Friday, January 4, 2013

IWSG Thanks, Mini-Alex, Ninja News, From the Ashes Reveal, NFL Super Bowl Predictions, and the January Movie Preview

What a way to kick off 2013 than with an awesome round of Insecure Writer’s Support Group posts. So many positive, goal setting posts and so many new members. Special thanks to Tyrean Martinson and Jamie Gibbs for co-hosting this month. (My co-hosts for February 6 will be Stephen Tremp and Julie Flanders.)

And thank you for the encouraging comments (and emails) regarding my writing or music dilemma. I won’t rush into anything and I don’t plan to stop blogging either. God will show me the path where I can be the most effective.


Yes, he arrived on Thursday and in one piece. Elise, thank you SO MUCH for sending him. Now that he’s here, I am really impressed by how much effort you put into making him look awesome. And he’s bigger than I thought!

Here is Mini-Alex between two of my guitars. Safe to say, he will not be playing those anytime soon. Doubt I will be able to top Paris, but I might have to take Mini-Alex on a road trip.See what kind of trouble we can get into...

Ninja News

Candilynn Fite has an agent! She is now represented by Ms. Kathleen Rushall from Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. Congratulations, Candilynn!

Melissa Maygrove had an awesome post on Wednesday listing ways we can motivate ourselves to write. Some good stuff, so check it out!

Cover Reveal!

From the Ashes by Jessica K. McKendry

“I'm not sure how it all went wrong…”

An insightful look at the good and bad that exist within us, McKendry's debut is a high-octane adventure that pushes the imagination to the limit as it lays bare the nature of self-reliance, self-confidence, and teamwork. Playing with the concepts of dark and light and how they affect our lives in multiple forms, her novel is a complex coming of age story that encapsulates the heroine's journey from student to leader. A dark tale of love and revenge, From the Ashes is a powerful reminder to think for yourself instead of blindly following what you've been taught to believe.

Available next month – congratulations, Jessica!

NFL Super Bowl Predictions

With the final week of the regular season mathematically eliminating a dozen teams including my own (no I’m not naming them – they didn’t deserve to go anyway) and ending on a good note (anytime the Cowboys lose, it’s a good note) we slide into the playoffs this weekend. A couple teams are suspect and a couple could surprise us.

My predictions for who will go to the Super Bowl:

From the AFC – Either Broncos or the Patriots. Denver has played good all season but you can’t count out the Patriots.

From the NFC – Either the 49ers or Seahawks. The 49ers just might be for real, but of all the teams, the Seahawks are the most dangerous right now and on a roll.

And if my predictions were any bit accurate, you could take me to Vegas!

I wouldn’t pack my bags if I were you…

January 2013 Movies

Here are the upcoming movies for January! A quiet month, as it tends to be the dumping grounds for movies. As always, descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snarky comments by me.

11 -

Gangster Squad
A chronicle of the LAPD's fight to keep East Coast Mafia types out of Los Angeles in the 1940s and 50s.
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Stars: Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Giovanni Ribisi
Sean Penn plays a jerk – big surprise! Could be good.

18 -

The Last Stand
The leader of a drug cartel busts out of a courthouse and speeds to the Mexican border, where the only thing in his path is a sheriff and his inexperienced staff.
Director: Jee-woon Kim
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eduardo Noriega, Forest Whitaker, John Patrick Amedori
Ridiculous and over the top. Schwarzenegger is way too old to do this anymore.

Broken City
An ex-cop trailing the wife of New York City's mayor finds himself immersed in a larger scandal.
Director: Allen Hughes
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Kyle Chandler
Crowe plays a jerk – another big surprise! And this one could be good as well.

25 -

Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters
In this dark spin on the fairy tale, siblings Hansel and Gretel are a formidable team of bounty hunters who track and kill witches all over the world.
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Stars: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Peter Stormare, Famke Janssen
This movie will be either cheesy great or embarrassingly awful. Don’t think there will be an in-between.

John Dies at the End
A new street drug that sends its users across time and dimensions has one drawback: some people return as no longer human. Can two college dropouts save humankind from this silent, otherworldly invasion?
Director: Don Coscarelli
Stars: Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes, Paul Giamatti, Clancy Brown
From the director of Bubba Ho-Tep and probably just as weird.

Were you encouraged by the IWSG posts this week? See some interesting announcements? Who do you predict will go to the Super Bowl? Any movies look enticing? And where on the east coast could Mini-Alex go?


  1. Oh my here so early today! There were some brilliant IWSG posts this month.

  2. IWSG was a success as always! And Mini-Alex is awesome!

  3. Hee hee, Mini Alex is so cool!

    I love the cover for Jessica's book, it looks great!

  4. Mini-Alex is adorable! Gangster Squad and Broken City both have great casts, and looked good in the previews. The IWSG seems stronger than ever!

  5. I just addedJohn Dies at the End to my Netflix list so I wouldn't forget about it. Looks interesting, although I'm pretty sure they gave away the ending :)

  6. I am so glad mini Alex is safe and sound, I was starting to get worried, lol! Now you boys try not to get into too much trouble, but if you do...take some pictures for us.(;

    And Congrats to Jessica! Love the cover and the blurb sounds awesome. (=

  7. Hey,

    Mini Alex is already rocking the house - how awesome he's made it to the Carolinas.

    Have a great weekend everyone and YES.

    (That's my word for 2013... I forgot to say Wednesday that I *love* the idea of having a word for the year :)

  8. Looking forward to Hansel and Gretel! It looks like fun.

    To be honest, last night I tried to watch John Dies at the End, but it was so lame I just couldn't finish it.

  9. Hey. Another movie with Mark Wahlberg. Are you sure that...nevermind.

    I'd watch most of the movies you mentioned because I like action flicks.

  10. I love Jess' cover, and huge congrats to Candilynn!

  11. Suzanne, yes they were!

    Julie, they both look good.

    Loca, they might have!

    Elise, thanks again!!

    Mark, bet your boys like that word.

    George, that's not good.

    Brinda, that's funny.

  12. Glad Mini Alex made it to you safely. :)

    Boy, those are some awful-looking movies...

  13. The IWSG just gets better and better!

    At least I won't be sorry when I miss these movies. O.o

  14. Happy New Year! Glad you're taking it slow on the guitar/writing decision.

    Not sure I want to see any of these movies. Still hoping to get to The Hobbit.

  15. I'm glad Mini-Alex made it!

    IWSG was awesome, there were so many great posts.

    Thanks so much for helping Jess with her cover reveal! She's so excited!

  16. Mini Alex is so cute!!!

    I'm thinking Hansel & Gretel will be BAD and not in a good way ;)

  17. Ahh! Mini Alex is adorable!

    Thanks so much for participating in the cover release! You're truly awesome :)

  18. I can always tell when it's the first Wednesday of the month, all the blogs I follow seem to take part in the IWSG.

    I saw John Dies... wasn't too impressed (first half was good). I really liked Bubba Ho-tep though.


  19. Everyone's posts were great. It seems a lot of us are on the same wavelength.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  20. I enjoyed IWSG this month - loved reading about everyone's 2012 successes and 2013 goals.

    Thanks for the kind mention, Alex. Best wishes for the new year. :)

  21. I wouldn't count out my beloved Colts just yet. They have done nothing but surprise everybody all season long. What a story that would be for the Colts to have to face Peyton Manning in the AFC championship!

    I didn't make in time for the IWSG. Maybe next month! I have goals of doing more writing and possibly even getting published this year. I could use all the help I can get!

    That mini Alex is awesome!

  22. Elizabeth, pickings are slim for movies this month.

    Lynda, that is my fear.

    Jess, you are welcome!

    Moody, the list keeps getting bigger. Bummer about the film.

    Melissa, you're welcome. Your list was great.

    Dan, that would be wild!

  23. Right now I'm still rooting for RG III! and I just saw a trailer for a new Wayan's brother movie Haunted House a funny spoof of Paranormal Activity that comes out this month. I am hoping to get to see it while it is in theaters!

  24. I grew up in Pittsburgh during the "one for the thumb" era of Bradshaw and company. But I've lived in Colorado for 28 years, married to a native. Go Broncos. (Because any other declaration will move me to the couch.)

  25. OMG!! The 49'rs may actually get to the Super Bowl???? My heart is racing. That's my team and I have not heard from them since Joe Montana, I think. Ah, but I have forbidden to watch any of their games. There is the belief I jinx the one I cheer for ever since I cheered for the Patriots in their nearly perfect season and they lost. Have not been able to break that curse yet.

  26. Mini Alex is so cool! Have fun on your road trip! :)

  27. Cool cover Jessica K. McKendr. Congrats to Candilynn Fite & Melissa Maygrove. I vote Patriots.
    John Dies at the End looks great and bizarre, so it should be fun.

  28. Interesting list of movies. I was surprised Schwarzenegger is in one of them. I agree with your thoughts about it.

  29. Love the mini-you! lol Very cute.

    Congrats to Jessica! So happy for her. Love that cover.

    Not sure, but I'm attracted to Hansel and Gretal Witch Hunters. lol Maybe when it comes out on video.

  30. Congratulations to everyone celebrating big news! It was a good month of IWSG. A positive way to start the new year. I had no idea about these movies coming out this month. I'm interested in John Dies at the End. If you see it, I'd love to hear the review. I'm a big Bubba Ho-Tep fan!

  31. Only the Russell Crowe/Mark Wahlberg combo interests me. Maybe.

    At my house, I'm a huge Broncos fan (have been since birth) and we both really like the Packers. Would be fun to see them in a Super Bowl together. I'm hoping the Packers learned a thing or two from their post-season last year and at least make it interesting.

  32. I can see you getting into hijinks with Mini-Alex! And I'm a little scared of what the Hansel & Gretel movie might be like, after seeing the monstrosity that was Brothers Grimm.

  33. Well, you know I'm backing the Broncos FTW!!! Somehow, though, those stupid Patriots always crush our dreams right at the last minute. Hoping this year is different. :)

  34. Mini-Alex rocks. So does Elise.
    I say you take him to place and give hints and let the ninjas' guess.

    I hope the Hansel & Gretel movie is good.

    Have a great weekend.

  35. Mini-Alex is cute.

    Felt bad the Saints didn't make it. They're my sympathy team, along with the Texans.

  36. I'm betting Broncos. I have the fail proof system of always choosing the prettiest uniform and never backing Brady because I think he's a tramp.

  37. The only accurate Super Bowl prediction that I can make is that I won't be watching it and I'll probably forget to watch the half-time show.

    Due to an illness I haven't able to visit any of the #IWSG posts yet. Maybe I'll feel like doing it later today. Now I think I'm going back to bed.

    Tossing It Out

  38. Mini-Alex should come visit the Jersey Shore of course!

    Reading the IWSG posts always makes me feel like I'm not alone, and I just got a giant virtual hug. Love it!

    And, LOL "Sean Penn plays a jerk". That was great.

    I have to agree about Hansel and Gretel, it could be a train wreck or amazing.

    Have a great weekend Alex!

  39. I used to read the stories that went on to become the book John Dies at the End when the author was posting them on his comedy website. He would add to it every Halloween and it was crazy awesome. I'll have to see the movie just so I can finally contribute some money to David Wong (the author) in thanks for all the long hours working in a call center that his site made more bearable.

  40. I actually want to see The Last Stand. It looks amusing.

  41. Gossip, at least he beat the Cowboys last week.

    Julie, my wife understands you.

    Al, just watch the highlights. And they haven't been great since the Montana/Young years.

    Miranda, if I go see it, I'll let you know.

    Tasha, they need to learn something from their loss last week!

    Julie, you understand my concerns.

    Mina, that is a good idea.

    Elizabeth, that's funny!

    Lee, wondered where you've been.

    Jaybird, glad I could make you laugh.

    Sarah, that is really cool!!

  42. I'm interested in the Hansel and Gretel one- might be worth the time.

    I watched Paranorman with my family last night- it had some great funny parts. The girls really enjoyed it.

    Have a great Friday Alex! Oh and I love mini you.

  43. I've never heard of John Dies at the End, but all the rest I'm really looking forward to, especially Gangster Squad and The Last Stand. Problem is, I still haven't seen all the December movies yet! Dah! Hopefully I'll see at least one this weekend. :D Happy Friday, Alex!

  44. I found the IWSG posts really encouraging and can't wait for next month. Love the ninja!

  45. Nice tradition. Greetings. Enchanting the Mini - Alex Ninja.

  46. Yay for Mini-Alex!

    Congrats, Jessica, what a beautiful cover!

    So many great movies coming out this year!

  47. Congratulations on everybody's good news, agent, covers, etc. It's a great way to start the year. I was feeling a bit guilty because I had to go to the city for supplies and didn't visit as many blogs as I wanted. I'll visit more today. But I still want more hours in a day... anybody???

    So glad you aren't going anywhere, Alex. We need you! Generally I don't speak for others, but I'm going out on a limb here.

  48. Mini-Alex is so cute!!!

    What a nice addition to your family! See, we all got new friends!

    I was so pleased and energized with the comments on my IWSG post this week! It was awesome!

    My football season just ended with a great season and a terrific bowl win for FSU.

    Pro is fun to watch though.

    You know Hansel & Gretel is going suck...hard.


  49. I come here sometimes, but I rarely comment. Just wanted to let everyone know how wonderful I think they are and how impressive the accomplishments have become!


  50. Lots of interesting news and some movies to look forward to. I saw the previews to Gangster Squad and it looked good.

  51. Super great news to hear you won't stop blogging! I seriously don't know what we'd do without you. O_O

    Jessica, your cover is absolutely lovely! Great job and congrats. :)

    Maybe it was because all of the New Year's goals and resolutions, but I've had a great time reading the IWSG posts this month. So much encouragement out there!

    As I was at Roland's mention of my news, I am touched, so touched at all the heartfelt congrats folks have been leaving on my blog. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. And thank you, Alex, for always being there to mention, congratulate, and encourage all of us. You (and your adorable little Alex doll) rock!

  52. Mini Alex is so cute. Don't you think a photo of big Alex and mini Alex together would also be cute?

  53. That has to be one of the coolest self-pub covers I've ever seen. Way to go, Jessica!

    That's one rock'n ninga, Alex! :)

  54. John Dies at the End is one of my daughter's favorite books. I like reading the books before I see the movies - I wonder if I can find it in her room.

  55. Have fun with Mini Alex, he looks amazing. Headed over to Melissa's blog. I need some motivation.

  56. Now that the Saints are out of the hunt I'll be rooting for Denver! I want Peyton to get another trophy.

  57. Glad mini Alex arrived in one piece and I'm going to wait for reviews before I touch Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters, but it did catch my attention. We'd never want to see you stop blogging Alex and wish you all the best.

  58. Hi, Alex,

    IWSG was AWESOME this week... SO MUCH great energy and inspiration.... Even with our insecure pals, I found inspiration to in trying to help them with a few kind words... I am ALL about the POSITIVE!

    Hey, maybe that will be my word for 2013!


    Great to be back blogging regularly... I don't think I will be straying too far this year. A least I hope not.

    Enjoy your weekend!

  59. Yay for Candilynn! I'm so so so stoked for her :)

    And Patriots all the way! *does little football dance*

  60. Andrew, hope it will be amusing the right way!

    Liesel, time to catch up.

    Clarissa, they were awesome this month.

    Thank you, Joylene. And now you know why I have clones.

    Heather, I just hope it won't...

    Pearl, thanks for commenting!

    Candilynn, you are most welcome! Was very happy to shout that to the world.

    Karen... no.

    Charles, he just might!

    Michael, we are glad you are with us again. It left a void last year. And your word is awesome.

  61. I'm so curious about Hansel and Gretel!

    Happy New Year, Alex!

  62. That news about Candilynn is great. I'm sooooo happy for her!

  63. Mini Alex is adorable. He could become the next traveling lawn gnome. (Have you heard of those?)

  64. Love Mini Alex! Well, I lived most of my life in SF & the Niners were my first NFL love, but I'm a Seattle gal now so...GO HAWKS!!! I'd watch anything with Ryan Gosling!

  65. Alex,

    First you didn't enjoy "Bubba Ho-Tep"... kidding it was just fun Bruce Campbell. Hansel/Gretel... I love Gemma,she could read the dictionary and I would watch. It's a movie I will see via DVD, saving the money for TREK, IRON MAN... etc.

    Arnold is going to reprise Conan... as "working title" King Conan... that would work for me.

    Mini Ninja... can I make a t-shirt out of it?

    Last, Heather is one wonderful lady... still hot, those eyes!


  66. Man i hope Hansel and Gretel is great. I love Jeremy Renner so hard. SO HARD.

  67. Cassie, how does that dance go?

    Callie, he might have to visit Stormy the Weather Gnome even!

    Jeremy, that would be funny if he were on a t-shirt!

  68. I hope Hansel and Gretel is gonna be cheesy great. Cool mini ninja!

    Allison (Geek Banter)

  69. It was a good iswg for me. It is my therapy after all. No movies I'm dying to see this month. And your mini-ninja is awesome!

  70. I loved many of the IWSG posts for 2013. And btw regarding your email you sent, I can't believe you drive so fast LOL. I drive 65 miles an hour on the interstate (kind of a fuddy duddy).

    Is there an age limit to ridiculous? I kind of think Hugh Hefner is a real life ridiculous man but he seems to be admired by men the world over for his over-the-top playboy lifestyle.

    I'm sure Schwarzenegger is one of those admirers.

  71. Yay for Mini-Alex!

    Lots of good stuff going around the IWSG.

    Congrats to Candilynn and Jessica!

  72. I love the idea of a traveling mini-Alex. Show us the east coast, Alex or ninja hangouts. We're not fussy. We could try to guess where you are. . .

    You have to admit, Elise did Paris very well with mini-Alex. I've been to those places and she covered the old town like we did, in a much shorter time.

    I need to see some movies soon, and The Hobbit is first on the list.

  73. Mini Alex should either ride the Rockin' Roller Coaster at Disney World, or visit the Statue of Liberty . . .or maybe see Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia? The Smithosonian? Go swimming with dolphins on the Florida coast? Lots of ideas . . .
    IWSG definitely encouraged me - there were tons of awesome posts!

    And the Superbowl . . .I don't watch football normally, but since the Seahawks have a shot, I might watch a few games. I even watched the last Superbowl they made it into . . .and I'm sorry, but I'm still sure they were robbed on that last play by a bad call. However, the bad calls have gone their way from time to time . . so who knows?

  74. Rusty, you are the reason the IWSG exists.

    Michael, that blur that just passed you was me. Yes, I drive REALLY fast. And I think Hefner is beyond ridiculous.

    DG, might have to do the guessing thing.

  75. Yes, mini Ninja still needs to travel ;D You could have him do his own Superbowl commercial, lol!

    Yes, I bet you do drive fast, so do I...

    Wow, gangster and jerks, mmh quite the pairing! ;D

    January is always an odd movie month-
    but I bet the Crowe movie will do well...

    Mini Alex can do the normal stuff: workout, movies, fast driving-no not that, perhaps reading a book or fighting another Ninja! lol

    Happy Friday Captain :D

  76. The ISWG is a wonderful thing for you writers. I need one for Insecure Painters!

    Very sweet of Elsie to have given you mini Alex. He's adorable.

    I predict that I will not watch the Superbowl as I know nothing about American football. There has to be a support group out there for people like me :)

  77. Hansel & Gretel is going to be cheesy great...I hope. I love Jeremy Renner.

  78. Congratulations to Candilynn & Jessica! :)

    And wow. Mini-Alex rocks!

  79. Mini-Alex is adorable. Must he stay on the East Coast? I'd show both Alex's a good time over here in CA.


  80. I love mini-Alex! And I am so planning to watch Hansel & Gretel. I think it's an awesome take on the classic fairytale. :)


  81. I generally only care about football if the Steelers are playing, so I probably won't watch the Super Bowl unless my home team is there.

    On the East Coast, I recommend Mini-Alex go to Cape Cod, Bar Harbor (Maine), Boston, and, of course, Pittsburgh.

  82. Mini-Alex is awesome!

    And it will probably be a Broncos-Patriots battle for the AFC, but anything can happen. And I am rooting for the Seahawks. If the 49ers play like they did against the Seahawks last time, then they don't stand a chance. Of course, having a rookie QB on the Seahawks might hurt, since it is harder for a team with a rookie QB to make it not only to the playoffs but also to the Super Bowl.

  83. Ella, I just might have to do something with Mini-Alex and the Super Bowl!

    Anne, you'd have to live here to understand.

    Robyn, I'll fly out tomorrow!

    Carrie-Anne,that might be a bit of a road trip...

    Cherie, Steelers did it with a rookie quarterback...

  84. I'm excited for Candilynn and Jessica. Big woots for both of them!

    I have no idea about the Superbowl. I'm sure the Bills won't be in it.

    I saw Expendables II over NY. Wow, was that terrible. I'm glad my brother advised us to have a drink before starting it.

  85. Aw - mini Alex is soooo cool! I'm off to have a read of Melissa's post - thanks for the link and huge congrats to Candilynn and Jessica too.
    Have a lovely weekend
    Laura x

  86. IWSG was sooo positive this month!

  87. OMG I love mini-Alex...too cute, and yes I agree, God will direct your path...blessings and hugs bud!

  88. Totally diggin Mini Alex and great cover Jessica! WHOOT!

  89. Broken City would be my pick from this crop of movies. And maybe Hansel and Gretel - like you say, great or stinky bad.

  90. Loads of good news! Congrats to Candilynn and Jess's book sounds great.

    When I saw the trailer for Gangster Squad I thought it was a game. Looks like it's CGI or something.

  91. I really enjoyed the IWSG posts that I read on Julie Luek and Lynda Young's blogs.

    I am disappointed that you don't care for my Cowboys, Alex. Even though they need to get rid of Romo and didn't advance AGAIN this season, I still love my team. LOL!

    I've seen the previews for Gangster Squad and am really putting that on my must-see list.

  92. I had this week off so was able to read a lot more posts than usual; and I did enjoy them.

    I am planning to see Gangster Squad and Hansel and Gretel. Still thinking about Last Stand; probably when it hits the $5 bin at Walmart :)


  93. I love how Mini-Alex looks :). And I'm looking forward to watching witch hunters.

  94. Mary, safe bet the Bills won't make it!!!

    Shannon, yes He will.

    Nick, sounds like a game, doesn't it?

    Melissa, ditch Romo and you guys might advance one year.

    Donna, it might not be worth that much....

  95. I think it would be hilarious if it was a Redskins - Broncos Super Bowl. There's so many different levels it would work on.

  96. I was sooo encouraged by the posts--thanks for creating the awesome IWSG:-) Have you ever heard of the Flat Stanley books? I'm a teacher and those are big--thousands of classrooms around the country have students make their own little mini me's to send to relatives/friends and learn about other places. You should totally start sending out your mini Alex and then people could keep him for a week and blog about their adventures with him and post pictures:-) Send him to me in SW Florida!! It's still in the 80s here, so he won't be cold~cheers

  97. Wow, I can't believe how many are involved in IWSG! It's mind boggling. I tried to make it to all the blogs I follow and I think I succeeded this time. Now to spend some time hopping over to some new blogs to make some new friends.
    Love mini Alex! I think a road trip with him is definitely in order. ;)

  98. Mini-Alex is super cool - he needs to wait before hitting any hot spots on the east coast. It's just to darn cold. Very kind of Elise to do for you.

    Okay, we can remain friends, you were happy to see Dallas out of the running as was I. My GMen are out and that made me very sad and if the Pats make it, ugh. Major sadness.

  99. Mini-Alex is super cool - he needs to wait before hitting any hot spots on the east coast. It's just to darn cold. Very kind of Elise to do for you.

    Okay, we can remain friends, you were happy to see Dallas out of the running as was I. My GMen are out and that made me very sad and if the Pats make it, ugh. Major sadness.

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  101. I love IWSG Alex! The support and encouragement is incredible and it keeps me going! But what I really need is motivation to write. I'm so busy with family that it is incredibly hard to find time to actually write. Social media is so distracting, so I get nothing accomplished. IWSG is a great group and hopefully someday, we'll get all the members together and have a part-ay. Maybe one of us could plan a BloggerCon and wouldn't that be awesome! Because of you Alex, you've made writers get so close as friends and we get so close to you just as much! Thank you Ninja Captain!

    I love the mini-Alex! He's so cute! Please take him on a road trip and post pictures! That would be a fun post!

    Have a great weekend Alex! :)

  102. I love IWSG Alex! The support and encouragement is incredible and it keeps me going! But what I really need is motivation to write. I'm so busy with family that it is incredibly hard to find time to actually write. Social media is so distracting, so I get nothing accomplished. IWSG is a great group and hopefully someday, we'll get all the members together and have a part-ay. Maybe one of us could plan a BloggerCon and wouldn't that be awesome! Because of you Alex, you've made writers get so close as friends and we get so close to you just as much! Thank you Ninja Captain!

    I love the mini-Alex! He's so cute! Please take him on a road trip and post pictures! That would be a fun post!

    Have a great weekend Alex! :)

  103. Mini Alex is adorable! I'll have to knit him a scarf...
    That Simon Pegg movie World's End looks good!

  104. I'm really looking forward to Ganger Squad. Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling. BTW, I got so many new visits from IWSG this month. Happy to meet new faces. We couldn't do it without you, Alex.

  105. TS, it could happen.

    Jamie, I have heard of Flat Stanley! That is an idea.

    Mel, I won't scare you with how many I visited...

    Elsie, we can hate the Cowboys together.

    Thanks, Livia! A bloggerCon sounds cool. And look at your new icon - it's YOU!

    Deniz, that would be cool


  106. Ok, that's just weird. I'm reading this and BOING! email notice that the Ninja has ALREADY been to my new post.
    Love your tagline about my bubble wrap!
    Hansel and Gretel ` I think you have that one pegged but I don't care either way!
    Tina @ Life is Good

  107. Oh, I love mini-Alex! How awesome LOL.

    I'm looking forward to the playoffs this weekend. I'm so stunned the Bengals made it, but I'm not under any delusions they'll actually win a game. My money's on Denver.

    The IWSG was great this week, looking forward to next month already.

  108. Happy New Year Alex! I am good for Gangster Squad and Broken City (lot of my favorite actors in those) and after seeing Hansel and Gretel trailers when I saw The Hobbit, I for sure will go see it.

    The mini-Alex is too cool and you should take him everywhere like a traveling companion. Photos please.

  109. I still need to get caught up on reading more IWSG posts from this month, but the ones I managed to read so far were awesome. :)

    There is only one movie I want to see in January--Hansel and Gretel. I'm a sucker for fairy-tale rewrites.

    The preview to the movie with Arnold looks truly awful--I was unlucky enough to see it before DJANGO. From Governor to THAT. What a fall.

    The cover on From the Ashes is beautiful. Looking forward to picking that one up.

    Congrats to Candilynn! She must be so happy.

    Enjoy your mini Alex!! :)

  110. Mini Alex is super cool just like the original one ;)

    I enjoyed the IWSG posts. Its a great support group. Glad I joined.

  111. Hey, Alex. Happy New Year to you, sir. I'm coming off my traditional two week vacation, and I think you would be proud of me. Instead of planting myself on my laptop for the whole thing, I actually got out of the house and saw some films. We saw The Hobbit, Jack Reacher, Les Miserables and Lincoln. We also watched a bunch at home as well. As for football, all I could rightly predict was my Cowboys choking once again. Any chance Jones will fire himself as General Manager? Nah, I didn't think so either.
    Take care, man!


  112. I'm still trying to catch up on movies released in November and December. January's movies I might see in March. Always behind.

    Jessica's book sounds thoughtful and tempting. I'll bear it in mind.

    As for the Broncos -- the excitement here in Denver is growing that we'll go to the Superbowl. Years ago I learned to drive stickshift by driving around on the streets of the city, which were completely empty because the Broncos were playing the Superbowl. This year, I'll just watch the game.

  113. It was a great IWSG! I'm humbled by the number of people who came to visit me as co-host; it was a great experience :)

    Mini-ninja-alex looks at home at the guitars too :)


  114. Tina, I snuck in on you, didn't I?

    Julie, that's probably a safer bet.

    Chuck, there will be photos.

    Tamara, it doesn't look good, does it?

    Christine, good for you! And Jones will manage that team until the day he dies.

    Helena, that's funny.

    Jamie, good you got a lot of visitors! Thanks again for co-hosting.

  115. I bet Mini-Alex will have fun on a road trip. Road trips hold all kinds of mishap flat tires.

    I plan on seeing Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters soon as possible, and I hope it is cheesy great - because I've not seen a cheesy great movie in ages. (Also, it has Hawkeye in I have a small bit of hope.)

  116. I have one question, what about Atlanta?!?! Okay, it is a long shot, but I'm still hopeful.

    Yep, totally agree on all your movie opinions. Some of them just make me roll my eyes.

    Great cover!

  117. Mini Alex is great! How creative!

    I always love hearing the good news on your blog. Awesome cover reveal!

    Looking forward to some good movies

  118. love the movie previews, oldies trying to stay alive and newbies hitching a ride and everything is over the top to try and one up each other...bang, bang, pop!

    yay for the great announcements! and your mini you =)

    happy new year!

  119. We love SuperBowl at my house. I'd love to see the Broncos in it!

  120. Come my way with little Alex and go be Hershey Park Happy.
    I really don't care about the super bowl. The Hansel and Gretel movie is the only one that interests me.

  121. Jack, sometimes cheesy good is fun.

    Ciara, it's only four hours away the way I drive.

    Liz, I always enjoy it - even more so when my team isn't in it.

    Susan, Hershey chocolate does sound tempting...

  122. LOL, I love Mini Alex!! He's adorable.

    I don't follow sports, but I do occasionally watch the Super Bowl for the commercials and if there's a party with friends.

  123. Nice to see the mini-Alex! Great idea.

    For the NFL, I'm sorta hoping for the Packers to get back to the Super Bowl. Enjoyed visiting their stadium and seeing year-round fan devotion there!

    Mary Montague Sikes

  124. My KC Chiefs have a new coach *big plastic smile*
    All together now, yipyipyippee

    Now back to our regular programming.

  125. Yes, tremendous as it has changed the story of Hansel and Gretel.

  126. Only thing I watch the superbowl for is the ads which are often brilliant.

  127. It was great reading the IWSG posts for January. I saw many positive posts.

    I have no clue about the Super Bowl. I've never watched it.

  128. I know, I know, you've been anxiously waiting for a comment from me. Sorry about the delay. All this multi-tasking is taking its toll.

    I'm delighted the IWSG group is going so well and there were indeed some brilliant postings that I read. Even though I don't participate in groups, I was most happy to share the link on my blog for those who could find it of much benefit.

    Don't have a clue who will win the Super Bowl. If logistics could work out, I think the Grey Cup champion should play the Super Bowl winner.

    Anyway, my friend, thank you for sharing so much information. My head is spinning. Enjoy your weekend. I'm outta' here...

  129. Now that it's GB vs 49ers, how do you feel? lol I pay very little attention to football, but my sister does. Apparently, they thought Minnesota was going to be a challenge, but this was a sad game. lol

    That ninja is adorable!

  130. Don't be surprised if Mini-Alex cuts a deal for himself. From the Ashes sounds fascinating read. I've managed to resist most forms of mind conditioning growing up everything except Star Trek!

  131. Mini-Alex! I think he should travel the world. No. The Solar System!

  132. Don't watch football so no guesses from me. Hmmm those movies dont appeal to me either. At least I get to see The hobbit this week! Squee!

  133. Monti, they certainly beat up the Vikings.

    Huntress, a lot of teams now have new coaches...

    Medeia, never?

    Gary, appreciate you sharing the IWSG with others. And that game would be really wild.

    Debra, with their starting quarterback out, the Vikings didn't have a chance.

    Spacerguy, that would be my luck!

  134. I don't think I commented yet, but I am looking forward to Gangster Squad. Love my gangster flicks. :)I was royally ticked when they removed the trailer from theaters during The Dark Knight Rises. Being force fed kiddie trailers isn't going to make me feel safer at the theater. ;)

    Mini Alex looks terrific next to those guitars. What a wonderful gift. :)

    Super Bowl, I'll take Niners. I hate the Seahawks and their cheating coach, Pete Carroll.

  135. I'm hoping Hansel and Gretel will be cheesy great, but I have a feeling it will be embarrassingly awful. Too bad - I love Jeremy Renner. Have a great weekend Alex!

  136. Congrats to all those with newly acquired agents or book releases. I felt like I was constantly seeing movies in December, but I haven't seen or heard of any of these. So much to see. So much to do.

  137. Elise is SO COOL. I'm still laughing at how awesome mini Alex is. Treasure that forever!

  138. LOVE this post. Shamefully just did my IWSG post (sorry for being such a bad poster). Mini Alex is awesome :)

  139. Jessica's cover looks great!

    I think mini ninja should go to New York City. I bet he'd have a blast.

  140. Melissa, wouldn't make me safer either. And sorry your Bears didn't make it.

    Joyce, so little time...

    Morgan, I will!

    Saumya, no worries.

    Sherry, he could do so much in New York!

  141. Mini Alex is cool!

    'John Dies at the End' looks interesting.

    Happy new year, Al!

  142. Hmm... I'm turning into a Jeremy Renner fan, so I might go what what probably will be a pathetic movie just to gawk at him. :-P

  143. I'd watch Russell Crowe in anything - I proved it by sitting thru Les Mis. Out of all of the trailers I've seen, the only ones that I'm REALLY looking forward to are Warm Bodies (new genre! - zombie chick flicks!) and World War Z. Although Hansel and Gretel is potentially a sohorribleyougottaseeit classic.

  144. What a great array of topics! I have not been following that long, but I intend to follow more closely this year. It is fun.

  145. It's always encouraging to read IWSG posts!

    I have John Dies at the End in my library TBR pile. From the little I've read from it, it is kind of weird.

  146. Suze, good to have you back!

    Misha, I use that excuse for Kate...

    Lisa, I hope it's not that bad.

    JJ, I try and post something for everyone.

    Golden, that does not surprise me.

  147. Really want to see Gangster Squad, I'll pass on the rest, although I do want to read John Died in the End.

  148. I'm LATE commenting here!!
    Mini-Alex is awesome and has the perfect spot between those guitars

  149. Yikes! I missed IWSG 2 months in a row! I'm trying to make a comeback. 2013 has started without me.
    As for the Superbowl, I'm betting on the Broncos. Peyton Manning...need I say more?

  150. Wow, you were right! 49ers in the final 4.


Ninja Captain Alex's Army Rocks!