March 30, 2012

Game of Thrones Weekend






This weekend is Game of Thrones; according to HBO. As mentioned before, it is one of my favorite shows on TV. The second season, based on Book Two of Ice and Fire (titled Clash of Kings) premieres this Sunday at 9 on HBO.  So there's lots of time still to (re)watch Season One.

I've been watching the first season myself in anticipation. Coincidentally, I've unintentionally timed watching the last three episodes with three days to go before Episode One of Season Two. Today I watched Episode Nine, tomorrow will be Episode Ten, then Sunday will be Season Two.

I've worked on my novel a bit, too. Didn't too much writing (I'd say no less than two sentences, no more than six to give an idea of how much has been added); more editing and going over what I had already done than anything. To get my head back in. (I'll do a full-scale, entire edit and proof job once I'm done the first book, these are just minor touch ups along the way....like indenting.) Top all of that off with me having fish 'n' chips with an ale (Keith's) and I'm feeling slightly medieval-ish...I may even go a day or two without shaving to get into the spirit...three, tops. Well, sure it's spring but it's been a bit chilly lately anyway so warmth is my excuse...

I'll do an excited fanboy post on Sunday to serve as a reminder to any of my readers who are Thronies that the new season begins...but I'm sure you already know that. After Sunday's post, expect another from me by Wednesday; which will include a spoiler-free analysis (of the episode and authenticity as an adaption). 

March 27, 2012

Five Battles Before the War


There are now only five regular season games left for the Ottawa Senators. They've been fighting really well, and we'll make the playoffs provided the Sens use their heads and don't goof up. Overall the team's had a great year, especially with the fact that we weren't predicted to do that well, Alfie was (and is) the heart and soul of the team. The glue that binds it all together. Or in this case, the hockey tape on the blade of a stick to prevent it from splintering. If this is his last season, he'll make a great exit. Then there's the All Star Games. 

Of course with Ottawa coming close, so too are other teams. With Toronto losing to Carolina tonight, they're basically out. Ottawa seems set to play against Buffalo, Washington or Pittsburg...but we'll see exactly who. Either way, great seaosn for the Sens, but let's see how well we are after five games, and after first round of the playoffs....

March 24, 2012

Ready For Battle!






The end is coming up. After tonight's match vs stinky Armpittsburg, (minus my homeboy from Nova Scotia, of course...no disrespect, but it's fun to haze on the opposing team) there are six regular season Sens games left....then it's off to the big leagues, aka playoffs, where it's killed or be killed. Once the teams are announced who made the cut, I'll be sure to make a post about who I like and want to move on, as around-by-round basis.

In the meantime, Go Sens Go, and don't stop believen'....your army of red, gold, black, red and white are behind you.

March 23, 2012

Hungry For More?







I imagine many of you will be setting out to see The Hunger Games film at some point. Some before you’ve read the book, some after.

I first heard of the series upon launch of the final book in the series, Mockingjay. I had never heard of the series nor the author before that point, so the fact that it was the finale to something I hadn’t heard of put me off slightly from checking it out at that time.I know they say not to judge a book by the cover, but Mockingjay has a sweet cover. (ed note: I love it when good books that covers that look nice too. Not that it matters, really, it's all about the text..but who wants to hold something ugly?)

I’ll be honest and say that it’s because of Harry Potter that led to my interest for The Hunger Games Trilogy. I’d heard of its quality through Potter fans on message boards etc. And with Deathly Hallows: Part 2 coming out, Harry’s end was in sight. No more Potter novels (though I wouldn’t be surprised if we get more books like Tales of Beedle the Bard at some point); and that would be the end of the film series. So, where to turn to for the next ‘young adult fiction / fantasy’ fix?

For Christmas of 2010, I had received the hardcover boxed set as a gift (mostly due to the price and quantity, it was, and still is a fantastic thing to give or receive).
Due to the size of my reading pile, I have not yet read any of the books. After my current read, Dance With Dragons, I’ll read that series next. And after I read it (or at the very least, the first book) I’ll see the movie at that point.



