Thursday, June 27, 2013

Nostalgic Notions/Super Blogger Award!!

Secret fact about yours truly:

Some nights, after my wife goes to bed and the house is very quiet, I'll go on YouTube and watch.....

....old t.v. show intros/previews (such as the one above). You thought I was going to say something else, didn't you? Shame on you! :P

Sometimes, I'll spend a few hours doing this....taking me deep into the early morning.

Now, I've often asked myself "Why?"

Monday, June 24, 2013

Leapin' Liebster/Music Monday

A couple of weeks ago I had two blogging buddies bestow upon me the coveted Liebster Award For Excellence In Blogging And General Awesomeness.

O.k, I made up everything past the word 'award'......anywho...

The totally terrific Tara Tyler and the linguistically lucid C.Lee McKenzie , both of whom shared in being in my top ten A to Z Challenge themes, were both kind enough to think of me and my lil ole' blog for this award. And, for that, I graciously thank them....

Thursday, June 20, 2013

House Cleaning

I decided, about a week ago, to make Feedly my "go to" app for blog consolidation. I've tried using Bloglovin', but just couldn't get into it. Since I've made that decision, I've been meaning to clean up my Feedly interface.....I just had no idea it would be quite as time consuming as it turned out.

It seems you have to click on each blog, separately, to move them to another group or delete them. There doesn't seem to be a drop down type thing or listing options.

Now, of course, after I post this someone will say "All you had to do was..." and then reveal a secret that will have me pounding my head on the desk for an hour....

Anyway, here's my thought process on the clean up:

  • I follow a little over 300 blogs and not all of them are writing related.
  • I decided to make three categories. Writing, Comics, and Bloggers (a catch all group)
  • I came across quite a few blogs that no longer least ten. Deleted, of course.
  • Any blog that hasn't had any activity in over 30 days, and didn't have a "hiatus" or "I'll be back" post, I deleted.
  • A few blogs, I couldn't even remember adding or ever looking at....these were deleted, as well.
If I deleted you by accident (and if you even care, lol) let me know and I'll gladly re-follow. I don't want to lose any good blogs due to my carelessness!

How about you? Any blog clean-up going on?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Miscellaneous/Music Monday

Howdy folks, just wanted to poke my head out of the sand and see how everyone is doing. This is going to be on of those 'hodge podge' posts, so pick what you like and ignore the rest. :)

--I hope everyone had a nice Father's Day. We've been so busy with work/business around here that we totally forgot to send a card to my dad. Not that he cares, but that's not the point. I did manage to give him a call, though, so I'm not a totally terrible son. (haha!)

--Anyone else watching Mad Men? I think I've mentioned before how I got sucked into this show, catching up on five season in two weeks time on Netflix. I'm a sucker for "period" shows/movies...especially anything set in the 60s or 70s. As much as I've enjoyed the show in the past, I'm having a hard time continuing to watch it and I think it's because of the main character.

Don Draper has proven, time and again, that he's not a very likable protagonist. I mean, he cheats on his wife, yet berates her for kissing another man in the line of duty. She's an actress on a successful soap opera. I realize that they tell you why, exactly, Draper is the kind of man he is via flashbacks to his youth, but still...he's not a character I can sympathize with in any respect. I'm pretty sure that's intentional on the writer's part.

Regardless, Jon Hamm is great in the role and the entire cast is equally impressive. I'll stick with it, but I'm hoping they wrap things up, soon.

--We saw Man of Steel this past Friday (along with everyone else in the country, it seems) and I had some quite a few reservations going in but, thank goodness, they were unfounded. Just goes to show you that you can't trust the reviewers. Most are movie snobs, anyway.

Regardless of what you may have read, this flick is pretty darn good (in my opinion) and stands head and shoulders above Superman Returns.....even though I thought Kevin Spacey made a great Lex Luthor. Well worth the time if you're looking for a well done action movie.

--I've been looking for a local writing group, down here in Vero Beach, Florida so, if anyone in the area knows of any....

--Also, on the writing front I've been working pretty diligently on my new project. It's tentatively titled Last Chance and will involve super-heroics in the old west town of.....Last Chance, Wyoming. It's circa 1850s, which will mean a bit of research as to how life was lived (generally speaking) back then. Things are coming along and ideas are forming, so I think it's all heading in a very positive direction.


For today's Music Monday offering, it's back to the Surf Music craze (stop rolling your eyes!!! ) with one of the great groups of the era....The Ventures (with special guest, Peter Frampton).

To go along with my old west project, here's on their huge hits... Apache.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Good News/Bad News

So, the past week has been a "good news/bad news" sort of week, here at the Means Ranch.

Good News: I found a job with a great, stable, company and a lot of potential/staying power.
Bad News: They don't hire on full time, so it's only part time, for now.

Good News: It's money coming in (which we need) and they're giving me more hours than I expected.
Bad News: No benefits....yet.

Good News: I'm working on a new writing project that has me excited about writing.
Bad News: That, along with the new job (as well as looking into helping my wife and sister-in-law set up another business), is cutting into my blogging/commenting time.

As far as the blogging/commenting goes, I want to apologize for not being as visible, as in the past, and let everyone know that I'll be trying to catch up very soon.

It's a blessing in disguise, though, as I've been grumbling (a lot, recently) about my habit of 'writing about writing more than just...writing'.

Now I'm "writing".

At this point I have:

  • A genre
  • A (working) title
  • Setting
  • Some protagonists
  • A vague inkling of antagonist(s)
  • Story framework

What I need to delve more into is:

  • World building
  • An outline(!!!)
  • Story tone

Did I miss anything?

Have a great week!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Daring and the Dastardly!

Usually, I'm not a "Thursday" poster but this was one blog fest I just had to join. Hosted by Dani and Jackie, the goal is simple....just post your favorite Heroes and Villains and why you enjoy their heroic/villainous tendencies.

I'm going to have to rein myself in, here, because I could probably name dozens on each end of the spectrum. The ones that pop into mind, immediately are:


Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes: (Consulting Detective)

Abilities: Keen, deductive mind. Almost photographic memory for soil, tobacco, and the workings of the criminal mind.

Why they're heroic: Willing to risk his life to bring criminals to justice, out of sense of duty as well as a cerebral challenge.

Captain America
Captain America: (Steve Rogers) World War II Super Hero

Abilities: Enhanced physical attributes via Super Soldier process. Superb hand to hand combatant. Excellent military strategist.

Why they're heroic: Willing to risk his life in defense of his country or to save a life.

Indiana Jones
Dr. Henry (Indiana) Jones, Jr. Freewheeling Professor of Archaeology.

Abilities: Historical scholar, expert on archaeology and occult practices. Also snaps a mean bullwhip.

Why they're heroic: Would risk life and limb in the pursuit of knowledge and to preserve rare antiquities.

Optimus Prime
Optimus Prime: (Leader of the Autobots)

Abilities: Possessor of the Matrix of Leadership that helps guide his decisions to lead. Can shape shift into an eighteen wheel truck as well as wield 'futuristic' energy weapons.

Why they're heroic: Would sacrifice himself for an innocent life...human or Autobot. Also willing to make tough decisions for a just cause.

Benton Fraser and Diefenbaker
Constable Benton Frasier (Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officer)

Abilities: Deductive mind and an almost uncanny ability to communicate with his deaf wolf companion, Diefenbaker.

Why they're heroic: Come on, he's a Mountie!


Hans Gruber
Hans Gruber:(Terrorist/Criminal Mastermind)

Abilities: Well versed in American Intelligence protocol, a quick thinker, highly organized.

Motivation(s): Greed

Doctor Doom

Victor Von Doom: Ruler of Latveria/Would be World Conqueror.

Abilities: Scientific genius rivaling such greats as Tony (Iron Man) Stark and Reed (Mr. Fantastic) Richards. Expert in the occult as well as other dimensions

Motivation(s): Rescue mother who is trapped in an alternate dimension, protect the people of Latveria and the world by ruling them all. Doom believes his rule is humanity's only hope.

