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.

Monday, January 30, 2012

So Where In The Sam Hill Have I Been?

Happy Monday!! I want to apologize big time for my sudden absence. I got an unexpected job assignment which also coincided with two articles that I had to get done as well as a new tutoring gig. Did I mention I have no internet access for about twelve hours each day during the week? So I had to take myself out of the blogosphere for a bit. I'm still on assignment, but at least the articles are now done. Yay!! I'll post the links as soon as they go live. And I promise to catch up with my commenting and my replies. Thank you so much for all your witty, kind and awesome comments. You really do rock and I appreciate your constant support.

Today is the big sign up for the Great A to Z Blog Challenge so hurry up and get over there to join. It's going to be epic fun.

Since I still haven't quite figured out where my ass is, I'm leaving you with one of my favorite clips from one of my favorite shows, Taxi. Because hey, it's Monday and we need to laugh.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Okay, so when I first heard about this movie, I laughed uproariously. I mean I was straight up choking on my sugar free Gummi Bears in the theater. There was no way I was going to sit through this. Well, my Movie Roundtable gang worked on me and got me to reconsider. So last night,without handcuffs, a knock on the head or other restraints, I watched Rise of the Planet of the Apes. And to my shock, I was entertained.

Now, lest you think I did a complete Pod Person role reversal, I also had some huge problems with it. But, another surprise, these were not of the CGI variety. I thought the apes looked magnificent and Andy Serkis had me believing he really was a chimp with a revved up brain. The way Caesar evolved from boyish chimp to someone who doesn't fit in, and finally to the leader of a revolution, was nothing short of brilliant.

I drank the Kool-Aid for the most part and found myself very involved in Caesar's story, getting excited when he plotted his revenge and led his fellow apes on a dare I say it, heroic uprising. I hate cruelty to animals and loved how the director brought us into Caesar's POV. It was wrenching at times. Made more so because Caesar would not let his apes kill the humans. The best scene in the whole movie was when his abilities increased enough so that he was able to utter the word "No" in defiance of his captors. It was a powerful, pivotal moment that stayed with me.

The action sequences were incredible and the way Rupert Wyatt seemlessly blended the apes into the shots was stunning. Nothing appeared CGI. Take note Peter Jackson and James Cameron, you may have developed the tech, but you do NOT know how to use it wisely without having any character appear like cartoons.

I digress.

Here's where my problems started. You knew this was coming. ;) The characters all appeared to fall into 2 categories: Douchebag and Not Douchebag. A bit too simplistic, if you ask me. Party of the first: Brian Cox and Tom Felton run an ape "sanctuary" which is a completely over-the-top, sadistic prison where they gleefully torture the inmates. They're so awful, they're caricatures rather than believable characters. Cruella Deville times 2 with no motivation. At least she wanted a puppy coat. This primate Big House was so San Quentin-esque that I half-expected Johnny Cash to come out and lead the apes in a rousing rendition of Folsom Prison Blues. Uh, ASPCA anyone? PETA?

The D-Bag category also includes David Oyelowo as the hard-nosed greedy corporate suit who cares about nothing, but money and image. Very stock and uninteresting, delegating every little thing, even the wiping of his ass. Then he completely steps out of character to climb into a helicopter, grab a gun and hunt those apes. Wall Street turned Big Game Hunter. I've seen this exact character in a million cheap SyFy channel flicks. Then we have the inexplicable, in-dire-need-of-anger-management neighbor. The littlest thing sets this guy to beating things with baseballs bats and slamming people up against walls. He might as well have been wearing a tee shirt that read "I am the Angry Asshole."

Non D-Bags are of course, James Franco, John Lithgow and Freida Pinto. Franco's Rodman goes to great lengths to keep his rapidly crumbling world together. I can identify with that. However, I found Franco's overall performance a bit uneven. He seemed to roll along in disconnect, then plug back in at certain times. Not to mention all the larceny he was so easily getting away with. I mean where was security every time he walked out with vials of drugs? Taking lunch?

Oh Freida, it's no wonder Danny Boyle didn't let you really speak in Slum Dog. While her Caroline helps Will to understand the grown-up Caesar, she really has no chemistry with Franco and their whole romance seems forced.Plus, she's pretty much useless after Caesar is gone. I like her, but she needs lessons on delivering more emotion in her performances.

John Lithgow was my favorite here. His performance is heartbreaking and yet, a joy to behold. He shines as Will's stricken father and his relationship with Caesar is so touching. I think he deserves Oscar consideration for this right along with Serkis.

There were also some other things that I found hard to digest. For instance, how a chimp could be pregnant and give birth to the complete ignorance of the scientists who work with her every day, including the on-site animal expert. Even a five year old knows that a round belly on girl dog probably means she's gonna have a baby. And apes smell. Big. Time. So why would you bring your potential piece of ass to the monkey prison, Tom Felton? Not gonna score if they fling poo at her. And as a huge fan of the original, I did not appreciate the co-opting of certain lines. Felton was NOT coming from the same place as Heston.

Overall, I enjoyed Rise and am glad my cohorts encouraged me to see it. I do think that between this and the other Apes films, this franchise has been played out. There are no new stories to tell, only reboots so I hope there won't be a sequel. I probably won't be as kind next time.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Awesomeness & Someone You Should Know

Happy Friday, yo! I want to kick off this weekend with positive things and share with you the awesomeness from my fellow blogger buds and friends.

My fellow Amber Quill folks, KC Kendricks and Rick R. Reed have new releases as well. Whoo Hoo!! KC's is called A Cat Named Hercules and Rick's is I Heart Boston Terriers They're part of an Amber Pax collection called Heavy Petting,
which also features fellow authors Christiane France with And The Cat Came Back, Deirdre O'Dare with Smoke and Spots and A. J. Llewellyn with Bunyip. This is a m/m story collection about men who find love through the unexpected interference of their non-human best friends.

Stephen Tremp's newest, Opening has dropped. Congratulations!!! Go and read this right now. And you also got to get his other brilliant novel, Breakthrough.

Melissa Sugar, from Have You Heard is running a fantabulous contest of epic proportions. Starting on the 29 of January and running through Feb, 29th (Leap Year). It's a incredible contest that aims to help spread the word about fellow bloggers whose own sites may not be as well known as others. The prizes are just stupendous so go and check it out. Help your fellow bloggers. Our community is the best.

The inaugural edition of the Vine Leaves Literary Journal has gone live. This is an amazing creation is the brainchild of Jessica Bell and Dawn Ius that takes the art of the vignette to new heights.

Captain Ninja himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh is over at Susan Roebuck's talking about successful blogging. The trailer for his soon-to-be-released CassaFire is up for voting tomorrow at You Gotta Read.

And for my You Should Know Fridays, I'm going to shine the spotlight on a wonderful friend to the Imaginarium, PK Hrezo. She has an awesome blog that is always full of positive thoughts and interesting, engaging posts. She posts about her passions, her writing and her fiction addiction. I love her blog and I know you will too.

Well, that's it for me. I'm hunkering down for an icy winter blast that will freeze me to my toenails. Doesn't stop me from craving ice cream. LOL 6 inches of snow and temps below zero, Oy! I may venture out to see Haywire, but that might have to wait until Sunday.

**Image is from Good Light Scraps.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Movies I Hate & Wish I'd Never Paid To See Part...Whatever

With all the hype surrounding David Fincher and his Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, as well as all the press he's received for The Social Network, it's time to break my 20 year vow of silence on perhaps the worst movie ever made in my opinion, Fincher's Alien 3. Where do I begin to describe the utter WTFery that is this movie? This film ruined what had been a sensational franchise, detonating it in one huge mushroom cloud of artsy, fartsy misguided nonsense, leaving Ripley dead and we the fans in a smoking wreckage from which we have never recovered. Hello, Alien Resurrection.

Who the hell thought it would be an awesome idea to have Fincher make his big-budget debut with this movie? Because yeah, making 80's music vids so qualified him to succeed James Cameron on a sci fi epic. To be fair, there were more script changes than winning lottery combinations. Why? What the hell was so hard? It's a fucking sci fi horror. You have alien monsters, people getting killed and a kick ass woman who takes them down. A simple, in-your-face formula that worked.

And it was fucked with it seven ways to Katmandu. Morphed into a weird, unrecognizable mess of shaved heads and psychotropic drugs. I went into this on a high reserved heretofore only for the original Star Wars sequels and well, Aliens. From the first frame, I wanted to put the beat down on Fincher and his producers, put their collective manly bits in a spice grinder. This was not my Ripley and not my ass-kicking sci fi movie. It was betrayal at the highest levels. Kill Hicks and Newt? Are you fucking kidding me? Set it on a prison planet? All right, we could go with that. But kill off Ellen Ripley? What exactly were they smoking/shooting up? And to think I paid top dollar on a midnight opening for this. Talk about How To Kill A Multi-million Dollar Franchise In 10 Frames Or Less.

Deep breath...I was spewing as I wrote this and had to do some serious editing. 20 years is a long time to keep rage inside. Maybe I can channel it into a story...Anyway, at least I can look forward to the return of Ridley Scott with his Alien prequel, Prometheus. And maybe a franchise can be reborn.

