Category Archives: In the News

Current events and comments.

One Lovely Blog Award


Mari at Randomities was kind enough to nominate me for this blog award. I know her from Twitter and #fridayflash, and if you haven’t read her fiction I suggest you start. Seriously, she writes wonderful stories, one of which – Zombie Walk – was recently featured in Flashes in the Dark.  And in case you’re wondering what I did to deserve a nomination for One Lovely Blog, well I am too! I guess my last story was somewhat romantic so that probably made her think, That is one Lovely Blog! I mean, it was a zombie romance, but they say that true love is blind so…

Anyway, on to the task at hand! The rules for this are that I’m supposed to:

1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered.

3. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

*Yes, I cut and pasted the rules, so sue me. Well, please don’t.

So one is covered. Number 2 I’m not so sure about. I follow a lot of blogs, but most of them are humorous horror themed blogs that I’ve been following for awhile. The other newer ones have been hit already on Mari’s previous list, so I might have to stretch the rules a bit. Here’s my best effort.

Tial Brink at TialBrink.com
Her website offers editing services as well as amusing anecdotes and currently features an interview with Glimmerghost.

Jen Brubacher at Scribo Ergo Sum
She writes about writing from a librarian’s perspective, which makes me a little bit jealous. I’d love to work in a library!

Josie Lyon at Safety Comfort
A self described Artist, Writer, & Healer, her site mainly features introspective articles about her journey as a writer, general observations about life, and the occasional poem or writing exercise.

Cathy Ollife at Life on the Muskoka River
She claimed to whine a lot, but I haven’t noticed it. Maybe she meant ‘wine.’ Anyway, what I have noticed is she writes killer flash fictions, funny articles, and some poetry.

John Wiswell at The Bathroom Monologues
He posts tons of microfiction as well as entertaining and/or serious articles. His confessed aims are to be inspiring, funny, or disturbing. I’d say he’s hit all three.

Gracie Motley at Crone’s Cauldron Publications
I’m working my way through her second series (this one about benevolent dragons), and I can honestly say her writing grips you and just gets better with each reading. Go check her out!

Marisa Birns at Out of Order Alice
Another flash fiction author I try to follow every Friday. Her stories generally range between touching and humorous.

There are tons of others, but since I haven’t started following 15 new blogs LATELY (requirement) I don’t think I can really nominate them. Actually I’ve followed some of the listings for several months, but I fear if I list anything I’ve been following longer than that lightning will zap me for my transgression. So seven will have to be the limit. And to the other bloggers I follow but wasn’t able to list, just know that I love you all.

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Filed under In the News, Writing Corner

Beautiful Blogger Award

I’m not quite sure what I did to deserve this, but I’d like to thank Valerie at As The Moon Climbs for bestowing on me this award.

I’m supposed to pass this on to 15 deserving people and divulge 7 interesting facts about myself. That’s going to be hard since I’m not that interesting. :)

My 7 facts about myself

1. Served in the French Foreign Legion.

2. I’m a vegan.

3. Lived in Germany when the Berlin Wall was torn down.

4. Stood on the dropzone watching the 82nd Airborne land all around me.

5. Made a pilgrimage to Frankenstein castle.

6. I have an autographed picture of Doctor Demento in my family room.

7. Hiked the lower slopes of the Materhorn.

By the way, one of the above is untrue. I’ll leave it to you to decide.

And now, for my recommendations. I’d like to bestow the honorary Beautiful Blogger award to the following.

Doug at SkulDOUGery.com

~Software blog by an extremely talented software engineer. He talks about everything from his personal progress to the Linux Fest and blogging from his Android phone.

Monsterbat at Monsterbat’s Lair

~Wonderful blog by a very talented little boy who writes short fiction and poetry. Often humorous, but I warn you he also has a penchant for telling scary stories. Always a wonderful, family-friendly read.

Alan Baxter at The Word

~Alan is a very talented horror writer with a very entertaining blog. The posts range from informational to ranting to hilarious social commentary.

