Thursday, September 29, 2011

More about Befall


I know I just barely posted about my book, but I had some recent...revelations (?) about it and I wanted to share.

1. Perfect candidate for Nikki is Kaley Cuoco. She's beautiful, funny, and sarcastic.
2. Perfect candidate for Grady is Chace Crawford. I can't remember if I put him down in my last post, but I'm becoming more and more convinced that he has the right look for Grady.
3. Somewhat perfect candidate for Harper is Liam Hemsworth. The jury is still out on this one.
4. Emma Stone is still my favorite pick for Olivia.

That's all. This was mostly for my own information. Take it for what it's worth.

Btw, if you have Facebook: I have made profiles for Grady, Olivia, Harper, and Nikki. Just for fun. You will see some live banter which will be fun (more for me, I'm sure.).

PS This new layout of Blogger kinda drives me bonkers. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Then & Now

Last night I was looking through old pictures on my computer and came across this one on the left. I was stunned by the pale skin, the roundness of my face, the sadness in my eyes and I realized that was probably on one of my good days. I have to cut myself some slack on the "Then" picture. It was mere months after my sister passed away, and I was going through a very dark period in my life. Not only was I grieving, going to school, and working, but I was also not eating right and not doing anything for my body. I really think, looking back, that my body was in survival mode. Even walking around campus had me winded.

Three years later, on the right hand side, I am tanner, thinner, and happier. Honestly I'm in the best shape I've ever been in my life. This includes the 2-year LDS mission in Florida where I was walking or biking several miles a day and sweating everything out. It's amazing for me to look at the contrast between these two pictures and to also see the similarities. And it's just going to get better. Maybe in a couple years I will post my "Now" picture on the left hand side and an even better-looking version of me will be on the right. Who knows? I'm very proud of this transition because I did it all myself. All it took was some determination and motivation.

Then Stats:
210 lbs.
Daily meals: cereal, frozen burritos, lots of Oreos and milk, soda

Now Stats:
172 lbs.
Still 5'7" dangit
Daily meals: Still love cereal, low carbs, more protein, more fruits and veggies, and no carbonation

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Delayed Trio

So there may be more novels in the works someday. At this point in time I just don't know when I'd be able to actually write all these ideas. Last night at work a coworker and I came up with titles for a trio of books: Delayed Revenge, Delayed Hope, and Delayed Anticipation. Whether or not these things actually come to fruition is another story altogether. You have to admit, however, that they are pretty tight titles.

Speaking of...I hear nasty rumor that publishers don't let authors have a whole lot of say to the title of their book. Is this true? If so, I'mma be a mad pirate. I have a nice, neat, cohesive, and never-been-done before idea for my Tales of the Unluckiest Lucky girl series, and I want to have my say, dammit! So...if any of you know if this is just a falsehood or if there is any truth to it whatsoever, please pass the word on (either way) to me. I promise I will not kill the messenger. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


So, now that I'm in the Navy and waiting to enter basic training and start my school and all that jazz I am now in the Delayed Entry Program or DEP. It is basically a way for the Navy to help me transition into the culture of the Navy and also so I don't look like a total, complete idiot when I get to basic.

We meet once a month and today was my first DEP meeting. It was great! I learned a lot of things. We talked about dress and grooming and saluting etiquette. I was nervous before the meeting just because I didn't know what to expect. It was a really great time though and, by the end, I was feeling quite pumped to be a part of something so awesome.

I never thought I'd join the military. The more I'm involved in it, the more I realize that I am exactly where I need to be and that I've been prepared for this time in my life.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11/01

Ten years ago our country experienced an event so tragic from which we are still reeling. All the economic hardships, political drama, wars overseas that have followed are all centered on this one event. It changed the face of the United States forever.

