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Chronicles of Riddick: Day Two Riddick’s Hero Journey

March 13, 2012 | Uncategorized,Writing

“One last question, merc, and you better get this one right? Whose ship is this? Riddick asked Toombs.
“Mine,” Toombs answers.
Then Riddick shoves him out of the vessel and takes off.

Stage Two of the Hero’s journey is: The Call to Adventure. According to Vogler, the hero is faced with a challenge, problem and can no longer stay in his Ordinary World. Although if it were me, getting off that frozen planet would be a no brainer. But for Riddick he now knows the bounty was placed on his head by Imam, one of two he rescued off the alien planet. Someone he ‘showed trust.’ Vogler states: “The Call to Adventure establishes the stakes of the game, and makes clear the hero’s goal: to win the treasure or the lover, to get revenge or right a wrong, to achieve a dream, confront a challenge, or change a life.” With Riddick it looks like he’s out for revenge, because since he’s a wanted man he’s not really righting a wrong unless he turns himself into the authorities. Yeah right.

Once on Helion Prime, Riddick breaks into Imam’s, (the actor David Keith) home and cleans up, physically. And he’s looking really good. When Imam comes home, Riddick quietly and deadly confronts him. Imam, worried about his wife and young daughter, tells Riddick that if it weren’t for the threat of invasion he would have never revealed where Riddick was hiding. Imam’s daughter, Ziza, isn’t afraid of Riddick and asks him: “Are you going to kill the new monsters this time?” Imam responds: “Such are our bedtime stories.” Riddick wants the pay day off his head. So Imam summons three clerics who come to try and persuade Riddick to help them stop the Necromonger invaders. Then Aereon, (actress Judi Dench), an Elemental who was the one who placed the bounty on Riddick’s head. She explains her reason is because he’s a Furyan, the one race the Lord Marshal fears. As she explains the situation, Riddick says “Maybe you should pretend you’re talking to someone educated in the penal system, better yet don’t pretend.”
Judi Dench

What’s your favorite line from this scene?

Stage Three of the Hero’s Journey as written by Vogler is: Refusal of the Call – The Reluctant Hero. Riddick is indeed a reluctant hero. He tells Imam, after he beats the crap out of the soldiers, it’s not his fight. Imam challenges him by telling him that young Jack never forgave him for leaving her and she left looking for him. Vogler says: “The hero has not yet fully committed to the journey and may still be thinking of turning back.” Riddick leaves looking for way off the planet, but witnesses the invasion.

Imam flees with his family and they are separated. Riddick saves Imam first and then his family.
Any lines from this scene?

Wednesday I’ll get to the really good stuff. Lots of Vin Diesel, Karl Urban, and the adventure begins.


I Went, I Saw, I Stood, I Love Comic Con

August 1, 2011 | Uncategorized

First let me say Comic Con is not for the faint of heart, legs, feet, wallet, or mind. My journey began last summer as I watched Comic Con broadcast on G4, a cable channel. I’d heard about the event for a number of couple of years. I knew I’d found my 2011 vacation spot. If of course you think 125,000 plus people descending on San Diego city at its Convention Center and surrounding hotels a vacation hot spot. And I quickly discovered getting to Comic Con isn’t the same as booking a trip to Italy or Disney. That dear reader, would a snap.

My first ‘hint’ this was not going to be easy was Saturday, February 5th. I eagerly sat at my computer waiting for 11am PST so I could buy tickets. Easy, peasey – not. The ticket vendor Ticket Leap, whose logo is a frog, didn’t leap, it didn’t even jump, or twitch. It crashed, croaked. Over and over and over. What a new and terrible experience. But thanks to Twitter posts from Comic Con veterans I learned how to exercise my index finger and the F5 key, over and over and over again. So while Ticket Leap continued to crash/croak I multi-tasked, kept an eye on on my bank account to make sure if I ever got pass the shopping cart my account wouldn’t be debited for additional tickets. Four hours later, I had individual tickets for each day except Preview Wednesday and Saturday and I made it to a friend’s daughter’s baby shower with a story to tell. Of course my friends had no clue what Comic Con was or why I’d spent half the day trying to purchase tickets, but they listened, smiled and nodded in the appropriate places. When it came time for hotel reservations, I had the sinking feeling I was going to be online for hours. No crash, no croak. You are provided a list of all the participating hotels and then you rank them according to where you want to stay. I wanted something close but not too pricey. We stayed at the Doubletree in Mission Valley – easy, peasey. I’m willing to stay there again, located next to a strip mall that had a Starbucks, Joe’s CrabShack and Applebees. One suggestion DoubleTree Hilton – free inroom wifi please. Booking our flight with Frontier Airlines was easy and their flights were on time, our connections smooth and they served warm chocolate chip cookies.

We arrived in San Diego Wednesday afternoon safe, exhausted but excited for Thursday to arrive. The time change was a massive adjustment, one my twenty year old son didn’t have a problem with. Since we came from Central Standard time, we gained an extra two hours. This played havoc with me. I’m an early riser, 6am, so waking at 4am was rough. Thursday morning the first shuttle took us to an off site where we could pick up our badges. We did and I discovered I had a slight badge problem which almost sent me into cardiac arrest. My ticket wasn’t in the system!! Suggestion: When Comic Con sends you the final email right before the convention begins and tells you to print the confirmation pages. Print the confirmation pages. I did but left it in the hotel room and the last two digits on Thursday’s ticket had changed. The staff told me to go to the badge help desk in the convention center and they’d straighten it out. So we took the next bus to the center, my heart pounding, my brain freaked out but once we got there the problem was solved and our badges were printed for every day. When I put on my lanyard, I felt like I’d become a member of a very exclusive group.

Let me back up to our arrival at the San Diego Convention Center. After the second bus dropped us off, across from Petco Field, we crossed over the Pedestrian Bridge. What I saw was so eye opening and overwhelming that television doesn’t do justice. The camera may add ten pounds, but it doesn’t show what thousands of people really look like up close. I was overwhelmed, confused and eager to be a part of it. And I don’t do crowds. I stood there and marveled at all the people, families, and those dressed in costume. After the badge solution, I was given my Comic Con bag big and deep enough for grocery shopping, carry a small child, or an inflatable mattress (not a bad idea by Saturday). Cartoon characters on one side, actors from various programs on the other. Life size almost. On Twitter there was a picture of one woman who’d turned hers into a dress. I scored a Supernatural bag with Sam and Dean Winchester on one side and was approached by a young lady who wanted to switch. No way, child. I am a Supernatural fan. That’s another great thing, if you get a bag you don’t want, ask around someone may be willing to swap.

First Day at Comic Con

The convention book is almost half an inch thick – and in small print. Study it. In a corner. Standing. You’re going to do a lot of standing. You can’t sit against the walls, fire hazard. Electric outlets are a premium, you’ll need to find them to recharge your phone. Comic Con gives new meaning to ‘hurry up and wait’. I’ll be glancing through the 2011 edition in preparation for 2012 probably while waiting online to purchase tickets as inspiration to keep pressing F5. The convention is held in several of the hotels, not just the convention center. The Exhibit Hall was were all the vendors, television stations, stars who come for signings, free game playing took place and is equal to three football fields with every inch covered. Buy your Comic Con tee shirt early, they’d sold out by Sunday. Sold Out? Really? I purchased River Song and the Eleventh Doctor’s sonic screwdrivers, a Tardis that lights up and makes sounds and a Tardis usb hub.

So as a first time, but will return Comic Con devotee, here’s just a little of what I experienced.

1. What happens in San Diego, doesn’t stay in San Diego. Especially when you’ve got Twitter and a smartphone with a camera. Constant tweets provided minute by minute updates as to who was where, what to do, who’s doing what, and how to find it. With pictures. Panel video uploads were available right after a panel ended. Just in case you didn’t get in to see it live. Which is possible, check #3. I didn’t go to the Cowboys and Aliens screening at the Civic Center, but there were plenty of other movies being shown at hotels.

2 Wear comfortable shoes. I mean really, really comfortable shoes with support.

3. Lines, lines and more lines. I underestimated the long lines. I don’t do lines. But this was Comic Con so yes I stood in lines. I stood in line for Ballroom 20 on Friday probably longer than my flight from Chicago to Denver. I started way, way back near the water and finally gave up right outside the center. By that time I knew I wasn’t going to get in for Torchwood which was the first panel. I wanted to ask Jane Espenson, a writer for the series questions. Seeing John Barrowman would have been a bonus. If I’d gotten in, I would have stayed in that room all day. The line up after Torchwood was The Walking Dead, Big Bang Theory, Eureka, Warehouse 13 and then True Blood. The rooms are not cleared between panels. You can get bathroom passes and food vendors are located right outside the door. If you don’t get a pass, then it’s back to the end of the line, where ever that is. Back near the pier maybe? I did get in for True Blood, ain’t saying how. It was awesome, no spoilers given.

