Yes, This Will Be On the Test

Writing, Reading, Laughing

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Making the Bold Choice

I have the good fortune to live in a family of artists. My son is an actor, my daughter a writer, their dad a scenic designer, and his husband a graphic artist.

Chats around the dinner table drift to subtext, intention, symbolism, and artistic risk-taking.

The winner of this summer's boldest choice goes to my son, Cameron Rose. He is part of the repertory theater company, Theatricum Botanicum, in L.A., founded by Will Geer. This summer he performs as Claude in Moliere's, Imaginary Invalid.

Claude is a fop, full of pretense and entitlement. So you're picturing something like this...


Now add to the over the top wig and chunky heels Cam's acting choice. His characterization of Claude is a man influenced by the chickens he grew up with on the family farm, embued with the physicality of head-pecking, squawks and wing flaps. 

And it the point of hilarity.

The costumed visual would have been enough to incite giggles, but taking the farce to poultry proportions took guts. It could have fallen on its face and been "pooh-poohed" as too silly, but a slew of thumbs up reviews validated the bold choice.


As a writer, I'm taking a page from Cam's book. Take the risk. Don't settle into a comfort zone of storytelling. Stretch, reach, and go to a place that might not be in my wheelhouse...yet. 

The payoff just might be a delicious chicken dinner.

What has inspired you to bust through that glass ceiling in your writing?

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Streaming Gold

I have officially joined the ranks of the unplugged - cable TV unplugged. It was a choice that made me break out in hives at first. Whatever will I do without my weekly installment of Agents of Shield? 

Alas, my worries were unfounded. As a "streamer," I had to wait a smidge of time for Coulson and company, but when they did blip onto onto Netflix, I blissfully binge watched the entire season in a swoop.

I embraced and discovered shows that I missed when I was plugged in. Here are a scant few of my faves:

(How can you not love a show set in West Covina with musical numbers?)

and the list goes on...
and on...
and on!

There are more shows at my fingertips than I can possibly catch up with. 

Soooooo happy

Have you switched to streaming only? What gold nuggets have you discovered or finally caught up with?

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Celebrating Friends

There is nothing I enjoy more than cheering for the lovely work of friends in the writing community. This month my fangirl meter is in the red. 

Here are some shiny new releases I triple dog dare you not to ADORE. I'm going alphabetically by author because I could NEVER choose a fave among these kickin' stories.

Future Shock by Elizabeth Briggs is a nail biting sci-fi adventure that will make you run into the garage and burn your time machine. 

Fight the future. Face the inevitable. 

South of Sunshine by Dana Elmendorf is an endearing and courageous LGBT love story set against the backdrop of often narrow-minded southern mentality. 

In a town like Sunshine, Kaycee knows better than to fall for a girl.

Soul Conquered by Lisa Gail Green is the culmination of her OF ANGELS AND DEMONS trilogy. I never thought I'd cheer for a demon, but this story deftly blurs the lines between good and evil. 

What do you do when following your heart could lead to the apocalypse?

In Real Life by Jessica Love makes me want to repair the time machine I destroyed after reading FUTURE SHOCK and go back in time to encourage my teen self to be truthful about my affections. AND IT'S SET IN VEGAS! 

This is the moment that launched a thousand daydreams.

Bravo ladies for your wonderful work.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Why I'm a Star Wars Nerd

No one is happier to see all the Star Wars love happening right now than I. I've been a fangirl of a galaxy far far away since 1977 when A NEW HOPE 
(back in the day, we just called it STAR WARS) 
burst into the collective consciousness. I saw the film 21 times in the theater, every time flying my theater seat with red squadron to attack the Death Star.

Here are the top ten reasons this story entered my blood stream:

10. Vehicles: Who doesn’t want a land speeder or an X-Wing?

9. Hyperspace Travel: After commuting in L.A. traffic my whole life…

8. Countless worlds to explore: Itinerary – Hoth…Forest Moon of Endor – I’ll skip Tatooine, not a desert person.

7. Terrifying Villains: Vader (daddy issues-check), Emperor, Wampa Ice Monster, giant worm that digests you for 1,000 years...

6. Merchandise: I’m not going to lie, I’ve spent significant funds since 1977 on memorabilia. Come on! Everyone needs a pewter Star Wars chess set.

5. Complicated love story: Han and Leia

4. C3P0 and R2D2: I’ll take one of each please.

3. Lightsabers: Mine is blue.

2. Enigmatic mentors extraordinaire: Love Yoda, do I. Obi Wan is always good in a pinch. 

1. Luke Skywalker – Luke Skywalker - Luke Skywalker:
When the first movie of the saga released, I was leaving home to go to college. Identifying with Luke’s foray into the real world resonated with me. We came of age together, fighting the dark side and emerging with a renewed sense of self.

From this humble Jedi to all my brethren -
May the Force Be With You.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Veteran's Lost Story

This year on Veteran's Day, I'm particularly reflective about my father. He passed away a few years ago and one of my greatest regrets was that I never pressed him for stories about his experiences during World War II.

He was only eighteen when my grandparents encouraged him to enlist in the army to discourage him from entering the priesthood. He spent the majority of his time during the war in the Philippines. The only story he shared was about hiding in a palm tree for days while the enemy marched below. 

I missed a golden opportunity for the untold stories he must have had tucked away. 

If you have a veteran or any tribe elder still in your life, don't make the mistake I did. 

Ask them for their stories. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Getting in the Mood

Before I start a new project or dive into a revision, I need tangible inspiration to wrap or rewrap my head around the characters and the world I'm painting. 

