Saturday, April 27, 2013

XYZ

Hey friends and fellow blogoholics! I'm pulling a cheat here, and for that, I hang my head in utter shame.

*hangs head in shame*

*shakes it with disappointment*

I'm taking an early exit from A-Z and finishing off XYZ today, but not 'cause I don't love you all or love having your visits. But 'cause over this month, I've blogged daily (no advance scheduled posts for me), written the first draft to a new NA story, read and critiqued my CP's story, and filled orders for some darling new pixies I'll share with you later (Bride and Mother of the Bride for shower gifts.) Not to mention the day job and family duties. Phew!

I'm sure all of you have been overly busy this month as well. Goes to show how much effort we put in to active blogging, and the thought and consideration we give to worthy content. It takes work and dedication, as I'm sure most of you can attest to.

By the time you're reading this, I'll be in the swamps camping with the fam, and soaking up some well deserved R & R, welcoming the April sunshine and jammin' to good tunes. Oh yeah! (squid launchers!)

So thank you so much for stopping by here and sharing my posts, leaving your comments. I've enjoyed reading your posts as well and always appreciate the friendship gleaned from this community.

You guys rock.

So as I make my A-Z exit, I'd like to say,

eXamine
Your
Zeal

Do you have enough of it? What's holding you back? Are you plowing forward to go after your dream? Moving toward the mountain? If not, it's time. 

Find the passion within, stoke it, make it burn, and start the fire. 

See you soon! 

Friday, April 26, 2013

W is for ...

Let's see, what W villains do I have for you today .... Hmm ... Ah, yes!

                                           photo credit filmexperience.blogspot.com

ANNIE WILKES

Remember this wackadoo? From the book and film Misery, another wolf in sheep's clothing, convinced she's doing the right thing. And ironically, a nurse! And let's face it, she's an author's worst nightmare. Through a series of psychological and physical tortures, Annie forces famed author, Paul Sheldon, to write a character he killed off (Misery) back into life in a new book. All the while, insisting she's his number one fan.

Kathy Bates was magnificent in this role, wasn't she? And I do believe it put her on the map of stardom.

How about this guy:

                                                                photo credit fark.com

WARDEN

That's right! The warden from Shawshank Redemption. Like any great villain, he's a hundred percent convinced he's in the right. And after all, he is a warden to a penitentiary housing some awful criminals. You have to have the upper hand there, be firm. Run a tight ship. But what makes him such a vile villain, is the fact he totes around a Bible and quotes scripture, yet when it comes time for him to do the right thing and help an inmate who may not be guilty, his evil hypocrisy shines through.

He's just a regular guy with no special powers, other than being in charge--but sometimes, that produces a villainy in the worst way.

And hey! Pure coincidence both my villains today were created by Stephen King. But then, he's quite the master storyteller, so really not all that shocking.

And your setting of the day:

                                                           photo credit freefoto.com

WATER

Just something about water, isn't there?? It can be serene and relaxing, or tumultuous and life threatening. But make no mistake, using water as your setting, is always an opportunity to set the mood and tone. Underwater, on top of water, neverending rain, waterfall portals ....

But no Waterworld please. As much as I've tried to like that movie, because you know, it's a dystopic world on water! I love that idea! It's just plain bad. Unlikeable characters and un-gripping plot. You may feel differently, and if you do, I'd love to hear about it in the comments. I have a bro-in-law who does love Waterworld. *cringes*

Ok, your turn! How do you feel about today's villains, Wilkes and Warden? Ever used water for a setting? Have any fave stories that do? Please share ...  

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Vi is for ...

Are yall getting sick of me yet? I feel like this month has been PK overkill. lol

You're probably feeling the same way with all this incessant blogging, but it's been so fun connecting with everyone.

And if you're sick of me, all I can say, is I'm sick of me too. Hee hee.

Only teasing.

Alright let's get this party started. Vivacious letter V.

