Category Archives: Crossposted

Alita: Battle Angel

I’m having difficulty summing up my feelings about Alita: Battle Angel. In part this is because the family trip to the movies ended up in an argument about whether or not it was a good movie, and the argument was not one of those pleasant “discuss the film things,” so on that level the film was an utter disaster. I had nothing but regret for the time and money spent on it.

But that’s hardly a fair measure. My 16yo son’s opinion of the film is probably a better metric:

SON: “We need to own this.”
ME: “I thought you didn’t like it.”
SON: “I didn’t like the story.”
ME: “So…”
SON: “I still want to watch it again.”

I think the largest part of my difficulty in summing things up is that Alita: Battle Angel had difficulty summing itself up. At various levels it’s a morality play, a sports story, a coming-of-age story, a romance, a noir thriller, a cautionary tale, and a visual spectacle. But unlike many films which try to be too many things, Alita: Battle Angel put in the energy to be each of those things pretty well.

What it didn’t do was finish the job.

To me, it felt like the first two episodes of a ten-episode SyFy series in which they spent their entire ten-episode budget on the first 20% of the production.

It’s gorgeous, and everyone performs perfectly, but it left me unsatisfied, and not in the “leave them wanting more” sense. This was more like “I want a sequel to exist, but I don’t want to have to go see it.”

For my own part, I found Alita: Battle Angel pretty disappointing. And yet I’m with my son on this… I want to get the Blu-Ray so I can see it again.


Sketching is About Half Done

I’m about half-way finished with the book sketching—a little over half of the Delegates And Delegation books are sketched, and a little under half of the Broken Wind books are sketched. I had a super-productive session Monday evening (Feb 4th), sketching in over 200 books over the course of about seven hours. Sessions since then have been less productive, topping out at around 90.

If you’ve been watching this space hoping for movie reviews, I’m sorry to say I haven’t been going to the movies. It’s cold outside. Also, people who paid for books are waiting for me to get all this sketching done. I’ll definitely be in the theater for Alita: Battle Angel, and Captain Marvel, but I’m not behaving like a responsible movie reviewer this month.

Let The Sketching Begin

It’s that time of year again, when our family room is full of boxes and the game table is covered with books.
The signing is complete, but I still need to sketch in around 1500 books. The sketching is complicated by the fact that we want to ship packages as soon as they come ready, and almost all of the sketched-book orders contain two books. Oh, and people get to choose which sketch they want, from a list of about a dozen for each book.

I began with “Schlock in Bubble Armor” for book 14. There were 104 of those. When I finished them we could ship zero packages. I then sketched all 100 “Captain Landon” for Book 15, and at that point we could ship all of the packages which contained those two sketch editions.

There were forty-three of them. Not bad!

I moved on to the first batch of “Artist’s Choice” for Book 15. The overlap between that and bubble-armor Schlock was only 17. The overlap between that and Captain Landon was zero (because nobody ordered two copies of the same book) but now I have a table full of “Artist’s Choice” for Book 14, and the overlap is going to be around 80%. Which is to say, we would have shipped a lot more books sooner if I’d begun with Artist’s Choice for both Book 14 and Book 15. Sadly, neither Sandra nor I stopped to considered the Venn Diagram implications until after I was 100 books in.

Stay in school, kids. STAY IN SCHOOL.

WXR 2019: Write With Us on a Cruise Ship!

The 2019 Writing Excuses Retreat is setting sail from the port of Houston this September, and you’re invited! I’ll be there with other Writing Excuses hosts, and some amazing guest instructors.

The event begins on Friday, September 13, 2019 at 2:00 PM, and runs through Sunday, September 22, 2019 at 11:00 AM (Central Daylight Time). The button above has all the details.

This is one of my very favorite events ever, which is probably why I keep doing it. Hanging out for a week with people who like to create worlds and tell stories in them is fun. Doing that on a cruise ship in the Caribbean is unforgettable.

On January 31st the posted prices will go up, so now is a good time to make your late summer plans.