Friday, January 11, 2013

2013 Academy Awards - Nominations and Predictions, Ninja News, and Questions Regarding Blog Visits and Writing

2013 Oscar Nominations and Predictions

Most of you have seen the list of nominees, so I’ll just focus on a couple categories and my predictions. And if you thought my Super Bowl predictions were suspect…

As for overall nominations, Lincoln leads the pack with twelve. Life of Pi is next with eleven, then Argo with seven, and Django Unchained with five. Even The Hobbit has three nominations. And might I add it’s rare I like so many of the nominations. That will make some of the categories even more difficult.

Best Visual Effects has three likely candidates out of five - The Hobbit, The Avengers, and Life of Pi. I’d be happy with any of them winning, but I’m giving the edge to Life of Pi for the amazing CGI tiger.

For Best Cinematography, I’m going with Django Unchained.

Best Animated Film doesn’t really have a strong contender, so it’s anyone’s game.

For Best Director, Steven Spielberg for Lincoln. (And Ben Affleck was robbed – no nomination for Argo here.)

In the category of Best Supporting Actor, we have five strong entries, most notably Alan Arkin from Argo, Tommy Lee Jones from Lincoln, and Christoph Waltz from Django Unchained. Again, I’d be happy with any of them, but edge goes to Waltz for his captivating performance.

For Best Actor, no contest - Daniel Day-Lewis. He WAS Lincoln.

I’ve seen four of the nine Best Picture nominees - Lincoln, Argo, Life of Pi, and Django Unchained. And here is my big prediction – Lincoln is going to sweep most of the categories, including this one. If Lincoln starts gaining momentum early, and especially if Spielberg wins Best Director, then Best Picture is a lock.

The last time I was right in my Best Picture prediction was 2007 and No Country For Old Men, so I think I’m due!

What are your predictions?

Ninja News

ML Swift started the The Progressive Book Club: A unique blog hop that's an online book club and meets the third Wednesday of every month. Visit his site for details.

My publisher always keeps me updated as to which Science Fiction Conventions they are sending promotional materials for bags and giveaways. And I had to laugh at the one coming up next weekend – Rusty, dude, you have your own Con! Rustycon is January 18-20 at the SeaTac Marriott Hotel in Seattle, WA. I think Rusty should get free admission and special VIP treatment…

Questions and Ponderings

Usually my posts are so full of news and announcements I don’t get time for this stuff!

How does everyone visit blogs?

Through Google Reader? Your blogroll? Comments from the previous day?

I start with my blogger buddies folder in Google Reader, then check a couple other folders, and then check comments for someone I missed. (Sometimes it takes me until the second day to visit commenters.)

Thanks to those who visited my discussion on outlining with M. Pax on Wednesday. There were a couple interesting questions and I’d like to boggle your minds with my answers.

Nancy Thompson asked: I’m curious how you write outline. Is it handwritten or done on the computer? Is it free firm or true outline style? How many pages of outline are typical & how many pages of text do you produce from a page of outline?

First one is handwritten, and then the remaining versions are on the computer so I can add to them. Free form. Printed out, my outlines are three to five pages long. And the outline for CassaStorm was over four pages and produced 82,000 words, so I guess around 20,000? Maybe I need to write even longer outlines…

Johanna Garth asked this after reading that I don’t name secondary characters until later: So now I’m curious how the characters are referenced in the first draft. By letters, numbers??

By blanks. Lots and lots of blanks! Yes, it’s interesting when I finally do select names (usually just before my test readers and critique partners see it) and try to place them in the correct spots…

And if that doesn’t puzzle you, here’s another one – I don’t divide my manuscripts into chapters until the very end. Yes, I send them to my publisher that way – sans chapters. (To my credit, there are breaks!)

Anybody else wait until the last minute to divide up a manuscript?

What are your Oscar predictions this year? How many of the nominees have you seen? Joining the Progressive Book Club? Going to Rustycon? How do you visit blogs? And anyone else share my strange writing style?


  1. I think you're right about Lincoln. It was an okay film, but very Oscar-friendly. I can see a lot of Academy members giving it the nod. I don't think there was a really stand out movie this year. All the noms are pretty equal.


  2. Sadly I haven't seen any of the nominated films - I'm eager to see Django Unchained though. Im just quite pleased Bond wasn't nominated for best film because I told Hubby I'd watch it if it won an Oscar (I'm not a fan!)

  3. Looking forward to see the programme on the TV. I like to see who wins what . Great post Alex,


  4. I actually haven't spent a lot of time thinking about how people do their blog visits. That's a good question. For me, I do a little bit of everything. I use my blog roll, and I also try to visit the blogs of those who comment on my posts. For some reason, certain blogs that I like don't often show up on my blog roll, so I have to remember who those bloggers are, and just try to visit them when I can.

  5. I haven't seen annnny of the movies... I hadn't even seen the *nominations* so thanks for clueing me in :)

    PS... whatever your writing style is, don't fix what obviously isn't broken :)

  6. The only one I've seen is The Avengers.

    Don't worry about not getting around to everyone on your blogroll. Its virtually impossible unless all you do is write and read blogs.

  7. This is so sad, but I haven't seen one of those movies yet. It's been a busy year. I'm headed to M. Pax now, I lost internet yesterday. :(
    I'm going to be catching-up through the weekend.
    I also name some secondary characters after the book is done. I usually leave a place holder so it's easy to find. Something like (Uncle) or (assistant).
    Have a great weekend!

  8. I haven't seen all those movies, but your predictions sound good to me.

    I use Google Reader.

    You don't divided into chapters or name secondary characters? I hate it that I missed that interview!

  9. Annalisa, you lucked out there, but it is up for another Oscar...

    Cynthia, that's a bummer they don't show up.

    Thanks, Mark - I won't change it.

    Lass, I do try though...

    Ciara, that's probably a better idea than my blank lines.

    Brinda, I don't!

  10. I haven't seen nearly enough movies this year.

  11. Siiigh. Frustrating thing is that the only movie you named out in South Africa is The Hobbit. Django comes out next week, I think. Argo (which I'm dying to watch) the week after that. Sigh.

    Blogging: I tend to change my methods because no one way seems to work. Right now, I'm commenting on commenters's blogs once a week, so I at least don't go back to a post I already read. (Find this beyond annoying.) Then I'm going through bloghop lists to find new bloggers and to catch up with old ones. I might go through the reader once I'm through the IWSG, but I broke it in April last year.

    Yes. I broke google reader.

    Writing style wise, I draft by hand, so I don't even have breaks in the beginning. The only numbers in my books are to keep track of the word-count. If I care.


