Dear readers, I admit to being in a bit of a pickle.
In youth, life seemed limitless, infinite.
Writing was the same, I just wrote, not a lot of stopping to think.
Such is the power and joy of youth.
And as we age limitations don’t just come from the outside, but from your own body:
Sagging (oh no, those should still be much higher).
Weird spots randomly attach themselves to your skin (“Out, Damned Spot!” doesn’t work, believe me, I’ve tried).
Eating cake may seem more exciting and less work than other, er, strenuous activities…
But if you’re not aging, you’ve discovered the Fountain of Youth (good for you, care to share?), or you’re dead and you just don’t know it yet.
Sigh, so many things I wish I’d done or not done.
Sweet dreams lost, given up, given away, or stolen…
Sweet dreams fulfilled, waiting in the wings, and yet to come…
There’s also a certain grace, a wisdom, a knowing that comes with age, even for books. Remember how those new and shiny ebooks were going to destroy the book industry? Make books into relics only viewed in museums? Those dire predictions may have been premature. The texture and weight of a book in your hands tells you so much about the content; ebooks all feel the same.
Deep in our DNA, we’re storytellers, not just those who write, but those who read. We don’t just want to experience the stories, we want to share the stories. It’s about connection.
Many of those stories are by independent authors, not backed by a marketing budget larger than most of us will earn in a lifetime. Does that make them somehow less? Personally, I never cease to be amazed at the talent, the passion, the wonder never appreciated, just because it isn’t a bestseller.
I’ve reviewed books on and off for 30 years, yet ironically, I’m not always a fan of book reviews. I don’t enjoy a book report disguised as a review (we got it, you read the book, now, why should I?) and being told I should like or dislike a book. That’s silly, no one can tell you if you’ll like or dislike something, just why they liked or disliked it.
I love a story that transports me, takes me with the characters on their journey. I want to be there, a part of the story, which happened when I called upon Atonement, Tennessee…and never wanted to leave.
Teagan Riordain Geneviene kindly and brilliantly invites us to visit a small Southern town where things are not as they seem, but instead, is full of mystery, intrigue, murder, dashes of magic, romance…even a cat naturally more attuned and intelligent than her human counterparts (guess that goes without saying).
I admit being a tad miffed Atonement, Tennessee didn’t come with a warning label, something like: Don’t start reading if you have anything else you need to do for the next couple of days. Of course, obsessively reading this book also helped me cast the movie and/or TV series, let’s see, how about Ian Somerhalder, Richard Armitage, and David Tennant? Look how cute and cuddly they are…oh, and there’s cats too!
This is fantasy at its finest, but still left me wanting more…more…more…
And thanks to technology, we can have more on Teagan’s wonderful blog, including her online serial, and even hints of a sequel, Atonement in Bloom (waiting with bated breath): https://teagansbooks.wordpress.com/
Maybe I could 100% honest review your books too, just contact me, see, over there to your right – ‘Sending Me Stuff’.
Age can sure make you restless, even more so than in the bloom of youth, for we have the knowledge of what has been, what never was, and what could be. I guess what I’m trying to say is, no matter what your age, and the only real limits are those of your courage and your convictions.
1. You identify yourself with one of the kingdoms, houses, and/or families of Game of Thrones.
2. You make White Walkers with your children instead of snowmen.
3. You name your new kitten Khaleesi.
4. You name your baby Khaleesi.
5. You get your money management advice based on GOT, although not a bad idea. A Lannister always pays his debts; Master your money and don’t let it control you; always look for opportunity and so on.
6. You start trying to make candles that will make your house smell just like Winterfell.
7. You think more about who will sit on the Iron Throne than who will lead your own country.
8. You know the whole history of GOT yet know little or nothing about The War of The Roses that inspired the books/series.
9. When you’re out walking your dog you think you see a dragon egg, nope, just a part of a Mountain Dew bottle.
10. You love hearing, “Winter is coming”.
11. You change your Christmas Carols to We Five Kings; God Rest Ye Anyone Who’s in GOT Too Long; and Lannisters Are Comin’ To Town.
12. You can’t sleep at night thinking about the dragon has three heads prophecy (hint, there are three dragons so they need three riders).
13. You worry what Jon Snow with think when he finds out about his past.
14. You find yourself using the language like: sweetling, imp, serving wenches, smallclothes, my moon and stars, kissed by fire, I wager, etc.
15. You used to get really upset when a main character died and now you just kind of shrug and think, that’s life…unless it’s Brian on Family Guy, that’s totally different.
16. You’re scared when you’re invited to a wedding…and not for the usual reasons.
17. You give family and friends only GOT-related gifts. And they should be grateful.
18. You think of learning to swim as Greyjoying.
19. You don’t have to look up how to spell: Viserys, Daenerys, Rhaegar, Targaryen, R’hllor, Arya, Dothrai, Khaleesi, Khal Drogo, Melisandre, Stannis, Maegyr, and more.
20. No one argues with you because you simply say, “It is known.”
21. You memorized and live by the Night’s Watch oath.
22. You worry about what happened to Lyanna Stark and want to know more.
23. You check out your window to make sure The Others aren’t coming.
24. You love the mechanisms of the opening credits, but know little or nothing about the Leonardo di Vinci’s machines.
25. You start talking about the characters in GOT as though they’re friends, even using their first (fictional) names…
Jaime is so hot…
Joffrey is so evil…
Cersei is creeping me out…
I wonder what Tyrion will do…
Littlefinger should be running our economy…
I think Arya needs more adult supervision and less pointy things…
Daenerys, don’t bother the dragons when they’re eating…
Getting antsy waiting for the next season of Game of Thrones to start? Missing the intrigue, passion, treachery, lies, horror, murder, lust, filth, fighting, and fantasy?
Tired of hearing Winter Is Coming when many have had enough of winter?
Then the 4-part BBC Gormenghast might be just the ticket to exotic destinations.
Before Game of Thrones there was Gormenghast. Adapted from the first 2 books in the trilogy by Mervyn Peake, this is a stunningly creepy and brilliant experience you’ll not soon forget.
Exceptional cast including: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Stephen Fry, Christopher Lee, Ian Richardson, Neve McIntosh, Richard Griffiths, Zoë Wanamaker, Spike Milligan, and more.
This twisted foray into fantasy will be a stark reminder – more is out there.
Merida (Kelly Macdonald) is different from the average Disney Princess. She’s strong, independent, and doesn’t need a man to define her. She’s not stick insect thin, her hair is frizzy, she doesn’t worry about her clothes, she wants to compete, she’s confident, and secure in who she is.
Not that Disney didn’t try to alter Pixar’s vision of Merida. They were going to thin her out, smooth out her hair, and round out her eyes (the better to spot your Prince, I guess).
Thankfully A Mighty Girl http://www.amightygirl.com/, a website dedicated to empowering girls filed a petition with Disney that said keep her as she is – imperfectly perfect.
The world doesn’t need another blatantly sexist marketing depiction of women. Aren’t there more than enough?
This isn’t about feminism because I really don’t consider myself one, this is more about equality in roles, jobs, life, and the future.
I always think of Joss Whedon‘s answer, when asked by a reporter why he writes so many strong female characters. “Because you’re still asking me that question.”
Says it all.
What is this fascination with encouraging girls and women to be a Princess?
Fine for Halloween or dress up, but why not look for more than an antiquated and archetypal figure whose only role was to marry a Prince and in fairy tales, live happily ever after.
Why not encourage girls to be more: a doctor, lawyer, athlete, researcher, scientist, teacher, politician, writer, computer programmer, explorer, photographer, military personnel, activist, dentist, miner, astronaut, police officer, nurse, clerk, accountant, chef, nuclear physicist, CEO, journalist, postal worker, diplomat, Mom, President, Prime Minister, artist, entertainer, etc. Or all of the above?
Why not encourage girls to be something that doesn’t revolve around jewels and gowns?
This movie is rife with themes ranging from communication issues, prejudice, pride, strength, standing up for what you believe in, love, hope, and acceptance.
Watching this you felt there was some chance for cartoons and people to break free of the stereotypes and brainwashing.
But it turns out it’s not a whole new world, and many still prefer for their Fairy Godmother to transform them into a Princess so they can find their Prince.
I just hope they make sure they love who they are and add the Prince, not need him for definition.
The depiction of Scotland in pseudo Medieval times was gorgeous. Funny, silly, but with a lot of great messages.
The cast was fantastic.
Thank you Pixar, for being Brave.
I’ve never been sure if Labyrinth was meant to be a children’s film that grown-ups love, or a grown-up film that some children just might like as well.
I guess it doesn’t really matter.
Either way it’s certainly a brilliant lesson in be careful what you wish for.
Remarkable performances by David Bowie (of course) and Jennifer Connelly (a vision of things to come), but we all know, the Muppets are the real stars in this fantastic fantasy flick.
