Friday, October 9, 2015

Heroes Reborn: S1E4

Here are my thoughts on this episode as if I were live tweeting them: (SPOILERS!)

Sad moment with the dog there at the beginning. Ugh. (Don't worry the dog's okay.)

Still not sure what's happening with the girl wandering around in the snow.

The Japanese kid is pretty cute, you know? His personality is reminding me a lot of Hiro from the original. I think that's on purpose.

"This isn't a TED talk, Mom." Ha!

Tommy is caught!

Luke is HOT.... like literally!  (Sorry I had to.) And I'm very happy he's second guessing this whole vengeance thing. I don't think he's going to be the bad guy in this show after all!

Oh, no! Jose!

Noah: "I once knew a man...."  SYLAR!

Luke is hot. And caught!

Is that still Mohinder's voice narrating?

Oh, no! Molly!

Ah, creepy new kid at the end?

Are you watching Heroe's Reborn? Thoughts?

Jose is caught!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Movie Review: The Martian

Movie: The Martian
Genre: SciFi
Starring: Matt Damon, Jeff Daniels, Sean Bean
Rating: PG 13
My Rating: Two thumbs up

I got the book read just in time to see the movie! After reading the book, its all I could think about so to continue the obsession with the movie was awesome. And then that night I couldn't sleep for living on Mars and dealing with problems all night long!

Anyway, I loved the movie. It was just as awesome as expected. Great book adaptation. Thought, I do fear seeing the movie so close to reading the book is not such a great idea. Usually when I see the movies, I've read the book so far long ago that I don't remember the details. Not so with this one!

Growing potatoes

They had to condense stuff of course (making his ordeal not seem as long) and in the end they had to leave out several other dramatic problems. But then, the made the actual ending quite a bit different in order to up the drama. So there you go. I was like "WAIT, that did not happen like that!" very loudly. My daughter had to shush me!

Anyway. Matt Damon was perfect and I love how he conveyed the humor from the book just right. So many funny moments! It's truly a lesson on how to deal with crap by using humor. We could all learn from that!

I guess Jordan looks like Mars.
(I read that's where it was filmed.)

I also loved seeing the world come together to accomplish this mission! And how they just didn't care how much it cost or what things they had to destroy in order to make it happen. It was great.

The part (SPOILER) when he is finally in the rocket at the end and he breaks down crying... wow. Wow wow wow. Loved.

If you are into space movies, Matt Damon, or science, even just a little bit... see this movie!

Here's the trailer:

P.S. I didn't give a summary because I just barely did that here in my review of the book! Basically, this guy is stranded on Mars and the rest of the world figures out how to get him home.

P.P.S. And I loved the disco music, I don't care what Mark Watney thinks!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Nanowrimo 2015

It's my third year committing to Nano. I'm amazed at the excitement that accompanies this commitment. Why does it seriously cause butterflies in my gut just to say to myself: "I'm going to write a book this month?" And that happens even though I have no idea what it's going to be? I think it's because the anticipation of creating some new characters, and a new story, and a new situation,  is the coolest. It's like making new friends. Or falling in love. Or something. It's really weird and I have no words to describe it.

Maybe the only way I can actually get words out is to push myself like this endeavor makes one do, and have that tangible goal and be doing it with thousands of others around the world. Maybe that's it.

And it's yet to be determined if my words are worth anything. This part is the hardest most frustrating bit. But for some reason I keep pushing on in this and hope to find out soon. There's a small group who say they (the words) aren't too bad so for now, I'm believing them and pushing on.

At any rate, the feeling I get doing this is addicting, so here I am for the third year.

So if you plan to give it a try, either again or for the first time, let me know so we can be Nano buddies. I find the site to be pretty worthless with regard to connecting to people, but it's fun to see what your plans are and your progress as the month goes along. (You can find my profile here.) Most of the real connection happens on Twitter or through our blog posts, so, do let me know so I can stalk you!

