Here’s one movie I will see in 3D! Coming August 6. The trailer is awesome.
A huge mistake was made on Dancing with the Stars tonight. Before I even get into the dance analysis I’ll say I’m very disappointed that Shannen and Pam ended up in the bottom two. How America can keep Kate on the show is beyond me. Not only was her dancing terrible (I thought she deserved lower scores than Buzz’s fours), but the way she treated Tony was despicable. Even in a contest where personality can win the day, she should lose pretty quick. I was hoping Shannen would stick around. She improved so much this week that it’s sad that she won’t get to continue dancing for her father while such a talentless, mean person remains.
Here’s a look at all of Monday’s dances:
- Shannen & Mark (Jive): Wow, no idea until the end of the results show that Mark was hurt. He danced that Jive like the pro he is. Shannen did a great job for week two, especially with the difficulty of the dance. She did need more control on her kicks. Sadly we’ll never know how well she might have done in future weeks.
- Aiden & Edyta (Foxtrot): Here’s someone whose dancing ability should get them eliminated. His musicality lacked and he was lumbering around the floor again. I felt bad he got hit in the head twice, but he needs to get the choreography down better to avoid that.
- Evan & Anna (Jive): Impressive! Evan used those long legs to great advantage in the jive doing some great kicks. Loved his energy and sharpness.
- Nicey & Louis (Foxtrot): Absolutely gorgeous. My favorite foxtrot of the night. I loved her slightly sassy attitude mixed with a big dose of graceful. I thought this was underscored by all the judges.
- Jake & Chelsie (Jive): Chelsie really got Jake fired up this week. Where he was flat-footed last week, he was up and moving this week. A solid jive with great energy and character for week two.
- Buzz & Ashley (Foxtrot): I was hoping something slower would work better for Buzz. While he was completely charming, the dancing ability was lacking. In the same way I said Jake should never use roses again, Buzz should never have to deal with a moonscape again. It’s too much of a cheap gimmick.
- Nicole & Derek (Jive): Here was the jive of the night. So crisp, kinetic and precise. Deserving of the 10s it got. This number made me regret all the more that I didn’t see Derek when he was in Burn the Floor for those few days earlier this year.
- Erin & Maks (Foxtrot): Erin is really delightful. She played the princess oh so well. I’m loving the chemistry between her and Maks.
- Pam & Damian (Foxtrot): I loved the Marylin Monroe number and, again, I can’t understand how she ended up in the bottom two. Her musicality and movement was so good here. Hopefully she’ll do something to get more voters on her side so we can continue to see her improve on the dance floor.
- Chad & Cheryl (Foxtrot): What a disaster after a decent start last week. Chad was stiff, had no musicality, no character and zero confidence. His tweets from yesterday showed how upset he was by the judges comments, and yet he deserved everything they said. He deserved to go home far more than Shannen did.
- Kate & Tony (Jive): Her dance was the worst of the night. I’m not sure how the judges scored her even a point higher than Buzz and her attitude is just offensive. Get her off the show and save Tony from having to deal with her.
Results Show: I already covered the big news up top with the elimination, so let’s talk about the rest of the show. I loved the big pro number… That was just plain hot! I’m curious when the Beach Boys started sounding so bad…that was painful. Macy’s Stars of Dance was great! Adam Corolla was not great (please, stop making us watch the painful comics give recaps).
“When you say that things are fine so much, it sounds like a lie,” — Alex to Dade.
That’s just one of the lines that gets to the heart of the characters in Nick Burd’s debut novel The Vast Fields of Ordinary, a book that’s among the finalists for this year’s Lambda Literary awards in the LGBT Children’s/Young Adult category. Burd is very deserving of the nomination becuase this novel is far from ordinary.
Dade is a typical senior in high school and the book follows him from his last weeks of school through the summer before he’s off to college. He’s gay, but has only managed to tell the ceiling fan and other inanimate objects in his room that information. He’s messes around with Pablo the football star, but Pablo hardly acknowledges his existence otherwise and is certainly not boyfriend material. Dade is not one of the popular kids even if he is occasionally tolerated by them. To add to his problems, his parents’ marriage is falling apart. In fact he’s the first to find out that his dad is cheating on his mom.
Luckily summer takes a turn when Lucy arrives from LA to visit relatives who happen to live down the street. Lucy brightens up Dade’s world, getting him out to a local gay bar he never knew existed and helping him get over Pablo. Then Dade meets Alex. Even though Alex has a lot of bad boy characteristics, he’s exactly what Dade needs.
The Vast Fields of Ordinary reminded me of a great John Hughes movie–think Sixteen Candles or The Breakfast Club. There are characters you immediately relate too and root for. There are some pretty outrageous things going on (like a wildly out of control house party). There’s a fair amount of heartache too as Pablo struggles to come to terms with who he is … and there’s the town’s obsession with a girl whose gone missing.
