Thursday, January 3, 2013

It's Clobberin' Time

Just a goal. 

A finished manuscript of something awesome by June 1st. 

Brainstorming now. 

Let's get it. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

My review (read: Scathing Rant) of Red Dawn.

Alright, people.

I used all the F-Bombs in the 'verse to write this post. So, sorry if you needed any. Because they all are fucking here.

The following contains SPOILERS for the, I'm sure to be "new cult classic", Red Dawn. I suggest you read on if you were planning to see this shit-fest. I really suggest it. In fact, if you haven't seen it, just keep reading. It will save you time, probably money since I imagine you'll pay to watch it, and yeah. That's about it. I'm trying to help you readers out.

Today, I watched Red Dawn.

I know what most of you are thinking:

Shayla, why the frakk did you go see Red Dawn to begin with? It looked like a pile of steaming crap surrounded by a moat of liquid fecal matter.

I know, I know.

I have two words: Chris Hemsworth.

He's my boo. My lover. The God of Thunder. My everythang.

Also, the story takes place in Spokane, Washington. I was brought into this world in Spokane Valley Hospital. It's my home. So that also appealed to me.

I just had to see it, you guys.

I had to.

Don't you guys understand?


You still there?

I guess I'll start getting to the juicy details: AKA SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER ALERT. 

Item the first (not chronologically per the movie, but what pisses me off the most):

They kill off Chris Fucking Hemsworth with literally five minutes left in the movie.


Okay, I went in knowing it was going to be a bad movie, the only redeeming quality was Chris Hemsworth's hot bod and glorious acting capabilities. He was the glue holding this mess together in the first place, so why the hell are you going to kill him off? I understand it was at the end of the movie. I understand that the lines leading up to a cheese fest and you needed to "spice" things up or whatever.


It wasn't essential to the plot line. It did absolutely nothing to move the story forward. It was fucking pointless. Maybe that's the point you were trying to make? That war was pointless? Was that it? Please, for the love of all that is holy, someone answer me.

Item the second: Josh Peck. What the fuck.

Maybe I'm just one of those silly 90's kids who remembers the plump Josh Peck. The Josh Peck that made me laugh with his goofy self. The Josh Peck that was a fucking baller.

This Josh... Scares me.

He has lost too much weight, and apparently what little acting skills he had went along with it.

I'm sorry, Josh. I've always been a fan, or I've tried to be anyways. But holy fuck, what happened, bro? I miss Snow Day Josh Peck. This one... This one has got to go. Your facial expressions are whack. And I just... You just... The whole thing makes me sad. It makes me sad, Josh. You make me sad.

Item the third: The Fucking Computer Chip.

Okay, towards the end of the movie there is one dude that gets stabbed. And apparently when they stabbed him they planted a computer chip in him as a tracking device.

So there's that.

Which might be the stupidest thing I've ever heard of in my life. This kid didn't feel them shove something inside him? The wound itself didn't look like it was healing like a stab wound, it looked like a fucking fuck got shoved the fuck up in there.

So then what do they do? They ditch him. They don't cut the bitch out because, "What are we supposed to cut it out with?"


Item the fourth: The bad jokes.

Le sigh.

I'm a girl that loves a good bad joke. In fact, I tell them a lot. I consider it a hobby of mine, maybe even a SKILL, if you will. I search out a bad joke like a mice searches for the best cheese. It's my thing. And I love it.

And with that said, even I couldn't handle the stupid one-liners in this piece of crap. They knew that the story line was lame. They knew that it wasn't going anywhere, so they tried to shove extra lines of dialogue everywhere to make it "quotable" or whatever.

News flash: It didn't fucking work. You suck, mother fuckers. You all suck.

"You fucked with the wrong family."

That is a direct quote (Don't quote me on that, because I honestly can't remember the phrasing, but it's something like that).

I'm pretty sure they weren't fucking with just your family you dumb piece of shit (no offense Mr. Hemsworth, my quarrel is with the dialogue, not you. You delivered it wonderfully). But really, they didn't fuck with your family. They fucked with America.


Stop being so god damn selfish.

Item the Fifth: The Casting.

I understand not all actors look alike, but when they are supposed to be related? I mean, let's be really.

