shitt’s creek

My newest obsession is Schitt’s Creek, which has been on my Netflix watch-list literally since I got Netflix. It’s been so long that actually watching it marks the end of era as the show will never again be that thing I want to watch but have never seen. But that’s okay. It’s really freaking good.

I am now going to gush about the show a little, which I have given myself permission to do because I also found a way to relate it back to books.

Premise: Schitt’s Creek is one of those riches to rags stories about a wealthy  family who loses everything and has to start over. Which feels like a trope even though the only other show I can think of like it with a similar premise is Arrested Development.

Schitt’s Creek is the name of the town the Rose family starts over in, and Schitt is the name of the town’s founders, and their descendants still live in the town. It’s also ‘shit’ with an extra ‘t’, duh, but that apparently makes it appropriate enough to display with no censorship at all, which I think is really cool.

Why it’s awesome: Everything everyone says is hilarious, or the way they say it is what makes it fantastic, and I adore stories about terrible, selfish people learning to be a little less self-centered, preferably while still being endearingly terrible.

Also, duh, there’s queer characters! Awesome queer characters too. Even though it took me forever to start watching, usually the quickest way I start a book or show is: Do I have a mild interest? Are there gay people? If the answer to both is yes, I’m totally there.

My darlings:

Alexis, the adventurous free spirit. She also has hella style game, and she’s gorgeous. I would love to say I’m more like her, but I’m not.

David is who I uncomfortably identify with. He’s a worried over-thinker who is moody and obnoxious with an acerbic wit that is usually not appreciated. P.S. yay for pansexuality. In terms of growth and personal story, I prefer Alexis’ arc better. But David has the best romance.

Books!

Okay, now after being a loser about a TV show I love, here is a quote from One Little Word about being chill and not a weirdo.

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College Admissions, but in a fun way!

Talking about anything in the world? Super easy, I will do that even if not asked. Talking about myself? Not my favorite thing. Especially if I have to say nice things about me. My self esteem isn’t terrible, but boasting about yourself is just awk. So I’m pretty sure I hated writing college admissions essays.

But college essays written by the Stranger Things kids? I’m so there. I also enjoyed these because ‘freaking out about college’ is half the plot of One Step Forward. The real college application process is stressful as hell but fun when fictionalized.

My favorite character in general is Steve. And that he used a dictionary definition in his essay is objectively hilarious and perfect. I also enjoyed it because I had the character Luke do the same thing and they are both sweet, un-creative confused bisexual disasters.

I have one friend who also loves Stranger Things and we were at trivia the week after the third season aired. I asked what he thought about the latest episodes, and he looked at me and said, “You can’t spell America without Erica.” Which might be the best response to anything ever. So this is my way of saying that Erica’s essay was also awesome.

A little bit of…

Friendly reminder to live your life with this much confidence. Not that I’m telling you what to do. I’m going through a Schitt’s Creek phase, so this is mostly just my excuse to post this video. Maybe it’s not good to be so oblivious to one’s own flaws, but on the other hand, if you don’t know about your weaknesses, you can’t let them stop you.

It makes me happy that all I had to do was type “a little” into Youtube and it knew what I wanted.

 

And now the story of this story

Because I am incapable of on topicing, first I have to say that the title I made up sounds like something Perd Hapley would say. He’s the painfully literal over-explainer and reporter from Parks and Rec for those who aren’t as Perd obsessed. Actually, maybe the title is an actual quote from him? Well, either way, totally intention on my part.

(The only way to improve on the perfection of Perd, in my opinion, is to know his actor is also a reporter in real life and he only plays reporters.)

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pic from reddit

The Story’s Origin Story

Fun fact, or at least one of those things, when I wrote One Little Word, I had no idea what I was doing. It was my first ever YA gay romance and the plot contained such depth and complexity. Just kidding, the original idea was this: so there’s this nerd. And then there’s a jock. And they aren’t friends but then they have to date for reasons.

How did I come up with something so original? Easy, I didn’t try to be unique! I wanted to use popular tropes. Plus, I was also counting on my complete inability to ever keep things simple to ensure the end result would be both familiar and unique.

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Needed a picture, so here’s one with a quote from the book.

Writing this, it sounds like I had a plan with this novel. When I wrote it, again, I had no idea what I was doing. Whether I’ve learned anything since then, who knows, but now I more confidently fumble my way along.

These observations brought to you by my attempts to make a print version of the ebook.

Extreme Makeover Book Edition

Someday I would love for all my books to have print and audio versions. Though, it’s hard to say when that mythical day will arrive. My current print efforts are being done with all the speed of an old, doomed gazelle at a watering hole.

