Foreign Film Friday: Hyde, Jekyll, Me

Foreign Film Friday: Hyde, Jekyll, Me

Dramafever, Hyde, Jekyl,Me, Alica Mckenna Johnson, Phoenix Child
I have found, a site with free Korean dramas, full of wonderful/awful shows. They have fun stories, and a different way to approach the stories. I think is important for writers to explore, so it is not entertainment, it’s research, people. I’m working here.
Anyway Hyde, Jekyll, Me is a fun odd story. It has romance and a Jekyll/Hyde character, but the dominant character is a cold-hearted business man who fights to suppress the side of him that is a sweet, playful, artistic hero named Robin.
The female lead is frequently yanked, shoved, and pushed to the ground, even though she is supposed to be an aerial artist. I know some aerial artists, and they are strong. So, yeah, that irks. But I keep coming back to it even when it irks me.
Also something happened the last time Robin, the good side, came out five years ago. Something the others see as bad, and Robin doesn’t know about. And I have to find out what happened, they are hinting someone died, but I don’t know whether I trust them. Must keep watching to find out!!


I’m Not Going To Starve!!

I’m Not Going To Starve!!
Alica McKenna Johnson, Phoenix Child, dieting, healthy eating, families

Photo by Kate Ter Haar

So it seems like every time I change my eating habits, my loving family starts out very supportive and then slowly changes what they bring me for meals.
Yes, you will probably hate me after this, but I almost never cook. Breakfast and dinner are made by my hubby and daughter. They bring it down to the group home for me every day :)
But when I start trying to eat better, the meals seem to become bigger. Because I am no longer eating grains, I have to eat double portions of everything else, right?
I’ll give you an example.
My daughter made me Japanese omelets and stir-fried shrimp and vegetables. I was starving, and I’m a pig so I ate all of it. I thought the omelets were just really fluffy. So with my plate empty, I leaned back to finish watching my show (yes, I know it’s better to eat mindfully, but I don’t have that kind of time, people) and then the amount of food I ate hit my stomach. I was SO full. Disgustingly full.
When I asked my daughter she said that she used six eggs. SIX EGGS!!!! WTH!
I would never eat six eggs in one meal. I had to limit her to three, and ONLY if she felt it REALLY needed them for what she was making.

Alica McKenna-Johnson, dieting, healthy eating, families

Photo by Mack Male

Hubby brings me platters full of seasoned baked tofu and roasted vegetables. It takes me hours to eat them all!
I know you all feel for me, being brought these delicious meals that are too big to eat in one sitting.
Truly, my life is hard.

 First World Problems

 First World Problems
Noms my daughter made.

Noms my daughter made.

There are times when I complain about something, and my privilege and wealth just smack me in the face. I am not wealthy by American monetary standards, but compared to so many people I am.
So here are some things I’ve said to myself and then thought, “Really? You’re actually going to complain about that? What is wrong with you?”
When I’m tired and go to put my bed together (it’s a futon that folds from a couch to a bed), sometimes the sheets are in the dryer, and I have to make up my bed. So irritating! Until I remind myself that I have a house, and a bed, and sheets that were washed and dried in a machine, so they are nice and clean and sweet-smelling.
When we run out of the distilled water I like, and I have to drink the distilled water hubby grabs from Circle K. Yes, please continue to complain about the clean water you have to drink.
Between my Kindle, bookshelf, and stock of books from the library, I don’t know which to read. This stresses me out. So I have unlimited access to books, extra money to buy books, and unlike many women in today’s world, I am able to learn to read, and yet it’s stressing me out?
So these are an example some of the things that run through my mind that catch me as being particularly First World Privileged.

The Grocer’s Son

The Grocer’s Son

The Grocer's Son, Foreign Films, Alica McKenna Johnson
This French movie was sweet and funny. A son is forced into going home and helping out at his family’s grocery store in a small mountain town. The town is so sweet, and he packs a van every day to drive over the mountain to smaller villages and homes were people live alone.
I want this job. The views were beautiful, the people sweet, and quirky, and not willing to put with the son’s bad attitude.
Something happened to estrange the father and son—we never know what it is. They don’t have a big conversation and make everything better, but they do have a few small moments where they heal and learn to accept and maybe respect each other.
There is a bit of romance, but not so much I would call this a love story. It’s more of a young-man-gets-his-head-out-of-his-ass story :)

Can she rule the world?

Can she rule the world?