V is for

VILLAIN

And I've been pushing them at you all week. What makes a good villain? We've seen they need purpose, sympathetic credibility, and to believe they're doing the right thing. Add in some troubled backgrounds to explain their villainy, and of course, throw in a side of charisma to keep them intriguing.

From what I've gathered from your comments, readers and movie-goers LOVE to HATE great villains. And I'm no different. Many of my favorite characters ARE villains. They're so much fun to live vicariously through.

Speaking of villainous V characters, here's one of my faves:

                                                       photo credit fanpop.com

VECTOR

From Despicable Me, Vector ain't afraid to pull his squid guns on anyone. And he's willing to fight Gru til the end for the top villain spot. At my house, we very frequently call out,

"Squid launchers! Oh yeah!"



Vector fans unite!

Voldemort and the Volturi can take a backseat. Today's vector's day in the sun.

And your V setting of the day is

                                               photo credit bugbog.com

VILLAGES

Europe has the best of them. This one here is in England. Just something about the small village life that makes a perfect story setting. What makes it even more enjoyable, is taking a village character and throwing him/her into a big city. Or vice versa. But in good storytelling, the story always begins in the main character's familiar world, before tossing them somewhere that, well, rocks their world.

I have a secret desire to take up home life in a quiet European village. England or France. Yep, I could do that quite easily.

And sharing two of the V pixies from Pixie Patrol today:

 Voxy Venom, the resident smartass fairy.

And

Vellame Velour, our fairy fashionista.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have you enjoyed this month of villains? What makes a great villain in your eyes? Ever lived in a quaint village? Are you sick of me yet? Share, share, share ...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U is for ...

Unbelievably the most unique letter in the alphabet. Unctuous and ubiquitous.



And your villain of the day is ...


UMBRIDGE (Professor Dolores)

And what a villain she is, eh?? The Prim and proper kitten lover is truly a wolf in sheep's clothing and every student's worse nightmare. Of course, she believes she's the one in the right, as all credible villains do. Maybe a little too much so in her case. I just love when she gets her prissy butt kicked by the centaurs!!


And for your setting:

                                             photo credit finzionimagazine.it

UTOPIA

What do you consider utopia? Probably differs for all of us. I liked the idea in the movie The Beach--living in an island paradise as a commune with their own rules, which of course, didn't always go well. Star Trek Insurrection also had a nice version with the Ba'ku race who chose to live in harmony with nature instead of their technologically advanced society.

What's really appealing, is creating a utopian setting all your own. But as with all positives, there must be a negative for that yin and yang balance. Or you could go the opposite end of the spectrum and create a dystopic setting. Those are always fun.

How about you? Prefer dystopias or utopias? Ever create a utopian setting? How about Prof. Umbridge as a villain? Ever have any teachers like her?? I can think of one, as well as a bus driver ...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T is for ...

Happy Tuesday. Isn't that great they managed to match up T day with Tuesday?? Talented folks at A to Z Challenge.

So in honor of terrific T, here's your villain of the day ...

                                                       (photo credit fanpop.com)

THE NOTHING

May be hard to tell what that is in the pic, but it was once the Ivory Tower of Fantasia, now floating in space, thanks to The Nothing. From The Neverending Story, The Nothing isn't like your typical bad guy villain. But it's a villainy all the same--one brought on by the lack of kids' imagination. Egads! What an awful thought!The Nothing consumed the world of Fantasia little by little, and the only way  it could be beaten, was by the hopes and dreams of a little boy.

The story of course is totally farfetched fantasical but as a child when it came out, this movie rocked it for me. Plus, this guy right here was pretty darn scary:

photo credit fanpop.com

Gmork was the sentinel to The Nothing. His green eyes haunted me for the longest time. And let's face it, the thought of a great nothing taking over the world because kids forget how to use their imagination is probably the scariest idea I've ever heard!!!


And your T setting of the day is: 

photo credit visit-transylvania.us

TRANSYLVANIA

And not just because it's home to Count Dracula's castle. Of course, that's what makes it famous and puts it on the map for people all over the world. But there are many reasons to use Transylvania as a setting, as it's nestled in the mountains of Romania and holds a historic village charm about it. 

