Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Hunt for Salvation Leads To...

As a lover of fantasy and sci-fi, it is often this aspect that I can't help but bend to, fall for, stumble over myself to see through to fruition, whatever the happy or sad outcome.  It is the salvation of something, someone or some place.  One Smashwords novel offers a chance to see what happens for just such an occasion.
LOR MANDELA: DESTRUCTION FROM TWINS is a fantasy novel of epic proportions, the word count approximated at 124k+.  Here is a short description:



What happens when spies from a distant dying world mistake a small-town girl for the missing child who has been chosen to save them? Chaos, mystery, adventure, and even a little romance ensue in this action-packed, young adult, fantasy adventure. Part one of the Lor Mandela Trilogy, "Destruction from Twins", is a thrill-ride that will keep readers guessing right up to the very last page


George R. R. Martin is the latest fantasy writer I've sort of obsessed over, having gorged myself on GAME OF THRONES the novel and the HBO series.  But this novel seems to offer some pretty good potential.  It even has a theatrical book trailer:



Get a tidbit about the author, L Carroll, here.

What is your favorite read of late, something you sort of obsessed about?  And given the power of words, does this short description, provided by Smashwords, invoke an interest to check this novel out?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Taking a Bite out of Storytime

The channel CW offers a variety of shows.  One of those shows started as a novel series by L. J. Smith.  One reviewer of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, the novels, even stated that these books were what TWILIGHT wished it could be.  Not sure if I'd go that far.

I've only seen snippets of the show here or there so I won't say if this particular reviewer is on point.  I will say that as someone who enjoys a good vampire show, I'll have to make time to see more than a minute.

Here's a little something to whet your appetite:
So, have you seen this show?  If so, what are your thoughts.  If you were to compare it to TWILIGHT, would you agree or disagree with the reviewer's assessment?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Up, Up and Away!


The fastest way to get from Texas to California is not by train nor is it by car.  Amtrak has to make stops and that can take a while.  When I drove from San Diego to Texas a couple of years ago, me and the kiddo took two days.  It could have been shortened but I wanted it to be more of an adventure and less of a chore to make it fun for my little chipmunk.  That kiddo was a rider, made it pleasant for me.  So that leaves a plane ride as the fastest way to get from Texas to California.

So why the silly travel question?

Well, consider why a plane is faster.  It doesn't have to ride on the roads, slowed by traffic and the need to avoid traffic violations.  Once a plane is in the air, the sky's the limit.  It flies up and over the obstacles that slow land travel down.  That is what we have to do with our writing, with our dreams, sometimes.  We have to consider that looking straight head isn't the best answer, especially if all that stands before you are people, life activities and things that are counter-productive to getting to where you want to go...where you want to be.

This isn't to say that you should ignore things in life.  Pish posh on you if you do.  But know that these things don't have to be the final word in defining you, don't have to bind you to the ground.  Spread those wings back there...those rarely used feathers you've kept folded out of fear.

Unfurl them and allow the wind to whistle through the tiny bends aching for use.  Hold your head upward and see the sky is filled with dreamers but the traffic is far from congested.  More people than not stay to the comfort of the ground.  Look up and know that you have the chance if you choose it.  Move up and fly along the path that takes you to where your dreams not only can, but DO come true.

What about you...is there a particular dream you would like to see come true?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A post on a Saturday? Really?

Yes.  You are not deluded.  And that cheesecake you ate this morning as a 2 am snack is not causing you to hallucinate.

I usually post Monday through Friday to encourage, share how books go beyond the paper to the big screen (or little one), brag on the writer spirit by sharing some published novels, give a snippet of the movie's being released and rant about...well...whatever gets me in the gizzard.  But today I want to share about the Third Writers Platform-Building Campaign.  I'm joining and would encourage you to do so as well.  It's a great way to network and meet other aspiring and established authors.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Writer's Rights

So on Wednesday, Konrath blogged about the John Locke deal with Simon and Schuster.  Here's a snippet:

If you follow publishing, you know the first self-pubbed author to sell 1 million ebooks, John Locke, just signed a print deal with Simon & Schuster. But it's a unique one. Locke keeps all of his erights.

You can read the rest of the blog here.

Now, I'm a bit curious.  Is there some standard contact that has to be signed and is non-negotiable if you are an author and get picked up by a traditional publishing house?  I'm hoping John Locke isn't the first to have his agent broker this sort of deal.

