Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Picture Kaleidoscope 6/29/11

Let's see what I can share with you this week. Almost forgot to do the entry! Doh!

Had an unexpected visitor last week. I'd seen him once before but not this close. It's a hawk or falcon (I don't know enough to tell the difference). What was amazing was I only noticed him after I was out of the garage in the car and half way into the alley. I stopped, fished for the phone and took the pic. He just kept glancing at me on occassion to make sure I wasn't going to jump out or something. Was honestly shocked he let me hang around and take the pic. :P  Now if the phone had done better...

The Astronomy Picture of the Day was quite awesome last week. I don't even know how to describe the thing. Just go look at it and read the explanation. The light displays are fantastic. Even more so as you read what they are.

Jerry Davis pointed this place out - Dear Photograph. Cool project where people take a picture and place it over the area it was taken in and take a picture of that. Really neat!

A new closeup of Titan's Largest Moon! From

From 19Sixty3 comes this cool, very noir seeming picture called Wandering On The Common. Just something about it calls to me. Like a murder mystery about to unfold!

Fluffy clouds and blue skies are back! Sweet!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Mind Sieve 6/27/11

It's going to be a full mashup this week!

FanOfMovies shared a link to a new Muppets Movie Spoof Trailer. Heh heh

Jerry J Davis shared a link to A Wonderful Collection of Doodles on NetFlix Envelopes!

VoiceOfBrien ran across a new lego set - All Hail the Lego Super Star Destroyer. (I wants!!!!)

Eclipse Magazine has the scoop on all things Torchwood: Miracle Day - more than just a TV series.  (Everything is becoming so interactive! How am I supposed to find time to do all this stuff! But so cool!)

Some David Tenant news right from the horse's mouth! He'll be doing a tribute in the next Dr Who Magazine to Nicolas Courtney (The Brigadier). He's also is working with Catherine Tate again (Donna Noble) in Much Ado About Nothing. 

These guys followed me after I posted about the Zombie Walk at SoonerCon. Believe it or not, there is a Zombie School! They're doing all sorts of Zombie research. :)

Adding this last minute. Too cool and fun to pass up. Meet Charlie. This starts out mundane then takes a turn. Loved IT!

Ross Dawson explains 7 Reasons Twitter is Central to His Life. Pretty much explains why the heck you want to get involved in this crazy stuff. Heh heh

Jami Gold shares her thoughts on What We Should Blog About and gets there by looking at What Makes You Decide to Buy a Book!

Kristen Lamb gives us More Sacred Cow-Tipping–Common Blogging Misconceptions. Some great ideas on blogging. (I'm already doing some of this. Monday - Mind Sieve Mashup, Wednesday - Picture Kaleidoscope, Friday (when I can!) Movie Reviews. Oh yeah!)

Collen Lindsay shared this post by Scott Tracey - Authors Use of Twitter. Great stuff in here guys! (And I totally try to do Road #1. So if you follow me and I don't follow back, it's not because I don't care. I just can only handle so many tweets scrolling by. But feel free to @ me and I will happily converse with you (work permitting!).)

PamMktNut shared a link to a post from Reviewz N Tips on Things Not To Do in Blogging.Good mind fodder info here.

Kristen Lamb's latest Twitter Tuesday wisdom - Learning to T.H.I.N.K. (Never forget, once it gets on the internet, it's forever! Kinda scary really.) :P

What Are the Odds...Really? Kristen Lamb takes a hard look at Success and what it takes to get there.

Gene Lempp shared a link to a post by ALI on How to Cut the Waffle From Your Writing. Definitely some good points and things to watch for here!

Gene also shared a link to Killer Instincts: Trusting Your Writer's Compass by Janice Hardy. The on thing to keep in mind though is that not everyone has it right off, you do tend to have to cultivate it. Just saying... I know I'm still working on mine. :)

What Star Trek Can Teach Us About Writing by Kristen Lamb.I only partially agree with this post, but only because some of the science they used in the film wouldn't work. Specifically the whole Spock and Scott beaming Kirk to a MOVING ship. Especially since they had no idea WHERE it was. So do make sure your science/tech works as well - devil in the details. :P

Ack, I had a ton more blogs to check out but my brain is now pureed. See what I go through for ya'll? :P


Friday, June 24, 2011

Movie Review - Green Lantern

Green Lantern

Starring:  Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, Tim Robbins, Geofrey Rush, Michael Clark Duncan, Clancy Brown, Temuera Robinson, and more.

