Monday, August 30, 2010

My Prediction for the Future: A Hangover

In an attempt to inject more accuracy in what my heroine from the future believes is antiquated in the present time, I've been reading articles that tackle the future. More specifically, the technology that will be available and the things we use that will become obsolete. An October 2000 article in Discover Magazine-I know! You'd think the article, itself, would be old news, but it's not-explores twenty things that will be obsolete in twenty years. Make that ten.

Along with some pretty great line graphs that speak to my inner Geek, the list is some of what you'd expect and some you probably hadn't thought of. We all knew cordless phones, answering machines, even DVDs have one foot on the banana peel, but human signatures? Digital cameras? Insulin injections for diabetics? The possibilities fascinate me. Worth the read if you're curious, especially to know that we're at that halfway point in the projected future. It's like a Heinlein novel in progress.

Writing peeps: If you're as confused as I am about how ebooks are changing author royalties and you love, love, love graphs like I do, check out Mike Shatzkin's article.

If Monday has been a real pisser for you, pull up a stool at the Vortex bar and try the teleportation shot:
First shot:
2/3 shot Gold Tequila
1/3 shot orange juice

Second shot
2/3 shot lime juice or Roses lime
1/3 shot Bol Blue
Directions: take the first shot, immediately followed by the second.

Oh, and if anyone has the trifecta of Twitter, Blogger and Feeds expertise, and knows how they fit together harmoniously so as not to create chaos for each other, please send me an email: la-mitchell at la-mitchell dot com. Teleportation shot on me.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Vortex Gone Wild

An Elvis movie where he portrays a writer? The idea has peanut butter and banana goodness spread all over it. The execution? Well, let's start with the title: Wild in the Country. Though Elvis's character, Glenn Tyler, is a bumpkin, the setting is not entirely what I consider country. Incidentally, he is no Glenn. Glenn is the guy with the furry 'stache and extreme foot odor that dated my college roommate. And, ladies and gentlemen, Elvis Presley is no Glenn.

The 1961 movie, adapted from J.R. Salamanca's novel The Lost Country and Elvis's seventh Hollywood production, is not what I expected. Truly, it was his last effort to prove his acting chops before he circled Colonel Parker's drain of self-respect. As such, it was hard to watch because there are moments, apart from my unyielding admiration for all things Elvis, that he was good. Really good. Moments when my throat seized up and I never questioned that he was that delinquent who'd watched his mother die and never had a break in life. Was it cliche? Sure, but Elvis at his best is Elvis as an outcast bad boy. Isn't that what it was always about?

A musical, this is not. In an attempt to launch Elvis as a dramatic actor, the songs often superimposed and unrelated in his other films don't show up here. They are few and extreme: two bouncy and camp-tastic, one soulful and sweet. At it's heart, it is a story about a troubled young man, who with the help of a court-assigned therapist, discovers he has literary talent and something more to offer the world than anger and bitterness. It's rumored Elvis had to return to Hollywood to shoot an alternate ending because the original ending was all up into the tragedy portion of this Romeo-and-Juliet-meets-Cougar Town-hybrid melodrama.

The dialogue is where it falls apart for me. Are we supposed to accept him as a wild-child when the number of "ma'am"s out of his beautiful lips would put Eddie Haskel to shame? And the portion of his story the professor gushed over? *Cough*Bullwer-Lytton*cough. Better to have left it to our imaginations.

For me, the "love scene" between Glenn and his therapist is worth the price of Peyton Place admission. Though clearly within the restrictions of Hollywood morality of the day, it accomplishes far more heat and sensuality in its simplicity than any movie released today. Romance writers take heed: the hairpin still gets him, every time. It's worth a peek, if only to laugh at the Vulcan death grip he gives her when he tells her he's in love with her.

Elvis is the 11th most talked-about thread at The Vortex! If this post left you craving more, here's enough women's panties, auctioned hair and hunka hunka burning symbolism to O.D. you on The King, Vortex-style.

As a Friday treat, I give you what-the-hellery I found while trying to locate the awesomeness that is Elvis's red shirt in Wild in the Country. At least the copyright police won't be all over me for this one. Dave, honey, I'll be scouring the internet to sample this one. No, really.

