Come on and join author Melissa Bradley as she sets off on her latest adventure...


If you are not 18, please exit stage left. While there is normally nothing naughty here, I do write and review erotica so there are links to spicy stuff and the occasional heated excerpt.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

U Is For...

U Is For...Unpretty

TLC are my girls from way back and their music inspired me a lot with their message of girl power and being true to yourself. I remember that wild attitude, sassy spirit and sexy cool sound when they burst on the scene back in 1991. Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas changed forever the term girl group. They did things their way and always showed girls and young women they could be who they wanted to be no matter what was stacked against them. They never let what other people thought bring them down. No matter the personal strife or drama, they were sisters together at the end of the day.

Unpretty is one of my favorite songs from them. It is a deeply personal song about self love co-written by T-Boz and was the second single off their tremendously successful Fanmail album. It's a message I think that every young girl needs to hear. It's about learning to love who you are, believe in yourself and not let others dictate your beauty. No matter what, you are enough and always will be.


I wish could tie you up in my shoes
Make you feel unpretty too
I was told I was beautiful
But what does that mean to you
Look into the mirror who's inside there
The one with the long hair
Same old me again today (yeah)

My outsides look cool
My insides are blue
Everytime I think I'm through
It's because of you
I've tried different ways
But it's all the same
At the end of the day
I have myself to blame
I'm just trippin'

You can buy your hair if it won't grow
You can fix your nose if he says so
You can buy all the make up
That M.A.C. can make
But if you can't look inside you
Find out who am I too
Be in the position to make me feel
So damn unpretty
I'll make you feel unpretty too

Never insecure until I met you
Now I'm bein' stupid
I used to be so cute to me
Just a little bit skinny
Why do I look to all these things
To keep you happy
Maybe get rid of you
And then I'll get back to me (hey)

My outsides look cool
My insides are blue
Everytime I think I'm through
It's because of you
I've tried different ways
But it's all the same
At the end of the day
I have myself to blame
I'm just trippin'



Oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh (oh)
Oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh (oh)


Friday, April 29, 2011

T Is For...

T Is For...To Kill A Mockingbird

There was absolutely no way I could let this challenge go by without talking about my ultimate favorite book and the wonderful film it inspired. I fell in love with Mockingbird way back during my freshman year of high school. I don't think I can even begin to describe what this novel has meant to me over the years, but I will attempt to share my love with you.

Harper Lee's prose is exquisite, her words are so rich and vibrant to me that they are like a song in my head as I read. Every page is fluid, flowing like a stream, sometimes it meanders, at other times is a swift current drawing me along into the rapids. It is a story that has complex layers and great depth. It appears on the surface to be a simple story told from the memories of a young girl and indeed it is renowned for its warmth and humor. But, it has layers of shadow that haunt, dealing with the themes of rape and racial inequality.

Lee's characters are so rich and visceral that they leap from the pages straight into my mind's eye. Scout is so smart and sweet, Jem an incredible, but trying big brother. Then there is Atticus. Atticus Finch is my ideal hero. Although I love a good physical fight, to me an intelligent person who can wage war with words and conscientious actions is beyond compare. My favorite scenes are those where Atticus imparts life lessons to his children.

I cannot tell you how many copies I have gone through with my dog-earring, my margin notes and the multiple readings. Two years ago, my brother gave me a collector's edition boxed copy. It is my most prized gift ever, sitting on my shelf in a prominent place.

This post is getting really long so it is on with the film. I've lost count on how many times I have seen this movie. Robert Mulligan directed and Horton Foote wrote this Oscar-winning 1962 movie. Foote managed to capture the heart and spirit of the novel with his script, something rarely seen in adaptations while Mulligan's directorial vision and Russell Harlan's cinematography are a wonder to behold.

The incomparable Gregory Peck stars as Atticus Finch and to me, he truly does embody this amazing character. He is gentle, wise and strong. Peck became synonymous with this role and Atticus Finch was named as the greatest movie hero of all time by the American Film Institute in 2003. Peck was so taken with the story that he wrote this forward in the 1962 edition of the book. "The Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama reminds me of the California town I grew up in. The characters of the novel are like people I knew as a boy. I think perhaps the great appeal of the novel is that it reminds readers everywhere of a person or a town they have known. It is to me a universal story - moving, passionate and told with great humor and tenderness."

