It’s time for Saturday Scribblers (because Wednesday is a perfect day for it!) Okay, to straighten it out, the Saturday just means it is POSTED Saturday, but participants have ALL WEEK to join in. And joining in is easy and fun. Take the scribble, and turn it into a drawing. Here is this week’s scribble:
And here is what I made of it:
This took twice as long as it should because PSP froze up just as I had finished – only I hadn’t saved since the sketch stage, so… Now, WHY is this a rooster in a school jacket? I really have no idea, but that is what I saw, so that is what I drew. Must be faithful to the vision, eh?
I need to do Blogophilia tomorrow, though we’re planning to go see X-men, so we’ll see if I have time, or if I end up at the last minute posting just for points again.
In the meantime, have a rooster in a school coat kinda night.
PS – here’s the song driving me nuts. Blame it on Vic.
It’s time again for Blogophilia, the fun blog group where Marvin gives us blog prompts to use in our blog. This week;s promts are:
- Ecrits Blogophilia Week 18.9 Topic: “White Lightning”
- Hard (2 pts): Mention a Salvador Dali work of art
- Easy (1 pt): Include something having to do with a wedding
Yeah, so I meant to do something clever. I waited for the white lightning of inspiration to strike, but between recovering from this *&^% rash/illness and trying to catch up, I’m feeling like a cross between one of the clocks from The Persistence of Memory, and a wedding planner who’s gotten the whole ceremony dumped on them at the last minute. We started the new chapter of the Terrible Turtles yesterday, and the I‘ve gotten the hang of the bitstrips site where JOnathan and I are continuing our storyline, and I finally got the character interview on my author blog done for the week – which only took about two hours to do. Who knew it was so time consuming? And with this blog I am now officially caught up. Booyah! It’s party time!
Or better yet, bed time.
Yes, this blog was 100% for the points. I feel no shame.
Have a sleepy kitty kind of day!
Here’s a bonus – the song I am listening to right now.
It’s Wednesday, which is the day I usually get around to doing this. What is this? Why, it’s Saturday Scribblers, the cool blog challenge where Dean Kealy gives participants a scribble to turn into a drawing. It’s pretty easy – and a lot of fun!
Here is this week’s scribble:
of all the scribbles I’ve participated in, this was the easiest for me because I instantly saw…
And I’m even pretty happy with how he turned out. I’m getting better with the graphics tablet. This took me about twenty minutes to do, so yay for that!
I missed last week’s scribble – and most of last week – because – well, remember that weirdness I mentioned with my face being “chapped”? Turns out it wasn’t chapped. It was an odd rash that moved from my face to my neck and chest, and then down from there slowly and came with a fever, chills, nausea, and fatigue like you would not believe. I think I was maybe awake for six hours a day all weekend. Ugh! So I haven’t gotten much done on my mysterious package (I did copy the runes from the book but have not figured out what they mean, or even what mystery I am trying to solve, really. I thought it was pretty wrapped up from the narrative, so I feel I’m missing something big.) I’m also behind on my reading – I’m just over half done each with Paternus and Crusade Across Worlds and I have a huge pile of other books I need to read.
Anyway, I went to the doctor and they decided I am having an allergic reaction to something (don’t know what), so they gave me a steroid shot and put me on four days worth of Prednisone. The fevers are gone, and I can keep my eyes open, and the rash is fading from my neck, though it still itches like a b****. In fact I have to wear mittens (well, my shooter gloves) to keep myself from scratching.
Anyway, I’m hopeful this will heal up soon and I can get back to normal. I did book 2 of my series re-read. I did no editing, just corrected a handful of punctuation things (it was dashes that did not format right and a few straight quotes I turned into smart quotes). I hate to argue with my readers, but I have to disagree with anyone who says book 1 is better than book 2. Not even close! Book 2 was actually about a billion times better than I remember it being, and there were a few places where I sat back and said “Damn, that’s good sh**.” I really don’t have any idea why I am ashamed of that book (which I tend to be for some reason).So, that was a nice surprise, anyway. Onward to book 3, which is one of my favorites. Maybe I’ll find out that it’s not anymore. We shall see.
Anyway, there’s my scribble and an explanation for where I’ve been. Hope your last week was better than mine was.
Have a non-mitten wearing kind of day (unless you love where it’s winter right now, then you might want mittens)
PS – check out the original Saturday Scribbler post and feel free to join in!
(**If you’re the mysterious sender, skip down to the **s )
Today was a mysterious day all the way around, and I have to say I quite enjoyed it. I love a good mystery – not that I am always adept at unraveling them.
For starters, my face is randomly chapped. Not just my lips, but my nose, the area under my nose, my lips, my chin, and clear down under my chin. I don’t have a cold, or a runny nose, and though I make jokes about drooling I don;t really do it (that I know of) so how in the heck am I chapped? It feels like chapped, anyway, but is it something else? Some weird skin fungus? I do have some mysterious rashy-like bites on my arms that I’ve chalked up to bug bites from pulling weeds, but is it all something else. Am I dying?
Still no word on that. I guess I’ll wait and see if it spreads.
Since I didn’t have time to work on that mystery, I got up and got to it. Except for being oddly chapped, things were normal until I went for the mail. In the front porch was a box addressed to me with a New York return address. I racked my brain for what I had ordered from ebay that was that big, and brought it inside. I ran through my other mail and then got a knife and cut it open. Inside was an unmarked envelope wooden box that had something about rubber flanges printed on it.
“Oh,” I thought. “Hubby must have ordered something. Probably something for the mower” (I don’t know what a flange seal is, but ti sounds like some rubbery thing that one might put on motors) I tried to remember if he’d mentioned it to me, then opened the envelope, expecting a shipping receipt, or even a “Thanks for your business” message. instead I found this:
Huh? So I read it, of course…
I do not know you but when the storm tells me that you must know, that you must be warned – I do as I am told.
WHAT?? Warned??? What the…
I was given your name. It took me a long time to find you. My duty is done and I can turn aside the memories if that terrible woman.
DOUBLE WHAT??? Terrible woman??
I am relieving myself of this great burden and for that alone I must thank you. I do not envy you having to pick it up.
Okay. This has to be some very weird joke.
I have looked into the darkness of this poor boy, and brought the lightning and the flame, It is all I could do and I hope it was enough.
Well, that’s poetic…
Fate has it’s reasons for you to hear this story. Perhaps this story needs to stay alive ans must be heard. Perhaps it is just the wind. Do with this as you will. It is at an end for me.
At this point I am 100% baffled – has some insane person gotten my address? I check the return label again – it’s from Wong Distributions (or something like that) in New York. I don’t know anyone in New York – and especially not someone named Tom…
A cautious person would not have gone for the wooden crate (some of my facebook friends suggested it might be something dangerous), but I tugged it out, and that was when I noticed it was nailed shut.
A sentence leapt in my memory, like it does in those bad TV voice-overs – “comes bundled in an uncooperative wooden box” – and this box was not only wooden but certainly uncooperative. And then I knew what it was-
It’s from the Mysterious Package Company!
The Mysterious Package Company runs a lot of Facebook ads – i found them through their ads a few days before Memorial Day, advertising that you could send you friends and family a “mystery experience” – but with no more details. To get into the site proper you have to “apply” to join, and I was approved on Memorial Day. I took a very quick gander around, found the box I plan to send my brother later (shhhhhhhh!) And hadn’t been back. Their sign up did warn members that they occasionally send stuff, so that if you want to surprise someone in your family you should use an alternate address. I get the mail in my house, so I thought i could weed out any advertising they sent me – but I never expected a box from them! So much for keeping that from my brother. (Just hang on.)
So Dad and I got a screwdriver, a chisel, and a mallet, and worked on opening the box without damaging it too much (It’s too cool not to save!). Inside we found… newspaper!
It seems like a weird – and expensive – promo thing. And then I tugged the newspaper out to discover the contents:
So…Wait. Is this really a promo thing? Because it looks super expensive to be… but the thought ran off on its own because, quite, frankly, this was too friggin’ cool not to be diving into. Screw watering the plants, screw all the rest of the morning routine. I had a diary to read!