This also makes me think about my rights as an author.  Apparently, my story is copyrighted as intellectual property without me having to do the old 'seal-it-and-mail-it-to-myself gig'.  I have domestic print rights, international print rights, e-rights.  Is there such a thing as international e-rights or am I getting a bit carried away?  I know I have the right to remain silent...wait...wrong situation.  What are all these rights and what's a new author to do about navigating these waters?  What's an indie author to do if a company in Spain wanted to translate their popular e-book?  Would this be a situation where having an agent is much better, unless you are both an author and an attorney?
I know, a little early in the game for me since I'm still working on my drafts and rewrites, but it certainly made me think.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Movie Mayhem

It's Thursday, Thursday, Thursday!  Time to put on your thinking cap and brainstorm.  What are you going to do this weekend?  You could spend a lot of time beneath the sun hoping the SPF 200 sunscreen keeps you from microwaving into a crisp side of yummy good time for Hannibal.  Or, you can dial down the sunburn with a little time at the movie theater.  Here's a rundown of a few of the new releases coming out Friday.

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
Mood:  Violence and horror
Brief synopsis:  A young girl inadvertently unleashes a race of ancient monsters while exploring her father's 19th century mansion.

This reminds me of the little kid who was just too curious for their own good.  Except in this case curiosity leads to the opening of something akin to Pandora's box, letting the monsters loose.

I don't see this one going on my list for me and the little one to visit.  Not just because it would scare her...but it may give her some mischievous ideas :-).  Besides, it would scare the heebee geebies out of me and we can NOT have that.
 


Moving quick, fast and in a hurry from the scary stuff, we get more violence, vengeance style.
Colombiana
Mood:  Hell hath no fury like an assassin on a rampage
Brief synopsis: A woman becomes a professional killer in order to seek revenge against the ruthless gangster who murdered her parents.

Girl sees parents murdered but girl remains alive.  Girl becomes an assassin as part of her plan to extract revenge for the murder of her parents while she was a child.  I happened to see this movie trailer while at Game Stop doing some shopping for the little one and I must admit, it caught my attention.


This last movie is one I'm sort of on the fence about.
Our Idiot Brother
Mood: Comedy with a side of "Peace Man"
Brief synopsis:  Scruffy idealist Ned (Paul Rudd) wreaks havoc on the lives of his mother (Shirley Knight) and three sisters, Miranda (Elizabeth Banks), Natalie (Zooey Deschanel), and Liz (Emily Mortimer), while overstaying his welcome in each of their homes and voicing his opinions when they aren't wanted.

It seems like a feel good movie that may take a bit of time wading through the main character's unimaginably naive mistakes to get to the feel good moment.  If anyone checks out this or any of this weekend's new releases, feel free to share your thoughts.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Books Ahoy

Today, I want to highlight two books.  The first is by Joely Sue Burkhart.  The novel is called Golden.
Here's a brief description: 
Bred for him…and for his bed.
Golden-eyed Jin has spent her life preparing to be the Emperor’s consort. She knows her destiny is to serve the Emperor by indulging the dark desire that he has buried deep inside his heart—the desire to give pain.
Only she can take the pain he yearns to give, and transform it into the most unimaginable pleasure. But to enjoy all the Emperor can give her, she must survive assassination attempts from those who would keep them apart.
Seducing the Emperor is risky…but it’s the only way to fulfill her destiny

Feel free to read A Buckeye Girl Reads review of Golden here.

Just the description alone had me interested...very interested.

Next, I picked this because I happened to like the book cover.  I must admit, I am a sucker for an eye catching book cover.  It is called Somber Island by T. Lynne Tolles.

Here's a detailed description:
Phoebe MacIntire, who is a servant to her father and sisters in her own house in Scotland in 1855, is an ordinary girl, with no big dreams for the future. She's perfectly happy in her humble life, with her cot in the basement and her little garden in the backyard. But when her father up and sends her to Newfoundland to be the lifelong servant to Lord Jacobs, she finds her life gets turned upside down.

Her journey across the Atlantic to her new home is long, scary and very unpleasant. When she arrives at the manor on a small island, she finds the beautiful place abandoned and only a note waits for her explaining her duties, the strange dietary requirements, and sleeping habits of her new master.

The very first night in her new home she's haunted in her dreams by a woman who clearly does not want her there and a strange blue-eyed man-wolf creature that follows the woman. Her dreams become more and more violent and mysteries start to be uncovered about a woman who was killed in a fire on the island, a creature that preys on anyone that comes to the island and a love story gone wrong that dates back over a hundred and twenty two years.

Join Phoebe as she explores the past, delving into witchcraft, and vampirism to help a brother save another from a life of sadness and misconception, making some amazing and surprising friends along the way.

Erotic emperors and nocturnal masters...interesting conondrums for these protagonists.




Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Book it to Hollywood - Pretty Little Liars

Today's tidbit comes from Sara Shepard, author of the Pretty Little Liars series.  Unlike the characters of Bon Temps, the life-sucking sound you hear is courtesy of an angry teen.  Apparently, the queen bee of a teenage girl clique disappears, leaving the remaining friends to dismantle and part ways.  However, a mystery comes a knocking in the form of anonymous messages three years later.  It's 'A' - and 'A' knows everything, especially the dirty little things none of the girls want anyone to find out about.  Whatever are these pretty girls to do?  I suggest checking out the novels to see what happens.  But of course, you can check things out on the small screen at ABC Family.

This is an old trailer from last year but gives a great intro to the TV version of the girls.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Can Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser Wipe Away Those Nasty Doubts?

In a world far, far, far away...well actually, quite close by...in my imgination, it can :-)

However, an easy, peasy quick-fix-it like a Magic Eraser isn't always handy.  So like untended dirt and grime, doubt can build up.  Over time, this doubt can fester and I think it's fair to say that festering's not a good thing.  If you have a dream, this doubt can make it an impossibility through your own self-prophesy.

For instance, if I walk around saying, "I'll never be a professional writer," then how can I expect otherwise when I give doubt so much power over what I say, I do, I dream or desire to accomplish?  I become my own worst enemy.

So what's a gal to do?  What is anybody to do?  First and foremost, take a moment and be honest with yourself.  Are you a pessimist with no hope of thinking anything good can come of your life?  Are you a realist - like me - occassionally stuck on the realities of this not-so-perfect world?  Perhaps you're an optimist too caught up on how green the grass is that you don't see the ground coming at you as break-neck speeds because you refuse to acknowledge that you slipped from your perch high up in the clouds?  Whatever method gets you to a point that doubt finds an entry into your mind, face it.  This will make it easier to deal with doubt the best way for you.

After doing the hardest part of all, being honest with yourself, the work can begin to overcome those doubts.  If we were light bulbs instead of humans, this could be done with the flick of a switch.  Doubt.  No doubt.  Doubt.  No doubt.  However...that isn't the case.  Our minds waunder, linger, hold on to memories and emotions with a vise grip.  When doubt festers, it becomes more a part of you than you know.  You can speak it without realizing it.  One way I am working on overcoming my own doubts is working on my words.  I am a writer and with work, I can make writing my profession and not just a passion I see to on occassion.

I.  Am.  A.  Writer.  And I am an overcomer of doubts.



Friday, August 19, 2011

Going on in My Shorts - Me Thinks Something a Bit Cute

This is a bonus blog:

For those of you that have read what I write, I tend toward the more serious.  I do, however, try to add a little humor every now and then.  I entered the following sample for a fun contest over at Nathan Bransford's blog but it didn't make the cut.  The winner, though, did have a hilarious entry so kudos to that writer :-)

So, I wanted to share a side that isn't normally seen of me.  Here we go:

MG (middle grade) story in concept mode – Mallory’s Teachable Moments

“I did it mama! Come look and see.” I was in my room, holding a perfect back bend. I hoped she’d hurry up from the kitchen. My arms were shaking.
“What is it now Mal – oh – well, look at you. Not giving up paid off.” She smiled down at me just as my arms gave out. It was okay. All my practicing made it a good idea to put pillows under me so falling wouldn’t hurt.
“Let me try it,” she said, dusting flour handprints all over her apron.
I didn’t think it was a good idea, but teachable moment #3 meant I had to stay quiet. It wasn’t a kid’s place to tell grown ups what to or not to do. A few bones cracked as she lay flat. She got her hands above her head, pressed her palms against the floor, and struggled up, moving as slow as the inch worm I found the other day.
“Any…second…now…” She grunted, trembling, but she was only half way up. When I had a hard time, she always encouraged me, so that gave me an idea.
“You can do it,” I said, giving her my best smile. “Besides, I heard daddy tell you that all your sweet meat was the softest in the world. At least it won’t hurt if you fall.
And fall she did. She flopped to the ground, arms and legs flying all around as she scrambled to her feet. She rubbed her hands down her apron over and over again and I swear her cheeks looked like Aunt Matilda got a hold of them.
“I don’t know how you heard that but –” She slapped her hand over her mouth, turned and shot out my room. Laughter and an “Oh my God” drifted down to me from the kitchen.
I quickly got my little book, flipping through the pages until I found it: Teachable moment #14: never, ever, no matter what, repeat what you overhear. Then I scribbled an extra note: Especially about dad and how he likes mama’s sweet meat.

Blog Tag Jam

Today is a salute to bloggers.


Some bloggers are rather interesting people.  They get online to discuss the first thing that comes into their mind, cursing, swearing and using the First Amendment for all it's worth, even including partial truths to make them sound good.  I don't have an example of one as I wouldn't want to direct my enemy to misinformation.