The rest of the cast are exceptional as well. Young Mary Badham is Scout and she absolutely captures the innocence, the attitude and the wonder of the book's heroine. She was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. Philip Alford is brilliant as older brother Jem while Brock Peters as Henry Robinson is electrifying. His eyes and expressions go right through you. Not to mention Robert Duvall makes his big screen debut as the reclusive Boo Radley.

Here's a little taste of this magnificent film

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Time Out For A Kick Ass Parody

I'm taking a time out of the big A to Z because I have laughed and laughed and now must share. I swear I spit my Diet Pepsi all over my monitor.

There is a knock your socks to the flipside site called The Mary Sue: A Guide to Girl Geek Culture. I found it through another equally awesome site Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. Anyway, while at Mary Sue, I found this absolutely hysterical parody of The Jersey Shore done Oscar Wilde style. It is performed by Santino Fontana and David Furr who are currently starring in the Broadway production of The Importance of Being Earnest.It is also done in conjunction with Playbill. The transcripts are the actuals from Jersey Shore and are being read in the style of their respective characters Algernon Moncrieff and John Worthing. This is but a taste, all the clips are available here .

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

S Is For...

Poor Susan, killing herself with fits, thought temper started with a T?

S Is For... Steve McQueen

I know some of you out there thought I was going to wax poetic about Steven Tyler from Aerosmith, but I decided to surprise you all and indulge my predilection for the "King of Cool."

What can you say about a man who was and is his own category of badass, a man who not only played the part, but lived it. Cool was woven into his DNA. He was the anti-hero we all loved and wanted to be. McQueen commanded your attention as soon as he stepped in front of that camera. Thirty years after his death and no one has even come close to that laconic, minimalist style.

Critics called it simple charisma, that he was just playing himself on-screen. Call it what you want, but McQueen had a steely-eyed intensity and could say in a look what others would in lines and lines of dialogue. All I know is I definitely gulp down the McQueen Kool-Aid whenever I put one of his flicks into my DVD player.You can ask me anything while I'm in Steve Land and I'll do it.

McQueen never considered himself a great actor and indeed his role of Machinist Mate Jake Holman in The Sand Pebbles brought him his only Oscar nomination. However, he had been nominated for four Golden Globes: Love with a Proper Stranger, The Sand Pebbles, The Reivers and Papillon. Some of my favorites include Junior Bonner, The Getaway, Le Mans and yes, The Blob.

He rode motorcycles, raced cars and flew planes. He even raced with Mario Andretti at the 1970 12 Hours of Sebring, an endurance race he lost by 23 seconds. His biggest passion was motorcycles. He raced bikes off-road and was even inducted into the Off-Road Motor Sports Hall of fame in 1978.

Steve often did his own stunts. He was at the wheel for the most part in the legendary Bullitt car chase, an often imitated, but never equaled scene. It was also McQueen on the motorcycle in The Great Escape. He was quick to point out when it wasn't him, giving credit where it was due. Johnny Carson tried to congratulate him for his work on the film's famous motorcycle leap, but he simply said "It wasn't me. That was Bud Ekins." No one rode a bike like McQueen, though, and at one point in the film, McQueen is in a German uniform chasing himself. How badass is that?

He left us far too soon and I imagine that he would be one kick ass octogenarian like Eastwood.

Monday, April 25, 2011

R Is For...

R Is For...Risk

Taking a risk, finding the courage to dare is one of the greatest gifts that we can give ourselves. Risk makes us feel alive, brave and confident. As writers, artists and creators, making the decision to share the vision in our hearts and minds is a risk that has the potential for great reward and sometimes great failure. That great failure possibility is enough to stop many. It very nearly did me.

Here are some of my favorite quotes on risk taking. These inspired me on my path to publication and continue to inspire me every day.

"Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.”
Katherine Mansfield

"Most people live and die with their music still unplayed. They never dare to try." Mary Kay Ash

"To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself." Soren Kierkegaard

"Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out."
James Bryant Conant

"Of all the people I have ever known, those who have pursued their dreams and failed have lived a much more fulfilling life than those who have put their dreams on a shelf for fear of failure."
Author Unknown

And from my girl Joan Jett,for all the ladies out there

"Girls have got balls. They're just a little higher up that's all."

