Holiday writer’s tag


Book: Leviathan City – the group from Children of Fire, the first book, are glad to be home after a big battle, when Jarred’s brother calls. He needs them to come to Leviathan City, an offshore city that is pretty much the only real civilization still in the world of Elemental. It’s basically it’s own city-state, and while it uses water to power itself, and has security, and civilians are allowed on if they follow the rule of a naval captain (ex-services, and a powerful hydromancer) it’s like a cruise ship but stationary and you can leave anytime. Adam calls, and there’s been a murder attempt, and Adam being Jarred’s brother, and Tesla Squad being elementalists themselves, and all signs pointing at the captain being the culprit, Adam’s just doing his job and he’s going to need to bring in some help.


#1 Which character would get wasted at a holiday party and end up humping the Christmas tree?

Jeff. Definitely Jeff.

#2 Which character deserves to get the crap beaten out of ‘em by the Krampus?


#3 Which character is the Grinch this year?

Jarred. He’s always grumpy. He doesn’t have a drinking problem, he just likes his drama inside a rectangle, thank you very much.

#4 Which character would try to get a little too friendly while sitting on Santa’s lap?

Jess for sure. She’s a DGAF bitch type, but with a heart of gold, and if Santa was like “And what would you like for Christmas, little lady?” And she’d bite her lower lip.

#5 Who would your antagonist most like to tongue beneath the mistletoe? 

Who WOULDN’T he? But definitely Sarah, the purest of them all.

#6 Which character would accidentally tip the menorah and light the house on fire?

Jeff. Anna’s a tipsy bartender, though. But if Adam, who doesn’t drink, actually drank…

But I’d have to say Jarred, if his legendary reflexes were dulled sufficiently by alcohol (he has lightning powers, and can run and react pretty damn fast too, not Flash or Spiderman or Neo level, but certainly faster than the non-powered human (Usain Bolt notwithstanding)).

#7 Which character is most likely to bring magic brownies to a holiday party?

Jeff. Or Anna.

#8 Which character is most likely to ring in the new year naked? And why the hell are they naked in the first place?


#9 Which character is absolutely kidding themselves by insisting they belong on the nice list?


#10 Which characters would readers be most shocked to find on the naughty list?

Sarah. Absolutely Sarah.

Another franchise returns from the dead…

In recent news, at least recent to me, I saw a trailer for a remake of The Mummy. A franchise that shot itself in the foot, twice, and ended Brendan Frasier’s career. At least with that one, it’s got Tom Cruise, so, you know, safe bet for action and star name recognition and all that. Yes, he’s legit cray. But he’s also a really successful actor, and if he’s still getting roles today, you can bet it’s because of that, and, in synergy, if he’s still acting at his age he’s gotta be damn good at it. So at least you’ll get to see Tom Cruise be… well, Tom Cruise. And if anything could be resurrected from the dead…

I’ll see myself out.

But just today I heard that they’re trying to get a remake of Escape From New York done.

Dear god, no. Just when I thought it might be safe to go back to the movies! (I didn’t, and it wasn’t, not by a long shot) They drag up the past again with this shit.

As soon as I opened up Youtube and saw In Bob We Trust come up with the headline ‘how to fix the Escape From New York’, I thought: “Step 1: No.”

Roll credits.

But, to Bob’s credit, he did have some good angles to go with as an alternative to the inevitable shitery that’s going to ensue from this. I loved those movies, simply because of how satirical they are of society in those two cities in those two decades.

Unless this turns out to be a meta-narrative on endless reboots, a la 21 Jump Street, I’m not seeing this one. Like, at all. Unless trusted sources tell me it’s actually good. Or a hilarious train wreck. THAT I’d pay to see in the cinemas. But not the bland, boring, paint-by-numbers snore fest that we’ll probably get.

Escape From America, THAT I’d watch. Or Snake Goes Home. Or Escape From Earth (a la ‘I Don’t Want To Live On This Planet Anymore…’)

Those movies, if they needed anything, is a SEQUEL. You know, like what Mad Max did. But not like Independence Day 2. That was also shit. Not that I expected much from that. By this point, who even gives a shit?

Magnificent 7 was fine though. The Mummy reboot could be alright. But we haven’t really had a GOOD reboot since 22 Jump Street, and that was only because it was SO off-the-wall funny and satirical and meta with a deliberate purpose, and that it struck gold twice tells you the next one will too.

Which is crossing over with MIB.

Not sure how that’ll work, but can’t be any worse than the Robocop one.

Reign of Fire, or, how many dragons can you fit on screen at once?

The year was… something like 2000, and I was 15. Christian Bale was not yet Batman, and Darker and Gritty Reboots weren’t a thing yet. Ah, simpler times. I watched a LOT of movies that, being raised by a super-strict mother, I wasn’t allowed to watch at all that year. Alien, Terminator, Predator, Die Hard, Bond, The Matrix, and every special-effects-driven action flick I could get my grubby teenage hands on from the local video store (remember those?). I watched Anime and listened to Rock ‘n’ Roll. I was introduced to the drug trip that was Baz Lurman’s Romeo & Juliet while playing Final Fantasy 8 (those two go together SO WELL). I was reading fantasy books with swords and spells in them.

VHS was on its way out, DVD was on its way in, and I could walk out of Video Ezy with an armload of movies for $10. Which I would pretty much blow through in three days. I had a LOT of catching up to do.

Reign of Fire is one of those post-apocalyptic action movies that was the awesomest thing you’ve ever seen when you’re 15 and haven’t watched a single M-rated movie in your life.

So, how does it hold up, 15 years later?

Truth be told… impressively.

Remember, if you can, a time when action movies had actual *explosions* in them. I’m talking fire, not crappy CGI flames that look more oily than burning. I’m talking the kind of thing that made Mad Max Fury Road awesome, because that shit’s right there, it’s dangerous, it’s real, it’s able to kill people.

And here you have an apocalypse scenario where sleeping dragons woke up from their caves and took to the skies en masse, and the world BURNED.

Yes, it’s a classic Knights vs Dragons scenario, but the knights have .50 calibre machine guns and blackhawk helicopters to fight them with. Which is good because there’s a fucktonne of them to deal with, and all they’re doing is surviving.

The tactics they use, the preservation of knowledge, are the only things that humanity have to use against such a force.

And the scenery, while largely bleak-looking, *looks* like it’s been burnt to a crisp. Crops burn, cities burn, iconic monuments get a heavy dose of fireball.

Glorious. Because it’s real fucking fire.

The dragons? Classic-looking, really, the CGI holds up amazingly well considering when this was made and how bloody hard it was to get it looking that good in 2000. This and The Matrix were benchmarks for CGI, and the trainwreck of CGI flops since just goes to prove that the damn thing was overused because of course it was. Every studio executive sees an amazing action movie and thinks of the money and how it’ll buy their fourth yacht. Except most CGI between then and now looks like shit, most Marvel movies notwithstanding.

That’s why I love action movies with balls. Practical effects, CG where it’s absolutely necessary and only as a last resort, characters who aren’t SWOLL AF, or at least have some fucking battle scars… I miss those days.

Those were good times. The last couple years, apart from most of the Marvel movies, I don’t get nearly enough enjoyment out of the experience (or have nearly enough disposable money) to go to the movies like I used to, so I save my money for movies that rock. I’m not wasting $20 on utter shit. But now I have this one, and I can say, what was awesome when I was 15, is still awesome at 31, at least in this case.

Tyrannosaurus Becks (my 31st birthday)

My 30th birthday was a blast, lots of people came to that, and I was king of the world.

My 31st, not so much. What went wrong? I mean, apart from everything.

95% of those people have barely spoken to me since, during,tyrannosaurus-becks and I’d say because of, what has to be the most tumultuous year I’ve EVER lived through, and basically, I weathered 2016 about as well as an ice cube on a hot summer’s day. Alone.

I melted down a few times. I have been let down, rejected, disappointed, lied to, had just about everything I own break down like me (stuff I was using to chill out and cope with the sheer absurdity of the year, I should point out) and, well, I’m not saying David Bowie was holding the fabric of the universe together, but… *gestures widely at 2016*

So I canceled one birthday event that I really didn’t want to go to for multiple reasons, and had dinner with my family and best friend instead, like we haven’t done in years, and I even got a bit of writing in while I was at it (I ended up arriving in the mid-afternoon, not really planning to, just kinda winding up there early. Mum was having an event there too, I arrived about when that ended, and had about 2 hours to fill. I believe I filled those two hours adequately with writing).

And then I saw the perfect photo opportunity. I grabbed a blow-up T-Rex from the couch set up in the beer garden for something (FRIENDS trivia, I believe it was) and put it opposite me, took this, and smiled.

I call this… Tyrannosaurus Becks.

Dinner was great, too.

I’ve since smashed some personal goals that weren’t getting anywhere all year with everything going wrong, and I’ve been able to relax properly due to eliminating some stupid wtf drama from my life. I’ve finally rearranged my DVD shelf, bookshelf is next, and I’ve discovered some awesome things lately that help deal with what is, just about objectively, a shitty year. And I’ve taken to taking photos wherever opportunities present themselves, because of how much I regret not taking the one of the after-effects of the night I painted my face like David Bowie, and it ran like mascara due to sweat, water, and honest-to-god tears. But that was a dark part of my life I don’t want to relive.

So here’s to good times.