I've always wanted to visit (with garlic and crucifix in tote of course)

What about a 

THEATER

Theaters make great settings as well, and for my last story, The Desiree, I studied theaters for a long time before writing it. I used the setting of a vintage theater turned classic movie palace and as intended, the setting became its own character in the story. 

And here's a pixie for T day:


Twyla Amberlight is Pixie Patrol's resident nightmare slayer--keeping bad dream vibes at bay for a restful night's sleep. (And according to a sweet little girl I know, she works!)  Learn more at my sidebar!      

How about you? Ever been to Transylvania? Like old theaters? Remember The Neverending Story? Have a T fave T villain? Please share ...       

Monday, April 22, 2013

S is for ...

Welcome back! It's S Day!

And your S villain of the day is:

                                                              (photo credit getglue.com)

SILVA

From the latest James Bond film, Skyfall, Raoul Silva is the ultimate delicious villain. Oh man, I loved this guy. Played perfectly by Javier Bardem, and really just made the whole movie. A now cyberterrorist, Silva was once a special agent like Bond, but after enduring countless torture and solitary confinement to give up information, Silva turned against the only woman he ever had as a maternal role model: M. A woman who gave him up to the Chinese government.

Besides the fact he's a genius, what makes him so dangerous, is this former link to M and England. He knows the biz, so to speak, and knows what moves they'll make before they do. His mania is his flaw, though, and eventually leads to his demise by Bond. But up until that point, everything he does is fascinating and riveting.

Bardem truly stole the show in this film--one of the best Bond films ever, IMO.


And your setting of the day ...





SHIPS

From galleons to yachts to cruise ships to star ships, using a ship for your setting will not steer you wrong. (Pun intended!) It offers a sense of adventure and entrapment all at the same time, and so much can happen on a voyage! The dangers are countless! You can add a sense of antique charm with historical ships, or a sense of technological intrigue with sips of the future. Probably why so many stories and films use ships for the settings. 

And on that note, wishing you a bon voyage for your blog visits today!

Here's  little pixie in honor of S day:

Simone Souffle is our resident chef. Makes a great kitchen companion for the best or worst of cooks. See Pixie Patrol on my sidebar for more info. 

Thanks so much for stopping by here! Did you like Silva and/or Skyfall? Have a different Bond film that's your fave? How about ships? Do you prefer past or future? Always love to hear from you--

Saturday, April 20, 2013

R is for ...

Reading radical and ridiculous amounts of riveting rewards. And by rewards, I mean all of your R posts today. Hope it's a ravishing Saturday for you, and Sunday will be a well deserved break.

Your R villain of the day is ...

                                             (photo credit filmgarmott.blogspot.com)

RICHARD PARKER

Now before you say, wait, PK, how can a beautiful tiger be a villain?? Let me explain. If you've read Life of Pi or seen the film, you'll know what I'm sayin'. For Pi (the main character,) this tiger-- ironically named Richard Parker when a zookeeper's named was mixed up with the tiger name--is his greatest fear.

As a child, Pi witnessed the power and destruction from Richard Parker up close when a live goat was  put near his cage. Ever since then, Pi is terrified of Richard Parker in the worst way. Matter of fact, nothing horrifies him more than being close with this ferocious beast.

Yet, later in the story, Pi is forced to share a life boat with Richard Parker in the middle of the ocean, facing his villain head on, or else drowning. Richard Parker is never once painted as a gorgeous sympathetic beast in this story. He's simply a tiger doing what tigers do. But the symbolism is so delicious and gratifying, we're left thinking about it well after the story is over.

I mean, can you imagine ... being trapped in small confines with your greatest fear?? Pi is the ultimate protagonist because the author takes no pity on him. Yann Martel just keeps doling out the bad stuff, and from this, we see exactly what Pi is made of.

As if seeing your entire family go down with a ship in the middle of the ocean, and then being left to starve on a life boat with nothing isn't enough--how about we add in your worst possible fear to the mix and see what happens. All at once. No mercy. Let's see what you got, boy!

