On the Road: North Carolina + Coming Attraction!!!!!

Okay, I’m only in NC for the night and damn glad to be off the road since it’s looking like the trip Google said would be ten hours is actually going to be twelve. Did the first six today and can I just say to the people living in Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina, you live in really beautiful states. When it’s gorgeous from the interstate, you know it’s beautiful clean through. For most of the way, I was just sailing, heaven outside the car and Springsteen in. “Thunder Road” was particularly fine. Of course, you miss a lot if you stick to the interstate. I was most tempted by the “Ona Whim Antique Shop” because I couldn’t figured out if Mr. Whim had a sadistic sense of humor when naming his daughter, or if somebody was trolling for impulse shoppers, and I wanted to ask, but I stayed the course.

But enough about me. Someone fabulous is going to be here on Tuesday, Oct. 30, doing the first ever guest blog on Argh Ink:

Jane Espenson!

If you’re a Buffy fanatic, you’re probably doing the fan squee now. Jane wrote “Band Candy,” she wrote “Pangs” (the one with the funny syphilis), she wrote “Earshot” and “I Was Made To Love You,” but that’s just the beginning. She invented Dennis in the Angel episode “RM w/a VU” (one of my all time faves, if only for the way Cordelia snarls the line, “The bitch is back!”), she’s worked on Gilmore Girls and Battlestar Galactica, she contributed to the Tales of the Vampires comics which are wonderful, and she has a brilliant blog at http://www.janeespenson.com/ where she gives away her wisdom and experience and what she had for lunch. She is, in short, freaking fabulous.

And on Tuesday, she’s HERE. (Small break while I lie down for a moment to recover.) No, really, she’s going to guest blog here on the difference between writing novels and scripts, and I’m going to ask her about graphic novels, too, because I know that’s a third language. So get your questions lined up now. (That’s why I’m giving you four days notice, although now that I think of it, you’ve never had trouble coming up with questions or comments before, so this may be overkill. Oh, well.)

Oh, and she also wrote the “Shindig” episode of Firefly and has just edited the second collection of essays on Serenity, the movie that followed the criminally short-lived series. The collection is called Serenity Found, and it follows Espenson’s first edited collection Finding Serenity.

SERENITY SPOILER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Maybe she can explain why Wash had to die. Not that I’m bitter.

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Where was I?

Right. Jane Espenson, guest-blogging here, Oct. 30.

29 thoughts on “On the Road: North Carolina + Coming Attraction!!!!!

  1. OMG… first time post and first on the comments…

    woo hoo….

    good times ahead. (we’re doomed).

    sorry… couldn’t resist!

    I GOT TO BE FIRST…..WOO FREAKING HOO

    and it wasn’t intentional, I just wanted an author’s autographed copy… 🙂 or at least a meet and great…

    Jenny, I’ll post tomorrow how much I have loved your books…

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  2. You know, Jenny, it’s damned hard to show off our Southern Hospitality when we don’t even know you’re going to be driving through. You don’t write, you don’t call . . . [sigh]

    Seriously, you should know that the rain we’re having now is the first rain we’ve had in, oh, about five years or so — we’ve pretty much forgotten how to drive in it, so be careful.

    And if, on the way back through the state where they originated, you get a hankerin’ for some hot fried dough drenched in high fructose corn syrup glaze, let me know and I’ll take you to the local Krispy Kreme. In your honour, I’ll even make an exception and eat one myself. My treat. Really.

    I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I’ve never seen a Buffy episode. Nope, never. Regardless, I’m really looking forward to reading what Ms. Espenson has to say about writing.

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  3. On a long ago road trip I was getting the Interstate blues, just feeling I could be anywhere in the US of A. Then we got to Chatanooga and I knew we lived in a beautiful country.

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  4. I’ve been reading her blog a while. I like the different POV on storytelling–so little narrative.

