Captain Marvel Is A Refreshingly Different Addition To The MCU






A few days late but well worth the wait.

Captain Marvel has been teased for the better part of a year now, and Marvel fans have been wondering how the Cinematic Universe version of the comic book heroine would be presented.

She’s presented in a refreshingly different way.

I’ll do my best here not to reveal spoilers for those who have not had the chance to see the movie yet, but I do want to touch on some key points that made this new addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe stand out, for me.

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility!

We know the line. It’s something that all comic book heroes struggle with. Many are given their powers suddenly and have to learn how to use them properly (e.g. Spiderman, Captain America, Scarlet Witch, etc...) 
With Captain Marvel we are spared a lot of that learning montage. We’re introduced to a kick-ass hero in her own right. Yes, she has her own issues to struggle with, but she is introduced to us in a ready to fight stage of her character growth. This I think is a very important thing for a standalone heroine film. It allows us to accept her for what she is and enjoy the ride.
That is not to say that this movie, being an origin story, does not show us how she got to be the all-powerful superheroine she is. It does, but where it begins engages the audience with a woman who has power, ambition, and is comfortable in her own skin.

Whodunit?

Another element of this particular addition to the Cinematic Universe I really enjoyed is the way misdirection was employed. We’re presented with many different angles and viewpoints that keep the audience guessing on who the big bad of the story really is. Unlike other Marvel Cinematic Universe offerings, there is no Thanos, Red Skull, Vulture, Dormamu, etc…
This lack of a clear concrete villain adds an extra layer of interest to Captain Marvel’s story, and keeps the audience engaged through the film.

Reverse Buddy Cop

Probably my favorite aspect of this installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films was the buddy cop partnering of Captain Marvel and Nick Fury. Though even that came with a twist. It’s been teased in the trailers so this is not a spoiler. Captain Marvel is portrayed as a very straight woman type of character. Extremely capable if not a bit in over her head. A role usually employed by the older partner in the buddy cop formula. It’s Nick Fury, the middle-aged Military retiree turn Shield agent who brings the wide-eyed, “what the hell did I get myself into,” comedy to the situation. Their chemistry really worked for me in this movie.

The movie has a lot working for it. It was thoroughly enjoyable to watch. And definitely deserving of a 4/5 stars from me.

Why I didn’t give it a full five stars?

Well, as with many comic book movies that do an excellent job to build up act one and two, by the time we get to act three it feels like a rush to the finish with some less than believable moments. The final battle sees Captain Marvel come into her own 100% and she is stunning, but a bit too overpowered. I lost the ability to suspend belief in a few scenes, and that really pulled me out of the story. Her reason for leaving earth, I know a reason needed to be given so that we can understand why Captain Marvel does not return to the Avengers until Endgame, also felt a little shallow and thrown in at the last minute.

The mid-credit scene is a wonderful teaser for Endgame, so if you have not seen it yet, definitely sit through those credits. You’ll be super excited.

Some honorable mentions.


Goose! They really went too far with the cat, but it’s a cat and we love cats so it’s forgivable. Nick Fury and the cat were ridiculously adorable. I mean seriously. I giggled every time those two were together.

Talos (Ben Mendelsohn). He nailed that role 100% I want to watch a movie all about Talos now. I just adored his character. His quips. His facial expressions. He had such great presence in this movie! Bravo!



Fantasy Inspired by History - Game of Thrones War of the Roses



Game of Thrones – War of the Roses


tl;dr – Decades-long war between prominent houses for control of the kingdom.


War of the Roses Summary:

The royal House of Plantagenet: the House of Lancaster (red rose) and the House of York, (white rose). Eventually, the wars eliminated the male lines of both families. The family held the English throne from 1154 – 1485
The House of Lancaster descended from John of Gaunt, third surviving son of Edward III of England. Their name derives from John of Gaunt's primary title of Duke of Lancaster
Edward III (Plantagenet) has plenty of kids. His oldest son dies before Edward III but had kids, so line of succession gives Eldest grandson over Edward III’s other kids. (Too many left over claims to the throne are the main cause of the wars.)
Richard II (First Grandson of Edward III) becomes king, short reign, childless, gets deposed by Henry IV (Lancaster descent) before death.
Throne passes from Henry IV to Henry V and continues to Henry VI (Mad King) where the War of the Roses truly begins.
The House of York descended from Edmund of Langley, the fourth son of Edward III, younger brother of John of Gaunt. Their family name comes from Edmund's title Duke of York.
Richard of York, 3rd Duke of York governed as Lord Protector during the madness of King Henry VI. Conflicts with Henry's wife, Margaret of Anjou, and other members of Henry's court, as well as his competing claim on the throne, created political upheaval. York was killed in the Battle of Wakefield. His son Edward became Duke of York and led several victorious battles to defeat the Lancastrian army and supporters. Edward IV proclaimed himself king in March 1461.
Henry VI’s wife, Queen Margaret fled abroad with the young Prince Edward and many of their leading supporters.
Most of England's leading families had remained loyal to Henry VI or remained uncommitted in the conflict. The new regime, was cemented by the powerful noble, Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick (Kingmaker).
Edward IV married Elizabeth Woodville, snubbing Warwick who had previously arranged a marriage with a daughter of King Louis XI of France.
 Warwick made a deal with Louis XI and Queen Margaret to restore Henry VI in return for French support for a military invasion of England. This alliance was sealed by the marriage of Warwick's youngest daughter Anne Neville to Prince Edward (Margaret’s son). Henry VI was briefly restored to the throne in 1470. Edward IV returned to England with a relatively small force he took Henry VI prisoner. Edward IV and his brothers then defeated Warwick at the Battle of Barnet. Edward IV did not face any further rebellions after his restoration, as the Lancastrian line had virtually been extinguished.
His twelve-year-old son Edward V of England was to be crowned king upon Edward IV’s death but Richard (Edward IV’s younger brother) claimed it and illegitimized all of Edward IV’s kids.
Richard III of England last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. Short and unpopular reign. He was defeated at the battle of Bosworth by Henry VII (Tudor. Great grandson of Duke of Lancaster raised in exile.) Ending the War of the roses.
Henry VII married Elizabeth of York (Richard IV’s daughter).
Combination of Lancaster and York created the Tudor rose.

WOR - Important houses:
Lancaster – Descended from Third son of King Edward III
Tudor – Illegitimate descendant of the third son of King Edward III
York - Descended from fourth son of King Edward III




Game of Thrones by Comparison:

Robert Baratheon (Henry VI) is installed as king after the death of the mad king (Targaryen). Tywin Lannister (Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick) arranges the marriage of his daughter Cersei (Margaret Anju) to the new king.
Ned Stark (Richard of York) attempts to sort out problems with the country after being installed as Hand of the King. Constant conflicts with Cersei spill over when King Robert Baratheon dies and Ned Stark is subsequently killed by Cersei .
Joffrey briefly ascends to the throne.
Stannis Baratheon (Richard III) attempts to take the crown following Robert Baratheon’s death claiming children born of Robert and Cersei are illegitimate.
Rob Stark (Edward IV) wages war to avenge his father’s death, breaks marriage contract to marry for love, pisses off nobles.
Across the narrow sea Daenerys Targaryen (Henry VII) begins to mature and through her family name and claim to the throne begins to raise an army.

GOT - Important houses:
Targaryen
Stark
Lannister
Baratheon
Martell
Arryn
Tyrell
Greyjoy
Tully

Characters vs History

Robert Baratheon / Henry VI
Not mentally fit to rule but sits on the throne anyway.
Spent excessive amounts of money on frivolous endeavors, bankrupting their kingdoms.

Cersei Lannister / Margaret d’Anjou
Both were forced into an unhappy marriage for alliances and added family power.
Both used political influences to build support and allegiance to their side.
Both ruled through husband / King when he was incapacitated.

Joffrey Baratheon / Edward of Westminster
Both were the (possibly) illegitimate son of King.
Both favorite pastimes include cutting off enemies’ heads

Tywin Lannister / ‘The Kingmaker’ Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick
Both were the most powerful noblemen in their respective kingdoms.
Both served as advisors to the throne.
Both helped install kings and weave alliances through marriages and wars.

Robb Stark / Edward IV of York
Both men inherited their position at a young age after their fathers were beheaded.
Both ignored pressure to marry to form a political alliance. Married for love. Alienated allies.

Ned Stark / Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York
Both were career soldiers / protectors of the realm.
Both went south in an attempt to stop a meddling Queen corrupting the royal bureaucracy.
Both were loved by the common folk and generally disliked by the aristocracy.

Daenerys / Henry VII
Both lived a majority of their lives outside of the country they had claim to throne.
Both grew an army on their own with little money.
Both use their family name to inspire support.

While this is not the complete Game of Thrones plot, you can clearly see where the inspiration comes from and how the characters line up between the two stories. What will be interesting to see is if the end of Game of Thrones truly ends in the same fashion: combining of the warring households and the creation of a completely new house name.

Joining the Patreon Community

I debated this decision for a while before finally diving in. To be honest I have had a Patreon account for a while now, I just hadn't hit that little button to activate my page and open the flood gates.

Initially I looked at the Patreon format as a way of crowdfunding projects much in the way that we see GoFundMe or IndieGoGo accounts being used. Not that I'm opposed to the idea of reaching out for backers, that is the way most entrepreneurs go about funding their new business ventures. It just didn't feel like the right fit for me. I struggled with it, a lot.

See, the thing about being an indie author is the cost to produce a book often times takes years to recoup. I publish around three books a year and the cost of editing, cover art, layout, marketing, etc... does add up. But even knowing that I still didn't feel right constantly asking for funding each time I had a new novel in the works.

I always have novels in the works. I'm working on one now, and frankly not sure how I will pay for it's production. But that is not the reason I joined Patreon.

I know what you're thinking. "Katie, you're full of it. Why keep mentioning it, then?"

