Monday, December 3, 2012


Oh my gosh. I can't believe I'm leaving Blogger behind. The new internet home is looking quite pretty. I hope you'll head on over and check it out. Update your bookmarks if you have them.

I moved my domain name there too. I'm not sure if it's active yet.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

putting together the book binder and other shenanigans - not in that order

I'm in the process of moving my main internet home over to Wordpress, so the next thing you see here will likely be a link sending you over yonder. I'll probably have it set up round about Monday. It's going to be a sort of website/blog combo, which really is better than having all of my stuff scattered about.  

I’m doing so at the suggestion of a marketing guy named Nick Armstrong. There was email conversation. If you’re interested in marketing, be sure to check out his delightfully profanity-laden email newsletter. He’s real, yo.

I'll probably leave the stuff on Google sites in place in case I want to go back at some point.

Anyway, book binder!

I have ideas for books and stories faster than I can write them, so I set up a binder to hold my notes, which are in various stages.

Why make notes if I’m not ready to write the story? Well, because I often forget things. And also, when I have characters and stories other than whatever I'm working on in my head, they distract me. They interfere with my mental zen. I write enough about them to get them to leave me alone, and then I can go back to working in a more orderly fashion.

What's in the book binder? Currently, I have notes for about 8 books and 10 short stories and also a list of random and interesting subjects that could eventually turn into stories. Before I finally got organized, these were scattered everywhere from computer to tablet to pieces of actual paper - not a good situation when you're trying to find something, right? Right.

The binder previously contained notes for the last 2 books I wrote and 1 I haven't written yet. I took the old stuff out first and replaced the old notes with newly organized printouts of the pending projects. They have tabs to make them easier to find. Any excuse to use office supplies is a-ok with me. I'm kind of a nerd that way...and maybe some other ways too.

The notes have a tendency to expand gradually when the stories and characters start to encroach again. I can just pop the additions in later. Then, if all goes as planned, when I'm ready to start a new project, I just snatch one out of the binder. Woo!

Organization is like gold when one has a lot of material to cover.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nanowrimo Status: Complete...sort of

So then. The thing is done. Did I finish?
The story is finished, yes. I wrote a novella from beginning to end within the month. 

Did I reach the official Nanowrimo word count goal of 50,000 words? Mais no, mon ami. I didn't actually think the story would be that long anyway, so no worries on that account. And it could actually turn into a whole nother thing later during a rewrite. Ya never know.

Completed word count: 25828

They're having an end of nano party in Indy. I thought about going but ultimately remembered that I'm not much of a party person. I do think it would be fun. I just...I don't know. I have other stuff that takes priority. Maybe next year.

Nanowrimo itself was a very interesting experience. I’ve seen some writers bash Nano on their blogs and so forth. They have this idea that it somehow devalues the written word by cramming all of this work into a short time. They think everyone just cranks out all of this drivel and then they ship it off to attempt to get it published. That viewpoint is pretty shallow and not true, for the most part. 

Judging by the message boards, that isn't what Nano is for most people. First, it's more about camaraderie than anything else. These people all over the world attempt this crazy feat at the same time. They encourage each other and engage in community weirdness. They whine about word counts or they offer advice where they can. 

Mostly, they write. It is a marathon, my friends. Make no mistake about that or think for one moment that cranking out a book in 30 days is something that a "lazy" author does. It's a month-long lurch that drains the brainpower considerably.

It's also optimum time for the interferers to interfere because they will observe you working, which reminds them that they aren't working and maybe their lives are a little sadder than they could be. 

Was it worthwhile? Yes! Would I do it again? Probably! I would like to go in with more extensive notes, however. Mine were quite crappified.

Monday, November 26, 2012

movie: The Expendables

Hellllloooo! Time for Monday movie post.

We watched The Expendables 2 this weekend. I didn’t even know it was out until the husband came walking back from the Red Box with it.

Here’s our IMDB description: “Mr. Church reunites the Expendables for what should be an easy paycheck, but when one of their men is murdered on the job, their quest for revenge puts them deep in enemy territory and up against an unexpected threat.”

It had more guys. Van Damme decided he wanted to jump on the money train. Chuck Norris makes an appearance or two.  That cute boy who played Gale in The Hunger Games in the mix, as well.

There are more than a few jokes that are references to the actors’ various previous movies, which makes the movie fun to watch.

