Annihilation, a film review

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For someone who absolutely loved the intelligent, slow burn that is Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation novel, I had a hard time swallowing Alex Garland’s film version which recently hit theaters. I spent the better part of two weeks thinking over the similarities between the two because, let’s face it, they are almost two different stories with only a couple of shared aspects between them. Garland had intended Annihilation to exist as its own entity which almost begs the question, why not call it something else…and well, make the last couple of changes that it needed to be its own unique entity. While I spent a solid week being kind of upset that it wasn’t a screen adaption of what I’d read, I have come to the acceptance that as its own film, it did some really amazing things and I do understand why so many people have given this amazing reviews. Now…where do I begin?


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30 Day Challenge: Day 8 – Movie Madness

Day 8: Movies You Never Get Tired Of Watching

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All of us have a list of movies we can watch over and over again and never grow tired of. They are movies that we connect with on an emotional level. The move us, impress us, and make us want to come back for more. And (for the most part) everyone has a very different list. A lot of the films on my list have not changed in years. Today, I’ll be sharing my top ten with you.

1.) The Wizard of Oz (1939)

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Even the main title music makes goosebumps rise on my arms. I love, love, love this movie. It’s been my favorite film ever since I was a kid. It was always the one I’d rent repeatedly from the video store up town and the one I still never get tired of no matter how many times I watch it. There is only one person I’ve ever met that has not seen this film. It’s a time-honored beautiful tale of imagination and friendship and recognizing the blessings that one has in their life. And it’s chock full of wonderful music. I used to remember all the lyrics to all the songs in this film; that’s how obsessed I was.

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30 Day Challenge: Day 7 – Hearts

Day 7: 5 Ways To Win My Heart

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 I really, really wanted to have this post up for Valentine’s Day… And I am over a week late in getting it up. It turns out that trying to bake and make a three tier German chocolate cake is more difficult than I had planned. I didn’t finish assembling it until the morning of Valentine’s Day, then had to work, and spent the evening having dinner and a movie with my valentine. And unfortunately…didn’t get any blogs written in a week’s time.

Turns out this 30 Day blog challenge is more challenging than predicted, too. But no matter. I’m going to try my damndest to catch up…even while coming down with a gnarly cold. Ehhh…

This blog is all about the five things that it takes to win my heart. It’s a bit fun, a bit foolish, and a bit serious, too. Having spent a long time alone, I got to know myself better and to recognize the things that really made me happy. They aren’t complicated; they’re pretty straightforward to me.

1.) We Can Laugh Together

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Over little things. Over silly things. Over big and sometimes serious things. Having someone who can laugh and not take everything so seriously is so refreshing. Especially someone who I can laugh with a little bit every chance I get to see them and spend time with them. It’s such a wonderful thing, sharing that joy with another person.

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30 Day Challenge: Day 6 – The Struggle is Real!

Day 6: Something I Struggle With

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I get frustrated, sometimes far too easily when I’m not able to figure things out the first time or even second time around. It’s ridiculous, to expect yourself to be able to master something on the first, second, or even third try. But, something about how my brain is wired still gets upset. And getting upset often makes roadblocks for me. I become convinced that I can’t do it, that I’ve already puzzled everything over, tried all the options to make things work… Of course, I haven’t. Of course, I’m too caught up in my emotions to be able to look at things clearly.

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30 Day Challenge: Day 5 – Travels!

Today’s blog (which should have been yesterday’s blog) is a fun one! It’s all about the five places I’d like to travel most. Travel is something that I’ve never quite had the money or time for but would love to carve out of my busy schedule to make happen. There is still a lot of the United States that I haven’t seen that I’d love to as well as a couple of countries that I’ve been itching to visit for a long while.

Here they are.

1.) Zion National Park

Zion is one of those places that I’ve dreamed about for the longest time. The canyons are some of the most beautiful and alien places I’ve seen photos of and I’ve dreamed of putting on my hiking boots to wander about them. Not to mention the fact that there are gorgeous views of monoliths, forests, and arches to be had, too.

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30 Day Challenge: Day 4 – Do The Shuffle!

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The 30 Day Challenge wants me to put my music on shuffle and post the first ten songs. It seems pretty short to just post ten songs and then be done with the blog post. So, I thought it might be a bit more interesting if I include something that ties me to each song, if there’s much of a connection. A memory, a thought, an idea… Something.

Alright. Let’s do the shuffle!

1.) Polyhymnia: Scout McMillan: This song is one that I found while playing Saints Row 4. It plays when you find the dubstep gun (one of my favorite weapons in the game). I remember liking it so much that I spent a considerable amount of time trying to find out who created it and where I could find it for download. While I haven’t used it for any writing projects as of yet, it’s definitely a favorite on my electronica playlist.

