Riley Rose Author Storytelling Is One Of My Favorite Things 1

RileyRoseAuthor Podcast, Storytelling Is One Of My Favorite Things 8

Podcast

RileyRoseAuthor Storytelling Is One Of My Favorite Things is available on Spotify here and now!

Vela Kurv Superhero creator, Riley Rose Author, has a new podcast!

Riley Rose Author, StoryTelling Is One Of My Favorite  Things is a bi-weekly podcast on Spotify and Anchor where I read chapters from the fascinating books I’ve written inside the world of science fiction, murder mystery, high drama, and romance.

Transcript of Podcast for Episode 8:

12. THE BIRTH OF PUBERTY

Inside Mary and Joseph’s home, their study is identical to the Val Demure home. Pictures of Joseph, Mary, and Sebastian capture Sebastian at the age of four playing and maturing to the age of twelve. Sebastian is a happy contented child, even at this time of seclusion.

Pictures of varying events line the mantel of the fireplace and the desk depicting Sebastian: playing with small creatures at age four, Sebastian playing ball with Joseph at age five, Sebastian playing computer games at age six, Sebastian composing piano music at age eight, Sebastian writing prose at age ten, and Sebastian winning the blue ribbon at a school debate competition at age twelve.

Pages of Sebastian’s writings are on the desk as a mature young man continues to write, mouse pen to laptop. He begins to fall asleep. Sebastian dreams and sees the actual events of the day.

It is a cloudless day on the Top Flyer field. Mary watches Joseph in his cockpit on a billboard-sized monitor, prepare to land. The cockpit is tight and indicative of a fighter jet with muscle. All of the ships in his squadron are in formation ascending into Earth’s atmosphere. Without warning Joseph grabs his head and suddenly passes out.

The computer monitor shows physical signs of a problem with Joseph. The computer voice of Father questions Joseph while sending an alert notice to IASA. “Commander, an elevation in your blood pressure has been detected. Switching to automatic pilot for landing.”

Top Flyer hospital is smaller than West Pipe. It is apparent though; that it services a small sized patient pool. This is a hospital built for the military’s unexpected air accidents. Inside an Intensive Care Unit room, Joseph is suspended mid air a purple energy wave surrounds him and monitors his medical readings.

Three medical doctors walk about, including his mother Aurora reading his medical chart. She looks distraught. Aurora breaths heavily as she walks into a private physician’s office where Mary sits. Mary eyes Aurora as she walks in.

Mary is pensive, anxious, and has been waiting too long for a medical report on Joseph’s condition. “Aurora?!”

Suddenly the silence is gross, almost unbearable. Aurora cuts into it, she has to give Mary a report, “From what tests are showing, the decent into Earth’s atmosphere caused an aneurysm to form on Joseph’s brain.”

Mary is drawing a blank inside her head. “He checked out fine in his medical pre-flight exams.”

Aurora explains, “Joseph apparently had an infectious attack to his heart in flight. It sometimes happens when pilots have a lot of continuous space flight time.”

Now the effect of her own news causes Aurora to speak softly, obviously shaken, as her throat thickens with emotion. “The vessel walls can begin to weaken if there are extreme atmospheric changes prior to descent. The cause and effect looks to have been instantaneous.”

Mary exhales in one breath and slumps over in her chair. Aurora quickly straightens up as her science training folds in. Over her shoulder is a curious tiny black hole of atmosphere unnoticed by Mary or Aurora. Through the dark spatial hold into space reveals an optical view of Earth far below. A thin red cloud reveals that Ramses is watching at the other end of the hole.

Inside the Val Demure study, all is still. The study window reveals the winter night. Mary walks in and lightly touches Sebastian awake, his dream ends.

Mary forces her words to come out, “Sebastian, what are you doing still up? It’s late, go to bed.” She can’t tell him tonight, she doesn’t have the strength.

Sebastian gets up obediently, stops remotely, then walks toward the door, stops again and sobs hysterically, “They’ve killed father.”

***

The UNNA temple courtyard is bustling with uniforms of all ages. The sun of the day pierces in with spring. Cadets, officers, families, and temple officials are all bustling. Festival vendors of all sorts are everywhere offering all types of products and services.

Billboards advertise the advent of spring. A matured young Sebastian and Mary walk inside the temple. Festival activities go on for hours. Sebastian is with his mother and grandparents, Marrow and Aurora.

Sebastian runs off to talk with other children his age. The temple is filled with many young adults between twelve and sixteen, all talking and sharing, Mary sees Sebastian with Marrow and Aurora. They catch each other’s eye.

Mary raises her right hand and purple light rises up from her right palm. She whispers to the light, looking at Sebastian, “Stay with your grandparents and I will see you at Grandpa and Grandma Val Demure’s later.”

Sebastian turns his head and whispers back into the light as it exits his ear.

“I will be in my father’s house until I see you at Grandpa and Grandma Val Demure’s.”

Mary tilts her head as the light exits her ear. She looks a little puzzled, and then shakes her head thinking, I’m sure he understands. Mary turns and notices Vicar watching her exchange with Sebastian. Vicar’s discerning look changes to warm embrace as he walks over to Mary and hugs and greets her. Vicar and Mary walk out from the temple together, talking. On the way out they pass by Aurora and Marrow. The four greet and talk briefly. Aurora and Marrow stay in the temple.

Vicar and Mary walk outside. Mary greets Vicar; she knows that he is a devout believer of the Old Way teaching, “I understand your son has been admitted to UNNA Prep Flight Academy.”

