Monday, February 23, 2015

Mind Sieve 2/23/15

Morning!

Starting this beyond early, so hoping to get a full post in this week. Let's see if I managed to do it or not. Heh heh.




Fan Fun


Butterflies - Simon's Cat - hah! Too cute!



The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Official Trailer - Wow! Talk about a remake!






Crimson Peak Official Teaser Trailer #1 - I am so in! Looks cool!



Hitman: Agent 47 - Official Trailer - This looks sweet!




Social Media/Author Platform

A Closer Look at Making Great Pins and Boards from Pinterest - article by Liz Xiao. Some nice insights. :)

26 Tips For Improving Your Social Media Marketing by Debbie Hemley at the Social Media Examiner.



Writing Advice

Creating Dimensional Characters - The Blind Spot by Kristen Lamb. Oooh, lot's of good stuff in here!

How "Strong Female Characters" Still End Up Weak and Powerless  (Or, "Do They Pass The Action Test?") by Chuck (NSFW) Wendig.



Sunday, February 22, 2015

Virtual Tourist - TERA 2/22/15

Morning everyone!

Finally have a weekend to myself. Yay! Conventions back to back and the evil day job are not good for blogging. lol.

TERA
Westonia


Pretty, pretty kitty. Heh heh


Foreboding looking places


That is one cool heater.


I'm a scuker for floating stones. lol. The blockiness of the ruins behind it are unusual


Pretty! But cold!

 Allemantheia


Back to the elven city.


I do love the cool magical water. Pretty plants too!


And the architecture? Squee!


Very imposing


Lovely detail.


The elven leader is an odd one, but beautiful. 


Vision of days past.


Cool no?


And that floor tile! So cool!


That is one cool image!


Love in War?


Alliances made? Too long since I took these pics to recall. Wah!


Shiny!
Hope your upcoming week is fab!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Picture Kaleidoscope 2/18/15

Morning!
Still playing catch up and working way too many hours at the day job!

Here's some pics from the Dallas ComicCon Fan Days event a couple of weekends back!


Pikachu and Zatana!


Even Time Lords come to Fan Days. Heh heh


Guardians of the Galaxy in the house!




Nice costumes!


Love the haughty look. She has her down! Go Agent Carter Go!


Ororo!


Sweet get up.


 A Dalek Photo Bomb!!!! ROFL


Cloak and Dagger - they looked so awesome!!!!!
Off to the grind again. :)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Virtual Tourist - TERA 2/15/15

Lordy! 2 Cons back to back and doing 11.5 hours a day at the day job! Eek!
(Pretty much why I fell off the face of the Earth this past week. DOH!)

TERA
Westonia


Isn't she just the CUTEST thing EVER?!


Too darn CUTE!


That is one cool banner, no?


Love the detail on this wooden structure.


Looks like an evil torpedo about to drill to the planet's core. Heh heh


Some nasty ladies!


The flowers almost glow here. Not bright enough to hide from the mean guy though.


Cool auroras. Though I have to say the surroundings are not inviting at all! lol


Interesting formations too!


Flower power!


I do love me some intricate stone carvings. :)


Rather daunting, no?


DUWAH!


Lovely attire on the merchant. Nice


Here, kitty, kitty!


Love the new mount. Gift from the game. He even speeds regeneration. 


Isn't he adorable? Purrrrrr.

Hope your week is less insane than mine!


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

ConDFW Schedule for 2/13-2/15/15



Where: Hilton Dallas Lincoln Center
Author Guests of Honor: Sherwood Smith and Rachel Manija Brown
Artist Guest of Honor: Galen Dara


Here's my schedule for ConDFW!


FRIDAY:
PROGRAMMING 2 (MADISON)
Friday, 5pm: Interstellar Archaeology: Part One – Initial Findings
Panelists: John DeLaughter (M), Julia S. Mandala, Michelle Muenzler, Gloria Oliver, Stephen Patrick, Frank Summers
The first of two panels where we inflict discover startling artifacts of OBVIOUS alien origin and our
esteemed (and indeed, TRAINED) archeologists in turn tell us what the artifacts are.  Light hearted fun, and bring ear plugs!  This year we will take a Star Wars theme.  ROOOOOOAR!



SATURDAY:
PROGRAMMING 3 (HAMILTON)
Saturday, 11am: The “Frozen” Phenomenon
Panelists: Gloria Oliver (M), Mary Gearhart‐Gray, Cassandra Rose Clarke, Rhonda Eudaly, T. M. Hunter
There have been more and more animated movies (and regular movies, for that matter!) that feature
female leads which are exceptionally strong.  The most recent of these was Frozen, and girls, even very
young girls, are reacting strongly to the relationships between the female leads and the music in this
movie.  What's up?  There is not the usual Disney "princess" thing going on with these girls. The reaction is different and worthy of being discussed.

