Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, Top Movies-Albums-TV Shows of 2015, and the January Movie Preview!

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

My awesome co-hosts today are L.G. Keltner, Denise Covey, Sheri Larsen, J.Q. Rose, Chemist Ken, and Michelle Wallace!

Don’t forget – today we announce the winners of the IWSG Anthology Contest!

As far as writing, and this blog, I’m in a transitional phase right now. I’m enjoying writing short stories and I may have an opportunity to write geek-themed articles. And I think that may be the direction I’m headed. I’m proud of my four novels, but they just took so long to write. Shorter pieces and articles I can handle.

I also want to start adjusting my blog as well. Ease back on the variety and focus more on the geek stuff. After all, I do write science fiction and geek stuff, and I want readers coming here to enjoy that stuff. As one blogger stated, before I was a writer, I was a reader and fan of the genre – what sites would I have visited? So I’m going to shift a bit more in that direction.

Don’t worry though – the IWSG is not going anywhere!

The Best of 2015

Here’s a rundown of my favorites from 2015 and why -

Top Television Shows:
5. Better Call Saul – What a risky move, taking a secondary character and making him the star of the show. But the writing coupled with great performances made this one of my faves.
4. Daredevil – Marvel keeps hitting home runs. Great action and compelling characters made this must watch television.
3. Game of Thrones – Wow, the white walkers, the skeleton army, the dragons...this show hits every fantasy geeks button.
2. The Flash – Finally, a superhero show that captures the feel of the classic comic. Flash is making all the right moves in season two.
1. Fargo – Who would have thought that a Coen brothers movie would develop into one of the greatest ten part episodes that I have ever seen? Fargo season two is funny, thrilling, crazy, and every other accolade that you can think of. And let’s not forget the aliens!

Top Music Albums:
5. Muse – Drones – Never was a big fan of the band until this release. It’s on many top ten lists of best and worst albums, so I’m not sure what to make of that. Bottom line: it’s a solid disk from start to finish.
4. Teramaze – Her Halo – Almost wrote this Aussie band off after their last sub-par release. But this is a solid prog rock album with a few exceptional tracks.
3. Soilwork – The Ride Majestic – This is Swedish melodic Death Metal at its finest. This album rocks from start to finish with amazing guitar work and great clean/screaming vocals.
2. Rush – R40 – A triple CD set of the latest Rush tour. These guys are legendary in my book.
1. Symphony X – Underworld – if you are a guitar player or fan of amazing shredding, you have to hear Michael Romeo tear it up on this disk. Wow, wow and WOW!!

Top Movies:
5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens – The opening score began, the words started scrawling across the screen, and I was a kid again.
4. Ant-Man – Honestly, one of the best times spent in a theater. This movie is funny and fun from start to finish.
3. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation – Love him or hate him, Tom Cruise knows how to make an exciting movie. This one is great.
2. Avengers: Age of Ultron – There was a little negative backlash to this one. I don’t get that at all. It is a great superhero movie.
1. Mad Max: Fury Road – BSC (Bat “crap” Crazy) What an amazing film. I never thought any movie would top the madcap mayhem of The Road Warrior, but George Miller upped the ante and released the best film of the year. (It better get an Oscar nod!)

January Movie Preview

Here are the upcoming theatrical releases for January! As always, descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snarky comments by me.

8 –

The Revenant
In the 1820s, a frontiersman named Hugh Glass sets out on a path of vengeance against those who left him for dead after a bear mauling.
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, Domhnall Gleeson
Leonardo DiCaprio dies and comes back as a ghoulish skeleton who leads an undead army. (Yeah, I played a lot of D&D as a kid.)




22 –

The 5th Wave
Four waves of increasingly deadly alien attacks have left most of Earth decimated. Cassie is on the run, desperately trying to save her younger brother.
Director: J Blakeson
Stars: Chloë Grace Moretz, Maika Monroe, Liev Schreiber, Nick Robinson
Based on a best-selling book I’ve never heard of...




29 –

The Finest Hours
The Coast Guard makes a daring rescue attempt off the coast of Cape Cod after a pair of oil tankers are destroyed during a blizzard in 1952.
Director: Craig Gillespie
Stars: Chris Pine, Holliday Grainger, Eric Bana, Ben Foster
Hollywood shows some love to the Coast Guard. Hopefully this amazing story of bravery gets the treatment it deserves.

Kung Fu Panda 3
Continuing his "legendary adventures of awesomeness", Po must face two hugely epic, but different threats: one supernatural and the other a little closer to his home.
Directors: Alessandro Carloni | Jennifer Yuh
Stars: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan
Hollywood shows some love to pandas with martial arts skills…




Any of those movies interest you? What’s your writer insecurity today? Are you making adjustments? And what movies-music-shows were your favorite last year…?

161 comments:

lilicasplace said...

Happy New Year, twinny! I'm disappointed that you won't be writing any more novels, but at least you'll still be writing stories. At least there's compromise. :) I'm glad you're taking your blog in a direction that's more along the lines of who you are.

Haven't watched any of your movie faves, although I do want to see the Kung Fu Panda one. Hugs. Eva

Pat Hatt said...

No adjustments yet at my sea. Not sure any need to come to be, yet at least lol Great 5 movies indeed. I find Ultron was better with my second go around watching it, Ant Man was fun all around. The Mission Impossible movies sure keep up great quality.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - it's good to tag along with you - even if the Geek and Sci-Fi stuff passes me by, even if I don't understand the music, or completely misunderstand the tv shows, or the films - I catch a glimpse of another life!! It'll be great you're upping the ante re the blog, but am glad IWSG isn't going away - I'll be over to see the winners of the Anthology contest ...

Cheers and Happy New Year to you and your readers - Hilary

Shah Wharton said...

I look forward to the changes and following your path. As for turning to shorter fiction, I TOTALLY get it, and other than my ghostwriting work, I have found myself choosing shorts too. I just enjoy writing them so much more.

