TV Review: The Orville 2×11

Episode Title: Lasting Impressions
Original Airdate: March 21 2009/Watched June 17 2009
Grade: A
Notable Guest Stars/Directors:

Tim Russ (Dr. Sherman ) Mr. Russ is probably best known for being Tuvok on Star Trek: Voyager and I was happy to see him on Orville.

Leighton Meester (Laura Huggins) – Ms. Meester is best known as Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl, which I’ve recently watched. She has a wonderful voice which I wish Gossip GIrl had utilized more. Orville doesn’t make that mistake and she gets to sing twice on the show. This also reunites her with Jessica Szohr (Talla ) who played Vanessa on Gossip Girl.

Notable Quotes:

Look at this. She’s clearly asking her friend where to find the nearest repair service for her device. But instead of writing “wireless telecommunications facility”, she just wrote “WTF”. Now, we can decode things like this by applying historical context.

Dr. Sherman

People have been living and dying for as long as humans have existed. Most are forgotten. But not this one. She reached across four centuries and got a guy to fall in love. We should all be so rare.

Cmdr. Kelly Grayson

SPOILERS BELOW

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Review: The Orville 2.03

Episode Title: Home 
Original Airdate: January 10, 2019 (watched later via HULU)
Grade: A


Notable Guest Stars/Directors:
Robert Picardo (Ildis Kitan) – Best known as the Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager, he’s also been on Stargate, my favorite TV show franchise.
John Billingsley (Cambis Borrin) – Another Star Trek alum, Billingsley played Dr. Phlox on Enterprise.  He’s also been on quite a few TV series as a one-off character.
Molly Hagen (Drenala Kitan) – She appeared recurrently as Mike’s mother on Jane The Virgin.  SHe also appeared on Star Trek DS9
Kerry O’Malley (Floratta)  – She appeared on Hart of Dixie which is one of my sister’s favorite shows.  I had to search for both her and Molly Hagen because while I recognized them from somewhere, it wasn’t till I went through IMDB that I figured out where and why.
Patrick Warburton as Lt Tharl (recurring character)
Jason Alexander (Olix) – He’s known for his role in the 90s comedy series Seinfeld
Candice King (.Solana Kitan) – known for her role on Vampire Diaries as Caroline Forbes

Notable Quotes:
Apparently none stood out to be this episode in particular (I’m writing this off of notes I took while watching, and no quotes were listed).

SPOILERS BELOW

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Bookit Review: Truth or Dare

Title:   Truth or Dare (Part 1 of the Bayfield High series)
Author: Madeleine Labitan
Publication:  February 27, 2018  (105 pages)
Edition:  Kindle (via Kindle Unlimited)
Genre:  Teen Romance
Rating:  Bish
Bookit 2009 #4

So this was recommended to me because I was reading the Scandalous series by R. Linda so I decided to try it out.  Its relatively short, and I was able to read it, and its two sequels in about 2 and half hours one morning.  So its definately one of those short-and-sweet novels. 
Because its so short, the action of the plot is relatively short.  I feel like this story had the promise of more, but hadn’t been given the time.  This entire story takes place over a couple hours for the most part at a teen party with underage drinking.  There is a slight element of ridiculous in the set up of the events, but I think they would be more forgivable if more happened.
In the first novel (of 3 I read) the main character is Kenzie, who spends half the novel helping her best friend enact  revenge for his cheating on her.  Cheating is a recurring element in these stories.  This story sets up the second book with that same theme.

Kenzie has a prank war with Sean, her love interest in this novella.  However after several mishaps over the night and getting stuck in the bathroom while his girlfriend cheats on him in the other room, Sean relates that he started the pranks as a way to get her attention.  
It’s hard to summarize this because its so short.  Its only around 90 pages long (the book has a bunch of samples at the end).  I think its a nice start, but could have used some more plot in the background.  On the other hand the angst side of things isn’t dragged out endlessly.  

I am going to give it a B-ish.  I feel that this author has potential, although she does have a problem with length.   Maybe in the future she can reissue this series with more backstory development and lengthen the story in general. Till then it almost seems like I’m grading something unfinished. That being said, if you have a wait somewhere and want to read something quick, this book could work for you. It didn’t make me want to (figuratively) throw my kindle in annoyance either.

New Years 2019

So its a new year, and I’m going to try and start anew myself here on the blog.  Many things will continue, such as the history essays and the book reviews.   I’m going to try and post three days a week, Monday Wednesday and Friday.  I’ll probably reassess this in March and see how well I have done keeping that goal.

Once again this year I’ll be doing the Bookit Challenge.  Every year I attempt to read (and review!) 50 books.   I have several books on the “To Read” pile but I’m always up for suggestions! On Friday except my first review of the year for Outlander’s Drums of Autumn.  I am also debating about using a seperate blog for movie/tv reviews or not so you may see some sprinkled into the lineup as well.  Particularly Orville, since I reviewed that last season on this blog.

I’ll also be doing more history essays (requests can be taken) but I have no schedule for those.  I realised that I failed a bit on those last year by rushing the research and getting several only have done.  I am hoping that at least the WOH essays will happen once a month.

I also intend on doing more writing exercises like I did several years back.  So expect some short stories relating to prompts or just me attempting to write for so many words or so many minutes.  A clean up of old posts is also in the works to streamline this blog and make it easier to navigate (as well as get rid of some of the earlier writing posts that are posted elsewhere).

I hope everyone has a brilliant 2019!!

Bookit Review #21: Dragonfly in Amber

Title: Dragonfly in Amber
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Published: October 2004 (current edition) (original Print in 1992)
Genre: Romance/Sci-fi & Fantasy/Historical
My grade: B

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Writing Resources.

Continuing this month’s theme of writing, Today’s post is a simple list of links relating to writing.  There are hundreds of different writing resources out there available for those who want to look, but here are a few that either I or one of my writing friends have tried and liked.  Feel free to comment with your own suggestions.

National Novel Writing Month

It seems that NANO definately should not be left out of any list of writing resources.  National Novel Writing Month (NanoWriMo or Nano for short) is a yearly event where writers gather together for a month and try to write 50,000 words or a small novella.  Usually at the end are some good coupons and discounts for those who achieve the goal.  It also has forums, pep talks, and other resources to keep you going.

In April and June, Nano holds ‘Camp Nano‘, where writers gather together to write their own made-up goals (I recently edited mine down to 20,000 due to various reasons).  The goals can be less than 50k (like mine) or more (one of my cabinmates is doing 100,000.).  It’s up to the writer.   Like Nano in November, Camp Nano has forums and other resources for writers.

All is free, although they do have an online store to support costs and a charity they run each year.

4TheWords

4Thewords is a writing game.  It helps motivate you to write more.  You fight various monsters by completing word count goals.  I’m actually writing this post on their website.  MOstly because I need to fight a monster and ran out of creative parts of the story I was writing.  I’m fighting a monster right now that asks for 150 words in 11 minutes, which isn’t too hard.  But the monsters vary in amount of time and word count goals, and the developers are constantly trying out new things to add to the game.  There are also forums and areas for people to read other’s works.  Its really fun, but its not for everyone.   This has a free trial and then a monthly fee of around $4 which is paid by buying in-game currency so you can pre-pay for months in advance, or buy a larger package of currently (crystals) for in-game items and subscription.  its up to you.

Hemingway Editor

The Hemingway Editor is a browser based editing software that allows you to write in your browser window and receive statistics on your writing.  It helps alot with repetitiveness or over use of adverbs.  It can also give you a readability statistics.  This is useful for writing all sorts of types – non-fiction and fiction alike.  Its also Free.

Polygon Map Maker

Ok, this isn’t really a writing resource so to speak.  Someone created a way of generating polygons that look like islands and put it up on a website for those of us who feel its fun to create your own world to make our own island shapes to work off of.  Its fun, and it can be used to help you create a map for your fantasy story, a game, or just to waste some time.

750 Words:

750words has a basic goal: To get you to write 750 words per day.  There are badges to be won for the various goals you reach.  They include writing streaks, time of day, amount of words written, and many others.  It also gives you various statistics on your writing. It also saves what you wrote for the day so if you need to look back, you can.  New members to the website are charged $5 in a subscription fee to help cover the costs of upkeep.

Writer: The Internet Typewriter

For those who like the sound of typewriters,  and or are easily distracted by various things when using the computer, Writer might be a good app for you.  It’s free to register and it has a completely back screen to help keep you focused on what you are doing.  It does have a premium account, but I’ve never tried it.

CharaHub

Charahub is an online database for you to use to create and maintain information about your characters.  This is good for artists too. It helps streamline your information to one place.  Especially useful if you have many characters that you might want to bring back and don’t want to forget what you said about them.

The Periodic Table of Storytelling

Really this is just an infographic that helps you remember the elements of writing.  Its useful for remembering, but also learning.

Bookit Review: Brown-Eyed Girl

Title: Brown Eyed-Girl
Bookit #6
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Release Date:  2015
Medium: Large Print Hardback

My grade: B

I found this book on a stroll through Ollies, a discount surplus store with a huge book section. I thought the summary on the back looked interesting and got it.  My first reaction was surprise at just how huge the large print was.  It seemed bigger than the usual large format I’ve seen in the past, but its been awhile so I could have been wrong.  I found it actually takes a bit to get used to the different size when you aren’t used to it.

This book apparently is the fourth book in a series about the Travis family.  I wasn’t aware of that before I read it, so that might have affected how I read the book.  There seemed to be bits that seemed rather shallow and under developed and that might just have been because the assumption was you’ve read the previous three books.   The book overall was not bad.  The story focuses on Avery, a fashion designer turned event planner who focuses on Weddings.  She is a bit guarded due to a really bad break-up and the memory of her father’s tendency to never stay committed.  Joe Travis wants to change her mind on relationships, but he can only do so much.  With Joe and Sophie (her sister)’s help she ends up finding more confidence in herself and allowing herself to open up and trust others.  It does have its clichéd moments, but then what romance novel doesn’t?

I think I may try to read the earlier books and see if it changes my mind on the book.   Till then its a good light read.