My 2 Cents… IO (2019)

Would you prefer to watch the video review, instead of reading it? CLICK HERE

IO

Title: IO (2019)
Director: Jonathan Helpert
Writers: Clay Jeter, Charles Spano, and Will Basanta
Stars: Margaret Qualley (Sam), Anthony Mackie (Micah), Danny Huston (Henry), and Tom Payne (Elon)

SHOW RATING OVERVIEW
Writing: ★★★★
Cinematography: ★★★★
Story: ★★★★
Acting: ★★★★★
Overall: ★★★★ (4.25)

STORYLINE:
Sam (Margaret Qualley), one of the last survivors on a post-cataclysmic Earth, is a young scientist dedicated to finding a way for humans to adapt and survive, rather than abandon their world. But with the final shuttle scheduled to leave the planet for a distant colony, her determination to stay is rocked by the arrival of another survivor, Micah (Anthony Mackie). She must decide whether to journey with him to join the rest of humanity and begin life anew, or stay to fight for Earth’s survival.

MY 2 CENTS:
IO is not an action-packed Sci-Fi movie, so if that is what you want, you’ll be disappointed. This is a movie about human connection. It’s a movie with heart, emotion, and a desire to make the world a better place. I’m not sure why it got so many bad reviews, and certainly don’t feel like they were warranted. The script is all dialog and very little action, but that was the point. This movie will make you think, ask questions, wonder what if, and wonder if what we are doing to the world today will one day the devastation this movie shows us.

There are only three on-screen actors; Margaret Qualley, Anthony Mackie, and Danny Huston. They all did a wonderful job, with Margaret Qualley carrying the bulk of the performance all on her own. She was beautiful in her performance of Sam.

I wanted more, but the ending the writers and director gave us was satisfying. They gave the viewers hope, where there was little to be found.

MY FAVORITE QUOTES:
“Don’t underestimate the power of human connection. That’s all there is. There is no bigger meaning. Just human connection.” ~ Henry

“We have learned to fear our planet and fled to the stars in search of a new one. But the fascination for other worlds could not turn my eyes away from the beauty of our home. The waves are crashing on the shore… and the wind is blowing in my hair. Tell them it feels good. Tell them the dark clouds have given way to the ocean mist. Tell them a new world awaits us. Tell them we’re waiting for you. Waiting for you to come back.” ~ Sam

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

https://youtu.be/N6kW0KLqyj0

You can watch the official trailer here:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3256226/videoplayer/vi2167388697

On Golden Pond by Ernest Thompson

Would you prefer to watch the video, instead of reading the review? CLICK HERE

Golden Pond

PLAY TITLE: On Golden Pond
AUTHOR: Ernest Thompson

RATING OVERVIEW
Writing: ★★★★★
Story: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Appearance: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★★ (4.75)

AMAZON DESCRIPTION:
A comedy for a cast of 3 men, 2 women, 1 boy. This is the love story of Ethel and Norman Thayer, who are returning to their summer home on Golden Pond for the forty-eighth year. He is a retired professor, nearing eighty, with heart palpitations and a failing memory-but still as tart-tongued, observant and eager for life as ever. Ethel, ten years younger, and the perfect foil for Norman, delights in all the small things that have enriched and continue to enrich their long life together. They are visited by their divorced, middle-aged daughter and her dentist fiancé, who then go off to Europe, leaving his teenage son behind for the summer. The boy quickly becomes the “grandchild” the elderly couple have longed for, and as Norman revels in taking his ward fishing and thrusting good books at him, he also learns some lessons about modern teenage awareness-and slang-in return. In the end, as the summer wanes, so does their brief idyll, and in the final, deeply moving moments of the play, Norman and Ethel are brought even closer together by the incidence of a mild heart attack. Time, they know, is now against them, but the years have been good and, perhaps, another summer on Golden Pond still awaits.

Buy the play HERE!

Buy the movie HERE!
MY 2 CENTS: 
On Golden Pond is a classic. The way that Thompson brings these characters to live is simply beautiful. It’s about life, relationships, and the heart.

I love when an author like Thompson can take a simple story, a retired couple spending the summer at their lake house, and turn it into so much more. By the end of the script, you’re emotionally attached to the characters, you care what happens to them, and you long to learn more about them.

The father/daughter relationship between Norman and Chelsea is heartbreaking. In just the few scenes in which they are together, it is obvious how much they love each other… how much they want to be close… and yet, they aren’t. It isn’t until Chelsea brings Billy, her boyfriend’s son, to visit her parents that Norman finally bonds with a child. It’s just said that it wasn’t his own child.

The husband/wife relationship between Norman and Ethel is exactly what I believe my grandparents had. They lived a similar life and were not only each other’s best friends, but they were soul mates. They were perfect together in every way. I believe that Thompson wrote their relationship to be perfect… almost to perfect, but not unbelievable in any way.

As an actress, reading this script has just added two characters to my list of dream roles I’d love to play. If I ever get the chance, in the next few years to audition for Chelsea, I will not let it pass me by, and of course… Ethel would be a dream role when I get older.

As a director, I have to be honest… I think it would be hard knowing how emotionally connected I am with the characters. I think I’d want to be on stage too much to do justice as a director.

APPEARANCE: Plain green cover with black text… Typical Dramatists Play Service cover. I feel like the plain cover allows the reader to use their imagination when envisioning the characters.

MY FAVORITE QUOTES:
“Sometimes you have to look hard at a person and remember he’s doing the best he can. He’s just trying to find his way, just like you.”

“Well, that’s what happens if you live long enough: You end up being old. it’s one of the disadvantages of a long life. I still prefer it to the alternative.” 

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

 

on golden pond movie posterMovie Title: On Golden Pond
Director: Mark Rydell
Stars: Katharine Hepburn (Ethel Thayer), Henry Fonda (Norman Thayer Jr.), and Jane Fonda (Chelsea Thayer Wayne)

STORYLINE: The loons are back again on Golden Pond and so are Norman Thayer, a retired professor, and Ethel who have had a summer cottage there since early in their marriage. This summer their daughter Chelsea — whom they haven’t seen for years — feels she must be there for Norman’s birthday. She and her fiancé are on their way to Europe the next day but will be back in a couple of weeks to pick up the fiancé’s son. When she returns Chelsea is married and her stepson has the relationship with her father that she always wanted. Will father and daughter be able to communicate at last? (IMDB.COM)

Watch the official movie trailers here:

https://youtu.be/l-lcl2j3yf0

https://youtu.be/Y85sfYVOS84

Week 8 – #WritingWednesday Challenge

Today is the Eighth edition of #WritingWednesday!!!

Writing Wednesday 2

Remember, #WritingWednesday is an EASY, STRESS-FREE, weekly writing challenge.

• Read the writing prompt below,
• Spend 5 minutes writing (in your own voice or the voice of a character you’re writing) whatever comes to mind,
• DON’T EDIT what you write! IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT!

The goal is 5 minutes of creativity.

Today I am writing in the voice of Kim, one of the characters in my upcoming novel The Beast Within (This is not a selection from the novel, but part of my character development journal.)

Today’s writing prompt:

Complete this thought: “I wish I had paid more attention when…”

I’m stubborn, like my grandfather. It’s in our blood. I’m also trouble, at least that’s what he always used to say, “…more trouble than all my money.” Looking back, I don’t really think he had all that much money. He didn’t need it, not for happiness. He had love and joy and peace of mind. He had everything he ever wanted.

When I was twenty, I packed up all my belongings into the trunk and back seat of my car and headed West. I didn’t really have a plan, just a destination; the ocean. My love of fashion was going to be the path that led me to greatness, even if all my friends thought I was crazy. I could see it, just as clearly as the morning sun. I made it happen too. I started my own line of clothing – Kimmy Designs – and even opened my own shop.

