Monday, March 11, 2019

Captain Marvel Review, Dream Theater: Distance Over Time Review, #IWSG Admins Highlight, New Releases, and DIY MFA

Captain Marvel Review

Despite good reviews, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. It’s a really fun film.
The narrative skipped back and forth between present and past, which worked well. Like Carol Danvers, we are trying to piece together who she is.
Brie Larson does a good job as Captain Marvel. She’s strong, subtle, and snarky. What’s really fun is to watch a younger Fury and Coulson. (And how much CGI and makeup was needed to make them look younger?)
There are a lot of things that tie this to other movies in the Marvel universe. Be sure to stay for the double endings. The second one is priceless. (And as I told my wife, I called that one!)
It’s a really solid entry into the Marvel universe. These movies balance humor, action, and suspense so well. Plus this film began with nice tribute to Stan Lee.
Why did I select the poster with Goose the cat? You’ll see!
Highly recommended

Dream Theater: Distance Over Time 

As a long-time fan of this band (I heard “Pull Me Under” from Images and Words in 1992 and was hooked), I await each release with giddy, childlike enthusiasm.
On their fourteenth studio release, Dream Theater continues to impress. This is a classic prog record even though all the songs clock in under ten minutes.
The album kicks off with Untethered Angel and those amazing John Petrucci guitar riffs don’t let up. This is one of their best releases and a must for prog fans.
As a guitar player, I’m always impressed with the musicianship and technical ability that these guys bring to the studio and concerts. Petrucci in particular is an incredible player and his effortless shredding is astonishing.
This is an album of big ideas, great musical chemistry, and catchy choruses and hooks. It gets better with each listen, and that’s what a great prog record should do.

And just to give you a taste, here’s a very catchy video with a science fiction twist: Paralyzed.

IWSG Admins Highlight

Many of you know the IWSG – but do you know the real people behind the group? Besides posting at the site and in the newsletter, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, finding guests, reading anthology entries, monitoring the #IWSGPit feed, and a whole lot more, they each have special duties. And they are each special people.

Michelle Wallace heads up our Facebook group. She schedules the posts and organizes everything. She’s been with the IWSG from the beginning, and I can’t say how much I appreciate her dedication.

L. Diane Wolfe takes care of the Self-Publishing page at the site and puts together all of the IWSG books through Dancing Lemur Press. She’s also been with the group since day one and I am eternally grateful to have such an expert on board.

Heather Gardner manages the Conferences/Workshops/Publications and Marketing pages, adding new material and keeping the links updated. Heather and I worked together on the A to Z Challenge Team and I was blessed to get her to join the IWSG Admins. 

Pat Hatt is in charge of the IWSG Twitter account. He knows how to rock the Twitter and build up an account and has done an outstanding job sending out great Tweets. Pat is reliable and consistent!

Nick Wilford manages the Contests page, keeping it updated as contests are ever-changing. Nick is a full time writer (freelance and his own) and he brings some great experience to the team.

C. Lee McKenzie is our PR person, which is a huge job. She searches for guests, sites for guest articles, places where we can connect, and coordinating partnerships with groups like WEP, Reedsy, Book Angel, and more. Don’t know how she does it, just grateful she does!

Shannon Lawrence puts together the IWSG newsletter, which entails guest articles, news, and many links. Like Lee, she’s also on the hunt for news and experts. Coordinating all of it is a big job, but she makes it look so easy.

Tyrean Martinson runs the IWSG Instagram, with daily posts and monthly challenges. Like Pat, she’s built it up and interacts daily. Tyrean is dedicated and I appreciate her refreshing spirit and positive outlook.

Elizabeth Seckman manages the Publishers/Agents/Queries page, updating and adding new links. She knows how to balance multiple things, and working with the IWSG Admins and the site is a breeze for her. (She raised four boys – I hope we are easier than that!)

So as you can see, we have an awesome team working to bring you the best the IWSG can offer!

