Saturday, December 24, 2011

End of a Year

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

It's the end of 2011 and I think about the goals I set for the year.  I met some and way missed others, but all in all it was a good year for me.  Some of the good things:

Shadow Warrior book 2 in the Shadow Dancer series, is gearing up for release in a few short weeks.  I got the best Christmas gift in the mail today (December 24), which was my ARC.  Holding my new book and seeing the colors and the artwork up close and in detail really sent me over the moon.  It looks wonderful. A special great big THANK YOU shout out to Carrie for her fantastic map of Acadia.  It looks so cool.  I can't wait for you to see it. 

A Howl in the Night, my new paranormal book has been accepted and is in the works for a 2012 release. All you shape-shifter fans out there, this is a read for you.  

I had a few magazine acceptances and several anthologies.  I will have an updated "PUBLICATION" list at the start of the new year.

Shadow's End, my work in progress is coming along very nicely.  I plan on having it finished up asap as I cant wait for everyone to see how the Shadow Dancer series ends. 

That's all I got for now.  The rest, I can work with.  I am going to focus on the good and forget about the rest for now.  I have time and faith in myself. 

Have a great Holiday Season everyone.  I will catch you on the flip side. 

La!  Ctny

Monday, December 19, 2011

Hey Santa.....hey Santa!

Yeeee!  It’s the count down to Christmas week!  I’m so excited.  I have the decorations done the packages purchased and almost completely wrapped.  The cookies and bread are baked and the house is spic-an-span.  I am so ready for the big red suited man to come and visit me.  Yes, I said me. 

I know, I know, I have children now and that means he isn’t suppose to come and visit me anymore, but he makes a special exception for me.  So what is on me list you ask?

1.         H&D Gummy Bears of course!  I can’t find them.  It’s depressing as all hell.  You can’t buy them on line anymore and a lot, a LOT of the brick and mortar stores, don’t carry them anymore.  What am I going to do!  Well I’m asking Santa to bring me a few bags or ten.  If the big man can’t do it, who can?

2.         Chance perfume by Channel.  Yes, I have expensive taste when it comes to perfume.  Usually I request Love’s Baby Soft, but I got a free sample of the Chance last February and I LOVE it.  I made that tiny little tester last six months.  Maybe more.  So it’s definitely on my list. 

3.         Uggs.  Yes.  I want a new pair of brown moccasins.  I NEED them.  Must have them.  Actually it’s not really me.  It’s my feet.  See my feet don’t like to be cold.  They are threatening to go on strike if I don’t take care of the cold problem.  So as you can see, it’s a must have.

4.         Zumba for the WII.  You can only do so much YOGA, I want something fun and new this year to get me through the cabin-fever of the winter.  Plus a great way to burn off all the winter comfort food I tend to ingest during the months of January, February, and March. 

5.         New pots and pans.  I have had the same ole cheap pans for years now.  I want to get rid of all the old crap and buy something nice and new.  I promise I will goodwill all the other stuff. I wont keep any of it or stash it away “just in case”.  When browning hamburger sticks to the pan, you know its time for new. 

That’s all.  See my list really isn’t all that oppressive. Come on Santa, I have been really really good this year.  I have.  I promise!  You can ask my mom…er maybe not.  Ask my husband…no don’t ask him either.  Just take my work for it.  I have been ACE this whole year. 

What’s on your lists this year people?  Come on, share….


Monday, December 12, 2011

Undead Drive-Thru by Rebecca Besser

This week I was lucky to be able to read the new book by Rebecca Besser, titled Undead Drive-Thru. 

Undead Drive Thru is the story of Betty, or Aunt B. as you come to know her.  Her husband is turned into a Zombie by nefarious deeds and instead of having her husband turned into a science project or killed, she decides that she will just take care of him herself and to do this, she opens up a diner.  Hey we all have to make a living right?  Enter John, Aunt B.'s nephew, who knows of the big zombie secret.  Then Jose, Colleen, and Ky that don't.  What you get is chaos at its best, blood, guts, and even a love story thrown it.

Sometimes you read a zombie book or watch a zombie movie and the word that comes to mind is "hokey".  Undead Drive-Thru is not hokey at all.  In fact it was a very good and entertaining read.  I sat down and read it straight through as I just wanted to know what would come next. The characters have depth and you feel for them as they make their way through their respective journeys in this book.  Undead Drive-Thru begins with a bang and ends just a dramatically.  Very well done of this author.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars because I really did enjoy this read.  You can find this book on amazon  HERE at the fantastic price of $5.99 for the Ebook version or $9.99 for the paperback version. 


Monday, December 5, 2011

End of Nano 2011

Yes, I survived Nano, and with a few lovely badges as well, which you can find HERE.  Aren’t they lovely?  So you are all now wondering how did it go?  Well, it went.  What I have found out about Nano is that yes I can write 50,000 in 30 days, but the writing isn’t wonderful.  As the goal of Nano is to just write, don’t revise or correct along the way, I now have quite the revision ahead of me.  But, I do know most of the areas that need some work as well as the areas that need more explanation.  I found that I spent a lot of my time making notes to myself such as:  “Chapter 7 is icky.  Go back and rework….or…Relationship with Lucas, so not feeling it.  Go back and add.  Seriously, I have a page and a half of notes like that to myself.  Oh the revision I am dreading. 

The story however, is pretty good.  So far.  Lots of new character and lots of action and quite the ending even if it is me saying so.  However, I am not touching that draft until January 1st..er 5th actually.  For now, I am catching up on my reading and all the administrative stuff that goes with being a freelance writer (loads of it..yeesh!)

On a separate note, look to the right of my blog and you will see, yep, the new and lovely cover for Shadow Warrior.  Isn’t it beautiful?  You can look for it around January 15, 2012.  I will confirm the release date as we get closer as well as provide links to where to find it. 

Lastly, my latest contribution to an anthology is out.  If you would like to check it out, you can find it HERE.  It’s a cute little evil story.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Conan - 2011

Thankfully, Nano is almost over.  I am so close to being at 50,000 words.  I hope to get there either late Monday or at the latest, Tuesday.  The novel I am writing will not be complete at 50,000 words but it will be pretty darn close.  I am still liking the title, Shadow's End, for it.  What I have realized during the write of this novel is that Leif is going to need his own story told.  I am thinking about doing one for him.  I have never tried to write a story from the POV of a boy.  I will have to see if I can pull it off.


So, I was finally able to watch the new Conan movie over the weekend.  As you may recall I wanted to see it over the summer, but because it was rated R, I was not able too.  Not because I am not old enough to get in (hahahaha) but because we go to see movies as a family and that one was not quite appropriate for a 9 almost 10 year old.

Thank goodness I had that foresight too.  That movie....I was so excited for it.  The story line looked so good?  The lead guy that looked very promising?  Just....vomit.  Conan was sadly just a movie about splashing gallons of blood everywhere for no real reason.  Oh and tons of boob shots.  Why?  Did they think a boobie here and there would make it a better flick?  Bad, bad and so bad. 

The movie starts out with young Conan, being part of a competition between the boys his age for a place in the warrior ranks.  Of course his father has to die, which I expected, and they did it in the most violent of ways with pails of blood shooting out everywhere.  EVERYWHERE.  I thought, "Okay, I can get over the gore.  I expected that."  But then, the next scene you get a slut-ball Conan as an adult hauling off naked girls everytime you turn around, until that is...he meets...HER.  Of course they hate each other at first.  They have to fight it out until the end, when they realize they love each other. 

The story line:  Based around an old mask that comes to life with power when "filled" with the blood of a certain lineage.  The mask is actually kinda cool and creepy all at the same time. One man claims the mask and plans to rule the world with his witch wife that is already dead, but the mask will bring her back to life.  His daughter, also a witch with a scary freaky hairdoo, does a really good job in her part btw.  The blood they need?  Conan's woman of course.  So the story consists of everyone trying to possess her.  Fights and blood and death ensue until she is captured by the bad guy.  Then more fights and more blood.  There was a pretty good part with sand warriors.  Had the whole movie been that caliber it would have been a good flick, but no. 

All in all, I am so glad that I did not spend my $50 at the theater to see that load of poo.  The $1.00 I spent through the redbox, was almost too much.  Bummer.

That's all I got for today.  Have a great week everyone.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award

Thank you Carrie(!) – a soccer queen or to those of you up north and across the pond “footy” - for sharing the versatile blog award with me, as you will see it has now been combined with the '10 Things You Didn't Know About Me' award. 


As with Ms. Carrie, I have decided to go with her theme of:

When I was little:

1) I dreamed of being an artist and one day colored a lovely mural of my entire family on the white walls of my bedroom, top to bottom.  I thought they were lovely, but my warmed behind and my missing of the muppet show were proof that I was quite wrong. 

2) I was shy even at the ripe old age of seven years old.  I used to hide inside this evergreen bush before school so that I didn’t have to stand in line with the other kids.  That is also were I had my first kiss that same year, when Spence P. climbed into the bush beside me and laid one me.  I didn’t think I was going to like kissing after that as all it was, was wet and gross. 

3) We moved a lot when I was little.  As in every year I attended a new school.  It’s one of the reason I stopped trying to make friends.  Why bother when the next year I would just move again and have to start all over.  That worked well for me until the 6th grade when we moved out to BFE and then STAYED there until I graduated.  The nerve…

4) I was afraid of the big bad wolf for years.  I swear, swear he lived in our basement. 

5) I was not a cheer leader, but I did play volleyball and basketball and there were days I was pretty decent at both. 

6) I had a huge thing for Prince and Tom Cruise.  Not sure what that says about me as they both turned out a bit on the weird side. 

7) I used to tie my shirts at the side and wore leg warmers.

8)  I spent most Friday nights at the skating rink, regardless of where were lived.  It is the one time in my life that I was not clumsy.  No idea why having four wheels attached my feet made me graceful, but that was the only time in my life that I was and still am for that matter.  Yes, we still go, now and then and yeah, I still got it. 

9) I was at one time in Awana, was a brownie, a bluebird, a firegirl, and finally a girl scout.  Moved a lot remember?  Every town had their own “thing”.

10) And last but not least, I wanted to be a Stewardess.  That is what they were called at the time.  I thought they had to live the best life.  Getting to see the world one airplane ride at a time.  But, to this day, I have still never once been on a plane.... 

On a aside, my story Shapes for Lunch is in the November Issue of Stories for Children Magazine.  If you would like to check it out, you can find it HERE.

Also Nano is going well.  I am upwards of 37,000 words.  In the home stretch ya'll. 

Have a great week.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Nano - Week Three

As I said last week, I am participating in Nano this year - which means I don’t have the time I normally do to blog.  Therefore this week and most likely next and the next you will get a bit of randomness from me.  So what's on my mind today?

1.  Mondays in Nano-land are rough for me.  I am always, ALWAYS behind in word count on Mondays because I just don’t have the time to write during my weekends.  I didn't write one single stinkin word this weekend so again I am 3400 words in the crapper.  Darn it all! 

2.  Pumpkins.  Did you know that those little pie pumpkins have and make a TON of pumpkin puree?  I have so much pumpkin tidbits in the kitchen thanks to one measly pie pumpkin.  That includes Pumpkin Muffins, Pumpkin Pie, and Pumpkin bread.  AND I still have some puree left.  What...the...heck?  I am going to try pumpkin cheesecake one day this week and see if I can use up the rest. 

3.  Thanksgiving.  With all the noodle making, and turkey preparing, and stuffing fixin, I wonder if anyone thinks about the reason for the holiday anymore.  If you ask my teenager, she will say Thanksgiving is all about the FOOD, the best holiday EVER!  If you ask my little one, she will say its extra days off of school and work.  I think we are missing something....

4.  Reading.  I miss reading.  I haven't read anything in 14 days.  Most likely I wont read anything either for another 16.  I have at least 8 books sitting on my kindle calling my name and I don’t have the time to even look at them.  Nano is rough in more ways than I realized.

5.  Uggs.  I really want a new pair.  I don’t care if they are boots, or moccasins or what, I just need a new pair.  Its getting really cold and I hate chilly feet.  They should make a heeled ugg so that I can wear them to work without having to change into more "appropriate" work gear. 

Well that's it for today.  I am now off to Acadia to deal with firepeople, blue fairies, see if I can hunt down a shadow guardian, and figure out how to defeat a king.  Have a great week everyone.  See ya next.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Writing a Novel – Shadow’s End.

This year I am taking part in NANO. NANO is a month long event every November wherein authors from around the country sit down to write a novel or at least 50,000 words or more of a novel.  It runs from November 1 to November 30 each year.  We have 30 days, to write our 50,000 words. 

This year I am taking on NANO, for the first time I might add, and using the opportunity to write the last book in the Shadow Dancer series.  The title, very loosely named at this point, is Shadow’s End.  As of today, November 7, 2011, at a word count of 6,950, I am already 3,400 words behind schedule. Yikes!  I hope to get at least partially caught up today. 

When writing a novel, as some of you already know, I am not an outline person.  I sit down, and begin: Once Upon A Time, and then continue to trek right though until I reach the end.  Oh I have a general idea of what needs to happen or what I want to have occur, but in the end, I simply let my characters run where they may.  I am just as surprised by how my stories turn out as my readers are at times, due to my characters having taken a strange u-turn along the way.  That is one of the best parts about writing in my opinion.  The journey, the thrill, the surprise, the WTH?  

I love writing new stories.  The editing…not so much.  I hope to have a firm first draft of Shadow’s End by November 30.  I can’t wait to see how the story ends.  I hope it’s a good ending.  I don’t know yet.  We’ll just have to see, eh?

Anyone else doing NANO this year?  How is it going?  Are you fairing well?  Are you ahead or behind in your word count?  Want to buddy up?  You can find me under (no surprise) Ctnyrene.  Have a great week everyone. 


Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!  I happen to LOVE Halloween.  It’s the costumes, it’s the fun, and of course, it’s the CANDY!  But I am a bit of a Grinch this year for some odd reason.  We always hear about the commercialization of Christmas and Easter but what about Halloween?  I did some research and here are a few fun facts for all you Halloween’ers out there.

1.                  Halloween is the 6th most popular holiday in the U.S.A.
2.                  According to Hallmark, 20 million Halloween cards will be sent out this year.
3.                  There will be an estimated 90 million pounds of chocolate sold.
4.                  There will be an estimated 35 million pounds of candy corn (seriously?)
5.                  There will be about 1 BILLION spent on costumes this year. 
6.                  There will be about 1.9 BILLION spent on candy (Oiy!)
7.                  An estimated 41 million children in the U.S.A. between the ages of 5-14 will go out to beg for treats this year.
8.                  Older children up to age 17 are still begging candy in the U.S.A.
9.                  An estimated 6.9 BILLION will be spent on Candy, Costumes, and Decorations this year.
10.              That is on average $73.31 spent per child/adult depending on how you look at it. 

Commercialization, heck yeah!  I don’t even want to research Christmas.  Once I started seeing the BILLIONS popping up I about died.  But when I stopped to think about it, I began to see how it adds up.  I spent the following for Halloween:

1.                  $11.00 on 4 pumpkins.
2.                  $42.00 on one Twister (the game) Costume with Go-go Boots.
3.                  $6.00 on pink leggings to match the costume.
4.                  $6.00 pumpkin carving kit. ($3 x 2)
TOTAL            $65.00

I don’t even have to buy candy as we live out in the middle of no-where and don’t get any beggars.  I can’t imagine the cost if I had to add in candy to the mix.  Plus I am down to only one child that is begging.  If I still had 2 then you could just about double this. WOW!

I remember when I was a kid and my mom tossed a sheet over me and cut out eyeholes, or the toilet paper mummy, or the hilly-billy with old flooder pants and an old flannel shirt tied at the waist.  Those days of homemade costumes are at an end.  Now its fancy schmancy and expensive as all hell.  Or slut worthy.  I mean have you SEEN some of the costumes?  Geez oh Pete, put some clothes on!

Tonight I will be out begging with the best of them.  If you see an old lady wrapped up in her wool winter jacket with a pair of Tigger (not TIGER) ears bouncing around the streets, with a Twister girl, that’s probably me. 

Be safe and have a great time!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Zanesville, Ohio Animal Massacre

At this point most of the world is aware of the animal massacre that happened in Zanesville, Ohio when a private zoo owner, Terry Thompson, set free all the animals in his zoo and then committed suicide.

As of 10/20/11 this is the list:
1 grizzly bear…..Captured
3 leopards………Captured
2 monkeys………Captured
18 Bengal tigers…….Dead
9 male lions………….Dead
8 female lions……….Dead
6 black bears………..Dead
3 mountain lions…..Dead
2 grizzly bears………Dead
1 baboon……………….Dead
1 wolf…………………….Dead
1 monkey……………Missing (maybe eaten during the melee)
1 grey wolf…………Missing

This is just the cold facts of the day.  Me?  I wanted to know more.  Who was this dude?  Why did he have so many animals? Why did he set them free?  These questions only brought forth more questions along with rumors, and conjecture heard around town and in dark corners.

First, who was he?  He was a man that had money at one point.  He flew planes, owned land, owned a bar and a gun shop.  He was an all around nice guy.  Had many friends and many hobbies.  Then in 2010, Terry Thompson was sentenced to one year and a day in prison on two federal counts of possessing illegal firearms, stemming from a raid in 2008.  His marriage was falling apart and he was going bankrupt. 

Why did he have so many animals?  From what I have read and heard, he loved these animals.  It started off innocent enough, as they always do.  A few exotic animals to show off to his buddies and “feel special”.  They hold 3 auctions every year in Mount Hope Ohio, which isn’t all that far from Zanesville.  That would be my guess.  They auction off foxes, wallabies, bearded dragons, for starters and then bears, cougars, zebras, and tigers  You name it, they probably have it.  From there, he got in over his head when people started dropping off unwanted animals at his zoo willy nilly.  The idiots out there that think owning a Tiger is SO cool and then suddenly realize that it’s a 300-600 pound wild eating machine and need to get rid of it.  Remember all those alligators in the 70’s?  Terry Thompson would take in these unwanted and neglected animals when state agencies and zoos would not.  That is how he ended up with 1% of the entire Bengal Tiger population of the world at his zoo (all dead now I might add).  In fact, I believe that this is how he ended up with most of his numbers. 