Karen at Miscellaneous Yammering

~True to its title, the blog features Karen’s wonderful short fiction and poetry as well as… well, miscellaneous yammerings about Hulu, Poetry month, and other interesting tidbits.

Anne Tyler Lord at Don’t Fence Me In

~ Anne frequently posts helpful tips for writers as well as her own entertaining fiction.

George Angus at Tumblemoose.com

~ Posts about things of interest to any bibliophile, plus some pretty cool links.

Jim Wisneski at Writers n’ Writers

~Basically a blog that links to other blogs or articles of interest to writers. It’s a great way to sift through to find a few choice, helpful posts.

Tony Noland at Landless

~What can I say? I just love his writing. He’s the author of the Just Enough Power series as well as some great poetry, including “Ode to the Semicolon.”

PJ Kaiser at Inspired by Real Life

~PJ’s writing and short fiction blog. She frequently posts flash fiction as well as updates on the progress of her own writing.

Al Bruno III at The Wit and Wisdom of Al Bruno III

~He’s an incredibly prolific horror and comedic author. If you follow him on Twitter as well, you’ll get frequent updates on his 5 sec fic (which is always brilliant!).

Since Valerie‘s list of Beautiful Bloggers listed over half of my choices, I’m going to leave off with that amount. Also, my hands are really, really starting to cramp. :)

To all the Beautiful Blogger Awardees, please pick up your award, check out some of the other bloggers in this post, and don’t forget to list your own 7 interesting things as well as (if possible) 15 more Beautiful Bloggers. If I missed anyone, which I’m sure I did, I heartily apologize. There were many more people I wanted to recommend, but unfortunately I simply can’t list them all.

Please enjoy the blogs and awards and thank you for being so incredible.

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‘notebooks’ at Poetry Read-In

Tonight I was fortunate enough to participate in a Poetry Read-In at the Massillon Public Library.  My poem, “notebooks”, won first place in the adult category. I am so thrilled, especially since this was my first time reading in public. I’d like to thank the Library, judges, and everyone involved.

For anyone interested in my entry, I am posting the poem once more. I hope you enjoy it.

notebooks

my shelf is filled with beautiful journals i’ve never written in
dust covered but lovely just the same
the papers were never marred
by pencil
ink splotches
stains from food or drink
they are pristine
except for the dust
nothing ever seemed good enough to put down on the pages
or i’d dedicate a notebook to a single subject
but nothing was ever good enough
to stain the perfect pages
so most of them stayed blank
and sat on my shelf
safe and dusty
i wonder what i would have written
if i had dared to ruin them

now that i’m older
and wise enough to know i’m not
i don’t care if the pages are pristine
i don’t care if they aren’t the way i envisioned them
all i care about
is the feel of the notebook cover
pliable and soft in my hands
watching the ink glide over the creamy surface of its pages
i choose all colors that i think are beautiful
that way
whatever mess i make
will be a lovely rainbow

they are my notebooks
my mess
i wonder what pleasure i missed
by denying myself so long
the pleasure of failing

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Filed under Flash NonFiction, In the News, slice of life

Announcing the New 'Monsterbat' blog

Minimeder’s loyal fiction fans should be happy to learn that he now has his own fiction blog. While his previously posted stories will remain here, from now on all his fiction and poetry will appear on the new ‘Monsterbat’s Lair‘ blog.

Please check it out and let him know what you think! Monsterbat (formerly Minimeder) welcomes and appreciates feedback on his work. His newest story, appropriately titled ‘Story,‘ is already posted. Read and Enjoy!

*

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Friday Flash: Turkey Day

Turkey Day

Everyone appreciated the table setting, though it didn’t stay neat for long. Pilgrims? Indians? Counting blessings? Bah, everyone knew this day was about turkey.

