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Newsletter, Thursday 22nd June

Jun. 23rd, 2017 01:22 am
gillo: (Editor SUH mine)
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(Giles' citroen. Spike's driving, Giles shotgun)
GILES: If you can't find third gear, don't try for third gear!
SPIKE: I'm doing my best. I don't know if I'm driving this thing or wearing it.
GILES: It's perfectly serviceable.
SPIKE: (laughs) Funny hearing a Fyarl demon say "serviceable." Had a couple of them working for me once. They're more like "Like to crush. Crush now?" Strong though. You won't meet a jar you can't open for the rest of your life.

~~A New Man~~



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feliciacraft: felicia as editor of the Sunnydale Herald (herald editor)
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chasingdemons: (Editor)
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Quentin: We're not in the business of fair, Miss Summers, we're fighting a war.
GILES: You're *waging* a war. She's fighting it. There is a difference.
Quentin: Mr. Giles, if you don't mind...
GILES: The test is done. We're finished.
Quentin: Not quite. She passed. You didn't. The Slayer is not the only one who must perform in this situation. I've recommended to the Council, and they've agreed, that you be relieved of your duties as Watcher immediately. You're fired.

~~Helpless (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 3, Episode 12)~~




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Author Uncertainty and Elephant Ears

Jun. 20th, 2017 05:06 pm
ozma914: new novel cover art by Kelly Martin (Default)
[personal profile] ozma914
 Jeez, three days before the author appearance in Avilla. We got a new shipment of bookmarks to give away, and new business cards, both designed by Emily ... also a new folding table, and a new canopy, not designed by Emily ...

 

Oh, and we have books. It's very important, when trying to sell books, that you have books to sell.

 

But I always feel nervous and unprepared before these things. Mind you, we've done at least a few every year, since that first one in the summer of 2011. Well over a dozen at this point.

 

My first book signing ... which was easier to set up, because I only had one book to sell. Now I have nine!

One of my favorite places to have an author appearance was the Noble Art Gallery (which, come to think of it, is half a block from where we set up for the first one). It's inside, has all that art, there's a sense of history, and a big window with a view of the Noble County Courthouse. But I've been there three times now, and the most recent time last year was poorly attended; I suppose I went to the well too often. Still, they're the only brick and mortar location with copies of our books for sale when I'm not there.

 

You could say my easiest author appearance was earlier this month, at the Albion Fire Department's annual fish fry. They sold three copies of Smoky Days and Sleepless Nights, even though I wasn't even there! But it wasn't really an author appearance, as I didn't appear, and it wasn't a book signing, since I didn't sign them. It's possible at this point that there are more signed books out there then there are unsigned ones, so maybe the latter are worth more.

 

Adding to my nervousness is that most of our appearances have been in Albion, although we've also shown up in Kendallville, Auburn, and Cromwell. Our trip to the Avilla Freedom Festival will be my first time in that town, so there's an air of uncertainty. Does anyone in Avilla know me, besides some emergency services people and the crew at the 4 County Mall? We'll see.

 

Meanwhile there's always worry about the weather, and getting set up properly, and finding the nearest bathroom. (Hey, I'm no spring chicken. And even spring chickens have to pee from time to time.)

 

Will our new awning get blown away in a windstorm? Will people laugh at me for taking books to a street fair? Will I sell zero books, and end up taking a loss? (It's happened before.) Will they have elephant ears? Will I get powdered sugar all over my inventory?

 

Stay tuned.

rahirah: (Default)
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BUFFY: A lost mission. I mean, a hairbrush I can understand. And by the way, I will find that and get that back to you. But how do you lose a mission?

WILLOW: Huge earthquake in 1812. Everyone just assumed the mission was leveled. Instead, they built right over it. It's like what happened in the thirties with that church the master was in. Doesn't it make you wonder what else is there, like, right under our feet?

BUFFY: Mostly, I've just found sewers full of demons.

WILLOW: Oh, right.

~~Pangs~~



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Happy 9th to the grand-twins

Jun. 17th, 2017 07:22 pm
ozma914: mustache Firefly (mustache)
[personal profile] ozma914

Emily and I helped celebrate Hunter and Brayden's 9th birthday Friday with a pool party, which is pretty much the only way to do an outdoor kid's birthday party in June.

 

That's Hunter on top and Brayden on the bottom, despite the fact that Brayden is taller (for the moment).

 

Did I mention the pool part?

 

When you're about to turn nine, opening presents is a group activity. There were adults there too, but our group activity was hamburgers and German potato salad.

 

 

It's always better with ... Batman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bonus video! If it works.

