Last year, thanks to Felicia Day’s Twitter stream (I think), I discoverd that November is National Novel Writing Month. That in itself is fairly cool, but what’s really wonderful is the program that the Office of Letters and Light have set up at NaNoWriMo.org.
The site challenges users to write a 175 page (50,000 word) novel over the course of November. The site is chocked full of great writing tips in both text and video formats, but, once you sign up, you get even more tools to help you achieve your goals. You can check on your progress and compare it to others, you can get help on their very active forums, and you can learn about writing events in your area.
I think the program is really sweet. They really do an awesome job helping average people fulfill their goals. I’ve always thought it would be really cool to be an author. I love to read and I really respect the work it takes to write a novel.
As I mentioned previously, I discovered the site last year and tried my hand. Even though I attempted to write daily, I’m not really much of a creative writer and I fell pretty far short of a full novel. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the experience so much that I’ve been looking forward to giving it another go for the last 11 months. I’ve got a rough idea for this year’s novel and I’m hoping it proves easier to write than the Urban Fantasy number I attempted last year.
Whether you are a writer or not, I suggest that you check out the site and support the cause by purchasing some cool swag!
I think it goes without saying that Tron Legacy is one of the most highly anticipated movies of this year. It is scheduled to be released on December 17 in 3D and, based on what I’ve seen so far, it looks like it is going to be pretty epic. The following trailer is simply the latest of several very cool teasers that Disney has released so far. Enjoy.
I just wanted to sneak in a quick post to mention how awesome tonight’s episode of Chuck was. The fourth season of this show has been fantastic. There has been a ton of awesomely geeky guest starts (especially Linda Hamilton), a great story, great action, and tons of laughs. I have so much fun watching the show each week.
So without further ado, here are my top moments from “Chuck vs the Aisle of Terror:”
5. Morgan and Casey. If Chuck doesn’t get picked up for a 5th season, they should do a buddy cop show.
4. Sarah nabs Chuck’s mom. Oh my! The hurt, the betrayal. I can’t see Chuck handling this well.
3. Chuck finally tells Sarah that their mother is a spy. Now, if he would just come clean about himself!
2. The Aisle of Terror. Terrifying in so many ways.
1. Linda Hamilton! And she’s just the right amount of badass.
Okay, I think that’s enough. Tonight’s episode was great. I can’t mention enough how much I enjoy this show. I’m so glad that the back nine episodes got picked up. 22 episodes of Chuck makes me happy.
No, I’m not talking about the 3D versions that George Lucas has promised to unveil in the near future. I’m talking about a brand new sequel trilogy (set after the Original Trilogy). Um, let me take a moment to gather my thoughts…
Holy freaking crap!
Now, this is completely rumor at this point. I saw the story on io9.com, but the original report came from IESB.net. IESB claims that the new trilogy will be released within two years after the existing six films have been converted to 3D and released in theaters. These are expected to bring in $500-750 million, which will allow George Lucas to self-finance the new trilogy.
IESB points out how the prequel trilogy quickly followed the successful re-release of the Original Trilogy (Special Editions) in 1997 and I have to say that this does seem plausible. Will it actually happen? I have no idea, and in fact, we may not know anything for sure for quite some time. Lucas isn’t likely to have finished converting the existing movies to 3D until 2015 or 2016 so the next trilogy probably wouldn’t be released until 2017 or 2018. That leaves more than enough time for Lucas to change his mind or the rumors to be squashed.
But let’s say it were to happen. What would it mean? It would mean that the people that grew up with the original trilogy, that took their kids to see the prequels, may be able to take their grandkids to see the sequels. It would also mean that another generation of children would grow up with the magic of Star Wars. I don’t care what you think of the prequels (personally, I much prefer the Original Trilogy), but kids ate them up and I’m sure the same would happen the next time around.
Another thing it would mean is that the legacy of Star Wars would continue to grow and live on far into the future. Lucas would be opening up a whole new adventure, potentially with completely different characters, that would undoubtedly spur novels, comic books, video games, and whatever else.
And, let’s face it, it would probably be pretty cool. Sure, the movies probably couldn’t live up to the magic of the Original Trilogy, but, even if you disliked the prequels, you have to admit that there were some good moments, and the next trilogy would probably have some of those moments too. Need I point out the awesomeness of Darth Maul, Yoda, and Obi-Wan Kenobi in the prequels?
So, what’s the consensus? Personally, I think I would like to see them happen. How bad could they be?
Back in August, I decided to set up a blog on Blogger, because, as a web designer, I was interested in checking out Google’s blogging software (even though I knew it was on the decline in popularity). I had also just returned from Comic-Con and I had a lot of experiences that I was dying to share with the Internet community at large.
Setting up a blog on Blogger was quick and easy (a sure sign of the darkside) and in no time I was sharing my thoughts about Comic-Con, television, books, and geeky stuff in general. For awhile, I was satisfied, but eventually, I realized that Blogger just didn’t give me all of the options that I needed. I also thought it would be much cooler if the blog was integrated it into my existing web site.
