Sunday, July 31, 2011

Accio Contests! Lisa Galek's Harry Potter Fanfic Contest!

Lisa Galek at Read. Write. Repeat is having a 'Happy Birthday, Harry!' fanfiction contest in honor of Harry's birthday, which is TODAY! :) The rules are simple. Up to 750 words, use HP characters, and have something to do with birthdays. So, since Lisa's awesome and allows for a wee bit of wiggle room, I stretched the rules as far as I could.

Please enjoy. This was one of those mysterious 'labors of love,' but my brain required me to write it. You know how that goes.

Title: Ghost of a Smile

Summary: George finds Fred during the Battle of Hogwarts.

Something was wrong.

A tug in his chest made George turn toward the castle. Jets of green light blew past him, and he dropped to the ground. Percy was running after a hooded figure, cloak forgotten, eyes blazing. George had never seen his brother so possessed.

Something was wrong.

There it was again. A pulling, now in his gut, screaming for him to go inside.

He jumped to his feet and cast a spell to clear his path. Was it Ginny? Dad? He slipped in mud, maybe blood, as he reached the steps. A blast of pain in his arm brought him to his knees, but he ignored it. He had to.

Something was wrong.

There was fighting everywhere inside Hogwarts. Friends and enemies were running, cursing, bleeding. He passed Ginny, fire and smiles as she stood toe-to-toe with a hulking Death Eater. Red hair flashed to his left, someone tall, but he couldn't see the face. Had to be Fred. But where was Mum? What about Ron?

Something was wrong.

The wall had collapsed in this part of the castle. There were bloody footprints, but the corridor was empty. He held his wand in front of him, glancing all around as his hands began to shake, expecting a Death Eater to jump from behind the rubble, but he couldn't hear anything except his heart slamming against his ribs. His stomach was tied in the tightest knots as he rounded the corner with a curse on his lips.

Everything was wrong.

His wand fell and rolled along the stone floor until it hit the wall. He put a hand out to steady himself, but his knees crumpled as the tears began. There in an alcove, lifeless and alone, was his brother. His twin. His very best friend, and the world stopped.

The slash above Fred’s eye sank into his vibrant hair. George held out a hand to touch the spot but could not, as his stomach tore him away. He fell to the floor, retching far from his sleeping twin. In the back of his mind, he knew Fred would laugh at this moment, remind him of those eggs they'd eaten for breakfast. He swiped his sleeve across his mouth and rolled away from the mess. Fred had always sat with him when they were testing the Puking Pastilles. Taking notes, asking questions, cracking jokes so crude George would throw up in earnest even after the capsule wore off.

He leaned against the wall to catch his breath, grinning at the memory until the sadness returned. It cut deeper as he remembered the pranks, the teasing, the family dinners, the punishments (oh, so many punishments), the extravagant, twin birthdays, the shop, the customers. All of it running together into one bright vortex of love and misery as he again reached out a hand.

George touched Fred's closed eyes, then his cheeks, his mouth, knowing he was patting a mirror image except for the blood and the beating heart. A smile was frozen on his brother’s lips, like he’d never seen this coming. Maybe he was turned away, telling a joke. Or perhaps he was taunting. George smiled. Fred excelled at taunting.

"Freddy..." The tears came again, powerful and unrelenting. He grabbed the ripped fabric of Fred's robe and pulled him to his chest, rocking forward and back to soothe his brother. But it was George who needed soothed. His twin was dead, taking half of George’s heart with him, and he cried into the bloodied mess of Fred's chest, uncaring of the crimson on his face and in his hair. There would never be another fireworks display in the Great Hall, no more grand escapes on borrowed brooms, no more pretending to be the other to fool Mum, no more finishing each other's sentence, no more knowing smiles, no more talking until midnight, no more crying on each other's shoulder, no more Fred and George.

No more Fred.

Then warm arms wrapped around him, and for a second, less than that really, George thought maybe...

But it was Percy, arms desperately clutching his brother's back as he tucked Fred's hair into place, hoarsely whispering 'imsorryimsorryimsorry,’ and George cried harder. Because he was alive and Percy was alive, and he’d seen Ginny, and Hermione would protect Ron, and Mum and Dad didn't know.

He couldn't breathe. The world was spinning, and Percy was screaming 'IMSORRYIMSORRYIMSORRY,' and Fred would be so angry, because he loved living. He loved it more than Chocolate Frogs and Quidditch and pulling pranks, but he was gone now.