So I was listening to TED Talks trying to find one for my writers groups blog, and I found this inspiring talk by Isabel Allende. It made me laugh, and cry, and hope for a good world.


So I’m not a millionaire yet.

So I’m not a millionaire yet.


My new beautiful cover!

Phoenix Child has been out for a week and a half, and I’m not yet a millionaire, which is disappointing. I also haven’t gotten call for Oprah, Rove, or Grahame Norton to book me on their shows.
I’m not sure this whole “reality” thing is working for me.
I know it takes time, and multiple books, and reviews, and marketing. But surely I would be the exception.
At least I expected to have someone ask me for the movie rights by now.
I guess maybe I should stop shopping for my Oscar dress and get back to writing and editing.
While I can’t give any dates, because giving dates is asking the Universe to mess with me, I will give you an update.
Legacy of the Feathered Serpent, Book Two in the Children of Fire Series, is in final edits. Mary has it right now, and once I get it back, it’ll go to Kim for a final proof read :)
Kayin’s Fire, a Children of Fire novella. has gone through first-round critique edits. Once I absorb those, it will either go back to Kilian for more work, depending on how much revising I have to do, or to Jill for proof reading.
Heirs of Avalon, Book Three in the Children of Fire Series, is in Kilian’s hands for critique edits.


Wait, where was I?
Shadows in the Glass, originally planned as a novella about Carlos, a minor character from book one, has turned into a novel. It has gone through my critique group and is into my revisions and edits.
And finally, I am working on the first draft of A Dragon’s Clutch, Book Four in the Children of Fire Series.
So there are good things ahead in my little world :)

Photo by Solarbotics  So what do you think of this as an Oscar dress??

Photo by Solarbotics
So what do you think of this as an Oscar dress??

The Lunchbox

The Lunchbox


The Lunchbox
I loved this movie.
One of my favorite things about foreign films is learning about other cultures. And in this movie we learn about the care and energy that goes into preparing lunch for working relatives. It’s so sweet and unique.
The story is also fun. The way these two people become friends, share their lives with each other, and help each other through lunches and letters is wonderful. I adored both characters. Their lives are so rich and sad and have so much potential.
The end of this movie is abrupt. If you can’t handle the movie just ending and not knowing what happens to the two friends, then watch this movie anyway, but be prepared to not like the ending. The rest of the movie is worth it, in my opinion.


Picking a Meal Based on the Sauce.

Picking a Meal Based on the Sauce.
Photo By Loozrboy

Photo By Loozrboy

I just opened the fridge and found left over plum sauce from when we’d had Chinese food. I love plum sauce!
So now I’m wondering what I can make to go with it.
There has to be something in this fridge that goes with plum sauce, and yet I don’t want to spend an hour chopping veggies for a stir fry! I found some frozen cooked shrimp and warmed them up covering them in the plum sauce to get my fix.
Do you base meals on the random sauces you find in the fridge?

The Wind Rises

The Wind Rises

I am a huge Hayao Miyazaki fan, so when I saw this movie on the shelf, I just picked it up and watched it. Now, I liked the movie a lot, but this is not a children’s tale. It is a story of a man, a genius, who loves airplanes and becomes an amazing engineer right before World War 2. We don’t see a lot of the war, we do see some interaction with the Germans, and Japan’s struggles with a recession.
There is also a sweet and sad love story.
Of course, the animation is outstanding. At one point there is an earthquake, and the visuals took my breath away.
It’s an engaging story, full of beauty and art. While I won’t say it has a happy ending, there was a sweetness to it. Not his usual movie, but if you’re a fan of his, or Japan, or airplanes , it’s well worth checking out. Not really for kids. I think they would get bored.

My Daughter Making Hardened Criminals Cry Since 2014

My Daughter Making Hardened Criminals Cry Since 2014
Tala, three hair colors ago :)

Tala, three hair colors ago :)

Tala was walking home from school. Minding her own business. Okay, she was scoping out what everyone else was doing, giving nods to people she knows, winking at hot people, and listening to her music.
A group of men from the prison were cleaning up debris. Orange jumpsuits, prison tats, and guards with guns—the works. So Tala walks by, and the men catcall her.
Tala turns, pulling out her headphones and yells, “Hey I’m only fourteen years old, assholes!”
Several of these men start apologizing and one man started to cry.
Tala rolled her eyes and walked the rest of the way home, her badassness still undefeated.