    I’ve not watched Buffy yet either, but coincidentally today I just added the seven season DVD set to my Amazon Wish List. So many people I admire love Buffy; I want to see it, too.

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  5. I worked at Duke Univ. Medical Center in the late seventies … I know, I’m old. *grin* I lived in Chapel Hill. It was so gorgeous and I loved the entire state. Every time I needed a break for some peace and quiet I drove up to Asheville. Now that’s beautiful country.

    Looking forward to Jane Espenson’s comments.

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  6. Jenny — awesome. Someone who has written for both Buffy and Firefly. Someone who — good grief — WORKED with Joss Whedon? Please, everyone who HASN’T watched Buffy and Firefly and Serenity — try watching and see if you aren’t hooked? My library has dvd’s (I now own Firefly and Serenity and most of Buffy) and so does e-Blockbuster, so you could RENT them to start.

    I DO think it may take me more than a few days to actually formulate an intelligent question …

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  7. Jane Espenson?! Squee indeed!!!

    Also, you may want to put up a WARNING: BIG HONKING FIREFLY SPOILER AHEAD or something for those who haven’t had the pleasure yet. (Okay, it’s totally a selfish request over here, since if I had my way Firefly would be mandatory viewing and I am still in the process of accumulating converts, and I don’t want them spoiled just because they happen to read your also-should-be-mandatory blog, as I know many of them do. But STILL. Wouldn’t it just be nice to warn people?)

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  8. Okay, I put in a spoiler space. i was thinking since Serenity had been out for over a year that everybody had seen it, but that’s because I live in a Whedon-centric universe. Sorry, sorry, sorry.

    However there are more spoilers in the comments and I’m good with that. Because I like talking about story. So I’m thinking anybody with spoiler issues should not read the comments from here on down. And probably on the day of the guest blog because we don’t want to restrict the discussion in any way.

    As for all you people who haven’t seen Buffy yet . . . my God, can you imagine having that ecstasy before you? I’m so envious.

    And I’m just passing through NC. Got a retreat to go to in SC. No booksignings. My last conference. Lovely empty calendar stretching out before me, lots of time to write Always Kiss Me Goodnight and Dogs and Goddesses, and Wild Ride. If I could, I’d roll around on my calendar like Wolfie on the TV room rug.

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  9. You should definitely ask her about Wash. Because I consider that an archetypal example of pointless character death. *weeps softly to self*

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  10. Oh I dunno about the pointless character death. I like it when writers show progress in a character’s story, even if that does mean their eventual death or the death of their partner. There aren’t any of the Serenity crew I’d have been happy to lose, but the plot does have to move on. Unless you’re in The Simpsons (and even there someone died once).

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  11. Yay! Jane. *happy dance* Funny syphilis. That was the best. I don’t have any questions, I’m just going to bask in the glory.

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  12. What a coincidence. I was just chatting with Jane, (okay the conversation was a little one-sided). I was listening to the commentary on Shindig early this morning. I can’t wait. Thanks for arranging it.

    I too, and not bitter about Wash. Of course, I had to wait until the second viewing to find out what happened at the end of the BDM. I think I was in a state of shock the first time. But I’m over it now, really. Of course in my own little personal world, Wash is still a leaf on the wind. I’ve block everything else out.

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  13. And Shepherd, too. I really wanted to know his backstory, and to see the rest of the crew finding it out.

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  14. I just watched Serenity for the first time last night. Oh my Bob, it was freakin’ fantabulous!!!!

    Wait, I need a few more: !!!!!

    I remember catching I think one episode of Firefly, and really liking it. But my reception for the Pittsburgh FOX station was sucky, and I never could find it again. Probably cause they yanked the show. Jerks.

    Really looking forward to the guest blog.

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  15. Yay, Jane! I love her blog. She is delightful. And I thought the thing with Wash was awful and yet totally powerful. I’m not bitter, just still freaking sad.

