Archives for posts with tag: Lisa Mason on Facebook

An ice cream truck cruises our neighborhood and around the lake. It’s a big green truck with a large window for ordering ice cream and big decals of its wares—ice cream cones, ice cream bars, popsicles. The truck plays an irritatingly cutesy tune over and over….and over.
When I was walking around the lake, I heard the tune before I saw the truck. I’d say, “There’s that damn ice cream truck.”
The other day, I heard the tune, looked out of the window, and saw the ice cream truck outside my home. (The truck cruises our neighborhood a lot because there’s lots of children.)
Suddenly, across the street, a dozen or more children rushed out of a home, followed by a man, pulling his wallet out of his jeans. Apparently, he was a teaching a class in his home or babysitting (or both).
The children gleefully danced on the sidewalk to the ice cream truck’s tune and jumped up and down at the prospect of ordering their ice cream bars.
I was charmed.
Now, when I hear the ice cream truck’s tune, I remember the children gleefully dancing. My attitude has changed about the tune.
Have you had the experience—something minor totally changes your attitude?
Please donate at https://paypal.me/lisamasonthewriter. With your donation, I can keep reviewing movies, magazine articles, stories, and books and giving writing advice and news about the writing business.
From the author of ODDITIES: 22 Stories is on Kindle worldwide, including in the US, in the UK, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, in the Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, India, and Japan. ODDITIES: 22 Stories is in Print as a beautiful trade paperback in the US, in UK, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Japan. New! Now in Print in Australia
CHROME (five-stars) an ebook on Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo. And on US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, India Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, and Mexico Kindle. IN PRINT at U.S. print as a beautiful trade paperback. Also in U.K. print, in German print, in French print, in Spanish print, in Italian print, in Japanese print, and in Australia.
Summer of Love is a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and a San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book.
Find the Print book of SUMMER OF LOVE in the U.S., U.K.,  France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, and New in Print in Australia The ebook is on US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands
The Gilded Age (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback in the U.S., the U.K., in France, in Germany, in Italy, in Spain, in Japan, and in Australia.
The Garden of Abracadabra (“Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy . . . I want to read more!) On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback in Print in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, and in Australia.
Arachne (a Locus Hardover Bestseller) is an ebook on US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle. Back in Print! Find the beautiful trade paperback of
ARACHNE in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, Italy, in Japan, and in Australia.
Cyberweb (sequel to Arachne) is on US Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also Kindle worldwide on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Brazil Kindle, France Kindle, Germany Kindle, India Kindle, Italy Kindle, Japan Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, and Spain Kindle. Back in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, in Italy, in Japan
, and in Australia.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories (“A must-read collection—The San Francisco Review of Books). On Nook, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle at US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, in Italy, and in Japan. New! Now in Print in Australia
One Day in the Life of Alexa (“Five stars! An appealing narrator and subtly powerful emotional rhythms”). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Order the beautiful trade paperback of One Day in the Life of Alexa in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, and in Australia.
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition, A Lily Modjeska Mystery (Five stars) On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.
Please visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable cat pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!
And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, and at Kobo. I’ve been a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association for thirty-five years.
If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, WRITE A REVIEW on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it, and share the word with your family and friends.
Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