 

Emily and I gave them a telescope -- always good to keep your eyes on the stars.

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ozma914: mustache Firefly (mustache)
[personal profile] ozma914
Here's the news release I sent out earlier this month for our appearance at the Avilla Freedom Festival. It might be a good template for other authors to use, if you get set up for a book signing of your own. Or ... it may not be, since I came up with this myself. I have questionable confidence in my self-promotion ability. As usual, if you should know the news director for a major TV network, feel free to pass this along.



News Release

Local Author to Appear at Avilla Freedom Festival


            It might be an unusual location for an author appearance, but a local writer will be one of the venders at the Avilla Freedom Festival this year.
 
Mark R. Hunter of Albion and his wife Emily, who has co-written and edited some of his works, will be at the Festival along with other various venders, June 22-24. He calls it the “longest book signing ever”: They’ll be selling their works from 4-9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and from 9 a.m. until dusk on Saturday of that week.
 
The Hunters have nine printed works, in addition to three others that are available as e-books only. Their most recent written together was last year’s Hoosier Hysterical: How the West Became the Midwest Without Moving at All, a humorous take on Indiana history. More recently Torrid Books published Mark R. Hunter’s romantic comedy novel, Radio Red. Set in Michigan, it’s his first published work not connected in some way to Indiana.
 
Together the Hunters specialize in not specializing, as their books cover several genres. Mark Hunter’s solo works are romantic comedies and a short story collection; he and Emily worked together on books covering history, humor, and young adult fiction. Together they’ll have copies of nine books available at the Avilla Freedom Festival, at prices discounted for the event.
 
The Avilla Freedom Festival’s website is: http://www.avillafreedomfestival.com/
 
More information about the authors can be found at www.markrhunter.com, or on Amazon at amazon.com/Mark-R-Hunter/e/B0058CL6OO.
 
 
 
 
Mark R Hunter can also be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MarkRHunter/, and on Twitter at @MarkRHunter 
 


Thursday 15th June

Jun. 16th, 2017 01:11 am
gillo: (Editor SUH mine)
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SPIKE: Look, I just need a few supplies, and then I'll take you to... (stops and grabs his head) Oh, God.
BUFFY: What's wrong? Not that I care.
SPIKE: Oh... My head. I think I'm sobering up. It's horrible. Oh, God. I wish I was dead.

~~Lovers' Walk~~



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ozma914: (Dorothy and the Wizard)
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Okay, let's get this out of the way: I don't care if Wonder Woman, the character, is a feminist icon. Nor do I care if Wonder Woman, the movie, is flying an invisible plane through the glass ceiling, or breaking any ground whatsoever. I just want to watch a good movie.

(Although she is, and it does. And I did.)

Honestly I'm starting to wonder--you might brace yourself for this--if the day will come when the physically strong, kick-ass woman character will become a tired, cliched trope that makes people yawn. Hasn't happened to me yet. But my daughter watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the generation before me had Emma Peel, and I watched, well, Wonder Woman, who hit TV in her own series when I was thirteen. You bet I watched that show. I mean, as a comic book fan.

(Now that I think about it, my first literary hero was Dorothy Gale, Princess of Oz, who could be something of an action hero herself.)

Still, to paraphrase Buffy creator Joss Whedon, I suppose the reason we keep getting awesome female heroes is because people are still asking why we don't have them. And that ties right in with why I go to the movies, because Wonder Woman, while not the overwhelmingly perfect superhero movie some claim, is indeed awesome--largely because of one particular Gal.

The various incarnation of Princess Diana.
Gal Gardot is Diana, Princess of--you know, come to think of it, she's never called Wonder Woman at any point in the movie. The flick starts with Diana in modern times, receiving (by courier from Wayne Enterprises) a photo that sends her mind back to her childhood among the Amazons, on an island with no men. Sure, when you're a kid having no one of the opposite sex around is a paradise ...

Diana's mother, Queen Hippolyta, doesn't want her to train to be a warrior, as every other woman there does. She thinks something very bad will happen if the island's only child develops her ability. Sure enough, just when the grown up Diana has reached the peak of her training, an airplane falls out of the sky and delivers *gasp* a man to the island.

Luckily Diana somehow knows what a man is--that saved some awkward exposition.

The pilot is America spy Steve Trevor, (Chris Pine), who's being pursued by German soldiers. Turns out the rest of the world is mired in World War I, and Steve holds intel on a new German weapon that might cost tens of thousands more lives. Diana is convinced the war is the work of Ares, the god of war, who the Amazons have been training all along to someday face. Clearly, all the world is waiting for her.

Wonder Woman originated during World War II, and setting the movie further back in time was the first smart idea of the filmmakers. Let's see: A red, white, and blue costumed hero, rather naive but eager and determined, gathering a band of misfit commandos to take on a German army with secret weapons during the second World War? Surely no one would draw any comparisons to Captain America.

Their next bright idea was the cast.

What a Gal!

With Batman vs. Superman, the naysayers were already out, complaining Gal Gadot was too scrawny to be a proper Wonder Woman. Did they learn nothing from the anti-Michael Keaton outcry with Batman? No? Oh. Well, just as Christopher Reeve owned Superman, Gal Gadot has now taken over from Lynda Carter as the perfect Wonder Woman. Sorry, it's true, and I love Lynda Carter.

Chris Pine is his usual charming action hero self, often reduced to stupified stammering by this innocent warrior who doesn't seem to understand the whole traditional woman thing. The rest of the cast is first rate, especially Connie Nielsen as the Amazon Queen who just doesn't want to give her daughter over to the world. I especially liked the band of misfits Steve assembled for their behind the lines mission. Also of note is David Thewlis (currently menacing everyone on Fargo) as a British military leader trying to broker a peace treaty between the warring nations.

 While this doesn't rank as my favorite superhero movie (although it's well into my top ten), Wonder Woman is a great movie period--of any genre, or at least of any kind of action flick. The stakes are high, the emotions are great, the effects first rate. Really the only complaint I have is that if the next Wonder Woman movie is set in the present, we won't be able to see any of the sparkling supporting cast (who would be well into their second century by now). Maybe we should have them all frozen at the North Pole for several decades? That's never been done.

My score:

Entertainment Value: 4 M&M's, the good brown ones. I'm getting a little worried about this series of first rate movies I've been seeing the past couple of years. Granted that Wonder Woman is even more first rate than many of the others, but sooner or later I'll get hit with a disappointment.

Oscar Potential: 3 M&M's. It's worthy of a best picture nomination but, being based on a comic book, it'll be a supporting characters cold day in the North Pole before it gets one.
chasingdemons: (Editor)
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BUFFY: And so my night is now complete.
SPIKE: You never showed.
BUFFY: Sorry. Little busy actually doing stuff.
SPIKE: You shouldn't be so flip, luv.
BUFFY: What are you gonna do, walk behind me to death?
SPIKE: I'm just saying things might be a little different. You oughta be careful.
BUFFY: Enough. Get out of my way.
SPIKE: Or what? Oh, the pain! The pain! Is gone. Guess what I just found out. Looks like I'm not as toothless as you thought, sweetheart.
BUFFY: How?
SPIKE: Don't you get it? Don't you see? You came back wrong.

~~Smashed (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 9)~~




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ANGEL: You know, I'm having a hard time believing that Doyle's vision meant I was supposed to come here to break up a bar fight.
DOYLE: Yeah, well, if it was, I'm in for some serious workman's comp.

~~Lonely Hearts~~



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Adam West and your Batman

Jun. 11th, 2017 04:52 pm
ozma914: (Dorothy and the Wizard)
[personal profile] ozma914
 R.I.P. Adam West

 

The death of Adam West immediately resurrected the old argument: Who's your favorite Batman?

It's ironic that Roger Moore passed away so close to the same time: His death, of course, caused a chorus of favorite James Bond arguments. They both held similar positions in their perspective portrayals: They were the lighter, more colorful ones who weren't afraid to poke a little fun at their genres.

 

That being the case--especially with West--the argument becomes apples and oranges. What, I can't have both? A big navel orange, followed by a nice Red Delicious? Comparing Adam West to, say, Christian Bale is like comparing ... hm. Oh, I know: Like comparing "Battlestar Galactica" to "Battlestar Galactica". Love or hate the reboot, it just wasn't the same show as the original.

 

I've probably just started arguments that would rival fights among British football fans, but there you go. 

 

 

"Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb." -- Batman

 

Look at the above quote, and picture Michael Keaton's Batman saying that. Look at the photo, and imagine Christian Bale's Batman cavorting with a purple Batgirl or a bright red and yellow Robin. Ain't gonna happen. For that matter, imagine Ben Affleck making fun of his Batman on an episode of Family Guy. (Clooney would probably do it.)

 

My point is, you can like them both, or all, even Val Kilmer if you want. If you're a sports fan, the analogy is that you can like both the Cubs and the Bears: They're both in the same city, but they're two different animals.

 

So embrace and remember the fun that was Adam West. We should all be so lucky as to bring that much joy to such a wide audience.