Uncle Albert, Sally, and the other guests walked over to the table. Spread on the red and white checkered print, a dozen turkeys gorged themselves on cranberry pie, roasted vegetables, and veggie stuffing.  Shiny pie plates scattered as the birds emptied the contents into their stomachs as well as onto the colorful cloth. A few feathered friends waddled arduously around the table. They seemed good natured, despite their ample girth impeding their gait. The air was filled with pleasant clucking sounds, while their admirers smiled and chatted among themselves.

“When you asked if I’d go to a turkey dinner, this isn’t exactly what I had in mind,” chided Uncle Albert.

His niece smiled, reached over, and gently stroked the feathers on Charity’s back. “Well, the holiday is about counting our blessings; isn’t it?” she asked. “I bet the turkeys are thankful that they’re not dinner.”

Her uncle laughed, hearty and long. He didn’t mind. He wouldn’t go hungry. “Yeah, you might be right.”

After they’d finished, most of the turkeys were driven to their newly adopted homes in a special van. The people left behind waved appreciatively as they sped away. All the birds were gone now, except for the one that Sally continued to pet. Charity snuggled up against the girl and closed her eyes, enjoying the feel of the hand on her back. Despite her tragic past, she followed the girl quietly into her Uncle’s van.

Albert smiled and pulled the van door closed.  They were going to another feast where the turkey was an honored guest. She’d have chickens and ducks to play with in a nice grassy yard. He knew from experience that Sally loved all the animals she shared her home with. She considered them treasured friends. Charity would never want for anything again.

When they arrived home the entire family (feathered and non) would enjoy roasted vegetables and sweet potato pie. They would celebrate companionship, friendship, family, and an appreciation for the blessing of simply being alive.

Maybe the holiday was about more than just turkey after all.

The end.

*This story was inspired by Farm Santuary‘s Adopt a Turkey program. For a small donation, participants get a photo and short bio of their sponsored turkey.

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Filed under Flash Fiction, In the News, slice of life

My Nanowrimo Honesty Chart: Week 3

My Nanowrimo Honesty Chart

One of my tried and true methods for making sure I write my 50,000 word novel in the 30 days of November is shame. I’m completely serious. The more people I tell that I’m going to do this crazy thing, the more embarrassing it’ll be if I don’t win; won’t it? So in the interest of abject humiliation making defeat unacceptable and thereby insuring I make my monthly quota, I give you my Daily Word Count Goals for the month of November along with what I ACTUALLY write…whether I make my (daily) goals or not. Since this is a motivational tool, it’s important that I’m very honest. My Honesty Chart will be updated weekly (hopefully) inbetween my Fridayflash short stories.*

I also update my wordcount on Twitter. My twitter name is also ganymeder, so feel free to follow me.

GOAL FOR END OF WEEK 2: 24,000 words

actually reached: 36,099 words for the week.

I didn’t write that much Sunday (Day 15). Normally I aim for about 2400 words (excluding weekends), and lately I’ve written over the weekends since I had momentum and time. Sunday I just didn’t feel it. I wrote about 1,000+ words, which is pretty good for a day that I hadn’t originally set a word goal for. I will write more Monday to keep up my 2400 word pace each day.

My son, Minimeder, fell a little behind in his daily goals this past week, but I’m happy to say that he caught up and surpassed those goals Sunday (15th). His official Young Writer’s Program total stands proudly at 1,040 words total so far (Day 15). He received the coveted Rice-milk chocolate bar as his official Halfway-Mark Award. Way to go, Mini!

Minimeder novellling on Day 15

Minimeder novellling on Day 15


Happy Novelling!

Day 16: Monday, November 16th: 26,400 words

actually reached: 38,554 words. I didn’t actually get a chance to write much until later in the day, since *someone* kept borrowing my laptop to write his own Young Writer’s Program story (now at 1,239 words). I also had other things I needed to do. I thought I’d get about 1,000 words during Minimeder’s Karate class, but I wasn’t able to sit so I could type well. I only ended up doing 300. So after he went to bed, I stayed up to write about 2,000 more words, but I did it. :)

