Totally my spirit animal…
New cover for my first book HEIR TO THE UNDERWORLD.
This looks exactly how I envisioned my characters. So happy.
Available now on Amazon!
I feel bad I haven’t kept up but at the moment I lack the brainspace to write a real blog so, uh, here…have a picture of a kitten!!!
Fun fact: ^This is what the cat in the picture below used to look like…
Well, as I mentioned last week, crawling back on the wagon is pretty hard once you’ve fallen off and rolled in the dirt a bit. Last week, I had pizza and fried zucchini (on the same day). The next day I had Islands (no bun on the burger. Although I did have cheese fries and ranch. Oops.) AND Dots cupcakes same day. The day after THAT I had a Habit cheeseburger (again no bun) and sweet potato fries. I also bought 3 Cadbury caramel eggs and, instead of eating them spaced out as I had planned, ate them all in about 15 minutes.
I blew it again today too and had a donut for breakfast (although I still have a hope of making my calories today, actually.) I also skipped out on swing dancing last week.
In short, I didn’t fall off the wagon. I threw myself off it.
Fortunately, I went for LONG walks on Friday and Saturday in the heat and when I wasn’t pigging out on junk the rest of my eating was good. So, once again, I break even. Oh, I also joined the FitBit cult and bought a Zip which clicks onto the bra. Very convenient. I like it so far, although I worry it is being too generous with exercise points. But, anyway, to get to the meat of the matter…
Weight Loss this week: 0lbs
Weight Gain this week: 0lbs
Next week I would really like to go back to losing, so tomorrow I start being really responsible again and making good food choices. And I WILL go swing dancing this week. If I come back next week and say I didn’t go dancing then you reach through the internet and smack me. All of you. ;P
In the meantime, another thing I slacked on last week was laundry, which meant I had to go digging in the bowels of my closet for clean clothes which meant that I actually dressed much cuter than usual last week. Not being able to fall back on jeans made me actually work to come up with outfits. Funny enough, I was pretty pleased with the results…
Last but not least…
I did kind of a weird thing and subbed the pork out for ground turkey because I figured pork leftovers would go bad before I had a chance to finish them. It was really good, though, I love the tart mustard-y sauce.
Last month on the blog, I started my series about fight scenes, and today (and in honor of Valentine’s Day!) I continue that with…
Black Widow vs. Hawkeye in Marvel’s The Avengers
(Fight starts at 2:02)
OK, I admit I might have picked this fight because I love how much ass Black Widow kicks. I love her.
But really let’s talk about the fight choreography in this because Black Widow actually fights like a girl. And I mean that in a good way. Most women can’t compete with men when it comes to brute strength, which is why most fighting styles that work for women (like Brazilian jiu jitsu, etc) are all about someone physically weaker defeating someone stronger. BW doesn’t just square up to Hawkeye and punch him. She tries a sneak attack, she uses the environment and the available weapons to attack him. She’s flexible physically and mentally. And when he’s got her in a lock and is about to stab her–she bites him. Which is how real, I’m fighting for my life combat works: no such thing as “cheating”. (I’m looking at you Will Turner…)
Now let’s talk about the character stuff going on. Hawkeye and BW are partners. They have history and, at this moment, he’s been brainwashed and he’s working for the bad guys. So Black Widow is trying to incapacitate him without killing him, and Hawkeye is trying to kill her because he’s got a mission.
But this fight, beneath the surface, is also deeply personal, despite the brain washing.
This gif speaks to me on a spiritual level…
So, we haven’t had a link round up in awhile, as my V-Day gift to you have some cool stuff I found for you on the internet…
*If you must distribute valentine’s today here, have some Pacific Rim ones.
*Great discussion going on over at Jennifer Crusie’s blog about what makes a Great Love Scene. Some of the moments I mentioned are the balcony scene from The Big Easy, the “epic” speech from Veronica Mars‘ prom episode and, of course, “I love you.” “I know.”
*”Prince Hans: The Mirror“–a brilliant essay on the symbolism of Hans in Frozen by The Break of Dawn on tumblr. Well thought out and intellectual essays about geekdom are my absolute favorite. ^_^
*Last but not least, a fabulous article from Emily Asher-Perrin on Tor.com about how much of a badass Luke Skywalker is. Because he really is you know. One of my favorite bits from the article:
Luke almost turns to the dark side as a bite back for having his mind plundered, but also to protect his sister….What no one was counting on is simply this: Luke Skywalker is nothing like his father. Not one iota (whatever that is). Luke is loving for unselfish reasons, he is constant and stable, he is not there for glory or even to save the universe. He’s there to prove to himself that he won’t turn.
He’s there because he wants his father back.
