Foreshadow like a boss: Shonda Rhimes & Grey’s Anatomy

I love Grey’s Anatomy. I have been religiously watching it since I was pregnant with the princeling. I think Bailey and I went through labor kind of around the same time :) Every Thursday night, without fail, I am watching it. My friends know not to call me. My son doesn’t talk to me.

I cried during last night’s episode. Sobbed so hard the princeling came into the room to make sure mommy was ok. Once I had processed it, I still didn’t go to sleep until 11:30 or so…. I kept turning the episode over and over in my  mind. And the writer woke up in me, and I realized what a boss Shonda Rhimes has become. Because that was some beautiful foreshadowing.

Stay with me while I take you through it— and please don’t go all fangirl, beating me up because I don’t have the episodes/scenes in the proper order. My DVR took a crap last Thursday and I LOST THIS SEASON! Dang it! OK, here we go.

1. Not only did Derek leave… It didn’t crush Meredith. As a matter of fact….

2. The Streak: Meredith starts a surgical winning streak as soon as he leaves. She is able to more fully become the person, the surgeon, she wants to be. Is it hard? You betcha! Being a single parent, or in a long distance family situation, is never easy. But she goes on that streak, and the part that annoys her about it? It started the day he left.

3. I can live without you… but I don’t want to”. After Derek’s coming back and telling her how he can’t live without her… this is her response. And really… I cheered for her. I got goose bumps, just like when Christina told her she was the sun. Not Derek.

4. The scene of Meredith and Amelia, talking about the non-relationship. Amelia basically tells Meredith “Until you’ve held the love of your life as he lies dying, you don’t get to judge me.” I watched that scene and cringed, thinking… if anything happens, Amelia is going to be destroyed.

5. When a phone call comes, saying Derek never makes his appointment, Bailey tells Meredith that she can panic at 5pm. Not a minute before, and not in the Operating Room. We watch, with Meredith, as the time ticks away. At the very end of that episode, there are emergency lights reflected in her windows.

And then last night, I sobbed along with multitudes of fan girls, as Meredith told Derek to go, and he breathed his last.

But unlike the others, as soon as the sobbing stopped, I started thinking. Writers pay attention here. Shonda Rhimes just killed off a beloved character. There will be fall out with fans, but within the STORY ITSELF, it was set up to make perfect and utter sense.

It could have gone either way. He could have survived, but that’s not what the story needed at this time. If Meredith, the title character in the series, is going to grow, something had to give. I get that. Really, I do. I killed off a main character in one of my books. It sucks when we have to do that. But it’s what serves the story.

Meredith and Derek could have gone along happily ever after. The problem is, that’s where the story stops traditionally. No one wants to read about Cinderella shopping for dresses all day. Or Beauty spending the day in Beasts library, eating cookies and reading books. They also don’t want to watch too much of it on television, either.

Our characters have to grow. And sometimes, in order for one character to rise to the occasion, we have to rip everything away from them. Meredith had already lost her “person”, as Christinia is a world away. And now her husband has left her, too, albeit through death.

Meredith is about to go through the fire.

And that’s what good fiction is about. But if you’re going to mess with characters in a series, you need to foreshadow like a boss. Like Shonda, in fact. We might not like where it went, but it didn’t come out of nowhere. The audience was prepared.

Now, it’s going to be a wild ride to see where Meredith goes from here.

#Lifehappens

Wow, it has been a while. Last we spoke, I was gearing up for a shot at Nano Camp, and boy howdy did I get derailed. First, I was sicker than a dog, which happened to bring to light another problem (silver linings), got that all taken care of. Then…

My dad got hurt. He hurt his back, actually broke something between L1-L2. Which I think is his butt. I’m sure one of you will tell me which it is. My dad is 89, and the boy and I live with him & his wife. So I’ve been stepping up, doing more cooking and cleaning, shopping, etc etc.

And actually, yesterday I pulled the boy child in the kitchen with me and started teaching him to cook. He loved it! And he is so impressed with our skills he wants to open a restaurant (not sure that one will fly, as we use premade sauces LOL). But the change in the boy child is dramatic. He is helping to clean— started washing pots before we even started cooking. Taking out the garbage with no complaints. Making his own drink this morning. All signs that he’s growing up, growing into himself. I like it.

My writing, tho, it has suffered. I haven’t been writing very much at all, although I did discover twitter! Kept seeing the hashtag #amwriting and it’s makes me feel … well, guilty. Like I should be using the hashtag #notwriting #lostmymuse #lostmymind. I need to get on that. I can feel the need, itching to get out. It’s just under the skin, begging to be released. I’ll let you know how that goes.

I have some other things that are starting to pop along nicely. As soon as I can, I’ll let you in on the secret too!

Ta my lovelies! Talk to you soon!

Be blogged 101

Originally posted on The Bingergread Cottage:

ALL BLOGGERS – FEEL FREE TO SHARE, COPY, EXTRACT AND USE THIS

I should probably have written this some time ago because, while there is a load of info out there on “How to Blog” I can’t find very much on “Being Blogged”. By that I mean giving an interview.

This is insane. There are a lot of us who specialise in giving space, especially to authors, as a free gift. Why don’t we tell them how to do it?

Why should they do it? It is a free means of reaching a lot of people without inundating social media with spam which is time-consuming and can put off potential readers if you over-do it. Take this blog as an example – there are over 3K followers plus it is automatically shared on FB, Twitter, Linked-in, Google+ and various other networks. Work it out for yourself how much you’d have…

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Gender in Writing

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My son is all boy. He loves to run, ride his bike, play video games and go exploring. Over the New Year break, we went to see a movie. I expected him to throw a fit because it was the new version Annie. There were people between he & I, and what I saw every time I looked was my boy with his feet up on the chair in front of him, a fierce look on his face.

He loved it.

Now, when he takes a hit in daily life he says “It’s a hard knock life, huh, Momma?”

Yesterday, we went to the movies for my (still upcoming) birthday. He wanted to see Home (which isn’t out yet), I wanted to see Cinderella. His beef with Cinderella wasn’t that it was a girls movie (Home has a female protagonist as well), it was that Home was about real life, a real girl, mom! (Never mind the lavender alien and the flying cars). Turns out he loved Cinderella, too.

I don’t think I’ve been entirely fair with my son, at least in terms of movies. He has proven that he sees them as movies– not for girls, not for boys… just movies.

And the same goes for television, btw. He used to watch Sophia the First. He quit not because it was a girl’s show, but because he outgrew it. He will watch Monster High.

Then I started thinking about Legos. Maybe instead of trying to have a line specifically for girls (Except the Disney Princess– keep those!), they should try being more inclusive with in their sets. Adding women/girls isn’t that hard.

So now we get to the beast of the matter. The reason all these thoughts started popping through the percolator is that the story I’m working on, if I write it, will be almost entirely from a male point of view. I know women writers can do it, I’ve read them for crying out loud (Robin Hobb, Mercedes Lackey). But… the question becomes, can I?

In my last point, I talked of writers stretching their voice. Trying new things even if it was scary. I think this is the nextscary for me. Although…. Based on my son’s taste in entertainment, maybe it’s not that scary.

I’ll let you know.

What  are you working on in your writing to stretch yourself? What’s scaring you as a writer about the story?

Changing Voice

Picture this: Your favorite author writes a series that you love. You love his/her work. Then a new book, a new series comes out.

And you hate it.

As a reader I hate it when that happens. Beth Bernobich finished one series, then her next book was actually a collection of interconnected stories. She went from fantasy to steampunk. I like both genres… but I hated the second one. Did not care for it. At. All. The voice was too different from the one I fell in love with.

Sometimes a series can shift and change underneath you. I loved L.E. Modesitt’s Imager series. The last two… not so much. But the very last one… nope. The voice was the same, but the story fell flat. The voice was…stagnant.