Take a risk today and do something you've always wanted to do. See what happens.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

P and Q Are For...

Big Announcment:

I am guest blogging over at Three Wicked Writers Plus Two today and I would love it and appreciate it from the bottom of my heart if you came by for a visit.

P and Q Are For Pleasure Seekers and Suzi Quatro

The Pleasure Seekers were a rip-roaring, kick ass, all girl garage band from the Motor City in the 1960's. When all the popular acts of the day singing shangri la love stuff, they were talking about hard drinking, getting high and broken relationships like the guys. Formed by sisters Patti and Suzi Quatro in 1964, they came to prominence after an appearance at Dave Leone's popular teen club The Hideout. They shared the stage with the likes of Bob Seger, Alice Cooper and Ted Nugent. For a taste of their sound click here Sorry there was no embed code for this.

Suzi Quatro played bass guitar for The Pleasure Seekers as well as other all girl bands like Cradle and Fanny. She made wearing leather and rockin' out cool for girls and the awesomely ass-kicking Joan Jett considers her an influence. She is perhaps most known here in the US for the 1978 hit song Stumblin In with Chris Norman and her recurring role as Leather Tuscadero on Happy Days. She had greater success in Europe and toured with acts like Thin Lizzy and Slade. Her 1980 song Rock Hard was featured on the soundtrack of the cult film Times Square along with The Ramones, XTC, Talking Heads and The Pretenders. For some fascinating reading, check out her autobiography Unzipped.

Friday, April 22, 2011

O Is For...

O Is For...Oceanarium

O is also Oh Pretty Please Go Vote for Captain Ninja Alex J Cavanaugh's Cassastar trailer at You Gotta Read. He's #7

While poor Olive has been done in by an awl, I was done in by the John G. Shedd Aquarium and Oceanarium (I'm cheating a bit with the letters) and three 12 year old boys.

It was bright and sunny, a bit chilly, but what can you do, this is Chicago. We boarded the train, the boys excited, but fortunately no sugar high from breakfast cereal or Pop Tarts. We're all good, except I have to pee. No problem, I'll go when we get there. Yeah right. We arrived at the Aquarium at 11:00AM. There is a line that snakes down from the entry doors to Ohio. A line we were obliged to wait in for nearly an hour. Just. To. Get. Inside. There is another Three Mile Island line inside. So we waited in line to wait in line. My kidneys were ready to abandon ship and I was ready to feed my charges to the sharks.

We finally get our 4 tickets (after I fork over one complaining kidney) at 12:14PM. I raced awkwardly down a flight of curving stairs, dodged idiots, strollers and kiddie landmines, reached the bathroom and barely managed to avoid wetting myself. Yay me! I wish I had this much control when it comes chocolate.

And we were off. The first exhibit was the Amazon Rising Waters where the boys raced ahead like fighter jets breaking formation. Them from various points in the gallery: "Look, the snake!" "Where are the piranhas?" "Check this out!" Me: "Wait." "Wait." "Where...?"

The next two galleries were a blur of the same. I managed to collar them in time for our 4 D theater experience. Why are those glasses always designed for heads the size of very small coconuts? I herded them into yet another long ass line. I felt like I was at the United Airlines ticket counter. Finally after God only knows how much time, we were allowed into the theater. The boys bounced ahead like manic basketballs and when I saw them settle in the same row, I leap-frogged some poor old woman and side-swiped another in order to get right next to them. Twenty minutes of bliss followed. No questions, no running off, just sitting.

Let me just tell you, when they say 4 D, they mean wind effects inside the theater and, AND vibrating chairs. Oh Yeah. I highly recommend these, because you sure do leave that theater feeling great. And get your minds out of the gutter, it wasn't great in THAT way.

After another hour or so of playing spot the kid, it was feeding time. At those prices I was obliged to sign a promissary note for all my internal organs and those of my unborn children. Afterward, we headed to the Oceanarium. Beluga whales, dolphins, otters and cute little penguins. The boys were fascinated and educated thanks to the amazing staff. Best of all, they remained together and I got to actually see something for more than three seconds. Another small victory.

When it was time to leave, the boys were outside faster than I could blink and halfway to the train station. I followed in their contrails. We made it back in one piece, the car ride home a cacophony of sound louder than the vuvuzelas at the World Cup. When I got inside, I unleashed the boys, mainlined some ibuprofen and took a nap.

