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Movie Mention: Star Trek Into Darkness

21 May

Before I begin my posts over the next couple of days, I’m going to be sharing links to Minutes Before Sunset reviews and interviews from some wonderful bloggers. Today, I’d like to thank Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie, blogger on “Keep Calm and Write On” for posting this review. I’d also like to thank the Kansas City rock band, Averya, for already reviewing Minutes Before Sunset. Their reviews push me forward! And I’m looking forward to the abundance of reviews coming from those who have volunteered to participate in my last posting and others who’ve participated since the release. Thank you!

I’d also like to offer another opportunity: I’m a part of a website called Happify. It’s a website dedicated to creating time for happiness in your personal life, and I’ve earned five invites. Comment below if you’re interested (with your email) and I’ll do a raffle for the invites! The winners will be announced on my next post. 

The night I went we had tornadic weather, and this tree got struck by lightning right before we got there!

The night I went we had tornadic weather, and this tree got struck by lightning right before we got there!

Onto the movie: 

During another adventure of Midwest storms last night, I saw Star Trek Into Darkness. I know. I know. I’m a little late on this review train, since some were able to see it as early as May 9, but I finally found the time to go, and it was fantastic!

Just to give you a little bit of my background, my mother was a trekky, so I actually know a lot about the series. That being said, I did think some of the changes were unnecessary. But, again, I’m pretty openminded about movie adaptations, and I ultimately found this movie really entertaining–both visually stunning, action-packed, and humorous, although I did find the plot pretty predictable (aside from one part.) However, despite the predictability, I still enjoyed this movie immensely.

StarTrekIntoDarkness_FinalUSPosterI get enough of Zachary Quinto  and Zoe Saldana. On top of that, Benedict Cumberbatch (I’m sure many of you recognized him from Sherlock Holmes) is an interesting villain. I don’t want to give away the movie, or I would expand on this statement.

Basically, I had a really good time seeing the second one, and I’m looking forward to the third movie when it comes out. (I’ve actual spent a large portion of my afternoon researching this, and it looks like there is definitely a third one in the making.)

Have you seen this movie? What did you think? If not, are you planning on seeing this movie in the future? I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially if you’ve read and/or watched the old series. That way, if anyone is interested and comes to this page, they can get an array of opinions!

Hope there isn’t tornadic weather where anyone else is. Have a great day.

~SAT

Minutes Before Sunset: Goodreads quote of the day: “Identity was everything, but it seemed I never had one.” (Jessica)

Contest Winners and Poetry From My KU Reading

10 May

Thank you to everyone who participated in the contest involving the final decision over the back cover of my young-adult paranormal romance, Minutes Before Sunset! As I’m writing this, we had 68 responses, and I’m really happy, because I love it when my readers can influence the final product. The voting went as follows (we considered the third part a vote on both, because very few seemed to see it, since it wasn’t visibly available):

Longer Description: 11

Shorter Description: 14

(Third received 3 votes)

After speaking with my publisher, since the split was so divided, we decided to go with the medium description with the author reviews, that way we get the best of both worlds 😀 Here’s the official photo:

The official Minutes Before Sunset cover, back and all, decided from your words!

The official Minutes Before Sunset cover, back and all, decided from your words!

The winners from the raffle are: (Email shannonathompson@aol.com within the week to receive your prize)

Paperback:

L. Marie (El Space)

eBook: 

kayuk (Where Do I Go From Here?)

whiteravensoars (Random Acts of Writing)

Nadeen Chrystal Davis (Nadeen’s Reading Corner)

Charles Yallowitz (Legends of Windemere)

Katsy Faustino (A Daily Dose of Katsy)

Congrats to the winners! But thanks go out to every person that contributed. If you still want a copy, Minutes Before Sunset is already available as an eBook through Amazon and Smashwords (includes Nook, Kindle, and more) along with KoboIt will be specifically available on Barnes & Noble when the paperback is released.

