Monthly Archives: November 2008

Movie/Music Monday…Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2007)

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2007)… I was really looking forward to catching this movie because I’d heart great things about it.  Alas “great” doesn’t describe this flick, at least for me.  “Meh” is more the watchword.  I enjoyed the “behind the scenes” politicking portrayed, and even the characters, but in the end, none of it tied together for me.  It was like watching several separate vignettes that sorta tied together, but nothing about this movie ever pulled me in enough to connect with the characters.

 

I would have been interested in seeing more of the mythos around Sitting Bull explained, to include an appearance by Buffalo Bill Cody, but the relationship between these two men, and the fact the Indian agents could have used Cody as a buffer to quite possibly avoid the Wounded Knee massacre was distressingly glossed over.

 

All in all, I can’t say this is a bad film, just one that disappointed.

13 Things to do before Thanksgiving…

Yeah, that many.  I apologize if it’s all over the board, but this is my life.  Sigh.  Here we go!

1.  Buy turkey and all the fixin’s (on the slate for this weekend)

2.  Make sure there’s NO Airman on our base who’s going to sit in the dorms, or their own apartment on Thanksgiving.  That’s a totally unforgivable lapse for any service member, retired or otherwise, whether they belong to your shop or not.  Jeesh…think I’m passionate about this one?

3.  Start finding and washing the “good” dishes (K-Mart “china” is just dandy for me, tho I ogle the fancy stuff every time I go into Dillards…just can’t equate cost with usage)

4.  Take cat to vet…yeah, I know, totally unrelated, but he’s due for a shave…this dude is FURRY!

5 & 6.  Finish edits on the two stories I’ve been working on

7.  Yucky day job stuff, like reconciling the referral management database (arrrrgh!) and sending out peer reviews to the docs

8.  Eyeball any pies that look good to the hubster and me…a baker I am NOT!

9.  Finish the fabulous (so far) book, Shadow Man, in a tub filled with bubbles…hopefully tonight!

10.  Catch up with some old friends I haven’t talked to in a bit (hint, hint…RINDA!)

11.  START my online Christmas shopping.  Yeah, I know a gazillion people are already done (at least those that could in this shitty economy), but I like to go season-by-season.  There’s something that’s innately “good” to me about shopping as the actual date approaches. Not sure why, but I’m just happier shopping that way, and as I creep past forty, I’ve found that happiness is sometimes more important than camping on a storefront’s doorstep to save $5.

12.  Take my truck in for a check-up before the first snowfall hits.  Yeah, this costs moola, but I’d rather be sure than calling AAA in three inches of snow!

13.  Talk to Mom…it’s been two weeks, and I’m missing her!

Gotta love that editing…

So I’m taking a smidge of a break from writing over the next month or so, since I finished Into the Fire…and it was accepted gleefully *g*.  Now to see what the crit partners want me to change to make it even better!

Basically my goal is to work through a bunch of editing jobs between now and the holiday break, so when my fourteen glorious days come around, I’m dedicated to pure writing time!  I’m quite sure the writing urge will hit me in spurts, so I’ll go with those, because they’re usually bouts of pure creativity I totally get lost in, where I write for the pure joy of writing, rather than working on a story with an end goal in mind. 

So you’ll probably see some totally schitzophrenic word count updates, as I veer from playing with Duck and Run to Live and Let Die, or even something else if it catches my fancy…had an awesome idea (I think) for a novella come about last week as I was finishing up ItF, so I may work on that a bit and see if it pans out.

That’s it for me…what’s going on with y’all?

TABT…Shadows All Around Her by Catherine Mulvany

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When Caitlin O’Shaughnessy’s stepfather — world-renowned Medieval English professor Magnus Armstrong — is abducted in Scotland, she jets across the Atlantic to help find him. Her only clue: a teardrop-shaped charm on a broken chain left behind in the struggle. The authorities in Edinburgh are useless but Caitlin soon finds a partner in her desperate search — sexy playboy Dominic Fortune, who’s funding genetics research at the university. Traveling to the Mediterranean island of Calix, where the charm originated, they share a journey full of danger, passion, and magical surprises. But Dominic carries with him more than a few secrets — about his identity, about the dynasty that has ruled Calix for more than 2,000 years, and about the charm’s link to the quest for eternal life. Racing against time and surrounded by people she’s not sure she can trust, Caitlin must use all her wits and an ancient magic to save her stepfather and herself and to uncover the many mysteries of the man by her side.

 

I really enjoyed this book…Caitlin was a fun, smart hero, and Dominic was sexy as hell.  The mystery unfolds nicely, and while I had a hint of who the baddie was, it was successfully layered in enough to make me work for it.  I’ve already picked up Mulvany’s other novels, and can’t wait to sink my teeth into them.  There’s a lot of jet-setting going on in this story, so strap in and enjoy the world tour!

