Thursday, December 31, 2015

Writing Plans for 2016

Well, as always, I've got stuff on my plate.

The NaNoWriMo book deserves a serious effort this year at getting completed. I think Subway Night has the chance to sell more than ten copies. ;)

I have a short story project that needs completing for my Writers for All Seasons anthology. Speaking of which, the ebook Stories for All Seasons has sold reasonably well and the group leadership is making arrangements for a printed version to go to market in 2016 (sweet!).

I have about four - five, perhaps - story ideas still tied into my Talents superhero 'verse, and I may work on those over the year when I find the time.

I may also pull articles from my political blog and get them bundled into a print book, just to see how that goes. I may need to pursue some legal action first as I've discovered somebody had been mirroring/stealing my blog (!)...

So, that said, HAPPY NEW YEAR, people!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

My Thoughts On The Force Awakens (Yes, SPOILER alert. IT'S BEEN TWO WEEKS PEOPLE)

Can't touch this.

This WILL HAVE SPOILERS. Although it's been two weekends now, let it go people, let it go... If you don't wanna read this, you don't have to.

Once you get past the thrill and enjoyment of there being another Star Wars movie, you can examine your feels and consider the actual merits and value of the movie.

In the good news category: The Force Awakens is a fun, well-crafted, well-acted piece of entertainment. In the bad news category: It's not a GREAT movie, mind you, nothing along the lines of MAD MAX FURY ROAD. Then again, few will be.

If I had to rank the movies this year by level of SHEER AWESOMENESS, it'd be Fury Road at the WITNESS IT level of YOU WILL ARRIVE IN VALHALLA SHINY AND CHROME, Force Awakens right behind it at the YES OMG IT'S GOOD, Age of Ultron about five or six levels below around Thank GOD Marvel Knows What It's Doing, Ant-Man in the middle of the pack at Exceeds ExpectationsJurassic World about twenty levels down around At Least There's a Dinosaur Battle, and Fantastic Four reboot in the trash-heap at Please Put 20th Century Fox Out of Our Misery.

Don't ask me how I feel about the Jem and the Holograms disaster. /cries

If you want me to go into greater details about what I liked and didn't like, here goes. (If you want someone else's view, I found this one, and John Scalzi's, and Flick Filosopher's view here, and maybe more)

Likes:

They did an incredible job casting the new lead actors/actresses. Daisy Ridley as Rey is a goddamn find: with only a handful of television and independent short film performances to her credit, she's tasked with being one of the primary characters in one of the largest film franchises of all time, and she hits a home run in her first big movie lead. She plays Rey with the right balance of pluck, wistfulness, smarts, emotional heft, and glee.



John Boyega I knew from the criminally undervalued Attack the Block movie (a cult classic that deserves more love and should get more play now that Boyega is a superstar), so when they cast him as the co-lead Finn I already knew they hired a quality actor and what to expect. He didn't disappoint, and even displayed some comic timing I wasn't expecting, which added to the movie's appeal.

Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, the hotshot pilot of this new trilogy, impressed early on as a charismatic figure. Playing Poe as a confident veteran of an ongoing war, he interacts well with Finn during the first third of the film and provides a great way to re-introduce the audience to how the good guys - the Resistance - think and act. It's actually a problem the movie has when he disappears for most of the first and second acts of the story...

Adam Driver did excellent work as the saga's newest prominent villain Kylo Ren. Saddled with playing behind a mask for much of the movie, he does what he can with voice acting, and conveys the anger and arrogance of a Dark Force acolyte with exacting purpose. Once he does remove the mask, his angular yet oval face makes his villain appear boyish, almost innocent: except when the petulance kicks in, and when his fear gets the better of him...

BB-8. You keep forgetting that this machine is literally a film prop, just a remote-controlled droid, and yet it is so imbued with personality and care that you think the metal soccer ball is alive. It takes all the cuteness of R2-D2 and multiplies it by 100.

Just the way all three leads - Poe, Finn, Rey - play with BB-8 like kids believing the puppet is real and having fun doing so. The bit where Finn gets BB-8 to cover for him - and sharing a thumbs-up 'cause yeah dude - is both heartwarming and funny.

I liked the in-universe references to the previous movies. Building on its own history, this movie is filled with nods, homages, and nostalgic reminders. The opening world Jakku is littered with the debris of such history - Star Destroyers collapsed upon the sands like broken pyramids - signalling the passage of time and how events from the original trilogy are passing already into rust, dust, and legend.

Every re-introduction of a familiar face just makes the old veteran of the Star Wars - hooked since 1977 - like me break out with hoots and applause. Like the reuniting with old friends.

The characters are running from a wave of TIE fighters strafing the Jakku trading post.
Finn (points to an off-camera spaceship): What about that ship?
Rey: That one's garbage! (keeps running towards a shiny ship further away)
Shiny ship gets blasted by the TIE fighters.
Rey (shrugs): The garbage will do...
Both characters start running towards the Millennium Falcon half-shrouded like an abandoned hunk of junk. (audiences start cheering when we see it)

Han: Chewie, we're home...
Chewie: Rawwrrrr.

Chewie getting laughs every time he shrugs as Han digs himself into deeper holes dealing with space gangs.

Harrison Ford shifting the way Han Solo is played: no longer the cocky smuggler anti-hero, but now a Mentor figure to both Finn and Rey, becoming the Obi-Wan figure that Alec Guinness played in the first movie (there is some irony there). Playing father figure to the new leads in a way that humanizes Han even further and adds to the emotional nostalgia the film is already giving the audience.

The way Carrie Fisher - no, Leia - shakes her head seeing Han as they reunite when the Resistance shows up to fight the First Order on Maz Kanata's world.

Everyone knowing how a Sith / Dark Lord of the Force handles bad news. When Kylo throws a temper tantrum, he means it...

Two Stormtroopers patrolling a hallway come across Kylo throwing an epic conniption in a nearby room, and quietly turn around and walk away.

An overall upgrade to Stormtroopers, period. Jokingly considered bad shots the way they never hit our heroes, always used for cannon fodder, and eventually beaten by teddy bears, in this movie they're more formidable and thus memorable. In particular, the baton-wielding Trooper has become the One Scene Wonder of the movie, standing up to a lightsaber and winning that fight (until Han shows up with Chewie's bowcaster).

Rey confronting Kylo. First, in the woods as Kylo uses his experience with the Force to hunt, taunt, and capture Rey. Second, when Kylo tries to use his Force powers to mind-probe Rey, only to have Rey discover SHE has the Force and can use it to block his effort and read HIS mind. And Third...

...I wrote a whole long article about this on my political blog. About how Rey as the Hero of Campbellian archetype is a transformative figure. Because in that Third Confrontation...

...Rey uses her new-found link to the Force to summon Anakin/Luke's lightsaber to HER rather than let Kylo take it. This is a huge moment in the movie, arguably in modern cinema. The moment she grips that lightsaber and turns it on (with John Williams' epic score blaring a combination of Anakin and Luke's leitmotifs), it confirms that a woman CAN be the Hero of the Monomyth on her own terms.

Speaking of Rey using the Force, how she uses that new talent to Force Persuade a Stormtrooper - Ident JB-007 - to unlock her from the torture chair and leave the cell door open. Here's the thing: it takes three tries for her, it's not like she's just a brand-new person just mind-tricking everybody off the bat, she has to get a FEEL for how the Force works.
Rey (thinking quickly): And you will drop your weapon.
JB-007 (zoned out): AAaaaaannnnddd I will drop my weapon (does so).

And speaking about how the Force works, Finn gets it in his head during the rescue mission for Rey - as well as going off to blow up the Death Star 3.0 - that they can just rely on the Force to provide them with all the luck they need.

Han (remember, he started off not even believing in this stuff): THAT'S NOT HOW THE FORCE WORKS!

...and yet, all the plot points fall into place, so yeah, that IS how the Force works...

The final battle sequences, with all the fighting and the blowing up of things and good guys getting the shot in that takes out the Evil Empire First Order's superweapon, because that's what you do in a Star Wars movie, only this time there's no explosion it's just the planet-sized weapon turning into the star it just tried to consume, which is about five different kinds of symbolism there.

And the final scene. The poignant, painful expression on Rey's face as she holds up Anakin's lightsaber, offering it to the one person who can teach her the ways of the Force so Rey can become a Jedi... like her father... (yes, I believe that theory)

No Jar-Jar. Sorry, Ahmed Best, it's not you, it's how George wrote the guy.

Not-Likes:

The massive gap in the narrative when Poe drops off the screen. He'd been set up as a major character, desperate to rescue his droid and recover the map that leads to Luke Skywalker... and then he's seemingly killed off and disappeared, only to come back for the big rescue battle ending Part Two and opening Part Three of the movie. We find out from other sources that there's a reason he disappears, but we never see a good explanation in the movie and it's just this huge plot hole that needed filling.

All this build-up for Captain Phasma being a badass and... nothing. Even Riot Stormtrooper Guy does more and does more AWESOME stuff. All that happens to Phasma is getting dumped into a garbage compactor for Han's amusement.

It feels as though Maz was criminally underused.

Snoke is being set up as a Major Big Villain but comes across as a poorly rendered CGI cartoon version of the Emperor Darth Sidious. I don't really care what the big secret about him is going to be.

Not enough Rey.

Things I Can Live With, Because Yeah:

Biggest complaint I've heard from other people is how the plot recycles the Death Star as a MacGuffin-like target for the good guys to destroy. Thing is, as a student of history and with an awareness of tropes, I know this was unavoidable as a plot point. Remember: the Empire was a fantasy version of the Nazis (the uniforms alone are a huge freaking hint), and its offspring the First Order emulates that role. The whole "overwhelm, occupy, impose order" theme requires them to deploy massive weapons as a means of generating fear and cooperation, as well as let them wipe out massive opposition with a single blow.  As a result, OF COURSE the First Order is going to build a planet-sized superweapon, it's what the Nazis would have done (and did, post-war discoveries showed how they kept building larger and more improbable weapons like super-tanks as though they were going to intimidate armies and nations into sh-ting their pants and surrendering).

Having Kylo Ren turn out to be a whiny, emo Darth. That's kind of the whole point about those who fall to the Dark Side of the Force. They are, when you take away their threatening names and metal masks, scarred children decimated by overhyped expectations and abandonment issues. Driven by personal fears of inadequacy and failure, they turn to anger to express themselves, letting that hate dominate their view and turn them into power-hungry control freaks bullying everybody else and yet who secretly write really bad poetry into a diary book while listening to British punk music. Having Kylo smash up every other chamber in fits of rage, make poorly thought-out temptations to Rey to turn her Dark Side to no avail, and turn on his own father makes perfect sense.

The confrontation between Han and his son Ben Solo, now Kylo Ren. I've seen criticisms online that the scene is dull, emotionally flat, boring. I didn't see that. The whole character arc for Han in this movie is the despair and regret he has of losing his son to the bad guys, and for Kylo the fear that he can never be as evil (and what he views as powerful) as Darth Vader. The scene on the chasm walkway where Han tries to talk sense to his son, where Kylo describes the emotional conflict he's feeling, and where Kylo proves to himself his final acceptance of the Dark Side by killing his own father, is actually pretty powerful, emotional stuff.

The way the movie ends, with Rey hiking up the island mountain into a sparse, open-air temple of Jedi solitude, finding Luke standing there overlooking the ocean view, and the wordless conclusion between them. It seems frustrating that the whole movie leads up to discovering where Luke fled, and then when found leaves us hanging without any kind of confirmation or confrontation between Luke and Rey (considering the theories floating out there). But upon further thought, the whole point of this movie is the emotional impact of everything: dialog and interaction are nice, but the mood and the awareness of the characters convey more weight. Leaving us with a vision of Rey and Luke standing there, still waiting for a decision to be made between them, hooking us for Episode VIII, was perhaps the best way to end this movie after all.

There. Got my feels said. Still in the mood to go see this movie again. I may go a total of five times, so I can equal my enthusiasm for Fury Road. That's another story...

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Witty's Year End Book Review 2015

Getting down towards the moment where I want to mention the stuff I've read, and above all the works that I liked, so that I might inspire the seven people who visit this blog to go out and read these books as well. Hi there!

Some of the rules to note: the works listed may not be new this year, but are ones I've read this year or re-read as a refresher of sorts. Thing is, you should be able to find them in your local library or at least online as an ebook for purchase. The links are to the Goodreads website where you can track your reading library for sharing with friends. That said, here goes.

Best Fiction

Soon I Will Be Invincible, Austin Grossman.
This had been out for a few years (2007) before I finally got around to reading it, but it's become a minor classic as a deconstructive look at the superhero comic book narrative. Told from the perspective of the Mad Scientist Arch-Villain (think Luthor/Dr. Doom), the story is less about how he plots his next scheme for world domination than about how he interacts with the only people he knows: costumed vigilantes with other-worldly powers. Sharing the narrative in a parallel plotline is a secondary character - a newly created (literally) cyborg soldier introduced to the ranks of superheroes to fill their thinned ranks after a particular tragic battle - coming to terms with how she's no longer really human and yet is expected to BE human in a superhero team that's barely functioning as a group.
The genius of Grossman's work is how he toys with the standards archetypes of the superhero genre - which is emerging as a literary form separate from the graphic narratives it has been confined to the last 70 years - while respecting those tropes and explaining how such skewed, screwed up personalities and plots could exist in our real world.
Honorable mentions: Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee. The anticipated follow-up work from the writer's classic To Kill a Mockingbird. Flawed, but poignant. It's personally heart-breaking to realize some elements from Mockingbird were not as noble or humanizing as we thought when we read it in high school.

Best Non-Fiction

Between the World And Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
Caveat: I am part of the group known as The Horde (originally the Lost Battalion of Platonic Conversationalists), which is essentially TNC's fan club from his writing for The Atlantic since 2007 or so. So this means that anything he writes is going to get a favorable impression from me. Hell, the guy can write a comic book series for Marvel and I'll sing its praises. Oh, right, he is... (I'm a DCU guy, so this IS a big deal)
Between the World And Me is a book-long letter Coates writes to his son - standing in for the readers - about his past experiences growing up as a Black teen in a decaying urban setting, coping with issues and personal traumas inflicted on minorities due to the institutional racism embedded deep into the American character. Describing the attacks on Black men and youth as "plunder", Coates details the horrors of lives ruined and brutally ended all because our system - of schools, law enforcement, business and employment, established cultural norms - is geared towards punishment and silence of those deemed poor and inferior.
It's a powerful read, and the sins Coates catalogs in his work are ones that need addressing.
Honorable mentions: Here If You Need Me, Kate Braestrup. A beautiful memoir about spiritual awareness, coping with personal loss, and how not to panic when getting lost in the woods of Maine.


Best Graphic Novel

Batgirl of Burnside Volume One, Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr
You might remember I went SQUEE back in 2014 over superheroine Batgirl's new costume design. So this was something I was waiting on. Our library finally purchased the collected first volume of that series, and when my hold on the book came in I got to be able to read it.
If you haven't followed her history, Barbara Gordon (actually the second Batgirl on record) had endured a tragic attack at the hands of the Joker, leaving her wheelchair-bound for two decades and revamped as a hero coordinator / information broker known as Oracle. The recent reboots to the DC Universe gave the publishers the excuse to let Babs get the use of her legs back so she can rejoin the legion of The Bat Family, and this series starts off with a more youthful version heading back to college to work on her computer science skills developing her own AI program. Mixing in the struggles of being a college-age cutie and the hassles of an invasive social media environment, Babs comes to realize that her snap-on cape is the MOST AWESOME THING EVER. Oh, sorry, that's me projecting. My bad.
This is actually a fun read, with well-drawn work by artist Tarr that keeps the image narrative flowing in a eye-catching way. I heartily recommend the costume for cosplay purposes.  ...What?

Best Work By Someone I Email, Tweet, or Chat With On a Regular Basis

Sunstone Volume One, Stjepan Šejić (yes, I had to copy/paste that because damn that's impossible to remember for speeling purposes, okay?)
WARNING: Not for kids, NSFW, nobody under 17 buys this, okay? OKAY? Just because it's a comic book doesn't mean it's for kids! This is an incredibly mature work and should be read as such.
I wouldn't say "on a regular basis," but I have done some give-and-take with Sejic about his work on Sunstone as well as Death Vigil (another awesome work that deserves more love), so he qualifies for this award. I need to chat more with Sheryl Nantus someday. Anyway, I digress.
Essentially the WAY BETTER story about bondage than Fifty Shades of Bad FanFic, Sunstone is about the meeting between two women sharing BSDM fantasy stories who decide to take the next step and act out those stories with each other. Yes, it is about hot lesbian bondage (even the main character narrator admits it) between a practiced domme and a novice sub, but like all great works what really sells this series is the developing characterization and humorous details of the real-world implications that impose on the women's fantasies (and their growing love for each other).
Sejic takes the time to build up his main characters Allison (the domme) and Lisa (the sub), giving them back stories explaining why they would have an interest in sex roleplay that makes up the BSDM culture. And he doesn't make them ideal characters: Allison in particular has her doubts and fears (due to a near-tragic bondage incident) and Lisa feeling uncomfortable with how far she's willing to let her writing fantasies overtake the real-world consequences of relationships. Thrown into the mix are fellow bondage enthusiasts - some with their own issues and emotional scars - as well as regular characters from outside that culture who provide contrast and commentary on how Allie and Lisa are falling in love with each other despite their arguing that "it's not like that".
If the plot seems a little bit like Pride and Prejudice (but with hot lesbian bondage), it's because it's following the similar tropes of having two characters who are made for each other coping with the issues of class (Allie is personally wealthy compared to Lisa's struggling writer existence), gender roles (traditional vs. alternative), emotional damage (pride), and other obstacles they have to overcome to achieve that beloved ending of literature: the white wedding of True Love / Happily Ever After. Not much has really changed between the 19th Century world of Jane Austen, except for the 21st Century era of smartphones, file sharing, and texting.
The sex scenes are drawn with care and interest, by the by. This isn't a truly exploitative work like the porn videos you can find on the Intertubes. And if you actually read the story instead of glaring at the naughty pictures, you'll notice the hilarious witty repartee and funny plot twists.
Why this is way better than the exploitative bondage fiction dominating the market right now is that Sejic takes the time to create believable, likable characters, and because he treats the bondage culture with sympathy, genuine research, and detail about the realities of what it's really like to get tied up in rope (hint: it's not safe) and at the mercy of someone else's care.
Sunstone is right now the best example of It's Not Porn It's HBO Art on the market today.

Best Anthology That Contains a Short Story I Wrote

Stories for All Seasons, by Writers for All Seasons
I'm part of a writing group in Lakeland (Writers 4 All Seasons), and this past year we decided on a shared project of creating an anthology to help promote our group as well as get some of us established as published authors. It's currently a Kindle-only version available for download, but I hope people out there will take a look and support our efforts.
My submission was "Where The Snow Is Grey", a Christmas-time winter tale using a character I am using in my own 'verse of stories (but one that can be told here). I hope you like it among the other tales told.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

This Week In Geeking Out: STAR WARS Squeee Alert

Somewhere in my mind there is a seven year old boy sitting in a large rocking chair in a movie theater called a Bijou in downtown Clearwater Florida.

It's late summer, just before school. Having taken care of a big event in our family's lives - moving into a new home - the parents relent and take their three youthful boys to see this movie everyone's been gabbing about called Star Wars. The lads are familiar with some elements of science fiction - we've seen this thing called Star Trek on the teevee once or twice - but all we knew about the movie was from an ad campaign that showed spaceships blowing up and robots running around.

And the previews for other movies wrap up, and the lights go down and the 20th Century Fox logo comes up with its fanfare, and then this comes up on the screen...


Okay... (now you know where I get the habit of writing ellipses at the end of sentences)

AND THEN BAM


AND THEN WHAM

And then this whole movie plays out an epic heroic journey of two droids struggling to deliver vital battle plans to a struggling resistance battling an evil galactic empire, drawing in a young farmboy, an aging mystic warrior with dark secrets, two space pirates piloting the coolest spaceship ever ("What a piece of junk!"), an action princess caught in the clutches of the evil empire, and about a billion human beings across the planet getting hooked on the whole damn thing.

It's archetypal, it's nostalgic, it's futuristic, it's action, it's space opera, it's primal emotional satisfaction. When Luke finishes that trench run and the Death Star blows up (oh shush I'm not spoiling a damn thing), the need among everyone in the audience to stand and cheer in victory is universal.

I never really grew up from that moment. My mom is probably thinking of suing George Lucas at some point for stunting my adult development.

So here I am, this week, it's a big week. It's one of those "I wanna stay alive to see this happen" moments. The next movie in the Star Wars space opera saga is coming to movie theaters.

The Force Awakens is the continuation of the proposed third trilogy of George Lucas' once-planned nine-movie saga covering the entire Star Wars history. There's a lot more that can be said about that, and you may have noticed on this blog a few entries about the movie coming out, but all that I can discuss later, after I see the movie this Friday.

The early, SPOILER-protected reviews are saying good things, enjoyable things. It's not like we should be expecting the next great Oscar-winning film - that's Fury Road, dammit - but for all intents it's going to be like what it was when I was seven and sitting in that big rocking chair geeking out to the Millennium Falcon jumping into hyperspace.

These are good days.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Problem Of Self-Publishing: Self-Marketing

I may have noted this before.

Writing a novel is difficult in terms of time: it takes hours to days to weeks to months to get over a hundred pages written unless you dedicate entire blocks of time to it. Part-time writing spreads out over the calendar while full-time duties elsewhere - professional or personal - take priority.

Editing isn't as bad with time or effort, but psychologically draining. Writers are terrified of finding flaws on paper that made so much sense in the mind. Once you can get past that mental block, the rest is easy.

Neither of those problems compare to the third one writers face: Actually getting people to read your works.

Let's be honest: I write so people can read the stories I've got in my head. I have a story, think it might be funny, I type it up, I put it out there, I see if anyone gets a laugh from reading it. The whole point of a story is to share it.

So how do I get it out there that I've got these stories that people can read (at a reasonable cost)?

This is the part I'm not comfortable with. And I see a lot of fellow writers in the same situation.

Writing can be an introverted, personal affair. A lot of writers - the artistic sensibility - tend to be introverts. Marketing - the "buy my book!" part of the cycle of life - is all extroverted.

With a new ebook out, I'm looking now for places that can market it. I'm thinking along the lines of "professional" or at least respected review sources that can take a moment to say "oh hey, this guy has this new book about superheroes if you got an interest go take a look". As a librarian, I know about review sources like Booklist and Publishers Weekly, but I also know that PW charges to list self-published titles in their previews section.

This is where the big publishers - or even the small press types - have a leg up: they have marketing offices that handle all of this, with ties to the retailers and advertisers. I'm just wondering if self-publishers have a legal, safe place to get the same kind of effective (and honest) marketing service but at an affordable rate. I've dealt with a marketing group for Print-on-Demand once, and was horrified by what they offered. It was ALL they offered: a mass email spamming service. (I think since then they'd expanded to cover professional reviewers and retailer connections, but by then I didn't want anything to do with them on that).

If anyone's got any suggestions about how I can get the word out for Body Armor Blues, I'm willing to hear you out. Thank ye.

Monday, December 14, 2015

New! Body Armor Blues (w/ updates)

Hello, new ebook novella available for downloading today!

Body Armor Blues

Cover art by Istebrak


Something I'd been working on since September of this month, as part of the Talents superhero universe I've been tinkering since 2004.

"...There are superheroes in the world, people with Talents. but even with powers, those would-be heroes need to protect themselves with the best armor they can get. But one young woman training up in 1993 is finding out that some armors can't fit her, and she's gonna need a hero of her own to find a solution."

If you're into comic books, you'll know some of the more geeky details of a superhero narrative is "where do they get those outfits?" Well, this is a story about that, and how it's serious business for superheroes.

Also, there's cake in the story.

If you've read Hero Cleanup Protocol, it's from the same 'Verse and has Powersurge as one of the main characters. Timeline-wise, Body Armor Blues takes place in 1993, with Protocol happening in 2002 (or was it 2003? I'll need to re-read). I've got a basic history and timeline for this universe on file, to help me keep track of things (there are three major character arcs, Powersurge is one and Jenny is the other, there's a third I'm still working on).

I really would like, please and thank you ahead of time, for anyone purchasing a copy of the book to leave a review of what you think at the appropriate site. I'd like to see how this one does on the market. Again, thank you!

Available via Amazon Kindle here.
Available via Barnes&Noble for Nooks here. It is published through Smashwords, but for Nook users it's a direct upload so it's easier.
For all other ereader devices, it's available via Smashwords here. .

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Off-Topic: Just saying it's Jennifer Connelly's birthday.

Been a bit of a fan since the movie Labyrinth. Went with my friend Sherry to see it back in the day: she went for David Bowie, I went for the Muppets. This was how the movie opened for me:

(there's no YouTube of this?)

But yeah, I crushed.

So anyway, been a fan. She hasn't always starred in great or enjoyable films but she's done well, been in a bunch that I like (Rocketeer, Dark City) and a couple that were artistically challenging with great acting (Requiem for a Dream although seriously you can only watch that once, that damn thing is soul-rending...)

I don't blame her for the 2003 Hulk, that could have been huge if the director hadn't gone avant garde on the damn thing... and mutant poodles, Ang really?! REALLY?!

Happy birthday, Jennifer.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Post-NaNoWriMo 2015: What Comes After

Winning a NaNoWriMo challenge is one thing.

Following up with a NaNo project towards completion - adding more to the unfinished story, editing it to something coherent - is the bigger challenge.

There's also other writing projects I've set aside that need attention now - that novella for the superhero 'verse I've created needs a final edit and then publication to Smashwords and Kindle Direct, there's an anthology with my local writers' group that needs a brand new storyline because the one I started is terrible, etc. - that I need to complete before the end of this year, just to clear my slate a litte.

So it's still a ton of writing for me.

I'm feeling great about it all.

Good luck to your writing efforts!