put myself in each of the guys' positions in the best way I can.”

*Giggles*

Emily watches video messages the guys have taped for her, while they line up for the rose ceremony. I wonder if Jef and Sean will mention the fantasy key to Arie? How pissed would he be?!

The Rose Ceremony finally starts. Emily is so sad, she's crying dry tears.  

Hold on. I have a solution. A new reality show called "Big Bachelorette Love". It would be like a polygamy Mormon dating show. No need to only pick one guy. Take them all.

Jef gets the first rose and he blushes. The second rose goes to...Arie.

Sean is now emotionally crippled beyond repair. He will never date again. Emily was the only girl who made him want to say the “L” word.

He says to Emily, “I think you should know this is going to hurt me.”

No kidding. Chin up though, pal. I here the Monks are always looking for new recruits.

Dear Sean,

You're a gorgeous, blond-blue eyed male in America with rich blond parents, plus there's the pool in the backyard. Your life isn't that tough.

Love,

Your Aunt Bethany

The episode ends with Emily crying her dry tears.





Thursday, 5 July 2012

How To Give Your Readers An Unforgettable Ending

A story is more than a sequence of events that lead to a crisis and result in a resolution—it is a journey that should invest us emotionally, so that by the time our hero faces the crisis we're hoping for a happy ending for him.

Earlier, I posted about great beginnings, building the action through the middle, and how to write a nail biting climax. Now I'd like to focus on making sure your conclusion resonates with the reader in a way that is both rewarding and incendiary.

There are a number of ways to finish a story, but depending on what kind of ending you'd like to write, you'll have to ask yourself these questions.

Will my hero succeed in achieving the story goal?


What do I want my hero to learn?


Do I want him to learn from his mistake or his success?


Whether you want a happy outcome or not, your ending will probably fall into one of the four categories.

1. Comedy. The protagonist achieves the story goal and his success results in a positive outcome.

In A Christmas Carol, Scrooge is able to find the true meaning of humanity and vows to change his ways, becoming a charitable person for the rest of his life.

photo credit, blogmoviefone.com

2. Tragedy. The protagonist fails to achieve the story goal, and his failure results in a negative outcome.

In The Crucible, John Procter is falsely accused of being a witch and is unable to convince the courts of his former lover's jealousy towards his wife. He is forced to falsely confess, but in the end he is unwilling to lie and is hung to die.

photo credit, filmous.com


3. Tragi-comedy. The protagonist fails to achieve the goal, but his failure results in a positive outcome.

In The Golden Compass, Lyra is unable to save her best friend, but his death results in her discovery of a bridge between worlds.
photo credit, tumblr.com

4. Comi-tragedy. The protagonist achieves the goal, but his success results in a negative outcome.

In The Great Gatsby, Jay uses criminal means to acquire the riches and lifestyle he's sought after in hopes of impressing Daisy, only to lose her and eventually his life.

3quarksdaily.com

No matter which ending you create for your hero, make certain you conclude with the same style and voice you've established throughout the story. And remember, even though you may not have a happy ending, the central conflict must be resolved, and loose ends or significant questions should be answered.

I hope you found this helpful. You may want to check out Glen C. Strathy's site. He has excellent tips for plotting, and in particular, nailing your ending.
What are some of your memorable endings? 

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The Bachelorette Season 8, Episode 8 "It's Getting Stupid Hot"


This episode, Emily goes to the four remaining contestants's hometowns to meet her possible future in-laws.

Emily would have worn nicer pajamas.
photo credit, screenwritersutopia.com
Up first is Chris with the freaky wolf eyes. It's obvious from the hugs and kisses at the door that his family are just as desperate to marry Emily as he is. He drops the L word when she leaves that night, and she thanks him for making her feel so special. 

I'm spending no more time discussing their date because we all know he's not getting a rose.

Next, Emily goes to Utah to meet Jef's family.

Fashion alert! I totally love the white sundress and frye boots. And the bracelets? Yes, please.



photocredit, possessionista.com

Emily and Jef bond over shooting clay pigeons. She's worried because he once told her he broke up with a girl because his parents didn't like her. But it's okay, Emily, because his parents are “away” in South Carolina doing “charity work.”

Of course they're not able to meet their son's future wife. South Carolina is impossible to get out of these days without all the proper passport documentation—especially if you're in prison or something else your family is trying to cover up.

