Something for today…

This struck a chord with me today…

We’re still finding out details, and we need to wait until the facts are in, until we know as much as we can. The one thing we cannot — should not — do is to be afraid. There are other things more important than fear.

Tell someone you love them.

Do something good for a total stranger.

Remember what is important.

There are things more important than fear, and there is risk in everything we do, everywhere you go. Don’t stop living on account of fear. Life is too precious. Kia Kaha, everyone.

The Orville, Con Man, and First Impressions in Comedy

photo by P.J. Schnyder

When it comes to comedy, I like to think I know what I’m doing. MOREVI: The Chronicles of Rafe & Askana, amidst its swashbuckling action and romance, indulged in some well-needed comedic scenes. The Case of the Singing Sword is my homage to mystery noir and epic fantasy, and takes great joy poking fun at both. The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences offers up intrigue, twisted tales, and cliffhanging moments. There are also moments of whimsy that steampunk allows.

And before my life in between a book cover, I was treading the boards bringing to life comedy from Christopher Durang and William Shakespeare and making laughs up as I went with the good people at ComedySportz.

So yeah, I know a thing or two about comedy.

This is why I was a little disappointed and somewhat troubled by the early reviews of The Orville, a new science fiction comedy from Seth McFarlane. When the trailer dropped, the hype was the The Orville looked more like Star Trek than Star Trek’s upcoming Discovery. Continue reading

One Last Time: Returning to the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences

“One last time
Relax, have a drink with me
One last time
Let’s take a break tonight
And then we’ll teach them how to say goodbye
To say goodbye
You and I”

— George Washington to Alexander Hamilton
Hamilton: An American Musical

PFD_3rd-SQUAREIt’s hard to believe the summer is in full swing, but here we are; and if you’re following any of my social media streams, you know I’ve been busy…

  • A new podcast is in full swing. (I’ll share Episode #010 here when it goes live. Trying a few new things with this podcast.)
  • The Third Edition of Podcasting for Dummies is in the final edits, and both Chuck and I could not be happier. (And it’s been an absolute blast.
  • A new idea is still coming together, and the feedback on it has been overwhelmingly positive.

But after a really hard start to 2017, I thought I had brought my year back on track. Thing is, I was putting off something that I know has been lurking in the shadows—the final installment to the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences.

Continue reading

4 Lessons from Wonder Woman for Writers

 

wonder-woman-2017-5Last weekend, I — as many of my fellow nerds, geeks, and moviegoers also did around the world — made Wonder Woman a record-breaking film. Single-handedly, the Amazonian Princess of Themyscira pulled off a true wonder: an incredible cinematic experience from DC Studios. Guess it really does take a woman to do the job of two men.

But I digress.

Let’s just address the 800-pound Doomsday in the room: Batman V. Superman (where Gal Gadot’s Diana was unveiled) was nothing short of a red hot mess. It made its money back, sure, but so did Star Wars: Episode One, Two, and Three, so please, don’t use that as a dog in this hunt. On account of BVS’ reception, a lot was riding on Wonder Woman. A lot. Perhaps the future of DC’s cinematic franchise.

I’ve had a week to process it and some things have cemented for me about this film: Continue reading

#WednesdayWisdom — A Second Opinion

So you hear me say it all the time in podcasts. “Enjoy the ride.” I picked up this catch phrase from frequent trips to King’s Dominion and Busch Gardens. I’m a roller coaster guy, you see. As life is a lot like a roller coaster, Enjoy the ride…” strikes me as a good mantra to practice.

But don’t take just my word for it…

IMG_2989

Wise words from Captain Jack Sparrow.

Make it a good day, everybody.

Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2: A Spoiler-Free Review

guardiansofthegalaxy2
If you are living under a rock, you might have missed the big release at the box office this weekend. Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2 has now landed at your local movie theatre, and after its (come on, let’s be honest…you thought it was gonna suck…) stunning sleeper performance, the Marvel Studios’ Underdog of Misfits had one incredible bar to clear. The original took the hardest of comic book nerds by surprise while casual fans of Marvel, convinced this would be the first MCU dud, came out pleasantly surprised and downloading Awesome Mix, Volume One on their smartphones before getting home from the theatre.

Now, the Guardians are back.

So where do I begin? Or more to the point, where do I begin and not spoil the insane amount of fun that is happening in GotG, Vol. 2? There is a LOT to be had, but a good amount of this fun are in the twists, turns, and surprises GotG, Vol. 2 packs within its running time. I think I can give an opinion — a sincere, analytical opinion — without giving anything away, but if I do inadvertently spoil anything for you, I apologize.

schwartzennager

Okay, let’s do this… Continue reading

Six Characters in Search of an Author: A Review of Westworld

***
SPOILERS AHEAD!
THIS IS A DEEP DIVE INTO WESTWORLD,
BOTH SEASON ONE AND ITS FINALE.
SPOILERS AHEAD!
***

This weekend, HBO’s science fiction epic Westworld wrapped up their inaugural season.

tomhiddleston-silence

Since Sunday night, I have been working through my feelings about that finale, and about this season…but that final episode of Westworld feels best summed up like this…

hgwells-confused

rreynolds-confused

One more…

Continue reading

Election 2016: The Day After

 

20140917_074443_805_xI’ve got a terrible habit that I need to let you all know about: I glance at my phone way too often when I drive. It’s a bad habit that I developed when I was freelancing, working long hours, and glancing at Twitter to break the monotony on long drives. I’ve gotten a lot better at curtailing the “need for feed” as Boom is getting older, but this morning I checked my feed on the inchworm commute to work. No, I shouldn’t have. Yes, I nearly rear-ended someone. It was reckless. It was stupid. I should be safer. Both me and the Volt made it to work with nary a scratch…

Well, no, that’s not 100% true. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo: It Should Be Your First Step, Not Your Excuse

 

18691SD2November is upon us, and with the close of Halloween and the beginning of a new month you might be seeing across various social media platforms “daily word counts” being posted, sudden concerns about productivity, or rants over applications like “Scrivener” or “Write or Die” when they unexpectedly crashes. If this is happening to you, I’d recommend stocking up on coffee for your friends and patience with yourself. November is the month of NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month.

I’ve seen writers react both positively and negatively over the event. The positive sentiment usually constitutes cheerleading, tough love advice, and an overall celebration of hardcore, P90 X-style word-herding. The authors who loathe NaNoWriMo? They hate it with a passion, and don’t get the nay-sayers started on the NaNoWriMo instances that see publication. That’s some prime vitriol there. Continue reading