Archive for category Commentary

RIP Bill Paxton; 1955 – 2017

“What are we gonna do, man? What are we gonna do?!?”

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Bill Paxton (1955 – 2017)

In Memoriam

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Love It or Hate It — The Written Word Was Meant To Be Interpreted

I’m going to say something possibly unpopular and perhaps a bit strange. I hate the children’s book The Giving Tree, even though oddly, it was my favorite book. I remember being five and reading the story and just weeping for the tree, feeling devastated. Understanding what she was feeling. I recall hating the boy and the self-centered […]

via Why I Hate “The Giving Tree”–But How This Story Makes Us Better Writers — Kristen Lamb’s Blog

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Chaos Breeds Chaos 2016 Television Awards – Part 3

You’ve read Part 1 and Part 2, so why stop there? Below are my final awards for the 2015-2016 television season.


Best end to a long-gestating story arc: Haven

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Haven — SyFy

A few seasons ago, Haven started an arc that a guardsman was going to kill Duke Crocker (Eric Balfour). It was the ignition to a full season, in which Nathan (Lucas Bryant) went undercover to find out who it might be and stop them. The arc led to several other story lines, but in the end, Duke’s mysterious killer was never found and the arc seemingly slipped through the cracks. That is, until the season finale, when Nathan was forced to kill Duke to keep Croatoan (William Shatner) from collecting all of the troubles he’d trapped inside him. It was a fitting end to a long forgotten story arc, proving to fans that the creators of Haven were doing everything they could to wrap every loose end in a nice little bow before signing off for good. Read More Awards

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Chaos Breeds Chaos 2016 Television Awards – Part 2

You’ve seen some of the more prominent awards (read Part 1), now let’s move onto some of the specialty awards.


Coming Into Its Own Award: Girl Meets World

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Girl Meets World — Disney Channel

As the second season of the continuation of a beloved 90s sitcom continued, Girl Meets World started to find its voice without the old cast getting in the way. Like Farkle (Corey Fogelmanis), who matured into something better as he grew older, so too has the show started to mature along with its cast. Though I still feel that a lot of the writing is forced — that is to say, the lessons aren’t as organic as they were on the original show — as Girl Meets World grows, its finding its way a lot more, culminating in a three-part episode that showed it wasn’t afraid to reach deep for emotions. As Riley (Rowan Blanchard) and Maya (Sabrina Carpenter) started exploring their feelings for each other as well as for their shared love of Lucas (Peyton Meyer), the show wasn’t afraid to stop mining for laughs and develop the drama in a creative, more realistic way. If its true that the show will continue to evolve into more dramatic fare and “real issues” that look to capture those strong moments while still being funny and sweet, then I’m excited to see what they’ll continue to do as season 3 progresses. See More Awards

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Chaos Breeds Chaos 2016 Television Awards – Part 1

The Emmy’s are back and with it, the Chaos Breeds Chaos Television Awards. For those unfamiliar with these awards (see also the 2014-2015, 2013-2014 and 2012-2013 awards), I’ve spent the entire calendar year (mid-September 2015 to mid-September 2016) watching as much television as my brain (and tastes) would allow, compiling a list of all the ups and downs of the 2015-2016 season. (The biggest surprise? The CW didn’t take home the prize for Best New Show!) This list of course only covers those shows I watched, so if you’ve seen something over the course of the season that you believe should be on the list, it may be missing simply because I don’t watch that particular show. Then again, it just may be omitted because I didn’t think it awesome enough (or cringe-worthy enough) to include. So please, leave your comments and choices in the comments section at your leisure. Now, without further adieu, here are the best, worst and most bizarre of this year’s TV offerings according to me, your avid TV watcher. Winners (and Losers) Revealed

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Farewell to American Idol

Back in the height of American Idol‘s success, I used to try to predict the outcomes of each season. Once the finalists got down to the top ten, I’d list each one in the order of how I felt they’d be ousted, based not only by what I thought, but by what everyone else was saying. And I have to say, barring any surprise Sanjaya’s, I didn’t do a terrible job at it. In season 6, when Jordan Sparks won, I had the top 4 picked perfectly; and in season 7, I had David Cook over David Archuleta the whole time. But over the last few years, aside from Philip Phillips, I just haven’t been all that excited by many of the contestants (if any), so I stopped trying to predict the outcomes. Well, now that Idol is in its last and farewell season, I thought I’d take one last spin through the prediction whirlwind and see if my prognostication skills are still in tune with the general public’s. Read My Predicitions

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Editing Nightmares: How To Stay Error Free Without An Editor

The first draft of almost any type of writing, whether it’s a poem, an essay or a novel, is going to be awful. That’s just a given. In my experience, it takes at the very minimum three drafts to find a voice, to craft just the right sentences and make sure the story flows without leaving plot holes it its wake. One major issue with writing draft after draft after draft is the inevitable blindness we all face. Mistakes, whether in plot, character, grammar or spelling, are inevitable while completing each new draft, which is why it’s highly recommended (and why even the most successful authors) have an editor by their side to review and correct their masterpieces. They’re able to look upon your work with fresh eyes and catch things you’ve become blind to because of your familiarity to the work and what your brain thinks it actually says. But in a self-publishing world, there are a lot of us who can’t afford an editor… or at least a good one, which means we have to rely on ourselves to find the problem areas before the reader does. How do you do that? Well, aside from reading your manuscript upside down (to slow your brain down), reading it aloud and being extremely hard on yourself with every line and word you read, there are a couple of things you can do to help keep your manuscript consistent and free of minor and obvious errors. Read on for Tips & Tricks

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Star Wars: The Anticipation Awakens

At one point in my 2012 film, Secrets of the Desert Nymph, one of the characters encourages his best friend to go after the girl of his dreams before it’s too late. When his friend finally agrees, he’s boggled by the idea that he do it right that minute.

The exchange:

“You mean now?”

“No. When episode seven hits theaters.”

Of course, this was when it was a well-known fact that George Lucas wasn’t ever going to release another Star Wars film. The joke was meant to mean if he didn’t do it right that minute, he never would.

Cut to one year later and the announcement that Disney bought Lucasfilm and its entire film library for $4 billion dollars. Disney’s second announcement — Episode 7 was coming, and it was coming fast. And even though it makes the joke in a three-year-old movie seem as dated as the fight over Beta and VHS, I couldn’t be more excited. Find Out More

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Improv To Improve: How to Fix Saturday Night Live

Last night’s Saturday Night Live episode with host Donald Trump was the nail in the coffin of an NBC staple. For an episode that was clearly being used as nothing more than a grab for ratings, it did a piss-poor job of attempting to secure those fresh, new eyeballs for future episodes. The show as a whole was stale, boring and insipid — even the pre-taped bits felt labored and uninspired. When the only genuine laughs of the night come from Drunk Uncle, there’s clearly something wrong. And I’m not blaming Trump for this fiasco either; the show has been on life-support for several years now, without showing any signs of returning to what made it great in the first place.

But there’s hope. If Lorne Michaels truly wants to bring people back to Saturday Night Live without looking like some corporate shill who’s lost touch with anything that doesn’t highlight the dollar signs in his eyes, he needs to throw the political correctness rulebook out the window and follow these three simple steps that will go a long way in fixing the show’s current problems. Fix SNL!

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A Little Story About Me

It’s been a little over two years since I started this blog, and with some of the changes I’ve been making recently to my social media activities, I thought this would be a good time to give my fans a little taste of who I am and what makes me tick as a writer. Learn About My Journey

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