Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Great information about Self Publishing

I put this info on Twitter as well as here in today's blog entry. Excuse the redundancy, but it seems really interesting and thus bears repeating.
I wondered across J.A Konrath's blog entry today and he discusses the state of Self Publishing. For anyone who doesn't know, Konrath is an already etablished print author, but his insight is still really interesting.
It's an eternal question for writers and it is getting to be a more commonly asked question as publication options, distribution options and marketing options become more and more varied.
I'm not taking a position on this one. It is a question for each writer/creative to decide when to seek acceptance by their industry's "gatekeeper" and when to go it alone instead.
This blog makes some compelling points though.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Sorceror's Apprentice

Why was the Sorceror's Apprentice not more well received? I just saw it and I have to say that I loved it!
I love the concept. I love the backstory and I love the way the sorceror's all seem so unique and mysterious. It had some of the same cool mystique that Highlander had for me.
I even liked their explanation of magic and the way sorcery works.
I didn't really see any downsides at all. I am not always a fan of Nicholas Cage, but I liked him in this movie and I thought his character was really cool.
I saw The Last Airbender recently and really enjoyed it as well, though most of what I enjoyed about it was based on the cartoon's already-established storyline, but the movie was still very good and I would like to see more.
Of the two though, I thought Sorceror's Apprentice was much cooler.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Key events

I read some cool advice a few months back. It was all around how to make sure your life feels meaningful, impactful and happy.
It all centered around making a "key events" list. The thought behind the key events list was to look back through your life and make a list of key events. Things that happened in your life that truly changed you.
It said to go all the way back as far as you could remember. It might be a meeting a best friend in elementary school, graduating high school, going to Disney World.
I thought through this and I wrote down about 30 things. A lot of it involved education (graduating from college), travel (visiting the UK) or changing jobs. Also each book that was published showed up on my key events list.
So, for me, what was the verdict?
  • Do more travel
  • Change jobs fearlessly when a better one comes along
  • Publish more books
  • Seek out educational opportunities.
The next step is to try and seek out more of the things you enjoyed, or that changed you in a positive way.
For me, this means
  • Look for new work if I want to
  • Make it a travel job
  • Publish more books
  • Finish my masters degree

All of those things are ongoing. Now that I know what a positive impact these things have had on my in the past, I am truly excited about the future!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Four Burners

I was reading Chris Guillebeau's blog over at "The Art of non-Conformity" this morning and I wandered across this post about work-life balance.
In it, he talks about a quote from David Sedaris that says that all of our lives consist of four "burners" (in this case, our life is metaphorically a stove top). There is a burner for friends, one for family, one for health and one for work.
The quote then goes on to say that to be successful, you have to turn off one of the burners. To be really successful, you have to turn off two.
The thought is anathema to a lot of people (me included). I have always sought a life in balance. I can, however, see how turning off some burners would help one succeed in the other areas.
I am just selfish enough that I want success in all areas.
The comments on the post offer some valuable insight (proving once again  that blog readers are usually smarter than blog writers - though sometimes they are the same people). piece of valuable advice is to combine burners. For example, run or bike with friends or family and thus combine health/family. Or make friends and family a single burner.
Another bit of advice says to turn down one burner for awhile and then come back to it later. This one begs a "juggling" metaphor.
For me, and for many of the creatives I hang out with, there is a fifth burner. The fifth burner is our "art". so I have a work burner that I have to keep going and I have to be successful primarily for the benefit of my family and health. Work also finances my art. So, I have to be successful at work, but I also have to leave time for writing, creating, etc.
I know, for a fact, that if I stopped producing my art, even at the snail's pace at which I work, I could devote more time to work and quickly become one of the best in my field. I could be much more recognized. I could give presentations at conferences and I could make a lot more money.
The thing is, my work is not my passion. My art is. So I have to balance 5 burners, not 4. A lot of you are in a similar boat.
So, do we need to cut off a burner? two? Or is there a way to juggle things better?
Just a glimpse into my life, right now, I do a decent job at managing all five. I get up early, get to work before most others. I then get to leave a bit early, get home and do family stuff. I keep 2 nights a week to hang with friends. I work out after the kids have settled down for the night, usually around 9:30. And then I spend an hour or so writing before bed. Some nights, I squeeze in some pure relax time just for me (lately there has been more relax time as I bought Starcraft 2 and I am addicted to it - this is a pattern I endure when I get a new game. I don't get new games often, but when I do, I surrender to an intense addicted phase and then I am done for a long while).

Whew...long post I do you guys and gals handle the 4? 5? 6? burners in your lives?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Have a holly, jolly, holiday

I plan to have a great holiday! Not just the family time, the overeating, the holiday cocktails, the Christmas eve services, the presents, the football, but also time for the following:
  • Relaxing Gates-style: this means some Starcraft, some World of Warcraft, lots of reading, some sci-fi movies and maybe seeing True Grit.
  • Exercising: I actally love to run and it always seems a rushed and harried practice to squeeze in my 3-5 miles. During the holiday, opportunities abound
  • Creating: I love having uninterrupted time to make notes for new and existing stories, sit down with coffee and mood music and write, write, write.
So my holiday will be all of the traditional stuff, plus my three little goals listed above. I will also, of course, review 2010 and make some goals for 2011. I'll share some closer to Jan 1.

What are your unique holiday plans?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Twittering (Tweeting)

Been brushing up on my Twitter usage. Even still, I know I only understand a portion of Twitter. I am finally figuring out how to retweet and reply and I am starting to get some really good usage out of the folks I follow! Really cool.
You can follow us here. Send me a tweet and I'll follow ya back.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Marci! Where have you been all my life?

I may be stating that a little strongly, but I wandered across Marci Segal's blog today and it is all about creativity and leadership, both of which are near and dear to my heart.
I think this should be high on the list for anyone to read, creative or not.
We could all use more creativity in our life.
Even in jobs where we think creativity is not championed, it is often the most creative approaches that get noticed.
Sometimes being creative just means finding that little something that differentiates us from our peer.

Jimmy Johnson said, "The difference in ordinary and extraordinary is just that little extra."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Anti Matter

Anti Matter is a really funny web series devoted to exploring the geekdom that occurs around comic shops by fanboys like...well...sadly a bit like me, and maybe like you too.
I love the way the Chris Walker has taken what he knows, made it into bite sized webisodes and launched this series.
It's funny and familiar.
My favorite quote thus far is when one of the fanboys is trying to explain the hierarchy of geeks, dorks, nerds and dweebs and he says it is "nature's way of saying 'sorry' for only giving you three emotions. Anger lust and a more extreme form of lust."
The web series got a nice writeup on wired (which is how I found it).
How inspiring! Go create!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Transformers 3

Just watched the Transformers 3 (Transformers: Dark of the Moon)trailer. As usual, the cinematography is just gorgeous. I am amazed by the effects in those movies.
I am not a huge fan of the Transformers movies, though I was a huge fan of the cartoon and thought the toys were really cool.

I can't say what it is exactly that I don't love about the movies. They have some great qualities
  • Great director
  • Good acting
  • Spielberg
  • Amazing effects
  • Big budget
  • Humor
  • Ensemble Cast
All of these things are things I would typically say add up to a great movie. Maybe it's the stories? Maybe the cram too much into each film. I like parts of the movies, but I always find myself sort of hoping for the end of the movie to come along and then feeling like it is a long way off...and I typically like long movies (love the LOTR trilogy).
I can't say what about Transformers doesn't appeal to me. Don't get me wrong, I will see it, in 3D, but I get the sense I should like these movies more than I do.
Can anyone share their thoughts on what they find appealing? Maybe it's contagious.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Christmas shopping

I love Think Geek. If I owned a catalog, this is the stuff that would be in it.
This is a bib for a newborn. In my circle of friends, this is perfectly normal.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Pirates are back!