So, I made the decision to set up a new blog on my web site and import the content from Blogger. Between Dreamhost‘s One-click Installs and WordPress‘s Blogger import plugin, it was about as easy as you could imagine, and I’ve done enough WordPress development that creating a new template to match the look and feel of my web site was a cakewalk.
All of the posts before this one originally lived at wizarddresden.blogspot.com. For a little while at least, they will live on both sites, but I don’t see that as a problem. If you are new to the blog, I primarily write about Science Fiction and Fantasy (SFF for short) novels, television shows, and movies, but I also occasionally blog about music, graphic novels, and video and board games. If you haven’t figured it out already, I’m a pretty big geek, but, hey, I’m okay with that.
If you happen to notice any major issues, shoot me an email. There is a contact link in the footer.
Well, I hope everyone enjoys the new setup as much as I do. If nothing else, I’m just pleased that my blog finally has a header graphic that it deserves. Hurray for UFOs and aliens!
Autumn is an excellent season for reading. It is also an excellent month for apple cider and donuts, but that’s another blog post altogether. I like it because I can still read outdoors on occasion, but I don’t have to worry about a sunburn, or I can sit by the window and enjoy the season from indoors. I have also found that I have more time with many of my outdoor activities coming to an end.
Recently, I realized that I’ve been lagging behind my standard reading quota for the year so I decided to try to make a little push until the end of the year. It doesn’t really matter that I’m behind, but I’ve been wanting to find more time to read and this gives me a good excuse.
One thing I started doing was reading during my lunch break at work. I only have a 30 minute lunch break so I can’t get all that much read, but it has proven to be a success nonetheless. If nothing else, I find that my lunch break actually feels more like a break. By reading, I can actually escape from the stress of work and let my mind focus on something else. So for I’ve read Cory Doctorow’s Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, which was very good, and H.G. Well’s The Time Machine, which is a classic, but wasn’t my favorite. I just started Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War today.
I’ve also decided to try something new this fall. I read all six volumes of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim graphic novel. I’m not really a comic guy, but I thought the series was fantastic. Will this lead to more comic reading? I’m not sure yet, but I’m open to the possibility.
In addition to The Forever War, I’m also reading God Emperor of Dune, the fourth installment in Frank Herbert’s Dune series. I’ve had the book on my bookshelf since January so I thought it was about time I read it. I typically only read this right before bed, which can be tough. I try to get in about an hour of reading time, but if I’m tired, I’ll often doze off before I get that far.
I’m not sure what I should read next though. I’ve got the fourth and fifth novels in the Wheel of Time series, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy, and Stephen King’s Wizard and Glass from the Dark Tower saga all sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read.
But what I am doing here typing? I should be reading!
Needless to say, there haven’t been a lot of really great new shows on television this fall. I consider myself somewhat of a TV junkie and it’s nice to have a few shows to turn to over the course of the week, but this fall, I find myself turning to Neftlix more often than prime time television.
Personally, I tried out a few new shows, but the only one that I’ve managed to stick with is The Event. Now, The Event is by no means a perfect show, but it’s suspenseful and has a pretty interesting plot. Right now, that is more than enough for me to stay tuned.
I stuck with this one for three episodes. The only reason that I even watched it to begin with was because it was a creation of J.J. Abrams, but that wasn’t really enough to make it good. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t anything special either and with rumors abound of cancelation, I decided to drop out.
No Ordinary Family
I only watched the first two episodes before I simply forgot about it and failed to record it. I think that says it all. The show is completely forgettable. I thought it did have some potential, but the writers need to find a way to make the show live up to its title.
For returning shows, I’m only watching Chuck, The Office, and Caprica. Chuck and the Office have been fantastic, but I’m still on the fence on Caprica. I didn’t really like the first episode very well and I haven’t worked up the energy to watch the second yet, though I did record it. I have a feeling that I’m going to give up on this one too, which is probably fine, because it sounds like it will be cancelled.
Now that I’m down to just a few shows, I’m finding myself with more time for Netflix than I expected. This actually works out pretty well, because I’m really enjoying the second season of Supernatural and the final season of Angel as much as or more than anything on prime time TV.
It’s no secret that Chuck is currently my favorite show on TV. I thought tonight’s episode was pretty good. It had humorous moments, a great cast (no surprise there), an amusing adventure, and some more serious moments. Overall, it made me laugh, it kept me entertained, and it left me feeling good. Job well done in my book. Here are my top six moments:
6. The Generalismo of Costa Graves
This guy could only be more ridiculous if they gave him the line, “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I drink Dos Equis.”
5. Gratuitous bikini shots
It may have been a bit excessive, but, let’s face it, I’ll never complain about seeing Sarah in a bikini.
