Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, Movie Reviews, New Book Releases, and December Movie Preview

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

The awesome co-hosts for the December 6 posting of the IWSG are C. Lee McKenzie, JQ Rose, Jennifer Lane, and Jacqui Murray!

Today’s question: Book reviews are for the readers. When you leave a book review, do you review for the Reader or the Author? Is it about what you liked and enjoyed about your reading experience, or do you critique the author?

Probably a little of both. I won’t leave a review that is less than three stars because I know how much it hurts to get those super-bad reviews. (That and if I’m not enjoying it, I won’t finish the book, and I won’t review what I haven’t completely read.) I never critique the author though, only the story itself.

Rattlesnake and the Old West

The old west is chock full of stories about courageous and foolhardy people who followed the lure of gold to California and forever changed the history of our nation. Two documentaries capture the fascination, the intrigue, and the haunting truth about what are now remnants those people left behind—old mines and ghosts of former towns.

Trailers for these documentaries: Ghosts of the West and America the Story of Us: Gold Rush

In Rattlesnake I hope I’ve captured the same old west atmosphere as these movies did. My challenge was to do that in two different centuries—the 1850s and the late 1900s

For a moment, the sun balanced on the tip of the tallest peak, then slipped behind the mountains, turning them black against the sky. They were out of options all except for going back to Old Cemetery Road and dealing with the property. From somewhere far out in the desert came the loneliest sound Jonah had ever heard. That high-pitched yowl caught him at the center of his stomach. Suddenly, he felt eyes on him from every direction, and the shadows grew teeth.

Rattlesnake releases this month! Find it here: Goodreads, Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, book trailer on YouTube
Connect with C. Lee McKenzie on her site

Movie Reviews

Godzilla Minus One

Japan’s love letter to the original Godzilla film, now almost seventy years old.
Remakes usually fall short because they use the excuse of ‘upgrading the special effects’ and yet do nothing with the plot. With this film, they actually upgraded everything. And in turn, created a film that is similar to the original and yet unique on its own.
It opens in the final days of WWII with a Kamikaze pilot who has chickened out and lands at a base on a remote island. Godzilla appears and the carnage and drama unfolds from there.
Godzilla is in rare form here. He looks as good as the last three American Godzilla films. And he is badass. This Godzilla only wants to kill and destroy. You will be glued to every scene involving him, especially when he unleashes that mighty breath weapon.
This movie is similar to the original, and yet there are so many new elements, so much upgrade…it’s its own creation. And yet, it still gives tribute to its origins, even a nod to the Raymond Burr scenes that weren’t even in the original movie.
Its only downside is a few slow scenes and some melodrama. But I think the latter fits with the times. As usual, more Godzilla, less people, please. But the human story is very moving.
Highly recommended to fans of Godzilla and monster movies!

Journey to Bethlehem

First, a big thanks to Rosey - I won tickets to see this film from her site.
Had no idea what to expect (outside of The Greatest Story Ever Told, of course) and the fact it’s a musical caught me off guard. But it was really enjoyable! Unlike some Christian films, this boasted quality production, great effects, great acting, great singing, and a unique, funny, but mostly accurate take on the story of Mary and Joseph and the birth of the King of Kings.
Biggest name actor is Antonio Banderas as King Herod. And boy, does he chew up the scenery!
Highly recommended. And it’s only ninety minutes long!!

New Releases!

Conduction by Tara Tyler

Sci Fi Detective Thriller or Techno Thriller
Book 4 in Pop Travel series
In 2085, cutting edge technology is the most valuable currency, and the black tech market offers high pay-offs for diamond-level code.
Find it on Amazon

Your Life with Jesus: How to Spark Memories and Write Your Spiritual Memoir
by JQ Rose
Your life with Jesus guides you in penning your sacred story and invites you to journey into a deeper faith experience.
Find Your Life with Jesus at Amazon and other retailers

Doom and Bloom
by Elizabeth Spann Craig
There's some shady business at the garden club event.
A Myrtle Clover Mystery, #23
Find Doom and Bloom’s purchase links here.

December Movie Preview

Here are the theatrical releases for December. Descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snark provided by me.

15 –

Director: Paul King
Stars: Timothée Chalamet, Olivia Colman, Hugh Grant
The story will focus specifically on a young Willy Wonka and how he met the Oompa-Loompas on one of his earliest adventures.
Oompa loompa doompety don’t!

