Good Afternoon 11th March 2021 & Filling The Well

Good afternoon, folks. Yes, I overslept till gone ten and then had personal correspondence to write. But now I am ready to work!

First up is a read through of Ashes with a red pen and then I’m going to dive into the Vampire book and get this episode done! Then I’ll paste the next episode into the drafting file and read through it so I’m going through as blindly as I did the last chapter.

I also want to get cracking on the ending to Black Blood, and figure out exactly how I want it to end. I’ve got ideas but I think those could change as I write. But we’ll see.

My desk is Still messy!

I did get some good ideas from the Netflix series, Pacific Rim: The Black. Overall it was a good seven episodes and I’m looking forward to see what they do in the future with it, but from a creative point of view it gave me some good ideas, which leads me on to talking about keeping the creative well filled up.

One of the things I do is rewatch what I’ve seen many times before. Sometimes it’s a comfort thing, other times its laziness. Sometimes I’ll watch something new like Superstore, which is good but doesn’t add much to my creative well. That needs filling to keep the ideas growing. I think when we’re young it gets a lot of ideas thrown into it, and it gets more filled the longer we don’t start pulling from it. I watched Pacific Rim: The Black yesterday and it gave me a ton of ideas, then I watched a movie called Surrounded about a group of YouTube type content adventurers whose seaplane crashes and leaves them in shark “infested” waters. (There’s only three sharks) and they have to survive being adrift and getting to this small island station thingy. Firstly, I don’t know why I watched this as anything with Big Water freaks me out! I hate the thought of being stranded in the middle of a huge late, or ocean, sea. Anything like that, which is probably why I like watching that stuff, but anyway. It was something new that I hadn’t seen before and aside from a number of eye rolling moments (I doubt sharks swim in an attack formation, or dead straight; and there was a few cliche moments and plot details there just to add conflict), it wasn’t too bad. I can always live with cheaper CGI if the story and actors grab me, and for the most part they did. I didn’t get a huge amount of inspiration from it, but it was enjoyable.

I need to watch more new content. I retreat onto what I know far too often and I need to change that. I’m not going to make a grand declaration that I’m only going to watch new things for the rest of the year because that’s crap! But What I am going to do is make more effort to watch new, or thing I’ve not seen in a long time or only once from here on out. I’ll talk more about them here as well, even if it’s just a passing mention.

I also have series to continue with as well. The Last Kingdom, The Punisher, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Jack Ryan, Altered Carbon, Game of Thrones, and no doubt a few more. I want to rewatch a couple as well. In particular Sense8 and Battlestar Galactica (the reboot). I’ve not sat down and watched Battlestar from start to finish in one go and feel it’s nearing time to do so. As for Sense8, it is my belief that Sense8 is the best TV show of the last thirty years. It’s years ahead of its time, and doesn’t hold back in so many areas and would never have been made if it wasn’t on somewhere like Netflix. It’s so ahead of its time in my opinion that it suffered for it and was cancelled after only two seasons, but due to fan demand Netflix gave them a two hour special to wrap the loose ends up. It’s not a series for the faint hearted, but I think it’s very much worth a watch.

Right, I’m off to get to work! Have a fun day, folks!

NaNoWriMo 2020: Day Twelve

1185 words written today. I’m at the point with NaNo where the urge to edit is kicking in! So I might try and do some editing on a short story and see if that quells that urge.

I didn’t write as much as I wanted to, today. I had a phone call just after midday and then a friend who is a very skilled writer text me asking if had five minutes to brainstorm a problem she had with a story she’s gearing up to write. That five minutes ended up being three hours, it a damn good three hours. It was good working ideas out and just letter her talk out her ideas. The story itself sounds damn good and I’m kinda itching to read it. So I’m gonna start bugging her to make sure she’s writing, because that’s what friends do!

The first story I ever had published was in Sparks, from Burdizzo Books. I still can’t quite believe that I’m a published author, but I have proof of it, even if I have to pinch myself once in a while. My story, ‘The Last Charge’ is one that was very easy to write. I wrote from the hip, no real idea where I was going with it. Looking back, I’d have done a few things differently, but I don’t look at it and cringe. It’s still something that I am still very proud of.

Imposter syndrome is real, very real. But I don’t feel as bad about having it hitting me once in a while when I hear of well established authors suffering from it. What beats over that feeling is the buzz you get from having a story published. I’ve only encountered two things that have given me a better high (no, not narcotics!).

Right, folks! I’m settling in for a movie (The Cave), and then a busy day tomorrow.

Have a good one folks!

NaNoWriMo 2020: Day Eight

1617 words today over the course of five Starship Troopers movies. That’s day three where I’ve done both a movie marathon and writing at the same time. Not the best for productivity, (let’s ignore the 3k I wrote Friday) but I still got words down and am still ahead of the NaNo target. I’m not quite where I’d like to have been, but I need to balance my time off and writing so I actually get some down time. I can find that balance.

