Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Mary Robinette Kowal

I felt inspired today to write a post about a fellow author who I greatly admire (Mary Robinette Kowal). Complete disclosure, I am also related to Mary (she's my cousin) but that has nothing to do with how much I admire her, other than being the reason we first met.
A little history: Mary is the granddaughter of my great aunt. The whole side of the family is amazing, but that's too much to go into.

We met when I was...maybe 8 or 9 (at least that's when I first remember meeting her). It's locked in my memory because she and her brother Steve introduced me to a "new game" at the time "Dungeons and Dragons". I discovered what a halfling was, and I never looked back. This fantasy world was somewhere I wanted to be. It resembled the small town I grew up in along with the woods, fields and streams but it was different and magical and amazing.

I never stopped roleplaying. I also was determined to write, so that I could always spend part of my time in another world, a world where things made more sense to me sometimes.
So I am forever indebted to Mary for showing me the finding a magic wardrobe in a relative house.

Mary and I had no interaction for many years, but then the internet came along and I was able to catch up with Mary. She was an accomplished puppeteer (I think that's the word), she married a sommelier (or maybe he owns a vineyard - either way, it's cool.)

But most importantly, she also wrote! Science fiction and fantasy. And she is way, way, WAY better than I am (that's how you win a Hugo). So I started following her on all the social media I could find. She is socially conscious, funny, well read, has many cool hobbies (like making dresses that come straight out of the victorian age). Monte Cook is her personal friend (invented D&D with Gary Gygax #geektrivia)

So if you haven't read any good books lately, or you are looking for a good read, check out her page, or buzz over to Amazon and pick one up. Follow her on twitter or something. My cousin is definitely living her best life. She's inspirational and interesting. I'm really proud to be her relative (I probably find a way to work it into conversations a bit too much in today)


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Iron Fist is taking all while to get through!!!

A little history:
When Daredevil first appeared on Netflix, I was instantly hooked. As a huge fan of the DD comic, the look and tone of the show really spoke to me and I DEVOURED it. Then Luke Cage came along and I devoured it even more! Again, I just loved the way the show felt. Jessica Jones was a bit of a stranger to me to be honest, but I love the how and the actress is amazing. My wife and I both loved that one!
Now, I know Defenders is out here, and I want to get to it so bad! I loved the Defenders comics, but first I have to get through Iron Fist.
Now, my fandom of Iron Fist comics is legendary. I love the guy. I always have. And I don't hate the show, but something is keeping me from blasting through it like I did the others. I'm not sure what the problem is. It is intriguing and I like the action. It has just become a bit of a slog. Now, I will say that later episodes have gotten better and better, so it may have been an issue of a long-developing plotline, which is fine.
Either way, I am a couple of episodes from finishing and then I get to dive into The Defenders!

As for the Punisher...never been a fan...but I will give it a go and we will talk about it here :)

Monday, November 20, 2017

Thinking about Super hero movies today (after seeing all the posts about Justice League). Here is a random list of my favorites (in no particular order)

Avengers: Age of Ultron
Civil War
Fantastic Four (the first one)
Batman Vs. Superman
Suicide Squad
Jumper (I love superhuman movies about metahuman that don't wear tights)
Captain America (all of them)
Iron Man (all of them)
Thor (all of them)
The Dark Knight trilogy
Man of Steel
Blade (all of them)
Hellboy (all of them - even the animated ones)
X-men (all of them)
Wolverine (all of them EXCEPT LOGAN)

How did I forget about
Kick Ass (both of them)

Thinking about developing a GGE superhero property...possibly as a fake news site, but the fake news is about super heroes....thoughts?

Friday, November 17, 2017

Fantastic Beasts 2 - Johnny Depp's involvement controversial?

I'm seeing lots of controversial press about Depp's role in Fantastic Beasts 2. He plays the main villain (I'm assuming) Gellert Grindelwald.
I have read the Harry Potter books (obviously) and seen the movies and I loved Fantastic Beasts. I'm not sure I get the controversy. At least around the casting.
Depp hasn't been seen as a franchise killer in the past. He's an actor that is known for creating iconic roles. And this look? Amazing. Rowling wrote the screenplay, so I can't imagine it being anything short of amazing.
I'm reminded a little of Tom Cruise's casting as Lestat a million years ago. People decried it, but he was amazing in that role!
Now, if people are protesting because of reasons of Johnny Depp's character after the blow up between he and Amber Heard...well, I can hardly fault people there. I admit to not having the facts of the case (I tend to try and avoid the news in the "real world". Just too damn depressing), but if he is some sort of abusive monster, then that is heart breaking and disappointing.
I don't want to belittle those reasons, but I will say that I do expect the movie to be a good one and I expect his acting will create another unforgettable character.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

