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.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Is For Dorothy Arzner

Today kicks off the Awesome and Incredible A to Z Challenge. Yay!!! It was started by the most amazing man, Arlee Bird. Thank you, Arlee, for bringing our community together with this wonderful event. A huge, warm welcome to all first timers here and of course, all my friends. I love having you here and it makes me smile that you have chosen to visit my little corner of the blogosphere. You can visit my fellow participants by clicking on the button at the top right of my sidebar. Have fun!

My theme this year is Powerful Women In Hollywood. I am including trailblazers among this crowd and first up is Dorothy Arzner. Her directing career spanned the 1920's to the early 1940's and she was the only woman working as a director at this time.She is also the woman with the greatest number of directorial titles to her name with 21.

Growing  up in L.A. where her father owned a restaurant frequented by celebrities, Dorothy actually first dreamed of being a doctor.To that end she attended the University of Southern California. During her time there, World War I broke out and Dorothy left to be an ambulance driver near the Western Front. After her experiences during the war, she left her pursuit of medicine to concentrate instead on making films.

She joined Paramount Studios in 1922 as a stenographer, then scriptwriter. From there, she moved quickly into film editing where her first assignment was Blood and Sand starring Rudolph Valentino. Impressed by her work on the film, director James Cruze hired her as editor and writer for some of his films. Dorothy directed her first film in 1927, Fashions For Women. It was a financial success for the studio and led to other projects. She directed silent film star Clara Bow in her first talkie, The Wild Party. Set in a woman's college, the film projected strong-willed, independent and free-thinking women. These female character types were a hallmark of Arzner's work. Another theme to her work were the underlying lesbian tones, which were promptly villified after the Hays Code went into effect. In 1932 she left Paramount to pursue her craft as an independent director. During the 30's she worked with such  notable actresses as Katherine Hepburn (Christopher Strong) Joan Crawford (The Bride Wore Red) and Rosalind Russell (Craig's Wife). In 1936 she became the first woman member of the Directors Guild of America.

She retired from directing feature films in 1943 and went on to direct television commercials, produced plays and eventually became a professor at the UCLA film school where she taught until her death in 1979.

Fun Fact: Dorothy is the great aunt of actress Laurie Metcalf (Roseanne, Big Bang Theory) and member of The Steppenwolf Theater company.


Okay, last night was the season finale of Walking Dead and Oh.My. GOOOODDDD!!!!! So much happened. We said good-bye to Milton, poor little misunderstood geek. I really gave him a hard time and was oh so wrong about him. First, he got his ass beat by the Gov, who figured out it was Milton that BBQ'd the walkers. Then, when he won't kill Andrea, the Gov stabs him to death, told him was going to kill Andrea one way or another. Props to Milty for hanging on as long as he could to give Andrea, handcuffed to the dental chair, a fighting chance. Governor Pyscho Pants wasn't finished, though. Oh no siree Bob he wasn't. He took Team Woodbury to annihilate Team Prison and when they got their asses kicked, Old boy finally drop-kicked what was left of his sanity and killed Team Woodbury. And that little bitch Allen bought it with a head shot by the Gov during the slaughter. Buh and Bye.

Now we come to Carl.  He killed a kid from Woodbury during the fight even though the teen was surrendering to Carl and Hershel. Hershel may have been horrified and I was for about a second. But Carl had to put that kid down. He was defending his baby sister, whom Rick had entrusted to Carl. When it's babies, there is no hesitation. Shoot first, then ask what's going on. I'm pissed at Rick for even trying to take Carl to task over it. I mean, didn't the Ricktator put down two guys, no hesitation, at the bar back in Season 2 when it appeared they were a threat? Hello Pot, it's Kettle. And Carl coldly pointed out that any attempt at mercy or even a hesitation gets you killed. He failed to kill the walker that came back and killed Dale, Rick failed to kill prisoner Andrew and Andrew got Laurie killed. Rick failed to kill the Governor at their meeting and look what happened. Sad and scary, but Carl is right.