So fantastic!

I tried reading the book many years ago, and admittedly, I put it down. At the time I couldn't invest myself into the first few chapters. So when it came out on film of course I had to see it. Now I want to take the time to invest myself in this story. So I plan on picking it up again soon because it's simply that kind of story.



And R your setting of the day ...

                                              (photo credit amazon.com)

RAVKA

From the YA book, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, Ravka is the futuristic, dystopic setting formerly known as Russia. The setting is what makes the story. It was so unique and fresh when it came out, readers were instantly captivated. Now after only a year from its release, it's being made into a film by DreamWorks. Wow.

The setting is so rich, and the many details like majestic robes, horsedrawn sleighs, lush palace interiors, fabled creatures, etc. are so fitting and intriguing, you can't help but love Ravka. It embodies the Russia of fairy tales.

 So tell me, have you read Life of Pi or Shadow and Bone? Seen the film Life of Pi? Any other R villains or settings you'd like to share? Have a royally riveting weekend!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Q is for ...

Originally, I had some villainous queens scheduled for today's post. Villains like the Queen from Snow White, and the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. And then I stumbled onto a different kind of queen ... Queena, to be exact, and although she's not a villain, she's the victim of a horrible villainy, and I wanted to share her story and website with you today.


That's Queena's pretty face above.

Five years ago, at age eighteen--almost a high school graduate with a bright future and college on the horizon--she was returning books to the public library one night, when she was attacked. Brutally raped and beaten within inches of her life. She survived. But her life would be forever altered. There was so much brain damage, she has not been able to speak, or walk, or control certain muscles. Even eating has been a challenge. And her main communication comes from eye and facial gestures. That's just physical damage. Imagine the emotional and metal turmoil she has had to deal with as well.

Fortunately, her attacker was captured and sentenced to sixty-five years in prison. He's the villain, and whatever his sympathetic credibility is doesn't really matter.

Queena's mom cares for her full time and partly in thanks to their community (which isn't too far from where I live) their home has been enhanced to allow for Queena's wheelchair access. But as you can gather, medical costs are high, and they face many challenges. It's only been very recently that Queena and her family have gone public about her horrific story.

But the important thing is Queena is making strides. She's even able to stand on her own now. And she doesn't want to be known as that rape victim. She's a person with hopes and dreams like all of us, and wow I have to say she's my new hero.

I wanted to share Queena's story with you and introduce you to her website and Facebook page, so you too can show your support. Even if it's just a note of encouragement on her website, it will make a huge impact on her. (There's a link for that right here. )

What if she was flooded with words of support from this amazing blogging community?? If you could take a few minutes on this busy A-Z day to stop by and show Queena some love, you'll forever be a superstar!

Here's her website: http://www.joinqueena.com/

And click here to LIKE her Facebook page.

And of course, your prayers for her would be most welcome.

Also today in honor of the quintessential letter, Q, my friend Mary Waibel is releasing her debut:


Isn't it a fabulous cover? And it's also a great story that I've been fortunate enough to have read. Click on the picture to learn more about the story and get to Mary's blog. Also she's hosting a giveaway that should be starting very soon. Click here to enter.

And then finally, because today marks the eleven year anniversary of the death of one of the best singers ever, and because this is also one of my top ten fave songs of all time, I'm sharing a video of rare Layne Staley footage. My shout out to his memory. Hope you enjoy: RIVER OF DECEIT


Thanks so much for stopping by! Be sure to visit Queena's website and Facebook page! And check out Mary's book!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

P is for ...

A perfectly pleasant day for P. Let's see, who shall our villain of the day be ...

Hmm ...

How about ...

                                                      (photo credit blackfilm.com)

PRESIDENT SNOW

From The Hunger Games trilogy, Coriolanus Snow is the ruthless, tyrannical president of Panem. And perfectly creep-tastic. I mean, come on, the guy sends children to their deaths as a cruel reminder  of who's in control. Can't get much darker than that. Cold and manipulative, he has no problem using intimidation to further his agenda. He wears a rose to cover the scent of blood on his breath.

