It's an interesting exercise to choose items for a castaway island. It winds up being a pretty good look into your preferences and makeup. Today it's my turn, and I invite you all to check it out. Thanks to Sian Glirdan (Jan Hawk) for including me.
Tag Archives: Movies
I got up fairly early today with good intentions of working on my novel. Otto made sure everyone else got up too. Novel writing ended before it began.
This is one of the saving graces of having a short fiction project. It may sound funny, but it doesn't require the same level of concentration. There is no three act structure or large sweeping plot to keep track of. My short fiction has an underlying theme, and it has a timeline to follow, but it's so loose a few distractions don't ruin my ability to forge ahead.
I made a pass through a mostly finished story, repaired a few things and brought it to an ending. Then I wrote the micro-fiction about the fall out. I really like the recurring characters on the news broadcast, and they did a great job on this one.
After that the errands began in earnest. The plan was to get the replacement chair for the one Otto devoured. We'd use my wife's car, because it sleeted all day today. The new chair could stay warm and dry inside her SUV. Then we'd retrieve my truck, wash off the bird assault, and buy a Christmas tree.
The reality was that we got the chair, stopped at Whole Foods for some small items, (and a couple of good beers,) then picked out a tree on the way home. My wife didn't want to tie it to the roof of her car, but she didn't want to make a return trip to town even worse. The boys at the lot did a great job tying it down. My truck still looks like a victim of a certain Hitchcock movie.
So the chair is installed, the tree is here, and we'll assemble it tomorrow. She had to go to a work event tonight, so it's just Otto and me.
I used the opportunity to move ahead on a book I've been reading. I still have a ways to go, but it's been a fun read so far. My eyes are giving out now, and I might turn on the television or some music for the rest of the night.
Hope you all had a great Saturday, or are enjoying your Saturday night. I see a Frank Miller film is on later, and I've never seen this one. I used some of his style when I concocted The Playground. If I watch that, I can count it as research, right?
Old What's Her Face* decided to go to Nevada this morning. She'll be visiting with her brother, and I'll get some time to do things.
My son is here, and I bought us a couple of DVDs to watch. I bought Captain America Civil War, and Warcraft. I'm off Monday too, so we have time to get to them. I'm almost certain to check into the MLB Championship Series sometime too. (Mostly the National League.)
Then, of course, there is Otto time. He demanded a rousing game of pumpkin ball fetch the minute I got home. It's hard not to comply, he's pretty cute.
Things kind of calmed down a bit on the promotion front. The sale for The Playground ran out. It's still available, but at the regular price now. The Paranormal Bar & Grill blog tour will run all by itself. I'll still check in every day, moreso when my book is in the spotlight, but it won't take much work.
I will set up an Amazon Giveaway for Will O' the Wisp in a couple of days. This means, according to Amazon's rules, I have to buy the five books I want to hand out. It's the only promotional tool I haven't used this month.
I have to work on one of my pages over at Story Empire, but I'm not going to dive right into it tonight. In similar fashion, I have one Lisa Burton Radio to work on but it may not post until December when the book drops. Scheduling the next Macabre Macaroni story won't take any time at all.
There isn't much I can do to promote my Experimental Notebooks. They are permanently priced at 99¢. These books contain quite a bit of Halloween reading. Not every story will qualify, but at 99¢ I don't think you can go wrong.
This is the link to my Amazon Page. It's the only link I have where both Experimental Notebooks are browseable.
So outside of pumpkin ball fetch, setting up the giveaway, and watching some movies – what will I do?
I may find time to visit the writing cabin, but I've sworn off my novel until November. If I manage to write something it will be short fiction. I also have a book to finish reading.
May sound boring to some of you, but it sounds great to me.
* Entertaining Stories, protecting my family's identity since 2013.
Today, on Lisa Burton Radio, we're in the studio with two very special guests from the series, Caledonia. I'm your host, Lisa the robot girl, and my guests today are Detective Inspector Leah Bishop and Robert Burns, national poet of Scotland and vampire. “Welcome you guys. Thanks for joining me.”
“Thank you for having us.”
“My bio says Robert is actually the Robert Burns, the famous poet. How are you still around? You have to be like 220.83 years old.”
“I’m a vampire. And you know what they say, age just makes a man more experienced.”
“Are you flirting with me?”
“I’m a robot.”
“Always on the lookout for new experiences.”
“All right, Rabbie, slow it down.”
“So, Robert. You’re immortal. And you still live in Scotland after all those years?”
“Of course. I guard the gate to Faerie. It’s behind a bar in a small pub in the Highlands.”
“That explains Robert, where do you fit in, Leah?”
“I was a folklorist and became a police officer. Caledonia Interpol offered me a job and I took it. I was getting away from a bad past. Then I found out everyone working there aside from me was a monster. My partner, Dorian Grey, is a selkie. We investigate supernatural crime.”
“That's juicy, he was supposed to be a good looking man. Is there anything going on with you guys?”
“Not a chance in hell. Dorian’s taken anyway, but we’re best friends. He’s bisexual, like all selkies; makes their purpose as creatures that comfort people unhappy in love a lot easier.”
“Tell us about what you're working on now, Leah.”
“There’s a serial killer in Glasgow – the first serial killing of faeries the supernatural world has ever seen.”
“Killing fairies is heinous, I hope you catch whoever is doing this. What’s going to happen if you don’t?”
“Usually they call in the human police to investigate crimes like this one. This is the first time it’s been systematically done to the Fae.”
“And, don't forget Leah, with selkies involved, the killer might have just inadvertently doomed the world.”
“So, it’s pretty important then?”
“Yes. We investigate supernatural crime exclusively, and this is one of the first crossovers into the human world or human behavior we’ve ever seen.”
“Sounds like you have your hands full.”
“You don’t know the half of it.”
“So Robert, what drags you into this story?”
“He’s in stupid love with a monster called Desdemona.”
“It’s not stupid. How dare –”
“We’re the ones that have to deal with you mooning around like an idiot all the time.”
“Ooh, tell us about Desdemona. That's a pretty name.”
“Well, Lisa, we met during the Fae Wars, when I was still human. Des –”
“She hates being called that.”
“Des is incredible – a baobhan sith vampire and the commander of the Fae army during the opium wars. You’ve never seen anything so beautiful and terrifying all at once.”
“Sorry, Lisa, he’ll go on about this for hours. Desdemona is a vampire, she’s also a bellydancer and owns a club in the Glasgow city centre. This idiot’s been chasing her for centuries.”
“She’s not interested?”
“I’m not sure she even understands love in the traditional human sense. Baobhan sith are not emotional creatures.”
“Now wait a minute. You don’t know that. It could happen.”
“That's so tragic. Pining away for all eternity over someone who isn't interested.”
“There’s always hope.”
“You’ve got it bad.”
“New topic you guys, I'm excited to tell our listeners about all your success. Many of us main characters would kill for your kind of success. Not only have you enjoyed eight books and counting, but there is also a television series, and a movie. What has it been like to have actors portray you?”
“Well, they’ve had three different women play me. I’m like Doctor Who in that way. Or James Bond.”
“The actor playing me is very handsome. The likeness is uncanny.”
“Yes, I approve of him.”
“Are you calling me a pervert, Robert?”
“I didn’t say that.”
“No, but you thought it.”
“I can neither confirm nor deny.”
“Anyway, all the actors are doing a fantastic job. I’m looking forward to the next installment.”
“Yes, Burns Night. I’d like to see how that turns out.”
“The tragic hero of the story.”
“I’m not tragic!”
“Of course not. I think it’ll be fantastic. The film builds on the previous stories but can also be watched as a stand-alone show.”
“Yeah, and in this one we both work together. Dorian vanishes and Robert gets roped in to helping me find him.”
“I only did it for Des.”
“You always say that. That night was one hell of an adventure.”
“Agreed. The film is worth checking out.”
“That's wonderful you guys. I wish you every success, and I hope you catch that killer. Sadly, we're out of time. Our sponsor today is the Caledonia Series by Amy Hoff. I'll include all the links on the website.”
… Some days a rock. I had good intentions for yesterday and today. I got up early and tackled the feedback I received on my short story. This was the one where I dabbled in epistolary style.
The story wasn't quite right, and my volunteers were able to point out some things that really helped. I winced when I wrote it about using italics for the documents. Big chunks of italics are frowned upon, but it is the correct style.
I even have one chunk where there are old letters quoted inside a blog post. The correct style is italics for the blog post, and back to normal for the letters. I hated to do it, because I hoped the section breaks would be enough. They weren't and using the italics was the right thing to do.
There were some clarity issues as well, and I used many of the suggestions people threw at me. It's good now, and maybe some time in the fermenter will let me improve it. Short fiction is a side line, and I have no deadlines for finishing it.
Many thanks to my volunteers, and I'm happy to return the favor if you guys need it.
I'm still ruminating over sections of the Yak Guy Project. I need to touch up some of what I already have, including plants that will payoff later down the trail. I have a study guide on the table beside me and will do some research later today.
