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.