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Why I love CZW – for Carla

If a picture is worth a thousand words, consider this my 5,000 word essay on why I love CZW.

Scotty Vortekz Scotty Vortekz
Scotty Vortekz Scotty Vortekz
Scotty Vortekz
Apologies for momentarily turning my blog into tumblr.

Posted in Wrestling Stuff | Tagged , , ,

How I got into wrestling

How I got into wrestling or, if it was a fic: “The two times wrestling presented itself to me and I turned it down, and the one time I didn’t”.

1: Boy Meets World 1995 – (Vader)

Boy Meets World was my happy place. It was silly nonsense, but it was enjoyable. I wanted to be best friends with Topanga and possibly date Shawn (depending on whether or not he was in his poetry stage). Basically, I wanted to be Cory. Although if I was Cory, I would’ve made more of an effort to befriend Harley, Frankie and Joey, because they were adorable. Also: TK.

I digress.

Boy Meets World had several episodes featuring Vader as Frankie’s father. Because this got to me early, it is still my personal head-cannon that Vader is actually Ethan Suplee’s dad. No amount of evidence to the contrary will make me believe otherwise. (The My Name is Earl commentary – “that’s Ethan’s dad” – Me: “LIES!”)

Also, Vader’s appearance gave us this quote:

“My father is not a poet. He is a professional wrestler, villain category, with the World Wrestling Federation.”

However, wasn’t that fussed. Kind of liked Vader, but not enough to get interested in wrestling.

This was a mistake.

Also, I need to buy this

Boy Meets Vader Shirt

Boy Meets Vader Shirt

2: Ex Boyfriend – 2001 (Triple H)

In the first few months of my relationship with my ex, we went into town and purchased some DVDs. I bought Final Destination, he bought something WWE-related. It had a green cover, a cage match and plenty of blood. Fairly sure Triple H was the draw of that match, remember a lot of big blonde guys bleeding a lot. Then again, for all I know, it could’ve been Edge and Christian. If it is, I’m really fucking sorry.

In our tiny bedroom, I would occasionally glance up at the TV, but was mostly involved in a book. We had a conversation that went something like this:

Ex: Why aren’t you watching?

Me: Too bloody.

Ex: You’re a horror fan.

Me: I know, but that’s fake blood. This is just gross. It doesn’t achieve anything, it’s just… blood. Everywhere. For no reason. Who would do that to themselves?

Ex: It’s all fake, you know.

Me: Even more reason for me to stick to my movies then. This is just bollocks.

Given that I’m now pretty much addicted to CZW, this conversation was also a mistake. Every month on payday, SmartMark Video stands there, eyeing me appraisingly, with a hand out, ready for me to buy some CZW PPVs.

3: Husband – 2010 (Kofi Kingston)

I came home from a work function, and oddly Kim didn’t come in for a brew after. Craig, the husband, was watching wrestling. He’d been watching since the previous Christmas, when his sister had left it on in the background, allegedly to appease the kids who were addicted, but she later confided that she still loved it.

Since that Christmas, Craig had been watching religiously. He was working from home and liked something on in the background as he worked. Between Raw, Smackdown, Superstars and NXT, he was pretty well covered for something to watch. He was also desperate for someone to talk wrestling to. He had taken to calling his friend, Paul, to update him, despite Paul’s very vocal protests that he didn’t care. Paul, in response, had taken to blocking Craig’s calls.

I was planning on going to bed straight away, but instead decided to sit down and watch a match. To force a sense of caring, I picked someone to win. “The guy with the dreadlocks, I want him to win,” I said to Craig.

“Kofi? He can’t buy a win at the moment,” Craig replied.

Kofi won.

And I was hooked.

Then Edge appeared.

My type generally speaking is tall, long hair, with loads of tattoos. (That’s almost the exact opposite of my husband. Something he has pointed out to me repeatedly.)

When the episode finished, I turned to Craig. “Where’s the rest?”

“What do you mean?”

“You’re always watching wrestling. Where’s the rest? I want to see it now!”

If we hadn’t already been engaged, I’m pretty sure Craig would have proposed on the spot.

Posted in Wrestling Stuff | Tagged , ,

Update – March 2014

Well, my resolution to blog more has already crashed and burned. In my defence, I spent half of February in Las Vegas, and the other half preparing for it. As for my March excuse… I got nothing.

Social

High: I went to Las Vegas and got married on my 10 year anniversary to Craig. Carla gave me away. Jake took many pictures. It was perfect.

Wedding Day - 21 February 2014

Wedding Day – 21 February 2014

Many vicious games of Cards Against Humanity were played. Pretty jewellery was purchased from BicoLV – Carla and I have matching bracelets, and we will buy a new charm every time we achieve a goal (or something is really pretty and we need it right now).

Low: Carla mentioned saying goodbye, and that was hard. Another thing was just how busy Las Vegas is. Carla and I get over-socialised, and Las Vegas is a place where that happens quite easily. Next time we’re renting a holiday house somewhere. Or an island. Or a lighthouse. It depends on Carla’s mood and how much Enid Blyton she reads before booking.

Writing

High: Carla and I sent The Talking Dead to first readers. Craig, my husband(!), has given us feedback. We are waiting for further feedback, but Craig’s is always very thorough and fair.

As for Monsters and Music, the sequel, parts of that are writing themselves and sticking twos up at the outline. Characters are taking charge as we get to know their voices and realise that they’re not going to react as we outlined… oh god, do I sound a bit like a certain author who believes her characters are real and is quick to litigate over fanfic?

Also, as Carla mentioned, Intern promoted himself to Manager in our absence. I asked him if that meant we needed to pay him. He said no. So, yay, my manager doesn’t need paying, but boo, my manager is a bit of an idiot.

Low: We’ve not had much time to work on Monsters and Music, and we need to review the outlines, based both on the feedback from Craig, and the small changes that have been made on M&M.

The Nox series is bothering me a lot at the moment, and I think it’s bugging Carla too, because when I briefly mentioned it, she got that gleam in her eye, before quickly saying, “We’re not working on that at the moment.”

Reading

High: I’ve read a fair bit of chick lit over the holiday, and, by strange coincidence, they were written by Lynne Moriarty, who is the sister of Jaclyn Moriarty, whose books I gave to Carla as a gift. I’m also re-reading old favourites by Stephen King.

Low: I’ve not found anything un-put-down-able since I read the Gone series by Michael Grant. I want to find something that awesome again.

Wrestling

High: I got to watch the Elimination Chamber with Carla and Jake. I love the Elimination Chamber, it’s my favourite PPV of the year (although nothing will touch the 2011 one). Watching wrestling with Carla is awesome.

I also saw a live event in Vegas. One of the matches pitched The Shield against Christian. Words cannot express how much I love Dean Ambrose and Christian. To see them in the ring together live was awesome. Sadly, I didn’t get any good pictures, I was still getting used to the camera. I did get a pretty good shot of the Bella twins though.

The Bella Twins in Las Vegas on 16 February 2014

The Bella Twins in Las Vegas on 16 February 2014

Also, I got a quick video of Kofi kicking ass in a dance-off.

Low: Mostly Fandom. This is why we can’t have nice things. Grow up, kids.

Posted in Life Stuff, Nox Series, Reading Stuff, UK Horror Series, Wrestling Stuff, Writing Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

2014 Goals

Carla: Too long; didn’t read version: Read 100 books a year, with individual subgoals, write Talking Dead and maybe the rest of that series, and blog more. Then a wrestling diversion at the end.

Reading Goals

Sarah: To read 100 books (and to actually track them this year), and at least 20 of them must be from my “To Read” list on my Kindle.

Carla: Sarah made an awesome spreadsheet for us to use while tracking. It also automatically calculates how many days we spent reading a book. I’m not sure why she thinks that’s important. Is it a contest? Are we competing?

Sarah: Sarah thinks that’s important because her entire job is all about making spreadsheets that track everything we do, and spit out results that can be displayed in graphs. Be thankful Sarah didn’t put a bloody graph in there.

Carla: Why is there no graph? I love graphs.

Sarah: Fuck graphs. I love my job, but I hate graphs.

Carla: Hater.

Carla: Also, my secondary goal is to read at least 50 books from my “To Read” bookcases. Yes, plural. Yes, I have way too many books I need to read, hence this part of my goal.

Sarah: Now what? Is that the only question? Was it really worth opening yet another shared document? Or are we just so totally codependent that we cannot even answer one single question alone?

Carla: Yes.

Carla: And, of course, we’re supposed to talk about other goals. Those are the only official reading goals I have, though I do have a few lists of books I am trying to read within my lifetime. Do you want in on that kind of challenge? Do you want to play with the big kids? Do you want to actually challenge yourself with your reading?

Sarah: Mostly, I just want to sleep.

Carla: It’s not even fun being mean to you when you’re this tired.

Writing Goals

Sarah: To finish Talking Dead and get it out to agents is the official one, but in the back of my mind, I’m pretty sure we can write the whole series this year.

Carla: I’m glad that’s in the back of your mind, because my official goal is to finish at least first drafts of the entire series, as well as polish Talking Dead and submit it to agents. Our first readers are going to love us.

Sarah: Eh, they’re mostly your friends. Mine don’t really offer much feedback. You can piss off your friends with multiple drafts of five books! Mine will just vanish!

Carla: Hey, your hubby gives excellent feedback. And I appreciate Ken’s enthusiasm.

Sarah: CAN WE GET INTERN TO GIVE US FEEDBACK?

Carla: Alas, Intern is not a reader. We should remedy this. And his hatred of wrestling. Eventually, he will give in and love both books and wrestling.

Sarah: Intern does not read, and refers to wrestling as “fake”. Remind me again why we love Intern?

Carla: He’s our “in” so we know what the kids are saying these days. Or something like that. Mostly, I love him because he’s awesome and my nephew. Isn’t that kind of required? Plus he’s going to teach me about basketball and stock car racing.

Carla: OH! The biggest reason: he keeps us on track! We should send him our list of goals.

Sarah: True. He’s very bossy (in a good way). Very motivational.

Carla: Indeed. My other big writing goal is to write every day this year.

Sarah: I have a side-goal, which is to come up with something (preferably short and sweet) that I can write on my own, just so that I remember how to write alone! Also, I think it would be good for me to outline a book by myself.

Carla: It’s hard work! I’ve forgotten how to write fiction alone!

Blogging Goals

Carla: Besides the monthly writing update, I want to blog more often. What’s a reasonable goal? Once a week?

Sarah: I think once a week is reasonable. I’m also attempting to just keep pace with you as far as blogging goes.

Carla: Now that inspires me to make a goal of blogging multiple times a day. Keep pace with that.

Sarah: *crawls under desk and cries*

Carla: Oh god, not this again.

Sarah: I’m thinking that setting goals while I’m this tired has not brought out the best in me. This kind of mood is more suited to passive-aggressive conversations with my co-workers about their lack of common sense.

Carla: We should figure out how to blog about more in-depth topics than, say, horror memes and our goals for the year.

Sarah: Also, I’d like to have a reader. I don’t even need plural, I just want someone not-Carla to read my blog.

Carla: Pretty sure my dad reads both our blogs. Just saying.

Sarah: My best friend and her dad read my blog. There are no words for the success I have attained.

Carla: I hate you so much.

Sarah: That said, I appreciate that your dad reads our blogs. Hi Carl! *waves*

Carla: So one of our goals should be to figure out topics that will draw in readers who aren’t related to one of us? And, along the same lines, possibly to network more?

Sarah: I suddenly feel like I’m at work again, being forced to join LinkedIn and use Yammer. But yes, when I’m not too busy snarking at you, I actually agree with you.

Carla: ANYTHING but Yammer. And I know how to read between the snark. Possibly we should use Twitter for more than just wrestling updates when I watch pay-per-views.

Sarah: I would suggest you do what I do and keep wrestling and writing twitters separate, that way I’m not bombarding wrestling snarkers with angst about writing, or boring YA writers with my thoughts on Dean Ambrose’s ramblings.

Carla: Ambroxley is the greatest.

Sarah: You’d best explain “Ambroxley”, otherwise we’ll look like those weird fans who think you get bonus points for knowing someone’s real or indy name!

Carla: Oh god, not that. This is really digressing, but basically, when he was wrestling in the indies, he wrestled as Moxley, and his character frequently went on drunken tirades. In the WWE, he wrestles as Ambrose, but lately, Ambrose has been having what sounds like drunken tirades more and more often. (Likely not actually drunken, because the wrestling is rated PG these days, but still.) So the more he starts to sound like Moxley in promos, the happier we are, and we coined Ambroxley for the Ambrose-channeling-Moxley hybrid.

Carla: Are you happy? Now we’ve done that writing step in our process in which we talk about wrestling instead of doing what we’re supposed to be doing.

Sarah: It’s part of our process. Don’t be a hater.

Carla: We should do an actual wrestling blog post soon.

Sarah: I last did one in November.

Carla: I have never done one. Huh.