Day 17: Tuesday, November 17th: 28,800 words

actually reached: 39,549 words. I was aiming for 40K, which is still way less than my usual daily goal of 2,400, but I didn’t make it. I’m not too worried about it though. I’m still way ahead, and I’ll catch up to my normal goal tomorrow. :)

Day 18: Wednesday, November 18th: 31,200 words
actually reached: 41,256 words. So I’m still ahead, but I didn’t meet my daily goal like I planned. I wanted to reach 40K in the morning, and then write 2400 more (which would be about 42,500). Well, that didn’t happen. I figured that I’m far enough ahead that I could safely take the night off. When I listened to the Nanomonkeys podcast, they suggested that if you’re working too hard you should take a break. So I did. I haven’t been taking weekends ‘off’ like I’d planned either, so I figure it’s just like an unscheduled Saturday. I plan on writing my 2400 words daily again starting tomorrow.

Day 19: Thursday, November 19th: 33,600 words
actually reached: 43,607 words. I only got to write about 200-300 words during the day because Minimeder kept borrowing my laptop. He was on a writing roll, and when he realized he’d written about 1,600+ words he told me, “Mom, this is AWESOME.” So… he had my computer a lot that day.

During the Write-In at the coffee shop I made my word goal though. Honestly, I wasn’t that excited to write because I got the words in but they didn’t seem to be progressing the plot much. I even just rambled about why my character preferred to write in notebooks before transferring his work to a computer. It just seemed…blah. So, I had the brilliant idea at bedtime to make their lives more complicated by adding a new, somewhat supernatural character that’s going to give them Hell, or at least try to, quite literally. It should be fun to mess with them some more. I’m looking forward to writing on this again on Friday.
In the meantime, Minimeder continues to plug away. I continue to write daily, but I’ve conceded (word war) victory to Paul_B who has already reached over 52,000 words and is still going strong. Way to go!

Day 20: Friday, November 20th: 36,00 words
actually reached: 45,077 words. Today was another day when I simply didn’t get a chance to write much during the day. I wanted to. I just had a deadline to get my home stuff done by an early time, and then once that deadline was reached I had other things to do and before I knew it it was time for ‘The Office’ which we all watch together as a family. Hey, don’t judge me. Veg time with the family is important too!

So after that, I tried to write again, but there were too many distractions. I ended up having to go into another room by myself (which I hated because I felt so antisocial) and just write until I’d reached my goal. I actually wanted to write more, but I didn’t want my family to feel like I was ignoring them so I stopped.

I did wake up early in the morning, about 2:30, and write another 800 plus words (above the 45K) which was a lot of fun and felt really good and productive. I think my novel will probably go over at this point, but maybe not. Adding that new character was really fun. I’m enjoying it.

In other news, Minimeder is in the 1700’s now and in the home stretch. He very much wants to finish this weekend so he can get his winner’s prize, a ‘Sonic Screwdriver’ I ordered off the Internet for him (we’re big ‘Doctor Who’ fans). Honestly, I can’t blame him. It’s really cool. It even comes with psychic paper.


Day 21: Saturday, November 21st: 1+ words WEEKEND
actually reached:
Day 22: Sunday, November 22nd: 1+ words WEEKEND
actually typed:

ULTIMATE GOAL: 50K Novel completed by Midnight on the last day of November. Then I can drink large quantities of chocolate soymilk in celebration and anticipation of December (traditionally known as the month of Withdrawal).

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Prepping for Nanowrimo!

The weather is getting cooler, the leaves are changing, and Halloween is less than a month away.  That’s right, folks. Nanowrimo is just around the corner!

For anyone unfamiliar with the concept, Nanowrimo is short for National Novel Writing Month. Every November, thousands of would-be writers embark on a month long trip into literary abandon. Each participant challenges himself (or herself) to write a 50,000 word rough draft novel in 30 days.  The rules are few and simple.  You cannot write the same word 50,000 times.  You cannot begin before November 1st (a rule that is enforced by flying Monkeys according to Cris Baty’s No Plot! No Problem!), and you must finish by Midnight on November 30th.  That’s it.  The idea is that many people aspire to write a novel in their lifetime, but the demands of work and home and their own insecurity get in the way.  Nanowrimo seeks to help One-day-novelists (“I’ll write a novel ONE DAY) to write their books.  All that’s required is the magic of a deadline and permission to let yourself write badly.

That’s right.  You don’t have to worry about being perfect.  You don’t agonize over correct usage, research, or where to place that #@!!$*##! comma.  Just sign up at the Nanowrimo site and they’ll help you keep track of your progress, and give you tons of support through forums, a podcast, and a many other resources.  If you want to edit after you’ve finished your novel, you are free to do so. Several Nanowrimo authors have actually published their Nanowrimo creations… Sara Gruen’s Nanowrimo book, Water for Elephants, became a New York Time’s No.1 bestseller.  If you don’t want to edit and just wanted to get the novel down, that’s fine too.  Even if you write less than 50k, you still won because you wrote SOMETHING.

So there is my obligatory intro to Nanowrimo for the uninitiated.  I dearly love the month of November now.  I know it seems counter-intuitive, but I actually feel MORE productive when I start writing my novel.  I mean, productive in other areas of my life like housework, cooking, excercise, etc.  I seem to manage my time better because, with the deadline, I know I have to get certain things done by a certain time or else they won’t get done at all.  This has been the case, at least, for the past 2 years – both years that I won Nanowrimo.  In 2007, I wrote “The Wonderfully Exciting and Awesome Adventures of Monkey boy” for my little boy based on a character I told him stories about as he was growing up. I’d never written anything before, so of course I broke every single writing rule there was.  Even after I edited, it has tons of flaws, but I still adore it because it was a labor of love for my son.  In 2008, I wrote “The Crime Fighter’s Club,” which I am still editing.  It’s a speculative fiction novel with super heroes and an alien that I hope to eventually publish (either self or not).

With less than a month til November 1st, I have been prepping myself for my novel.  For the past month or so, I’ve been writing Flash Fiction (stories of less than 1,000 words) on my blog for #fridayflash on Twitter.  I hope that the weekly discipline will help ease me into next month.  I’ve also started reading off and on from a free ebook, ‘Nano for the New and the Insane.’ I’m looking into other types of writing programs, though I’ll probably stick with Open Office running on Linux on my Asus EEE 701 (4G).  I no longer have my trusty Palm Pilot that I’ve used for the past 2 Nanos.  It’s been replaced with a shiny new Tmobile Android G1 phone, which I love for keeping up with emails, blogs, and twitter but isn’t great for actually writing imo. I’ve gotten another trusty moleskin notebook (‘moleskin‘ is not leather) to jot down ideas and inspirations in, but I’ll do most of the actual writing on my EEE laptop or our home desktop. I also use fingerless gloves because I like to keep my hands warm, I hate having my fingertips covered, and they look very cool and “writerly.”

I’m looking forward to writing using my laptop.  I got my first laptop (1 1/2 years ago) when my husband and I exchanged (fairly inexpensive) computers for our 20th wedding anniversary.  Yes, we are THAT kind of couple. :p  When hubby upgraded to a newer model, I got his other one and passed along my old one to my (now) 8 year old son… And so the magic continues.

The nice thing about the laptop is that I can carry it with me like I used to do with my Palm Pilot.  The keyboard and screen are bigger, which is nice, and I can sit on the couch or in bed at home to work.  I’m thinking that this (below) will be my primary work area, especially since it’s already my favorite reading spot.

I had planned on starting my outline for Nanowrimo on October 1st, but life got in the way.  The entire day was spent in my car, and the next day was Friday.  Weekends always toll the deathknoll of my writing plans.  So, I’m going to take what I’ve learned about my writing productivity and style from the past 2 Nanos and apply them this year.

The minimum daily word count for Nanowrimo would be 1,667 words, but I usually aim for about 2,500 words because I KNOW that I will not be able to write much on the weekends.  It never fails, so I bank extra words during the week so on the weekends I can get by with less.  Also, Thanksgiving day is a bust as far as writing is concerned.  It just won’t happen, so I automatically discount the holiday from Nanowrimo.

