Anne Rice and Her Advice

That’s right. My post title rhymes.

Today I have a video. Well, actually Anne Rice has a video. I especially enjoyed her assertion that there are no rules in writing. That made me like her even more than I did before. A lot of people who offer advice on writing seem to have these strict ideas in their heads about what writing should be. Don’t use adjectives or adverbs. Don’t do this or that. Bah. They can keep that mess.

While I was watching the video, I got sidetracked and needed to pause. I caught Anne looking surprised. If you jumped out of her closet and scared her, this is the face she would make.

terrified anne rice

Here’s the video.

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Iyrico, Part Six

Here we are at Part 6! This week has been pretty busy and cold, definitely cold outside. We’ve already had snow here, which is crazy business. We don’t usually get snow so early in the year.

If you’re new to the Iyrico party, links to the previous posts are below.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

If you aren’t the patient sort, you can access the story in its entirety at:

Scribd

Wattpad website and the app

Part Seven should be the last part of the story.

iyrico cover2

“You kids can play outside today.” Dean said absentmindedly without looking up from his pancakes. “We have to go into town to make arrangements, but when we get back, you can go out.”

Nessa executed the same posture as her father. She didn’t reply to the offer.

“Why can’t we go to town with you?” Levi asked. The last place he ever wanted to be was Cliff House, especially alone with Nessa.

“Don’t do this today, honey.” His mother ate her breakfast in a similar manner as the others, occasionally wiping a tear from under her eye. It was a morose scene that made Levi glad he hadn’t seen his dead grandmother’s body. She added, “The process will go more smoothly if you two stay here.”

“Okay.” He conceded, mostly out of sympathy for her.

“We should be gone a couple of hours. You’re mature enough to handle yourselves.”

No problem. He would barricade the door with a chair or the chest of drawers.

Later, through the front window, he watched the car until it disappeared down the driveway and into the trees. The place felt wilder, then, he thought, with Hound as his only companion on the cliff.

He headed back toward his room to carry out his plan of self-isolation. To his dismay, he found Nessa sitting on his bed turning over the battered top in her hands.

“Get out.” He told her.

“It’s my house. I can do whatever I want.”

“I’ll call my mom if you don’t leave me alone. I don’t want to talk to you.”

She gave him an awful grin, “You’re going to play with me.”

“Unlikely.”

She hopped down from the bed, placing the top on the bed as she went. She paused next to him, “You won’t have a choice.”

He shut her out with the door and then with the chest of drawers. Hound whined at the sight of the barrier.

“Sorry, boy. Trust me, it’s worth the trouble. We’ll both be safer this way.”

Ten minutes later, a knock at his door broke the stillness. It was a gentle rapping, almost innocent. Levi knew better.

“Go away.”

“Time for a game.”

“Time for you to mind your own business.” He kept his nose in his book, which he had started for the second reading since leaving home. He should have brought more books, or a longer one. He had underestimated his need for escape.

“Okay, well, I hate to see anyone get in as much trouble as you will.”

He rolled his eyes, “I’m not interested.”

“You should be. You’re going to get blamed for stealing again.”

Levi groaned, “I don’t care. Get lost.”

“Have it your way.”

He listened to her walk toward the kitchen. He would’ve given almost anything to be rid of her. She made him glad he didn’t have any siblings. If that was how other kids acted at home, he wanted no part of the nonsense. Hound was far better company. Levi went back to his book.

For a time, all was right with his world. He began to think this plan of his might actually keep him safe long enough for his mother and Dean to return. Who cared what Nessa planned to blame him for? No matter what that trouble happened to be, he was safer on his island of solitude.

Then, just when his stomach began to rumble for lunch, Hound rose from the rug, lumbered over to the door and whined at his master. Levi had barricaded them in as long as his appetite and the dog’s patience would allow.

“Guess we can’t be chickens forever.” He reluctantly put down the book. “We’ll still avoid her.” He assured the dog as he moved the chest of drawers from the door.

Nothing stirred in the hallway. Hound went outdoors for his business and returned without incident. The day, while bright and sunny, still possessed the same tense mood it had when the pack of stray dogs circled, but no hostile wildlife emerged from the woods, and Hound returned in a happy gallop.

The kitchen, too, was free of Nessa. Levi made a sandwich. He fed his dog the decidedly less appetizing dogfood, and he opened the window before sitting at the table so he could enjoy some fresh air. He had begun to wonder if Nessa had gone outside when she entered from the rear section of the house. Taking that as his cue to return to his room, he moved to place his dishes in the sink.

“You won’t be welcome back when they see what you stole.” She sat on the counter and folded her hands in her lap.

“Good. I don’t want to come back, anyway. I hate this place.”

Nessa leaned forward until her face almost touched his, “But it likes you.”

He turned to walk away.

“You can’t leave until you find it.”

“Find what?” He tossed the inquiry over his shoulder without looking.

“The treasure my dad will have to get back before they’ll let you go anywhere.”

She wasn’t going to leave him alone until he engaged her on some level.

“What?”

“My dad’s Saint Christopher medallion.”

Levi rolled his eyes and continued into the hallway toward his room, “Why should I care if he loses a necklace?”

“He usually doesn’t go anywhere without it. He’s real superstitious. But today, the Iyrico made him forget, and he left it on his dresser.”

He resisted the urge to turn back. He plowed ahead to his bedroom with Hound at his side. He wasn’t going to let her coax him into the game. He closed the door and leaned against it. Her voice on the other side startled him.
“Dad will go crazy when he sees it’s gone, and he’ll blame you because you stole before.”

“The Iyrico isn’t real.”

She said in a sing-song, “Yes he is.” She hummed as she skipped away from the door, pausing to add, “The medallion is near the demon’s door. He dares you to come get it.”

The house went quiet too suddenly. She hadn’t gone far enough to reach the front door or the kitchen. He got the idea she was standing somewhere in the hallway, waiting for him to emerge, so she could run off laughing. Hound gave an uneasy whine.

Levi cracked the door enough to look out. The hallway was empty. The air there felt hotter than seconds before.

“Nessa?” He hated how weak his voice sounded.

The frame of the house creaked as the wind whipped up from the cliff. He stepped into the hallway.

“Iyrico.” A voice not unlike that of his recently deceased grandmother moaned from the bedroom in which she died. “No, please. Release me.” It was her voice but much fainter.

He knew the joke, then. Nessa would lure him to the bedroom, and jump out from the shadows. He shook his head. Too easy.

Bolder, now, he approached the doorway to the death room, stopping at the threshold when the bed came into view.
“I’m gone. Release me.” The words, the voice almost wheezy, came from under the bed, still distant, and he wondered how Nessa was making the sound. It was so eerie and real.

Maybe she’d recorded their dying grandmother. Was Nessa capable of such cruelty? All for a prank she planned?

The dogs. He reminded himself. She had tried to get him killed. She was capable of anything.

“I know it’s you. Come out. I’m going to tell Uncle Dean.”

nerd rant: the xbox one devil

hell no kitty

I know, I know, today is supposed to be the movie post. I have one written, but I decided to talk about something else today because it’s bothering me.

I’m a gamer. I’ve been a gamer since the dawn of Commodore 64. I still play on an almost daily basis, not the 64, of course. I currently have a wii, a ps3 and an xbox 360. PS3 is my preference.

I was reading about the xbox one today and the direction they’re going has royally pissed me off. I wish I could find the article I read earlier today so I could share the link, but I can’t find it now. I think it was on Yahoo.

So, the used game thing is what everyone is talking about the most, it seems. Obviously, this is about corporate greed. I buy most of my games used. I do not buy all of my games used. Some games, I buy used and then, if I like the series well enough, I buy the subsequent releases new.

Apparently the powers that be have decided that buying used games is akin to shady business. I have a newsflash for them. Those games I bought used? I wouldn’t have purchased them new. Or else I would’ve done that in the beginning.

That aside, this new thing. This new thing has my hackles up, for real. Apparently, the xbox one needs an internet connection every day or so or the game function of the console is deactivated.

Sorry anyone who doesn’t have constant access to an internet connection. For you, the xbox one is an over-priced DVD player, but hey, you have that going for you.

If this is real (and I sincerely hope it isn’t), it’s a move in a very wrong direction. Tell me, Microsoft. What are the advantages of dropping $400 or whatever you plan to charge to have my content so tightly controlled that it’s rendered useless if my connection goes down for a few days? Why exactly would I want this product?

This is one of those times where we get to decide how our culture moves forward. There will be people who will buy this system only because it’s an xbox. They have fans like that.

Gamers need to reject this product with enthusiasm. Vote with your dollars.

If enough people buy the xbox one under these circumstances, that’s a vote for this new system, the iron grip on games we did actually pay money for. It’s an invitation for them to find out how much farther they can push us. Hey, why not charge us an hourly rate? Hell, maybe we can pay a monthly bill just for the honor of having an xbox in our house.

I vote no. Microsoft will not receive one penny from me for xbox anything if this is how they plan to treat their customers.

Done.

movie: The Amazing Spider-man

Hello there! How was everyone’s weekend? Good? I was really busy, painting and grocery shopping and such, plus I have a cold on top of all that. Fun times. We got a lot done, though, so yay!

The movie this weekend was The Amazing Spider-man

spider

Description from IMDB: “Peter Parker finds a clue that might help him understand why his parents disappeared when he was young. His path puts him on a collision course with Dr. Curt Connors, his father’s former partner.”

Yeah, yeah, it’s Spider-man again. I’m not sure why they gave him a reboot so soon after the last round. I mean, Spider-man 3 just came out in 2007. How can I miss him if he doesn’t go away?

This verse is pretty much the same as the first. They switched it up a little bit, got into the back story of Peter Parker going to live with his aunt and uncle, and some stuff about his dad. That was kind of cool.

Some of the CGI looked similarly fake, much like the last incarnation, but the fight scenes were still exciting to watch, nonetheless. They did some first person shots from Spiderman’s viewpoint as he was swinging around. That was an interesting perspective.

The cast consisted of some great acting veterans – Sallie Field and Martin Sheen. Emma Stone was good as the likable Gwen and Andrew Garfield did a pretty good job with Peter Parker.

The Amazing Spider-man gets a B+.

sunrise and a movie: Total Recall

What’s up? Did we have a nice weekend? The sunrise over the field behind my house was insane. I snapped this picture of it, but of course, it doesn’t really do the sunrise justice. There were clouds almost all of the way down to the horizon. They terminated in a distinct line over the sun, which was a flaming red color. I took this picture with my phone.

sunrise

I’ve become increasingly frustrated with the camera on my phone. I take so many pictures, and this camera is pretty craptastic. I do have a real camera but I don’t exactly carry it around with me all of the time.

Movie time. I was really excited to see Total Recall. The original movie felt so original and vivid and had this wonderfully gritty feel to it.

cover

 

Here’s a description for the new one from the IMDB: “A factory worker, Douglas Quaid, begins to suspect that he is a spy after visiting Rekall – a company that provides its clients with implanted fake memories of a life they would like to have led – goes wrong and he finds himself on the run.”

Let’s see…the eye candy was good. Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, all reasonably nice to look at.

I’m not sure if this was intentional, but there seemed to be some shades of other sci-fi movies in the mix of scenes. A dash of Doctor Who, a taste of Resident Evil, a bit of Blade Runner, Robocop and The Fifth Element and of course, a few nods to the original Total Recall. We have so many sci-fi titles these days. Have we reached the limit of originality? Is everything new just going to be a rehash of old? If we do stumble upon originality, will we think it’s “too weird” to appreciate it?

This incarnation of Total Recall is fueled by fighting, gun fights, hand to hand fights. Also running. There’s a significant level of cardio. The actual story wasn’t as well developed as it could have been. I would’ve gladly traded 20 minutes of running and shooting for some solid depth.

Ah well, it was entertaining to watch. Like brain junk food.

Total Recall gets a C+.

naptown roller girls + star wars

It’s Wednesday! Better than Monday! Better than Tuesday! Today I have pictures. Lots of pictures.

Indianapolis has a roller derby team called the Naptown Roller Girls. We have seen them twice. Both times, they kicked much ass. And somehow, both times, we have ended up in the audience for their annual Star Wars themed bout. I love it – both the derby and the Star Wars.

Ok, sorry for the mix of sizes. Some of these are from my phone. Some of them are from the husband’s phone. Apparently, when you select “small” on the iphone, it sends them in postage stamp size.

This first one is the cover of the program. I love the title of the bout: Looking for Love in Alderaan Places. How freaking great is that?

program

 

storm troopers

robot

roller girls

This is me! As you can see, I had some blue in my hair. I didn’t get a pic with the legion because I was busy guarding our seats. The bout was sold out, so places to plant the butts were scarce. I had a man almost sit on my arm. They seriously need to hold these things at a place with better seating.

me

This is the shirt I bought. It’s Boba Fett’s helmet and the Naptown Roller Girls skull logo. I can’t wait to wear it!

shirt

 

The roller girls are warming up in this pic.

warm-ups

boba

This is my favorite picture. The 501st did this thing where they pushed the roller girls around the track. The pic shows Darth engaged in this activity. I find it quite hilarious.

Darth and the girls

darth

in action

The Stars Wars people are from the 501st Legion. They are very nice, always willing to pose for pictures.

 

Here’s a link to their website – http://www.501st.com/

 

Here’s a link to the Naptown Roller Girls on Facebook. The pictures there are way better than my silly phone pictures –

http://www.facebook.com/naptownrollergirls/photos_stream

 

 

book reading and such

book hats

Hola! I’m still on writing break. I’m starting to miss the writing a bit, but it has still been pretty awesome. I’m currently reading 3 books. I’ve been greedy for the reading, like someone is going to take the books away from me. Lol!

The list goes like this: Last Days by Joyce Carol Oates, The Faith of a Writer by Joyce Carol Oates and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling.

I actually put down Last Days for the moment because the read is almost unbearably tedious. Her writing is amazing, but three stories about American writers interacting with foreign writers and my attention span crashed and burned. I’ll probably finish it before it has to go back to the library.

The Faith of a Writer is actually really short. It’s about writing, of course. It’s almost like a mini literature class. She talks about inspiration and failure and what great writers inspired other great writers. I actually bought this on ebook. I’m glad I did, even though I now have a longer reading list.

I’m just about Joyce Carol Oated-out. Seriously.

I’m reading Chamber of Secrets too. The next writing project (rough draft) is a children’s book. My boy has asked me a couple of times to write a book he could read. I figured some of JK’s magic might rub off. I read the first one but that was a while ago.

I’ll have a few things out between now and the children’s book, though. I still have editing to do!

Tomorrow I’ll have pics from the Naptown Roller Girls bout. I was going to put them up today, but I’ve run out of time.