Wednesday, November 01, 2017

AMA Answers #1: Eva, Movie Critic, and Quiggy

Good morning!  It's time to start answering all the charming and intriguing questions you've all asked me in response to my AMA post.  As promised, I'm sharing my first vlog attempts!  I'm answering one question from each person in vlog form, and the rest as regular blog posts.  I got so many questions, I'm just going to answer three people per post, so there will be multiple posts!  And multiple vlogs, one per post.

Also, if you had questions for me, but never got around to asking them, post them on the AMA post before the end of this week, and I'll add them to the ones I'm answering :-)

Here we go!

Eva asked:

Who is your least-favorite superhero?

Cyclops.  I don't like him in the comics I've read, I don't like him in the first set of X-men movies, and I don't really like him much in the second set of X-men movies either.  In the comics, he spends all his time moaning and weeping over the fact that he's rich, handsome, gifted, and loved by this woman he loves back.  In the first movies, he's snotty and always mocking my Wolverine, which is Not Allowed.  And in the second movies, he's just.. boring.

A book you consistently recommend to people?

Pretty sure I've recommended Jane Eyre and The Outsiders to basically everyone I know.  Whether or not they would actually like them, heh.

Favorite Glenn Ford movie? Role?

My fave movie of his is 3:10 to Yuma (1957), and my fave role is Richard Dadier in Blackboard Jungle (1955).  Haven't seen any to top those yet.

How many adult coloring books do you own?

See vlog at the end of this post :-)

What's your favorite sound?

Possibly sleigh bells.  Or horses hooves striking hard-packed dirt.  Or the noise that mens shoes make on hard floors in old movies.  Or a really good, bright (but not too brash) trumpet.

What's your favorite Bobby Darin song?

"Mack the Knife."  It's actually the song that led me to listening to his music, back when I was like 16 or 17.  For some reason, we were watching like a Boston Pops thing on PBS, and they did this cool rendition of "Mack the Knife" and talked about the history of the song and famous recordings.  I thought it was the neatest song ever and really wanted to hear it again.  So I got all obsessive about listening to our oldies radio station and hoping they'd play Bobby Darin's version it.  And they just never did.  For months.  Even though I knew I'd heard them play it before, but not paid much attention to it.

So I broke down and bought a cassette tape of his "greatest hits" that had it.  And the first time I listened to that tape, like four songs in, I knew I was falling deeply in love with that voice and that my life would never be the same.  Yeah.

Twenty years later, I'm still not tired of that song.

Movie Critic

Least favorite movie?

That would be The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974).  A friend talked me into watching it with her on Halloween when we were in college, and NO.  Just... no, no, no.  I've worked very hard for years to scrub it out of my brain, and still haven't quite succeeded.

Least favorite book?

This is a harder question!  So I was thinking that I didn't really have one least-favorite book, and I started making a list of five I really very much dislike, but then I realized that actually, I do.  I hate, loathe, and despise Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.

Favorite post you have done?

My 100% made-up review of a film noir adaptation of Hamlet called Murder Most Foul.  I'm still really wish that movie existed, and I enjoy re-reading it from time to time because it's just so fun!

Plus, how crazy is it that I cast Alan Ladd as Hamlet in that before I was in love with Alan Ladd?!?

Favorite book you've written (Mwahaha)?

My sixth novel, Fickle Creek.  It was the first novel-length western I wrote, and the first truly YA book too.  I really love the characters and story, and one day I will get it out into the world.  It needs some pretty heavy-duty revision, though.

Favorite blog party you've hosted?

My annual Tolkien Blog Party over at my book blog, The Edge of the Precipice.  This year was the fifth one, and I look so much forward to it every September.

Favorite hobby?

Day-dreaming.  I can never spend enough time day-dreaming.  It lets me work on stories any time, any where.  It lets me imagine myself in situations I'll never experience "for real."  It helps me work through problems of all sorts.  I really love to day-dream.

Fun fact about you?

See vlog below :-)

Least favorite LotR book (Mwahaha, there isn't one!)?