That is also how his money problems began.  How does someone care for, house, and feed that many animals?  When money was tight Terry got a bit on the creative side.  He would round up road kill from the streets.  He would also take any meat from the local groceries that they were throwing out.  Whether it was old or rotten, Terry wold take it. 

There are also rumors and I freely admit that they are only rumors, heard in dark alleys and smokey bars, that when money was exceptionally tight, Terry would hold exotic animal underground hunts.  Who wouldn’t love to go on a lion hunt without having to go all the way to Africa?  I have looked everywhere I can think of to find evidence of this practice, including chat forums, and black market lists, but I can’t find anything to back this rumor up.  Is it true?  I don’t know.  It’s possible.  But nonetheless, it is only rumor.

Why did he set them free?  Truthfully, I think he was in such a state of mind that he believed that setting them free was the right thing.  Maybe he was afraid no one would come out and check on the animals after he was gone and they would starve to death.  Maybe he just wanted to give them a chance to be free.  We will never know for sure, but there is also the belief that he did it out of spite toward the community that gave him nothing but trouble.  Now I would not want to live and raise my small children next to private zoo full of huge wild animals that continually escaped.  But I also wonder, as there were numerous complaints filed, and numerous charges and visits out to this zoo by human society agents,  police, and etc., why did no one realized that he was in need of help.  From all accounts of his friends, he was a nice man.  When the county officials would come out and file neglect charges on him cause his animals were looking half starved, why wouldn’t they or didn’t they realize he was struggling?  Why did a community that was so hyper aware of his every move not realize he needed their help and not their continual legal troubles. 

As I said all these answers just bring about more questions.  Why why why.  Why did so many of them have to die that day?  Yes, it was dark, and it was raining, and it was a wild scary time, but why so many?  No, I would not want to take on a full grown and obviously starving lion.  Yes, I realize that most police forces do not carry and do not store tranquilizer guns.  Yes, I understand there was a community at risk and the animals were high-tailing it out of there, where they would be next to impossible to find.  Why?  It breaks my heart, and I do understand why some of them needed to be put down.  I do, I just don’t like it at all.  It makes me sad. 

Do we need more laws governing this?  Yes.  I don’t think we should say NO ONE is allowed to have them, but I do believe there should be restrictions.  Like proper housing and fencing for one.  Also I think there should be a limit to the number of animals you have.  I also think you should be licensed for these types of animals.  You have to have a license to buy a dog, why not for these animals?  Also you should be required to have insurance, just in case…..

These are my thoughts.  As I said I have so many questions still floating around in my brain.  Will they all be answers?  Nope.  But I'm still looking.  

Monday, October 17, 2011

Big Dog

I was supposed to head out to New York this past week, but plan change really quickly in my life.  Well, then how was my week spent?  Writing?  Nope.  Reading?  Nope, not that either.  My week was spent dealing with my dog, Champion, an almost 9 year old, English Mastiff. 

He’s beautiful, friendly, and my buddy.  Tuesday afternoon he started acting on the funny side.  Now to some you are asking what that means.  Well, he didn’t greet me when I got home to start.  That is very strange as he is usually waiting at the door with his face pressed to the window, wiggly butt moving fast and furious to and fro with the strength of his rope like tail.  I had to go and find him, lying in the hallway.  Then when I greeted him, all I got was one measly thump of his tail.  I was instantly concerned.  I made dinner and as we sat to eat, he didn’t come running.  Here’s a secret that I hope my husband does not read (he doesn’t usually check my blog so I should be safe) I don’t eat my meat.  I sneak it under the table to my dogs.  They know it and the moment I sit down they are waiting at my feet for the first tidbit to arrive.  Champ didn’t come to the table.  I could see him still in the hall.  After dinner I took him a piece of chicken in which he took, but spit right out on the floor.  I started to cry.  I knew he was sick then.  Really sick as he will eat rocks if we aren’t careful. 

I called the vet, we took him right in and they had to sedate him as my normally happy friendly easygoing dog suddenly became a bit…mean.  He’s a big dog so this is a bit on the scary side to outsiders.  While he was sedated, they did x-rays and couldn’t find anything.  Then, he didn’t wake up and he didn’t wake up.  We had to leave him there for the night, again more angst from me over this.  I got a call in the middle of the night from the vet saying he was taking him over to the Animal ER as he still hadn’t come out of the sedation and they wanted someone to watch over him.  More angst more worry.  Then the next day, I called first thing, my big dog was awake, finally, but turning vicious.  Vicious?  What?  My big baby dog was vicious?  Apparently yes, they had to mussel him!  He was in serious pain and didn’t want anyone to touch him…at all.  They were trying to do more x-rays from a different angle and a surgeon was coming in.  Did I want surgery?  Yes.  What did they think it was?  It was either some type of blockage or….cancer.  Lord I about fell down, as the next breath from the Vet was, if it was cancer, did I just want them to not wake him up?  I said I didn’t know I would have to get back to him.  I then called my husband at work and cried like the big baby I was at the moment, with the thought of my big dog just not waking up.  For those of you who don’t know, my husband is a wonderful man sometimes.  He calmed me down, and said, that before I freaked out we should wait and see what they found. 