It was pretty much more of the same. If you liked the first one, you’ll probably like the second one. We have plenty of boom, plenty of gun shooting and action sequences. All very nice. The Expendables 2 gets an A. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

still trucking

Hey there, internet neighbors! Happy Thanksgiving week if you live in the US! I hope everyone has a chance to spend quality time with the family.

I thought I'd pop in and see what's going on. I'm still working on the Nanowrimo project. I'm at about 24000 words, which probably sounds like a lot, but I'm significantly behind where I should be at this time. In order to hit the official goal of 50,000 words by the end of the month, I would have to write over 2000 words a day. I could probably do it if I didn't work the day job, but alas...

I should still finish the rough draft by the end of the month because it's actually pretty short, relatively speaking. I probably have a good 10,000 words left and es finito. I will have to go back and expand some scenes from the beginning of the book because I moved through them so very quickly. That's what happens when we rush, kids.

So, what’s it about? Let's see. It's the sequel to What The Dead Fear. We have Juniper and Cricket in Limbo, Gareth too, of course. They discover some strange goings on in the borderland. Someone has decided that God has Heaven, Lucifer has Hell and they should have Limbo for their own. Shenanigans ensue.

This story delves further into the whole guardian/minion mythology and the nature of Limbo, etc. I think that's the way to go when you write paranormal fiction sequels, if you want to keep things fresh. Dig deeper into the ideas.

The book has some aspects in common with Babylon Dragon, not so much in story as ideas. They both take place in the afterlife, although this new book involves Limbo instead of Purgatory. They have ways of viewing and interacting with the mortal world. The guardians are a bit like the Crydh, but considerably more mellow. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

a listening collage and a cat picture

Happy Friday!

current status: watching an episode of Doctor Who called "Let's Kill Hitler".

I have two things. I made a collage of the music I'm listening to while writing for the nanowrimo. That tends to be a common question for some reason - what music do you listen to while writing. It's even on the nanowrimo profile. Somehow music makes the words come more easily. Is it magic? Maybe.

I've been listening to these CDs more than the others while writing the current project. Clockwise starting at the top, they are:

Radiohead: A King of Limbs
Ellie Goulding: Halcyon
Portishead: Dummy
The XX: Coexist
Interpol: My Love to Admire

Current Nano word count =  >20,000 words. 

In unrelated news, Sneaker (the secondary kitty cat) has taken to sitting nearby and staring at me. It's a little weird but she's adorable, so I guess I can let it slide. In this picture, she was using my legs as a piece of furniture. 

That is all. Carry on. Catch you later.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

popping in for a Nanowrimo update


We watched Snow White and the Huntsman this weekend, and it was really awesome. I don’t have time to write a whole thing, but I recommend it. I hope they make that sequel I’ve been reading rumors about.

I’m still deeply immersed in Nanowrimo. I’m really digging it so far. My word count is over 15,000.
The Nano website has a thing that I want to try to reproduce in some kind of way.

You’re supposed to update the word count on the website to track your progress. When you update it, the site generates a report of average number of words per day, the date the goal will be met if you keep up at that pace, number of words remaining, etc. It’s kind of like a spreadsheet and I do so love spreadsheets.

I think I can make something like it in Excel. There would be math involved but I might be able to handle it. Perhaps after I have completed the Nano task. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

And Now We Wednesday

I’m checking in! I’m still alive and typing words. This is Day 7 of nanowrimo. I’m at about 8000 words. I’m a bit behind, but am still planning to catch up. I created some better notes for myself, so that should help me move more quickly.

Nano is an interesting thing. I get on the website and look at the forums. I saw one lady who was offering up imaginary animals for adoption. These imaginary animals perform various functions to help keep writers focused on their writing. Very strange. Also, people volunteered to take the animals.

They have events for Nano too. Apparently there was a kickoff party at IndyReads. I didn’t find out about that until after the fact. They also have what they call “write-ins” which I’m pretty sure is just a bunch of people gathering in a public place to write. Or they read stuff out loud. Definitely one of those two things. I haven’t researched it thoroughly. Lol.

None of them have been near me so far. I would consider going if there was one close to me.
They do have a party at the end of Nano. I would like to try to go to that if possible. They have snacks and prizes and such.

