Monthly Archives: March 2013

Olympus Has Fallen: A disturbing, exciting, and moving movie

I had intended to spend the Easter weekend watching the new G.I. Joe movie. It opened on top of the box office and I was all set to see it. That is until I saw the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.

I was already leery of it because the first G.I. Joe movie sucked so bad that I couldn’t’ even get through it. Turns out that most of the public and reviewers are saying the second one is even worse. (Yeah, I know I shouldn’t trust the critics, and I mostly don’t, but I do trust the public ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. I almost always agree with them.)

Frustrated, I searched for something else and ran across “Olympus Has Fallen,” which I’d forgotten about.

I went to it not expecting much — after all, it’s ratings weren’t that much better. But I was wrong. In fact, I was completely blown away.

That was a disturbing, exciting, and moving movie, and that’s no shit. I’m not sure why this movie hasn’t made more waves. Gerard Butler, who plays as disgraced former Presidential guard Mike Banning, was incredible.

The script was tight and I’d argue nearly perfect, and the effects and action scenes were out of this world. I would rate the movie as a must see, and I’m still not sure why it didn’t get a higher rating from the reviewers.

Anyway, take a look at the trailer below, and if you’d agreed with my past movie reviews and suggestions, definitely go give this one a see.

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. Please accept the greatest gift I can give, a book I believe to be worth $10,000.

P.P.S. Thanks to all who continue to make my novels a success. I seriously couldn’t have done it with everyone’s support. Please continue to talk about them, share links to them, and review them where you can.

6 Comments

Filed under Movie thoughts

22 things happy people do differently

A friend sent me this list the other day of “22 things happy people do differently,” and it was too good not to share.

Hope you enjoy it, and hope all my wonderful friends and followers have a great and rewarding day!

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. Please accept the greatest gift I can give, a book I believe to be worth $10,000.

P.P.S. Thanks to all who continue to make my novels a success. I seriously couldn’t have done it with everyone’s support. Thanks to your help, Little Man, and the Dixon County War  has gone as high as No. 16 on the Amazon UK Paid List (see here and here)! And my second novel, Sold Outhas also done well, going as high as No. 81 on the Amazon Paid List for the category of War (see here and here)! Thanks a million to my awesome friends, and if you’ve stumbled on my blog, you can learn more about both books here.

4 Comments

Filed under Eastern philosophy

My latest work — ‘Solider On’ — now up for sale

I’ve now published my latest work. It’s called “Soldier On.”

Here’s the background behind the book — and the book description is below that.

As most writers know, you want to start a book with a “what if.”

Such as, what if you were a guy and you lost your job and you were on the verge of a divorce already?

That’s a what if, but it’s pretty blah. So you want to make it much worse. Far more intense, if you can.

Thus, imagine the “what if” was this… What if you were a guy and you’d been watching the news for months about a serial killer operating in the area and then you start to realize it could be your wife, but you’re not sure. But your gut tells you that you are sure and she just walked in the door.

So, clearly, that second option was far superior. And obviously, the more extreme your “what if,” the better.

And the book I just published has one of the greatest “what if’s” I ever created…

Let’s begin with the unimproved version. What if you were a soldier in the middle of an incredibly horrific war? That’s pretty good, but that’s been done a few million times, so what if you magnified it further? Let’s doom the characters to this: What if you were soldiers in the middle of an incredibly horrific war, and you were on the losing side? Oh, and better yet, let’s say you were on your home ground and your families might all be dead, as well.

That, to me, was one of the most intimidating ideas out there for me, as a rifle-carrying vet. Especially for we Americans. We have so rarely faced losing a war on our homeground… And I took that “what if” and started a novel about the German Army at the end of World War II.

I started this in college, fresh out the Marine Corps, while I was nice and messed up in the head.

For the past nine years or so, I’ve worked on it, dropped it, worked on it, dropped it. In the end, I usually cruelly would have all/most of the men dying or seriously getting wounded. But that seemed way too depressing, and way too much like literature, which I define as being like real life: Sucky, painful, and often boring beyond belief.

But a few weeks ago, I had an epiphany on how to end it, so I stopped working on the next Nick Woods novel — Mexican Heat — and attacked the book I’d been unable to whoop for so long. Now, thankfully, it’s finally published and ready to buy.

Here’s the book description:

As World War II enters its final stretch, the last elements of the German Army struggle to survive and end the war with honor.

The German soldiers know the war is lost, but have no idea how many days (or weeks) remain before capitulation. The weak and unlucky are gone. Now, only the strong remain, a ragged band of men determined to maintain their prestige and respect. They are the sons of indomitable veterans from the World War I — men filled with too much pride to quit or surrender.

But food resupply is a problem. Ammo, too. And each day,with its increasingly absurd set of orders, begins to test the men in ways they could have never imagined. These days are tough for the men, and tougher for the leaders.

Hemmed in by Nazi SS units waiting to arrest or shoot retreating troops on one side and hordes of well-supplied American troops advancing mercilessly on the other, the men pray they must only endure the freezing weather of the last days. And that their supplies won’t run out. And that they won’t lose the honor and dignity they’ve spent years creating.

“Soldier On” is a short novel. [Approximately 72 pages long.]

Keep moving,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. Please accept the greatest gift I can give, a book I believe to be worth $10,000.