Also in the June 3, 2022 issue of The New Yorker appears “Pinocchio’s Many Lives” by Joan Acocella
Walt Disney discovered “Pinocchio”, the children’s novel, as he did “Bambi”, but he revised much of the material to suit an animated children’s movie.
The film is based on the 1883 novel by Carlo Collodi, a brutal book (like “Bambi” was a brutal children’s novel). Matteo Garrone made a 2019 live-action film based closely on the original book, which we saw.
The film shows a warning at the beginning. “Not suitable for all children.” Indeed, the film isn’t.
The article describes the original book in detail. The Hollywood Reporter had an extensive article about how the costumers made the live-action actor appear to be made of wood. Recommended.
Please donate at https://paypal.me/lisamasonthewriter. With your donation, I can keep reviewing movies, magazine articles, stories, and books and giving writing advice and news about the writing business.
From the author of ODDITIES: 22 Stories is on Kindle worldwide, including in the US, in the UK, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, in the Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, India, and Japan. ODDITIES: 22 Stories is in Print as a beautiful trade paperback in the US, in UK, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Japan. New! Now in Print in Australia
CHROME (five-stars) an ebook on Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo. And on US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, India Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, and Mexico Kindle. IN PRINT at U.S. print as a beautiful trade paperback. Also in U.K. print, in German print, in French print, in Spanish print, in Italian print, in Japanese print, and in Australia.
Summer of Love is a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and a San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book.
Find the Print book of SUMMER OF LOVE in the U.S., U.K.,  France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, and New in Print in Australia The ebook is on US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands
The Gilded Age (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback in the U.S., the U.K., in France, in Germany, in Italy, in Spain, in Japan, and in Australia.
The Garden of Abracadabra (“Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy . . . I want to read more!) On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback in Print in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, and in Australia.
Arachne (a Locus Hardover Bestseller) is an ebook on US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle. Back in Print! Find the beautiful trade paperback of
ARACHNE in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, Italy, in Japan, and in Australia.
Cyberweb (sequel to Arachne) is on US Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also Kindle worldwide on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Brazil Kindle, France Kindle, Germany Kindle, India Kindle, Italy Kindle, Japan Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, and Spain Kindle. Back in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, in Italy, in Japan
, and in Australia.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories (“A must-read collection—The San Francisco Review of Books). On Nook, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle at US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, in Italy, and in Japan. New! Now in Print in Australia
One Day in the Life of Alexa (“Five stars! An appealing narrator and subtly powerful emotional rhythms”). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Order the beautiful trade paperback of One Day in the Life of Alexa in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, and in Australia.
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition, A Lily Modjeska Mystery (Five stars) On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.
Please visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable cat pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!
And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, and at Kobo. I’ve been a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association for thirty-five years.
If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, WRITE A REVIEW on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it, and share the word with your family and friends.
Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

