Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
The Soulmates Award. This award originated with Christi Goddard at A Torch in the Tempest and is one part gift, one part social experiment! Fun!
1. Choose five followers/commenters that 'get' you
2. Write something fake (preferably not too mean) about them
3. Link to them, and link back to this post to comment your receipt of the award.
This is what Summer had to say about ME!
"Alex J. Cavanaugh has dated both Kate Beckinsale and Kate Winslet; obviously, he has a thing for women named Kate. Just stay away from Kate Gosselin!"
I think two Kates are already more than I can handle!
I pass this on to:
Michele at Southern City Mysteries who secretly hates mystery
Galen at Imagineering Fiction who really has no sense of humor at all
Falen at Falen Formulates Fiction who is secretly seeing Sting on the side
Diane Spunk On A Stick’s Tips at who secretly hates cats
Dez at Hollywood Spy who really doesn’t love anyone
B. Miller Fiction, who had nothing but nice things to say about me. Thanks, Miller, I hope I continue posting informative stuff with lots of movie info!
I pass the Quest Award on to
Marvin at The Old Silly who is on a quest of peace and humor across the web!
And let me know what you think of the new look for this blog!
Friday, March 26, 2010
I'll provide a summary:
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Don't worry, Miller, I would feel challenged as well! Don't think I could write a love scene. My 'romance' would sound stilted and awkward. I only know 'dudespeak,' so coming up with soft, feminine words would be difficult.
I don't notice details as much, either. Perhaps I should say some details. I can pick out the notes in a guitar solo and understand computer programs. But what color are the dishes in my cupboard? I'd have to go look! And what did I have for dinner last night? I think it was chicken... But women can remember what they had for dinner three years ago and on what color plate! Trying to place all that detail stuff a female character would see appears a daunting task.
I think every writer experiences difficulty in one or more areas. The trick is playing on our strengths, not our weaknesses. I knew details and romance from a female point of view was not my strength. So, call it cheating, but there's virtually no female characters in my first book. I decided I needed to find my voice and style first, and then expand from that point.
What do you find challenging? Do you have a difficult time seeing things through the eyes of the opposite sex? Do you struggle through this or just play on your strengths?
And if anyone has any tips for Miller, please bop over to his site and help him!
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
I found several sites that listed bad science fiction covers. Rather than disgrace my blog with a ton of bad art, I'll just give you the links:
IO9 - these are indeed awful!
Cracked - some more questionable covers.
Good Show Sir - and this blog shows nothing but below-average covers.
Monday, March 22, 2010
A dystopian look at the future…
Staring Christian Bale, Sean Bean, William Fichtner, Emily Watson, Taye Diggs
In a futuristic world, a strict regime has eliminated war by suppressing emotions: books, art and music are strictly forbidden and feeling is a crime punishable by death. Cleric John Preston (Bale) is a top ranking government agent responsible for destroying those who resist the rules. When he misses a dose of Prozium, a mind-altering drug that hinders emotion, Preston, who has been trained to enforce the strict laws of the new regime, suddenly becomes the only person capable of overthrowing it.
Time travel and an aircraft carrier - what more could you want?
The Final Countdown 1980
Staring Kirk Douglas, Martin Sheen, Charles Durning
The USS Nimitz, a modern-day nuclear aircraft carrier, is drawn through a time warp from 1980 to a couple days before the Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor, and the crew must decide whether to launch a preemptive strike against the incoming Japanese carrier fleet with their more advanced air wing, or allow history to take its course, which might not happen since they had rescued Senator Chapman, who disappeared shortly before the attack, from his death.
Space man + Vikings + space creature = great time!
Staring Jim Caviezel, John Hurt, Ron Perlman
During the reign of the Vikings, Kainan, a man from a far-off world, crash lands on Earth, bringing with him an alien predator known as the Moorwen. Though both man and monster are seeking revenge for violence committed against them, Kainan leads the alliance to kill the Moorwen by fusing his advanced technology with the Viking's Iron Age weaponry.
One of Cronenberg’s earliest and best.
Staring Michael Ironside, Patrick McGoohan
There are 4 billion people on earth. 237 are Scanners. They have the most terrifying powers ever created... and they are winning.
Darryl Revok is the most powerful of all the scanners, and is the head of the underground scanner movement for world domination. Scanners have great psychic power, strong enough to control minds; they can inflict enormous pain/damage on their victims. Doctor Paul Ruth finds a scanner that Revok hasn't, and converts him to their cause - to destroy the underground movement.
Bizarre mind trip of suspense…
Staring David Hewlett, Nicole de Boer
Six total strangers awaken one day to find themselves alone in a cubical maze. Once they meet, they work together using their given skills and talents to survive the deadly traps which guard many of the colored cubic rooms. Using Leaven's mathematical skills, they press forward, upward, and downward through the hatches to try and find the outer shell.
