Picture Kaleidoscope 9/17/14

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Morning all!

Photographer Turns His Lens on Cute and Sassy Alley Cats in Japan at PetaPixel. Article by Michael Zhang. Photography by Alexandre Bonnefoy. Love the cat’s expression. LOL.

Time Sends War Photographer to Shoot Zombies in a Video Game at PetaPixel. Article by Michael Zhang. Photography by Ashley Gilbertson. LOL. This is awesome! Virtual Photography is catching on. Hee hee!

Awakening Torres by Artur Stanisz at Earthshots.org. Ooooo!

He does lovely landscape work! Go Artur Stanisz!

Another View of Cuttalossa by Bryan D Nord at Earthshots.org

May your Wednesday be a quiet and productive one!

Mind Sieve 9/15/15

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Greetings!

MindSieve

Fan Fun

Serena Official Trailer – more 20’s coincidence streak. :P

The Homesman US Release Trailer – this looks fab! Weirdest premise ever!

Sniper: Legacy Official Trailer 1 – Oooo! Guns, explosion, and Sarah Shahi!

Miss Meadows Official Trailer 1 – This should be a weird one. Woot!

Author Platform/Social Media

Twitter Buy Button: This Week in Social Media from the Social Media Examiner – article by Cindy King. (Okay, the Swarn Leatherbord is kind of creepy, IMHO, especially with the awards…)

Writing and Social: Why the Written Word is Your Marketing Advantage from Social Media Examiner by Michael Stelzner. Lots of info here in text (if you’ve no time for a podcast (like me!)) and the cheese video is precious.

Writing Advice

Feedback: Finding Problems vs. Fixing Problems by Jami Gold. Good advice! Have definitely run into this before, and have probably done to others. Doh!

The sinuses are speaking in tongues today, so this will be it for this round. :( Have a great Monday!

Virtual Tourist – TERA 9/14/14

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Morning, morning, morning… :)

TERA

Ostgarath

Here, kitty, kitty, kitty.

 Azarel’s Labyrith

The confrontation room with the traitor to the Federation

I helped – see, I’m in the background. lol

The goddess appears to belay our fears and give us hope.

Upstairs view of the final room.

Gorgeous ceilings

A birdie statue! Really a great room!

Back in the Labyrith

Jagged Coast

Nice little outpost. Lucky so-and-so’s!

Cliffs across the Jagged Coast

Beach turtles. They get red when aggroed. Not happy about being attacked at all.

Pirate Grotto

Grounded pirate ship. Pretty far inland too!

Entrance to the Pirate Grotto

Funky look for an NPC. Heh heh – Pirate Wench Maid? :P

That is an Entrance!

Water barrels. Really a neat look.

Open hall in the grotto.

Poor slobs that got played with in the grotto. Eek!

Hope you have a fabulous day!

Picture Kaleidoscope 9/10/14

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Morning all!

Oh yeah, look at that sky! Go, Texas!

 

Muted colors of morning.

 

Some nice contrast going on.

 

Even better!

 

Some of the ladies at work really know how to decorate. :)

 

That glitter will be with her for the rest of the year. lol.

 

Too cute!

 

Was trying to catch the clouds in the distance. They looked like a giant wave.

 

You can see it better on this one. Sometimes pictures don’t do RL justice. 

Have a great Wednesday! 

Mind Sieve 9/8/14

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Greetings!

Min

  

Fan Fun

Simon’s Cat – Washed Up – poor Simon. lol. 

 

The Librarians – New TNT series based off of the original movies. Could be fun!

 

Inner Demons – Of course someone comes out with a movie using a title of a book I released this year. lol. And weirdly enough, we both thought of it for the same inner meanings. Heh heh. Mine’s urban fantasy and not so much horror though. Heh.

 

The Pyramid Trailer – a 3 sided not, 4 sided pyramid discovered in the desert and is deep rather than above ground. Nice! Hello D&D Dungeon of Doom! 

 

Writing Advice

5 Tips For Long-Term Writing Success from Kristen Lamb.

How to Make Sure Readers Don’t Close The Book by Jami Gold. Her top 3’s are mine too. I’ve read beautifully worded stuff that bad character actions and illogical buildups made me put it down never to return.

 
 No social media stuff this week. Ran out of time. :(

Virtual Tourist – TERA 9/7/14

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Morning all!

TERA

Ostgarath

Jagged Coast

More evil crabs!

 

Shipwreck off the beach

 

Cute little hut at the edge of town

Mist Moor Island

 

Beasties everywhere!