I can remember, just as most people can, exactly what I was doing that day. My friend, Matt, and I had decided to go for an early morning run. While we were running he told me about it and I remember saying, "That's not good." After our run we went to the cafeteria near our dorms and the news was on the big-screen television. I remember watching as the second plane flew into the other tower and then the tumbling of the buildings later. I didn't know what the consequences of this was going to be, but I do remember the huge outpouring of patriotism and unity that it created in this country.

One thing I hate to see is the "Never Forget" stickers. How can you forget such a momentous and horrific event as this? The planes crashing into the towers tends to overshadow what happened at the Pentagon as well. The whole idea of the "Never Forget" stickers make me mad because we shouldn't even need them to remind ourselves of it. In fact, we shouldn't even need a terrorist act such as this to make us feel patriotic. Our country is unique in our freedoms. We have things no other country has, and we take them all for granted. Does our economy suck right now? Yes. Do our politicians not really give us any hope for a brighter future? In my opinion, they don't. Others may disagree. This blog is not meant to be a political stance, so I will just leave it at that. The way I see it, we just don't have enough patriotism in the United States anymore. It's as if we've forgotten what it means to be patriotic.

To be a patriot you are "a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion," someone who "regards himself or herself as a defender, especially of individual rights, against presumed interference by the federal government ("

Where I work, people are constantly buying books about the end of days and signs of the times. They read these books, come back and tell us all about how the country is going to go to pot and there's nothing we can do about it. There's a defeatist attitude in the country these days and it really bugs me. What we need is action. This nation is built upon the strength of the individual. We've come to rely too heavily on the government to pull us through when the United States was never meant to be fully led by the government. Our political leaders are merely our representatives and our voices. What we need is to find the leaders that best represent our voice as a whole.

This is partially why I've joined the Navy. To be a part of something bigger than myself. People shake their heads at me because this is a scary time to be signing in to the military. What with the government heading for collapse and the world on the verge of a full-blown war. I've always felt that I would be a part of it. I don't know why. Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking forward to being in any form of battle, but it is my duty as a citizen of this great country to defend the freedoms I love.

I've sort of gone on a tangent. I can remember the explosion of patriotism that followed September 11, 2001 and I want that feeling back. It really didn't last long. My friends at college and I went to donate blood right after the attacks and we were turned away because there were so many people volunteering to give blood. Now you can't twist anyone's arm, hardly, to donate blood. We sit back and wait for something else to happen. We're so worried that another terrorist attack will happen. By doing this, the terrorists win. They get what they want because they want us to be scared and acting like injured puppies. I say it's time we start acting like the proud wolves that we are. Start standing up for our freedoms. Give the politicians something else to fear: people with guts enough to say NO MORE!

Thank you to all the firefighters, police officers, and military men and women who serve and have served our country. You're amazing and words cannot express how proud I am of you. To all those who died and who lost loved ones in the senseless, brutal terrorist attacks of September 11 I honor you and love you.

To you, reader, whoever you are, I'm just a young guy in a little town in Idaho, and I know you have your own opinions about what I've said in this post, but I'm hoping that my words will influence you to at least take inventory of your own patriotism. Where do you rate yourself? Are you willing to take a stand? Are you willing to take some action to keep the freedoms you love?

Think about it.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Befall as a Movie

The book I'm writing would translate very well to the silver screen. Maybe I think that because I'm biased. It plays like a movie in my head as I'm writing, so it would seem natural to jump into the box office. Whether or not that actually happens is another story altogether. Let's just focus on getting into book form before we start thinking of a movie of it.

It has always been a habit of mine to line up actors to play my characters as a way of getting their looks solid in my mind. What I find with this book is different from other books I've tried to write. Where I usually have one actor in mind, this book has me bouncing around from actor to actor to the point where I have two or three actors for each character that I think would be good.

There really aren't a whole lot of characters in this book. It's a far cry from my last novel attempt which became such a fiasco full of characters that even I got daunted by it. So here is the list of actors I have lined up with each character. I realize this won't mean much to you if you haven't read the story yet. Oh well. It's for my own entertainment.

