Friday, April 30, 2010

Z End!

Completing the A-Z Challenge from Arlee at Tossing it Out

Today is Z - Z End!

This is the last post in the challenge. I won't go into everything I've learned here - I will save that for Monday's post at Arlee's site.

However, I want to thank all the awsome new blogger friends I've found as a result of this challenge. I hope we can continue exchanging thoughts and encouragements long after the challenge is over!

Thank you -
Jamie at Mithril Wisdom
Summer at And This Time Concentrate!
Yvonne at Welcome to my World of Poetry
B. Miller at B. Miller Fiction
Shannon at Faith, Hope, and Love
Will at Fatherhood & Other Common Terrors
Beth at Beth: A Work in Progress
Raquel at Raquel Byrnes
Rayna at Coffee Rings Everywhere
Melody at Melody’s Musings
Kierah at Kierah Jane Reilly
Grammy at Blabbin’ Grammy
CC at CC’s Chronicles
Carol at Carol’s Corner
Hart at Confessions of A watery Tart
Mary at Mary McDonald Has The Write Stuff
And 1 Wasabi Mommy

If I have missed anyone in the challenge who's been a regular commentor, I apologize! And if you are following me because of the challenge but I've not followed you back, please let me know - I gained twenty followers in one week alone and I probably missed a few.

Thank you everyone, and a big thanks to Arlee!

And on that note - I am taking the weekend off! I'll be checking in now and then - it's a habit now - but my next post isn't until Monday morning.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Continuing the A-Z Challenge from Arlee at Tossing it Out

Today is Y - Yourself

As in be yourself.

What’s amazed me with blogging is the number of individuals who aren’t afraid to be themselves. It comes through in their blog setup, style of writing, and post subjects. These people are honest and open. They are not pretentious nor do they claim to know everything. They have provided so many insights into their world and their knowledge. Some are writers, authors, or readers. Some just express themselves in an amazing manner.

I’ve tried to remain true to who I am in my posts. I’m a private person, so I’ve not delved too much into my personal life. But I really enjoy movies and music and like to share that joy with others. I enjoy discussing writing, books, science fiction, the latest gadget or game – anything interesting! With my first book coming out this fall, I know I’m not in the league of those with multiple books and years of experience, so I don’t claim expertise in the area of writing or promoting. (Although I’m glad I follow a couple of you who do possess such knowledge.)

Hopefully everyone enjoys my posts, as I intend to stay true to me. I’m a writer on a journey of discovery – and with so much to learn!

Are you true to yourself?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

X-Men and Xtra Innings

I've never followed the X-Men comics, although I enjoyed the movies. The first three were good, but I felt they could've done more with the Origins film. Like a baseball game, it seems as if the series has gone into xtra innings with no end in sight.

What about books that go into xtra innings? Series that go on forever or books that contain so many subplots that they have multiple endings? You read what appears to be the grand finale, only to discover there's two more chapters - and an epilogue! I understand the need to wrap up a story, but how does everyone feel about multiple endings? Or endings that go on and on? Or series that just don't know when to quit?

Any of my fellow writers struggling with an ending?

And does anyone care to predict when the X-Men movies will end? Any guesses, Dez? When they stop making money?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

While Heaven Wept

Continuing the A-Z Challenge from Arlee at Tossing it Out

Today is W - While Heaven Wept

During this A-Z challenge, I've tried to turn you on to new and unique media. As we have now reached W, I would like to give your ears a treat and talk about a spectacular metal release by the band "While Heaven Wept." Their latest effort "Vast Oceans Lachrymose" is an amazing aural journey.

This conceptual album tells the story of a young man setting off to sea in search of treasure and fame but, in the end, finding only despair. Clocking in at a lean 40 minutes, this is truly an amazing piece of work for metal fans. The music travels the gambit from blistering and fierce to achingly beautiful. In fact, I can honestly say that it is the most beautiful metal I have ever heard. I know that seems like a paradox, but the band achieves something that few bands of the genre have been able to accomplish.

If you are a metal fan and would like a truly unique experience, then I urge you to check out this amazing disc by "While Heaven Wept."

