Here, There be a Writer

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

WIPpet Wednesday and Thoroughly Enjoying Murder

So, the day got away from me and I wasn't able to focus on writing this check-in earlier today. I have murder on the mind. ~Maniacal Laugh, Maniacal Laugh~ Mousetrap is coming along swimmingly. It is taking more of my time, not a problem, but some stuff has fallen to the back burner. Yet, I am seeing so much good coming from the cast and I still have over a month of rehearsals. w00t, Huzzah, cheers!!

Murder! Yes, murder and mystery!

Okay, because my brain is a little wired and I need to go to sleep soon, the check-in.

This Week:
    *Blogging: completed on Tuesday. A review of fellow author Julie Anne Lindsey.
    *Reading: finished The Story of Martha (Dan Abnett) another Doctor Who adventure and now working on Windhaven (George R. R. Martin and Lisa Tuttle). Windhaven is a longer read, but coming along.
    *Writing: started to work on a story working title Trapped by Dinosaurs. I had posted a bit of it some time ago. Thought it was a random story/scene, but after reviewing it, it could be a longer story. Didn't have the time to devote to it in the last two days.
    *Social Media and Visiting: visited Sunday and Monday, missed Tuesday.
    *Submitting: got two more submitted at the beginning of the week.

For This Week:
    *Edit: print and go over Christmas Trees. Beginning the revision process.
    *Novel: finish reading The Real Road Trip, begin simple fixes.
    *Blogging: 1 day  this week.
    *Submitting: at least two this week.

Been busy with Mousetrap deadlines and getting posters, promotions, props, costumes, etc. Thankfully, I have a good team to keep me in line and I am delegating. I do need to write a director's letter, a bio, and inserts for the program. Then to get promotions out to newspapers and TV stations, press releases and interviews, oh my!

And murder!!

Oooh, I have a poster now! See!!

Oh, and I have another segment from WIPpet Wednesday (28, 2 + 8 = 10 paragraphs):

Bob rubbed his hands together to try and keep them warm. It was snowing again. The small floodlight filled the lot and made the snowflakes glow. He thought about asking for a second light. He thought that maybe Mr. Hanson would give him it. It was Christmas after all, right? 

“You should really just go over to Evergreens R Us, the selections are so much better. Hell, there are artificial trees that are practically life like,” said Mason to the chap in the ski mask.

“I don’t know,” he said. 

Bob watch the interplay between the man and Mason. He felt angry, so he turned away. There was a young woman trying to fight with a scrawny little pine. “Here. Let me help, Miss.” He rushed to her. The tree was caught on the wired it had been leaning on. Bob grabbed the tree and lightly pulled. Some needles tumbled to the ground, but the tree still looked green and full. “Sorry about that. I have fresh pines over by the flood lamp that are losing less needles.”

“No, it just needs some water and it’s the perfect height.” She held the tree by the neck, eyeing it with a smile. “My apartment is small, this is the perfect height. How much?” She looked at Bob and smiled.

“Twenty dollars…” he sounded unsure, afraid she would dump the tree and head to Evergreens R Us.

“That’s all." Eyes the tree and then Bob, "That’s cheap. You having trouble?”

Bob looked down, feeling ashamed, especially at the rather attractive woman holding a pine tree in her right hand. Her blonde hair framed her face by her woolen hat. “Yeah, well I am trying…”

“Here!” the woman placed a fifty dollar bill in Bob hand. “Don’t let them get to you, Bob. You do good work here. Keep fighting,” she smiled.

“I can’t accept this,” said Bob, shaking his head.

“Take it. I got a nice tree and did some good.” She smiled and hefed the tree onto her shoulders and walked down aisle. 

Links and Stuff:

A Round of Words in  80 Days, the blog challenge that knows you have a life. Come in, sit, we have some flax golden tales to spin...Blog Hop!

WIPpet Wednesday Linky. Read some other's stories and enjoy.

Music for Today:

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Review: Murder by the Seaside

I am borrowing an idea from Kait Nolan's (Clicky the Linky) blog. She periodically review books that she has read and would like to promote. Today's post follows that vein. Where she write mini reviews on three books that she has recently read or listened to the audio book. I am going to focus on one review of a fellow author and sometimes just fantastic stuff I have encountered. I've started this year with a goal of reading 30 books within 2015. I just barely made 25 books in 2014 and that was spending a large part of the year not reading. So I am hitting the ground running, er reading.

I am a Bibliophile. no, strike that. I am a HUGE Bibliophile! I love books, old, news, long, archaic , or the trendiest thing ever. If I go into a used bookstore, hell, even a new bookstore I run the risk of spending money. There is always a pile of books in my bedroom and of course the stacks of my little library. Yeah, might have a problem. Anyway, I want to see how many book I can get through and still remember the plot by December. This means reading to enjoy and immerse myself in the stories. Thus far 2015 has been full of Doctor 9 novel adventures and some new authors, the ranks of Neil Gaiman and Julie Anne Lindsey.

Today I present for the connoisseur of books, mystery, stories, and just all out fun, Murder by the Seaside, by Julie Anne Lindsey (check out her site).

If you like a good mystery, with interesting characters, and a touch of girl power blended in then I think you might enjoy and like Murder by the Seaside. The story is engaging, many nights, weekend mornings, and lunch breaks I found it hard to put down. Lindsey makes a real place and her characters range from lovable, fun, to strictly annoying. This is a good thing. I like that. I like knowing that I am NOT going to love every character in a book. Sometimes people are truly unlikable. So I like seeing a wide variety of real and entertaining characters, especially the shero/hero, the suspect(s), the incidentals, and/or murderer.

