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Snappy Dialogue: Friday! October 30, 2009

Posted by kmcalear in Inspiration, Television, Writing Craft.
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Hi folks,

I thought for this Friday I’d leave you guys with some snappy dialogue from one of my favorite shows, Psych.  This is from the episode Bollywood Homicide recently, where the characters go to eat at their client’s house, who happens to be South Indian. I thought this was a very good example of humor in dialogue from the show. The show itself is ripe with good stichomythia as it’s a characterstic of the interplay of the two leads.

Shawn, Gus, and Abigail are at Raj’s house eating dinner.
Raj: you know guys, my grandmother does make her food a little spicy. You might want to take it easy?”
Gus: Please; I’m ¼ Jamaican.
Shawn: I’m also ¼ Jamaican.
Gus: You are not. Stop telling people that.
(They both stare into space as they realize it’s too hot!)
Shawn: I’m sorry was this chicken seasoned with molten lava?
(Gus and Shawn are quivering)
Shawn turns to Abigail : Really?, Your just fine?!
Abigail: What’s the matter Shawn you don’t like it?
Shawn: No, I think I like it to much. It’s so authentic. Dude I can’t see anything out of my left eye!
Gus: I see dead people!
(Shawn and Gus reach for their water)
Shawn: Oh my god! Even the water is spicy!
Gus: Who does that?!


Book Review: Zoot Suit and other plays October 27, 2009

Posted by kmcalear in Book Review, Literature, Movies.
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This is a book of three plays by Chicano playwright Luis Valdez that question the various media images of the Mexican American in American popular culture. The plays deal with the Bandido Mexicano in the American West, the image of the Pachuco during World War II and the images of Mexicans in movies and television. I thoroughly enjoyed all three plays, including the metatheatrical elements that divorce the play from the traditional “fourth wall” realism. The characters are aware they are roles in a drama, and speak directly with the audience or comment on the theatrical works themselves. Valdez also introduces other metatheater elements, such as the ‘invisible’ Pachuco advising Zoot Suit’s protragonist, a musical chorus that sings out the social context of the works, and the unique settings: from a juxtaposed Melodrama Stage and Realist jail cel, to a play set in a movie studio. While all of these plays would be best Seen rather than read, they’re enjoyable to read as well. The character interactions are rich, the dialogue is both tragic and comic, and this alternative perspective on the American Past is interesting for any reader without being exclusionary. Speaking a little Spanish is a plus, but not neccesary.

Rating issues: There’s harsh language, racial and sexual references

If you want to see Zoot Suit in it’s entirety, Youtube has it available.

New Winners? October 20, 2009

Posted by Realitybypass in Contest.

I’m so sad that we haven’t heard from our first round of winners.

Sooo…I selected some new ones.  For the previous winners, if you contact us I will still send you something.  Maybe even a book shaped something, but I need to hear from you soon!

New Winners:

The Mermaids Madness – Daniel M

On the Edge – Virginia Hendricks

Succubus Blues – Wendy Wallach

All right folks…pretty please contact us at realitybypass at gmail.com


Contesty folks??? October 17, 2009

Posted by Realitybypass in Uncategorized.
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Heya boys and girls…  We’ve not heard from our contest winners yet!  I have books languishing in need of a home.  If I don’t hear from folks by next Monday I’ll redraw.

Here they are:

The Mermaid’s Madness will be finding a home with:  Carol Lawrence

On the Edge is going to:  Amanda

And a bonus book:  Succubus Blues, by Richelle Mead is going out to Deedles

Best research methods? October 15, 2009

Posted by kmcalear in Inspiration, Life, Uncategorized, Writing Craft.
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It’s mid-semester which means right about now I’m waking up in the middle of the night in a cold panic about all the papers I haven’t even managed to find time to research for. AGH! Every semester I promise myself to have them done a month early, but somehow juggling three classes makes that hard, on top of 2 jobs and trying to have some fun in the meantime. Thankfully… lately, I’ve been getting great ideas for papers. Now I just have to actually sit down and do the work to get them written out. But isn’t that always the writing problem?

This got me thinking about research methods for writing and novels. Jana and I both tend to like to do a lot of internet research, but I do think what really helps me when I work on a setting is visiting the place. Unfortunately that doesn’t always happen, thanks to financial feaseability, but I’d love to eventually add that into my method.

I do tend to start listening to things my characters listen to, eat food they like, go to sports/entertainment events the characters would enjoy and pick up books that suit them to get into the ‘Mind’ of the character. I like to approach the research from a character view and then stretch outwards, perhaps some national geographic or travel channel (Alas I have to go to the workout room for that, no home tv anymore. Curse you economic recession!)

Do you research setting first? Characters first? Do you do character sketches, backgrounds, or try to take on some of your character’s traits? How do you research?


Posted by Realitybypass in Contest.
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Kris has a good post today, down below so make sure to visit it too, but we have the results for last week’s contest, courtesy of random.org.

*drum roll*

The Mermaid’s Madness will be finding a home with:  Carol Lawrence

On the Edge is going to:  Amanda

And a bonus book:  Succubus Blues, by Richelle Mead is going out to Deedles

Winners please email us at realitybypass at gmail dot com with your addresses and we’ll get your books sent out this week.

Everyone thank you for visiting and joining our contest.  I had a great birthday and I’m happy to be able to share some birthday joy out there.  Come back frequently, cause I promise we’ll be sending more books out in to the world soon!


Death of the author? October 12, 2009

Posted by kmcalear in Inspiration, Life, Literature, Musings, Television.
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I’m in a class called Literary Theory, which is driving me crazy. I tend to be fairly practical minded so the idea of worrying about questions that will never have answers bothers me. Most recently we read Michel Foucault’s “What is an author” and Roland Barthes’ “Death of the author”.  In short these essays tried to define a value for the ‘author’ and if who wrote something matters as much as what is written?

It left me thinking several things:

  1. The act of ‘selling’ books has made the author more important, because it’s a sale-able commodity giving rights and ownership of a text to the author becomes important.
  2. Names sell. In Homer’s time stories sold… but now, having a name to link to a work tends to sell more than a type of work. The question is, how do you get a name known.
  3. Would we still want to sell our stories if once they were published, our names were stripped from them? Even if we use a pseudonym, it’s still an “identity’ we associate with our writing.

The idea that the author’s personality and personal worldview doesn’t affect the production of a text bothers me. I know that there’s a little bit of my personality in almost any character I write, so I have trouble believing that’s not the case with most authors. It reminds me more of the episode “The Chase” from Star Trek, where Picard tells Riker about the Kurline civilization and the belief of one individual being more a “community” of voices. Check it out, it starts at about 3:00 – 3:30.

The Boys are Back October 9, 2009

Posted by Realitybypass in Contest, Television.
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First of all thank you for the birthday wishes!  🙂  The contest will go on until Sunday, though I have to admit that all the birthday madness is tempting me to toss a second prize into the pot.  Stay tuned on Monday, cause I’ve got a copy of Richelle Mead’s Succubus Blues burning a hole in my pocket and it may have to be released into the wilderness with the others.  🙂

Friday is kinda turning into a time to comment about Supernatural, which I’m happy to do.  For those of you who don’t follow the show, you should, and it goes into reruns shortly so you won’t see quite as much squeeing…maybe.

I think the brilliant thing the writers have done at this point is they’ve brought Sam and Dean back together, but they haven’t even tried to make it ‘like it always was.’  Sam lays it all on the line and tells Dean the way it used to be didn’t work anyway and lead to the strain on the brother’s relationship as it is.  Both of them have made huge mistakes and they’re learning that the only way they can survive is together and different.  🙂  Not to mention it was fun to see them doing a good ol’ fashioned monster of the week kind of episode.  Paris Hilton, for all that I’m not a fan, was brilliant.

Now, I must go enjoy birthday doughnuts!  A day early even.


Book Review: Palabras de mediodía (Noon Words) October 8, 2009

Posted by kmcalear in Book Review, Poetry.
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Most folks know by now that I’m getting my PHD, with a concentration in 20th Century Latin American poetry (and sub specialties in other areas of poetry) , so I thought I’d start introducing people to some of my favorite books of poetry.

Palabras De Mediodia : Noon Words


Palabras de Mediodía by Lucha Corpi is a book of poetry following the mysticism in nature, the eternity of the seasons and the unique connection of woman and mother to nature. It has a very mystical and metaphysical tone, and a lovely musical aspect to it. You can find the book bilingually for those who are monolingual or in English or Spanish. The book also has a strong aspect of searching and seeking love and passion of all forms, from motherhood to romantic and sensual love.



Genre: Poetry

Age: 14+

Content: Sensualism

Overall: 5 paws

Birthday Contest! October 7, 2009

Posted by Realitybypass in Contest.

I know today is Book Review Wednesday.  I keep looking at the day and I know…but…my brain is just not in the right place.  So tomorrow will be book review day.  Today is party day!

A bit of housekeeping and a contest…cause we love contests!

Housekeeping first.  One of our lovely friends has started a book blog and we think you should check her out.  Jane’s Safari.  Go forth and be enlightened.

CONTEST: This month is my birthday.  No I’m not telling you how old I am, go away.  However, this puts me in a celebratory mood.  Soo…I’m giving away a birthday present on Monday the 12th, which will consist of two books being released in October: On the Edge from Ilona Andrews and The Mermaid’s Madness by Jim C Hines.  These are a couple of authors I love, and it’s a good time to introduce them to others.  Not that this is an inclusive list of all the goodies I’m drooling over this month, but it’s a start.

So in celebration today and every day until midnight on Sunday, come and chat with us in the comments.  Tell us what book you’re looking forward to, or what birthday memory sticks out to you!  Say Hi.  We don’t bite.

Well…  Not much anyway.