Category: Rants & Raves

Wisteria Lane

I didn’t realize how much I missed Desperate Housewives until I was watching the first episode in the second season of Body of Proof and Dana Delaney made a reference to the fact that she used to live in a cul-de-sac like this… It was absolutely perfect. Only fans of the show would’ve caught it and it had me pining for the good ole’ days of Wisteria Lane.

Just Sayin’.

Dream Project: Full Cast Audio Books

I’ve said before that I’ve recently become addicted to audio books. I remember the first one I ever heard. I was in my late teens. It was, of course, a Stephen King novel, as were so many of my firsts. First horror novel (Carrie), first movie that truly scared me (It), and first audio books (Desperation & The Regulators). They were so superbly narrated, adding music & noises for effect. They were actually released under Richard Bachmann, supposedly found by his wife after his “death”. Now, of course, everyone knows he is one and the same. I only wish I could find another audio gem. They are few and far between, let me tell you.

Audible has a few dramatized audiobooks, I listened to a couple. The first was “The Child”, which was very well done in my opinion. It was more of a psychological mystery, but there were a couple parts of it that were beyond eery. There is a character, “the Voice,”  that when you are listening to it in the dark is enough to give anyone chills. Lots of twists & turns, but its about some dark subject matter so be aware. I also listened to Neil Gaiman’s “Neverwhere”, which was super cute and had a full cast of very familiar actors; Anthony Head (Giles from Buffy, who I know VERY well), James McAvoy (Filth, Wanted, X-Men), Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock), Natalie Dormer (Anne Boleyn from the Tudors & now Margaery Tyrell from Game of Thrones).

I was also lucky enough to stumble upon “We’re Alive“, a full cast zombie podcast. I became immediately obsessed with it and listened to the first 3 seasons (each about 10 hours long). If you are a fan of zombies or apocalyptic events in any form, I highly recommend checking it out. It’s free on their site, or you can get the audiobooks on Scribd, audible, or itunes. I think its available on the Stitcher app, too.  I thought it was amazing. And I went on a search for more like it. There aren’t any that I can find.

After listening to a ton of audiobooks, I found myself thinking, “Sheesh, I could narrate better than half of the crap they have on here.” I even started reading some of my books out loud, seeing how I sounded. I felt really stupid when it came to reading the different characters. I mean, how many voices can a normal person make? And then I started thinking of ways I could make money from reading out loud. I could be a good narrator…… And then a light bulb went off. Ding! Ding! Ding! I know what I want to be when I grow up! (Yes, I know. I’m already grown up). However, I have done absolutely nothing but wasted my youth meeting the wrong person and then spending the last 5 years of my life eating ice cream and feeling sorry for myself.

I have an idea, but it’s not realistic. Not for someone like me (your average plain jane – no money, no originality). But I’m still going to share it: I wish I could start a company that took books and turned them into full cast dramatizations. With music, and sound effects and different characters. Like, a movie in your head. I know its something that I wish I could find more of, so I know there HAS to be other consumers out there like me.

Getting the rights to work with the stories would be my main problem. The fees alone would probably be crazy. Not too mention all the legal mumbo jumbo. And I don’t have any “free” stories to work with. Plus, I don’t know what I’m doing, anyway. It’s not like I have access to sound effects or good music. Or an editing program. Or people to read the different parts for that matter. So, like I said, I know its not a realistic idea. But its definitely a dream worth having.



WANTED: Challenges & Weekly Prompts

Searching for recommendations.

Last year, I was part of a weekly challenge to write a story a week based on a weekly prompt. Although I didn’t participate every week, I loved being a part of the small community of writers. I’ve searched for other weekly challenges and prompts, but it’s hard to find the good ones. So I figured I’d ask here to see if anyone could recommend good sites that have weekly/monthly challenges. Flash fiction, micro-fiction, poetry, short stories….

If you know of any, please make a list in the comments.

I had a dream last night

I had a dream last night. I don’t remember much, but I remember waking and this wave of sadness rushed over me. I dreamt of Patrick. He was a boy I knew when I was young. I first met him in fifth grade through Dari, my best friend at the time. They were cousins and we went to the after school YMCA program together. In middle school, my mom enrolled me in the YMCA’s summer program. That’s where I saw him again. He was two years younger than me and had a spitfire of an attitude. But he had the most beautiful blue eyes I’d ever seen. I think I was a little in love with him, even then. We became close friends but when the summers stopped, so did our friendship. He was a grade below me so I didn’t see much of him after that. Years went by and although I never forgot him, he became a thing of my past.

It wasn’t until I was 24 that I’d see him again. I had already been through one marriage and had my daughter. I was in a good place at that time. I had a great job and I was newly single and all about having fun. One night, on a weekend excursion to Midnight Rodeo, a country bar that I had frequented for years, I ran into Patrick. A country dance saloon was far from his cup of tea and he was completely out of his element but he was there  with a group of his friends. My heart fluttered. It was different from when I was younger but still somehow the same. I’ll still never forget his eyes. They were mischievous and captivating and oh, so blue.

