Thursday, March 28, 2019

AWP 19

Last March - has it really been over a year already? - I was in Tampa, Florida, participating as a panelist during the Association of Writers and Writing Programs' 18th annual conference (I wrote up this little post on it). This year, I'm doing it again, only this time the conference is right in my backyard - well, not literally, of course, it's at the Oregon Convention Center in downtown Portland (although having it in my actual backyard would certainly be interesting).
While last year I was on a panel entitled "Disability in Children's Literature: Not an Anomaly, an Imperative," this year's panel is "Walk In Their Shoes: Children's and Young Adult Novels that Cultivate Empathy." Both panels were organized by Melissa Hart, the author of a number of awesome books including Avenging the Owl and the upcoming nonfiction guide Better With Books: 500 Diverse Books to Ignite Empathy and Encourage Self-Acceptance in Tweens and Teens (Joel Suzuki is included, yay!)

Our panel this year will be taking place this coming Saturday from 9:00am to 10:15am. Melissa and I will be joined by two other great authors, Carmen T. Bernier-Grand (Picasso: I the King, Yo el rey; Cesar: Si, se puede!) and Carrie Mac (The Beckoners; 10 Things I Can See From Here). More info on the panel (and the conference itself) can be found here. If you're a writer but not already a member of AWP, I highly recommend joining and attending the conference (it's starting today!) Not only is it informative and educational, but it's a lot of fun as well. Of course, if you just want to attend our panel, AWP offers a one-time Saturday pass at a much lower rate. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Roundtable Discussion: Avengers Endgame

Since by now everyone's seen Captain Marvel as well as the final Avengers: Endgame trailer (you've seen them, right?) I figured it would be good to have a roundtable discussion of Endgame where we all discuss our favorite theories and predictions for the movie. Here we go!
Brian: Hey, so thanks for being here today, everyone.
Felicity: Not like we have a choice.
Brian: I don't know what you mean by that. Anyway, Avengers: Endgame! Who's excited?
Joel: I am.
Fireflower: I am, as well.
Felicity: What is an "Avengers: Endgame"?
Brian: Ha, ha. So, what do you guys think is gonna happen?
Joel: That's a very broad question.
Brian: True. I dunno, just start saying stuff.
Joel: Well, I think the events of the movie will take place over a long period of time, maybe even a year or so.
Fireflower: Why do you say that?
Joel: Because of Black Widow's hair. It's short in some scenes, including the mid-credits scene from Captain Marvel, but then it's much longer in others.
Felicity: Maybe she got extensions.
Joel: Maybe.
Brian: I doubt it, though. I think Joel's right. They probably need a lot of time to come up with a plan, integrate Carol into the team, find Ant-Man and Hawkeye-slash-Ronin, stuff like that.
Felicity: Guess they can take their time piecing everything together since Thanos is now just chilling at his retirement cottage.
Brian: Exactly.
Fireflower: What do you suppose their plan will be, exactly?
Felicity: It's gotta be some kind of time-travel dealio involving the Quantum Realm. I mean, it's pretty obvious that all those matching white suits are for that purpose.
Joel: I agree.
Brian: Speaking of time travel...
Felicity: We haven't been doing any of that, I swear.
Brian: No, what I was gonna say was, since we know Captain Marvel's powers don't include time travel, how do you suppose they'll explain why she looks exactly the same in 2019 as she did in 1995?
Felicity: Lots of sunscreen and moisturizer.
Joel: Well, some people's looks don't change all that much. For example, you look like you did back in 1995.
Brian: Oh, why, thank you.
Joel: Except you've lost a lot of hair.
Brian: Erm.
Fireflower: I believe the answer is genetics. Since she now has some Kree DNA, it causes her to age slower.
Felicity: A-ha. I think something like that was even in the comics. Nice one, boss. I see your research is paying off.
Fireflower: Yes, it is.
Brian: Okay, so back to the plan. What are they gonna do, just go back and tell Quill not to be an idiot this time? Or tell Thor to go for the head?
Felicity: Sure, yeah. It'll be two hours and fifty-five minutes of people sitting around talking, saying "I like this one" and then five minutes of retconned action. Bam, done.
Joel: You're being sarcastic, right?
Felicity: Dude.
Fireflower: I am sure it will be much more complex than that. Perhaps once they travel through the Quantum Realm, they will be separated and encounter a number of new obstacles along the way before they finally reunite and confront Thanos one last time.
Felicity: You mean "assemble." Ha! See what I did there.
Brian: That sounds plausible to me.
Joel: We'll just have to wait until the movie comes out.
Brian: Five more weeks.
Joel: Thirty-six more days, actually.
Fireflower: I am looking forward to it.
Felicity: Me too. Can't wait.
Brian: Are you guys gonna dress up?
Joel: Probably. I haven't decided as who yet, though.
Fireflower: The same goes for me.
Felicity: I'm reusing my Captain Marvel costume. Gotta get your money's worth out of it.
Brian: Wait, what did you just say?
Felicity: Nothing.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Random Thought Thursday

This is the latest installment in a very sporadic series of posts known as Random Thought Thursday. How sporadic? The last one was from May 26, 2016.

