Wednesday Check-in – I QUIT CAFFEINE!

Haven’t checked-in in many months! Last month flew by and my favorite holiday –Halloween– got away from me a bit this year. We usually do a lot more activities and have a family theme costume, but life just got in the way this time. One of my dependents found a life size hairdressing head at a secondhand store and bought it for themselves tinAwhen I refused. Now they keep hiding good old Tina throughout the house, seeing how many times they can make scream. It’s terrible. I hate her. Easily the most cursed object in my house. And it’s true, I quit caffeine completely this week with a final switch to decaf tea. Not painless, but done. I’m pretty proud 😀

I’m rereading the Wheel of Time series, again. Sort of. I’m listening to it on audible. Doing it to celebrate the tv show Rafe Judkins is producing for Amazon, which I’m super psyched about. I only have ten chapters of book 1 left and I find listening to it rather than reading it fun but slow. I’ve read book 1 many times (a new reread each time books 8 – 10 came out) and I’m fairly sure I skimmed a ton on most of those. Even with the listening speed turned up to 1.25, I still can’t skim, so I’m getting every word, for better or worse. For October’s movie viewing hubs and I caught up on some horror flicks we hadn’t gotten to yet. The stand out of the bunch was The Witch. Scary shit. We’re watching Watchmen, Stumptown, Preacher, Titans, and of course the last season of Supernatural. Speaking of, I got a model of Baby for Sweetest Day this year. Check out the weapon filled little trunk!

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Maximus the dog is a good boy. He is still hyper at times, but has slowed down to enjoy the finer things in life a bit more and hardly ever bites the heads off squirrels anymore.

Here’s a link to my completed series ~ The Tinseltown Temptress ~ if you need a new read. It is sexy and fun, perfect to take away your fall-is-cold blues!

It’s cold and gray here in Michigan. Snowflakes have flown. Hope it’s gorgeous wherever you are! What are you reading?

Wednesday Check In – Now Back to Work

These are the cookies my little goblins and I made for friends and family this year. xmas cookiesI spent most of the month of December trying not to eat them and failing miserably. Defending them against the other members of my household was also no easy task. I’m skipping the buckeyes next year. They just didn’t keep their structural integrity long enough to be practical for this sort of thing. As per usual, I got so busy with all the holiday hoopla that my writing schedule suffered terribly. This week has been an attempt to shake all that off and start over.

 I’m about a hundred pages into my first Kim Harrison novel, Black Magic Sanction. It’s great so far. Very fast paced. Still no sex though, so I’m getting impatient. We saw Into the Spiderverse and it was magical and funny with an amazing soundtrack. Only one episode of Timeless left. That second to last one felt so rushed I can only imagine the last one will feel like it’s stuck on FF. Season 2 of Future Man drops in two days, Jan 11, 2019!!! Pretty jacked for that 😀

Maximus remains lovely and only slightly challenging these days. My little one got an max7agility training set for Christmas so he’s gonna get pretty busy with that this spring. We keep trying to introduce more vegetables into his diet but he only has eyes for zucchini ends. He won’t even take other kinds of squash? Such a weirdo.

The painting company is steady, atm. I need to do our new year mass mailing today, so yay to that.

WIP is still ‘CC’ and I’m still rough drafting. I keep getting distracted by tone and a few other elements that should be sequestered to revision time but I’m hoping that I’ll hit some sort of stride at some point and get to my word count without pulling anymore hair out.

Here’s a link to my completed series ~ The Tinseltown Temptress ~ if you’re in the mood for some romantic comedy erotica. And who’s not in THAT mood???

Very cold and light snow blowing around but I did walk Max this morning so today is a good day. Hope it’s gorgeous wherever you are! What are you reading?