Friday, January 13, 2012

It's the A to Z Challenge!!!!

Happy Friday!! It's good to reach another weekend. Maybe I can have total fun instead of worrying about computer problems this time. LOL Anyway, today I wanted to kick off the weekend with some really good stuff. First, the big A to Z Challenge is coming this April, Whoo Hoo!! Second, I want to get back to my You Should Know Fridays by talking about some cool peeps you will love like I do.

Okay Imaginarians, if you haven't, pretty please check out the A to Z Challenge. Seriously, this has to be one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had since I started blogging. I met so many new people through this and made a whole host of friends that I treasure. They are the best! If you really want to reach out and connect with great people, this is the way to do it.

I know what you're thinking, 26 posts in 26 days...No way, Mel. I can't post that much. Yes. You. Can. It sounds daunting,and it is, believe me, I know. Last year I started off with a bang, even had the Gashlycrumb Tinies kick off my posts each day, but I stumbled like a rookie runner mid-race. I did not finish on time. I think my last post came during the second week of May, but it was all good. Arlee and the gang were there to keep me encouraged as I chugged through to the finish. But that will not be you. With a little planning, doing all these posts will be easier than you think.

All right, Mel, but what about all those bloggers? There is no way I could possibly visit all these people. Okay, you got me there. Last year, there were over 1300 participants (Zoinks!) which made for one huge-ass obstacle in getting around to the all the bloggers. However, the organizers heard and made some changes to smooth this all out. Check out the A to Z site for helpful hints. I also encourage you just to pace yourself. Try to visit as many as you can and don't worry about the numbers. You're ultimately here to explore and make friends. This is fun, a challenge, a fest, not a timed gauntlet run. The list of participants was left up long after the Challenge ended last year to give people the opportunity to keep on checking out blogs.

And now for the organizers. This year's team of sponsors is a tremendous group whom I consider real pillars of the blogging community. They are extraordinarily supportive and do so much for all of us. They absolutely rock in my book. And they happen to be my You Should Know Friday selections. Go to their blogs, follow them, they really know their stuff and they are just the best. I love their blogs and you will, too.

Arlee Bird Tossing It Out
Damyanti Biswas Amlokiblogs
Tina Downey Life Is Good
Alex J. Cavanaugh Alex J. Cavanaugh
D.L. Hammons Cruising Altitude 2.0
Jeremy Hawkins Retro-Zombie
Karen Jones Gowen Coming Down The Mountain
Shannon Lawrence The Warrior Muse
Matthew MacNish The QQQE Blog
Elizabeth Mueller Author Elizabeth Mueller
Jenny Pearson Pearson Report
Konstanz Silverbow No Thought 2 Small
Stephen Tremp Breakthrough Blogs

Now to sign up for this, go to Blogging From A To Z April Challenge starting on Monday, January 30. The Imaginarium would not be what it is without the Challenge and I absolutely encourage you to do it. It's fun, it's amazing and one hellagood time.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Some Mid Week Inspiration

My sister shared this really incredible video with me and I wanted to share it with you. The young women in this video exemplify sportsmanship and honor. They are an absolute inspiration and reminder that there are great people and blessings everywhere. I certainly had that brought home to me these last months. I feel incredibly blessed in my circle of friends and cannot thank everyone enough for propping me up when I needed it.

Watch Christian Videos and Read the Online Bible at GodVine.com

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I'm BAAAAACK (Well, mostly)

Whoo Hoo!!! Imaginarians, I am back. Let the chorus of Hallelujahs begin.

So what the eff happened?

Do not ever, EVER make the mistake of uninstalling Norton without their Uninstall Tool. It screws everything up. Big. Time. I could only operate in Safe Mode and I was panicked, well, freaking out, more like. Not good. I do not do well with tech. I called my friend, Dave and after he talked me down off the ledge, he picked me up, along with my PC and all its parts, then we decamped to his place. I have to say, he is truly one of the most incredible people I know.

Anyway, he set to work. A complete re-install was called for, which took like 5-6 hours, then we had to do all the updates for the system, which as it turned out, I needed like 457 of them. Thanks Windows Vista. I found out the hard way that if you have virus protection running, many of Vista's updates will fail, only it won't tell you they failed unless you are in the Window's Update screen. No, instead it'll go through the automatic updates, tell you stuff has been updated and let you move on.

We kept installing updates and 24 hours later, we were still finding them for my baby. What a nightmare! But, yesterday, after 48 hours, I finally, FINALLY, got the magical "There are no new updates." Now, it's just a matter of getting my software back and other programs as well as all the files that we copied to this external hard drive back onto my computer. It'll take some more time, but the hard stuff is done and I am operational.

