Tag Archive | nerdy

Will They Or Won’t They (Ever Learn)

The most romantic thing a man can do for a woman is read aloud to her, with voices

The most romantic thing a man can do for a woman is read aloud to her, with voices

Today I’m going to diverge from my usual topics of writing and history to talk about the other thing nearest and dearest to my heart: Romance. Not just any romance, though. I want to talk about the way that romance is handled by television, because there’s something that TV does to 95% of all good small screen romances that drives me completely bonkers. I am, of course, talking about the myth that getting the “will they or won’t they” couple together kills the show.

Now, I don’t actually watch TV these days. I have too many other things to do! But I do download my favorite show to watch when I have time. I pretty much watch one and only one show, The Mindy Project. (Downton Abbey doesn’t count, btw, because it’s more of a seasonal mini-series than a show) I watch Mindy because I find it to be some of the most brilliant, zingy writing on TV. I also watch it because, like me, Mindy is a hopeless romantic and rom-com fan.

Yes, I spent the entire second season waiting with giggling, baited breath to see if the writers would get Mindy and Danny together. Yes, I squeed my pants when they had THE KISS on the airplane. We’re talking serious romantic-y crack here! I came to the conclusion that very possibly the most romantic thing a man could do for a woman is to read Bridget Jones’ Diary aloud to her, doing the accents in the episode where Danny did just that. And this season’s season finale? I almost cried.

So imagine my horror when I was surfing the internet the next morning, only to find this blog post on the Washington Post site about how bringing Mindy and Danny together is more or less sitcom suicide! I was livid! No, I was more than livid, I was sorely disappointed in the writer of this blog and in the entire faulty belief that in order for a television show with a romantic pairing to keep its comedic edge and its viewers, the central couple can never get together.

I’ve actually felt this way for years. As a romance writer, I spend a lot of time keeping heroes and heroines apart, only to have them get together at the very end of the book. Actually, I personally tend not to do that. I prefer to have my characters get together somewhere in the middle or even beginning of the book and have them face challenges together until the end. I’ve always been let down by those show that keep the couple apart until the show is on the verge of being canceled. They miss out on a wealth of opportunities and, dare I say it, they take the easy way out.

I was crazy about Mad About You

I was crazy about Mad About You

Comedy, drama, and human interest do not end when a couple gets together. In order to be engaging and to keep an audience, two people in love do not have to be kept constantly apart. There is far more to the essentials of tension and conflict in a relationship than having the hero and heroine be at odds with one another in a way that will destroy their relationship. And frankly, I’m sick of the television world failing time and again to portray relationships as strong, loving, lasting, and funny, entertaining, and moving at the same time.

They say having a couple get together kills a show, but what about Mad About You? I absolutely loved that show! And it was about two married people. They were a couple from the beginning and they stayed a couple until the end, with all the usual bumps, weirdness, laughs, and tears of a real couple. The show was phenomenal, and it won tons of awards and made Helen Hunt’s career. It also, by the way, made my brother cry during the episode where their daughter was born. My brother. Cry. (I’m so glad he doesn’t read my blog right about now!)

I’m thrilled that The Mindy Project was renewed, but anxious that it was only renewed for 15 episodes instead of a full season. But if the writers of the show are out there, please hear this! I beg of you, please let Mindy and Danny stay in their relationship and get married. Please satisfy all of the millions of fans who know that contained within that wacky, perfect relationship is all the comedy you need to keep us laughing ourselves off our couches and crying over our downloads for years and years to come! Keep Mindy and Danny together! Set the example not only for the television world, but for the impressionable minds who watch too much TV and think anything less than commitment to the one you love is normal.

Mindy and Danny 2As for we writers, The Mindy Project is a brilliant example of how the comedy and drama of the story comes from the richness of the characters. All of the characters on the show (except maybe Jeremy, who they just can’t seem to get right) have so much depth and sparkle. As a writer, you need to develop as many dimensions to your characters as possible and then just let them loose in their world and a story will be born. I watch The Mindy Project because just about every episode teaches me something about the craft of writing romance. Mindy Kaling is one of my heroes because of her vision and talent.

