From Wannabe to Want to Be

When I hear the word wannabe, I think poser, someone who is pretending to be something they are not. Up until recently, that is exactly how I felt about my writing.

Eighteen months ago, I wasn’t writing. At all. The sum totally of my writing experience amounted to me venting about whatever was going on in my life at the time. As a preteen, I would fill spiral notebooks with my thoughts, feelings and the drama around me. I was ten, there was no real drama in my very ordinary life, but I was sure there was. As a teen, I would fill those notebooks with all of the usual teenage angst, heartache over unrequited ‘love,’ anger over ‘wrongs’ committed by my friends, my ‘poetry’ attempts, you know, the usual. Each of those notebooks was squirreled away in my cedar chest, never to see the light of day again.

As an adult, I would occasionally do the same thing, when life got to be just too much, I would write it all out. There was no rhyme or reason, just a stream of consciousness word vomit that would somehow leave me feeling a little better. Never did I consider what I was doing writing. Never did I even think about wanting to write. It was just something I did to cope because there are just some things that you can’t tell anyone.

All of that changed when I discovered fan fiction nearly two years ago. I know, I was very late to the fanfic party, but better late than never, right? I had become more active on Twitter, especially in the Bones fandom. After following a link to, a series of breadcrumbs lead back to the Twitter account of a fanfic writer. I followed her, she pointed me to some other fanfic writers and before I knew it, I was hanging out with this group of wildly talented writers, fanfic, original fiction, published, trying to be published, you name it.

When you hang out with such a group, the question – do you write – is inevitably asked. Every single time, I would laugh and say no. Funny thing, after being asked the question time after time, I began to consider it. Did I want to write? About eighteen months ago, the answer went from an emphatic ‘no’ to ‘I’d like to, but I can’t.’ After I made that statement, a Twitter friend sent some prompts my way, all for Bones. I’ll be honest, the thought of writing for an established fandom scared the hell out of me. I just knew I would screw up and have angry readers yelling at me via private messages. I set the prompts aside, but there was this nagging voice in the back of my head telling me to give it a try.

I’d like to say that it was something simple that pushed me to write. It wasn’t. It was some extreme family drama that drove me to it. I fell back in to my old habits, in a way. Instead of just venting, I wrote an original story that was very similar to what was going on in my life. After a lot of encouragement from some writer friends, I posted it on It wasn’t widely read or reviewed, but the feedback I did get was positive. It was enough to feed the fire that was just starting to burn in me.

That one story led to another seven on FictionPress and fifteen on FanFiction. Most, if not all of those, I consider my wannabe stage. I truly felt like a poser, like I had no clue what I was doing, like I didn’t deserve to be on the same site as my more talented writer friends.

What I have recently discovered is that I want to write, I want to be a writer. That doesn’t mean I think there is a mass audience out there ready to read what I write. It means that I have this need to write, that if I go a day without writing, I feel as though I’ve failed. It means that on the days the words don’t come, I hope for any words, even if they are the wrong ones. Just the act of pounding out a few sentences, a few paragraphs, a few pages makes me feel like I’m closer to accomplishing my goal, closer to being a writer. It means that if twenty people, hell, if five people read what I write and are touched by it, if it makes them think, if it makes their day better, then I can call myself a successful writer.

That’s one of the reasons I started this blog, to practice this craft, to see if anything resonates with my tiny, little audience. (Of course, the other reason is that I have way more to say about my favorite things than my family can listen to, but if you read this blog, you already know that.)

I’ve also started what I’ve been calling the ‘secret project,’ an original short story/novella that I’d like to see published (or, more likely, self-published) some day. Now that I have outed myself, I’m sure my bestie will be nagging me daily to read it. (Sorry, C, you’ll have to wait until I complete the first draft.) Now that I’ve outed myself, I’ve probably set myself up for some accountability, which I want and need.

