Thursday, March 31, 2011

Adam Ant day

Whatever else I might have intended to talk about today has gone by the wayside. My daughter Katie texted me to ask did I know Adam Ant is hot! And to check her Tumblr. Well, I did, and she's been posting his videos, having discovered the hotness that is Adam Ant (a fact I've long known!). So now my thoughts are with him, so what the heck, I'm going to post the first Adam Ant video I fell in love with.  Also, I'm leaving for Indiana today to visit Katie (I know, serendipity, right?) and I won't be back til Sunday, and I'll have no computer access.  I'll see you then!


Want more?  Okay!




Not enough?  You got it!




One more, you say?  Alrighty!


Have fun with this totally sexy guy, I'll see you all later!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Silver Flash #9: Yes He's My Ex: My Kidnapper Has a First Name

Wednesday again, time for another Silver Flash! For this week's prompt we were given three items again and told to use them in our story: hourglass, coffee mug and highlighter. The story of Sonny and Tim continues. I hope you enjoy it!

My Kidnapper Has a First Name






How can I resist? I pull Sonny to me and kiss him. He tastes like orange, not surprisingly. God, he tastes good to me. It’s been so long, I’ve really missed this. I think I’ve upset Dale,though—he’s attempting to reach around me, but he can’t quite manage it, ‘cause I got him cockblocked. For good measure, I raise my foot, aim backwards and kick him somewhere—on his leg, I think—and then he desists.

“Sonny,” I sigh against his lips, “what am I going to do with you?”

“Take me home?” he suggests hopefully. 

If only I could, Sonny, if only I could. Maybe if we could just climb into my car and drive away from here, I’d be willing to forget the past six months and start over again, give you another chance. Maybe I will do just that. But we gotta get out of here first. That’s a bigger hurdle then just making up. Is that what we’re doing then? Becoming a couple again?

Hell if I know.

“Sonny!” Dale wails like a siren, which draws our captors back into the room. One’s holding a pad of paper and a pen.  No, not a pen, a highlighter. You know, the kind you use in college to underline main points in your textbook. Not first choice for a writing implement by itself.

“What the hell’s wrong with you?” #1 gives Dale a withering look. He quickly shuts up, curling up into a fetal position.

“Look,” I interject, “your beef is with this guy, right? He owes you money. Not me, and not Sonny. So why don’t we just get out of your hair and let you get on with your business, okay? Call it even and fugeddaboutit?”

Alright, maybe I seriously didn’t think that would work, but I had to try. It’s reasonable, after all—the debt’s with Dale, not Sonny or me. Sonny has no money, and I’m not exactly wealthy myself. I get by, sure, but I suspect that what little I could possibly spare, even if I were so inclined to offer it, would not be enough to satiate this crowd.

#1 turns to #2 and begins to laugh. Then they’re laughing together.  I fail to see the joke.

“Give him the paper,” #1 says to his cohort.

“Okay, Carlo,” He shoves the notebook at me. For a moment, I glare at him, then I accept it, although I don’t know why I should. Then I realize he just put a name to the face. #1 is Carlo. Did I just learn something I shouldn’t know? Should I be worried now?

“What am I supposed to do with this?” I carefully avoid using his name, just in case he hasn’t caught on yet.

“Write down your bank account information,” Carlo instructs me.

Okay, that’s seriously not happening.

“Or what?” I stupidly ask.

Well, ask a stupid question, get punched in the gut. I double over in pain. Sonny spreads himself over me, protectively.

“Don’t hurt him, stop it!” he’s yelling. He helps me to sit up, and I catch my breath.

“Tim-tim, you all right?” Sonny’s voice is laced with concern. He wraps his arm about me, and I lean into him.

“Answer your question?” Carlo smirks.

“Yeah, thanks,” I mumble. “Can I get a little water, please?”

Carlo nods to #2. He grunts and goes out to the kitchen, returning quickly with a cracked coffee mug half filled with water. I take a sip—it’s tepid. Couldn’t let the cold water run, stupid? Still, beggars can’t be choosers.

“Look,” I point out, “you haven’t even given me a figure. What exactly do you want? How much is stupid over here in for?” I jerk my thumb at Dale, so that there’s no mistake who I am referring to.

Carlo takes the notebook from me, uses the highlighter to write something on the first page, then hands it back. I look at him, dumbfounded. I refrain from asking him if he’s nuts or what; I have a feeling that won’t sit well with him.

Before I can make any sort of intelligent reply, Sonny speaks up.

“I have to pee!” he announces. Well, that draws everyone’s attentions. Our heads all swivel toward him. Well, to be fair, mine angles up, as my head is on Sonny’s shoulder.

Well, what did they expect after giving him an Orange Julius? It’s human nature. Input equals output. They can’t be inhuman and expect everyone to hold it, can they?

Carlo scratches his head a moment. “Okay,” he agrees at last, “go on. Down the hall, first door on the left. But don’t try anything. If you’re not back in two minutes, I hurt your little boyfriend here. Good.”

“Don’t hurt Tim-tim!” He kisses my cheek, as he maneuvers out from under me, then he kisses my lips, and whispers, “Be right back,” before he skedaddles out of sight.