Actually, there IS one!  I have to force myself to read Book Four, aka the second half of The Two Towers.  It goes on and on and on, and the only way I get through it is to focus on Sam's character growth.

Have you ever read the Chronicle of Narnia, if so favorite one?

Yup, I've read all the books twice, and I've read The Horse and His Boy probably five or six times.  It's definitely my favorite.

If not, favorite series?

I'll just answer this one too :-)  My favorite series would be the Sherlock Holmes canon.


If you had 20 Alan Ladd movies, and one friend took 10% of them, and another friend took 20% of them, how many friends would you have left?

See vlog :-)


Okay, that's it for today.  More answers coming up in a day or so!


  1. I loved your vlog so much and now I wish I could hug you. So I will have to send you a virtual hug instead, I guess.



    Seriously, it's SO COOL to see and hear you talk, instead of just seeing pictures! Feels almost like we're in the same room--almost, but not quite.

    Okay, so I know I just said something about this on Goodreads, but I have to mention it again because it just interests me so much: The Two Towers has always been my dad's favorite book in the LotR trilogy. He didn't read very much as a kid or teen; but he read that novel over and over and OVER until his copy basically fell apart. I've seen it. The spine was actually cracking. That just intrigues me, because I know not a lot of folks seem to love The Two Towers as much as the other books? So I wonder what it was about it that drew my dad to it so strongly . . . I'll have to read it someday, myself, and try and figure that out.

    1. Returning your virtual hug, Jessica! I'm glad you enjoyed the vid :-) One of these days, we'll be in the same room for real, I'm sure of it!

      Okay, so about TTT. I kind of have this tendency to not like the second part of a trilogy very well because... there's this horrible lack of resolution. That's the biggest part, really. I mean, TTT is my least-fave LOTR book, Empire Strikes Back and Attack of the Clones are my least-favorite Star Wars movies (this makes me worry about The Last Jedi), and yeah... basically, if a story has been split into a trilogy, but it's all telling one long, pre-determined story, the middle one is probably not gonna be my fave.

      DKoren, on the other hand? Alllllllllllll about those middle entries. So it's a very subjective thing.

    2. Wow, that's fascinating! I've never thought of trilogies or series that way--I kind of prefer to think of each book (even if it belongs to a series) as pretty much a stand-alone, if that makes sense. I don't consider the overarching story arc very much. So which book is my favorite pretty much depends solely on the tone, characters, etc. of that individual story . . .

    3. Jessica, I think I do consider the stories on their own too, which is part of why middle sections tend to bug me -- they lack resolution, because they're leading up to the big finale in the third part, and... lack of resolution bothers me. Sometimes a lot. Like, to use LOTR as an example, even though FOTR leaves the quest kind of open, it still closes off things a lot. The fellowship breaks up, that part of the journey comes to an end. At the end of TTT, everyone's all in Terrible Peril and nothing is closed off, and yeah, it's like I just hang there waiting. Kind of hate that.

    4. OH! Okay. So, you're not a fan of cliffhangers?

    5. Jessica, um, it depends? I think there's a difference between cliffhangers and lack of resolution -- cliffhangers are big, exciting set pieces. But you know they'll be resolved in the next episode/installment/book/chapter. But lack of resolution is more like "and the long, hard struggle is still just going on and no headway has been made." Not sure that makes any sense -- they're connected, but they're not the same. To me, anyway.

    6. Ah. Hm.

      I think I sometimes like books where the struggle is still going on, by the end, and there's not a whole lot of resolution. Basically all the "Ilyon Chronicles" series, for example--ESPECIALLY my very favorite, "The King's Scrolls." I kind of like finishing the book and knowing there's still a really rough struggle ahead . . . I don't want my characters to run out of epic things to do, haha.

      (Have you read the Ilyon books? I feel like you might enjoy them.)

    7. Jessica, nope, haven't read the Ilyon Chronicles. Don't think I've ever really heard anything about them.

  2. So cool!

    I wish I had time for a longer comment, but I'm in a rush so know that I enjoyed reading your first answer post and watching your vlog! :)


    1. Elanor, thanks for the quick reply! Your questions are up next ;-)

  3. One of my favorite posts is my made up movie too!! I read it again recently and couldn't get over how marvelous it was ;)

    THERE'S A PRINCESS BRIDE COLORING BOOK!!!!!!!! All of mine a kids one from the dollar store: Alice in Wonderland, Snoopy, Rudolph...

