Monday, November 11, 2019

Announcing the Beyond Star Trek Blogathon

Quiggy (of The Midnite Drive-In) and I are co-hosting another blogathon!  The Beyond Star Trek Blogathon will focus on actors and actresses from all the Star Trek shows, but in their non-Trek roles.

In other words, any actor or actress with a regular role in any Star Trek show from The Original Series to Discovery is fair game for this, BUT you can't write about their role on Star Trek.  You have to write about something else that they acted in.

We ask that you restrict yourself to actors and actresses who had recurring roles playing the same character on a Star Trek show, not one-time guest stars.  So Grace Lee Whitney, who played Yoeman Janice Rand in 8 episodes of season one of The Original Series, would be an acceptable choice; Roger C. Carmel, who played Harry Mudd in two episodes of TOS, would be also.  But Kirsten Dunst, who appeared in only one episode of The Next Generation, is not.

Alternatively, you can write about someone behind the cameras, such as a director or writer, but again, they need to have contributed in a real way to the shows, not worked incidentally on one in some tangential way.

If you're not sure if the person you want to write about is fair game or not, just ask either myself or Quiggy!

We're asking that there be no duplicate reviews of movies/shows.  So if you want to write about Patrick Stewart as Professor X, for instance, and someone else has already signed up to review X-Men: Days of Future Past, you can review a different X-Men movie instead, but not that specific one.  Or if one person does an overview of all the X-Men movies as a whole, someone else can review one particular film.

This blogathon will run from Friday, January 10, through Sunday, January 12, 2020.  Grab one of these buttons to display on your blog and help spread the word!

You can sign up either on this post or on Quiggy's post at The Midnite Drive-In.  Please give us the name of the actor or actress you want to write about AND the name of the movie or show they were in that you'll be focusing on, and the address of your blog.

The Roster

+ The Midnite Drive-In -- Leonard Nimoy in Zombies of the Stratosphere (1952) AND Deforest Kelly in Fear in the Night (1947)
+ Hamlette's Soliloquy -- William Shatner in The Big Valley episode "A Time to Kill" (1966)
+ Coffee, Classics, and Craziness -- Leonard Nimoy in season 4 of Mission: Impossible (1969-70)
+ Angelman's Place -- Leonard Nimoy in Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
+ Caftan Woman -- DeForest Kelley on Zane Grey Theater
+ Wide Screen World -- Robert Beltran in Eating Raoul (1982)
+ Movies Meet Their Match -- William Shatner in Miss Congeniality (2000)
+ RealWeegieMidget Reviews -- Leonard Nimoy in Baffled! (1973)
+ YOU!

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Things I Don't Do

A few days ago, I read an article called "Every Woman Has an 'I Don't' List. And it's Time We Shared Them."  A friend linked to it on Facebook, and I read it because I was having one of those days where I couldn't seem to get anything done.

Get 'er Done - Motivational Planner & Journal by Motiv8 ...

I have a fiery drive to Get Things Done.  You already know how much I love to-do lists.  Not only do I make seasonal to-do lists and share them here, I often have daily and weekly to-do lists that I'm working on.  In fact, I started using a bullet journal about a year go, just to keep my lists organized.

(This is my bullet journal.  I'm still using it.  It's still helping.)

The truth is, I am a very busy person.  I thrive on being busy.  I homeschool my 3 kids, I help run our homeschool co-op, I blog, I write regularly for both Femnista and the Prairie Times, I write novels and self-publish them... and I read about a book a week.  Oh, and I started a book club at church, I'm involved with Sunday school and VBS and the church choir.  I'm an active bookstagrammer.  I have a flower garden.  I usually have at least one crocheting or sewing project going.  And I watch at least one movie a week.  Writing all that up right now made me kinda tired, to be honest!  Wow.  I'm very busy.

The point of this post is not to praise myself for how much I accomplish, or how good I am at balancing things.  The point of this post is to answer that question that I get a lot, when people find out how busy I am.


The answer -- the very truthful, not necessarily flattering answer -- is that I do all that by NOT doing a ton of other things.  So, inspired by that article, here is my I Don't List.

