Monthly Archives: January 2009

The Winter Woes and On Being Productive

We’re at the tail end of a nice little winter storm in Oklahoma right now, tho it looks like the worst of it is past, especially since we’re all heading back to work today.  Luckily we kept our electricity, so got to hang at the casa without shivering in front of the fireplace *g*.

 

So today I hunkered down and answered about a gazillion e-mails and edited two stories in Liquid Silver’s Hearts Afire series.  I’d hoped to get some of my own writing done, but I’ve found it’s damned close to impossible when the hubster is home with me…or at least when he’s not glued to a football game.  So I guess now that football season is over, I’m back to working after he heads to bed, and seeing how it goes.

Movie/Music Monday…There Will Be Blood

There Will Be Blood (2007)  I was all jazzed about watching this movie, because I’d seen so many accolades about it.  When we saw the length (2½ hrs), we had to make sure it was on a night when we could actually get through the whole thing before the hubster crashed.  Guess we didn’t have to worry about that, because we only watched an hour and forty-five minutes worth…I looked over at the recliner at about an hour and a half and hubby was asleep, so I decided then and there to pop open the laptop and see what all the hoopla had really been about.  I suffered through fifteen more minutes before turning it off and crying uncle.


This was one long, boring flick.  The acting would have been fine, if the pacing hadn’t been so awfully awry.  Seriously.  The storyline itself should have been compelling, really it should have.  But ultimately it just wasn’t.  In the 105 minutes I slogged through, I saw how it could have been cut down by at least 45 minutes and not lose a damn nuance.  At the end of the day, I really wish I could have liked this flick, but in the end, it was really quite painful to watch.

Thirteen movies in my TBW queue (January update)

Thought I’d add my Netflix queue to the whole Thursday 13 gig ’cause I’m tres lazy and we’ve actually been using the service since football is ostensibly over!

  1. The Bourne Identity
  2. Citizen Kane
  3. There Will Be Blood (watched it Tues night…review on Monday!)
  4. Iron Man
  5. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
  6. Little Miss Sunshine
  7. Gone Baby Gone
  8. Crash
  9. The Constant Gardener
  10. A History of Violence
  11. Dexter: Season 1: Disc 1
  12. Reservation Road
  13. Appaloosa

 

 

 

Where did the words (and my time) go?

Since I last checked in, I’ve written about 1,000 words, which is totally disappointing. So what in the heck have I been doing with myself?  First, the week back at work after the holidays was pure, unrequited hell *g*, in addition to being damned cold, so by the time I got home, I was not only shivering, but my brain was full.  Then hubster decided to quit smoking last Monday, so I’ve been heaping lots of love and support on him.  Looks like he got over the worst of it Friday, so now it’s my turn as soon as my current stash of cigarillos runs out.

 

I also turned in another two editing jobs, as well as crits for one of my partners.  Now I have no earthly reason not to write…hubby is through shaking and muttering *g*, and any editing jobs I have I’ll do during the week.

 

Soooo, with any kind of luck, I’ll be reporting that I’ve racked up a few new words!

TABT…Pleasures of the Night by Sylvia Day

In the Twilight between sleep and consciousness, a battle rages between Dream Guardians and Nightmares.  Captain Aidan Cross is a legend, as skilled in fulfilling erotic dreams as he is with the glaive that kills his enemies.  Women see Aidan as part of their fantasies…except Lyssa Bates.  Exquisite, desirable, enigmatic Lyssa perplexes this immortal seducer because she sees him as he really is.  And as he attempts to unravel her secrets the unthinkable occurs:  Aidan Cross falls in love.  Lyssa has been having the most incredible dreams about a man whose blue eyes hold the promise of decadent pleasures and tempting intimacies.  And then he appears on her doorstep!  This intoxicating stranger is just as irresistible as the man of her dreams…but with her surrender there is also grave danger…  Because Aidan is on a mission, and the passion that consumes them body and soul could have dire consequences.  Loving the mortal woman prophesied to destroy Aidan’s world is not only impossible, it’s forbidden.

 

This was one of last year’s NRCA books I finally got around to reading, and boy howdy, am I glad I did!!  Day has created an intriguing, fully fleshed-out universe peopled with fascinating characters.  In this, the opening story, Aidan and Lyssa are great, both together and apart, which can be a rarity in the romance world.  Day actually had the cojones not only to put her hero/heroine into separate planes of existence, but to have them live their lives during the daytime hours, bringing them together only under the cover of darkness.  And when they do hook up…whoooweee boy.  Steamin’ hot love scenes that’ll fog up your glasses.  The plot itself is tight and intricate, and you’ll be reeled in pretty much from page one.

 

As a rule, I don’t usually buy trade-size books, but I’m making an exception for the second book in this series…it’s already on it’s way from Amazon!

Movie/Music Monday…The Good Shepherd

The Good Shepherd (2006)  I’m a huge Matt Damon fan, have been since his eye-catching performance in Courage Under Fire waaaay back in 1996.  In fact, going back to look at his IMDB, I’ve seen a majority of his movies, or have them in my queue at Netflix.  And the whole Sarah Silverman video made me giggle hysterically.

 

Sooo, when the hubster wanted to watch this one, it’s not like I went kicking and screaming *g*.  The Good Shepherd is, at the root of it, a movie about choices.  Yes, it’s also about espionage and the formation of the CIA, but beneath runs the common theme of choices.  I really enjoyed this movie, even though it was a bit long.  Damon’s performance is austere, because that’s exactly who his character is, and he totally made it work.  While I’m not an Angelina Jolie fan (except in The Bone Collector), she did a fine job in this movie as a woman living in the shadow of her husband’s career.  The supporting actors in this were superb, from an almost unrecognizable Timothy Hutton as Admiral Wilson, to Robert DeNiro as the true father of the CIA, to Joe Pesci in a small, but well-done bit.  There are no special effects in this film, nothing that goes “boom”, so fans of war flicks like that won’t feel a connection to this one.

