Friday, May 19, 2017

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Devra Robitaille and Ray Chilensky


Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are pleased to welcome writers Devra Robitaille and Ray Chilensky.

Devra Robitalille
Devra Robitaille

London-born Devra is a prolific composer, songwriter and keyboardist, as well as an author of books for kids.  She had a successful career as a professional musician in England, playing keyboards and touring with Mike Oldfield of Tubular Bells fame, before moving to America in the nineties.  All through the nineties she directed musicals and theatrical productions in Los Angeles.  In addition to the five books the Hologram Library published last year, she will be publishing two more books for young adults by the summer of 2017.  Devra now lives in Florida with her family on the Sarasota Bay. She loves to kayak and bike and is a consummate foodie, baking lovely cakes and deserts. She continues to write and compose for the theatre, but loves to write for children.

Devra's Books:

The Efficiency Claus

The Dream Stealers

Muffy and the Medicine Cat

Devra's Links:

Website
Facebook
Twitter

Ray Chilensky
Ray Chilensky

Ray Chilensky lives in rural Tuscarwarus County, Ohio. He has worked briefly in law enforcement and for several years in private security. He has studied political science and history at Kent State University. Late in life he decided to pursue his passion for storytelling and combined that passion with lifelong interest in history, politics to seriously peruse a writing career. In his free time Ray’s interests include the martial arts., shooting sports, drawing and, of course reading good books.

Ray's Works:

Seventh: Blessed Warriors Book One

"The End of War" (short story in an anthology)

A Day and a Night 

Ray's Links:

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

From Today's Program: Mars Colonists May 3-D Print Tools from Mars Dust.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

A Brag, or Two

Back to the "53-week blogging challenge." Today's prompt is "Let Me Brag a Minute."

So I thought about bragging about my nine books (soon to be ten), then decided not to.

When I was in college I was in an advanced calculus class. And the instructor said he was going to give us a problem to work on. He
A capsule
wanted us to design a structure with a cylindrical middle and hemispherical ends. Sort of like a medicine capsule. He wanted us to minimize the cost of the materials and he gave us the cost of the cylindrical material and the hemispherical material. I don't remember the details. About three seconds after he did all that, I said, "The cheapest structure is a sphere."

He said, "What?"

I said, "The cheapest structure is a sphere."

He said, "No, it's more complicated than that."

I said, "No, it's not."

He didn't respond.

But the next day he changed the assignment, making it more complicated and so that the cheapest structure was not just a sphere.

P.S.: Today is the 37th anniversary of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens. That would make an interesting blog post since I lived about 150 miles away from the volcano.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Movie Review: La La Land

Thursday I watched the movie La La Land. Here is my review: it's a musical; I hate musicals.

Friday, May 12, 2017

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Anthony R. Howard and P.I. Barrington


Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are happy to welcome writers Anthony R Howard and P.I. Barrington.

Anthony R. Howard
Anthony R. Howard

Bestselling author Anthony R. Howard has been an industry recognized consultant and technology expert for the premier global technology firms for over 12 years. Presently he is a leading Technology Specialist for one of the world’s largest Information Technology firms where he was named #1 IT Super Hero by InfoWorld and ComputerWorld, was the winner of the National Federal Office Systems Award (FOSE - Nation’s Largest Information Technology Exposition Serving the Government Marketplace), and the 2004 winner of Government Computer News Best New Technology Award. Several case studies have been published on Howard’s solutions across the Information Technology industry. Currently he provides enterprise technology solutions and advisement for America’s most distinguished clients including a sizeable amount of work for the U.S. Defense Sector, Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security. His projects have been featured in national media outlets including Fox News. After founding his own technology firm, Howard completed his formal education with a Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Information Technology. His vast career has included controlling hundreds of devices worldwide from secure Network Command Centers to relocating overseas to Amsterdam, The Netherlands for more than a year to solve technology issues for American based companies. He has also worked briefly for a private military logistics corporation that contracts a sizable amount of work from the Department of Defense and other military institutions. He’s also the bestselling author of The Invisible Enemy: Black Fox and  The Invisible Enemy II: Vendetta.

