Monday, March 7, 2016

Zootopia Review, Meeting Shannara’s Terry Brooks, MST3K/RiffTrax News, IWSG News, Monday Music Moves Me, New Releases, an Why is Everyone Sick?

Zootopia Movie Review

This animated film was really refreshing!
There was thought behind the plot. It was complex, more like a live action film than an anime. Zootopia focused on plot and character development beyond your average animated film.
Amazing animation as well. The different zones of zootopia were cool and certain scenes almost appeared real. The animals are very expressive and the animators used every aspect of their bodies.
A lot of the humor was aimed at adults, poking fun at pop culture. (Listen for the Breaking Bad reference!) So, between the plot and the humor, there is a lot here for adults as well as kids.
It also had a nice message of equality that was integrated into the storyline and never shoved down our throats.
Really a gem of a film.
Highly recommended!

Question of the Month

Hosted by Michael at A Life Examined

The question is - “Have you ever met an idol/influence/someone you really admire? How did it go?”

Around twenty-five years ago, I had the opportunity to meet Terry Brooks, author of the Shannara series. He was visiting a local bookstore and there were only about a hundred people.

It was a really pleasant experience! Brooks was super nice and sported a big smile. He seemed truly excited to meet his fans. He even asked me what books I’d read and which ones I enjoyed the most.

I still have that book – The Druid of Shannara – and the experience further cemented my admiration for Terry Brooks and love of the series he created.

Yeah, too bad MTV’s Chronicles of Shannara has turned into Fifty Shades of Shannara…

Insecure Writer’s Support Group News

First, my good buddy, Pat Hatt, is over at the IWSG Site today! Want a big following on Twitter? Between Pat and the Cat, they have over 150,000 followers. Visit the site to find out how Pat did it.

Second, we need IWSG Co-Hosts for April and May! Since next month is the A to Z Challenge, we’ll need at least six to seven co-hosts, and at the moment, we only have three. We’ll also need them in May, after everyone’s wiped out from the Challenge. If you can help either month, please leave a comment!

Third, we have a special gift for those who sign up for the IWSG newsletter! We compiled the top five articles from the site into one handy eBook – Fast Five – An IWSG Gift. Those of you already signed up should have received an email last Friday with a link to where you can download either the ePub, Mobi, or pdf. (And if you didn’t get one, check your spam file. If not, you might need to sign up if we have an incorrect email from the IWSG list.)
If you’re not getting the IWSG Newsletter, now is a great time to sign up! Do so HERE.
Thanks to all the admins for making this happen, especially Chrys for the graphic, Diane for formatting, and Lynda for coming up with the cool title.

And finally, please remember that IWSG is the first Wednesday of each month. Please make sure you post that day and that the post is front and center when people land on your page. (Squeaking it in late Tuesday night or sometime Thursday if you forget is acceptable.)

MST3K / RiffTrax News

Remember last December when I reviewed the RiffTrax: Live show of Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny?
If you could project all the random thoughts inside a mental facility onto a screen, you’d come up with Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny.
Well, now you watch it at home! The film that beats Manos: Hands of Fate for worst movie ever made is available at RiffTrax. Don’t miss the fun!

Be sure to check out their main page for all the latest releases, including a new MYST3K release very Monday. They also have the complete Film Crew season, and collections such as Oscar Winners, National Geographic, Twilight, Transformers, and Star Trek. (Because the ONLY way to watch the Star Wars Holiday Special is with the help of RiffTrax.)

Monday Music Moves Me

Hosted by Xmas Dolly.

It’s a freebie this week, so I went to the vault and found this treasure by Marillion – Easter. It’s not an actual video, so just let it play and enjoy this beautiful song.
And next week the theme is my choice – and I went with guitar solo!

New Releases

The Not-So-Innocents Abroad by Roland Yeomans
I’d hosted Roland last week for his Don’t You Hate Book Tours tour, and now the book is available!
Pick it up on Amazon

Big Yearnings by Christine Rains
The first book in the Sasquatch Susies series.
Find it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Ellora’s Cave

One Final Question

It seems everyone has the flu right now. They’re sick, the kids are sick, they’ve been sick all winter…

Why is that? My wife and I get either a cold or the flu about once every four years. Maybe every five years. Why is everyone else sick all the time? Is it because we don’t have kids? Is it because we eat healthy, exercise, and take vitamins? Is it because we’ve told God we just don’t have time to be sick? I’d really like to know the secret so we can bottle it and make a fortune!

Did you see Zootopia? Ever met someone you admired? (Ever met Terry Brooks?) Can you help co-host the IWSG? Did you get your Fast Five gift? Ready to try RiffTrax’s Santa and the Ice Cram Bunny? Ready to rock the guitar solo next Monday? And why does everyone else get sick but we don’t?

I have work meetings the latter half of this week, so you might not see me around as much. Please think about me as I sit in yet another meeting, bored out of my mind…


Rhonda Albom said...

Am I really first? I haven't seen Zootopia, but after reading your review, I think I will - although I haven't seen Breaking Bad, so I hope I get the humor. I have met a few famous people, years ago, but I usually don't come off too well. I also have to see the Santa and the Ice Cram Bunny.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Zootopia sounds fun! I'll put that on my list.

Didn't realize you'd met Terry Brooks! Glad that he made the experience a nice one for you. (Although it's too bad about Fifty Shades of Shannara!)

ediFanoB said...

My wife caught a flu twice in the past months and I got nothing.
I always tell my wife that I do not have time for a flu because there is so much work which needs to be done.

I never met someone I admire.

In Germany Zootopia has been renamed. New name is Zoomania.
I will have a look when it comes to TV.

mshatch said...

I'll have to put Zootopia on my list. I saw the previews and they looked like they could be good and I do love a good animated film. I usually get some kind of cold or something once a year. I think it helps if you don't have kids because kids go to school and interact with hundreds of other kids and families and bring all those germs home. The less people you come into contact with the better your chance of not getting sick.

