Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts

Shameless self-promotion of my writing skills or lack there of.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday 55

Welcome to Friday 55. The object of the game is to write a story using exactly 55 words. If you participate, be sure to drop a comment at G-Man’s blog so others will know how to find your story.


Eyes so big, they seem out of place on something so small. The mother watches her, heart torn, mind conflicted. How doe she explain? Helpless, she pulls the child close. “You can bring him back, baby”. The child’s body shudders under the weight of sobs. “Why did you take your brother out on the ice?”

I now have the Friday position over at Oh, Get a Grip!. This week’s topic is Bucket Lists. What are some of the things you want to do before you kick the bucket?

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Moan, Baby Moan

We watched Black Snake Moan over the weekend. It was a surprisingly good movie. I went in, expecting to be entertained and wound up with a whole lot more in the bargain. This music was full of passion, music, turmoil and… hope. It was simply outstanding. I will add this one to my personal collection.



Synopsis


Director Craig Brewer follows up his unexpectedly well-received pimp drama, HUSTLE AND FLOW, with this stylish tale of the unlikely connections that are forged when a lost soul attempts to cure a young nymphomaniac of her wicked ways. Set deep down south in a small Tennessee town, the film is titled after and largely driven by the force of blues music.

Pulsating with color and bold cinematography, the story forms a visual counterpart to a blues ballad. When divorced ex-musician Lazarus (Samuel L. Jackson) finds Rae (Christina Ricci) badly beaten by the side of the road, he brings her to his house and chains her to his radiator. Rae has been a wreck since her boyfriend (Justin Timberlake) went off to war, and has spent her time getting into fights and being taken advantage of by just about every man in town.

Rae appears to be afflicted with a physical need for sex that no one can cure. As Lazarus watches Rae twitching with pain on his couch, he sees that the young woman's only chance at redemption is in his hands. While the premise is outlandish, and the film opens itself up for much moral criticism, BLACK SNAKE MOAN has its merits. Deliciously colorful, the film aches with rhythm and dances visually with its subjects.

Whether fetishizing Christina Ricci's emaciated body, or making Samuel L. Jackson look years older than he is in real life, the cameras do their job well. Both Ricci and Jackson offer strong performances that mark turning points in their careers.

BLACK SNAKE MOAN seems less concerned with how it will be judged than with embodying the sexuality and passion of blues music. No matter how many viewers the film may offend, it succeeds in creating a world that vibrates with desire and raw energy.




Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars




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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dar-Wednesday

That’s right, it is time for another installment of The Darwin Awards. Sorry folks, this week, both nominees are still in the gene pool. We can only hope they have another “brilliant” idea before they have a chance to breed.


(29 January 2007, Oregon) At 2:30 AM, a Volkswagon Jetta was hot-rodding down the interstate at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour. Suddenly the vehicle lost traction, flipped over, cartwheeled, narrowly avoided a 100-foot plunge into the Clackamas River, and smashed through the wall of a garage.

The resident leapt out of bed and rushed down the hall and into the garage. A car was jammed halfway through the wall, resting on its passenger side, and the air was thick with gasoline fumes. And someone was rummaging around in the back seat!

"There's gas, there's gas!" the resident shouted.

"I need my knife." the figure yelled back. His knife? The figure flicked open a lighter, apparently to see better. The flame jumped from the lighter to the backseat, from the backseat to the front. In moments, the whole interior of the car was in flames!

Concerned neighbors grabbed a fire extinguisher, shattered the back window, and sprayed the inside. Just as the driver was pulled free through a rear window, the fumes exploded! The car kept burning until it was extinguished by firefighters.

The driver, 22, was lucky to survive with minor burns. He was cited for driving under the influence with a suspended license. After the excitement was over, the unfortunate residents of the apartment went to a friend's house for the remainder of the night. "We needed a nap."

(March 6, 2007, Texas) In a related incident, a flaming car crashed into a house in Waco. What happened? The vehicle had run out of gas earlier in the evening, and after replenishing the tank with a gas can, the driver tossed the empty can into the backseat. Later, while searching for the overturned gas can, he flicked a lighter... giving a new meaning to the term, "hot-rod." Since discretion is the better part of valor, the brave driver abandoned the burning car and watched as it rolled into a nearby house. One wonders just how he explained things to the homeowner. "I dropped the Olympic torch while delivering it to Beijing"?



