Jayme Woods

Writer. Geek. Adventurer.


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Teen Wolf 6B: Said the Spider to the Fly Photo Recap

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You know how they say art mirrors life? Well, “they” (whoever they are) are right again. Take for instance the season premiere of Teen Wolf. Ice sculptures thawing into fiery hunks? I just call that Tuesday. Spider-infested wolves creeping on lacrosse practice? Yawn.

But sometimes even super relatable supernatural dramas hit a little too closely to home and this episode WENT THERE. I mean, we get it. Wounds heal. Like, say, if someone leaves you for the mother of dragons. People move… sometimes to Twin Peaks. It happens. And even though we know that person’s love for Teen Wolf is real, it still stings, you know?

I think we all know who I’m talking about here. The hilarious Price Peterson is no longer doing his Teen Wolf photo recaps for legit business reasons. Fair enough, but I think I speak for a lot of us when I say Price’s recaps were the #2 greatest thing about Teen Wolf. #1 being [insert your favorite thing here… mine is Liam, if I’m being honest].

Can we really be mad though? Price saw us through cartoon beasts and Steampunk Cenobites and Beacon Hills High School’s very real need to vet its teaching staff. He’s earned a season of reading these things as a spectator, am I right? Let’s make that happen. I’ll kick things off with episode one and I’m hoping other bloggers in the fandom will keep this thing alive all the way through the finale. It’ll be like that scene in Harry Potter where everyone raises their wands to Dumbledore. Except Price is still alive. And my Hogwarts letter is lost in the mail. But otherwise it’s exactly the same.

Not going to lie, I’m feeling very Liam about this – a little confused, a lot conflicted, maybe a little growly at having to make snarky and insightful observations on my own. Or maybe I’m Theo here? Trying to usurp the True Alpha and failing miserably… but in a totally trustworthy way? There’s really only one way to find out.

Let’s talk about Said the Spider to the Fly.

A lot has happened since Scott and Stiles rode off into that JJ Abrams sunset flare. For starters, Scott is assistant lacrosse coach now! He’s got a whistle and everything.

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Meanwhile, in what might be the most shocking twist since Werejaguars-are-a-thing, teens are in the locker room – you’ll never believe this – putting clothes ONTO their bodies. Also, Corey and Mason are planning to go to the same college because, apparently, they’re seniors now? I mean, sure, Corey was basically hopeless at school last year (and a sophomore?), but Lydia’s study notes are awesomesauce, okay? Let them have this.

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In other news, some kid named Diaz is about to steal Liam’s spot as lacrosse captain. Does that make him the new Jackson? Or is he Scott in this scenario? Season 4 Liam? Unclear. But I think we can all agree rude is rude and nothing is more rude than a sweaty, blood-soaked wolf interrupting lacrosse practice.

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But plot twist! The wolf is the victim here. I don’t know about you, but personally I also get super grumpy when spiders crawl around inside my skull then come skittering out my eye sockets.

It’s not just one wolf either. Nope. A whole mess of spider-filled wolf piñatas went and died across an entire… field? Meadow? Clearing? I don’t know forestry, but I do know Beacon Hills has got problems. The biggest of them being that Stiles is no longer in the opening credits! The nerve! The OUTRAGE! The…

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Sorry, what were we talking about? My brain gets fuzzy when Parrish is around.

Oh right. Spider-filled wolf piñatas. Liam is understandably freaked out. His girlfriend left him, his wolf daddy is leaving him, and now there are SPIDERS. There’s only so much one sweet, squishy, rage-monster can take. Thankfully, Scott reminds Liam of the three things that cannot long be hidden: the sun, the moon, and a were-daddy’s love for his beta. ❤

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Meanwhile, deep beneath Eichen House a 100-year-old were-popsicle is thawing and SURPRISE it’s a fiery beast!

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But whatevs. Seen it. The real news is that the school library has been burgled! All the books on supernatural creatures have vanished. Now I’m not pointing fingers or anything, but this just happened to coincide with the arrival of a certain guidance counselor.