Some great choices for 2015 - I found the whole Star Wars experience (which we resevered for our NYE celebrations) a mixture of nostalgia and excitment. Can't wait for the next one (and a few of those you mentioned due for release this year).

Happy 2016!

shahwharton.com

Denise Covey said...

Ah, the geek stuff! Makes sense with your genre of science fiction. I'm sure I'll find something to comment about...

Awesome to see the Anthology winners on the IWSG blog. How exciting! I had L.G. twigged for the winner of the last WEP challenge. She is one great writer! :-)

Cindy said...

The changes to your blog sound good. Looking forward to reading about the geeky stuff.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Alex, I love writing short stories too. They're much easier to edit and you can see what you've accomplished quicker. I'm a snail when it comes to writing, and then editing takes a lifetime.

You've mentioned all good movies!!! I love Tom Cruise as an actor, his action movies are top-notch and exciting!!! I am looking forward to The 5th Wave. I'm surprised you never heard of it. It's a YA book, and it's very unique concerning Aliens taking over the world. I think you'd like it.

Take Care and have a good day!!!

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I love your blog no matter what direction you take. I KNOW you're a geek so, yes, you need to step fully into that role. :) Short stories? I LOVE shorts.

Jennifer Hawes said...

It's good to hear you found something you love and it's okay to transition to other things! I loved Star Wars. Saw it with my boys. Geek is good. Looking forward to your new ideas/changes to your blog.

Nick Wilford said...

Glad to see you'll be keeping up the writing: short stories can be just as great as novels. I dragged my wife to see Star Wars (we had some time to kill before a concert) and she really liked it, after some middling attempts to involve her in the series before! It definitely harked back to the original film in a really fun way. Good pick for top album: I've been a big fan of Muse pretty much since they started, and this album is OTT and bombastic, kind of what we love about them. It's high on my list too.

Truedessa said...

Good Morning Alex, A time of transition is at hand. I guess you must follow your inner you. I have read all your novels and Dragon of the Stars stands alone for many reasons. I can totally understand the move to short stories. The ability to create more in a shorter span of time. I am sure many new adventures are coming down the road. Buckle up the journey will be amazing!

Love and Light my friend!

Donna K. Weaver said...

"based on a best-selling book I've never heard of" You made me laugh with that. I've seen a preview and heard people talk about the book, so I guess it's legit. The premise is interesting (if familiar), but it feels like a story better done as a series. Not sure a 2-hour film can do it justice.

Can't wait for Panda 3.

L.G. Keltner said...

The move to shorter pieces and focusing more on the geeky stuff here makes sense. I love the geeky things too, so I'll still be visiting regularly.

Star Wars The Force Awakens and Mad Max Fury Road definitely come out on top for me this year.

Lexa Cain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I've heard how great Game of Thrones is. We don't get it! Can you believe that! Sad.

Congratulations, LG! What a fabulous bunch of short stories we received. It was an honour being part of the process, Alex. Thanks for that.

Yes, Fargo was great. Sad when the deputy got killed.

Lexa Cain said...

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens – The opening score began, the words started scrawling across the screen, and I was a kid again." I love this comment! I saw Star Wars when I was about 13 and adored it.

I think focusing on SF and geek things is a great idea, along with writing shorts and articles. Everyone needs to try new things and grow and enjoy themselves.

Films. I can't imagine Leonardo as a ghoul/skeleton. (I played lots of D&D when I was young too. Never read Tolkien - I thought all the magical stuff and monsters were created by Gygax & Sutherland! Haha!)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Eve, at least I can finish more than one short story a year.

Pat, my wife said the same thing about Ultron.

Hilary, that's good to know!

Denise, yes she is!

Catherine, since I don't read young adult, that's probably why I've never heard of it.

Teresa, I will!

Nick, the new Muse just clicked with me. Solid album from start to finish.

Truedessa, it's been amazing so far.

Donna, it does seem more like a series than a movie.

Crystal Collier said...

Fargo, really? Okay, we're going to have to make some time for that one. Never would have guessed...

Here's to a 2016 transition! WE have to enjoy what we do, eh? Why else would we do it?

ediFanoB said...

My wife is highly interested in the Revenant and I will accompany her even I'm not as much interested in the film as her. Maybe the film will surprise me.

I think a transitional phase is nothing bad. It is important to adjust the own life in a way that you like and/or you want to go. There is the saying
"If you don't go forwards you go backwards" and there is some truth in it.
You wrote four books instead of one and it has been a pleasure to accompany you on this way.
I must say I'm happy with the direction you want to go. You enjoy to write short stories - that's great because it means we still will get stuff from you.
Geek-themed articles sounds great to me too.
That means new interesting things are afoot. I look forward to see the output.

Good luck with the transition and may the result enjoy you, your followers and all the people who did not visit your blog so far.





Sarah Foster said...

Geek stuff is always welcome!
I'll probably go see The Finest Hours since my fiance did some extra work in it and we'll try and see if we can spot him :)

Arlee Bird said...

Of the shows I've only seen The Flash and I committed to that one so far. Haven't heard a single album you mention, but I don't keep up with new music like I used to. Only saw the Mad Max movie, but still want to see Ant Man--I kind of forgot about that one.

The Revenant kind of interests me---but when it comes out on DVD.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

mshatch said...

I read The 5th Wave and LOVED it so I am definitely looking forward tot he movie. Plus Chloe Moretz (Kickass) plays the lead and I like her a lot.

Jennifer Lane said...

I need to see The Flash, which reunites my Prison Break yummies Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell!

I agree with you novel writing takes too long. :-) Short stories sound great! Here's to an awesome 2016.

Tamara Narayan said...

My kids and I are looking forward to Kung Fu Panda. I want to see Revenant. I haven't watched any of those TV shows, but maybe I should. I need to get out of my Gilmore Girls rut. As for the music, I've only heard of Rush (love them).