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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Weekend Recap

Well, I’m sunburned and sore, but quite happy. It was a fun-filled weekend that didn’t end until late Monday evening when I poured myself into bed.

We loaded up and headed for the lake. Apparently, we haven’t had enough warm days yet, because the water was still in the low 60s. It didn’t take long to figure out that being on the water, was a bit more preferable than being in it, so we decided to do a bit of fishing. My wife was quite excited, not only did she catch the most fish, she caught the biggest. To be fair, she only caught two, but since neither my son nor I caught any, it sounds a lot better in the first sentence.

Our boat started acting up by early afternoon on Saturday, dying for no apparent reason and just generally being a pain in the ass. So, we decided to call it a day. It took nearly an hour to limp back to the docks and get it loaded on the trailer. We didn’t get to have a single run on the wakeboard.

This being a long weekend and all, a trivial setback like this wasn’t going to slow us down. We came back to the house, ordered pizza and played the new Grand Theft Auto IV until the wee hours of the morning.

Sunday, we gathered back up and had a full day of swimming (pool water was just the right temp), volleyball and an all day (and well into the evening) cookout. I managed to be on the winning team for every V-ball match, which I thought was awesome.

Monday, we spent the day at Big Splash, a monster water park in Tulsa. I alternated my time primarily between the slides, the wave pool and the beach chairs. It was a blast.

We wound down with a few steaks on the grill and a movie. Even with sunblock, we all managed to get lobstered, so the air-conditioned comfort of the living room was a must.

So, how did you spend your weekend?

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Monday, May 26, 2008

An Important Message

Remember…

Have a safe and reflective Memorial Day.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday 55

Welcome to Friday 55. The object of the game is to write a story using exactly 55 words. If you participate, be sure to drop a comment at G-Man’s blog so others will know how to find your story.

Sunlight makes drops of dew glisten as it breaks the horizon. The air is still, but overflowing with the fragrance of spring. Birds sing. Crickets chirp. A dog barks in the distance. Others join in, creating a wave of sound moving my way. Something’s coming, something big. Today is going to be a good day.

I also wanted to remind everyone that I’m blogging over at Oh, Get a Grip! tomorrow. This week’s topic is Tough Love or the art of saying “no” as it sometimes boils down to being.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Just A Tease

Here is a little taste of what I’ve my latest creation Tuttle’s House of Horror. If all goes well, this book will be released in time for Halloween this year.

Adam led Kali up the steps. He stumbled near the top and they fell in a heap on the stairs, causing them both to break into a giggling fit. They staggered onto the second floor, looking for a suitable room to commandeer.

“Let’s take the one at the end of the hall,” Kali suggested.
“Oh yeah, less chance of someone walking in on us that way,” he agreed.
“Or hearing us.”
“Good point. You do tend to get rather vocal with the loving.”
“Would you have it any other way?”
“Not a chance,” he laughed.

Adam kissed her on the neck before giving her a playful nibble. He picked Kali up, carried her into the sparsely furnished bedroom, swung the door shut with the heel of his shoe and laid her on the bed. They kissed feverishly as they shimmied out of their clothes. He had just buried his face between her breasts when the door eased open.

“Trick or treat,” a voice whispered through a clown mask bearing a huge grin that exposed rows of pointed teeth.
“What the hell?” Adam growled, turning just in time to see someone closing the door.
“Trick or treat,” he repeated, still in a hushed tone.
“Not funny, asshole. Can’t you see we’re kind of busy here?” Adam said with forced laugh.
The mask was the only semblance of a clown he wore. The rest of his costume consisted of a battered biker jacket and a pair of faded blue jeans.
“Get your own room,” Kali added. “This is a party for two.”
“Trick or treat,” the twisted jester said again, closing the gap to the end of the bed in two strides.

Kali grabbed a pillow and covered herself. “Jimmy is that you?”
Instead of answering, he leapt onto the foot of the bed, landed on his knees, shoved his arms up both sleeves of his leather jacket and sat there.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” Adam yelled. “This ain’t no peep show.”
The man continued to sit there, just staring at them, his gaze shifting slowly from one to the other.
“If you don’t get out of here right now, I’m going kick your ass,” Adam warned.