I also wanted to thank follower, Tuan Ho (The Noif Matrix), for posting an interview about my novel, Minutes Before Sunset. I really recommend checking it out, because Tuan Ho influenced the serious with the humorous, and it’s a great read! (It may or may not involved Shania Twain and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.) Click here to read it

And, as an extra, and special thanks, I wanted to post the two poems I read on Wednesday at the University of Kansas. Thank you to the Kansas followers who came out to listen to some talented poets I was blessed to get to know over the semester. (I had 10, so if you want more, I can post them. These are the two I specifically read.)

Terror-rium

We had an aquarium

A river, a lake, a sea.

On our desk—the ocean.

Our exotic fish, fished

from the very river, lake, or

sea which we have now.

On our desk—we provide forage,

food, plants, water, and fish.

The aquarium had us.

We had an insectarium

An arachnid, an insect, a butter

-fly. On our counter—the air.

Our countertop full of flourishing

flowers, fluttering wings of broken

butterflies, falling from feed, because

they drink—and we pluck their

wings, tape them to tapestries to

stare. Say, how pretty they are.

The insectarium had us

We had a terrarium.

A desert, a savannah, a floor of sand.

Our room is lit by a woodland, a

jungle, a place we’ve never been.

African violets decorate our reptiles,

all scales and shells and condensation.

It rains today—the lid which collected

our precipitation. Our pebbled floor,

formed over our marbled kitchen.

The terrarium had us

We had an arium,

and we destroyed it

to keep them on our desks,

nuzzled between family portraits and pens,

to remind ourselves of what

We used to have and

what we’ll never have

again, but at least they are

pretty, and no one needs

National Geographic to stare

anymore. We have our countertops.

In a world where traumas are written all over our bodies

He has a bipolar jaw line and a suicidal knee cap,

collapsing and shaking

and reverberating his thoughts through his PTSD lip.

It quivers, and she looks away with an autistic eyelid.

See her a deaf cheek?

Their blind foreheads fluctuate, and their arthritic fingers vibrate.

Reynard’s Disease. Or Disorder IV. Perhaps,

one we’ve never heard before consumes the heart that’s about to break.

I hope you enjoyed the contest and the poems as much as I did! I am so excited for the future, and I cannot wait for the paperback to be in my hands (and yours!) Time is moving forward so fast, and it’s astoundingly lovely.

As usual, thank you for your encouragement and support. In case you haven’t already seen, the acknowledgements page ends with this comment: “Thanks to the all the passionate writers, readers, and dreamers who follow me at ShannonAThompson.com and inspire me every day to keep writing.” 

That’s for you guys 😀 Have a great weekend

~SAT

P.S. If you’re looking for something to do, and you enjoy superhero flicks, I definitely recommend the new Iron Man movie! I saw it Tuesday, and it doesn’t disappoint!

Movie Mention: The Host

4 Apr

Website Update: I hit 6,000 followers on ShannonAThompson.com. Thank you for all of your continuous and loving support 😀

27 days until Minutes Before Sunset release!

I’m going to be super careful with this review, because I think it’s necessary.

The Host is the movie adaption of Stephenie Meyer’s novel, The Host, which I wrote about my post December 21: Relax: The Host. So I’ve read the novel before seeing the movie, and I think that’s REALLY important when seeing this movie. I say this because there are quite a few people I’ve talked to who saw it (and didn’t read the novel) that enjoyed the movie.

imagesI have to admit that I was ultimately disappointed. But I want to clarify that I remain VERY open when it comes to movie adaptations. I understand that novels cannot be exactly transferred to the screen, just like any art. I like to remind myself of “Girl with a Pearl Earring” — first a painting, then a novel, then a movie. Every type of art brings a different viewpoint to the table. And I wasn’t annoyed with most of the things changed in The Host from book to movie. I was actually more disappointed with the overall acting and directing. It took me out of the film quite often. For instance, the boys often reminded me of a boy band (which I did not picture in the book at all) and it seemed visually ridiculous.

