7 Quick Takes about Writing, Sherlock, and Crazy Weather

Happy Friday! I’m glad to finally be getting back to the blog….I feel like I’ve been neglecting it for a while, but I have a good reason….that I will tell you all about later : )
Until then, here are my Quick Takes for the week:

1.) Housekeeping note: I took the blog back to it’s original design and layout….the green was getting to be a little to much for me, and honestly this look fits me better, and really fits the content of the blog better. Who knows, I may end up changing it again!

2.) There is something to be said for sensory memory! When I study, I almost always listen to music; for one unit of study (usually 8-10 chapters) I will listen exclusively to one album of all instrumental music. I’m taking online classes, so the studying and reading is all on my own time; I usually sit down with my notes and book and turn on that music for the duration of my study time. When I take my quizzes or exams at the end of units, I’ll turn on that same album in my room while I take my exam and the results cannot lie! I have gotten better results while listening to the music that I studied to than nothing at all! For this last unit it was the soundtracks from the first two Hobbit Movies; last unit it was the soundtracks from Sherlock; this last unit it will likely be the Star Trek (reboot) Soundtracks. This method of using sensory memory has always helped me….and it helps that that’s what we were just talking about in this class so I already knew a lot of the concepts : )

3.) Okay, no more psychology talk today….I posted earlier this week that I’ve been avoiding writing, going so far as to not even turning on the computer. I’ve been fleshing out the ideas for my novel in my head, knowing that once I sat down and pulled up the document I’d be making changes….lots and lots of changes. I was sitting in church Wednesday night waiting for orchestra rehearsal to start, and inspiration struck; I took out my phone and opened up a new note….I proceeded to write almost a full chapter right there in the pew before rehearsal. I knew that I’d have to add those changes to the whole document, and that if I didn’t I’d never be happy with the progression of my story.

The changes I made meant losing about five pages total…so my page count is down by half, but I’m happy with the way the story is moving. Before making the changes I felt that the story was too neat, too perfect. Everything was wrapped up for me in a nice little bow (because I’d written it that way) and I wasn’t happy with it….there needed to be a little chaos, some conflict, something other than this perfect plot progression from A-Z…now if I could just figure my characters out a little better….

Via: tumblr

4.) I write late at night….most nights. I will usually spend an hour or so writing just to get the ideas out of my head. A friend of mine gave me some good advice that has really helped me along, she said “Jump around, don’t write chronologically.” This advice has helped me so much with moving my plot. I have already written some of my major plot points and can work backwards from there to fill it in, and move forward with some kind of resolution. I mentioned writing late at night (of course to me, 10:30 is late….), I also sleep with a pad of paper and pen beside me to write down whatever ideas I come up with when I can’t sleep…I haven’t read them yet to see what I wrote but I have four pages from last night alone….I can’t remember what any of them say, so I may not use any of it but it allows me to get the ideas out of my head before I forget them!

5.)**There may be SPOILERS in this take if you haven’t finished Sherlock S3, you’ve been warned** It’s been nearly three weeks now and I haven’t talked about this yet….I think I needed some time to emotionally prepare myself for this topic…the Sherlock series 3 finale. OH. MY. GOODNESS!! The entire season was pretty amazing, but that finale had to be one of the best episodes they’ve done! I was so pleased with the whole season; the character development, the story lines, and the humor. I thought that they handled his return nicely; the reunion scene still gives me goosebumps….Martin Freeman is spectacular, and the emotion in his performance of the reunion scene was simply amazing. I loved seeing Sherlock carry out his duties as best man in the Sign of Three; giving his speech while also solving a murder was quite comical, but then you have His Last Vow. The Magnussen was a more chilling, terrifying villain than Moriarty because there was no way to stop him. The way they handled John and Mary’s situation (I really don’t want to spoil this if some of you haven’t seen it) was wonderful. John had his moments (months) of anger toward her, but still forgave her for her past….and then…AND. THEN. THE. END!!!! I am very interested to see what becomes of Moriarty’s “return”. Is he really alive (I don’t see how he can be, he clearly should be dead)? I can’t wait to see how that is handled in series 4…..when we eventually get it! 
Via Pinterest 

6.) The weather forecast for today is snow, rain, ice, and possible thunderstorms. Welcome to Michigan! Yesterday it rained, snowed, freezing rained, snowed, and then we even got some thunder and lightening. Some of the snow is melting which means for the first time in MONTHS we are starting, yes only starting, to see some grass. We still have drifts of snow that can be measured in FEET not inches, but spring is slowly making its way here….I am so ready!!! (Just a note: As I’m typing this it’s snowing, and hour ago it was raining)

7.) I’m linking up with Jen for Quick Takes today, and debating whether or not to link up for her 7 posts in 7 days….what do you think??
Enjoy your weekend, and if you live someplace warm: Walk barefoot outside from me, I miss being able to do that! 
Blessings, 
Megan

7 Quick Takes: Back in The Saddle

Good morning, and happy Saturday! I’m still here….I really am! I haven’t posted in a while and I know I need to in order to keep my blog current but things are busy, busy, busy around here!!