He was gone.

For the first and only time, George Weasley thought it might not be so bad if Harry lost the fight. Nothing would be wrong anymore. He could be with Fred. The twins could be twins again. Maybe prank on Dumbledore and Mad-Eye. Yeah, definitely Mad-Eye.

In that crumbling corridor, miles from the sounds of war, he held his dead twin and let a ghost of a smile touch his lips.

Sad, I know, but thanks for reading. I mentioned birthdays. lol. That counts, right? Right?!

Please pop around to the other fanfics and leave a note. It's always tough to share your work, even if it is a for-fun exercise in complete and utter dedication to one of the best stories the world has ever known.

Thank you again for reading!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Self Publishing and Dreaded Reviews

I love Entertainment Weekly. That crisp magazine in my mailbox each Friday is like weekly Christmas without the travelling. In a word: Heaven!

But last week, I read an article that kind of threw me. Titled 'The Hottest Self-Published Books,' the article talks mostly about Amanda Hocking and John Locke and how their self-pubbed books are, well, not so awesome.

Two points, then I want your feedback.

1. I never agreed that book reviews, whether on personal blogs or other media, should always be happy, fluffy puppy stuff. Each one of us looks and acts differently, we like different foods and colors and animals and BOOKS, so I may not love a book that rocks your casbah (yep, rocks...your casbah). But I am against bashing, and that's why the article shocks me. Its language is downright harsh, calling Hocking's latest "a bunch of goopy, romantic nonsense." Yikes. That, my friends, is bashing.

2.  I sit firmly on the fence about self-publishing. Is it a valid option for authors? Sure. Have I considered it? Nope. That's my personal choice and for personal reasons, the biggest of which is that I don't have an inkling of a clue how to successfully market my work. Is everyone going to have Amanda Hocking's success? NO! I haven't read any of her books, but she's a rarity, not a rule. Should self-published books be treated like any other book? I think so. Yes.

So, with those two things in mind, I suppose the author of the EW article reviewed Hocking and Locke's books as he would any other book. I've read movie and music, and yes, even book reviews in EW that didn't hit me like this one, but holy hot dog! My mind was blown.

Thoughts? Did you read the article? Have you read any of Amanda Hocking's books? How about John Locke's? What did you think?


Monday, July 25, 2011

One Hundred Words for Captain America: The First Avenger

I’m not comic book movie’d out, but I wanted to see Captain America about as much as Thor (very little). Imagine my surprise when I really enjoyed it.
The effects made Chris Evans look sickly and Hugo Weaving look sick (the good kind of sick. Think wicked sick). Agent Smith proved he’s so much better as a villain, and in Captain America, a deranged, super-powered, anti-Hitler, German mastermind with the power of the Gods at his disposal. Tommy Lee Jones is spectacular comic relief, and the ‘death’ scene broke my heart.
See it on the big screen. It’s worth it!

It's the last week of July, darlings. I'm 'this close' to finishing the first draft of my revamped MS. Exciting! How about you? Close to your July goals?
We'll touch on self publishing on Wednesday, and my Friday post will actually be on Sunday for Lisa Galek's Harry Potter contest. Sign up today!

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Horse is a Horse. Of course, of course. Part Two

Picking up from the end of the Mr. Ed post from Wednesday, let's talk Twilight.

The four books in The Twilight Saga are, for the most part, written from Bella's persepective, and that's pretty understandable considering Stephenie Meyer's intended audience and the fact that it's a love story. Now, I'm not saying guys can't be the narrator in a romance, but male tweens may hear 'sparkly vampire' and run for the hills.

But, again, except for a bit of the third and half of the fourth book where Jacob takes center stage, the reader follows Bella. Stephenie Meyer wasn't satisfied with that, though. She wanted to dive into Edward's head in the first book to see what he was experiencing in that biology classroom. So she wrote it, Midnight Sun, and if someone wouldn't have leaked an early draft, it would probably be on my bookshelf right now. By the way, if you're Team Edward or Team Can't-Decide-because-MAN-look-at-Taylor-Lautner's-Abs (I'm tentatively raising my hand...), then you need, NEED to read the unfinished Midnight Sun.

Another example is WICKED.

In this amazing musical, we learn the origins of the Wicked Witch of the West. Elphaba (yes, she has a name) is kind and shy, and actually befriends Glinda, but circumstances, differences, and oddly enough, social and political unrest in Oz, force her into the role of the villain. It's an incredible love story. You'll never watch or read The Wizard of Oz with the same eye. :)

We've discussed it before, but a lot of fanfiction delves into the world of what if and different POV's. We want to know what the other characters are thinking, because we think we know, but want them to confirm it.

Is this all just me? Do you ever finish a book (or what was that series called...with the little boy and the wizards...oh, I just can't remember...hehe) and want more from a secondary character? How about in your writing? In my WIP, my MC isn't my favorite character, and while my manuscript is being critiqued by my awesome writer-friends from BackSpace, I'm seriously considering writing the story from a couple of the other character's perspectives. Hey, why not? I'm sitting around 49,000 words right now, so I figure if I can add 10,000 more of solid, tension-building, secondary character-developing content, the MS can only get stronger, right?


No Alf today. Sorry! I'll hold him back for some other post.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Horse is a Horse. Of course, of course. Part One

Main characters have, um, diversified a bit recently. Point of views have as well. Human beings used to have the market cornered as far as main/primary characters were concerned, but we're limited only to our own imaginations. Adults, aliens, animals, supernatural creatures, children, inanimate objects. We've seen them all, but what makes a non-adult (or non-YA, in most of our cases) MC work?

One example from the, gulp, sixties is the fabulous Mr. Ed.

Not from a book, but still a classy main character with an attitude. Ed showed us that main characters can get into all the same predicaments humans can, even with two extra legs and those crazy, bowling ball eyes. As an aside, if you haven't seen the recent movie, Arthur, with Russell Brand, his horse-phobia is probably the most hilarious part.


If the show had focused strictly on Willlllburrrrr, hehe, sorry, Wilbur, with Mr. Ed as only comic relief, we may have loved it less. It's because Ed was chosen as the MC that we care about Wilbur's life.

In our writing, we have tons of options for who will be our main character and our narrator/main POV. Look at your WIP. Could you benefit from writing it in third person? How about from the perspective of the villain? How much more insight would you gain about the MC (assuming the villain isn't the MC) if you tried that?

We'll pick up with this discussion on Friday. Maybe I'll use Alf as a second example. LOVE ALF!


Monday, July 18, 2011

HP 7.2 Review with Top Five Lists and an AWESOME contest!

SPOILERS!         Turn back now if you don't know what happens!      SPOILERS!

Deathly Hallows, Part 2 makes up for its snail-like start by smashing into (and out of) Gringotts, apparating to Aberforth’s house, waltzing into Hogwarts, and ACTION ACTION ACTION after that with a ridiculously sad flashback in which I choked out a breath or two around my sobs. Alan Rickman is a superb Severus Snape. Lovesick, pained, devastated, and a truly good man. I love him for breaking my heart.
Though most of the cast members make an appearance, this movie is all about Harry. I don’t know if I’ll make it a month without seeing this last film again.

And because 100 words isn't nearly enough, here are a couple Top Five lists. Again, SPOILERS!

Top Five Things I loveLoveLOVED about HP 7.2
1. Snape flashback.
2. Luna Lovegood demanding to be heard.
3. The entire theater cheering for 'Not my daughter, you bitch!'
4. The entire theater cheering when Neville Longbottom killed Nagini!
5. Everything Minerva McGonagall did.

The Potter-style 3D glasses were a big winner in my book as well. ;) Yes, I'm an enormous nerd who hugged these plastic not-sunglasses to my heart and spun around like an ungraceful ballerina. You should be very sad you missed that show. hehe

Top Five Things I Sorely Missed
1. The Weasley Reunion with Percy
2. Fred Weasley's death meaning SOMETHING! Yes, it happened, but no jokes with Percy, no Percy raging after the killer, not even a full scene. I wanted to cry, darn it!
3. Nagini in the bubble. It was in the teaser poster, but not the actual movie.
4. More Hermione!
5. Ron punching Draco while running through the castle (though I love me some Draco Malfoy).

Lisa Galek over at Read. Write. Repeat. is having a spectacular contest to celebrate all things Potter. Check it out here.

She's been at The Wonderful World of Harry Potter (JEALOUS) and is offering some great prizes. You do NOT want to miss this. Sign up for the fanfiction contest too, and we'll hop around on July 31 (Harry's birthday) to check out the stories.

It's a sad, sad day to see it all end, but let's celebrate the worldwide phenomenon that is Harry Potter with smiles and contests and homemade butterbeers. Nothing will be what these last 10+ years have been, and I'm so thankful I was a part of it. :)

What did you think? Devasted it's over? Psyched for Breaking Dawn? How about The Hunger Games? Who's thinking about a trip to TWWoHP? Come on. Impromptu Orlando vacation? Anyone? Bueller?

Big hugs and bright smiles to all of my darlings.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

When Blogs Attack

Don't worry. I'm not going to list the reasons we shouldn't say nasty things about other people/books/ideas/etc., on our blogs. We all know that's not cool. I want to talk about the blogs themselves and When Blogs Attack!

Sounds like a prime time special, doesn't it?

Here are a couple ways blog decisions have come back to bite me. If you haven't encountered them, GREAT! Maybe you'll be able to learn from my mistakes. Are there more? Probably, so share away!

1. Email address.

I started blogging in January, and as I was swept further and further into the blogosphere (wow, haven't pulled that one out for a while), I started typing my full email address in comment boxes and all over the Cheetah. I figured, people need to know how to contact me, right?

Then Blogs Attacked...with SPAM.

Yes, spam. An internet nightmare. It's like mailed credit card offers, but much worse. No, Mr. Chinese Businessman, I don't believe I just won a billion dollars, so no, I won't be clicking on that link. I don't think so, Mr. Natural Male Enhancement, I'm not really interested in your product. And I'm so very sorry, Miss Six-Year-Old-with-Flesh-Eating-Virus, I feel awful, but I won't be sending you my credit card information.

Then I learned the trick. Spam bots (or whatever they're called) roam the internet to find suckers like me, snatch up my email, and sell, sell, sell. So, I joined the modified-email club with name (at) nolongerasucker (dot) com, and I've been spam-free. Yay!

2. Text Verification

I was a proud participant of the A to Z Challenge last April, and so many of you found the Cheetah through it. HI! To make comments quicker and easier, since, you know, there were over 1,200 participants trying to hop around to all those blogs, I disabled the text verification at the end of each comment.

Then Blogs Attacked...with ANONYMOUS COMMENTS

Advertisements mostly. A lot of iPad, shoes, and the occasional gaming system ads, but also some long narratives, interesting compliments (bad, not good, interesting), and some foreign language diatribes. Thank you, Blogger, for filtering them out. But I've reached my Level of Tolerance for these fun posts. I'm reinstituting the text verification. Maybe I'll take it down for next year's A to Z, but I enjoy your comments and hate being disappointed by Anonymous Spam Bot's jibberish.

So, what are your When Blogs Attack stories? Let's all help each other have the best blogging experience we possibly can. :)


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Do Women Make the Scariest Villains?

Yesterday, I finished rereading A Tale of Two Cities (and bawled, of course), and in the ten years since I read Dickens's tale, I forgot about the malevolent Madame Defarge. How she sits quietly in her husband's wine-shop, ever knitting, never looking, but always watching. This woman knits a list of 'the accused' and sends them to La Guillotine with a warrior's shout and a knife in her belt. Men, women, children. Ahh, it makes no difference to Therese Defarge.

It that doesn't scare you like spiders in the shower, I don't know what will.

But let's go a step further. Is it Madame Defarge that gives us the heeby jeebies, or is it just the idea of a truly, evil woman? Death-wielding menfolk are plenty terrifying. I'm looking at you, Voldemort (TOMORROW, TOMORROW!!!!!!), but woman are often thought of as loving, motherly, sympathetic, protective. Right?

Maybe that's why 'scary' isn't a good enough adjective when Vamp Willow shushes away a trembling girl's tears, then rips out her throat. Or how about when Ursula absently touches up her lipstick while pressuring sweet, pristine, my-hair-never-looks-crappy Ariel to sign over her soul. And I won't go into detail about our dear Bellatrix Lestrange.

So, who are your favorite villains? The men, or those lovely ladies? What is it about them that gives you nightmares? What dastardly thing propels totally sane writers to create that type of villain? :)


Monday, July 11, 2011

Horrible Bosses, Terrific Movie - Review in 100 Words

Meet Nick, Dale, and Kurt. Three friends who decide to kill their, um, horrible bosses.
Hello, hijinks!
Yes, they get arrested. Yes, someone’s boss dies. And, yes, Jamie Foxx is at his funny best! This is not one of those movies where all the hilarious scenes show up in the previews. You will laugh at ev-er-y-thing Charlie Day does, says, thinks, looks, etc. No joke. Bateman plays a perfect Straight Man, and Sudeikis is a loveable manwhore.
It’s Office Space meets The Hangover. If you want to laugh like a hyena for ninety minutes, this movie is for you!

That's it!

I don't know if you've heard, but the last Harry Potter movie comes out this week, so this Friday's blog post will be moved to Saturday to accomodate an extra hour of Cheetah sleep. For all my midnight showing comrades, I salute you!!! I also salute everyone else, but with less pinache. Not a lot less. Just enough to, you know, tell a difference.
Also, I'm thinking about doing a blogfest here at the Cheetah. I've participated in a lot of blogfests, but I've never actually hosted one. Any advice? Tips? Topics of interest? And does anyone know where I can find one of those Linky lists? :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Baby, Your Writing's a Firework!

My hunt for fireworks last weekend was fierce.

I drove around downtown Dayton, watching between the cracks in the buildings, hoping for free parking somewhere, anywhere! What ho! The booms, the lights, the cheers. They lit up the sky like, well, a bit like the Fourth of July actually, and I dove into a business lot to block in a white SUV with a stick family on the back window (Dad, Mom, daughter, 2 dogs, and 1 cat).

I leaned my seat back, crossed my arms behind my head, and realized how much my MS needs to be like this fireworks display. No gaps, a lot of variety, a few double whammies, and a finale that stole my breath. In other words, tension on every page. There are some shows (as well as rough drafts, like the one saved on the flash drive poking from the side of my laptop (hint: it's mine!)) that don't hold our attention. There are lulls that make you look around and think 'is it over?' Then maybe a rush of lights, a glimmer of hope, a finale! But not really...huh? We've all seen those shows. They leave us hanging, begging for a little more punch.

Everything has to build from that first flash of light, becoming bigger, louder, more unique, dragging your viewers out of the leaned-back seat of their Civic, making them throw open the car door and run through the shadowed parking lot with faces and hands raised, mouths wide open in a smile the size of Russia. And the end! The end must demand a reaction: laughter, tears, love, hope, applause, and the all-important Facebook/Twitter/blog post 'You've GOT to see this!!!!!!!'

So, how can your MS be more like the greatest fireworks display in history? What three things can you change/add/delete/clarify to get rid of the gaps and skyrocket the tension? Write them down. Make them happen, 'cause baby, your writing's a firework.

LOL! Yeah, that really happened!

Your favorite nerd,


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

B-O-O-K-S! June in Review and NYR Update!

Hello, July!

June flew by in a whirlwind of manuscript rewrites, writer-friend crits, sweltering temperatures, and of course, BOOKS. The New Year's Resolutions haven't been lost in the shuffle, though this whole quarter has been a food wreck. Carbs, snacks, casual dining. OH MY! I'll kick the discipline up a notch in July.

But for now, let's get to the good stuff! Here are my June reads.

6/4/11 - City of Bones - Cassandra Clare
Do you ever have those moments when you're reading along, la-dee-da, then a plot twists smashes you in the gut like you've been kicked by an angry leprechan wearing steel-toed boots? Yep. That's the long and short of City of Bones for me. Good book. The flow felt more middle grade than YA, but that didn't detract from the story at all. Clare builds a world existing alongside our own that feels believable, even attractive, to the mundanest of mundanes. Shadowhunters, Mortal Instruments, vampires, werewolves, and a dreamy love interest with emotional baggage. What more could a girl want? ;)

6/5/11 - Writing the Breakout Novel - Donald Maass
This book is amazing. A-MAZ-ING! I dare you to read it and tell me it didn't make you reevaluate your entire manuscript. Meeting Don Maass put his words in perspective, and going through his eight hour workshop...well, I just want to dive down on my WIP like an enraged hawk and tear it to shreds. :) Buy this book and add tension to every page of yours!

6/10/11 - Please Ignore Vera Dietz - A.S. King
I met A.S. King at Backspace, and what a nice gal. So supportive of fellow authors addressing the sometimes frowned-upon themes in YA. In Vera, she hits on parental abuse, teenage alcoholism, and a slew of other subjects that, yes, happen in the real world. It's a heartbreaker, though, with the occasional hilarious moments (brief lectures from inanimate objects, flowcharts from Vera's Zen master Dad). The book made me ask myself if we all turn out like our parents, especially if we work really, really hard to be someone completely different. My answer? I don't know. I haven't exactly figured out who I am yet. I'll get back to you when I know. :)

Only three, but I also shared The Hunger Games with a friend at work who gobbled the series up in a week. So cool that I can 'loan' most of my Kindle books. Great idea, Amazon!

