Friday, December 21, 2012

'Tis the Season for Guest Posts and The Hobbit

I grew up with knowledge of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. It was my family's tradition to watch the old cartoon versions every year on Halloween and we switched to Peter Jackson's versions with delight when they came out. When I was old enough, I read the books and loved them. So it was with great expectations that I waited for this movie, and with great excitement I went to see it.

Maybe I was too excited and built my expectations too high, because I was a little bit disappointed. They added a lot of things that weren't in the book; I haven't read The Silmarillion or other background lore, so I'm not entirely sure what they got from Tolkien and what they made up. The whole Necromancer plot and the pale orc are not part of The Hobbit, anyway. The movie definitely didn't have to be so long. I feel like they're just doing everything they can to milk the story and lengthen it into three movies so they can make more money (well, of course they are), and that is sad.

That being said, it was still enjoyable. I absolutely loved Martin Freeman's performance as Bilbo and Richard Armitage as Thorin. Their acting made the movie for me. The scenes from Middle Earth were beautiful, as expected. The dwarves' haunting singing and Bilbo riddling with Gollum were also two of my favourite parts.

What did you think of The Hobbit?

Guest Posting News

It really does seem to be the season for me to visit other blogs and websites. Stop by sci-fi author Eric Diehl's blog today for a re-post of my review for Terry Brooks' Wards if Faerie.

Also, I am opening up Geek Banter for guest posts in the new year! If you would like to post here on a geeky topic (this could be on anything from TV shows, movies, books, video games, writing, fantasy, sci-fi, or other geek culture), shoot me an email and let me know what you would like to post about.

Happy Christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Guest Post at Mithril Wisdom

Join me over at Mithril Wisdom today where I am bantering about gamer names. Whether you are a gamer or not, do stop by for some entertaining examples. Thanks to Jamie for having me!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Author: David Hoffman
Publisher: Ohbalto Media
Pub Date: November 22, 2012

Her whole life, Ellie MacReady has heard stories of the mysterious market that comes only once every century for three days.It's said the market is full of wonders--delicious foods, unusual trinkets, and strange travelers.When she finds out the market is coming to her town, Ellie is overcome with excitement. She can't wait to explore it with her soon-to-be fiance, Joshua.

She is unaware of the danger the market brings with it, however, in the form of an irresistible, self-centered prince who always gets what he wants. And at this market, he wants Ellie.

Imaginative, thrilling, and original, The Seven Markets is the most creative book I've read this year. Though it focuses on the main character, Ellie, every chapter was different and I didn't know what to expect next, which is what I loved about it.

The story begins in the 18th century, with a fantasy-like feel to it as there are mentions of magic and the market itself is other-worldly. However, it proceeds in leaps and bounds across time and we witness seven markets in a row, like the title suggests. As the markets only come once every century, the story ends well into the future. That's right, this book is both fantasy and sci-fi. Hoffman leaves the boundaries of what is expected of a genre writer well behind him in this fantastical mash-up.

Ellie gets caught up in something bigger than the small-town 18th century life she was expecting to live, and her journey is a harsh one. I can't say I liked her personality very much until the very end, and not feeling attached to the main character is usually a deal breaker for me, but her story was so fascinating I couldn't put this book down.

The one thing I didn't like was being jerked around in time--I wish these transitions could have been made smoother. First we were in the 18th century, then suddenly the story jumps to the 19th with no breather in between, and so on. However, I'm not sure how else spanning that many centuries could have been done without making the novel 1000 pages long.

This book fascinated me. Do pick it up and give it a read if you are looking for something unconventional in the sci-fi/fantasy realm.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cheers Cavanaugh Blogfest

Today is the first day of the Cheers Cavanaugh blogfest, hosted by Mark Koopman, Morgan Shamy, Stephen Tremp and David Powers King. The point of the fest is for us bloggers to raise our glasses to our ninja friend Alex, who is a nexus in the blogging community. He was one of the first to follow and comment on my blog, and continues to be the first to comment on my posts. Thank you, Alex, for finding the time to comment and for caring about so many people.

I'm combining the answers to the questions in the following piece of flash fiction:

Cosbolt pilot Alex J. Cavanaugh looked at the doctor, his brown eyes filled with concern.

"So? What's the verdict, doc?"

Doctor Phil sighed. "I'm sorry, Cavanaugh, I can't clear you to go back into space. The IWSG radiation you were exposed to from flying near that supernova could have... unexpected... effects. I want you on Earth so I can keep a close eye on you."

Cavanaugh's expression just then reminded the doc of Nathan Fillion as Mal in Firefly, when he realized the Browncoats had lost the war. Doctor Phil felt a spark of pity for the man.