  12. Most of these films are still on my to-see list. I need to catch up! Nice to hear that people are thinking up new blogfests this early in the year.

  13. Thanks for sharing your Oscar predictions. I haven't seen any of them.

    I use my blogroll to decide which blogs to read.

  14. These were a lock months ago and more predictable than previous years. I would love to see Argo win because it was the most enjoyable movie I saw this year. Lincoln was dazzling at times but also dull and it's been years since the Academy surprised anyone. I would also like to see the oldest and youngest nominees win to promote two smaller features but the Lincoln juggernaut will not be stopped.

  15. WOW after seeing your posting on the Oscars I realized that I have not seen any of those movies. :/ But on blog visits, I just started reading blogs in the G-Reader and here lately I've been so busy with work that I have only been able to comment back to those who comment. I feel like a slacker because of it. :(

  16. I must say I have only seen one "Life of Pi" and it was was a visual master piece with some quirky lines... it would have not been a choice. I am in for the scores as posted here:

    As I have loved all of these I pick "Argo"... Oscars and me don't agree to much on things... I am upset about Afleck, snubbed.

    I enjoyed your q and a... I want to come up with the ultimate question for you...

    Have a great day!


  17. You have some stellar predictions Alex. Lincoln sounds like a lock. As for blog reading, I still use Google Reader. It's fast and efficient. Have a great weekend.

  18. I saw Lincoln, The Hobbit, Argo, and Les Miserables. I think Lincoln will probably win best picture. Daniel Day Lewis will win (though Hugh Jackman was excellent in Les Miz). It's a toss up between Sally Field and Anne Hathaway - they were both excellent.

    As to reading blogs, I do it two ways. On my blog I have a "inner circle" and "outer circle" of blogs I follow. Sometimes I just go through those for the most recent posts and other times (like this morning), I go through my Blogger reading list.

  19. First off, thanks so much for the mention, Alex. I hope it brings a few to the club.

    Second, aren't those some awesome contenders for the Oscars? Man...such difficult choices. I think Lincoln will sweep them, although I have seen a Best Picture Oscar go to a non-best director winner. It seems to be a way to give them both a nod!

    So...Argo for best picture and Lincoln for best director.

    You had a great post here. I'm looking at your questions, writing a post myself just in the answering!

    Honestly...I don't even know how to read blogs through Google reader. This is what I do, because I'm not that great at looking at my dashboard: I use my blogroll to see what's new, go there, then check out other people's blogrolls to see what's new on the ones they have, but I don't. Then I go visit them.

    Thanks again for the mention! Oh...and it's pretty much sign up for the month you want to read the book...miss the next if you don't.

  20. The only movie I saw from the nominations was The Hobbit and that's about the norm for me; I rarely see what's been nominated. I'm a comedy loving chick.

    My blog roll is fairly small I start with that first, then go to my comments, then to my reader. I make sure I visit everyone on the day I post and will sometimes try to make time to visit people on my blog roll even on days I don't post.

  21. Rustycon! You show up one time at a place and the next thing you know they are naming things after you. It's a short drive I'm sure, I may put in the 30 - 40 hour drive and pop in next weekend just to say hey. I'd tell them Alex sent me.

    And I read your interview the other day but didn't get a chance to comment. I really enjoyed it. And you've got me with the predictions. I never pay attention to those things - for movies at least. I'm sure you're dead on.

  22. Rustycon? Fabulous. Do we all have to dress up like Rusty or Rustyettes?

  23. First time I see your new header. Nice!!!

    Okay. It's official. I NEED to go see Lincoln and Life of Pi and The Hobbit. I suck at catching films in the theater.

  24. I really need to get Netflix. I'll have to catch all of these movies then. Or else I'll have to learn Spanish faster in order to see them here in Mexico.

  25. Haven't seen any of those movies but I want to, and some point. :)

    Interesting how you don't have "chapters" until much later on! I usually have chapters and/or breaks in the early drafts. Of course, they'll change and get switched around etc. but I need them in order to see some sort of structure as I go.

  26. Misha, that's really impressive that you broke your Google Reader!

    AJ, I'd still like to see a few more Best Picture nominees before the awards.

    Kal, it won't. I'd have no problem with Argo winning - really enjoyed that film!

    Gossip Girl, it happens!

    Jeremy, he was snubbed! Ultimate question - go for it!

    Maurice, Google Reader works for me.

    Sheila, whatever works best for you!

    ML, I'd be happy with that Oscar split. If you need Google Reader help, let me know. And happy to mention your reading club.

    Elsie, that's why I usually don't get to commenters until the day I don't post - too many blogger buddy posts!

    Rusty, thanks. And you should take a road trip to Seattle. It IS your Con after all.

    Deborah, that is a good question!

  27. I actually followed the model you posted about a while back and divided my Google Reader into folders. It's working OK, but I still can't match your ninja skills! I also make sure to visit back every commenter.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't work in chapters! I can't think in chapters, just scenes. The scenes might get moved around when I divide the book up, to make sure each chapter includes a bit of subplot, etc.

  28. Since I am pretty new with the blog thing, I read from my blog list first, until I found out about blog hops. I've been adding blogs in each blog hop, but I've been only on two of them. Then I learned about the Insecure Writers Group, and I try follow that list...and added some other blogs as I go. I just learned to use google plus so for now I let the Force and Dragon Ancestors guide me.

    Your writing techniques are interesting. My outlines do not have many names either. I don't leave blank spaces but I go with the first names that come to my head and I change them later. Never print anything. Maybe I should but want to save paper and trees. They hide the Dragon Cave. :)

    Are the 49ers still in the run?

  29. I am really hoping Django Unchained pulls the upset and wins Best Picture. Regardless, I definitely think Christopher Waltz is the best actor on the planet right now, and should win Best Supporting Actor. Great post Alex!

  30. I should try that with my character names. I tend to just put what pops into my head first, thinking I can change it later, but then I get used to it.

  31. I think I need to see more movies. The only one of those nominees I've seen is The Hobbit. I've seen Les Miserables recently, too--loved that, but mostly I am a 'wait for the DVD gal.

    How do you keep the secondary characters straight from each other if they have no indicators? I tend to use XXX, but had a crit partner ask if it was a porn star... now I do things like (Anniesdad) so I at least have a relationship to reference

  32. Not having names (or chapters) would send my OCD into a spin. If I change a name later, it's easy to do a search and replace.

    Movies? What are those?

    Google reader and following comments from my own blog. I tried to add a few recently by subscribe to email but the email seems to come a day later for most of them.

    Off to check out ML's book club!

