Monthly Archives: June 2016

The Legend of Tarzan – A Review

Tarzan was a very pretty movie to watch and my wife assures me that female viewers will find the new Tarzan particularly yummy – but I really can’t imagine ever feeling the need to watch this movie again. It was kind of like a cheap candy bar – very sweet but ultimately unmemorable.

Let me tell you all about it – spoiler free.

All right, so yesterday I swung by our local comic book store, STRANGE ADVENTURES, and was given two free passes to a pre-screening of THE LEGEND OF TARZAN.

Okay – so I was stoked. The fact is, I am so broke this summer that this might be the ONLY movie I get to see at the theater and I was determined to make the most of it.

Tarzan Yell

So my wife and I headed out to Chain Lake Drive after supper and I grabbed a big bag of salty buttered popcorn. It was hot and fresh and perfectly salted and drenched with enough butter to fry a small-sized planet.

So far, so good.

I ordered a small root beer and we found a seat.

The trailers came on and we were very interested in SUICIDE SQUAD.

Then Tarzan started up.

It was a very pretty looking movie, very picturesque – and Alexander Skarsgård (son of Stellan Skarsgård (the professor from Thor and The Avengers movies); and brother of Gustaf Caspar Orm Skarsgård who is better known as Floki from VIKINGS) – REALLY looked the part of Tarzan. He was lean – the same way that Christopher Lambert was lean in the 1984 GREYSTOKE: THE LEGEND OF TARZAN, LORD OF THE APES was.

I liked the lean look. The way I figure it, Tarzan is SUPPOSED to look like he has been living with animals. He shouldn’t look like a bodybuilder. He ought to look like somebody who has been hunting wild game and swinging through the trees and living on a high-protein all-meat diet.

The story, at the heart of it, was pretty simple. Bad guy steals Jane and Tarzan sets out to rescue her.

Which brings me to one of my beefs with the movie.

Jane sucked.

No matter how many times she set out to prove that she WASN’T a damsel in distress, Tarzan had to come and rescue her. That is a strong part of the whole Tarzan trope – but I still wanted her to do at least SOMETHING remotely useful with her time. She could have at least shot somebody.

Still, this was a Tarzan movie and I felt like a got my share of Tarzan – with one single missing detail.

He wasn’t carrying a knife and he didn’t kill a single animal throughout the entire movie. In the books and the old Weissmuller movies Tarzan was always swinging out of a tree to break the neck of an unwary antelope or to stab a bull gorilla to death with a bowie knife or to full nelson a full-grown lion to death. He had a bow and arrow, with poison on the bow – that he used on a whole horde of animals.

But this Tarzan must have been a member of Greenpeace.

No animals are killed in the making of this movie. Is that a bad thing? Well, no – I don’t want to see a horde of massacred animals – but this is supposed to be Tarzan, isn’t it?

I think the biggest problem was they were trying way too hard to tell too many stories. They were fighting slavery and Leopold of Germany and Samuel Jackson was going all Hateful-Eight-Pulp-Fiction-cool and yet channeling Eddy Murphy at the same time, playing comedy relief to Tarzan’s great white wonder-warrior.

Still, don’t get me wrong. I really enjoyed the movie and I feel I got a decent Tarzan experience out of it – but I wish they had let him get a little bit more savage. I’m talking about the original Tarzan – from the novel – the dude who said “My mother was a great ape. I never knew my father.”

I’d recommend it for young and old alike but I don’t know if I would ever care to see it again. It just didn’t have the kind of impact that I like to see in a movie. I think they may lose some money on this one.

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon


How to Use BookBub to Boost Sales of Self-Published Books

Award-winning literary novelist Jane Davis shares her experience of using BookBub to make her novels more discoverable and reach more readers

Source: How to Use BookBub to Boost Sales of Self-Published Books

So These Two Writers Walk Into A Bar…


So these two writers walk into a bar.

“Hold it,” the first writer says. “I need to think about this.”

“What’s to think about?” the second writer asked.

“Well,” the first writer said. “Maybe I don’t want to walk into this bar. Maybe I want to walk into the bar down the street, or the bar across town, or maybe I am going to join AA and give up walking into bars completely.”

“You’ve got a point,” the second writer agreed. “We really ought not to be hasty in our action.”

Just then this moose walked up to the first writer and said to him, “Don’t just stand here thinking about things. Pick up the pace, would you? Get into that bar, get your butt upon that chair and get that first draft down you.”

Which is exactly what the first writer did.

“Who was that moose, anyway?” the second writer asked the first writer as the two of them sat there and finished their first drafts.

“You’re spelling moose wrong,” the first writer said. “It’s got a U in it, not two O’s!”

You can read that twice if you need to. It’s a slow ball.


yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Down and Dirty Writing Technique

I’ve been having an AWFULLY hard time writing over this last while. In fact, KELPIE DREAMS was the last good thing that I have written. So I was sitting here yesterday, putting off writing and keeping busy with all of the time burning fiddly-work like Twitter and Facebook and I thought to myself – “Hey, wait a minute. I really need to get outside and do some work.”

So, I went outside and cleaned off that barbecue of mine – just like I had planned to do.

(see previous blog entry: GOOD THINGS TAKE TIME)

Then I took a look at the front thicket.

I should explain, that in front of our yard we a thicket of bramble trees with intermingled flowers and such that has sort of run out of control. My wife had dug up a small British oak seedling and had asked me to find a place to plant it.

“I bet you I could find room in that thicket,” I told her.