Sarah: New goal: As a Brit, I must start to say SHED-uled, instead of SKED-uled. I guess that’s more a talking goal, but since we’re talking about (IRL, rather than in this document), it can go into my goals.

On the subject of MOAR GOALS, I also want to get another retweet from Michael Grant. The first one validated my existence, imagine how awesome and self-important I could become if he retweeted me again!

Carla: He is amazing. I’m still envious that you were retweeted. And, again, thank you for introducing me to the Gone series. SO GOOD.

Sarah: Just knowing that he and Katherine Applegate are married makes me happy. If their children end up being writers my brain may just asplode!

Carla: Can you imagine? Making Out meets Gone. It would be the greatest YA friendship-and-apocalypse story ever!

Sarah: *suddenly wishes for fanfic*

Carla: I think we’ve digressed enough. There are some goals. Let’s check back in December to see how we did.

Posted in Life Stuff, Reading Stuff, Writing Stuff | Tagged , , , ,

My Thoughts on Wrestling

My thoughts on yaoi wrestling

I’ve realised that I talk about wrestling a lot, so maybe I should list what I like and dislike about it.

Also, I noticed that I missed a couple off my “Fave Five” on my about page, (Dean Ambrose, CM Punk, Paul Heyman, Heath Slater, Seth Rollins, Edge, Christian, Kane, Daniel Bryan, the Bella Twins [Nikki being my favourite], Nattie and AJ), which are Chris Jericho, Dolph Ziggler and Ricardo Rodriguez.

Things I like:

  • The Shield as a stable.
  • When Punk does a swinging neckbreaker, preferably on someone agile, like Bryan, and it looks awesome.
  • When Seth and Bryan wrestle. I could watch them for the whole three hour show.
  • The divas division. And, for that matter, Total Divas on E! It’s very uncool to do so, but I will take the divas getting screen time any way possible. And while I have favourites (Nikki Bella), I have no interest in ripping anyone who isn’t my favourite to shreds. Don’t be a bully, fandom, be a star.
  • Staying up for pay per views (every month, without fail) and live tweeting about it (not through my girl_canfield account at twitter – I try to keep the wrestling off my real twitter). Also, watching the pre-show with Carla via Skype.
  • They way Paul Heyman clearly is lying and yet I believe every single word he says. That man owns me every time he speaks. As a side note, I went to the live show in Leeds on 14 November, and he greeted us with “Ladies and gentlemen,” when we booed, he responded with, “Oh, you boo when I call you ladies and gentlemen? Fine. Things that live in Leeds…” To quote Carla when faced with something too awesome: DED.
  • The commentators on the last show before Christmas, they tend to be a little more weird than usual. Actually, any time the commentators go off topic and get each other laughing (Josh’s “Stone Cold! Stone Cold!” moment; JBL recently using the phrase “heat” and Cole trying to cover; and, naturally, when the entire team stole Booker T’s catch phrases).
  • Heath Slater’s hair.  It is the exact shade I would love my hair to be.
  • The incredible selling skills of Dolph, Seth and Slater.
  • The tag team division.

Things I dislike:

  • When the WWE decides they’re hot on someone and ram them down our throats at every opportunity – I’m not talking about Cena, we just have to learn to live with that one, ok, IWC? I mean when they go through phases with people, Big Show and Sheamus are the ones that spring to mind. At some point both were wrestling and promo-ing on both shows at least twice. And then they feuded with each other, at which point I started praying for the infatuation to end. If I didn’t love the Shield, I would hate them because they’re on TV so much.
  • The way I can’t pick a side on the Cena thing. If you consider yourself smarky (a smart mark – someone who knows it’s pre-determined, but still enjoys it), you’re supposed to hate him because he’s Super Cena, the undefeatable, unbreakable super star. And yet, I really like him. I hate the way he’s booked at times, but he seems like a nice guy in real life, he’s dedicated to the company, and he can definitely wake up the crowd.
  • And going on the opposite of the above, the way I can’t force myself to like Del Rio for longer than a few minutes at a time.  He is a fantastic wrestler and I really wish I liked him, but he is a world of bland, now he’s lost Ricardo.
  • The fact that tornado tag team matches (where everyone is in the ring at once, no need for tagging), are just a thing that no longer happens.  And also when tag team matches are no disqualification and nobody takes advantage of this and turns it into a tornado match.

