I can't believe we're halfway through October already. I'm happy--because this means that this morning was genuinely cold and I hope not to have to turn on the AC unit all day. (Oh, Texas. [sigh]) It makes me sad too because I want October to stretch out for a bit longer. Oh, well.
Let's get busy with the links, shall we? (I've got some writing to do.) We'll start with the new Black Panther trailer. I can't wait.
Public Service Announcement: I'm having a Goodreads Give-away for Blackthorne, starting October 16th. I'll be giving away three hard back copies, signed. (The give-away is restricted to the United States, y'all. Sorry. The postage is just too much for a big fat Epic Fantasy.)
If you're interested, check-in on Tuesday over at Goodreads for details. Good luck!
So, Stranger Things has a new trailer and I'm going to drop it here before I talk about today's films.
It still looks great, but now I'm wondering how long they can drag this out. (Yeah. Yeah. Shut up, Stina. ;)) And now, on to those movies in no particular order.
October is my favorite month of the year. There are certain things that trigger happy October feelings for me. The first is when the temperatures finally dip into the high 60sF and low 70sF. Then there's breathing in the first scent of fire in someone's fireplace. (It took the place of burning leaves when I moved to Texas.) Then there's reading Something Wicked This Way Comes. And then there's...
Practical Magic. Of course, Practical Magic. No film is perfect. It has some issues, of course--largely in the representation department. (There are no women of color featured in the story. And I can't recall any people of color at all...except maybe the dead guy...maybe.) That said, I dearly love this movie. It's about sisters, family legacies, secrets, women's issues (domestic abuse, motherhood, sexuality...) and the power women can have when joined together for a common cause. Also...love. I've always appreciated how it avoided the stereotypical witch tropes. I'm pleased that someone actually may have spoken to an actual witch, did some research, and may have attended a circle once. It isn't enough. This time of year is horrible in that it propagates the stereotypes that are so damaging to women in general and pagans specifically. Yes, yes. It's all in good fun...that is until someone loses their job because "witches are evil right?" Anyway, Practical Magic.
I'm excited about Netflix's latest super hero project. Netflix's Newest Superhero Drama Is About a Single Mother and Her Super-Powered Son. That looks so good!
Did you know that pink used to signify male? I didn't understand that using pink to signify the gender of girl babies is less than a century old. I have noticed that worrying about whether or not strangers get the gender of babies correct is more of a thing than it used to be. (Hell, my own sister is making a big deal out of gender marking her puppy.) I get why it's important to not miss-gender adults, but babies? And it kills me that the same exact adult will blithely ignore the gender preference of adults and then get really exacting in addressing baby genders. (We can't have that boy mistaken for a girl, can we? That might de-masculinate him. Masculinity is fragile, after all. [eyeroll])
Why do I have a feeling that we've just been given absolutely every scene that features Wonder Woman in the entire film? Probably because this movie was shot before WW grossed all the money and everything has focused on Batman up to this point. (And still does.) [sigh] That said...is it bad that I still want to see this version of Aquaman?
It's October. My favorite month of the year. And every year I try to do something to celebrate. I'm in the midst of a novel deadline this year. So, I can't go too enthusiastic. Therefore, I'm going to talk about some my favorite Halloween/Spooky/Dark films on Fridays--films I'd be watching if it weren't for work, family stuff (my Dad is very ill)... you know, the usual life things. So, let's get to it. Shall we?
My first favorite for this time of year: Something Wicked This Way Comes.
Something Wicked This Way Comes (both the novel and the film) has some problems, of course. Published in 1962, it holds deeply problematic ideas regarding disability. But, as you can see above, it has some amazing moments. The cast is fabulous. Alas, Disney screwed up the ending. Read the novel first then watch the film.
I found Tom Petty as a young teen because of his duet with Stevie Nicks. ("Stop Dragging My Heart Around.") He was one of my crushes. The Postman remains one of my favorite films (in spite of Costner making one of the only post-apocalyptic novels with women doing useful things in it into a he-man, manly fest of manly) because Tom appeared in it. When I first came into the goth scene, the man I wanted so much to impress sorted through my music collection and placed all of my Tom Petty with the fluffy pop stuff in the To Be Sold pile. Mouse that I was, I quietly moved Tom Petty off that stack and back onto my shelves. (I did the same with a few others.) A year later, I convinced my goth circles of Petty's amazingness. And I did it with American Girl and Silence of the Lambs. Of course, the video for Mary Jane's Last Dance backed me up shortly thereafter.