Such an awesome series, and one that I’ve found very inspirational over the years.

Tomorrow I need to get some editing done, it’s only a short story. Very short, so it won’t take long. I’d also like to get some work done on Penal Earth as well. I’m not the most gifted at sticking to one project so it’s time to dive into another one and get some words done on that one.

I am about to sit down and review my works in progress and set myself a little plan of action for the next week and try to stick to it! Which has always been my failing but I’ll persist and try and stick to what I list.

Something I am very guilty of is rewatching the same movies and shows, yes I’ve spent the last three days doing that but that was a special occasion. Time off work and a desire to watch some movies I’ve not watched in quite some time. So I’m trying to watch more that I haven’t seen before. I know I run back to old favourites when I’m not doing too well, it’s a comfort thing. But I need new input. I need to check mow out. Right now I’m watching Dead Space Downfall, never played these games but the film sounded interesting. So far I’m not disappointed.

With that said, I’m going to wrap this up now. Touch base with where I am with projects and make a small list of work for this coming week.

Have a good one folks!

Flash Post! Interviewed by Leah Solmaz

Hi folks!

I was asked by the fantastic Leah Solmaz if I wanted to be interviewed, obviously I said hell yes! And it’s not live! Please hit the link and check it out! 🙂

https://www.leahsolmaz.com/amp/author-series-peter-germany?__twitter_impression=true

Reading (or lack thereof)

I mentioned my bookcases in my post this morning, and that’s something that I’m not doing well with. Reading.

It has been months since I properly sat down and read anything. Each time I’ve tried I’ve not had the attention span or been able to shut my mind off enough to get immersed properly.

Luckily I’ve had some audiobooks I’ve been listening to on my commute but I need to get back to a point where I’m reading before bed again. That was when I’d really enjoy the act. It would also put me in a good place to be able to sleep better.

Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty

The two books I’ve been reading are Clickers Forever, which is the tribute anthology to J.F. Gonzalez. The other is Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty.

I’m further into Clickers Forever than Six Wakes, which I’ve only just started.

Clickers Forever: A Tribute to J.F. Gonzalez

I’m going to dive in hard with these two this week and hopefully I’ll get through the rough and start getting back into the habit and routine of reading again.

22-7-2020

Good evening folks. Well, it was a busy day but not with writing. I got a little editing done this evening. I’m liking this story. It’s the first in the vampire series and one I hope is a strong start.

I am getting a bit of an itch to write something new, I might look up some submission calls and see what’s out there, maybe something will spark an idea. The editing is still my priority though.

Yeah I did a little editing tonight, but I spent most the evening watching movies.

First up was Waterworld with Kevin Costner, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Dennis Hopper. This movie gets a lot of shit, but It’s a fun one. Beautifully shot with a simple, but engaging storyline. It’s one I’d have liked to of seen more from that world as I find it really interesting to see how people survive in that world and the different cultures that have grown from that world.

Then, it’s an old favourite. Total Recall with a Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Rachel Ticotin, and Michael Ironside based off a Philip K. Dick story and directed by Paul Verhoeven. This movie is just awesome! The story works, the actors are all on point, the gore is nice but not over the top (I don’t mind over the top gore, but it wouldn’t work here). It’s another beautifully shot movie as well. Definitely one that makes me smile.

Book Review: Billy and the Cloneasaurus by Stephen Kozeniewski

This book rocked! I described it to a friend as being 1984 meets The Lego Movie! I didn’t really have any idea of what to expect. I hadn’t read the synopsis or any reviews of it. I just knew it was by an author I wanted to check out.
What really sticks with me is the tone throughout the story is pretty level regardless of what’s happening, but that’s just a thin covering of the real tone of the story.

I listened to the audiobook of this one and the narration by Steve Rimpici was perfect for the book. he got the tone just right.

Billy and the Cloneasaurus was right up my street and is a fantastic modern day dystopian that is gripping and memorable. Definitely worth checking out!

Beyond Skyline

Okay, if you’ve been reading my blog for a few years now you’ll have seen the odd post/rant I’ve written about the movie Skyline, directed by The Brothers Strause. Without going into another full blown post about Skyline my biggest complaint was not enough attention was on the live action sequences and too much was spent on the CGI, which granted was very beautiful. It just didn’t fulfil an amazing potential I thought.

Beyond Skyline was not Skyline, it took that potential and made a movie I enjoyed a lot. The CGI looks beautiful, the plot line kept my attention and the actors held the screen well, and more importantly I cared about what happened to them. Frank Grillo and Bojana Novakovic were both very good, and I enjoyed Iko Uwais as well. It was fun seeing Callan Mulvey playing a role which wasn’t a mercenary as well.

I liked how the story went from the events in Skyline and took it further and looked at what was going on in a lot more depth and moves across the globe a little and we see how the invasion is being looked at by another culture. We saw a lot more of the aliens and their little world as well. I really liked the final confrontation at the end of the movie. Not only is there some great CGI action, but some of the fighting the characters do on the ground level is beautiful! The Choreography is very well done.