    My hair barely grows past my shoulders and just gets thinner and thinner so I have to keep it short :(

    1. *are kids ones (my iPad auto correct drives me crazy...)

    2. Phyl, that's so funny that you love your made-up-movie post too! They're really just SO MUCH FUN to create. I love the others I've done like that too.

      Yes, there's a Princess Bride coloring book. It's gorgeous. Put it on your Christmas list right now.

      I do count one "kids" coloring book in my list of 25 -- it's an Anne of Green Gables book! Mine, all mine.

  4. I love the Sherlock Holmes books!!!! <3

    And I actually really like the Two Towers - what I find tedious is the Ents. :P

    Wow. O_O You own a LOT of colouring in books! I think I own about... 7? That's enough for me. :D

    1. Gabby, there's just nothing like a good Sherlock Holmes story, is there? (And even the not-so-good ones are still enjoyable.)

      Haha! The Ents, huh? Naw, I am amused by the Ents.

      Erm, yeah... of those 25 there are probably ten I haven't colored in yet. Yet!

  5. This is awesome! It's great to finally be able to put a face to the name (and know how to pronounce your surname). I like how you've split the answers part written and part vlog. Maddy

    1. Thanks, Maddy!

      My next couple vlogs are going to be a bit longer, probably more like 6 minutes instead of 3, just because I have longer questions to answer (including yours). But I am committed to keeping them under ten minutes because I know I never have time to watch long vlog posts, what with kids around and me getting interrupted constantly, so yeah... trying to keep them short. Also, I don't have time to film long ones either, hee!

  6. Wait, there's a Princess Bride coloring book?! I definitely need to look into that. ;)

    I really enjoyed this post and vlog!

    1. Molly Rebekah, yes! There is! And it's fab. I need to color up a few pics in it and review it before the end of the year, huh?

      Glad you enjoyed! Another one coming later this evening :-)

  7. Cyclops = worst superhero. Agreed. He was always annoying in every rendition. I did like him more in a cartoon series X-Men Evolution I watched as a kiddo, but that was the only version where he was more of a decent kid.
    Okay I had to go and listen to the Mack the Knife song. Great song! Love listening to classics. I've been obsessively listening to 70s music of late (before that I was listening to 80s) so I feel like I'm working my way back through the centuries, haha. Though I've always listened to Dean, Frank and Bing songs. :D

    1. Faith, oh good! Glad it's not me! Cyclops just doesn't quite work for whatever reason. Though I had a college friend who liked him in X-Men Evolution too, so maybe they did figure out how to make him work?

      I should have linked to the song! D'oh. I'm glad you dug it. Bobby Darin sang basically every musical style available at that time (he almost even kinda did some proto-rap stuff in the '70s when spoken-word was coming to be a thing). So whatever you're into, I can find. He did LOADS of crooning and swinging like Dean Martin (who, btw, is my other fave singer, heart heart heart), Frank, and Bing. Check out his song "Beyond the Sea" for a prime example of his swinging, and "Somewhere" for his croony side. (Look! I included links this time.)

  8. I've never even heard of Cyclops. Probably a good thing? ;)

    It is a truth universally acknowledged that Blackboard Jungle and 3:10 to Yuma are two of Glenn Ford's very best movies.

    Awesome answers! (To all the questions.)

    1. Eva, you probably haven't heard of him because he's boring and annoying ;-)

      They really are.


  9. Hmmm. I guess the follow up question, "How soon would the police be knocking at your door" is probably immaterial... :-D

    1. Well, Quiggy, since I was the one who got robbed, I might try enlisting the police's help to get them back. I don't *always* jump straight into vigilante mode...


  10. Btw. My answer to favorite post on my own blog would be the one I did for Buckaroo Banzai.

    1. Not sure if I've read that one. I'll have to look it up.


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