I participated and posted an excerpt every Friday. The blog chain organizer orion_mk3 made us an icon to celebrate.
I love it
“An idea, like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself.”
– Charles Dickens
Coming up in Edmonton, the Authors for Altruism Charity Book Sale and Silent Auction!
Two Edmonton authors, Rick Lauber (Caregiver’s Guide for Canadians) and Alison Neuman, (Ice Rose – A Young Adult Spy Novel and the November release Searching for Normal) are having the first annual Authors for Altruism Charity Book Sale. The two charitable recipients of this year’s event are the Alzheimer Society of Alberta & Northwest Territories (heightening awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia; providing support services; and, supporting research into the cause and a cure for this disease) and The Rainbow Society of Alberta (fulfilling wishes of children with terminal and chronic illnesses.
The event will be held at the ATB Financial Arts Barns, PCL Theatre on Saturday, December 7, 2013 from 1:30 -4:30 p.m. $1 from each book sold would be appreciated as a charitable donation.
Check out the Authors for Altruism website for the list of participating authors and the silent auction items.
When: Saturday December 7, 2013 at 1:30-4:30pm
Where: PCL Theatre, 10330 – 84 Ave in Edmonton, Alberta
It’s that time again! I’m settling in for another year of NaNoWriMo.
No extra challenges this year. I’m just going to have some fun
When we were younger, my brother — a devoted horror movie fan — discovered Full Moon Entertainment (now Full Moon Features). They had a large collection of direct-to-video movies, complete with behind the scenes clips at the end. While I’ll always have a fondness for the Subspecies series (that first movie had the entire room rooting for the villain by the end), the series that hooked me, and stuck with me, was Puppet Master.
Killer puppets. Yes! I’m in. I think a lot of my lasting affection comes from the design of the puppets, and their characterization. They never talk, though they can make sounds, but they still manage to have personalities. I’ve also always liked how the opening scene with Toulon in the first movie sets you up to connect with them, even when you know they’ll be slaughtering people later on.
The series is pretty long now (I’ve discovered I’m even missing two in my collection that I now need to pick up), and it has had its highs and lows. I’d say most of the lows came later, as you’d expect, but I think the first one was Puppet Master 2.
It has a setup I would usually like — paranormal researchers — but it gets over-shadowed by the decision to cast Toulon as the villain. While I can understand, maybe, the whole death thing causing a personality change, the ending hinges of his betraying the puppets, and they just didn’t sell it to me. I’d write it off completely, but it introduces Torch, who is cool, and it’s where Jester starts wearing his hat, which be needed, so I can’t quite do it.
I think the best of the series is Puppet Master 3. It’s something of an odd choice for me. Blade is my favourite puppet by a huge margin, and the third movie includes his origin story. It comes near the end, so he’s hardly in it at all. Still, it’s a strong story even if you take it as a standalone, but also brings it back to the caring Toulon and does a good job of establishing the back story for the series.
Overall, the continuity is a bit of a mess. (As Bob said, “this is just not the series to worry about things like that in”.) That’s the sort of thing that usually kicks me out of a series, and while it’s still kind of annoying, I forgive it, because killer puppets! Seriously, how could you not love these guys?
Recently, after a break of about two years, I started playing World of Warcraft again. A lot has changed, so I’ve also spent time on WoW-related sites trying to catch up. I can’t remember what I was looking for when I saw the changes to the Recruit a Friend program, but whatever it was led to a three month long distraction.
Back when Blizzard first introduced the RaF program, I had switched my main servers to play with some real-life friends. I didn’t move characters with me (because they were the other faction and I still played on the old server part-time). I didn’t have as many characters there yet, and hadn’t rolled either of the classes that I’d played for years.
I level slowly. I feel bad for my poor friends whenever they’re stuck waiting for me to catch up. The thought of levelling another priest and warlock wasn’t enticing, given how long I knew it would take me. The bonus experience from the RaF program was appealing. Not only would I be able to level two characters at the same time, but they’d level faster than usual. All I had to do was learn to dual-box.