Nevertheless, I was entertained. It wasn’t necessarily a bad movie, but it was a bad adaptation. I consider the novel to be really well done (especially in the different worlds described), but the movie wasn’t very special.

I really hate to say things like this, (I normally don’t review the bad movies I see) but I wanted to be honest, especially since I recommended the novel. I still recommend the novel (as long as you’re a fan of young-adult lit), and, if you didn’t know, it’s been announced that it is a trilogy, but Meyer has yet to write the last two books.

I’ll be sure to look out for those, but I’m not sure I’d see the movies if they were ever adapted by the same actors and director.

Sigh.

I feel so sad to have such a depressing review. So I’m adding pictures of Bogart below. Happy Thursday!

~SAT

April 6: Publishing Tips: Introduce Extras.  

These pictures were actually taken on the same day. Little Bogart & fat Bogart. Who knew cats could have a flattering side?

These pictures were actually taken on the same day. Little Bogart & fat Bogart. Who knew cats could have a flattering side?

Movie Mention: On the Road

29 Mar

Website Update: 1:00 a.m.: My Facebook Author Page hit 150 likes today! Thank you for making my Friday that much better. 

Yes. This movie is based off of Jack Kerouac’s book, On the Road, and, before I continue, I have to clarify how much of a fan I am of Kerouac. I first studied him in 2010. I read The Dharma Burns, Big Sur, Desolation Angels, Visions of Cody, Maggie Cassidy, The Subterraneans, and Dr. Sax–all under Ken Irby’s poetic eye–and I’ve been in envy of Kerouac’s philosophic and honest writing ever since. (If you’re interested, here’s a list of how to write prose like Kerouac himself.)

The wonderful Jack Kerouac

The wonderful Jack Kerouac

But–back to the movie.

I’ve been trying to get my hands on this Brazilian-French drama ever since it premiered in competition for the Palme d’Or in May, 2012, but I couldn’t–for the life of me–find it anywhere. Maybe it was just my experience, but it never came to theaters here (Kansas main theaters), and stores seem to always have to order it from somewhere else. However, after watching it, I think I know why.

On the Road is very controversial. If you don’t understand The Beat Generation (writers in the 1950’s who experimented with drugs and sex) I could see why the movie would come across as a giant party, rather than something truly challenging and real. In fact, many don’t even realize that On the Road is based on a true story, something that happened to Kerouac and his friend, Neal Cassady. I think these facts are really essential to seeing (and feeling) what the movie is truly about. But, nevertheless, my friend (who hasn’t read the book, but did have me to explain some things) loved it, and I did too.

Movie Cover. And, yes, Kristen Stewart is in it, but it's no reason to ignore the movie. I, personally, think she suited the role of "Mary Lou" very well.

Movie Cover. And, yes, Kristen Stewart is in it, but it’s no reason to ignore the movie. I, personally, think she suited the role of “Mary Lou” very well.

It was a beautiful adaptation of a such a striking traveler’s (and coming of age) tale. In the novel, Kerouac’s ability to discuss self-discovery within culture is magnificent–and so is the movie’s. Walter Salles did a wonderful job directing this film.

I really recommend both the book and the movie. (Book first, preferably, but it’s up to you.) It’s a great way to start the weekend. And, if you’re looking for a trip to take this summer, consider traveling On the Road (his map is available below) with Kerouac’s writing to guide the way.

Watch the trailer for the On the Road movie here.

~SAT

March 31: Writing Tips: Different Perspectives 

His map

His map

Movie Mention: Beautiful Creatures

20 Feb

11 a.m. update: Yesterday evening, part of the KC Country Club Plaza exploded from a gas leak. I’ve received a few emails asking me if I’m okay, and I am.  However, I hope everyone involved in the fire is okay, and special thanks to firefighters, police, and first responders (or anyone else who is helping the injured.) Keep KC in your thoughts please. 

