Three Life Lessons I Learned from Buckaroo Banzai

The wisdom of Movies – © gorralit stock.adobe.com

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eight Dimension introduces crime fighting brain surgeon, adventurer, rock star and all-around renaissance man, Buckaroo Banzai. He and his band of eccentric friends, the Hong Kong Cavaliers, must stop evil aliens from the eighth dimension.

This completely unique Sci/Fi Adventure is a cult classic. I recently watched the featurette of the movie on it’s anniversary release. Though most of the actors had no idea what the plot was really about at the time, they were still excited to be part of the movie. Buckaroo Banzai can be considered a venue for the most talented comedians of the 80s (and today). For me, it was a revelation.

The Wisdom of Buckaroo Banzai

  1. Eight Dimensions of Opportunity – Buckaroo Banzai was released in 1984. I was a freshman just entering the big world of University life. This movie had a strong impact on my world view. I, like many of my contemporaries, were raised by “Depression Era Babies” who drilled the notion of “Get a job. Stay there until you retire. Then have fun.” I’d never been exposed to anyone like Buckaroo Banzai. He showed me I could be more than one “thing.” I didn’t have to live under a Label I’d chosen when I was still an inexperienced kid. I could pursue careers and hobbies I loved during my entire life, instead of waiting until I retired from a job I hated.

Seek out your own truth!

  1. No Matter Where You Go, There You Are – This is probably Buckaroo’s most quotable saying. He admonishes the crowd when they are unkind to a tearful Penny Pretty. I think his words have two meanings. First – Be Kind. We’re all humans going through our own difficulties. Second – Look into your own heart, before judging others. Who are you, really? Do you know for sure? Find out.

Be Kind!

  1. Laugh While You Can, Monkey Boy! – Okay. I’ll admit I doubt John Lithgow meant anything by this, but the obvious warning. It’s still a good message. Life is a terminal illness, so fill it full of laughter and joy rather than negativity.

Fill your life with joy

Pre-Order Your Copy Today!

It’s release month for Creed of the Guardian – Book Three in the Heart of the Warriorseries. I’m celebrating with a Halloween Giveaway! Click here to enter for a chance to win these Boo-tiful Prizes:

  • Signed Print copies of Books 1 – 3 of the Heart of the Warriorseries with 2 limited edition bookmarks
  • Mini-flex LED Reading Light
  • $50 Amazon Gift Card
  • Plush Lion
  • 1000-piece Halloween jigsaw puzzle
  • Halloween mug filled with candy

Visit my EVENTspage for scheduling information and blog stops I’ll be visiting this Fall.

 

 

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The Many Faces of Fantasy

Fantasy Books, Dark Fantasy Books

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I moderated a panel last year on “The Many Faces of Fantasy”at Denver Comic Con. Getting the crowd involved, I asked them to shout out the many sub-genres contained within the Fantasylabel. I quickly ran out of fingers and toes.

My point: Fantasy has a little something for every reader. Into the Victorian era and steam powered contraptions? Try Steampunk. Do you lean toward tales of Horror? Dark Fantasyis for you. Maybe you have a fuzzy spot in your heart for Romance. Yep. Fantasy Romanceis a thing.

This genre could be a month-long blog series on its own, so I’ve decided to share my favorite sub-genres with you:

Urban Fantasy aka Grumpy Magical Character in a Modern City

  • The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
  • Something from The Nightside by Simon R. Green
  • Dead Things by Stephen Blackmoore
  • Alex Verus series by Benedict Jacka
  • The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne (Great Author and Awesome Person)
  • Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch
  • A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin
  • Pariah by C.R. Richards (Shameless Plug)

High and/ or Epic Fantasy Adventures

  • The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings by J.R. R. Tolkien
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  • The Dragonbone Chair and its series by Tad Williams
  • Eragon by Christopher Paolini
  • The Sword of Shannara series by Terry Brooks
  • Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan (YA)

Dark Fantasy

  • The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett
  • The Last Apprentice series by Joseph Delaney (YA)
  • Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman (Sub-genre is my opinion)
  • Heart of the Warrior series by C.R. Richards (Shameless plug!)
  • Phantom Harvest by C.R. Richards (2014 Best Fantasy Award Winner)

Have I missed one of your favorite books? Please share in the comments. I’m always looking for good books to read.