1.) I’m currently in the middle of my winter semester and the course load keeps me pretty busy, but I know you don’t want to hear about my school schedule : ) I’ll spare you!

2.) Back in the Saddle: No, I’m not doing horseback riding (that will never happen). I’ve started writing again. Not just blogging, actual writing. As a freshman in high school I started writing but got discouraged and stopped. This time feels different though; I have a plot that I like, characters that don’t drive me nuts, and I’m consistently writing a thousand words a day. I’m also consistently re-writing about half of those.

3.) I love that I’m writing again! It’s been so much fun to sit down and do my research, and just type away! I usually write at night before I go to bed. I reserve my day-light hours for work, school, and family but at night in my room I turn on some music and just write!

4.) I stopped writing years ago when I got particularly discouraged because of some criticism fro a professor. She didn’t like my writing, any of it. I never had to write creatively for her class though (and by that I mean, I never had to write an original story concept). I found myself having to work harder, and write more in order to try and please this professor, nothing I wrote was up to her standards though and she didn’t hesitate to call me out on it….in front of the class. That was when I stopped. I was a freshman in college with half a notebook of story planning. I threw it out after that. I started to believe that my writing was terrible, that I’d never be able to write something worth reading.

5.) I was so down on myself for so long…after those harsh words from my professor I didn’t want to write. I was afraid that my writing would never be good enough. Well, I’m getting back on the horse! I have a couple of chapters already written and I’m really excited about my progress!!

6.) Publishing is so far down the road that I’m not thinking about it at this point but it would be cool to see my name in a bookstore some day!

7.) On a completely different note, Sunday night is the finale of Sherlock Series 3 and it’s back to hiatus for the fans. This season has been pretty different from the first two, but we’ve seen so much development of story and characters and I LOVE it!! The only thing I don’t love is that it’s almost over….I hate hiatus!!

I’m linked up with Jen as always!

Blessings,
Megan

I am SHERlocked

 For Christmas I bought myself the DVD’s of BBC’s Sherlock, series 1 and series 2. As of last night I am finished with both. and if you watch the show and haven’t seen the Reichenbach Fall episode yet feel free to skip to the end!! There are some *SPOILERS* coming your way…..I’m warning you, skip ahead if you haven’t seen the episode and plan to watch either series any time soon….**SPOILERS** ahead……Don’t say I didn’t warn you!!!

I am hooked on this show! Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman clearly have some amazing on-screen chemistry playing Friends and Flat-Mates Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson respectively. I watched the Reichenbach episode and with some fair warning from my friend Britt I armed myself with tissue and a cozy blanket, and had to mentally and emotionally prepare myself for what I thought I knew was going to happen. Thanks to Pinterest I knew that the final scene would take place on a rooftop, and that it was going to be the climactic showdown between the hero, Sherlock (of course Sherlock himself would hate that I just called him a hero) and the villain Moriarty (who would LOVE that I just labeled him that!), and that by the end Sherlock would jump. What I didn’t expect was what how this episode worked it’s way up to that heartbreaking climax……..

Throughout the episode, Moriarty set to work planting doubt in the minds of those working with Sherlock. Staring with Sally Donovan, Anderson (who had no problem believing that), and eventually even Lestrade. All it took was one little seed of doubt for everyone around Sherlock to start wondering if this self proclaimed high functioning sociopath was responsible for all of these crimes. Moriarty was achieving what he set out to do, take himself out of the equation and make Sherlock look like the guilty one.

What I wasn’t expecting was the scene in the journalist’s apartment. When Jim Moriarty is there as “Richard Brook”. An actor payed by Sherlock to masquerade as this criminal mastermind, stand trial for these crimes, and drive Sherlock mad. What I wasn’t expecting was that doubt to creep into my own mind. I myself was starting to believe that Moriarty wasn’t real….that Sherlock really had manufactured him in his mind. After all, Sherlock is brilliant, he could easily set up the crimes, solve them in the same clever manner he always does, walk away scott free and be done with it.

