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Hypothetical Action Heroine Movie

Every now and again, the meme below shows up on Facebook.  (I think it’s originally from Tumblr.)

Jeremy Renner Bourne Ultimatum I reposted it on my FB page, and some friends and I got into a fantasy casting game.

Do action movies know they can have more than one female character?

Someone should make an action movie with all girls except for one guy and have no explanation or mention of it in the movie and then pay all of the actors to act surprised like they’d never noticed when they get the inevitable storm of questions.

This one male must have a shower scene, be saved by the protagonist at least once, and fall in love with a lead female.

Also these women all need to be capable of both kicking ass and killing people with guns as well as cleaning up nicely and doing recon at a charity event while the one male character seduces a rich person.

I petition this male character is played by Jeremy Renner.


AD:  I petition for the female lead to be played by Claudia Christian.

Claudia Christian
SM:  How about Gina Torres as her sidekick?
Gina Torres
LM:  And Michelle Forbes is the leader of whatever group these women belong to.
Michelle Forbes
SM: My son suggests Dame Maggie Smith, as a field agent, not as the agency’s director.
Maggie Smith
SM: My husband suggests Renée Felice Smith as one of the agents.
renee-felice-smith

SM: I concur with his suggestion and would add Katharine McPhee (who must, at some point in the movie, sing as part of her cover).

 Katharine McPhee
SM: The bad guys should be a mother/daughter team: France Nuyen as the leader of KAOS or Smersh or Thrush or whatever;
France Nuyen St. Elsewhere
Jadyn Wong as her top field agent (who we don’t learn is her daughter until halfway through the film).
is-actress-jadyn-wong-dating-someone-know-about-her-affairs-relationship-and-affairs
AD: And Grace Park, somehow. With a nice, meaty role, to show CBS what they let get away.
170706140124-grace-park-hawaii-five-0-medium-plus-169

SM: She should be a good guy. It would look bad if all the villains were Asian or Eurasian.

 Grace-Park w rifle
 LM:  Michelle Gomez would make a great baddie too.
Michelle Gomez
 JL:  Angela Bassett and Nicole Beharie MUST be in this movie!
Angela Bassett
nicole-beharie-sleepy-hollow-season-3
CK: Jeremy Renner? I can’t say “meh” hard enough.

Jeremy Renner Wind River

Also, where is Olivia Spencer in this cast?

SM:  You’re male. Renner is beefcake for the ladies, not for the menfolk.
Olivia (Potluck) Spencer or Olivia (Flushed) Spencer? There appear to be two.
Olivia Spencer (Flushed)
 (Although I could only find a picture of the one in Flushed).
CK: I meant Octavia Spencer, in fact. I would enjoy seeing her pistol-whipping bozos who tread on her very last nerve.
Octavia Spencer TBBT
 SM: After seeing Thor: Ragnarok, I want to add Tessa Thompson to the list of secret agents.Tessa Thompson Thor Ragnarok
JB:  Renner would totally do it.
Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye
SM: Okay, we have the casting. Now we need a plot.

JL suggested this was similar to the Ghostbusters reboot.  JB said it reminded him of the Charlie’s Angels movies (not the ’70s TV show).