Nice you got meet Terry Brooks!

Stephanie Faris said...

I can co-host in May if you haven't found your people yet.

I don't miss work meetings! Now I run from them. If a new client wants to interview me before hiring me to write for him, I usually will say I'm too busy to take on new clients. I've learned that those who want to interview are also often the ones who want to "get on a call" all the time...which means constant meetings. Nope. That's the good thing about being a freelancer...I get to pick the people I work with!

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

My son is interested in seeing Zootopia, but we didn't go this weekend. I have to figure out when we can go.

I haven't met Terry Brooks, but I did meet Patricia McKillip at WisCon one year, and she was pleasant.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Rhonda, there's enough pop culture references that you'll get most of them.

Elizabeth, I did!

Edi, I wonder why they changed the name?

Marcy, glad we don't have kids then.

Stephanie, thanks! And avoid the meetings.

Mary Aalgaard said...

I forgot about the Q of the Month. I still might do it. We don't get sick here, much, either. Occasional cold or stomach bug, but even that is rare. We exercise some, more for the boys during swim season. We eat very well. But, mostly, we don't worry about it too much. I might go see Zootopia after your great review.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

My husband and I rarely get sick. We get the occasional cold but that's about it (knock wood!) We don't have kids either so I bet that's part of it.

I can co-host in April if you need people. Just let me know.

Christine Rains said...

Maybe I'll have to take my son to see Zootopia over his spring break next week. Thanks for the review! I did meet George R.R. Martin, before the Game of Thrones show came out. I lost my voice when I tried to talk to him! But he was very nice even though the signing had to be rushed because of the long line. Thanks so much for the shout-out! If you still need another co-host next month, let me know. (I know that would be two months in a row, but if you need extra help, I can do April. The last month I have free until the next school year starts up!) Before I had a kid, I rarely got sick. So I think that's the key.

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm sure we'll be watching zootopia. Lana and I love some animated stuff.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Yeah, Pat!!! I'll go see what he has to say.

I will more than likely see Zootopia. Grandkids and all.

Don't know what to say about all the sickness. Working in a school that is a normal life.


Sarah Foster said...

I get colds very easily but haven't had the flu since I was in high school, I think. Maybe earlier. Maybe having or being around kids does make it easier to get!
I'm not sure if I even have any idols to meet. I did meet my favorite actor once, which was cool, except I had no idea what to say. But then again, I don't know what to say to most people.
Good luck with those boring meetings! I would probably use time like that to brainstorm a new story :P

L.G. Keltner said...

There has definitely been more illness in our house since we had kids. Kids are germ magnets.

I know I co-hosted relatively recently (back in January), but I can co-host in April, or May for that matter. Whenever would be most helpful, just let me know! It'll be a busy time for everyone, and I actually tend to be more motivated when I'm already busy.

nashvillecats2 said...

Wonderful post full of news and fun.
I've met Danny Boy.....a couple of hundred times he is someone I really admire.
Will pop over to Pat's blog later.

Tamara Narayan said...

I saw Zootopia yesterday and loved it! It was so much meatier than any other cartoon movie with story, character, and action. I loved how they dealt with race and so many other issues. I haven't enjoyed a kid's movie this much since Tangled.

I could co-host in May.

Just Keepin It Real, Folks! said...

I have never cohosted before, but would be glad to if you think I'm worthy. We also rarely get sick, are firm believers in the flu shot, vitamins, exercise, but are not germaphobes. Go figure!

Gail said...

Some would say you should have never said, We never get sick...

Look forward to Zootopia...when it comes out on tv.

Have a blessed week.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I have never read the Shannara books. I really should. (Mental note: Put them on next library list.)

As for getting sick -- yes, it's kids!!! As a teacher, I got all kinds of germy gifts from my students.

Shell Flower said...

Cool that you met Terry Books. I think you don't get sick mostly because you live a healthy lifestyle, but not having kids really helps. When I was a teacher I got sick a lot, and my son also used to bring sickness home from school. Stress is a big issue, too. I haven't been sick since I left my crappy job a couple years ago.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Meetings are the worst. Loved the music. I think people with kids do get sick more but certainly eating right helps. I've only had the flu maybe 2 or 3 times in my life. Maybe some of us have better immune systems. Even when teaching when the flu would slam into the student body and faculty, I never got sick.
I will help co-host in May if there are still unfilled spots. Don't think I can take it on in April though in a pinch I'll forego eating and sleeping that day if need be. Let me know when I can best help.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Ha! Ha! Wouldn't your wife and you love to make a fortune on not getting sick. We get a flu shot every year and never get the flu. My daughter has gotten lots of colds probably from being exposed in close quarters and having a too stressful life that kids seem to have. Healthy living even with stress helps me stay healthy.

Shady Del Knight said...

<< Ever met someone you admired? >>

Hi, Alex!

I met Tiny Tim, the eccentric singer and uke player who became famous singing "Tiptoe Through the Tulips." I admired Tiny Tim because he was refreshingly original - one of a kind - not an imitation of someone else or a follower of popular trends. I met Tiny in the mid 80s when he came to the studios of the TV station where I worked and appeared as a guest on our morning talk show. Upon meeting me, Tiny bowed his head and upper body to show respect and addressed me formally as "Mr. Anderson." He was as gentle and humble in person as he always appeared to be on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and other network talk and music variety shows of the 60s and 70s. Sadly, Tiny Tim died 10 years later at the age of 64, younger than I am now.

cleemckenzie said...

I love animated films. And I'll stop in to see what Pat has to say today.

Pat Hatt said...

Always great when they turn out to be humble and nice, authors tend to be more than other so called famous people it seems. Zootopia sounds great indeed. With the germs if you don't he little germy magnet poo machines around, you're safer lol but just washing your hands, eating right, and exercising works as well. Kids are the main thing though.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - Sadly Zootopia isn't on my list .. plenty of other films to see ... I gather Hail Caesar is quite good ... I can't say I've met someone famous who I've spent much time with .. one day perhaps.

Healthy - I guess I am .. I rarely get colds, flu or other bugs ... had a cold this year - everyone else is still out for the count. I do eat well, I could do more exercise ... and I could lose weight ... late January goals - cheers Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Mary, maybe that's the secret.

Madeline, thanks! I need people.

Christine, cool you met him. Thanks for the offer to co-host again! And I guess kids just carry germs.

Karen, I'd like to believe that!

Sarah, I'll probably be doing a lot of reading. In secret, of course.

LG, thanks! I'll take you up on that offer.

Tamara, it was! And thanks.

Deb, thanks! Are you an IWSG member?

Gail, I'm still not getting sick!

Dianne, I knew it!

Shell, stress will do it.

Susan, May would be awesome.

Shady, cool you met him. And that is way too young to die.

kaykuala said...

Zootopia obviously is a good bet. Animation these days are better than the real thing, such is technology! It would be fun to meet an author who is friendly and nice. Obviously can inspire to emulate them. Looking forward to the IWSG gift. Thanks Alex!


Yolanda Renée said...

You are blessed with good health!

But yeah, kids are the bringer of illness. Although I went in for a minor procedure and the doctor preforming it sneezed three times and blew his nose once before I went under. Several days later I've got the flu and a week and a half later I'm still feeling it! Don't think I can blame the kids for his one! :)

Stay well!

Bish Denham said...

I've seen the previews for Zootopia and am looking forward to some giggles. Got my fast five.I can't remember the last time I had a cold or the flu, well over ten years. I attribute it to taking zinc which is an immune booster.

I'll co-host in May if you still need help.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Zootopia was cute.

I've got a lot of signed books that I'll never get rid of.

I still say people with kids get sick far more often.

Huntress said...

I'm leery of Zootopia. I keep looking for another Up or The Incredibles and keep falling for Frozen and Inside Out.
With your comments, I'll give it a whirl :)

Sick - so far, *knock on wood* the creeping crud and all its minions have passed us by. Maybe its genetics. Or the vitamins. Or wearing garlic like vampire hunters. said...

Pat Hatt gives good advice, and he doesn't even charge much for it. Zootopia sounds and looks fun.
Stay healthy and have a great week, Alex.

Chrys Fey said...

How neat that you met Terry Brooks!

I actually came up with the title with help from Lynda's examples using the number 5. :) I just didn't want to correct anyone in the emails...didn't want to be picky. But if she hadn't offered those examples, I wouldn't have come up with Fast Five. :)

Joanne said...

I do think lack of exposure to the petri dish of kids helps. Stay healthy my friend. I shall have to see Zootopia -too nice this weekend to go. We were cleaning out garage and shed. No doubt during your work meetings you are out of your mind and exploring new galaxies - I see more stories in your future. Good luck with the week. We might have rain here and that's exciting!!

Al Penwasser said...

If the trailer for "Zootopia" is any indication, it looks like a fantastic movie.

Ann Bennett said...

You need kids to get a real snotty cold. Tonsillitis that reoccurs seems to last forever. Meanwhile, you eventually get a great immunity system going. Every one gets sick at the house but me.

I'll have to check out Zootopia.

SpacerGuy said...

Zootopia looks exciting, I love furry animated animals - they're sweet and friendly and don't infect you with any bugs - just laughter!

Toi Thomas said...

Zootopia sounds like a good film. I will have to check it out.

Sorry to hear about the Shannara series.

That was a nice song. Thanks for sharing it.

I’m sick a lot because I work with kids in my day job and my husband works with the elderly in his day job. We have actually learned how to function through our illnesses. Unless we actually get the flu, which I got for the first time in four years last year and he got this year, we don’t let illness get to us too much.

I do suffer from an immune deficiency, but if I let that stop me, I’d have to just give up and become bedridden… Nope, not for me, but it does get hard sometimes.

Anonymous said...

I'll help co-host ISGW either month. I've been wanting to do it again since the first time I volunteered and it was fun. =)

All the reviews I've heard about Zootopia have been good. I really need to see it. =|

M.J. Fifield said...

I'd be happy to help host IWSG some month, if you still need people.

I keep hearing good things about Zootopia. I definitely have to see it.

Neither my significant other or I have been sick since we moved south. We don't have any kids, either, so maybe that's part of it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Yolanda, that sucks the doctor made you sick.

Bish, thanks!

Huntress, I do like garlic.

Chrys, sorry about that! There were so many emails.

Toi, can't let it stop you!

Patricia, awesome!

MJ, thanks.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I went to see Whiskey Tango Foxtrot this weekend. It was entertaining.

As for the flu...yes, it is the kids. I blame everything on the kids- lack of money, lack of time, lack of sleep, lack of's all their faults.

Susan Kane said...

My family--gr-daughters & their parents, husband and me--saw Zootopia on Saturday. Theater was jam packed with many adults on their own, along with those with kids. It's been a long time since I've heard robust adult laughter. It is an excellent film on so many levels.

I met Arnold Swarzennger 37 years ago in a parking lot. I was 8 mo. pregnant and asked for an autograph. He was carrying two bags of groceries, and I said I would hold them while he signed. He looked at my round baby bump, and then handed the groceries to Maria (future wife).

Fundy Blue said...

Happy Monday, Alex! How wonderful to have met Terry Brooks. I have been fortunate to meet many inspiring authors of children's books; but for authors that inspire the adult me ~ It is a toss-up between Stephen J. Gould and Dan Simmons. It was a thrill to have Gould sign "Wonderful Life" for me ~ probably my favorite paleontology book ever on the amazing fossils of the Burgess Shale. And Simmons! One of my favorite writers period! His Hyperion series and his Ilium/Olympos series! Wow! I'm afraid with Simmons I was an awestruck fan, but he was very humble and chatted with me about his then newest book Illium which my nephew had just sent me. I can co=host in May, if you need someone. I will be home and not traveling until mid-May. Have a good one!

Julie Flanders said...

I've heard nothing but great things about Zootopia. Definitely one to see.
I've noticed tons of people sick right now too. Not sure why I've been lucky so far but I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed it keeps up.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Interesting question about being sick. I do think having kids in school is one reason as they bring home the germs. Still, I believe when a person is run down, regardless of age, then their systems won't be able to resist whatever it is that's going around. We had a houseful of kids and neither we nor our children were sick to the extent of what we saw in other families. I think it was homemade food, regular meals and most important of all plenty of sleep. This one family we know were always sick and guess what their bedtime was? Midnight and beyond, even for the young children in the family!

D.G. Hudson said...

I want to see Zootopia even more now, Alex!

In answer to the 'sick' question, the more people you are around, the more exposure you get to various germs: public transport, office washroom doors, handoffs of paperwork or other items from co-workers, and kids who are in school or daycare. Also, to combat the villains: the things you mentioned plus washing hands frequently even after groc shopping because you have handled the grocery kart handles. We don't have to become germaphobic. Taking care of our bodies keeps our immune system healthier. I get colds about the same frequency as you, very seldom, I always get a flu shot, and I combat any early warning signs with a vitamin and juices like cranberry.

Mason Canyon said...

Zootopia sounds interesting. Congrats to everyone with new releases. There does seem to be more people sick with the flu or cold these days. Maybe it's because we don't slow down and take care of ourselves and are constantly on the go spreading the sickness we have.

Karen Peterson said...

I'm so glad you liked Zootopia! As soon as that Breaking Bad scene started, I knew where they were going with it and I was cracking up before they even finished the joke.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I loved Terry Brooks' non-fiction book on writing: Sometimes The Magic Works. I wonder how he feels about what they've done to his storyline.

Thanks for mentioning my book again. Maybe one day, I will get my first sale! :-) Best of sales to Christine Rains.

Ever since I started taking Echinacea/Goldenseal capsules, I haven't gotten any bad cases of the flu. D.G. is right: the more you are exposed to people and the more your inner circle meet people, the higher the odds you will get sick. Arrrgh! :-)

Stephen Tremp said...

Zootopia was a fun film. Loved the sloths running the DMV. That would explain a lot.

Suzanne Furness said...

I work with kids so it is very hard to avoid all the bugs going around! Usually coughs and colds and that kind of thing. On the whole I bounce back quite easily and haven't had to have any time off through illness in a couple of years or more. It's part of the job I guess!

Elephant's Child said...

Count your lucky stars if you don't get sick. No children undoubtedly helps, as does the healthy eating, exercise caper but I am pretty certain there is some luck involved too. It only takes one person to sneeze in your direction...

Birgit said...

Zootopia sounds excellent and I do want to see it. Love the sloths (that I saw in a preview). I shook the hand of Ken Taylor who was the Canadian Ambassador to Iran and helped several Americans escape Iran. He had them stay at the Canadian embassy and, after, came to our High School to talk about his experience. I was enthralled by the danger he willingly chose to do to help out. Very few people have that bravery. I always got sick but now, I don't get sick as often and it doesn't last for months. I take a variety of vitamins, I eat healthier (I would often skip eating because it got in the way and i am not a food nut), I have hand sanitizer since I see many clients and I have no kids!

Nilanjana Bose said...

Zootopia is on my list! Love animated films.

I got the flu this year real bad, after years and years, can't remember the previous time, or being this ill. Yes, I picked it up nursing the kiddo, he was up in two days, I was down for three weeks :)

You are blessed with good health. May you always be so blessed.

XmasDolly said...

What a beautiful tune! Thanks for sharing that new tune with me I've never heard it before. Your review on Zootopia very cool... I'm supposed to go see it with my granddaughters maybe this weekend... not sure. I can't wait to see it. My poor dog was sort of runned over last Thursday some guy backed up in our drive-away and being the asphalt is black and so is she (she's a black lab & her name is Baby), he said he didn't see her said a few filthy words and called me a few of them because my dog was outside not on a leash, and on my own property doing her business like she does every single morning. grrrrrrr and then he took off... what a jerk. We're goin' to bring her to the Vet we think maybe her leg is broke or maybe even her hip... so sad. Poor thing. Thanks for joining us today! HUGS HAVE A GREAT DAY!

Michelle aka Naila Moon said...

I want to see Zootopia as well. Soon maybe.
Anyway, your tune is lovely and one I had not heard before.

I cannot wait to see what I come up with for your theme next week.

Rock on!

Naila Moon

Sheena-kay Graham said...

I plan to see Zootopia either this or next week. Heard a lot of good things about it including the deep plot. Glad you enjoyed it Alex. Ready to be a co-host in May. If that gets too packed I'll gladly help in June. I get sick way too easy. Find that secret and bottle it!

Jeffrey Scott said...

April is going to be WAY to busy for me, but perhaps I can assist in May? After April/May I may be going blog light to work on some writing. So let me know if May works for you.

A Beer for the Shower said...

I'm still not sold on Zootopia. Maybe when it comes to DVD.

Glad to hear your meeting with Terry Brooks was a good one. So many celebrity meetings I've heard/read about are always disappointing.

As for the health thing, I'm convinced it's the kid thing. Most of our friends have kids, and they all get sick at LEAST 3-4 times a year... and it always starts with the kids. Pretty much as a rule of thumb if the kids get sick, the parents will be sick within hours. Meanwhile, I can't even remember the last time I was sick. Nor can my cohort, or either of our wives, and we're around other people constantly. Ah... feels good, man.

Beate said...

I haven't seen Zootopia yet but it was just now added to my list of movies I want to see :D Thank you for the recommendation!
I need to go over to Twitter now (I'm a little late here since I created my account only two weeks ago LOL) and check out Pat ;) 150,000 followers is amazing!
That Easter song is awesome.
I do believe that a healthy lifestyle helps greatly with fighting off the flu and a cold :)
Have an amazing week, Alex!
Best wishes,

J E Oneil said...

It's not really my kind of movie, but I've heard people say good things about the message of Zootopia, and that it wasn't even overdone. And I'm glad that you had a good experience meeting an idol. :)

The Angry Lurker said...

Peter Morwood of The Horse Lords fame (favorite series) wrote 3 in the series but the 4th one he introduced and shit element and when he had a book signing in Dublin I wanted to go and punch him in the face!

Andrew Leon said...

I want to say that we're going to go see Zootopia at the theater, but I don't actually know that that will happen.

stephen Hayes said...

I keep hearing people raving about Zootopia and really must make an effort to see it.

Carrie-Anne said...

I'm constantly getting colds and allergy attacks, particularly at this time of year. I always make sure to get my flu shot. It's so bizarre how I get sick so easily, and also have eczema and dysmenorrhea, yet somehow evaded chickenpox until I was fourteen, one year before the vaccine finally came out.

Cherie Reich said...

I'm glad to hear Zootopia is good. It looks like such a cute movie. And I think you don't get sick as much because you don't have kids. Kids are germ factories. I've rarely been sick since high school and even less since I started taking OTC allergy medicine a few years ago.

Claire Hennessy said...

So great to see you still on form with your blogging. Seriously impressive. AND do I see some new books from you at the top? Don't know how you find the time. Going to try and stay back in the blogging world again if I can.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Elizabeth, bummer, I wish I could blame kids for all that.

Susan, wow, now that's quite a story!

Karen, and that's just crazy.

DG, I am a compulsive hand washer, which is good since I am exposed to a lot of people every week.

Karen, you got it!

Roland, my wife takes echinacea.

Birgit, awesome! And I know the story - it was the movie Argo.

Marie, I'm sorry! What a jerk. I hope your Baby is all right.

Naila, I'll make it a good one!

Sheena-kay, thanks!

Jeffrey, that would be great.

Brandon and Bryan, feels good to be free of kids, doesn't it? And Zootopia was worth it.

Beate, am I following you on Twitter? Glad you liked Easter.

Fran, if you had, that would make for one wild story.

Carrie-Anne, bummer.

Jenni said...

Zootopia sounds really good. I'm amazed that you never get sick. I'm sure it's because you guys exercise and eat right. Kids must be a factor too. Before kids, I was a teacher, so I've never gone long without being sick. :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

I haven't seen Zootopia yet, I think we used up our March movie money with going to see Risen with 30 or so other interested youth group members and some parents from our church . . . and we liked it. :)

I think you've discovered the key reasons you don't get sick often. Healthy living, plenty of water, and rest seem to be some of the key ingredients for staying healthy. It also helps if you don't have any recurring health problems or allergy/immune system type problems. I don't think it's something you can bottle, it's a combination of healthy lifestyle and good genes. (My immune system likes to attack my gut and my thyroid gland, and immune issues run in my family - rheumatoid arthritis, Chron's disease, etc. so I really need to get my healthy lifestyle back into place.

Unknown said...

I thought the sloth trailer for Zootopia was genius. Just picking one hilarious scene and playing it in its entirety... It had a better effect on me than any other trailer before.

That's fantastic that you had such a great experience with Brooks. I hope I get to do that with someone I admire one day.

Jemi Fraser said...

Elf Queen of Shannara was my favourite! Glad to hear Terry Brooks is a nice guy!!
Zootopia looks so awesome!

Erika Beebe said...

Hi Alex. I plan to see Zootopia this weekend and I will let you know. This past weekend I saw The Gods of Egypt. I really liked it. And let's see... The sick question, I think you two must have super immune systems. I have a really crappy one. But that's ok. I take vitamins and work out religiously but it never fails...any sign of sickness in the stars...bam. I get it. You and your wife are quite fortunate. :)

DMS said...

I love animated movies and have been curious about Zootopia. So glad to hear it was awesome. Can't wait to see it now! :)

Botanist said...

Saw a trailer for Zootopia (a scene with the sloths) - hilarious. On the "must see" list.

Lots of people going down sick at work. Kids at school don't help, and stress is a big factor IMO. Glad you're able to stay healthy.

Liz A. said...

I've heard only good things about Zootopia. Be grateful you don't get sick. It could also be you're not around people who are constantly spreading germs. Except you said everyone around you seems to be sick, so maybe that's not it... Hmmm...

Karen Lange said...

My 8 year old grandson wants to see Zootopia, so I'm glad to hear it is a winner. Haven't had a chance to check out the IWSG newsletter yet. It's on my list for the week!

Arlee Bird said...

My wife is a kindergarten teacher so she's around a lot of sick kids. Last Wednesday she came home with flu and then I got it. We both spent the weekend home sick. Why do I even bother with that stupid flu shot? Now I'm hoping my flu will go away soon.

A book signing seems like a good place to meet an author. Several years ago when there was still a Borders in the shopping center across the street from where I live, Oscar de la Hoya was there to sign his book. I thought about going, but then when I looked out our back window I could see a line that stretched for several blocks. No way was I going to wait in that line so I settled for looking out the window now and then to see how much the line had dwindled. Some of those people had to wait a long time. Not worth the wait to me.

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see Zootopia. I've met some favorite authors and it's always been a pleasant and inspiring experience.

Truedessa said...

Hi Alex,

First, I really enjoyed the song, perfect tonight in so many ways. I have been sick off and on for the last month. I had a terrible stomach flu. No kids here so I blame it on work as co-workers with kids bring in germs. You are blessed with good health. Wishing you a great week!

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Zootopia sounds like a great movie. Will try to see it.
I'm fortunate that I haven't had the flu in years. I take the flu shot every year. Guess that helps.
I've never met anyone famous, but I admire a lot of nonfamous people.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

LOL, Fifty Shades of Shannara. Boy did that series ever end up weird. Ah well, at least Terry Brooks was happy with it.

Elizabeth said...

Zootopia sounds like fun, great review! That's cool that you met Terry Brooks; it's refreshing when famous authors (or any famous people, for that matter) are kind and excited with their fans.

As for getting sick, I think after teaching kindergarten one year and then working at a pharmacy, I have built up a pretty high immunity to some of the severe illnesses like the flu, but I do still get cold and sinus issues every once in a while. I think I get sick because of the high amount of stress at my job and I deal with sick people all day. I think it's you and your wife's healthy eating and exercise habits and you enjoy your work, which I believe reduces stress. So, keep doing whatever you're doing, and stay well!

Helena said...

I'm so impressed with how so many animated films these days work on two level: one for kids and another for adults. But Zootopia sounds like a whole other level of sophistication.

I'm glad you got to meet Terry Brooks. One of my regrets is that I never tried to contact writers I've admired just to tell them thanks for their stories, and now a few of them have passed on.

Ray Rousell said...

Everyone's been ill in my house, trouble is not all at the same time, we keep passing the germs back to each other,it seems an endless cycle of coughing and spluttering has been infecting the house since early February!! cough cough......!
I have seen a few clips of Zootopia and it looks a classic, my kids can't wait to see it, its a shame because it means I'll have to take them to the cinema to see it hehehe!

Cathy Keaton said...

I just hope Zootopia is worth seeing. So many Disney CG movies are just there, but don't really impact anything for me. I'm willing to see them if they are very good, though.

J.H. Moncrieff said...

I actually have met Terry Brooks. He once came to the Surrey International Writers' Conference, which I've attended for seven years. Such a nice guy, and so funny. I wish he would come back!

At the same conference, I also met Chuck Wendig. I told him I was a huge fan of his blog, and he's been incredibly supportive ever since. I knew he was different when I bumped into him the following day and he not only remembered me, he knew I wrote horror and a bunch of other details that showed he'd taken the time to look me up. Since then, Chuck has boosted my signal whenever possible. I hope I have the chance to pay that forward one day.

Jeremy [Retro] said...

Got to say, being sick has not been a fun time this year... it knocked me on my butt. Well you know, I have been slowly getting back into the game... it's been a long road.

I am not one for the animated films, though off topic watched "BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS" parts one and two... it was made a few years ago and it was pretty darn good. I think I would see ZOOTOPIA on video, the last one in the show was "THE INCREDIBLES" you know the whole super hero thingy.

thank for everything...


Nicola said...

Three years ago, I was lucky enough to meet and spend time with Romance Novelist Katie Fforde. She is the most humble and loveliest person I have ever met.

I used to get flu every year, sometimes twice when I worked with children. Since leaving the school environment, I haven't suffered since. Three years, flu free! YAY!!

Have a great week!

Leovi said...

Interesanting Marillion video!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Claire! Yes, I have four now, plus a boxed set.

Tyrean, bummer. You do need to take care of yourself.

Erika, we're blessed I guess.

Lee, definitely not worth waiting that long.

Helena, time to do that then.

JH, it's cool when you meet someone genuine like that.

Nicola, knock on wood!

Dean K Miller said...

Zootopia sounds cool. Nice to see they put effort into it.

I meet someone I admire every day. Everyone has struggles, some more harder to overcome than others. I am blessed in life and when I see another who is facing hard times, working hard to overcome them, has a smile when others wouldn't, I admire them . . . and those that reach out to help them. In my work with veterans through PHWFF, I meet heroes every trip.

Murees Dupè said...

Thank you so much for the free e-book. You guys work really hard. I'm available to co-host, if you still need someone. My family usually brings their cold and flu germs from work, or from the public transport they commute with. Yucky, I know. So I think that's why we all get sick. Also, we do not take vitamins;(

Tonja Drecker said...

Sounds like it's time to take the kids to the movies! This year, we've been surprisingly healthy and only got hit with one or two rounds. The kids are getting older, which helps, and living out in the boonies probably doesn't hurt either. Congrats to Roland and Christine!

Rachna Chhabria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachna Chhabria said...

Zootopia sounds fun, I am sure I'll enjoy it.Congrats to Roland and Christine.

I can be one of the IWSG co-hosts for April :)

Roland Clarke said...

I was lucky to meet and work with two incarnations of Doctor Who - Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker, my two favourite Doctors. Jon was on a promo for a SF show that never happened, and Tom did the voice over for a documentary I produced. Met two of the other Doctors - William Hartnell when I was a kind and he played cricket against my dad's team. Paul McGann in a pub to discuss a film...that never happened.

mail4rosey said...

I want to see Zootopia. I didn't realize it was in theaters already. I need to get with it. ;)

Patricia Stoltey said...

I've avoided colds and flu again this year, but did pick up some kind of intestinal upset on our recent 4-day road trip. It may be because we ate at a couple of places that could have flunked a health dept. inspection. It didn't last long though, so that's good.

I always get a flu shot, and when I go grocery shopping, I always use one of those antibacterial wipes on my cart handle and hands. Better safe than sorry.

A. B. Keuser said...

I think I'm going to drag my husband to the theater to see Zootopia this weekend (it's my birthday, he has to do whatever I say, right?) It wasn't really on my radar until they did a spot on it before a different movie (no idea which one) but that Bunny makes me smile, so I'm interested now.

Sherry Ellis said...

Glad to hear Zootopia is a good movie. My kids want to see that one.

Why don't you get sick? Well, my guess is that you eat healthy, exercise, and get enough sleep. And maybe not having kids or being around kids helps. I have a pretty strong immune system, but because I'm around kids all the time, and don't get enough sleep, I fight all the germs that come around. I don't get sick -sick, but it's enough to know I don't feel tip-top.

Hope your resistance continues!

Anonymous said...

I second your review of Zootopia. My kids and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Everything about it was well done from the animation to the spot-on social commentary. I think my favorite scene was at the very end when they revealed the driver of the speeding car. I laughed out loud.
Wow, you've met Terry Brooks? That is so cool.
Not having kids probably helps with not getting sick. Schools seem to be big germ factories. We don't get sick very often, but when we do, it's because one of the kids brought it home with them.

Mark said...

Zootopia does look pretty funny:) As for illnesses, I blame my kids...I used to very rarely get sick, but since my oldest started preschool at least one of us in our house is sick all the time (literally).

WritingNut said...

I'm glad you enjoyed Zootopia! I've been wanting to check it out, and now I will for sure!

Ah! I literally JUST got over the flu, and it was really bad! I haven't had it like this since 2010! I'd like you to bottle it too, please!

Patsy said...

Glad you're avoiding the flu - hope that continues.

Shadow said...

"the random thoughts inside a mental facility", this is the best review line I have ever read!!!!! I'm beyond curious, will check it out...

Sick. Yes. Answer those questions. I also want to know. We (hubby, me and the bean (my son)), also 'suffer' from not getting sick, whilst there are sniffles all around. But I shall not complain. I can fake a good sniffle on a cold, wet, rainy day which enables me to stay in bed and read, hee heee heee

Annalisa Crawford said...

Lovely song, listening to it right now!

Re the cold/flu thing - it's more likely to be the kids thing. I eat well and exercise, and don't get sick as often as some, but it's definitely more frequently than every 4/5 years.

H. R. Sinclair said...

I haven't seen Zootopia. I try to hide from sick people when I can, but sometimes that track me down and cough on me anyway. :(

Heather M. Gardner said...


I'm late, I'm sorry!

ZooTopia sounds much better now that you've reviewed it. Thank you!

I met Melissa Etheridge once. Very cool lady.
I also met the main guys from Orange County Choppers, not as cool in person.

I'd be happy to help co-host in April or May if you still need peeps. Just let me know. For you, anything. :)

Guitar solo next week? By you or a band? There are some really great ones out there.

Kids do bring home more germs, but we didn't over-sterilize everything so our son has a pretty tough immune system.

Have a great day, Alex!


Loni Townsend said...

Zootopia looks fun!

I'm going to say that not having kids probably plays a role in not getting sick. It also depends on how many people you interact with too. My husband used to work in a call-center fixing computers. It put him in contact with a lot of people, and therefore made him more prone to illness. Hopefully it'll be less prominent with his new job!

If you don't get enough takers for co-hosting, I'll do it either April or May. I'm not participating in A to Z. I just work so it's limits my online time.

farawayeyes said...

Zootopia - Thanks for a great review. I've wanted to see this one since I first saw the trailer with the sloths. It had me rolling in the aisles with laughter. Finally, what looks like an intelligent anima.

Wanted to let you know I really appreciate your continued support of my BOTB, so I left you an award at my most recent post. You may not have time or space to use it, but I wanted to be sure you did see it and know that I appreciate your votes.

On being sick. No kids in my house, although I do be lie they are all little typhoid Mary's - not their fault,just circumstances of their lives. I'm unfortunately sick a lot, but about fifteen years ago my immune system took a fantastic beating due to cancer treatment. Today I have an autoimmune disease and a pretty poor functioning immune system althogether, so if someone sneezes in the next county, I catch their cold/flu. Currently recovering from bronchitis. Yeah, it's a big bummer. I try, but often feel like I'm fighting a real uphill battle with health in general.

M Pax said...

I took a writing class from Ursula K. LeGuin several years ago. It was awesome. She was awesome.

We don't get sick often. Maybe once a year. My friend, the biochemist, says it has to do with how often you touch your face and wash your hands.

There's a crud that creeps around Bend every February. If you go out in public, it's unavoidable.

I would love to see Santa and the EAster Bunny. Bet I'd love it.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I'm suffering from my 2nd cold this year. I'm beginning to wonder if it's because I'm out of alignment somehow. Doesn't matter. I'm here if you need me to co-host in April I'm available for May, too.

Nick Wilford said...

Good to hear Zootopia is one everyone can enjoy.

Great story about Terry Brooks. All authors should make time for their fans. I treasure the time my mum took me to see Terry Pratchett give an hour long talk when I was about 13. It was way before his illness when he was at the peak of his writing powers, and he was witty and charming, including when signing books afterwards.

kjmckendry said...

I'm excited to see Zootopia with the kids, looks really cute! And yes I got my Fast Five gift, awesome!

I do think that exercise and healthy eating play a huge role in not getting sick. My husband and I usually don't get sick and even when we do it's mild and quick, but my kids who don't eat as healthy as we do get sick much more often.

Intangible Hearts said...

Nice music and loved knowing that Zootopia might be as cute as it looks. Glad you're never sick but it's funny when I read that you're bored at the meetings and probably wish you could take a sick day! LOL (I won't tell but I think you just blew your cover.)

Heather R. Holden said...

Haven't seen Zootopia yet, but it looks like a fun film. Glad you ended up enjoying it!

alexia said...

I did not even know Zootopia was coming out... sounds fun! I've met Neil Gaiman a couple times, and it was amazing. He's my biggest idol. What exactly is involved in being a co-host? I'm interested if you can shoot me the details.

Unknown said...

Zootopia sounds awesome in all respects. I can't wait to see it!

The opposite about 50 Shades of Shannarra, huh? I assume that means there's a lot of sex in it. I don't know who I'm more annoyed with: the executives who use sex to sell everything now or the disgusting lowest-common-denominator public who lap it up the same as they adore reality TV and the circus that's the Republican party atm. It's no wonder so many foreign countries consider Americans to be morally bankrupt.

Congrats to Roland and Christine for their new releases!

Chemist Ken said...

I wanted to see Zootopia, but nobody else in the family did. Too bad!

And I'm always up for being a co-host. So let me know if and whenever you need one.

The Happy Whisk said...

Hahaha, on bottling it to make a fortune.

Happy Weekend to you and your honey bunny.

Sandra Cox said...

Good for you and Mrs. Alex for keeping colds and flu at bay. I'm a big believer in Vit C. When I don't take it is when I go down.
Have you broke out the shorts? 80 degrees here.

Colette S said...

I will have to watch zootopia again for my other child and that I fell asleep during some of it. Because of 2 hours of sleep the night before and trying to have date lunch with my birthday girl. But very nice film.

Thanks for rocking with us.


Blue Grumpster said...

Thought behind the plot? Well, I'll have to check this one out.

Yep, everyone is sick. For some reason I never have the flu, which is a miracle since my best friend is sarcoidosis, meaning my immune system sucks big time. I don't have children either. Could you be onto something?

Anonymous said...

I'm blessed. I rarely get sick. I guess God figured he gave me migraines so that's enough for one person to handle week in and week out so I rarely get stomach flus or colds.

I met Michael Strahan the year he retired and it was AWESOME!!! He was exactly how he is on TV. Personable and kind. Just a great guy. I'm pretty sure we'll be married one day. Just a gut feeling I have....

Donna McDine said...

I haven't seen Zootopia yet. Sounds like a great movie! Hmmm, not sure why some get sick more than others. I think a lot of times it has to do with genetics. Stay well!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Murees, thanks!

Thanks, Rachna!

Roland, wow!

AB, yes he does.

Lori, that was a great scene.

WritingNut, bottling it now.

Shadow, thanks!

Heather, appreciate it. Sorry the Chopper guys weren't cool.

Thanks, Lori!

Thanks, Faraway.

Mary, like to see how many beers you give that one.

Nick, that's cool.

Eva, I should've used a sick day...

Alexia, thanks!

Lexa, it's just a shame they have to use sex to sell it.

Thanks, Ken!

Sandra, I did!

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

As to your question, Alex, I think two things play a big part in others getting sick more. One, lots of folks just don't practice the hygiene and germ control tips like they should. Two, having sick children you have to tend to, have to cuddle and comfort does keep you in the flow of germs more. But I wonder, just how many people actually pray pro-actively: keep me from harm, keep me well, to do the things I must, the things you desire of me as apposed to waiting until things happen and praying "God please help me." "http://lifeLife & Faith in Caneyhead

Ann Carbine Best said...

I don't know if there's a reason why some get sick more than others. But in my case, like you and your wife, I don't have kids at home. Jen's my "kid," I guess you'd say, but she doesn't get sick much either. And neither do I. She's sedentary, so the exercise doesn't apply to her. But it does to me, I think. And the eating healthy for both of us. (he he, like you I've also told God I can't get sick!).

Finally, glad to be reminded that I bought Roland's The not so innocents and need to read it for him. Like you, he's an amazing writer.

Thanks for stopping by at

Mason T. Matchak said...

It's definitely possible that not having kids is what's keeping you and your wife from not getting sick - I work with mostly parents, and they've talked quite a bit about how kids can be little germ factories. >_< So whenever I get sick, I blame the office.

And I've heard nothing but good things about Zootopia, I'll probably have to find the time to check it out at some point. Still too bloody busy with everything these days, though. Gah!

Lidy said...

Saw Zootopia this past Saturday. My youngest turned the big 5 last week and he wanted to see it. Loved the message of equality and judging others bases on preconceptions. It's a definite must see movie.

Deniz Bevan said...

I wish I knew about the not getting sick. We hardly ever get sick either, and yet everyone at work and on the train seems to be coughing all the time. I hope I'm not jinxing myself here...

EEGiorgi said...

zootopia's on my list, thanks for the review ! :-)

Steven Arellano Rose Jr. said...

I met Ray Bradbury back in the '90s when he came to CSU, Fresno. It was a phenomena for me! It was the first time I ever met a famous writer of science fiction/fantasy. He signed my copy of his novel, A Graveyard for Lunatics. It was like an apparitional appearance; I couldn't stop watching him sign other fans' copies of books when I was waiting for my friend to meet me there after he gave his talk. I was so delighted when I shook hands with Mr. Bradbury earlier when he signed my copy of his above mentioned book.

When I went to the L.A. World Science Fiction Convention in 2007 (I think it was), I met Harlan Ellison. He signed two books of his that I brought, one was a 1960s paperback edition of his collection Ellison Wonderland and an edition of his Star Trek episode "City At the Edge of Forever" script that I bought from he and his wife right there. I was very nervous when my turn in line came for him to sign my copies of his books because I always knew him to be a very blunt, seemingly ill-tempered, person. I was nearly shaking. In a quivering voice, I told him how much I admired his writing and that he was an inspiration and motivation for my own writing. He asked me if I had ever been published before and I told him that I had. He asked if any of my work was for payment and I told him no, but I will eventually write for payment. He advised me out of encouragement to "make them give" me money for my writing because it will be the only way that I will be acknowledged as a professional writer. I told him I would and I thanked him. Almost since that day, I haven't written anything (save for everyday communication such as this response, email and social media messages) for free. I have Mr. Ellison to thank for that. He was much nicer than I anticipated.

The Happy Whisk said...

Looking forward to Captain America. Hoping my allergies to corn have died down by then and that I get to watch on the big screen.

Happy Weekend.