Monday, February 6, 2017

My first and second food podcast

What does it really taste like?

I have had this idea bouncing around in my head for a while and was totally in love with it. What if I and others were willing to eat or drink weird, new, exotic, trendy food and beverages that people are always curious about, but just can't quite bring themselves to taste? Would they listen? Would they care? Would they support us?

Thanks to Mia and the Out of Our Skull Network I took a leap of faith and they took one in me. 

In January we had our first and second tastings. The first being Japanese and other Asian snacks and treats. The second being assorted meat, meat sticks. There were about 20 items for each podcast. Mia, Lisa, and I sat down to give the whole experience a test run. There was a moment of panic on my part for many reasons:
  1. Were 20 food items to try too much?
  2. Could we get through this without barfing?
  3. Would it be funny without seeing our facial expressions?
  4. Would my naughty mind get too naughty?
  5. How could we easily rate these things?
  6. Would Lisa (kinda a picky) hate me by the end and plot my demise?

We gave it a go and what I was worried about did not happen. We tasted the good, the bad, and the downright nasty. On the spot, we came up with a rating system - Spit or Swallow. Genius! And, even added a third category - Should have spit but swallowed. 

Mia released them, she said they were really good. I was hesitant though in listening to it. I used to hate the sound of my voice. I was worried for so many other reasons as well, but it was out there. People had listened to it. I had to overcome my imagined fear of it being a failure.

So, I listened. They aren't awful. They are funny. I actually laughed out load several times. Itis almost everything I wanted it to be, the almost being that in my mind this was visual endeavor, but it really worked as a podcast. And Lisa wasn't screaming "I really hate you Micki," at the end. WIN!

So, without further ado, I give you the links to the first two podcasts if What does it taste like?
Enjoy, and let us know if there is anything you would like us to try. ***No Pidan or Blaut***

The good. The bad. The ugly.

Starting Over... Again

Not trying to make excuses, but life the past few years has been hellacious. I am not going to bore you with the details. I removed a couple of short posts talking about how I was going to get back in the saddle and do certain things. It was bad timing and wishful thinking on my part, a way to distract myself from the issues at hand. 

I have several projects going on at this time and for now I will share them to here and on social medial. I am good at social media. Let's hope this is not another lie to myself.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Long time No writing

Getting back in the saddle of writing everyday. I think I need a step-ladder. How do you write a proper sentence? How does a paragraph work? I need to filter the ideas into a sensible order in which I can write to my hearts content. I need to stick to a plan and JUST WRITE. I frequently make a habit of just talking about what I want to do instead of just doing it. 

What has that ever gotten me? NOTHING. All too often we humans do this. We tell our friends and families of our lofty plans towards greatness, or at least heightened mediocrity, and then one or a combination of the following happens:

  1. It is forgotten about as the next dream takes over.
  2. We are talked out of it for one reason or another.
  3. The vampires of doubt begin to drain away our driving passion with their poisonous negatively charged nagging, causing us to question ourselves and eventually give up, because they have invaded our minds with ugly thoughts and doubts.
  4. Oh look SHINY OBJECT. Oh yeah, what was I doing? I don't know move on.
  5. Life - we let the everyday BS take over everything.
  6. We warmly embrace the bad habit of making excuses, but that makes everything we don't do "okay."

Why do we allow these things to interfere, and how do all those dreamers who have made it big not let it happen to them? I know they work hard. I know they work tirelessly. I know that when an obstacle is thrust in front of them they find a way to go around it or blow it out of the way. I know that they are persistent. I know. I know. I know. I am sitting at a gaming convention. I feel the passion for writing seeping back in. I feel the need to create. I feel the need to start a project, a major project, a life changing project and finish it. I am still overwhelmed to some degree by all the little projects that need to be done but...I need to accomplish things for me and my soul. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

What do you get when you cross the cogs of steampunk with the gruesomeness of zombies? You get The Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. Haven’t heard of it you say? Well foolish mortal, now you have. Here is a book to fulfill your steampunked dreams, with excellent writing, superb machine craftsmanship, and zombies.

Here’s a brief synopsis:

Briar Wilkes (Blue) was once married to the man who created The Incredible Bone-Shaking Drill Engine. It was commissioned to dig deep into the Klondike for gold, but on its initial test run something goes terribly wrong. Several blocks of Civil War era Seattle are collapsed and destroyed as the machine digs its way through both foundations and rock, including those in and around Seattle’s financial district. But, the worst of the destruction comes from the bowels of the earth as a poisonous gas, known as The Blight, rises up, slowly killing all who breathe it, only to come back as zombies. Fifteen years later, the wall that was originally built to keep The Blight from spreading, also hold secrets that Briar’s fifteen year old son Zeke, wants to know about. The boy finds his way into the decimated walled-up inner city and begins his search for answers his mother never gave him. Briar follows her son in order to save him from dangers he could never have imagined, with the help of Captain Cly and his dirigible, and with the help of several characters who chose to live within the desolate walls. During her search for Zeke she must live through attacks by rotters, and the fiendish manipulations of Dr. Minnericht, who may or may not be her husband, all in order to find her son.

