Monday, November 30, 2015

Monday Movie Mania - Spectre

James Bond is back for his twenty-fourth outing. SPECTRE is back. Bond's arch-nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld is back. The long-haired pussy is back. And yet, the whole thing left me rather wanting.

1) The storyline gives Blofeld a rather personal reason for hating Bond beyond the usual "He ruined my plan for world domination!"

2) As in Skyfall, the new M and Moneypenny don't merely send James on a mission. They take active roles in the plot, as does Q. The four work as a team for once.

3) A cameo from Dame Judi Dench!

1) The opening sequence during the Los Dias de los Muertos Festival in Mexico City, while it had spectacular stunts, could have better used to set the mood.

2) I actually wanted Moneypenny and Q to ditch Bond and deal with the situation themselves. The parts with Bond dragged the plot or were boring.

3) No offense to Lea Seydoux, but I'd rather have seen Monica Bellucci as the main Bond girl. She and Daniel Craig had much more on-screen chemistry.

Overall. Spectre is let down after Skyfall, but it's still a solid Bond film. I give 7 out of 10 stars.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

New Stuff I'm Listening to

Passive Guy posted a video by this lovely lady, and I fell in love with her music.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Happy Life Day!

Remember being a kid in 1978 and desperately wanting more Star Wars?

Remember when we got the Star Wars Holiday Special at Thanksgiving?

Remember the late, great Bea Arthur arguing with aliens?

It's ba-a-a-a-ack!

Click here to watch because I wasn't allowed to embed it.

Friday, November 20, 2015

More Thoughts on How to Know If You're Ready to Publish

Well, I got about 700 words in on Wednesday before I ended up at my doctor's with a massive UTI. I started to get angry about getting nothing done over the last two days until DH pointed out with my chronic situation, it takes me longer and longer to recover from any problem, bacterial or viral. It doesn't help that I'm developing nasty side effects to drugs I've taken before with no problem.

So I've been crashed out on the couch alternating between Bones, Grimm, Supernatural and Leverage for the last forty-eight hours, except when I'm sleeping twelve hours straight.

What does this have to do with knowing when you're ready to publish?

I finally got the energy a bit ago to crack open my laptop and take a gander at the notes my beta reader e-mailed me concerning A Question of Balance. All three lines. Yep, only three lines concerning the first couple of chapters.

So I asked, "Where's the rest of the notes?"

"Um, there aren't any."

I'm a little flabbergasted. "You can't tell me the book was perfect."

"Well, I got so into it I forgot to take notes."

This isn't the first time that's happened to me. I've have various readers, editors and friends say something similar. That's what I want. To tell such a spellbinding story the reader doesn't see the boo-boo's.

I'm not saying you shouldn't line edit or proofread your work. By all means, please fix the typos! But if your story is so compelling your beta reader doesn't notice the typos, then you're ready to send your baby out in the world.

Just make sure it has a clean diaper first.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

NaNoWriMo - The Half-way Point

I'm still plugging along with Ravaged. Before I start this morning, I'm at 17,065 words. Yep, I know. At the 18th, I should be around the 28K mark.

Honestly, I got distracted over the weekend by the events in Paris. I'm usually pretty good about keeping distractions at bay, but this time, I was more worried about the ramifications here in the U.S. This isn't a political blog, and I won't get into it any more than that.

The other problem, which is more of a real problem, was tying events in Ravaged back into the events of Blood Sacrifice. It's been two years since I even read my own damn book, I'd forgotten a lot of details. I spent a good chunk of writing time yesterday re-reading the scenes regarding the Sunshine Believers. For a group that were intended as throw-away bad guys in Zombie Love, they've become quite integral to the overall plot.

Can I catch up and "win" this year's NaNo? That's a good question. I don't know, and I'm not going to worry about it. What I'm going to do is plunge ahead because the shit's in the story is about to hit the fan.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Monday Movie Mania--A Day Late

"The Last Witch Hunter poster" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia
I overslept yesterday. I really overslept. As in I woke up at 11:50 a.m.

Yep, that late. Which is why you're getting Monday Movie Mania on a Tuesday.

DH and I went to The Last Witch Hunter on my birthday weekend. The basic premise has so much potential. The movie had some fantastic actors. The special effects were top notch. Yet, the film felt flat.

1) Vin Diesel said in an interview that this was the first movie he made after Paul Walker's death. Vin's performance in the scenes where Kaulder deals with his family's death shows Vin channeling his real grief into his character.

1) Yeah, only one plus. The rest of Vin's performance was stiff and wooden compared to his usual subtle charm in the Fast & Furious franchise or even my favorite, The Pacifier.

2) The supporting cast consisted of incredible actors (Elijah Wood, Michael Caine and Rose Leslie) that were given incredibly crappy dialogue and their characters poor motivation for their actions and decisions.

3) The plot itself could have been a retread from any of a dozen half-assed D-movies. Nothing surprising, nothing really adventurous or questionable was done. It would have even been better if Wood's character had given up the priesthood for Rose Leslie's witch.

Overall, this is one of those movies you have on in the background on a rainy afternoon while doing your taxes. Yep, that's how much thought you'll need for this one. But it's still better than the Worst Movie Ever, aka Happily Never After.

I give it 3 out of 10 stars.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Friday, November 13, 2015

Why I Never Saw Jem in the Theaters

I debated over whether to see Jem & the Holograms. Initial reviews were terrible, but often I love things that the critics hate. I was hesitant because of the alterations to the animated series' storyline. I'm glad now that I didn't go.

Jem & the Holograms is the lowest grossing movie of  2015. Not only that, but Universal pulled it after two weeks in national release. A movie with a $5m budget managed to bring in only $2m in the U.S. Universal hasn't released it to the rest of the world, and there's some debate about whether it will go ahead with the February premiere in London.

That's sad. That's truly, truly sad. (Yes, I'm mocking here.)

Every other Hasbro property movie has eight to nine figures dumped into it. Not Jem. Hell, they couldn't even give it an original story, much less the animated series' origin story. No, Jon Chu and company ripped off Justin Bieber's personal history. *shudder*

Here's a video review by RebelTaxi, which is alternately funny, despairing and bittersweet over what could have been:

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Breaking Down and Advertising

I really thought I wouldn't succumb. Over the last year, I tried to hold back for as long as I could. But I finally realized I wasn't following my own advice. Say it with me everyone!

Publishing is a business. Treat it like one.

I've provided links to various retailers where my books are sold as a convenience for me and for readers. For a long time, I wasn't getting anything out of the deal. Basically, I was leaving extra money on the table. I realized I needed to change when I was adding the link for Sword and Sorceress 30.

So, to that end, I've added my Amazon Associate ID to the Amazon links on this website for U.S. e-books and trade paperbacks over the last week.

What does this mean to you?

If you click on one of my U.S. Amazon links, I will get a few cents for anything you buy on Amazon over the next 24 hours EXCEPT my own books. Weird, I know, but that's Amazon's rules.

There WILL NOT be any extra cost to you.

What happens? Let's say you click on the U.S. link for Blood Magick and buy it. I don't get anything because it's my product. But if you think, "Hey, I want Jonathan Moeller's Child of the Ghosts, too!" Nope, I don't get anything because it's free. (Which is totally fine, and if you haven't read it, you really should!)

But then Fluffy headbutts your tablet, and you remember, "OMG! I need cat food!" So you order ten cans of Friskies at $1.00 per can. You pay your $10.00, and I get 4% or $0.40 out of Amazon's pocket, not yours.

Cool, huh?

Over the rest of the year, I'll probably set up affiliate accounts with the other bookstores. In a way, it sucks, but I swear not to post flashing, annoying ads like Facebook and Google.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Special Preview from SPECTRE

I love James Bond and can't wait to see the new film. Here's a special preview of SPECTRE from Stephen Colbert.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Sword and Sorceress 30 Release Week!

It's out! Sword and Sorceress 30 is now available in both e-book and print. The volume contains my second Justice short story, "Diplomacy in the Dark."

So far, the e-books are available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and the print book is available online at Amazon. If you want to support your local indie bookseller, you can always have them order a copy through Ingrams.

Hopefully, I'll have the full-length novel, A Question of Balance, out soon as well. It's currently with my beta reader, who also happens to be the timekeeper for their local high school's soccer teams. Unfortunately, regional tournaments started last week. ARGH!

I shouldn't complain since it's totally my fault for not getting the story to my beta sooner. And I totally rely on this person because without them, I wouldn't have licensed the two short stories to my favorite anthology!

What I can give you a sneak preview of is the cover from For the Muse Designs. Cool, right?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The End of the Elloras Cave Versus Dear Author Saga

I waited a while before I wrote this post to collect my thoughts. My initial opinion is What A Gigantic Waste of Time!

That's the former lawyer in me raising her bleary head. Between a little litigation experience and clerking for a county judge, I figured the suit would end on October 22nd after perusing the latest documentation of the case. That was the date scheduled for the Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment Hearing. I hate it that I was right. Except instead of a judgment, the parties settled prior to the scheduled hearing.

Here's my previous thoughts on why EC's lawsuit wasn't a good idea and how the whole fiasco damaged the principals' reputations.

Of course, the settlement has a non-disclosure agreement so neither party can talk about the actually terms. There's quite a few people upset over the settlement, thinking DA has paid off EC.

I really doubt that's the situation Based on my experience (which like this case, I can't talk specifics because of NDAs) and after wading through the pleadings and exhibits, my GUESS is the parties agreed to walk away and pay their own attorneys' fees.

Again, that's my GUESS. The only people who know for sure are Jennifer Garrish-Lampe, Tina Engler and their attorneys.

The important thing is that real discussions of events and companies within the publishing industry was not chilled. Silencing people helps no one in the fucking business. That fear of being blackballed is why so many publishers' contracts contain so many terms detrimental to writers.

I really can't add anything that other blogs haven't already covered, and covered much more extensively and eloquently. If you're curious, check out the following:

The Passive Voice
Deidre Saoirse Moen
Courtney Milan

All I can say is thank Goddess it's over, and I hope the other EC authors wanting their rights back get them. Unfortunately, I doubt if the authors, editors and artists will ever see another penny of what they are owed.

Monday, November 2, 2015

It's NaNoWriMo Time!

Yesterday started National Novel Writing Month, a crazy, fun-filled thirty days where writers, from newbies to multi-decade vets, plan to write a 50,000-word novel. Some succeed; some don't. In the end, it's really a question of learning to push your limits.

In my case, it's a question of learning how to pants. In other words, trusting my subconscious instead of planning every minute detail. (In case, you haven't figured it out, I'm an A++ personality. LOL)

On top of practicing my pantsing, I'm working on juggling  the various elements of being a publisher. To that end, I need to get my daily word count in for Ravaged, which is Book 7 of the Bloodlines series and my NaNo project for 2015.

On top of that, I'm still proofing the print copies of Blood Magick and Zombie Love, waiting for my beta reader to get back to me about A Question of Balance, approving the e-book cover of A Question of Balance, send out prizes for a blog contest for Alter Ego, work on Zombie Goddess (which is worked on AFTER the daily word count of Ravaged) because it needs to released first, and squeeze in a few words on Sacrificed while waiting in line to pick up Genius Kid from school.

And that last one brings me to another observation. Some writers think they can only write in the perfect room at the perfect temperature, wearing the perfect clothes, sipping the perfect drink and nibbling the perfect chocolate.

Um, no. That's actually a good way to fuck yourself up as a writer.

I'm currently writing Sacrificed on the note function of my ancient iPhone 4 during the five to ten minutes I'm sitting in the car pick-line of the local high school. I can't focus for two hours with my tea like I prefer. Yet, I've written around 5K in those few minutes four-five days a week since school started around August 15th.

So even if the idea of writing 50K in thirty days freaks you out, remember there are other ways of working toward your goal.