So now to the point of this entry: now that you’ve had your fill of the Games, and hunger for more, I can offer something in the ‘young adult fiction / fantasy’ department. I recommend you check out His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman, consisting of The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass.

I won’t go into detail what it’s about, but I will say that I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it, and how dark and mature it got times for ‘young adult’. 

 

Speaking of book recommendations, I won’t repeat any of my posts here (I’ve made a couple back when I made the blog more active about books), but I will sum up in saying that at the moment, the top three books / series I recommend overall at the present are:

  • His Dark Materials Trilogy (Golden Compass, Subtle Knife, Amber Spyglass) by Phillip Pullman
  • Way of Kings (Book 1 of Stormlight) by Brandon Sanderson, brand new series
  • Athurian Saga by Jack Whyte (begins with Skystone)

I’ve chosen series that not many have heard of (like Harry Potter, Ice and Fire, Hunger Games…) and I can consider to be underrated. Check them out.

March 19, 2012

Top 10 Zombie Survival Rules





I hate zombies. I was never a fan of the whole shambling corpse thing. Oh sure they're dangerous in numbers or if they get the surprise on you. Was just never really a fan of the whole thing. And still aren't, really. Only the odd book, show or movie here and there. Until recently.


March 16, 2012

My Wishlist For My Book




There are some things I’d like to see happen, or have control of with my books (I haven’t completed the first one yet, but I have some ideas on where a book can end and another begin, should this become a series). This is all hypothetical, if I have tons of control, and if my books go wide, like being being available at Borders, Barnes and Noble, Chapters...

I’m a fan of continuity with the design and layout of a book. Let’s take for example some series like The Inheritance Cycle, The Hunger Games Trilogy, or even Twilight – all the books have an identical cover design and style, etc. I would like my books to have that. One cover artist, illustrator or designer working on all books would be ideal. Even type, any maps etc.. 
As much as I love George R.R. Martin’s Ice and Fire series (my favorite, actually) the style of the books has changed over the years; which can make things a tad…irksome for those who would like to have everything in a series to match. This in part to me being a completist. I cannot have a series that is mixed with hardcover & paperback in my collection. I did when I was younger, but since then I have all my series in either hardcover, or all in paperback. They all have a similar look.

Also, speaking of the actual books, I must address the format in how one reads. I personally love reading in part of having the actual book. I can understand the convenience of e-readers, and the environmental friendliness of them; but books should be kept alive. I’m not ruling e-books out, nor holding anything against them, but when my books launch, I want there to only be the hardcover edition for about a year. Then, after that, the paperback version would get released, about 10-14 months after the hardcover. I'm hoping for the same month but a year after. On the same day as the paperback release, the e-book version will also come out. That is to say if my book(s) are published by someone like Random House / Bantam Spectra, Knopf, Harper Collins, Bloomsbury, etc and follow the typical pattern.

I don't have any plans or wishes at this point for 'special' 'deluxe' or 'limited' editions. I would like:

Books 1-5, hardcover
Books 1-5, paperback
Books 1-5, e-format
(Books 1-5 audio?)
Books 1-5 Complete series box set, hardcover
Books 1-5 complete series box set, paperback
Books 1-5 complete series e-format.

I don't want any 'partial box sets' (for instance books 1-3 boxed together. There's no point - the series isn't finished yet.

That's about it...

As always with my entries, I appreciate & welcome comments. So I ask you - what, and how, would you like to see a book? I'm writing for me, so you readers have zero impact on the actual tales, but I'm curious how would like to read my stuff.

Some Minor Frustration: Need to Vent

First of all, wanted to let you know that I'm ok. I'm fine. I just need to get something off my chest.

