Showing posts from September, 2018

Some Thoughts on Deadpool 2

I have a lot of problems with this movie. Problems that have mellowed now that I’ve watched it a second and third time, but problems, nonetheless. I’m only going to talk about a few here, though, because it could wind up a twelve page dump of irritation if I don’t limit myself.
The first viewing was really difficult to enjoy it once I realized it was a man pain plot--which, happens almost immediately (and no, I don’t care that the ending time-nonsense means she’ll probably be hale and whole if there’s a place for her in the next film’s plot). Killing or endangering the woman to give the man his angsty purpose is just lazy writing at this point. (And I say this as someone who used the trope five years ago and still rolls her eyes at herself for it.)

This is a personal thing, and listening to others talk about what they loved in the film, it probably won’t bug others. I’ve never enjoyed secondary embarrassment humor, or body humor. They feel like the last refuge of the grown-up twelve-ye…

New Release: Give the Dark my Love


New Release: The Sisters of the Winter Wood


New Release: Nightingale

Changing Hands | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound | iTunes

Out today, this book sounds beautifully evocative and darkly enthralling.

If you’re in the Phoenix area, Amy has an event at Changing Hands tonight at 7, along with Abigail Johnson and Kelly Devos.

For more information, visit her site.

New Release: Vengeful

Changing Hands | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound | iTunes

If you’ve heard anything from V.E. about this book, you know that it was an act of love and frustration to finish.

And if you haven’t had a chance to read the first book in the series, get your hands on Vicious now
Changing Hands | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound | iTunes

Niobe: She Is Life - A Review

If you walked through the exhibitor hall at Phoenix Comic Fest this year, you really can’t have missed the Stranger Comics booth. There was an enormous banner with the cover of Niobe: She Is Death and the Untamed: Killing Floor. Both of these beautiful illustrations feature the a striking brown elf girl (one as a child, the other as a warrior) and an amazing young woman spent delivered a pitch she better have been paid well for because it was delightful, engaging, and concise.

Niobe: She Is Life is the first of the Stranger Comics line that I’ve read. It was the reason I went to the booth, after all. So I sat down and read through the epic fantasy on a bright Saturday, and was left… confused.

The art and illustration in this volume are delightful. Color and detail are not spared in the creation of a world that, while small within the story, feels as though there are realms left to discover and explore. The characters are uniquely depicted, and their surroundings are evocative of the …

7 Reasons I'd Never be Cryonically Frozen

I Hate The Cold. This one might be a little on the nose, but it’s true. On top of that, I am abnormally sensitive to the cold. As I write this, I’m sitting in an office where the building’s system is set to “Fan” and my fingernails have a lovely purple ombre.  Freezer Burn: The Science Isn’t Here Yet. Here’s the thing. I’m skeptical of anything touted as being remotely close to the cryonics of SciFi film and books. I don’t think we’ll get to a place I’d be comfortable with in my lifetime.

I Don’t Trust the Mechanics. Like the reason above, this is about the technology. Even if we know the “How”, that doesn’t mean we can execute it. On top of that… how will we know when it’s worked? How will we know if it has a minimum and maximum freezer date?

I Don’t Trust the Technicians. Say the science works. Say the technology is created. Humans are just big scarecrows of fallibility. Even with safety regulations and training, there are going to be mistakes made. Silvia will accidentally key in the …

Terminal: A review

I don’t remember when I saw the trailer for Terminal. I believe it was either a random instagram add or possibly something that popped up on Hulu. However it came about, I was interested… but did not expect it on a streaming service so quickly (maybe it was a Hulu production and I just wasn’t paying attention).
Overall, it is an provocative, if problematic, film. In the vein of most of my film-related reviews, here’s a list of what I liked, and didn’t like:


I am a sucker for neon and saturated colors. So the noir feel coupled with the harsh lights and vast array of colors worked for me. It gave the whole film a graphic novel aesthetic that added to its general air of a city out of place, time, and government control.

