Sunday Salon, 7/14/19

Sunday Salon
Missed last week. Sometimes things just get out of hand…

Read & Reading

Since my last update, I finished Fevre Dream by George R. R. Martin, which I reviewed on Thursday Saturday, and Magic is Dead by Ian Frisch, which I will review on this coming Thursday (maybe). I read Fevre Dream for the Book Junkies Trial, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to do too much more with that challenge. I have three library books and two ARC/review copies that I want/need to get to in the near future. (Plus I still haven’t finished my reread of PHYSIC.) I was considering “catching up” during the 24 in 48 readathon this coming weekend, but Eric and I have been called upon to do some unexpected cat-sitting, so I don’t know how things will go exactly.

This coming week  I’ll be reading:

The Violent Century Scripting Hitchcock: Psycho, The Birds, and Marnie

The Violent Century by Lavie Tidhar and Scripting Hitchcock by Walter Raubicheck & Walter Srebnick along with The Count Monte Cristo and short stories.

Deal Me In: Last Sunday I picked a two—a wild card—and picked a reread “Django” by Harlan Ellison from Shatterday. Each of the stories in Shatterday includes an introduction/origin story written by Ellison. He wrote “Django” while sitting in a bookstore window as a publicity stunt. He was utterly unsure whether the story was good, even after it had been accepted for publication. And that’s a sort of comforting thing for a writer—to know that even your heroes have moments of uncertainty. My DMI story for this week was fairly unremarkable.

DealMeIn
Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis
What’s Deal Me In?

Movie of the Week

Man, what a beautiful movie. Into the Spiderverse is sort of tertiary to the main Marvel Cinematic Universe, and I’m glad of that. Honestly, I’m kind of tired of the long baroque, epic 22 movie story. (I still haven’t seen Endgame.) If you delve into super-hero comics, you quickly realize there are many iterations of characters and their stories. In fact, the only Spider-man comics I’ve read have been Brian Michael Bendis’ Miles Morales books, rather than the Peter Parker version.  Into the Spiderverse revels in the concept of multiple Spider-men, um, Spider-people and their worlds. The animation is incredible, though I’m glad I didn’t see it in the theater. I think I would have been over-whelmed by the amount of stuff going on.

What Else is Going On?

Been playing quite a bit of EverQuest 2. The server Eric and I play on unlocked the Desert of Flames expansion, so we’ve been adventuring there. This is my main character Ressa Cheep overlooking one oasis of the Twin Tears.


The Sunday Salon is a linkup hosted by Deb @ Readerbuzz

Sunday Salon, 6/30/19

Sunday Salon

Read & Reading

I was overcome by readathon insanity on Friday and signed up for the Book Junkie Trials. Yeah, this happens occasionally. So, I’ve pretty much doubled the number of books I was going to read in July. We’ll see how it goes. This week in addition to daily The Count of Monte Cristo and short stories, I’ll be reading Fevre Dream by George R. R. Martin for the Book Junkie Trials and rereading PHYSIC by Eric Nabity.

Fevre Dream PHYSIC

Deal Me In: After a shuffle of the remaining half of my cards (almost), I pulled K which was assigned to “Don’t Look Behind You” by Fredric Brown. The narrator of the story begins by addressing the reader and telling the story which explains why he’s going to have to kill the reader. There is plenty of unbalanced in this story to make reading it a slightly uneasy experience. “But wherever you’re reading it, I’m near you, watching and waiting for you to finish. You can count on that.”

DealMeIn
Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis
What’s Deal Me In?

Movie of the Week

The only movie I watched this week was The Bourne Legacy. I made note on Twitter not long ago that by the metric of films I’ve rewatched many times and still find enjoyable, for me, this is one of the best movies of the 2010s. I think it got a bad rap for not being “Bourne” enough, but the plot was a nice sci-fi-ish expansion of that universe and I have a soft spot for both Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz.

What Else is Going On?

Writing: I’ve been going back and forth on what I want to work on and what I am motivated to work on. Considering I have a sale scheduled in early August for the first One Ahead book, I am going to polish up the second story and give it a cover. So, maybe by the beginning of August I’ll publish One Ahead: The Case of the Horrid Haunting. I believe I have a fairly solid, clean final draft.

A cool thing that happened last Monday: Literary Flits reviewed the anthology I edited of David P. Abbott’s Open Court articles. In a weird way, this easier for me to be happy about than if it had been about my own fiction.


The Sunday Salon is a linkup hosted by Deb @ Readerbuzz

Sunday Salon, 6/23/19

Sunday Salon

Read & Reading

Kind of had a terrible week progress-wise on everything. PMS does this to me sometimes. Just rotten, rotten brain fog. But, I’m feeling much better now.

