Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Blogging Idiosyncrasies III and Final Awards

Final round with the blogging junk, I promise! Comments from the first two posts spurred new ideas though.

Dezz at HOLLYWOOD SPY coined this term. It refers to those who leave quick, short, meaningless comments just to get you to comment on their blog. It also puts me in mind of those who follow you, and you to follow back. but then no matter how many times you comment on that person’s blog, he or she never comments back. I have several of those right now. Now I admit, I’m not overly interesting and not every post appeals to every person, but did you follow just to get me to follow you? Do you have followers like that? Or ones who leave short or odd comments?

Mechanics of comment box
Judging from last week’s comments, this is a sore spot for many. Is the comment box embedded or separate? There appears to be numerous ways to set up one’s comment box – separate small box (like mine), entirely new page, or the main page reloads. Sometimes the latter occurs, only you don’t realize it also has word verification – and when it refreshes the page, it returns to the top of the page. I wonder how many comments never go through because the commenter doesn’t realize he needs to do the word verification? What are your thoughts on the placement of the comment box?

Okay, I’m officially done with that mess!

On to the awards! Of which there are many…

Yvonne at Welcome to my World of Poetry gave me the Creative Writing Award! Yvonne, I am truly honored. I shall pass this on to just one person:

Ted Cross - don’t you dare give up on The Shard, dude!

Powdered Toast Man at Just the Cheese gave me the Super Commenter Award! I pass this on to:

Rayna at Coffee Rings Everywhere

iZombie gave me the Zombie Rabbit Award! Okay, I have to pass this on to someone who will appreciate it…

Rogue at The Roads of Autumn Dusk

Jules at Trying to Get Over the Rainbow gave me the Circle of Friends Award. Thanks, Jules! And Kate at The Scribbling Sea Serpent gave me the One Lovely Blog Award. Thanks, Kate! I’ve received both of these before, so won’t pass them on again.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

September Movies and Centurion Review

A new month approaches and so does a slew of new movies...

September 3-

Director: Ethan Maniquis Robert Rodriguez
Stars: Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Robert De Niro
The Plot: After being betrayed by the organization who hired him, an ex-Federale (Trejo) launches a brutal rampage of revenge against the people who double-crossed him.
This was one of the spoof trailers for Grindhouse – and now it’s an actual, honest-to-God movie! Cheesy, over-the-top fun – I am so there!

Director: Anton Corbijn
Stars: George Clooney, Paolo Bonacelli, Violante Placido
The Plot: An assassin hiding out in an Italian village while he anticipates his last-ever assignment tempts fate by seeking out the friendship of a priest (Bonacelli) as well as the affection of a local woman (Placido).
I’ll either do a double feature or catch this one on NetFlix.

September 10-

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Stars: Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Wentworth Miller
The Plot: As the T-Virus continues to spread, Alice (Jovovich) maintains her mission to find survivors and keep them safe from the Undead, and to take down the Umbrella Corporation. Reteaming with Claire (Larter), Alice makes a dangerous journey to a new city that is said to be a safe haven: Los Angeles.
I doubt I’ll venture to the theater for this one, even though it's 3S, but will definitely watch on NetFlix.

September 17-

Director: Anthony Bell Ben Gluck
Stars: Hayden Panettiere, Christina Ricci, Justin Long
The Plot: After being relocated to Idaho by park rangers, a female and a male wolf face a dangerous trip across unfamiliar territory in their attempt to find their way home to Canada.
Another computer animated flick – which doens't guarantee quality, so not sure about this one yet.

September 24-

Director: Zack Snyder
Stars: Jim Sturgess, Hugo Weaving, David Wenham
The Plot: Soren is a young Barn Owl who lives in the peaceful forest of Tyto. Kidnapped and brought to the foreboding St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls, Soren must face certain challenges -- including taking his first-ever flight -- on a dangerous adventure that leads to the mythical Great Ga'Hoole Tree, where he and his friends Gylfie, Twilight, and Digge look to fight a great evil in their world.
The animation looks incredible! HOLLYWOOD SPY has posted numerous trailers, so check it out.


Director: Rob Stefaniuk
Not sure when this one will hit theaters or DVD – it’s hit most of the independent film festivals. But it stars Malcolm McDowell, Dave Foley, Henry Rollins, Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, Moby, AND Alex Lifeson of Rush!! According to the IMDB, it’s “A comedy centered on a rock 'n' roll band that will do anything to become famous.” The previews bring to mind the likes of The Lost Boys and Fright Night – just good vampire fun. View the trailer HERE


Directed by Neil Marshall, starring Michael Fassbender
I was fortunate that this was a free view on HDNet last Wednesday night, so I got to see it two days before its USA release.
Centurion is exactly what I expected. It’s not a grand epic nor does it break any new ground. However, it does contain some amazing scenery and cinematography, very bloody battles, and an interesting storyline. The story follows Centurion Quintus Dias (played by Fassbender) – his brigade is slaughtered by the Picts, and he escapes capture and joins with General Titus Flavius Virilus (played by the always cool Dominic West) and the 9Th legion. When the general’s troops are ambushed, Dias must lead the seven survivors back home.
The Scottish landscape is incredible! It’s as much a character in the story as are the actors. Everything feels very realistic – the Picts are not supernatural, just people defending their land. And in the middle of bloody war was an aspect I was not expecting… Can’t tell you or I’d spoil the movie!
If you’re into medieval battles and suspense, this movie is for you! Again, nothing that will knock your socks off, but it’s an enjoyable movie.

Enjoy your popcorn!

Friday, August 27, 2010

You Guys ROCK!!

My review of Centurion will have to wait, because you guys rock – and I have great news!

My publisher informed me of some early reviews for CassaStar, including one from Library Journal that will appear in their September 15 issue. Is that cool, or what? Okay, it could be or what if they didn’t like it. Dear Lord, I hope they didn’t think it sucked!! I'll have to change my name...

You guys have been so supportive of a newbie author and blogger and I wanted to do something nice for my friends. You visit and leave comments, you’ve posted my book trailer and video – I’m just overwhelmed by the generosity. So, this is officially Alex’s You Rock! Award, signifying that you are one cool dude – or dudette. (Is that a word?)

Since it would be crazy to give it out to just everybody – and I’d like to see the recipients pass it on to others – I’m going to limit myself to just four people. Yes, that will be nearly impossible! But the first four recipients of this award are:

Hannah at Musings of a Palindrome She eventually put her real name on her blog, but I still affectionately call her Palin. I think she was one of my first blogger buddies and never fails to stop by and comment. My favorite Palin chick – you rock! (And you have such a cute smile.)

Lee at Tossing it Out Dude, had it not been for you’re A-Z Challenge, I would’ve never found my blogging rhythm – or gained so many followers! Dude, you really made a big difference with that challenge, and I know most of those who participated will agree. You’ve kept me going strong, too – even helped me launch my own blogfest with The Movie Dirty Dozen. Lee, you rock!!

Yvonne at Welcome to my World of Poetry We met during the A-Z Challenge and continued to visit each other’s blogs. It’s funny – I’m not usually a poetry guy and she’s not familiar with my movies, music, or book genre, but that hasn't stopped us one bit. And if Yvonne doesn’t visit my blog on a given day, I feel ready to send out a search party, because she’s so faithful to her blogging friends! Yvonne, you are a dear, sweet lady – and you rock!

And finally, RaShelle at A No. 2 Pencil Stat! RaShelle is just such a sweet lady. She never fails to stop by and has such a caring spirit. I grin when I see my book cover in her side bar – right below Dezz’s elephant photo! RaShelle, you are generosity in action. You rock, chick!!

I could’ve named about fifty more people – Rayna, Stephen, Cruella, Simon, Hart, Bryan, Ted (I still want to read your book, dude!)… just about everyone in my blogroll. I’m sure this award will arrive at your blog soon!

And the awards keep on rolling…

Award from Rayna at Coffee Rings Everywhere – the Sweet Blog Award. And she made sure all of her recipients were men. (That’s right – we’re sweeter!) Thank you, Rayna and I am passing it to:

Gail at Familiar Spirit
Holly Ruggiero
Jules at Trying to Get Over the Rainbow

Award from Mel at Writings, Musings, and Other Such Nonsense – One Lovely Blog. This is the second time I’ve received it, so thanks, Mel! She also gave me permission to rename it the Frilly Beer Award! Sounds more manly…

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Guesting Today

Just a quick reminder, I am visiting Jeffrey Beesler’s World of the Scribe today with a guest post on self-doubt! Snarking allowed, but be gentle.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Listen to the Voice of an Expert

I may be an author, but I’m still too new in this game to provide certified writing tips. Movie tips YES, writing tips NO. So, I brought in an expert!

Clarissa Draper posts the most sensible, easy to follow, and enlightening writing tips on her blog – Listen to the Voices. (She’s also providing first chapter critiques for those who are interested.) I asked if she would be so kind as to provide some writing tips for my fellow bloggers and writers, and she agreed without forcing me to grovel or beg. (Thanks, Clarissa – it’s not a pretty sight!) Enjoy!

5 Keys to Realistic Dialogue

I used to be horrible at dialogue. Then somebody told me I should write a chapter of dialogue to practice. So I did. Not only that, I wrote a whole book. Dialogue only. And it's one of the best stories I've ever written.

Dialogue alone can make you cry, laugh, think, and throw your book against the wall. Dialogue is moving and well written dialogue is powerful. I doubt you want to write a whole novel in dialogue just to practice. So instead, why don't I just tell you what I've learned.

1. It should always move the story forward.
2. It should make sense to the reader - ever jump into a conversation and have no idea what they're talking about? Yeah, I don't like it either. So, don't do that to your reader.
3. It should end. Who wants to read an hour's worth of conversation?
4. It should tell us more about the character - dialogue is a great place to glean insights as to a character's voice and characteristics.
5. It should be interesting and meaningful - this means you should keep backstory out of your dialogue unless it's vital to the plot and moves the story forward. Also, keep your opinions out of it. Just because you're vegetarian doesn't mean all your characters are and that they want to make a point about it in every conversation.

No one wants to read this:

"Hi, Jane, what are you carrying?"

"Hello, Martha, I went to Johnson's grocery story on Fourth Street, near your house, and bought groceries. You know the place... your brother got shot in that store with a revolver five years ago, during a robbery. Remember?"

"Oh yes I remember, I went into a deep depression and had to be hospitalized for three years. They preformed shock therapy, did you know? I never thought I would make it out alive. I petitioned to the government to stop such treatment for a year and had no response."

"I helped you with that. We worked long hours, late at night to prepare signs and petitions. I hate the Republicans, they are a bunch of crooks. In 1964, the started a war that I felt never needed to be fought."

Thanks, Clarissa! Everyone please visit her site, Listen to the Voices.

And I am visiting Jeffrey Beesler’s World of the Scribe on Thursday and sharing about my writer's doubts. Stop by and snark at my insecurities...

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Dirty Dozen Revisited

Prompted by Powered Toast Man at Just the Cheese, I am now rounding out my Movie Dirty Dozen. Powdered posted his favorite actors, actresses, and directors, so I’ve some catching up to do! I decided to keep it simple and just list the person and a couple of his/her movies I enjoyed.

Feel free to let me know some of YOUR favorites!!

Favorite Directors:

Christopher Nolan - Inception, Memento, Dark Knight
Guillermo del Toro - Blade II, Hellboy
James Cameron - Terminator II, Aliens, Avatar, The Abyss
Steven Spielberg - Jurassic Park, Raiders, Jaws
Michael Mann - Manhunter, Heat, The Last of the Mohicans
Peter Jackson - Lord of the Rings, Dead Alive, King Kong
J.J. Abrams - Mission Impossible III, Star Trek
Steven Soderbergh - Ocean’s Eleven - Thirteen, Erin Brockovich
Tim Burton - Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride
Ridley Scott - Legend, Blade Runner, Gladiator
John Woo - The Killers, Face/Off, Mission Impossible II
John Carpenter - The Thing, Big Trouble in Little China, (any movie prior to They Live!)

Favorite Actors:

Edward Norton - The Illusionist, Primal Fear
Clint Eastwood - Outlaw Josey Wales, Unforgiven
Robert Downey Jr. - Iron Man, Sherlock Holmes
Robert De Niro - Heat, Taxi Driver, Midnight Run
Kurt Russell - Big Trouble in Little China, The Thing, Tombstone
Guy Pierce - Memento, LA Confidential
Bill Murray - Stripes, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters
Johnny Depp - Sleepy Hollow, Pirate of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
Arnold Schwarzenegger - Predator, Terminator movies, Conan, True Lies
Leonardo DiCaprio - The Quick and the Dead, Inception, Titanic
Bruce Willis - Die Hard, Sixth Sense
Kevin Spacey - The Usual Suspects, The Ref

Favorite Actresses:

Kate Beckinsale - Underworld I and II
Michelle Pfeiffer - Ladyhawke, Batman Returns
Rachel Weisz - The Mummy, About a Boy, The Constant Gardner
Kate Winslet - Titanic, Finding Neverland
Carrie-Anne Moss - Matrix movies, Memento
Robin Wright - The Princess Bride, Forrest Gump
Jamie Lee Curtis - A Fish Called Wanda, True Lies, Trading Places
Sigourney Weaver - Aliens, Ghostbusters, Galaxy Quest, Avatar
Andie MacDowell - Groundhog Day, Hudson Hawk
Rene Russo - Thomas Crown Affair, Major League
Mia Sara - Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Legend
Jessica Biel - The Illusionist, Blade Trinity

Sound off! Who are some of your favorites?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Blogging Idiosyncrasies Part Two

The first post sparked such a great discussion and so many viewpoints, I decided to continue and tackle few more issues and questions.

Word Verification and Blog Owner Approval

Some use one or the other - or both! Yvonne has been receiving mean comments, so I certainly understand why she uses owner approval. But, how does everyone else feel about these? Is using both overkill? I don't use either on new posts, but older posts require comment approval, and I seem to catch most spam with that system. Your thoughts?

Replying to Comments

Do you reply to comments, either on your post or on the blogger's site? I try to respond on my own, usually replying to several bloggers at once. But, how often do you go back to see if there's a reply? And does your blog email replies to those who comment?


What do you blog about? What types of posts garner the most comments? Those about writing, movies, contests, features, yourself? We know blogfests really jack up the comments! So do posts that pose questions and encourage interaction. What subjects do you think encourage visitors and comments - and which ones don't? (Some days, I really can't figure this one out...)

Okay guys, have at it! As Simon says, snarking is allowed.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

It's Movie Time!

I've some movie news and reviews for you!

First, two short reviews...

Jade Warrior
I’d read good things about this foreign film, inspired by the Finnish epic, The Kalevala. The hero is a poor blacksmith recently dumped by his girlfriend. When she disposes of some of his artifacts, the shopkeeper discovers this smith can open an ancient Chinese metal box. He instructs the smith to create a machine called a Sampo, and as the smith does this, he at last recalls his previous life as a warrior destined to slay a demon. The movie is told in flashbacks between present day Finland and ancient China. It’s a slower paced film with some great visuals and a few surprises. And (spoiler) in the tradition of Chinese love stories, there is no happy ending. Scratch China off your list of places to seek true love, because apparently it never works out!

The Crazies
A remake of Romero’s 1973 film, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this zombie-virus flick. The story follows a town sheriff and his wife as they attempt to survive both the crazies and the military trying to stop the spread. It was entertaining and contained some good suspense, along with just a few too many narrow escapes. As with any horror flick, the characters split up on occasion, and put themselves in dire situations as a result. I promised my wife that if we have to flee from zombies, I wouldn’t tell her to “Wait here.” Not a great movie, but better than expected.

In other movie news…

Kate Beckinsale is definitely appearing in Underworld IV! Selene will be kicking butt in her sexy black leather outfit in 2012. Visit HOLLYWOOD SPY for details. I am one happy guy!

Hellboy III is on hold – perhaps permanently. Director Guillermo del Toro reports that Ron Perlman is happy doing Sons of Anarchy without six hours in a makeup chair. So no more Hellboy movies until Perlman changes his mind. Bummer, huh?

Heard any wild movie rumors or seen a good film lately? Watched any of the Quiet Movies I recommended? Wonder if after Sharktopus debuts on SyFy this fall they will consider doing Snarktopus…

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Special Guest!

Special guest here today! And when you see Angela from Jaded Love Junkie’s photos, you’ll realize she is one cool chick. Angela was also the winner of my 200 Followers Giveaway. So please take the time to learn a little about my fascinating blogging buddy, Angela. (Otherwise, I'll send Simon the Snarktopus over to snark at you!)

Thank you, Alex, for inviting me to post on your blog. A year ago, I never thought I’d be writing again much less blogging about it and meeting so many amazing writers who share similar struggles and triumphs along the path to publication.

Like most of you, I’ve always loved reading and writing, from the day I could hold a pencil. A college friend said she hated writing. She’d never written in a journal or written poetry or short stories. It blew my mind people could be perfectly happy writing nothing more than an occasional check endorsement.

In college, I was a writing fool. I took creative writing courses, and I worked on the newspaper, as Copy Editor and Editor in Chief. I freelanced editorial work, won poetry, essay and journalism contests and even wrote for Oregon Magazine. It was sooooo much work! And nothing like the kind of writing I’d enjoyed my entire life. It burned me out so hardcore I stopped reading and writing, and then I left college.

Advance the clock fourteen years later—yes, fourteen! I’m a US Navy service member. I work on radar, communications and navigation electronics, absolutely nothing to do with writing. Two years ago, I found myself stationed away from my husband and five children with too much time to think about the gloom of being away from them. Then I got the bug back, slowly at first. It began with books, books, books, and when I finally ran out of those, I learned it’s never too late to get back on the horse. I began writing again.

I wrote my first book in four weeks. In the past, I wrote literary fiction and horror. I know. I’m weird. My current books are sci-fi romance. My tastes are eclectic for sure. I read everything from military and literary non-fiction, mystery, romance of all kinds, sci-fi, YA, and even westerns. This might explain why I’ve written a wide range.

I am incredibly overjoyed to be back in the writing realm. I love my blogger buddies. I love learning from and sharing with all the writerly types who are so generous with their experience and knowledge. I love talking about writing, and most of all I love writing.

You can find me at Jaded Love Junkie or on Facebook. Thanks for your time, and good luck to all on your path to publication!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Everything but the kitchen sink...

Because I am not about to take out our kitchen sink! Home repairs are not my specialty.

But as I cruise the world of blogs, I’ve noted some really cool things happening as of late…

Rogue at The Roads of Autumn Dusk was recently listed on the Horror Blogger Alliance He has an awesome site, so check it out.

Nebular’s site CineMarvellous just celebrated one year AND won the Top Movie Review Blog 2010 award!! Go check it out HERE

Powdered Toast Man at Just the Cheese decided to take my Movie Dirty Dozen one step further and posted an Actress and an Actor Dirty Dozen. His actor list is close to mine, but I need to come up with my own actress post!

Geof at Enter the Man-Cave is posting his very first book review on Monday!! So please show him some manly support.

My review of Fever Dreams by Preston and Child appeared this month in Prinkipria. If you’ve not seen this online fantasy/science fiction magazine, you need to check it out!

Yvonne at Welcome to my World of Poetry gave me a special Friday the 13th Award! Thanks again, Yvonne. For those who don’t know Yvonne, she posts poetry every single day, and while I am not a poetry person, there is something about the way she brings her words together that is really amazing.

I pass this special award to:
Clarissa at Listen to the voices – she posts the best writing tips ever!
Nicole at One Significant Moment at a Time – she’s really cool!
Carol at Under the Tiki Hut – her Friday’s Top Ten posts are great!

RaShelle at a No. 2 Pencil Stat!
gave me the Creative Writer award – thanks, RaShelle! I’ve received it previously, so won’t bore you with facts & fluff.

Other than that, still playing Starcraft II and working on a sequel to my book. I have special guest on Tuesday you won’t want to miss. And some movie reviews are coming, too!

And snark! It was suggested that Simon at Constant Revision should have a nickname, and I think Snarktopus fits him very well.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Blogging Idiosyncrasies

Everyone has their own style of blogging and much of that is due to personal preference.

But what works best?

Well, I'm going to allow you guys (and gals) to tell me!

Posting Length-

We were told in Blog Book Tours class that 250 words is ideal. My posts tend to be closer to 500 words though and I've seen others post much longer pieces. Now, I confess that I don't always read the really long posts, but how about you? What's the ideal length? At what point during a post do you develop ADHD?

Posting Frequency-

Some post a couple times a week, some daily, and some multiple times a day. I've found that every other day works best for me, and it provides those who miss a day to catch my posts. How much is too much? How much is not enough? How many bloggers do you want to strangle for clogging up your Google Reader?

Posting Time-

Morning? Afternoon? Evening? I post early in the morning and at least half of the blogs I follow do the same. Some post later in the evening, and occasionally I will miss those posts. When is best for you?

Comments -

Some blogs garner a lot of comments. I think the amount of followers and quality of posts affects comments. Interaction seems to increase comments, too. I think the biggest factor is the amount of comments we leave on other blogs. What do you think increases blog comments? Does bribery help?

I'm done. Opinions welcome! Snarking allowed, too. (Go ahead, Simon - you know you want to!)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Quiet Movies

A guest post by Elizabeth at Mystery Writing is Murder earlier this week discussed "Quiet Books," and she mentioned her daughter enjoying The Secret Garden. (I haven't read the book, but I have seen the movie - of course!)

Her post got me to thinking about quiet movies. Yes, I do enjoy big action flicks, but now and then, I like a movie with a slower pace. My definition of a 'quiet movie' is one where the characters emote well and it's more about what's going on under the surface. So, I have selected a few 'quiet movies' that I really enjoyed.
Nobody's Fool

This movie is well acted and contains some sharp writing. Paul Newman gives a stellar performance.

No Country For Old Men

Literally a quiet movie - almost no soundtrack at all! Tons of tension contained in just expressions and glances with minimal words.

The Illusionist

Incredible performance by Edward Norton - he steals every scene. The movie is understated and yet ripe with tension, and it's a great love story.

The Outlaw Josey Wales
There are moments of violence, but far more scenes of quiet introspection and portrayal of real life. An honest film about the South, Indians, and the end of the Civil War.
* * *
What are some of YOUR favorite 'quiet movies?'

Monday, August 9, 2010

And the Winner is...

 Thanks to everyone who entered my giveaway contest! Many of you sent out Twitters and Facebook messages, posted the contest on your blog, and featured my book and book trailer. (And a couple bloggers still have the cover art and trailer in their sidebar - you guys rock!) I really appreciate everyone who participated - the response was overwhelming! And the winner of a copy of CassaStar and an upcoming feature is... Angela McCallister at Jaded Love Junkie Congratulations!!! I hope you enjoy my book. (Really - I mean that!) Thanks again to my blogger buddies and new followers. Damn, what on earth will I do if I hit 300 followers???

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Ladies, Don't Read This Post!

Damn, you're reading it anyway, aren't you?
Okay, don't say I didn't warn you!
What you're about to see are some guy truths. Real stuff. About as deep as it gets.
First, I have to confess, I am not a 'typical' guy. I don't hunt and fish. I don't live for Nascar. I don't go out of my way to hang out with the guys. So, I won't be disclosing any of those types of truths. (Although guys, feel free to add your two cents!)
The Truth About Men:
When we appear to be deep in thought, we're thinking about nothing.
It's not that we don't notice details. We just don't care.
When we shop, we know what we want, we buy it, and then we go home. And in as little time as possible!
The last words we want to hear - "We need to talk." Because I guarantee we will do very little of the talking!
We respond well to 'please' and 'thank you.' Okay, doe eyes helps, too.
When we're out with a woman, we always notice the other women around us. The smart guys never turn their heads, though.
And finally, somewhere in the back of our minds we are always thinking, "Sex would be nice..."
So there you have it! And before you attack me, my wife did approve this list. Okay, she helped me write it, too...
And last chance to win a free copy of CassaStar! See link in sidebar.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Writing Exposition and Description

I don't claim to possess expertise when it comes to writing. I follow numerous bloggers who excel in that role and can direct you to their sites. However, I do know what I like to read. (And I'm sure that reflects in my writing.)

I'm not a fan of lengthy exposition or description. A basic account is all I require. I have a good imagination and can fill in the details. (Must be all those movies I watch - I've a lot of images upon which to draw!)

Some authors are masters of descriptions, using eloquent words and phrases. It's an art form I admire. However, without action or character interaction, long expositions bore me. I appreciate what the author is trying to convey, but it's dull reading.

What really gets me is when an author describes an item or scene in detail that has no relevance to the story. An entire page devoted to a character that just flits in and out and is never seen again I can do without. I recall one book where the author spent a whole page describing a character's dress - and then she was gone. Like a UFO sighting, except less interesting. (Okay, not interesting at all!)

Heavy description will never be my style. I know there's areas in need of improvement, like world-building, but I don't intend to become the next Dan Simmons with my writing. (Unless someone wants me to write a book about the lovely Kate Beckinsale, and then I will do my best!)

What about my blogger friends? How much exposition do you like in your reading or writing?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The End is Near!!

Chuck at Apocalypse Now gave me the End of Days Award! Chuck blogs about signs of the apocalypse using news and graphs, so if you need a good laugh, be sure to visit his blog daily.

What would I do if I knew the end was coming on 12-21-2012?

Make sure I finished playing Starcraft II!
Watch all the movies I haven’t seen yet. Oh, wait, I’ve already done that.
Watch all my favorite movies again! One can never get enough Serenity or Aliens.
Finish the sequel to CassaStar and soon! (Hey, we don’t have much time.)
Take all my money and buy a fast sports car and drive around like a maniac – speed limits be damned!
And last but not least – lots of sex! Okay, that one would be on my list whether the world was ending or not.

Now, I pass this on to Cheesboy, Mr. Stupid, and Confessions of a Watery Tart! What would you do with your final days?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Did You Know...?

Just entertaining and interesting news from around the web... New Terry Brooks novel due out on August 24, 2010 - Bearers of the Black Staff (Legends of Shannara) Sharktopus makes an appearance in Futurama!  Lame movie news - Columbia Pictures is in negotiations with Len Wiseman (Underworld) to direct a reboot of Total Recall. Yes, the 1990 movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Apparently we didn’t have special effects back in 1990. Why else remake the film? Three people are suing Apple over ‘overheating’ iPads. The iPad automatically shuts down when used in temperatures or direct sunlight over 95 degrees for extended periods of time. This is to prevent damage to the unit. Now, you make think this is an issue with users or that the unit has failed to shut down before the heat causes permanent damage. Not true! Prepare for the real reason these people are suing: “The plaintiffs seem to take particular issue with Apple claiming that "reading on the iPad is just like reading a book." This claim is patently false, according to the lawsuit, because a real book can be used in "the sunlight or other normal environmental conditions" without shutting off.” - CNN.com Is that petty or what? I’m sure Kindle and Nook lawsuits will follow. Let's see how fast Amazon and Barnes and Nobel's legal department can move to remove the words "just like a book" from all literature! New albums coming within the next year from the following bands: Anthrax – Worship Music Serenity – Death & Legacy Symphony X OSI Fates Warning And… Rush – Clockwork Angels, due out Spring of 2011!!

July 29th was Geddy Lee’s birthday! The dude is fifty-seven - can you believe that?

Last but not least, I am visiting Breakthrough Blogs on Monday, sharing a little bit about my publishing journey. Stephen also has a new book coming out, so visit his site to learn more! Anything else of interest happening in the world of entertainment? Platytigers taking over the world perhaps? (Now that would be quite a sight!)