That is the brilliance of the collective minds of Steven Moffat and Mark Gattiss. They are the writing team and co-creators of BBC’s Sherlock. They have taken Doyle’s original tales and modernized them. They are also part of the creative team behind Doctor Who, but that is a post for a different time. You find yourself getting so drawn into the show and the stories, you wait for those brilliant deductions, snark from Sherlock and John correcting him when his timing is a little off. Molly looks at him with longing, flirts with him even and he doesn’t notice (if you been there yourself you root for Molly, I myself root for Molly!!), sass from John, the genuine love between Sherlock and Mrs. Hudson……As a fan of the show (and total Cumberbatch Fangirl!!) I love to see how the relationships evolve, how the show progresses across the seasons. As the show evolves so does the writing.

While a major part of what makes this show so great is the writing, it wouldn’t be half the show it is if it wasn’t for the actors themselves. I mentioned how that tiny seen of doubt began to bloom in my own mind, even when Sherlock stood on that ledge talking to John on the phone. I began to believe the whole charade until you saw that tear fall from Benedict’s eye and roll down his cheek. I say Benedict here because there is no doubt in my mind that that was real. This man was telling his best friend that he was a fraud, and that he was going to end his life right then, all to save these people that he genuinely cares about. It broke my heart to see that, but even more so because I truly believe that those tears were shed by the actor being himself and not his character. These two men have such incredible on-screen chemistry between them playing these two friends and in interviews they have said that it can only come from the close friendship that they have off-screen as-well.

All that being said, I am so looking forward to the beginning of series 3 on January 19th, but I do have a few expectations…..

1.) Starting with Sherlock walking into 221B Baker Street, tearing off his scarf, stepping into his chair (I love his blatant disregard for furniture), and saying “Here I am John!! Not Dead!!” and a Bilbo Baggins version of John Watson passing out from the shock….

2.) John comes to, and decks him good….this time going for the nose*

3.) Sherlock and Molly finally becoming a couple (or as much as Sherlock is able to do that…)

and finally 4.) Sherlock embracing Mrs. Hudson for a good long time. For him England would fall if she left Baker St., but imagine what his “death” would do to her.

*In Scandal in Belgravia, Sherlock tells John to punch him in the face, John goes for the cheek and Irene Adler says “Somebody loves you! If I had to punch that face, I’d avoid the teeth and nose too.” 
More than likely (at least in my mind) John would be unhappy, and would have no trouble going for the nose!

There you have it, my thoughts, commentary, and a little bit of what I’d like to see from the upcoming series!

Blessings,
Megan

7 Quick Takes: The one in which, Things get back to normal

…or as close to normal as possible. I realized that I haven’t posted in a month….I also realize that most people won’t have noticed that, and that’s totally okay with me, but I need to keep up my writing/blogging…..so,  Okay, enough off topic talk, I’m back and it’s Friday, and that means Quick Takes so let’s get to it…….

1.) The Holidays are over…and have been for a while…I’m back to work and school, and I’m finally getting back into some sort of a routine. I’ve enjoyed my time off, plus the extra time off that I got due to an ice storm, and subsequent snow storm that shut down our county for a couple of days. It’s nice to finally get back into the swing of things; going back to school albeit on-line, back to work, and normal daily activities!

2.) Last year I began the transfer process for changing colleges and changing my major, I completed my first semester at the new school, and on Monday began the winter semester. All of my credits transferred except for Developmental Psychology which I’m retaking this semester on-line.

3.) For Christmas I surprised my dad with all six seasons of The Big Bang Theory on DVD. Between Christmas, New Year, and all the time stuck in the house due to snow, we finished all of them!! Dad was pretty happy on Christmas morning, and it kind of made my day….that and the look on mom’s face when she opened the box of new pots and pans from dad! It was a great day all around!

4.) I used a combination of Christmas and babysitting money to buy myself some books. I bought The Hobbit and Mary Poppins, She Wrote. I’ve started The Hobbit, and I am so looking forward to starting Mary Poppins, She Wrote before going to see Saving Mr. Banks!

5.) I talked a bit about what I was looking forward to this (now) past Holiday season and one of those things was the Doctor Who Christmas special. It did not disappoint! I was surprised to see the Doctor age so much throughout the episode, but was entirely pleased with how they did the whole thing! It was very well done and I can’t wait to see Peter Capaldi play the Doctor!

6.) Downton Abbey is back….and boy did the first episode deliver! I can’t wait to see what is in store for the rest of the season! I was so sad for Mary at the beginning but after a good cry with Carson she was back in a fighting spirit and this is looking like it will be a great season!

7.) I couldn’t think of anything for number seven so….here.

Via Pinterest pinned by pinner, if you are the creator let me know and I will add an attribute!

Sherlock series 3 premiers on January 19th and I am waiting with great anticipation!

As always, I’m linked up with Jen! 

Blessings, 

Megan