As for my plans . . . I hope to finally try science fiction. YA of course. I've always thought it would be fun to set a story on a cruise boat... so I thought I'd combine the two ideas. A space cruise. And then bad stuff happens. But I'm not sure what that bad stuff is yet. I've started making a Pinterest board (a secret one of course!) with ideas, which is a blast. And I've pondered a re-telling of some kind, because that seems to be such a trend and makes plotting a gazillion times easier. So. Maybe.

Meanwhile, I'm still working through my first story, the one I wrote at my first Nano two years ago. And I haven't yet forgotten about last year's Nano story. Whenever I read over some of that stuff it makes me smile and I love those characters. So. I want to share that someday and see if it's just me or if others would feel the same. There's a lot to do! What have I started???

Let me know if you are Nanoing!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Quitting!

What bookish things do you want to quit? The people over at The Broke and the Bookish want to know!

There really are no series I want to abandon, or no tropes I'm sick of, or no authors I've bagged, so I had to come up with some other random things!

Bookish Things I want to Quit
  1. I want to quit feeling guilty if I don't like a book and decide to abandon it right from the get go.
  2. I want to quit worrying about what I can't read and just enjoy what I can.
  3. I want to quit feeling weird if I love too many books and have the desire to give them all five stars!
  4. I want to quit worrying that YA has taken over my classics reading.
  5. I want to quit waiting to the end of the day to fit in reading time.
  6. I want to quit buying ebooks and then never reading them!
  7. I want to quit accepting book review requests, but I just, I just...
  8. I want to quit wondering what happened to Markus Zusak's latest writing endeavor and just have an MZ book to read already!
  9. I want to quit revising my MS and finally get it sent out to some beta readers.
  10. I want to quit making this list because I can't think of anything else I want to quit!
Ha! That was the pretty much the silliest list I've ever written. How did your list turn out? I'll be by to see! I hope.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Book Review Discussion: The Martian by Andy Weir

Book: The Martian by Andy Weir
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating:★ ★ ★ ★ ★
For: Fun
From: Bought at BYU Bookstore a few months ago

Short Synopsis: It's the third manned mission to Mars. On the 6th day there, a dust storm threatens to destroy the ship that will take them home. So they decide to abort their mission and escape. But an accident occurs and one of the crew gets hurt. The rest of the crew try to find him the storm, but they can't. It appears he's dead, so they continue on and leave. A bit later, this abandoned crew member wakes up and finds out he's alone on Mars. With his smarts and his sense of humor, he manages to figure out how to survive until someone, he hopes, can rescue him.

My Response: I've been seeing readers rave about this one for a long time now it seems. I've avoided it because of reports that it was so science-y. I figured I'd find that boring. Well, it WAS science-y and I didn't understand much of those parts and I admit to skimming a paragraph or two here and there, but, BUT, the story and the humor and the fun and the intensity was amazing and all deserve the praise. I found the writing to be interesting in the sense that the author didn't worry much about all the billions of things we learn at writing classes and conferences and etc. He didn't worry about word choice, or changing tense, or flipping in and out of different POVs . He just wrote the dang story and had the most awesome fun voice ever. And it worked. I loved it. I especially loved learning that he shared this story on his website for free and his readers begged him to put it in Kindle format so they could have and savor it and read it over and over again. So he did, picking the cheapest way possible (99 cents) to distribute it. And then it flew to the top of the Kindle best selling list until he had people begging to publish it traditionally and to turn it into a movie.

I can't even imagine. What a crazy thing that must have been!

And now the movie. I haven't seen it yet. Hoping to fit that in this week. But from what I've been hearing, the movie also lives up to the hype and Matt Damon kills it. Can't wait.

Bottom Line: Loved it, despite the heavy science talk. The voice and style made this story and all the science talk, while interesting, doesn't distract from the story itself.

Let's Talk About: I hear that NASA "approved" this book. I don't even know what that means! I've never heard of such a thing. But I guess it has something to do with the fact that all the science checks out. That this REALLY could have happened, given the possibility that we ever get a man to Mars. I find this all fascinating. What do you think? What are your feelings on heavy science in your stories? How do you feel about space and traveling to other planets?