Anthony's Books:

Devil’s Diary: The Coming

The Invisible Enemy: Black Fox 

The Invisible Enemy: Vendetta 

Anthony's Links:

Website
Blog
Facebook


P.I. Barrington
P.I. Barrington

After a decade-long detour through the entertainment industry where she worked as a radio air talent and the music industry, P.I. Barrington has returned to writing novels. She lives in Southern California and co-authors with her sister, Loni Emmert who also works in the music industry.
Her books include:
The Brede Chronicles, Book One, First Realm Publishing
Future Imperfect Trilogy (Crucifying Angel, Miraculous Deception, Final Deceit) Desert Breeze Publishing
Inamorata Crossing/Borealis 1: A Space Opera, Desert Breeze Publishing
The Button Hollow Chronicles: The Leaf Peeper Murders, Mainly Murder Press

And Free stories on Wattpad.com

P.I.'s Book:

The Brede Chronicles, Book One

P.I.'s Links:

Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

From Today's Program: Astronomers will Peer Inside a Black Hole.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

A Day in My Life

Time once again for the 52-week blogging challenge. The next prompt is: "What's inside my closet." Well that's easy: clothes.

See you next week.

Okay, I'll look at the next one. It's "Meet My Pets." Well, I don't have any pets. I had a goldfish once. It died.

Still too easy.

And the next prompt is "A day in my life." I kind of covered this very quickly in a previous post.

I guess I could go into more detail.

My typical day starts when I wake up. I normally don't set an alarm unless I need to get up for a specific reason. I wake up anywhere from 3:00 AM to 9:00 AM. I then go to my office and do promotional work for my publisher that I sort of took on because I'm a nice guy and one of the few writers she has who doesn't have a day job. I then set up my automated tweets for the day (this takes off so much of the burden of tweeting).

Then I go back to my bedroom and take a shower in the master bath, then I usually wake up my wife (if she's not already awake). If it's 4:00 AM (and it has been sometimes) I let her sleep and go kill time by watching Netflix or stuff I've DVR'd that I know she wouldn't care if I watch without her (The Simpsons, Family Guy). When I do wake her up, we have breakfast and then she showers and gets dressed. Then we go to Starbucks. Nearly every morning we go to Starbucks.

When we get home from Starbucks, I'll go back to my office and start working on whatever freelance assignments I might have, or write on my WIP, or just goof off on the internet. Or blog sometimes.

Around noon my wife will bring me lunch.

Unless I have a reason to stay later, I usually stop working about 2:00 PM or 3:00 PM. Often because I feel sleepy (especially if I got up before 7:00 AM). So I'll often take a nap in my recliner.

Then I'll watch Netflix or DVR's stuff or goof off until 7:00 PM when it's time for Jeopardy. My friend Sarah got me back hooked on Jeopardy a few years ago.

Then it's time to watch a DVD/Blu-ray from Netflix or watch something we've DVR'd that my wife does want to watch. And I start falling asleep sometime between 8:30 PM and 10:00 PM. I have fallen asleep in my recliner and woken up at 1:00 AM and then gone to bed.

On Monday nights I have Toastmasters at 5:30 - 6:30 PM. On Friday nights I have writers' group from 6:30 to whenever it breaks up.

Weekends days are pretty much the same as weekdays, except on Sunday, my wife will go to church at 9:00 AM, usually leaving from Starbucks. If it's football season on weekends, I'll watch University of Washington Huskies football, and/or Seahawks football. Football is pretty much the only sport I really like.

I know, I'm boring. But that's my life.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Television Review: Iron Fist

Yesterday I watched the last episode of Iron Fist. Iron Fist is the latest Netflix/Marvel series after Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage.