I settle back against the couch, ignoring Dale, and the instinct which says to throttle him for causing this mess to begin with. However, he’s stupid, and takes that as a sign that I want to talk.

“I love Sonny. Very much.”

I tell myself to count to ten, recite the Gettysburg address or even Hamlet’s soliloquy. Just don’t listen to the moron.

“I want to marry him.”

What? My fist clenches. I’m thinking that with a fat lip he can’t talk so much, when I hear a bloodcurdling scream, and then my name. Without hesitation, I race to the bathroom. Carlo and #2 make no move to stop me. I guess they’re startled too.

“Tim-tim, I’m gonna die!” Sonny moans. “A black widow bit me!”

“A what?”  I’m trying to get into the bathroom now but the door’s locked. “Sonny, what’s going on?”

“It’s a black widow.  We saw a picture in biology class, remember? It has an hourglass on its back.  Or stomach. I forget.”

Holy shit on a shingle, what’s going on? Let me in, Sonny!

Join the other intrepid Silver Flashers in their own Wednesday journeys! Who are they, you wonder? Glad you asked!

Sui Lynn        m/m
RJ Scott         m/m
Ryssa Edwards    m/m
Heather Lin      m/f
Pia Valeno        Flash Virgin!      m/m
Diane Adams        m/m
Lily Sawyer           m/m
Lindsay Klug     m/f
Pender Mackie        m/m
Victoria Blisse       m/f
LM Brown       m/m

See you again next week as the story of Sonny and Tim continues!  Have a great week!




Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dengeki Daisy, Volume 4 Review


Teru knows the truth about Daisy, but she can’t let him know she knows! Are things going to change between her and Kurosaki? Will she be able to keep him from learning that she knows the truth, that he is Daisy?


 Synopsis:

Trying to be yourself without seeming like you’re trying is harder than it sounds. Teru becomes afraid to text Daisy because she thinks she will sound different, but not texting him is also bad. She has to find a happy medium and she does, by separating Daisy and Kurosaki in her head, pushing Daisy into the role of a substitute brother, thus making it easier to text him and keep everything straight in her mind.

Needing to talk to someone, Teru confides in Haruka, an acquaintance of hers, about the Daisy/Kurosaki situation, thus drawing them into a closer friendship. It helps to have someone to confide in, to get another person’s perspective on things, to brainstorm and problem solve with.  Teru is afraid that if she lets Kurosaki know she knows that he is Daisy, that she will lose him, and she can’t bear that thought. It seems that Student Council President Rena has been eavesdropping on their conversation, so now she knows the janitor’s secret too!

A clogged drain pipe which has backed up becomes a problem when it prevents students from accessing the roof, because the area is forbidden until the janitor (Kurosaki) can deal with it. One student braves the guardian of the roadblock, in order to offer her assistance to Kurosaki—it’s Teru, of course. She brings an umbrella, ‘cause it’s pouring rain, and she tries to help him, using her smaller hands to dredge trash from the gutter, disgusting though that is. She is concerned for him, and figures the fastest way to get done is to help him. He spurns her help and sends her away, from his own concern for her, but ends up falling ill and going to the infirmary, under the care of the ditzy Ms. Mori, who is on him like white on rice! Teru is invited to a mixer, and she doesn’t want to go, but her friends tell her to ask Kurosaki, so he’ll reveal himself and his true feelings in his response. To her dismay, he tells her to go, have a good time. She has her misgivings and goes, unaware that he is actually sick, in bed.

While preparing for a test, Teru practices a technique for focusing which her late brother taught her, and is caught by Kurosaki, which opens a floodgate of memories about Soichiru. She also talks about her brother to Riko, who at one time dated him, telling her the story about the imaginary dog her brother created in order to cheer her up, one he named Gabe. Arf!  Teru talks about her brother with Daisy, and asks about the origin of the flowery pseudonym, assuming he will affirm her hypothesis that it has to do with being her favorite flower. Strangely, he does not reply to her question immediately. And when he does, his words surprise her.

Interfering on Teru’s behalf with a belligerent student, earns Kurosaki three months’ suspension of pay and five days confinement to his house. In the meantime, weird things are happening at the school. Kyoshi says he saw a strange bearded guy in the closet! And people are receiving text messages purporting to be from Daisy, threatening them with losing data or worse if they don’t buy the anti-virus from him. Teru knows this can’t be true, but who can be behind this, and why? And, as usual, she is too quick to venture into situations that are potentially dangerous. Will she endanger Kurosaki too?

You can read my complete reviews at Anime Radius and Yaoi Radius!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Best typo of the day

Do you ever wonder what your fingers were thinking when you typed something sometimes? And don't you just hate it when you only notice it after it's posted, and unchangeable?

Here's yesterday's. I'm rping Sirius Black, Marauder Era.

It was a short in the dark.

I just noticed it, gee whiz!

By the way, if anybody rps, we have a new psl community on IJ, it's great fun, come and check it out.

http://asylums.insanejournal.com/writeaway/profile

Warning Labels for Books?

Well, I think I've seen it all now. It's a bit of a quandary, actually. I thought we'd come away from labeling people, quit using hateful names and tags, identifying them by their color, their religion, their sex or sexual preference. Now it's no longer pc. More importantly, it's not humane, and that's cool.

