Movie Twofer: John Wick and Maleficent

Hey there! Just popping on for a few minutes. The time/energy crunch has been kind of rough lately, so blogging has kind of fallen by the wayside. Writing and editing activities have slowed significantly as well. I may post a writing update later this week.

john wick

Description from IMDB: “An ex-hitman comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him.”
John Wick’s wife dies. Some bad guys wrong him. He goes on the rampage.

This movie is colorful and stylish, very exciting to watch, but the plot is predictable. As usual, Keanu’s acting is monotone. At this point, that’s pretty much his modus operandi, right? I know these comments probably make it seem like I didn’t like the movie, but I did.
The fight scenes are graceful. I don’t know if it was Keanu or a stunt guy or a mix of the two. The movie was visually interesting. John Wick gets a B+.

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maleficent
Description from IMDB: “A vengeful fairy is driven to curse an infant princess, only to discover that the child may be the one person who can restore peace to their troubled land.”

I LOVE this movie. I’m actually thinking about buying it.

First off, any story that blurs the line between good and evil is a-okay with me. Maleficent is a more complex character in this than she was in the original Disney Sleeping Beauty movie. The story itself is also more complex and the world is more developed and colorful. The magical creatures are crazy and alien looking.

Maleficent has some great battles and humor and bonding. It gets an A.

movie: Edge of Tomorrow

I am present today! I’ve been in a crazy time/energy crunch lately, so blogging has been pretty much non-existent. I still find time for working on books, some stolen minutes here and there. I feel like this whole lack of time situation will get better. Hopefully, this is the worst of it.

Today I have sci-fi deliciousness.

edge of tomorrow

Description from IMDB: “A military officer is brought into an alien war against an extraterrestrial enemy who can reset the day and know the future. When this officer is enabled with the same power, he teams up with a Special Forces warrior to try and end the war.”

Tom Cruise and sci-fi movies go together like…uh…things that really go together. This movie is awesome. Much of the first half of the movie is hilarious. Cage (Cruise) is awkward and makes a really bad soldier, so much so that he dies. A lot. It becomes almost cartoonish but in a good way.

In the movie, time keeps repeating itself, the same day over and over. There is some repetition in the beginning, but it’s doesn’t get too annoying, and it is interesting to watch Cage try and make progress with people who don’t remember meeting with him before, etc.

The fight scenes are really good. The initial battlefield reminded me of Saving Private Ryan, the part where they storm the beach at Normandy, only this is with futuristic weapons, crashing ships and wicked crazy looking (that’s the technical term) aliens. It’s pretty intense.

Aside from all that business, we have the romantic tension between Cage and Rita (Emily Blunt), a badass lady soldier who is the face of the alien war. I thought that part of the movie actually could have been stronger. They work okay together but their relationship didn’t progress much. Of course, when you’re in a 50 First Dates type of situation (she doesn’t remember him when the day starts over), that kind of puts a damper on things.

Okay, awesome movie. I loved this business. The Edge of Tomorrow gets an A.

NaNoWriMo the rundown

I have completed the NaNoWriMo task! I cruised in on the final day with a final nano word count of 50,213 and damn, I was tired. If November were five days longer, I don’t think I would’ve made it. Seriously.

Overall, it was fun. I had a tendency to swing from obsessively writing to feelings of – ugh, how am I still doing this??? It got really difficult, especially toward the end.

I didn’t really have time to get stuck on anything so the first idea out was the first idea out. There will likely be some significant rewriting to eliminate all the top of the head stuff in there.

The husband asked if there was a prize for this business. Sort of. I get that nifty sense of accomplishment, the book that’s almost finished. I got to watch the enthusiastic winner video on the nano website. That was funny. There’s a printable certificate and the winner badge, the latter of which I plan to add to the blog sidebar. This is what it looks like.

small nano badge

There was also an option to buy a shirt but alas, I have not done so.

As for the overall progress on the book itself, the rough draft is almost done. I should definitely wrap that up by the end of the week. I am pleased.

When that’s done, I’ll have 4 books in various stages of editing. 2015 should be interesting as far as releases go.

NaNoWriMo Day 19

Hey there, internets! I’m popping in for a quick update on my nanowrimo efforts.

As of yesterday, my daily word count average was about 1650, which puts me a little shy of the 1667 words a day I need in order to hit my 50,000 word goal by the end of the month. So, yes, a little behind but nothing that will discourage me.

One thing I’ve been doing is waking up 20 minutes early in the morning and writing for a while before I leave for work. I enjoy this more than I thought I would and I might actually continue this habit after nano ends. I get to do what I love first instead of just hauling my sorry ass out of bed to go to the place I don’t love.

This morning, I managed to bang out 768 words in that 20 minutes. Good times.

I previously tried to push this out to 30 minutes, and that did not go well. Apparently that extra ten minutes of sleep makes all the difference in whether my brain decides to cooperate.

I’m also happy to have all those notes I made beforehand. I don’t follow every detail, but as far as the backbone of the story goes, they’re keeping me on course.

My favorite writing playlist has been a compilation of instrumental Deadmau5 songs from 4 or 5 of his albums. It is very good writing music, upbeat but not intrusive at all, and I have so much of it that I can put it on shuffle and not be annoyed.

Favorite brain fuel has been the V8 energy fusion. This is tasty and has both vitamins and caffeine. Go juice.

nanowrimo go juice

I do have a concern that the story I’m writing could possibly end before I hit the nanowrimo goal of 50,000 words. Right now, the total word count for the book is 46801. I started with 15364 words at the beginning of nano. I need about 19,000 more words (rounding up).

I don’t plan to drag out the story just so I can stick a crown on my head. I’m a firm believer in letting a thing be what it wants to be. If I do end up short of my nano goal, I’ll probably go back and see if I missed any scenes. If I didn’t then, hey, done is done, and I’ll take that as a consolation prize.

Possible obstacle to completion: husband scheduled a social visit with friends for saturday night. ugh, social frickin’ butterfly. I have stuff to do.

Laters.

NaNoWriMo Off the Jump

As previously mentioned, I’m doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year. It’s a month-long writing marathon, the goal of which is to crank out 50,000 words. There’s a website. Lots of people participate. Etc. etc.

Here is the website if you want to know more about it. NaNoWriMo

So. The timing of this is actually perfect, because I have a book that I’ve been dying to write. I started it a while ago and then put it down to work on something else. Now I’ve picked it back up. Here are the stats on the book.

Genre: Romantic suspense. It’s actually more romance than suspense. Is suspenseful romance a thing?

Starting word count: 15,364. I won’t count these toward my Nano goal because they weren’t typed in November.

Notes: 17 typed pages. 12,653 words. I have made more extensive notes for only one other book, and that was the middle grade novel that I haven’t published yet. I think I may be planning obsessively. Is that a good thing or a waste of time? We shall see, my friends.

That’s all I have to say about that for now.

Unrelated: pictures of Max in a sunbeam. He’s feeling better, by the way. I don’t know what happened or how he got past it well enough to go on, but I’m very grateful to still have him around. He’s on the skinny side. However, he has put on some weight. I’m no longer treating him for anything. I’m just going to let the old man do what he does.

 

Moo1

Moo2

movie: A Million Ways to Die in the West

Movie: A Million Ways to Die in the West

Whattup, internets? This is me blogging 2 weeks in row. #winning

This weekend, we watched A Million Ways to Die in the West.

million ways to die in the west

Description from IMDB: “As a cowardly farmer begins to fall for the mysterious new woman in town, he must put his new-found courage to the test when her husband, a notorious gun-slinger, announces his arrival.”

This is a Seth MacFarlane movie. If you’re looking for sophistication, pass on this one. If you can’t laugh at absurdity or raunchiness, pass on this movie.

That being said, I’m not sure Seth MacFarlane can actually act. I liked his character fine, but he just seemed like he was playing himself. As far as the rest of the primary cast, they are awesome: Charlize Theron, Giovanni Ribisi, Sarah Silverman, Liam Neeson, the list goes on.

The humor is mostly lowbrow, which is fine and dandy with me. I enjoy that business. The story is decent but pretty predictable.

A Million Ways to Die in the West is entertaining. It gets a B+.

I am participating in NanoWriMo this year, which is a month of crazy productive writing. I probably won’t do any movie reviews or real posts during November. I may, however, pop by and provide updates.