Vicar responds with pride. “He has, Sara and I are very proud, as Joseph would be of Sebastian.”

Mary can play this game too. “Thank you for your kindness. I am tired and need to go and see about my family.”

“Yes. Will Sebastian be at UNNA this term?”

Mary hesitantly replies, “No, we will be going back to Top Flyer.”

Vicar resonant with a lot of disgust in his voice, “What a gifted youth to be granted Officer Prep at Top Flyer. That has never been done before.”

Mary nods once, “Good day, Vicar. Glad to see you well.” Mary walks on into the large crowd outside.

Back in the temple, not far from Mary and Vicar, Aurora and Marrow notice a booth they wish to visit. They walk back into the temple and see Sebastian.

Marrow cautions Sebastian, “Sebastian your grandmother and I are going to visit some of the booths selling collectibles, we will come back to check on you.”

Sebastian nods and turns around to talk to the Head Scribe. While speaking to the Head Scribe Brandon, a second scribe Ben, notices, walks over and joins the discussion. Then a third scribe, Kelly, also notices and joins this discussion.

Hours pass and afternoon changes into night. Aurora and Marrow walk over to Sebastian; the crowd has thinned a lot. Sebastian is still enthralled with the three scribes. The discussion looks extremely heated from onlookers.

A booth vender walks up to Marrow and Aurora; they forgot to include an ancient nautical timepiece they purchased in their bag. Their attention turns to the vendor. One of the scribes, Brandon, points to a door behind the shrine of incense. Everyone shakes their head in agreement. The scribe, Ben, raises his right hand, white light falls over Sebastian and the scribes like a blanket and they all disappear. The vendor walks away from Marrow and Aurora to reveal an empty temple. Fear invades the faces of Marrow and Aurora, and then suddenly, Marrow’s fear subsides.

Marrow offers a reasonable suggestion, “I’m sure Sebastian went ahead to Gabe and Christina’s, why don’t we stay at the Head Master Provisional Bed and Breakfast and go out to the Val Demure’s tomorrow night for dinner.

Aurora reasons that Marrow is right, “I’ll forward a communiqué to Mary from the check-in desk.”

The next night a Purple tornado beam of light dissipates to reveal Marrow and Aurora’s arrival at the Val Demure’s home. It is very late. Marrow places his right palm on the Val Demure door and Mary’s right palm is touching his palm immediately as the door fades.

Mary immediately notices that Sebastian is not with Marrow and Aurora. Marrow stares back in wonderment.

Marrow can read the shock of Sebastian’s absence in Mary’s eyes. “I thought Sebastian would be here, after he disappeared from the temple.”

Mary is shocked, “OH?!” Mary shakes violently and then passes out.

The next morning at the Val Demure home, Mary awakens from her bed, the drugs have worn off, and she hears talking and grabs a robe and rushes into the kitchen. She looks around in disbelief of everyone’s drinking and eating. Marrow looks up and smiles. Aurora walks over to Mary, touches her hand.

“UNNA Event Monastery sent a light communiqué last night; Sebastian is still at the temple, safe with the scribes. We have an appointment to pick him up at fifteen hundred hours today.”

Mary sighs with great relief, “I don’t understand how he got separated.”

Marrow calmly explains, “Apparently, he’s held their attention and created quite a high regard for his knowledge on the teachings of the scintillate, to say nothing of his ability to debate the monastic staff.”

Mary is still in shock. She slowly gets up from the table. She briefly turns around to speak to everyone, “I’ll be back, I need a swim.” Then she gasps, over her own neglect. “My other children?”

Aurora reassures her again, “All of my grandchildren are fine. They were more concerned about you.”

Afternoon sun beams inside the UNNA Temple through the main open door. Mary runs up to Sebastian, who is sitting quietly alone and hugs him. She can see three scribes sitting and talking by the shrine of incense. He looks at his mother with mature curiosity.

Mary questions Sebastian sternly, “Why didn’t you come home right away, as instructed?”

Sebastian can’t figure out all the fuss, after all he’ll soon be fourteen. “Why didn’t you realize that I would be here in my father’s house?”

Mary is stumped at Sebastian’s response to her question, “What?” Mary looks at Sebastian in utter disbelief.

Sebastian wraps his arms around Mary with a tight love hug. It is clear his motives are honest. Sebastian cautions Mary with care and affection. “I love you mother, there was never cause for you to worry about me.”

Captain Charles Wellington is conversing with Head Scribe, Brandon; about fifteen feet away while Eleni and Sidney stand and listen. Both girls are now twelve years old. Eleni looks over at Sebastian as he hugs his mom. He smiles at her, she smiles back.

Sidney is smaller than Eleni as if she isn’t entirely well.

Charles consoles Sidney, “Eleni’s transfusions will eventually clean your blood. Once you’re older, your cell count will elevate to Eleni’s, I truly believe that. You both have a call to secure and save mankind. Artisan promised me that.”

Transcript End

My hope is to share my passion around the stories I’ve written to share. The episodes are on AnchorSpotifyiTunesGoogle Podcasts and all other podcast platforms

Find me on Social Media everywhere. I’m on the web as @RileyRoseAuthor and RileyRoseMcKesson.com. Take a listen to my podcast and be sure to subscriberate, and comment on any podcast App.

