Five Things I Am Into Right Now, April 2015

kids-bike-16-inchYesterday, I got to have one of those dad moments. It is so cliche, it could be used in a TV commercial (and probably has been), but there is a reason for it. It is a great feeling.

I got to teach my son how to ride a bike.

We went to our local park that has a smooth cement trail around it. After a few falls and nervousness, he was up and going, and there I was huffing and puffing to try and keep up.

Yeah, I could go on about the symbolism of the kid finally being able to race away from the dad, leaving the early years behind, but I’m not in that frame of mind. If anything this has opened a whole new world of possibility for us. I look forward to taking him on different trails in our area, finding new bike paths to explore. In other words, my summer just got a lot more interesting.

What is also interesting is that most of what I mention below is all done while sitting down. My Fitbit would probably be disappointed by my list this month, actually. But I listen to it enough, so I think it is all fine.

Game of Thrones, Season Five

Season 5_GoTOkay, Game of Thrones fans, this is when things get real. We have, on the show, dipped our collective toes in plot points that were not yet in the books (for example, last year the introduction of the leader of the White Walkers), but we are about to swim out into deeper waters.

Yes, season six (next year) will be a bigger deal, but we are still getting beyond the books  by George R.R. Martin in a few spots. A great example is Sansa, whose book storyline was almost hit last season.

As a fan of the books (and literature and the protection of authors in general), I should be angry that we are putting such a talented author in such a situation. It would be like a Harry Potter movie coming out before J.K. Rowling finished writing the book it was based on. Heresy!

But here is the thing… Martin has been working on the book series for over 20 years (that’s a freaking long time to do anything), very little happened in the last two books (size doesn’t always equal action), and, finally, he signed the contract with HBO. He took the money. And I’m pretty sure everyone involved imagined that this might happen.

Again, this is when things get real…

Music of Steely Dan

Steely DanI have a history with Steely Dan. I even wrote this post a few years ago about how my wife can’t stand their music. But now, with my new novel I’m writing, I can’t stop listening to them.

That is not to say my book is dark like Steely Dan songs (seriously, listen to them carefully, they are all very dark little short stories), it’s more about the “vibe” of the music. That vibe always seems to clash with the story taking place.

On a side note, Steely Dan was one of the most expensive and weirdest concerts I had ever been too. I always love it when artists do something new or have fun with their songs, but Steely Dan in concert was almost exactly like pushing play on a CD player. It was almost a little uncomfortable how exact it was.

So Steely Dan is a big part in my inspiration right now. I’m sure if they knew they would say something cynical. But they are cynical about everything, so I wouldn’t be hurt.

Final Fantasy Type-0

FF Type 0I’m still mourning the loss of my Playstation 3 (which I wrote about in this post). Since the Playstation 4 is not backwards compatible I sold a bunch of my games at GameSpot, using that credit to grab the latest Final Fantasy game, Type-0.

Let’s get this out of the way, the graphics are gorgeous. It is in many ways the Final Fantasy game of our dreams, but it is super freaking hard! I’m playing it on super easy (they call it “cadet”) and I still can’t beat the boss at level one.

This is just pitiful! Every night I try the battle again, at least once and I lose again.

This may make make sound like a grumpy old man (the kind who sits around listening to Steely Dan and complaining about TV), but one of the things I loved about FF games was the strategy. You had to think through a battle. With a game like this, those days are gone. The battles have no pause and you are continuously moving throughout. Yes, you can move in Kingdom Hearts games, but then you are usually just swinging a sword. Here it is complicated; Final Fantasy complicated.

I hope I really get the swing of this game… soon.

Death, Deluxe Edition by Neil Gaiman

DeathDear Neil Gaiman, please write a novel about Death.

Sorry, I just had to say that directly. For those that don’t know, Gaiman’s Sandman series is brilliant (I just had the pleasure of reading the entire work over the last few months for the first time), but Dream’s sister Death is just genius.

We will all see Death in time. She is goth (not surprising really) and funny and kind and she is a good listener.

This book (Death, Deluxe Edition) contains all of her adventures by Gaiman, but I want more. A lot more.

So readers, if you have not checked out Sandman, do it. It’s ten volumes and very worth your time. And then discover Death. But don’t worry, you can take your time. Death is patience and you will meet her sooner or later.

Daredevil

DaredevilYes, The Flash is my current favorite superhero show, but I can not deny the greatness of Daredevil on Netflix. I’m four episodes in and I’m really digging it.

Hell’s Kitchen is the slums of New York City, the same NYC we see in The Avengers (actually, that connection is really important for the show). This is a neighborhood filled with gangs and violence. Heck, the first episode begins with a human trafficking story. Yup, this ain’t a cartoon.

For those few that don’t know, Matt Murdock, our hero, is blind. It is his heightened other senses that make him capable of being a superhero. He is not rich like Batman or Iron Man, he is a struggling lawyer, taking on the cases that no one else wants.

Please note, this is definitely not for kids, but for us adults it is a treat to see what can happen in comic book adaptations when they don’t have to play nice for the entire family.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Permanent Spring Showers by Scott D. Southard

Permanent Spring Showers

by Scott D. Southard

Giveaway ends April 21, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to Win

New book! New book! New book!Permanent Spring Showers

My latest novel Permanent Spring Showers was just published by 5 Prince Books. You can find out more about my novel as well as my other books (including A Jane Austen Daydream and My Problem With Doors) and grab a copy via my author page on Amazon.com here.

Need an editor? Dream of finishing that book but need some help? Learn about my editing services by visiting this page on my site. Or you can contact Rebecca T. Dickson and request to work with me by clicking the image below.

Rebecca T. Dickson, Editor

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2 responses

  1. Shame to hear about Type-0. I remember it getting reviewed really well in Japan when it originally came out for the PSP, and am looking forward to trying it at some point, but I find my never-high-to-begin-with patience for games that are hard for the sake of being hard rapidly dwindling as more and more games eschew the notion.

    Well-thought-out challenge is one thing (like you mentioned, the strategy of the older games was much preferred over the frenetic reflex-testing of the newer ones), but I just don’t see the merit in doing the same thing over and over again without making any progress. It frustrates me more than anything else in video games, it isn’t fun, and it’s a waste of the time I already feel guilty about not spending on something more productive. (>^-‘)>

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