I've heard complaints that Iron Fist is boring. And at first it pretty much is. What kept me watching it was I felt I needed to watch it to keep up with the Marvel universe mythos (maybe "canon" is a better word) in anticipation of The Defenders.

This series is very much tied into that mythos/canon as Daredevil and Luke Cage are mentioned and Jessica Jones is referenced as a good private investigator "when she's sober." Also, Karen Page from Daredevil is mentioned as a reporter.

In Iron Fist are Madam Gao (from Daredevil and one of the villains here), Claire Temple (who has been in all the Netflix/Marvel series), and Jeri Hagarth (from Jessica Jones and briefly in Season Two of Daredevil).

So I sat through five episodes of Iron Fist, hoping it would get better. And it did. At the end of the sixth episode it takes off and rarely lets go of the viewer from then on. At first Finn Jones as Danny Rand/Iron Fist comes off as kind of a wimp. But starting in episode six, he kicks ass.

The plot is pleasantly convoluted with turns and twists. Oh, and the Hand show up along with Madam Gao. Lots of martial arts ensues.

If the series had gotten more interesting earlier, it would have been much better. There was a lot of backstory to tell and get through, however. Finn Jones got better and more likable as the series progressed. And while I get very tired of the "evil corporation" trope, in Iron Fist, Rand Enterprises is evil for a reason (being controlled by the Hand will do that to ya).

And since I've been in business, I kept yelling at Danny Rand "Don't do that, you don't do that in business!" But it didn't do any good.

Speaking of business, there was one really bad mistake. They showed a Forbes magazine cover with a picture of Danny Rand and the headline "An Entrepreneur Who Cares." Except Danny Rand is no entrepreneur. He inherited all his wealth (and stock in Rand Enterprises). And entrepreneur starts a business and builds it from the ground up.

So, if you can sit through the first five and a half episodes, Iron Fist is worth watching.

Now I need to watch the last episode of Better Call Saul season two.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Movie Review: Rogue One

On Thursday (May the fourth be with you) I watched on Blu-Ray Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I didn't go see it in theaters probably because of my disappointment with Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens which I did see in the theater (IMAX 3-D).

But Rogue One was fun. It was fun to be back in the Star Wars universe. And the writers took great pains to A) deliver an action-filled movie and B) not contradict the canon of Star Wars. Small spoiler: this move ends just before Star Wars IV: A New Hope starts.

There is one small thing that is inconsistent with Star Wars IV. But we'll let that slide.

As far as the movie, it is fun, action-packed, and heartfelt. It was a little disappointing in the end, however as (**Large Spoiler**) everybody dies. Well, except Darth Vader.

I don't know why but despite thinking it was fun to revisit the Star Wars universe, the movie is so relentless in its action and its black vs. white plot structure, that I found the movie unfulfilling. There was very little depth to anything. The Empire is bad, the rebels are good, period. I suppose the entire Star War franchise has the same issue but it was more apparent in this movie.

The rebels are portrayed as a bit grittier and more diverse than they were in other Star Wars movies. I remember when the only black person in the whole galaxy was Lando. So that's an improvement.

There were some slight of hand tricks. Some pieces of film were cut directly out of A New Hope. They probably used CGI to make an actor look like Grand Moff Tarkin but the voice wasn't quite right (except when they copy and pasted it out of A New Hope).

And for continuity's sake, to fire the Death Star still involves a 1980's vintage video mixer.

While I enjoyed the movie and found it, for the most part, fun. I didn't LOVE it, like I expected to. If you haven't seen it, go ahead, you'll probably enjoy it. But it's not on the level of A New Hope or The Empire Strikes Back.

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Special Guest Edward M. Wysocki, Jr.


Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we welcome special guest Edward M. Wysocki, Jr.

Edward M. Wysocki, Jr.

Edward M. Wysocki, Jr.
Ed Wysocki is an engineer who is now retired after more than 30 years with a major defense contractor. His introduction to science fiction came in the third grade when he encountered Heinlein’s Space Cadet. Heinlein remains his favorite author. Like many readers of science fiction, he has occasionally tried his hand at writing short stories, but with no success at sales. Yet.

Ed has been a bit more successful at writing about science fiction. His notes and articles have appeared in The Heinlein Journal and Science Fiction Studies. His books, The Great Heinlein Mystery and An ASTOUNDING War, reflect a combination of his interests in science fiction, naval and military history and history of technology.

Edward's Books (nonfiction):


Edward's Links:



Thursday, May 4, 2017

Why I Blog

Back to the 52-week blogging challenge and today's prompt is "My Inspiration to Blog."

My first blog I started just to rant about stuff I was interested in. Which mainly turned out to be politics.

This blog (where I try to avoid politics) I do partly to help promote my books. But also as a way to talk about things I'm interested in such as University of Washington football, cars, movies and television, science, and whatever comes to mind.

But really, to be honest, the reason I bother doing this blog is book promotion. So please, buy a book!

(Wow, that's a short blog post!)

Friday, April 28, 2017

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Elayne Griffith and Kyla Ross


Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are happy to welcome writers Elayne Griffith and Kyla Ross.

Elayne Griffith
Elayne Griffith

I grew up drawing, writing, reading, riding horses, and climbing trees in a small town in the Sierra Nevada foothills. I then ran off to L.A. for a degree in art and not a clue of what to do with it. After seven years of bumbling around in the city, and being laid off for the fifth time when the recession hit, I was broke and bored and bummed.

One day at a coffee shop while job hunting, I thought of the tiny black unicorn statue that I used to admire on my mom’s shelves at home. I used to imagine it coming to life and taking me to a magical land, and a whole story suddenly began unfolding before me! There began my writing journey.

It wasn’t until I’d finished that first novel that I realized that I’d found a passion and love for writing. I ran back home to the mountains, and with the tenacity of a Honey Badger I’ve been avidly creating many more works. I now reside in Oakland and go to Sci-Fi writers of San Fran with Terry Bisson whenever I have the opportunity. I believe in doing what truly makes you happy, if you have the luck and opportunity, for life is short!

Elayne's Works:


Following Amur (novella)

"Glory" (short story)

Elayne's Links:


Kyla Ross
Kyla Ross

Kyla Ross is a horror, thriller, and dark fiction writer from Detroit, Michigan. She posts suspense and horror flash fiction on her blog biweekly at kyrobooks.com and is the author of a collection of gruesome suspenseful short stories titled A Trinity of Wicked Tales Volume One: Jilted Love. Her first erotic thriller novel, When We Swing, will be released Summer 2017.

Kyla's Book:


Kyla's Links:



Thursday, April 27, 2017

Scary

Time once again for the 52-week blogging challenge. Today's prompt is "My scariest experience."

I had to think about this.

I'm still thinking about it. I haven't had a lot of really scary experiences.

When I was young (like a teenager) I used to snow ski. One time I got off the lift, started skiing down the hill. I hooked an edge and fell forward toward a tree. I thought I was going to hit the tree hard and break something like my back. I remember thinking "This is going to hurt a lot." But somehow the snow stopped me before I hit the tree.

One scary moment came two winters ago driving in bad conditions. I talk about it here. Also on that trip, coming back (it was a one-day trip to Seattle), we had freezing rain. Luckily it was on snow not bare pavement so it wasn't like sheet ice like freezing rain can be. I was driving maybe 45 mph (on an interstate with a 70 mph speed limit) and as I came around a corner I felt the car wobble a bit as if it was close to losing its grip on the road. Just then I saw a car on its side in my lane (that I didn't see earlier because of the corner). Due to slickness I didn't dare hit the brakes or even slow too much as it might send me out of control. So I carefully and not too quickly changed lanes (of course, I couldn't see lane markers due to the snow) as the car continued to wobble. I made it into the left lane and went around the wrecked car. Then I was able to slow safely and get the car better under control. That was scary.

