Who Ya' Gonna Call?

Roughly six months ago, I pinned a pin on Pintrest of the Ghostbusters on the cover of Time Magazine. Now if you don't know what a pin is or didn't really enjoy Ghostbusters then you should probably stop reading now because…well... NOT FOR YOU. The aforementioned pin was re-pinned by random members of the social media collective nearly 200 times and counting. A good portion of that, I might add, was months before Harold Ramis tragically died and there was a momentary spike in popularity (sad). It occurred to me as the picture made its way around the webiverse, that Ghostbusters has, thirty years later, remained a relatively prevalent part of my life. As a matter of fact, I quoted it just this weekend at a party and got a nice, heartfelt round of laughter as my reward. "If someone asks you if you're a God…you say YES!" never, ever gets old. It's a genius line in a genius movie. And clearly it's still resonating out there too. What a happy, happy surprise!

Something similar happened to me earlier in the year on a much smaller scale. My hubby and I were on a plane ride that was so short there was no movie, so we were watching television instead. Austin Powers in Goldmember was on VH1 and we were happy for the distraction. About halfway in, and after laughing so loudly from beneath my Bose headphones, the gentleman on my right also flipped over to the movie to join in the revelry, I turned to my husband and said, "I had forgotten how much of this movie has snuck into our everyday vernacular". I can often be found regurgitating such memorable lines as "I am your fahza", "freaky deaky Dutch people", "Shmoke and a pancake? Bong and a blintz?", "Moley, moley, moley…", and "Easy peasy lemon squeezey…" on a pretty regular basis. I could also say any of these lines at any random moment and my friends and family would know exactly what I was referencing and often launch into a fifteen/twenty bit diatribe of their own. That's just how we roll. 

It's so amazing to me that these random words, strung together in a certain fashion, or delivered in a particular way have actually changed lives. It ain't curing cancer, or traveling into space, or even achieving world peace (although I could probably make a pretty compelling argument for that if given the time), but it sure does have a way of bringing people together. When you quote a movie, or a book, or a TV show, or a comedian with someone you're practically handing them, and anyone else within earshot, your autobiography. This is our own modern day Greek chorus, our resume, the world's most accurate personal ad. I don't care if you're spurting out Seinfield or Shakespeare -- this is our new way of communicating, of sharing…of making a connection. And I'm not ashamed to admit, I love it. I'm at a place in my life where I'm really greedy with my free time and this has become my shorthand, my succinct internal interview process for all brave new recruits. If, right off the bat, you can quote Weird Science, know what an oily bow hunk is and can finish this sentence, "Froggy Went A Courtin' He Did Ride It…" you're pretty much in. Jennie approved. Thanks for playing. One of Us. 

So, in conclusion, I'll try to be brief since I have to run over to Toshi Station and pick up some power converters  --These bleads? Up this nose? Do you have a flag? Red pill or blue pill? Fifty dollar bill! Winter is coming. It's either sadness or euphoria.  Bow ties are cool. The goggles, they do nothing. Ray has gone bye-bye Egon, so what've you got left?

How'd you do? Shall we meet for schawarma? I know a great place...

 

Classic Cheese

Had a few gloriously free hours to kill this weekend and I chose to spend them watching Mannequin. Now for those of you not familiar with this lovely piece of 80's nostalgia, this movie is about a down on his luck creative type (played by the always awkward Andrew McCarthy) who meets with and subsequently falls in love with a department store mannequin come to life (played by a way pre-Sex In the City Kim Cattrall). The high point of this little gem at the time was the goof ball love story, long fantasy sequences a-la Luke and Laura playing dress up in a tremendous Saks type store after hours, and the hilarious antics of one over the top stereotype called Hollywood played by a balls to the wall funny Meshack Taylor (remember him? Designing Women anyone…?).   

