Merry Christmas all :) My gift and an interview

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and an early Happy New Year to everyone Smile. If you’re in the mood to read a geeky, original (I hope Winking smile) vampire story my book The Newfoundland Vampire is free today and tomorrow on Amazon.

Also here is an interview I did with Joseph from my book. Since Joseph is more or less it’s a funny/self-reflective kind of self-interview. I hope you enjoy it Vampire bat). I hope everyone is having a happy and peaceful holiday season. Here’s wishing you all the best in 2013.

The Newfoundland Vampire

Like every other geek alive, Newfoundland native Joseph O’Reily secretly wants to be a superhero. At thirteen he fantasized about being a vampire, and ten years later he’s still fantasizing – but mostly about a beautiful redheaded woman who has eyes only for him. The one thing different about Joseph’s adult fantasy is that, amazingly, it comes true one night when he goes to a local university pub. Cassandra Snow, literally the woman of his dreams, invites him to her place for an evening of personal pleasure. Of course he’s not going to say no. But when strange things start happening afterward, Joseph quickly learns that not all dreams should come true.

Published by Penumbra Publishing and written by Charles O’Keefe

*Skype sessions opens*

Cro:

I’m sitting here with Joseph O’Reily, vampire and main character of the book "The Newfoundland Vampire" written by yours truly. Joseph was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to talk with me and readers of this blog. Joseph, hello and a pleasure to meet you.

Joe:

Thanks for having me. Umm you know I’m a vampire and now you’re telling everyone? *looks from side to side and whispers* isn’t that kind of foolish?

Cro:

Well no not really, you’re an imaginary character that I made up and vampires aren’t real after all.

Joe:

Not real huh? *his eyes flash red for a full two full seconds* I beg to differ. What do you mean made up? I’m sitting here aren’t I? You’re just lucky I’m a vegetarian.

Cro:

*smiles* Yes I know me too. You are aware that I’m you and you’re me, correct?

Joe:

Well I suspected something along those lines but I’m the younger, more handsome and happier version of you. Have you seen my girlfriend? She is a total knockout. And you, married and an Inventory manager? What kind of shitty job is that? Who wants to settle down? Oh and by the way that comb over, really not working for you.

Cro:

Hey now! That was a low blow and yes I have seen her many times in my head, Cassandra is the woman of my dreams as well you know. I enjoy being married, you’re so young, time will change you, a woman will. Oh and everyone (at least us humans) has to work, bills have to be paid and I’ve made mistakes with my career I’ll grant but we’re way off track here. Tell me how your life has changed since you were turned, what have you learned?

Joe:

Yeah sorry about that, it’s easy to forget that everyone else will get old while I’ll be young forever. Good question, well I’ve learned a lot. First off women are mysterious creatures, vampire or human it doesn’t matter. Second, being a vampire isn’t easy aside form the need for blood I have to deal with others of our kind, at least one of them wanted to kill me and just the other day I meet a vampire on this council who commanded us to track down and kill another of our kind. My life has changed in oh so many ways..I couldn’t resist that’s from a Beatles song.

Cro:

Good one, I know, I love the Beatles as well, please continue.

Joe:

Oh yeah, I forget we’re so similar. Anyway while I’m still in touch with my friends and family I had to drop out of university with all the pressure being a vampire brought me, I had to cope with letting a woman die and while he got what he deserved I have to keep a certain criminal act a secret. As if all that wasn’t enough I have to keep quiet about the fact that I am a vampire and one day take on a new identity. It makes Dungeons and Dragons even more appealing than before. Speaking of, do you still play…at..um your age?

Cro:

My age? I’m only 36…sigh I remember being 23 and thinking anyone over 30 was old and yes I still play. Oh and by the way I do agree with you about my job, it’s boring as hell. Lots of regular people have dull jobs, I can’t wamboozle people out of their money and let my super-rich immortal girlfriend pick up the slack, I’ve got bills to pay.

Joe:

Sounds like someone’s got regrets and maybe needs to write another book. I can relate to the regret part though and just to be clear, I never ask for money, she offers and you know what they say never…

Cro:

…look a gift horse in the mouth I know. I do have one big advantage over you though.

Joe:

Oh yeah what’s that?

Cro:

I know what happens next for you. *evil grin*

Joe:

*gulps* You wouldn’t kill me? I’m you in another world, as you say.

