Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Voyage to Magic Island - Completed!

I've done it. I've written the last word and typed the last period. Boy, does it feel good.

I started Magic Island in October and three months later, she's done. I have to admit it was an easy three months, with all the pressure rolled into the last two weeks. I'm happy with it. I think it's some of my best work. I had fun with this one. I took my time and let it unfold on it's own.

Magic Island was one of the first stories I wrote down. It started as a tale that I told my children (then 8,6 & 1), but never completed. After writing the first two books of my Necromancer series and Milledgeville Misfit, I thought it was time to revisit Magic Island. I couldn't be happier with the outcome.

Sometimes I sit back in wonder, contemplating on where these stories come from. Sometimes they feel alien to me - like I am just the vessel, a mere scribe, chosen to write them down. Somehow this great adventure needed to be born and I was picked to bring it into this world, much the same way a child is born. Both are a labor of love.

So, now it's time to send this new child of mine into the world. Let's hope she can fly.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Friday, January 26, 2007

Crazy4Smallville's Weekly Review 6:12 Labyrinth

I don't think this episode is going to go down as one of the best episodes, but Tom Welling's performance should be noted as some of the best I've seen. He was great. He did an excellent job going through the yo-yo of emotions. I think he may have had to exude every one of them. Remind me that if I ever meet, to be suspicious. I won't know if he's sincere or just acting. LOL!

It was great to meet the Martian Manhuter, however I don't think I quite understood the purpose of this 'phantom' and his objective. I understand that the phantom had to get Clark to believe that he was crazy, accept that fact - in order for him to be able to take control of his super body. But, the method in which he chose left more questions than answers.

Though I loved Tom's acting ability in this episode, the storyline had far too many loop and potholes, or should I say, 'plotholes'.

First being - why was Clark so keen to accept that he was crazy so easily? If his reality supposedly became splintered when he went into high school after having grown up in a normal life (his parents, like Lana's, being killed in the meteor shower, meeting and falling in love with Lana since they were small kids, etc. ), how does that explain the super abilities he's had all his life. Clark may not have learned of his Kryptonian heritage until he was a freshman in high school, but he was always strong and always fast, and he always knew he was different. He just thought he was a meteor freak. So, for Clark to accept the Doc's assessment that he went crazy at 15 instead of 5, should have told Clark the truth. But, intelligence has never been one of Clark's super powers.

What were the source of the phantom's parallel reality? Was it Clark's hopes and fears? Does Clark truly wish that Lana has always loved him and will stand by him no matter what? Does he really believe his mom would marry Lionel Luthor? Does he really desire that he would have hurt Lex instead of help him on that bridge? Does he really fear that Chloe is crazy? Does he really believe that his destiny is to save the world?

This may not have been my favorite episode, but it's one that really has me thinking. It sort of reminds me of the whole Ezra Small prophecies. It's a bone thrown out there for a us to chew on for a while.

I'm still confused about the meeting with Lana and Lex at the Talon. What happened? Did Clark resolve in his heart that he loves Lana, but that he's moved on or that he's not giving up? I understand that he was glad to see that he wasn't responsible for another of Lex's handicaps, but what's with the smiles? I bet that Lex and Lana will scratch their heads on that one for a long time to come. It's easier to stand up to your enemies when they're barking at you. But, it's hard to strike when they're wagging their tails.

I loved the Chlark moment. It was one of the truest and greatest super feat that I've seen Clark achieve so far. He truly loves Chloe as she is. He trusts her and cares about her.

Well, this has been my weekly assessment of Smallville. Perhaps it's not as confusing as I found the episode. But, if it is - it's clearly a portrayal of the confusion I discovered.

Till next time,

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Deadlines - Love/Hate Relationship

I hate deadlines, but at the same time they give me defined parameters to work within. I have boundaries, but freedom within those boundaries. As much as I hate the pressure, I use the pressure to keep me moving in a forward motion.

I have a deadline - five chapters in five days.

I need all the prayers I can get.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Friday, January 19, 2007

Crazy4Smallville's Weekly Review 6:11 Justice

Oh man, was this awesome or what? I think I've waited six years for this episode. There's only two more that I have to wait for now: Clark to put on the glasses and show up at the Daily Planet with Lois Lane and Superman to don the red cape and fly. I can't wait!!! But, then again - I can. Because that would mean the end of Smallville - and I don't know if I can take that.

I LOVE, I LOVE, I LOVE how Clark involved Chloe in what what going on and Oliver called her 'side kick'. She totally deserves it. Man, what I wouldn't give to be in her shoes.

