Sunday, October 30, 2011

GRIMM - Pilot Episode Review

Here is the Wikipedia blurb:

Set in present-day Portland, the series puts a new twist on the stories of the Brothers Grimm in which a homicide detective learns that he is a descendent of a group of hunters known as "Grimms", who fight to keep humanity safe from the supernatural creatures of the world. Upon learning of his destiny and that he is the last of his kind, he has to protect every living soul from the sinister storybook characters that have infiltrated the real world.

When I first heard about this show, I thought the premise had huge potential. The pilot story is basically Little Red Riding Hood framed in a fairly standard police procedural. The main character, Nick Burkhardt, is an exceedingly normal guy (even the screen saver on his phone is generic) who suddenly gains the ability to see monsters underneath their human disguises. I found the set-up to be kind of clunky, and I was left with a lot of questions about the wider supernatural world. However, judging by the series preview at the end, there is a lot more mythology to be discovered. Nothing came across as glaringly unbelievable, so there’s that.

The setting and atmosphere are spot on, and I love that it is actually filmed in beautiful, yet eerie Portland. The trees alone are spectacular. I especially enjoyed the German cottage feel of the evil wolf’s house, complete with embroidered pillows and shelves of figurines. And I couldn’t help but notice all the VW’s thrown into the mix - bonus points. The make-up and effects are well done and somewhat reminiscent of Buffy and Angel (probably due to the influence of David Greenwalt, a top producer from those shows). Some have said that the show is too dark, but I think the problem is more that it does take itself a little too seriously.

But so far, most of the cast seems pretty blah, with the exception of the very entertaining Silas Weir Mitchell as Monroe. He was the only thing that lightened the mood and the scenes between him and Nick were the most successful. I didn’t have high hopes for the lead actor, David Giuntoli, after I read that he started his career after doing some reality shows on MTV. The biggest problem is still the entirely vanilla nature of the character (did I mention the screen saver?). I truly hope the writers reveal some interesting stuff about Nick’s personality, and quickly. The inevitable conflict brewing with his girlfriend and his partner as he delves into his new role as a Grimm is just not going to be enough to attract viewers.

It’s interesting to note that the pilot is also airing on Syfy channel Tuesday night. I don’t know if that’s going to be a regular thing or not, but considering NBC doesn’t have a stellar history with speculative programming (I’m looking at you, The Event), it can’t hurt. It’s going to be difficult for Grimm to catch on in its current day and time slot – directly opposite both Fringe and Supernatural, which already have an established fan base. Expectations are generally low on Friday nights anyway, so it might buy the show some time to improve on a so-so beginning.

I’m willing to give it another shot for at least one more episode, even if I have to watch it On Demand. Grimm airs at 9pm EST Fridays on NBC.

Have a super Halloween everyone!

Saturday, October 29, 2011


“How far would you be willing to go to save everyone you care about?  In 1985, one father’s choice to save his son, no matter the cost, started an inadvertent pattern of destruction.  Now Fringe Division, a special unit of the FBI, has been tasked with finding a way to stop the damage.  Their investigations into cases of science run amok have uncovered connections not only to their own past but to an alternate universe just slightly different than our own that threatens our very future.”  That’s the official blurb for the TV series the Fringe on Fox.

I watched this show when it first came out loving the characters and the intelligent forethought that had been put into the show.  Since I have pulled the plug on my TV viewing, I haven’t watched the program which is now in its 4th season.  I viewed this season’s premiere at Barnes & Noble, my home away from home.
 I was amazed that one of the main characters, Peter Bishop, son of Water Bishop, well actually Walternate Bishop of the Other Side disappeared at the end of last season or was erased from time. 
“Yet, traces of him bleed through,” said the Observer. 
Because he was erased from time no one remembers him, but Walter see his image in the mirror, on the TV or computer screen, which shakes his already unstable mind.  
With Peter hanging between reality and never-land, FBI special Agent Olivia Dunham takes center stage, along with her counterpart, Bolivia from the Other Side.  It’s great seeing these two women, although the same actress playing both parts, taking the lead because of their strength and their own unique vulnerability of a life filled with past pain.  And with both in love with the same man, Peter, who is out there somewhere, can lead into a bit more friction between the two.  
I recommend this series for it’s acting, the story line and especially if you’re into science, technology and the possibilities.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Terra Nova

In the year 2149, due to pollution and overpopulation, the earth is nearing extinction.  Scientists discover a rift leading to an alternative timeline during the late Cretaceous era.  Believing this will be their salvation; humans travel through the time rift and create a colony, Terra Nova, as their new beginning.