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30 Day Challenge: Day 3 – Words of Wisdom

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Ah, yes! Those words of wisdom that help me get through some of the tough times, words that make me smile, make me laugh, make me have hope that I’ll get through it. You know: it. Everyone has their own “it”. And “it” changes on a frequent basis. “It” is sometimes paying the bills. “It” is sometimes a fight you have with a loved one. “It” could be just getting through that damn meeting you’ve been dreading all week.

Here’s a list of my favorite words of wisdom.

Dolly Is such an inspiration and this shows you that you should never let go and everything thrown at you is only making you stronger:)

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30 Day Challenge: Day 2 – Pet Peeves

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So… I might have skipped a few days between Day 1 and Day 2, and I know I have some catching up to do. That being said, I’m going to keep these posts short and sweet. Let’s get to it. Day 2 is about three of my greatest pet peeves. Ready?

No. 1 – People who don’t use their blinker at a turn

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I’m not sure why it’s so difficult for people to just reach down and flick the little lever that tells the rest of the world whether you are going right or left…or straight. When you don’t use it…it confuses the rest of us mightily. For safety and sanity, people, please continue to use your blinkers. Don’t think that because you use this turn all the time or that because you don’t see anyone coming, it’s suddenly okay not to. That’s how accidents happen.

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30 Day Challenge: Day 1 – Happiness

Day 1: Ten Things That Make You Happy

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Here we are at Day 1 of my 30 day writing challenge. I’m doing this in the hopes that I’ll get back into writing on this blog regularly through these short posts. My first entry is a pretty fun one; ten things that make me happy.  In no particular order, here we go…

1. Cats


There’s something to be said for the love of a cat. Cats are independent, sometimes enjoying your affection and at others, preferring to be on their own. Maybe I find my own disposition toward other people to be the same. Sometimes, I really like to be near people and at others, I really enjoy my alone time. My cat, Lemon Jelly, knows when I’m upset, can enjoy a good cuddle on the couch on the blanket next to me, or behind my head. He sleeps next to me on the bed when he can (and still tries to when he can’t). Hearing that satisfied purr sometimes is one of the most comforting things in the world. Yes, he may kill some plants, puke in strange places, and attempt brain surgery on me while I sleep, but at the end of the day, he’s still my best friend.

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2018! Woohoo! What’s happening?

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It’s been a month since we started a new year! A new year means new resolutions, new plans, new chances to start the whole writing biz over and start from scratch, which is my intention. Being that my timing hasn’t been wonderful in blogging the last couple of years, I’ve decided that to break myself back into the habit of writing here, I’m going to participate in a 30 day writing challenge. I’ve never been great at doing these in the past because I’ve found it hard to make myself write every day.

But… A new year is a new year.

So, because it is February 1st, I’ll be posting a short 1st challenge blog after this one. But first, I’d like to highlight a couple of the things I’m going to hopefully set up to accomplish this year. I’ve had a hard time with follow-through. I’ve had lots of ideas that I never really got into or finished and I’m not proud of letting those go by the way-side. So, here are a few key things you can expect to see in 2018.

Cooking Adventures Redux


Unfortunately, I’m sad to say that I can no longer do video Cooking Adventures. It takes me a day to film one of these, money for ingredients, and then, several days of technical, glitch-filled editing before a video is ready. It’s sadly become frustrating to try and make one of these. But I love Cooking Adventures and I don’t want to see them disappear completely. I had this idea; what if I revisited the recipes that didn’t quite work out the last time I did them and tried to make them again? Will things go better this time? These won’t be weekly, probably won’t be bi-weekly, but I’m going to try and fit them in when I can. I think I’ll start with recipes from my first year of doing Cooking Adventures (2012) and go from there. If you want to look back and see what some of those were, follow the link here.

Writer-Thoughts Thursday


These blogs will serve to provide little glimpses into my writing process, things I’m currently struggling with or finding helpful. I want for these to almost be stream of consciousness posts and for them to alternate in length. Hell, these might even turn into update posts as well. We’ll see. Surprises!

Music Monday

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Mondays were always historically “Inspiration Through Music” Mondays. While I’d like to keep the thoughts of inspiration and music alive, these posts won’t be like their predecessors. I intend to post a song, an artist, an album when I feel a particular attachment to it. It might be for a project; it might be an image it sparks or a story I think I can glean from it. All I want to do is share the love of music and the power of story-telling through it.

30 Day Challenges

I’m only planning to do this for February (which I’m well aware only has 28 days…), but I figured if I enjoy it, I should try and do some more in the future. It’ll also come down to how much time I’ll have for them. I want to continue to provide varying content here and if it looks like it’s going to be too much, I might do them intermittently.

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And that’s a rap! I think it’s better to keep things light and not pile too many different expectations onto the blog. I am going to try and reboot my career this year. It’s been a couple years since I’ve released a book, the website is in need of a serious redo and I’d like to do more shows than I have. I do have several other personal events going on this year, so my goal is to achieve a balance with the blog, and my books, and my life. Any encouragement would be well appreciated.

Thanks, all. Stay tuned.