Monday, April 26, 2010


Continuing the A-Z Challenge from Arlee at Tossing it Out

Today is V – Variety

When it comes to my life, I like stability - but as far as my entertainment and interests, I like variety! So I found some interesting tidbits for everyone -

Prinkipria is looking for book reviewers! In return for providing them with one honest review each month (of any new book fantasy, sci-fi, horror or related) they are willing to offer that person:
· A direct link to that person's blog or website that would appear at the end of each review
· A thumbnail photo
· A one-paragraph bio
· Free listing on the teleporter" page
· 50% off any available advertising slot
Prinkipria is a great new site, so check it out!

On May 20, I will have the honor of hosting science fiction author, David J. Williams, here on my blog. He has agreed to answer some questions for an interview and I will post it just prior to the release of Machinery of Light, the third book in the Autumn Rain series.

Arlee at Tossing it Out gave out an award to all of us participating in the A-Z Challenge – thanks!

Remember my review of How to Train Your Dragon several weeks ago? This is the little movie who could – it’s #1 at the box office again, quietly beating out all new releases, and now sits at $178 million in the USA, and $354,521,000 world-wide.

In case you missed it, Avatar came out last Thursday on DVD - and surpassed The Dark Knight as the fastest-selling Bluray DVD, selling more than 4 million total DVDs in its first day. (Its grand total at the world-wide box office is $2,717,023,267.)

You knew this was bound to happen! In the Tech World, Porn Leads the Way - an article about the porn industry capitalizing on the new iPad.
(Certainly not on MY iPad, though! And yes, I still love my new iPad.)

Fritz Lang’s 1927 classic, Metropolis, will be re-released with lost footage in theaters in May and on DVD later this year – visit JoBlo’s website for details.

And I finally got to see a semi-final draft of my cover art last week and posted it here - CassaStar

Any other interesting tips, news, or items you'd like to add? The more the merrier - and the greater the variety.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Continuing the A-Z Challenge from Arlee at Tossing it Out

Today is U - Underworld!!

Yes, another big surprise.

Rather than go into the first three movies - or my fascination with Kate Beckinsale - - thought I'd give you an update on Underworld 4.

The rumors are thick. There's no director yet, but Kate Beckinsale is 99% confirmed. Michael Sheen and Bill Nighy are also rumored, but since they both died in the first movie, I'm not really sure how their presence could be justified. (Maybe they have small roles in flashbacks?)

The release date was going to be January 21, 2011, but it has been pushed back to September 23, 2011.

io9 reports that Kate will return with two daughters in tow - and that it will be set in space!

Underworld 4 Trailer's site agrees that the movie will be in 3D and it's not a prequel. They also state movie trailer is coming soon...

Any wild speculations? Maybe if it's twenty years in the future, the space thing might be plausible. No confirmation that Scott Speedman will return - so what happened to Michael during that time? Will Victor really return from the dead?

Do you have a series of movies that you follow this closely? And why?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Totally Awesome!!!

Continuing the A-Z Challenge from Arlee at Tossing it Out

Today is T for totally awesome!!!

My publisher sent me the initial cover design for my book and I am so stoked!

It's even better than I imagined, too. Now it feels real and I'm so excited. Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Continuing the A-Z Challenge from Arlee at Tossing it Out

And today's letter totally rocks - R for RUSH!

Hey guys, It is with great pleasure that I am afforded the opportunity to gush over a band that is near and dear to my heart (perhaps even "Closer to the Heart".) I am, of course, referring to the great prog rock band "Rush." This is the music that molded my early teenage years and influences my writing and guitar playing to this very day.

The first time I heard the "Permanent Waves" album (yes, kiddies, back in the day we played music on vinyl) my understanding of the profound impact of music was forever altered. I have such fond memories of rushing (pun intended) to the record store and purchasing "Signals." I was so excited, I wanted to sprout wings and fly home as fast as possible. Dropping the needle while staring at the lyrics printed on the sleeve as "Subdivisions" began will forever hold a place in my heart.

