Thursday, June 28, 2007


Online Dating

At first I was a little proud my blog was R-rated... And then I looked at the reasons why.

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

gay (5x) hell (3x) ass (2x) murder (1x)

Based on this, it seems like the biggest reason for my R-rating is that I've used the word "gay" a few times... I just searched my posts to find which ones used this "horribly offensive" word. Wow. One of them all I did was refer to the "now-cliché-in-chick-lit gay best friend" device.

Does this seem right to you?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Gah! I am so weak!

So, a few weeks ago I blogged about how appalled I was at the premise for the new show Age of Love. I swore I wouldn't watch it. But late last night (really late) I broke down and watched it. (Okay, I guess the first breakdown came earlier in the day, because I'd set my PVR to record it. In terms of being appalling, the show did not disappoint.

In fact, it elevated my sense of revulsion to all new levels. The man on the show, a 30 year old tennis player, didn't know the women he'd be meeting would be older than he is until they were paraded out to meet him! And one of them is 18 years older. And, as if it couldn't get worse, he's a guy who's only dated women much younger than him in the past, and a man who wants to have kids.

This simply isn't fair, to him or the women. I mean, the look on his face as all these women who were between 9 and 18 years older came out, it was so painful. And must have been super painful for the women to see, too. So manipulative. So cruel. I mean, is he going to have kids with the 48 year old? Who already has a son only 5 years younger than he is?????

To me, to make this show even vaguely "fair", (not that reality TV has anything to do with "fair") they should have at least picked a guy open to dating older women.

He'll look like a total ass if he simply ditches all the older women or shows an obvious preference for the younger women. And this is a guy who can't afford to look like an ass on National TV. He's already a minor celebrity, so if he comes off as a jerk on this show, he'll wreck his ability to get good endorsement contracts and stuff like that.

WHY DID I WATCH IT????? It was definitely a case of the slowing-down-driving-by-an-accident thing... But I admit it. I arranged to drive by. I looked. Mea culpa.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Cyber friendships

Wow... I really slacked of on finishing my "digression" from the previous post. Thanks to everyone for your kind words about the blog and my blogiversay. I do enjoy blogging when I have something to say. Amazing to have an outlet for some of my rants. But there are days when I think, "Boy, it's been a while since I blogged, I'd better think of something to say." And those days I'm not such a blog fan. Guess I'm realizing it's not really necessary to post every day, though. (Also realizing that these blog posts will be around in perpetuity and that one never knows who'll read them and when... Someone, for example, found my blog while searching google for "Christian Bale's shoe size". Huh? I guess have have blogged both about Christian Bale and shoes more than once... And the day Sinead talked about Dexter on Drunk Writer Talk we had something like a gazillion hits because someone linked us to the Showtime site (which we couldn't even see, because it won't let you from Canada.) But all that, while it does give me pause about some of my rants, hasn't stopped me from blogging.)

Ooops. I think I've just digressed twice while trying to get around to the digression I'd planned to expand on...

So, back to our regularly scheduled digression... My last post got me thinking about how great my blog has been for meeting other writers, or getting to know writers I'd met before better.

I suppose developing a friendship online is a little bizarre and probably should be the subject of a Phd thesis in sociology or psychology, rather than a short blog post. But that said, my experience with a few people I met first online, (Eileen Cook, Maia Caron, Barrie Summy, Misty Simon, Danita Cahill, to name just a few), and then met "in real life", would indicate that if you "get" each other's posts, chances are you'll "get" each other in real life, too.

And then there are people I met in person first, but didn't know well, and feel like I've gotten to know better via our blogs, (Mel Francis, Christine D'Abo, Margaret Moore, Michele Rowen, Nadine Dajani, Diana Peterfreund, Shannon McKelden, Amy Ruttan, Wylie Kinson).

And that doesn't count the people I've met online, feel like I know, but still haven't met in person, like Sara Hantz, and Kristy Kiernan and Mia King and many, many others.

Bottom line? I think you can develop friendships online. I know I have. Have you?

My Blogiversary

It's been a year. I can't quite believe it.