But when did we start labeling our books for content? I can see a label for sexual content. Not everyone wishes to read sexually explicit material. But now we have to come out and reveal other aspects of the plot because perhaps someone might be offended in the reading of it? Isn't that like exposing your plot before the reader even gets a chance to discover it?  Seriously?

I don't get it. Isn't the purpose of a book to explore different kinds of people, different kinds of themes, plots, etc, and to do it safely, from the confines of wherever we choose to read? Why are we attempting to sanitize this experience before it's even begun? Why are people so presumptuous as to know what everyone feels and thinks? And to feel obligated to warn them in advance?

Have you never read a book that upset you? I have. More than one. There are books and authors that make you feel. You invest yourself in their characters and maybe things happen to those characters and you hurt for them, and maybe the plot doesn't go the way you hoped, and you feel pain for them. Does that make the book wrong? No. And it never occurred to me that maybe I should have been warned about it beforehand, given the choice to avoid it. Movies are the same way. Some are very upsetting. There are some films that are so depressing, I'll never watch them again.  Terms of Endearment springs to mind. Sophie's Choice. Or maybe I will, after a long period of time elapses. Do I think the film needs to come with a warning?  No, I don't.

Adult books have adult themes. If you can't handle that, stick with mindless pap and erotica. There's lots of that out there. If that's what you want, that's fine. But don't force us to put labels on our writing just so you don't squirm, or just because you think or assume someone else will.

Did anyone try to label Shakespeare with content warning?  Titus Andronicus - warning, rape, cannibalism, and death. Romeo and Juliet - warning, violence, teenaged suicide. Hamlet - warning, incest, ghosts, violence. Midsummer's Night Dream - warning, possible bestiality.  Of course not, we'd never think of it. So what has happened to readers that they feel the need to be warned now?  Damned if I know.

Maybe this is the warning we should attach to our books:  Warning, contents just might make you think or feel.

It's life, folks. It doesn't come with warnings or roadmaps or infallible rules. It's meant to be lived. Books are meant to be read. Since when have we become allergic to ideas?  It's a scary thought, and makes me wonder about the future of literature. Are we dumbing down books the way we've dumbed down our television viewing? And where do we draw the line?

By the way, another name for this is censorship.

I'd love to know what you all think!  Please comment, or drop me a line at shelley_runyon@yahoo.com.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Looking ahead just a bit

What do you get when you take a coffee mug, an hourglass, and a highlighter and put them all into one flash fiction?

Why, Wednesday Silver Flash, of course! Check this space on 3-30-11 and see what the Silver Flashers have done with this week's prompt!  As for me, the saga of Sonny and Tim continues!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A day late

I meant to post this yesterday. Larion Willis is having a month of Jimmy Thomas covers at her blog, and yesterday one of my covers was featured  - the one for Captivations 2: All that Jazz.  Go by and check it out, and say hello!

Larion Musing

Friday, March 25, 2011

So You Got Rejected - What Now?

You've taken the plunge, dared to be brave, prepared for the worst and hoped for the best and sent out your baby as a submission to a publisher. But rather than the happy acceptance you hoped for, you've received the worst - and your work was rejected.  Now what?

Congratulations! It isn't a tragedy, it's a rite of passage. We've all been there, done that, it's just a fact of life for a writer, and it happens.  All writers will be rejected in their lifetime, that's simply a given. No need to feel as if the end of the world has arrived, cause it hasn't. No need for doom and gloom and tears, etc.

What is the proper response, you ask? Why, get back up on that horse and ride again!  Metaphorically speaking, of course. The literary world is littered with tales of famous writers who were rejected multiple times before receiving the acceptance and publication they dreamed of.  Don't be discouraged - you're in good company!

So, what do you do now?

You might take a break, recharge those psychic batteries a bit, in preparation for further battle.  Don't kid yourself, it's a battle to be published, and the battle is not getting easier with the advent of e-publishing. True, there are more opportunities to be published, but there are also that many more people who think they can write and are fighting for the limited room to be had. I'll save the rant about those people for another time, let's concentrate on you, the rejected writer.

Before you submitted, did you take a good look at the publisher?  I think the main cause of rejection lies in the writer's not doing that and submitting to a market that his story was never going to be right for, no matter who wrote it. Not everything will fit everywhere, no matter how much you want it to. So rather than trying to force that square peg into that round hole, look at what the publisher has done, see what sort of material they publish. Read the guidelines carefully, they're there for a reason! Take them seriously. A publisher who says they don't accept menage, for example, is not going to look nicely on  your m/m/f story no matter how you dress it. One who asks for no explicitness isn't going to want your steamy cock-laden romance story, no matter how wonderful it is.

Were you really prepared to send in this piece? Did you have anyone else read it?  A beta and a crit partner are invaluable things. One or both, if you can manage it. Your friends are all well and good but seriously, they're more likely to tell you how much they liked it, which isn't what you're looking for. Also, spell check is an invaluable tool, and grammar check. Use them a lot. Don't be afraid to accept criticism, it helps you grow as a writer.

