#IWSG December 2017: A do-over or a fresh start?

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Created and hosted by the Ninja himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writers Support Group posts the 1st Wednesday of every month. Click the image to learn more or sign up.

Monthly Question: As you look back on 2017, with all its successes and failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

To say that I tried a lot of new things this year would be a huge understatement. This has been a monotonous year. It wasn’t all bad, but it wasn’t very good either. The two good things to come out of the new things I tried have been the IWSG Book Club and my new blog friends over at A Small Gang of Authors.

If I was to do something differently, I think I would have said no more often and been more selfish. I’m all the time trying to help others, and I realize now that no one wants my help, and that’s okay. There are those who want to work with me and I’m happy to work with those people. I’m not going to stop being a decent person, but I’m not going to continue slaving away silently in the background while other people gang up on me and point the finger when things don’t go the way they want. I can only do what I can do, and pleasing people isn’t something I’ve ever been good at, so it’s time I stopped. If I do what I think is right and people are pleased with it, great; if not, oh well. I did my best.

In 2018, I’ll be more selfish and less involved, but I’ll never turn my back on anyone who’s truly in need.

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No personal updates this time.

Happy Holidays everyone!

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What would you have done differently in 2017?
Is there anything you’re letting go of or embracing in the new year?

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After hanging out with Alex, be sure to stop by and visit this month’s co-hosts:
Julie Flanders,
Shannon Lawrence,
Fundy Blue, and
Heather Gardner!

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Click here to visit other IWSG blogs and sites to receive and share more inspiration and support. (This month, I’m #58).

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Angel Lore: part 4 by Toi Thomas #OurAuthorGang

I’m hanging out over at A Small Gang of Authors today with part 4 of my angel lore series. Please, check it out.

https://asmallgangofauthors.blogspot.com/2017/11/angel-lore-part-4-by-toi-thomas.html

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse #Review: Fairest #scifi #fairytale

Sorry for being late this month. I forgot to schedule my post. For those of you in the US, be safe out there today. If you’re at home, please enjoy this hop.

The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you’ve finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same. In this way, we’ll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers. Please join us below.

Title: Fairest
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3.5
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Science Fiction, Fairytale Retelling
Pages: 256
Reading Level: Teen
Content: PG-13 (violence, brutality, doom, mature and dark themes, adult situations, oppression)

After reading Cress, I wasted no time jumping into this long-awaited backstory into the life of the Wicked Queen, aka Levana. I can barely find the right words to describe how much I enjoyed this book. I’m so afraid of giving away spoilers that I’m purposefully making this a short review.

I will say that, dang is this woman’s life messed up. She is all kinds of damaged, from an early age, and she just spirals into, what I consider, insanity. What she does, what is done to her, what the what…. I just can’t. This is such a sad, and brutal, and terrifying story. You want to feel bad for Levana, but she won’t let you. Her crazy out does any wrong done to her and any sympathy she didn’t ask for.

I absolutely love this villain. I so want her to lose so I can feel bad for her and be completely satisfied all at once… See, just reading her story has made me a little crazy.

Totally recommended to fans of this series, fans of psychological sci-fan, and dark fairy tale retellings.

I give this book a 5.

Please stop by and see what others have read. 😀

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Happy Thanksgiving from #OuAuthorGang & Toi Thomas

Today I’m hanging out over at A Small Gang of Authors sharing one of my best Thanksgiving moments, along with other blog members from the U.S. While this is not an international holiday, it is an international sentiment. I’m so thankful to have found this really great group of author/bloggers to work with.

In other news, I’m heading to a family Thanksgiving feast in charge of dessert, rolls, and drinks. I got it all and am ready to regret my choices tomorrow. It’s going to taste soooo good.

Before you head to A Small Gang of Authors, I just want to say that I’m thankful for my pet turtle Betty, my little red-head Margie (the scaredy dog), my ever-patient and kind husband Eric, and my entire family. I know that I am truly blessed.

Find Thanksgiving Adventures here.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Remakes Blogfest! The best & worst of #books, #film, #music & more


Hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh and Heather M. Gardner.

Remakes – most of them suck. Now and then, one comes along that is as good as, if not better, than the original. And after all of the bad ones we’ve endured, we want to know about some good ones.