Movie/Music Monday…60 Minutes interview with Barack Obama

I watched the Steve Kroft’s 60 Minutes interview with President-Elect Barack Obama last night and was struck by one very HUGE thing.  When Obama speaks, it’s thoughtful, not brash or full of false bravado.  He’s not using his pending office to give the American public a panacea or a message filled with false hope.  Rather, he’s calling it as he sees it.  We’re in trouble, economically, in world opinion, etc.  And what he’s saying will fix it is exactly right…hard work.

Once upon a time that was something we, as Americans, were known for.  Putting our nose to the grindstone and getting the job done.  Certainly that’s still the case for a majority of Americans, but one look at the downfall of our financial institutions showcases how we, as a country, have glommed onto the concept of what I call “magic money”… Putting our hard-earned moola into the hands of folks who are betting what grain is going to be going for in ten years was something we were all star-struck by, and in the last few months, we’ve paid the price.  Back in the day, you spent a dollar for a dollar’s worth of merchandise or service, not the concept of what that merchandise would be worth in the future.

Sorry, off on a tangent there, but that’s the way I feel.  So back to the interview. 

I thought the dual interview with Michelle and Barack was was fabulous.  We’ve all seen that she’s a strong woman, and donning the mantle of First Lady in sixty-five days hasn’t changed that one bit.  She still gives him shit, instead of nodding and smiling.  To me, at least, the Obamas seem like real people.  Yeah, they’re educated out the bupkus, but they seem REAL.  Oh, and the mother-in-law comments were freakin’ hysterical! As were the totally serious moments regarding the BCS college football playoffs.  You think I’m kidding here? NOT!

At the end of the day I can HOPE that everything the Obamas and their staffers (and all of us) want to do come to fruition.  I can HOPE our economy will stop bleeding out, and that we’ll come up with an actual strategy in our dealing with foreign countries, and I’m not just talking about Iraq and Afghanistan (that’s a rant on a whole different scale).  I can HOPE that people will be willing to put some muscle into their wants and needs, making President-Elect Obama’s job that much easier.

To paraphrase Stephen King from his novella The Mist (and not the horrible bastardized version they made into a movie)…”The other is hope.”  It may not apply directly, but dammit, I want to believe.  I guess time (and the dedication of the American populace) will tell.

Okay, done with pseudo-political rant.

Thirteen books on my TBR shelf (November update)

Here’s the latest and greatest from my RWA stash and a few of the NRCA books from last year as well.  Between my physical stack of books and the ten or so I’ve got on my iPaq, I’ve only got 50 left to read…LOL!  And then there’s the other ten I’ve got set aside in my cart at Amazon for the hubster’s choosing pleasure at Christmas time…

 

  1. Night Life, Caitlin Kittredge
  2. Body Moves, Jodi Lynn Copeland
  3. Pleasures of the Night, Sylvia Day
  4. Thunder of Time, James F. David
  5. Hitting the Mark, Jill Monroe
  6. The Inquisitor, Gayle Wilson
  7. Because of a Boy, Anna DeStefano
  8. The Falls, Karen Harper
  9. Perfect Weapon, Amy Fetzer
  10. One More Time, Celia May Hart
  11. Foul Play, Tori Carrington
  12. The Killing Hour, Lisa Gardner
  13. Shadow Man, Cody McFadyen

Typing “the end”…

Wooohooo!  Finished Into the Fire, which will be renamed with the help of my crit partners.  I sent it off to them last night, and hopefully they don’t find massive plot holes *g*.  Taking a few days to get some editing jobs under my belt, then I’m starting in again on revisions for Summerland and Brotherhood before diving into Live and Let Die.

 

I’ve got partials out to three agents and a publisher and will send out two more to agents and to one publisher this weekend.

 

Other than that, just overjoyed by the fact I’m actually writing again after going through a long dry spell of six months.  That’s a looooong time for me to not do any writing, and I’d forgotten how much putting fingers to keyboard makes me happy!

A tribute to our veterans…

Reposting this … it’s just as relevant today as the first time I posted it…

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Today I thought a photo would suffice.

This is First Sergeant Brad Kasel, being carried out of the “House From Hell” in Fallujah in 2006.  Note the sidearm still clasped in his hand.  He was shot seven times, and took 44 pieces of shrapnel after throwing himself over a wounded troop when an insurgent lobbed in a grenade.  He was awarded the Navy Cross…

To all of our veterans, a heartfelt thank you…for all you do, all you sacrifice.  We love you…

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You can check out a related article here:  http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1625345/posts

 

Movie/Music Monday…Indestructible, Disburbed

This is an album (yes, I know “album” is an archaic term…but let’s face it. I’m over forty, and that’s how we think) I wanted for Christmas.  I heard the title track, Indestructible, today as I was fixing dinner, and I don’t know if I can wait that long. 

