Tag Archives: Voldemort

#SATurdate: The BFG, Butterscotch, The Nutcracker, & X-Men Apocalypse

12 Dec

This week flew by for me! Can’t believe we’re approaching 2016 already either. So crazy.

What I’m Writing:

Like last week, I’m working on additions in Take Me Tomorrow, book one of The Tomo Trilogy. I’m 126 pages into it. For original readers, I’m on the chapter No One Was Silent. Out of popular demand, I’ve added some extra info on the Phelps’ Massacre, but I’ve also added some extras myself, like information on the lumberyards, resource trading, why children are involved, and Wheston Phelps himself…which means, yes, there are extra scenes in the new version.

What I’m Publishing:

We’re still working on the covers for Bad Bloods! By accident, we worked on part two’s cover before part one, but I’ll tell you what, it’s awesome!

And the winning #1lineWed preview. This week’s theme was sound: The guy’s voice was as crisp and clear as the sound escaping the soda he popped open. He even took a sip.

Extra info: In Bad Bloods, aspartame plays a HUGE role in bad bloods’ lives. For those of you who don’t know what aspartame is, it’s an artificial, non-saccharide sweetener. It’s found in sodas, for instance, but in 2089, it’s outlawed. (There are many studies connecting aspartame to cancer.) That being said, aspartame—for some reason—affects the bad blood gene, and it works as an enhancer of sorts, so one of the protagonists has an addiction to it, which he gets through illegal Diet Coke. Funny thing is, truth can be stranger than fiction. Pepsi took aspartame out of their sodas this past year and is encouraging laws against it, despite the change not being very popular. Maybe Bad Bloods isn’t so far away from reality. 😉

Visit the PinterestFacebook, and the Extras page.

What I’m Reading:

decreads2I finished Winterspell by Claire Legrand. The PERFECT dark fairy tale retelling for winter, I gave this dangerous read 5 stars. You can read my full review here, but here is who I recommend it to: Fans of fairy tale retellings, but only to those who enjoy dark and twisted themes, especially with sexual undertones. This book includes a strong heroine, but not a perfect heroine (which, to me, is fantastic), and you’ll love everything if you love epic fantasies with their own world maps to tie everything together. Must love flowery, poetic, and detailed prose.

I’m also reading Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Volume 9 by Naoko Takeuchi. The Dead Moon Circus is my favorite arc. I freakin’ love it.

What I’m Listening To:

Glass Animals. I’ve been obsessed all week. Why? No idea. But it’s been sweet.

What I’m Watching:

Up in the Air: I adore this film, both for Anna Kendrick and the overall feel of the movie. Way to go, George Clooney.

movies

Dark Legacy: This is a JFK assassination (mind-blowing) documentary. Definitely recommended but definitely not for the light-hearted. The photos and videos are very graphic. I’m not saying I agree with the guy’s theory or anything like that, but I do enjoy seeing more information/connections than what is generally explained from traditional sources.

Dark Shadows: Believe it or not, I hadn’t seen this paranormal Johnny Deep movie yet, but now I have. It was wonderful. I enjoyed how kooky it was.

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

butterI made Gooey Butterscotch Blondies. NOM! But boy, were those sweet. Super sweet. Dark chocolate chip cookies were also involved this week. I’m insatiable. On top of that, a lovely lady gifted me with new espresso cups for my coffee addiction. I used them within 24 hours. I’m obsessed.

What I’m Wearing:

Fuzzy slippers. There are the bee’s knees.

What I’m Wanting:

The BFG Movie?! Are you serious?! I had no idea this was being made into a movie, let alone that the trailer was already out. I CANNOT wait. This book was one of my favorites as a child. I absolutely fell in love.

And, GUYS, The Legend of Tarzan movie. UGH. I mean, Alexander Skarsgård is one guy, but Christoph Waltz?? Could it get any better? (The answer is no.) I love them. 

AND, AND, the trailer for X-Men Apocalypse dropped too! This is probably the best week ever. You can watch it through IMDB.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

I’m only sharing one ITTY part of one GIANT dream I had, because it was by far the coolest one, but it was SO much longer than this.

Imagine Voldemort taking over the world to fight the Shadowhunters, but add all kinds of mutants from X-Men fighting in-between (not quite sure which side they are on at any point in time). Well, I am one of these in-between mutants. I’m not so much in war as I am trying to get my friends out of the war. So, I sneak into this crazy meeting in an underground party (underneath a grocery store of all things), and everyone here wants to kill me, but I’m disguised. (Of what, I don’t know. I couldn’t actually see me or what I looked like at any point. It was straight through my eyes, which caused this terrible shaky reality video game effect while dreaming.) But I found my friends about the time Voldemort found me, and the entire place erupted into chaos. I helped the youngest of my friends out—two young blondes that looked strangely like Luna Lovegood—and when we got to the parking lot, the building blew sky high, but this mutant kid runs out, and I stop, because I know him. He’s the definition of psychopath. He’s holding a sailing anchor—like the traditional type—and there’s a chain attached to it. It’s practically the size of his torso, but he screams out (for whatever reason), “Looks like you’re going sailing” before he throws the anchor and stabs people onto it, dragging them behind him until he finds his next victim. (And people question why I write so violently?) I managed to pull the anchor out of someone and hold onto it to stop him, but then he drops the chains and laughs, because he knows he can kill other ways. So I try to use his weapon against him, but it’s definitely way too heavy. So…then my cat jumps onto the bed and I wake up in a start and nearly chuck him across the room. I think my cat still hates me.