My favorite sequences in the book are with Dade and Alex getting to know each other. Dade getting up the courage to ask Alex to dinner to meet his parents, and that subsequent meal is nerve racking. You want everything to go just right for Dade, even though you know it won’t. The quiet moments between Dade and Alex are so perfectly written capturing that unsureness of a new relationship. It is quite outstanding.
The ending threw me for a loop. As I got into the final 40 or so pages I had in my head how this story was going to end. I was wrong. Burd took the story down a different path. While it was a disturbing turn, it made the story all the stronger.
I’m already looking forward to whatever Burd writes next.
Up next: How They Met and Other Stories by David Levithan
The regular season ended last night with the Wizards winning and the Tigers losing.
The Wizards put up a great game against the Snowmen and won 4-2. After the bumpy season we’ve had, it was good to end with a win. I felt really good in this game, probably one of the best (if not the best) game I’ve played in the fall season. I had solid focus, mostly made the right choices and was able to pretty successful stop the opposition.
I did have one huge problem… and it caused the Snowmen’s second goal. I was battling for the puck in a corner, got control of it but then wiffed on the clear. I would’ve been okay if the wiff had meant the puck didn’t go anywhere, but I wiffed in a way that put it right on the opposition’s stick. He shot, he scored. I was pissed.
Continue Reading →
I had a great time yesterday at the Rainbow Book Fair. I spent most of the day at the Dreamspinner Press table with the other Dreamspinner authors (from left to right that’s Clare London, Andrew Grey, Carolyn LeVine Topol, Marguerite Labbe, Felicitas Ivey and me). It was a good learning experience watching the authors work the table and the crowd. I handed out some of the free things we had, such as CDs with book excerpts and coupons for discounts on the website.
I kicked myself Friday night because I could’ve planned better and had something on the table for Rivals, which couldn’t be with the rest of the books becuase Rivals is only in e-book format. Around 11pm, the idea struck that I could’ve done a postcard or a pamphlet that used the cover art, offered a summary or brief excerpt as well as the link to the buy the story. Unfortunately I didn’t have the materials in the house to print those up. A lesson learned for next time.
Besides watching the authors interact with the crowd, it was great hearing how they approach their writing–from when they get it squeezed into their day to how many things they work on at one time, where inspiration comes from and what the people around them think of their writing.
I also attended some of the fair’s readings and a went to the panel on the young adult/kids market. Of course, way too many books were purchased, but with the sale prices offered at the fair Will and I couldn’t help but shop. After all, it’s important to support LGBT literature!
Despite what you might think by its title, The Best Revenge by Andrew Grey is a wonderful romance. In this case, the revenge comes in the form of getting the life you deserve to have: the man you love, good friends, good family and good home.
It’s not easy to get there for antiques dealer Tyler and aspiring artist/gallery worker Mark. Tyler meets Mark when he comes to Mark’s family home to purchase antiques from his mother. There’s an instant attraction between the two, but it takes a few days for them to act on it and get the first date set. Unfortunately on the date, a friend of Mark’s brother see them and Mark’s brother tell his mom. Mark ends up with no place to live, but of course Tyler takes him in and helps him get back on his feet.
Grey created two great characters with Tyler and Mark. They were both turned away from their parents when they came out and that makes it easy for them to help each other. It is wonderful to watch this relationship grow from it’s earliest seeds, including the doubt the both have about it working, to facing homophobic attacks and ultimatley being able to settle down into a good life. I know it sounds like I’m giving away the end but in a romance there’s little doubt the couple ends up together. How Tyler and Mark get there is one of the most romantic and heartwarming stories I’ve read. These two are great together and they certainly know how to steam up the bedroom (and a few other places) too.
This is the second story I’ve read from Grey (the first was in Mistletoe Madness) and I need to get more. He’s at the Rainbow Book Fair this weekend, so I’m sure I’ll be picking up a book or two there.
Up next: Nick Burd’s The Vast Fields of Ordinary
This coming Saturday I’m attending the Rainbow Book Fair and will spend the majority of the day at the Dreamspinner Press table with fellow Dreamspinner authors Andrew Grey, Felicitas Ivey, Marguerite Labbe, Carolyn Topol, and Clare London (they are currently scheduled to be there, and maybe some others too).
There’s a lot going on at the fair with panels (including one with Martin Wilson, one of my favorite YA writers), readings (Andrew Grey is reading from one his books, among other LGBT authors) and of course there’s the exhibit space where authors and publishers will offer of their books.
Last year I just went to browse and meet some authors, so I’m excited to attend as an author this year. If you’re in the neighborhood on Saturday please drop by.