Monthly Archives: June 2012

Movie Review: Ridley Scott’s Prometheus

Okay, so this is more Sci-Fi than it is fantasy, but it’s my blog and I can do what I want with it. J Anyway, “Prometheus” is intended as the prequel to the “Alien/Aliens” series of movies from the 80’s and 90’s, you know, the ones with Ripley, her cat, and the nasties that crawled out of people’s chests and stomachs?

 

The story begins with a tiny bit of backstory: a pair of archeologists/anthropologists find a cave painting with a specific configuration of stars on the wall associated with seemingly gigantic beings. They note that it is the same configuration they’ve found in the ancient artwork of several other human civilizations separated by thousands of years and untold miles. That’s the hook. It could have been developed more, but from there the movie goes straight to the voyage of the space vessel Prometheus, a human space ship containing the two archeologists/anthropologists, a crew of other scientists, and, of course, an android. The Prometheus is en route to a planet from the system depicted by the artwork. It arrives, the android wakes every one up from cryo-sleep, and the fun begins.

 

The ship lands on the planet and the crew begins to investigate some ruins. Soon enough, however, various members of the crew are killed by… various things/events/methods. Then, it becomes apparent that all life on Earth is threatened by what these scientists have discovered and they must act quickly before their lovely home world is doomed.

 

That’s the brief summary.

 

Overall, I thought the movie was pretty good, but not fantastic. The first half of the movie was really good, although, like I said, I wish they had taken more time to develop the backstory some more. In fact, I almost kind of wish someone would make a movie, a good movie, but not a horror movie, with that kind of plot… Ancient Aliens visited us in our past, and we now undertake a mission to meet them. Anyway, with respect to “Prometheus” I jumped—I admit it—several times during the movie, which is good for a horror movie. The suspense throughout was good. But about halfway through the movie things just stopped being as appealing for me. It wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, but maybe I’ve just seen too many of these stupid things to really get full enjoyment from them.

 

In the final analysis, I’ll give it three and a half out of five stars.

Drasmyr Promotion: Discounted Price

The dark fantasy novel “Drasmyr” now on sale until Wednesday, June 13th, 2012. It will be available for $0.99 at Smashwords with the following code: BK75E. Hope you enjoy the read!

Writing 101: Rules for Writers

Writing books for aspiring writers are chock full of rules… okay, that’s an exaggeration, but it seems everyone is bent on giving advice to the newbie writer. Some of this advice is right on the mark, but other times it flies astray. The most important rule to remember, I think, is the fact that every writer is different. What works for one writer, might not work for another. For example, one of the most quoted aphorisms for the aspiring writer is “Write every day.” I wish. Maybe it’s a sign that I’m not supposed to be a writer, but I’ve tried. I’ve really tried. And I can’t write every day. I’ll go through phases and write consistently for several weeks at a time, then burn out and be unable to function for a week or so. I think, perhaps, the better advice is the advice a writerly friend once gave me: “Do something writerly every day.” Write on those days you can. Read on those days you can’t. Or take a look at poetry to study the economy of word usage. Set a day aside for world building. Another day for development of your craft. Having a varied approach to the discipline can be quite effective. This works much better for me, if for no other reason that it alleviates the stress that comes with the utter conviction that I must write every day. I’ve learned to pace myself somewhat. Keeping that in mind, I’d change the rule to “Write as often as you can.”

 

The next rule is: “Revision. Revision. Revision.” Don’t ever stop revising. The first draft is never the final draft. You will always be able to improve a piece through revision. And besides, this will probably take up as much of your time as writing, or very close to it. I know it takes me about an hour to complete a rough draft of three pages or so. A typical chapter measures fifteen pages in length, which gives me five hours of typing. Then, I revise the chapter at least four times at about an hour or two for each revision. These are all rough estimates, but it is clear that the time spent editing and revising is comparable to, if not greater than, the time actually spent writing. And that’s a good thing. The more you edit and revise, the more you improve your craft… that’s where the real learning the ins and outs of writing happens.

 

The next rule is: “Get feedback.” Ideally, you should join a writing group of people whose writing ability is at least comparable to your own, if not superior. That’s the best way to learn—from those who know. Even if you live out in the country, the Internet can provide access to a great deal of writing talent. Just do a search for on-line writing groups.

 

Next is: “Patience.” If you are going the traditional route, expect to be rejected. Over and over again. It happened to me so often, I just said to heck with it and decided to publish on my own. If you are like me and want to go the self-publishing route, you get to do all the work from writing the manuscript to marketing it. If you don’t have the skills, you will have to develop them.

 

The final rule is: “Build your reputation.” It can be a little overwhelming at first. Begin with a blog and/or a web-site. Consistently provide value to your site and the followers will come. It’s a time consuming process, but you should devote a certain amount of time each week to marketing and building your reputation. As a general rule, I try to write all my blog entries in advance so I’m not running around like a chicken with its head cut off when it comes time to publish them. It saves on the stress and blood pressure.

 

Well, those are five (or is it six?) of the most important rules of writing. Follow those and you’ll be on your way.

Drasmyr Promotion: Discounted Price

In celebration of my recently completed blog tour, I am putting my book, “Drasmyr,” on sale until Wednesday, June 13th, 2012. It will be available for $0.99 at Smashwords with the appropriate coupon code. The code is: BK75E. Hope you enjoy the read!

Movie Reviews: A Few Films I Missed While on Tour

Now that my first blog tour is behind me, I’m going to catch up on some of my movie reviewing. I watched a number of films last month, but didn’t get a chance to post about them because I was busy with my tour. So, I’ll give a few brief words on each of four movies I’ve seen recently.

