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.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Cool Award...Thanks, Maynard!

Yo! I'm finally posting again. About time, right? I can hear all the "Geez, Mel, where you been?" Well, I had some dental surgery last week and it was not pretty. I'm still a bit out of it, but I missed you all. Anyway, a few weeks ago, my awesome blog buddy and friend, Maynard over at Maynard's Horror Movie Diary, tapped me for the 7X7 Link Award. I was in the midst of the Big A to Z and moving so I did not get to properly acknowledge this. I am so touched by this and feel just awful that I haven't said anything before now. Anyway, to accept this fine accolade, I have to first tell you some things that not many people outside my immediate circle know. Since I blab about pretty much everything here, what don't you all know...LOL I'm NOT going into those sorts of details, minds out of the sewer! ;D

Now let me see what don't you know about me...

I was on the pom pom team in high school. Yes, I was one of those girls who entertained the masses by shaking my booty at halftime. I've still got rhythm, I'll have you know. I just require pomegranate martinis or other  alcoholic inducements to put on my boogie shoes. ;)

I bowl like Fred Flinstone. Yes, I do the whole twinkle toes hippety hop turning thing. And my friends say I wiggle my ass just before I release the ball. So yeah, come bowling with me and you'll get a good laugh. And hey, those moves garner me a lot of strikes and spares, so you might want me on your team. I'm just saying...:)

I cannot drink hot things. My coffee must be iced, my soup lukewarm. I have been known to drink milkshakes and other frozen beverages while standing outside in the snow at football games.

I moved across country from Chicago to Seattle with less than 700 dollars to my name. Pawned everything when I got there and was nearly homeless.

I prefer to eat things with a fork. I will not use a spoon unless absolutely necessary. Yes, my peas get eaten with a fork.

My favorite food in all the land...Blueberries. Oh my gawd do I love blueberries. I'll eat whole pints myself at one sitting. And do not ask me to share them. I will go all South Side your ass.

And now I must link to posts that fit these criteria:

Most Beautiful
An Original Rhyme By Me  This is the one time I put up an original poem and bared my inner poet to Internet. Loved the comments here.

Most Helpful
My Insecure Writers Support Group post from December 2011 I talked about staying true to yourself and your writing voice. I've had a lot of emails about this since I first posted it.

Most Popular
C Is For Cargasms This was my entry for C in last year's A to Z. I cannot believe the sheer volume of visits this piece still gets.

Most Controversial
Men and Women...Just Friends? I had a really great discussion going on this one. I wrote it in response to Jason Bateman saying that men and women could never be just platonic friends.

Most Surprisingly Successful
TV's Bad Ass Bitches: Fiona Glenanne It blows me away every time I see more hits for this piece. Who knew the Fi love was so strong?

Most Underrated
In Celebration of Banned Book Week I thought sure this one would get more traffic, but it did have some inspiring comments and a great discussion. 

Most Pride Worthy
Melissa's Horror Film Survival Rules I am a horror film junkie and I had so much fun writing this piece. I still laugh just thinking about it.

And finally...I link to seven bloggers

These are some awesome bloggers I think you will love. :)

C M Brown She's a hellacool writer with a series called The Protector
Cat Lavoie at Catenabi  Chronicles Cat's brilliant and her debut novel Breaking the Rules drops this August
Russell at 1:37 Exactly He's got an amazing film site with lots of awesome discussion
Julie at What Else Is Possible She is just awesome and I love, love her style
Maurice at The Geek Twins A geek's paradise for sure. Maurice has a wild, engaging site and champions all things geek. Whoo Hoo!
M Hufstader at Feed Me A Stray Cat She shoots from the hip, giving you her honest opinion on films. Once you visit, you'll be hooked.
Vics at Hairnets and Hopes. She is best cheerleader and blog buddy, always supporting others. She's just launched Sketcher Girl Studios. Go Vics!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Author Spotlight: Cat Connor

It's Happy Hump Day, Imaginarians and have I got a treat for you. The awesomely brilliant and engaging mystery writer, Cat Connor is here with us today. She hails from New Zealand and is the author of four Byte novels. I recently interviewed her about her career and her new release, Flashbyte. Enjoy...

1. Tell us a little about your latest, Flashbyte. It sounds very intriguing, a story I probably won't be able to put down.

