Fan Fiction of the Day: Hunger Games/The Concubine Mash-Up

In the royal Kingdom of Panem, there once lived a noble Duke (name of Peeta) who — alas! —  was married to a shrew named Cashmere.

Cashmere was secretly the mistress of the King, Coriolanus Snow.

King Snow arranged the marriage of Cashmere to the Duke because he knew Duke Peeta was a true gent who would never, ever blow Cashmere’s cover, no matter how miserable his marriage made him.

The Duke’s closest friends are the Baron and Baroness of Quattro Read the rest of this entry »

Hunger Games Fan Fiction: 25 Years After the Rebellion

(The reason there is a movie tag on this post is because self does mention a movie, towards the end. Just saying)

Very early this morning, self was about to post a second set of photos relating to this week’s Photo Challenge, NEW.

Instead, she decided to wander around outside, in absolute bone-chilling cold, because she felt so guilty about neglecting her garden for so many weeks. Actually, self prefers to garden in the early morning, because none of her neighbors are up yet. There’s one in particular who seems to time his gardening for self’s, and self simply hates to chat when she is gardening. She just wants to dig in peace. Hear that, neighbor? Self just wants to dig in peace. Go back to bed!

She was having such a nice morning weeding, and then she heard the screen door to the neighbor’s backyard sliiiiiide open ever sooooo slowly, which meant the games were about to begin. Uh, no. Self threw her trowel to the ground and re-entered the house. It wasn’t even 8 a.m.

It’s a good thing there is fan fiction available for self’s reading pleasure, or she would be in a foul foul mood and scowling like a maniac at this very moment.

After a few short minutes of trolling, self just found a very good one. It’s set 25 years after the rebellion. The new rulers send a star reporter to 12, to interview Katniss Everdeen aka “The Mockingjay.”

An excerpt:

“I didn’t love Peeta for a very long time — that was all for the cameras.”

The bombshell hits hard. The love story of Peeta Mellark and Katniss Everdeen is a staple of any drama about the revolution. Probably the best known version is Fire and Ashes, Gale Hawthorne’s first feature film, which is the only one so far, critics say, to get to the heart of the desperation felt by the rebels. The reunion scene has topped 100 Best Lists for the better part of a decade.

“Yeah,” says Katniss Everdeen. “People have always wanted to write their own stories about me and Peeta.” I feel suddenly that I am only the latest in a long line, that Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark are almost fictional now. We have written and re-written their story so many times that they belong more to myth than to reality.

And, speaking of myth, yesterday self watched “Into the Woods.” Self loves movies, as dear blog readers well know. But she especially loves watching movies at night. In the local Century 20. Usually, the streets are very dead, especially right after the holidays. But, as was the case last night, in the evening there are tons of moviegoers, lining up for tickets in the lobby. And the cine-plex feels very festive. After the movie, it’s full dark and the restaurants around are full of people. So, these are the restaurants adjacent to the Century 20: Quinto Sol (which draws by far the most customers), Sakura Teppanyaki, La Tartine, Arya Global Cuisine, Mandaloun and, a little bit of a walk, but self absolutely loves this place (which had a line out the door last night), I Dumpling. I Dumpling is very wee, only has about eight tiny tables, and that’s why it always has lines out the door.

It was a lot of fun walking around outside last night (No skateboarders. Do dear blog readers know how nice that is?). The crowd watching “Into the Woods” was also very “into” the movie, which usually triples self’s viewing pleasure. For instance, they actually clapped after the scene where Chris Pine as Prince Charming, and a young blonde guy playing his brother, rip open their shirts and sing a song about being in love, while making frequent use of the word “agony.”

Chris Pine, it turns out, is very good at hamming it up. Cheesy much?

Nah. Last night’s audience lapped it up.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Never Forget This

Self was about to start grad school at Stanford University.

Dearest Mum went with her. We did a jaunt to LA and stayed with a distant relative in Glendale.

The relative’s name was Lucy. She was living with an American guy named Bob. She drank a tall glass of green liquid every morning, she said it was good for you: pure chlorophyll.

Self tried a bit and it tasted disgusting, the consistency of mucus.

One night, Dearest Mum and self returned to Lucy’s home to find it dark, locked, nobody home. We drove around for hours, just waiting for Lucy to show up. This was the era before cell phones, so the only recourse we had were to use payphones.

Dearest Mum spied one in front of a liquor store. She said, Get in there and use the phone.

Self said, What? No! It’s a liquor store!

