Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Movie "NO" List

I like movies and I watch a lot of them on DVD/Blu-Ray through Netflix. I watch 3 every 2 weeks. This justifies the cost of Netflix but doesn't get me throttled . . . much.

Lately I've had the problem of keeping movies in my queue. They suck out as Netflix mails them to me, but very few new releases are being added. At one point I had 6 movies in my queue and  22 new releases in my "Saved Titles." I'm sure what's going to happen is in November and December a bunch of those movies will move up into the queue as they are released for Christmas sales.

So I've been adding a lot of old movies and classics and things just to keep that queue full (I recently added the four discs of the first season of Community).  The last movie I watched on a Netflix disc was How Green was My Valley from 1941. It's a classic, John Ford-directed film that won multiple Oscars. And I'm glad I saw it but it's not the kind of movie I'd want to see more than once.

Another problem I have is there are whole categories of films I refuse to watch. That's the movie "no" list. One, is horror, especially slasher films. I hate them. Two is chick flicks. I tell my wife "No movies were someone dies of natural causes." Another category is any movie with Meryl Streep.

These aren't hard and fast rules. I like the original Poltergeist. I've see The Cabin in the Woods but that was more a satire of slasher films. I've seen Still Alice and The Help (I don't think anyone dies in either of those). And I've seen Stuck on You where Ms. Streep had a cameo (so I didn't realize she was in it) and Adaptation because it was a movie about writing and Streep played against type, so I made an exception.

With those rules in mind, it's sometimes a challenge to keep my queue full. I watch a lot of classics. Ignoring Community, the movies in my queue were made 1959, 1942, 1958, 1939, 1967, 1943, 1949, 1966, and 1967. Oh, and 2015 (Mad Max: Fury Road just popped into my queue this morning for a 9/29 release date).


Friday, August 28, 2015

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Laura Enright and Chris Kennedy


Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are proud to welcome Laura Enright and Chris Kennedy

Laura Enright

I was born in Chicago and have been interested in writing all my life.

My early inspirations were the works of H.G. Welles, Edgar Allen Poe, Frederick Pohl, Mike Royko, Harry Harrison and Douglas Adams to name a few. Some of my most treasured moments came upon the arrival of her orders from the Science Fiction Book Club which featured books that transported me to far off worlds and times. Early on, shows like Star Trek, Doctor Who, Max Headroom and Quantum Leap helped cement my love for science fiction and fantasy and encourage me to come up with tales of her own to tell.

In 2005 Potomac Publishers, as part of their Most Wanted series, published my Chicago’s Most Wanted: The Top 10 Book of Murderous Mobsters, Midway Monsters, and Windy City Oddities.

In 2010 Potomac asked her to write another book in the series so she offered them Vampires’ Most Wanted: The Top Ten Book of Bloodthirsty Biters, Stake-wielding Slayers, and Other Undead Oddities (in keeping with the fiction series she was also working on featuring a vampire chef in modern day Chicago). The book was published in 2011.

I’ve been heard on the radio, conducted author talks and appeared in the Southern Kentucky Book Fair in 2012.

Other notable writing assignments included a weekly guest review for the show “House” during its fifth season which appeared on the Sun-Times/Pioneer Press Entertaining Ideas media blog. I also moderated a monthly online book chat for that news organization for which I wrote blog pieces that corresponded with chosen books and appeared on the Pioneer Pageturners blog site.

To Touch the Sun, the first novel in my Chicago Vampire Series was published in February by Dagda Publishers and is available in paperback and Kindle formats on Amazon. The sequel, Ujaali, is due out soon.

Laura's books:

Chicago’s Most Wanted: The Top Ten Book of Murderous Mobsters, Midway Monsters and Windy-City Oddities

Vampires’ Most Wanted: The Top Ten Book of Bloodthirsty Biters, Stake-wielding Slayers, and Other Undead Oddities

To Touch the Sun

Laura's Links:

Webpage
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Pintrest

Chris Kennedy
Chris Kennedy

A bestselling Science Fiction/Fantasy author and speaker, Chris Kennedy is a former naval aviator with over 3,000 hours flying attack and reconnaissance aircraft. Chris is currently works as an Instructional Systems Designer for the Navy.

Chris' full length novels include the "Occupied Seattle" military fiction duology, the "Theogony" science fiction trilogy and the "War for Dominance" fantasy trilogy. Chris has also published the nonfiction book "Indie Publishing for Profit: How to Get Your Book Out of Your Head and Onto the Shelves." Chris is currently working on The Search for Gram, the fourth book set in the Theogony
universe.

Chris's Books:


Chris's Links:









Friday, August 21, 2015

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Chess Desalls and Kevin M. Kraft


Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are proud to welcome Chess Desalls and Kevin M. Kraft

Chess Desalls
Chess Desalls

Chess Desalls recently authored the first two installments of the YA time travel series, "The Call to Search Everywhen." She's a longtime reader of fantasy and sci-fi novels, particularly classics and young adult fiction. When she's not reading or writing, she enjoys traveling and trying to stay in tune on her flute.

Chess's Books:


Travel Glasses (The Call to Search Everywhen #1)

Insight Kindling (The Call to Search Everywhen #2)

Chess's Links:

Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Tumblr
Instagram
Pintrest
Goodreads

Kevin M. Kraft

Kevin M. Kraft has been an avid writer from early childhood, growing up in upstate New York. He is an award-winning author whose short story The Last Samaritan took the Kansas City Network of Christian Writers’ FICTION AWARD in 1995. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies. He is also a multi-award-winning screenwriter, director, producer and CEO of T E K Productions in Kansas City, Missouri, where he lives with his wife and four children. He is a singer/songwriter, guitarist and founder of the annual Kansas City Cigar Box Guitar Festival.

Kevin's Books:

S: A Contemporary Religious Fantasy

Momo

The W-Crew

Kevin's Links:

Website
Facebook
Twitter

From today's show: Cubesat to hunt for water on the Moon.

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Dr. Robert J. Newton and Gloria Amendola


Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are proud to welcome Dr. Robert J. Newton and Gloria Amendola

Dr. Robert J. Newton
Dr. Robert J. Newton

Dr. Newton graduated from Cal State Fullerton in 1968 with a B.A. in Speech and English. His studies concentrated on General Semantics, linguistics, syllogistic logic and English composition. He earned his Juris Doctorate in Law from American College of Law in 1975. Dr. Newton operated an award winning landscape design and installation company for forty years and operated two organic farms. He was a “Certified Channel” for the Tibetan Foundation and has certifications in Etheric Healing, Reiki, Sound Signature Healing, Sage Experience Encounter Group facilitation,  Magnetic Acupuncture, Theta Healing and Theta Consciousness Reprogramming and Healing. Dr. Newton was a Christian Science healer for two decades and he received a doctorate in Natural Healing (Naturopathic medicine) in 1991 from Clayton School of Natural Healing. Dr. Newton is a third level Asclepiad, a Tai Chi master and has been initiated into the highest levels of Kriya Kundalini Pranayam. He uses alternative therapies to treat cancer, AIDS and Crohn’s Disease, through Theta Healing protocols, including Theta Consciousness Reprogramming.  Dr. Newton does remote healing for all sorts of physical and emotional problems. He also works as a motivational speaker, life success coach and relationship counselor. Additionally, he helps companies to become more efficient and profitable so they can pay their employees more money.


Dr. Newton is the author of “Pathways to God: Experiencing the Energies of the Living God in Your Everyday Life”, “A Map to Healing and Your Essential Divinity Through Theta Consciousness”, “The Hidden Codes of God” and the soon to be released, “Beyond The Mists of Time”. Dr. Newton has lectures on theta healing, sacred sexuality, immortality protocols, and mind reprogramming in classes he teaches and speaking engagements including The Conscious Life Expo, The Psi Symposium, The Science and Non Duality Conference and The Knowphest. His website is www.drrobertnewton.com  and www.greatmotivationaltalks.com


Robert's Book:

Beyond the Mists of Time: When Trees Ruled the Earth



Robert's Link:

Website

Gloria Amendola

Gloria Amendola is an author and intuitive with a passion for esoteric knowledge and dream language. Gloria likes to find the truth of things hidden beneath the surface. She travels internationally and speaks to audiences about the Holy Grail Mysteries and their connection to the secret destiny of America.

Amendola is a trained group facilitator. In her teaching circles, she blends the western tradition of research and evidence with the eastern path of meditation and going within for answers. She was trained in many modalities and works with a variety of cutting-edge disciplines in her practice. Gloria helps people understand history from an alternate perspective, putting the pieces together so that people can explore new possibilities and practices on their spiritual path. She is also a seasoned shamanic drummer and Reiki Master.

Amendola has written original scripts for theater that have been produced nationally.

A few years ago she changed course and began writing novels. Her publisher calls them esoteric thrillers! There are five books in the TOWER series. Two are done, with three more to come. And she promises they will lead to an unexpected and shocking conclusion!

Amendola has also written two hybrid non-fiction/channeled books called Mary Magdalene: Revelations from a First Century Avatar [Volumes I and II]. Though they are small in page number, they are big in esoteric knowledge and energetic effect.

Gloria’s travels have brought her to sacred sites worldwide to experience these powerful landscape temples firsthand. And they have changed her - from the inside out! She is a modern day Templar in the OSMTH Order. Her commandery is in Rennes le Chateau, France.  It's dedicated to Marie Madeleine, which is a perfect fit for her.

She follows in the footsteps of the enigmatic Knights Templar, walking where they walked, gathering impressions from the traces they left behind. Gloria has learned that where they walked, so too the ancients walked. Initiates of the Mysteries have gathered in these sacred sites worldwide for many reasons, reasons we are just beginning to understand. They left us an extraordinary legacy, one that could be decoded when we were ready to comprehend its true nature. And thankfully that time has come!

Amendola is fascinated by the revelations the Ancient Ones. They have seeded her dreams and imprinted her cellular memory, all the while waiting for her to awaken to this vast repository of knowledge and healing energy within her.


She listened to the whispers of the Ancient Ones along the way. Yet it was a struggle to accept their profound and arcane teachings since they were so different than anything she had known before. But in her eventual acceptance, Amendola discovered a whole new world of possibilities. Her work is a reflection of those possibilities and of the complexity of the grail quest into that extraordinary repository of knowledge she calls the Well of Memories...

Gloria's Books:

The Tower and the Dream: Awakening to the Call

The Tower and the Land: Awakening to the Light (The Towers Book 2)

Gloria's Link:

Website

From today's show: NASA Funds Far-Out Projects.

Listen to this show at 6:00 PM PT / 3:00 PM PT live or in archive here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Canadian Rockies Part Five

It's time for the fifth and  final installment of pictures from my Canadian Rockies vacation.

In part one we has pictures from lovely Lake Louise. Part two we were in the Banff area. Part three we drove into Jasper National Park. And in part four, we rode a gondola up to 7,500 feet to view the mountains.

Today we are going to visit Waterton Lakes National Park. This is just north of Glacier National Park in Montana. Together the two parts form the Glacier-Waterton Peace Park.

It was still a beautiful day when we arrived and this was the view from our room's balcony:

That's Upper Waterton Lake (there's three lakes, this is the largest).

The next day started out clear but later got cloudy. We went to the north end of Cameron Lake which extends into Montana:


(The snowy ridge is in Montana.)

Then we went to Red Rocks Canyon, which did have red rocks but wasn't much of a canyon:


The next day the weather really socked in the morning with rain and clouds. But we went on the MV International down Upper Waterton Lake to the American side.

On the trip back, however, the weather cleared and it was beautiful And I got sunburned.


Finally that day we went to Cameron Falls which is just outside the town of Waterton:


I like how the water plays over the sloping layers.

The next day we took the long drive home.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Always Do Your Best

Back when I worked in the corporate world, I noticed something that wasn't very pleasant. You could do your job perfectly day in and day out, without any comment or feedback from your superiors or peers. But screw up once, and suddenly everyone noticed.

And it's the same way with writing. You may write a brilliant novel full of joy, pathos, philosophy, feeling, and adventure. But everyone's going to notice the one typo on page 347. (Which is why editing is so important.)

One thing I hate is picking up one of my published novels and finding an error such as a typo. I hate just a little less finding a sentence I could have written better.

That is why you need to always practice your craft. In everything you do, write it the best you can. Even if it's a Facebook update, write it well. I cringe when I see people who call themselves writers making stupid mistakes in Facebook posts or Twitter updates. How can you write a novel when you don't bother with the difference between "to" and "too"?

Now, I'm the typo king. So I have lots of people proofread my work, including myself (but I'm also a lousy proofreader because I see the word I think should be there).

We all want to write and write well. But if you let small mistakes slip by, it will undermine your credibility and, in some cases, simply make people reject your work. Perfection is impossible, but do your best. Always do your best. Even if you make a mistake, you know you did your best and you don't have to feel guilty about being lazy.

If you truly care about your craft, and your craft is writing, then do you best in all things you write. Write it well, make sure you use proper grammar and punctuation.

And please, remember the difference between "to" and "too."

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Hope Schenk-de Michele and Paul Marquez


Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are proud to welcome co-writers Hope Schenk-de Michele and Paul Marquez

Hope Schenk-de Michele
Hope Schenk-de Michele and Paul Marquez have been best friends and television producing partners for more than four decades. They both grew up in Los Angeles, California and share a passion for mystery and science fiction. This passion lead them to create the forever young and beautiful daughter of darkness, Lucinda. To assist in bringing Lucinda's story into the literary world, they enlisted the help of New York Times best-selling science fiction and fantasy author Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff. Maya is the author of more than a dozen novels, and the co-author of The Last Jedi: Star Wars (Star Wars: Coruscant Nights -
Paul Marquez
Legends)
. All three reside in California.

Their book:

Devil’s Daughter (Lucinda’s Pawnshop, #1) Amazon, BN, The Booknook, Bird Street Books.





Their Links:

Website
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Goodreads

From today's show: Planetary Resources Launches First Satellite.