Directed by: Martin Campbell  Written by: Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim, and Michael Goldberg. Based on the DC Comics: Green Lantern

Premise: Test pilot Hal Jordan gets kidnapped by a mysterious light which takes him to the side of a dying alien. Abin Sur informs Hal that he has been chosen as his replacement in the Green Lantern Corps.

Review: I've been familiar with Green Lantern for a long time, having been a comic geek for most of my life. While Green Lantern was not one of my main reads, I ran into him from time to time so all the names, locations, and things were very familiar. Not being too close is good otherwise I might be tempted to pick it apart as a purist. :) But even so I did notice some changes. Not that they weren't good changes, mind you!  Several of them actually gave more depth to the whole mythology in my opinion.

The Guardians and the planet Oa were awesome! Totally loved where they went with the look and feel of the place. I totally loved that a lot of the attitudes against humans that showed up in the series was preserved here. The travel gateway for the Lanterns was also pretty cool. Basically all the space stuff was great!

I very much liked the explanations of the Green Lantern suit. Gave it a big SF boost. I also liked the new rendition of the Lantern itself - looking more alien and fluid looking. They also gave the power of the lanterns a meaning - Will. In the comics yellow was a color the GLs had no power over. Here it isn't the color itself but the power the color represents, which is Fear.  In the film they are toted as opposites rather than something it had no effect against. But overall worked well.

Loved Ryan Reynolds as GL.  He really lent a lot of feeling and even comedy to the role. Hal's switch to truly embrace his destiny wasn't as good it should have been (too quick and sudden) but Reynolds did what he could with it. The love interest got some actual background and personality, which was great.

The one thing they did that I utterly loved was keeping the imaginative ways to use the power of the ring I'd always seen in the comics. I always felt it was that spark of kid like imagination that made Hal Jordan so capable as a GL. Wish they could have done more, but what they had was great!

Overall, it was visually outstanding, the plot decent, the characters fleshed out pretty well. Make sure to sit through the credits! There's just a bit more. And something that fans of the series will have been looking for. Only thing I didn't like about that was that even though I knew it was coming, there was not enough there to show/support why it happened. Because as things had been left, there was no reason for it. You'll see what I'm talking about when you see the film. :P

Rating: A strong 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth full price of Admission)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Picture Kaleidoscope 6/22/11

Picture Kaleidoscope is back to its regularly scheduled format. Until the next convention that is. :P

Happened to see this funky race car on the way to a doctor's appointment last week. Looks pretty spiffy!

Chuck Wendig found a super huge spider. Do NOT click this link if you don't like spiders, because this sucker is Super Creepy!

Love the interplay between the sun, the clouds, the shadows, and the blue sky.

Loved the golden glow!

Chuck Wendig's new son eats and invisible sandwich. :)

Anyone who's acquainted with anime also knows about Pocky. You know something is definitely part of US culture when you can find it at Walmart. And at a decent price too! If you've never had Pocky, I very much encourage you to try it out! Yum!

Rain threatens off in the distance.

19Sixty3 did some cool color manipulation on The Power Station.

Tuesday morning post storms. I don't think Mother Nature is quite done yet. :)

Pixmarket shared this great pick from - Marching Little Owl. Too cute!!!

That's it for this week. Enjoy!


Monday, June 20, 2011

MInd Sieve 6/20/11

Mashup, mashup, mashup!  Loads of stuff this past week.

From FansOfMovies I learned about this article from the Hollywood Reporter about Beasts of Burden being brought to the big screen!

Totalfilm came the news that Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" is coming to HBO.

JamesRollins shared a link to 30 Things You Might Not Know About Raiders of the Lost Ark - list composed for the films 30th Anniversary! (I feel so old!)

StarBase75 shared a link to DVICE and their list of 12 Ways Technology Has You Living Star Trek's Future Today. (Hee! I love the bedrooms!)

Building Real Connection With Real People by Darlene Quinn. Lots of great points! I know I've had great benfits from putting the relationships ahead of the advertising. :)

JP Jones shares 10 Ways To Improve Your Author Website.  I have just about all of these items and totally agree with him!

Kristen Lamb talks about More Sacred Cow-Tipping: Blogging Misconceptions. (This one seemed real familiar but could be I read it and forgot from earlier. Anyway, good stuff to know.)

Chuck Wendig's Official Writers Guide to Blogging About Blogging. A semi-rebuttal to Kristen's blog as well as his own two cents on the matter. Hee! (Of course he's showing one of the benefits of blogging. Getting blogging fodder by reading other blogs! Now if I had a clone...) (NSFW)

Twitter Tuesday - The Power of Names by Kristen Lamb.  And she's dead on on this! (I really should break down and do a blog about how everything I learned about social media came from Star Wars Galaxies. I really should. Heh heh. And no, not explaining, need to read the blog to see (now to write the thing! Argh!)

