Coming Soon… and Stuff :)

It’s late, but I’m here. This week’s blog will be a brief one, because I’m knee-deep in planning for the upcoming Live Writes at the Bistro… Coming in September, my Facebook group, The Writers’ Bistro, will be sponsoring biweekly Live Writes! We’re going to be changing things up, trying some different styles of prompts and such, and hopefully these fresh approaches will be fun and yield some great writing. The first write is scheduled for September 20th, and I’ve already got a great, and unusual, plan for how we’ll be doing things… You won’t want to miss it!

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So Friday Favorites this week featured bands we forgot we liked… My band this week was Depeche Mode. I’d completely forgotten how much I like them until I happened to hear Strangelove on YouTube and, well, remembered. I even have the Violater album, but… well, you just can’t remember everything, can you? (Unless you’re Kate Gardener, of course.)

Okay, keeping it short this week, as I said. next week, I promise to be long-winded and fascinating LOL Have a great week everyone!!! Mwah!!! ❤

I think we’re going to need a bigger post *winks*

Well, a lovely Friday to you all!!! Here we are again, chatting about stuff and such… So Friday, of course, means Friday Favorites… it’s ComicCon season… a number have already taken place, and more are on the way into the autumn… It got me thinking, what were some of your favorite fandoms growing up?

I liked the usual in my teens… Star Trek and Star Wars… I went back and forth between the two, reading novels in one then the other, watching one then the other… I never went extreme on either, but divided my “love” equally… Then in the mid-90s seaQuest DSV came along… I remember seeing it advertised, that Spielberg was involved, and Bob “found the Titanic” Ballard, and Roy “You’re gonna need a bigger boat” Scheider… one episode and I was hooked… I loved the roots in reality, including real undersea phenomenon and events, that anchored the show, especially in the first season. By season two and three, the mood and themes shifted a bit, becoming more sci-fi and less science and I wasn’t surprised when it went off the air at the end of the third season… But it still was a great show, venturing into the uncharted vastness of the ocean and creating a great Roddenberry-esque world that probably could have lasted longer if it hadn’t gone so dark.

Around the same time I was watching this, I started watching reruns of The Young Riders. Remember that show? About the Pony Express riders? It was another great one, and was the springboard for Stephen Baldwin and Josh Brolin, who played William F. Cody and James “Wild Bill” Hickock, respectively. It was one of those period shows that managed to be historically respectful while remaining relevant and appealing to the modern viewer. The ensemble of riders dealt with a variety of social and moral issues against the backdrop of a world barreling toward Civil War… ironically relevant in this day and age, unfortunately.

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Now for a little writing business… I try not to get too writing-focused in these posts, ’cause frankly that can get boring, but here’s a little update. I’m currently working on the fourth Kate Gardener Mystery, titled RAVEN’S MARK… It’s going to be the darkest one yet in many ways, and opens with a suitably gruesome crime scene… It’s also going to pick up some loose ends from the other stories, stuff in the characters lives that we haven’t dealt with for a book or two. Ultimately, with the publication of this fourth book, “series one” of the Kate Gardener Mysteries will be complete. I may release them as a box set at some point before I begin working on the first book in series two… I’m going with calling each grouping a “series” because KGM was an unproduced TV show to begin with, and UK TV seasons are referred to as series, especially the dramas. So, there’s that… The cover is already done for it so hopefully if I can putter along here I can get it done in reasonable time… Then it will be onward to write WOLFBORN, the next book in the Bloodline Series.

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Meanwhile, I’m going to be starting some events in the Writers’ Bistro group on Facebook. I have a couple of ideas, including a regular Live Write type of event and possibly an interview type of event that will allow authors to be featured and discuss their work. It’s a no-promo group, so this could be a great opportunity for members to talk about their writings, art, whatever, and give readers a didn’t look at them than they are used to. I might be more excited about this one than the Live Write.

That’s about it for this week… Until we meet again, stay gold everybody and be kind!!! ❤

Peaks and Pop Songs…

Well hello all! Another weekly post has arrived! Apologies for the lateness of this one… I dozed off for a while earlier, and when I awoke I became thoroughly engrossed in the movie CRIMSON PEAK… Wow, was that good! Story and cast were both excellent, and Del Toro didn’t go overboard with the SFX… I expected, having seen THE STRAIN and even BLADE 2, that it might be over gory, over spirity, but it wasn’t… the ghost were gruesome and scary, but not ludicrous, and the set design was a great balance of beauty and despair… It was tense and creepy and really just an excellent Gothic thriller… If you haven’t seen it, definitely give it a shot.

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So,  I’ve been doing this song-a-day feature on my Facebook page… Each day you choose a song based on a particular guideline, such as a song that makes you happy or a song that reminds you of a person or event, and you share a YouTube video of said song.

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I’ve been doing it for 11 days so far, and I must say it is a lot of fun to choose the songs. Here’s the list so far:

Day 1: Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress/ The Hollies

Day 2: 50 Ways to Leave your Lover/ Paul Simon

Day 3: Your Love/ the Outfield

Day 4: Karma Chameleon/ Culture Club

Day 5: Humans Being/ Van Halen

Day 6: Sway/ Pussycat Dolls

Day 7: Drive/ The Cars

Day 8: Got to Get You Into My Life/ The Beatles

Day 9: We Just Wanna Party/ Jermaine Dupri, featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg

Day 10: Different Corner/ George Michael

Day 11: Moonglow-Theme from PICNIC

I’ll keep adding to it as each day progresses so you can check out my choices. As soon as this round is done, I have a 60-day one to start with entirely different songs… I can’t wait!!!

And so that’s all for this week… Have a great weekend everyone!!! 🙂

 

Gunslingers and Vampire Slayers and Rabid Dogs, OH MY!!!

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Today was an exciting day for Stephen King fans… The film adaptation of The Dark Tower was released. Now I haven’t read this particular Stephen King book yet, but I’ve heard so many good things about it I think I’m going to have to. I’ll be very interested to see how the screen version is received, but with such a strong cast, I’m sure it will do well.

So in honor of this momentous occasion, my Friday Favorites post on my Facebook Author Page was about favorite Stephen King works… books, short stories, film and TV adaptations, and it got me thinking… Why do we love his books so much? Well here’s my theory, and I think it may be the truth… We love his stories because they are REAL. No, I don’t mean they really happened, and certainly the supernatural is a powerful thread through all of King’s works so I’m not talking that kind of real… what I mean is they have strong roots in reality… it’s what makes them so easy to get into, and it’s what makes them so terrifying and suspenseful.

Take, for example, Cujo… This tale of a family trapped in their car by the insanely rabid dog-next-door tapped into very real fears that many people have… fear of large dogs, fear of being trapped, relentless pursuit… and put them together in one story. There was also the added element of consciousness to the dog, the implication that, in it’s rabid rage, it was deliberately terrorizing the mother and child. By taking very real world and natural occurrences and fears, turning up the volume to 11, Stephen King created this extremely terrifying and memorable story that affected readers and viewers for decades.

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One of my favorite books and films was Dreamcatcher… Though it got some flack in the press, I found it entertaining and satisfying. Here, King once again took simple real life elements… the bonds of friendship, natural instincts… and created a story of four young boys who make the choice to do the right thing, to adopt the differently-abled “Dudditz” into their little group, a choice that sets them on a path to discovery and destiny, to realizing their own abilities. By using the plot element of parasitic disease, something that we as humans find very frightening, he was also able to bring in the real life terror that can occur when outbreaks happen and the government steps in.

All of King’s books reach out for those real life feelings and situations… from the death of a child in Pet Sematary to the psychological effects of loneliness and bullying in Christine and Carrie… Many other writers and creators have taken a page from King’s example, using real life situation, upping the ante, and communicating real truth. A couple examples that instantly come to mind… first, Michael Crichton. Using science and technology as his starting points, Crichton turned up that volume, asking the most important question of science that is reiterated by Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park:

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And there in lies the horror of Michael Crichton’s stories… science pursued for science’s sake, and we reap the repercussions.

Another great example was the world created by Joss Whedon… the world of Sunnydale and a certain vampire slayer. Here, he took the same kind of angst we see in King’s Carrie and Christine, added some supernatural creatures and elements, and we got Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Like all these others, Buffy was relatable because of its authentic roots in the ordinary.

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It’s a formula I used myself in my Bloodline series, taking science, history and medicine and using them to “realize” werewolves. The plausibility of viruses and neo-Nazis and documented history allows you to suspend disbelief and, even if only for a moment, believe that werewolves really are running around in New York City.

Whew! This was a long one… and somewhat rambling… but kind of fun, too. Let me know what you think everyone!!! 🙂