Sound good? It really is for several reasons.

The quality of the steampunk gadgets is believable. Electricity was still in its infancy and Priest shows this through some of the workings of the inner city. Power to operate most equipment has to be generated from steam, billows, pulleys, or static electricity. Items (with one exception) don’t magically operate on command, with no explanation as to how it is even possible. Priest shows the reader how modified weaponry and specialized ventilation systems work in her story, but the reader is not bogged down or overwhelmed by complex technical jargon. The fantastical devices are not the whole story either, but inanimate characters who add to the overall setting.

Another reason this was such a great read is that Priest did not fall into the trap of romanticizing Seattle that once was, and what it has become, or any of the characters. It was gritty and dirty with very few reminders of Seattle’s former glory during the 1880’s. The inhabitants don’t wax poetic over what once was, because they are forced to live in the very real and deadly present, in order to make it to tomorrow. Sentimental tripe is no where to be fond. She also did not feel the need to add any romantic attachments, which was wonderful, as too many books these days rely on that at some point in order to move a story along. Admittedly, this may have led to the lack of development in regards to some of the characters.

Finally, there are the zombies. In this book they are referred to as rotters, and I loved them. The explanation as to how they came about is plausible, poisoned by The Blight gas, and they are not all slow moving and mindless. These stinking rotting walking corpses can move it when they sense fresh meat, even going so far as to climb in one chapter, in order to get a tasty morsel. They can be killed in the time honored zombie way, by destroying the brain, but they are so aggressive and numerous, that for the few humans who live within the dead city it is usually more important to run away.

Cherie Priest has created a novel that is a must have in any steampunk and zombie library. While she played loose with the history of Seattle, it was not done in manner that became distracting. Her use of newly imagined machines and weapons adds to the overall story, instead of being the whole story. The people who inhabit her world are not idealized caricatures. And, the zombies, they are now longer human, just walking nightmares.

To Buy or Not To Buy, That is The Question:
Absolutely, Positively BUY THIS BOOK! Even if you know nothing about steampunk and/or zombie this is a great read.
If you enjoy this novel by Priest be on the lookout for her next Dreadnought, which releases September 28, 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dead Eye:Pennies For The Ferryman by Jim Bernheimer

Dead Eye:Pennies For The Ferryman by Jim Bernheimer

Gryphonwood Press

This book has proven to be a pleasant surprise. I have tried and tried to come up with something witty and clever to introduce it, but I think the first statement says it all. I actually finished this book weeks ago, and have been pondering how to review it ever since.

Synopsis: Mike Ross has returned home from Iraq where he suffered both physical and emotional losses. He wants to get his life back together and find a direction by going back to school. In the meantime, Mike is trying to adjust to life with a new eye, provided by a donor, a donor who just happened to be a medium. Now that Mike is starting to be able to see through the donor's eye he sees ghosts, and is able to communicate with them. Some are good, and some are really really bad, bad enough that they want to possess him. Mike's adventures with the dead lead him to communicate not only with the recently dead, but those much older, some of whom have more to do with the world of the living then anyone ever knew.

What surprised me the most about this book was it's overall simplicity. There are paranormal happenings going on throughout the story, but they are not the whole story. It is the character interactions that takes center stage. Character development happens slowly over the course of the book, as the reader gets to know the leads and their motivations. Emotional motivation is kept to a minimum, while more common issues (i.e. money or lack there of) are what keep things moving.

The plot is simply as well. The course of actions taken by the characters to get to the end is not always straight forward, but it makes sense as Mike is trying to figure out what he can and can't do with his new gift. Bernheimer does not overlook the importance of a few good plot twists though. That being said, I had a problem with the ending feeling a little forced. The last few chapters do not complete the story, but set it up for sequels.

Finally, it was refreshing to read a ghost story with the lack of a real love story. Romantic love is not what pushes the characters or the plotline along. Too many paranormal novels rely on this emotion to keep the reader going. If done well, it can make a good read, if not, you get sentimental poop. Bernheimer avoids this trap. There is a potential for one, but the way he avoids it makes made this a better read for me.

What it all comes down to:

What I liked?

1. It was a really easy and enjoyable read. I found that when I stepped away from the book I wanted to get back to it to find out what was going to happen to Mike next, or what he might discover about his new gift.

2. Cheesey romance has nothing to do with this novel.

3. The reader learns along with Mike what he can and can't do. He doesn't just accept what he is and run with it. He tests it, as much as it tests him.

What I disliked?

1. I have to wait for a sequel.

2. There are a few places where I don't agree with the choice of how important plot information is given. They come across as clumsy writing.

3. I really don't have one.

To Buy or Not To Buy, That is the Question: Buy. It is a clean simple read for a paranormal book. The reader is not overwhelmed with information all at once, making discoveries as Mike makes discoveries. Personally, after coming off a very complex read I really enjoyed this story.

Okay, so that is what I think, but remember folks it's just an opinion.