Tag Archives: Joe Manganiello

Going Out with a Hunk! by Vivienne Lynge

Hello Scribblers!  Vivienne Lynge here.  Summer is officially over.  :(  It’s time for me to turn Saturdays back over to J Monkeys.  So for my last regular blog, I thought I’d go out with a hunk.  Joe Manganiello to be exact. 

Last Monday, I joined a bundle of CT Romance writers at a viewing of Streetcar Named Desire at Yale Rep.  What a great night!  Now, I’ve read this play previously and I’ve seen the movie with Brando…and it’s pretty dark and not, generally speaking, my cup of tea.  But what a show!

blanche deboisFirst, mad props to René Augesen.  She did an incredible job as Blanche.  You’d think she was actually going nuts right there in front of you.  And Sarah Sokolovic held her own as Stella.  She had some pretty hot scenes and some brave nudity.  It’s one thing to flash your naked back to the audience – well, more than a flash, but then to do an entire scene wearing nothing more than a bathrobe?  No skivvies?  She’s a braver woman than me and not just because she’s in MUCH better shape.  These ladies were wonderful.  I’ve done just enough theater to appreciate the work that they put into those characters. Bravo ladies – amazing work, really fabulous.

But did I mention that Joe Manganiello was in the show?  OMG ~ he’s just as dreamy live on stage as he is on True Blood!  And I swear, I could see the five o’clock sme and joehadow sprouting during the show.  Wanna know the best part? Here, I’ll show ya: ~ yup that’s me and Joe!  He was such a good sport.  After the show, he came outside to a gaggle of about 30 folks.  He signed things and chatted and took as many pictures with us as we wanted.   A bunch of my friends wanted me to take their pics with me using a combo of my phone and theirs, so I talked with him for a minute while figuring out the mechanics.  He’s just as nice as I expected him to be.  He said it wasn’t difficult to leave that meanie, Stanley Kowalski, on stage when the show was over.   As you’d expect, he’s all muscle – incredible torso.  But I have to say I was a bit surprised that he wasn’t quite as wide as I expected.  He looks huge next to Alexandar Skarsgard, makes me wonder if A. S. is one of those tall svelte (aka skinny) types.  Joe was, however, nice and warm on a cool fall evening.  And so charming…I could go on and on.  And on.  But I won’t.

Now, you may have heard that he admonished some boob who was class-less enough to use a camera during the show.  Good for him, I say.  Just common courtesy not to blind the actors whilst they perform for your entertainment.

If you are in the greater New Haven CT area – go see Joe, I mean Streetcar Named Desire.  Totally worth your time. 

One last Secret: Joe’s body is the model I’ve had in mind (and picture) for the hero of my WIP for quite some time.  Hayden is one wicked jacked knight.  Now I have an up-close-and-personal image to reference. 

Today’s Question: Who’s the  most famous person you’ve ever met.  I think Joe just edged out Kristan Higgins, but I did get to meet Jude Deveraux this summer, and I had lunch with Julia Quinn (awesome!).  And in college, I met Ben of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream.  What about you?

The Sugar Crush

Hi, Scribe Friends. Suze here. Glad you could stop by.

I’m working on the second novel in my mystery series (details of which I hope to be able to release soon!), and while I’m excited about it and making progress, I’m also finding myself not making my 1,000 word goal most days. And that’s a problem, because I want this puppy done by August 15.

I’ve also found myself procrastinating on other items on my to-do list, simple things that can and should be accomplished in ten or fifteen minutes (or less) but are nonetheless piling up and stressing me out.

thCABE2757But do I blame myself for all this? No! It’s not my fault! I blame …

Candy Crush Saga. This stupid, insanely addictive game is the world’s biggest time suck! There’s a sister game, by the way, called Farm Heroes Saga, but I just can’t warm up to those overly cute vegetables.