    I’d like to ask Jane if she thinks people who are naturally good at dialogue would be better off writing screenplays than novels.

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  16. Good question.
    Keep thinking.

    I’m in SC and very happy looking at the ocean, but the internet is only in the one public place, so my natural tendency to ramble is curtailed.

    Still, I’m lookin’ at the ocean. I’m happy.

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  17. Jane Espenson?!?!?! I LOVE JANE ESPENSON!!!! Her work on Battlestar is nothing short of brialliant. I’m so excited that two of my favorite writers are going to be joined on the same blog, however briefly.

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  18. Ooooh, fabulous. Jane and Jenny together!

    I have a question for Jane: I find your analysis of jokes on your blog absolutely brilliant. It would never have occurred to me to do such a thing, or I would have dismissed the idea immediately, because I think it’s so hard to teach how to be funny. Through what you’ve done, though, I find myself really able to take a look at my jokes and understand them on a deeper level than just “funny” or “not funny,” and I thank you so much for that. Are there any plans to maybe collect all that material and write a book? I think it would be brilliant.

    Looking forward to seeing Jane here!

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  19. You bet! Actually, there are loads of them and no one link to them all, but one of my favorites is the one Jane calls “The Squiggy”:

    http://www.janeespenson.com/archives/00000105.php

    She’s named so many joke forms and explained them in really straightforward language. Now, most of it relates to screen and television writing, but I’ve found a few of them in novels as well. My favorite post, and I wasn’t able to find it, was when Jane talked about how there are two kinds of funny characters – those who know they’re funny and who we laugh with (Xander from Buffy, Chandler from Friends) and – the more common form – characters that are funny but aren’t trying to be (Xander and Chandler have these moments too, but Michael Scott from The Office is a good example of someone who is hilarious in an unintended way.) Jane has a unique ability to boil the jokes down into what exactly makes them funny, and I find it fascinating, and really helpful, especially because it makes you aware of the groaners (overused jokes) that make their way into your humor vocabulary simply because they’re so overused.

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  20. ooooo, cool.

    my friend and i are rewatching Buffy this year (i think we’ll be able to spread it out till Dec., she thinks Feb.). plus, i haven’t seen every Buffy episode, so i get new ones interspersed with old ones.

    (50 seconds in, spike sings. it’s sad how many times i have watched this clip):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuqaCeCWN0Q&NR=1

    can’t think of a question but i’ll work on it

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  21. My joy truly knows no bounds–Jane on Jenny’s site. Ah, bliss. (I got turned on to Jane’s blog by Lani on WWFW–sending her much love for that recommendation!)

    Yes, I agree with the Why Wash had to Die questioning. He was so sweet and goofy and had such a wonderful love story with Zoe. Sigh.

    I’ve been scared to say I haven’t watched Buffy until just this fall. However, I did finally see the error of my ways and I’m now halfway through season three. I’ll speak plainly here–I’m totally in love. I want to write Buffy, I want to be Buffy, I want Buffy to never end. Sigh.

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  22. Okay, now I have to check out Jane’s blog, though from your comments, I can’t understand why I haven’t before. Band Candy is one of my absolute favorite Buffy eps, really b/c of teen rebel Giles (the expression on his face listening to Cream and lighting the cigarette – priceless) and the great Jane dialogue. I always know I’m in for a great episode whenever her name is in the credits on whatever show she’s gracing with her presence, so am very excited here in Jersey. I think I’d like to ask something about being a strong and funny screenwriter on what seem to be male-run shows (Gilmore Girls notwithstanding) albeit with strong female lead characters (Buffy, Starbuck, Gina Torre’s character [sorry, blanking on her name. I’ve seen Firefly and Serenity, but am not as fluent as I am in Buffverse. Please don’t hate me.]or something like that. Still forming the question…

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  23. ksquard, that’s a good question.
    I’m closing the comments here so you’ll all go over to the next post so Jane can find your questions more easily.

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