I suppose my first foray into the blogosphere actually came some time in February '06 when Diana Peterfreund had me guest blog about the weekend I signed with my agent and won 3 lottery type prizes. (4 if you count signing with an agent.)

But it took until mid-June of last year for me to attempt to create a blog of my own.

Now, I'll be the first to admit I've been a pretty inconsistent blogger. And keeping up with both my own blog and a post a week at Drunk Writer Talk has proven harder than I thought it would be, in spite of plans I'd had for "easy stuff" like posting the interview column I do for my local RWA chapter once a month. Somehow I've only managed to post a measly 3 of those. Terrible.

I suppose I'm getting to that point I've seen so many other bloggers hit. The point where you ask, "Why am I doing this?" or "Is it worth my time?".

For an unpublished author, such as myself, there's no big publicity payoff. In fact, I'm not even sure to what extent readers of books read author blogs. When I started blogging I had a few purposes in mind, although to be perfectly honest, I'm not sure these reasons were as clear to me then, as they are now. (But it sounds better to have had a reason beyond, "Everyone else seems to be doing it," which was probably closer to the truth.)

The reasons?

#1 To get my name out there in googleland. Used to be when you goolged Maureen McGowan you'd get a huge number of hits and would have to dig for several pages to find one that was actually about me. In fact, even when you added "writer" to the google search, another woman who shares my name, but writes Xena Princess Warrior fan fic, would come up way ahead of me. (At the time, the only online presence I had was my name on my local RWA chapter's site, and a few contest finalist announcements.) Now when you google my name, most of the first few pages are actually about me.

#2 To show editors who might be looking at my work that I'm serious about the business and about self-publicizing. (Although see the comment above about not really knowing how much publicity one gets from blogging.)

#3 But I think the main reason was, or at least the main pay-off has been, networking with other writers. I've met several other writers through my blog -- some who are becoming good friends -- whom I don't think I'd have otherwise met. I also feel like I've gotten to know several other writers much better and assume they feel like they know me better. (This begs the question about cyber relationships and how well you really know someone with whom 99% of your interaction has been online... I feel a major digresssion coming on... But one of my new blog-resolutions is to save my digressions for another post, so more on that next blog year.)

And finally, an unexpected side benefit of blogging has been that a few friends I don't see very often feel like they can catch with me through my blog. Of course, if they'd post comments... Maybe I'd feel more connected to them, too... Hint, hint...

All in all, I've enjoyed my year-o-blogging -- even when I started to hyperventilate on learning my mother had discovered it. Gasp. Hi Mom. The bad words I've used are just for my on-line persona. I don't use them in person. Honest.

Happy Blogiversary to me.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Stupid TV

Has anyone else seen the ads for this new Age of Love TV show? (New here in Canada, anyway. Don't know if it's already been aired in the US.)

Basically they put his 30 year old guy on a reality dating show (like The Bachelor) with a bunch of women in their 40’s. Then when he’s gotten to know some of them, and presumably some of them are falling for him… They bring in a group of women in their 20’s to compete for his affections, too.

Sick. Sick. Sick.

Possibly entertaining, but sick, and I hope I can hold out on not finding out just how sick and/or entertaining for myself.

I think what really bugs me about shows like this is the implication that the guy's choice proves anything. I mean, it seems fairly obvious that age is one factor in whether or not two people fall in love and stay in love, but it’s only one factor. And obviously couples form between people of very different ages and in those cases it just didn't matter -- other factors mattered more.

And who one young man chooses, (especially one willing to date multiple women on TV), proves nothing about whether, or how much, age matters. He's one guy, in a very artificial situation, with a limited number of women (also willing to date on TV) and picked by the producers to date him. Yes, the results of that should be published in The Journal of Psychology. It will be groundbreaking evidence about whether age matters in love.

I do think some reality TV shows do end up being interesting studies of human nature. Survivor and The Amazing Race in particular. But I think that’s because those shows aren't out to prove any particular point. They merely toss people into difficult situations and observe how they behave. Sure, the producers manipulate the participants to escalate the tension and to make the situations ever more difficult, but they aren't out (to my knowledge) to prove any particular hypothesis. It’s not like the premise of The Amazing Race is to prove that “couples argue and are hateful to each other when they travel” – even though that’s one of the things we’ve seen on the show.

