My Favourite Martian Blog Hop – Isabel Evans

January 21, 2013

Hey, everybody! I’m glad I found out about the My Favourite Martian Blog Hop in time to join. The rules say that you don’t have to limit yourself to martians, just your favorite alien from books, movies, television or other stories.




I was tempted to just name all the teenage aliens from the show ‘Roswell’, like Trisha did, but the rules said to pick one alien, so I thought about that a little. Considered picking Tess Harding, played by Emilie de Ravin, but I’m still so upset about her last few episodes on the show that I couldn’t agree with Kyle, who did call her his ‘Favorite Martian’ once.

Isabel’s plot arcs isabelon the show weren’t always perfect either, but in general she was a good character who brought some awesome moments to the series. She was a determined young woman, and her bossiness showed in snippets of the ‘ordinary life’ that she clung to like charity drives and perfect Christmas plans for her family, as well as the secret debates with her brother and friends about what was the right thing to do about the next alien menace coming into their lives.

In some ways I think Isabel might have been the most openly vulnerable of the alien foursome on that show. She loved Max and Michael more than anything, like they were both brothers to her, even if she was only adopted with Max. It’d be hard to say whether Isabel or Liz were hit harder when they realized that Max had been taken prisoner by the FBI alien hunters. In the episode ‘Independence Day’, when Michael drunk foster father started getting abusive, Isabel tries to bring him into her own family, inviting him for dinner and family game night. She never mentions it out loud, but I thought Isabel hoped that Michael might get adopted by her parents too. That doesn’t happen, but it’s Isabel who comes up with the idea of getting Michael emancipated, and she was probably the one to talk her lawyer father into helping, though we don’t see that conversation.

isabel3Isabel’s also vulnerable through her love for her parents, who she has to keep so many secrets from for years. In the episode ‘Toy house’, their mother starts to suspect Max’s abilities when he saves her from an oil fire in the kitchen, and Isabel quarrels with Max, wanting to tell her everything, and she’s a little heart-broken even after Max finds a way to ‘fix’ the situation and put Mom’s doubts to rest. More than anything, she wanted to find a way to be honest with her mother, to actually show that side of herself. It isn’t until the last few episodes that Mom and Dad Evans find out about Isabel’s abilities, (by putting a spycam in her bedroom,) and though that starts another huge blow-out argument, in the end Isabel is relieved that the truth was finally told.

Moving on a little bit, one of the coolest things about Isabel was her unique power – the dream walk. In the original ‘Roswell High’ paperbacks the alien’s powers weren’t so distinctive, so they could all heal as well as Max does and all enter other people’s dreams, but the writers for the show introduced the notion that some of the alien abilities are more like natural talents. Isabel usually curls up in bed, touches a photo of the person she wants to orient on, and sort of slips into a trance or a sleep state of her own. She can see what that person is dreaming about, and either spy without generally being noticed, or interact with the dreamer.

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Polishing prose takes time…

September 27, 2012

Well, I’ve been working hard at my remaining goals, including polishing one of my old Roswell fanfics, ‘Husk Funeral’, to get it posted up on the fanfiction.net website. Actually, I published the first chapter this evening, and I’m working on chapter 6 of 9 for the ‘polishing’ draft. But even though I’m fairly pleased with this story overall, my target to shoot for isn’t incredibly high, and I’ve already been a few times over these chapters to proofread and tweak them, I still find that really getting into it takes up so much time. I can work away at editing for an hour in the evening and find out that I’ve managed to finish two scenes perhaps – if I’m lucky.

Maybe my expectations for how quickly I should be able to do this kind of editing are just way out of whack, I dunno. I may not reach this goal, but I’m going to do the best I can, and I’m really pretty pleased with the progress I’m making, and this chance to return to my fanfic roots.

On a slightly off-topic note, I discovered that fanfiction.net now allows book cover images – but they have to be taller than they are wide, by a factor of 3:2, so that all the banners I made for Roswell Fanatics, (which are generally just a bit wider than tall, something like 10:11,) are no good. Sigh.


NaNoEdMo wrap-up.

March 31, 2012

Well, I got to the fifty hour mark of editing in March about an hour ago, which is cutting it close. I’m tired of editing, pleased with what I accomplished, and a little disappointed at just how much more there is to do – sigh. I guess that’s the way it always goes.

I got approximately six lessons on the ‘How to Revise your Novel’ course finished – I was in the middle of lesson 8 at the start of the month, and now I’m in progress on fourteen. I learned a lot and did some great work with my book in those lessons, too.

I got some great revision done on ‘The Storm Mirror,’ polishing a charming first draft into what could, I think, be a really great finished story!

I also got some good revision done on ‘The Scroll’, especially the first sample chapter. Unfortunately, I found out yesterday that there was no space for me in the CSSF Novel workshop, as the class is being kept very small this summer. Oh, well. I still think I want to revisit ‘The Scroll’ for Camp Nano in August.