 

Wednesday Check In – Alive and Kicking

Hey! Long time, no check in 😀 We decorated for Christmas this week. A big sarcastic yay for having a train in my living room. treeHaving finally launched the last book in my series a lot of the publishing work time has turned back into writing time, which is awesome. I’m waitressing at a new place (farm to table & chef owned) and gone down to part time which my knee is thanking me for. It’s actually given me the greatest horror story idea. I wonder if they’ll let me shoot video there…

I recently reread Heinlein’s Number of the Beast and I still got lost conceptualizing the math. My brother insists that Heinlein himself probably didn’t understand it but it makes me angry I never pursued I higher understanding in that direction. Speaking of time travel, hubs and I are watching Timeless (light spoiler ahead). We just started the second season, in fact Wyatt’s wife just popped back into the picture after he and Lucy did the deed. Excited for all that drama!! I do wish there were more Rufus/Jiya relationship based scenes, but can’t have everything, I guess. Sidenote: I searched Bing (by accident, don’t judge me) to get the spelling for Jiya’s name (actress: Claudia Doumit) and when I pulled up Timeless characters she is not listed AT ALL. I had to go to imdb. Weird, no? We’re also watching Dirk Gently which is pretty friggin awesome and you should watch it right now.

MaxMaximus is a chill man now and loves to cuddle. He’s a sweet, sweet doggie who only occasionally drives me nuts.

Pride Painting is busy, busy, thankfully. So there’s always lots to do there. I recently had to reimage my computer and I’m using a second party app to read and edit XLS files and that’s.. not working very well.

WIP is ‘CC’ and I’m rough drafting atm. No, I won’t even share the full working title at this point. Finished the prologue today. Starting on ch 1 tomorrow. After all the pre-draft work it’s lovely being at this stage finally. What a relief! I’m aiming for a thousand words a day which should have me in first revisions by the end of March by my half-assed estimate.

Here’s a link to my completed series ~ The Tinseltown Temptress ~ if you’re in the mood for some romantic comedy erotica.

It’s barely freezing, gray and windy outside. Not great dog walking weather. Hope it’s gorgeous wherever you are! What are you reading?

 

 

Wednesday Check In – Does It Get Easier??

Taxes, child management, and job hunting have robbed me of all my time as of late. I have also been querying my paranormal romance novella. That process is not unlike the online application for the copywriting and video production jobs I’ve been looking at in the Detroit Metro area. Cover letters are getting easier to write quickly.

Haven’t been doing much reading beyond fanfic and children’s books (mythology and gross stuff are heavy favorites in my house). Being a filmmaker and horror fan from Michigan, MaximusI’ve always loved the Evil Dead film series. Hubs and I have been catching up on the tv series the last few weeks. Bruce Campbell is a revelation. We also very much enjoy how the overall tone of the films has followed through into the series. Pretty groovy. With mid-season starting up this month, the show I’m most looking forward to getting back to is Flash. But as far as I’m concerned they can just focus 85% of each episode on Iris/Barry. So adorable and hot.

We’re looking into training classes for Max. His strong doggie personality is a bit too much for me to handle on my own.

My ‘work at your own pace’ contracting class has turned into a ‘neglect cause your life is too full’ problem. I need to make a plan on how to finish the damn thing!

WIP is still TT #3 – Screwed Over. But I have to get a couple of series related short stories out of the way first. I love doing the serious work on Cassie’s story. Can’t wait to wrap up the series with an amazing book. Revisions are going well, though rewrite is really the proper term for most of the book : It is going to be so great! I’m also doing more plotting and character work on my scifi series. Here’s a shot from its spot on my workboard:

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All that empty space under the light year stuff is where the scene cards go 😛

Both my released books continue to get great reviews on Amazon. Book 1, Screw Up, is still at 99 cents and Book 2 remains on KU for a limited time😀 Click here to sign up for my newsletter if you want insider info and offers.

The sun is actually shining today, though it is still cold and VERY windy. Hope your day is beautiful wherever you are. Happy Women’s Day! What are you reading?