During the 10th pilgrimage to the new world, we join the Shannon family; Jim and Elisabeth and their three children. After their arrival to Terra Nova, they find themselves adjusting to new surrounding filled with dangerous dinosaurs, a rebel group and secrets. Will each day bring closer to utopia or their second death sentence?   

The balance of drama and action during the premiere had me waiting impatiently for the week. For a moment, I thought it was a movie and not a TV series. The acting and set designs were great. The characters aren’t unique, but fit the world well with their personalities and the actions they take. The fast pace held me down to my seat (Well, actually, my bed.) If they stuck to the same level for the rest of the series, the fangirl in me would scream for another season.

After the first couple of episodes, the fast pace slowed down. I find myself wanting more of the immediate action and not the subplot unrelated to it even if it did setup the next episode. As the action starts to peak my radar of danger, we are moved away to somewhere else. My mind wanders during this time. I find myself believing I watched 6 episodes already, when it fact I only watched 4 of them. And I haven’t watched this week’s ep yet.

My last concern is the limited number of episodes. The first season will only have 13. They have less time to convey the world to the audience. How much will they reveal? Will they become another Lost telling us very little and a lot less at the end of the series? I cannot help asking myself these questions.

I will watch the rest of the season but later in the week from my DVR. I’m hoping my dislike will fade to the background as Fox airs the rest of season. Every show has a bump and they have until the end to overcome it.

If you’re interested in more information, visit the OfficialSite for Terra Nova.  

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Secret Circle—A Plethora of Witches and Demons

The first six episodes of this new show have been filled with an intriguing array of witchcraft and action. It is based upon the fictional novel series of the same name, created by L. J. Smith.

Set in a quaint, misty Pacific Northwest coastal town, this show is about a group of students involved with everyday high school life. Okay, that sounds like Twilight, but the comparison stops there. In the opening, five young witches, two males and three females, stumble together, learning their craft as they use a family book of spells belonging to one of the girls. They each have lost one or both parents, in some tragedy rumored to have involved witchcraft. The sons and daughters of the deceased learned of their own rare powers by accident and formed an association to support each other. They fear history will repeat and use of witchcraft will take them to the face the fates of their parents. Their only hope is a directive in the book, telling them to bind the circle of six witches in their generation. In that way, they all must be present to cast a spell…kind of a safety in numbers idea in case something goes wrong. The only problem—they are missing one member. The sixth and final member, Cassie Blake, who is the main character, moves to town, forced to live with her grandmother after her mother dies in a fire. In disbelief, she fights her true identity as a witch, but ultimately joins the group and they bind the circle.

Binding the circle enhances their collective strength. This allows both wonderful and dangerous things. In one lovely scene, Cassie and Adam are drawn together by romantic destiny. They hold hands deep in a forest and make water from leaves float upward, like reverse rain. However, power encourages greed and longing from a host of demons, witch hunters, and other witches. The six become targets. Plot twists keep the adolescents scrambling to stay one step ahead, learning how to use their abilities to avert serious dangers.

An interesting interplay of good versus evil is also present. Their remaining parents secretly seek to bolster their faded powers using the children’s collective strength. Their grandparents, the elders, possess crystals which allow yet another magical system of power enhancement. The previous generations fight each other with different goals, using the kids’ or protecting them.

The negative aspects are the mundane high school setting, which lacks realism. Few classes are depicted. Most in-school scenes take place in the hallways. Afterschool, they have a couple hangouts. One is frequented by students in general, and a second is an abandoned house used by the circle for their witchcraft studies. The dress of the young witches is generally darker and pricier than expected, the girls’ makeup too professional. The action primarily happens after dark. Personalities of the six are stereotypical, their social interactions and growth predictable. After teaching high school for seventeen years, I usually tend to stay well away from settings like this. The lack of realism bothers me too much.

However, I can actually forgive this series for its bland high-schoolness because the magical systems hold my attention. The writers have put much thought into details discovered by the young witches. Learning more about how their magic works pulls me eagerly back to the next episode. Each show reveals a new layer, new clues, new puzzle pieces. Wisely, the viewer is allowed to learn along with them. That is the true magic of the show.

The Secret Circle, on the CW channel at 9 PM, will present its extra scary Halloween episode tonight—Masked.

Learn more about the show at this website:

~ ~ ~
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. She is the author of the novel, TEARS ON A TRANQUIL LAKE, the first in a trilogy. Part two, TORTUGA TREASURE is contracted for release in January, 2012. Look for her first of an epic fantasy romance series, SEEKING A SCRIBE: ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS ONE, to be available early 2012.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sorry, but Frodo called....

I was supposed to be reviewing the premiere episode of Once Upon a Time. Was looking forward to it. Then the real world intervened.

I do home care for a family with a special needs child who also gets some of her therapies at home. Sometime, a couple of weeks ago, one of her therapists happened to mention that she had tickets to see a live presentation of the Lord of the Rings soundtrack and I said, "Ooo."

Friday, my kiddo's Mom said, "Did you really want to go, cause I'm getting you a ticket." Or something like that. It was a pre-birthday present and the middle of a lot of family-of-choice drama. Of course I wanted to go!

Lord of the Rings In Concert from LOTR In Concert on Vimeo.

So we made all the arrangements. The day was already filled with a lot of Halloween party stuff for the kids so the event seemed like an adult extension of the day. I drove to Arco Arena (which is now called something else but I don't know what that is) and didn't know exactly how to get there. I knew the general exit but not the details of getting to the arena.

Not to worry. On the way I noticed a procession of cars, all driving with just the right of space between them, or so it seemed, and at the speed limit. I decided that they seemed to know where they were going so I followed them, slid into the lane that seemed the most promising and found myself deposited in the right lanes to pay the parking fee and get a parking space.

That was the beginning of a night in an arena filled with what I expect to be all introverts. I mean, it was so quiet! Mellow. Civilized. Only about a half dozen people dressed in costume: two Halflings, two Elves, one Gandalf and maybe someone or two else.

The concert, as it turned out, was a live performance with the full orchestra, two choruses (adult and children's) and the movie with captions. The captions were needed so we could know the dialog above the swell of the orchestra. My friends are both cellists so I was happy to be seated on the cello side.

I was enthralled by the film all over again. I think it had something to do with the spaciousness of the arena, as well as the orchestra and the audience. Perhaps some of the anticipation dulled the excitement and all that was left was reception. We were there to receive the gifts of these performers.

Three hours later, the young male soloist sang against the closing credits. The one thought that rose during the night was "heroic effort." It was a night celebrating heroic effort. For me, it was a lesson in tolerating the intensity of the situation. My life was changing and going in directions I haven't seen yet. I might never recognize. From my experiences with sitting in the pit, watching the orchestra members playing the same notes measure after measure, I empathized with the heroic effort it took to play a score that was probably originally played in sections. Was created to be applied in sections.

And there, at the end of the night, was this boy. He stood at the mic and sang. His voice, pure and bright, faltered from time to time. And he continued to sing, continued to bring his best effort until the very last image on the screen.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Speculative TV Week: Day One - Vampire Diaries

Welcome to Day One of the Speculative TV Week.  I was so excited when we first started to discuss this topic especially when I called dibs on “Vampire Diaries”.  I have been watching the show for the past two seasons (and yes I know it is a teen paranormal drama, and no I am no longer a teen), but the book series by L.J. Smith was what first drew me to vampires and paranormal beings back in 1991 when I decided that I was tired of Sweet Valley High and craved something darker.  Here is the brief series blurb:

“The series follows the life of Elena Gilbert a 17-year-old girl, who falls for a dark 156-year-old vampire named Stefan Salvatore. Their relationship becomes increasingly complicated as Stefan's vicious and malevolent elder brother Damon returns with a plan to wreak havoc on the town and also to plan a revenge against his younger brother. Both brothers begin to show affection towards Elena, mainly because of her resemblance to their past love Katherine Pierce. It is revealed that Elena is a descendant of Katherine, who eventually returns with plans against the trio."

