Monday, January 20, 2020

The NINC Explosion

Closely on the heels of RWA's implosion, Novelists, Inc., aka NINC, apparently blew up last week over . . . wait for it . . . diversity. The furor spilled over onto Twitter. I'm not a member of NINC, so I can't comment other than from the bits and pieces I saw on Twitter, Alyssa Day has resigned as NINC president.

I'm not linking to any specific tweets. If you want to know, you can do your own research.

I can't deal with more crazy. EVERYTHING is important. I'm definitely not saying it's not important. However, I have to finish a book that truly is less harrowing with demons than the worse-than-usual shitstorm life has become.

So, blogging will be very light for the next two weeks.

I swear I'll try to find something funny to post for y'all because I'm so tired of people shitting on other people just because they can.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Friday, January 17, 2020

Snow Weekend!

A winter storm is headed our way and expected to hit here around midnight. The National Weather Service is predicting two to five inches depending which way the storm is steered by two other fronts.

This means having laptops charged, just in case we lose power. Grabbing a few quick and easy items from the store like extra creamer, eggs, and nuts. And basically settling in for several hours of writing in the morning.

Extra blankets are ready to go, so bring on the snow!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Because One Person Hates Your Work...

...it doesn't mean it's the end of your career.

Bob Mayer posted a story about having belief in yourself. One person's opinion doesn't matter. Five, one hundred, one thousand. They really don't fucking matter.

I know some writers who hang onto their rejections for years or decades. But is it healthy?

For some folks, it lights a fire in their heart or their asses to prove to those naysayers wrong.

In my case, I really broke free by shredding every single paper rejection from editors and agents and every smarmy comment from RWA contests I'd received over the years. Putting those bags of shredded bits was a huge weight off my shoulders.

But it's that spark inside of you that will keep you going. Will keep you leaning. Will keep you growing as an artist.

Ask yourself if you're happy with your progress. Because only your opinion really matters in the long run.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Monday Movie Mania - Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

The family went to see Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker on Christmas Day. Frankly, it's taken me some time to come to grips with my disappointment.

You need to remember something--I was eleven when the original Star Wars debuted in theaters in May of 1977. It became the common denominator between all the kids in my grade school. At a time when adult movies were gritty and depressing or the kids' movies talked down to us, Star Wars was flat-out fun.

The start of the disappointment comes from comparing two different subdivisions under the Disney umbrella. Marvel's Kevin Feige allowed individual writers and directors incorporate different personalities in the MCU without diverging from the overarching theme and plot.

However, Kathleen Kennedy at Lucasfilm didn't seem to have that kind of a reach or control over her directors and writers. The only one of the new films meshed with the original trilogy, and that was Rogue One.

But this should have been the ultimate coda to the saga. . .


* * *


SPOILERS


* * *


PROS
1) J.J. Abrams probably didn't write the epilogue ending because it was perfect. Rey going to the Lars homestead to literally bury the ghosts of the past. And her answer when someone asks who she is? It's all about making your own destiny instead of living under the shadow of the past.

2) The insinuation at the end of the battle that Rey, Finn, and Poe become a thruple. I really don't give a damn about Reylo. It was never going to work, and Ben had to die for his sins just like his grandfather.


CONS
1) Holy Thoth! Where to begin? Let's start with chopping Rose Tico out of pretty much the entire movie to appease the alt-right fanboys. She should have been this trilogies' Lando Calrissian, the potential rival for Finn's affections for Rey and Poe. Nope, let's just shove her in a corner.

2) Another MacGuffin? Seriously? This time, it was a stupid Sith knife and map that made no difference to the plot.

3) Inserting Leia awkwardly into the narrative. Why not admit General Organa was dead in the beginning scrawl? I don't have a problem with her Force ghost showing up at the end, but the scenes with Carrie were awkward as fuck.

4) The prick-waving one-upmanship between The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson and J.J. Abrams. Part of this goes back to Kathleen Kennedy having no control when it comes to the Lucasfilm universe. But eighty per cent of it rests squarely on the two men trying rewrite each other's visions for the Star Wars universe instead of working together.

5) Breaking the in-unverse rules. Especially those regarding hyperspace travel. Again. It goes back to CON #4's dude-bro pricking-waving.

6) Can we get any more phallic than Rey running Kylo Ren through with her lightsaber? Then healing the little shit makes him turn a new leaf? That had to have been the most unearned moment in the movie.

7) Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious is back with no fucking explanation as to how he survived the fall down the shaft, much less the explosion of the second Death Star.

8) The totally icky, skeevy moment between Lando and Jannah. If she's supposed to be his daughter, why not have Lando fucking say his daughter was kidnapped? Otherwise, the optics in the #METOO makes it just EEEEWWWW!

9) Oh, and speaking of the emperor, where the hell did that fleet come from?

10) And first Rey's a nobody, but then she's the granddaughter of Palpatine? Which brings me to--if Disney's going to erase the SWEU from continuity, then fucking do something original instead of pulling storylines from the SWEU and then doing half-assed things with them!


Okay, I stopping there before I give myself an aneurysm. Once again, J.J. Abrams threw cool shit from the original trilogy at the screen in an incoherent mess. If you haven't seen it in theaters, don't bother going. Wait until it's out on Blu-Ray or there's a Star Wars weekend on TNT.

Overall, I reluctantly give Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker 5 stars out of 10.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Friday, January 10, 2020

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

The First Setback of the New Year

After bouncing business things off DH while we were mall walking (hey, it's fucking cold here, and the last thing I need is bronchitis right before I head to Vegas for a writers' workshop), I came to the hard decision to push back the release date for A Touch of Mother by a month.

I simply did not get the writing in that I should have during December. Getting a stomach bug that went for a good three days started the downhill slide. Then, I spent a lot of time with GK while he was home on leave for twelve days. I spent more time doing homework for the workshop. And the main crime in this novel is child sex slave trafficking.

There's a part of me worried sick about my own child given current events. A part that doesn't want to deal with certain elements of this story.

While I do not write graphic detail regarding the crimes in the Justice series, my mind still fills in the blanks. Especially given the shit that goes on in the world today. So now I know what's holding me back, I can work past it and resume my writing.

On the plus side, the Season of Magick Anthology is already uploaded and ready to go, so there won't be a delay in its release. I also am flying into Vegas a few days earlier than I planned (got to love cheap deals on flights and hotels in Sin City!), so I'm holing up in a hotel with a Starbucks and will write my ass off on the Millersburg Magick Mystery series.

In conclusion, I'm girding my loins and plowing on. I do sincerely apologize to all of you that pre-ordered A Touch of Mother for my tardiness. I want to make this an awesome story that's worth your time and money.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Comic Book Stores: Third Time Was Not the Charm

There's one last story from the November trip to Denver.

I've talked about my issues with comic book stores two years ago. I started with a couple of articles in the online magazine ComicMix, specifically how many owners and employees were chasing away paying customers, then lamenting why their businesses were failing. Then a male someone sent me a note, attempting to dispute my first blog post.

Why am I bringing this all up again?

The one place I really wanted to visit when DH and I went to Denver was Mile High Comics. When I was a kid, MHC always sound like a magical place to visit--a huge warehouse FULL of nearly all the comics ever produced!

I used their subscription service N.I.C.E through the nineties because I moved a lot with my job, then DH's job. I had to give it up shortly after Genius Kid was born because I simply didn't have time to read everything I wanted to anymore.

So Saturday afternoon after DH's meetings were done, we drove out to MHC. I didn't know they were having a giant Yu-Gi-Oh regional tournament that day, so the place was crowded. I think there were maybe three shoppers besides us.

Of course, I headed straight for the Wonder Woman and X-men sections, pulled what I wanted from my wishlist, and DH offered to hold them while I browsed through the dollar bins. He wondered off to look at some action figures.

And that's when the young dude-bro employee came up and asked if I needed help. After my polite no-thank-you, he kept talking. He finally brought up the stack of books he seen me with earlier.

Okay, a loss prevention move. That I could understand having spent my time in the retail trenches. I said my husband was holding them for me while I continued to look. Which led to a description, except I couldn't remember what shirt he had on that day. Hey, it happens after twenty-five years together!

So we find DH. Then dude-bro wants to see what we had. We complied, and that's when he crossed a line.

"Wow, these are all shit," dude-bro said sarcastically. I gave him the evil glare of death. He backtracked by saying, "Just joking."

Then he tried to engage DH. It really went downhill from there. It totally didn't register with dude-bro the woman with the Wonder Woman t-shirt and Deadpool backpack might be the comics aficionado. At least not until DH bluntly said, "I just go to the superhero movies with her." At that point, dude-bro turned bright red and rushed off.

And I was disappointed and ready to leave.

However, the two guys at the cashwrap were our age, totally polite to me, and kept their opinions of my choices to themselves. In fact, they gave me a Vertigo Death postcard.

So where am I going with all this?

Despite some people's efforts to rewrite history, female fans of geek things have been around for a long, long time. We're not going away any time soon.

But on the other side of the coin, I'm now starting to run into younger female geeks with a similar prove-to-me-you're-a-real-fan attitude.

Kids, I don't have to prove jackshit to any of you. I learned how to read from Spider-man when Stan Lee was still writing it. I remember Apollo 8's Christmas Eve transmission from lunar orbit. I consumed Star Trek fanfic printed on ditto machines (google that one, children!). I'm old enough to be your grandmother, and I waved my geek flag proudly long before your parents were born.

Everyone needs to get over themselves, thank our lucky stars that geek fandom has gone mainstream, and enjoy the fact that we can talk about our passions in public, instead of hiding in our parents' basements.

No fan is better than any other. We all need to settle down and be glad we can share our loves. Because it's the stories that matter in the end.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

I Love the '70's!

Let's take a step back and listen to some classics...