30 November 2012

+JMJ+

Bad Page 4

Do you have any idea how proud I am that I finished this post? It may be a few days late for the ShredChedFanFicWriMo deadline, but at least it's actually here!

While I still think that the ultimate Are You Afraid of the Dark? FF would be a plausible epic backstory on how all the members met, I've always known that the most logical FF challenge is to write something that would pass as an episode. And since I will not be able to cap this FF extravaganza with the tale of how the gang gets together, I'll settle for capping it with a tale that was never told around the bonfire only because I was too young in the 90s to be one of D.J. MacHale's writers.

Consider the following to be the "lost" Episode 14 from Season 2. The references are at a bare minimum, so you can "watch" this even if you know nothing about the show. (Hint! Hint!) I've even got the intro in here for you . . .

24 November 2012

+JMJ+

Bad Page 3


What I have today for all you excited legions of Are You Afraid of the Dark? fans is some more of that backstory!!! Unfortunately, it's still not the story of how Gary met David.

I did start writing more Bad Pages for the two boys I've boldly claimed are "best friends" . . . but I couldn't seem to get them to run into each other. And then during yet another scene in which David finds himself alone, who should walk in but . . . Well, I guess I should let you find out for yourself. =)

Oh, what am I talking about? The other character's name is in the bloody title. =P So much for the element of surprise . . .

23 November 2012

+JMJ+

"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 21

While I've been enjoying the break from reading and the focus on creative writing that has characterised ShredChedFanFicWriMo, also known as November, I'd love to get back into books for December. And I knew as early as October that I wanted my next challenge to be a series--preferably a Middle Grade series.

After I determined my Top Secret December Theme, I settled on these two contenders:

vs.
Vote for Our December/January Series!!!

If Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series wins, I will commit to reading the first five books. If Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series wins, I will read all five books.

My hope is to finish by the end of December, but in case I don't, the reading will take over part of January, too. I hope that's okay with everyone! =)

Votes will be accepted until I close the polls on 30 November, because I'd like to publish the announcement of the winner soon after midnight on 1 December. You may vote whether or not you are a "Two or Three" Book Club member. (What's that, anyway? LOL!)

By the way . . . if this all seems sort of random, don't worry. It will make sense soon. Like, in January. =P

Image Sources: a) The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, b) Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

20 November 2012

18 November 2012

+JMJ+

Bad Page 2


You know what we need? What we really, really need? An Are You Afraid of the Dark? title generator: that's what.

The image you see above is the Midnight Society's bonfire right before the magic dust is thrown on it. As much as I wanted to use a magic-dusted fire that I could superimpose some purple and yellow text on, I couldn't find one that didn't already have its own title. (Well branded, D.J. MacHale. Well branded.)

When I started this writing project, I knew that the story I wanted to tell the most was the backstory. As Gary explains in the pilot, all the members of the Midnight Society go to different schools and have different (daytime) friends. So how did they ever get together in the first place? It will take me a lot longer than ShredChedFanFicWriMo to figure it all out, but I do have a few "chapters" to share tonight.

Warning: Contains Occult Elements. (Please see the "disclaimer" at the end.)

16 November 2012

+JMJ+

Writing Diary, Entry #31

This was almost a Blank Page entry for my ShredChedFanFicWriMo project . . . until I remembered that I have actually been writing a lot.

I have heaps of bad pages in the apple green notebook I currently carry around, and therefore nothing to make excuses for. The reason this isn't a Bad Page post is that my latest story hasn't been encoded yet. I've just been far too busy at work.

But the weekend is upon us, so I should have something to share very soon. =)

In the meantime, you want to check out a slightly edited version of last week's story on FanFiction.net, under its new title "The Tale of the Forgotten Wish". I had to change it up a bit so as not to violate FF.net guidelines. The original version turns director D.J. MacHale's daughter into a character--which isn't allowed because she is not only "non-fictional" but also "non-historical." I wanted to keep the last name MacHale because it's part of the twist, but I changed the girl's first name to "Katie." Let's hope that's a good enough compromise!

Of course, there is more to editing than glorified copyreading. Mrs. Darwin's comment on Bad Page 1 about a "super creepy educational fairytale" showed me that I did not quite play up the moral angle of my story. There's more than one good reason why Kevin was wrong to do what he does in my unofficial sequel: the obvious one about black magic being dangerous . . . and the not-so-obvious one about what friends share between them.

While I don't want to hit a reader over the head with too explicit a moral, I think I may want to revisit that FF someday, to make it clearer that the real price of Kevin's attempt to collect his last wish is the loss of an incredible (if harrowing) experience he once shared with his best friend in the world, and now shares with no one.

14 November 2012

+JMJ+

Poem or Riddle?

Foam brick letter W ampersand single letter Cardboard letter q
Clock Number 2 Cardboard Bingo Number 5

Last month's macabre party may have created a monster. Poems have always challenged me, but riddles are so much more fun! =P So I sacrificed artistry for allusion and wrote another one for this month. 

But this time, I promise that the riddle will be easier to crack. =)

13 November 2012

+JMJ+

Twelve Things about Friday the 13th, Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

12. Let's have a show of hands, please. How many other people saw the subtitle "Jason Takes Manhattan" and thought that this movie would be one big, puffy cheeseball of a gorefest?

*Raises Own Hand*

So when I finally sat down to watch this a few weeks ago, I was amazed at its quality. I think it's now one of my Top 5 Slashers of all time. While not a "classic" example of the genre, I can think of few others that can beat this one in terms of thoughtfulness.

11. It's worth repeating that Jason Takes Manhattan is the eighth movie in the Friday the 13th franchise. And it's worth noting that when this installment opens the total body count between the Voorhees mother and son is 78 victims, in less than ten years. (If that number seems a little low, it's because I'm not counting the fodder of Part V: A New Beginning.) You'd think that the people living around Crystal Lake would have taken a hint by then, aye? I imagine the sensible ones did, moving away and continuing their lives elsewhere. And well, it turns out that screenwriter Rob Hedden is sensible in exactly that way.

10. And now you may be thinking, "Yes, Enbrethiliel, we see why the setting had to change . . . But why New York City???"

10 November 2012

+JMJ+

Bad Page 1


You remember this episode, right? Based on the story The Monkey's Paw by W.W. Jacobs, it's one of the scariest in the entire franchise.

There are actually two stories in this episode--or to be precise, one and a half. The show opens with a story already in progress, narrated by Eric (probably my second favourite cast member because I already knew Jacob Tierney from Dracula: The Series). But right when it gets really scary, Eric reveals that he doesn't actually have an ending. =P That's when David steps in to save the meeting with "The Tale of the Twisted Claw".

This week's FF was inspired not just by David's story, but also by Eric's character.

Now, as we say in the FF community, please read and review! =)

07 November 2012

+JMJ+

Silver Poems!


What has come to mind, thanks to the title I just typed, was the curious coincidence that Beverly Sills is Silvery Bells, if you rearrange the letters a little. But that's not the word game you care about right now, is it? You want to know the answer to last month's riddle.(That would be W&Q 24.)

While Christopher's guess (The Hunger Games--LOL!) was my personal favourite, it was The Mike who came the closest when he said it must be a game that is played with a pen . . . like Hangman. =P And if you now whip out your Secret Decoder Rings, you'll know that that game is . . . Exquisite Corpse. =)

When I said (repeatedly, Bat, and on Twitter) that the answer was embedded in the poem, I was referring to the last line. This game was a Surrealist invention--basically Madlibs taken too seriously. The name demanded some morbidity in the imagery, but I admit I complicated matters by imagining a game in which participants could only "play" words that had become obsolete. You know, dead words. =P No dead word, no chance to play, which makes it your toll.

What? Do you all hate me now? Can't you save it until after the next game? Won't you at least read the poem in this post?

05 November 2012

+JMJ+

Blank Page 1

I once read a writing manual that suggested committing to a certain word count target each day. So if you have nothing to add to your actual writing project, you should write about why you have nothing to add to your actual writing project. LOL! The idea is to be so turned off by the alternative task that you force yourself to do the original assignment. And it seemed like a good enough discipline when I decided to try it . . . which was when it backfired.

The fact is that I was so turned off by having to do it that I dropped the entire project then and there. I haven't attempted another novel since--although I do pretty well with blog posts . . . and the occasional poem . . . and even a Fan Fic or two. =P

But I'm serious about doing some creative writing this month--and apparently, that means serious enough to subject myself to that discipline again. If I can't produce at least four "Bad Pages" this month (one for each week of November), then I will produce four "Blank Pages" that will explain why.

Aside from the fact that I can't figure out how to get a good idea I do have to work, I've been exacerbating the problem with some good old procrastination.


03 November 2012

+JMJ+

Twelve Things about Monte Carlo

12. Ever since my sixteenth year came and went without a single romantic song and dance in a moonlit garden's gazebo (Name that film!), I've become quite the Scrooge--or if you prefer, the Grinch--of the teenage romantic fantasy, as perfected by Hollywood.

But there's something about it that I just can't quit. And like a good heroin dealer, Hollywood always has some smack. Welcome to my latest trip . . . to Monte Carlo. =P

11. Whenever someone parrots that platitude about travel expanding and improving the mind, I feel like quoting Mike Brady, who said, "Wherever you go, there you are." It's a line that was played for laughs in The Brady Bunch Movie, but it also happens to be true.

Heck, even Mahatma Gandhi apparently thought so--although he put a different spin on it. As he is quoted (twice!) Monte Carlo: "You must be the change you want to see in the world."

It's almost enough to make you forget that this movie is less about changing the world than it is about being changed by the world. =P

10. Before we go any further, we should note that the original destination of dreams for our world travelers was not Monte Carlo, but Paris.

01 November 2012

+JMJ+

October/November

I can fix a bad page. I can't fix a blank page. -- Nora Roberts

Anything worth doing is worth doing badly. -- G.K. Chesterton

When I said that Stephen King's Pet Sematary would be this blog's "October/November novel," that was because I thought it would take me longer to read than it did. Having finished it in less than a month, I don't have another book lined up for November. Which is kind of good, because I'd like to do something a little different this time.

My first idea was to do a watchalong for a TV series. I even had the two options all lined up . . .