The Time Kitchen ~ In Time, An All Two Of You Post

In Time, directed by Andrew Niccol takes place in a future/alternate universe where people are engineered to stop aging at 25. From that moment on, their time begins to run out and they have to inherit, work for, or steal every additional moment of their life. Time is also the currency with which they pay rent, buy food, and do all of the things one does with currency. The main difference being that if you overspend you die.

Obviously, the wealthy of this world live forever. The lower class of the world are forced to get up super early, work long hours, and the ever changing economy puts many of them at risk of death.

There’s a priest in one town who requests donations of time and he gives this time to the poor of his community so they can live a little longer. But wait a second…

If time is currency and people need that time to eat, why doesn’t the priest open up a proper soup kitchen? Instead of requesting donations of time, why not gather used clothing and food, among other things, so that people aren’t constantly deciding whether they want to wake up the next day or eat dinner?

As with all posts in this category, this will only apply to a few people. The brief summary is to remind readers what thing I am talking about and to either encourage them to go out and be educated by the thing or to hit the back button and be comfortable in ignorance.

Thank you for reading, feel free to like and subscribe and tell me what you think in the comments section.

The Alien just Isn’t as Impressive

aliencovenantneoxenoI wonder if I’m alone here. The alien from the Alien: Covenant Trailer just isn’t all that impressive to me. The aliens in the original trilogy were all people in costume. The bodies were real and looked like something that could be touched. It’s what made it that much scarier, the idea of one of these things coming after you down a narrow corridor.

When I saw the trailer, the Alien was fast and it moved with the speed that modern graphics and film techniques can make possible. But it just didn’t have the same feel of the originals.

Moonlight Falls on the Adult Vampire Series

Moonlight is a series I’ve been wanting to write about for a long time. I re-watched it this past couple of weeks and everything I remember about it is still there and then some. In the wisdom of my considerably advanced age, I now noticed things I missed before that I’ll share in future posts. In the meantime, I want to encourage people to find this series on DVD, or Netflix, or on someone’s Youtube channel.

Affectionately referred to as CSI: Vampire, Moonlight is the story of Mick St. John, a vampire working as a private detective in Los Angeles who deals with clients and criminals of the human and vampire variety. A World War 2 medic in mortal life, Mick became a vampire after marrying Coraline. Coraline, whom we later learn is the daughter of King Louis XVI, kidnaps a little girl in order to win Mick over after he leaves her. He rescues the girl, kills Coraline, and that little girl grows up to become Beth Turner. Beth is a reporter for the online news feed Buzz Wire, who runs into Mick while investigating a series of vampire-like serial killings. In the course of events, Beth learns Mick is the one who saved her as a child, she learns he’s a vampire, Coraline comes back from the dead, and believe it or not it all ends on a Happily Ever After Note. Or as much of a note as a series that lasted only one season can end in. There was a tiny fragment of a story line that would have been followed if the series was renewed, but as far as fans are concerned, all of the major plot lines of the show’s solitary season were resolved and the curtains closed on a kiss.

The first episode of this series was written by David Greenwalt, a writer familiar to fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Moonlight introduced American audiences to Australian actor Alex O’Loughlin and may also have attributed to Sophia Myles’s rise to fame. Before Moonlight, Sophia had a supporting role in Underworld with Kate Beckinsale. Also, point of trivia, Alex O’Loughlin was the villain in Whiteout, another movie starring Kate Beckinsale.

Moonlight shared Firefly‘s fate in getting axed after only one season. Unlike Firefly, however, there was no follow up movie, or comic books, or franchise to speak of. While fans of the show were certainly pining for these things, the actors and crew had moved on to other things. Alex O’Loughlin even sent out a message to his fans asking them to watch and support his newest endeavor, the equally short-lived medical drama Three Rivers.

Probably another thing that didn’t help was the fact that Moonlight came so closely on the curtails of Angel. Angel, the spin off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, was also set in Los Angeles and had the lead character running a detective agency with a similar business model. Moonlight also shared similarities with Forever Knight, although both shows had their own sets of strengths and weaknesses.