"But what am I supposed to do now?" Cavanaugh asked. "All I ever knew was flying."

"I don't know... take up a hobby. Write. Pick up the guitar. Fall in love and get married. Take your pick."

It was a year later that Alex realized, ironically, he had followed the doctor's advice to the letter. So far, the radiation hadn't had any effects on him that he could tell, unless it was the cause of his new-found ability to read and type at ninja-like speeds and take in the information of hundreds of blogs almost as soon as he clicked their links. 

Life on Earth, he discovered, was good.

And a special thank you to Mrs. Cavanaugh for allowing us to spend time with the ninja captain. I assume you rock as much as your husband does!

Cheers, Cavanaugh :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

IWSG: Revision

With the end of NaNo, those who got down 50,000 words are perhaps starting to rewrite and revise. For some authors, this is their favourite part of the writing process. It is not mine because it means I have to face the plot holes and gaps in my story and come up with magical solutions to fix them. However, I am rolling up my sleeves and getting ready to reorganize my tangled mess, because I am attached to this story I created and I want to know what happens to the characters.

Once I have revised it and got down a full, organized draft, I will send it off to my critique partners, and then the process of revision will be begin again after I have their feedback. (Why do you need critique partners, you ask? Why can't you just finish a story on your own and get it published? Whoo boy, well that is a whole other topic post. Trust me. You need them.)

For those of you beginning the revision process, here are some words of advice from Terry Brooks' Sometimes the Magic Works:

"If you are ever completely satisfied with something you have written, you are setting your sights too low. But if you can't let go of your material even after you have done the best that you can with it, you are setting your sights too high" (196).

How do you know when to stop revising and pronounce your story done? I don't have an answer, but I think I'll know the place when I get to it. Best of luck in your writing, and have fun with your revisions, friends!

This post is part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Check the link for some of the other blogs participating in this event! 

In other news: Join me at TV Geek Army today where I'm posting about Once Upon a Time and Disney, a topic I briefly touched on here a few weeks ago. If you're watching the show, stop by and say hi!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Tribute to the Commodore 64

The first computer my family owned was a Commodore 64. I still remember having stacks of those floppy disks and having to type in LOAD"*",8,1 into the main screen before starting a game. Those were the days. The C64 was my introduction to gaming, where my love of solving puzzles and juking a joystick all began.

Here are some of my favourite C64 games:

The title is self-explanatory. Jump around the levels collecting coins and avoiding bullets! I still remember the chest-pounding feeling when you heard the sound of the bullet being shot at you.

Like chess but so much cooler! You control fantasy creatures on a chess-like board, each with their own special abilities, and when two enemies occupy the same square the game shifts to a battle board and you fight in real time! I really think they should make an updated version of this game.

Winter Games
Is it my failing memory, or were a lot of these Olympic games all about mashing buttons and jerking the joystick back and forth? Whatever, they were still super fun. Also, it dawns on me that Commodore 64 games didn't come with manuals or instructions--or at least, we didn't have any. Sometimes it took forever just figuring out what you were supposed to do.

Caveman Ugh-lympics
Another Olympics game, but caveman style. My favourite event was fire making, where you had to frantically rub two sticks together in the effort to make sparks and start a fire, bonking your opponent on the head whenever you could to prevent him from beating you.

Quest for Tires
This was a family favourite. Ride along on your little stone wheel and hop over boulders and other obstacles in order to rescue your girlfriend who has been captured by a dinosaur.

Do you remember the Commodore 64? If not, what system introduced you to gaming and what were your favourite first games?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

End of NaNo and U Got the Look

Well, it is the end of NaNoWriMo! Did I make it to 50,000? No. Did I make it to my goal of 30,000? Yes! And that is 30,000 more words than I would have had if I hadn't participated, so woohoo! To all you NaNo-ers, give yourself a pat on the back for getting down words this month, whether or not you "won," and take a break.

I've been tagged for the U Got the Look meme by Tyrean, where you hunt down the word "look" in your WIP and post the surrounding paragraphs, so here is a piece of my NaNo project:

He had to hold on for ten seconds. She heard pounding footsteps approaching from the corridor behind her, but ignored them
1… 2… 3… 4…
The cylinder ripped away from the wall and Taren flew towards the opening as if in slow motion, still gripping the piece of metal in his arms as though it could save him.
No. This couldn’t happen.
She locked eyes with him, realizing this would be the last time she would look at him alive, and something changed in her. It was as though a switch had turned on in her head, unlocking a power she never knew she had.

I will pass on the meme to Annalisa Crawford, Alex Brown, and Ellie Garratt because I know you ladies participated in and won NaNo, so feel free to share a snippet with us too!

Have a great weekend, you awesome people, you.