I’m making the transition from wannabe writer to I want to be a writer. I still have a long way to go before I will feel comfortable saying I am a writer. I’m okay with that. Life is a process, it’s full of transitions. Why should this be any different?

Now, a little advice, which is something I rarely give. Listen to the voice pushing you to try something. Be open to the new. I’m not saying to go out and try base jumping, but if you’ve always wanted to paint, give it a try. Sure, you might suck at it. Then again, you might be the next great artist of your generation. You never know. If a friend asks ‘do you ____,’ maybe they are seeing something in you that you don’t see in yourself. Don’t immediately dismiss it, especially if it comes up again and again. Once I finally gave in to the suggestions, to the urge, I found a part of myself I didn’t know I was missing.

If you’ve already found your thing, isn’t it a great feeling? If you haven’t yet, I hope you do soon. I hope you go from wannabe to want to be, too.

Hell Week – The Pain Continues: The Originals and The Vampire Diaries

Welcome to my Hell Week post, part 2 – The Originals and The Vampire Diaries. Once again, these finales did not disappoint when it came to bringing drama, evil and angst.

The Originals – Ashes to Ashes

Going into the finale, it was obvious that Klaus was willing to do anything to protect his daughter, Hope. Of course, if he got to exact a little revenge on those whom he felt had wronged him, then all the better. After all, his siblings worked together to dagger him while Hayley and Jackson escaped with Hope. In order to prove to Dahlia that he had allied himself with her, he shoved Papa Tunde’s magical blade into Elijah’s chest, fed off Cami, killed Gia and helped Dahlia place a curse on Hayley and Jackson’s pack. This is where the finale picks up.

Without going into a play by play of the episode, I’ll hit the highlights. Dahlia links herself to Klaus, who immediately daggers himself in an effort to keep Dahlia down while the others look for a way to kill her. Davina uses her position and powers as the regent of the nine covens to resurrect Kol. Unfortunately for her, thanks to some Mikaelson manipulation, Esther is resurrected in Kol’s place. With Esther’s blood, the siblings have the final ingredient needed to kill Dahlia. Elijah says he is now finished with Klaus because Klaus chose to enact his own plan to dispose of Dahlia instead of working together. After a confrontation between the siblings and Auntie Dahlia, in which the Mikaelsons appear to inhale particles of the white oak stake, Dahlia is killed with Esther’s help as Klaus shoves the dagger through Esther’s body and into Dahlia.

A few thoughts about the finale and season 3:

Of course Dahlia was going to die. The actress who plays her has been cast in Julie Plec’s new show, Cordon, oops, I mean Containment. (Don’t get me started on Julie Plec!)

Davina is one angry witch after her one and only chance to bring back Kol was used to resurrect Esther. I think the Mikaelsons will soon learn that you don’t piss off the most powerful witch in the Quarter.

Elijah is not allowed to be happy. Considering how much I adore that badass, heart ripping, Original vampire, I find that very sad. His loyalty to his family, while admirable, will ultimately be his downfall, at least in his personal life. It’s that loyalty and probably residual love for Hayley, that has brought him back to the compound at the end of the finale to watch over Hope. I wish he had been able to stay away longer, if only to prove a point to Klaus.

Speaking of Klaus, all of the Klaroline shippers really should just give up now. The writers and producers of The Originals have been dangling the possibility of a Cami/Klaus relationship in front of viewers since the backdoor pilot during The Vampire Diaries season four. It looks like things could be heating up in TO season three.

The final scene of the finale proved one thing to me – Klaus tells Hope some creepy bedtime stories. He claims to be ready to hand New Orleans over to Marcel. I have my doubts. I have no doubt that he will do anything possible to keep Hayley away from Hope. I guess we’ll see what season three holds for us.

The Vampire Diaries – I’m Thinking of You All the While

Confession – I have had a hard time writing this post. I’m still recovering from the TVD finale. Yes, I do mean recovering. Picture ugly sobbing – now multiply it by one million. That’s close to how the finale affected me. Parts of the finale were beautiful. Parts were just downright brutal, even knowing ahead of time the end result – Elena would be gone.