We watched June movies over the last weekend to go with our Japanese takeout food. The food was delicious. I wish I could the same about the movies. “The Batman” and “Nightmare Alley” were from Netflix. Season 2 of “A Discovery of Witches” was from our wonderful local library.
Yet another Batman movie. This synopsis is from the back of the DVD (and I quote): “The Batman. Two years of stalking the streets as the Batman, striking fear into the hearts of criminals, has led Bruce Wayne deep into the shadows of Gotham City. With only a few trusted allies amongst the city’s corrupt officials and high-profile figures, the lone vigilante has established himself as the embodiment of vengeance amongst his fellow citizens. When a killer  targets Gotham’s  elite with a series of sadistic machinations, a trail of cryptic clues sends the World’s Greatest Detective on an investigation of the underworld.”
That’s the summary on the DVD. Here’s my take. Grim. Somber. Horrific. Dark, physically dark (characters frequently use flashlights to light their way in the darkness), and emotionally dark. The Batman, masked and unmasked, never smiles. A brief romance between the Batman and the Catwoman was unbelievable and unconvincing. There are hints of “L.A. Confidential” and “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”. The complex plot of city corruption, involving Bruce Wayne’s family, and the insane killer was suspenseful to the end. Suitable for Batman fans and horror fans.
And yet another remake of an earlier movie. This synopsis is, too, from the back of the DVD. “Nightmare Alley. In this remake of a noir classic, wily hustler Stanton Carlisle finds the carnival the perfect place to ply his trade. Setting himself up as a spiritual guru, Carlisle wastes no time in parting the wealthy from their money.”
Not exactly. WHY would anyone remake an old, weird movie? The above synopsis is sketchy. Here’s my take.
Stanton arrives on a bus at the carnival, penniless with a guilty conscience—he’s just killed a man. He’s hired as a workman, taking down and putting up tents. He forms an alliance with a “psychic reader” and her elderly father. He learns how the psychic reader does her act (the old “basket switch”, which Tom showed me in his stage magic equipment catalog from 1930) and learns many tricks from her father, acquiring his book of sentence prompts.
Stanton tires of the carnival (which has a geek) and, with his girlfriend, takes off for the Big City. There, he perfects a psychic-reading/spiritualist show (the two practices often go together) in fancy nightclubs until he meets his match—she’s a glamorous psychiatrist with many wealthy clients. From there, the story does not end well.
If “Dune” was a disappointment, the two above movies depressed me. I want to be entertained when I view movies, not depressed.
I didn’t care much for “A Discovery of Witches”, Season 1—fortunately, I liked Season 2. Tom was getting into the story (sometimes marriage means compromise) so I consented to see Season 2. This time, Diana and Matthew “time-walk” into 1580 London in search of the mysterious Book of Life. Vampires, by definition, are dead or “undead”. They don’t drink wine or eat food or have sex (because they have no blood beating in their veins). The series blithely ignores these basic vampire rules. If you’re okay with this, you’re okay with the series. The alternating narratives with 1580 London and the present-day story were well done. The story set-up for Season 3 is ripe with suspense, so we’ll probably see it.
So there you have it, my friends. Can you recommend any recent movies?
ODDITIES: 22 Stories is on Kindle worldwide, including in the US, in the UK, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, in the Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, India, and Japan. ODDITIES: 22 Stories is in Print as a beautiful trade paperback in the US, in UK, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Japan. New! Now in Print in Australia
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories (“A must-read collection—The San Francisco Review of Books). On Nook, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle at US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, in Italy, and in Japan. New! Now in Print in Australia
Summer of Love is a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and a San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book.
Find the Print book of SUMMER OF LOVE in the U.S., U.K.,  France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, and New in Print in Australia The ebook is on US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands
The Gilded Age (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback in the U.S., the U.K., in France, in Germany, in Italy, in Spain, in Japan, and in Australia.
CHROME (five-stars) an ebook on Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo. And on US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, India Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, and Mexico Kindle. IN PRINT at U.S. print as a beautiful trade paperback. Also in U.K. print, in German print, in French print, in Spanish print, in Italian print, in Japanese print, and in Australia.
The Garden of Abracadabra (“Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy . . . I want to read more!) On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback in Print in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, and in Australia.
Arachne (a Locus Hardover Bestseller) is an ebook on US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle. Back in Print! Find the beautiful trade paperback of
ARACHNE in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, Italy, in Japan, and in Australia.
Cyberweb (sequel to Arachne) is on US Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also Kindle worldwide on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Brazil Kindle, France Kindle, Germany Kindle, India Kindle, Italy Kindle, Japan Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, and Spain Kindle. Back in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, in Italy, in Japan
, and in Australia.
One Day in the Life of Alexa (“Five stars! An appealing narrator and subtly powerful emotional rhythms”). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Order the beautiful trade paperback of One Day in the Life of Alexa in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, and in Australia.
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition, A Lily Modjeska Mystery (Five stars) On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.
Please visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable cat pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!
And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, and at Kobo. A member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
for thirty-five years.
If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, WRITE A REVIEW on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it, and share the word with your family and friends.
Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