+ I don't dust more than three or four times a year.
+ I don't sweep the kitchen more than once every week or two.
+ I don't mop.  (My husband does.)
+ I don't sweep the dining room.  (My daughter does.)
+ I don't do most of the laundry.  (My son does.)
+ I don't wake up at night to feed any babies.  (Anymore.)
+ I don't change diapers.  (Anymore.)
+ I don't breastfeed.  (Anymore.  Wow, babies take a lot of time and work, y'all.)
+ I don't get TV on my TV.  I watch DVDs, VHS tapes (so old-fashioned), and stuff on Amazon Prime Instant Video.  (If I'm watching a TV show or movie, it is very intentional.  It is not a way to kill time or have background noise or whatever.  Watching a show or a movie is an active pursuit for me, an activity, not a pastime.)
+ I don't clean my bathrooms every week.  (I have 4 bathrooms.  I rotate them, so they each get cleaned about every-other-week, but more often if they get gross, obviously.)
+ I don't scrub my shower regularly.  (I have a friend who scrubs her shower every week.  No thanks.  I don't have time.)
+ I don't make every meal from scratch.  (I love to cook.  I do cook supper from scratch several times a week, but lunches are usually pb&j or something from a box or can, plus fresh fruit or veggies.)
+ I don't bake my own bread.  (Very often.  Sometimes, but it's a treat.)
+ I don't grind my own grain.  (Stop rolling your eyes!  I know people who do.)
+ I don't make my own yogurt.  Or cheese.  (Those sound nifty, though!)
+ I don't sew my kids' clothes.  (My grandma sewed all my mom's clothes until my mom was a teen.  Dude.  Wow.)(I do sew the occasional thing, but it's a fun activity for me that turns into something useful, like a blanket or a dress or a skirt.  Or doll clothes...)
+ I don't have my kids in umpteen sports and activities and programs.  (They do swimming lessons in the fall/winter/spring once a week, all at the same time.  We go to our homeschool co-op twice a month.  We go to church and Sunday school every Sunday.  That's it.)
+ I don't always fold laundry as soon as it's dry.  (Sometimes my kids have to dig through baskets to find clothes.  But hey, they're clean.)
+ I don't fold any of the clean towels or washcloths.  (My other daughter does.)
+ I don't keep track of fashion trends.  At all.  (Most days I wear jeans and a t-shirt.  On Sundays, I wear nice shirts and skirts or dresses, but they're what are comfy and please me, not what are cool or trendy.  I have no idea what's fashionable.)
+ I don't read all my favorite blogs every day anymore.  (This makes me SO SAD.  I want to find a way to work reading blogs back into my daily schedule.  Trying to make that happen.  Cuz I miss reading my friends' blogs, but right now, it just doesn't happen.)
+ I don't read my Facebook feed much.  (I use FB mostly as a bulletin board and to instant-message friends.  I might scroll a little while waiting for someone to reply, but that's very occasional.)
+ I don't do Twitter.  (I have an account, but I never use it.)
+ I don't have an Etsy shop.  (Anymore.  I did for years, but life happened.)
+ I'm not pursuing a higher education degree.  (My BA is just fine, thanks.)
+ I don't shower every day.  (Twice a week is fine, unless I've been working outside or whatever.)
+ I don't exercise every day.  I don't even exercise three times a week.  I try to, but reality is once or twice most weeks.  (But this is much better than back when I never exercised at all!)
+ I don't have a job outside the home.

Now.  Are any of the things I don't do bad things?  No!  They're all good.  And some of them, I should do more, or would like to do more.  I need to get back to exercising 3 times a week.  (I did for several months earlier this year, but life happened.)  I want to get back to reading blogs regularly.  (I did for years and years, but life happened.)

But that's how I do what I do.  By not doing many, many other things.  Because nobody can do everything, right?  Right.

So please, if you ever look at my "let's see what I checked off my to-do list for this season" posts and say, "Ugh, why can't I do all those things too?  What am I doing wrong?" I want you to know that the answer is nothing. You are doing nothing wrong.  You are probably just doing things that I don't do, and things that I do are on YOUR "I Don't" list.  And that's totally fine.  As Major Tony Nelson said in one of my favorite episodes of I Dream of Jeannie, "I'm me and you're you, and that's what makes the world go 'round."  He was a pretty smart guy, being an astronaut and all, so I think it's good to remember those wise words of his.

Or don't, if remembering random, obscure lines from movies and shows and books is on your I Don't list ;-)

(See?  Astronaut.)

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Femnista Article About "Laura" for Halloween

I know what you're thinking.  But, Hamlette, Laura is not a Halloween movie.  It's not even scary.  How did you get away with writing about it for Halloween???

Well, it so happens that our Femnista issue is themed around the idea of being "haunted," and Detective Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews) is definitely haunted by Laura (Gene Tierney), the woman whose murder he's investigating.  You can read my article, "Obsession or Love," right here, and if you want a full review of the movie, I did one a few years ago here.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

TWO New Interviews!

Amanda Tera at With a Joyful Noise is doing a whole series on retellings, and today she featured my book Dancing and Doughnuts, plus a little interview with me.  You can read it here.  It focuses more on my retellings as a whole, not any specific book/story I've written so far.

