Sunday, July 31, 2011

rewriting things that didn't work

I spent some time rewriting the remix project yesterday and I got stuck on this one particular scene. Something was wrong with it, but I couldn't quite put my finger on why it was bothering me. I stopped working for the day. I was sick of reading my own words anyway.

Then this morning I woke up and thought about the scene again. I realized that I had inadvertantly changed part of the setting. A lot of what I had written didn't belong. I actually had to gut the whole thing and start that part over, which was okay because the new scene was much better.

I’m going to blame this issue on a pause between work sessions. Most of the time, I write and proofread during little snippets of time I can grab during the evening or weekend or a lunch break. I work for as little as ten minutes at a time sometimes, which is probably bad.

Working for a long period of time is better because I catch issues like secenery inconsistency. But I have to work with what time I can get, and 90% of the time periods I get are snippets. Such is life, for now.

Let's see where we are. Page 28 of the 107 page original draft. Creeping toward acceptable novel length at 60900 words.

Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!
There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:

Friday, July 29, 2011

nightmare fodder

I took the day off. The boy and I went to the park. I saw this crazy bug on a fence, so I snapped a picture of it.

Using the all-wise and knowing internet, I have identified this charming specimen as a red-footed cannibal fly.


Why does it bear this name? From what I've read, it can take out pretty much any other insect, including dragonflies. And one site claimed that it can also take down a hummingbird if so inclined.

Yes the second picture is of the same bug. It looks different in flight.

The other pictures I saw while doing research showed the bug eating bees and wasps and such. It seems to like to go for the head-face area first. yummy.

Sleep tight, kids. Don't let the red-footed cannibal fly bite.
Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!
There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

thursday stuff

The prodigal dog has returned! Well actually I had to go get her. She was not eaten by a coyote and/or pups thankfully. Which is a good thing. I kind of like that dog.

This is the picture I used on the missing dog poster.

We put them up in various spots in the neighborhood and a nice lady called and said she had the dog. Zoe was tied up in her back yard and seemed quite happy to see us. I was late for work but we have the dog back. Woo!

Yesterday was kind of a weird/stressful day overall. There was the missing dog. My daughter is at band camp and didn't return any of my texts. Her phone probably died or whatever, but we are rarely completely out of contact.

Then there was an issue with another child, which I won't go into detail about, but I will say that I was peed on a little. All the drama put me off balance. I didn't really get any editing work done by the time I finished dealing with everything. Rough day.

But today is better and we move on.

Can you believe that July is almost over already? Wasn't the 4th like two days ago? No?

Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!
There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


The dog is missing.

This summer she seems to have made a hobby of taking off. At first she would squirm out of her collar. She did that a few times, and we bought her a harness. That worked for a while.

But this morning, a family member who shall remain nameless let the dog off her chain at the end of the deck. Usually when we do this, the dog runs inside. This morning she decided to bolt instead.

She usually comes back within an hour or so of taking off. She’s a short, butterballish creature who gets winded when we take her on short walks. She’s not exactly built for survival in the wild.

I’m also worried because the coyotes are in the process of teaching their pups to hunt. I saw that on a news report just the other day. Zoe the dog would be a really easy target. The sun is going down right now and she still isn’t back.

Hopefully someone has her safe in their house. She has a really cute personality. I could see someone wanting to take her in. If they did, I hope they give her back.

I have no one to eat the food I drop on the floor. Max has no one to beat up on except for Sneaker, and she kicks him in the face.

I’m going to go work on a missing dog poster now.

: (

Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!
There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:

Monday, July 25, 2011

movie twofer: Domino and Insidious

Hey there, weblings! I am being quick with these two movie rundowns because I have a whole lot of page edits to enter. I have to finish them this evening or I’ll get behind in the computer end of the work and that makes for a very unhappy me.

First up is Domino, staring Keira Knightley as Domino, a female bounty hunter who joins two guy bounty hunters. I lifted the following description from IMDB.

“The daughter of an actor with a high-society woman, Domino Harvey, bored with her life, decides to join the team of Ed Mosley and becomes a bounty hunter. But she gets in trouble when the Mafia's money is stolen from an armored truck, while Mosley and his crew are in action participating of a reality show produced by Mark Heiss. The situation becomes out of control when the sons of a rival mobster are kidnapped while FBI is monitoring the two gangs of mobsters.”

Mickey Rourke plays a member of her team. There were many other stars in it too: Lucy Liu, Mena Suvari, Christopher Walken, Macy Gray and Mo’Nique were around. 90210 was a consistent theme throughout the movie, which was really sort of strange. Ian Ziering and Brian Austin Green played themselves.

The movie was filmed in a gritty, hip sort of way. There was a lot of action. Keira Knightley makes a good badass. But the plot felt scattered. There were way too many characters and too much going on, too many subplots. Domino wasn’t bad, but it could have been better. B-

Next up, Insidious.

Oh, hell yeah, a horror movie – and a decent one at that. I’m grabbing my story description from IMDB again.

“A gripping story of a family in search of help for their son, Dalton, who fell into a mysterious comatose on one ordinary morning. Little do they know that there is much more to this endless sleep than meets the eye as they explore the paranormal, and rediscover the past; the key to getting their son back once and for all. Written by David Murray Arthur”

What separates the men from the boys when it comes to horror movies is a unique concept, a story that holds the interest of an audience without leaning too hard on the gore factor. Such things require skill.

Insidious excels in the story department. The first half hour gives the viewer the impression that the movie will be a Paranormal Activity knockoff. While there are some similarities in the beginning, Insidious goes so much farther in the way of plot. There are some seriously crazy, tripped out scenes. I don’t want to spoil anything because people who do that are assholes, but just trust me, it’s pretty wild and scary.

Insidious gets an A.

Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!
There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:

Friday, July 22, 2011

writing stuff

The rewriting of the remix project is going very well. I'm making an effort to be patient and pay attention to what should be happening in the story. There have been a couple of instances where, in a fit of wanting-to-finish, I flew through a moment that was far more significant than the one-two sentence I gave it the first time around. So I write farther into it and explore the various possibilities for that particular interaction between characters or emotion or action, whatever.

Another thing I'm trying is injecting as much personality into setting as possible. I hate it when my descriptions come off sounding like lists. I know I said that before. The rattling off of various details is an efficient way to be done with setting the scene but if I'm being honest with myself, it's the lazy way out...and maybe the coward's way too.

I previously gave myself a tentative deadline of the end of July to finish messing around with the first draft of the remix project. Today is 7/22, so that gives me 10 days.


Maybe if I can activate a laser rocket attention span or possibly borrow someone’s time machine, I can make that. Realistically, I would say it's probably not going to happen, but what I will do is try my damnedest to finish within that time frame. Is that really a word? Damnedest?

I would have to run through about ten pages a day to get there. It took me 2 days to get through 8 pages this week.

Of course, those were at the beginning of the book, which is the part of the book that I always end up rewriting the most. The beginning is extremely important because it's the part that helps people decide if they want the ebook. When you allow sampling, the sample runs from the beginning.

Anyway, I'm off to hang out with my purple binder and see how much rewriting I can cram into my two days off.

Have glorious times.
Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!
There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

pictures of various things

Before we get to the pics, I forgot to mention that the slightly revamped version of MacDowell Sisters & AnnaBeth is up in the Amazon Kindle store and it's on Smashwords. It will probably take a while for the other ebook stores to update their records.

Here we go. The first set is from a nearby park. There are some shots of a heron and dragonflies in blue, green and black, some sort of raptor bird like a falcon or whatever. The tunnel is also in the park. Trains pass over the top, not actually through the tunnel.

The plane is a crop duster that was dumping pesticides on the corn field across the way.

Broken feather on the right. Poor birdie!!!

inside the tunnel is some low quality graffiti



BLUE! and black

I like how it looks like they're playing chicken or something.

Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!
There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mashed Wordtatoes

Holy crap, this heat is unfreakingbearable. It probably wouldn't be so bad if it weren't so relentless. The outside air is oppressively thick and smells like a mix of molten asphalt and dead animals.

My car is a damned oven. Forget about trying to roll with the windows down. Air conditioning all the way, baby. At home, we're keeping the curtains and blinds closed in an effort to not bake and to preserve the functionality of our beloved air conditioner. I'm essentially hiding from the outdoors.

I have two quotes that I heard/read last week and loved, so I'm sharing.

“When you're fortunate enough to have success and love what you do, you have a choice: Be kind and grateful, or be a dick. I choose the first.”

- Wil Wheaton on his blog and Twitter, I think.

"Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength, and doing the right thing in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend."