In either case, Moonlight represented the end of an era where vampires were for grown-ups. You could argue that True Blood, which is also a mystery and romance, was such a show. But unless you subscribed to HBO or later bought the DVD box sets, it’s not really a fair comparison. Moonlight was on CBS and available on basic cable. Then not too long after its cancellation, a relationship that hits all of the red flags in the abusive relationship handbook stole the hearts of teenage girls and 40-year-old single women across the globe.

In addition to a great stories, three dimensional characters, and strong continuity, Moonlight is a proud representative of a decade. In the way that we associate Law and Order with the 90’s, 21 Jump Street with the 80’s, and Foxy Brown with the 70’s, I have no doubt Moonlight will go on to be remembered as a show for fans of the 00’s.

Clara Was Watson’s Sister-In-Law

There are no coincidences, especially in the writing of Steven Moffatt and Mark Gatiss respectively. Re-watching A Study in Scarlet the other night, it all came to me. Doctor Who take place in the same universe and Clara is my proof.

We now know that it was Clara’s TARDIS parked in Utah when the Doctor met up with Amy, Rory, and River beside the lake in Valley of the Gods.

We also know that Clara is openly bi-sexual (Go ahead, try and deny it, faithful reader. I’m waiting) and that it wouldn’t be such a big deal if she ran into a woman she really liked in London around 2010. Perhaps her TARDIS was following the Doctor’s TARDIS and brought Clara there against her intentions as TARDISes are won’t to do.

So Clara has a brief relationship with a certain Harriet Watson. She even meets John at some point but Harriet’s drinking makes anything long term too dicey.  And contrary to Sherlock’s assumption, Clara is the one who leaves first and Harriet gives her mobile phone to John.

Okay, I had to alter a detail to fit my theory but oh well, such is the nature of speculation.

The Skeptic Party ~ By Nathanielle Sean Crawford

This story is at best an affectionate parody and at worst, a sweeping commentary about how even someone who speaks the truth may lead innocent people to ruin. The name is a very obvious nod towards a famous psychic investigator and if he should read this, I hope he does not take offense to this story as it is a work of fiction based on a clip I saw of him that led to a “What If” question.

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Two couples, a few students, and some lonely individuals looking for something unique and exciting. Not a bad evening all together but a larger turnout would have been nice. Skeptic parties were the new thing but they were slow in rising.

“Good evening ladies and gentlemen,” the MC said into the microphone. “It’s a cozy crowd tonight, so could I ask you all to move to the front of the room? Thank you. Tonight we’re about to watch as a professional skeptic and paranormal investigator blows the lid off some common myths and legends, including some very down to earth concepts that most of us have been in the dark about our entire lives. He’s new to the field but he had his first major appearance on television and we’re just so happy to have him here. Please welcome Mr. Hamish Andes.”

Applause was light, non-committal. Hamish came into the room and shook hands with the MC. He took the microphone and he placed a large grocery bag on an empty table.

“If you’re here to talk to your loved ones who are no longer with us I have some terrible news: They’re dead.”

Chuckles. One of the men forced a laugh.

“Okay, I’m going to hand out some props. Coming out here with the props, watch out.”

He reached into the bag and pulled out a small white bottle covered with a piece of paper. He handed this to the first guest and pulled out another. Then another. Then another. There were enough bottles to go around. He playfully suggested to the couples sitting together that they might want to “swap”, eliciting a few stronger laughs.

They were warming up to him, this crowd.

When he returned to the table, he pulled out another small white bottle without a piece of paper covering the label. It read:

Sunny Day’s Well-Being Pills

“The homeopathic medicine industry makes more than a billion dollars each year,” Hamish explained. “Last year, you could have fed a third world nation for a decade, with money left over to build and fund schools, an irrigation system, and a hospital for that amount of time. For that amount of money, you could cure actual illnesses and give vaccinations to children who would otherwise die of diseases that you or I have not been in danger of contracting for over a century.”

The crowd listened intently as he rattled off statistics and the names of professionals in the field who corroborated his claims. Then he instructed everyone to remove the pieces of paper from their bottles, which turned out to be the same homeopathic drug that he was holding.

Thirty tablets in each bottle.

“It says to take one a day,” Hamish read from the label. “Take one pill a day for a better, healthier lifestyle. Well, here goes.”

