Monthly Archives: December 2014

Took Me Long Enough – Watchmen

I watched the movie years ago and enjoyed it. I bought the full glossy graphic novel for my brother that Christmas but I never got one for myself. Barnes and Noble had a sale and I saw it available for my Nook. It’s one of those things I’d been meaning to read for a long time and just hadn’t gotten around to it. Now I’ve read it and I am very glad I did.

It does belong on those lists of things people ought to read. And it cements Rorschach as one of my favorite characters ever. I do like to think of alternatives to his ending, like maybe the nonlinear Dr. Manhattan doesn’t rip his atoms apart but merely moves him some time into the future where humanity is back to normal, bickering amongst each other and in need of some masked heroes. Because that time will surely come and probably more quickly than it should. Ozymandias may have understood humanity – in the short term – but it won’t last. The peace is artificial and, at some point, when enough time passes without incident, it will be a fluke, not an invasion. It is a short term solution at best.

When I first saw the movie, I thought Jackie Earl Haley did a fabulous job as Rorschach. Now, having read the book, I can’t see anyone else doing half as good a job in that role. Also, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the Comedian was a brilliant bit of casting. The rest seem pretty interchangeable to me – the actors did excellent jobs but really, it could have been almost any decent actor in those roles. Except Ozymandias. He just wasn’t as “larger than life” as his graphic novel counterpart. But that’s all set dressing and of little importance.

Now, back to my regularly scheduled Hellblazer and the much too long list of books I want to read. Next up, Richard Kadrey’s Metrophage. I know I’m way late in reading it but I discovered Kadrey through his Sandman Slim books (so awesome) and I need a fix between now and when the new Sandman Slim novel so I’m giving this one a shot.

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Ends and Beginnings

2014 is very nearly over and, like almost every year to come before it, I’m glad to see the back of it. I begin every year with a veiled optimism and 2015 is no different. Hopefully, by this time next year, I’ll have found homes for the books that are sitting in slush piles now and have a whole new batch sitting in a whole new set of slush piles.

As far as goals go, I’m not good with word count goals (except in November where there is a program holding me accountable). I’d like to have Demonborn, Careful What You Wish For, and Long is the Way done and off to slush. I’d like to have something new finished. I’d like to fix up a few short stories that have been collecting dust and get them out the door and hopefully pull a few new ones together. The plan is to work on something, in some fashion, at least 5 days out of every 7. Having both kids in school makes this absolutely attainable. I’m already rewriting Demonborn – I’m hoping to have it off to my first readers by the end of January. I also have a market in mind for this one so hopefully, their submission window coincides with when I’m ready to send it.

I’m a little down at the moment because it’s almost time to put Christmas decorations away. When that happens, it’s like admitting that it’s really over for a whole year. That saddens me every year. Though, I know I’ll also be glad to have my every day decorations back out (read: all my geeky stuff). I’m sure there will be more than enough to keep me busy until then.

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Mama Made

As promised: This year’s mama made gifts for the boys. And I discovered that the 14 year old will never again squeal like a little girl – puberty has made his voice pretty non-squeally and that saddens me.

Anyway – both of these things are pretty easy but also pretty time consuming. I’m probably going to do a “how-to” for the Geek Girl Project sometime in the near future. The Sorting hat now belongs to oldest child. The Pipe Piranha (Mario) belongs to the youngest. Side note – The sorting hat talks!

Sorting Hat

Sorting Hat

Paper Mache Pipe Piranha

Paper Mache Pipe Piranha

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Impatient

So so impatient. I’ve never been good at waiting and I’ve discovered that is only getting worse with age. You’d think I’d get it figured out – I’ve had 35? years to settle down but nope. Can’t do it. I’m the one counting sleeps until Christmas, not the kids. I’m the one who can’t sleep and they’re actually sleeping in! The short one slept 30 minutes past his usual internal alarm. I hope he doesn’t do that tomorrow. I want to hear the fourteen year old erupt in fangirly squeals and the eight year old discover whatever it is that he absolutely needed but didn’t know existed. I love that.

I love Christmas. For a multitude of reasons. This is the time of year I feel closest to my mom – 19 years without her doesn’t really make that connection weaker, just a bit less hurtful. Halloween and Christmas were the high points of our year. We’d make stuff, bake stuff, and give it all away. We had traditions I’ve tried my best to keep going with my kids. Every year she made (or in one case had made) something special for me and I’ve tried to do the same for my boys. I haven’t managed yet something as awesome as the things she did, but I think I came close this year (I’ll post them friday – I’m hugely proud of them this year and might do a how-to for the Geek Girl Project blog later).

I’m also impatient for the end to one of my favorite writer’s Christmas Advent story. Val Griswold-Ford does an amazing story, a little bit at a time, as a present for her readers. If you like fantasy and magic, you’d love it. But start at the beginning. I think more people ought to be reading it. I think there are probably links to previous years advents there too – all worth reading.

This year, I get to host Christmas dinner. I don’t really do some of the traditional kind of stuff. For sides and desserts yes, but not the main course. Oldest child requested my venison meatloaf. Unfortunately, I have one person who won’t eat deer (because bambi? I guess she’s never seen a starving deer or witnesses one get hit – overpopulation is bad!) and one who won’t eat anything that mixes bacon with any other meat (and the bacon makes it so I don’t need egg and my grandmother is highly allergic) so we are also doing chicken on the grill and more venison (back straps are awesome). Year after next, it’ll be my year again and the goal is to have a dinner that is all stuff we gathered, hunted, or grew but that will depend on hunting season and the garden. And my ability to can what comes from the garden!