There were hard times. I was alone, a lot. Not having family or friends in a big city can be hard, but I survived. Eventually I established a pretty good life. I loved my work, had a great apartment, made a few friends. I was healthy…happy. However, there was always something missing. That little piece of happiness that only comes with knowing you haven’t sacrificed yourself to find your place in the world. I think that was what my grandfather had tried to teach me. He wanted me to know that things and money don’t matter, it’s the people you surround yourself with that make all the difference in the world.

I wish I had paid more attention when I was younger, when my grandfather sat me on his lap to tell me stories. I have a feeling, they contained the secrets of the universe.

© 2019 Nina Soden

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Alright, now it’s your turn. I’d love to see what today’s writing prompt inspires in you. So, if you are willing, go to the comment section below and start typing. Take 5 minutes and let’s see what you come up with!

Complete this thought: “I wish I had paid more attention when…”

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Are you working on a manuscript, but need a little help getting organized? Check out SO YOU WANT TO WRITE A BOOK ~ An Indie Author Guide to Outlining and Planning Your Next Novel

Author Bullet Journal 8x10 Front Cover

 

Want help meeting your writing goals? Check out JUST WRITE: The Ultimate Author’s Bullet Journal

#MindfulnessMonday 3/25/19

Today’s #MindfulnessMonday Tip: Meditation is an easy way to start your mindfulness lifestyle, but it takes consistency. So, check out these 6 steps to help you turn meditation into a habit: (1) Choose a time span… (2) Schedule it… (3) Practice… (4) Track your success… (5) Don’t go it alone… (6) Give yourself a break… Want to learn the details of each of these steps? Check out today’s #MindfulnessMonday video HERE!

MM

With that little piece of advice, I give you today’s Mindfulness Exercise:

Breathing Meditation Exercise

Throughout the day, the majority of your minds wandering take you either into the future or back to the past. Accordingly, it is in these mental spaces where you spend most of your life. Because of this, you often miss much of what is going on around you… You aren’t present in the moment, not fully. Your breath, on the other hand, can never be in the future or the past, it is always right here, in the present moment – keeping you grounded to the here and now.

By simply sitting quietly with your eyes closed and focusing on your breathing as the air flows in and out of your body, you are instantly drawn back to the present moment. When you find your mind wandering to other things (dinner, shopping, work, kids, etc.) invite your mind back to the present… back to the breath. Through this type of breathing meditation practice you become more grounded in the moment, allowing for increased focus, improved health, and a heightened sense of peace and joy.

Mindfulness Journaling Prompt: Where does your mind wander when you try to meditate? What things do you find yourself thinking about when you should be thinking about your breath and your body?

This type of mindfulness journaling can be very private. However, if you are willing to share your thoughts with me and my readers, I would love to invite you to comment below and let me know how this exercise affected you and what you learned about yourself through the meditation.

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Check out my #MindfulnessMonday YouTube Series and don’t forget to click subscribe so you never miss an episode!

EPISODE 12 ~ How to Turn Meditation into a Habit

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InvisibleWould you like to take the 52-week challenge and experience a more mindful existence? Check out The Invisible You ~ 52 Weeks of Meditations, Activities, and Writing Prompts to Help you Discover You!

*I’m certified in Holistic Stress Management and Mind/Body Fitness. I’ve been practicing Mindfulness for 10+ years and am passionate about helping others in their pursuit of a more mindful existence.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Would you prefer to watch the video , instead of reading the review? CLICK HEREof mice and men

TITLE: Of Mice and Men
AUTHOR: John Steinbeck

RATING OVERVIEW
Writing: ★★★★
Story: ★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Overall: ★★★★ (4.33)

 

AMAZON DESCRIPTION:
A controversial tale of friendship and tragedy during the Great Depression.

They are an unlikely pair: George is “small and quick and dark of face”; Lennie, a man of tremendous size, has the mind of a young child. Yet they have formed a “family,” clinging together in the face of loneliness and alienation.

Laborers in California’s dusty vegetable fields, they hustle work when they can, living a hand-to-mouth existence. For George and Lennie have a plan: to own an acre of land and a shack they can call their own. When they land jobs on a ranch in the Salinas Valley, the fulfillment of their dream seems to be within their grasp. But even George cannot guard Lennie from the provocations of a flirtatious woman, nor predict the consequences of Lennie’s unswerving obedience to the things George taught him.

