ONLINE Spring Catalog pre-launch and cover reveal!

Hello Imaginary Friends,

Did you want to see the trailer and cover for my next Elizabeth Investigates, A Case of Synchronicity?

Join me, 3 fantastic authors, and our publisher in unveiling our book trailers and covers.

Join the online event on Facebook and we’ll see you Tuesday February 25th at 6pm

Renaissance is having a party to launch FOUR BRAND NEW BOOKS by authors Eric Desmarais, John Haas, Madona Skaff-Koren, and Sue Taylor-Davidson.

Join us from the comfort of your home for a chance to win fabulous prizes, a live Q&A with our authors, and the exclusive reveal of both the video trailers AND the covers for these four books!

Happening RIGHT HERE on Facebook (we will also take questions via Twitter!)

18:00-18:30 Cover and trailer reveal for Eric Desmarais

18:30-19:00 Cover and trailer reveal for John Haas

19:00-19:30 Cover and trailer reveal for Madona Skaff-Koren

19:30-20:00 Cover and trailer reveal for Sue Taylor-Davidson

Hope to see you there.

Éric

Dear Dragon – Story Time

Dear Dragon,

You are a clever and adorable child. In your current bedtime routine, I tell you a story while Mum feeds Pegasus. I give you three options and make something up. Sometimes you insist on telling me a story. Last night you did something new.

Dragon wearing a beautiful Beauty and the Beast themed pocket scarf.

Dragon: I want to tell you a story.

Papa: Okay, go ahead.

D: *Looks sternly at me* I have to tell you the options first.

So you gave me options and I settled on a “Sheep that wants to eat blueberries”.

D: I don’t know how it starts *Gives puppy dog eyes*

P: Well, there was once a sheep who wanted to eat blueberries.

D: Okay

P: So what happens next?

D: I don’t know.

P: *Happy to talk about story structures* What’s stopping the sheep from eating the blueberries?

D: I don’t know. *Smiles and settles in to listen*

P: *Oblivious and still thinking I’m helping* Well, maybe there’s a rabbit protecting the only blueberry bush. How does the sheep try to get by the rabbit?

D: *Grinning widely and looking innocent* I don’t know… How?

P: Maybe the sheep tries to… *finally catching on* Hey, wait a second. Are you trying to get me to tell you a second story?

D: Cackles madly. (Seriously you could give a Bond villain pointers.)

You spent the next five minutes laughing and asking for the rest of the story. I’ll tell it to you tonight. I have to say I’m impressed with your ability to guide me toward what you wanted.

You’re going to be great at getting people to open up and talk about things.

I love you, my clever little Dragon,

Papa

Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn – WMR

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2020 movie Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

This is supposed to be a sequel to the 2016 Suicide Squad. I reviewed that at the time and was extremely generous in my rating.

Story

The story was overly simple which was a good thing but also telegraphed what was going to happen. This wasn’t a movie that left me guessing, it told you early on what was going to happen and then those things happened.

As with any anti-hero story, there were a few morally awkward moments and a lot of humour.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The movie truly shines through its characters, all written and acted superbly. It was nice that they remembered that Harley is smart. I hate smart characters doing dumb things, but Harley did dumb things because she was hurt, broken, sad, and disturbed.

All that other characters were fantastic and left you feeling like they were well rounded (Although definitely in need of a hug and a paid vacation).

Score: 1

Dialogue

Some of the dialogue was brilliant, the narration was awesome, but not everything was great. All the actors had moments were their natural accents slipped, some of the turns of phrase felt like they were meant for someone else to say, and when Harley wasn’t there or narrating, the movie took a dive towards bad cop drama.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The action pieces, aesthetic, and music were fantabulous. The simplicity of the story led to those big action set pieces. I don’t think I’ve seen better action than that scene in the evidence locker. I also desperately want this soundtrack.

Score: 1

Fun

Other than a few moments were it started dragging (usually non-narrated story parts for the BOP) this was a thoroughly fun movie. Action, humour, drama, and great music.

Score: 1

Conclusion

This movie was fantastic and if you can handle brutal action, I highly recommend it. I definitely look forward to re-watching it.

Much better than Suicide Squad, which I’ll have to re-watch and re-review.

Final Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Shark Mode

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Last year I wrote about burning out. While paying attention to my habits and how I handled things, I noticed that I would get into a grove of always doing something and that if I stopped, all my pain and fatigue would catch up to me.

Some sharks have to keep swimming or they die.

When I’m in Shark Mode, I know I’m tired and in pain and I can ignore it as long as I just keep swimming. It’s extremely useful for short bursts of needing to get things done, but extremely unhealthy in the long term.

The other major downside to Shark Mode is how much you feel you’re accomplishing. This, combined with any sort of stress or anxiety, means the more you use it, the more you feel you should.

I remember sitting on my chair, barely able to move and with extreme pain, but feeling like I had to do something or I’d explode. Not a fun feeling.

If you have a version of Shark Mode, make sure not to overuse it.

Stay healthy,

Éric

Dear Dragon – École

Dear Dragon,

You’re no longer a baby. On Wednesday we went to visit your future school. You’ll be going to a French Public school and from the look on your face when we visited, you’re going to love it.

I’m nervous about a lot of things; snacks and lunches, you making friends, dealing with buses, you learning more French. I feel I’ve failed you as a francophone parent, but hopefully the school will help and I’ll start speaking to you in French more once you understand. (I spoke to you in both, but once you understood English I just stuck with that.)

One of the teachers took you to get a paper and a crayon when we visited the class and you never looked back. I have a feeling that we could have left and you wouldn’t have noticed. I’m glad you’re so independent. I’m still nervous. You’ve never spent more than a few hours without someone from the family and well… I know I’m being silly. (I’m starting to understand how Marlin from Finding Nemo felt.)

We still have six months before you go to school but when you do, it’ll change our whole lives.

You’ll love the social interaction though. I sometimes feel like we don’t stimulate your socialness enough. Sorry KYD, your parents are introverts.

Every stage you grow is wonderful and scary to me. This one just feels bigger, probably cause it has so much more paperwork.

I love you baby Dragon,

Papa

The Ghosts of Buxley Hall – WMR

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the made for TV movie from 1980 The Ghosts of Buxley Hall.

Story

The story is pretty simple, but feels like it lacks depth. We don’t really get to know much about the characters backstories or motivations, beyond the ghosts. Even the “In Your Face” feminist story line feels a little flat.

It is however a nice linear story that follows through with its promises and foreshadowing.

Score: 0.5

Characters

This has all the stereotypes but made more human than I expected. The military man, the independent woman, the troubled boy, the troubled girl, the tough guy who doesn’t like kids, the bully, and the mad aunt who wants money.

They all have tender moments where their human side is shown. Unfortunately the cast is much too big for the movie. It means we are constantly moved between the kid’s story, the adult’s story, and the ghosts. Sometimes forgetting about one of the others.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The dialogue is pure 80’s and pure cheese. Most of the best lines are given by the Sargent or the general’s wife.

Score: 0

Visuals and Music

This movie might have been about ghosts but it could have seriously used some colour. The shots however are very well designed and clean. Both the music and the visuals are effective if not inspired.

Score: 0.5

Fun

This is a fun movie. You know everything will end well and you get a combination ghost story, coming of age, and boarding school story.

Score: 1

Conclusion

This is a fun fluffy movie that is now 40 years old and is showing it’s age. It’s not offensive but it’s definitely shallower than it could be. However, it is a lot of fun.

Final Score: 2.5 Stars