Our Oscar Theme Summer (Part 1)

I always wondered why the sword...Every summer my wife and I like to have theme TV watching. It’s a thing with us and is kind of a fun way to pass the hot nights, hiding away in our air-conditioned living room.

Okay, maybe it makes us sound a little cute. But what can I say? Yes… Yes, we are a cute couple.

Artistic, snobby, witty, literary, but very, very cute.

Last summer was a Doctor Who summer, working our way through all of the recent variations of the good Doctor. The summer before that was our WA summer, which were movies by Wes Anderson and Woody Allen. Then there was our Charles Dickens summer, and on and on.

This year we struggled a little over what we were going to choose. I was arguing a while for a “catch up” summer, which meant we catch up on shows that we never got around to watching (Orange is the New Black, for example). I get that it was an “easy out” choice, but there were just random things I was interested in and linking them was a little difficult.

Finally, we finally settled on an Oscar summer (no, there are no tuxedos and evening gowns involved), which means we are checking out the films we have not had a chance to watch yet. My main focus has been checking out some of the films nominated for Best Screenplay, which is obviously my favorite category.

I thought it would be interesting to keep a running tally of the films we have checked out and some of my thoughts on them. Here are the first five: Continue reading

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Is Historical Fiction a Good or Bad Thing?

HistoryI have a few writing posts on my site that are a little bit controversial.

One of those posts is my discussion around fan fiction, which you can read here. Every time—and I do mean every time—I share this article on Twitter or on a site it generates a response. (This is not surprising because people that read and write fan fiction come from a place of loving a story or an author. The debate is really around how best to show their love, what is appropriate and what isn’t, and who owns the story.)

On Saturday, I decided to re-tweet some of my writing articles, and just like clockwork I was getting responses to my fan fiction piece. One responder, Vanilla Rose (@MsVanillaRose), asked if that was not the same thing I was doing with my novel A Jane Austen Daydream. I quickly replied that my novel was historical fiction, a re-imagining of Jane’s life as one of her romantic and literary adventures.

It was after a few more tweet exchanges that Vanilla Rose said this, taking my breath away:

“…I think that inventing stuff about a person’s life is more problematic than playing with their work.”

Whoa… Continue reading

New WKAR Book Review: The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick

Current StateI am back on WKAR’s Current State with a new book review! This time I am reviewing the new novel by Matthew Quick, The Good Luck of Right Now.

You can listen to my review here: http://wkar.org/post/book-review-matthew-quicks-good-luck-right-now

You can also read my book review below.

The Good Luck of Right Now can be found on Amazon here. If you would be interested in hearing/reading more of my NPR book reviews, you can do so via links on this page.

I hope you enjoy my new book review! Continue reading