Didn’t finish reading anything aside from the June 1896 issue of The Black Cat. I should finish Conjure Times today with a thought to review it Tuesday-ish. Making slower-than-expected progress on Poe’s Arthur Gordan Pym. Anachronistically, it’s like a mash-up of Moby-Dick and Event Horizon. I’ll probably pair it with The Four Horsemen this week.

The Four Horsemen: The Conversation That Sparked an Atheist Revolution The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket

For Deal Me In this week I pulled 4 and read “An Obstruction to Delivery” by Sean Adams from the July/Aug 2017 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. In the introduction to this story the editor noted that the magazine had received an increase of stories about snail mail around the time the magazine switched to electronic submissions. In “An Obstruction to Delivery,” an over-zealous postal worker forces local government to relegate the mail carriers to the mysterious tunnels under the city. Unfortunately, the tunnels are already in use… This was a nicely done little horror tale, using vignettes to tell the story.

DealMeIn
Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis
What’s Deal Me In?

Movie of the Week

I checked out the movie Mary Shelley (2017) from the library on a whim. I…didn’t care for it. It was plain and seemed to shy away from anything that might be difficult in Shelley’s life. Plus, all the men were pretty and looked alike, which is difficult for someone with a bit of face-blindness. Instead I bookmarked a couple of biographies to read and fondly remembered Gothic (1986). Gothic is no more factual about Shelley’s time at Lake Gevena than Mary Shelley, but it’s stylish, has interesting looking men, and is completely insane. It’s also quite NSFW.

What Else is Going On?

Writing: I’ve been reformatting Eric’s first novel PHYSIC as he works the sequels’ edits. I plan on giving it another read-through too. I meant to get through more of my rewrite of Wicked Witch, Retired in June so I’m going to continue on instead of moving to a different project in July.

Ultimate: We’ve been playing in our Tuesday night league. Due to the heat, daytime ultimate has been less common, but we’re still playing at lunchtime about once a week and Eric and I have been running intervals again a couple of times a week. It’s funny how much more difficult it is to get exercise in the summer in Phoenix. Unless you get up at 4am, which is not gonna happen!


The Sunday Salon is a linkup hosted by Deb @ Readerbuzz

Sunday Salon, 6/16/19

Sunday Salon

Read & Reading

I did indeed finish The History of Soul 2065 and reviewed it on Friday. While at the library last week I also read a slim volume of humorous poems titled Love Poems (for Married People). I might do a short review with it and a few other things this upcoming week, if I’m feeling ambitious. I’m currently a little behind on The Count of Monte Cristo and this week I’m going to finally get to one of my older library books Conjure Times: The History of Black Magicians in America by James Haskins. I also haven’t been reading my Poe, but this week I should finish his only “novel,” The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket.

Conjure Times: The History of Black Magicians in America The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket

For Deal Me In this week I pulled 8: “The Golden Girl” by Ellis Peters from Alfred Hitchcock presents: More Stories Not for the Nervous. All the men onboard the cruise ship, Aurea, are taken by the pregnant but very beautiful blond woman. All the women are envious of how tentative her husband is, not even letting her be touched. The poor woman can hardly move though so weighted down by her condition. When a fire breaks out onboard, one brave purser takes it on himself to help her, but dooms her with his efforts.

DealMeIn
Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis
What’s Deal Me In?

Movie/Series of the Week

This week I’m looking forward to the premier of Penn & Teller: Fool Us. I went to a taping back in March, so it will be interesting to see how it ends up on TV.

What Else is Going On?

Not a super-duper lot going on. For me, summer brings doldrums and it’s hard being motivated to do much of anything. This coming week I’ll be reformatting Eric’s novel PHYSIC.


The Sunday Salon is a linkup hosted by Deb @ Readerbuzz

Sunday Salon, 6/9/19

Sunday Salon

Read & Reading

Didn’t do a lot of reading this week. I’m continuing on with The Count of Monte Cristo and started the June 1896 issue of The Black Cat. I should be further along in reading The History of Soul 2065 by Barbara Krasnoff but I should still have it finished in time for Thursday’s review. I decided not to join 20 Books of Summer. For once making a TBR list just felt stressful to me.

The History of Soul 2065 The Count of Monte Cristo

Deal Me In: For the second week in a row I drew a deuce; this time 2. I consulted my eternal list of bookmarked short stories and picked “STET” by Sarah Gailey from Fireside Magazine.

Since I’ve never been involved in rounds of proofreading, I didn’t know what STET stood for. It is an instruction on a written proof that a correction or deletion should be ignored. This story isn’t a straight narrative. Instead it’s a dialog between Anna, the writer of “Section 5.4 — Autonomous Conscience and Automotive Casualty,” and her editor as it plays out in Anna’s footnotes to the article and her editor’s comments. It’s interesting that an instruction that isn’t really needed in a digital age, stet, is used as Anna’s general reply. The story itself is about the death of Anna’s daughter, the victim of an autonomous vehicle “accident” and how we as humans go about assigning importance to each other.