- Possibly Stephen King. I didn’t get it from the source himself. Regardless, I love it!!

Speaking of Twilight/Stephenie Meyer, what in the sparkly hell are her books doing on lulu?

That site is usually for self-publishers. Speaking of self-publishers -

Interesting fun fact – John Grisham originally self-published A Time to Kill! Nuts! It was later picked up by an actual publisher, of course.

I read that in Janet Evanovich's How I Write, which I got on loan from boss lady. That's a good book, btw. I don't think you could depend on it to learn all components of the novel-writing process, but some useful tidbits lie therein. Plus Janet Evanovich is funny. And she likes food.

She reminds me of my aunt.

This week I'm editing the remix project. I shouldn't say 'editing'. I should say 'intensively rewriting and expanding'. The first draft is entirely too short. I think it ended up at 57000 words at the end.

During the rewrite, I'm looking for parts that need clarification or more thorough description or opportunites to better develop characters. What I've lain down in rough draft is like a sketch I plan to flesh out.

My special friend this week is an editing binder. It's purple and has a couple of magazine pictures of gardens in the clear plastic on the outside. Inside are manuscript pages, loose-leaf paper, notes from when I plotted out the novel, and some printed research material on developing photographs the old school way in a dark room.

My protagonist is a wannabe photographer. I did take a photograpy class when I was in high school like 14 years ago or whatever, but I've forgotten the specifics of the procedure so I'll have to look into that again.

Hey, I just realized that I mentioned like FIVE authors in this post! I must be in an extra bookish mood. Anyway, that's all I have for now. But then, wasn’t that enough?

Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!
There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

movie: The Condemned

We did not want this movie.

The Condemned somehow appeared on our Netflix queue. Neither of us remembered adding it (which probably means I did it). It looked kind of cheesy. I mean, it stars Steve Austin the wrestler, for goodness sakes. I thought I had removed it from the queue.

We still somehow magically received it.

This movie was actually pretty good.

Basically, a bunch of death row inmates are taken to an island and dropped off. Explosive ankle bracelets (like house arrest thingies) are attached to their ankles. If they mess with their new jewelry - boom. If they pull the red tab off of it - boom. The nine of them are supposed to fight to the death for the enjoyment of a pay-per-view television/internet audience. Think Death Race minus the cars.

First, Steve Austin is not the best actor. I don't want to give a full character description because I can't really do so without inserting spoilers. Part of his deal is that you don't really know why he's there. Anyway, acting - not the greatest.

Luckily the supporting characters, the studio crew and the other inmates, are played by people significantly more skilled than he is. The inmate characters were somewhat compelling. They weren't just one-dimensional movie convict stereotypes.

There is, of course, plenty of action. Some nice fight scenes. There is also running around a jungle which seems to be really well stocked with props for a place that doesn't have any civilization. Wrecked plane? Where's the landing strip? Ok, so you could conceivably have a wrecked plane with no landing strip nearby. But a burned out jeep? Busted bridge? No roads! at least not in the area the convicts were in. The props are nice to look at, however.

The movie was very entertaining to watch, really much better than we thought it would be. It gets a C+.

Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!
There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Glenn Kleier, author of The Knowledge of Good and Evil

Glenn Kleier is visiting! Sort of. He was recently interviewed by JN Duncan on and has given me permission to share it with you, fabulous readers of mine. Here we go.

The Knowledge of Good & Evil by Glenn Kleier
By J.N. Duncan on June 30, 2011

I’d like to welcome one of this month’s ITW’s release authors, Glenn Kleier, whose novel, The Knowledge of Good & Evil, hits the shelves on July 19th. This is Glenn’s second novel, after his acclaimed debut, The Last Day, which is also an epic, theological thriller. So, let’s get right to the fun stuff.

Okay, Glenn, the first thing that obviously pops to mind is the fact that The Last Day, your first novel, was published in 1997. It came out with a pretty big push by the publisher, especially for a debut. And yet…fourteen years until Good & Evil. I find this intriguing.

Not exactly prolific, am I? I actually started this book (along with two companion novels) shortly after The Last Day, and was well into one when a family situation arose. It required a good deal of attention and pushed the writing aside for an extended period. I finally got back into things about six years ago, focusing on The Knowledge of Good & Evil. It took me that long to complete it.

Let’s hear a bit about who you are, what you do writing and/or otherwise, and anything else you would like to tell us about yourself.

I’m a Kentucky son, born and raised. Got exposed to great fiction early on, and it gave me a passion for writing. I picked up an English degree at the University of Cincinnati, intent on a career as a novelist, and landed a job with a publisher to be close to the action. But there I saw countless manuscripts flood in over the transom, not a one making it to print, and it disillusioned me. So I turned to another form of fiction—advertising—eventually co-founding what grew to be a national firm. Yet I never lost my first love. I worked on the side seven years to produce The Last Day, a suspense thriller/religious send-up. Warner Books bought world rights, Columbia/Tri Star the film rights, and that enabled me to write full time.

So guess what I tell my sons about following their dreams?

Give me your 25 word or less elevator pitch for Good & Evil.

A defrocked priest embarks on a perilous odyssey through this world and the next, seeking answers to life’s Ultimate Questions. And learns more than he bargained for.

Your book incorporates a fairly unique aspect for this genre in that you have some picture/images throughout. Tell us a little about that, why you wanted to do it, and/or how it came about with your pub, and what you hoped to gain with their inclusion?

Part of the story involves the intricate paintings of medieval artist, Hieronymus Bosch, whose pictures are worth ten-thousand words. Featuring those pictures saved me some pages. Also the plot centers around real people, places and events—an intentional device to ground the fiction in fact and blur the lines between reality and surreality. I felt photos of the people and places would abet that, and MacMillan publisher Tom Doherty and senior editor Bob Gleason got what I was trying to do and supported me. It took time and expense to chase down usage rights across the globe, but I trust it was worth it.

Now, I’m particularly intrigued with your notion of “discovering” what the afterlife is really all about. Great conflict here, or potentially so. What led you to want to explore this?

If you ask people where their mental images of the afterlife come from (assuming they have any), most point to the bible. Truth is, while heaven and hell are cited often in the bible, neither Old nor New Testament offers much in the way of description or details. And yet many people have rich and cherished beliefs about heaven, and fierce dread about hell. They might be surprised to learn where those beliefs spring from: primitive myths and folklore; pagan religions; pseudo-scripture; medieval theology; the literature of Dante, Marlowe and Milton; the paintings of Bruegel, Doré and Mr. Bosch—to mention just a few.

My intent was to give a little historical context to the subjects of heaven and hell, draw some correlations, and offer a different perspective on this much-misunderstood topic. And then push things a bit further.

What kind of theological research did you have to do while exploring this aspect? Did you learn anything completely unexpected here?

The research took years. I began with the oldest recorded inklings of a Great Beyond, seen in ancient Samaria and Mesopotamia cultures, and worked forward in time. Early Egyptian beliefs in an afterlife, Greco-Roman, Judeo-Christian, Islamic, et. al. On to the Doctors of the Church—Augustine, Jerome, Gregory, Aquinas. And finally, modern theological scholars—Karl Barth, Salomon Reinach, Homer Smith and more. What emerged was a huge and convoluted mosaic that I attempt to make sense of.

And yes, along the way I came across something that amazed me, and continues to. Compelling evidence of an “interpolation” that occurs in the New Testament gospel of Matthew. What amounts to a scriptural bombshell the Church has effectively suppressed from its earliest days. This point emerges near the end of the story, and has caught the attention of early reviewers on the religious right, earning me flack. For those interested in a closer look at the evidence, the book offers a bibliography.

What, for you, makes this book stand out relative to other thrillers out there?

Hopefully more than just the subject matter, which is intended not as salacious fantasy or horror, but as allegory. The story has a spiritual component, raising a few theological questions that readers might not otherwise encounter or give much thought to. Maybe these questions will encourage a fresh look at some commonly held beliefs.

What was the most challenging aspect for you in writing this book?

Drafting the chapter that reveals “The Ultimate Reality.” If I may draw an analogy: There’s a branch of science that’s spent a century trying to uncover something called “The Grand Unified Field Theory”—an equation to marry all the critical forces of the universe. If found, it would be the “answer to everything.” Einstein himself spent the last years of his life searching for it, in vain, and it eludes science still.

The protagonist in the story is a fallen priest who searches for the spiritual equivalent. A divine wisdom lost by Man long ago that would unite all religions, uplift Humanity, end wars and heal the age-old animosities between races, cultures and creeds. It was indeed a challenge creating “The Ultimate Reality.”

What’s down the road here for you, story-wise?

The Knowledge of Good & Evil is the middle book in a planned trilogy, so I’ve got my future pretty well mapped out. The prequel is ready for final draft, and the sequel is past chapter synopsis stage, about 25% drafted. That should keep me out of trouble for a bit.

Just for fun, what would you hope (or not) to find on the other side?

In addition to 72 virgins? How about an environment free of ideological entanglements, self-righteous sanctimony, and intolerance. That would be heavenly.

Finally, any parting words for your readers?

I suppose I’d ask them to read The Knowledge of Good & Evil with an open mind, realizing that little of what they’ve ever heard about The Other Side has substance—scriptural or otherwise. Who’s to know what’s fiction and what isn’t?

For more information on Glenn Kleier please visit his website. There is also a very well done trailer for his new book there, which I suggest you check out. Thanks for joining us Glenn and answering my questions, and I’m sure I speak for everyone here at ITW, when I say, “Best of luck with your new book!”

(original source: International Thriller Writers,

View the trailer for the book here

Some Links:
Original link to the interview:

The author’s website:

Glenn On Facebook

Thursday, July 14, 2011

on this day of Thurs

Today is Thursday. Which means tomorrow is friday and we love friday, don't we? Yes, I think we do.

This week's primary book working project is reading back through the first AnnaBeth book. I mentioned that yesterday. I changed more than I thought I would, but nothing huge. I replaced a couple of words that weren't quite right, like I replaced 'podium' with 'lectern' and 'veranda' with 'patio', which I didn't really want to do because veranda is such a pretty word and I do like pretty words.

I found a couple of spots where I inadvertantly switched from past tense to present tense. There are times I did so intentionally and apparently other times where I had little writing accidents. So I fixed those.

And I removed some repetition.

And straight up typos (like Nanna getting a very brief sex change), of course. Typos gots to go.

Hopefully, I won't jinx myself by saying this, but I am currently on track to finish reading Friday night. The new, slightly tidier version of the ebook should go up this weekend in various retail outlets. Woo!

The new cover art won't be up until I relaunch the series, however.

Speaking of cover art, I have an awesome plan for the covers. I have three designs because I'm pretty sure AnnaBeth will be a trilogy. I can't wait until what I see for them in my mind is actually on a book. They are going to look amazing! By far the best covers yet.

Everything keeps getting better. This may eventually be a high class operation. lol!

And now for some birds. These are teeny tiny robins in our flower basket. They could barely hold their cute ugly little heads up to beg for food. Awwww...I regurgitated some burrito for them.

Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!
There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

book working updates

Not everything went as planned during weekend working time. At the end of last week, I made some announcements about various things that could possibly happen with the availability of the books.

If the print edition of MacDowell Sisters and AnnaBeth hasn't been pulled from Amazon distribution yet, it should be shortly.

I emailed Smashwords to see if they could fix the Babylon Dragon cover image on Barnes and Noble instead of me starting the upload process all over again and having to update my 5 billion links to it. They have done it! WOO!!

I did not update the kindle store version of MacDowell Sisters and AnnaBeth yet. I changed more than I had planned to, so now I am reading back through the book to make sure I didn't mess anything up. I should finish that by the end of this week, I think.

And now, are you ready for some weirdness? Check this out.

I was hanging out on Amazon and came across someone selling a hard cover edition of MacDowell Sisters and AnnaBeth. The price is $157+.

Holy crap. I'm flattered, I guess, that anyone would think they could get $157 for one of my books. If I ever get anything beyond ever so slightly internet famous, somebody might want it.

It’s also available through lulu, somehow, even though I thought I took it down. The interior is jacked up, blank pages and such. When I tried to fix it, I got into a heated argument with lulu’s system and threw my hands up and walked away. I guess that means the lulu system won.

Anyway, if you would like a hardcover edition that has some jacked up pages but also includes the illustrations that go with the book, one is available at The price is significantly less than $157.

Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!
There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

guest post: Feed the Mind - Why Creativity Never Ends

by: Joe Douglas

Creativity is our own personal channel of mental individualism. It is what makes us enlightened, unique, and keeps us in touch with who we really are. For creative writers, it is a way of life and often times, a way of living. When that creativity begins to struggle, we struggle with it. Sometimes the harder we try to get past our creative writer’s block, the worse it will become until it has turned into a nasty doubt spewing monster.

