Thursday, July 30, 2015

Movies and Writing and Front Sight, Oh My!

Since I last posted (pretty much a month ago exactly) I have seen two movies in theaters, written about three quarters of the first half of a novel, remembered how much I enjoy baseball, started watching Avatar, and signed up for hand-to-hand combat classes at Front Sight.
What's... Front Sight, precious, eh? What's Front Sight?

For all y'all who don't know what Front Sight is, basically it's a gun school. You go there, they teach you how to safely use/carry firearms, so you don't go out literally half-cocked and accidentally cause mayhem rather than assistance.
That could be awkward.

It teaches you how to be a responsible gun owner. MmmHmmm.  Anyhoozle, so I'm signed up for the hand-to-hand combat part of it (because it is my first time and I'm a little intimidated at the idea of doing guns first) and I shall be heading down to Pahrump tomorrow - along with my sister Amanda, and our "sister/friend" Sammi. I am trying to figure out how to wear pants. As I am strictly a shirt and skirt kind of girl, pants are a whole 'nother kind of ballgame. But one simply cannot wear skirts to a martial arts type of setting. Awkward.
Unless, of course, you're Golden Sparrow.

I saw MINIONS and ANT-MAN.

I gotta say, I was a little disappointed with the Minion movie. I enjoyed the bits with the actual minions, but there was some stuff in there that I thought was totally unnecessary and inappropriate for kids - such as that disgustingly overweight sumo wrestler wearing next to nothing and leaving NOTHING to the imagination. The Cat did not approve. Also, I kind of would have preferred that the Minions met Gru earlier, and worked together to bring down the baddie Scarlet, even though Sandra Bullock voiced Scarlet and I could just "see" her getting into the role. I felt they could have done MORE with the movie, but instead relied on people being such fans of the minions they would overlook some loose plotting.

There really was some funny stuff, like Stuart and his fire hydrant:

But overall, I thought it could have been fabulous rather than just good.

ANT-MAN, however... yeah, I liked Ant-Man. Instead of being like the Avengers (WHICH I ADORE, BY THE WAY! IN CASE YOU THOUGHT I DIDN'T), Ant-Man sort of goes back to the "simple" Marvel movies, focusing on small but important bad guys, and instead of saving the world focusing more on just bringing down the single villain. Plus, Scott Lang (Ant-Man himself) was freakin' hilarious, and his stupid criminal friends were adorable idiots. The script was spot on, and I surprised myself by actually liking Michael Douglas. Normally, I don't like anything about him, but he was a really good character in the movie and I quite liked him. So, I would recommend you watch Ant-Man, but I would advise you to wait on Minions until it comes out on DVD. :-)
It was brilliant, you guys! I love Marvel.

As for my writing, I'm knocking out the first half of my novel quite rapidly. It's going to be told from two points-of-view, but since the timeline is a little "weird" for one character, I'm having a hard time switching back and forth, so I'm doing one character at a time, and I'll fit them together later. (All hail the revision process!) Besides, the second half will need a bit more research into the landscape, and mapping out the world being travelled. So, I'm procrastinating on the part. But the completed project will be great, I promise!


That's all for now. Hope y'all have a great day!

God bless!

The Cat
Byebyebyebyebyebyebyebye!!!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

"They're... flocking this way."

I saw Jurassic World the other day. My favourite part was the Ant-Man trailer before the movie.
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I kid, I kid! (Though truly, that train scene in the Ant-Man trailer is the BEST.)

Actually, I quite liked Jurassic World. I didn't expect much from it - not sure why. But I would watch it again, and coming from me that means a lot. To paraphrase Anton Ego from Ratatouille, "If I don't love it, I don't watch it again." So that I WOULD watch it again means I would rate it more than three stars. So now you know. :)
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Chris Pratt was my favourite. He is a great actor, and I loved the way he treated his raptors like dogs. That was kinda cute. I also liked that it was a little less gory than the originals. I'm all for survival movies, but I don't like watching people get chomped in two. I prefer not to see the actual blood spurt, 'cause that's nasty. I like to let my imagination "realize" what just happened. That's just me.
Owen Grady

I also liked the younger brother, Gray. (That could also be because he was in Iron Man 3, and I quite liked his character of Harley.) The older brother, Zach, grew on me a bit, but I never fully warmed up to Claire. She was a bit too "business" for my taste, and though she ended up being a bit more spunky at the end, she never really grew out of the business enough for me to find a good connection with her character.
Claire, Owen, Zach, Gray
 
I really appreciated the occasional "nod" to the originals, such as when the two boys stumble into what I'm positive was the original HQ in Jurassic Park, or when the funny-weird computer guy with the glasses wears his Jurassic Park t-shirt he bought on eBay because dude, they had the real thing. That Mr. DNA thingy. (As an aside, I'll just say it was weird for me to find out later how different Vincent D'Onofrio, who plays Vic Hoskins in Jurassic World, looks with hair.  He plays Wilson Fisk in Daredevil, and he looks quite different.  Observe.)

Watching Jurassic World, I decided I have no problem with the herbivore dinosaurs. I admit, it would be pretty cool to have a park where you can see brontosaurus (brontasauri?) roaming around and minding their own business.  I don't understand this fascination with the Tyrannosaurus Rex, or velociraptors, or any big creature like that who would eat you as soon as look at you. Why would you WANT to have a beast that size come back to life?
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Though, I guess I'm not being fair. After all, I rather like dragons, and what are dragons but the fantasy version of dinosaurs?

