Today’s Post 28/02/13

There’s not much to say tonight, I’ve got some more words written down on Project Apollo, again I’m not sure if it will end up in the final cut but it’s going to help no matter what.

I listened again to Joshua Jared Scott’s Sanctuary: Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse. This is a very good story, Mr. Scott has a nice way of putting his stories together and as I mentioned in a previous post he is not scared of writing the brutal truths in a story. I really hope Mr. Scott is working on a follow-up novel to this one.

Another story that I am listening too is A Dancing Bear by David Free. This a story of a college student who gets sucked into a world of terrorist plots, murder and fear. All because he falls for a women. A very good story which makes me feel for the protagonist and I can see how his actions, or lack of them, take them where he ends up.

Once I’ve finished editing Avoiding The Game (yes the title of the story is still going to change) I’m going to have a go through Project Apollo with Owen and get what is written tidied up and expanded, but also get the rest of it planned out so we can get it done!

Tonights Post

I’ve been listening to Scott Sigler’s first book in his Crypt series, called Crew Stories. This basically is a collection of short stories about the future crew of a ship known as the PUV James Keeling, also known as The Crypt. This is a collection that I have listened to before but I had forgotten just how good these stories are and I really enjoyed reliving them again and getting to know the crew once more. This is not a book for the faint of heart! And at the moment is only available in podcast form (Which means free) A lot of the stories here are co-written by some amazing writers including, Mur Lafferty, Paul E. Cooley, Jake Bible and many other excellent writers (Look out for the story  co-written with Greg Crites). Here’s the link to the page on Scott Sigler’s website;

http://scottsigler.com/books/the-crypt-book-one-crew-stories

If you have read my blog for a while you will know I am a big fan of Scott Sigler, he is an amazing writer who I have a lot of time for as he has worked very hard to get to where he is today. He has had a little help along the way and I would love to steal his business partner, A Kovacs who seems to keep Mr. Sigler on track. They are a great team and are producing some great content.

 

I would also like to quickly give a link to this interview on Adventures In Sci-Fi Publishing with Kevin J. Anderson. I have not read any of his work yet, I do have the first of The Saga Of Seven Suns book on my shelve, but I love listening to him talking about the art of writing. It’s in two parts so I’ll give you the link to the first part;

http://www.adventuresinscifipublishing.com/2013/02/aisfp-197-kevin-j-anderson-part-1/

 

You can find both podcasts in the iTunes library.

Reading update, I finished Stephen King’s The Gunslinger last night. I was aiming to get it read by the end of the week but the final sixty pages went by in a beat of an eye. As I’ve said before I had no idea what this book was about and I’ve really enjoyed discovering it. I am looking forward to the next book but I am going to read a couple of other books before I delve into book two in the series.

I’ve now started Haywire by Justin R. Macumber.

I have not done any more editing, but I have done some hand written bits for Project Apollo.

Today’s Post

More often than not I never quite know how to start off a blog post, it’s the same as when I’m going to start writing. It does not matter whether I am doing what I am doing now and editing or continuing from where I left a story off, or starting from scratch on a whole new story. That initial lack of knowing where to start costs me maybe twenty minutes some days so I just try to start typing, which is what I did today and you all got this little ramble 😀

Now to what I really would like to talk about briefly today.

I want to give a shout out to two episodes of the amazing StarShipSofa. The first episode featured a short story by Ken Liu which provoked an emotional response from me. Here’s the link.

http://www.starshipsofa.com/2013/02/13/starshipsofa-no-276-ken-liu/

I am a strong believer in that if a story gets that sort of reaction out of me then the writer has done their job and in this case Mr. Liu has done a really good job. I’ve listened to a few of this mans stories which I’ve liked but with this one I will now make a point of looking out for his work. Mr. Liu’s site is below.

http://kenliu.name/

It’s rare that a story gets this reaction from me, or any real emotional reaction. So when I do find something by someone I pay attention. One of my Beta readers has said that one of my stories brought a lump to her throat which is a highlight of my short writing career.

The second episode from The StarShipSofa has a good piece of fiction in it by David D. Levine but it was the conversation on music in video games which made this episode stand out for me. It is a really interesting look at the music in some of the most popular video games over the last twenty years or so.

http://www.starshipsofa.com/2013/02/20/starshipsofa-no-277-david-d-lavine/

I have done a little editing tonight and I’ve just this moment remembered something that I need to note done for tomorrow…..Done.

In my Battlestar Galactica marathon I have just watched the last episode of series two and will start series three sunday or monday, once I’ve found the box set that is.

Now though I am off to crack on with a little more from The Gunslinger by Stephen King 🙂

A Progress Update

I’ve added a few words to the WIP and it is taking a nice shape now, still a little way off completion though. I wanted to add an element to the story which I think could add a lot to it but would require a lot of research but i am going to hold off that and leave it for maybe a second story in this universe. One aspect of this story that I was concerned with was how I have ended it, but now that I have thought the whole story through I am actually very happy with how it ends as it is an ending that I hope will be satisfactory.

I have started a little work on a project I should not be but it’s something that I am doing when I’m not near my laptop so I can get away with it. Saying that I am tempted to use this free time (lunch break at the day job) to plot out a story that is quite well thought out in my head. I’d like to get a rough outline of and see how the lead character will feel.

Stephen King has really hooked me with The Gunslinger. I’d like to find a little more time to get it wrapped up by the end of the month but I’m not going to sacrifice writing time.

I am also doing a Battlestar Galactica Marathon at the moment which I am Loving! I have not seen the end of the last series yet (although I have seen the end of the final episode) and I’m building up to it nicely.

