Johnnie’s Old Time Radio App: Released On Google Play

Greetings all:

It’s finally complete and available in the Google Play Store! Thank you to everyone involved in the Beta Testing of my new app. I’m hoping this is just the first step to Ruffin Apps becoming a successful venture.

Johnnie’s Old Time Radio features some of my favorite Old Time Radio Shows such as Burns And Allen, Fibber McGee And Molly, and The Great Gildersleeves.

If you have an android device, and it’s compatible, you can check out the listing here for $1.99. You can look for the next release from Ruffin Apps in April.

New Short Story Collection: No Eyes, No Mouth Free on Kindle December 3 – 5 2015.

Front Cover of No Eyes, No Mouth
Front Cover of No Eyes, No Mouth
Back Cover of No Eyes, No Mouth
Back Cover of No Eyes, No Mouth

No Eyes, No Mouth Free until December 5th.

My new short story collection is merely a culmination of the short stories that received the most feedback.

This collection includes two previously unpublished stories: Blind Date and Trojan Man.

For its release, I’ve made it free to anyone that wishes to download it with a Kindle or the Kindle App until the 5th.

As usual, I would love it if you could leave me a review, whether good or bad.

If you’d like to pay for a paperback version you can do so here. Enjoy!

A Look At The Liar And Other Short Stories

TheLiardraft8

I was honored to have the first short story of the collection, Thank God And Be Grateful, win the The Brave contest for the Christian Writers at the NextBigWriter site!

The story is told from the perspective a little girl that has to take on the responsibility of a household. The era is meant to be just a little after slavery has been abolished. It’s a period when black Americans find themselves with a little bit of land and a little bit of hope, but even that doesn’t seem like enough sometimes.

You can read the short for free on Booksie here!

The stories of Uncle Remus inspired me to write “The Liar”.

You can also hear me read “The Liar” on YouTube here. It’s not the best sound production, but a fun listen.
Check out more about uncle Remus here!

The Liar And Other Short Stories is available on the Kindle.

Thanks for reading!

My Top Korean Drama List for 2014

My Top Korean Drama List for 2014

I was hoping to reach 20, but this is all I could say I really liked this year. I am currently watching Pinocchio and loving it, but since they are still airing I didn’t feel I could add it to the list without seeing the ending.

 

  1. Rooftop Prince

Summary:

A prince whose bride has been murdered, and his retainers, have their souls transported to the future in this murder-mystery-romantic-comedy.

My thoughts:

It was entertaining to see how they attempted to solve the mystery of the past by the happenings in the future. It was also great to watch how these guys adapted to the future in their attempt to become acclimated to modern society. My only real issue is that I started to lose interest toward the final episodes and I didn’t care for how the story played out. I loved the start and the middle, but toward the end I became disappointed.

  1. You Are All Surrounded

Summary:

A boy witnesses his mother’s murder after a police officer convinces her to take the stand as a witness. Years later, the boy joins the police force with a group of rookies under the very same police officer that convinced his mother to take the stand in order to get revenge and find his mother’s murderers.

My Thoughts:

Given the summary, you would think this is a very serious police drama, but it’s more of a comedy with the rookies falling into all sorts of situations that are sometimes comical and tragic all at once. Some dramas become stale as they stretch out the story telling, but this drama was always entertaining, even when the story didn’t really develop much you were still in it to see if they would solve the case set before them. For me, this drama straddled the line between devastating drama and really silly comedy. There were times when it was either way on one side or way on the other, which is what I loved about it and what I didn’t love about it. In the end, I loved this drama, but I was mixed about the experience.

  1. The Joseon Gunman

Summary:

The enlightened scholars that wish to see society move into the modern era are being assassinated by a gunman one by one. When the King’s Guard gets too close, he is murdered and labeled a criminal along with his family. Left for dead, a young man takes up the gun and returns for revenge.

My Thoughts:

I really like the romance element, the conspiracy, and political intrigue in this one. What I didn’t really care for was how bad this young man was at taking revenge. I guess, I wanted him to be like in action movies of 80’s where the hero is near invincible and really skillful until the end. Instead he’s given a really human element to his heroism. He doesn’t always win and sometimes he makes really poor decisions…I take that back…he makes a lot of really poor decisions. At some point, I found myself yelling at him to remember what he did last episode and how that didn’t work and why would you do it again and think it’s going to go differently. I was frustrated, but still entertained.

  1. Angel Eyes

Summary:

A girl loses her sight and her mother in a car accident when a tunnel collapses when she is fairly young. She awaits an eye donor so she can see again. A boy loses his father, a firefighter, in the very same tunnel accident. By pure chance, they meet and the boy falls for the girl and vice-versa…but tragedy separates them for years before they meet again.