No Spoilers Here!!!

What initially drew my to Murder by the Seaside was the author, fellow writer and tweeter, Julie(on twitter @JulieALindsey). I started by piqued by this series of mystery novels that she was writing. Called Cozy mystery is was curious and love mysteries too. Also, the books are set on Chincoteague Island, the same island that has the wild ponies (of Misty and Stormy fame). I remember reading Misty of Chincoteague in middle school and also re-read it last year. It a real place. That's cool! I kind of want to go there now.

Characters are all interesting and feel like real people, especially when they mess up or just act like real people do. I have an affinity for flawed characters in stories. The main character, detective Patience Price is pretty flawed, but ultimately lovable, the daughter of hippies and a very logic, out of work human service person turned counselor. When reading anything, I like to see real people, characters that are flawed, fake, real, perfect, or perfectly flawed. Just as long as they are real.

Lindsey writes with a passion for a good and interesting story. You can tell that she cared about the details and the feel of her world that she has created. She also is quite good about not making anything too obvious. I like to be able to read mysteries and be surprised by what unfolds, or at least not figure out the murderer within the first twenty pages. Murder by the Seaside keeps to guessing and gives you a nice puzzle to solve. Lindsey also adds a bit of romance to the story. While I don't normally read romance, I like a good smooshy story within the main story.

Murder by the Seaside a great blend of mystery, drama, romance, and a little history.

You can get any of the Patience Price, Cozy Mysteries: (Murder by the Seaside, Murder Comes Ashore, Murder in Real Time) at Carina Press, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. Lindsey also writes YA fiction (Deceived and Prophecy) and I think I know what I will be reading later this year. Well, after I read my Neil Gaiman pile that is, always so many books to read.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Afternoon and Coffee

Christmas is finally packed away. FINALLY!!!!

No Tree, just a Hubs! 
Funny how Christmas is shoved back into boxes after being rushed up during the month of Turkey or earlier. Okay, maybe that's a bit harsh, but i was hearing about Christmas trees being on the curb by the afternoon of Christmas Day. And yes, i did wait until almost the end of January before shucking the Christmas off the walls and stowing everything back into the bowels of my house. (Can you tell I am a theatre person with a flare for the dramatic).

Okay check-in time...

This week:
     *Submitting: I submitted to 2 journals. Actually it was this morning, because I didn't get to it yesterday.
Working on a rhythm and system to this goal. Still figuring this one out.
     *Blogging: I did post once this week. It was my flash fiction for a challenge, but I had be meaning to post it. So it worked out for this week.
     *Reading: making my way through The Story of Martha by Dan Abnett (Doctor Who novel). Not much else reading wise since Wednesday.
      *Editing: revised my flash fiction piece The Bridge (1419 words). You can read it here. Edited my press release, which is now being used to promote my show (The Mousetrap). Finished 1st draft of The Audition (re-write).
      *Writing: finished writing a rough draft of my holiday story currently titled Christmas Trees.
For this week:
      *Novel: finish the last 66 pages of The Real Road Trip and begin the small fixes (spelling, grammar, tense shifts, missing words, etc.).
      *Writing: look at Doctor 8 fan-fic story I started last year. Try to write at least 200 words on that. Try to continue to write 500 words a day. Not been good with this. I usually get at 200 - 250 words a day, when I am able to write.
      *Blog: 1 new post this week.
      *Edit: review my edits on The Audition begin edits on the The Real Road Trip.

While a quiet week at the day job; it was a busy week with theatre, directoring, and being VP of a theatre organisation. Yesterday was shopping at Salvo for costume pieces and getting familiar with my costumers ideas and syncing up both our ideas. We made a HUGE dent in the costume needs! Will have a poster sometime today and will include in future posts. So if you are in the area in March, I would love to see you at the show. This week is a busy week for Mousetrap, with rehearsals three days in a row and the Golden Age of Radio show that happens next weekend (I have 3 cast members in the radio re-enactment show too).

A Round of Words in 80 Days is a Blog Challenge that knows you have a life. Visit the Blog Hop and see what we writers are up to in writing, crocheting, theatre, gardening, etc.

Also, things you can't UNSEE, crocheted shorts!! Allison, maybe you should try this :-)

Music of Today:

Friday, January 23, 2015

The mysterious stranger flash fiction challenge: The Bridge

It struck me as odd that no one had followed me. Not a single person at Devon’s party had rushed after me. No one, not even Marcel. The hot, sweaty living room felt like it was swallowing me and Radiohead blaring through cheap speakers.

I needed to be elsewhere.

My feet knocked against Patterson Bridge, echoing sounds around the silent and empty evening. I walked with guide-less purpose along the center of the bridge, in the middle of the wan overhead light. It was a steady guide, my sight blurred by the tears I was fighting. Too busy being angry to notice anything else. My feet traveled the span of the bridge, feeling pretty sure that someone would come after me. They had to, right?

I looked around. The night air was crisp and my steamy breath coming out in puffs of smoke. The steel railing covered in a faint layer of rain drops. “Marcel, where are you?” I thought, as I turned my head to see the way I came.

No one was there.

I felt alone.