Flashbyte is the fourth byte novel, and it goes a little something like this:

Woken by the news that she’d been strangled in a parking lot, SSA Conway knew it was going to be an interesting day.

The incident escalated into a week from hell with bank robberies, snipers, truly bizarre packages, and more reports of her death. What Ellie did not expect was old friends (good and bad) reappearing, see-sawing with more than the usual amount of kickass energy. Just so Delta A didn’t get bored, the universe tossed in an extraordinary rendition, lost memory, and a visit to the past that anchored the present.

2. Who or what inspired you to write? Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
If you talked to my friends (those who knew me when I was a teenager) they’d tell you they always knew I’d be writer because I was always writing. It’s funny because I don’t remember writing that much. Or I don’t think I do… which might be different. I have fond memories of writing with my best friend and of getting some pretty awesome feedback from various creative works I churned out in high school but I didn’t think I would be a writer.

What inspired me to write, well, I had nothing decent to read. It really was that simple. Most of the women depicted in fiction were pathetic, screaming, cannon fodder. I took offense. I’m a woman and I am quite capable of taking care of myself and others, so why weren’t real women starring in fiction? I don’t mean it in a feminist way either. I’m all in favor of people holding doors etc. That’s a common courtesy not an inference of weakness.

Moving on, I wanted to read a story with a real rounded female character and one who was likable. It seemed fictional women were either pathetic or evil bitches as I was growing up. Neither sat well with me. Neither echoed the women in my life. So when I started writing (to amuse myself) I wanted a strong main character. And that is what inspired me to write.
Of course now, we have quite a few to choose from and that’s awesome!

3. Do you have a particular routine when you write? How do you keep your creative juices flowing?

Routine? Yes, let’s call it a haphazard routine. I start work before the kids get up in the morning, accompanied by Classic Hits - so I don’t forget the time. Generally, early mornings are relegated to email, social network, and if I have time reading work from the day before. Once the kids are at school and Romeo is walked, I settle down to write or do interviews - whatever is the most pressing. I move from the radio to my music.

Music helps me focus. Certain songs will instantly transport me to Ellie’s world. Depending what I’m writing, as in which type of scene, my music choice varies (but not much, work music is work music!) it tends to be Bon Jovi, Lorenza Ponce, Kevin Costner and Modern West. Sometimes Ellie demands something else, and then I have to go searching through CD’s or iTunes!

How I keep my creative juices flowing is mostly with music but sometimes other things work better. I find that if I’m just not getting a scene then watching an episode of Human Target or NCIS helps. Sometimes there is nothing else for it but to walk away and wash dishes. (Or something else that required zero thought.) If it’s really hard for me to sit down and write because I’m just not in the right headspace - then I’ll take Romeo for a long walk, clean the house, bake, and play ‘Bounce’ really loud and maybe hang out on twitter until I feel like doing some work.

4. What was the best piece of writing advice you have ever received? What would you say to a group of aspiring writers about your experiences in the publishing world?
I’m about to start a writing group at our city library. Which I am super excited about. I get to host the group. (How cool is that?) I’m going to get to answer these in person, so this is kinda like a rehearsal for me.

The best piece of advice was “write another book” and that came from Jeffrey Deaver. We were talking about a situation that we had both experienced and that was his advice. He was right. Everything worked out and by the time I got my rights back for my first novel, I had another book ready to go.

To aspiring writers I would say - Be very sure of what you want. It’s going to get hard. It’s going to rip your heart out. It’s going to be the most demoralizing experience possible. You will want to quit. You will feel like crap.

But, when it works, its one helluva buzz.

5. What is next for you?

I’ve been asked to write a short story for a really fun anthology - which I have started and I am enjoying.
The 5th byte novel - Soundbyte - was submitted to my publisher a few weeks ago. Playing the waiting game at the moment. (Nerves? Oh hell yes.) I’m also working on a new byte novel, which has no name. I’m hoping it will find a name and won’t be unnamedbyte forever. It’s fun and there is a new character.
And, I spent some time tweaking a New Zealand mystery novel, which needs more work so I’ll get to that at some stage. My enthusiasm comes and goes for that book, I’ll get there.

