Taking a Break

MV5BMTM4MDEyNDE1OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTA4NjA0Nw@@._V1_SY317_CR5,0,214,317_AL_I realized something important recently: aside from writing and my family, I no longer had any hobbies that "take me away" from the stresses of everyday life. Reading used to be my go-to, but nowadays it takes a very talented author to pull me out of the analyze mode that kicks in when I pick up a book. I'm a professional author and editor, a double whammy when it comes to enjoying a story. But I still love stories. So what's a writer to do when they want to take a break from work?

Lately my daughter and I have turned to stories in another form: movies. Maybe because the visual is distracting to the analytical part of my brain, or maybe because there's often so much fabulous eye candy (!), I can enjoy movies despite issues that might otherwise turn me off a book. Besides, it's hard to judge someone's comma usage when you can't see the commas. :)

Next week we have fall break here. It's pretty much spring break in the fall, a midsemester week off for the schools in this area. In honor of our upcoming "break," here are some movies I've enjoyed in the past year. Maybe you can take a break and enjoy one (or all) of them too.

1. Red Dawn

The new one, not the original. I mean, Chris Hemsworth. Need I say more?

2. Tomorrow When the World Began

This little gem got stumbled upon by my husband recently, and we've enjoyed it so much we've moved on to John Marsden's books (on which the movie is based). Basically Red Dawn in Australia.

3. The World's End

I have a hard time finding comedies I enjoy, but this one... It's just so out there, so completely overdone that I can't help but laugh. A f*ckton of language, but still, Simon Pegg is hilarious.

4. Jack Reacher

Can you tell I like hero-centric movies as much as I like hero-centric books? And in that weird "six degrees of separation" connection, Tom Cruise starred with a much more serious Simon Pegg in Mission Impossible 3. :) Just don't spend the movie trying to find all the ways they made Tom Cruise look tall.

5. Hotel Transylvania

I have kids; so sue me! But even if I didn't have kids, this movie would be a hit. My husband and I have made it our mission in life to find family movies that have enough adult humor that it keeps us entertained as well as the younger members of our family. "Look at me! I'm a Frankenhomie!"MV5BMTg0NTgxMjIxOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDM0MDY1OQ@@._V1_SX214_AL_

6. World War Z

I am a sucker for zombie movies. I don't care what anyone says about WWZ; I can successfully separate the movie from the book, and this movie rocks. Besides, Brad Pitt -- yum!

7. 47 Ronin

Being a martial artist, I can't get enough of the sword play and the beauty of the fighting in this movie. Dramatic, fantastical, 47 Ronin brings the legend to life, in all its glory and pain. If you don't like unhappy endings, however, skip this one. The legend makes no concessions to our desire for an HEA.

8. Catching Fire

I had a very hard time watching Hunger Games; I'll admit it. The things children were forced to do, the things others did to them, were difficult to see onscreen. Catching Fire was easier, and in some ways the inevitability of death was easier to accept because the participants were adults. I enjoyed the emphasis on alliances in this one, and thought the ending completely unpredictable. (I haven't read the books.)

9. Invasion of the Body Snatchers

I watched this classic for the first time recently when it came available on Amazon Prime. Although leaps in logic and storyline were rife, I enjoyed seeing a movie I'd heard about for so long but never actually took the time to watch. And the cultural changes between then and now were an interesting comparison as well.

MV5BNTc3NDc1ODYxNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjc5MDMyMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR5,0,214,317_AL_10. Clue

An oldie but goodie! I enjoy rewatching movies as much as I do rereading books, and this is one of my faves. Again, comedy not being easy, I love the over-the-top acting here -- Tim Curry in one of his greatest roles. :)

So how about you? What's your favorite way to rest your mind from the stress of the day? Do you have a go-to movie you enjoy, or are there new one's you've added to your must-see-again list?

Don't forget, I have a very good reason to need a break -- my new release comes out soon! Want to be one of the first to read the blurb, see the cover, have access to exclusive content? Then sign up for my newsletter before you miss out on all the fun. Oh, and hotties, don't forget the hotties!

~ Ella

Funny Friday: Just Because I Can

I am the original unfunny girl. I'm serious, strict, OCD, and God, watch out if you decide not to make a plan before we get together, 'cause I might go all ninja on your...well, you get the idea. And, as you've seen, I've recently tried to get a handle on the mega stress sucking the life out of my life. I think one way to do that is to, well, lighten up. And that's why Thursday's Weekly Web Search is becoming Funny Friday.

Because I can. After all, everyone needs a little more funny in their lives. :)

So, for today's offering...enjoy!

ella sheridan, romance writer, life, humor, funny friday, the hobbit, memes

*image from