Angry at Marcel and myself, I stomped to the other side of the bridge making an effort to draw attention to me. And I recalled Marcel’s words, “You know you aren't the only one…”

It stung. Oh how they stung, replaying the words in my head, over and over. They hurt, a lot. My heels clacked loudly on the concrete. The echo sounding flat against the night. “Bastard!”

I heard my voice, but somehow it didn’t register. Little puffs of fog escaped my lips. I felt my heel catch on a grate, pulling at my shoe. My ankle tensed. I couldn’t hold it back. The tears pooled around my eyes and I wiped my left hand across my face.

It never occurred to me that bridge was quite so empty. I was concentrating on my previous conversation with Marcel, replaying over and over that I never saw it coming.

A loud siren, an ambulance or a cop raced up Main Street, lights were flashing in protest to being dragged across town. I could hear Soundgarden playing somewhere in the back ground, ‘In my eyes, Indisposed, In disguise, As no one knows, Hides the face, Lies the snake, And the sun…’

In my disgrace the conversation continued in my mind, “What would you do without me, Ari?” he asked almost noncommittally.

“What does that mean, Marcel?” I asked, not really understanding. He was giving me that look; a look that made me stupid.

“It means that you should probably know that I…” the music suddenly blared Katie Perry and distracted Marcel from what he was saying.

I blinked.

“You asked me to the party and then you hardly speak to me.” My voice sounded detached, “What…” I turned away, trying to out words together. There was noise and voices. I tried to clear my thoughts. “What do YOU want?” I asked, turning back to face him.

‘Black hole sun, Won't you come, And wash away the rain?, Black hole sun,  Won't you come?, Won't you come?’

The song returned to Soundgarden, Marcel shook his head, “Fine!” He made it sound final, “You want the truth, Ari. It’s over.”

I blinked.

“Over?” I said, sounded surprisingly like a teenager getting dumped. I blinked.  “But…” stumbling over my words and looking into Marcel’s eyes, I saw cold reserve. This wasn’t new. That was who he was, and I saw for the first time the truth.

“All this time I have spent on you and what do I get?” He voice cold and cruel. “A big fat nothing!” His words cut and I felt my cheeks burning, “You aren’t the only one…” The rest of the sentence escaped Marcel’s lips as Soundgarden was again replaced by Katie Perry. “…See I have needs,” he was implying.

Suddenly I was aware of Antoinette Tegan at Marcel’s side. She kissed him, right on the lips with tongue. I blinked.

The room now felt hot and I was blushing.

Then I ran. I ran from Marcel and Devon’s party. I ran out of the house and down the street.

Now, I was standing with my heel caught on Patterson Bridge. The wan overhead lights that obscured all but the shadows. The ambulance had passed. The sirens were replaced by my own expounding to the night air.

Three years I spent with him. Three years. It hit me and I realized what Marcel had meant, “You aren’t the only one.” The truth of the words, he had been screwing Antoinette and others.

I was crying and tugging at my heel. I couldn’t see. And the world was suddenly quiet. I was suddenly aware of how quiet the bridge was, especially at 10:30 on a Saturday night. My feet didn’t seem to want to move.

I was aware of my body held in place. I fought to escape my heel from the grate, the light overhead seemed to change colour. Another tug and my foot sprang forward. The heel still firmly attached to the grate and I heard the sirens again, or maybe they were still sounding but I had tuned them out.

I didn’t care and I fell hard on the concrete crying. Rolling into a ball on the far side of the bridge and the lights were now tinted pink. I felt dizzy. Laying there in the cold and crying I heard the sirens wailing into the cold night.

I suddenly felt the cold air.

“Why? Why? Why?” I screamed and my echoed bounced back at me. Remembering the party, the music, and Marcel and I thought, “I should have slept with him.” I said it loud to the bridge and the pink tinted lights and the air seemed to vibrate.

“What would that have done?” a voice said. It cut through the night air and I pushed my eyes open. Staring up into the overhead bridge lights I couldn’t see anything. I felt miserable.

I was suddenly struck with a though, how come the lights were pink?

“Maybe I wouldn’t be here?” I said out loud, not sure of whom I was actually talking to.

“I think you would still be here,” the voice sure and familiar.

“Crying into the cold concrete?” I asked sardonically.

“He would have done it to you, even if you had slept with him. You know that. He’s an ass.” The voice sounded bitter and hateful.

“Do you know Marcel then?” I asked, fighting to sit up. The concrete felt cold on my bare skin. I tried to follow the voice of the girl, but I saw nothing, not even a shadow cast in the pinkish overhead light. “Where are you?”

A laugh sounded. “No where,” said the voice, “I just know that Marcel was up to no good.”

I was sure that she sounded familiar. I looked around, thinking I saw a shadow in the direction of the voice. I struggled to stand up. “Help me up?” I asked hand outstretched toward the direction I had come.

I heard nothing at first, “Hello?” I said looking around fully at the empty bridge.

“You know what you should do?” the voice said again. I turned around to follow. I thought that I saw a figure at the end of the bridge, from the way I came. I stood, slowly, finding my footing. My foot hurt a little.

I blinked. Nothing there.

“No I don’t,” sounding miserable again. I tried to take a step back across the bridge towards the figure, but only fell on the ground again. “Dammit!”

“You can’t come this way again,” she said. “You need to move on”.


“Because, you ARE the only one…” The voice sounded distant and fuzzy. My head hurt. Making it to a standing position, I stumbled about three steps across the far side of the Bridge. Again I heard sirens and now running footsteps. “Keep going forward,” the voice whispered.

