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Object

It’s been a while since I posted my grammar lesson about the subject, but here is the follow-up on it about the object of a sentence.

You first need to know this information on verbs before we proceed on what an object is.

Transitive vs Intransitive Verbs

Verbs can be transitive or intransitive. A transitive verb takes an object (it transfers its action upon an object) whereas an intransitive verb is an action verb, but it doesn’t take an object.

Example 1: Jane writes poetry.

Example 2: Jane sneezed.

In Example 1, what does Jane write? She writes poetry, hence writing is a transitive verb.

In Example 2, you can’t ask ‘what does Jane sneeze. Jane performs the action, but the action has no effect on anything or anybody; there is no object. Sneezed is an intransient verb.

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An object is a noun that is affected by a transitive verb and usually comes after the verb. It can be a noun, a pronoun, a noun phrase (a noun or pronoun with dependent words), or a noun clause (a clause that acts as a noun).

There are 3 kinds of objects:

  • a direct object
  • an indirect object
  • an object of a preposition

Direct Object

To find the direct object, you need to find the verb first (and possibly the subject). Then you ask what or who this ‘verbing’ has an effect on.

Example: I am writing a book.

What am I writing? I am writing a book. A book is the direct object.

Indirect Object

The indirect object only exists if there is a direct object and are usually individuals (human or animal). When you have found the direct object, ask who or what is receiving the direct object.

Example: John gave Jane the book.

The verb in this sentence is gave, the subject is John. What did John give? John gave the book. The direct object is the book. To whom did John give the book? John gave the book to Jane. Jane is the indirect object.

Verbs acting upon a direct object and an indirect object are called double object verbs. In these sentences, the indirect object is always placed before the direct object.

Example: Mother read her children a story.

Her children (the indirect object) is placed before a story (the direct object).

Object of a Preposition

The object of a preposition is an object introduced by a preposition, usually to or for. The prepositional phrase is always placed after the direct object.

Example 1: Jane gave John a book.

Example 2: Jane gave a book to John.

In example 1, John is the indirect object and placed before the direct object (a book). In Example 2, to John is the prepositional phrase in which to is the preposition and John the indirect object. They are placed after the direct object (a book).

Note: Objects are always in the objective case. See the table below:

Subject Case Object Case
I Me
You You
He/She/It Him/Her/It
We Us
You You
They Them
Who Whom
Whoever Whomever

When unsure if you need to use I or me when using a ‘compound’ object; simplify the sentence.

Example: The bookstore manager picked her and me to open the book fair.

Is it her and me, her and I, or she and I? If we simplify the sentence we get:

Example 1: The manager picked she.

Example 2: The manager picked her.

Example 3: The manager picked I.

Example 4: The manager picked me.

Examples 1 and 3 are wrong as the object pronouns are in subject case. The correct sentences are Examples 2 and 4 (object pronouns in object case) and hence the original sentence above is correct.

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What to Read? Sister Witch

What to Read?

Sister Witch, The Life of Moll Dyer (Legends of the Dyer Family, Book 1)

by David W. Thompson

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Set Up

Sister Witch is, as the title explains, a story about the life of Moll Dyer. Moll is a young, Irish lass whose family take her to England to find a better future. There, she gets raped and, to save her family name, she is shipped to Amerca with her uncle. The trip overseas is crucial for what happens to Moll in the New World.

What I liked about Sister Witch

I found the story very well written, drawing you in from the beginning, with hints of the paranormal and witchcraft. These hints are dispersed through the whole of the book, coming to a climax at the very end. It disperses with trivia and makes the most of issues that matter.

Most of all, the book describes what it was like to live in the seventeenth century, particularly as a woman. It is extremely well researched, and the knowledge is woven into the story with ease. Topics as rape and slavery come up in the book and are wonderfully challenged by the strong women in it.

What I didn’t like about Sister Witch

Although, strictly speaking, this is urban paranormal fiction, I would classify this more as a historical novel with paranormal hints.

It is not an action-packed story, apart from a few passages. My personal preference goes out to a bit more edge-of-your-seat suspense/action.

Recommendation

I would recommend this book to anybody interested in seventeenth-century colonial life, witchcraft, and stories about strong women.