Fantastical Links

Goodreads Fantasy Books Lists

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

Classic Novels Are More Than Book Report Assignments

Books, Reading

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Unless you’ve developed your “reader chops” growing up with the Classics, the very mention of this far ranging genre may cause your eyes to glaze over. We’ve all been tortured with the obligatory book report on Moby Dickor Lord of the Flies. Sigh. I sometimes wonder if this academic approach discourages rather than encourages a love of reading.

I was one of the lucky kids who grew up with an appreciation of the awesomeness to be found in great works of literature. Raised in a knowledge desert on the outskirts of a military base in nowhere America, I took every opportunity to visit my little local library. Devouring everything I could get my anxious hands on, I developed a love for classic tales of adventure, sacrifice and unrequited love.

No movie, Netflix short or TV series can compare to a story written about a certain time and place in history by someone who actually experienced it.

Beloved Books I Discovered in My Youth

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

No Time for Sergeants by Mac Hyman (The movie is hilarious too.)

Books That Make You Think

The Sun Also Rises, The Old Man and The Sea or pretty much anything by Ernest Hemingway

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (I know what you’re thinking! The Woman in White is covered in a future post.)

Books for The Adventurous

Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott

Books That Rip Your Heart Out

Cyrano De Bergerac by Edmond Rostand

Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

The Four Feathers by A.E.W. Mason

I’ve just scratched the surface of this amazing genre. Many other novels and short stories hold a special place among these favorites, but I had to end the list somewhere. Did I miss your favorite? Let me know in the comments section. I’m always looking for book suggestions.

Here is the Goodreads.com list of popular classics. How many have you read?

Happy Reading!

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

 

MURDER, She Read

Books, Reading, Mystery

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Footsteps echo against the crumbling walls of a deserted alley. Heart pounding, I take tentative steps into the suffocating passage. Then I see blood spreading across the cold stone before me. Sucking in deep gulps of frigid air, I’m pulled toward the lifeless mass. Dead fingers reach out into the dark unknown. What happened? I won’t stop reading until I find out.

I’m obsessed with murder mysteries. My book shelves are lined with dog eared copies of detective stories. This fascination doesn’t stop at the written word.  My Netflix, Amazon Prime, Britbox and AcornTV queues are filled with brilliant mystery series.

Why am I and others like me so enamored with this genre? Our brains love puzzles. We put on our deer stalker caps and pit our intelligence against the author’s seasoned detective. Sharing the main character’s anxiety to solve the case, we also compete with the clock.

Warning Dear Author! While I love competing with your detective, woe be it for you if I solve the mystery before they do. This is an unforgivable sin to a mystery lover. I’ve thrown books in the used book bin a time or two and vowed never to read anything by the offending author again. Stump me and I’ll be your loyal fan forever.

All Hail the Queen of Murder

Prolific author and master of the mystery genre, Agatha Christie tops the charts of my all-time favorite. In researching this week’s blog, I discovered discrepancies in the number of books she’s credited as having written in her lifetime. It’s definitely over seventy. Here are my top three:

  1. Murder on The Orient Express
  2. And Then There Were None
  3. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

More Top Puzzlers

Scanning my book shelves, I tend to favor classic British Mysteries like the Sherlock Holmes Adventures by Arthur Conan Doyle or the Father Brown series by G. K. Chesterton. In this post, I’d like to focus on some of my favorite American Authors.

  • Patricia Cornwell – Dr. Kay Scarpetta mysteries
  • Raymond Chandler – Farewell, My Lovely featuring Phillip Marlowe
  • Dashiell Hammett – The Maltese Falcon featuring Sam Spade

Mysterious Links

Have I missed your favorite mystery? Share the name below in the comments section. Stuck for good Mysteries? Check out the links below for suggested reads:

Goodreads Mystery Book Lists

Mystery Writers of America

Happy Reading!

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

February Is for Book Lovers

Books, Reading

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It’s almost Valentine’s Day. Chocolate hearts, cupids and plush stuffed animals are everywhere. If you want to capture a book lover’s heart, however, you can skip the flowers. Nothing stirs their soul like engrossing tales told by powerful storytellers.

So Many Book Genres, So Little Time

I’m dedicating DTJ’s February posts to Book Lovers. Highlighting a different genre each week, I’ll discuss my favorite books and provide links to more great stories. Join me for the book chats!

Feeding the Addiction

I grew up in a family of avid readers. No stranger to the library, I rush to their “New Books” and “Recommended Reading” sections. Technology offers Book Lovers additional ways to discover their next great read. Here are a few suggestions:

Goodreads.com– Essential source to discover, track and discuss your favorite books

Bookbub.com– Sign up for the genres you enjoy. Bookbub sends daily emails with suggested reads on sale at Amazon or Barnes and Noble

Rifflebooks.com– Similar to Bookbub, but may carry different books in each genre

Happy Reading!

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

Trick or Treat!

Trick or Treat! How About a Special Book Cover Reveal Instead?

Coming Spring 2019!

Book Cover Design by ebooklaunch.com

Protect the Innocent. Punish the Guilty.

Seth the Ice Lion, now an Apprentice in the Jalora Legion, reluctantly travels aboard ship with his new battalion. Western Beta’s mission seems a dull assignment. Guarding miles of bogs and old ruins should be a simple task, but Seth soon learns nothing is easy for the Bearer of the Lion Ring. The Jalora is the embodiment of Good and the source of Seth’s power. It commands he search North Marsh for a relic capable of saving his homeland from the ravenous appetite of the Jackal invaders. Surrounded by deadly bogs and savage beasts, he must find the relic before the Lion Spirit inside of him takes control of their shared body.

Invaders from across the sea hold a firm grip on Valdeon, but their thirst for blood remains unsated. They lust for the riches of Andara. Using fear and greed as weapons, the Jackal enlist aid from the continent’s unscrupulous mercenaries to prepare for a larger invasion. They build a stronghold – Stone Fang Fortress – in the Blood Mountains of the north. It is here they prepare to conquer the free world.

Will Seth find this powerful relic before the Jackal swarm invades Andara? Or will his people be enslaved under the iron fist of the Jackal Lord? Seth’s answers hide in the deadly bogs of North Marsh…

Catch up on the Heart of the Warrior series

Amazon

BN

Amazon

BN

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

 

Are You Trying to Force a Square Peg in a Round Hole?

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Jorge Pacarro, the last of his tribe and reluctant leader of war torn Valdeon, demands to be heard. Clever statesman and warrior, he’s a pivotal character throughout the entire Heart of the Warrior series. Jorge fascinates me. I suppose this is why I have blinders on sometimes when it comes to his storyline.

I’ve been working on book three of the series for several months now. Every author has that one challenging chapter. Mine is a Jorge scene. Out of place in the flow of the story, Jorge’s chapter just won’t fit anywhere I try to put it. The scene involves critical information to the series. It has to go somewhere.

Then it came to me after taking a week’s vacation in Colorado. I had my light bulb moment. Jorge’s chapter doesn’t belong in book three. It needs to be the opening scene of book four. Problem solved!  I’d be pretty pleased with myself if the same thing hadn’t happened in book one and two.

What is your square peg? Are you struggling with a problem you just can’t seem to lick?

  • Take a step back. Work on something else for a few days, then come back with fresh eyes
  • Ask a trusted friend or colleague for advice
  • If all else fails, move on. Sometimes you have to shelf good ideas. It just isn’t their time

Best wishes and good luck!