Monday, November 29, 2010

Conquered the NaNo!!!!!

I am captain of the world!

Not to be confused with king of the world – that’s from Titanic.

No, I am Captain Alex of the Starship NaNoWriMo!!!

That’s right – after twenty eight days of hunt and peck typing, I managed to complete the NaNo challenge. I ended yesterday with 50,975 words, well over the target – and with more of the story to write. (And probably a lot to re-write as well!)

Several of my NaNo buddies are also big winners – congratulations to Hart, Falen, Jen, Lola, Clarissa, Lynda, Jemi, Emily, Golden, Charity, Pk, Melissa, Brad, and Anna.

And a couple are so close! Go Ellie and Ted!!! You can do it.

Thanks to everyone who’s stuck with me during November while I devoted several hours a day to writing instead of blogging. (And of course a big thanks to my wife whom I intend to lavish with attention after ignoring her for a month.)

Ninja Alex is back! Captain Ninja Alex…

And one last round of my Twitter Stardate NaNo updates. Live long and prosper!!

Stardate #nanowrimo 19.6 Caught Riker & Troi naked. Said she sensed danger. In Riker's pants? Not buying it... 31551

Stardate #nanowrimo 19.9 A bunch of the ship just fell off and nobody likes me... word count 32276

Stardate #nanowrimo 20.8 The Borg tried to assimilate Justin Bieber. Their ship exploded. I call that a win-win! 34232 words

Stardate #nanowrimo 22.7 Kicking Ferengi butt and taking names! Nog went first. He's small - easy to punt! 38085 words

Stardate #nanowrimo 23.9 Why does everyone on the bridge giggle when I give the orders for saucer separation? 40451 words

Stardate #nanowrimo 24.6 The allure of an evening pass off-world is too great! You have the Bridge, Number One. 41320 words

Stardate #nanowrimo 27.3 Must've been a wild party. Discovered Odo & Kira in my closet and Morn under my bed. Creepy. 44466 words

Stardate #nanowrimo 27.8 Warp 9 through a wormhole! Scotty, the engines can't take it no more!! 48,596 words as my hands falls off into space

Stardate #nanowrimo 28.6 Kirk and Picard were but amateurs. I am Captain Alex of the Starship NaNo! 50,975 words - I win!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Tangled Review and December Movies!

Tangled

One word – Delightful!
Disney’s 50th animated film possesses all the aspects of a classic, complete with storybook tale and singing, modernized with 3D computer animation.
This Rapunzel tale boasts a sweet, innocent spirit, in both the storyline and the title character. The animation is stunning, the laughs genuine, and the songs Oscar worthy.
If you’re looking for the perfect holiday film, Tangled is your winner. You will leave the theater grinning!

December movie preview:

3rd
-

The Warrior's Way
The world's greatest swordsman abandons his warrior clan to start a new life in the American Badlands…
Starring: Dong-gun Jang, Kate Bosworth, Danny Huston, Geoffrey Rush
Director: Sngmoo Lee
Good cast and it just sounds kick-butt!


10th -

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Lucy and Edmund Pevensie return to Narnia with their cousin Eustace where they meet up with Prince Caspian for a trip across the sea…
Starring: Ben Barnes, Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, Will Poulter
Director: Michael Apted
The best of the seven books, it better be an improvement over the last movie. Or I’m taking Reepicheep hostage!


17th -

Tron Legacy
3D high-tech adventure set in a digital world that's unlike anything ever captured on the big screen.
Starring: Garrett Hedlund, Jeff Bridges, Beau Garrett, Bruce Boxleitner
Director: Joseph Kosinski
We’ve waited twenty-eight years for this sequel!



22nd -

True Grit
A tough U.S. Marshal helps a stubborn young woman track down her father's murderer.
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Hailee Steinfeld
Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Always nervous when they remake a classic, but this one should rock.


31st -

Some cool foreign kung fu and ninja flicks:

14 Blades
A kung fu thriller set during the Ming Dynasty and centered on a secret service agent (Donnie Yen) in the emperor's court…
Starring: Kate Tsui, Chun Wu, Donnie Yen, Yuwu Qi
Director: Daniel Lee

Reign of Assassins (Jianyu)
Set in ancient China, Zeng Jing is a skilled assassin who finds herself in possession of a mystical Buddhist monk's remains.
Starring: Michelle Yeoh, Woo-sung Jung, Barbie Hsu, Shawn Yue
Director: Chao-Bin Su, John Woo

And from the director of Paranormal Activity. Hopefully this one is better:

Area 51
A group of teenagers stumble upon an area in the Nevada desert known for hosting an alien encounter.
Starring: Reid Warner, Darrin Bragg, Ben Rovner, Sandra Staggs
Director: Oren Peli

And don’t forget, I’m nominated for Best Sci-Fi Blog. Cast your vote at The Movie 411!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Blogfest, Ninja Alex Style!


Today is Jeffrey at World of the Scribe’s Early Bird Thanksgiving Blogfest! Please visit his site for the full list of participants. And because Jeffrey is cool!

There are many things I am thankful for:

The hotness that is Kate Beckinsale. (Does that surprise you?)

The people who make quality movies and TV shows and place them on NetFlix and Hulu.

My awesome iPad!

The creators of Star Trek, without whom my Stardate NaNo updates on Twitter would not be possible.

My cool Ninja blogging abilities.

That the oboe is not standard hard rock music equipment. (Wouldn’t that be odd?)

The Supermutants of Fallout 3: New Vegas and the sniper rifle that takes them out!

And now some things for which I am truly grateful:

My awesome blogging buddies. (Who keep coming back for this nonsense!)

My wife and family.

My relationship with God.

My job. (The one that allows me to blog, write, and watch movies all day.)

A good sense of humor.

The gift of music.

And the creative spark that runs through me!

What are YOU grateful for?

Have an awesome Thanksgiving my USA friends!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanks, Awards, Star Wars, and a Response!

Thanks to everyone who’s voted over at The Movie 411! I’m nominated for Best Sci-Fi Blog of 2010 – and really stunned I’m one of the front runners. Plus buddies Dezz, Nebular, and RaShelle are nominated as well. Voting ends December 14th.

And Clarissa at Listen to the Voices just posted her review of CassaStar! Thank you so much, Clarissa.

Still moving along with my NaNo project. Should hit 50,000 words next weekend.

Those of you who asked all the interesting questions – stay tuned next week for answers!

Elizabeth Mueller gave me the Grasshopper award! Thank you, Elizabeth. (She’s one of my Fantastic Friday Writers buddies.)

Passing this on to Jeffrey Beesler at World of the Scribe

Ella gave me the You Deserve a Star Today award! I’ve received this award previously, so I’ll just thank Ella for her generosity!

Just caught this the other day - the third installment of the Family Guy Star Wars trilogy comes out next month! Here's the trailer for "It's a Trap!"



And over the past few days, many of the ladies here in the blogging world have graced us with photos of the male persuasion. So, in response, I think it’s time for another post featuring some sexy ladies! My male blogger friends – enjoy some Kate and Olivia!

Kate Beckinsale

Olivia Wilde

Kate Winslett

Olivia Munn

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Movie 411 Awards – Voting is Today!

I’ve been nominated for Best Sci-Fi Blog award. Go to The Movie 411 to cast your vote.


Two of my excellent movie blogging buddies have also been nominated - Hollywood Spy and CineMarvellous. Both of these guys cover movies far better than I do, so go vote for them as well! They are each listed in several categories. And our very own RaShelle at A No. 2 Pencil Stat! is nominated for sexiest female. Go vote now!

And I’ve decided to wait until after seeing Part II of the new Harry Potter movie to post a review. I’ve not read the books and would like to view this story in its entirety first.