If you have friends that are writers, ask them for suggestions, that is often a good way to find publishers. Those on the inside are more likely to know what a publisher will like or not like. Not that that's a guarantee, but any inside information can't hurt, right? Look for open calls for submissions, see what you have that fits. Sometimes exposure is worth more than mere monetary value, as anthologies don't tend to pay well.

Most of all, don't be afraid to try again with another publisher. And don't be afraid to fail again. Don't look at it as a step back, but rather a step forward. You've eliminated a publisher who isn't interested, now concentrate on the rest and fine tune your search.

Rejection isn't the end of the world, unless you make it that way. So set your mind to success, learn from this failure and move forward!  You'll be glad you did.  Sometimes a rejection is better than an acceptance, and sometimes an acceptance is made to be rejected!

Have any of you later found out you were happy that a publisher rejected you? How do you all deal with rejection?  I'd love to hear what you have to say!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bernard: Diary of a 46 Year Old Bellhop Review

Bernard: Diary of a 46 Year Old Bellhop  
Author:  S.L. Danielson
Distributor: Amazon Digital Services
Format/Genre/Length: Kindle/Romance/157 pages
Publisher/Industry Age Rating: 18+
Overall Personal Rating: A-

Bernard Covington is at the end of his rope in more ways than one.  At the age of 46, he is unlovely, overweight, stuck in a dead end job as a bellhop at a hotel – and on top of all of that he’s a virgin who hasn’t got the balls to admit that he’s gay!  What’s life got to offer him?  Not a whole lot, so he’s opting out!  Suicide attempt #4 – coming up!


Synopsis:

Bernard utilizes both a large butcher knife and a bottle of pills this time, to “get ‘er done”, but instead he finds himself inside the ER of the local hospital, and the doctor who is on call on that particular night is gorgeous, while his nurse is incredibly kind to Bernard.  Too bad he thinks he’s too much of a loser to deserve any sort of attention from anyone.  And he feels it’s only a matter of time until he tries it again.

Doctor Jack and Nurse Nancy are determined to help Bernard, whether he wants it or not.  They call in his mother, who is naturally concerned about him.  They set him up with a therapist, Dr. Rasmus, whom Bernard finds he gets along with, surprisingly, and he discovers that he can talk to him about different things. When the time comes for his release, not only does Doctor Jack drive Bernard home, but he offers to spend some time with him, having taken the afternoon off in order to do so!  Bernard is beyond speechless, he can’t believe that this beautiful man actually wants to be his friend.  The more time he spends with Jack, the more he knows that he feels things for the doctor that he feels compelled to conceal, lest he ruin their growing friendship.  Looking like he does, and being some ten years older than Jack, how can he possibly think that Jack would be interested in a loser like him, even if Jack were gay?

With the support of his doctor/friend, Bernard tries to put his life back together and make some much needed changes in himself.  He and Jack only grow closer as time goes on.  Bernard is becoming stronger, in some ways, but in others, he’s still the insecure overweight guy he always was, who is prone to tears and depression.  When financial woes threaten to overwhelm him, Jack steps in and suggests that Bernard move in with him!  Bernard decides to confess everything, and he finds that Jack has a story of his own to tell.  When the scales tip in the other direction, and their relationship becomes unbalanced, can they put it back on an even keel?


Commentary:

Bernard is not your typical protagonist that you find in a m/m romance novel – he is 46 (old by the standards of some), grossly overweight, and stuck in a job with little intrinsic self-worth.  I didn’t know what to expect from him, or his story.  But I found myself being quickly drawn into his plight, and caring for him as a person, a real person, because face it, there are more Bernards in the world than pretty boys, and they have stories too.

Ms. Danielson’s prose is like Bernard – it’s plain and simple and to the point, and it conveys his story more eloquently than fancier words could ever do.  She explores his feelings, his lack of self-esteem, his fears, his desire to be more than he is – and she does it well without being flowery.  It isn’t until Bernard accepts himself for who he is and learns to love himself that he can affect any sort of changes in his life.  I liked Doctor Jack who, even though he was a gorgeous guy, saw beyond the surface and into the inner Bernard.  The good doctor has his own personal demons, and he is far from perfect.  Bernard’s mother, Molly, is quite the character – she loves and supports her son and wants him to be happy, unaware that her requests for grandchildren drive him crazy.  His twin sister Brenda is something of an enigma.  He thinks that she despises him for being gay.

Together this is a story about a real person, one that you might find in everyday life – a person with real problems, looking for love, wanting to love and be loved in return.  Isn’t that what we all want?  I applaud Ms. Danielson for not sugarcoating it, and for creating such a wonderful hero in Bernard Covington, bellhop.  I look forward to reading more of her work.


Overall Grade:         A-

 If you like SL Danielson’s Bernard, then try Lust in London, and Ranch Hands.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Silver Flash #8: Yes He's My Ex: The Plot Thickens

It's Wednesday, so it must be time for another Silver Flash! This week, the prompt we were given was "It's 4 A.M.and ..." This week, the story of Sonny and Tim continues, I hope you enjoy it, as

The Plot Thickens




My heart pounds in my throat and I start to go ballistic when I see that strange guy holding Sonny’s hand, but just as I walk in and spot them, Sonny shakes the guy off with an irritated, “I told you not to do that, Dale. We’re over, remember?” At this moment he reminds me a lot of me, but I push that thought aside ‘cause Sonny looks up and sees me just then. He leaps to his feet and he races toward me, and he’s got a hold on me that would choke a lesser man, his arms tight around my neck as he leaps up into my arms and I catch him, which isn’t easy, cause he ain’t that light.

