Sunday, April 28, 2013

At The Movies: Oblivion

Movie: Oblivion
Stars: Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough
My Rating: 4/5

What I liked~
The dragonfly-style flying craft. I'm always amazed by the designs they come up with in scifi movies, and I have to say this is one of my favorites. It's clearly based on a dragonfly, but instead of wings it uses two circular engines that rotate and drive the ship. The bubble cockpit also moves 180 degrees as shown in a very awesome fight  scene. Specs of the ship can be found here.

The house on top of the pole thing. Very Jetsons, but it totally worked. Great views all around and the pool...ohmigod.

Jaime Lanister...I mean, Nicolak Coster-Waldau. Full on squeals and giggles ensued at his appearance on screen. He didn't even have to change looks, just put on a scifi looking suit (what is with the cod piece!), grab a gun and he was ready to kick some ass.

Morgan Freeman with a cape. Do not doubt the badassery of that.

What I didn't like~
Olga playing the role of weepy wife. Also, I wished she'd done more in the movie. Not just be the woman the hero carries around.

This movie used a very 'old school' sounding track in certain scenes. You know, those with an epic score but heavy on the drums and a keyboard...Listen to it here. The first 30 seconds of that song get played on a couple of scenes and it totally took me out of this post-apocalyptic world! Oddly enough, I do like the song on its own. It's a love hate situation.

The unknown entity. Can't explain this more or else it's a spoiler. You'll know when you watch it.

The too happy happy-ending! It doesn't go at all with the tone of the rest of the movie. I would've been happy for Plan A which was the ultimate sacrifice scenario.

What I loved~
The nickname Vika for Victoria. Seriously. Considering it for my firstborn.

Yeah, this again...I want one.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

My Way or The Highway

This term I had to deal with the thing that writers all over the world cringe at a single mention of it...


It is a messy, messy affair, and something that I didn't know how to go about because I'd never finished a story before (Yikes!). So, I read books, and read posts, and asked fellow classmates and authors to prepare myself for this horrible task. The books turned out to be overwhelming, the posts had a million different opinions, and other writers didn't give straight answers. I wanted a formula, a checklist, something to make this as painless as possible. In other words...I was delusional.

There's no such thing as painless revisions.

It is messy AND painful. Ripping apart chapters, deleting characters, seeing that word count—the one you sweated blood for and tore your hair out to get to that 80k (or more) mark—go down. It's not pretty. But I'm getting ahead of myself. As I said, before I started to massacre my novel, there was one step everyone agreed I should do. And that was to read the whole manuscript without changing a thing to get a general sense of your novel.

I couldn't do it.

The thing is I’m a very OCD person and sometimes the simplest things like not fixing what is wrong immediately initiates the most dreaded writer's block. But I tried. I really really tried reading without changing things, but I couldn’t. My hand had a life of its own. Those fingers would snatch the pen from my desk and before I knew it, the page would be bleeding red or purple. I kept thinking, ‘This is wrong. I shouldn’t be doing this. This is SO wrong.”

And thus the mental blockage ensued.

Luckily, I found Chuck Wendig's posts about editing, and after reading his collection of posts called Edit Your Shit: Part 1 and the subsequent Parts 2 and 3, I realized something...

Not every writing method out there has to be MY method.

It was one of those Eureka! moments that leave you completely embarrassed at your mental capacity for not having figured it out before. A big fat DUH. The thing is...Just because 95% of the writers out there read the whole manuscript before diving into revisions, does not mean I have to do the same. I wasn’t comfortable with it, yet I pushed myself because this was ‘how it was done.’ Well no! I am different. I am that awkward 5% that doesn't follow every rule, yet can write and revise as well as any other. And that it OK.

Lesson one: There can be a 'how it’s done' in writing, but ultimately it is done the way it works for me.

Lesson two: Have a writer issue? Read a Wendig post and the world will be brighter again.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

War for the Oaks - A Recipe for Swoon-Worthy Leads

War for the Oaks
Author: Emma Bull
Publisher: Tor Teen, 2004
First Published: 1987
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Eddi McCandry has just left her boyfriend and their band when she finds herself running through the Minneapolis night, pursued by a sinister man and a huge, terrifying dog. The two creatures are one and the same: a phouka, a faerie being who has chosen Eddi to be a mortal pawn in the age-old war between the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. Eddi isn't interested--but she doesn't have a choice. Now she struggles to build a new life and new band when she might not even survive till the first rehearsal.

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Anubis Gates - What I Liked

The Anubis Gates
Author: Tim Powers
Publisher: Ace, 1997
First Published: 1983
Genre: Science Fiction

Brendan Doyle, a specialist in the work of the early-nineteenth century poet William Ashbless, reluctantly accepts an invitation from a millionaire to act as a guide to time-travelling tourists. But while attending a lecture given by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1810, he becomes marooned in Regency London, where dark and dangerous forces know about the gates in time. Caught up in the intrigue between rival bands of beggars, pursued by Egyptian sorcerers, befriended by Coleridge, Doyle somehow survives. And learns more about the mysterious Ashbless than he could ever have imagined possible.