Sunday Notes

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If you’re not watching iZombie, now in its second season, you are missing some seriously good comic/horror/romance/community storytelling. Definitely not something you snack through, but there was only episode that really got to me, and I’m the one who bailed after the first five minutes of Zombieland, so not a strong stomach.

It’s about Liv Moore (get it?), a beautiful, brilliant doctor who has the perfect fiance (Major Lilywhite, not subtle with names here) who goes to a boat party that’s attacked by zombies and wakes up undead. Two months later, she’s working in a morgue, having broken off her engagement so she won’t zombie-fy Major by accident, when the ME, the fabulous Ravi, finds her eating brains and says, “I knew it!” and there begins the best female/male friendship that will never turn into a romance (she loves Major, he loves her roommate) on TV:

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I could go on about this show for days, but the central premise is that when Liv eats a brain, she takes on that personality and also gets the dead person’s memories which means she’s invalable to homicide Detective Clive Babineaux, who thinks she’s psychic. There’s a crime of the week, but the fun is watching McIver as Liv become a different person every week while a fantastic supporting cast goes nuts around her.

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The community here is what really makes this work. From left to right above, we have David Anders as Blaine (the Spike of iZombie), one of the many amazing Bad Guys in the story (another is Steven Weber lunching on the scenery with real gusto in his best role yet), Malcolm Goodwin as the always calm, always deadpan Clive Babineaux, Rose McIver as Liv (out of undead make-up here), Robert Buckley as the steadfast good guy Major, and Rahul Kohli as the amazing Ravi Chakrabarti. There isn’t a weak performance in the bunch. (Plus Peyton, and Glinda, and Drake, and Mr. Big, and . . . ) Oh, and it’s from Rob Thomas, the guy who brought us Cupid, Party Down, and Veronica Mars.

Oh, and the WiP of the week is Paradise Park, the episodic alt history, steampunkish, turn-of-the-century paranormal romance novel I’ve been working on. Warning: It’s discovery draft which means it’s in disconnected pieces, so really not much fun to read. Also, it’s long. So it’s annoying and time-consuming. Really, just go watch iZombie; season one’s on Netflix now.

54 thoughts on “Sunday Notes

  1. I’m a big fan of iZombie – and I am not normally one for zombies. Absolutely love Ravi!

    Thank you for posting the Paradise Park drafts – I just got absolutely sucked into that world and read it all, I couldn’t stop reading!

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  2. I love this show. Have you seen this week’s episode??

    1. I knew VDC was the rattiest of rat bastards but now I want the person to eat his brain, just for fun.
    2. Never seen that clue before in my life.

    I am so looking forward to Liv on stripper brain.

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    1. The Glinda shut out of the elevator bit? Yep.
      Steven Weber knocked that one out of the park. Did you see the look on his face when she was pounding on the office door? He knew what he’d done.

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        1. I thought he was horrified.
          I have to watch it again. I would anyway, I love that show and rewatching always shows me things I missed the first time because I was going, “Wait, WHAT?” and that moment was an especially Wait-WHAT moment.

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  3. I love everything about this show. I would watch an hour of Ravi talking to Blaine and consider it time well-spent. I especially love seeing Veronica Mars cast members pop up in cameos. I may have squealed with joy when Enrico Colantoni finally showed up. For fans of Veronica Mars/iZombie, I highly recommend Play It Again, Dick, which is available online at cwseed. It is a hilarious mockumentary about the actor who played Dick Casablancas attempting to spin off his character into an 80’s style cop drama.

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    1. Anything with Enrico Colantoni in it is good just because he’s in it.
      Anything with Ravi is excellent.
      And now I have something new to watch. Thank you.

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  4. Just finished the WiPs and I want more, please. Your discovery drafts are more readable and interesting than some finished, published books I’ve read. I really wanna read more Gleep.

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  5. Paradise Park: Seriously–your “disconnected pieces” are really, truly wonderful. Your characters and their voices just leap off the page, and, in just these “pieces” you’ve built a fantastic world I could (and did) easily get lost in. Purty please, finish these. Because I really want the rest of these stories.