From Flashbyte: Chapter 4, Return to Sender:

There were two holes in the front windshield. Cracks radiated outward, causing the windshield to resemble crazy paving. I shrank down in the seat and released my Glock from its holster. Peering between the front seats, I saw remnants of the back windshield hanging in the frame. I grabbed the radio and opened a channel.

“Break-Break. This is SSA Conway. Shots fired. Officer needs backup. 7-Eleven 9511 Blake Lane. Over.”

“Go for Conway. This is Officer Konstram, I’m two minutes away. Over.”

As I depressed the button to reply, another shot rang out. The passenger side-window blew all over the car interior.

I dropped the radio and opened my door. Josh Konstram’s voice followed me as I slipped out the car, 

“Agent under fire. All cars. Agent under fire.”

I could hear the radio going nuts. I wasn’t going back in to answer it. I was much safer outside using the car body as a shield. I yelled into the store. “Get down, there’s a gunman!” People who had been standing there, bewildered, dove for cover.

My phone rang. I scanned for the shooter. Another car near me was hit with several rounds. A bullet lodged in the front of the building; moments later one of the plate- glass windows shattered and fell inward. I had no target and it was frustrating not being able to shoot back.

My phone was still ringing.

I saw police lights.

It seemed that my phone wasn’t going to stop. I ducked lower, crouching as close to the ground as I could, by the hood of my car and hit the speaker button.

“Conway?” Kurt said.

“Doc, where are you?”

“Coming around the back of the building by the dumpster.”

“I think the shooter is in the parking lot across the road, maybe in a car.” I said and disconnected.
Sirens screamed, bouncing off the building and deafening me. Lights flashed, police cars converged on the area. I wanted to move. I heard a whistle from behind me. When I glanced back I saw Doc peering around the corner of the building.

Another shower of glass rained down upon me.

New Zealander Cat Connor is the author of The_byte series of FBI thrillers published by Rebel ePublishers. So far the series contains Killerbyte, Terrorbyte, Exacerbyte, and Flashbyte - her latest thriller about the life of SSA Ellie Conway. Her first novel, Killerbyte, was a finalist in the 2010 EPIC awards.
Cat spends her days writing with her rescue greyhound - Romeo, keeping her company.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

First Loves: A Blogfest

Happy Monday, yo! I'm kicking off my week with Captain Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh's First Loves Blogfest. Here we admit to our first film, first band, first book and first person we loved. How intriguing is this? Are you all set to read my firsts?

First Movie: 
E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial It was the first movie I had seen without my siblings in tow and the story of this poor alien so far from home just wormed its way into my heart and never left. I still sob when the little guy breaks his connection to Elliot and "dies."

First Band:
Duran Duran were the gods of my teenage idolatry. Hungry Like the Wolf, Girls on Film, Rio, Union of the Snake...Those tunes still get me going. Sure, I grew up and moved on to Aerosmith, but Simon LeBon, Nick Rhodes, Roger, John and Andy Taylor will always hold a place in my heart. Here's a bit of the Fab Five for your listening pleasure...


First Book:

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. It introduced me to the wonderful world of Narnia and I still reread the whole series on occasion.I mentioned in an earlier post that this was also the book that inspired me to become a writer.

First Love:

Oh man, I have had so many hard crushes and a wild, passionate fling or three where I thought I was in love, but no. I can honestly say that in all my years I have never been in real, honest romantic love. Ever. My first hard crush was Jimmy, the older brother of a classmate. He was a dazzler and made my heart beat faster when I was 13. Do I regret never being in love? Sure. But it's not like you can plan your feelings. Maybe one day, before I hit 97...Who knows?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Retro Zombie And Some Great News

Happy Friday, my Imaginarians. Hope you all have and are having a terrific day wherever you are. First, I'm rolling out with some incredibly cool news. I received word that my story, Nathan's Angel, just garnered a 4 Heart review from Ana at The Romance Studio.  To read her incredible review, click here.

Hear that? I'm shaking my tail feathers in a happy dance. I should probably record this and give you all a good laugh...