Anyway, the first step to conquering a problem is admitting you have one. Over the last few weeks the game has dragged me deeper and deeper into sweet, sticky oblivion. I’m at the hard-crack-ho stage on the candy thermometer. Just one more game. No, just one more game until I win. What? I’m out of lives? Sure, I’ll gladly wait twenty-eight minutes until I get another one, and in the meantime I’ll just surf the web and ogle Joe Manganiello and Channing Tatum, or google recent archaeological/anthropological finds (did you see the one about the Siberian female tattooed mummy? Click here, but only if you trust yourself to come back!). Wash, rinse, repeat until hours have gone by.

When my son gives me attitude, he loses privileges. It only seems right to give myself consequences, too, when I’m misbehaving. Therefore, daily, until further notice, no Candy Crush until I’ve completed the following:

  • Write 1,000 words on my manuscript
  • Get at least 30 minutes of exercise
  • Complete the most-pressing thing on my to-do list (the ones that take 15 minutes or less)

I’ve already been detoxing for a couple of days. So any of you Facebook friends out there, don’t expect me to be sending you lives or extra moves for a while until I get this under control. Or until I make my daily goals, above.

And come August 15, when this book is done, there will be one giant Sugar Crush. Tasty!

How about you? What’s your biggest time suck and how do you handle it? What are your personal addictions?

All You Need to Know About Valentine’s Day — With a Giveaway!

Happy Valentine’s Day, my lovelies! I hope this day, no matter how you celebrate or who you celebrate with, is wonderful. Read through to the end, because there will be a special gift for one lucky commenter.

TRUE-LOVE-Sweethearts[1]I’m going to let you in on a little secret (we just love those things around here!). Everything you need to know about Valentine’s Day — or love in general — can be learned from a box of Sweethearts (f/k/a Tiny Conversation Hearts). As far as candy goes, these are pretty bland, even a bit chalky. And they have a sad and conspicuous lack of chocolate.

But they come in pretty pastel colors, and each has a pithy little motto: Be Mine. Hot Stuff. True Love. Hug Me. Kiss Me. Even Boogie. Now that you mention it, I do feel like dancing.Thanks! The Necco candy people clearly understand romance and the art of keeping it simple. What more do we really need?

IMG_20130214_060434Leave me a comment about Valentine’s Day, love, conversation hearts, keeping it simple, the new Bridget Jones book coming out in the fall, Joe Manganiello, or anything else that strikes your fancy, and you’ll be entered in a random drawing for a fabulous prize package: a hardcover copy of Pride and Prejudice, a lovely Celtic Heart bookmark, a box of Sweethearts, and a dark chocolate raspberry Godiva chocolate bar. Contest ends at midnight Sunday, February 17th, and I’ll announce the winner next Thursday. Good luck, and Game On!

The Men Who Make My Heart Beat…

I saw Magic Mike today for um… research purposes. Was it well written? No. Did the male and female lead have any chemistry whatsoever? No. Did it have a satisfactory ending? No. Did I like it?

Hell yes!

There was man booty in it.  And Channing Tatum is probably one of the most physically perfect men I have ever seen. He’s got beautiful lips, and eyes and …. sigh… everything. But as yummy as he is he just doesn’t do it for me.

So in honor of Gratuitous Man Monday I’m going to share with you my list of men that I would sell my mama for.

1 The Rock. AKA Dwayne Johnson.  I fell in love with this man when I was fourteen years old. Not a girly crush. Not an ‘Oh I think he’s hot.’ But in total absolute LOVE LURVE LOOVVEE. Up until that point boys had merely existed. I had crushes on some, even liked others but when I saw The Rock on Smackdown asking the world if they could smell what he was cooking I was a goner. He was a man. A thick muscular man with pretty brown skin and perfect white smile and calves. Gorgeous calves! (I hate men with chicken legs.) I didn’t even like wrestling but I watched every damn show just for a glimpse of him. I bought his poster and even read his biography cover to cover. I’d watch him talk and get all flushed. He was my first and only celebrity crush and if it came between saving him or my mother from a burning building I’d have to think about it for a little while.