 

Some funky cliff decorations

 

Me!

 

They’re everywhere!

 

Shallow sea crossing to Mist Moor Island

Ascension Valley

 

Bigger cliff decorations. 

Azarel’s Labyrinth

 

Spooky looking even from far off, no?

 

Definitely spooky looking. :P

 

Inside the giant halls of Azarel’s Labyrinth

 

Some lovely gold decorations

 

Spooky looking staicase. Notice the eye over the far entry. They are watching you!

 

Main hall area with a ton of connecting hallways. So pretty!

 

Cool carvings on the walls.

 

Backside of the main hall.

 

Lovely friends to ask directions from – NOT!

Have a great day!

Movie Review – Magic in the Moonlight

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Magic in the Moonlight

Starring: Colin Firth, Emma Stone, Eileen Atkins, Simon McBurney, Jacki Weaver, Erica Leerhsen, Jeremy Shamos, Hamish Linklater, Marcia Gay Harden, and more.

Directed by: Woody Allen, Written by: Woody Allen Cinematography by: Darius Khondji

Premise: A fellow magician asks Stanley, aka Wei Long Soo, to come with him to the south of France to help debunk a psychic who’s ingratiated herself with a friend’s family. Exposing fake mediums being one of his hobbies, Stanley agrees. Yet Sophie turns out to be very different from what he was expecting. And her powers seem to actually be the real thing – throwing his beliefs about life entirely topsy-turvy. (Rated PG-13)

Review:

1) Acting – Total Thumbs Up: Colin Firth is delightful as the egotistical, genius, and magician, Stanley. He does a fabulous job of being the arrogant disbeliever while charming the audience at the same time. Emma Stone was a lot of fun as Sophie, who is the almost polar opposite of Stanley. Eileen Atkins as Aunt Vanessa gave as good as she got. It was a blast watching her steer her nephew along. Seeing Jackie Weaver again, as bubbly as ever, was an extra treat. Hamish Linklater just made you feel sad for poor, besotted, ukulele playing Brice.

2) Special Effects – Total Thumbs Up: A lot of subtle effects – from the beginning with the amazing skills of Wei Long Soo, to the floating candle, or the fast moving lightning storm. The special effects department did some lovely work.

3) Plot/Story – Total Thumbs Up: I tend to have coincidences or ‘runs’ of similar things and this film landed in my current trend of things to stumble into in the form of both the 20’s and magic. (Hubby and I had just this week watched the Houdini special on the History Channel as well as episodes of Poirot.) In many ways Stanley is a British Houdini – they even mentioned how he got his start as an escape artist. Another aspect related to Houdini was how he spent a lot of time after his mother’s death seeking a true medium – and exposing all those who were fakes. Houdini’s intent (and Stanley’s secret hope) to find a real medium through whom he could contact his parent.

Wei Long Soo even did the disappearing elephant trick! 

The film’s story is pretty straight forward, but does have some lovely unexpected twists. It plays a lot with expectations and assumptions, even the blindness of narrow mindedness. But what makes the film a true treat is the witty repartee between Sophia, Stanley, and others as well as the giant verbal blunders by Stanley when speaking to Sophia. Watching the Aunt work her own brand of magic was also highly entertaining. 

4) Locations/Cinematography – Total Thumbs Up: From the theater in Germany to the lovely gardens, and the coast of southern France, the locations definitely set the stage. By adding in all the great Jazz and 20’s music, it was easy for the audience to be transported back to 1928.

Conclusion: “Magic in the Moonlight” is a nice, quirky romance with an odd but fun cast of characters. The verbal fencing, especially towards the end, made it very fun to watch.  

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Virtual Tourist – TERA 8/31/14

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Morning!

 

TERA
Ostgarath
Jagged Coast

 

Tree outposts with bridges and you can climb them! Woot!

 

View from one of them.

 

No clue what I was taking a picture of here. DOH!

 

The newest set of armor.

 

Pilons in the jungle road.

 

Weirdest looking pirate ever! But what a spiffy golden skull accessory!

 

A bad guy village

 

Down in the bad guy village

 

Innocent seeming path

 

The giant crab that will tear you a new one on the seemingly innocent path! (THose crabs are BAD!)

 

View off the seashore.

 

More evil crabs!!!!

 

Have a great one!

MInd Sieve 9/1/14

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Happy Labor Day!

Fan Fun

 

The Two Faces of January Official Trailer #1 – looks super suspenseful.

 

Bird People Official Trailer – starts average then ramps up with the birds! Could be cool.

 

Outcast Trailer 1 – Booyah! Pumped for this one!