Cro:

You’ll have to wait and see. Thanks Joseph for taking the time to talk with me and the whole wide world on the Internet. We’ll talk to you soon.

Joe:

*in background a woman calls out "leave your computer device alone and come to bed, I promise to make it worth your while"* Yeah I need to go anyway. You’re welcome, keep me around for a while okay? Being a vampire can be a lot of funs sometimes.

*Skype session closes*

Until next time I am as always…

SignatureB&W_0003

Movie Review: This is 40

Details from IMDB:

40

This Is 40 (2012)

134 min  -  Comedy  -   21 December 2012 (Canada)

Ratings: 6.3/10 from 2,071 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 19 user | 76 critic | 37 from Metacritic.com

A look at the lives of Pete and Debbie a few years after the events of Knocked Up.

Director:

Judd Apatow

Writer:

Judd Apatow

Stars:

Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann and Maude Apatow | See full cast and crew

Initial Thoughts:

You guessed it, my wife wanted to see this one and as I had to work the next day, the Hobbit was on too late, so we went to this. Truthfully I do like Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, so I did have some interest in this movie.

Main Points:

Apatow has done some really good, funny movie over the years. 40 Year Old Virgin, Pineapple Express and Get him to the Greek to name a few (all of these he produced rather than directed). This one is the sort-of sequel to Knocked Up.Open-mouthed smile

I really didn’t like Knocked Up, I found it went on way too long and I’ve never liked Katherine Heigl. She certainly has the movie star looks but has been in mostly terrible movies (and was too stupid to stick around Grey’s Anatomy with the only likable character she’s done) but I’m off topic.

So we see what Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) are up to five years later. Both actors involved do a very good job here but I found that the movie just goes on too long. Comedies are meant to be short, I think, once you hit the two hour mark and beyond, well they just get dull and drawn out more times than not.Annoyed

Such is the case here. After seeing them argue and fight for a good 20 minutes of the movie I was bored. I will say one thing their lives are so pathetic, complicated and difficult (in my opinion) that it certainly made me feel good as someone approaching 40 Smile.

SPOILER ALERT!

Really not much to spoil, but just in case. So Debbie turns out to be pregnant at 40 with their 3rd child, while Pete has almost run his record company into the ground and they are being forced to sell their house just to try and make ends meet, but somehow they’re happy Thinking smile

Final Thoughts:

Another case of a movie that could have at least 20 minutes taken off of it. There are some very funny parts and a lot of believable and relatable (for married people at least) dialogue, attitudes and behaviours. Hot smile I would give this a mild recommendation and a 7/10 Thumbs up. If you can’t convince your significant other to see something else, well at least you can have a gander at Megan Fox (who is surprisingly good here) and the always funny (and quite lovely) Leslie Mann. Until next time (for my Christmas post, don’t worry it won’t be religious) I am as always…

SignatureB&W_0003

It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine :)

Hi everyone Smile, Happy Friday!

Well another interesting date is here, 12/21/12. As usual interpreting any religious text literally turns out to be a mistake, the end of the world didn’t come. I was lucky enough a few years ago to meet a Mayan in Cozumel, Mexico. He told us that the vast majority of Mayans believe that today would not be the end of the world (as in doomsday) but that the world would change and become a better place Open-mouthed smile.

I really hope that the world does get better, since it’s screwed up bad Sad smile. I’m usually a positive guy but I have to point out some of the terrible things this year. First off Hurricane Sandy.

The numbers I could find indicated 149 died and over 9 million people were affected in terms of lost power, water or damage to property, damage in the billions. I’m not a scientist and I call bullshit on the idea that it was any kind of divine wrath but I certainly think it’s likely that the years of abuse on the environment is taking it’s toll. From what I read because of global warming storms are becoming much more intense and much more frequent than they should be. I’m not blaming anyone, I think everyone can try to do better in their own way. Personally I’m saving up to buy an electric car and I do what I can know with recycling/carpooling whenever possible.

Worth pointing out here that despite the terrible hardship the storm caused it certainly helped defeat Mitt Romney and re-elect Obama.

Then there is the Newtown shooting (I know there were others but this one was the worst I felt).

I won’t get into my feelings on gun control, that just sounds cold. I’ll just say my heart goes out to those affected. If you are one of those I am deeply sorry for this terrible tragedy and I hope that somehow this horrible event brings people close to together and doesn’t create more hate and destruction. They say that hating someone only gives them power over you, only forgiveness can bring you peace. I’m sure that for anyone connected to this that sounds impossible now but hopefully someday it will be true.Thinking smile So I hope that the non-literal interpretation of Mayan prophecy is correct, hopefully today will be the start of a better world, we’ve got a long way to go.

Okay enough serious talk. I hope everyone has a nice weekend. We may go to a movie tonight, not sure (no I haven’t seen the Hobbit yet but I hate crowds, so I’m waiting Hot smile). Oh and of course my favourite not end of the world song. Until next time I am as always…

SignatureB&W_0003

Movie Review: Wreck It Ralph

Details from IMDB:

 

Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

ralph

101 min  -  Animation | Adventure | Comedy  -   2 November 2012 (Canada)

Ratings: 8.2/10 from 20,614 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 112 user | 175 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

A video game villain wants to be a hero and sets out to fulfill his dream, but his quest brings havoc to the whole arcade where he lives.

Director:

Rich Moore

Writers:

Rich Moore (story), Phil Johnston (story), and 3 more credits »

Stars:

John C. Reilly, Jack McBrayer and Jane Lynch | See full cast and crew

Initial Thoughts:

I know I’m way behind and this has been out over a month but believe it or not I only just saw it Smile. Obviously I had heard plenty of good things about it and the lines for The Hobbit were VERY long, so we decided to go (not that I won’t see the Hobbit later of course Open-mouthed smile).

Main Points:

Visually this movie was amazing, I would have liked to have seen it in 3D but they were used up for other movies. Ralph (voiced expertly by John C. Reilly) is a human version of Donkey Kong (Nintendo I’m sure wouldn’t allow him to be used) and a bad guy or villain in his game “Fix it Felix Jr.".

As usual I won’t go through the plot. This movie had lots of clever moments, some good laughs, a ton of video game references (was Turbo Time a real game?) and excellent voice work by everyone involved.Hot smile

There is also some commentary on the increasingly violent nature of video games and the idea that you are not defined by your nature but by the choices you make and how you choice to see yourself.

With all that said I guess maybe I’m not young enough (or have children) and there were some parts of the movie I found slow and predictable. Thinking smile

SPOILER ALERT!

Turbo is the real villain in the movie as he found a way from his game into Sugar Rush and is pretending to be the King. Ralph ultimately destroys him (we hope!) and is saved by Vanellope (voiced by Sarah Silverman).

Final Thoughts:

If this is still in theatres near you and you love video games (and a light-hearted movie) I would certainly recommend it. Thumbs up As I said I guess I’ve become a little cynical and jaded and I could only give this 7/10. Tomorrow, (assuming the world doesn’t actually end Winking smile) I’ll do a more serious post but hopefully not too serious. Have a great day everyone, until tomorrow I am as always…

SignatureB&W_0003

My writing habits and 12/12/12 :)

Hi all Smile Like lots of people I couldn’t resist doing a post today. 12/12/12 I know that it doesn’t really mean anything to have a date with 3 numbers the same (other than we’ll never see it again in our lifetimes) but like most people I have a calendar (3 of them actually), a date planner and you notice certain dates (that and I saw it mentioned several times on Facebook and Twitter Thinking smile).

Someone said recently that they couldn’t wait for 12/22 as there will be all sorts of headlines with the wacky stuff people will do Hot smile (I don’t believe the world will end) but enough talk about dates. I thought I would share some info about my writing habits as I finished the second draft of my second novel (tentatively called “Killer on the Road”) this week. Look for it sometime in the new year (I’ll let you know when as soon as I can Open-mouthed smile).

 

My Writing Habits:

 

For me writing is a time to relax, to dream, to fantasize about mythical creatures and imagine how my life could have turned differently if I had made different choices. I know some people can write in public places with all sorts of noise and people around but for me I need quiet, solitude and something to look at. I also find that generally I am at my most creative in the morning. For me the best writing occurs when I’ve had a good night’s sleep, get up at 6 or 6:30 and start writing by 7 or 7:30 AM.

I also find that I need an outline. I like to have a clear idea of where I’m headed in a story so I always plan a novel at least two or three chapters ahead of time. Before I write I have a look at my outline (especially if I’m at the end of a chapter). Also at least once a month I look over the tips my esteemed editor, Pat, gave me from my first book (this was done during the writing of book 1 as well). I find that generally I only write in short bursts, 30-45 minutes tops then I’ll look out the window, possibly check my e-mail or pet one of my cats if they happen to be on the table with me. Generally I do most of my writing at home but since my wife gave me an iPad for my birthday a few months back I find myself using that to do a little writing if I’m at a book signing, a flea market, on a train, boat or plane.

With my first book published, I also find it useful to keep a copy of “The Newfoundland Vampire” nearby, it serves as both an inspiration and a guide as I work on book 2. For me I try to write about places that I’ve been (or wish I’d been) and either way I like to look at pictures of that place before I write the scene. As the main character, Joseph, is about 90% me, it is always a lot of fun to revisit these places in my mind and see how I would act differently in my imaginary world. For some scenes I try to imagine the whole thing in my head and then get it down on the screen as accurately as possible.

When it comes to personal preference, I find I enjoy writing the sex, action and humour scenes the most. A friend of mine gave me a tip to just set a simple goal, write one page a day every day. I found this very helpful as even one page, single spaced, means a chapter done in a week and of course some days I get inspired and do more Thumbs up.

The best scenes for me just fly out of my brain and I worry about cleaning up dialogue, punctuation and grammar at later time. While I’m certain writing could be taken a scientific approach for me its artistic expression and the best way I have to communicate my ideas and feelings to the world. Well that’s it for today, have a great day everyone. I hope you do something creative today and hey if you want to support a creative guy, you could always purchase my book, make’s a nice Christmas gift for your vampire loving friend/relative/roommate/husband/wife/spouse/self! Vampire bat

NewfoundlandVampire-coverFRONT700

Until next time I am as always…

SignatureB&W_0003

Movie Review: My week with Marilyn

Details from IMDB:

MyWeek

My Week with Marilyn (2011)

99 min  -  Biography | Drama  -   23 December 2011 (USA)

Ratings: 7.1/10 from 35,928 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 161 user | 296 critic | 38 from Metacritic.com

Colin Clark, an employee of Sir Laurence Olivier’s, documents the tense interaction between Olivier and Marilyn Monroe during production of The Prince and the Showgirl.

Director:

Simon Curtis

Writers:

Adrian Hodges (screenplay), Colin Clark (books)

Stars:

Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne and Kenneth Branagh | See full cast and crew

Initial Thoughts:

Obviously I didn’t see this when it was in theatres, so since we never made it to a movie this weekend my wife asked me to watch this. I’m an easy-going guy most of the time so I did Smile. With all that said I had heard of it and I did want to see Michelle Williams much talked about performance.

Main Points:

This is a different take on Marilyn Monroe as it focuses on a minor employee’s (Colin Clark played by Eddie Redmayne) relationship with her during a the filming of The Prince and the Showgirl in England.

I’ll also admit to not knowing a lot about Marilyn Monroe but this movie does really give you a glimpse into her troubled life. Williams does do an amazing job playing this sexy, talented but ultimately broken and tragic figure. There is no punches pulled and Marilyn’s addiction to pills, her highly emotional nature, he demands on a film are all on display. She managed to portray her as a figure that was both larger than life in public and yet so broken and needing of love and affection in private.

Worth noting are other excellent performances by the always wonderful Dame Judi Dench and Kenneth Branagh. Less wonderful is Emma Watson, who takes middle of the road part as Colin’s brief girlfriend.

This movie really shows the incredible charisma and star power of Marilyn. Colin is soon swept away by her charms and need-to-be-rescued nature and falls in love.

SPOILER ALERT!

I know another silly one but just in case…Colin of course does not end up with Marilyn (though he sees her naked many times) and ultimately breaks his heart when the movie is done. The movie doesn’t talk about Marylin’s ultimate fate, only that she went on to star in the massive hit Some like it Hot Hot smile

Final thoughts:

I enjoyed this movie. It is worth seeing just for the performances, the story is a little light but as far as I know accurate to what really happened. I give it an 8/10 and a hearty recommendation Thumbs up. Now I just need to get to Wreck It Ralph before it leaves theatres Vampire bat

SignatureB&W_0003