Tor Post: “Doctor Who – The Angels Take Manhattan”

Well, here it is, folks! My last Doctor Who review at Tor.com until the Christmas special!

Goodbye, Amy and Rory. I will miss you.

EXCERPT:

I cried. Buckets. Not stoic, noble, dignified tears, either. I’m talking snot-drippage and heaving. I’m talking the kind of crying kids do, because they’re, like, four and they don’t know what else to do with themselves. It was worse because I was alone, watching “The Angels Take Manhattan” at 3am on Amazon.com, because I couldn’t watch the broadcast earlier in the day. So, I was heave-sobbing all alone in my room as I watched the Doctor heave-sob over the departure of Amy and Rory.

Damn you, Moffat.

For the complete review, or to post a comment, CLICK HERE!

Moffat’s Women at GeekGirlCon (Or, My Super-Successful Panel Of Which You Should Be Terribly Jealous)

Me and the standing room only crowd that came out to see my Moffat’s Women panel at GeekGirlCon 2012! What an awesome, attentive, intelligent group! Photo by Miley Yamamoto.

Driving to and from Seattle for GeekGirlCon 2012 was tumultuous to say the least. So tumultuous, in fact, that I don’t even want to re-live it by writing about it. Needless to say, Miley (my friend, panelist, and exec producer for RETCON) and I got from L.A. to Seattle and back in one piece. While in Seattle, Miley and I stayed with my friend LiAnn, who generously let us crash at her place for the weekend. On the way up, we had a nice, brief stay with some of Miley’s friends in San Jose, too. And while in town, we hung out with Miley’s fabulous friend, Pam, and I made a really cool new friend in Michelle. So, despite the hardship, we were constantly surrounded by good people (not to mention those that helped us through our ordeals, including a kind Toll Booth Angel).

Best of all, though, was that the reason for our going to the con in the first place, the panel I was moderating – Moffat’s Women: Companions, Travelers, Gender Roles and TARDISES in Doctor Who – went amazingly well! First, the room was packed, standing-room only even, which stunned me, because we were the first panel of the day. I figured people would either be too tired to make it in the morning, or be too busy getting badges at registration. Neither of those things proved to be true, and I happily walked into a crowded room.

I was also so lucky to have the best panelists. Miley, Natalie Reed, and Alan Kistler are some of the nicest, funniest, and most knowledgeable people I could’ve ever asked to have on this panel. Also wonderful was that they complimented each other so well personality-wise. Alan and Miley (actors both, as well as writers and huge Doctor Who nerds) did an awesome job of keeping the crowd warmed up before the panel, and Natalie chimed in with a quip or a fun anecdote when needed, a nice, reserved balance to their boisterousness. They played off each other both before the panel and during, so that even when they disagreed on certain points, they always treated each other with respect, let each other speak, followed my lead when needed, and were articulate and thoughtful when expressing their opinions.

We discussed their general impressions of the way Moffat writes women and writes about gender (we all have trouble with something he does, though what those things are and the degree to which we are bothered varied from person to person), whether there ever would’ve been a panel called “RTD’s Women” (probably not, as he tended to include female and gay/lesbian characters in a more organic way than Moffat does), and the fact that the strongest female characters Moffat has written have been during RTD’s tenure as showrunner. We discussed our favorite Moffat females (Sally Sparrow, Madame de Pompadour, Molly Hooper – not a Who lady, of course, but Natalie cited her as a Moffat woman done well), our least favorite (Lorna Bucket, Madame Vastra and Jenny), and the ones we couldn’t quite pin down either way (oh Amy and River). We talked about Sexy the TARDIS and that, while she was a lovely character, it was sad that something like the TARDIS had to be gendered at all, and doubted that the character would’ve been received in the same way had the Spirit of the TARDIS inhabited a male body instead. We touched upon our love of Rory and how he showcases the best of masculinity, but we also discussed the fact that the very notion that we see things in a “masculine/feminine” binary at all in a universe that purports to be beyond that is in itself problematic. Natalie expressed something that I think we all feel is important and for which the room agreed the viewing public is ready. It’s time for Doctor Who to put its money where its mouth is. Rather than continuing to tell us what a gender-diverse universe The Doctor inhabits, it needs to really start showing us. Show us characters on a spectrum, characters that don’t sit comfortably in any one box. We. Are. Ready.

