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April: the month of writing dangerously…

I almost never manage to complete NaNo in the fall. I start well, invariably get the outline of the novel done no problem, but the fall just isn’t my cuppa for writing, apparently. Half the time it’s because of the holidays and the other half something massive happens in my life to derail things. The irony is that I write novels – and scripts – throughout the rest of the year without much trouble. It’s just November.

Or so I hope.

I’ve signed up to participate in Camp NaNo which takes place in April, instead of November. I’m hoping that having the sunlight last longer into the night will assist in keeping my butt in the writing chair, instead of the recliner.

It’s not just hope that’s going to churn out a novel, though. I am taking the (somewhat) drastic measure of no social media at home or on weekends to keep my focus on my writing. No facebook. No twitter. No instagram. In a related media fast, there will also be no tv watching. None. Bupkis. And all cold turkey. Oh, but I’ll be keeping track of things and posting to the Camp NaNo website, however that works. Already have a cabin, even. I will, however, allow myself to still go to the movies on the weekend, and not just because Avengers is coming out. All work and no play, and all that jazz.

I’ve picked a… not a sequel exactly, since it’s the first book in the series, but it’s a world with which I’m extremely well versed in. I’ve written several shorts in the world revolving around my Arbiter characters as well as a novel. It just turns out that the first novel I wrote for the series is actually about book #3 or #4, not #1. Who knew? The good news is that I have the outline done already, so the prep is done.

Here’s the thing, though. I’m not just writing a novel this April. I’m also writing a spec script for the show: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. This will be used to apply to the various television fellowships. First, of course, I need to write it. But then it needs to get passed the critique of my writers group and they are eagle-eyed, constructive criticizers the lot of them. And I mean that in the best way possible.

So yeah. April is going to be in-sane. Massively insane.

Wish me luck!

film, movie review, Uncategorized

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice – Review – Minor spoilers

Batman-v-Superman-Trinity-Wonder-Woman-Ben-Affleck-Henry-Cavill-Gal-Gadot

I heard a lot of bad reviews on this one before I saw it, though I didn’t read any that had spoilers in them. And I know it’s on its way out of theaters, but I have Things To Say about it, so here we go…

A friend of mine said that it wasn’t nearly as much of a trainwreck as people made out, though there were issues. I trust her judgement, so I went to see it. Full disclaimer, I haven’t read the comic on this one, so this is just about the movie. I’m not going to compare/contrast or note any lack of cannon issues.

(You probably already know this, but…)

I’m a huge Batman fan. More so than Superman, though I do love the Man of Steele, too. I love the idea of an ordinary human going up against crime and winning, for the most part. Also a huge sucker for angst and revenge stories, which totally feeds into my love of Batman. I haven’t read all the Batmans, but I’ve read enough, and seen every movie and the cartoons, and… yes. I let my geek flag fly on all things Batman.

I’ve only read a couple of Superman comics, though I’ve seen almost every incarnation on the big and small screen, including the old black and whites from way back in the dark ages. ;o)

Wonder Woman… well. Let’s just say I’ve had a *ahem* crush on her since before I knew what crushes were. I’ve read and seen all there is, pretty much. There isn’t nearly enough out there, though I won’t get into my rant about female superheroes here. Heh.

All of that (repeated) background is to let you know that I’m not a dilettante. I know the backstory of every single character in all three series in print and on screen. Despite all of that knowledge, I was so freakin’ confused that nothing made sense for about the first half of the movie. And it was allll down to the story choices. I don’t know whether it was the script, or the director taking liberties with the script, because I haven’t read the script. I do know that David S. Goyer is a great writer (though not the only name on this one) and my first thought after the movie was a disappointed, “I expected better from you, David.”

Upon reflection, I know that it’s not necessarily the writers’ fault that the story fell down. The director has final say about what gets cut and what doesn’t which can add to a story or wreck it.

For instance, were it me, I would’ve axed all of Bruce’s backstory because we all know about his parents and his encounter with the bats when he was a child. It didn’t add a single thing. No need to rehash it. (Okay, not everyone, but probably 97% of everyone going to see the movie) I would’ve taken time to explain why Bruce was calling someone named Jack ‘Dad,’ because that? That confused the shit out of me. Unless I misheard, which is entirely possible, and this Jack person was just a very good friend or maybe an uncle or foster father. Whatever the situation, if he was a big enough influence to catapult Bruce along this particular trajectory, we should definitely know more about him.

There are a number of other things that completely confused me, but to list them would make this a spoiler-centric review which I’m trying to avoid.

I am going to agree with every single person I’ve spoken to about this movie and state that Gal Gadot was the best thing about it. She was fierce. She was believable. She was mysterious. Her story made complete sense in the midst of the larger plotlines. Best of all, she brought Superman and Batman together in a way they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to manage, but was far more than just a plot device.

That’s not to say that Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill were bad, because they weren’t. I really enjoy Henry Cavill as Superman (I’d love to see him play a not-as-dark Superman a la Christopher Reeve) and Ben Affleck did a good job, better than what I’d heard from others anyhow. (Not that either of them need my validation. Heh.)

All in all, I’d say that despite the story problems, it’s a movie worth seeing even if you wait for the dvd. You probably should see it on the big screen if only for the special effects, which were really cool. This is not, in case you missed it, a movie for the 10 years old and under crowd. Do Not Bring Small Freakin’ Children. Seriously. Just don’t. It’s not quite as bad a decision as bringing a small child to Deadpool, but it’s up there.

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The Review Amazon US Doesn’t Want You to See

IMPORTANT

Indie Lifer

The Experiencers The Experiencers

As most indie authors do, I struggle with marketing and getting the word on my novels out. To paraphrase Bones from Star Trek, “Dammit, Jim, I’m a writer not a marketer.”

So, when someone graciously reviews one of my novels, I do a happy dance, which is what I did when John Hennessey posted a review on Amazon about The Experiencers.

Mr. Hennessey and I crossed Facebook profile paths on Indie Author Support & Discussion, a FB group for writers. Since groups are one way to pimp your work, I belong to many, but IASD has a special place in my heart, and I spend a lot of time there interacting with other members. It was through this interaction that Mr. Hennessey picked up a copy of The Experiencers, read it, and enjoyed it enough to post a review.

At some point along the way, he…

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New release: Amoven: Prophesy by Nancy M. Griffis

And the second hop in my new release party!

Cindy Young-Turner

If you are a werewolf fan, you’ll want to check out the latest release from Nancy Griffis, Amoven: Prophesy! What a gorgeous cover! I’m excited to be part of the blog hop in honor of her release.

Amoven Prophecy

Well hello there everyone! My name is Nancy M. Griffis and I’m the proud new author of Amoven: Prophecy. Cindy’s awesomely hosting my blog hop today!

Amoven: Prophecy is available now in ebook and print from all major online retailers. (Get your copy on Amazon)

I say “new” author of Amoven, but I’ve been working on the book for a longggg time. The gist of the novel didn’t change from the first draft to the last, but I had the hardest time letting go. It’s been through the hands of two different editors four times and even though they both loved it, I just couldn’t make myself pull…

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Blog Hop: Nancy M. Griffis

First in a series of coming bloghops for my new book! 😀

Count My Stars

Well hello there everyone! My name is Nancy M. Griffis and I’m the proud author of Amoven: Prophecy. Liz has been nice enough to host my blog hop today and it’s a very comfy hop indeed! Isn’t she great?

Amoven: Prophecy cover
Amoven: Prophecy is available now in ebook and print from all major online retailers.
Amoven: Prophecy is about a family of wolf shapeshifters from San Digeo, CA. The McTavish Clan is small by Amoven (pronounced ah-moe-ven) standards with only four siblings–Jim, Daniel, Simon, and Sandy–and Simon and Jim are ‘mere’ humans, looked down on by many Amoven. Daniel wants to restore his Clan to its rightful place at the head of the Council that rules their people.
To accomplish such an ambitious goal, Daniel is tackling the one thing that threatens all Amoven: a devastating decline in birth rates. While not as exciting as hunters on a killing spree, it’s just…

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Stacey Jay, Veronica Mars, and The Kickstarter Controversy

This is so right on every level, I don’t even need to write a post about this whole disaster of a situation.

Marni Bates

Hey everyone,

Okay, I’m not going to lie. I’m upset. In fact, I’m shaking with the force of my feels. So please brace yourself, because this might be a bumpy ride.

Where to begin?

Right. Stacey Jay.

For those of you who haven’t had the distinct pleasure of meeting Stacey Jay, she’s a tremendous YA author whose talent is equaled only by her kindness. I met her at the Las Vegas Book Festival. I entered a room (where I knew almost nobody) wearing a giant poofy, sparkly prom dress and Stacey immediately made me feel welcome. That’s the kind of person she is.

Proof

You can read about that conference right here!

Unfortunately, Stacey’s book sales haven’t been strong enough for her publishing house to keep her on as an author. And at the end of the day, if a publisher feels like they will make more money investing in someone…

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Don’t Finish That Book! Spare yourself the suffering.

What she said. 😀

Count My Stars

Today I was checking Twitter on my lunch break, like you do, and I was scrolling through the usual jokes and promos and discussions, when what to my wondering eyes should appear but this gem from The Atlantic: “Finish That Book! You suffer when you quit a story midway through – and so does literature.”

(insert needle-scratching-on-record sound)

Or, to borrow a phrase from the late Amy Winehouse: What kind of fuckery is this?

As it turns out, more of the same elitist, prescriptivist bullshit I ripped to shreds when it appeared in Slate under another name. Indeed, author and New York Times editor Juliet Lapidos even cites Ruth Graham’s article, devoting the fourth paragraph of her own essay to the “Adults should be ashamed to read YA” controversy. Lapidos admits herself that her always-finish-what-you-start philosophy is unusual, and once I read the article, it was easy to see

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19 Struggles Of Having An Outgoing Personality But Actually Being Introverted

So true!

Introversion Effect

Like many categorizing systems, the separatist thinking behind them attempts to firmly place us in one container or another.  The flaw in these types of systems is that they don’t always take into account the middle areas of the spectrum.  And any system is just that: a spectrum.  I’ve long stated with unequivocal certainty that I’m introverted.  My friends, however, look at me askance, because I’m actually very fun-loving and outgoing when I need to be.  So on that introvert/extravert spectrum, I fall somewhere to the introverted side, but exhibit limited extroverted tendencies.  Here is an article found online that I have updated to reflect this spectrumized system.

1. You’re not anti-social, you’re selectively social.

2. At any given point, you have one (maybe two) best friends who are your entire life. You’re not a “group of friends” person. You can’t keep up with all that.

3. Social gatherings…

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