So Dad and I spent the morning reading it – well, I read it out loud and he listened. The story is pretty straight forward I think, though quite interesting (I don’t want to spoil it for other recipients) and it reads pretty quickly – I think it took me a little over an hour. I will say that it ties in the 1984 disappearance of the boy with some historical incidents in England. By the time we finished it was Dad’s nap time, so he wandered off and I hit google to see if the historical bits were real.
They totally are.
By then I dragged Mom up and she read through it all while I worked on the turtles comic for the day (still had to do that one, mystery or not), she finished it in time for the brother to come from the doctor’s, so he read through it all. He’d have been done sooner, but at 3:09 we had an odd interruption.
The tornado sirens went off.
And they didn’t just go off for a minute, they went, and went, and went, like they do the first Saturday of the month when they test them, or like they do when there’s a tornado. The brother suggested it might be a fire since we were in full sun at 99 degrees with no wind, but they don’t normally blow the whistle for fires. Just for the monthly tests and tornadoes –
“And air raids”, the brother said with a chuckle.
Which being the paranoid weirdo I am, made me suddenly wonder if we were under nuclear attack. I mean, heck, how would we know? We have no radios, we have no local TV (Just streaming netflix, Hulu, etc.), so unless someone calls me (my phone is silenced, so if they had I wouldn’t have known) I’d never have a clue.
Though it pains me to admit it, I did what everyone under the age of twenty does – I checked Facebook. I know, I know. But no one had any posts about nuclear war, or about sirens going off, or anything else. The sirens went off, and I turned back to the turtles and the brother went back to reading.
He finished just as hubby got home. By then I was done with turtles, and hubby and I had to go pick up the riding mower from my uncle’s house. Interestingly enough, while we were driving, a snake threw itself onto our windshield. Yes, you read that right. We were driving along and – splat – a snake dropped from the clear blue sky, splatted on the windshield, and bounced off. I went to look for it, but it had slithered away.
We got the mower back, got home, and I showed my mysterious box to hubby, who accused me of signing up for something. I said no, and realized then that I didn’t know where it had come from. I mean, yes, it came from The Mysterious Package Company, but there was no way that was a welcome box. I was so busy worrying about the mystery INSIDE the box I didn’t stop to think about the mystery OF the box.
Hubby was instantly concerned that by “joining” I was signing up to receive things we’d have to pay for (there are plenty of places like that, and I JUST signed up a couple weeks ago), so I double checked the site, and yes, this IS one of the experiences – which means that someone sent it! Yes, some super awesome amazing person purposely picked this out and sent it – how friggin’ awesome is that?? The only thing is I don’t know who it was. I can think of a couple of people, but neither has taken credit yet. I even posted on facebook about how I was trying to figure out who had sent it – thinking the gift giver would give themselves away with a “tee-hee” or a winky face or something, but so far nada.
So, there are the various mysteries for the day. Tomorrow I am going to go back through the diary – I already ran through a second time and studied the pictures and re-read the historical portions now that I know who and what everyone and everything mentioned in it is. While doing the google searches, I did search for the newspaper clipping articles, which turned up nothing, and I also randomly looked up the copyright info in the book (It is really well done! And the handwriting on part of it looks like mine, so I was curious who had done it) but it came up with nothing – the publishing company listed does exist, but there’s no listing for whatever this book is called (intriguing). I did find some instagram photos of other people who have gotten this “experience” as well, and they mentioned “breaking the code” – so now I know there is more to it than what was obvious (I had wondered because puzzle solving is part of their advertising and was going to go over it all again tomorrow). I am pretty sure the puzzle involves the symbols that are drawn seemingly-randomly on the pages in black ink (you can see some in the above photos). Those same symbols are on the talisman as well, and I assume it is some kind of key and the symbols are a code. I’m not amazing at code breaking, but mom and I are going to give it a go tomorrow none the less.
**So, in closing, a HUGE thank you to whoever the mysterious sender of this box was. This is one of the most awesome presents I’ve ever gotten!
Have a mystery-b0x-crazy-siren-snakes-from-the-sky kind of day!
PS – Here’s a bonus shot of the dalias starting to bloom!