I loved seeing Bart again. He grew up on me in just two years, but he's still just as cute as ever. I love that little 'sly' attitude he has. I'm not too crazy about the name Impulse, but knowing they couldn't use Flash, I suppose it was okay. I think perhaps Lightning or Thunderbolt would have sufficed, but Impulse is original, I suppose. I love his zest for life and his big appetite. I love the way he flirts with Chloe.

I loved seeing A.C. again. Still just as charming and just as sexy as the last time I saw him. He should leave his shirt off more often, however, I wouldn't have like to get one really good shot of him in his orange shirt. I do have to say though, I don't really know what his part was in the rescue mission. Was it just to gain access from a different direction. I seemed to have missed his mission. I love the 'fish jokes' comment. Hilarious.

I loved seeing Victor return as Cyborg. Man, does he get hotter every time I see him. It was sad to hear about his relationship with his girlfriend fizzling out, but everyone knows that you can't keep a superhero tied down. But, I'm wondering when he's going to fall in love with Lois? I mean, AC's had his shot, Oliver just blew his, Clark's coming later - so there's still time for Victor and Bart (though I think Bart's got his eye on her cousin - another of Clark's loves.) It makes me think - what does it take to make a superhero fall in love with you? Lois, Lana and Chloe are three completely different women - yet they have an appeal on the superhero/villain kind. Poor Victor... glad he found his reason to live.

I think Oliver/Green Arrow - gets sexier every time I see him. But, this time - his dark, ominous eyes had me almost crying at the end. You really felt the love he had for Lois fight against the passion he has for Justice. I liked seeing him in this leadership role. I suited him, even better than that green leather outfit he sports.

Which reminds me... I loved ALL of their outfits. But, I have to admit I was scratching my head after the explosion. While I was tingling all over seeing the League, I paused for a moment, because it looked so out of place. You had everyone decked out in their new outfits - Impulse, Green Arrow, (CLARK KENT?), Aqua-Man and Cyborg. Clark just didn't 'look' super - he looked like your average farm boy who got caught in the wrong picture. He should have at least try to throw together some sort of disguise, especially after Lionel just warned him about being exposed and being careful - and got the feel of what it was like to hide behind a disguise pretending to be the Green Arrow. It just seem to deflate the moment a bit.

This mission wouldn't have been the same without Chloe. She was awesome. Man, I'm so jealous. If I could pick a character to be, that'd be it - even if she isn't in Clark's life later, she's so totally awesome now. Allison Mack is just awesome in that character, much like how Rosenbaum has changed my perception of Lex Luthor. I never thought much about Lex Luthor, writing him off as a idiot, but Rosenbaum has made him a formidable opponent for the Man of Steel. He's broken all the molds before him - and I doubt that could be filled again.

I really felt for Lois. She seems to be attracted to the hero type, which I can totally relate. I hated seeing her get her heart broken, but she's not alone.

I'm sure there is MUCH, MUCH more with this episode I'm leaving out, but I'm really quite speechless. It was that good. I really hope Smallville brings us more of these - or else the show creators need to start working on the new Justice and Metropolis series.

Till next time,

Crazy4Smallville's Weekly Review 6:10 Hydro

I know... I'm a week late for this one. I actually didn't even think about writing my review after watching last week's episode. I don't know why. I really enjoyed the episode and thought it was quite funny, but until this morning - contemplating my review of Justice, I remember that I had skipped one for this episode.

So, this week - you get a two fer'.

I didn't particularly like Tori Spelling as Linda Lake. She reminded me of the spoiled brat, turned ghost freak, back in Smallville. I was waiting for her to shout out, 'Laterz' at any moment. Also, her character didn't really go out with a splash; more like a drizzle. I have a feeling that wasn't the last we're going to see of this water nymph.

Surprisingly, some the best parts of this episode were the Lexana scenes. Rosenbaum and Kruek really do have a lot of chemistry together on screen, making Lana's character tolerable. TPTB couldn't help spooning us one last bit of Clana down our throats, but hopefully that's it.

This episode had a lot of different elements. It was a comedy one minute and a deep emotional scene the next, but the chemistry of it worked. Not too much of either one, making it the right combination to send me away at the end with a smile on my face and going, 'Ahh - that was good.'

The Clark/Oliver/Lois triangle was well depicted, especially the look on Clark's face after that kiss, and after Lois' reaction to the kiss at the end of the episode. Those moments were priceless.

