Tag Archives: Doctor Who

Boxing Day Colours

An ivory tower flanks a variegated peony garden….

Ten years since we celebrated this holiday in the UK, it’s still Boxing Day within my immediate clan.  However, the visiting with relatives element has faded; now it’s about the hubby and myself enjoying some down time, as we spent yesterday with Miss Em and her crew.  Last night’s Christmas Doctor Who saw us off to bed, as if we still dwelled in Yorkshire, but truly those days feel like a different life, as if who I am now is another incarnation of a Gallifreyan, lol.  If nothing else, spools of gorgeous threads are a testament to how I have changed, if being an abuela wasn’t enough.  I also received pens, hearkening back to my writerly self, but sewing notions seem to rule the day.

Pastels a’plenty!

Yet, noveling thoughts brew in the background; nothing to do with The Hawk, alas, but those ideas keep the authorial flame alive.  Occasionally I wonder if plotlines pondered will amount to more than bits filling my head, but the fullness of these days won’t last forever.  I spent a lovely chunk of yesterday afternoon with Miss Em asleep on my chest, aware of how blessed were those minutes, also fleeting; she’s examining her world, not that she sees much, but it’s a thrill to marvel at her open eyes, wondering to what colour her rather dark irises will lighten.  These elements are the immediate parameters of my universe, as if in England I was a Fifth Doctor and am now The Tenth (I suppose David Tennant is my fave Doc).  Regeneration is a funny process, even for us humans.

Primary hues….

Currently I have no sewing projects on the docket, other than hand-quilting a wedding comforter.  I could review the most recently published section of The Hawk, but more pressing is cleaning my shower.  Some things never change, ahem, but many aspects of life are constantly evolving.  I am, even if it’s in a far slower manner than my grandkids, the pace of which is fine by me.  There’s more to consider, and to be thankful for, than time actually allows.  But in these paragraphs, I wish to capture just a sliver of the beauty, not merely in shades of cotton thread, but of how magical is simply realizing these gifts.  Loved ones and hobbies and years accrued all bound by grace, my goodness.  How magnificent are these days!

Miss Em, taking a pre-Christmas nap.

Best enjoyed while admiring a newborn, might I say….

Daleks, Blue Boxes, Quilts, and Blue Barns

Still trying to decide what I think about the new Doctor Who, as in the show, The Doctor as in the character, the…  Well, maybe that’s all.  I still have yet to see the premiere episode, but today’s was okay.  I’m still vacillating overall however…

In the meantime, there’s baseball, Giants and Brewers.  There’s quilts on the line, for photographs.  There was ice cream with just enough milk to make ice crystals, until I ate it all.  And there’s The Hawk and the blue barn.

Now that I think about it, Eric’s painting of that blue barn is sort of a two-dimensional Tardis, which I did not at all, under any circumstance, plot out at the time.  It was just a canvas Eric painted after he…  Well, after he came home.  And he gave that painting to Sam and Renee, and anyone who looks at it, of course, has their own idea about what’s inside it.

And no two ideas are exactly the same.

Much like how no two quilts are identical.  These on the clothesline are four of five, well, three of five and a quilt top.  And a placemat.  The placemat is mine.  The quilts are for others.  Just about all the quilts I make are for someone else.

Although, last night as San Francisco creamed Milwaukee, I sorted out squares that will become a quilt for me.  Now, just to find the time to sew it.

Time is a funny notion, and it has nothing to do with a man from Gallifrey.  It has to do with writing and sewing and eating ice cream and snapping pictures of quilts and doing the dishes and writing a blog entry.  It’s like is there enough time to do all that?

Well, today there was.  And I even realized why suddenly Renee is so depressed that she has to talk to Eric and Lynne’s Polish pastor, Marek Jagucki.  Because Marek knows why Eric painted the blue barn, and what he’ll tell Renee about his own past will begin to help her heal.

And, for a time, Renee will be the only one with whom Marek has spoken about what he sees inside the barn.  Even though Eric has a very good idea what that man keeps inside that structure, which can be bigger on the inside than what it looks like from the outside.

Just depends on what one puts inside it.

Sometimes quilts, like novels, just end…

I spent much of today doing myriad things, but a few items were top of the list: make potato salad, start basting the mum quilt, and watch vintage Doctor Who.

The last was sort of by accident; the episodes listed on TV were of more recent Who, however, the husband and I caught “The Girl In The Fireplace” and “Blink”, and I have yet to see yesterday’s new show.  But when you have fantastic Who such as those two, who needs anything more?

As for the salad and quilt, well, the salad is now chilling in the fridge.  And the quilt…

The quilt is basted.  I had planned to go back the other way, but like the little sister quilt, the mum quilt will be quilted in one direction.  Sometimes books end before I expect them too (although The Hawk does not fall into that category); on occasion a quilt does the same.  Of course, there remains plenty of work for that quilt; edges trimmed, perimeter sewn, binding attached…  And speaking of attached bindings, I finished the toddler quilt yesterday at my daughter’s house, while she cut wedges for a Christmas tree skirt.

And Buttercup kept an eye on us both, Scrappy’s Big Sister hanging over the couch in the background.  Quilts a’plenty around here and my eldest’s house, as it should be.

Back to writing tomorrow; The Hawk isn’t going to finish itself.  But I needed a couple of days away.  Gave me perspective on the quilt, and time with my daughter and the hound.  And a good dose of Doctor Who doesn’t hurt the creative spark at all.  The Tennant episodes went a little over the top at the end, but Tennant and Piper are a hard combo to beat.  Gives me inspiration to get back to writing; one of these days Eric, Lynne, Sam, and Renee are going to reach The End.  In that, I must believe!

Plugging back in

Breaks are necessary and reviving, but routine is my best friend, next to my husband.  As my daughter, son-in-law, and Buttercup left this morning, I gave hugs and kisses, belly rubs too.  Buttercup was edgy as her folks were in and out, loading the car.  She seems to crave routine too, along with walks, food, and copious palms laid along her back.  I don’t need excess stroking, but as I sat to write, once the last goodbyes were said, a strange, lovely energy ran through me.  I read over what I’d written yesterday; yes, I snuck in some work on Boxing Day afternoon, after mulling over the WIP.  It’s going to be a few chapters shorter than I planned, with a sequel to follow.  All that time not writing or prepping The Timeless Nature of Patience was usurped by family, the dog, Christmas, or pondering the novel-in-progress.  Enough thought went into it that I was left with no other choice; end the novel well before I originally decided, then write another to finish (or elongate) the tale.  No, I’m not looking at another six-book saga like Alvin’s Farm, maybe just one more to follow Where The Ball Is.  I’ll know when I get to the end of the next one, Where The Heart Is, although I assumed The Thorn and The Rose, the second Alvin novel, was going to be it.

Ha ha ha ha ha!

Anyways, back to what I was saying.  This morning, around nine thirty or so, I had read over yesterday’s installment of the WIP.  All I had to before starting to write was plug in my ear buds, listen to today’s song, then let my fingers do the work.  Living Colour’s “That’s What You Taught Me” was supposed to document Kendall’s meeting with his former soccer coach, laying the seeds for Kendall’s possible return to sport.  Instead it was Kendall telling his parents what he had asked his girlfriend Sarah.  Listening to the song, I could feel renewal flowing through my arms, right down to my fingertips, my brain engaging, as if I had actually been hooked back into some writing pipeline.  I have never felt that sense so strongly, and it was shocking.  I know this is my gig, no doubts there, but I had reveled in those days off, both from writing, also publishing Timeless Nature.  Yet, when the moment presented itself yesterday, I scribbled over 3,500 words.  And today I hit nearly 5K.

You can take an author from the keyboard, but you can’t take the words from a writer.

I had a fabulous Christmas and Boxing Day, spent with those I love most, rain falling more often than not, quite British actually.  We watched Doctor Who on Christmas night, a hot mess my friend Julie rightly described.  It was sort of a Doctor Who Christmas in this house; I received a book of spoilers journal and a Vincent van Gogh exploding Tardis mug.  My husband got Dalek socks, the newly married couple Tardis and Dalek salt and pepper shakers.  We played the Alan Turing Edition of Monopoly last night, another gift for that new couple.  My youngest kicked butt with the green properties, I was the second to go out.  Which gave me time to finish reading over yesterday’s work, then plopping a quick post about the merits of time off and how my brain managed to sort a new direction for that novel.

But today is December twenty-seventh, Christmas is over.  Even in the UK, it’s just another day.  And for this writer, some truth, that while a holiday is required, so is that which fuels quite a bit of my heart.  Family is foremost, but another rush beats right under them.

Sometimes it takes a special moment for the fire to return.  One of the best parts of “The Snowmen” was the one-word test Clara was put through.  As a writer, I hooted as she chose the exact piece of language to best prod The Doctor off his cloud, a brilliant touch in an otherwise chock-a-block episode that did pique my interest in the second half of season seven.  No use shooting more shows if everything is wrapped up in one Christmas treat.

(But there is something to be said about letting an audience digest what has been proffered; Strax is alive!  Vestra and Jenny are married!  Clara is…  Heh heh heh, no spoilers…)

In my book of spoilers, lines break up blank pages, but I’m not looking to record what River Song needed to document, at least not on paper.  I capture plots and people on Word documents, it’s what I do.  It really is, my goodness, how humbling and wonderful it was to realize that this morning, like a delightfully gentle brick upside my head.  Music does it, just like now, Hans Zimmer’s “Up Is Down” from Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.  I’m listening to that tune, but not imagining Johnny Depp and friends.  I see a legion of women young and old saving San Francisco from imminent doom.

Yes, my creative brain is always ticking.  Descendants of Maidens is the title of that tale, waiting for its moment in the sun.  And in the meantime, as I finish a slice of double layer pumpkin pie and a refreshing cup of decaf Yorkshire tea, I’m back on the horse, ready to see out 2012 with a heart-pounding, dramatic flourish.  Where The Ball Is is nearly done; what will 2013 bring?

(A post detailing those plans coming soon…)

Unexpected companions

Spoilers in the internet age are hard to keep under wraps, but those involved with Doctor Who must have been thrilled that no one let the companion cat out of the bag before Saturday’s telecast of “Asylum of the Daleks”.  Of course, no one is saying if Jenna-Louise Coleman will be playing Oswin Oswald once she becomes the Doctor’s full-time companion in December.  I hope so, because I fell for the chirpy, fast-talking genius.  And of course, what a perfect way to introduce her, when she’s following some of the best companions the Doctor has ever had.

Rose was amazing, as well as Jackie and Mickey. Donna was great, along with her family. (I love how the companions’ relatives are included.)  Martha followed too closely to Rose’s affections for that Timelord, although she is wonderful in “Human Nature” and “The Family of Blood”.  The Ponds, both of them, have been exceptional, but their tenure is ending.  It’s supposed to be heartbreaking, and with that known, I was sort of dreading the episodes leading to their exit.  But now, well, whether Coleman is Oswin or anyone else, she’s got me hooked.  And that’s all that matters.

As a writer, I find this so clever, as Oswin kept noting about the Doctor.  As a viewer, I’m in hook line and sinker.  Moffat and team knew they were facing a huge task, as Amy and Rory are so compelling.  Coleman’s secret participation should be noted as one of the biggest coups pulled off in modern TV; the episode had been screened, it could have leaked.  But it didn’t.  And with that victory, I won’t be crying too many tears when the Ponds sail off into the sunset, or however they make their exit.

If you’re looking for more Doctor Who analysis, check out this link.  (My eldest sent it to me.)  And I do recommend viewing Pond Life, if you haven’t seen it.  Nothing more inspirational for the writing than other great writing.  And no milk went off in the making of the episode…

More Doctor Who

So amid all the upcoming sport, yes I am thrilled to bits that the seventh series will begin soon; BBC in Britain and in America will show the first episode on 1 September, and I can’t WAIT!  I’m not a big Dalek fan, the subject of the first show.  What I care about is Amy and Rory.

Yes, I am a HUGE Mr and Mrs Pond fan, probably my fave companions, although Rose Tyler was very good, with either Doctor.  What I love about Amy and Rory is that it isn’t Amy, Rory, and The Doctor.  It’s just this young couple who hold onto each other regardless of vampires that are really aliens, other aliens, and death.  Even death couldn’t keep Rory from Amy.

But what about those Weeping Angels, huh?

No spoilers on this blog, but that’s fair game, all over the web.  The Weeping Angels will have something to do with The Ponds’ departure, and this fan can’t wait to watch.  This writer can’t wait to see how Steven Moffat closes their tenure; some of the best writing I have ever encountered has been within Doctor Who.

I started watching before my writing commenced, so at first I viewed just with wide American eyes.  Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor was shadowy, a little scary, as were “The Empty Child” and “The Doctor Dances”, episodes perfectly frightening, terrifically British.  Wonderfully Eccleston, and there isn’t enough time to note all of David Tennant’s contributions, except to say the end of “Doomsday” is one of the most brilliant moments in TV (IMHO).  Will Amy and Rory top that?

As a writer, good grief, I am just gobsmacked!  The end of “The Big Bang”: something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue…  The author in me wished to create something so succinctly plotted, so touching, heartbreaking.  Currently I’m prepping the last three novels of a series for release this autumn.  The last book, while not quite on par with Doctor Who, does wrap up several stories with some pretty crafty twists.  But still, I am stunned with most of the Doctor Who episodes.  This past season was okay in working through the River Song arc, but the previous season, Amy and Rory’s first, was so sharp.  And take it from this writer, that is not easy to do.

There’s foreshadowing, moving the tale along, ratcheting up the action.  Unwinding each story-line just enough to make the reader (or viewer) crazy to know WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.  That is key.  The audience has to be dying to see the next show, read the next chapter.  Willing to hunt high and low for any hint to The Ponds’ future.

In my own work, one cast has lingered through six books since 2009.  By the end of this year, their stories will be concluded, maybe around the same time Amy and Rory head off to companion sunset.  I didn’t plan it this way, but can’t miss the parallels, also the significance of connecting with one’s audience.  Be they readers or viewers, hearts must be captured.  Daleks have nothing on The Doctor when conquering others, but we won’t tell them that.  They think they’re pretty superior, Exterminate and all that.  But it’s the human element that matters, whether in sci-fi or family saga.  I love Amy and Rory.  I hope they live happily ever after.

(But if they don’t, I won’t be surprised.)