Moving on to Andrea. I have never really liked this woman at all. She was showing signs of getting cool, but then she banged the Crazy Train. I wanted her gone, gone, gone. I got my wish, but she went out with dignity and took walker Milton with her. I thought I would be doing the Happy Dance, but it was kind of sad. And we end with the remnants of Woodbury moving into the prison while the Gov and his minions are on the run.  Should be an epic Season 4. I can't wait for October!


There you have it, my A to Z and my Walking Dead round up. Did everyone have a good weekend?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Last Post Before The Big A To Z

So Monday begins the Big A To Z Challenge and I am no where near ready, hopefully I can get some posts done this weekend. I know I won't be able to schedule them. For some reason Blogger never seems to understand that function for me. I've tried everything, but to no avail. Blogger thinks I need to do all my posts in person. Bastard! To all of my fellow challengers, the best of luck to you and I hope you all make some fantastic new connections and friends. We really are a fantastic community and I am very happy to be a part of this great event with you. 

Never fear, its not all about the challenge. On Monday I will have my usual Walking Dead round up. You know I could not forget about that. I mean, the big season finale is HERE!!! I cannot wait to see how they are going to wind this season up. However, I'm so sad it will begone til October...

I want to wish you all a Happy Easter and hope you have a great time this weekend. My family is going their own way this year and I'll be watching movies and relaxing til Dead time. Ahh  Bliss... ;)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Monday Reveal, Walker Round Up And Other Things

It's Monday again, Imaginarians and this chica does not want to move. I wish I could have remained all snugged up in my bed, but I got to pay my bills. I did have a great weekend, though. I finally caught up on Vikings and finished The Hungry Ocean by Linda Greenlaw. It's about the lobstermen of Maine. What a great, great book. For those of  you who aren't familiar with her, she was one of the first female captains of the Gloucester sword boat fleet and captained the Hannah Boden, sister ship of the ill-fated Andrea Gail from Sebatian Junger's book Perfect Storm. An amazing and strong woman. In fact she is the perfect seque into my next topic, my A to Z theme reveal.

My awesome friend Mina Lobo from Some Dark Romantic and the equally incredible David Macauley from Brits in the USA co-hosted  a blog hop last week in which the participants revealed the themes for the big A to Z Challenge. I am horribly, horribly late, but I wanted to participate any way. Last year my theme was strong women and this year is a further exploration of that theme.  I am posting about Powerful Women Of Hollywood, examining the women who influence film and television through their writing, directing, producing, acting and musical talents and expertise. I hope you enjoy my look at these 26 amazing women.


Okay, it is Dead Time. Holy guacamole what  an episode last night. Merle knew deep down that Rick would never have the stomach to turn Michonne over to Governor Psycho Pants, so he played the heavy.  He shouldered the burden by cold-cocking my katana girl and hauling her to the meet and greet site. I really admire her composure and the way she kept her head throughout, especially when Merle's hot-wiring attracted that swarm of walkers. She had the best zombies kills of the night, decapitating one with a wire and smashing the head of another with her boot. All while tied up. Badass to the bone, I tell you.

Merle had me blinking a few times when he let Michonne go before they even made it to Ground Zero. I could see that they had been building up to something like this with Merle ever since he escaped the gladiator games in Circus Woodbury. He was reunited with Daryl and could see how the months they'd been apart changed his little brother, even if at first he reviled those changes. But the way he went out, taking out as many of the Gov's henchmen as he could before finally going down in dirty ass fight with the Gov, who bit off Merle's finger, then spit them out ala Mike Tyson. Ewww!!

Most heartbreaking was seeing Daryl discover his brother. Norman Reedus gave one of the most poignant and wrenching performances of this season. I was almost in tears, then remembered it was Merle and stopped. Still, in spite of his assholishness, Merle took a huge one for Team Prison.

Glenn and Maggie are getting married!! I love how he got the ring too. Those walkers have to be good for something, he cut the finger right off and took that diamond. And Rick, giving that awesome speech about how their group was the greater good, that he was not their governor to tell them how to live, that they made their decisions together. High Fives! Man, I am DYING for the finale. You know, I can't believe its the finale already and Sundays are going to be taken over by the godawful Mad Men. If I had more time, I would enunciate each of the one thousand reasons why I hate this show and wish it would get cancelled.


Yesterday, I went bowling for my nephew, Cameron's B-Day. what a blast! I bowled a 113 and a 103 respectively. Not bad. How was your weekend? Anything cool? Do you hate Mondays like I do?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Scenes of the Crime: The Big Easy

One of my fellow bloggers, the awesome Brent Allard over at Criminal Movies is participating in a series called Scenes of the Crime by Furious Cinema. For my piece, I've chosen the best Dennis Quaid movie ever, in my opinion, 1986's The Big Easy.

Dennis is Remy McSwain, a New Orleans police detective who is investigating the murder of a local mobster. As he unravels the mystery, he suspects that some fellow officers may be behind the killing. His work has him crossing paths with Anne Osborne, played by Ellen Barkin, a district attorney who is charged with rooting out police corruption. As they work the case together, she witnesses Remy participate in some rather unorthodox behavior like free meals and coffee, small things that lead her to accuse him of being on the take.

Remy is all smooth Cajun charm, laughing off her suspicions, telling her that "...this is way things work down in the Big Easy, cher." To him, the son of a cop, free meals, a gift every now and again, is all part of business as usual for the NOPD. He sees nothing wrong with a little gratuity here and there. After all the boys in blue put their lives on the line for the citizens every day. It's just the way the people of New Orleans show their gratitude.

Remy keeps trying to charm Anne into coming around to his way of thinking even as he finds damning evidence of bigger, more insidious corruption. Anne grows more suspicious of Remy and his fellow cops, though, and when Remy is caught accepting a bribe during an Internal Affairs sting, she is forced to prosecute him. Her tentative trust in him is now shattered.

The blue line stands and evidence disappears, clearing Remy and humiliating Anne. After his sudden acquittal, Remy becomes disillusioned, realizing that his fellow officers, his own father included, really are committing crimes. He knows he has to stop them if he is ever going to live with himself and remain a cop.

The script by Daniel Petrie, Jr. is amazing and astute. He sets up an intriguing, thriller-type mystery, that draws the audience in and holds them hostage. Remy and Anne are strong protagonists whose visions are absolute. Remy grew up in the system, this is his world and he sees nothing wrong. He is a cop and for him being a cop is not just about the justice, it's about the respect of the people. Anne is unswerving in her vision of black and white, right and wrong. The chemistry between Quaid and Barkin is so volatile, they sizzle in their scenes together, incinerating the screen. The supporting cast is beyond magnificent and includes John Goodman, Ned Beatty, Grace Zabriskie, and the late great R&B singer Solomon Burke as mobster Daddy Mention.

This movie is ripe with atmosphere, the city of New Orleans a supporting character herself. Director Jim McBride takes us into the Big Easy from the colorful streets to Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi Delta and the bayou. The scenes are steeped in Nawlins style. The score by composer Brad Fiedel is pure delta jazz and blues with lots of horns and zydeco beats. Big Easy's soundtrack features gospel, zydeco, cajun and R&B music. Performers include Professor Longhair, Aaron Neville and the Neville Brothers, Beausoleil, The Dixie Cups and a piece by Dennis Quaid. He wrote and performed the song "Closer to You" in the film.

I cannot say enough about this picture. It gets me every time I watch it and I highly recommend seeing it if you get the chance. Or pulling it out if you haven't watched in a very long time.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Movies, W4WS, Zombies And A Weekend Round Up

Today is Captain Ninja Alex's Top Ten Movie Blogfest and wow, what a daunting task. I mean really, just ten? Come on, this is me we're talking, I couldn't pick ten favorites to save my life so I'm going with my ten favorite comfort movies. movies that I watch when I need a pick up, a laugh or even just to forget my problems for an hour or three. So here they are in no particular order...

The Lord of the Rings trilogy Three films, but one story so this counts as one and I watch one of these whenever I need an escape.

The Princess Bride This is always a guaranteed smile for me.

Goodfellas I work out a lot of aggression watching Henry and crew.

What's Eating Gilbert Grape? This is my fave Johnny Depp movie it's cathartic to watch for me.

Aliens Ellen Ripley is my first badass bitch and I still get a kick out of watching her battle those acid bleeding face huggers.

