Monday, July 28, 2014

Sing-Along Blog

I know it's not Thursday, but here's a Blog Post that I wrote back on July 29, 2008.  It's in an old blog I'm not using anymore, but I thought it was worth reading.  I'm reposting it here.

Sing-Along Blog

It's rather hard for me to put into words just how much I hero-worship Joss Whedon.
...there. That's the end of this entry. Not enough for you? All right, I'll keep going.
My passion for Joss Whedon started when I was in high school. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was in its first season on the WB (remember them?) and I was completely hooked. "Witch" was the first episode I ever saw, and from then on I was positively glued to my television every night the show was on. During the show's third season, I would have "Buffy Parties" at my house on Tuesday nights when the show would air. The only rule for these parties was no talking during the show. Commercials were reserved for answering questions about the plot and characters. Suffice to say, I was a Joss-Head. I followed Angel, too. I didn't like it as much, but it had the same Joss charm and wit that the original series had.
High school was also the time when my passions for filmmaking and Buffy reached an intersection. I hadn't heard of anyone "continuing the story" on their own at that point, so what my best friend and I decided to do was a completely original idea to me. We wrote our own Buffy (And The X-Files) movie. Mulder and Scully go to Sunnyvale to investigate Vampire Activity, and end up on a double date with Buffy and Angel. It was hilarious. We wrote, directed, stared in and edited an 88 minute, feature-length movie on the subject. (We did the same for X-Men, but sadly, that project was never completed. But I digress...)
I entered a period of estrangement from my Whedon-passion during college. (Even though I kept my collection of Buffy VHS tapes--every episode aired, thankyouverymuch--close to my heart, and would put them on whenever I felt down.) Buffy moved to UPN, where the station aired the Buffy Musical Episode. There was no greater feeling than to be watching my favorite television characters dancing and singing. I was such a huge fan I went onto the internet to start searching for more Buffy to fill my cravings. That's how I was introduced to the wonderful worlds of "fandom," "fanfiction," and "rp."--but more on those later.
Even though Joss and I disagree on a few things (Jean Grey, for one) I was thrilled to hear that he was going to start writing for Marvel Comics. I'd been an X-Men fanatic since I was a small girl, as is obvious to anyone who looks in my closet and sees my huge collection of comics and figurines. Jean's always been my favorite character, and, even though he killed her off (how does one kill off a phoenix for good?), I started collecting the comics he'd written for The X-Men.
In 2003, knowing of my passon for Mr. Whedon, my brother sent me this Joss quote from Wired Magazine:
I think the Harry Potter Books are the finest of the century! J.K. Rowling is one of the three best storytellers in young-adult fiction, with C.S. Lewis and Roald Dahl. Her characters are archetypes without being cutouts--we've definately known these guys, and at the same time, they're bigger than life. I'd like to see Harry kick it out a little, push against authority, including Dumbledore. But it's great that Harry actually gets older as the books go on. In the last one, they had kids making out for the first time--by Book Seven they'll be like, 'take that wand and shove it up your...'
Joss talking about Harry Potter was like two of my three worlds colliding in a wonderful and brilliant display of fireworks. By this time I'd hopped online and was very deeply involved with fanfiction and role-playing in three fandoms: Harry Potter, X-Men and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was also around this time that the television series Firefly was starting to gain a cult following. Because my attention was spread among three fandoms, it was growing harder and harder for me to follow Joss the way I knew I should. I never saw Firefly. Not one episode. Apparently, according to the rest of Joss Whedon's followers in the whole world, that was the biggest mistake I've ever made.
Suddenly people were coming out of the woodwork to sing Joss's praises to me. People who had never taken an interest in Buffy, people who thought me hosting "Harry Potter Parties" was a stupid thing, people who never understood spending $30, $40, even $50 a month on comics, were all coming to me and saying "Hey, have you heard of this Joss Whedon guy!? He's amazing!! This show is the best show ever made!! You HAVE to watch it!! Why aren't you watching it RIGHT NOW??"
Please excuse my immaturity for a moment. The response I had to bite back time and time again was, "Of course I know who Joss is! Haven't you heard me squealing about him for the last six years? Where the hell have you been?" So, I never watched Firefly. Not one episode. I avoided the movie Serenitylike the plague. I heard about scores of fans lining up like it was a new, well-written Star Wars movie, and I turned the other way.
Mostly, when Buffy ended, I found myself searching for something else to fill that big, gaping hole in my chest it'd occupied during its seven seasons on the air. The distraction I found was in Harry Potter. Again, it was a series, and running on a deadline, but the fanfiction and role-playing world appealed to me, whereas the Buffy one didn't. I moved on, and left my Joss obsession behind. It was a mistake I knew I was going to regret.
The regret came in the form of a three-part mini-series called "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog," starring Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion. My Father-In-Law insisted we all watch the mini series, split into three fifteen minute segments. I must admit, after hearing the title, I had my reservations. I was soon to be proven completely wrong. Music, emotion, witty dialogue, beautifully directed comical sequences, interesting characters and an amazing ending all make Dr. Horrible shine like a brand new, copper penny. My faith has been restored.
There is no doubt in my mind, even after years of estrangement, that Joss Whedon is a God.
And, if you'll excuse me, I've got to go watch Firefly.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Words to use instead of Said