But I don’t mind. Not at this moment. I ignore the fact that he’s my ex, that I’m pissed at him for putting me through this, whatever this is, and I simply hold onto him for dear life. The only reason that I’m not crying is ‘cause I know we’re not alone, and that we’re quite possibly in some sort of deep shit. No, scratch that. Not possibly. Definitely.

“Aw, ain’t they sweet?” That’s the first guy talking now. “Regular lovebirds.”

I glare at him, although I’m pretty sure he’s singularly unimpressed.

“Alright, break it up, you two, go and sit on the couch.” I know he has a gun, so I don’t argue. I manage to unwind Sonny from me, and I manage to get in a few soothing words and soft kisses to calm him down, although I’m honestly not sure which of us is more flustered, him or me. He might just be excited to see me. I’m honestly scared.

We take seats on the couch—I make sure to place myself between Sonny and this Dale character, whoever he is. When he reaches across me, trying to take Sonny’s hand back or something, I give it a quick karate chop, and he retracts it, while Sonny curls up against me like a contented cat.

Moron.

Okay, time to assess the situation. I glance around me. Other than me and Sonny and bozo Dale and the first guy who brought me here, there’s only one other guy, at least that I can see. I don’t recognize him either. In my mind I label them Thug #1 and Thug #2, for lack of a proper name. It’s time to find out what’s going on.

Thug #1 hands out the drinks, one to everyone but me. Figures. I paid for them, right? Not that I give a big shit. Sonny offers to share with me. I shake my head no, tell him to drink it, it’s cool. He ends up with an orange moustache which I can’t help but wipe away. Old habits die hard.

Thug #2 slurps on his loudly and then belches, which earns him raucous laughter from everyone but me. Grinning, he turns on the radio that sits on a shelf on the wall, next to some kind of trophy. Music fills the room. I recognize it as something by Matchbox 20. Sonny begins to sing to it, taking my hand in his—don’t ask me why, it’s not exactly romantic—but I let him, to keep him calm. Okay, to keep me calm.

“It's 4 A. M. and … I must be lonely,” he warbles, in a not particularly good but passable voice, “and he says baby, baby….”

Damn, he’s butchering it, like he does everything he sings, ‘cause he doesn’t pay attention to the lyrics.  “It’s 3 A.M.,” I correct him in a perfunctory manner, but it’s just out of habit ‘cause really, who gives a big shit at this moment? Not me.

Enough of this crap. I want to know what’s going on and why and who the fuck Dale is, and if he doesn’t quit trying to get past me to get to Sonny, I’m going to seriously hurt him.

Thug #1 and Thug #2 apparently need to have a confab, as before I get my words out, they exit the room, first making a show of locking the front door. Yeah, like we can’t unlock it.  Idiots. Of course the chances that we can make it out that same door quietly and not be followed and shot are probably nil.

Okay, then. I turn to Sonny, and I hiss, “Who the fuck is that?” Trying to be discreet is difficult when the subject of my inquiry is right there, picking his nose. I inch closer to Sonny in disgust.

Sonny quits singing, looks at the guy, then back at me. “That’s Dale.”

Duh. I figured that one out already. “And?” I prompt him.

“And what?  Oh, well, we used to go out.”

Great. One of Sonny’s ex somethings.  At least it’s past tense.

“So why are we here?” Seems a reasonable question, I think.        

“Dale borrowed some money from those guys but he couldn’t pay them back, so he called me.”

“He called you?” I can’t help but ask myself why, as Sonny never has money, he spends it as fast as he gets it.

“Yeah, and I said I’d help, but I don’t have any money.” He sounds almost apologetic, the sap.

“Didn’t you say he’s your ex?” I want that fact firmly established.

“Yeah, I don’t go out with him anymore,” Sonny affirms.

“So then what?” I ask.

“Then they told me that I had to ask you for it,” Sonny says, finishing off his drink with a loud satisfying suck, and again he has this moustache, but I refrain for the moment.

“Sonny, you never asked me for any money, in fact I haven’t seen or heard from you in two weeks,” I splutter, trying to make sense of it all.

“I know,” he says solemnly, as I give in and use my finger to wipe his orange moustache off. “I was trying to keep them away from you, Tim-tim.”

I think I’m gonna melt now.

Don't forget to check out the other Silver Flashers:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Inception Review



The fluidity of time and the permeability of dreams is tested in the new fantasy/sci fi/high tech thriller Inception.

Synopsis:


Cobb (Leonardo di Caprio)  is a man who can't go home, no matter how much he wants to as his two small children are there,  so he is forced to take his peculiar talents on the road, and sell them to the highest bidder.  His current job can be counted a failure when he doesn't get what the Cobol Corporation wants him to steal from Saito (Ken Watababe), thanks to one of his team who sells him out.  But Saito has a counter proposition - despite the fact that he has been auditioning Cobb, he wants to have him use inception, rather than extraction - to implant an idea, not steal one.  Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) maintains it can't be done, but Cobb says it can, he's done it.


