Watching Resolution: Room (2015)

7. A film based on a book: Room (2015)

List Progress: 1/12

Trigger warning: rape, abduction.

What better way to start out my 2018 list than with some harrowing trauma and misery? On a whim, I watched the 2015 film Room last night, based on the novel by Emma Donoghue, who also wrote the screenplay. I have not read the novel, but I had heard a lot about this movie. It is about a young woman who has been held captive in a small enclosed room for seven years, where she has given birth to a son, who at the age of five has never seen the outside world and has no conception that anything exists beyond the walls of his home. The story is told from the son, Jack’s, perspective, and the first half is of the movie is almost entirely dialogue between Jack and Ma in their claustrophobic little home. And it is So. Good. The second half suffers a bit in trying to be too neat, but on the whole it was a great way to spend two painful hours.

Given how much of the film is just two actors, the whole thing is grounded by the performances of Brie Larson as Ma and Jacob Tremblay as Jack, who was eight years old during filming. And this is really one of the best performances I’ve seen out of a child actor. Jack feels like a real kid, from his cutest moments to his most obnoxious lashing out, and his and Ma’s relationship inside Room is great to watch. The back end of the film feels weaker when Jack is made a little too inspirational and cute to balance out the turmoil Ma is going through, but it is still a great showing from both actors.

The subject matter should make it clear that this movie comes with some trigger warnings. Ma was kidnapped as a teenager and has been held by her rapist for seven years, with Jack’s conception as one of the results. Nothing explicit or gratuitous is shown on screen, and I really respect how the director, Lenny Abrahamson, filmed some things: Ma is shown comfortably bathing in a bathtub with Jack, but it is never played for titillation and she is never shown undressed or sexualized in relation to her attacker. Her brutal reality is kept on the edge’s of Jack’s awareness, shown more through Brie Larson’s raw, emotional performance than by any voyeuristic camera work. It is a delicate, respectful depiction of a victim and makes for a great movie.

Despite being a bit unbalanced and weaker in the back half, I definitely recommend watching Room. Just go in prepared for a hard watch.

Would I Recommend It: Yes, definitely.


Introducing my Reading and Watching Resolution Lists!

Happy New Years! So for the last couple of years, I have set a New Year’s Reading Resolution for myself, along with a couple of friends. We read books that fit in certain categories, in an attempt to push the boundaries of our reading habits, and write up little reviews of what we have read. As the year is starting fresh with a new list, I have decided to share my book reviews here, to hopefully spark some good literary discussion in 2018.

In addition, I am giving myself the extra challenge of a movie-watching list as well; I will be the first to admit that I have lost the determination to sit down for full movies, and I hope this will push me to try more of the medium over the course of the year.

If you would like to try this list for yourself, feel free to jump in. I will be updating this post as I complete parts of the list. I wish you all a happy year full of good reading and viewing!

2018 Reading Resolution

  1. A book written in North/Central America: Awfully Devoted Women: Lesbian Lives in Canada, 1900-65 by Cameron Duder
  2. A book written in South America:
  3. A book written in East Asia:
  4. A book written in South Asia:
  5. A book written in Africa:
  6. A book written in the Middle East:
  7. A book written in Australia/Oceania
  8. A book written in Europe/Russia:
  9. A book recommended by someone: Sourdough by Robin Sloan
  10. A biography: Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame by Mara Wilson
  11. A non-fiction book:
  12. A collection of short stories:
  13. A collection of poetry:
  14. A play:
  15. A graphic novel:
  16. A book older than 100 years: The Knight of the Burning Pestle by Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher
  17. A debut novel: Behrouz Gets Lucky by Avery Cassell
  18. A novel by a famous author, other than the one(s) they are best known for:
  19. A book we have lied about reading:
  20. A book we read in high school/college and hated:
  21. A book we read in high school/college/law school and loved:
  22. A book by an author you have never given a fair shot:
  23. A 2017-2018 New York Times bestseller:
  24. A book you’ve started but never finished:
  25. Wild Card:

List Progress: 5/25

In addition, I am trying a film list again!

2018 Film Watching Resolution

  1. A foreign film:
  2. A black and white film:
  3. A silent or dialogue-free film:
  4. An animated film:
  5. A film based on a true story:
  6. A documentary:
  7. A film based on a book: Room (2015)
  8. An Oscar-winning movie:
  9. A trashy movie (B-list, straight to DVD):
  10. Your best friend’s favorite movie:
  11. A children’s film:
  12. A film released in 2018:

List Progress: 1/12

Come see my short play “There’s No Place Like Hell for the Holidays” performed at Monday Night PlayGround on Dec 18th

I am happy to announce that my short play, “There’s No Place Like Hell for the Holidays”, has been chosen to receive a staged reading on Monday, December 18th as part of the Monday Night PlayGround series!

This piece was written in four days using the prompt “Home for the Holidays”. So of course I decided to add demons from Hell. My piece will be one of six readings for the night.


If you would like to see actors put on a staged reading of my piece, guided by director Lauren Spencer, you can buy tickets here for the 8pm show. In addition, this PlayGround has a special holiday celebration, a Holiday Cookie Bake-Off at 7pm. Bring your best homemade cookies and your love of the arts to see an evening of great theater.

Announcing the launch of the “Hard as Stone” Anthology, by Circlet Press

(The following post is Not Safe for Work.)

Do you like fantasy dwarves?

Do you like erotica?

Have you ever considered the combination of the two?

The “Hard as Stone: Dwarven Erotica” anthology, published by Circlet Press and edited by Julie Cox, is the perfect place to find this union. It includes my short story “Cave Dwellers”, which should satisfy all of your genderqueer dwarf porn needs.


Check it out and find all sorts of fun things dwelling in caves!

Bay Area friends, join me tomorrow for the first Monday Night PlayGround!

Anyone in the Bay Area, I invite you all to join me in the audience of the first Monday Night PlayGround of the 2017-2018 season! I will be there for the 8pm show and ready to see an exciting line-up:


Cat Town by Nara Dahlbacka
Spiskammers by Rob Dario
Anna Considers a Cocktail by Ruben Grijalva
Every Beginning by Genevieve Jessee
Fresh Squeezed Please by Melissa Keith
Where to Begin? By Maury Zeff

Reserve your tickets here and come and see the sort of creativity that can be unleashed under crazy writing circumstances!

oct 16 pg

Listen to “To Dr. Von Lupe, Concerning the Radium” now on The Tales of Sage and Savant!

As part of a month-long sponsorship with Mad Scientist Journal, the steampunk podcast “The Tales of Sage and Savant” has recorded and published my short story “To Dr. Von Lupe, Concerning the Radium”.

Listen to this great performance by Eddie Louise, a regular cast member of Sage and Savant, and dive back into the both mad and mundane happenings in the lair of Dr. Von Lupe!