Thursday, January 19, 2012

THE DEVIL INSIDE belongs in a Red Box

As a huge horror movie fan, I couldn't wait to see THE DEVIL INSIDE


The first half was intriguing, mainly because of the argument: are people possessed by demons or merely psychotic? The scene in the hospital room chilled me to the bone. Whoever played the possessed mother deserves an Oscar nod simply for "acting" like some  my patients.

As for the rest of the movie...well, this sums it up:


The original EXORCIST is still a thousand times better. Lame ending, too. Wait for cable.

GRAPEMO 2012: Gearing Up!

YES, it's true: GRAPEMO 2012 begins on Feb. 1st.

This will be our FIFTH Annual Grapemo Writing Month--can't you believe it? For those of you who have no clue what I'm talking about, let me give you a little background. Grapemo (dubbed that by the brilliant OPHELIALAUGHS is based on National Novel Writing Month. NaNo is awesome, a great way to jumpstart a writing project--but a lot of writers, put off by required 50k word count, often drop out. Myself included. Not in a million years would I ever knock NaNo--both THE UNQUIET and SAY THE WORD started out as NaNo novels--but it can be overwhelming.


The "rules" are simple.

1. Instead of a goal set by someone else, you set your Personal Writing Goal (PWG).
This can be whatever you choose.
Though many people like to stick with the word counts, whether it’s X number of words in 30 days, it can also be X number of chapters or pages. No goal is too small!

Your PWG can be an entirely new work or you can continue to work on something you're already working on, dig out an old project, work on revisions, editing, an outline, a synopsis, world-building, a decent query, a short story, an essay, etc. Illustrators are also welcome! The idea is to pick one goal and stick with it throughout the month. However, nothing is carved in stone; if you feel the need to revise your original goal as the month progresses (because all of us know how Life looves to interrupt us) that's fine, too. The main thing is to WRITE! To accomplish something!

2. You need to send me WEEKLY UPDATES on your progress, which will be posted on this blog.

3. Though not required, everyone is encouraged to send snippets of your work (up to 300 words) which I will post weekly (or bi-weekly, depending on the response) in a TEASER post. These teasers are not for critique, they are for everyone's enjoyment. :-)

Just so you know, you do NOT have to
belong to LiveJournal to play (though it's free to join and we have a great YA community here). Just send me an e-mail at sassenach43 (at) aol (dot) com, tell me who you are and what your PWG is. LJ members can send me this information either e-mail or private message (preferred). Please don't send me any information, updates, teasers, etc. in any comment sections--it's too confusing for me. You CAN, however, let me know in THE COMMENT SECTION OF THIS LIVEJOURNAL POST <--click this red link if you're interested in joining us and I will add you! Anonymous posts are screened, but accepted. :-)

GRAPEMO is fun, laid-back, and a wonderful way to get some serious work done! Though NOT a contest in any way, shape, or form, there will be a random drawing at the end...and a token of my appreciation

I'll give more specifics very soon, e.g. when and how to submit goals, updates, teasers, etc. Please, please consider joining me for a month of writing, fun, comradery, camaradarie (however you want to spell the damn word) and inspiration!

When asked, "How do you write?" I invariably answer, "one word at a time."

A quote from

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tuesday 5 (since I blew it off last Friday)

1. Shorted a day this pay period on my schedule, I decided to go in Sunday night and work 3-ll. Then, naturally, they asked me to work a double, so I stayed till 7:30 the next morning. Monday was a blur. Today I'm refreshed and trying to get some writing done. I don't know what I'm trying to write, but I'm writing...sort of.

2. The temperature rose, so I went from having 6 inches of snow in my back yard to having a LAKE within 24 hrs. No water in the house so far, but Eli is such a wimp I have to take him out front on a leash. He's totally offended that I expect him to do his business out there.

3. Speaking of Eli, his friend Doakes, a six-month-old Doberman, came over to play the other day. Doakes is already bigger than Eli, who weighs 65 pounds. Hubby freaked out with all the snarling and growling, though they were playing--ttrust me, I know the difference. The play date was cut short. Hubby is recuperating from the trauma of two massive beasts rolling around in his (small) sacred space.

3. Anyone know how to BLOCK numbers on your cell phone?

4. We had Grandma over for the holidays. Again, once the gifts were opened, she totally forgot it was Christmas. Getting her up and down the steps to the john has become a nightmare, plus Eli ate all her extra Depends. Another play date cut short. She's still a riot, though. :-)

5. We are expecting another baby this summer...which will--YIKES!--make me a GREAT-great-aunt.


Yep, just sitting here waiting for the big day...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

PEOPLE Magazine: A Look Back

Ohhh-my-god, I'm currently in GOSSIP-HO HEAVEN thanks to The Complete PEOPLE MAGAZINE Archive.

PEOPLE came out when I was in my late teens. I distinctly remember buying the Very First Issue at Tower City (before it was even called Tower City) and reading it on the rapid transit on my way home from nursing school.

This was the issue--


--and the stories inside included interviews with Patty Hearst's parents, Lee Harvey Oswald's widow, and William Peter Blatty whose novel The Exorcist had recently been made into a film that caused moviegoers to pass out, puke in the aisles, and--allegedly--have themselves voluntarily committed.

Looking back at these covers from the first year alone was like stepping into a time machine for me.

I remember when 12-year-old Ted Kennedy Jr. lost his leg from cancer:


When 10-year-old Tatum O’Neal won an Oscar for Paper Moon:


When Pat Nixon kept her mouth shut about her I-Am-Not-A-Crook hubby:


When Mary Tyler Moore flipped her knit cap into the air every Saturday night at 9 p.m.:


When Paul Newman anticipated his 50th birthday:


When Burt Reynolds hooked up (gasp!) with the much-older Dinah Shore:


When Cicely Tyson was the first black actor to win an Emmy for a "lead role in a miniseries or Movie" (The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman):


When Prince Charles, at 25 (TWENTY-FRIGGING-FIVE!) was the World’s Most Eligible Bachelor (and never answered my love letters):


Other 1974 covers announce that Raquel Welch is 33, Dustin Hoffman is 37, and Gloria Steinnem 40. Forty seemed ancient to me then. My parents were in their forties!

And Hugh Hefner, as you can see, probably had no need for Viagra even if it existed back then:


The vast majority of the celebrities who graced that first year's cover, including John Wayne, Katharine Hepburn, Gerald Ford, Jackie O, Ari Onassis, Johnny Carson, Bing Crosby, Richard Burton, Charles Bronson, Rock Hudson, Telly Savalas, and Jack Lemmon have since passed away. Having subscribed to this gossip rag magazine for several decades now, I'm sorry I didn't hang onto these old issues.

Even if you're not a PEOPLE fan--check it out. :-)

Now, if you'll excuse, kiddies, I've gotta grab my cane and hobble over to the ice box for some prunes...