When I was young (like maybe 8) my family lived in a house with a basement. Most every night we'd have ice cream after dinner (my father really liked ice cream). So once it was my turn to take the ice cream back downstairs to where the chest freezer was. I didn't bother to turn on the lights because I knew the room was empty and I could see the orange glow of the chest freezer's indicator light to guide me to it. As I was walking, I suddenly thought I saw a white face in front of me. Or maybe I didn't see it. But I dropped the ice cream and ran upstairs screaming. I thought I'd seen a ghost.

Probably the scariest of those three is the middle one. Which interestingly is not supernatural at all.

What scary experiences have you had? Comment below!


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Movie Review: The Founder

Last week I watched the movie The Founder about how Ray Kroc turned McDonald's into the fast food empire it is today.

A lot of people have said this movie is anti-capitalism or anti-free markets. I disagree. Yes, according to the movie, Kroc did some not completely ethical things. But he didn't do things that hurt people. He claimed he started McDonald's (he didn't) and he claimed he came up with the "speedy system" that made McDonald's the first fast food restaurant (he didn't). None of that is illegal, either.

I think what a lot of people worry about is the McDonald brothers. But they actually came out pretty well. They were doing okay, I suppose, before Kroc came along. But they tried to franchise and it didn't work. Kroc managed to franchise McDonald's and after some mistakes and false starts, he figured out how to make it work and how to make it profitable. A lot of people got richer (or rich) and a lot of people got jobs because of what Kroc did.

The McDonald brothers each got $1 million after taxes in the final buy-out. Now days $1 million isn't that impressive. But in 1961, when Kroc bought out the McDonald brothers, that $1 million was worth more than $8 million in today's dollars. And they each got that much. If they wanted, they never had to work another day in their lives. In today's terms, invest $8 million at 5% interest and you'd make $400,000 a year. Live off $300,000 (you can live pretty well on that) and reinvest $100,000 a year to keep your equity growing.

And the McDonald brothers would have never made that kind of money doing what they were doing until Kroc took the restaurant national.

However, the McDonald brothers also asked for 1% of McDonald's profits "in perpetuity." That is, forever. Kroc said that would have to be a "handshake agreement" because his backers wouldn't allow it. And the McDonald brothers went for it. Now I was in business and I know a "handshake agreement" isn't worth the paper it's not written on. If it's not written down, it doesn't exist. The movie makes it sound like Kroc, who became a billionaire, screwed the McDonald brothers out of that 1%. But the McDonald brothers never should have agreed to a "handshake agreement." Business is brutal. It has to be. The McDonald brothers weren't good enough businessmen. Ray Kroc apparently was.

And look what Kroc accomplished. How many people had their first job at McDonald's? How many people got rich as McDonald's franchisees? I look at that and think Kroc did an amazing thing that the McDonald brothers couldn't.

Micheal Keaton does a great job playing Kroc. Laura Dern plays his first wife (who Kroc divorces to marry someone else, and yes, that was a jerk move). It was a well-made and interesting movie. And if you look at it from a business perspective, a very interesting movie.


Friday, April 21, 2017

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Jayne Barnard and Felicia Cash


Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are happy to welcome writers Jayne Barnard and Felicia Cash.

Jayne Barnard
Jayne Barnard

Jayne is a founding member of Madame Saffron's Parasol Dueling League for Steampunk Ladies and the author of the Aurora-nominated Maddie Hatter Steampunk adventures for adventurous women aged 12 to 92. Drawing on her early psychology studies, she's also a longtime crime writer, with numerous award-winning short stories to her credit. Fueled by love of the wild, she’s at work on a trilogy of wilderness suspense novels for Dundurn Press. She divides her writing year between the Rocky Mountain wilderness near Calgary, Alberta and a rocky Pacific shore on Vancouver Island.

Jayne's Books:

Maddie Hatter and the Deadly Diamond

Enigma Front: Burnt

Maddie Hatter and the Gilded Gauge

Jayne's Links:

Website/Blog
Facebook
Twitter

Felicia Cash
Felicia Cash

I am a full-time mother of five, with three adopted girls and two bio boys. I am currently homeschooling all of them, so that doesn’t leave a ton of time for writing, as I’m sure you can imagine. However, writing is my passion and has been since I was a little girl. It is actually through my writing that I came to be an adoptive mother, and through being an adoptive mother, I believe that my writing has matured.

Felicia's Book:

The Last Sorcerer (book one of the Aurelius Series)

Felicia's Link:

Facebook

From today's program: Ceres has Briny Volcanoes.



Thursday, April 20, 2017

Life Lesson I have Learned

Time once again for the 52-week blogging challenge. Today's prompt is "A Life Lesson I have Learned."

Oh boy, this one is tough.

If someone (a job, a boss, a spouse, a boyfriend/girlfriend, a friend, a relative) tries to make you be something you're not, it's not worth it. You'll be miserable. And when you're miserable, you aren't having much joy in your life.

It took me a long time to learn that.

Okay, that was short.

What life lessons have you learned? Comment below.


Friday, April 14, 2017

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with William Alan Webb and Stephanie Osborn


Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are pleased to welcome writers William Alan Webb and Stephanie Osborn.

William Alan Webb
William Alan Webb

I’m the world’s oldest teenager. At a stop light you might hear my car thumping as I crank up the rock and roll, or wonder why I don’t get a haircut and a real job.

I was born and raised in West Tennessee, during the days when kids were allowed to get dirty and play with toy guns. My earliest memories are of a particular TV show (I was 2 at the time) and falling asleep watching it on our den floor, and reading books. I get bored quite easily, but for some reason books were like my soulmates. To this day, give me a beach and a book and I’m good to go.

I’m insatiably curious, too. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t, but I am. Don’t take me into a museum, we’ll never leave.

We have six dogs in our house, four of them rescues and one a gift. I like people well enough, but dogs won’t let you down. I’ve never been a cat person, yet we have one cat out of two kittens I pulled out of the middle of a highway after somebody abandoned them there. He’s an old bag of bones now, but Mr. Baggins has the run of the place.

Maybe I’m a cat person after all.

William's Books:

Standing The Final Watch (The Last Brigade, Book 1)

Standing In The Storm (The Last Brigade, Book 2)

The Last Attack: Sixth SS Panzer Army and the Defense of Hungary and Austria, 1945 (Nonfiction)

William's Links:

Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter

Stephanie Osborn
Stephanie Osborn

Stephanie Osborn, award-winning Interstellar Woman of Mystery, is a 20+-year space program veteran, with multiple STEM degrees. Author, co-author, or contributor to 30+ books, including Burnout: The mystery of Space Shuttle STS-281 and the Cresperian Saga, she writes critically-acclaimed Displaced Detective, Silver-Falchion winner Gentleman Aegis, and the new Division One, her take on the urban legend of mysterious people who make things...disappear. She "pays it forward" through numerous media, and SIGMA, the science-fiction think tank.

Stephanie's Books:

Alpha and Omega (Division One book 1)

A Small Medium At Large (Division One book 2; available for pre-order)


Fear in the French Quarter (Displaced Detective book 6)

Stephanie's Links:

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Google+

From Today's Program: Ceres Has Organic Molecules


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Well, Somebody Has to Say It . . .

Time once again for the 52-week blogging challenge. Today's prompt is "Well, somebody has to say it..."

Well, tax day is coming soon. So I'll say our tax system is a horrible bollixed-up mess.

Okay, something else.

I support indie authors. I am a semi-indie author. Some of my books are traditionally published by a small-press publisher and some I've published myself.

But some (perhaps just a small minority) of indie authors suck. Then they get their friends and family to give them 5-star reviews (something I've never done). These authors are bad writers and they don't get adequate editing done. Part of that is NaNoWriMo, I think. Someone writes a manuscript in 30 days ending in November, and they think "I need to get this on the Kindle just in time for Christmas."

