Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A New Blog Award!

Megan over at Paws, Fangs and Smiles has awarded me with the Kreativ Blog Award!

Thanks Megan! So, as per the rules of the award, here are seven "interesting" things about me . . . I'll try not to repeat any I've said before:

1. I'm currently reading novels by "classic" science fiction writers (Philip K. Dick, Robert Heinlein, George Orwell, Isaac Asimov, Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, Arthur C. Clark, Aldous Huxley, etc). 
2. I read all six of Jane Austen's novels once a year. I get something from them different every time.
3. As a child I was traumatized by The Fox and the Hound, Dumbo and Bambi. This trauma has carried over into adulthood. I don't watch movies about animals. Ever. 
4. I love Ridley Scott and James Cameron films. I re-watched Alien and Aliens last weekend in preparation for the upcoming release of Prometheus. I could not be more excited. 
5. One day I will own a castle. Inside there will be a zip line, a ball pit room, a trampoline room with Velcro walls to stick to, a library modeled after the one in Beauty and the Beast, and several Mini Coopers to race through the halls (like in The Italian Job). There will also be a moat. And a helipad. And possible a catapult.
6. I have an intense fascination with superheroes and villains. I cannot wait for all the comic book movies coming out this year (The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Dark Knight Rises, and Superman: Man of Steel). 
7. I own Converse in three colors - black, red and blue. I'm currently on the lookout for green ones. For St. Patrick's Day. 

Here are the ten blogs I'm passing this award on to. I have no idea what the parameters for awarding blogs with this award are (other than I guess they're creative?), so I'm just going to award blogs I enjoy with fun posts. Check them out!

Kate Scott Writes
Colin D. Smith
Lover Dove Writes
My Pet Blog
Peggy Eddleman
The Walrus Room 
Vive Le Nerd 
Widdershins and Skeleton Keys 
Losing Sanity
Fulfilling Dreams  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Vampire's Day Soiree

For all of those romantics celebrating February 14th with hearts and candy . . . this post may not be for you. For everyone who’s said “Valentine’s Day sucks!” today, you've come to the right place.

Thanks to Holly at Holly’s Horrorland, the “V” in V-Day no longer stands for Valentine; instead it stands for Vampire! So when I say that today bites . . . I mean that literally. 

I’ve done a few posts about vampires in the past (see here), and anyone who’s ever read my blog knows that Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of my all-time favorite t.v. shows. But I thought today I’d talk about a few modern vampire movies that I feel have been . . . overlooked.

Starting with Dracula 2000. I think it’s a real shame that more people haven’t seen this movie. While, yes, it does have some ridiculous parts, and some of the acting could use a little work, I think overall it deserves a little more respect than it’s probably been given. For one thing, I think Gerard Butler as Dracula was a terrific choice. He manages to be creepy and seductive at the same time, and I maintain that the scene where he walks into the record store is one of the best representations of age-old Dracula enthralling modern society. Furthermore, I think the plot of Dracula 2000 was incredibly inventive. Their twist on the original legends was unexpected and really exciting. I can’t say more without spoilers, but I definitely recommend this movie to fans of the genre.

The next movie I want to mention is Daybreakers. When it came out in 2009, I had no idea what it was about. I’d seen very few trailers or advertising. However, when I went to the theater one rainy afternoon, I was pleasantly surprised. While most vampire movies are set in our modern world with vampires living in secret, this one isn’t; rather, it depicts a world where vampires are on top and humans that have gone into hiding. It definitely made for an entertaining change. I’ve always wondered what it would be like if vampires took their place at the top of the social food chain – and this movie showed us. Again, this one is definitely worth looking in to. 

Last but not least, Ultraviolet.  So, I must admit, this is not the best film I’ve ever seen. In fact, when my friends and I went to see it, I was the only one who actually liked it . . . and even I thought it was just fair. But there were some appealing aspects. For one, I really like stories about dystopian worlds. Corrupt governments ruling with an iron fist, small groups of resistance fighters, etc. All made for an interesting, if not noteworthy, story. And while some of the fight scenes were often over the top and hard to follow, I thought the focus on Six as a potential weapon against the hemophages, and the unusual ways in which the hemophage virus spread redeemed the overall film.

So thanks to Holly for hosting, and check out the links on her blog if you want to read more about vampires. Happy Valentine’s Vampire Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Origins Blogfest

D.L. Hammon over at Cruising Altitude 2.0 is hosting a new blogfest . . . the Origins Blogfest. Those of us participating are supposed to write about how our dreams of becoming a writer began. So, here's my story . . . 

As a kid, my dream was NOT to be a writer. In fact, I never even considered it. Instead, I dreamed of being a ballerina, a marine biologist, a photographer . . . a superhero. A resistance fighter during the alien and robot invasions.

I dabbled in a lot of different interests, trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up, all the while carrying a notebook where I wrote down story ideas. I was always making up stories. I blame my mom for that one; whenever we’d be out running errands or eating at a restaurant, we’d invent wild stories for the ordinary people around us. You’d be amazed at the number of spies we encountered. And runaway princesses. Even a cylon or two.

I’m embarrassed to say that, though I began three different novels between sixth and eleventh grade, it still never occurred to me that I was writing. It was just an extension of the games my mom and I amused ourselves with. Stories were just . . . there. A way to keep a bored, only child entertained when my friends were too busy to come over and play.

Meanwhile, I continued to test out different skills, searching for a vocation. Ballerina was quickly nixed; I preferred soccer practice. Marine biologist, definitely not; I hated science classes.  Superhero . . . I still haven’t entirely ruled that one out.

I wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I finally comprehended the importance of the notebooks I was constantly scribbling in and thought, well hello. That my idols – J.K. Rowling, Mary Shelley, Madeline L’Engle – they, too, probably kept notebooks with mad scribbles and bits of dialogue. And so I decided that’s what I wanted to be when I grew up. If I ever do.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Guardian Project

A while back my friend (and comic book guru) Steven told me about a new collaboration between Marvel genius Stan Lee and the National Hockey League. Referred to as The Guardian Project, this collaboration was envisioned as a way to bridge the professional hockey league, declining rapidly in viewership, and a generation of young kids growing up in an increasingly digital world. And so Stan Lee put his brilliance to work creating a superhero and back story representing each of the NHL’s 30 teams. As both an athlete/sports enthusiast, and a comic book nerd, I have to say . . . WOW!

The guardian team is led by Mike Mason, a Peter Parker-esque sports fan. Obsessed with hockey and superheroes, as a child Mike created thirty different characters for the NHL teams, inventing their powers and alter-egos, and writing about their grand adventures. However, when the world is threatened, The Guardians are brought to life to defend their home cities against a series of villains controlled by the evil and malicious Deven Dark.

Check out a few of my favorite Guardians (chosen by alter ego and bios, not sports team) . . .

To see the rest of the Guardian bios, check out their website:

Unfortunately, as I understand it, The Guardian Project wasn't terribly successful as a marketing strategy. For one thing, many people never heard of it, despite efforts to draw people in via contests and social media advertising. And let's face it, on a Venn diagram, the intersection between comic book readers and hockey fans is a rather small one – though I’m of course living proof that they do exist. Still, I'd consider it one of the coolest advertising campaigns I've ever seen. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, and time for another Insecure Writer’s Support Group post. So here’s my insecurity for January. . .

I DO NOT WANT TO EDIT ANY MORE!!! I hate editing. Editing is the bane of my existence. No, it's more than that. It's the dark villain to my shining occupation. The Dr. Doom to my Mr. Fantastic, the Dr. Octopus to my Spider-Man, the Dr. Sivana to my Captain Marvel. [As Sheldon Cooper said . . . it's amazing how many supervillains have advanced degrees. Graduate schools should really do a better job screening those people out.]

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. As I said, I really HATE editing. I'm currently stuck in an editing vortex and feel like I may never get out. Every time I think I'm finished, my agent comes up with one more suggestion, one more critique. I just want to send the darn thing to publishers already!!! Not just because I want to be published and actually, you know, earn a living. But also because I am really ready to start working on book #2. I have all the ideas running through my brain, but know I shouldn't begin working on it until the first one is "complete". 

It's so frustrating. I'm about ready to just throw in the towel. Or throw my manuscript in the fire –one  or the other.