I love the idea of having a politician as the ultimate villain. How many of us haven't felt this way about particular politicians from the past or present?? Suzanne Collins did a fabulous job making President Snow loathsome. His relation with the color white (roses, hair) symbolizes his mental need to appear flawless, because he's afraid of losing his power--the dictatorship he's led for over twenty-five years.

Donald Sutherland did a great job portraying him, Can't wait for Catching Fire to come out on film!

And for your P setting of the day ...

                                                (photo credit barchick.com)

PARIS

Oo-la-la! Maybe it's the romance of this French city, or all the lights, but I like to think the artistic appeal has something to do with what makes Paris such a great setting. Everything about it just screams art, which is why it's probably inspired writers, poets, painters, etc. for years. The city itself is a character and offers a perfect setting for a story.

Ah, we'll always have Paris ...

But what about this for a setting:

                                                   (photo credit nasa.gov)

PLANES (and or airports)

Why do planes make a great setting? Because passengers are trapped, which adds an element of insecurity right off the bat. Throw in some complications and you've got a thriller at your finger tips. Just no snakes please. ;)

Also airports make an excellent setting. Think of all the different types of people you come across--all the possibilities! And people are either in a hurry, stuck and miserable, excited for their vacation, sad for their loss, or terrified of flying. Airports are one of the best place to people watch for character studies.

And as we've seen in The Terminal, the entire story can be set there.

And of course P is also for PIXIE PATROL, and in particular our resident Plotter ---


HARRIET PLOTTER is chock full of plot secrets and makes a great writer companion. Learn more in my sidebar by clicking on the icon. And by liking on Facebook.

Thanks so much for stopping by! What do you think of President Snow? Did you like how the HG trilogy ended? Ever been to Paris? Ever thought of a plane or airport for a story setting? Please share ...

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

O is for ...

Oh boy, we're moving right along organically. Ode to oodles of Os today!!

Your villain of the day is ...

                                                           (photo credit Marvel.com)

DR. OCTOPUS

AKA Otto Octavius. And supervillain to Spiderman. Like most villains, Dr. Octopus is a genius. And  a victim of his own invention, so to speak. His atomic research allowed him to create a chest harness that controls four mechanical arms that act as tentacles. The radiation from his experiment also affected his brain and changes this scientist into a megalomaniacal criminal.

It probably didn't help matters that his mother was overbearing and his father was a bully. There's his  sympathetic credibility right there, which as we're learning all month, is uber important for villains to have. No one is born bad. They become that way.

And your setting of the day is ...

                                              (photo credit blogs.mcall.com)

OZ

Who doesn't love Oz?? We're probably all a product of this story in some way, since it's a childhood staple for so many. I was always terrified of the Wicked Witch of the West as a child, and she doesn't make my villain list this year as I have three others already, but she's always worth mentioning.

Sure wouldn't mind taking a vacation in the Emerald City and get that special spa treatment. lol

How about you? Any favorite places from Oz? How about an O villain? Are you still holding up through A-Z? 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

N is for ...

This may be a nice time to remind you that we're halfway there. Nifty, right?!

N is neat-o! Here's why ....

Your N villains of the day are:

                                                       (photo credit delsquacho.com)

SHERIFF OF NOTTINGHAM

Plenty of versions of Robin Hood out there, and many actors have played the ol' sheriff, but I happen to prefer Alan Rickman's portrayal in Prince of Thieves. His desire to marry into royalty gives him motive, and his eyes are set on Maid Marian. Heartless and scheming, he has no qualms about taking the poor's last tuppence in the name of duty for Prince John's taxes. He's Robin Hood's greatest arch-enemy. And quite a worthy one at that. Such a meanie!
 
And I can't forget about ...