  33. Finally! I've been looking forward to those nominations.

    I agree with you about best cinematography and and supporting actor.

    Best animation should go to Frankenweenie or Wreck it Ralph. They were both great.

  34. I'm glad Lincoln is getting the recognition it deserves (though I haven't seen the movie yet). The world needs to remember what a true hero looks like.

    I visit blogs through my comments and then my blog roll. I'm following too many to figure out a better way to do it.

    Happy Friday and weekend, Alex.

  35. Of the current nominations, I've seen 'Pi', 'Argo' and 'Silver Linings Playbook'. All three were award worthy. BUT, even without seeing it, I'm personally rooting for 'Les Mis', the most inspirational stage play I've ever seen (3 times).

    You're writing style is certainly different, but I say whatever works for you.

  36. LOVED Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln. A win for sure. Still haven't seen Life of Pi, but will soon.

    And I too wait until I'm done with a manuscript before I break it up into chapters. It's one of the organizing tasks I do through revision.

  37. Madeline, I guess I just work well without structure.

    Nick, glad that is working for you. And glad you don't do chapters either.

    Al, sounds like you are finding a lot of blogs that way. And yes, 49ers play this weekend.

    Optimistic, I think he should win!

    Hart, I don't know! I just know who is who, even with all of the blanks.

    Laura, don't think I could handle getting emails on top of everything else.

    George, I still want to see Wreck it Ralph.

    That is a wonderful way to word it, Robyn!

    Faraway, I still hope to catch a few more movies before the awards.

    LG, that is good to know! I knew the way I did it was different, but at least I'm not alone.

  38. I will have to check out google reader. I use my blog roll, then if I have time go to the following page on blogger. I'd like a better way to read on my phone...well I can read, I just can't comment easily.

    Funny about the names. If I don't have a name I like, I'll use a stupid phrase so it's easy to do a search and replace. I missed one once and my editor sent me a note...why the heck did you name her Clem Kadiddle Hopper? Good thing for edits!

  39. Saw Argo and The Hobbit, and loved them. I missed Lincoln, which I regret. I'll have to get it as soon as it's out on dvd.

  40. Your predictions seem pretty spot on to me. As for visiting blogs, I first visit those who commented on my blog. If I have time after that, I have a short list of good friends I visit, and then I go down from most recent in my Google Reader. Have a great weekend!

  41. Oh, the Progressive Book Club sounds awesome. I hadn't heard about that, thanks for sharing.

    I wondered about referencing the characters too after reading your Spacedock post. Interesting that you just insert blanks for them! I think I would end up totally confusing myself if I tried that LOL.

    Have a great weekend, Alex!

  42. I used to live off my google reader, but then it stopped working on my work PC. BUT! I'm getting in IE update tonight, so maybe i can go back to using it!

  43. Haven't seen any of the nominations and had only heard of a couple of them.

    I use my blog roll to pick out visitors and if I get new bloggers commenting, I return the visits.

  44. I actually haven't watched a single one of those Academy Award nominees you mentioned in this post. I think the only movie I've seen in theater this year was 'The Hunger Games'.

    I think it's interesting that you don't do chapters until the very end. I did that for my last book as well. I left scene separators, and then as I was working on maybe the fourth draft or so, I started to solidify my chapters. In early drafts, so much is subject to change it seems silly to commit to a chapter.

  45. I go through my list on my sidebar first and then the last day or two's comments. If I still have time (or am still in procrastination mode), I click through the blog list on the blogger dashboard - I usually decide which ones to open based on the title. Have a great weekend.

  46. I'm so behind on my movie-watching... I haven't seen any of the front-runners for the Oscars with the exception of Silver Linings Playbook, which was sweet and hilarious. I tried reading LIFE OF PI but couldn't get into it, although the movie looks wonderful.

  47. I still haven't even seen the Hobbit yet. I did see Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. I will say it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be.

  48. I have finally forced myself to start writing with chapters in the first draft on my third novel after many complaints from betas. I still don't number them until the end b/c I found I had three chapter 7s and such, but the find and replace is good for that. It's also great for the name issue, which I also do. I use a symbol for each character ($,#,@) and then do a find and replace at the end. I do love that function.
    As for blog visiting, I'm no ninja and feel bad, but I use my google reader in the morning and hit blogs that interest me there, as well as random blogs I might want to check in on, then reply to comments on mine. I have no idea how people find time to visit so many blogs. I might hit 15 a day.

  49. Lincoln Lincoln Lincoln, except for Ann Hathaway in Les Mis

  50. Hi Alex - thanks for listing your Oscar nominations etc - it will be interesting to see how they pan out.

    I've got those 4 to see - next week and on .. Lincoln's only out next week ... and Les Mis - which I think will be great ..

    Going to see one of those feel good movies on Sunday - Quartet .. with all the good British actors in it - Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, Michael Gambon .. etc - light relief!!

    Cheers - some wonderful films out now ...

    Reading blogs - per my Reader and I try and catch new commenters ... Hilary

  51. I will probably break from tradition and not watch the Oscars this year (disconnecting the cable saw to that), but as an animation guru, I'm vouching for ParaNorman, but since Disney has three entries this year, I'm sure one of them will land it, as they usually do ... *cough* :)

  52. Do you know what's sad, I'm not much of a movie-goer and so I've not seen any of those movies. I need to get out more.

  53. Rusty should totally get free access to RustyCon. :)

    I just don't go to the movies enough to weigh in. My sister loved seeing Django Unchained, though, and I think Lincoln will win quite a bit.

  54. When it comes to The Oscars I have to disagree with you about having no strong contenders. I think especially Wreck it Ralph and Brave are very strong. But I will say this year doesn't have the strength of past nominees like Toy Story, How to Train Your Dragon and Bolt. When it comes to blog comments I mainly use the blogrrolls on my blog. Thanks for another info fun filled post Alex.

  55. If Bigelow had been nominated for best directore, I'd pick Zero Dark Thirty for best picture. Since she wasn't, I think Lincoln will clean up.

    I couldn't imagine writing without chapters.

  56. We don't get out to the theatre much anymore, so it's rentals for us, which means that I'm always behind on most nominated movies, particularly the ones from the last half of the year (and the fall and Christmas season... forget it).

  57. Elizabeth, that's funny!

    Julie, I have been known to confuse myself...

    Sarah, I couldn't do it without Google Reader.

    Nickie, exactly!

    Tonja, I follow way too many to use the dashboard anymore.

    Julie, I can see where the book might drag, but the movie didn't.

    Shell, not to scare you, but I hit over a hundred a day.

    Hilary, that's how I visit. And Billy Connolly is great!