Next weekend, not only will there be a review (of TANGLED, which is a perfect 100% right now on Rotten Tomatoes) but the rundown of the December movies. Yeah, November is coming to an end very soon!

All right, I need to get back to my writing. Go vote!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Movie Awards, Fantastic Friday Writers, and Stardate NaNo Updates.

First a quick reminder that the Movie Awards voting is tomorrow, November 20! I’ve been nominated for Best Sci-Fi Blog and the Gold Movie Blog awards. Go to The Movie 411 to cast your vote. There’s several categories and some of my blogging buddies are also nominated. (So feel free to vote for them instead!)

Today is another edition of Fantastic Friday Writers! I invite your to check out my Fantastic Friday Writers partners - Elizabeth Mueller, Anastasia V. Pergakis, J. D. Brown, and Deirdra Eden Coppel - for their take on this subject.

What inspires my science fiction/fantasy mind to write?

Because it’s a world beyond our own! I write for the same reason I watch movies and read books – to escape. I want to go somewhere beyond the confines of our current life on earth, though. I want to see other worlds; experience life through new races; witness different situations and technology. Yes, many of the struggles are similar to our own, but I identify with them more because they occur in a setting other than here. My curiosity drives me to envision and create a unique world, one unseen by others. I want to boldly go where no man has gone before! (You just knew that was coming, didn’t you?) I am inspired by what I see in other books and in movies of my genre. It’s exciting and new. I want to continue that journey of discovery!

If you are a science fiction or fantasy writer, why? What inspires you?

And now for the Stardate NaNo updates!

Stardate #nanowrimo 12.6 Trouble in transport. Ferengi Ambass. arrived inside out. And he exploded. Cleanup in Transporter Rm1! 19165 words

Stardate #nanowrimo 14.9 I faced the Kobayashi Maru and won, baby! 24,123 words!

Stardate #nanowrimo 15.9 Lt. Barclay has gone missing and no one cares. 25,107 words!

Stardate #nanowrimo 16.9 Hot green aliens are dancing all over the bridge - and I can't stand up. Word count 26,637

Stardate #nanowrimo 17.9 Data told me my skin is as smooth as an android's butt. I'm afraid to be alone with him now... 28,446 words

Stardate #nanowrimo 18.9 Connected the dots on Jadzia Dax's body. Funny, I expected more than a space pony... 30272 words

Look for a Harry Potter review this weekend. And don’t forget to vote at The Movie 411 on Saturday!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Blogfest, NaNo, Award, and Ask Me if I'm Naked...

I’ll get to that naked thing in a minute…

Jeffrey at World of the Scribe is hosting a Thanksgiving Blogfest on November 24! Visit his blog for details.

Still plugging away at NaNo – hit 26,637 last night. I’m on target, which means I’ll be one of those frantically trying to input my 50,000 words the evening of the 30th. But I’ve really hit my stride with this one and concocted some great twists.

Thanks to everyone who comes by here even when I slack on blogging! And big thanks to those of you who’ve purchased (or plan to purchase) my book. I really appreciate all the support. I don’t know about the other chains, but my publisher said Barnes and Noble is stocking CassaStar, which is cool!

Now about asking me if I’m naked…
Well, you can ask, but the answer is no!
However, I thought I’d give everyone a shot at a little Q&A with Alex. Whatever you want to ask about me, CassaStar, or my current project. (And if I get so much as one water question, I’m blaming you, Lee!) So go ahead! Make my day...
Just remember, I’ve already answered – I am NOT naked! Not right now, anyway. Later tonight, that’s a different story. (I’m married – it’s legal!)



And finally, Yvonne at Welcome to my World of Poetry gave me the Wholesome Blogger Award!

I’d like to pass it along to some wholesome bloggers who’ve continued to come by here even while I’ve lagged in my blogging and commenting due to NaNo:

Ellie Garratt She’s an awesome young lady and a fellow NaNo writer. She even had time for a blogfest this month!
Melissa at Through the Looking Glass Another awesome lady – and she’s hosting a Christmas holiday blogfest, so check it out.
Jai at Jai Joshi’s Tulsa Tree She’s a new blogger friend but never fails to comment and share. And Jai’s a really amazing writer!