Silkwood This is my fave Meryl Streep film and one I get sucked into each time I see it on.

The Howling I watch this one whenever I can. I love my werewolves and it's my favorite of all time.

The Quiet Man I'm a sucker for the Duke and this one gets me every time.

Joan of Paris I love a good war story and this one is tops. A young woman risks her life to save downed British airmen.

The Mummy I can't help it. Brendan Fraser rocks this movie and it makes me laugh every time.

So these are my movies, go on and check out the other incredible participants here. 

Writers 4 Writers

It's W4WS today and we are spotlighting Kyra Lennon and Angela Brown. Go to their sites and spread the word by Tweeting, posting on FB or just getting the word out about their awesome work on your site if you can. 


Oh. My. God. I can't believe I just did a 180 on Andrea, but man was I rooting for her, hoping she would outwit Governor Psycho Pants. Loved when she opened the door and let the walkers have at him. Too bad he survived. And now, NOW she's at his ghoulish mercies in that Dungeon of Torture. Yikes!

And Milton!! He's stepping up and taking a a stand. I sadly misjudged him as a twitchy weirdo with nefarious purposes. Speaking of twitchy weirdos, we have Alan, Tyrese's one-time companion. Man, what a little bitch. Tyrese apparently saved Alan's wife once upon a time and he can't handle that. He couldn't be The Man. Well boo hoo, asshole. Too bad so sad you lost your balls somewhere and couldn't man up. Dude's been getting on my last nerve since he first appeared. Someone should shoot him in the knee in front of an oncoming horde of walkers.

It is going down real soon and I can't wait for the big battle. Team Prison all the way.


This weekend was pretty awesome. I went to the Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade with my sister and nephew. We saw a whole host of strange and wonderful sights including six foot leprechauns, green tutus on men, shamrock glasses and green hair. We get wild here in Chitown on St. Paddy's Day. Even me... ;D

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Wearin' O' The Green

Happy Friday!! And it's St. Paddy's Day weekend to boot. Kicking things off, the awesome Mark Koopmans is hosting his Got Green? Blog Fest. To participate we share our Irish stories, real or imagined, in 333 words. Check out all the amazing participants here

I'm Irish by way of Counties Cork and Tyrone, on both sides of my family. Bradley is the Anglicized version of O'Brollachain. My great grandfather Faye came here in 1900 from County Tyrone to work the coal mines, while on my mother's side, the Sullivans, hailed from Cork and worked the mills.

I’m  a South Side Chicago Irish woman, loud and proud. Being Chicago Irish is a far cry from being Irish anywhere else. We are a rough and tumble lot who literally grew up with our city. Chicago became a city in 1837 and we Irish arrived a scant decade later. We built the Union Stockyards, worked the steel mills, and built the Illinois and Michigan Canal. We had a hand in the building of the many bascule and draw bridges along the city’s rivers. South Side Irish backs laid much of the track for the railroads that helped make Chicago a commerce center. We were many of Chicago’s first firemen and police officers, Barney Cloonan and Martin Lahart were part of Elliott Ness’ Untouchables. We boast twelve mayors in our crew, the  Daleys being the most recent. Other colorful Irish politicians include “Hinky Dink” Kenna, “Foxy Ed” Cullerton and “Bathhouse John” Coughlin. We had a big influence on the spiritual side of things as well, our numbers making the Archdiocese of Chicago one of the largest and most powerful in the United States.

Our grand accomplishments weren’t always on the right side of the law, though. We made bathtub gin during Prohibition and ran speakeasies. And getting back to Al Capone, we gave him plenty of trouble on the illegal side of things as well. He tried to wipe out some of our North Side brethren in the infamous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. 

We celebrate St. Paddy’s day here like nowhere else. To honor our patron saint, we dye the Chicago River green, drink green beer, stuff our faces with corned beef, potatoes and soda bread. We kiss total strangers, lift our kilts and shake our tail feathers... Somehow, I don't think Patrick would get our party.

Fun Fact: It takes 40 pounds of dye to get the river that green

Well, I'm off to eat, drink and be merry, sing a few pub songs and dirty ditties. I'll probably even wear one of those grotesque Kiss Me I'm Irish buttons. On second thought...