There were now voices.

My body suddenly felt heavy. “Keep going forward,” I felt my lips move the words. There wasn’t anything else I could do.

I was painfully aware that the voice was gone, but the other newer voices were crowding me. They were not clear, distant and my head hurt. I couldn’t see, not even the pink lights, just the pale, wan lights that were shining down on me. Everything was fuzzy,

I heard the sirens again or still, louder now.

The concrete was so cold.

I was cold.

I felt nothing.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WIPpet Wednesday test drive: Christmas Trees

This week: 
      *Novel: made significant progress on my read through of The Real Road Trip. The only hard part is not making changes now, instead of waiting until I have finished reading the rough draft. I have 49 pages to go. Aiming for the week's end to complete the read through and then begin the small fixes, the spelling, grammar, and minor missing words or sentences.
       *Reading: Almost complete with The Monsters Within (Stephen Cole, a Doctor 9 adventure). It's good, but currently not my favourite. Have 54/55 pages left. Going to start Windhaven (George R.R. Martin) and then I went and bought new Neil Gaiman books (that will be February's reads: Anansi Boys, Stardust, Coraline, and Good Omens). Can't state enough that Neil's writing is Ah-Freakin'-Mazing! Go read his stuff!! Second being James A. Owen.  Also, go read his stuff!! :-)
        *Writing: wrote a press release for The Mousetrap and started working on a complete rough draft of Christmas Trees (the working title) and since I am going to try WIPpet Wednesday Links Page. This is my first time. Here is a 21 lines for the 21st of January from the current draft of Christmas Trees:

Bob stood there, in the singular floodlight of Bob’s Christmas Trees. It was cold and the wind was starting to pick up, but he couldn’t leave to get anything warm to drink, not even some hot cocoa. No he had to stay put, no one to manage while he was gone.  He wanted some coca so bad or something warm. His fingers were getting really cold, but had to stay here until at least nine.

There were a half dozen folks meandering through the small lot of trees. Their conversations, he heard, ranged from the prices of Bob’s trees to whether they were worth the cost. Bob sighed.

A sharp voice said, “He has to wonder why anyone would buy these scrawny rejects,” it belonged a thin yet neat man, from not too far away. He was within eye shot of Bob. Did that on purpose, Bob was sure of it. He shifted from his left foot to the right, his apron weighing down his jeans sagged, they sagged under gravity. Bob hitched up the jeans, realizing that he had forgotten to put a belt on today and was really regretting it now. 

The conversation continued as Bob thought about business. "One, two, three," he said to himself. "Three more, if I could just sell three more." Well then he would break even. It had been a very hard this year. Nobody seemed to have enough money nor did many came for live trees anymore. He sighed.

There was a man who was fondling the needles of a Douglas fir, one of his last on his lot. Bob eyed the man, hoping he would buy the tree, trying to ignore the sharp man's comments.

         *Editing: finished re-write of The Audition. Going to keep the title. I wanted to change it, but honestly couldn't come up with anything better.
         *Social Media/Visiting: Monday and Tuesday visited 3 to 4 blogs.
         *Planning for Critique Partner Meeting: preliminary stage. Have discussed getting together, nothing planned yet. Thinking of working on my smaller writings first, before tackling the novels.

This week to work on:
         *Novel: complete the read through.
         *Blogging: before Friday 1 new blog entry.
         *Writing: complete rough draft for Christmas Trees.
         *Submit: 1 new submission (at least 1 by Friday).
         *Theatre Stuff: various things and stuffs for The Mousetrap...

Overall, Dear Readers, I am feeling that I am really making headway on this year's goals. Making the writing a priority, which last year wasn't always a thing. Doing better because I want it!

Mousetrap is coming along quite nicely. My cast is starting to get off book, two of them have ALL TEH LINES, but I can see characters being born and the accent work is coming along. Also, it's nice to have friends who know how to teach accents. Steadily acquiring props, costumes, and set pieces. It's all exciting! No wonder why I am wired whence I get home. Whilst at rehearsals I have such adrenaline going.

How are your goals going, Dear Readers? This is part of A Round of Words in 80 Days, a blog challenge that let you make goals and share this goals with fellow writers. This is a Blog Hop, come a visit, stay for the writing and cookies!

Music for Today:

Monday, January 19, 2015

A Day Late, but Not a Dollar Short!

I'm a day late. I have no good excuses for why I didn't type this up yesterday. so I am just gonna jump right in to the check-in and the goals.

This week:
    *Editing: I am really proud of myself with this goal this week. Saturday, which is not a normal goal driven day, in fact. I usually reserve Saturdays for being unplugged. But I sat down with The Audition (FINALLY), but after 10 minutes of sitting with the original draft, my notes from last edit session and my brain storming ideas, I just decided to pull out the word document and start writing. It funny how the whole time I wasn't editing the damn thing, I somehow found the new plot and complete the rough draft of the re-write. This means that now I need to review and revise the re-write, but  I feel so much better with this new plot. I took out the younger sister and focused the main points about the conversation. I want to do a short revision of this new draft by Friday. Finish cleaning it up and add a few details that I missed on Saturday writing session.
      *Reading: finished The Graveyard Book (Neil Gaiman), but I might have already mentioned that. Finished Only Human (Garth Roberts) and started The Monsters Within (Stephen Cole). The Doctor Who novels are quick reads and highly addictive, if you are into Doctor Who.
       *Novel: Not quite done with the read through of The Real Road Trip, only on page 40 of 115 pages. That is a major goal this week.
       *Writing: did not write yesterday or Friday. Need to be more diligent on spending time writing. I have three unfinished WIP that I can work on, the press release for The Mousetrap, plus there's always new blogs to write and poetry. I did write Thursday and Saturday.
       *Social Media/Visiting: I visited blogs and websites, about 4 on Thursday and Friday, also was a little active on Saturday.