This was the soundtrack of my youth and as I have grown older, the band has been a constant companion. Rush has influenced so many of my favorite bands (Dream Theater, Symphony X, Redemption, and on) that I truly owe them a debt of gratitude.

Yes, I am gushing like a 15 year old fan-boy but for good reason. Rush will always by close at heart.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Continuing the A-Z Challenge from Arlee at Tossing it Out

Today is Q. Since this was such a challenging letter, I decided to make it interesting and searched for a Q in all the major entertainment areas. This post represents my findings.


Remember that cheesy, 80's arcade game? Created by Atari in 1982, it was later released for both the Nintendo and Playstation systems.


How about this awful movie? Directed by Larry Cohen and starring David Carradine, Michael Moriarty, and Candy Clark, this low-budget thriller also came out in 1982.


If you were watching Star Trek: Next Generation in the 80's, then you remember the character Q. Played by John de Lancie, Q was an omnipotent being from the Q continuum who specialized in causing trouble for the Enterprise.


Q Fish
Yes, apparently there's even a band called Q. I couldn't find any images, but judging from the pattern, bet they formed in the 80's, too.

Think I'm all "Q'ed out" for the day!

Monday, April 19, 2010


Continuing the A-Z Challenge from Arlee at Tossing it Out

Today is the letter P - Pandora

No, not Pandora's box, although the concept is the same. Pandora is a radio station unlike any other. And opening this box will lead you to a whole world of music you never knew existed!

Pandora is currently available three ways. (And if there's more, please let me know!) You can access their online site through here, access the site through your TV, or access it via app on your iPhone, iTouch, or iPad.

What's unique about Pandora is the type of music - it plays what you want to hear! There's a free and a paid subscription that lacks ads. Select a band you love, create a channel just for that band, and then let Pandora do its thing. It will play not only the band you selected, but other bands that sound similiar. If you like the song choice you can vote thumbs up and if you don't, you can vote thumbs down, and it will never play that song again. (This can be done only so many times, as can skipping ahead.) You can create up to one hundred different radio streams, so the musical variety is almost unlimited.

What's amazing is the number of new bands I have discovered thorugh Pandora! The type of music I like doesn't get radio play regardless, so I usually have to search for new bands. Pandora had made this process so easy!

So whatever your musical tastes, you will find something new and wonderful when you open Pandora's box!

Now, who's ready to try Pandora? Who's a Pandora addict already?

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Continuing the A-Z Challenge from Arlee at Tossing it Out

Today is O - Obscure.

Obscure has many meanings today.

From what I know of human nature and judging by the bloggers who post, no one wants to die in obscurity. We all want to be known for something. We want our lives to mean something to others.

I think that's one of the reasons we writers write. We want to leave something behind, to be remembered, to prove we existed. Whether we are writing a book, a magazine article, or a blog post, we are hoping our voice will be heard and remembered.

Obscurity happens when critical mass is never achieved. I can think of many TV shows, movies, books, and music artists that just never made it. They're still around, but I bet no one has ever heard of the band O.S.I. The Lost Room featured the best writing ever on TV, but sadly SyFy discontinued this fantastic mini-series. And how many remember the TV movie Cast a Deadly Spell? Fred Ward played Detective H.P. Lovecraft and it featured David Warner, Julianne Moore, and Clancy Brown! Gone into obscurity...

Well a reviewer recently touted a small, obscure film as one of the best movies ever, so I decided to check it out.

Have you heard about a film called "The Dish?" If not, then run, don't walk, to your nearest computer or TV and watch this small gem on NetFlix.

In this comedy based on real events, a small sheep herding village in Australia is thrust into the spotlight when NASA employs its massive satellite radio dish to serve as a backup transmitter for the 1969 Apollo 11 moon mission. But when a change in the spacecraft's schedule puts the primary dish out of range, it's up to the Aussies to ensure that the history-making mission is broadcast to the masses. Sam Neill and Patrick Warburton star.

This is a film that I would (and will) watch over and over. The cast is brilliant and the script crackles with sharp, rich and witty dialogue. How this film was missed and never picked up for large U.S. distribution is beyond me. "The Dish" is rated PG-13 but I found it to be family-friendly, educational and entertaining. Check it out and let me know what you think!