Chris Hemsworth and Josh Peck look less than nothing alike. They don't speak similiarly. They don't act the same way. They just suck as brothers. There was no connection there at all, and it came across on the screen every second of the movie. It was the worst.

And the supporting actors all sucked.

The two shining stars (Apart from Chris Hemsworth and Jeffery Dean Morgan, whom always will be A-List in my opinion because I adore them both) were Josh Hutcherson and Brett Cullen.

They were superb. Cullen's death scene was amazing. Hutcherson started off like a little bitch, but turned into kind of a badass towards the end.

The others, all sucked. Not one good performance. And I really enjoy Adrianne Palicki. She's my Friday Night Lights gal. She's kick ass. But in this, she was nothing. They all were nothing.

I'm sorry, you guys. But you kind of sucked.

I still love you though. Kind of.

Item the Sixth: It was just bad.

That's it. It was bad. It wasn't bad in a way I like movies to be bad, because I love a good B movie. I think they're funny and I can appreciate the humor.

But this... This was the worst. And I think, ultimately, I'm going to say it was because of two reasons:
Josh Peck and the dialogue.

Sorry Josh Peck, you suck.
And sorry writers, you suck even more than someone who sucks for a living. Yes, that was a penis joke. About someone sucking penis. For a living. And how you suck more than them. Because you do. You suck.


He was one of the few redeeming qualities of this flick, and he didn't come in until the end. That pissed me off too. He was beautiful. Amazing. Talented. He spun that shit dialogue into gold.

In the end... Don't watch it. It was a waste of time, and I watch movies for free, people. FOR FREE. And I still am upset.

There are more points that I was going to make, but I honestly can't remember them. I have a list at work that I wrote down. But I think this is enough. I've already taken my hatred for this film wayyyy too far as it is.

Thanks for reading, kind sir or ma'am.

It's been a pleasure.

First Edit:

The Racism. Holy crap.

I didn't even mention how the film was originally supposed to be China attacking 'Murica and how in post production they just "switched" it to North Korea. Because, you know. all Asian countries are basically the same.

Do I really even have to say anything, people? I mean. Just...

Just come on.

I can't even think of a sentence to summarize how utterly repulsive that whole thing is.

Just... Red Freaking Dawn. That's all I have to say.

Red Freaking Dawn.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Failure Fever - 10,699

Well, there it is. 10,699. I told myself before I slept I'd get to 14,000, but that clearly is not happening. I feel like what I'm writing is complete shit. But I'm pressing on, because that is what my brain keeps telling me to do.

Also I'm behind a few thousand words but am hoping to catch up tomorrow and be back in the general ball park of where I'm supposed to be.

I think for this editing process I'm literally going to have to re-do every single insignificant sentence. Honestly and truly, that is what I think is going to happen.

Who knows, maybe that will make it better. Or maybe, it will make me want to shoot myself in the freaking face. Because it already is making me sad thinking about it. I feel like a failure. I don't know why I'm even writing this story. One minute I'm super stoked about it, and the next, I just don't understand it or where it is going.

And now I'm turning into one of those melodramatic writers that complains incessantly about their work sucking. So that's amazing.

I suppose if I just keep on writing it will all start to come together? I just don't know.

My villain is turning out a lot darker than I anticipated, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. I also am not sure how I feel about my main character Niall. That's right folks, over 10,000 words in and I'm still not feeling my main character.

How screwed up is that?

Something in my gut is telling me to just keep pressing on and that everything will magically come together. And of course, by magically, I mean with lots of hard work and editing it like crazy I will make it into something awesome.

In completely different news, I've decided to get back into school. Which I have extremely mixed feelings about. On one hand, I recognize a higher level of education is extremely important. On the other hand, I'm terrified I'm going to fail again.

Life right now is interesting.

And this NaNoWriMo is making everything a little bit more on edge for me. I will get to 50,000 this year if it is the last thing I do. I need to say I accomplished this.

Do, or do not, there is no try.

Monday, November 5, 2012

And I'm Back - 8199

So. I wrote literally nothing this weekend. It was a combination of me having a social life, and, well, me having a social life.

I don't regret it, because it was an amazing weekend. I went to the fair (Scored some free ride tickets after some mystery brown substance dripped from the ride on me), I saw Wreck-It Ralph (Which you must go see right now, seriously. Just stop reading and go to the theatre. I don't care if they are closed. Wait until they open. Camp out. It's worth it.), I tried grits for the first time (Delicious), and spent some time with amazing friends. I just felt happy. It was amazing.

But then again, the word count monster kept creeping back to me, as it is always there.

But tonight, I was able to surpass my goal of 8000 with a grand total of 8199. Like a boss.

Last I updated I was having a major issue finding Niall Wagner's voice. And that dilemma turned into a massive plot crisis that I caused me to almost just throw in the towel and cry myself to sleep. It was a rough go. I may not have written all weekend, but my mind was constantly racing trying to figure out how to fix what I'd started.

Sunday night I called a friend and we talked it out for about twenty minutes and I started to develop a new turning point for the book.

I guess I should give you the premise.

In one sentence, so as to not give too much away, but to also make you semi interested:

Super Hero Ghost Squad.

Alright, not really a sentence, but that's what I'm calling this project right now. It started off as one thing, and now it's developing into a story about a boy with some bad luck, a girl with some bad luck, a psychopath hell bent on keeping people unhappy, and a group of Seattle residents dealing with life and the turmoil it brings.

Oh, and there are ghosts. Lots of ghosts. And crime fighting, naturally.

It's a work in progress. And the progress is now in full swing.

I just wrote almost 6000 words in one sitting, so my fingers are sore and my eyes are growing tired. And I have to open tomorrow morning so that's amazing. but I'm back on track.

I'm hoping by tomorrow night sleep time I will have 12,000 words.

And have some more character development on Niall. Because right now, although I'm falling in love with my plot line, I'm still not falling in love with Niall. It's terribly frustrating.

Must keep writing.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Day One - 2215

Well, there it is. 2215 words as of 12:00am on Day One, or is it technically Day Two?

I don't know, and I really don't care.

I am proud of my progress. I'm struggling to find a tone for this novel, struggling very hard. I already know that I'm probably going to have to rewrite the entire first chapter.

It just isn't feeling right to me. I'm trying to decide what flow I want to write, what characters I want to introduce right off the bat, how to not make it cheesy... It's proving to be more difficult than I anticipated; which I suppose is a good thing. It's definitely a challenge.

I'm also having difficulty finding the voice for Niall Hall Wagner, my main character. With After Life, Inc. I knew Clara Jean Fitzgerald would be a feisty know it all and that she would win people over with her wit. I cannot decide what Niall is like. Is he emotional? Is he solemn? Is he the funny guy? Is he a loner? I just can't seem to pinpoint him. And until I do that, I'm not sure I'll be happy with anything I write because he feels distant.

I figure if I keep writing in the general direction I want to go, the answer to fixing these problems will come to me eventually. I hope they do anyways.

I'm glad that I'm getting the words out, but it definitely doesn't help when you aren't necessarily proud of your writing. Then again, the first chapter is always the most important in my opinion. It needs to hook your reader. It needs to introduce the protagonist  It needs to set the tone for the entire novel, so chances are I will have to spend more time on it anyways.

That's the beauty of NaNoWriMo, if I weren't pressured on word count I would probably spend a lot more time trying to perfect what I just finished, but instead I just have to move on and try to make the next chapter better. I know in the back of my mind that I'm going to have to come back and fix the atrocity I just typed up, but I at least have something written. I have a base line, and it isn't how you start the race, it is how you finish.

I'm sure I'll figure it out.

I'm sure.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

And So It Begins... NaNoWriMo 2012

I'm starting NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) tomorrow and I'm very excited about it. Last time I started NaNoWriMo, the month ended with a great start on After Life Inc. and one year later it is published and available for real people to buy with real money; something I never thought I'd achieve.

My goals for this time around are to reach the 50,000 word goal, if not surpass it, keep a log on here of my progress, polish it as I'm going, and have fun with with the process.

If I do 2,000 words a day that would give me 60,000 words. And that, would be a dream come true. I'm still only shooting for 50,000 because that is aggressive enough for my tastes, but 60,000 would definitely ensure a post-NaNoWriMo party in my name take place. 

I made many mistakes the first time around, such as sending out my sample chapters, queries, and various nonsense to friends, agents, and publishers way too soon. I should have perfected them more, polished my writing up, and given it more time to turn into something readable. I was just so excited and wanted to get my name out there, and it ended up costing me dearly, as no agents or publishers wanted to touch After Life, Inc. with a ten foot pole. 