I loved it. I’m not the greatest, but I enjoy running my characters in pairs more than running them alone. I have a number of established teams, including that original RaF team, and I occasionally pull others together for different quests or areas. It has its frustrating elements (Horde cities have a serious obsession with spiral staircases), but it became my preferred play style.
To figure out how it worked, I spent a lot of time on multi-box forums. Since dual-boxing was working for me, I started considering running a 5 box team. I even picked up cheap keys for Vanilla during a Black Friday sale. At the time, though, it would have meant buying expansion packs for all the accounts and I wasn’t certain my computer could run five instances of the game. I never got around to getting the other three accounts.
On coming back, however, I learned those keys I bought would open up all content to Wrath of the Lich King, and the RaF program bonus experience now lasted to level 80. I’ve also upgrade my computer in the last few years, so I decided to give 5 boxing a try.
I discovered it was not as difficult as I’d thought it would be. The mixed teams were trickier than the handful on teams I ran that were all the same class, but it made gear drops better and let me use the heirlooms I’d already collected.
The first time I used the RaF program, I think I only levelled the one team, so my expectations for this round were low. In the end, though, I managed to level five groups on four servers, getting one or two of my existing characters to 80 for each one.
Of course, three characters from each team were going to be left behind, as I didn’t plan to keep more than the original two accounts after the three months was up. Another bonus of the RaF program, however, is the ability to gift levels: one to the veteran account for every two earned on the recruit account. In the end, I managed to boost enough characters on the original account to make up for the ones I left.
I enjoyed being able to run dungeons on my own. It’s not as good as having someone else to react to things, though. After all, if I miss something, I’m all there is. While I’m glad I’ve finished the RaF time (playing on a time limit isn’t fun), I’m going to miss my teams.
WolfSinger Publications is pleased to announce the upcoming release of
METASTASIS: An Anthology to Support Cancer Research.
“Walk with us.” – Jay Lake
Walk with us as we explore the world of cancer as seen through a speculative fiction lens. Hold our hands while we venture into the world of what-ifs. Take a journey at our side as we experience the full spectrum of what cancer has to offer. The light, the darkness.
Edited by Rhonda Parrish, this extraordinary collection of speculative fiction revolves around the theme of cancer. Including work by award-winning and bestselling authors including Jay Lake and Kevin J. Anderson, these 26 stories and poems tell tales of pain and hope, love and loss, fear and strength.
WolfSinger Publications, the editor and contributors combined are donating a total of 62.5% of all proceeds to the American Cancer Society.
If you order from CreateSpace or Smashwords, from now until October 31st you can receive a new release 25% using the codes below.
Createspace — Use coupon code TGERED9J in order to receive 25% off your order
Paperback – $14.95
ePub – $6.95
Huh. I stopped posting Niteblade issues for a year without really planning it. I’ve been tweeting the web releases instead. Oops.
But the new issues of Niteblade was released last week, and we’ve already hit our monthly goal for releasing the full web version! You can also get PDF, mobi, or epub versions in the store.
“Occasionally, there arises a writing situation where you see an alternative to what you are doing, a mad, wild gamble of a way for handling something, which may leave you looking stupid, ridiculous or brilliant -you just don’t know which. You can play it safe there, too, and proceed along the route you’d mapped out for yourself. Or you can trust your personal demon who delivered that crazy idea in the first place.
Trust your demon.”
– Roger Zelazny (via writersrelief)
Last year, after doing both Camp NaNos back to back followed by NaNo prime, I suffered from NaNo burn out. I decided I would stop participating in the camps, to avoid that this year.
Then they went and not only moved it to April, but introduced flexible word counts.
So… I’m signed up.
I’m still trying to finish the project I started in August last year. Over the past months, I’ve gone through the existing content and cut out anything I can no longer use. (Even when I plot, I change my mind about things part way through a draft, which can lead to a lot of lost content.)
It was an interesting experience, and my total word count went from 102,575 to 69,642. I didn’t lose enough to count for an entire NaNo session, but it was still a significant chunk. I’m hoping to avoid losing quite as much this time, though I’ve set a conservative word count to make this camp lower stress.
It will be interesting to see if that makes a difference, or if I’ll just have the same lose spread out over a longer period of time