Monday, October 22, 2012

Lions, Ewoks, & Zombies...Oh My!

Image courtesy of Victor Habbick /

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

Of course I've been completely engrossed in the new season of The Walking Dead.

The first season was all about the zombies and the new post-apocalyptic world. The second season was mostly about making us care about the characters. This season is all about killing characters off, now that we care!

I'm stunned by the changes in Rick. No more Mr. Nice Guy, no more "let's give them a chance." It's not a bad thing, by any means, but I really was expecting Rick to let the prisoners live, even after the "lead" prisoner made some pretty blatant attempts on Rick's life. I thought it was "Randy" all over again. So I was pleasantly surprised when Rick just up and killed the guy.

Things haven't changed with Lori though, obviously: giving a dead man mouth-to-mouth in the zombie apocalypse . . . really!?! "Oh, you're dead and you're probably going to turn, but I think I'll just put my face really close to yours and see what happens." I think her character is too stupid to live. Of course, she does get bonus points for her delightful honesty in voicing her fears about the baby (what was it she said? Something about the baby dying and tearing out of her?).

I can't wait to see what happens in the next episode.

In other spec-fic news . . .

Free Reads, compiled by Regan Wolfrom for SF Signal:

Membership: 1258 men, 12 women ;)
Trekkie dating site will help you find the Vulcan of your dreams

Aw, so cute:
The Ewoking Dead

Upcoming book:
You’ve never seen the Wizard of Oz like this before

I admit it: I haven't seen any of the Paranormal Activity movies, but we all know that as a movie heads into the "IV" and "V" and greater iterations, it tends to get lame and overdone (Resident Evil, anyone?)
[Spoiler] Paranormal Activity 4 Explained


Paramount Announces Paranormal Activity 5


See you next week!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Links for Writers: NaNo, Loglines, Synopses, and More

Image courtesy of winnond /

Here are some helpful links I've come across this week on Twitter, at The Muse Conference, and while surfing the web (aka, procrastinating about my novel).

Have a book you are marketing or about to market? Solid advice at The Bookshelf Muse:
The Path To 10K In Sales: Strategy, Luck & Mistakes

How to maximize your email list (includes a pdf checklist):
The Ultimate Guide to Writing Email Updates (Your Fans Actually Read)

Ready to make your debut as an author?
Building Your Author Platform, Part I
Building Your Author Platform, Part II

How's your logline? Get feedback:
Logline It!

The 5 elements of a good synopsis (and story)
A "Secret" Formula for Creating a Short Synopsis for Your Book

This is also a good test for the planning stage of your NaNo novel:
Six Tests of a Solid Story Premise and Eight Ways to Write One

Speaking of NaNo:
NaNoWriMo: 5 Tips On How To Get Ready

And more NaNo preparation:
How to outline your story for National Novel-Writing Month – checklist

And if you haven't come up with an idea for your NaNo novel yet:
10 Tips for Generating Killer Science Fiction Story Ideas

See you next week!

Monday, October 8, 2012

New Posting Schedule

Image courtesy of luigi diamanti /

I'm experimenting with a new posting schedule. I'm not promising anything, because you know how flaky we artistic types can be. But, if all goes well, the new schedule will be:

1st Monday of the month: "From the Desk of" (the familiar monthly update);
2nd Monday: "After Hours" (a meme or some other type of "getting to know me" post);
3rd Monday: "For Writers" (a post with handy links or info for writers);
4th Monday: "For Readers" (a post with info on the latest releases in horror/fantasy/sci-fi movies or books, or my opinion--for what it's worth--on the latest book/movie I've read/seen).

And, since I know someone out there is thinking it: if there is a fifth Monday, there will be no post, because no person should have to put up with five Mondays in a single month! It's just wrong.

And now, welcome to the first "After Hours" post!


1) Describe what you're looking forward to doing this autumn.
Autumn is my favorite season. Not only does it hold my favorite holiday (Halloween, of course), it’s also hunting season. Plus, it’s the spookiest season of the year, even without Halloween: cold dark knights, bare trees creaking in the window, leaves clattering across the road like a bone necklace rattling.

2) How many rings before you answer the phone?I’m not a slave to the phone. I’ll let the machine pick up if answering is inconvenient (sometimes even when it’s not). I’m the same way with a ringing doorbell. It drives everyone around me crazy, because they seem to think if someone’s calling/knocking, you HAVE to answer. Not me. My home is my castle, and I decide who I went to talk to and when.

3) What is the first thing you think of when you wake in the morning?“Aw, shit” (I’ve never been a morning person).

4) If you won a million dollars, what would you do with it?Probably spend most of it on books, or an isolated cabin on acres and acres of land. I’ve always aspired to be a hermit (see item #2).

5) When trick-or-treating as a kid, was there any kind of candy that you didn't like to get?I’ve always been a fussy eater. I didn’t like anything that had peanuts or peanut butter in it (I was not a peanut-butter sandwich kid). I didn’t like licorice. One of the candies I hated the most was that candy that has licorice at the center and is covered in two kinds of coatings: one looked like the kind of plastic that coated wires (but was pink or white), and the other was like little gravel all over the candy. I'd groan every time I found it in my Halloween treat bag.

6) Why do you live wherever you live?Entirely by accident. My parents dragged me back to North Dakota from New York when my father retired. While I was in the process of working two jobs to earn enough to move back to New York, I met my husband. I’ve been here ever since.

7) When was the last time you spotted an unwelcome visitor (i.e., bug, rodent, etc.) in your house?
I have cats, so unwanted visitors are quickly devoured (hmmm… that would make a good sign for my door; see #2). In the fifteen years we’ve lived in our home, we’ve only had one mouse dumb enough to come in. I heard him squiggling around under my bed one evening and, by noon, he was on my pillow . . . with his feet in the air and one of my cats (Cairo) sitting beside him, purring, as if to say, “Look what I have for you momma.” I was so proud, I rolled the mouse in catnip and gave it back Cairo to enjoy (we want to encourage that mouse-killing behavior, of course).

See you next week!

Monday, October 1, 2012

October Update

Okay, where did September go? I feel like Rip Van Winkle, but I KNOW I didn't sleep through it because I'm still way too tired to have slept that much. I can't complain, though, because now it's October, the best month of the year with the best holiday of the year.

October also marks the return of the best show: The Walking Dead.

AND, the return of the annual The Muse Online Writers Conference.

So good riddance September, and hooray for October.


On the writing front, I have a couple of new stories I'm working on, and I'm STILL working on my ethereal fantasy short. It's like a recipe that's just not quite right yet--it still needs a little something . . . just what that something is, I haven't figured out.

On the reading front, I'm currently reading Robert McCammon's Swan Song. I'm enjoying it (how could I not? It's nuclear-apocalyptic fiction), but I do find myself getting distracted by the number of writing "rules" it breaks. For example, I know today's writers are cautioned against using omniscient point-of-view, and when it is used, writers are cautioned to limit POV to one character per chapter. But in Swan Song, the POV varies from paragraph to paragraph. I can't say I'm a fan of the method.


That's all my news. Go enjoy something scary!