Now the things that didn't work then still don't work now: James Spader as the nebbishy bad guy with epically bad hair, some Fran Drescher wannabe annoyance of a shrew girlfriend, and the requisite really terrible 80's fashion choices. But the winners are still winners, one hundred percent. Hollywood is and always will be comedy gold. His lines are delivered with such 100% glee you can't help but laugh out loud. And there's this one scene where McCarthy has to try to stop him from jumping out a window… well, let's just say it… Pause. Rewind. Pause. Rewind. Pause. A Rewind. It's priceless. Andrew McCarthy, despite his limitations, seems to be enjoying himself fully. Kim Cattrall is the perfect sexy/wide eyed ingenue and the story is pretty nice as far as ridiculous, cheestacular love stories go. It all works somehow. But why? This has always been a curiosity to me -- what makes one cheese creamy Velveta goodness and another just bad, moldy cheese? Why are we willing to swallow some ridiculousness far more readily than others? Why was the original Grease so frikin' fantastic, while Grease 2 should be outlawed entirely? We watched John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John fly away at the end of the first movie and cheered our fool heads off! Yay! Flying car! That means they'll live happily ever after for all of eternity! But put a crystal alien skull in our Indiana Jones movie and we will turn on your movie-making asses so fast your Nazi faces will spin! Oh wait, that's right. In the one we love, Nazi's are defeated when they have their faces burnt off! Totally acceptable! Yay Indie! Go Indie! Aliens are total bullshit, but Nazi's conquered by the will of God is just great movie making. It's makes no logical sense. And it shouldn't really, I guess. Movies are entertainments. And one person's entertainment isn't universally accepted or loved, and it certainly doesn't have to make one damn lick of sense.

Years ago we used to do this Bad Movie Night that included, what we considered to be, the best bad movies of all time. We had a great time… for a few years. But then everyone started to have arguments about what was good/bad and what was just plain bad and we decided to let the tradition die. But, I'll be honest, it's been a few years and I think I might be jonesin' to get the band back together. There's an entire list waiting: Club Dread, Encino Man, Real Genius, any Kurt Russell movie every made… A veritable cornucopia of gorgeous, lovingly crafted cheese awaits!

I'll take the Gouda and you have the Muenster. It's all fine by me. It's all cheese. Delicious, delicious cheese... And you gotta love a good, creamy cheese. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to watch The Last Dragon. I encourage you to do the same. Sho-nuff!

Poor @Damon Lindelof (A Fan Girl's Lament)

I rarely write more than one blog post in the space of a few days but I feel like this NEEDED to be done. Most of you already know that last night was the series finale of Breaking Bad. While I never watched the show myself, I'm not living under a rock and know exactly the effect it's having on the general TV watching populous. I also know enough about entertainment to have a good idea of the premise and can laugh when Aaron Paul takes several guest spots on SNL to mock himself and his hit show.  What I can't understand however is the vitriol I woke up to this morning on Damon Lindelof's Twitter feed.

Things like - Screw you @DamonLindelof for not giving us such a perfect ending for Lost like Vince Gilligan did for Breaking Bad.

Or - @DamonLIndelof LOST and Breaking Bad are very similar shows. Do you feel embarrassed by the way they showed you up all over town?  

Check out @DamonLindelof's account. There are easily hundreds of messages just like those (some even more insulting). Now, the fact that Lindelof chose to retweet a good portion of them says a lot about the man himself and his ability to have perspective (not to mention an obvious self deprecating sense of humor). Mostly anonymous people hiding behind a computer are apt to say horrible things that they would never have the balls to say directly to a person's face. They're mostly cyber-bullies; empowered by anonymity and fueled by obvious misery. My opinion counts! I will make another human being feel bad about themselves because I clearly feel so rotten about my own petty existence! We all know it's just sour grapes, jealousy packaged under the guise of constructive criticism. You saw a good show that you really liked, and instead of doing something positive with that feeling, you went out of your way to wound someone else. That's just jealousy people. Plain and simple. As rabid fans of entertainment, people think they have a right to their opinion no matter how venomous and unhelpful it may be, and to a certain extent they're right. Fans make or break things in a lot of cases, and we live in a time where there is no point in creating if no one is watching or talking about it.  But here's the thing -- Damon Lindelof has been a professional, paid writer in Hollywood for the past decade (at least). Not only did his show Lost change the face of modern television, people are still catching up on it and referencing the series today even though it's been off the air since 2010. He's also had a hand in World War Z, Star Trek Into Darkness, Cowboys and Aliens and Prometheus. Whether you like these creations or not, Damon Lindelof is living the dream. The resume currently reads - worked with Ridley Scott, Jon Favreau, Harrison Ford, JJ Abrams, Leonard Nemoy, Brad Pitt.... And that's just what I can remember off the top of my head. He's written comic books, worked on a cartoon series and has basically been succeeding at something he obviously loves for most of his adult life. He's 40 years old. WINNING!

