Monday, October 27, 2014

Top Dog Billing – My Top Fifteen Favorite Movies

The Glitter Globe with S. R. Karfelt

Other writers have told me what readers really want from a story is an experience. Maybe that’s why some of my favorite books and movies aren’t really about the plot as much as those moments in the story when I feel transported. For me that can happen if the story takes me on a mini vacation or if it allows me to spend some time in my ideal kitchen hanging with a movie friend.

There was a tag post going around social media asking if you could only watch the same fifteen movies for the rest of your life, what would they be? Usually I don’t do tag posts—there’s always a novel waiting to be finished around here. (Seriously you would not believe the situation I’ve left Kahtar in.) But this time I wanted to play along. Maybe it’s therapeutic to consider what draws me to these movies and why. These aren’t in any particular order, because it would depend on my mood at the moment.

  1. Soldier, with Kurt Russell. There is one brief scene between Kurt and actress Connie Nielsen that I think is the most romantic moment in cinematic history, plus it’s just that much awesome. There are children raised to be merciless killing machines, and pioneer space travelers who’ve crashed and built a community on a planet that is an intergalactic garbage dump visited only by drones. Let’s mix those soldiers with the space travelers and see what happens.
  2. Cairo Time. Little indie movie. I could watch this over and over. It’s low-key and quiet, possibly cryptic at times, but it takes place in Egypt and I just like to go there with the main characters. I can’t help but respect respect. (That wasn’t a typo.)
  3. Pride and Prejudice A&E Version, because it sticks to the book like I wouldn’t have thought possible, although Matthew Macfadyen is a dream of a Darcy in the newer one. When a book you really love becomes a movie you really love, well, it’s so rare and so wonderful, but when the story unfolds just like it did in the book—that’s just magic.
  4. The Hobbit. Yeah, I know how purists feel, I love the book too, but I adore the movie—the singing, the quest, Thorin, Bilbo, the dragon—l.o.v.e. It’s adventure it’s fun, and this is my pure escapism recent favorite.
  5. Easy A. The dialogue. Oh my word. They hired writers that write dialogue! Thank you! It’s a teenage angst movie crossed with Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlett Letter, and it’s simply a clever (thank you again!) shrewd take on high school problems, and the relationships portrayed are both witty and sharp without ever sliding into mean. What a breath of fresh air!
  6. Ten Things I Hate About You. See my comments above about dialogue. This is Taming of the Shrew in the way that Clueless was Emma. It’s so good. I love the interaction between the single father and his daughters, and the high school principal and her students.
  7. You’ve Got Mail. Why? Is it the Ryan-Hanks chemistry? Mostly, it’s the Shop Around the Corner bookstore. I watch this when I’m sick. I have soup in Kathleen Kelly’s way-too-big-to-be-NYC apartment and I miss her mother. It’s the fuzzy blankie for the brain.
  8. Star Man. Jeff Bridges, Karen Allen. I don’t know why, but I just do. We have an innocent alien, a kind-hearted tough earthling, and a government agency mucking things up. Sometimes I wish for a good remake of this. (I think there was television series that spun off this way back when, I never saw it.)
  9. The Terminator. There. I’ve said it. Out loud. I feel like when I admitted to liking the Twilight book. Out loud. For this one I like the world building, the action, the whole man against the machine, and I’ve always wanted a poster of that shot when Arnold arrives on earth. Yeah. I said that out loud too.
  10. It’s Complicated. The kitchen. Pasadena. I just like to look at this movie! It’s funny how a movie will grab me like this—and it’s almost exclusively because it is so visually appealing. There’s another movie I like due almost entirely to the kitchen (Practical Magic). It’s not like I spend much time in kitchens, but I appreciate the art of cinematic precision in all the little details. Plus Meryl Streep and Steve Martin are just fun to go out with.
  11. Raiders of the Lost Ark. It just never gets old. I’d decided in second grade after I found a wagon wheel and the foundation of an old house in the woods, that archaeology was my bag. Indiana Jones confirmed that career choice. Of course now I’m a writer so I get to dig up stories, how cool is that?
  12. Christmas Vacation. Another one that just never gets old. This is my family’s go to Christmas Eve movie. Yeah. It’s like that. Oh, how many times have I sailed upon Clark W. Griswold’s holiday expectations only to have my Norman Rockwell ideal dashed upon the rocks of Eddie Johnson realism? Can I get an Amen?
  13. Back to the Future. It’s just too much fun. And I love time travel. Sometimes I poke holes, sometimes I roll with it. But I always enjoy this one. The characters are classic, the setting is fun, and the third sequel is pretty epic too.
  14. Braveheart. Heroes. Honor. Men in kilts. What more do you need?
  15. The Princess Bride. Because you can quote it in every situation for the rest of your life. LIAR.

Are you with me? Would any of these movies go on your list if you could only watch the same fifteen movies over and over again for the rest of your life? What movies would make your list? 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Glittery Carpe Diem 101

Not all research happens in a library or on a computer. My favorite kind is hands on research, and when opportunity unfurls before me I try to run with it. Since I’m doing that today, I’ll just just show you what the last month of it looks like in pictures. 

The Name File is running dangerously low.
Where can one find a wide variety of names?

First time I've ever seen a headstone like this.
This one goes into the story fodder file.

How about a drive to another state for a l-o-n-g hike through rattlesnake country?
Snake Gaiters are a thing. Kinda hot, eh?

Fortunately I found no rattlesnakes
But I did find this!

I was hesitant to drink from it, so of course I did.

Oh, wait! Look! A Mama Bear and Three Cubs! In the middle of the forest.
With just me. This is the picture of me running away. But no snakes!

This was my Scottish themed party. Scottish fudge is called tablet.
It's rather grainy. Yes. I was doing kilt research. I. Love. My. Job.

Hands on research requires snacks.
A trip to the orchard for the apples and voila!

Trust me, you want this one small and blurry.
This Scottish themed food was scarier than the bears.
One bowl is dessert. One bowl is salmon.

A bit of glassblowing with an autumn theme, speaking of voila!
I seize this opportunity frequently!

A bouquet of four-leaf-clovers from a spot where the DEC has been working.
What could possibly go wrong?

How about some airborne research?

Wait. Gliders don't have engines?
Then how do they...

Oh! A propeller plane tows them into the sky and drops them there?
What could possibly go wrong? I'm in!*

*The video is from a previous glider ride. I didn't want to leave you hanging!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Hello, Gorges

This is why I like to hike.
This is October, Watkins Glen State Park, New York State

Pretty extreme, right?
There are a LOT of stairs.

It's a mile and a half walk to the top of the gorge.

Did I mention there are waterfalls? There is a good chance you WILL get a little wet.

Because you get to walk under them!

A view from behind a waterfall--and it is way cooler to actually be there.
If a picture is worth a 1,000 words, it's nothing compared to the words reality will give you.

My iPhone camera doesn't do it justice.
But I risked getting it wet so you could see it!

Hiking shoes are a good idea, because the path tends to be wet.

Although it is worth wet sneakers.

Coincidentally the hike is also 1.5 miles DOWN. You might not even notice this hike today.
You will tomorrow. Stretch out those hammies. Don't say I didn't warn you.

It is worth every step. I promise.

No regrets. Even if you go the day a skunk makes the bad choice of waddling into the water
and ending up in skunk heaven. Although all of him didn't get to skunk heaven, and yeah,
the entire gorge suffered with him.

The rock is mostly shale, but sandstone and limestone too.

If you're not into hiking 1.5 miles DOWN (which I think is worse than up), you can
take the Indian path at any time during the hike. It's a bit more user friendly. There are signs.

But if you take the easier path, you don't see the gorgeous gorge. 

And you'll miss the waterfalls.
So who cares if tomorrow you'll cry a bit when you sit or stand?

If you do go off the path, use caution. The gorge is dangerous.
People have been hurt and died there. 

There are also lyme-disease-carrying-tick warnings on some of the "off" the beaten path
trails. I stayed on the path and came away covered in ladybugs, which was kind of cool.

But I did spot one wee tick on my hand which required me to respond as though
I'd been attacked by a T-Rex. Like you wouldn't? I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
You in?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Glitterview with Katie Cross

Katie Cross's Newest Awesome!

Katie Cross writes books about teenage witches. She moves around the country keeping her hot husband all to herself, and jogs along mountain trails with two pet pandas. I’m sure these facts are accurate because I saw it on Facebook.

Let’s just cut right to the chase from the start. What’s up with the hair, Katie Cross?
Conscious Hair
Women like us who have hair that has apparently achieved consciousness must stick together. I mean we should claim the hair as a dependent on our taxes because a large chunk of our lives are spent battling and attempting to subdue said hair. I often tell my husband that my hair is like having a Siamese twin waving a freak flag out the top of my head at all times. Please tell us about your hair, we’re here for you, and remember what is said in The Glitter Globe stays safely in the obscurity of the internet.
Katie Cross
Actual Unretouched Hair

Sigh. My hair. It’s a living entity. It really is.
It’s curly, occasionally frizzy, and generally quite large.

I wash it once a week, and that seems like a lot of work every time. In fact, I fall into a slight depression before every wash. My husband gets tired of me dragging my feet and moaning like I’m in labor. I just slap him with my split ends.

Your first book, Miss Mabel’s School for Girls, was delicious. Let’s recap for those who haven’t read it. The setting is a girl’s school for witches, with a young girl trying to lift a deadly curse from her family. She battles a hideous witch teacher who I’m pretty sure used to monitor study hall at my middle school. Did you base Miss Mabel on any real witches you’ve known?

Not real witches, but her luscious good looks are based off of a close friend of mine. She truly looks like Miss Mabel. It’s hard not to hate her when I see her and say, “You’re a monster!”

Just kidding. Mabel fell into my lap fully formed. My gestation with her was blessedly short.

What is your favorite dog name ever? I used to have a thing for Harry Barker, but that is so last decade. Now I’m leaning towards Martin Short for a small dog and Huntley Manwaring for a large one.


I believe in keeping all things at ‘glitter’. I’d even be willing to call a dog ‘Confetti’ if I was pushed to that extreme. But it all just seems so wrong.

Do you think Katniss is too obvious for a cat? And why do witches prefer cats over dogs?

I think anything above ‘spawn of Satan’ or ‘I’m-so-grumpy-even-though-I-rule-the-world’ is too obvious for a cat. I can say that because I grew up with cats. One of them
Glitter Globe Cat, Norman Bates
Cannot argue Katie's cat assessment.
was named Psycho. True story. That’s her name on the paperwork at the vet’s office.

For witches, however, it’s a matter of stealth. Dogs aren’t stealthy. Their happy personalities bounce around too much and knock potion bottles over.

When you travel do you meander or get to your target with the single mindedness of a heat seeking missile?

Meander, mostly. Drives type-A-husband CRAY-ZAY.

If you wrote a book about your dreams, what would it be called?

Epic Black Holes and All They Mean at Midnight.

What is your favorite vegetable? And if you had a magic incantation what food would you banish to the bowels of the earth?

Banishment of food? Chocolate. IT CREATES PROBLEMS FOR MY JEANS. I would miss it, but I’d move on.

Favorite veggie? Don’t make me answer that.

I love all the veggies. All things veggie. #Theyarepracticallyglitter

Okay, sweet potatoes.

If witches sold Girl Scout Cookies, what flavors would they offer?

Banana Cream Pie with Caramel Crumble in a Graham Cracker Crust with Non-Banished Chocolate Shavings.

Now what’s the low down on your new book, AntebellumAwakening? I adore the cover by the way. And tell me all about your release day extravaganza, because you about started a riot over the delightful giveaways you offered for your last book. What awesomeness can we expect this time?

The low down on Antebellum Awakening? I’ll give it to you in five words. Swords. HauntedForest. (<— see what I did there?) Dragons. Rage. ChathamCastle.

First of all, you can win an awesome t shirt.

And then you can win pillow packs of delicious caramels from the exciting new line of Miss Mabel’s Caramels brought to you by The Little Red Hen Candy Company.
And because they were a huge hit last time, you can also win hand-sewn bookmarks (thanks to my mother-in-laws prowess with the sewing machine) and skeleton keys!
Stop by or for ALL things Antebellum Awakening, and to win some awesome swag!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Things That Look Like Writing But Aren’t

The Glitter Globe

Isn’t writing a time suck? Not really. Let's review things that eat your time that aren't really writing at all. 

  • Writing blogs about writing. Like this one.
  • Reading books about writing.
  • Buying books about writing.
  • Taking classes and workshops about writing.
  • Watching YouTube Videos about writing.
  • Checking your book stats/Reading your reviews/Fooling with your SEO/Same goes for all and any tweaking or checking books you’ve already written.
  • Talking to other writers. This includes networking and brainstorming and even planning collaborative efforts concerning past or future writing endeavors.
  • Critique groups.
  • All professional writer associations.
  • ALL social media.
  • Writer Conferences.
  • Book Signings.
  • Communicating with your readers through any and all medium.
  • All the go-between between you and your editor and beta readers.
  • All the go-between between you and your publisher/cover designer/interior designer and any legal representation.
  • All the paperwork and financial stuff from organizing papers to taxes to Quickbooks to keeping track of your expenses.
  • Selling your books or giving them away.

The ugly truth is you can spend all day, nay, weeks working on writing related stuff, and not write at all. While all of the above are necessary to being a published author, not a single one of them is really writing. 

So with all that in mind, how much time did you spend actually writing today? Because that’s what it’s all about, no matter how crucial all the rest is, it’s about the writing. How many hours a day do you actually spend writing? 

My name is S. R. Karfelt and my weekly writing goal is twenty hours a week, fingers on keyboard, windows drawn, door locked, phone off, and I write full-time. The rest of my time is spent doing all of the above and other assorted writerly deeds. Sometimes I write far more than twenty hours a week, and sometimes I write far less. Right now I’m going through a far less time, and I don’t like it. It’s time to batten down the hatches and unplug and write. Anybody with me besides my muse?  

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Another Day Another Book Release -- Through the Portal by the Writers at Read Write Muse

Through the Portal Anthology Book Release Read Write Muse
The Glitter Globe

Through the Portal released today! This book is near and dear to my heart and I’m proud to have not only my stories included in the anthology, but quotes! I’ve been officially quoted now! It’s crazy profound too.

Quotes by S. R. Karfelt
The Glitter Globe/S. R. Karfelt

Told you.

Through the Portal Anthology Book Release Read Write Muse
The Glitter Globe

The creative trust that makes up Read Write Muse put their collective hearts together and came up with this anthology. A dollar from every book sold is donated to cancer charity. The book is dedicated in memory of those loved ones lost to that awful disease, and the stories are an eclectic mix of uplifting, touching, fun, whimsical, and most of all memorable.

If you’d like to support us in our efforts, you can nab a copy by clicking here for your kindle, or here for a trade paperback. If you'd like an epic sneak peek, click here! Enjoy!

Through the Portal Anthology Book Release Read Write Muse
The paperback cover, flat. Isn't this lovely?

Monday, October 6, 2014


The Glitter Globe

Thanks to everyone who participated in promoting InCreeps the Night! The Horror anthology has been flying off the shelves, and that is good news especially for Mothers Without Borders who receive all proceeds for the sales!

Now to add some sparkle to your Monday! All the entries have been run through, and the winners of the sparkly sequin slippers are:

LaDonna Cole
DM Kilgore

Please contact me privately and let me know what color you want (red, blue, pink, silver, or gold) and your size (small, medium, large, or XL). YAY.