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Accept that there are some things you’ll never have and move on.

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Month In Review-September

Unless I fall off the wagon (again), this will become a regular weekly thing for me to keep track of the previous week’s going ons. Anything worth keeping note of will get posted. Mostly for my benefit, but you can tag along, too.

Since I just relaunched, I thought I’d let the lines blur and let anything slip in from the past month.

First, a photo.

This falls into the category of “made me laugh more than it should have”. And okay, it wasn’t from the last month but I’ve been wanting to post it forever.

Batman photo for September in Review

If you aren’t at least chuckling, I’m sorry that you’re too young to understand.

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Finally relaunching AllanMackey.com. All part of the course correction. It’s nice to have it back online and at least believe I’ll have time to make a habit of posting new things regularly. I kind of love the new site actually, so that’s motivation right there to keep it flowing.

If you’re here, and if you’re reading, I back-posted a bunch of posts over the past few months to reflect when I wrote the posts. They sat in word docs until I was able to get around to getting the site back online, which, hey, I just did. (I cleaned up the few older posts, too, that were still hanging around from the last incarnation of the site.)

These are the two most interesting posts:

Most of the others are about books I’m reading.

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My Thoughts on THROUGH TRAVEL AND ERROR

July 2011, I was contracted to produce a video to promote a book via author interview. The marketing company is based out of town so they contract me when they’ve got an author nearby. This was the first one I did for them. The video is embedded below.


Trouble with the video? Watch directly on Vimeo instead.

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Sigh. And, scene.

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Sometimes the pocket you in, ain’t the pocket you in.

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We’re All Just Bubbles Being Blown By a Baby

So there’s this actress I’ve worked with. Spirited. Passionate. Full of life. All of 16 now.

A year and a bit ago she was off in Toronto for a fan convention with her mom and boyfriend, having the time of her life. On the way home to Ottawa, memories of the convention are high and the big plans to come are the final Harry Potter movie a week from being released. Until a driver jumps the yellow line, driving into oncoming traffic. The car in front of them manages to get out of the way. They weren’t so lucky.

Don’t Worry, It’s A Happy Ending

The actress’s mom (who escaped serious physical injury) was told at the hospital not to get her hopes up because her daughter very likely wouldn’t survive the night. She was told the same thing the next night, and the next for going on a week. The actress did survive those first nights, plus several more months of excruciating pain in the ICU, plus several more months in the general ward of CHEO (Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario) until she was eventually released.

Bubbles, Sound Advice

Not always easy, but always worth trying.

Six months of her life gone in an instant. It took to the tune of three dozen operations to put her broken body back together and she fought hard to make it through every single day. Especially early on. Her scars, signs of a battle we all hope never to face, will be with her forever.

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My Thoughts on YOU ARE A WRITER and 250 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT WRITING

(This is part of a series of “book reports” I’m doing – recording my thoughts on the books I’m reading as part of a general desire to read more. This will typically be talking about what I liked or didn’t and why I did or didn’t, generally related to thoughts on story-telling. It won’t be a discussion of deeper themes and meanings. Comments are always open to tell me your take. Click here to see all the books I’ve talked about.)

I broke away from novels after Wicked to read two books about writing I picked up at the Kindle Store. I wish I’d been smart enough to write this up closer to when I finished, but I know the gist of what I’d thought at the time so here’s a couple paragraphs about them:

You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins

You Are A Writer Book CoverThe focus of the book is on the things you should be doing to get your mindset into making a career out of writing. Things like building your platform and the importance of a brand and how to make connections and so on. There wasn’t anything I didn’t really know already and the book wasn’t about the nuts and bolts of story-craft, but it’s all useful knowledge and good for beginner writers (or lapsed writers) ready to make a career out of writing.

It’s also only a sweet $2.99 from Amazon. There’s also a website if you want to check it out.

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Follies, indeed.

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My Thoughts on WICKED

(This is part of a series of “book reports” I’m doing – recording my thoughts on the books I’m reading as part of a general desire to read more. This will typically be talking about what I liked or didn’t and why I did or didn’t, generally related to thoughts on story-telling. It won’t be a discussion of deeper themes and meanings. Comments are always open to tell me your take. Click here to see all the books I’ve talked about.)

My Thoughts on WickedWhen Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West was first a thing, I resisted it with all I had. I felt that the author was building his reputation using the fame of another person’s work in a way intended to change the perception of that person’s work. Gregory Maguire intended to change the viewpoint/perception of L. Frank Baum’s character in the public consciousness in a way that was never intended by the original author. While the copyright’s expired on Wizard of Oz, that’s why copyright was set up in the first place. So in my writerly mind, I thought it was in bad taste to be doing it. Uncool.

The Breakdown: A little girl in a kind of depraved community is born with green skin. She has a hard time of things growing up. She learns that the dictator-like Wizard may be evil and tries to stop him. She then goes into hiding.

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I haven’t known you long enough for you to be in my head this much.

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My Thoughts on TREASURE ISLAND

(This is part of a series of “book reports” I’m doing – recording my thoughts on the books I’m reading as part of a general desire to read more. This will typically be talking about what I liked or didn’t and why I did or didn’t, generally related to thoughts on story-telling. It won’t be a discussion of deeper themes and meanings. Comments are always open to tell me your take. Click here to see all the books I’ve talked about.)

My Thoughts on Treasure IslandAfter going through what passes for modern literature and the Hunger Games Trilogy, I decided to head back for some classic literature and read Moby Dick.

This post, however, is not called, My Thoughts on Moby Dick. About five pages in to the White Whale, all I wanted to do was punch Ishmael in the throat. I get it, you like the sea. You don’t need to go on about it. I mean I can deal with arcane vocabulary if it’s in service of story, but it really drones in pages of description or mental inventory when nothing is actually happening. By chapter three I gave up. I will go back one day. Maybe.

In the meantime, Treasure Island, the tale of Jim Hawkins’ adventurous quest for pirate booty, told largely by Jim Hawkins. The book is classic for a reason and has inspired many iterations and evolutions of its tale.

The Breakdown: A secret pirate treasure map comes into the hands of young Jim Hawkins. Some fine and noble Englishman set out, with Jim as a partner, to find said treasure. Trouble is some of their crew may be pirates who are planning to mutiny, and to take the ship and treasure for themselves.

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Three Final Thoughts about THE HUNGER GAMES

(This is part of a series of “book reports” I’m doing – recording my thoughts on the books I’m reading as part of a general desire to read more. This will typically be talking about what I liked or didn’t and why I did or didn’t, generally related to story-telling. It won’t be a discussion of deeper themes and meanings. Comments are always open to tell me your take. Click here to see all the books I’ve talked about.)

My Thoughts on The Hunger GamesWhen doing my write-ups on The Hunger Games Trilogy, I trimmed some smaller points out so I could focus on the big things I was thinking. Then I figured why let them go to waste so if you’re not sick of reading my thoughts on the Hunger Games yet, here’s three final things, mostly minor, that annoyed me about the Hunger Games. (If you missed them, go ahead and read My Thoughts on The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, or Mockingjay first)

What’s in A Name?

So, District 13? You’ve been independent for 100 years of independence and you couldn’t come up with a decent name for your country? Freelandia. Undergroundia. IDK, but something. It makes sense enough that the other districts were numbered. They were oppressed (though even they would have had their own names for their district). But 13 is free, the first thing they would have done was name their colony. People name their cars and their computers and their phones. Name your country. And make a flag. Districts love flags.

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My Thoughts on ALICE IN DEADLAND

(This is part of a series of “book reports” I’m doing – recording my thoughts on the books I’m reading as part of a general desire to read more. This will typically be talking about what I liked or didn’t and why I did or didn’t, generally related to story-telling. It won’t be a discussion of deeper themes and meanings. Comments are always open to tell me your take. Click here to see all the books I’ve talked about.)

Next up is a book I picked up for 0.99 on my Kindle. I was actually kinda misled because I thought it was an Alice in Wonderland retelling with a Zompocalypse angle – and the promo for the book sells it as just that:

My Thoughts on Alice in DeadlandCivilization as we know it ended more than fifteen years ago, leaving as it’s legacy barren wastelands called the Deadland and a new terror for the humans who survived- hordes of undead Biters.

 

Fifteen year-old Alice has spent her entire life in the Deadland, her education consisting of how best to use guns and knives in the ongoing war for survival against the Biters. One day, Alice spots a Biter disappearing into a hole in the ground and follows it, in search of fabled underground Biter bases.

 

What Alice discovers there propels her into an action-packed adventure that changes her life and that of all humans in the Deadland forever.

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My Thoughts on MOCKINGJAY

(This is part of a series of “book reports” I’m doing – recording my thoughts on the books I’m reading as part of a general desire to read more. This will typically be talking about what I liked or didn’t and why I did or didn’t, generally related to story-telling. It won’t be a discussion of deeper themes and meanings. Comments are always open to tell me your take. Click here to see all the books I’ve talked about.)

My Thoughts on MockingjayI’m writing this much longer after reading than I’d have liked so while my details may be less in depth, I’m still pretty galvanized about the main points I’m writing about. Mockingjay is the third book of the Hunger Games Trilogy. If you haven’t yet, feel free to read My Thoughts on The Hunger Games, or My Thoughts on Catching Fire, first.

It seems that with each book, I start in with so much hope I’ll like it even better than the last one. The set-up for Catching Fire was strong, and I loved the arena, but, well, I’ve already talked about that. This was the same way, I was so ready to have Mockingjay be the book that made me LOVE the Hunger Games series. Alas…

The Breakdown: Mockingjay picks up shortly after Catching Fire ends. Katniss and a couple other all-stars have been rescued from the arena and spirited away. Katniss has become a beacon of rebellion against the Capitol , and the long-thought-destroyed District 13 is coming out of retirement to war with Rome once more.

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