Tom Petty was with me through so many transitions in my life--my first breakup, my first apartment, moving to Austin entirely on my own--I found myself over and over through breakups and low times. Tom was always there in the background like the steady, reassuring whir of highway on a long drive. I'm going to miss knowing he's out there. At least I've his music. Thank you, Tom, for that. Seriously, Thank you.
Too many of my music heroes are dead now. David Bowie, Prince, George Harrison, Tom Petty, Chris Cornell, Layne Staley, Kurt Cobain, Andrew Wood, Scott Weiland, Doug Hopkins, and Stefanie Sargent. Someone please place a protective bubble around Stevie Nicks, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, Patti Smith, Joan Jett, Chrissie Hynde, Peter Murphy, Gary Numan, Aimee Mann, Toni Halliday, and Elizabeth Fraser. At least don't let 2017 touch them. Please.
 He looked askance at me for my Alice in Chains, Stevie Nicks, and Fleetwood Mac, but I turned him around on those too.
Happy October, y'all! Welcome to my favorite month of the year. I've a lot of writing to do. So, let's just jump in, shall we? Today's video has been around for seven years...but is still applicable. There's also a great (older) video on "ironic sexism" which drives home my objection to it. I had several conversations about it in 2009 and 2010. Whenever I discussed it with male colleagues in writing circles, I was met with the "get a sense of humor" response. [sigh]
So yesterday, a thing happened.
Not too long ago, my dojo closed, and I found out that I've osteoporosis on top of the arthritis, the migraines, and the autoimmune disease. [sigh] I knew I had to find some sort of exercise commitment and fast. If I waited too long, I'd have to start all over from scratch, and I knew that'd be worse than from where I'd started with Hakkoryu. (I couldn't sit in the lotus position on the floor--let alone do a summersault. I can now.) I can no longer take for granted that I'll be able to snap back into shape like I used to. I asked the endocrinologist what type of exercise was best for my condition. She said weight-lifting. I groaned. Nothing could be more dull. All the other activities I've enjoyed had a strategic quality to them. They engaged my mind and my body. (Various kinds of fencing and martial arts.) I want to keep doing those things, but I can't right now. So, I bit the bullet. I got a trainer while I could afford it.
Did I mention I failed University dance class until my prof spotted me dancing in a night club? Anyway, yesterday. I lifted and swung a kettle bell properly. We've been working up to it for almost two months. I executed two other movements I didn't think I'd ever be able to do too. I can do a push up and a pull up. My entire life I've never been able to do those. Some of it is, Kirby had me believing that I could. That's what a good trainer does.
And that got me thinking about the new Wonder Woman movie.
I don't know if you're aware of Jeff VanderMeer and his work, but you should be. In any case, you will be soon because they've made it into a film.
I'm excited. This is a great time for thinky--literary SF, y'all. I very much enjoyed what they did with Ted Chiang's Story of Your Life (aka Arrival.) It's exciting to see so much quality SF hit the big screen. Good for Jeff and Nnedi too! Seriously, this is wonderful. I hope it means that there will be more room for intellectual SF in addition to the "stuff goes boom" war/action/SF. And we'll get back to SF's roots which isn't merely escapism--not that I have a problem with escapism. I just feel there should be a broad range of readily available SF in media. (And I'll be happy when they stop trying to make Star Trek into Star Wars image.)
Next up, more on the Blade Runner anime project. (I can't freaking wait.)
In other SF-related news, High School Students Reading ‘1984’ See A Mirror, Not Science Fiction and if you've ever read it, you would too. It's downright scary. The next link is about The OA which I watched and liked. Great Science Fiction Isn’t Just About Facts. It’s About Imagination. The thing that I liked most about it was the concept of whether or not what the characters believed was true wasn't important--the effect was still the same. That's how real life works. There are, often, no definitive answers. I loved that it left that hanging. It was perfect. It annoys me that Americans seem to have this need to have every little detail and answer spelled out for them--as if there's always an easy answer to every problem. That simply isn't true. (That's also what's wrong with a lot of Americans' thinking on social media, if you ask me.)
Anyway, I hope you have a lovely Wednesday, Dear Reader.
is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.