NaNoWriMo has taken steps to encourage writers to revise and edit their manuscripts. So I hope that is getting to happen less.

So, if you are a writer, you need to edit and revise your work, then edit and revise your work. And finally, edit and revise your work. Then have someone else proofread and edit it. And I hope that person will be brave enough to tell you it sucks, if it does.

There, I said it.

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Len Berry and Georgina Young-Ellis


Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are please to welcome writers Len Berry and Georgina Young-Ellis.

Len Berry
Len Berry

Len Berry studied biology before turning his imagination toward writing. In his spare time, Len enjoys drawing, watching anime, and playing an occasional video game. He is the author of the dystopian e-book Vitamin F, and several steampunk and fantasy short stories. Len's art can be found in the book Elegance.

Len's Works:


"The Mirror of Tila" (short story in an anthology)

Scars Of Shadow

"There Are Always Three of Them" (short story in an anthology)

Len's Links:

Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Patreon
YouTube
Twitch

Georgina Young-Ellis
Georgina Young-Ellis

Georgina lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband who is an artist, writer, and teacher. They have a son who is a professional musician in New York City, where they all lived for eighteen years. She is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, and was a stage actress for many years. Born and raised in the Southwest, she went to school in New York City, graduating from New York University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater. She is also a screenwriter, journalist, film/theater critic and blogger.

Georgina's Books:


Georgina's Links:


From Today's Program: Hubble Spies on Ancient Galaxies.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Guilty Pleasures

Once again it's time for the 52-week blogging challenge. Today's prompt is "Ten guilty pleasures."

I don't know if I have ten guilty pleasures. I'll try.

One: The movie Smokey and the Bandit. Low-brow, country-fried comedy from the late 1970s. But it still makes me giggle.

Two: Driving fast. Usually I set the cruise control five miles per hour over the posted speed limit. But every now and then I'll find a back country road and hit felonious velocities. The roads around here tend to be arrow-straight so high speeds are easy to hit. Curvy roads are also fun to drive fast even if you don't hit high speeds, but there are scarce in this flat part of Washington State.

Three: The movie The Seven Year Itch. Yes, it's from 1955 and yes, it's very politically incorrect in many ways that may grate on our modern sensibilities (especially the opening). But I find it hilarious, probably because my mind works almost exactly like the main character's does.

Four: Pizza. Pepperoni pizza to be exact.

Five: The Simpsons. Yes, the show has been on forever (since 1989) and has lost some of its early bite (political correctness has affected it, too), but it so often is funny and sometimes is relevant.

Six: Five Guys Burgers. Amazing burgers and fries to die for. They've started doing shakes recently. And those are very very delicious. I avoid them.

Seven: Family Guy. Not as funny as it was at the beginning and very irreverent and often cringe-worthy, it still has some funny moments. And sometimes is just hilarious.

Eight: The Princess Bride. The book, not the movie.

Nine (I'm running out of ideas): Netflix Marvel series. I started watching Jessica Jones because I'm a fan of Krysten Ritter (okay, I think she's cute) and that got me hooked. I've now watched the first season of Jessica Jones, two season of Daredevil, and the first season of Luke Cage.

Ten: University of Washington Husky football. If you've read this blog, no need to go into details.

Wow, I came up with ten. I'm somewhat surprised.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Once Upon a 24 Legacy

Sometimes when I'm watching movies or television, I'll recognize and actor and wonder where I've seen them before. This happened when I was watching Sunday night's Once Upon a Time episode. So what I'll often do is open the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) app on my iPhone and look them up. I was trying to figure out why the actor who was playing Jafar (yes, from Aladdin; if your haven't seen Once Upon a Time it loves to mash up Disney characters) seemed so familiar. So I looked him up on the IMDb. And found the actor is Oded Fehr. And Oded Fehr is playing the villain, Asim Naseri, a Middle Eastern terrorist, on the new show 24: Legacy, based on the old 24 with Kiefer Sutherland (who is an executive producer on the new show).