Julie Flanders said...

I didn't care much for Fargo last year and wasn't even sure I was going to watch this year but I was so glad I did! My favorite show of the year by far. I was so sorry it was over!

It seems like lots of people are re-thinking the direction of their blogs, etc. I know I need to make some changes.

Happy New Year, Alex!

Pat Garcia said...

Hello and Happy New Year!

it's nice to hear that you're shifting a little, returning to what you love doing, writing Science-Fiction. Wishing you all the best for 2016.

Shalom,
Patricia

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Yes! Love geek stuff. I even have a Pinterest board entitled Geek Me. :) Looking forward to your changes.

Hart Johnson said...

Always good to reflect and set yourself back on YOUR path instead of the odd ways the road weaves. You and I have some similar TV. LOVED Better Call Saul and Game of Thrones is my VERY favorite (though the books are even better). I liked Jessica Jones better than Daredevil, but that seems to be a gender thing--every man I've talked to seems to like Daredevil better and every woman Jessica Jones. It all totally intrigues me, as I think it is far more to do with focus and storytelling style than the sex of the heroes involved.

Thank you for all you do for this community, Alex--seriously. You're the heart of it.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Write what works for you.

I loved Fury Road and I'm looking forward to Kung Fu Panda 3.

Heather M. Gardner said...

You are one with the snark today, my friend.

Excellent choices all around.

Whatever you do, short or long, keep writing. You are REALLY good at it. :)

And believe it or not, I still haven't seen Ant Man, and I really want to see it! I thought my son would ask for it for Christmas, but he wanted Jurassic World (which sucked, by the way). I guess I will have to break down and by it for myself. :)

Heather

EEGiorgi said...

Happy New Year Alex! I'm with you about writing shorter pieces. Multiple author anthologies are the way to get your name out there and gain more readers. Good luck!

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

As usual, I haven't seen any of the TV shows. I don't have cable, just local channels. The only movie I've seen was Star Wars and I loved it. My insecurities today are basically wondering when/if my stories will ever come out. Waiting is no fun.
Have a great 2016.

TBM said...

Geek-themed articles sound right up your alley. Proud of you.

Looking forward to seeing the changes here on the blog. You have to stick with what you're passionate about.

Chemist Ken said...

I watched and loved all those movies you listed, except for Mad Max, which no one else in the family wanted to see. Oh well, I'll see it one day.

Thanks for the IWSG and have a great 2016!

Trisha F said...

The 5th Wave totally sounds like my cup of tea! Count me in for that.

I think it's important to do what you actually want to do, on your own blog. Otherwise it gets to be too much of a chore and not as much fun. I look forward to seeing where your blog goes, I'm sure it will be great!

Bish Denham said...

I'm going to have to look into Fargo... And I'll be seeing Star Wars later this week!

Happy writing, Alex.

Yolanda Renee said...

I enjoy writing shorts too, sometimes the shorter the better. Congrats on making a decision to do what you love. Nerdiness is a popular thing and honestly we all have a bit in us. :)

LG is such a talented writer - as soon as I saw the title of the Anthology I knew she'd placed, and I'm over the moon to be included. Awesome!

I still haven't seen any of those movies, but I did see a few episodes of Fargo, great stuff!

M.J. Fifield said...

I love your lists of top movies and TV shows. I haven't seen every one on that list, but I would concur with the overwhelming majority of it, which makes me think I'd concur with the entire thing.

And I'm always trying to make adjustments. Sometimes, they actually stick. :)

Sandra Cox said...

Sounds like an exciting new year for you, Alex. And you should definitely be doing what you love. As far as your blog, you'll be widening our horizons:)

Megan Morgan said...

Happy New Year! Write what makes you happiest on your blog, that's what I say!

Shell Flower said...

Sounds like you are finding your niche as a writer and blogger. I look forward to seeing how your blog progresses this year. I totally binge-watched all the Game of Thrones shows as soon as I finished the first book. Loved them!

Jan Morrison said...

You sound like you've hit your groove and it is sweet! Novels are a big hairy deal aren't they? I am sticking to them as I'm no short story writer (they always turn into novels) but I totally get it. I too loved the new Mad Max movie. We see so few movies living in an isolated northern community so when I get out I want one to totally Zazz me out and Mad Max Fury Road did that. haven't seen the new Star Wars yet but will...eventually.

Angela Wooldridge said...

Hi Alex,
I remember last month I mentioned how wary I was of being disappointed by the new Star Wars movie. Well I've seen it; I loved it so much I wanted to go right back in and watch it all over again. (Phew!)
Last year? I loved The Martian (book and film) for pure geeky sci-fi-ness. Too many TV shows showed promise but drizzled out partway through but did love Game of Thrones & The Bridge.
Happy New Year!

Deborah Hawkins said...

Happy New Year! That's exactly what I did with my blog. It feels better, doesn't it?

I keep seeing Daredevil on my Netflix but didn't realize it's a show. I want to start watching The Flash, though. I meant to when it started. I'm currently watching Jessica Jones and loving it! I also can't wait for GOT to return!

Nicola said...

Sounds like some exciting times ahead of you Alex. Wishing you a lot of fun in all your endeavours - no matter how Geeky :) We could all use a bit of Geekiness. Your novels will forever live on out in the world so it isn't really an end. Enjoy the week and look forward to reading all about the things you like. All the best.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

The new year is a time for transition - good luck with yours, Alex, here on the blog and with your writing.

Can't wait for GoT to return, and I have to start watching Fargo - so many people rave about it. :)

Christine Rains said...

I can't wait for some more geekiness from you. Bring on 2016! I agree about Fargo. It was so incredible. It blew me away. I finished watching Daredevil just before Christmas too. Loved it! I'll be moving onto Jessica Jones next. I hope to make a few adjustments this year, but first I need to get over this horrible illness that came in with the new year. Have a great week!

Karen Walker said...

Wow, Alex, change is definitely in the air. I'm re-evaluating things as well. Look forward to following your new direction, even though I am not considered a geek.

J Q Rose said...

I hear ya' on the time it takes to write novel length books. Not only trying to make the middle not a muddle, but editing thousands of words is no fun. Hmm... I never thought you were into geek stuff. Ha. Just to prove I'm not, but happy for you, my favorite movie this year, The Intern. Okay, you can LOL.
Have a great IWSG Wednesday!!

Li said...

Geek is good! :) I'm still waiting for the crowds to die down to see Star Wars. My holidays were jam-packed so I haven't been writing/blogging much. I'll probably be using the A to Z to jump start myself again...April will be here before we know it!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Joylene, it was.

Lexa, that last comment made me laugh!

Crystal, it's quirky good fun!

Edi - you get stuff from me - funny! I will aim to do just that.

Sarah, that's cool.

Lee, it's out now on video.

Tamara, you rock.

Sheri, I will geek you then! Wow, that sounds bad...

Hart, appreciate that.

Thanks, Heather. And just go buy it. You'll dig Ant-Man.

Ken, it's on video now!

Yolanda, you both did well.

Jan, you couldn't have picked one to jazz you more.

Angela, glad it didn't disappoint you.

Madeline, watch it!

Thanks, everyone!

Chrys Fey said...

Writing articles sounds like a great opportunity!

I'm still posting for writers, but have an idea for my readers...or future readers...this year. Next year my blog will take a major shift. I like the idea of posting about what you liked before you were a writer.

Chrys Fey said...

Writing articles sounds like a great opportunity!

I'm still posting for writers, but have an idea for my readers...or future readers...this year. Next year my blog will take a major shift. I like the idea of posting about what you liked before you were a writer.

Loni Townsend said...

I haven't seen Mission Impossible yet, but I'm totally on board with your other top movies of 2015. I've been in utter giggles because Galavant has returned. It's probably not your preferred style of TV show, but it certainly made my list of what to watch for 2016.

Best of luck with your short geeky articles! They sound like they'll be fun!

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Oh, my gosh! You've never heard of The 5th Wave!?! You HAVE to read the book. I really enjoyed it. I was so excited to hear it's going to be a movie. I hope they do it justice.

Another OMG, I've seen four of your top movies. That's a first for me!

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Oh, my gosh! You've never heard of The 5th Wave!?! You HAVE to read the book. I really enjoyed it. I was so excited to hear it's going to be a movie. I hope they do it justice.

Another OMG, I've seen four of your top movies. That's a first for me!

kaykuala said...

Great to discover the change in direction Alex! Short fiction can be very exciting as it can be completed fast. That can be making it more versatile to the writer. Have yet not ventured out to see Star Wars. Apparently it grossed the highest box office returns in the recent days. Best wishes for the ensuing year.

Hank

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I have heard so many good things about Fargo the television series. I need to check it out and get season one on blu-ray or something like that. I feel a binge coming on. Did you get to watch the Shannara Chronicles yesterday? I loved it, even though it is deviating from the book in huge ways.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I enjoyed ROGUE NATION more than I thought I would, and I believe I might have developed a crush on Rebecca Ferguson. :-) Congats to all the IWSG Anthology winners. Taking a new direction to your writing can add fire to your enthusiasm for writing, making it not quite a chore. Best of luck with your short stories!

Nilanjana Bose said...

I love shorts :) all the best for the new directions you are taking.

Congratulations to all the winners of the ISWG anthology, happy and proud that I follow/know/lurk at some of their blogs! :)

The Revenant - definitely on my to-watch list.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I haven't seen Fury Road yet. I didn't know they were making a 5th Wave movie! That's exciting. You would like that book, Alex. And the second one, The Infinite Sea, turns everything you thought you understood on its head. I highly recommend it.
I love Antman and saw it in the theater with my youngest son. We had so much fun. And Fargo and Daredevil are probably my two favorite shows from last year.
Looking forward to hearing more geek.

Beate said...

Change is always a good thing. I can't wait to see them on your blog, I'll bet they'll be awesome! :)
I want to change a lot as well, my blog is one of those things. I'll start with frequency of posts ;)
Keith has introduced me to Game of Thrones and now I wish we could watch it all the time - SO GOOD!
Loved the Mission Impossible movie as well :)
Now I'll be off to watching The Walking Dead - another show Keith has introduced me to....my "no television shows for me" days are officially over LOL
Have a wonderful week, Alex!

Cherie Reich said...

It's always good to re-evaluate and shift focus when necessary. The Flash is one of my favorite TV shows.

Michael Pierce said...

Happy New Year! And congrats to all the anthology winners. I actually got to join the rest of the world and see Star Wars over the weekend and I was so excited that it was actually good. Daredevil was a great show...as was Jessica Jones. Glad you're enjoying working on short stories.

David P. King said...

Love your top 5 selections, and I'm long overdue for another Kung Fu session. Happy New Year, Alex! :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

Sounds like you are making some great adjustments this year. I love my blog and want it to grow and help people, but not be too much work. I have to remember this year that it's okay to say no sometimes to keep a good balance.

I really loved Game of Thrones and Fargo too. Masperpiece on PBS had some good series too.

Liz Fichera said...

Change is good, Alex. I like geek stuff!

Saw MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION over the holidays. It was better than we thought. Enjoyed it. Good rental.

Happy New Year to you and your family!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

JQ, I still want to see that film.

Jenn, I don't read young adult. Or not often.

Michael, just the first thirty minutes. Way past my bedtime.

Susan, even if I don't read young adult?

Beate, Keith has you hooked now!

Thanks, everyone! Off to do more commenting. And fighting image verification...

Nicki Elson said...

Look forward to getting the geek on with you in 2016.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I think that shifting your writing focus makes a lot of sense. Your blog is a great platform for you for either sf/f or geeky short stuff.

These films look really serious! May have to go with the Kung Fu Pandas. :)

Suzanne Furness said...

You've got to go with what feels right and short stories and articles will allow greater variety than writing longer novels. I look forward to following your blog transition too. All exciting things for the new year.

I also look forward to finding out the winners of the anthology competition too.

I haven't been to the movies for a while but interested to see the 5th Wave here. I have heard of it and read the book which contained some interesting themes, so will definitely look out for that one.

Andrew Leon said...

I'm only in season one of The Flash but, as an adaptation, I find it less than good. The old series, though campy, did a much better job.
So far, none of DCs series have lived up to anything DC, the three I've seen, anyway. Arrow is the best, but it's really Batman.

Sherry Ellis said...

I saw the Force Awakens. That was a really good movie - better than the last few installments of the Star Wars movies.

You've got a great list of winners for the anthology contest. Congratulations to all of them!

Al Penwasser said...

Okay, I am just going to have to see "Mad Max," my Mel Gibson prejudices notwithstanding.

Dean K Miller said...

I'm all in to watch Ant Man! congrats on the shift...I think you'll rock that world as much as you do your novels and IWSG!

Patricia Lynne said...

CRAP!!!!! I forgot to write my IWSG post. Starting the new year off good here. _-_

Decadent Kane said...

Alex, I'm finally getting back into blogging again and I understand what you mean about going back. Since I have switched fully to my pen name acct it has been hard to maintain my blogging. I had this idea in my head that it should be about books...but I'm more than books and I love so much about reading, writing, editing, animals, etc that I should explore that this year. So I'm also jumping back into the commenting on others bandwagon as well.
<3 GOT
<3 Ant-man- was funny and different.

Sher A. Hart said...

Yea for geekery! I had to post late because I ignored my geeky nature too long and got hacked. My blog is ugly now, but at least it's up again. For now. Too much to learn (and do), too little time. Sigh.

John Wiswell said...

Especially after the director's work on Birdman, I'm keenly interested in Revenant. Also curious about the new Horror flick, The Forest.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Elizabeth, or just short geeks.

Sherry, drying paint was better than the last three.

Al, fortunately, he's not in it!

Patricia, no stress!

Decadent, glad to have you back.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I just read an eye-rolling review of The Revenant. I didn't want to see it anyway, but now I feel justified.

I am looking forward to The 5th Wave. Awesome book. I hope the movie does it justice!

Lan said...

I'm focusing on reading more Indie books and reviewing them this year so the blog is going to be more effective a review blog again. I love daredevil but am still not a huge fan of the flash. I guess I just prefer the darker side of superheroes! Looking forward to seeing 5th wave!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Happy 2016! Your plans for writing and blogging sound great!

I'm planning on seeing Kung Fu Panda 3 - mostly because my girls both want to see it even though they are teens and usually too cool for animation. They've both read 5th Wave, and so have I, but the book was action-packed and then . . . the girl MC turned into a lovesick weakling. If she was lovesick but still kicked booty, that might have been okay, but losing all of her abilities at the sight of a guy? Not so good. Anyway, that's the "girls in the house" rant about that particular YA series.

Hope you have an awesome month and year, Alex!

Cynthia said...

I love Breaking Bad and have always been curious about Just Call Saul. Glad the show's working out for you. I'm curious about the Kung Fu Panda movie. I liked the first one, haven't seen the second one, and hope it's okay to skip to the third one.

Jo said...

Saw the first Kung Fu Panda, never got round to the second. Should try and catch up. Some of those other sound good, especially the Coast Guard story.

Do you get the How To Geek email Alex? If you want to be more geeky I would think that would be of interest to you.

Not seen the Star Wars yet, I will.

J E Oneil said...

Writing geek-themed articles sounds like so much fun. I hope you enjoy your new direction. :)

nashvillecats2 said...

Excewllent post and great memories with your favourites of 2015.
Yvonne.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Mad Max Fury Road was epic without question. I also enjoyed Mockingjay Part 2, Cinderella, Peanuts, Inside Out and Kingsman a whole lot at the theaters. TV wise The Flash, Limitless, Blindspot, Arrow and Gotham have really held me. Alex you do what is best for you and your blog. I am thinking about making shifts as well and been doing more movie commentary. I love both books and movies. Be proud of those novels Alex and keep writing what you believe are the stories you want whether short or novel sized. IWSG forever! Much love Alex.

Fundy Blue said...

When it comes to writing, I think it's important to follow your heart, Alex! Do what speaks to you now; you may hear different voices later. You should be proud of your Cassa novels! I was thinking of Byron and Athee when I was watching Star Wars on Monday. I like your idea of less variety and more focus with your blog. I'm working on a geeky blog series myself, all about wonderful rocks I've experienced all over the world. Now that's geeky! All the best to you!

Ray Rousell said...

I wanna see The Revenant big time, I saw a clip of 5th wave today, looks pretty cool, just hope its not a teen oriented pile of hollywood bilge??? I like Superhero stuff, but just couldn't get into either the Flash or Daredevil, although I really wanted too. Love Game of Thrones, the books are better of course, when IS he gonna release the latest book for gawd sake???

Jemi Fraser said...

I've been making my adjustments slowly - life will continue to be a bit chaotic for the next while and I'm working to keep it all under control.
I only saw 1 movie at the theater this year - The Force Awakens - and I loved it. Have to make a point to go more often! :)

Gail M Baugniet - Author said...

Happy New Year, Alex. I like the idea of Leonardo DiCaprio coming back as a skeleton. Glad to hear IWSG monthly posts will continue. Luv your decision to use your interests as a reader to help determine your focus for 2016. Hau'oli Makahiki Hou!

Gwen Gardner said...

Hehe, who would have thought Fargo would be a favorite. My hubs is from North Dakota but we've never seen the Fargo series. We should check it out.

Good luck with your goals, Alex. I thought I'd work more on short stories but darned if I'm not working on two novels this year! Happy New Year!

Patsy said...

Oooh, snap - I'm concentrating on short stories and articles too at the moment.

Lynda R Young said...

Star Wars and Rogue Nation were absolutely my favs of 2015.
And I hear you re writing. Writing novels is definitely a long-term thing.

Karen Peterson said...

I've only managed to watch the first two episodes of Fargo so far, so I'm sorry, what? Aliens?

T. Drecker said...

Writing geeky articles does sound like fun. Marvel has cost me tons of writing hours this last year. (I keep telling myself it's research for later writing). And I can't wait to see what you do with the blog.

Angela Brown said...

With 2016 ahead, I'm taking daily steps to see what all I can get accomplished. My vision board is a reminder to me to stay my path and keep doing to help make my dreaming my reality.

I look forward to seeing what adjustments you make, though I'm pretty sure any adjustments you make to writing and blogging will be to things I still enjoy if it's geekery :-)

Botanist said...

Well, Age of Ultron was a big hit in this household. Solid superhero action. And I really hope Kung Fu Panda 3 manages to keep up the promise set by 1 and 2 - both wonderful family movies.

Kelly Polark said...

I absolutely loved The Force Awakens. Loved Star Wars since I was little and this was so much like the classics. Also LOVED the character, Rey. She is kick ass!

Shannon Lawrence said...

I'm hoping to switch focus this year, too, but in the opposite direction. Going from short stories to novels. I've never heard of 5th Wave either, and I read YA. Best-selling. Hm.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Alex,

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Sorry I disappeared, but you know me, I always come"home."

Glad you're focusing on what makes YOU happy. Geek stuff is great! Even for us 'non-Geekers.' WE all enjoy a good story.....

As always we appreciate your time, love, and effort! All the best this new year... It's nice to know you are always here....

Liz A. said...

The Revenant looks harrowing. I'm more of a Kung Fu Panda 3 gal.

I totally understand your desire to write shorter stuff. It's probably about time to change things up. I'm sure there'll then come a time when you're ready to do long form again.

Jamie Ayres said...

Love Daredevil and GOT, LOVE ALL THOSE MOVIES, but SW is of course, my fav!! And The 5th Wave is a really smart book with ALIENS, so you should definitely read it! I got to do an author festival with Rick (the author) back in 2014 & he's a super nice guy. Sooo happy for him. Cheers to a new year, Head Ninja! The IWSG are the only blogs I post anymore, so thanks for keeping me accountable.

Kim Lajevardi said...

Good luck on your writing transition. Just know short stories sometimes want to be expanded on. :)

I'm interested in The Revenant.

Donna McDine said...

Happy New Year! The Finest Hour sounds intriguing. I have to check it out. I want to go see Concussion and Creed.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Alex
Short stories are fun. Haven't seen Star Wars yet. Soon I hope.
Nancy

dolorah said...

Revenant is on my must see list. Loved your tv shows too.

I think I'm just insecure about starting a new year. Things are going well, which is spooky. Cool you're revamping again. Change can be good.

Laura Marcella said...

I'm concerned my boss might fire me if I don't go see The Force Awakens by this weekend, so that's on my list because, you know, I need to pay the mortgage. :) I work with computer geeks, so as you can imagine, we're all big Star Wars fans! I can't believe it's taken me this long to see it. I can't wait for that moment when the opening yellow words scrawl up the screen!!

I'm looking forward to seeing The Revenant next! Leonardo DiCaprio is one of my favorite actors.

Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

Tess Julia said...

I've heard Fargo was good. I'm going to have to check that one out. Can't wait to see Star Wars and Avengers movie- and though I can't stand Tom Cruise, I probably will watch his movie too. I hope you find much success in your new writing endeavors.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sher, I'm sorry!

Tyrean, I've been warned...

Jo, will check my email.

Thanks, Sheena-kay.

Fundy, really, you were thinking of my characters? I am in awe...

Ray, I hear the series is starting without him...

Karen, second season!

Kelly, it was like the classic films.

Shannon, see? Not just me.

Michael, glad you're back!

Jamie, that's cool. And that is why I keep the IWSG going.

Laura, go!!!!

Cathy Keaton said...

Happy New Year, Alex! Glad to see writing shorter fiction is jibing with you if the longer stuff just isn't anymore. Stories can be short or long--doesn't matter. They all can be very good at any length.

Birgit said...

I will look forward to the geek styling:) I enjoyed Age of Ultron and thought it was really good. I liked the first one better but this is excellent. Tom Cruise is a weirdo but a very good actor who has a thing for danger. He actually was on the side of that airplane! Still have to see Antman and Mad Max and Star Wars! I will see Star Wars in the theatre for sure. I am looking forward to Ravenant. The Coast guard movie sounds quite good

Beverly Fox said...

"Maybe that's why I don't produce much" says the man with four insanely popular and critically acclaimed novels. Sheesh! And as writing something weird- done and done!
But I digress- you're great when you're writing geek stuff, so I'm sure I echo everyone else here when I say that reading that would make me just as happy and reading news about the newest novel. It'll be a fun year for us!

I agree with many of your movie and tv choices for 2015- Better Call Saul was the dark horse for me as the first few episodes were so slow to build up I thought I'd never catch on. The episode six came and bang! I was back to the excitement I had for Breaking Bad. And you already know my thoughts on GoT, so I'll leave it at that.

As for this month, I'm looking forward to Kung Fu Panda 3- I'm a huge fan of the franchise. It's adorable and surprisingly deep in describing some of the principles of martial arts. And if The Revenant was actually about what you said it was I'd be lined up right now to buy tickets!

Sandra Almazan said...

Writing what interests you is always sound advice.

We might see Kung Fu Panda 3 if my son wants to see it.

Samantha Redstreake Geary said...

Let your Geek flag fly! I'm with ya on embracing the shorter end of fiction--it's oh so satisfying when ya wrap up a solid story in the space of a few days. Digging that RUSH album!