I found this list of "words to use instead of said" on a message board somewhere, and I'm re-posting it here.  I can't find it again, though I copied them for my own use.  If anyone knows where they came from originally, please let me know so I can link back to that conversation!  I thought I'd post them here, and see what you think about these words.

Honestly, I don't mind the word said.  I use it a lot because it's very often the best word for the job.  But I've also learned not to adjust the word 'said' with an adverb when a different word for 'said' would work just fine.

For instance, why say "she said breathily" when "she whispered" would work?  It's a stronger sentence.  That's what we're aspiring for in our writing; stronger sentences.  Fewer words to get our points across clearly.  Using these words for said sometimes will surely lead to stronger sentences, but using them too often is sure to distract the reader.

Anyway, here's the list.  Let me know what you think.  

1. Exclaimed
2. Replied
3. Queried
4. Questioned
5. Murmured
6. Muttered
7. Screamed
8. Shouted
9. Whispered
10. Laughed
11. Cried
12. Whined
13. Yelled
14. Answered
15. Encouraged
16. Complained
17. Rasped
18. Whimpered
19. Barked
20. Giggled
21. Ordered
22. Implored
23. Insisted
24. Interrupted
25. Lectured
26. Mimicked
27. Uttered
28. Objected
29. Observed
30. Offered
31. Cowered
32. Sneered
33. Snarled
34. Remembered
35. Lied
36. Exaggerated
37. Cackled
38. Squealed
39. Fretted
40. Sobbed
41. Hollered
42. Persisted
43. Pestered
44. Pleaded
45. Pondered
46. Prattled
47. Prayed
48. Proclaimed
49. Proposed
50. Protested
51. Snapped
52. Added
53. Advised
54. Agreed
55. Allowed
56. Announced
57. Apologized
58. Argued
59. Began
60. Begged
61. Blurted
62. Started
63. Recalled
64. Remarked
65. Repeated
66. Responded
67. Revealed
68. Scolded
69. Simpered
70. Snobbed
71. Spluttered
72. Shrieked
73. Groaned
74. Sighed
75. Gurgled
76. Promised
77. Grumbled
78. Rumbled
79. Mumbled
80. Wondered
81. Thought
82. Told
83. Asked
84. Informed
85. Moaned
86. Breathed
87. Coaxed
88. Chanted
89. Howled
90. Spoke
91. Stammered
92. Sulked
93. Tattled
94. Teased
95. Threatened
96. Tormented
97. Urged
98. Wailed
99. Boasted
100. Called
101. Chatted
102. Chuckled
103. Concluded
104. Decided
105. Declared
106. Denied
107. Disagreed
108. Drawled
109. Inquired
110. Falted
111. Finished
112. Gasped
11. Gloated
113. Grunted
114. Hinted
115. Hissed
116. Warned
117. Wept
118. Wheezed
119. Yawned
120. Tempted
121. Reflected
122. Bellowed
123. Googled
124. Oogled
125. Burble
126. Commanded
127. Wheedled
128. Grizzled
129. Griped
130. Sang
131. Twittered
132. Demanded
134. Wooed
135. Blasted
136. Bit
137. Chewed
138. Bawled
139. Toasted
140. Growled
141. Roasted
142. Hounded
143. Grimaced
144. Slurred
145. Joked
146. Prodded
147. Lamented
148. Mourned
149. Stuttered
150. Dribbled
151. Pronounced
152. Spelled out
153. Reminisced
154. Warbled
155. Elocuted
156. Implied
157. Insinuated
158. Challenged
159. Countered
160. Countermanded
161. Bandied
162. Riposted
163. Deliberated
164. Communicated
165. Oozed
166. Assessed
167. Negated
168. Abnegated
169. Intonated
170. Cussed
171. Cursed
172. Caterwauled
173. Assured
174. Delivered
175. Bleated
176. Dripped
177. Flirted
178. Assented
179. Swore
180. Hesitated
181. Egged-on
182. Confessed
183. Chirped
184. Chirruped
185. Roared
186. Mewed
187. Rattled on
188. Harped on
189. Nattered on
190. Crapped on
191. Went on
192. Continued
193. Blathered
194. Blustered
195. Huffed
196. Nagged
197. Shouted down
198. Squeaked
199. Wished

200. Related