I know that some would say that Disney has done the Pirates of the Carribean to death. You know what? I don't care. I love pirates. I want to be a pirate and I'll go see these movies until Johnny Depp looks like Keith Richards!
Earth Station One has the preview trailer! Check it out!

The Secret

So I finally read "The Secret" (that's how far behind I am on my "to read" list - I think it came out in 2006).
It's a really interesting book. Not to ruin it for you, but it's about "The Law of Attraction" which has gained a lot of momentum in recent years.
I say it has gained momentum. It may be that I just became aware of it. I know most folks who write about the Law of Attraction sight some older sources like Wallace Wattles (Who called The Law of Attraction part of a "New Thought" Movement way back in 1910).

I have read other books that talk about this subject.
All say similar things and for the authors of these books it seems a very real principle and seems to have been "proven" by their lives and their situations. NOTE: I especially recommend Jack Canfield's book.

I have to say that I am a big fan of this notion as well. I don't know if one can always expect things to occur quite as dramatically as some of the examples in these books. Of course, a proponent of the Law of Attraction would say that my lack of 100% belief is why things like that don't happen to me.

I do believe though, 100% that you need to know exactly what you want if you are going to go after it. I fully believe in the power of visualization as practiced by all manner of professional athletes.
You have to believe you can achieve if you are going to succeed. That sounds like an affirmation, but it is very true. Henry Ford said "Whether you believe you can or you believe you can't, either way, you're right"

So if you aren't where you want to be in life, relationships, business, etc. I would recommend one of the books above as a tool. I'm not sure any will provide the whole answer, but they are certainly worth a read.
And if you find them inspiring enough to set a new grandiose vision for your life, and then succeed at only 10% of that vision, you've still moved ahead with your dreams!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Gnomeo and Juliet

Saw an interesting trailer for "Gnomeo and Juliet" this evening. A re-telling of Romeo and Juliet (as you may have gathered from the name) only with Yard Gnomes.
I love yard gnomes, by the way. I have a small collection of them (and no, I am not a geriatric, I just like the little dudes).
I think it could be a great idea. Sort of "Toy Story" like, but I suspect it will not be a big hit. Just a feeling.
Now, more importantly, why do I like Yard Gnomes? Who knows. I think because they seem whimsical and I like to think they are alive when I am not looking. Is that weird? It's the premise of "Gnomeo and Juliet" so I'm not the first person to think of it and I suspect most Yard Gnome owners like to pretend the same thing.
Oh, and Yard Gnomes seem to promote a lifestyle I could really enjoy. They are typically depicted either smoking, drinking or napping.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


You know, I love creativity. I love writing, drawing, brainstorming, outlining, filming...I just enjoy being creative. It's a shame that there aren't more opportunities to be creative. Then again, I guess there is really no shortage of such opportunities. Right now, I create in my time after my "real job".
I am starting to realize there is a certain amount of creativity that can be employed in my "real job".
I know there are a lot of other creators out there looking for a venue. I am starting to think that we have to make our own venue a lot of times. Find a tribe of followers, connect with them and market right to them.
I am thinking that the notion of being "discovered" might be a thing of the past, or at least a lot more of a crap shoot than it's ever been before.
There is so much noise out there, it's hard to convince someone you are different enough for them to produce.
Maybe the right path is to produce...and use your product to convince.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Historical Musings

Obviously, yesterday was Pearl Harbor Day. A Day that has lived in infamy (as FDR predicted). I know Japan and the U.S. pals now, and I am glad for it. Peace is my thing! Still, I am really saddened by the loss of life back in 1941. War is a terrible thing, but I am seriously grateful for those who have served and given thir lives to protect our freedoms.

Today, in 1980, John Lennon was shot and killed. Whether you like John Lennon or not, he was a great song writer and musician who changed the musical landscape forever. He certainly deserved better than being shot down. R.I.P John!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Stuff GGE needs

In 2011, GGE needs:
  • A redesigned website. One that rocks
  • Illustrations for some stories and some cover images (It's always amazed me that even with $$$ to spend, I can't get artists onboard)
  • An editor-for-hire who can edit grammatically, but also provide story input into our finished works (3 and counting)
  • We need to finish a few other stories that are in their infancy right now
  • We need someone to work with us to convert some prose to screenplays
Not sure where I will find these talented people yet, but they have to be out there. Some of it, we will do internally. If you know someone, send 'em our way!

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Expendables - a poor review from a notoriously easy reviewer

How could a movie have so much promise and undeliver so badly? Don't get me wrong..."The Expendables" was "okay" and I could watch it again. Just like I could watch "Commando" again, but it's unlikely I would do that on purpose.
I expected this to be something GREAT. Like the "Magnificent Seven" or "The Dogs of War" or "UnCommon Valor" or something like that, only with cooler uniforms, gear and bigger stars.
How can we have a movie with Jet Li and not have major martial arts fighting? I just didn't love this movie. Loved the cast. Loved the premise. Was very disappointed in how it was pulled off.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

IHero is back, baby!

Back in 1999, I wondered across an online Cyberage Adventures, an online E-zine that featured superhero stories written for adults. It had great artwork, but not sequential art like comic books. The thing I remembered most was that they viewed superheroes as a setting, not a type of story. They felt any type of story could be set in a superhero setting. I wholeheartedly agreed.
There were some products offered over time. A roleplaying game, a really great novel and a superhero tarot deck.
Then I didn't hear anything from them for awhile. Suddenly, thanks to Facebook, I wondered back across Ihero. I found their website and lo and behold, they are back with a new magazine offered both as a print mag and as a digital download.
The first issue went live today and I KNOW it will be great. I don't have to guess. I have read these writers before. I know some of the characters. It will be worth my time and money so I immediately bought my copy.
I highly suggest checking them out!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Getting it Right

It's pretty likely to hear me say (often) "Get it written, THEN get it right."
I say this for the obvious reason. Many people get hung up around the thought that they can't get it "right" so they obsess in the outlining phase, or they write and rewrite the first chapter ad infinitum. For these folks, my advice is right on the money. Write it first...then get it right.
There is a second part though...when I say get it right, I mean really get it right.
If you want to attract a publisher, sending them a crap manuscript is not "getting it right". After you get it written, you need to spend a while getting it right. This, to me, is the hardest part because you want to be doing something else, but you have to force yourself to focus on getting your work right. This means editting, polishing, rewriting, etc.
You need to get all of this done before sending it to an editor. If you want to stand out, then a great story is part of it. Good characters is part of it. Sending them a work that is already substantially "right" will definitely help get some attention.
If you plan on foregoing a traditional publisher and do it yourself...then getting it right is even MORE crucial! You'll have a huge stigma to overcome. That stigma is out there for a reason. Lots of do-it-yourself books don't have the quality of a traditionally published one. They can. They should. People just haven't taken the time to do the second part. I have bought several self published works with a great storyline, awesome characters and even a really nice looking book with an eye-catching cover, only to have my heart broken by poor editting, common errors and stilted dialogue.
So, now that you've got it written, now you really have to get to work.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I love Thanksgiving! I love the food. I love the Macy's Parade. I love hanging with family. My family makes a whole weekend of it. We eat like pigs. We start our Christmas shopping, we drag out the Christmas tree and the lights and all that jazz.
I'm watching Michael Grimm sing "Try a Little Tenderness" on the Macy's Parade as I type this and I, like so many bloggers today, will take this opportunity to say something I'm thankful for.
I'm thankful for (among other things) a country where we can express our art in whatever form we choose without fear of censure or conviction. It may not mean people will love it, but we can produce it.
I'm thankful for talented artists who I try and follow in my own life.
I'm thankful for my friends!
And I'm thankful for you!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Writing a good novel

