Happy New Year!

December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Hope everyone enjoys New Year’s Eve and has a Happy and Prosperous 2010!

Okay, so I had written this rather long review of both Avatar and District 9, but after having cruised about the Internet and read articles and comments and blog posts about both movies that ranged from the profound and thought-provoking to the asinine and ridiculous, I’ve decided just to say this.

I liked Avatar. A lot. I enjoyed seeing it in 3D and I hope to see it again as I’d like to share the experience of viewing it with others.

I liked District 9. A lot. I enjoyed watching it on DVD and I hope to purchase it at some point.

I think the reason I decided not to post my more extensive review is because I did not want to add to what has already been said about both these movies as each has stirred up quite a lot of controversy.

And, in all honesty, I’m weary of controversies, conspiracies and allegedly nefarious agendas by whatever powers that be that are purportedly trying to degrade or destroy or obliterate whatever ideology or beliefs such and such a group hold. And that goes for the ideology and/or beliefs of those on both the Left and the Right.

Seriously, can’t we all just get along!

So I will say this about Avatar and District 9. I thought both, in their respective ways, were examples of what movies do best. Both of them emotionally engaged me, both of them took me to worlds I had never experienced and both of them, by the time the credits started to roll, left me with a rather substantial lump in my throat.


The Princess and the Frog

December 20, 2009

The Princess and the Frog was a delight, both visually and musically. I can’t say that it broke any new ground in terms of music or visuals but the fact that it’s Disney’s’ first African-American princess was groundbreaking enough.

Tianna is a hard-working young woman who wants nothing more than to open her own restaurant in 1920s New Orleans. As she sings in her musical number, she’s almost there. Her rich friend, Lottie, wants nothing more than to marry a prince.

And a prince does arrive in the person of Prince Naveen. Naveen however is flat broke as his parents have cut him off without a red cent because Naveen prefers to enjoy himself and not be the responsible future king he’s supposed to be.

Naveen has come to New Orleans looking for a rich woman to marry but he runs afoul of the Shadow Man, a local voodoo practitioner, who turns him into a frog so that Naveen’s valet can be made to look like the prince, marry the rich heiress and the Shadow Man can have all that money.

Naveen, having heard, like Tianna, the story of the Frog Prince as a child goes in search of a princess to turn him human again. He comes across Tianna, who has just had her dreams of owning her restaurant dashed.

Tianna is dressed like a princess but it’s only a costume as it’s Mardi Gras. But Naveen does not know that. He convinces Tianna that if she kisses him, once he marries Lottie he will give her the money for her restaurant. However, because Tianna isn’t a real princess when she kisses Naveen she turns into a frog also.

From there on, the two must find a way to become human again while making their way through the bayou, avoiding being eaten or hunted, and learning that the two of them were, of course, meant for each other.

They are aided in their journey by a love-sick Cajun firefly (who is in love with a star) and a gator who wants nothing more than to play jazz but, well, he’s a gator. There’s a kind of screwball comedy aspect to Tianna and Naveen’s journey toward love which was very sweet.

I also liked the fact that, unlike a lot of animated movies today, there were no anachronistic jokes. All the characters were rooted in the time and milieu of 1920’s Louisiana, and whether it was New Orleans or the Bayou, the dialogue and jokes were of that time period.

It brought out the kid in me and the way I’ve been feeling of late, trust me, that’s a very good thing. The audience for the early morning showing I went to consisted of mostly little girls (and some little boys) with their parents or grandparents and judging from the reactions I think they all pretty much enjoyed the movie.

It’s definitely a child’s movie with its proverbial lessons of hard work, believing in oneself and learning to be worthy of love and a happily ever after, but the child in me loved it. And in the world we live in today where public conversation–especially in the media–seem to be nothing but cynicism and criticism and pessimism, maybe those aren’t bad lessons for us adults to take to heart.

Movies, Movies and more Movies

December 18, 2009

Taking a little break from writing tomorrow to go see The Princess and the Frog. The movie is set in New Orleans (which is the setting for my NaNo novel), it’s set in the Jazz Age (a favorite time period of mine) and, best of all, it’s drawn animation not computer generated animation, which is okay, mind you, but I do love the drawn animation too.

The following weekend it will be Avatar and the weekend after that Sherlock Holmes.

I’m not expecting the ground to shake or the heavens to open with Avatar,as the plot looks to be by the numbers, but I am curious to see it.

I haven’t been to the movies since Harry Potter came out this past summer so I’m overdue I think.

Plus I need to prime the writing pump, as they say. I’m currently writing a novel set in New Orleans (the setting for The Princess and the Frog), I’m going to be writing a steampunk soon and I’m also writing this month a short story set in the Victorian era (Sherlock Holmes will be great for that) and I’m also going to be writing a sci-fi romance sometime early in 2010, and Avatar may prove useful for some inspiration in that area, I think.

And I LOVE movies.

However, have they ever gotten expensive! I can’t believe our local theater is now charging $9.00 for an evening showing. $9.00! I have no doubt it’s probably higher in other cities.