The erratic nature of the narrative was fun. I’m always a fan of films that trust their audience to follow a broken trail and gather the breadcrumbs they pass along the way. The copious references to Alice in Wonderland (often simply verbatim readings from the book …

Release Day: The Impossible Girl

Changing Hands | Indie Bound | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Amazon

Mark this one down on the “things I’m super excited about” list.
Visit her site for more info

New Release: Soulless (Illustrated Edition) by Gail Carriger

Changing Hands | Indie Bound | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Amazon

Joining the many other versions of the first in Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series, is an illustrated hardback (previously in paperback, special edition hardcover, manga and more). It’s a casewrap featuring Alexia and Conall, the endsheets are a glorious hot pink, and the 400+ pages are interspersed with line-art style illustrations.

Visit her website for more information.

Being bad at things

Being bad at things is so important. 

As adults, I think we forget that we can be--and often aren’t allowed to be--bad at things. It’s like we reach a point where we’re programmed to think that if we can’t do something well, we shouldn’t do it at all. Like we have reached the end of the game and there’s no point in going back to earn extra skill points. 

And I think that this is translated over to writing novels.

I don’t know about you, but my first drafts are a total mess. They’re ugly, full of holes, and often require a total frankenstein-ing to get into shape.

A while back, I’m not sure how long ago anymore, I decided that I was going to embrace that. And now, I write, messy, horrible, hole-filled first drafts without batting an eye. I sometimes refer to them as mad-lib drafts because often they are filled with (character 1) instead of names and more instances of (Figure this out later) than I should probably admit to.

And at first, i didn’t know if it was a good trade off, beca…

Stuck “In The Rogue One Elevator”

I love romance novels, both contemporary and historical. I enjoy romantic arcs in films. And totally ship all manner of TV characters (even for some shows I’ve never seen: I’m talking about you Klaroline and Sterek).

That being said, there are times when I cannot stand the idea of two characters getting together. And I’ve decided the best way to indicate this is to refer to those times as being “in the Rogue One elevator.”

Because let’s face it… when Jyn and Cassian are in the elevator at the end, all I could think was: Don’t kiss. Don’t kiss. Don’t kiss. Don’t kiss. Don’t kiss. Don’t kiss. Don’t kiss. Don’t kiss.

And thank God, they didn’t, but too often movies pander to the idea that the guy had better get the girl. He’s the hero, after all, the babes should be falling. all. over. him. regardless of the fact he’s a total a-hole.

How many times have you watched a film and sat back in your theater seat waiting for the inevitability of two main characters deciding they just have to ge…

Let's Talk About The Problems I Had With Rogue One

Disclaimers abound: This is an unordered list. I'm sure I spelled several things incorrectly. If you want to argue with me in the comments, go right ahead, but abusive stuff will be deleted.

And I suppose I should start this off with the biggest disclaimer....

I liked Rogue One.

But as much as I enjoyed it on the surface. I spent half the movie distracted by issues with both the writing and the direction and in the end, I walked away feeling unsettled.

Let’s talk about my problems with the movie:

Cassian had no backstory.
Here’s a guy who’s a wonderful character that you manage to like despite the fact that his introduction has him killing his contact, a guy who doesn't have an arm (I’m guessing there I couldn’t really tell what was wrong with it). This dude just killed a guy who was HELPING HIM because he shot some storm troopers and got them in a tight spot (that was in no way arm guy's fault). But it was easier to kill him than figure out a way for both of them to get out. Wi…

Release Day: State Tectonics

Changing Hands | Indie Bound | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Amazon

The third, and final, book in The Centenal Cycle is out today!

The books that came before:


Changing Hands | Indie Bound | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Amazon

Null States

Changing Hands | Indie Bound | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Amazon

Allana Taranto
For more information, visit Malka's site..

Anxiety, Epilepsy & Writing

(This post was previously published in 2016, it has been revised.)


I make lists for everything (because otherwise, I’ll forget).

My memory is shot, unless the thing isn’t actually important, and lists keep my anxiety from stabbing my brain a thousand times asking “did you forget anything?”

It only stabs me ten times, tops. (I almost started this post as a list, but realized I needed more space than a bullet point provides.)

I try really hard to keep myself organized because stress is a possible trigger for my seizures (I only know for sure that they’re not light or oxygen deprivation-triggered. Bring on the strobes and the yoga breathing) and nothing stresses me out quite like not knowing where something is when I need it.