Instead of driving yourself to the point of tears with your constant frustration over your lack of ability to formulate the magic words and phrases that once flowed easily onto paper, try to spruce your life and your mind up a bit. Give yourself a break. Everyone needs a change from time to time.

Going somewhere you’ve never been can be exhilarating to a creative mind. Try ocean kayaking, camping out in a state park or strolling alone through a part of town you’ve always wanted to explore. Do something that excites you and take pictures. While on your adventure, jot down the easy ideas or feelings that come to mind during the experience.

If you’re more of a café and museum kind of writer, trying hanging out at either establishment for a day. Don’t put time limits or pressure on yourself. Just relax and take in the scenery and bizarre characters that float in and out of it. Cafes are a great place to people watch and catch snippets of weird and intriguing conversation. If you live in a city, restaurants boasting outdoor seating should be looked into. Observing other peoples’ interactions and mannerisms is like being a fly on the wall of the world. Just observe and jot down interesting things that float through your mind. If you’re really in a jam, jot down colors, textures, smells, sounds and feelings as you sit with your eyes closed, then try writing a page about it. Once you loosen up your creativity, it should being flowing again on its own. Happy writing-

Joe Douglas holds a B.A in Literature and currently writes for, an online facilitator for Viagra online and other safe FDA-approved medications such as Cialis. Joe uses his research scientist skills to cover and uncover big pharma news he shares on the AccessRx Blog.

Monday, July 11, 2011

movie: Red Riding Hood

Oh my goodness, it is SO HOT today. I got into my car after work and thought my skin was going to melt off before the air conditioner kicked in.

This weekend's movie was Red Riding Hood. It was one of those movies that I figured could go either way. It would either be awesome or fall flat.

It fell pretty flat.

The story is - wolf has plagued the village for years. The villagers put out livestock every once in a while so it munches on animals instead of humans. Then the problem escalates when the wolf kills someone in the village. A werewolf hunter (Gary Oldman) shows up at the village with his team to get rid of the wolf.

Everyone soon realizes that the werewolf is probably someone who lives in the village. Red Riding Hood (Amanda Seyfried) suspects her boyfriend may be the wolf, but there are other suspects as well. Red Riding Hood's name is Valerie, by the way, which I think might be a strange name for someone living during the middle ages.

First, the positives. The movie is beautiful. The sets are very detailed and fairytale looking. The colors are vivid - bright red, yellow, and blue clothing, etc. Everyone's hair was unrealistically flawless. Perfectly coifed villagers. I don't what sort of styling products they used in the fairytale middle ages but that shiz WORKS!

This movie tried very hard to be Twilight-esque. Valerie and her boyfriend, who are supposed to be in love, spend a lot of the movie apart, so the romance didn't come off as strongly as it could have. I didn't buy the connection between them.

Too, the supporting characters weren't developed very well, including the boyfriend.

The action was meh. The story was meh. Good concept. Pretty colors. Lame execution. This movie would've been much cooler if they leaned more toward horror than romance. It gets a D.

On a completely different subject, here are a couple of links. The first one goes to a blog with phots of an abandoned Six Flags park in New Orleans. Some of the pics came up as black rectangles on my computer but the ones that loaded properly are wonderfully eerie and gritty. The second link is a slideshow of almost equally eerie nighttime shots of Alcatraz.

New Orleans Six Flags

Alcatraz at night.

Tomorrow we have a guest post!

Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!
There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:

Sunday, July 10, 2011

mothra and some hot air balloons

I thought I would jump on for a minute and share some photos this weekend. The first two pictures are of a HUGE moth that we found hanging out on my dad's bug zapper of all places. It's a good thing he (or she) was too big to fit between the bars or he would have been toast!!

This next pair of photos is taken from the edge of my back yard. People round these parts like to fly around in hot air balloons. They're a pretty common sight. We don't usually catch them this close to the ground though.

Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!
There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:

Friday, July 8, 2011

various announcements

Ok, a few quick Friday announcements.

MacDowell Sisters and AnnaBeth will disappear from the Amazon Kindle store for a brief period of time, a couple of days at the most. I am fixing some typos (there are 3 that I know of) and uploading a new version.

I will attempt to remove the print edition of MacDowell Sisters and AnnaBeth from Amazon. It will probably still show up as an unavailable listing if all goes as planned. If you want the print edition with the typos intact, you might want to snag it within the next 24 hours.