Aside from these three, a lot of my editing hours were spent on old fanfic projects, some of which I’ve already tackled in NaNoEdMo of previous years, but I’ve learned a lot more about what makes good writing since then, and polishing these stories up to post them on fanfiction.net is good practice in editing for other stories, if nothing else. Also, when I just had to get some editing in on a crazy day, (and trying to do 50 hours of editing in a month makes most days crazy,) sometimes I wanted to be able to work on something I wasn’t too emotionally invested in anymore, and just fire up the MS word grammar checker on the bus home and see what it thought about my sentence style. 🙂

Next stop – the Frenzy! It’s always a little crazy to switch from marathon editing to wildly passionate script writing on April the first.


Nanoedmo update – week 2

March 14, 2012

Well, it looks like the NaNoEdMo forums are back up, and hours logging should be online soon. As for myself, I’ve been plowing along pretty well, counting my time for the Holly Lisle course work and any other editing that I’ve done. I’m up at 23 hours now, which is pretty good for day 14.

One trick that has really helped has been my calendar. For March, I decided to do something a little bit different to keep track of EdMo stuff – I write an E on teh calendar whenever the hours tracker ‘ticks over’ to a new hour, and try to mark at least one E every day. Sometimes that isn’t a full hour per day – I had some odd minutes heading into Comicon weekend that I used up, because I didn’t take a netbook with me on the bus to Toronto and didn’t have that much time to edit after I got home.

But it’s been great to see multiple Es on some days, including the first weekend, and Wednesday a week ago, when I went to the Monastery.

Aside from the Holly Lisle stuff, I’ve been working on chapter 1 of The Scroll, on a revision of The Storm Mirror, and some of my old Roswell fanfics, which I just wanted to polish up a little before posting on fanfiction.net — that makes them ideal for when I don’t want to work on editing anything that I feel might be high pressure.

Are there any other EdMo’s out there among my followers? How’s it going? If not, what’s been keeping you busy in March?


Fan Fiction Crossovers

December 24, 2011

One of my goals for 2011 was to finish all three of the fanfiction crossovers that were Works In Progress on January 1st. It’s looking like I might actually accomplish that goal! I’ve got one that’s still incomplete, but the plot is clearly winding up, (and leaving open the possibility of a sequel.)

To me, writing a crossover can be the ultimate fanfic high – not just playing with somebody else’s characters and telling your own story with them, but trying to find a way to make two different fandoms work together for more than twice the fun, and finding the common ground between them.

The first crossover I finished this year was ‘A Roswellian Alien in Metropolis’, and it was already nearly finished in December – 3 chapters out of four. This was a sequel to a Roswell/Smallville crossover that I wrote because of a challenge. The first story in the series, ‘Arrow through my soul’, involved Maria DeLuca going to Metropolis for a record deal and falling in love with Oliver Queen/Green Arrow.

By the time I finished that one, I’d already thought that there could be a sequel involving Michael going to Metropolis as well, and then I got the idea of Chloe trying to train Michael to become part of the Justice League. That gave me my opening scene, but it was actually when Chloe sent Lana Lang to keep tabs on Michael that the story really hit high gear. Somehow Michael and Lana have chemistry on the page. Who knew?

And that’s part of the fun of crossovers, of course, seeing how the different characters will relate to each other. Roswell and Smallville have very similar canons and mythologies, of course – both teen soaps originally from the WB network, featuring extraterrestrial teenagers hiding their abilities. It wasn’t hard to picture the two sets of characters, some in New Mexico and the others in Kansas, unaware of what was going on in the next state over.

Both of these stories have followed the pattern of a protagonist character from Roswell (in first person narration,) entering the world of Smallville and meeting many of that show’s characters, and facing a challenge from a Smallville antagonist. I’m still considering a third story in the series, which would play with that convention a little, and have Clark come to Roswell and meet with Max, Liz, Michael and some of the others.

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Six Sentence Sunday – climax of ‘Un-brotherly love’

October 16, 2011

Hi everybody! This time, I just had to share a bit from a Roswell fanfiction story that I’ve been working on, just because I was getting to the big moment on Friday evening and having so much fun writing it!

He charged blindly on, but could feel the alien ooze covering him from head to toe, sealing him in – he couldn’t breathe through it, couldn’t open his eyes without the Gandarium blinding him, and that meant…

“Oooh, gross.” As Kyle collapsed, somebody else’s hands gently rubbed the worst of the ooze off his face, as his own badly tainted fingers wouldn’t have been able to do. That wasn’t enough, but a little bit at a time water was applied to wash away the rest of the residue over his eyes, and Kyle looked up gratefully at Liz Parker, his savior.

“Tess?” he croaked, and got something slimy inside his mouth, and gagged instinctively. He tried to spit, but couldn’t as long as his head was pointing up, so he turned over, and immediately felt more goo oozing onto his forehead, and his flesh crawled anew.


Fanart banner: A Roswell Alien in Metropolis

September 13, 2011

It’s been a while since I shared any of my fanart here on the blog, partly because it’s been a while since I’ve done any new fanart, but I want to get some blogs done this month, and I like the first enough to share it more or less right away.

This is a story banner, a kind of ‘Movie poster’ for a crossover that I wrote last year, second in my Roswell/Smallville crossover series. I was able to get a DVD screencap of Brendan Fehr as Michael Guerin from the season 3 DVDs, in fact that’s from the series finale, since I wanted Michael to look as mature as possible, but the only Smallville DVDs I own are the season 1 box set, while this story is set in season eight.

