movie: Inherent Vice

Ah yes. A movie post. It seems like such an easy thing. And yet, I’ve been having some trouble writing one. I’ve had a lot of stuff going on, not all of which is taking me in the direction I need to move. Anyway.

The husband and I saw a trailer for this on some other movie we were watching, so we added it to the Netflix queue. It was weird because it has this great cast and we had never heard of it. Now that I’ve watched it, I think I know why.

vice cover
Description from IMDB: “During the psychedelic 60s and 70s Larry “Doc” Sportello is surprised by his former girlfriend and her plot for her billionaire boyfriend, his wife, and her boyfriend. A plan for kidnapping gets shaken up by the oddball characters entangled in this groovy kidnapping romp based upon the novel by Thomas Pynchon.”

Okay, this movie is weird. Not like Lost Highway weird, but weird in its own quirky, what-the-heck-am-I-watching kind of way. It stars Joaquin (yes I had to look that up in order to spell it correctly) Phoenix as Hippie Wolverine a private investigator named Doc in 1970.

The movie is LONG (148 minutes) for what it is. It also veers wildly from slow to hilarious to weird and back again. If someone were to take this movie and condense it down to the best, say, hour to an hour and a half, it could be great. But they didn’t do that.

By far the best scenes were the ones between Doc and a cop he called “Bigfoot”. Bigfoot (Josh Brolin) is this big, old school manly, conservative police officer who hates hippies. The two of them have this frenemy thing going on. They antagonize each other in a hilarious manner, but they also kind of like each other at the same time.

So yeah, the movie definitely has its bright points if you’re willing to sit through the wait. Overall, I would give this one a C+.

On Deadlines

I’ve been feeling guilty about pushing out the release schedule for my books. Should I ever get published for real, I don’t want to be that writer who doesn’t meet deadlines. That’s lame.

The situation is different when you’re pretty much on your own, though. There’s the task list associated with the release: cover art, proofreading, book description, marketing stuff, etc. There’s doubt. Did I catch all of the typos? What if I have some plot inconsistency that ruins the whole story? It’s a lot.

I shouldn’t really say I’m on my own. A few people help me out with reading the things before they’re published, and I really do appreciate them, but in the end, it’s up to me to get past whatever is in the way of getting the book to the market.

I say all of this not to make excuses. I don’t want to be that writer.

What I’m saying is the level of discipline is different, or the kind of discipline is different, when I don’t answer to anyone else. There is still plenty of discipline or nothing would ever get done. I have wiggle room with my deadlines because they’re self-imposed. But that doesn’t mean I should be working that way.

So yes. I do feel bad about pushing the books out. I promise they are coming very soon. I already started my final (for real) read-thru on Juniper 2, and I have cover designs in my head for both the first novella and the sequel. Stay tuned.

quick book updates

Hello, internets! How are things? I’m okay, still trying to push and get these books out the door. I think I’m going to have to move the release dates out a smidge.

I know, I know. I said I would let them go. I am. I swear. I just have a whole lot going on right now, which is almost entirely my fault. I take on too many projects. I can’t help it. I just want to do all the things.

I have decided that I’m going to release most of my work for free. Well, I should say free everywhere but Amazon because they don’t really want to let me do that the way I’d like to. Not all of my books will be free, but a significant portion of them will be.

So, Barnes and Noble, Apple (iBookstore?), wherever else, a lot of what I write will be available there. I’ll post release dates and links here, of course.

My next writing project will be the final AnnaBeth book. Did I mention that before? Sorry if I’m repeating myself. I might be getting senile in my young age. I would like to get that out next year sometime. That’s going to be difficult to write. I’m pretty sure one of my favorite characters is going to die, so that’s going to be difficult. I’m not looking forward to that.

I think that’s all I have for now.


Here I am

God I miss writing. I haven’t written anything new-new since last November. At least, I think it was last November. Seems longer.

I’m on a kind of self-imposed punishment. I can’t write anything new until I release 2 books that are already written. I’ve created a bad situation for myself, and I’m not sure how I got here – 4 books in edit mode. 4. It’s absurd. I have a binder full of notes for future books and I’m sitting in a manuscript nest just holding onto these things like a crazy person.

I’m going to toss out release months right now. I will have one book out in…say…September, beginning of October. Then another one in either December or January, maybe sooner. These things must end. They must go forth into the world and do whatever it is they’re going to do, so that I can write again.

Because I really, really, really miss writing. I think when I do finally get back to it, I will either have completely forgotten what I’m doing or I’ll be off and running like my life depends on it. Maybe both. That could be interesting.

Oh, a quick Max update. It’s been over a year since he was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney failure, and my fur baby is still kicking. He’s 16 years old now, which is pretty old in cat years. He has gained a lot of weight, even in his tail. He still has issues from time to time, but I’m pretty sure the vet got the stage 4 part of the diagnosis wrong. Glad I dropped $300+ on blood work that was inaccurate and made me very upset.

I know at his age that anything can happen at any time, so I’m not taking anything for granted. I’m glad he’s still here. Here is a picture of him looking very serious.

Max D Cat

There is a reflection of a hand in his eye. I was probably waving to get him to look at me.

movie: The Babadook

As per usual, maybe more than usual, I’ve been crazy busy. Drive forever, work, drive forever, dinner, children, and somewhere in between, I get snack-sized bits of time. Yay snacks!

It was during one of these that I watched The Babadook.

Description from IMDB: “A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.”

Babadook is an interesting movie. First, the pace is very slow, much like old horror movies. In fact, a lot of the movie seemed to strive for classic horror movie-style. The camera work, the tension, etc.

As for the story, Dad died in an accident. Mom’s a little frazzled/crazy, son’s a little frazzled/crazy. Everyone seems to need an extended vacation. I spent a lot of the movie feeling bad for both of them, not just for the Babadook problem but for their situation in general.

As for the monster…the Babadook is a scary man/creature in a pop-up book the son randomly finds in the house. Nobody knows where the book came from, but apparently, that isn’t much of a concern off the jump. Pop-up book is scary. Weird stuff starts happening after they read it.

Babdook does have parts that I thought were decently scary, but the slow pace of the story detracts from that. What the movie does well is plant doubt about what’s really happening. What it doesn’t do well is the ending. Unsatisfying to say the least.

The Babadook gets a D.

Writing Updates

Okay, writing update! I keep putting off blogging but not anymore! At least for this moment.

Let’s see where we are. I’ve still got 4 books in play. 2 way-rough drafts, 1 novella that’s creeping up on acceptable, and the middle grade book, which is the thing that’s really driving me bonkers.

I just want everything to be perfect. Is that too much to ask, Brain?

The novella is the 2nd Juniper story. The first Juniper story was What the Dead Fear. That’s still free on Amazon, btw. I should have Juniper 2 ready to go within the next couple of months, so yes, there will be at least one release this year.

I like how it’s turning out. It’s longer than the first one and better, I think. The writing is better. The story is better.

Editing has been really difficult lately, especially for the kid’s book. I hope that doesn’t sound too complain-y. My attention span is kind of haywire anyway and when I get to about the 5th or 6th read, I start longing for that binder with all my future book project notes in it. Pretty, shiny book notes.

What I really need is someone to take books away from me at draft number 3 and just fix the rest of it. I could hand it to them and be all like – “Here is this semi-practically-coherent pile of words. Please make it brilliant and then give it back.” And they should be willing to work for free and none of the credit. Is that a thing? No?

Ugh, why is that never a thing? I would get so much more done.

Once Juniper is done and the middle grade novel is acceptable, I’ll get back to the book I wrote during Nano last year. That’s the thing I really want to dig into.

A quick Max update: He’s doing pretty well. Still skinny. Still bald in spots but he feels okay most of the time as far as I can tell. He’s got a new fascination with the fake tree in the library and seems to think it may be a scratching post.


Okay, that’s it for now.