I set aside time during the day that I know I will not be interupted to attempt my daily word goal.  If I don’t reach my goal within that specified time period, I MAKE the time before the day is done. Seriously, I don’t go to sleep until I’ve at least written my minimum word goal for the day.

I am shameless.  I use the down and dirty tips from Nanowrimo forums, including not using contractions and taking up multiple dares.  I absolutely LOVE the Dare Threads.  They provide tons of interesting plots, ideas, twists, and challenges, and never fail to help me.

I compete with my writing buddies.  I add people I know from different forums and twitter as my “buddies” on the Nanowrimo site.  Then I use the green bar (that indicates percentage completed of 50k) to compete with them.  I’ve been known more than once to stay up and write an extra few hundred words just to “beat” a buddy that was close to me in wordage.

Before November, I make sure to complete any heavy reading I’m doing so that I’m not partway through a new book that I might need to put down.  If I finish way before Nanowrimo starts, I might start reading a book I’ve already read so that I can pick it up and put it down easily.  I also try to read some writing blogs and other research.  I’ve found I work better when I have an idea where I’m going, so I usually create a faily loose outline for my novel that I follow once I start officially “writing” in November.

I brag. I’m not kidding.  It’s not a “Look at what I’m doing” thing so much as making sure that I will be completely embarrassed if I don’t follow through.  Shame, at least for me, is a powerful motivator!

I have fun.  You wouldn’t think that writing that much in such a short time would be fun, but it’s AMAZING.  Again, I know it seems counter-intuitive, but it’s like a vacation!  You get to spend time on your novel doing all the stuff you usually say you can’t find the time for, writing things your characters do that you’ve always wanted to, and it’s just the best experience.  I hope more people do Nanowrimo this year, and if you want…maybe we can be “Writing Buddies.”  Just remember, as almost always on the Internet, I’m “ganymeder.”  Look me up at the Nanowrimo site, and Happy Novelling!

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Filed under Action Alerts, All about books, In the News, nanowrimo, Writing Corner

Just 2 more months til the Walk for Farm Animals!

Well, If you want to be precise, just slightly over 2 months to the Cleveland Walk and around 1 or 2 months to the various other walks around the country (USA).  What is the Walk for Farm Animals?  Well, once a year, during the months of September and October, Walk(s) for Farm Animals are held in various large cities around the country.  The idea is to have the walks around October 2nd in honor of World Farm Animals Day.  Participants generally walk somewhere between three to six miles in order to raise money for Farm Sanctuary.

I had the very deep honor and pleasure of visiting Farm Sanctuary last July (2008) for their Fourth of July Pig-nic! It was wonderful to see how beautiful and peaceful everything was.  The animals living there are cared for unconditionally, given whatever medical treatment and/or diet required to help them lead decent lives, and (hopefully) adopted into loving homes.  The ones that are not (or cannot be) adopted still have a loving home for life at the Sanctuary.

Please, if you’ve ever wanted to help animals in need, either participate in the Walk for Farm Animals or donate to Farm Sanctuary either through my donation page or through the primary site.

For the animals, Thank you.

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Filed under Action Alerts, Animal Rights and Veganism, Current events, In the News

Slavery in the U.S… today!

An online friend pointed out this latest article about slavery in the U.S. Please follow the link.

http://www.kansascity.com/637/story/1220197.html

Sadly, this illustrates a common method of luring people into slavery worldwide, not just in the U.S. Other examples can be found in books about modern day slavery such as Enslaved (put out by the AASG) and Not For Sale (by David Batstone of the Not for Sale campaign).

Please read this and spread the word. Thank you.

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Filed under Animal Rights and Veganism, Current events, In the News

Star Trek Spoilerific Movie Review

Well, it finally happened. J.J. Abrams brought us a newer Big Screen version of the original series Star Trek so that we could boldly go were we’d never gone before. Or where we’d gone 8 or 9 times before? I’ve lost count.

