Dear readers, I want to give a special thank you for all of you who’ve read this blog and shared your thoughts with me over the past year. Yes, I find it hard to believe now, but this is actually my fifty-second and last blog for some time. I can hardly believe that I’ve now been doing this for a little over a year. It’s been a wonderful experience. I will be taking some time off to complete my third and final book in my Atlantean trilogy entitled, ‘Mayhem’s Triangle’. I will, from time to time, do my best to write some blogs every now and again, but I don’t plan on continuing my weekly campaign until my third book is completed.
What a year it’s been. Over the course of the year I released my book, ‘Mayhem’s Fountain’. I’ve started a twitter campaign, (thanks Greg), I’ve created a face book account (something I never thought I’d do), and of course I’ve created this blog (again, something that I never envisioned myself doing). My favorite thing to do, of course was this blog. I was pushed into doing this kicking and screaming by my publicist, but I admit, I’ve truly enjoyed it. What better way to share my writing with others, without them having an opportunity to read my stories? Finally, I did my first book signing in Los Angeles, which was an exciting, albeit scary experience, but it was well worth it.
The key question remains … what did I try to accomplish in this blog over the past year? To be honest, I had no idea what I was supposed to write about week in and week out, so I decided to write about what I found most compelling – entertainment. Yes, I’m a writer, and yes, I enjoy reading, but like most, I enjoy so much more. Being a musician, I love my music. I introduced you to my group Koncrete Kite. We’ve worked hard this past year creating our fourth CD entitled, ‘Full of Bull’. We hope to have the CD ready for release in May of this year. For more information, please visit our new sight attached in this link. I’ve also given some reviews of concerts I’ve been to, my personal favorite was Paul McCartney in Yankee Stadium – awesome show.
I love my movies. I did my best to review all the blockbusters of 2011 from the great superhero films, to Harry Potter, Pirates, and so much more. I may not have been a fan of everything released, but let’s face it, who is. I did though, try to do my best to give you an honest assessment of the films. I personally loved doing my top five lists. What better way to share some humor on something that wasn’t all that great by giving it an entertaining twist? Let’s not forget the program reviews of shows on cable and free television. I probably watch more than I should, but what can I say, I love to be entertained.
Let’s talk travel. I gave some traveling tips with places to visit and sights to see. Whether it was a historical review visiting such place as London, Scotland, Germany, or wonderful places to visit right here in the great U.S., like Sundance, Universal in Orlando, Beaver Creek, Colorado, etc. I wanted to give you an on the ground perspective of what to do, what to see, and what to watch out for. Hopefully some of you found this useful. You even received a little paranormal information on the places we visited and experienced during some of these trips. This was not only for you, but also for your kids. They don’t like to stay at haunted locations, so visitors beware.
Finally, I discussed my thoughts on book reviews and my writing experience. I reviewed such books from the latest James Bond novel, to War and Peace, to everyone’s current favorite – George R. R. Martin’s and his latest release in the Song of Ice and Fire series. I gave you my thoughts on my writing experience, whether it was writer’s block, or procrastination. I wanted you to hear it from a fellow writer who’s experienced everything all of you must have felt as well at some time in your writing career.
So alas I bid you all a fair adieu. I will return, but not completely until my final book is completed. I anticipate completing the book in June, but then with the developmental edit, content edit, proof read, etc., it probably won’t be published until next year. Don’t worry, I fully intend to keep everyone informed of my progress and of course, everyone will be aware of the release. Until then I hope to fit in some blogs from time to time on my favorite movies, shows, books, and travels visited over the course of this year. I thank you all again for your wonderful support and kind words and hope to see you again soon.
Have you ever had a book that you meant to read but always put off? For me, that book was War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. Now, not too long ago I wrote about George R.R. Martin’s 5th book in the Song of Ice and Fire series entitled A Dance with Dragons and I noted that as an epic read. Well, if that book was epic, then this book was grand by Homeric proportion. Being a glutton for punishment, I decided to read this book shortly after completing Dance and I’ll admit, it’s taken me some time to peruse.
Now I know many of you are probably thinking, why in the world are you reading War and Peace? Wasn’t that book written ages ago? Didn’t they make a movie about it back in the fifties? Weren’t you forced to read it in high school? The answers to all of those questions are yes, yes, and does cliff notes count? As far as why I read this book I have a few reasons. One, Tolstoy was one of my father’s favorite authors, so I had to do him the honor of completing at least one of his novels. Two, this was a book on my bucket list to complete. Let me explain.
I was not always an avid reader. As a matter of fact, when I was younger, many moons ago, I hated reading with a passion. I couldn’t find a bigger waste of time than sitting down indoors and reading a book. I was an outside kind of kid. And if I had to be indoors, why read, there was always television. I’ll never forget when HBO first came out (yes, I remember), I thought I heard the angels sing. Who needed books? When I first learned about War and Peace I had to go no further than the last page. Oh, over 1,000 pages – book closed, case closed, this was not for me.