Emma Stone (current favorite because she can do sassy and independent very well)
Rooney Mara (definitely has the look I picture for Liv)
Rachel McAdams (probably a little older than Olivia but I absolutely love her)
Lea Michele (I'm pretty sure it would be nice if whoever played Olivia also had a nice set of pipes, looks-wise Lea doesn't fit my vision of Olivia though)
Emily Blunt (not sure why...but she'd be great)

Penn Badgley (it would be interesting if he and Emma Stone were in another movie together)
Chris Fisher (relatively unknown but he has the look and an accent)
Anton Yelchin (He's an excellent actor)
Chace Crawford (I know next to nothing about him. And I'm not a Gossip Girl fan but he has the look for Grady)

Chris Pine (the constant favorite for him. For Harper it really would depend on who was cast as Olivia)
Chris Evans (haven't hated anything he's done. He's proving himself to be a good leading man)
Cam Gigandet (huh. Another cast member of Easy A. Coincidence?)

Hilary Duff (she'd be a good bff)
Kristen Bell (Not sure if she'd play the best friend in a movie but she's got the look...)
That's all I've got.

Queen Maeve:
Charlize Theron (basically Charlize is who I think of when I think of classic beauties)
Olivia Wilde (She's everywhere lately. And she has an exotic beauty about her that would be perfect)

Red Man:
Cam Gigandet (if he isn't cast as Harper, he'd be great as the crazy Red Man)
Paul Bettany (he's actually probably perfect for the role)
Karl Urban (Probably one of the most versatile actors out there right now)

Zoe Saldana (I'm seeing a lot of Star Trek cast members in this list too. Huh.)
Aunjanue Ellis (She was great in The Help as Yule May)

Ok. That's all I've got right now. Below is a mock movie poster I made for fun.

Monday, September 5, 2011


Rating: 2 out of 5 Factions

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris, and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together, they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes-fascinating, sometimes-exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret: one she’s kept hidden from everyone, because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly-perfect society, she also learns that her secret might be what helps her save those she loves . . . or it might be what destroys her. (from

Dystopian societies seem to be the newest craze in young adult literature. I've picked up this book a few times before I actually decided to read it. The cover is enticing. Yes, I tend to judge a book by its cover. You're a liar if you say you don't. Roth's synopsis of the book is exciting, and the idea is really quite intriguing. However, as I got reading it, I saw so many holes in the story that I felt could have been covered with a good, solid editing. Or maybe a few more brainstorming sessions on the author's part. Perhaps she meant to leave things unanswered until the next book, but there is a vast difference between mystery that works and mystery just for the sake of mystery. At times I felt like Roth was underestimating her reader a lot. Granted, I am older than her target audience, but the young adult genre should be a little more expansive. Especially a book that is being likened to The Hunger Games and Twilight.

Beatrice, or Tris as she comes to call herself, is not a likable hero. Not in the least. I could not connect with her. Katniss in The Hunger Games was at least vulnerable at times. Tris is selfish. We get sort of plopped into it though. We don't understand why she hates her faction so much. We don't understand her big choice to change factions and why it is such a big deal for her as a character. It's just unheard of that someone from Abnegation would go Dauntless. I needed more reason than that. Yes, the two factions are completely opposite, but why did Beatrice decide to do it? I'm still unsure.

Going off of that...Tris' relationships seem forced. Especially her romantic aspirations for Four. At some level I like that her friendships are forced because she even says so herself that she's not sure how to be friends with people. It would have been nice if she would have actually connected with Christina on a different level that seemed less superficial.

Four. He seems to be the token hot guy who, for some unknown reason, is not supposed to love Tris. And he tells her that she's not pretty. The dialogue between the two has some glimmers of hope, but it seems like they fall for each other because the author wanted them to. I like when characters fall for each other despite what the reader or the author think and it seems to flow naturally. There was none of that with Four (Tobias) and Tris (Beatrice).