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There is a hilarious/terrifying scene during which Corey definitely does not feel invisible. Ever. At all. Then I felt half a second of pity for poor traumatized new kid until I remembered he’s the jerk from the trailer who stabs Corey with a pen. Nolan = on my list.

Speaking of lists, Lydia used her banshee powers (I guess?) to make a list of all the supernatural creatures in Beacon Hills… because that has never been problematic in the past. Yep. There’s zero chance this list is going to fall into the hands of Shady McShade (The guidance counselor’s name, btw. True facts.)

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In any event, Principal Martin has other problems. About a hundred of them. Furry, rat-shaped problems that have come spewing into school through… vents? Drains? I don’t know. But Liam and Mason were on the case! And it led them straight to a giant, festering pile of bloody rat corpses. Seemed like a clue, but Malia was unconcerned.

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She did not have time for these children or their rat problems. She was ready for MEN. French men. Isaac, to be specific. To which I say, sign me up.

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What were two teen sleuths to do? Well, as everyone knows, when your werecoyote pal refuses to help investigate a mysterious rodent death, the next logical step is a rat autopsy. And who better for the job than Melissa McCall? I mean, sure, Deaton is a veterinarian and graduated valedictorian of his Druid school (probably). And, let’s be honest, he’s the dude you go to for plot-necessary exposition. But, like, he was at the movies, okay? You can’t smuggle snacks in there. Even the bloody rat kind.

But Melissa didn’t appreciate Malia’s cooking and she definitely didn’t have time for teen shenanigans.

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Elsewhere, a were-popsicle was stealing clothes Terminator-style (90% sure), lurking about schools, and creeping on Parrish. I mean, cars and cell phones and electricity and skinny jeans are cool and all, but Parrish’s appeal is timeless, you know?

Then Liam wolfed out in public and were-popsicle was all, “Parrish who?”

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Liam was having a tough day, to be sure. Know who was having an even less awesome time? Lydia. The answer is always Lydia. This poor girl has a way of finding herself in the most terrifying situations – in this case, a giant spider web. Worse, it was a chatty spider web. Like, Lydia just wanted to scroll through her phone and be left alone, but the thing insisted on lecturing her: Wild Hunt, terrifying beast, you let it out, blah, blah. No one asked you, spider web!

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Do you want to know what’s really scary, though? Beacon Hills High School is still offering late night study hall. Don’t get me wrong. SATs are important, but you know what’s not great for test scores? Death. How many innocent randos have to make poor life choices (remember season 3 guy who stuck his arm under a DUMPSTER? The tetanus alone…) before everyone just stays home, you know?

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Anywho, were-popsicle was on the hunt for Liam, and Parrish was on the hunt for were-popsicle, and in no time two flaming men were destroying the high school, as per usual. Parrish, being the gentleman he is, was not interested in all this senseless violence and stepped outside for a quick nap. He definitely was not KO’d, okay? I don’t want to talk about it.

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Then the were-popsicle tussled with Liam and scratched him all up and then… THEN he melted Mason’s baseball bat.

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Stiles gave him that bat! It was a whole thing. This dude clearly has no respect for other people’s property, and that is a fact. He does, however, love cryptic warnings. “You idiots released a monster. Must put it back before it kills you all.” Sound familiar? Clearly, he’d been talking to the same spider web as Lydia. Unfortunately, he went and got himself shot in the face before he could offer any actual useful information. Typical, were-popsicle.

The real shocker though is the person who pulled the trigger – Shady McShade, a.k.a. the woman being entrusted with guiding and counseling the youth of Beacon Hills.

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More importantly, do we have to start calling her Shady McArgent now? Because how else did she get that bullet? Was Nolan one of the kids Scott & Co. hid from the Wild Hunt in Argent’s bunker? Did he snitch to Shady like an ungrateful little weasel? I have questions.

But who has time to worry about any of that? Stiles is Stiles-ing up the FBI! And guess who’s on the FBI’s radar for mass murder? Derek!