    I just “wasted” a good 45 minutes, and now I’m running late for Easter dinner–with absolutely zero regrets. I can see why you’re having such a hard time finishing a book: each wip you’ve posted so far sparkles–I can’t imagine having to pick just one of them to go back and play with. Ahem. I mean work on.

    But whichever one it is, I can’t wait to read it.

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    1. Yes. Please finish these. I didn’t get Petal and the frog when you posted it eons back but I do now.

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  6. Must. Have. More. Must! Omg. That was awesome. I was firmly in the Nadine/Alice camp for the next book. But now. These people are so real. I know the futility of telling a writer they need to just write it. I’ve got a year past deadline paper that absolutes must be finished by Tuesday. And I’m cleaning my house. But please. Just keep discovering your way to the end. As someone else has said your discovery drafts are as good as others published work. It doesn’t gave to be great. Just tell us what happens next!

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  7. I’ve read the first two and will finish the others after I do the stuff that absolutely has to be done today.

    One comment – why 1914? Because the conversations are too modern sounding if you really wanted an alternative 1914. If it’s not an alternative history 1914, I might pick a different year or lose the year altogether.

    But outside of that quibble I loved them both and would like to read them all.

    Hey, maybe you could just publish them in draft and let us be happy. : )

    (Yes, I no, contracts, income, not yet perfect, not happening.)

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    1. Yes, I know – Yes, I no. Funny how when I’m tired I start spelling phonetically rather than actual words.

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  8. I’ve just finished reading the WIP and was totally caught up in that world. I do hope you will finish it soon, I really want to know what happens to Zo White and the orphants.

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  9. Thank you all. (Wow, you’re fast readers.)
    I really will finish these at some point, if only because Toni and I have the next book underway.
    Which is next week’s WiP, Monday Street. It’s Harry, slightly more grown up, undercover and meeting the love of his life, the second-best pickpocket in Revel. 37,000 words. That’s a third of the book.

    And then there’s Liz . . .

    You’re gonna be reading WiPs all spring.

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      1. Yup. The only thing is we want to finish reading the stories. We’re left dangling. However, what a view! I don’t want to not read them just because they are done yet.

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  10. By the way, ignore Jenny.

    The excerpts were far more entertaining than the parts the dog didn’t eat.

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  11. Coming out of several years lurkdom to finally make my first comment. I’m sure there’s not a single person here who objects to reading your WiPs all spring . . . or summer, fall, or winter for that matter.

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    1. Oh, welcome out of lurkdom!

      Well, it’s a lot of unfinished stuff, and much of it is too long, so it’s a slog.
      But it’s good for me to get them up on the website just the same. There are definitely another three to go up, maybe five, so we’ll be out of April before I quit.

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      1. Thank you! Looking forward to the rest of them. I know having all that unfinished stuff can be overwhelming (don’t ask to see my To Do lists), but you’ll get there eventually. Baby steps. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  12. OMG, I enjoyed Paradise Park so much. Thank you for letting us read it. Such a wonderful, fascinating world and such appealing characters. It sucked me in from the first line. All the things I was supposed to do today did not happen.

    Now I’m going to go read it again.

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  13. Love these. Really love these.
    I had a moment when I saw the name Gleep. The only reference I have for that word is James Thurber’s “13 clocks.” That is what the Todal says. Also if you haven’t read the 13 Clocks, I highly recommend it. What fabulous language.

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    1. Is that where I got it? I remember it was made of lip and made a sound like rabbits screaming. I love The 13 Clocks, but I completely forgot that the Todal said, “Gleep.”

      Oh and when the bad guy threatens to cut the hero from his guggle to his zatch? Great stuff.

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      1. I remember there was a point, way back in the beginning, when I was trying to do the seven dwarves. That’s where Doc came from. Kitsa was at one point Shylo as a nod to Bashful. Gleep, believe it or not, was a nod to Happy (Glee)p. It just didn’t work, plus once I figured out who Doc and Shylo were, Shylo had to become Kitsa for myth reasons. And when I realized who Roseret was, I needed a play on Rose Red, so the whole dwarf-like name thing fell apart.

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        1. I was wondering if Roseret was for Rose Red. Glad to know I got that and that I had remembered right about this being Zo White and the 7 dwarves or you know, 5 orphants.

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  14. Dumb question for the technically inept.

    Where are you watching the first episode of iZombie?

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  15. Oh, dear God. More good TV. I’m still watching POI. I’m about halfway through the second season. I think iZombie is going to have to wait…

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  16. I need to read these, but they are going to have to wait, sadly. :/

    I’m onto episode twelve of PoI. I would be further along, but I keep going back and rewatching episodes. Rewatched ten, because that was (for me) when it got interesting, which made me go back to episode one… My sister and I both love Hobo Reese! He pulled that one off in stellar form!! Now that Carter is getting more involved, I’m getting more involved, and I’m starting to get more excited about the show. Sadly, the weekly number stories just aren’t drawing me in. I wish they were, because I would love to pay attention and catch all that Reese and Finch are subtly building. I’m sure at some point I’ll just cave and rewatch them all! ๐Ÿ˜€

    I love that you are posting your WiPs, btw. And I love your office and writing catch-up posts – they are very informative! ๐Ÿ™‚ You rock!!

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  17. Gosh, that was fantastic! I’ve never read fantasy like this before. You have the human relationship stuff down from your past work, so you bring a certain humanness to the fantasy genre that I’ve rarely seen before. And the fantasy ideas were so great! I remember when you were first working on the mechs — those bunny slippers. I love the idea of there being crafters who know what they are doing, and those who only think they know what they are doing.

    And I love all the kids, but I simply adore Kitsa.

    BTW, thank you too for the iZombie rec. I may have to get more techie and find out how I can get Netflix in my country. I generally dislike zombies, but when they are done right (I adored Mira Grant’s FEED), I really like them. This idea of ingesting the brains and becoming that personality . . . well, I love that trope where the psychic holds onto the possession and “becomes” that vibe. Or the staring into the dead eyes and reliving the last few moments of the life that lived. This is a really logical extension to those ideas, and if the actress is great at impersonation and changing personalities, I can see how it would be a lot of fun.

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  18. I’ve read Zo White and the 5 orphants. I LOVE Ecks and Owl and Wyland is rather fun too, especially watching him be “broken” by the kids, really a big teddy bear.

    The community and wit is there. The conversations are delightful. I can see the conflicts and all as you have taught us here. This is a darker story than any you’ve published. The thought of pins perpetually torturing a creature or having a soul be trapped in an object and potentially never escaping their daily, living hell… yeah, darker.

    Anyway, moving on to the Frog Principle. Not done yet. So happy to see Wyland again. I’m also happy to have learned what Petal was hiding. That hadn’t been revealed when you shared the first scene.

    Thank you for sharing these!! I do hope you’re able to finish all your WIPs! The writing is absolutely delightful.

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  19. This made my morning. Pancakes, chai tea, and bits of Paradise Park to read – the only thing that would make it better is having even more Paradise Park to read. Thank you!

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  20. I love them. Thank you. Thank you also for the collages; even if I am bad at faces I am enjoying guessing at connections.

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  21. Really, Jenny. “Really not much fun to read?” “Annoying?” I don’t think you’re reading the same stuff we are. I’m clearly not the only one that’s read worse published fiction than your WiP snippets.

    I’m not the only one enjoying the Sunday WiPs. More, please!

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  22. Eeep! I almost missed the link!

    I’m in the middle of “Hansel and Gleep” and just loving it all–especially the underlying optimism and certainty of justice.

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    1. Oh, good.
      One of the things that’s fun about writing Zo and Ecks is that she’s a glass half-full kind of person because her glass is usually empty so she prepares for the worst, and he’s a glass full kind of person because if it isn’t, he’ll make damn sure it gets topped up. He charges ahead, and she brings the bandaids.

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  23. That was fun, and I would have read it sooner but it seemed too long to read at work. I would definitely have gotten distracted and neglected actual responsibilities.

    I remember when you first posted the opening of Frog Principle, so it was really nice to get more context for that. And to finally learn more about Pet’s stepmother; I was really curious about her the first time around. I really enjoy that “unfortunate demographic” line, by the way. Zo, Ecks and the Orphants were great, too. Now I want to go dig through the Argh posts for the stuff about Nelson the dragon, because I swear I remember reading about him before.

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      1. Hey, when I click on the link I get “You do not have permission to preview drafts.”

        Is there a different link for Nelson?

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