So surgery was done early Wednesday afternoon.  It was not cancer.  It was a corncob.  A whole one.  He had swallowed it down whole and it got lodged down in tummy.  I took a photo of it for the blog, just so you all could see it, but I have been told that is just gross.  So, no photo.  I have been praised on my astuteness, as I caught it extremely early, before he was even in any kind of pain, but surgery would still have been needed regardless.  I was just lucky I caught it when I did as he went down fast and added to that, he didn’t respond well to sedation.  He would have been dead in a day or so. 

What that all means is I have done nothing at all since Tuesday this week.  My weekend was spent as a dog nurse.  I am happy to say the big dog is doing well, and is happy to be home with his family.  He’s on a strict diet so I will have to be eating my own meat for the next week or so, unless I can figure out a way to stash it in my napkin….well see.


Oh one more thing before I head out.  As you can see along the right side of my blog is a new Facebook LIKE button.  I am not all that techie so for anyone that has not yet “liked” Shadow Dancer on Facebook, if someone would be so good as to give the button a poke I would greatly appreciate it.  I think I set it up properly and it’s working, but I can’t really tell. 


And finally, I did a guest blog HERE   If you are interested in receiving a free copy of my book, Shadow Dancer, there is a contest running with the post. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Real Steal

Aside from reading and writing books, one of my favorite things to do is head out to the big screen and catch a new movie.  We try to go out about once a month and this month we chose the movie:  Real Steal.

Real Steel is a 2011 American science-fiction action film starring Hugh Jackman and directed by Shawn Levy. The film is based on the 1956 short story "Steel" by Richard Matheson, though Levy placed the film in U.S. state fairs and other "old-fashioned" Americana settings. Real Steel was in development for several years before production began in June 11th of 2010. Filming took place primarily in the U.S. state of Michigan. Animatronic robots were built for the film, and motion capture technology was used to depict the brawling of computer-generated robots and animatronics. Real Steel was publicly released in Australia on October 6, 2011 and in the United States and Canada on October 7, 2011. It will be in both conventional and IMAX theaters.

Why this movie?  For starters because it has Hugh Jackman in it.  Did you know his birthday is October 12th?  Perfect blog for the week eh?  Although Hugh is turning 43 this year, I still find him extremely attractive both in form and in person.  I have not ever read anything on this guy that indicates he is a piece of work.  You hear time and time again how great he is to work with or interview, or whatever.  Therefore, since my Heath Ledger is no more (so sad), Hugh Jackman has moved up into my 1st place slot of favorite actors.  A bit of history on Mr. Jackson:

As I said above, he was born October 12, 1968, in Australia where is an actor and producer.  He has been involved in films, musical theatre, and television.  He won international recognition for his roles in several major films, including his portrayal of Wolverine in the X-Men series.  He did a great job in the movie Australia.  I personally liked him in Kate & Leopold and of course who could forget Van Helsing. 

Then in November of 2008 he was named the Sexiest Man Alive in People Magazine.  Who could disagree? 

Now, on to Real Steal:  How would I characterize this movie?  Rocky with robots.  Underdog's journey to the top with the add in of a father son relationship and a hot chick.  It starts off a bit slow.  I admit it.  Even with Hugh as lead, the movie is slow to start.  But get about 20 minutes in and it takes off.  You begin to hope and you begin to believe and by the time the end hits you, you want to jump up with the actors on the screen and yell right along with them.  Yes, really.  At one point in the movie I was sitting in my little theater seat, knees pulled up tight to my chest and holding my breath. 

So need a decent recommendation for a movie?  Well then check this one out.  I loved it.  On an added note, I saw today that a sequel to this movie is already in the works.  Not sure I am on board with that.  Sometimes one movie is all that you need.  We will see. 


Monday, October 3, 2011

Ten Things About me - A Meme

First a quick thank you to Carrie for the blog award http://carrieoncarryingon.blogspot.com/.  Thank you so much for thinking of me.  I hope I can live up to your award.  I will do my best. 

Here is a quick look at the award:

Courtney Rene - Courtney has been publishing-up a fictional storm with her stories and novels for young people, with a side helping of non-fiction... just because she can. And she has excellent advice about raising kids (that would make for a wicked column).
Be sure to hope over to her blog to see who else and what else she found to award.
~ * ~

Ten Facts of her Life – A Meme.

This week I decided to take part in a meme that I found  Here.  Why? You ask?  As I am not normally the meme type.  This week, my brain needed something a bit easier.  See I am neck deep in a final revision of Shadow Warrior.  It would normally be a nice easy read for me, but I think when I converted it from Windows 7 to XP it made it all goofy and hard to read or find any mistakes.  So I am struggling a bit and it’s taking longer than it should.  I am not a fan of 7…

At any rate, here at the ten facts about me, that you may or may not know. 

10.       I’m a bit of a hermit.  It’s not that I don’t like people, it’s that I don’t like to meet NEW people.  I’m not a snob and I am not “uppity” I just don’t do well in new environments and with strangers.  I will say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing, or fall down. 

9.         I like to make glass beads.  Like from scratch I mean.  With a glass stick and a flame.  I’m not exceptionally good at it, but I get better all the time.  I have even sold a bead or two on ebay to collectors. 

8.         I have a tank top addition.  90% of the time I am wearing one.  Just plain or under my sweaters, under my t-shirts, as pj’s, to exercise in, whatever.  I have about 50 of them at this point.  It started out that I wore them under my sweaters in the winter to add an additional layer for heat, but then it carried over to spring and so on and now I just always wear them.  I maybe need to break that habit…

7.         I dream in color.  I didn’t know that was strange until I was an adult.  I thought everyone did.  Apparently I’m weird in my dreams as well as in real life.

6.         I’m left handed and like it that way.  Although my grandmother tried her hardest to break me of that terrible habit, I remain to this day, a lefty.  Neither of my children are.  I was kinda hoping one of them would be, but no. 

5.         I sleep walk and I sleep talk and so do my children.  That’s the trait I handed down to the next generation.  We have special locks up high on all the doors to keep us walkers in the house at night, just in case no one hears us up and about. 

4.         I’m clumsy as all hell.  No, seriously, it’s a detriment and embarrassing, but there is not getting over it, so I just need to get used to it.  My mom used to say I just needed to grow into my feet.  I am still waiting for that to happen. 

3.         I am meat adverse.  No I am not a vegetarian and I am not a vegan, but if I can get out of eating meat without too much fuss, I will.  I will happily go days meatless.  But…then I will get a whiff of bacon and I am in heaven. 

2.         I have been trying for several years to learn Spanish.  I can read certain words, and speak words and sentences, but if anyone were to actually speak to me in Spanish?  I can’t understand a thing they are saying.  It’s ticking me off.  I picked up French pretty easy in high school, and was somewhat fluent.  What is it with Spanish that has me at a loss? 

1.         I like to read romance novels.  Having a bad day?  Pick up a love story and everything always winds up “happily ever after” in the end.  I don’t read them as often as I would like as I have a wide range of topics I read from fantasy and paranormal to thrillers and mysteries.  I even read non-fiction when a topic gets under my skin, but a good romance when needed is just what the doctor ordered.  No smut needed. 

So have a great week all.  See ya next week.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Reading Recommends - September 26, 2011

First a quick note to say that my latest novel, A Howl in the Night has been accepted by Rogue Phoenix Press.  Yay!  That means that all my struggling over shape-shifters was worth it and you will have the opportunity to read the results (in ebook format and print book).  This is late breaking news so that’s all I have to share at the moment.  I will give updates on release dates and such when I have them.  Since I know you will all be waiting with baited breath. 

Now on to my weekly blog:  What have I been reading lately:

1.                  The Pact, by Jodi Picoult.  Need a good cry?  Well then this is the book for you.  Two families, neighbors, and friends are torn apart when their children both 17 are found shot.  One dead;  One alive.  Was it a murder?  Was it a murder suicide gone wrong?  Was it a suicide pact that one took the life of one of the children?  Well you will have to read the story to find out.  Have a box of tissues ready.  The emotions this book takes you through from the parents agony, to the survivors gilt, to the confusion and anger of a small town. 

2.                  Shine, by Lauren Myracle.  Apparently I have been in the mood for teen murder mysteries.  This story begins with a hate crime against a gay teen or does it?.  But the story focuses on his friend, a girl.  Her desperate need to find out who and why this crime happened.  The journey takes you to small poor town America, where sex, drugs, and violence take on a whole new perspective.  Although it does have a “happy” ending, this is a sad story. 

3.                  Vampire Kisses, by Ellen Schreiber.  This is a series.  I read the first 3 of them and was enchanted.  It’s Twilight-esq except the girl is a goth.  A real goth, not a fake pretty goth.  The guy is a bit on the weenie side at times but all in all a decent love story of vampire meets goth-girl and love ignites. 

4.                  Ice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.  This is a short quick read for early teens.  A coming of age story about accepting who you are and growing up the best you can.  Not a WOW read but a decent one.  I read right through it.

5.                  Mum on the Run, by Fiona Gibson.  Oh my.  This is a hysterical book of reality.  The passage of time on our life and our body and our self confidence.  I have to say, this was a good book. 

That’s it for now.  What have you been reading?  Any recommendations you can give me?  I need a good read.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Leg, arm, or side.

So as usual I am over thinking myself.  In my up coming book, I have a scene where my MC gets shot with an arrow.  Now, this is all fine, except now I am worried that maybe I have chosen the wrong location to have her skewered.  I chose the thigh.  The reason being for this was because of the activities she would have to perform after being shot, like riding a horse, climbing trees, and the like. 

Why am I suddenly re-thinking?  Because I read another book where a character has been shot and guess where?  Yup, the thigh.  This makes about three books now that I have seen with this same injury.  It must be a good spot to aim for.  When I was thinking about where and how, I talked generally with a pediatrician about the best location for what I was looking for.  Her response was the thigh, you could make it hit so it was more in the fatty upper outside area (no comment….) or even the muscle and it would still function relatively well.  So I worked my story around that.  Seems like a good idea to me. 

Other locations for possibilities were the arm and the side.  The arm was my second choice as there are not any main organs to worry about “just” missing.  But the issue with horse riding would be a real problem as my MC is not a horse person.  Holding on for dear life with a bum arm didn’t seem believable to me. 

The side (at the waist) was a slim maybe.  There are just too many main organs and such right there.  You have kidneys, and the pancreas, and the intestines all in that area.  It just didn’t seem believable to me that you could get shot in the side and not hit anything major. 

So the question is:  Is the thigh too used?  I didn’t think it was until this weekend, but again, I am over thinking today.  Maybe it’s too much caffeine and I need to focus my energy on other things.  New things. 

Any thoughts?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Negative vs. Positive

Today, I am not going to write about 9/11 and the reason being is because everyone else is.  I look over at my blog list and see tons of 9/11 blogs going on.  So instead I am writing about negativity and how it affects our everyday life.  Or my everyday life I guess.    

Negativity is defined as: 

1.         The characteristic of having a negative charge.
2.         The characteristic of being pessimistic or contrarian.

I’m not talking about “charges” here.  I’m talking about the negativity surrounding us by people.  People everywhere.  Anymore you can’t walk into a store without being overwhelmed by the negative energy.  The complaining shopper in isle 3 that can’t find the 6 oz can of tuna that she has a $.15 coupon for.  The bagger person is shooting vibes into the air because he would rather be with his girlfriend than putting your stupid groceries in the stupid crap bags.  Or the person with the pair of shoes that they only wore one time (for like 12 hours) and decided they just don’t fit right and would like to return them.  Yes the soles are worn and there is grass and dirt in the toe of the shoe but they insist on the return and why is the customer service person giving them a hard time about it?

I am very sensitive to negative vibes.  I get antsy and clumsy around them.  It affects my mood.  I can be in a wonderful mood and the moment the bad vibes wiggle my way, my day is shot. 

Why is the world filled with such negative people?  Can’t you find something to be happy about?  I know that I am a Pollyanna and it makes people crazy but why must you see the glass as half empty ALL THE TIME.  Why can’t you see it is as half full?  Yes, it’s raining, but that is just the perfect opportunity to dance in it.  Yes, maybe it wasn’t very nice to get shoved from the people behind you in line, but that is just the perfect opportunity to lighten someone’s day, by smiling at them, laughing and letting them know that its no big deal.  Was it really a big deal?  No.  Did they intentional run into you…most likely no.  Why do so many people seem to enjoy being grouchy?  Maybe some of you are the ones that wallow in the negative.  Maybe you like it that way.  Do you even realize you are doing it? 

For me, I like to live in the positive.  I feel better with that “charge”.  I will happily continue on being Courtney/Pollyanna any day over the negative.  For example:  It’s Monday after all, the hardest day of the week, but it’s also the perfect opportunity to see what all I can accomplish this week.  I see I am out of coffee at the office, but that will save me about 120 calories this morning so I can have a Hershey bar later this afternoon.  Woo Hoo!  It’s dance class tonight, which means I have an hour of time to read without interruption.  I could go on but I think you get the gist.   

One a writer’s note, I love to watch the negative types while out and about.  They make great funny characters in my stories.  Shoe lady above….oh yeah.  She’s a good one.  Ha!

Have a great week everyone!