Although, far from being a world-class traveler, I have been fortunate enough to do some traveling, especially on the west coast. (Before anyone asks why I did not include the Grand Canyon. . . all I can say is I have not been there yet--it’s on my Bucket List). Under the cut is a list of my personal favorite vacation spots in the west:
In the last couple of weeks, I have read a few stories and have left appropriate feedback; however, only half of the authors wrote back to thank me.
As a fan, I’m grateful for a response, even if it’s just a thank you. Call it good manners, call it courtesy, call it whatever. It lets me know the author saw my review and appreciated my time to acknowledge their work.
And as a writer, I always reply to feedback left on my stories.
Does it bother me when an author doesn’t respond? No, not really, but the next time they write a story, I might not bother to leave a review.
And to be quite honest, I don’t comment on many stories, because how many times can a person write, “Good story; I enjoyed it very much,” without sounding condescending? Unless the story really touched me, or was incredibly well written, or had something a little extra then what I've read in most stories, there's not much to say. However, when I do leave a review or comment I like to be acknowledged.
Getting off my soap box now. . .
**Warning contains spoilers.
I’m excited about another season of Chuck, although disappointed in this half-ass 13 episode season, with the possibility of an additional nine. I really wish NBC would realize what a true gem they have in Chuck.
This last weekend at San Diego ComicCon during the Chuck panel discussion, information about season four was ‘leaked’ to the fans.
The first surprising revelation was Linda Hamilton has been tapped to play Mama Bartowski. I was surprised to hear she approached the producers for the role, because fans wanted her. Really? Not that I don’t think it’s a bad idea, just took me for surprise, because all the fan sites I have been on have been hoping for Lynda Carter or Kate Jackson.
Kate Jackson would have been great. An 80’s icon, who played a spy on the television series Scarecrow and Mrs. King, can be kick-ass, and I think even looks a bit like Ellie. I would have loved to have seen her on the television series again. Although I am a bit disappointed, I do like Linda Hamilton. I was a Beauty and the Beast fan back in the 80's, and enjoyed her in the Terminator movies. I think she can pull it off, even though I still think Kate would have been a better choice.
The second thing I read was that Morgan was going to continue spy training. Get out of here. Not sure where this is going, but I would think for more comic effect it would be better if he accidentally got involved in missions. The whole training Morgan to become a spy, I just don’t buy, but I’ll hold out final judgment until season four.
Stone Cold Steve Austin and Nicole Richie will be back wrecking havoc for Chuck and Sarah. John Casey’s daughter, Alex (Mekenna Melvin) is going to be a recurring guest star. Really looking forward to seeing the father-daughter dynamics play out this season. I hope the ‘Awesomes’ make another appearance this year, I think it would be awesome to see them, especially around the holidays. Rumor has it that Ellie might be expecting a little baby ‘Awesome.’
Chuck returns September 20th with a brand new episode titled "Chuck vs. The Anniversary."
I laughed out loud when I read an ad on my Facebook page that said I should include Tacoma, Washington on my bucket list. I've seen Tacoma. . . been there, done that. Not that interesting. However, it did get me thinking about a bucket list and what things I would want to do or see before I die.
I have ridden on the back of a Harley Davidson with my husband, been to Europe, been on a cruise to Alaska, taken the boys to Disney World and white river rafting on the Snake River, so I can check those things off my list. I have no want or desire to ever jump out of a plane, ride a bull, climb a mountain, or bungee jump, so I will not include those on my list.
However, here are the top twenty things I want to do or see before I die; in no particular order:
1. Sell a screenplay to a movie studio.
2. Write a novel.
3. Tour the Canadian Rockies via the train.
4. Fly to Hawaii. Visit Pearl Harbor, attend a luau, see Diamond Head, rent a motorcycle and go cruising.
5. Visit Europe again. See Salzburg and Munich again. We missed Eagle's Nest and Neuschwanstein castle last time, I want to see those places. Attend a production of The Sound of Music at in Salzburg. Visit Paris and see the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. Visit Hungary and the Czech Republic.
6. Visit the United Kingdom and Ireland (yes, I know it's Europe, but it would have to be a separate trip). One thing I really want to see in London is Kings Cross Station and platform 9 3/4 (silly, I know), as well as Big Ben, the Tower of London, and more.
7. Visit Italy and Greece.
8. Australia. Enough said.
9. See all three of my boys graduate from high school.
10. Earn a Master's degree in Communications.
11. I want to see my boy's achieve the goals they set out to achieve.
12. Direct Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
13. Attend a Broadway play.
14. Own a Corvette.
15. See the Grand Canyon.
16. See the Pyramids in Egypt
17. Swim with the dolphins. (I always thought that would be cool).
18. Learn German.
19. Buy a travel trailer.
20. And finally having the energy, health, and strength to do the things I want to do. (I guess money would help, too).
"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all." ~ Helen Keller
I have a few moments this morning before I have to take my son to the orthodontist and wanted to write about a pet peeve of mine. . . I hate unfinished fan fiction stories.
Nothing is worse than becoming involved in a story, investing time to read it, and finding it incomplete. Drives me crazy!
Now, I don’t mind authors teasing the audience by breaking the stories down into chapters and posting a chapter every evening or every few days, but it’s just so frustrating to start reading a great story only to find it hasn't been updated for weeks, months, years, or even worse was never completed. I started a story last night that I thought was complete and discovered after becoming emotionally involved in the story, it was incomplete, and has not been updated in weeks. Gak!
I can appreciate real life getting in the way, or an author losing interest (trust me I have a few incomplete stories on my hard drive myself), but I personally would NEVER post a story that I haven't finished writing, and wish other authors offered the same courtesy or would at least finish their story before posting.
One Frustrated Fan
Whether directing, acting, or writing, I have read my share of good and bad reviews. In this business, you need to be thick skinned. Sure, it hurts when someone is critical of your performance or story, but I also like to take the good with the bad, especially if the criticism helps me become a better director, actor, or writer.
I have received criticism, which I guess I would categorize as flames. A flame (also known as bashing) is hostile and insulting interaction between Internet users toward the author. I guess some people enjoy barbecuing.
One reviewer actually told me I should go back and watch the Scarecrow and Mrs. King episodes, because I obviously did not have a grasp on the characters. Yikes! That review stung. Come on really, is there a bigger SMK fan out there other than me? (Okay, maybe a few, but really)?
I am someone who believes we should never stop learning and growing, and I enjoy taking writing workshops and classes. I recently took an online writing class and my instructor told me I needed to work on showing not telling, which at the very beginning of the class I told her my goal was to learn how to be better at showing not telling. Geez!
This same instructor told me I needed to work on the ‘male voice’ because my characters did not ‘sound’ male. What does that mean? I live in a household full of males, the walls practically drip testosterone. Male voice, oh please. Yes, when reading a story I might say, no, I don’t see a certain character saying that or doing this, but I never would write a review saying you don’t have the ‘male voice’ down, unless I thought a character lost his masculinity.
I personally prefer SMK stories that are rich in characterization, have believable dialogue, beautifully written description, action tags, good drama, but not forgetting humor, and tells an interesting story. I hope I achieve those goals in my own writing.
I promise this will be the last time I bring up the new cell phone law, but I read this morning the Washington State Highway Patrol reported they wrote 670 cell phone violations in the first 20 days.
Breaking down the numbers, at $124 a ticket that comes to $83,080 in just 20 days, and it's all about safety. . . yeah right.
"Hey. . . it's me."
I live in the shadows of the Olympic Mountains in the state of Washington and I love camping, boating, kayaking, hiking, and hanging out with my husband, our three adult children, and our Bernese Mountain dog, Henry.