Tag Archives: Alien visitors

The frustrating state of making progress but not finishing

I did make progress this week on most of my current projects, but I didn’t get to finish anything. That’s getting frustrating. I know, it’s the nature of the writing life — we put in a lot of work before we have anything usable. But I soooo want to close the book on something.

The one thing I didn’t get anything done on was Alien Visitors. And while I’d hoped to write some on the golem article, I didn’t get anything done with that either, other than some more research reading (which counts, especially for nonfiction, but still). I final-proofed Undead Sexist Cliches through Chapter Three and began the final proofing of Questionable Minds. I read about book marketing and marketing plans, which I’ll talk about next week. I got several Leafs done, and thanks to a friend of mine hiring me, began putting out some blog material for a veterans’ organization out in Colorado (for pay). And I blogged at Atomic Junk Shop about DC’s political super-duo, Hawk and Dove.

So paying gigs, productive work on other projects, but everything in mid-process. Good but frustrating. Especially as I’d like to get back to writing some new fiction.

Oh, almost forgot, I spent some time practicing my presentation for the virtual Zoom fair with various McFarland authors tomorrow. I’m scheduled for 2pm to speak on political paranoia in film and TV, as covered in Screen Enemies of the American Way.You can use code VVAF at McFarland Books to get 20 percent off any of the books covered in the various presentations.

Wisp has been staying outside a lot more this week, as the weather warmed up. I was thinking we were converting her to a mostly indoor cat, but I may have been optimistic. However, we’ll keep working on it — it would be safer for her and less threat to the local birds.

Walking the dogs this week I met Sparrow, an older cat who lives down the street. Much the same stripe and color pattern as Wisp, but to me they look very different now that I know Wisp so well.

See you at the virtual fair, I hope!

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That is DEFINITELY more like it!

So as usual for the end of the month, Leaf articles dried up (it has something to do with their billing cycle with clients) and I had the whole week to work on my own projects. I don’t always make good use of the time, but this week? Totally.

I made final edits on Chapters One and Two of Undead Sexist Cliches. Chapter Two was slower than I thought, but I think I’ll make up the time on the two rape-cliche chapters — they’re the most tightly organized.

I wrote another chapter of Alien Visitors and watched some more films.

I did some more research reading.

I worked a little on drafting my golem article.

Despite having Wisp in most mornings, I managed to keep up my exercise schedule. And believe me it’s hard when a cat curls up next to you on the couch and wants petting.

And I submitted Southern Discomfort to a new publisher. I feel pessimistic, but it’s not doing any good just sitting here, is it? The pessimism isn’t that I think the first three chapters are poor — I reread them and other than a couple of spelling errors, they look good. But it’s kind of an odd book, with multiple POVs and I wonder if the publisher (or any publisher) will just look and say it’s not strong enough or we need more time with Maria’s POV or something. But hey, self-publishing is always an option if nothing else works. And I’m not giving up on trad publishing yet.

Huh, that’s actually a shorter summation of the week than when I’m writing about how wrong everything went. But I’m cool with that.

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A little research reading

Edited by Michael Stein, ALIEN INVASIONS!: The History of Aliens in Pop Culture caused me a sliver of anxiety as it covers similar terrain to Alien Visitors; fortunately it’s different enough from what I’ll be doing I don’t think it’ll kill my market.

This is a big-picture book running from 19th century pre-War of the Worlds stories of alien visitors through the silents, the pulps, comics and movies of the 1950s on to the more recent works such as Arrival. This would be more useful to someone starting from scratch — even before Alien Visitors my knowledge of this subject was well above average — and some of its conclusions (the Invaders From Mars sucking people into the Earth to enslave is a metaphor for Commie propaganda!) are just daft. It also suffers from the lack of an index which makes it inconvenient when looking for something specific such as Algol. More lavish in its illustration than I’ll be able to afford, though.

I recently started work on a paper about golems in specfic, to be published in an academic book on the subject. As part of that project, I read THE GOLEM OF HOLLYWOOD by Jonathan Kellerman and his son Jesse Kellerman. Back when I read a lot more mysteries I always enjoyed the older Kellerman’s work but this book is a mess.

The story gives us two alternating and apparently unrelated narratives (I don’t think anyone will be surprised they tie together eventually). One concerns Jacob Lev, an alcoholic former homicide cop demoted to traffic detail. To his surprise he’s suddenly transferred to Special Projects and assigned to investigate a head found without a body. It turns out the head belongs to an infamous serial killer, so who did him in? In the other plotline we follow Asham, the sister of Cain and Abel, torn between which of them to marry. Eventually, she dies and bizarrely becomes the soul force poured into the Golem of Prague. Who is still around, in a much-mutated form — rather like a comic-book shapeshifter “Mai” can become an oozing wave of mud or a swarm of giant beetles.

Compared to this mess, Marvel’s Golem was Watchmen. At 500 pages the murder investigation is unbelievably tedious and the Bible stuff isn’t much better — do we really need such a cumbersome origin for the Golem of Prague? The ending is a mess, even given it’s explained in the sequel. The only thing I liked was that Jacob’s a high-functioning alcoholic, still drinking but able to do this job. I’ve read a lot of fiction where becoming alcoholic Monday means you’re living in the gutter by Wednesday; some alcoholics manage to keep the balls in the air a lot longer.

The sequel, THE GOLEM OF PARIS was marginally better for making sense of the mythos: Special Projects is actually run by Nephilim who use Mai as their executioner. Only now she’s out loose so they need to destroy or contain her again, particularly as the Russians are now hunting her for their own use. Better, but not good — this is another long book with another uninteresting murder mystery. I’m just glad there’ve been no more sequels since this one.

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Alien visitors in movies, plus Swamp Thing!

The book Alien Invasions lists ALGOL, THE TRAGEDY OF POWER (1920) as one of the first alien-invader movies: a traveler from the Algol star-system gives a miner (Emil Janning) the secret of generating infinite electrical power. This liberates him and his fellows from the mines and makes him wealthy, but the worldwide demand for increasing amounts of power soon has people slaving away in factories to afford it, little better than miners. Unfortunately this vision of brutal capitalism pales compared to Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and I’m not sure this even qualifies for Alien Visitors: the alleged alien could just as easily be some kind of evil spirit. “The devil — yes, that’s what I’ll be from now on.”

Saturday Night Live has spunoff countless skits into movies, many of them flops, which is why I passed on CONEHEADS (1993) when it hit the theaters. Catching it for Alien Visitors it turned out to be surprisingly good. Pointy-headed aliens Dan Ackroyd and Jane Curtin arrive on Earth in the early 1970s to scout it out for conquest, but after their ship crashes they’re forced to adapt to Earthly life as best they can. Complicating things are malevolent xenophobes David Spade and Michael McKean who want these illegal immigrants gone (this would double bill well with the 1990s film Here Comes the Munsters, which had a similar pro-immigration theme). Very enjoyable with a strong cast including Chris Farley, Phil Hartman, Laraine Newman, Drew Carrey, Adam Sandler, Jason Alexander, Jan Hooks and Michael Richard; part of the fun is that they’re more obviously ETs than Robin Williams’ Mork from Ork, but everyone treats them as pretty much normal.  “I read in a magazine that you can talk to me about anything.”

Kids on a family vacation discover pint-sized ALIENS IN THE ATTIC (2009) and have to thwart their plan to recover an ET McGuffin from the basement, then summon their space fleet to conquer us. And as the aliens have mind-control weapons that work on adults, but not kids, clearly the siblings and cousins will have to do it their own. Standard kidvid adventure; like Coneheads this relies on one alien bluffing his people into calling off the invasion to save the world. “They were arguing and fighting — then their lips hugged!”

Following on The Asylum’s War of the Worlds came the 2008 sequel WAR OF THE WORLDS 2: The Next Wave, in which C. Thomas Howell as George Herbert learns an alien mother ship has popped out of a wormhole (“That’s why we didn’t see them coming.”) and gets abducted as one of the guinea pigs the ETs are using to find a cure for their vulnerability to Earth bacteria. This looks cheaper than the first film (CGI space walkers rather than the insectoid alien tanks, and lots of scenes set in small rooms) and curiously establishes the invaders are indeed Martians. Even more curiously this throws in a time-travel element that doesn’t seem to affect the plot at all.   “It’s a tachyon cloud and it’s spreading — it’s a time hole!”

SWAMP THING (2019) was a TV series that just managed to complete its run on DC’s streaming service before that shut its doors. It’s now streaming on the CW, but regrettably that network is not going to pick it up. The story has CDC doctor Abigal Arcane (Crystal Reed) returning to her hometown of Marais, Louisiana, to fight a mysterious plant-based pathogen. There she meets maverick scientist Alec Holland, who’s convinced the disease is tied in to local power player Avery Sunderland (Will Patton), but bis attempts to prove it transform him into — well, three guesses, not that you’ll need them.

This was well done with a good cast (including Ian Ziering as the Blue Devil and Virginia Madsen as Sunderland’s long-suffering wife) and a lot of DC characters and references including the Phantom Stranger, Madam Xanadu, the Floronic Man and the Rot. Obviously they hoped for big things to come; even though they didn’t get them, the Easter Eggs add to the fun. “The swamp wants me to kill you — but I can’t bring myself to do that.”

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Today I stopped work and ate the frog

You may be familiar with the time-management term eat the frog. The idea is that if there’s something you’ve been putting off, you force yourself to do it first thing in the morning. That way you get it done, you have a feeling of accomplishment and everything else looks easy.

Between lack of sleep and the added demands of Wisp on top of the dogs, I’ve been letting a lot of frogs slide. Today I decided to skip most of my work (practically speaking, that only left me a couple of hours short) and get them done. Cleaning the kitchen. Cleaning the fridge. Cleaning my disgusting bathroom. Sorting through paperwork. Sorting out my browser bookmarks and deleting useless items from my desktop. A couple of paperwork things TYG delegated to me.

Done! Now I can kick back this weekend without being haunted by the feeling I should get up and clean stuff.

Of course that meant the week was underwhelming for productivity. The lack of sleep didn’t help, and having Wisp around when I wake up early apparently leads to me not starting work as early as I would otherwise. I got some research reading done, and a bunch of Leaf articles. I published an article on the Bronze Age Shade, the Changing Man over at Atomic Junkshop, plus a Valentine’s Day post about the film Quest for Love.

I also began proofing the hard copy of Undead Sexist Cliches. This is not the cover that will be on the book, but it will do for now. Think of it as a cover non-reveal.

The bad news: I did find some errors and places where I had to tighten up my writing. The good: not that many. It’s a pretty clean manuscript.

Another good: Got my royalty statement for my books from McFarland. Not a lot of money, but the fact it’s still coming in, even on books more than a decade old, is pretty damn cool.

I got some movies watched for Alien Visitors but no writing done. Despite which, I consider this a satisfactory week. Particularly getting to those damn frogs.

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Klaatu barada Hitchcock! movies viewed

Rewatching THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951) for Alien Visitors, what jumped out at me was how well the film shows the entire world is involved (better, I think, than War of the Worlds did). As the media cover the arrival of Klaatu’s saucer, then his reception and his disappearance, we get shots of France, the UK and Russia listening in; Klaatu shutting down electricity for a day (but not to hospitals, planes or anything else that would cost lives) affects cars, drawbridges, milking machines and soda fountains). The book Seeing is Believing points this film is pro-alien and pro-intelligence — when the U.S. government refuses to cooperate with Klaatu, he contacts Sam Jaffe’s genius scientist and brings together a conference of the world’s top researchers (contrast this with Village of the Damned or The Thing where the scientist’s awe at alien intelligence blinds them to the threat).

While this movie will be the center of my Friendly Aliens chapter, Klaatu is very Tough Love here: he wants us to end war not only for our own good but because if we make it into space with militaristic attitudes and nuclear weapons, we’ll pose a threat to other worlds, and that won’t be tolerated (contrast this with Space Children where the alien brain is purely humanitarian). All that said, this stands as a terrific, entertaining movie; the largely featureless Gort remains one of the great movie robots. “I came here to warn you that by threatening danger, your planet faces danger.”

STRANGER FROM VENUS (1954) is clearly riffing on Day the Earth Stood Still but not very well. Helmut Dantine plays a Venusian who shows up at a small pub in England where he saves Patricia Neal (female lead in the earlier film) from death and offers Earth his world’s advanced knowledge of peaceful nuclear tech if we’ll give up using it for war (the concern is that like Day the Earth Caught Fire we’ll destabilize Earth’s orbit, which will disrupt the rest of the Solar System). This departs from its predecessor by having the government immediately scheme to capture the Venusian ship that arrives to collect Dantine, in hopes of controlling the technology; that doesn’t do much when the film is so stiff, talky and stagebound. And why do the opening scenes make such a big deal of filming Dantine from behind when he’s got a perfectly unremarkable face?  “I would like to guess what you are thinking. If I am correct, I will be very disappointed indeed.”

The Alfred Hitchcock/David O. Selznick partnership did not go out on a win with THE PARADINE CASE (1947), a courtroom drama in which barrister Gregory Peck struggles to clear Alida Valli of murdering her blind war-hero husband for his money, a task complicated by his falling in love with the enigmatic woman. While Peck’s acting has improved since Spellbound, he doesn’t pull off the role (Hitchcock wanted Laurence Olivier or Joseph Cotton) and Valli can’t pull off the role, a seemingly elegant and noble woman who’s really gutter trash (something like Rebecca Danvers in Rebecca). In fairness, that’s because Hitchcock wasn’t an actor’s director and his advice pushed Valli to a minimalist performance (“Do nothing, but do it well.”); Ingrid Bergman could have pulled it off, but she and Selznick had fallen out. The end result is a dull, talky drama; Ann Todd plays Peck’s worried wife, a young Louis Jordan plays Valli’s possible lover and Charles Coburn and Charles Laughton have supporting roles. “He couldn’t possibly understand the sacrifice you were making — he’d never seen you.”

Adapted from a stage play, ROPE (1948) is generally considered a lesser Hitchcock effort, but I like it quite a lot. Farley Grainger and John Dall play a pair of would-be elitist ubermenschen (they seem to share the smug superiority of the Vanilla Isis Capitol attackers) who murder a classmate just to prove they can get away with it (they’re based on the once notorious killers Leopold and Loeb), then invite his family and fiancee over for dinner with the body hidden in a chest. Alas, they also invites James Stewart, a cynical philosopher whose lectures on the virtues of elitist murder inspired their act — and he starts to suspect they took him both seriously and literally. This was Hitch’s first color film and his first as an independent producer, and it shows his fondness for technique over acting — the film was shot to look as if it was made in one continuous take. Still, the performances of Stewart and the two leads are more than good enough for me to recommend it. “It just seems very funny you two being so intense about an old dead chicken.”

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I put in the hours, but the work did not flourish

Just as I planned last week, I skipped watching movies for Alien Visitors in favor of getting the writing done … only not much got done. A rewrite of the introduction, which is an important chapter — it’s a capsule the history of ETs in print and in popular belief, coupled with an overview of film and TV versions — but I’d really hoped for more.

Unfortunately this was one of those weeks when the doggy care was very demanding. Our visits to rehab are once a week instead of twice, but they’re around 2 PM or so for the next few weeks, so that takes a bite out of the day. Wisp has been in a lot, demanding petting (she gets it) and throwing my morning routine off. The lunch walkies after Monday were all mine; Wednesday, for whatever reason, I was completely wiped out. I’ve no idea why — it’s not like double walks are anything new — but I was not in peak condition to write that afternoon. And last night and the night before, Wisp woke me up around 1 or 2 AM when she decided she was lonely. On the plus side, she’s coming up into the spare bedroom (I sleep there when the dogs get too fidgety for me to sleep in our queen-size bed) when she wants me. She rushes away as soon as I move — she gets very nervous if she’s far away from the doors downstairs — so perhaps eventually she’ll come up and sleep next to me or something. That would be a lot easier. But yesterday and today I was wiped out.

And this morning she was hyper-fidgety. Rush in, get a quick pet, rush out again into the cold and rain. Decide she doesn’t like it, come back. Rinse, repeat. I know, cat, but it’s not typical for her. At the moment she’s snoozing on the couch again. I had Trixie on the other side of me so I could pet them both, but Trixie sulked and went to the other couch. I really hate feeling that she feels neglected (especially when I was making a point not to neglect her).

So not much Alien Visitors. I might have squeezed some in during my morning viewing while I exercise and eat, but I wound up bingeing and finishing DC’s Swamp Thing, now streaming on the CW website. I don’t feel bad about it (I’ll have a review up soon).

On the plus side, I did turn Undead Sexist Cliches into a print manuscript on Amazon and ordered a copy. I’ll go over it for any final errors/changes and then I’ll be done. Well, once I get a cover. I intend to try Draft 2 Digital‘s print-on-demand service too, but they require a cover before I start. I’ve been very pleased with their ebook service so I want to see if their paperback publishing works better than using Amazon’s kindle POD service.

And I got started on another project, contributing an article on golems in fantasy and comics to an anthology on Jewish specfic. Truth is, the only reason I made my hours this week is because I pushed to finish Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman’s The Golem of Hollywood — dreadful book (reviews will follow) but definitely relevant.

And I did do plenty of Leafs which is more money in the bank. That’s always welcome.

And now the weekend. I’m ready.

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The Witch Mountain Saga

Alexander Key’s ESCAPE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN has been remarkably successful on screen. A 1975 and ’78 Disney film and sequel, a TV movie remake, a TV pilot Beyond Witch Mountain, and 2009’s RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN. While the book is good, I suspect it’s the success of Disney’s 1975 version (above average for their live-action films of that era) that explains the Mouse constantly revisiting the property.

The protagonists of the 1968 novel are Tony and Tia, pre-teen orphan survivors of a shipwreck they barely remember. Now that their foster mother has died, they’re warehoused in a miserable orphanage. It doesn’t help that they have freaky powers such as TK and telepathy and that Tia talks in a voice only Tony can hear. Things get worse when a mysterious figure named Deranian claims custody of the kids as a relative. They know he’s lying but who will believe them?

Fortunately there’s Father O’Hara, a priest who believes them and deduces Deranian’s agenda: He’s a Soviet agent who intends to get control of the kids and exploit their powers. O’Hara helps them escape but Deranian is very competent, the law’s on his side and he has all his spy network’s resources to draw upon. The kids follow clues to what they think might be a relative or a friend of the family out in the country near Witch Mountain, but it’s not an easy trip, particularly when the locals get a glimpse of their powers and declare a witch hunt.

It all ends well, of course. The kids learn the shipwreck was a spaceship, part of an evacuation fleeing their doomed planet, reunite with the other castaways at Witch Mountain and convince Deranian they’ve left Earth by flying saucer. Even with their powers and O’Hara’s help, it ain’t easy.

The 1975 Disney movie is considerably lighter in tone. The orphanage seems to be a fun place and the bad guys — parapsychologist Deranian (Donald Pleasance) and his millionaire boss (Ray Milland) — are the kind of bumbling foes kids in Disney movies were always running rings around in those days (like I said Saturday, this was not a high point for Disney creatively). And Eddie Albert as O’Hara (not a priest) is another stereotype, a crusty old dude who only needs custody of the two adorable moppets to thaw into a lovable guy. Still, it’s way better than The Cat From Outer Space. “Do you know what the word ‘castaway’ means?”

Three years later the kids RETURN FROM WITCH MOUNTAIN to get a taste of life in the big city (which hardly seems like anything an alien colony would consider important). When Tony displays his powers he attracts the attention of wealthy Bette Midler and her evil scientist Christopher Lee, who quickly enslaves Tony with his mind-control tech. Can Tia and a gang of cuddly but street-smart kids rescue her brother? Although the cute factor gets dialed up, the villains are more memorable (Lee’s plan is to have Tony push a nuclear plant to go Three Mile Island unless the government pays up big) and there’s a spectacular TK battle between Tony and Tia at the climax.  You’re the worst kind of gambler — you use other people’s money and want to keep all the winnings for yourself.”

RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN (2009) is a surprisingly good reboot that raises the stakes — rather than refugees seeking new life, Earth is facing an invasion from the doomed world unless two alien teens can make it back home with evidence that Earth-based research can save their planet from eco-collapse. Against them is an assassin the warhawk faction has sent to ensure the war goes ahead and DHS agent Ciaran Hinds, who wants the teens as science experiments so he can duplicate their powers (it shows the “bogeyman” principle I mentioned in Screen Enemies of the American Way, that these villains are interchangeable  — a Commie spy, a millionaire, an American operative can all serve as the bad guy here).

But not to worry, when the kids hire a cab driver it turns out to be Dwayne Johnson, ex-con and former underworld wheel man, trying to stay straight. Not that he believes these weird kids or that he’s going to stick his neck out for them, hell no … Carla Guggino plays an expert in extraterrestrial life and Garry Marshall is a UFO paranoia crackpot.

Key’s premise reminds me (and I’m not alone) of Zenna Henderson’s stories of “The People,” aliens who fled their dying world, crashed on Earth and are slowly gathering in their lost ones to the valley where they settled. THE PEOPLE (1972) is a low-key adaptation of the short stories, with Kim Darby as a teacher trying to figure out why this community seems so weird and William Shatner as a local doctor wondering the same thing. A quiet, gentle film — too gentle for some people, but I like it. “Can’t you see that the time of fear is ending? That’s why you were sent.”

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Disney princesses? How about Disney aliens?

It’s hard to realize now when Disney dominates the box office, but in the 1960s and 1970s, it looked like the company had run out of steam.

Not that it didn’t have some big wins such as Mary Poppins, but even before Walt Disney passed, the company was turning out formulaic kid comedies such as Bon Voyage, Follow Me Boys and what seemed like endless kids vs. bumbling crooks comedies.Which brings me to this trio of films watched for Alien Visitors:

MOON PILOT (1962) had a number of critics gobsmacked by Disney actually including some political satire in its space adventure (“You clearly haven’t read our pamphlet, Simple Science for Senators.“), and there’s no question I enjoyed seeing it as a tween. Watching now, though, the satire’s too heavy-handed — Edmund O’Brien’s FBI agent and Brian Keith’s cigar-chomping general are caricatures. The story involves astronaut Tom Tryon accidentally getting picked for a moon orbital mission. Although the mission is top secret, an eccentric girl named Lyrae (Dany Saval) not only knows about it, she insists that the rocket needs a particular chemical coating for Tryon to survive cosmic radiation. Should he try to convince the general? Report the cutie as a possible Russian spy? Kiss her? It’s tedious to watch as an adult, except for the charming Saval (she’s a Manic Pixie Dream Girl from space, but she makes it work). “Are you sure it’s a good idea to send a fine, upstanding young man from my state into space in an election year?”

THE CAT FROM OUTER SPACE (1978) finds himself stranded on Earth and needing a fortune in gold to reactivate his ship (aliens are always needing things like that), assuming he can get it back from Harry Morgan’s hot-tempered general (a clone of Keith, but without the cigar), who suspects the ship might be Russian (my book’s definitely going to have to discuss Cold War fears in relation to the topic). Can scientists Sandy Duncan, Ken Berry and Maclean Stevenson rig enough sports games with the cat’s TK powers to get him back into space? Can they evade the spy ring military mole Roddy McDowell has notified about the cat? By this point, I don’t think Disney was even trying; Jesse White plays a bookie. “While we’re standing here talking, some slimy, twelve-legged green-headed creep could be crawling into the White House!”

Disney’s creative game was in another league by the end of the century, but the sitcom remake MY FAVORITE MARTIAN (1999) still tanks miserably. Jeff Daniels is a TV reporter who discovers Martian Christopher Lloyd has crashed on Earth and realizes exposing him could be a ticket to the big time. Yet, crotchety and annoying as Lloyd is, Daniels finds himself growing oddly fond of him. This as much a remake of Mork and Mindy as it is My Favorite Martian (I’ll get to both series in a later post), with Lloyd’s erratic, manic behavior and his self-aware spacesuit closer to Robin Williams’ Mork than to Ray Walston’s Martin (Walston’s role as a Man in Black makes one Big Reveal quite predictable — and making this film a quasi-sequel rather than just a remake). Not very funny and way too much humor relies on wacky F/X; with Elizabeth Hurley as a shallow reporter, Darry Hannah as a camera jockey and Wallace Shawn as a mad scientist. “What was in those brownies?”

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Too many movies, too little writing

Which is to say I put in a full week of writing, but “writing” in this case mostly meant watching movies for Alien Visitors. Which is necessary, of course, but I have other things that need doing too. I didn’t get them done, other than writing Leaf articles.

Once again, we can blame my pets. Sunday night, Wisp stayed in, and decided about an hour after I went to bed that she wanted company. Her meowing woke me up and even after she went out, I couldn’t get back to sleep. That left me in piss-poor shape. By the time of Monday evening’s Shut Up and Write session (I’m one of the co-organizers for our local group), I was zonked. I had to settle for research reading as that was all I could manage. And for a couple of mornings this week I had Wisp in first, then the dogs coming down early to join me. That left me with little opportunity to do my early morning exercise/stretching/meditate routines, which always leaves me feeling I’ve started the day on the wrong foot. I think it’s aggravating my insomnia too, as I know if I get a normal night’s sleep I’ll be dealing with pets almost immediately on waking. So in that state, movies were about all I could manage to focus on.

Good thing the animals are so cute and adorable. Look at my shaggy little Trixie.I had two short stories returned, one with several positive comments (and some criticism, which obviously carried greater weight). And I discovered Cyborgs, Santa Claus and Satan cited as a reference for one article on Wikipedia, which is cool.But the writing needs to get done. I shall make that a priority for next week and let the movies fall behind this time. At least that’s the plan.

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