Anyway since I didn’t get in for Torchwood, it was time to find another panel, another shorter line, one less than a mile long. So what time should you arrive to get in line? Well if the panel begins at 10am and the actors and programs you’re interested in are wildly popular I suggest 6am. And that I think doesn’t get you into the convention center itself. No I’m not kidding. One trick is if you want to see a particular panel, but there are three or four panels ahead of it that you may not really want to see, get in line, get in, sit down and wait. There are no boring panels. After NCIS LA with LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell I stayed for the Worst Cartoon Ever panel. It lived up to its name. My son was off at the Marriott Hotel which was much quieter. Gamers don’t talk, they play games and watch anime.

Sunday I wanted to see SuperNatural and Doctor Who in Hall H bigger than Ballroom 20. I got up early, arrived at the convention center around 8am and was in line across the street from the convention center. Glee was the first panel and I got in standing room only. I kept an eye on people as I stood in the back, when the panel was over, I hoped a lot people would leave. I stared at chairs at the end of several rows. When the panel ended, people left and then it became a game of musical chairs. I bolted for the first chair open I spotted, sat and didn’t move. During the question and answer period for Doctor Who there were two absolutely amazing Dalek costumes that must have taken days to construct. Life size with a person inside. Matt Smith and Karen Gillan took time out to sign the creations.

4. Misery loves company or geeks love geeks. Long lines at Comic Con creates bonding if only for a few hours. There is also a sense of ‘Boy did I get here in time. Do you see where they are?’ when you see how long the line is behind you and you’re happy to be where you are. People are polite, talkative, and will hold your spot if you have to make a break for the bathroom. But don’t try to cut in line, pretend you were there all along. You’ll be reported to the nearest usher. Experienced that. Not me, someone else. Somehow I ‘wandered’ into Thursday’s Batman Arkham City line. Someone I’d met at the hotel told me about it and seriously I just kinda found myself in line. I learned a lot about the characters, actors who do the voices, Mark Hamill, the game, and the trailer was awesome. May have to buy it and play.

The line goes on

5. Hydrate, sunscreen, a small chair, blanket, pillow and camera. I will pack a small folding chair next year maybe put it in my convention bag. The weather was absolutely perfect. I did remember to bring an umbrella which helped while standing outside. Camera and extra batteries are necessities because of all the costumes. People go to great lengths to realistically dress up. It’s fantastic and they love to have their pictures taken.

I loved her costume and she was so beautiful

6. Keep track of Twitter, kept me up to date about happenings and where.

7. If possible a Comic Con buddy is essential. You can’t be in more than one place at one time. My son didn’t count because he headed to the anime and gaming hotel and wasn’t seen until he was hungry or the room closed down for the night. There is so much to do. I got Jim Butcher’s autograph and took a picture with him. And I had my picture taken with Richard Hatch, the original Apollo on the original Battlestar Galactica. He’s still hot and damn nice. There’s a system for getting autographs and it’s written in the guide. I’m going to read it for next year.

He's still got it.

8. Where can you sit? Almost anywhere you can find a chair and those are rare. There’s seating in the the Sail Pavilion, I finally figured out where that was because I was sitting in it. I actually took a short nap, but kept waking up to watch a different costumed person walk by.

9. I wish I’d had tickets for Saturday. Sherrilyn Kenyon was there, plenty of authors. A number of publishing houses, Tor, Del Ray, Simon and Schuster also had booths. When I’m published I want to sign at Comic Con.

9. Tickets for 2012 Comic Con were sold at this year’s convention at one of the hotels. Again long lines. I’ll wait for my index finger and F5 in February.

We did venture out into the Gaslight area, across the street from the center. Streets were packed and we had lunch at Cafe Diem, the Eureka restaurant at the Hard Rock Hotel. There were plenty of activities going on there as part of the convention. I definitely want to explore the area more next year. I’m pretty sure I experienced not even one tenth of Comic Con which why I need to go back. I still don’t do lines, but I’ll stand in a Comic Con line. I don’t like crowds, but at Comic Con it’s not a crowd, it’s a large group of people like me who are having a good time.


Hello – Again

May 25, 2008 | Uncategorized

I’ve been gone, away from my blog, but not writing. So much is going on and I wanted to think how I could make my blog different. I’ve done interviews and really enjoyed that, but in 2008 I decided to make some changes. As Tupac said, we need to make changes in the way we think, the way we eat, change the way we live. Well changes happen whether we want them or not. Even when we want changes, the way they occur may not be how we want it.

So I’m going to change my blog to document my writing journey. Not on a daily basis, but weekly updates. The good, the bad, and the crazy. I promise it won’t be boring. Wait until you see what my writing life is like!
But first let’s do catch-up.

January 2008 to May 2008
1. Dyanne Davis, a valued friend and excellent writer, took the first three chapters of my paranormal and pointed out major plot problems. That occured in January and it took me until late April to figure out how to change my story. Not touching my voice or the major plot but other stuff. She now has it in her hands, or computer. This is a lesson for all unpublished writers, patience. Dyanne said the story couldn’t, shouldn’t be forced, yeah, yeah, easy for a multi-published author to say. But, she’s right.
2. I attended two really great conferences and they were local. My RWA chapter, Chicago North and Romance Slam Jam. These conferences fell on back to back weekends. Wow! Talk about a wealth of information, authors, and new friends right in my backyard. Not to mention, I got to stay at hotels for two weekends. The best thing about these conferences, they were two sides of the same coin – romance writing. My Chicago North Chaper is predominantly white, and Romance Slam Jam, black. So I got – everything! I became acquainted with quality, friendly authors, willing to share their experience.
I don’t think my guys, husband and son, missed me, they didn’t call. Although my son was playing tennis and I hated to miss those matches. I came away from both conferences for requests, have I sent them? We’ll talk about that later. But they’re on their way out, as I type. No really they are.
3. I’ve put together a daily schedule: writing comes first. Taking a shower, brushing teeth, and dressing come first, but you know what I mean. Writing comes before folding clothes, cleaning the bathrooms and before cooking. I journal in the morning, light a Yankee Candle, and turn on my computer. My girl pal, Cheryl and I were at a local cool mall and found a Yankee Candle store. I bought a wishing well candle stand and as soon as I figure out how to upload a picture of it, I will. My ritual includes on weekdays, watching Perry Mason reruns, then I write for two hours, break, read for an hour, nap time 2:00pm, run errands and then back to it from 9pm to 12 or longer. Friday night, is Doctor Who and Battlestar Gallactica. Saturday, Torchwood, Sunday, The Tudors. Thank goodness all the other shows I love are in reruns. Not the tennis season though. It’s French Open time right now! No, I can’t tape and then go back and watch. I’d rather stay up late and keep my writing commitment.
4. I write in quiet, if you can call movies I’ve seen twenty or more times, quiet. The Chronicles of Riddick, 300, Tombstone, V for Vendetta, Smokin Aces, you get the idea. Noise, but I don’t pay attention because I could recite the dialogue from start to finish.
5. I have a local critique group, Beth, Sloane and the others I haven’t seen in almost a year. I miss them and will try to catch up with them this summer. I joined a new online critique group and I’ll talk more about them in my weekly update.

1. My son is graduating from high school, June 1st. And then it’s off to college. I had a couple of days to experience him not being home. IT SUCKED!! When he’s here, he’s quiet, busy online XBox, but I know he’s here. Of course, when he leaves this means more commitment from me to writing. After I cry for a couple of weeks.
2. Tupac said we need to change the way we eat. So before my waist and southern region grows bigger, I’m changing my food habits. I’ll update you on that too, because writers sit, writers eat and we don’t eat well. When I get into the zone and write, I don’t want to get up from the computer, I don’t want to cook, I want something simple, like nachos and salsa, chips, peanuts, etc. Who wants the celery and peanut butter, or apple, an orange, fruit?? I do, but I’m too laz-hungry to cut it. No more!! And no more fried foods. I’ll let you know what food plan works best for me.
3. I love tennis, but due to a ‘change in direction’ my tennis team decided to take, (i.e. dump the captain, moi, before the end of the season), I’ll be playing at another club I belong to. And I’ll be ‘tell me when, where, and with whom am I playing’ player. This change is really good, because instead of sweating over lineups, attitudes, and what to eat after a match (there’s a definite theme going here with food), I can just practice, play AND concentrate on writing.
4. I’m trying not to surf the Internet – aren’t we all. I’ll sneak in little cool stuff I find to buy, to make my life simple so I don’t have to worry about anything except writing. Like what, Yasmine? You ask. Okay, I’ll tell you about a couple of purchases. In the interest of going lean and mean, I bought a small Hobo International handbag, called Raquel. At zappos, they have free shipping and no sales tax for some areas. It has eliminated the need for a wallet, because it has credit card slips inside and because it’s dual sided, I keep personal stuff, like lipstick, face powder on one side, and on the other business stuff, my business cards, pen, paper, house keys. There’s a zipper middle section where I keep my cash – no wallet. No money.
And my iPhone. Oh yeah, the iPhone was a great investment. Internet, phone, and my music all on one device. See, simplicity. And when people ask to see a picture of my children, I pull up a slide presentation.
Oh yeah and another little investment, I think that’s what I’ll call these things, was a matte silver empty lipstick palette. How many lipsticks do you carry? How many are in the bottom of your purse? For many women, one may give you the color you want, others like me it takes two. Again simplicity, I can slice off, with dental floss, six of my favorite lipsticks, pat them down in the container and carry it around. $15.00. That I found at Alconeco The less stuff I haul around, the less I need a big handbag.
So my Internet finds, writing and personal, I’ll share with you. Especially if it has my favorite four letter word – SALE
5. I’m trying to find a job. Really, Greg I am. I just accepted the position of freshman sophmore girls coach for our local high school. It’s for four months and I will be working with the coach for the varsity girls team! Again it fits my writing time, since I won’t be at the school until afternoons. Boy have I got some drills for those girls! And during June, I have to take and pass the online classes so I can be certified a coach.