Now on with the real show. I had the opportunity to read one of the most unique books ever. I'm talking Retro Zombie by the ultra cool Jeremy Hawkins, A to Z co-host extraordinaire and all around awesome blog buddy. Here is my review:

"This book is an incredibly unique reading and visual experience, a provocative work that will leave you talking for hours once you've turned that last page. How to describe it? It is like reading a psychedelic guitar riff. The artwork is a wild trip through a carnival fun house cemetery, each image macabre and trippy,

Accompanying these intense visuals is some wicked brilliant free verse. The words painted pictures in my mind's eye  ran the gamut from beautiful and frenetic to sensual and ugly. I felt like I was sitting in some smoky beat club, sipping absinthe with Kerouac and Ginsberg. Retro Zombie is a visionary work that will blow your mind."

If you love horror, particularly served up literary style, then you must check this book out. Even if you're not into horror, I think you'll be impressed with the images and the verse. Here are the buy links:

Create Space

And check out the superlative trailer 

Have a great weekend and stay tuned for more good things tomorrow. :

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Reflections On The A to Z

Here I am, only two days late,  for the Reflections Blog Hop. Look at that awesome survivor badge by Jeremy at Retro Zombie. Whoo hoo! We did it!

This year was a challenge for me with a big move and starting a new job assignment, but those difficulties aside, this was an amazing year and I am proud to have finished on time with my posting. I'm still playing catch up on my comments, though, so I apologize profusely to my awesome visitors. You all rock!

I, alas, did not make it to nearly as many blogs as I wanted. I think I hit 5-10 a day, but thanks to the A to Z site leaving the list up, I am going to make it through the rest of the blogs over the next months. I did meet some incredible people over the last month and I am looking forward to building on the initial connections. I was also happy to reconnect with people I had met last year. I am proud of all the challengers this year and I think that the team of co-hosts did an incredible job of keeping things organized, doing all the awesome promotion and having those helpful posts on the challenge's web site.

Speaking of which, the A to Z site was genius. It really helped me a lot to have a home base to go to. Plus, it freed up the co-hosts so they didn't have to have all the info on their personal sites.

There was no real down side, except for the sheer size, but that is workable by leaving the list up. I am also not a fan of word verification. I don't mind the blog owner comment approval on sites, that's cool, but to have to try and read those words... I am old, people, and my eyes kept running those letters together. So many times I was denied and had to do it again. It got very frustrating at times.

Other than that, this was an awesome Challenge and I am participating again next year without reservation. Lee at Tossing It Out conceived of a truly wonderful idea to bring us all together and I thank him. I also want to thank the co-hosts once more, who did a most excellent job of shepherding us through this incredible event. You all are mighty pillars of this blogging community and it would not be the same without you.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Guest Author: Peg Herring

Imaginarians, today my blog is being taken over by the awesome mystery writer Peg Herring. She brings us a brilliant interview with her character, Seamus, a detective who works for the dead since he's well, dead. How intriguing is that? I'm gonna have to pick this series up right now.

Thanks, Melissa, for sharing space in the Imaginarium!

A Dead Guy Talks about You-Part 3

Interviewer: We’re back with Seamus, our dead detective, who’s been telling us what it’s like to return from beyond the pale to investigate for the dead. Seamus, you were telling me earlier about how difficult it is to adjust to being back here. What’s the hardest thing to get used to?

Seamus: The worst thing for me is how slowly people move. Interviewer: Everyone, or just some people? Seamus: Everyone. See, the dead are free of the weight of mortality, so returning is always a shock. Living people are used to gravity and how hard it pulls on the body. You’re used to slogging across a room, dragging yourself up stairs, and countering the force of physics so you don’t roll down those same stairs as you come back down. We have to get used to it again, every time.

Interviewer: What else is difficult?

Seamus: There’s lots of noise around you all, but there’s also noise inside the human body. Your hearts beating, your lungs pumping air in and out, your feet scraping along, stuff like that. Interviewer: I guess we ignore those things. Seamus: Yeah, when was the last time you listened to yourself breathe? It’s only when you don’t hear it for a while that you notice, and that’s why cross-backs are bothered by it. All that commotion makes it hard for us to hear the host’s thoughts.

Interviewer: What do you do about it?

Seamus: Get used to it. We’ve got lots of time to adjust, since we don’t sleep. I generally spend the time my hosts are resting getting used to their rhythms. Once I’ve spent a few hours with them, I get myself in sync with them. But some of you are tricky. Even your thoughts are noisy sometimes.

Interviewer: Noisy thoughts?