Hmmm…I think that’s all I have to say about that for now. I’d better get writing if I’m going to get caught up. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

nanowrimo update 1

Hello, love bugs! I'm just popping in for a sec before I head back into writing land. Nanowrimo is going pretty well. I'm at about 5000 words, which is a little behind target but still ok. I'm finding it's more about diligence than speed, with me at least. 

Some people are over 20,000 words. I call them unemployed. Lol, totally kidding. I don't know what they're doing. Seeing as nano just started in 11/1, that's pretty cray cray.

The notes for my book weren't as extensive as I remembered them being. I think I might actually be missing a page or two, but I will power through. I have direction and direction is the necessity. I'm letting the thing be what it wants to be. Should be interesting. 

Max has been "helping". That's him resting his sweet little head on my iPad. The boy does love his snuggles.

The husband seems especially crabby about the whole nano deal, so there's a bit of an obstacle. The cold weather is keeping him indoors more and he doesn't quite seem to know what to do with himself. And he sees me plugging away and it just irks the heck out of him - me and my purpose. I have suggested hobbies other than cleaning. He has declined. Men. 

Anyway, that's all for now. I should go type more words, perhaps in a quiet closet. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Nanowrimo or No

Nanowrimo starts tomorrow. A quick explanation for the nonwriterly types: a bunch of people attempt to write a novel in the course of November. National Novel Writing Month. They support each other through a social network and there are activities and forums, etc. The site is

I really shouldn't do it. I planned to spend the month editing Llewyn's Faith while lady editor has Pestilence.

Also, I've never written a book in such a short amount of time. I'd probably blog a lot less. No time for drawing. There would only be time for the slapping of words into page. I type pretty quickly, but my brain sometimes turns to mush when I push it too hard.

I do have notes for a book I could work on though.

Argh. I’ll decide tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

i'm in a bookstore, occupying yer table

Whattup, y’all? We are having some hurricane-ish sort of weather. I’m in Indiana, so we’re basically just getting some (not excessive but still annoying) wind and rain. This morning while driving out of the neighborhood, I fishtailed, then overcorrected and had to correct again. The incident set the heart racing but nothing was damaged. Mustangs are not made for wet pavement. I didn’t even pull out that fast.

Anyway, there was no movie post yesterday due to the fact that our Netflix movie went missing. We spent this weekend getting caught up on the DVR watching.

Which brings me to the most fun of today! I have a volunteer publicist. She told me not to call her that because she didn’t want people to start sending her books but I forget what she told me to call her instead. 

She is D. Moore and she got a bookstore guy to let my book hang out in his store. Woo!
Here’s a pic of it on the local author table. She also dropped off the book and took the picture cuz she’s totally awesome.

You know what you should do? You should follow her blog and her Twitter. Here are the links.

The store is run by Indy Reads, a literacy charity in Indianapolis. Here is a link for them -

Be sure to check them out. People need to know how to read. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

cruising crown hill

Today was day one of the five-day weekend. We went to Crown Hill, which is a huge cemetery in the middle of Indianapolis. Here are some pics for your viewing enjoyment. 

I thought this was a very sad memorial. The inscription was just heartbreaking. 

A vote for Blank sign in front of the Blank tomb. I don't know; he might be better than the options we have now. 

Crown Hill is home to the highest elevation in Indianapolis. We found this statue on the walk up the hill. It was tall like a giant.

So, who's king of this grand hill?

James Whitcomb Riley! Here's a bit about him I pulled from Wikipedia. 

"James Whitcomb Riley (October 7, 1849 – July 22, 1916) was an American writerpoet, and best selling author. During his lifetime he was known as the Hoosier Poet and Children's Poet for his dialect works and his children's poetry respectively. His poems tended to be humorous or sentimental, and of the approximately one thousand poems that Riley authored, the majority are in dialect. His famous works include "Little Orphant Annie" and "The Raggedy Man".

Also the Riley Children's hospital was dedicated to him.

This is part of the detail on the tomb. It's a statue (bronze?) of a little girl reading a book. There are some words but I don't remember what they said exactly. A ginger got right in the way of my picture. I don't know what her deal is. lol

This is the inscription on the tomb lid thingy. Sorry I'm not up on my burial vocabulary. People put change on  the lid. I grabbed this quote about the coins from another blog. I don't know if it's true, but it makes sense. 

"After his death children began donating coins to help pay for his memorial.  The tradition of leaving coins on his monument continues today and money collected is donated to Mr. Riley’s legacy, The Riley Hospital for children.”

