nightmare fodder

I took the day off. The boy and I went to the park. I saw this crazy bug on a fence, so I snapped a picture of it.

Using the all-wise and knowing internet, I have identified this charming specimen as a red-footed cannibal fly.

Cannibal.
Fly.

Why does it bear this name? From what I’ve read, it can take out pretty much any other insect, including dragonflies. And one site claimed that it can also take down a hummingbird if so inclined.

Yes the second picture is of the same bug. It looks different in flight.

The other pictures I saw while doing research showed the bug eating bees and wasps and such. It seems to like to go for the head-face area first. yummy.

Sleep tight, kids. Don’t let the red-footed cannibal fly bite.
_________________________
Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!
There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:
http://www.LeaRyan.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1

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thursday stuff

The prodigal dog has returned! Well actually I had to go get her. She was not eaten by a coyote and/or pups thankfully. Which is a good thing. I kind of like that dog.

This is the picture I used on the missing dog poster.

We put them up in various spots in the neighborhood and a nice lady called and said she had the dog. Zoe was tied up in her back yard and seemed quite happy to see us. I was late for work but we have the dog back. Woo!

Yesterday was kind of a weird/stressful day overall. There was the missing dog. My daughter is at band camp and didn’t return any of my texts. Her phone probably died or whatever, but we are rarely completely out of contact.

Then there was an issue with another child, which I won’t go into detail about, but I will say that I was peed on a little. All the drama put me off balance. I didn’t really get any editing work done by the time I finished dealing with everything. Rough day.

But today is better and we move on.

Can you believe that July is almost over already? Wasn’t the 4th like two days ago? No?

_________________________
Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!
There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:
http://www.LeaRyan.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1

dog

The dog is missing.

This summer she seems to have made a hobby of taking off. At first she would squirm out of her collar. She did that a few times, and we bought her a harness. That worked for a while.

But this morning, a family member who shall remain nameless let the dog off her chain at the end of the deck. Usually when we do this, the dog runs inside. This morning she decided to bolt instead.

She usually comes back within an hour or so of taking off. She’s a short, butterballish creature who gets winded when we take her on short walks. She’s not exactly built for survival in the wild.

I’m also worried because the coyotes are in the process of teaching their pups to hunt. I saw that on a news report just the other day. Zoe the dog would be a really easy target. The sun is going down right now and she still isn’t back.

Hopefully someone has her safe in their house. She has a really cute personality. I could see someone wanting to take her in. If they did, I hope they give her back.

I have no one to eat the food I drop on the floor. Max has no one to beat up on except for Sneaker, and she kicks him in the face.

I’m going to go work on a missing dog poster now.

: (

_________________________
Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!
There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:
http://www.LeaRyan.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1

movie twofer: Domino and Insidious

Hey there, weblings! I am being quick with these two movie rundowns because I have a whole lot of page edits to enter. I have to finish them this evening or I’ll get behind in the computer end of the work and that makes for a very unhappy me.

First up is Domino, staring Keira Knightley as Domino, a female bounty hunter who joins two guy bounty hunters. I lifted the following description from IMDB.

“The daughter of an actor with a high-society woman, Domino Harvey, bored with her life, decides to join the team of Ed Mosley and becomes a bounty hunter. But she gets in trouble when the Mafia’s money is stolen from an armored truck, while Mosley and his crew are in action participating of a reality show produced by Mark Heiss. The situation becomes out of control when the sons of a rival mobster are kidnapped while FBI is monitoring the two gangs of mobsters.”

Mickey Rourke plays a member of her team. There were many other stars in it too: Lucy Liu, Mena Suvari, Christopher Walken, Macy Gray and Mo’Nique were around. 90210 was a consistent theme throughout the movie, which was really sort of strange. Ian Ziering and Brian Austin Green played themselves.

The movie was filmed in a gritty, hip sort of way. There was a lot of action. Keira Knightley makes a good badass. But the plot felt scattered. There were way too many characters and too much going on, too many subplots. Domino wasn’t bad, but it could have been better. B-

Next up, Insidious.

Oh, hell yeah, a horror movie – and a decent one at that. I’m grabbing my story description from IMDB again.

“A gripping story of a family in search of help for their son, Dalton, who fell into a mysterious comatose on one ordinary morning. Little do they know that there is much more to this endless sleep than meets the eye as they explore the paranormal, and rediscover the past; the key to getting their son back once and for all. Written by David Murray Arthur”

What separates the men from the boys when it comes to horror movies is a unique concept, a story that holds the interest of an audience without leaning too hard on the gore factor. Such things require skill.

Insidious excels in the story department. The first half hour gives the viewer the impression that the movie will be a Paranormal Activity knockoff. While there are some similarities in the beginning, Insidious goes so much farther in the way of plot. There are some seriously crazy, tripped out scenes. I don’t want to spoil anything because people who do that are assholes, but just trust me, it’s pretty wild and scary.