Have a super weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

All You Can Eat Time Travel

I don't do buffets. I always picture them as one of those Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom episodes where wildebeests dressed in Hawaiian prints graze over the same chicken wings their ancestors, no doubt, feasted upon. But when the awesome that is time travel linkage stacks up like beef tips and lemon meringue pie, what else could we call it? Grab your's course number one:

Instead of iceberg lettuce, try this blogspot called Time Travel Kitchen where author Jana is single-handedly reviving old-school, artery clogging goodness moms have been serving for generations, or in some cases, centuries.

Clean plate, people. It's time for a return visit to one of my favorite sites, Awkward Family Photos. Today's entree happens to be of the time travel variety. Be sure to lap it all up, the comments are almost as good as the picture.

Speaking of kitties, and hair that has escaped the server's hairnet. . .
there's another one. . .

oops. . . one more

Want something meatier? I give you a Hollywood tidbit juicier than a Salisbury steak. According to, Josh Hartnett is in talks to get an indie picture called Tomorrow off the ground by lending his star power. This time travel thriller follows a man who is "desperate to save his family on the day of their murder, but can't control the short-term time travel phenomenon he's trapped in." Production begins in Louisiana late 2010. Chew on that.

Have room for dessert? I saved my favorite for last. This may play into the hands of conspiracy theorists who believe Google will one day become so all-powerful it will floss our teeth and decode our thoughts, but I can't help the love for their newest venture: History Pin. Remember the post on Sergey Larenkov's photographs that fused old and new landmark photographs? History Pin marries social networking and photo mapping to create a digital time machine. Add the secret spice of humans telling their stories and it's better than chocolate. Almost. Here's a short vid explaning it:

Not sure about you, but I'm stuffed. This wildebeest has left the building. Speaking of which. . .

Look for a hunka hunka burning post on Friday. Elvis is a writer! Can't wait to see how he sneaks misplaced modifiers into his songs. Until then, dig in.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Scary Eggs, Scarier Word Count

I'm starting to sound like my characters. In my emails, my texts. The cadence is crazy. I wonder if my peeps think I've taken a flighty pill. Above all, it means I'm pumping out some serious writing time, which makes me happy beyond words. What doesn't make me happy are the numbers:

In the past thirty-some-odd days:

11 days-I accomplished less than 100% of my daily goal
9 days-nada written. I know!
4 days-exactly 100% of my daily goal reached. To. The. Word. Neurotic, right?
5 days-holy hell, way beyond 100%

Fully 66% I did not reach my goal. Does that mean it's too high? Maybe. Does that mean there were too many Elvis movies (have you seen the one where he's a writer??? OMG..I smell a post coming on) and cupcake baking and lounging by the pool? Beyond yes. But summer has never meant optimum production for me. I can't think when my thighs stick to my leather computer chair and I have to re-up the antiperspirant because it's hot enough to fry a scary egg on my patio.

Wednesday, look for enough time travel links to put up a sign and call it a buffet; and maybe, just maybe, that promised Elvis movie to round out the week.

Today's word count: 2150
Temperature: 105 F

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tickle My Stats: The Spank Edition

Lets try an analogy:

Statcounter tidbits : The Vortex as

a.) Sharon : Ozzy
b.) sprinkles : donut
c.) Bill Haverchuck : Freaks and Geeks
d.) red pen of death : my novel-in-progress

Answer: I have no idea. But this is only the second edition of Tickle My Stats, so I'm going with c. Bill is, by far, my favorite character on F&G and most likely to be able to explain why people come to me for help with things such as "birth control titanic" and "bat guano in eyeliner." Without further SAT questions, I present

Tickle My Stats, The Spank Edition

You'll notice there's no active link here. I'm afraid. I'm very afraid. That someone Googled this instead of entering it into their browser's address suggests genius. That someone thought the Vortex could bring this kind of search to fruition suggests an unhealthy perception of today's romance novels. Or a desire to learn the correct use of hyphens. Follow those bread crumbs at your own risk, people.

"dying embers of fire"
Since I rarely post excerpts and know I wouldn't have strung these words together without a citation from the cliche police, I'm guessing this internet searcher sniffed out the sidestream of a rejection letter post in much the same way I inhaled casino exhaust this past weekend.

"What is the connotation of brilliant"
In this context? Spot on. Kidding, of course.