We started to see each other, for lack of a better term. He lived in a house in town with a couple of his friends. It was party central there, booze and party drugs and everything in between. Soon, his friends became my friends and because as a taxi driver he worked odd hours, I would go over to the house and hang out until he got back. Everything was fun for awhile, but I knew he was never really mine.  There was always a distance there and he would never fully let me in. Things started to change and he began to push me away. One night, Patrick called me and by the time I got to the house, a party was in full swing. Not unusual for a weekend but this time, for me, it was different. I walked in and the first thing I saw was Patrick, strung out with some girl all over him. My stomach dropped and I left. I remember sitting in my car and crying. I never really recovered from that moment. What to someone else would seem so trivial was earth-shattering to me. I’ve only been in love once, the real kind. But Patrick was one of those young crushes that could easily have been the forever kind.

I didn’t see him again after that. I moved on but he was never far from my mind. A year and a half later, he died in a motorcycle accident. His friend was driving drunk and they ran into a pole. The driver survived, but Patrick, who had been wearing a helmet, died instantly from a broken neck. I remember getting the phone call from my best friend, Robyn. She was friends with him and the driver and heard about it almost right away. That was a hard night for me. I was already with someone else. Someone I had been with for almost a year and thought was the love of my life. He knew about Patrick and everything that had happened. I burst into tears when I hung up with Robyn – even though we hadn’t parted on the best terms, Patrick still had a major impact on me. The realization that I would never see him again, that no one would ever see him again crashed down on me. The response I received for my tears was just as disheartening. He was mad that I was upset that Patrick was dead. To him, it was an issue of jealousy… I was crying over another man. So, I waited for him to go to sleep and then I grieved alone.

When I woke this morning, it took a while for the dream effect to wear off. It had felt so real, so true, like I was 24 again and I had a chance to do it all over.  All those feelings came rushing back to me and I haven’t been able to shake it off all day.

Very few people know this story. It’s the first time I’ve put the whole thing into words. To this day, I wonder if things would’ve ended differently if I had stuck it out. Maybe he would’ve been with me that night instead of with Bud, driving on the motorcycle. All I know is that this heavy weight of depression has been on me all day. Whether its because of the dream, or losing Patrick or life in general, I don’t know. But it’s the only real thing I’ve felt in a very long time and I’m sure its not a good thing.

Movies… schmoovies….

Apparently I’m on a dystopian kick. Last night I finally watched Divergent, which I have been putting off since it came out. Don’t get me wrong, the premise sounded awesome and it looked like a good movie, however I just don’t like Shailene Woodley very much. …. That being said, I’m glad I did watch it. It was probably one of the better movies I’ve seen in a long time. Along with The Maze Runner, which I’ve been waiting to see.  I just finished watching it. Both were excellent.

I’m a HUGE movie buff and lately it seems as if they’ve been putting out a bunch of crap. I’ve been sorely disappointed with the past few years save for a few top runners. Course I definitely lean more toward the fantasy and horror genre. Epic fantasies are my all-time faves (think LOTR, Game of Thrones) but I love me anything paranormal, supernatural or ghostly (Insidious/The Conjuring). Dystopian/Sci-fi (Hunger Games & Divergent) and end of the world shit (World War Z, 28 Days Later, Contagion)  … Crime Thrillers garner my love, too (Thorne: Sleephead & Scaredy Cat). Really, anything dark or empty gets my attention. But I don’t really do gory. Not that I don’t like it, but its not SCARY. It’s just gross. And to me, its all about being scared or thrilled or captivated by the imagery.

I’m on an audiobook kick, too. I’ve got a free month on Scribd and I’ve been listening as I fall asleep at night. It’s much easier than reading. 🙂 My only problem is, I fall in and out of sleep as the book keeps playing so I am constantly having to find my place. It’s amazing at how many really bad narrators there are, though. I mean, I’m severely disappointed. I’ve only been able to find about 2 or 3 narrators that don’t ruin the book for me. And I’ve tried like 50 books. Course I’m very limited on the books I have to choose from, but Scribd is a MUCH better deal than Audible. Audible is ridiculously expensive. With Audible, you only get one credit a month at $14.99, then you have to pay full price for anything else you listen to. Which sucks, especially if you can’t get into to book. They give you samples to play, but it’s too hard to tell from a 3 minute excerpt. With Scribd, you get unlimited streaming AND reading for $8.99 a month. They have 500,000 e-books and over 30,000 audio books right now to choose from, and I believe they’re working on getting more. A LOT of them are top authors. For me the most important one was Stephen King…. they have all of his books to read and I am a major fan, so that in itself is worth it. They give you a free month trial, so you can’t go wrong. No harm, no foul. God, listen to me. I sound like a spokesperson.

That being said, I’m trying to get my creative juices flowing again. Like I’ve said before, I have tons of inspiration, but for some reason, my mind shuts down when I go to spit it out.