The new job involves implanting an idea into the mind of Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy), whose father is about to kick the bucket, leaving him to inherit his fortune.  The idea is that he wishes to divest  himself of the holdings, break them up.  Cobb needs a new architect, after the defection/loss of the last one, so he approaches his father-in-law, Miles (Michael Caine), who leads him to Ariadne (Ellen Page).  Cobb reveals to her the concept of shared dreaming, and explains what it means to be an architect.  He recruits two more players for his team - forger Eames (Tom Hardy) and chemist Yusuf (Dileep Rao).  What he has in mind won't be easy, because it involves more than just a dream within a dream - it involves a dream within a dream within a dream, which means they will be under such heavy sedation that being wakened from the dream will not be so easy as to "die".  Rather, dying is highly undesirable, as it will throw the dreamer into an endless limbo from which exit may not be possible, or may take many years.  Mistakes are made, and problems encountered, including the appearance of Mrs. Cobb.  Ariadne determines just what a threat Cobb's late wife poses, but tells no one yet, as Cobb claims he has it all under control, but does he?  When one of the team is injured by trained opposition from the mind of Fischer, the job turns deadly - can it possibly turn out right?  And will Saito keep his word, will he make it possible for Cobb to be with his kids once more?


Commentary:

To put it simply - Inception rocks!. Christopher Nolan has done it again, with a fast-paced thoughtful film, which will keep you wondering and guessing throughout its more than two and a half hours as to what will happen.  You will forget which is the dream and which the reality, as you descend the various dream levels with the protagonists.  Cobb has definite issues, and the continual insertion of his late wife into the scenario does not bode well - she is trying to reclaim him to the life which they once had.  She is convinced that he is the delusional one, which of them is right?  Joseph Gordon-Levitt is picture perfect as Arthur, the Point Man, looking mighty good.  In fact, all the guys are looking great, and kudos to the wardrobe mistress for their wonderful suits.  Hans Zimmer's score is amazing - especially his use of the lower brass instruments during times of great suspense, just the right combination to tickle your nerves and keep you on the edge of your seat.  Fischer has issues with his dying father.  Will the implanting of this idea be a boon to him, or a disservice?  The film raises, and leaves unanswered, ethical questions about what this team is doing in their invasion of another man's mind and dreams simply because they are paid to do so?  The editing and cinematography are excellent!  I think my favorite scene has to be with Arthur and the elevator, and his ingenuity therein.  Also, the explanation of the "kick", which is demonstrated by repeatedly kicking the legs of Arthur's chair out from under him!   Having seen this film twice, I would gladly see it again.  Not too many films rate such repeat viewings, but this one does.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Happy Birthday, Gary!

Today is a special day, so it calls for a special blog - a tribute to my favorite actor, Gary Oldman, whose birthday is today.  He was born March 21st, 1948, and is 53 years young today!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GARY!

I first became aware of Gary over 17 years ago, when I watched Dracula for the first time, and I fell in love!










Since then I've been catching up on his prior body of work, and keeping up as well as I can with the new ones. He was born in England,  and one of his older sisters is an actress - Laila Morse. She played Mo in a series there called Eastenders. He was married first to Leslie Manville, they have a son named Alfie, who's a teenager now. Then came the illfated marriage to Uma Thurman, which was childless, followed by an equally ill-fated union with Donya Fiorentino (sister of Linda Fiorentinto of MIB fame) which produced two sons - Gulliver and Charlie. That ended in divorce and was followed by his fourth marriage to Alexandra Edenborough.

 Everybody know Fifth Element? I love this movie for many reasons, not the least of which is Gary. Considering it was written by a teen-aged Luc Besson, it's an interesting film, and besides Gary, we have Bruce Willis, Ian Holm and Milla Jovovich. It has some resemblance to Bladerunner, but not in any bad way, particularly the scenes with the police cars, and the Chinese floating restaurant. Guys appreciate it no doubt for Milla Jovovich's scanty outfit. For the other nerds out there, the song that the Plava Laguna sings at her concert is from an actual opera, Lucia di Lammermoor, and if you look on You Tube, there is a great rendition of it by a singer named Vitas.

Another really good Gary film is The Professional, which saw the debut of a very young Natalie Portman, and also features Jean Reno in the title role (it's also known as Leon). Gary plays Norman Stansfield, a fucked-up pillpopping member of the DEA. Natalie is Matilda, who has a rather fucked-up family. When her father tries to burn Stansfield in a drug deal, he kills them. Luckily, Matilda isn't home. When she returns, she takes refuse with the hit man next door, Leon. Great film, even my kids like it, which says a lot.