    David, except the first year for that Oscar when Shrek won!

  58. I have no idea how you get any writing done with all this blogging. Seriously. It's like you're made of time.

  59. I usually miss out on the oscars till it is all over. (I've never been able to take them seriously since watching Oscar. Now whenever I hear it, I must go about quoting the movie.) Might keep an eye on these though, some of my favourite movies are on the list, after all!

  60. I've seen Argo and The Hobbit but from what I've heard, Lincoln was clearly spectacular. I want to see Life of Pi.

    As for how I visit blogs, I usually start with my commenters and then move over to my blogroll but I suspect your way is much more efficient. I know I miss people :(

  61. I have not watched any of those movies and am crushed that the latest bond movie is nowhere on your lists! *sniff* :-)

    I don't have very much time for blogging and blog visiting, it's just so much to do on a daily basis, so I visit just a few that I find interesting.

    Your writing style is very strange...weird...but it works!

  62. I love Alan Arkin.

    Thanks for the link to Swift's book hop!

  63. I saw on the news last night that there was a bit of a kerfuffle because quite a few directors (I think directors of Best Picture nominees)didn't get nods.

    I put my chapter breaks in at the very end, too. :)

  64. Not me... I have everything formatted when I write. I set up the chapter title along with chapter number on every other page. I guess I like it to look like a real book as I am writing it ... LOL.

    Maybe that's why it takes me so long in edits.... LOL. Hmmm, something to think about.

    As far as the Academies, I used to be an addict, but I don't go to movies that often, and watch very little TV. I just don't have the time.

    What happened to me? I used to be and INSANE MOVIE person and I was GLUED to the TV for YEARS! That all changed when I began to write. WOW... talk about a life altering experience....

    Have a great weekend Alex!

  65. My prediction (?) is that Les Mis is highly overrated and won't win a thing. (Except for maybe costume?) How that movie got as many noms as it did is beyond me. It was an OK adaptation of a truly phenomenal stage show and book. I feel somewhat similarly about Life of Pi. It was a visual marvel, but so was the Avengers, and I'm not sure it deserves Best Picture love.

    I too think Lincoln will win big as it seems like a weak class this year. I think my favorite film from the year might be Moonrise Kingdom, but I never saw Argo to be fair.

  66. Wait... why does Rust's con have 3 X's after it?

    We're going to see Zero Dark Thirty, tonight, which will make our 5th of the contenders to see.

    Silver Linings Playbook was excellent, by the way, and I'm glad Cooper got nominated for it. He wasn't better than Day-Lewis, though.

  67. I think Ben Affleck is being robbed like Leo DiCaprio always is. I know, my husband hates Leo, but I think that's because when we were teenagers, he stamped the walls of every girl's bedroom -- including mine. But, he admits, he is an incredible actor and should have gotten an Oscar already ... like Ben Affleck ...

    I use google reader. If I read a post I want to comment on, then I click and comment ...

  68. This is the only year I can say I'd vote for a movie being best picture that I fell asleep in. Lincoln is worthy of Best Picture and other various awards.

  69. Ash, that's why I have clones.

    Jack, we rarely watch all of the show anymore because it's just depressing to see good movies lose.

    MsHatch, I hate to miss people...

    Hildie, it did have a couple nominations.

    Elizabeth, that's good to know you work that way as well!

    Michael, I still manage to keep up with both.

    EJ, I've seen the original stage production in London, so can't imagine the movie could compare to that either.

    Andrew, we need to ask Rusty...

    Stephen, you feel asleep???

  70. I haven't seen Lincoln yet. I don't think I've seen any of those films...don't make it to the movies often- need the dvd's. As for your blogging question- I use my blogroll.

  71. I haven't seen all the nominated pictures so I can't make predictions but if Anne Hathaway doesn't win for her performance as Fantine in Les Miz there is no justice in the world.

  72. I haven't seen any of the movies up for Oscar nods, so I'm taking the Ninja Captain's word this year ;) I'm pretty interested in seeing Argo, though as I've heard nothing but good things and the preview looked interesting...even though I'm not a huge fan of Affleck.

    As for blog visiting, I go mainly from my Google Reader and, sometimes, I'll click on a random person in someone else's comments if the reader is having a "slow" day :)

    Sorry I missed the outlining discussion....I could have used the tips!

  73. Some of my Atlantic City books don't have chapters, though there are scene breaks. When that's the case, I like to have one scene leading into the other instead of feeling detached.

    I haven't seen a movie in the theatre for a really long time, several years probably.

  74. It is so interesting to me to see how others write. My outlines are about 4-5 pages, too, and include names and descriptions. But I do the opposite of you and have my chapters in separate files and don't put them together until the end.

    Thanks for sharing, Alex!

  75. Ah, the Oscars. :) Thumbs up to Waltz. He's a wonderful actor, and (my fellow Austrian).. :D

  76. Yes, these seem few leg only 3 nominations The Hobbit.

  77. Lincoln should make a clean sweep, I think, though Argo was phenomenal. Rustycon is just 20 minutes from my home! Might have to go check it out if I can avoid catching my husband's flu. Thanks for answering my questions. (Oy, was I a bad typer yesterday, or what?) Wow, short outline! Mine are like 120 handwritten pages! As for your character names, use capped letters or symbols instead of blanks. Then all you have to do to change them is use the Find command then Change To. Easy!

  78. As usual, I haven't seen any of the films up for nominations. We eventually get around to watching them on Netflx. Ah the joys of living an hour from the nearest theatre.

    Happy Friday, Alex!

  79. Those are interesting questions about your writing process. I write chapters out (usually around 2400 words or so). That's just how my brain works. As for the names...I'm amazed you use blanks.

    I don't have any Oscar predictions this year. I still need to see Lincoln. Without that one under my belt, I don't feel I'm qualified to predict anything.

    When I've got the time to visit blogs, I begin with a list I have on my sidebar. Once that's done, if I have more time, I begin with google reader and just keep going down until I run out of time.

  80. LD, haven't seen it, so no idea.

    Mark, Argo is amazing. Hope you can catch it soon.

    Gwen, that is an interesting way to do it.

    Cecilia, hoping he wins!

    Nancy, you should go! Be sure to get a giveaway bag - I think my publisher sent bookmarks or postcards or something. And if my outline was that long, it would be the whole story!

  81. Ninjas don't need chapters. ;-)

    (But fascinating--I've never known anyone who writes like that before!)

  82. I hope Lincoln gets all the awards it deserves! I generally visit blogs through my blogger home page, as I mostly follow via GFC. I also visit the ones I get through email, but I'm really terrible about visiting my Linky and Networked Blogs ones. :D Thanks for visiting my page, Alex! Happy Friday!