The Clark/Lex/Lana triangle was well played with Clark going through a roller coaster of emotions concerning Lana. First shocked, down, then up, hopeful, then more shock, then disappointment, then down, then finally leveling out. That's a lot of emotion to get through in just one episode, but I think Clark pulled it out. I also think Lana did a very tasteful job with her own. She readily admits she loves Clark, but knows that she can't go back and looks forward instead.

The only bit that really irritated me was Lana's self-righteous attitude. But, that's only because I knew Chloe didn't spill the beans on her, but she should have given Chloe the benefit of the doubt. I think this is yet another example of how their friendship is really still on the surface level - not having really any depth.

I was glad to see Chloe put Clark in his place when he started going off on his self-righteous rampage and about secrets and lies. His reaction toward her brought back my old Chlark desires. He really loves her and she really loves him - and it's a shame they don't have the opportunity to share that love.

Anyway - there's a lot more in this episode that I loved - especially the whole Oliver Queen/Green Arrow cover-up, Jimmy moonlighting with Lois, Lois' hilarious attempt at uncovering the truth, and so on. That whole storyline was awesome and well played out.

The previews of Justice left me with tingles.... I can't wait!

Till next time,

Monday, January 08, 2007

In the Beginning... The First Day

Genesis 1:1 - In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.(KJV)

Even those who believe in the 'Big Bang Theory' accept there was a beginning. They cannot say what it was, but they speculate on what happened in the split seconds that followed. According to this theory - all known matter (and even some unknown) was present within the space smaller than an atom. As we know it now, nothing is smaller than an atom - yet, by faith it is believed that all matter (all gases, elements & chemical breakdowns that make up our natural existence within time and space) existed in this small area. From that - it exploded into the expanding universe which mankind has only scratched the surface to understand.

Wow, that takes a LOT of faith, but I believe it's possible. I just also believe that perhaps the split second before this 'bang' a Word was spoken by something that existed in a realm that was long before our own. You see - the natural realm(space, time, earth, planets, solar systems & galaxies - even atoms) exists and is governed by natural law, the spiritual realm exists and is governed by spiritual law, for God is supernatural - spiritual - and the place he dwells is supernatural - spiritual. This place, I believe, is the 'heaven' referred to by Moses, as dictated by God, in this verse. Also, because the scripture doesn't say 'heavens' being plural, but 'heaven' being singular. The 'earth' , I believe, isn't necessarily the specific planet, but the natural existence altogether.

Genesis 1:2 - And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.(KJV)

If my theory is right that 'earth' including all natural existence, then this sentence makes more sense, because it couldn't have meant the planet. Planets have shapes and physical properties. However, this refers to something without a shape, without physical properties.

The word 'void' means - containing no matter; empty. Unoccupied. Devoid, lacking, useless. An empty space.

Formless means - lacking definate form or shape.

A cold planet, devoid of life, still has elemental properties and matter and a shape, so it cannot be classified as formless and void. Many of planets in our solar system have elements, but none have life - and they're not categorized as 'void'. So, in this passage, the 'earth' mentioned couldn't have been of a young planet. It spoke of something that existed, but didn't have any physical properties, including gases or atoms... yet.

As for the next two sentences, I'm not sure I've even began to grasp their meaning.

and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

What sort of 'darkness' is Moses speaking of? The natural or the supernatural? I don't think it's natural darkness, because he addresses that later on the fourth day in verses 14-19. Why would God create the same thing on the fourth day that he did on the first day? Also, what is the 'deep' and what are the 'waters'?

If our existence (at this time) was formless and void (hasn't formed any physical properties), how can there be physical water which is made up of oxygen and hydrogen? Perhaps this is spiritual water? Jesus speaks of living water - perhaps this is one and the same?

Genesis 1:3 - And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.(KJV)

What kind of light is this? Natural light cannot exist without radiation and water. Without the sun we have no radiation. If our universe is devoid of physical properties, how can this light be natural light? Also, if God created 'natural' light here - what did he create on the fourth day?

Light has more than one meaning. Per Webster - not only is it a physical characteristic of electromagnetic radiation that can be perceived by the naked eye and has wavelengths, but it is also a way of looking at or considering something, enlightenment, understanding, not heavy, free from worries, etc. John 8:12 - Jesus says that he is light of the world. Perhaps this is the light referred to here.

However, if you keep reading... in verse five, God names the light "Day" and gives it a capital letter, making it a proper noun. He does the same for darkness, by naming it 'Night' - unlike on the fourth day when the natural light and darkness (caused by the sun and space) is simply called, 'day' and 'night' (no caps).

This gives me pause to consider that perhaps what God is speaking of isn't natural, but supernatural. Keeping that in mind, the next verse takes on a whole new meaning.

Genesis 1:4 - And God saw the light, that [it was] good: and God divided the light from the darkness.(KJV)

Perhaps, God saw 'goodness' and separated it from its opposite, 'evil'.

We know that God separated the spiritual realm when Lucifer and a third his angels rebelled against him, and created 'Hell'. We understand later through scripture that Hell wasn't created for the spirits of humans, but for Satan and his fallen angels. We will learn later that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil existed in the garden when it was created, therefore good and evil existed long before the garden.

Genesis 1:5 - And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.(KJV)

Perhaps God's first day of creation wasn't about the natural realm at all. Being eternity-minded instead of earthy-minded, I'm apt to believe that the possibilty exists of that being the case. I'm also very aware that I could be wrong.

I know my finite mind has a hard time comprenhending the infinate things of God. I also find it laughable (because of the arrogance) at how some people fight so hard against what they don't even begin to understand, or how others easily accept what other finite minds tell them without trying to discover or reason for themselves.

My pastor often expressed the following statment and it truly changed my life and how I look at things.

Condemnation of new information, without consideration, is ignorance and arrogance of the highest order.

I don't know a lot of things, but I'm willing to learn. I'm willing to admit I was wrong and have an open enough mind to consider the possibility that what I've always thought I knew, I didn't know at all. But, I'm also confident in what I am convinced of, and stand with a clear conscience that it's what I've reasoned on my own to be. I'm fully convinced of what I believe, therefore I don't waiver, because it's my own conscience that has conceived the idea - not someone else' opinion. But, everything else is up for bebate.

In other words... there are some things I know - because I've learned them for myself and have worked them out in my own understanding or have experianced them personally. Everything else I'm unsure of - I'm still willing to learn.

I can't wait to find out what I discover about the second day.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Friday, January 05, 2007

New Website Updates

I've updated my websites:

I think I did a pretty good job on them. I still need to do some work on both, to tweak out the little nuances, but overall, I think they're both much better than they used to be.

I'm hoping for some good news in the coming month. My agent should be back from the holidays next week and so should the publishers considering my work.

Magic Island is coming along well. I'm in the middle of writing chapter thirteen, while chapter twelve is currently in queue in my critique group. However, I'm behind on edits. I'm only on chapter 8. I was hoping to get caught up, but still haven't found the time. Perhaps this weekend I'll get it knocked out.

I've actually been thinking about Necromancers. I'd like to hurry up and complete Magic Island so I can get back to that series. I'm itchin' to start writin' on book three, The Year of the Griffin. Gandolf is in for a perilous adventure.

Well, it's back to work for me.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Audrey Hepburn

This is by far my favorite actress, with Ann Hathaway following close behind. They just don't make actresses like her anymore, or else they don't make good movies like they used to.

Over the holidays, my mother-in-law bought me the same DVD collection of three of Audrey's movies (Sabrina, Roman Holiday & Breakfast at Tiffany's) as my son. He also bought me the collector's edition of My Fair Lady. I've watched all four movies twice now.

They also bought me Ella Enchanted to help with my Ann Hathaway collection.

I love old musicals and classic movies. So, now that I've started a collection there are few movies I want to add to my wish list:

From Audrey Hepburn:

Love Among Thieves
They All Laughed
Robin & Marian
Wait Until Dark **Must Have
Two For The Road
How to Steal a Million
Paris - When it Sizzles
Charade **Must Have
The Unforgiven
The Nun's Story
Green Mansions
Love in the Afternoon
Funny Face **Must Have
War & Peace **Must Have
The Secret People
Young Wives Tale
The Lavender Hill Mob
Laughter in Paradise
One Wild Oat
Monte Carlo Baby

Ann Hathaway:

The Devil Wears Prada **Already Have
Ella Enchanted **Already Have
Princess Diaries
Princess Diaries 2
Nicholas Nickleby
The Other Side of Heaven
I'm going to forget she was in Brokeback Mountain
Becoming Jane

On another thought. I finally got my websites updated. They both still need a little work and more tweaking, but they're coming along really well.

I'm not going to post a new chapter of Magic Island this week, for next week's queue. I'm going to try and get caught up on edits of the last four chapters, then complete chapter fourteen. I just feel like a little break. My agent should be getting back to work after her long holiday break, so I'm hoping to hear something soon about Milledgeville Misfit or Orientation.

You should check out my new Necromancers website at: and let me know what you think.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray