Resolutions 2018

Here we are, another year gone by. I think it’s safe to say I’m the world’s slowest writer. Reviewing my goals from 2017 was a laugh.

Let’s see how I did:

  1. Blog 2X/month + a regular Writing Resolutions Review
    So I gave up on the resolutions review since they flew out the window in January. And though I didn’t get two blog posts every month, I did fit in one post every month. Break even.
  2. Send out a monthly newsletter
    I started out strong and then fizzled out toward the end of the year since I was busy writing and editing.
    The Palace of the Two Towers, a free short story, was also finished, covered, and published for newsletter subscribers, so I still call it a Win!
  3. Increase activity on FB, Twitter, and IG by posting something weekly on each platform
    Let’s just pretend this one wasn’t here. Fail.
  4. Redeeming The Demon’s Daughter
    So I commissioned a cover and published this short story after the contest ended. Win!
  5. Sea Deception
    As you know, this series hasn’t been published yet. So what did I accomplish in 2017? I edited Sea Dreams, doubling its word count, and finished writing all of Book 2, Sea Rivals. I’ve started the edit on Book 2. Book 3 is fully plotted and begun, and there’s an idea for 2 more books.

    Covers for Books 1, 2, and 3 are finished and gorgeous.
    Best of all? Sea Deception will be a full novel-length series, not a series of novels. Win, win, win!
  6. Free Worvanz
    Well, since I didn’t finish Sea Deception, I didn’t get back to Free Worvanz, so nothing to report here.

So that’s a wrap for 2017: two published short stories and two novels finished. What do I have planned for 2018? With no promises of a deadline:

  1. Releasing Sea Deception, Books 1 – 3. I still have to finish my edits on Book 2 and write and edit Book 3. Tentative release planned by March 31.
  2. Finish the sequel to Dark Empire.
  3. Write Books 4 – 5 of Sea Deception.
  4. Continue at least monthly blog posts and newsletters.

What are your resolutions for 2018?

May the Fourth Be With You: A Rogue One Review

Many moons ago, I promised you a review of Rogue One. Then a bunch of stuff happened, and when I got up today and realized it was #StarWarsDay, it seemed like a good time to finally put my review on paper.

Let me preface by saying that Rogue One may be my very favorite Star Wars film. I loved story line, the character Jyn Erso and the [spoiler alert] doomed mission. I mean, come on, none of these characters made it to the next (first) film, so obviously (or 2/3 through the movie, if you’re me) you figure things are going to end tragically.

MayThe4thBeWithYou

Image Credit: StarWars.com

Of course I’m a sucker for a strong warrior heroine type, and Jyn’s passion for avenging her parents offered me satisfying character motivation. Her recognition of the file name being her nickname, her belief that her father wasn’t a traitor, the too-obvious dying breath reunion…all of this was sentimental tripe that I totally ate up.

But the movie passes the Bechdel Test, in which two named women talk to each other about something other than a man, and Jyn kicked plenty of Imperial butts without being belittled or overshadowed by other characters.

Let’s not forget dreamy Captain Cassian Andor with his much-lauded casting, given that his accent had nothing to do with his character and everything to do with making a lot of people flock to see a film in which a character looked AND sounded like them (bravo, Disney). Of course he doubted Jyn, didn’t trust her, planned to sabotage her mission, and unwittingly fell for her before dying with her in a spectacular nuclear blast. #romance

The best aspect of their relationship: romance was never a focal point in the movie. Jyn had a mission, she inspired what became the Rogue One crew, and Cassian had a mission, and he led the Rogue One crew. But the way they trusted each other by the end…absolute perfection.

It’s on the topic of casting that I think Disney made an incredible political statement:

  •        Jyn (a woman) and a band of various minorities (including two badass martial artists, a defector appearing to be of Middle Eastern descent, a weary part-cyborg, a rebel AI, and a strongly accented Hispanic-but-not-really-cause-it’s-a-long-time-ago-in-a-galaxy-far-far-away) are all fighting a bunch of old white dudes for power. No, seriously. All the good guys with significant screen time were minorities. Well-played, Disney.
  •        And they succeed, except they all get wiped out in the process. Let’s not read too much into this one.
  •        There are bombs going off and dead people being brought to life (albeit on film) to make their wishes known. Voter fraud, anyone?
  •        There’s espionage and sabotage of government documents and plans. Like, say, WikiLeaks, or, um, a particular email scandal.
  •        There’s a rebellion. Led by a woman who gets herself on a plane. That’s not reminiscent of any election I can think of… (cough…sarcasm…cough) But let’s not forget Princess Leia, either, also a leader of the Rebel forces. #RIPCarrieFisher

Another aspect of Rogue One that I liked was the intricacy of the plot—if you stopped paying attention for even the briefest moment, you probably missed something critical.

I liken this to a good novel—if you see something mentioned more than once, it’s probably important. And it’s probably why reading mysteries is no longer the challenge it could be. #writerproblems

The idea of a reprogrammed droid, an Imperial droid, becoming a staunch Rebel, secondary to Bodhi Rook’s defection from the Empire, also scored high on my interest level. People can change their minds, they can do the right thing, and they can sacrifice everything for a cause they come to believe in.

Without Bodhi Rook, there would have been no story—Jyn wouldn’t have been compelled to prove her dad wasn’t a traitor, the Rebels would have known little to nothing about the Death Star, and we would have the Empire crushing all their enemies forever until they proceeded to take over Earth.

And a little faith and a lot of belief can help even non-believers come to the fold. We’ve seen both good and bad examples of that in recent and not-so-recent history. Bodhi’s fear and courage critically impacted the plot of this story.

Finally, I wanted to appreciate the realness of each of the characters. We weren’t just fascinated by Jyn and Cassian and a random droid. All the rest of Rogue One’s crew was there for a reason, had their own dreams and fears, and fought a special battle of their own. They were each heroes of their own stories, not stagnant caricatures filling space in a plot.

May the Fourth be with you. If you’ll excuse me, I have to put on my Star Wars shirt and flip on the movies now.

NOTE: Star Wars is owned by Disney since they acquired Lucasfilm (duh). I borrowed this image from starwars.com. It’s not mine, nor are any of the characters from the Star Wars franchise mentioned in this blog post. I’m not trying to break their copyright/trademark/ownership, etc. in any way, nor do my views stated in any way reflect the views of Disney. Please don’t sue me. I’m just a big fan writing about a movie I really loved.