Memoirs of Keladrayia: Jaxxa Rakala has arrived!
Book 2 in the riveting Jaxxa Rakala Saga (check out book 1) takes you on an emotional ride of self-discovery, as all of your favorite characters look deep within themselves to discover who they truly are while continuing their quest to find answers about Stacey’s abduction. Learn More
Over the years, there have been several “man trapped by himself” stories (not sure why it always has to be a man, but…), which include Tom Hanks being isolated on a deserted island in Cast Away, Sam Rockwell marooned on the moon in Moon, and both Robert Redford and Suraj Sharma fighting nature in All Is Lost and Life of Pi, respectively. What all of these movies have in common — besides the obvious — is the overwhelming commentary on the human condition and what it takes to survive, both mentally and physically, when you know your isolated with no chance of rescue. The power of these films comes from the strength of the main characters to overcome the deep wells of their own consciousness and rise above their conflicts in order to find triumph in their pursuit to get back home. Without a strong core, there would be nothing to grab hold of and connect to within the harrowing experiences no sane person would ever want to have to face. Ridley Scott attempts to invoke that same feeling in his new film, The Martian, but although the film as a whole is inspiring and captivating, the turmoil and struggles the main character must face aren’t digested enough to explore the deep sense of loneliness and madness that is tantamount for this type of film. Read Full Review
We’ve finally made it to the end. Here are the final awards for this past season of great (and some very awful) television. (See Part 2 here.)
Most Annoying Trend – Character Voice-overs
I’m not exactly sure what the appeal was, but for some reason, everyone seemed to want to jump on the voice-over bandwagon this season, and did so in a variety of ways. Here’s the rundown: it started with Red Band Society‘s coma patient explaining the meaning of the episode (and sometimes the interlude’s within) a la Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) on Grey’s Anatomy; Black-ish used the voice-over for no other reason than to add inane one-liners and comment on what just happened; Selfie spent a lot of its time exploring the inner workings of the lead character’s insufferable neurosis; Manhattan Love Story dove into the thoughts of the lovers, finding a way to tell a second story of what the characters are really thinking in any given situation; A to Z used an omniscient narrator (Katey Segal) to tell the story of the protagonist’s budding love; in The Affair, the main characters discussed how they were feeling throughout their specific segments as they retold the events as they remember them to a cop in an interrogation room; Jane the Virgin had an annoying narrator give us the play-by-play in a homage to the telenovela; Fresh Off the Boat tried to match wits with The Wonder Years, but the main character’s voice-over failed to capture the same magic; and finally, The Slap used Victor Garber to try and add context to the events that were happening, but ended up being simply superfluous. See More Awards
Now that the “Main” categories are out of the way (read Part 1 here), it’s on to some specialty awards.
Best development of a character: Dr. Schetany (Ben Shankman), Royal Pains
Character development can go one of two ways: either it feels natural and highlights a character’s flaws, fears, hopes and dreams, or it feels forced and goes completely against the character’s past and what he stands for. In Royal Pains, Ben Shankman has created a very uptight, neurotic character in Dr. Schetany, but as he continues to attempt to become a better person, he has had to step way out of his comfort zone to mature into a much more well-rounded person. Beginning with the kindness of taking Dyvia and her baby into his very clean home, Dr. Schetany learns how to break from his routine, which leads to helping a girl he has feelings for, all of which led to him falling in love and find heartbreak, betrayal and forgiveness. The scene where he sits at a new place and tries to banter with the waitress the same way he did with the girl he liked, and realizing, “It’s just not the same,” was heartbreaking and gives Dr. Schetany a depth that not a lot of characters embody. See More Awards
Well, the 2015 Emmy Awards have come and gone, and as per usual, most of the winners (in fact, this year, I believe ALL of the winners) were shows I could care less about. I know a lot of people watch the shows that did win, including Game of Thrones and Veep, but because I don’t subscribe to HBO, or because I just simply don’t care much for the actors involved, I was none to pleased with the outcomes this year. So, once again, I’ve compiled my own list of awards given to both outstanding and poorly executed shows — moments and episodes that deserve a little recognition over the *yawn* inducing categories and nominees that show up every year on the Emmy voter’s radars. (Click here for a look at my 2014 awards). Please Note: these are for shows and episodes of television shows I watch that aired between May 2014 and May 2015. Find Out the Winners (and Losers)
A couple of weeks ago I posted this picture to Facebook to help give readers a chance to visualize the character of Jacquline Brody form my Jaxxa Rakala series:
Over at Masquerade Crew, there’s a monthly contest for independent authors called Cover Wars. I learned about the contest via Twitter about a week back and thought I’d check it out. It seemed like a fun little way to boost the visibility of my book across Twitter, and it was only $5 to get my cover entered, so I thought why not give it a shot. Learn More
Characters are the bread and butter of your story, the glue that holds the plot together, the icing on the… oh, you get the gist. The characters are the emotional center of any written work — they are who takes us along with them on their journey. If we aren’t emotionally involved with the lead character (who may or may not be the narrator), or find the supporting characters boring or nonsensical, the reader will quickly become bored and no amount of plot will bring them back. It doesn’t matter if it’s a young boy who discovers he’s a wizard, a group of kids who band together to fight the evil lurking in the sewer, or a man who builds a spaceship to hunt for his abducted wife, if the characters are weak or underdeveloped, the story will suffer. So how do you go about engaging the reader with compelling characters that they’ll want to follow to the end of the world? Learn the Basics for Character Development
There’s a scene toward the beginning of American Ultra, the new film that once again pairs Jesse Eisenberg with Kristen Stewart, when Eisenberg’s Mike Howell and Stewart’s Phoebe Larson are sitting on the hood of a car in a field, smoking pot and watching the authorities clean up an accident. Mike goes seriously deep as he compares his life with Phoebe as that of a tree stopping a car in its tracks. In essence, he feels he’s a tree, stuck forever in one place, while Phoebe’s the car, and he’s somehow kept her from ever moving on. The scene is a very quiet look into the mind of a man who feels so deeply rooted in an existence of inactivity that he has anxiety attacks when he even attempts to leave the town border. The scene is so well-acted, and incredibly written that it almost spoils the rest of the film, which can’t seem to ever live up to that one five minute clip. Read Full Review
It’s been widely accepted for a long time now — Meryl Streep can do no wrong… at least where her acting skills are concerned (as it’s quite clear there have been a few hiccups along the road to her legitimate crowning as the Queen of Oscar). Whether she is righteously dramatic, vindictively evil, delightfully funny or surprisingly capable of belting out a tune, Streep always remains fantastically believable as a fully-realized, three-dimensional woman. There are very few actors who can pull off what she’s been able to do in her illustrious career, but unfortunately, even her grandiose talent can’t save every movie. There are limits to her powers, and they come in the form of writers and directors, neither of which Streep has any control over (aside from choosing what scripts she accepts). It’s clear that her presence raises the profile of a film like Ricki and the Flash, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a film will translate to a perfect end result. Read Full Review