Film Review | How to Love Straight Outta Compton and Women

set pic straight outta compton actors for MC Ren, DJ Yella, Easy-E, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre

Straight Outta Compton promo pic

The representation of women in F. Gary Gray’s Straight Outta Compton can be viewed two ways. The first, most obvious assessment is that in a film that barely passes the Bechdel test (One woman tells another in the film’s opening scene, “Nah, I’m good,” in response to a non-verbal question of whether she would like to drink Easy-E’s unwanted forty.) the multitudes of silent, mostly naked, women strewn liberally throughout the nearly three hour run time are sexualized objects, and nothing more. I’m not exaggerating when I say that this biopic features more boobs than Boogie Nights and a lot more booty. A deeper message can be observed however, when examining the protagonist’s arcs for change and its impetuous. The lives of NWA’s members are profoundly shaped by the women in them, and though at times their influence wasn’t emphasized, they are the backbone of the story; providing the support the men need to excel and even triumph.

Treated as a side character, DJ Yella (Neil Brown Jr.) is depicted as the biggest womanizer, hitting on every woman he interacts with and watching explicit porn in the tour bus’ main room as if it were completely innocuous programming. Just before an early showcase performance he jokes, “Can this motherfuckin Jerry Heller bring in more pussy? Cause that’s worth twenty percent.” The manager does just that for the guys of NWA, from which the conclusion could be drawn that DJ Yella, at least, felt his contractual arrangement with Heller (Paul Giamatti) was satisfactory.

Ice Cube, played convincingly with depth and finesse by his own son, O’Shea Jackson Jr., is driven by his need to provide for himself and his growing family. Though in the early tour scenes he is seen entertaining groupies, even dropping the line “Bye, Felicia” on a topless, hotel-room-ejected, exotic dancer years before penning Friday, he is the first NWA member to settle down into presumed blissful monogamy. His wife Kim (Alexandra Shipp) doesn’t have a big role, but is shown time and again nodding her full support and backing up her man’s plays with her unyieldingly protective body language. The filmmakers did a wonderful job here of showing without telling in just a few scenes what a motivating force this important woman was in his life.

As portrayed cleanly by Corey Hawkins, Dr. Dre’s experiences with women in the film are a contrast to Cube’s committed one, but tell the same story. At first, both his own mother (Lisa Renee Pitts) and his daughter’s mother, Lavetta (Aeriel Miranda) are critical of his choice to pursue a career in music without any significant financial gain or control over his own path. When he discovers that the mature relationship he desires with future wife Nicole (Elena Goode) is out of reach due to his violent associates and partying lifestyle, he changes his outlook and abandons that life in favor of fiscal independence and total creative control.

Lastly, the film’s presentation of the late Easy-E, played with heart-rending tenderness by Jason Mitchell, downplays the man’s misogynistic attitudes as a product of his surroundings and the folly of youth. His disgusted demeanor while spitting “You think I give a damn about a bitch? I ain’t a sucker,” while laying down Straight Outta Compton’s title track is one of utter sincerity even though he is usually shown with a woman close by his side. Though in real life he fathered children with several women, they are barely mentioned and the audience only meets one, the woman who became his wife, Tomika (Carra Patterson). Most tellingly, this woman radically alters the course of Easy-E’s life by presenting him with an accounting of his manager’s career long betrayal. When E confronts Heller, the man dismisses Tomika’s importance to E, calling her a groupie executive assistant, but Easy-E doesn’t take the woman-blaming-bait. Instead, he trusts the woman he loves and fires the man responsible for duping him for so long.

Watching the fictionalized account unfold, I couldn’t shake the idea that if Kim, Tomika and Nicole had just hashed out the group’s Jerry Heller problem over lunch NWA never would have split up. Only this movie isn’t about NWA’s wives, but the men themselves. So even though most of the film’s women weren’t rounded characters, at least Gray didn’t let them all become mere titillating backdrop. Some served as important personal confidants and support systems for the movie’s central characters, which highlights their importance to the group’s ever shifting dynamic. If, as their song Gangsta says, “life ain’t nothin but bitches and money,” then the men of NWA did well for themselves, finding both satisfaction with their bottom lines and love from the bottom of their hearts.