Sister Witch is available on Amazon.

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Meet The Authors… Bonita Gutierrez & Camilla Ochlan

Meet the author

This week, I have a double whammy for you. I’ve had the pleasure to have co-hosted two Dark Fantasy Books Giveaway Events with the authors of The Werewolf Whisperer, Bonita Gutierrez and Camilla Ochlan (amongst many others hosting the events who’ll you meet soon!). Bonita and Camilla have fun writing super exciting stories. Here’s some more info about two kick-ass ladies and their books.

Bonita Gutierrez & Camilla Ochlan

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Bonita Gutierrez & Camilla Ochlan

You’ve written The Werewolf Whisperer books together. Is it hard to write a book with another person?

BONITA: I’m a huge fan of collaboration. I love working with a partner(s), bouncing ideas off each other, creating new stories. Camilla and I come from theater backgrounds, which gave us a good foundation for writing together. The very nature of theater is working in partnership with others to create a show. The same goes for film and television (where we’ve spent a lot of our careers). Each person has a part to play, something to contribute. Of course, there will always be points of the story to work through, differences of opinions. That just comes with the territory. But for me, the process is very exciting.

CAMILLA: I write with two different writing partners on two different series — the other one is OF CATS AND DRAGONS, a Young Adult epic fantasy. I also write solo projects. From my experience, working with a partner is great as long as your sensibilities for the project match.

WEREWOLF WHISPERER came out of the love Bonita and I share for hard-hitting urban fantasy with biting humor and world-shaking consequences. As long as the collaborators focus on the core of the story and serve the book, everything can be worked out.

The two main characters in the book, Lucy Lowell and Xochitl Magana (I’m not sure how you pronounce that first name 🙂 ), are women who complement each other. Are you those two women, are the two characters a mix of the two of you, or are they completely random characters? 

BONITA: I think there’s a bit of both of us in each character. But we actually based Xochitl (pronounced Socheel or Sochee) on my experiences growing up as a person of mixed race (I’m half Mexican half Polish). Many of Xochi’s thoughts and feelings parallel my own and are deeply personal. That being said, she’s way more of a badass than I could ever hope to be.

CAMILLA: Aspects of both characters reside within me, as much as the characters sprang from my brain. But there is no everyday Lucy or Xochi walking in my shoes. I wish.

I understand Xochi’s temper, though I tend to keep that pushed far, far under the surface. I identify with Lucy’s pain most — her awkward social interactions and insecurity. But she’s evolving, becoming who she was meant to be, and I have to let her fly.

You both have backgrounds in martial arts. Does this feature heavily in the book? Would you have been able to write it without your martial arts knowledge?

CamillaOchlan_CloseUpCAMILLA: I have a black belt in Kosho Ryu and have dabbled in various martial arts over the years. I have a background in dance, and I studied stage movement and combat while getting my theater degree. I think having the background helps, but it is important to translate what you are seeing (in your head) to the page. That’s different even than crafting choreography, which is ultimately visual. You have to communicate the steps to your dancers or actors, and they’ll make it look good. On the page, you have to be clear enough so the reader can picture what’s going on, but not get bogged down with too much detail or technical jargon. I have used figurines to stage action sequences on checkerboards. I also focus on the consequence of the fight—if the character is hit or cut, how does that affect what’s going on?

BONITA: Like Camilla, I’ve been training off and on in martial arts for years (I have a background in Jeet Kune Do Kung Fu (Bruce Lee’s art), Kenpo Karate MMA and Kali Escrima (stick and knife fighting). It’s an essential part of my life. So, when we started writing THE WEREWOLF WHISPERER, it just felt right for the story and characters. We needed Lucy and Xochi to be formidable women who are able to handle themselves in very dangerous situations.

Though I still think we would have been able to write the series without our martial arts backgrounds, I think our training helps us create exciting, action-packed scenes that are still grounded in reality. There is something to be said for firsthand knowledge.

The books have a lot of Latino words in it (explained in a ‘lobo lexicon’ on your website). Who’s idea was that and is that because of their background?

