Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Review you DON'T want as an author I know I said I'd not write again till after the holiday but, well, I lied. I forgot that this is the week "Twilight; Eclipse" comes out in theaters. And as she writes in my genre (sorta) I feel the need to talk about the "event" that is Twilight Madness.

Before I begin my "rant" I want to say this; I think the Twilight Series is a fun, indulgent, romantic (in the obsessive teenage sense) novel that is a bit addictive. You see, I too devoured the four books in two weeks, like most women (and gay men) on this planet. I recommend you read them if you've not...they're now part of our iconic history and as they are a should read up on what they are. You're not allowed, in my opinion, to have an opinion of them (books or movies) unless you actually read/watch them.

That said, I give you the review from NYC's Metro paper that holds a line that as an author, I DREAD to EVER hear (if I'm lucky enough to have my books published and then made into movies that is). I will put the line I speak of in bold.

This review below was Written By Ned Ehrbar, who also writes for Metro World News in Los Angeles.

Title of said review: Third times a mediocre charm for this 'Twilight'

Subtitle of said review: 'Eclipse' is the best movie yet in the teen vampire series, but hte competition hasn't exactly been tough.

The review itself:

The third film in the "Twilight" series is the best to date, but that's faint praise considering the previous installments. The cast's development of their now-iconic characters as well as new director David Slade's camera work make "Eclipse" a marked improvement, but the film is stunted by its source material.

The lesson here appears to be that practice sometimes makes mediocre, but it's not really Slade's fault. He does his best, adding actual action sequences with brutal beheadings -- though no blood, since these vampires are PG-13.

There are bright spots, including some all-too-brief diversions into the backstories of a pair of Cullen vampires, Rosalie (Nikki Reed) and Jasper (Jackson Rathbone). Also worth noting: It's becoming clear that Stewart has quietly been doing some impressive work as Bella. While some might write off her performance as half-asleep, she's actually showing remarkable restraint with the dialogue's overwrought romance-novel nature.

If only Tayler Lautner had such skill.


Okay...Thank you Mr. Ehrbar! Now for Tamsin Silver's thoughts PRE-MOVIE (for I see it tomorrow night)...yes, I'm going to go see it in the madness. Remember what I said...know of what you speak of!

I'll say it flat out, without reserve, or fear of hurting your feelings if you're a TwiHard...

I hated the 3rd book of the series.

There, I said it.

I ended up having to skimmed much of it. You may ask why...and I'll be happy to tell you! :)

It's cause Bella drove me absoluetly fucking insane! All the girl does is whine and whine and whine in this book and we're stuck in her head so we have to hear even more of it than poor Edward does. And, if she's not whining she's being clingy and selfish. Oh sure, she has a moment of "revelation" at the end of the bloody book (while in the tent) that she's been selfish and feels "bad" about it...but it takes hundreds of pages for this girl. She's supposed to be smart and mature for her age but this book backpeddles her to like 13 years of age!

The book's ONE real redeaming quality is that we get to know other characters better (like Rosalie and Jasper) and ther's a huge fight scene...oh wait...THAT cool fight scene is going on somewhere where Bella ISN'T at and we just get the fight between Edward and Victoria (and Seth...can't forget Seth Clearwater, to be played by BooBoo Stewart...yes, that's his name). Not that the small (and fast and simple) fight with them isn't cool...but the REAL fight Mrs. Meyer leaves out. A 629 page book and you CAN'T give us the BIG ass fight scene we've been leading up to the WHOLE fucking book? **sigh** When reading the book you console yourself with the words, "Don't worry, the last book will show the big fight scene"...uh, yeah, don't hold your breath.