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But, like, is it Derek’s fault if he’s minding his own business, doing shirtless chin-ups in the woods, and people just happen to go into cardiac arrest because DEREK HALE IS BACK AND ALL OF OUR DREAMS HAVE COME TRUE?!

Answer: maybe?

Overall, Said the Spider to the Fly was a thrilling, funny, satisfying hour of television.

P.S. though: where is Theo? That guy does not have the greatest track record, so maybe keep tabs on him. More importantly, I’m guessing the Dread Doctors weren’t huge on birth certificates and social security cards, so can he even get a job? Rent an apartment? Is he huddled in a storm pipe somewhere living off squirrels? Until the show tells me otherwise, I choose to believe he’s squatting in Derek’s loft, wearing Derek’s henleys, and pondering how to make a Liam-Theo spin-off a reality because I NEED that in my life.

What did you guys think?

Does anyone want that ticket to Isaac France that Malia is apparently not using?

How do you think Shady got that Argent bullet?

What great evil do you think the pack accidentally unleashed?

If Derek does a shirtless chin-up in the forest and no one sees it… did it happen?

‘Kay, bye!


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The Day of the Doughnuts

Confession time: I’m a Power Ranger fan. As in, I grew up on Mighty Morphin, am currently up to date on Ninja Steel, and just about died from joy after seeing the new Power Rangers reboot in theaters. Needless to say, when I heard about Power Rangers doughnuts at Krispy Kreme, I was so there.

For anyone who doesn’t know, this is the LAST weekend to get Power Rangers doughnuts! If you loved the movie, Go-Go show Krispy Kreme some love by April 2. Let’s get this sequel made one delicious doughnut at a time.

The doughnuts are chocolate-glazed, “Kreme”-filled delights sprinkled with I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-Goldar sparkles. Topping it off is a sugar lightning bolt in the color of your choice. But, really, the only choice here is one dozen or two?

I guess my sister and I never learned not to play with our food because this happened before we actually ate our doughnuts:

Doughnut Command Center

Ay-yi-yi-yi-yi! Rita’s transformed the Rangers into doughnuts, Zordon!

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2-1-Power up!

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The original Sheldon Cooper.

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Forever Red!

What did you think of the Power Rangers movie? Which Ranger would you like to eat in doughnut form? Let me know in the comments!


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5 Songs That Make Me Want to Dance

To celebrate the release of Brooks Benjamin’s My Seventh-Grade Life in Tights, I’ve compiled a list of 5 songs that make me want to dance. Anyone who’s tried #5amWritersClub knows how tough it can be to drag out of bed before the sun, but these 5 jams get me on my toes every time:

1. Shake it Off, Taylor Swift
Let’s be honest, no dance playlist is complete without this one.

2. Take on Me, a-ha
Not only one of the best songs ever, but an epic piece of Chuck history. Win-win!

3. Run It Back Again, Corbin Bleu
The repeat button makes me feel like a time traveler, and this song gives me an awesome excuse to use it!

4. Better When I’m Dancing, Meghan Trainor
Who doesn’t feel better when they’re dancing? (This one’s for you, K)

5. Girls of Rock and Roll – The Chipmunks and Chipettes
If this one doesn’t make you dance, you might be Bruce Willis in the Sixth Sense. Maybe have someone check for a pulse.

BONUS NINJA FREESTYLE!
Thinking ‘Bout Somethin’, Hanson
Because every playlist needs more cowbell.

It’s by no means a comprehensive list, but hopefully at least one of those got your toes tapping.

Don’t forget to check out My Seventh-Grade Life in Tights and happy dancing!


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Eight Terrible Titles (with commentary)

I’ve been away from the blog for WAY too long, but there’s no better way to jump back in than with the #8TerribleTitles blog hop. A great big thanks to the not-at-all-terrible Brooks Benjamin for tagging me to join the ridiculous fun!