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Superhero Vela Kurv Books

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Jack Snyder's Justice League

ENTERTAINMENT – It’s Official, ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League” Premieres on HBO Max, March 18, 2021 Worldwide

JUSTICE LEAGUE: Snyder Cut VS Whedon Cut Trailer Comparison (2021)

SlashFilm has released the most up to date news post alerting everyone that …

“‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ Will Be Available Worldwide in (Almost) All Markets March 18,” in the U.S. on HBO Max

Zack Snyder himself has released a tweet, solidifying this upcoming release (Twitter Link):

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is, of course, the long-awaited, much-talked-about Snyder Cut – filmmaker Zack Snyder‘s preferred version of Justice League. The version that arrived in theaters in 2017 was primarily composed of reshoots done by Joss Whedon, and ever since then, fans have been demanding to see Snyder’s version.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ray Fisher, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller.

WarnerMedia helped make that a reality by throwing $70 million at Snyder and letting him go back and finish his cut by adding new VFX and even shooting one new scene.

The end result is a four-hour movie – and honestly, it’s probably best that this thing is destined for streaming and VOD. I know lots of people want to see this on the big screen, but sitting in a theater for four hours, in the middle of a pandemic, seems like a bad idea.

The film stars: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, and Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ray Fisher, and Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Willem Dafoe, and Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, and Jared Leto, Connie Nielsen, and J.K. Simmons. The screenplay is by Chris Terrio, story by Chris Terrio & Zack Snyder and Will Beall, based on characters from DC, with Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The film’s producers are Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder, with executive producers Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas, Wesley Coller, Jim Rowe, Curtis Kanemoto, Chris Terrio, and Ben Affleck.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is going international.

The long-awaited Snyder Cut is already set to premiere in the U.S. on HBO Max in March, and now it’s been revealed that the flick will roll out the same day worldwide in all markets, with the exception of China, France, and Japan, where release dates are still to be determined. We’re talking on-demand, digital download, and streaming here, by the way – not theaters.

MORE:

If you’re outside the United States and wondering when and how you’ll be able to see Zack Snyder’s Justice League, here’s your answer: the same day as pretty much everyone else. The movie is hitting HBO Max in the states on March 18, and now it’s been confirmed that the fabled Snyder Cut is also heading to all markets worldwide – except China, France, and Japan.

Snyder’s villian DeSaad,

Snyder’s vision of Justice League

Justice League by Whedon vs. Snyder

 

 

 

 

 

Zack Snyder brings back the Justice League.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The feature film will be available in each market via one of the following distribution options – PVOD, PEST, EST, SVOD, TVOD, HBO linear, and on HBO Go (in HBO Europe and HBO Asia territories), or via a local TV provider. Additional details for each specific market will be shared in the upcoming weeks.

 

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ENTERTAINMENT – CBS Premieres Clarice Series Based On Silence of the Lambs Film

Clarice is a 2021 American psychological horror crime drama television series created by Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet.

Produced by CBS Studios, MGM Television, and Secret Hideout, it is based on the best-selling novel The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris.

From CBS, “Clarice” offers a deep dive into the untold personal story of FBI Agent Clarice Starling as she returns to the field in 1993, one year after the events of “The Silence of the Lambs.” Brilliant and vulnerable, Clarice’s bravery gives her an inner light that draws monsters and madmen to her. However, her complex psychological makeup that comes from a challenging childhood empowers her to begin to find her voice while working in a man’s world, as well as escape the family secrets that have haunted her throughout her life.

Indiewire covered Clarice in detail. “Absent any framework, the new CBS drama series ‘Clarice’ is still a bit worse than fine. Anyone familiar with the broadcast network’s preferred genre of rote crime procedurals may be satisfied (though certainly not thrilled), and anyone expecting more than that, frankly, should know better.

But even the most pop culture-averse viewers are likely to start “Clarice” with some level of base knowledge.

There’s the recent “Hannibal” TV show, the less recent “Hannibal” movie, and Jonathan Demme’s Oscar-winning 1991 classic, “The Silence of the Lambs”; only the latter serves as backstory here, but they’re all reasonable comparison points, and they’re all vastly superior to “Clarice.”’

Rebecca Breeds in “Clarice”. Photo: Brooke Palmer / CBS.

Picking up a year after Clarice Starling tracked down Buffalo Bill, Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet’s continuation quickly positions its lead (now played by Rebecca Breeds) as an outsider at the FBI, who’s despised by jealous colleagues for her highly publicized experience catching a serial killer. (Due to rights issues, the show can’t mention Hannibal Lecter by name.) Her boss thinks she got lucky, the press hounds her like a celebrity, and she just wants to do the work: to help victims.

MORE:

Over the course of God knows how many seasons, Clarice will solve case after case in order to prove herself, again and again, to the higher-ups, to her fellow team members, and to herself — which works out nicely for the show’s case-of-the-week format, buoyed ever so slightly by a serialized conspiracy plot. Catch the bad guys! Solve the mysteries! Play nice with your partners! Sound familiar? It should, and that’s by design.

In less than 45 minutes, you won’t be able to distinguish Clarice Starling from TV’s lengthy lineup of not-so-special agents.

Even if you can tolerate seeing Clarice Starling contorted into a conventional TV cop, there’s more character manipulation to come. Rather than develop Clarice beyond what happened in the 1991 film (as it only pretends to do), the series changes the film’s ending in order to make her more fragile, less autonomous, and an altogether weaker character than the one she’s supposedly building off. Clarice quieted her demons by saving Catherine Martin and stopping Buffalo Bill; that’s how she silenced the bleating lambs in her nightmares. But “Clarice” refutes the healing nature of Starling’s heroic act, and instead argues it only saddled her with more trauma.

