Book, TV, and Movie Things

Hi Everyone! I hope your February is going well. Mine is going pretty good!

So mini update on Dark Sun Rising– I’m now working on getting the book formatted and also contracting for cover design. All in all, it’s pretty much on schedule for the August release. I’m thinking the closer I get to the release date, the more excited I’m going to get to share it with ya’ll. I’m hoping ya’ll enjoy it.

In other writing news, the novella is still in progress, and I’m having lots of fun writing it. It’s a completely different story then the novel, but still very much in the fantasy genre.

So when I’m not writing the novella or preparing for the release of the novel, you know I’m watching TV and movies!

Right now, I’m spending time watching one of the best comedies on TV: One Day at a Time. If you haven’t checked out this show, you really need to. It centers on a Cuban family and tackles all sorts of issues including: immigration, sexism, homophobia, racism, and mental illness. It all sounds serious, yes? But the show has a knack for focusing on all these issues tastefully and with a large dose of humor. It also has Rita Moreno who is amazing! I don’t think there is a character on TV that comes close to her Lydia. She’ll have you laughing ’till your stomach hurts.

Oh! And also, I saw Alita: Battle Angel, and I know it’s getting bad reviews and everything, but I enjoyed it. Yes the story is a bit hammy, and moves soooo quickly, but you know what? I didn’t care. Because it was entertaining and the plot was still interesting and fun, and the effects were excellent! So yeah, I think you should check it out if you’re into fantasy movies. I think you’ll like it.

Well, that’s about it from me this week. Until next time!

Choosing to self-publish

When I decided to self-publish my novel I had no idea how much effort it would take. First, I decided early on that I would put out a book that was comparable to something a publishing house would distribute. That meant a professional editor, proofreader, and book cover artist. Also, other expenses as well that popped up depending on my personal preference that not every self-published author chooses to pay for, such as purchasing an ISBN, Copyright, etc.

Second, which is the largest effort other than writing the book itself, is the marketing. This includes self-promoting my book. For me, this will be the biggest learning experience since I have very little experience with marketing, and to be honest–I really don’t want to shell out the cash to hire a professional. So I’ve decided to keep things simple: I created this website to grow my readership, and to keep those that are interested up-to-date with everything going on with me. I’ve linked it to other social media like Facebook and Twitter so that my posts are displayed on those sites as well.

I’ve also decided to send my book off to get reviewed by bloggers a few months before its release.  I’m planning a budget to pay for a few promotions when the book releases to urge a successful book launch. And I’m hoping to have a few book giveaways as well.

So that’s pretty much my plan. We’ll see how it goes.

 

Writing through the holidays

Writing is hard. I’m in the middle of writing book two and it hasn’t progressed as far as I would hope. But I suppose it’s to be expected. Interest wanes for me, especially this time of year when I have the holidays to distract me. Every weekend is pretty much something festive to do with the family. Whether its decorating, baking cookies, putting up the Christmas tree–it’s pretty much all the things I want to do that take priority over writing.

That’s not to say I don’t try. I certainly do, I just don’t get much done. Maybe a few pages here and there. And my attention is a bit divided so that when I reread the copy I don’t remember it all. That ever happen to you? You reread something and you have no recollection of writing it in the first place? That’s where I am right now. I re-read a chapter and thought: “Damn, who wrote this? They sure are good!”

Okay, that only happens sometimes. And when it does happen I spend a lot of time laughing at myself. Because I’m just a jolly person. And that’s what this time of year is about, right?

Of course it is.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Pexels.com

Some random things…

Now it’s November, and I’m pretty sure the holidays will arrive then pass in a blur. Before we know it, it’ll be the New Year and I’ll say: What happened to 2018?

But until then, I just want to soak in the last few months of the year, write, and enjoy the gloomy weather that’s hit South Texas.

If you’ve never been to Texas, let me just say, sometimes it just seems like the perfect setting for horror or fantasy. Like for instance–the fog was rather thick this week, and there were times I felt like I was in Silent Hill. Other times, it’s non-stop rain, which usually isn’t our norm–but still, pretty gloomy.

Things I’m also doing–spending time with family. It was my Dad’s birthday this week, and we took him to see Overlord, which was not as good as I expected. I thought it was written by JJ Abrams, but it actually wasn’t, and I could tell–It didn’t have that special “Human” feel that Abrams manages to pull off. The heart that is apparent in many of his films. Don’t get me wrong, the movie tried, but it was a facsimile of what I’m used to.

Also, if anyone cares how I’m doing in my two Fantasy Football leagues: I’ve got ZERO chance of winning one. Ok, not zero chance, but I’d have to win out and hope for many people to lose, so not much chance there. The other league I’m not doing so bad! I actually have a chance to go to the playoffs.