We watched movies over my extended Birthday Weekend: the new “Dune”, “Shang-shi and the Legend of the Ten Magic Rings”, “Tulip Fever”, “From Russia with Love,” “The Catcher Was a Spy”, “Moulin Rouge”, and “The House of Mirth”. Reviews of the latter four movies will follow.
Sorry to say but the new “Dune” was a disappointment for me. Tom, who hasn’t read the book, actively disliked the film and had trouble following the plot (he’s usually excellent with plots).
Possibly my expectations were too high, but the film needed a good, strict film editor (like the director/editor of “The Catcher Was A Spy”, reviewed in Part II). Too many dreams and visions that go nowhere, too many characters who are shrouded in mist, too long battle scenes, too much filler that goes nowhere (did we need the big black spider-thing or the desert mouse water dripping down its ears? For a moment, I thought Paul and Jessica would eat the mouse.)
For a film that takes on a desert planet where people have to take shelter when the sun rises, there were too many scenes that were just dark, physically dark.
Then there were issues that weren’t enough. The sand worms weren’t scary enough. There was not enough explanation of the Bene Gesserit. Tom didn’t understand who they were or what their function was. The film kills off several significant characters.
And Spice? A classic forbidden case of telling and not showing. A hand sifts Spice and a voice-over calls Spice the most valuable substance in the universe, helping to enable interplanetary travel—without attempting to explain or showing this phenomenon. Spice is a hallucinogen, a holy sacrament to the Fremen of Dune whose eyes are digitally colored blue as a result of their ingestion of the substance. Paul gives us a little experience of the hallucinogen, but that too doesn’t explain how Spice helps interplanetary travel.
The end reminded us of “The Sound of Music”. We thought the film would be about the Van Trapp family trekking across the Alps. Instead, after a long domestic drama, the brief end shows them hiking up a mountain. The End. We looked at each other and said, “Huh?”
Same for “Dune”. Paul and company trek off into the desert. The End. The Hollywood Reporter says the producers are still casting “Dune 2”. That means the film is two years away. If you’re hell-bent on seeing “Dune 1”, at least wait until “Dune 2” is out and see them together for six hours. We’re unlikely to see “Dune 2”.
Shang-shi and the Legend of the Ten Magic Rings” is a fast-paced, action-packed, complex Chinese fantasy and is colorful, with many touches of humor and many flashbacks to fill in the story. The actors are appealing. The San Francisco scene with the 1 California bus, which in reality goes up California Street—California Street doesn’t go down—was harrowing and very funny.
The hero goes in search of his sister and father to a magic land where magical people and magical creatures live and is hidden to the outside world. His mother died there; his father is delusional that she’s alive. The one mistake of this absorbing film is the depiction of a little magical creature, about the size of a medium dog, who has fur and feathers, but no head or face. The creature should at least have had eyes and mouth. Every time this viewer saw the creature, she shuddered—it was not cute but grotesque.
The end, however, is perfect, reprising the beginning bar scene of the two friends recounting their adventures to a friendly couple and then going off to—no plot spoilers here!
Both “Dune” and “Shang-shi” center on families (both mothers are powerful and great martial artists; both fathers are killed, hmm) and so does “Tulip Fever”. The fascinating film takes place in 1648 Amsterdam when the Netherlands was the richest country in the world due to their shipping and import/export business and that fledging city on the East Coast of America was called New Amsterdam instead of New York. The Dutch had their own bitcoin of the time—tulip bulbs. (I kid you not.) They drunkenly met in taverns and fiercely bid on tulip bulbs. When the scam was over, a few got very rich and many were left destitute.
Against this feverish background, an older wealthy man buys a young woman from an orphanage to be his wife and bear him an heir. (Judi Dench plays a shrewd and wily old nun who deals in orphans and tulip bulbs, among other things). The rather outrageous domestic plot takes off from there, with several instances of mistaken identities. No plot spoilers! All ends well, so this ultimately is a happy movie.
Four more movie reviews comin’ up.
So there you have it, my friends. An enjoyable time was had be all.
From the author of ODDITIES: 22 Stories IN PRINT as a beautiful trade paperback at ODDITIES: 22 Stories is in Print as a beautiful trade paperback on November 17, 2020 in the US, in the UK, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Japan. ODDITIES: 22 Stories is on Kindle worldwide, including in the US, in the UK, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, in the Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, India, and Japan.
CHROME (five-stars) an ebook on Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo. And on US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, India Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, and Mexico Kindle. IN PRINT at U.S. print as a beautiful trade paperback. Also in U.K. print, in German print, in French print, in Spanish print, in Italian print, and in Japanese print.
Summer of Love (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback at https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Love-Travel-Lisa-Mason/dp/1548106119/ or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/summer-of-love-a-time-travel-lisa-mason/1104160569.
The Gilded Age (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback at https://www.amazon.com/Gilded-Age-Time-Travel/dp/1975853172/ or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-gilded-age-a-time-travel-lisa-mason/1106038566.
The Garden of Abracadabra (“Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy . . . I want to read more!) On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1978148291/ or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-garden-of-abracadabra-lisa-mason/1108093507
Arachne (a Locus Hardover Bestseller) is an ebook on US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle. Back in Print! Find the beautiful trade paperback at https://www.amazon.com/dp/198435602X or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/arachne-lisa-mason/1000035633.
Cyberweb (sequel to Arachne) is on US Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also Kindle worldwide on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Brazil Kindle, France Kindle, Germany Kindle, India Kindle, Italy Kindle, Japan Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, and Spain Kindle. Back in Print at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1984356941 or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cyberweb-lisa-mason/1001932064
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories (“A must-read collection—The San Francisco Review of Books). On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle world wide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT at https://www.amazon.com/Strange-Ladies-Stories-Lisa-Mason/dp/1981104380/ or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/strange-ladies-lisa-mason/1115861322.
One Day in the Life of Alexa (“Five stars! An appealing narrator and subtly powerful emotional rhythms”). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Order the beautiful trade paperback NOW IN PRINT at https://www.amazon.com/One-Life-Alexa-Lisa-Mason/dp/1546783091 or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/one-day-in-the-life-of-alexa-lisa-mason/1126431598.
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition, A Lily Modjeska Mystery (Five stars) On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.
Please visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable cat pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!
And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, WRITE A REVIEW on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it, and share the word with your family and friends.
Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