For this coming week:
       *Submitting: at least one this week.
       *Novel: finish read through of The Real Road Trip.
       *Write: Monday - Thursday (at least). Maybe Friday, if I feel inspired.
       *Blog: sometime this week, before Friday evening include posting a WIP on WIPpet  Wednesday. I think it's time to try this.
       *All other ongoing bs small goals....etc, so forth...

Overall my mood has been really good. Keeping my productivity up and so far balancing the murder and the writing. The murder chorus is all but record and will be edited hopefully by Friday. In case you are curious, Dear Readers, the murder chorus is an audio tableaux that is going to play at the opening of each show to tell the story of the Murder of Culver Street.

A Round of Words in 80 Days (see the link to the blog site here) is a blog challenge that challenges you to write and knows that you have a life and the life happens. Come and visit the Blog Hop to meet other fellow writers. Challenge yourself! :-)

Music for the day:

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wednesday Already?

It's Wednesday already, even after having a day off from the day job I still didn't get everything done that I

wanted. But, made a HUGE dent! Mostly housework and reading! :-)

Okay, I have a million thoughts running today and trying to not explode, so this will be a quick check-in. Rehearsal tonight and after I need to doing some emailing and writing for the Mousetrap.

This week:
     *Reading: been plowing through The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. It's so good! Close to finishing, which probably happen tonight. Only have Only Human (Doctor Who) by Gareth Roberts and The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer in queue as well, so certainly no lack of reading this week.
      *Novel: I have read 39 pages. Fighting the urge to correct the myriad of mistakes and grammar issues and to embellish other sections. I need to READ the The Real Road Trip first!
      *Blogging: done yesterday. Review on The Little Prince (book and movie). Seems to be getting a good response thus far.
      *Writing: wrote Monday, not Tuesday. It happens!
      *Social Media/Visiting: seem to be hitting every other this week, but at least 3 sites when I do. Must make effort to track this better.

Later this week:
      *Novel: finish the read through by Friday.
      *Writing: write tonight, Thursday, and maybe Friday.
      *Reading: finish The Graveyard Book.
      *Theatre stuff, Rest of dishes, Downstairs bathroom floor, Bills, etc....Blah, Blah, Blah...

A Round of Words is a blog challenge that knows you have a life. Come visit the Blog Hop. Meet new friends, maybe set up some goals, write some.... :-)

Music for today:

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Little Prince review: Book vs Movie

You know when I do these reviews, I try and look for the worst in the movie adaptations. Of the adaptations that I have reviewed, I have found the truly terrible to the surprisingly good. As an avid bibliophile, I love books, so much so that sometimes I prefer them over the movie or television adaptations that have come out.  But, I have also be proven wrong.

Doing these reviews I have learned a lot about storytelling, of how stories are told in movies, and thus how they are transposed into the visual medium. It has opened my eyes to the possibilities within stories. I can see when a movie fails at storytelling by telling, not showing. There is a greater appreciation for stories by view a story in print form, movie, TV show, musical, comic book, etc. Little Prince is no different. In fact, I can see how both the the book and the movie brings a different perspective to the people.

The Little Prince was a cartoon that used to watch when I was younger about a little boy (who was a prince) on a little asteroid B-615. I remember watching the cartoon on one of the Canadian stations in the late eighties.  I was not aware of the term anime and didn't know that The Little Prince was a book until I was older. IT was a simple pleasure. It was one of those things I watched and it filled me with a greater happiness. I wasn't always able to catch it, but when I did the Little Prince on a planet just big enough for him, 3 volcanoes, a small house (only in the cartoon version), and a rose.

The cartoon was created for Japanese channel, TV ASAHI in the late 70's, 1978 to 1979 and then aired in Canada and United States in the mid to late 80's. But it has also been a theatrical production, radio broadcasts, cartoon, movie, pop-up books, opera, and ballet. Quite a diverse collection of adaptations that a children's novella written by an exiled French aristocrat and pilot.

Did you know that Little Prince has been translated into 250 languages, including Braille? Impressive!


It has been a good ten years before I read the book that the cartoon was based (loosely) on. Now that I look at the story by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, I am left wondering what is the back story. The opening begins with the narrator alone in the Sahara desert after his plane has crashed. It is there that he meets the Little Prince, who wanders out of the desert asking that the narrator draw him a sheep. He learns about the Little Prince's home and the Rose he loves, but doesn't always appear to return his love. So, the Little Prince feels the need to leave and go out into the universe to learn.

It's a touching story of trying to find your way in the world, being lost because you don't understand any of it (because clearly adults are stupid), and realizing that what you knew as a child is just as important as what you know as an adult (maybe more). The book is pretty special, even though it was a sad and thoughtful story.

But, I cannot hate the movie adaptation of The Little Prince, it was made in 1974. It was a musical with cheesy songs (written by Learner and Loewe and the Snake Dance number choreographed by Bob Fosse), that told the story. I mean the songs were pretty silly, one is about  the drawing of a hat/boa constrictor that swallowed an elephant and what people think it is that is simply called, "I Need Air (It's a Hat)". To be fair, the singing voices of the all of the actors in the movie were spot on and in tune; and Gene Wilder is a born song and dance man, not just with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I totally have even more respect for him after watching this movie.

Also there is Bob Fosse, the master of modern dance and choreographer as the Snake; and Richard Kiley, who has performed as Don Quixote in Man of LaMancha and Caliph in Kismet, as the pilot/narrator. These are two super talented and maybe oddly placed performers, yet, Fosse is a snake personified and Kiley is very believable as a rejected artist, turned pilot narrator.

It is true that as I watched the 88 minute musical, I found that while I groaned at the songs, they truthfully told a story. A good story even. Maybe it was a bit repetitive to my adult mind, with the songs, but I could watch this all the way through and even watch it multiple times. The book is a poignant story about being made to be an adult and coming to terms with the youthfulness of the Little Prince, but also learning that you are responsible for the things you love and tame. The movie made the characters even more vivid.

I won't lie, I was crushed that they didn't include the Lamplighter planet, shifted the Snake and Fox's order in the story, and made the end a clear cut 'ending'. That is NOT a spoiler! But the movie/musical does include de Saint-Exupery's original drawings and much of the original Narrator's dialogue. That was a nice touch. Another down side, the snake used in the movie is a boa constrictor and NOT POISONOUS, while the snake referenced was a poisonous snake. Okay, that was probably due to logistics and safety. But really?

Did you know de Saint-Exupery was a pilot and ended up in exile in America, beginning in 1940 after France's defeat? He wrote The Little Prince in 1942 and combined his experience as a pilot and his time in the Sahara Desert and echoed his loneliness that his exile caused.

Both mediums have done a decent job representing the story of de Saint-Exupery. While the cartoon is only loosely based on the story, it also gives you an the innocence and the simplicity that is the Little Prince. I recommend give the movie a watch, it's cheesy and the songs are over the top, but it's awfully close to the original story. And it's good! The acting is actually good and the singing is excellent. But, I also suggest that everyone (who likes to read) should read The Little Prince anyway.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Music, Murder, and Progress

Time to get cracking. I am fully aware of the time of day and it's the weekend so I wanna be lazy dammit!

Okay that sounded a bit childish, but it's true. I am still making progress. It's just I slept in and then zoned out to some reviews before cracking the whip. There's something about Sundays, Dear Readers that makes a person likely to be lazy. Not always, I know, but with me it does. Certainly now since I have a M -F day job.

How do you feel about Sundays, Dear Readers? Productive day or excuse to slack and relax? With the colder weather my ambition has taken a little longer to wake up.

Okay, time for a update. Actually, it's not bad. I did a bit before writing this, but it was my first chance to focus on these two items.

This week:
     *Reading: finished The Deviant Strain (Doctor Who Novel) and Murder by the Seaside by Julie Anne Lindsey. Couldn't put down either, spent about 6+ hours finishing them. Starting Only Human (Doctor Who Novel) and The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.
     *Writing: been pretty good and writing daily, except weekends. I seem to like having a life on Saturdays. Sunday I do writing, partially because of ROW80, but also because I don't go too far on Sunday (well most Sundays). I have written at least 100 words on Monday through Thursday of this week. Friday, I think I just got sidetracked, so, not bad. Might have to ramp up the  daily word count to 500 words and exclude Fridays and Saturdays as they are my 'unplugged' days. Still a solid goal.
      *Editing: I edited a flash fiction I wrote last week (The Bridge). I actually read the story first before making edits. That felt that was more productive. I am a bit impressed, I feel it is actually pretty good. The Audition is on the back burner. I tried to work up the nerve, but oddly, it didn't want to be disturbed, probably why I went with The Bridge. and I realized i said edit updates on Friday, oops! :-) Need to remember to make a post about any and all update on Friday, even if brief. There's is always this week.
       *Social Media/Visiting: except for Friday and Saturday I have been keeping up with my 3 to 4 visits (and sometimes more) visits. Tweeting regularly too!
       *Submitting: 1 submission this week (well, today to be specific). Been looking at new site and journals, but think I should submit new work to the journals that rejected me last year. Had some hopefuls and even some feed back. Continuing with 1 submission per week (at least).
        *Theatre stuffs: finished the Murder Chorus and had scheduled my recording session with my chief audio specialist/videographer.

Up and coming this week:
      *Editing: The Audition. No more pussy footing around. It gets the red pen, or.... Well yeah, will finally get to the long waiting revision/re-write. I think I need to take my notes and the old script and sit down to hash out details. Might take a little longer in the process, but the script will be much better because of it. It's based on a bit of my experiences auditioning for show and harsher truths of auditions.
       *Novel: I have a printed copy and will be starting the read through this week.
       *Blogging: finish my Little Prince review.
       *Writing/Reading/etc....: continue with the goals.

I have been enjoying my rehearsal for Mousetrap. Only 3 rehearsal in and I am seeing the actors building to build their characters. Things I am learned: blocking murder is tough, sometimes it's okay to laughing at rehearsal, and trust is key.