Other Reviews:

Personally, I couldn’t get enough of his gallows humor, his smarts, his snark, and his impatient streak. From The Little Red Reviewer

The book touched all kinds of buttons in my geeky heart; space travel, real science that not once relies on some made up magical science to save the day, funny, suspenseful, surprising and unabashedly entertaining. From So Many Books

All that said, The Martian is an entertaining and enlightening story about the hazards of interplanetary exploration, a cautionary tale of sorts, but one that celebrates the problem solving expertise of those in charge of the program. From Book Chase

The Martian is an intelligent and witty science-based story that reminds its audience of human abilities and perseverance. From That's What She Read

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Heroes Reborn: Season One Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Back in the day I did the weekly recap thing of Heroes. One of my first blogging memories! And I loved it. I recreated that when I did the same thing last season of The Walking Dead. Which I plan on doing again this season. But in the meantime, I thought I'd have fun with Heroes Reborn, and come full circle with the whole blogging Heroes thing.

And I'm already behind! Last week the show opened by doing two episodes in a row. Here's what happened and what I thought. (Beware spoilers!)

We learn quite quickly that there was a huge disaster a year before the story opens again. It happened right in the middle of a gathering of evolved humans... Evos. Noah Bennet was there, and he somehow survives. But he thinks Claire was there too, and that she did not survive. (Which doesn't make sense given her power, yes?) We come to learn later that his memory has been wiped and that he doesn't really remember what happened, which is not good at all.

There's a couple who was also there, and their son was killed. They are out for revenge. They want to hunt down and kill all the Evos.  They are ruthless. Zachary Levi is one of these bad guys. He's scary! He tries to kill a teenager Evo, but some unknown someone saves this boys life. (This kid is played by the boy who played Peter Pan in OUAT.) We follow his story and learn he can make things disappear. He learns that they go wherever he's thinking about at the moment. He's got a nice girl on his side... and her boyfriend who thinks he made his terrible step dad disappear, but he really didn't. There's some guy following him and we have no idea what he's all about, but he seems to be helping at the moment. He can make people do whatever he wants. So he's obviously an Evo too.

Meanwhile, in Japan, there's a boy who is a video game nerd and in the course of winning a game called Ever- something, he gets a clue that leads him to a girl who happens to be the star of that game. That's right, she can turn into a the video game. She's on a quest to save her kidnapped father.  They join forces. She fights both in the game and in the real world. We have no idea what this all has to do with the other Evos, or how it will tie in yet.

Noah goes back to the paper company to track down Molly who can find any Evo. There's this nerdy comic relief guy who is sort of helping Noah in this quest. They almost get shot down by the bad couple, but they escape.

Meanwhile, in a Mexican neighborhood of East LA there's a guy with powers who is being a sort of Daredevil type vigilante. He gets killed and his brother is going to take over. They are also an underground railroad for helping Evos, Because oh, I forgot to say that the world blames the big disaster on the Evos and all of them are in major hiding.

At the end, we find out that Molly has been found by another bunch of bad people who we don't really know that they want yet.

And that's the first couple of episodes!

Joanne,  the wife half of the couple who wants to go kill all the Evos
Malina: Who we really haven't meet yet!
Luke, the husband half of the couple who wants to kill all the Evos
Noah Bennett, who all know and love
Carlos, the guy who is going to take over the vigilante/underground railroad job
Miko, the girl who can jump in and out of her dad's video game
Tommy, the kid who can make people disappear

I found it to be engaging and fairly intense, just like the Heroes of old. Noah so far is the only original cast member that we've seen, though I know they've teased others. I'm quite taken with the kid that can make things disappear.

Episode three finds our new vigilante trying to figure out his place. In the meantime he gets the crap beat out of him because he messes with people who have powers and he has none. And our ruthless couple trying to figure out if they still want to go around killing people. And something is happening to Luke, the Zachary Levi guy. Noah is trying to remember what happened during the past year that he can't remember. He needs Molly to help him, but she is now in the hands of other bad guys who want to harness her power in order to track down all the Evos. We learn that something strange happened in the hospital on the day of the disaster. And Tommy is just trying to be normal, but his mom has another panic attack and the episode ends with them in a car crash.


So much happening, which is the awesome thing about this show!