P.P.S. Thanks to all who continue to make my novels a success. I seriously couldn’t have done it with everyone’s support. Thanks to your help, Little Man, and the Dixon County War  has gone as high as No. 16 on the Amazon UK Paid List (see here and here)! And my second novel, Sold Outhas also done well, going as high as No. 81 on the Amazon Paid List for the category of War (see here and here)! Thanks a million to my awesome friends, and if you’ve stumbled on my blog, you can learn more about both books here.

13 Comments

Filed under Stories about my life, Writing tips

The End of War Stories

With the 10-year anniversary of the Iraq invasion, I thought it would be worth sharing the article below. It’s written by an Army vet who took part in the hostilities, and he talks a lot about how painful the memories were in the beginning.

Things were the same for me. Obviously as my long-time readers know, we lost a man in training, and I still get angry about that sometimes. And for a long time, I had this constant feeling of betrayal that almost no one knew about the action my platoon took part in over in little ole’ Albania.

So for months and months — really years — after my discharge, every time it’d rain I would get depressed and imagine my brothers out in the rain, sitting in the mud, training for war. If it was 90 or a 100 degrees, same thing. I’d get down while I sat in an air conditioned college classroom or work environment. I’d feel guilty I wasn’t wearing a flak jacket and nearly a hundred pounds of gear. And I’d see all these Americans who had no clue and who took it all for granted, and I’d just get pissed off and want to hurt someone. (My guilt was so bad that I actually rejoined, serving two years in the Reserves, every minute of which was pure hell and only made me madder that I was having to deal with such brutal conditions again.)

And I’d see politicians send men just like me off to war with hardly a care and I’d get so angry that I could barely control myself. I’d argue and yell at friends, who probably thought I was unstable. (Note: I was.) I’d imagine people were following me and spying on me. My paranoia grew and my wife threatened to leave me when I started checking my house for cameras.

The military — at least doing time in the Marine Corps infantry — messes you up. You don’t leave it the same.

But after all these years, I’ve finally come to some peace with it all. And this Army vet perfectly describes how it really is in The New York Times article below, so if you want to better understand that veteran you know who seems distant and cold, give this a read. Here’s the link to the article: The End of War Stories.

Just like the author of the article, I no longer want to talk about what I did and how life in the Corps was/is. It’s a painful batch of memories to bring up, and I can only imagine how much worse than pain is for the vets who did time in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Please love our veterans and check on them, even if they push you away. They’re dealing with issues you can’t possibly begin to understand. And whether they’ve gone to combat or not, they’ve paid the price of blood, sweat, and tears in the ledger of freedom that has given us such great peace and freedom and safety. Love them. Love them hard.

Keep moving,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. Please accept the greatest gift I can give, a book I believe to be worth $10,000.

P.P.S. Thanks to all who continue to make my novels a success. I seriously couldn’t have done it with everyone’s support. Thanks to your help, Little Man, and the Dixon County War  has gone as high as No. 16 on the Amazon UK Paid List (see here and here)! And my second novel, Sold Outhas also done well, going as high as No. 81 on the Amazon Paid List for the category of War (see here and here)! Thanks a million to my awesome friends, and if you’ve stumbled on my blog, you can learn more about both books here.

5 Comments

Filed under Random posts

Yep, I’m rolling with Stephen Hunter

One of my favorite authors (by far) when I served in the Marine Corps was an author named Stephen Hunter.

I’ve read almost every book by Hunter, and his sniper character known pretty far and wide among the military community as Bob Lee Swagger (aka Bob the Nailer) is one of the greatest fictional book characters ever created in my opinion.

Stephen Hunter was a huge influence on my writing, and several readers and reviewers have compared my book Sold Out to his books — especially Point of Impact, an all-time favorite book of mine, and it’s this book that the movie Shooter with Mark Wahlberg was based on.

I know, I know. You’re screaming get to my point.

Well, my point is I had an acquaintance email me this tonight!

Sold OutYes! You see this correctly. My book — Sold Out — is placed above the book by my idol Stephen Hunter. Even more amazing, the name of the email to her was “Sold Out.”

I couldn’t get the entire image figured out as far as saving it as a JPG, but it had a total of seven books on it. (Oh, and did I mention Sold Out was the on top? Ah, yes, I did. Sorry about that.)

Anyway, I’m still in shock about this and I hope it went to a gazillion people, and not just a couple dozen. (I’m think the latter scenario is the most likely one, but still: To have my name and book even anywhere near the name of Stephen Hunter is a feeling that I can’t possibly describe. It’d be like getting to have a front-row seat to your favorite band, and getting backstage passes afterward. Although now that I think about it, it’d probably be more like getting to perform before them, on the same stage. And then being treated like an equal afterward, though to be clear: I am no equal to Stephen Hunter. The man is a storytelling genius.)

Keep moving,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. Please accept the greatest gift I can give, a book I believe to be worth $10,000.

P.P.S. Thanks to all who continue to make my novels a success. I seriously couldn’t have done it with everyone’s support. Thanks to your help, Little Man, and the Dixon County War  has gone as high as No. 16 on the Amazon UK Paid List (see here and here)! And my second novel, Sold Outhas also done well, going as high as No. 81 on the Amazon Paid List for the category of War (see here and here)! Thanks a million to my awesome friends, and if you’ve stumbled on my blog, you can learn more about both books here.

16 Comments

Filed under Stories about my life