                                                        (photo credit charactergrades.com)

NELLIE OLESEN

Oh boy, I loved to hate this little girl when I was a kid growing up. Little House on the Prairie was a staple show in my house, and as a huge Laura Ingalls fan, I cheered from my sofa while Laura tried to kick Nellie's derriere all over Walnut Grove. Nellie will always remain the epitome of a villainous bully in my mind. Spoiled, mean, selfish, and plain old rotten, Nellie never tires of hurting whoever gets in the way of what she wants. 

She's an awesome character, and truly inspirational for writers. Brilliantly played by Alison Arngrim, who coincidentally has a book out right now called Confessions of a Prairie Bitch. LOL... what a fun read. I've gotta check it out!

And for your N settings:

                                                      (photo credit moviecitynews.com)

NARNIA

C.S. Lewis' fictional world inside the wardrobe. I've always adored this concept. And the fabulous world of Narnia is so full of delightful whimsy, any writer who comes in contact with it takes instant inspiration. And I particularly love the centaurs.


                                                      (photo credit thedisneyblog.com)

NEVERLAND

Second star to the right and straight on til morning! Who doesn't get totally lost in the idea of Neverland?? A paradise where you never have to grow up? Mermaids and pirates? I'm so there! Perhaps you agree, and all you need is a little pixie dust .... well you're in luck ...


 Because Nilla Wayfarer is here!

Nilla is the Pixie Patrol's traveling sprite, complete with map and free spirit! Click the icon in my sidebar to learn more. 

By the way, my friend Beth Fred is releasing her next book, THE OTHER MARLOWE GIRL and you can find it by clicking the picture below, as well as find Beth at her blog by clicking right here. 


     Congrats to Beth!

How about you? Have an N villain or setting you'd like to share? If you had to choose between Narnia and Neverland, which would you choose? Do you love Little House like me? How about Alan Rickman? Spill it ...                              

Monday, April 15, 2013

M is for ...

Anyone else out there starting to find this A-Z Challenge ... well, um, challenging?? I admit, I'm losing steam and this weekend I was off my game. Don't get me wrong, I'm having a blast and love hearing from you, as well as seeing what you're daily posts are.

But I'm also looking forward to a little blog-cation in May. Anyone else taking May off?

Now back to our regularly scheduled program ...

On this marvelous Monday we're honoring the magnificent letter M. And your villain of the day is ...


Start the video at exactly 2.21 minutes into it, and you'll see why Mondago, is the villain of one of the best stories ever told, The Count of Monte Cristo. Who says villains have to be creepy and distorted? As in the case of Edmond Dantes, they could very well be your best friend.

A backstabbing, greedy, spoiled brat, Mondago betrays his closest friend, only to assist in sentencing Dantes to the worst prison imaginable, before marrying his beautiful fiance. Now that's true villainy.

And your setting of the day is ...

                                                 (photo credit bigthink.com)

MIDDLE-EARTH

JRR Tolkien's fictional world is familiar to just about everyone these days. And what I love about this setting, is that it's Earth at some time in our history--a time when men weren't the only creatures to inhabit the land on two legs. Elves, dwarfs, hobbits, orcs, goblins, etc. It's such an amazing concept that's thrilled so many readers and movie-goers. I like to think of it as a time when maybe Pangaea still existed, which doesn't exactly match up with Earth's history, but still fun to think about.

The multi-terrain of Middle-Earth is enough to inspire any writer to do some of their own world building. And seeing it brought to life onscreen through New Zealand's spectacular landscape is always such a thrill.

How about this setting:

                                           (photo credit euanmacquisten.wordpress.com)

THE MATRIX

A simulated reality. Cyberspace. Everyday life is a farce. The world is the Matrix.  

I think we'll be seeing even more of these types of stories in coming years. Exploring cyberspace and going deeper and deeper into the possibilities. There's a wealth of inspiration for fiction. In fact, I'm reading one right now for my critique partner, Kathryn Rose, and it's fantastic.

Cyberpunk fans unite!

And because it's M day, here are a couple of pixies from the fairy faculty over at Pixie Patrol:

MATHILDA TIDBITS (scrapbooking extraordinaire)

and

MISTY BLUE (playing the blues so you don't have to)

Check my sidebar for more on the Pixie Patrol. I can custom design them as well!