But,

Do you know a blog that you like to visit?  You may have several that you like to go to, comment and learn from.  Here are just a few I like:

Mood - Straight no chaser information and opinions regarding publishing, occassionally (some would say all the time lol!!!) controversial
http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/ (JA Kontrath)

Mood - Indie writing and dogs, gotta love them both
http://mariazannini.blogspot.com/ (Maria Zannini)

Mood - Agents, authors and tips...oh my (YA and MG)
http://caseylmccormick.blogspot.com/ (Literary Rambles)

Mood - Spiritual and Inspirational
http://sherrynparker.blogspot.com/ (Sherry Parker)

Mood - to boldly go where no one has gone before//"I'm givin' 'er all she's got, cap'n!"
http://elliegarratt.blogspot.com/ (Ellie Garratt)

I love so many others like Cate Masters, Writing Out Loud, and so many more.  Do you have two or three blogs that you visit and would like to have others get a chance to check out?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Movie Mayhem Thursday

It's that time again.  What are you doing this weekend?  Maybe something family oriented.  Or perhaps something a bit on the scary side?  The movie pickin's are slim but there could be a choice prize for you.

For myself, I'm thinking of taking the little one to catch a kid-friendly flick.
Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World
Mood: Giggles and kiddie butt-kickin'
Brief synopsis: A retired spy-turned-full-time homemaker attempts to stop a power-mad supervillain from taking over the planet, and gets some unexpected help from her disagreeable twin step-children in this fourth entry of writer/director Robert Rodriguez's family-friendly adventure series.

This is another franchise that takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'.  But it's for the children and I will probably not hear the end of it if I don't make my way to this one.  Amazing the things kiddos love.  Also, this one takes things a step further, playing in 4D...uh...hmmm...okay.

Here's a Book it to Hollywood moment - One Day
Mood: Nostalgia and some romance
Brief synopsis: Adapted from author David Nicholls' critically acclaimed novel of the same name, director Lone Scherfig's One Day stars Anne Hathaway as a principled working-class girl who forges a unique bond with a wealthy jet-setter that spans two decades.

I think this is one of the few movies not advertising it's showing in the 3D mob.
Now, before I even go into the next item on the menu, lets take a step back to the original:
I won't tell my age but I was rather young when this one first came out.  When I was old enough to watch it, I had no appreciation for "the Arnold's" acting ability.  I can't claim it really ever improved.  But what I do remember thinking, in my innocent mind, is, "Holy crap!  Are muscles really supposed to look like that???"  With time, his grew less pronounced...and the time has come for someone riper, younger and much more sultry looking (or scary to some) to do a redo of...
Conan
Mood: Girls - swoon and adoration of the male form//Guys - Bloody violence and Conan!  Conan!  Conan!
Brief synopsis (not that you really need it): When a powerful force of supernatural evil threatens to destroy Hyboria, legendary Cimmerian warrior Conan (Jason Momoa) raises his sword against mythical monsters and treacherous enemies.

I can not tell a lie (well, sometimes... I am human) but serisously, if I get to catch this flick, it will NOT be for the acting.  Although, it certainly appeals to my fantasy adventure tendency.
Last on today's list is another remake.
Fright Night
Mood:  Laugh until you're...scared?  Hmmm...maybe it's be afraid until you...laugh?
Brief synopsis: A suburban teenager realizes that his new neighbor is a charismatic vampire in this remake of the 1985 horror comedy hit.

Check out this trailer...and yes, how this will really shine in 3D, I don't know...but it says it is a 3D movie.
There you have it, the weeked round up.  Have you seen either of the originals for our make-over movies?  If so, what are your thoughts?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

WriteOnCon

Today is usually Indie Wednesday, however, I'm taking a break to do a brief commentary regarding WriteOnCon.  So here we go...

It ROCKS!!!

There you have it.  That's really all there is to say.  Take a few moments to swing by and view or review one of the live chats, live forums, posts from published authors, literary agents and editors.  The WriteOnCon group did a fantastic job.  The infomation provided is helpful whether you're new at writing, currently in the middle of a WIP, looking to query or interested in self-pubbing/e-pubbing.  Even though the focus is more along the lines of MG/YA, the information shared can apply to genres and demographics across the board.  The AWESOMENESS is still happening today through tomorrow.

Is there a writer's conference or maybe a reader-centric conference you've attended and found very helpful?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Book it to Hollywood - Bones

After thorough research and based upon scientific evidence, I conclude there are a multitude of books that have been adapted to TV shows and/or the big screen.

Did that sound anywhere near sexy, sensual, perhaps inviting?  Well, probably not, however this is the frame of speech for Temperence Brennan, the main character for the TV show Bones.  Here is the storyline:

"Brilliant, but socially inept, forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperence Brennan works at the Jeffersonian Institute in Washington DC. After consulting for him on a FBI case, she is approached by cocky yet charming ex-Army Ranger turned Special Agent, Seeley Booth to help the Bureau solve crimes by identifying human remains that are too far gone for standard FBI forensic investigations. Brennan's empirical, literal view of the world causes friction with Booths emotive, instinctive attitude creating a volatile relationship. However as their case load increases the symbiotic partnership produces results and with the support of Brennan's Squint Squad, murderers, past and present should be on the look out."