Seamus: Some people never stop, you know? Their minds run all the time, thinking about stuff. Lots of times it’s getting ahead: how to make money, how to get somebody to notice them. They wear me out.

Interviewer: Well, a person has to think about such things if she is going to succeed.

Seamus: Then remind yourself once in a while to think about what it really is you want. If it’s money or getting famous, then I guess you’ve gotta keep after it. But most of us don’t really want either of those things as much as we get caught up in the hype.

Interviewer: Hype?

Seamus: I can’t explain it. Life sorta drags you along, and you forget to question what people say is good or necessary. Do you really need extra-full eyelashes? Or washboard abs? Do you really want those things, or is somebody trying to tell you what you want so they can sell you what they want you to buy?

Interviewer: Now you’re waxing philosophical, Seamus. Are you a minimalist?

Seamus: I’m not even sure what that is. I’m just saying you have to take stock once in a while, you know? Ask yourself if what you’re chasing after and thinking about all the time is what you really want. If more of my hosts did that, they’d go to sleep easier at night, and I wouldn’t have to put up with their restlessness. It’s exhausting.

Interviewer: The host’s anxieties wear on you?

Seamus: Yeah. Thoughts of a host under stress are like a flood rushing along, pushing everything in front of it. We have a tiny spot in there, inside your heads, and sometimes it feels like those thoughts are going to overwhelm us. It’s like we’re on an island, and the tide keeps rising, making our spot smaller and less secure.

Interviewer: It sounds horrible. How do you deal with it?

Seamus: (with a grim smile) I have to. It’s my job.

What a cool interview. Thanks Peg. Here's some more details on Peg and her amazing work.

Schedule: Peg Herring’s Blog Tour for May (and one post in June) consists of a mix of interviews with Seamus, the Dead Detective, and posts on writing. The previous stop was at http://travelswithkaye.blogspot.com, and tomorrow’s post will be at http://nancyjcohen.wordpress.com. A complete schedule is posted at Peg’s blog, It’s A Mystery to Me. When the tour is over (June 11th), the complete Seamus interview will be posted on Peg’s blog. Prizes: People who comment on any blog post on the tour will be entered in drawings for several prizes: Dead Detective T-shirts, copies of THE DEAD DETECTIVE AGENCY and DEAD FOR THE MONEY (paperback or e-books available), and the chance to be a character in the third of the series DEAD FOR THE SHOW. Multiple winners will be drawn.

Bio: Peg Herring lives in Michigan and writes two series, the critically acclaimed Simon & Elizabeth (Tudor) Mysteries (Five Star Publishing) and the award-winning Dead Detective Mysteries (LL-Publications). When not writing, Peg enjoys directing musical groups, gardening, and talking about writing.


Saturday, May 5, 2012


Welcome to the weekend! Yay, we made it. :) So this weekend is my big blog swap and taking over here at the Imaginarium is my great friend, Russell from the bad ass film site 1:37 Exactly. He and one of his most brilliant guest reviewers, Rainbow, are talking about one of their favorite films, Rounders. I will be over at Russell's site as soon as I see Avengers and write up a review. So without further ado...Enjoy their take on this Matt Damon/Edward Norton classic.

"Listen, here's the thing. If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you ARE the sucker" - Mike McDermott 

I can't tell you how many times I've watched Rounders over the years. I've simply lost count. It became the movie I would put on when I didn't know what else to watch. When no other title would jump out at me from the DVD shelf, it became my go-to movie. I could always rely on Rounders. If you haven't yet seen Rounders then you should stop reading this and go and watch it NOW. If you want a little more information, here's a brief overview.

Mike McDermott (Matt Damon) is a very talented poker player who turns his back on the game to focus on making his way through Law School but is slowly drawn back into the poker world when he must stand by a lifelong friend, Lester "Worm" Murphy (Edward Norton) whose gambling debts are reaching dangerous levels.

There is a good chance that I am going to talk about some detailed aspects of the film so I do suggest that you watch it first before reading any further.

The first time I came across Rounders was when I was working in Blockbuster Video and I'm pretty sure that I watched it because it had Matt Damon in it and I liked what he did in Good Will Hunting and The Rainmaker but I don't believe I really knew Edward Norton at that time, although I did go back and watch Primal Fear as a result of his performance in this movie (that's a discussion for another day though).

Watching Rounders is akin to reading a Shakespearean play, not because it's set 400 years ago but because of the themes discussed; Man vs Human Nature, Lust, Betrayal, Friendship, Romance, Loyalty, and because it is about a man's struggle "to thine own self be true".

My favourite theme of Rounders is that of Man's (or Mike's) struggle against his own Inner-Nature and how he must not only accept but embrace who he is in order to move on with his life. A man is only able to fool himself so long before he ultimately realises who he is no matter how hard he tries to fight it.

Mike McDermott is a man who is a poker player at heart and a damn good one at that. When he let his own grandiose visions of living large in Las Vegas blind him at the table at Teddy KGB's place, the ensuing fall to reality is a hard one that results in Mike turning his back on who he is. However no matter how hard he tries to be someone else and pretend that the card table means nothing to him, the desire to be back in the chair with chips in his hands is only just beneath the surface. Just like a siren's song it doesn't take much for the desire to come back...

After trying to go "straight" for nine months with no poker tables and fulfilling a promise to his girlfriend to steer clear of his previous lifestyle, things get bumpy as Mike begins to realise that he is fighting his natural instinct. There are various situations and characters that fan the flames of desire and reawaken his natural (poker) instinct; sitting in on the judge's poker table, helping Worm get set up in various games, walking into venues where he previously used to command a presence, and seeing old acquaintances makes Mike realise who is.

Once Mike embraces who he is and steps back into the world of high aces, river cards, and straight flushes, he carries himself with more caution and direction than earlier in the film. This change in attitude not only results in a positive outcome with Teddy KGB but Mike has fully realised what he wants in life and nothing will stop him from going after it. Johnny Chan, look out! 

Mike's journey in Rounders is mirrored by Professor Abe Petrovsky (Martin Landau) who in some of the film's best scenes explains that when he was a young boy he was to become a Rabbi but after studying the Talmud he never truly saw God. Despite the crushing disappointment felt by his parents, Abe knew he needed to be honest with himself and follow his path towards his destiny. Unlike Mike, Abe did not try to fool himself (or anyone else) by being anything other than honest with himself and who he was.

My two favourite quotes delivered during McDermott's and Petrovsky's conversations that sum up the themes of Man vs Human Nature are;

Professor Petrovsky: We can't run from who we are. Our destiny chooses us

Mike McDermott:  If you had it to do all over again, knowing what would happen, would you make the same choice? 
Professor Petrovsky: What choice?

The characters of Mike McDermott and Lester "Worm" Murphy are mirror images of each other, at the same time both similar and opposite. When the film begins, the two characters are representative of opposite sides of the spectrum - McDermott has turned his back on his desire for card playing and is fighting his natural instinct, while Worm has embraced his inner instinct to the extreme where he plays to only win, generally involving "shady" techniques.

Worm is a man who is motivated by the need to make as much money as possible in order to prevent his legs from being broken, or worse. It's this motivation which causes him to use whatever edge he can to attain victory. However you get the impression that even if he wasn't in need of the money that he would still be employing various techniques to win each hand. 

"You always think you can beat the game straight up. That's not me. I told you, I'm always gonna look for that edge. Always"

In the end, Worm is the one who runs away from his problems and Mike (having grown over the course of the film) stays and faces Teddy KGB head on. 

Rounders is a film of multiple layers, complex themes, and involving characters, all set against the legal and illegal world of poker. Directed by John Dahl (Californication) and written by David Levien and Brian Koppelman, Rounders is a film that easily makes my Top 10 Films of all time.

My Final Thoughts; Know who you are. Don't let anyone try to tell you otherwise. Live your life. Go chase your dreams.

"First prize at the World Series of Poker is a million bucks. Does it have my name on it? I don't know. But, I'm gonna find out."

Rainbow's View

Rounders has a bit of a Good Will Hunting feel to it. A troubled guy faces his issues head on and may or may not come out on top and all the while revolving around a girl. Now ‘how do you like them apples?’ So, did the movie speak to me? Oh absolutely. I get cards. I’m that girl that goes to the casino with her man, but rather than sit at the back and watch it all unfold, I’m the girl at the table, taking my mans money – along with everyone else’s... and loving every second of it. 