Have a awesome week, Dear Readers, stop by the Blog Hop of A Round of Words in 80 Days (the linky link), and enjoy some Tegan and Sara.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Writing a Snowy Blitz on a Cold Day

So I fell asleep before writing my daily 100 words yesterday. i felt kinda bad about it, so I wrote a Blitz Poem. Don't know what a Blitz Poem is, well, it's a 50 line poem of short 2 word plus phrases made to be read in quick succession. They are awfully fun to write when you can just sit down and bash it out in 15 minutes, not thinking, just writing. If you have an idea at the beginning; I doubt the end will have the same meaning, but that is half the fun of Blitzes.

This poem comes in at 205 (with the title). I feel better. I also realized how much I miss writing poems. There is a good chance that I will use my daily writing to write some new poetry, unless I have a WIP story going.

Hope you enjoy my Snowy Blitz, Dear Readers. Stay warm! Drink coffee/cocoa/tea!! See you around...

Brewin’ in the Eyes

Storm’s a comin’

Storm’s a brewin’
Brewin’ something warm
Brewin’ raw emotion
Emotion tells me to
Emotion leads to action
Action is a dance
Action creates endorphins
Endorphins, what are they
Endorphins, they heat the mind
Mind if I ask
Mind you, I was nice
Nice is the day
Nice is the party
Party was set
Party is ready
Ready with the fire
Ready is the music
Music will make you move
Music to warm your heart
Heart pumps the blood
Heart feels the love
Love to meet you
Love to dance
Dance away the fear
Dance into the night
Night is when the dark comes
Night has demons
Demons make the wind blow
Demons of the winter
Winter where the cold comes
Winter with the snow
Snow is falling now
Snow is quite cold
Cold is the wind
Cold is my fingers
Fingers wrapped around your hand
Fingers not willing to let go
Go and dance they say
Go and make merry
Merry may you be
Mary will you?
You will help while away
You make the dark disappear
Disappear with me
Disappear from their eyes
Eyes will watch the snow falling
Eyes to watch over you tonight


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Wednesday Progress: It goes well!

Kind of staggering, we have snow, finally, and LOTS AND LOTS of cold.

Mousetrap rehearsals have begun and I have started the goals with a gusto.The last two days have been full, with rehearsals and trying to implement my goals. I have learned (I reiterate again, mostly for myself) to make myself do them and to do them with joy, for the fun/thrill of it. Hopefully after a few weeks I won't really need to think so hard about them, as they will become habit.

It's been two days since the last (first) check-in, so this might be a touch short. Here we go....

This Week:
     *Reading: I am currently reading two books, side by side. The Deviant Strain by Justin Richards. It's aStealer of Dreams and I read that in ONE day. That was pretty exciting and I realized that I can read a while book in a day and not feel like I wasted the day. Fun adventure with the Doctor (9th Doctor to be specific). I am also reading Murder by the Seaside by Julie Anne Lindsey. Something fun and it goes with the theme of the Mousetrap. Easy read and interesting characters.
Doctor Who adventure and I am finding them easy reads. The last one was the
      *Writing: Monday I wrote a poem that was over 100 words in length and yesterday I wrote a piece of flash fiction with 1225 words for a challenge at the Google Group: #writestuff  by PenPaperPad - on Twitter and check out her blog at PenPaperPad, good stuff there. she also does a Twitter chat on tuesday night 9 pm EST. The working title of the story is The Bridge (Something else to edit. Not sure if I should groan about it). So I feel great! And realizing the flash fiction is a good style to write in, as I have to be concise with my words and phrases. Practice makes perfect.
      *Novel (The Real Road Trip): I have printed the manuscript. First step completed! Current length at 115 pages.
      *Theatre (Mousetrap): half of the show is blocked. Cast is excited, as am I. Good well.
      *Social Media/visiting: holding steady. I visited a bunch of blogs and sites on Monday, over 4 blogs/sites. Yesterday, maybe only about 1 or 2. Twitter pretty active. Building my Facebook page: Here, there be a Writer. Having a logo design contest, if interested message/email me.

This upcoming week (later in the week):
        *Blogging: going to watch The Little Prince (movie version) with Gene Wilder. Blog post about the review of book versus movie to follow. This is from my October Book to Movie Review Month. Just a touch behind. This is the second of four, next up for book to movie will be The Golden Compass.
        *Editing: nothing to report, as per my goal updates for editing are on Wednesday. More to follow on the progress. Up first, The Audition.
        *Novel: begin to read The Real Road Trip. Just read it!
        *And all other reading, writing, theatre, social media, and other goals.... (see above and last post here).

ROund of Words in 80 Days is a blog/writing challenge that knows you have a life. Check out the Blog Hop and see what we are up to.

Something fun for today:

Sunday, January 4, 2015

2015 Goals, Pre-Round 1 for A Round of Words in 80 Days

Glad I thought to check the site, I would have forgot all about the pre-check in, goal setting entry. Sheesh, you would think I was still a noob! Anywhoo, a new year and new goals. I hope all of you, Dear Readers had a lovely holiday. I know mine was relaxing and yet still productive. Been thinking long and hard about what I want to accomplish this year. Much to do, so I am going to start 2015 out think small and building foundations.

I learned a few things about myself and how I work this past year. 2014 was a year of many things and now it's time to put that into practice. I also learn a heck of a lot from my fellow ROW80-ers about goal setting and making things happen. I have a clearer plan for what I want to accomplish this year and even a better idea of how to do it. This is the year!

First, SET SMALL GOALS! Don't start too big. You can always build up. It feel heart breaking to
build down. It happens, that's part of life, but I believe now that starting small and building up will help my goals turn into habits.