CAMILLA: Living in L.A., Spanish is so much a part of everyday life. It was an important aspect for the tone of the piece. The city is a character, especially in book one. But we wanted to get it right, so Bonita’s dad was our best and most important resource. He is so generous. We still did a lot of research, hoping to find interesting, current language that would distinguish characters.

And then, with Kai, we wanted to bring in the Mandarin. Again, we were fortunate. My husband speaks Mandarin and helped shape the language.

BONITA: I’m not sure whose idea it was initially to have a spattering of Spanish in the book. I think we both thought it made sense for Xochi’s character. Of course, it helps having grown up around the language and having a dad who can help me with certain words I don’t know or a new colorful turn of phrase (all of which are on our website). 

What is your favorite passage/dialogue in the book?

BonitaGutierrez_CloseUpBONITA: Xochi’s “¡Híjole!” exclamations are straight out of my mouth. It’s a word I’ve adopted from my dad and can be used to express all sorts of feelings (good and bad). It’s the word that gives Xochi her flavor. Kai’s English/Mandarin/Spanish mash-ups are also a hoot. But my favorite thing to write is the banter between Lucy and Xochi. Their back-and-forth repartee helps the reader to really know the women and understand their profound friendship. Plus, it’s hilarious.

CAMILLA: There’s been a lot in the book that has made us laugh. I love Xochi’s Spanglish rants, where she’s completely aware that she’s going off the rails. My personal favorites are Lucy’s dreams. They are first person, present tense and so very, very different in tone from anything else in the books. They are like little buried treasures—just below the surface, and Lucy is completely unaware of what’s going on with all of that.

Did you do any scientific research for The Werewolf Whisperer?

CAMILLA: Yes, quite a bit of research and extrapolation. The most profound, for me, was my initial archeological research, which led me to the grave of a Paleolithic dog in Siberia. This dog was buried in the same way a human would have been buried. Now why would that be? Was the dog so greatly loved that he was like a member of the tribe? Or was he a member of the tribe? The article sparked a lot of “what ifs” for me. Beyond that, we are digging into genetic research because we want to continue in that vein of werewolf by science and not by magic.

BONITA: Funny you should ask that. We’re currently swimming in research…lots and lots of research.

Who is the target audience for your books?

BONITA: Though THE WEREWOLF WHISPERER is urban fantasy, our readers run the gambit: men, women, twenty-somethings, fifty-somethings, teachers, forensic scientists, homemakers, and even mechanics. Anyone who likes an emotionally grounded, action-packed story laced with biting humor will dig our books.

CAMILLA: I don’t know anymore. I thought the books would be for female urban fantasy readers exclusively, but we’re getting feedback that shows that the book appeals to a wide age range and to both men and women alike. I’d been told that men wouldn’t be interested in a book with two female protagonists. Whoever said that was wrong, I am happy to report.

The series is not paranormal romance. Maybe that is the expectation, but that is not the book we wrote. That will be a different series 🙂

I love the music video on your website. Can you tell me some more about it? 

BONITA: The song “El Gallo Mas Feroz” was co-written especially for THE WEREWOLF WHISPERER by David Gregory Byrne and my dad, Charles Gutierrez. It’s the signature song of one of our “Big Bads” — Memo “El Gallo” Morales, gang leader of East LA’s Los Locos and Xochi’s soon-to-be ex-boyfriend.

CAMILLA: We put the video together for a Halloween takeover (shout out to the Dark Fantasy Books Facebook group), and we liked it so much, we kept it on our Soundcloud. Thank you, P.J. for putting the video together.

Do you think The Werewolf Whisperer will one day be on the big silver screen?

BONITA: Actually, I would love to see it on the small screen. We originally developed THE WEREWOLF WHISPERER as web series. We even wrote a 13-episode story arc for season one. Those scripts turned into the novel series. So, I think television would be a natural progression.

CAMILLA: I think the series would be great as a long format TV show — like SUPERNATURAL but on Netflix.

It’s been two-and-a-half years since Book 2 of the Werewolf whisperer came out. When can your fans expect Book 3 to come out? What are you working on?

CAMILLA: We are working on BLOOD & BONES (book 3) right now, but there have been a few entries into the Werewolf Whisperer canon since the release of THE ALPHA & OMEGA (book 2). We released the novellas BEAST OUT OF HELL (on Amazon) and NO BEAST SO FIERCE (exclusive to our BEASTY BITES newsletter subscribers). As we are working on book 3, we are simultaneously working on a serialized novella about the character Kai.

But you’re right; we’ve taken a little extra time with book 3. I did, however, release NIGHT’S GIFT, RADIATION, and WINTER TITHE in the OF CATS AND DRAGONS series in 2017 with Carol E. Leever. And we have three more books ready to be released this year. Plus, Bonita and I have been meaning to break another urban fantasy series, which we are very excited about too.

BONITA: So, stay tuned!

Thank you, ladies. It’s great to hear you are so busy. I recently purchased the first book of The Werewolf Whisperer and can’t wait to dive into it after hearing how much fun you put into it!

 

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Books Bonita & Camilla have written together

 

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Other books Camilla wrote

All Bonita’s and Camilla’s books are available on Amazon. You can sign up on their website to get their Beasty Bites newsletter.

PS: Thanks, Bonita, for letting me know how to pronounce Xochitl 🙂

 

 

 

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My Weight Loss Journey – Week 11

My Weight Loss Journey

Week 11

Summary

This last week has been a pain, literally. My shoulder has been playing up big time. I have done the exercises the physio told me to do. Not often enough, though. I did them twice, one of which was this morning. I’m afraid I’m not a good patient. I have been able to sleep without pain for the last two nights, but only last night without painkillers. What I did do was order a new, little keyboard, so I don’t have to reach out with my arm to get to the mouse. I think it helps. My husband thinks I’m too much on my phone, and he may be right. No chance in hell I’m going to change that though 🙂

Exercise

As I’ve been in such pain and sleeping terribly, I haven’t done a lot of exercising. I just couldn’t find the motivation. My daughter was fine with skipping yoga as well, so no push from that side to do it either.

Diet

As expected, when I start to lose weight, I start eating again. I’ve been drinking glasses of wine and eating snacks (crisps/chips) and desserts (ice cream mainly). No biscuits with my tea in the afternoon, I’ve been good about that. I’m still eating half a cup of bird food (sunflower seeds, pumpkin pips, almonds, raisins, walnuts) every afternoon. My dinners are still smaller than they used to be and with fewer carbs (pasta/potato/rice).

Results

I was pleasantly surprised this morning that I didn’t gain any weight. I’m still 75.7 kg (11.9 stone). My waistline also hasn’t changed; still 80.5 cm (31.7 inches). Not bad for all the eating, drinking, and non-exercise I’ve done. But if I want to start losing weight again, I need to eat less and exercise more. It’s only logic.

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I know I said I wouldn’t smile in photos anymore, but I couldn’t hide my smug face as I just found out I didn’t gain any weight after not exercising and eating and drinking the way I did 🙂

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I still have a long way to go, but we’re heading in the right direction. Just look at that butt!

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What To Watch? The 5th Wave

What To Watch?

Last weekend we watched The 5th Wave as its post-apocalyptic premise sounded interesting, and it has Liev Schreiber in it. Here is my review of it.

The 5th Wave

The 5th Wave

Plot

Life is good until aliens appear in big ships that hang above the earth. First the aliens, called ‘the others,’ send an electromagnetic pulse that incapacitates all electrical power. This alone already sends the world into chaos. For the second wave, they destroy the world as we know it and decimate the population with earthquakes and their resulting tsunamis. The third wave is a virus that kills most of the people that are left. Only a handful of immune persons are left now. These refugees gather in a camp until the army shows up and warns them of the imminent threat of a fourth attack. They take the children first in busses to bring them to a save location. But things are not as they seem…

Characters

The main character, teenager Cassie Sullivan (played by Chloë Grace Moretz), is trying to keep her family together and save. Unfortunately her mother, who is a doctor, dies as a result of the virus early on. Her little brother Sam (played by Zachary Arthur) is taken away by one of the army busses and her father doesn’t survive what happens next.

Cassie is hellbound to get back to Sam. On her journey, she gets shot and is patched up by a stranger called Evan Walker (played by Alex Roe). He is reluctant to let her go but eventually agrees to come with her to help her get her brother back.

Cassie’s high school crush, Ben Thomas Parish (played by Nick Robinson), has also been taken away by the army busses. The army is under command of Colonel Alexander Vosch (played by Liev Schreiber). Ben doesn’t know Sam is Cassie’s brother, but he takes Sam under his protection as he is so young still.

What I liked about The 5th Wave

Even though the setting is a typical ‘aliens-conquer-the-world’ apocalyptic setting, the story is heartfelt and entertaining. The cg isn’t top-notch, but as the human relationships are the focus of this movie, I wasn’t phased by it. I liked that there wasn’t any gore in it nor any jump-of-your-seat surprise moments.

Chloë Crace Moretz plays her part very well as did Nick Robinson. I always love watching Liev Schreiber on the big screen. He normally plays the bad guy, but his face can be so cute when he smiles.

The turn of events was a nice twist (sorry, no spoiler!). The ending was an open one, leaving the possibility for a sequel.

What I didn’t like about The 5th Wave

The storyline was a bit predictable (except for that one twist I mentioned earlier). It was a shame that Alex Roe took me out of the movie. His facial expressions were not enough for me to make me root for his character.

I found the ending a bit unbelievable, but hey, it wasn’t as bad as some other movies 🙂 . Otherwise, I was quite happy watching the movie. It kept me wanting to know what happened next.

Summary

All in all, it is an entertaining movie you can watch with the whole family and have a discussion afterward about how far a human will go when manipulated to think something is the truth.

The 5th Wave is available on Amazon.

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Mistral Dawn Blog Feature

Hey everybody,

I just wanted to share with you that Mistral Dawn interviewed me and it’s up on her website! You can find it here. You may find out something about me you didn’t know yet 😊.

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Thanks for the opportunity, Mistral! 😘

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Meet the Author… David W. Thompson

Meet the author

David W. Thompson reacted to one of my Tweets and we began chatting. He was so kind to read and review my book (thank you again so much for this, David!) and, as I was intrigued by the blurb of his book, I bought his book, Sister Witch-The life of Moll Dyer (Legends of the Family Dyer), and I am reading it now. It is a wonderfully written book, with many details and descriptions of real-life experiences of the ‘olden days,’ that I can thoroughly recommend.

David W. Thompson

David W Thompson

You’ve always been reading, but you’ve had an extremely varied career before you began writing. What made you decide to write?

Most of that variety was prior to my stint in the Army. I was lucky—in terms of job security—to stay with the same aerospace/defense company for 32 years. That’s rather unusual nowadays. I’ve always written, but with my little people grown up (and retirement!!!!), I’ve discovered the time to pursue it in a meaningful way.  It’s what I’ve always aspired to, but making a solid living created a detour.

Your first book ‘Sister Witch’ is about the life of Moll Dyer. How much research did you do into Moll Dyer’s life and how much of your story is true?

As you may know, Moll is both a historical figure and a well-developed myth in this part of the U.S. There’s a lot of evidence to support her existence including Moll Dyer’s Run (a small stream) and a local road named after her that traverses her old homestead. Her rock (where she died leaving knee and hand imprints) is on display at our county courthouse. There is also a letter written by a colonist describing her (in very unflattering terms). Despite this, some still doubt she was real. Most historical evidence was destroyed in a courthouse fire, but after nearly 350 years, it seems every local family has an oral tradition about her! I spent many months interviewing folks about their version of her tale and started a Facebook page (Moll Dyer Fans) to gather more. Sister Witch is a novel incorporating all of these facts, tales and divergent points of view. Her story is a tragedy, and I cast her as I felt she deserved. Both in life and in legend, her story is heartrending.  How much is true? I can’t say with any certainty, I only repeated what she whispered in my ear.

The book has supernatural/paranormal topics. Do you believe in the supernatural? Have you had a supernatural experience yourself?

Yes and yes, but you have to promise not to tell! Isn’t that what people say for fear of being mocked for their experiences? On the Facebook page I mentioned above, I received so many PMs, but very few posts on the site. Most were “don’t mention my name” comments. But I digress. Yes, I saw both of my grandfathers after their deaths. Also, Sister Witch would never have been published if not for a nudge from my Mom—years after she passed. (Love and miss you, Mom!)

In your newest short story, ‘My name is Samantha,’ you feature another woman as the main character. What is your reason to write female main characters?

Hmm, I never really thought about that! I like women, and I don’t mean just that way. I grew up with very strong women in my life and respect how hard that must be in western society. I love what women represent—creators and nurturers… protectors of the innocent. From a literary perspective, I feel dialog is easier with women. I hate to make a blanket statement, but women seem to be so conversationally brave to me! While a group of hardheads are in a corner bragging about a favorite sports team, women are at the table discoursing on life, love, and solving the problems of the world. There are thoughts and feelings I find hard to make believable coming out of a man’s mouth. That said, Book 2 in the trilogy (My Father’s Blood) is told from Moll’s male descendant’s POV. The rough draft for Book 3 is split between the male and female main characters.

You also write under a pseudonym. Do you find it hard to keep up with the different names and accounts?

It can be. I don’t make a big secret of my pseudonym, but I thought at the time that it would be easier to segregate my writings by genre. Davina Guy also writes paranormal, but with a more romantic twist. I confess I spend much more effort on my “real” name accounts, so I’m not convinced it was the right move for me.

Which writer has inspired you the most and why?

One? How about a few? First, everything Thoreau and Tolkien ever touched. Albert Camus’s ‘The Stranger’ really struck a nerve with me. I love dark fiction, so I have to throw a thank you out to Poe, Mary Shelley, and Stephen King.

Does your family help you in any way writing your stories?

It would be impossible to separate life and family from my writing. I was blessed with a loving family and wonderful kids, but there’s always the “what ifs” simmering in the back of my brain.  As a parent, nightmares revolved around “bad things” happening to my children. What if something terrible happened? What if I wasn’t there to protect them? Of course, everyone has real-life trials and tribulations, moments that can turn your life dark or that you can rise above. That’s the allure of dark fiction—exploring those dark corners and what-ifs. Will your character be the guy or gal cowering from the scratching sounds under the bed or will they grab a baseball bat and dive in!

Have you already begun writing a new story? If so, what is it about?

Book 2 in the Dyer Legends trilogy is in editing. Moll’s spirit makes a cameo appearance. The rough draft of Book 3 is about done. I’ve also started a novel about a Native American couple. Still not sure exactly where that one is going, but we will see where the characters take me. That segment of history is particularly attractive to me.

Thank you so much for sharing this with us, David. I can’t wait for Book 2 to come out 🙂

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David W. Thompson’s books are available on Amazon.

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International Translation Request

I have just been asked to translate two articles from Dutch to English. One from an artist and the other from an entrepreneur. Okay, I was asked by my sister-in-law, who will write the articles (she’s a freelance journalist), but still, my text will be published internationally! It appears the old saying ‘it’s not what you know but who you know’ still applies 🙂

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Join Me Tonight for the Dark Fantasy Spring Giveaway Event!

Do you like FREE books? Do you like FREE DARK FANTASY books? Do you also like games and quizzes? Then you’re in luck, because tonight, Dark Fantasy Books is hosting a Spring Giveaway Event. You read that right, a Giveaway! Authors will give away their books! They will share some exclusive knowledge about their characters and their stories as well as entertain you with games and quizzes. I attended last Halloween and had a ball!

Why don’t you join us tonight at Dark Fantasy on Facebook from 12:30 to6:30 PM EDT? That’s 4:30-10:30 PM GMT or 9:30 AM – 3:30 PST.

Check out the books you could win:

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My Weight Loss Journey – Week 10

My Weight Loss Journey

Week 10

Summary

Woohoo! I finally did it! My weight finally, officially dropped below the dreaded 76kg! It was a long and winding road, but I made it to this milestone. All I needed was a weekend without celebrating one thing or another.