Hamish pulled a bottle of water out of the plastic bag and placed the microphone on the table long enough to open the pills. He took out the cotton and tossed it aside. Then he took out one pill and popped it in his mouth, following it with a drink of water. Then he watched the audience, who leaned in and watched with a wild-eyed curiosity that was absent at the beginning. Many of them knew he was about to do something that would blow their minds but they watched, fully prepared to be amazed. He took the bottle and tapped more of the pills into his mouth. He drank some more water then tapped more pills. It took four taps but he finally swallowed all of the Sunny Day Well-Being Pills.

Then he looked at his audience and smiled his cake eating grin. They clapped and laughed as if he had just pulled a tiger out of the hat.

“Whatever medicinal value this pill might have had, it’s been so diluted and filled with useless crap, that it couldn’t cure boredom. Ms. Cannon, some bottles of water for our lovely audience, if you please.”

The MC wheeled a tray with a bowl filled with ice and bottled water. The audience each accepted a bottle as Hamish encouraged them to swallow the pills he just ingested. Two of the students who were there to knock off a requirement for class opted out. An old lady refused to participate and left the room.

The remaining seven all swallowed their bottles of homeopathic “well-being” medicine. To show off their machismo, the couples took the remaining bottles and swallowed them without any discouragement from Hamish Andes, the professional skeptic.

#    #    #

“Four men and three women were found dead late last week. All apparently healthy, except for two smokers and a diabetic among them, the autopsy showed traces of a slow acting poison that was introduced to their systems within a few hours of their deaths. Three victims had a significantly higher amount of the poison in their own systems, which might have had something to do with a traffic accident that also claimed the life of a jogger in the Common. Detectives later made the connection between the victims and a special event taking place in a house rented out to a shell company…”

Song Title Stories ~ A Writing Challenge

Breakfast on Pluto

“What do you think, boys?” she turned her head to see her children, all boys, buried in their social media and video games. Two of them were on the cusp of manhood and one was barely out of diapers. “Excuse me? Am I interrupting?”

Only the youngest had the sense to look up. The other two were in danger of receiving a mild electrical shock. She didn’t care if it was technically child abuse. Those laws only applied on Earth.

The oldest paused his game. The second oldest, prompted by the youngest, met her inquisitive gaze.

“Do you want to stop here for our picnic?”

The boys looked out the window and saw the lonely planet floating beneath them. One indifferent shrug, a mumble of an agreement, and a nod was the best she could expect. Only the youngest, barely out of diapers, expressed a latent thought, “Is it a planet again?”

Shut Up And Write Twenty-Three More

Michael Connelly didn’t write this line. I believe it was Andrew Marlowe but if I’m wrong, someone please tell me in the comments section. But he delivered it in the aforementioned poker scene and it is something that came to mind when I was arguing with a writer who only had his first book available on Amazon for the past three years.

The line goes like this and can be viewed here:

“You know what I did when I wrote my first book? I shut up and wrote twenty-three more.”

The person I argued with has a book available on Amazon. Self-Published, it was posted four years ago. I won’t list the title here, because I found this author to be a bit high on himself. His only claim to fame was a blogger who compared him to Stephen King and Lee Child.

I’ve been compared to authors before. A good friend said a vampire story I wrote reminded him of HP Lovecraft. After reading my first Nicodemus Dean book, another friend said it called to mind the works of Raymond Chandler and PG Wodehouse. Another story I wrote was compared to Agatha Christie.

I was flattered and grateful for the comparisons. I don’t brag about them, because the difference between me and those authors is that 99% of the world knows who they are. The reason is that they kept writing and didn’t allow the praise or the glamour to distract them.

This up and coming author wrote the first book in a trilogy and the next parts are not yet available. He posted on a thread how he couldn’t believe that his book went lower on the rankings, because his book beat a Stephen King novel as best seller. Yeah, I’m sure Stephen King is holding his pet box tortoise in fear and weeping into the century old whiskey that he can afford now.

It’s okay to be confident. It’s okay to even brag with your poker buddies over success and to occasionally haze an author who is for all intents and purposes, a neophyte. But if you’ve only written one book in your life and your name isn’t Harper Lee, your success is not going to be measured by one book and a couple of favorable comparisons.

Shut up and write twenty-three more books.

(By the way, Mollie, if you’re reading this, I’m taking my own advice. I’ll be writing the third book of the Nicodemus Dean series soon)