Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Too Much Success and Not Enough Time

A Modicum of Truth, the second novel in the Justice series, was released on February 12th. That's only 37 days ago. It was over 100,000 words, not including the glossary and the sample chapter from the third book.

A Matter of Death (Justice #3) will be most likely be another 100,000 words.

And I've already started getting e-mails asking when it'll be out.

Now, I could get pissy and growl, "I'm not your bitch," a la Neil Gaiman's blog post back in 2009, when a reader tried to get Neil to gang up on fellow author George R.R. Martin over the incomplete Songs of Ice and Fire series. Which was first published in 1996 and is still not done.

But that's not going to make my situation any better.

Because there are those readers who've been patiently waiting for the end of the Bloodlines series to come out since Blood Magick was published in April of 2011. Or the readers who are wondering what the hell happened to the 888-555-HERO series that was announced in January of 2015.

Then there's simply life.

I'm a middle-aged woman with a disease that is slowly, but surely, killing me. A fact I was forced to acknowledge recently. It's a disease that's been eating away at me for nineteen years already. Quite frankly, if I take care of myself, I may be able to eke out another thirty to forty years.


If I'm lucky.

I'm not whining. It's simply a factor of my existence. And I have to keep my stress level under control because that only aggravates my condition.

I have to balance everything--home demands, family demands, work demands along with a little downtime so my brain doesn't explode.

It means a steady pace of 1-2K words a day, which is pretty frickin' slow compared to some writers, but it's manageable with my endurance and pain level. It means taking the time to eat right instead of munching on cheese and crackers at my desk and not paying attention to the quantity. It means making a point of walking every day. It means taking a little time every day to read or watch TV or talk with a friend.

I know readers want me to be the hare, pumping out books as fast as I can, but I'm not. I am the tortoise, and I have that finish line in sight.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Monday Movie Mania - A Wrinkle in Time

I loved A Wrinkle in Time as a child. And I really wanted to love the new movie version of it, too.

This is the second film adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's novel. The first was also by Disney back in 2003. It was...bad. So very, very bad. It took a very simple, straight forward children's story and stretched it to unpalatable lengths.

This one wasn't quite as bad, but...

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1) Ava DuVernay stuck to the essential story.

2) The visuals are gorgeous.

1) DuVernay and writers Jennifer Lee and Jeff Stockwell tried too hard to "update" the story. Meg's feelings of not fitting in are true of every middle school kid since before this book was written. They didn't need to add conflict between Meg and the popular girls at the school.

2) The pacing of the first half-hour of the film seriously dragged. Yes, Meg is the main protagonist, but get on with the story instead of spending so much time saying how middle school sucks.

3) Why make baby brother Charles Wallace be adopted? Normal humans can't have genius kids? In the books, Charles Wallace was the only one that seemed to naturally come from the Doctors Wallace.

4) Why take out the middle twin brothers Sandy and Dennys? They were the catalyst for what Meg perceived as "normal".

5) Taking out Aunt Beast was a mistake. It was through her caring of Meg after Dr. Murray's jump to get her and Calvin away from the bad guys that Meg finds the strength to go back and rescue Charles Wallace.

6) Speaking of which, Meg's anger at her father over leaving Charles Wallace behind didn't seem genuine.

7) Transforming Mrs. Whatsit (the lovely Reese Witherspoon) into a giant green flying flatworm was one of the biggest mistakes. What were they thinking?

8) IT just took over Charles Wallace instead of seducing him to the dark side. Geez, guys, even George Lucas got that right.

The movie lacked the emotional connection, which is needed for the subsequent punch, of the book. They had a superb cast, but the script just felt dead. I wanted to love this movie. I really did. But it is merely an adequate distraction for very young children.

Overall, I give A Wrinkle in Time 5 stars out of 5 10.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Oscar Nominated Songs

Trust me, you don't need little girls in your house to hear this one over and over again! LOL

Friday, March 16, 2018

Life Tries to Distract You...

Right now, my stress should be limited to planning for Easter and finishing Hero De Facto.

Instead, I have the PDF of the print version of Sacrificed on my laptop, that needs to be reviewed. The print proof of A Modicum of Truth is sitting on my desk, awaiting its own review. Hero De Facto is not finished yet, as I had hoped. For some reason, the Sacrificed e-book is still not showing up on Google Play, though they claim it's live. And that just the business related stuff.

There are the personal things that stress me out like a visit to the dentist this week, any time I release a new book, or planning a trip (Genius Kid and I are heading to his godmother's for part of Spring Break). I can usually manage those with exercise, eating right, and nibbling a bit of chocolate.

It's the bigger things that are throwing me out of whack.

