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Welcome! Books, movies, music, original stories, interviews, writing, libraries, literacy, humor –all with the YA reader in mind, are just a few of the topics you’ll find here. New to the blog? Say hi! Like it? Follow away! Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

10 things I'd rather have done than watch Safe Haven

by J.R. Wagner

Yeah, I saw it.  It was one of those exchanges...I chose Django Unchained (yes, the Academy award winning film!) and as punishment for making my wife sit through the violence I agreed to see this.

Before the list I'd like to say that I sat through the majority of the movie believing the lead male character (Josh Duhamel) played Bones (Dr. McCoy) in the latest Star Trek film, which made it slightly more tolerable...slightly.

I was horrified to find out that it was not Bones (who is played by Karl Urban. Sorry Karl)

In my defense, they look very, very similar...especially when you're looking for some little thing to cling onto in order to justify sitting through a movie like this.

To the list!

Ten things I'd rather have done than watch Safe Haven

10. Spend 115 minutes watching...paint dry

image credit
 9. Get my legs waxed

yikes... (image credit)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

ThinkGeek.com -funny stuff!

by J.R. Wagner
Found this awesome Vader t-Shirt at ThinkGeek.com

such a cool site -all their descriptions are hilarious and this one doesn't disappoint!

Luke, it isn't kosher.

Hungry are you? What know you of hunger? A Jedi must have the deepest control of appetite. Sugars. Hmm. Bacon. Heh. A Jedi craves not these things. A Jedi's strength flows from the Force, but beware of the Dark Side, bacon they have.

It is a well-known fact, the reason there is a light and dark side is because Jedi are vegetarians. The Force is actually a dietary plan that evolved into a lifestyle back in the early days of the Galactic Federation. When some of these "Dark Siders" decided that they couldn't live without bacon, they began using the Force a different way, an "evil" way as the Jedi put it. Now, the only reason the Dark side is remotely tempting is because they have bacon; a mighty temptation indeed. 

Well worth a visit for all kinds of Star Wars goodies (and other 'geek' stuff)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Picture inspires a thousand words

by Carlie M.A. Cullen

All the advice about writing states you should write something every day, and it’s something I try to do as much as possible. But there are days when you don’t have a W.I.P. to work on; maybe you’ve just finished a draft and it’s with your editor, maybe you’re just lacking a little inspiration, or maybe you want to have a break from the norm and do something a little different. Whatever the reason behind it, you may find yourself needing a little prompt.

Enter pictures.

As my wonderful host and I share a love of fantasy, I’m going to use fantasy pictures as an example. All I’ve done is type ‘fantasy pictures’ into the Google images search bar and found some real beauties. Let’s take this one as a first example:

Just think about what you can write using this picture for inspiration. I could probably write close on a thousand words just on the girl alone! When you add in all the background detail and work it all into a story to explain who the people and creatures are and what’s happening in the scene, you have the makings of a great story or flash fiction.

Here’s another example:

Who is this woman? Are those spikes on a headdress or protruding from her skin? What do the tattoos mean? What sort of land does she inhabit? Is she good or evil? Does she possess magic or a paranormal talent? The more questions you can ask about the picture, the more you have to write about.

A third example:

Where are these two? What magic does the woman possess? Is the warrior beside her man or creature? Why does she need a warrior – is it for protection or is she his prisoner? Are they about to undertake a journey on the water or have they just arrived? Where are they going/coming from? What is the purpose of their journey? Who/what is the woman? Do the spikes on the warrior’s armour signify anything specific?

Final example:

Friday, February 1, 2013

The future of Star Wars -Star Wars VII

by J.R. Wagner

J.J. Abrams

JJ Abrams has been picked (more like begged) to direct the next Star Wars film.

Two words: Thank God.

Shortly after the announcement that Disney had purchased Lucasfilm Ltd. came the announcement that there would be new star wars films. 

My first reaction was one of pure terror. You see, I've lived through a very similar announcement. The first time, we fans had come off the high of the original films years prior when we began hearing rumors of prequels.  Excitement rose until it was almost palpable...that is, until the films were released.

You can get a sense of how I felt about the prequels by perusing these posts:

Top five YouTube videos supporting my disdain for the Star Wars prequels
Star Wars VII, stop the nonsense
Top ten most annoying Star Wars characters

Anyway, it was a major let down. I actually did a speech about how George Lucas ruined my childhood.  This post; A Jedi's lament, covers some parts of that speech.

So, after cursing George Lucas for creating the prequels, I moved on with my life as a fan of film.  Years later I started watching this amazing show on network television (of all things) called Lost.  I was floored!  What an amazing, creative, cutting-edge show filled with fantastic actors.

And who was the man behind this ground-breaking show?  JJ Abrams.

Several years after Lost began came the greatest re-load of a series in the history of film.  Star Trek.  I'm not a Star Trek fan by any stretch of the imagination (or I wasn't at the time) but this film had everything a non-fan needed to appreciate the movie. Great acting, pacing, plot, creativity...and on.  Abrams pulled the drowning franchise from the depths. 

Not long after Star Trek came the end of Lost and a void, which has not been filled to this day, in my television enjoying life.

Thank goodness for the movies, right?

Along came a film that I fell in love with the moment I saw it. It so much reminded me of my childhood (except for the alien...and the train wreck) that I couldn't get over it! Who was responsible? JJ Abrams. The movie? Super 8.

So in my mind, Abrams had earned the street cred necessary to re-make just about any film.  Especially when so many big name directors (Ridley Scott: Prometheus -see my diatribe here) (Pete Jackson: The Hobbit -ditto here)  dropping the ball on their high budget films.

When I hard about Star Wars VII, all I could think was, ugh...how are they going to screw this one up.  Then, after some introspection, I decided there was one person who could resurrect this franchise.  JJ Abrams.  Lots of talk floated about from director to director and each announcement made me cringe.  Abrams originally declined and I though all was lost...alas, I was wrong.

There is hope for the Star Wars franchise after all!