"perfect cooter"
I feel qualified to address this because The Dukes of Hazard resides in my kingdom of ten-year-old awesome and I have a special affinity for greasy mechanics. Maybe this searcher should have tried Nothing but Ben Jones here. Hey, check out this week's specials at Cooter's Place. Who knew the inventory would pop weekly? (original post)

"jeff beck child"

This comes from the marriage of Julia Child and Jeff Beck in the same post title. Let us suppose what this love child would be, shall we? One thing's for sure: there would be some serious cooking of strings and stews. (original post)

"temporal massage"
Is that offered here? Hot and damn, sign me up. (original post)

"mandora by midnight"
I had to google this myself to figure out what it is. Turns out, it's a cleverly-veiled Australian fantasy thread running through my posts that even I didn't know about. Thunda from Down Unda? You bet.

"novel litterature structure plot subplot payoff irony screenplay dvd games"
One for economy, are you? This is the google search equivalent of spackle thrown at a lit-ttttt-erary wall. Did any writerly advice stick? Nah. But I'm sure he found some smokin' hot dvd suggestions. Hope he didn't gag on all the time travel noir.

Most Downloaded Photo: (27 times) Dimebag Darrell figurine. (original post)

Most Bizarre "Came From" Page: French and Belgian boats. Toast and Waffles, yes. Boats? Not so much.

Most Exited Link: my still homeless Meez. She lives in a clock. What do you want?

And here I thought the most popular Vortex item would be the links to Fabio's soundtrack of laaaahve. What do I know? I just write the stuff.
Happy Monday, everyone!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mangoes As Metaphors

Lucid dreaming is all up inside the headlines now thanks to Inception. I've yet to see it (I know, that makes me from planet WTH), but that has not stopped me from trying lucid dreaming. I had thought I might be decent at it given my past woo-woo experiences, but last night's experiment proved I might need a sleep lab. And a Latin assistant named Javier who speaks no English. And a little audio help. Kidding.

If your eyes glaze over when someone says, "I had this dream last night that..." WARNING! Jump to the red line. I was a man, which is weird, but doable, walking in some kind of salt marshes when two Rastafarians in a battered pick up truck stopped and told me about a mango tree just over the ridge. Their instructions? "Tend to da tree, man." Over and over. So I did it, because I'm that kind of girl, man, whatever. Tending to the tree involved running around in circles beneath it gathering mangoes, a never ending endeavor if ever there was one. Once a day, the truck would kick dust up from the road and I'd hear "Tend to da tree, man," hollered from its open windows. Soon, the sleeves were ripped off my Oxford and somehow I knew I'd lost my wife and family and job because I'd tended to this tree. One day, I stood in the road and waited. The men came and endured my stink eye and enough tongue lashing to make them want to bury themselves in a ganja-stupor for decades. And when I was done, the man said, "You tended da tree, man. Look at it now!"

And then someone woke me.

Are you kidding me? I picked up after this tree for a thousand dream-years and I don't get to see the fruits of my labor?


I know what you're thinking: the prefect opportunity for lucid dreaming, right? Get on it, girl! I have to find out what happened to the tree.

So I tried. Deep, calculated breathing. Visualization. And what did I dream about? I was Kate Winslet in a girdle and lived at home with my parents.

So much for the tree.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Six (and Ten) Ways of Happy

Any time art meets time travel, I get six ways of happy. Russian photographer Sergey Larenkov matches World War II-era landmark photographs to their modern day image and fuses them together to create a seamlessly beautiful and haunting commentary on time. Friday treat: check it out. I dare you to tell me you don't love them as much as I do.

Of late, I haven't posted much. Remember virus #1? Well, virus #2 hit a different computer (I know!) and knocked the internet love right out of me. Replacing it is my love for my work-in-progress, which is a good thing. Except for the Thursday patron at the coffee shop who seems to think an open laptop means distract me with stupid questions, I like it. Poor guy, right? He doesn't have to name drop Harcourt Brace exec names to win my adoration. Merely expounding on how science fiction hasn't gotten the science right and backing it up with detailed descriptions of his staggering nerd-reverent library does it for me. Chat on, Captain Bother. I wasn't in the middle of a love scene or anything.

Also, the whole crickets chirping thing around The Vortex has not impacted devotion. In fact, the love continues to grow with more followers this week than in the blog's history. So thank you and welcome. When the ambient temperature in my world doesn't hover at a grouchy 106 and I'm not under such a wicked self-imposed deadline, I'll be back to thrice weekly posts. Until then, one of my favorite Vortex 10 lists: My Inner Bond Girl.