Today, I’m mainlining christmas carols (love Pentatonix’s Christmas album!) and getting the house ready and some of the prep work done for tomorrow. I’m antsy but trying to behave myself. Tonight, we go to the inlaws for Christmas Eve so I really only have a handful of hours to get a lot done. Then one more sleep until Christmas! I won’t manage to get online much (if at all) tomorrow so Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, I know I missed Hanukkah but happy that too! Oh, and Yule! and whatever else you celebrate!

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2014 is almost finished

This year has moved by pretty quickly overall. I can’t believe it’s almost over! It’s actually been a pretty productive year, even considering I had a few months where words were just not working so well for me. My first novel, Guardian of the Gods, came out in February. I put the finishing touches on one novel, wrote the drafts for two others, and even managed a smattering of short stories. I started writing for The Geek Girl Project (which has been so awesome so far!). I went to my first convention and took my oldest son to his first convention. I met some really great people both online and in person. Overall, even with the ick that hit a couple of times, this year has been pretty good. I still hope that next year will be even better and without the ick.

I’ve got the Christmas crafting finished just in time as tomorrow is the last day of school for the kids until January. I’m only doing handmade stuff for my two kids this year as their projects took a lot more time and patience than I’d expected, but they turned out really cool. I’ll post them after the holiday because both of my kids use the internet and are very nosy – I still can’t believe how well they turned out! I think I’m getting more excited for Christmas than my boys are because I know they’re going to love these things – the oldest will squeal and the youngest will wonder how I knew what he wanted that he didn’t put on his list. I love when that happens. Usually, I make something for everyone but it’s just not going to happen that way this year. Unless I find a project that the kids can do instead since they have so much time off before Christmas.

Between now and the end of the year, it’s going to be a flurry of baking, cooking, and wrapping and I probably won’t have too much time to blog or write (or read). Once Christmas is over, I’ll be looking forward to January so I can get back in the swing of things. Though I won’t have time to mess with it too much until January, I’ve figured out what’s wrong with the beginning of Demonborn (this year’s nanowrimo novel that I hope to have rewritten and off to my first reader before January is finished). Overall, I’m quite hopeful for next year.

 

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All my favorite characters are jerks

The news that not only is Deadpool going to have his own movie (yay!) but that Ryan Reynolds will be Deadpool has me all sorts of twitterpated. There’s not a better word for my feelings on the subject than that. It got me thinking a little bit though. All of my favorite characters are utter jerks – even if they mean well and/or are working for the good guys.

Constantine airs tonight and I’ve been loving the show (and the small bit of the comics I’ve read) so far but the character is not a happy, touchy feely kind of guy. He excels at many things but mostly being an ass. Dean Winchester is undoubtedly a good guy but he can also be a jerk (though he’s probably the least jerkish on my list). Riddick, Wolverine, Blade, Punisher, Rorschack, Sandman Slim edges more into the Winchester territory as he’s quite as dickish as the rest of them.

I do not know what draws me to this type of character. Maybe it has something to do with redemption and the room for growth in the character. Maybe it’s just more fun to watch or read. Maybe it doesn’t really matter because as long as writers keep introducing these kind of characters, I’ll keep reading them, watching them, waiting for more of them.

Do you have a favorite jerk of a character? Tell me in the comments!

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Almost to the fun part

I’m just about done with the decorating part of Christmas. I just have the dining room table and the village to put up. Due to decorating day being so late this year, I’m a bit behind schedule but, I should hopefully get it done today. Then I get to  move on to the next fun part!

Every year, I do my best to make things for those closest to me. I am struggling a bit to figure out what to make this year though. I do ornaments for the kids, usually something a bit on the geeky side. I’ve done Mario mushrooms, a dalek, a teenage mutant ninja turtle head, and Peppa Pig (for the youngest). This year, I’m not sure what to do! I thought about maybe doing the insignia of each kid’s favorite superhero (so, the Flash, Batman, and maybe Spiderman for the nephew). If I’m careful, those should be easy enough but I’m not quite sold on it yet. I might do tiny sonic screwdrivers for my kids but nephew doesn’t watch Doctor Who so I’d have to think of something else for him. I could also do Star Trek but again, would have to think of something else for the nephew. I’m very frustrated because I want to do something neat but I have to make sure it’s something I can actually do as well. My mom was the artist in the family, not me.

I have ideas for the holiday makings for the women in the family, but not the men so much. I’m the only geeky one in the family (except for my kids) so most of the stuff I would think of is immediately crossed off the list. Last year, I did a lot with my woodburner (including an eagle globe and anchor plaque for the husband – eagle feathers quickly became the bane of my existence). So, men out there reading this – ideas would be helpful! We’ve also done bbq rubs and thumbprint ornaments already.

When I was little, it was not unusual for my mom to make quite a lot of my presents and, as an adult, those gifts have always been the ones I think about when I remember Christmases past. We also made a lot of things for other people – soaps, candies, candles and the like. I loved Making Days as much as Baking Days. If my mom were still around, making something for her would be easy – something Trek or Who. Apparently, I need to work a little harder to get everyone on board the geek-wagon. It would make Making Day so much easier!

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