22 –

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
Director: James Wan
Stars: Jason Momoa, Ben Affleck, Patrick Wilson
Aquaman balances his duties as king and as a member of the Justice League, all while planning a wedding. Black Manta is on the hunt for Atlantean tech to help rebuild his armor. Orm plots to escape his Atlantean prison.'
Aquaman’s real quest – recover Amber Heard’s career.

How do you write book reviews? Seen either movie? Ready to read Rattlesnake or the other new releases? Any movies interest you this month?
I have a special interview with Doreen McGettigan - please check it out!
I will be taking a break for most of December, so I’m wishing everyone a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, November Movie Preview, and Damyanti Biswas with Some Bollywood Horror!

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

The awesome co-hosts for the November 1 posting of the IWSG are PJ Colando, Jean Davis, Lisa Buie Collard, and Diedre Knight!

Today’s question: November is National Novel Writing Month. Have you ever participated? If not, why not?

I have, twice. Won the first time, came close the second. (Second time was a June event, but it was the same principle.) I'm a slow writer, so an event like NaNo is the kick in the butt I need to get it done. I go in with a detailed plan though. Can't imagine just writing with no plan!

We need hosts for December, January, and February!!! These are tough months so if you can help, we will be most grateful. If you have never co-hosted, please volunteer. It’s a lot more fun on the co-host side. Really! You get a ton more visitors, meet a lot of new people, and get to showcase yourself as a writer/author.

A Little Bollywood Horror

Please welcome my longtime friend and author, Damyanti Biswas!

Halloween is a relatively new celebration in India, more a marketing gimmick for eateries and costume shops than anything else.

The concept of horror movies though is pretty well established in Bollywood, and it is these traditions that have inspired some of the scenes in my latest book, The Blue Monsoon.

The Blue Monsoon is a literary thriller, but I wanted to incorporate horror/ cult elements in it, especially from the Bollywood movie tradition, which often features witches with long hair. Hair is a recurring theme in the book.

Here’s an excerpt:
Hair. So much hair hanging from long ropes strung across the open roof, like witches slung up in some medieval ritual against a gloomy sky, threatening rain. Even in broad daylight though, the thick clusters of dripping hair made her think of watching eyes, of dark, fetid places. Her skin crawled at the sight of all that shiny black, swaying gently in the wind, sinister, assessing, as if ready to rise in the air and surround her.

Since this book is set during the dark monsoons, I hope the use of movie-inspired scene props gives it that creepy, gothic air.

What kind of horror tropes and props have you seen in books and movies? Which are your favorites?

Find Damyanti Biswas at her blog.

Pick up The Blue Monsoon here.

November Movie Preview

Here are the theatrical releases for November. Descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snark provided by me.

10 –

The Marvels
Director: Nia DaCosta
Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, Iman Vellani
Carol Danvers gets her powers entangled with those of Kamala Khan and Monica Rambeau, forcing them to work together to save the universe.
Superheroes, right? Not the 50’s R&B group?

22 –

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Vanessa Kirby, Ludivine Sagnier
The film takes a personal look at Napoleon Bonaparte's origins, and his swift, ruthless climb to emperor viewed through the prism of his addictive, and often volatile, relationship with his wife and one true love, Josephine.
Phoenix was so method, he never took his hand out of his shirt…

December 1 –

Godzilla Minus One
Director: Takashi Yamazaki
Stars: Ryunosuke Kamiki, Minami Hamabe, Yûki Yamada
Godzilla appears in post-World-War-II Japan, which is at its low point at zero, and knocks the country down one to the negatives.
Let’s hope that’s the title and not the average score on Rotten Tomatoes…

Have you participated in NaNo? Like the Blue Monsoon excerpt? Any of those movies strike your fancy? And can you co-host in the coming months? Please leave a comment or send me an email!
And Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends.

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, The Creator Movie Review, Commenting Issues, and October Movie Preview

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

The awesome co-hosts for the October 4 posting of the IWSG are Natalie Aguirre, Kim Lajevardi, Debs Carey, Gwen Gardner, Patricia Josephine, and Rebecca Douglass!

Today’s question: The topic of AI writing has been heavily debated across the world. According to various sources, generative AI will assist writers, not replace them. What are your thoughts?

The Writer’s Guild strike recently ended as they were fighting against AI writing. They won, but I predict it won’t be long before they don’t and AI replaces most writers. (I think AI will replace a lot of workers unless one knows a trade.)  AI just needs a touch of humanity first.

And while on this topic, have none of these people seen The Terminator? It doesn’t end well for us…

Plus it leads into my movie review!

Movie Review – The Creator

From the IMDB: Against the backdrop of a war between humans and robots with artificial intelligence, a former soldier finds the secret weapon, a robot in the form of a young child.
Directed by Gareth Edwards (Rogue One, Godzilla, Monsters) and starring John David Washington (Tenant), Madeleine Yuna Voyles, and Ken Watanabe.
Visually, it is just stunning. Beyond words. Edwards excels at that.
He also excels at the human condition. As with all of his movies, the emphasis is on the people.
There were a lot of elements from other movies though. Black man saving Asian child – it’s The Golden Child without the humor!
While I didn’t love it, I did really like it. Excellent science fiction film and that rare one-and-done film that wasn’t a sequel or a prequel or part of a series. One that will mesmerize you in the theater.

Commenting Issues

I know I’m not the only one who gets this:

It only appears with Blogger blogs with embedded comments as opposed to a popup window. Most of the time, I can sign in with Google, hit ‘Allow”, and all is good. (Although if you get that middle image, the third image never appears and you definitely can't sign in.) But more often now, it won’t let me. I did find a setting in my browser that for individual sites, I can turn off protection, which allows me to comment. However, that is a risky thing.

So, if anyone else has a solution, let me know. (Besides encouraging everyone with a Blogger blog to switch to a popup comment box…)

October Movie Preview

Here are the theatrical releases for October. Descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snark provided by me.

6 –

The Exorcist: Believer
Director: David Gordon Green
Stars: Jennifer Nettles, Ellen Burstyn, Ann Dowd
Sequel to the 1973 film about a 12-year-old girl who is possessed by a mysterious demonic entity, forcing her mother to seek the help of two priests to save her.
I believe Ellen Burnstyn is really old in her role now…

20 –

Killers of the Flower Moon
Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone
Members of the Osage tribe in the United States are murdered under mysterious circumstances in the 1920s, sparking a major F.B.I. investigation involving J. Edgar Hoover.
Flower Moon is my favorite Marvel superhero! (Those of you who know Scorsese’s take on Marvel movies will get that.)

29 –

Miracle in East Texas
Two con men try to convince a group of widows to invest in worthless oil wells during the Great Depression.
Director: Kevin Sorbo
Stars: John Ratzenberger, Kevin Sorbo, Louis Gossett Jr.
Hercules fights bandits during the Great Depression.

What’s your take on AI? Have you seen The Creator? Any commenting suggestions? And what movies catch your attention for October?

Monday, September 18, 2023

Top Ten Werewolf Movies and IWSG Day Responses

Today I have a special guest, fellow author and my publisher, L. Diane Wolfe!

Top 10 Werewolf Movies

In celebration of the release of the third novella in my series, In Darkness: The Werewolf, Alex asked me about the top ten werewolf movies. There are dozens of lists, so I decided to go with MY top ten werewolf movies.

Silver Bullet – 1985

In a small town, brutal killings start to plague the close knit community. Marty Coslaw, a paraplegic boy, is convinced the murders are the doings of a werewolf.
This one will always be my favorite. I loved the story and the scenes with the werewolf scared the crap out of me. (I should mention that most werewolf movies scare me. A giant, vicious, furry creature outside? Probably why I never camped in a tent.) And I do own that German movie poster to the right, too.

Brotherhood of the Wolf – 2001
In 18th-century France, the Chevalier de Fronsac and his Native American friend Mani are sent to the Gevaudan province at the king's behest to investigate the killings of hundreds by a mysterious beast.
This foreign film is so stylish. There are so many things going on besides the beast killing people and quite a twist near the end.

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans – 2009
An origins story centered on the centuries-old feud between the race of aristocratic vampires and their onetime slaves, the Lycans.
I could’ve filled up most of this list with the Underworld films since they all have lycans in them. This hits all the notes and is bittersweet.

Ginger Snaps – 2000

Two death-obsessed sisters, outcasts in their suburban neighborhood, must deal with the tragic consequences when one of them is bitten by a deadly werewolf.
This was a big surprise for such a small film. You really care about the two leads.