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed Ku Hye Sun in this. I felt like it was a real return since Pure 19 and Boys Over Flowers. The story is a good one and filled with so many little gotchas that I don’t want to ruin your experience by giving too much information. In the end, it was a sad story, but it felt great to see them find happiness one way or another. The part I loved the most was the story that was told when they were kids. I was a little disappointed when they became adults, but I like that they did an episode later where they go back and tell more of the story with the younger versions.

  1. The Greatest Love

Summary:

A famous actor and an ex-famous woman from a girl-band that broke up, find themselves thrown together by a fate that neither could have imagined.

My Thoughts:

I’m not a big fan of watching dramas about big stars having hard lives because they’re rich and famous and scandals could destroy them. This drama didn’t do any of the stuff I was expecting. I loved it, and I especially love how they ended it, although I felt like they could have stretched it out a bit more. I wanted to see more of these two interacting. I thought they were a great couple.

  1. Let’s Eat

Summary:

A divorcee tries to lead the single life with pride, but soon finds that being single and alone comes with its own issues as her obsession with food becomes a source of comfort that requires the attendance of others.

My Thoughts:

Take every drama and get rid of everything except the scenes where they eat, then add a little drama here and there and center it somewhere around food. This is what I would call soft food porn. I watched in anticipation of the next meal, and I watched to see if she was going to fall in love with that guy from next door, and I watched to see if there was really a serial killer out to get her, and I watched to discover who her stalker was, and I watched to see how and what she was going to eat next…and in the end, the only thing I was left with was: how could she possibly be that skinny after all those meals? And I watched her eat them all…I mean, I can’t imagine that special effects were used…maybe she ate them over many days but it seemed like she did it in one sitting and that is amazing…just amazing…watch it just to see her eat!

  1. The Master’s Sun

Summary:

Since her accident several years ago, a young woman has the uncanny ability to see dead people and it terrifies her to no end. That is until she meets a man that whenever she touches him the ghosts vanish. Her inside knowledge of the ghost world proves useful to the man in his business and his ability to scare away ghosts gives her the courage to face them.

My Thoughts:

Ever since The Greatest Love I’ve been in love with Kong Hyo-Jin. Her character isn’t as strong minded and stubborn as her earlier character, but she’s interesting all the same and watching her react to the ghosts that no one else sees is more than fun, especially when the ghosts are a bit scary. This series is a horror story, a love story, a comedy, and a mystery all wrapped up. It was a great experience and a satisfying ending.

  1. Nine Time Travels

Summary:

In an effort to uncover the mystery behind the death of his brother, a young man discovers a way to travel back in time. He learns that there is more mystery to the death of his father in the past and even more consequences to his attempts to change the past to save his future and keep the woman he loves.

My Thoughts:

I thought this show would be just some light-hearted take on time travel, but it had so many layers that I at first started comparing it to the Butterfly Effect, but Nine had more time to tell more stories. At the end, I felt the same way I did when Quantum Leap ended in the 90’s…what? What?! What?!

 

And that’s the only reason it didn’t get the number one spot. What?!

  1. Heirs

Summary:

The second heir to a fortune, a young man is sent to live in the states in order not to get in the way of his eldest brother’s future and live a pretty decent life. At some point he decides that he wants to return home, even though his family is not all that welcoming and the challenges of being a rich heir to a fortune are socially difficult. On top of that, he starts to fall for a poor girl.

My Thoughts:

Ah, Lee Min Ho…I’ve loved you since City Hunter, Boys Over Flowers, and Personal Taste. When I heard about Heirs, I was all about the hype. Lee Min Ho, as usual, was fairly entertaining. His English was a little grating, but my Korean is nowhere near as good as his English so I give it pass since he doesn’t do it the entire series. Even though I was slightly entertained, I found that the real stars of this drama were Park Shin Hye and Kim Woo Bin. Their stories were the really significant ones and I found myself not caring so much about this rich kid that feels bad about his past and just wants to make up with his brother. I was rooting for Park Shin Hye and Kim Woo Bin. Oh, and, of course, Krystal from f(x). I wasn’t a huge fan until I saw her in this. I would watch a whole series with just her. She made it easier to get through the dry story. In the end, it wasn’t mind-blowingly good, but I did enjoy the ride.

  1. Faith

Summary:

A warrior travels through a magical gateway to find a healer. In truth, he travels to the future, kidnaps a young doctor, and brings her back to his era where she must use her modern know-how with fairly primitive tools in order to keep herself useful until the gateway opens again so that she can return home.

My Thoughts:

Lee Min Ho…how was this better than Heirs?! It was hokey and the special effects in the first episode were horrid…and yet…and yet I loved it. The action scenes gave us some brief reminder of the City Hunter Lee Min Ho. That man is a hero in any era. My favorite scene is the one where he has to fight assassins in the rain…it makes up for the horrid special effects and choreography of the first episode. The story actually becomes more layered and deeper as the series continues and I was surprised to find myself completely satisfied by the ending. This totally made up for Heirs! My suggestion…watch Heirs…get angry…then watch Faith…be less angry.

