Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

It’s September 8th, and the 55th anniversary of the first airing of Star Trek: The Original Series. Now, I was always a Star Wars fan first and foremost* but Mr Man persuaded me to revisit and reassess, and I’m glad he did. The more geeky space fun, the better, as far as I’m concerned.

Want to know more, or commune with fellow Trekkies basking in the glory that is the Trekiverse? Click through for links to the annual Star Trek Day celebration:

Star Trek Day 2021: Celebrate 55 years of Trek with live panels and more tonight | Space

In closing…

(You know what I’m going to say, which also says something about the remarkable reach of this show into the global consciousness.)

Live long, and prosper.

* * *

Photo by Stefan Cosma on Unsplash

* * *

* The show had ended by the time I was ready for such things, and without a television even reruns were off the table. Hard to obsess over a series that you can’t watch!

Read Full Post »

In my roles as a writer and as a person, I read a lot. Some books I purchase, but many I access through my local library. How great is that?*

So I just spent a non-zero amount of time writing a little AppleScript to automagically run a search in any of the four area library systems that share e-book resources. 

Was it necessary? No. I could click through my library portal and into each separate library system for every book I want to check, one stodgy button at a time. Ho hum.

Does this script save time and my wrists and open up new worlds of possibilities?

Yes.

Was it fun to make?

Also yes:)

* * *

I know, it’s a store, not a library. But she’s having so much fun! Photo by Ying Ge on Unsplash

* I love books, and I’m lucky enough to live in a society that supports public libraries. In fact, I made a modest donation to my local library the other day, and hope it helps bring just a little more literacy and knowledge and enjoyment to my city.

Read Full Post »

Does everything have to be perfect in order for a story to work? Nope. 

Here’s the script and breakdown for Star Wars:

Star Wars: A New Hope Script — Screenplay Analysis and PDF Download

par·sec| ˈpärsek | (abbreviation pc) noun

a unit of distance used in astronomy, equal to about 3.26 light years (3.086 × 1013 kilometers). One parsec corresponds to the distance at which the mean radius of the earth’s orbit subtends an angle of one second of arc.

A parsec is a measurement of distance, not time. Twelve of those do not a winning Kessel Run make, but, as millions of fans (and yes, dollars) attest, no one cares. The story works.

These are the things I think about when I’m stuck on a plot point, or deep in historical or technical weeds.

Just keep going.

* * *

Photo by Sam Balye on Unsplash

Read Full Post »

Here’s a heaping helping of free fiction, with a side of motivation. John Scalzi’s first novel is posted free to read on his site. It’s the web version, with each chapter its own link and charmingly antiquated page design, but the novel is fun.

Agent to the Stars

After a long day of work sometimes you just want to dust yourself off, meet an alien at the corner bar, and laugh a little. At least I do:)

Scalzi refers to this as his practice novel, but it’s well written and entertaining. (If you’d rather get the full version, the book was eventually published via traditional means, so visit your favorite retailer.) It’s also a great example of what can be done if you just knuckle up to the keyboard and see what comes out.

Which I will absolutely do. Tomorrow.

* * *

Photo by Thom Milkovic on Unsplash

Read Full Post »

Busy day today, and none of the three ideas I had for this post came together. Instead, have some fiction, this time read to you by Levar Burton. (You know, the Jeopardy host, and oh yes, Roots and Star Trek and Reading Rainbow and a few other things as well;)

His podcast is Levar Burton Reads, and he picks some of the best speculative short* fiction out there. So when you have a few minutes, sit back, listen, and relax.

* * *

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

* Shortish, anyway. Reading aloud always takes a bit of time, so a typical episode is about an hour.

Read Full Post »

Oh, this is fun. If you have a little map, environment and/or geography geek streak, check out this interactive:

River Runner by Sam Learner

* * *

“Do unto those downstream as you would have those upstream do unto you.”

― Wendell Berry

When a raindrop falls, where does it go? If it falls on my hometown, it flows 390km to the Atlantic Ocean.

If it falls on the Denver Broncos’ Mile High 50-yard line, just east of the Continental Divide, the path to the Gulf of Mexico is 3862km!

Click a starting point and the site will calculate a route and then do a visual fly-over. I wish it covered places outside the US but it’s still a fun and impressive window into data from the always excellent USGS.*

* Ah, the USGS, font of so much maptitude! Wait, is that a volcano webcam? Stop browsing, woman, you have work to do! But remind me to tell you my volcano story someday:)

* * *

river running through a forested glade
Photo by Dave Hoefler on Unsplash

Read Full Post »

When it comes to writing, I try to study the substance behind the story, the skeleton that supports the larger whole. Novels have time to throw curve balls, and short stories can just upend everything because they don’t always give you all the information up front, but television and movies? I find that they tend to be much more predictable.

* * *

One thing I’ve noticed is that the more closely I study the structure of fiction, the easier it is to predict the course of any particular show. 

This is useful because it helps me better study and understand story structure. It’s also less helpful because it leads to me muttering things like “Yep, you’re definitely going to die,” and “Oh yeah, he did it,” or “Well, if you didn’t want to die a horrible death, you shouldn’t have had that heartfelt moment with the main character. Did your mother teach you nothing?!” 

This is also why I love shows like Resident Alien and Sherlock and Wynonna Earp and Killjoys. Great characters and humor, plus creative, often unpredictable storylines and dynamics. And they’re just fun.

Dear Industry of Entertainment, please do not underestimate the power of fun.

Especially after the year we’ve just had.

* * *

This brings me to my apology: Dear Mr Man, I am sorry for the ongoing commentary (ok, heckling, let’s just call it what it is) during shows. Please understand that it is a natural extension of my ongoing writerly education. 

Also, we bought that high-capacity PVR for a reason. We can always rewind:)

* * *

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Read Full Post »

I used to love waking up to Saturday morning cartoons at my grandparents’ (no TV at our house, I may have mentioned), but now that I’m an adult I’ve moved beyond such childish things. Right?

This morning Mr. Man turned on the TV and quickly found a station playing Spy, Paul, Battleship and True Lies. Cheers all around!

So, maybe not much has changed:)* 

* * *

Photo by Doug Maloney on Unsplash

* * *

* Well, except for the fact that now I have a PVR the size of Texas and can record them all!

Read Full Post »

It’s time for more free fiction! The Locus SF Foundation has announced the top finalists in each award category. Many of the shorts and novelettes are free to read online.

Check out the full roster from Locus, with standard font links for open access work and bold for purchasing links. Here’s the abbreviated list of free material:

* * *

NOVELETTE

SHORT STORY

* * *

person in space suit looking at the sky
Seriously though, I couldn’t be an astronaut, how do they scratch their noses? I think I’ll design a pivoting arm with a micro joy stick on the outside of the helmet. Unless they already have those? Photo by Adam Miller on Unsplash

Read Full Post »

I’m a little bit beat. I know it’s May the Fourth and therefore Star Wars Day, but I’m not quite up to a long-form essay on all that this world has meant for me.

Suffice it to say, I’m a fan.

If you’re in the mood for a quick recap of the main movies (or an introduction, I won’t judge!), here’s a quick summation by Star Wars actor Daisy Ridley, with a little help from Jimmy Fallon:

If you’d rather go back to the beginning and study the source, check out this piece on the first movie’s script:

Star Wars: A New Hope Script — Screenplay Analysis and PDF Download

We’re going to break down the essential aspects of the Star Wars script, and how George Lucas made a science-fiction classic.

Buckle up, we’re going into hyperdrive…

* * *

Photo by Honza Kurka on Pexels.com

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »