Super Powers, again? Can we have some quality control please???

This is a question that often comes up around the dining room table. Not that we are geeky or anything.

I never change mine. Invisibility is always my choice. Just seems so handy, and versatile too.

My younger daughter changes her’s everytime. Last time it was x-ray vision. Today, teleportation. I think it has more to do with day-to-day situations and how much her sister is aggravating her at the time than conscious consideration of what would suit her the best.

The older one is a crafty teenager learning to bend the rules. She chose to have the ‘Power to copy and keep everyone else’s super powers so she could use them all’. Cheating. Even though I said ‘just ONE super power”. Yes, there were even capitals in my speaking voice.

When I write (or am working on a story line) and read, I have discovered that I am not that fond of super powers. Or any overly special power given to characters by other authors. My characters tend to be (fairly) realistic, thus needing to rely on their own selves to get out of sticky situations.  I have fallen out of love with vampires, mind readers, shape changers, humans that breed with wolves (or something else squicky) to become powerful, witches (except for Esme Weatherwax), especially when set in the (mostly) modern world. Lincoln, vampire hunter? There is a movie I will never see. It just bugs me.

Before you protest, yes many of these characters grow and change with their new found powers, maybe even become better members of society/clan. I loved the early Anita Blakes. Or, the characters hate their new powers and want to hide them. It is not always a cake walk, or even a shuffle.


Readers are drowning in this stuff!  Have you been to your local bookstore or checked out the new e-book releases lately? Blood sucking, shape changing, immortal (but unhappy about it) etc., the list is really long and sadly a great deal of it is very poorly written. A vehicle for crazy monkey sex or horror. Or both. Not even worth 0.99.

Well written crazy monkey sex, romantic suspense, even horror is something I have on auto buy–ie authors I trust to put out (haha) something readable, that I think about beyond the last page. If it is part of the story, yippee. There are authors who still manage to pull it off. Too often though I feel that the writer is frantically click, click, clicking to get to the next hot sex scene between forbidden lovers. Boring. Very little thought given to plot or character development.

With the on-slaught of e-books, because that is what it feels like to me as a reader, there is an incredible amount of choice for us now.  But I personally rely on my old standbys or recommendations/reviews (a topic for later) before I invest in a new author. As a writer this scares me because our works will become part of an ever growing pool–how will readers find us??

My point is that writers, myself included, need to  slow down a minute, take a breath and really love their work, not just try to get published using what is the soup d’jour. Please, I am begging, stop with the vampires, zombies, werewolves, teen witches….or at least spring for an editor, have others critique your work (and not your best friend either).

We don’t all want to be invisible.



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I’d rather jab a pencil in my eye

than continue editing
holy crud
it sucks the soul out of me
look back on
a great writing session
contrived, awkward
all that showing and no telling
gets me down
maybe i’ll just go to the gym
pound a few miles out
instead of sharpening my pencil

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Rainy day spent editing

re-work re-work. Now I need to net work…any ideas? Anyone?? Need a reader for my sci-fi romance. Also an editor, eventually. I have no idea how to go about this….
I’ve checked out, and not sure if either is a good fit, but I’m game to try. I’d love some other suggestions.
In the mean time:

Rainy day spent editing
dog breathing sleep
cat padding down the hallway
surely hungry
rain and words
what sound is that?

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RWA What???! Tell me it isn’t so….discrimination is so twentieth century.

Thank you Heidi Cullian for writing this and Suzanne Brockman for posting to fcbk.

Cross posting. Hope the word gets out. Write, call, email the RWA; this discrimination needs to end now!

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“Hugo” up for 11 Oscars, does it have a chance?

I left the house yesterday intending to see ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ but ended up seeing ‘Hugo’ instead. My personal excitement level about seeing this was pretty low. I had a hard time imaginging how someone (even Scorsese) could take what is basically a picture book and make a movie I’d want to see out of it.

I stand corrected.

Hugo is a wonderful film. I’m not sure if it is Best Picture–I will need to see more of the nominees first but I certainly think that Art direction, Adaptation & Director are absoutely possible.

Things that bothered me: the movie is set in Paris and the entire movie is in english — even the phrase ‘good morning’ which I am pretty sure the most sheltered person has heard in french. 3D isn’t something I always enjoy and it bugged me that in the snowy scenes none of the 3d snow stuck to the hair or clothes of the actors. The first five minutes I found slow–but it came directly from the book and I was informed by my 12 year-old “imperative to the plot, Mom.”

Everything else was grand and fun–a very sweet love letter to the history of ‘the movies’. A funny similarity to “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” that I might not have noticed if I hadn’t seem them back to back.  Both young actors were compelling and it was nice to see Ben Kingsly again!

Next weekend: The Descendants and The Artist.




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Extremely Loud, Incredibly Close–not a 9/11 movie but a study of grief.

EL-IC. Just returned from the theater. Very impressed. I am not a fan of manipulative tear jerkers so I have to say I was apprehensive, of all the ‘best’ nominees this is the one I wanted to see the least. That said….

The movie really isn’t about 9/11, it is about a boy dealing with the death of his father. His father could have died in any manner but in this story he died when the towers fell. The story after that event is a wonderful journey-one which I don’t want to spoil–where the boy (Oscar) works through missing/grieving a very important person in his life.

Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock both do wonderful jobs. I was captivated by the character actors who appeared in this movie. They really made it for me–in some ways more real to me than Tom or Sandra. The young actor, Thomas Horn, was amazing, in no way was his acting forced or syrupy.

The Oscars are big in our house. We make an effort to see all the majors and as many others as we can. On Oscar night we can all be critics (especially of the red carpet). So, I  took my 12 and 14 year old girls with me to see ELIC. They have a very different take since they don’t remember 9/11 but I can say that they both LOVED it. Very impressed with Thomas Horn; and the end, which I can’t tell you :).

The only negative I have is that as far as acting, it wasn’t a stretch for any of the players–but they gave it their all, isn’t that what a great screen play is for?

A solid 4.5 stars, I’d go again. Fine for the younger set. No nightmares. Some difficult topics but I would hope you are already discussing such issues with your children anyway.

Next up? Tintin.


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On a mission

Writing will be taking a back seat while I make sure I see all the major Oscar movies before March. Going with the 12 year old. Starting with ‘Extremely Loud’…which will be interesting because she doesn’t remember 9/11 as she was only 2. I was here on the left coast while my husband was on a ‘boys trip’ in Miami. My Grandmother who I was very close to, died the 17th and our beloved dog Lucille died a month later. I know I will cry.

’nuff said.

Will post quick reviews as we move along.


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