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Another quote

The cool part is that the ebook is getting an update. New cover, expanded scenes, theoretically more editing. Which means, when One Little Word goes on sale, that’s a perfect opportunity to get the new edition, become acquainted with the series, or even leave a review. I’m saying all this as if it’s totally just occurring to me and not something planned at all.

The One Little Word sale is from, oh my god, I literally just looked it up, how do I not remember again? Okay, the sale is from Feb 16-23. The book will be 99 cents the whole time. Yay!

Also, if you have Kindle Unlimited, anytime before April is a good to check out the book. Or any of the books I’ve written. Since they are leaving the KU library. I have as much idea as you whether this will be a permanent change or not, which means I have no idea. Unless you have an idea, then you know more than me, so let me know? That would be kind.

The End

And now, I’m going to start as I began, with gratuitous Perd Hapley.

What the internet needs: Uninformed Star Wars Opinions

Watching The Rise of Skywalker was torture.

Not because the movie was terrible, but I hadn’t seen the second Star War in this trio, so I had no idea what was happening for the first half of the movie. There were people I recognized along with my favorite squeaky robots and hairy alien monsters, but everything they were doing confused the hell out of me.

I mean, maybe skipping a movie wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but it was for me. I hate not watching things in order. Do you know the reason books, movies, and TV shows have an order? So you follow that order! To not do so is anarchy.

In a galaxy far away…

When I saw the movie, it was before Christmas. I started typing this post in a timely manner… until I forgot about it, of course. I’m now aware that even if I had watched the movies in the correct order, I might not have liked RoS. Because no one liked it? Which is kinda a bummer because Poe, Finn, and Rey are great.

Anyway, I wanted to share this video of celebrities touching wild animals.

Movies and children don’t mix

I went to the movie with my nephews, who I adore, and who are worth not abiding by chronological order for. Of course this led to the other problem. In addition to not knowing what happened in the previous movie, I also missed a good chunk of the movie I was currently watching.

We got snacks for the show, again because I love my nephews and they are worth braving concession stand prices, even though I scream internally every time, but they still have to get up approximately 76 times during the movie. And then I have to go with them, and for some reason the movie theater thought it was a good idea to only have an exit on one side?

So of course, we were on the opposite side of the exit and we had to be jerks and cross the entire theater 76 times. But you will be happy to know that this is the best Star War ever. Well, according to my youngest nephew. It’s the best one he’s seen. He’s seen two.

Representation

Personally, I’m grateful to the whole franchise for allowing Hispanics into space. Don’t ask me why we weren’t allowed before because I have no idea.

Because I’m that person, who can’t just watch a movie and enjoy it, it was interesting to see how far we’ve come since the first franchise. The three leads were two non-white guys and a lady who was much less of a sex symbol this time around.

And it was, uh. Let’s also say interesting, okay. It was interesting to see how far we still have to go. As in, I did catch the background kiss between two minor women characters without knowing about it beforehand. I’m gay and that person, of course I’m going to catch it. But I was also aware Poe and Finn were a popular pairing and obviously making them officially A Thing would have been a million times better.

 

 

Romantic Couple’s songs and completely inexpert opinions about music

I’m not a music snob. Not that I’m entirely opposed to the idea but my conversational ability when it comes to music is “I like this’ or ‘I don’t like this.’ And keeping track of all the artists and songs is, well, I already can’t keep track of all the books and TV shows I like and want to check out, so music is something I enjoy but it’s not a passion and I’m not an expert.

Feels like I should break this post up into sections

Looking at some of the songs I’ve posted in the past, I seem like I could be a music snob. My tastes are all alternative, sometimes not even the tracks played on the radio stations. It almost seems like I know my stuff. Oh, you like Billy Eilish too? Bad Guy is so overplayed, and I liked her before she was cool! That was my hipster impression.

(Apparently I’m feeling lucky because I’m just taking it on faith that I spelled Eilish right. So if I did, go me! If I didn’t, my bad!)

In reality, I’m not sure the music snobs would accept me into their group. One, while alternative is my favorite musical genre, what the hell even is alternative? I’ve been listening it to for a very long time and I have no idea. The closest I can come up with is that it includes a lot of other things, some folk, rock, indie, punk, grunge, etc. And also its not pop. Can that be a definition, not being something? Even though some pop and alternative do crossover but that’s way over my head.

More Cowbell… or more pop music

equalizer-153212_640I actually like all kinds of music. In a verbal conversation, this is normally the point where someone is like, oh yeah, you like metal/christian/country? Dude, you don’t have to be a jerk. And the answer: No! Not as a whole, but yeah, I could find a few songs I liked of just about anything.