SATURDAY:
MAIN PROGRAMMING (JEFFERSON)
Saturday, 4pm: Animals in Science Fiction and Fantasy
Panelists: Dusty Rainbolt (M), J. Kathleen Cheney, Martha Wells, Gloria Oliver, Bradley H. Sinor
Fear the cute little rabbit.  Hear the roar of dragons.  Most of all, run really fast if you see the Cheshire Cat.  Animals have been present in stories even in Viking sagas.  But these cute little critters are often overlooked, and it’s time we rectified this.  From David Weber’s treecats to Anne McCaffery’s dragons there are many examples of animals, intelligent or not.  Our panelists discuss these topics and more.  Beware of Grumpy Cat!


SUNDAY:
READING (ADAMS)
Sunday, 1pm: John DeLaughter, Gloria Oliver


Hope to see ya'll there!

Friday, February 06, 2015

Movie Review - Seventh Son

Seventh Son



Starring: Jeff Bridges, Ben Barnes, Julianne Moore, Alicia Vikander, Antje Traue, Olivia Williams, John DeSantis, Kit Harington, Djimon Hounsou, David Cubitt, and more.

Directed by: Sergey Bodrov Screenplay by: Charles Leavitt and Steven Knight Screen Story by: Matt Greenberg Inspired by the Novel by: John Delaney Cinematography by: Newton Thomas Sigel Music by: Marco Beltrami

Premise: An evil locked away for decades underground escapes. The man who first imprisoned Mother Malkin, the Spook John Gregory, tries to capture her again, only to find her power has increased to the point the old methods will no longer work. Losing his apprentice, John finds another seventh son of a seventh son, except he's not exactly what he should be. But with the full red moon less than a week away and Mother Malkin's power reaching new peaks, Gregory has little choice but to work with what's available. (Rated PG-13)

Review:

1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Jeff Bridges was fun as the somewhat drunk and embittered Spook, John Gregory. Ben Barnes as Tom Ward oozed honesty and a very curious nature and doing things his own way. Alicia Vikander as the capable Alice was interesting to watch as her character dealt with conflicts with regards to family and love.

2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: Some truly outstanding work from the special effects department. The beginning sequence combining CGI and time lapse photography spoke volumes without anyone having to explain anything - and looked fabulous!

The morphing sequences for all the witches were incredibly smooth. The sabertooth cheetah made me purr. All the fantasy creatures were great. And when Mother Malkin brings her main rooms and sister back to their prime - lovely work!

My favorite special effect, however, was the ghasts in the forest. There's a scene where one bops around Tom that looked so good it gave me chills. Ben Barnes really sold the particular scene as well.

3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: I've not read the series, so can't compare it to the books. It's also listed as 'inspired by' rather than 'based on', so I'm thinking a lot may have changed from the original. Something for fans of the series might want to keep in mind.

The plot is somewhat standard and passable as long as you don't look too closely.

Five days of training, most of which are taken up with traveling, does not much of a warrior make. It plot also suffered from too many cool bad guys. Mother Malkin has five top warriors, but while they all look quite interesting, there's too many of them vying for attention and not enough time for them to really strut their stuff, let alone to get the audience to know them. Sadly, this also left no time for Mother Malkin to be developed much either, except that she's a queen, has more power than before, and is evil.

One strangely amusing bit is Mother Malkin refusing the gift of several assassins from her vassal Radu. He states they are some of his best men. But Mother Malkin didn't find them all that good. Later in the film, they prove she's right! Lol! It was very odd.... Would have been nice to learn how Gregory and Tusk became friends, especially since Gregory appeared the type to kill first ask questions later. :P

4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: Jeff Bridges stunt double got to do a lot of work! Lots of people got thrown about. Some swordplay and lizard munching, though again too many things too see too fast to get too impressed over anyone.

5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: The locations for the film were great. Just the place they picked for Mother Malkin's original incarceration was fabulous. Add in the fog enshrouded mountains, the walled city with an Arabian flare, and the mountain retreat with Asian influences, and there was plenty of fodder for the eyes.

6) Music - Total Thumbs Up: I've been seeing Marco Beltrami's name a lot lately. He's been doing some really nice work to boot! Just like the locations seemed to have a bit of Asian and Arabic influence, the soundtrack does as well. Some nice creepy undertones here and there, too, like where werewolves or vampires prey music. There are samples at Mr. Beltrami's site, but no movie soundtrack forthcoming that I could find. :(

Conclusion: Seventh Son is a nice fantasy romp as long as you don't look too deeply. Great special effects and the lovely soundtrack add a lot to enhance the experience.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price)


Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Picture Kaleidoscope 2/4/15

I'm running late!!!!



Golden Sunset anyone?


Kept trying for a better angle. lol


Hubby needs to clean his windshield. :P


A ton of birds out. I love when the sky does the pinks and blues.


Pictures never truly convey how many birds are hanging around.


Slightly more focused angle. Heh


Literally a blanket of clouds. 


Something is coming!


This sky freaked me out. It looked FAKE! There's some scenes in the movie Damnation Alley that make the clouds look like this - like added or changed items. 


The saddest part about this picture is that the awesome colors we could see, don't get picked up.


This one showed them slightly better. Heh.

Happy Wednesday!