His arms sprang free of the sleeves with a blur of speed, light reflecting from the long smooth blades he now held in both hands। He lunged forward, stabbing them both through the throat before they could scream. Blood shot forth, coating the sheets, the wall above the headboard and all three of the participants. Adam and Kali thrashed, gargled and gasped for air. The clown bounced up and down on the bed, both arms lashing out over and over, rising and falling, pushing and pulling, plunging in rhythm to an unheard song. The man had become an evil conductor of a demented orchestra of death.

ओह, एंड मोना इस अ होत्तिए!

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Dar-Wednesday

That’s right, it is time for another installment of The Darwin Awards.


(21 May 2004, Texas) Michael was an alcoholic. And not an ordinary alcoholic, but an alcoholic who liked to take his liquor, well, rectally. His wife said he was "addicted to enemas" and often used alcohol in this manner. The result was the same: inebriation.


The machine shop owner couldn't imbibe alcohol by mouth due to a painful throat ailment, so he elected to receive his favourite beverage via enema. And tonight, Michael was in for one hell of a party. Two 1.5 litre bottles of sherry, more than 100 fluid ounces, right up the old address!


When the rest of us have had enough, we either stop drinking or pass out. When Michael had had enough (and subsequently passed out) the alcohol remaining in his rectal cavity continued to be absorbed. The next morning, Michael was dead.


The 58-year-old did a pretty good job of embalming himself. According to toxicology reports, his blood alcohol level was 0.47%.


In order to qualify for a Darwin Award, a person must remove himself from the gene pool via an "astounding misapplication of judgment." Three litres of sherry up the butt can only be described as astounding. Unsurprisingly, his neighbors said they were surprised to learn of the incident.




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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Soldier's Choice

I’m a little late getting my post up today, so I thought I’d surprise everyone with a short story. Enjoy…
A Soldier’s Choice


It is quite unnerving when the Battalion Commander summons you to his office, even on a good day. However, when your Section Chief bails you out of a German jail just two days prior, you know your visit will not be a pleasant one.

I don’t know which bothered me more, the armed guard at my side or the fact that no one would believe that I was justified in my actions.

As we approached the closed door of Colonel Radcliff’s office, I found it odd that he had two guards stationed on either side of it. They must have been newbies because I didn’t recognize either one of them. This was not my first trip to his office, but then it was the first under these circumstances.

“So much for his famous open door policy,” I muttered as we came to a stop three paces from the door.
“You’d do well to check that attitude soldier,” The guard at my side scolded, before announcing our arrival.
“Send him in!” Colonel Radcliff barked at him from behind his desk.
I marched into the room, snapped to attention, and saluted the Colonel. “Sergeant Crow, reporting as ordered, Sir!”
“At ease trooper,” he commanded, returning my salute before retrieving his cigar from the ashtray.

I let my gaze drift over the two men in the room as I assumed the at ease position. One bore a single star on either shoulder that marked him as a general. The other soldier was a Command Sergeant Major. Both men bore the much-coveted Ranger tab and were holding black berets. I guess JAG was sending in the big guns for this one.

“This is General Seaton and Sergeant Major Stevens. Sergeant Crow, I have just been going over your records here. This is quite a mixed bag I’m holding in my hand. On one hand, I see several medals and achievement awards. This is absolutely stellar for a soldier your age. On the other hand, you are constantly in some sort of trouble, always pushing the limits of the law. Did you know your squad leader recommended that we seek your discharge on a section 8? Do you know what that means?”

“Yes sir, I do. It means Lieutenant McCrae thinks I’m crazy,” I answered, hoping it wasn’t a rhetorical question.
“Your damn right he does. It says here that he observed you jumping out of your barracks window and nearly landing on him. Your room is on the second floor, why would you do such a thing?”
“Sir, we were almost out of beer and the PX was about to close. I thought the window would be a much faster means of egress than the stairs,” I replied, trying not to let my face slip into a smile.