Plans for July:

Books: I've started rereading A Tale of Two Cities (LOVE Sydney Carton), and Timothy and the Dragon's Gate by Adrienne Kress is in my reading/snack drawer at work. Plus, if you remember my Princess Bride post from last week, you know that story's on my Kindle impatiently waiting to be devoured. And Lisa Desrochers's Original Sin, the second in the Personal Demons trilogy, came out July 5th!

Must. Read.

Movies: Do I need to say it? Really? How about a picture instead (courtesy of Google images). ;)

Writing: I will finish my manuscript in July and send it to my wonderful, very honest writer-friends for a good mauling. I will tie together all the plotlines, develop the characters arcs, solve the mysteries, and I swear I'll win and break every heart on the planet by the end. Well, that's the goal. hehe.

I'll also finish critting Laura Stanford's Girl in the Mirror. Check out her blog and comment on her query for GiTM, the story of one seventeen-year-old's race to escape a human trafficking operation.

I love you, my follower darlings. You give the Cheetah her wings!


Monday, July 4, 2011

A Positive Pontification on Mr. Popper's Penguins

Don't worry. I'll spare you a review chock full of 'P' words, though there's quite a few in the film.

For your Independence Day pleasure (oooh, just that one!), enjoy my 100 word review of Jim Carrey's latest, Mr. Popper's Penguins.

When Mr. Popper, an all-work-no-play businessman, receives a pet penguin from his late father, his perfect life falls apart. The penguin floods Popper’s bathroom, leaves him gooey gifts, and costs him a small fortune. Then a miscommunication with the penguin shippers brings five more birds to New York. Long story short, Popper falls for them, reconnects with his family, and learns a valuable lesson about life, love, and…you get the idea.
A cute movie that tended to drag, but worth the money to see the old, Jim Carrey slow-motion gag. Ahhh, I miss Ace Ventura. :)

That's it! Make sure you find some spectacular fireworks to wind down your long holiday weekend. I'll be back on Wednesday with a June wrap-up.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Learning from The Princess Bride

Peter Falk passed away on June 23, 2011. Now, I didn't know him as Columbo, but he was an unlikely narrator in one of the best movies of all time.

You heard me. One of the very best!

The Princess Bride, like so many stories, was a book before it was a movie. I've never read it (it's sitting patiently on my Kindle TBR List), but the tale can teach writers a lot about, um, a lot! In case you haven't at least watched the movie, Netflix it tonight. If Westley doesn't capture you and Inigo doesn't move you, I don't know if we can be friends anymore.

Kidding! But, seriously...

So, yeah, three things I learned about writing from The Princess Bride. Feel free to add to my list.

1. It's all about the journey.
The beginning is very Whedon-esque. We meet the swoonworthy love interest, fall for him, and he dies.


But wait. He may not be dead.

So, we breathlessly follow the heroine as she discovers what happened to her lost love and flees her smarmy husband-to-be. Along the way, we meet a colorful cast, brave the dangers of the wild, and experience every emotion there is EXCEPT boredom. That's an emotion, right?


2. Cheesy names are fine IF the awesomeness of the story outshines them.
Would I ever name my heroine Buttercup? No! Never! BOOOOOOO! And Prince Humperdinck? Humperdinck, Humperdinck, Humperdinck...nope. Terrible. Who would ever call the horrifying creatures in the Fire Swamp R.O.U.S.'s? That's 'Rodents of Unusual Size' for those of you flipping through your Netflix queue. But I get so wrapped up in the story, the action, the adventure, and yes, the kissing that the names become awesome. So awesome, in fact, that one in particular must be said over and over.

My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father.

Prepare to die.

*shiver* ;)

3. Something conquers all, or I've wasted my time.
For Westley and Buttercup, it's Love. For Inigo, Vengeance (and also a bit of Love for his dad). Fezzik really just rhymes, but I love him, so we'll say Love conquers all for him as well. Every story has to have a reason for the journey, for the characters, for the reader to care. Something has to conquer all.

What's that something in your book? Mine's Faith. Well, Love plays a part as well. hehe Doesn't it always?

I haven't done The Princess Bride justice in this quick post, so I need your help. What did you loveLoveLOVE about this story? What lessons about writing and/or life can we take away from it? Have you ever called anyone a hippopotamic land mass?

Annnnnnnd GO!