Insidious gets an A.

_________________________
Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!
There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:
http://www.LeaRyan.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1

writing stuff

The rewriting of the remix project is going very well. I’m making an effort to be patient and pay attention to what should be happening in the story. There have been a couple of instances where, in a fit of wanting-to-finish, I flew through a moment that was far more significant than the one-two sentence I gave it the first time around. So I write farther into it and explore the various possibilities for that particular interaction between characters or emotion or action, whatever.

Another thing I’m trying is injecting as much personality into setting as possible. I hate it when my descriptions come off sounding like lists. I know I said that before. The rattling off of various details is an efficient way to be done with setting the scene but if I’m being honest with myself, it’s the lazy way out…and maybe the coward’s way too.

I previously gave myself a tentative deadline of the end of July to finish messing around with the first draft of the remix project. Today is 7/22, so that gives me 10 days.

Errmmm.

Maybe if I can activate a laser rocket attention span or possibly borrow someone’s time machine, I can make that. Realistically, I would say it’s probably not going to happen, but what I will do is try my damnedest to finish within that time frame. Is that really a word? Damnedest?

I would have to run through about ten pages a day to get there. It took me 2 days to get through 8 pages this week.

Of course, those were at the beginning of the book, which is the part of the book that I always end up rewriting the most. The beginning is extremely important because it’s the part that helps people decide if they want the ebook. When you allow sampling, the sample runs from the beginning.

Anyway, I’m off to hang out with my purple binder and see how much rewriting I can cram into my two days off.

Have glorious times.
_________________________
Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!
There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:
http://www.LeaRyan.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1

pictures of various things

Before we get to the pics, I forgot to mention that the slightly revamped version of MacDowell Sisters & AnnaBeth is up in the Amazon Kindle store and it’s on Smashwords. It will probably take a while for the other ebook stores to update their records.

Here we go. The first set is from a nearby park. There are some shots of a heron and dragonflies in blue, green and black, some sort of raptor bird like a falcon or whatever. The tunnel is also in the park. Trains pass over the top, not actually through the tunnel.

The plane is a crop duster that was dumping pesticides on the corn field across the way.

Broken feather on the right. Poor birdie!!!

inside the tunnel is some low quality graffiti

BLACK!!!

GREEN!

BLUE! and black

I like how it looks like they’re playing chicken or something.

_________________________
Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!
There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:
http://www.LeaRyan.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1

Mashed Wordtatoes

Holy crap, this heat is unfreakingbearable. It probably wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t so relentless. The outside air is oppressively thick and smells like a mix of molten asphalt and dead animals.

My car is a damned oven. Forget about trying to roll with the windows down. Air conditioning all the way, baby. At home, we’re keeping the curtains and blinds closed in an effort to not bake and to preserve the functionality of our beloved air conditioner. I’m essentially hiding from the outdoors.

I have two quotes that I heard/read last week and loved, so I’m sharing.

“When you’re fortunate enough to have success and love what you do, you have a choice: Be kind and grateful, or be a dick. I choose the first.”

– Wil Wheaton on his blog and Twitter, I think.

“Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength, and doing the right thing in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend.”

– Possibly Stephen King. I didn’t get it from the source himself. Regardless, I love it!!

Speaking of Twilight/Stephenie Meyer, what in the sparkly hell are her books doing on lulu?

That site is usually for self-publishers. Speaking of self-publishers –

Interesting fun fact – John Grisham originally self-published A Time to Kill! Nuts! It was later picked up by an actual publisher, of course.

I read that in Janet Evanovich’s How I Write, which I got on loan from boss lady. That’s a good book, btw. I don’t think you could depend on it to learn all components of the novel-writing process, but some useful tidbits lie therein. Plus Janet Evanovich is funny. And she likes food.

She reminds me of my aunt.

This week I’m editing the remix project. I shouldn’t say ‘editing’. I should say ‘intensively rewriting and expanding’. The first draft is entirely too short. I think it ended up at 57000 words at the end.

During the rewrite, I’m looking for parts that need clarification or more thorough description or opportunites to better develop characters. What I’ve lain down in rough draft is like a sketch I plan to flesh out.

My special friend this week is an editing binder. It’s purple and has a couple of magazine pictures of gardens in the clear plastic on the outside. Inside are manuscript pages, loose-leaf paper, notes from when I plotted out the novel, and some printed research material on developing photographs the old school way in a dark room.

My protagonist is a wannabe photographer. I did take a photograpy class when I was in high school like 14 years ago or whatever, but I’ve forgotten the specifics of the procedure so I’ll have to look into that again.

Hey, I just realized that I mentioned like FIVE authors in this post! I must be in an extra bookish mood. Anyway, that’s all I have for now. But then, wasn’t that enough?

_________________________
Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!
There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:
http://www.LeaRyan.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1