While I was cleaning some papers off the sideboard on my desk this weekend, I found the submission guidelines for an anthology that I’d forgotten about. The deadline is next week, so I tossed the guidelines. Then, when I was mowing the lawn yesterday morning (possibly for the last time this year, fingers crossed), the opening section of a story sprang to mind. After I was done, I went back inside, plucked the guidelines from the trash, and wrote about 1100 words. For at least an hour before I woke up this morning, I kept thinking about the story. By the end of the writing session, I was up to 1600 words. But then I stalled. I have no idea what the story’s about or where it’s going or if I’m going to be able to finish it on time. If not, no big deal. I could always use it for something else.
Survivor is back, changing up the formula a little. Three tribes this time, with three returning players who were removed previously because they were injured. The guy who fell in the fire in Australia should be renamed Calamity Jane. Dude is seriously accident prone and his fellow players would be wise to remove all sharp objects from his vicinity. I thought the way the tribes reacted to these somewhat seasoned players was interesting. Two saw them as immediate threats. Plumb them for all the knowledge they could get early on and get rid of them. The third tribe saw the returning player as an ongoing asset. It would have been fun if they hadn’t told us who Lisa Welchel was and let us figure it out along with the contestants. Apparently her divorce just finalized a week or two before she left to go on this outing, so she might be in a rough spot. The 90-minute format gave me more of a chance to put names to faces, and I came away feeling like I had a sense of who many of them were. Russell was a laff riot. “I’m not going to make the same mistake I did last time, of being too bossy—hey, shut up. We’re going to do things my way.” That resolution lasted a long time. I figured he was a goner for sure until Zane threw himself on his sword. Worst strategic play in the first day or two, ever. Make allegiances with everyone, tell people you’re making allegiances with everyone, volunteer to take the hit and then still get blindsided.
Haven came back on Friday night, too. The first episode was called 301, which looks like an episode designation (season 3, episode 01) but is actually the plot in the potter’s field where a significant character was supposedly buried. I liked it better when the two geezers weren’t at each other’s throats. I have no idea who that guy was that kept shining his light in Audrey’s face (assumption: he thought she’d recognize him) or what it meant that the burned woman had been dead since before Audrey was talking to her. The season preview promises that everything will be answered. We’ll see.
Episode 4 of Doctor Who was a confused and confusing mess. I sort of liked the idea that the Doctor had to learn that life on earth went on without him. His astonishment that Rory had a real job. We also learn that Amy’s no longer a model but a travel writer. The cubes might have been intriguing but nothing about the alien storyline made any sense. I don’t really know why they were intent on killing people, nor do I have a clue what the Doctor did to thwart them. I’ll probably end up watching the episode again, so maybe it will get clarified. Color me confused at the moment, though.
I’m finished with the first two seasons of The Wire. The show is not at all what I envisioned it might be based on random comments from other people. It’s much slower paced and more procedural than I thought it would be. Who would have thought they could make an interesting story out of shipping containers? I like that it took them at least half of the second season to reunite the team, even though they were acting in unison already. The harbor patrol cop was a nice addition to the team, though I don’t know if she’ll be back in the future. The police politics is interesting, and the round-the-world trip made by the surveillance van was a funny idea sort of stolen from Amelie. I suspect the conflict between Stringer and Avon Barksdale will come to a head in the next season. Bubbles has to be the best C.I. ever (too bad he couldn’t keep his act together), and Omar is a fascinating character, too. The amount those guys drink, especially Banks and McNulty, is enough to put me in a coma.