But Luke doesn’t simply stop thrashing Vader and roll over. He rubs it in the Emperor’s face. He could have just said no, he could have disengaged and backed into a corner. Instead he stands up, realigns his spine, and tells the Emperor “You’ve failed, Your Highness.”
That’s it for now. Hope you all had a wonderful day, chaps. Let me know if there was anything else cool going on over the interwebs that I missed.
My sister was going through a bit of a tough time this past week, and then I was pretty stressed at work. And the way we deal with stress in my family is to eat. This week was no exception. To cheer my sister up I took her to Islands last Monday night and I didn’t even try to make healthy substitutions. Trust me when I say it just wasn’t a night for it. And, as I’ve said before, my diet philosophy is moderation not deprivation. One cheeseburger does not have the power to ruin my life.
But then a coworker brought a bunch of yummy snackfood back from the Philippines that I basically binged on. And then I also had a “fuck it” moment on Friday and instead of coming home to polish off my leftovers I had fried zucchini smothered in ranch for dinner instead. Sigh. That is the problem with falling off the wagon. It is harder to get back on.
That said, I realized I was off-track during the week, so Friday and Saturday I worked hard to make sure I hit goal, and I made sure to exercise to counteract some of the bad eating earlier in the week. I did a 45 minute walk each day, which came out to a little over 3 miles. I think I’ve found a route that won’t bother my hip too much until I can get it looked at. It’s basically a straight shot with just a little up and downhill stuff. It’s not the most vigorous exercise but at the moment the goal is to do what I can exercise-wise without borking up my hip.
So, to sum up, I didn’t make great food choices this past week but I still did what I could to offset that with exercise and eating right the rest of the days.
Speaking of offsetting overeating…tomorrow night is my sister’s birthday. There will be delicious cheeseburgers and Dots cupcakes. I’m going to try to make my calories but it is probably futile since I also have a policy that if I am hungry (stomach growling hungry) I get to eat no matter what the calorie count says. So I’m not going to starve myself tomorrow just so I can eat ALL THE THINGS at the end of the day. But I’m also not skipping Dots cupcakes. Ever. It’s one of those quality of life things.
Anyway, time for the check in…
Weight loss this week: 1.1lbs (yay!!!)
Total Weight Loss to Date: 6.6lbs
I know I said I was moving to monthly progress pics, but I looked really cute today! lol. ;P
And now, for MORE added funness…
This was really simple to make, very little prep time, very little cook time. It was pretty tasty and a great way to get your veggies in. Just make sure you remember the Parmesan! It’s a little bland without the cheese.
I’m trying to try a new recipe every week, have any recommendations for me?
A few days ago I was prompted to write a post about what I think makes a good villain. Today I continue that
**Warning: contains spoilers for Die Hard and Speed. Do not scroll past young Bruce Willis if you want to remain unspoiled…**
The other two great smart villains I can think of from action movies are Howard Payne in Speed and his villain-progenitor Hans Gruber from Die Hard (because, let’s face it, Speed is Die Hard on a bus). In both films, the heroes are just your average working stiff cops. Jack Traven and John McClane aren’t billed as particularly smart; they are average joes, not Super Special Cops. And they have the added disadvantage that both Hans and Payne know the “cop playbook.” These villains have done their homework and they know every move law enforcement will make before they make it.
Which means the cop heroes have to think outside the box, they have to try to outmaneuver these evil geniuses–which makes for really good story. (I have to say I think Speed cheats the ending a little when Howard Payne climbs on top of the train to wrestle the younger, stronger, TALLER Jack into submission. That was a character violation for Payne.)
And sometimes even when the hero thinks they’ve won it turns out that the plan is deeper than they thought. It’s a trap. The villain has out-thought them and now the hero is in even deeper shit that before. In Speed the cops track down Payne to his house and fall into a booby trap. The ending of Speed has another great reversal where the cops attempt to trap Payne again and he outsmarts them again.
One of the greatest scenes in Die Hard (which was a late addition, btw, added simply because the producers discovered that Alan Rickman could do a credible American accent) is when John and Hans come face to face.
This whole sequence is a great moment because it’s basically chess between the two men. John catches Hans on the roof. Hans pretends to be a hostage. John passes Hans a gun. Hans shoots but the gun isn’t loaded. But then Hans shoots the glass because he noticed John was barefoot. The whole scene is move/counter move between the two of them and both of them are smart. Both of them are competent.
Also, they don’t just stick to one move, one plan. Both of them adapt. My writing teacher called this “punch/counter-punch.” Basically, don’t have either one of them make a plan and stick to it through the whole story. Both villain and hero have to adapt and change; they react to each other and that drives the story.
When you do things like this–make your villains smart, force your villains and heroes to react and adapt to each other–you end up with great, lasting classics like Die Hard, which is now one of the foundational texts that people point to as great screenwriting.