Tuesday, May 25, 2010

guest blogger Holly Christine

Today "I'll Have What She's Having" welcomes guest author Holly Christine, who wants to share a couple of her passions: movies, and Robert Downey, Jr.!

Top Five Robert Downey Jr. Movies

With the love of Iron Man 2 in the air, it is only fitting to pay tribute to Robert Downey Jr.’s charm and witty characters. Apart from being a huge Downey fan, the reason why I love Iron Man is because of his ability to change. He transforms his life when he becomes Iron Man, going from man who helps villains to man who fights them. He goes against his business practice for the better good. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all had this admirable ability: Going against our financial reasoning and fighting evil, instead of being a part of it. So Iron Man, in all his Robert Downey Jr-ness, dressed in enviable armor can face life, and inspire us to face it too. Here are my top five favorite Downey films of all time:

#5: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang

In this comedic murder mystery, Robert Downey Jr. plays Harry Lockhart, a small time criminal on the run from the cops. He finds himself at an acting audition, where he spots his high school crush and gets tangled up in a mind-bending murder mystery. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang is screenwriter Shane Black’s (of Lethal Weapon and The Last Boy Scout) directorial debut.

Each role in the movie is stereotyped, each line carefully placed, each turn delicately maneuvered to keep us on our toes. This is one of those movies that you can watch over and over again, picking up pieces that you may have missed, appreciating it all the more. Downey’s humor and wit make Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang all the more enticing.

#4: The Soloist

In this thought provoking tear-jerker, Robert Downey Jr. plays Steve Lopez, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times. While searching for a story, he finds Nathaniel Ayers, that’s A-Y-E-R-S (played by Jamie Foxx) playing a beat up violin on the street. Ayers, his facial expressions, his fascinating dedication to music and his back-story capture Lopez. While Ayers plays the violin, he sees colors, dancing colors like the Northern Lights, flashing across his mind and it made me think of the fabulously famous Kerouac quote from On the Road... “the only people for me are the mad ones.”

Downey’s role is heartbreaking. He captures the side that all of us have somewhere deep inside our souls: wanting to help, succeeding and failing. The movie is based on the book and true story of Steve Lopez.

#3: Iron Man

What’s not to love about a comic series sent to the big screen? Throw Robert Downey Jr. into the mix and call it a blockbuster hit. Downey plays billionaire Tony Starks and the movie begins with Starks held captive by Middle East terrorists, attempting to force him to create weapons of mass destruction for them. Instead, Starks develops the Iron Man suit and the rest is history.

Downey’s irresistible charm and dedication to character combined with action packed scenes make fans anxious for the big comeback this summer.

#2: Sherlock Holmes

In the behind the scenes of the DVD, Guy Ritchie states that after casting Robert Downey Jr., he realized that there was no other actor who could successfully master his vision of Sherlock Holmes. I think that fans would have to agree. Downey plays Sherlock Holmes, who, with his ever-famous sidekick Watson (Jude Law), takes on a mysterious/just returned from the grave man of black magic.

Holmes is a master of martial arts, a scientist, clever and witty. And shirtless. And tied to a bed by Rachel McAdams. Lovely. Simply lovely.

#1: Wonder Boys

Based on the book by Michael Chabon, Robert Downey Jr. plays relentless editor Terry Crabtree aside Professor and award-winning writer Grady Tripp (Michael Douglas). Tripp is in the process of writing a follow-up to his first novel and finds himself on page 2611, writing a story that will never end. Crabtree is sent to discover how much longer this highly anticipated novel will take and the all-star cast is taken on a pot smoking roller coaster ride of strange events.

The chemistry between Downey and Douglas makes Wonder Boys, without doubt, one of the best films about the writing process.

What is your favorite Robert Downey, Jr. film? Let us know!

Holly Christine is the author of Tuesday Tells it Slant, which is quickly moving up the Amazon Kindle Store rankings. Get your copy -- in print or Kindle form -- today!

Monday, May 24, 2010

tomorrow: guest blogger Holly Christine

Thanks for staying with me during this month of minimal posts. I'm looking forward to June, resuming work on the manuscript full time, enjoying my new car, and perhaps getting a little more travel in.

Summer is at our door, which means summer reading is also here. Do you know someone who hasn't yet read Faking It? Tell them it makes a great beach read! (It's also a good time for you to dig it out and re-read it!)

Meanwhile, stay tuned for tomorrow's post by special guest Holly Christine, author of Tuesday Tells it Slant, Retail Ready, and The Nine Lives of Clemenza. (hint: Robert Downey, Jr. fans will especially enjoy this post!)

And for now, enjoy my Q&A on Closing My Eyes Helps Me to See Clearly.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Re-print: "Preparing to write"

As Sam Seaborn in The West Wing says, "Good writers borrow from other writers. Great writers steal from them outright." Alas, I'm not stealing this one (although I should). The credit for this post goes to my dear friend Elspeth Antonelli, mystery author and keeper of the fabulous blog It's a Mystery. She graciously let me re-print her post "Preparing to Write". Thanks, Beth!

Twenty steps for preparing to write:

20. Mentally pat yourself on the back for blocking out time to write.

19. Wonder how difficult it would be to literally pat yourself on the back.

18. Try it.

17. Try it with the other arm.

16. Try it with both arms at the same time.

15. Catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and realize you look like a demented bat.

14. Write a sentence. Caveat: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" does not count.

13. Take a sip of coffee, remembering to keep the liquid well away from the keyboard. You learned your lesson after the Great Spill of '08.

12. Spend a moment deciding who will play the main characters in the movie.

11. Spend a few more moments deciding which role George Clooney will demand to play.

10. Imagine yourself in an achingly trendy LA bistro, meeting George Clooney.

9. Realize before this can happen, you will need to purchase an entire new wardrobe.

8. Tell yourself you are not wasting time, you are firing your imagination.

9. Write another sentence. (see caveat above)

8. Remember you're having spaghetti for dinner and there's no spaghetti in the house.

7. Or tomato sauce.

6. Or salad ingredients.

5. Spend time inventing new curse words or phrases. Write them down.

4. Despite not falling under the boundaries of the caveat above, realize you cannot count these new words as part of your word count.

3. Curse again.

2. Switch your gaze between the keyboard and the screen. If you stare long enough, the words will come.

1. Decide you will write about the adventures of a quick brown dog.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Hi friends-

Man, how time flies! When I looked at the date of my last post, I gasped--it couldn't have been that long. I wish I could say that the lapse in time was due to my being fervently immersed (do those two words go together?) in revisions for WILS (more like occasional grumblings), but really it's just the end of the semester, and endless grading sessions. I still have about 120 papers to grade, plus calculate final grades, in one week (and I'll be attending an out-of-state wedding this weekend).


The university finished much earlier last year, so I miss having the extra time to devote to my writing. Try as I may, I'm just not a multi-tasker. The manuscript just has to wait.

And so, unfortunately, do you.

I'm not going to be posting for at least another 1 to 2 weeks. I hope you'll be waiting for me when I return. In the meantime, here are some cool things:
  • Of the combined reviews for Faking It (100) and Ordinary World (45), 107 of them are 4- and 5-stars.
Thank you, everyone. I couldn't have achieved this success without you! Please continue to spread the word to your friends and families. Lend your copies, or send them to Lulu.com (see the links to the right!) or Amazon to purchase a print copy. Or, if you can't afford your own Kindle device, the software for Kindle can now be downloaded for free to your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Black Berry, and my books are still dirt cheap, so download yours today!

During my absence, please check out the blogs on my bloglist to keep you entertained. In the meantime, here's a great interview with actor Josh Malina. Enjoy. (Now, if you'll excuse me, a stack of papers is glaring at me...)