“Well, your just a regular comedian aren’t soldier?” Colonel Radcliff asked, clearly boggled by my audacity.
I knew better than to say anything. There was clearly no right answer to that question.
“It says here that you have been busted six times for assault. You must really enjoy fighting. Do you have an inferiority complex son?”
“No sir, I just have a little trouble knowing when to stand down.”
“And now you have stabbed a German civilian. What’s worse you did it in front of the Polizei. Of course, you couldn’t go with them quietly, you took it upon yourself to fight with them as well.”

“Sir, I stabbed him with the same knife that he tried to stab me with. That is what I was trying to explain to the Polizei. It was self-defense. I would have went with them quietly but they were handling me rougher than I thought was necessary, especially when I hadn’t done anything wrong,” I interrupted to plead my case.

“Oh, I see now. It is all a conspiracy. I suppose everything else in this report is just some sort of misunderstanding as well and the Polizei just happened to miss the fact that their boy had the knife first?” He baited me.
“No Sir. I have done everything else that you see in that record and worse, but the Polizei rolled up just in time to see me sink the knife into that German’s backside.”
“You stabbed him in the ass?” he asked as he shuffled through the papers on the desk in front of him.
“Yes sir, I told him when he pulled it on me that if he didn’t put the knife away I was going to shove it up his ass.”

All three of them broke into laughter. I guess the German Police had omitted that part of the altercation from their report.

“Well son, at least you warned him first.” Stevens quipped, still smiling.

The colonel nodded at him before returning his attention to his papers. I could feel both the General and Sergeant Major appraising me as I stood there.

“Your report also says that you have a knack for languages. You have listed six different ones that you are fluent in.. What drives a man to learn so many languages?” He asked, peering up at me over his glasses.
“I found it’s a great way to meet girls, sir,” I replied through a smile, rousing another round of laughs from my otherwise silent observers.

“You applied for Ranger training within two months of your arrival here. There is a war going on son. We are liberating Kuwait. You don’t feel that my unit is good enough to fight with?” He asked, leaning back in his chair.
“Sir, the way I see it, I am going to fight in this war sooner or later. I just want to be as highly trained as possible when I do it. You have a fine group of men assembled under you, but when the shit hits the fan, I don’t want to be surrounded by good soldiers. I want to be surrounded by the best.”

“Why was he rejected Colonel?” Seaton asked after casting a glance at Stevens.
“His squad leader claimed he was psychologically unstable,” he replied with a shake of his head.
“Ah hell, who isn’t in this day and age?” Stevens added with a nod.
“Well son, have you given any thought of what you are going to do when all of this is over?” The Colonel asked, returning his attention to me.
“I’m afraid I don’t understand the question sir.”
“I mean to say, you can’t soldier forever. You tour will be up in another year and they won’t let you re-up with the criminal record you have amassed. If the Army doesn’t want a man with a criminal record, how many civilian employers do you think will be willing to give you a chance?”
“I guess I haven’t thought that far ahead, sir.” I replied softly, realizing for the first time that I was not only accountable for my actions, but for the affects my actions would have on my future.
“What do you think, Sergeant Major Stevens?” The Colonel asked, watching him rub his chin.
“He is a little rough around the edges, but he has the look that could blend in with about any of them and it sounds like he has the tenacity to get the job done.”

“We have a mission for you that is highly unorthodox. It will put you through a highly modified Ranger course. If you choose to accept it, your record will be wiped clean and you will never see a courtroom over your latest transgression.”
“What’s the catch?” I asked wondering what they wanted from me that would be worth so much to them.
“You will only have two months of training in an undisclosed desert location. You will live off of goat meat and dried dates. You will live, eat, and sleep with the six men that will be with you on the mission. You will learn to speak as much Kurdi as possible in that time. When you deploy for your mission, you will not be wearing your Army Uniform.”

“Will I be issued an Iraqi Uniform then?” I wondered aloud, not sure if I liked where this was heading.
“The clothing we have seen worn by the Iraqi troops makes a mockery of the word uniform. But you will be given something that will pass for one.”
“What’s the assignment, sir?” I asked, realizing that this was sounding more and more like a suicide mission.
“I can’t tell you that, son. The only other thing I can tell you before you make your decision is how long you will be on the mission. We are asking for two weeks. Just two weeks worth of work and you get a brand new start.”

