Monday, June 28, 2010

To Sell Or Not To Sell

So after cruising eBay quite a bit lately, I've drawn up a massive list of OOP books I want. Naturally, this great literary recovery project requires funding. I began looking around my house for things to sell. The first thing The Other Half suggested was all the unopened toys I have. Some of you may recall the pictures of my "Man Cave" last year and the toys that could be seen in them. Those were just a small portion of the crap stuff I have. The only problem is, I'm not quite ready to give up that stuff. Likewise with the near mint copies of Dragon magazine I have. I have over a hundred of the early issues and I know some fool geek out there would love to get his greasy hands on them. I really have no use for them, as I have all the issues on CD and can access them much easier that way. Still, I'm not sure if I want to part with them. Maybe I can sell a kidney or something?

For some of you around my age, maybe you recall the old animated show Star Blazers? The Americanized version of the great anime Space Battleship Yamato? If you remember, then feast your eyes on this:

I sooo want a U.S. release for that.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Review: Megalodon

I’d never heard of this film until I saw the DVD on the shelf at the electronics store. Since it was cheap, I bought it. Sharks both scare and fascinate me, and I’ve read up on them quite a bit over the years. I was already familiar with Megalodons, having read about them in the late 70’s. After teenage years spent at the beach surfing (during which I had my own encounter with a shark), I’ve grown more fascinated with them, so movies like this always interest me. Too bad the film is rather plodding, slow and underdeveloped. I watched it once. Then I watched it three more times for this review. That’s enough for me.

Lessons imparted by this film:

1. The best way to provide oxygen to a person suffering a panic attack, is to crowd around them in a tight circle.
2. Savage storms strong enough to prevent rescue at sea will not produce much in the way of wind or rain.
3. Engaging in tag with an eleven ton Carcharodon Megalodon is not the smartest game to play.
4. Deep sea mining routinely makes use of anti-matter for demolition purposes.

Go to review.

In other news, my writing has once again stalled. Halfway through this year and I've written six or seven thousand words, maybe. Right now, I'm all about the world building; researching various things, using different programs to draw maps of my made-up locales and so forth. This in itself has rekindled another old hobby: Dungeons and Dragons. I have absolutely no one to play the game with and am not about to seek out other gamers via the local game shops, but I find myself looking at all my old D & D books and wishing I had managed to collect all the ones I had wanted. In times past I would have been SOL, but with fabulous things like Ebay, I can find those older books I missed out on 15 and 20 years ago and finally obtain them. Somebody stop me before I max out my credit card!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Where's The Beef?

I've quite literally been beefing up lately. The Other Half works for a farm management company and as a result, we are often on the receiving end of lots of free produce - fruit, veggies and nuts (I go bonkers on the pistachios when those come in). Every now and then when some livestock are slaughtered, we get some meat. Well, last week it was the cows turn and we ended up with loads of beef: prime rib, T-bones, ribeyes, porterhouse steaks and several pounds of burger meat. By the end of this month, I'll be sick of it all, but for now I'm in beef heaven.

The 10th anniversary issue of Blood Moon Rising has been posted online, featuring my flash piece, The Customer. Long time readers may recall an even shorter, work in progress version from last year. Check it out and tell me what you think.

Writing has been slow this week, with my shoulder problems keeping me from getting much done. Still, I have managed a few words here and there on an untitled short as well as more fleshing out of the novel I hope to do in November.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Musical Inspiration: Rie Tanaka

The past few days have been the first in some time that I have actually felt like a writer again. For too long now I've been dealing with one family crisis after another or some larger than life project that requires all of my focus. It seems that things may be settling down and I can get back into my earlier (as in 2009) groove. I finally got to the requested re-write from the Times of Trouble antho from Permuted Press. That was sent in and the editor replied favorably to the changes, saying that I had a good chance for the finals. I am really hoping to make the cut on this one for two main reasons: 1) Since my story is Science Fiction, I wrote it under my real name, and 2) PP books actually show up in my local bookstore so it would be entirely possible for me to find a copy and see my name. Here's hoping. After getting to that rewrite, I perused Duotrope and subbed three other stories to various markets, then wrote some tidbits on a new story before jotting down lots of notes for another. All in all, a productive few days.

This week's musical inspiration is the song Ningyohime by Rie Tanaka. The song was one of the themes used for the end credits on the Chobits anime. For those unaware, Chobits was an anime about personal computers shaped like real young females to be exact (don't ask where the reboot button is). A poor student named Hideki finds a discarded one and eventually wonders if she may one of the fabled Chobits series, a computer that is far more evolved than others. Despite the often playful and (mostly) wholesome nature of the series, there is still an undercurrent of tragedy and loss. Somewhat haunting, this song really conveys a sense of longing and unrequited love. Plus, hot Japanese female singers are a nice counter to all the hot Japanese male singers that Nat posts!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Review: Hunchback Of The Morgue

This movie somehow manages to squeeze in a veritable cornucopia of horror story elements, including a mad scientist, a hunchback assistant, a warren of creepy catacombs, a series of murders, a crazy experiment conducted in secret, an inhuman monster, a small town European location and a liberal dose of blood and gore. Despite the gothic undertones inherent in the story and setting, the film takes place in a (then) contemporary 1970’s German town. The narrative takes a while to set things up and get into proper gear, but once it does, things unfold at a lively pace.

Lessons imparted:

1. Drink enough beer and you'll literally drop dead.
2. Robbing graves in a cemetery while it’s still light out and not expecting to be seen while doing so is a rather foolish notion.
3. Repeatedly breaking into and then back out of a women’s prison is an easily accomplished feat.

Go to review.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June Already?

Bloody hell. It's June already? Why didn't anyone tell me?! The past month has kept me quite busy. Unfortunately, most of it has been away from the computer and my writing. More health issues in the family, longer hours at work and several projects around the house that could no longer be put off (I'd been procrastinating for years on some of them). Maybe, maybe, MAYBE with the new month some order will descend on the chaos that has been my house. I sure could use some. While not writing very much, I have been sneaking in a few moments here and there for some research or to jot down notes for later use, so I'm going to consider that as keeping on the ball. Yep, that's what I'll do.

For fans of the Graveyard, YES, that new review will be coming soon. I've just been lazy about getting to it with everything else going on.

And yes, I finally changed the name of the blog to reflect the banner above. I've been meaning to do it forever now, but kept forgetting when the first of each month rolled around. Being the stickler for details that I am, I refused to change it at any other time.