Well, the theater also has what they call Early Bird specials. Go to a movie early in the morning (around nineish) and get in for $5.50. Those are the showings I will be attending. And no food. Wouldn’t want to eat anything that early in the morning anyway.

The Rose of Shanhasson

December 16, 2009

My good friend and writing pal, Joely Sue Burkhart, is celebrating the print release of her scorching hot fantasy romance, The Rose of Shanhasson, with a contest.

If you leave a comment on her blog post “A Box of Roses, you’ll be eligible to win a copy of the book. The contest runs through December 17, Midnight, CST.

I have a copy of the book and am currently reading it. Joely has written a fully realized fantasy world full of danger, romance and some really hot sex! 🙂

So, stop by her blog if you’d like to win a copy of her book.


The Fourth Dimension

December 15, 2009

The Fourth Dimension. Or time, as I believe some scientists think of the fourth dimension. Well, for me that particular dimension seems to be speeding up.


I can’t believe that it’s already December 15th, Christmas is only 10 days away and we’re just under three weeks away from 2010!


Every time I say that, I think I’m supposed to be living on the moon and contemplating taking that 13:00 hour flight to Mars and going on that tour of Olympus Mons.

What happened? Seriously! I mean, when I was a kid, by 2010 we were supposed to have flying cars, robot servants and wearing those skimpy, gauzy little outfits that people in the future always wore in those B-level sci-fi movies of the 40s and 50s.

Sure, we’ve got techy gadgets up the yazoo that I think even the most visionary sc-if authors never thought the average person would own, but all-in-all things don’t look that different from 50 years ago.

Anyway, I seem to be having trouble staying caught up with the fourth dimension. I’m writing like crazy but still feeling like there’s not enough time to get everything I want done, done.

And, to be honest, I can only spend so much time writing. Writing really does make the old gray matter work, doesn’t it? So I have to take a break from it even when I want to keep on going or risk my brain imploding or turning to mush.

The thing is, I have a bunch of topics I want to blog about but by the time I get around to writing about those topics, I’ve spent so much time on my own writing that my mind just blanks out.

Oh, well. I’ll just do the best I can. Hopefully, at some point down the line, I can blog about more than just the fact that I’m wanting to blog about more.

But for now, it’s back to the writing grindstone.


17+ Inches

December 10, 2009

That’s how much snow we got yesterday. The city pretty much shut down. Even the city buses weren’t running!

But the streets seem to be clear so kudos to the snow removal guys and gals. Great job!

Now we have to deal with -25 wind chills. Brrrr! I just hope my car starts. She’s a sweetie but, like us all, the years are starting to pile on.

I got another submission out yesterday so I can take that off my checklist of Things to Get Done. Now back to my other projects, including my NaNo novel.

Stay warm if you’re wherever it’s cold and enjoy the weather if you’re wherever it’s warm. 🙂

Let it Snow

December 7, 2009

…since it’s going to anyway. We’re looking at our first major snow storm of the season this upcoming Tuesday night into Wednesday. At least a foot if not more. Ugh! I’m no big fan of snow but I’ve been dealing with it every winter for far longer than I care to remember, so I’ll just have to drag out my boots and coat, hat and gloves from last winter and deal with it.

I hadn’t realized it’s been nearly a week since my last blog post.
I’ve been busy writing. I have a submission going out this week, which I’m in the process of finishing up revisions for.

I’m still working on my NaNo novel and finally broke 25,000 words on it. Yay me!

I did take some time to watch some movies. Last week I watched Akeelah and the Bee, which is a heart-warming story about a girl from South Los Angeles who is in love with words and decides to take a chance and try for the Scripps National Spelling Bee or “the Bee” as it’s apparently called.

The actress who plays Akeelah, Keke Palmer, was wonderful in the role, as was Laurence Fishburne, who plays the professor of English who tutors her for the Bee. Angela Bassett, who plays Akeelah’s mom, was teamed up with Fishburne again. The last time these two were in a movie together it was in What’s Love Got to Do With It, the biopic about Ike and Tina Turner. The rest of the supporting cast was just as great and the movie is a joy to watch in every way.

I tell you, I do wonder if the words those kids have to spell are really, truly actual words, but watching the movie brought to mind how much I love words. I like the quote on the poster above. “Changing the world one word at a time.” Amen.

The other movie I watched was Public Enemies, starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale. Depp played John Dillinger and Bale was the FBI agent, Melvin Purvis, who brought Dillinger down.

I have to admit a weakness for the fashions of the 30s and 40s and this movie delivered that up in spades. Depp was very good as Dillinger and so was Bale as Purvis, but the movie could have been edited down from its 2 hours and 20 minutes running time and, to be honest, I didn’t start to feel emotionally invested in the movie until the third act. The movie was filmed around this area so it was kinda neat seeing places I recognized. I’d say if you’re a Depp fan or a fan of gangster movies, give it a looksee. If not, you can probably safely pass on it.

Anywho, that’s about all that’s going on in this neck of the woods. Oh, I did get another review for Sweet Spot, but this is one I don’t mind sharing. It’s from Joyfully Reviewed