For those of you playing along at home, #8TerribleTitles is as easy as 1-2-3:
(1) Open your manuscript and scroll to a random passage
(2) The word or phrase where your cursor lands is your first terrible title
(3) Repeat until you have eight terrible titles

If you’re not ready to share your manuscript, that’s okay! Grab the nearest book and play along. Better yet, grab your friends and see if they can guess the book by its terrible titles. I think I just invented a party game…

But I digress. Here are the #8TerribleTitles for my MG pirate adventure, Double-Crossed, with a bit of commentary. Because what’s the point of terrible titles without terrible blurbs to go along with them? 😉

1. “Diana? Diana?”
One of Faulkner’s lesser known works

2. Wafted Down the Stairs
A scratch ‘n’ sniff book

3. Dressed like a Giant Shrimp
The memoir of a food court mascot

4. Some Rare Disease from the 1800s
Order now and get a free bottle of hand sanitizer!

5. Crossing State Borders
The secret world of truckers – EXPOSED!

6. Giant Bunny Ears
Cyrano de Cottontail attempts to woo the lovely Roxane despite his extraordinarily long ears in this Disney retelling of the classic.

7. The Difference between Ignition and a Deadly Jolt
Gritty YA contemporary banned by schools (becomes a bestseller anyway)

8. A Kaleidoscope of Branches
…and other fun DIYs for summer

Not enough terrible titles for you? Me either! Since this is #8TerribleTitles, I’m tagging 8 writers who are the exact opposite of terrible. You know, to balance things out:

Ann Marjory K

Kat Michels

Patrice Caldwell

S.P. McConnell

C.C. Dowling

Ifeoma Dennis

Jenna Lehne

Donald Capone

I can’t wait to see what they come up with. In the meantime, head over to Twitter and dive into the #8TerribleTitles hashtag for more terrible fun!


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The Power of Cliffhangers (a.k.a. FITZ LIIIIVES!!)

**SPOILER WARNING**

This post contains spoilers for Once Upon a Time, Castle, Sherlock, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Proceed at your own risk.

***I’M SERIOUS! SPOILERS AHEAD***

shield group

See there? Spoilers already.

So, let’s talk about cliffhangers. I have a love/hate relationship with these little devils. On one hand, speculating what’s going to happen next helps fill the time between novels, movies, or (for purposes of this post) television seasons. I mean, seriously, is there anyone who wasn’t stoked to get this little tease on Once Upon a Time:

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Unfortunately, cliffhangers aren’t always just tantalizing glimpses of what’s to come. They often put characters we love in mortal peril. How did Castle escape that burning car? I DON’T KNOW, DANGIT! But I know he did. And I want to know how. It reminds me of a certain English detective who jumped off a building back in 2012. We all knew he survived. But how? HOW? Speculation kept the Sherlock fandom in full swing for two agonizing years.

As a writer, I respect a great cliffhanger. I still can’t hear the words, “Guys, I know Kung Fu,” without a twinge of jealousy that I didn’t write them.

And of all the cliffhangers this season, there’s none that’s got me more invested than the fate of one Leopold Fitz. For those of you who don’t watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Fitz was last seen bobbing unconsciously in the ocean after being hauled up 90 feet by his biochemist partner, Jemma Simmons. If you don’t know why this hurts my heart, grab a tissue and hold on tight:

And that’s the last time we see him conscious. THE LAST TIME, people. No happy reunion where the whole team gathers around his hospital bed. No follow-up scene with Simmons holding his comatose hand and vowing to do whatever it takes to save him. Nope.

That’s not even the worst of it. Once Simmons hauls him to the surface, they’re rescued by Nick Fury. Nick stinkin’ Fury! Think how bummed Fitz’ll be he missed a chance to meet the man himself. It breaks my heart, really, it does.

What’s next for Fitz? We get a few hints. Fury confirms Fitz’s “heart’s still beating, just barely” but warns his amazing little brain went “without oxygen a long time.” At the end of the episode, when the team asks about him, Simmons merely replies, “he’s alive.”

Of all the times for the sunshiny little know-it-all to go laconic on us!

So what does it mean? Well, I did a little digging. Here’s the short version:

THE SHORT VERSION:

FITZ LIIIIVES!!

monkeys rejoiced

THE LONG VERSION:

WARNING: I’m not a medical professional. Everything you’re about to read is the result of poking around on the Internet. If you are a nurse, diving instructor, or someone with expertise in the matter I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

Here’s what we know:
> Ward jettisoned Fitz and Simmons into the ocean somewhere off the coast of Peru.
> Fitz says they’ve sunk “at least 90 feet.”
> When the window blew, water rushed in with enough force to “knock the wind right out of [them]”
> Fitz rigged a device to “let out a burst [of air] at very high pressure” that “force[d] a breath” into Jemma’s lungs

Okay, so let’s do a little back of the napkin math. Average swim speeds are surprisingly hard to come by, so I’m just going to assume Jemma swam 0.5mph, which seems conservative for someone swimming for their lives, even if they are hauling a soggy Scottish engineer behind them.

napkin math

Assuming my ballpark speed is accurate, Simmons made the swim to the surface in just over 2 minutes. This, my friends, is awesome news given the Survival Rule of 3, which says, “On average a person can only survive for 3 minutes without air.”

But Fitz said “at least” 90 feet? At least! What if it was farther? What if Simmons didn’t swim in a straight line? What if Fury’s helicopter exerted pressure on the water and made it harder for Simmons to break the surface? Curse you, Fury, and your stylish shades!

saved my ship

In that case, here are a few more interesting time frames to consider during a drowning situation:

30 seconds to 1 minute – the airway closes. Child’s lips turn blue.
1 to 2 minutes – the child looses consciousness.
2 to 5 minutes – the heart can stop. The child has a chance of survival if rescued now.
5 minutes plus – permanent brain damage is occurring as each second passes.

Whatever the variables, we know Simmons made it to the surface on a single breath without blacking out (while towing said soggy engineer behind her). For an untrained diver who “didn’t pass [her] field assessments,” it’s unlikely she lasted long enough to put Fitz in the danger zone.

But wait! That’s not all. During my research, I also happened across a bunch of other cool stuff like the mammalian diving reflex , the benefits of near-drowning in salt water versus fresh water , and this fun little gem from The Doctor Will See You Now : “About 75% of near-drowning victims who receive medical treatment survive. Of these, approximately 6% will be left with long-term neurological problems.”

Does that mean Fitz is looking at a 94% chance of full recovery? I don’t know. So why am I telling you all this?

WHY I’M TELLING YOU ALL THIS

There’s no denying I’m a fangirl, but first and foremost I’m a writer. And, as a writer, it’s important to remember readers today have access to an unprecedented amount of information. The above is what happens when you give a fangirl an hour alone with Google. An hour. That’s someone bored in the doctor’s waiting room or looking to fill the S.H.I.E.L.D. shaped hole in their Tuesday night. Let that soak in. It’s more important than ever for writers to do our homework!

Second take-away: Once you’ve done your research, remember this is a creative decision, not science class. The perfect storm of awesome could bring Fitz back to our screens (unharmed) in the first episode next season. Or the perfect storm of suckitude could give him a whole checklist of near-drowning complications that spur Simmons to perfect GH-325. Or any scenario in between. As long as the writers deliver an equally awesome payoff when the bill comes due, I don’t think anyone will complain.

In the meantime, it’s fun to speculate. What do you guys think? Will Fitz make an immediate recovery? Or does he have a longer road ahead of him? I’d love to hear your thoughts (and theories) in the comments.


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Baby’s First Blog Tour

Morning, all! Last Monday, the awesome-tacular Brooks Benjamin tagged me to participate in my very first blog tour. It’s called #MyWritingProcess and it’s all about… well, my writing process. Before I go on, check out Brooks’s writing process – and congratulate him on his book deal (!!!!) – over at Pour the Coffee and Walk Away.

1) What am I working on?

Right now, I’m mainly focused on a project I’d describe as Buffy the Vampire Slayer for MG… at least, I’d describe it that way if comparing my stuff to BtVS didn’t give me hives. Those are some big (yet stylish) shoes to fill.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

It’s been said there are no new stories, but I believe there will always be new characters to filter those stories through. I check between all the literary couch cushions to find characters who’ve slipped through the cracks (or maybe hidden there on purpose). Then I shine the spotlight on them.