Voltron Legendary Defenders
Warning: this contains spoilers. If you haven’t seen the new series yet and don’t want spoilers, then navigate away.
If you’re still here, then I did warn you.
First I need to admit my love for the classic Voltron. Keith was one of my first true loves, I even had a picture of him (from my Voltron coloring book) framed in my room. However, I loved classic Voltron, and have never bothered with the other iterations, so I can’t compare the new reboot to any of those, only the original. Also, it’s been a minute since I’ve seen the old ones, so my memory may be hazy in a few areas.
This reboot is done by the Avatar/Kora people and I see their stamp all over it. The principle animation reminds me of Kora in places, with some of Avatar’s simplicity, while the story pacing, and even personalities of characters feel very Avatar. And, just as with Avatar and Kora, the series gets less comedic and more serious as the episodes roll along. However, with only 11 episodes they never quite reach the level of Kora and stay more in Avatar Book 1 territory.
I won’t bother detailing the first episode – that’s been done all over the place – but I have to take a moment to point out some changes. Instead of adult space explorers, we get a group of cadets who are still in school – well, except Keith who was kicked out for “disciplinary reasons”, and Shiro (The Sven replacement) who actually IS an adult, but has spent a year as a prisoner of Zarkon, having been kidnapped on a science expedition with a father/son pair.
As for their personalities, Hunk and Pidge initially seemed pretty much like I remembered (more on that later), though I did get tired of the puking gag with Hunk every time they fly. Luckily it disappears after the first few episodes. As for the others. Hmmm. Lance is no longer the kind of uptight second in command, but rather demoted to third place, and turned into a Sokka clone (as in Sokka from Avatar). I can deal with that because it was amusing and I’m not a lunatic purist, but -as you may guess – the Shiro/Keith changes irritated me a bit.
As I said, Shiro is the Sven replacement and has absolutely nothing in common with the base character. Did I mention he was kidnapped? Not only does he remember nothing about his confinement or even how he escaped (this is never explained), but while there he got his arm replaced with some alien tech, which makes a handy plot device now and then. In a later episode when he fights with Haggar the witch (yes she is there), Haggar tells him that she installed the arm and had hoped to make him their greatest weapon. Of course, by then he has remembered bits and pieces f his confinement, including being a gladiator in a ring (Just as the original space explorers were before they escaped and ended up on planet Arus) Despite this, Shiro is calm, collected, and 100% leader material, no doubt because he is older and better trained than the others.
And that’s the thing that irritates the crap out of me because when they made him cool and collected and in control, they took those attributes away from Keith, leaving Keith to be temperamental, brash, sarcastic, and with no sense of what team work means. (Though they were nice and gave him control of Voltron’s sword at least -more on that later.)
And Keith’s not the only one with no sense of teamwork. Since these guys have NOT been traveling as space explorers together, they have pretty much zero team work abilities. In the classic series, the delay in their working Voltron properly is technical (the missing key), while in this series the problem almost always comes back around to their inability to work together. Even Pidge takes a turn at wanting out of the team in one episode. Luckily, since most of the episodes are only twenty-some minutes, it doesn’t last long enough to get really annoying, and by episode eleven some of the personality glitches have started to smooth out. Except Coran’s.
Coran is the adviser to Princess Allura. In the classic series he is a bit stuffy, no, more than a bit, a lot, but in this show he is 100% comedy relief. He’s so outrageous that it literally made me cringe. Buffoon does not even cut it. By the final episode they had toned him down by about 10% but I’d say another 40% is necessary.
As for Allura, despite complaints online that she is a princess in a tower who does nothing (boo hoo) this is far from true. For starters she is the only one who can create the wormholes that enable the Voltron force and the giant castle spaceship to get from one end of the galaxy to the other before they’re old, she knows pretty much everything about all the technological components of the castle (which is also a space ship. Was it a space ship in the original series?), and the lions are tied into her life force. On top of that she has some fantastic healing abilities (she uses this energy/healing thing to save a dying planet-sized beast at one point), and, as it is revealed in the 10th episode, has some chameleon/shifting abilities as well (she turns her skin purple and makes herself taller in order to impersonate one of Zarcon’s drones). She is also freakishly strong – in the same episode she picks up and flings Shiro into an escape pod as well as holding doors shut against a group of drones. And, far from being the demure, sweet princess that the original Allura was, she is almost tsundere at times, and yells and waves her arms a lot. She reminded me a lot of Katara from Avatar who, despite being lauded as a strong female, doesn’t really start out that way and has to grow into the role. A sweet stay-at-home princess she is not. Get over it internet.