So Mr. Fehr has an opportunity to show off his acting chops, playing the evil Jafar in the fantasy show Once Upon a Time and then playing the evil Naseir in the action show 24: Legacy. Yes, both characters are evil, but Jafar is a different kind of evil than Nasier.

But when you DVR the shows and watch them one after the other, it's a bit jarring to have the same actor in both shows that are completely different types of programs.

And, here's how my brain works: both shows deal with time as in once upon a time and 24 hours in a day.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Spring into Reading Giveaway 2017

It's time for the "Spring into Reading Giveaway 2017!" There are hundreds of prizes including paperback and ebooks and a Grand Prize of $100 Paypal cash. Enter here and good luck:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Andrew Hiller and Richard Paolinelli


Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are pleased to welcome writers Andrew Hiller and Richard Paolinelli.

Andrew Hiller
Andrew Hiller

Andrew Hiller attempted to travel the road least taken only to fall off. Caught in wild currents, he surfaced to find his commentaries selected four times as best of the year on Washington’s NPR station WAMU 88.5 FM, a pair of his plays fill the New York City stage, and an opportunity to act and write with the original Muppets gang in his Cobblestone Documentary series.  His first fantasy novel, A Climbing Stock, grew to reach the top 50 on Amazon’s humor best sellers. In between projects, he has taught art in a psychiatric ward, hosted an internationally broadcast science, health, and tech radio program, and reads everything that makes him go “Huh?” or “Ha!” His second novel, A Halo of Mushrooms was released in December 2015.

Andrew is currently working on a new YA fantasy novel as well as a new Cobblestones’ documentary. When not writing, editing, or producing you can often find him in front of a canvas. A sampling of his radio, visual and literary work can be found at www.andrewhiller.net.

Andrew's Books:

A Climbing Stock

A Halo of Mushrooms

Andrew's Links:

Website
Facebook
Twitter

Richard Paolinelli
Richard Paolinelli

Born in Turlock, California in 1964, Richard Paolinelli began his writing career as a freelance writer in 1984 in Odessa, TX and gained his first fiction credit serving as the lead writer for the first two issues of the Elite Comics sci-fi/fantasy series, Seadragon. In 1991 Richard began his sports writing career at the Gallup Independent before moving on to work for the Modesto Bee, Turlock Journal, Merced Sun-Star, Tracy Press, San Mateo County Times and the San Francisco Examiner. He also served as an editor and photographer with some of the newspapers. He won the 2001 California Newspaper Publishers Association award for Best Sports Story while at the Turlock Journal.

In 2013, Richard retired as a sportswriter and decided to return to his fiction writing roots. He released two short stories - "The Invited" and "Legacy of Death" - as well as a full-length sci-fi novel, Maelstrom. In 2015, Richard completed nearly two years of research and interviews and published, From The Fields: A History of Prep Football in Turlock, California, chronicling 95 years of high school football in his hometown. One month later, the first book of the Jack Del Rio series, Reservations, was published by Oak Tree Press.

In 2016, Richard was one of a dozen authors selected to participate in, Beyond Watson, an anthology of original Sherlock Holmes stories and was one of 20 writers involved in a second Holmes Anthology, Holmes Away From Home, released in December. Perfection's Arbiter, a biography of National League Umpire, Babe Pinelli, was released on October 8th. W & B Books acquired the Jack Del Rio series and released the second book, Betrayals, in November. The remaining two books in the Jack Del Rio series will follow in 2017 & 2018.

In January of 2017, Richard returned to his science fiction roots with the release of the novel, Escaping Infinity, and hopes to release another sci-fi novel, When The Gods Fell, later this year.

Richard's Books:

Escaping Infinity

Betrayals 

Perfection’s Arbiter (non-fiction)

Richard's Links:


From today's program: NASA has plans to land on Europa.