Writing again

The Latest in Completed Things

The dark days of the year edition


The Betrayal: Kelley Armstrong. New book in another fae-based contemporary fantasy series to follow my Seanan McGuire readings. The authors’ spins on the same topic are as unlike each other as fruit jam and cheese, but the books made a nice pairing. This series comes with a love triangle (ish) that has yet to grate on my nerves, and it’s based right in my hometown zone of NW Illinois. All the characters seem oddly detached from their own lives and feelings, but it is not a flaw in the writing, it’s due to their actual personalities. I’ll keep running with it a while longer before giving up on caring about any of them.

Broken Trust: W.E.B. Griffin & William E. Butterworth IV. I started with The Corps series by Griffin, and have kept reading everything he’s written ever since. These are manly books for manly readers to an extent no one else I read, not even Lee Child, comes close to matching. I do not defend my enjoyment. The heroes (all men, of course) are ridiculously heroic in their clueless, sexist bigotry, the women are all cartoon caricature broads, broadly sketched and rated on their looks before anything else, the plots hinge on conspiracies and greedy moustache-twirling cartoon sterotypes of every cultural imaginable.

What I can say? They’re still fun. For me. And at least the stories are solidly grounded in accurate history details based on personal experience and professional knowledge of law enforcement, the military  and the intelligence community.


Doctor Strange. Did I mention seeing this already? Yes, I did. Well, I’m still thinking about the cape, so here’s a link to a fab review that goes into much detail on the kinds of ponderings that I do in my head but not on the page: In-depth analysis of Doctor Strange

Tale of Tales. Three pre-Grimm fairy tales from Italy woven together into one big story. It was a hit at Sundance. I’d never heard of it before coming across the DVD at work (Oh, library, I love you.) It was weird and uncomfortable, and I can see why certain audiences loved it, but I did not. I like my dark, bleak storytelling leavened with a shake of humor or at least one character I didn’t want to see demolished.

Ice Age Collision Course. Exactly what it looks like from the trailers. Ridiculous silliness, slapstick, and stupid. Exactly what I needed the night I saw it.

Independence Day: Resurgence. I would swear I watched it earlier this fall, but I could not remember a single minute and so I pulled it from the ‘brar to watch again.

I. Can’t. Even. The stupid burned so bad. You know it’s a horrible waste of time, digital filmstock and money when I can’t even enjoy a good Destroy All Cities montage because I JUST COULDN’T EVEN. Too much muchness in the science gibberish bullshit dumbness category. And I have a HIGH tolerance for enjoying a movie despite such things.

Independence Day was no gem of a movie. It was jingoistic, White Savior crapfest packed with swaggering stereotypes and a lame-ass plot woven with castoff’s from an ABC after-school special. It was also FUN, and I loved its fun parts all to pieces without shame.  This one? OH. FUCK. NO. Here’s the point where I started sorting laundry:  “Tornadoes have an eye right? We go for that.”

I was totally rooting for the evil aliens long before the mother ship landed COVERING A WHOLE OCEAN without, ya know, destroying all human life right there.

The Signal. Hmmmmm. Small, slow, quiet science-based drama, usually all good signs,  but OMG did it drag. Too much hacker posturing, too much precious dialogue, too much time spent hammering home to the audience the point that we cannot know what is real,  who’s lying or who can be trusted…until the Very End <dun-dun-DUNNNNNNH>

Imagine the reveal scene in the Matrix drawn out for a whole movie. And with aliens.  It was very much impressed with itself. For all I know maybe everyine else thinks this is the best movie ever but I was unmoved. I’ve never had much tolerance for moody, “suspenseful” character explorations. On the plus side? A threatened love triangle never materialized. Of course, neither did  any reason for the only female character’s existence beyond set dressing. Le sigh.

Kikki’s Delivery Service. I’d seen it before, but somehow Spouseman never had. So on an evening when we both needed some pure, powerful goodness viewing, we curled up with this gem. Teen witch leaves home to learn life  lessons, master her powers and find her own place in the world. No love triangles, no questionable cultural propaganda, just sweetness and strength. Bliss.


Darn DC darn crossover making me watch all the shows and not just Supergirl. Now here’s how to do fun-stupid cartoony big-action drama stuff. Tons of snappy dialogue, and some wholesome heroes. Yayness!

Maybe next time don’t balance the whole complicated plot on people  getting upset about someone changing their timeline when a) they have no memory of alternate histories and b) they’re supposed to have a basic grasp of multiverses, meaning they would know nothing is lost, only that their universe changed spawning another one…yes, the whole storyline is absurd, but that point doesn’t make character sense. I can accept bulletproof aliens much more easily than I can accept unrealistic psychology. Yeah.

Game of Thrones. Spouseman and I have worked our way up through Season 5 now. This show. Oy. The relentless beatdown of all that is good…takes a toll. We recovered with some Miyazaki, and we’re taking a break until the weekend before wading into the next batch of blood and brutality.

This is why we watched Kikki’s Delivery Service. We needed the perspective balance.

House & Yard & Life Stuff

I cleaned my oven.  That’s as close to interesting as house things got. Next post will have holiday decoration pics and maybe a baking report.


By K. M. Herkes

Author, gardener, and cat wrangler.