4. Chuck finally comes clean to Ellie, sort of
Well, at least he told her that he was looking for their mom. Will he ever come clean about still being a spy? I don’t know. Would she ever be able to just him after that? I don’t want to think about it.
3. Chuck’s smirk
It was so heartwarming to see Chuck smile after Sarah professes her love while she thinks he’s sleeping.
2. Morgan gets some action
Go Morgan. Alex is cute, but she’s Casey’s daughter. I see many humorous moments to come from this relationship.
1. Awesome’s statue
Can you honor a guy more than by carving his likeness into a 9 foot block of marble? I think not.
I wanted to do my top ten moments, but it’s late and I’m lazy. Anyways, I thought the show was as entertaining as usual, but I’m looking forward to seeing more Linda Hamilton and Summer Glau.
Over the summer, the Comic-Con hype for Scott Pilgrim vs The World inspired to see the feature film in theater and, man, was I blown away. I loved the characters, the plot, the concepts, the humor, and the graphics. Overall, I just thought it was sweet.
I liked it so much that it left me wondering if Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novels that inspired the film could be as good or perhaps even better. I’ve never been a big comic guy and I wasn’t sure if I would really find the experience as enjoyable. But I was wrong.
I decided to snag the first volume, Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life, off Amazon and I found it to be a lot fun. I was surprised at how closely the movie followed the graphic novel. A lot of the dialog was word for word. Unfortunately, that meant that my experience wasn’t particularly unique, but it was still enjoyable.
In fact, I enjoyed the first volume enough that I bought the next two, Scott Pilgrim vs The World and Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness. I think the second volume was even better than the first. There was much more variation between the second volume and the movie. In the film, the plot had to keep rolling and actually pick up steam, but in the graphic novels, O’Malley was able to take more time to develop the characters and really tell the story.
The third volume was also really well done and I really started to get excited about the series. My next purchase from Amazon included the final three volumes and I got them for a steal. Seriously, if you are thinking about reading the series, don’t hesitate. Just buy them individually from Amazon. I swear, every time I look, they are even cheaper. I’m guessing that the publisher ordered way too many copies assuming increased sales because of the movie, but, instead, I think there are just a ton of unsold copies in circulation and Amazon is selling them dirt cheap as of this writing.
It’s hard for me to really describe why I liked the series so much. I’m not really a hipster and I don’t really fall into the same social clique as the characters, but I’m pretty close in age and perhaps that is enough for me to relate to the characters and the story. Really, I think if you live in the world today, that’s enough for you to relate to the story.
Joss Whedon described it really well in a quote that was included on the back cover of the final novel, Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour:
“Scott Pilgrim is the best book ever. It is the chronicle of our time. With Kung Fu, so yeah: perfect.”
Seriously, the writing is amazingly witty, the characters are charming (each in his or her own way) and well-developed, and the story is a roller-coaster of action-packed battles, hilarious dialog, and innocent romance. I just don’t know how you could ask for more.
O’Malley is really creative about his used of space. There is content everywhere–on the back of the front cover and straight through to the back cover. He also has such a creative way of telling the story. For example, he includes the chords to one of Sex Bob Omb’s songs in the first volume and in another (second, I think) he actually includes the full instructions for a vegan dinner.
In the end, I found the entire series to be a blast. I wasn’t super amazed with the conclusion (I almost like the end to the movie a little best), but that barely detracts from the series. I’m pretty sure I’ll find myself reading these again and again, which will be easy, because they don’t take very long to read.
So I just watched the new episode of Caprica on Syfy. I wanted to call it the season premiere, but it’s not. Technically, we are only halfway through the first season. It’s bad enough that Syfy split up the show for this long, but it was actually going to be worse. Syfy had originally planned on airing the episodes in January. But enough on that.
Anyways, I wasn’t all that impressed. I watched the first half of the season last whenever and I could never get that into it. I would watch a couple episodes and start thinking I should just stop and then it would deliver a much better episode and I would keep watching. Unfortunately, there were only enough “good” episodes to string me along, not enough to actually make me excited about the show.
Tonight’s episode was just not that great. The whole religious stuff with all the infighting and terrorist plotting just does not thrill me. Some religion that is. No wonder everyone thinks they are crazy. I just can’t figure out what the writers are trying to tell us with this stuff. Are they the villains? Tragic heroes?
I think that pretty much sums up the whole problem; I can’t figure out who I’m supposed to root for. I don’t actually like any of the characters. There are only two decent characters (Zoe and Tamara) and they ARE DEAD.
The virtual reality aspect is really the only part of the show that I do like. The scenes that take place in New Cap City are gripping, action packed, and compelling. I think Tamara’s story arc in the first part of the season was the only thing that kept me watching. And now to close last night’s episode, we get a kick-ass scene of Zoe in New Cap City, complete with ninja moves and sword fighting. Which means that I’ll have to watch the next episode, because, let’s face it, I want to see more of that. The rest of it, I could take it or leave it.