And to think I'll be tackling the Museum of Science and Industry with the same crew shortly. Drugs, I'm going to need more drugs.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

N Is For...

N Is For...Night of the Living Dead

I love, love me the zombie films and this is the big granddaddy of them all. There's been so much written about it that I could not possibly add anything new, but here are some choice tidbits that I find interesting.

1. It was made for for approximately $114,000

2. The blood is Bosco Chocolate syrup

3. The flesh is roasted ham and entrails donated by a cast member who owned a chain of butcher shops.

4. The costumes were second hand clothes donated by the cast and purchases from Goodwill.

5. The Cooper family hiding the basement was played by real-life father and daughter Karl Hardman and Kyra Schon.

6. One publicity stunt for the film included an offer of a $50,000 insurance policy against anyone dying of a heart attack while watching.

7. The music used is stock music from the film Teenagers from Outer Space.

8. F/X master Tom Savini was hired to the do the makeup effects but was called up to Vietnam. Karl Hardman (Harry Cooper) and Marilyn Eastman (Helen Cooper)did the make up instead.

9. When this was released, there was was no MPAA rating system in place, so many a little kid got the shock of their young lives.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

M is For

M Is For...Maria Mitchell, Astronomer

Poor Maud has drifted out to sea to be eaten by sharks and I am struggling in this A to Z Challenge. Everyone is on Q and I am on M. It's like being the fat kid who's running way behind the rest of the kids on the track in gym class. Well, I do have junk in my trunk and I am not very good at running unless I am terrified.

My choice for M is Maria Mitchell, America's first female astronomer. I love star gazing and I love reading about and promoting great women. Maria fits that description to a T. Born in Nantucket, MA in 1818, she was primarily home-schooled by her father. At age 16, she became a teaching assistant and after only one year on the job, opened her own school. At 17, she opened her own freaking school. How awesome is that? She rented her own space and advertised for students. At 17, I was screwing around and complaining about my lack of a love life. And she did this in 1835. Quite a feat considering the male domination of the time.

She was so impressive that the Nantucket Atheneum Library offered her the position of librarian. This job afforded her the time to read about and study the stars. Her father had a rooftop observatory and she helped him with his star observations for the U.S. Coast Guard. On Oct. 1, 1847, she discovered a comet and in 1848 was awarded a gold medal by the King of Denmark for her discovery. It was called Miss Mitchell's Comet and its formal designation is C/1847 T1. This comet was also discovered by Father Francesco de Vico and it was he who had been awarded the king's prize first. Figures. But, in the end she got her rightful prize.

Maria became the first woman elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1848. The Association for the Advancement of Science followed suit, electing her their first female member in 1850. By this time she was attending scientific conferences and held a position with the U.S. Nautical Almanac computing the tables for the position of the planet Venus.

Her achievements kept getting greater. In 1865, she became the professor of astronomy and the director of the Vassar College Observatory. The college had the third largest telescope in America at the time. She studied Jupiter and Saturn and took photos of stars. In 1869, she scored another victory for women as the first woman admitted to the American Philosophical Society.

In 1873, my girl Maria helped found the American Association for the Advancement of Women. She served as president from 1874 to 1876. The first Women's Congress was held in 1873 and she was there alongside some of the most incredible women ever: Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell and Antoinette Brown Blackwell. In 1875 Maria led the Women's Congress.

She encouraged women and young girls to reach out and be anything they wanted to be until her death in 1889. Maria is definitely one of my heroes and she inspires me every day.

One of my favorite quotes from her:

"We especially need imagination in science.
It is not all mathematics, nor all logic, but is
somewhat beauty and poetry."

Sunday, April 17, 2011

L Is For...

L Is For...Love

Yeah, L is definitely for Love, unlike poor Leo up there who may have swallowed tacks because he had no love. I'm doing a little happy dance because the incredibly cool and charming Matt from the wicked smart blog, FilmMattic has awarded yours truly the Versatile Blogger Award, Check it out...