I was reading an interview with Jonathan Franzen this morning. In the article, he comments that commercially successful does not mean you are a good writer.
I have struggled with this very notion many times. The idea that you can write a book that is essentially unreadable by the general public, but it still be considered a "great novel" and then authors who are read by millions can be considered "bad" (poor Robert Jordan).
Isn't art individual? Meaning is it only good or bad based on the eye of the beholder?
I can't say, but I have read some of Franzen's work. I think it's good, but I don't think it's great. Then again, I can't tell a fine wine from a cheap one unless I look at the price tag.
Mark Twain said (and I paraphrase) that many novels were like a fine wine while his were like water. He then went on to say that everyone drinks water. Of course, I think we all consider Twain to have been a great novelist ho was also commercially successful.
An example - Louis Lamour. He wrote westerns. They weren't great writing. They sold millions and millions of copies and to a certain audience, they are great. He reached people. He had a rabid a loyal following. People were sad when he was gone. I think this constitutes a great novelist. Was he the next J.D. Salinger? Obviously not, but he probably didn't want to be.
I hear elitist artists often lampoon commercially successful writing as "bad". Then again, at one point those same elitists tried to gain acceptance for publication.
I don't know what the answer is. I personally think judging a work as good or bad is in the eye of the beholder. Some people maintain, however, that they can tell good writing from bad (and we exclude the truly bad stuff...those that are made of poor grammar, cliches or stereotypes - there are basic rules).
I suppose I would like to be considered a "good" writer. Since I don't think anyone can give me that label other than readers and (hopefully) fans, then I suppose I will be relegated to the same "bad" column as writers like Terry Brooks and Robert Jordan.
I should be so lucky.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Random Musings

I am really excited about Thanksgiving! I love the time off, the food and the family stuff that goes with the Holiday!

So, I saw a clip of a slightly racy scene from the new Harry Potter film. Now those of you that know me, you know I have NO problem with racy. This one left me feeling like a scuz weasel though, because Emma Watson is officially hot!

I need to get some writing done! I am officially jonesing for writing something new! What's stopping me? Right now my best excuse is Grad School. That crap is hard! Who knew? Still,  I know any excuse is just excuse. I have just as much time as anyone else, so I need to get my butt in gear.

Finally, if you haven't seen the trailer for "Your Highness", go check it out. Anyone who has ever played a roleplaying game should enjoy this movie.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

How do you respond to failure?

How do you respond to failure? That is the subject of Seth's excellent blog entry today.
He asks the question "When you fail, what happens?"
This is so translatable to artists. So many writers and artists produce prolifically and try to get their work in front of someone. That someone (who the artists gives a huge measure of power by valuing their input, which may not even be the right thing to do, may be the wrong person, etc - subject for another day) then gives some honest feedback. it might be positive, it might be neutral, but let's be honest, it's usually negative, especially for young artists.
What happens next? Artist gets mad, sad, depressed and either ignores the input they so desperately craved or they just give up all together.
What is a better way to deal with failure? Use it to get better! If a student gets a bad grade and uses that to become demotivated, then they've missed the point. It should lead to harder work, more studying, etc.
Use failure as an excuse to work harder and to get better. Not an excuse to give up or be marginalized.

Of course the only person who can tell you what "failure" is, is you anyway, so choose what your "failure" looks like very carefully.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Harry Potter

Well, unless you've lived under a rock, then you know that the final Harry Potter movie comes out this week and even though millions know how the story ends, millions will still go see the movie.
I find the whole Harry Potter phenomenon to be just about as an inspiring story as I can find anywhere. Author writes a book, collects rejection slips until it takes off and then, boy, does it take off. Now it is a major brand all by itself with books, movies, comics, action figures and even an amusement park (okay...part of a bigger amusement park, but even still). HP has delivered a level of success that is just amazing and one that I would love to emulate with my own story that would resonate so strongly with fans of all ages.
I'm not saying I can do it, but I'm not ready to admit I can't either. Then again, so could you!
Anything can happen...even nothing.

I heard that quote somewhere and it is a point well taken...if you do nothing, then you get nothing. If you do something, then you are no worse off. You might still get nothing, but you are much closer to getting something.
You may not get Harry Potter, but who wouldn't love to be 1/10th as successful? Guess we better do something.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Self Publishing

I read a great article on self publishing in the Raleigh News and Observer this weekend. It's a good article because it reminds me of many things:
  • Self publishing is so much more than just "vanity publishing" now - though publishers probably disagree (I think they have to at this point since their whole business model is based on being the gate keepers rather than the enablers)
  • There are more ways to publish than ever with the NY Times now having an e-book best seller list and the Kindle being such a viable option for so many people
  • That self publishing winners are currently non-fiction writers who find a niche in the market (Maybe this won't always be the case?)
  • That excellence is required in self publishing due to the stigma.
A couple of things I would add
  • Doing it yourself doesn't stop at books. Comics, movies, even tv shows are being done independently. More so than ever. The internet has made it possible to get your art in front of eyes in more ways than ever
  • Being successful still takes hard work whether you try for the traditional route or blaze your own trail
  • If your long term success depends on being "discovered" you might as well be playing the lottery
  • You cna start something with very little risk in terms of cash. The only risk, I suppose, is in being laughed at. That's not much of a risk. If they laugh or ridicule, then chances are you aren't creating for them anyway.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Resource for Writers

I can't suggest this blog highly enough.It's all about creative writing. It is focused on authors, but any of us "creatives" have to write sometime, whether it's a story treatment, an outline, a storyboard...whatever.
This site has a great set of resources, so check it out! It's on my favorites to be read daily.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Is it silly?

I was sharing with a colleague today that many of my ideas often seem silly. We the concluded that Mark Twain might have thought "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" might be silly. He might have been told it was silly. Seems to have worked out okay. Southpark is silly. The Family Guy. The Simpsons was very silly in its initial incarnation as a strip in college newspapers (Matt Groenig's overnight success was anything but).
How are their ideas different than my silly ideas? They put theirs onto paper, or in production. If one fizzled out, then they went on to the next, and then the next until something hit.
We should take a lesson from their example. I am pledging to. Let's reconvene in one year. November 2011 and share what we've done.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Ranger's Apprentice

So I am late to this book series, meaning it's been out for a few years now, but my son and I just started reading "The Ranger's Apprentice" series. The first book is entitled "The Ruins of Gorlan".
This is not a cross genre series or anything, but having just finished the first book, I have to say that this is a really cool series.
I like the world that John Flanagan has created and the book was a great read. It's technically for teens so it was a short read as well.
I think it works well for adults or teens. I am a big fan of Rangers, Knights, monsters and the like and this book has plenty of all of that. I can't wait to pick up book 2!