  83. Daniel Day-Lewis was excellent as Lincoln, but I also think that Hugh Jackman is a strong contender. Though Christoph Waltz deserves Best Supporting Actor, I just read an article saying that DeNiro was a favorite, and he hasn't won anything in thirty years. Alan Arkin also gave a short, but brilliant performance. I'll head over to Mary's to learn more about outlining this weekend. Julie

  84. I saw The Hobbit last weeked and really enjoyed it.

    I use Google Reader when I have the time or lots of blogs to catch up on otherwise scroll through the blog roll for things that catch my eye. Always try to catch up with regulars and bloggers who visit me.

  85. I thought of you, Alex, when the nominations were announced. Much of Lincoln was filmed near where my art studios are located in Petersburg. Some of the artists got to meet Spielberg. It will be interesting to see what happens.

  86. Lincoln was a great film, but I think Argo was the one that won.

    Your outlines are long! My chapter book outlines are only a page and a half.

  87. I agree, Ben Affleck should have been nominated for Best Director.


  88. Forgot to add - I go through my blog roll when visiting blogs but I prioritize the people who left comments the day before and go from there.


  89. Yours is definitely a one-of-a-kind writing/outlining style...
    Movies? Sorry, have no idea (as per usual...) funny enough, a friend was talking about Life Of Pi earlier today... she urged me to check it out so maybe I'll watch it...

  90. I really loved Lincoln. Will prolly see Hobbit again.

    My blog visits are haphazard at best, LOL!

  91. YOU DIDN'T MENTION LES MISÈRABLES! It has 8 nods, I think (if I remember correctly). *sad face* I hope it wins a lot :)

    And I outline too!! I need to, in order to make a good story. I tried not doing it once, and the book was a mess.

  92. I agree that Lincoln will sweep the board, and agreed that affleck was robbed!

  93. I am so behind. I haven't seen any of those movies.

    The only thing I predict are whether forthcoming babies are boys are girls. I've only been wrong once.


  94. Michael, I use my sidebar only when on my iPad. And yes, nothing but blanks where a name should be...

    Morgan, that's right!

    Liesel, your blog is in my blogger buddies folder!

    Julie, just some great performances last year.

    Monti, that is very cool!

    Jai, that is fair.

    Michelle, it was really good.

    Laura, I visit so many, I have to stay organized.

    SC, I haven't seen it is why I didn't mention it. I have seen the original London stage production though.

  95. I have yet to see Lincoln, but I have seen many things ABOUT Lincoln. Daniel Day-Lewis is always phenomenal in everything he does. I watched an interview of him and Spielberg about Lincoln. Lewis did nothing but read about Lincoln for something like two years. Two years. I think it is safe to say that he knows more about Lincoln than anyone. And that movie is based on something like two pages out of someone's book. Two pages. They produced an entire script out of two pages. Amazing. However, Lewis and Sally Field and the rest of the cast all are character actors, so they all never broke character during the entire shoot. There was no horsing around. Blah blah blah. And even Spielberg came to the shoot in coat and tie because it didn't feel right showing up in jeans. It was just one of those surreal times. I wouldn't have been surprised had he asked to be costumed so he'd "blend." Yeah, it was apparently one of those kind of movies.

    So, I think you might break your streak this year and actually get Best Picture correct. I, too, think it will be Lincoln.

  96. Great question Nancy. I'm not much of an out-liner either but my one page spawned 85K words! I haven't seen Lincoln but I think you're right this time Alex!

  97. I'm assuming Beasts of the Southern Wild will win Best Picture.

  98. So many comments so I'll just say, "Hi Alex!" How's it going, eh?

    I'm with ya on the top movies: Life of Pi, Lincoln and Argo. Funny, Lincoln was my least favourite of the three. I agree Affleck was robbed, but so was the young actor in Life of Pi who I though was phenomenal.

  99. I think a lot of Hollywood types were shocked by the Affleck snub.

    I use a more timeline and character growth chart approach put together in note form rather than an outline. I think if you ask ten authors, you'll get ten different answers.

    I read blogs from my sidebar and from comments and from a list of have of blogs I don't want to miss. I don't always travel in the same order. So just because I comment early on one doesn't mean I'll always be early every day I comment.

    I've just gone on and on about not much of anything. Time to shut up and move on :)

    Happy Weekend!

  100. Your predictions seem spot on to me! Or put another way, I have no idea.

  101. I divided into chapters from the beginning. And I'll give characters without names a temp name like XXXX or Temp. Then I can do an easy find/replace when I come up with a name. I do the same if I have trouble naming a place.

    Cool on RustyCon. I didn't know he was a con either.

  102. Wow. You authorly people are strange. Outlines? Blank names? No chapters?
    OK, I do the no chapter thing but I have to have names.
    I don't outline. I make the whole thing up as I go and I edit as I go. I guess we're all quirky. :)

    I haven't seen any of the Oscar movies. Sad but true.

    Have a great weekend!

  103. Vik, we agree!

    Teresa, that's a talent.

    Robin, now that is some dedication. Doesn't surprise me coming from Day-Lewis though.

    Tony, I will watch that one at some point.

    Cathy, that boy did a great job holding down most of the movie by himself. Richard Parker wasn't even there!

    Carol, I have a few I hit early, and then I just plow through the timeline in Google Reader. You never know when I will hit!

    Mary, as long as he's not a con artist!

  104. Even though I'm a film maker (in addition to being a writer), I'm always caught by surprise when the awards season begins. As a result, I rarely have time to see all the movies, let alone make predictions. I've also never watched the Oscars...a sin, I know, especially for a film maker.

    As far as this year's nominees, the only one I've seen so far is The Hobbit, and I was, sadly, underwhelmed with it when I compared it with what was achieved in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

    And for the blogs I read, I have a list and I try to make my rounds at least 3 times a week, sometimes more. I'll also visit blogs of those who visit/post on mine.

    For my first novel, I didn't break it into chapters until the forth or fifth draft. Yet on my current novel, Immolation, I've been writing it specifically chapter to chapter. It's interesting doing it wither way with pros and cons. I think it's dependent on the type of story being told. My first novel was more sequential, with some minor meanderings and so it didn't feel like it needed the break up of chapters. Immolation, on the other hand, follows multiple characters with their own story lines and I had to plot it out chapter by chapter just to make sense of it in my own mind.

  105. Unless it's a kid's movie, I probably haven't seen it.
    Though I can't believe Magic Mike wasn't nominated! :P - kidding...

    I go through my Blogger dashboard to read blogs and also recent commenters' profile to go to their blogs too.