Count Dracula
Vlad Tepes Dracula: Transylvanian Aristocrat

Abilities: Immortality, can change into a bat, wolf, rat or mist. Can hypnotize the 'weak willed'. Can only be killed by a steak to the heart or decapitation.

Motivation(s): He vants to suck your blood!

Professor Moriarty
Professor James Moriarty:Napoleon of Crime

Abilities: A shrewd, deductive mind rivaling that of Sherlock Holmes.

Motivation(s): Greed and power.

Darth Vader

Darth Vader: (Annakin Skywalker) Lord of the Sith

Abilities: Expert pilot and wielder of The Force.

Motivation(s): Serving the Emperor and conquest of the galaxy....then, redemption.

So, there you have Heroes and Villains roster. How about you? Who are some of your favorites?

You can find the other participants below...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

IWSG: June, 2013

It's the first Wednesday of the month and that means another installment of the Insecure Writer's Support Group.

Hosted by the Ninja Captain, himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh, it's a forum for some of us aspiring writer types to air out what makes us, as said writers, insecure.

O.k, so, this month's entry is a tad bit 'tongue in cheek' and more than a bit outlandish. That said, though, it is something that I, sometimes, think about regarding my writing.

It's about success.

Yes, I know it's strange to be insecure about succeeding and this is going to sound more than a bit odd, but I always have this thought in the back of my mind about when I see myself "hitting it big".

I always get this picture of me coming up with this great story, selling it, making oodles of money, movie deals, etc.....and, then, my publisher (or whoever) wants me to travel in support of it. Not that making money is my motivation because we all know how that turns out...., but it would be nice, though.

Anyway, traveling would present a problem.

That problem being....I am deathly afraid of flying. I mean, I know it's a phobia, but I get nervous just going into an airport. I haven't been on a plane in over thirty years and have no desire to change that.

I mean, I know there are other methods of getting around...such as car, train, etc.....but, if asked to go overseas, I'd really be behind the proverbial eight ball.

Now, while this is an insecurity (to say the least), it's one I probably wouldn't mind having to get over. Maybe success could be a powerful motivator?

See? I told you it was silly.

Please check out the other good folks hopping around in the name of insecurity. You can find them all right here.

Oh, yeah, don't forget....tomorrow is the Heroes and Villians bloghop, hosted by Dani and Jackie. It looks to be a fun little hop and there's still time to sign up, so what are you waiting for??

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Writing Spirit/Music Monday

Do you have a 'writing spirit'? No, I'm not really talking about the ever present 'muse' we (if we are lucky) seem to pick up as we write. I'm talking about the drive, the energy, the determination to start writing and keep at it. I'm going to guess that the better part of us, who write, do have this spirit and it's what helps spur us on when other factors in our lives are telling us to give up.

My writing spirit seems to have taken off for parts unknown for the duration, but I hope he returns soon.

I'm not sure if it's residual 'A to Z Challenge' burnout, some minor job/financial issues, or something else that's keeping him at bay, but I've really been feeling "blah" about writing.

The spirit has, it seems, been exorcised....even to the point where I'm not that motivated to blog much, anymore. Maybe it's time to scale back my blogging and try to put more effort into my other various projects?

Whatever it is, I need to recapture that spirit.....Ghostbuster's style!

One thing I've been thinking is that I need to read more. I'm still in the middle of Julie Flander's great novel Polar Night and have Ender's Game, which I just downloaded, waiting in the wings. My TBR (to be read) list has grown by leaps and bounds, so maybe it's time to start whittling that down.

Whatever the reason, I'm setting the 'writing spirit' trap out there and waiting patiently. I'll just have to remember, though, to not cross the streams when I finally find it again.

I ain't afraid of no ghost....

Music Monday

For today's toe tapper, I figured I'd keep with the theme and leave you all with Ray Parker Jr.'s theme from Ghostbusters

How do you go about keeping that 'writing spirit'?

Have a great Monday!
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