Needless to say I am very honored. Matt is brilliant and his knowledge of films is breathtaking. Now in order to accept my wonderful award, I must first link back to Matt so directly to FilmMattic, then I must choose 15 worthy bloggers and finally reveal 7 things about myself you may or may not want to know. I'll try and keep it clean. ;)

Brilliant Bloggers You Must Check Out

1. Stephen @ Brayton's Briefs
2. Lynda @ W.I.P It
3. M.J. @My Pet Blog
4. Dawn's Reading Nook
5. Lydia @ The Word Is My Oyster
6. Julia @ A Piece of My Mind
7. Cherie @ Surrounded By Books
8. Mooderino @ Moody Writing
9. Talei @ Musings of an Aspiring Scribe
10. Jessica @ The Alliterative Allomorph
11. Nicole @ One Significant Moment at a Time
12. Ellie Garratt
13. Jeremy @ iZombieLover
14. Siv @ Been there, done that
15. Clarissa Draper

7 Things About Me

7. I have a tattoo
6. My first concert was Duran Duran at age 14
5. Tequila is my poison of choice
4. I have a Girl Scout Thin Mint cookie addiction that requires a 12 Step program. Thank God they only come around once a year.
3. I'm a pretty good dancer, but require a little liquor to get started.
2. The first slasher picture I ever saw was Friday the 13th
1. My favorite book in the whole world is To Kill A Mockingbird.

Thanks for reading, following, commenting and always showing me the love, my friends. Now go out and spread some joy to all your fellow bloggers. Have a great week!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

K Is For

K Is For...Katana

Funny how poor Kate bought it with an axe blade because that is what today's post is about. Blades, specifically the katana of the legendary samurai. Underneath this snarky writer's exterior beats the heart of a babe who loves blades.

There is nothing more deadly elegant to me than this gently curving mistress of death. Some favorite samurai films include The Seven Samurai and Throne of Blood by the incomparable Akira Kurasawa and The 47 Ronin by the brilliant Kenji Mizoguchi. I was also impressed with Ken Watanabe in The Last Samurai. My favorite katana wielder, though, is perhaps Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod in the Highlander series. I know, pure fantasy, but it's drooling-in-my-Diet Pepsi fantasy because not only did I get a hot guy, but I got to see that sexy blade in action. What can I say, I cannot resist a gorgeous hunk with a wicked sword. ;))

Katana Facts:

* It is a backsword with a blade edge on one side.
* It is forged from Tamahagane, a combination of hard, high carbon and tough, low carbon steel.
* The hamon, or blade pattern is a natural swerving line down the center of the blade formed in the hardening process. It can only be seen after polishing and is unique to each swordsmith. Mono steel replicas have no natural hamon, using instead acid etch or wire brushing.
* The blade ranges in length from 60-73 cm (23.6 to 28.7 in)
* The curve of the blade is known as the sori.
* The point is the hardest part and is called a Kissaki. It is the most difficult part to polish and forge. The quality of the Kissaki determines the value of the katana.
* A new katana was given to a sword tester, who took the blade and tested it by cutting through corpses and condemned criminals. They started on the small bones and worked up. The test results were recorded on the nakago, the metal piece attaching the sword blade to the handle.
*The samurai would give their swords a name as they believed their warrior spirit lived within the blade.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

J Is For...

J Is For Jane Espenson

This woman rocks as a writer and a producer. She has worked on some of my most favorite shows, ever. To me she has had a tremendous influence on the vision of women in television. It's one thing to see strong women on screen, but it's quite another to be the power in the creative process and behind the camera. I think of her as kind of trailblazer in the male dominated realm of sci fi fantasy television. There are others like Sera Gamble and Marti Noxon, but this is J and Jane is someone I admire very much. Here is, but a taste of what this awesome woman has accomplished.

Jane's start came from a Walt Disney fellowship in 1992-93 where she worked on several sitcoms. She moved on to write for Star Trek, penning the episode "Accession" for Season 4 of Deep Space Nine. In 1998, she joined the seminal series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where she would write 23 episodes, more than any other writer except Joss Whedon and Marti Noxon. She won the Hugo award for "Conversations with Dead People." She also served as co-executive producer for 22 episodes and went on to contribute to the Buffy spinoff, Angel.

After her days in the Buffyverse, she continued to work with Joss Whedon penning the episode "Shindig" for the amazingly influential, though sadly short-lived Firefly. She spent a year as executive producer on the highly successful Gilmore Girls and in 2007 joined the crew of another stellar show, the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica. She executive produced the Razor television movie, the webisode miniseries Face of the Enemy and 20 episodes of the show. She also served as a writer, penning several episodes from seasons 3 and 4.