There’s so many more of you, but I’m supposed to be writing!!

Remember, hit me with your best question - I can take it!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Traveling with Monti

Give it up for fellow blogger, Mary Montague Sikes - also known as Monti!

Travels Make Writing More Fun

Years ago, while I was still in college, I crossed the English Channel from Dover, England to the Hook of Holland on an overnight ferry boat. The waters were dark and rough etching an unforgettable memory in my mind.

A few months ago, as I was working on my latest novel, Night Watch, I needed a dramatic and memorable scene to start the story. That’s when I recalled that strange black night on rugged seas that thundered as an old ferry boat churned its way across the channel. I began to think, what if? What if the NPR reporter, focal to my story, is traveling alone on the ferry? What if someone decides to silence her by throwing her off the ship? So my first scene was formed.

This is an example of how my travels always seem to tie into my writing. I use bits and pieces from trip memories to flesh out a story or to add extra intrigue.

A scene from an aquarium in Nassau begins a future book, Night in Paradise. That scene from my memory and from research adds color and interest to the book. The aquarium with its sea creatures becomes another character in the story just as the violent channel waters are a character in Night Watch.

Traveling is fun. Notes taken and photographs created during a trip may eventually provide needed background or focus for a new story. You never know from where your next lead will come.


Night Watch Blurb

Several years ago, my husband and I took an unforgettable trip to Trinidad. Before we left, I envisioned being part of a Bogart and Bacall movie where I might take on the glamorous façade of an old movie star by traveling in a white suit. So I tried it! That suit turned out to be inappropriate attire for the trip we made by small motorboat over a churning sea to reach Gasparee, the offshore island where our resort hotel was located. A network of dark caves with stalactites and stalagmites, located on that island, created lots of “what ifs” for me, especially when I learned of the island’s colonial history and found out the caves were once frequented by pirates who stashed their treasures there. Crossing the gulf and passing ocean-going vessels along the way made me wonder, what if Lily Henri, my heroine in Night Watch, journeyed by small boat over these waters late at night with her life in danger? What if she looked like a woman murdered in the waters of the English Channel and mistaken identity put her in danger? What if she were caught up in a gunrunning mystery and later kidnapped?

Buy Night Watch on Amazon
Visit Mary Montague Sikes at her WEBSITE and BLOG
Watch the trailer for Night Watch at PhotoShow

And Lee at Tossing it Out is reviewing CassaStar today. Yes, I’m nervous!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Movie News and a Review

Two big movie releases this weekend.
I chose to see Unstoppable.
I think I made a wise choice.

Staring Denzel Washington and Chris Pine and directed by Tony Scott, Unstoppable is about a runaway train carrying toxic chemicals.

And the title fits perfectly!

This movie is fast, relentless, and never stops moving. It's the ultimate roller coaster ride. One critic called it "Perfect popcorn entertainment."

This movie does not break new ground nor is it perfect as a dramatic film. But you don't go to see Unstoppable expecting Oscar performances and a deep, thought-invoking plot. You go for the action!

Scott does an excellent job with the action - once things begin to roll, about ten minutes into the movie, the pace never lets up. The director maintains a high level of tension until the very end. And despite all of the crashes and explosions in the preview, there's really very little destruction and death. It's presented in a thrilling but realistic manner. Nothing appeared impossible or implausible.

The actors do a good job. Denzel is Denzel, full of charisma, and Chris Pine's character starts out as unlikeable, but grows over the course of the film. Rosario Dawson does a great job as the station manager working with Denzel and Pine.

And with any Tony Scott film, you have amazing visuals. His shots of the countryside, not to mention the trains, are fantastic. You see that speeding train from every angle possible - and from underneath is the wildest!