Another complaint I saw about the first episode is that it was “five white guys saving the world as usual – can’t you do better” bleh, bleh. First off, sorry to fry your burrito but Keith is supposed to be Asian from my understanding, and Lance and Hunk aren’t white (their skin colors are both darker than the others) and they aren’t all men because – KACHING – they turned Pidge into a girl.
I’ll give you a second on that.
Remember that father/son pair Shiro was with when they were taken prisoner? Well that was Pidge (or should I call her Kate?)’s father and brother. It’s revealed that after Galaxy Garrison blames their disappearance on pilot error, Pidge/Kate hacks the Garrison’s computers and is thrown off base. To get back in, she cuts off her hair and enters as a cadet under a different name. After the Voltron force shoots down the ship Shiro was held prisoner with, Pidge goes back and gets enough data to start the search for her parents – this is what causes that moment I mentioned when she wants to leave the team. This is pretty much sussed out in the first few episodes – with Shiro being the first to realize it as he suddenly remembers things about his exploration companions. It’s handled well, and little clues are dropped that make you go “OOOooOOOO”. And even though it often aggravates me when they gender-swap roles, I don’t mind this so much because Pidge was never one of my favorites and he was always pretty girly anyway. At least the leisure suit is gone.
With only 11 episodes, they haven’t gotten into any of Keith’s past – not even what he did to get tossed out of the Garrison – nor have they gotten into Lance or Hunk. I’ll be interested to see if they do in the next season and what they do. It might be nice to see Hunk fleshed out as more than a stomach. (to be fair, they’ve already made him super smart half time)
As for Voltron… Hmmmm. They’ve changed the lion arrangement. Shiro is in the black lion, and Keith is in the red, while Lance has been demoted to blue (what with his red lion being taken). Why? Yes, Keith’s uniform was always red (because he was the leader and in anime it is red leader, blue is number two, etc. so their uniform colors denoted their rank in the team, NOT the color of their lions). However they have now evidently decided to match the lions with uniforms, which makes me wonder HOW they could give Allura one? Unless they make her team leader and give her a black uniform, it would mean a major shake up and everyone having to get new colors…
Though they don’t get into the elements involved with the cats, there is a hint at it later on when Lance’s lion shoots an ice gun and Keith’s a lava like blast that melts metal. The cats seem to have a LOT of random weapons that pop up when they’re needed and disappear when they aren’t.
Speaking of weapons, everyone but Shiro gets a Bayard – a technological weapon that turns into a different item based on the user’s personality (Keith gets a sword, Lance a blaster, etc.) The black lion’s Bayard was lost with the original Palidin (pilot), but Shiro has that spiffy arm, so it’s all okay.
Also, despite not being in the first episode, the Voltron robot does have his weapons – each lion has a different one that they activate by coupling their Bayard with the lion. Pidge controls the shield, Keith the sword, Hunk a giant blaster, and I don’t recall seeing what Lance’s is.
There is some good humor when the group is trying to unsuccessfully figure out how to form Voltron in the second episode. Despite being able to do it in episode one, they find it is a skill they can’t redo as easily, though by the last episode they’ve got it down, though Zarkon’s remarks about the lions being unable to beat him “in fledgling hands” shows that they have a long way to go to utilizing it all.
As for other elements, the space mice are there – though there’s a different story about their telepathic abilities – and the hologram of Allura’s father is also there for awhile (she has to destroy him when his program is infected – the final scene of that episode actually made me tear up a little). I mentioned Haggar, and her Druids are there, as is Zarkon, of course, and though they aren’t in the first episode there are Robeasts that land in their giant space caskets (and unlike the classic series they don’t randomly change appearance – ha ha!).
They also use the classic mecha-anime split screens to show the characters talking when they are in their lions or in Voltron, and an overlong transformation sequence that takes place in space so that the cats always fly out of the atmosphere, transform, and then fly back, allowing them to use the same sequence over and over, which gives it an authentic cheese flavor.
Since this is novel length, I’m going to wrap it up. In all, I enjoyed the series. As I said, the pacing is well done, the story flow is good, there is a bit of an “Oh!” moment at the final meeting with Zarkon. There is a lot of comedy – almost too much at the beginning, but it evens out. They stick to enough of the original material to keep me satisfied, with enough newness to give some surprises (like who the original Paladin of the Black Lion was! Since everything with the black lion is purple, this now makes sense why all the Zarkon things are purple.) And the show ends with the hint that the story could get much deeper in a second season. I compared the pacing to Avatar, and I stand by that. If you enjoyed it, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy this one.
Though be warned: the last episode ends with a horrible cliff hanger – the wormhole they’re traveling in is rendered unstable by Haggar, meaning they have no control over where they’ll come out at, and the black lion and red lion fly off by themselves and disappear…and end. Is there a second season coming? If so when? Alas, I don;t have these answers, but if someone else does, I’m all ears.
Have a telepathic space mice kind of day!
Hello, hello! It’s Wednesday, and what better day to participate in Saturday Scribblers, a very cool blog challenge wherein Dean provides participants with a scribble they then turn into artwork. Confused? It’s easy! Here’s this week’s scribble:
And here is what I did with it:
Why a duck? Why not? I admit, I initially saw a chicken, but since I already get chicken jokes made at me, I didn’t see the need to fuel it. Why chicken jokes? Long story condensed, I was yelling at my brother one day and he said, “I see your lips moving but all I hear is ‘Bagock!’.” And ever since then he and hubby have called me a chicken – so much so that it has almost turned into a term of endearment (I’ve actually noticed that when they call me Chicken as opposed to my name, they’re nicer to me), but I refuse to embrace it. It’s a thing.
Anyway, go check out ScribblerSaturday, and since you have all week, why not join in?
Have a bread for ducks kind of day!
Video Rage: Out One Week
I have my copy, do you have yours?
I can’t believe how fast a single week can go. And I’m happy to say that Video Rage‘s first week has been very successful. Already a lot of people are getting copies of it, and even sales of Reborn City, the first book in the trilogy, has picked up a bit. This makes me really happy because it lets me know that people are very interested in reading these creations of mine.
Now, if you’re unfamiliar with Reborn City and Video Rage (and you must be really new here if that’s the case), they’re the first two books in the science fiction trilogy I’ve been writing since high school. The series follows Zahara Bakur, a Muslim teenager living in a dystopian future, and how her life changes drastically when she is forced to join the Hydras, a rising street gang in the western projects of the Vegas-style city-state…
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Blogophilia Week 16.9
It’s time again for Blogophilia, the fun blogging group where Marvin gives participants prompts to use in their weekly posts. This week’s prompts are:
- Blogophilia Week 16.9 Topic: Resetting or Starting Over?
- Bonus Points:
- (Hard, 2 pts) Include a Raymond Chandler Novel
- (Easy, 1 pt) Incorporate someone being saved
Resetting or starting over – are they the same thing? How about redoing? recently I have started re-reading my own books in order to write the ninth one ( I want to make sure I wrap everything up in a neat tidy bow) and when I started book 1 the usual thing happened – I started rewriting it.
Masque of the Vampire: A Review
Thanks so much for the kind words, Tricia! The praise means so much coming form such an excellent author!
Though it’s Tuesday, I am now getting around to participating in the Saturday Scribble, though really it can be done any day of the week – even Tuesdays.
What is Saturday Scribblers? It’s where Dean Kealy posts a scribble that participants turn into a drawing. This week’s scribble is:
And here is what I made out of it:
The scribble is the upper portion of the butterfly’s wings, in case you can’t tell.
There’s still plenty of time to participate, so check out the post and do some scribbling of your own!
Have a butterfly kind of day!