The weekend wasn't a total loss, though. In between all of this, I did manage to catch the football games and have some good food and beer.

All of this taught me that on my dating profile, Must Be Computer Geek has replaced Sense of Humor as my Number 1 on What I Am Looking For In A Potential Mate.

So...I'm BAAAACK! And getting my groove on in a victory dance. I may film this, I'm so happy. LOL

Okay, One more thing before I go...

THANK YOU, DAVE!!! (standing on roof, shouting)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Another Short Post

I'm having my computer worked on today and I don't know what will happen. If I'm not back send a posse...lol, *fingers crossed, sick smile in place* Hopefully it will all work out, but if you need to get in touch with me, send a line to melbwrites@gmail.com, I will be able to check email from other computers as well as Facebook and Twitter which are on my side bar. Please be patient, I don't want to leave you all, but... *heaving sobs start* Until soon, to quote my favorite authors Sharon Lee and Steve Miller and their awesome Liaden Universe.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Call For Help

Very short post today, but a very important one. Candace from The Misadventures In Candyland is in need of our help. You all have helped me so much with your kind words and in other ways this year, that when I found out about Candace's plight, I wanted to do something to help. I understand will be taken down in 24 hours.

I know times are tough and our various situations are less than ideal, but even if you just repost or spread the word. She's an awesome friend to the blogging community and I love her attitude. I only wish I had seen this sooner. Thank you guys. You are all amazing. And thank you for all of the incredible, heartwarming comment you left on my Insecure Writers Post. That made my week. Hugs! I'll be back soon with more fun, I promise. Hugs to you my Imaginarians, my friends. :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Insecure Writers Support Group: It's A New Year & A New Beginning

It's time for the first IWSG post of this new year and I want to start off in a positive manner because I am trying to maintain mine. If you're new to the IWSG, please visit here and read all about this amazing group started by the always encouraging, Alex. J. Cavanaugh, friend and ardent supporter of writers and creative people everywhere. Plus, he's a sci fi and movie geek par excellence.

Being positive is difficult when it comes to writing, especially when we've gotten away from it because of overwhelming outside circumstances. It is hard as hell to be positive and keep the creative juices flowing then.

I admit, my friends, that I have not written a single syllable of fiction in six weeks. 6 weeks. Whew, writing it down here is like saying it out loud. I am relieved to come clean with you all. I let outside factors drag me down big time and once you go down that road, it is hard to turn around.

Now what do about that. Well, I'm starting by dedicating myself to writing some fiction every single day, whether it's a whole chapter or a few pages or even half a page. Some is better than none is my credo for now. I know there are those who will say you must do a specific page count if you want to get anywhere, but I just want to get back to it. Period. Even a paragraph is better than absolutely nothing.

I am also organizing my story ideas and projects. Thinking like an author with contracts to fulfill (I'm being positive!) helps to maintain that writing frame of mind. Cleaning my writing space is another. I have let other things creep into my authorial realm...bills, to do lists, etc. Even if you use your writing space for other paperwork, that stuff should have its own drawer so it's not visible as you try to write.

These small steps will hopefully start me on my road back to fiction writing. It's a new year and a new beginning!

And so ends my post for this first IWSG post for 2012. I wish you all good writing this year and may 2012 see our writing dreams come true.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Off With A Bang: An Award And Some Kink

Well, now didn't that title just get you going? LOL It;s the first day of a brand new year and I am starting things off with a dose of red hot awesome sauce. First, I wan to say that I hope you all celebrated with style whether it involved doing something quiet or a Saturnalian revelry of epic proportions. If the revelry is the case, please email me the salacious details. ;)

Jeremy, ofiZombie Lover and jmh digital has graciously gifted me with the Zombie Rabbit Award. Isn't it wicked cool?

And now for that kink. You know were dying to hear about this. ;)

So I was looking for something different to read as my 2011 wound to a close when this naughty little number caught my eye. Kink and the City: An Englishman In New York is a salacious memoir that is also an honest, irreverent look at the insular world of kink and BDSM. John Smith with his engaging, tongue-in-cheek style takes the reader on a voyeuristic journey into a realm that is misunderstood and often mocked by those who have never entered its gates.

As an erotica writer, I found myself by turns impressed, laughing out loud and simply sitting there with my jaw agape. He spares no detail and shares everything from play times to techniques in single tail whipping along with a veritable glossary of terms to expand one's knowledge of this world.

A subversive, edgy work with an almost philosophical air, it is also an engrossing satire the likes of which I have never read before. Most definitely not a book for the average reader. But, if you are willing to set aside preconceived notions and open your minds, you are in for one hellagood, entertaining reading experience.