So apparently, although the Matrix appears capable of generating a seemingly infinite supply of dead chicken meat (which I've talked about before in this post), it is unable to produce an equally infinite supply of fresh, pre-cut-and-bagged broccoli florets.
Between me, my son, and my cats (they don't actually eat the broccoli, they just like to play with little pieces of it because it looks like a small animal with a tail), we can go through a 32-oz. bag of the stuff in two, maybe three days. This apparently freaks out the supplier of my local Fred Meyer because every so often they will RUN OUT COMPLETELY AND NOT HAVE ANY MORE FOR SEVERAL DAYS WHICH IS VERY FRUSTRATING ARGH. Maybe the Machines (the sentient AI beings responsible for the Matrix, in case you haven't seen the movies) figure "C'mon, who the heck eats that stuff, anyway?" Well, I do, Machines. I do.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, then you know that I'm a big fan of The Magicians on SyFy as well as its original source material novels by Lev Grossman. Well, Season 4 is underway and I must say, the show has reached the point - especially now that it's completely off-book - where I don't understand what is going on half the time. But I still love it anyway.

Speaking of loving stuff, have you seen the new powder blue Spring Training uniforms the Seattle Mariners are wearing? They are super-duper-awesome. Most of the expectations for the team this year are very low, but I have a feeling they're going to surprise some people, not only because of these cool ST unis (as well as the fact that they ditched the bad-luck upside-down-trident logo) but also because of the spec screenplay I wrote that involves baseball and magic (and anime and philosophy). Which, if it ever gets made into a movie, I'll tell you more about. Much more.

Speaking of have-you-seen-stuff, did any of you see the episode of The Orville a couple of months ago (wow, I can't believe it's been that long already) called "Home"? You know, the one where - spoiler alert - Alara leaves the show, I mean, the ship? There was a scene in it where one of the characters was making what was obviously meant to be an allegorical comment on the whole vaccination/autism debate, and the term they used to stand in for autism was "Torin's Syndrome." Now, as some of you may know, my son - who is on the autism spectrum and was the original inspiration for the Joel Suzuki series - is named Torin. Coincidence? You decide...

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Joel, Felicity, and Fireflower Get Ready To See Captain Marvel



A young woman with shoulder-length blond hair wearing a Captain Marvel costume is here. This is FELICITY. She is inspecting her image in a mirror. A few moments later, a woman with green skin and pointy ears walks into the room. This is FIREFLOWER.
F: Hey, nice Skrull get-up.
FF: It was not very difficult to achieve, seeing as how I already had the proper skin tone. I just had to make a few minor adjustments.
F: And that's where your shapeshifting cast came in handy.
FF: Correct.
F: It's perfect. Skrulls are shapeshifters too, you know?
FF: Yes, I became aware of that fact during my research for this film we about to view.
F: I'm so stoked. I've been looking forward to this for a while.
FF: Your costume is very impressive as well.
F: It'd better be. I put a ton of work into it. Not to mention racking up a huge bill on Brian's credit card for all the materials.

At that moment, a young man wearing a full-body cat costume walks in. This is JOEL.

J: Hello.
F (laughing hysterically): Oh, dude! That is hilarious.
J: This costume is very warm. I'm not sure I can make it through the whole movie with it on.
F: Oh, but you have to. I mean, what's Carol Danvers without her trusty Flerken sidekick?
FF: I thought the Flerken was a female.
F: Sure, yeah, but who cares, right? No law against guys dressing up as girl characters or vice versa. She also has a different name in the comics, so, you know, whatever.
J: I'm serious. I might get heatstroke.
F: You won't, trust me. I'll buy you an ice-cold diet soda or something.
J: Um, okay.

Then a middle-aged man in a regular T-shirt and jeans enters, carrying a mug of green tea. This is BRIAN.

B: Wow, you guys look great.
J: Thanks.
FF: Are you sure you do not want to view the motion picture with us?
B: Oh, I do. Like, really badly. I just don't have the time tonight.
F: Is this about your "projects," or whatever?
B: Yeah. The band and I are hard at work on the stuff I talked about in last week's post. It's kind of the priority right now. But I'm sure I'll catch the movie soon. It's on my required to-do list, along with Avengers: Endgame next month.
FF: Perhaps you can join us for that particular event.
B: Hopefully.
F: You'll need a costume.
B: Yeah, you know, I was going to start working on one - like maybe Ant-Man or Doctor Strange - but then all my cosplay supply purchases got declined and I discovered that my credit card had been maxed out. You wouldn't happen to know anything about that, would you?
F: About your credit card being maxed out?
B: Yeah.
F: Nope.

Joel and Fireflower exchange glances. Brian furrows his brow. Felicity grins.

F: All right, let's get going. Don't want to be late.
B: Have fun, you guys.
F: We will.

Felicity, Joel, and Fireflower exit the room. Brian takes a sip of his tea. Then a dark-haired, teenage goth girl walks in. This is DAMIENNE (from the spec script for Nobody's Hero II.)

D: Yo.
B: Oh, hey. So, were you able to find out who's been using my credit card?
D: Yeup.
B: Okay, who is it?
D: You're not gonna like this.

The camera pans in on Brian, and then on Damienne as they both give each other the "soap-opera cliffhanger stare." Finally, Damienne opens her mouth to say something and then we