Tag Archives: magic mike

Starting the New Year … In Retreat!

Happy New Year, everyone! Suze here.

Have you ever been on a writing retreat? That’s what I’m doing for the next few days with a couple of my Sister Scribes—J Monkeys and Katy Lee. We’re in a time share out in the very cold and snowy Berkshires, complete with comfy living quarters and a fully stocked kitchen. Plenty of snacks, hot tea, and wine, and no Wi-Fi!

I’ve got two short projects I want to finish while I’m here (synopses for two to-be-written books), and one longer one that I don’t expect to finish, but will make huge progress on (revisions on a story I’ve had gathering dust for a long time). What a great way to start the New Year!

So here are the top three reasons a writer should go on a retreat:

IMG_20130102_211507You get to work in your pajamas. Check out these Betty Boop fuzzy lounge pants my mom got me for Christmas.  Trust me: I could live in these things, and I will be doing so pretty much for the duration.

Distractions can be kept to a minimum. Without Wi-Fi, there’s no ability to waste time surfing the web. We’re keeping the television off, and our e-readers holstered. There’s nothing to do but write! Unless, that is, I decide to pop out to a Redbox later–wouldn’t a viewing of Magic Mike be the perfect reward for three writers who’ve been working hard all day?

You can spend quality time with other like-minded peeps. This one is priceless. I get that not everyone can work with other people nearby. Personally, I love it. Just hearing someone else’s keys a-clacking and knowing that stories are being created around me motivates me to press on with my own work. Stuck on a plot point or can’t think of the perfect word? You’ve got other writers at your beck and call, ready to assist you. Or to force-feed you Reese’s Pieces and/or mini pizzas when you’ve been writing long enough and need to take a break.

What about you? Have you ever been on a retreat, either a formal, organized one, or a casual one like I’m on now? How did it work out?


Trailers, Trailers, Trailers

Hi everybody! J Monkeys here. It’s been a while, huh? I hope Vivienne has been treating you well in my absence. Would you believe I’m on away on vacation today? I’ve asked Suze to respond to your comments for me. But I wanted to talk about something near and dear to my heart these days, The Trailer.

No, no…not the kind of trailer you live in or even camp in. But rather, that preview of an upcoming bit of entertainment. Generally speaking, I enjoy the trailers before a movie – I like seeing what movies will be coming out in the next few months. Plus, for some reason that escapes me, I only like to eat my popcorn during the trailers. Once the move starts, I put on my sweatshirt (always – even when it’s 100 degrees outside, I can’t watch a movie in a theater without a sweatshirt) and settle back to enjoy the show. That’s when Hubby-o-mine gets to lay his mitts on the popcorn.

Now, sometimes, I try to guess how much I’ll enjoy the movie by the types and quality of the trailers before it. This works especially well for DVDs. Lousy trailers often mean a lousy movie – at least in my opinion. I saw a couple of movies lately where the trailers left me thinking “What?!!!!”. Let me share.

A month or so ago, Hubby-o-mine and I went to see Snow White and the Huntsman. It was an enjoyable movie, although I’d have like for the Huntsman to have had a name, and I wanted just a bit more at the end with the lovers – a hint of how their relationship might move forward. But here’s the weird part: there weren’t any trailers. None. The show started right after the theater reminded me to silence my cell phone. I’ll tell you the truth, I felt like 20 minutes of my evening had been stolen from me. And I had to eat popcorn during the beginning of the movie – ewwww.

Last Saturday, a bunch of the Scribes and I went to see Magic Mike. Click here for Jamie’s Monday post about the film. I liked it – I thought there was some nice character development on the part of Mike. The lead actress wasn’t my cup of tea, but overall, I thought it was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours. But the trailers, Lord, the Trailers! What marketing genius picked these things?

There were 6 trailers and 3 of them were for horror movies. Hello! The theater was packed with women (not a man in sight), mostly in the 35+ age group, I’d guess. I don’t think that is the demographic for horror movies – especially scary looking ones where innocent children are possessed by demons sold at a tag sale. Based on true events, of course. YIKES!

Seriously? Are there no romantic comedies being released in the next six months? Or Twilight – what about Twilight? There’s another one of those coming out. I could have looked at Edward Cullen for a few minutes. How about some girl-power movie? One of the other trailers was for Pitch Perfect – some kind of singing thing. I suppose if I really stretch my imagination that one could be a girl-power movie.

Today’s Secret: hmmmmm – I don’t really have one, but don’t tell anyone! 🙂

Today’s Question: What do you think about Trailers? Book trailers, movies trailers, trailer parks? Seen any good ones lately?

We’re Beautiful, It’s True!

Hey, all, it’s Thursday again. Hope you all had a lovely July 4th, complete with barbeques, fireworks, friends and family, and perhaps a Matthew McConaughey-like big sparkly Uncle Sam Hat. Everyone should have one of those for the patriotic holidays.

Anyhoo, our own Casey Wyatt has bestowed upon the Scribes the Beautiful Blogger Award. Yeah, yeah, it smacks of nepotism, or egotism, or some other -ism, but I’ll take it! I’m thrilled to accept on behalf of the Scribes. So, here are 7 facts about moi:

1.  My real name isn’t Suze. I chose a pen name to hide from the authorities–what’s that, Casey? We’re supposed to be honest and not make stuff up? Fine. My pen name is actually the name of my great-great-great grandmother, Susannah Pickert Hardy, the daughter of Revolutionary War vet Adolphus Pickert, who was wounded at the Battle of Oriskany with General Herkimer. (Genealogy buffs, I’d love to hear from you if we’re related!)

2. My candy of choice is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I also like Starbursts, especially the orange ones. Starbursts are like temporary gum: you can chew them for a while, but eventually they’re just candy.

3. Mr. Suze proposed to me at the top of the Klein Matterhorn in Switzerland, almost 13,000 feet up. It was the “high” point of our courtship. (Let me know when you’re done groaning, and we’ll  move on to number 4)

4. I like to clean the house while listening to–and loudly singing–Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell album or Queen’s Greatest Hits. I have been known to play (and sing) Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad six times in a row while mopping/vacuuming. “She kept on tellin’ me, she kept on tellin’ me, she KEPT ON TELLIN’ ME I want you …” Uh, where was I? Right. Fact #5.

5. A couple of years ago I visited The Cat, The Crow and The Crown, Laurie Cabot’s shop in Salem, Massachusetts and asked the witch on duty to help me construct a magic bag to influence a particular person to buy one of my novels. I carried it around for a couple of months and it seemed to be working, but then I accidentally left it in my pocket and it went through the wash.  I think it short circuited.

6. The first romance novel I ever read was Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss. I was 14 or so, and it was, um, revelatory.

7. I played the oboe in my high school concert band and orchestra.

Now for the second part of the Beautiful Blogger Award — passing it on to some more deserving writers! Here goes:

To the recipients of the Beautiful Blogger Award – go forth and share the beauty! Readers, what are your favorite blogs?