Currently, she is the creator and writer of the acclaimed Syfy series Warehouse 13 and has written an episode of HBO's The Game of Thrones entitled "A Golden Crown." She has also written the "Miracle Day" story arc for the BBC series Torchwood. Jane continues to push the envelope and punch through the glass ceiling for women in television.

Monday, April 11, 2011

I Is For...

A day late and a dollar short...Ah well, I hope you'll stick with me anyway. Poor little Ida could not.

I Is For...Indulge

1. To give free rein to. 2. To gratify one's taste or desire for. Oh hell yeah. This is one of my favorite words in the entire dictionary. If there is one thing yours truly is exceptionally talented at, it is indulging myself. My God, the word even sounds like a tasty treat rolling off your tongue. There is nothing like pampering oneself after a really bad day or even just because. We deserve it.

So how, you may ask, do I indulge my sexy self? Let me count the ways...

Red Velvet Cupcakes Just look at these beauties. Of course, I can only have this treat once in a very, very great while so they have to be so good they're orgasmic.

Foot Massage Aaaaaahhhhhh... I can just feel those magic fingers on my arches. A good foot massage can make me forget I'm even on planet Earth. Just the right touch on my little feet and I am in Heaven with some very sexy angels. ;)

Wine A glass of Moscato makes the world a much better place for me. Many a stoopid (yes, I spelled it with 2 o's) person is still alive because I was able to have a glass or three of this elixir.

Scented Oils There is nothing more relaxing or sexy than a lovely scent wafting through the room. A great scent can transport you to far off, exotic locales when you close your eyes. Some of my very favorites are vanilla, lilac, rose, cinnamon and jasmine. I believe everyone should have diffuser or at least scented candles.

These are but a few of the ways I indulge and pamper myself. I'm getting all warm and shivery just thinking about these things. So what are your favorite indulgences? Come on, talk to me. ;)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

H Is For...

First, the most amazing, joyous news. Ever. The wonderful and brilliant Deirdra Eden Coppel at A Storybook World has chosen yours truly as a Powerful Woman Writer. This honor simply stuns me and the happiness is so enormous I feel like I'm in orbit. To be recognized by a fellow woman writer is so inspiring. Thank you very much Deirdra, I appreciate this from the bottom of my heart.

And today's post is just a tad late, but I've never been one to be absolutely on time. I work from my own timezone sometimes Bradley Central Time. ;)

H is for Hellagood Heroines

These are some of my favorite women in all of cinema. They go in with guns blazing, kicking ass and going toe to toe with the guys as well aliens, zombies, secret agents and anything else that gets in their way. To borrow an expression from my awesome sister in ass-kicking 'tude, M from The Smoking Pen, these chicks are BAMF's (Bad Ass Mother Fuckers). I keep them in mind as I create my own heroines. Here's to all my badass, rockin' chicks out there, we rule!

Charly Baltimore The Long Kiss Goodnight

Charly is one hellagood BAMF. Played by Geena Davis, Charly defines badass. She jumps out of a building, blows shit up, shoots bad guys, gets down and dirty in hand to hand, rescues her kid and, AND she gets tortured. But does she break, hell to the no. I quote "I let you touch me, cowboy. I think I need a bath." Not to mention, The Long Kiss Goodnight co-stars BAMF Sam L. Jackson, who is hilariously quotable as always. The Man has a gift.

Zoe Washburne Serenity/Firefly

The right hand of the galaxy's most awesome captain, Mal Reynolds, Zoe takes no prisoners or attitude from anyone. She is the tactical badass, sizing up a situation with stunning accuracy and she's a crack shot. She goes through that door with her crew, picking off enemies one-by-one. And never hesitates to ride to the rescue. She won't leave a fellow soldier behind. A Brown Coat forever, she will never accept the Alliance, not even with her dying breath.

Ripley Aliens

Ever since that first chest-bursting encounter, Ellen Ripley has been keeping Earth safe from some truly terrifying aliens. This was the first woman I'd seen handle the big guns. She's a take charge badass who never backed down. She plunged into a nest of monsters tricked out with an arsenal and did not,DID NOT rely on some big bad alpha man. Plus, the Alien films are one of the most successful thriller/horror franchises starring a woman. Can I get a hell yeah? I think H-Wood needs to roll out more chicks like Ripley.