Was it a good week? No, it wasn’t. I was going down my rabbit hole of depression as I have finished writing my trilogy and am at a bit of a loss for what to write next. My brain can’t seem to focus on anything, and all I want to do is eat and play this puzzle game on my phone. I should spend this precious time reading up on all those lovely indie authors whom I promised to read their books. And promoting my books…

Exercise

Needless to say, I didn’t stick to my exercise routine. I didn’t do any yoga either over the weekend, not the new ones or the old ones. Result: a terribly locked up-right shoulder that keeps me from sleeping without painkillers. I took the armrests off my desk chair yesterday in the hope this alleviated the pain, but it only seems to have made it worse. As a last resort, I have swapped my large keyboard for a narrower one, hoping that not having to reach out with my right arm to get to my mouse helps. I’ve only been sitting like this for 1.5 hours now and I can already feel my back starting to hurt. It appears that my back muscles are not as strong as my front muscles, pulling me into a fetal position; i.e. with a crooked back. I need to do strengthening exercises for my back muscles so they can compensate the pulling at the front.

Results

As mentioned, I am very proud to tell you that my weight this morning was 75.7kg (11.9 stone) and my waist has shrunken yet again to 80.5 cm (31.7 inches). I must admit that measuring my waist is slightly subjective, but I do my best not to lie to myself 🙂 .

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I tried to smile for the photo, but it seems like I have a toothache. I won’t do it again.

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I find this photo shows the best what I have achieved so far. My belly is almost at boob-level, my thighs are a smidgen less fat, and my butt has a nicer shape. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I think my arm is also a smidgen less fat. Could be it only looks that way because of the shade though.

Last week, I was so chaotic that I completely forgot to post my meal photos! I haven’t been taking a lot of photos anyway because they’re beginning to get a bit repetitive, but here they are from the last two weeks.

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My goal for next week is to exercise every day and get rid of this back problem 🙂

 

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What To Watch? Resident Evil

What To Watch?

This weekend we binge watched the first four Resident Evil movies:

  • Resident Evil
  • Resident Evil: Apocalypse
  • Resident Evil: Extinction
  • Resident Evil: Afterlife

Next weekend, we’re going to watch:

  • Resident Evil: Retribution
  • Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Resident Evil

Resident_Evil

Of the four movies we watched, I liked the first one best as it is the most believable (ahum, well, sort of). It had the typical zombie setting: a group of people in limited surroundings, trying to escape zombies who decimate the group one by one. Apparently, the movie was made after a computer game and is the highest-grossing film series based on a video game (according to Wikipedia). Funnily enough, I can remember the Lara Croft, Tombraider game, but not Resident Evil.

Characters and plot

The film starts when the AI Red Queen seals off the Hive, the underground HQ of the Umbrella Corporation, when the deadly T-virus is released, and kills every living being inside with a nerve gas. The virus, unfortunately, awakens the victims again as undead, flesh-eating zombies. A group of unaffected humans (Alice, a few corporate commandos, and an activist, try to shut down the Red Queen (at the moment I must suffer a temporary memory loss as I can’t, for the life of me, remember why) and escape the facility before it is completely in lockdown. They have to race against time and fight the Red Queen and the zombies on their journey.

The most notable characters are Alice (played by Milla Jovovich, also known as Leeloo from The Fifth Element) who is the main character and who suffers from memory loss. Only bit by bit does she remember that she was a security officer for the Umbrella Corporation who passed on secret information, so a group of activists could steal the T-virus and stop the Corporation’s global influence. She appears to be a mean fighting machine, surprising herself with her abilities as her memory returns.

Another known actress is Michelle Rodriguez (know for her roles in Avatar and The Fast & Furious), who plays Rain Ocampo, one of the commandos. I find her a pleasing actress to watch as she always portrays a strong woman, but that’s also my complaint; she always plays the good-hearted warrior. I hope to see her in another type of role one day.

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Another known face is that of James Purefoy, who plays Spence Parks. He is the person who was hired to steal the virus and antidote and to start the outbreak to shut down the Hive. He was recently seen as Laurens Bancroft in Altered Carbon (albeit looking a bit older).

What I liked about Resident Evil

Compared to the next three movies in the franchise, I liked this one best as I think it has the best character development and surprises. People appear linked to each other in ways that were not known in the beginning, alliances change, deaths are realistic (as much as they can get), and surprises believable. I really got into this movie.