Anyhoo, at least the movie version of "Eclipse" will be showing the BIG fight scene. And THAT, my good people, is why I'M going to this movie (that and I looove the CGI wolves a lot!). Not only that but the movie looks to show a bit more of other folks like the new vamps out to kill the Cullen's as well as the back story on Jasper and Rosalie (they skipped poor Alice's back story...which is given to you in book one but movie #1 opted out of sharing it with you). This means the movie's story won't totally center around our whining selfish heroine. Then again, they really had no choice when making the movie I suppose...since most of the book is ramblings of a selfish whining girl...that wouldn't have made too much interesting "meat" for a movie, now would it? Hell, it barely made much of an interesting plot for a book. And don't even get me started on the writing simplicity and over-indulgent descriptions...ugh...I could go on and on...but I'll save that for the Mrs. Meyer.

Those be my thoughts. I see the movie on Thursday night before I pack to leave for Boston for the chances are I won't get to write my pithy review of it until we all return to our regularly scheduled program of life on hang in there TwiHards...I'll hopefully not trash your movie like I did your book.

But do remember what I started with in this entry...I did love reading them. The story itself is quite inventive and fun (if you don't see Edward as a bit of a stalker and Bella as a obsessed nut job) and I like them, for what they are. And don't you DARE say "well, they're just Young Adult Books"! Read some Cassandra Clare stuff and then compare that type of YA to Twilight and you'll see why I say not to lump all YA together!

And yes, I'm not a published author yet...nor do I have a movie deal (yet)...but I just feel some of our phenomenon is ill-based. Just my opinion...take it or leave it...its cool. That's what my blog is for. Oh, and before someone whines saying "But Mrs. Meyer's books have a movie deal and have made millions". Have no fear...I see that and bow to her for it! But what will make me take a knee vs. a simple bow, is that Cassandra Clare also has gotten a movie deal for her Mortel Instruments trilogy (being done by the same folks that did Lord of the Rings btw) and with writing THAT good...the movie hopefully will rock too.

Oh...and just so I say it...the BEST part of the series is in Book 4...

(SPOILER ALERT if you're one of the 2% on the planet who've not read the last book!)

...after Bella wakes up a vampire! Then it all just ROCKS! Well, minus the fight scene that again, never comes. :(

So yes, I'm not a fan of the book, but for now...I look forward to wolves kickin' new vamp ass in the movie tomorrow night!

Tamsin :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Helping other writers is fun!

So...on Saturday I did something I've never gotten to do before, and that's meet up with a fellow writer to help her with her book!


My friend Rachel, who is 15 (going on 30 when it comes to ideas for writing), and I spent Saturday afternoon seeing a movie and then chatting about our books over dinner. Poor Cosi Cafe...we sat there forever! LOL! (I left a 30% tip though to make up for it). She's my "teen reader" that I get feedback from and in return I help her with ideas and whatnot for her stuff.


Rachel has this amazing idea for a book. It's all based on science to the point where her books will border on the concept that "this could actually happen in the future". Which is one of the reasons I think its brilliant!

I had her tell me the main plot and then some of the twists she wants to do...and I realized something that I wanted to impart to fellow writers (not that more than 3 people read this but hey...I can dream). Don't choose a twist just for the sake of having it. Don't come up with something SUPER science-fictiony (not that that's a word but you get what I mean) just because you write science fiction. If you're going to create a twist or come up with something really sci-fi-out-there...make sure it's needed for the story and adds to it vs. detracting from it. Make sure it doesn't constrict your writing options. All twists and sci-fi-imagination should open doors for your story to build upon and not close them. Writing is hard enough as it is...hell, writing sci-fi where you create a well-rounded world is hard as hell...for the love of all that's holy, don't make it harder on yourself than you have to for the sake of being SUPER SCI-FI. Make sense?

I don't want to get into details as it isn't my place to discuss her book idea but I'll say that we had a great conversation of taking a closed idea and opening it up. Then I took what I've learned from working with my editor and emparted it unto her. Explaining how her first few pages need to be tight. How they need to let us know the world we're in and what's going on in a way that pulls us into the story and into our heroine's head.

We talked about how the book would open and I could see it in my mind (the start of a new story comes to me so easily its sorta ridiculous) so I wrote her first 2.5 paragraphs and sent them to her to build her new ideas off of. I'm very excited to see where she takes it from there! It really is a GREAT idea for a book...if she doesn't ever get around to writing it...I will...with her permission and help of course. :)

So that spurned me to go home and write so on Sunday I did some writing...followed by a nap and then some cleaning of the apartment and lastly, some "Leverage" (GREAT show on TNT).

My weekend was great...and my upcoming week looks pretty mighty too, if I must say so...not counting tonight's laundry, that is.

Tomorrow Night: Shakespeare at Central Park with my friend Seth
Wednesday Night: Going Away Party for Geoff before Grad School
Thursday Night: (don't judge me but...) my friends and I have tickets to Twilight Saga - Eclipse
Friday: I head to Boston for the weekend and don't come back till the 5th! Woot!

I'm STOKED that I'll be in Boston...specifically walking the Freedom Trail and then at the Boston Harbor watching fireworks on the 4th itself! Boo-ya! PLUS...I will be going to Salem while I'm there so be prepared for pics to show up on my Facebook page when I get back of witch stuff! Yay! It's going to be a FANTASTICAL (that's fantastic and magical together btw) weekend!

I hope you too have a safe and happy and fantastical holiday!


Tamsin :)

In the Ether.

Yep. That's where my manuscript is for all I bloody know.

"I thought you sent that to the agent who requested it?"

Oh, I did. And in that email I asked if she'd be so kind as to let me know she got it.

I heard nothing so 2 weeks later I sent a nice email asking if she got it...noting in said email that in no way did I expect her to have read any of it yet.

Did she get back to me?

No. :(


Alas, this is the life of a writer who isn't officially contracted...the low man (or woman) on the totem pole so to speak. So now I wait to hear back from her and that could happen in two months or never. Annoying to say the least but what am I to do?

I shall continue to submit! THAT is what I will do.

Once the 4th of July holiday is over and I'm back from Boston (where my story takes place by the way) I will start putting my "list" into a formal spreadsheet so as to start sending my letter out to more agents.

Am I happy about it? No. But I can't put all my eggs in one matter how much I think the lady who asked for it is a good fit for me and my book. What if she were to take a year to get around to my book? I can't sit on my arse that long people. I need an agent this year...that is my goal...and we're almost half way through 2010!

So...dear stalker (you know who you are)...expect my "list" soon. :)

Tamsin :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

White Cat

So, it's a lazy...and HOT...Father's Day here in NYC and as I lay around in my PJ's in my air conditioned room I pick up Holly Black's newest book (I'd bought it just before my writing deadline and show so it had been set aside) and I read all 310 pages of it today. Took me about 6 hours. I grazzed on snacks and read all day. LOL!

I've never "reviewed" a book on here but...I think it's high time I do! Not that my opinion matters but, I'd like to start looking back at my thoughts of books I've read goes...

Holly Black's "White Cat"

First off let me say that I love the concept for this upcoming series called The Curse Workers. White Cat is the first in the series (I believe book 2 is called Red Glove). It is set in an alternative reality where everyone wears gloves because there are people in the world who have the ability to curse (or bless) you with just a touch of their hand on your skin. It's obviously been outlawed and because of that these families have turned into criminals...more specifically they've become crime families...think "Soprano's" but with powers (hell, it even takes place in Jersey!).

Anyhoo, the story revolves around Cassle...a teenage boy who is the only "legit" member of his family...going to a private prep school in NY and this is all due to the fact that he's the only member of his family w/o the ability to work curses. He seems to be the only one who didn't get the gift.

He is a very torn teenager (more than the norm) because his memory is spotty with concern to the fact that he killed his best friend, Lila, when they were 14.

First off, it was really interesting to have the lead of story be a male. Most YA is female led for the main reason, most of those reading YA novels are girls. As we all know, boys and girls develop differently. For boys, math skills develop first where as girls, well, we develop linguistically first. Reading, writing, etc. So its not suprising that YA readers are primarily girls.

Secondly, this is highly imaginative, well written, by 1/2 way through it you are starting to really "see" the world she's got going on and I think it sets up a GREAT book 2 and 3 and so on. When they come out, I'll buy them cause I am praying Cassle finds a way to fix what his mom has done. I also look forward to seeing how he deals with being in school while dealing with all he's learned about himself and his family.

OH! And I must say...the other characters in this? Daneca, Sam, and Grandpa? LOVE THEM! Such GREAT characters and they're on the "good side" so you can love with without feeling guilty. ;)

Okay are my 3 other things about the book that I'll throw out there.

#1. Though it starts with a bang (Cassel sleep walking out onto the school roof in the middle of the night and almost falling off) it then gets a bit slow while you get to meet the other characters. DON'T LET THIS DETER YOU! Its important to meet these characters you get to know in this section...push through. Once his brother picks him up from school, the investigation pace picks up and is full throttle the rest of the way.

#2. If you are like me, and read a ton of YA, and are an adult, you miiiight figure out the big "reveals" early. *sigh* I blame my father. We used to watch Mystery Theater on PBS when I was a kid and it was a race to who could figure out "who done it". So, alas, I was able to figure out ALL the BIG STUFF 1/4 of the way in. But, I've spoken to others that have read the book and THEY did not so obviously I'm a freak. My point here is this; Even if you are someone who figures stuff out the journey is still worth the reading! I'm a "journey" person. I can know the ending and I still like to read the book because I enjoy the journey of it. So, if you're like me...don't worry if you figure it all'll still have fun with it!

#3. If you're a Disney ending girl/guy...the ending of this book is going to make you a weeee bit pissy. I have no fear that Holly will straighten it out by the end of the third book of the series. But the ending falls withing the same lines as the end of the first Mortel Instrument book, City of Bones, when you wanna scream out in utter emotional pain with choice curse words. Well...Holly and Cassie are friends for a reason folks! That's all I'll say.

I highly recommend this I said before, I think its a brilliant concept! I think the characters are real and loveable or dispicable, depending on who we're talking about. Cassle's brothers are a friggin piece of work! Though, Cassle does screw them over rightly so! My fave is what he does to Barron...oh I laughed SO hard at the line about "Pizza every other Tuesday where we share our feelings"...good stuff!

So, read it...if you've not matter if you are a young adult or an adult who was trained to figure out the twists in Agatha's a fun read that made my "day at home in my PJ's" just loverly.

Time for bed...night all!

Tamsin Silver :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

A funny for you...

My co-worker brought a clipping from a newspaper to me on Friday. I thought it was hilarious so it is now taped to my desk here at work. I thought I'd share it with you. I unfortunately don't have a scanner so you'll have to deal with me just explaining it.

There is a woman sitting in a chair facing a man behind a desk in a room where there are shelves of books everywhere. The man is holding many pages held together by a binder clip and he says to her...

"We loved all the words in your manuscript, but we were wondering if you could maybe put them in a completely different order."

LMAO! Comments? Thoughts? Hit me back! -Tamsin :)

"I like cheese"


This lyric from the show "Between the Bricks" will NOT leave me be!!!! LOL!

It was an amazing week/weekend! God almighty!

Let me put it to you this way...I was the TD (Technical Director) and the light board operator for a new musical festival that went up in the West Village this past weekend. We seriously tech'd 11 shows in 2 days and then did one day of dress rehearsal for both and then BAM! Did 10 performances of those 11 shorts (5 performances each series as we put 5 shows in one and 6 in another...and no, we're not lopsided on purpose, we had to cut a show at the last minute due to...professional issues...normally its 6 and 6).


On Saturday alone...this was my day...

2am - Arrive home from show.
10am - Up and getting ready
11:45am - Off to the A-train
12noon - Now off to the 1-train since the A train is not running in my area for whatever fucked up reason the MTA has chosen this week
12:45pm - Arrive in West Village and boogy on over to the find out we have no power in our outlets backstage or light for the dressing room (its always some new electrical issue each day I arrive there! Ye gads!)...and its 30 minutes to our first show. Oh joy. No power for the rock band for first show...excellent. Fuck.
1:15pm - Stage Manager gets TD for theater on phone and electric issue fixed. YAY!
1:30pm-ish - Run 1st show of the day, Series A
3:30pm-ish - Run 2nd show of the day, Series B (by now I'm sweating, a would too if you were sitting in a tiny room with another person and like, 10 dimmer packs!
5:45pm to 6:30pm - Quick break where I snag producer's daughter to go eat a deli sandwich's with down by the water so as to get fresh air and try to NOT sweat more in our blessed humidity. Meet random stranger who talks dogs with us for half of our time out there. That's how NYC is! :)
6:30pm - Back at the HOT theater...sweating my ass off...again
7pm-ish - Run Show 3, Series A
9pm-ish - Run Show 4, Series B (I am now so sweaty and gross, not to mention totally mentally exhausted to the point where I'm feeling a bit numb)...One would think at this point if I was smart I'd go home...but, well, I'm not smart...
11pm - In a cab on my way to a party to surprise a friend who's in town from SC. My "plan" is to stay for an hour. Plans are great aren't they? They make you feel like you're in control? Yeah...well...again...plans fail...
2:35am - On the corner with some guy I just met at the party and we're trying to hail a van-cab (cause the dude had a bike he needs to fit in the cab with us) so as to head home. Hey, I'll share a cab ride to save money in a heartbeat people! Might I say, we got one of those handicap vans...thing is friggin huge inside...felt like a limo...weird.
3:15am - Home and walking dog (or shall I say he walked me?) around the block
3:45am - Bed
10am - UP and ready to begin another day of almost the same shit...

On Sunday we only had two shows...and then awards. I'd like to say that I agreed with all of them, but I didn't. But, that's how it always is isn't it? Who all agreed with the Tony Awards last night? See? Point made. But there were many I did agree with was worth waiting around for them.

I do want to say this; I was actually worried about running a huge MUSICAL festival. The drama that was BOUND to occur was going to be more than I honestly wanted to deal with. BUT, our 11 casts of folks (and trust me...that's a lot of actors!) were very professional and polite and easy to work with. I was floored! It was nice to see them all get along and NOT be drama-queens to each other. I never saw someone in tears (and trust me, that happens more than you know) or heard snippy attitudes (and it was hot enough in that dressing room to warrant some) a HUGE cudos to the casts of the shows! You impressed me...and that takes some doing after 8 years in NYC!

Congrats to Patrick and Katrina for a BEAUTIFUL ballet, "Annabel"! I don't have words for it other than every night when it ended it made my soul feel the pain of the main characters and yet it was so beautiful, I was in awe and smiling. To create all those emotions in a 12 minute ballet takes massive talent. Another congrats to my pal Celine Rosenthal for her award for writing "Hapless Romance"! When we had to cut a script from the show, near the start of the process, she stepped up and wrote one on the fly and directed the thing! It got awards for many things, including her writing so...HOORAY for YOU! :)

THAT said...I want to talk on one more thing...the main reason I stuck around for the awards. :) I wanted to see a particular show get its dues, and boy did it EVER! It took a total of 5 awards in its series! The show? "Polly Want a Morgage" written by one of my best friends, Michael Ruby, was a definite favorite of both those who came to see the festival AND those IN the festival! It was brilliant & hilarious! Catchy tunes that are STILL stuck in my head! I was happy to see the director win Honorable Mention for her Directing and then see one of the actors, Jay, win Best Actor for the series. Then, my heart sang as I watched Michael and his writing partner Rob take top honors for Best Lyrics, Best Book, and Best Overall Musical of their Series! Well Deserved! I will SO very miss that show...and hearing the parrot say..."I like cheese"! (you have to see it to get it, sorry)

Until next time...where I promise to get back to writing about my writing...

Tamsin :)

...sing with me now...."Put the shoe down Barry, Barry put the shoe down"... :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

On the Flip Side


I know I know...for the 2 of you who read this blog (and the one who stalks know who you are)'ve wondered where the fuck I've been. Well, I did warn you in my last post I'd be MIA for a bit while I edited Book One for a potential agent who requested my book.

So here I am...on the flip side of the "editing and sending of le manuscript" and I feel...empty. Yes, you read me right. It feels very aniclimactic. Why? Cause I sent it on time and I have NO idea if she got it or what my time table is on when she'll get back to me. My manuscript is somewhere in the ether and am I happy with it? No. Why? Cause like all artists my work is never "done" in my eyes...but you reach a point where you say, "I can't work on this one anymore". And I reached that. I cut 75,000 words BUT if you count the fact that I wrote a few new sections for this book also...I actually cut about 100K from the original book. Now THAT my friends is an edit. Shit.

I will share one of my horrid details of my edit with you.

I finished. I was happy with it. I sent it to my editor to make sure it was in the right format for the lovely woman who requested it. She sent it back and I looked at it and noticed....the last 2 hours of edits I'd done that afternoon were missing. That's right...MISSING!!!! I stayed up and fixed the glaring things I needed done but it was now 100 words longer than it had been that afternoon when I'd sent it to my editor. My immediate reaction? "Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!!!!" And then I sat there...from 1:30am to 3:30am trying to fix them. Cause I'd promised it would be to the agent on the 6th of June and we were now in the wee hours of the 7th.

So...we reached 3:30am and I said, "Fuck it"...she's not expecting it to be "perfect" anyways. That's what your publisher/editor is for. Send send send the fucker out!!!!

And it was out.

And I lay in bed feeling empty. #1 Cause I wasn't happy with it 'cause it wasn't as clean as it had been that afternoon. #2. I very likey missed fixing a few of the errors I'd found that afternoon that my "save" didn't, well, SAVE! (fucker) and #3. Cause all this tension and rushing and typing for 2.5 weeks non-stop from 10am to 10pm led to that; one click of a button and it was gone...into the ether...and I lay in bed upset.

I know, I'm being over sensative about it. But its my baby. It's my FIRST agent asking for my book. So, I think I'm allowed to be a bit hypersensative...for a week. I'll get over myself, have no fear.

So now the waiting starts. What does one do in the "between time" of sending one's work and hearing back? plan is to finish this musical theatre festival I'm the Technical Director for and then? Well...I'm going to work on sending more letters out to agents. Yes, I had a request for it, but she could very easily turn me down so...I shall continue to get my letter out, ESPECIALLY since I now have a fully edited copy of book one to send.

But to be honest???? And I hate to admit this. I'll probably take a week of watching saved TV shows on my DVR and then I'll get back to writing and letters and stuff.

Personally, I think I deserve it. I edited a 700 page book, cutting 100K words, in 2 bloody weeks people! TWO WEEKS! For that, I think I've earned a little TV time.

But have no fear...I'm sure Atlanta (that's my lead character) will only stay quiet in my head for so long and I'll be back to writing Book 4. What's exciting about THAT is I learned SO SO much doing my edit. Both on format and on content. It will only make me better and I'm looking forward to seeing what that does to Book 4. Yesterday I re-wrote the top of Chapter 8 with my new knowledge...and I'll be honest...that chapter is SO much better.

Just like in acting, in writing you never stop learning and improving...and that my dear, is one of the HUGE joys in writing. Learning to express the story in your head better. I for one am excited to see where this leads me.

This is Tamsin Silver signing out. Have a GREAT week...and I'll be back after some much deserved TV time.

xo -Tamsin :)