Top Three Favorite Comedy TV Series!

Hello Tuesdays!

Hope everyone is well! Finally, it’s my turn again! I’ve been waiting so patiently for the last eight days. Seriously, eight days! I can’t be kept down for that long. I can’t be chained up like some beast and not be allowed to run free! This butterfly needs to spread my wings and fly! Okay, now that I’m reading the words I wrote, perhaps I’m exaggerating a little. But, anyway, it’s my turn and it’s also Top Three Thursday, which works out well, since I just happened to do a top three list! (Please imagine thundering applause as you’re reading this)

You want to know what the beauty of this site is? Never mind, don’t guess, because I’m going to tell you. It’s that I can pick anything I want to write about for my Top Three Thursday posts. Like really, anything. Doesn’t have to just be about books. We figured it was a nice way to get to know us, your Tuesdays! That was one of the stipulations I put into my contract when joining. The other was I had to be given a treat and scratched behind the ears at every critique group meeting. All the members take turns doing that. So, with all that being said, I am writing about my top three favorite TV shows!

Narrowing down all the great TV shows over the years isn’t easy. And if you ask me next year what my favorite series ever were, they might even change from this list. Now, there were so many great shows. Way too many to list. So, it took me a little while to narrow down. Finally, I decided to make it my top three comedic TV series.

You see, most of the stories I write have a lot of humor in them, well, my idea of humor at least. So, I tend to lean that way in my tastes. Also, humor is something I can watch repeatedly. There were some unbelievably great dramas, but I have to be in the right mood to re-watch them. Comedy, I can just put on, enjoy and laugh. And also, by narrowing it down to comedy, I can save the dramas for another list at a future date! It’s a win-win really. So, without further ado, here are my top three favorite comedy TV shows (for the moment).

Now, these are in no particular order. Just a list of three shows, which I could really put on in a loop and watch them over and over again. The first one on my list, I just introduced my son to and was thrilled when he was hysterical watching. In a few years, he can watch it again when he’s older and pick up on the jokes he didn’t understand now. Anyway, the show is Arrested Development. Every single episode had tons of laugh out loud moments. Or LOL for you kids. The show has running jokes. Jokes that work on different levels with double meanings. Hidden jokes that you have to know what’s going on in real life with the show or from other shows the actors have been in, to get. Slapstick and absurdity. Really something for everyone. While every single character is great and have so many funny moments, my two favorites on the show were Tobias and GOB. I still burst out laughing when Tobias tried out for the Blue Man Group and painted himself blue and declared proudly he “blue(ew) himself” and Michael asked him if he ever really listened to the words he said. As I said, I just went through these shows again and still laughed at every single one.

Arrested Development

 

Next up on my top three list is Flight of the Conchords. The show is about the fourth most popular folk duo in New Zealand. It only went two seasons, but was so very funny. I absolutely love British humor and yes, I know they’re from New Zealand, but that’s the tone of the show. I love the band manager, Murray, and laugh every time he has a meeting with the duo and does a roll call to see who’s present. The songs in the show were really good also. If you’ve never seen it, please get to watching it now. Like really. I’ll wait……..

Well? See, I told you that you’d love it! Murray books them into performing in such places as an elevator, where people can hear them play between floors.

FOTC 4

 

Last, but not least on my top three list is no surprise to anybody who’s been friends with me for a while. I can’t express how much I love Phineas and Ferb. I know it’s a cartoon, er…I mean animated series, but it was one of the funniest things on the air. Not a lie, not kidding, I laugh all the time to it. My kids still watch the repeats and I do too. I used to not need the kids home to have it on. While I love the whole show, there’s one word needed to explain why I adored this show so much…Doofenshmirtz! He might be my favorite character in any show ever. A bad guy who creates contraptions (all ending with inator, as in Baby-inator and Shrink-inator) and monologues his plans to his arch-nemesis, Perry the Platypus. His plans are simple, to control the Tri-State area. And I’ll also laugh every time he sees Perry without his secret agent hat on and get confused about why there’s a platypus by him and when Perry puts the hat on, he realizes it’s Perry the Platypus.

doofenschmirtz

 

Well, those are my three (for now). Some which narrowly missed the list, like Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart, Barney Miller, Community, Scrubs, Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm and MASH, but I had to narrow it down to three.

Do you agree with my choices? Disagree? Let me know your faves!

Anyway, until next time, when I post about my top three favorite failed naval campaigns…

Jonathan

Wrap-It Up Wednesday: The Ups and Downs of My Writing Week

confused writer1

Sometimes writing drives me crazy. Sometimes you have to pause and take stock. I was doing great on my 1,000 words-a-day commitment, and then I took a workshop over the weekend (taught by the fabulous Joyce Sweeney and Marjetta Geerling) and realized that my plot needed some major reconstruction, so… Not to make excuses, but I haven’t written my 1,000 words this week because I’ve been working on my outline.

The good news is, I caught the problem before I wrote too much more. Also, I brought my new plotting ideas to The Tuesdays, and (Yay!) all is right with the world (or at least with my new plot points). Thank you, Tuesdays!

ALA is WOW!

I realize my Make it up Monday Post is a little late today but that’s because of three little letters….

ALA!!!

Attending ALA as an author is one of those fantasies you have where the reality is actually BETTER than the dream!

It started, like any book experience does with Harry Potter where Cathy tries to win tickets to Universal.

IMG_1494

All day long I ran into friends in the book biz!

flora and tammy                                 kim and fred

I got to sign books at the Sourcebooks booth

 ala sourcebooks

then I was exhausted…..(poor me)

IMG_1499

Sunday started early with the Yalsa Coffee Klatch where I met my friend, Jeff Strand who was awesome at pitching his book! (Helps if you write a really great book and if you have a really amazing cover!)

The rest of the day was filled with grabbing ARCs, collecting pins, scoring free coffee, and general schmoozing. There may have been an incident where one of our SoFl authors tried to photo bomb Laurie Halse Anderson, but I ruined the plan by repeatedly asking, “whatcha doin?” Obviously no picture to follow on that one.

Luckily I redeemed myself (I hope) at the #FAMEatALA reception. fame at ala food me and liz fame at ala  fame at ala food

Where the food was yum and the company was better!

It’s true that media specialists love authors. But it’s equally true that authors think media specialists are rock stars! Emphasis on the star part.

I could go on and on and on, but instead, I will leave you with one final note. ALA was WOW. True story.

Friday Favorites: My new Fave is C.J. Box

The Anthony Award, Barry Award, The Edgar Award, Gumshoe Award, Macavity Award, and the Prix Calibre 38 (from France) I don’t know how many authors have won them all, but I found out at Sleuthfest 2016 that C. J. Box has.

Off the Grid (A Joe Pickett Novel) by [Box, C. J.]

C.J. Box is my Friday Favorite. I jumped into his series of sixteen Joe Pickett novels with Off the Grid after hearing him speak at Sleuthfest. Now I may need to read every one.

This super-nice, unpretentious author from Wyoming  has created a wonderful synergy of characters with Joe Pickett, his wife, Marybeth, his daughters Sheridan, Lucy and April and his wayward friend, Nate Romanowski. Although this book is primarily about Nate Romanowski, I felt like I connected with the character of Joe Pickett like I was reading about my cousin, his buddies and his kid. I am originally from the northern plains, so my opinion could be skewed, but Box has been lauded for his fleshed-out family characters.

We all share a bit of ourselves in our writing. In the case of C.J. Box, he told the crowd he’d created Joe Pickett out of a friend who is a game warden. Game wardens almost always travel alone and might have thousands of miles to cover in their jurisdiction. A lot of things can happen in the wide open spaces of our national parks and national forests. Talk about fodder for a series!

I love the outdoors. The Red Desert setting is so remote, so elusive, it was intriguing. I found it fascinating that character Nate Romanowski  is a falconer. In the story Nate is living off the grid in a deal to avoid federal prosecution for using his special-ops skills to kill bad guys in a previous book. The feds find him and talk him into investigating a Saudi Royal hanging out in the Red Desert. If he’s successful, they’ll wipe out his criminal record. Nate’s practice of falconry is the perfect ruse to meet the Prince as they share the same hobby. Jo Pickett gets involved after an eighteen wheeler is hijacked and the Governor calls him to check out the possibility of terrorist activity in the desert. Little does Pickett know that his eldest daughter, who is away at college, has been coerced into a camping trip in the dessert by an acquaintance.

If you like the genre of thriller and suspense and want to see a good example of plot and characterization dig into Off the Grid or one of C.J. Box’s other Joe Pickett novels.

Must Read Non-Fiction

Top-Three-Thursday

 

I teach public speaking in a magnet high school where the total minority enrollment is 78%, so when Beth Gallagher, a Facebook friend, posted a link to an article titled: 10 Books I Wish my White Teachers Had Read by Crystal Paul, I had to read them.

 

I will confess that one of the hardest things for me to learn as a new teacher in 1985 was how some students’ experiences affected their schooling, but I think I’ve made great strides in that vein. My empathy has done lots of growing over the years. In 1985, at least 85% of my students were white. We had the same background. The same cultural experience. And while I think that in the thirty-one years I’ve been in the classroom and media center I’ve done pretty well understanding my minority students, I needed an education although I didn’t know it.

 

For Top-Three-Thursday, I’m going to give you my favorite three from Crystal Paul’s list.

 

  1. If you can read only one book from this list, get a copy of Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. I hate to sum up the book for you because I feel my words would be so inadequate to Coates’ poetic letters to his son. If you want to have a glimpse into understanding what it must be like to be a parent of a black child, this is for you.

world

  1.  The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

Where Coates’ book is poetic, Michelle Alexander fills her book with hard facts about the incarceration of blacks and what it means to be disenfranchised from slavery days until now.
crow

  1.  Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools by Monique Morris

It’s a sad state of our world, when we make criminals out of children. When the behavior of black little girls ends with them in handcuffs. When girls are seen only as an accessory to be tossed away.

pushout_final

This site is for writers. With the call for diversity in children’s literature, maybe someday I’ll be able to use this info in my books.  For now, I just want to understand my students and the world better.

 

For the original article, go here: http://www.bustle.com/articles/153390-10-books-i-wish-my-white-teachers-had-read?utm_source=FBOnsite&utm_medium=Facebook&utm_campaign=1

 

Wrap-It-Up Wednesday: To Change or Not to Change

Hello followers of the Tuesdays!

I think a nickname is in order. How about The Tuesdites? Tuesdettes? Tuesdopians? I think we’ll have to put it to a vote in the comments section, which becomes tough, when so far it might just be the Tuesdays reading anyway, but hopefully, we’ll fix that!

Anyway, let’s get back to the reason why we’re all here now, and that would be me! Okay, not me specifically, but my post which happens to fall on…

WRAP-IT-UP WEDNESDAY!

For those of you who are new to our site, which is a distinct possibility, since we are only a couple of weeks old, Wrap-it-up Wednesdays is what we discuss after our Tuesday critique group. What we got out of the group that week.

This week was a good week, with one of our members breaking out a brand new book. Those are always fun, since you get to be in on the ground floor of a new story and hear it from the beginning and see the transformation along the way, from rough draft, into something that might be published.

Another of our members changed the way she does things. She said she always used to fret and agonize over each line in her chapters, but finally decided to just get something down on paper and fix it later.

quill pen

The other two people, besides me, continued with their stories, which are getting better by the week and that’s part of the fun of being in a group, seeing the changes and progression being made from week to week, to make it a better overall story.

As far as I go, I brought in the latest chapter of my current WIP and it seemed to go well. As I stated in my first column, one of the good things about having a critique group, is the pressure to have something to read. You don’t want to be the only one without pages, when everyone else has something. More often than not, I don’t like reading until I feel that my pages are halfway decent, but there have been many times, where I will finish my pages for the week, just as the doorbell is ringing and the class is showing up. Sometimes, literally. Those weeks are hit or miss, but I do get a sense of if it’s working or not.

writer

 

The main reason I love my group, is it gives me a chance to read my work aloud to people. I do it also when I’m working on it, but there’s something different about reading it in front of others. You can gauge reactions and see how it’s going right then and there.

After that, comes the fun part…receiving the actual critique. Remember, you are getting reviewed on your work immediately after reading, when you are still raw. That’s when you have to be smart about everything. People will make comments about your story according to what they think your story needs. Remember, nobody knows your story better than you do. With that in mind, what I’ll do, is write down every single comment and look at them later. Give me some time away from the story, to reflect. If I don’t think the suggestions make sense for the story, I’ll leave them be. If I do think they make the story better, I’ll incorporate them.

That’s where the danger is. I have seen it happen way too many times, where a writer changes everything based on suggestions from the group and does that week after week, until they can no longer recognize their original story and forget what they intended to do with the story to begin with. You need to be true to your vision and go with it. Sometimes, the changes help, and sometimes, you need to follow your heart.

follow heart

I am lucky, in that I have a good group, but I don’t take every suggestion and I’m sure they don’t take all of mine. Still, what’s good about it, is that when an overwhelming majority think there’s an issue, you know it’s probably time to fix it.

It’s a fine balance you have to navigate, but hopefully, everything works out in the end and it reaches the stage where something is good enough for publication.  That’s why we’re all doing this.

Good luck to all of you with your writing!

 

Jonathan

Make it up Monday – What’s this writing for?

Friday Fave: Fave BTVS quotes

 

Friday Fave

Buffy_the_Vampire_Slayer_(logo)

 

When it comes to television shows, the hubs and I are almost always out of sync. We binge watched shows before that was a thing. Not because we were that cool (although one could argue that we were trend setters), but because we wanted what we wanted when we wanted it. Hold the commercials. Pass the Twizzlers.Yeah.

So it went for one of the best(bingeable) television shows ever: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I estimate that I have watched the first three seasons of BTVS at least seven times. Wow.

The show had it all: vampires (check), fun teenage banter (check), smexy love interests who may or may not have been vampires (check), and a Scooby Doo teamwork approach to solving mysteries.

Buffy was the best. And some of the quotes from that show have been quoted ad nauseam, if not slightly incorrectly in my house for years by kids and adults alike. Here are a few of my faves(in their correct form):

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Puppet Show” (1997)

Principal Snyder: Kids today need discipline. That’s an unpopular word these days – discipline. I know Principal Flutie would have said, “Kids need understanding. Kids are human beings.” That’s the kind of wooly-headed liberal thinking that leads to being eaten.
Giles: I- I think perhaps it was a little more complex than, um…

Principal Snyder: There are things I will not tolerate: students loitering on campus after school, horrible murders with hearts being removed, and also smoking

 

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer: When she Was Bad” (1997)

Cordelia:Buffy. You’re really campaigning for bitch-of-the-year, aren’t you?
Buffy: As defending champion, you nervous?

Cordelia: Whatever is causing the Joan Collins ‘tude, deal with it. Embrace the pain, spank your inner moppet, whatever, but get over it. ‘Cause pretty soon you’re not even gonna have the loser friends you’ve got now.
And did I get chills when Buffy quoted Robert Frost’s poem, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” in the prom episode(1999)?

Buffy: “Giles, we get it. Miles to go before we sleep.”
Yes I did. But not as much as I did when Buffy said this:

sarah michelle gellar I’m the thing that monsters have nightmares about. And right now, you and me are gonna show ‘em why.

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Showtime 2003”

cool btvs

 

 

Sigh.Such bravado. Such payoff. Such fun. That kind of writing never gets old. Time for another viewing of season one, I think.

And maybe I’ll even get the quotes right this go-round? If not, ninth time’s the charm?

 

Top Three Thursday

The top three things I love about being in ‘The Tuesdays’ fall under how well we work together. We appreciate each other’s differences. The group is of varying ages, sexes and backgrounds. We write a mix of young adult, middle grade and new adult, yet we all understand that story is story.

Here are a few of the unspoken rules we stick to on a typical Tuesday:

 

Everyone offers compliments

I’m referring to the comments after someone reads. We all try to sandwich our critique with a compliment. Transitioning into the critique and finishing up on a high note.

  1. Great rewrite.
  2. You might want to try to make your villain’s language grittier.
  3. If you end the chapter two paragraphs earlier at “I take care of my friends”, it might sound more powerful and it could show some indebtedness of the main character to the villain.
  4. I love how you tied the metaphor of a broken clock to your main character’s flaw.

There may be more, or less commentary but it’s nice to know you’ve done something well, especially if you discover you’ve missed something major.

 

Humility abounds

Sometimes there is conflicting advice in a critique. Someone will state why they’re offering that opinion, and the other group members chime in on how they think the concept will or will not work. No one ever gets angry or argumentative. There’s an unspoken agreement that egos are left at the door.

 

Everyone is conscious of time

We all make a point of arriving on time, even a little early so that we can chat a bit and get started in a timely manner.  If we have some business to discuss, like when we wanted to set up this website, arrangements were make a week ahead so that everyone knew what to expect the next Tuesday.

For as much as we all want to be there every week, things come up. One or two people might be absent at times. If we know in advance that two people will be away on vacation, the others can bring more pages to read if they choose.

This works in reverse as well. If the entire group is there and we feel it’s necessary, we’ll shorten up what we read so that everyone gets a chance to read and we finish on time.

Being in the Tuesdays has improved my writing exponentially. Every writer should definitely seek out a critique group to work with. A good critique group is an invaluable resource that can bring your writing to the next level.