Now, however, I have self published a novel and word has begun to spread. People seem to be enjoying After Life, Inc. and if they are enjoying it, that means they might give something else I write a chance, right? 

This one will be different. I'm going to type it out in MS Word instead of long handing it. I also have a nicer lap top this time around, so that will do nothing but make it easier, right? Right. This is where you nod along and agree with everything I say to reassure the nervous wreck.

I will also be trying to update this blog every day. If not every day, at least three times a week. I want to keep a log of my progress. The trials and tribulations of writing a novel in 30 days. The wonderful experience of writer's block that will undoubtedly rear it's ugly head mid week three. I want documentation. I want to share this experience with the world. I want other people to read this and think that they can do it too, since I am no better off than anyone else out there. 

It is not easy, and it takes a lot of dedication. It takes saying "no" to social gatherings, fueling with unlimited supplies of caffeine, and sometimes wrapping up your wrist in an ace bandage if you suffer from tendinitis like I do. 

In the end, it should be fun. It should be an experience, and I'm glad to have this platform to share it with those who want to hear about it. 

As I type this there are nine hours of prep time remaining. 

It's clobberin' time. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead

It's been so long since I posted anything. And due to that time gap I've been trying to come up with an awesome post to get back in the swing of things. Something that will make you guys who are reading jump out of your seat. Something that will blow you away and make you check back here EVERY SINGLE DAY, YEARNING FOR ANOTHER POST FROM YOURS TRULY. But instead, I'm just going to type whatever I feel like and call it good.

I'm working on promoting After Life, Inc. (Which is NOW on sale here:, I'm working on writing a new novel, I'm finally all settled in back in Charleston, SC, and I'm living the single life like no one's business.

It's been pretty hectic but totally amazing.

I guess what I really want to talk about is a book I'm reading.
"Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead" by Frank Meeink and Jody M. Roy.

I decided to go to the library yesterday for the first time and sign up for my card and start hoarding books again. I was in the biography section because I was itching for something new and different. That's when the name stuck out to me. I've always been intrigued by the "neo-nazi" life style and how they operate in our society.

How are these people so blinded by their hatred that they can do such horrible things? How did they get so brainwashed to think that what they are doing is making the world a better place? What has to happen for a man or woman to completely let themselves live and breathe hatred?

So I picked up the book and went to sit down to thumb through the pages to see if it was something I'd want to take home.

I read the first fifty pages in that one sitting. I could not put it down.

Frank Meeink was brought up in a very abusive household with drug abusers and physical tyrants. His parents were not fit to have a child at their young age, and his mother seems so desperate for a man she is willing to turn the other way anytime something bad happened to Frank. It honestly doesn't surprise me that he found solace in a group that was willing to accept him. He was yearning for a family that cared, loved, and supported him. A group of people that would have his back no matter what.

They were united by their hatred of others, but they were a unit of human beings tied together with a purpose; and for most that is enough incentive to do whatever it takes to keep the family alive.

Frank's story is one of heart break, redemption, and utter confusion. I grew up with family members who struggled with addiction so in many ways I can relate to his character. It is remarkable to me how two people can take such very different paths while having similar backgrounds. I won't go as far to say our backgrounds are similar, as his childhood was completely appalling. But there are some similarities in our thought patterns that are undeniable.

I was discussing this book premise with someone who shall remain nameless.

"I just don't get how addicts can even have children. Why do they do that? Their kids are going to turn out just as messed up as they are."

After I picked my jaw up off the floor at this person's remark, I began explaining that just because someone struggles with addiction doesn't make them a bad person. And just because they have children doesn't make their children destined to a life of crime and drugs. How could they honestly believe that?

I know why, because what they said next summed it up:

"I grew up with a perfect childhood. My parents loved me. There was nothing going on. I don't know how anyone else could do anything different."

Okay, so this person has led a sheltered life, but is that an excuse to cast off the "lesser" human beings aside?

I think not.

I tried to explain the situation to them but it did less than no good. In the same way Frank Meeink was blinded by his hatred for so long, this person is blinded by their ignorance.

In the end, I encourage everyone to pick up a copy of "Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead". At the very least, it will give you insight to a group of people you may not know very much about, and another perspective on the human experience.

I haven't been able to put it down.