The Wedding Dress Wait

Image result for say yes to the dress
What would you choose?

I’ve been watching Say Yes to the Dress (don’t shoot me) as a background programme for when I’ve been editing. I don’t know if it’s a bride-to-be or girl thing, but I love seeing the preparations and choices other brides are making. The world is such a varied place, with so any different ideas, and there is nothing more novel than the preparations they make for that day.

In a recent episode, one bride looked shocked in fittings because her dress was not as she remembered. There must not be anything more scary [temporarily, of course] than to look at a dress that has been made – often by hand and with immaculate detail – for you alone and not be convinced that the dress is actually something that wows you. Or, that it doesn’t wow you as much as it had done.

Tastes change, of course.

It’s a petty issue, yes; after all, a wedding is about bringing two different families and cultures together to create a new family. Nevertheless, one doesn’t want to have those rabid thoughts. One wants to *love* the dress.

This is particularly a worry for me, as I knew I would never be one of those weepy bride-to-bes when I wore The One. In fact, after coming back for a second look, I even chose away from a dress that my Matron of Honour tear up. Yes, I could’ve kept looking, I could’ve scoured and searched until my feet fell off and my heart died, but there was also that rational feeling of everything fits together with what I would be going for. It’s not the perfect dress, but that doesn’t exist within my price point, if at all, and I’m willing to make these compromises for this dress. I look forward to wearing it on my wedding day.

Not to mention the blushing.

Yet, now one and all are faced with that gaping maw of months as fabrics are picked, dresses are sewn, details are embroidered. (Or whatever the process entails.) Now, we wait with nothing more to do.

Or tonnes to do. However you look at it.

The Dress Is Just One Yes

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Anyone who knows their salt about weddings or wedding planning has probably heard of the show Say Yes to the Dress, where brides try and choose their bridal gown(s) in a rather staged elaboration of the shopping experience with a host of naysayers to, let’s be real, up the drama. It wouldn’t be a tv show without it. This show has recently spawned its UK version.

Yet another show in a line of wedding shows where people stress over the most unrealistic of things. But that’s only my opinion.

Just sometimes, despite the ‘fun’ of drama (I’ll admit that it’s nice to have a low-attention programme to watch after a hard day’s work), it would be nice to see a wedding tv programme that follows the real life ups and downs of trying to get married. Like finding out a cutesy venue is booked all Saturdays of the following year, and even into the next and next. Where you might have to change plans to a Friday or start the whole process over. Or that the bright white of tablecloths that everybody includes in their packages are just not the right ‘feel’ you’re going for, but you don’t know how to remedy.

It’s the starting with a blank slate and commercialism’s grubby hands that are what getting married entails.

I think most brides or pre-brides aren’t aware that finding the dress is almost the simplest part of planning a wedding. Sure, each of us is in our own way fussy, but even the fussiest of brides can find her perfect dress. It’s between her and her tailor(s) and very few people else.

Everything else, on the other hand… That’s the thing with weddings: they happen almost every day of the year, and venues cannot be everywhere at once, particularly those who have to be on site on the day of the wedding, like dressers or photographers. With more and more couples choosing to prolong their engagement, they’re looking at – and, more importantly, booking – their venue on dates memorable to them or seasons suitable for jobs and family more than 18 months in advance. And this leaves those who choose to keep their engagement to a more traditional length of a year or so out high and dry, so to speak.

That is, of course, only one element of the process. When one factors in the mere nature of a wedding – family-oriented, social, an ‘event’ – a whole host of other issues arise that involve other people: food, transport, entertainment, not to even mention the jewellery, outfits, paperwork. All the paperwork. In comparison, saying yes to the dress is but a miniscule element of a wedding.

Sure, the stereotypical images of young girls is that they fantasise about their wedding day (not me – I fantasised about filming music videos and photoshoots) and it’s the type of fantasy that involves a white dress (despite most gowns sold actually being ivory in hue) and a veil. But, as we ‘grow up’, we understand, or should do, that this is not the case. I’m sure that most engaged couples wedding fantasies are not of their lawful union but of getting the venue contract signed ASAP so that they can speak to vendors without being patronised that they’ve not booked anything yet.

Like the wedding itself, the dress is just the beginning.

Call me a cynic, but there’s so much more to a wedding than a dress – and it’s the things that really tie the day together and bring families into each other’s lives that we should be concentrating on when we think wedding. And when we film wedding.

