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Here’s a fourth list of alternate terms to said, to help spice up arguments.

 

accused
agreed
argued
commanded
contended
convinced
countered
chided
disagreed
emphasized
exclaimed
interjected
interrupted
maintained
objected
pleaded
proclaimed
proposed
reasoned
sassed
screamed
threatened
warned
yelled
to charge, slander
to concur, to be in harmony
defend position, disagree or dispute
lead; overwhelm opposition
to argue, dispute, disagree
persuaded; remove all doubt, win over
to dispute, question
to scold mildly; to goad into action
to be at odds; to not agree
to stress
to speak suddenly, loudly with surprise
to add or assert; to interrupt
to cut off or disrupt; to interject out of turn
to assert, to support by argument, to affirm
to disagree; be in oppostion to
to implore or beg; to speak desperately
to announce officially; support publicly
to set forth a design or plan
to state calmly and with logic
to speak back to authority figure; rebel
to use high pitch loud voice
to say in menacing manner
to make aware in advance of harm, danger, or evil
to shout or use loud voice; scream

 

“Snow White and the Huntsman” stars Kristen Stewart (“Twilight”) and Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”, “The Avengers”) as the titular characters, with Charlize Theron (“Monster”, “Hancock”) portraying the evil queen Ravenna.   The film is a refreshing take on the fairytale, far more in line with the original Grimm version than the Disney-fied versions that are the current norm.  The dwarves, for example, are not slapstick props nor one-dimensional; they were distinct from each other with some depth and not to be trifled with.  On top of that, the women are more than mere set decoration- both Ravenna and Snow are helped by men, but helped only- they are the main characters and they are in control.

Snow White and the HuntsmanPrior the release of “Snow White”, one of the more vocal concerns that had been raised is about casting Kristen Stewart in the lead role due to her work in the “Twilight” saga.  The worry was misplaced as Ms. Stewart plays both Snow wonderfully.  She has a more reserved nature for most of the movie- which make sense in character given her imprisonment during adolescence and the effect that would have.  Then, after her character’s transformative moment, she acts as a renewed person on a crusade.  Setting aside her accent, which was a little weak, this was a solid casting decision.

Visually, “Snow White” delivers in spades.  The stunning imagery works to show the stark contrast of the good lands of Snow White and her father and the (super)natural realms, as opposed to the dark and decaying kingdom of the evil Ravenna.  Much of the magic of the film is shown as wet- from the milk baths to the transformation residue to the liquid metal Magic Mirror.  This gives the film a raw, grittier feel than the clean magic styles depicted in “Harry Potter” or “Lord of the Rings”.  The faerie forest comes across as otherworldly, as it should.  And finally, the attack on the castle has a superb feel, bringing to mind the Arthurian legends.  All of these play magnificently onscreen.

Unfortunately, the film does rely on the visuals too much.  This reviewer really wanted to learn more of the back story of Ravenna, especially the relationship between her and her brother Finn (Sam Spruell).  Not only does the relationship have the whiff of incest, but how they are linked magically was left frustratingly unsaid.  Likewise, the story does seem to gloss over some details, such as the queen’s other kingdoms, the ease of Snow White’s escape, the nature of Snow’s innate magic and how or why she has this power.  Moreover, does this take place on Earth?  Before her escape near the beginning of the film, Snow White recites the Lord’s Prayer- which says that she’s a Christian- in this world of faeries and trolls and magical queens.  (Admittedly, other instances of out of place Christian utterances- Tigh’s “Jesus” in the Battlestar Galactica pilot comes to mind- happen, but recitation of a prayer as opposed to an utterance takes a different level of involvement.)  This indicates that the film took place in Europe somewhere in the Dark or Middle Ages, or that Christianity is known and practiced by some people in this world.

“Snow White” is a relatively marvelous summer movie.  The story moves a little fast to fill in some narrative points, but it is a compelling one.  Having two strong female leads, with men in the secondary roles, is refreshing for an action movie of this type.  Superb visuals tie the film well- enhancing the film and drawing the viewers into the story.  I would strongly suggest going to see “Snow White and the Huntsman”- and guys, it’s a good date movie you’ll enjoy too.

 

 

*** SPOILER ***

 

Lastly, this reviewer cannot say how great it is the movie didn’t end with a wedding- I am not a fan of that trope.  Snow being the Queen without a king or even a consort rocked.  After all, she can get one later if she wants.

Here’s a third list of alternate terms to said, focusing on setting for tone.