Luckily, I was able to find some good screen captures at tvscreencaps.com, though that was different from my normal process in a lot of ways. The pictures are smaller and lower-resolution than my usual DVD captures, there aren’t as many pictures for a given scene or sequence, and because they were captured off a broadcast instead of a DVD, there’s a CW logo on the bottom of most of the images, towards the right side of the screen. So, to avoid messing up the picture, I ended up gravitating towards captures where the person I wanted to include was on the left side of the screen.

I like the way this came out, with the big high-res picture of Michael on the left of the banner, little inserts of Chloe Sullivan and Davis Bloome in the top right, and Kristen Kreuk as Lana Lang in the bottom right. And I do like that text – something that hints at the complications in the plot without spoiling them is always good.


Musing about muses.

September 12, 2011

I’ve been thinking a bit about muses lately – ever since dropping by Iggi and Gabi’s blog this weekend. Gabi is a middle grade and young adult author, a fellow campaigner. Iggi is her muse, and it’s a somewhat cute but odd-looking critter.

My muse doesn’t really have a name. I’m sure that she’s been hanging around my life ever since I was a little boy, but she was invisible until I started looking for her, which was during my Roswell fanfic phase, because a lot of my friends over at Roswell Fanatics were talking about their muses. So, when mine finally appeared to me, she showed up looking a lot like Shiri Appleby, who played Liz Parker on the show. She’s also usually around 20 centimeters tall, subject to change, and flies around without wings. Even though I’m no longer so Roswell-obsessed as I used to be, Musey appears to like that shape and has shown no signs of changing it in order to look like some newer fad.

I don’t usually see my muse at all when I’m writing, but I’m glad that I went out and found her like I did, it’s a nice way to remind me that she’s there, supporting my creative energy and doing everything she can to keep me inspired.

So – have you ever spotted your muse? If so, what is he/she/it like? If not, would you like to find a muse?


Fanfic Flashback: Divergence

June 25, 2011

This was an idea for a fan fiction story that I had been mulling over for a long time before I finally started to set it down on New Year’s eve, 2004, with the encouragement of a great friend in the Roswell fandom community, TrueLovePooh. In fact, it was actually one of those stories that had two ideas thrown together to see what became of them.

The first idea was ‘what if Alex’s death was faked by aliens?’ The way that Colin Hanks’ character, Alex Whitman, was killed off the show has always been a downward turning point in my mind – I understand some of the reasons that Ronald Moore did it, he was trying to help free Colin up for more movie work, and had the story about a high school friend of his dying in a car accident to work with – but Colin wouldn’t have wanted to do movies if they’d been able to write better plots for Alex. But anyway…

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Fanfiction flashback: Not Written Yet

May 5, 2011

Okay, since a lot of readers seem to have liked my posts about fanarts and vidding, and my walks down memory lane about Roswell and Buffy, I’ve decided to start a series of posts about my fanfiction writing, and some of what I like most about the favorite fanfics I’ve written or what they’ve taught me. To start with, I’d like to tell you a bit about a Roswell story called “Not Written Yet“, which I wrote between January and April of 2005. By the way, I’m going to be spoiling the fanfic later on, so if you’d like to read it fresh, you should click on the link now.

One of the things I love most about writing fanfiction in the Roswell universe is how much fun it can be to fix the writer’s mistakes. Not Written Yet is a fix for an episode of the show called “End of the World”, which was broadcast during November sweeps in season two of the show. It’s really a turning point in the plot and character arcs for the entire season, really – and a time travel story to boot. The premise is, that a thirty-something version of Max Evans (Jason Behr,) comes back in time to tell Liz Parker (Shiri Appleby,) that in the life he lived, the two of them finally sorted out their relationship issues, lived a happy life for many years without any more angst – until eventually the fact that they were together meant the apocalypse and all of their friends dying. Future Liz helps to find a way to use an alien artifact to send her Max back through a rift in space-time to fix what went wrong, though she doesn’t have any regrets.

Future Max goes on to tell Present Liz that the events of the next few days are going to be critical to the precarious love triangle between herself, Max, and Tess Harding. In Future Max’s timeline, he asked Liz to go to a concert with him, Liz said no, Max kept asking, somehow they ended up having sex, Tess found out, and she left town in a huff. Future Max figures that’s where everything went wrong, because Tess has strong alien abilities and if she’d stayed with the rest of the gang, they’d be able to guard themselves against danger better.

So – Liz and Future Max try several things to keep these events from playing out, and eventually Liz gets her ex-boyfriend Kyle in on the scheming, though he doesn’t know about the time-traveller part. When Max comes to Liz’s balcony at the date and time Future Max predicted that they’d ‘cement their relationship,’ he finds Kyle already with Liz in bed, and jumps to the obvious, but not entirely accurate conclusion about what’s happened. Max is heartbroken, runs into Tess in the park, talks and bonds with her a bit, and Future Max whiffs out of existence, saying that his work has done and the last fifteen years of his life will never happen now.

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