Thursday, October 3, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013

I'm all geared up for National Novel Writing Month in November!

The weather has turned. It's dark and cloudy - the gray sky dotted with the yellows, oranges and reds of the mighty trees, standing proud yet knowing they're about to stand as naked sentries through another bitter winter.

Fallen leaves blanket the parking lots, sidewalks and dying lawns.

Perfect planning weather for a nice murder mystery.

This year, I'm going to write in a new series, as opposed to previous years in which I continued to write in the Masked Rider series.

I've got my murderer, my victim, my motive, a couple of clues, and a few red herrings. I've got to flesh out my characters - all of them are brand new to me.

I'm also trying something new in the POV department - I'm going to switch between two characters throughout the novel, both will be first person POV.

I'm also going for a little darker, a little more serious than any of my other work. Will it stick? I don't know. I keep thinking of funny lines and there's always a sense of humor that comes through my work. Will it punctuate the seriousness of my character's problems or make light of it?

We shall see...

Friday, February 1, 2013

Every once in a while I'll read a book outside my genre, and Take A Stand fits the bill. I've never read a Christian fiction book before - I didn't even know the category existed until recently!

Two major story lines are running concurrently. In one, Christians are being persecuted and in the second, we are privy to the growing love between Sean and Emma.

The interesting thing about this book, Sean is a single-minded ex-Marine with a hot temper. He says he doesn't like playing games in relationships, then sneaks out of his best friend's house for days and ignored his calls - with a smile on his face. He's oblivious about being exactly what he dislikes! When you add all his faults together, it should make for a one-dimensional, boring main character that you can't stand - yet it's the complete opposite in this story. Sean is my favorite character! I really cared about what happened to him.

Bandusky's writing is well done. It seemed a little bogged down in some areas because I wanted to read faster than my brain could go. It was a suspenseful story - I read it in two days.

Despite my disagreeing with Sean's views, it was easy to read. He thinks Jesus is the only way, for every single person, as a path to salvation and he literally says it's the truth like a tree is a tree - a narrow-minded view with no room for other's views. The irony is that he then fights the government after a law is passed that Christians cannot own bibles or talk about their beliefs in public. (Or in private for that matter but I don't want to give too much away.)

Sean has to decide when and where to take a stand, not sure who's with him or how far they'll go for their beliefs. He's fighting a secret organization telling him what's right and what to think just as he tells others the same.

The irony adds an extra dimension to the story because Sean is so adamant and self-righteous, but so is the secret organization.

The highlight of the story for me is the relationship between Sean and Emma as well as Sean and his best friend.

Actually, it's delightful to read Sean's interactions with anyone because you just don't know how this guy is going to act!

I won't say anything about the end because it'll give it away but I will say these characters stay with you.

Here's my biggest complaint: There are certain things you don't do in my preferred genre (cozy mysteries) that Bandusky did. Why would I be unfair about applying rules of one genre to another? Simply because it was completely unnecessary. It was tacked on and the novel would have stood just fine without that one sentence. (Spoiler: She kills animals but not in a detailed way. They're in the wrong place and the wrong time. The book would have been fine without it.)

I recommend this book to anyone who likes suspense.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

'Doctor Who' Just Isn't The Same

I love Doctor Who. Real Doctor Who. The original 20+ years. Not the new stuff.

I realized for a while now that, as much as I love sci-fi, had I not grown up with Doctor Who (real, classic) and was exposed to it for the first time in 2005 (the new stuff) I wouldn't watch. I wouldn't be a fan and I wouldn't get it.

Now, don't get me wrong, I think the writing is well done (except for the plot holes they ignore in order to get done what they want to get done) and the acting is great and the special effects are good and the music is superb - but it's not my cup of tea.

They kill things in the new Doctor Who, all the time. Innocent things. Animals aren't even safe.

And when companions leave, you know it's going to be bad. Not sad like, oh, there goes Sarah Jane Smith (companion to the third and fourth Doctor) after all those years and the Doctor is really going to miss her and she's really going to miss him but they'll both be all right and move on with their lives. But like death and dying and mental breakdowns and trapped for all eternity in parallel universes.

Where the old series is fun, the new series is heavy.

Where the old series is charming, the new series is sad.

Where the old series is laughter, the new series is tears.