I managed to add about 1000 words to an old school science fiction story I've been working on. This is also short fiction, so I'm in no real hurry on it either.
Old What's Her Face said she needed to air me out yesterday, so we did date night early. We went and saw The Hateful Eight. I love Tarantino, but this one was just not that good. He never really has followed the rules, but some good editing could have left a half hour of film on the cutting room floor. I even told my wife that if I introduced an omnipotent narraror 3/4 of the way through a novel, the readers would crucify me. Maybe when I'm Tarantino, I can get away with this kind of thing. (Maybe not) The backstory at the end didn't really work for me either.
We consoled ourselves with pizza and beer at Old Chicago. (Well, I had beer. She doesn't drink.) When we got home, we decided to watch movies on cable.
We watched Pompei, with the actor who may, or may not, be playing John Snow when Game of Thrones returns this spring. It was mediocre, but had some cool special effects. We also watched The Judge with Robert Downey and Robert Duval. For me, it was the best movie of the day.
My takeaway was that I was invested in Downey and Duval, I cared what happened, and it had a wonderful reflection on fathers vs sons. There has to be a lesson there for writers.
Hateful Eight and The Judge both had wonderful actors and good performances. As a writer, I don't have that luxury. They both had great characters; that I can attempt. I love some special effects like in Pompei, and might be able to write some of that too. The place where I can up my game is to try for an emotional tug in the story.
I admit to being a little 'hit and miss' when it comes to the emotional pull. I know what I intend, but does the reader get it at the other end? Yes, some of the time. This is where the Muse could really help me elevate my game.
I didn't post last night, because we were spending time together. This Sunday morning post is intending to make up for that. I have some editing on The Playground in my sights for today. The good news is that tomorrow is a national holiday in the US. Maybe I'll be ready to add some words to The Yak Guy project.
So yesterday was a rock. Maybe tomorrow will be a diamond.
It was one of those days today. My wife had a workout class for an hour and a half this morning. I used the time to add five pages to my new story. It isn’t much, but it’s progress. I’ve been tied up for weeks and it felt good to move the story ahead.
We went to a high dollar nursery and bought some potted plants for our porch and back deck. I think I must be in the wrong business. I could shove a bunch of annual flowers in a peat pot, put a basic plastic hanger on it, and sell it for $80.
I’m not above doing it either, but my wife believes the more you pay for something the better it is. We drove down the road to Home Depot and bought many flats of petunias. I had the guy load me up with ten bags of manure too.
This year the manure is for the flower beds. Some years I top dress the lawn, but the beds really needed it this year. After spreading it, I took a long bath. Old What’s Her Face* used her iPad to buy our Avengers tickets.
Our daughter decided to go with us, and she’s 21 now. We bought tickets to the adult section of the theatre. They serve beer and real food up there.
Our daughter took so long to get ready that we completely missed the window to order beer and hot food. The maddening part was that she’d been at work and already looked fine to go out. I will never understand those females that take hours to go anywhere. My wife has always been wash and wear, and that’s something we never had to deal with.
I walked down to the bar during the previews and ordered my own beer anyway. I’m creative like that.
Ultron is an artificial intelligence housed in a robot who wants to destroy the world. It’s a comic book movie, they always want to destroy the world.
In a way, it made me think of Lisa Burton, one of my original characters. She’s a robot too, and she pays the price for all the terminators, HALs, and Ultrons out there. She’s the artificial intelligence who doesn’t want to destroy the world. She just wants to blend into society.
I really enjoyed the movie, but it isn’t as good as the first one. (In my opinion.) There are so many characters that none of them get much screen time. Still, I enjoyed it and that’s what counts.
After that, it was a late dinner and home. We were busy and got a lot accomplished. I even managed a few new words.
* Not the name on my wife’s birth certificate.
Old What’s Her Face* and I went to the movies tonight. We had to choose between Jupiter Ascending and Seventh Son. I’m a lover of both science fiction and fantasy, but my wife is not. She isn’t into science fiction at all.
The choice was for Seventh Son, and I was thrilled. This is a fun movie where the story structure remains intact. There were a few issues, but none of them yanked me out of the movie to any great degree. I can’t figure out why the townsfolk had to send for Jeff Bridges to burn the bear/witch they already had in a cage. There was also some camera shaking during the action sequences, but not enough to ruin the film for me.
I love the idea that the good vs. evil concept became somewhat grey in the middle. This makes it much harder for the hero to grasp the right choice. Struggle is good. They even managed to have the hero move forward without destroying the mentor. It was just a very good job.