I don't care if you didn't agree with the finale of Lost, or disliked the last Indiana Jones movie, wanted to kill Jar Jar Binks on sight, think Michael Bay is a hack, or believed the Matrix shouldn't have been a trilogy. What these people choose to create with their hearts and souls deserves respect. Famous or not, it's one hundred percent personal. So why don't you at least try to have an open ended conversation about how you feel instead of just posting a mean spirited, below the belt rant in an effort to demoralize someone else? What million dollar movie has your name in thirty foot letters scrolling during the credits @douchenozzle42? What network calls you when they need a re-write @livesinhermothersbasement? What have you contributed to the world that's so great @deathtoaffleck? Are you out there living your perfect bliss? Why don't you think about that a little bit more before you go and try to crush someone else's creative spirit?

The Sweet Ennui

Back in the 70's and 80's, when I was growing up my mother and my grandmother both watched soap operas. (Their "stories".) As a prepubescent teen these shows seemed so glamourous and exciting and decadent to me -- Beautiful people doing bad things! Sex on every free surface of the house! Evil twins! Murder plots galore! And all in the middle of the school day? Epic greatness. As I got older I started to enjoy soaps for an entirely different reason -- comedic gold. I loved how these people all walked around in their own homes fully dressed to the nines, drinking mystery liquor from lead crystal decanters and fancy schmancy highball glasses. I reveled in how they would say ridiculous things out loud that you would never say out loud in a million, zillion years without being committed or slapped in the face (which also sometimes happened, tee hee!). I waited with baited breath for them to replace an actor mid-episode with an ominous voiceover right before their first line. It was unapologetic overly dramatic drivel and I gleefully, happily embraced it for what it was-- pure escapism. It's the very same reason that we all scour the internet now for the juiciest bits of celebrity gossip,  hold our collective breath waiting for a royal baby we don't really give a crap about to be born, and openly revile Miley Cyrus for acting like a classless (always nude) buffoon in the name of shameless self-promotion. It's also part of the reason we love to hate the Twilight books, made a household name out of Fifty Shades of Grey, and care more about what happens to Walter White than our actual real-live friends (who are infinitely less cool, let's be honest). We exist fully in this perfect little cocoon of ennui. Things are happening out there in the world, we know... bad, bad, horrible things (I'm talking to you Syria!), but we're just removed enough to care more about what potential good thing may be out there waiting for us around the corner, something impressive and life-altering enough to snap us out of the apathetic everyday malaise. We are not unhappy per se, but we certainly aren't jumping out of bed every morning when the alarm goes off with a shit eaten grin on our face ready to conquer the world. We aren't starving but we're still hungry. We ain't broke but we certainly ain't entirely fixed either. We have it just good enough to be desensitized to our luxuries, but not so great that we can choose not to... well...drudge. Ennui; the great equalizer of the modern middle class. The reason, I think, that a few soap operas are still clinging to life to this day. It is also exactly the reason that I write what I write. I never aspired to be Shakespeare, or Hemingway, or even a Pulitzer Prize Winner (although I would never kick the Pulitzer out of bed, if you know what I mean.). I don't aim to change the world with my thought provoking, cutting-edge political views or sad tales of woe. I just want to help people get out of their own heads and forget about reality for a bit, because that's what I want for myself. I am here too. She is me. And a little escape from the sweet, sweet ennui would be very nice right about now. 

Multi-tasking 101

I'm the kind of person who multi-tasks all the time. I clean while I'm cooking, look through mail when I'm watching television, cover the stairs with things that need to go up on my way. I've always been this person. If I'm not doing three things at once, I'm wasting valuable time. I nag my husband all the time. He is incapable of pouring a drink and having a conversation with someone. His brain just doesn't work this way. I hear it's a male thing but I always hated these kind of generalizations; you know, that whole male vs female brain thing that everyone is always bitching about? Cop out! But my son has started to do it too and it worries me that this particular stereotype may just be turn out to be true. I mean, seriously! I've been over here cooking dinner for four people, while cleaning up toys, simultaneously spinning this plate on a stick and talking about what happened last night on True Blood and you can't get dressed telling me about your day? Rank amateur.

 However, I have recently found that my gift for juggling mundane tasks is not entirely impervious. I can't multi-task at all when it comes to writing. There! I said it! I have a multi-tasking weakness. You see, I've found in the past year or so, I simply can not write worth a damn the same day I am refurbishing and repainting my bathroom. I can't flesh out a chapter while compiling the year five scrapbook of my son's life, and I certainly can't work on prose when my heart is at Home Goods redecorating my den. When it comes to crafting something, I'm a total man! I've got a one track creative mind. 

I wonder why this is a lot now. Why my creative parts could be so wildly divergent from my everyday. They're still both me right? I'm the one behind the curtain no matter how you slice it. And still I can't change what I know to be true. Multi-tasking is my part-time gift, requiring absolutely no muse. So today I write and my bathroom lies dormant. Tomorrow I paint and my characters wait until my faux-finish masterpiece is complete. Someone call the Devil! I'm definitely going to need to bargain for more time; while also setting the table, making the bed and doing a few loads of laundry that is... 

 

For the Soul

My son graduated from Kindergarten last week, launching us full steam ahead into summer. The last two weeks have been filled with concerts, graduations, field trips and various end of year parties. It's been a great time for my little fam and a nice change of pace from the mundane nine to three shuffle. However I find my Muse growing...impatient. I haven't written a word or accomplished a writing task in nearly a week, and it's making me slightly schizophrenic.

The truth is, it's gotten to the point in my life that I need to write. I need it like air or water or even food. Coffee! Wine! Sex! As much as I love them all, they pale in comparison to the cathartic loveliness of stringing together some words to create. It's so loud in my head right now I can barely rest. (Although I practically pass out the moment I hit the pillow at night after trying to keep up with a healthy, active six year old!) My sleep is plagued with stories longing to be told or characters fighting for attention, like teenage children or needy friends, all clamoring for a moment of my undivided time! And I miss them! God help me, I miss these pure imaginings of my subconscious, wondering all the while how Cage and Tessa are getting on, if Max is missing Eden, or if Gabriel has managed to recover fully from the sting of Bianca's rejection. I miss my beautiful creatures with all my heart and all my soul, and I long to get back to them... 

Most of you already know what I mean. A musician needs to play, an artist needs to create, a designer needs to make something beautiful.  It's all the same. The creative soul simply needs. All the time. Consistently. Right now, mine misses words. What's your soul craving these days? Do tell...

Inspired by Dick & Jane

So my son has started to read. This wild phenomenon has made me feel nostalgic for my own childhood reading memories. The first book I learned to read was a Dick and Jane hardcover circa 1970something. I purchased the entire set when my son was born because I was convinced that he, like his spectacular momma, would cut his teeth on the saga of the adorable coquettish Jane and her Beaver Cleaver looking brother. Alas, I was wrong. I have been informed that my son is far too advanced for the Dick and Jane books and another parenting milestone is crushed by a six year old's tenacity. What's my point...? Oh yes, I do have one.  Books defined me as a person. (Music to a certain extent as well, but I'll get into that another time). Beginning with Dick and Jane and their decidedly white bread life lessons, segueing right into those controversial Flowers in the Attic, Judy Blume's arousing vacancy, vacancy, vacancy!, and on to an adulthood of practically non-stop reading. Novels were my friends, my mentors, my instruction manuals and all my hopes and dreams rolled up in wondrous musty yellowing pages. They were, and continue to be, a part of what makes me...well... decidedly me. So, here is a brief list of some of the books that changed my life. (Not to be confused with books I love, which would take up too much of this space and your valuable time.)  Feel free to tell me your own. I love it when people share the wealth.