And don't let The Dish go off into obscurity!

Friday, April 16, 2010


Continuing the A-Z Challenge from Arlee at Tossing it Out

Today is N - Narnia!

I did not grow up reading The Chronicles of Narnia. I guess I was busy reading my comic books at the time. But I have since read the series and did so before the first movie hit the screen. While I probably missed the excitement and thrill only a child could possess, I did enjoy the books and could easily see the Christian themes.

The first movie, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, was breathtaking. They were faithful to the book and captured the scenes splendidly. The second movie fell short because they decided to make changes and add new scenes. Compared to the first one, it was disappointing. Due to its lackluster box office take (and what moron decided it was better suited as a summer release when the first one did fantastic as a Christmas release?) the story of Narnia almost ended.

However, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is still slated for a December 2010 release. It's directed by Michael Apted, who also directed The World is Not Enough and Thunderheart. I think a new director will be good for the series. (It certainly helped the third Harry Potter movie.) They did lose Eddie Izzard as Reepicheep's voice, but Bill Nighy has taken his place and will do a superb job I'm sure.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is my favorite of the books, so I'm looking forward to its release. (Maybe Dez can get a scoop on it for us!)

Are you a Narnia fan? Did you read the books as a kid? What have you thought of the movies so far?

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Continuing the A-Z Challenge from Arlee at Tossing it Out

Today is M - and one of my favorite subjects, MOVIES!

I am a die hard movie buff. I visit the theater several times a month, buy the latest & greatest on DVD, and I watch movies on NetFlix all the time.

Today I'd like to share with you where I get my movie information and updates, and what genre movies are my favorite.

For the scoop on the latest movies, I have three sources:

IMDB - Every fact, date, and box office total - it's the most complete movie database on the web.
Rotten Tomatoes - RT gathers all the top reviews and provides news & updates.
JoBlo Movie Network Movie and DVD releases, reviews, insider news - JoBlo has it all!

Now for my favorite movies...

Science Fiction

The Abyss
The Empire Strikes Back
The Fifth Element
Jurassic Park
The Matrix
Mystery Science Theater 3000 The Movie
Star Trek First Contact


Blade II
The Crow
Evil Dead II
A Nightmare on Elm Street
The Ring
Sleepy Hollow
The Thing
Underworld I & II

Conan the Barbarian
Hellboy I & II
Lord of the Rings trilogy
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Princess Bride

What are some of your favorites, particularly in the areas listed above?
And do you visit Dez's site? Remember, the Hollywood Spy loves you!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Continuing the A-Z Challenge from Arlee at Tossing it Out

Today is L - Learning.

I'm still in the process of learning.

Starting this blog was a big leap for me. I didn't know what to expect, but it's been a great experience so far. I've learned so much from blogging, too.

It's taught me consistency, especially participating in the A-Z Challenge. I've had to think through each post and tried to maintain some semblance of order - and quality.

I've learned to appreciate the variety. There's so many blogs, each with its own theme and angle. Yet despite all the differences, I gather something from every blog I visit.

The community atmosphere has really amazed me. Everyone is friendly and so willing to encourage. I continue to gather more followers (some days I'm not sure how or why) and appreciate the comments. You guys (and gals) rock!

And of course, the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know. Hopefully with everyone's help, I can figure out some of this stuff by this fall.

Thanks, everybody!

So, what has everyone else learned?

Oh, and I have a bunch of stupid meetings today. (Aren't all meetings stupid? Three hours to say what could be said in five minutes.) So I may not be online until I get home. Yeah, that sucks!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Continuing the A-Z Challenge from Arlee at Tossing it Out

Today is K - Knowledge

I have a movie review that fits perfectly with today's topic. (And it's almost distopian in its outlook - except this is all happening right here and right now!)

Food, Inc.

A post by Marvin at The Old Silly reminded me of this movie and I viewed it as an Instant Watch on NetFlix this past weekend. (On the new iPad, I might add - and the picture quality was better than my computer!)

