Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season Six Finale: Here We Go Again!

Gosh, we are on the front of the site where all the cool kids hang out.  How did we deserve this?

A note on May's fight with Izel.  There was a deliberate homage to a fight scene in MULAN.  I hadn't realized Ming-Na Wen was the non-singing voice of the heroine in the animated version until this was pointed out.  

All and all, a great season although I've not been as happy with the pacing as others.  Glad Sarge is gone and "real" Colson is back.  Losing Davis was a bummer.  

@3  A good catch.  I missed the Twenties references.  

Star Trek: The Motion Picture Is Coming Back to Theaters

The night after I saw ST: THE MOVIE in the theater, I came down with a brutal case of the flu and hallucinated this movie for many hours.  I doubt this would top that.  

Welcome to the Gun Show: The Best Biceps in Fantasy

@9 Neither of "the boys" is difficult to look at with or without the flannel shirts.  That's for certain.  Sadly, in my case, they started in these roles so young I feel like a perv if I admire them too much.  

Welcome to the Gun Show: The Best Biceps in Fantasy

ARROW's Stephen Amell's abs and chest while doing the salmon ladder.  Happy sigh!

How Science Fiction Imagined the First Moon Landing

Silly person, women were needed on FORBIDDEN PLANET to look sexy and shriek with terror so some brave guy could save them.  

Years ago at a con, some author said that the problem with space in science fiction is that the further we go into space and the more we know about it the further out authors have to move their worlds.  Creating cultures on the moon and Mars no longer cuts it.  

It’s Not Pain, It Just Feels Like Pain: Becoming Superman by J. Michael Straczynski

Some of his REAL GHOSTBUSTERS episodes were the most wonderfully funny in an evil way TV I've ever seen.  The demon getting rid of all the chickens in the world, being one.  He's a truly talented writer.  

I don't agree with the Harlan Ellison comments.  Sometimes, a great writer doesn't sell because of the market, not because he/she has written crap.  

Birds of Prey’s Black Mask Highlights the Problem with Queer Villains

@8  I'm retirement age, I've read thousands of novels as well as other media, and I've written over a dozen novels and had six published, and I have never, ever seen my complete self  in any work of art including my own.  I have never expected to, and I've been okay with that because the fun of fiction is that you can live in others' heads and lives for a little while. That's the true value of fiction.  


Birds of Prey’s Black Mask Highlights the Problem with Queer Villains

Here's some fun homework for those who think that Hades, etc., are queer coded or whatever you want to call it.  Watch some old movies starring George Sanders and Clifton Webb.  I suggest LAURA and ALL ABOUT EVE.  (George Sanders also did the voice of Shere Khan in the original Disney JUNGLE BOOK.)  These characters aren't remotely gay.  They are examples of a specific class of British/American society.  Jeremy Irons as Scar is doing a straight-up impression of Sanders and this type of character.  Sexuality has nothing to do with this portrayal.  

Happy Birthday to! We Turn 11 Today and…Hey, What’s This?

So, will this site only be open during summer holidays?  And the Magical Secrecy Act will keep you from sharing "stuff" with us Muggles who never got a letter.  Sniff!  Well, Happy Birthday, anyway.  I'm not jealous.  You're jealous!

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season Six Premiere: But He Looks Just Like Coulson!

We are a clever lot.  We figured out most of the turns for this episode.  

I can see the "real" Colson coming back with this set up of Sarge's origin story after Izel and her sweetie are defeated.    

And, RIP, Davis.

“You just had your ass handed to you by a goddamn retiree” — RED

@19  Afraid not.  You were painting all romances as trashy.  As a decent pro writer, you should be more careful of how you use language.  

“You just had your ass handed to you by a goddamn retiree” — RED

Using the term "trashy" every blinking time you say romance novel is insulting to those of us who read romance.  It's also patronizing and sexist since the majority of readers are female.  Romance readers tend to be genre omnivores who buy and read the types of books you write so stop insulting possible readers.  And to keep you from stepping into more romance reader backlash, avoid the term "bodice-ripper" which is even more pejorative.  

Five SFF Works Reminiscent of Andre Norton

Just glanced through my list of books read with tmy reviews and found a few much more recent books.