Let that go. As it stood, I was pretty ambivalent about the impending movie. On the one hand, I really wanted to see the continuation of the series I’d loved as a child. I liked that the special effects would be better (the preview alone illustrates that), and the movie makers were actually willing to put some money into the production. But from what I’d heard and seen in different reviews, commentaries, and trailers prior to the release, I was afraid that they would completely botch the job.

For one thing, aside from great special effects, the trailers looked incredibly, stupifyingly lame. I’m sorry. I know a lot of people loved them, but they did. Little punk boy drives a car over a cliff; then when a policeman asks his name, he huffily declares, “James Tiberious KIRK!” Um, lame. Whiny beat-up bar guy telling Captain Pike in a bar, “Why you talking to me, man?” Again, lame. Oh, and the best one? The trailer that shows the Enterprise has no Captain or First Officer and then announces something about “deciding your destiny” as Kirk just DECIDES to sit in the Captain’s chair? MAJORLY LAME. I still don’t understand Star Fleet’s advancement program, even after seeing the movie, though I grant it wasn’t quite as bad as the trailer made it look.

So, with some (okay, A LOT) of trepidation, I went to see this movie last Monday. It was good. I wouldn’t say it was the best movie I’d ever seen (Star Trek or otherwise), but it was fun. If I wasn’t a Star Trek follower and fan, I might even say great, though I did have a problem with some of the plot flaws and some scenes where people acted out of character. If I wasn’t a fan, those things might not have bothered me as much. But I am, so they really bugged me, though I still recommend people go see the movie. The scene where old Spock talks to Sylar Spock at the end…that alone makes the entire movie worth watching.

So, what did I like and not like about this movie? I could talk about this for hours, but I’ll narrow it down to my opinion of the movie’s top few Pros and Cons.

PRO: Incredible Special Effects.

I mean,we get to see an entire planet destroyed! That was awesome in a way I cannot put into words.

CON: The physics.

Parts of the movie I didn’t mind this so much (like noises in space), but the planet being sucked into a black hole was problematic. Still, it was so much fun to watch that I didn’t really mind that.

Red matter? I had no idea what they were talking about. I assumed it was some backstory issue that I hadn’t been told. I think there are Star Trek (prequel?) comics that are supposed to explain this, but why should I have to do extra reading to understand the movie? I love reading, but I shouldn’t have to study to be able to understand what’s going on. Especially since I’m already a fan of the series that the movie is based on! Still, I was willing to let that slide.

PRO: The characters.

The movie was cast very well. For the most part, the cast acted like their characters and not like imitations of the t.v. cast. I especially enjoyed Sylar Spock with one EXTREME exception. I’ll get to that later in the following Con.

Scotty was fun, given his limited screen time. And I LOVED Bones. I know he sort of broke the rule and imitated DeForrest Kelley, but I liked that. To be honest, the original McCoy always annoyed the hell out of me. He was always going off yelling at people and making offhand remarks for no apparent reason. His facial expressions were just weird. But the new Bones managed to say all his classic McCoy-isms and yet not be annoying. I know some people think his imitation was a bit over the top, but he wasn’t nearly as frenetically emotional as Original Series Bones.

I’ll admit that about halfway through the movie, even Kirk grew on me. Uhura was given a bigger role. You got more of her backstory, and it emphasized just how brilliant she really was. Chekhov had a couple of funny lines, throwback jokes to the previous movies. Sulu looked like he was doing a good job, but neither Chekhov nor Sulu had many lines. At least Sulu got to sword fight though. How cool was that? I really enjoyed getting more backstory on young (little boy) Spock.

Leonard Nimoy as older Spock was incredible. There’s simply nothing else to say.

CON: The characters.

My number one problem with this movie was the whole Spock/Uhura love affair. It’s not the actors’ faults. They did the best they could with the script, but come on!