Carolyn Kaufman shows us the difference between Psychotic and Psycopathic!  She also has a post on Cardboard Cutouts Make Rotten Villains.

Chuck Wendigs tells us 25 Things You Should Know About Plot. (NSFW)

Rejection and Recovery by Philip Isles.  Awesome stuff to keep in mind.

Gary Smailes shares 6 Publishing Secrets Writers Need to Know. You tell 'em, brother!

Gene Lempp tickles our imaginations with Tunnel of the Dead. Great way to get your imagination pumping!

Okay, I think that's it. Till next time!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Movie Review - Super 8

Super 8

Starring: Joel Courtney, Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning, Joel McKinnon Miller, Riley Griffiths, Ryan Lee, Gabriel Basso, Zach Mills, Jessica Tuck, Ron Eldard, Glynn Turman, Noah Emmerich, Bruce Greenwood, and more.

Directed by: JJ Abrams Written by: JJ Abrams Original Music by: Michael Giacchino

Premise: A group of kids, out at night trying to film a zombie movie for a contest, witness a train crash and catch some of it on film. Then strange things begin happening around town.

Review: From the first time I saw a preview, the movie screamed ET remake. But a more serious, grittier, uglier ET remake. And it was, which was fine by me.

Special effects, as with all Spieldberg productions, were superb. What was interesting, however, was the filming style. They went back and used a look from the old days - don't know if it was old equipment or just new equipment that can do old style or what, but I noticed it right away. It was almost as if on several levels, the film was full of in-jokes for filmmakers, taking them back to their roots. You'll notice these extended light bands on the screen on night scenes, which were prevalent during Spieldberg's super hey day films like ET and Close Encounters of the Third kind. So JJ dod some homage to him, but also to himself and others and all their efforts back when they first got started making movies in 8mm and creating the cheapest types of films you could get away with, like horror/zombie films. (Bruce Campbell's book If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor goes into a lot of the youthful movie making attempts by him, Sam Raimi, and Robert Tapert, and I could see the same energy/need/excitement with the kids in the film. Quite fun!)

There are several subplots thrown into the mix of the main mystery, which eventually cross as matters unfold and the characters grow. Several of these subplots aren't spoken of directly, but are well shown for us to pick up, rather than be told. And not everything is exactly as it might appear either.

The kids were great! Joel Courtney was excellent as Joe Lamb.  Elle Fanning thrilling as Alice, making it especially fun when out of the filming group, Alice is actually the only one who can act. Riley Griffiths and Ryan Lee are great comic relief foils. Felt sorry for Gabriel Baso as not only did he have to wear the dorkiest pair of glasses on the planet, but has to prove his skills in barfing, not once but twice! Heh heh.

Unlike the original ET, the extra terrestrial in Super 8 is mostly sensed and not seen or even directly involved with most of the action. The only shortcoming, in my opinion, was that a skill given to the escapee and a pivotal reason matters unfolded as they did in the first place, would have made a few choices it made later rather hard to believe, but then again I wasn't the one kept by the government. Our original ET might not have been so sweet and just wanting to phone home if he'd had the same treatment as this extra terrestrial.

The films starts slow as it weaves daily life for us and then picks up lots of speed. The main baddy, Nelek, could have used more rounding, but Noah Emmerich worked quite well with what he was given. My new catch phrase will have to be "Production Value" lol. You'll understand when you see it.

Overall it was a very enjoyable film.  And make sure to stay for the credits as you'll get a treat.

Rating: 4 out of 5.  (Hubby's rating: Worth full price of Admission.)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Picture Kaleidoscope 6/15/11 - The Akon 22 Edition

Hit my second convention in two weeks - Akon 22 in Dallas.
Did end up forgetting to charge my big camera and left it at home, so you'll have to put up with phone pics. Don't know why but I've been having trouble with the focuse suddenly, so a few of these are not as clear as I'd hoped. :(

Dallas skyline view from the Sheraton's 20th Floor. Saw the big panoramic view from the 38th but too much was happening to get that one. *hangs head in shame*

My table in Artists' Alley upstairs.  I shared the table with Chibi Chains. (My daughter!) She makes some really cool and colorful chain mail jewelry. Thinking of investing on a split banner now that she has a logo. We'll see. Heh heh. (Totally outsold me! Bah!) :)

This year A-kon had a DollCon as these expensive Japanese dolls have been growing in popularity. I'd not seen one in a kimono before though. She was lovely. (Focus, why? Why?!?!)