So Michelle Forbes (Ensign Ro Laren from Star Trek: The Next Generation) is leader of an alphabet soup agency headquartered in Washington or New York City. or Los Angeles.  Her agency has several response teams, with male and female agents.  This particular team has more women than men; other teams are more equally divided.
Claudia Christian (Susan Ivanova from Babylon 5 is team leader, with Gina Torres (Zoe Washburn from Firefly) as her number two.  Other team members include Dame Maggie Smith (Minerva McGonagall from the Harry Potter movies) as an experienced agent who refuses to retire, Renée Felice Smith (Nell Jones from NCIS: LA), Katharine McPhee (Paige Dineen from Scorpion),  Octavia Spencer (Dorothy Vaughan from Hidden Figures) and Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton from The Avengers). A seven-person team fits into the basic storyteller six-pack with very little trouble.
Renner’s character needs vital information from a multi-millionaire industrialist, so he must seduce Angela Bassett (Queen Ramonda in Black Panther) and/or her daughter Nicole Beharie (Abbie Mills in Sleepy Hollow) to get it.  He is uncomfortable doing so, because of his crush on Claudia Christian’s character.
Michelle Gomez (Missy in Doctor Who) is the leader of another alphabet soup agency, more a rival than an antagonist.  Her top agents are Grace Park (Kono Kalakaua in Hawaii 5-0) and Tessa Thompson (Charlotte Hale in Westworld).  Perhaps her token male agent is Tom Hiddleston (Loki in The Avengers).  Perhaps she’s the head of a British or international organization and Forbes’ character is the head of an American agency.  But she and her people are after the same thing that Claudia Christian’s team  is after.
Loki in Thor Ragnarok
France Nuyen (Elaan of Troyius from Star Trek) is the leader of a mercenary operation,  She’s not out to rule the world (too much paperwork) or to put her nation at the top of the global food chain.  (She is completely devoid of patriotism.)  She just wants to make a profit and has very few scruples how she does so.  Her best field agent (and daughter) is Jadyn Wong (Happy Quinn from Scorpion).  They are no relation to Grace Park’s character.  There are millions of Asians in the world and not all  of them are related, or even from the same country.
I would love to use Ellie Botterill (Princess Theodora from A Crown for Christmas) in this hypothetical movie, either as a kidnapped child genius, or a runaway princess,  or Gomez’s daughter or Dame Maggie’s granddaughter.
ellie botterill
What is the MacGuffin?  What are all these spies and mercenaries trying to find?  Who are the characters?  Yes, fantasy casting gives you faces and voices, but what are their personalities and skill sets?  Just because Renée Felice Smith plays a computer expert on her current show doesn’t mean she might not be the linguist or the medic on this team.  Renner might be the hacker  instead of the marksman. Is Dame Maggie Smith’s character an Englishwoman on an American spy squad, or is she a Texan who fakes a really good British accent?  Was she, perhaps, an English spy who married an American spy, and was she once Gomez’ mentor before coming to the US with her husband?
This is a better outline than most of my writing projects have.  All we have to do is flesh out a few measly details, write a script, and find a generous patron willing to provide the money to produce.  Easy-peasy.
collage-2017-12-27 (1)
Disclaimer:  the photographic images were borrowed from IMDB.com or Google Images.  There is no intent to defraud the photographers.  This blog is an amateur writing exercise, and no profit has been made from it (nor is likely to be made from it.)  I made the collage above, using http://www.photocollage.com
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Writing Tips: Are You Writing for the Right Reasons? — a guest post by Andrew Timothy Post

I found this interesting, and I thought you might like to read it, too.  This is a guest blog from Andrew Timothy Post, who is a SFFH writer.  After reading this article about motivation and learning, I found Mr. Post’s article on motivation and writing useful.

Of course, my favorite motivational quotation for writing has always been Dr. Samuel Johnson‘s “No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money.”  I confess, two of my favorite hobbies are eating and sleeping indoors.

Too many people confuse their own enthusiasm for confidence and determination. Then the going gets rough, the fear closes in, and what was once fun becomes a chore.

via Writing Tips: Are You Writing for the Right Reasons? — Andrew Timothy Post, Writer

Sci-fi, Speculative Fiction and the Problem When Imagination Erases Race

As a WASP science fiction and fantasy writer who wants to do better, I found this article by Stephen Farnsworth both interesting and useful. Maybe you’ll find it useful, too.

A guest blog by Stephen Farnsworth, from Stand Up Magazine.

The political magazine empowering millennials

When authors are more likely to show aliens than people of colour, and creators of colour rarely get platforms, speculative fiction is failing its audience – and its potential.


Speculative fiction is a genre of wonder and possibilities. Within it, fantasy, supernatural stories, and sci-fi flourish. It has brought infinite joy (and almost as much cash). Whether it’s Twilight, Harry Potter, Mass Effect, Overwatch, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, The Walking DeadLost – the list of popular titles that have dominated pop-culture are endless. Yet, a genre that is determined by its creativity must be considered failing when only some creators are given opportunities, and only the same people are represented.

At least in film, the universe of speculative fiction appears to be changing. Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time are finally offering some diversity in a genre that…

View original post 1,521 more words

Happy Birthday to Bill Nye, the Science Guy!

Dr. William S. Nye was born November 27, 1955, in Washington, DC, making November 27, 2017, his sixty-second birthday.  Happy Birthday to Bill Nye, the Science Guy!

Bill Nye is a science advocate.  He is a science educator.  He is also an engineer, an inventor, an author, a scriptwriter, a producer, and a comedian.  He has (at last count) six honorary doctorates, although the highest degree he earned was a BS in mechanical engineering.  He has, of course, never stopped learning.

Bill Nye is most famous for his television show Bill Nye the Science Guy, which from 1993 to 1998 taught scientific principles to children and their parents.

Now, when our president claims climate change is nothing but a Chinese hoax, it’s more important than ever to study and understand science.  Bill Nye considers scientific illiteracy a clear and present danger to our nation.  DVDs of Bill Nye the Science Guy episodes are available for sale through the Disney Movie Club.  Dr. Nye can also be heard on Planetary Radio Sundays on Krypton Radio.

Our country is the only country in the world that has some people that don’t believe in evolution. America is still the leader in scientific advancement, and yet we have adults who want to ignore the evidence of millions and millions of years to believe something much more complicated and complex with zero proof. It’s important that our children are raised to be educated, well-rounded tax paying citizens that understand the importance of technology and science. If you’re an adult and you choose not to believe in science, fine, but please don’t prevent your children from learning about it and letting them draw their own conclusions. I think in 30-40 years this won’t even be an issue, but right now it’s a major concern for a country that has a significant amount of adults raising children to ignore the facts and the evidence surrounding them about our universe, our creation and our well-being.  (emphasis added)

Bill Nye attended Cornell University, where Carl Sagan was his astronomy professor.  Years later, he met up with Dr. Sagan and told him that he was planning a children’s science and technology show.

“I mentioned how I planned to talk about bridges and bicycles and so on—stuff that, as an engineer, I’d been interested in—and he said, ‘Focus on pure science. Kids resonate to pure science rather than technology.’ And that turned out to be great advice.”

In his personal life, Bill Nye is a baseball fan and an avid swing dancer.  His favorite teams are the Seattle Mariners and the Washington Nationals.  He’s done experiments to demonstrate the physics of baseball.  In addition to appearing on Stargate: Atlantis and The Big Bang Theory as himself, he was also a contestant on Dancing with the Stars.  Of his many patents, most are for dancing shoes.

Nye has written two best-selling books on science: Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation in 2014 and Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World in 2015.  He is also the author of Everything All at Once:  How to Unleash Your Inner Nerd, Tap into Radical Curiosity, and Solve Any Problem (whew, that’s a mouthful), Bill Nye the Science Guy’s Big Blast of Science, Bill Nye the Science Guy’s Great Big Book of Tiny Germsand several others.


MAT Spelled Correctly

I have written a children’s book, R is for Renaissance Faire, and have contributed a story to Alternative Truths and a song to More Alternative TruthsBooks make great Christmas/Hanukkah/Solstice gifts.  Consider buying books for your loved ones this holiday season.  Bill Nye’s books, my books, Juliette Douglas‘ books, Jefferson P. Swycaffer‘s books.  Buy a book.  Fight ignorance.  Read.

Susan Murrie with her children's  book

 

Win a Book!

More Alternative Truths was released on Veterans Day in the USA and Remembrance Day in the UK and the British Commonwealth.  That was Saturday.  Today is Monday, and already the Amazon statistics on sales are amazing.

I confess I am in shock and awe at these statistics after only a few days.
Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, food
Author Debora Godfrey with a cake to celebrate the release of More Alternative Truths.
Would you like to win a copy of More Alternative Truths?  Here’s how:
Click on this link to enter the contest.
Here’s the Table of Contents, so you can get an idea what you’d be winning (if you’re the lucky winner).

Foreword David Gerrold 9
Orangemandias Adam-Troy Castro 19
The Right Man for the Job K.G. Anderson 20
I Am A Woman Jane Yolen 34
How Dangerous is Republican manic-depressive disease? Both bipolar phases are destructive, but the manic ones kill? David Brin 36
Drafting the President Lou J Berger 44
Dr. Republican’s Monster Jim Wright 54
A Letter from the Federal Women’s Prison Stephanie L. Weippert 57
One of the Lucky Ones Wondra Vanian 64
A Beautiful Industry Stuart Hardy 72
Queens Crossing Lou Antonelli 83
Small Courages Eric M. Witchey 93
The Nompers Rebecca Mix
The Ten Commandments Renegotiated Jim Wright and Bobby Lee Featherston 104
Illegal Citizens Irene Radford 113
During the Lockdown, After the Lockdown Michael Haynes 126
A Sonnet on Truth Philip Brian Hall 136
The Diplomatic Thing Esther Friesner 137
The Politicians Mike Resnick 154
A Modest Proposal for the Perfection of Nature Vonda N. McIntyre 176
Conspiracy of Silence Philip Brian Hall 180
HMO Karen L. Frank 189
Being Donald Trump Bruno Lombardi 202
America Once Beautiful Brad Cozzens 220
America First Tais Teng 221
Final Delivery Kerri-Leigh Grady 237
No Tanks Jane Yolen 253
Treasures Rebecca McFarland Kyle 254
Remembering the Bowling Green Massacre Steve Weddle 272
Tweetstorm Edd Vick and Manny Frishberg 274
The Tinker’s Damn Edward Ahern 283
Wishcraft.com Elizabeth Ann Scarborough 286
A Woman Walks Into a Bar Jill Zeller 302
America Year Zero Gwyndyn T. Alexander 312
Future Perfect V. E. Mitchell 314
How to Recognize a Shapeshifting Lizardman (Or Woman) Who Has Been Appointed to a High-Ranking Government Cabinet Position Kurt Newton 321
I Didn’t Say That Jane Yolen 323
Non-White in America Debora Godfrey 324
Desperate Resolve John A Pitts 332
You are Weighed in the Balance Rivka Jacobs 341
Priorities C. A Chesse 352
The Healer Melinda LaFevers 354
Triple R Presents Colin Patrick Ennen 365
Donald, Where’s Your Taxes? Susan Murrie Macdonald and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough 368
A Spider Queen in Every Home Mike Morgan 370
Trickster Times Jane Yolen 397

Or watch this video by Stuart Hardy.  That’ll give you a good idea what the book’s about, too.

If you’re not the lucky winner, go to Amazon or your local bookstore to buy a copy.  It’s roughly $9 for the e-book or $17 for the paperback in the US, or £13 in the UK.

Ghosts, aliens, robots, silly, sad, serious, scary — More Alternative Truths is over 400 pages of political satire, science fiction, and fantasy from some of the best SF/F authors in the USA, the UK, Canada, and the Netherlands.  (Oh, and I’m in there, too.)

People of MAT: Steve Weddle

(yet another guest blog from More Alternative Truths editor Bob Brown)

Steve Weddle

As we’ve said from the beginning. More Alternative Truths is more than paper. It is people. One of those is Steve Weddle, who holds an MFA in creative writing from Louisiana State University. His debut novel, Country Hardball, is published in North America by Simon and Schuster. The follow-up to Country Hardball, “South of Bradley,” appeared in the November 2015 issue of Playboy magazine.

But there is so much more. Without Steve, we might not be asking ourselves the question of “where.”  Steve brings the images to print like few authors can. You can feel the pain of those who suffered most in this tragic remembrance of one of America’s greatest tragedies.

 

Steve Weedle has had several stories in Needle Magazine.  He is the author of “Remembering the Bowling Green Massacre” in More Alternative Truths.

People of MAT: Phyllis Irene Radford

More Alternative Truths, coming November 11, from B Cubed Press, is more than a book. It is people.

Irene Radford is one of the stars of the Alternative Truth universe.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, eyeglasses, selfie and closeup

Her bio says a lot.

Irene Radford is the daughter of a sailor man who saw the Far East before the skyscrapers buried the mysterious orient in western glass and steel. He brought home the stories of other worlds and forever changed the perspective of his petite bookworm of a daughter. Now, grown into a leading voice in F&SF as both a writer and editor she passes on this gift of the story, bringing perspectives that not only span her own life, but the generations of storytellers that preceded her.

But there is so much more to Irene Radford than seeing her would tell you. On the surface you see sparkle of intellect in her eyes, the body of a dancer and if she blesses you with conversation, you will find the soul of a wanderer. And those are the obvious traits. The real jewels are hidden deeper.

I met Irene, Phyl to her friends, driving her to a school visit in a tiny school district where a writer coming to visit was a big deal. Her warmth came out. She spent time talking books with the librarian and each of the students she encountered left that day knowing little more about what was possible if you wanted to write. If this tiny grandmother could soar in the New York publishing world, so could they.

I could tell stories for hours. The dancing in the fountain, the tears of pain and coping when her mother died. The fight to stay on top, and not slide into obscurity. The tireless work ethic that has her working on two to three books at any given time while squeezing in short stories and editing gigs on the side.

Phyl didn’t just show up as the editor of a best selling anthology, she made a best selling anthology with her heart and her vision. She is the core of this project, she carries its soul inside of her and it could not have happened without her.

She has spent the last 193 days working every day on Alternative Truths and yet she is preparing a release party for her new book, A Spoonful of Magic, blogging on her blog the “The Cranky Old Crone, and preparing for the February release of her new series, Tricksters Dance, book one of the Trance Dancer series. All while putting out two short stories on the side.

She is a tireless and wonderful woman, a creative spirit, and magical part of my life.  I am pleased to call my friend.  (written by Bob Brown)

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, tree and outdoor
 As Phyllis Irene Radford, she is the editor of Alternative Truths and More Alternative Truths.  As Irene Radford, she is the author of “Illegal Citizens.”

People of MAT: Philip Brian Hall

More Alternative Truths, coming November 11, from B Cubed Press, is more than a book. It is people.  Not all those people are American citizens.

Image result for union jack flag

More Alternative Truths has the most interesting writers on the planet: Meet Philip Brian Hall.  He’s a Yorkshireman and a graduate of Oxford University. A former diplomat and teacher, at one time or another he’s stood for Parliament, sung solos in amateur operettas, rowed at Henley Royal Regatta, completed a 40 mile cross-country walk in under 12 hours, and ridden in over one hundred steeplechase horse races. Mr. Hall now lives on a very small farm in Scotland, but once upon a time he lived in an English village, not unlike the setting of “Conspiracy of Silence.”

Philip Brian Hall is the author of “Conspiracy of Silence” and “A Sonnet on Truth,” both of which will appear in More Alternative Truths.

People of MAT: Gwyndyn Alexander

More Alternative Truths, coming November 11, from B Cubed Press, is more than a book. It is people.

One of them is Gwyndyn T. Alexander, author of “America, Year Zero.”

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, sitting and indoor

Gwyndyn Alexander is the real thing, a mega ohm resister.

With the advent of the Age of Trump she has dedicated herself to the Resistance.

Up to her neck in the work associated with the various grass roots organizations, she is putting her self out there in the struggle to retain voting rights, spreading truth to counter the deluge of lies from the White Supremacist House, and working locally both to elect sane and normal human beings, and to help local charities to fill in the gaps of care.

But wait, there is more to offset the insanity of being a thinking person in a sometimes unthinking society, she channels energy into creating fabulous feather costume pieces and accessories, because the options were that, or heavy drinking.

She even has her own Etsy store, and found a way to mesh her obsessions by donating creations to political and charitable fundraisers.


She can be found, these days, railing savagely on Twitter against the tide of cartoon villainy that is destroying our country, ( @GwynTAlexander), or helping people get in touch with their inner Miss Fisher with her fabulous feathers (Feather In Your Cap NOLA on Etsy.)

Be the parade you want to see in the world!

B Cubed Is glad to have Gwyndyn Alexander on board and looks forward to introducing you to the other writers who are going to make this volume a must have.

People of MAT: Melinda LaFevers

More Alternative Truths, coming November 11, from B Cubed Press, is more than a book. It is people.

One of our authors is Melinda LaFevers, who wrote “The Healer.”

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing

We asked her for some background on her story and here’s what she said:

“Hmmmm.

My father was a wise man. A sociologist, he studied mankind and society for well over 70 years – he was in his mid 80s when he passed. He was very able to predict the future, based on the past. I was told about race riots well before Ferguson, class riots long before Occupy Wall Street, and police assassinations two full years before Dallas. He also predicted the refugee situation in Europe – and when that started making the news, he looked at me and said “I really thought we had another generation to go before this happened.”

He made two predictions that have yet to happen: He said that if Trump was elected, America would go up in flames. He did not know if it would be internal revolution, or if Trump would get us involved in a war. He also said that my knowledge of medicinal plants would make me a valuable commodity “soon.” That last statement scares me.

While he passed away before Trump was elected, with the accuracy my father had in his other predictions – well, let’s just say I am continuing to study about plants and their properties.

My story, “The Healer,” is, in a way, a tribute to my father, and was inspired by his predictions.

One more thing: mullein has been scientifically shown to have a compound that acts as a bronchial dilator, so its traditional use for bronchitis and chest congestion has been scientifically verified. Plantain seeds are known to lower blood sugar, and studies are currently being conducted on its properties.”

Please get a copy of this anthology so you can read her powerful story.


Melinda was kind enough to do a guest blog for me in September. She performs at Mid-South Renaissance Faire, where I volunteer as Lady Marbury and Goodwife Slocombe.
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