New Releases

City of Ghosts by JH Moncrieff
It won the 2018 Kindle Book Review Award for best Horror/Suspense.
Jackson Stone is sick of ghosts. With his love life in shambles, he heads to Romania for a horror writers’ retreat, hoping it will be a break from the supernatural and breathing space from his relationship with medium Kate Carlsson.
But as his fellow writers begin disappearing or losing their minds, he realizes he needs Kate’s help.
When Jackson loses his own memory, Kate’s love is the only thing that can bring him back. But she’s falling for the man responsible for the evil in Romania. A man who claims to be her soul mate. Will this master of wraiths forever break Kate’s bond with Jackson?
To view all purchasing options, go HERE

Don’t Mess with Gracie by Carol Kilgore
In this third book, the mysterious Mr. Ott is trying to intimidate Gracie Hofner into being his internal spy at The Bastion Group. It takes Gracie and her growing support team to unmask him, but it’s what she learns along the way that shows readers the wisdom of the advice Don’t Mess with Gracie.
The third book of The Amazing Gracie Trilogy, it’s 99 cents through March 18.
Find it on Amazon

Being Neighborly by Meka James
Buy Links


We are partnering with DIY MFA this spring to bring you a great program for writers.

Before we announce details, we’ll be sharing several of their learning videos.

The first one is Episode 234: A Master Class on Character — Interview with David Corbett.

Check it out and be watching next month for details about the program.

Anyone else see Captain Marvel? Picked up the new Dream Theater? Eager to hear more about DIY MFA? And what do you think about what the IWSG do behind the scenes?


The Angry Lurker said...

Looking forward to some Marvel!

M.J. Fifield said...

I saw Captain Marvel over the weekend, and I had a great time. I've been calling my orange cat Goose ever since.

I didn't know there was a new Dream Theater album out. My husband loves that band.

And I, of course, appreciate everything the IWSG crew does for its members!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

The double-ending for Captain Marvel sounds like fun...I love that kind of stuff. Nice to hear a little more about everyone who works behind the scenes to make IWSG a success!

Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, Alex!

Thanks for reviewing Marvel, good buddy. I appreciate a film that doesn't take itself too seriously and also avoids becoming a complete farce. Balance is good and I love to be surprised with double endings. I enjoyed the sound and the spectacle of Dream Theater doing "Paralyzed."

Have a great week, good buddy Alex!

RaveAir said...

Should I have to watch the Captain Marvel before the coming Avengers film, or can I skip it?
I assume I'll watch it later, at home.

Ray Rousell said...

I shall be watching Captain Marvel soon no doubt!

Damyanti Biswas said...

I loved the Captain Marvel movie—-missed the second ending!!

Love all these fab bloggers that are behind IWSG: have known them via my blog for years!

Patsy said...

It's amazing how much the IWSG does now! I don't take part in all of it, but it's great to know it's there and we can get involved in as much or as little as we wish.

Joanne said...

Marvelous review - we are in sync. I enjoyed the behind the scenes blurbs on ISWG folks - quite a lot of experience to light the way. Good job.
Have a good week!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

MJ, he needs to pick up the album. Hope your cat doesn't go all Flerken on you.

Shady, glad you liked it.

Zoltan, it would help to see it before Endgame.

Damy, it was priceless!

Patsy, well said - there's plenty available to fit everyone's needs.

Joanne, we are in sync!

Birgit said...

I am unsure about Captain Marvel because it is a man and when they picked a woman, I thought they would go with someone who would appear stronger but I will give it a chance. I heard the cat steals the show:). Not a lover of the music but that is no surprise but they guitar is excellent. Congrats to the new releases and wowzers to all the work people are doing fornthe IWSG

Mason Canyon said...

Love the poster and I'm looking forward to seeing the movie. Congratulations to those with new releases. Sounds like an informative video.

Tonja Drecker said...

Captain Marvel is definitely on our 'to see' list. The IWSG team is an amazing group!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Yeh for the IWSG team! I just started reading this month's book for the IWSG Goodreads group. :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Goose is a pretty ginger cat.

Thank you for the kind words.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Good to know all the awesome people who help you with IWSG. I'll check out that talk about character. I'm weak on that.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - I'm seeing lots about Captain Marvel and it's always good to see your take on these movies. IWSG is a pretty amazing tour de force - so well done to you all ... I sit quietly on the sidelines - but watch happily; however you were/are extremely instrumental in setting it up for which: thank you - cheers Hilary

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

I enjoyed Captain Marvel. My husband, who's a veterinarian, hasn't seen it yet. I can't wait to see his reaction to Goose!

Stacy McKitrick said...

I guess I need to go see Captain Marvel. My kids have seen it. All my friends are raving about it. Now to get Hubby interested. :)

Lisa said...

I've seen CM and can't wait to see it again! Because there is so much, one showing isn't enough to catch it all, like that second ending...I missed that!!!
Thank you SO much for introducing us to all the partners who make IWSG possible. I know most of the names from visiting their blogs, but didn't realize how much they all do, for us. I really appreciate knowing more about them all.

kaykuala said...

