Five Things I Am Into Right Now, September 2014

Doctor WhoOkay, let’s get this out of the way first. I’m not sure what I think about the new Doctor on Doctor Who.

Yes, I get why they cast Peter Capaldi, he is in an interesting choice with a vibe very different from Matt Smith and David Tennant. It’s a fresh choice. (I’m still not a fan of Clara, but really it would be hard for anyone to follow Amy, Rory, and River. It’s a pretty high bar.)

This maybe all because I thought the direction of the first two episodes felt off. A lot of people were excited to have Ben Wheatley direct the first two episodes (again a fresh choice), but there is a certain “buy in” that I didn’t feel in those two episodes. It almost (and this may seem cruel) felt like a fan’s version of Doctor Who, not truly capturing the spirit and energy of the show.

It was Doctor Who, it just didn’t feel like Doctor Who.

Oh, who knows? Maybe I am just bitter since Matt Smith is off the show and he was in many ways my Doctor. In a few episodes I might be singing a different tune (and I have no problem admitting when I am wrong).

You know, whatever happens, even if I get so out of it that I walk away from the show for a few seasons, it doesn’t mean I stop being a Doctor Who fan. I will still rewatch the seasons I love. For example, I still consider myself a Star Trek fan, even though I didn’t watch a single episode of Enterprise (did you hear that theme song?) and I thought the last film contradicted a lot of Star Trek norms (like, for example, remember when it was a big deal when Voyager could land on a planet? I guess the Enterprise could do that decades earlier.).

Let’s move on to more pleasant stuff than my possible science-fiction nerd disappointment. Here are five things for September. Continue reading

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What will you be reading in 2013?

Happy 2013, my loyal and wonderful readers!

Have you enjoyed my editorials on this site and my original fiction here, Permanent Spring Showers and Upon the Ground? As you plan your reading in 2013, why not check out one of my three available books? Below are their descriptions and some links on where you can find them. I hope you will consider checking them out (and did I mention how wonderfully affordable they all are as well?).

My Problem With Doors

Jacob’s life changed in a single moment when, as a toddler, he walked through his bedroom door only to find himself in the office of a British officer in Capetown, 1870. This would begin a thirty-year journey which would take him from ancient to future civilizations, and innumerable places and times in between. Through all of his travels, Jacob seeks for the purpose of his predicament while meeting pirates, poets, loves, and even Jack the Ripper.

My Problem With Doors is available as a paperback (on amazon here), an eBook (on Google Play here) and even as a downloadable audiobook (here).

 Megan

Megan Wane is caught in a life of dull dreariness. She goes to work in a dead end job with a boss she can’t stand, and comes home to a silent apartment with only a standoffish cat for company. She can only get away through her imagination. And there, in her thoughts, there exists a fairy-tale kingdom with wizards and dragons. A place called Prosperity, where she is both a princess and a hero. On this day, both Megan’s external reality and her interior world will suffer tragedy that will turn her life upside down and shake her to the foundation. Can Megan turn disaster into deliverance?

Megan is available as a paperback (on amazon here), an eBook (on Google Play here) and even as a downloadable audiobook (here).

A Jane Austen Daydream

A Jane Austen DaydreamJane Austen thought she knew everything about love, but was there something she wasn’t telling us? A self-confessed dreamer, gossip, and matchmaker, Jane emerges from a prophetic meeting with gypsies and sets out to discover her soul mate. As Jane writes through the twists and turns of her turbulent romances, Southard ponders the question faced by many devoted readers over the years – did she ever find love? What would the story of that love be like if Jane could write it? Binding fact with fiction, courting brace new literary twists, and written in the style of Jane Austen herself, A Jane Austen Daydream is the tale of Jane’s life as a novel. It contemplates the eventual fate of Jane’s heart, and uses her own stories to fill the gaps that history left to the imagination.

A Jane Austen Daydream is available on all major sites in print and eBook including amazon.com (here).

…and thanks for all of your support of my writing over the last year!

Halloween, In Spirit

I don’t believe in magic.

I also don’t believe in witches, ghosts, wizards, dragons, unicorns, demons, devils, poltergeists, vampires, werewolves and anything else that might go bump in the night.

And, for those curious, I don’t believe in angels either.

None of these things exist (or could exist) in the world I see around me every day. And if any of these things really were real, there is no way it would be a secret to all of us. If there is one great truth about human beings, from the North Pole to the South, it is that we are all lousy at keeping a secret. Remember, even Deep Throat said who he was before he died, and that was a secret kept by only three people!

Frankly, we would all know about Hogwarts.

I wish I could see a ghost.

Why?

Because I would find the experience incredibly satisfying. Continue reading

Film Review: The Dark Knight Rises

I have a new film review up at Green Spot Blue.  This time it is for The Dark Knight Rises, the third installment in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy.

Here is a snippet from the beginning of the review:

The Dark Knight Rises is not for the faint of heart.

It is cruel, it is relentless, and it is harsh. The harshness of the film seems to seep into every scene of the film.

The camera angles are tight, making you feel like you are always in a close and cramped space; the music is aggressive, driving and primal (I can’t imagine anyone listening to this music for pleasure); and there are very few light moments in the entire film. Even the interactions between Batman and Alfred are terse (and usually their relationship was the sunnier moments in the early films).

My first reaction upon leaving the theater is that I am surprised that this is only PG-13, seriously who was bribed to keep this at PG-13? Did the production company really think kids would want to buy toys after watching this film? That is a pipedream, in my opinion. In any other decade it would have probably been R. There is a lot of death, destruction and outright viciousness in this film. I can’t even imagine letting my son (who loves Batman) see this until he is at least 14, maybe 15 or 16. This is a Gotham City without hope and without Batman; a peaceful world created out of a lie, a timebomb.

You can read the rest of my the review here at Green Spot Blue.

Do you like humor and insight? Sure we all do…

I’ve collected all of the editorials and articles I have written for Green Spot Blue in one location.  They can now be found here on my blog:  https://sdsouthard.wordpress.com/articles-on-greenspotblue-com/

And via the links, you can learn:

* How Indiana Jones can make all of us feel old (Its not the years, its the mileage).

* Why Sesame Street needs to be saved from celebrities (and how it can be done).

* The many, many, many problems with Thomas the Tank Engine.

* Another series of reasons why the Star Wars prequels suck (because we need more reasons, right?).

* How an agnostic celebrates Christmas… and explains death!

Sounds fun? All those and way too many articles about super heroes.  Check it out!

13-Year Olds, Superheroes, and Money: This Year’s Summer Blockbusters

An article on summer blockbusters by me.  Here is the intro: 

Every year, reviewers complain about the summer blockbusters and every year it seems to become more and more exactly what the reviewers are complaining about (destruction, violence, non-stop action films, superheroes, over-the-top/cookie-cutter stories, etc.), but this year seems to knock the rest out of the ballpark.  There is just more of everything. And while I agree with some of the criticism heaped upon studios for their choices of what to produce and distribute, I understand where they are coming from. Continue reading

Kenneth Branagh and the God of Thunder

I have a new article up at Green Spot Blue. This time I talk about the movie Thor and Kenneth Branagh.

You can check it out here.