RUDCPROMOSquare250Hi gang! So, I’m attending the Reading Until Dawn Con in October and I promised to be part of a fun scavenger hunt for the Con. 

Here’s more info about the con and scavenger hunt below…

One of the main goals of Reading Until Dawn Con is to give our readers a chance to get silly and have fun with our authors. We’ve got a full schedule of games planned for October… but we thought it would be great to get the party started a little early. That’s right… some of us Featured Authors and Bloggers are getting a head start on the fun times and hosting a SCAVENGER HUNT!

Authors and bloggers will be posting their logo/game graphics from August 17th through the 21st, and Reading Until Dawn Con will accept entry emails through August 25th. Since the Scavenger Hunt IS a game, there has to be a prize, right?? One grand prize winner will win DINNER WITH OUR EMCEE, DARYNDA JONES at Reading Until Dawn Con!! That’s right, just you and Darynda, chilling out and chatting over a meal, our treat. We’ll also have four runner up winners, who’ll each receive special book and swag packs from a few of the Featured Authors.

So… who’s ready to start playing?? If you haven’t registered for Reading Until Dawn Con, now’s the time to get that done, so you’re ready to enter to win a meal with Darynda!

Good luck, everyone… and happy hunting!

Scavenger Hunt Details:

There are twenty (20) logo/game graphics hidden on 20 of the feature author and bloggers websites. A schedule is posted at Reading Until Dawn Con, so you can see who will have their graphic up on which dates. All you have to do to play, is check out the website and/or blog posts of each of the authors or bloggers on their scheduled date. Keep track of who has which graphic, then once you have all 20, just email your list, along with the name/address you used when you registered for Reading Until Dawn Con, to ReadingUntilDawnCon @gmail.com with the following information

RUDC15Are you registered for Reading Until Dawn Con this October in Denver, Colorado? If not, why not?! Join us for fun, games, snacks and possibly pants-optional dancing.

REGISTRATION is now open! Come party with the authors who keep you up all night.

Be sure to keep up with all things Reading Until Dawn, by following it via your own personal social media drug of choice: Facebook |Twitter | Google+ | Up All Night Reading Challenge | Pinterest | Tumblr | RSVP at the Facebook Event.

RUDcon

Dissecting Fight Scenes (Black Widow vs. Hawkeye)

A few days ago on the blog, I started my series about fight scenes, and today I continue that with…

Black Widow vs. Hawkeye in Marvel’s The Avengers

(Fight starts at 2:02)

OK, I admit I might have picked this fight because I love how much ass Black Widow kicks. I love her.

But really let’s talk about the fight choreography in this because Black Widow actually fights like a girl. And I mean that in a good way. Most women can’t compete with men when it comes to brute strength, which is why most fighting styles that work for women (like Brazilian jiu jitsu, etc) are all about someone physically weaker defeating someone stronger. BW doesn’t just square up to Hawkeye and punch him. She tries a sneak attack, she uses the environment and the available weapons to attack him. She’s flexible physically and mentally. And when he’s got her in a lock and is about to stab her she bites him. Which is how real, I’m fighting for my life combat works: no such thing as “cheating”. (I’m looking at you Will Turner…)

Now let’s talk about the character stuff going on. Hawkeye and BW are partners. They have history and, at this moment, he’s been brainwashed and he’s working for the bad guys. So Black Widow is trying to incapacitate him without killing him, and Hawkeye is trying to kill her because he’s got a mission.

But this fight, beneath the surface, is also deeply personal despite the brain washing. These people are great friends (in my headcanon they’re also lovers but we can leave that for now). We just had a scene where Loki pinpointed that BW’s greatest fear is Hawkeye hurting her, killing her. And five minutes later we have a scene where Hawkeye is trying to do just that. (A+ writing, Joss Whedon)

The choreography of the fight even mirrors this preoccupation with the intimacy between BW and Hawkeye. A lot of this fight is close quarters, face to face, hip to hip. The ending is basically an embrace between them–a grunty, I’m trying to kill you with my knife kind of embrace, yes, but still: they’re in each others’ arms. Even the fight itself is underlining the intimacy between these two people. Especially when you consider that Hawkeye is primarily a sniper. He doesn’t usually fight face to face, he shoots people from far away–but not with Black Widow.

And what finally breaks the fight up? Hawkeye pulls her hair and then she bites him. Those are intimate actions, personal. No weapons, no fancy kicks or arrows. It’s still about the two of them.

Basically, the takeaway from this fight is that you can (and should) use the choreography of the fight itself to underline what’s going on beneath the surface, what the characters are feeling, what the dynamics are between them. Have cool choreography, yes, but use it to help you tell your story by elaborating on character, theme and subtext. That punch isn’t just a punch it can also mean “I love you. Come back to me.”

Dissecting Fight Scenes (Will Turner vs. Captain Jack)

Originally blogged on Paranormal Romantics

If you don’t know by now I’m a huge geek, and I love dissecting the minutiae of my geeky entertainment. As such, I thought it might be fun to talk about what makes a good fight scene for me.

OK, so…you want to know what the secret is?

CHARACTER.

Fight scenes, the good ones, are still all about character.

Turns out I have a lot to say about this so I’ll be doing this as a multi-part series over the next couple months.

First up, lets look at one of my favorite sword fights of all time…

Will vs. Jack from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

 

This fight scene is fabulous because it’s not just a fight, it’s great character introduction. This fight tells us SO MUCH about their respective characters: Will is a fantastic swordsman but he doesn’t seem to have much actual combat experience–as evidenced by the fact he tells Jack he’s “cheating” when Jack brings other weapons into play. Will has a naive notion that a pirate who’s running for his life should still abide by the rules of fair combat. The fight also shows how good Will is, though. He may not have much practical experience, but he knows what he’s doing, and he’s pretty damn good at improvising (grabbing the hot sword, the bit with the chain, etc).

In this fight, we also learn that although Jack is a pirate, he actually goes out of his way not to kill Will–basically begging Will to move at the end of the scene so he won’t have to shoot him. So, though Jack is a pirate, he’s still a good man. Which is basically the message of the first film. And we see it acted out in the very first big fight of the movie. Good job, screenwriters. A+

So, to sum up, this scene may be a fight, but it’s also all about character. We learn everything we need to know about Jack and Will in this fight, and we manage to do all this while watching a pretty kick ass fight scene. Win win. 🙂

Next time: Black Widow vs. Hawkeye in Marvel’s The Avengers.

Ta for now,

Beth Matthews

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The Eldritch Horror of Online Dating

Before I hooked back up with my wonderful man I went through the horrid gauntlet of online dating. *shudder* One of the worst things I had to deal with was the dating site OKCupid. I had a sort of love/hate relationship with that site because on the one hand it was free and pretty much as soon as I put my profile up I would have a date lined up by the end of the week. On the other hand, I would get multitudes of badly misspelled, usually offensive and often inappropriate messages from prospective suitors.

But you know what annoyed me more than those? When I would message a guy and he would write back some variation of “Sorry, I’m not interested”.

I never understood that. Why? Why are you wasting your time and mine just to tell me you’re not interested? I’m a big girl, I’m not invested in this interaction at all. Trust me, if you never wrote me back I would figure out your lack of interest all on my own.

Maybe it’s a sign of my generation or something, maybe older generations feel it’s rude not to “close the loop”, not to reply back. But, trust me, the messages that pissed me off the most were the “Hi, thanks but no” messages. One guy wrote me back just to say, “Sorry, I’ve fallen in love with someone I met on the site so I’m taken.”

I deleted my profile for awhile after that one because I was so annoyed. I guess consider this a public service message, dudes who do online dating: If you’re not interested you don’t have to say anything. Promise. Most girls are smart and will figure it out when you never write them back. Really.

 

Is It Just Me…

…or does it look like the dragons on my Disney sheets are tongue-kissing?

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In other news, I just scrubbed the toilet while listening to the Ben Hur score. Which made me feel like I have conquered the toilet bowl! Bow before me, o’ porcelain throne! You shall not defeat me!

…I’m a little punchy tonight…

Saturday Shorts: Fairy Tales

hF20F649CI don’t know how regular a thing this will be, but I discovered some really awesome short stories (free! online!) and I thought I would point you guys to them if you happen to be bored this lovely Saturday morning. Or if you’re an agoraphobic vampire who would die if he went outside. You know. Either way. 🙂

Hope you enjoy the reads.

The Sea Witch Sets the Record Straight” by Ursula Vernon, posted on her website.

The Little Mermaid told from the POV of the Sea Witch. This was my favorite bit:

Seriously, you start stealing people’s voices and using them yourself and pretty soon you don’t know which voice is yours and which one’s an echo and then you’re mad and howling and people are standing around in caves during low tide asking where the screaming’s coming from and someone else is saying “Oh, it’s just some trick of the acoustics.”

            Go ahead, laugh. That trick of the acoustics is my Great-Aunt Meryl and you don’t want to wait for high tide. I’ve seen her tear the head off an elephant seal. With her nails.

Ursula makes good art too.

“The Wrong Foot” by Stephanie Burgis, posted on the Daily Science Fiction Website (which is such a misnomer because they have all kinds of SF/F on there.)

This is a really original spin on the Cinderella story. This was my favorite bit:

…it finally struck me with some force that there might well have been a reason why the prince’s dance partner had fled. From the strength of his grip, and the way his gaze had already turned back to my bosom, I began to doubt that he had drawn her aside for her conversational skills.

Hope you liked the reads. 🙂

Viable Paradise: Pictures (Part One)

So, I already gave y’all the summary of my Viable Paradise experience. Now, let me show you some of the pretty, pretty pictures I took at Martha’s Vineyard. ^_^

Sunday during the day was before all the madness of the workshop started, so that was really the best opportunity to do some sight-seeing. I ended up going to the Gay Head red clay cliffs of Aquinnah on Martha’s Vineyard with some of my fellow workshop attendees.

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WIP Meme (Take 2)

I was poking through my blog archive and came across this post from last year.

Since I now have a new WIP I thought it might be fun to update the meme.

Writers go to page 77 of your WIP (work-in-progress), find line number seven, and copy the next seven lines.

Here they are:
Romeo and Juliet

“Lachlan, being an arrogant ass, assumed the part was his. But Max is getting into the game.” The beer bottles arranged to her satisfaction, Tierney propped her chin on one hand and slid a smug, amused glance toward Lachlan.

Cassie raised her eyebrows. “Making nice with the director for a part? That won’t end well.”

Tierney laughed. “Such a pessimist. I’m sure Max and Judith will live theatrically ever after.”

Nicola flinched as Max moved toward their booth, but he was only escorting Judith to a table several feet away. He held a chair out for the director and happened to glance over.

This is the one I just sent to my agent last week. Fingers crossed she likes it.