For quite some time, I was a faithful watcher.  Don't tell anyone, but my favorite character was the paranoid Dr. Jack Hodgins.  He did some kind of -ology, not sure what, but he was just as geeky and adorable as he could be with all that curly hair.

Author Kathy Reichs started 'Temperence forensic madness' with her first book, Deja Dead.  I haven't read the books so I can't speak on how closely the TV series sticks to the books, but I truly enjoyed the TV series.  May have to dip in again to see how my favorite character is doing.  Hmmm...

Here's a trailer regarding the upcoming season.  Please be aware, there are some gross things and words that compete with supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.


Have you seen this TV show or read the books?  What do you think of forensic science's foray into primetime TV?  Got a favorite forensics based show?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Don't just acknowledge the gauntlet...

Swing that bad boy with some authority!  Wedge that blade so deep that you use it as a stepping stone.  Go for it!.

What is it you want to do?  For me, it's writing.  I like it...love it actually.  Writing, for me, is like having that crush that I don't ever have to get over.  When I'm writing, my mind is engaged.  I can hop into fantasy mode and write about dragons and elves or try for a steampunk angle.  Maybe delve into something dark and paranormal but not too scary because I don't want to frighten myself.  Such are the perils of having a vivid imagination.  Writing is a big challenge for me because I have to care for a rambunctious little one and thus, adhering to the whims of my paying gig can be a bit annoying when I'd rather be clacking at the keys of my laptop zipping through a first draft or toiling over revisions.

Writing is MY worthwhile challenge.  There is growth in writing, growth in craft, growth in getting to know others aspiring to make this more than a hobby.  It's necessary to pick challenges, just like battles, wisely.  Don't want to haul your gauntlet everywhere you go, screaming "Challenge" at the drop of a hat.  I tried that briefly...didn't work out well.  It became a weighted burden, not something I could rise victoriously to overcome.

So, again, what do you want to do?  Taking the leap can be scary.  Okay...it's scary as the dickens when you're leaping from your comfort zone.  But it's worth it.  I'm learning more and more since taking this challenge of writing seriously.  It's a topsy turvy affair and I can't say things have been perfect.  But I can say everything has been worthwhile.
What's really great about diving into your challenge is that, in your growth, you become more -ers.  Better writer.  Better reader.  Faster.  Stronger.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Calling all Cars!

It's Friday and I'm putting out an all points bulletin on an industrious suspect.  The perp's name is 'Hater'.

'Envy' has been mistaken for 'Hater' on occassion.  It's understandable.  It can be hard seeing someone else have something you're still working hard to achieve.  But with proper direction, 'Envy' is an instrument of production.

This is where 'Hater' comes in.

'Hater' has one purpose: YOUR destruction  This suspect has no desire to see you excel.  They live by the quote "Misery loves company" or "Only one can be at the top".  Like crabs in a barrel, 'Hater' reaches out a claw to pull you down when you're inching your way toward accomplishing your goal.

Please note:  Do not confuse 'Hater' with 'Concerned Friend or Loved One'.  Those who care for you may well tell you to stop trying something after multiple attempts and an equal number of failures.  They do it as an act of protection.  They see you trying and hurting and your pain hurts them.  So in their good intentions, they want to steer you from the thing that's causing you pain.  But 'Hater'?  Their only intention is to keep you from accomplishing your goal because, well, they didn't either.  Or 'Hater' may have reached their goal but in their self-centeredness and greed, they steer you from repeat attempts because they want it all for themselves.

'Hater' is a chameleon so we have no one description that's the same from all the victims who've stepped forward.  So be on the lookout for this suspect.  Jill Scott will tell you a bit more about it.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thursday's Movie Mayhem

It's time to do a roll call regarding a few movies of interest opening this weekend.  If you're looking for action packed, thriller, CGI work to knock your socks off, you may want to revisit one of the other blockbusters like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II, Captain America or Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  This week's line up has a few gems but I'll leave it up to you to decide.  One thing I can say, there's certainly some diversity at work.

First up for you consideration, Final Destination 5
Mood: Grisly dressed up as horror
Okay, so the first movie in this series made me freak out.  Creepy premise.  The second, I figured the cash cow needed a little more milking.  It was a pretty profitable franchise.  Now, well, I'm just at a loss for words.  I'm not a horror fan so the continuation is definitely not meant for me.  I hope this installment of "cheat death but soon die a horrible, gory death anyway" is a hit.  Can't blame the producers for giving it another college try.


Next up, Glee 3D
Mood: Gleetastic musical
Glee fans...are you ready to have your favorite singers, dancers, jazz hands, finger snappers and smilers jumping off the screen and pirouetting into your lap?  Well, look no further than this movie.  The hit TV show provides a concert, movie style, and a genius somewhere thought, "Hey, there are so many movies coming out in 3D!  Let's try dance!"  So here you go.  This shoo bee doo wah is for you :-)  And if I understand correctly, you've only got two weeks to rock the house with these Gleeksters.



Now come with me to Mississippi so that you can be properly served by The Help.
Mood:  Feeling a bit historical, or for some, a bit nostalgic
Action?  No.  Alien robots here to save the planet?  Uh, definitely not.  Drama?  Bet your bottom dollar.  This movie is a reminder of needing to act, truly act, pull out ever ability, trade tricks that lull the audience in with wonderful voice inflection, body language and the chemistry of interaction.  Because that's the only way this movie will truly succeed.  I read the book.  And though it had a rather slow start and slow pace, it was a good read.  I hope the tension of the novel translates to the big screen and the many facets of each character shines bright.



Let's take a leap a little further south, no, not Mobile, Alabama, go further.  Think Carnivale, supermodels, "Bringing Sexy Back" could be the national anthem.  If you thought Brazil, you thought right.
Senna
Mood: Documentary
Ayrton Senna was a Brazilian nation hero and loved by Formula One fans worldwide.   Not sure how much of the documentary includes archival footage from Brazil itself, but Senna is noted for his charisma, so you may get a good dose throughout the documentary.  So racing fans, this one's for you.


Stop!  Don't press that button or I'll shoot!  Or not.  Well, things may go that way in 30 Minutes or Less
Mood: Crude action comedy
Danny McBride is in this movie so you know this is not a love ripper.  Humor is meant to abound in this pizza-delivery-guy-forced-into-bank-robbing shenanigan.  But there's apparently a real life situation that inspired the film.  The family of the deceased spoke out.  For your viewing pleasure, here's a trailer to get your comedic juices flowing.


Last, but not least, let's go to The Last Circus.
Mood: Uh...dramatic metaphors, subtitles and lots of violence
Maybe the synopsis offered for this movie doesn't do it justice or this is a twisted movie.  A clown and a sociopath both want the love of the same woman.  Not sure I'd want to be in her shoes.  To get in the mood for this movie, one must first travel back in time and take a Eurotrip to 1938,or 1937, Spain.  Let's see if a movie trailer can help.


So there you have it.  Some choices for you to consider.  Please bear in mind that some movies have limited showing.  There may not be a theater in your area for the one you're most interested in.  Personally, I'm interested in seeing Viola Davis's performance.  Check out the movies and see if you can guess which one she's in.  Did anything in particular catch your eye?  If so, please share in the comments.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Books Ahoy


It's Wednesday and I want to start something positive.  So each week, I want to highlight a book that is published.  I'll mention books from the Big 6 but also touch on some indie writers as well.

Indie writers are all over the place.  Many veterans braved the headwinds and turmoil of being considered outcasts or whatever negative connotation one can think of.  More and more, due to the popularity of e-readers and the e-books that can be purchased on them, indie writers are finding more avenues available to them for publishing.  And the readers...well, we like what we like.

My favorite indie read this summer has been Maria Zannini's The Devil to Pay.  It's a paranormal romance worth more than it's price.  She did a wonderful job with character development.  I felt for poor Shannon from the first page.  After all, we all have some bad days.  But boy did she do a number on herself.  Maria also made economic use of her words, ensuring every word had purpose.  Imagery?  Of course.  I saw everything vividly in my mind.  Definitely a prime pick.

There's a Smashwords story that caught my eye, Shelter (Blood Haze: Book One) by Tara Shuler.  It's a YA paranormal romance.  Here's the extended description:

Two guys, one vampire girl, and two dark secrets that threaten to tear her world apart.

Alice Wright is a young vampire going to high school for the first time at the age of seventeen at the behest of her eccentric mother. In many ways, she's more afraid of the human students than they would be of her.

She feels lost and awkward in human society, but she soon develops a strong bond with the cousin of one of her human classmates, nineteen year old Kai. He is beautiful, but somewhat of an enigma. She discovers a dark secret in Kai's life, and she instantly wants to shelter him from the pain that has tormented him all his life.

Then she meets Maksim Augustine, the incredibly gorgeous guy who seems more like he should be a model than a high school student. She is overwhelmingly attracted to him physically, but her love for Kai causes her to continually push him away. Eventually, she discovers a frightening secret about Max, too.

But Max's secret threatens to destroy everything...

Sounds like a neat little book to take a bite out of.  Several reviews can help you decide if you'd like to make a move on this one.