Casting was an issue for me, but everyone did his/her job. Jeff Bridges talking like his mouth was full of shit the entire time did not enhance my enjoyment.
I’ve seen a few people ripping on Jupiter Ascending, and while I don’t always believe the critics, am happy to have chosen Seventh Son. Still, Jupiter Ascending looks like a very visual experience. I’m looking for box office results before moving forward on it.
Did any of you see either movie this weekend? What did you think of them?
We then proceeded to the Backstage Bistro at the Villiage in Meridian. All of the restaurants had and hour to ninety minute wait. BB got us right in. There were no sexy beer choices, but it was a workman like selection. The best thing was the special, called tongue and cheek. Yes, it really was beef tongue and cheek, slow roasted for hours and served over puréed butternut squash with hedgehog mushrooms.
This meal may turn some of you off, but I was raised around this kind of food, and it was heavenly. It may be one of the best meals I’ve ever had since moving to Idaho in 2001. For a place that serves as a watering hole before and after your movie, they really impressed me.
* The name has been changed to preserve my wife’s anonymity.
Old What’s Her Face* took the grandkids to the movies. Something about box trolls or something. I passed, no Clint Eastwood or Bruce Willis.
I wound up finding some writing time. I answered a few more questions for my heroine, and allowed her to flex a little backbone.
Then I tortured my little girl victim some more. She keeps going deeper down the wormhole.
All told, I added 2912 new words to my story. Total word count is 35,220.
Now, of course, it’s an evening of The Garfield Movie, Scooby Doo, and Sky High. (Thank God for Bruce Campbell, and that hot chick who played Velma in Scooby Doo.) Lots of squealing, refusing to eat, and Ninja Turtles all over the floor. I suppose it was about my turn. Pass me a Ninja Turtle.
* Not my wife’s actual name.
Old What’s Her Face* wanted to do something today. Our standard fare is to go to a movie. What appealed to me was Planet of the Apes, (of course, I love science fiction.) Lucy, and Hercules. I read a review that Hercules sucks and the twelve labors have nothing to do with the story. My wife felt like without Kevin Sorbo it wouldn’t be worth her effort.
She was indifferent to either one of the remaining movies. I had to choose between a beloved franchise from my youth and Scarlet Johansen strutting around in tight clothes. (Some of us like Sorbo, and some of us like Johansen. Go figure.)
You know you’re getting old when apes win out over the most beautiful woman in Hollywood. I liked the movie. There is a great parallel when Caesar can’t controls his apes, and the humans can’t control their people either. No one wants war, but they get one anyway. The bad guy is an ape named Koba. He has this wonderful ability to act like a circus performer and be completely evil at the same time. It’s one of those movies that could wait for HBO, but it was good. I think it could use more female touches.
A quick dinner at The Outback, and it was off to Old Chicago for beer. My wife went shopping. She knows just how much time to give me before she has to show me something. A few beers, a nice meal, a fun afternoon together and she’s in charge.
It was more bath towels. Here’s a question for you: What’s worse than Bed Bath and Beyond?
We recently spent a small fortune on bath towels at BB&B. I considered raising my insurance to cover them. My wife won’t use them, because after multiple trips through the laundry, they’re still linty.
Old What’s Her Face dragged me to Macy’s. We wound up with twice as many towels for a third as much money. They were even on sale. I always liked Macy’s. We can mix and match for colors along with the BB&B towels. We don’t dare throw those out, they’re too expensive. I wonder if we can donate the BB&B towels to the Smithsonian for a tax write off?
I didn’t goof off completely today. I edited several chapters of my epic fantasy story, The Cock of the South. I’m kind of excited to get this one out there. I don’t write a lot of fantasy, but I really enjoyed this one.
I hope everyone else had a great Saturday too.
Note: Old What’s Her Face really wants either a new camper or a new bedroom set. I do too, but they don’t have enough beer in Boise for me to fall for that one.
* Not my wife’s actual name.
Old What’s her Face* and I left the house early today and went to the movies. It’s nice to take advantage of the matinee pricing. We went and saw Noah.
I was sucked in by a decent cast and flashy advertising.
What a disappointment. I didn’t expect much, and even those expectations were unrealized. Somehow, they wound up with stone Transformers building and defending the arc.
I admit, it’s been awhile since I read The Bible, but it was better. You can even get a free copy most places.
Save your money. You’ll thank me later. Think of all the cool ebooks you could download for the price of two tickets. You could still buy some microwave popcorn and have a great time.
* Not my wife’s real name.