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Showing posts from May, 2009

Terminator Salvation

Sunday has apparently become movie day. So here we are another Sunday at the movies. Same cinema, different theater. This time we went all out and got soda and popcorn... it's that kind of movie. It's been a long time since I've seen Terminator or any of its sequels. I liked Terminator , thought it was cool at the time, but couldn't really count it as one of my favorite movies. I seem to remember Terminator 2: Judgment Day being pretty good, but being slightly annoyed at the idea of a terminator being a good guy, although that was balanced by the cool liquid metal terminator effect. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines was a decent action flick, but felt weak too me and the ending was unsatisfying. I don't know that I've actually sat down and watched any of those on TV or DVD since I saw them the first time. The television series, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles , I didn't watch and only saw bits and pieces of assorted episodes, it never felt like I

Angels and Demons

It's Sunday and Sunday means movies, or at least it does lately. So today we hit the Celebration Cinema (theater 4) for yet another movie that Tasha wants to see, Angels and Demons . I liked it. Tasha thought it was decent. Of course we both agree that the book was better than the movie, but the book is always better than the movie. It was far and away better than The Da Vinci Code , which was boring as hell. And not as good as the book. But then I thought Angels and Demons was the better of the two books. Tom Hank's hair was better. The movie was paced better and flowed quickly from one scene to the next. And was better focused, though it wasn't until we got home that I remarked to Tasha that there was no romantic plotline. Which seems odd since every movie seems to feel the need to include a romance no matter the circumstances. Of course they left out a lot of the science stuff and focused more on the religion aspects of the story. Not surprising given the title and the

Getting Everyone Up To Speed

We actually came home Saturday night, got home late, and slept in. After lazing around a bit on Sunday we went to see Star Trek. Tasha loved it. I thought it was an entertaining movie, but I had issues with it, as I do with every movie I see. I'm just not a movie fan. The whole time thing being my biggest peeve. Kinda annoys me that Star Trek uses that crutch as much as it does. Monday I came home from work, felt a little off, had dinner, and was in bed by 8:00 pm. Tuesday, yesterday... I think I sat right here and surfed until I had exhausted the entertainment potential of the internet. It took surprisingly little time. We walked the dog and took our new tennis rackets down to the courts and chased the balls around for 45-minutes. It was fun. Then I made Tasha play some Xbox360 with me. Then she watched the Red Wings. Now that you're up to speed, did you notice that I didn't mention writing in there at all? It's shameful, I know. I can't say that I left out the wri

An Empty Post

There was no post last night because I wasn't feeling all that great. It was a combination of the blahs and a slight fever sort of thing. I mean, really, I played solitaire for almost two hours. It was a very sad time in my life. Needless to say, I did no writing or working on my writing or planning for writing. It was a nonproductive evening. Today, I'm off to the eastside of the state to pick up Tasha's car and go to a birthday party and who knows what else. Should be a day full of driving and more driving. Sounds like big fun doesn't it. Woo hoo. Since I don't have much for you today I'll give you a joke, not mine. A prosperous old dairy farmer from someplace cold finally sold out to the local agribusiness giant and retired to Florida. Being a farmer, he liked owning lots of land, so he had to buy a big place with a large pond down near the swamp. He fixed up the pond a bit, dumped a few truckloads of sand to make a little beach, and kept a small swimming are

Opportunity Comes A-Knockin'

I am beat today. Not sure why, it was just another day at work. Nothing particularly grueling occured, but I'm sitting here trying to write this and yawning like crazy. Very weird. So we've moved in, bought some new furniture, and gotten the place looking pretty good. Other than the noisy neighbor things are pretty sweet. Well, toss that all on its head and give it a good shake. Tasha has a lead on a job. A good lead. A solid lead. Straight to  her email from her old boss lead. If she wants it she'll get it sort of lead. And it's probably a good job, no real details as of yet. Full time. Benefits. Doing what she wants to do. Good stuff. But it's in Detroit. Not the western suburbs. Not near Detroit. Right downtown on the river Detroit. It's not the location, mind you. It's the fact that we're talking about a 155 mile commute. Two and a half hours one way without traffic commute. We're talking about her moving back to the other side of the state  kind

I See You, You See Grey

Tonight's writing call was a strange duck. Doug came to it after a day of personal combat with his child's principal and was subsequently less focused on the writing. Understandable. Halfway through the call my computer shut down. No warning, just chatting away and BANG! it was off. After I restarted and got back on the call I realized that my camera wasn't working... which created a distraction on my end as I tried to listen, give my thoughts, and figure out what the hell was going on with my camera. But even with all that, we did talk about writing and we did so for nearly 2-hours. So we must have had something to say. Our goal for the previous week was to have our scene's laid out. As I said last night, I pretty much had all my scenes. Doug had fewer. The difference being that the scenes that I had were like road signs on the highway of storytelling; one-line scenes that probably weren't actually fleshed out enough to deserve the title 'scene', more like

Scenes Done

I got my 20 scenes for Malach, they came pretty easily.  I then laid out all my notecards on the kitchen counter and started moving them around to establish an order. The kitchen counter was the only place, other than the floor, that was long enough for them all to be laid out in a line. Putting them in order was more difficult than I imagined it would be. I ended up getting rid of a couple of Lucy's scenes, then adding two new ones in, and then I added one for Kaleb. I wrote extra cards for each character and tossed the ones that I felt were the weakest and/or didn't move the story forward. My final count was 36 scenes, 19 for Malach, 10 for Lucy, and 7 for Kaleb. But as I write this I'm thinking that one of Malach's scenes isn't true to his character and will have to be reworked. The whole process has been unnatural for me. I've had that sinking feeling throughout that I'm doing it wrong. I know my scene descriptions are weak and I'm afraid that I wasn

I Need Smaller Hands

Tonight I took all the scenes I wrote down over the last couple of days and started dividing them up and sorting them out. I figure that I need 36 scenes. Initially I was thinking it would be divvied up with 15 scenes for Malach, 15 scenes for Lucy, and maybe 4 scenes for Kaleb, with a couple of scenes that would be outside these three characters; I'll call them background scenes. But that's not how it's playing out as I put them on note cards and flesh them out a bit. I realized that those 'background' scenes aren't necessary, they can be addressed using Malach. So I'm now thinking my scene division will look more like 20 scenes for Malach, 10 scenes for Lucy, and 6 scenes for Kaleb. I've written 7 cards for Kaleb and 12 cards for Lucy. I gave myself two extras for each character just so that I would have some wiggle room to set this thing up. As an added bonus, I've developed an interesting take on my nephilim that I think will go a long way toward

Happy Mother's Day

Ug. Someone called me this morning at 7am and left no message. Then they called again at 8:30am and again left no message. I don't recognize the number, but a look-up on it shows it as a Pontiac cell phone. This same number called my GrandCentral number and left no message. So not only did I get woken up way too early for a Sunday morning, but also I don't know who the hell the culprit is. Thanks. I found a note on my desk when I came downstairs this morning. Seems that Karin was looking at my notes for Malach and liked what she read. Ronn, If your intention was to write a scary/creepy story I think this is an awesome plot. I love scary stories and this just seems to spew suspense out the seams! Just thought you'd appreciate an outside opinion! (I watch scary movies constantly, it's in my blood!) --Karin Thank you, Karin. Always good to know that I'm not completely out of touch with you young folks. No movie last night, but we're all going to go see a show tonig

A Cornucopia of Miscellanea

I went shopping at Holly Lisle's store this morning and picked up a couple of her pdf's; How to Write Page-Turning Scenes and her Create-A-Plot Clinic. They're not the first products I've bought from her store, I've also picked up her Create-A-Character Clinic and Way of the Cheetah by Lynn Viehl. I was very pleased with both of those products and I'm expecting to get some good stuff from these two new ones. I'll let you know as I work my way through them. I also downloaded yWriter at the recommendation of the esteemed, Brent F. and the insistence by Doug that I need to get away from Microsoft. I thought I'd give some software focused on novel writing a chance to impress me, and since I don't have a Mac and can't use Scrivener I figured this'd do the trick. Again, I'll let you know my thoughts as I use it. Though my initial thoughts on the matter is that Word has done me just fine up to this point and it'll take something impressiv

That Damn Sentence

I'm getting feedback on my one sentence summary for Malach story.   "An angel falls for a woman and must choose between a terrible love and eternal damnation." Seems people are saying two things. That I need another descriptor for the angel as it's too vague. And that the phrase "terrible love" is unclear. So here I thought I was being clever with the first problem and the second needs more explanation than the sentence provides. So I'm going to first explain the sentence a bit and then solicit opinions and/or suggestions from anybody out there willing to share. I didn't give any additional explanation to the angel in question, a watcher or Grigori, because neither of these sounded good or was sufficiently evocative and " a fallen angel falls in love " is redundant. So you get "An angel falls". As in he falls from heaven and he falls in love and he chooses human love and is cast out of heaven. I still think it works and rather lik

21st Century Hero, Still

I was big into City of Heroes, the online MMORPG, for about 5-months. But eventually I drifted away from it, just like I did with all of the other online games I've played. I was so into it that I started a blog to chronicle the adventures of one of my characters, that didn't get very far. But for a short while I was really into it and had a lot of fun. The reason that I bring this up is because I thought my account was closing on the 5th, but apparently I had it set up to auto renew. And now I have the option of playing again anytime for the next 6-months. Lucky me. So allow me to offer you this bit of advice, if you're going to let something expire due to lack of interest, make sure you don't have it set to auto renew. I'm just saying. Tonight I started patching some of my rather large holes in my blogging history with little bits from my files that I think are moderately interesting or well done or that I just want to archive online. I threw up a couple of backgr

A Call for Writing

Tonight was my second video call with Doug about our respective writing projects. His, a science fiction adventure tale examining a desert culture. When you say it like that it sounds like Dune… but really, not so much. Mine, a supernatural romance involving angels, giants, and fear. We bounced thoughts and ideas off each other for an hour-and-a-half. I won’t go into Doug’s story, I’ll save that for him and his blog, and let him tell you what he wants to share about his work in progress. I think it was a good call. It felt like we both came away with something new that we didn’t have before. For my part, I got feed back on character background and setting that was helpful in making some of the decisions I need to make for this novel. We talked about scene, and how I tend to think in chapters rather than scenes and whether that was right or wrong… Let me explain. Everything I read talks about setting scenes, what is and isn’t scene, and how a scene is change. And while I recognize tho

Don't Rewrite the Book of Enoch

Am I the only one who doesn't get this whole Michigan budget thing? The gist of it, as I understand it, is that we have a 1.3 billion dollar deficit and our governor is making 300 million dollars in budget cuts. The rest of the deficit, ONE BILLION dollars, is being covered by the federal stimulus money. Not exactly a great plan to my mind and certainly not what I'd call tightening the states belt. What happens next year when we don't have any federal stimulus money? And what about all that stimulus money that's supposed to stimulate the economy and create jobs, isn't that what we're using to pay off our bills! I understand that Michigan doesn't have the money to pay off the deficit and that huge cuts would be needed to get the books in line. That's what's supposed to happen during tough times. Right? And didn't the feds put any guidelines on how the stimulus could be spent? It makes me crazy and I'm not going to talk about it anymore. So I&

The Plan

If you want to write and you want to be good at it, or at least competent, you have to actually do it. I know this, but as with so many things in my life, knowing what I should do and actually doing it... well. Let's just say it doesn't always work out. So let me tell you my grandiose plan to write a lot and read a lot. I may be accused of reaching for the stars, but never let it be said that I dream small. Steven King says he'll cut me a break and let me off with a thousand words a day. Mr. King also says he'll let me take a day a week off. NaNoWriMo challenges me to put 1,667 words a day onto the page. Holly Lisle writes two thousand words a day. And then there's the writing advice I've taken from everybody else, it's all good advice but I've got to do what works for me in order for this to be successful. I'm not the fastest typist and writing 2,000 words on a good day takes me a long time. Now, I've done the NaNo thing and I had a couple 5k d

Making Sense of it All

Today, I spent a shitload of money on bedroom furniture. Bedroom furniture. A chest of drawers and a television stand to be precise. Not exactly the 'big fun' purchases that a guy likes to brag about, but it's stuff we needed/wanted and it looks damn good. Just another sign that I'm getting older; no longer choosing between particle board, unassembled furniture or out of date, well weathered hand-me-down furniture. It feels pretty good. So back to this writing thingy. As I said, Doug and I had our first writing call. On it we talked story ideas, daily word counts, why we wanted to write, and stayed away from hashing out each other's stories. Though we did offer each other some ideas on directions to take with our respective stories. Which was good for me, I don't want to get caught in the trap of talking myself through a story (essentially working it all out in my head) and then having no reason to write it down. I've done that far too many times to not have

I Won't Tell You Where I've Been...

...But I'm Back Now. Hopefully, with a bit more regularity from here on out. My lease is up. I've moved. Two months of searching for a rental house, checking out apartments, and trying to decide where I should be locating myself around Grand Rapids to be more centrally located for my job have all ended with me moving across the pond. No, not England. I literally across the pond at my apartment complex. I can see my old apartment from my new place. This one is bigger, nicer, and more expensive. And it was a pretty simple move when you're going less than a tenth of a mile. So here I am, a new month, a new place, and a new set of goals. My brief resurgence of interest in the role-playing hobby has passed. Died on the cross of too much hassle for too little payoff. I love the stories and the world building, I like finding visual imagery and music to help present my games, but I hate the inevitable let down that comes with the actual playing. So with that in mind I'm going t