Book Review: As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From The Making of The Princess Bride

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Book two of 2019 is one that my hubby gave me for a gift last year. I’ve crossed off ‘A book that makes you feel nostalgic’ on my  reading challenge . It was the perfect gift. before I get into my review, I should say a few things.

First, The Princess Bride Came out when I was five. I watched it at least five hundred times, if not more. I can recite dialogue as it is being said, (or randomly with friends). This movie made me fall in love with fantasy, pirates, princesses and whimsical worlds. It has gotten me through illnesses (including the WORST FLU EVER, when I watched it 9 times in one week). It is the movie I pick up when I am blue, when I am happy or whenever I just want to relive the story of Westly and Buttercup.

I have read the book, which sits proudly on my bookshelf. I own the board game, and am planning a tattoo. So when Mr. C gave me this book, I fell in love with him even more. Because that man just gets me.

From actor Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in The Princess Bride, comes a first-person account and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic film filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob Reiner.

The Princess Bride has been a family favorite for close to three decades. Ranked by the American Film Institute as one of the top 100 Greatest Love Stories and by the Writers Guild of America as one of the top 100 screenplays of all time, The Princess Bride will continue to resonate with audiences for years to come.

Cary Elwes was inspired to share his memories and give fans an unprecedented look into the creation of the film while participating in the twenty-fifth anniversary cast reunion. In As You Wish he has created an enchanting experience; in addition to never-before seen photos and interviews with his fellow cast mates, there are plenty of set secrets, backstage stories, and answers to lingering questions about off-screen romances that have plagued fans for years!

With a foreword by Rob Reiner and a limited edition original poster by acclaimed artist Shepard Fairey, As You Wish is a must-have for all fans of this beloved film.

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This book is a MUST HAVE for any fan of the film. Cary writes about all aspects of making the film, including when he was cast, the table reading, meeting his fellow cast mates, how he injured himself on set: twice, preparing for the duel, and the last day of filming.

He tells stories of what it was like having Billy Crystal on set, the night he went for drinks with Andre the Giant and how the film became a classic

There are also inserts from many people who worked with him, giving their take on the movie, different things that happened and how the film affected them.

I devoured this book, and I am so pleased that Cary Elwes wrote it. It will sit on my bookshelf, right next to my copy of The Princess Bride. Now if you will excuse me, I think it is time for me to watch the best film ever made.

What film(s) have affected you? Which one got you through rough patches or made you fall in love with new worlds?

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Book Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

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Ready Player One is my first read of the New Year, and it also crosses ‘A Book You Meant To Read In 2018’ off of my list from Pop Sugars reading challenge.

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In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

I don’t know what I love more about this book: the fact there’s so much 80’s jam packed into this, or the geeky goodness. I’m an 80’s girl. I love the movies, music and the decade as a whole. Growing up in it made me the nerd I am today. So I loved reading a book that took me down memory lane.

The book is pretty freakin good, in my opinion.

Wade is a believable character, and I found myself feeling for him and rooting for him from the beginning. From living in poverty, to trying to escape reality and escape what his life is by winning the big contest, he has a lot on his plate. The futuristic setting is also very realistic. I often wonder what living will be like in the future, with an every growing population. The stacks described a scary view of what living may look like. Technology keeps progressing and the OASIS sounds like something that could very well come to pass.

The OASIS is an intriguing thing, but shows the dangers of technology.  People spend most of their time hooked up in a virtual reality world. Some to escape their crapping real life, or for other reasons, like making money or friends.

I also loved the supporting characters. I’m a sucker for any type of ragtag group, even if they weren’t working together.

When Wade is searching for the first clue to the key and passing the gate, I felt like I was playing the game with him. At one point and let out a “Yes!” as his points on the big scoreboard increased. Maybe it is the gamer in me, but I loved reading about every point he earned and every time he unlocked a clue and found a key.

Of coarse every story, especially in a world where fortune is involved, has to have a Big Bad. In this case a corrupt and evil corporation that wants to win so they can own the OASIS and do whatever they please with it.