So I must decide between a life with no future and a life that will probably be cut short. I wondered what I would be doing for those two weeks. Oh well, sanity has never been my strong point.

“Put me in coach, I’m ready to play!”

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Update

I’ve received several emails over the weekend asking about the release of Pixels and Pain, so I thought I would address it here.

The book was originally slated to be released tomorrow, but during the course of the final copy edit, a few discrepancies were uncovered. In an effort to put out the best quality of writing I can, we’ve agreed to push the release back until these issues are fully resolved. I will let you know as soon as the new release date is issued. Thanks for your patience.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday 55

Welcome to Friday 55. The object of the game is to write a story using exactly 55 words. If you participate, be sure to drop a comment at G-Man’s blog so others will know how to find your story.

I fall forward. The air that leaves my chest spirals dust in my face, little sand devils taunting me, begging me to stay down. I pull myself further from the hole, dirt falling from my legs as they drag behind me. I’m free, yet not. I’ve been summoned. The world will fear me once more.

I also wanted to remind everyone that I’m blogging over at Oh, Get a Grip! tomorrow. This week’s topic is Time Management or the lack there of as seems to be the case with most of us who work from home.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Book Review: Quits

I know it’s unheard of for me to do two book reviews in the same week, but I just finished reading Quits: Demons and Devils by M.E Ellis and I had to come tell you fine folks about it while my ire was still fresh. Quits is an outstanding example of how a great writer can coax vivid images from the minds of the reader. I submerged myself in the world Wayne Thomas, felt his pain, his shame and cheered when things looked to be going his way. This is a gut wrenching tale of the fragility of the human mind. Then again, as the events of his childhood come forth, even the toughest minds would likely crack under such abuse. Wayne has endured a lifetime of hardships and still manages to have such an engaging personality that I, as a reader, found myself rooting for him, even when some of his deeds stray far from right.


My jaw hurts. Odd statement, but I’ve spent much of the last two days gritting my teeth as I read about the young man’s plight. M. E did a phenomenal job of creating the story and the backdrop with such stunning detail, it almost felt as if I was not so much a witness, but a participant, an observer in the corner, but still privy to every sight, sound, smell and emotion that played out among the pages. Such atrocities as were bestowed upon poor Wayne, should never be endured by a human being, let alone a small child or even a young adult as the abuse never lessened until he was old enough to put a stop to it.


Every beginning hurtles toward an end and every end gives birth to another beginning. I only hope the next chapter in his life will bring him the peace and happiness he truly deserves.



If you’re looking for a book that will stir your emotions, take you on a journey or just engulf you so completely that nothing else matters except for finding out what happens to the protagonist next, then Quits is the book for you. My mind is still reeling from this rollercoaster of a ride.



Blurb


Quits: Book 1: Demons Wayne Thomas hides a secret, locking it in the depths of his mind. Has kidnapping a young woman proved to him that all females are conniving, treacherous creatures? His childhood has him convinced that women are evil. Can he rid himself of the traumatic events that plagued his younger years or will they continue to haunt him? Befriended by the woman he abducted, Wayne becomes a different person. He embraces happiness, hoping that for once, things won't go wrong--until a memory triggers the horrors he has locked away and it all comes tumbling out, forcing him to face up to his demons--those inside him, and those that still live and breathe.


Quits: Book 2: Devils Still tormented by the demons from his past, Wayne Thomas embarks on a course of therapy at the Klinter Institute. His therapist, Jen, is eager to ensure he faces every single demon he encountered in his childhood and to re-establish Wayne into society. With the help of Kathy, a speech therapist, and Herbert, a physiotherapist, Wayne begins to rebuild not only his mind, but his body and self-confidence. Once therapy makes a marked improvement upon Wayne, he is offered the chance to move out of Klinter to The Apartments, the second stage of his integration. However, inner demons and devils are sometimes hard to erase. Wayne's linger in his subconscious, waiting for a chance to break free once more, to wreak havoc within his unstable mind. Will Jen's hard work pay off? Or will Wayne spiral into a world where redemption and payback rule?