That’s about it for the moment. I am trying to pick up the pace with everything, but I’ve not found the turbo in my brain yet.

Just A Couple Of Quick Bits

Hey guys I just wanted to give a couple of shout outs and mentions.

 

Firstly is J.R. Murdock. I listened to a story he wrote about intergalactic haulage called V&A Shipping. This is one of the random podcasts that I have downloaded from podiobooks.com via iTunes which was a random download. I had not heard of it or Mr. Murdock but the story got me from the first line and kept me listening keenly until the end of the story. It did also tug at my heartstrings which I think is always a good sign. It’s a good sci-fi setting and the story itself is engaging. Well worth a listen. Here is the authors website (best web address ever by the way).

http://ofgnomesanddwarves.com/

 

One quick other shout out is one that I have done before but it has been a while since they have had a mention and they are the good people over at Adventures In Sci-Fi Publishing.

http://www.adventuresinscifipublishing.com/

Their website still looks amazing and is full of great content. Even if you do not write science fiction this podcast is a great listen and the website is great, I really need to get there more often than I do.

 

With my WIP, it is progressing slowly as I am expanding on some of the pieces that I have written. Next time I do NaNoWriMo hopefully I’ll be able to put this detail in when I write the first draft. It is getting there though 🙂

Movie Monday: Battle: Los Angeles

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This weeks Movie Monday post is on this movie which is not too far from being what I think could have been a great film, a little like Skyline but this one did work a little better.

***Minor Spoilers***

Simply this is an alien invasion movie that tries to be Black Hawk Down, but with aliens. It starts during the invasion then rewinds to the previous day where we meet Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz who is about to retire but the invasion comes and he is put into a platoon that is not his regular one and he is not well liked within this platoon because he was the sole survivor of an incident where a brother of one of this platoon died. The platoon is commanded by an officer who passed out top of his class, just recently.

They are assigned to go to a police station in the hostile zone and rescue some civilians who had been left there. Along the way they encounter the enemy and engage in a small fire fight. Once at the station they call in a helicopter pickup, but as the helicopter is lifting off with injured Marines (no civilians) It is blown out of the sky by the alien aircraft. Before this point the aliens had not deployed any aerial units. This changes the conflict, giving the invaders an advantage. So the Marines have to get to the safe zone by other means. They are in a hurry because the U.S. Air Force is going to Carpet Bomb that region. So after catching a wounded alien and slicing it up to find the best way to kill it they hot wire a bus and make their way to the freeway. In the process they discover that the aliens are tracking their movements by the radios they are using. Nantz uses this to lure in and blow up one of the alien drones.

Unfortunately they have to abandon the bus and go on foot to somewhere that is safe as they will not make it to the safe zone before the bombing begins. They loose their commanding officer in the process, and the way he dies it looks like Nantz has left him behind so he can survive.

I’ll leave the plot there and let you find out what happens yourselves.

I like the idea of this one. It does not focus on the bigger picture but on the human side of the fight. This for me saves this movie. Whereas Skyline did not make me feel for the characters this one does. Aaron Eckhart’s portrayal of Staff Sergeant Nantz saves this movie. A few of the cast do help but it is Eckhart who I felt for most in this movie. The action is not bad and I like some of the aspect of the aliens and how they are operating.

The story is okay, a little thin in places, annoying in others. What I did find a little annoying is that there are too many clichés in this movie. The experienced Sergeant who is about to retire who is well decorated, but his last mission did not go well. The inexperienced Lieutenant who dies, the aliens who are almost unbeatable. The marines who have a problem with the sergeant and so on. One thing that I felt was a little clumsy was that all the Marines call Nantz Staff Sergeant. Not sarge or Sargeant, but Staff Sergeant. If someone could tell me is this how Marines in the U.S. talk to their N.C.O’s?

That said though I do enjoy watching this movie, The acting is not bad, the directing is not either. The plot is a little simple and direct but I think its acceptable, but It is Eckhart who carries this movie.

Is it worth a watch? Yes. Could it have been better? Yes, but it’s better than a lot of rubbish out there at the moment.

Some Free Time

This coming week I am off from the day job for some much-needed R&R. I’m quite lucky in the fact that I enjoy my day job a lot, work with a great group of lads and lasses and I have a great boss but I am really looking forward to taking this week and not having to think about the time I get to bed, or what time I get up.

It’s not all going to be sitting around and chilling though. Tomorrow (Monday) I’m off to Owen’s to work on Project Apollo, which in turn works on The Space Watch (Project Delphi). Hopefully we’ll be able to solve a problem we have with Project Apollo which is I ran out of steam just as I should have been smoothing the middle of the story out. I’m really hoping we can get it sorted so that once I am finished with my current, solo, WIP we can get Project Apollo finished and have a finished draft.

I would love to say that I will have my WIP finished by the end of the week, but I’m not going to say that. I don’t think I will be doing much writing this week if I am totally honest. I will be spending time with Tracie but also just relaxing. Feet up playing Xbox or watching a few movies (I might have a Battlestar Galactica marathon) Although saying that after talking to Owen tomorrow I may be inspired and get cracking with a new-found enthusiasm.

Mentioning Xbox just there, I was over my good friend Stefan’s (http://stefanmcmachan.wordpress.com/) last night and were spent the night killing aliens on Halo 4, which is a great game which I cannot wait to get for myself. The only aspect fo the game that I’m not a fan of is the Point Of View. It’s 1st person but I generally prefer the 3rd person POV you get with games like Gears Of War, but it doesnt put me off enough to stop playing 😉