Wednesday, August 24, 2011

MY THOUGHTS: CONAN THE BARBARIAN

Worse movie I have seen this year.

The storytelling is pathetic. This is the part that infuriates me to no end. The storytelling should be the strongest aspect of any Conan movie. Robert E. Howard has left a legacy of Conan stories to adapt or collage for an on-screen effort. The writing is as bad as I have ever seen for a major motion picture.

The directing and editing is on an amateur level. I’m not even going to waste my time with dozens of examples I could cite for this.

The acting is atrocious—from top to bottom. The performances never gave me an opportunity to suspend disbelief, as I always felt I was watching actors, not characters. Atrocious.

Hollywood was attempting to make a movie about a well-rounded barbarian character (which is what Conan is) without giving us a well-rounded barbarian character. Instead, Hollywood tried to make a sexy barbarian character with more hair product than my wife uses outside of the Hyborian Age.

Jason Momoa looks like a teenage (or just out of his teenage years) Conan in this movie. It’s as though this is the beginning tales of the Cimmerian before he becomes a bigger, stronger character that I read and loved my entire life. I mean bigger and stronger in two ways: as a character (internally) as well as physically (externally). Now, don’t get me wrong, I was not a fan of the Schwartzenegger portrayals, nor was I a fan of his physical size for the part.

The effects—other than most of the CGI monsters—were laughable. Some of the characters had snow white, perfectly straight teeth. I mean teeth that were such obvious modern veneers that is was as distracting as if they were wearing Rolex watches. But, then other characters—the catapulted Remo, for instance—had obvious (decay appearing) dentures that nearly fell out of his mouth when he spoke. I thought (at one point) it was part of the story, watching for wooden dentures to fall out of his mouth for some other pointless reason.

The blood spray, spatter, and splatter effects are unnatural with goops and gobs, and look as though they were made from corn syrup and food coloring. When the child Conan drives a stake into one enemy’s foot, it looks as though the victim has a balloon filled with a half-gallon of red Kool-Aid for a foot when the watered down red stuff sloshes from the wound.

In my opinion this movie lacks heart. It lacks myth. It lacks character.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

New anthology guidelines: The Mothman Chronicles

Title: The Mothman Chronicles

Publisher: Woodland Press

Editor: Michael Knost

Format: Trade Paperback

DO NOT SUBMIT STORIES REJECTED FROM THE MOTHMAN FILES ANTHOLOGY.

Payment: five-cents per word (upon publication) plus contributor copy.

No reprints and no trunk stories

Story length: Up to 4000 words

No multiple or simultaneous subs

Deadline: Sunday, July 1, 2012 (Do not inquire on story status until after September 1, 2012)

E-mail submissions to: themothmanchronicles at yahoo dot com

We will accept .doc attachments only.

I am looking for fictional mothman stories. The setting is not limited to West Virginia or any other regional area known as mothman territory.

Think of a story or angle you are sure no other writer will come up with and pursue it.

I want tales that grab me early…and hold me to the end. I want stories that are stories: Character + Want + Obstacle + Action = Resolution. I want story arc. I want character arc. I want powerful and emotional tales that are creepy, chilling, disturbing, and moody.

Although stories will mainly target an adult/young adult audience, I DO NOT want stories containing language or content unsuitable for children.

Formatting your manuscript:

Double-space.
Use Times New Roman (12pt).
Italicize what you want italicized.
Single space after sentence-ending punctuation.

Be sure to include your name, address, and email on the manuscript. If this information is not on the manuscript, I will reject it without reading.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

PRE-ORDER WRITERS WORKSHOP AT HOME DVD (VIEWPOINT) AND GET $10.00 OFF THE RETAIL PRICE (which will make it $19.95 + SHIPPING AND HANDLING)!

My first instructional DVD will be out October 1, 2011. Writers Workshop at Home will be a series of lessons available on DVD with many features. This disc will focus on VIEWPOINT. Having never taught this particular lesson on Viewpoint, I decided to put this together and make it available on DVD.


We recorded this seminar at the Savas-Kostas Theater of Southern West Virginia Community & Technical College in Logan, West Virginia. A beautiful facility with a great audience.

This is no ordinary seminar. You will be entertained with songs, skits, and live energy beaming through your screen!

A fun, entertaining way to understand the basics of Viewpoint, and some great tips to learn how to master the finesse aspects that many veteran writers struggle with.

The DVD will cost $29.95 plus $10.00 shipping & Handling and will begin shipping October 1, 2011.

BUT IF YOU PRE-PRDER BEFORE SEPTEMBER 1ST, YOU WILL GET IT FOR JUST $19.95 PLUS $10.00 SHIPPING AND HANDLING!

Use the PayPal button below to order with CREDIT CARD, DEBIT CARD, or PAYPAL:





REMEMBER, ALL ORDERS SHIP OCTOBER 1, 2011.

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