Playlists are a HUGE inroad for me to connect with the emotional landscape of a story. Since I'm a visual girl, I also need some talismans and touchstones to sink into the tale.  

Here are some of the pieces charging my battery for my current WIP, a Rapunzel retell from the prince's POV.

A floor plan of her tower.

A Rapunzel ornament from the Disney version.

A ring my Rapunzel might wear.

I'm currently obsessed with making character diaries with both visuals and character write ups. Here's a collage for one of my supporting characters. Thank you Santino Fontana (The Prince in the recent Broadway production of Cinderella and the voice of Hans in Frozen) for inspiring this particular character with your talent and roguish good looks.

What are some of the things y'all do to get into the "zone" of your projects?

Thursday, September 3, 2015

View From the First Grade Trenches

So what happened to August?

I swear it was just the first day of school mid-month 
and now it's September.

Green Day's "Wake Me Up When September Ends" is playing in my noggin.

This year I switched from over a decade of teaching fifth grade to braving an army of six-year-old first graders.

Best decision I've ever made. Talk about a fabulous audience for my funny voices when I read books!

I could go on and on about how adorable they are, but I've always been one for visuals. Here is a sample of our beginning of the year "David project" (as in David Shannon's 
David Goes to School picture book).


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Yes, Chef!

I am not a foodie, unless a custom order at In and Out burger qualifies. Food networks aren't usual fare on the Rose airwaves, but I do admit if a cooking show happens to be on, I'm inexplicably drawn to the artistry of the process.

Recent events have allowed me a glimpse into the foodie world and now I TOTALLY get it. 

I have entered the realm of:

Last night my world was forever changed when I ate at Gordon Ramsay's Steak House at the Paris in Las Vegas. 

Want a bite?

Start with the Ferris Wheel of meat and choose your cut. 
Yes, it's real meat. 

Fun fact: Our waiter said they keep the cuts on display for about two days until they start to go brown. The wheel hangs out in the fridge between showings for all of you freaking out about potential weird meat odor during the presentation.

Segue way to the salad. Bacon wheels and green goddess dressing - sigh.

See the breads up there? Every one of them is a different gourmet treat like bacon roll, mushroom roll, cheese bread, lemon focaccia. Even the butter was otherworldly delish. 

And now for Gordon Ramsay's signature dish - Beef Wellington. I'm not a rare steak person, but this was so melt-in-your-mouth crazy good, I went for it.

They really went overboard with the veggies - NOT - so sides were called for. Citrus glazed asparagus and life-changing, ginger-garlic glazed shiitake mushrooms and leeks. 
The mushrooms are MANDATORY - it's a quality of life issue. 

Food coma - YES. Ecstasy - YES.

I would sell my soul for a return trip into the land of 
Hell's Kitchen.

Any life-changing dining experiences out there? 
Gordon Ramsay fans?

Friday, July 17, 2015

Comic Con Afterglow

Another fabulous Comic Con in the rear view mirror. 

Security was tight.

Merchandise tempting. 
(Yeah, I bought it.)

Cosplay did not disappoint.

New t-shirt: 

Biggest geek out moment:
Sighting of Clark Gregg, Agent Phil Coulson of SHIELD.

Fantastic Panels. 
My favorite was the 50th anniversary of LOST IN SPACE. 

Yes, that's Judy Robinson, Pilot Don, Penny Robinson, and Will Robinson.

My daughter hit the jackpot. She waited for a zillion hours in line to see the STAR WARS, FORCE AWAKENS panel. Not only did Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford show up, but director J.J. Abrams treated the audience to donuts AND walked them to a second venue where everyone got a lightsaber and free concert of Star Wars music played by the San Diego Symphony. 

Yes, I'm jealous.

Fun fact: There are super cool venues and activities around Comic Con beside the convention itself. 


Nerd HQ, the brain child of Zachary Levi. A venue with gaming, food, community, merchandise and panels featuring
the likes of William Shatner, Nathan Fillion, and Joss Whedon. You do purchase tickets to the panels, but the proceeds go to the charity OPERATION SMILE.

W00tstock, an annual variety show created by and featuring Wil Wheaton, Adam Savage (Mythbusters), and Paul and
Storm (Comedy Music Team). It was four hours of music, riffs on TED talks, comedy and all around hilarity held in an amazing classic theatre, The Balboa. 
Paul and Storm sang a gut busting parody of Game of Thrones to the tune of American Pie. 
Here's the chorus - try it out.

Over at Petco Park - Home of the San Diego Padres baseball team - was CONIVAL sponsored by Nerdist. Free panels - gaming - food - fun.

Everyone can catch Comic Con fever 
even without an official badge.

Next week I'll share tidbits from this year's lit. panels.

Let's get down to it - if you were going to cosplay, who would you be? There's only one choice for me.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Con Man is Coming

I'm off to Comic Con 2015. I'll have lots to share when I return, but there's something I'm busting to tell you about before I leave.

This is a web series starting in September brought to you by Firefly peeps, Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion.

It's loosely (or not so loosely) based on actors who starred in a science fiction show that was cancelled after a single season but has gone on to become a cult classic.

Hmm? Can you say Firefly?

The story is about the aftermath of cancellation and the  adventures in appearing at conventions like let's say, 
Comic Con.

It was successfully funded by an Indie Go Go campaign and I'm telling you, if you want to belly laugh and roll on the floor - go to the CON MAN Indie Go Go page and watch ALL the videos. 

If I don't come back from Comic Con with a Con Man t-shirt, then I have not done my job.

Is there a web series out there that you are dying to share?