Mind Sieve 10/5/15


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Happy Monday!

(or is that an oxymoron?) :P

Fan Fun

Found these guys by accident. They have a Kickstarter for the game called “Essence” – looks fab! Here’s a peek. Hope they make it!

The Revenant Official Trailer – looks rough~! People are gonna pay! Heh heh

A Christmas Horror Story Trailer – LOL! Santa and his bro in mortal combat! lol.

Pay the Ghost Official Trailer #1 – guess that time of year is coming!

Author Platform/Social Media

Branding and the Brain—What We Post On-Line Matters by Kristen Lamb.

How to Manage Your Facebook Page Effectively by Kristi Hines at the Social Media Examiner.

Writing Advice

The Risks of Offering a Freebie by Jami Gold. Some great insight on why and why not to offer free stuff as an author.

Why Editing (By an Editor Who Isn’t You) Matters by John Adamus at Terribleminds.com. Great info peeps!

Virtual Tourist – Final Fantasy XIV 10/4/15


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Morning all!

Final Fantasy XIV

Old Gridania

Lancer Guild

This guy has different views on how Lancers should be. He might just become my characters future boyfriend. If he doesn’t get me killed. lol.

That’s my sensei in the background. First met the rival when he came to challenge everyone in the dojo. My master would not rise to his taunts. Heh heh

Central Shroud

Riding my first Chocobo! Woot! What’s truly hilarious is they play a Bonanza like song when you ride the Chocobo from station to station. Hee!

Some Aardvark like creatures that have been causing trouble. Nifty little tents!

Though the local tents are also cool. And new armor!

Hah! A closeup!

Hubby is staring up at the Mail station. The mail guy looks so cute!

Pet Caster’s pet. Cutest things ever!

I so love all the lovely detail!

Wharf area at night

Some mound burial crypts out in the Shroud zone.

Inside one of them. Before we got mauled. Heh heh

Our first view of the Adventurer’s housing area. Really cool. And so expensive! Gack!

Have a super Sunday!

Movie Review – The Martian


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The Martian

Starring: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Sean Bean, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mackenzie Davis, Donald Glover, and more.

Directed by: Ridley Scott Screenplay by: Drew Goddard Based on the Novel by: Andy Weir  Cinematography by: Dariusz Wolski Music by: Harry Gregson-Williams

Premise: When the Ares III Mission on Mars is aborted due to a massive storm, Mark Watney is left for dead after being hit and swept away by a large antenna. Alone and stranded on the red planet, Mark tries to find ways to survive on what little he has left, knowing help is at least four years away. (Rated PG-13)


1) Acting – Total Thumbs Up: Matt Damon does an awesome job as the stranded, humorous and somewhat egotistical, Mark Watney. Strong performances from Jeff Daniels and Jessica Chastain. I also loved the little subtle bits of acting by Kate Mara. Donald Glover was a lovely treat as Rich Purnell.

2) Special Effects – Total Thumbs Up: From the burning wood chips to the amazing landscape of Mars, the special effects department did a fantastic job. The more we saw of the planet, the more awesome the work got. Make sure to pay attention to the skies too! Lots of little touches to proclaim we are not on Earth.

They also got to have some fun with disasters – from minor to large! And the first storm was just too darn cool! So much to love from the special effects teams! If you don’t wince or cringe as Mark fixes himself after coming conscious on Mars… alone… you’re not human. Heh heh.

And wait until you see the super cool dust devils and other neat weather phenomena. The views from space are awesome.

Not as visually stunning as Prometheus, but with a much better plot, so the tradeoff is so worth it. :P And the 3D adds a lot to the film.

3) Plot/Story – Total Thumbs Up: I’ve not read the novel the movie is based on yet, though my Mom and Richard totally adored it. Looking forward to that!

Movie wise, most of the plot is pretty straight forward and the ending no surprise. While much of the film is just Matt Damon alone, his little quips and jokes make watching him a lot of fun. The science is pretty solid, too, and they explain things so even laymen can understand but done in such a way they’re not talking down to the audience. There’s also enough politics and maneuverings back on Earth to add some nice tension.

The most fun though is seeing how inventive Mark and those back on Earth get in trying to solve all the different problems they keep running into. Some true ingenuity happens here.

Also impressive (and disturbing) were the visual hints of the effects on Mark’s body from having to rough it on rationed food and his having to wear a spacesuit for weeks/months on end.

