Hola, folks. Been working today on my entry for this month's Literary Smackdown; I posted up my story this afternoon. It's called "The Girl Who Won Big on the Yahtzee Slots" and you can read it and Hinesy's story, "Vegas By Day", here. Feel free to post your comments and criticisms on either or both stories -- that's what we like at the Smackdown. No holds-barred opinion-slinging. But, for those who intend to submit a story, time's running out on this month's challenge. Quickly, here are the stipulations: 1) has to be at least 400 words (which is uber-short), 2) has to be set in Las Vegas, 3) has to include the words "Circus Circus" and "slots", 4) has to be dialogue-heavy, and 5) has to feature the striking of a deal of some kind. The respect of your peers and a deck of awesome Monte Carlo Resort and Casino playing cards is at stake. So, please submit. We want to read your stories.
Also, the new Ghost Rider teaser is up. Take a gander here. I was never much into this character when I was back reading superhero comics. I've always loved the aesthetic of Ghost Rider (the flaming skull head is a pretty compelling image), but in terms of origin story and his powers and all of that, he always seemed to be in the second or third tier of comic book heroes. This movie seems similarly destined to be in the second or third tier of comic book adaptations, sitting alongside Daredevil and Punisher and Fantastic Four. Just from this teaser I can see two important things. 1) the CGI looks cheesier than I've seen in a long, long time, and 2) Nicholas Cage looks downright ridiculous with that Lloyd Christmas haircut. He's too old for this part. There are a few cool shots in this, but I think, at most, Ghost Rider might be dumb fun on the order of Fantastic Four, but I think it's just about impossible that this is going to be a straight-up good movie.