Bowie is the perfect choice (again, of course) for Jareth, the Goblin King. Edgy, intense, mature, and smooth, he embodies a very, very adult world. Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) is drawn to him (of course) as she teeters on the brink of becoming a woman while still desperately clutching onto her childhood with a grubby fist. Jareth is the embodiment of temptation, to want, to yearn, to cling…he compels her, offering what she thinks she wants, fighting herself to take responsibility for her own actions.
In the throes of teen angst, Sarah blames everyone for her restlessness and discontent. Jareth seems the answer to all until she sees the truth (“I ask for so little. Just fear me, love me, do as I say and I will be your slave.” ~Jareth) and the consequences – losing not only her baby brother, but herself.
Sarah‘s lesson? There are so many to choose from, but the most important? That accepting who she was, is, and will be has its own rewards…instead of running from the future, she must embrace it and the present. The past will take care of itself, it always does.
OK, this definitely isn’t a new story, but this was beyond well-told, all the same.
And it has Bowie. And Bowie singing. Sigh.
Sarah: That’s not fair!
Jareth: You say that so often, I wonder what your basis for comparison is?
Army of Darkness (aka Evil Dead 3: Army of Darkness) is a continuation of Evil Dead II where our, er, hero Ash is trapped in The Middle Ages in some bizarre, frenetic, hilarious, cheesy stuff.
There are a couple of endings, depending on where you watch it. I prefer the ending where Ash oversleeps, but the S-Mart ending (where he has to fight the shoppers, undead, whatever, hard to tell the difference most days I’m guessing) was seen as more positive by Universal. Director’s cut has both alternate universe endings.
Bruce Campbell (Weird Science, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, Xena, Hercules, Bubba Ho-Tep, Spiderman, Evil Dead I & II, Charmed, Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!, American Gothic, My Name Is Bruce, Burn Notice, Fargo and well, everything) is an amazing, under-rated actor. Superb comedic timing and just really cool.
A perfect Halloween treat or trick depending on your point of view.
I laughed, I cried, I sighed, I railed against the injustice, and gave my heart to Johnny Depp. No worries, I’d given it before and since; it’s still in good working order. I’m sure he’d reciprocate if he knew I existed…or not.
Themes of bullying, prejudice, isolation, teen angst, self-awareness, hope, pain, betrayal, lies, dignity, honour, and love weave a dazzling web of stunningly brutal tragedy, comedy, and enchantment, in and out, in and out, each thread of this film somehow masses together in utter brilliant film magic.
The castle is gothic and delightful, but a place of secrets and loneliness.
The suburban neighbourhood is weird and flawed, but with creepy optimism and veracity.
The contrast shows that hope and love can flourish anywhere, as can pain and deceit.
Lauded, loved, mocked, hated, and parodied (best, when Depp reprised his role on Family Guy…you have to see it to believe it). And still it has stunningly stood the test of time.
Caroline Thompson, Stefan Czapsky, as well as the astonishing cast and crew did a superb task of articulating Tim Burton’s vision of Edward and his challenges and his triumphs. This film is truly a gift.
Vincent Price is categorically flawless in what turned out to be his last performance on film, ending a dramatic and spectacular career as the great gentleman of horror.
When Winona Ryder (Kim Boggs) is dancing in the ‘snow’ that Edward creates from the angel ice sculpture, it’s so heart-cutting because their love can never be, but they will always know it really is. Perhaps it’s so poignant because Depp and Ryder were a real-life couple at the time…and not meant to be.
This is a perfect movie for Halloween, Christmas, or any day of the year.
Love, love, love this movie. Did I mention I love it, not sure if that was clear.
Two hot guys in a hot car fighting supernatural elements.
Toss in some angels, demons, monsters, apocalyptic horsemen, ghosts, etc. well, what’s not to love?
Jared Padalecki (ER, Gilmore Girls) and Jensen Ackles (Days of Our Lives, Dawson’s Creek – we forgive you for DC, you were young, and of course, Smallville) are brothers who fight ghosties, lots o’ demons, monsters, and all other supernatural type things.
I’m so happy they decided to keep Castiel (Misha Collins), The Colt, the Impala (this Chevy 1967 has been through a lot, it’s basically supernatural itself), Ruby’s Knife, and Bobby (Jim Beaver – Deadwood, Justified, Days of Our Lives) for as long as possible, but I really really wish they could have kept Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Daddy (John) Winchester.
Even threw in Mitch Pileggi for an X-Files kiss.
Action-packed and did I mention the hot guys and the hot car?
This is a program that doesn’t take itself too seriously while trying to remain true to its mythology, and it does so with flare.