CBS Clarice Series Silence Lambs. Courtesy of Orion Pictures (Rebecca Reed inset via CBS). Jodie Foster stars in the Silence of the Lambs film.

From there, more leaps in logic are required. The pilot episode is a mess of exposition, references, and nonsensical storytelling. Ordered into the field against the advice of her therapist, Clarice is placed with the ViCAP Task Force, a special unit within the FBI working in violent crime. Though team leader Paul Krendler (Michael Cudlitz) doesn’t want her there, Attorney General Ruth Martin (Jayne Atkinson) thinks media attention tied to the agent who stopped one serial killer will help stem fears related to a new case.

“Clarice” doesn’t want you to think about the logic of that assessment, and it moves quickly from a rehash of “Silence of the Lambs” via her therapy session to plenty of callbacks to Jonathan Demme’s classic.

Maybe it’s to hide the fact that the name Hannibal is never spoken, or maybe it’s to justify the use of Thomas Harris’ IP, but there are dozens of very forced references to Buffalo Bill, as well as other famous details from “The Silence of the Lambs.” (To give an idea of how lazy these references are integrated: An unnamed fellow agent “pranks” Clarice by smearing hand lotion on a drawer handle and shouting, “Put it in the basket!”)

But “The Silence of the Lambs,” “Hannibal” (the salacious yet entertaining 2001 film), and “Hannibal” (the psychologically masterful 2013 series) are all eons better than “Clarice,” in part because they were made with artistic intent, but also because they all respect Clarice Starling, as first written by Harris and originally portrayed by Jodie Foster.

Episode 2 pivots to a Waco-esque hostage situation in Tennessee, focusing on Clarice learning to be a team player in what’s otherwise an entirely standalone story. Episode 3 ties back to the first episode, but it already feels like the serialized element lightly threaded throughout the season is too thin to hold. Along the way, Clarice is framed as a victim, a mom, and an emotionally unstable employee — all stereotypical traits tied to female characters, and none of which existed in other versions of the character.

Credit: Brooke Palmer/CBS. Rebecca Breeds has the title role in “Clarice,” premiering Thursday on CBS.

As the pilot slogs forward, it becomes clearer and clearer that the most compelling parts of Clarice’s story are being left behind. The reason “The Silence of the Lambs” made such an impression was because it depicted the most momentous point of its protagonist’s life (and, perhaps, Hannibal’s). So the rote nature of her new story only emphasizes how dynamic her past story really was, and reminds the viewer they’re being asked to remember the Clarice from old stories while embracing a new one who’s nothing like her.

“Clarice” premiered Thursday, February 11 at 10 p.m. ET on CBS and will be available to watch on CBS All Access.

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Superhero Secret Agent Vela Kurv

Why Writing Biracial Female Superheroes is What the World Needs Now

Former First Lady, Michelle Obama is currently adapting her bestselling book, Becoming, for young teens who are beginning their lives of real purpose. In an interview with Stephen Colbert for the promotion of her book, she talked about crying for 25 minutes after boarding Air Force One on the last day of her husband’s time in office as the 44th President of the United States and the release of eight years of always being cautious as to how the world perceived her, her husband and her children. She was the First Lady for eight years but she was defined by race and held accountable for representing her ethnicity as First Lady. Never defined purely by who she was as a human being and what she accomplished in her own life’s work, after all she was a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School. She was also a successful practicing attorney of Sidley Austin Law Firm in Chicago, Illinois. She is a wife and a mother.

As a writer, how do we create such a duplicitous woman of stature, a woman of accomplishment and a woman of color? As a society, we put characters in boxes but what if a character fits into more than one box? How would one recreate a character with similar heritage to a Meghan Markle? For clarity sake, Meghan is the Duchess of Sussex. She is a recently retired American actress who married Prince Harry, thus becoming a member of the British royal family. More than that, Markle was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and is of mixed race. As a writer, how do we create a character that’s remarkable, and both female and multiracial? Where do we begin?

How My Biracial Superhero Found Her Journey To Story

I created a biracial superhero that is defined by the content of her character and not a stereotypical orchestration based on her ethnic heritage. I began by defining the world in which she lived. I wanted her surroundings, her family and her aspirations to be personal. I wanted her beginnings to come from parents who loved each other, much like the home I grew up in, nothing about it seemed exceptional to me. I was a witness to the love shared between two people who married until the day my mother died. In fact I had many friends growing up that came from a two-parent household that was typically middle class. And I remembered my science fiction teacher from the University of California, Los Angeles Writers Program, explaining to his students, about the importance of always remembering the “human condition”. Incorporating the relatable aspects of humanity is key to connecting our character to the audience they will serve.

Writing Inspiration Comes From the Global Adoration of Many

I read an article on Wonder Woman by Charlie Jane Anders (from Tor.com, an online science fiction and fantasy magazine published by Tor Books), that conveyed such a poignant and relevant context of how this writer defined her: ““For all their kinky eroticism, the original Wonder Woman comics are also a story about slavery, and what comes after you win your freedom. But most of all, the thing that made Wonder Woman irresistible to me, back then, was the way she felt like a fairytale hero and a conventional action hero, rolled into one brightly colored package.”

Creating a superhero has always been about answering a call for preserving the integrity mankind, righting a wrong or making a statement about an imbalance of some deep chasm that society needs. Being a teacher and part of the education community, I was drawn to watch Davis Guggenheim’s Waiting for Superman, which is a documentary on education. Guggenheim’s title comes from the life and perspective of Geoffrey Canada, an American educator, a graduate of Harvard University, Bowdoin College, and Harvard Graduate School Of Education, who was devastated to find out in his youth that Superman wasn’t real.