  106. I've seen more Oscar-nominated films than usual this year, too. And so many good ones, but I'll be pulling for Lincoln most of all.

    I don't actually have a system for visiting blogs (perhaps that's my problem) - it's kind of whoever pops into my head and I do try to re-pay all commented visit..even if I'm a day or two or three late.

  107. Almost 90-95% of my blog reading starts with Google Reader, which has been seriously cramped by restrictions put in place at work. I do have a favorites folder, and nowadays I'm not able to venture past those very far.

    Have a great weekend! :)

  108. I think the last time I was wrong about Best Picture was at least 10 years ago. I'm not ready to make a prediction yet because I think the precursor awards are too split. But I agree that Spielberg will probably win director. Ben Affleck was so totally robbed.

  109. I've killed my cable, so I won't be watching. That's one of the things I do miss. Otherwise, I watch TV on Netflix and get my news from the papers and internet.

    As for blogging? I read on my computer and sometimes will get online on my Kindle Fire if I've had a long day and didn't get a chance to go read any blogs. I consider that my night time reading. :)

    I always stop to name characters. If I haven't thought of a name by the time I start writing it all out, I stop just to name that character. And chapters are put in right away. That way, when I begin revising, I can easily write down what chapter I was working on. Outlines are beginning to help me a lot! So I write those out by hand and have it nearby when I start writing. :D
    Have a good weekend, Alex!

  110. I'm hoping Life of Pi will win over The Hobbit and The Avengers for Best Visual Effects.

    As for comments, I use Google Reader along with those who have commented on my blog.

    And for leaving names until later, I occasionally do that too, but rather than blanks I put 'dude' or 'girl' or something like that, lol.

  111. I'd love for Beasts Of the Southern Wild to pick up an award - it was one of my favorite movies this year, along with Moonrise Kingdom (which I'm not sure was even nominated for anything).

  112. Heather, see? You are just as odd. And that is cool.

    Gabriel, that makes sense. And I think I have an idea where mine are going to break depending on point of view. I just don't do it until I am done.

    Nicki, whatever works.

    DL, that's how I feel some days.

    Karen, he was!

    Mel, you are so organized.

    Lynda, I will have to try the 'dude' thing! And with you on Life of Pi.

    Lisa, I still need to see that one.

  113. YOu have a hell of a lot more people to keep an eye on blog wise, than I do Alex, and I never know how you do it!

    I tend to view new posts through my wordpress reader, which is also installed on my phone and then also pick up commenters as well. I'd hate to miss anyone.

  114. I visit blogs first on my blogroll and then from comments and on weekends I try to get through more on my reader.
    No predictions for winners because I didn't seem many of those movies.

  115. I never see enough of the movies to make any predictions - but I hope the Hobbit wins something! :)

    I use Google Reader to read my blogs. I have a 'buddies' folder and other folders for each day of the week, but I'm not doing as well with that lately as I'd like :)

  116. I swear that this year I'm gonna see ALL the Oscar best picture nominees before the show. So far I've only caught Argo, and I loved it.

    My own writing seems to fall naturally into chapters and breaks, but my current two manuscripts used to be one honkin' big book. When I realized the first and second part had different themes, I cut it half.

  117. I haven't seen any of the nominated movies, so I can't say who I think will will. My husband saw LINCOLN and he said he'd get it when it comes out on DVD.

    I use Google Reader when doing most of my blog reading. I also try to visit anyone who is new to my blog, by clicking on the name in their comment.

  118. Hi Alex!
    I saw Lincoln and I agree, Daniel Day Lewis was amazing. And the movie is a lock for best picture.
    Happy New Year!

  119. Rebecca, clones are required.

    Jemi, you visit the same way I do!!!

    Helena, at least you knew to do that.

    Yvonne, I think it should win!

  120. That's so interesting. I would have never guessed blanks!

  121. Perhaps it depends on how you write, Alex. I use an outline, but the outline has a general chapter breakdown. Writing freely enables the storyline to take dominance.

    Visiting blogs: I reply to comments on my blog, check a few new posts that come up in the reader, then visit my commenters' blogs. I check my comments first due to the 'approved comments' setup. I check a few regulars, too.

  122. I don't think I've seen any of the Oscar nominations, so I have no idea about that. :P

    I usually reply to and visit commenters, then hit Google Reader. I used to use my blogroll, but I'm not good at adding new blogs to it so it's "old".

  123. REally? It's Oscar time already? I haven't seen any of the nominated films. My husband and I tend to prefer non-serious escapism. Like Jack Reacher. There's one to get my vote!

    I visit blogs through the Google reader but half the time it doesn't come up, or tells me I'm not following any blogs. Very frustrating.

  124. 'Lincoln' may walk away with the Oscar for Best Picture.
    But, I think that's a shot in the dark.
    That's probably in bad taste, huh?

  125. Oh, serious now....
    The blogs I visit are those who have commented on my blog. That sounds terribly self-serving, but it's the best way to more expeditiously visit. Then, if I have the time, I go ahead and check on the blogs of those who I'm following (doing that tonight) who may not have commented on my most recent post but have commented in the past. Then, if I have time (and the cable's out), I visit blogs of people who have commented on the blogs of people I follow (that sounds terribly confusing).
    Okay, gonna go check the cable now.

  126. I use Google Reader most of the time, but if someone posts something interesting on Twitter or FB, I'll hit the blog immediately.

  127. When my computer isn't ailing, I use my blog lists and respond to my comments.

    Ben Affleck did get robbed. His fellow directors should hang their heads at their petty jealousy. The same thing happened to Spielberg with THE COLOR PURPLE.

  128. When I'm more in the flow of things, I try to visit everyone who's commented on my blog - then I do the blog roll on the side of my blog then to google reader :)

  129. Not a big movie person, but your predictions sound pretty good to me! As for commenting on blogs, I visit recent blog comments first, and then my Must Read folder in Google Reader.

    It must be very interesting putting names into those blanks! I have trouble with secondary character names because when I can't come up with one, it stops my writing for the day, or at least for as long as it takes me to come up with one.

  130. I look forward to the show! I love your predictions~ I must be cautious, every time I try to have a party, something happens to me.

    I agree Ben Affleck did get robbed...
    I start with my comments first when commenting. Lately I'm all over the place.

    Wow, blanks-you amaze me ;D

  131. I agree Lincoln will take home the gold at the Golden Globes on Sunday and in February come Oscar ceremony! It's definitely a movie that's historically accurate with powerful performances. Daniel Day- Lewis is a lock and Anne Hathaway is a lock - THEY WILL WIN NO MATTER WHAT.

