Tag Archive: Star Wars


star-wars-force-awakens-official-posterI’ve been busy, as evidenced by how little I’ve been posting. I’ve even been neglecting the other site I own and manage. However, I couldn’t just let something like Star Wars go by unwatched, particularly not before Christmas. What will my relatives think?

This review will be in two parts, and not very long, because there’s not a whole lot to say. The first part will be completely spoiler-free. When you see the spoiler graphic come up, that is your only warning. Beyond that, and especially in the comments section, will be hic sunt SithaeContinue reading

MCU Expectations

In my review of Avengers: Age of Ultron, I said that I had some speculations that I decided to cut and turn into a separate blog post. It isn’t just about predicting future plots, but there’s some of that too.

We all know that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a blowout success. Even the shaky installments (we’ll ignore Agents of SHIELD season one for right now) have been “bad” only in comparison to the top material. It’s also been successful at introducing these long-beloved characters to new audiences who may have known nothing about them or their stories. That’s impressive all on its own, considering the depth of the Marvel Comics storylines, many of which go back half a century now.

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It started with Iron Man, which updated Tony Stark’s story to fit a modern audience’s expectation. A great deal of the success comes from Robert Downey Jr., of course. He’s the Tom Baker of not just the role, but the whole universe; and one of the best things about it is that he’s also aware of how close he came to outright disaster due to drugs and other self-destructive behavior, and I firmly believe that this fuels the way he throws himself into the role. Not only does he know what it’s like to completely doubt yourself, but he clearly sees each day as part of a second chance on life. Continue reading

Oh, I’m planning on seeing it. I saw the prequels in theaters too, though by Episode III my friend Jon and I were laughing at very inappropriate moments. (If you were to watch our parody film from 2004, Star Wars Episode 2: The Great Disturbance, you’d realize why we found the scene where Artoo takes out two battle droids to be frickin’ hilarious. Let’s just say . . . we called it.) Continue reading

Building Your World: Scale

When figuring out where to set your story, one of the simplest things to do is pick how far your story extends. Does it take place entirely in one town? Does it span an entire galaxy?

There has been an increasing trend toward larger and larger settings in the last few decades, though that trend may be reversing now. It seems as if, as our perception of our own world increases and our ability to get from place to place becomes easier, we seem to think that the same should be true even in a medieval fantasy setting. Lately, though, I’ve been coming across more and more stories that detail smaller areas, as if authors are realizing that — like with the real world — “flyover country” actually contains some interesting stuff. You can set a lot of stories in one small area.  Continue reading

If you’re viewing this anytime after this week, I’m sorry. But hey, you get a review, right?

Audible.com is running a sale on the first books of series. There are several good choices, all for $4.95 each, but I didn’t go through the whole thing yet. I got distracted by William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, a New HopeContinue reading

As I said in my review of Shanna Swendson’s Enchanted series, I wound up with a lot more to say that was really appropriate for a review. Like many of my posts, it’s a long one, clocking in at over three thousand words, but it’s aimed more at writers than all readers. And, I promise: spoiler free! (Well, except for the romance angle.)

So, without further ado, here’s my analysis of this new favorite series.  Continue reading

Readers of the blog know I like Lego. It’s a great toy, arguably the best single toy investment you can make for a child. Unlike a video game, its operating system doesn’t go obsolete in three years; every Lego brick you buy today is compatible with the same company’s products going back decades — and they’re not going to change that in the future. It rewards creativity, teaches spacial and structural awareness, and can be combined in so many different ways that you can never say you’ve beat the game.

And then, as an adult, you can stick with it and turn it into a genuine art form. Years of experience, an adult’s funding and patience, and that little kid inside of you that still shouts “THIS IS SO COOL!” — all joining together to show kids that art can be fun, and their fun can be true art.

Well, there’s a movie out this weekend that’s based on the toy. I got to see the press screening last weekend with Wamalug (the Washington Metropolitan Area LEGO Users Group), so I’m here to give you my review. Continue reading

What I’ve Been Doing Lately

So I’ve had another period where I haven’t been posting anything, and I haven’t even been updating on the Facebook page (which you should totally like). Well, this is a major part of what’s been occupying my attention:

Hang on, I got some dust in my eye or something . . .

Hang on, I got some dust in my eye or something . . .

Now, just to be clear, that is not me in that photo. I’m the one taking it. And the radiant beauty in white is my dear friend, mutually-adopted sister, and future co-author Elizabeth Amy Hausladen.

Er, wait. Elizabeth Amy Hajek. Yeah. Got to remember that. Fortunately, she likes hearing people repeat themselves on this subject.  Continue reading

Farewell, Ann Crispin

There are great, well-known, household-name authors that we credit with shaping our ideas of fiction. And for every one of those, there are many more that even our friends haven’t heard us talk about. For me, one of those was A. C. Crispin.

Mind you, many of my friends and authors have heard me quote some of her advice, but I rarely go around talking about her actual fiction. It feels like a disservice, even though I know there are so many books and authors out there that we can’t get to every one of them. And yet, Ann Crispin was one of my favorite authors in my teen years, and she had a deep and abiding influence on my writing style and how I approach editing.

Plus, her StarBridge series had one book that featured a deaf heroine. Very rare in fiction, much less SF&F. My hearing problems weren’t as frustrating back then, but it was a nice thing to have. And I should reread it, because it’s been years.

Today, September 6th, Ann Crispin lost her battle with cancer. I never got to meet her, and I wish I did.

An author’s estate always experiences a posthumous bump in sales. It’s not ghoulish. She’s most famous for her Star Trek and Star Wars installments, but she’s got a hefty bibliography to her credit. Check out her books and buy some. If nothing else, you’ll be providing a little extra income for her husband, who just lost the woman he loved and really shouldn’t have to worry about money right now.

And for everyone, prayers don’t cost a thing. I bet they could both use some right now.

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