Have a great Monday and thanks so much for stopping by!! Have a fave M villain or setting? What do you think about Mondago, Middle-earth, and the Matrix?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

L is for ...

Thanks so much for including me on your blog visits today. I'll be catching up with you all weekend long. The first draft of my latest project is almost complete and I'm grateful because it's sucking all my creative time and energy. (in a good way tho!)

But not so much I forgot about L day! And your villain today is ...

                                           (photo credit eastsidepatch.com)

DR. LECTER, of course. AKA HANNIBAL THE CANNIBAL

One of the greatest villains of all time. We love to hate him, and may even hate to love him, but he's so darn fascinating we can't help ourselves. Purely demented, but with an appreciation of fine arts and  cuisine, as well as proper etiquette, Hannibal is nothing short of a psychopathic genius. Once he gets into your head, your only hope is to treat him with polite respect, in hopes he'll avoid eating your liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.

We met him first in Red Dragon, then got a better taste of him in Silence of the Lambs (pun intended!)  and roamed freely with him in Hannibal, while witnessing the hardships he endured as a child in Hannibal Rising. We know why he's bad. The loss of his parents and demise of his poor sister Mischa were enough to challenge anyone's sanity and dredge up a bit of sympathy from us.

Hannibal was perfectly creep-tastic in all Thomas Harris's books, and of course, delightfully repulsive on film from Anthony Hopkins's stellar portrayal.

Makes me want to craft a villain all my own, and make up an entire story around him. What an awesome project that would be.

Of course, this is not the first time I've posted on Dr. Lecter. Last time I posted on him, I included a bit about Buffalo Bill as well, from Silence of the Lambs. A debate ensued in the comments over who was the real antagonist of the story. Buffalo Bill? Or Hannibal Lecter?

My viewpoint was, Buffalo Bill was the true antagonist of the story and Hannibal Lecter was a side character, although perfectly villainous all the same. Some disagreed with me and found Hannibal to be the real antagonist.

How about you? Remember that topic? Any opinions? Please share ...

Friday, April 12, 2013

K is for ...

TGIF! And a perfect day for the kooky letter K!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Your villain of the day is ...

                                                       (photo credit fredericknewspost.com)

KHAN

Captain Kirk's old nemesis is a favorite villain for any Star Trek fan. A genetically engineered tyrant, Khan blames Kirk for killing his wife after being exiled on another planet which later exploded. Ruthless, but with a purpose, he implants mind controlling eels into his victims. Quite possibly Kirk's greatest adversary ever.

The actor who played Khan, Ricardo Montalban, had this to say about villains:

"All good villains do villainous things, but think that they are acting for the right reasons."

How you like them apples?? Right up the villain alley. And important for us to remember when we're crafting our own villains.

And for your setting:

                                                  (photo credit outerspaceuniverse.org)
K-PAX

And it's out there somewhere, right? A little to the left, yeah, that's it. What's great about K-Pax is that it's fully fictional, yet presented in such a believable way.

A few interesting tidbits about K-Pax:

* It's over 1K lightyears away
* K-Paxians are able to travel through advanced light teleportation technology
* The family unit doesn't exist on K-Pax but they all learn from each other

Goes to show you can make your world anything you want it to be. K-Pax offered me a bit of inspiration on my last story, The Desiree. What I like about the K-Pax concept, is that the planet itself is never shown, and there's very little special effects in the film. The screenplay requires imagination from the audience, and trusts us to get the picture.

The universe is enormous, and who knows what's out there?! Sure gets the wheels of my brain turning to dream up new settings.

How about you? What inspires your settings or villains, or stories in general? Hope your weekend is keen. ;) 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

J is for ...

Jumping jellybeans it's J day!! And your villain of the day is ...

                                                   (photo credit unrealitymag.com)
                                              
Or maybe you prefer this one ...

                                               (photo credit copycateffect.blogspot.com)

Or maybe ...

                                                  (photo credit knowyourmeme.com and Doug Mahnke)

Whatever your fancy, the JOKER is a supervillain extreme!

Batman's archenemy is a genius master criminal with a sadistic humor and psychopath tendencies. What could be more entertaining?? I bet Heath Ledger and Jack Nicholson has a blast playing him, among the others who took on the role.

You probably know the Joker's history why he looks like that (acid much?) so I'll spare you the run down of events, but I will say one of the greatest scenes in Batman Begins is when the Joker shares his sob story, of how he suffered, what he had to deal with. Villains so need this backstory! And it adds to our love/hate relationship with the ultimate villains.

And your setting today is ...

                                                (photo credit serenity-international.com)

JAIL

What could be more fitting? Jail is an awesome setting. Some of  the best stories around are set in jail:

Shawshank Redemption
The Green Mile
Escape from Alcatraz

Just to name a few! Jail immediately puts characters in the middle of conflict, and offers an unsettling feeling for audiences. A caged bird always makes me a little sad, and caged people is even worse, except the irony is most of them deserve to be there. Most. Not all, and these are the one who make the most interesting characters. Let's see what they're made of, throw them in jail, make things rough, then let them fight for their freedom, and quite often, their sanity.

Thank you so much for visiting today! Any thoughts on the Joker or jail? Any J villains or settings you'd like to share? Or anything at all? Be my guest ...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I is for ...

Oh the invigorating letter I, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways ... you're incredible, indelible, and irresistible.

In honor of I, and my ongoing theme, today I'm talking about settings.

                                                         (photo credit starwars.wikia.com)

ICE WORLDS

Pictured above is the ice planet Hoth from Empires Strikes Back. Snow crusted, icy surfaces, frigid temperatures, and even vicious creatures make this setting fascinating and a constant struggle for the characters residing there. Something so beautiful about an all white planet--it appears so clean and fresh.

Using Earth's Arctic circle (or Antarctic) as a setting for a story can be a fun way to challenge your characters. Or, in the case below, add an even colder feel to your villain:

                                                     (photo credit koinup.com)

This is the White Witch, Jadis's, ice castle in Narnia. Fitting setting for her, I'd say.

                                              (photo credit opinionmoviegoer.blogspot.com)

And of course from The Golden Compass, the snowy kingdom of the armored bears, is part of what makes the story so engaging.

How about this setting:

                                            (photo credit starpulse.com)
INSTITUTION

Do you think it's insane that I like stories set in institutions?? lol Seriously, I love them. Maybe I'm fascinated with the idea of living in a bathrobe and slippers with a bunch of quirky characters. But to me, flirting with craziness, and being surrounded with constant insanity, is true entertainment. Anything goes!

Another place that makes a colorful setting for any story, is

                                            (photo credit allworld-vacation.com)
INDIA

Such a diverse and intriguing culture and country. I was fortunate enough to spend two months there about eight years ago and it's a writer's dream. So rich with history and unique architecture. It's overcrowded and dirty in parts, yet lush and tropical in others. You can find the wildlife anywhere from the jungles to the streets to the beaches. An elephant even held up traffic once while I was there

A great book to use as a reference for India as a setting if you can't actually get there is Holy Cow by Aussie author Sarah Macdonald. I discovered this book in London Heathrow and brought it with me on my trip. It's an excellent and engaging story of a tourist's taste of India.

Aside from settings, and as an amazing coincidence, I also stands for Indies! Is that mind-boggling or what??


Second Wednesday of every month bloggers post on the Indie Life--the joys and struggles of being a self-published author. Click on the picture above to get to HDQ and read other posts on the subject. One indie story I find inspiring is Cora Carmack's, AKA Brittany Howard, author of Losing It.

Don't know her story? Or how she went from self-pubbed sensation to agented author going to auction and eventual book deal? Read on....

How about you? Any indie news you want to share? How about a villain that starts with I? (I couldn't think of one) Or any more I settings? How's your week going?