Friday, November 29, 2013
Former military cop, Jack Reacher, travels once again with his toothbrush and his wits. Brawny and over six foot tall, this military machine is prepared for almost anything except the thought of fatherhood. However, he's come from South Dakota to Washington DC to meet with Major Susan Turner at his old 110th MP HQ. But Turner's now imprisoned, and he's on his way due to criminal charges of murder. Plus another case has risen - paternity.
Nothing is as it seems. Reacher breaks himself and Turner out of jail and heads west to meet his alleged 15 year old daughter. Along the way, he discovers two American soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan under Turner's watch. Here at home, four soldiers stationed out of Ft.Bragg seem determined to stop Reacher and Turner from drawing conclusions about those deaths, money, trades, and a network of intrigue out of Afghanistan.
p. 177 "You're like a predator. Cold, and hard. Like this whole thing. You have it all mapped out," said Turner. "You're swimming toward them, and there's going to be blood in the water. Your or theirs, but there's going to be blood."
Jack Reacher moves at a quick pace, not to mention he's involved in car chases, fights, ambush on an airplane, a little love in the afternoon, and plenty of dining at greasy spoons. In Never Go Back, "Jack Reacher questions who he is, what he's done, and the very future of his untethered life on the open road." (cover blurb). This is a fun book in a great series - page turning intrigue at its best.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
From London, Peru, Philadelphia, Tahiti, and Amsterdam - "The Signature of All Things" is a sweeping panorama of life. Its unforgettable characters - missionaries, abolitionists, adventurers, geniuses, and the mad - all tell a tale of life's ups and downs. New ideas, new discoveries are exciting. Then there's heartache and heartbreak - nothing new there. Elizabeth Gilbert's rich writing kept me mesmerized. This is a dense read, but fantastic in its details, emotions, and plot lines.
p. 447 Alma writes "Anything less than a fight for endurance is cowardly. Anything less than a fight for endurance is a refusal of the great covenant of life."
"The Signature of All Things" will stick with you - the characters, nature, and you'll find yourself looking at moss growing on a tree in a whole new light.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Now in London, he encounters the most spectacular girl played by Rachel McAdams. They meet cute, he messes up some timing, they meet again and it's on to love, marriage, and babies. Through it all, you're engaged with his odd family, you realize the love and respect Tim has for his father, and you learn how he copes and manages the time travel. It's a bit of a stretch, so you have to suspend reality at times. Nonetheless, the actors make it work and they are so sweet and kind and rather twinkly.
Almost Time is a pleasant way to spend two hours. These are likeable characters. The dialogue is humorous and light. And the message - enjoy your moments, marry someone kind, and appreciate life - is a good one to review for one's own life.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
layered afternoon sky
dusk loomed as sun's final rays
autumn glory. Golden leaves,
burnt orange, and rust reds
glowed. Wind rustled.
created rippled shadows
apple crisp breeze
teased hot cocoa nights
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
As an added bonus, Thor needs to release Loki from prison. His knowledge and hidden places are needed, plus Loki (Tom Hiddleston) adds tension to the whole dynamics. The best scenes are when the brothers are on screen exchanging barbs. All in all, the filmmaking is rich, the battles are glorious, and a bare-armed Thor shines as he wields his hammer.
This is fall eye candy at its best. So round up the family, buy that tub of popcorn, and zoom to another realm for adventure. Thor brings light to a Dark World.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
We left pumped up and enthusiastic. Thanks, Ray for our Saturday night date to see Pink.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
So - I sorta began a NaNo but was never truly vested in the enterprise. I admit failure and I'm okay with it.
Are you distracted by the pretty pictures? ...............yeah, me too.
Sunday, November 10, 2013
The film "12 Years a Slave" chronicles Northup's journey to hell and back. Chiwetel Eijofor needs to work on his Oscar speech now. His performance is spot on and often without dialogue. Just the puzzlement and despair on his face, and then his determination to survive is breathtaking. His first enslavement is with a "kind" plantation owner played by Benedict Cumberbatch. However, the overseer (Paul Dano) is petty, mean, and evil. Northup and Dano come to blows and the result is not pretty. Ultimately, the owner sells Northup to another. Then he's moved to another and here's where the going gets tough. Michael Fassbender's plantation owner is nutso evil. He flaunts his affair with a slave girl, Patsy, in front of his wife. She, in turn, manipulates Northup.