This is an article I saw on my one of screenplay websites. The article was a promotion for a movie. I didn’t like the first film, will probably not see the second.
But this—unlike the “’legendary’ how-to-write-rackets” which will charge you thousands of dollars—is free from me to you. I deleted the references to the upcoming movie. You writers probably know this already, but the principles bear repeating. As applied to screenplays, so do the principles apply to stories and novels.
Let’s begin:
12 Powerful Principles of Story Structure
In addition to the overall structure of your screenplay – the three acts, the five key turning points, and the six stages, plot structure also involves employing as many structural principles, tools, and devices as you can throughout your script (or novel or story).
1. Every scene, event, and character must contribute to the protagonist’s outer motivations.
Pick any scene and either move the protagonist closer to his/her goal of protecting the people or society, move the protagonist closer to his/her desire to win the love of another important character, or create obstacles to those goals.
2. Make each hurdle and obstacle your protagonist faces greater than the previous ones.
The conflict in your story must build, becoming greater and greater as you drive the reader toward the climax.
3. Accelerate the pace of the story.
If your story has a futuristic, faraway setting (or any complex setting), your first Act should contain the narration of that before the pace needs to be accelerated and the conflict shifted into high gear. Act 2 should contain more action and Act 3 should shift into high gear.
Amplify the emotion by creating some conflict (and the anticipation of conflict) in each scene.
4. Create peaks and valleys to the emotion.
Intersperse big action sequences with quieter scenes with your protagonist interacting with other characters or learning something new.
These moments allow the viewers/readers to catch their breath and to begin anticipating the next big conflict. They also prevent the movie (or novel or story) from becoming one monotonous action sequence.
5. Create anticipation.
Viewers and readers want to try to guess what’s going to happen next — they just don’t want to be right all the time. And while surprises and confrontations are often brief, anticipation can be prolonged almost indefinitely.
6. Give the audience superior position.
This means providing the viewer and the reader with information that some of the characters don’t have yet.
Instances of superior position create anticipation of the conflict that will result when the information we have is revealed to the characters.
7. Surprise the viewer or reader.
Viewers or readers don’t want to anticipate everything that happens in your story. Sometimes you have to jump out and go “boo!” to keep them alert and involved.
This principle is even more important in a comedy, thriller or horror film, novel, or story where reversals create humor, shock, or fear.
8. Create curiosity.
Don’t explain everything in your script, novel, or story as soon as it happens. Viewers and readers love puzzles and relish figuring out who committed the murder, how the protagonist plans to overcome the conflict, or what a character’s true motives are.
9. Foreshadow your characters’ actions and abilities.
Foreshadowing is a term for adding credibility to your story by revealing information before it seems important, which prevents your story from seeming contrived or illogical.
Introduce facts before they become critical to the story. They all add credibility to the characters’ later actions.
10. Echo situations, objects, or dialogue to illustrate character growth and change.
Repetition allows the viewer or reader to compare where the protagonist is at any given moment in your story to where he/she was the last time we encountered that particular item or phrase.
11. Pose a Threat to One of the Characters.
Remember that this principle applies to all films, novels, or stories, not just adventures and thrillers. Always force your characters to put everything on the line in the face of losing whatever is important to them, whether it’s money, a job, a loved one, dignity, acceptance, or their own destiny.
12. Compress time.
The shorter the time span of your story, the easier it is to keep the audience involved. Or give a time span to do a decisive action, you have a ticking time clock after which disaster will hit. The end of “Alien” does this very well—you hear the ship announcing “You have ten minutes to evacuate.”
There you have it, my friends.
ODDITIES: 22 Stories is on Kindle worldwide, including in the US, in the UK, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, in the Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, India, and Japan.
ODDITIES: 22 Stories is in Print as a beautiful trade paperback on November 17, 2020 in the US
, in the UK, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Japan. Now in Print in Australia
Summer of Love
(a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) is in print as a beautiful quality trade paperback in the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Japan. New! Now in Print in Australia at https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/1548106119
The Gilded Age (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) is in print in the U.S., the U.K., in France, in Germany, in Italy, in Spain, in Japan, and in Australia
The Garden of Abracadabra
(“Fun and enjoyable Urban Fantasy”) is in print in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and Japan. New! Now in Print in Australia at https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/1978148291.
ARACHNE
(“Highly recommended and very memorable.”) is in print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, in Italy, and in Japan. New! Now in Print in Australia at https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/198435602X
One Day in the Life of Alexa
(“[An] absorbing read with an appealing narrator and subtly powerful emotional rhythms.”) is in print in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and Japan. New! Now in Print in Australia at https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/1546783091
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories
(“A must-read collection—The San Francisco Review of Books) is in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, in Italy, and in Japan. New! Now in Print in Australia at https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/1981104380
Visit me at http://www.lisamason.com for all my print books, ebooks, stories, interviews, round tables, cute cat pictures, the bespoke artwork and studio jewelry of Tom Robinson, forthcoming works, and more!

In the January 24, 2022 issue of The New Yorker appears a fascinating article, Bambi before the Disney classic, “Eat Prey Love” by Kathryn Schultz. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/01/24/bambi-is-even-bleaker-than-you-thought
Disney acquired the film rights and sanitized the novel in 1942 for the classic children’s animated film, “Bambi”, still the highest gross animated film ever Disney produced. Still the Disney film remains one that Stephen King has said “is the first horror movie I ever saw at the age of eight” and still frightens children today.
The novel, “Bambi: A Life in the Woods” was written and published in 1922 by Austro-Hungarian writer Felix Salten. The novel is much more violent and much bloodier than the film.
Salten was a complicated person (he was a hunter of deer, for one thing) and a complicated writer (who wrote children’s books and hard-core pornography and everything in-between). I won’t summarize his life; you have to go check out the article.
Critics have analyzed the novel of “Bambi” to be Man (a term Salten consistently employed and “He” always capitalized) versus Nature. Some critics have analyzed the novel to be the Jews’ persecution in Europe in the early twentieth century culminating in the rise of Nazi Germany.
Salten was an Austro-Hungarian Jew.
Highly recommended for readers interested in literature and classic films.
So you there have it, my friends.
ODDITIES: 22 Stories is on Kindle worldwide, including in the US, in theUK, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, in theNetherlands, Mexico, Brazil, India, and Japan.
ODDITIES: 22 Stories is in Print as a beautiful trade paperback on November 17, 2020 in the US
, in theUK, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Japan. Now in Print in Australia
Summer of Love
(a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) is in print as a beautiful quality trade paperback in the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Japan.
The Gilded Age (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) is in print in the U.S., the U.K., in France, in Germany, in Italy, in Spain, in Japan, and in Australia
The Garden of Abracadabra
(“Fun and enjoyable Urban Fantasy”) is in print in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and Japan.
ARACHNE
(“Highly recommended and very memorable.”) is in print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, in Italy, and in Japan.
One Day in the Life of Alexa
(“[An] absorbing read with an appealing narrator and subtly powerful emotional rhythms.”) is in print in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and Japan.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories (“A must-read collection—The San Francisco Review of Books) is in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, in Italy, and in Japan.
Visit me at http://www.lisamason.com for all my print books, ebooks, stories, interviews, round tables, cute cat pictures, the bespoke artwork and studio jewelry of Tom Robinson, forthcoming works, and more!

The September 6, 2021 issue is the Annual Food and Drink at The New Yorker. There’s a hilarious cover on the magazine, called “Food For Thought”. In the issue are plenty of reprints: a reprint of the cartoon of the cat and dog sitting at a bar, discussing their food preferences. I described the cartoon on Facebook and got plenty of posts from cat parents who saw their cats eating dog food, especially dog biscuits. There’s a one-page monograph from Nora Ephron, “The Sandwich,” about a Los Angeles deli that serves the perfect pastrami (steamed three hours) on seeded bread (deli-cooked).
There’s a story, “Grub”, about people in the first world who eat bugs—plenty of people in the third world do—and how plenty of people won’t, even though eating bugs is easier on the world ecosystem (crickets, which have good protein, don’t require rainforests to be cut down). People in France used to consider lobster to be “bugs” and they wouldn’t eat them. Now lobster is a gourmet treat in France. Husband Tom calls my beloved shrimp “sea bugs”. I don’t like to think about that when I’m eating shrimp.
Have you ever eaten bugs? I never have, but Husband Tom has. He tasted grasshoppers from France (of all places!) in a jar (they were like bacon, only different, he recalls) and once ate red ants (they were spicy, he recalls).
Ewwww!
Then there’s “Hell’s Kitchen”, by Antony Bourdain. Clearly a reprint since Bourdain is dead, by suicide. (I guess some people can’t handle fame, money, handsomeness, and something they love to do. Tragic.)
Bourdain writes about one eighteen-hour day in a frantic day in the chef’s life of Les Halles, a high-end French restaurant on Park Avenue South.
Bourdain has to plan the specials for the busy lunch and for the busier dinner hour, shop for food at the wholesale markets, wrestle an entire dead pig into the freezer, manage the various specialty cooks and the waiters, prepare orders as the bills come in, and, in all of this, swearing, swallowing aspirin, swallowing alcohol, and burning his hands.
I read and loved Bourdain’s “Kitchen Confidential” book (he took lots of drugs in those accounts, too). His advice, among other tidbits, is to eat at restaurants on Thursdays—that’s when the restaurants order fresh food for the weekend. And don’t eat at restaurants on Sunday—that’s when restaurants concoct “specials” (like a seafood omelet) for the weekend’s leftovers.
The issue is Recommended. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/09/06
ODDITIES: 22 Stories is on Kindle worldwide, including in the US
, in the UK, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, in the Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, India, and Japan.
ODDITIES: 22 Stories is in Print as a beautiful trade paperback in the US
, in the UK, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Japan. New! Now in print at Australia
CHROME is in U.S. print as a beautiful trade paperback. Also in U.K. print, in German print, in French print, in Spanish print, in Italian print, and in Japanese print. New! Now in Print in Australia
The ebook is on US Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, India Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, and Mexico Kindle.
Visit me at http://www.lisamason.com for all my books, ebooks, stories, interviews, round tables, cute pet pictures, the bespoke artwork and studio jewelry of Tom Robinson, forthcoming works, and more!

 

 

I have much to be thankful for this year, in spite of 2020 being such a horrible year. I am strong and in good health, husband Tom is strong and in good health, same for Athena our cat. I’m working on a new novel and new stories, Tom is working on new drawings, mobiles, jewelry, and sculptures, Athena is working on being adorable and keeping us happy every day. I published a novel and a second story collection that were well received. Life is good in the San Francisco Bay area.
I’m thankful that both sets of my grandparents left Europe for America at the turn of the twentieth century before the bloody Bolshevik Revolution, starting our tiny family in the U.S.A. I’m thankful that my family had nothing to do with genociding the Native Americans or with slavery—we weren’t even here.
If you want to disparage Thanksgiving or feel guilty about it, that’s on you.
I remember traveling from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to my parents’ home in Cleveland for Thanksgiving. I loved doing that. There was a relaxing, celebratory feeling unlike any other. My mother and grandmother were fabulous cooks and filled the house with delicious odors when I woke up in my old bedroom.
I love the traditional Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings. My mother served shrimp appetizer with her scrumptious homemade cocktail sauce and my grandmother would make her trademark lemon meringue pie, along with pumpkin pie.
Everyone dressed up. My parents invited several of their friends to fill out the chairs around the formal dining room table.
On my first dinner home from college, my mother’s friend was proclaiming about something or other but she kept referring to grown women as “girls”. I, a newly minted feminist at age eighteen (I was the obnoxious one), objected to her reference. She was briefly taken aback but then smiled at me and said, “Honey, when you get to my age, you’ll be glad if anyone refers to you as ‘a girl’.” She was in her mid-forties. I briefly thought she was being condescending, then smiled back. I got her point, she got mine, and the Thanksgiving feast proceeded well. I don’t remember anyone arguing about politics or having angry arguments.
In Los Angeles, Tom was having his own Thanksgiving feasts with his family. He had an Obnoxious Great-Uncle, one of the brothers of his grandmother. One Thanksgiving, the Obnoxious Great Uncle told Tom’s mother, announcing to all assembled, “Lynnie, you look like hell.” She was struggling with her weight. She took a glass salad bowl filled with salad and cracked the bowl in two on the top of the Obnoxious Great Uncle’s head. Tom’s mother was prone to fits of anger—her own mother called her “The Storm”—but I always tell Tom, “I’m on her side on this one.” The feast didn’t proceed well.
A decade later I’d gotten together with Tom and we were heading to his grandmother’s home in San Jose. I’d baked a pumpkin pie and we left in plenty of time, but the freeway traffic was hellishly slow-and-go all the way from San Francisco to San Jose. We arrived forty-five minutes late. We apologized, explained about the traffic, and the Obnoxious Great-Uncle quipped insinuatingly that we must have lingered too long in bed. I knew he was trying to bait me; I ignored him and asked Tom’s aunt what was her recipe for a dish she contributed to the dinner.
So there you have it.
What about you? Do you have any memorable moments of confrontations (or reconciliations) around the Thanksgiving table?
ODDITIES: 22 Stories is on Kindle worldwide including in the US, in the UK, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, in the Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, India, and Japan.
ODDITIES: 22 Stories is in Print as a beautiful trade paperback in the US
, in the UK, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Japan.
CHROME is in U.S. print as a beautiful trade paperback. Also in U.K. print, in German print, in French print, in Spanish print, in Italian print, and in Japanese print.
The CHROME ebook is on US Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, India Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, and Mexico Kindle.

Join my Patreon page at https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=23011206 and support me while I recover from the Attack. I’ve got lots of goodies for you—delightful stories, movie reviews, recipes, book excerpts, and more.
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Visit me at www.lisamason.com for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, blogs, round tables, adorable cat pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

8.12.20.ODD.SMLL

ODDITIES
22 Stories
Lisa Mason
Here You Enter
Yesterday
Tomorrow
& Fantasy
Coming November 17, 2020 in Print and Ebook

11.19.13cube

When you go out for dinner with a friend, how you handle the expense of your meals? Do you ask the server for separate checks? Split the bill evenly no matter what each of you ate and drank? Have one person pay the whole bill with a credit card and the other brings cash for payment of just what she ate and drank, plus her share of taxes and the tip?
If I take a friend out for her birthday, I offer to treat her and usually pay the whole bill.
What about when you go out with a group of people? If there’s a patriarch or matriarch, do you assume that person will foot the whole bill? What if your friends include a couple, a grown child and his children, and your family comprises just you and your mother? Do you split the bill evenly between the two families? Is that fair?
I’ve known about friendships that have ended over payment for dinner, and plenty of ill-will between two families for uneven group dinners.
On Facebook, people linked to software for splitting checks or paying the bill. Other people suggested you can split the bill on your cellphone. Some said they had group dinners, one would pay with his credit card and the others would pay cash for their dinner. When one person didn’t pay his share of the tax and tip, he wasn’t invited back to the group dinners.
But most preferred separate checks.
How do you handle the situation?
Coming November 17, 2020! ODDITIES: 22 Stories by Lisa Mason
Join my other patrons on my Patreon page at https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=23011206.
Leave a tip to the tip jar at PayPal to http://paypal.me/lisamasonthewriter.
Visit me at www.lisamason.com for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, blogs, roundtables, adorable cat pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!