Sunday, June 29, 2014

Virtual Tourist - TERA 6/29/14

Working hard at SoonerCon, but prepped this ahead of time just for ya'll! :)

Heading to the City!

Goodbye Tower - welcome pegasus airways!

Breathtaking view during the flight too!

Do love those falls!

Air view of the Tower area

TERA's sky. Has like a giant pentagram sketched in it. Very cool!

Travel gate.

Between gates. (Hum Dr Who Theme)

Main City - the pegasus does a nice round about so you get a good look.

Awesome place.

Looks like a true city doesn't it?

Final pass toward the landing pad.

Inside the main travel room

Love the super detail!

The city awaits!

Look at all the cool stone work. 

Big honcho. Begs my help then insults me. What's up with that?

Yes, he's a big boy. And my clothes are getting skimpier. But are kinda cool!

Really so cool.

Oh, this is hubby. He's adorable!

One of the crafting halls.

No idea what he's supposed to be! Disco Duck? (A mount)

Crafting zone exterior.

Lok at that stone work! Drool.

Have a great Sunday!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Top Ten Things To Think About Before Getting/Making Your Convention Costume

(Sorry, no movie review today. Saw one to review but work... Currently at SoonerCon! Which is why this topic came to mind.) :)

Wearing costumes at SF/F and Anime Conventions is something lots of people look forward to. Yet from what I've seen, a little forethought can help make the experience a lot more enjoyable for all!

1) If you tend to get cold easily, don't choose a skimpy costume.  A lot of convention centers run the air on high to compensate for big crowds. This tends to make some of the rooms super cold. Nothing worse than being your favorite character yet you're curled up in a ball chattering through the weekend.

2) Inversely, if you tent to get hot easily, don't choose a heavy or multi-layered costume.  What feels like a cold air-conditioned room to some people, to others feels warm or even hot. Dressing up in something you've spent a lot of time and/or money on and then sweating in it all day -- no fun.

3) If your sword/hammer/wings/antenna/other appendage is large, you'll need to avoid super crowded hallways or small rooms. The bigger the venue, the more this will be a concern. You'll also need to be aware of your surroundings more as your body now takes up more space than you're used to. You wouldn't believe the number of close calls I've seen between a costume and someone's face or eye.  :P

4) Wigs are an extra layer and they tend to run hot. Hats tend to cause the same issue. Something to keep in mind. 

5) If you're going to wear a mask or helmet, make sure you've worked in some ventilation and that you can breathe, and especially, that you can see!

6) Always, always plan ahead. And be aware that even when you're prepared, things can still go wrong.

7) Bring a sewing kit and extra costume parts in case of emergency. If something can go wrong it will.

8) Is your costume complex? Is it heavy? Make sure to bring a buddy to help! They can gauge if the zone if safe, steer you from trouble, and generally keep you upright.

9) If you wear a costume, expect that there will be people coming out of nowhere who'll stop you and ask to take your picture. The more awesome the costume, the less feet per minute you'll make while walking through the convention. Be ready.

10) No matter what - make sure to drink plenty of fluids and to EAT! Wearing costumes is work. Make sure to take care of yourself.  

And above all else - have fun!

Have any costume tips? Please share! Any costume stories too. :)


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Picture Kaleidoscope 6/25/14

Schedule is out of whack, but still hanging on!

Tamanawas Ice by Jason J. Hatfield at From the angle it makes it look like it's outside and raining on the river, no?

White Lightning by Neil Burton at Aren't they pretty? Almost looks like a commercial. :P

Neil has tons of animal shots at his site. Cool! 

'Sandscapes' Series Reveals the Abstract World of Patterns Left by the Tides from PetaPixel. Article by Gannon Burgett. Photography by Jakob Wagner

Gotta run!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Mind Sieve 6/23/14

Greetings peeps!

Fan Fun

Dear White People Trailer - this actually looks like it will be fun! lol.

The Judge Official Trailer - Oh hanky time! But it looks good!

Ragnarok Official Trailer - Monster movie! Not sure what to make of it. Heh.

Druid Peak Trailer - wolves! Oooo wolves!

Social Media/Author Platform

5 Free Content Tools to Enhance Your Social Media Marketing from SocialMedia Examiner. Article by Kierra Stein.

How To Use Semantic Markup from the Social Media Examiner, Article by Ruth Burr Reedy. I did some stuff with this months and months ago. Don't know if it's helped any, but it is the way things are moving.

Writing Advice

Do You Discuss Your Work in Progress? by Jami Gold. Nice! Glad I don't have a widget though, the WIP has had no progress due to RL WORK! Waaaahhhh.

6 Steps to Balance Your Editing: Plot vs. Characters by Jami Gold. Excellent post!

Have a great week!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Virtual Tourist - Tera 6/22/14

Since Landmark blew up on me a couple of weeks ago, hubby and I went looking for something else to play. We found something...and it's gorgeous!

Newbie Zone

Part of the intro - you're flying with others to the island.

That's me. Warrior class that uses 2 swords. They have several races and not all what you'd call typical. There's little girls with different ears and tales as well as fat furry creatures. Weird stuff.

The world is GORGEOUS!

The Tower - a gigantic Sakura like tree.

Gateways to other areas - travel by Pegasus

Around the Tower. 

So cool!

Teleport receiving spot

Bishonen elf - so snooty but oh so pretty. :P

Spore monster

The waterfalls by the Tower

Just so pretty!

Crashed airship

Sea ships seem to have not had luck on the falls.

Dark area - teleporter leads to a boss zone. There is darkness encrounching.

Close up.

When we went into the boss zone, we got these super cute fairies for light! So CUTE!

The boss. Not so cute at all.

Look at that armor!

His lair.

We've been enjoying the game play pretty good. Free to play. Just be careful you don't pick a PVP server if that's not your thing. Also, lots of skimpy clothes. Game was definitely made with guys in mind. Hah!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Movie Review - Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow

Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Brendan Gleeson, Bill Paxton, Jonas Armstrong, Tony Way, Kick Gurry, Franz Drameh, Dragomir Mrsic, Charlotte Riley, Masayoshi Haneda, Terence Maynard, Noah Taylor, and more.

Directed by: Doug Liman Screenplay by: Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, and John-Henry Butterworth Based on the Novel "All You Need Is Kill" by: Hiroshi Sakurazaka Cinematography by: Dion Beebe Music by: Christophe Beck

Premise: The Earth is being attacked by an alien race that sprang from a meteor that fell from the sky. After a long struggle, Humanity has had its first victory and is amassing all the firepower possible to go on a large, decisive offensive. Major Cage, an ad executive before the war, is told he will be at the offensive so he can report on the progress. Cage balks at going, even trying to blackmail the general into not sending him. This only gets Cage knocked out and sent directly into a misfit group who'll be hitting the beach at the front lines. Surviving for a few minutes longer than many of his compatriots, and getting a lucky kill on an Alpha, Cage then wakes back up almost a full day before his death. (Rated PG-13)


1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Tom Cruise plays outside his normal zone as Major Cage. The fear and wheedling cowardice of the character, and the way he even tries to act brave only because it might get him out of things, was very well done. Emily Blunt was a lot of fun as Rita. Her unhappiness at having lost the power then her surging hope when she finds out Cage has it, as well as all the awesome expressions of disappointment as she tries to train him all added a lot of flavor. Bill Paxton as Master Sergeant Farrell, along with Terence Maynard were great foils as Cage repeated time. The two men were like mirrors of the changes as Cage replayed the days over and over, their ordered world and expectations kicked out from under them as Cage matured.

2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up:  Lots of cool special effects in the film - the soldier transport, the exo-suits,  the exercise room, the aliens. The aliens were especially fascinating. They still gave them mouths and two eyes, strangely humanizing them, but this might have been intentional. If they'd not given them obvious eyes, it would have made them ten times more creepy and alien and since the film is rated PG-13, perhaps they didn't want to creep young viewers too much. Still, they way the aliens moved, their octopus like arms, all were awesome work.

Most impressive is the scene where Cage and his troop reach the battle. The chaos was intense, with creatures and men are fighting everywhere. The mini helicopter incident also came out really well. The minivan section, even more so.

3) Plot/Story - Total Thumbs Up: There are a ton of things that I loved about the plot. They even took some movie fallacies and actually gave them reasons for happening and then did things to surprise you on top of it. The hero, for example: Cage is a total coward. Only self preservation propels him once the weirdness kicks in, and if you watch closely, he still tries to weasel out of everything despite the progress he makes. It's a hard won battle for him to finally get past it - it wasn't instantaneous and the signs are there that he's still trying not to be involved. Loved, loved, loved this.

The other aspect that would seem suspect but which they pulled off brilliantly was the aliens having one central main intelligence/hive mind that if defeated humans would win everything. No easy victory here. Despite the fact that one decisive blow could end it all, the creature is aware of this and has taken steps. Major and surprising steps! Even multiples steps! And the humans have to pay a high price to pay to even get a shot at trying to succeed.

Another major point I loved, though it was super understated, was how Cage found out information on those around him to use later. We only see one instance of this, but that one time basically sets the stage for all the others, and explains why he knows things these people would never tell another soul - death side confessions. A lot of them. Gave me chills just thinking about how many times he had to watch them die over and over to get all the info he did.

Time travel is tricky, and while they explain some things, they don't explain all. Again, they give you just enough information to figure things out if you think about them. Hubby and I had a fun discussion afterwards. The altered DNA brought Cage and his memories back each time, but also seemed to bring back his body slightly changed, yet repaired. So muscle memory and other physical skills always came back with him. At the end, a seeming incongruity actually makes sense when you think of the stolen level of power achieved.

Little comedic moments, and just watching how Cage changing changed those around him as he'd come back for yet another round, kept the repetition intensely interesting.

4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: There were a ton of stunts and a ton of stunt people in most of the 'gags'. Between the explosions, crashing vehicles, and the spinning aliens, there were people running, flying, getting bashed about and more on a pretty constant basis. Like I mentioned earlier, the attack area was chaos personified. It definitely had the feel of the landing at Normandy back during World War II, but even more intense and with aliens,. Great work by everyone.

5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: Filmed mostly in the UK, there were a lot of lovely spots used for the film. Once Cage and Rita realize where they truly need to go, we got some nice sweeps of the French countryside. The Louvre scenes also were nicely done, though in truth, it did give the feel of a sound stage despite the size of the area.

Conclusion: "Edge of Tomorrow" is a great piece of science fiction. Lots of action, stunts, and special effects, dressed around a good solid plot. They even take a couple of bad movie habits and make them work! If you can manage it, definitely see it in IMAX 3D or regular 3D.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Paying Full Price to See Again)

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