Note - there was a movie announced in 2008. Recent funding issues have slowed it down, but John Flanagan says it is still a go.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Getting your art out there

I had an interesting conversation with a friend a few days ago about getting out "out there". We discussed how difficult it is to pick a medium and how difficult it is to bring all the pieces together. My own thinking was, at the time, a bit defeatist. I had the following fallacies in my thinking:
  • My first fallacy was that to get a novel out there you have to attract a New york publisher (my friend corrected me by reminding me of small press and self publishing)
  • My second fallacy was that Self publishing has too much of a stigma to overcome because people are accustomed to low quality self published work (my friend responded that you have to overcome this stigma by first producing a high quality work and then by working to tell people that you have)
  • My third fallacy was that you cannot produce a graphic work (comic or even motion graphics) you have to have an artist onboard (My friend points out that there are programs to help people with this and an even more extreme example is Southpark where the artwork is secondary to the storytelling. We could debate the quality of Southpark storytelling, but it resonated with an audience, clearly, and by that measure is very successful depite low-quality artwork)
  • My fourth fallacy was that I needed to pick a single creative area and focus there so my attention was not divided (My friend reminded me that most all creative folk out there are working on a huge variety of art. Some hits and some misses, but they produce and that what counts. They only adopt a single minded focus after something hits and they have an audience, and most of the time, even then, they keep working in other areas (George Lucas could have made a career of Star Wars only, but he didn't).
  • My fifth fallacy was that I could not write a screenplay because I don't have the training (my friend reminded me that I could write a story in any form and then hire someone to make it into a screenplay, or even better use an automated program to help me turn a story into a screenplay)
It was interesting, frightening and liberating to have my excuses systematically dismantled. I can now see there are always ways to get the art out there. That's a new realization for me and one upon which I intend to capitalize. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The 4th Reich

It seems inadvertently I have done a little Zombie series of posts over the last few days. This is probably the last one, but this one fits really well with both my theme since Halloween, and one of my favorite subjects of cross genre stories.
The 4th Reich is a soon-to-be-released film about Zombie Nazis...or Nazi Zombies...which would it be? I guess Zombie Nazis. I suppose they were Nazis and then became Zombies rather than the other way around. I don't see Zombies as "joiners". Anyway...I digress
Looks like a good mix of WWII action and undead creepiness. Yesterday we talked about Cowboys fighting undead and now soldiers during WWII...looks like the time is ripe for a "Zombies in Outer Space" or a "Zombie in King Arthur's Court".

Monday, November 1, 2010

Undead Nightmare: Red Dead Redemption

Just wanted to post this piece of cross genre goodness. Red Dead Redemption is a classic Western video game by Rockstar games (great game by the way and a great story if you like Westerns).
Rockstar has just released a downloadable add-on for Red Dead Redemption entitled Undead Nightmare. It's a new standalone adventure that sees the erstwhile hero, John Marston, fighting an undead plague in the old west.
Sound like a GGE storyline? It sure does. As I may have mentioned a few hundred times, we love to write, read and watch cross genre stories. Looks like we're not the only ones.

The Walking Dead

After returning from Trick or Treating last night with my kids, I sat down and watched Survival of the Dead. I suspected a new classic from Romero. I was sorely disappointed. I won't go on about that though, because just after it ended, I remembered that The Walking Dead was about to premiere on AMC, so I switched over and watched it.
Score! Way to go AMC. If you like zombie movies, you have to catch this show. On a side note, did you know "Zombies" is now its own genre? I didn't. I would have thought it was part of Horror, but according to Netflix, Zombies is a genre all its own.
So what's great about "The Walking Dead"? Characters you are interested in. They focus on the human side of the Zombie Apocalypse and how it affects families. I won't elaborate. I am not into spoilers, but it's a good movie with some human interest stuff, but still lots of shambling corpses taking head shots. On thing that intrigued me was how they managed to still make the whole situation creepy in a genre that's been done to death. I went to bed with a slight case of heebie jeebies and that hasn't happened from a Zombie movie in about a quarter of a century!

November 2nd is tomorrow

GGE is a completely non-political entity. We don't have a Political Action Committee. We don't have a favorite party or a favorite candidate.
As an entertainment company, the only political issue we might get excited about it censorship.
That being said, we do get excited about Freedom and the choices we get to exercise in the political process.
What's my point today? Go vote.
Voting is a basic right in America. People (lots of them) have fought and died to ensure we get to vote. Don't like the politicians we have? Not much we can do to change the choices, but we can have a lesser favorite and a least favorite. Vote for the one you hate the least...just vote. It's probably more important than you think.
My grandmother and her sisters, all of whom have lived well into their 90's (One, my esteemed Aunt Elois is still kicking at 105) would never miss a chance to vote. They have cast absentee ballots from hospital beds. Struggled to the polls toting an oxygen tank. They saw it as a right AND a responsibility. So do I .
Tomorrow, I will be voting. So will my Aunt Elois (actually she takes advantage of early voting - for her it's like getting a Christmas present early). Hopefully we'll see you there.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

They've always smurfed my fancy

In the 1950's in Belgium, a man creates a fictional society of enchanted beings for a one-time shot in a short comic series he draws (Johan and Peewit) and the characters are so popular that they span an entertainment and merchandising empire that still goes strong today.
I've always been fascinated by the Smurfs. Why? first of all, I was enchanted by the little guys when I was a kid. The tiny houses, the sword and sorcery aspect and their inherent goodness at a time when I was realizing just how much badness there is in the world.
Now, as a creator, I am even more entranced. A simple idea, a fun idea and one that had to be a blast to create. I can only imagine how much fun the creator (Belgian cartoonist Peyo) of Smurfs had when returning to this world he has created.
What a great story. He didn't think "What do people want?". No, he created Smurfs  because they struck his fancy. Apparently they struck a chord with everyone else as well. Henry Ford said, "If I'd given the people what they wanted, I would have made a faster horse."

So maybe you've got an idea that seems great to you, but you may be hesitating in getting it in front of people. They may not like it. They may smurfing hate it! You'll never know till you do it.

So let's get smurfing.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


My Day job has been a major distraction to writing lately, so I am a bit behind on the word count I wanted to have written by October 2010. Of course I am also working on my Master's degree, I am a runner and I have a wife and kids. All of these could fall under the label of distractions...if I let them.
I suspect Stephen King has distractions (a raging cocaine habit back in the 80's). I am sure R.A. Salvatore has distractions (he still meets with his gaming group weekly). Terry Brooks certainly has distractions (he hits fantasy conventions all over the globe). In the meantime, this folks also manage to churn out more words than I ever have.
I suspect it involves their discipline to manage the distractions and still find time for their art. I am not advocating shirking our familial and social obligations.
I am advocating meeting those AND still making time for our art.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The sunny slopes of right now

I am by no means referring to the political landscape with this post (GGE is non-political) but I wonder, when I hear people talk about how much better things were in the past, just what they are referring to?
Did things cost less in the past? Sure...but we made a lot less. In fact, more people are making more cash now than ever before.
I hear it referred to in terms of the caliber of leaders we have, but I suspect leaders have always been about the same. Some we know about, some we don't, and some we have just fictionalized so that they are more like a fictionalized hero than a real human being.
I heard it today referred to in terms of our "morale fiber". I really wondered about that one. Crime rates are extremely low compared to historical crime rates. The example someone gave of our weakening morale fiber was the acceptance of alternative lifestyles. Not to nitpick, but I don't think increased acceptance equals lax morals. We should have a better examples of lax morals than that if moral fiber is what used to be so wonderful. this just a rant? I hope you know me better than that. It is part cautionary and part suggestion.
The caution is to not get too invested in how great things "used to be". Often "the sunny slopes of long ago" (as my friend Augustus McCrae says) look better than they actually were. This is a gift of human memory. In fact, those times were probably about like these times.
The suggestion is to identify that which makes one think today is so bad...and then go work on changing that thing. If you think the world needs leadership, then become a great leader. If the worlds needs better morals, then take charge! Establish a tribe! Lead us! If you can't change the thing that bothers you so much, then change what you can. A million little positive changes can go along way.