Looking forward to seeing Capt Marvel. The IWSG team is doing fine - a good job!


Arlee Bird said...

Dream Theater sounds like they are still turning out quality music in their genre. I won't be getting the album, but it was nice to hear a sampling.

I'll likely miss out on Captain Marvel. I'm looking forward to getting Green Book--hopefully my next Netflix shipment.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Birgit, he does steal the show. And there have been many Captain Marvels over the years, alternating between men and women.

Sandra, he'll hope he never gets a patient like that!

Lisa, now you do have to see it again. And that's why I wanted to focus on the IWSG Admins today.

Lee, I do want to see that one.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'll be taking a look at the DIY MFA...sounds great.

It's amazing to see the IWSG team by names and job assignments -- I haven't spent nearly enough time exploring the website, but now that I'm almost finished with this neverending wip, I'll devote a block of time to learning more.

Liz A. said...

I read a bit about Goose in last week's Entertainment Weekly. I bet he stole the show.

Glad to hear about all the behind the scenes work of the IWSG team.

Juneta key said...

Unfortunately, I probably won't be able to see Captain Marvel until it is released on digital but looking forward to it.

Enjoyed reading what each of the IWSG admin does behind the scenes. The DIY MFA sounds interesting. Shaunta Grimes does something like that for her group. A thing she started because she just completed a 2 year MFA through a college program last summer.

Great post.

Al Penwasser said...

Too bad Brie Larson had to be such a big mouth. I wanted to see this one, too, because it looks like such a good movie. I wouldn't call for a boycott of "Captain Marvel" (mostly because boycotts are stupid and, besides, who gives a flying crap what I think?), but I won't spend any of my money on it, either. I'll wait until it comes to something like HBO (which I have because "Game of Thrones"...duh) or network TV (which will more than likely be a long time).

Andrew Leon said...

I enter each new Marvel movie with a certain amount of fear at this point.
I can't help it after Pixar.
Fortunately, this movie was just as strong as all of the other, thus far.

Mark said...

Yeah, I wasn't sure what to make of the new Marvel film. I'll probably wait for video.

Botanist said...

I never realized there was so much involved in IWSG. And Marvel movies will never be quite the same without those brief appearances by Stan Lee to watch out for :(

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Patricia, you'll be amazed at what you find.

Liz, he did!

Al, I can usually separate what celebrities say from their movies. Except for Kevin Spacey. He ruined The Usual Suspects for me forever.

Andrew, not sure what you mean about Pixar.

Pat Hatt said...

Sure a lot involved with IWSG indeed. Can't go wrong with a cat, at least according to the rhyming one.

John Wiswell said...

My mom actually asked me to take her to see Captain Marvel. I'm excited to share it with her!

J E Oneil said...

I can't wait to see Captain Marvel. I don't get why people are being so negative about it (except the obvious).

Rhonda Albom said...

I didn't realize the IWSG team was so bit. It's nice that you did this, and good to meet the few I don't know. Also, the music, at the beginning, I liked the graphics more than the song. By about halfway through I looked for it to add it to my playlist. Always good to find new music.

L.G. Keltner said...

I love the cover of the new Dream Theater album, and I'm always eager to hear more music from them.

I'm looking forward to hearing more about the partnership with DIY MFA!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

John, that is very cool.

Rhonda, you rock!

LG, you also rock!

nashvillecats2 said...

Good post as always Alex, loved the photo of the cat. Also it was good to see who does what on your team of ISWG members.
Have a good week.


Sherry Ellis said...

I knew all those people were on the IWSG Administration, but I didn't know what their specific jobs were. Thanks for enlightening us. They're all doing a fabulous job!

DMS said...

Glad you enjoyed the movie so much! I loved finding out about all the people doing things for IWSG behind the scenes. Lots of my blogging buddies. :) Great job everyone!

Jemi Fraser said...

Loved Carol's book - Gracie is a terrific character!
I didn't realize that's how you structured the IWSG roles - very cool - and everyone does a fabulous job!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sherry, now you know!

Jemi, we try to keep it organized.

Truedessa said...

Hi Alex,

It sounds like the IWSG has an amazing team. Each bringing their unique talents to make the IWSG a wonderful place for writers. I wish everyone much success!

I have listened to some of Dream Theater and I like the lyrics to Untethered Angel. I think the lyrics were written by the guitarist. I will be buying this one.

Have a nice week!

LynNerdKelley said...

Wow! What an amazing team you have behind the scenes of IWSG. Kudos to everyone working together. Very impressive!

Fundy Blue said...

Thanks for sharing information about our amazing administrators, Alex!
I appreciate what you all do!

XmasDolly said...

Captain Marvel would be nice to see, but I want to see that underwater king movie... I'll be darn if I can remember the name, but the man playing King of the Underwater world is huge and he's so perfect for the part! I hope it doesn't cost too much. These medical bills are drowning us lately. With hubby being laid off, and no insurance for him... it's a OUCH! Plus he just had an x-ray taken on his lungs and they found a shadow on his left lung... :( bummer! HUGE BUMMER! My head is in a fog... my dad went through the same thing. He passed at the age of 57. HUGE BUMMER! Yes, Dave smokes! I'm goin' bonkers. Anyway, trying to stay busy and I want to sigh up for you the 2019 game everyone is playing, but I can't figure out how to sign up! aughhhhhh I'M LOSING IT! I asked Cat so maybe she'll help me.. nahhhhh she probably will. Have a great rockin' week my friend! HUGS to you & yours!

XmasDolly said...

By the way, did I tell you we saw that movie about Queen? It was an awesome movie and not sure if he really was all that great for an Oscar, but he was good... not particularly fantastic... or maybe he was... dang... I don't remember! Oh well, and that Lady Gaga thing... oh Lordy give me a break on that Hollywood garbage... riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight???? Oh well, have a great week my friend!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

We're waiting for Caleb to come in from New York before we see Captain Marvel. I'm glad to hear it's good. Early reviews weren't too promising.

And about me finding things easy...I see I've got you fooled, so kudos to me!!

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Thanks so much for featuring my new release, Alex. Much appreciated!

I'm indebted to the support and encouragement I've received from the IWSG, so it's nice to see who's responsible for what. Thank you to everyone for the hard work you do!

Nilanjana Bose said...

I'm happy to report that I watched Captain Marvel and enjoyed it, especially Goose :) Also happy to report that I know most of the IWSG admins, through the A-Z, IWSG and/or WEP, and much admire the work you all do.

Murees Dupè said...

That is definitely a dream team, especially for IWSG. Congrats to everyone with a new release. Can't wait to watch Captain Marvel now.

Carol Kilgore said...

Haven't seen Captain Marvel yet. Thanks for the insider's look at IWSG. Also thanks for posting information about the new Gracie book.

Sandra said...

We're hoping to see Marvel either this week or next.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Truedessa, buy and enjoy!

Marie, prayers for your husband. And the movie is Aquaman - comes out on DVD next week.

Elizabeth, keep up the charade!

JH, you're welcome.

Carol, you're welcome.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I really enjoyed Captain Marvel and my family did, too. Goose was definitely a key character, but I thought every character had purposeful moments in the movie. It was really well done. And I loved the end confrontation with (unnamed) where she makes a decision which stands out from other hero films.
I think the whole admin team is amazing!

Anonymous said...

I'm not going to lie, my main reason for wanting to see Captain Marvel is Fury and Coulson. LOL

Mary Kirkland said...

Captain Marvel sounds good. I usually wait until movies are out On Demand before I watch them at home.

Lynda Dietz said...

Many, many thanks to all the IWSG admins! Seeing it all listed out here really highlights how broad the IWSG's reach has become, and how many people are needed on all fronts to keep it running smoothly. Keeping up with any one of those accounts, contests, social media and more takes up more hours than most people realize.

I'll have to pick JH Moncrieff's newest book. I read City of Ghosts and was confused because the blurb didn't describe the book I read. Then I realized the book photo is for Forest of Ghosts. THAT I haven't read, and look forward to it because CoG was terrific.

I couldn't get the video to play but will have to look it up myself!

Thanks once again for ten tons of information!

dolorah said...

Wow, the IWSG does a lot behind the scenes. All talented people.

Love love the Dream Theater music :)

Helena said...

Carol Kilgore has a new novel out? I have definitely got to read it 'cause I loved her first two books. I also have to start visiting her blog again - I'm ashamed to say I haven't for too long.

LD Masterson said...

Having grown up reading my uncle's original Captain Marvel comics (published by Fawcett Comics) - Billy Batson, Shazam, etc. - I have trouble relating to the Marvel Comics' Captain and I can't get my head around the Captain as a female at all. I enjoy most of the superhero movies but this one messes with my childhood memories.

Does anyone else remember MY Captain Marvel?

Donna K. Weaver said...

We haven't seen Captain Marvel yet, but I'm sure that'll be coming soon. Glad to hear it's worth seeing.

Roland Clarke said...

So grateful to have discovered IWSG as without your creation I'd be nowhere, Alex. Just getting sicker. And what an awesome team with some amazing people. Partnering with WEP has been brilliant and inspiring.

Dream Theater is a prog group I've missed out on - until now. Album now playing. Maybe I've been a Genesis, Pink Floyd, Yes fan for ever - plus my friend, Steve Hackett.

As for Captain Marvel. I'm looking forward to seeing that when it comes out on Blue-ray. I suspect I will only get into a movie theatre in my wheelchair to see 'Tolkien' when that comes out. May?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Patricia, you won't be disappointed then.

Donna, you rock.

Helena, appreciate that you always stop by mine.

LD, Captain Marvel began as a man, but the second incarnation was a woman. Then it alternated back and forth a while.

Roland, if you like those bands, you have to listen to Dream Theater!

Mark Koopmans said...

Very cool to learn a little bit more about the IWSG admins.

Nice touch, and I'm sure your appreciation is matched by many who benefit from their hard word and generous efforts!

Well played, Admins. Very well played.

Sandra said...

A huge thank you to all the folks mentioned, and yourself Alex, who work tirelessly on this group's behalf.

Anonymous said...

It's so funny, I see everyone's names all the time from the IWSG, yet I didn't realize how much work they all did. Thank you, everyone!

The next movie I plan on seeing in the theatre is "Us" - oohhh so scary looking!!


Dawn Simon said...

I haven't seen Captain Marvel yet, but I hope to see it soon! :)

Unknown said...

Looking forward to seeing Captain Marvel eventually. Probably when it comes out on video though

Susan Kane said...

As much as we got to see, Captain Marvel was awesome. Unfortunately, I trip over a man's feet (dark theater) and fell. Black eye and bruises. Had to leave but got free passes. Will go on the wkend.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Sandra!

Susan, really sorry to hear that! Wow, they need a little more light in that theater.

Laura said...

HI Alex

Heading out to see Captain Marvel tomorrow. I'm very excited and have only heard good reviews.

I'm really anxious to see Avengers 4 Endgame.


Susan Flett Swiderski said...

No, we haven't seen "Captain Marvel" yet, but we watched "Wonder Woman" the other night and thoroughly enjoyed it. (Yeah, we're a little behind...) But I liked "Thor" even... more. :)

You've put together a fantastic team for IWSG. Many thanks to all of them.

Heather M. Gardner said...

Hi Alex!
Thanks for the very nice shout out!!! It's my honor to work with the IWSG group!

I haven't seen THE movie yet, but we will have to before Avengers. Just saw the new trailer for that, looks amazing.

AND...James Gunn was hired back at Disney for Guardians 3!!!! Amazing!

Have a great day!

Blue Grumpster said...

Loved the cat. Bland SJW Debris 'Plankface' Larson, hater of comics-loving 40-plus men and savior of underprivileged young girls who get free popcorn to admire her... not so much. I'm not a fan of politicized superhero movies. Just want a good story and not be told by some Mary Sue impersonator that this movie wasn't not made for me. End of rant.

Hello Alex.

Cherdo said...

Until I read your post, I was going to pass on Captain Marvel -- but I think I'll give it a try!

Sorry I'm an infrequent poster...I'm trying to do better.

Michael Abayomi said...

Goose the cat was indeed a highlight of the movie, so I totally under why you'd choose that particular poster. Overall, I felt the movie was as good as it needed to be. Can't wait to see Captain Marvel kick butt in Avengers: Endgame though. :D

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Laura, hope you enjoyed it.

Heather! Yes, heard that he was hired back. About time.

Blue, I agree. I try to separate the actor from the movie. You just about have to these days.

Michael, then we'll really see what she can do!

Magic Love Crow said...

Thanks for the review on Captain Marvel! I couldn't see the video, but the band looks amazing! Congrats to everyone's new releases! Take Care Alex!

Christine Rains said...

My son and I saw Captain Marvel last week during his spring break, and we both loved it. He wants Goose to have his own series! I know very well how hard the IWSG work behind the scenes. You guys are awesome!