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.

babdook
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.

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Okay, that’s it for now.

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.