John Wooten says that "Things tend to turn out best for those who make the best of how things turn out"

Long ago is not coming back, no matter if we agree that it was great or not. All we have is "right now". Let's make the best of it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween Movie Selections

For the week of Halloween, GGE kicks off a weeklong movie marathon (7 movies at least, might watch more). The goal being to establish a good Halloween mood.
(On a side note, Green's commercial Haunt, Haunted Caverns at Ruby Falls in Chattanooga, TN has been selecting as the #6 Haunt in the nation by Rand McNally. Way to go Green and all the guys and gals at Fear Connection!)

Back to our Halloween movie marathon (I'll list 10 just to capture our 3 runners up in case we watch more than 7)
  1. Bram Stoker's Dracula
  2. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
  3. The Exorcist
  4. Halloween (the new Rob Zombie version)
  5. Nightmare on Elm Street (the new one)
  6. Resident Evil (Any)
  7. Skinwalkers (Need a good werewolf movie in here)
  8. Saw (3D)
  9. The Monster Squad (if you haven't seen this, do yourself a favor and pick up this cult classic)
  10. Van Helsing (Kat Beckinsale...need I say more?)
What are some of your favorites?

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    Hard to reach Second base...

    ...if your foot is still on first (and I don't mean this as a dating metaphor).

    It is true that at times we have to leave first to get to second. Some corollary aphorisms are:

      • Any ship is safe as long as it stays in port, but that's not what ships are made for
      • The dangers of life are infinite and safety is among them (Goethe)
    The point being that safety is attractive and comfortable, but probably not for all of us. It is certainly not for those who strive to do something new.  Most new activities, especially those that could become great, involve some risk or perceived risk. Chris Guillebeau asked the question "What would you do if you knew you could not fail"

    That's a powerful question and I think the answer is obvious. We would change the world. Well, to extend my original metaphor, if changing the world is a homerun, then we certainly can't get there with our foot on first. If we set out to change the world and we only make it to second or third base, we've still done something pretty great.

    Sounds like we should go for it.

    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    I added the red text that Deanna left unspoken

    NEW YORK (AP)—Deanna Favre says her religious faith and an outward focus are helping her overcome the allegations of improper behavior that have been leveled against her husband, Brett.
    Deanna Favre was interviewed Thursday on “Good Morning America” about a book she co-authored with Shane Stanford called “The Cure for the Chronic Life,” which is about getting past hard times and patterns of unhealthy behavior.
    During the interview, Deanna was asked how she’s handling the accusations against Brett Favre(notes), who is being investigated by the NFL for allegedly sending suggestive messages and lewd photos to a woman who worked for the New York Jets.
    Deanna Favre says: “I’m handling this through faith.” (In my lawyer)
    She did not address whether the allegations against her husband are true or false

    Wednesday, October 20, 2010

    A must read

    I cannot thank my friend Jeff enough for introducing me to Seth Godin's work (way back in 2002 with an article about the Purple Cow). Now I read Seth's blog daily. I reference it a lot and I refer people to his books a lot. Today I'm not even going to post my own thoughts. Just a link to Seth's blog. He posted a rant today that resonates strongly with me. I don't always agree with everything he writes, though I will admit to a bit of hero worship. An imaginary Seth sits on my imaginary brain trust, but even with my biased view, I think this is a great post for anyone to read.

    Check out Seth's blog about being intentionally uninformed.

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010

    Fear might be a good thing

    Fear is an important reflex. In the past, and in certain situations, it tells us to flee. It provides us with the tools to survive horrific and dangerous situations.
    Today, however, for most of us, we feel fear when we have to give a presentation, ask someone out for a date, or sing karaoke (I love karaoke). While these feel very scary, they are not likely to injure us in anyway. So what purpose is the fear serving?
    None really and it might be holding you back.
    My friend Chris Guillebeau (who I have never me, but am convinced we would be friends if I did) reminds us to do something that scares you every day. I think that is great advice!
    Chris has a great blog about living a remarkable life. If you're needing a lift, check it out.

    Monday, October 18, 2010

    What do they want?

    I had a long conversation with a good friend about creativity and purpose. I was wandering how George Lucas, Walt Disney, The Wachowski Brothers, Trey Parker and Matt Stone knew what to create to hit exactly at the right time to really capture our imagination.
    My friend, in his infinite wisdom, reminded me that "they didn't". Star Wars, The Matrix, Steamboat Willie and Southpark were not the only thing on these guy's minds. They created other things. They had other stuff happening. These were just the ones where they got some attention and they fed into it, slowly increasing the speed of the wheel until it really took off.
    Some of these (Southpark) began quite modestly. Others required someone taking a leap of faith after being concinved that the creators deserved a shot (Star Wars and The Matrix). One was self-produced and was unlike anything people had seen. It was whimsical AND technologically advanced (Steamboat Willie). The point is, none of these were a first endeavor, but these creators kept creating.
    They didn't just write on thing and try and sell that thing for the next 40 years. They kept writing, kept producing and kept getting stuff in front of people's eyes.

    Maybe you and I should to?

    Friday, October 15, 2010

    Heroes and Mentors

    Hey, Seth Godin and I are right in tune at this time of year apparently. I posted about a brain trust yesterday and here are some additional thoughts on that very subject from Seth himself (who happened to be one of my imaginary charter brain trust members)

    Seth echoes how important and powerful it can be to have a mentor or a hero. It can be a means of guidance, a way  to spur one on to action and a meaningful way to remind us that even the most successful people have been where we are at one time or another (or multiple times).

    It's always nice to be reminded that overnight success takes years of hard work (Rob Zombie), that failure isn't failure if you don't let it be (Donald Trump, Thomas Edison), that it's never too late to make a difference (Louis Pasteur, Ulysses Grant) and that sometimes doing what they say is a HUGE mistake, just might be exactly what you need to do (Walt Disney)

    Thursday, October 14, 2010

    Clay Matthews as Predator

    I know not everyone is a football fan, so let me give a brief intro - Clay Matthews plays for the Green Bay Packers. He is awesome. He is the son of a former awesome player, also named Clay Matthews and his uncle is Bruce Matthews who was also, well, awesome.
    The current Clay Matthews is a devastating defensive player, smaller and faster than his Dad was (imagine Nightwing taking over as Batman).
    Anyway, Clay has my favorite celebratory dance in football after he mauls someone on the gridiron.
    I don't know if he is intentionally taking a "Predator" stance, but I have to believe he is. Either way, to paraphrase Arnold, he is "one ugly muddaf-----!"
    See for yourself

    The Brain Trust

    So I remember when reading Jack Canfield's "Success Principles" (which I highly recommend) one of the items he discusses is a brain trust, or a mentoring group who meet regularly and advice one another on their various pursuits. Typically these people are not specifically involved in your business, or art, or endeavor, but have some meaningful input. Typically, it would be people you trust and admire and whose input you value (but who won't just agree with you for agreement's sake). In the event that you have no friends, or for some reason cannot assemble a physical mentoring group, he suggests assembling a fantasy team and then based on what you know about those people, imagine what they might tell you about what you are doing, where you are going and what advice they might give.

    I thought it might be fun to imagine the GGE Brain Trust who would advice Green and I if we had the chance. Here's my current list (and I listed Seven because I love "The Seven Samurai" so I went with the same number. I think Canfield actually recommends five):
    1. Walt Disney (who else better to fire the imagination and demonstrate how to build an entertainment empire)
    2. Stan Lee (Amazing imagination and energy)
    3. Seth Godin (inspiring, innovative and a marketing guru. All about doing something rather than doing nothing)
    4. Jack Canfield (Obvious reasons - cited above)
    5. Donald Trump (Why the Donald? Because he is a monster. He's made success out of nothing and his advice would be cold, hard and logical - unlike a lot of the artsy types I typically run with)
    6. Rob Zombie (A master in branding oneself and making success in one medium translate to another
    7. George Lucas (George is the weakest member of the team, but he is a natural innovator and understand a lot of what I am trying to do. When I think about where I want to be, a mini-George Lucas is a good example, so he gets a seat for now)
    that's our Magnificent Seven. Make sense? Do you like the list? Who would you add or subtract? Who's on your list?