 

barked
bawled
beamed
bellowed
bleated
boomed
cackled
chattered
cheered
choked
clucked
cried
croaked
crowed
declaimed
drawled
groaned
grumbled
grunted
jeered
joked
laughed
mimicked
mumbled
murmured
muttered
nagged
ordered
ranted
roared
scolded
shouted
shrieked
smiled
smirked
snapped
snarled
sneered
squeaked
wailed
whispered
to speak sharply or loudly; shout
to cry loudly
to glow, shine, radiate
to roar, to cry out in anger or fear
to repeat same sound (cry) again and again
to speak with loud, deep, voice; a thunderous sound
to laugh cynically – implies sinister intent; sneer
to speak noisily about something unimportant; small talk
to yell loudly; to give a shout
to speak with great difficulty due to emotion
noise made using tongue against bottom of mouth
to call for help, to shout, to weep, to sob
to make a sound like a frog; hoarse voice
to speak in a self satisfied way; to boast
to speak in a pompous way
to speak in a way that prolongs the vowels
to make noise in chest or throat
to speak under one’s breath; to show disapproval
to make unintelligible low sounds
to speak or shout derisively; to mock
to make a joke or speak in funny manner
to say in fun, joking manner
to say by copying another; to make fun of by imitating
to utter inarticulate or almost inaudible sounds
to speak in a low, indistinct voice
to speak in a low, indistinct voice; inarticulate
to badger; to continually remind
to speak demandingly, with authority
to make short, angry monologue or speech
to utter a loud, deep sound; animalistic
to find fault; speak angrily
to make a loud cry or call
to make a loud, piercing cry or sound
to say good naturedly, kindly; in a kind manner
to say with contempt
to say suddenly and angrily
to say with a hateful rage
to say in scornful manner
to say with tiny high pitched voice
to express grief or pain through long, loud cries
to speak softly to avoid being overheard

 

Here’s a second list of alternate terms to said, focused on explanations.

 

addressed
answered
asserted
assured
broke in
cautioned
claimed
concluded
confided
described
explained
finished
quipped
implied
noted
promised
puzzled
reckoned
rejoined
replied
responded
retorted
returned
speculated
surmised
to speak directly to sme, respond or answer
to respond to a question
to add or offer additional information
to soothe, comfort, calm
to interrupt, supplying additional information
to warn or advise; strongly suggest
to assert or maintain; to state as fact
to finish or draw to a close; to understand
to let in on a secret; to disclose
to give additional information
to make or offer an explanation
to conclude or complete
to say ironically or unemotionally
to suggest, hint, or say without saying
to make mention; to acknowledge
to give word or make a vow
to say with doubt or ambiguity
to add or submit; to figure or believe
to answer an objection
to answer a question or comment
to reply or answer a question or comment
to reply to criticism in a sharp, witty way
to answer an objection; to reply to a criticism or charge
to guess using information available
to conclude or deduce

 

Writer’s Tip- Alt-Said Terms

As a writer, one of the problems that can come up is how to say “said” without using that word.  After the first few chapters, you need to have a different way to explain characters talking- here’s a list to give you a hand.

 

added
advised
called
complained
congratulated
continued
stated
announced
asserted
commented
declared
informed
lied
observed
offered
mentioned
protested
quoted
recalled
related
reminded
remarked
remembered
repeated
replied
reported
reassured
revealed
taunted
teased
tempted
to enhance an argument
to warn, to offer help
to capture attention by increased volume
to express dislike or disagreement
to give wishes; to acknowledge an action or deed
to further or add to an earlier point
to say or paraphrase from official documents
to declare formally and or publicly
to state positively but having no proof
to explain, interpret, or criticize – to make a remark
to make known clearly and openly
to give information, to make known; declare
to not speak truthfully
to mention casually
to suggest; to state
to state briefly; to bring up in conversation
to formally or openly disagree
to repeat words of others; to cite a source
to remember or bring up
to make connection; to say allegorically
to remember; to mention so as not to forget
to make a brief, casual statement of an opinion
to recall
to say again; to restate
to answer; to say in response
to give a formal statement; to give an account of
to give additional comfort, support, or evidence
to make known; to publish
to cruelly tease in a mocking or insulting manner
to annoy or pester; vex
to cause to consider (usually) something bad

 

Stephen King- look, you know who he is, so I’m not going to insult you by giving an overview.  That said, below are his top 20 rules for writers.  Setting aside if you’re a fan of his, one must admit he knows a thing or three about the craft of writing, so I would listen up (or whatever the reading version of that is- read up?  Word up?)  Learn them, live them.

1. First write for yourself, and then worry about the audience. “When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that arenot the story.”

2. Don’t use passive voice. “Timid writers like passive verbs for the same reason that timid lovers like passive partners. The passive voice is safe.”

3. Avoid adverbs. “The adverb is not your friend.”

4. Avoid adverbs, especially after “he said” and “she said.”

5. But don’t obsess over perfect grammar. “The object of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story.”

6. The magic is in you. “I’m convinced that fear is at the root of most bad writing.”

7. Read, read, read. ”If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.”

8. Don’t worry about making other people happy. “If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered, anyway.”

9. Turn off the TV. “TV—while working out or anywhere else—really is about the last thing an aspiring writer needs.”

10. You have three months. “The first draft of a book—even a long one—should take no more than three months, the length of a season.”

11. There are two secrets to success. “I stayed physical healthy, and I stayed married.”

12. Write one word at a time. “Whether it’s a vignette of a single page or an epic trilogy like ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ the work is always accomplished one word at a time.”

13. Eliminate distraction. “There’s should be no telephone in your writing room, certainly no TV or videogames for you to fool around with.”

14. Stick to your own style. “One cannot imitate a writer’s approach to a particular genre, no matter how simple what that writer is doing may seem.”

15. Dig. “Stories are relics, part of an undiscovered pre-existing world. The writer’s job is to use the tools in his or her toolbox to get as much of each one out of the ground intact as possible.”

16. Take a break. “You’ll find reading your book over after a six-week layoff to be a strange, often exhilarating experience.”

17. Leave out the boring parts and kill your darlings. “(kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.)”

18. The research shouldn’t overshadow the story.“Remember that word back. That’s where the research belongs: as far in the background and the back story as you can get it.”

19. You become a writer simply by reading and writing.“You learn best by reading a lot and writing a lot, and the most valuable lessons of all are the ones you teach yourself.”

20. Writing is about getting happy. “Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid or making friends. Writing is magic, as much as the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink.”

Mysidian Moments Photojournal

As we close out 2013, take a moment to reflectonwhathashappened, what has changed, what we’ve learned, what and whohasbeenlost– and as we make determinations to move forward…

 

 

* Note- this photo was actually taken with my cellphone, asI did not have my proper camera with me at the time. But as you can see, I couldn’t let this gorgeous moment in time disappear…

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Hell via Michigan

So Dave is driving home in winter in Dearborn, and while turning left gets broadsided by semi slipping on a patch of black ice.

He wakes up in Hell, and is immediately shredded, branded, and thrown into a rock quarry- breaking rocks, pushing them to another part of the quarry, where other souls are forced to beat them into boulders.  While the souls are wailing in torment, Dave just whistles a toon and breaks the rocks and pushes the carts of them over.  A demon flies up- “What the hell, man?  Why aren’t you screaming?”

“I grew up on a farm, this ain’t too much different than bailing hail or digging the fields.”

“Okay, motherfucker!” The demon snatched up Dave’s soul threw him into the Lava Slurry- shoveling lava from the hellpits into canals that flowed downwards back into the pits- a real Sisyphusan nightmare.  While souls screamed from the heat and the pointlessness of it all, Dave hummed ditties throughout the day.

A different demon flew up a few days later. “Dave, isn’t it?  Why are you humming?  It’s godsdamned lava, this shit it hot.  And just repetitive shit over and over, its never gonna end.  Stop humming.  Suffer, man, c’mon.”

“I worked on an assembly line for years- same shit, over and over, getting hot as hell in the summer.  I done this.”

The demon got on his cellphone, then turned back and smiled evilly.  “We’ve got you, Dave.”  He snatched Dave up, and brought him to a freezing wasteland.  No work, no other souls, just ice and snow and freezing cold reaching into the sub-absolute-zero range.  The demon threw him, naked and alone, into a snow drift and flew off…

Moments later, Lucifer himself appeared, laughing in triumph.  He knew this would break Dave’s soul- until he looked down and saw Dave dancing, singing, throwing snow into the air like a kid whose school was just cancelled.

“WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS, MORTAL SCUM?!?” Lucifer roared.  “I COMMAND THEE TO SUFFER!!”

“I can’t be mad, man, the Lions just won the Super Bowl!  The Lions just won the Super Bowl!!!”

Sala Kakuhle, Madiba

Nelson Mandela, 1999 by Mike Hutchings, Reuters

Mandela's signature

As you know (or know now), Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela passed today, peacefully, at the age of 95.

He is one of the few men who I could truly look up to.  He practiced what he preached, he went and searched for those who needed help, he adapted, and he never gave up the good fight.  His accomplishments, and the means he brought them about- against insurmountable odds- are a testament to the human spirit.

Now, we must rise up to continue his work- that of togetherness, forgiveness, enlightenment and striving towards a better, united tomorrow- we must rise.

Rest, Rolihlahla; enjoy the rest you have so greatly earned.

Sala kakuhle, Madiba

Mysidian Moments Photojournal

This Saturday, at the Dances with Film Festival at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood, Chastity Bites, a classic-style slasher film premiered; this group shot on the Red Carpet consists of the Clique Girls, (Amy Okuda ( @AmyOkuda ), Chloë Crampton ( @chloecharlotte ), Lindsey Morgan ( @linzzmorgan ) and Sarah Stouffer ( @realStouffer )) and the Director and Writer of the film, husband and wife team John V. Knowles ( @jvknowles ) and Lotti Pharriss Knowles ( @LottiLuWho )!

FYI, its a great, fun romp with a grande cast! Check it out when you’re able to- details would best be found at the official website and/or their twitter feed @ChastityBites .

* Granted, it was the “Green Carpet”- but non-Hollywood types wouldn’t know the difference, neh?

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