This is a great list that ranks 30 DC Universe movies (click here). And I agree, for the most part with the rankings with only a couple of exceptions.
First, let me be clear, I love all of these movies. Why?
A) I'm a fan boy and I love the entire superhero genre. Now, don't get me wrong, I know there are various levels of "camp" that some people like more than others. And some of these are long on camp (Steel), but I don't mind some campy action. Not one bit :)
B) I don't like trashing other creators' work. These are all labors of love, just like my own stuff and I would hate to land on a list of hated works. I like to labor under the notion that people out there "get me" and my art. So based on that same thought, I don't view everything as "good" or "bad" based solely on how much I enjoy it. Though I enjoy movies that other people just loathe. I always look for the gems amongst a few weeds.

So, my thoughts on the list itself? I am so happy to see "Watchmen" listed so high! I love "Watchmen"!
I would personally put "Suicide Squad" much higher. I love that movie so much!
I might bump "Batman vs. Superman" a little higher as well, and "The Losers"...I love that movie. I know it bombed, but I just love it, and I do know the reference material...I possess more than a few vintage "Losers" comics (both the original and the Vertigo re-imagining).

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Find time for our creative pursuits...

So anyone associated with Green Gates Entertainment also has a full time job that does not involve dragons, spaceships, superheros or vampires (unfortunately).
So we, like most others of a creative bent, struggle with finding time for our pursuits - except perhaps for Green himself who seems to have unlimited energy to make his worlds a reality...just check out Dread Hollow in Chattanooga, TN. A complete small town built to deliver chilling and haunting experience throughout the whole year. Think of it as a horror movie you can visit where the characters stay the same but the story around them continues to evolve. How cool is that?

For me (Gates), I constantly struggle with balancing my time. Between work, family, writing and trying to stay in a modicum of  good health, I find my time diminishes quickly (I also like to play music, brew beer and still make time for some epic Pathfinder!).

So here is my current plan - lately I have been balancing work, family, and exercise well. So my new plan is to set aside one hour, early in the day when I walk into my home office, and write, blog, promote, submit, etc. I have been going well for this first hour of today. Let's see how I do at keeping that going!

What tips, tricks or techniques might you have for ensuring you  keep the creativity flowing while balancing your time in the "real world"?

Saturday, September 24, 2016

“Blue Spirit” By E. Chris Garrison

This is a book that grabs the reader right off the bat and doesn’t let go. From the very start, when the world of fantasy bleeds into our own world, the book is suffused with a sense of wonder and a lingering malevolence as it seems our heroine is constantly just a bit over her head. However, with her own sense of ingenuity and the powerful sense of camaraderie between her and her close friends, somehow, she manages to persevere.

The most compelling thing about the book, in my opinion, is just how real the characters feel. We see the world from the point of view of the main character who has the same problems as many of use as she balances her extraordinary gift with the travails of real life such as finding the right relationship, paying her rent and holding down a job while engaging in adventures across worlds.

It puts one in the mind of “Lost Girl” in that the characters are real people with real problems who also have to deal with extraordinary circumstances at every turn. The main character, Skye,  is insightful, funny, a gamer, a cosplayer and she likes to drink. She sounds like any one of my close circle of friends!

I had no idea what to expect I opened the book, but once I started reading, I could not put it down. I wanted to know what was going on, what would happen next, and above all, I wanted these characters, who felt like people I knew and cared for, to be ok.
So this book is a quick read, a great ride and if there is any weakness, it is in the brevity of the work..fortunately, there is a another book to read!

Look for my review of “Sinking Down” coming soon!

Pick up "Blue Spirit" here!

Here's the synopsis of the book

Book Synopsis for Blue Spirit:   Gamer girl Skye MacLeod can see fairies, but only when she’s tipsy. More Grimm than enchanting, some of these fairies are out to ruin her life, wreaking havoc with her job, her home, and her relationships.
With the help of her tiny fairy friend Minnie, Skye has to protect her vampire wannabe gamer friends from all-too-real supernatural threats only she can see. Can she keep it together and hold fast against a wicked fairy Queen’s plot?

Blue Spirit is the first book of A Tipsy Fairy Tale series!