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010

    Superman/Batman Apocalypse

    Picked up my copy of Superman/Batman Apocalypse over the weekend. I thought you might like to know about it.
    First off, it is definitely worth owning. It is by all the familiar players in the DC Anmated Universe. It is based on a comic mini series, I believe.
    Basically, it tells the story of when Supergirl (Kara Zor-el) fell to Earth. It's not really in the continuity with the Cartoon Series, Justice League Unlimited, which might be my only complaint witht the current crop of DC Animated Movies. I feel like they should all be part of one continuity (George Lucas has shown us that this can be done)
    The animation is superb, which we have come to expect, and one thing I do like is they got Kevin Conroy and Tim Daly to voice Batman and Superman respectively, reprising their roles from the animated shows.
    there is lots of great super action including a major throwdown in Smallville between Superman, Kara and Darkseid.
    So, go rent the movie for sure, buying it would be better since it supports that they will make more of these.
    I enjoyed it, but I love these movies so I am admittedly biased.

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    Iron Man 2

    Happy Columbus Day (yesterday) - Actually today (October 12th) is the original Columbus Day. Yesterday was Columbus Day (observed). I only know this because I was born on October 12th. Yes...It's my birthday.
    For my birthday, I treated myself to a DVD copy of Iron Man 2. Watched it right away. I must say, I loved it.

    Of course, as we know, I can be pretty forgiving of Superhero movies, but there's a lot of good things about Iron Man 2.
    Here are some of them:
    • The armor looks awesome
    • The effects in general look awesome
    • Tony is a hard drinking, arrogant, insufferable dude who you can't help but cheer for
    • Scarlet Johannsen
    • Whiplash is pulled off very well by Mickey Rourke
    • The Senate Committee hearing is awesome
    • Lots of talk about the Avengers (Thor's hammer!)
    Could I find some things wrong with the movie? Maybe...but minor issues. I could see how the following may bother some people
    • Replacing Terrence Howard with Don Cheadle. I love both actors, but why replace him?
    • Lots of subplots and lots of stuff going on. Not too much for a comic fan to keep up with, but maybe for a layperson (non-geek) to understand
    • Whiplash ended up in armor...why?
    So, a highly recommended DVD, even with a couple of issues. Of course, you should go buy it anyway to support our types of movies. As I have said many times, if we want more superhero movies, then we have to vote for them (with our money)

    Monday, August 23, 2010

    Been Away For Awhile`

    Haven't posted enough this summer. I should explain. Travel is great and there are so many ways to stay connected and work from the road. I clearly need to improve on that though! I spent all summer chasing the sun along the beaches of the East Coast.
    I also spent a good amount of time chasing the greener grass only to find it's not all that much greener. I have some pretty green grass right here.
    My projects with some other writers are on hold while I get refocused, but GGE still has a great story planned for development this fall so after a summer of weirdness, we are back on track!

    Thursday, July 22, 2010

    GreenGates' blogging receives award!

    YAY! Look at this versatile blogger award give to Green Gates by izombielover!!!

    Izombie has been following a few blogs and listed ours to receive one of "The Versatile Blogger" awards.

    It's particularly gratifying, because we strive for a variety of content on writing, movies, science fiction, fantasy, books, comics, etc, etc. We try to offer varied content, all in the world of "Speculative Fiction" and it feels great to know someone enjoys our stuff!!!

    Thanks Izombielover!!  (Now go check out some of the other award winner's sites! The list is below.)

    The Versatile Blogger [2010] Part II

    10 out of 15 - Blogs I have been Reading and Following:

    Halloween Overkill -

    Green Gates -

    FIRE_BAD -

    Dane of War -

    Monster Beauty -


    Adeles SpOOky Art -

    The Kid in the Hall -

    Too Many Zombies -

    ✖~Paraoid Show~✖ -

    Tuesday, July 13, 2010

    That thing your passionate about? It's important!

    It’s important. It’s important that we identify our passion and pursue it. Why is it important? Because the first step to success is passion. Sure you can be a moderate success at something you are just good at and not necessarily be passionate about it. But real success? I suspect Walt Disney was passionate about cartooning. I suspect Bill Gates is passionate about computers. Stephen King is passionate about writing. Stan Lee is passionate about comic books (this wasn’t always the case, but once he got passionate, the success followed). In Stan’s case he didn’t start out doing what he loved, but he learned to love what he was doing. The passion became enthusiasm and the enthusiasm became success. And for anyone who has heard Stan speak, the enthusiasm is also infectious.

    It’s not just important for your success, but the world is so much richer when you are working on your passion! You have a gift. Your passion guides you towards that gift. And the world wants you (needs you) to produce that gift!

    So why don’t we all do it? Because it’s hard.

    It’s hard to write in the evenings when you also have a “real job”. It’s hard to run a second business while in college (both Bill Gates and Michael Dell did this). It’s hard to go out and make music on the weekends when you work all week and people remind you that Nashville is not calling anytime soon.
    It’s hard to break into comics, or cartooning, or acting (or is it? Maybe breaking in looks differently than we have been led to believe).

    We are afraid people will laugh. My passion is geeky. No doubt about it. It involves super heroes and dragons and wizards and zombies. Nothing any mature male should be interested in. Who says?

    I suspect your passion might be just as challenging. This is just a reminder that even though it is hard, there are lots of us struggling with it. By finding each other, communicating, supporting one another and commiserating (sometimes) we will find that it’s even though it is still hard, it doesn’t have to be quite so painful.

    The world, the universe, and me all want you to work on your passion. Pursue it. People may laugh. Maybe not. If they do, then you don’t need them. Surround yourself with supportive influences and go create something awesome!

    Friday, July 9, 2010


    Currently reading Airborn by Kenneth Oppel. The book is intended for adolescents, but it is a really good adventure read! I liken it to Treasure Island or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
    It's a bit steampunk in that its setting in an alt-history where the airplane was not invented and so the airships predominate the skies. Massive airships, like Titanic sized. There are small ornithopters that flap their wings, but proper "airplanes".
    It has air pirates, tropical islands, lost natural treasures.
    It's a really good book in a trilogy about the hero, an intrepid young flyer named Matt Cruse. Matt is a cabin boy in this first book, but he moves on in subsequent volumes.
    My 6th grader read it and loved it. I am reading it now and it is really good, regardless of your age! Especially if you are drawn to the whole airship setting (which I am)

    Thursday, July 8, 2010

    Mundania Press

    Sometimes writers are left wondering what publishers they should approach. There are so many choices. There are so many big publishing houses out there, but a few only talk to you if you send in an agented submission.
    Then there are the few (like Tor and Baen) for whom you don't need an agent, but they are deluged with submissions. Of course, I would still suggest submitting to them. Personally, I have a collection of rejection letters from both.
    Then there is the small press. Some of these are vanity publishers in disguise and should be completely avoided.
    Which of the rest are "the good ones"?
    I don't know about a lot of them, but I know about a couple. Wild Child Publishing is one of them (I have a contract with them now) and another is Mundania Press.
    I have worked with Mundania in the past and they are professional, polite and attentive. By the same token, they publish good books by good authors and a writer could do a lot worse than being associated with Mundania.

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010

    Bitter Seeds

    Oh wow. Check this out! A debut novel from Ian Tregillis entitled "Bitter Seeds". The minute I heard the premise, I was hooked.

