Friday, May 31, 2019

Always Something to Learn

This season's Game of Thrones has been a major topic of writers over the last week and a half. Jo sent me the link to the latest episode of the #FatmanBeyond podcast where Marc and Kevin talk about what works and what doesn't in a story, both in general and more specifically the eighth season of GOT and John Wick Chapter 3.

Here's the thing: Kevin Smith is, at heart, a storyteller. It doesn't matter whether you like his shit or not (though the twelve-year-old boy in me LOVES it!), he understands the dynamics that go into a satisfying experience. I always learn something when I listen to one of his college lectures or podcasts.

While both gentlemen here would say they are entertaining, there's far more than a grain of truth for writers in here.

Of course, I wouldn't recommend listening to this without earbuds because it's definitely not safe for work, small children, or your in-laws.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Keanu and Puppies

Because I've been raving about John Wick Chapter 3 for the last week, a friend sent me this link...

Monday, May 27, 2019

Monday Movie Mania - John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum

I'm a huge Keanu Reeves fan, and I loved the first two John Wick movies. The third episode did not disappoint.

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1) The expansion of the Wick universe. An Adjudicator from the High Table tries to punish everyone who "helped" John in the second movie.

2) John's first concern is Dog. It's nice to see John's four-legged companion is retained after what happened to Daisy in the first movie.

3) Holy crap! Halle Berry and her character's dogs more than made up for the evil that was done to Daisy. Moral of JW3 is don't fuck with her babies either!

4) Mark Dacascos as Zero. His turn as the oddly fanboy-ish assassin the Adjudicator personally assigns to deal with John was a delight. The man does not get enough credit.

5) The double-cross. Or was it a triple-cross? Inquiring minds can't wait for Chapter 4!

1) Aurelio and Cassian did not appear in this movie. I want them back!

2) Not enough Halle Berry.

3) The score didn't have the same impact for this movie that it did in the previous flicks.

Overall, I give John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum 9 stars out of 10. Why a lower score than Chapter 2? It feels like this story is a preparation for something bigger.  John Wick Chapter 4 was greenlit on May 21st for a 2021 release.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Pay the Writer

The latest scam making the rounds is where a writer ghostwrites a book for an established author and the writer pays the established author for the privilege.

Yep, you read that correctly.

For example, my friend Angie is nudging me to write Book 4 of the 888-555-HERO series. If I told her she could write the book but it would be published by me under my name, and she would have to pay me $1000 to do it, would she do it?

Angie's smart enough to tell me to fuck myself, and rightfully so. She understands money flows toward the author. I understand that concept. Probably, most of you reading this understands that concept.

But amazingly, there's a ton of writers who think paying for the privilege to write under someone else's name is their ticket to riches and glory.

I've had a couple of people get snippy with me, saying I'm anti-ghostwriter. I'm not. Some folks are awesome at ghostwriting.

A gal I used to know in Houston has ghostwritten a few celebrity memoirs. I admire her skill at capturing different people's voices. And she was paid handsomely by the celebrity or the publisher for writing those memoirs. She did not pay the celebrity or the publisher for the privilege of doing all the research and text for those books.

Cthulu dammit! Not even James Patterson is that evil! He pays his ghostwriters, not the other way around.

If you are doing the writing, you should be getting paid. Here's a snippit from Dreams with Sharp Teeth:

Monday, May 20, 2019

Monday Movie Mania - Avengers: Endgame

So! Many! Mixed! Feelings!


I know it's hard to do every single character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe justice in a huge ensemble movie like this. And if it were just the fact my favorite characters didn't get what I considered adequate screen time, I wouldn't be so pissy.

The sheer numbers of awesome callbacks to both the comics and the previous movies almost make up for the things that drove me crazy.


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1) The A-Force shot was awesome! I want this movie, but I know Marvel Studios won't deliver it.

2) Gray Hulk!

3) Steve got to say both "Hail Hydra" and "Avengers, assemble!"

4) Tony's character comes full circle with "I am Iron Man."

5) Tim Hiddleston and Rene Russo had incredible moments.

6) Thor's joy at learning he was still worthy despite his chronic depression over Infinity War and the beginning of Endgame.

7) Steve's "America's ass, all right" comment to his younger self.

8) The passing of the shield.

9) The closure between Tony and his dad.

1) Why the fuck do we go through the five-minute explanation of the Many Worlds Interpretation of string theory if the writers/directors were going to ignore it anyway?

2) The huge, fucking plot holes/time holes caused by ignoring MWI.

     a) If Current Nebula kills Past Nebula, it changes the timeline.

     b) If Past Gamora still lives in the current timeline, how can Thanos sacrifice her to obtain the Soul Stone in the past?

     c) If Thanos is killed in the present, how can he collect the Infinity Stones to start the whole ball o' wax rolling?

3) And don't even get me started on each teams' multitude of interferences in the past!

Overall, it was. . .okay. I give Avengers: Endgame 7 stars out of 10.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Not Quite Star Wars...

...but it still cracks me up after all this time.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Hero De Novo Is Out!

Hero De Novo (888-555-HERO #3) went live this morning on Amazon! If you pre-ordered this book, it should be on your Kindle now. Otherwise, it's available for purchase, or you can read it for free through Kindle Unlimited!

With Captain Justice presumed dead, Aisha faces raising her super baby as a single mother. A message from Asia gives her a glimmer of hope. But is it Rey, or a Corvus trap to take her son?

In the meantime, Patty’s baby daddy, the super assassin Black Death, comes out of the woodwork, filing for custody of Grace. Harri will do anything to keep her goddaughter out of Black Death’s clutches, but will she step across her personal legal and ethical lines to save Grace?

Can both attorneys win the day with their team split up and on different continents?

Call us at 888-555-HERO. The Law Offices of Winters & Franklin, where the only thing more dangerous than a superhero is his attorney.

If you missed last month's release, Hero Ad Hoc (888-555-HERO #2) is still available for purchase or to read through Kindle Unlimited.

If you're enjoying the adventures of Harri, Aisha, and their gang and want to see more, please drop me a line!
And if you haven't picked up the first book in the series, Hero De Facto, it's currently still available for purchase on Amazon or to borrow through Kindle Unlimited.

If you're enjoying these books, I'd appreciate it if you would drop a quick review on Amazon or Goodreads.

Thank you so much for reading!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Not Again...

I got three books finished and pre-published before this year's personal life explosion.

My father passed away. It's not something I can talk about yet. So things will be quiet on the blog front except for some pre-planned posts about Hero De Novo for tomorrow.

Thanks for your patience.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

More Star Wars Music

Out of everything John Williams has written for the saga, this is my favorite piece.

Friday, May 10, 2019

The Drag of Medical Appointments

It's that time of year for all the usual annual appointments. You know, eyes, heart, blood sugars, girl parts, etc. But all my providers are spending lots of extra time talking about the C-word.

Time I'd rather spend writing.

It didn't help when I was told I need to give up caffeine. Cthuludammit! It's the one vice I have left.

I admit I'm addicted. Coffee, diet cola, tea. And of course, I just bought a new bottle of Peppermint Mocha creamer. So yummy!

Otherwise, everybody says I'm doing fine. My scar itches because all of them want to poke and prod the area searching for new lumps. That's in addition to poking and prodding the remaining breast.

Thank goodness I only have one more appointment left, and it's two weeks away. I'll remind myself where I was a year ago if I EVER complain about the writing business!

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Already Planning for 2020

Now that the first three books are done--yes, I consider Hero De Novo done because I uploaded the ebook files this afternoon--and I look to be on track for the rest of the year (*fingers crossed*), I'm starting to plan my schedule for 2020.

It's a bit of a scary thought, but only because I've had some trial or disaster fall on me every year from 2013 through 2018. I'm trying really hard not to be negative, but there's a bit of a pattern here.

I already know I want to do Justice #5 and #6. I'm throwing around a few ideas for 888-555-HERO #4. I've got a cover already for a stand alone fantasy that may or may not get turned into a trilogy. There's three more urban fantasy series plotted that were pushed to the wayside because of the flooded urban fantasy market. With Aphosis 99942 (an asteroid) on a close-Earth approach for 2029, it seems a good time to resurrect the series concerning the Egyptian gods. *grin*

Not to mention the ton of ideas for Alter Ego that I set aside when the erotic romance market was flooded by scammers.

That's already more than seven books under consideration for writing and publishing in 2020. That doesn't take into account the writing workshop, where I'll have to write at least a half-dozen short stories three months beforehand, I want to attend in February at Las Vegas.

I'm trying to keep my expectations level, and not get too ahead of myself, but it's awesome to look at so many new projects coming down the pike!

Monday, May 6, 2019

Happiness and Satisfaction in Writing

This is something I've been considering for a while. I keep hearing writers complain about writing. They can't make a living. They can't put out books fast enough. They don't have enough ideas.

The occasional times I've asked the writer what they want, they say something along the lines of  "I want to make a living as a writer."

But when I press them, what they really want is that one idea, that one book, which will  make them a fortune. A fortune they can live off of for the rest of their lives.

The golden ticket. The winning lottery number. The magic beans that will save them from obscurity.

If you want a lot of money, there's a ton of ways to get it. But guess what? You generally have to work for it.

There aren't any shortcuts in writing. But why make yourself miserable over something you hate?

Maybe it's simply our society. We equate anything to do with work as terrible. We despise play as frivolous and stupid and for children only.

So if we have work that is fun, our culture can't handle it. We need to tear it down.

Or we can chose to change our paradigm.

I prefer the latter. There's no reason not to find as much joy in our work as we do in our play. It's merely a matter of changing our mindset.

Besides, I couldn't turn off the storytelling part of my mind if I wanted to.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

May the Fourth Be With You!

Happy Star Wars Day!

And thank you, Peter Mayhew, for being the awesomest Wookie ever! Tell Carrie we miss you both!

Friday, May 3, 2019

Sticking to a Schedule

In trying to get all my minutiae finished for Hero De Novo, I find myself still awake at 4:30 a.m.

No, I haven't been to bed yet. No, it's not insomnia for once. This is my own stubbornness of sticking to a publishing schedule.

I need to learn how to stick to a schedule again if I want my business to work. Back in 2012 and 2013, I didn't have a problem. I HAD to schedule everything, or nothing got done. I was homeschooling, working a retail job, and writing.

When everything fell apart in 2013, I still managed to keep a schedule. I would have collapsed into a ball of despair otherwise.

But when 2015 rolled around, I was having to keep other people's schedules. That lasted until 2018, when I simply didn't have the mental space to schedule anything beyond the multitude of my own medical appointments.

So I found myself working on relearning something that used to be habitual. Hopefully, this old dog can relearn her old tricks.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Math = Money for Authors

Y'all know I don't often plug other people's books, but if you're a writer, you want to make writing a full-time career, and you've never owned a business before, Math = Money for Authors is something you should read.

This isn't one of those self-proclaimed gurus who teach because they can't fucking write. E A West really does write fiction for a living under the pseudonym Elizabeth Ann West. She's also a single mom with two kids and a dog, so her fingers on the keyboard is what feeds her family and keeps a roof over their heads.

Despite my law and business background, she taught me a different way of thinking about my income. One that will help me in the long run. She just might help you, too.