As a reader, we can identify these things and bemoan the horrors! But as authors, we need to take careful notes. Some authors can skip through genres, or even different tones in the same genre (fantasy and romance are famous for that) and do it successfully. Others not so much. Some can write in the same tone over and over and still achieve the stretching that keeps writing fresh.

Because as writers, we do have to stretch. We need to reach with our writing, either in scope, genre or voice. Even if they never see the light of day, we need to keep honing our skills. Patrick Rothfuss wrote what ended up being the best non-story story I’ve ever read (The Slow Regard of Silent Things). While set in the world that his series is in, it is completely different. Rothfuss has taken a lot of flack for it, but here’s the thing. I think he probably would have written it regardless of whether or not it was published. Many mocked him for the “apology” that he prefaced his work with. I say this: he merely let rabid fans know that this was not what they were waiting for. It had meaning, but it was substantially different.

So what’s the answer? I don’t have it… but I know this much. The story I’m starting on now might have light and fluffy parts to it. But at it’s core it’s something different than what I’ve been writing lately. If  it’s published, cool. If not, at least I will have strengthened those writing muscles.

Till next time, my lovelies!

Cost of E-Submissions

There used to be an elegance to submitting a story or essay or novel. You printed it out, had your minister of choice bless the manuscript, placed it along with a carefully worded cover letter and/or bribe, and mailed it out to your editor of choice.

Currently everything that I have published I submitted electronincally.

There was a time when I mailed things out. Of course I did. The closest I came with mail in submissions was an honourable mention in the Writer’s Digest Contest.

There’s actually a lot right with email and site submissions. As a writer, you get to get your work into the editor’s hands quicker and with a lot less postage. There’s a great feeling when you hit the send / submit button.

But.

But.

For me at least, there’s 2 immediate consequences. The reason why I am adamant about getting copy back from my beta readers is because I no longer print out my manuscripts. My stories reside in my computer, and it’s not very often that I print them out. Yet I know that I find more typos and problems with a hard copy format than on a computer screen. I think I’m going to print out my last story, see if I can see the bigger picture…..

Then there’s the other thing. Living with the internet has made us greedy for information. Or answers. Or something. I just submitted a short story to F&SF, and even though I’m number 513 in the que, I keep checking! Why? There are 512 people ahead of me and the poor editor is probably asleep right now!!!  (Although obviously not because I’ve gone down to 503—- 10 down and 502 to go!)

Yah, see. I’ll be tracking the submission for a good long time. If I have emailed out the story, I keep checking and checking for a response. Even when it’s only been an hour since I sent it.

Then I check my spam folder.

I think I’m going to have to reign myself in. Take a deep breath and move on. Because, well….

I’ll hear when I hear.

Until then, It’s time to write!

Except for you, my lovelies! Did you know that Mocha Memoirs Press, LLC has an open call for submissions! You can find the submission guidelines here  And yes! It is electronic submissions! Wheee!

First World Problems—When Do We Have a Good Reason to Cry?

wynwords:

Love this blog! Check it out, my lovelies! Parenting while sick… yah, while it’s no joke, she’s hilarious and spot on!

Originally posted on Kristen Lamb's Blog:

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We all have those moments when we feel like tapping out, but when should we complain and when are we being self-centered? I would love to say I have all the answers. Just get me talking (or typing) and I sometimes am good enough to fool myself. But I simply do not know.

I struggle with boundaries, with saying I need help or that I am having a rough time. Then what happens is because I didn’t acknowledge the small problems early? They pile up and hit me like an avalanche. *whiiiiinnnne*

Bear with me…

Last week was one of those that seemed to just KEEP COMING. It started out well enough, then sucker-punched me. It took three appointments to get the cat, Odin neutered. I’ve never had a cat I waited so long to neuter, but have learned some valuable lessons.

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Lesson #1 Never name your cat Odin. I…

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