Anyway, I think I'm sufficiently hooked. How about you? Have you given it a try? Were you an original Heroes fan? What do you think of this one so far?

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Book Banter Topic Two: John Green

Once upon a time I discovered John Green. And I loved him from that very first video I watched. It just went on from there. When I learned that Jenny didn't so much love him, I was like... wait, what? How can you NOT? 

And thus, another Book Banter was born!

Jenny Says:

This one is tricky because I don't hate John, he just annoys me.  

Reason 1: His You Tube Video Blog

To be honest I haven't watched too many of these but while everyone else is heehawing at him, I just sit there looking confused. Some  of the things he says are mildly funny, I guess, but talking really fast and clever editing videos doesn't make you a comedian. I guess his brand of funny isn't mine because I just don't get it. 

Suey Says:

When we discovered his videos, we binged watched, one after the other after the other and never got sick of them. I'm not at all bothered by the fast talking, I love it. And the editing, of course that doesn't make a person a comedian, it just makes him a fabulous YouTuber. Something that because of him, tons of other people are doing and becoming. It's a whole new thing and he started it. That's cool. And I look back and think, now why didn't I think of the? I could have used YouTube to talk to my sisters and we could have become famous and had a gazillion people copy us and then start a conference about it and... and... and... 

Here's a recent video just in case you haven't ever watched him and want to know what we are talking about here:

Jenny Says:

Reason Two:  His Books

Oh, John. Please, in the name of all that is holy, stop writing books about yourself! Everyone of his main characters, if you pay attention, is totally him! Slightly nerdy, lanky, a wallflower, not one of the "in crowd". I could go on and on but you just have to read the books and pay attention and you'll see what I'm saying. Why does he do this? Is it because he's so small minded he can't reach outside himself and create a character that's different from him? Or is he actually in therapy for his chronic fast talking and the therapist has assigned him to write stories about himself to help discover his inner self? Who knows, but for some reason he just can't seem to stop writing about himself. Even The Fault in our Stars is about a girl! Sigh! 

Suey Says:

So  I get that his books may seem like he's just writing about his own life things, but all authors do that! ALL! Why pick on John? And I maintain that the reason his books are so popular is because everyone can see themselves in his characters!  Here's what I said to Jenny as one of my reasons I love John Green. I will copy and paste:

I love that he’s relatable. He’s normal. He’s gets people. He’s geeky like we all are. He owns up to it. He embraces it. He makes other geeky nerdy kids feel proud of that. He makes people feel like they can do anything. Because if he, a nerdy guy, can do it, we can all do it.

Also, along these same line I had this to say:

I love that he’s smart and funny and witty. I love that he says things that make me think. I love that he says things that make me feel.  I love the way he says things  and the words he uses. I think he’s a great writer full of real emotion.  

Jenny Says:

Reason 3 :The Women

I could just say that all the women in his books are type cast characters that are all exactly the same. Sexy but they don't know or believe it, angsty, gritty cursers. See where I'm going with this? What bothers me isn't exactly that they are all the same but it's the type of same that they are. I think John ,bless his diseased mind, is trying to send the message that women are beautiful no matter their issues or beliefs but that's not what I'm getting. I believe John just has a type and in some twisted way is writing about himself getting this type. 

Suey Says:

Alaska and Margo have similar characteristics, but I don't see the same type cast in An Abundance of Katherines or The Fault in Our Stars. Yeah. I just don't see it. Once again, I think people fall in love with these characters for a reason... we see ourselves in them. 

And one final point that I want to make as a reason to love John:

He uses his fame to teach and inspire other people. I mean, he’s probably pretty busy, and yet, he makes videos about history and literature and gets people excited about them. (His brother Hank does the science-y videos.) I love that he has so many projects all for bettering others. He has inspired so many people to go out and do their own projects and start their own things and be their own kind of creative. It’s just cool. And I love it.

Here's an example of one you should all love:

Bottom Line: I find John Green to be funny and inspiring. And he writes books that people can relate to.

And don't forget, be sure to go see Jenny's take on the subject!

So my readers... what do you think? Are you a John Green fan or does he annoy you?


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