Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Take Candy from Strangers Day!

naughty, naughty goblin. I put the movie post off tomorrow due to the Halloween festivities. Don't eat too much sugar, my darlings.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

not a humidifier

I was clicking around on wikihow the other day and landed on an article about how to alleviate sinus headaches. Below is a screenshot of a portion of that article. The object pictured does not match the caption. Do you know what it is? I do; I do! 200 bonus points if you can identify the object pictured. Hint: it is NOT a humidifier.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

drum roll please

ok, it's not really worth a drum roll. Here is what I have so far on the trailer. It looks kind of blurry and weird at the moment. I'm not sure why. It looks fine on my computer. There might be some issue with compression. I will try to see if I can get that resolved before I get the whole thing up and running for real.

It has taken several attempts for me to get this far. The rose vine is not the original vine I previously talked about completing. The good news is that I have my methods down, so I'm moving much faster than before.

I'm still not entirely happy with the drawing tools available inside Flash. They're awkward and there isn't enough control for me to make things the way I really want them. I draw up what I want in Fireworks and then take it over to Flash. It works, somewhat.

There will be a lot more to the trailer than growing vines and blooming flowers. I just wanted to start with the most difficult part to get it out of the way.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

book update plus trailer working

Hello, world. The birthday weekend was pretty awesome, despite the husband working most of it. The festivities will continue this weekend when I visit the fam. Perhaps next week I'll do a complete birthday breakdown.

I worked my ass off. It was truly amazing. I transferred almost 50 pages of paper editing changes into the computer for the remix project. That's on schedule to go up on the writing feedback sites in November, maybe a week or two in. I'm sending it to lady editor at the same time.

I'm really pleased with how it looks so far. I don't have to slash and burn as much as I used to. I'm either becoming a better writer or a crappier editor. Let’s hope for the former.

I spent most of my time this weekend working on the book trailer. My Saturday night was watching Arthur, drinking a bunch of wine and animating leaves. The leaves ended up looking not awesome, so I deleted them on Monday. What's the moral of the story, kids? Don't drink and animate.

I tried to upload the video to Blogger but that function doesn't appear to be working. I shall try again upon the morrow.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Rapid fire movie post

I have many movies and not a lot of time to spend on them. I took each synopsis from IMDB.

“A drunken playboy stands to lose a wealthy inheritance when he falls for a woman his family doesn't like.”

Not bad, not great. It was funny and tragic in places. I didn’t see the original, so I can’t offer a comparison. Extra points for Helen Mirren’s presence. Arthur gets a C+.


“At her new job in a rundown children's hospital, a nurse desperately tries to keep her patients safe from a plague of random, mysterious attacks.”

This movie was from 2005 and is currently listed on Netflix streaming. The scary parts were good. There could have been more of them. The hospital setting had a nice, creepy atmosphere. Calista Flockhart started out with an accent but lost it about 20 minutes into the movie. That was kind of funny.

Fragile gets a B-.
Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon

“The Autobots learn of a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the Moon, and race against the Decepticons to reach it and to learn its secrets.”

If you liked the first two, you’ll probably like the third one. Big robots, lots of things blowing up, etc. The movie was a little too long. They could have shaved off like 30 minutes. A-

Hall Pass

“A married man is granted the opportunity to have an affair by his wife. Joined in the fun by his best pal, things get a little out of control when both wives start engaging in extramarital activities as well.”

Very funny. A little ooky in spots. B+


“After a sudden underwater tremor sets free scores of the prehistoric man-eating fish, an unlikely group of strangers must band together to stop themselves from becoming fish food for the area's new razor-toothed residents”
Cheesy, gut-wrenchingly (haha, get it?) gory, decent special effects, takes some filming methods from really old movies, example: parts of the underwater filming similar to Creature from the Black Lagoon.

There were a lot of topless women. Really, a lot. Like boobs galore. Also, some really good actors appeared, which was strange – Jerry O’Connell, Christopher Lloyd, Ving Rhames, Richard Dreyfuss. Piranha gets a C-.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The completely impractical thing that I want but am probably not getting, but maybe eventually

Today is my birthday! Wheee!!! I have a new cappuccino machine. This one functions. My dinner steaks are thawing on the counter. Grandma called to sing to me. Overall, it’s a good day so far.

A birthday is a good day to talk about what you want. There is a thing, a pair of shoes, actually, that I’m a little obsessed with. They are Adidas Millennium Falcon hightops. Here are a couple of pics.

So why not just buy them? Well. It’s a complicated situation. First, they’re $160, which is a lot for my oft-broke ass to drop on some shoes. Second, if I got them, I would want to wear them. In perfectly dry weather, to indoor activities because if they got wet or mud on them, I would probably cry. If someone who appreciated what they were saw me in them, they would probably be like – why are you wearing collector’s items?

I have this personality quirk in which I actually want to use/enjoy my stuff. I have a pretty decently sized toy collection. The only toy that I left in the box is a 12” Han Solo action figure circa 1996. So yes, I would want to wear the shoes.
I will have to be content with continuing to stalk them on the website for now. Maybe Adidas will make them down eventually. Right? Maybe?

Friday, October 21, 2011

animation update, part, uh, 3?

I did a little work on the trailer this week. I had hoped to have a significant bit of it to show off on the blog by now. I'm still relatively new to the whole animation thing, and I'm still trying to find my rhythm in Flash.

Since I last posted, I have determined that tweening is not the miracle I thought it was. Tweening is where you create two keyframes on the timeline and Flash automatically creates the states between those keyframes. Tweening works flawlessly for movement, not so flawlessly for shape morphing. Adobe hasn't quite worked out the bugs on that one.

The shapes I'm using (plant stems and vines) are complicated. Whenever I try to tween them, even if it's just a little, they implode. They get all wonky on the screen. It's kind of trippy sometimes but not really the effect I was going for. I'm spending more time trying to fix implosions than I would spend just animating frame by frame.

So I'm switching over to frame by frame. I'll bust out the bamboo tablet and get to painting. I'll have more freedom with the drawing that way anyway. There is a slim chance I might have some part of the trailer finished and ready to show off next week. But I also have 30+ pages of on-paper editing changes to enter too, so I guess I'll have to see which way the wind blows this weekend.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

freedom and ederting

The internet technician man came. I am no longer isolated! I am happy to say that I am NOT typing this on my phone.

I started working on the edit for the remix project. Diving back in for an edit or a rewrite makes me nervous. I have to spend a day or two mentally preparing for whatever word wonkiness I might find. So far, the edit is going well. There are changes on almost every page, but most of them are small.

I did find a scene that needed more effective conversation. There was a second scene that I tried to work through, moved on out of frustration and then ended up going back and rewriting it almost completely. I should have just done that the first time through.

I’ve read the book a couple of times and that scene never felt right. I think I kept it because there were parts of it that I liked. Other parts didn’t make sense, the way the characters reacted. One character went from distressed to resigned in a matter of like two sentences without any real reason to do so. Yikes.

I also found three consecutive sentences that said the same thing. That was a special moment.

Are you impressed yet?

I’m about 25% of the way through, so I’m moving at a decent clip. I notified lady editor that she should receive it next month.

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, October 18, 2011

still no net

I am still in a state of argh due to no internet. I did want to pop on via phone because I forgot to mention a quick thing yesterday. I'm changing the price structure for my books when I rerelease MacDowell Sisters and AnnaBeth under the new title and with the new cover. Right now, none of my ebooks is over 99 cents.

With the next release, the ebooks are going to $1.99. I realize that percentage-wise, that's quite a hike. However, when you take into consideration that most ebooks backed traditional publishers are priced at 5.99 or more, that's still a pretty darn good deal.

Babylon Dragon will remain 99 cents for now. And Clockwork, which is free everywhere but amazon, will also stay the same price.

That's it for now. The internet technician man is supposed to come tomorrow. If he doesnt, I may scream.

Monday, October 17, 2011


I have no internet right now! Aaaaaaarrrrgh! I feel like someone chopped off my left hand. I am typing this on my phone. There is no movie post because that would be insanely annoying to attempt on a phone.

However, I do have good news. I finished a book! Woo! AnnaBeth2 is done. I am setting a tentative release time of sometime next summer, maybe sooner if I get itchy. The title is Devil in the Branch.

Now if you will excuse me, I'm going to go work on some book trailer animation.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

spider time

It’s that time of year again! The weather gets colder. The spiders decide they want to come inside. We found three this week. Lucky for them, spiders are on a catch and release program at my house. I catch them under a glass and then toss their happy little butts back outside. I don’t like to kill things. It bothers me…unless it’s a mosquito.

The spiders we get usually look about like this.

I walked into the kitchen yesterday morning and found that my daughter had left a spider under a glass for me to toss out. There was a purple fruit loop in there with him, in case he got hungry, I guess. I threw him out on the front porch in the cold, rainy weather. He did not seem pleased. He freaked out and ran around.

Is it weird that I don’t mind spiders very much? I mean, I care if they bite me of course, but the sight of one does not cause me to freak out, as it does my wussy brother in law. Lol. He shrieks like a girl. That reminds me. I need to picture message him a close-up of a spider face.

Catch ya later.
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, October 12, 2011

fightin' and such

Writing fight scenes is difficult. I finished one today for Ab2.

Before I began, I knew I needed to get the whole thing worked out in my head. I didn't want to just start in with whatever because that would likely be a mess by the time I finished.

So I put some upbeat Missy Elliott on the mp3 player and visualized what I wanted to happen. First thing, where was everyone at the start? How did they feel about the people nearby? What were their expectations?

I decided which of the six people would make the first move. Then I ran through various scenarios, what if so and so did this, etc. I had memorized the scene I wanted before I wrote a word of it. Doing so worked out pretty well, I think.

Working all the action out beforehand is good for consistency as well. Sometimes when I'm typing furiously, I get ahead of myself and forget details.

I am almost finished with the book. I may finish this week. If I am delayed for whatever reason, it will be next week. I have the climax scene and an epilogue left to write and that's it.

word count update: 72559

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, October 11, 2011

A Rising Moon and Coxhall Gardens

The first pic is of the moon rising over the field behind the house. I loved how bright it was and the colors of the clouds.

The rest of the pictures are from a little park in Carmel, IN called Coxhall Gardens. We visited this weekend.

This is one of a pair of twin bell towers. There was one on each end of the park.

Just beyond that concrete doughnut is a fence that features poorly rendered naked people, and beyond that fence is an amphitheatre. We couldn't go all the way into the amphitheatre because it was rented for a wedding. This part was supposed to be closed as well. There was actually a do not enter sign behind me when I took this. I'm a rebel like that.

This is as far into the ampitheatre as we got.

Aquatic Flora

Gratuitous bee on flower shot.

This is the children's garden. It was so cute! This section was a little village. I would like to see it in summertime when the flowers are in full bloom.

I took this picture when we first arrived. I thought the view was cool.

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, October 10, 2011

movie twofer

There were two movies this weekend! I have a book I’m trying to finish, so this is going to be quick.

Toll Hunter

From IMDB - “A group of students investigates a series of mysterious bear killings, but learns that there are much more dangerous things going on. They start to follow a mysterious hunter, learning that he is actually a troll hunter. “
Norwegian flick with subtitles. They went for a Blair Witch feel and did a decent job of pulling it off. The special effects were AMAZING. If you have a surround sound system, turn that thing UP when watching this movie.

I have a significant complaint – not enough parts with trolls. Most of the movie was blah-blah and walking around woods. As far as story goes, not bad, not great.

Troll Hunter gets a C.



Also from IMDB – “Two British comic-book geeks traveling across the U.S. encounter an alien outside Area 51.”

Paul is a cute comedy that stars Nick Frost and Simon Pegg and several other well-known stars. Seth Rogen is the voice of the alien.

The Brits find the alien and agree to take him to a spot where he can get picked up by his people. They encounter various people who serve as obstacles along the way – a men in black kind of guy, super religious wackadoodles, and rednecks.

Paul is very funny and entertaining. There is a fair amount of action and many geek culture references, which is always a plus in my book. Paul gets a B+.

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, October 7, 2011

friday bloggin'

Glorious Friday! I am so excited to be heading into the weekend. The day was warm when I got off work. We had sunshine too!

Here is what the field behind my house looks like right now. Pretties!

I need need need to finish AnnaBeth 2!!! Like yesterday, like 10 minutes ago. I am going to be writing my ass off the next week or two to finish it.

I would like to post at least the first few chapters of the remix project up on a couple of writing feedback websites before November starts. That means I need to finish the AB2 rough draft and read through the beginning remix chapters in a very short period of time.

So this weekend, there will be no animation. There might be a little Journey Reader working. Mostly, there will be a lot of writing. I swear it.

AnnaBeth2 word count update: 67738

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

lookie, books!

Sometimes I read this blog that consists mainly of showing what’s in peoples’ closets. These are artists and fashion people, not us ordinary folk. They pose in their favorite (usually weird) outfits and sometimes bits of their apartments or houses are included. The photographer also likes to show the books on their shelves. This is usually whatever they would like to be seen reading, that’s my take on it at least.

So today I’m sharing a snippet from my bookshelf. These aren’t necessarily look-how-smart-I-am books. They were just selections that I found interesting for one reason or another. Here is the pic.

The book on top is Traitor’s Purse, by Margaret Allingham, 1942 edition. I bought this book at a library book sale for $1. The 1958 edition is currently listed on Amazon for $82.69. How much do I like this book again? Lol. I chose this book at the sale solely based on the freakishly awesome binding. It’s in such good condition that I did end up reading it and it is very, very good.

Book number 2 is What Your Hands Reveal, by Jo Sheridan, 1973. My mom gave me this book. I’m not sure where she got it. It’s about palm reading. I’m not sure why I hang onto it. I pick it up and read some of it every once in a while, but then I am distracted by something shiny and I walk away. I really like the cover of this book, which you can view at the link below if you so desire.

Book 3 is also from mommy dearest. The Great Dinosaur Mystery Solved! By Ken Ham. Once upon a time, my mother dated an overly enthusiastic religious man. He didn’t believe in evolution or gay people. When he and my mother broke up, he left behind some freaky religious books. I took a couple of them to keep as curiosities. I haven’t read through the whole thing but I believe this book is intended to help religious people come to grips with the existence of dinosaurs.

The next book down is The Mustang Buyer’s Guide. I bought this book from a bookstore when I was about 13 years old. To say that I heart Mustangs is an understatement. I did finally get one last year. It’s a sweet ass black and white 2007 pony.

Book number 5 has part of the title concealed by tape that I have used to reassemble this book. I think this is another one from mommy dearest. The title is Baby Names and Announcements. I sometimes use this book to choose names for characters in my stories and books. It lists names, meanings, and cultures of origin.

Book 6 is Knitting with Dog Hair by Kendall Crolius and Anne Montgomery. Do I knit with dog hair? Heck no. My dog smells like a dead fish. I would rather wear a garbage bag. I bought this book at a library sale because it made me laugh. Like the dinosaur book, it is also a curiosity.

Book 7 = Graphic Design by Michael Bierut. I started reading this book like 6 months ago and put it down. I should finish it some day.

Book 8 – Essential Dali. I LOVE Salvador Dali. What a brilliant eccentric amazing artist. He is probably my favorite.

That’s it for 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, October 3, 2011

movie: Priest

Today was really tiring. I had a dentist appointment first thing. I associate the dentist with pain and lectures about flossing. It’s not my favorite place to visit. The children were with me too. I was there for a really long time. Then, on the way to work, my new phone arrived! Woo! So I swung by the house to pick that up and get it activated. I’m going to work on getting it set up after I jump off here.

Anyway, movie.


I’m grabbing the synop from IMDB because I’m rushing.

“PRIEST, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller, is set in an alternate world -- one ravaged by centuries of war between man and vampires. The story revolves around a legendary Warrior Priest from the last Vampire War who now lives in obscurity among the other downtrodden human inhabitants in walled-in dystopian cities ruled by the Church. When his niece is abducted by a murderous pack of vampires, Priest breaks his sacred vows to venture out on a quest to find her before they turn her into one of them. He is joined on his crusade by his niece's boyfriend, a trigger-fingered young wasteland sheriff, and a former Warrior Priestess who possesses otherworldly fighting skills.”

The action was great. Fighting was Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon style, though not quite to that extreme. The vampires were very creepy. They didn’t even look human. They reminded me of the Lickers from Resident Evil. They had no eyes and large fang-filled mouths.

Priest was like The Book of Eli meets Underworld. I think this was one of those movies that tried to cram too much story into too short a time. The characters weren’t well developed, especially the main character.

Priest was okay. 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: