Archive for Movies

Writing Retreat 2016: Day One**

Any day that I can get writing done is a good day, so yesterday–a day dedicated to working on Tasty Dish–was heaven. It always goes slower than I hope (I usually have myself finishing the damn book on the first day of my retreat!), but I made a lot of progress, and not only added new scenes, but plumped up some sparse ones. I also fleshed out a secondary character that I’ve grown to love. She may need to make an appearance in another book.

She speaks her mind, doesn’t care what people think of her, has a blue mohawk, and is married to a guy who looks like Viggo Mortensen’s character in GI Jane. I may or may not have spent a lot of time researching that character’s appearance.

It’s all to improve the book, people. I sacrifice for you…

** I swear I didn’t crop the above picture specifically for that…area. It’s all WordPress’s doing, but I do find it amusing.

Cookie's husband Urgayle


Willy Wonka and Take Two

“There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination.” – Willy Wonka.

I love this song, and the clip from the movie. It reminds me anything is possible. With the upcoming release of my first novel, Take Two, I now believe it. For most of my life, I’ve wanted to share my stories with the world, for other people to enjoy them as much as I’ve enjoyed the thousands of books I’ve read. Now, that’s going to happen.

And that realization makes this author at a loss for words. But so, so happy.

Writing Retreat: Minor Interlude

I’ve reached the section of my manuscript that has been most troublesome for me all along. Lots of re-writing and new scenes here, still learning the ins and outs of this one character (she’s super-mysterioso on purpose, but this makes getting into her head that much more difficult).

As a slight reprieve I watched the funniest moments from Despicable Me. For those of you who love Agnes, “It’s so fluffy!” starts at the 5:20 point.

Writing Retreat: Day 3

Along with general editing, I did research on cockroaches. They have group-based decision making, and cooperate with each other. Some can live without food for a month. Others can go without air for 45 minutes. This information does not endear me to them in the slightest.

My only exception is for Wall-E’s charming friend.


Elmore Leonard: 1925-2013

out of sight movie

I just learned that Elmore Leonard died yesterday. I met him at a book signing many years ago at a local independent book store. I was young and in awe, and don’t remember much of the encounter, but I couldn’t get enough of his writing for awhile after that. Smart, funny, gritty. KillShot was my first Leonard book, and I still have that signed copy on my shelves.

There’s an interesting article about him at the Washington Post.

The man, and his writing, will be missed.

Movie Recommendation: Guys & Dolls


Watching Guys and Dolls when I should be writing. But I’m a sucker for a fun musical, and this one has bonus ’40s costumes, classic musical numbers (Luck Be a Lady; Sue Me; Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat) and Marlon Brando (I’m also a sucker for a guy with a deep voice and wearing a slick suit).

It’s heavily non-PC (check out Adelaide’s song and dance while dressed as a cat, called “Pet Me Poppa“), but it has some classic romance conventions: the naive girl with a lot of inner strength (Jean Simmons) and the bad boy who is redeemed by love (Brando); humorous sidekicks who often steal the show (Vivian Blaine as Adelaide and Frank Sinatra as Nathan Detroit); seemingly insurmountable odds; and a happy ending. Plus, there are a lot of sly winks – this film knows it’s fun.

Arvide Abernathy: And I never saw until now how much in love with him you are.
Sarah Brown: I’ll get over it.
Arvide Abernathy: Why would anyone want to get over the one thing you hope for from the minute you’re born and remember until the day you die?
Sarah Brown: I’ll get over it.
Arvide Abernathy: Why? Because it’s the greatest reward that woman or man can have on this earth? To love and to be loved?

Sky Masterson: “It is my understanding that the Constitution of the United States allows everybody the free choice between cheesecake and strudel.”

So grab yourself some cheesecake (or strudel, or both!) and and enjoy this classic musical romance.

6/4/2016: edited to add: Fox is remaking this classic!