Alright then, that’s pretty much it for me for now. I hope you guys are enjoying the beginnings of November.

The Marvel Universe

So like a lot of people out there, I really love the Marvel Universe movies. But recently I was speaking to someone and they mentioned how the movies are all the same, regardless of who the main characters are. So that got me thinking, is Marvel really cranking out the same plot with different characters and settings? Well let’s see.

Although Avengers: Infinity War is the most recent release–for this post–I’d like to focus on Black Panther. Personally, I love Black Panther. I loved Wakanda and the whole idea that there was this country that was covertly strong with high tech. Also that Wakanda seemed to have a thriving culture and a monarchy that was just and fair.

But lets take a closer look at T’Challa, the protagonist of Black Panther and King of Wakanda. When T’Challa’s father dies, he assumes the throne, as is his birthright. When Ulysses Klaue, a villain from the past pops up, it’s T’Challa’s responsibility to bring him in for Wakandan justice. Unfortunately, Erik Stevens, the “Killmonger” and T’Challa’s long lost cousin, brings Klaue back to Wakanda dead, and also to challenge T’Challa for the throne. Stevens wins, and brings chaos to Wakanda as there are some Wakandans that want to bring weapons of power to people of African descent around the world so that they may fight their oppressors, and then there are others that don’t. A huge battle ensues, and T’Challa is able to wrestle control back of the throne before the weapons are made available to the public.

So after that quick recap, I wonder, does this story bare any resemblance to other Marvel movies? A hero, a villain, the conflict? Hmm maybe Spider Man? A little bit of Iron Man, too? Maybe some Captain America and Doctor Strange as well?

But you know what? It doesn’t matter. It’s the movie’s differences that set it apart, and make it great.

And besides. It’s Stan Lee’s story. They’re all Stan Lee’s stories. And if he likes to repeat motifs, then why not? It’s not like they don’t work.

Weighing writing…

Sometimes its hard to find time to read. I’ve been working on finishing book 8 of the Wheel of Time series for years. My brother gives me such shit about it, because I started reading the series before him, was even four books in, and he surpassed me and finished the whole thing. But the truth is, something had to give–there are only so many hours in the day, and so many things we can do with those hours. I choose to write.

Prioritizing your life is hard when you’re a writer and you have a full time job, family, and all the other things in life. But it has to be done. You need to chisel out time in your day to actually do some writing. It was hard for me (and still can be), because my life is so full, but I decided it had to be done. I needed to cut the fat from my life.

The things that I had to spend less time doing were binge watching TV and reading books. Those two things took huge chunks of my time, so they had to go. Not watching so much TV isn’t a bad thing. I hardly miss it. But my books! Oh, I miss them. I miss immersing myself in someone else’s world. It’s the best! Especially when the author does it so well. But with work and life and all those other things, I have to choose writing over reading my epics.

I’m sure there are other writers that have made the same decision, and cut certain things out of their life to make time for their writing. It’s a difficult thing to do, because lets face it, sometimes writing is hard. It’s easy to be distracted and do something else. But you know its gone too far when three months have gone by and you’ve done absolutely nothing. Nothing to move your story forward. At this point, you might as well be in quick sand, trying to pull yourself from being stuck, only to sink further. It happens–you lose interest in your story, and start putting it off, and before you know it, it’s shelved.

So this is the importance of prioritizing your time to write. So many bad things happen when you don’t. So make a plan and stick to it, and you’ll be a much better writer for it.

 

The need for “otherness”

The other day I sent a friend a copy of a rough draft of a novella that I’m working on. When she was done reading it, the first thing she said to me was, “You really work in those gays whenever you can.”

Yes. Yes, I do.

I do this with people of color, too. Because really, there isn’t enough representation out there for gay people, or Latinos, or any other ethnic group that is not white. But, I’m not going to sit here and complain about it. I’d rather change it, and encourage other writers to change it as well.

Try to make your writing colorful and full of all types of people from all types of backgrounds. I believe it’ll make your writing more rich and deep. And more in tuned with what we see everyday outside our windows.

I know I can get some push back, obviously my friend felt the need to voice the fact that I write in gay people at every opportunity, but I’m not going to let that deter me from writing about them.

But I also don’t want you to get the wrong idea about my friend. She’s supportive of the LGBT community and minorities, but she’s an older woman who’s old school. She isn’t used to reading stories that have diverse characters. Which is the point of this post. I think it’d be great if we can get to a point where not just novels but also movies and TV shows, are more representative of the diversity we see in this country.

I mean really, wouldn’t that be grand?