My favourite Movies of 2017

The first months of the year are typically a dumping ground for bad movies, but this year has proven otherwise.
The year is young, but it’s never too early to start celebrating the finest movies offered up by both the multiplex and the art house. After only four months, moviegoers have been gifted with a bounty of great blockbusters, indies and documentaries, proving that filmmakers are continuing to find new ways—both big and small—to entertain, excite and enlighten, provided online by project free tv. No doubt there are numerous gems to come in the months ahead, given that by the holidays, we’ll have the latest works from acclaimed directors like Paul Thomas Anderson, Martin Scorsese, and Steven Spielberg (to name just three). For now, however, these are our current picks for the best films of 2017.

I don’t know what this says about my demographic.

A friend (actually, my co-writer from Take One! at Mulholland High, an unpublished YA novel of mine, but I digress…) posted this on my facebook timeline today and I had to laugh. When potty training and marching band come up in the same search, I have to wonder about who’s buying my books. Sure, I like any reader, but it does make me curious about Amazon’s recommendations.

5 Words.

I’ve been away awhile and will be away for a bit longer. In the final draft stage of my next book to be published. All my creative energy is focused on finishing!

Until then, read this and loved it:

Glad to know I’m not alone

As an “adult,” there are some things I would not like to admit to.  Jealousy.  Obsession.  Anger.  But these are all emotions I experience.  Maybe one day I will become a more zen person, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.  In real life, I love expletives and while I celebrate friends successes, sometimes I do get jealous.  The secret above is one I could have easily written. 

Publishing in another language

Readers come in all forms.  For example, my book club in Dubai had members from many different countries.  Most of the group were not reading in their first language – a fact I was continually impressed by.  We would have relatively (wine inspired) deep discussions about rather involved books and they would always surprised me with their abilities to read and interpret the English language.

Memorable reviews.

I’ll follow up this post with my ongoing adventures in Kindle Select, however, the recent free listing of my book Keeping in Line (under my YA and real name, Courtney Brandt) did generate two memorable reviews:

“To whoever wrote the book Keeping in Line: I want to personally say fuck you.  You ruined my sleep cycle that I worked hard to reset.  And I mean this in the most polite way.  The book was clean. 😉 “

Writing as an out

I’ve mentioned the topic before, but I’ll remind you, I don’t want to, nor am I interested in having children. While I’m not saying any adult ever needs an excuse to get out of things, kids seem like a pretty easy one – and a reason I would immediately accept without a further question or thought (*mostly because I do not have a child and have no idea what is involved in raising them). As I’m not going to be a parent, I lack almost any reason not to be at a specific place, at a certain time.

Character Development: The Moth podcast

As an author, I find motivation and inspiration all around me: a lyric from a song, a line from a book, people watching at the airport. In the recent past, I was tipped to the Moth podcast (a friend of a friend had presented one week). After listening to this woman’s brave and wonderful story – I was hooked. Now, each week, in about 15 minutes I get to listen to a person telling an emotionally charged story. As I’m living abroad, and not much of a short story teller myself, I don’t have the opportunity to try and attend one of their events, but I look forward to the day when I am closer to one.

Book Review: Stolen Fury by Elisabeth Naughton

I’ve been traveling for a bit – and got a little bit of reading done while I was away.  As with all my free Kindle downloads, I do not have a lot of expectations.  As previously mentioned, I am looking to be entertained for a few hours.  However, when I downloaded Stolen Fury by Elisabeth Naughton in a flurry before my long trip to the States, I remember thinking, ‘Hmm, this looks like something I hope to enjoy.’

Writing non-fiction (and a peak into my fictional past).

It’s no secret that writing fiction is where I feel the most at home.  It’s something I’ve been doing literally since I learned to write (if I were at home, I would insert a picture of me, circa 1986 in a big red sweater, writing in Crayola crayon in my spiral notebook on the front porch of my parent’s house).  In late elementary school / middle and high school, I wrote obsessively in my journals (all of which are still at home).  After flirting with screenplays in college, I began to go after novel length type material in my mid-twenties, graduating to a series, two standalone projects, 2.5 adult works and a giant heap of fanfiction.