Second, SET MEASURABLE GOALS! Yeah, I heard it lots of time over the year and some how missed the point. I get it now. Set goals you can measure, like write 500 words a day.

Third, PUSH YOURSELF! Okay, maybe this is more for me, but sometimes I slack when I could be working on a script or story, learning how to use Adobe Photoshop, EDITING, etc. If I push myself I find that I can get sh!t done!

Okay, with that being said, let's do this!

Goals for ROUND 1:
        *Writing: I am going with an easy one and write 100 words everyday. Might sound small, but I am directing a production of The Mousetrap and when I get to February I will have less time to spare. I also want to get in the habit of writing daily.
        *Blogging: this one is more to return to my normal form, I have fallen out of this habit. Blog once a week (non-ROW80). With ROW80 I blog twice a week, but I and some of my other readers miss my regular and eclectic content. Or maybe alls y'all like everything. I miss my regular blogging. so, I am going to blog once a week about books, movies, random events, interviews, etc.
        *Editing: this is another goal that got put on the back burner. From about late August through the end of the year I was editing my previous works. To make this goal measurable I will post my edit updates on Wednesdays and have at least one page edited by check-in time. First up The Audition.
        *Novel: first step in revision of The Real Road Trip print up novel. Updates to this goal will change week by week; I am starting simple with this one. After that, I will post a new update. 
        *Social Media/Visiting: simple. Visit 3 - 4 blogs/sites every day.
        *Reading: finish at least 3 new books in Round 1.
        *Submitting: I also forgot, I will submit to at least 1 online journal a week and I must report on it every Sunday.

This is new for me and I am going to be held accountable. Today's song is one I posted before, but its a good remind to be brave when heading into something new. I want to see you be brave, Dear Readers! Also, check out the ROW80 page and come and join us (we have cookies!).


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Thoughts on Paddington Bear

One bear in a blue coat! How odd?

Every odder...A bear wearing floral print pajamas.

I am excited for the impending Paddington movie, not just because Peter Capaldi is in it (okay, I'm a Whovian), but I have a recollection of the cartoon. Okay, only slightly vague, but I do remember this funny little bear in a blue coat and floppy black hat. Somewhere is my head I remember seeing them on my local PBS station as filler segments between shows. Also Paddington aired on various other stations as filler from Nickeleon, USA, Disney, and HBO. Not bad for a bear from Darkest Peru, eh? He's a well traveled bear!

Also, my local library (the Darwin R. Barker Library) had a stuffed Paddington on top of one of the shelves. Michael Bond is the author and creator of Paddington and wrote over 20 books featuring the little bear starting in 1958 up to present day 2014 with the most recent book Love from Paddington. The bear was inspired by a toy bear that Michael bought for his wife. She was the one to name the little bear Paddington, after all they lived near Paddington Station.

Stuffed Paddington
Today we (the hubs and I) procured a DVD of the 1975 Paddington series and after watching about 5 episodes (there are 56 in total , include 3 specials) and I have a few thoughts. First, in style, Paddington is different than many other shows from my youth and even what's out there today. It's not all about puppets (it's actually stop motion animation), nor all animation. It falls somewhere in the middle. You have a three dimensional bear in a two dimensional world, where the Browns Henry, Mary, Judy, and Johnathan of 32 Winsor Gardens and as all of the rest of the people are basically animated paper dolls. This style is not something that I really remember seeing done before, it does not hinder the 5 minute episodes. There is a bit of charm about it.

Second, the plots are relatively simple. There's not a lot to them and it's that simplicity that is probably what makes the books awesome. In fact it the 1975 cartoon feels like the story is a continuing adventures of Paddington (series 1 is episodes 1 -30 and series 2 is episodes 31 - 56). You have a bear from the Darkest Peru trying to acclimate to life in England; he doesn't know how to ride escalators or shop for pyjamas, but its awfully cute in the trouble he gets into. Thankfully the kind-hearted Browns have decided that the little bear in the blue coat at the train station needed to come home with them. I mean really? Does no one think that a beat walking around a train station wearing a blue coat and black hat is strange. I mean, would you just take a bear home that you only just met at the train station? Okay, I probably would, but I would also take home an elephant named Babar. So what do I know?

Third,  this is prep work for going to watch the live action movie, which actually looks pretty good. I don't normally get excited about movies. I did get excited for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Hey, I never got to see Last Crusade. Anyway, this looks like it could be good. I am leery of remake/modern adaptations, sometimes  well intended movie makers will muck up a perfectly story. I am going in with an open, but excited mind.

So, Dear Readers, are you familiar with Paddington? Books or Cartoon? What other children's books did you grow up on? I had a lot of books as a kid, the Frances: Bread and Jam for Frances and Best Friends for Frances, the Babar books, Roland the Minstrel Pig, and lots of Dr. Seuss.

Note: there were two different animated Paddington cartoons, one in 1989 made by Hanna-Barbera and starred Tim Curry as cranky Mr. Curry, called Paddington Bear. There were only 13 episode made. And then later a French-Canadian series called The Adventures of Paddington Bear that ran from 1997 - 2001 with a whopping 117 episodes.

There are some episodes on youtube, but if you are a fan or just want to have the whole set then get this DVD set, which has all of the original series and the first 13 episode (39 segments) of the 1997 animated series.

Now go have a marmalade sandwich!