Drumroll for my Ottawa ComicCon 2015 pics!

Always remember to ask permission before taking a picture. Cosplay does not equate consent!

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Random thought: Repeated phrases and expressions — favourites or slackery gone wild?

Do you ever notice that sometimes writers or groups of writers will start using the same phrases or patterns over and over again? Like, in M*A*S*H, Hawkeye would often break into a long monologue using variations on a theme, my favourite being his response to being told to carry a gun.

When you start binge-watching, these patterns become more and more clear. Sometimes it’s just the music used in certain scenes — as much as I love Chuck, for example, the love-theme music gets a little grating when it comes on, after five or six episodes.

But those lines. I wonder sometimes if it’s because we catch onto certain expressions that become our favourites, or if it’s a bit of laziness. I know for myself, I have a habit of falling into “all hell broke loose” — I just enjoy the visual behind it. The implications. But when a favourite phrase gets overused . . . I have to ask why.

Like Castle: he always knows just what to do. It gets annoying.

So lately, I’ve been bingeing on Daredevil, ’cause it’s AWESOME, and I’ve noticed another one. Matt Murdock says it, and then I heard Vanessa say it, too. The line is “And here we are.” Or, its variant: “So here we are.” It’s just interesting — is the repetition intentional, or overlooked? If it’s meant to be one character’s thing, why does another character say it?

Anyway, that’s just my random thought for the night. Happy weekend!

Slow on the uptake but still organized

I’m not good at keeping up with the latest fashions / trends. I notice what people are wearing but it takes me a while to figure out what it is that is popular about the style, or to try it myself. The same with TV shows. I tend to catch onto popular shows after they’ve been playing for three years or more, mainly because I don’t watch primetime, I suppose. I’m into specialized channels like Space and Discovery and Comedy Now, where programs are played which are either syndicated or produced specifically for that channel.

The benefit to discovering a show a few years into its run, or even afterward, is binge-watching episodes that I would normally have had to wait for. I’ve been doing that recently with Parks and Recreation. Not sure why that one has suddenly grabbed me, but it’s fantastic and I cannot get enough. I did the same with Chuck a few years ago, and Castle and HIMYM last year, and Doctor Who, to name a few.

The disadvantage to being a late-comer to the party is that I miss out on a lot of the fan jokes. Like the Ron Swanson memes — I totally get them now. I enjoyed them before, but now I’m on the “in” and they’re that much funnier. And where I enjoyed Amy Poehler’s previous roles, now I completely understand her genius, or at least I see it on a whole new level. (Reminder to self: I still have to watch the final two seasons of The Office.)

It used to be that I would look forward to watching an upcoming episode of this or that, and now I’ve become utterly spoiled by being able to binge-watch, making the shows fit my own schedule. I know I’m not alone in this. But it also frees me up a little from the boob tube: if I know I can watch what I’m looking for at pretty much any time, I’m now less likely to sit there and watch. I’m not killing time waiting for my program to start, or rushing to put the kids to bed so I can catch Lost Girl at its early time (or staying up late to see its second showing when the kids aren’t in bed on time). And therefore the urge to watch is lessened because I know it’s there for when I want it.

Hubby noticed the other day that in our collection of DVDs and Blu Ray discs, we have several that haven’t been watched yet, and a number that we haven’t even unwrapped. I said, “It’s the anticipation of the experience, and it’s just as enjoyable as the watching itself.” I feel that way about books, too. I love seeing them and either knowing I’ll get to them, or remembering what it was like to read them the first, or second, or seventh time.

I used to read all the time, before marriage and university and children and job. I used to read while watching TV, while eating, while sitting outside. I’m trying to get back into that habit — been trying for a while — but I get frustrated when I can only do small bites of fiction, and I end up skimming non-fiction articles instead. It’s nice to learn things and know what’s happening in the world, but I need that escape into the imagination as well, and I get very grumpy when someone has to pull me out to attend to this or clean that. When the final Harry Potter book came out, I remember my hubby taking the kids out to the mall and the park so I could have the quiet space in which to read. It was glorious . . .

My own next book is coming out soon, so I have to start planning promotions and get back into pumping the trilogy as a whole. Try to turn my novels into a trend — me, who catches on slowly even when trends are staring me in the face. I sternly tell myself that it’s the effort that counts as much as the results, and if I don’t show that I love my books, no-one will know it. So prepare yourselves, dear readers — the wind is shifting and I’m going to start posting more about my novels and stories. I need to build in time for more writing as well.

If I didn’t need to sleep, all would be well.

Update on the 24 Hour Playwriting Challenge: (I keep calling it Theatre Challenge or Theatre Competition, but it’s not) — I set up the registration forms using an online form and posters are nearly done. The next step is to run off copies and distribute them around town. The last time I tried to get students to help me out, I’m fairly certain most of the copies of posters ended up recycled or trashed because I didn’t see them in any of the stores I went into . . . (grrr), so I may just keep a folder with me and ask to post them as I do my errands and whatnot. I also need to print up and cut tickets for the actual performance night, arrange an interview with the radio station, and find rehearsal space.

And then there’s the Ottawa ComicCon — I have students asking about that. Must get on it. I’m wondering whether it would be easier to hire a touring company to take care of the details, but I’ve done this before, and it’s just energy and time and patience.

And sleep. I’m no good to anyone if I’m wiped out.