She was too bizarre to let go by! lol. Jiggling donuts. (OMG, I only just now noticed girl #2 and what she's doing. DOH! ROFL)

This guy's costume was excellent. And he'd painted himself top to bottom. What made the picture more priceless was that he was holding a cell phone. Bwahahahaha! Technology will take over the Navi (Hope that's right - memory is shot) as he's using a cellphone. Heh heh. (After I took the pick, he connected his hair/tail to it to update his contacts and email. Hee!)

The angry bear head was too good to not take a picture of. (You'd be angry too if you were plaid.) :P

Steampunked to the Nines! Loved how the pic silvered their eyes. Makes them look like andriods. :)

So much pink! So much cuteness! (And so sadly out of focus. Darn you guy with notebook! lol)

Artist next door was very busy. As you can see.

Out of the game and the movie Resident Evil: Afterlife, the mean scary bad guy dude from hey! Hammer looked awesome!

Had to take two of these guys because I was trying to get a good angle on the cat! It's eating her arm. Heh heh.

Loved her wig and costume. There were so many I didn't get pics of. Truly some amazing stuff this year.

Batgirl in an incarnation I had not seen before.

Steampunk Pricess Dreadlocks. Hee hee!

From Soul Eater. This one was AWESOME! Had the inside soul, the disturbing smime, but best of all the sword had the mouth and tongue. See the next one as you can see it in profile. Amazing.

My one and only pic of the huge "Ladies of Trade Town" debut!! I'm sure there are others out there. There were enough of us authors in the antho there to need two separate signing tables. You can see Brandie Tarvin, Elizabeth Moon, and more.

A-kon has always had ads and instructions advicing cleanliness whenever possible. This year they had stickers too! Heh heh

Loved this Egyptian style outfit

Okay, I've tortured you enough for one week. We'll be back to standard operating procedure until the next convention in August. Heh heh

Monday, June 13, 2011

MInd Sieve 6/13/11

Two conventions in two weeks means another rushed Mind Sieve. lol. (Thank goodness for pre-prepping!)

So cool! From Wizard World Got 10,000 Legos? Let's Build a Star Wars Sandcrawler.

AJ Walker speaks about Vampirism in Ancient Egypt. What fun!

This is totally cool! One less hurdle for long term space exploration and living. Rubbish-Dump Worms. Now they need to tackle bone density degradation. Woot!

FansOfMovies shared this article from Total Films on 50 Greatest Kung Fu Movies.

FanOfMovies shares the latest preview for Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Looks fantastic!

Super 8 Clip for How To Be A Zombie.  She's really quite good! lol. Very much looking forward to this one as well!

Geek Furious not only gives us definitions for Nerd and Geek but also a Top 10 Geek Shows You Should Watch. (I don't agree with all these and some I've never heard of. But to each Geek his own!) :P

 Sacred Cow-Tipping: Why Writers Blogging About Writing is Bad by Kristen Lamb.

Tony Eldrige gives us 10 Truths About Self Marketing, Like It or Not. He's pretty much dead on the money as far as I can tell. This stuff is not for the faint of heart. :)

Jull Keremer shares 17 Simple Steps to Build a Fiction Platform.  Good stuff!

Kristem Lamb tackles the Power of Positive Tweeting on Twitter Tuesday!

Chuck Wendig talks about Why YA Rocks!  Which it does. :) (As always with Chuck - NSFW!)

25 Things You Should Know About Character by Chuck Wendig (NSFW - I think it might be a Chuck Sweep this week!)

Jenny Hansen shares a ton of books to help with writing on More Cowbell Monday! I've read two or three of these, but she way has me beat!

And Chuck Wendig puts it on the line when he spouts Six Signs It's High Time To Quit That Whole 'Writing' Thing. Big truths here, peeps - WORD.  (And still NSFW) :P

Till next time!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

A-kon 22 and The Ladies of Trade Town Debut!

Yeppers, this weekend will be chuck full of doings!

I'll have a table at A-kon at the Artist Alley on the second floor by thew Dealers' Room hocking the books and also sharing the table with Chibi Chains.

Artist Alley is open:
Friday 10am - 9pm
Saturday 9am - 8pm
Sunday 10am - 6pm 

Though I am not part of the Writers' Track, the Ladies of Trade Town anthology authors will have several events on Saturday in which I will be participating which will be:

2:30pm - 3:30pm: "Meet The Ladies & Gentlemen of Trade Town" with Elizabeth Moon, Merlyn Finn, Jim Reader, Gloria Oliver, Rebecca McFarland Kyle, Brandie Tarvin, Melanie Fletcher, and Melinda LaFevers. The first of the Book Launch activities, wherein we'll introduce the contributors in attendance and talk a bit about how the anthology came to be.