 

The movie is an amalgam of the past in that “real” characters have been combined for cinema’s sake, as have some events (i.e., the reason the Bay of Pigs failed), but as the ending credits roll, it’s definitely worth your time to see a well-made, thoughtful movie.

TABT…Hostage to Pleasure by Nalini Singh

Separated from her son and forced to create a neural implant that will mean the effective enslavement of her psychically gifted race.  Ashaya Aleine is the perfect Psy—cool, calm, emotionless—at least on the surface.  Inside, she’s fighting a desperate battle to save her son and free them both form the vicious cold of the PsyNet.  Yet when escape comes, it leads not to safety but to the lethal danger of a sniper’s embrace.  DarkRiver sniper Dorian Christensen lost his sister to a Psy killer.  Though he lacks the changeling ability to shift into animal form, his leopard lives within.  And that leopard’s rage at the brutal loss is a clawing darkness that hungers for vengeance.  Falling for a Psy has never been on Dorian’s agenda, but charged with protecting Ashaya and her son, he discovers that passion has a way of changing the rules…

 

Yet another pleaser by Singh.  The fracturing of The Silence and the infighting amongst the Psy continues to build as Ashaya and Dorian face each of their own personal demons.  I’ve always adored Dorian, so was thrilled to see him get his own story, and Singh didn’t disappoint.  Ashaya’s reasons for keeping Silence were real and riveting (don’t want to spoil anything by revealing here).  Both characters are proud and determined to do the right thing for their families, even at great cost to themselves.  When they finally come together, it’s pure combustion.  While I love all of these books, the world is complex enough at this point that I would recommend reading them from the beginning so you get the full impact. 

Movie/Music Monday…Burn After Reading

Burn After Reading (2008)  This flick was exactly what I expect from the Coen brothers…funny, quirky, freakish violence and outstanding performances from a wide variety of excellent actors.  John Malkovich’s character was my favorite, tho JK Simmons gets serious props for playing a CIA superior with gleeful cluelessness.  The closing scenes made the hubster and I laugh long and loud in an embarrassed kind of way.  Clooney was fabulous as a sketched-out womanizing Treasury officer, Pitt shone as a soft-headed goof, and McDormand played her body-obsessed character to perfection.  But Malkovich was, at least for me, the star of this bad boy.

 

If you’re expecting another No Country for Old Men, you won’t get it here…IMO that was a non-typical movie for the Coens.  Instead, think Fargo, but set in DC, and you’ve got a better comparison.  If you enjoy unconventional movies or have enjoyed a Coen brothers movie in the past, I think this one is definitely up your alley!

TABT…The Shadow Man by Cody McFadyen

Once, Special Agent Smoky Barrett hunted serial killers for the FBI. She was one of the best–until a madman terrorized her family, killed her husband and daughter, and left her face scarred and her soul brutalized. Turning the tables on the killer, Smoky shot him dead–but her life was shattered forever.  Now Smoky dreams about picking up her weapon again. She dreams about placing the cold steel between her lips and pulling the trigger one last time. Because for a woman who’s lost everything, what is there left to lose?   She’s about to find out.  In all her years at the Bureau, Smoky has never encountered anyone like him–a new and fascinating kind of monster, a twisted genius who defies profilers’ attempts to understand him. And he’s issued Smoky a direct challenge, coaxing her back from the brink with the only thing that could convince her to live.  The killer videotaped his latest crime–an act of horror that left a child motherless–then sent a message addressed to Agent Smoky Barrett. The message is enough to shock Smoky back to work, back to her FBI team. And that child awakens something in Smoky she thought was gone forever.  Suddenly the stakes are raised. The game has changed. For as this deranged monster embarks on an unspeakable spree of perversion and murder, Smoky is coming alive again–and she’s about to face her greatest fears as a cop, a woman, a mother…and a merciless killer’s next victim.

 

Um, oh WOW! It’s not too often a book goes automatically on my “forever” shelf, but this one was destined to by the time I hit about the third page.  Smoky is an unbelievably layered, wonderful character.  The killer is absolutely diabolical, and while I did figure out who it was about ¾ of the way through, that in no way detracted from my absolute fascination with the story.  Because, when it really comes down to it, this book is all about Smoky, and the journey she takes from almost ending it all to believing there’s something to wake up to each morning.  I can’t wait to see where McFadyen goes with the next book in the series, The Face of Death.  I’ve got it, but I’m saving it *g*.  If you like well drawn characters, outstanding police procedural details, a plot line that will grab you by the throat, and aren’t afraid to ride the Shadow Train, then do yourself a favor and grab this one while you still can.

Back to the day job…

No movie or music review this week, because we’ve been watching football, football and more football.  And when we’re not watching that, I’ve been working *g*.

 

Worked my way through two sets of revisions, an editing job and logged some new words on Duck & Run and Live & Let Die.  So I’m very happy about that.

 

Now I’m off to the dreaded day job after two blessed weeks off.  I’ve decided I could quite easily be a stay-at-home writer as long as I volunteered or had a part-time job.  Alas, Uncle Sam pays me waaaaay too well to ditch it all *g*.

 

We’ll be back in the movie swing once the bowl games and playoffs dwindle, so do y’all have any recommendations for me?  We’ve got Burn After Reading, There Will Be Blood and The Good Shepherd sitting next to the DVD player right now…