Helena said...

I'm so behind on my movie watching I haven't even seen The Martian yet--I'll try to this weekend.

My own insecurity is that my writing is never good enough. I'm going through my first Charity MacCay novel yet again not only to make sure there are no typos, etc., before getting it published, but because I'm sure there are sentences that stink and words I overuse and inadequate descriptions. Wish I had more faith in myself.

Stephen Tremp said...

Alex, Wifey and I are waiting for Reverent. Kids, Kung Fu Panda (well, me too). I love binge watching on Netflix and since I had to pick up a job (stupid life messing with my perfect plans) but only three days a week, I have a long list of shows to binge watch.

And I just signed up for CuriosityStream on Netflix as I love documentaries as well as fiction series.

I love Better Call Saul. Secondary character spin offs sometimes work and this one did.

Murees Dupé said...

Happy New Year, Alex! May 2016 be a great year for you. I understand you wanting to make a change to your blog. Don't worry, we'll all still stop by regularly to see what you are up to:) Definitely write what you want. If shorter pieces are it, then go for it.

Kung Fu Panda 3 is definitely going to be a good one.

D Biswas said...

Happy New Year Alex! So excited about Kung fu Panda 3! And totally looking forward to an awesome 2016 😊

s/v La Vita said...

This is my first ISWG Wed and I'm thrilled to give and receive comments. I appreciate the structure encourages folks to interact. Thank goodness IWSG is part of your transition.

I'm impressed with how you handle the large number of comments you receive. Nice personal touch.

Go forth and prosper.

Cherie Colyer said...

I saw the previews for The 5th Wave, it looked good. And Kung Fu Panga is always great for a laugh. One can never laugh too much. :) Best wishes on your writing endeavors this year. Short stories and articles sound like a great way to spend your writing time. Happy New Year!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Birgit, yes, he really was on the side of that plane.

Beverly, appreciate that!

Samantha, you rock!

Helena, cool you have another book coming out soon.

La Vita, welcome!

Annalisa Crawford said...

Ant Man was a surprise film for me - my son wanted to see it for his birthday, and I wasn't expecting it to be as good as it was. Hubby has been enjoying Fargo.

Tara Tyler R said...

i am considering writing some articles as well, earning money as a writer would be nice (ha!)

Game of Thrones - i'm disenchanted and frightened at what "common" writers will do with the series...
My son watches the Flash, i should try it so we can talk about it... esp if it's good!
I'm glad you liked Mission Impossible, I heard it wasn't as good as the rest...
and Ultron had a little too much personality for a just born AI robot... his evolution was hyper-unrealistic (even for sci fi!)
My other son loves Fallout 4 - it's perfect for him - i'm glad it's more than just a shooting game!

Happy 2016!

Juneta Key said...

Much success and happiness with your switch. Shorter pieces definitely bring a quicker satisfaction with their own challenge. Star Wars rocked it. I was happy with it. I like the new Flash too. I started with the Arrow, but did not expect to like the Flash as much. They have done a good job with it.

Happy New Year
Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

Jen Chandler said...

Happy New Year to you!!
As much as I love putting together outlines for novels, and the idea of seeing them actually come to fruition, I've been drawn to writing essays and short stories lately. I like expressing myself in one exhalation instead of a long, laborious marathon. Still...there's too many ideas floating around in those bubbling pots to be ignored for too long. Best of luck on the new venture of shorts and articles. As for favorites, I must say Star Wars because, well, it's STAR WARS!! I was terrified it would suck rocks like those three that really don't exist (yes, I'm in denial) but I was proved wrong. So very wrong. It was WONDERFUL and I cried way too much :)
- Jen

Jennie Bennett said...

Totally agree with you about the novel thing. Seriously hard. I've been loving writing short stories, but I want to do the novel thing too. Why not have a bit of each?

Patricia Stoltey said...

I think my favorite movie was Little Boy and my favorite TV watching experience was River on Netflix. Music? Definitely Adele.

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Targeting my blog to readers is the best thing I've ever done for it. It really turned things around for me.

Kung Fu Panda 3, at last! I loved the first two movies.

Southpaw HR Sinclair said...

I totally get that. I have random posts but most circle around to genre related stuff or blogging ;).

Sean McLachlan said...

Mad Max was great in an schizophrenic sort of way. Loved it! I haven't seen Star Wars yet because I just got back from Morocco. It wasn't playing in English, of course, and my Arabic isn't up to the task.
Better Call Saul is on my shortlist.

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm really looking forward to seeing "The Revenant"

Melissa Sugar said...

Happy New Year. I think I just may be the only person on the planet who doesn't watch Game of Thrones. I'm often late to television series. I didn't start watching Breaking Bad until it was off the air then I had the pleasure of binge watching it. My favorite television show this year was the only show I had time for so it was my favorite by default, Homeland. But, Homeland was kind of a letdown from the earlier seasons. Maybe it was just me, but I had trouble picking up three or so years later with Carrie and her daughter in Germany, not a part of the CSI. I didn't really know what was going on half the time. I need to give Better call Saul a try. I haven't seen Star Wars yet. Just bought a DVD with the first movies so my fourteen year old son (who has never seen any of them and had the nerve to call me a nerd) could catch up before we headed to the theatre, but I was very disappointed. I feel like someone messed with them. Either my memory is very faulty with my growing age or some scenes have been added/changed/redone or something. One scene I vividly remember NOT having dialogue, now has dialogue. Maybe I am just going crazy. Best of luck with the new direction you are taking your writing

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Happy New Year, Alex! Interesting to follow your movie, TV, and music interests. Good that you are following your bliss in the direction of your blog. I'm surprised that you don't have a TV show that we watch on your list. We are big fans of Homeland and are looking forward to the return of The Americans at some point this year.

shelly said...

Definitely want to see Kung-fu panda and the fifth wave.

