Friday, January 29, 2010

What I'm Up To

Writing on this blog seems to be inversely proportional to writing my novel as of late. I'm working on balancing this out some - as a goal mind you, not as a New Year's Resolution that I'm not good at keeping. I've got a lot on my plate lately, though, it seems. Between working more hours at my day job; working on my novel, hot dog articles, and other food pieces, as well as trying to keep some semblance of a social life, it's a difficult juggling act.

That said, I'm making some great progress on my novel. I'm still about 1/4 through the rewrite (which is what I told my twitter followers a couple weeks ago), but that's only because a week ago, I realized that some of my timeline didn't land right. I moved an important scene earlier, and that changed the build-up to it. Earlier this week, I finished those tweaks and I now feel that I can continuing pushing ahead and making more gains.

I'm not on track as I'd like to be to meet my 'finish draft 3.5 before I leave for Paris' deadline, but I still think I can meet my next goal of having a complete - almost final! - draft by April 21, 2010.

And let me tell you, I'm so glad I have this deadline. My writing partner and me set this deadline just before Christmas, and we're both trying really hard to meet it. But there's been other developments there, too. Our writing partnership has turned into a club! That's right, another writer has joined us. She's a newbie to the writing world, but she is incredibly inspiring. An idea struck her a couple weeks ago and she's been powering through the first draft of her novel. After a week of outlining, and then about two weeks worth of writing, she's officially about 17,000 words in already. See? Told ya so. Inspiring.

So, my Wednesday night Writing Club (which actually met Tuesday instead of Wednesday for this week only) is now officially a 'club' with three people. It's small, great group, and I know I wouldn't be as far along as I am now without them. And now I'm getting all cheesy, so I'll wrap things up.

I'm finishing up some revisions on Chapter 8 tonight, then it's back to Chapter 12 and continuing on to the rest of the novel this weekend.

What about you? What are your writing goals? Have you set any self-imposed deadlines?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Marshall tries to make Lily jealous

How I Met Your Mother, Episode 13

Lily and Marshall's relationship has always been strong. Even when they broke off their engagement in Season 1, Lily moved to and back from San Francisco, and Marshall dated the coffee-shop girl in Season 2, I could never, ever see Lily or Marshall with anyone else. As quirky characters, Lilypad and Marshall work. But their relationship got tested in Episode 13, Jenkins, when Marshall befriends a female co-worker.

(Sorry for the delay in posting; I wasn't able to watch earlier this week due to house/dog/cat-sitting... and no access to CBS).

But, I didn't buy the impetus for the storyline. Just last week when a new hot bartender showed up at McLaren's, Marshall proved to Lily that she was absolutely the only one for him. So, why did Marshall expect Lily to get jealous when he learns that all of Marshall's stories about a new co-worker - in which he never uses he/she pronouns - are about a female named Jenkins?

With Lily's lack of response, Marshall becomes determined to make her jealous, to the point that Lily didn't buy it when Marshall (truthfully) tells her that Jenkins kissed him - WITH tongue! Lily's reaction, I could buy, considering how much she trusts Marshall and how strong their relationship is, but the whole storyline ended up 'meh' for me.

That's not to say that this episode wasn't a total waste. With Lily and Marshall's plot, we gained some new relationship phrases (without the help of Barney, thank you very much). In every relationship, Robin and Ted explain, there's a Reacher and a Settler. As the names imply, the Settler is someone who could do better, while the Reacher won't get any better than who they've landed. Who's who in the pairing of Marshmellow and Lilypad? After a heated debate - with Marshall's screaming turning into a request for split-pea soup - Lily finally concedes that IF they were really to fit this theory, then she'd be the Settler.

While the Marshall/Lily Plot A storyline was lackluster, Plot B provided some laughs. Robin gets a tad-bit full of herself when she learns that Ted's class enjoys watching her crack of dawn show. But why do they tune in? The 'But, um...' drinking game all the college kids play. Every time she says 'but, um' during an interview, everyone takes a shot. Could it be? Does Robin, the woman who aspires to be on national TV, really say 'but, um' THAT often?