The writing itself isn't bad. A little too sparse at times. And I think Roth also assumes the reader knows what she's talking about. Some times she could have described what was going on better. That being said, there are moments of cliche that really irked me.

The climax is good. Jeanine and Marcus both come in a little late as antagonists. I think Roth could have introduced us to Jeanine a little sooner and then it would have made more sense when the ending comes around.

I've become a skimmer. When a book fails to hold my interest I will skim as much as possible because I still have the curiosity to find out what happens. That being said there are some books that I have no desire to know what happens. This one is not one of them. I wanted to know where Roth was going to take it.

Is it a terrible book? No. Is it in the same boat as The Hunger Games, Unearthly, or Delirium? Definitely not. Those books left me breathless and dying for more, and the writing is of a different caliber in them. I would recommend this for younger readers. In fact, I probably would have loved it if I were 14 to 18 when I read it. I gave it 2 out of 5 Factions.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Writing Again

Tonight I made a breakthrough in the second draft of my novel Befall. I actually have hope that I can finish this draft in a few weeks. It's going to take some major focus and sacrifice to get it done, but I really would like to get the publishing aspect of it going before I go to basic training. I just had to force myself to write. If any of you, my readers, hear me complaining about hitting a brick wall with my writing, slap me upside the head and tell me to snap out of it.

On a random note, I'm watching The Adjustment Bureau right now. Weird movie. Not what I was expecting. Still good though.

Anyway...I'm back to writing!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Help Movie

Last night I went and saw The Help movie. I have trained myself to look at movies made from books as two separate entities. Both have different audiences usually. I was absolutely traumatized for life when I went to see The Bourne Identity and found that the only similarities to the book was the opening scene when Jason Bourne is floating in the water and he gets saved by fishermen. Oh, and the character names. Everything else was a complete departure from the book which saddened me.

There are those rare movies that come along that go so well with the book that it's a breath of fresh air. Lord of the Rings trilogy, Harry Potter and we'll even go with Twilight are among those movies that stick really closely to the books from which they are adapted. It has taken me years to realize that Hollywood makes these movies, yes, to hop on the buzz train that the books have caused and, therefore capture the already-fans. But they are also trying to get their hooks into a different audience. Ya know the type. The ones who wait til the movie of the book comes out because they don't want to read it. (I'm guilty of this too. I have no intention of reading all of the Harry Potter books because I would rather just watch the movies. Someday I may read the books, but for now the movies will suffice.)

Back to the original topic on hand. The movie of The Help was fantastic! Here are a few reasons why:

A. I love Emma Stone! I have loved her since her days in the flop Drive. A series which only lasted for, literally, three episodes. It was supposed to be a dark spin on the Rat Race movie but it just didn't work. Anyway...she is fantastic. And she showed her emotional/dramatic acting chops beautifully in this movie.

B. The story is amazing. And you still get the symbolism of the characters in the movie.

C. The actors are wonderful. The directing was great. Everything about it. I even got choked up in several parts of the movie.

D. It has humor and drama. The best of both worlds.

One critique I do have is that they don't really build up the Skeeter/Stewart relationship. She hates him, he apologizes, they have a great date, kiss, and suddenly are together. The scene where Stewart freaks out on Skeeter comes abruptly in the movie. It would have felt less out of place if they had done the scene where Skeeter and her family meet Stewart's family. That was really the only thing that bothered me.

My absolute favorite character is Celia Foote. She, like I said before, represents innocence and lack of ignorance. She is blinded to societal boundaries and color. Jessica Chastain does an excellent job of portraying her. I'm interested to see how Chastain's career develops as she is an up-and-coming actress.

Anyway. There is my two cents on the movie from the book The Help. Go see it. I don't think you need to read the book beforehand. If you have read the book I don't think you'll be disappointed in Hollywood's take on it.