The Cabin in the Woods – 2011
Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin, where they get more than they bargained for, discovering the truth behind the cabin in the woods.
The werewolf is only in a little bit of this crazy-ass film, but he looks the part!

An American Werewolf in London – 1981
Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.
This one tops most lists as the transformation by Rick Baker was revolutionary at the time. Another bittersweet tale.

What We Do in The Shadows – 2014

Viago, Deacon, and Vladislav are vampires who are struggling with the mundane aspects of modern life, like paying rent, keeping up with the chore wheel, trying to get into nightclubs, and overcoming flatmate conflicts.
Just a lot of laughs and the vampires are sworn enemies of the werewolves.

The Wolf of Snow Hollow – 2020
Terror grips a small mountain town as bodies are discovered after each full moon. Losing sleep, raising a teenage daughter, and caring for his ailing father, officer Marshall struggles to remind himself there's no such thing as werewolves.
Not perfect, but another quirky film that was tense and enjoyable.

The Howling – 1981
After a bizarre and near deadly encounter with a serial killer, a television newswoman is sent to a remote mountain resort whose residents may not be what they seem.
Another one that tops a lot of lists, this classic is good but best when the werewolves are not clearly seen.

Wolfen – 1981
A New York cop investigates a series of brutal deaths that resemble animal attacks.
It’s been years since I’ve seen it, but this was a unique take on the legend and very brooding.

So, there you have it – my favorite werewolf movies!

In Darkness: The Werewolf
By L. Diane Wolfe

Souls shrouded in darkness…
On her own in England, Vicki trains at a prestigious fencing school. Face marred by a birthmark, she’s suspicious of Nicholas’ attention. A dinner date reveals his genuine interest and they begin to connect. Nicholas is attractive and she wonders why he’s so shy and reclusive.
Then one evening she happens upon him changing into a lycan. Every werewolf legend is challenged by the gentle, fearful creature before her. Vickie accepts his secret, but Nicholas knows he’s an unpredictable beast. Can they trust love enough to overcome their physical challenges?

Romance/Paranormal/Shifter, Romance/Paranormal, Fantasy/Paranormal
$3.99 eBook ISBN 9781939844927
Links: Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Scribed, and Goodreads

A professional speaker and author, L. Diane Wolfe conducts seminars, offers book formatting, and author consultation. She’s the senior editor at Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. and contributes to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Find her: website, blog, and at the IWSG site.

IWSG Day Responses

To say the last IWSG day was overwhelming is an understatement. You guys are amazing! So many touching responses to the question about what the IWSG means to you. Too many to name for sure!

I never envisioned this group would still be going twelve years later. The blog hop is smaller, but that’s all right. More intimate. (And I managed to visit everyone last time!) We also have other IWSG groups for writers to join – Facebook, Twitter/X, and Instagram. Pus don’t forget there is our newsletter and the main website.

So, thanks to everyone who is a part of the IWSG in some way. I’m excited it means a safe haven for writers for those who participate, because that’s exactly what I wanted A place for all of us insecure writers to hang out!

What are your favorite werewolf films? What did you think of the IWSG responses this month? You guys rock!

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Insecure Writer’s Support Group’s Twelve Year Anniversary and September Movie Preview

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

The awesome co-hosts for the September 6 posting of the IWSG are Sonia Dogra, J Lenni Dorner, Pat Garcia, Sarah - The Faux Fountain Pen, and Meka James!

Today’s question: The IWSG celebrates 12 years today! When did you discover the IWSG, how do you connect, and how has it helped you?

Over twelve years ago, a casual comment to a writer friend led me to the name and idea of an Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

We began as this blog hop before launching the website a year later. Then followed Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a newsletter. And book contests! Our Twitter pitch, #IWSGPit. Plus we even sell IWSG swag. (Profits help pay for the domain name and email.)

First, big shout-out to my fellow IWSG Admins - Michelle, Diane, Pat, C. Lee, Juneta, Sandra, and the dozen previous admins who kept everything going.

Second, a big shout-out to all of you! Those of you participating in the blog hop, members of the Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram groups, subscribe to the newsletter, participated in the contests and #IWSGPit, support writers by reading…you are all awesome!

September Movie Preview

Here are the theatrical releases for September. Descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snark provided by me.

