media · tv

Finally watched “The Tick”. It was as delightful as I expected.

So The Tick is out on amazon Prime Video. I remember when it was first announced and how I thought: ‘this alone makes Amazon Prime completely worth it’. Please keep in mind that at that time I couldn’t for the life of me remember anything about the premise of The Tick. I remembered watching the show. I’d see gifs from the cartoon and remember seeing the scenes. I’d remember I enjoyed watching it. Couldn’t tell you anything about it other than the fact that it existed.

I didn’t even know it was based on a comic, but in hindsight that does seem somewhat obvious. Putting my lack of anything other than vague positive feelings for the franchise aside, I finally watched the new Amazon series. Putting my vague positive feelings back at the forefront, I went in expecting to find the show delightful.

I was right. I found the show delightful.

The original creator of The Tick, Ben Edlund, is a producer and writer on the show. In the Behind The Scenes featurette available with the series on Amazon Prime, Ben Edlund talks about The Tick as a riff on superheroes and superhero stories and how when you’re a fan of those stories, you can make fun of them while genuinely enjoying them. This definitely shows through in this new series which feels less like a super hero parody and more like a superhero comedy (but I suppose one must sometimes blur those lines at times to effectively blend comedy with another genre).

Personally, I like archetypes. I love tropes. They’re fun. It’s like each genre comes with a heck of a bunch of writing prompts built in. It’s fun to see what people do with it. The Tick fills its universe with a lot of people and situations we’ve seen before but it makes it feel new again by having them act like… people who’ve watched a heck of a lot of superhero content before.

It’s hard to describe. Are the characters genre savvy? Yes. But it’s not just that. It’s like the show was made with the assumption that YOU’RE genre savvy but was made to be enjoyed by those who aren’t as well.

Maybe one day I’ll be able to explain it better, but I will say it felt familiar and positive while still being tongue-in-cheek & gory at times.

Of course, when you have a world this outrageous, you need someone who’s a bit more grounded and in that we have Arthur.

I have no idea what aspects of his story might be considered spoilers so I’ll try to be semi-vague.

I found myself getting so stressed/semi-pissed on his behalf. Dude’s got PTSD & is gaslit by the whole damn world. It gets to the point that the first person to validate his beliefs? He thinks he must be hallucinating him. Griffin Newman plays Arthur, and he is a pleasure to watch. He plays “f*ck this shit, I’m out” quite beautifully. Plus, I really like his hair? Shout out to the hair department.

I love Goat and his mother. I smiled anytime I saw his mom on screen. Goat’s actor, Kahlil Ashanti, is a marvelous performer and I do hope to see more of him in the second season.

The character, The Tick is fun, Arthur is adorable & heartbreakingly relatable, Overkill was a surprise fave for me, Ms. Lint was magnificent, and of course ya got Alan Tudyk as a sentient boat.

Ms. Lint is played by Lara Martinez. She plays Rafael’s sister on Jane the Virgin. I’m just telling y’all because I saw her, loved her, & could not remember where I knew her from. Saving anyone else the brain itch.

Overkill & Ms. Lint, did they have scenes together? No. Did they have great chemistry? Yes.

Watch The Tick. It’s fun, kinda hopeful, & I await season two with great anticipation.

The Tick is available on Amazon Prime. Season 2 premieres February 23rd.

 

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poetry · writing

Remember to…

Remember to dance from time to time

Remember to hydrate more than twice a day

Remember to be kind to yourself

Remember to floss

Remember to dream of a sweeter tomorrow

Remember to do your laundry once a week

Remember to catch the light of the stars in your hands

Remember to check your email

Remember to weep for all you have forgotten and all you will remember

Remember to eat breakfast

Remember to rest

Remember to rest, please.

nanowrimo · writing

Nano Prep Recs: “Novel Shortcuts” by Laura Whitconb

Ya smell that? Sniff past the heavy fragrances of pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and morning frost and you’ll catch it. The smell of nano prep season. What does it smell like? Since it’s a metaphor, it can smell like whatever you want, to be honest. But for me? It is the nostalgic and comforting smell of the library.

Throughout the year, but especially during nano prep, I like to peruse the writing section and see what jumps out at me. Even if the advice given doesn’t help or particularly apply to me, I always find that reading these books gets me good and pumped to take part in the writing process. And one of the major gems I found awhile back was Novel Shortcuts: Ten Techniques That Ensure A Great First Draft by Laura Whitcomb.

Just reading the title, the word ‘fate’ came to mind. Seriously, if I was watching a fictional movie about a writer who participates in a yearly novel speedwriting event and they just happened upon this book? That show better be a heartfelt, over-the-top comedy or else I’m calling BS. But luck would have that I DID happen upon this book when I participate in a yearly novel speedwriting event so bully for me!

The premise is simple and it’s all in the title: ten techniques for a better first draft. And it tracks because some of it is stuff you’ve probably hear before or even tried before (Chpt 8, Fast Track to Deeper Emotion). But hearing them in the context of a first draft and using these techniques to improve that draft may assist you in putting your mind in the right headspace.

I’m posting this semi-early in October so hopefully you’ll have time to check it out before the nano storm begins. Even if you’re the type who just likes to sit and see where your writing takes you (‘pantsing’ is what it’s called), some of these techniques might be a godsend if you get stuck (Chpt 4, Shortcut to the Scene was a freakin’ revelation, one of the many reasons I bought the book).

Shortcut to the scene is an exercise Whitcomb came up with themselves and breaks the scene down into separate components of: what happens, what’s said, and what’s felt. Just reading the way they broke down the scene helped me rethink the way I approach scenes when writing. Plus, it’s an exercise about writing lists and I love me some lists. It’s a really great and simple exercise and again, was the reason I knew I NEEDED to have this book as my own. Shortcut to The Scene is a chapter I will definitely come back to again and again this NaNoWriMo.

But of course, like with any writing advice book, your mileage may vary, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a content warning for rape for the mixed perception section of Chapter 7 Stealing Tricks From the Best. Mixed perception scenes are where you create tension or character development by making the action interpretable in more than one way. For the first scene given, as a reader it was very obviously a rape scene, no grey area, and with no warning, I found it very jarring. Whitcomb specifically talks about the action being perceived differently by CHARACTERS and not necessarily the audience (though she does touch on that a bit) so it’s a fairly okay example, especially when Whitcomb breaks down word choice and how it might differ from character to character. The first scene also pairs well with the second example, the perspective of a vampire who might view feeding on humans like killing livestock versus the victim who might view it more akin to rape.

This small section in this chapter is probably what I’d consider, at least for me, the weakest part of the book. And even there I found the advice to be sound and helpful.

Novel Shortcuts makes use of excerpts from many books as examples of scenes, techniques, or quality one may aspire toward. So be prepared for your reading list to grow after diving into this great book.

I highly recommend Novel Shortcuts. It’s organized well and the techniques are simple and brilliant. Familiar enough that you’ll feel comfortable diving in head first, and wide and varied so that each aspect of your book is touched (and hopefully improved upon).

Since there are only three more weeks of nano prep, I say head on over to your local library and give it a look for yourself.

writing

“Get ready!”

“Get ready!” She could barely contain her excitement, but she was a professional so all the audience saw was a pleasant professional demeanor.

She released the creatures.

As they flew overhead, the audience was mesmerized. One rarely saw synchronized flying show bats. Much less, ones who sang in five part harmony.