For those who've hesitated to see this film, rest assured - it is not pro-vegetarian nor is it about animal rights. (There are a couple scenes of animal cruelty, but nothing graphic.) It's about how our food choices affect us, our health, the government, and big business.

This film covers many aspects of our food production and packaging, and how big business now controls almost all of it. Everything from the medications we pump into animals to the genetically altered seeds now planted is explored in detail.

It explains why beef is constantly being recalled due to e coli breakouts. (I almost never consume beef, but after watching this film, I doubt I'll ever touch supermarket cow again.) It questions why the advancements in medicine and technology are making our food more dangerous rather than safer. It discusses labeling and laws. (Did you know it's illegal to say anything bad about the beef industry in Colorado? You will get sued and they will win!)

However, unlike a lot of documentaries, this one doesn't leave the viewer totally frustrated. It does provide options and alternatives, and informs us how we can all make a difference through our purchases at the grocery store.
Fascinating, revolting, and informative film. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to know the truth behind what he or she is eating - because those producing the food will never tell us.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Just Alex

Continuing the A-Z Challenge from Arlee at Tossing it Out - today is J.

I follow some great writers on Blogger who offer both advice and support. I read posts by reviewers who offer deep, eloquent assessments of books. I watch established authors participate in events, win awards, and offer incredible words of wisdom. I absorb all marketing tips offered online and elsewhere in preparation for my own book release.

And in doing so, I foresee only one problem.

I'm just Alex.

There's so many incredible science fiction authors with experience, expertise, and solid platforms, and I realize now how short I fall of that mark. I can't show you a pile of awards. I don't write for a magazine or newsletter. My resume lacks a bit when it comes to writing. I do have several things going for me, but for the most part, I'm just Alex.

Does anyone else harbor such feelings of inadequacy? Does anyone else look at authors who've spent years writing for magazines, winning awards for their short stories, and producing critically-acclaimed books, and think to yourself "I'm in way over my head"?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

IPad Review

Continuing the A-Z Challenge from Arlee at Tossing it Out

Today is I - and just in time for my review of the iPad!

This may not sound professional, but so far, it's freakin' awesome!

The screen is very bright and vivid - the colors just glow. The touch pad is incredibly responsive - when flipping pages of a book or zooming in on a photo, it requires the lightest of touch. You don't need a cumbersome manual with the iPad, the interface is intuitive and easy to navigate. Just like the smaller pods, you can quickly sync all your media into the device.

Downloading apps is where it gets fun! Of course NetFlix and Pandora were priorities. So was iBooks - and I've a list of books I want to download now. Apple allows you so download a sample of the book to read. Hard to tell exactly how much - maybe 10 or 15%? You can adjust the font type and size, which is nice. The pages flip just like a real book, too. And in color (ahem, Kindle.)

The Marvel app is very nice. There's several free comic books to start out your collection, and it appears most are about $1.99. What's amazing is how you read them! You can view a whole page or zoom in on one frame. Either allows you to scroll to the next page or frame with the touch of the screen. The color is absolutely amazing, too. I think this could be a revelutionary jump in the comic book and graphic novel industry.

There's one tiny speaker at the bottom of the device, but the sound quality is quite impressive.

I also downloaded the Pages app (like Word), but haven't had time to really utilize with the program. Too many apps, not enough time!

Overall, I am impressed! The response time is incredible, the graphics vivid, and the applications unlimited. With Internet access, I can keep up with the world with the press of a button. The iPad is definitely my new favorite tech toy!

This is not just an eReader - it's an iTouch on steroids. And I'll smack the next person who compares the iPad to a Kindle. (I'll use the iPad box - that thing's like a brick!)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Heavy Metal / Hard Rock

Continuing the A-Z Challenge from Arlee at Tossing it Out. Today is H - Heavy metal and hard rock!

* And just to let you know, my iPad came yesterday afternoon! (So I was playing with it all last night.) I hope to have a review of the device for tomorrow. So far, it's damn cool!

Music is a big part of my life. I minored in music in college and currently play guitar. Nothing relaxes me more in the evening than thirty minutes playing either my electric or acoustic guitar.

I also enjoy listening to music. My iTouch is loaded with music, CDs live in my car, and my iPod is essential gym equipment. I listen to music when I write as well. I know many writers prefer silence, but my creativity flows better with tunes in the background.

What type of music? You've probably guessed I lean toward the heavy end of the spectrum. I prefer progressive rock, with its complex melodies, time changes, and guitar riffs. Most of my music is not "accessible" - as in most radio stations won't play it. However, between Pandora, iTunes, and YouTube, I have no problem finding the latest rock music.

Just to give you an idea, here's a few of my favorite bands:

Dream Theater
In Flames
Shadows Fall
Symphony X
Catherine Wheel

Your musical tastes may vary!

Now that you understand the place music has in my life, how important is it to you? What genre do you prefer? Do you play an instrument? And do you play music while writing?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Fallout and Farscape

Continuing the A-Z Challenge from Arlee at Tossing it Out - today is F, and I have selected Fallout and Farscape.

Fallout New Vegas

I'm an avid gamer, especially RPG, although I try not to spend hours in front of my computer. Since the next Starcraft game may never see the light of day, I've set my sights on Fallout New Vegas instead. It's slated for a fall 2010 release for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. Fallout is an amazing game that combines a first-person shooter with an RPG. Two of my all time favorite gaming moments happened in Fallout. But that's a blog for another time. It's not yet rated, but I'm sure it will be an "M" for mature. Visit the official site HERE


Remember Farscape? Unlike Firefly, this series actually survived several seasons and spawned a couple mini-movies. I've been watching Farscape on NetFlix and now recall why I enjoyed this quirky, colorful series. Ben Browder and Claudia Black (both of whom went on to do later episodes of SG1) are great, as is the cast of eccentric characters. The Jim Henson Company was responsible for many of the characters and still have Farscape on the company website. I'm also amazed how many fan sites exist on the web, such as Watch Farscape Even though half the characters are dead, I wonder if it's too late to do another movie...?

Are you a Farscape fan? Fallout fan? Are you just hanging around hoping I will post another photo of Kate Beckinsale?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Continuing the A-Z Challenge from Arlee at Tossing it Out, today is E - and Eureka!

Have you heard of a little show on the SyFy channel named "Eureka"? Well, if you haven't, it's time to update the NetFlix queue and check out the first three seasons. The show centers on U.S. Marshal Jack Carter (Colin Ferguson) who stumbles upon a remote town populated by geniuses, government secrets and amazing technology. Jack is tasked to become the new sheriff of Eureka and deals with a slew of killer tech, crazy scientists and the dark secrets of Global dynamics. This is a show with smart writing, witty humor and a great ensemble cast. Jack struggles with the dilemmas of the town and Zoe (Jordan Hinson), his rebellious teenage daughter. "Eureka" never takes itself too seriously and has a mission to entertain your socks off for an hour. If you enjoy adventurous, fun-spirited and funny science fiction, then I highly recommend this breath of fresh air. Get caught up on the first three seasons before season 4 begins Friday, July 9th at 9:00PM.

And I received two more awards!

First, the Picasso Award from Summer at And This Time Concentrate!

And the Prolific Blogger Award from Rayna at Coffee Rings Everywhere

Ladies, thank you so much. And I would like to echo Rayna's sentiments and pass both along to those of you participating in the A-Z Challenge. Arlee threw out the gauntlet and we have risen to the challenge!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Double Feature!

Continuing the A-Z Challenge from Arlee at Tossing it Out. Today is D and it's a double feature at the movies - I have two reviews for you!

Clash of the Titans
Here is yet another example of how Hollywood takes a good (albeit: corny) older film and updates with crazy, cool special effects. To be honest, I enjoyed the original film with the great stop-motion effects by Mr. Ray Harryhausen and although the film is dated (naturally), I really saw no need for a remake. However, once I saw the previews for the new COTT with the giant scorpions and massive Kraken, I had to check it out. My overall feeling after I left the was OK. The true problem with the movie is that the production team was so busy infusing the film with state-of-the-art effects that they forgot to put in the one ingredient that the original had in spades....heart. This movie has no heart or soul at all. The plot is designed to take you from one set piece to the next. I'm also starting to wonder about Sam Worthington. He seems to play the same character in his three latest films. He doesn't infuse the character of Perseus with any character or charisma. The effects are great, some of the action sequences are exciting but it all matters for naught because I just didn't care.

Up In The Air - I was curious to check out this Oscar contender. I really had no in-depth knowledge of what the film was about or the major plot points , so I watched the movie with no pre-conceived ideas. The movie tells the simple story of a man (George Clooney) who works for a firm that pays him to fly from city to city and serve as an axe man for companies that are too gutless to fire or lay off their employees. His way of life is threatened by a young up-and-comer (Anna Kendrick) with ideas of taking him out of the sky and landing him behind a desk. In the midst of this turmoil, he falls for the beautiful Vera Farminga who shares his jet-set lifestyle. The film is funny and sad, complex yet simple. It has many layers but the heart of the film is a sentimental story of love and disillusionment. On the downside, I have to say that I saw the ending coming a mile away. And if you are looking for a satisfying end to your date-night movie, I would look elsewhere. But all in all, I enjoyed "Up in the Air". The performances were rock solid and the film strikes a chord about the impersonal nature of love and business and how it can be so personal.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Continuing with Arlee Bird's A-Z Challenge - today is C.

I've spent the past week fixing my manuscript. I think I've made all the changes the editor requested, but I'll go through it one more time, just in case. My publisher had made suggestions, which involved several rewrites and the addition of a prologue. It was recently returned again and the editor made even more corrections and suggestions. I was pleasantly surprised the entire manuscript wasn't in red, too. At least the words "This sucks!" wasn't in bold red letters across the top!

When I completed CassaStar, I thought that was it. After all, I had to find a publisher first, and then the book would need to do well enough for them to want another one.

But when I originally conceived this idea, there was more to the story. I'm considering writing the next book, but I wonder if the new direction will appeal to those who like the first book. I've been working on the outline and the story would begin twenty-odd years after the other one ended. There's even more action and conflict, plus another main character. My only concern is that character is female.

What do you guys think? CassaStar is predominantly men - would the addition of a female character be too strong of a change? Her mere presence complicates the story even further, adding some serious issues, but she's also female for a reason. I think I can handle writing that aspect and keep it in the background, but would that shift gears too much?

Or does any of that make sense since you haven't read CassaStar...?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Boy Blog

Technically, this is a man blog, but I'm doing Tossing it Out's A-Z Challenge, and today is B.

It has come to my attention that I am in the minority. Most of the bloggers I encounter are women. A couple I thought were men turned out to be women. (Sorry B. Miller and Hampshire Alex!)

Why is that? Do women just have more to say? Do men have better things to do with their time? Are more women drawn to the social aspect of blogging than men? Does anyone have an answer for this?

Fortunately, I have found some fellow male bloggers out there:

Stephen at Breakthrough Blogs
David J. Williams at Autumn Rain 2110
Galen at Imagineering Fiction
Jamie at Mithril Wisdom
John at Sci Fi Songs
Marvin at The Old Silly
Arlee at Tossing It Out

And by the way - thanks to everyone who reads my blog - I hit 50 followers last night!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


I am participating in Tossing it Out's A-Z Blog Post Challenge. So I must post a minimum of 26 times this month from A-Z

Today is A - Avatar!

Why? Because last month I set up a poll - how much money would it make world-wide?

The majority selected $2.7 billion dollars. Guess what? If that was you, then it looks as if that will be the correct answer! (Give or take a couple million.) Right now Avatar is hovering at $2,690,916,066.

Avatar is more than just the biggest money-maker. It's changed the way we look at movies. It will change how movies are made, too. It will open up the doors for a lot of movies that were just never possible before. Sometimes science fiction and fantasy is limited by the level of special effects available, but now I forsee no barriers to those studios with enough cash.

Any books you'd like to see on the big screen that were impossible before? I wonder if they will ever adapt any of Terry Brooks' books... or Preston & Child? ( I don't count The Relic - they left out the main character!)