Canada is African American and he grew up in the South Bronx of New York. His background is ground breaking. He founded the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ), a non-profit organization for poverty-stricken children and families living in Harlem that provides education beginning with adolescence that is directed at breaking the cycle of generational poverty for the thousands of children and families the school serves. Superman was who Canada believed would save him and many others from a life of poverty and challenge, finding out Superman was fictional shattered his hope for a time. A writer’s inspiration comes from many places, world events and conditions of society that resonate within as to who we are as human beings.

The Breadcrumbs of Creating a Biracial Female Superhero

In my perspective, Superheroes provide hope. And as a writer, I believe, we design them to do so. As such, they have to feel real and relatable. Tying their creation to the plight of the fight in which they will battle pulls us in to their story and the struggle they will serve to win against it. Heroes and superheroes are iconic and relatable because we believe in their struggle yet they are not self-serving nor do they fall into a stereotypical frame. They are not all blonde and blue-eyed, they don’t grow-up inside a home surrounded by a white picket fence. They are not the high school quarterback or cheerleader. They struggle because they are unique and exceptional but unable to share their condition with a peer or someone they love and trust.

Superheroes tug at our hearts because of the plight or condition of which they must overcome to answer the call of their superhuman abilities. Superman is super because he is an alien that lives among humans that he has grown up with and has come to love. Batman is relatable because he cares about the conditions of society and wants to balance the scales against injustice. Wonder Woman is human and alien but believes in the goodness of mankind. I decided to create a superhero that combined the worlds of black and white and alien DNA. I wanted to see someone that looked like me yet was fighting the battle of the many heroes I loved as a child.

I drew inspiration from Gene Roddenberry and the fantastical world he created called Star Trek. I wondered about that world of which he created. I wondered…what would it be like if we had a world of totally equal opportunity, if we had no inequality, no disease and no poverty? What if we lived in a world where mankind only needed to better itself? What might that world look like? I considered quite a bit about the futuristic world of hope that he created.

Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek Inspires A Writing Process

In Roddenberry’s original Star Trek TOS series (1966–1969), officers served and coexisted in rank on a bridge of multi ethnicities. Nichelle Nichols, (cast as Nyota Uhura), shared the story of how she met the world renown, Martin Luther King, during the Civil Rights Struggle while she contemplated leaving the Star Trek series. She explained that she resigned on a Friday to launch a career on Broadway. Roddenberry asked her to reconsider, because he was building something of significance. Making a statement about the inequity of a society during a time in which Roddenberry and Nichols both were living. I was moved by the reason she changed her mind and her ultimate resolve.

Nichols was invited to a civil rights organizational event at the end of her first year staring in the original Star Trek series and as luck would have it, she met the famous civil rights leader, Martin Luther King that night. He sought her out and told her how much her show meant to him. Nichols explained to him that she was leaving Star Trek, bound for Broadway. He reacted quite desperately and told her that she just couldn’t do that. What she represented was too important. Roddenberry’s Star Trek was the only show that he would allow his children to watch at that time, because of the multi ethnicities that served together of equal rank (all officers) and of equal capability and training. Nichols decided to stay on the series after her conversation with King. This was a moving inspiration of historical significance for me. It was my muse, so to speak and the beginning of the stirrings that lead to the creation of my superhero, Vela Kurv.

How Star Trek Influenced My Biracial World Changing Superhero

Star Trek had such a resonating tone of truth for me. It spoke to me as a child; I would watch the syndicated reruns everyday after school during my grade school days. The truth of opportunity and capability resonated with me, as well. How could it not, resonate with everyone, I thought.

This television series did something extraordinary during a very turbulent time in the United States. Star Trek was able to shine a light on inequity, on prejudice and racism and on the plight of war. In fact, so much of the series connected with me, that I decided to create my own biracial female superhero inside my own world of science fiction, like Roddenberry did. I named my character, Lorabella, who becomes a superhero that ultimately becomes, Vela Kurv. Her creation is tied to the Constellation Vela that goes supernova during the birth of the very first Vela Kurv.

My Superhero Finds Its Way To Story

It took some time for me to create the backstory of Vela Kurv. It is somewhat surreal. The story began as a short story assignment in one of my early classes in The Writers Program. I wrote about the future, incorporating time travel because for me, that’s where hope lives. I grasped on to the futuristic worlds that superheroes come from because of past societal inequities and created such conditions for the creation of my Vela Kurv. Lorabella becomes Vela Kurv because of her alien and human bloodline. Like all superheroes, she struggles with her own humanity. She has a lesson to learn in dealing with her own father, who happens to also be the commanding officer of Earth’s military.

My reasons for creating her were an answer to what is missing in today’s world. This world where she lives is a world filled with many faces and races of color; it is a world where humans of all races want to live and support one another. In this world they only see the humanity in one another and love and respect one another. Humans unite to save their world because they all love what the quality of life offers, and the possibilities of what it offers for generations to come.

The Writing Process of Creating a Whole New World

I drew the creation of my world from the struggle of humanity as it exists for us all in how we view our own world and circumstances; this is because the scales of justice don’t always feel balanced because the struggle for equality has never been just.

In my creation of a whole new word, I am hoping for one filled with truth, justice and equality for all men, women and children but until that day becomes a reality, I make my commentary through the world of Vela Kurv and I show how this biracial female superhero seeks to balance the scales of right and wrong, because she believes that it’s possible. She fights to make justice the prevailing truth inside the world in which she lives.