This is the first film where I’ve seen Iko Uwais and I liked him a lot. He held the screen well and when acting opposite an actor of Frank Grillo’s calibre you need that.

The whole cast was pretty solid I thought, no one felt out of place and none of them felt ‘Meh’ for lack of a better phrase. I thought they felt genuine, we don’t know what we’ll be capable of until we’re pushed out of our comfort zones.

There was a couple of moments where I found my eyebrow raising a little but nothing drastic that took me out of the film any more than a passing second.

I was a little anxious that this was Liam O’Donnell’s directing debut, but I liked where he took the story (he wrote it as well). Some of the visuals were stunning and he got a great balance between the live action and the CGI. They complimented each other very well. Overall I liked his direction and I really hope they do more of these. I will definitely be looking out for what O’Donnell does in the future.

Overall, Beyond Skyline is a film that’s well worth watching. I’m glad I’ve brought it on Blu-Ray as I think I will be re-watching it more than a few times.

Andromedas Fall: A Legion of the Damned novel by William C. Dietz

I think it was last year that I brought this novel as an audiobook and although I enjoyed it the first couple of times I listened to it I wasn’t blown away by it but I’ve re-listened to it over the last two days and I think I’ve got it now. I’m seeing some of the layers Dietz has put into it and as its a prequel he’s known what the endgame is so I’m keen to get the rest of the books now (I’m really hoping they’re on audio) and discover the rest of the stories involving these characters and this universe.

In this book Dietz takes a socialite and strips everything away from her: family, friends, her wealth, her identity and even her looks. She then has to rebuild herself in the modern day equivalent of the French Foreign Legion and at the same time staying away from synthetics who are hunting for her, oh and fight a war as well.

On this listen I picked up on a lot of world building Dietz did as well as the little threads he’s laid for future novels. The dilemma I have now is do I go and listen to the next prequel novel, or go back and listen to them all from the beginning? Thankfully I’ll wait till payday before buying the next one so I have a little time to decide 🙂

 

http://www.williamcdietz.com

Movie Monday: RoboCop

We all know what the general synopsis of RoboCop is, but if you don’t it’s about a police office who, after he receives wounds which have left him all but dead, gets made into a cyborg and goes on to try to rediscover his humanity and who he was before he became RoboCop.

I’ve said in other posts about how anxious I was about this when it was announced they were rebooting one of my favourite movies, and that fear was firmly installed in me until I saw the first trailer. That first trailer blew my mind away, one line that RoboCop says actually made me jump out of my seat! So going into this remake my expectations had gone from all but nothing to incredibly high, and the movie pretty much fulfilled those high expectations.

Joel Kinnerman was pretty good as Alex Murphy/RoboCop. He did have a good charm and looked conflicted as he’s trying to come to terms with what has been done to him.
The new suit looks good, although I think the black and silver of the original is better, in this movie RoboCop is silver and black to start off with but the big boss man (Michael Keaton) feels black would be better, more tactical.
Speaking of Mr.Keaton, he is very good here. I’ve been a fan of Michael Keaton since I saw Batman, Batman returns and then Beetlejuice. I think he holds the viewers attention well and here he plays the role of CEO of Omnicorp very well, he looked natural.
Gary Oldman was really good in the role of Dr. Dennett Norton who creates the technology behind RoboCop and later goes on to be the main human point of contact once RoboCop is awakened.
Abbie Cornish is sweet and lovable as Clara Murphy and I think she really sells the distress of having her husband on deaths door then made into this cyborg.

The storyline is, in my opinion, better then the original movie. It addresses the strain it puts on Alex Murphy and his family as well as solving the crime of who tried to kill Murphy, as well as dealing with the corporate side to the storyline.

Something that is not in this movie from the original is a stand out villain. In the original Kurtwood Smith gives us such a nasty piece of work character, Clarence Boddicker, that is the polar opposite of Murphy/RoboCop and almost steals the show with his performance.
What I did not miss was the over the top violence, there is still a high body count but we don’t see all the blood and gore of the original. I’ve read various articles that have said that Paul Verhoeven  wanted to make a comment about American cinema but I’m glad it wasn’t brought into the remake

The satire is in the remake as it was in the original, mainly from Samuel L. Jackson’s Pat Novak who hosts a current events show and isn’t afraid to show who he’s rooting for. It looked like Jackson had a lot of fun with this character.

Overall I really enjoyed this movie and I’d like to see where it goes if a sequel is made. Is it better then the original? That’s not a fair question I don’t think as the original was a great representation of its time and I think this remake stays loyal to that. I will just add that if Hollywood continues on this course of remaking these iconic movies then this is an excellent example of how it should be done. With RoboCop they haven’t tried to copy the film scene for scene, they’ve made a movie that  is respectful of the original whilst making this movie its creature.

 

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