Mid-1800s was not a pretty episode in American history, and this film does not approach it lightly. The beatings, degradation, and slave life is depicted brutally honestly. It's not an easy film to watch, and yet it is absolutely intensely well done. Eijofor is one of those actors you've seen in lots of things - television and movies. Now he has leaped into the forefront of Oscar watch with this role of a lifetime. Brad Pitt, who is a producer on this film, is a hero also. As a white man who abhors slavery, he's Northup's connection to friends up North and his final passage to freedom. I'm not giving away a huge plot line - the man lived to write his book, but the twelve years he lost to happiness is horrific. This is not a popcorn movie. It is just great filmmaking and storytelling.
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Beatris has never really felt like her clan family -Abnegation. She is a tad selfish and she yearns to break free. Well, she has her chance to change her life. Turning age sixteen allows her to pick from all worlds - Amity, Candor, Erudite, Dauntless, and Abnegation. She takes the test which involves a drug serum and hallucinogenic situations. She tests as a Divergent - meaning she's not conclusive and ultimately could be trouble. She needs to keep her results quiet, but she does choose the Dauntless family and becomes Tris. Her brother Caleb chooses Erudite. Thus both kids reject their selfless lifestyle.
As Tris, our heroine learns to jump onto and off trains, fight, kickass, leap from buildings into a net that she does not know is there, and altogether becomes daring. And yet, some selflessness is still instilled in her, and she questions her planet. What is the whole plan? The leader Eric is brutal, but the "co-leader" Four becomes a love interest. Tris is naive and yet learning. Her friends Christine, Al, and Will - everyone is working to find themselves, score points to earn their Dauntless title, and not become factionless (i.e. homeless).
Well, Tris, as a Divergent, is able to manipulate scenarios plus she's freakin' brave. Her scores are topnotch even though there are suspicions about her. Slowly, she gathers information and chats with her brother. The Erudites are planning a full out war over Abnegation's government and they plan to use Dauntless as the fighters.
The pace quickens and the battle is crazy. Fortunately, Tris is able to see her mother, father, and family. The results prove shocking and you, the reader, are hooked for the next book - Insurgent. Trust me - read this series now before the first movie in March 2014. Books > film
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Meanwhile, Somali desperado/fishermen are told they need to get back out on the water and earn some money. The lead Somali - Barkhad Abdi -(nicknamed Skinny) is not a trained actor, but his fierce charisma holds the screen. Sure enough, they are tech savvy and their gear plots the course of the Alabama. They approach quickly, circumvent the water hose blasts, and manage to get aboard. Captain Phillips had feared for this very incident. He had his crew doing practice drills, and then had to announce, "This is real world. Hide in the engine room." It became an outwit, outplay, outlive the terrorists real-life game.
Ultimately, the Somalis take Phillips as hostage in the small life boat. As they pilot it toward their port, a bigger brinksmanship occurs. US Naval power and Navy Seal expertise work to defuse the situation. Skinny seeks dominance over the situation. He truly believes he will get ransom money, survive, and his goal is to go live in America. Captain Phillips has faith in the Navy, and he quietly tries to create tension amongst the pirates. This earns him some beatings. The movie does not go overly political and yet there are some lines showing the level of desperation involved in Somali life for these young men.
Director Paul Greengrass excels at directing the actors and action. He ratchets tension - we feel the lack of air in the lifeboat, the thirst building, fear, and lack of control. Captain Phillips is a great modern seafaring adventure that demonstrates America's reach and power. It's also about men and a will to win and live. Climb aboard, mate, and prepare for an ocean of entertainment.
Sunday, November 3, 2013
The Fort Worth Cultural District is a treat on a lovely fall day.
Friday, November 1, 2013
However, I've published non-fiction, flash fiction, and poetry. Somewhere, there is a novel inside of me. Surely I can develop a character arc that is remotely interesting to read. Okay - I think I'm already behind on my word count.
I'll keep you posted on my progress and maybe even upload some of the bizarre crap my fingers type. This could be amusing.
Gotta go NaNo now.