So, instead of doing the last of my edits tonight, I watched Amélie with Ryan. I’m not sure if we’re the last two people on earth to see this movie, but I’m left wondering what took us so long. Actually, it’s kind of a funny story so I’ll relate it here real quick. Back in, geez I think 2002 or so, we started a Netflix account and had our movies delivered to us in those little red envelopes. I’m not sure why we had such a hard time with the whole experience, but we sometimes had movies that we just never watched and were too excited about other movies coming out and had to return unwatched. Amélie was one of those we had for some time, but never saw.
I was recently perusing a thread about the best movies ever and I saw it mentioned a few times. I’d always been bummed that we didn’t get a chance to watch it, so I took a chance and ordered it. Once again, the movie sat around my house for weeks, ignored. I think we were both skeptical because we usually don’t like French movies. A little too quirky and strange for us, I think.
Anyway, enough about that, let’s talk about the movie. It’s phenomenal, in every way I can think of. Amélie is a young woman who’s had a pretty unremarkable life until she finds a young boy’s keepsake box from the 1950’s in her apartment. She sets off to find the man the box belonged to, and in the process she discovers that she enjoys helping others from behind the scenes. Overall, the movie is an adventure, because you never really know what’s going to happen next.
While she’s helping these folks out, she of course learns about herself, and that’s really the thrust of the story. The movie plays with some complex themes about individuality and just leaves you feeling good. The acting is all exceptional, and Amélie is beyond charming. Nice sets and music all the way through. There’s also a really cute love story between Amélie and a man she sees at a photobooth.
Five very enthusiastic stars for this one and a recommendation that everyone should see it if they haven’t.
Photo found at Wikipedia.
This week’s flash fiction story comes from the Creative Process class I took last semester. I learned so much in that class and as a bonus got a couple of nice stories out of the experience. This is one of my favorites. As always, comments are welcome.
Incendius is the story of a girl who is too hot to handle.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book doesn’t disappoint. Like all of Rowland’s Kara Gillian books, there’s snappy dialog, action and nifty arcane happenings. As always, when I got the end I wished there was more. I didn’t like it quite as much as Mark of the Demon, only because it felt like there was less going on. The last two books were filled with excitement and this one seemed like more of Kara wandering around trying to figure out what was going on. I did like how the deaths Kara was investigating worked with the overall plot though, that seemed to mesh better this time.
I was a little disappointed there wasn’t very much Rhyzkahl in this one. What we did see was a different version of his usual intensity, but I couldn’t help but feel he was missing here.
I love, love, love the addition of Eilahn as a full-time fixture. Her and Fuzzykins added a lot to this one and gave a more ‘sidekick’ feeling than the other friends Kara has. I also liked that she encouraged Kara to keep better contact with the other important people in her life, which sometimes our brave heroine forgets.
Now, on to the infamous cliffhanger. I wasn’t particularly troubled by it. I was actually quite pleased that this book didn’t follow the “cop drama” model as closely as the others. Of course, I will only continue to say this if we don’t have to way too long for the next one!
I’ve got an interview today with a wonderful lady I met while doing the Pink Snowbunnies in Hell Flash Fiction Anthology. She wrote a clever tale about hellbunnies attacking some wayward Rock Stars with killer snowballs. As you might imagine, she’s quite inventive. Please welcome to my little corner of the webiverse, Susan Helene Gottfried. Susan writes stories about Rock Stars and she’s got a few out now that you can look through here. Like many of my author friends, she’s a great twitter buddy, so I encourage you to follow her there.
And now, on to the interview!
1. What’s the first word of your book? (You can exclude articles, pronouns or prepositions.)
“Motherfucker.” (Trevor’s Song)
2. Tell me something about your book that I can’t find in the blurb.
Trevor initially comes off as being annoying, but before you’re halfway through, you’ll become his biggest supporter. He’s that awesome.
3. In one word, describe your main character. (You can expand afterwards, but limit your initial response to one word.)
4. Where does your book take place? Tell me about why you picked that location.
I created a fictional city, Riverview, so I had full artistic license to put things where they don’t necessarily belong. Haven’t you ever read a book set in a city you either live in or know really well, only to be upset because the shoe store isn’t where you were an hour ago? I wanted to avoid that at all costs. Thus, Riverview, USA.
5. Tell me about your favorite character that you’ve written.
Oh, it has to be Trevor. He’s so much fun to write. Trevor has an irrverence that, combined with a brutal honesty, lets him get away with things very few people in real life would be able to.
6. What’s your favorite verb?
Umm. Hmm. I don’t think I have a favorite verb. There are just too many to choose from, and they are so utterly tailored to the situation, it’s hard to pick a favorite.
7. What’s the last book you read?
Jennifer Estep’s Tangled Threads. I’ve been a huge fan of Jennifer’s since I won a copy of Karma Girl, her debut, in an online contest.
8. Who was your favorite fictional character as a child?
Lessa, from Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonflight (and others). Here’s a link to an interview I gave in 2009 all about how Lessa influenced me.
9. Tell me about an event that contributed to your decision to become a writer.
Well, you see, I was born, and my fate was sealed at that moement… Seriously. I joke that my being a writer is a birth defect, but the truth is that if this is a birth defect, I am one lucky woman.
10. What would you tell past you, if you could send a letter back in time?
Stop being afraid, and go for it. With gusto and no reservations. And to work, work, work and write, write, write.
I don’t usually make resolutions, because to be honest I don’t think they ever work. Instead I’m going to make mine goals and let’s just leave the New Year nonsense out of it. The only reason I’m posting this now is because the calendar makes a convenient tracker. Last year, I started keeping my wordcount in these posts and graphing them here because that’s what we spreadsheet monkeys like to do. I didn’t keep up on it as well as I could have because I didn’t have any concrete number I was aiming for. I ended up with 90,706 words written last year as a result. Terrible.
I’m going to push myself to keep better track this year by announcing that my goal is to write 250,000 words in 2012. How did I come up with this magical number? I started with the goal of 1000 words a day, and then tried to figure out how many days out of a month I might reasonably attain that number. I settled on 20 days per month, giving me 240,000 words. Then I added in the bonus 10k just for kicks, figuring I can pick up 10 extra 1000 word days out of those “wasted” days each month.
I’ve also set a goal to read 52 books this year. I’m ahead on that curve, because I’ve read two and it’s only the first week!
My third goal is to publish three novel length works this year. That one I’m really unsure about. I know I can make two, but the third will be tricky.
So, that’s my list. Do you have any goals you want to share with the class?