I'm frustrated. I talk to & message people, and set up events in advance (so that they can make them), and I get rewarded with them being busy, no answer, or my favorite "Yeah I'll go!" Then 2-3 days later "oops can't make it." I should also mention that when they say they're busy, they have time enough to go out and have a good time, and have pictures taken. Um...hello? What am I, chopped liver?

I don't mean to come off as selfish or rude, but all I ask for is respect & people willing to make it to the events that I establish in advance, in hopes of others being able to attend. 

So from now on, no more. I'm ending it. No more disappointments, nada. If you want to see me, ask me. You have my cel number. I'm tired of making an effort and getting treated like shit for it.

My 'alone spare time' will now consist of reading, writing (blog included) & playing video games.

March 7, 2012

Winter is Coming to DVD & Blu-ray







Yesterday, season 1 of Game of Thrones came out to buy on DVD and blu-ray. If you're a fan, or you don't have HBO, or if you like: Gladiator or The Tudors, give it a shot. Please don't let HBO end it like they ended Rome and Deadwood.

Oh, and that is of course if you're not participating in Black March. If you are, Black Friday & Boxing Day sales near the end of the year should be awesome.

As for me, I'm going to wait for the series to end to get the massive complete series box set.

March 6, 2012

IN MEMORIAM: A TRIBUTE


Jennifer's final facebook display



The last time I saw Jennifer was at a dinner party some friends of mine were hosting. They live in LA, and were visiting during the summer, and got some people together for an evening while in town. I thought it’d be a great opportunity to catch up, and meet new people. Among them was Jennifer, whom I’d met a few times previously. We weren’t close, her and I, but we knew each other by face and name. That was the last time I’d seen her. I’m glad that she was having fun, laughing, and making jokes. Above all, smiling.

I first met her at a BBQ about 3-4 years ago. I'm not sure whose house the BBQ was hosted, but I remember Cheryl was demonstrating her BBQ skills. It was a fun night: food, drinks, company, and even a couple of rounds of guitar hero. (ed note: that may have been the first time I met Andre!).

When I had received word of her death, I was shocked. Completely, and utterly stunned. It wasn't like she was ill in the hospital, but to me, she was there, and then....
A few days after I had found out, the emotions had set in. Of course I was grieving. But what made me really feel was the devotion and how much she meant to her friends, however well they might have known her.
Just now, I'm looking at the facebook page, and it's up to 163 members, and 98 people are talking. 163. That is quite the reach & impact one person has had. It's something to think about how many people you yourself impact and affect, without even realizing it.

I'll be honest and say that I don't have much experience with death. I've lost both my great grand parents (not at once) when I was 10-15. My great grandfather was 95, and my great grandmother was 91. They passed because of their age.

My Mom's Dad had passed away about 4-6 years ago. He was in the hospital for about 2-4 weeks, and it seemed like he was able to recover, but didn't. That death was probably the one that impacted me the most. The feeling, is that it seems like he is away on vacation.

With Jennifer though, she was someone around my own age, and someone I had heard about (and even saw from time to time) on a regular basis. She was friends with some of my friends.

I don't want to get into the topic of religion or spirituality too deeply, but I need to mention something here. I'm not sure what you believe, or how you feel, but one thing I had always thought of and believe in is that, when we die, we will be reunited with those close to us whom we have lost. We will see them again once it's our time. That however does that mean that when people pass from this world it's any easier to bear the weight of their departure.

Now that I have found place for Jennifer in my heart, it's become easier for me to bear the weight of her passing. I will never forget her.


“…And if the darkness is to keep us apart
And if the daylight feels like it's a long way off
And if your glass heart should crack
And for a second you turn back
Oh no, be strong

And I know it aches
And your heart, it, breaks
And you can only take so much…”

U2, “Walk On”

March 1, 2012

Black March: Entertianment Boycott

Just a very quick post today....



Can you do it? I'm doing it, and will wait till April to buy / download anything they mention. I welcome all to try. Makes March a cheap month eh?