Keep up the good work, Mindy! Don’t let Hollywood take you down the wrong path. Let love and romance rule!


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When Introverts Take Over The World

Here’s something I’ve never done before. I’m going to give my thoughts on a book that I haven’t read yet. It’s a book that was recommended to me very highly though, and it looks like something I’ll eat up.

quiet book

Okay, so why do I think I’ll absolutely love Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain?

Because I, Merry Farmer, am a closet introvert.

Yes, it’s true. I may love talking and I especially love blogging and posting on Facebook and talking to everyone from here and yon on social media, but honestly, most of the time if you run into me face-to-face, I will clam up like a wallflower at a ball. In fact, I felt ridiculous at the RWA conference in Atlanta this past summer because every time I met someone who I have chatted with profusely online, I couldn’t think of a thing to say. And did I go looking for people to hang out with after hours? No! I went back to my hotel room—in a different hotel from the conference, mind you—and read. Continue reading

The Curious Phenomenon of Three-Star Reviews


Three Stars!  Woot! © Kheng Guan Toh | Dreamstime.com

Three Stars! Woot!
© Kheng Guan Toh | Dreamstime.com

There is a phenomenon out there in the book world so strange, so mystifying, that writers and readers alike look upon it and scratch their heads. Sometimes enlightening, sometimes confusing, this phenomenon defies logic. And yet, it’s always entertaining.

I’m talking, of course, about 3-star reviews.

Now, 4- and 5-star reviews are clearly awesome. They glow with praise, pointing out all the things about a given book that made it stand out above the crowd for the reader. They are the mark of a book that was truly enjoyed. 1- and 2-star reviews are universally disappointing to an author. They mean that you missed the mark with a given reader or that your skills need a little brushing up. But at least most of the time you’re pretty sure what the reviewer is trying to say.

(Every once in a blue moon a reviewer will write a sparklingly great review, but whether by oversight or technical glitch, it will come out as a 1-star review.)

Ah, but then there are the 3-star reviews.

3-stars may technically represent “Good”, especially on Goodreads’ scale. I’ve heard from some reader/reviewers who have lost patience with every decent book being given 4- and 5-star reviews when, in their opinion, those marks should be reserved for modern-day classics. For this discerning group of reviewers, 3-stars is a good thing. You don’t suck, but you aren’t J.K. Rowling either. Continue reading


Creativity: The Currency of the 21st Century

wil wheatonDid anyone else see that awesome Wil Weaton video that’s been making the rounds on Facbeook? It’s really cool. For those who missed it, in response to a new mother who asked if he had any words of advice for her infant daughter, Mr. Weaton proceeded to deliver an impassioned speech about what it means to be a nerd, how nerds are simply people who love things that they’re not “supposed” to love and love them passionately. It was inspiring, especially for those of us who have been nerds their whole lives.

That’s not the only nerd video that’s been making the rounds lately though. There’s that awesome speech by Patrick Stewart—nerd royalty—about the importance of combating domestic abuse and PTSD. On a less serious note, there’s the astounding “Cups” song and video made by Kurt Hugo Schneider and his friends that features them singing a beautiful a capella song while playing that cups game that I learned at summer camp. In the meantime, George Takei is a hit on Facebook and I know I enjoy reading Simon Pegg’s (who’s recent autobiography is entitled Nerd Do Well) tweets. Continue reading


An Open Letter to Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge

royal babyHappy Birthday and welcome to the world, Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge! I’m so happy you’re here! I was one of the millions of people across the globe who was waiting with bubbling excitement for the announcement that you had finally been born. I was also one of those people who kept an ear out for news that your mother was pregnant in the first place. And yes, I was one of those crazy people who watched footage—although not live—of your mummy and daddy’s wedding. I remember watching footage of your Grandpa Charles and Grandmamma Diana’s wedding too.

Maybe that’s why I don’t quite understand why so many people out there are so grumpy about the media coverage that has been given to your birth. Sure, everyone has a right to their opinion. Yep, there’s a lot of history and some political debate about the role that your family does and should play in your country and in the world. But as far as I’m concerned, the arrival of a baby in this world, any baby, is a blessed occurrence and should be celebrated. Continue reading