Emily says, “I'm going to have to work my charm on a lot of sisters and brothers. Wow, there are a lot of people here and they're all related to Jef.”

Yup, that's what 'meet the family' means.

Jef's brother, Steve, talks with Emily. It must be weird for her to sit down with a guy and NOT make out with him. Steve says, “Love's not an investment, it's an adventure.”

Yes, but love is also a battlefield, love is in the air, love is a 4 letter word, love will keep us together...

Jef, not exactly as shown
photo credit, funnyordie.com
Jef's sister's discuss if Jef is ready to be a daddy and do grown-up stuff like shaving and taking out the garbage. Emily tells them she's willing to move Ricki so she can experience a big family.

Um, so...what are Ricki's grandparents thinking about this?

Emily's Southern charm wins over Jef's family. They watch the sunset as he recites a love letter. And it would be lovely if it didn't take six different takes. Those ABC producers are ruthless sometimes.

Next stop is Arieville Arizona. And of course new jewelry. Emily goes to the race track and watches him peel off his race suit and says, “Arie looks stupid hot.”

After they put on proper protection, he gives her a ride. She tells us she was scared at first because it was so fast, but then she relaxed when it got smooth. Yes, they're still on the race track, perverts!

Arie warns Emily that his parents are more European then what she's used to in the South. Why is Arie so worried? Doesn't he know Emily has the power to charm EVERYONE...even Europeans.

Emily says Arie is one of her favorite guys and she'll be crushed if they don't absolutely adore her.

Or at the very least hug her like Chris' family did.

Arie has twin brothers! Whoo-hoo. And they're cute. And they love her accent.

And I'm crossing my fingers for a new YA reality show called "Twin Netherland Bachelors, A Prom Night To Remember." 

Dutch Speed Skaters. I rest my case.
photocredit, tumblr.com

Arie's mother begins to speak Dutch and Emily can only sit and smile while trying to pick out words like IKEA and Ricola.

Arie's mom takes Emily for a chat. She asks about her failed relationship with Brad. Emily answers straight forward, then turns the tables and asks the mom if Arie is ready to settle down. Within a Southern minute, Emily has the mother laughing and cheering for them to go all the way.

With brilliant maneuvers like this, how the South lost the Civil War I'll never know.

Up next? Sean, in his own environment. He tells us it's been years since his family has met any girlfriends.

Huh, that's um...interesting. And by interesting I mean weird. And by weird I mean suspicious.

Enter Emily and my new favorite piece—her pendant necklace. She says, “Sean is so perfect, he could drop a huge bomb and it couldn't matter.”

Uh-oh. Don't say stuff like that.

Sean's family getting ready to great Emily.
photo credit, terridaniel.com

Sean takes Emily to meet his family and she fits in quite nicely with the Barbie dream palace of perfect blond and blue-eyed people. In front of everyone, Sean tells Emily his big secret...he still lives at home.

“Cool,” Emily says.

Man, nothing can knock this chick off her game.

He takes her on a tour and shows her his room. It's full of stuffed toys and left over food. And it's a joke. Okay, Sean has always seemed like a stiff shirt to me, but this was pretty funny. Ten points for Sean.

Sean sits down with his dad and they finally have that talk about the birds and the bees. Emily then tells Sean's dad how impressed she was by his love for his family. They sigh contentedly at how their little Sean has really grown up.

At the end of the family date, Emily drives away, but Sean runs after and is rewarded with an open mouth kiss. Emily said a few episodes ago, that she likes to be pursued. Nice work, Sean.

It's time for the rose ceremony and this is where accessorizing is so important. All she needed was a few bracelets and hair extensions. No necklace or earrings tonight, and it totally works.

The first two roses go to Arie and Jef. The stupid Host comes out from behind the curtain to let us know there is only one rose left.

Duh!

Sean, of course, gets the last rose.

And really, Chris, you can't be upset. You were supposed to go last week.

Chris was almost as gracious.
photo credit, postmodernbarney.com
*Cue the soft guitar music*

Emily tries to explain her reasons, but Christ cuts her off, “I told you I loved you. How much faster was this supposed to go?” he asks.

Well, maybe if you were stupid hot, instead of being such a whiny baby.

“I'm ten times the man those f&*^ing dudes are back there.”

Yeah! Right on, man. Here, have a tissue.

And then there were three...

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