Why am I doing this? Well, typos make me sad is one reason. A second, more important reason is that when the second book comes out (Fall 2011?), I am relaunching the series. New cover art for the second edition of book 1. New media page on the website dedicated to the series. Maybe some other surprises.

The first ebook will remain intact and available until the relaunch. The cover art will change when the second edition drops.

I am also unpublishing and republishing Babylon Dragon on Smashwords. Barnes and Noble has never updated the cover art, even though I updated it on Smashwords itself a million years ago. There might be a double listing or it might disappear completely for a while. I'm not sure what will happen with that.

I also have some paper changes to enter into the computer for AnnaBeth 2. My favorite activity! I made a bunch of chicken scratches on a binder full of manuscript pages and then shoved the whole mess into a file when I started writing the remix project. That's ok. Working through what I have will remind me of where I was and what I was doing before I put that project on hiatus.

Basically, I'm spending my weekend fixing stuff.

Is that it? I think that's it. Happy Weekending!

Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!
There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I thought it would be fun to profile the animals that I live with. They’re interesting characters. I probably won’t do them all in a row.

First up. Sneaker, aka the love of Max’s life

Sneaker is my daughter’s cat. A man found her at an outdoor mall and took her to a nearby neighborhood to see if she belonged to anyone. She didn’t. One of our friends took in the kitten and started calling people in an effort to find the kitty a home. We ended up taking her. We’re suckers like that.

She has a white “C” on her back.

It would be fun to find a cat with an “A” and a cat with a “T” and take a picture of them all sitting together. We could spell “ACT” or “TAC”.

Things that Sneaker is not interested in eating – canned meat like tuna fish or chicken.

Strange things that Sneaker does eat: plastic Easter basket grass, plastic feathers, photo print paper, scotch tape and stickers

Favorite pastimes: wrestling with Max and kicking him in the face, snuggling with Max, crying in a squeaky voice for no reason, nibbling toes and fingers, talking to birds on the other side of the window.

Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!
There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

reading, writing, and more birds

I am so creatively burnt out right now that it's ridiculous. I wrote and did some onscreen/on the fly editing on the remix project. I took a four-day weekend off the day job and spent a lot of it writing.

The end result is a brand spankin' fresh word count of 56804 words, including 2 newly completed Chelsea scenes and one more planned.

Usually when I get tired of writing, I can switch over to drawing. My brain is so fried right now that I can't even function well enough to do that. I'm on book break for the next few days so I can recharge.

I started reading a book called Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose, which is pretty darned boring. I mean like taking a 3-hour-long road trip with no radio boring.

However, the author makes good points, and I'm learning things so I feel compelled to keep going. I plan to finish the book before I go back to editing. I will persevere!

On a different note, we have birds again. On the porch. I know I said there would be no more birds on the porch.

This time, they were sneaky. They’re robins, which may or may not have anything to do with their sneakiness. They built their nest inside a hanging flower pot (bucket?), in the bushy flowers where we couldn’t see until my husband took it down to investigate a bird’s interest in that particular area.

There are five little, blue eggies. I will put up a picture once I get one. Grrrr…

Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!
There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:

Monday, July 4, 2011


Whattup internets? I just got back from the fireworks show in my neighborhood, and it was totally kickass. We knew that someone set off fireworks down by the lake but we usually just watch them from our porch. This year, we ventured down and it was a full-on partay! I think the whole neighborhood was there with their folding chairs and beers and such.

At sunset, there were fireworks from several directions. The sun went down completely, and everyone who served in the military or had family serving in the military was asked get up. They released lanterns into the air. If you’ve seen the Disney movie Tangled, it kind of looked like the flying lanterns in that movie. I wish I had taken my camera, so I could post a picture of them.

The man who did the big fireworks show was named Bob. We know he was named Bob because the DJ kept addressing him. That’s right. We’re so fancy up in this beotch that we have a DJ for our fireworks show! We guessed that he (DJ, not Bob) was around our age due to the music selection. He played everything from Guns and Roses to JayZ to 80s.

Near the end of the show, there may have been a malfunctioning firework. The yard in which they were setting off the big ones, had some fiery action going in the wrong direction. Yikes. Husband indicated that he saw someone running. I hope that Bob is alright.

Happy Independence Day!! Thank you to everyone who served or is serving in the military.

Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!
There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me: