Tag Archives: Star Trek

Jackie’s 17 Steps for Drafting Your Young Adult Novel

I’M BAAAAACK! MISS ME, BITCHES?

It’s been a nutty couple of months. I’ve been doing job searching while also finishing a draft of a Young Adult novel (aka YA for the uninitiated). It may or may not ever see the light of day (aka the shelves of a bookstore), but I’m pretty proud of having finished it. So proud, in fact, that I thought I’d share the wisdom I gained throughout the writing process for all my 17 blog readers. YOU’RE WELCOME.

Step 1: Come up with an original, never-before-imagined idea for your book. HAHAHAHAHA LOL J/K THERE’S NOTHING NEW UNDER THE DYSTOPIAN CHILD-KILLING-GAMES-MY BOYFRIEND-IS-A-VAMPIRE SUN; pick your poison, put your twist on it, and move on.

Step 2: Draft a detailed outline of your book, including key plot developments, character introductions, and emotional arcs. This one is easy: open a word doc and begin with Chapter 1. Then, halfway through outlining Chapter 1, give up and just begin to wing it because who has time for this shit?

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Step 3: Write about 5,000 words of your book and feel pretty good about it. You know what? This isn’t half-bad! Teens would like this, right? RIGHT?

Step 4: Re-read your first 5,000 words and realize they are TERRIBLE. Oh my God, my dog could have written this. Why am I even trying? WHY AM I EVEN ALIVE?

Step 5: Cry

Step 6: Remember the E.L. James is a published author of poorly-written plagiarized fan-fiction and get your shit together. YOU CAN DO THIS, YOU WILL DO THIS!

Step 7: Get to 25,000 words and feel pretty good about it. You like your protagonist, and you hate your villain. There’s real conflict here, and some humor. You’re a good writer, you really are!

Step 8: Re-read the 25,000 words and remember that you are the worst writer to ever walk the Earth and also a terrible human being. OH GOD WHY DID I DO THIS? I’m a worthless hack. I’m going to go eat everything now.

Step 9: Cry while curled up into a ball on your bed and devouring a bag of pretzel twists dipped in an ENTIRE TUB of cream cheese while re-watching Star Trek: Voyager on Netflix. To be fair, this is my coping mechanism for all my setbacks in life, not just writing-related fails.

Step 10: Remember that if she could see you now, Captain Janeway* would tell you buck the fuck up, guzzle some black coffee, and get back to work, Ensign! I’m sorry, Kathryn, I was weak. I WILL KEEP WRITING RIGHT AFTER I STOP THAT WARP CORE BREACH AND PREVENT THE BORG FROM ASSIMILATING THE SHIP, CAPTAIN!

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Step 11: Read a really good book by an excellent author and come to peace with the fact that you will never be that good but at least you can write grammar real good; and know how to do punctuation and stuff and things.

Step 12: Damn it.

Step 13: Finish your draft! Wow, what an accomplishment! Even if no one reads this, you’ve written a fucking book–how many people can say that?

Step 14: Go on Twitter and realize everyone and their mother has written a YA book just like yours. Fuck.

Step 15: Edit your manuscript which primarily deals with the lives of teens and realize that you have no idea about the lives of teens. I think I made a reference to desktop computers in there…do kids even use computers these days? Or do they operate their smartphones via chips embedded in their brains that allow them to send Snapchats with the firing of a single neuron? HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO FIND OUT ABOUT THIS? I guess I could ask an actual teen, but…ew, amirite?

Step 16: Shake your fist at the sky and curse the day that the first members of Generation C were born. Little bastards expecting their lives to be accurately depicted in literature–don’t they know that you are OLD AF RN?

Step 17: Remember that Generation C will soon supplant your Millennial Generation as the most hated of all time. Steeple your fingers while laughing maniacally at their forthcoming generational pain. NOW GO BUY MY BOOK, KIDDOS!

THE END

*I apologize for the obligatory Star Trek reference as I know certain people (ahem, L**) think all I do is talk about “Star Trek, Star Trek, Star Trek,” but I’ve basically just embraced being a ridiculous obsessed nerd so…yeah, get over it. 

**J/K, L, you know I love you.

 

5 Random Star Trek Characters Who Would Make Better Presidents than Donald Trump

I haven’t posted in a while, and I love Star Trek as usual, so here are five random characters from the franchise who would make better presidents than Donald Trump.

*Mild SPOILER ALERT for plot elements of DS9, Voyager, TNG.*

5. Any Redshirt

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Series: Star Trek, The Original Series

About: A redshirt was a random crewman in a (duh) red shirt who beamed down to a planet just to die immediately, usually beginning an investigation by Kirk, Spock, and McCoy into a new alien threat or phenomenon.

Why a better president than Trump? Unlike Trump, Redshirts actually sacrificed something for their people/crew. Granted, they weren’t super bright–you’d think eventually they’d ask if some of those blue-shirted mofos could go on an away mission for once instead of them–but at least they actually did their jobs and shit. And probably paid taxes on their Starfleet salaries.

What they would say about/to Trump: “I can’t believe that guy would insult the family of a fallen sold–OH GOD, WHAT IS THAT THING? IT’S COMING FOR ME, CAPTAIN, PLEASE–” *dies*

4. Lon Suder

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Series: Star Trek: Voyager

About: Lon Suder is a violent sociopath who murders a fellow crewman in Season 2 because he “didn’t like the way he looked at him.” With the help of Tuvok (aka Black Spock), he regains some measure of control over his violent impulses to try to repay his debt to the crew. But he still likes killing people and never really stops liking it, up until his own demise.

Why a better president than Trump? Unlike Trump, he actually tries to not be a sociopath and ultimately works with the Doctor to take back Voyager from the Kazon (aka Lame Klingons with Weed Hair) while the rest of the crew is marooned on some random planet. He gives his life to save them. So, once again, actual heroic sacrifice. From a SOCIOPATH. 

What they would say about/to Trump: “He said what about Mexicans? Look, I know I killed a guy in cold blood for no reason, but I’m no racist. Excuse me, I have to go die now in order to complete my redemption arc, nice talking to you!”

3. The Borg Collective

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Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation; Star Trek: Voyager; Star Trek: First Contact (film)

About: The Borg collective is a cybernetically-enhanced species that assimilates and consumes all technology and civilizations it encounters with the goal of galactic domination and “perfection.” They operate as a collective consciousness and purge the individuality of all people they assimilate. They’re like evil space zombie-locusts and are terrifying.

Why a better president than Trump? Despite being pure fucking evil, at least the Borg are efficient, organized, and have a plan. They have a solid anti-discrimination policy and are willing to absorb all cultures regardless of stereotypes. Also, they have transwarp drive capacity, which would definitely be a boon to the US economy!

What they would say about/to Trump: “We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our–oh, wait? It’s you again, isn’t it? The Trump human? You know what, I think we’re good on biological and technological distinctiveness for right now. We’ll just be on our way to fight Janeway again. Sorry to bother you.”

2. The Wormhole Aliens

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Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

About: The Wormhole Aliens, aka the Prophets, are beings who live outside of time in a stable wormhole that connects the Alpha and Gamma Quadrants of the galaxy (a 70K light year distance). Deep Space Nine basically guards its entrance in the Alpha Quadrant. The aliens are also seen as the gods of Bajor, a nearby planet where people have weird noses and wear one earring. There’s also some space Jesus stuff going on, but I don’t want to spoil the arc of the show.

Why a better president than Trump? While Trump does seem to think he is God, these beings are actually gods, so BOO-YAH. Also, they built a passage that makes it possible for humans to make a 70-year journey in, like, ten seconds, so they could really attack the problem of our crumbling infrastructure head-on.

What they would say about/to Trump: “Where is the Sisko? Who are you? Why do you exist here?” *Listens to Trump ramble for five minutes incoherently* “We thought we were incomprehensible and cryptic, but we have nothing on you. The Trump is aggressive. The Trump is a moron. We must destroy the Trump.” *Uses wormhole energy to completely evaporate Trump as if he is a Dominion warship*

1. Porthos the Dog

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Series: Star Trek: Enterprise

About: Porthos is a Beagle that belongs to Captain Archer, who is (sorry, Scott Bakula) objectively the lamest Captain. He goes on the Enterprise with Archer and a couple times almost dies. His almost-death is a plot point of some significance in one particular episode. There is a reason Enterprise was canceled after only four seasons.

Why a better president than Trump? He’s a pretty cute, nice dog. Likes everyone. Does well in new situations. Good listener. Not the color of a Cheeto.

What they would say about/to Trump: *Is transported down to Earth, takes a huge dump on Trump’s shoes, is transported back to the Enterprise immediately*

 

 

 

Star Trek: 5 Somewhat Unpopular Fan Opinions (A-Z Challenge)

Anyone who has had a conversation with me for more than five minutes know that I have two TV passions that will stay with me until the day I die: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Star Trek. Today is S day for the blogging challenge, so that means one thing: STAR TREK DAY!

And because I love me some controversy, below are five somewhat controversial opinions I hold on the franchise beloved by nerds everywhere. Be warned: THERE WILL BE FEMINISM.

Now, Number 1, ENGAGE! MAXIMUM WARP!

1. The Original Series is kind of meh: Some of my earliest television memories are not of Sesame Street or The Muppets, but rather of watching my dad’s complete set of Star Trek: TOS VHS tapes (early 90s FTW!) on lazy Saturdays. In particular, I watched the Tribble episode over and over, because what five-year-old doesn’t enjoy fuzzy blobs of fast-breeding purring cuteness? And while I still believe Star Trek: TOS is one of the great classic TV shows, I prefer the later series and films, with their diverse casts and modern acting styles (oh, Shatner’s delivery sometimes). I know, I’m a blasphemer: COME AT ME, FANDOM. Also, sorry, Dad, don’t kill me! And yes, The City at the Edge of Forever is the best TOS episode.

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STAHP IT I’M GONNA CRY!

2. I Like Star Trek: Generations (#7 movie): I know this movie is universally hated, and yes, I think it did poorly by (SPOILER) Kirk’s death, but I actually really like it. The scene where Picard tells Troi about his brother’s  and nephew’s deaths is particularly touching, and I thought the concept of the Nexus ribbon, which is basically heaven, was unique. Underrated!

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Don’t lie, you would totally live in the Nexus.

3. My favorite uniforms are the ones from Voyager and early DS9: I know everyone prefers the grey/black uniforms from First Contact and beyond, but they are WRONG. There’s something about the simplicity of the Voyager and early DS9 jumpsuits that speak to me. They just look very comfortable, though I know the real-life versions probably weren’t.

2. I like Data’s Day: Many trekkies HATE the TNG episode “Data’s Day,” where Data relates a day in his life to a correspondent. It’s comic, touching, exciting (FAKE VULCAN AMBASSADOR WHO IS ACTUALLY ROMULAN FTW!) and always makes me tear up in the end, despite the presence of (ugh) Chief O’Brien, who should be nicknamed CHIEF MISOGYNY in his treatment of his wife, Keiko, who is too damned good for him.

1. I love Voyager and Janeway is my favorite captain: Oh, how the fanboys LOVE to hate on Voyager and Captain Janeway (especially Captain Janeway)! But honestly, I never understood the hate for the series–it had no more “bad” episodes than TNG, the first two seasons of which were mostly awful–though I do understand the hate for Janeway. In my opinion, she was a character before her time on television: a flawed, strong, badass woman who made controversial and sometimes wrong decisions. And yet people hate her. Why? Welp, considering that she was the most like the beloved Kirk than any other captain (she basically said “fuck it” to the Prime Directive when it suited her, and was constantly gambling based on her gut), fans’ hatred of her basically boils down to her vagina. Plain and simple. And yes, people will argue to the death that OH, I DON’T LIKE HER BECAUSE XYZ, but XYZ is usually bullshit and, again, never that different than the shit that Kirk, and even Sisko and Picard, pulled on more than one occasion (um, remember when Sisko was basically an ACCESSORY TO MURDER? Kind of torturing that one douche from the Equinox was nothin’, my friends!). People forget that this bitch was 75,000 lightyears from home and had to do EVERYTHING on her own, with only Chakotay and his tattoo to advise her when she went too far. She saved Seven’s humanity, made Tom Paris a decent human being, took a chance on the maquis, and, oh right, she CHANGED HISTORY to get her crew home sooner! She’s a BAMF with fabulous god-damned hair, and I will defend her, and Kate Mulgrew’s performance (yes, that’s the woman from OITNB, she was badass before that show) until the day I die. As I always say:

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My hair is fabulous and ridiculous and I WILL DESTROY THIS SHIP BEFORE I LET YOU BOARD IT!

Please boldly go into the comment section and leave me your thoughts! Long live Janeway!

 

 

Sunday A-Z Challenge: Ever After

It’s Sunday and I’m tired, so here is my short and bad “E” post in the #AZChallenge. The post is as follows and you WILL ENJOY IT…PLEASE.

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PLEASE read this post or I will def cut your throat.

Ever After is a damned fantastic movie for the following five reasons:

 

5. Drew Barrymore’s atrocious English accent: It’s really bad and therefore awesomely entertaining. Why are American actors so bad at this? To be fair, my own version of a “Cockney” accent is just me yelling, so who am I to judge?

4. The costumes: It’s been, what, almost eighteen years? And the costumes are still amazing. Case in point:

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I’m not one of those girls who plans her wedding in her head, but if I were…

3. Leonardo Da Vinci is the Fairy Godmother: I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. It’s almost as good/ridiculous as a holographic Leonardo Da Vinci being Captain Janeway’s occasional muse on Star Trek: Voyager in season 4 #nerdalert. Almost, but not quite.

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This is pretty ridiculous.
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This is marginally more ridiculous.

2. It is yet another movie/TV show in which the French have inexplicable British accents: This is my favorite inconsistency or trope in all of media. It’s also how Sir Patrick Stewart played Captain Picard and that was a thing of beauty (#nerdalertpartdeux; also this post is more Star Trek themed than I had intended and I like it). I especially love how the actors, using British accents, occasionally mispronounce French words…AND THEY’RE ALL SUPPOSED TO BE FRENCH! It’s just my favorite thing.

1. Anjelica. Fucking. Huston: She slays it in this role. Behold–

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And she is just so evil and devastating and heartbreaking in this scene:

Cate Blanchett, girl, I know you tried to recapture the glory of Huston’s performance as a woman who chooses spite over kindness out of desperation in last year’s Cinderella, but this is the score to beat. And you didn’t. S’okay tho, just go enjoy your Oscars.

So yeah, it’s a GREAT FUCKING MOVIE. If you agree, tell me in the comments. If you disagree, tell me in the comments so I can hate you, you PEBBLE IN MY SHOE.