The cg is, for that time, is okay. I liked how they wrapped the dogs in meat to give them the zombie look (this is something I found out afterward). They must have been very well trained dogs since they didn’t eat their own costumes 🙂 .

I loved that scene in the ‘corridor of light.’ Don’t tell me you didn’t 🙂 .

That scene in the corridor of light
That scene in the corridor of light

What I didn’t like about Resident Evil

Shock effects of something suddenly jumping onto the screen freak me out, but that goes with most horror movies, and I’m just a wimp. To be honest, there isn’t much that I didn’t like. Maybe that one shower scene, where Milla tries with all her might to keep her breasts covered and then puts on something while revealing herself. I can remember thinking, ‘why did she bother?’ Then again, those days were different from today and nudity wasn’t expected.

I also never got that dress-thingy. Didn’t they have enough material to finish it? 🙂

The ending was unsatisfying for me, but I have to admit it was a good set-up for the next movie.

Summary

If you’re going to watch the Resident Evil movies, make the most of the first one as it’s the best. The rest are all spin-offs with little story or character building. I’ll let you know what I think about the last two movies.

Resident Evil is available on Amazon.

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Mental Exhaustion!

I just spend most of the day booking flights; one to the Netherlands in May to visit my family, and one to the Dublin Writers’ Conference in June. Now I’m mentally exhausted! I don’t know about you, but I find it so stressful (I know, total first world problem). It’s not so much that I can’t find my way on the internet. The Expedia and KLM websites are extremely user-friendly. It’s just the stress of finding the right price for flights and accommodation and filling in my details correctly.

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The prices are enough to give you a headache. The cost for the writers’ conference wasn’t too bad, but I hadn’t calculated in the cost of staying in Dublin. Man, those prices are ridiculously expensive. It cost almost as much for just myself as for a family of four! I had looked into bringing the whole family with me, but it would cost too much for the short time there. In the end, I settled on a hostel where I could rent a ‘pod.’ I had never heard of this, but it’s basically a bunk bed, but with only the head-side open (see image).

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There’s a curtain at the bed head and six others in the room. I’m only going to be there to sleep, so I don’t mind not to have a whole room to myself. Fingers crossed none of my roommates will have sleeping apnoe as this would keep me awake all night (with or without earplugs!). The hostel has the option of storing luggage, so I don’t have to drag my luggage with me during the conference. Phew!

It was troublesome to book the flight to and fro. Aberdeen isn’t a very traveled location, and as I wanted a direct flight only, there wasn’t much choice. I had to book an extra night to be able to attend the full conference, and I’ll have to get up very early on Monday to catch the first plane out (another reason the family isn’t joining me as they need to go to work/school in time). I had to weigh up what was more important; attending the whole conference or spending less money. As I was able to book this pod accommodation, which was about five times cheaper (!) than the hotel, I thought I could afford the extra cost of another night and be able to attend the whole conference.

As with my booking with KLM, I needed to be very careful which details I wrote down on my booking. See, I’ve got dual nationality and both passports state a different surname. In my Dutch passport, I am known by my maiden name, whereas in my Australian passport I have my husband’s surname. I have already once booked a flight to London on my husband’s surname and couldn’t travel as I didn’t have a valid travel document. It was a very costly mistake.

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I have also made the mistake of booking the wrong dates once. As I have multiple experiences of seeing things differently than they are (I know, freaks me out!), I am very insecure when booking these kinds of things. I prefer to have someone with me, just to confirm I’m seeing what I’m seeing before hitting the enter button. But, I’ve got to toughen up and make decisions for myself. You don’t learn if you don’t make mistakes 🙂

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Even though I hate it to be jet-setting and leaving my family behind, I’m looking forward to both trips. I’m hoping to learn more about publishing at the conference and do some networking. I’ll be celebrating my 50th birthday with my twin sister and catching up with some family I haven’t seen in years. What’s not to look forward to?! Getting lost, losing luggage, sleeping in and missing my plane… Okay, but assuming it all goes to plan, what is there not to look forward to?! It’ll be a ball 🙂