All in all, this was my best panel experience yet, and I feel so lucky to have been blessed with such a great group. Even though we didn’t have time for Q&A with the audience, they were completely attentive, and told us afterwards that they got a lot out of our conversation. Afterwards, several attendees with whom I struck up casual conversations throughout the con would say things like “There was this Doctor Who panel in the morning that I wanted to get into, because it sounded really interesting, but I couldn’t get in, because it was full” not realizing it was my panel. 🙂 I saw tweets citing the panel as many people’s favorite on the Saturday of the con. I was thrilled. And proud.

Huge thanks to Jennifer K. Stuller, GeekGirlCon’s illustrious Programming Director, for allowing me to be a part of GGC this year. And, of course, an ENORMOUS thank you to my wonderful panelists: Natalie Reed, Miley Yamamoto, and Alan Kistler. You were great!

And if any of you out there happened to have recorded it, hit me up at Twitter or my FB page, as I’d love to link to it from here! Thanks! And keep your eyes out for my full GeekGirlCon write-up, which should be going up at Tor.com very soon.

Teresa on Two-Minute Time Lord! (and An Announcement!)

So, apparently I didn’t embarrass myself when I was on the Two-Minute Time Lord Doctor Who podcast the first time, so the fabulous Chip Sudderth decided to have me back to take part in a roundtable discussion of Steven Moffat’s showrunning of Doctor Who so far. It was a pleasure taking part in the roundtable with my wonderful Whedonistas and now Chicks Unravel Time editor, Deborah Stanish

Oh, wait. I haven’t told you about that yet, have I? Wasn’t sure if I could talk about it, but since she talks about it in this podcast…Chicks Unravel Time. Sister anthology to the Hugo Award-winning Chicks Dig Time Lords. Coming toward the end of this year. And I’m in it. Huzzah. Stay tuned.

Anyway, in addition to Deb, the roundtable included Doctor Who blogger, Neil Perryman, and Radio Free Skaro’s Steven Schapansky. It’s a great chat.

To give the podcast a listen (and download it so you can cherish it forever), CLICK HERE!

I’ve Survived Doctor Who Week!

Amy (Karen Gillan) and The Doctor (Matt Smith) in the new TARDIS

This week nearly killed me, and it’s all The Doctor’s fault.

A computer virus attacking my borrowed PC didn’t help (I’m currently on my housemate’s Mac).

I got, literally, about 15 hours sleep TOTAL this week, due to all the writing I had to get done for Tor.

Sunday, I spoke with PAUL CORNELL, which was awesome.  He’s a great guy with really insightful things to say about genre stuff.  However, it was shortly after that that my computer went completely haywire.  So, I transcribed the interview – a LONG one, which took two days to do – and emailed it to myself.  Of course, this meant that I had to use another computer to actually format and post it.  My housemate’s Mac doesn’t have MSWord, which I need to preserve certain formatting when uploading it to Tor.  So, I had to go in to my office early to both work on formatting and transcribing that interview, but also writing my first post for Doctor Who week – a review of the book, Chicks Dig Time Lords.  So, I was up late dealing with computer issues and transcribing, then had to wake up early to get to the office early to get work done before my day job started at 10.  That was pretty much my entire week, made even more difficult when the computer virus made it so that I can’t even open programs anymore, so I had to go to a nearby friend’s place and borrow a flash drive to take my important documents off so I could keep posting to Tor on time.  The week was made more difficult still, because I was trying to cover some of the Doctor Who events going on in NYC, so my days looked like: wake up early to write at office after having stayed up late to write the night before – day job – Doctor Who event – get home after 10PM to do more writing – get up early and do it all again.  By Friday, I was a WRECK, and got to work an HOUR AND A HALF late because I’d overslept.  My BOSS’ PHONE CALL WOKE ME UP.  *sighs* There’s really no excuse you can give for being an hour and a half late.  Thankfully, my boss didn’t give me a huge hard time.  However, that almost made it worse, because I was expecting to get reamed out, and wasn’t.  So I was walking around tense all day waiting for something to happen that never did.  What made it worse is that my boss and I had plans to see a Broadway show that evening (Million Dollar Quartet, which is great!), and she even bought me dinner!  I don’t know if she just wasn’t that upset about it, or if she was and knew that it would be more of a punishment to let me stew in it all day…

But anyway, that was my week this week.  I didn’t have time to do much of anything other than go to work, go to Doctor Who stuff, then come home to write.  Now, don’t get me wrong!  Going to the Doctor Who stuff was cool.  Getting a chance to interview STEVEN MOFFAT?  Also very cool.  Getting to see the premiere of Doctor Who on a big movie theater screen was amazing.  I just wish I were awake enough to really enjoy it!  🙂  Still, it was my own doing.  It was my bright idea, not Tor’s, to try and do a Doctor Who week at all.  And therein lies my problem.  I always have great ideas, but am apparently shit about knowing exactly how much of myself it will take to execute them.  I always assume Sure!  I can totally handle that! And then I realize, while I’m in the middle of it, that I can’t.  This is something I need to work on.  I need to figure out how to plan better.  Otherwise, my own ideas are going to kill me.

So, all of this is to say that there’s a lot of writing of mine from this week that you should check out!  Sadly, I didn’t even have time to READ the comics I bought this week, let alone write my weekly Comics Round-Up for PinkRaygun.com, but I will be back to that this Thursday, don’t you worry!

DOCTOR WHO WEEK:

COUNTDOWN TO DOCTOR WHO: Chicks Dig Time Lords!

COUNTDOWN TO DOCTOR WHO: Moffat’s Women – The Women of The Library

COUNTDOWN TO DOCTOR WHO: The Doctor in NYC! Apple Store, SoHo

COUNTDOWN TO DOCTOR WHO: The Paul Cornell Interview

COUNTDOWN TO DOCTOR WHO: The Steven Moffat Interview

Something else I did this past week was record my first segment for a podcast!  That’s right, yours truly will now be a semi-regular fixture on Ian Cullen’s SciFiPulse podcast!  My segment is called A Jusino Sci-Fi Odyssey, a name almost as epic as I am!  If you’d like to listen to my PODCAST DEBUT, it goes up live TODAY at 5PM ET!  You can check it out HERE.  Once it airs, you’ll also be able to listen to it later.  My segment, in which we discuss Doctor Who as well as the Brian Wood/Becky Cloonan comic, Demo,  is sandwiched in between the main comic interview this week, and a segment called “Wayne’s Comics”, which is, um, self explanatory.  I will be the burst of geeky estrogen in an otherwise testosterone-addled broadcast.  😉  Hope you enjoy!

And now, I’m off to meet one of my best friends’ new baby for the first time and have brunch with some of my favorite people!  Not a bad way to spend a sunny Sunday!  🙂 Have a great day everyone!

Odds and Ends: Caprica Post, Doctor Who Audio Submission, and Other Writerly Stuff

First things first…check out my latest Tor.com post, Caprica S1, Ep 2: “Rebirth.” It’s my review of the first new episode of Caprica after the 2hr pilot that came out on DVD and was finally aired 2 weeks ago.  I was really excited for this episode, and I was not disappointed!

EXCERPT:

Fans of Caprica and Battlestar Galactica were finally treated to a new story this week with Caprica’s first new episode, “Rebirth.” (You can watch the episode on SyFy.com or Hulu on Wednesday) For any of you who might have worried about the legacy of Battlestar or whether a prequel show was necessary, worry no more. Caprica is proof that the legacy of Battlestar Galactica is thoroughly intact, and that the Battlestar universe is so rich and complex that one could tell its stories forever, and each story would be just as necessary.

For the full review, CLICK HERE.

I’m having a bit of trouble writing my next (and final!) Moffat’s Women post for Tor, mostly because the final episodes about which I’m writing are so dense and complex that I don’t know where to begin.  Also, I’m not only writing about ONE woman from that episode, but FOUR (Five if you count me briefly commenting on his writing of Donna).  Also, I think I’ve been burning myself out a bit lately.

I’ve been a busy writerly bee.  Here are some things I’ve been working on lately:

  • I’ve submitted a 2,500-word short story to the NYC Midnight short fiction contest.  I had to write a ghost story incorporating a piano.  I’ve never written a horror story before, but I think I ended up writing something appropriately creepy!  I’ve let a couple of friends read it, and I’ve gotten positive, creeped-out reviews.  🙂  I’ll be posting the story here once we get closer to March, which is when I find out if I’ve made it to the next round.
  • I’ve submitted a pitch to Big Finish, which is the production company in the UK that does the popular Doctor Who audio adventures.  They put out a call for new writers and asked for a Fifth Doctor/Nyssa story pitch with a synopsis no longer than 500 words along with 2pgs of the script.  I did the best I could considering I’d only read about this opportunity the DAY BEFORE THE DEADLINE on Paul Cornell’s blog.  But I’d had an idea for a Doctor Who story floating around in my head for a while, so it isn’t as though I made up my pitch just for this.  I was really glad for this opportunity actually, last-minute though it was, because it gave me an excuse to flesh out my story and turn it into something.  I even managed to use the Fifth Doctor’s love of cricket as part of the plot!  Big Finish has received double the amount of submissions they were expecting!  1,200 in all, I think.  They were aiming to have them all read by the end of February, but now who knows when we’ll hear about whether we’ve been selected or not.  Keep your fingers and toes crossed for me, kids!  This would be a slammin’ opportunity.  Meanwhile, there’s another Doctor story in my brain, but I’m saving that for a comic script.  Details on that to come.

