The Curious Evolution of Jennifer K. Oliver
A stroll through the mindfields
entries 
jenniferkoliver: (FFVII | Sephiroth)
Just in case anyone wonders what the fuss is about, the John Lewis TV adverts have become something of a staple of the British festive season and they're always a talking point.

The 2015 ad has been out a while now. I wanted to give it some time to sink in just in case I was wrong on my initial viewing and it wasn't, in fact, a nonsensical, over-sentimental pile of reindeer poo. But nah, I still feel the same. If you haven't seen it: Man on the Moon. Seriously, where do you even begin with that?

Thing is, in the past the JL ad people have done some lovely work. My personal favourite is The Journey from 2012. Its simplicity is what makes it so effective. There are no animation gimmicks. It has a far smaller, cosier scale and scope and is therefore far more accessible to people. The message makes sense, and the story does too. I think this is why I find it so much more powerful and beautiful than the latest one. 2013's The Bear & The Hare had a lot of potential, but for me it leans too heavily on the Disneyesque style of animation and that familiarity takes away from its originality.

But 2015… I don't know. John Lewis haven't just smacked me over the head with the feels stick. They've rammed it right through my chest and are wiggling it about. Unfortunately, all it's doing is giving me a nasty bout of heartburn.

But hey, I'd highly recommend everybody roots for the alternative Darth Vader parody of the ad: Man on the Moon (The Dark Side Version). What I'd give to see this aired on TV instead. :)
jenniferkoliver: (The Walking Dead | Daryl)
I do this thing with TV shows where I avidly watch-watch-watch the first few episodes, then leave it alone for a few months, then binge to catch up on everything. This usually means I'm behind other people, so my TWD ramblings may seem way out of date. Anyway, I finally caught up on the second half of S2 of The Walking Dead and I have thoughts! My favourite scene in this show so far, why Daryl is still my right-hand man, and sundry brains. Here be big, bloody spoilers for S2 )

Staying on the TV theme, I'm annoyed I missed the "Be Right Back" episode of Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror last week. Why does all the good stuff have to be on after my bedtime? (I know I'm not that old, but I get up for work at 5:45 a.m. and early bed is necessary otherwise I become zombie!Jen, and nobody wants that). This show sounds right up my alley: A grieving woman is invited to sign up for a new piece of software that allows users to communicate with a digital facsimile of a lost loved one, a copy constructed from their Internet, email and social networking history. Man, I write stories like this! Also, points for a clever title. I'm hoping to catch up on 4oD tonight. If it's as good as I hope it is, I might post again and flail at everyone to see it, too.

The Walking Dead Super Bowl commercial, featuring Daryl Dixon, made by Time Warner Cable. I love the way he mutters, "Yes, ma'am."

Wake Up, by Fightstar.
jenniferkoliver: (Wolves | Wouldn't Like Me)
A little belated, but Happy New Year, everyone! I hope January is treating you kindly so far.

My January is all about writing, writing, writing. I'm learning I write more regularly on a long project than on a series of short projects. I realised that I wrote a bunch of short stories in 2011 that I never edited, and therefore never sent out on submission—this, I shall remedy in 2012. (Wait, that sounded dangerously like a Resolution!) Some blather about the steampunk novel-in-progress, cut for the sake of the uninterested )

[livejournal.com profile] getyourwordsout has kicked off and I'm already well over my target word count. The community itself is so organised and has the most dedicated mods—I love it! And I'm meeting all these cool new peeps, too. Peeps I can't wait to get to know better!

The other night at my writing group one of our members gave a presentation on Concordance software, which is for analysing language and studying electronic texts closely. There are a load of key features, like word counters, the ability to make wordlists, word frequency lists, indexes, and you can do proximity searches. My favourite thing is that you can check which words occur most often in a document (a bit like a word cloud), a handy way of weeding out those wicked crutch words you're not even aware are sneaking into your stories ("very," anyone?). Nifty. More about the software here and here.

Also, I mentioned the new TV series Eternal Law a couple of weeks ago, and I have to say so far it's not grabbing me. I'm saddened, as I had high expectations. But I'll stick with it for now and see how things unfold.

Promises, by Nero. Dubsteppy goodness. Nero was probably my favourite emerging music act from 2010/2011.
jenniferkoliver: (Default)
Wishing everyone a very Happy Holidays! If you don't celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a fabulous day anyway, full of good food and much cheer and other shiny things.

I'll be here most of the day writing and plotting and generally messing about, as I rarely do big, busy Xmases, so if you're also online tomorrow and want to chat, drop me a comment or an email.

I just saw an ad on TV for a new show set to air next year, Eternal Law. I'm not a massive fan of law shows, but this one has angels and other supernatural elements. Plus, it's written by the same team who put together Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes, which is enough to pique my interest.

Then there's The Hobbit. I'm terribly excited about the whole thing, but there's one detail from the trailer that made me boggle—the apparent Galadriel/Gandalf squishies. Does, um, anyone remember a load of unresolved sexual tension in the books? I read them too long ago. Then again, this may simply be some sneaky, misleading cutting on the part of the people who put together the trailer. Time will tell! But oddly, I kind of like the idea. IS THAT WRONG? She's older than she looks, you know.

And since this is literally the only time I can post this, here is a short piece I wrote for my writing group, purely for entertainment. Warning for some gore. And possibly the obliteration of childhood dreams and wishes.

'Tis the Season to be Exanimate
By Jennifer K. Oliver
Festive silliness, with a grotesque twist. 1,800 words.
Many thanks to Dabs for eyeballing this. Any remaining mistakes are my own.

The big man works us to the bone three-hundred-and-sixty-four days a year under extremely stressful conditions. We're not allowed out of the workshop. Ever. And we get paid in candy canes. I have zero sympathy… )
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