I first read Beautiful Creatures when I was a freshman in college (December, 2009.) Immediately, I fell in love with the imagesbeautifully described settings and gothic–both rebellious and haunting–characters. This singular reasoning is why I was absolutely ecstatic when I found out it was being made into a movie. I even wrote Relax & Read: Beautiful Creatures on November 16th, hoping to share the movie news–and the tale–with you all.

Well–I finally saw it, and it was one of the most beautifully (and carefully) done movie adaptations I’ve ever seen. I was amazed by the visuals, the actors, the directors, and the overall storyline they created. (If you’ve read the novel, you know how detailed it is, and I was afraid they’d cut too much. Personally, I don’t think they did. I think they cut things that would’ve taken up too much time to explain on the big screen, and they did their best with the two hours they had…which is a lot. Seriously.) I would recommend reading the novel before seeing the movie, but it’s not necessary to understand the movie.

Check out the movie here.

I do have to admit that I never picked up the next book in the series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. My reasoning is simple: I returned to college, and, because it was my freshman year, I was adjusting, so I didn’t have as much free time (or I wasn’t very good at managing it.) HOWEVER–this movie adaptation reminded me just how wonderful this story is, and I cannot wait to pick up Beautiful Darkness before it is surely adapted as well.

My hope is that you all, whether you’re looking for a great YA novel or movie, consider this one.

Have a great day :]

~SAT

beautiful-creatures-character-poster

Movie Mention: Warm Bodies

14 Feb

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I love this particular movie poster, because I'm a HUGE fan of "Love Story" and the reference brings me a smile.

I love this particular movie poster, because I’m a HUGE fan of “Love Story” and the reference brings me a smile.

On Monday night, I went and saw Warm Bodies–the movie that takes our normally feared zombie creatures and turns them into potential dates.

When a young zombie man, R, saves Julie from becoming a zombie herself, the two trigger a heartbeat in the living dead, changing everything. Click here for more information and/or a trailer.

This movie is smart, cute, and full of fun (if you consider war between zombies and the unsatisfied Bonies fun…which it is. Seriously.) Nicholas Hoult does a great job, bringing an introspective zombie boy to life. (To life? Can I say that since he’s dead? I think so.) My only complaint (seriously…my ONLY) is that I wish the heroine was more capable. I felt like she was only there to spark the catalyst and then be saved…numerous times…even when she probably didn’t deserve it. However, my overall opinion of the movie was great!

Whether you’re with your special loved one or with no one at all today, this is a great movie to see.

Warm Bodies is also (and originally) a novel by Isaac Marion. Click here if you’d prefer reading this dark and lovely tale.

If you’re a zombie fan, and you’re looking for more undead entertainment, check out Carrie Ryan’s “The Forest of Hands and Teeth” book series here. The trilogy is probably my favorite zombie tale. World War Z is also fantastic (but it’s very much a political metaphor–nothing like the Brad Pitt movie that’s about to come out. However, I’m excited to see that as well.)

~SAT

P.S. I’m delighted to announce that I have a new page coming on February 16th. Be sure to check it out!

Movie Mention: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

29 Jan

It’s phenomenal. End of story. Seriously.hansel-gretel-witch-hunters-tops-weekend-box-office

I saw this Sunday night, and I couldn’t get over how fantastic every bit of it was. The characters are rounded–they’re, not only believable, but they complement one another tremendously. Jeremy Renner is a perfect sarcastic killer, while Gemma Arterton reclassifies the badass heroine every fantasy tale deserves. The movie, unlike many, isn’t full of cheesy CGI, but, instead, the characters are carefully constructed with beautifully (I should say “purposely ugly”) done makeup.

I would warn you, though, that the movie is much more gory than I expected it to be. (It is, however, rated R.) Gore doesn’t bother me, so I still enjoyed the flick a lot, but it’s definitely not for young children.

After being tortured by a witch in the woods, Hansel and Gretel devote their lives to hunting other witches, even if their lives are centered in the danger.

Watch the trailer here. (And, if you’re going to the movies, this one is worth considering.)

P.S I have exciting news about a reading/writing event coming soon!

~SAT

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