 

I’m a serious Disturbed freak…I pretty much adore anything they put out, so I bought Inside the Fire off of iTunes because it spoke to me for the new story I’m working on.  Then, tonight, the serious epiphany came.  Hearing Indestructible made me race to the laptop to see if it was, indeed, what I thought it was.  Yes, a pro-military song from my favorite band (in front of Seether).

 

Don’t get me wrong…I love Deify because the words *really* speak to me, and the remake of Genesis’ Land of Confusion is probably one of the best covers ever (and I’ve been a Genesis/Phil Collins/Mike and the Mechanics fan since the eighties). I’m not a buy-into-everything kind of girl, even if I do work for the military.  So it was a wonderful moment for me to see Disturbed acknowledging warriors through the ages.

 

I found the symbolism of the closing images (of a female charging a mini-gun, or Gatling gun, for those unfamiliar with the terminology, to save her buddies) to be particularly striking.  It shows the evolution of war, good and bad, at least for me.  Obviously, as a woman, and one associated with the military, this totally rocked for me.

 

Oh hell, how about I just give you the video and you can decide for yourself?  All I can say is that the hubster had BETTER have this on in my stocking in a month and a half!  LOL!  And damned if, after watching and hearing this, I don’t want to write another soldier story.  Lyrics after the video…

 

 

Indestructible Lyrics

Another mission,
The powers have called me away.
Another time,
To carry the colors again.
My motivation,
An oath I’ve sworn to defend.
To win the honor,
Of coming back home again.
No explanation,
Will matter after we begin.
Another dark destroyer that’s buried within,
My true vocation.
And now my unfortunate friend,
You will discover,
A war you’re unable to win.

 

I’ll have you know,
That I’ve become…

Indestructible.
Determination that is incorruptible.
From the other side.
A terror to behold.
Annihilation will be unavoidable.
Every broken enemy will know,
That their opponent had to be invincible.
Take a last look around while you’re alive,
I’m an indestructible master of war.

Another reason.
Another cause for me to fight.
Another fuse uncovered,
Now, for me to light.
My dedication,
To all that I’ve sworn to protect.
I carry out my orders,
Without a regret.
A declaration,
Embedded deep under my skin.
A permanent reminder,
Of how we began.
No hesitation,
When I am commanding the strike.
You need to know,
That you’re in for the fight of your life.

You will be shown,
How I’ve become…

Indestructible.
Determination that is incorruptible.
From the other side.
A terror to behold.
Annihilation will be unavoidable.
Every broken enemy will know,
That their opponent had to be invincible.
Take a last look around while you’re alive,
I’m an indestructible master of war.

I’m…

Indestructible.
Determination that is incorruptible.
From the other side.
A terror to behold.
Annihilation will be unavoidable.
Every broken enemy will know,
That their opponent had to be invincible.
Take a last look around while you’re alive,
I am indestructible. (Indestructible.)

Indestructible
Determination that is incorruptible.
From the other side.
A terror to behold.
Annihilation will be unavoidable.
Every broken enemy will know,
That their opponent had to be invincible.
Take a last look around while you’re alive,
I’m an indestructible master of war.

 

Props to elyricsworld.com for the lyrics…

Tour of the Hyundai plant

So I’m in Montgomery, Alabama this week undergoing training for the dreaded day job.  Basically we’re doing the Air Force’s equivalent of Six Sigma .  Part of that training was a tour of the Montgomery Hyundai plant.  What an amazing place!!  Total human/robot integration (noooo, I don’t mean cyborgs *g*).  Their assembly line is just under a mile long and never stops moving unless there’s a quality control issue.  They can churn out over 1000 cars a day, based on customer and auto dealer orders, so their process is all about customer pull rather than industry push…see, I’m learning all the lingo *g*.

I found it really interesting, as we rode the tram around, that a huge majority of the employees smiled and waved at us (probably helped that there were six military members in uniform in our tour group).  And these were REAL smiles, real waves, not the stuff you do because your boss told you to.  Turns out the Chief Master Sergeant in our group has a brother who works there, and we actually got to see him doing his thing on the assembly line.  When I made a comment to her about how the smiles and waves seemed a bit strange (at least to me, guess I’m just cynical) she said that actually, the attitude was quite genuine.

The starting pay there is really good ($16/hour) and it’s not an easy job to get.  As an employee you basically start out on a trial basis, and then if it works, you go to a ‘regular’ employee.  Because the money is good and the company apparently takes really good care of its people, the employees reciprocate…they enjoy their work and it shows.

All in all I was VERY impressed, and it was a great break from death by PowerPoint.

Now I’m looking forward to coming home late on Friday night.  If nothing else, I’m getting a ton of writing done!