Wishlist:

  • I wish Wade Barrett, William Regal and Damien Sandow would team up and form a well-spoken gentleman’s club.
  • That Dean Ambrose would be a little more Jon Moxley when the Shield eventually dissolves. When I refer to him as Moxley (or Mox), I mean the character he had in the indies, the guy who gave us quotes such as, “You won’t quit? Fine. I’ll make you bleed to death in the ring!” (paraphrased) and “You, sir, are a coward, and I can defeat you with a fork and a spoon!” (verbatim). I’m not one of those strange fans who think you get extra points by referring to WWE stars by their indy or real names.
  • That Rob Van Dam would hurry back. Ditto Jericho.
  • The Ricardo was back on my screen.
  • That there was a divas tag division.

Yeah.  That’ll do for now.

Posted in Wrestling Stuff | Tagged , , , , ,

Writing Process: Outline

So, a bit of backstory on who I am, who Carla is, and things like that.

Carla and I met online back in the days when everyone had a GeoCities site, and those sites were divided into districts, depending on the topic of your site – for example, hers was in Hollywood because it was about a movie.  Her nephew/our intern/bossy guy who keeps us from slacking off is actually the same age as our friendship (referred to as Intern).

I sent her a gushing email telling her she was awesome and I was going to stalk her until we were best friends, and I can’t remember exactly what she said in return, but it was very friendly and encouraging.  Then we bumped into each other on a mailing list.  She seemed pleased to see me, despite the threat of stalkage.  Since then we’ve followed each other to various places online (due to my stalking her to LiveJournal, I met my soon-to-be-hubby, but that’s another story).  We started co-writing back in 2001, and despite our very obvious differences (she’s American, she’s all about threatening atmosphere, delicious description and a ruthless addiction to plotting and outlines; I’m English, and into dialogue, strange characters, and a slap-dash approach to writing, which is basically: type something, see where it takes you), we seemed to click writing-wise.  Even back then, if you ignore the English/US spellings, it’s actually hard to see who wrote which chapter.

Carla has worked her tail off trying to get me to be a more functional writer.  After thirteen years, we’re at the point where she has got me as addicted to outlines as she is.

Our writing process for the outline is this:

  • Open a new doc in GoogleDrive.
  • Argue over what to call it.
  • Wait patiently while I format the document to my liking.
  • Waste ten minutes while I whine that “keep with next” is not an option in GoogleDrive.
  • Briefly outline that A plot, B plot and, if necessary, C plot.  Waste 60 minute coming up with wrestling metaphors for our plots/discuss the merits of Paul Heyman.  Get side-tracked for a further 30 minutes by either complaining about how Cena is booked, or speculating on what will happen next with The Shield (the wrestling stable, not the TV show).
  • Decide on POV characters.
  • Type the words “Chapter One”.  Then bold them.
  • Discuss wrestling until one of us reminds the other that we’re supposed to be writing.  This goes a lot faster if Intern is in the background, he will then set his timer for 30 minutes and want to know how many words/chapters we’ve done during this time.
  • Get chapter one done in a flurry of activity.  Until one of us mentions the wrestling.
  • Speculate on which wrestlers might not be opposed to being in the movie of our book.  Which we are currently not outlining.
  • Get stuck on chapter two or three.  Bitch about it.  A lot.
  • Revise chapter one, until two and three behave.
  • Suddenly get excited over the book, and outline 15 chapters.
  • Realise Character X has a different motivation.  Amend previous chapters accordingly.  Put notes in previous book outlines that this will require tweaking.
  • Sit back, all satisfied and check Ringside Confessions.  Discuss the contents from every conceivable angle.  Once more fangirl over the sheer presence and charisma of Paul Heyman.
  • Repeat as necessary.

I love the outlining process.  I get the same amount of satisfaction on a completed outline as I do on a completed book.

Carla and I are trying something new at the moment.  We are trying to outline an entire series (the UK horror series) before working on the books.  Books 1 and 2 are already written, but need revising drastically, given that we wrote them as stand-alones separately (Book 1 is mine, Book 2 is hers), before deciding they could work in the same universe.  With that in mind, we started outlining the whole series, so we couldn’t be blind-sided by later plots that develop that we didn’t see coming and should have seen – and more importantly, should have foreshadowed.  It’s an awesome process watching our world come together.

As an update on my last post, we have now finished the outline for Book 3, and have started 4.

Cross-posted at CarlaMLee.com

Posted in UK Horror Series, Writing Stuff | Tagged , , , ,