Writers create because we find inspiration. Science fiction is all about drawing from science to recreate our story of fiction, be it story or a whole new world. Finding the originality in our creation is key to telling a real, personal story. This is where a world changing superhero can live and become a surreal but relatable hero wrapped up inside a biracial beginning.

This article first appeared on the She Writes blog here.

Riley Rose (Author) McKesson is an author of superhero Vela Kurv books.

She is also a professional writer and producer that is currently working on a film project with Chas. Floyd Johnson, Executive Producer of NCIS TV series, as well as the Producer of Red Tails (2012), which he produced with George Lucas and (LucasFilms).

Rose co-produced the documentary project, ‘The Green Girl’. It revealed the story of the life of Susan Oliver in the award winning move. It was funded on both crowdfunding websites: Kickstarter, and Indiegogo. The film has won three awards.

Rose has written treatments, story synopses, and analyses. Rose has produced several short films for Sundance Film Festival. She has also worked with the Webby Award Winning web series creator of BZ Shorts.

Sign up for Riley Rose McKesson’s newsletter here and get the updates on what’s premiering in Hollywood.

ENTERTAINMENT – Justin Timberlake is a Magnetic Leading Man in Palmer on Apple TV

Apple TV premiered Palmer, where a former high school football star Eddie Palmer (Justin Timberlake) went from hometown hero to convicted felon, earning himself 12 years in a state penitentiary.

With Palmer, Timberlake is back on-screen, and he’s still got the charisma that made him the best part of some fairly average movies (we’re looking at you, Friends with Benefits and In Time).

Timberlake stars as Palmer’s titular character, an ex-convict released on parole after 12 years behind bars. We don’t immediately learn what Palmer went to prison for, but he seems to be reformed, since he’s fairly polite when living with his grandma, Vivian (June Squibb), and he doesn’t waste any time in finding a janitorial job at the elementary school.

He returns home to Louisiana, where he moves back in with Vivian, the grandmother who raised him. While trying to keep his head down and rebuild a quiet life for himself, Palmer is haunted by memories of his glory days and the suspicious eyes of his small town community.

Behind the scenes with Justin Timberlake on Palmer.

He’s quiet, has a tendency to crack a tall can for breakfast, and isn’t initially a particularly good role model to Sam (Ryder Allen), the young neighbor who Vivian takes in after his drug-addicted mom (Juno Temple) runs off.

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As Palmer adjusts to life back in his small Louisiana hometown, Vivian dies suddenly, leaving him to look after Sam until his mom comes back (if she ever does). All of a sudden, Palmer’s life is full of bubble baths and playdates, which are in stark contrast to his sullen, macho moodiness.

Justin Timberlake and Ryder Allen star in Palmer on Apple TV.

Things become more complicated when Vivian’s hard-living neighbor Shelly (Juno Temple) disappears on a prolonged bender, leaving her precocious and unique 7-year-old son Sam, often the target of bullying, in Palmer’s reluctant care. In time, Palmer is drawn into a more hopeful world as he forges a connection with Sam through their shared experience of being made to feel different by those around them.

Palmer sticks to fairly predictable territory.

We’ve seen this kind of “reluctant father” narrative play out time and again — think About a Boy, Big Daddy, or the recent The Midnight Sky — and the film hits all the predictable beats as Palmer goes from stoic to paternal.

Alisha Wainwright in Palmer, now streaming on Apple TV+
Picture Courtesy: Apple.

Life improves for Palmer, and a romance develops between him and Sam’s teacher Maggie (Alisha Wainwright). An inspiring and unexpected journey unfolds for the three of them, but soon Palmer’s past threatens to tear apart this new life.

Even if Palmer feels a little sanitized, it’s well-acted enough to make up for it. Timberlake may not have the grit to make him a very plausible ex-con, but he brings the quiet charm and effortless charisma required to make him sympathetic. And Ryder Allen is instantly loveable as Sam, a young boy who wears hair clips and loves princesses — something that brings out homophobia in his peers and occasional gender policing in Palmer.

It’s heart-warming to see how he retains his sunny individuality despite being neglected at home and bullied at school.

It’s impossible not to root for Palmer and Sam every step of the way, even if you’ll probably have a pretty good idea of how things are going to play out.

Palmer premiered on Apple on January 29, 2021.

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ENTERTAINMENT – Hulu Premieres a Supernatural Telling of “The Sister”

In Hulu‘s “The Sister,” Nathan’s (Russell Tovey) life is turned upside down when Bob (Bertie Carvel), an unwelcome face from the past, turns up on his doorstep with shocking news.

An Intense Mystery Thriller That Sidelines the Supernatural

It’s taut and gripping enough to beguile you for four hours of chilling fun. As the catalyst of drama, Bob is a clever invention, and a frightening one. And he helps carry The Sister — an imperfect but pleasantly unnerving piece of work — over the line into worthwhile.

Seven years later, Nathan is in for a rude awakening when he’s visited by Bob, a man who believes ghosts walk among the living and has returned to ask Nathan for assistance in digging up Elise’s (Holly Fox), body before it’s discovered by real estate developers. As it turns out, Nathan and Bob were involved in Elise’s death — a mystery that unfolds throughout each of the four episodes and evolves into something more sickening than expected. However, things get all the more complicated when Bob discovers that Nathan has up and married Holly. Dun dun dun.

