Movie Discussion #1: Gerald’s Game


There’s a new Stephen King movie out. Two actually, but today, I’d like to talk about Gerald’s Game, which is available to watch on Netflix.

Gerald’s Game

I’m not a fan of horror. It freaks me out and leaves me with nightmares. So why do I keep torturing myself with horror flicks? I have no idea honestly. If you figure it out, let me know.

This movie was no exception. Based off Stephen King’s book by the same name, it’s a psychological thriller that sends chills up the spine and reminds me why BDSM with actual handcuffs are just not my thing. Nope. No thanks.

I started to read the book, but when I got to the point where the dog appeared and started to feast, I had to put it down. I just… couldn’t. I’ve watched animals dig into a carcass like that for real, and it wasn’t something I wanted to imagine while reading. Thanks, but no thanks.

The movie was good though, and I didn’t really know what to expect from it because where I read to in the book was all in the beginning fifteen-to-twenty minutes, so the rest of the movie was about surviving being cuffed to a bed with a dog at one end and past trauma at the other.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to live with sexual assault, but as we explored Jessie’s past and how it could help save her in the present, it becomes apparent just how much she’s willing to do in order to survive. She’s a survivor, and even though her being cuffed to the bed was a bad thing, it forced her to face her past and become even stronger in the future.

Even worse, in the beginning of the movie, there’s mention of a burgler and I kept on the edge of my seat the whole time Jess heard a noise outside because I kept thinking it would be the burgler, and she wasn’t left in the best of situations. In fact, because she’d already been cuffed to the bed, there would be nothing stopping a burgler from becoming a rapist or murderer, and that terrified me for Jessie’s safety. I mean, she’d left the door open when she and Gerald came inside – I assume for the starving dog because she had a bleeding heart for the poor animal – and the windows were all left open as well.

One of my favorite things about the movie was how Jessie recalled things about Gerald’s habits that led to her survival. There was the fact that he took Viagra, which always left him thirsty. It led her to remember the water on the shelf above her head, and there were other tidbits of trivial matters that led to her ability to drink it when she couldn’t bring it straight to her mouth.

While the fact that she’s seeing ghost versions of her dead husband and herself is terrible and bad, it is a survival tactict that allows her to help her free herself. Not only does she have to free herself from the handcuffs physically trapping her to the bed, she has to free herself from the shackles that have been in her mind since she was a child, and there’s all these little things she thinks of as she’s lying in bed – past memories – that allow her to think her way through her situation.

Despite it all, she keeps a somewhat level head… at least compared to how most people might in the same situation. Not only that, but she keeps her witty and sarcastic humor. She didn’t just take in her situation, feel it was too difficult to escape and give up, lying there in the bed until someone found her. She did at first, but once she “lost her mind” and gained her wits back, she took stock of her situation and proceeded to let her survival instinct kick in.

Favorite Character

Jessie is a tough cookie. She’s been keeping a secret since she was a child, a secret that should never have been a secret in the first place because she was a victim of assault, and then as an adult, she was put into another terrible situation. She’s a survivor.

Memorable Quotes

“How was the steak? It’s two hundred dollars a portion, you know. I don’t suppose you’re a rescue dog. I didn’t think so.” ~ Jessie Burlingame

“Well, I’m pretty sure you just lost your mind.” ~ Jessie Burlingame’s mind-ghost of Gerald

“You’re not real. You’re only made of moonlight.” ~ Jessie Burlingame

Have you watched this show? What did you think of it? Talk to me about it!


NaNoWriMo Incoming!


I don’t have an update for Shifters & Mages this week because NaNoWriMo starts in… two days? Yes. Two days. I only have today and tomorrow to finish prepping for it.

I’m ready. I think.

For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is a 30-day writing challenge in the month of November where participants attempt to write a 50,000 (50K) novel. Some plan it ahead of time while others start a brand new story the day of and hope for the best.

I’ve competed every year since 2011 after being introduced to it halfway through November in 2009 and not participating in 2010 because I was already doing another writing challenge and expecting my oldest. I “won” for the first time with what became the first draft of Jenna’s Story, but ever since then I’ve been a rebel, working on multiple stories at one time.

This year is no exception. My main focus will be Mages’ Sacrifice, the final book in the Shifters & Mages series, which I’ll be typing since it’s already been started in that format, but I also plan on working on some hand-written projects in my Novella Notebook. I have about a third of one story written, and I hope to finish it in November and maybe start the next if I can. There’s only enough room (with the way I write) for two novellas. We’ll see.

Below are short blurbs for the three projects I would like to tackle for NaNoWriMo.

Mages’ Sacrifice

Nicky, head of the Council, has betrayed them, but before any of them can get their hands on her, she vanishes and no one, not even Myles, can find her. Puck is preparing for what feels like will be the final battle against the Hunters, but her mage-partner, Cassie, seems to be hiding something from her, and if she can’t figure out what it is before it’s too late, it could be the end of everything as they know it.

Seeking Solace

When Brijit, a serving maid, seeks solace at the fountain one evening, she meets K’la, a gargoyle and lone guardian of the castle. They strike up a quick friendship, but betrayal threatens their friendship when Lord Devin learns of the gargoyle and seeks her assistance in taking over the throne.

Moonlight Dance

Luella is half-vampire, half-werewolf, the love child of a forbidden relationship, and that’s made her a target for both factions, but not in the way she originally believed. Dave is the son of her father’s best friend, and has known about her all his life. Alexander was her mother’s best friend and wanted nothing more than what made her happiest. Both men are prepared to give Luella the world – if she’d let them.

If you wanna join me on my journey, I am going to be going live with Sarah Scharnweber on YouTube around November 1st 12:00 AM central time (1:00 AM eastern) for some writing. Also, feel free to add me as a buddy on the NaNo site itself.


Lisey’s Story by Stephen King

Friday Feature

Lisey’s Story by Stephen King

Lisey Landon lost her husband Scott two years ago, after a twenty-five-year marriage of profound, sometimes frightening intimacy. Scott was a celebrated, award-winning, novelist. And a complex man. Lisey knew there was a dark place where her husband ventured to face his demons. Boo’ya Moon is what Scott called it; a realm that both terrified and healed him, that could eat him alive or give him the ideas he needed to write and live. Now, it’s Lisey’s turn to face her husband’s demons. And what begins as a widow’s effort to sort through her husband’s effects, becomes a perilous journey into the heart of darkness.

About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes The Bill Hodges Trilogy, Revival, and Doctor Sleep. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.


TV Discussion #8: Ouran High School Host Club


This week’s discussion is… you guessed it… Ouran High School Host Club. Long title. Amazing show.

I’ve been watching this show on Netflix. As an anime, it is in Japanese, but the version I’m watching is English subbed. I don’t know Japanese. Sorry folks.

Episode 6: The Grade School Host is the Naughty Type!

In this episode, Tamaki takes the forefront as a fifth grader comes prancing in claiming to want to learn how to make women happy and become the apprentice of the host club’s “king”. Watching him try to teach this reluctant kid how to be a host is hilarious, especially as he learns the various character types of the host club members and Renge gives him his own character archtype. (Poor kid looks like he’s drifting into madness by this point.)

That said, when it becomes apparent Shiro (the fifth grader) isn’t trying to make women happy, but one particular woman happy, we get a chance to see Tamaki step up to the plate, change his training structure and take on the young boy and tell him exactly what he needs to hear in order to please his love.

I don’t want to like Tamaki, but you can’t help but do so in this episode as he has the forefront most of the time. There’s more jokes at the expense of the rest of the host club members this time rather than at Tamaki, which is a change of pace, but it also shoves a point to home. Shiro… is a brat… A spoiled brat… Hmmm… Sounds familiar, doesn’t it Tamaki?

Poor kid…

Favorite Character

Tamaki has a chance to shine and show his true colors in this episode, and he does so brilliantly. It’s nice to see that he’s not always so full of himself. Most of the time, yes, but not all the time.

Memorable Quotes

“Listen, Shiro, I know that I told you it’s the job of a host to make women happy, but when you care for someone, you must find the courage to express what is in your heart. You have to tell her how you feel about her! Now, you didn’t come to me looking to become a full-fledged host. You want to be a full-fledged man.” ~ Tamaki Suou

Have you watched this show? What did you think of it? Talk to me about it!


TV Discussion #7: Ouran High School Host Club


This week’s discussion is… you guessed it… Ouran High School Host Club. Long title. Amazing show.

I’ve been watching this show on Netflix. As an anime, it is in Japanese, but the version I’m watching is English subbed. I don’t know Japanese. Sorry folks.

Episode 5: The Twins Fight!

This is an interesting episode, as I’m not a fan of all the lovey-dovey taboo happenings between the twins. That said, it’s also strange to see such people fighting, and we learn a lot about them.

Let’s start with their relationship with each other. It’s pointed out near the end of the episode that they’ve always felt there’s two groups of people: them and the others around them. Of course, this episode focused on the twins fighting with each other and how they dragged everyone into their fight, but that last bit brought the entire episode into perspective for me.

How would I feel if I was a twin and no one could tell me apart from my twin? I think I would have a fight with my twin as well, and I think I would also be mishevious enough to have screw with people’s minds and get them to guess which of the twins I was. I will admit that I didn’t honestly believe the twins were fighting, not when the whole thing started shortly after they both complained about being bored. While the fighting was believable enough, especially once it was explained they’d never fought before in the past, it felt a lot like a game more than anything.

Despite this, I honestly had a moment where I actually fell completely and hopelessly in love with the twins right at the end of the episode. They use the taboo brotherly love gimic in the host club, and they aren’t much different outside it, but there was a moment, when they realized just how much Haruhi understood them, that it brought the boys attitudes into perspective. I knew why they did everything they did. It was their way of belonging to the outside world. In their minds, no one understands them. They are two halves of a whole, and no one understands them separately. They are, in essence, one complete entity. But when Haruhi broke through that illusion with her ability to tell them apart, it allowed them to include someone else in that small world they’ve built around themselves.

Also, they actually DO have activities outside of the host club. We saw them go to lunch. We saw them in class. Granted, it was to see how the twins act while they were fighting with each other outside their involvement with the host club, but still! They go to classes, everyone! It’s a miracle!

Favorite Character

It’s safe to say that Haruhi will always hold a place in my heart, moreso with every episode that I watch. Now though, the twins burrowed their way in because we got to know them a little better and figure them out, and it was really interesting to see.

Memorable Quotes

“Oh, I do, but I have no problem with Haruhi having a homosexual relationship on the side.” ~ Renge Hoshakuji

Have you watched this show? What did you think of it? Talk to me about it!


Shifters & Mages Update #8


This is going to be an extreeemely short update. I’m still working on Warren’s Rage, but I am making progress. I’m not writing every day as I’d like, but when I do, I write at least 1500 words, so I’m not going to complain.

That said, NaNoWriMo is coming up, and I really need to step up my game in order to get the projects done this year that I plan to get done. Yeah…

Soon, I’ll have my NaNo post up explaining what I plan to work on, and all that jazz. Keep an eye out for that!

Original Due Date: 10-10-17
Updated Due Date: 10-15-17
New Due Date: 10-31-17

Current Word Count: 20,285
Word Count Goal: 25,000


Previously on Shifters & Mages Updates:

Grave Beginnings by R.R. Virdi

Friday Feature

Grave Beginnings by R.R. Virdi


As far as numbers go, it isn’t a great one. Hell, it’s not even a good one and Vincent Graves is going to find out just how unlucky of a number it can be.
Because someone, or something, is killing people in the Empire state, and whatever it is, it gives people everything they ever desired and more. And it’s the more that’s the problem!

Well…it’s one of the problems.

Vincent’s investigation also seems to have drawn the attention of a relentless FBI agent and then there’s the little bit where he has only thirteen hours to solve the case, or he dies.

Talk about your literal deadlines…

…No pressure.

By the end of this case Vincent will come to understand the meaning of an age old proverb: Be careful what you wish for – because you just might get it!

About the Author

R.R Virdi is the two-time Dragon Award-Nominated author. Once for The Grave Report, a paranormal investigator series set in the great state of New York. The second novel in the series, Grave Measures, was a finalist for the 2016 Dragon Awards under Best Fantasy (Paranormal) category alongside, Jim Butcher, Larry Correia, N.K. Jemisin, Dave Freer, James Osiris Baldwin, and G. Derick Adams.

The second time for, Dangerous Ways, book one of The Books of Winter, an epic urban fantasy series set in the same world as his Grave Report series.

He has worked in the automotive industry as a mechanic, retail, and building custom gaming computers. He’s an avid car lover, with a special love for American classics.

He currently resides in northern Virginia, (an important distinction to residents of the area!) He’s is a fan of martial arts , science fiction and a fantasy ninja, lover of all things paranormal/supernatural.He spends his days in an imaginary world working as a recorder of all the events that transpire there, that and sometimes he chases after his derpy dog, Oreo.

Sometimes he wanders aimlessly through the halls of his home dressed in jedi robes, we have no idea why….

His favorite shows are the Game of Thrones, Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis, Firefly, Supernatural and Man VS Food…..only when he’s starving. In his spare time he likes to tinker with cars, play video games and stare blankly at a computer screen under the pretense that he’s doing work.

The hardest challenge for him up to this point has been fooling most of society into believing he’s a completely sane member of the general public.