Tuesday, August 19, 2014

OVERPOWERED

If you haven't read Cheyanne Young's POWERED, you need to do so right now. Part two is available, and it's good.

I was lucky to be a beta reader for POWERED, so I was excited to read OVERPOWERED and share it on the blog. Cheyanne made up a world where humans are the basic beings. Supers have more power, and some Supers become Heroes after training. Get it? Supers are Heroes? Every time I made that connection in the book, I had to chuckle. I think the world Cheyanne created is witty and well-done; some books are too over-the-top, but this world is believable, and easy to imagine. Since I usually read "realistic" fiction, being able to believe the futuristic Super world was really important to me.


If you haven't yet read these books, be aware of minor spoilers ahead!


In POWERED, Maci Might became a Hero after a long struggle. Over time, her light hair turned dark, signaling evil blood. At the end of the book, she finds her twin - who has light hair. After Maci's boyfriend tests their blood, the twins realize Maci is actually evil, though she was raised in a good environment and acts good. Maci and Nova partner up in OVERPOWERED to try and figure out how humans have gotten Heroes power and take it like a drug.

I feel like my Goodreads review sums it up: Cheyanne Young does it again - writing a book that's light, funny, and suspenseful. This is the second installment of the POWERED trilogy, and I'm eager for the third. I really love Cheyanne's writing style, and the suspense isn't hokey to keep readers interested - it's well done and important to the story. The world she created is so vivid, I can picture the Supers in the cities and the transportation system. A lot of made up worlds can be over the top, but the world of humans, Supers, and Heroes is very well done.

I highly recommend you check out Cheyanne Young's ebooks. I've read more of her YA books and love them. Her characters are realistic and the stories pull you in. Start reading now - she's going places.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Writing Life (and writing vs. life)

Last week, I met with my writing partner for the first time since January. She came to my house to meet baby T and Will (I figured "my boy" and "the baby" would get a little confusing as the babe grows into a boy...). She had edits on an old story for me, and I had edits on something new for her. Will brought in a piece of flash fiction so she could get a sense of his writing style. We talked about what we'd be writing next. 

She wants me to write about my pregnancy and/or birth. Which I'm fine with. I didn't enjoy pregnancy but I don't mind talking about prenatal depression. And I loved the birth, so I'd like to write about that. But I don't know what the story would be. 

I want to write stories. I used to have so many ideas that I couldn't finish one without starting another. Now I don't have ideas, and I can't pick up where I left off on older story bits. I'm not even writing nonfiction, lately. It's frustrating, but I feel like there's an easy solution - I just can't reach it. 

I wish I was writing more, but I can't complain. My writing partner, after meeting my family and touring the house, said "Looks like you're living the dream." And I am. I'm spending time with baby T and loving every minute of it. I'm watching him learn and reading about what I can do to enrich that process. I'm taking advantage of the break between semesters to read for fun and be with Will. I'm starting to cook again, and not worrying about clean floors and dusty shelves.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Movies Round VI

moviesrd6

5/26/14 Forrest Gump (1994) 3/5
I've seen Forrest Gump at least once before, probably soon after it was released on VHS. I remember enjoying it then, though I didn't get a lot of the humorous references to historical events. I liked it a lot as an adult, but it's not one I'd re-watch very often.

5/26/14 The ABCs of Death (2012) 4/5
This is a collection of shorts from 26 different directors. Each director drew a letter, then picked a word to go along with it, ex: "A is for ___." They then made a short movie depicting this word. I'm not going to mention any of the words because I thought the best part was guessing the title, which was shown at the end of each short. Some of them are very gruesome, some are just kind of sick and weird, and some are silly. If there weren't a few lackluster shorts, I would have given this 5/5; but I'll definitely watch it again.

5/30/14 Ben Bailey: Road Rage (2011) 5/5
I was a huge Cash Cab fan because I love trivia and game shows, and also because host Ben Bailey always has great facial expressions and quips. I knew he was a comedian, but never checked out his act. This was on Netflix so we watched it, and before we were halfway through, I was recommending it to my brother, who also loves comedy. Ben Bailey is hilarious. I cracked up so many times, and already want to re-watch this special, along with finding more of his act.

5/30/14 Ralphie May: Austin-Tatious (2008) 2/5
I've previously only heard Ralphie May as the guest on a podcast or two, but he seemed pretty funny. Unfortunately, I think he's a bit better being a quippy sidekick than being the star of the show. He had some good jokes, but I think seeing the Ben Bailey special right beforehand might have spoiled me. A few Ralphie May jokes made me chuckle, but there was no cracking up.

6/28/14 The Theatre Bizarre (2011) 3/5
This reminded me a bit of The ABCs of Death, though I liked that better. Several short horror films are threaded together by a girl watching a creepy play all by herself. The stories of every film were really interesting. A couple of the shorts were really well done, though one wasn’t really “horror” in my opinion. Some were just weird, which is fine, but I think my sense of story is too straight-forward to fully appreciate stuff like that. I would watch it again though, just to refresh my memory about some of the stories.

7/3/14 Jim Gaffigan: Mr. Universe (2012) 4/5
I read Dad is Fat last year and thought it was really funny. My previous experiences with Jim Gaffigan were from “My Boys” and “Flight of the Conchords,” which are more him as characters than him as himself. I really love his stand-up, and am eager to see more.

7/26/14 Gypsy 83 (2001) 2/5
We rented this because my boy said it was one of his favorite movies. Afterwards, thankfully, he said he remembered it being very different, and now it’s been bumped from his top ten. Two goth kids are road-tripping to New York City so the girl can compete in a Stevie Nicks look-alike contest. The boy is still in high school, very over-the-top goth and gay; I’m not saying the character was over-the-top because I’ve known people like that in real life, but that made it more annoying. The girl was 25, but acted younger than the boy. I never really connected with the characters - they were stereotypical “misunderstood” goth kids - so I was annoyed by them instead of interested in the story.

7/26/14 Jim Gaffigan: Beyond the Pale (2006) 4/5
My second Gaffigan stand-up special. I think I liked this one better than “Mr. Universe.” Certain jokes had me cracking up, and some had me shaking my head in agreement like his little high-pitched voice, but overall the high-pitched voice kind of bothered me. I know it’s part of his style, but it kind of wore on me after a little bit.