While alternative is generally not pop (except for when it is) I do love me some pop songs. One Direction, Britney, Ke$ha, I’m all for it. That’s what this post is about, adding some pop. Because I wrote everything that went before this paragraph without remembering that I had also posted a Taylor Swift song.

A Very Serious Musical Debate

I put all of that in title case, but I didn’t for the other headers, so please don’t notice that. Thanks, you’re the best.

Music critics Ryan Miller and Luke Chambers of the esteemed Not-Real Music Magazine discuss some pop songs in One Little Problem. They’re trying to figure out what their couple song would be. I will soon give you that scene and one of their options, Sucker by the JoBros.

One more thing though, remember when I said I could almost be a music snob? That was before I revealed my intense love for the Year 3000. That was like the first Jonas Brothers hit, and it’s really old now, and I was a little too old to like it even then, but damn, it’s a great freaking song.

Then I got distracted by Danny Trejo

Photo from WGNTV

Oh, I know one other thing about the Jonas Brothers. (Actually, I know a fair amount, because I once made the mistake of clicking on an article about Joe and Sophie Turner and now my Google feed won’t shut up about that.) Danny Trejo was in one of their music videos, Burning Up.

 

You may not know the actor’s name, but Trejo is the scary Mexican from literally everything where they’ve ever cast a scary looking Mexican for the past couple decades. While the amount of media with scary Mexican dudes isn’t great, there is so much that is great about Danny Trejo.

My favorite random fact is that Trejo would agree to be in people’s student films if he was available just because he’s an incredibly kind person. (He got into acting later in life and he’s a fellow Mexican American, that’s cool too.) And also, he was in a JoBro music video for some reason!

Ryan, Luke, and the JoBros

This is Ryan and Luke trying to figure out their song. And also a song.

Ryan

The fading sun cast Luke’s tan features and sandy blonde hair in a soft glow and if I listened very closely, I might be able to hear angels singing because even they marveled at his beautiful muscles and green eyes.

Luke cut into my thoughts, saying in a firm voice, “No Jonas brothers. I have to take a stand somewhere.” He made a fist with one hand, punching it against the steering wheel to show the force of his metaphorical stand.

“The JoBros are the hill you want to die on?” It was in my nature to question things, but I could maybe respect that. Nick was pretty hot; the Jonas Brothers weren’t a terrible way to go.

Luke paused for just a second, aha! Then he doubled down. “It’s an important hill.”

“Whatever, I know you have Year 3000 on your iPod.” I turned towards my window to avoid showing my smile. Wait for it…

“Dammit,” he cursed under his breath. “Did Lily tell you?” She didn’t; his little sister wasn’t a terrible secret keeper.

I grinned triumphantly. “No, you just did.”

The car slowed as he took the turn to his house. “Isn’t that song  you mentioned before kinda suggestive for us?” he questioned. He just got a haircut, so his dirty blonde hair was cut relatively close to his head. My fingers itched to familiarize themselves with the new length of his locks.

“And that’s a point against it?” I was all for suggestions, as long as those suggestions were about and/or coming from sexy guys.

“No,” he admitted. “But come on, we’re gonna tell people that’s our song? Sucker?”

Luke knew what it was called! He totally dug the JoBros. Wait, did he think Nick was more attractive than me? Wait again…

“Okay,” I said. He had a good point. I tried to relax into my seat.

I wasn’t driving, so I had a good view of the slight pout forming on his face. “That’s all? I thought it was good innuendo.” It went something like, I’m a sucker for you, which yeah, could be taken so differently.

“It is,” I agreed. That was why I hadn’t been able to say anything else. Startling the driver by screaming or tackling him with my body wasn’t a great idea. “I’m so proud of you.” This is why his nickname was Genius. There was no one else I’d rather spend my Friday night with.

~

A quote from nothing (Also books and gay magicians)

Soon as I started writing this post, intending to share an image quote, I got sidetracked and thought of something from Arrested Development, so I will now journey down this detour and see where it goes.

First order of business is, of course, the obligatory disclaimer. I, F.N. Manning, being an Arrested Development fan of Sound(ish) Mind and Body, and having seen all the episodes and seasons while in possession of a brain, do hereby acknowledge that the new offerings aren’t as good as the old ones.

If you like AD, you will never in your life be able to have a convo about the show without talking about how the Netflix seasons aren’t as good.