Monday I will be here with my Top Ten Movies post for Alex J. Cavanaugh's brilliant blogfest. 

Have a great weekend and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Field Trip

I know I'm supposed to be posting only on Mondays and Fridays, but I'm on a field trip today. Don't tell Captain Alex or Byron,  but I've "borrowed" a Cosbolt and taken off for some fun and conversation with MPax over at Spacedock 19. A joyride of epic proportions to say the least. Yeah, I know that pic isn't exactly a Cosbolt, but you get the point.

Anyway, we're talking writing, werewolves and whole lot of good things. So come on over and  grab a drink, sit a spell and have some fun at the coolest bar in the 'Verse.


I missed Monday so of course I have to do my Walking Dead round up today. What an episode!We finally got the Big Meet between Rick and the Gov. I was rather hoping that Rick would tear into the Governor or just shoot him, but as a friend rightly pointed out, the Gov is a great villain and without him what would happen to the rest of the season? Still, he is threat the Rick sould have no compunction about putting down. He did it to those guys in the bar last season. Of course, Andrea tried to take charge of this little meet cute, but they kicked her out on her ass. Like those two would ever listen to a thing she says.

I love that we got to see a different side of Milton. He really is just a science geek completely out of his element and not the twitchy psycho I thought he was. There was a terrific scene with Hershel when Milton asked to see his stump and Hershel told him that he couldn't because he didn't buy him a drink first.

And a great walker kill off between my badass Darryl and the Gov's guy, Martinez. Baseball bats and arrows...loved those kills. And yeah, Darryl probably will have to put him down, but he was actually cool this time. You got a glimpse into him after he talked about losing his wife and kids to the walkers.

Glenn and Maggie are back in accord. I know everyone stand and cheer. Young lovers on the outs are a real bitch to deal with. ;)

In spite of these little niceties, war is coming. The Gov is not going to stand for Team Prison to exist and he wants Michonne as his little pet to torture before he kills her slowly, piece by piece.


This weekend was very busy. I had brunch with the wonderful Michael Di Gesu.  We had so much fun and his bright spirit was just what I needed after this last week. I also went to an unexpected double feature with my nephew. We saw Jack the Giant Slayer and Snitch. Both were excellent and kept me right on the edge of my seat, Snitch in particular. Dwayne Johnson does a terrific job, playing a character that is really different from what he normally plays. He even gets his ass beat here and shows a lot of vulnerability. Loved Ewan MacGregor in Jack. He was so heroic and upstanding, not afraid to defend his kingdom to the last.

Sorry I did not post yesterday. The time change killed me and I have been off ever since. I got caught in a rain shower on the way to work. Missed my bus and had to walk to the train. All with no umbrella because I forgot it at home. I looked like a drowned dog when I got to work. Late, of course. Grrr...

So did everyone have a great weekend? Was it so so? Or did it suck out loud and sideways?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Friday Fun 80's Style

It's Friday, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!!! I am excited for the week to be over. Because of the weather, I got behind in many things. I am still making my way through comments, so please forgive me if I have not responded or visited yet, I will very soon, my friends. You are all very important to me.

Today I'm going to have some fun and share a little of my 80's childhood. Before Steven and my Boys from Boston, Aerosmith, there was a boy band that owned me heart and soul. 5 sexy lads from Britain known as Duran Duran. To say I was in love with them is like saying Alaska's just a tad cold in the winter. I was OBSESSED. I had a 6 foot by 5 1/2 foot poster of them on my bedroom wall. I had the buttons, the notebooks, the tee shirts, the pencils and all other manner of paraphernalia that had those lovely lads on them. Even a pencil case. Yikes!

I spent junior high rushing home to watch the after school jam show on my local station to catch their videos. Like this one...

 And yes, before Johnny Depp there was another man. The sexy dark-haired student of Mr. Miyagi, one Ralph Macchio aka Daniel-san. OMG, was he a hottie. Lord, did I obsess over him, too. Just look at that feathered hair!

I had his posters, his pictures plastered in my locker amidst the ones of Duran Duran. So, I really can't be too hard on the Bieber girls and Robert Pattinson freaks. I'm right up there with them, only a couple of decades older.