Where the old series is full of hope and optimism, the new series is all about loss.

The first 7 Doctors were fun to be around. (Even the 8th, I suppose, though I didn't like the movie.)

These last 3 Doctors are miserable to be around.

If a tall guy with curly brown hair and a large scarf walks up to me, I'd pack my bags in a heartbeat and run into the police box. If a guy in a black jacket, guy in a long trench coat or guy in a bow tie comes near me I will run the other way as fast as I possibly can.

The other day, my Mom asked me why we watch the current show.

"Tradition? Curiosity? A misplaced sense of loyalty? The undying hope that it'll somehow be what it once was?"

We can't be the only ones who don't care much for the new series BECAUSE of our love of the old one but try finding people who were fans of the old one. I was a fan before anyone knew what the heck Doctor Who was. I used to hide reading my Target novels in school and get blank stares when talking to the boys about sci-fi if I brought it up.

It's kind of the same nowadays except raving fans might be aware there was some show called Doctor Who decades ago, wasn't there a guy with a long scarf.

Breaks my heart. Which is ironic since watching the new show breaks my heart every other episode as yet another nice person gets whacked or betrays the world. (Old Doctor Who, bad guys would turn good. New Doctor Who, good guys turn bad. Who wants to watch that?)

Does anyone remember the guy with the scarf back when he ruled the airwaves and we didn't want it any other way?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Cut The Cable Reading Challenge (2013) - Post Your Reviews

This is for everyone to post their reviews of the books they've read for the Cut The Cable Reading Challenge.

There is a separate post for you to share your progress.

I can't wait to read your reviews and find some more books for the challenge!

Cut The Cable Reading Challenge (2013) - Update Your Progress Here

This is for everyone to post your progress of the Cut The Cable Reading Challenge.

There is a separate post for you to share your reviews.

I look forward to seeing what you're reading and how far you're getting in the challenge!


Cut The Cable Reading Challenge (2013)

This is the first year I'm going to host a Reading Challenge!
You can find my post at Goodreads in the Challenge Factory group.


The challenge is to read books that were made into TV shows and/or novelizations based on TV shows.

(Examples, Perry Mason, Dresden Files, Doctor Who.

The first two were books made into TV shows, the last was a TV show first.)

The challenge runs from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013.

You have to read the books in 2013.

Short stories count (example, Sherlock Holmes, Jeeves and Wooster)
Rereads count
Crossovers with other reading challenges count

Casual Viewer - 6 books
Couch Potato - 12 books
TV Junkie - 18 books
TV Addict - 24 books

I am going to allow non-fiction books in this challenge as long as they are written by, or are about, an actor/personality that has been on television.

Below, I've listed possible reads in different categories. You don't have to pick from the categories, I'm just using them to illustrate how diverse this challenge can be!

a) Mystery/Detective

Examples include Diagnosis Murder, Monk, Perry Mason, Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, Ellery Queen, Hamish Macbeth, Columbo, Psych.

b) Sci-Fi

Examples include Doctor Who, Red Dwarf, Blake's 7, Torchwood, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

c) Paranormal/Fantasy

Examples include Dresden Files, The Sword of Truth series (novels) Legend of the Seeker (TV), Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Charmed, The Dead Zone.

d) Humor

Examples include Jeeves and Wooster.

e) Adventure

Examples include Burn Notice, Zorro, A-Team, 24.

f) Reality

Examples include The Garner Files: A Memoir by James Garner, Destination Truth: Memoirs of a Monster Hunter by Josh Gates, David Janssen - My Fugitive by Ellie Janssen, From The Holocaust to Hogan's Heroes: The Autobiography of Robert Clary by Robert Clary.

Movies don't count for this challenge. The book could have been a movie but it has to have been a TV series (even if it didn't last all that long!). Buffy The Vampire Slayer was a movie, a book and a TV show and would count for this challenge. James Bond was books and then movies, I don't believe it was ever a TV show so it wouldn't count.

I hope you like this challenge and take it on and have fun with it!

If you have any questions, please e-mail me or put it in the comments. I tried to cover everything above and clearly!

I've made a post page where you can update your progress and post reviews throughout the year. That way, we can find new reads and new friends.

You can find this and other reading challenges I signed up for this year here.