Sunday, February 26, 2012

Life, Rice and Ideas

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Anne Rice

I told you that I would publish an article on Ridley Scott's newest films: Prometheus which releases in theatres later this year (I believe summer) and a second Blade Runner movie that's still in the planning stages. I apologise for not publishing the article yet. As is the case with many other writers, I got sidetracked with other projects.

Well, I did do an article on Anne Rice's return to writing horror fiction. You can find it at It is a little outdated in that the article mentions a live interview with Ms. Rice that was broadcasted over Google's YouTube channel the other day (the article was published a day or two before that). However, the video of the interview may still be posted on YouTube.  To tell you the truth, I didn't even get a chance to tune into it myself. But you'll also find all kinds of neat information on Anne Rice in the article.

I also mentioned last time that I would talk more about my newest short story. I said that it was a ghost story. I'm still working on it. I meant to finish it up this evening but, as with all us writers and artists, "life" gets in the way. But then again life is where we get our ideas from for our art. It's just a matter of what the artist looks at in everyday life that gives him/her the ideas. For example, when my grandfather and I drove to a small grocery store near his house this evening, a store that has seemed to be there forever, it appeared to stand in the middle of no where in the dark since everything else around it, mostly industrial businesses, was closed. Only three employees could be seen and very few customers. The market is a cross between a regular grocery store and a convenience store and so it is very small. When we left I noticed only one car in the parking lot other than our own (if there were any others I didn't see them). Well, right there that can be a call for an absurdist and/or surreal story.

The scene reminded me a little bit of the '70s TV suspense movie, Dying Room Only. In this film a couple stop at a highway cafe with only a small lodge next to it, a couple of parked cars and seemingly no other customers all out in the middle of a desert at night. By the way, the central conflict of the film was that the husband suddenly disappears while the wife is in the restroom. And the owner of the cafe won't do a thing to help the woman figure out where the husband disappeared to because the owner is a total gruff jerk. But don't get me wrong, the employees of the market my grandfather and I went to are very friendly. I'm just talking about the momentary impression that the outside scenery of the market gave me and therefore using that as an example of how you can take just about any everyday situation and turn it into a tale worth telling. Neil Gaiman put it similarly when he said something like you can find all kinds of adventures in your own backyard.

Well, a little more about the ghost story. It's, as they call it, a paranormal story but I just prefer calling it a ghost or horror story. Be careful for the overly specified classifications within genres; a lot of them are used as commercial signs to direct readers in stores (most of which are online as opposed to "brick-and-mortar" now) to the books that sell best regardless of story quality. My story also involves an internet quiz. I'll try to have at least an excerpt for you next week, maybe even the whole thing for you to read (for free!).

That's it for now. Until next time . . .

Sunday, February 19, 2012

"Prometheus" and Fiction in Process

(Photo removed for reasons of copyright.)
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

This has been a week with a lot of online talk on Ridley Scott's current projects: Prometheus and a second Blade Runner movie. Prometheus is, what can best be called, a "prequel" to 1979's Alien, although there are some people out there who are not calling it a prequel or sequel. The reason for that is that the movie's storyline simply takes place in the same universe that Alien takes place in. There are no characters from any of the previous Alien movies (as far as I understand), and that includes the monsters.

I was watching the trailor to it yesterday, though, and it seems to be just as intense and as terrifying as the first film. The scenes in the trailor flash by successively and the soundtrack contains that screeching melody like that of the first movie. The movie is due to release this summer. I can hardly wait!

I'm in the process of doing an article on the two upcoming films. (The Blade Runner movie is still at the planning stage so we probably won't see that release until at least another two years, is my guess.) It will probably be out at by Tuesday. That's right. Mardi Gras/Carnival Tuesday. Watch out for giant walking heads from other worlds. Worlds of the imagination, that is.

While I'm working on my collection of short fiction, I'm also writing new fiction which I'm actually getting ready to work on now. For the collection, I have a few more revisions to do for one story and the cover illustration to make. As far as the design of the cover itself goes, I'm going to use templates; making my own design would take too much time for this writer who is too busy with the more creative side of writing and art and who's poor mathematical skills won't allow him the patience for making his own design from scratch. As far as the illustration goes, though, I'm trying to determine the size of the cover and one of the factors in doing that is, at least I think, seeing what size sells the best. I'm sticking with paperback form because it's both affordable for me and probably for readers like yourself as well. So I've been browsing through books on Amazon that are published through its self-publishing service, Create Space.

I'll post the cover here as soon as I have it made so you people can give me your feedback on it. Better yet, I may even post a sketch first and then you can tell me what you think.

Well, I have to go work on one of my newest short stories now which I'll talk more about next time. It's a ghost story; I'll tell you that much for now.

Until next time . . .

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Up in the Air Deciding; Down on the Floor Laughing

Another busy week. I was all up in the air today almost about everything. I was so undecisive of what I was going to do on this Saturday. I asked myself, "Am I going to go join friends to see Star Wars: The Phantom Menace 3D and then write a review of it or am I going to go to a video gaming tournament instead so I can write a review on that? And if I decide to see Star Wars, at what theatre and what time will I go see it?" In asking these questions I factored in the financial situation. Well it all lead to backing out on both those plans (though I'll still consider Phantom Menace 3D for another time) but maybe for all unforeseen reasons as opposed to just financial ones: I discovered while searching for a story for my Social Networking column at the most hilarious, eccentric geeky show that I've ever seen. It's a web series called "Smosh". Not even "Big Bang Theory" could make me laugh anywhere near as this series can. I strongly advise you to check it out. Though it does get a little obscene or maybe much depending on who you are. But I laughed to almost losing my stomach. You can read about it in my review of it first if you want. (In which I hope you want to!)

Until next week. . .

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Museum, Fiction, and George Lucas

Photo Credit: Joi Ito/

It’s been a very busy week, mostly of writing articles for of which you can read the latest here. However, I have been working on my fiction more than ever. Not having a second job like I did a year ago allows for that. However, that may not be lasting very long. (I’m a seasonal worker for the state.)  

I got the strangest story idea from the strangest situation that happened to me at the museum that I visited today on this Free Museum Day which occurs every year about this time here in Sacramento. The story idea came about by way of a photo of a celebrity that I was observing who’s name I prefer not to mention here.  Maybe you’ll find out who it was whenever I come around to writing and publishing the story which will probably be a dark supernatural tale and so that’s how strange the occurrence was.

Anyway, I’ve been working on new fiction as well as my book of fiction that I’m planning to self-publish by spring of this year. I’m titling it The Fool’s Illusion which you can read an introduction to and an excerpt from the title story here. So far I’ve been working on a cover illustration for it. 

Not really anything that much more special going on. As far as science fiction and fantasy outside my own go, Chronicle just released yesterday which I personally haven’t seen yet and am not sure how good it is although it does look interesting and kind of intense. It’s about a group of teenage boys who gain super powers that get out of control. Like really out of control. It has its humourous parts though, which I guess would be comic relief.

I still have yet to see, what is supposed to be, George Lucas’s last mainstream film (besides the fourth Indiana Jones film that has been said to be in the plans) before he retires from this kind of film making and return to his earlier ambition of making more symbolic and experimental movies, according to a New York Times article. The movie is Red Tails and has been out for about a week. The NY Times also says that his experimental work will most likely only screen in certain theaters that specialize in such films. Personally I’m hoping these alternative movies will make it to some of the indie theaters here in Sac since I love experimental films, especially when they get into the surreal.  Oh, and one of my latest articles discusses a fan film that received more than a million clicks about a week ago, Star Wars Uncut, and so mentions Lucas’s retirement and how his company OK’d the film which was ironic because he has had some bad criticism from fans lately, undeservedly.

Well that’s it for this week. Until next time . . .