I also happen to be fond of The Contender, in which Gary plays Sheldon Runyon, state rep from Illinois. There is a need to choose a new vice president, and one of the top contenders is Laine Hanson, played by Joan Allen. She isn't Shelley's choice, and he feels she's all wrong. A smear campaign ensues, when dirty pictures turn up from her college days, pictures she won't answer the question to - is it her or not. She feels that if she were a man, no one would ask. The president is played by Jeff Bridges, and Christian Slater is the junior member of Congress who is learning his way around, and shares a steak sandwich with the President in one scene.  If you look closely, you'll see Gary's manager Doug Urbanski in one scene.  There was controvsery over this film, which Rod Lurie scripted, in which Gary said that the script was changed to make Shelley out to be the heavy when he isn't.  I can see his point.

Gary is never afraid to look less than handsome for a role, as evidenced by his stint in the film Hannibal as deformed wealthy pervert Mason Verger.Not pretty, is he?  Mason got that way because of Hannibal Lecter, but it's hard to feel sorry for him when you realize he's a pedophile (and if you read the book, he molested his sister Margot, whose character is missing from the movie). This is the last of the Hannibal films, chronologically speaking, although Hannibal Rising was made after it, and is pretty good. Gaspad Ulliel got Anthony's Hannibal spot on. I'm sorry but Brian Cox just doesn't cut it once I saw Anthony in the role.

In two recent films, Gary's had a recurring role - that of Lieutenant, now Commissioner, James Gordon. The third film and last film comes out next year, I think. They say there will be no more, I'm not convinced of that, so we'll have to see.


Here's a pic from his new film, Red Riding Hood. I can't afford to see it yet, alas. It looks interesting. I try to watch everything he's in. I can't honestly say every film is good, but the ones that aren't are not because of him. I don't recommend The Unborn, and if you watch the Scarlet Letter, be prepared to find some changes, not for the better. The Book of Eli is good, though, I enjoyed that.











And of course the role that is probably closest to my heart. Sirius Black. My first non celebrity rp role. My first celebrity role was Gary, of course.  I've loved Sirius ever since I met him in the books, and finding out that Gary was to play him was but the icing on the cake. Most of my fanfiction is of the Remus/Sirius variety, and I only have two which acknowledge his death. I cried over the fifth book, and then I cried over the sixth and refused to have anything to do with the seventh. I haven't seen any of the movies past OOTP and don't intend to. I think what she did to Remus was a travesty, but I won't get on my soapbox and bore you.







There are lots more films, of course. Prick Up your Years (which I reference in For Love of Max), Tiptoes, I Think the World of You, State of Grace, Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (wonderful comedy featuring the characters from Hamlet), Criminal Law(a really interesting film, with Kevin Bacon), Murder in the First, Air Force One (with Harrison Ford), Basquiat, Immortal Beloved (he played Beethoven), Romeo is Bleeding (a film noir about a dirty cop) and more.

He is and always will be my favorite actor.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GARY!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Today I'm guesting at Dawn's blog!

I was recently interviewed by Dawn Roberto, you can see that interview at her blog!  Come join me there!

In the meantime, I'll leave you with a handsome man to look at. Hmmm, I have so many!

I know, my very favorite!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Author: Sui Lynn  

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

American release date: August 17, 2010

Format/Genre/Length: Kindle/M/M Romance/166 pages

Publisher/Industry Age Rating: Mature/Explicit Content

Overall Personal Rating: A

Nineteen year old Quinn Yamamoto is going off to his second year of college at Colorado State University. It's an exciting time for him, and although he knows he'll miss his mother and his eight year old sister Rayme, he is looking forward to returning to the college life he has come to enjoy. Rayme has given her brother a stuffed animal to remember her by, what else does he need?

Quinn has a new roommate this year, senior Tage MacCallister. Taking advantage of the fact that he is actually two weeks early - his desire to get all his ducks in a row before classes start - Quinn finds himself sitting at the old upright piano in the dorm common room, and how can he resist playing? He can't, and before he knows it, he's attracted an audience, thanks to his tuneful tickling of the ivories. That's how he meets some fellow musicians, who are also at the school early - Tim, and Raj, as well as his roommate Tage. They tell him about a place called the Blue Rose, where they work during the school year, playing music, and earning some money. Hey, why doesn't he come with them, maybe he can get on there too? Why not, Quinn thinks. So they all head off to the Blue Rose, being hungry - aren't college students always hungry? - to see if Quinn has what it takes to be one of them. And that is when he meets Enjoji.

If you didn't know you were looking for it, the Blue Rose is the sort of place you might easily pass by. Unpretentious on the outside, the inside is a warm family style steakhouse, with cream colored cloth tablecloths and napkins embroidered with blue roses. Quinn feels immediately at home. And when he meets Enjoji, he can't stop staring into the darkest eyes he's ever seen, like endless pools. Something gets into Quinn and he challenges the older man musically, which takes Enjoji aback but he meets the challenge and the two square off, each displaying their talents. The other guys join them and they have a rollicking impromptu jam session which lasts for hours. The customers get the best of it, and a good time is had by all. By the end of the night, the boys are feeling their liquor, so Enjoji, who is used to it, has Quinn help bring them upstairs, to his quarters, where they bed them down. There is no room left for Quinn, though, except in Enjojoi's room. So they get to know one another, finding they have much in common, including a Japanese heritage, although Quinn is only half Japanese, but he knows some of the language and the customs.