STARSHIP MAGE, Glynn Stewart. Science fiction with a young adult feel.  Damien Montgomery is a newly graduated jump mage, an elite skill which allows him to use magic to transfer spacecraft for great distances.  His first job is aboard the Blue Jay, a freighter which seems to attract pirates.  He learns that his captain has a price on his head, courtesy of a space mafia, and Damien also has a secret—he can see magic so he can do things with it others can’t. When he’s accused of the dangerous use of magic, the captain and the crew come through for him, but they now have mafia bounty hunters and the government after them.  A good thing he’s improving his new skills. With the young main character, the hard science, and the exciting adventures, this book reminded me of a modernized version of Andre Norton’s Solar Queen series.  


WANDERER’S ESCAPE, Simon Goodson.  Young adult science fiction adventure.  Jess has been a slave his whole life, and, when he’s forced to try to break into a strange space ship, he figures he’ll die like the other slaves who have tried, but he and an older couple make it aboard, and they escape.  The ship bonds with Jess’s mind, and he becomes the new captain.  Soon, they are dealing with pirates, slavers, the evil Empire, and villainy within their growing crew.  An adventure with a very contemporary Andre Norton feel.  


WENDIGO FEVER, Kevin Hardman.  “Warden” series.  Young adult dystopian fantasy. Novella. Errol Magnus is being trained by his older brother to be a fellow Warden, magic users who protect the outlying settlements from magical monsters.  When his brother disappears, he must step up to the role to protect locals as well as find his brother.  The characters and action are reminiscent of Andre Norton’s early young adult novels.  Decently written and should please young male readers.  


SHADOW MAGIC, Patricia C Wrede.  “A Lyra Novel.”  Traditional fantasy.  Alethia, the daughter of a powerful lord, is kidnapped by men filled with dark magic, but she is rescued by magical beings she believed to be myths.  Soon, she’s joined by her brother and his friend Maurin, and they must help stop an invasion of dark magic with a magic Alethia is just discovering.  The worldbuilding is Tolkien, the characters and plot very much Andre Norton.  Although this is one of Wrede’s first novels and bit derivative, it is an excellent grand adventure with great characters and high stakes.  


Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season Six Premiere: But He Looks Just Like Coulson!

@120 I took May's statement to be a "girl power" moment about women's inner strength.  

Benson has been on a research expedition.  He sent the team info on Izel.  Remember that stone image of a woman surrounded by spikes.  I hope he at least gets a proper thank you before he goes.  

Daisy putting a bubble around the bomb was more of a delicate use of the power which would take much less energy.  The shrike pulse was also more contained if more sustained.  Shrug.  The shrikes exploding into dark crystals rather than ash was a nice touch.  

@121 Izel also said something about Sarge having no past to remember so he must be some kind of clone or construct.  I had a wicked thought last night that SHIELD might end up with the clone equivalent of The Council of Welles (THE FLASH) with a Council of Colsons.  A different Colson or Colsons at need.  

A question.  Simmons said that the monoliths were destroyed when they traveled to the future.  Are they?   

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season Six Premiere: But He Looks Just Like Coulson!

Davis passing out during the party is more than a little suspect.  Can Izel move into bodies then out?  That would explain how she got off the exploding ship.  It might also explain why May would blast Sarge.  Plus, she did a very poor job of shooting him.  That close a range, and it took 3 or 4 shots to end him.  So, Izel using a weapon she's not familiar with?  And did she end him?  Not having his existence explained, I doubt they'd kill him with so little fanfare.  The last few episodes should prove to be interesting.  

Ranking the Very Best Dogs of Star Trek

Since Shatner breeds horses, his Kirk was also a great horse fan.  Followed by a distant second, Picard.  

Can the Marvel Cinematic Universe Actually Support a Multiverse?

@3  Split time-lines with each change is exactly how the Russos explained it with Cap starting a new timeline when he stayed in the past.  However, for some reason, some people including a bunch of writers here refuse to accept the Russos as geek canon providers.  Shrug.

One problem with AGENTS OF SHIELD is that the poor show's seasons are moved about at the whim of ABC so there's no way to keep it relevent to the movie universe.  On top of that, the secrecy involved in the movie plots would make the TV show a major leak source so it's better to keep them separate.  

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season Six Premiere: But He Looks Just Like Coulson!

@109  Yeah, but how boring is that.  

As all those shrike-possessed humans stood together before they exploded, I realized this world wouldn't end in fire or ice but plaid flannel.  Shrikes must have a special affinity for good ol' boys and neckbeards.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season Six Premiere: But He Looks Just Like Coulson!

If the Great Evil remains a women in a FIFTH ELEMENT wig, I am going to be so unhappy.  I know they have budget problems, but really?  

Greed as a Universal Constant: Trader to the Stars by Poul Anderson

Andre Norton's two series "Time Traders" and "Solar Queen" are another example of characters using trade in time and space.  

4 SF Works Featuring a Far-Future U.S.A.

Grand Fenwick forever!  Try to find novel THE MOUSE THAT ROARED by Leonard Wibberley, or any of its sequels.  The Peter Sellers movie is fun, but the books are better.  

Was 1999 the Year Nerd Culture Began to Take Over the World?

As someone who was an adult long before this point, I'd say the turning point was when STAR WARS movies became available to families in their homes.  Kids who grew up watching STAR WARS and other sf/fantasy entertainment turned what was a genre for outsiders into mainstream and extremely lucrative entertainment.

Worldbuilding Your Horse Breeds

When the portal travelers from here went to a pre-Industrial world and had to journey in the mountains, they rode our thoroughbreds.  That was the first really good laugh, followed by other horse stupidity.  

Great ideas and good suggestions.  

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season Six Premiere: But He Looks Just Like Coulson!

@96  Yeah, character arcs are important, and we all love F-S, but that doesn't change the fact that this was very poorly placed for the season story arc which is now officially HALF OVER.  It should have been about the 2nd or 3rd episode, and no later.  Filler like the drug humor moments could have been deleted with no loss, and the horror that happened to Enoch's home planet could have been pulled to the front in the F-S character storyline which would make the Shrikes even scarier.   

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season Six Premiere: But He Looks Just Like Coulson!

@94  But the ongoing story arc beyond the character building IS important, whatever else is going on.  If this were a novel, this would be the dreaded sagging middle of a poorly written story.  

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season Six Premiere: But He Looks Just Like Coulson!

 Loved how young those actors could look.  The evil twins were really funny, especially after they got busy.  Snicker.  But it was yet another time-filler story where nothing really mattered about the on-going plot.  This was episode 6 of a 13 episode season so their leisurely pace surprises me.  

5 Little Kid Fan Theories I Had About Star Trek: TNG’s “Best of Both Worlds” in the Summer of 1990

@10  No, Picard, after he was borged.  But I haven't rewatched since it was originally on.  

5 Little Kid Fan Theories I Had About Star Trek: TNG’s “Best of Both Worlds” in the Summer of 1990

"What happens next?'  The question that started many a writer's career.  The statement that starts other careers is "This is crap.  I can do better than this!"

@3 In a later episode, Dr. Crusher said something about Picard's cybernetic parts and his fake eye so he wasn't back to his original self at the happy ending.  

Swan Song: Andre Norton’s A Taste of Magic

Maybe the rein shaking is from coach horses.  At least, that's what drivers do in media Westerns and Regency pieces.  In real life, I haven't a clue if that's really done.

Norton was, indeed, a lovely lady.  Many of us females of a certain age wouldn't be writers without her influence. 

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season Six Premiere: But He Looks Just Like Coulson!

The story lines are finally moving forward which makes me happy.  Having them tie together, even more so.  Sarge now comes across as pragmatic as heck, not evil.  Not terribly smart about people, though, since he told May he was going to nuke her world to destroy the Shrikes.  I'm rooting for no romance between them.  Let the real Coulson and May's romance RIP.  

Babylon 5 Is the Greatest, Most Terrible SF Series

The Shadow Wars story arc was the best and most brilliant TV of that period and beyond.  What happened after, not so much.  The last season was a disaster because of things happening behind the scenes in productions which destroyed storylines and characters.  What they did to Lennier (Billy Mumy) was beyond horrible, for example.  

SFF Horse Breeds: The Heavy Horse

Horses will be back as long as those dang zombies don't eat them.  

I know that the feathers are part of the breeding, but feathers gather mud which weighs down the horse in deep mud, not to mention how much "fun" it is to brush and wash out.  I've always wondered why they keep breeding for those feathers.  Any ideas?

And @3.  That is an amazing poem.  I'm surprised I've never read it.  

Avengers: Endgame — The Character Assassination of Steve Rogers?

But the Russo brothers did say that there were two time lines.

“If Cap were to go back into the past and live there, he would create a branched reality,” Joe explained. “The question then becomes, how is he back in this reality to give the shield away?” Source:  

Getting back is a no-brainer with his easy access to Hank Pym, Stark father and son, etc. courtesy of Peggy and SHIELD.  He just needs to ask them, as a favor, to figure out how he can return to the old time line after Peggy dies.  

Knowing Cap, he will rescue Bucky, stop HYDRA, and other important things that will make his timeline a lot nicer but duller one than the Marvel one.  


Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season Six Premiere: But He Looks Just Like Coulson!

@75 The female soldier was a misdirect.  We thought she would be the dead red shirt instead of Keller.  

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season Six Premiere: But He Looks Just Like Coulson!

@72  Plot convenience.  Sigh.  Plus, the doctor said the critter was highly flammable.  Why were they using guns instead calling for flame throwers in a concrete bunker.  

I'm surprisingly shocked that they killed Lucas Bryant/Keller so fast.  He must have cost them a pretty penny to be used as a red shirt.  

Rather than greed, Deke seems determined to make the future better than the one he experienced which is rather sweet in a Deke way.  

Maybe May and Sarge can get both teams working together if the Scurvy Bunch is just trying to kill the parasites.  I'm sadist enough to want to watch May around not-Colson.  

“Not My Batman” Is No Way to Go Through Life

In a comments section of a forum that has absolutely nothing to do with geekdom, some guy was talking about all the iterations of all the various superhero franchises he's seen, and he's never been remotely happy about any of them.  How sad is that.  

Hope Springs Eternal: Five Unfinished Series That Remain a Joy to Read

@26  I'll believe it when I see it.  He's said he's writing again for several years, and nothing but a new story or two in BRIEF CASES.  

Hope Springs Eternal: Five Unfinished Series That Remain a Joy to Read

The sad thing is that contracts from many traditional publishers of the NYC variety states that the author can't write books for a particular series except for them unless all rights are returned when they go out of print.  With the advent of ebooks that means that the publisher will never let go of its rights because the book never goes "out of print."  So, the series is trapped in limbo.  The publisher won't buy any new books, and the author can't take it elsewhere or publish it himself.  Lucky for us, some authors pulled their books before publishers realized that ebooks would become profitable.  

My own personal unfinished series annoyance is the "Dresden Files."  Jim Butcher is still alive but seemingly incapable of writing anything but graphic novel versions of published books and a rare short story.  I've gotten past annoyance and rage to sad acceptance that we may never have a finish to the series.  Now, I no longer even care if we do.  

Five Books to Read While Staring Death in the Face

A good romance does wonders because it's about hope, love, and a belief in the future.  I've had fan letters from readers who were sitting by the bedside of a dying loved one or facing grim health futures themselves, and they say that romance helps them deal.  They have helped me in the same situation. The wife of a cousin dying from cancer had the HallMark Channel on constantly in his hospital room.  Fluffy romance about cute couples, pets, and families helped her deal.  

Good thoughts about your health problems.  

Five Ghosts You Should Definitely Invite to Your Barbecue

Ghosts pull the energy out of the air around them which leaves cold spots.  Post a few around the salads, Jello dishes, and sodas to keep them cold.  If it's really hot, have enough around so Uncle Steve doesn't get heat stroke.  Just be sure not to invite any demons.  They are such downers.  

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season Six Premiere: But He Looks Just Like Coulson!

I had to cut off the show for almost half an hour during the middle, came back, and realized I'd missed nothing plotwise.  This show is definitely doing a slow burn for a short season.  When the time guy vanished Fitz as he and Gemma locked gazes, I yelled, "Oh, come on!"  Put those two lovebirds back together and bring their plot back to Earth already instead of stringing it out to a painful point.  

The Sad But Inevitable Trend Toward Forgotten SF

@25.  I read Shakespeare when I was in middle school and onward.  Mark Twain in elementary school.  I was almost tossed out of the library because I was laughing so hard at the drunk scene in ROUGHING IT. But I was that kind of person.  

I also remember almost every author listed here.  

@36  From personal experience, one of my best writing friends died of fast-moving cancer while her bestselling career was in full bloom.  From stupidity and disinterest, her red neck husband closed down all her promotion sites and fired her agent.  Those of us who loved her and knew that she considered her last book her best book went all out to promote it in her honor.  The moral of this story is to have someone who understands your writing career as your literary executor.  

@40  It's not methodology.  The obsession with genre in publishing and bookstores wasn't really a thing during the time of these early lists.  Books of all kinds were stacked together and not segregated by genre. Almost every type of hardcover book was considered what we now call "mainstream."   Most were handsold by clerks. My own guess would be the rise of big box bookstores like B&N and the volume of types of books sold made genre and segregated bookshelves more important.  

The Sad But Inevitable Trend Toward Forgotten SF

I earned my two and 1/2  college degrees in literature in the mid to late Seventies.  Of the novels that were taught in the modern fiction classes, only one author is still remembered today.  (Saul Bellows for the curious.)  Books survive the generations only if they are passed from one to the next.  Some adult must give a child or a younger adult a book and say, "You have to read this!  It's awesome."  It's an easy guess that the Harry Potter series and a few other popular authors will survive, but, for most authors, it's anyone's guess.

Libraries are constantly culling books to make room for other books.  Any book, no matter how classic, will get tossed to make room for the newest buys if no one has checked it out in recent years.  A hard truth but a truth, nevertheless.  

A Rare Win for Wheelchairs in Game of Thrones’ Final Episode

I saw a news feature on the local news that said people all over the world took a sick day today because of THRONES exhaustion.  That must refer to people who stayed up late or got really drunk at GOT parties.  More likely, all those folk were wailing "Why?  Why?" and banging their heads against a wall until the wee hours.  

On ARROW, in the same season as Felicity's spinal chip was used, she was disabled by an EMP for an episode.  She and Curtis who had invented the chip spent several seasons trying to make it cheap enough to mass produce, but they never succeeded.  So, no, they didn't forget Felicity's chip.  And, yes, she was an idiot to think Archer was a good idea.  Scientists and investors need to get a dozen writers together in a room and ask them why such a product is a good or bad idea since they obviously have no grasp of reality or what if.  

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season Six Premiere: But He Looks Just Like Coulson!

May I be the first to say, "The cake is a lie."  (The game of PORTAL reference.)  Also, more than a little bit of the LOONEY TUNE's movable hole technology involved.  I loved it.  

The shot where Sarge, his face reflected in the sunglasses' lenses, almost picks Colson's favorite shape then picks another was really nice.  

This short season certainly is following a leisurely pace although the stakes are beginning to rise.  I'm interested where it's going.  

“I’m Not About to Let a Man Take Credit for a Woman’s Work”: Watch the First Batwoman Trailer

@24 Several weeks ago, one of the cable channels ran a Marvel marathon, and the hosts talked to the woman who trained SJ and did some of her stunts.  She said that they had to figure out a way for Natasha to fight much bigger foes in a realistic manner and came up with the scissor kicks, head locks, etc.  

Years ago, I had a chat with a world-class weapons and combat expert about fighting. I asked him who was the most dangerous opponent in a fight. His answer-- “In a bar fight most men will keep fighting until they go down. Later, they’ll get up, and we might have a beer together. A small man doesn’t do that.  To him, it’s not a fight, it’s survival. He’s fighting to kill because he knows he might not survive otherwise. If he goes down, he doesn’t stay down. He comes right back up and keeps fighting until he takes you down. He’ll use any weapon he can find to kill you, too.  Never pick a fight with a small man.”


This also describes a woman in a fight.  Something guys should remember with characters like this.  

“I’m Not About to Let a Man Take Credit for a Woman’s Work”: Watch the First Batwoman Trailer

@1  The yellow oval was great for comics, maybe not so good for TV, these days.  I know with the FLASH, they struggle with comic accuracy vs looking good on TV with present-day not-comic-nerd viewers who are their primary viewers thinking that the wild colors look silly.  From my own pragmatic view, dark is good since they are sneaking around.  Black Lightning's first costume with its ridiculous neon lighting I found remarkably stupid because stealth was all but impossible and gave a nice large target for heart.  

They have really changed Kate Kane's look, too, from her intro in this year's crossover event.    Shorter hair, a sharper look to the face, and a more defined lean body shape.  

I hope they go no darker than ARROW because I don't watch these shows to be depressed.  

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season Six Premiere: But He Looks Just Like Coulson!

"Hunk" is Agent Keller played by Lucas Bryant, the male lead of HAVEN (SYFY Channel).  

After the Endgame, Marvel Movies Adopt One of the Comics Industry’s Biggest Problems

An interesting take on the Avengers and their attitudes as the five stages of grief.

It certainly makes Thor's portrayal more understandable.  

Reflections on Andre Norton’s Mirror of Destiny

As an addenda, I can't find any corroboration online, but I recall that Norton was having eye issues in her later years to the point she needed a secretary to handle her communications.  So, personal fear added to the angry being blind is bad in this novel. 