Alex Proyas’s intricate and incredible masterpiece.
Dark City 1998
Staring Rufus Sewell, Jennifer Connelly, John Hurt, Kiefer Sutherland
John's life has become a nightmare. He is hunted by the police for a series of murders he knows nothing about, a woman who claims to be his wife is after him, and so is a mysterious "doctor". But his worst trouble is the strangers, a series of vastly powerful beings who seem to manipulate just about everything in the city, and want him because of the extraordinary powers he manifested. John decides to find out what is happening in his city; why is it always night? And why can nobody tell him a way to leave the city?
Science fiction writing at its very best!
The Lost Room 2006 mini-series
Staring Peter Krause, Julianna Margulies, Kevin Pollack
A Policeman uncovers a key while working on a murder case. The key can open every door and take him into a motel room, but if you leave there something that doesn't belong to you- it will be gone as soon as the room "restarts"... He discovers that there are objects hidden in whole the world. They don't look special, but they have special powers. When his daughter is kidnapped and he is framed for killing his partner, he must find a way to bring her back from the room, while working with different groups and men searching for all the objects. But who can he really trust when everybody goes crazy once touching the objects...
And in case you missed this outstanding Terry Gilliam flick – funny, quirky, strange, and with little people!
Time Bandits 1981
Staring John Cleese, Sean Connery, Shelly Duvall, Ian Holm, David Rappaport, David Warner
A young boy's wardrobe contains a time hole. Through this hole an assortment of short people (i.e. dwarfs) come while escaping from their master, the supreme being. They take Kevin with them on their adventures through time from Napoleonic times to the Middle Ages to the early 1900s, to the time of Legends and the Fortress of Ultimate Darkness where they confront Evil.
What else would you select? What outstanding science fiction film has not been seen by the masses or enjoyed a decent box office take?
Friday, March 19, 2010
The Xbox 360 will soon possess USB storage. (Caught this on Attack of the Show, who credits Joystiq.) The softward update is scheduled for this spring and allows users to store Xbox Live Arcade. Live Indie games, etc. On the down side, the USB device used will only allow one to use 16 GB once formatted for the Xbox.
As they noted, Playstation 3 has always had USB capability!
Attack of the Show also reviewed the Dell Adamo laptop, which at .4" is the world's thinest computer. (That IS thin!) With 4 gigs of RAM and a pricetag of $2000, they gave it a four out of five.
And in the world of the iPad...
Presales started last weekend and the device goes on sale April 3. Helen over at Straight From Hel had posted earlier this week that Barnes & Noble announced an app for the iPad that would allow users to read B&N eBooks on the unit. That also becomes available on April 3.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
These are all things that are in addition to the main story of the book. (There's also footnotes, indexes, etc. but I'm not going there right now.)
Lynnette at Chatterbox Chit Chat posted about prologues on Wednesday. (If you don't follow her, read her Post and the ensuing conversation.)
But it got me to thinking about prologues, forwards, and appendixes. Authors will include them, but do they matter and do we read them?
I usually read prologues. I figure they're there for a reason. Once in a while I come across one that appears to have no bearing on the novel itself, but most seem to matter.
Forwards - okay, I never read these... I think they are boring. Maybe that's just me.
Appendixes I tend to refer to at least once during the course of the story. Often these appear in science fiction or fantasy - genres that tend to include a lot of 'odd' names and devices. Sometimes they help with pronunciation, too.
So what does everyone else think? So you read these things or skip?
And for the record, there is a prologue in my upcoming novel. I wrote it at the suggestion of my publisher. Now that it's in place, I can see how it really enhances the story. So hopefully people read it!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
I'd love to be able to browse through a large bookstore right now. I am in need of new reading material. I keep seeing all these great books reviewed and I started making a list... Now there's so many, I have no idea where to begin! Anyone recommend a really good science fiction book? One that's available now? Seems half of my list is for upcoming releases...
In addition to selecting a new book or two, I'd like to be able to explore the sci-fi section for some great cover art. I need some ideas for my next writing project. A single image often sparks my imagination.
Here's some of those amazing bookstores. Links to visit the website for more are below.
Visit the Mirage Bookmark's site to see more of the Most Interesting Bookstores and check out the Most Interesting Libraries, too!
Monday, March 15, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
Now, the more I hear about it, the more tempting it becomes. However, there's still that pesky Flash issue. I've got to wait until they fix that!
My friend John wrote a song about this issue - about the 'blue Lego.' It's hilarious - go check out the lyrics at Sci-Fi Songs
Sony announced the Move, a motion-sensitive controller designed to compete with the Wii's controller. Available this fall for $100, it will work with games that involve guns, swords, bows and arrows, and more. It's supposed to work with current games as well as new releases designed specifically to use the device. We shall see...
The new poster for Tron: Legacy is out, courtesy of Slashfilm:
Hoping the movie is as cool as the posters and trailers!
Also saw that Charles B. Pierce died this past weekend at the age of 71. He did The Legend of Boggy Creek and The Town That Dreaded Sundown.
Still bummed about the Oscars. However, as you can see from the running total in my sidebar, James Cameron is laughing all the way to the bank...
And two people passed along awards to me this week.
Michele at Southern City Mysteries gave me the Writers Know Award for my completed manuscript.
Yay! Thanks a bunch, Michele!
And Helen at Straight From Hel thinks I am a Sugar Doll.
Don't think she knows me very well...
Thursday, March 11, 2010
When I first found out my book would be published this year, I panicked. Ms. Wolfe was nice enough to give me some guidance, prodding me to start this blog. I've bugged her so often, the least I can do is feature her as she prepares for her next book launch. This is also my first ever interview. (So bear with me if my questions were dumb!)
Please welcome Diane:
You told me that you grew up reading fantasy and sci-fi. Why the fascination with those genres?
When I was younger, I read to escape. Fantasy and science fiction books provided the perfect avenue.
As I grew older, I began to appreciate what goes into such stories. It requires a vivid imagination and the ability to convey both a sense of wonder and realism. I think those who write in these genres work harder than other authors because it requires the creation of more than what already is known to us. It also entices readers to stretch their own imaginations.
Do you intend to write sci-fi or fantasy?
I don’t know if I could write a science fiction book, especially as action is not my strong suit. However, I do have an idea for my next fiction piece that would involve those genres, probably with an emphasis on urban fantasy.
Who is your favorite sci-fi author?
My first sci-fi book was The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey, and I just fell in love with her style. Her books are very character driven and focus on relationships. Those are my favorite aspects of any story. The sci-fi element pulled me completely into another world, which was like icing on the cake. I’m hoping one day very soon they will make movies based on her Dragonrider series.
Do you have a favorite sci-fi movie then? Or fantasy movie?
I still love the original Terminator. Saw it three times in the theatre, too! Pure genius for its time. And it’s a touching love story.
As far as fantasy, I loved all three LOTR movies. But, there’s a special place in my heart for Legend. Such an incredibly visual film. I’ve seen both versions and prefer the USA one. The movie loses so much without the Tangerine Dream soundtrack. And Tim Curry was excellent as Darkness!
Do you consider yourself a geek, then?
No! Just because I used to play D&D and Call of Cthulhu and I love Star Trek and yes I’ve been to a Star Trek convention… Okay, well, I guess I AM a geek! But it’s a great quality, especially in a woman. My husband said he’d never met a girl who enjoyed sci-fi, horror, D&D, and metal before meeting me.
What do you see as the next big trend in books?
More urban fantasy and steampunk - and hopefully fewer vampires!
Please check out her book, which comes out next Tuesday.
The Circle of Friends, Book V...Heather
By L. Diane Wolfe
When confidence turns to frustration…
A new beginning awaits Heather Jennings. The position at Clemson means she will finally realize her dream of coaching basketball. Heather is ready to focus on her duties, using sheer force if necessary to prove her independence.
Sadly, her triumph is hampered as her father and greatest advocate lies dying of cancer. Battling her grief, she must also deal with a sister who appears incapable of responsibility or achievement. And once basketball season begins, a talented but cocky player who resembles her in every manner challenges all that remains of Heather’s patience.
Heather’s life changes when she encounters a man capable of handling her bold and feisty attitude. Straightforward and smug, he entices her to date him, and despite his gruff nature shows a great capacity for compassion. However, the last thing Heather needs is a serious relationship with a man equally fixated on work and opposed to marriage…
Release date: March 16, 2010, Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
$19.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 282 pages, Fiction/YA
ISBN 978-0-9816210-5-0 / 0-9816210-5-8
Winner of FlamingNet Reviews’ TOP CHOICE Award - a perfect 10
“Heather deals with real life and real situations - 5 Stars”
- Teens Read Too
Known as “Spunk On A Stick,” Wolfe is a member of the National Speakers Association. “Overcoming Obstacles With SPUNK! The Keys to Leadership & Goal-Setting”, ties all of her goal-setting and leadership seminar’s information together into one complete, enthusiastic package. Her YA series, The Circle of Friends, features morally grounded, positive stories that appeal to both teens and concerned parents. Ten years associating with a motivation training system and experience as a foster parent gave her the in-depth knowledge of relationships, personality traits and success principles. Wolfe travels extensively for media interviews and speaking engagements, maintains a dozen websites & blogs, manages an online writer’s group, and contributes to several other sites.
The Circle of Friends
Spunk on a Stick
To purchase her book:
Barnes and Noble
Dancing Lemur Press
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
What is your preference?
There's no doubt eBooks are on the rise. Publisher's Weekly states that eBook sales rose 176.6% last year. Now that's only a handful of publishers reporting, but that's still an impressive figure. But will eBooks replace print copy?
I like the idea of eBooks. I have the eBook app for my iTouch and I can take them with me. (I also have a laptop that tends to travel with me as well.) I'm a gadget kind of guy, so I like the technology. Not ready to buy an eReader yet, but when they upgrade the iPad next year, I'm sure I will buy one.
I like print books, too. I have quite a collection of dog-eared paperbacks and pristine hard covers. At home, I'd rather grab a physical book and give my eyes a break from the computer screen. I for one hope physical books never vanish.
What about you, my blogger friends? Which do you prefer and why? Have you made the switch, refuse to change, or rest somewhere in between?
Monday, March 8, 2010
Synopsis: (From Rotten Tomatoes) Feelings of déjà vu, suspicion, and dread punctuate this psychological thriller from SEVERANCE director Christopher Smith. 30 DAYS OF NIGHT’s Melissa George stars as Jess, a woman on a yacht with a group of friends. When a storm comes up, they are forced to leave the yacht and move to a cruise ship, but there appears to be no one on board. Soon enough, Jess’s worry is revealed to be founded when someone begins killing her friends.
Based on the synopsis, I assumed that this would be a run of the mill slasher movie. But this movie was a pleasant surprise, more akin to a twilight zone episode or a well-crafted Star Trek time paradox episode, than Friday the 13th. Christopher Smith made the most out his meager budget, with interesting effects and a tightly crafted story that will leave you guessing (although I had my suspicions) throughout the running length. With the exception of a few glaring plot holes, the movie tightly weaves a bizarre story full of twists and turns. I have purposefully remained vague on the details so as not to ruin the strange journey. Not a perfect film by any stretch of the imagination, but Melissa George gives a very good performance and the movie is intriguing and thought-provoking.
Also, if you like Star Wars and parodies (and the Family Guy), I highly recommend "...Something, Something, Something, Dark Side." A sequel to Family Guy's first Star Wars parody "Blue Harvest," this movie is quite simply "The Empire Strikes Back" with Seth MacFarlane's offbeat sense of humor. With liberal references to 80's pop culture, this parody has some immense belly laughs in its short (48 minute) run time.
In the end, when Leia finally tells Han she loves him, his response literally had me rolling on the floor!
And yes, I was bit disappointed with the Oscars...
Friday, March 5, 2010
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Of course, if it does win, it will be like Barry Bonds' HR record - tainted.
What was Chartier thinking?
Sunday night will be interesting...
Okay, now on to my regular post!
Music is an inspirational art form. I enjoy listening to it almost as much as I enjoy playing it.
Most writers don't listen to tunes while writing for fear of distraction, but I always write to music. While working on my book, Cassastar, there was always music playing.
I like metal and progressive rock, and the fast tempo of bands like KillSwitchEngage and Shadow's Fall kept action scenes flowing. Guilt Machine's "Green and Cream" was perfect for space battles! I could almost see the Cosbolt fighters in action, diving down on the enemy with lasers blasting.
The story centers around a war, which meant there were moments of tragedy as well. Channeling emotions isn't my best trait, so I tried to play slower pieces during those scenes. I'd play some Redemption or older Dream Theater during those times.
For the writers who follow my blog, even if you don't listen while you write, is there music that inspires your work? Has a song ever revealed a story or scene to you? Or is it just my obsession?
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
The Machinery of Light by David J. Williams, May 25
Eye of the Storm by John Ringo, June 8
Path of the Warrior by Gav Thorpe, June 29
Shrapnel: Hubris (Vol 2, Book 3) by Nick Sagan, July 20
Nemesis by James Swallow, July 27
The Dervish House by Ian McDonald, July 27
The Ragged Man by Tom Lloyd, August 24
Fear The Alien by Christian Duna, August 31
Starplex by Robert J, Sawyer, September 15
Monday, March 1, 2010
Let's start with its good points:
It was better than Caveman.
Michael Cera had some really funny lines, helped by his great delivery.
Okay, now the bad:
Jack Black played an unfunny version of... Jack Black.
Jokes were of the bathroom humor variety.
Scenes were like bad SNL skits - they started with a premise and then just tapered off into nothing.
Oliver Platt was... creepy and disturbing.
Overall, a huge disappointment from director Harold Ramis.
I've seen him in several other films and Michael Cera will recover.
The rest of the crew? Not so sure.
Except #13 from House. She'll be fine.
My verdict? D+
Fortunately, I balanced that out with a good movie - Duplicity. A solid B for that one.
Next time, someone please help me reach the remote!