Kristin Smith said...

Yay, yay, yay!! Kung Fu Panda 3!!! Love! Very excited to see that one since I think Jack Black as Panda is hilarious!

I love The Flash too! Great show. I haven't seen Daredevil yet, but considering that I love all those superhero shows, I'm sure I'd love it.

I think it's great you've found your niche with short stories and maybe even articles. And keeping up with a blog you love to write is definitely a good thing even if it means a few changes! I'll be interested to see this new direction you take. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Tara, he did have personality when he was just a program for Stark.

Jen, we're both in denial.

JH, hope it does it for me.

Melissa, oh no! Lucas has gone back and altered them. Twice. You are not crazy.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I love a good disaster or survival story, so a couple of those movies sound good to me. :)

Hope that 2016 brings you much happiness!

Elise Fallson said...

Happy New Year! Sorry I've been MIA, but a huge congratulations to the winners of the Anthology contest! Awesome writers in that list and I can't wait for release date. Hope you had a nice Christmas with family and wish you all the best for 2016!

Rhonda Albom said...

From first last post to 141st this post, I am slipping. My blog has shifted focus a few times too, but I am pretty happy with the large photo format I have now. As for the best of 2015, I don't think we get the same TV shows in New Zealand. We all watch Game of Thrones, and my teen loves the Flash. The other's I haven't heard of before.

Heather R. Holden said...

Best of luck with those short stories and articles! I've been becoming more and more aware of how limited time is lately, so I can definitely see the appeal of working in a more succinct medium like these...

Stephanie Faris said...

I haven't seen a single one of those TV shows/movies you mentioned! I don't know if I qualify for geek status. Although I do geek out over tech gadgets.

klahanie said...

Hey Alex,

What's all this then? Much to my surprise, I notice that IWSG logo at the top of your post! Yep, time to release your happy thoughts about "I Was Seeking Gary"! Of course, you may note that my delusional stuff is continuing where it left off back in 2015. Yes and no problem that I did another one of my ironic posts actually promoting something I would never join.

All the best with your transitional phase. It seems you are adjusting and finding a balance that works well for you. Bring out that inner geek!

What, no mention of Coronation Street in your top television shows!

Duly noted about Rush who are almost a good as that other legendary Canadian band, Mahogany Rush.

As for the movies, as mentioned before, I thought the Avengers was a British show with John Steed and Emma Peel.

I have no writing insecurities. That's because I don't give a rat's ass and just do whatever.

Take care, dude. It's been average.

Gary

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I agree a blog should be of interest to the people you're trying to lure in to buy your books. And I think a blog needs to remain fun.

I'll have to rewatch Mad Max. I didn't like it.

David List said...

Your IWSG post is super exciting... and a little scary. It's taking me forever to finish the book I'm writing. I'm averaging 3 years per story (overlapping, luckily) and that's a lot. Should I, too, consider more short form writing?

Now to go listen to Symphony X. I had no idea they were still producing music!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Elise, no worries!

Rhonda, I like your format now. Fits you well.

Gary, almost???

Elizabeth, no? Really?

David, yes they are - rock on!

T.F. Walsh said...

Yep - Fargo is up there for me too... just got hooked on all the unique characters. And The 5th Wave looks good:)

DMS said...

I have been hearing great things about Fargo! Still have to check it out. I didn't read The 5th Wave- but I do remember seeing it around. Looks interesting!

Thanks for sharing and Happy New Year!
~Jess

Empty Nest Insider said...

I agree that Fargo is the best show on TV! I loved last season and this year was just as good, maybe even better! There were so many little touches too like having Martin Freeman as the narrator in one episode, and how interesting who the little girl turns out to be.I could go on and on. Better Call Saul is also one of my favorites! Great acting and so many twists! Great picks Alex! Thanks for hosting another fabulous IWSG!

Julie

Sandra Cox said...

I haven't seen Saul but I'd like too.
Have a great weekend, Alex.

Medeia Sharif said...

I've also been reading and writing shorter things. I've become interested in short stories and novellas these past few years. I've also been switching genres. I think change is good. It stretches us as writers. Writing short pieces is no easy task.

Carrie-Anne said...

I've been steering my own blog more away from writing-centric topics and more towards an eclectic variety of topics related to writing and the eras I write about. I want to stand out from all the other writing blogs, even if some people may have gotten used to mostly seeing writing-related content on my blog.

Michelle Wallace said...

It seems like writing short stories/novellas is gaining popularity.
As you know, I love writing short-short...the shorter, the better.
Hope 2016 has been great for you thus far!

Mina Burrows said...

I was very excited to see all the winners! It must have been fun to enjoy all their works. Can't wait to get a copy of the published version.

Mad Max FR was my favorite as well. Great 2015 list!

Mason T. Matchak said...

Going to have to check out that Muse album - I haven't liked some of their more recent stuff before this one, but the one song I've heard off of "Drones" was very good. And I've seen four out of the five movies on your top list and loved all of them. ^_^

I like the idea of your blog focusing more on geek stuff, definitely. Looking forward to seeing what you link to.

Elizabeth said...

I agree that shorter pieces are much more manageable than a novel, if only I could quit my job...:) I look forward to seeing how the new changes go on your blog. The Flash, Daredevil, and Star Wars would make my best of 2015 lists, too :)

M.R. R. said...

These new possibilities for your blog intrigue me.

I've no doubt I'll watch Star Wars at some point, though probably not until the DVD comes out. I might see Kung Fu Panda 3, but I want to rewatch the others first.

Deniz Bevan said...

I haven't seen Fargo yet! I really enjoyed Better Call Saul, too. And ooh, I want to listen to that Rush album!

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Ouch! I'm not familiar with any of the TV shows you picked, and I watch a lot of TV. Do you watch Homeland? It's become one of my favorites. Happy 2016 experiences!

D Biswas said...

Kung fu Panda!!! And yes to more geek stuff!