“A thriller, a gripping tale . . . that you will not set down until it is finished. Steinbeck has touched the quick.” —The New York Times

Buy the book HERE!

Buy the play HERE

Buy the movie HERE

The Critical Points:
I picked up this book because of a recommendation by one of my youtube viewers. So, if you haven’t checked out my youtube reviews, make sure you check out the page HERE.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, winner of the Nobel Prize in literature, was originally published in 1937. A lot has changed in literature and society since 1937…

With that said, let’s get into the guts of this story and my opinion of it. Just a warning… there will be spoilers in this review.

WRITING: Of Mice and Men is a classic, read in many high schools across the country, although I don’t believe I ever read it in school. Although I never read the novel, until now, I had read the play while studying theatre in college.

I can understand why the novel received the Nobel Prize in Literature, but I have to admit that it wasn’t my favorite of Steinbeck’s novels. The writing style, although probably a good example of the time period, was choppy and repetitive. I found the excessive foul language to be distracting and often unnecessary.

STORY: The story is beautiful. It is the relationship between two men, George and Lennie, an unlikely pair of friends. George takes care of Lennie, who is mentally challenged, as they travel the country looking for work on farms. Their goal… or rather, their dream, is to one day own some land of their own. However, Lennie is continually getting into trouble causing them to have to pick up and move at a moment’s notice, which in turn makes it difficult for them to save up the money for the land they hope to purchase.

CHARACTERS: George is a small, caring man, who looks after Lennie like he is more than just a friend, as if he is a brother. Lennie is a rather large and very strong, mentally challenged man who doesn’t know his own strength. He doesn’t know how to think for himself and as a result relies on George to tell him what to do and how to react to situations. When left to his own devices, Lennie reacts physically and is unable to control himself, hence killing the mice he keeps hidden in his pocket, or the puppy he so desperately wanted to pet. Although, it isn’t until he kills his boss’ wife that George realizes that he has to stop covering for Lennie and make the hard decision of letting him go.

The final scene of the book is heart wrenching, emotionally draining, and sad. It was also predictable, but that didn’t in any way dampen the emotional affect of the scene when reading it.

MY FAVORITE QUOTES:
“I seen hunderds of men come by on the road an’ on the ranches, with their bindles on their back an’ that same damn thing in their heads. Hunderds of them. They come, an’ they quit an’ go on; an’ every damn one of em’s got a little piece of land in his head. An’ never a God damn one of em ever gets it. Just like heaven. Ever’body wants a little piece of lan’. I read plenty of books out here. Nobody never gets to heaven, and nobody gets no land. It’s just in their head.” ~ Of Mice and Men

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

https://youtu.be/bqh5T4fIBbg

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of mice

MOVIE DETAILS
Title: Of Mice and Men
Director: Gary Sinise
Screenplay Written by: Horton Foote
Stars: John Malkovich (Lennie) and Gary Sinise (George)

 

Check out the official movie trailer here:

https://youtu.be/BQtiStdDaYw

 

Week 7 – #WritingWednesday Challenge

Today is the Seventh edition of #WritingWednesday!!!

Writing Wednesday 1

Remember, #WritingWednesday is an EASY, STRESS-FREE, weekly writing challenge.

• Read the writing prompt below,
• Spend 5 minutes writing (in your own voice or the voice of a character you’re writing) whatever comes to mind,
• DON’T EDIT what you write! IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT!

The goal is 5 minutes of creativity.

Today I am writing in the voice of Austin, the main character in my upcoming novel The Beast Within (This is not a selection from the novel, but part of my character development journal.)

Today’s writing prompt:

Do you prefer taking risks or having a safety net?

I take risks every day, I’m a doctor. However, I don’t really think that is the type of risk your asking about. Risks verses a safety net? That’s a tough question to answer. I think that deep down, I’d rather have a safety net, it’s what my dad taught me. Follow the rules and you’ll be safe, he used to say. The problem is that it isn’t always easy to follow the rules. Not when the rules, or laws, say not to kill.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to hurt people. I’d rather live a quiet life where no one has to get hurt. But, when survival is on the line, its hard not to do anything and everything it takes. That means, some people will have to die. I can try to minimize the body count, but in the end, there will still be a body count. There is always risk when it comes to life or death situations. The bigger the safety net, I can create for myself, the better.

© 2019 Nina Soden

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Alright, now it’s your turn. I’d love to see what today’s writing prompt inspires in you. So, if you are willing, go to the comment section below and start typing. Take 5 minutes and let’s see what you come up with!

Do you prefer taking risks or having a safety net?

* * * * *

51gqQbGYyAL._SX398_BO1,204,203,200_

 

Are you working on a manuscript, but need a little help getting organized? Check out SO YOU WANT TO WRITE A BOOK ~ An Indie Author Guide to Outlining and Planning Your Next Novel

Author Bullet Journal 8x10 Front Cover

 

 

Want help meeting your writing goals? Check out JUST WRITE: The Ultimate Author’s Bullet Journal

#MindfulnessMonday 3/18/19

MM

Today’s #MindfulnessMonday Tip: Sometimes, I find it hard to say no. I don’t like conflict and I don’t want to disappoint people. So, I say ‘yes’ a lot. This usually results in me having way too many things on my plate with not enough time or energy to complete them all. Those that do get done, aren’t always top quality because when you have so much on your plate it is hard to focus 100% on the task at hand. It is important to say ‘No’ not only for your piece of mind, selfcare, and sanity… it’s important because when you say ‘yes’ and then can’t give it your all, you end up disappointing others. Want to know more about how sometimes selfcare can mean saying no? Check out today’s #MindfulnessMonday video HERE!

With that little piece of advice, I give you today’s Mindfulness Exercise:

Self-Praise Exercise

Today, I want you to make a conscious decision to spend the day recognizing all the good in what you do. Give yourself a pat on the back, if you will. Take time to acknowledge yourself. All to often, we spend our lives trying to please everyone else, building others up at the expense of our own self-worth and value. It is important for your mental health that you take time for selfcare and self-reflection. With that in mind, just for today (or more often if you find you enjoy this exercise) put a notepad in your pocket or purse and throughout the day jot down things you do/say/etc. that you’re proud of. It might be hard a first, but as you start to recognize the little things and allow yourself to complement them, it will get easier.

Mindfulness Journaling Prompt: Take 5 minutes, at the end of your day, to look over all the things you’ve written in today’s notepad. These are the positive things you noticed throughout the day that you said or did. How did it feel to compliment yourself throughout the day? Can you take a complement from yourself or others? Is it hard to hear your own self-praise or praise from those around you? If so, why do you think it’s hard? What other things can you think of that you’ve done recently that deserve a little self-praise and recognition? It’s ok to be proud of yourself, in fact, it’s healthy!

Selfcare like this can be a very personal thing, but if you’re willing to share your thoughts and experiences with me and my readers, I’d love for you to take the time to comment below. 

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Check out my #MindfulnessMonday YouTube Series and don’t forget to click subscribe so you never miss an episode!

EPISODE 11 ~ When Selfcare Means Saying NO!

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Invisible

Would you like to take the 52-week challenge and experience a more mindful existence? Check out The Invisible You ~ 52 Weeks of Meditations, Activities, and Writing Prompts to Help you Discover You!

*I’m certified in Holistic Stress Management and Mind/Body Fitness. I’ve been practicing Mindfulness for 10+ years and am passionate about helping others in their pursuit of a more mindful existence.

My 2 Cents… Girl (2018)

Would you prefer to watch the video review, instead of reading it? CLICK HERE

GIRLTitle: Girl
Director: Lukas Dhont
Writers: Lukas Dhont and Angelo Tijssens
Stars: Victor Polster (Lara), Arieh Worthalter (Mathias), and Oliver Bodart (Milo)

SHOW RATING OVERVIEW
Writing: ★★★★
Cinematography: ★★★★
Story: ★★★★
Acting: ★★★★★
Overall: ★★★★ (4.25)

STORYLINE:
Lara, a 15-year-old transgender girl who aspires to be a professional ballerina, moves with her supportive father, Mathias, and younger brother to attend a prestigious Dutch-speaking dance academy. Undergoing hormone replacement therapy in preparation for sex reassignment surgery, she is frustrated by the slow progress of the treatment. At school, she tucks her penis with tape during ballet practices and experiences transphobic harassment from her classmates. Since the taping has caused an infection, she is denied the surgery for now, so she mutilates herself with a pair of scissors. The film ends with a shot of Lara walking down a street in the sun.

MY 2 CENTS:
• Golden Globes Awards – Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film

It’s hard being a teenager. It’s hard being a teenage girl going through hormonal changes, self-doubt, body issues, and so much more. Throw into the mix the fact that Lara, played by Victor Polster, is a 15-year-old girl who was born in the body of a boy that she doesn’t relate to.

I don’t know, nor would I ever presume to understand, what that might feel like. But I can say this, I know it couldn’t be easy.

Although Girl is not a documentary, or true story, it was inspired by Nora Monsecour, a trans female dancer from Belgium. I’m not sure how much of the story was true to Nora’s life or how much was purely fiction, but it was beautifully told.

I’ve read a number of reviews and articles that have criticized the film for its depiction of self-harm and gender-dysphoria, which I recently learned is the distress a person experiences when the gender they are assigned at birth does not match the person’s gender identity causing them to be transgender. Honestly, I can’t criticize a film for something I don’t truly understand. All I know is that the struggle Lara was going through in the film, felt honest, raw, and real.

VictorGirl was actor Victor Polster’s debut role and he did a beautiful job. I won’t lie, I had to look up the film’s IMDB page to find out if Lara was played by a male or female actor. I wasn’t sure. I didn’t know if the director had used a body double for the nude scenes or if the actress was actually an actor. I will say this, I am a bit shocked that the actor was only fourteen at the time of the filming and there were scenes of him with full frontal nudity (with his parent’s permission). That was off-putting to say the least.

Arieh Worthalter, who played Mathias – Lara’s father, was amazing. He was so natural on-screen. He wore his emotions on his sleeve… on his face… in his eyes. Half the time, I just wanted to hug him and tell him everything was going to be alright. You could see that he, as much as his daughter, was struggling just to keep himself together. The love he felt for both of his children was so pure and you could tell he would do anything for them. Enough so that he uprooted his family so that Lara, the oldest of the two children, could attend an elite dance school and be treated by doctors who could really help her. He supported her 100% through the process of preparing for sex reassignment surgery and was there for her every step of the way even though he was worried sick about her.

It was a beautiful story of family, love, pain, growing up, and discovering yourself even when you have to look through the mud to find out who you really are.

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

https://youtu.be/1JqjW0wUtFA

You can watch the official trailer here:

https://youtu.be/Kdzu26tnUTc

Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson

Would you prefer to watch the video review, instead of reading it? CLICK HERE
Silent Sky

PLAY TITLE: Silent Sky
AUTHOR: Lauren Gunderson

RATING OVERVIEW
Writing: ★★★★★
Story: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Appearance: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★★ (4.75)

AMAZON DESCRIPTION:
When Henrietta Leavitt begins work at the Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s, she isn’t allowed to touch a telescope or express an original idea. Instead, she joins a group of women “computers,” charting the stars for a renowned astronomer who calculates projects in “girl hours” and has no time for the women’s probing theories. As Henrietta, in her free time, attempts to measure the light and distance of stars, she must also take measure of her life on Earth, trying to balance her dedication to science with family obligations and the possibility of love. The true story of 19th-century astronomer Henrietta Leavitt explores a woman’s place in society during a time of immense scientific discoveries, when women’s ideas were dismissed until men claimed credit for them. Social progress, like scientific progress, can be hard to see when one is trapped among earthly complications; Henrietta Leavitt and her female peers believe in both, and their dedication changed the way we understand both the heavens and Earth.

Buy it HERE on Amazon!

My 2 Cents: 
This is a beautiful play about one of the first women who worked in the field of astronomy. The reader (or audience if seeing the play life) get to see how she balances, or fails to balance, life while still pursuing her dream of reaching for the stars. It is intelligent, artistic, heart wrenching, and emotionally moving.

I started reading this play with no knowledge of what it was about other than that it had to do with female astronomers, or ‘computers’ as they were called back in the early 1900s. I was happy to find that it was not only beautifully written with humor woven throughout the story, but it avoided the typical traps stories like this often fall into such as only focusing on the negative aspects of women in what is considered a “man’s world”, over dramatizing work and home life balance… or lack thereof, or not sharing all aspects of the story such as family/science/and love… there is room for it all and I believe that Gunderson successfully brought it all together.

CHARACTERS: Through her writing, Gunderson brings to life each of the five characters in such a beautiful way. They each have their own history, their own desires, and their own goals. Life ends up differently for each of them, and as with our lead character, Henrietta, they all experience

  • Henrietta Leavitt
  • Margaret Leavitt
  • Peter Shaw
  • Annie Cannon
  • Williamina Fleming

APPEARANCE: it’s a plain colored cover, in this case blue, with black lettering, typical of a Dramatists Play Service playbook. I personally prefer this style of cover for plays because I want the writing to tell me what the characters look like, rather than an image on the cover.

MY FAVORITE QUOTES:
“I used to think that to be truly alive I needed answers. I needed to know. But all this does not in fact need to be known, does it? We do. Because the real point… is seeing something bigger. And knowing we’re a small part of it, if we’re lucky. In the end that is a life well-lived.” ~ Henrietta in Silent Sky

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HL

Henrietta Leavitt, (born July 4, 1868, Lancaster, Massachusetts, U.S.—died December 12, 1921, Cambridge, Massachusetts), was one of the first female American astronomers. She was known for her discovery of the relationship between period and luminosity in Cepheids, pulsating stars. 

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Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

https://youtu.be/o4UV_YOR7Qk

Typos and Errors in Published Manuscripts

I originally published this article (or a version of this article) as a guest author on another blog, that no longer seems to exist, on August 8, 2014. However, I felt that the information was important enough that I wanted it in my blog feed as well, so I published it here… in 2014.

It has been almost a whole 5 years since the information was first published and it is still relevent… with some minor changes.

<wink wink>

Without further ado, I hope you enjoy my take on Typos and Errors in Indie-Published Manuscripts – in all manuscripts really. I hope you let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Editing

Are typos in a book a big deal?

Of course they are – to some extent! Typos happen. Let me say that again, TYPOS HAPPEN! Typos happen in books that are self-published and traditionally published. Typos happen to new authors and seasoned authors. Typos happen in eBooks and print books. It doesn’t matter how many people you have edit, proof read, re-read, etc. there is always a chance a typo (or two – or three – or four) is going to slip through. Does that mean the world is over, the author should never write again, or that the author should lose all credibility? NO!

Let me say that again – NO!

It goes without saying, although I will say it, that every author should take the time and effort to make their manuscript the best that it can be. Not only do readers deserve the best product an author can provide, authors deserve to produce their best work – which they can be proud of for years to come!

You might be asking yourself, ‘how do I, as a self-published author without the backing of a traditional publishing house, afford to make sure that my manuscripts are ready for publication?’

Good Question!

Editors, proof-readers, and copy-writing services all cost money! Plus, and here is the catcher, even professional editors, proof-readers, and copy-writing service professionals make mistakes! Yes, they are only human! Even when you pay good money for services like these, you can’t be 100% sure your manuscript is flawless. That doesn’t mean you should just accept the fact that typos happen and therefore you don’t need to worry about them. There are a lot of things you can do to ensure that you publish your best work. I’ve listed some examples of things I do below, but just remember you are never going to please everyone. There will always be someone who finds something wrong with your book.

What can you do to ensure minimal typos and errors in your final manuscript?

Below is a partial list of tools (free and/or low-cost) that I believe all authors (self-published or traditionally published) should be using:

SPELLCHECK – I LOVE spellcheck. No matter what I am working on I have spellcheck set to mark spelling and grammatical errors while I am typing. No, it doesn’t always catch misused words – but it is a great start to catching those words frequently misspelled. You can also add words to your computers dictionary. This is a great way to allow your computer to know that names (or other words) you use frequently are not incorrectly typed.

READING ALOUD – Yes, just like you did when you were in elementary school. One of the reasons teachers have their students read out loud is because we often retain more information when we hear text read out loud. For me, as an author, I like to either read my books out loud to myself or have someone else read them to me as I follow along. The down side to this is that it can be a rather lengthy process, but the upside is that it allows me to catch words that have been misused and dialog that doesn’t sound natural.

FIND / REPLACE – If you don’t use this Microsoft Word tool yet – YOU NEED TO! Microsoft can find just about anything from double commas or periods, extra spaces, repeat words, etc. Once you find them you can fix them. Although, what I really like about this feature is that you can easily replace mistakes with corrections. [Example: FIND: .. REPLACE WITH: .] Don’t get me wrong, you don’t want to just trust your computer to make all of your corrections for you. When I do a search for an error I look at each of the results and decide if I want the correction to be made.

TEST READERS (AKA BETA READERS) – Or as I like to call them guinea pigs! My mom, my sister, and a number of my friends have all been my willing and loyal test subjects in this area. They have read, edited, and re-read all of my books throughout the writing process looking for errors that I might have missed. They are also a great resource when it comes to finding plot holes, unintentional cliffhangers, etc. It isn’t easy seeing your manuscript covered in red edits, but trust me this process makes your final manuscript much better than it would be with only you reading and reviewing it. Just make sure you get test readers who are willing to give you an honest critique. You won’t always like what they say, but try to listen with an open mind because they are only trying to help.

PRO WRITING AID – This is an online writing editor and personal writing coach. It checks grammar and spelling; helps to improve overall readability; finds overused words; improves dull paragraph structure; locates repeat words and phrases; checks for consistency of spelling; hyphenation and capitalization; warns you about clichés and redundancies; and so much more. I learned about this tool through a friend that does line editing as a freelancer. She told me that it was an inexpensive way to help improve writing as you go and that it was extremely user-friendly – SHE WAS RIGHT! I highly suggest trying it out. What is the worst that could happen? Want to try Pro Writing Aid, start your free trial by clicking HERE!

The Hemingway Editor App – You can use the free online version or, for just $19.99 you can down load a desktop (Windows and/or Mac) version. $19.99 is not much for such a great tool. The Hemingway App cuts the dead weight from your writing. It highlights passive voice, adverbs, weak language, confusing language, and lengthy/structurally complex sentences and, in many cases, gives suggestions for changes. For a really great review and comparison to similar products, click HERE! To download your copy of The Hemingway Editor desktop version, click HERE.

ARC – Advance Reader Copies! Okay, once your manuscript is complete, as complete as you feel you can make it, you need to offer advance reader copies. This is a great way to get feedback. You can request feedback in the form of reader notes and/or book reviews. I have even gone so far as providing a list of questions at the end of the advance reader copies I have sent out, this helped me to target key areas of my story, character development, dialogue, and/or editing that needed to be fixed.

EDITOROK, this one costs money, sometimes a significant amount – it depends on the length of your manuscript and the experience level of the editor. All of the tools above are free or can be done at a very low-cost, however hiring an editor is not cheap. If you decide to go this route – which I did – you do not want to skimp! You get what you pay for. however, you still have to remember – Editors are only HUMAN, they make mistakes too! Again, there is no way to guarantee – 100% – that your manuscript isn’t going to have typos or errors.

My novels may still have errors – heck, even award-winning authors sometimes have errors in their novels – but I can honestly say that I have taken all possible steps to ensure that the books I publish are the best they can possibly be. So, if there are still a few errors, as I am sure there are, then I’m OK with that. I’m happy with my finished products and that truly is all an author can ask for.

* Written by: Nina Soden *