I’m afraid that if I really try to recap this episode I will end up with a complete script instead. SO much happened in the finale, so much! Going into it, I had expressed concern to a friend about how the writers would manage to squeeze everything into a one hour episode. Promo pic after promo pic was released showing just how much they were going to cover. Unfortunately, in order to do it, some scenes were, sadly, cut short. Of course, that’s just my opinion.

OK, folks, buckle your seats belts. I’m going to try to buzz through the episode as quickly as I can, because I have a lot to say about it afterward.

Elena is a supernatural coma, thanks to Kai who has linked her life to Bonnie’s. Elena sleeps until Bonnie dies. Kai turns himself into a vampire, killing the rest of the Gemini coven in the process. Tyler activates his werewolf curse (again) when, at Liv’s insistence, he kills her rather than both of them dying. Poor Gemini witch, she was doomed anyway. Tyler bites Kai, which should be fatal, but no, it’s not. Instead, Kai siphons the magic from the bite and uses it against Bonnie. Damon finds Bonnie near death and has a choice – let her die, freeing Elena from Kai’s spell or heal her, making the choice Elena would want him to make. After years of trying to be the better man for Elena, we all know which choice Damon made. Bonnie lives. Kai, however, does not. He made the mistake of messing with Elena and for that Damon beheads him. Fitting end for him, don’t you think? Mama Salvatore’s ‘family’ has returned from the 1903 prison world, and apparently Enzo is now an honorary member. Stefan and Caroline discuss a possible future together.

Woven through all of this are Elena’s goodbyes to her friends and family. As each of them enters her mind, she is able to leave them with her last thoughts, requests, words. Her final goodbye is with Damon, who meets her on the road where they first met. After a last dance and kiss, Elena’s coffin is left in the Salvatore crypt, which is spelled shut to protect her from any vampire who might want to suck the Cure from her.

The final scene, which takes place after a time jump, shows a very different Mystic Falls, seemingly almost abandoned and in shambles. Law enforcement officer Matt Donovan appears to be patrolling the town, while Damon is keeping watching from the clock tower.

I tried to keep that short. I know. I failed, but like I said a LOT happened. Now for what I was thinking while I watched and since it ended (in no particular order).

Elena tells Damon she knew he would save his best friend. When did Bonnie become his best friend? Are they friends now? Yes, I believe so. Living in a prison world together for four months will bond two people. However, Bonnie has spent years believing that Damon was the worst thing that could happen to Elena. Best friend? No way. Alaric holds that title.

After Damon heals Bonnie, he carries her away. What? Damon only carries Elena. Bonnie should have been able to walk on her power. These two items strongly point to a different relationship for Damon and Bonnie in season seven. I can only hope that the writers respect who Damon is, who he has become and don’t force this into a romantic relationship. In the past, I have mentioned viewer deal breakers. A Damon/Bonnie hookup up would absolutely be one for me.

Jeremy came back to say goodbye to his sister, which was great. But, why didn’t he seem more upset. He will likely never see her, his only remaining family member, again. Also, why did his goodbye get so little time? They deserved more. They certainly deserved more time than Tyler got.

On the subject of families, Lily Salvatore clearly has no love for Stefan and Damon. Worst mother on the planet. She would rather have her witchpire (vampwitch?) family around her than try to build a relationship with her sons. My question – how did Enzo become part of that family? Is it simply because she was the one who turned him? Is it because there seems to be something more (EW!) brewing between those two?

Speaking of Tyler, why activate his curse again? If the werewolf bite was the nail in the coffin for Kai, fine, it makes sense. But, Kai (rightfully) died at Damon’s hand. I just don’t see the point.

This might be my biggest problem with the finale, other than Elena is now Sleeping Beauty and Damon will be waiting fifty, sixty, seventy years for her to wake up. Obviously, it is possible to ‘talk’ to her. The finale was chock full of those scenes. Why would they choose to put Elena in a coffin(!) in the crypt? Damon could keep her safe in the boarding house and ‘visit’ her every day. In my opinion, there is no way Damon closes the lid of the coffin, has Bonnie spell the crypt shut and just walks away. I just don’t see it. Besides, putting her in a coffin, that’s a little too Klaus-like for me.

Questions for season seven:

Who is destroying Mystic Falls? I think it is Mama S and her family of Heretics. I’ve seen theories that it’s Damon. I hope not. My other theory is that it is the fallout of a war between the Salvatores – the brothers against Mama and her other family.

How far in the future did this flash forward propel us?

Will we see Damon and Alaric comforting each other over their losses? I certainly hope so. The Damon/Ric friendship was barely acknowledged in season six. I hope that changes in season seven.

Will Damon and Bonnie forge a stronger friendship? Or will she just be a reminder of what he has lost? I want the latter, but I’m afraid it will be the former.

Any thoughts or theories? Please, share them!

Hell Week Begins: Once Upon a Time

For me, Hell Week, aka season finale week, began on Sunday with Once Upon a Time. I’ll admit, I had been dreading it. Since its return from the winter hiatus, the show has hinted at and bluntly stated that Emma Swan, the beloved Savior, had the potential for darkness. What?!? No, that just can’t be. Thankfully, that storyline seemed to be resolved through her roadside encounter with Lily. Or so we thought, but more on that later.

I was fangirling over this episode almost from the beginning. The flashback to 1966 seemed a little out of place, but I’ve learned with OUAT that you just have to hang in there. It will all become (mostly) clear. (J.J. Abrams prodigies, Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz definitely learned the art of flashbacks, flash forwards and even the flash sideways while working on LOST.) It was in the next scene, where Isaac meets with the Apprentice that I catapulted into full-blown fangirl mode. While testing Isaac to see if he would be the next Author, the Apprentice mentioned that the last Author had recently died. The Author died in 1966. Since the Author was first mentioned, I had wondered and hoped, but that exact moment and Google confirmed it for me. Walt Disney passed away December 15, 1966. Walt Disney had been an Author! This Disney girl and my mini-me Disney princess were both squealing, much to my husband’s chagrin.

So much happened in the finale and this would be an extremely long post if I delved into all of it. So, I’m just going to hit the highlights, as I saw them.

At Gold’s request, or really, insistence, Isaac, The Author, writes a new story where the heroes and villains swap roles. In his version, these new heroes and villains become the worst versions of their predecessors. Heroes who are syrupy sweet and too good. Villains who drip with evil and the worst of intentions. Rumplestilskin becomes a knight who saves Henry from an ogre attack. Snow White is now the Evil Queen and seems so much darker than Regina ever was, even at her worst.

Hook, who is not a captain, but a deckhand, sacrifices himself to save Emma and Henry, even though he does not remember loving her. As Emma watches Hook die, she realizes she loves him, but never told him. That moment is what pushes her to tell Regina to fight for her true love, Robin Hood.

As always, love and family are huge themes on this show. Regina proves this when, instead of stopping the wedding of Robin and Zelena, she chooses to save Henry’s life by stepping in front of Rumplestilskin’s blade. Just when it seemed everyone would be stuck in this alternate reality created by Isaac’s book, Heroes and Villains, a discovery was made. Isaac was no longer The Author, but Henry was the new Author. With the stroke of a pen, or rather a quill, he undid everything put into motion by Isaac and everyone returned to Storybrooke.

Emma is reunited with Hook and once again fails to tell him her feelings. (Grrr. At this point, my daughter and I were yelling at the TV.)

Everything seemed to be wrapped up prettily with a bow on top. That’s when I checked the time. Twenty-five minutes left in the show. Plenty of time for many, many things to go wrong.

Rumple is saved by the Apprentice, who pulls the darkness from his heart and puts it in the magical hat. Belle and Rumple reunite. Rumple is no longer the dark one. The Dark One’s dagger has no name on it. That’s important, remember it. But, it still seems like everyone will have a happy ending, right? I was so wrong.

The darkness can only be controlled when attached to a human body and was too much for the hat to handle. The darkness escapes and tries to attach itself to the Apprentice. Emma, ever the Savior, uses her magic to stop that from happening. However, it seems that just the brief encounter with the darkness is too much for the Apprentice. In what seems to be his dying words, he tells them the darkness can only be controlled by the Sorcerer – Merlin! Guess who’s coming to Storybrooke next season.

Looking for someone to attach itself to, the darkness finds Regina, who finally is getting her happy ending with Robin. How unfair is that? Regina, who has fought her own battle with darkness, who has come out the other side (for the most part) is about to be taken under again. I should have predicted what happened next, but I don’t think I got it until about two seconds before it happened. Emma, again, ever the Savior, takes Regina’s place, sacrificing herself to the darkness. Just before it takes her over, she FINALLY says those three little words to Hook. The darkness then takes her, metaphorically and physically, leaving behind the Dark One’s dagger bearing the name Emma Swan.

A few thoughts for next season:

I think it will be Hook who saves Emma from the darkness. Snow, Charming, and even Regina will try. But, it will be Hook’s love that actually does it.

Before Emma was taken over, Lily asked her to find her father. He had been in dragon form at the time he and Maleficient, well, you know. So, not even Maleficient knows who he is. Hmmm, her dragon father is mentioned in the same episode as Merlin, the dragon whisperer. This is not a coincidence. I believe that we’ll find out Merlin is Lily’s father before the end of next season, possibly before the winter hiatus.

This was definitely not the way that I wanted finale week to start. I’m now three finales in and two have been more than a little traumatic. Up next on the blog will be my take on The Originals, Agents of SHIELD, Arrow and The Vampire Diaries finales. Next week, we’ll have finales for The Flash and Supernatural. Then finally, this hell that we call season finales/sweeps will be over.

Any opinions or theories about the finale or next season, please share them in the comments.

Happy Smother’s Day!

I consider the ‘80s to be my decade. My thirteenth birthday was in 1980. I graduated from high school in ’85. By the end of the decade I was married and had my first child. The ‘90s passed by me in a blur of sleepless night, diaper changes and potty training. The ‘80s, however, hold a special place in my heart.

So, when ABC began airing The Goldbergs in the fall of 2013, I gave it a watch. I’ll admit, I didn’t really expect much from it. The ads the network aired leading up to the premier did not grab my attention. My husband, on the other hand, expects every sitcom to be great until proven otherwise. We rarely agree on sitcoms, so I was pleasantly surprised when we both found something to like in this new show.

Do I think it’s the funniest show I’ve watched? Not by a long shot. Friends holds that place of honor for me and I don’t see that changing. What do I like about The Goldbergs? The ‘80s references, of course! I remember the Cabbage Patch Doll mobs. I remember sitting in a theater and watching Lloyd Dobler holding his boom box over his head in Say Anything. I remember huge boom boxes! I might have even had one. What do I love about this show? The happy memories that come along with every one of those ‘80s references.

I’ve even learned something from The Goldbergs, a new word – smother. For those of you who don’t watch the show, a smother is an overbearing mother who smothers their child(ren) with too much attention. Get it? Beverly Goldberg is a classic smother.

I’ve learned something else. I had/have a smother and had no idea. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always known exactly who my mother is. I just didn’t know there was a name for it. I’m the only child of a working mother. If asked, I would have described her as overprotective and she was! Completely! All of you math majors out there can figure out how old I am as of my birthday last week. I’m definitely way past the age of needing a smother, but my mom hasn’t gotten the memo yet. Obviously, if she hasn’t by now, she isn’t going to. I’ve learned to live with it, however annoying it may be.

All of that was to say this, I am not the kind of parent my mother is. I think I have unknowingly gone out of my way to be a different kind of parent. I try not to smother my children. They’ve never had free rein, but as they’ve gotten older, they have also gotten more freedom, less constant supervision. We’ve trusted our kid enough to let them make their own, age-appropriate decisions. We’ve enforced consequences when necessary.

Even though I have tried to be the best possible mother, to make all the right decisions regarding my kids, to raise responsible, compassionate adults, there are days when I feel like a complete parental failure. I think any parent has days like that. Maybe it’s those moments of doubt that push us even harder to be better parents. That’s the goal, isn’t it, to be the best possible parent for your kids?

Yes, my mother is a smother, in every way possible. But, I know that, even though I’m an adult, she is still trying to be the best mother that she knows how to be. My choices most likely would never have been her choices, and I know many of hers would not have been mine. None of that matters, though, because at the end of the day, we can agree on one thing. Whether because of me or in spite of me, I have four amazing children. When Mom tells me I’ve done a great job raising them, I’m still a little girl looking for her mother’s approval and basking it.

So, whether you are a smother, a very laid-back mother or somewhere in between, have a wonderful Mother’s Day. And to my mom – Happy Smother’s Day, Mom! We love you!

Once a Fangirl

Not too many years ago, I think I would have been offended if someone had called me a fangirl. My image of a fangirl had always been of a thirteen year old girl screaming at the top of her lungs trying to get the attention of her favorite boy band member. Yeah, that’s not me. However, if you define a fangirl as someone who may be obsessed with a TV show, movie, book or character, you might be talking about me. I have been known to watch shows over and over, to actively seek out every little tidbit of trivia, to memorize dates, and episode order. I think it’s safe to call me a fangirl and now, it’s a label that I proudly claim.

Thankfully, I seemed to have passed that fangirl gene on to my daughter. She’s the baby and the only girl in the family and has been our princess from day one. So, it was only logical for us to introduce her to the Disney princesses at a very young age, probably before her first birthday. As she grew older, she became more and more obsessed. If it had a princess on it, she wanted it.

By the time she was ten or eleven, I tried to introduce her to my first fangirl obsession – superheroes. She absolutely refused to give my favorites a try. She was starting to move on to more video game fandoms – Pokemon and Harvest Moon. Even though she repeatedly shot me down, I still tried to get her to watch just one movie with me, convinced that she would love X-Men or Superman or The Avengers. She steadfastly refused.

At least she did until this past winter. Over Christmas break, I found the perfect gateway to get her interested. I am a huge fan of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It took a little arm twisting, but I got her to watch season one. After a few episodes, she was completely hooked. She quickly buzzed through season one and caught up on season two. When the show came back from hiatus in March, she was parked on the couch with me and my husband, ready to see what would happen next with Coulson’s team. From S.H.I.E.L.D., it was a short hop, skip and jump for her to start watching the Marvel movies leading up to Avengers Age of Ultron.

Last night, we saw Age of Ultron. She had been doing a daily countdown for a week or two. She was so excited to see it with the rest of the family, instead of playing catch up. The movie did not disappoint. We all loved it. For me, the best part might have been the ride home. The four of us were talking about the movie, sharing theories about this aspect or that or what could happen in the next movie. Why was that my favorite part? Because instead of sitting back and letting the conversation flow around her while she was lost in her own thoughts, my princess was right there with us, part of it all.

That’s one of the things I love about being a fan or a fangirl. It’s the shared interest that can bring us together, whether within a family or a fandom, which are often like families. Some of the people I ‘talk’ to the most are online friends who I connected with because of that shared interest. I think that alone is reason enough to put away the negative fangirl connotation.

By the way, my daughter, who is fourteen now, is still a Disney princess fangirl. She has just let it evolve. She is now one of Once Upon a Time’s biggest fans. She writes her own fanfiction for the show, although she shares it with no one. It’s just one more reason I’m glad she’s a fangirl. She’s the real writer in the family and this is a way to let her stretch her writer’s wings. That is never a bad thing.