Welcome ya'll,

Thanks for checking out my blog. This is mostly my own crazy thoughts on a variety of subjects, but primarily they will be about movies, tv, and books. Being a movie junkie, rabid reader, and TV show-aholic, this blog is just another excuse to feed my addictions. [a quiet 'yay me']. Hope you enjoy, Clancy Metzger

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Snow and books and movies, Oh My!

We got our first snow of the year last night and I woke up to a pretty white blanket outside. All I wanted to do at that point was continue to lay in bed and read. But I didn't. I did a little, but not much. Now, I'm sitting here trying to work and all I want to do is lay on the couch under a blanket and read or lay on the couch under a blanket and watch a movie. I'm not going to. Probably. But my books are beckoning and my DVR has new recordings - oh the temptation.

What am I currently reading that has me tempted, you ask? Upstairs by my bed I am reading Lee Childs' The Enemy which is really good. On EpicBlackCar's blog he is reading a romance as an experiment and challenged romance writers to read The Enemy. Not being a reading wimp, I took the challenge. Not that it was really that much of a challenge since I already like the suspense thrillers that are written by the likes of Tom Clancy, Dan Brown and apparently Lee Childs. I need to read something by John Gilstrap too (met him and his seems right up this alley as well). It took me about 30 pages to get in to it, but that could have been my fault - being tired and on the verge of sleep as I read each night, but now I am hooked and can't wait to read the rest.

The book I am working on downstairs in the living room is a historical romance by Michelle Willingham. The Warrior's Touch is the second in a series I'm enjoying. It's set in twelfth century Ireland. I like her characters. They are always well rounded and I connect to them. And I love medieval historical romances, so color me happy.

I haven't watched any movies since RED (I didn't say TV, I said movies - pay attention) but you'll know when I do.... maybe lunch and a nap and a book are in order....

Friday, October 22, 2010

"RED" and update on that thing I didn't want to do

Last night a friend was an emotional basket case, so of course we indulged in much girl talk, food therapy, and went to see RED.

POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT - Let me start by saying this is a terrific movie. John Malkovich is hysterical, Bruce Willis is simmering and intense, Morgan Freeman is ...well, Morgan Freeman (hello...) and Helen Mirren is AWESOME!!!! She is the single coolest female character ever. She kills people for a living and loves it, and shoots things and blows shit up, and bakes and decorates her house to perfection and shoots the love of her life and is just freaking awesome. Yes - I have a lady crush. Anyway, funny, action packed, and cool - go see it people. Really, right now, stop what you're doing and run to the theater and see this movie. I may need to see it again myself. My son (don't worry - he's an adult) would enjoy this and how cool a mom would I be if I take him....

So, it was the perfect movie when you are feeling broken. My girl friend and I have decided we are both broken, for various reasons (don't judge - who isn't? hmmm...) and started our own little club - current members total two. So, this is where the friend rescue collides with all the other forces of the universe (remember the last blog - I spoke of them colluding to make me dig into my past) to once again make me look at myself under a microscope - Grrr.

I did the journaling, troops. I did it and 30 pages of scribbling and a box of Kleenex later, I still have no real answers. Perhaps a little insight (not 100% sure) but mostly I concluded I am a broken fraud. How is this helpful? Perhaps I am so damn broken, and have my closet so well protected that even opening that one door doesn't help when I have an unending supply of more doors behind the first. You know like that infinity type thing you can see when viewing something in two opposing mirrors...(I hope you got that image - it was cool). So, then my friend is in the same boat and we are commiserating and one upping each other with horror stories from our past (anything that isn't future counts as past - got it?) and crying and laughing our butts off at some of the horror stories. It was a day - we'll leave it at that.

Now, if you'll remember from the last post, I did this in an effort to figure out my characters so I can achieve writing greatness. I tried to get inside my heroine's head and guess what? I still have no freaking clue who this chick is - if anything I know less now than I did before. GRRRRR. I am now shaking my head sadly because I have to figure this out. My gal is the lynch pin to my story and professional people are waiting to see said story and lynch pin is missing, thus story is missing. I'm trying yet another character sketch exercise today to try and figure her out - wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Emotions..in books, movies, and life

I have to do something I really do NOT want to do. Finally, I have motivation to do it despite my better judgement (hmm) and despite my reluctance (oh yeah). I have to explore my past and my emotions and face up to what I fear. Ugh. It sounds awful, just saying it. Like I have to eat broccoli or something - yes, it's that bad (no offense to broccoli lovers). As a writer, I have been struggling with some characters, not just side characters or background characters, but the main characters. Why? Because they are one dimensional, because they all are struggling under the weight of emotional distance. So, my brilliant writing partner, S, says to me - "you need to face your fears" (I paraphrase), "you need to journal until you get it out." And I say, (in a whiny voice) "but, I don't want to" and she says, "but you need to." So, then I say, "Okay, I'll try to figure it out" and she says, "No. You have to feel it out." And I respond, "Grrr" (mind you I really did say grrr because I can't roll my tongue and actually growl). Fortunately, a mere 30 minutes after this conversation where I am committed (notice the word choice) to doing this, I am spared doing it right then because I have a movie date with a different girl friend, J.

While we were waiting for the movie to start, I told J what S had said and she said the same thing I did, "that sucks, that's what emotional closets were made for" (again I paraphrase). It gave me warm fuzzies to not be the only emotional cripple on the block. We went to see Life as We Know It with Katherine Heigel and Josh Duhamel. It was great. It made me laugh and cry and hope and ... feel. Damn. The two characters fight against a new life they never wanted but need to embrace and fall in love on the way, but things can't change until they get over their fears. J and I did not discuss the touchy-feely aspects of the movie because we jointly opened an emotional door and committed emotional homicide together (I smile).

Then I got home and I'm finishing up a trilogy of books by Victoria Dahl. All three awesome, all three romance, all three smoking hot (yes - that kind of hot - but not over the top graphic - but really really hot). And the last of the three is called Lead Me On (I recommend all three by the way - seriously. The first is Talk Me Down, the second is Start Me Up)... anyway, this one is about a girl who has a past she is trying to hide and deny because she doesn't want to be that person any more. But she can't embrace the perfect man for her until she embraces the fact that her past is part of who she is and he loves her for her past, present and future.

So, the culmination of yesterday is that I have to do this thing I do NOT want to do because I can't be the emotional power house writer I want to be unless I feel my way through any pain and fear and rejection and other touchy-feely crap I want to deny. This is a tough thing to do when you've spent decades (really - decades) stuffing emotions behind a closet door and leaving them there to fester and rot or hopefully die a quiet death. My friend H may do little happy dances and shout "About damn time" if she reads this, as it will vindicate every thing she's ever hollered at me when I opened that closet door and crammed another emotional carcass in there. Grrrr, I say again. I hate it when she's right.

So, this is my task today. Emotional roller coaster. Journaling to feel my way out. Closet door thrown open, carcasses dragged into the light of day to be forensically examined unto a natural, healthy death. I feel like I'm in line for that roller coaster and I have those nervous butterflies in my stomach, the good mixed with the bad and that overwhelming sensation that you want to throw up rather than take that ride, but now you're at the front of the line and there is no where to go but in the car and up that click-clacky hill and down through every twist and turn. Okay, now I really do want to get sick. If anyone sees or talks to me and I have a pale shade of green tint to my skin - I did it. If I'm smiling and laughing, I chickened out.

I'll do it - I really, really do want to be that awesome writer that pulls you into the characters journey. That is my dream, so there ya go. Kleenex on hand, journal staring at me from a foot away. I must post this and get on with it - no more avoiding what I must do. Keep your fingers crossed for me friends. Any future posts should indicate I survived this journey of self-discovery (GRRRR).

Saturday, October 2, 2010

An amazing romance book titled "Rough Canvas"

Let me begin this with a disclaimer: this is a G&L (gay & lesbian) erotic romance containing BDSM (bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, sadism/masochism) elements. I'm not discussing anything graphic here, but felt like I should warn ya'll anyway. And in case you read no further, this book is part of a series called The Nature of Desire, but Hill has other series and books that seem to be straight and less erotic (I think I saw vampires and mermaids in my perusing), so I encourage you to find one and read it. This is a remarkable author well worth the effort.

I have been reading a ton of romance in a variety of genres for months now. I am always a reader of romance, but now that I am writing romance, I am reading even more. Historical, contemporary, paranormal, short, long, all levels of heat - you name it - I'm reading it. That combined with a life long history of romances read and it makes for a serious number of books in this genre. With that in mind, I want to say, I have never read anything as romantically powerful as Rough Canvas by Jody W. Hill.

The characters of Marcus and Thomas are honest, complex, fully fleshed out people in a romance that is heart breaking, healing, confusing, and true. They have families, friends, careers, and emotional baggage - like everyone. Their romance has ups and downs, highs and lows - like everyone. And, as in all romances, a happy ending.

Jody W. Hill's writing not only propelled me through the story (all I could do was read this until I finished it), but pulled me right into this world where I felt their joys and pains in a physical way. Hill captures emotion in even the most simple moments and in such a way I am left green with envy. I now have about ten or more of her books on my wish list and can't wait to read the next one.