    As for Jessica Chastain, I can't tell because I haven't seen Zero Dark Thirty. Seeing the film on Sunday. But once I see the film, I will think Chastain is a lock.

    This year has obvious winners. It's easy to tell because when you see a good performance, you know it.

    I've seen the majority of the nominees (except Silver Linings Playbook, The Impossible).

    I won't take myself to see an violent movie by Quentin Tarantino, that has the N-word over 100 times in it, Django Unchained is not my type of movie and I highly doubt it will win an award.

    I know Les Mis will manage to bring home at least two awards, but it definitely deserved the Oscar love. It's just a timeless musical from the beginning to the start.

    As for Life of Pi, I don't know. Yes, the visuals were stunning, but not enough for me. I think The Hobbit will take the gold home. It allured you into another world (Middle Earth) for two hours and it's very effective.

    Love your new banner, Alex! As to how I read my blogs, I use my Blogger dashboard and click on the posts that look interesting to me. Then go on from there, try to visit new people and go back to my other bloggy friends that I haven't visited in awhile!

    And if you saw Zero Dark Thirty, please let me know how it is! I'm dying to see it! :)

    Have a great weekend, Alex!

  132. When I first started blogging I followed blogs and commented whether they did or not. Then people started reading mine so I try to make sure I follow whoever is reading mine. I got overwhelmed by the hours spent doing this so I now only read and comment on those who do so on my blog. I just don't have time to do anything more.

    I don't go to movies any more. I just lost interest a few years ago. But from the sound of it I am going to love 'Lincoln' when it comes on Netflix or a movie channel. By the way, thanks for dropping by. I thought that was so nice of you.

  133. I also start with Google reader. Sometimes I just roll down the content, looking for something catchy. Unfortunatelly time is precious.

    If I find something interesting and want to comment, than visit the site.

  134. Well holy poopy! I found your site yesterday through my fellow Make Believe anthology author, Lynda Young, and signed up to follow by email. I hadn't realized you had such a loyal following. sheesh! It's no wonder you some times don't get to comments until the next day.

    I follow quite a few blogs by email - those in my fav genres & those who look interesting. Having seen your name commenting on quite a few of our blog tour stops, I thought you were worth the follow!

    Onto the predictions. I haven't seen any of them, but Lincoln's trailer alone showed me all I needed. It's going to sweep just like you said. Some day I'll get to a movie theatre again. Kind of hard to do being a stay-at-home mom with 2 kids & no family around to babysit for date night.


    Great post.

  135. it has been ages since i've been inside a movie house! lol. am not sure if that's a good, or a bad, thing. reading like crazy for the past two months, though (since i got my kindle). :D

    really appreciate the time you took to visit my blog!
    have a great weekend!

  136. I'm doing something similar with one of the two books that I'm writing now: I'm not dividing the manuscript into chaptwrs until it is finished. This is a new concept for me, and I love it. Another technique that I might try out with book four is to write separate scenes (out of order), but still according to my outline, and then put them together, filling in all the necessary "connecting" stuff.

    I'm looking forward to the Oscars, as every year! So many wonderful movies to choose for my ballot categories!

  137. I finally made your interview at Space Dock 19. Cool answers, but blanks for names? That made me chuckle as I LOVE naming characters. That's usually the first thing that comes to mind when I start a new story.

    I can't believe Bradley Cooper got a nom. Seriously, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. And yes, Ben was ROBBED! :)

  138. love your oscar breakdown! so when they come out, i will rent lincoln, django & argo. =)
    i used to visit from my reader & that used to cover my commenters.
    i've recently picked up more comments. since i dont respond unless i get a direct question in the comments, i visit back and that is taking most if my time! its great but its tough! especially on fest days & iwsg!) thats why i cut back posts & fests...

    your process starts similar to mine, then i crack up at your spaces for names & chapters! ha! i have a file for all those details, plus a timeline & definitions of new slang or terms or technology i invent =)

  139. The Hobbit was lovely, but not as breathtaking as I had expected :). I wanted to tell you how amazing your blog is for aspiring writers such as myself :). Kisses Alex, bows :).

  140. I follow by email if I want to be sure to visit often. I rarely make it to my Google reader. (Although I didn't know one could make folders there. Hmmm...)

    I have to name my characters up front. Their name affects how I see them and it affects the cadence and sound of the lines. It would drive me crazy to add them later.

    I often put [chapter break?] in various places in my ms and then decide later where the best breaks are. ;)

  141. PS - I also pay return visits via comments if its not someone I follow by email.

  142. Dear Lord! Time to play catch up with comments.

    Johanna, it makes it fun.

    DG, true, I have no restrictions.

    Golden, I need to update mine as well.

    Karen, you mean through the Dashboard? That's why I stopped using that one.

    Al, I hit my blogger buddies file in Google Reader first because those are the people who comment on my blog - and it's a really big file...

    Roland, he may never get the proper respect.

    Belle, it is a lot of fun filling in the blanks!!

    Ella, blanks are fun.

    Livia, as your blog list grows, you'll probably want to switch to Google Reader. Tarantino's film fits for its time period. And I admit I'm a big fan of the director. Still need to see a couple more Best Picture nominees and sorry, haven't seen Zero Dark Thirty.

    Belle, it does consume a lot of time!

    Zoltan, then I appreciate you always stop here!

    Terri, bummer about the date night! And thank you for following.

    MyMy, thanks for visiting mine.

    Angela, kind of fun that way, isn't it?

    Melissa, glad I could amuse you.

    Tara, I spend hours visiting blogs on IWSG day...

    Unikorna, thank you!

    Melissa, yes - folders are a lifesaver!

  143. I am so out of the loop with movies and books! Even with blogs I usually only visit when someone leaves a comment, and that even takes me weeks sometimes. I need more time in my day!

  144. Alex, the only contender I've seen so far is Argo...but that's because I wait for DVDs or streaming availability for most movies. I loved Argo though and agree that Ben Affleck deserved a nomination.

    The bloggers I visit first are the ones I've signed up for e-mail notification, but that's not working. The e-mails are too slow. I'm going to switch to the Google Reader.

  145. I haven't seen Lincoln yet! Loved Argo. Have no idea who'll win. I look to you, Alex. :)

  146. I should probably see "Lincoln" then... :) I've heard great things about it, but I just haven't taken the time to go yet. :)

    I don't really outline. I'm a bit of a pantser, but I do usually have documents with plot points so I don't forget them as I think of them.

  147. I'm way too far behind in movie releases to make any predictions. My list of movies to see is probably pages long by now.
    I'm angry for Ben Affleck, though - by all accounts, it was a great movie. He deserves a nod, at least.
    As far as visiting blogs, it depends. If I'm strapped for time, I visit commenters' blogs, and usually late (as you can tell, lol). If I have some free time, I'll visit those on my blog roll.

  148. I need to find out about Google Reader because it's not something I've heard of before. I'd really like to see Lincoln and Argo. I didn't get out much to the movies last year.

  149. I loved Argo. Ben was snubbed big time.

    I do divide my manuscripts into chapters early. I'm really picky about keeping them uniform in size though.

  150. Alex!

    Yes, at two on a Sunday morning, I've finally got around to your blog. And I comment on blogs mostly based on my blog list and those who have commented on my blog. By the time I have commented back to each person on my site in detail, yes I can do that because I don't get nearly as many as comments as you do, I have found several hours have gone by. It can take me three days just to be interactive and catch up. What you might not know is that I spend a lot of time in the background being of hopeful help to writers, published and aspiring. I'm most flattered they approach me and have no idea why.

    The Oscars, haven't seen any of the films and thus, I cannot say.

    And my blogfest idea of "Groundblog Day" not "Groundhog Day" has received a lot of interest.

    And my blogfest idea of "Groundblog Day" not "Groundhog Day" has received a lot of interest.

  151. I scroll through my blogfeed, looking for familiar names and/or interesting titles. After that, I double-check that I visited everyone who stopped by mine. :)

  152. Hey Alex, I was really disappointed that Leo and Samuel L. didn't get any love for their role in Django. And, I agree, Christopher was incredible in the movie. Any idea why we is supporting actor. Seemed like he and Jamie Foxx were both the lead of that movie.

  153. It will be interesting to see who wins the Oscars. I hate to admit it, but I fell asleep in the middle of Lincoln, as did several of my family members who saw it with me.

  154. Looking forward to the Oscars. I always divide my manuscripts into chapters, usually by the second draft, sometimes by the first draft too.

  155. I have heard great things about The Life of Pi! Some of the other movies I haven't seen yet, but enjoyed The Hobbit and just re-watched The Avengers last night.

    I also write my first outline using pen and paper then enter my draft on the computer and add to it continuously.

    Sorry I missed the interview with M. Pax sounds like it revealed some interesting insights into your writing.

  156. Lincoln is definitely the favorite for best picture.

  157. Patricia, you'll find Google Reader an easier way to visit.

    Michael, it's the easiest way to follow blogs.

    Gary, now you know why my comments are short. I'm also a slow reader. You should make Groundblog Day happen. You should make Groundblog Day happen.

    Sydney, they were. I guess it's because he doesn't make it to the end.

    Carolyn, you need to catch Life of Pi.

  158. I haven't seen Lincoln or Django yet, but I plan to. I need to start leaving blanks in my series WiPs -- it slows me down trying to find all the details as I go!

  159. Hey Alex! I haven't seen any of the nominated films yet, and Life of Pi is on my reading list right now..I'd like to read the novel before I see the film. I'd love to see Lincoln, and Django Unchained looks super good too.
    I usually visit blogs by scrolling down my blog friends list on my site and seeing what looks interesting. If I have more time to spend on the computer, I'll look at the feed on my main page, (or whatever you call it!),and pick some to read from that.
    Have a great day Alex!

  160. I am a great film buff and have not seen any but The Hobbit-that is sad and bad! That being said, I don't think many voters see the films either. I think Daniel Day Lewis will win best Actor-he is always hard to beat but I think Argo will grab Best Picture because they snubbed Ben Affleck so the vote will go to the film. Life of Pi will win in visual Effects but after that I am unsure who will win. Aside from Ben Affleck being robbed who else do you think was?

  161. Milo, blanks work!

    Eve, many have said the book was slow, but the movie version of Life of Pi was great.

    Birgit, several other directors were missing, but that's the problem when there can be up to ten movies for Best Picture but only five for Best Director.

  162. Thanks for your take on the list. I haven't seen the nominations yet. I was going to say Brave should get best animated film, but realized it was from 2011.

  163. I like that you're firmly behind Lincoln. I'm doubtful of the Academy voters, though. Sometimes they go for weird things...
    And funny about "RustyCon". It sounds like a convention for plumbers! :-)

  164. I had a great comment in mind, but by the time I reached the end of the comments box, I'd forgotten it! Actually, I haven't seen any of these movies...wait, what are they again? (;

  165. I watched a few of the nominated movies.

    I enjoyed your ponderings and questions, Alex!

  166. Hey, Alex. I saw a lot of films this past holiday season and I finally did see Lincoln. I totally agree with you that Lewis was brilliant as Lincoln. I also saw Les Miserables and wonder whether ole' Wolverine might be handed this one. I thought he was fantastic in Les Mis. I am a huge Spielberg fan and will never forgive the Academy for blowing it on Saving Private Ryan.

  167. I have seen Lincoln, The Life of Pi, The Hobbitt and others, but no Django in the Philippines yet (unless one wants to buy a cam copy from the Muslim vendors).

    Lincoln was good but one has to wonder where the dialogue was dreamed up. Moreover, it was slow at times but overall well done. I enjoyed "Pi" and people have told me I look like the writer. lol Nah, I keep my beard nice and neat thank you very much!

    I do believe Lincoln will win as well as Django based on what I have been reading. And yeah, Argo was robbed...but that happens every year, right?

  168. Lexa, they do go for odd films sometimes.

    Elise, funny! Sorry, guess you need to get here earlier...

    James, then Spielberg is due.

    Jeremy, I don't think you look like him. And yes, there is always a film or two that doesn't make the cut.

  169. Google Reader all the way! I divide the blogs I visit into sections e.g. fantasy, writing, geekery, fitness etc. and visit a bunch in turn.

    Love the new header too, Alex!


  170. It's interesting that you leave blanks for the characters. I guess that way you don't waste time getting caught up in finding the perfect name. I think I might get confused by that and put the wrong name in somewhere.

  171. The Q&A was great! I use blanks in my stuff all the time too.

    As for blog visits, I go mostly off my Blogger/Google reader and try to check comments for any newbies as well.

  172. I've used a similar trick for my character names when I can't think of what to call them. I just say '(name)', and leave it at that until I'm reay to name the character. It's worked so far.

    As for reading blogs, I generally start on my igoogle page, with the feeds I have there, then go into my blogger blogroll and read those, and end with the blogs that I have bookmarked. It's all sounding so time consuming. Maybe I need to work out a new system...

  173. I have a feeling you're right about your Lincoln predictions, but I so hope Les Miserables gets a few - it was fantastic!


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