Friday, June 20, 2014

It's TIME!!!

So, I know I've actually been blogging regularly lately, but I'm taking a week off and I'm running away from home!!!

It's time for the annual Writing Retreat of Glory and Wine to my happiest of happy places, Lake Superior!

I'll be without internet and often without phone service, so blogging is waaaaaaaaaaay out. Facebook and Twitter are probably out, too. I'll see you all when I get back. Have an awesome week! I know I'll be having one! :D

Merlin Club: Sweet Dreams of The One Where Arthur Breaks Gwen's Heart But She Saves The Damn Day, Anyway

This episode opens with Uther waiting patiently for the kings from five other kingdoms to arrive so they can have a peace summit and all sign a peace treaty. But one of the kings has other plans. His name escapes me, and I'm real lazy, so from here on in, he shall be known as Evil King. Anyway...Evil King has a plan and it involves his magic using jester with whom he seems to have a sort of D/s relationship and the jester's name is Trickler. I'm sorry, but that just sounds like a sex toy with questionable features. Like, maybe you're using it and everything is going well but then you get a horrible, horrible surprise. But anyway, (look, fair warning, this post will likely involve a lot of digression by me) Evil King isn't down with a peace accord at all because I guess his kingdom is both small and poor and war works out really well for him

There's this other king - Olaf - who looks like he was probably one of those hardcore rugby players in a past life, and he's brought his daughter along to Camelot, the Princess Vivian. Now, Vivian is awful She's just an awful freaking person who's was in one of my favorite episodes of Doctor Who - well, two of them really, and she also happens to be David Tenant's wife and I adore her. Her comedic timing is just lovely. Anyway, she's awful - she's rude to Arthur, rude to Gwen and has a sense of  entitlement that rival's my former SIL's. King Olaf is pathologically overprotective of Vivian and anyone who so much as looks at her is likely to get beheaded.

There's a celebratory banquet where the jester performs wonders, using magic, of course. And Uther just claps and smiles not even once suspecting sorcery is in his midst. You're off your game, Uther. The Trickler, in the course of his performance, steals a lock of Vivian's hair and uses it in a love spell to drug Arthur later that night in an attempt to start a war between Olaf and Uther.

The next morning, Merlin heads into Arthur's room to wake him (bearing a platter of fruit, of course) to find him, up, dressed and waxing poetic about his one true love. Arthur tells Merlin to send her flowers and a heartfelt note. Merlin delivers them to Gwen's house and leaves them for her to find. Gwen is touched and hopeful. Merlin realizes his terrible, terrible mistake when Arthur goes to Vivian's room and attempts to woo her with a romantic supper and one of my favorite lines of the show, "It is destiny, my love...destiny...and chicken."

Vivian is all go the fuck away and Arthur slinks off morosely. Merlin quickly figures out that Arthur is a victim of an enchantment and stays up all night hitting Gaius' books to figure out how to break the spell.mWhen Evil King realizes that his plans aren't going, well, according to plan, he sends the Trickler into Arthur's room that night to steal a lock of Arthur's hair to enchant Vivian. It works and Vivian is the most delightfully, giddy, derpy princess that ever was.

She goes to Arthur's room in her jammies, jumps on his bed and starts sniffing his pillows and bedding then arranges herself in a sultry pose and waits for him while Merlin flips his shit and tries to get her to leave. I love this scene. The exchange between the two of them cracks me up.

Meanwhile, Gwen and Arthur have a discussion about second chances and Arthur thinks she's talking about him and Vivian, but she's talking about her and Arthur. The Trickler tells one of the knights guarding the counsel that Vivian is in Arthur's room. The whole counsel storms up there to find only Merlin. He's magically knocked her ass out and hid her in the wardrobe. They search the room and find nothing because Merlin has also magically sealed the wardrobe.

Gwen sends Arthur a note giving him another chance and Arthur thinks it's from Vivian. He goes to Vivan's room, wakes her up and they start making out. Merlin is trying to get them to stop when Uther, Olaf and everyone else busts in. Olaf throws down the gauntlet and challenges Arthur in a duel to the death in a tourney. Meanwhile, Gwen is at home waiting...for hours...alone and heartbroken.

Merlin tries to disenchant Arthur, but nothing is working. Uther tries to talk him out of fighting. That doesn't work either. And Uther is just DONE with Arthur and his bullshit. The tourney takes place the next morning and Arthur is woefully unprepared. In fact, Olaf beats the shit out of him because he's busy mooning over Vivian.

Merlin goes to the dragon to get advice, and as is the dragon's M.O., he laughs his ass off at Arthur's predicament. He eventually after much guffawing, tells Merlin that the only way to break the spell is for Arthur's actual true love to kiss him. Merlin goes to Gwen and begs her to help. She's not happy about it, but she does what needs to be done because even as a lowly servant, she's still a queen, damn it!

She kisses Arthur and breaks the spell. Arthur has to go out and fight the last round, and despite being injured, he manages to beat Olaf, but he spares his life because death matches aren't the best way to achieve peace. The peace treaty is signed by all and Vivian (still under the love spell is dragged home by her father) while Arthur wave awkwardly and Evil King forces the Trickler to run in chained to the king's horse all the way home.

Gwen returns home that evening to find a rose and a note from Arthur. And Arthur waiting semi creepily in the corner. They talk about how hopefully things will be different when he's king so they can be together.

And now, the questions. 

1.       If I’d written this episode...I'm not sure there's really anything I would have changed. This is one of my all time favorite episodes. Although, it would have been nice if the spell on Vivan was somehow broken when Arthur's was because now, she'll be pining for him forever.
 2.    The thing I loved/hated most about this episode. Loved:So much love for so many things. First off, the actress that played Vivian played her perfectly I love Georgia Moffett, though. And she was hilarious in this role. Another favorite was Uther eyerolling at Arthur and throwing up his hand like "this damn kid - what the hell!?" Oh, and Merlin and Vivian arguing. I love it so.

3.    Something you’ve never noticed about this episode before. Two things, this time: A. That Gwen has a candle holder just like one I have . B. Merlin is strangely brushing a boar's head in Arthur's room. Do taxidermy animals require a lot of grooming? Is that a thing?
4.    Favorite Costume.Okay - I straight up LOATHE the color of this dress, but I really like the style. 

5.    Here is Proof of some random head canon I’ve created. Don't really have anything this week.

6.    What Merthur moment did Jess have the naughtiest thoughts about? When Merlin was reading the note he'd written on Arthur's behalf clearly wishing it was to him from Arthur. 

7.   What made Jen lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in a bad way? Hmmm...I'm gonna go with Merlin be positively flummoxed by the Trickler's use of magic butterflies. 
 Jess' take on the episode is here, and Jen's is here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

If I Won a Million Dollars...

This week, the Random Wednesday bloggers are blogging about the first five things we’d buy if we won a million dollars. 

I’m gonna warn you, if you’re hoping for whimsical, you’re probably not going to find it here, because if I had a million bucks, some damn practical things would happen. Which, to be fair, is unusual for me.

1. I’d buy a house in the country where I could actually see the stars at night and also have a fire pit. I miss things like stars, fires at night, and being far enough away from my neighbors that I don’t have to hear them scream at each other and their kids all day and night.

2. I’d pay off Killian’s current student loans and pay for the rest of his and Corwin’s schooling so they could move on without a mountain of debt. 

3. I’d take my family on a long-ass trip to Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales. It’s my dream trip, and I’d do it in a heartbeat. 

4. I’d pay off my mom’s house and bills so she could enjoy retirement. She’s so done so much for all of us kids, and that way she could just spin and dye wool, knit, and play in her garden.

5. Oh…I guess I *do* have a whimsical thing I’d do. I’d buy a 1960s VW microbus and pay someone to restore it (and update it – sorry, but I need air conditioning and Bluetooth for my music) and take tons of road trips in it.

I'm curious to see what everyone else would do. Click their names to find out! 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Merlin Club: The Lady of the Lake or The One Where I Was Expecting Something Completely Different and Merlin Gets His Heart Broken

The episode opens on a dark and stormy night (of course) with a mean looking bounty hunter pulling a cart with a cage on it into Camelot. Inside the cage is a beautiful young woman. The bounty hunter goes inside the tavern and leaves his prisoner out in the rain. 

Merlin and Gaius who’ve been treating an ill villager spot the girl in the cage and Gaius basically tells Merlin to stay away from her. Our boy Merlin doesn’t listen (as usual) and sneaks out to free the girl. He finds her a hiding place in the basement of Camelot and leaves her with his jacket because she’s cold and wet and wearing rags…and also…castle basement. 

The next morning he steals Arthur’s breakfast and gives it to Freya, the druid girl he rescued. Meanwhile, the bounty hunter has been brought before Uther and has to admit that his prisoner got away. Uther is *weirdly* relaxed about this. Like laid right back and tells the guards to search for her, but he’s not his usual MAGIC IS IN CAMELOT FIND IT AND KILL IT NOW.

Meanwhile, Merlin is impressing Freya with a dancing flames. He’s clearly smitten with her. As adorable as they are together, this is a serious case of insta-love. He continues to steal Arthur’s food, trying to convince Arthur that he’s doing it for his own good because he thinks Arthur might be getting fat.

Later that night we see a young couple in love who are clearly out past Camelot’s curfew, and they get mauled to death by a mysterious creature. Uther is concerned, but still uncharacteristically laid back.
Gaius tries to warn Merlin that the Freya and the maulings are related, but of course Merlin doesn’t believe him and continues to fall utterly and hopelessly in love with Freya, and he plans to abandon his destiny of protecting Arthur to run away with her. He even steals one of Morgana’s dresses for her.

That night, two of Camelot’s guards are mauled to death and Uther becomes a little more insistent about finding the creature. Merlin steps up his plans to get Freya out of Camelot but before he can, she sneaks out and is caught by Arthur and some other knights. The clock chimes midnight and she turns into a giant black cat with wings. 

The men attack the creature and wound it. Merlin distracts the knights giving the creature a chance to fly away. He finds Freya in the basement mortally wounded. He’s absolutely crushed and heartbroken. I will say that he’s very pretty when he cries. He takes her back to the place she grew up so she can die there having seen it one last time. Then he sends her off in a boat cushioned with ferns and magically sets the boat on fire once it’s in the middle of the lake. 


Back at Camelot, he’s depressed. Arthur attempts to cheer him up by giving him a noogie and more chores. 

And now, the questions. 

1.       If I’d written this episode...I know it's only an hour show, but I would have loved to have seen the writers take more time to believably develop the relationship between Merlin and Freya - like even over a couple of episodes. Even though Colin Morgan does grief beautifully, it would have been more satisfying if it had been less insta-love.
 2.    The thing I loved/hated most about this episode. Loved: Actually seeing Arthur concerned about Merlin's depression. Of course, he ruins it right after that by giving him a crap ton of chores, but you was there. Hated: The fact that the bounty hunter was all surprised the Freya turned into a giant, angry flying cat. Supposedly, he'd had Freya for several day and her curse causes her to turn into said giant, angry flying cat at midnight every day. How does he not know this? 
3.    Something you’ve never noticed about this episode before. Two things, this time: A. How out of character's Uther's response is when he hears that Freya escaped and is loose in Camelot. B. How the one time Uther actually asks for Gaius' opinion/help and Gaius doesn't want to give it.

4.    Favorite Costume.This is a tough week for wait! That's not true! Arthur's bath sheet!

5.    Here is Proof of some random head canon I’ve created. Don't really have anything this week.
6.    What Merthur moment did Jess have the naughtiest thoughts about? I think it was when Arthur was concerned about Merlin's depression - mostly because in her head Arthur did something entirely different to cheer him up.  
7.   What made Jen lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in a bad way? Merlin's treatment of Freya vs. his treatment of Morgana in regards to magic.
 Jess' take on the episode is here, and Jen's is here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Stuff I Need in Order to Write

This week’s topic for the Random Wednesday bloggers is “What I Need to Write.” The answer is…not that much.

For instance, I need:

My computer. I *can* write longhand, but I compose more quickly on my laptop, so that’s a must have.

A seat along a wall. I have a very difficult time working if there are people walking behind me. Even if they’re not looking at my screen, I can’t stand having people behind me. It’s one of the reasons I have trouble writing in coffee shops. 

A comfy chair or couch. I admire people who can sit in a straight back chair at a table and work for hours. But I can’t. If I’m not comfortable, I can’t focus.

Something to drink. Depending on the time of day, it’s either coffee, tea or water.

My headphones. Sometimes, I listen to music while I write, but more often than that, it’s a visual cue to the people around me that I’m working and now is not the time to tell me about MineCraft, TF2 or any other video game.

To get out of my own way. By that, I mean that I need to just relax and trust the story rather than obsess and worry like the freak of the week. Sometimes, I’m pretty good at this, and other times sedation seems like a viable option. I’m sure it seems like a really good option for my friends who have to put up with my obsessing. 

An idea of where the book is going. I don’t need a full blown plot. I probably wouldn’t know what to do with one if I had one. But I do need an idea of where the book is going. Just a few major plot points. And the end. I really need to know the end so I can aim in that direction.

And that’s pretty much it. Well, a cat or three is often helpful...

I’m kind boring. 

Check out what the other RW bloggers need to write by clicking on their names. I know I’m curious.