There was a gun threat at our high school, which in turn triggered an anxiety attack in Genius Kid. No matter what DH or I say, poor GK thinks it's a personal failing, even though he's been working hard to stay on track with his meds and counseling. Personally, I want to wring the neck of the little bastard who made the threat. I don't care if it was a prank or not.

In addition to his high school classes, GK has been taking adult welding classes at the local tech school. He's been enjoying those, even if he's totally exhausted by the end of the week. So, to top off my stress this week, the transmission on his car croaked.

Between paying for GK's welding class and the changes to our insurance plan (instead of paying $100 a month for all my maintenance drugs, it's now $800 a month), we don't have the money get the transmission fixed this month. And we'd pay the same for a decent used car as we would to fix the damn transmission.


Tomorrow's St. Patrick's Day, and I really wish I could find the proverbial pot of leprechaun gold.

Maybe if I go whack some balls, I'd feel better...

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Sacrificed Is ALIVE!

Sacrificed is officially out today!

Per usual, links will be updated as they go live.

Barnes & Noble
Google Play

Monday, March 12, 2018

Monday Movie Mania - Black Panther

I've been anticipating this movie since Prince T'Challa made his appearance in Captain America: Civil War. And the next person who says this is the first black superhero movie will get slapped. Wesley Snipes showed way back in 1998's Blade that a black/Marvel/superhero (take your pick of labels) movie could make money if it was done right.

And frankly, Black Panther was done so fucking right!

Since we already saw T'Challa's origin story back in Civil War, no screen time was wasted for that bullshit. Co-writer/Director Ryan Coogler and Co-writer Joe Robert Cole jump right into the action, setting Black Panther against his archnemesis Killmonger.

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1) Coogler and Cole integrated the original story with Shakespearean overtones, specifically Hamlet. In this version, T'Challa and N'Jadaka/Killmonger are cousins, so as members of the royal bloodline, they both can consume the heart-shaped herb.

2) Coogler didn't water down the Dora Milaje or turn them into a fucking harem. They were the elite Wakandan special forces they were supposed to be.

3) Have I said how much I love Danai Gurira? She outdoes herself in her performance of General Okoye.

4) The incredible comparisons of revenge/redemption. The fathers of T'Challa, Killmonger, and W'Kabi are murdered, and the plot develops out of how each man deals with their grief and anger.

5) The equally incredible comparisons of loyalty to their kings and to their own beliefs. Nakia, Okoye, and Zuri each face that question during the course of the story, and each are faced with a price for their decisions.

6) Special kudos have to go to Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger. This is the first Marvel antagonist who wasn't a one-dimensional cardboard villain. If you don't have any sympathy for him in the end as he and T'Challa watch the sunset together, you are dead inside.

1) The only issue is we don't have a release date for Black Panther 2.

Coogler gave this tightly plotted story some unexpected, and much welcome, depth. Overall, I give Black Panther 10 stars out of 10.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Friday, March 9, 2018

A Guide for the Indie Writer Using WORD

Jaye W. Manus of QA Productions has been a goddess-send as a formatter while I've re-issued older books, launched new ones, and finally gotten around to putting all books in print.

Right now, I'm try to pull together all the disparate pieces of Hero De Facto to form a cohesive story. The majority of it was written on three different machines in two different operating systems. While Microsoft's WORD was used on all the documents, the result is a hodgepodge of crap that will never be readable on any device.

This is where Jaye's book WORD for the Wise comes in. Her tips for setting up styles alone are worth the price. And I'll have a WORD file that all the devices will love.

WORD for the Wise is also available through the Kindle Unlimited borrowing program. However, if you're a writer who can't give up Microsoft and with an eye towards indie publishing, I strongly recommend buying a copy for yourself!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Marathon Goes On...

I'm in Month Two of my eight book releases in eight months marathon.

The e-book of A Modicum of Truth is out. I'm in the process of reviewing the e-book version of Sacrificed. Last night, I uploaded the files for the paperback copy of A Modicum of Truth. I just need to review the proof copy when it arrives. And I'm trying to finish the first draft of Hero De Facto.

On that last one, I had to search for the original outline and comparing it to what chapters have been completed. I experimented a little on this one. When I got stuck in the middle, I started writing backwards.

Not literally. I wrote the last chapter, which is something I've done before so I know where the hell I need to go in the story. But then, I wrote the next-to-last chapter. Then the second to last chapter. Yadda, yadda, yadda, lobster bisque.

The plan is to release Sacrificed on March 14 and Hero De Facto on April 13. I'm hoping the stars stay aligned and the health remains good this year. And I hope I give my readers a whole lot of fun along the way.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Remember Me

I'm rooting for this tune as Best Song in the 90th Academy Awards!