4) Stunts – Total Thumbs Up: Several lovely stunts, mostly at Mark’s expense. Some real nice smooth maneuvering by Kate Mata on the Hermes. She made moving around in zero G seem like a ballet.

5) Cinematography – Total Thumbs Up: This film is definitely worth seeing on the big screen and in 3D. The awesome cinematography of Earth, space, and Mars is so totally worth it. Beautiful sweeping views of Mars from any number of angles. Some agle play was done as well with the closer views of the characters – wall mounted cams or those in the suits and vehicles made for some interesting perspectives, but not done so much or so long it becomes bothersome rather than neat.

Conclusion: “The Martian” is a gorgeous film with solid science and a ton of ingenuity. Definitely worth seeing in 3D.

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again!)

Picture Kaleidoscope 9/30/15


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Dragon’s Back by Tom Jackson at Earthshots.org. Neat idea~! Mr. Jackson has a ton of truly impressive prints at his site as well.

In Search of Ancient Spirits by Yegor Malinovskii at Earthshots.org – he’s got a lot of other lovely photos at his site. :)

Kirsty Mitchell’s ‘Wonderland’ Finished After 6.5 Years and 74 Photographs by Michael Zhang at PetaPixel. Photography by Kristy Mitchell. These have to be seen to be believed! I can see how it took 6.5 years! Dang! So surreal. She has even more photos of Wonderland on her site.

Mystery of the Well by Ed Mooney – pics of a Holy Well in Cork, Ireland.

Have fun!

Mind Sieve 9/28/15


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Morning, all!

Running behind as usual… :P

The Angry Birds Movie Teaser Trailer – this looks adorable!

Marvel’s Jessica Jones – Good Morning – New series coming to Netflix. :) I’ve not heard of her before. Sweet!

Reversion Official Trailer – looks interesting!

Momentum Official Trailer – booyah!

Have a fabulous week!

Virtual Tourist – Final Fantasy XIV 9/27/15


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Fencon has been a ton of fun so far. Trying to get this done before we go back for the last day. :)

Final Fantasy XIV

New/Old Gridania

Main Storyline



Crystal Shards full of life and power

Big sucker!

Recurring character – she and her partner show up all sorts of places. :)

He screams slime! (I should run out of pics with the UI in them soon?)

I do love the buildings!

One of the pets for pet masters and look at the cute fairy!

Night time.

I think my finger wasn’t fast enough here?

More trouble

See, here they are again to help me out or give info. :P

This is my Inn Room! Nice, no?

Fountain to the side.

Lovely desk and windows!

The door

Main lobby of the Adventurer’s guild

Love the stained glass!

Gorgeous, no?

So pretty!

Have an awesome Sunday!

Fencon Schedule for 9/25-9/27/15


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This weekend I’ll be at Fencon!


Where: New Hotel this year! Being held at The Westin Dallas Fort Worth Airport

When: September 25-27, 2015

ChibiChains and I will be in the Dealer’s Room.

Below is my schedule for the weekend!

Rebels vs. Big Damn Heroes:

Without question, Firefly/Serenity fans and Star Wars devotees are two of most passionate groups in fandom. From the ongoing charity work of the Browncoats and the 501st/Rebel Legion alike, fans have taken these two massive science fiction franchises far beyond the screen. How can two such different ideas strike the same chords in so many fans? Join us as we compare and contrast!

Friday  12:00 PM  Chinaberry

What will I share with anyone brave enough to show up? You’ll have to wait and see. Bwahahahaha

Friday  2:30 PM  Pecan

Yard Dog Press Road Show (If I am alive that late.) :P

Those wild folks from Yard Dog once again explain to you what you’re missing with a show…well it’s kind of a…um, you’re just going to have to go see it!

Friday  10:00 PM  Red Oak

FenCon Squares (Last Minute Addition!)

It’s the classic game show Hollywood Squares with a FenCon twist! Join us for an hour of fun and games as our panel of guests try to help (or bluff) our contestants. We even have a “Secret Square” in each game! Come check it out. You might win a prize!

Saturday 10:00 AM

Monsters from the ID: Forbidden Planet and its Lasting Impact

It was the first big budget SF movie, and it remains popular among fans. It influenced everything from Star Trek to Babylon 5. We’ll discuss the themes, imagery, and legacy of this pivotal classic.

Saturday  1:00 PM  Trinity V

Boon or Bane? Disruptive Technologies of the Future

For good or ill, the internet and mobile technologies have radically transformed how we live and work in just a few short years. How will new technologies like next generation genomics, 3D printing, autonomous robotics, advanced materials, and more affect us in the near future?

Saturday  2:00 PM  Trinity VII

Top 10 Sci-Fi Movies Discussion

What are the top 10 must-see sci-fi movies (i.e., the movies every sci-fi fan needs to see)? Panelists and audience members propose movies and discuss why that movie should be considered.

Saturday  3:00 PM  Trinity VII

The Revolution Will Be Printed In 3D

A few years ago a 3D printer was an almost mythical device that only large corporations had. Now you can buy them at office supply stores. From bio-printing to complex multi-material printers, how will this amazing new technology transform the way we work and live?

Sunday  1:00 PM  Trinity VI

I think I’m going to be a little busy this weekend! lol!

Hope to see you there!

Virtual Tourist – Final Fantasy XIV 9/20/15


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Final Fantasy XIV

New/Old Gridania and Central Shroud

This is like a shopping mall of sorts. Tons of independent vendors and access to the trade board/

The outside of the Lancers Guild – Guilds here mean professions. Your player guilds are called Free Companies

Lance Master giving me instruction.

All the buildings are just so cute!!

Central Shroud – That’s a forest guardian. Really neat looking. Normally not aggro, but later on…

Side shot of the Inn/Meeting hall. So pretty!

Lovely no?

Giant face mask in the Lancers Guild.

Lovely night sky!

Chocobo farm in Bentbrook (I think that’s the name)

Things that need killing. lol. :)

My second set of armor. Kind of nice hot having every inch of skin showing like in some other games. :)

Nightime in Gridania

Really love this place

Chocobo rental spot. You can’t use it till level 15 or so. Cheaper than teleporing and they play a Bonanza style song, which cracked me up!

Main storyline film. Trying to find a masked stranger causing trouble by going to the old stump.

These two adventurers keep popping up in my life. They’re investigating odd phenomena due to energy surges.

The disruption has just made the nice treant go mad.

No idea about this – yet look at the detail! lol. I think I wasn’t fast enough with the trigger pic finger. :P

Things are happening!

Yes, I’ve been going a little photo crazy. DOH!

Why There Was No Friday Movie Review This Week And Why I Hate Shaky Cam


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Greetings all!

While last week we were feeling ill and not much was out so we skipped going to the movies, this week I didn’t get the review done for a whole other reason….

The dreaded Shaky Cam Effect!

Ugh! I really wish directors would get a clue and quit using this technique or at least use it super sparingly! When there’s too much of it it makes me dizzy and want to hurl. And it normally takes me several hours for the feelings to pass once they’ve built up. Time I would have spent writing my review! Waaaahhhh.

And for this particular film, I think the CGI Baud Rate was also low so it added to the subliminal sick effect. I’d only ever have this affect me in games, but is it now going to become a cause of illness in movies? There were also a tons of big sweeping camera moves that did not help the situation one bit. *sigh*

The latest culprit in the Shaky Cam Wars is The Maze Runner: The Scorch. So BEWARE!!!

I loved the first film in the series – The Maze Runner – as you can see from the review here. And it had no shaky cam, and it didn’t make me ill, and it actually was GOOD. (Can’t say the same for the sequel. *cry*)

Anyway, I’ll hopefully get to write a proper review sometime this week to post next Friday, as I will have a convention that weekend and no chance to go see a film. (If you’re in Dallas, though, you should come! Check out who’ll be there and what there’s to do at FenCon!)

Anyway, figure I’d share why you didn’t get a review on time…

Curse you Shaky Cam!!!!

Picture Kaleidoscope 9/16/15


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Morning all!

Feeling super sleepy today.

Elegant Form by Linn Smith at Earthshots.org. Elegant is right! What a lovely shot!

Glowing Coast by Adam Woodworth at Earthshots.org.  Gorgeous! He has more beautiful pics at his site and even tutorials!

Hidden Lake by Ryan Buchanan at Earthshots.org Lovely! Seems almost surreal, no? He has other gems at his website as well. :)

The Beautiful Architecture of India’s Ancient Stepwells by Michael Zhang at Petapixel.  Photography by Victoria Lautman. Make sure to use the link, some of the pics are just mind boggling. The time and detail people took in creating these wells. Dang!

This Amazing High-Res View of Pluto Was Made Using 26 New NASA Photos by Michael Zhang at Petapixel. Compiled by Daniel Machacek. How cool!

Have a fab Wednesday!


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