I did find the novel to be too wordy. Long descriptions were used in places I (personally) didn’t think necessary. Aside from that though, I pretty much loved every aspect of this book. It was a really fun read.

 

Breaking it Down: Writing Goals for 2019

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The last few days I have been thinking about what I want/hope to accomplish this year in my writing life. At the end of the day (well, year) I’m not going to beat myself up over what I didn’t do.

I’ll be honest, at times I feel like a total fraud or impostor. I’ve mentioned that before but I figured out a (small) part of why. There are times when I don’t write. I don’t mean for a few days or weeks. I mean months. On end. And how can I can myself a writer when I don’t write? (In my defense, I am always dreaming up of new stories and characters…but I end up staring at a blank page or blinking cursor.)

So, my goals for the year will help me to create more. That’s the real goal. So here is my personal break down.

10 minutes a day: Thanks to a FB group I’m in called 10 Minute Novelists, I decided to do just that: write ten minutes a day. No pressure or stress. Surely out of a twenty-four hour period I can find ten minutes to write. There will be days when I don’t manage it, but that’s okay. Life happens. During my minimum of ten minutes, I will work on my current WIP, a new story or blog post.

Get Organized: I have many notes, scraps of paper and old writing journals that I need to get together. Figure out what ideas I want to work on and put the rest in the maybe later pile. I have a partial ‘series bible’ for my Lily and Quinn series. I’ll sort out and re-write it and add to it. It’s a project I keep meaning to get to but procrastination tends to be my best friend.

Blogging: I did really well last year being here, but I did drop off. (Life happened) Part of my problem is sometimes I don’t know what to write here. So I am going to brainstorm some writing and nerdy topics to help keep me going. Writing, book reviews and maybe an author interview or two is on the list. What would you like to see here? 🙂

Nanowrimo/Camp Nano: I did camp nano last spring and really enjoyed it. It’s a lot more flexible then Nanowrimo. But I plan to partake in both these events, and start a brand new shiny project come November.

Writing Retreat: On several occasions, myself and some female writing buddies have done our own little retreat. The last time was 2 years ago and I am thinking we are due for another. The weekend is full of writing, talking about our projects/aspects of writing, as well as wine and snacks. 😉 It’s a fun weekend with loads of laughs and I come home with progress on whatever project I took with me.

So, those are my writing goals for the year. What are yours? What do you hope to finish?

New Year, New Goals

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Last year I decided to set myself some goals for 2018. Get back to reading, increase how often I write, etc… I wanted to make another list for goals for 2019 and try to improve upon what I managed to do this year. There are some personal things I want to work on, but they won’t be on this list. They aren’t resolutions, just changes I want to make, and not because its the time of year everyone tries to improve themselves. These are things I want to do anyway.

So, here is my new goal list for 2019!

The Book Pile: I didn’t reach my goal of reading 15 books in 2018. I had some personal life crap that put me off of doing much. I can’t read or focus well when I am stressed. But I did get 9 or 10 under my belt, discovered a new author and binged on some great books. This year I am attempting to tackle this reading challenge from Pop Sugar. Right off the top when I read this list I have at least 11 books on my shelf that fit for it. I plan to set my goal again for 15 books, and hopefully this time I will reach it at the very least.

Blogging: I will be blogging book reviews again, writing topics and the like. I would like to make a schedule but instead I will aim for writing once or twice a week.

Writing:  One thing I really want to improve is how much I write and work on my projects. I want to spend at least 10 minutes a day writing. Which is better then what I do now. There are times I go months without writing, and I really want to change that. Plus I have too many plots in my head that need to come out. You know, to make room for more ideas I can’t keep up with. 😉

Other stuff: When I was looking back on my Facebook photos the other day, I forgot how fun this year was. From comic con to a mini road trip with my mom and sister, the good outweighed the bad. I want to keep that up. I have a few ideas for this year that I hope pan out. I also have small projects I want to get at, like some crafts and I have stacks of photos that need to be organized.

So, do you have any goals for the year? If so what is on your list?