What Else Is Going On:

So, I don’t normally mention a lot of personal issues like this one, but I haven’t been around a lot on my social media, so I thought I’d say why. I had to get part of my scalp cut off for a skin cancer test. It was in the same place my grandfather had it, so…moving onto the good news: I’m cancer free. So, woot! But it was very stressful and concerning and just overall UGH. I’m also missing a piece of my forehead. But my little bits of hair are already growing back. Expect my face back on Instagram soon.

~SAT

#MondayBlogs: Writing Complex Female Villains

5 Jan

Intro:

Welcome to #MondayBlogs! Every Monday, a guest blogger will be covering a topic revolving around reading and writing, and today’s topic can be found on the more ominous side of literature. SiameseMayhem is a sassy reader and the writer behind Pirate Kitties: Musings on YA Novels and Pop Culture – a quirky and intelligent blog I absolutely recommend. Today, SiameseMayhem is talking about one of my favorite topics of all time – female villains – and how difficult they are to create, especially when literature is dominated by male villains. Cue the evil music and laughter. This one is delightful.

Writing Complex Female Villains

I am writing a novel, and I realize I have committed a terrible sin. My female villain revolves around the men in her life. Since she isn’t her own person, I’ve been allowing the plot to yank her around on a chain, instead of the other way around–and it should always be the other way around. Whenever I’ve needed something done, her motivations have changed to suit me. I haven’t developed her as much as my other characters, I haven’t been able to get in her head, and I’ve been seriously stuck.

It’s easy to create an interesting male villain. We have plenty of examples to pick from in film and literature, and their personalities are as varied as the colors in the rainbow. They go bad because destroying the world is too much fun to pass up, they go bad because a girl said no (ugh), they go bad because it seemed convenient at the time, or they go bad because their families were horribly murdered (cliched, but I’ll still go aww).

In other words, I can think of several male villains off the top of my head with varied reasons for turning to the dark side. Female villains? I’m struggling to think of any girls in Western media who had reasons for bad behavior other than a man. There’s Umbridge from Harry Potter, but we never learned what her motivation for torturing schoolkids was, whereas villains and antiheroes like Voldemort and Snape were given far more development. There was Victoria from Twilight, but her only reason for causing trouble was the death of her mate, James. However, both Umbridge and Victoria were formidable, competent opponents, which is more than I can say for most villainous women.

When girls get antagonistic roles at all, it is usually as the dreaded other woman. She’s the soulless, vicious, popular harpy you love to hate, prepackaged in the designer clothes you’ve always wanted (but you’d never admit it), and she is on her way to steal your man. (Honestly, though, if your boyfriend falls for a cliched other woman with more personality in her shoes than in her brain, he’s probably not worth keeping around.) Just a few weeks ago, I finished Teardrop by Lauren Kate. When the antagonist showed up, I was actually interested in her characterization. She was a Wiccan in a small Southern town, she wore black, she had cool tattoos, and she seemed like the opposite of the usual cliche. However, even her Gothic sensibilities couldn’t save her from draping herself all over a boy that the heroine didn’t even want. Obviously, she was the worst person ever, seeing that she perpetrated the unpardonable crime of poaching a member of the heroine’s harem. Meanwhile, the male characters spent the whole book fighting over a girl.

Teardrop is a small example, but it does show how differently female characters are judged. Don’t believe me? Visualize a hot, evil guy. When he’s not plotting to take over the world, he can be found caking on eyeliner and crying. At the end of the book, he steals the hero’s girl.

Predicted fan reactions: “ZOMG, you poor baby! Come to mama! I WILL NEVER LET THEM HURT YOU AGAIN. Btw, I totally shipped them from the beginning, the hero was so boring anyway, no wonder she left him.” And so on.

Now visualize a hot, evil girl. When she’s not plotting to take over the world, she can be found caking on eyeliner and crying. At the end of the book, she steals the heroine’s boy.

Predicted fan reactions: cannot be printed.

Women are hardly ever allowed to be hot, evil, complex, and independent all at once. We’ve made some major gains in 2014, it’s true, but we still don’t have enough bad girls in leather with complicated pasts who stay strong to the end.

In short, all I want for Christmas is more Maleficents. Maleficent may not fit the criteria I laid out at the beginning of this post, since her start of villainy results from the actions of a slimy boyfriend, but she wastes no time rising above that inauspicious beginning. She defends her land, she has other relationships besides the one with the slimy boyfriend, and she rocks those horns. Her character arc may begin dependently, but it ends independently, and that is the most important thing. Maleficent is how you write a bad girl.

Maleficent

Sometimes the best Christmas presents are the ones we give ourselves, so this holiday season, I am going to learn. I am going to spend time with my villain and nurture her and understand her and write her a long, tragic backstory before I even begin the novel. It may be too early to tell, but I think it’s going to be longer than the other characters’ backstories combined.​

Bio: SiameseMayhem likes cats, blogging, YA novels, and combining the three. She can be found on her newly hatched Twitter and on her slightly older WordPress. Do stop by sometime.

Want to be a guest blogger? Wonderful! I am accepting guest posts that focus on reading and writing. No blatant advertisements. You are allowed a book link in the post as long as it’s relevant to the post. Including a bio and a picture is encouraged. If you qualify, please email me at shannonathompson@aol.com. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

~SAT

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