Thursday, July 17, 2014

Life Off the Page

The other day my friend and I were talking about a favorite TV show of ours (as it is neither science fiction nor action oriented, I'm keeping the shows identity under wraps to protect my street cred). Having concluded it's finale several years ago, I wondered aloud where the characters were now. You know, what they were doing. How their lives turned out post credits. 

My friend looked at me with a strange expression on her face. "They're fictional," she said to me. "They don't have lives post credit." And I guess to her they don't. Characters live and die on the screen, and when the picture fades and the words The End are read, they cease to exist. 

But for me it's something else entirely. Characters are real. They exist in a reality different from my own. They age, they change. The hero lives out his time on earth after the villain is slain and the victory celebrated, perhaps a little nostalgic for his battle days. The new bride and groom, having made it through all the rom-com hurdles leading up to their wedding, settle down, buy a house in the suburbs, raise a couple of kids and put away money for their eventual retirement. 

They live. They live off the page and screen. And I wonder about them and their lives in the same way I wonder about that girl I was friends with in high school but lost touch with somewhere along the way. And I hope they're happy, wherever they are. 

Anyone else feel the same way about their favorite characters? Ever wonder how many kids Belle and Beast had? If Luke Skywalker holidays with Leia and Han when they're not rebuilding the Republic? 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

J. K. Rowling Writes

"There are celebrities -- and then there are celebrities." The opening line of Rita Skeeter's latest Daily Prophet article gets it absolutely right, for those of us who love Harry Potter know that the infamous wizard is one of the latter. And who could be more excited to see him make an appearance at the Quidditch World Cup? 

What am I talking about do you ask? For those of you living under a rock, the above is a little snippet from J. K. Rowling's latest excerpt posted on her Pottermore website. I will admit that I am weary of Harry Potter sequels. When you write perfection, leave well enough alone (ahem, Star Wars, ahem). But I love that Rowling has created a vehicle through which we can catch small glimpses of our favorite characters in their later years. And now, seven years after the release of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry and the gang have been spotted at the World Cup with their families. 

Crowds of wizards flocked like muggles to the internet, hoping to sneak a peek at their favorite lightning-scarred hero. Chronicled by the animagus journalist we all love to hate, we spot The Chosen One introducing his young sons to world famous Quidditch seeker, Viktor Krum. Ron and Hermione, still happily married (whew, Rowling scared me a bit back in February when she cast doubts on their marital fate) and making a name for themselves in the wizarding world, are among just a few of the other former Dumbledore's Army ringleaders that share the Potters' VIP section. 

So if you'd like to catch you own glimpse of the grown-up DA, want to vote for your favorite team to win the Quidditch World Cup, get sorted into one of the Hogwarts houses, or just miss the sharp-tongued Rita Skeeter, check out the Pottermore website!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group

It's the first Wednesday of the month and time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group. If you're an insecure writer or just looking to give other writers some much needed support, check us out here. And a huge shout out to our fearless Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh for being the greatest support of all!

I don't feel much like griping about my struggles with writing or publication, or the fact that I feel pretty downtrodden, so instead I thought I would share the words of people much more interesting and successful than myself. So here are a few of my favorite quotes to inspire you in your writing this month. 

"Books cannot be killed by fire. People die, but books never die. No man and no force can take from the world the books that embody man's eternal fight against tyranny. In this war, we know, books are the weapon." 
-- Franklin D. Roosevelt 

"A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic."
-- Carl Sagan

"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island."
-- Walt Disney 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Movie Marathons: Sports Movies

This is going to be a spectacular week. We have a Germany/Algeria smack-down today, and tomorrow we get to watch team USA, having made it out of the Group of Death, play in the next round of the World Cup! Who would have ever thought we'd make it this far?

So I figured in honor of the World Cup, USA's advancement, and in keeping with my new Monday Movie Marathon concept, I thought I'd make this week's theme . . .

Sports Movies:

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday Movie Marathons

I was thinking the other day about how disappointing it will be when the World Cup comes to an end and my days are no longer filled with scores, stats and soccer. What will my friends and I do on weekends when we can't gather together in local bars to scream at ESPN? How will I procrastinate from getting any real work done?

The horror.

Fortunately, as we sat together last weekend killing time between the Argentina/Iran and Germany/Ghana games, we came up a few movie marathons we'd woefully neglected, and made plans to get started once a soccer world champion had been crowned.

Yes, yes. I know. Crisis averted.

We made some lists and, as the group historian, I carefully recorded them on my phone for future reference. But seeing as it's Monday and I've finished watching all today's games, I thought I might get a jump start on some of these categories and list out some of the best movies of each genre. Starting with . . .


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

We Briefly Interrupt This Writing Process...

I had great intentions at the beginning of June. I was going to hit my writing hard, bang out at least a few new chapters a week. I had it all planned out. I just forgot one small problem . . . 

I don't know what I was thinking. There's no way I can possible give my full attention to my manuscript when the WORLD CUP is going on. I've been waiting four years for this. I've filled out my bracket (which I hate to say is already looking a little shaky) and kept track of all the qualifiers. I'm the defending champion from the 2010 World Cup (viva Espana!), and I have to make sure to give my favorite teams my full support and attention. 

So I guess my devote-yourself-to-nothing-but-writing plan is going to be put on hold just a little longer. I fully intend to work on it through the months of June and July . . . from the hours of 8:30-11 A.M., 1-2 P.M., and 4-5 P.M. The rest of the day I'm unfortunately have other engagements.  

[Side Note: Was anyone else as impressed as I was by the USA vs. Ghana game? Way to go USMNT!]

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Movies, Movies, Movies...

For someone as devoted to movies as I usually am, I found myself in the strange position of having not seen a single of the recent releases. Shocking really considering how long I've been waiting for the new X-Men movie to come out. But I'm happy to say my friends and I went on a movie binge over the weekend and managed to (at least partially) catch up. I can now check Godzilla (monster-licious), Maleficent (a little bit disappointing), and X-Men: Days of Future Past (terrific) off my list. 

But I have to admit, I have yet to see the movie of the summer. Each movie has been fun, but I haven't yet walked out of one and though, "let's do that again!". Fortunately it's still early and we have plenty of opportunities to find the "it" movie of the summer. Let's take a look at few of the top contenders . . . 

Is anyone else excited about this upcoming movies? I was a bit skeptical about another Transformers film, but an all new cast means all new potential (yay for no Megan Fox). Guardians of the Galaxy looks hilarious and I loved the first How to Train Your Dragon, so I'm hopeful for both of them. 

We'll have to just wait and see!