Alice Resident Evil

Zombies to left, zombies to the right and Alice in the freakin' middle shooting, chopping, hacking, burning. Have you seen these wicked blades? As someone who loves the horror genre and was fed a steady diet of girly girls in high heels and bikini tops, running away from the monsters, it's cool to have a killing machine badass out there running at them. The Umbrella Corporation is going down.

Who are some of your favorite BAMF women in the movies?

Friday, April 8, 2011

G Is For...

Thanks to all my followers and welcome to all visitors from this amazing A to Z Challenge. Your comments and support mean the world to me.

Quick announcement. I have a cool rant over at Four Strong Women. Check it out if you get a chance.

G Is For...Grateful Dead

Jerry and the boys are one of my all-time favorite bands. I love their music, their words and the whole vibe. I know, seems like the antithesis of my snarky, hard-rock, horror film loving self. Well, I'll tell you that I had never intended to listen to the band, never paid attention to them except on a few oldies stations late at night while on a dark road to nowhere and trying to stay awake. Then I saw the film Mask and at the end when Rocky dies, there's this amazing piece of music that made me bawl my eyes out. It was a tune so sweet and poignant it whispered in my soul. From that moment on, I had to know more about the Dead. The song is called Ripple and I have the lyrics and the video below.

My experience with the Dead may have started with a movie soundtrack, but it escalated into some of the most joyous experiences of my life. I was privileged to see them in concert a handful times and met the most extraordinary people. My very best friend is a Deadhead and she brought me to my first Dead show at Soldier Field in Chicago. It was absolutely incredible. She also brought me to my very last show, in the same place, which turned out to be Jerry's last, July 9, 1995. Still have my ticket stub.

So without further ado, here is Ripple by The Grateful Dead

Ripple Lyrics

If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung
Would you hear my voice come through the music?
Would you hold it near, as it were your own?

It's a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken
Perhaps they're better left unsung
I don't know, don't really care
Let there be songs to fill the air

Ripple in still water
When there is no pebble tossed
Nor wind to blow

Reach out your hand if your cup be empty
If your cup is full may it be again
Let it be known there is a fountain
That was not made by the hands of man

There is a road, no simple highway
Between the dawn and the dark of night
And if you go, no one may follow
That path is for your steps alone

Ripple in still water
When there is no pebble tossed
Nor wind to blow

You who choose to lead must follow
But if you fall, you fall alone
If you should stand, then who's to guide you?
If I knew the way, I would take you home

Thursday, April 7, 2011

F Is For...

First, a little announcement: I'm making a blog tour appearance at Tess MacKall's blog today to promote my newest work, Byzantine Provocateur. Pretty please stop by if you get a chance and support yours truly, a friendly, if slightly demented, neighborhood starving writer. Thanks, you rock!

And now on with the challenge...

F Is For My Father

Reading several posts during this challenge has made me venture down memory lane and I've done some thinking about my father. He is probably the single biggest influence in my life. I get my skewed sense of humor from him, my love of all things sci fi and he was the one person who told me all the time that girls can do whatever the hell they wanted.

He watched monster movies with me on Saturday afternoons, his favorites being the creature features. We used to have our own running commentary on Godzilla and his various monster opponents. We used to watch The Munsters (my other dark humor show), and he would let me stay up extra late on Fridays to watch Son of Svengoolie, another show like Elvira's that used to be broadcast on a tiny local station.

He had a passion for space and he read science fiction voraciously. He loved the stuff as a kid and grew up watching Flash Gordon and all those fantastic 50's sci fi movies. Star gazing became his escape when he was on board ship during his stint in the Navy and Vietnam. I learned all the planets and local galaxies from him as we watched the night sky every summer. He loved Star Trek and Stars Wars, the first and only trilogy, was his absolute favorite. He piled us in the car and we waited in line for hours to see the first film.

He loved action movies and westerns. Clint Eastwood was his favorite and he taught me to appreciate one ultimate badass film, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly at a young age. I think I was in 8th grade or a freshman in high school. When the first Die Hard film came out, my dad got hooked on Bruce Willis. He wore out his VHS tape. He also became an avowed Sam L. Jackson fan. He loved badasses and I found later he was quite the badass before my mom.

