Two Minutes of Purest Awesome with Tom Hiddleston

I keep thinking that actor Tom Hiddleston will hit a peak. You know? It seems as if he just kicked off on the right foot when he appeared opposite Kenneth Branagh in Wallander, charmed geeks everywhere when he posed for a candid shot with a young Avenger, and then made a lasting impression as Loki at this year’s ComicCon in San Diego. I honestly thought that Tom Hiddleston could not get more awesome.

How I underestimated the actor behind the Trickster God and young Prince Hal…

Tom — please don’t ever change.

STEAMPUNK GOES MAINSTREAM…and other things for geeks to panic about. Again.

First off, I’m sorry everybody. It has been far too long. Where in the name of clocks, gears, and cogs have I been?

Let me drop a few quick teasers as to what has been going on in my life:

  • Got a new job. Social Media Coordinator. And the best part, it’s very close to home with telecommuting thrown in as a bonus.
  • After a month, got a promotion at the new job.
  • Then, conducted interviews for the job that I was originally hired to do. (Being on the other end of the interview table? Woah…)
  • Got a new car. I’m driving a Nissan LEAF right now. LOVE IT!
  • Jumped back on to the Medifast train. My weight was out of control again.
  • Christmas.

Some of these things I intend to talk about later on this blog. (Stop laughing. Seriously. I am!) I also have to keep in mind, though, I have a novel to finish. I’m still on board with a steampunk reboot of MOREVI, so Rafe Rafton will be returning to the oceans this year.

It is this very subject — something that, I’ll admit, people are coming to me more and more about for an opinion which feels pretty good — from where this rant finds its core. So let’s turn back the clock to January 15, Tuesday, 10 a.m. At my new day job, a friend sends me a link to AdAge about IBM’s fascination with steampunk. I ran the article on my Facebook page as this truly was the convergence between my day job and my writing career. IBM is tracking “steampunk” in order to find patterns between trends and fads. I also posted it on the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Facebook page and between the two, I got a whopping 6 shares. So maybe it wasn’t as cool as I thought.

Continue reading

Stranger on a Train XVII

I should be focusing on the job. I should be a blank slate on the way to Alexandria. I should feel a sense of accomplishment from the weekend.

I think I’m obsessing over this book trailer.

It makes sense, you know? Even with the previous night Linc and I took off from editing, I was putting together some audio for it. I couldn’t find the right effect so I put it together in Soundtrack Pro. The end result was exactly what I wanted, and it was built around a basic, elementary sound.

Guess that is what makes a film, or a book, or any artistic endeavor — the details. It’s the super glue of creativity.

My in-laws are in from New Zealand. Sonic Boom is over the moon. I think Pip is far more thrilled than she’s letting on. I missed spending Sunday with them, but I had audio for ACX to record, a Tales from the Archives (this one from J.R. Blackwell) to mix, and a sound effect for the trailer. It was a productive day, but I got to make sure I make time for the family. That’s a detail that really matters.

I think I also need to make time to see The Avengers again. It was a blast. Jose Whedon already had good reason to be proud with Serenity, but he really met unrealistic expectations.

Good on ya, Joss.

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It’s Not about Joss: Concerning The Avengers, Science Fiction, and New York Times Critics

Since 3 a.m. last night, I have been singing the praises of The Avengers, the über-anticipated epic directed by one of the deities of fanbois everywhere Joss Wheedon. Now while this may make me sound like I’m looking down my nose at fanbois and geeks, I disagree — I’m just practicing full transparency, just as I practice in my life a blatant display of geekiness. It’s part of my job. It’s part of my life. I have no shame being a geek. It’s who I am.

This morning (as in the midnight showing) Pip and I saw what I would argue is Joss Whedon’s second-best film (still not as shiny as his best) but his greatest triumph as a screenwriter and filmmaker. Whedon took four of Marvel’s heaviest hitters, threw in three more for good measure, shook well, and created a script and a movie that was balanced, entertaining, and good fun. And when I say fun, I mean “original Iron Man” fun. Already on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes, the reviews are coming in and the movie will, as summer blockbusters do, raise the bar for other movies of its ilk…

I will go on to say, though, if Battleship breaks The Avengers records, I am seriously going to wrap up this blog and hide. For a decade. Continue reading

The Tough Choices (Part III: Great Expectations)

And this is it.

You’ve heard why new computer books, while bringing in a bit of the greenbacks, is no longer my thing as a writer; and you’ve finally got an idea of what I have been dealing with in a writing partnership that went so south, the relationship is in Antarctica right now. (Considering this next section, there a touch of irony for you.) You also know that Billi and the crew are taking a “big sleep” as well. It’s time for me to move forward.

Granted, when I was told this was the next step, I had no idea this was going to be such a giant leap.

This wild ride starts in May of last year…

The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences

2010 could be best summed up by Charles Dickins’ opening line from A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” While working through the worst of times, May ushered in the best of times with a two-book deal from Harper Voyager. What had started as a podcast-for-pay with Pip Ballantine became my big break, and my top priority.

The series is called The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, and we describe the series as a steampunk take on the BBC’s espionage romp The Avengers. Our first book, Phoenix Rising, will premiere this Spring with its follow-up, under the working title Of Cogs and Corsets, planned for a 2012 release. Since the contract was signed, we have been moving at a blistering pace between quick turnarounds on edits, cover art production, and development of the sequel. Add to all this mayhem unanticipated international sales to Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and (just this month) Russia, it’s no lie: Expectations are high, particularly with the book’s premiere scheduled at The Steampunk World’s Fair in New Jersey.

There is one reoccurring thought running through my mind during this whole period of time: Holy crap, this is really happening. Continue reading

PREVIEW: Books & Braun (Recorded LIVE at World Fantasy 2009)

readingI admit that my blog (both of them) have been a bit quiet since taking on the Day Job and working through a busy October, but hopefully this sneak peek at what I’ve been up to will make my pockets of quiet worthwhile.

Recorded before a live audience at World Fantasy Convention, award-winning podcaster and award-nominated author Philippa Ballantine and I unveiled (with the blessings of our agent) our work-in-progress now working its way through submissions: Books & Braun, our Steampunk take on The Avengers. This is the first time that we have revealed to the public any selections from the work (apart from the odd quotes and teasers in our respective tweet streams), and we had a blast with this presentation. Our plan is to eventually podcast it in this fashion: Pip and I supplying the respective narration, a “few” (HA!) production elements, a musical score, and artwork featured by Carrie Seidman. We hope you enjoy this listen at what we have cooking in the creative kitchen.

BLOGGERS & PODCASTERS: We are releasing this reading under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Both Pip and I encourage you to syndicate this episode and point your subscribers to this endeavor of ours. We also would love to hear your feedback on this preview both here and at Pip’s website. Thank you for giving us a bit of space on your mp3 player of choice, and we will keep you posted on what happens with our daring duo from the clandestine organization that is The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences.

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