"The series is set in the fictional town of Mystic Falls, Virginia, a town charged with supernatural history since its settlement of migrants from New England in the late 17th century. Other story lines revolve around the other inhabitants of the town, most notably Elena's younger brother Jeremy Gilbert, Elena's best friend Bonnie Bennett , Elena's close friend, Caroline Forbes, Elena's childhood friend, Tyler Lockwood and Elena's childhood friend and ex-boyfriend, Matt Donovan. The town's politics are orchestrated by descendants of the original founding families, all comprising a "Founders' Council". Some of the founding families of Mystic Falls include the Salvatores, the Gilberts, the Fells, the Forbes and the Lockwoods. They guard the town mainly from vampires although they seem to be oblivious on other supernatural threats like from Werewolves, Witches and also Ghosts.”

The Season 2 finale set up Stefan to become the bad guy as he was forced to gorge himself with human blood as a trade for an antidote to save Damon from death after he was bitten by a werewolf.  The blood triggered the predator that Stefan had worked so hard to overcome and returned him to his vicious and evil side.

Six episodes into Season 3, Stefan is still a monster, but Elena refuses to give up on him even after an ancient vampire Klaus removed his humanity.  With Stefan the bad guy, his big brother steps in to protect Elena and their relationship sizzles.  I especially love the role reversal between the two brothers and even though Elena is fighting for her love for Stefan, it’s love blooming with Damon.  I’m not psychic but I can sense some serious drama once Stefan’s humanity is returned. Perhaps the Season 3 finale? :)

I am loving the television series and can’t wait for each new episode.  The reader/writer in me is curious about how closely the t.v. series is based on the original books.  It’s been twenty years since I read L.J Smith‘s books, but I picked them up the other week (an early birthday present to myself) and am anxiously awaiting cracking them open.  The initial series featured “The Awakening”, “The Struggle”, The “Fury” and the “Dark Reunion”.  Three years ago, Smith returned to the series, writing three more, “The Return: Nightfall, The Return: Shadow Souls, and The Return: Midnight.”  I’m interested to see the similarities and differences between the book series and the television series.

Thanks for reading!  And don't forget to check out Melanie's blog on "Once Upon a Time".

RJ  :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Speculative TV Week

Fall TV season is in full swing, and we’ve decided to take a closer look at some of the speculative offerings on the tube, old and new. Here is the schedule for the week:

Monday – Vampire Diaries

Wednesday – Once Upon a Time

Thursday – Secret Circle

Friday – Terra Nova

Saturday – Fringe

Sunday - Grimm

Tune in for our reviews, let us know what you think of the shows, and tell us your favorite choices, be they fantasy, horror, supernatural, sci-fi, or just plain cool. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Prep...Prep...Prep...For NaNo!

A little over a week to go for the big write.  Are you ready?  To tell you the truth, I’m a little nervous.  Excited, but nervous.  It’s like standing in the wings of the theater waiting for my cue to go on stage.  Afraid I’ll forget my lines.  Well, I’ll have to trust that the muse will arrive and if she doesn’t I’ll have to start without her. 

If you need some last minute guidance here is a link you might find useful:
Larry Brook’s site has 31 empowering posts on building your story for NaNo.

Also, here is a spreadsheet you can download that will help you do the following during the great write:
Daily word count
Monthly word count
Number of scenes written
Number of writing sessions per day
Words per hour
Words left until goal
Average words per day
Tomorrow’s goal
And some other stuff.

And last but not least an empowering commencement speech by Steve Jobs to inspire you.

Here are a few gems from his speech that hit home with me.
“….you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
The following also struck a chord for me:
“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

So my friends let’s go for it!  Are you ready? Let me know how you doing?


NaNoWriMo Survival Kit 2011

Since next week we will be having our Fall TV's speculative shows, I decided to go ahead and post my survival kit for this year.

NaNoWriMo Survival Kit 2011

1. Coffee

2. Pens and notebooks

3. WriteWay (Using it for the first time this year)

4. Coffee

5. Not so healthy snack

6. iPod

7. Coffee

8. Lots of Time

9. Desktop and Netbook Computer

10. Coffee

11. Dropbox

12. Angry Management Lessons

13. Coffee

14. Sprinting

15. Support from fellow Writers

What’s in your survival kit this year?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mandi Casey & An Interview with Sydney Sedrick

Today's guest blogger is an amazing author of  sexy paranormal tales, Mandi Casey. She was kind enough to send us an interview with the star of  her newest novel, Sydney Sedrick. Pick up her story today via links at the end of the post.

Sydney Sedrick Interview

Interviewer: In a nutshell, how would you describe yourself?

Sydney: Well, I’m 27 years old, and I was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin. My parents moved down to Chicago, but I’ve recently moved back to Kenosha to help my Aunt Judith with her store, Morning Sun. Since then, my life has been turned upside down.

Interviewer: What makes you say that?

Sydney: A few nights ago, I was attacked by a werewolf and he bit me in the neck. Ever since, I’ve learned that I’m the new Selected.

Interviewer: Selected? What does that mean?

Sydney: I’ve only recently found out that werewolves and vampires exist, obviously, as I was bitten by a werewolf. According to some dusty old prophecies, the Selected is destined to save the world, somehow.

Interviewer: Are you dating anyone? How do they feel about your new found position?

(Note: Sydney’s cheeks blush and she averts her eyes before answering.)

Sydney: No, my pool of would-be boyfriends is pretty barren right now.

Interviewer: Really? That surprises me.

Sydney: Well, there is Blake. He’s the heir to the Midwestern Werewolf Pack. He’s pretty sure I’m his true-mate, but that’s not possible.

Interviewer: If you both like each other, why not go for it?

Sydney: Ha! Yeah, you sound just like my sister, Brianna. No, we weren’t meant to be together, Blake and I. You see, if I date him, the vampires will get all ticked, and then they’d attack the werewolves. I just couldn’t stand to have that kind of bloodshed on my hands.

Interviewer: Thanks for your time, Sydney. Maybe we’ll talk more about the Bizarre Life of Sydney Sedrick soon.

Sydney: Um, thanks for having me.

Author Bio: At age ten, Mandi Casey bought her first paranormal romance. Since then, she’s been bitten with a passion for vampires, werewolves, life-mates, and all matters relating to love and romantic stories of success against all odds. Her writing style draws the reader in with emotionally charged connections, conflict, adventure, and dark, snarky humor.
When she’s not writing, Mandi enjoys Frisbee golfing and researching and writing about urban paranormal romance. She is a member of Rockin’ Romance Writers, Romance Writers of America and Savvy Authors.

Connect with her on Facebook or follow her blog at

Bizarre Life of Sydney Sedrick can be purchased at:;; or

Please check out the book trailer for Bizarre Life of Sydney Sedrick at:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Fiction -- to me anyway

I've been following any leads I get about new to me writers and having a blast with new surprises. One of my sources is Small Beer Press, the independent publishing company that helped sharpen the writerly teeth of author Jedediah Berry. Today I read an article in the Atlantic Monthly about the sliding of our beloved speculations into the works of more literary writers. First the zombies infiltrating government enterprises and now the pens of literary writers. Who knew? I have my theories about why that is happening but not for here or today. Letting that marinate a bit.

A friend (Lynn Townsend) of a friend (Richard Crawford) is a published steampunk author and she posted a link to an author I didn't know. Then it turned out that the author one I was kinda familiar with: Holly Black. She is definitely someone I need to read. And, before you ask, yeah, I read YA. It's how I find out what's really good and interesting, these days. Started with reading Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea Trilogy. Oh, yeah, about Holly Black, She's writing a vampire story based on a previous short. I'll let her tell it.
From almost the beginning of my career and especially in the last five years, people have been asking/telling me the same thing:

Will you ever write a vampire book? C'mon.

You know who you are.

And mostly I said no, because even though I love vampires (and I have loved vampires a looooong time -- I wore a vampire cape to middle school just for the heck of it; I reread INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE about a million times in high school; I did my eighth grade research paper on vampire folklore; hell, I begged my way into writing the introduction to a Puffin Classics edition of DRACULA not that long ago)* it always seemed like the wrong time. Vampires were either so hot that there seemed to be no room in the market or so over that there seemed to be no room in the market either.

But then, a couple of years ago, while I was waiting to get back my editor's edits on WHITE CAT, I wrote the short story, "The Coldest Girl in Coldtown" for THE ETERNAL KISS, a vampire anthology. And it was incredibly strange, because I started it thinking I had nothing to say about vampires and I wound up having a lot to say after all.

So much that I decided I wanted to go back to that world and tell a different story. And now, it's going to be a book!

You can read the official announcement here.

Oh and here's the trailer for Steamlust.

So, you know my additions to my reading list. Mostly shorts but they are the perfect thing to fill bits of time. How are you spending your spare time? Read any good short stories lately?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - First Grave on the Right

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

~ Grab your current read
~ Open to a random page
~ Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
~BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
~ Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This is my first time doing this meme, but I have a few blogger friends who have convinced me to give it a shot. My teaser is from First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones:

You'd think, me being a grim reaper and all, I'd have connections, ways of obtaining Blurry Guy's identity. But since the only connection from the other side I'd ever made was that of Bad, aka death incarnate, inquiries proved difficult. (page 72, First Grave on the Right).

I'm only a few chapters into the book, but I'm really liking the characters and story. I have a feeling I'll be hooked on this series and author by the end. I'd love to see your teasers, or just let me know what you're reading and how you like it so far.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Why I Write Fantasy—After All These Years, Finding the Most Important Reason

I deliberated a while finding a topic for today’s post. Nothing I considered appealed, and then the theme came from that very indecision.

I’m struggling with practically everything lately, while I assist my 85 year-old mother through the last of her life. She suffers from severe dementia, which has numerous complications ravaging her body. Last week, her doctor placed her under hospice care. As her only immediate family, it is difficult to keep enough vitality in myself to support, comfort, and enjoy her at this stage as I truly wish. My life has been turned upside down and quickly reduced to the bare minimum of what is essential and what is healing.

Learning what activities revitalize my spirit has been a process of trial and error. It’s much like times I’ve been both tired and hungry, standing in front of an open refrigerator door, too exhausted to imagine what I want to eat, requiring direct sensory input to make the decision. In the past weeks, desperate to strengthen my crumbling spirit, I’ve sampled all my usual pastimes and activities. Most gave me an ill feeling, like considering a distasteful food. The effort to determine what worked further drained my limited strength.

Then, I attempted writing new material on my current novel. Many folks advised I wouldn’t be able to concentrate, and it was difficult to begin. But, after a short while, my characters invited me to travel along with them as they rode dragons over mysterious lands and learned ancient secrets of their fantasy world. Chapter after chapter rolled smoothly off my fingers. My mind felt clean and rested, rather than cluttered and tired. My lungs relaxed and filled more fully. Magical.

As I analyzed the release my writing gave me, I considered how I might feel if my characters faced real-life dilemmas, with pain and suffering they had no special powers to circumvent. The stark parallel to real hardships would, for me, strip away the healing nature of my creative process. I need the larger-than-life expanse of fantasy. Stretching my imagination to create new worlds is an exercise that delivers a drug-like rush to my mind. Normally, I think of that as an addictive process, but now…it is purely healing.

Out of the hardest times, you come to know yourself better. I am grateful for that much.

(This is cross-posted on my own personal blog, Illusions of Intimacy.)

~ ~ ~
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. She is the author of the novel, TEARS ON A TRANQUIL LAKE, the first in a trilogy. Part two, TORTUGA TREASURE is contracted for release in January, 2012. Look for her first of an epic fantasy romance series, SEEKING ASCRIBE: ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS ONE, to be available early 2012.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Prepping for NaNo

Where am I in this task of preparing for NaNoWriMo?  Well, considering that I didn’t know what I was going to do on the 1st of the month, I have moved along slowly but with promise. 
Last week I mentioned I’m taking a class with Susan Merier, who by the way has written over 50 published books.  I figure she has a handle on getting those words down and into a story form.  So, the first week we had to come up with a story summary in the form of a paragraph or a sentence.  Well, at first I thought that was pretty lame since I didn’t have an idea of what I was going to write.  Then the rush of the assignment and the time element moved my brain to do amazing feats.  I started with the one sentence, the elevator pitch.  My thought was that it’s easier to write one sentence about something you don’t know squat about than a paragraph.  And it was and it wasn’t.  But, from that one sentence, I came up with a story idea and then went on to the paragraph.  Bit by bit the story started to emerge.  But, there were big holes in the story and they needed filling. 
This week in the class we did an assignment called a ‘list of 20.’  It’s an exercise where you ask a question related to your story and the more specific the better.  Then you let your creativity go wild to answer the question from the logical to the wierd. There are no right or wrong answers.  The point of the exercise is that after twenty answers you will find two or three gems that will kick your story out of its stuck mode or in a completely unexpected direction.  Neat.
 I took it further, as Susan said I made the exercise my own, from the list other questions popped up in my mind and more answers came into the forefront. This continued until the list was gigantic.  The holes were filling up.  Mind you, I don’t have the exact inciting incident or the plot points or the realization yet.  That’s what I will be working on the next two weeks, as well as a list of scenes.  Tick-Tock! Tick-Tock!
What is your method of preparing for the great write in November?


Friday, October 14, 2011

Time Crunching or Leisure Time

As I gotten older, time seems to move faster. It's hard to describe why it feels faster when it isn't going any faster. Are you in the same boat? What about your characters?

Do they feel there isn't enough time to complete everything? Or do they have all the time in the world to complete the task in hand? Depending on the answer, you can create a hair-raising experience for your characters.

Remember time is important to our everyday lives, so it need to shows up in your novel as well.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Comfort and Joy

With Canadian Thanksgiving, could American Christmas advertising be far behind? In my world, yes it can be. Still need to do Halloween. However, the title of this blog applies to neither.

I've had a bit of a surprise in my life (which accounts for why I didn't post last week) and am taking all the comforts and joys I can get for now. So, when I found this referred to by one of my Facebook friends, I had to see what it was about.

Then I found:

That's all for now. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Big Ol’ Steampunk Post

First up, I’m verily excited about today’s release of the new steampunk anthology aptly titled Steampunk! The genre is becoming a popular choice for short fiction collections, and I can’t wait to pick this one up. For a preview, you can nab a free copy of Cory Doctorow’s story, Clockwork Fagin, for your Kindle. 

There are plenty of calls for steampunk submissions suited to almost any blend of Victorian fare. Here’s a few to check out: 

Entangled Publishing is looking for steampunk with strong romantic elements. They’re also still taking subs for a superhero antho with similar guidelines. 

KnightWatch Press is collecting steampunk horror tales for Machina Mortis: Steampunk'd Tales of Terror.

Or, consider sending your work to one of these wonderful periodicals: Steampunk Magazine and Doctor Fantastique's Show of Wonders. Both are available in print and digital versions. 

Tor's Steampunk Week was a hit, once again. If you didn’t get a chance to follow the fun, I suggest you hop on over to browse the articles. Cat Rambo’s plea for the appearance of more historic women in steampunk was refreshing, and Mike Perschon (aka the Steampunk Scholar) presents his annotated Steampunk Gilgamesh. Plus, there’s oodles of great stuff on the artwork, designs, and overall aesthetics of the subculture. 

Another bit of awesome on my radar this week is the new movie trailer for The Raven, scheduled for release next year. While there doesn’t seem to be anything specifically steampunk about it so far, but I can’t pass up a deliciously spooky Victorian story. For me, John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe is just as wonderful a casting as Johnny Depp was as Ichabod Crane in Sleepy Hollow. Enjoy a peak: 

Finally, I’ve gotta give a shout out to a budding enterprise in my old stomping ground, Colorado Springs. Steampunk Brewing Co. isn’t up and running yet, but I’ll be keeping an eye on them to get off the ground sometime next year. They do have a website where you can show your support and follow their blog. Steampunk and beer is a great combination. OK, anything and beer is a great combination.

Any favorite posts from Steampunk Week? Feel free to let us know about more submission opportunities, too. Or, tell me about any anthologies you've read that can't be missed.
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