Jamie and Dwayne sitting in a tree K I S S I N G!

2. Simon Baker. I’m not usually a fan of blond men. But this man is so DREAMY. He’s the kind of guy you want to wake up looking at for the rest of your life.

What would you like for breakfast? French Toast or Waffles?

3. Old School Hottie Marlon Brando. Because before he began a love affair with food he was pretty damn yummy himself.

4. Javier Bardem. Because everybody needs a latin lover in their life

5. I haven’t ever seen an episode of his show but Joe Manganiello has got it going on. The man has got a twelve pack and if he let me I would count every one.

What about you? What man makes your heart beat?

Thickening the Plot

Good morning everyone!  Sorry I’m a bit late getting this post up, but J Monkeys is heading out for the day (again!) and just asked me to post for her.  Vivienne Ylang here.  Happy Saturday.  Last week I wrote about how I keep my characters real during the writing process.  Today I thought I’d tell you a bit about how I develop the plot of the story. 

Of course, it all starts with a kernel of an idea.  For some reason, the synapses of the brain fire and an idea occurs.  For me, ideas come easy.  I have way more ideas than I have ability to focus and get the job done.  I guess for some people ideas are the hard part.  My mom went back to college to get a Bachelor’s degree while I was in college and she said that writing papers were the toughest thing for her.  The math, the science (she’s a nurse) were a piece of cake, but tell her to write something and she’d stare at a blank piece of paper for hours.  I always found this hard to believe.  I entertain myself with blank pieces of paper all the time – and they don’t stay blank for long.

At any rate, once the idea is firmly fixed in my mind and I’ve got characters to go along with the idea, then comes the plot grid.  Yes, yes, I’m absolutely the planner type of writer.  Why wouldn’t I be?  I plan everything.  I love to plan.  If I tried pantsing my way through a book, it might take 7 years to write.  Trust me on this – I have experience.  I know that being a pantser (pantsers are people who enjoy writing by the seat of their pants) works for a lot of people; I’m not one of them. 

The plot grid is simply a type of outline where the major points in the story are noted down.  I like to use a plot grid I got from another author.  It’s pretty straightforward.  The thing that I like about it the best is that it makes me think about my Turning Points.  This is new for me, I haven’t thought this way before.  Turning Points are those places where the story…well, turns…for lack of a better term.   Most books have three of them: the first “change of plans”, the “point of no return” and the “major setback”.

The other thing that the plot grid has me thinking about is the Black Moment.  This is the final build up to the climax of the story.  The moment when the hero and heroine realize that everything they thought was true earlier in the story is, in fact, either not true or doesn’t matter.  The black moment is what prompts the characters to push their way through the horrors of the climax of the story.

So in addition to continuing to populate my character board (see last week’s post), I’ve spent time this past week working on my plot grid.  I’ve still got a way to go, but that’s ok.  I’m going on a long weekend vacation with the family next week and have decided to push my official start date for this book out to July 9th when the kiddies start Summer Camp and I’ll have some free time.  Even now, writing this post, there have been interruptions galore – demands for breakfast, and movies to entertain them. 

Today’s secret: Think about those turning points and build your way up to them.

Today’s question: What tools do you use to plot your stories?

And as a bonus – since I was dreaming about him just before I woke to write this post – here’s a little something to inspire you.  Joe Manganiello and I were saving the world together.  Hmmm.  Too bad I can’t go back to sleep.  But there’s always tonight.

Chairman of the Board

Hi everyone!  Vivienne Ylang here, again this week.  J Monkeys is off at a book signing today (12:00 – 3:00 at Hidden Treasures, the most wonderful store in Agawam Ma.  Everything is made by local crafters.) so she asked me to fill in. 

I blogged last week about my excitement in starting a new project.  This week, I thought I’d share some of my preparations with you.  Now, before you ask, I am a plotter, not a pantser.  Those wonderful writers who say they can’t wait to see what the characters have in store for them, have a talent (or psychosis, depending on your point of view) that I don’t have.  My characters are completely subject to my whims (God-complex anyone?) and as such, I need to understand them in order to write them.  That takes prep work.