I'm reading something called IN THE BEGINNING by Walt Brown, PhD.
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It gives a fascinating account of the flood and how the world is the way it is today. I'm using it because I have an idea brewing for a novel that might involve a crisis like this, as well as pyramids, haunted areas around the world and the Bermuda triangle. Mostly I'm reading IN THE BEGINNING because it's just really interesting how the world "started over" after such a major catastrophe, and how the earth reformed after the flood waters had settled. I'm researching pyramids and haunted areas because the story that I have out on submission to an agent (while it is a stand-alone novel) does have the potential for companion novels to be written about worlds within its world... if that made sense. So this new story idea I have brewing would be a companion novel. (Besides, I needed a reason to write about pyramids. And nightmares. Yes, somehow the two will be interconnected. BOOM!)

I finished Jonathan Stroud's two new(ish) books of LOCKWOOD & CO, titled respectively The Screaming Staircase and The Whispering Skull.  Oh my goodness, I LOVED them. They were a little bit creepy (think Supernatural creepy, without so much gore) and just as funny and unique as his Bartimaeus books. It's about agents who are hired to rid houses of ghosts, and as only children can see the various types of ghosts, the agents tend to be in their teens. Rapiers may or may not be involved. I *believe* the third book in the series is coming out in September, titled The Hollow Boy. My only comment to that is GIMMME!
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That's all for today, except that my singing final was yesterday and I feel like I scored really well on both songs. (I sang both FLARES by The Script and L' ULTIMA NOTTE by Josh Groban.) So, yay on that!

Now if I would just get my new harp string in the mail so I can fix my harp and start re-teaching myself how to play... Guys, I need a bigger house.


Tra la la! That's all for today!

God bless!

~Cat
I don't know why I remind people of cats, but I do. We'rd.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Countdown has started...

Tomorrow it will be officially a month since I was first contacted by *my* agent requesting to read my full manuscript. Which means...

Duuuh-duh-duh-DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUH!!!
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ONLY 30 MORE DAYS UNTIL I HEAR FROM HER!

You don't understand how hard it is waiting to hear a "Yea" or "Nay" on something quite so important and exciting as this. On the one hand, I really, REALLY, REALLY like this agent. I would drop dead with joy (well, okay, maybe not DEAD, but I'd DROP! Realio trulio, I would!) if she wanted to by my agent. But I'm also playing the cautionary game with myself, anticipating a "No" so I will *hopefully* not be too sad when/if I get rejected. Buuuut... only 30 more days!
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Tra-la, onto more good news. It's summer. As I'm a sun goddess, I adore summer months. I love swimming, I love going outside and feeling the sun cutting into my skin. I love lying on the grass and staring up at the blue, blue sky against the green, green pine needles. I love kicking the soccer ball for my dog, Sam. Summer is the BEST, you guys! Yes, I do have a few sisters who beg to differ, but I give them the winter months. They may have them. Me, I'm living the life now.
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I was tagged on Facebook for the 777 challenge. I'm going to post on Facebook as well, but I'm also going to do the tag here. The 777 challenge means I have to post seven lines from page seven of my current work-in-progress. For those of you who have read the first/second/third drafts of DragonFire (which, by the way is now complete and lacks only a query letter), you will be stoked to see I'm using sentences from DragonShadow. (Some of you, I hear, are going, "Yay! Yay! It's ONLY BEEN THREE YEARS SINCE WE LAST READ ABOUT DRAGON!!!)
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So, without further ado, the 777 Challenge Sentences:


“You are alive," the creature said, "but you are dead.”

He reeled back as though from a blow, the words opening a memory in his mind.

He saw a knife, fragmenting time, flipping hilt over handle. It was beautiful, more a long dagger, well-crafted and balanced out of a blue and incandescent steel. He heard the thud of it glancing off his breastbone. His hands rose, curled around his heart. He felt the wrapped hilt, the little jewel in the pommel stone.

Hope y'all enjoyed that.

Have you ever wondered what your life would sound like as a book? I feel like mine would be very boring. It would go something like this:

The medical transcriptionist roared out of the parking lot. On days she didn't medically transcribe, she delivered flowers. The trick was getting them there on time and in one majestic piece. She flicked on her blinker, made a hard right and was nearly run off the road by a pale grey Prius, who had decided her blinker was a mistake and it was his right to merge in front of her. She managed not to swear and occupied her time wondering how cricket it would be to lean on her horn at him, now that he was doing 30 in the 40 mph zone.

Yeah, kinda boring. It's the exaggeration that makes it exciting. :-)

Now I'm going to drink some lemonade (the strong stuff):
Leave the bag in.
 
...and I'm going to read Book One of LOCKWOOD & CO., The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud (yes, THAT Jonathan Stroud, the Bartimaeus Trilogy Jonathan Stroud) because I went to the library today, and checked out BOOKS! I haven't been to the library in ages, and new books make me feel so happy.

Oh, and I got this fabulous Iron Man Manual about a week ago! See, I won this $50 Amazon gift card, so I got this great manual. If you are an Iron Man fan at all I heartily recommend you check it out. It's way cool!
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Kay, that's all from me for now. This is the Cat signing off.

WHEEEEEE!

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