The basis for the plot for Rounders is based around Mike. Mike is a law student by day and professional poker player by night.  His skill is to read his competition and bet accordingly. Mike meets a girl, Jo. Jo bails him out from a rather large Poker debt in exchange for him to quit. Basically he chooses the girl over the game. Until his friend Worm is released from jail, and the games begin...


The lead role of Mike is played by Matt Damon. Ever since I saw Good Will Hunting I’ve had a soft spot for Damon; and again seeing him on the big screen as Jason Bourne. So to go back in time and watch Rounders was quite a vintage delight. Damon embodies Mike with elements that make you believe that he really is Mike. The screen time he shares with Martin Landau as Abe Petrovsky is like watching a nephew and his favourite uncle, endearingly emotive yet with a distinct hierarchy and strong element of mutual respect.

Jo -The Girlfriend
Gretchen Mol plays Mike’s girlfriend, Jo.  Mol’s role is an interesting one.  While I want to understand her place and why she says/does things, at the same time, I dislike her presence on screen.  There seems to be a little disconnect of chemistry between Mol and Damon.  It just doesn’t seem to click. This is perhaps an error in casting as opposed to the character itself.  

Edward Norton plays Worm. An old school friend of Mike’s, who Mike feel he was indebted to.  Norton plays the role well as a gambling junkie always in need of a win, a hit, a score. Mike, like all of us, must go through the motions of what to do when an old friend leaches off your success and your reputation.  This alone hit a little close to home for me, so I related to the affiliation between Mike and Worm. I think everyone can relate to this one way or another, whether you’ve been the leach or the leached.I think the name says it all.  


Noone named KGB can be a good-guy right?  Well you’d be correct.  KGB, played by John Malkovich is the dodgy Russian kingpin that has a very strong affiliation for his Oreos.  Some of the best lines of the movie are delivered by Malkovich. Just don’t touch his Oreos.  

All the while you want Mike to come out on top you hope he does it with copious wads of dollars in his pocket.  Don’t we always want the struggling student to make it in the end? Overall the movie was just one of those that’s easy to watch. It doesn’t have you on the end of your seat but, like some of the other movies of its time, just speak to you. 

What do you all think? Agree with Russell and Rainbow? A bit meh? Haven't seen it in years? Or abhor the very essence of this film? Speak your mind below, Imaginarians. Tell us what you think.

I will be at 1:37 Exactly a bit later as I will be discussing The Avengers and I have yet to see it. Sold out! Insert Yosemite Sam curses here. 

Friday, May 4, 2012


This week has been one of the craziest I've had. Between the overtime at work, appointments, errands and other myriad things that have cropped up, I don't which way is up, down, sideways or circles, I am so overwhelmed right now. I think I've been averaging about four hour of sleep a night. I have to play catch up, so if you have visited me since Monday and I haven't responded, please forgive me. I do appreciate all your amazing comments and for taking the time to visit my little corner of the blogosphere.

Some  kick ass news, this weekend I am doing a blog swap with my good friend Russell, from 1:37 Exactly. He and his coolest guest reviewer, the brilliant Rainbow, are taking over the Imaginarium with their discussion and reviews of the incredible Matt Damon/Edward Norton poker flick Rounders. This is a great film and I know you all will thoroughly enjoy the conversation. In the meantime, I will be taking over Russell's site with my review/discussion of Avengers.

Next week, I will be bringing you a fabulous author spotlight, a review of a killer book and a stupendously thoughtful award for yours truly from one of my fave horror and movie people, Maynard from Maynard's Horror Movie Diary.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Insecure Writers Support Group: Motivation

It's time once again for the Insecure Writers Support Group. Founded by the awesome Captain Ninja himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh, we writers come out in support of each other and to air our fears, insecurities and other inner demons we are wrestling with. We also offer encouragement to each other.

Motivation is a very hard thing to come by sometimes. We get burned out, stressed and find ourselves dealing with a myriad of problems that seems to suck our creativity right out of our veins like a vampire.

But I've found that when I struggle to get words on paper or rather computer screen, I take myself out to do something really creative to spark my imagination like going to the Art Institute or seeing a play in the theater. I sometimes also use another art form like jewelry making and painting to relax me and re-ignite my fire.

What do you do to keep your creativity flowing when it has ground to a halt?