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.

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Max

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

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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.

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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

Shining Observations

There has been much working on projects lately, which has resulted in my absence from the blog! But I am here now.

This isn’t so much a movie review as just some random observations about the movie. I first saw The Shining many years ago. We watched it again this weekend. I have no real reason other than we just wanted to.

First, the music is HORRIBLE, most notably in the opening credits. Did you ever have one of those casio keyboard synthesizer things when you were a kid? If so, you might have done what I did and press random keys in what occasionally felt like a rational order, “making music”. That’s what this particular portion of the soundtrack sounds like, exactly.

Second. That kid’s facial expressions. Holy cow. I giggled every time they displayed a close-up view of his terror, which is probably not the correct reaction for someone with kids of their own to have. And hence.

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I liked that the actors didn’t look like they were wearing much makeup, which was actually kind of cool because they looked like real people instead of painted plastic.

I also thought it was very inconsiderate of the hotel management to remove the adult beverages from the bar before departing for the winter. Lloyd had to serve ghost liquor. That will not do.

And thus ends my random Shining observations.

movie: Pacific Rim

 

 

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This weather is awesome! I’m so excited for spring. Everything is warm. The flowers are blooming. I just wish I had more time to get outdoors and enjoy it. Should I complain about a lack of outside time right before talking about an indoor activity? Probably not. 

Onward.

Description from IMDB: “As a war between humankind and monstrous sea creatures wages on, a former pilot and a trainee are paired up to drive a seemingly obsolete special weapon in a desperate effort to save the world from the apocalypse.”

This movie is entirely too long for what it is. However, I did like it. The special effects were awesome, of course. There was a scientist with a bunch of forearm tattoos, which I found very appealing. His personality was annoying, though. In fact, there were a few annoying characters, and for the most part, they weren’t really developed.

There was the stereotypical overprotective father figure, the quick-tempered egomaniac soldier guy, the underappreciated, underestimated female character, and some semi-scary foreign people. Come on, let’s get some originality.

Another lack of originality involved the various ways they straight ripped off Independence Day. They had a really good concept with the giant robots versus aliens. They really didn’t need to go there. Stealing was unnecessary.

The movie does get bonus points for the presence of Ron Perlman and his weird glasses.

Pacific Rim is entertaining but nothing too far out of the box. It gets a B-.

Movie: 47 Ronin

Movie: 47 Ronin

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Description from IMDB: “A band of samurai set out to avenge the death and dishonor of their master at the hands of a ruthless shogun.”

This movie is…hmmm. I liked it very much, but it had a lot of shortcomings and unutilized potential.

First, the setting. Ancient Japan with witches, demons, and ghosts. That was quite awesome. It was beautiful and mysterious. I’d like to see more movies set in that time period with that level of living mythology. Very nice.

What I didn’t like was the use of the characters. The movie first centers on Keanu Reeves’ character, Kai, then it kind of veers over to this other guy, the leader of the Ronin. His character was better, but the shift was still kind of weird.

Another thing that really irritated me was Keanu’s acting or lack thereof. It’s completely one dimensional and boring to the nth degree. He spent the whole story either moping or fighting.

Granted his character had some bad things happen to him but this emotional monotone was so persistent that I wanted to reach through the screen and shake him awake. His character had the potential to be infinitely interesting. I was disappointed.

Whoever wrote the movie also kept hinting at this backstory that was never brought completely to light. That was annoying. They did reveal where the half-demon guy was raised, but there should’ve been more to it than that.

Also, that tattooed man on the graphic I grabbed from imdb was in the movie for like 2 minutes. I’m not sure that warrants an appearence on the cover or poster or whatever the heck that is.

47 Ronin was definitely worth a watch if you can overlook the weak storytelling and lackadaisical acting. It gets a C+.

movie: The Wolf of Wall Street

Nobody had a guess on the fish rock thing? Ah well. I did have a couple of outside guesses. One suggested fossilized fish head. Another went for an ear. I can see an ear-like shape from a certain angle. I still have no definite answers.

Movie: The Wolf of Wall Street

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Description from IMDB: “Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stock-broker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.”

This movie is nuts. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort. He starts out at this kind of wide-eyed rookie broker at a fancy firm. The firm promptly closes, landing him flat on his ass again. He gets another job selling penny stocks and basically applies the con-artist skills from the big leagues to selling these other stocks, which are pretty much worthless.

Needless to say, he kills it, so much so that he opens his own firm, makes all the money in the world. He gets the giant house, the big car, the trophy wife and a drug habit that must be one of the most monumental drug habits in all the world.

He downs everything from Quaaludes to coke to crack. He also provides employment to like every hooker in the country. Ew. There’s a lot of bobbing and weaving with the government, a lot of very self-destructive behavior and some highly questionable antics in an office environment. Stuff just gets crazier and crazier.

The Wolf of Wall Street is a little slow in the beginning, but once it gets going, look out. Also, I think it could’ve been a bit shorter. 179 minutes is a long time for this kind of movie in my opinion. Regardless, it was still good. The Wolf of Wall Street gets a B.