movie: The Monuments Men

monuments men

Description from IMDB: “An unlikely World War II platoon is tasked to rescue art masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their owners.”

When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I thought it was a comedy. It isn’t. It’s actually more than a comedy.

First, the cast is amazing: George Clooney, John Goodman, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, and other superb actors. You can’t go wrong, really.

The story is really deep as far as subject matter. Which, how could a story set in World War II not be deep? It dwells on sacrifice a lot. Is art worth the sacrifice of human life? There was also the question of what makes a soldier. Is it always a man with a gun?

The movie does have some very funny parts. The trailer didn’t lie about that. But Monuments Men is also profound and tragic and joyful. It veers into tense when it needs to. The movie is a tad long, but it’s a story worth chewing on, so I give it a pass on that. It is definitely worth a watch.

The Monuments Men gets a big, giant A.

movie: Twixt





What is up? I have a movie this week!

Description from IMDB: “A writer with a declining career arrives in a small town as part of his book tour and gets caught up in a murder mystery involving a young girl. That night in a dream, he is approached by a mysterious young ghost named V. He’s unsure of her connection to the murder in the town, but is grateful for the story being handed to him. Ultimately he is led to the truth of the story, surprised to find that the ending has more to do with his own life than he could ever have anticipated.

- Written by Production”

I watched this movie on Netflix streaming. I had my eye on it and finally got around to watching it this past weekend.

Twixt is very visually interesting. There’s a lot of play on color. Filming shifts to black and white at night (hey, that rhymes!) with only shades of red poking through, a la Sin City, and sometimes lamplight, if I remember correctly. In fact, there were a few spots where the filming reminded me of Sin City in other ways.

Another thing I liked about the movie was the fact that Edgar Allan Poe was a character. He visited in ghost form at night and talked in a Poe sort of way, which gave me very happy feelings. It was kind of odd, though. In fact, there were a few odd things about this movie.

The plot itself was kind of all over the place. They might’ve tried to do a little too much. We have the ghost named “V”, the writer, Hall Baltimore (dorky name, right?) and his various personal issues, Poe and his interactions with Hall, the goth people partying on the side of the lake and the weird religious guy and a bunch of kids on the other side of the lake, a sheriff investigating some local murders.

It’s a lot to take in, which doesn’t necessarily make it a bad movie, but Twixt definitely isn’t for everyone. I enjoyed watching it well enough. It’s not the best movie ever. I am glad that I finally got around to it.  

Long Overdue Writing Updates

I thought I would do some updates because I haven’t done any in a while. I have been working, despite my lack of blog posting. I seem to be under a greater time crunch that usual. Today I decided that my video game regimen is becoming…perhaps a little excessive. I’m currently playing Resident Evil 6 and Resident Evil does that to me. I’m on the 3rd storyline of 4.

Sooooo, I’m going to set that aside for a while because that is not very grown-up of me. And also because I have things that I would really like to accomplish, things that are more important than hunting virtual monsters.

First, the middle grade novel. I started that project last year. The rough draft was done quite a while ago. I put that aside and circled back around. I think it’s on edit 3 right now. I’m going to start fishing for an agent this weekend.

I also have a 3rd (?) draft for the sequel to What the Dead Fear, which is the novella. I had a rather traumatic rewrite earlier this year on that one. I’ll get back to it soon. It probably doesn’t even need that much work, she says hopefully.

What else? Oh, I did randomly start another novel. It’s a weird project. I’m not even sure how to describe it. I guess the closest description might be psychological romance? It has some psychological thriller elements but also a whole lot of romance. I know. I’m fully aware of how strange that sounds. I think the end result might be a little Hitchcock?

My notes for that book are over 10,000 words, which seems excessive to me but whatever. I have this grand idea that I can bang the thing out in like a month. I guess that was the thought process when I made notes. It is all plotted out. I’m sure it would probably go quickly if I can get a span of time in which I work on nothing else.

Maybe if I had a month-long writing retreat.

I think that’s it for now.



If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you probably known about my cat, Max. He looks like this.


Max isn’t doing so hot. He’s about 15 years old, which is the average lifespan of your average cat. A week or two ago, I had to take him to the vet. They diagnosed him with a uti and gave him like a gallon of antibiotics, which I’m still giving him. Seriously. It’s the never-ending bottle. And they gave him some valium, which I crush up and put in the antibiotics.

I have a plunger that looks like a syringe with no needle, and I have to basically shoot this stuff in his mouth. He doesn’t like it. I don’t like doing it. I’m pretty sure he isn’t happy with me.

The vet also ran some tests and found stage 4 kidney failure and hyperthyroidism. He then perscribed fluids and injections. I did the second iv (the first I had to do by myself) and injection last night, and it was awkward. I didn’t do it all of the way right. I forgot how to open the switch on the iv at first and I forgot to put pressure on the injection point, so the stuff just kind of squirted back out.

He was a good boy about it, and the process wasn’t too traumatic. He let me hold him after we finished, which made me simultaneously happy that he didn’t hate me for sticking him with needles and worried because it could mean he just doesn’t have any fight in him anymore.

I’m conflicted about the whole medication thing. I don’t know whether I’m helping him feel slightly better or whether I’m prolonging his suffering. He hasn’t been eating as well the last 5 or 6 days and he just keeps getting skinnier.

I wish I could ask him what he wants. That would make me feel infinitely better. I also hope he knows that I’m trying to help him. I don’t want him to think I’m punishing him for something or just generally tormenting him.

I do know that unless he is writhing in pain and yowling, I don’t want to have him put down. I don’t have any problem with people who do that. I know sometimes it’s the best option. But if I don’t have to, I would rather he get what he may have left. I can’t take that away from him.

He doesn’t seem to be suffering too much. I know that he is, but outwardly, his demeanor, aside from being a little miffed at me, hasn’t changed too much, so we have that, for now.

I realize there are much bigger problems in the world than my silly, old cat, but in my insignificant corner of the world, he is very important people.

The Contestant by CJ Lea

Hey there! One of the very talented people in my writer group recently released her book and you should definitely read it! I had the opportunity to check it out a couple of weeks ago, and I can tell you it’s very good. Lots of action and intrigue and not very nice people doing not very nice things.

the contestant

For Raymond, the online contests were only ever about the money. A brilliant and resourceful serial killer, a hit-and-run accident five years ago left him confined to a wheelchair, and he now makes a humble living pursuing prizes under stolen and fake identities, and selling them online.

But when a $10 million treasure hunt comes up, Raymond begins to realize just how small and insignificant his life has become. This treasure hunt could be his salvation—the perfect opportunity to recoup a standard of living he once enjoyed, to regain the respect he once garnered as a behavioral analyst and profiler.

The moment Raymond registers for the contest, however, the first email arrives. Someone out there knows him, knows his past, knows details he thought were long buried. Now, there’s only one way for Raymond to find his blackmailer and put an end to the threats: Play the game and follow the treasure hunt clues.

And this time, it’s not about the money.

Also available in the Kindle Lending Library for Prime Members.

Link to the book on Amazon