You want a fast-paced action flick that's not dumb? Go see Unstoppable!


In other movie news, Hollywood Spy posted a trailer for next year's Battle: Los Angeles and it looks both chilling and amazing. Looks like that alien invasion movie might live up to its hype!

Speaking of hype, have you read some of the reviews for Skyline over at Rotten Tomatoes? They're funny! Critics compare it to a SyFy original movie, a trip to Kmart, and just below a Roger Corman film. Said it made Independence Day look like a second coming of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Ouch!

If any of you ventured out to see it, let me know - was it really that bad?

Ultimately, I think it's a shame the studios chose to push Skyline instead of Monsters. Guess they felt tons of special effects would do better than a slow-paced, smaller film. I'll say it again - if it's playing near you, check out the sheer genius of Monsters. Critics of Skyline may claim that film making is best left to filmmakers, but the director of Monsters proves them wrong.

Time to write! How's everyone else doing with NaNo? Some new ideas hit me this morning and I'm ready to rock.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Talli's Blogsplash and Stardate NaNo

With Skyline's poor reviews (creatures are cool, characters and storyline suck) I might just catch Unstoppable tonight. So look for some kind of movie review this weekend.

Talli Roland’s Blogsplash!

“On December 1, the e-book version of The Hating Game will launch ahead of its UK hard-copy launch next year! On release day -- December 1 -- I'm looking for bloggers (and Tweeters and Facebookers) to help with a Blogsplash to spread the word!”

Talli’s an awesome young lady (and a cutie) so sign up for her Blogsplash if you haven’t already.

Still moving forward with NaNo at about the same speed. I should still hit 50,00 words even with my slow typing, but my main goal is a workable manuscript. Since I’m pausing and pondering as I write, my pace is about 1000 words per two and a half hours. Okay, some of that’s because of my two-finger slow typing. However, I’m happy to say Byron is now really frustrated thanks to the other main character. (Who happens to be an eager and stubborn young woman. Aren't they all?)

And for those of you who’ve missed my Twitter updates, here’s a recap of this past week’s progress:

Stardate #nanowrimo 5.5 Spent morning slacking on Holodeck with Fallout. Kicked some butt. Commencing to write once more.

Stardate #nanowrimo 5.6 Commotion in Ten Forward demands my attention. Word count holding at 6832 until my return.

Stardate #nanowrimo 5.9 Ah, the allure of Ten Forward... Where was I? Data, word count please! Stop petting Spot. 8025? That works for me!

Stardate #nanowrimo 6.8 Damn Betazoid weddings. Too much nakedness! (Hart would approve though.) A total of 9537 words as a result.

Stardate #nanowrimo 7.9 20,000 words this weekend! Wait a sec - I've been on the Holodeck the whole time? Only at 11284? Curse you holodeck!

Stardate #nanowrimo 8.6 12283 words so far. Data's Spot created a stir earlier, but the feline was captured. Ship is also now Tribble-free!

Stardate #nanowrimo 8.9 13357 - ahead of target! Borg tried to assimilate the NaNo site, but I got through with my total before it happened.

Stardate #nanowrimo 9.6 Feeling famished... must find nourishment... can't go on...

Stardate #nanowrimo 9.9 Gorn challenged me to a death match. Talked him down to best of three in Foozball. 14881 words

Stardate #nanowrimo 10.8 Gorn's upset - I beat him at Foozball. What a baby. There's no crying in space! Word count 15678 so far...

Stardate #nanowrimo 11.5 17452 words. Unfortuantely we've docked at DeepSpace 7 and the allure of a free day is too strong to ignore...

And I stopped last night at 18,001 words...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ms Bookish and One Year of Blogging!

Today I’m visiting Belle at Ms Bookish, who asked about my writing process. (And until now, I didn’t realize I had one.) So stop by her site and leave a comment. Or snark. Either one!

Yesterday was my blog’s one year anniversary. Wow, a whole year of blogging! I had no idea what to expect when I began, either. Now, 219 posts and 420 plus followers later, I think it’s damned cool! Thanks everyone for keeping me going.

And NaNo is going well. I'm right about on target. I'm not a fast typer and I'm taking my time, composing my words with care. Hit 14,881 last night.

I do miss everyone though...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Top Ten Films They Should Have Made Blogfest

First, a big congratulations to Jessica at The Alliterative Allomorph - she landed a publisher!

Today’s fest is hosted by Ellie Garratt - Top Ten Films They Should Have Made Blogfest. We were to name some of our favorite actors and actresses and the roles they should’ve landed.

I decided to have some fun with this one. My list isn’t my necessarily favorite actors, just some interesting role twists, starting with the serious and degenerating into the hilarious. Enjoy!


1 – Alec Baldwin should’ve been in all of the Jack Ryan roles.
(Because the switch to Harrison Ford sucked.)



2 – Chris Pine would’ve made a far better Perseus in the Clash of the Titans remake. Actually, dead wood couldn’t done a better job than Sam Worthington.



3 – Kate Beckinsale should’ve been in any role that required nudity. Period!




4 – Claire Danes and Nick Stahl should’ve reprised their roles from T3 for Terminator Salvation. John Conner is NOT Batman!


5 – Ryan Reynolds should’ve had Shia LaBeouf’s role in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Not that it would’ve helped the movie any…


6 – Schwarzenegger and Stallone should’ve been in Room with a View. It would’ve been a whole different film…

7 – Mel Gibson should’ve been in Schindler’s List. (As a Jew of course.)


8 – Will Ferrell should’ve been in Hamlet.
(Shakespeare might’ve come back from the grave for that one!)




9 – Charlie Sheen should’ve been in Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. He could’ve phoned in that performance.


10 – Lindsay Lohan should’ve played Ghandi.
“I’m drunk – look at my boobs!”
(With an Indian accent of course.)



There you have it! Any roles you’d like to see differently? Be sure to visit Ellie Garratt’s site for other blogfest participants.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Writing Near-Future Science Fiction


Today I welcome author Stephen Tremp on tour for the re-release of his novel, Breakthrough. Take it, Stephen!

The Information Age is moving at breakneck speed. Discoveries in areas of science that were once fodder for science fiction are now becoming part of our everyday life. Due to the explosion of technology, access to real-time information, and an ever-changing geo-political landscape, our immediate future is unforeseen. We live in an exciting and certainly unpredictable world. There is no shortage of inspiration for near-future science fiction.

What is Near-Future Science Fiction: Near-future science fiction is set in the present day or in the next few years. Elements of the setting should be familiar to the reader, and the technology may be current or in development. Stories about theoretical physics, nanotechnology or genetics often fall into this category.

Is it any wonder weaving elements of sci-fi into a present day action thrillers is so popular with mainstream America? Perhaps, sci-fi writers are merely prophets, proclaiming in advance what we will see and use in the future, or the very near future.

Problem: Science fiction is fun, but often unrealistic. Solution: Near future sci-fi can use theoretical physics, what some physicists believe may be reality, but have yet to confirm through rigorous testing. To write a realistic near sci-fi story, it’s as important to identify and eliminate certain elements as it is to include them. Example: light sabres used in Star Wars. Cool, but not very realistic. In reality, the laser would beam for miles and slice through the spaceship or building the fighters may be in and everything else in their path.

Where Can A Writer Gain Inspiration: one way to gain inspiration is to follow what the government is doing. According to an article by David Montgomery in The Washington Post titled U.S. Mission for Sci-Fi Writers , Homeland Security is boldly going where few government bureaucracies have gone before and is enlisting the expertise of science-fiction writers.