The more Quinn sees of Enjoji, the more attracted to him he is. Too bad he's straight, eh? But in the middle of the night, in close proximity, a lot can happen, and it does, and lightning strikes these two as over the course of the night they fall in love. Quinn moves in with Enjoji, besides getting the job at the Blue Rose, and life is beautiful. He tells his mom and Rayme about Enjoji, and they can't wait to meet him. But an unexpected turn of events leads them to go to see Quinn's family sooner than expected, when he learns that his mother is ill - terminally so - and his sister needs him. In the course of dealing with this crisis, others reveal themselves, and life has just gotten way tricky for these two, as secrets are uncovered on both sides. Can they transcend these things and stay together, or will the skeletons in their closets tear them apart? Can love triumph over all?

The debut novel of author Sui Lynn is unabashedly hot and sweet and romantic. The love at first sight between Quinn and Enjoji is beautiful, and reading about the two of them together gave me goosebumps. I found myself anxiously turning the pages to see what would happen when things started going south (not literally, it's an ebook, after all). I cheered with them, and I cried with them, but most of all, I felt for them, shared their joy in finding one another as they explored their fledgling relationship, and pledged their eternal love to one another.

Sui Lynn has a way of getting into her characters and exposing their hearts for all to see. By the time you finish Blue Rose, you'll really have come to know Enjoji and Quinn. The plot has twists and turns which will leave you breathless, and you'll wonder if they can possibly get past certain things which threaten to crush them and their new found love. Many books have sex scenes, that isn't unusual, but what interests me is the ability of the writer to make a sex scene into a love scene, which Sui does, very well. It's not enough to read about meshing body parts, anyone can do that, that doesn't mean much - it's the love involved that makes the difference. And her love scenes are hot and romantic both. She brings them to life very handily.

But it's more than the love scenes. I found myself crying over the scenes with Quinn and his mother, their last scenes, in the hospital. She fills them with a tenderness which will tug at your heart strings and make you feel not just the pain but the bittersweet pangs of goodbye. As well as being there for the person you love.

I recommend Blue Rose to anyone who wants a really sweet love story, as well as a hot romance - once you read it, you'll want to read it again, and re-experience it. I look forward to seeing what this exciting new writer has in store for us in the future!

Love at first sight, Blue Rose is like a fresh baked cinnamon roll - hot and sticky and very sweet! Betcha can't eat just one!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Guest Blogger Kei-chan

Welcome my friend Kei-chan today - she's going to talk to us about why she likes m/m fiction!  Draw up a chair, Kei, so nice to have you here!  I'll get some tea, you go ahead.


A few men have asked me why I like m/m fiction.  About half of these men were open minded straight men and the rest were gay men.  Both groups seemed surprised to think that women would be interested in this genre.  I really couldn't say which group was more surprised.  I briefly contemplated the old tried and true, "Who wants a hot guy and some chick when you can have two hot guys."  Trite but true; however, there is so much more to it than that.

Someone put forward the hypothesis that just like straight men watch "lesbian" porn, straight women like gay porn.  But that is another poorly thought out claim and just doesn't ring true on so many levels.  Comparing apples to oranges doesn't do justice to the topic.

M/m romance isn't porn.  It may be very erotic and have a minimal storyline, but porn is different.  Porn is strictly sex with very little pretensions of being anything else.  It has no real redeeming qualities and frequently is between partners that aren't really interested in each other, much less turned on about the sex itself.  Even in PWP (Plot, what plot?) m/m erotica, the partners are at least enthusiastic about the roles they are playing.

Men who watch lesbian porn are saying to themselves that they want a piece of that and if those girls were with them, they would make them straight.  How do I know?  I've hung out with more men than women and have firsthand knowledge of these conversations.  These same men would never consider reading a lesbian romance.  The only lesbian action they read about is in Penthouse Forums, stories written by men for men.

I read m/m romances, m/m erotica, yaoi/shonen ai and slash.  It ranges from very graphic to a sweet kiss at the end of the story.  I'm not reading it because I want the fantasy of taking part in the action.  I read it because I like real men who are confused, vulnerable and looking for something important.  There is a depth to these characters that is missing in conventional romance, where the men are the strong silent type.  Not my kind of man.

Unlike traditional romances where they only question is how do we get the two destined lovers together, in m/m romance getting the lovers together is only half of the problem.  They may be in love, but still have multiple obstacles to overcome.  Will one or both of the lovers be able to face their feeling head on?  Will they find themselves in a situation where they won't be able to be true to themselves much less each other?  Will they have their Happily Ever After (HEA) or will they, and the reader, have to settle for Happy For Now (HFN)?

I also write m/m erotica and some slash.  I tend to be very graphic in my stories and write the kind of thing that I would like to read.  I try to make the men in my stories men and not some masculine version of the mainstream romance heroine.  Besides horny men are more fun!

A little about Kei-chan:  Kei-chan started her career helping a friend edit her slash. Since then I have branched out into writing my own slash and then later some original works. I am an avid reader and now focus almost exclusively on yaoi, slash and m/m romance. Look for me on AdultFanFiction.net and Facebook.

http://original.adultfanfiction.net/authors.php?no=1296880987