Nevertheless, self being a very obedient 21-year-old, she got down from the car and used the payphone that was right in front of the entrance. Dearest Mum remained in the car. When self turned around after making a series of fruitless calls to Lucy, she saw that a car had pulled up right next to Dearest Mum. Two men were inside that car, staring intently at Dearest Mum, who was clutching the steering wheel with both hands. Self would call that “a white-knuckle clutch.”

Whereupon, self jumped back into the car, Dearest Mum va-voomed out of the parking lot with screeching tires, and we drove around and around for two more hours, until we were pulled over by a policeman.

The policeman walked over to Dearest Mum’s window and shone a flashlight straight into her face.

What is it, Officer? Dearest Mum coo-ed in her sweetest, most girl-y voice.

Ma’am, we pulled you over because we thought you might be drunk.

What? Me? Drunk? Dearest Mum’s voice dripped outrage.

Well, the Officer said, I see you’re not drunk, Ma’am. But here’s the thing: me and my partner have been following you for a bit because: A) You braked on a green light; B) You switched lanes in the middle of an intersection; and C) This is the fourth time you’ve passed this corner.

BWAH. HA. HA. HAAAAA! Self had to assume her best poker face during the exchange.

Now I’ll tell you what, Ma’am, quoth the cop. You see this big intersection right here? You make a left at that intersection, and you keep going, and you keep going, and you don’t stop until you see this big hotel, and you wait in that hotel for your friend to get home.

Self doesn’t know why it never occurred to her to share this story before.

Stay tuned.

Eavesdropping: Downtown Redwood City Century 20, Christmas Day

WOMAN:  “I saw The Interview yesterday.”

MAN:  “Did you?”

WOMAN: “And that was the stupidest, most asinine . . .  The idea that North Korea was threatened by it . . . ” (eye-roll)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

From Des Dillon’s SCUNNERED

Des Dillon is a Scottish writer and a stand-up comic. Self picked up a copy of his book, Scunnered: Slices of Scottish Life in Seventeen Gallus Syllables, when she was doing a residency at Hawthornden in 2012.

Here’s a piece called ATTITUDE:

Treating every time
Like it’s the very last time
feels like the first time.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Fan Fiction Quote of the Day

This is so embarrassing but, really, self has nothing better to do right now. Other than think of excuses to run to See’s or to read fan fiction.

She was going great guns with the fan fiction she started writing (In October, in Chicago, in the house of Angela Narciso Torres. Thank you, Angela!) until she got to Chapter 12 and a reader left a rather pointed comment: “Are we going to see any genuine Katniss/Peeta interaction soon?” Well, self finds it hard to answer that question. In her fan fiction, Katniss is happily married to Gale, and Peeta is off licking his wounds in Victors Village. And darn, she should have thought it through more, but when her story was only at Chapter 1, she didn’t think she’d end up so lost, she thought she’d surely figure out a way to create Everlark, but she didn’t realize that Everlark takes a lot of strategizing and planning, and 10,000+ words later, most of the scenes have been of Peeta solo.

See’s is closed. Doesn’t stay open as late as 8 p.m. Not around here, anyway.

That leaves . . .

Dear blog readers with the fan fiction quote of the day!

Context: Katniss bought a Christmas tree from a lot near her office in Manhattan, and Peeta worked at the lot, and he carried the tree home for her, but he didn’t ask for her name and Katniss didn’t offer it. Ever since then, Katniss has been buying pastries from every bakery in Manhattan, because she remembers Peeta told her he worked at a bakery during the day, though she forgets the name of the bakery.

Katniss and Johanna are friends.

Johanna glanced at another box. “What’s with all the pastries?”

Katniss snatched it from her grasp and set it on the counter. “Nothing!”

“I’m starting to worry about you. You don’t have a blog, do you?”

And that, dear blog readers, is it! All that self cares to quote!

Why does it feel so disappointing that after almost a week of no lost followers on Twitter, she lost one this evening? She wasn’t even sure if it was her Tweet about North Korea or her Tweet about the two slain NYPD policemen. All she knows is, she has one less follower on Twitter than she had a couple of hours ago, and it tastes almost like failure.

Stay tuned.

The Daily Beast “Mockingjay, Part 1″ Quote

There are times when all self wants to do is stay in pajamas all day and read Hunger Games fan fiction. And that is the honest truth.

Wait, that IS what you did all day today, self! You stayed in your sweats — one step up from pajamas, at least — and read a new fan fiction you’d just discovered, written by c_r_Roberts.

But you also saw Mockingjay, Part 1 for the second time, which means you did get yourself out of the house, even if it was just for two hours.

The Man wisely opted to see some other movie, the one starring grungy Jake Gyllenhaal as an ambulance chaser.