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And now, a very brief version of the story of one family and their disappointing magician relative

Do I sound a little bitter? I didn’t hate the new stuff. (It wasn’t as good the original, I agree and I know, but I didn’t hate it) And without the new stuff, there would be no gay-magician Gob in all his glorious gay-magician glory.

blunderI would never want to live in a world without the beautiful trashcan fire that was Gob Bluth and Tony Wonder. Two narcissistic showmen with few redeeming qualities realize that they’re alike enough to fall in love with the only person they could ever fall in love with: themselves.

A wild and very entertaining ride to watch. Gob, a person who only knows how to make a giant spectacle of himself had very little experience with being a human being suddenly had to handle real emotions in his over-the-top, completely stupid way. Basically, he was very suited to being in peak gay disaster mode, but he also got just about as close to acceptance and honesty as a person like him is capable.

Gob and Tony also have one of the best and most accurate couple names: Blunder.

Closer to what I actually intended to talk about

The very precise and thoughtful way I come up with titles for blog posts is just by writing down whatever and then going, eh, good enough. As soon as I wrote, a quote from nothing, it made me think of the moment (in the 4th season of AD) where Tobias starts singing what sounds like a show tune.

Why is that hilarious? I have no idea. I think it’s hilarious. That’s basically the story of AD, you either love it and all of it is brilliant for reasons you aren’t really sure of (minus the new seasons) or you don’t care about it at all.

At long last

We get to my original point, which is an image quote related to Ryan and Luke from the One Little Word series, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t actually from any of the books. Unless it is. Keeping track of things is hard.

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Ryan and Luke are really good at being giant idiots together! So that’s… something.

A short story about a hot boy.

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Photo from Insider

I really wish there were more to this story, but basically Penn Badgley posted a picture of himself on the internet, then Rainn Wilson, Dwight from The Office, thought he was hot, and my Google newsfeed thought I needed to know about it.

 

Dwight from The Office is right. Penn Badgley is gorgeous.

Well, I guess my newsfeed wasn’t totally wrong. I am interested in guys hitting on each other. How did they figure that out, though?

One day I will finally watch You. It’s supposed to creepy, but it can’t be worse than Gossip Girl. I don’t think that was a great joke, but I’m still really proud of myself for it anyway.

 

To be or not to be, the gay superhero version

Today in, I should probably find something to talk about, there’s an actress who was totally around before Twilight. She’s been in other things, guys, don’t worry about Twilight.

Do I sound defensive? My friends don’t like Kristen Stewart, so maybe I’m a little defensive. Not sure I need to make this part clear, but when I say my friends, I mean my straight friends.

 

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Photo from NY Times

While I definitely wouldn’t rule out that I’d talk about Kirsten Stewart for no reason, I have a reason.

Kristen Stewart really wants to play a gay superhero, which is a strange coincidence because I really want her to play a gay superhero. We have so much in common! Kristen Stewart is my new bestie.

I have friends that hate her and I always defend her, though sometimes my argument is “gay” as in, she’s gay. So. That’s in her favor. My friends never seem to accept that as enough.

Why do I feel the need to always write out Kristen Stewart instead of just using her first or last name? No idea. Kristen Stewart,

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New NEW Charlie’s Angels. Pic from YouTube

Everything has remakes these days and I’m not one to lament that and wonder why nobody comes up with anything new anymore, but it is a little bizarre that more and more remakes have remakes. I’m not sure how well this translates to me saying I’m excited about the new Charlie’s Angels thing, but I am excited about the new Charlie’s Angels thing.

Finally, Stewart (Kristen) talked about how she wanted to play a gay superhero and how people told her, hey, you should be less gay if you wanna be in a superhero movie at an interview with Anthony Mackie. People are jerks. But not Anthony Mackie.

This isn’t related to anything, but I’ve seen one Marvel movie, Iron Man. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything Anthony Mackie is in, but I like him. The Falcon was the first mainstream African American comic book hero, and I’m still not exactly sure how, but I also thought his character was the first gay black superhero. And, uh, apparently he’s not?

I have almost no interaction with the huge Marvel cinematic world or the fandom, so I was able to think this for years. Sometimes I’m still like, that guy is gay and then I remember, oh right, that’s not true.

Also, I maybe saw some or all of the Twilight movies. I can’t actually remember. I maybe liked them. In my defense, I was drunk, which is maybe why I can’t remember which ones I’ve seen.

Life Advice I’ve Never Taken: You need to calm down

This song is life, according to a friend of mine. If you disagree, take it up with Megan.

Every famous gay person in the world is in this video, so I’m posting it. There will be enough times when I’m off topic, but as every famous gay person in the world is in this video, this doesn’t count. I’m barely even exaggerating.

Once, I saw something where Taylor Swift was called Gaylor Swift. In an affectionate way, naturally. That’s maybe not that clever, but I remembered it.