What I Follow And Research: as a writer, I doesn’t have to build a particle accelerator in my garage or my Mom’s basement in order to perform research in physics. Rather, there is so much free, real time information available at our finger tips. The Internet and the Science, Discovery, and History channels all give us a more information, in layman’s terms, that we can ever hope to use. One can also follow leading physicists who make information readily available like Dr. Brian Cox , Prof. Stephen W. Hawking , Dr. Michio Kaku , and Prof. Brian Greene among many others. Even YouTube has hundreds of informative and interesting clips.

I also follow events coming out of CERN and Fermilab . What else could be exciting is a breakthrough someone discovers in their garage or their mom’s basement. Think of revolutionary ideas and companies started this way. Hewlitt Packard, Apple, and Atari among others.



Please join me tomorrow as I visit Arlee Bird at Tossing It Out as we talk a little about Hyperspace and Hyperbings.

Stephen Tremp is author of the action thriller Breakthrough . You can visit Stephen at Breakthrough Blogs .


And Diane had asked me some questions about my blog tour - my answers are up today at her site, Spunk on a Stick’s Tips

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I Saw RED!

And no, I'm not referring to the old Warrent song.

Yes, I finally saw the movie RED. Megamind's reviews continued to plummet and Due Date looked more like a NetFlix rental.

RED

From the IMDB: When his idyllic life is threatened by a high-tech assassin, former black-ops agent Frank Moses reassembles his old team in a last ditch effort to survive.

RED is a very funny movie. The characters are great and had their own humorous lines. The gang pulls off some clever stunts, not slick and cool like in the Ocean movies, but smart and sometimes desperate tricks.

There's some great action scenes, especially one at an airport that involves Malkovich taking down a woman with a bazooka. (She called him old man!) The pacing is slower than an out-and-out action flick, though. Sometimes it's a little too slow. But overall, RED is a fun ride with a lot of laughs.


I also read an interview with Monsters writer-director-effects-film crew, Gareth Edwards. Did you know that movie was filmed for only $15,000? Edwards took a small crew on location and filmed the whole thing for $15,000. (Another $500,000 was racked up during editing and processing.) The stars often ad-libbed their own lines and were a real life couple, now married. Many of the extras didn't even know they were being filmed for a movie, which added to the realism. I am now really impressed with the movie!!

I'm still on target with NaNo. And now I must get back to screwing with Byron's life. Yeah, it's a guilty pleasure!

How's everyone else doing with NaNo? Anybody see Megamind or Due Date?

Friday, November 5, 2010

"Fantastic Fridays," News, and My Star Trek NaNo Experience

I was asked to join a group called the Fantastic Friday Writers. Rather than taking turns posting on our group blog, we are posting every other Friday starting today! The five of us will blog on a topic pertaining to fantasy and science fiction, with links to one anther’s blogs.

I invite your to check out my Fantastic Friday Writers partners - Elizabeth Mueller, Anastasia V. Pergakis, J. D. Brown, and Deirdra Eden Coppel.

And if you’re visiting from one of these ladies’ blogs, welcome! I’m a movie lover, tech geek, and author of the just released CassaStar. I’m Alex the Blogging Ninja!

NEWS

Ellie Garratt is hosting a blogfest - Top Ten Films They Should Have Made! On the 9th November tell us all about your top ten alternate actors and actresses, and the films you wanted to see them in and why.
You know I can’t pass up a movie blogfest!

Jessica at The Alliterative Allimorph is holding a 400 Followers Giveaway – Amazon gift cards! Visit her site to enter and tell her congratulations.

NANO

And I’ve been keeping track of my NaNo progress on Twitter. Since I’ve apparently amused a few of you with my updates, here’s the week so far:

Stardate #nanowrimo Day 2 One page in 1 &1/2 hours. 2168 words now. Damn I type slow. The crew's going to lose faith and revolt...

Stardate #nanowrimo Day 2.5 - 3179 words achieved, just shy of the mark. Worf has restored order - no mutiny of the crew in sight...

Stardate #nanowrimo Day 3.3 - 4003 words, but I've been captured by Romulans and forced to endure meetings. Word count stalled until rescued

Stardate #nanowrimo 3.7 - Escaped Romulan torture meetings unscathed. Okay, a few minor boredom scars. Able to write once more!

Stardate #nanowrimo 4.2 Evil Romulan boss wants me to do real work. Where's Spock? Someone put the Vulcan grip on this guy!

Stardate #nanowrimo 4.5 Klingons demanded head of evil Romulan boss. The decision was not difficult. Permission to write again!

Stardate #nanowrimo 4.7 Have achieved warp speed - 5783 and still writing! Number One, you have the Bridge.

Oh, and I finished last night at 6428 words - close to target. Of course, one of my buddies is almost to 50,000. Overachiever.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

NaNo, Surprise Video, Movie Review, and Award

Two days of NaNo and I can already tell my hunt and peck style of typing is going to be a problem. (You think?!)

I hit 3179 words last night and sent out a couple Twitter messages regarding my progress. Each one begins as a Stardate log. Maybe when I’m finished I’ll post a few here. It’ll be like my account of Sharktopus. Maybe more painful…

This was a total shock! I found this through a Google Alert on Monday – Ali Cross did a video review of my book on YouTube! Complete with space battle sound effects. It’s really sweet and inspires me to make the next book even better.



Is she not cute? Go give her a hug for me! Oh wait, read the rest of this post first…

Movie Review - Harry Brown (From Netflix)

You may not be familiar with this small film but it packs a vicious punch.

When a crew of drug-dealing gang members takes the life of his only friend, Leonard (David Bradley), retired Marine and widower Harry Brown (Michael Caine) decides to take the law into his own hands -- but his old-school training might be overmatched. Helmed by first-time feature director Daniel Barber, this gritty vigilante thriller set in England.

Gritty is definitely the word that sums up this little gem. It plays out like the British version of Gran Torino, however Harry takes it to the next level. Slow and methodical but never dull, Harry Brown will stir your inner vigilante who, upon seeing numerous horrors, finally decides he's had enough. I found the film compelling and the work of Michael Caine to be understated and powerful. Check it out if you are comfortable with a film that turns very violent at times.


Colene at The Journey gave me the Irresistible Blog Award! Does this mean I’m charming? Or just my blog? Either way, thanks Colene!

Passing it on to:
Rayna at Coffee Rings Everywhere
Yvonne at Welcome to my World of Poetry

Because I can’t go a day without visiting these two awesome bloggers!

Okay, back to writing…

Monday, November 1, 2010

November Blogging, NaNo, and Winner!

It’s the first of November - less than two months to Christmas! And yes, I’ve already begun my Christmas shopping. I hate waiting until the last minute...

Today is also day one of NaNoWriMo and a whole month to complete the sequel to CassaStar. (No, I’m not starting a new project, just completing one already in progress.) Time to complicate Byron’s life in ways he can’t even imagine!

The downside is that I’ll have to cut back on my blogging time. I feel bad, because so many tell me I’m such an awesome commenter, but I won’t be able to visit as many blogs in November. I’ll limit my blogging to one hour a day; a little longer on the weekends. While that may seem adequate to some of you, my average blogging time is three to five hours a day. Ouch. Big cut!

I’ll continue to post about three times a week, and covering far more than just NaNo, too. (Fridays will be a special event - you’ll see why very soon.) I’ll visit everyone who comments here and as many of my buddies as possible during that one hour limit.

So don’t think I’m being a big jerk if I only visit your site once or twice a week! I’m really going to miss the time I spend online with my friends. And so many were just awesome during my book release. Of course, I want word of CassaStar to continue to spread, but bottom line, I’ll be thinking about you guys.

And you’re probably wondering about the winner of my giveaway! Names went into a hat (actually a box) and the winner is…

Old Kitty at Ten Lives and Second Chances!

Congratulations!!! I know you’ve been dying to drool over some manly men…

Thanks again for the support last month. You guys rock! And I can’t wait to spread your awesomeness in return!