Jayme Woods

Writer. Geek. Adventurer.


8 Comments

Greetings from the Revision Cave!

I’m happy to report my first draft revisions are all wrapped up. I actually finished a few days ago *just* in time to meet my self-imposed deadline – the October 8 release of The House of Hades. If you’re wondering, “deadline” means I refused to let myself buy HoH until I finished. Motivation thy name is Percy Jackson.

With the revisions now in the hands of my trusty CPs, I’ve also had a bit of time to catch up on things like scrubbing my bathroom (joy) and throwing a proper viewing party for Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.

If that tablecloth looks familiar, it’s because it’s the playing card from my sister's Now You See Me  party butchered into what were supposed to be checker squares. Just go with it.

If that tablecloth looks familiar, it’s because it’s the playing card from my sister’s Now You See Me party butchered into what were supposed to be checker squares. Just go with it.

Unfortunately, my brain’s still in revision mode. While watching Wonderland, all I could think was, “Man, this could’ve used some editing.” I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy it. I’m sure as heck not saying I’m not tuning in next week. I think we all know I am.

What I’m getting at is this: the Wonderland pilot gave me clearer perspective on my own revisions. It was hard, painful even, to bring the ax down on some of my “darlings,” but most debut authors don’t have the benefit of an established world like Wonderland (or a franchise like Once Upon a Time). We’re inviting readers in for the first time. If we take a lengthy detour into the Mallow Marsh readers might not wait for us to get unstuck.

mallow marsh 2

Sometimes these little detours, while dear to the author, are more like speed bumps for the reader. They kill the momentum when the audience just wants to know when the heck Jafar’s going to show up.

While we’re on the topic of villains, one of the most common complaints I’ve read online is that the Red Queen on Wonderland was trying too hard to be the Evil Queen from Once Upon a Time. Don’t sell your characters short trying to make them the “next” Hermione Granger, Percy Jackson, or KHAAAAAAAN (sorry, couldn’t resist). Give us someone new to love/hate/ship.

But that’s enough shop talk for me. I’m going to enjoy the rest of these lovely white chocolate coconut bars…

If you're wondering why these aren't on a cute serving tray, it's because it is impossible to pick one up without eating it. Seriously good.

If you’re wondering why these aren’t on a cute serving tray, it’s because it is impossible to pick one up without eating it. Seriously good.

…before I hear back from my CPs and attack the Mallow Marshiest bits of my revisions with the ferocity of a feral Cheshire Cat.

Are you wrestling revisions? Did you enjoy Once Upon a Time in Wonderland? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Advertisements


16 Comments

10 Reasons I Loved the New Percy Jackson Movie

Anyone who’s read the book can tell you Sea of Monsters wasn’t perfect. Plot points got rearranged willy-nilly. Parts I loved didn’t make it at all. Having said that, I loved Sea of Monsters. Here are 10 reasons why:

***MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD***

10. Clarisse
I’m just going to get this one out of the way. When Leven Rambin got cast, my first reaction was, “Justin Russo’s angel girlfriend is going to play Clarisse? Are you kidding me?!” But I actually liked Clarisse. I liked her so much I wish we’d gotten more of her (like her scene with Ares).

P.S. I love Wizards of Waverly Place and Justin Russo. No hate intended. :)

P.S. I love Wizards of Waverly Place and Justin Russo. No hate intended. 🙂

9. Young Grover
You can never have enough Grover. Or Luke or Annabeth or Thalia, for that matter.

8. George and Martha
I thought for sure these two would hit the book-to-movie chopping block. I’ve never been happier to be wrong. Their performance was perrrrrfect.

7. Overall Sense of Humor
George and Martha weren’t the only comedic touches I appreciated. I felt the whole movie was closer to Riordan’s sense of humor. For instance, Percy has just broken loose on a yacht adrift in his home turf. The dude’s literally surrounded by one giant weapon… and what’s Luke’s biggest concern? His boat’s pretty white paint job. The look on his face when he said, “Don’t walk on my roof.” It slays me.

hermes - killing these shorts

6. Mr. D
Speaking of humor, how awesome was it to finally hear Mr. D butcher Percy’s name?!

5. The Oracle
Okay, she wasn’t supposed to be in this movie. I get that. But since she got cut from The Lightning Thief, I sort of feel like this was the filmmakers’ way of apologizing to fans – and what an apology it was. First off, whoever designed that attic set (and the rest of Camp Half-Blood) deserves a giant stack of blue waffles. So cool. The Oracle herself was exactly what I’d hoped – creepy and awesome and THOSE EYES! Cap it off with that stained glass backstory scene, and the entire sequence made we want to fist bump every single person associated with the movie.

4. It was just so pretty!
I’m no movie expert, but Sea of Monsters struck me as really beautifully lit, framed, and edited. Say what you will about Circeland not being book-accurate, but that place was gorgeous on screen. The transition from Oracle’s eyes to Percy’s gave me shivers. I could go on and on.

3. Grover in a Dress
Does this one need an explanation? Sure, the scene was condensed down to almost nothing, but it was there. And it was awesome.

grover googly eye 2

2. Smart Budget Choices
Let’s face it. The Princess Andromeda was dinky. So dinky they dropped the “Princess” from its name. And, yes, the CSS Birmingham was run by zombies instead of the awesome skeleton/ghosts described in the book. But those are sacrificing I’m willing to accept if it means the movie gets made, especially when so many other things – Rainbow (I want one!), the bronze bull (how cool was that thing?), and Charybdis’s gaping maw – are all executed flawlessly.

And, finally…

1. TYSON!!!

Tyson two ways

It’s no secret I love Tyson. A lot. If they’d botched him, no amount of awesomeness could’ve saved this movie for me. Thankfully, they didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I hated that Percy didn’t get to bond with Tyson prior to Camp Half-Blood. My heart broke when Tyson didn’t shout “Pony!” upon meeting Chiron. To be honest, I was on the fence… until Tyson explained how he’d accidentally scared a bunch of campers in the woods. With his big sad Cyclops eye, he added, “And I’m pretty sure I smiled.” With that line, he won my heart. After that, I was willing to forgive pretty much anything – even a prematurely resurrected Kronos.

My biggest disappointment? I wish Sea of Monsters had been longer, more leisurely paced. But, you know, it could’ve been three hours and I’d have still wanted more! Speaking of which, since I’m making lists, here are 5 reasons Titan’s Curse NEEDS to be a movie:

1. We all know Luke’s not dead. I want to see him put the hurt on Polyphemus.
2. Need. More. Thalia. I can’t wait to see her go toe-to-toe with Percy.
3. Who ISN’T stoked to get their first glimpse of Nico? Bring on the di Angelos!
4. Blackjack. (Yo, boss!)
5. MORE TYSON! 🙂

What did you think of Sea of Monsters? Should Titan’s Curse be a movie? Let me know in the comments!


6 Comments

Tysinion!

I wasn’t sure what to blog about this week – and, really, who has time to read blogs with Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters in theaters?

So I decided to doodle. This is what happens when you leave me unsupervised with colored pencils. I give you Tysinion!

Tysinion

One half Minion. One half Tyson. Clearly, I’ve got Sea of Monsters on the brain. If you’ve seen it, I’d love to hear what you thought!

Wishing everyone a great weekend!


Leave a comment

Happy Mother’s Day!

When you look up “awesome” in the dictionary, you find a picture of my mom. I know this because, when I was about seven, I copied my children’s dictionary from cover to cover, including the pictures, and my mom never called me a freak, not once.

Even at that age, I loved words and wanted to know all about them… but I could’ve easily learned to hate books. Why? School. That’s right, my required reading list nearly soured me on the whole world of literature when my teacher assigned A Taste of Blackberries. (Apologies to anyone who loves this book.)

Spoiler alert: one of the main characters dies. And what was his name? You guessed it: Jamie. To say I was sad would be an understatement. I sobbed for Jamie. And I sobbed when my classmates started teasing me. Apparently, even though I hadn’t a few days before, I now had a “boy” name. A “dead” name. At recess, kids would point in mock terror and shout, “Careful, Jayme – a bee!” (Cause of death for unfortunate literary Jamie)

My takeaway? “Big kid” books sucked. I wanted nothing to do with them.

So Mom tricked me into reading The Secret Garden. I really wanted to see the movie, and she said she’d only take me if I read the book. So I did. And I loved it. Like really, really loved it. And this wasn’t a one time thing for Mom. When my little sister decided reading was boring, she bought her a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I’m not sure Mom planned on that turning into midnight book release parties and Halloween costumes, but it worked in a big way. All during school, when my required reading just kept getting bleaker and bleaker, I escaped into the pages of Peter Pan and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, I solved mysteries with Sherlock Holmes, broke curses along with Ella of Frell, and nowadays when life gets me down I take up my sword and join Percy Jackson. ‘Cause that’s how I roll.

My mom gave me that and so much more, so Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! I know I don’t say it enough, but thank you. Thank you for always knowing best. Thank you for teaching me it’s okay to be different. And thank you for reminding me that even when something looks shriveled up and horrible, deep down, it can still be “wick.”

P.S. If you’ve never read The Secret Garden, “wick” means “alive” or “lively.”