I’m reminded by a failed reality TV concept of a few years ago, where a woman was supposed to be choosing between a bunch of guys (a la The Bachelorette) but half of them were gay and she had to try to guess which ones were and eliminate them. It was like hate propaganda of the worst kind. The producers staged events like cow roping and square dancing to help her decide. (Because everyone knows all straight men can rope a cow and all gay men can square dance. RIGHT!) And what the f&cK was the show supposed to prove anyway? And how the hell was the woman supposed to form a connection with any of the men (assuming such thing is possible on TV) when she knew half of them were purposefully deceiving her? I only saw the show a couple of times, but this woman was clearly in distress most of the time. (She did NOT know what the show was when she signed up and only found out half the men were gay after she’d been getting to know them all and they’d already been flirting with her and pretending to like her. Mean, mean, mean. If memory serves, the straight men didn't know half of the contestants were gay until the show started either. This show said bad things about most people involved.)

Anyway… I’ve been proved wrong by Reality TV concepts before – ones I thought sounded horrible and I ended up addicted to. Americas Next Top Model and Rock Star are two prime examples.

But I hope I can resist and not peek one night to confirm my assumption that this show will suck. I learned that lesson (I hope) with the gay dating show. (The name of which I’m pretty proud to have forgotten.)

Leaving us wanting more...

Don't stop.

The last line of The Sopranos and expressed through the lyric of the sappy Journey song playing on a jukebox... and then silence through the credits.

Still processing and not 100% sure what I think, but one thing's for certain, this final episode confirmed the makers of this series as masters. The tension that built in that final scene? The fear it generated inside me that, after how things turned out with Tony's "business" problems, he and his entire family were going to be killed? Powerful. Worked on me, anyway.

And how was the tension built? By bringing each family member in one by one. Having the camera notice (as Tony did) every other person who entered. By Meadow struggling to parallel park her car. By how happy and relaxed everyone was...

All this to make us terrified that someone was going to burst in and kill them all.

And then nothing. Black screen. No sound.

Pretty powerful.

Like I said, still processing this episode, and I'm sure some people will have found it a let down to just end things so abruptly after all that tension building, but I'm thinking I really liked the ending. I do know I wouldn't have like it if they'd just killed everyone. And it would have felt like a cop out to me if Tony had simply ended up as the head of the NY family. Too easy. So, I think I like how it ended.

Or at least I can't think of a way of ending it I would have liked better.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Scary Movies

I thought I'd grown out of my childhood inability to watch scary movies -- even some of the Disney variety used to terrify me and don't even get me started on Scooby Doo.

And then I met my good friend Sinead who's a bit of an aficionado when it comes to great thriller and horror... and she made me watch ALIEN on the IMAX screen and I lived to tell the tale. So I thought I was getting better.

But last night I tried to watch MIMIC on DVD and am still only about an hour into the film. Can't finish it. Really great scary tension like that makes me so uncomfortable I can't bear it. In fact, I'm probably better with films like that in the theatre than on DVD because turning it off isn't an option (and I'm not a big walk-out-of-a-movie kind of person.)

I'd really been looking forward to seeing MIMIC for a couple of reasons, the first and most important being Guillermo del Toro whose PAN'S LABYRINTH just blew me away when I saw it at the film festival last year (and then again when it hit theatres).

The second thing that interested me about MIMIC was that a chunk of it was filmed in a "ghost subway station" in Toronto that I only learned existed this past winter when they were doing renovations on the actually-in-use Bay Station and diverting the trains through a normally unused section of track and passed through another parallel universe Bay Station that hadn't been used since the 1950's. It was freaky. Same white tile walls, same BAY signs in black, just no staircases or escalators and no posters or ads on the walls. Surreal.

Anyway. MIMIC is creeping me out. Bugs. Kids in peril. Jeremy Northam trying to do an American accent. Horrifying.

What scares you?

Oh, and I paid my dues. Sigh. Maybe next year I'll have the courage and fortitude to let go.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...