‘Heaven Sent’ Review with Nevillegirl

This series 9 of Doctor Who, I’ve been part of the review team over at Nevillegirl’s blog. Last year, we did a similar system, and one of the episodes I’ve been reviewing this year has been episode 11, Heaven Sent.

doctor who heaven sent poster

Wow, that’s was one wild ride of an episode. I had a lot of thoughts and a lot to say about it with Nevillegirl:

Alex: I liked this episode a lot. Although it was Doctor-heavy, it didn’t feel that way. I love the visual setting, the CGI of the castle turning. The inside of it was skipped over, but I think this leaves more room for viewer imaginations to create more of this world… if you can call it a “world,” as such. The conflict/threat to the Doctor was tangible. Personally, I felt for him, and this made the episode all the scarier. Capaldi subtly showed the fear. Again, great acting!

Alex: However, I think there were a few predictable elements in the episode, particularly the Doctor loop. We’ve had episodes before – I don’t know if they were written by Moffat or not – where the Doctor has been setting himself up; and that’s something I like to imagine (and write) in temporal fiction.

Engie: I loved this episode. No, wait – I looooooooooooooooooooved it. PETER CAPALDI IS SUCH A GREAT ACTOR OH MY GOD. And I was so pleased to see that my prediction came true!

To read more of this review, find it at Nevillegirl’s blog, Musing From Neville’s Navel.

‘Face the Raven’ Review With NevilleGirl

This series 9 of Doctor Who, I’ve been part of the review team over at Nevillegirl’s blog. Last year, we did a similar system, and one of the episodes I’ve been reviewing this year has been episode 10, Face the Raven.

face the raven poster

Alex: On the other hand… I don’t like how Clara’s death makes the Doctor angry. The thing is… that’s been done before. With every companion. It’s kind of… boring. Yes, it’s nice to see him have these memorable relationships and lose friends just like humans do, but… why always the anger or the desperate acts? Even Ten only acted this way when he thought he was going to die.

Engie: I agree. I do like how she told him not to be angry, though – or rather, that he can be both sad and mad, but that he shouldn’t take that out on anyone else because this was her choice. We’ll have to see if he actually listened to her, though.

Engie: Now that Clara’s story is over, how satisfied are you with her characterization? Do you think she could have been written better?

Alex: I definitely think Clara could have been written better, though she works as a better companion to Twelve than she did to Eleven. She’s like a sensible niece to her grumpy uncle! It’s difficult to know if she was used just right or not, since I didn’t like her from how she was written at the beginning – and first impressions are hard to break.

To read more of this review, find it at Nevillegirl’s blog, Musing From Neville’s Navel.

How “Show don’t Tell” means “Let the Reader Make Inferences”

Victoria Grefer talks about how “show don’t tell” means more than its prescriptive command. She also offers some salient examples about letting the reader notice what an author might instead tell. 🙂

Creative Writing with the Crimson League

One of my key rules for writers is, "Respect the reader." We do that by trusting the reader to make inferences and connections, rather than spelling all of them out. One of my key rules for writers is, “Respect the reader.” We do that by trusting the reader to make inferences and connections, rather than spelling all of them out.

“Show don’t tell” has become such a common refrain in the writers’ world that we’ve all heard it, and many of us have written about it. I’ve written before in defense of “telling,” because sometimes, it’s just what we need to do. It’s the simplest way to get from Point A to Point B, saving us elaborate and convoluted descriptions that “show” what we can “tell” much more easily.

Today, though, I want to address “showing.” Sometimes the distinction between the two gets fuzzy, but I’ve always thought of “showing” as “letting the reader make inferences.” When we “tell” something, we make that jump of inference for the reader.

People say let readers make inferences is superior to telling because:

  1. We…

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Ten Episodes of New Who I’d Like to Rewatch

I’ve been watching a lot of Doctor Who clips on YouTube recently. Not of this year’s, or even last year’s, episodes, but of the ‘old’ New Whos. Makes me a little nostalgic. But then it occurred to me how many I know very little actually of – you could give me a name, and I could guess, but I’d not have half the plot from the top of my head.

So, I put a little thought together and created my top ten (in ascending order) of New Who episodes I want to watch again.

Of course, I’m omitting my favourite episodes, which I’d rewatch without saying – such as The Unicorn and the Wasp or Blink or Turn Left; these mentioned are episodes that I dismissed on first encountering them, but am tempted to give a second chance, going by concept and hook. I’m using criteria of curiosity, stickability, and general possibly-good plot, and most are Eleven episodes, as those are the ones that haven’t stuck in my mind and I could do with going back simply to remember how I experienced them at the beginning.

Oddly, episodes like The Crimson Horror or Deep Breath don’t feature, possibly because I don’t feel I need to watch them again to appreciate them. So, whilst some episodes aren’t here because I didn’t like them, others are missing because I did like them. Somewhat.

And, yes, I’ve counted two-parters as one episode here. Those are noted, but having two parts changes nothing about the way I experience them.

Stick around, Pond.