 

Seventh Son Trailer 2 – this looks fun!
 

 

Author Platform/Social Media

How to Get Started With Visual Content Marketing from the SocialMedia Examiner – article by Donna Moritz.

 

I made this with Canda (who are mentioned in the article) and my own pic. Hee! (I might have to keep it! Bwahahahahahaha!)

 

Writing Advice

 

Cure for Perfectionism: 10 Tips to Perfect Imperfection for Writers by Beth Barany. Hmmmm, I do some of these. Who knew? lol!

 

The Writer and Depression by Chuck (NSFW) Wendig. Great advice!

 

Hope you have a wonderful day!
 

Movie Review – Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

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Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

 

 

Starring: Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rosario Dawson, Bruce Willis, Eva Green, Powers Boothe, Dennis Haysberth, Ray Liotta, Christopher Meloni, Jeremy Piven, Christopher Lloyd, Jamie King, Juno Temple, and more.

 

Directed by: Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez Written by: Frank Miller Based on the Graphic Novels by: Frank Miller Cinematography by: Robert Rodriguez Music by: Robert Rodriguez and Carl Thiel

 

Premise: Sin City means different things to different people, but they all have a story to tell – the dancer trying to shore her courage to get revenge on the man who killed the only one who ever tried to protect her; the young buck trying to make a name for himself and ends up getting in too deep; the old lover drawn back by the femme fatale who broke his heart when she comes asking for his help. And all the stories tied together by the one man who knows the city best, except when his mind forgets – he has a condition. (Rated R)

 

Review:

 

1) Acting – Total Thumbs Up: Many familiar faces grace the screen — several reprising roles from the original “Sin City” film, while other make their mark in the city for the first time. Mickey Rourke is still a total hoot as “Marv”. Bruce Willis reprises his role as Hartigan, back from the grave. Jessica Alba definitely proves the nine years between films have not slowed her down, and she gives a great performance on multiple levels as Nancy. Josh Brolin is “noir” to his core. Eva Green, though, steals the show, proving once more her tremendous and hypnotic range.

 

2) Special Effects – Total Thumbs Up: As in the original “Sin City” there’s a lot of play with black and white and flashes of vivid colors or flip flopping contrasts — they all looked great. Some subtle storytelling also went on with the colors, which added some nice flavor to the tales. The women were being their true selves when their hair, eyes, lips, or face had color, otherwise…

 

The characters with the larger than life faces or bodies were expertly done. The power player Ava talks to during her party looked so realistic I couldn’t believe she wanted to be that close to him. And the few shots of Dwight’s face after some of his troubles, and of Johnny’s hand, had me twitching in sympathy in my seat.

 

The visuals and sweeps during Nancy’s nightmare scene were very nice.

 

3) Plot/Story – Thumbs Up: It’s been nine years between films, but “Sin City: A Dame To Kill For” picks up not far from the end of the original, so those who’ve not seen the first movie either recently or ever, will have a hard time connecting with the characters. While they do give information on what has gone before it’s not enough to deepen the experience. (So be sure to watch/rewatch the first one before seeing this one!)

 

There’s three stories, all of which connect through Marv or the bar. You see a piece of each one in turn, the middle one running on through to its end, then back to the others in reverse order. Because they don’t have much to do with each other, and the Dwight storyline was so involving and long, by the time they got to the other two, I’d totally forgotten about them – so it was almost a jolt to realize there was more. 

 

There were also a couple of bits they threw in at the beginning with Marv that were never actually resolved – you knew to whom Marv’s jacket and gloves belonged to, but not how he got them. So that made things seem a little disjointed, especially after so specifically drawing the audience’s attention to them.

 

4) Stunts – Total Thumbs Up: Gun battles, car chases, knives, jumping and being thrown through windows, and lots of fists totally fit the films “noir” feel. Add in some crossbows, samurai swords, and tough girls, and there’s plenty of stunt fun to be had by all.

 

5) Locations/Cinematography – Total Thumbs Up: Real or imagined, the locations for the different scenes worked beautifully. Merging reality and CGI as well as playing with shadows and moonlight made for some lovely cinematography. 

 

Conclusion: I’d definitely recommend making sure to see the original “Sin City” before venturing to see “Sin City: A Dame To Kill For” – this should definitely fill in some of the gaps to make the film have more impact and get you as the audience more vested in what’s going on. There’s lots of lovely visuals and plenty of fist action. The R Rating should be taken seriously for younger viewers – this is not for kids. But the adults should have an entertaining time. 

 

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)   

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