 

The Avengers: rank: 5 stars. This was a great movie. The “fight” between the Hulk and Loki was classic. Everyone who saw the film knows what I mean. That aside, the film had a number of clever one-liners… and I don’t mean Arnold Schwarzenegger one-liners—these actually were clever. The story line was good. The characters were good. All around, an exceptional movie. Although I have one comment to make (I may have made this same remark in other film reviews): the first time I saw the movie, I saw it in 3-D. I don’t even notice the 3-D effects anymore. They were cool for the first movie I saw them in, but now I get too involved with the story to really pay attention to the effects. I think it is just a case of abusing our technological prowess: we really don’t need 3-D, but now that we got it, I’m sure it will never go.

 

Men in Black 3: rank: 3 1/2 to 4 stars. This was a decent movie, probably at the same standard of quality as MIB 1 and 2. It wasn’t exceptional by any means, but it was an enjoyable way to spend some time. It involves some time-traveling, an evil villain bent on destroying the world, and an insight into Agent K’s personality and history as well as Agent J’s (I think it’s J). I’m not sure I approve of a certain bad guy being killed in cold-blood at one point, but I won’t go into detail about that here… I’ll leave that to other viewers to judge on their own.

 

Snow White and the Huntsman: rank: 2 1/2 to 3 stars. I had high hopes for this movie, but was sadly disappointed. It was the second attempt this year to breathe new life into the Snow White story. The first was an enjoyable kid’s film a couple months back entitled Mirror, Mirror. While Mirror, Mirror knew it was addressing a kid’s audience, Snow White and the Huntsmen tried to darken the tone of the film and gear it towards a more mature audience only to fall back in a couple of scenes to a fairy-ish tone. Overall, the movie just didn’t do much for me.

Dark Shadows: rank: 3 stars. This was another movie I had high hopes for and was, again, sadly disappointed by. It’s a take off of the 70’s dark soap opera of the same name. I think my biggest problem was the fact that Barnabas Collins (the vampire played by Johnny Depp) killed a number of innocent people. If they had been malevolent gangsters or something like that, I probably wouldn’t have minded, but they were hippies (perhaps I should revise my opinion? J) and harmless construction workers. I just can’t get behind a protagonist who is evil. In my own book, Drasmyr, I have a vampire who tells much of the story, but I don’t view him as the protagonist—he’s evil, the reader knows this, and though he may be cool, you’re not supposed to root for him. There are other good characters that fill that role. Here in Dark Shadows the vampire is indisputably the main character. And though he does have a certain amount of charm, he still kills innocents. And I just can’t get past that.

Final Blog Tour Wrap Up

As of yesterday, my blog tour is officially over. I want to thank everyone involved particularly Bewitching Book Tours –it wouldn’t have been possible without them. I’d also like to thank my readers. I hope they enjoyed the tour as much as I did. Before we close the door on the tour, though, we had a request to repost the entire schedule. So, I’ll do that today, but with this caveat: many of the links are simply to the homepages of the blogs in question, hence they likely will have moved on from the particulars of my tour promotion. Regardless, starting tomorrow, I will return to my regular two posts per week schedule, posting on Mondays and Thursdays. Now, without further adieu, here is the complete schedule for all the sites that hosted me on the tour.

Blog Tour Schedule

May 7th promo : http://aobibliosphere.blogspot.com

May 8 Guest Blog : Fang-tastic Books : www.fang-tasticbooks.blogspot.com

May 9 Guest Blog : The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom : www.creativelygreen.blogspot.com

May 21 review and promo : Books, Books, and More Books : http://dream-reader-dreamer2229.blogspot.com/

May 23rd review : http://aobibliosphere.blogspot.com/2012/05/65-bewitching-book-tours-review-drasmyr.html

May 24 Character Interview : Butterfly-o-Meter Books : http://butterflyometerbooks.blogspot.com/

May 27 Guest blog : Book Reviews, Fiction Reflections, N’ More : http://personalliterarybookfrenzy.blogspot.com

May 29 Guest Blog : Carly Fall – Where Fantasy Meets Romance : http://www.carlyfall.com/?p=1717

June 1 Interview and review : Just Another Rabid Reader: http://justanotherrabidreader.info

June 2 Interview and review : Nilsa’s book blog : Http://www.nilsa-rodriguez.blogspot.com

June 2 review : http://starrynightbookreviews.blogspot.com/

June 3 review and promo : Beverly @ The Wormhole : http://wormyhole.blogspot.com

June 4th Guest post : This Author’s Life : www.thisauthorslife.blogspot.com

June 5 Promo and review : Soliloquy : kaitlinmichelle.com

June 5 Guest blog : Read2Review : http://read2review.com

Once again, thanks to everyone involved!

Blog Tour: Stops #14 and #15: Soliloquy and Read2Review

My blog tour for my vampire fantasy novel, Drasmyr, draws to a close today. Today we have a promotion and a review at Soliloquy, and then a guest post at Read2Review. Go check them out and show them your support. Also check out Bewitching Book Tours, the sponsors of the blog tour.

Blog Tour: Stop #13: This Author’s Life

My blog tour for my vampire fantasy novel, Drasmyr, continues today. Today we have a guest post at This Author’s Life. Go check it out and show them your support. Also check out Bewitching Book Tours, the sponsors of the blog tour.

Blog Tour: Stop #12: The Wormhole

My blog tour for my vampire fantasy novel, Drasmyr, continues today. Today we have a promotion at The Wormhole. Go check it out and show them your support. Also check out Bewitching Book Tours, the sponsors of the blog tour.