4:00pm - 5:00pm: "Trade Town Mass Autographing". The first -- and probably best -- chance for con attendees to get a copy of the anthology signed by more than half of the contributors to the volume.

7:00pm - 11:00pm: "The Ladies of Trade Town Launch Party". Thanks to the folks at A-Kon, the anthology gets a gala evening kick-off, open to all attendees of the convention. Drop by, wish us luck, meet the authors, editor, and cover artist, get copies and autographs, and party!

Hope to see you all there! :)


Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Picture Kaleidoscope 6/8/11 - The SoonerCon Edition

sOh yeah. Con last weekend. Which means I am chuck full of pics to share. Strap yourselves in for a ride! (Hey, I didn't take the real camera, so it won't be THAT bad. Heh heh)

This was the unescapable breakfast of DOOM. Had been having a craving as I'd been seeing the bloody things everywhere. So being at the airport super early gave me no excuse not to indulge. Even after they weren't ready and I had to wait. (*shifty*)
Good thing though, because this helped keep me alert and from gnawing my arm off after we reached Oklahoma City and found out the airport was in the middle of a bomb scare. I did a quick (ipad - oh my the spelling issues!) write up that night you can read here.

Nifty art stuff outside of the OKC airport. Loved the glass pyramids.

The Doctor taking his leisure at the con. Taking a break from all that Time Traveling. :)

Theme of SoonerCon was Heroes and Villains. As Toastmaster, Selina Rosen took her role very seriously. In this photo you can see her Fat Ninja Persona disguise. Yes, those are Batman symbols on the short. *giggle*

The SoonerCon ConCom! Those to be thanked for setting up all the fun! Thanks ya'll - was a blast!!

Selina doing her Toastmaster bit as she regales us with tales of her Fat Ninja daring do! (The gentleman who's head I will keep photographing was also stuck at the airport and had to stay longer in his plane - ugh - Aaron Allston.)

A very bad picture of Mr. Tim Powers, the Guest of Honor. Got lucky and ended up on a panel with him on God, Faith, and Fantasy.

A not quite as bad picture of Darrell K Sweet, the Artist Guest of Honor. Got lucky enough that some Yard Doggies yanked me to eat dinner on Friday and then they yanked Darrell over to join us. Was a blast!

Jeffrey Turner and his super helper, Mary, starting to gear up to film a short for BOTA - Bubbas of the Apocalypse for Yard Dog Press. The Sheraton had a closed up mall area we got to use and it was also the site of the ConSuite and Green Room. (I was helping out as PA/Running Camera person - for Zombies!)

Just watch Mary concentrate. She was so cute!

Traci in her "acting" outfit. She did awesome.

Another look at the huge space Jeff was going to do all this in. Had to go to the opposite corner as the light plugs on this side did not work.

Props and more!

Setting up a scene. Traci will be seeing Yumbies (Yuppie Zombies) walking out in the street and try to alert the others there could be trouble.

Camera set up for scene as Traci practices.

El Director!

Scientist (Frank Summers) with a Clue and the Queen of the Flamingoes, waiting for their turn at movie magic!

Sherri Dean and Zombies! We were able to abscond with most of the Zombies from SoonerCon's Zombie walk to help out on part of the film. Great costumes!

The stage and those waiting as lighting is changed.

The indominable Sherri Dean! She does some mean gum chewing!

Bill Allen in costume or is he? I missed his part but he and I got to giggle a lot watching the others go at it.

There was music all over SoonerCon. Group set up in front of the Dealer's Room and also had several for lunch in the ConSuite. Quite nice!

Ryan the Zombie leader. He set up the Zombie Walk. Had really a kick ass costume. Wish the phone had done better on this one. Waaahhhh

Ms Tiddywump.  Oh yeah. She's hilarious. Need a profile picture next time to you can see how much more of her there is. Her telling of Jack and the Bean Stalk is hilarious! (Laura Underwood in disguise!)

The BORG! You shall be assimilated.

Resistance is futile!

Ah but then the Jedi's came! Woot!

And they were ready to boogie!

Yes, that's exactly what you think it looks like. Cracked me up. (Next to him is a Steampunk Leia Organa)

Han Solo ala Steampunk. So he has a blaster, you see. Heh

This cracked me up! An undead Scrat!

OKC's Jedi contingent peeps.

And last but not least, a cool sculpture at the airport.  Heh heh.

Until next time!
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