So that’s what I did yesterday afternoon. I cleared out one choked out bramble bush and one mock orange that had run amok and I discovered a whole natural little grotto – with enough room to plant that oak as well as a beautiful French lilac that was also waiting to grow. This morning I am going back out to the garden and I am going to turn the cleared dirt over and add some fresh dirt and put that oak and that lilac into the grotto as well as a whole mess of perennial hollyhock seeds and a bag of annual ruby sunflowers.

And you know what?

I feel better already. I can feel the writing energy beginning to replenish and my headache beginning to ease, just from taking a little time off from staring at this monitor screen and rooting in the dirt. So, do this for me folks. Make sure you find a little time to muck in the dirt, or throw a clay pot on a potting wheel, or paint the back deck or just go for a picnic. Sometimes you just need to decompress and the summer is perfect for that and I wonder why I have to relearn that every year.


Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Does Your Job Suck?

We’ve all heard it.

This job sucks.

Well, my son – consider the freaking alternative. I have been unemployed and I have likewise worked as a janitor, an industrial cleaner, and a shoveler of dead fish. I have crawled through the guts of a cotton mill in a shaft no bigger than a nostril hole kicking and clawing and pushing the accumulated cotton fibers ahead of me until I felt as if I had been reincarnated as a bit of dandelion dandruff.

I have stood shoving thousands – no exaggeration – of boards into a hungry double-bladed table saw in a single freaking day. Over thirty years ago, and my back is still sore just thinking of it.

My feet get sore just talking about it.

My head aches, just thinking about it.

In fact, I can still smell the reek of some of the places I have worked in.

Let me tell you – I have worked at some abysmally sucky jobs.

At the end of the day you go home and you put it all behind you and you have a beer and you watch a John Wayne movie on television and you do your best to forget all about it until the next shift.

Bitching and moaning only makes the suckiness all the more intensive.

This guy says it better. You might want to give it a read.

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Good Things Take Time

A couple of weeks ago I dragged the barbecue out of the shed where I keep it over the winter. It was beat up and cruddy looking and the tank was totally out of gas. Last weekend we took the old tank back and traded it in for a new tank full of propane. Tomorrow, on my day off, the weatherman has promised sunshine and I am going to fire the barbecue up and scrub all of the dirt off and tomorrow night when my wife comes home from work we are going to have ourselves a barbecue.

I know that other folks have had steak and hamburgers and hot dogs already. I’ve smelled my share of barbecues just walking down the street. I know that I am slower than a frozen snail crawling uphill in reverse – but I don’t care and you won’t hear me cry about it.

Sometimes, good things take their time in getting there.

So don’t fret if you don’t sell a billion books today. Don’t fret if Kindle Scout doesn’t grab you up right away. Don’t fret if Stephen King hasn’t phoned you up and asked you for your autograph just yet.

Don’t fret if your book isn’t quite written yet.

Don’t fret if the hounds of debt are baying at your backdoor and peeing on your front.

Don’t fret if all your friends think that you are just kidding yourself that you actually have some kind of ability to write a novel.

Don’t fret if the Man Booker committee neglected to attach your name to their list of nominations for the 48th year in a row.

Don’t fret if BookBub thinks that your font smell funny.

Don’t fret if Jeff Bezos has issued a restraining order upon your last three novels.

And likewise, do not fret if the waters of the mighty Amazon have led the canoe of your typewriter into Yahoo Yokel’s septic field.

Sometimes good things take time.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

#ComedyBookWeek – source page for book bloggers

KELPIE DREAMS is a proud participant in COMEDY BOOK WEEK!

Ana Spoke, author

I’ve decided to post all participating books early, to allow book bloggers to easily choose one (or a few!) books for review. If you are interested in reviewing any of the books below, please contact the author directly using their social media contacts, for a free review copy. You can also approach any participating author for an interview.

Once you’ve planned an “event” (a book review, interview, or a guest post), please do the following:

  1. Let me know, so that I can add it to Calendar of Events,
  2. Make sure to use #ComedyBookWeek in your post,
  3. Use the hashtag in any Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook ads of the post – we will be retweeting all posts with the hashtag during the week of 16-23 July!
  4. Use this graphic wherever and whenever you can:humor_book

And now, for the books. Click on the image to visit the book’s Amazon page, to…

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Five Hundred Words

Or, as a bear once said…baby steps.

Evan Pickering - Author

There’s something I read recently that really stuck with me.

And I’m going to paraphrase here… But finding your dream career isn’t about finding one where you love the good parts– it’s about finding a career where you enjoy the hard work.

Because basically all careers, no matter how greenish the grass looks on the other side of the hill, have hard work. No matter how dreamy they seem.

I’m glad I love the writing, the editing, all the stuff that goes into it. There’s something so satisfying about creating a story.

But it’s hard work. It really is. And the procrastination can be REAL.

I’m in a pretty beautiful place that I find myself writing BOOK 2 this summer as my full-time. THAT doesn’t totally feel real.

But the work is. So there’s something of a transition I’m undergoing, It’s a totally different feel writing with the pressure of…

View original post 254 more words

Author Stories: C. Gockel

Good morning everyone! Apologies for the lack of updates. I am still writing, though I wish I had more time. One of my cases is gearing up for trial, so as the most junior grunt at my law firm, I&#…

Source: Author Stories: C. Gockel

Thousands of Indie Authors Can Participate in the 1st Annual Indie Author Day!

Hundreds of Libraries and Thousands of Indie Authors Across North America will participate in the first annual Indie Author Day! Mark your calendars! Libraries across North America will host local events for the first annual Indie Author Day on October

Source: Thousands of Indie Authors Can Participate in the 1st Annual Indie Author Day!