Monday, November 13, 2017

Remake Blogfest

To suck or not to suck, that is the question. What do you think of remakes? Alex J. Cavanaugh and Heather M. Gardner are hosting today's blogfest about great remakes. Movies, television, music, and books, the choice is yours. Click HERE to join.

1. My favorite movie remake:

In 1982, The Thing was released and gave audiences the perfect blend of an intriguing story, genuine terror, and nightmare-inducing gore. This movie is a remake of a 1951 film titled The Thing from Another World  and has since been remade again in 2011.

In John Carpenter's 1982 masterpiece, a shape-shifting alien invades a remote Antartcic research station initially in the form of a Alaskan malamute. This is one case where taking in a stray is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea. If you're a fan of Alien, you'll love The Thing.

If that poster looks familiar, you may have been watching Stranger Things as it's included in the decor of Mike's basement.

2. My favorite book remake:

This dark tale of good vs. evil has a longer remake history than I thought. It started as a short story called Night Surf in which the accidental release of a biological warfare strain of the flu kills off over 99% of the population.

The novel The Stand was first published in 1978 in hardback with a 1980 setting. The 1980 paperback version updated the setting to 1985. A longer version of the book (1152 pages, King's longest published novel) containing new characters and expanded scenes was released in 1990, setting 1990. There was also a TV miniseries released in 1994 and a series of comic books in 2008. 

The TV show is okay, but my favorite remake is the 1990 long version of the book. If you're into dystopian literature, don't let the length intimidate you. The characters, the storyline, everything is well worth your time.

Is it just me, or is Mad Max's stepbrother Billy from Stranger Things 2 a remake of the character The Kid?

3. My favorite song remake:

This was the hardest category to pick a favorite, so I decided to go with the song that I loved as the original as much as the remake. Killing Me Softly was first released by Roberta Flack in 1973, and The Fugees remake was released in 1994. I got to see Roberta Flack sing this song in concert and she had high praise for the Fugees's version.


Anyone wonder why Alex and Heather picked remakes as a Blogfest topic? Who thinks they may be contemplating a remake of one of their books? Plus, Stranger Things seems to be a remake/fusion of a number of 80s films including The Thing, E.T., Firestarter, and Poltergeist to name a few. Are you a Stranger Things fan?

Blogger note: I will take a short hiatus from Friday's Celebrate The Small Things for the rest of November and will blog again for the IWSG on December 6. Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things

This was a big week for celebrations! Halloween, Day of the Dead, Book Giveaway. Lots of stuff going on. But first, let me thank the host of this blog hop: Lexa Cain and her cohosts: L.G. Keltner and Tonja Drecker!

Tuesday through Saturday, I'm offering my collection, Heart Stopper and Other Stories, for free on Amazon. If you like character-driven spooky stuff written under the influence of years of reading and rereading Stephen King, please check it out. 

Halloween is one of our favorite holidays, and we go all out on decorations, pumpkin carving, and costumes. Here is a spooktastic gallery of goodies and some (fake) gore. Enjoy!

I started decorating Halloween morning. We like to put up our big spider, spider lights, spider webs, and this year we added caution tape for extra festivity.

Every member of the family gets a pumpkin to carve and we do buy carving kits and tools. We also scour the internet for cool ideas. This year, Sedona decided on a toothsome fright face along with some ketchup blood splashed about and an old baby shoe. Influenced by Stephen King's It perhaps? (Not that she's seen the movie. She's only 13!)

My husband went with this headless horseman stencil from a kit, but he added a unique twist. Can you guess what it is?

Yep, that horse has a horn. Now why would the headless horseman ride a unicorn? I have no idea. Micada wanted a spooky owl:


I opted for a carving I found online titled, Midnight in the Graveyard, with some slight modifications. I love the zombie clawing his way out of the ground on the bottom.

Our orthodontist lives across the street, so my husband had the lovely idea of carving her a very special pumpkin and delivered this to her doorstep:

For costumes, I swore I would do no sewing after spending all of October 2016 putting together a spooky wolf and the Cheshire Cat. Never again! Well, that didn't quite work out. Micada's spooky spirit was pretty easy. Less than half an hour of sewing and cutting was needed and she did her own makeup! 

The one time when red eye enhances the picture.

She scared up a ton of candy this year:

Nom, nom, nom

Sedona wanted to dress up Steampunk, inspired by a character on this year's Escape the Night video series by Joey Graceffa. That took and day and a half of sewing, but the results were totally worth it. 

We bought the skirt at Spirit Halloween and she found a rust-colored, long-sleeved shirt.

I cut the shirt down the front and then sewed on a (fake) leather corset, gears, a chain, and lace on the bodice and sleeves.

She also bought a cool steampunk hand thingamajig and the gear heart necklace (see above).

Believe it or not, Sedona also did her face all by herself with stickers, eyelash glue, and small gears. So cool.

Happy Halloween, y'all!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Insecure Writer's Support Group

November is here already? What happened? It's time once again to release our writerly fears to the world. Many thanks to our host, Alex J. Cavanaugh and his amazing co-hosts: Tonja Drecker, Diane Burton, MJ Fifield, and Rebecca Douglass!

November 1 question - Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published? 

I've never entered NaNo, but I am starting a new novel, so I'll be writing like mad this November. Good luck to all who are undertaking this challenge!

Image: clotho98June 1860 Godey's Lady's Book Fashion Plate

It's been hard getting into the world of my new story. For so long, I've been editing and tweaking a novel set in 1859-60 with a female protagonist. I've been spoiled, in a way, to work on something that is already developed and polished. Starting new, this time with a male protagonist set in present time, is jarring.

At this stage, I have to fight the urge to wrinkle my nose in disgust and keep typing. It's been ages since I faced the blank screen, a multitude of possibilities all clamoring for attention, and only a thin outline to corral these ideas into some sort of order. I keep telling myself that it's not fair to compare this new novel with the old, at least, not yet. It's a newborn right now, and honestly, newborns are beautiful, perhaps for what they represent, but a wrinkly, bald, and squalling creature can sometimes be something only a mother could love. 

While I attempt to raise this new book baby, I'm querying the older one, which comes with a huge stinking diaper lode of insecurities. Am I querying the right agents? Will I get any requests? Will I ever hear from the people who have requested pages? It's a slow, painful process with an uncertain end. 

Image: CJ Sorg

To have a little fun, I'm doing a bit a marketing by using my 5 free days from Kindle to promote Heart Stopper and Other Stories. First I joined Patricia Lynn's Trick-or-Treat Blog Hop yesterday. It's such a wonderful idea: giving away free e-books as treats. Luckily, this book fits the season since the title story takes place this time of year. In particular, November 1, or  The Day of the Dead, is woven throughout the plot. 

This collection will be free through November 4. (Click here if interested.)

How's your writing life going? Did you enter the IWSG anthology contest this year?