• Daily Life

    Release Day: Keys

    I have a small, and I hope consistently growing, collection of short stories set in a post-climate-change future that I’ve taken to calling The Rising. “Keys”, written years ago for an anthology, belongs in that world, as does last year’s “Siryn” (Amazon || Apple || Barnes & Noble (Nook) || Kobo). So far they’re all retold fairy tales; “Keys” is a take on Bluebeard that I’m rather fond of. :)

    a fairy tale of The Rising
    Not so very long ago came the Rising, and the death of the world as it was. There are old tales to be remade in this new future, and echoes of the past that resonate through time.

    Rich men survive in every era, and the wealthy baron they call Bluebeard is no different. He offers wealth and comfort and education to the youngest sister of a large family…but what price the keys to a kingdom?

    Available at:
    Amazon || Apple || Barnes & Noble || Kobo

  • Daily Life

    Picoreview: The Shape of Water

    Picoreview: The Shape of Water: pretty sweet.

    I haven’t seen Get Out and I’m not likely to, because I really don’t like horror movies, but having now seen The Shape of Water and not Get Out, I pretty well suspect that Get Out was more deserving of the Oscar for Best Picture (assuming it was between those two, which, for the purposes of this discussion, I am. :)). The Shape of Water is a largely sweet, charming, beautifully filmed, well written love story to the movies, which is why, I think, it got the Best Picture: Hollywood does love films that love Hollywood. I’m very glad it *did* get Best Picture, and I actually do think this is a film that will stand the test of time in many ways, but it’s not the same kind of incisive political and social commentary horror that Get Out is.

    The Shape of Water did nearly everything I expected it to, up to and including the twist(? was it a twist? I saw it coming from the first seconds of the film, but there were people who interpreted it completely differently than I did) ending, but it did it well. I genuinely loved the opening narrative about “the latter days of a beloved prince’s reign” or whatever it was, so much so that when they later nailed down the date of the film more precisely I was almost disappointed.

    I loved Octavia Spencer as Eliza’s very talkative friend: both the trope and the actual performance made me happy all the way through. I thought bad guy Michael Shannon’s final line was magnificent. I loved Michael Stuhlbarg’s character and the decisions he made. I was less charmed by Richard Jenkins than I expected to be, and I thought Sally Hawkins put in a strong performance.

    ALSO IT HAD DAVID HEWLETT YAY DAVID HEWLETT! What a terrible haircut! But yay David Hewlett!

    Doug Jones retains the ultimate ability to emote through prosthetic makeup (well, ‘ultimate’: him, Ron Perlman, & Andy Sirkus kind of all hold the top spot for that). I thought his Creature was one of his more alien, er, creatures, despite the obvious Abe Sapien parallels, particularly with the eggs, but I felt the Creature was really very different from Abe, perhaps because Abe doesn’t have savagery as part of the character package. And on one hand I sort of wish he’d stop doing Doug Jones Hand Things, but on the other, when your face and eyes are as covered as his usually are, maybe the Hand Things are necessary.

    I also completely understand–although I’d purposefully not read any of the articles about it before seeing the film–why it’s a problematic representation of disability. I think there are some aspects of its representation that are probably meant to be culturally indicative of the film’s era, rather than the modern era or even GdT’s sensibilities, but it’s not a film *of* that era, it’s merely set there, so that’s…finding loopholes, and I don’t think that’s especially useful. So, I mean, yeah: my fave is problematic.

    But even if it is problematic, I still liked it a lot. I didn’t love it unconditionally, which is kind of what I expected, but I came away from it happy, and I’m very, very happy for Señor del Toro that it took home a bunch of Oscars. ♥

  • BatB,  Movies,  Reviews

    Picoreview: Beauty and the Beast

    Picoreview: Beauty and the Beast: exceeded my expectations by a considerable margin.

    (Also, irrelevantly, I was sitting between two little girls who sang all the songs they knew, and an older woman who kept wiping her eyes, both of which I found pretty charming. :))

    The showing I went to go see originally was sold out, which meant I basically spent four hours wandering vaguely around downtown Drogheda (spoiler: it hasn’t got 4 hours worth of entertainment in it) so I could go to the next one. I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to be worth four hours of puttering around.

    I was, in fact, feeling pretty…cautious about it, overall. I hoped I’d like it. I wasn’t sure. The animated film has problems, especially with the timeline, that I figured would be extant in the live action version as well. I mean, obviously it was a *chance* to fix those problems, but every time I think an adaptation is going to take advantage of BEING AN ADAPTATION and FIX PROBLEMS WITH THE ORIGINAL, it doesn’t. So I didn’t have much faith.

    But the screenplay was actually much stronger and dealt with…basically every issue I had with the animated movie. I was astonished. It had *other* problems, new ones of its own, but that’s what I want out of an adaptation, as expecting perfection is unreasonable. :)

    Having JUST written my own version of BatB ([begin shameless self-promotion] ROSES IN AMBER [end shameless self-promotion]) there were moments early on where I went “oh but that’s not the way the story went,” but I got over those swiftly and settled back in to this being a new, improved version of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. And I really do think it was improved.

    I shall have many thoughts, but not many spoilers, behind the cut.

  • Cover for Roses in Amber
    BatB,  CEMurphy

    Roses in Amber is ALMOST HERE!!!












    Tomorrow is Official Launch Day. I don’t know if print editions will automagically show up on B&N/Amazon IMMEDIATELY or not or it’ll take some time to work through the system, but e-book editions for Kindle, iTunes, Kobo and Nook either are or will be available as of Valentine’s Day, 6 weeks after I started writing it!

    I have to say this is one *seriously* cool aspect of the whole self-publishing thing. O.O

    11.5 years of brag shelf:

  • Cover for Roses in Amber
    BatB,  CEMurphy

    Cover Reveal: ROSES IN AMBER


    Tara O’Shea, my wonderful cover artist, got me the final draft of the ROSES IN AMBER cover last night!


    There is a story of a beast, and a merchant’s daughter, and a curse that must be broken.
    This is not—quite—that story.

    Amber Gryce believes in magic the way anyone does: as a thing of the past, marked now only by the long reign of an ancient queen sworn to live until her stolen son is returned to her. Such stories are romantic but distant for Amber, surrounded by family and wealth.

    But like magic, wealth can disappear. Left destitute, Amber’s family retreats to a forest holding far from their city home, where Amber’s love of roses leads her into the heart of enchantment, and draws her into a retelling of the tale as old as time….

    ROSES IN AMBER will be out in e-book this very week! If things go very well indeed the print edition and thus the Official Launch will be late next week!


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