As to the book rapes, blame Katherine Woodiwiss whose massive success started the every-historical-romance-needs-at-least-one-rape requirement that was adopted by male editors for years.  It took Nora Roberts, Amanda Quick, and a few brave female editors to stop the horrific trend.   

Reflections on Andre Norton’s Mirror of Destiny

Blind in a society like that is a bad thing to be, whoever you are, so give Norton a bit of a break.  I'm right at the edge of legally blind myself, and blind sucks in this world, too.  So, blind people don't suck, but being blind does.  

Watch the New Super-Spoilery Spider-Man: Far From Home Trailer

With all the geeks knowing Mysterio is a bad guy and probably being very verbal about it to those who don't, it wouldn't surprise me if they make him an alternate reality good guy.  

What Reward Do Superheroes Deserve?

@2  If it had eliminated it, I'd have been happy about it.  Much ado about nothing changing.  

What Reward Do Superheroes Deserve?

The problem with superheroes that I see is that most let others like self-serving politcians define their narrative. A good PR firm would do them a world of good.  It should be yes, we made a mess of NY after aliens attacked, but we saved most of it, and the rest of the world, as well.  

“I came to save my home” — Aquaman

You missed one very important moment.  The goat on the plane with his doubletake of Mera jumping out of the plane without a parachute.  That goat was robbed not to receive an Oscar nod.  

Avengers: Endgame Shows Us a Universe That Still Can’t Do Right By Women

@39  "I hate temporal mechanics!" " --Chief Engineer Miles O'Brien, STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE

Wasn't the Old One talking about the AVENGERS' timeline being kept whole, not all timelines?  That's the only real timeline that's important as far as the writers are concerned.  It's also the timeline where the time stone is used by Dr Strange to stop Dormammu who could wipe out existence.  

The reason I really like this theory is that it makes sense from a story point of view.  It leaves the AVENGERS timeline untouched yet allows for Steve to have his happy ending and Loki to sneak off alive.  

Avengers: Endgame Shows Us a Universe That Still Can’t Do Right By Women

I apologize if anyone has said this, but I've not had the time to read through the excellent discussion, and I want to say it before it flees my overworked and allergy-clogged brain.  If Clint had died instead of Natasha, this article would have damned the writers for not allowing a woman to make the same decision.  Sometimes, we are too eager to look for slights.  Natasha went out brave, strong, loving, and true.  A fitting ending for this character.  

I came across some very good discussions of the time travel rules for this movie. Most are in agreement on these points. Essentially, the past CANNOT BE CHANGED.  No matter what the present day characters do in the past, the timeline of these AVENGERS movies WILL NOT CHANGE.  

What happens is that moment when the present day character interferes in a major way with the past, the timeline splits into two different streams.  One is the timeline of the AVENGERS movies.  The other is a new timeline.  So, present Steve and past Peggy are now in a different timeline where she can very well start SHIELD with Steve and stop HYDRA from infiltrating it.  He can also go rescue Bucky, too, before he's turned into the Winter Soldier.  (Yeah!)

Old Steve had to move from his new timeline back into his old timeline to give Sam his shield.  

Yes, it's a bit confusing but far less than trying to retcon the AVENGERS timeline.

SFF Horse Breeds: The Arabian

Arabians are my "sexiest" breed, too.  Gorgeous, gorgeous horses with the brains and heart to match.  

My mare Lady must have had some Arab in her because of her head, and the shape of her chest.  Plus, brains, beauty, and heart.  Wonderful horse.

I'll looking forward to your discussion of the Morgan.  I remember JUSTIN MORGAN HAD A HORSE by M. Henry.  There was also a Disney movie of the same name, now available on Amazon Prime.  

Stupor Friends — Justice League

In the South, we call a five-pronged trident-like tool a manure fork or a frog gig.  I doubt Aquaman would like either term.  

"Terraform" to change the Earth into something else?  Doesn't sound right.   De-terraform?  Apokolipsform?  Hellaform?

This movie is the perfect example of why trying to please everybody pleases nobody.  

How Much Research Should You Do For Your Book?

Something we haven't mentioned, but should is that after all that research goes on the page, we should ask an expert to read what we have written to check for errors.  It need not be the whole manuscript, only specific scenes.  Experts are pretty dang easy to find these days, and some love to give imput.

How Much Research Should You Do For Your Book?

Research is an iceburg.  A research the reader doesn't see makes what they do see float properly.  