  1. Blade Man

Summary:

When a rich kid gets angry or really sad, metal blades protrude from his arms, shoulders and his back…and his butler has to deal with it. Oh, and he just found out he has a kid he never knew about.

My Thoughts:

Yep. That summary pretty much tells you what you need to know going in. Then you just watch to see how he got to be so sad and why the kid arrived. More importantly, you get to see his relationship with a young game programmer that doesn’t seem to do much game programming as she seems to take care of other programmers and his son. It was blatantly obvious to me that the men in this series were constantly destroying a woman’s sense of independence. I’m not sure that any of the women actually even win, but I still enjoyed the story. I don’t feel like everything was resolved in the end, but it was still entertaining to watch.

  1. Doctor Stranger

Summary:

A father is sent to North Korea in order to perform surgery on the Great Leader, and his son is used as collateral. Trapped within North Korea the son is raised into a Doctor and falls in love with girl. North Korean leaders decide he should become one of their elite doctors and force him to perform unconscionable surgeries in order to increase his skills, which he does. He has the uncanny ability to diagnose a person just by hugging them. Soon, he dreams up a plan to escape with his girlfriend into South Korea, but it goes bad.

My Thoughts:

This was a decent story with decent actors and crazy magic medical stuff that most likely would not work in the real world, but it seemed somewhat believable and fun to watch. Most importantly, you had the tension of the main character considered a North Korean, his obsession with finding his girlfriend that was most likely put into a camp in North Korea, and the moral dilemma of his past actions. On top of that, you have the drama of the hospital and the political maneuvering…it was just a solid show from beginning to end. I never anticipated most of the stuff that happened.

  1. Bride Of The Century

Summary:

There’s a curse that says the first bride of the first born son shall die on their wedding night. Generations later, it seems to have proven true. In order to avoid being the first bride to die, one bride comes up with a plan that involves a woman that looks almost exactly like her and some very shady dealings.

My Thoughts:

I’m not sure how Yang Jin-Sung was able to change her facial expressions and personality so well that it was easy to distinguish which woman she was playing, but it was amazing to watch. What the plot lacked or any other failings I can’t think of in this drama, she more than made up for with her portrayal of both roles. Every time the evil version of herself appeared, I got chills.

  1. Flower Boy Next Door

Summary:

A shut-in, anti-social woman, becomes enamored with a young man that lives directly across from her window in the apartment complex. When his little brother comes to visit and catches her spying he slowly brings her into the world and a small romance sparks between the two.

My Thoughts:

This one was hilarious and sweet at the same time. I don’t say that in sarcasm. There was nothing too dark and nothing too dramatic. It was just a fun story to watch and I’d probably watch it again. Park Shin-Hye was also very good in this drama. She says very little and yet that says so much throughout the entire series. She played the character just right.

  1. My Love From Another Star

Summary:

An alien that landed on earth 400 years ago has been living amongst us as a human being. Sadly, he’s spent the last 400 years keeping to himself, accumulating wealth, and staying out of the business of humans. Now, he finds that he has a very short time before he must leave earth and there’s a woman that has piqued his interest for the first time in 400 years.

My Thoughts:

I loved the special effects here, and Kim Soo-Hyun plays the part of an alien so well. Still, I have to say that Gianna Jun was my favorite in this entire series. There’s a scene where she tries to hear what is happening next door through sound-proof walls. It’s the most hilarious thing I’ve seen in years. That’s just one of the many awesome quirky things that Gianna Jun brings to the character. It was the perfect blend of action, comedy, and romance. I even enjoyed the way it ended despite…well I’ll let you watch and find out.

  1.    It’s Okay, That’s Love

Summary:

 

A mystery writer/radio dj meets a psychiatrist and the two debate what mental illness means, how it is perceived in society, and how we deal with it personally. This sparks a relationship that becomes difficult to traverse.

 

My Thoughts:

 

There’s a feeling that some dramas have that make them great. Coffee House was like this and Secret Garden and Personal Taste. There was just a feel to the drama that made it great. Maybe the characters were simple, maybe they were complex, or maybe they were just easy to understand. I loved this drama from start to finish and I can’t even tell you why because it would contain too many spoilers. The only problem I had with the series was that it ended too soon and I thought the outfits that Kong Hyo-Jin wore were a little strange, but even that wasn’t really a problem. I’m curious if she decided on these outfits herself as she has a background in fashion design. In the end, I would have liked to have seen more of all of the characters in this drama.

 

Here’s the other thing, they took something very dark and when it nearly went extremely dark, they turned it to keep it optimistic. That’s easy enough to tell. At some point they were telling a story, and then suddenly they were playing with us, almost trying to tell us that “it’s not so bad…don’t be too sad by what we just showed you..” I’m not sure how I felt about that, but I’m willing to let that be their prerogative. I have to hand it to them though, this was the best drama I saw in 2014.