Meanwhile, Stanley Wheeler is also interviewing indie authors on his blog lately, and he recently interviewed me too!  Wow.  I feel weirdly interesting now, with all these people asking me questions.  Anyway, you can read that interview here.  I talk a lot about the Exoduster migration in that one, and the interview revolves mostly around One Bad Apple, the Snow White retelling I'm laboring over.

Friday, October 25, 2019

My FREE new short story, "Gruff"

I took a little break from working on my Snow White western, One Bad Apple, and wrote a quick short story to celebrate the beautiful autumn we're enjoying right now.

Like my last two short stories, this one continues the adventures of characters from my Once Upon a Western series of fairy tale retellings.  Only instead of following a main character, it focuses on one of the side characters from Cloaked.

Three Billy Goats Gruff... reimagined. 

Deputy Christopher Small is running out of time. He doesn't want to disappoint his little brothers by neglecting to play the annual autumn prank they're anticipating, but he needs to get himself all slicked up for dinner. Why? His parents have invited Miss Mary Rose O'Brien, the girl he's sweet on. Will he have time to do both?

Find out in this new short story that follows both the book Cloaked and the short story "Blizzard at Three Bears Lake," all part of Rachel Kovaciny's Once Upon a Western series of fairy tale retellings.

+Get a FREE Kindle copy from Amazon
+Get a FREE Nook copy from Barnes and Noble
+Get a FREE e-book copy from Kobo

Add it to your to-read shelf on Goodreads here.

I hope you enjoy it! 

Sunday, October 20, 2019

New Femnista Article about Alan Ladd

I actually contributed two articles to this issue of Femnista, and the second one is up now.  It's all about This Gun for Hire (1942) and how the filmmakers use appearances in various ways to deceive or mislead characters within the story as well as the audience.  You can read it here :-)

Friday, October 18, 2019

"The Lego Batman Movie" (2017) -- Initial Thoughts x 4

My kids and I just finished watching The Lego Batman Movie together for the first time.  Here are thoughts from them, labeled by whether they're my 12-yr-old, 9-yr-old, or 7-yr-old speaking, or just me, so you know who's saying what.

12: Everything is awesome!  No.  Um.  Um.  Somebody else talk.

9: Unikitty wasn't in it :-(  Must stay positive!

12:  I think Lord Business should have been in the Phantom Zone.

7: It was less cool than the Lego Movie.  It was more boring.  It was all "I'm trying to do the same thing" over and over.  In the Lego Movie, they did more random stuff.

12: About half the movie was embarrassing dithering before anything exploded.

9: Wyldstyle should have been in it.

12: Also, the Talking Brick's boss (and voice) should have been Unikitty.

Me: What's something you liked about it?

9: It had lots of explosions.

7: I don't really have anything that I liked about it.  Except Robin was cute.

12: It was all Lego and not like the Lego Ninjago Movie. Also, Batman's riff on "Everything is Awesome" was funny.

So... they kind of weren't big fans of it.  I think that's probably because this was their first Batman movie ever, so a lot of the jokes about Batman history stuff weren't funny to them.  And come to think of it... the only other superhero movie they've ever seen is The Incredibles, which is ALSO a loving spoof of superhero movies... and if you don't know the genre, spoofing it isn't very funny.

Which is why I totally loved it, since I adore superhero movies, as you may have noticed.  All the little nods to Batman history and to the superhero genre in general were AWESOME.  Just, so funny.  Robin saying "Holy family photo, Batman," and all the little snippets of the previous Batman movies/shows ("that weird one in the sixties" cracked me up so much), plus that thing where they did the sound effects as words ("Bam!" POW!") and just... it was perfect.  I totally dug it.

And can we talk about the bad guys they gathered?  Voldemort, Sauron, Daleks, King Kong... that was brilliant.  (And I was just heartily amused that Ralph Fiennes was voicing Alfred, and then Voldemort showed up, and... that made me laugh.)

Plus... as my son said above, it looked like Lego bricks, just like The Lego Movie.  Not just animated cartoon characters who sorta looked like Lego people wandering around a generic animated world (not a Lego Ninjago Movie fan, gotta say).  Totally dug that.

The story line of "everyone needs a family" and stuff was a little touchy-feely, but that's what made it funny, cuz Batman was so "I'm allergic to touchy-feely things".  (And then he's addicted to rom-coms -- sooooo amusing).  Plus, even God says it's not good for people to be alone, so... not gonna argue with it.

That's about all I have to say about it, I guess.  Don't think it's one I'll watch over and over and over, but it's definitely something I'll pull off the shelf for a laugh from time to time.