Word Count (What I’m Writing); Updated every 2-3 Days (mostly)
- Project Ship of Shadows (Graphic Novel) Page Count: 21 (+1)
Goal = 3 Pages a week. 20/20 Pages (for artist). 21/32 pages (for completion of 1st issue)
Actual = 1/5 Pages done so far this week.
Wrote the Page that I’d rough drafted the day before. Moving along slowly. Don’t think I can finish the entire first issue by Saturday, but we’ll see.
- Whale Song Revision (Fantasy Short Story) (2nd Draft)
(Researched an article on Whaling, think that I have the two characters–a brother and a sister who are on the opposite sides of the issue. Still, no Writing so far). Need to find a place to work in revisions–I can draft new material just fine, but I don’t seem to have any time to work on “drafting” revisions.
Currently Reading (What I’m Reading); Updated Weekly (mostly)
- For Fun:
Transhuman edited by Mark L. Van Name and T. F. K. Weisskopf
Just started this anthology – it was given to me at a LibertyCon some years ago, but I’ve just now gotten around to reading it. I may not finish it/read all the stories, but so far, I’ve read the first story and liked it.
- For School:
Afrofuturism (by Ytasha Womack): This book describes the academic genre of Afrofuturism (essentially African American Science Fiction that deals with social issues in culture). I just finished Chapter 5 today and I’m at the beginning of Chapter 6 (this book has 10 chapters).
Wrote out a fairly extensive list of possible research topics to explore from chapter 5. Really intriguing book.
- For Research/Personal Development:
Great Aircraft of WWII by Alfred Price and Mike Spick (for Project Skye)
Great Aircraft of WWII is a book that I’ve had in my collection for sometime–I’ve glanced at it periodically, but never read it cover-to-cover. Now, with Project Skye, I intend to do just that.
Exit the 13 Assassins
So, even though I’d taken a Tai Chi class on this previous Saturday and even though I had this movie in my Netflix queue, I wasn’t actually going to watch this movie this past weekend. No, rather I’d intended to watch 13 Assassins, another martial arts movie on Netflix dealing with 13 Assassins who are tasked with killing a poor ruler in Japan’s feudal period. The movie was slated to go off Netflix at the beginning of the month (today as I write this post) and I’d had it in my queue for ages. However, when I sat down to watch it, it was far more violent of a movie than I really wanted at that time. There was a “hari kari” scene at the beginning of the movie and in the next 15 minutes there were two other fairly violent scenes. In short, it just wasn’t what I was looking for after a Tai Chi class and a fairly grueling drive home.
Enter the Man of Tai Chi
After debating with myself for about 5 minutes and scrolling through some more of Netflix’s martial arts movies, I decided to give Man of Tai Chi a try (I had just taken a Tai Chi class after all). It actually wasn’t all that bad. Not great, but not a train wreck either. Directed by Keanu Reeves, the movie tells the story of a young man, who is outstanding in the ways of Tai Chi as a martial art, but not so great in understanding Tai Chi’s philosophy. The protagonist (who is not Keanu Reeves, by the way, although Keanu does star as in the movie as the primary villain/antagonist role) of the movie is ‘Tiger’ Chen Lin Hu played by an actor named Tiger Hu Chen who I’ve not seen before but who is expressive in that earnest and determined “Peter Parker” sort of way that many actors are able to bring out in their performances. The movie follows “Tiger’s” descent into the abandonment of Tai Chi ideals by using Tai Chi to fight in tournaments and later, for money.
A Real World Martial Arts Movie
Set in today’s world (the movie was released in 2013 according to IMDB, although I don’t remember if there are dates in the story–I don’t think so, but I could be wrong). This movie takes place in China/Hong Kong and throws a light bit of police procedural in along with the martial arts with a young female detective who is trying to crack the case of this underground fighting circuit even though her boss is telling her not waste her time. As mentioned, Keanu Reeves’ character tempts and corrupts “Tiger’s” character until he is at the breaking point. I will mention that the final fight scene is vaguely reminiscent of the initial Morpheus and Neo “training” scene where Morpheus shows Neo the Matrix for the 1st time. To be clear, it ISN’T their first fight scene I’m referencing, but the first time they “jack” into the “training” simulation. The fights, while stylishly correographed, lack a bit of polish that would have elevated them from good into the great arena (especially the final, climatic battle). There is a master who sees “Tiger’s” character going over to the “dark side” and tries to use Tai Chi philosophy to stop it and their was a Tai Chi move used in the movie that my friend and I had practiced earlier that day, but mostly the movie was a typical martial arts movie.
Still, I enjoyed it all the more for its earnest main character and the fact that it at least genuflected (or bowed in this case) in the direction of Tai Chi as a healing art, not as a destructive one.
Overall Grade: B-
Yes, I’m being a bit generous here–it is a typical martial arts movie and nothing special. However, I like the way the actor transitioned from earnest to “hard” and I’d had the Tai Chi class earlier in the day, so I feel a bit generous and lenient towards this than I might have otherwise.
- Read Faerie Knight in the anthology Fae, Rhonda Parrish, Ed. or the Kindle Edition
- Read Ship of Shadows in the anthology Visions IV: Space Between Stars, Carrol Fix, Ed. or the Kindle Edition.
- Read WarLight in the anthology Visions VI: Galaxies, Carrol Fix, Ed. or the Kindle Edition.
- Read Dragonhawk in the magazine Tales of the Talisman, Vol. 8, Iss. 3, David Lee Summers, Ed. or the Kindle Edition.
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