 This is the view from the top of the hill. Riley's tomb was to my back when I took the picture. The Indianapolis skyline is at the center of the horizon.

This was one of my favorite things that we saw. I assume it's a statue of the lady buried here. I believe her name was Susan Downing...

and she does not approve.

I found out that John Dillinger is buried in Crown Hill but we didn't see his grave. maybe next time.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

birthday fun times!

Today is my birthday! Yay, me. It was a good day, but tomorrow will be better because it’s the start of my 5-day weekend!! Oh yes, freedom, temporary and sweet.

In celebration of my special day, I thought I would pull some info about this fine 297th day of the year, 297th in a leap year.

Famous names who share my birthday:
Ryan Reynolds – YUM!
Weird Al – not yum but still cool.
Nancy Grace
Robert Trujillo –bassist for Metallica
Johnny Carson

Stuff that happened on my birthdate, but not the same year I was born.

1641 – Outbreak of the Irish rebellion – appropriate because I am both slightly Irish and occasionally rebellious.

1958 – premier of the Smurfs

2001 – Apple announces the ipod – funny because I don’t really like ipods all that much

Other stuff happened too, but I don’t need to go on all day, do I? I got these juicy tidbits from Wikipedia so if you want to see what happened on your birthday, just go there and type in your birthdate, minus the year. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

movie: The Avengers

Description from IMDB: “Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. brings together a team of super humans to form The Avengers to help save the Earth from Loki and his army.”

That’s kind of a lame description. Basically Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hulk, Nick Fury and assorted other characters team up to stop Loki (Thor’s adopted brother) from facilitating an alien invasion.

As you can imagine, most of this movie consists of kick ass action-y scenes. Heroes flying around, stuff blowing up, witty banter. It was all quite wonderful – just the way I like my flicks.

Seeing the characters from various other stories interact with each other was one of the greatest aspects of this movie. They brought along their respective histories and entered into brand spanking new conflicts.

The only complaint I had about this movie was how annoying Captain America was. Next to Iron Man’s wit and intelligence, he came off like a self-righteous dork. I didn’t like him as much in this movie.

The Avengers was totally awesome. I would love to see a sequel. It gets an A.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Guest Post: Dee Crabtree, author of Promise Road

Dee Crabtree is here to talk about her new book, Promise Road.

On its surface, Promise Road appears to be a book about scandal, infidelity and betrayal.  On a deeper level, it’s about mental illness.  My purpose in writing this story was to shine a light on this tragic problem; a problem that is very prevalent in our society.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health ( an estimated one in four American adults suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder.  Some instances, such as minor mood disorders, are fairly benign and easily managed, while others, such as schizophrenia, can be complex and even dangerous.   

Emily, the main character of my book, was raised by two disturbed parents and she struggles to understand their behavior throughout her childhood.  She is painfully aware that her family is remarkably different from other families and she longs to know why.

As an adult, Emily develops a layman’s comprehension of mental illness and eventually realizes that both her mother and father are deeply afflicted.   While she learns to accept who her they are, she begins to question who is she is.  The mistakes she makes in life cause her to fear that she might suffer from the same ailments as her parents. 

A lot of people in our society grow-up in a situation that resembles Emily’s early years.  Unfortunately, unlike Emily, they may never develop the insight that might help ease the pain of their childhood.  My hope is that this book will enlighten readers and lead them to better understand their loved ones who may suffer from some form of mental illness.

Insanity and infidelity in the Midwest

Columbus, Indiana was a quiet, pleasant place during the turbulent 1960s and 70s.  However, with a seriously sociopathic father and a bitter, narcissistic mother,  Emily Anne Taylor's life was anything but quiet and pleasant during those years.  She grew up in a broken, dysfunctional home and in an equally broken, dysfunctional culture.

As a grown woman, Emily is painfully aware that her parents' dubious choices and behaviors shaped her understanding of what constitutes normal behavior.  Countless unfortunate memories affect her deeply as she searches for love and happiness.  She questions her own sanity with every choice she makes. 

Just as Emily reluctantly begins a painful divorce, she becomes close friends, and then more, with a married man who appears to be her salvation - but is he truly her soul mate and the key to her happily-ever-after or is he just another insane choice?

Link to the author's website.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

a movie and a bookie book

Hello! I would say happy Tuesday but then, is any Tuesday really a happy one?

Last night I dreamed that I was visiting an art museum while wearing grungy pajamas. I guess I should be happy that I wasn’t naked. The other people in the museum did not appreciate my attire.

I didn’t write up a movie post yesterday, so here’s a bit about what we watched. Get Low was the movie starring Robert Duvall and Sissy Spacek and Bill Murray and some other people. It’s about an old man who plans a funeral party while he’s still alive. There’s a mystery surrounding him and that story comes to light a little at a time, as many mysteries do. It’s a somewhat quiet but interesting movie. I liked it.

Guess what else . I have a pretty bookie! The CreateSpace version is now available on Amazon. Here is a pic. HERE is the link to Amazon. Any Facebook likes on the product page are quite appreciated. It has zero at the moment. 

The book looks nice on the shelf next to Destined. I'll be happy when the last book comes out and they can all hang out together. I will say that that fancy font is difficult to read in smaller sizes. If I could redo the cover designs, I would choose a font that's easier to read small.

Friday, October 12, 2012

popping in for a friday quickie

Inadvertent writing advice from Woody Harrelson

I was reading an interview with Woody Harrelson today and came to a line that really got my attention. The interview was for a movie he has coming out called Seven Psychopaths. He's actually talking about Martin McDonagh, who is the director and writer of the movie.

"Martin's one of those guys where the darkness and the light are giving each other the right amount of room to laugh hysterically."

How brilliant is that? It's quirky character depth in one simple sentence or quirky writer depth, either way you want to go. 

Link to the interview.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

movie: Cabin in the Woods

I totally spaced the movie post yesterday, so we're having a Tuesday movie post this week.

We watched Cabin in the Woods. 

Description from IMDB: "Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin in the woods, where they get more than they bargained for. Together, they must discover the truth behind the cabin in the woods."

What do I say about this movie? It starts out as one thing and morphs into this almost completely different thing, sort of. It's somewhat easy to guess where the story is going as you watch it, but once it gets to a certain point, the thing just dissolves into chaos. This movie is for people who can go with the flow in a story. If you like weird stuff like I do, you could like this movie. 

The special effects are epic. I can't say much without inserting a spoiler or two, but let's just say, there's a lot to look at. 

Cabin in the Woods is crazy and awesome. It gets an A. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Orson and Ernest

I stumbled on this video today whilst perusing tweets on the Twitter. This is Orson Wells talking about his friendship with Ernest Hemingway. I never think of the literary greats being friends, except for Mary Shelley and her bunch, which was why I was excited to see this interview. The video kind of cuts off there at the end, but you still get a good sense of the friendship dynamic. I love this.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

an inaccurate copyright notice

I finished the longest book ever today! Ok, it probably isn’t the longest book ever, but it sho nuff did seem like it – 800+ pages. I think they could’ve lopped about 200 pages off that thing and the story would have been fine.

The book was 11/22/63 by Stephen King.

I had some trouble with the way they wrote the copyright notice in the front of the book. First, here’s the book description from Amazon.

“Life can turn on a dime—or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in a Maine town. While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away . . . but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke. . . . Finding himself in warmhearted Jolie, Texas, Jake begins a new life. But all turns in the road lead to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. The course of history is about to be rewritten . . . and become heart-stoppingly suspenseful.”

Now, did we notice some of those famous names/events? Yes, I think we did.

Let’s see what the copyright notice page says.

“This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.”

Hmmm. Is it coincidental? I’m thinking no. A lot of the book is based in fact, obviously not the time travel business, but the Kennedy assassination, Oswald, his wife, etc, many details were true. I realize the notice is the standard industry fare, but I think, in this case, the publisher should have altered the copyright in some way to account for all of the real stuff in there. 

The book is very good, btw. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

haunted housing: Indiana Fields of Fear

I had no movie post yesterday because the fam and I were off to Lafayette for media night at Indiana Fields of Fear in Lafayette, Indiana. We got to experience all three attractions. I pasted a description I stole from their official website below.

"FEAR IS ALIVE! Indiana Fields of Fear offers 3 haunted attractions for the 2012 season (October 5 – October 28). Our haunted attractions include The Gallows, Creature Cavern, and Hogs Hollow Farm.

On December 11, 1816, Indiana became the 19th state. The fields of Indiana were filled with rich soil, bringing good fortune to those that settled here. As the state grew in population, predators began to feast on the innocent. Torture and death lurked in the darkness. SO, come join those that have come before you and meet your fate in three of the Indiana Fields of FEAR!"

Fields of Fear is fun! Three haunted houses, each with its own story.

We headed into Hogs Hollow Farm first. It began with a short stint in a boxcar in which a crazy lady gives you the rundown on some tasty meat the people at the farm served her. Visitors then venture deep into the realm of crazy country people, ma and pa in the farmhouse, their livestock nearby. All the while, all is dark, but you aren't alone. There's a cacophony along the entire path, screaming, creepy characters emerging from the scenery to scare the crap out of you.

The same is true of The Gallows. A ghastly mortician in a top hat ushers visitors into a hellish afterlife through a funeral home and a large coffin-shaped doorway. Along this second path, the tormented deceased express a desire to leave. Meat and bodies hang in various spots throughout.

Last but certainly not least, we headed into The Creature Cavern. Wow. This thing is nuts. I don't want to insert any spoilers, but this was unlike any other haunted house experience that I've had. The entrance and at least one other part were...unnerving, which is the whole point of a haunted house. AmIright? If you're not a fan of a small spaces, this section will freak you the funk out. It's not all claustrophobia, however. Creepy crawlers lurk in corners of swampy scenes, devouring victims and such.

It was a very fun time. A combo ticket for all three attractions is only $17, plus I think discounts are available. It's a bit of a drive from Indy, but it's a leisurely one up 65.

Here are some pics of the children and me and various creatures from the cast after our run through the houses. Everyone was really nice. And yes, I am aware that I look completely sloshed in this picture. Let me assure you that I was not sloshed, just geeking out. lol

Here are some links if you would like more information.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

various updates

Oh my gosh. I am reading a super long Stephen King book. I really like it but after 670+ pages of the same book, I'm ready for the thing to be over. I couldn't imagine writing the same story for that long. I would be rewriting and editing forever! That man is a frigging genius.

I haven't been on the blog much this week, have I? The children have many activities going on right now. I was at a boy scout meeting for an hour and a half on Tuesday. And after working a whole day, that is a long ass meeting. 

After I finish reading the never ending Stephen King book, I'm diving into another read-through of Pestilence. Then, while my editor has that, Llewyn's Faith is getting some attention. 

That latter needs some work. It's only like 10000 words, so it shouldn't take too long. 

Part of the story involves a small village turning on some of its own people. I realized that when I wrote it, most of the villagers weren't named. In order for their betrayal to have any emotional impact at all, they need to be more like real people instead of shadows in the night. 

I was being lazy during the first round of writing, at least in that regard. The short story is a companion to Pestilence. I'm going to release maybe shortly before the book on kdp select exclusively at first and then everywhere else later. 

That reminds me, I'm pulling the Lulu special edition of Devil this weekend, so if you want it, you should probably start heading that direction.

Also, if you want to enter the Goodreads giveaway for Devil in the Branch, you'd better get on it. The deadline is 10/1. Here's a link-thing that doesn't appear to be working quite right.


    Goodreads Book Giveaway


        Devil in the Branch by Lea Ryan



          Devil in the Branch

          by Lea Ryan


            Giveaway ends October 01, 2012.
            See the giveaway details
            at Goodreads.

      Enter to win

Monday, September 24, 2012

movie: The Hunger Games

Ah, The Hunger Games. I finally got to see it. I am a patient movie watcher, no? yes.

Description from IMDB: “Set in a future where the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister's place for the latest match.”

I read the book, which might make a difference as to how much I ended up liking the movie. I heard from a few people that they didn’t like the movie. They did not read the book, nor were they the target audience for a YA title book.

Ok, so what I thought of it…

The filming was stark, especially at the beginning. There’s a bit of a bouncy camcorder feel, which wasn’t overly annoying and seemed to settle down after a while.

The story was reasonably faithful to the book, but it did deviate in a few ways.  The essence was still there. The characters were pretty much the same. The acting was fine and dandy.

As with the book, getting to the action takes a while.  Before the actual game, there’s some juicy sci-fi stuff, scenery, weird looking people and clothes, floating trains. Violence was present but not overly graphic, well, except for one particular part.

Like I said before, I heard a few complaints that the movie sucked. However, I thought it was good. You wouldn't necessarily need to read the book to appreciate it. The Hunger Games gets an A-. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

soccer children are dramatic

I took the boy to soccer today. He’s 9, as are the other children on his team. As I watched them practice today, I noticed that they were very dramatic. They’re usually pretty dramatic during games too, but this was over the top.

The first time I noticed was when a boy got nailed in the mouth with the soccer ball. It looked like it hurt. He was actually pretty tough about it. He yelled briefly and took a few steps back while holding his hand over his mouth. Had that happened to me, I probably would’ve become a four-letter word fountain.

The girl standing next to him was the one who reacted strangely. She was very concerned…dramatically. She asked if he was alright. When he failed to answer in a timely manner, she leaned forward into his face and shouted “ARE YOU ALRIGHT?!?!?”

It was a tad bizarre. Also, I don’t think it made him feel better.

Later the same girl was injured twice. Once, when my son accidentally stepped on her ankle, she hit the ground, as soccer children tend to. That’s the go-to response for something unexpected happening – hit the ground, kind of like an armadillo curling up to protect itself. My son, perhaps remembering her reaction to the previous injured child, screamed an apology at her. Also weird.

Then someone else accidentally kicked her hand. She shouted about that to.

So basically, soccer inspires two kinds of behavior in these particular children. Drop to the ground and gratuitous use of outside voice.  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

in honor of talk like a pirate day, some surly language

Tomorrow is Talk Like a Pirate Day! In honor of the esteemed holiday and the fact that I recently beat both Uncharted 3 and Dance Central 2, I present to you this video of nerd rage. The man just wants to play his game. Damn that error 36.

warning: multiple F words

don't try this at home, kids.

Monday, September 17, 2012

movie: Wrath of the Titans

We watched Wrath of the Titans this weekend, which is the sequel to the 2012 Clash of the Titans. Sequels are almost always iffy things quality-wise, I think. You never know where some executive might decide they need to cut corners.

Description from IMDB: “Perseus, mortal son of Zeus, battles the minions of the underworld to stop them from conquering the Earth and the heavens.”

Liam Neeson and Sam Worthington both reprise their roles, as does Ralph Fiennes whose Hades looks freakishly like Neeson’s Zeus.  Having the same actors return for another round is always a good sign.

Wrath of the Titans is similar to Clash in other ways. Much like the first movie, the visual effects are huge – the scenery and the beasties. Everything is interesting to look at and very well done.

There are a few nods to the original Clash of the Titans (1981) that the observant fan should catch pretty easily. I won’t get into specifics because spoilers aren’t very nice.

Final verdict – If you liked the 2012 Clash of the Titans, you’ll probably like the second one. Wrath of the Titans gets an A. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

gratuitous moo and pushing out the writing schedule

Max is tired.

I've had to switch my writing schedule for this fall. I hate to do it, but I'm not going to have enough time to do a quality job on everything I want to accomplish.

The plan was to crank out a rough draft for the novella sequel and then dive back into editing Pestilence once I get it back from my editor. But the more I go over the task list, the more I see that I'm not going to be able to do it all.

I have a a short story I need to edit (goes with the book) website design stuff, various promos to set up. I need to focus on the grunt work for a while.

So, I'm sad, but hopefully the delayed start will make for a better story. ergh.

Monday, September 10, 2012

movie: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

We finally watched a good movie this weekend. I needed one after last weekend. Those movies were not fantastic. Fortunately, this one is.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Description from IMDB: “With Dr. John Watson about to marry and end their partnership, a disconsolate Sherlock Holmes occupies his time investigating the schemes of his archenemy, Professor James Moriarty. However, when Moriarty warns that he considers the Watsons a legitimate target for his retaliation against the detective, Holmes must save them and get John involved in one last case. To do so, they join the Roma lady Madam Simza Heron's quest to find her missing brother, Renee, who may be the key to defeating Moriarty. Together, the trio find themselves involved in a dangerous international conspiracy led by the Napoleon of Crime in which the fate of all of Europe hangs in the balance.”

As with the first Downey Sherlock movie, this one is packed with action and plenty of comedy. It has a sort of Pirates of the Caribbean quality, with the humor and the way the fight scenes are choreographed.

The interactions between Holmes and Watson are often hilarious. It is a bromance to end all bromances. They vibe quite well together, Watson's good sense (mostly) with Holmes' absurd yet brilliant, often drug-fueled antics.

The addition of Noomi Rapace as a gypsy fortune teller to the cast is a very good one. I love how she's capable of looking like completely different people in her various roles. When I informed the husband she was in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, he didn't really seem to believe me.

Stephen Fry as Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock's bro, was another nice addition. While the character is the more level-headed of the brothers, he is still quite quirky. 

Also featured, a significant number of cool hats.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows kicks much ass. It gets an A.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


I'm listening to some rather loud thunder right now. I hope lightning doesn't hit my house. That happens in this neighborhood a lot - houses getting hit. I'm not sure why that is.

In book working news, I finished the Pestilence edit today! Woo! That took so long. I was really sick of reading my own words. Let's see, I'd planned to finish before the beginning of September. It's what, the fifth? I almost made it, I guess. 

I'm planning to enter that one in the contest amazon has every year, assuming they have it again. Y'all will vote for me, right? I can't remember if the public votes or not. I don't want to be the loser with no votes. LOL

Now I have someone else's manuscript to edit. That won't seem as daunting, I think. The book is shorter and it's not mine, so that removes some of the stress.

Ok, I think lightning just hit something very close. AAAAAAAA!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

a post-holiday weekend movie post and other monkey business

Ello, lovelies! I had a wonderful holiday weekend. Did you? I trust the reply is yes. If not, just remember, no one likes a whiner.

We watched a couple of pretty bad movies, so I'm not going to dwell too long on the nonsense.

Project X
This is a camcorder movies that follows some teenagers around as they throw the house party to end all house parties. There are some funny parts, shenanigans and such. The plot wasn't really all that present. There were a couple of consistent story lines, but nothing really significant. The party was the story, pretty much.

What made this movie interesting was how the entire thing just dissolves into mass chaos, enphasis on "mass". This movie went where I have seen no other party movie go. The last probably half an hour or so makes it worth watching.

Cinematic art, it is not. However, in a morbid watching a car crash sort of way, it has a flicker of appeal. Project X gets a C-.

Next up is A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas. How did I get roped into watching these movies? I have no idea.

I copied the description from IMDB. "Six years after their Guantanamo Bay adventure, stoner buds Harold Lee and Kumar Patel cause a holiday fracas by inadvertently burning down Harold's father-in-law's prize Christmas tree."

I think I saw the first one of these movies and maybe the second. This installment is pretty consistent with what I remember from those. It was funny if you get stoner humor. Again, not cinematic art. NPH makes the requisite appearance. There was some claymation not involving NPH.
The movie was meh. It was better than Project X, the biggest reason for this being that it had a solid plot. I decree this movie shall receive a C+.
A couple of interesting, slightly related things. When we were watching Project X, we happened to notice excessive use of the F word. So I googled how many times they used the F word and found this handy dandy list of movies that use the F word the most times. The Big Lebowski made the list. That's one of my favorite movies, and I never noticed.
Also I found a user compiled list on IMDB of celebrities that this person does not find attractive, but they think mainstream society does find them attractive. It's interesting that someone took the time to compile this list. I wonder about the level of self esteem going on there. This person may or may not need a hug.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

things which are currently awesome

First and foremost, top of the list - I have a four-day weekend! That is so very awesome.

on to more materialistic things.

Rihanna, Talk that Talk
I love this CD!! 

Top Gear is a show on the History Channel. It's basically a bunch of car geeks doing crazy stuff with cars, like contests to test durability and handling. Even if you aren't into cars, this show is hilarious. Boys are quite  silly.

Won't someone purchase these Adidas Midiru Court shoes for me?

Samsung Galaxy mp3 player. I will have one of these within the next couple of months. It does everything I want it to do and it's not a freaking ipod touch. I do not want an ipod touch. I also don't want to be forced into itunes. itunes is an a-hole. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

movie: Moneyball

We watched Moneyball this weekend. Here’s a quick description from IMDB: “Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane's successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to acquire new players.”

I had mixed feelings about this movie. The acting is really good from Brad Pitt to Jonah Hill (who actually plays a different character this time) to Philip Seymour Hoffman. On the other hand, the story moves pretty slowly.
For example, there are meetings where a bunch of old men talk about which baseball players they want to trade. Not very exciting. Also, there is a lot of tobacco spitting, which is disgusting, even when it comes from Brad Pitt.
Overall, the movie was okay. It wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, so , you know, I guess I’m probably biased from the beginning. Moneyball gets a B-.