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With only four episodes to weave its story together, The Sister makes good use of every moment. The mystery is engaging enough from the get-go, crafting a whodunit plot that becomes more disturbing and devastating as it unravels. And it does unravel, with Nathan growing more desperate and unhinged the longer Bob sticks around. Nathan, who seems happy with Holly, wants to keep up the illusion that all is well in his life.

If she never discovers he was at the same party as Elise, then he can pretend the incident is behind him.

It’s unsettling to watch Nathan cling to the life he’s carved out for himself knowing that it’s all been built on a lie. He fears Holly would leave him if she found out the truth about Elise and I kept wanting her to discover something so that Nathan could face some consequences.

Center: Russell Tovey. Left to right:  Simone Ashley, Holly Fox, and Bertie Carvel.

Bob is the exact opposite, pestering Nathan to take care of things not only because he fears being caught, but because he says he’s supposedly being haunted by Elise. Their relationship is fraught, unwillingly tethered to one another because of a secret and a crime. What’s weird is the narrative definitively paints Bob in a negative light; he’s the clear antagonist no matter how you perceive the story. And yes,

Bob is terrible, creepy, and nonchalant about Elise’s death.

However, the fact that Nathan tries to alleviate his guilt by finding Holly and worming his way into her and her family’s lives through stalkerish behavior is barely called out and criticized (and Bob only mentions it once). It’s like Cross sees Nathan as a sympathetic character despite his actions. While the story developments clear up a few things later on, Nathan isn’t as decent as the story paints him to be.

As the catalyst of drama, Bob is a clever invention, and a frightening one.

Bob helps carry “The Sister” — an imperfect but pleasantly unnerving piece of work — over the line into worthwhile. Between Carvel and Tovey, the viewer sees two sides of male fecklessness and naivete. Both actors play men who believe they are in control: Carvel’s Bob of the forces of life and death, and Tovey’s Nathan over his own fate, evading culpability. Both have a lot to learn by the time this enjoyably nasty little series reaches its end.

“The Sister” is a British psychological thriller adapted from Neil Cross’s novel “Burial”. It premiered January 22, 2021 on Hulu.

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ENTERTAINMENT – June & Kopi on Netflix is About a Dog That Adjusts to its New, Loving Home

Noviandra Santosa’s June & Kopi helps to flesh out an already-overpopulated subgenre of movies that might best be described as, “dogs!”.

That really is the level on which most of this stuff is marketed and enjoyed, and on that level, this new Indonesian dramedy now streaming on Netflix is a winner purely by virtue of having two dogs for the price of one.

Both of those dogs, the titular June and Kopi, find themselves in the care of Aya (Acha Septriasa) and Ale (Ryan Delon), and their daughter, Karin (Makayla Rose Hilli).

Kopi is the old faithful family pet, whereas June is a street dog newcomer taken in after being found in dire straits. It’s a classic story of learning to get along while various forces – contrasting personalities, a needlessly hostile husband, an already-established dynamic suddenly and irreparably altered – throw up some roadblocks.

Brace yourself for the obligatory heartstring-tugging conclusion, too.

So far, so familiar. And, frankly, June & Kopi never really rises beyond that level as June begins to instinctively bond with Karin. Two dogs and a newborn? This is a film that doesn’t skimp on the cuteness and fair play.

It knows why most people will be watching in the first place and has just the right approach to keeping them engaged by giving them an overload of what they want, without much effort to subvert expectations or do anything original. 

Naturally, there’s a strong air of emotional manipulation here, and in the same way that June & Kopi is confident it’ll pull in viewers with the simple appeal of cute doggos, it’s also confident that it can emotionally break them by imperiling the mutts at any opportunity.

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It’s shameless, sure, but also expected, so you can’t really hold it against the film. Everyone, especially the human characters, who’re thin but serviceable, knows what kind of movie they’re in. Audiences will too.

Either way, at a lean 90 minutes and with an obvious mandate to really embrace the “Dogs!” genre, June & Kopi is exactly what it says on the tin. Don’t go in expecting anything more and you’ll probably have a good time.

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Psychological thriller Red Dot on Netflix.

ENTERTAINMENT – A Couple Flees for Their Lives in Red Dot on Netflix

Anastasios Soulis stars in Red Dot. Check out the official teaser trailer above and synopsis below.

Trying to rekindle their marriage and with a child on the way, a young couple on a ski trip suddenly finds themselves stalked by remorseless killers. Starring: Nanna Blondell, Anastasios Soulis, and Thomas Hanzon.

Set in the Swedish mountains, the film follows David (Soulis) and Nadja (Blondell), a couple in their late twenties, who’ve been struggling with their marriage. When Nadja becomes pregnant they make an attempt to rekindle their relationship and decide to travel to the magnificent expanses in the north of Sweden for a ski hike.

Nanna Blondell stars in Red Dot.

But after what started as a quarrel with two local hunters, their romantic trip slowly turns into a nightmare. Soon, a red laser dot appears in their tent and they are quickly forced to flee into the cold, unforgiving wilderness.

Totally isolated in the mountains, they are now being pursued by reckless shooters. Meanwhile, during this sadistic hunt, the couple’s past also comes back to haunt them.

Directed by Swedish filmmaker Alain Darborg (lightly-comedic heist thriller The Master Plan), Red Dot stars Soulis and Blondell as a couple trying to spice things up with a snowy camping trip in the hills of Sweden. But when they arrive, things go very awry with the arrival of — that’s right — a red dot.

Specifically, the red dot of the laser aim of a rifle, trained abruptly at our couple, with seemingly no reason or purpose. As the bullets start flying, these two run further and further into the wilderness, trying their best to survive the next shot and solve the mystery behind this phantom red dot.

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Most of the contained, high-concept thrillers listed above take place in an enclosed, indoor space. Red Dot sticks out of the bunch by placing our hapless heroes in the wide expanse of the wilderness, making this picture feel as much as an elemental survival thriller as a cat-and-mouse human-nature horror flick.

Nanna Blondell stars as Nadja in Red Dot on Netflix.

Netflix has been branching out more and more into the international space to give us content lately; if this strategy includes more acquisitions of unique genre titles like the Swedish Red Dot, you better believe I’ll keep watching that Red N.

From left to right: Anastasios Soulis and Nanna Blondell.

Red Dot comes to Netflix February 11, 2021.

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Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity is streaming on Netflix globally.

ENTERTAINMENT – Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity, is a sword-and-sorcery fantasy on Netflix

Now streaming on Netflix, the film The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity, is written and directed by Guo.

It stars Taiwanese heartthrob Mark Chao Yu-ting in the title role as Qingming. He is a practitioner of the supernatural arts, who is summoned to the Imperial City as one of four masters tasked with guarding the Empress (Olivia Wang Ziwen) from a giant demonic serpent.

Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity is streaming on Netflix globally.

A fearsome supernatural demon that feeds on humanity’s obsession and greed, the serpent was previously responsible for killing Qingming’s master. Should it materialize again, the fate of the entire kingdom would hang in the balance.

When a demonic serpent reawakens, the Yin-Yang Masters must solve a murder mystery and protect their realms from a dark conspiracy at the royal court.

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After fashioning a mini phenomenon with the garishly chic, Guo Jingming turns his hand to the sword-and-sorcery fantasy genre with The Yin Yang Master: Dream of Eternity.

Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity now streaming on Netflix globally.

Stylistically, it recalls Hong Kong filmmaker Tsui Hark’s Detective Dee series, the later installments of which also starred Chao, but also the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Defenders will be quick to point out that Yumemakura’s iconography predates Stan Lee’s by centuries, and may itself have influenced the magical imagery used in Doctor Strange.

Nevertheless, Guo unquestionably returns the favor here, with his action sequences owing a particular debt to the climax of Avengers: Endgame. Had he also emulated that film’s layered characterization, playful wit and genuine sense of peril, The Yin Yang Master might have been much more fun to watch.

A fearsome supernatural demon serpent that feeds on humanity’s obsession and greed.

As it is, the film plays like a live-action take on historical martial arts comics; characters bicker and pout, make impassioned vows of love, loyalty or revenge, but other than that, not much heightened conflict really happens.

The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity is streaming on Netflix globally as of February 5, 2021.

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Space Sweepers is perfect for fans of sci-fi adventure stories.

ENTERTAINMENT – Netflix features South Korea’s first space blockbuster, Space Sweepers

Space Sweepers is a new Netflix sci-fi adventure from South Korea (original title Seungriho).

Space Sweepers is a new Netflix sci-fi adventure movie for the whole family. Watching this reminded me of Pacific Rim, Snowpiercer, District 9, and even Star Wars; it is a gorgeous production with a very international cast and a strong plot.

The film, one of the most highly anticipated of the year, features a star-studded cast including Song Joong-ki, Kim Tae-ri, Jin Seon-kyu, and Yoo Hae-jin as a crew of space scavengers who discover a humanoid robot called Dorothy, which looks like a child is actually a weapon of mass destruction.

Perfect for fans of sci-fi adventure stories

However, while this Netflix movie is a South Korean production, it does have a very international appeal and various languages are spoken throughout the movie. Just like in Altered Carbon, people use a translator device in the year 2092.

After snatching a crashed space shuttle in the latest debris chase, Spaceship Victory’s crew members find a 7-year-old girl inside. They realize that she’s the humanlike robot wanted by UTS Space Guards and decide to demand ransom in exchange.

South Korea’s first space blockbuster

This review of Korean Netflix film Space Sweepers contains no spoilers. The action-adventure was released on the streaming service on Feb 5, 2021.

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Space Sweepers really is a movie for the whole family and it should feel familiar without being a copycat or a spoof. I was reminded of Pacific Rim in terms of people coming together and using machines to fight in outer space. Plus, there’s a little girl at the heart of this story as well. Snowpiercer also quickly came to mind as far as the social realism angle is concerned.

Space Sweepers is out on Netflix globally.

In 2092, Earth is almost entirely unlivable and not everyone is invited to live in the alternative. Instead, they’re working for scraps by doing odd jobs. One of them is being a “space sweeper”. This is basically cleaning up all the space junk to ensure it doesn’t damage any of the space stations where people live now.

Space Sweepers, South Korea’s first space blockbuster.

Also, District 9 definitely came to mind in terms of grittiness and the ugly side of human nature. Finally, the battle scenes in space definitely reminded me of Star Wars. Again, not as a copy of the Star Wars style and look, but just as a loving homage to the iconic franchise.

Space Sweepers is perfect for fans of sci-fi adventure stories.

Space Sweepers is a gorgeous production with interesting and engaging characters that carry a strong plot, so it’s a definite recommendation. Check it out and make sure you’re not half-watching it because the dialogue is fast and there’s a whole new kind of world you need to understand. Enjoy!

Space Sweepers is out on Netflix globally from February 5, 2021.

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