Apparently, she does. When Ted and Barney put it to the test, they end up finishing an entire bottle of Grey Goose. Not to mention, Ted's tie ends up around his head.

What did you think of the episode and NPH's directorial debut? Did it bother you that Barney barely had a storyline? (Unless you count him continually making jokes about attempting to sleep with Jenkins. Apparently, that's what Barney has been relegated back to... nothing more than a womanizing player. So much for character development for him).

What'd you think of Robin's lack of professionalism with the 'but, um's and running away an interviewee just to get back at the college kids? And, how much did you love Lily punching out Jenkins at the end? Because I totally did. Share your thoughts below!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Nothing Suits Barney Like A Suit

Girls vs Suits
How I Met Your Mother: Season 5, Episode 12 (aka Episode 100!!!)

In Girls vs Suits, Ted sees the ankle of his future wife, and Barney gives up suits. Hah. Like the second part of that would ever happen.

HIMYM started 2010 with a bang. Everyone in the gang had a bit of a story - even if it was Lily's 'hot for girls' talk that she's been doing a lot this season, Marshall reassuring Lily that she is the hottest woman, and Robin not liking the fact that the new bartender makes her the number 2 hot girl in McLaren's.

Ted... TED!... has a big storyline this time around, with tons of reveals about who the 'Mother' is. He meets Cindy at Columbia, after confiscating some frat guys' beer (except for the Hard Lemonade), and they instantly hit it off. We learn that she's a PhD student, knows Ted already because she was in that Econ class he accidentally 'taught' on the first day (!!!), and she always goes for cute idiots, like Ted.

But on their first date, as Future Ted talks about how you sometimes just know you're in the right place, we learn that Cindy is not the Mother... but her awesome roommate, who all Cindy's dates fall for, is. Ted claims he won't be like the other guys. Oops. But that mis-step soon doesn't matter. Cindy calls it off, worried about losing her scholarship if she dates a professor. But we know Ted. He can't just leave it at that.

He returns to Cindy's apartment, where her roommate is just about to get out of the shower. Ted ends up saying he likes the three things in Cindy's bedroom that belong to her roommate - and so it's vamoose for him, but not before he forgets the yellow umbrella he brought with him. And not before he sees his future's wife ankle as she goes into her bedroom.

Where was Barney in all this? Trying to land the hot bartender, of course, since he's amazingly not slept with one yet. Problem is? She doesn't go for guys in suits. So, he (gasp!) gives up suits. He seems to do this pretty easily, coming to the bar the next day in just a t-shirt and jeans. But, alas, his affair with suits is still, expectedly, not over. In a moment of weakness, he goes to the bathroom, where he's stashed a secret suit in the door. He puts it on, and RIPPP!

He cradles the suit as he runs to his tailor, played by none other than Tim Gunn. Unfortunately, the suit is dead, but it's buttons can be used for another. But what a perfect play for Barney! He brings an urn of the suit's ashes to the bar, where he's finally able to snag the bartender out of pity. Back at his place, though, she accidently walks into his suit closet. She then demands he choose: her... or the suits?

Cue one amazing dance number, created by the choreographers from the TV show Glee. Everyone in the gang participates in "Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit", with NPH, of course, at the center. It's big, it's awesome, and it's totally HIMYM.

But Barney still ends up sleeping with the bartender, claiming that he'll get rid of his suits the next day. Yeah. Right.

I loved the hints about the mother, and I, for one, don't mind if they don't give her a face quite yet. With this storyline, Ted finally entertained and showed why he's the main character of the show... but then there's Barney and his musical number. Which, don't get me wrong, was laugh-out-loud funny, but we've lost the tiny bit of sensitiveness we once had from Barney.

What happened to character progress on HIMYM? Lily seems stuck on the same note. Robin is stuck at her job, even while she's convinced of her hotness. Marshall, well, Marshall just hung around. Barney is always going for the girl. While Ted is back on track, I hope the writers keep up with the character development, get them doing new things but still keeping the characters true to what they've developed for them over the years.

What did you think about all the hints? Or are you just ready to find out who the Mother is and be done with it? Did you ever believe Barney would give up his suits? Do you want to see more from Marshall and Lily? Share your thoughts below!