1 –

The Equalizer 3
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Stars: Denzel Washington, Dakota Fanning, David Denman, Sonia Ammar Robert McCall finds himself at home in Southern Italy but he discovers his friends are under the control of local crime bosses. As events turn deadly, McCall knows what he has to do: become his friends' protector by taking on the mafia.
How many sequels do we need before Denzel can balance his checkbook?

15 –

A Haunting in Venice
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Stars: Kelly Reilly, Kenneth Branagh, Michelle Yeoh
In post-World War II Venice, Poirot, now retired and living in his own exile, reluctantly attends a seance. But when one of the guests is murdered, it is up to the former detective to once again uncover the killer.
Spoiler alert – the gondola did it!

22 –

Director: Scott Waugh
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, 50 Cent. Megan Fox, Dolph Lundgren
The Expendables will square up against an arms dealer who commands the might of a massive private army.
Surprisingly, this movie is about tea parties and long, intricate conversations…not!

When did you discover the IWSG and what has it meant to you? Any movies catch your interest this month?
Be back in a couple weeks with a special guest!

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, Oppenheimer and They Cloned Tyrone Reviews, and August Movie Preview

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

The awesome co-hosts for the August 2 posting of the IWSG are Kate Larkindale, Diane Burton, Janet Alcorn, and Shannon Lawrence!

Today’s question: Have you ever written something that afterwards you felt conflicted about? If so, did you let it stay how it was, take it out, or rewrite it?

I don’t think I ever have. I write from my moral gut, so nothing there to alter. My only conflict was killing a main character, but I left it in anyway. Although some people protested the fact there are no women in my first book. (Read the second and you'll understand why.) I never changed it though. How about you?

Just a heads up – next month is the twelve-year anniversary of the IWSG!



Christopher Nolan’s latest ambitious project covers a portion of the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the man key to the development of the atomic bomb.
Like all Nolan films, this one boasts a high level of brilliance on every level. The visuals are precise, purposeful, and striking. The music fits every scene, often haunting and unsettling. And the acting – everyone brings their A game.
Most notably is of course Cillian Murphy in the title role. He wastes no words, gestures, or expressions. Robert Downey Jr. also blends into his role as Lewis Strauss.
My one negative – can no one make a movie under two hours anymore? At three hours, it’s just too long.
That said, every scene is riveting. Good luck getting up to go to the bathroom! For a talking film, it moves at a fast clip and clues are dropped every time the scene changes.
The moment they test the bomb is of course spectacular. Although I liked the last third of the film (what happens after that test) the best.
I didn’t love it yet I have to highly recommend it!

They Cloned Tyrone

Set in the ghetto, strange events leads to three people trying to track down the truth.
Highly recommended, I had no idea what to expect. And the first ten-fifteen minutes just follows Tyrone as he traverses The Glen and its slew of shady characters. (Who do not hold back with their colorful language.) I was beginning to wonder.
Then things get weird!
Yes, they discover Tyrone has been cloned. And a bunch of other suspicious events start piling on top of that.
Where this movie excels is in the banter between the three leads. John Boyega (Finn from Star Wars) is Tyrone Fontaine the drug-dealer, Jamie Foxx is Slick Charles the pimp, and Teyonah Parris is Yo-Yo the ho. As they stumble through the bizarre, X-Files like things happening, they keep it light with exchanges that will have you laughing out loud.
This film isn’t for everyone, but if you can handle the language, I really recommend it.

August Movie Preview

Here are the theatrical releases for August. Descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snark provided by me.

4 –

The Meg 2: The Trench
Director: Ben Wheatley
Stars: Jason Statham, Jing Wu, Sienna Guillory
Sequel to the 2018 film 'The Meg.'
Not so much a sequel as a cheap ploy by Discovery Channel to pad out Shark Week.

10 –

Director: Salvador Simo
Stars: Bill Nighy, Anthony Howell, Brendan Coyle
In ancient China, dragons were once friends of humans, but our greed ended their alliance, and these magical creatures were hunted down. Years later, in a remote fortress, a young slave girl, Ping, strikes up an unlikely friendship.
When I was in high school, I had a trapper keeper…

11 –

Last Voyage of the Demeter
Director: André Øvredal
Stars: Corey Hawkins, Aisling Franciosi, Liam Cunningham
Based on a single chapter, the Captain's Log, from Bram Stoker's classic 1897 novel Dracula, the story is set aboard the Russian schooner Demeter, which was chartered to carry private cargo - twenty-four unmarked wooden crates - from Carpathia to London. The film will detail the strange events that befell the doomed crew as they attempt to survive the ocean voyage, stalked each night by a terrifying presence on board the ship. When it finally arrived near Whitby Harbour, it was a derelict. There was no trace of the crew.
Please don’t suck. Or please do! I’m so confused…

17 –

RiffTrax Live: RAD
Going to be awesome!

18 –

Blue Beetle
Director: Angel Manuel Soto
Stars: Becky G, Bruna Marquezine, Xolo Maridueña
An alien relic chooses Jaime Reyes to be its symbiotic host, bestowing the teenager with a suit of armor that's capable of extraordinary and unpredictable powers, forever changing his destiny as he becomes the superhero Blue Beetle.
Special guest appearance by Herbie the Love Bug!

Have you written something that made you feel conflicted? Have you seen Oppenheimer or They Cloned Tyrone? Any movies catch your eye for August?

Monday, July 17, 2023

IWSG and Inspiring Advice

I and the other admins are at the IWSG site with something unique for you today - Inspiring Advice From IWSG Experts. Come join us!

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Insecure Writer’s Support Group; July Movie Preview; and Reviews – The Flash and From

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

The awesome co-hosts for the July 5 posting of the IWSG are PJ Colando, Kim Lajevardi, Gwen Gardner, Pat Garcia, and Natalie Aguirre!

July 5 question - 99% of my story ideas come from dreams. Where do yours predominantly come from?

I would have to say from a mix of media. Movies, music, and art. All three influenced the ideas behind my books.

The IWSG Goodreads Book Club had a great run. But Toi Thomas is stepping down and we have decided not to continue the group. It will continue until the end of July. We appreciate Toi’s hard work these past few years and we’re grateful she was a part of the IWSG team. Thanks to all who participated in the book club and we hope you found some great new reads.

Co-Hosts needed!
We need two-three more for August 2, three to four for September 6, and three to four more for October 4. Leave a comment or email me if you can do any of those months.


The Flash

Unlike most of the movie-goers out there, I went to see this film and enjoyed it.
It did a serviceable job telling the story of Flashpoint. There were complaints about the Speed Force, but it worked for me.
The opening scene with the Flash and Batman was thrilling. And there are many more exciting action scenes.
Plus there are a ton of Easter eggs and surprises.
It certainly leaves room for a sequel that sadly will never happen. If you didn’t see it in the theater, you’d be able to soon on several streaming services.
Overall, I had a blast watching it. Lots of fun, great action, several hilarious scenes, and all laced with elements of grief and loss, which is the heart of this story.
If you aren’t sick of superhero movies, then I’d highly recommend it.


Streaming on MGM, first season free on Prime Video.
People come to this town, but no matter what they do, they can’t leave. They can’t communicate with the world beyond their town. Oh, and there are creatures that will torture and kill you if you are not safely in your home, guarded by a talisman.
That in of itself sounds creepy and crazy, but wait – you’ve not seen anything yet!
Every episode piles on more twists, more problems, more dangers, and very few answers. It’s frustrating sometimes, but the really compelling element to this series is the people.
There’s Boyd, the sheriff trying his best to hold the town together. Donna, who runs Colony House, who is one tough, no-nonsense mama. Jade, who is annoyed by everything and everyone but despite his attitude, you like him. And that’s just it – most of the people, despite the things they do wrong, are decent folks who are just being beaten down by an almost hopeless situation.
There are moments of intense gore, but it’s not the focus. This is a real mindbender of a series. If you like a puzzle (think the series 1899) then you will really be captivated by this show.

July Movie Preview

Here are the theatrical releases for July. Descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snark provided by me.

12 –

Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Stars: Rebecca Ferguson, Tom Cruise, Pom Klementieff, Simon Pegg
Ethan Hunt and his IMF team must track down a dangerous weapon before it falls into the wrong hands.
And I’m dead sure I won’t remember any of this film by the time part two comes out…

21 –

Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr.
The story of American scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer and his role in the development of the atomic bomb.
They are calling it the feel-irradiated film of the year!

Where do your story ideas come from? Can you help co-host any of those months? Seen The Flash or From? And any movies catch your eye for July?

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Insecure Writer’s Support Group; June Movie Preview; and Reviews – Fast X, Spider-Man, and Three Thousand Years of Longing

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

The awesome co-hosts for the June 7 posting of the IWSG are Patrcia Josephine, Diedre Knight, Olga Godim, J. Lenni Dorner, and Cathrina Constantine!

I'm also at the IWSG Anthologies Blog today!

Before I jump into today’s post, I have sad news.
Ken Rahmoeller (Chemist Ken) was about to publish his first book, Accidental Alchemist. Unfortunately, he also had a brain tumor and lost the battle last month. (You can read his obituary here.)
Ken was such a great part of the IWSG and loved to co-host. He will be greatly missed. We hope that his book will still become a reality and he finally gets to be a published author.
God bless you, Ken. We will miss you.

June 7 question - If you ever did stop writing, what would you replace it with?

I’d just continue with my guitar playing, which is what I am mostly doing right now. Plus I’m enjoying taking care of our property and doing outside work. So, I’d be okay not writing. (But I am thinking of another short story sequel to Dragon of the Stars.)

It’s time for WEP again!
June is Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
There is a critique prize and possibility for inclusion in the WEP Anthology.
Check out the WEP site for details.


Fast X

Dom Toretto and his family are targeted by the vengeful son of drug kingpin Hernan Reyes.
Did you enjoy the first nine movies? Then you will enjoy this one.
The action scenes are huge and over the top, but so much fun to watch.
It’s a bit long with some scenes not necessary. But I guess it was all about character building and bonding.
Jason Mamoa is over the top as the crazy, eccentric millionaire son with a vengeance.
The cast is huge and there are some surprises.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Just as fun and unique as the first film.
The animation style is so unique, as if dozens of different artists all worked on the project and their styles were blended together.
It’s also very, very funny. We do like a snarky-funny Spider-Man. And there are many, many versions of Spider-Man!
Be warned it’s a long movie (145 minutes) although the pace really picks up towards the end and you don’t even notice the passage of time. And also know this is part one of two, so it ends on a cliffhanger.
And after you read my comment in the movies releases below, yes – we got Peter Porker as Spider-Pig!
Highly Recommended!

Three Thousand Years of Longing

Interesting movie, sometimes hard to watch.
Idris the best part of the movie.
Tilda toned down her weirdness for this one. (As I think she’s a bit of an odd person.)
It’s quirky and odd, told mostly in flashbacks
If there were deeper meanings I was to take away from the film, I guess I missed them. (Beyond genie in a bottle, three wishes, and your heart’s desire.)
If you want something quirky and a bit puzzling, check it out.

June Movie Preview

Here are the theatrical releases for June. Descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snark provided by me.

2 -

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Miles Morales catapults across the Multiverse, where he encounters a team of Spider-People charged with protecting its very existence. When the heroes clash on how to handle a new threat, Miles must redefine what it means to be a hero.
Directors - Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson
Stars - Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Oscar Isaac
Got my fingers crossed for more Spider-Pig!

9 –

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts

Based on the 'Transformers' spinoff 'Beast Wars' which feature robots that transform into robotic animals.
Director - Steven Caple Jr.
Stars - Pete Davidson, Michelle Yeoh, Ron Perlman
Well, they transformed Michael Bay right out of the series, so this one might not be as bad…

16 –

The Flash
Barry Allen uses his super speed to change the past, but his attempt to save his family creates a world without super heroes, forcing him to race for his life in order to save the future.
Director - Andy Muschietti
Stars – Ezra Miller, Ben Affleck, Sasha Calle, Michael Keaton, Michael Shannon
Like a unicorn sighting, this could be the rare three Batman movie!

30 –

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Archaeologist Indiana Jones races against time to retrieve a legendary artifact that can change the course of history.
Director - James Mangold
Stars - Harrison Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads Mikkelsen, Antonio Banderas
Let’s hope the real subtitle isn’t Indiana Jones and the Suckage of All Movies. (Like the last one.)

What would you replace writing with? Have you seen Fast X, Spider-Man, or A Thousand Years of Longing? What movies catch your eye for June? Be sure to visit the IWSG Anthologies Blog!
I will be offline for most of June, so see you July 5 for the next IWSG posting.