  1. Victory of the Daleks

Don’t shoot me! It was a poor episode, and it barely makes it onto the list anyway, but these historical figure episodes slip from my mind (I remember Let’s Kill Hitler, but, boy, I wish I didn’t) as if the Silence were involved, and I’d like to revisit them to experience them again to re-experience the plots. Let’s face it, there have been worse.

  1. The Impossible Astronaut (two episodes)

Speaking of the Silence… I’m not actually sure what happened in this/these episode(s). I should expect to see tally marks on my arms soon. Uhh… But it was good, yeah? Also, River rather shines in this one, even if Amy is pretty weak and mopey. #OhAmy

  1. The Girl Who Waited

For #8, I had to go through the list of episodes to encounter ones that I remember going “ooh, that was pretty cool” but have actually all but forgotten now. Out of several, I settled on The Girl Who Waited, because of the use of dual timelines that so reminds me of my own novel. From as much as I can remember, it has plagues, sterile white rooms, and is Doctor-lite. I do have a fondness for Doctor-lite episodes, which is bizarre, seeing as I’m watching a programme about the time-travelling alien.

  1. The Big Bang 2 (two episodes)

I know more of this plot than I would were it not my favourite Chameleon Circuit song, but it still leaves me perplexed. What actually happened? Why is Mini!Pond involved? How did all of The Doctor’s enemies managed to gang up on him? It wasn’t a great episode, but it’s one that I’d watch again to understand what was quite a clever plot, in terms of complexity.

  1. The Time of Angels (two episodes)

There aren’t many Amy episodes that I actually like, but this one was rather clever. The Weeping Angels were great in Blink, so it was nice to see them return here (even if they became overdone in The Angels Take Manhattan). But this episode, I believe, introduced the concept of the angels taking possession of one’s body through gaze, which I thought was an interesting addition to bring the plot forward.

  1. Nightmare in Silver

I remember thinking this one was pretty good when I first watched it – it’s built mostly on characters, but the setting was pretty nifty, too. Another one I can’t remember much about, but the clips I’ve been seeing on YouTube – Mr. Clever and their interaction inside The Doctor’s head – make me want to watch it again.

  1. The Rebel Flesh (two episodes)

I kept missing the beginning of this one whenever it was on TV, so I always get confused at The Doctor’s “I wanted to check out the signal to the flesh“ at the end and the whole Amy-has-been-a-ganger storyline, which I don’t know was ever explained properly in the series. In addition, I liked the whole consideration of ethics and whether the Gangers were people. They’re pretty creepy monsters, too.

  1. The Christmas Invasion

I could always rewatch this one, but it’s never made it into my favourites. The dialogue is great, and, despite not being conscious for most of the episode, Ten’s experiences provides a spark of colour and excitement that no one else could. Yet, the Tylers and Mickey give credit to humankind – whilst Harriet Jones shows her darker side of power. This episode is fun, but it has touches of morality that a lot of Eleven and Twelve’s episodes have had.

  1. Rose

Don’t you just want to go back to the beginning? There are so many feels in this episode, but there is also a great storyline, character— and a light-heartedness that I feel we lost in Eleven’s puppy moments. Plus, Rose comes into her own right away – she doesn’t think much of herself, but still manages to help The Doctor with the skills she has.

  1. New Earth

I saw a clip of this on YouTube and it triggered that I didn’t know much of the plot, despite knowing I’d liked that episode when I first saw it. I’d forgotten how much I liked this episode – the classic Ten-and-Rose days. There are so many great one-liners, especially from Cassandra in Rose’s body, and the acting is, again, so much fun. How could you not like New Earth? 😀

Tell me, are there any episodes with which you’d go through that first-time experience again?

DOCTOR WHO Series Eight Review: “Mummy On The Orient Express” (Co-written With Alexandrina Brant @ Miss Alexandrina)

As promised, a reblog of Engie’s official post of Mummy on the Orient Express review #2. It’s pretty overview-y, but we quote a few things and watch a few things, and, as usual, I say a lot. Enjoy. 😉

Musings From Neville's Navel

Good evening! I’m a lizard woman from the dawn of time and this is my wife and I’m* reviewing the latest episode of Doctor Who, “Mummy on the Orient Express,” with Alexandrina Brant from Miss Alexandrina. She’s a pretty cool blogger and we have more than a few interests in common, including books, photography, and Quidditch!

*SORRY NOT SORRY. I saw my chance and I took it, all right?

P.S. You can find previous collaborative reviews of Doctor Who‘s eighth series here.


Alexandrina Brant is a second-year psychology and philosophy student at Reading University, England, which means she alternates between planning experiments and critiquing history. When not polishing her fantasy romance novel about time travel, she’s cosplaying steampunk, singing, and playing Quidditch for the university team. She has authority in writing this review because she’s River Song’s doppelganger, hair and all. You can catch her blogging at Miss Alexandrina

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