Funny thing happened over the years … I grew up. I no longer found sitcoms as entertaining as they used to be and let’s face it, movies are best left to watch in the theaters, so in my early twenties I was introduced to the enjoyment of reading. Now that I’m long past my twenties, I consider myself an avid reader. I can’t explain why, but I suddenly had this desire to finally tackle this book and I’m glad I did. Thanks dad for the recommendation.
I’ll be honest with you; this was not an easy book to read (I’ll be frank, I’m still not finished, but I’m almost done). The first one hundred pages or so I found extremely confusing. There were several characters introduced and I had a hard time following who was who, and why they were important. I couldn’t figure out who exactly was the main protagonist, or the antagonist for that matter. There were gatherings and gossip a plenty about Napoleon and the war that I soon discovered, this wasn’t a story so much about a specific protagonist/antagonist as it was a collection of lives and how they were impacted by the war.
As mentioned, there were so many different stories intertwined into one monumental novel that at first it was daunting to follow. Eventually Tolstoy does narrow down his focus and makes it easier to follow the lives of some specific individuals ranging from Prince Andrew Bolkonsky, a true soldier at heart, to Pierre Bezukhov the illegitimate son of a wealthy count who inherits a fortune, or Natasha Rostov a young romantic full of life. Each one suffers their own trials and tribulations, so it’s easy to associate with their tale. That aside, most of the narrative surrounding these characters focuses on their daily life and the impact Napoleon had on them, and Russia throughout the years.
Bottom line, for anyone who has this book on his, or her bucket list of books to read, you better get to it. If you survive the descriptive first one hundred pages, you will find yourself completely drawn into Tolstoy’s world. The stories grow more complex as you continue through the various stages, but you’ll find so does your enjoyment in getting to know these colorful characters. If you’re not a marathon reader then this book is not for you. Hey, not everyone is ready to tackle a book of this nature. On the other hand, if you find you have the ambition, and the time, I think you will be happy you opened the book.
Hats off to AMC’s Breaking Bad. Why has it taken me so long to watch this program? For months my brother would ask – Have you seen it yet? Unfortunately for months my reply was always the same – I’m going to get to it … soon. Well, I finally got to it, all of it. Frankly, I’m not so sure what took me so long to view this program. Maybe it was the fact that it was aired on AMC (don’t know the channel on my cable box), who knows, but I pulled off one of those viewing marathons in where I watched all four seasons over the course of a month (thanks Netflix) and now I can officially say that I’m all caught up with this program.
Wow, who knew Malcolm’s father could be such a badass? I mean come on, Hal? One of the reasons I didn’t tune into this program at first was because I wasn’t sure I could take Bryan Cranston as a serious actor. I was so used to watching him play the buffoon and standing around in his tidy whiteys that I couldn’t take him too seriously. Well, I apologize, Mr. Cranston. You are a very fine actor indeed. Granted you still have some fetish about going on camera in your tidy whiteys … I would work on that one, but hey, if Homer can pull it off, why not you.
For those of you, like myself, who have not seen this program, Breaking Bad, created and produced by Vince Gillian, of the X-Files fame, is about a high school chemistry teacher (Walter White – Cranston) who discovers he has advanced lung cancer. The bills are piling up and he fears he’ll have nothing to leave behind to take care of his pregnant wife (Skyler – Anna Gunn) and teenage son. He decides to turn to a life of crime. He reconnects with an old student (Jesse – Aaron Paul) and they become partners in crime in a life of cooking and dealing methamphetamines.
Over the course of four seasons, you watch the transformation of a mild manner chemistry teacher morph into a mega bad guy. He becomes the toast of the town known as Heisenberg – the best meth cook this side of the Mississippi. The kicker here is that his brother-in-law (Hank Schrader – Dean Norris) is a DEA agent who’s hot on the trail of this Heisenberg. It was completely entertaining to watch Walter (Heisenberg) escape the clutches of his brother on many different occasions – some good, most bad, while picking his brain at the same time.
What I liked most about this program is that it lived on the cliffhangers. I love cliffhangers. I love them in books, and I love them even more in television. One of the reasons I was able to plow through the entire program was that I simply couldn’t stop watching. I can’t tell you how many nights I stayed up until two in the morning because I had to see how the next program would wrap-up what I just previously watched. Ah the beauty of not having to wait until the next week.
Bottom line, I would like to personally thank my brother for recommending this program to me. In a word – awesome. The acting is phenomenal, the writing is spectacular, and the story keeps you entertained for hours on end. I saw that the show was renewed for a fifth and final season. I don’t know how they’re going to top season four, but I eagerly await the program. This time I will make sure to note what night and channel it’s on (I guess I’ll have to find AMC on my cable box). Malcolm’s dad kicks ass and I look forward to watching the conclusion of this wonderfully written program.