Before I begin writing this story (I don’t even have a working title yet!) I do quite a bit of work.  I have pages and pages of character backstory written – much of which may never find its way into the book other than to flavor the characters.  Things that happened in the characters lives that shaped the way they see the present, scenes of times when they were happy, everyday interactions, things like that.

I write character bios, too.  I have a standard template that I use with the character’s name, birthdate, age at the start of the story (gotta pick a date that the story begins…) a physical description, height, weight, likes, dislikes, fears, quirks, strengths, flaws – you get the idea.  And then I answer a few basic questions about them.  Where did they grow up and go to school?  If he has unexpected free time, how does he spend it?  What would she die to defend

 

The Golden Girl

And the last thing I do to keep my characters alive in my life (for a little while) is create The Board.  My corkboard sits next to my desk and I fill it with 3×5 index cards.  Each has a picture of the character and their vital stats.  I’m a visual person, so it’s much easier to give my characters an actual face than it is to keep them all consistent in my head.  Sometimes my characters look like modern actors or other public figures, sometimes they are people from other times.  For example, I always imagine Bea Arthur as Dorothy from The Golden Girls, but I found this picture of her as a young woman and she was stunning!  You will someday find that young stunning Bea Arthur in a story of mine, believe me!

And since I’m in complete control over the characters on my board, that makes me Chairman of the Board!  ;)

Today’s Secret: Don’t tell anyone, but the hero in my upcoming story has Owain Yeoman’s face and Joe Manganiello’s chest and abs.  Honestly, how could I not include those phenomenal muscles?  This could be the closest I get to touching them…probably will be, no need for that restraining order, Joe.

Today’s Question: How do you make your characters real, without inducing schizophrenia?

Obsession

Hello wet campers!  It’s pouring here in CT…well it’s supposed to be pouring by the time this post goes live tomorrow am.  J Monkeys here on another happy Saturday.

If you’ve read any of my posts over the past year, this likely won’t come as a shock to you, but I’m just a tiny bit obsessed with True Blood.  Eric Northman, specifically.  I love him.  Especially in season 4, which I bought on DVD yesterday.  As soon as my kiddies nod off, and I’m finished with responsibilities like this post and getting stuff ready for an event I’m doing tomorrow, I’ll be right back in front of the TV.  I’ve got about 10 minutes of episode 5 left to watch – I had to turn it off when the school bus arrived this afternoon.  While I LOVE True Blood, I’m sure we can all agree that it’s wildly inappropriate for anyone under age…well…16ish at least!  And then there are 7 more episodes and some bonus features.  Yippeee!

No, your math skills haven’t failed you.  Somehow I’ve managed to watch 5 hours of TV in the last 24 hours – no mean feat with my brood.  Why am I obsessed with this show?  Aside from the obvious reasons,

Eric Northman
Alcide Herveaux

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

as a writer, I love how the screenwriters manage to end every episode in a dear-Lord-what-will-happen-next kind of cliff hanger.   It’s very difficult not to watch the next DVD.  And it’s not just the beefcake.  This same thing happened with the first few seasons of 24.  I remember laying in bed at night thinking to myself, “Just one more episode,” at 3:00 in the morning because I needed to know what would happen next.

This is an incredible skill for a writer – making a story a page turner, something that people can’t put down.  I haven’t actually read any of Charlaine Harris‘ Sookie Stackhouse books.  I don’t know why…maybe because I understand that the HBO series follows them fairly loosely and one favorite character from the series didn’t make it out of the first book alive.  So I can’t say if the books have this same incredible momentum that just pushes you along with the story, but on HBO, it’s a wonderful ride.

Today’s Secret: Writer friends, study how True Blood, 24 and other shows do this because it is a very valuable skill.  Constantly hook and rehook your audience to keep those readers coming back for more.

Today’s Question: What other shows, movies, plays, books do this well?