The trick is to get a strong structure of general information so that you will know how much more specific info you'll need.  Some writers suggest that you find a good children's book on the subject as your starting point.  For minor details that won't change your novel, leave an asterisk or some other marker and a note to look up the small point and keep moving with your writing so the research won't stop your writing rhythm.

As an ancient person, I also suggest that you young'uns go to the physical library when you are researching because you will find peripheral information you didn't know to look for.  I went to research wild flowers in South America for a romantic adventure I was writing about ethnobotanists, and on the same shelf I came across a book on Southerners fleeing the US after the Civil War and settling in Brazil.  That info changed the whole basis for my novel.  

4 Great Post-Harry Potter Works (That Aren’t Harry Potter)

A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES, the book series, is currently being reinvented on AMC/BBC-America.  An adult Hermione who has walked away from her witch heritage but embraces her inner geekhood by being a scholar who specializes in medieval alchemy texts gets mixed up with vampires, bad witches, demons, and a power struggle to either control or save the "creature" world.  For adults.  

THE UNEXPECTED ENLIGHTENMENT OF RACHEL GRIFFIN, L. Jagi Lamplighter.  Young young adult.  Fantasy series.  Rachel Griffin enters the magical Roanoke Academy, finds new friends, and stumbles upon a magical conspiracy that threatens not only her friends and the school, but the entire world.  Along with the usual tropes of the magical school, Lamplighter gives us a heroine with the best of Harry Potter, Ron, and Hermione, as well as an interesting world of magic and clues that the reader will pick up from our own world that the characters will not.  An excellent read.

THE HOUND OF ROWAN, Henry H. Neff.  Book 1 of “The Tapestry.”  Young adult contemporary fantasy.  Ten-year-old Max McDaniels sees something magical in a tapestry in a museum, and before you can say “Harry Potter,” he’s being attacked by monsters and sent to a small private school for young wizards where he must deal with the usual problems of school as well as various magical ones.  Meanwhile, the school and Max himself have enemies circling.  The book definitely has a Harry Potter as well as a Percy Jackson feel to it, but Neff creates a detailed history and magical beings which gives the story some originality, and Max is a good kid.  


THE EMERALD ATLAS, John Stephens.  Young adult/juvenile fantasy.  Book 1 of 3.  Five-year-old Kate is told by her parents to take care of her younger siblings, then the children are left at an orphanage for their own safety.  They move from orphanage to orphanage as ten years pass, and her mother’s words have shaped Kate’s life as she protects and mothers Michael and Emma.  Their final orphanage is really the home of the wizard who started their journey, and they are thrust into a world of magic with an enchanted book as their doorway into the past and a terrible sorceress.  Stephens uses the standard Narnia and “chosen ones” tropes to good advantage as the children have their action-filled adventures.  He does a first-rate job of creating the siblings, and the story is nuanced enough to be one of the best young adult/older juvenile books I’ve read.  An easy comparison also to the Harry Potter series with the worldbuilding and brave and resourceful orphans.

THE WITCH SQUAD, MZ Andrews.  “A Witch Squad Cozy Mystery.”  Paranormal young adult mystery.  Young witch Mercy, under duress, becomes a student at a school for witches.  Somehow, her perky room mate and a few other girls get past her prickly protections, and they become known as the Witch Squad.  On their first day of class, they are taken to the murder scene of a normal local teenaged girl.  Mercy sees her spirit, but their instructor won’t allow the girls to help investigate so they do so on their own.  Disaster and danger ensues.  Decently written with just a bit of a Harry Potter vibe.  Mercy’s gradual change from a loner to a leader is enjoyable.


Love, Loss, and Adventure: The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey

These books will break your heart.  Thom Christopher, who played Hawk in the tv series BUCK ROGERS and various awesome baddies in soaps, had a film option on this series in the mid-Eighties.  It's a pity he could never find backing.  

Hawkeye Series Starring Clint Barton and Kate Bishop Reportedly in the Works for Disney+ Streaming Service

@3  I made a financial decision.  Should I buy books or a bunch of streaming services for the few series I'm interested in.  The books won without a fight.  

The Tick’s Incredible Second Season Asks Us All to Make a Choice

The first step in war or slavery is to deny the humanity of the enemy/victim.  

6 Ways That Fanfiction Makes Your Writing Stronger

@8  What works for you, works for you.  Writing is very individual.

6 Ways That Fanfiction Makes Your Writing Stronger

@4  Fiction and nonfiction are different in that sense, although anyone who wants to write nonfiction professionally needs to figure out their own styles. (You need different ones for different types of nonfiction.)  Fiction is all about individual voice/style. I've taught fiction craft for many years, but, beyond mentioning that a writer's natural voice comes after a lot of writing where the sheer exhaustion from trying to imitate others finally allows the natural voice/style to come through, I don't teach voice/style because it shouldn't be taught.  I do recommend that the writer read extensively in their specific genre, and the authors they pay attention to be newer, more successful authors.  Narrative styles change over time, and recent years have seen lots of changes.  If the writer immerses herself in enough newer fiction of her genre, she will find that her voice will reflect that.  

6 Ways That Fanfiction Makes Your Writing Stronger

Bad things about writing fanfic.  It becomes a warm, safe space, and some writers I know never venture out of it.  That's okay if all you want to do is fanfic, but, if your ambitions are to go professional, that's a bad thing.  

Fanfic, for the most part, isn't as structured, long, or plot-driven as most commerical fiction.  Fanfic writers are essentially writing dramatic opera pieces which aren't really the tone or pace of commercial fiction.  You have to learn the difference if you want to succeed beyond fanfic.

If you decide to turn your fan piece into your own universe/work, readers and editors may very well recognize the source and will not be happy.

Also, you don't want to learn how to copy someone else's style.  You want to develop your own style and voice which means you will spend about a million words getting everyone else out of your head and into your own so you comes through.  

Good things beyond what you mention.  At the same time as I was writing my own fiction, I wrote some fan pieces as gifts and at the request of friend fanzine editors.  I used those pieces to play with themes and different narrative techniques.  A short piece is much more suitable for that than the novel you are currently writing.   

2019 Hugo Award Finalists Announced

I see only one book that wasn't published by a traditional publisher.  A pity.  Some of the best books I read this year were self-pubs and small press.  People really need to expand their reading.  

But, congrats to all the nominees.

Spring Comes to Horse World

I wrote this back in the day when I had a horse and three dogs, not to mention barn cats.


Animal lovers all know and agree

Spring is not all it’s cut out to be.

For when Spring’s sweet breeze blows, animal shed.

Have you ever found a collie hair in your bed?

If life’s sweet mystery is shown by pollen,

You almost wish spring was fallen.

Dog’s man’s best friend, all will agree,

But does your best friend start a hair losing spree?

So with the philosopher we will contend

“Never get downwind of a shedding animal, my friend.”


Here Are All the Things We Better See Now That Avengers: Endgame is Going to Be 3 Hours Long

I'm calling it first.  Stocks for companies making adult diapers are going to skyrocket before this movie.  Also, those that make nose plugs for the smell of the urine in the theaters.  There will also be multiple murders because the kids with their cell phone addictions will open their phones and some adult with beat them to death with that cell phone.  

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA had an intermission right after a loooong scene in the burning desert.  Soft drink sales were very, very good for that movie.  Something for theaters to consider at the idea of an intermission for ENDGAME.  

I recommend the HISHE video for ENDGAME where the surviving heroes from every franchise imagined show up to help stop Thanos.  Funny and sad.


Disney’s Animated Classic Dumbo Was Small on Story But Big on Heart

I saw the original on TV a few times growing up.  This was pre-VCR, etc.  So ancient times.  I HATED it because of the bullying and mean characters to the point I couldn't enjoy Dumbo's victory.  And "Baby Mine."  That song just shoved another spike in my tender, empathetic heart.  It's right up there with BAMBI on the viewer child abuse scale of my young life.  

Speaking of BAMBI, back in ancient times when the first VCR movies began, I was in a department store video area where the first VCR of BAMBI was playing on a TV nearby.  I was unfortunate enough to be there when Bambi's mom died.  The clerk and I were sobbing without embarrassment.  Two adults, and we still hadn't gotten past that moment.  Sigh.  

Five Superhero Romances We Need to See On the Big Screen

Sue was supposed to be in this season's version of THE FLASH, but, since she never showed up, I'm guessing that Carlo Valdes' probable departure from the show and his character Cisco's romance took its place.  Bummers for both.  

How One Book Convinced Me Tomatoes Weren’t Actually My Mortal Enemies (As Previously Thought)

Never, ever read "The Hollows" series by Kim Harrison. GMO tomatoes did to the regular human population what GMO corn did to mutants in LOGAN.  

Deer have ended my gardening days, but my organic tomatoes were famous among my elderly mom's friends because the tomatoes tasted like a tomato should taste.  Organic and heirloom is the way to go for the best tomato.

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