On November 13, 2017 (hey, that’s today :D), blog about your favorite remake: movie (or television show into movie and vice versa), song, or book – or all three! Post a YouTube video and links where we can find these treasures. Tell us why THIS remake doesn’t suck!

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This post is basically an excuse for me not to do some other posts I’ve been meaning to do, so I plan to make it count. Here it goes; some of my best and worst remakes I know. *DISCLAIMER: Most of the titles listed here are the result of me putting multiple options into a random number generator and posting about the one that came up on the list. There are just too many remakes to consider. There are remakes out there that people don’t even realize are remakes, especially if you go as far back as the silent film era and the golden age of Jazz.

Movies—->Movies

BEST- King Kong

I’ve always loved King Kong, starting with the 1933 film. I’ve watched most of the movies under that title including some of the really bad Japanese movies completely unassociated with Godzilla. When the 2005 film came out, it brought back my childhood and the feeling I had that first made me a fan. This movie pays homage to the original on so many levels and then expands to make it into something new. It introduces a whole new generation to an amazing character and story and does it justice with really cool special effects.

WORST- Clash of Titans

Even with the outdated special effects of claymation, the original release of 1981 was, for me, ten-times better the special effects driven storyline of the 2010 remake. Plus, they got rid of Bobo. :p Not much else to say here.

TV—–>Movies

BEST- Mission Impossible

I only ever watched the original Mission Impossible TV show when it came on classic TV, late at night. By that time, my parents had given up on trying to get me to sleep at night, especially since I seemed to be a well-functioning night owl and only stayed up to watch old TV shows and movies. When the first, Tom Cruise, Mission Impossible movie came out, I was excited. The movie was pretty good and got people talking about the original show, a little. That’s what I think a good remake should do.

WORST- Starsky and Hutch (Never saw the Baywatch remake)

Not sure why they took a decent (well, not terrible) 70’s cop show and turned it into a ridiculous farce/comedy, but it didn’t go over well. Not the first or last mistake like this.

Book/Comic Strip—->Stage Play/Movie

BEST (gender swapper?) Annie

So the original stage-play musical is said to have been based on the comic strip “Little Orphan Annie”, but isn’t that comic strip just a gender-bender for the Oliver Twist story? Well, that’s what I’ve always thought. In any case, this still qualifies as a remake and I’ve so enjoyed the many small stage versions of the play I’ve seen as well as both theatrical film releases.

WORST- IDK, need to think on this more.

Books—->Movie

BEST- Cloud Atlas

This is a fairly recent book and movie remake in the scheme of things. There are many people who didn’t get the book by David Mitchell, so I’m sure the movie wasn’t high on their list either. Me on the other hand, I loved the book and the movie. Of course, I could tell you a list of issues I had with the film adaptation of this book, but overall, the film’s ability to grasp the multiple themes, story plots, and depict reincarnation is such a clear and vivid way, deserves recognition. I enjoy watching this film just for the visual representation of complicated storytelling techniques you only expect to experience when reading. The effects are good for sure, but it goes beyond that.

WORST- Cat in the Hat

I think this movie was supposed to be cute and funny, maybe a bit mischievous, like the beloved children’s book, but it wasn’t. It was weird. It failed and was totally unnecessary since there have been really good cartoon versions of this and other Dr. Seuss stories around for quite a while.

Songs—–>Songs

BEST- With A Little Help From My Friends by Joe Coker

I have always considered Joe Coker’s version of With A Little Help From My Friends to be one of the greatest popular-music song remakes of all time for 4 main reasons.

1) the original song is phenomenal but difficult to pull off without sounding cheesy unless you are The Beatles.

2) Coker not only performs the song well, he makes it into something almost unrecognizable from the original, making it a classic in its own right.

3) Childhood nostalgia will always remind me that I’m amongst friends as I reminisce about “The Wonder Years” to which this song was the intro.

4) I have this song on its original vinyl and the sound is amazing. I can listen to this once a week for the rest of my life and not get bored with it.

WORST- Blue Monday by Orgy

Blue Monday by New Order is not one of my favorite songs in the world, but it’s a decent song; definitely a product of the 80’s. The remake by Orgy didn’t do much to make it stand out other than to make it really really heavy. I just think this is a remake that could have been passed on.

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Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords