I've been a big fan of The Walking Dead since the start. But the season seven premier was too much for me. Hacking away at zombies is one thing. Hacking away at beloved characters is quite another. I guess I've had my fill of gruesome violence. I can't bring myself to watch it anymore.
Are you as tired of gruesome zombie shows as I am? Good news, there's a totally new take on the zombie theme! iZombie. And it's absolutely worth watching.
Brought to you by Rob Thomas, who is also known for Veronica Mars (another show I loved back in the day), iZombie is the opposite of The Walking Dead in nearly every way. The main character, Liv Moore (Rose McIver), is a smart, sweet, sexy, bad ass - zombie. Yes! You read that right!
Liv is a medical student on the cusp of a brilliant career as a doctor when she is tragically turned into a zombie at a party one fateful night. But after some trial and error, she learns how to control it. She goes to work in a morgue as a coroner's assistant where she has easy access to brains.
But Liv doesn't eat brains the way you would expect a zombie eating brains. NO! She gets creative with her meal preparation and every meal is different. Sauteed into pastas, ground into burgers, put on top of pizza. And always with lots of hot sauce!
As a zombie, Liv has certain abilities you would expect a zombie to have such as super strength and the ability to heal quickly. But she also has a very unexpected ability: every time she eats a brain she has visions of the deceased person's final days and she temporarily inherits the personality of the deceased. In one episode she eats the brain of a murdered college frat boy. You can imagine the hijinks that ensue! In another she eats the brain of a murdered sexy housewife. And in yet another she eats the brain of a martial arts expert. Liv is a different personality in each episode and it's a lot of fun to watch her transformations.
Liv's only hope and her new life mission is using her zombie super powers for good. She teams up with a detective under the guise of being a psychic and helps the police catch bad guys with her visions.
The supporting characters in this show are just as delightful to watch as Liv. Liv's boss, Ravi Chakrabarti (Rahul Kohli), is a smoking hot and incredibly funny character (probably my favorite character after Liv), and he is the first to discover that Liv is a zombie. Ravi is excited to learn that zombies do exist and he works with Liv to help hide her secret and to find a cure.
Clive (Malcolm Goodwin) is Liv's police officer partner. He doesn't know Liv's secret and he seems perplexed by her ever changing personalities but he respects her abilities to help him solve cases. Their partnership is described in the show as "Cagney and Pasty."
Liv's main love interest is Major Lilywhite (Robert Buckley) a sexy as hell youth counselor turned zombie hunter. Liv and Major have an on again, off again love affair and you can't help but route for these two love birds to make it.
Blaine DeBeers (David Anders) is a the bad guy in this show but he is a surprisingly likeable villain. Although he is greedy and power hungry and he does some terrible things to people, his backstory is so tragic and relatable that you can't help but feel sorry for him. And sometimes he seems so conflicted, on the verge of making the right choice, that you can't help but route for him to find his way and become one of the good guys.
There are many other wonderful characters and well known actors and actresses in iZombie, most notably Veronica Mars alum Enrico Colanto who plays vice detective Lou Benedetto in season two! Awesome sauce!
iZombie is a great alternative to the typical gory zombie shows out there. It's original, smart, funny, and addicting and I highly recommend it. Two seasons are out on Netflix now so you can get caught up during the holidays in preparation for season three coming Tuesday April 4, 2017 on the CW.
Ok! So I don't really have 30,000 reasons to read 30,000 B.C. Chronicles! But here are three really excellent reasons to give this series a try:
Bored with all the same old shows on TV lately? Wondering if there is anything exciting and new to watch? Good news! There is!
I just discovered an amazing new show called Stranger Things, a Netflix original, and I want to help the rest of the world discover it too! Right now you can binge watch the entire first season in preparation for the second season, coming next year.
What is this Stranger Things show, you ask? It's part Stephen King creepy, scary fun. It's part Twilight Zone what the heck is happening here fun. And it's part Goonie's crazy kids running around saving the world fun!
Who doesn't love that combination???
Here are 13 reasons why you NEED to watch Stranger Things:
1. Winona Ryder - Winona Ryder blows the socks off the role of Joyce Byers, a neurotic, anxious, stressed out single mother of two boys in Stranger Things. Her younger boy goes missing. And then strange things start happening. Winona is so much fun to watch. My favorite scene of hers was when she went to buy Christmas lights in the store she worked at before her son went missing. You're going to love her character! She is a loving, hard working, loyal and fiercely protective mother. She deserves to win some awards for her performance.
2. The Boys - Frustrated with the adults in their town, the three best friends of the missing boy begin their own investigation. Dustan, Lucas and Mike are each very different but very good friends who must face both inner and outer turmoil as they search for their friend Will. Nerdy, brilliant, brave and kind, these boys ride around town on their BMX bikes chasing down clues and solving the case Goonies style.
3. Eleven - Millie Bobby Brown plays Eleven, the bad ass star of the show, a young frightened girl who escapes from an experimental government facility. Eleven doesn't speak much and she has strange telekinetic powers. Each episode offers new clues as to who she is. She grows more and more powerful and confident as she bonds with the boys and helps them find their friend. But you are still left wondering; how did she get her powers to begin with and what exactly happens to her in the end? It's a mystery...
4. The Eighties - I was a teenager during the Eighties so I LOVE the Eighties. The world before cell phones, computers and flat screen TVs was much simpler. Stranger Things manages to perfectly capture the nostalgia from this decade from thick bouncy feather hair, high waist jeans and ruffled blouses, walkie talkies, Saturday morning cartoons, role playing games and old fashioned eighties decor in each of the character's homes. It's so good, it almost feels like the show was actually recorded in the eighties.
5. The Soundtrack - Should I Stay or Should I Go by The Clash, Toto's Africa, I Melt You by Modern English and Waiting for a Girl Like You by Foreigner are some of my favorite songs from the 80's. Even the theme music is 80's synth. Go back in time with the music playlist on Spotify.
6. The Originality - Although you see influences of movies and tv shows in Stranger Things - E.T., Star Wars, Poltergeist, Alien - this show is it's very own fresh new concept. From the characters to the trouble they get into, you've never seen anything like Stranger Things.
7. The Monster - Crawling through walls, hunting and killing. Who is this monster? What does he want? How did he get here? And how can we get rid of him? These are the questions you are asking yourself in every episode.
8. The Creepy Bad Guy - Mathew Modine plays Dr. Martin Brenner, the creepy white haired bad guy in Stranger Things. He doesn't say much but he does despicable things including torturing and then hunting down Eleven after she escapes. You love to hate his character.
9. The Acting - Besides Winona Ryder, the entire cast delivers brilliant performances. Two standouts include David Harbour who does a fabulous job of portraying Jim Harper, the town's down-on-his-luck police chief. Even though he is a self destructive and sometimes violently angry man, you can't help but route for him. And Gaten Matarazzo, who plays Dustan, a twelve year old comedic genius who must bring his friends back together time and time again.
10. The Writing - From first love and popularity contests to dealing with loss, this show tackles all kinds of issues with ease. You get so totally immersed in what's going on during each episode that you are a bit surprised when the episode is over. You never want the fun and horror to end!
11. Pop Culture References - If you love pop culture you'll get your fill in Stranger Things. Risky Business is showing at the local cinema, Jaws and Evil Dead posters on the walls, and Star Wars is referenced multiple times (a model Millennium Falcon gets flown around the room) just to name a few!
12. The Love Triangle Teenage love is so complicated, especially when two boys love the same girl. Steve, the popular guy, and Jonathon, the awkward older brother of Will, the lost boy, both fall for Nancy, the pretty smart girl who is torn between two worlds. Her best friend is an awkward nerdy girl who doesn't quite approve when Steve starts showing Nancy attention. Does Nancy stay true to her best friend? Or does she follow her heart with Steve? Complications grow when her best friend disappears and Nancy joins up with Jonathon to find his brother and her best friend. Jonathon is clearly enamored with Nancy, causing tensions with Steve.
13. Government Conspiracies - The government is all powerful, ultra secretive and up to no good in Stranger Things. Yet the townsfolk go up against them anyway in order to find and save Will. It's the little guys against the big guys! Who will triumph?
Writing is a little like riding a roller coaster. It's a bumpy ride. We have super high highs and gut wrenching lows. On good days we feel like we are being blessed with divine inspiration and we're on top of the world. And then we come crashing back down! We're in the trenches. We have no time to write, no inspiration and the stuff we do write is crap. Or so we think...
On the bad days, and heck, even on the good days, it helps to know that other writers are out there experiencing similar roller coaster rides as us. Yes, we are each on our own writing roller coaster ride - it's a solitary job, after all, the job of the writer. But we are never alone.
I have found that most successful writers, the ones who have managed to stay on their roller coaster rides through all the ups and downs, these gurus are eager to help those of us who are just beginning our rides!
Some have learned how to overcome writers block, fit in time to write or write super fast (getting as many as 10,000 words a day! Oh my! If only!) Others have perfected their creativity, their writing, or developed new creative ways to edit their work. And some have mastered the world of publishing and marketing (The dirty, dirty marketing! Most new writers, like me, cringe at the thought of having to market our work!)
Since I started on my own slightly crazy writing roller coaster ride seven years ago, I've bought a lot of books, read a lot of articles, done a lot of Googling, listened to a lot of podcasts and watched a lot of webinars. I've discovered some really amazing writers along the way, people who truly inspired me and taught me a thing or two. I want to share the best of the best with you today.
Here are my 5 favorite writing gurus to follow:
Jeff Goins is a best selling author today but he doubted himself for a while. One day he decided to stop making excuses and go for his dreams. He's never looked back and now he wants to help others like him (and me!) overcome their fears and insecurities and just write!
I've seen Jeff speak on Facebook live video and webinars and listened to his podcasts and he continually impresses me. He is sincere, engaging and truly inspiring. Check out his website at Goinswriter. If you've dreamed of becoming a writer then Jeff will get you all fired up and ready to take on the world!
K.M Weiland is the award-winning, internationally published author of the Amazon bestsellers Outlining Your Novel and Structuring Your Novel, as well as Jane Eyre: The Writer’s Digest Annotated Classic, the western A Man Called Outlaw, the medieval epic Behold the Dawn, the portal fantasy Dreamlander, and the historical/dieselpunk adventure Storming.
I've read her books and dozens of her articles and listened to many of her podcasts on her award-winning blog Helping Writers Become Authors. K.M Weiland covers every aspect of writing from overall story structure to character development. She is a wonderful storyteller and a natural born teacher of the art of writing.
If you want to improve your craft, start reading K.M. Weiland's blog posts or listening to her podcasts.
Margie Lawson teaches writers how to use her psychologically-based editing systems and deep editing techniques to create page turners. She has full day master classes for writers in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and on cruises in the Caribbean. She also has multiple lecture packets and courses that you can purchase separately on her website at MargieLawson.com. I've purchased several of her lecture packets and I've been blown away with her editing system. I'd love to take her Caribbean master class (someday!) but for now I'll definitely be using what I've learned about her system in my future edits.
If you want to stop fearing the self-editing process, go to Margie's site and learn her deep editing system.
Bryan Hutchinson was told by teachers that he would never be a writer. He went on to prove them all wrong.
Don't you just love stories like that?
His work has been published in newspapers, national magazines, books, and blogs. He created Positive Writer for fellow writers like him who have an overwhelming desire to create work that matters. His articles provide inspiration, advice and encouragement.
If you want to prove the world wrong, as Bryan did, go to Bryan's site for inspiration!
Part memoir, part kick in the pants, Writer's Doubt is rated 5 stars by over 80 people on Amazon! Jeff Goins even recommends Bryan's book!
“Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real.”
― Nora Ephron
― Cornelia Funke, Inkspell
― Karen Marie Moning, Darkfever
“A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at noon and by moonlight.”
― Robertson Davies
“It wasn't until I started reading and found books they wouldn't let us read in school that I discovered you could be insane and happy and have a good life without being like everybody else.”
― John Waters
Here are 15 of my favorite quotes from famous writers about writing (in no particular order).
I agree with every one of them!
Anyone can be a writer! And the world needs diversity now more than ever. So if you feel the pull to write, if you have a story to tell then get to it! Don't let anything hold you back.
Who are your favorite writers? What are your favorite quotes about writing? Comment below!
I'm a romantic at heart with an overactive creative mind and an artistic soul. I've always been an avid reader - I read as much as I can as often as I can! Writing has been a life long dream that I haven't allowed myself to pursue until just recently. In April I finally published my first novel - Naupaka Blooming, a Hawaiian Reincarnation Romance. And now I'm working on the first book in a new fantasy thriller series called Summer's Shadow.