3) Why do I write what I do?

There’s a saying I’ve always loved: “Feed your imagination. Otherwise it might learn to hunt.” Personally, I’m not that sneaky or that athletic. My imagination would take me down fast, so instead of fighting it I’ve taken the How to Train Your Dragon route and made friends with it. Now we go on awesome adventures together, and I’d love nothing more than to take readers along for the ride.

4) How does your writing process work?

It’s a lot like The Emperor’s New Groove, actually. Observe:

STEP 1:

It all starts with an idea.

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Whether or not it’s actually brilliant is up for debate.

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Regardless, I let that idea run wild. I fill notebooks with doodles, character bios, snatches of dialogue, and pretty much anything else that catches my fancy.

STEP 2:

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If the idea still refuses to let go, I roll up my sleeves and wrangle it into an outline. I block out conflicts, plot twists, and character arcs. I venture into the dark, tangled unknown and plant guideposts to keep my first draft from getting too far off track.

STEP 3:

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Then I take that outline and flesh it out into a first draft. Along the way, there’s always a guidepost that’s disappeared into a bank of plot-hole quicksand.

kronk - by all accounts

I build a way around it only to discover there’s some troublemaker yanking up guideposts and tossing them into the river. Or the bushes. Or a cave full of bears. My neat little outline gets messy – and wonderful. It takes twists and turns I’d never imagined. Somehow, I survive (barely) and type the words The End.

STEP 4:

yzma 5 - Copy

In other words, I let the manuscript rest.

STEP 5:

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That’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Once my manuscript is thoroughly destroyed, I put all the pieces back together again. I discard, rearrange, and rewrite until it all comes full circle Lion King style and I once again believe it is brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! Then I send the shiny new draft to my CPs and realize it’s actually…

kronk - yuck

So I rewrite some more. Send to more CPs. Rinse. Repeat. And finally there comes a day when it’s time to let it go…

tangled - light

Admit it. You were expecting Elsa there. But that’s writing for ya. Full of surprises! 😉

Whew! That’s about all the coherent thought I have left in me, but the blog tour doesn’t end here! If you need to distract yourself because your favorite television couple is currently submerged in a giant metal box sinking toward (un)certain doom…

fitzsimmons

… or, you know, if you just like interesting, useful things, dive into the archives on the #MyWritingProcess hashtag. Then steel yourself for the awesomeness coming your way next Monday (5/19). And because I always had to go last in school, here they are in reverse alphabetical order:

Lee Kelly

Lee Kelly

@leeykelly
Blog

Lee Kelly has wanted to write since she was old enough to hold a pencil, but it wasn’t until she began studying for the California Bar Exam that she conveniently started putting pen to paper. An entertainment lawyer by trade, Lee has practiced law in Los Angeles and New York. She lives with her husband and son in Millburn, New Jersey, though after a decade in Manhattan, she still can’t help but call herself a New Yorker. City of Savages is her first novel.

Ifeoma Dennis

Ifeoma

@IfeomaDennis
Blog

Ifeoma lives on a somewhat-tedious-to-climb hill in the caribbean island of St. Vincent but it pays off with a good view of the ocean and the boats. She is a medical student by day (and even at night), and a writer at all the odd scraps of time she gets. She loves fantastical worlds of magic and beautiful creatures, so little wonder that’s what she writes!

Patrice Caldwell

patrice

@whimsicallyours
Blog

Patrice Caldwell is a twenty-one-year-old introvert gone wild. Her love for reading has taken her all over the world from the Great Hall at Hogwarts to the depths of Mordor and to the dangerously romantic streets of Anne Rice & Lestat’s New Orleans and many other places she’d never have the time to name. However it was not until the summer after her first year at college that she completed a manuscript and began to call herself a writer of all things but mostly those with a speculative twist.

She currently studies Political Science and English (with a concentration in Creative Writing) at Wellesley College and recently won the SCBWI Student Writer Scholarship for her writing.