Dick & Jane

Flowers in the Attic

Forever

Interview with the Vampire 

Hamlet

Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone

Game of Thrones

The DaVinci Code

If I know me, I'll be adding to this all day and hopefully for the rest of my life. Read a book! Support art and creativity. It's the stuff that dreams are made of!

Ratings & Hot Sauce Make the Internet Go Round

Hello friends. Hoping you all survived the St. Paddy's Day weekend with most of your brain cells still in tact. (Don't look at me like that -- you know who you are). Had the good fortune of having Page Turner (Part 2 of Incubus Rising) processed by Smashwords this weekend and the trickle down begins now to Amazon and Barnes and Noble and Apple and Kobo and all the wonderful outlets that allow people like me to get their work out there and share with the world.  Still, the actual ratings on my sales are hovering at the absolute zero- to the embarrassingly low mark (thanks MOM - you're a peach). Ratings on sights like Amazon and Barnes and Noble and Goodreads are vitally important to how a work is received and I'm asking that you please, please, please go on-line and rate my work. I don't care if it's five stars (Yay!) or three (Meh.), although the higher rating is, of course, always preferable!  A written review, while helpful, is not required and it takes no time at all. Think of me as that super cool iPhone case you purchased, that meme that made you laugh out loud, or that really awesome hot sauce you procured from that tiny bistro in New Orleans. I enjoyed Atomic Faceburn #2 immensely and would encourage you to give it a try!  Four solid stars! Pass it on and enjoy with my blessings and a glass of milk!

There is no reason for a writer, a performer, an artist or a hot sauce to exist if there's no audience.

As always, thank you for any and all support!

And the Winner is...

Our on-line Facebook contest on what teaser should be included in my next Novella, Page Turner (Part 2 of the Incubus Rising Series) was a landslide for Devil May Care (Kick Ass Assassin, Gods and Monsters). Vampires are so yesterday. Don't despair however, I still love me a good alpha vamp and have plenty of stories in reserve there! As far as I'm concerned from Bram Stoker to Anne Rice to Stephanie Meyer, vampires will literally never, ever die! 

Hoping to have Page Turner smashed up by this weekend and available on-line! My husband/business manager/tech guy/all purpose dogs body/awesomesauce dude/editor has an actual JOB that can really interfere with my pseudo-career as a writer. What a drag!  

Anywho, have a glorious weekend my friends and try to pick up a good book in any event. I just got a sample of The Teleportation Accident, by Ned Beauman myself. I hear it's nerdarific and can't wait to dive in! I'll let you know...  

Facebook Can be a Friend

So, spending alot of time reaching out to friends and friends of friends on Facebook. While I'm generally happy with the response, Facebook Pages are a new skill set all together and I'm still trying to get my bearings. For those of you who are in the process of reading Monogamy is Dead, Part One of the Incubus Rising, Part Two will be available sometime next week. I'm also working on Part Three as we speak, my beautiful Incubi inspring me every day. Once again, thanks for following and for the support. More to come...

New Year, New Outlook

The time has come to buckle down.  Self publishing and self-editing has been a difficult road. There isn't enough time in the day and you can't always see the forest from the trees. Still, I hope you'll bear with me as I limp forward and simply enjoy these stories as they were meant to be enjoyed -- as a wonderful, stress free escape. Take some time, get a cup of coffee (or some wine if you prefer) and dive in! There's no point in writing if no one is reading. 

Welcome to JenniferMancini.com

Today I start a journey that I have been really excited about for a loooong time. I've been writing for myself my entire life. In the past few years I've started to write for my friends and family. With the explosion of books like Fifty Shades I knew that it was time for me to get my stories out there.  The market has changed so dramatically with the advent of computer technology and self publishing is no longer the professional pariah it was once thought of.  People I come across on line and in readers groups and in my social circles simply love to escape. They want to forget about their troubles and their stresses and be transported to someplace exciting and wondrous and new.  So, I invite you to come escape with me into my world of vampires and assassins and beautiful Alpha males.  Because I know that's what I want to read and it's what i LOVE to write...