Archive for May, 2010

Alice in Wonderland: Review

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

It’s been awhile since Johnny Depp made a movie I actually cared about. Since Pirates of the Caribbean, Curse of the Black Pearl, actually. Dead Man’s Chest was okay, and At World’s End really stunk. But that wasn’t Depp’s fault.

Moving on. Alice in Wonderland, with Depp portraying the Mad Hatter, and Mia Wasikowska (what a last name!) portraying Alice, gives the audience a fantastic ride for a couple of hours. Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen, and Anne Hathaway as the White Queen, didn’t hurt any either. The graphics are as good as any Iron Man, LOTR or Harry Potter movie. The story differs from the book in many respects, especially towards the end. I love Tim Burton’s take on the story, and I always have liked his artistic vision (Edward Scissorhands, Coraline, Sleepy Hollow). In my opinion, Mia steals the show. And to boot it all, a dragon makes an appearance at the end.

Original Alice in Wonderland

If you didn’t catch this one in the theater, then you missed a good treat. These are one of those that SHOULD BE seen in the theater, unless, of course, you have a home theater system that can compare. Four popcorn boxes out of four. There’s not much I really didn’t like about the interpretation.

It’s All About Growth

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

I will be the first one to admit that writing isn’t easy. In fact, it’s damn hard. There’s a lot to learn, and not just about writing. You have to learn a great deal about the industry itself, how it works and where to best cast your dice. The most important area, though, that any author can control, is what they do when it comes to their manuscripts. It’s hard enough to write a story, but then to correctly edit it, that’s another matter entirely. I have grown leaps and bounds when it comes to the editing phase of my works. I was a poor, poor editor ten years ago when I first started. Now I catch things as if it’s second nature. You have to know how to identify problems. It’s the biggest pain you can imagine, but you must learn how to do it correctly if you want to survive in this business. Editors and agents have little time or patience for manuscripts that are littered with errors.

Now that I’m no longer with Behler, that means my Snowtear Wars series is free to be signed by any other publisher. So, what am I doing right now? Tightening that series up. Yes, reediting it. Again, it’s a pain, but it will greatly increase my chances of it landing with someone else. The time i put in, I believe, will be well worth the effort.

Juggling Responsibilities

Monday, May 10th, 2010

The biggest task I face as an author is how to keep up with writing while trying to raise my family. Family always comes first. So that does affect how much writing I can actually get done, or how fast I can move on projects. I try to do most of my writing or editing in the morning. It’s when my mind is freshest, and I can multi-task better then, too. But, there are days when things get a little stressful, and finding any time to write or edit is truly tough. So, on the days, that I’m forced to work on something else, I just let go of writing, knowing that I will try to make it up somewhere down the road. Usually, it’s not that far down the road.

Thank You, CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery)

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

For us fantasy lovers, CGI is a Godsend. Sure, reading fantasy books is wonderful. But when it came to the big screen, bringing strange worlds, creatures and characters to life was harder for our genre than most. CGI was first used in 1973 for the scientific movie Westworld, and then for its sequel, Futureworld, in 1976. Where things really start to pick up for CGI, however, was in 1979, for a movie that you perhaps heard of: Star Wars. It wasn’t until 1993, however, when CGI was inserted into movies on a much larger scale in the movie Jurassic Park. It was at this point that stop-motion animation started to fall to the wayside. It would only be two years later when the first fully computer-generated movie would hit the theaters, going by the name of Toy Story. And by the early 2000’s, CGI would become the biggest player in movie special effects. Now, thanks to all these developments, we can go to the theaters and see the scenes from our favorite fantasy books come off the pages to entertain us.

The buck doesn’t stop here, though. One day, I fully expect to be walking around inside a movie as an active participant as its playing out.

Speaking to Classes

Friday, May 7th, 2010


On Monday, May 10th, I will be speaking to two classes on the process of writing. Both of those classes happen to contain my daughters. So I think they will get a kick out of seeing Dad up there in front of the class speaking about his job. I love talking to kids. They come up with some of the best questions, and they are so eager to learn. I’ve spoken to a few other classes in the past, and will continue to do others as time permits. If anything, I hope to inspire these kids to either become avid readers or other future writers.

The Worst Part About Writing

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

As you can imagine, the worst part about writing a novel, in my opinion, is all the editing. It is a pain, and rereading your book over and over to the point you want to throw up is hard to get through. However, that being said, the outcome is definitely worth the work. The closer it is to perfection, the better reviews it’s going to get (hopefully). Book One of The Snowtear Wars I probably edited close to thirty times. Why so much? Well, it was my first novel, so I had a lot of growing pains associated with my writing. But as a result of me doing all that editing, I have, in fact, become a much better editor of my own work, and can catch things much easier than I ever used to. I don’t expect I will be editing any of my future books thirty times, thankfully.