He also encouraged me to write. Sure, we had titanic fights about just how I was supposed to accomplish this as he believed I should write on the side and have a secure, steady day job. I remember having to tell him that I had changed majors from business to English. He spluttered like his favorite cartoon character, Yosemite Sam. Man, was that ever a fight because I started going off and when I am mad, look out. But, bless his heart after raging around, we settled into accord and he was very proud when I finally got my degree.

Sadly, my dad lost his long battle with Emphysema nine years ago and never got to see me get published, but I like to think he's sitting up there with his friend Hank and drinking a Pepsi to me. Yeah, Pepsi, my dad had no tolerance for alcohol whatsoever. :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

E Is For...

E is for Elvira: Mistress of the Dark

One of my favorite, favorite shows in junior high and high school was Elvira's Movie Macabre. Cassandra Peterson aka Elvira, honed the warped sense of humor The Addams Family had already instilled. She made me a connoisseur of all things B grade horror. Needless to say, I would not be the woman I am today-- a snarky, demented, horror film addicted writer-- without her. The movies ran the gamut from scary to bizarre, to darkly comedic and abysmally bad.

Here are a few of my all time favorites...

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! A parody of Hitchcock's The Birds about sentient tomatoes that rise up against humanity.

Hell of the Living Dead aka Night of the Zombies A chemical leak turns the staff of a top secret research facility into flesh eating zombies

Blood From the Mummy's Tomb
A professor and daughter return from an expedition to the tomb of a cursed Egyptian princess and become involved in death and reincarnation.

Count Yorga, Vampire A vampire stalks the populace of Los Angeles with his deformed servant.

The Incredible Melting Man An astronaut is forced to consume human flesh to save himself after he's exposed to radiation that causes his body to melt.

Maneater of Hydra Mad scientist creates hybrid trees that feed on human blood.

The House That Screamed Deranged man at a girls boarding school dismembers his victims to create the ideal woman.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

D Is For...

D is for... Deep Thoughts

Thank you to all my new followers and visitors. I appreciate your wonderful support. To continue on the challenge, click on the A to Z button at the top right on my sidebar.

As you can see on day four of the challenge, poor Desmond has fallen out of a sleigh. Man, I told you those Gashlycrumb kids had it rough. But while Little D goes on to his heavenly reward, I'm going to share with you some deep thoughts,(no, not the ones by Jack Handy all you SNL fans out there) just little sarcasms, witticisms and things that have happened that help me keep my sense of humor and snarky tongue razor sharp.

1. I have learned that there is stupid and then there's stoopid.

2. I wish I could carry around a giant foam middle finger because then I could slap people and flip them off.

3. Telling me I have a spankalicious fat ass will NOT get me to have sex with you.

4. Fat men telling fat women they need to lose weight is like Sarah Palin telling Michelle Bachman she's too conservative.

5. The Force Field of Oblivion is more powerful than Gravity.

6. Why is it that when a guy insults a woman, the first thing that comes to his mind is the word bitch?

7. Why is it microwave food remains frozen in the middle no matter how long you nuke it?

8. When I'm in a hurry, I am guaranteed to find the longest line with the dumbest cashier handling a customer who needs a thousand price checks.

9. Have you ever gotten so bored, you were tempted to staple your fingers just to add a little excitement?

10. The next person who tells me that if Snooki from Jersey Shore can sell a book, why can't I? is going to have their fingers smashed with a hammer.

I'll leave you with a bit from my favorite observationalists, Calvin and Hobbes

Sunday, April 3, 2011

C Is For

C is for Car-gasms!!

I have a thing for muscle cars and the following sexy machine induce what I and my friends hilariously refer to as car-gasms. You know, the excited gasps coming faster and faster, then the blissed-out, I-need-a-cigarette-now-look. These dream machines get me thinking about my need for speed along with wicked, down and dirty thoughts. Far from wasting away like poor Clara.

1967 Chevy Impala aka The Supernatural car

1969 Dodge Charger RT

1970 Dodge Challenger aka The Vanishing Point Car

1960 Pontiac GTO

1965 Ford Mustang

1969 Chevy Yenko Camaro

Here's my personal dream machine a 2011 Dodge Challenger