And here are some things I’m working on now:

  • that pesky final Moffat’s Women Tor post
  • I’d like to start writing about comics for Pink Raygun again, and am planning pieces on a couple of comics I think are great, but overlooked.  Also, there’ll be a piece on why I hate both Veronica AND Betty.
  • I’m entering a Dollhouse essay contest being judged by JANE ESPENSON!  Winners get a cash prize and will be published in a forthcoming anthology of Dollhouse essays from Smart Pop Books.  I’m currently whittling down my ideas for an essay topic, and will have to write it within the next week.  Did I fall asleep…?
  • I’m submitting something, a non-fiction piece this time, to Make/Shift Magazine.  They just sent out a submission call for their next issue.  I’ll probably submit a fiction AND a non-fiction piece.  After all, the last thing I sent them did get me this really nice response: Dear Teresa, Thank you for sharing your work with us. While we found this story quite moving, it happens not to fit with our vision of our upcoming issues. We hope you find a home for it elsewhere, and we would be happy to receive other submissions from you.  All the best,
    The Make/shift Collective (that was for Talking About William).  However, I think that the way things are going, if I’m going to be published, it’s going to be a non-fiction piece that gets there first.  I need to stop being ashamed of the fact that my non-fiction tends to get me noticed a lot more than my fiction, and I need to start using that to my advantage.  Dammit!  🙂
  • And then there’s The Pack.  I’m still reworking Episodes 1-4, and I need to write 5 and 6.  I had a great meeting last weekend with Liz and Alex, where we discussed how our collaboration is going to work.  I realized two things: First, that I need their help, Alex’s in particular (though Liz came up with a hilarious idea at the meeting, too), to make these scripts everything they can be.  They are not going to be perfect on their own, and they’re not going to be perfect with only my input.  The other thing I realized?  I’ve never written anything collaboratively before – never been a part of a “writer’s room” scenario – and it scares the shit out of me.  It’s insecurity, and I know it.  I’m petrified that once I let other people start working on a script of mine, their ideas will be so much better than mine that they’ll overtake what I wrote originally, and my name will end up being last on a long list of writers of that episode who are more talented than me.  I’m afraid that the thing I’ll learn from having people tinker with my script is that I really shouldn’t have been trying to write a script in the first place, and that I should just pack it up and go home.  I don’t know why this is such a terrifying thought when I never even wanted to be a screenwriter to begin with, but there you are.  And I need to get over it.  I’m glad that we’ve figured out how this is going to work and that I have Alex’s and Liz’s support, because I need the practice.  If I ever expect to do this for a living, it’s nice to be able to get practice at it with my really smart and funny friends.  And when I feel insecure, I need to remember that there’s a reason why Liz and Alex wanted to do my show idea in the first place.  It can’t be all bad, right?  *sigh*

Writing makes me so emo sometimes.  🙂

Tor Post: “Moffat’s Women #3 – Sally”

Check out my latest post over at Tor.com entitled, Moffat’s Women #3 – Sally.  It’s all about Doctor Who‘s SALLY SPARROW, with special cameos by X-Files‘ Dana Scully and Fringe‘s Olivia Dunham!

EXCERPT

The Doctor Who Series 3 episode “Blink” is Steven Moffat’s first episode set in the present day. It’s also another New Who first. It’s the only episode to focus on a contemporary young woman who isn’t somehow enthralled by or beholden to the Doctor. She’s not a companion, and she’s not someone who needs saving. In fact, it is she who ends up saving The Doctor. Her name is Sally Sparrow.


CLICK HERE
for the full post!

Tor.com Post: “Moffat’s Women #2: Reinette”

The parade of awesome, Steven Moffat-penned women on Doctor Who continues in my latest post at Tor.com.  Moffat’s Women #2: Reinette.

EXCERPT

What’s so interesting about the way Moffat creates Reinette—the future Madame de Pompodour, Official Mistress to King Louis XV—is that we see the seeds of greatness early on and get to watch them grow. From the time she is seven years old, she is the kind of little girl who doesn’t show fear as a strange man enters her room from her fireplace. She is the kind of girl who will look a monster in the eye and ask it, of her own volition, why it is pursuing her. She is the kind of girl who smiles during a duel between an android and a man wielding a sonic screwdriver.

For the full post, CLICK HERE.