Uhura was fine, EXCEPT for all the scenes where she’s throwing herself at Spock. In the turbolift, she comes and keeps kissing him after his personal tragedy while he’s standing there like a statue. You think maybe she could take a hint? He’s a Vulcan! He doesn’t like to show emotion, especially in public. Okay, maybe they had a relationship and in private he showed more, but the turbolift? I thought that was stupid, but okay, I’ll suspend my disbelief.

And then, what? – they’re MAKING OUT ON THE TRANSPORTER PAD! In front of Kirk, no less! I’m sorry, but that’s the most uncharacteristic Spock moment in the entire movie. Even I couldn’t suspend my disbelief THAT much! I understand maybe they were going for a humorous moment to offset the Vulcan tragedy, especially since Kirk had been hitting on Uhura throughout the entire movie. I understand that Vulcans have intense emotions and that watching your planet blow up might make you reconsider how much you suppress them. But only a few minutes earlier, in relative privacy on the turbolift he hardly moved. And now we’re expected to believe that he has no problem making out in front of another officer? PULLEASE.

CON: The music.

I know a ton of people loved the music. There was a new, rock n’ roll type soundtrack instead of the traditional Star Trek themes that we’d come to know and love. It felt like the focus was so concentrated on attracting newer younger viewers that they were slighting the loyal longtime fans. They did play the theme at the very, very end during the end credits, but it felt like a token gesture.

PRO: Cannon.

Specifically using Cannon to discount Cannon. The Time travel debate.

If you are a big budget director, how do you reinvent an old series in a way that would be acceptable to loyal fans while giving you the freedom to take the series in a new, unpredictable direction? Time travel.

Time travel, apparently, solves all your problems. At least in the Star Trek Universe.

It can’t be faulted for not being cannon, because it’s been done many times before in the many incarnations of the series as well as the movies. They didn’t slingshot around the sun, but red matter filled the gap nicely. It was equally implausible and dumb (unless they explain it better in the prequel comics), yet it allowed the story to progress in a new and excitingly complicated direction. Since it had been done before I had no problem with it.

The difficulties arise in our interpretation of what the new and excitingly complicated time line means. Is it one time line? Is there a primary time line or do multiple timelines exist in equally valid ways? When I saw Vulcan implode, intrasucked, or whatever that was, I was concerned about the timeline. If there was only one, did they just NEGATE the entire original series? Because that would have really sucked. It would have sucked in a way that was consistent with cannon, but still. Sorry I’m not more eloquent, but so be it.

After some reflection (and a conversation with my husband), I reconsidered this view. I’d failed to consider something (or rather someone) fairly obvious- Older Spock. At first, I thought that Older Spock might have been exempt from any changes in the timeline once he was taken out of his own. But then would he still have memories of a timeline that no longer existed? Or would he disappear?

It makes more sense to think of both timelines as being equally valid. That explains why Spock is still there in a less complicated (lol) way, yet allows them to blow up Vulcan without violating cannon. I thought the time travel solution was rather clever. The only potential con is the ambiguity about what happens to the original timeline. Sylar Spock even addressed this with a line about how they were living a different timeline, which I interpreted as “Don’t worry fans. We’re still respecting cannon. Anything we’ve done is explained in a way that you can accept.” And I did. Again, I thought it was clever. The fact that they respected the cannon made up for a lot.

Also, the potential with the new timeline is awe inspiring. I can’t even imagine where they’ll go with Vulcan out of the picture and their entire civilization condensed to a small displaced people. It opens up a whole new universe of possibilities.

PRO: Action packed fun.

From the very first scene, the action is virtually continuous. From the scene with Kirk’s father to the destruction of Vulcan. There’s planet destruction, a sword fight with Sulu, and space battles. The effects were top notch.
So, overall, my review leans in favor of watching the movie. There were plot flaws, but they gave nods to the fans, they respected cannon, and above all they featured Leonard Nimoy. The fact that he actually had a real role, not just a courtesy cameo, made this movie worthwhile. All the rest is just garnish. So if you don’t care about spoilers and read this review anyway, go see this movie. Maybe there’ll be a new series!

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