The last book I want to mention is actually out of my norm.  But the book trailer was so action packed I had to call some attention to it.  This is Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith.  This book goes along more of the graphic horror stream.  The head hanging from Lincoln's hand on the back of the book is an indicator of something bloody going on.  Here, check this out.


So, do you see an author here that you've read?  Perhaps a story/book you've read?  If so, please share.  If you happen to have an author of interest that you'd like to see highlighted, let me know and I'd love to get their work here for others to notice as well.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Book it to Hollywood - Game of Thrones

"Winter is coming."  The motto of the Stark family that reigns in stoic solidarity in their chillier lands in the north, loyal to what I personally say is a king who lost his firm footing in the warmer climates to the south.

"A Lannister always pays his debts."  Less of a motto and more of a truth...and a powerful way one family deftly wields influence.

These are but two families that deal heavy handed and layer the conflict thicker than an Alaskan blizzard in the fantasy novel that made a smashing TV debut earlier this year.

Game of Thrones is the first book in the Song of Fire and Ice series by best selling author George R. R. Martin.  It's simplistic in its title, very easy to remember, and after one read...very hard to forget.

Reading this book took me down Tolkien Lane...reminded me of why I fell in love with fantasy stories, stories of glory, tribulation, overcoming and tragic falls.

The writers who brought this story to the screen must have had a nice conversation with Martin.  Or he put the smackdown on them and made sure they didn't get too wild and crazy.  They did what Hollywood is good for, made some adaptations, however they stayed so close to the actual dialogue and sequence that it was almost too amazing.  Here's a trailer for entertainment, if you've yet to watch an episode via Netflix or HBOGo.


And I love, love, love the music for the opening credits.

"The next season is coming."  Gotcha!  I don't think that's anyone's motto, but it's certainly a good idea to be on the look out.  When the next season does get here, I hope to have the next book done and be ready to watch the drama unfold, HBO style.

Did you get to watch it when the season first showed?  Though I enjoyed it, perhaps you saw something different.  Whatever your thoughts, please share in the comments.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Never give up

I like to visit J A Konrath's blog.  His style is crass and he tells the truth as he sees it.  I can't say that I agree with every word he says, but he's pretty on point with a lot of things, most things actually.  Probably comes from being in the industry for some time now.

There's one thing I like to look at each time I visit there.  Right beneath the picture of his scruffy head and face, stunner shades on because he's got it like that, he has a brief description.  "I'm a thriller author. There's a word for a writer who never gives up... published."

That.  Is.  It.

We as writers, artists, dancers, actors, comedians...the list goes on and on...we can stay in our comfort zone.  We don't have to try something new.  We don't have to spead our wings.

But seriously...where is the fun in that?

If you love telling jokes and you are really good at it.  Then give it a try.  If you love to dance or paint and you feel like poetry in motion when you move in the act of performing a sequence or stroking your brush against a canvas...then give it a try.

Your success is determined by you and can only be accomplished by you, so don't give up.

I love writing.  There's something about it that's deep within me.  Like this weekend.  I spent some time with my little girl but afterwards, I had a few characters itching to tell their story.  So I made myself sit before my laptop and let them speak.  It was - and is - a wonderful feeling.  I self published my suspense romantica Secret Lilies.  If I just had to boast on it, I could say I've published.  But writing, for me, isn't just about getting published.  And unfortunately, my first book didn't get the true attention it needed from me during the publishing process or after.  Life had a few daggars and poison tipped arrows for me at that time...but that's neither here nor there.  To that story, I must apologize.  Since then, I've gained a better perspective, more focus and made a choice that I don't want to give up.  I don't have to be the next J K Rowling.  She's done an excellent job at being herself.  I have stories that want to be shared, that want to be told and I can't very well accomplish that if I give up, now can I?

Well, neither can you, or anyone else who chooses to give up.  Is there something you're interested in?  Are you a writer and wish to share your thoughts on this.  Please feel free to comment.  Readers, please share your thoughts as well.  None of us writers would be anything without great readers to devour our words.

Friday, August 5, 2011

If I Ruled the World...

Sounds like a great title for a novel.  What would I do if I ruled the world?  I'd like to tell myself that I would rid the world of terrible droughts and natural disasters, except I have no say over the weather.  I'd try to rid the world of all manner of diseases but if that happens, and someone catches a simple cold, then the whole place would go to waste on a cough-sneeze-and-runny-nose-palooza.  Maybe I can try to stop world hunger.  But if I did that, the uber rich would feel out of place since they wouldn't have some family in the drylands of New Zealand to adopt and point to so they can say they know how to share.  Christmas and New Years are the only times of the year that human beings seem to be okay with actually treating each other like human beings...just because, no strings attached.  So trying to make joy and good cheer a daily thing is a bust.

Maybe The Matrix is right.  Agent Smith is right.  We can only define ourselves by the misery of others.

What about you, what would you do if you ruled the world?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Movie Mayhem

After cruising for a great movie awakening, I sort of nodded off.  This week's openings, sad to say, aren't the box office boon sort of movies.  Or perhaps a review of some of the openings will give you a different idea.

First up, the evolution chain turns on itself in this science-fiction thriller where apes take over the world.  Rise of the Planet of the Apes is the prequel to cult favorite Planet of the Apes - original 1968 and done again 2001.  I'm sure this movie has all the trappings.  I mean, we're talking mayhem of revolution here.  Sounds like the epic struggle of mankind trying to survive and maintain its place in the world.  Only one tiny little issue.  If you've seen Planet of the Apes, then you know the ending of Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
We lose.
You may say, "Well, pish posh.  That's the situation with nearly any prequel."  On that, I agree wholeheartedly.  Just this instance, it's so blatant.  So if you're in the mood to knowingly watch the fall of mankind, then gear up for a wild ride.

 Next up...The Change Up.  In short, it's a married man's dream and a single guy's nightmare.  Perhaps when the tables get turned, they do like any other movie with a switcharoo theme, they gain an appreciation for the other person's obstacles and beauty in life.  At least Jason Bateman adds a classic touch and Ryan Reynolds adds a 'hotness' factor to this comedy.
On to one more movie...
There are a few movies coming out in limited release, however I want to highlight this next one because of the content.
The Whistleblower stars Daniel Craig's new wife, Rachel Weisz.  Though this political thriller stars an award winning actress, I haven't heard much about it.  Quite possible this one could be a sleeper.  Here's the description of the movie:

Inspired by actual events, Kathy is an American police officer who takes a job working as a peacekeeper in post-war Bosnia. Her expectations of helping to rebuild a devastated country are dashed when she uncovers a dangerous reality of corruption, cover-up and intrigue amid a world of private contractors and multinational diplomatic doubletalk

Might sound familiar. 
Speaking of movies that remind you of other movies, feel free to share what other movie comes to mind with any of these weekend openers.  Might make a few folks open the DVD vault for a sit down to some great movies.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Moment of Silence

Crimson Moon

Vampire Huntress

Wonderful paranormal tales of wolves and vampires...brainchildren of the late L. A. Banks.  Stricken with cancer, her fight has come to an end.  Please visit this blog for a closer look at the author and person the industry has lost, thoughts shared by author Gregory Frost.  Though her physical being is no longer here, she lives on in the legacy of her books and the fans who love(d) her.


Rest in peace.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

No Couch Time for Young People - True Blood

If you haven't had a chance to watch the show over the last three seasons, this little vid should get you ready to hop on the couch for season four of this HBO phenomenon.
Now that you've gotten acquainted with the fine folks of Bon Temps, let's proceed to season four.
As you can see, for such a tiny town, they've got a lot of issues.  And when it's time to catch this show, this is not a bonding time for me and my little girl.  Let's face it, with all the Wicca, were-animal (wolves and panthers and goodness only knows what else might show up), vampire and Fae drama going down, there is no couch time for young people.  Although, you have to give it to Sesame Street for making a skit that the kids CAN watch...
So time to fess up.  Are you a True Blood fan?  If so, please share what you do and don't like.  After all, no show is absolutely perfect.  If you don't watch it, share that too.  By the way, I have a confession.  I avoided the show for a while.  I just didn't want to get caught up in it.  But, here I am, enjoying the show.  I just hope they keep the show heading in the right direction so it doesn't go the way of other shows that lost steam and got cut because the plot lines got too tangled, the plot imploded on itself or the writing just started to the suck.  Do you have a show that used to be a favorite but went by the wayside?  Feel free to share that as well.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Work Worthwhile

In a far-flung fantasy world, I could sit down to a computer, type out an 80,000 word count novel in a day - genre non-specific - and it will be a best seller with no effort at all before the end of the week.

This is where fantasy is great and I wish it could be the norm.  Except...truth is, reality is the norm.

In reality, effort is required.  There isn't an author, dead or alive, who hasn't had to put forth some amount of effort to come up with the concept of a story, organize and plot then put the tale to paper.  Or, simply fly by the seat of their pants and hope it reaches a decent ending.  After all this, there's still some re-writing, some gnashing of the teeth then some more re-writing.
In the end, the author has a story they can be proud of.

A wonderful tale a reader can enjoy.

A legacy that can last.

I want to encourage any writer who has a moment where the effort seems a bit much, remember, it is worthwhile.  Know that whatever the result, the effort has meaning.  And there will be readers who'll be very happy.

So please feel free to share, what do you feel is worth the work?