Rating: 5 of 5 Stars






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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dar-Wednesday

That’s right, it is time for another installment of The Darwin Awards.


(8 March 2008, Florida) Just because you see it online does not mean it's a good idea. Cameron, 18, was joyriding in a shopping cart as he held onto a moving SUV. An eyewitness said, "It's irresponsible behavior, but what do you expect from these kids nowadays?" (Probably the same old bugger who sits on his front porch and yells, “get off my lawn!”) The car and the cart went over a speed bump and the cart overturned, ejecting its occupant, who was clearly not wearing the little seat belt that comes standard on all shopping carts. Cameron was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Book Review: The Tomb

I recently read The Tomb by F. Paul Wilson. This book is my first foray into the world of Repairman Jack and let me tell you, it won’t be the last. Jack is an amazing character. He’s equal parts badass and softy with a heart of gold.


Mr. Wilson not only created an array of vivid characters, but did an outstanding job of capturing the essence of New York and setting up an almost tangible backdrop for the story without causing so much as a hiccup in the pace.


This story is the epitome of cross-genre. There’s something for everyone among the well crafted pages. Horror, suspense, heartache, mystery, adventure, fantasy (albeit quite dark) and even a fair amount of romance come together to make for an unforgettable read. I highly recommend this book to one and all. If you’ve yet to discover Repairman Jack, you’re missing out.





Blurb


Much to the chagrin of his girlfriend, Gia, Repairman Jack doesn’t deal with electronic appliances—he fixes situations for people, situations that usually involve putting himself in deadly danger. His latest project is recovering a stolen necklace, which carries with it an ancient curse that may unleash a horde of Bengali demons.


Jack is used to danger, but this time Gia’s daughter Vicky is threatened. She is the last surviving member of a bloodline marked for extinction. Can Jack overcome the curse of the yellow necklace and bring Vicky safely back home?




Rating: 5 of 5 Stars






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Monday, May 12, 2008

Thieving Bastards

The weekend was full of ups and downs. Saturday afternoon, my son came home from riding his bike, dropped it in the yard and came in to get a drink and cool down for a bit. When he came back out, a foreign red scooter was lying in where his treasured bike had been earlier. Yep, no bike. Some punk ass, no account, lower than low scumbag, took my son’s bicycle in the middle of the afternoon. We did a circuit around the block to see, if they had just took it for a joyride like they apparently did with the scooter, but we couldn’t find it in any yards.

That evening we went to a friend of ours birthday party. We shot pool, talked smack, ate well and just generally enjoyed each other’s company. It was a blast, but I kept thinking back to the little bastards who’ve defiled my personal space.

Saturday night we had another rather severe windstorm blow through. I felt a bit like the big bad wolf was hanging out in my yard. He was huffing and puffing and it sounded like my house would indeed come down.

Sunday morning I went outside to check on the damage and I’d lost another twenty or so sheets of shingles from various parts of the roof. I’d planned to get up early and make my proper rounds for Mother’s Day, but it looked like Mother Nature had other plans for me. I went to the hardware store (scouring the ditches and yards for my son’s bike along the way) and bought a couple of bundles of shingles and set about patching up my roof… again. This is the third time this spring where we’ve had damage from the high winds. We are supposed to have our entire roof replaced, but all of the contractors were inundated with requests after the first storm a month ago so it’s taking forever to get anyone out here. I’m hoping they can get started this week.

After the roof incident, we took another sweep through the whole neighborhood looking for the bike. Still no dice, so I showered up and went to visit my mom for Mother’s Day. After a nice visit, we came back and walked another lap around the hood and found out through the various people we encountered that there were three teenagers running amok around here all afternoon on Sunday and that several kids have bikes missing and one lady even had her lawnmower carried away.

When we got home, I called the police. Now it becomes a waiting game.

And with all the hubbub, I didn’t get a chance to make a post yesterday so, here’s a belated Happy Mother’s Day to all of you wonderful mothers out there.

How was your weekend?

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Friday, May 09, 2008

Friday 55

Alright folks, the object of the game is to write a story using exactly 55 words. If you participate, be sure to drop a comment at G-Man’s blog so others will know how to find your story.




The aroma of Listerine and dime-store aftershave barely covers the smell of Black Velvet. A gnarled hand touches my shoulder, a nod, a smile, a hint of mischief in his eye. He leans back in the chair, knee proffered. It’s story time. I gladly accept. I wake before the tale begins. I miss my grandfather.

I also wanted to remind everyone that I’m blogging over at Oh, Get a Grip! tomorrow. This week’s topic is Predators of the human variety(loosest sense of the word I’m sure).

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Movie Review

We watched Awake the other day. It was a superb little diversion for the evening. Full of twists, turns and more “oh, I didn’t see that coming” moments than you can shake a stick at, this movie quite simply…RAWKED. All kidding aside, the plot was engaging, the characters believable and the acting a fine display of showmanship. The idea behind the premise scares the dickens out of me, but this isn’t a scary movie. Having said that, I challenge you to watch it without having at least one audible gasp. This is a thriller at its best. I will likely add this to my personal collection.



Synopsis


Writer/director Joby Harold's debut feature, AWAKE, is an unsettling thriller that highlights a deeply troubling medical problem. "Anesthetic awareness" is a rare but dangerously prevalent condition that affects nearly 30,000 individuals a year, in which patients who have been put under anesthesia before surgery remain paralyzed while still being aware of their present situation.


AWAKE tells the story of Clayton Beresford Jr. (Hayden Christensen), a successful young businessman who lives under the roof of his overbearing mother, Lilith (Lena Olin). Afraid to expose his engagement to Lilith's beautiful assistant, Sam Lockwood (Jessica Alba), Clayton decides to do so when he realizes that, thanks to a rare heart condition, he might not live much longer.


His best friend and personal surgeon, Jack Harper (Terrence Howard), supports his decision to take the plunge, and also advises him to get a much-needed heart transplant as soon as a donor is found. After he marries Sam, a donor arrives, but when Clayton is put under to receive the complicated surgery, he is shocked to discover that he's still cognizant of everything that is happening to him.


As he fights through the pain to hear the doctors' voices, the more he learns about his best friend and his new wife, adding further trauma to an already horrendous situation. Featuring standout performances from the film's principal cast (Christensen, Alba, Howard), as well as its supporting players (Olin, Fisher Stevens, Christopher McDonald), AWAKE is a tense journey through the mind of an innocent man who's on the verge of losing his lease on life.





Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars






Oh, and I simply must throw in a gratuitous photo of Jessica Alba…

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Dar-Wednesday

That’s right, it is time for another installment of The Darwin Awards.


(2008) The telephone company was replacing above-ground telephone lines with buried lines. In one sparsely populated farming area, if lines crossed a country road they would dig a trench halfway across, so rural traffic could continue through. Then they would fill in the trench, and dig a trench on the other side.


One morning, local farmers called the sheriff to report a smashed-up pickup. Inside were two ranch hands who were last seen the previous night, heading home after last call. You see...


On their way to the bars, the men had decided to play a prank. They stopped their pickup, and moved the flashing warning signs from the trenched side to the good side of the country road. Crime scene analysis later confirmed that they were the culprits who moved the flashing stands. Investigations also revealed that at the time of the accident, they were driving at an excessive speed with an impressive amount of alcohol in their systems.


No crime scene analysis is capable of determining whether the ranch hands forgot their prank, or chose to see what would happen if they hit that trench at a high rate of speed in the middle of the night.


No good prank goes unpunished.



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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Open Thread

I’m hereby declaring this an open thread. What does that mean for you? It means you have the reigns for the day. You got a beef? Let’s air it out. Are you a writer? Pimp your work or that of a friend. Are you a reader? Why don’t you share a little bit about a book you’ve really enjoyed? Please provide links if at all possible. It doesn’t have to be limited to just books though. Have you seen a good movie lately? Tell us about it.

My only request is that you don’t flame each other. Good hearted ribbing is one thing, but don’t get mean over anyone’s opinion. Remember everyone has an opinion and some of them have two…

I’ll start us off with a bit o’ self-pimping.

I know by now most of you know about The Dance, but have you read this yet?




It’s a gritty little tale about sex, death and rock and roll… and of course angry forgotten Gods. You can learn a lot from the writing on the men’s room wall.

So come on, don’t be shy. Sing from the rooftops or swing from the chandeliers. Let’s hear what’s on your mind.

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Monday, May 05, 2008

Weekend Recap

It was another quiet weekend at our house. It almost had the feel of the calm before the storm. It’s finally starting to get warm enough to get out and do things. Summertime is usually a flurry of activity and I look forward to those manic times spent with family and friends. I don’t care if we’re wakeboarding, riding, having big back yard BBQ bashes (say that three times fast) or attending one of dozens of outdoor concerts as long we are busy doing something before the bitter cold drives back into the house to hibernate for the winter. The bear is awake and I’m hungry for some excitement.

We watched a few movies, worked out, made the two hour trip to Okmulgee and back… twice and listened to whole lot of music. I worked on my roof a bit, patching a few spots I thought might leak in the coming storms. I’m still a good week away from having the roofers come out and replace the entire thing.

Oh, and managed to finish the rough draft of my latest WIP. I’m just going to set on it for a couple of days then I can retrace my steps, clean it up and a few more details before sending that puppy off to my publisher. I can’t believe how quickly I managed to pump this one out. Once the story started flowing, it was like a juggernaut on a down hill slope.

It all but consumed me. Even when I wasn’t writing on the story, I was thinking about it. It got under my skin and demanded to be the center of attention. It is an odd sensation.

Well, I have a lot to catch up on this morning, so I’ll keep this short. How did you spend your weekend?

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Friday, May 02, 2008

Friday 55

Alright folks, the object of the game is to write a story using exactly 55 words. If you participate, be sure to drop a comment at G-Man’s blog so others will know how to find your story.



Candles flicker on an unseen wind. Light as a feather she circles; toes barely touch the floor. A book lays ignored, spread open on an altar. Athame held high, she summons the watchtowers. Thoughts pure, her desire focused. Power flows up her legs, through her body. She releases with a shudder. The spell is cast.

I also wanted to remind everyone that I’m blogging over at Oh, Get a Grip! tomorrow. This week’s topic is Erotica vs. Porn. Where do you draw the line? So, come by and see me this weekend if you get a chance.

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Movie Review

We watched Return to house on Haunted Hill over the weekend. This movie had outstanding special effects, plenty of gore and a storyline that will easily suck in most horror fans. If it wasn’t for one person’s horrible acting, this movie would’ve been superb. I won’t mention them by name (or by gender), but I found the poor performance to be almost distracting. Other than that, this movie rocked.

Synopsis
When the lone survivor of the original excursion to The House on Haunted Hill dies under suspicious circumstances, her sister returns to the foreboding mansion to solve the mystery of her sibling's death in the feature directorial debut of former make-up special effects artist Victor Garcia (Hellboy). Back in 1931, malevolent doctor Richard Vannacut and his entire staff at the hilltop asylum were killed when the patients revolted and set the institution ablaze. Ever since then, rumors have persisted that the spirits of those consumed in the inferno still haunt the hospital.

Those rumors seemed to be confirmed when, in 1999, billionaire Steven H. Price and his guests were viciously slaughtered in the refurbished mansion. Though the authorities officially blamed Price himself for the gruesome massacre, survivor Sarah Wolfe insists that there was indeed a supernatural element at play. Now, eight years have passed since that fateful night, and Sarah's sister Ariel - a successful editor at a popular men's fashion magazine - has just received word that Sarah has committed suicide. Immediately sensing foul play, Ariel's suspicions are confirmed when a strange book arrives in the mail shortly thereafter. Sent by Sarah just before she died, the book proves to be Vannacut's personal diary. According to the diary, which Ariel manages to translate with a little help from archeologist Richard Hammer, an ancient Baphomet idol is hidden somewhere deep within the sprawling estate.

In her last days, Sarah had become convinced that the idol was the source of the house's evil. Richard, too, shares this belief, and with the help of graduate students Michelle and Kyle he is determined to find the idol. But Ariel isn't about to go on a ghost hunt in the same mansion where so may atrocities have occurred, at least not until she is kidnapped by Desmond Niles and his vicious band of mercenaries. They too seek the Baphomet idol, and they too will soon discover why few people who venture into the former asylum ever come out alive.


Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars


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