DealMeIn
Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis
What’s Deal Me In?

Movie of the Week

Dark Phoenix came out this weekend. While I have a certain affection for the X-Men and have liked the “young” cast, I’m not going to see it in theaters. The production was plagued by problems and X-Men: Apocalypse wasn’t so much as bad as forgettable. But I was in the mood to watch some X-Men movies. I’d watched the first not too long ago, so I queued up X2 (2003) and X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) for this weekend. I have to say, X2 is better than I remembered. Part of the reason, I think, is that it takes its time. There’s a lot of plot, but it’s over two hours long. I like The Last Stand, but mainly because it fails while being ambitious. I realized though that, while it maybe has more plot than X2, it’s thirty minutes shorter! I might watch Days of Future Past today too.


The Sunday Salon is a linkup hosted by Deb @ Readerbuzz

Sunday Salon, 6/2/19

Sunday Salon

Reading

I’m setting those library books up and knocking them down! (Okay, not really…) Finished Poe: A Life Cut Short and Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters last week. I’ve already reviewed the first and I have the second queued up for later in the coming week.

Deal Me In: This week I pulled 2, the first wild card of the year! Yesterday, I got off on a tangent and ended up reading about one of favorite subjects: historical automata! I read “The Android Clarinetist by Cornelis Jacobus Van Oeckelen (1838)” by Albert Rice from the Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society (no. 40 (2014), pg 163-189). It was a summary of Van Oeckelen’s life as an inventor as well as a technical run-down of the automaton, which is currently owned by John Gaughan. Just a neat little slice of history.

DealMeIn
Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis
What’s Deal Me In?

In the coming week, I will be reading The History of Soul 2065 by Barbara Krasnoff, one of the few ARCs I’m reviewing this year. I’m also going to try to get to The Spectacle of Illusion.

The History of Soul 2065 Spectacle of Illusion

Watching

My movie pick of the week? Ocean’s 8 (2018). It’s not quite as sharp as Ocean’s 11, but it’s still a fun heist movie with a really great cast.

Doing

Watercolor Class:

The first “assignment” was to do an abstract using different techniques (wet on dry, wet on wet, etc.). I ended up doing it twice. There are things I like about both, but I’m pretty pleased with how the second one came out. I’m still struggling with the inexactness of watercolors. It’s a learning process in more ways than one.

What I’m Not Doing: Jury duty! I got a federal summons at the beginning of May, but luckily (for me) they don’t need a jury in the coming week. I’ve never done jury duty before. I was half looking forward to it for the experience, but going downtown and actually having to do it was another matter.


The Sunday Salon is a linkup hosted by Deb @ Readerbuzz

Sunday Salon, 5/26

Sunday Salon

Reading

I didn’t finish reading anything in the past week. I went to the library on Tuesday, swearing that I wouldn’t check out any books since I still had two out. Yeah, like that happened…

Deal Me In: I read “The Other Hangman” by John Dickson Carr after pulling 8. Set in an unnamed Western town, the tales tells of the last hanging that occurred there. The first two-thirds of this story was great. Lots of atmosphere and small town civic pride. One not-very-nice man is sentenced to hanging for the killing of another not-very-nice man. But in the last few pages the entire narrative is turned on its head with an epic told-not-shown. It all made sense in the story, but the telling of it was pretty disappointing.

DealMeIn
Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis
What’s Deal Me In?

Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters: Inside His Films, Notebooks, and Collections Poe: A Life Cut Short Spectacle of Illusion

What Am I Reading Next Week?

  • Poe: A Life Cut Short by Peter Ackroyd – I really should manage to finish this in the next couple of days.
  • Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters: Inside His Films, Notebooks, and Collections by Britt Salvesen, Jim Shedden – This is a shiny book that caught my eye at the library.
  • The Spectacle of Illusion by Matthew Tompkins – A shiny book that padded out my recent Amazon order.

Watching

I’ve been checking movies out from the library too. Searching (2018) is one of them. The conceit of this movie is that everything that the audience sees is what is on the screens and desktops in David Kim (John Cho)’s life as he searches for his missing daughter. It works, mostly. There was a meme a few years back putting John Cho in every movie. I’d be good with that.

Doing

I’m working on this and that. Summer league started last week and I started back on my watercolor painting class. But mostly, Eric and I have been playing some EverQuest 2 in our spare time. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve seen a few of these updates:

Reesa is not fond of orcs and she’s been busy.


The Sunday Salon is a linkup hosted by Deb @ Readerbuzz