I'm getting there, don't rush me. I'm an author, you know I like to tell the whole story.

Continuing on...

Social media is the way for authors, myself included, reach out to the masses and look to interact with readers as well as introduce our work. When I started back in 2009 getting ready to launch my first novel, Immortalis (can you believe it is that old?) Facebook was the end-all-be-all of social media outlets. I had literally thousands of people able to see what I posted and those people were able to interact with those posts. It didn't take shouting into the void for me to introduce a new novel and continue to interact on a personal level with fans and followers.

That really was the best of times. There was no need to spam. One and done. "Hey, new book here," and then back to the regularly scheduled cat pictures and memes.



Fast forward a few years adding a glut of other social media platforms; the need to have dedicated newsletters, Twitter feeds, Instagram pictures, LinkedIn profiles, blogs, pages, groups, etc... Everything felt like shouting into the void. And let's not forget the the algorithm changes on those social media platforms that made having a presence a pay-to-play endeavor and being social became a business rather than fun. Even following the 80/20 rule of posting mostly personal with only a hint of bookish goodness brought me to burnout levels.

To combat that, I started a private group on Facebook, geared toward sharing all my work-in-progress updates and getting reader feedback (because I love my readers and want to make the books the best they can be for you), but sadly if I didn't pay to promote things I posted there in my private group, only a handful of people would ever see them. Out of 200+ people only 5-6 might have seen those posts. And that was on a good day. I felt like an utter failure. I didn't want to spam, but I did want people to see what I posted.

With that all in mind, I asked author friends, what to do.

The answer came as a shock. "Start a Patreon," they said.

"But won't that make people mad if I'm begging them to pay for content?" I asked.

Not really. You see, I don't have to post Pay-for-View content. It turns out a lot of what people are posting on Patreon is view-able publicly, free of charge! Using it like a social media hub, it's a way to direct readers and fans to exactly what should be easy to see! Huzzah! 

So I'm introducing my brand new hub for authorly social media posts. A place where my readers can find me, read updates on the current goings, and seem my goofy videos and blogs without having to worry about algorithms hiding them in the dark.

And, for those who want to really dig deeper into the behind-the-scenes and sneak peeks, I will also have that extra access level for the patrons who want to help me shape the next novel to be published.

Have a peek for yourself! 
 Patreon

That Time I Forgot To Bring a Camera!





If you’ve been paying attention you know I’ve been shouting to the rooftops about the free seminars I’m doing at the Henderson Libraries, Paseo Verde Library.

No?


Image result for shame

It's okay. I know not everyone lives on the internet like I do. If you're in the area you can still drop in for parts 2 & 3 of my Story Craft seminar series.


But that's not why I'm posting today. Well, it is, sort of, but not in the way you're thinking. 

You see, I'm a bit of a Nervous Nellie when it comes to public speaking. Everything has to be perfect or I feel like a failure. I wasn't always this way, but somewhere between leaving my High School theater behind and entering the adult world I developed this horrible aversion to having to speak in public.  

As an author, that's kind of counter productive to the whole building a fan-base and doing public signings and the like. Silly me, did I think being an author was just writing books? Yeah, a little. 

As is the norm, reality is far from what was imagined, and putting myself out there became more and more a necessity as I learned the marketing side of authorship. 

What I found out through a great amount of trial and error is that I do my best public speaking when I am sharing knowledge and helping others rather than just shouting to the rooftops, "Hey Buy My Book!!!!!"

That's where Spilling Ink started. It was created not just as an author interview show, but as a way to get over the whole public speaking issue AND be helpful at the same time. That also spawned a bit of a speaking career, taking those authorly things learned through years of trial and error and mixing them with stories from the many authors I've spoken to. In the last two years I've begun to recapture that love of being center stage, not playing a part, but teaching others and sharing knowledge. 

So what does that have to do with pictures, you ask? Get to the point, Katie! 

Okay okay, so while I've done a great job of breaking through the initial fear of public speaking, I haven't yet grasped the concept of looking good while doing it. 

Case in point. I might plan my lessons over the course of months, agonizing over details and how much knowledge I can cram into a single session, but I always manage to forget one small detail.

What is that, you might ask?

Thanks, I was wondering when you would. 

Here it is.... Marketing myself as a speaker is part of that process. If I want to get more bookings, I need to show proof of goods, right? A few promotional images, maybe some video of the seminar, anything that showcases the great information your super hot presenter is delivering... Yeah, I suck at that part. 

I forgot my camera. And this wasn't the first time I did that. I seem to always forget a camera when I'm in need of some promotional photography. Have no fear. I had an assistant this time, so I asked her to take a few shots on her phone. My assistant by the way is my oldest daughter... That's a story for another day. 

Well folks, here's what I got. The super awesome promotional pictures from the seminar I spent months planning.... 


Oh yeah, that's selling it, right?
Totally nailed this photo shoot. 

Lesson learned. Next time we're bringing in a pro photographer. 

I hope you enjoyed though. Have a laugh at my expense. 
Hugs and Happy Reading!!