So every week, I’ll keep you posted and we’ll see what happens by end of 2008. I may be published, I may be close, I may not, but I’ll still be writing.

If you stop by, please add what gets you through the writing life. And they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. What’s playing on my computer? Jill Scott.

1 Comment


April 30, 2007 | Uncategorized

1. Don’t tease me, if you can’t please me.
2. I don’t make mistakes, I date them.
3. Skinny Bitch.
4. I Don’t Give A Blog!
5. And Your Point Is …
6. Mental Breakdown in Five, Four, Three, Two ….

T-shirts have been taken to a whole different level. The first three I listed are owned by JGirl. I’m guilty of buying her a few but not the third one. When I was her age, my t-shirts had, Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud!, not I’m Gay and You’re Not! stitched on it. Tshirts are a way of expressing opinions, beliefs, a place to eat, or good old fashion humor. JMan receives t-shirts every time he plays a tournament. They make great cleaning rags, because he won’t wear them. He doesn’t wear shirts with sayings, shirts with dragons maybe.

T-shirts are popular because they’re easy to wash, reasonably priced, and come in a multitude of colors and sizes. It’s so easy to get up, put on a shirt that says Monday, even if it’s really Thursday, and get going. The shirt can express exactly how you feel, without you opening your mouth, stare a person down, or frown. Unless of course the shirt says, I Feel Pretty. You can cite your college affliation, a picture of your grandchildren, your pet dog, or your latest book cover. I had a shirt from a Las Vegas hotel that said, Gamble, Gamble, Gamble, Shop, Eat, Gamble, Gamble …. across the front. Yep, it expressed just how I felt about Sin City and the fun I had every time I went. Not so much the gamble part, but the eat and shop is right up my alley. T-shirts contain memories, family reunions, a tribute to a great basketball run (that would be The Chicago Bulls, of course). They throw them into the crowd at sporting events. You can make ones with glitter and spice up your wardrobe. Wet t-shirt contests are very popular I hear. Calendars have been dedicated to women wearing nothing but t-shirts. It is socially acceptable to go on a field trip, children and seniors, and see fifty people wearing identical shirts. It makes it easy to find your group if you wander off, children or seniors. And it identifies for everyone else what group you came with. This is the main reason I don’t wear t-shirts. I can’t stand seeing someone wearing what I am. It goes back to my Catholic school navy blue uniform nightmare. Last year, I purchased purple tshirts for my tennis team with their names on the back. I still haven’t worn mine. Sorry ladies, but they were cute.

I don’t approve of all the sayings on the shirts, some are rather outrageous and obscene and the wearer is trying to promote a particular political opinion or belief to provoke a comment and/or draw attention to themselves. I haven’t seen any yellow happy faces on t-shirts, unless I’m at Wal Mart. However there are many shirts with silk screened pictures of Tupac, P Diddy, various bands, movie stars, etc. Think it and you’ll find it. Autographed tshirts are a big thing. But my question is: once you have the shirt covered with signatures, can you wash it? What do you do with it?

There is a distinct difference in t-shirts worn by girls and guys. Girls wear shirts two sizes too small, with large bright letters, and are meant to intentionally draw the males attention with some risque remark. JGirl wore her Skinny Bitch shirt to breakfast when she was in town. I didn’t say anything and the fact I kept the menu glued to my face had nothing to do with my not wanting to be identified as her mother. Our waitress was definitely impressed, she wanted to know where she got it.

When I sell my first book, my family and friends, will be ‘encouraged’ to wear a t-shirt with a Phoenix on the back and my book cover on the front.

Guys wear t-shirts eight sizes too big, with small lettering, so you have to get up close and personal, squint to read it, so you can be amused, insulted, or confused. And the sayings on their shirts aren’t as snappy as the females. Note: if a guy is wearing a shirt with the second saying from the above list – run away!


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