Posted on October 5, 2018
One of the few pieces of common knowledge that seems (to me, at least) to be 100% accurate is that your favorite Bond is the one you first saw in the theater. Generally, you arrive at the Bond franchise at a young age and if you’re seeing it on the big screen, that actor in that version of the role is going to very likely define your impression of the character and of spy movies.
What do we call the Mission Impossible movies? The American James Bond franchise.
I like to think of myself as someone who doesn’t fetishize tools, but the truth is I can’t write without my special Microsoft ergonomic keyboard. I’m so dependent on it, in fact, that I buy multiple backups on eBay and keep them in my closet because they stopped making the model I like 15 years ago.
I use Word because I have Office. I tried Google Docs until I read the ToS and realized I was in jeopardy of having them own everything I create so I moved off of there and back to Word.
The one thing I’ve never done much of is note taking. My preferred approach to writing is to just have a general idea in my head and blast away in the word processor until I figure out what I want to do and then do another version or two. That’s fine, and it’s certainly fun, but it’s not efficient and now that I’ve challenged myself to write one new short story per month, I need to speed up the process.
I downloaded Notes today and have begun using it to organize my assault on the short stories I have planned. After a day’s use, it turns out to be a very useful little product. The interface is simple and clean and purposeful (it drives me crazy that I only use 1% of Word’s features) but the platform it’s built on is well thought out.
For instance, your stuff is private. Encrypted private. After the nasty shock of Google’s ToS, that was a very nice feature to happen across. It also supports multiple tags per note. That helps with organization. For instance, #blog for posts and #story for short stories and #working for stories or posts I’m actually working at the moment.
The most useful feature, though, is just using it. Working out the bones of a story before writing it saves a ton of time and reduces the number of drafts necessary from 10 to 2 or 3.
You can download it here.
I’ve tried not to speak my mind about Star Wars because I’m just a fan of the movies and have never immersed myself fully in the culture, but I am a veteran and I recognize a dangerous rogue when I see one. Why has Po Dameron not been court-martialed?
Trust me, I was in the military and I can guarantee you that an organization that will bust you down in rank for falling asleep on guard duty after a 12 hour shift, will not smile indulgently on someone who costs them an entire bomber wing to sink one enemy ship.
I’ve never wanted to be self-published. Nothing against it, but personally my goal has been to do it the old fashioned way: get an agent, sell a book, get a contract. I know I’m a good writer, I’ve worked at it for years, but my sense of success will only be fulfilled when I am accepted by the profession.
But about ten years ago everyone was going crazy for Amazon digital publishing. It was the wave of the future. It was remaking the game. Publishing was on its heels. So I allowed myself to get talked into self-publishing four of my books that hadn’t sold. The four books advertised on this site.
This is the story of how that went down.
As someone who suffers from bouts of deep depression and spent years on anti-depressants, I can testify to the healing power of distraction. I remember being in high school, suffering from the usual teen insecurity with a dark layer of depression on top and some ADHD and Dyslexia thrown in for a sweet topping and some teacher, wanting to elevate my tastes, would drop something dreadful into my lap and tell me to read it.
I don’t know what it is about Melville’s dense, forbidding prose that English teachers think is going to inspire comic book fans, but it doesn’t. In fact, if you really want to enjoy Moby Dick’s fascinating story, read the Cliff’s notes.
I also remember checking out hardcover SFF novels from the school library and covering them like my school texts so I could read them in class without getting caught. Well, except when I was called on and had no idea what was the teacher was even talking about.
So today, when my news feeds are just so, so awful I can’t stand them anymore, I choose to look away, to focus on the things I love. As a Genrist, those things will rightfully involve SFF, Horror, & Crime Fiction. Cash me below the jump.
That graphic is from a Twitter ad put out by Simon & Schuster. I can only figure that those are the five they sell because they definitely are not the five scariest King novels.
Pet Sematary is scary in parts, but it’s mostly just sad.
Christine is almost a comedy. I love it, but it’s not that scary.
IT… well, the first 70% is fantastically scary, but the ending is double plus dum. Even so it does belong on this list.
The Tommyknockers is just ridiculous. It’s barely readable.
Insomnia is a love story.
The actual five scariest Stephen King novels after the jump.
When I heard this new series wasn’t written by Stephen King or based on one of his stories but was rather a tribute to his work, I was really worried. Remember when they turned Lawnmower Man into an homage instead of using the source material? But I needn’t have been concerned. Castle Rock feels like something King would write.
TL;DR: If you haven’t watched this series already, you’re probably on the verge of murdering all the people who keep telling you to watch it.
Spoilers for Castle Rock follow
In the pre-Blockbuster days we had to take our horror movies as we found them. They really weren’t putting horror films into wide release so our options were limited to TV, usually on that fourth channel, the UHF one that you could never get a clear picture on, and second run/drive-in theaters. And since there was no selection process on our part, we just watched everything and sorted it into four categories:
Classic B&W A-Grade (Frankenstein, Dracula)
Classic B&W B-Grade (The Invisible Ray)
Garish Color B-Grade (Dr. Phibes, Anything from Hammer)
Cheap Color C-Grade (Don’t Look In The Basement, Anything from AMI)
Without a filter for quality, the single demand we had of these movies was that they be entertaining. Now, that could mean different things at different ages, but mostly they were either gross, scary, funny good, or funny bad. The only sin a horror movie could commit was to be boring.