There are really tough days. My brain felt scrambled before, but now I feel like it’s filled with little black holes waiting to gobble up random information, memories I should have a handle on, and all the motivation.

When it takes me an hour to get my brain b…

Prioritization and Mental Self Care

I put the blog on hold for several months a while back.

There were a lot of reasons behind that, but chief among them was the simple fact that I was overextending myself.

Along with adopting a poor little pupper with one eye and moving into a new position at the day job, I didn’t just try to continue on at the pace I’d been going before… I tried to up my output.

I swear I’m smart some time.

And something, as they say, had to give.

The blog was one of the things that was pushed aside and left to languish.

I’m still feeling things out and trying to figure out how my life actually works anymore. Change is weird, and for the last several years, it’s been harder to work with on the fly.

So, I’m working on that. I’m working on meting out time as it allows for the various things I want to get done, and getting better at making sure that I’m doing what I actually want to be doing.

That means that… while I have plans for the blog, most of my posts are going to be short. Like this one.

Why I hate Romeo & Juliet

(This rant was previously posted in 2011, it has been revised.)

One of Shakespeare’s most known tragedies, Romeo and Juliet is thrust upon us in our high school composition classes and then mercilessly shoved down our throats as a love to which we should aspire.

It is not romantic.

It’s a story about two children who married on a whim and without their parent’s consent. They barely knew each other and died because they weren’t able to step back and think for half a second.
It is, at its heart, an example of the ways in which parents fail their children.

Romeo is an inconstant fool. He begins the play lovesick over Rosaline and within an act is mooning over Juliet.

Juliet isn’t much better. She meets a boy at a party and is suddenly head over heels for him and vowing her love on a balcony (yes, you know the one).

So, a fickle 15 year old boy and a cripplingly naïve 13 year old girl agree to get married in secret, having known each other all of six hours. They’re young, I know, but their entir…

IWSG: September 2018

The blog is back, with a bit of a face lift. I’m trying something new, and (hopefully) going to be able to get back to regular posting with ⅓ the stress.

I did a lot of thinking about how I wanted to get back to blogging. What I wanted to keep from previous blogging, what I wanted to ditch. IWSG, despite previous misgivings, was one of the things that landed in the “yes, please” column.

Because I like you guys. I like scooting through blogs I haven’t seen before and following the progress of those of you I’ve haunted before.

If you saw my monthly counts post for August, you’ll have seen that I’ve been a little scattered and have been battling it out with an edit. One of the reasons I’ve been struggling is (and recognizing is the first step to overcoming a problem, right?) that wanting this edit to be my last--before a copy edit--has made it impossible to focus. I need to take the remaining pages. Pick one of the problematic bits, go through the whole thing with only that in mind and …

Release Day: MJ-12: Endgame

Amazon | Changing Hands | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound | iTunes
The final book in Michael J. Martinez’ Majestic 12 series is out today, and it looks like a doozy. I haven’t had the opportunity to read this one yet, but if it goes the way the rest of the series has, it’s going to be a wild ride.

The Books that Came Before:
MJ - 12: Inception
Amazon | Changing Hands | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound | iTunes

MJ-12: Shadows
Amazon | Changing Hands | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound | iTunes

Visit Mike’s website for more info.

August Stats

Words Written: 62,208-words in 24 days
(AVG 2,592-words/day)
11 projects + Admin (9%)

I’m not going to lie… August was rough.

11 projects. I’d have to go through my records, but I don’t know if I’ve ever been that scattered before in my life. However, half of my words for the month were in a single project, so I guess we can count that as a win.

My word count was higher than 2 of the last 4 Septembers, and I managed to get a 10,000-word day in for (I think) the first time since 2013, which was a pretty good feeling.

There was definitely a bad week in there. I’m failing to remember exactly why. I know I had a (routine) doctor’s visit the monday of that week… but otherwise, I really have no idea what kept me from being productive in that particular vein.

Books Edited: ½?

I’ve been slogging through this edit for a while and really just need to set a hard deadline for myself, because there’s always something else I’d rather be doing (remember those pesky 11 projects?) but September I’ve made…