Anyone else out there care to admit to teenage crushes and music obsessions? Come on, you know you want to. LOL Have an awesome weekend. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

It's time for my Insecure writers Support Group post. Please visit the other awesome members of this group started by Captain Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh.

It's really late and I'm sorry, but last might it snowed mightily here in Chicago and I got to spend the night in a hotel courtesy of my work. So I had no net. Sorry to all of you out there who came by yesterday. I'm still working on comments, etc.

So here I go...

I have a huge problem. A HUMUNGOUS, epic proportion problem. I self edit each paragraph and line of dialogue as I go. To the nth degree. I obsess, change words, move sentences, delete, etc. making myself miserable. As a result, it takes me forever to complete one page. As in 10 hours. It's a wonder I ever finish anything. I get so frustrated that I sometimes avoid writing for days and even weeks.

I don't know if it's a perfectionist thing, an OCD thing or what, but I am sunk. This is getting totally out of control.  And I really don't know how to help myself. Any suggestions? Are there others out there like me? Can we form a club?Or should I just be committed? Maybe the men in the white coats are heading to my house now.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Movies and Zombies

So how was everyone's weekend? Mine was a lazy, movie and zombie weekend. Except for some running around, I slept and watched movies. There great ones and there were lame ones. They were movies that I failed to see when they came out, some titles stretching as far back as 2008. I know I'm supposed to be a huge movie geek, but hey, I can't see everything. LOL

I loved Sunshine Cleaning Company with Amy Adams and Emily Blunt. It was a poignant story with a lot of heart about two sisters in a struggle to get their lives on track after they both stumble out of high school and end up with broken lives. I discovered a new to me actor, Clifton Collins, Jr. He's terrific, totally blending in whatever role he takes on. He was what drew me to another film I enjoyed, The Experiment with Adrien Brody and Forest Whitaker. A group of men volunteer for a psychological experiment whereby one group is designated the guards, the others, the prisoners. The project is supposed to last for 2 weeks, but by day 6 it has all gone to hell. It was Lord of the Flies, but with men and I enjoyed it very much as LotF is one of my favorite books.

Now, unfortunately, I did not enjoy every film. George Clooney's The American was very slow and I kept waiting for more action, but nothing happened. Then we get a really lame ending. It was filmed in Italy so that kept me from completely hating it.  All in all the movies were pretty good.

Now on to the zombies...


Last night's Walking Dead saw the return of one of my fave characters, Morgan, played by the incredible Lennie James. I was horrified to find out what had happened to him and to poor Duane, his son. Yet I am pissed, too, as I loved Morgan. See, now I hate Merle even more. As if that were possible. The bastard got off lucky only losing his hand. I want more parts cut off and I know just where to start, too. Man, my eyes were burning with tears when Morgan finally broke and yelled at Rick about not being on the other end of that radio, that he had listened every day, but Rick wasn't there. My heart just cracked wide open. On the other hand, I was happy that seeing Morgan pulled Rick off of the Crazy Train for a bit.

And on a side note...I got a real kick out of those zombie traps Morgan built, which included live bait. Insane, he might be, but he's still thinking outside the box.And holy shit, that arsenal he accumulated. Man, we are going to kick Team Woodbury's asses!!

I thoroughly enjoyed the bonding that went on with Michonne and Carl. They were badass together and took out several walkers in a diner where a picture of Carl and his parents was hanging. Carl wanted that picture for Judith and I was terrified when he dropped the picture in the midst of the zombies and wanted to go back for it. Michonne saved the day, though, and I loved that she came back with a colorful cat statue for herself. And hell to the yeah Carl said that Michonne was one of them to Rick. About time, too.

Okay and funniest moment of the night was the poor hitchhiking backpacker who kept begging Rick, Michonne and Carl to take him with them. His pathetic yelling and running down the road had me shaking my head and laughing. "Hey dumbass! There is no hitchhiking in the apocalypse. You will be a zombie salad bar."


I wanted to let you all know that in spite of my new schedule, I will be doing a post on Wednesday for the Insecure Writers Support Group. So tell me all about your weekend? I want details. :)