Gravity * Off to Orycon * Happy Thanksgiving (Canadians)

Lots has happened.


I saw the movie this week and it was a big winner.  There was much to love in this show.  The scenes of space as the backdrop for the beautiful bubble we call Earth are nothing less than stunning.  I don’t ever get tired at looking at those pictures. The big milk covered blueberry that is our planet makes your heart swell with pride. How many metaphors can you come up with?

Anyway, I thought Sandra Bullock hit her acting mark in this one and Clooney’s wonderfully understated roll as the side kick and potential hero was a nice twist. I thought it was a very clever movie; it took us through the evolutionary development of human beings and showed us the huge roll gravity has played in our development and survival, of course like any good movie, there’s more to it than that, but I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t seen it. That being said, this movie does a cool job of showing us where we’ve come from and where we are in terms of human potential, but it’s not a documentary. If you love the ISS and Commander Hadfield you’ll love this movie. If you’re a big ISS watcher like I am (it flies over my house on summer nights) than you’ll find the events in this one really interesting.

Vcon has come and gone and it was much fun.  I did a reading from my short story, “Leaf Man” published in the Masked Mosaic anthology: Canadian Super Stories, published by Tyche books,

Vcon’s pirate theme was compelling, hence, I wore my costume in the hall and won a small prize! First time ever. I distributed tarot cards at Vcon, 16 of the 22 major arcana, each a character in my Final Catch fantasy series. If you managed to collect all 16 different cards then you are the grand prize winner of a copy of the book — See Jane Pose — (First book in The Final Catch fantasy series) out in December 2013 at Amazon, published by RainWood Press.

I’ll be at Orycon where I will distribute more of those cards, so if you’re there, too, then look for these cards. I’ll post a couple here so you can see what they look like. I have much to do before I take off for Portland, like watch Portlandia!

Here’s are copies of some of the cards :

star card for blog                  Death Card for blog                Devil card for blog

While at Orycon I will be reading from my short story, “The Wall,” in the Tesseracts 17 anthology, published by EdgePress, ,  and here’s a trailer for that anthology (Edge does some cool stuff for promotion)

Oct 24th, this Thursday, (oops, I mean next Thursday) Linda Demeulemeester and I will be reading from our stories in Dead North: A Canadian Zombie anthology. We’ll be at the Storm Crow on the Drive.

zombie_final (2)

I’ve had my turkey both at home and at Vcon (turkey readings, very funny) oh I just typed and wrote, turdy readings.  If you were there then you know what I mean.  Gobble gobble, have a happy  thanks and givings day!

Vcon Writers’ Workshop Stories Critiqued

Next Sunday I will be participating in the Vcon writers’ workshop as a Pro (there is something odd about using that word) anyway, I’ve done this for many years now.  I used to run the writers’ workshops for Vcon.  I did that for many years until I handed it over to a skinny little blond haired boy named Don DeBrandt, who said he wanted to be a writer!! If you haven’t heard of him then maybe you know him as Donn Cortez or DD Barant, Google the man.

For those of you coming into the workshops as new authors you should know that I used to be a participant in these workshops, oh, so long ago.  I remember Michael Coney giving a critique of our stories, in a imperious and hilarious style that only he could achieve.  He accused all of us of not having written a single story in the bunch, but that he really enjoyed my story because it had alien sex in it!  That comment kept me going. However, I stopped writing about alien sex, because it felt strange to be singled out for that particular quality! But I decided that if I could catch his attention with that then I could catch an editor’s attention with my writing, eventually.  Anyway, kids, those were the good old days when we used to walk to school bare foot in nine feet of snow, or in Vancouver’s case, wade to school in nine feet of water.

It was in the humble beginnings of the Vcon workshops that I got my start.  I remember being told about Vcon workshops by a young woman named Susan Wood. I believe she was an English prof out of UBC whose writer workshop I’d participated in. I was a terrible writer in those days, but I kept at it.  Through her I met Eileen Kernaghan and Bill Gibson, who did a few writerly things together. I remember Susan Wood told me to go to Vcon and attend the reading of Bill Gibson because she knew him through UBC.  So, I went to Vcon and listened to him read one of his short stories in the lobby of the venue. There were a few of us sitting around, listening, as Bill awkwardly flipped through his typed up pages.  At that time Eileen and Bill were possibly the only two people in Vancouver having any success as fantasy and science fiction writers.

From there I’d heard of Clarion East and wanted desperately to go, but the east was another land and I couldn’t figure out the money or the time, much less write a story well enough to get in. Time went by. I kept writing and Clarion West popped up.  I applied, never expecting to get in, but I did…after that I sold my first short story to Judith Merril for the first ever Tesseracts anthology and my second story immediately sold to Phyllis Gotlieb for the second Tesseracts anthology. My esteemed instructors at Clarion were: Norman Spinrad, Suzy McKee Charnas, Vonda McIntyre, Arthur Byron Cover, David Hartwell and Terry Carr. Can you believe that line up! I appreciate it more today, I think, then I did at that time.  Now I’ve come full circle and all though many of those folks are gone, they are not forgotten. I completed my MFA in creative Writing at UBC last year (it’s only taken me a life time to get there) and here I am, back in the writers’ workshops again!  Can’t wait to see the newbies 🙂

We’ve come a long way baby.

Summer Movie Madness Finals

Elysium (Spoiler Alert)

  • elysium-jodie-foster-600x399

By now lovers of SF movies will be forgetting Elysium.

In an earlier post I mentioned my excitement about this one and had high hopes. There was lots to love in this movie, but once again story loses over special effects. I LOVE SFX’s, but not at the cost of story.

Okay, enough of that. Here’s what I noticed: Director Neill Blomkamp’s continues to expose the unjust world of those who are left to live in a ‘dumpster-dive’ fringe when greed and self-indulgence aren’t shared — albeit the message of ‘medical care for all’ needed to be buried a bit more. It was too on the nose, as they say, (even though I personally agree with that message),and evil Secretary Rhodes, Jodie Foster’s character, nice to see her take on the roll of a villain, but her character was not believable when she wouldn’t accept medical aid to staunch her severed carotid artery, thus, committing herself to death!! In a world that has magical medical beds (like 3D printers for the human body).

Why does Matt Damon get top billing as the star in this and Jody Foster doesn’t?? It couldn’t be because she’s a middle aged woman, could it?  Or was it because of that other SF movie she made, what was it called, uh, oh, yeah, Contact. Enough said. If you’re a summer movie goer you’ve seen Elysium.

What was really cool — my sister worked on the set of Elysium and took me on a tour of the paradise world. It looked a lot more real in the movies!


OOPS — almost forgot my movie ratings!  I give Elysium 7.5 agent Krugers out of 10

We’re the MILLERS

Okay, I’m a Jennifer Aniston fan, what can I say?  However, my guilty pleasure got left at the theatre when I couldn’t bring myself to pay nearly $40 to go see this movie.  It was in the cinema’s VIP theatre (which they didn’t happen to mention in movie listings) and I don’t know about you, but I have to have a large popcorn and a drink (and maybe twizzlers) when I go to a show.  Add that to the 40 bucks and if you start rounding up (like they do with pennies here) you’re nearly at 100 dollars for the movies, for two.  So, I will wait 6 months if that to watch it on TV for 4.99 and make popcorn in the micro.

That’s it for Summer Movie Madness!  The weather has finally cooled and I don’t need to sit in the theatre for hours to stop sweating!

If you’ve followed my novella writing this summer then you know I’ve posted chapter 12, the last chapter in Book One (maybe) to this wordpress site (also in wattpad).

I am probably going to move on to Book Two, unless I make it part of Book One….writers out there, you know what it’s like!

ttfn, as those of us who teach wend our ways back into the dusty ole classrooms.

Movie Madness Musings




Is it just me or did the makers of Wolverine 2 get together with those at Pacific Rim and say, “Hey, let’s have a 2013 summer theme.  Let’s make big mechanical robot like creatures a.k.a. transformers and use Japan as a backdrop? ”  My reaction to this movie is echoed in my review of Man of Steel. It’s okay, but unless your a big Hugh Jackman fan, I’d wait till this one comes out on TV or Vid on Demand, or whatever your equivalent. The two possible love interests confused me. One did turn out to be love, the other is a body guard! Oookay.  Maybe it was just the really bad popcorn I paid big money for at Metrotown SilverCity that made this movie so-so.  I’m looking forward to Elysium! Hoping it will be the movie to rock my summer! I give Wolverine 2   hmm, 2.5 samurai out of 5.

Three More Summer Movie Madness Mumblings

The Conjuring

Yikes!  I finally found the nerve to go.  The theater was packed.  The movie scared me, yes, I’d say it was certainly a ten finger movie.  You know, some scary movies require that you peek through five fingers, well, I found myself peeking between all ten of my fingers.  I didn’t see much new here.  Same old horror. I’ve seen it all before in other stories and movies.  It didn’t have the originality that the Blair Witch Project did.  The Conjuring’s premise is: a house possessed by an evil spirit takes over a mother and makes her want to do nasty things to her children.  Then there’s an exorcism.  But just because you know that doesn’t mean you won’t SCREAM!  I give it 3.8 scary doll out of 5.


Never saw the first RED but I hear this one is the better movie.  I thought they were movies about Russians (apologies if that is npc).  Loved this movie because my expectations were low.  Such a power cast having a ton of fun, how could I not love this movie. John Malkovich finally plays a character I like, and Bruce Willis’ character is acceptable.  I especially loved Helen Mirrin and her line to Byun-hun, “Show me something” and Lee Byun-hun drifts the corvette, so that Helen can take care of the bad guys!  Gave me goose bumps.  I can’t explain it, you just have to go see for yourself!  It’s fun just to see who walks onto the set.  I give it 3.75 grenades out of 5.

Monsters University

Once you’ve seen all the other movies of the summer go see this one, especially if it’s hot out and you need to cool down somewhere.  Sit in an air-conditioned theater. Find a kid if you can, take her, too. Monsters University is the prequel to Monsters Inc. 1 and 2.  I’m not up to date on my Monsters movies.  I saw number 1 and then my son grew up, thus, I missed number 2.  But I remember loving the first movie, so much so that I actually bought a Monsters towel for the beach, for my child of course!  The  movie is cute, funny, loveable, all the things you’ve come to expect from these movies, but it’s didactic and that part of the movie clunks.  Somebody cheats in a competition. That’s all I’ll say. I don’t think it reaches the bar that the first movie, Monsters Inc., put up.  I give it 3.5 screams out of 5.

More and More Summer Movie Madness!

Saddle Shoes
Saddle Shoes

Pacific Rim

Loved it!  Yes, it has issues.  This movie has no real stars in it, except Ron Perlman (don’t know that he counts as a star, but he’s an interesting quirky character, and of course the director GDT, who seems to have a shoe fetish). Godzilla meets Transformers for grownups.  If you liked those movies you’ll like this one.  This one does a great job of making the viewer feel the clash between the titans, alien monsters hiding in the trench in the pacific rim (hence the title, which is a  little too National Geographic for my taste), and giant transformer like Rockem Sockem robots.  Okay, there are a few too many subplots: Father and daughter, brother and brother, father and son, pilot and pilot brain meld…Loved the SFX and the gritty steampunky type setting and the director’s (Guillermo del Toro) homage to his Pan’s Labyrinth’s little girl. I give it 4 Jaegers out of 5.

Chiseries Readings Rocked Pat’s Pub and Brewhouse

Between the pub Pillars, even Pat's pub regulars enjoyed the readers!
Between the pub Pillars, even Pat’s pub regulars enjoyed the readers!
Reader's answer audience questions about writing
Readers Eileen Kernaghan and Linda Demeulemeester answer audience questions about writing
Audience Relaxes between readings
Audience Relaxes between readings

Eileen Kernaghan, Linda Demeulemeester, Hiromi Goto read about talking tea drinking dragons, alien wolf-dogs and more…at Pat’s Pub and Brew House

More Movie Madness

The Lone Ranger…

…Rides again! If you love Johny Depp, no matter what, then go see this movie. I love to watch him, so he gets 5 dead crows out of 5, but the rest of the movie, well, the words, Little Big Man – very light, come to mind. If you like westerns, desert, heat, dust, and train robberies and train wrecks you’ll like it. I think this movie had too many writers, too many cooks spoiled the broth. The more interesting story here is Tonto’s but it doesn’t get a chance to develop because this show is called The Lone Ranger, not Tonto’s Quest. Now, you’ll probably want to read my next string of words twice, but there are zombie bunnies in this movie, YES, you read it right, zombie bunnies, and why not? This movie appears to want to be the fantasy version of westerns the way Cowboys and Aliens was the science fiction version of westerns, but it doesn’t go far enough. I won’t mention the lack of chemistry between Depp and Armie Hammer. I give the movie 2 silver bullets out of 5.
white bunnywhite bunnywhite bunnywhite bunny

Movie Madness

Okay, movie madness hits. I’ve seen two in the last few days, The Heat with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy and Man of Steel. I went to The Heat to get out of the heat in Vancouver, and I’m a Sandra fan and becoming a Melissa fan.

I see the movie is rated a 7 out of 10. I’d give it 7.5 bullets out of 10. A female cop buddy movie — my biggest comment — way too late in coming. The movie seems dated to me. Maybe the heat got to my head, but this seemed like an old script that perhaps Mel Gibson and company turned down so they did it with females. This style of movie was popular in the ’80′s only with guy leads (Lethal Weapon with Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, Beverly Hills Cop with Eddie Murphy and Judge Reinhold). Girls you shoulda’ done this one sooner.

It had other problems, like it sagged in the middle. The movie needed its own set of Spanks, but it had its funny spells. Sandra’s nice to look at and Melissa is hilarious, nice combo.

Man of Steel                                      superman

When did Superman become an alien? Have I missed something? I mean I know he’s from Krypton and all, but when did he become science fiction? I don’t like that.

What can I say about that except that the back story was too long, and too science fictiony, and there was way too much senseless fighting, and did I mention the lack of chemistry between Amy Adams and Henry Cavill, oh, yeah, and the dialogue, yikes. One more thing, ‘S’ doesn’t stand for Superman!

The young supermans were great. Kevin Costner and Nick Cage are starting to look alike. This movie was a quilt of scenes that weren’t seamless. I wanted to watch Russell Crowe and Ayelet Zurer, forget Superman.

Movie goers who like to watch minute after minute of destruction will love this one. I give it 2 capes out of 5.

Zombies unite!  And form a daisy chain

Zombies unite! And form a daisy chain

World War Z

Okay, I liked it a lot, but I am a Zombie fan. The audience clapped for it at the end. Is that a Canadian thing? I always giggle when the audience claps. Brad Pitt is good as the ‘only-I-can-save-the world’ hero. Mireille Enos is a doting mom and brave wife. It’s a bit derivative, borrowing from Tom Cruise’s War of the Worlds, especially the scenes in the van where they try to get their panicking daughter to go to her happy place, and the traffic scenes. I see a bit of I am Legend in there (family gets away in a helicopter on the top of a building), a pinch of 2012 (flying around in an airplane where it’s a lot safer) and a dollop of Signs as an asthmatic daughter needs be talked down from her breathing attack. Is that even possible? I have asthma and am never far away from my inhaler. Then there’s the modern wall of Jericho…interesting. Still, a good ‘jump- in- your- seat zombie fest. I give it 3.5 pieces of fingers out of 5.