Self has decided that critics who dislike this installment of the Hunger Games movies are Team Gale. Because those like self who are Team Peeta just loooove Mockingjay, Part 1.

And, as if to back up her point, here’s a quote from The Daily Beast, which self likes to read on a somewhat regular basis:

Team Peeta or Team Gale: Why the Hunger Games’ Love Triangle Ruins Mockingjay, Part 1

A lot of people die in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1. Unfortunately, Peeta Mellark and Gale Hawthorne are not among them.

In a nutshell:

When the books were being adapted into movies, that romantic element turned the casting of Peeta and Gale into its own Hollywood Hunger Games, with every young actor in Tinseltown clamoring to be the next Robert Pattinson and every fan of the franchise ready to set tracker jackers on any casting that wasn’t up to snuff.

Self has read articles where Team Gale professes to be absolutely crushed by Mockingjay, Part 1, when it becomes clear who Katniss really loves. They feel betrayed. Furiously betrayed.

Actually, this second viewing of Mockingjay, Part 1 started to bring Gale forward more in self’s mind. To the point where she could actually hear herself saying, “Maybe so-and-so has a point, there is something rather appealing about that Gale.”

Self always loved book-Peeta, and to tell the truth she was not enthused with J-Hutch in the first Hunger Games movie. But that beach scene in Catching Fire? Never mind how ridiculous — even tacky! — it is that Peeta shows a picture of Gale to Katniss on a beach the night before they are to engage in what is supposedly a fateful fight-to-the-death. J-Hutch and J-Law sold that scene and turned self into an avid fan of the Katniss/Peeta pairing, ever since.

So she really loves Mockingjay, Part 1.

Stay tuned.




“Mockingjay, Part 1″ — Redwood City Century 20, 4th Sunday in November (2014)

What self will say about the third (or penultimate) installment in the Hunger Games franchise is that it is very fleet. Hardly a wasted word or line of dialogue anywhere. Kudos, Director Francis Lawrence. You are genius.

All the important parts are there. To wit:

  • The Pearl (BTW, not a single reviewer from any of the major dailies mentioned this. If you don’t mention the pearl, you don’t really “get” Read the rest of this entry »

Movie Quote of the Day: Saturday, 22nd of November (2014)

From Carla Meyer of the Sacramento Bee:

Team Peeta members will be disappointed that Hutcherson, who is such a reassuring presence in these movies, appears infrequently in “Part 1.” Hemsworth appears more often. But not only is Gale the less compelling love interest, Liam is the less compelling Hemsworth brother.

Speaking of Hemsworth brothers, yesterday, at Palo Alto Square off Page Mill Road, self watched Eddie Redmayne play Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything.” His performance was very, very good.

Before “The Theory of Everything” began, there were six previews, two of which featured People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive, Chris Hemsworth.

In Preview # 1 Chris Hemsworth is a raw sailor on a whaling ship (The movie of course is In the Heart of the Sea, Ron Howard’s attempt to channel Peter Weir, which to self appears an unwinnable task LOL), and in Preview # 2 he plays a hacker. With the casting of Hemsworth in the latter movie, hackers of the world have with one stroke been elevated to the sexy. Bravo!

The final question is: Who is James Marsh?

She knows he directed “The Theory of Everything,” but who is he really?  Has he directed other movies that self has already scene? Indubitably. Good thing self has time on her hands today, Saturday. And it is raining. So she can spend time on the internet doing research on this fellow.

Stay tuned.


Oh Michael Phillips (Movie Critic for The Chicago Tribune) You Are So Witty!

Michael Phillips deserves major kudos for wit in his review of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 (Self was about to put a hyphen after Mockingjay, good thing she decided to double-check because the split in the movie title is accomplished with a comma — and why self should find that detail so significant is currently beyond her capacity to explain)

From the opening sentence, self found herself chuckling:

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 is a worthy third movie in the Suzanne Collins franchise — destined to satisfy the legions of filmgoers willing to swing with a lot of scheming and skulking in an underground bunker resembling the world’s most frightening Marriott, in order to get to the revolution.

Jennifer Lawrence is “a crier, but also a fighter” LOL

He digs deep and comes up with the best quote ever from Effie Trinket:  “I’m condemned to this life of jumpsuits.”

And he even manages to find a way to avoid saying how the film ends:  “Much of the film is pitched at a conversational hush, so it’s doubly striking when Katniss and Peeta reunite and the results . . .  well, spoiler, so . . .  I’ll shut up.”

Kudos, MP. Major kudos.




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