    It's an alternate WWII history where a Nazi scientist has managed to imbue some German psycopaths with x-men-like powers and the Wermacht is unstoppable! (Even more so than in real history).

    To counter this, the British government drafts an elite unit of Warlocks to fight the Nazi supermen.

    Warlocks versus metahumans? Nazi metahuman! How awesome is that?!?

    Sunday, July 4, 2010

    What Independence Means to Me

    Happy Birthday America!!!

    Happy 4th of July!

    As someone who relies heavily on the freedom of speech, I treasure our freedoms so very much. I sometimes forget to be thankful for the fact that I can write anything I want here on my blog, or in a manuscript or a screenplay and I won't have to worry about being hauled off for it. I can publish any art that moves me (and hopefully you) and I won't be labeled an enemy of the state for it.
    I love all of our freedoms, like the fact that I can hop in my car and cross state lines without needing travel papers. I can be in the military or I can decide not to be. I can make as much money as I can get someone to pay me, or as much as I can sell a story for. No one comes after that money (except for my taxes, but we all do our fair share I guess).
    So today, I intend to celebrate freedom with friends and family. I'll have a few beers and a hamburger or two and then pen a few pages. I'll remember to say a prayer for those fighting across the globe to help preserve this way of life. They are paying the ultimate price daily and for that I am truly grateful.

    Happy Independence Day!

    Friday, July 2, 2010

    The Green Hornet

    Finally, my questions have been answered! I have been scared to death that the upcoming Seth Rogen movie "The Green Hornet" was going to be too cheesy and campy (like Starsky and Hutch).
    Instead, based on the trailer, it looks awesome. Sure, there is some comic relief, as there should be in any great action film (Indiana Jones, Star Wars, etc).
    I am now officially stoked about this movie! Just like the Green Hornet tv show with Bruce Lee, Kato looks to have some serious kick ass moves.

    I always like Green Hornet and this movie looks to have some key elements. The car, the gas gun, Kato, the film noir style costume. Can't wait!

    Wednesday, June 30, 2010

    Wonder Woman's New Look

    Even icons need the occasional update and I like this one! J. Michael Straczynski has taken over the DC comic and plans some changes. You can see some in the pic on the left.
    I love Wonder Woman because she kicks serious butt! Like the girlie version of Superman. Of course she is also totally hot!
    I always felt like, if Supes wasn't around, that leadership of Earth's heroes would fall to WW. Sure, Batman would have a lot of say, but he's more of an advisor, not the leader that Kal-el and Diana can be!
    So, I am in favor of the new threads! What about you?

    Captain America: The First Avenger

    Captain America: The First Avenger just looks fantastic. The images we have see thus far and the cast all have me feeling like this movie will really be something special.
    I am hoping for a cross between "Saving Private Ryan" and "Iron Man".
    Chris Evans will be a great Cap and Hugo Weaving will be awesome as the Red Skull. The whole cast sounds perfect.

    Cap means so much to me and I suspect that a lot of people feel the same way. Such an iconic character as well as the embodiment of a hero. He is the guy who never gives up and always does the right thing. A natural leader, a bad ass fighter and an indomitable spirit. I absolutely can't wait for this movie.

    Tuesday, June 29, 2010

    The Dawn Treader

    A new Narnia Movie! I was afraid that "Prince Caspian" had killed the series for good, but it looks like we get to see "Voyage of the Dawn Treader". That's pretty exciting!

    Check out the trailer. It looks fantastic!

    It's set for release this Christmas Season

    The Chronicles of Narnia, for those of you who don't know, are an epic fantasy series written by C.S. Lewis. I read them all as a kid and I still read them as an adult.

    Oh yeah, just for the record - I actually liked "Prince Caspian. "

    Monday, June 28, 2010


    Hell yeah! Robert Rodriguez is directing a new Predator movie entitled "Predators"

    I have not always loved Robert's movies, but I LOVE Predator movies. I can't wait!

    Check out the trailer

    Tuesday, June 22, 2010

    Jonah Hex bombs...

    The Jonah Hex movie officially "bombed" on opening weekend drawing in around $5 million. I didn't know that $5mil was a "bomb" that's just what I read online (so it must be true, right?).
    I am guessing if a movie costs millions to make, then the studios would like to make tens of millions off of tickets, merchandise etc.
    I'll be honest, I am a bit surprised. I figured Hex would have a ready-made audience. The comic has always been pretty popular. I guess it goes to show us that not every comic book can be made into a movie.
    Of course, I think the marketing was a bit light and the subject matter a bit dark for a summer blockbuster season. Looking at the other movies out right now, I can understand how Karate Kid, The A-team and Toy Story would all ouot compete Jonah.
    I won't second guess the marketing, release dates too much though. I literally know nothing about that end of the movie making biz. I will say this though - Hex is a great character and the comic is very well done and has been for years. I can't wait to see the movie (but on opening weekend, my kids and I also chose Toy Story 3 - hence my conclusion about competition). As soon as I catch the film, I'll let you know how it is.
    I could be reasonably happy staring at Megan Fox for 2 hours so I suspect I will have positive things to say about it.

    Friday, June 18, 2010

    Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern - First Look

    Well, for anyone who hasn't heard, Ryan Reynolds has been cast to play Green Lantern in an upcoming film set for release in June 2011.

    The movie has been given a decent sized budget and is getting lots of buzz.

    One disclaimer, the image to the left is a fan-created image (impressive!). The actual costume is still in discussion and there is some thought that it might be totally CGI. The thinking has been that since the costume should look alien and come from the ring, then it might look more like a manifestation of his power.

    I don't know...we'll just have to see. As long as it looks like an interstellar cop (which is what the Corp represents, right?) then it should be cool.

    I have always loved the Green Lantern mix of superhero and science fiction! I love cross genre stuff and GL was cross genre before either of the genres was really established.

    Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    Best Movie Martial Artist

    Who is the best movie martial artist ever?

    Obviously, GGE has a preference (pictured to the left). There are several notable martial artists in movies. Some criteria - either in a TV show or in multiple moves. I am listing some actors who only played martial artists. Mainly, it's anyone I thought should be on the list. So...let's go

    Here are some options (ranked in order of awesomeness by GGE):
    • Bruce Lee - obviously The Dragon is my pick for the best and greatest of all time
    • Jet Li
    • Chuck Norris
    • Jackie Chan
    • Brandon Lee
    • Ray Parks (I love this guy. Darth Maul, The Headless Horsemen, Snake eyes, Toad)
    • Jean Claude Van Damme (He only beats Jason on on martial arts ability - not acting)
    • Jason Statham (great actor - love his movies, but lower on the martial artist list)
    • Hong Kong Phooey (he rocks)
    • David Carradine (Not really a martial artist, but how awesome was Kung fu?)
    Honorable Mentions:
    • Ralph "Karate Kid" Maccio (hurts me to even list him)
    • Mr. Miyagi
    • Keanu Reeves (Neo was cool)
    • Uma Thurman (really just an actresss)
    • Steven Seagal (what a joke)

    Tuesday, June 15, 2010

    The Brethren Trilogy

    Consider this a public service.

    First of all, I have been reading "The Brethren Trilogy" and it is awesome! It is written by Robyn Young and I love this series so much.

    Here is where Iwill help you out though - if you go to Amazon and browse for "The Brethren Trilogy" you will find four books. I

    I can now clear this up for you and keep you from agonizing over this the way I did.

    So, the trilogy is
    1. Brethren
    2. Crusade
    3. Requiem...only Requiem was published as "The Fall of the Templars" in the United States. Everywhere else it is "Requiem"
    So, mystery solved. Now go read this trilogy. It is really, really good!

    Saturday, June 12, 2010

    Abby Sunderland

    I don't know how many of you have been following Abby Sunderland's attempt to circumnavigate the world at the age of 16. A couple of days ago, the world lost contact with Abby and her emergency beacons were activated and there was about 40 hours when the worst was feared. Abby has been rescued now, having taken some damage to her 40 yacht, "Wild Eyes" but she is alive and well.
    Abby's parents have, of course, taken a lot of flack for letting a 16 year old try such a feat. I felt the same, initially, but as I have read Abby's blog everyday, I have begun to change my mind. This is a seriously brave girl with the soul of an adventurer. As I think about great explorers and adventurers in human history, I realize that there is always an element of risk in living a life less ordinary.
    It would have been terribly tragic if something had happened to Abby, but what a testament to human spirit. I think Abby and her family are amazing. Her brother has also circumnavigated the world.

    "The Dangers of life are infinite, and among them is safety" - Goethe

    We are not all that safe just driving down the road. I think Abby's attempt to do something remarkable is to be commended. I am both terrified and hopeful that she might try this again. One thing is for certain though, I think we need more people like Abby who are willing to cast caution to the wind and push the envelope of what is "possible"

    Tuesday, June 8, 2010

    Hank, the Idea Monkey

    Finally Revealed, the source of GGE's ideas!

    Yes, that is a picture of Green, of Green Gates as he converses with Hank, the "Idea Monkey" for new ideas that Green Gates can use. GGE often quizzes Hank for new ideas and we run most of our current plans past the Idea Monkey before sharing them with the public.

    Don't worry, Hank is fine with sharing his knowledge. As you can see from the pic, all he asks in return is a small bottle of gatorade.

    Here is another pic of Hank sharing his ideas with Green and his brother. Hank is an endless fount of knowledge and wisdom and is highly sought after in entertainment circles. He started his career as a stockbroker in NY city, but found the indigenous people to be too uncivilized for his tastes. He's retired to Chattanooga, TN, voted one of the "top 25 places to retire" by Money Magazine. (Money, not Monkey - Hank asked that I point that out)

    Hank lives in Chattanooga at the Warner Park Zoo. Feel free to visit him to ask about Chattanooga, stock advice or just to let him serve as your own personal muse. Now the world knows where GGE gets its fresh, original, snappy ideas.

    Monday, June 7, 2010

    GGE to work with Southpaw Smith

    GGE has announced a partnership with Scott Claringbold, creator of "Southpaw Smith" to bring you the next chapter in Southpaw's war on crime.
    Southpaw Smith was first seen in 2008 in Claringbold's "Southpaw Smith: Round One".

    Southpaw is a former boxer and ex-detective from London. After surviving exposure to an experimental test serum that creates metahuman super soldiers (in those few lucky enough to survive the process) Southpaw was approached by a shadow ops group known as "The Organisation". After turning down the Organisation, Southpaw's girlfriend was killed leaving Southpaw to wage a one man war on The Organisation and its global operations.
    Now, Scott Claringbold and GGE are teaming up to bring you the next Southpaw Smith adventure to be published through Granton City Press.

    Scott Claringbold, besides being the creator of Southpaw, is also the creator of Rabid, a character who starred in his own self-titled (and sadly short-lived) comic series written by Claringbold and drawn by Marc Olivent.

    Look for more on Southpaw as the project develops.

    Thursday, June 3, 2010

    A Dream Given Form...

    "The Babylon Project was a dream given form..."

    The opening words in Bablyon 5. I have been watching the whole series start to finish (having never watched it - I consider it remedial sci-fi at this point - and it is AWESOME, btw).

    As I watched it today though, I thought about that. A dream given form. Someone dreamed up this space station (fictitious). They had to picture what it would do. How it would work. What it's purpose was (the last best hope for peace, a port of call, a home away from home). Then, they had to make that dream a reality through financing woes, construction difficulties and all that stuff.

    The point is, first they had a dream. They worked out the dream and they decided what success looked like before building a space station.

    So, what does success look like for me? A shelf of books that people like that I have had some part in crafting. A comic book or two that people enjoy. Maybe a movie. Maybe an animated movie. Some action figures. Some  t-shirts. Maybe a roleplaying tie-in with some of our properties. This is what success looks like to GGE. Now we have to build it. We have to knock over the first domino. Maybe that is the contract with Wild Child Publishing. Maybe it is the Danger Guild comic. Maybe it is our new partnership with Granton City Press. Maybe it is something I was writing tonight.

    What does success look like for you? Picture it. Make it real. Then start assembling it.

    And if you've never watched B5. Go to and check it out.

    Monday, May 31, 2010

    Happy Memorial Day!

    I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day. It's a great time to reflect on those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. It's also a great time to celebrate and enjoy the day off with the family!
    We are fortunate to live in a free country and many have given their lives to keep it that way. I certainly enjoy my freedom to write whatever I want to write without fear of censorship.

    Have a great day!

    Sunday, May 30, 2010

    Dangerous Kitchen

    I wandered across a cool new blog today. This one is not about sci-fi or fantasy or any of my favorite entertainment subjects. This one is about marketing. I boring is that? Along with loving all things sci-fi, I also like to write and create and I hope to continue to grow so that it will behoove me to understand how to connect with people.
    So, I periodically read about marketing (not selling...big difference from sales. My kind of connection marketing means you don't need someone in sales).
    The blog is done by a marketing firm named Dangerous Kitchen.
    It's definitely a well written blog. Not dry or boring. Short entries so it gets added to my RSS feed easily enough without being too much of a distraction.
    I definitely find it worthwhile. Maybe you will too.

    Saturday, May 29, 2010

    Prince of Persia

    Went and saw Prince of Persia last night and I have to say it is highly recommended. Really beautiful sets, costumes and action. If you like the swashbuckling feel of the video games, then you will find it well captured in the movie. Also, it had a good deal of leaping, flipping and climbing that was remniscient of Assassin's Creed (and I think this is a good thing).
    I was a little surprised by the lack of Persians, meaning no actors of Middle Eastern descent that I could see, but I understand Hollywood going for star power I suppose. Jake Gyllenhaall did a good job as Prince Dastan.
    The magic in the movie is well done. It was a good adventure story with cool bad villains. The bad guy was a little bit "evil for evil's sake" meaning I can't see him going to sleep at night thinking he is doing the right thing. Usually the best bad guys think they are in the right.
    Am I knocking the movie? Not at all. Go see it. If you are a fan of sword and sorcery movies, action adventure movies or just really cool settings then you will enjoy Prince of Persia.

    Thursday, May 27, 2010

    Stephen Zimmer

    I'm pretty careful about following too many blogs. I don't have a ton of time to read them all during the day, even with the wonderful RSS reader that serves them up in bite-sized pieces for me to enjoy.
    One that I do like to check up on regulary is Stephen Zimmer.
    Stephen is an author (this may not surprise you since most of the peope I talk about are authors, artists, musicians or some sort of world-changers - why is that? Walk with the wise and you will become wise...but I digress)
    Stephen has written a cool little series available from Seventh Star Press. And has just started releasing his second series.
    You don't have to read the book on my word (though it is cool) but his blog is a fun one to follow. I met Stephen at Con Nooga in Chattanooga, TN and what impressed me was his enthusiasm. This guy loves what he is doing. He is really into the worlds he creates and if you talk to him, or read his blog, you'll find that his enthusiasm is pretty infectious.
    So not only is it fun to go along for the ride, it is also motivational for any of us who hope to put art in front of people.
    Stephen understands that creation is part of the equation, but the other part is production. You have to ship stuff. You have to put it out there and let people see it. He's good at both. And he writes about it weekly on his blog.