Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday - shop online with KNTR and make a difference!

The Kids Need To Read Holiday Shop is open
....and they have a wonderful selection and many items have 25% off during their Black Friday sale event. This event runs from November 28th and November 30th - it's on NOW!

The have books, audio books, jewellry, games, plushy toys, bath sets...lots of choices and every item you buy goes towards funding the work of Kids Need To Read. The work they do as a Literacy Foundation is simple but so powerful. From their mission statement:

"There are great numbers of schools that have not been able to buy new books for their students to read for years. Kids Need to Read was established to fight this disaster by sending exciting new books to under-funded schools and libraries across the United States, as well as to other institutions that serve children, particularly disadvantaged children whose gift from Kids Need to Read is sometimes the first book they have ever owned."

The foundation was set up by award-winning author P J Haarsma (who writes the fantastic 'Softwire' books) and actor Nathan Fillion (who starred as Captain Hammer in Doctor Horrible and as Mal in Firefly and Serenity). The KNTR Holiday Shop also has signed items such is this whole set signed by Alan Tudyk (Wash from Firefly/Serenity) which you can 'Buy it now' for only $80! 



This has three great signed items - that's three presents sorted out for $80 and you don't even need to leave the house or the warming glow of your computer monitor! Plus you know that you have supported a foundation that is helping to bring the gift of books to children (from the KNTR Mission Statement):

"Reading – it is the single most important skill children must learn to be productive members of society. Books open their minds, inspire their imaginations and stimulate their intelligence. As budget cutbacks increase, funding for libraries is often the first thing to go, especially in failing school systems."

Go and visit the KNTR Holiday shop now! It's open until Christmas but the special Black Friday offers end on November 30th.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

My Video interview with Felicia Day

What a day it was yesterday!

The Guild Season 2, episode 1 was released on Tuesday – have you seen it yet? Funny, smart with a brilliant cliffhanger, and it looks so wonderful! I’ve seen it a few times already. There have been lots of new faces on watchtheguild.com community site and many of them have just seen all of Season 1 and started Season 2 in the last day!

It’s a secret!

People have kept asking me about the Felicia interview and I’ve just not been able to say anything. We arranged last week that it would be this week but I knew how hectic it was going to be for Felicia and I didn’t want to get anyone’s hopes up.

I was a bit nervous….

When I started this blog nearly 200 posts ago I never dreamed that it would develop into what it has. Felicia was someone I made contact with quite early on and I never thought that I would get to interview her. I had been trying to prepare, write out questions, practice on hubby but I was still more than a tad nervous. This was going to be Felicia Day (or Felicia Day, Day. Or Felicia squared…)! On my laptop! Talking to me!

In good hands

But, being the sweet person she is Felicia contacted me yesterday morning at the arranged time. She hadn’t realized it was going to be a video interview and so she very gamely set up her laptop with the webcam and rang back so we could do the interview. Apart from my not being able to talk properly and calling the Frag Dolls http://www.fragdolls.com/  the Frag Girls (sorry!) and mispronouncing lots of words like Gamer Vixens http://www.gamervixens.com  I think it went well. I enjoyed talking to Felicia so much the time whizzed by and Felicia was kind enough to say it was good to meet in person  (via webcam!) after all this time.

Time flies…

In the end we chatted for over twenty minutes, which I know was a big part of the day for her to give up. They were frantically editing so they could get ready for Thanksgiving, so a HUGE thank you to Felicia. Do you want to know where you can see the videos? You do?

Whedonage.com is the word

They are on Whedonage.com along with a brief summary of each part as part of the series I've been doing about The Guild. But I've also put them here because....Felicia is so cool!

Part 1

Part 2


Part 3


P.S

There was a few little bits not shown but mostly they were saying hello and good bye and things. Mostly...

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Guild: Season 2, News and Felicia Interview


How excited are you?

However you answered that question it was NOT ENOUGH! There are so many things to tell today that I can barely type.  But I will try.

The Guild Sponsorship Unveiled

After lots of speculation it was revealed last night that the sponsors for Season 2 are Microsoft. In a ground-breaking deal The Guild Season 2 will be available only through Microsoft channels, but it as The Hollywood Reporter states, won’t leave anyone behind:

"The tech giant has an exclusive lock on the long-awaited second season of the cult favorite Internet series, which will be the first to be distributed worldwide simultaneously across Microsoft's triple platform of Xbox 360's Live Marketplace, MSN and Zune."

So anyone with an Internet connection will be able to view the season on MSN instead of YouTube.

Season 2 starts tomorrow

And the new season starts tomorrow, 25th November! I’m not clear at what time it’ll be online but there will be notifications on WatchTheGuild.com.

Season 2 trailers out now

Trailers are out and they look so good! There is a very noticeable difference in picture quality and we get another glimpse of the great new titles that Matthew Brackney has created. I think it’s fair to say that the dynamic between Codex and Zaboo remains as unresolved as ever! They are funny and they set us up for the new season really well.

New look for The Guild website

Edgar Garcia, webmaster extraordinaire, has been working his socks off supporting people all over the place.  After getting the new retardidpoliceman.com site off the ground last week he has woven his magic over the new-look WatchTheGuild.com website. I think the new look is great!

Felicia Day video interview – have you got a question you want to ask her?

There was something else happening this week that was mildly exciting. Now what was it? Could it be that I am going to be doing a video interview with Felicia Day, someone I’ve been following for a good while now and whom I hold in very high regard? Heck yes! I have already interviewed Vincent Caso (who stars as Bladezz) and Kim Evey (Producer for The Guild) for Whedonage.com. Several people have posted questions for Felicia and if you have one, please add a comment and ask. I’ll get through as many as I can so Felicia could be answering your question! I can’t say exactly when it will be but you need to hurry up on this one.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Writing, Erotic Fiction and Zoe Winters

Did that make you click the link?
Sex sells, apparently. Folks, I have been working my little socks off this week with articles, interviews and writing. Yes finally, after weeks (months!) of planning and stalling and avoiding I have made myself actually write the damned book. I am nearly 20, 000 words done and I'd like to think that I am about a fifth of the way there. If you saw my outline then you would laugh and tell me I'm mad, but I have got the figure of 100, 000 words before Christmas in my head so don't tell me it can't be done. I'm really enjoying writing and I'm very happy with it so far.

So - the sex, then?
I'm getting to that bit. Don't rush me! Now I am reaching the first 'love scene' part of the novel (20, 000 words and this is the first action? Sheesh!). It's a ticklish subject. In the next day I will attempt to write my very first such scene, and I'm a bit nervous. Say it doesn't go well? What if I laugh halfway through? What if he...can't perform? Well my guy IS going to be performing, but we might be performance-adjacent rather than being in the thick of the action. I am really going to have to work on this, but that's ok. I have a cunning plan.

You're just teasing, now
As luck would have it, though, I had an excellent lesson in how well it can be done this week. Zoe Winters, a writer that I have lots of admiration for, has entered the bettersex.com short story competition. Her entry, A Safer Life, is well written, moving and just a slightly bit disturbing. And erotic. Definitely erotic. Go and have a read and then vote. Just don't expect me to live up to those standards. Yet.

Star Trek trailer (oh my!) and more films you need to know about

I will not be swayed 
I'm sorry, but I am hopeful and eager to see the new Star Trek film. We were discussing the new trailer (and many other lofty topics, of course) on The Guild chat last night. Some people are already gnashing their teeth about how the 'reimagining' has stomped over everything they hold dear and true. I understand this. The USS Enterprise, that most iconic of starships (well, that and the Millenium Falcon) has had a makeover and people are not a bit happy. 

But this is a new venture. If it was the same as The Original Series or even the older films then what would be the point? The problem stems from the fact that it isn't The Next, Next Generation, it's remaking TOS, and that makes it more than little tricky. But I want to see how they do it before I condemn it. I loved the new Battlestar Galactica and they made Starbuck a woman! What's your feeling about the new film?

And the new film has Simon Pegg in it as Scotty. I love Simon Pegg - he reminds me of Channel 4 on a Friday night, slumped on the sofa watching Spaced. And Big Train. Good, good times. And his films have been brilliant: Shaun of The Dead and Hot Fuzz are in my DVD collection. I went to his IMDb page and saw how many great TV programs and films he's been in. Brilliant. Oh, and he's on Myspace, too.

JSto - I love you, too
Artemis Eternal. If you've been listening closely you will have heard me talk about this independent film before. And Jessica Stover (JSto) was on my list of people I'd queue to see at ComicCon. I follow her on Twitter and if you want the skinny about genius at work, you should try it, too. I didn't realise it until recently but it's people pushing the boundaries of creativity that I find the most interesting. Jessica is one of these people. Check out her websitethe Artemis website and her latest videos and you'll see what I mean. EpicFU made her Fu of the week and they get how great she is - you need to know about her now so you can say you knew all along how great it was going to be. Become a Wingman and make a difference.

Jathia's Wager - you can contribute
The prequel teaser trailer for a the new collaborative film, Jathia's Wager is now released. If you want to take part in creating a film then this is the project for you. There is a script and initial casting has been done but there is still plenty of time for you to get involved. Go to their site and find out how.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Exclusive Kim Evey interview on Whedonage and Browncoat News

Plus another update on The Guild 
The next installment about The Guild is now up on Whedonage and a great interview with Kim Evey. I can't thank her enough for doing the interview in spite of me making a...well, that's another story. If you want to know more, skip to the bottom of the page (not for those who cringe at other people's embarrassment!).



Browncoat news? A film?! What does that mean?
Excitement and the chance to hear more stories from the 'Verse! I won't rehash the Whedonage article here but suffice to say that a group of dedicated Browncoats are working on a new film set in the Firefly/Serenity universe called Browncoats: Redemption. This has had Joss' blessing (though neither Universal nor anyone else has agreed yet) and all the profits will go to charity. They have a website and a Facebook site where you can find out more. I wish them all the best and I will ordering my copy as soon as it's all finished - this is a very exciting project!

Why it's sometimes best to if you don't try to be funny....
Some people have the ability to convey their personality, or aspects of it, through interviews. I think Kim is one of them. I've read quite a few interviews and articles about Kim and The Guild over the last few months and I thought I had a handle on the person. I was thrilled when she said she would do the interview and went into overdrive with questions - there was so much I wanted to know. And then I thought "Kim's a funny sort of person  - she'll appreciate a joke. I'll send her some questions from Evil WorldofHiglet and pretend they are the real interview questions - she'll think it's hi-larious!"

How I chuckled to myself as I prepared to send off the first message to Kim. We were using The Guild email/messaging system and I sent off the Evil WoH questions first, intending to follow up with the real questions straight after. And that's where it all started to go pear-shaped. 

I had not realised that there was a size limit on messages sent via the messaging system. I cut and pasted the real interview into the message and then learned the awful truth. I couldn't possibly send all the questions in one message - it would take at least two. I did a quick calculation and worked out it should do with two if I trimmed it slightly. Ok. Not ideal but nevermind. So I sent the second message with the article intro and an explanation about how the first email was a joke and the real questions would be in the next email. 

And then I found out that the size limit was characters INCLUDING SPACES. So the questions wouldn't fit into the third email!  I was going to have to split them into another 2 messages....at this point I think it's safe to say that I was regretting having ever started! But I had to press on to the bitter end. So I sent the questions split into next two messages out with the title "This isn't spam...." I felt more than a little stupid and wondered how Kim was going to react to a whole slew of nonsensical messages from someone who was obviously a sandwich or two short of a picnic.

I stewed for a couple of days, wondering what to do. But I couldn't leave it and so sent one last message explaining that if she could let me have another email address I could send the whole thing to her. In one go. There might have been some groveling in there too. I'm trying to repress so I can't say for sure. Kim sent an email back in which she tactfully ignored my spamming her inbox. She gave an alternate address and she even offered to answer the Evil WoH questions! I can't tell you how relieved I was. So, the interview was saved, if not my pride.

Well, I thought I would just share that with you. Yep, I'm a bit of a doofus. But luckily it all worked out and Kim gave some great answers. Check out the interview - she rocks!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

News abounds: Felicia and Kim update

The NewTeeVee awards were on today
San Francisco was host to the great and good in the web video world. Perhaps not surprisingly Felicia Day was this week named by NewTeeVee as one of their 'breakout stars of 2008'. Felicia and Kim Evey were there today mixing with the other online stars. Felicia had a great interview and confirmed the news that there is, indeed, a sponsor for The Guild Season 2. Details will be announced next week. And she also said how great the fans of the show were, including Dani, who has done so much work on the translations and subtitles.

Kim Evey was not feeling well, apparently
On the trip to SF yesterday, she tweeted:

On my way to SF! Check @feliciaday to see what I'm doing cuz she always remembers to Tweet. I have a tummy ache. Best. Tweet. Ever.

But the great news for us is that Kim still took the time to send me her interview back last night, all done and dusted and fabulous. There will be a new post on Whedonage very soon with that interview in full - well worth the read.

And even better news is that Kim appears to have recovered enough to go out for some Sengalese food tonight, so all is well with the world!


Monday, November 10, 2008

Do you have a question for Felicia Day?

If you have, I could be asking her about it very soon!
You will be glad to know that The Guild Season 2 starts on 25th November. In honour of this Whedonage are running a series of articles. Yesterday there was an introduction to Season 2 and a great interview with Vincent Caro (Bladezz). Vincent was a real sport to do the interview and he is a great guy. Next will be more news about The Guild and an interview with Kim Evey. Yes, the Kim Evey, producer of The Guild and star of Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show and Two Hot Girls in the Shower (among many others).

But what about Felicia?
Oh yes, and the other news is that I'll be doing a video interview with Felicia in the next couple of weeks. Now I have promised I will do my best not to bibble (or squeee - hey that sounds like a traditional English dinner!), so we should have that covered. Now I have tons of questions for Felicia but I'm sure everyone does. So if you want me to ask her something then just comment on the Whedonage post and I'll do my best to ask as many questions as possible. My big problem now is how to present the video. I'm not sure the world is ready to see me on a video - how can I get around that? If only I had a way to be on the video without actually being seen....!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Friday? Already?! Another week gone....

Dang I'm so behind, I'm going have to resort to Plan 9
It's not from Outer Space but it might as well be. This is a post of last resort. The Mashable open web awards are up at the moment so I'm going to see if this post can be so sucky it wins the 'most p*sspoor attempt at making up for lost blogtime - ever!' I'm very hopeful.

What's the what?
This is my list of things I think you would want to know about that have, are or will happen (-ed, -ing). It's not even the full list but then, if it was, I might not win that fictitious Mashable award. That's a 'lose-lose' situation we can all enjoy! Also, I have put links in where I could (be bothered) but in some cases you might have to do some more work yourself. Again, it's all about keeping you guessing. Feel free to complain in the comments section (for all the good it will do you). At this stage it's all about getting this post done so I can enjoy the rest of my Friday.

Strike TV - a new force in Internet Video

Dr Horrible

The Guild
  • Season 2 starts on November 25th (woot!)
  • New teeshirts will be available from Jinx on Monday and you can get Season 1 DVD there, too.
  • First trailers for Season 2 should be out next week
  • I have 3 up-coming posts on Whedonage about The Guild which include interviews withVincent Caro (Bladezz), Kim Evey (producer of The Guild and creator/star of Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show) and *gasp* a video interview with Feliciaherself. You will get a chance to submit a question for Felicia so when it's published I'll let you know.

NaNoWriMo
Ever wanted to write a book? How about a novel - in a month? That's the simple premise of NaNoWriMo. If you know someone doing it encourage them all you can because it's a punishing schedule. I'm not doing it BUT I am doing something else. The first 11 chapters of my first novel are completed and I have a schedule which says the first draft is to be completed by Christmas. Which is why my blogging in waaaay down. SO if you want to encourage me, too, feel free. A simple 'Get on with it!' will suffice.

Scott Sigler
Is a Podcaster, writer and professional curmudgeon. Last week he offered me a beer. This week he played a cruel trick on all Whedon fans - and you have to be sure he is laughing as we tie ourselves in knots. That probably needs a little more explanation:
  • On his AMC blog Scott asked for nominations for the baddest monster hunter of all time. And the funny guy that he is, he's pitted Buffy against River Tam in the week 1 face-off. Apparently there can be only one...it's ok, we will have our revenge.
  • In other news, his follow-up to the (ok, it was excellent) Infected is out on 30th December which you can pre-order. And in honour of this he is doing a book tour. And one of the places is Seattle. And if I manage to get there (with perhaps a friend or two) I might get a beer.
  • And the screenwriter has been announced for the Infected screenplay.

Firefly: Between the Lines?
  • The Buffy: Between the Lines studio has a special edition - Firefly! It takes place between the Firefly episodes “Jaynestown” and “Out of Gas” and is well worth a listen.
Ma, I've done my homework, can I go play (have a beer) now?
Yes. Yes I can. It's scribbled and barely legible but I've finished. I hope you all have a good weekend!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Whedonopolis presents: Dr Horrible and The Guild


Trick or Treat?
That’s what I was doing last night with my little one, and we had lots of fun (and candy). A few (hundred) miles away in LA there was a different kind of Halloween going on. Whedonopolis staged a charity of screening of both Dr Horrible and The Guild – and there were a few surprise guests in attendance! There is an account of the night by Hollywood Jane and there is a video on YouTube that is a little shaky but you can hear what’s being said and is well worth a watch.

Special report from Cricket Lee

I was lucky enough to meet someone online in The Guild chat today that was at the event last night. Cricket Lee is the writer/editor of the show "Can I Nail It" for a live streaming internet network called thestream.tv   She has uploaded some great event pictures to her profile on The Guild Community site which include descriptions and items from the goodie bags! Cricket also very kindly answered some questions about the night for all of us not able to attend:

[WoH] How did you get your ticket?

[CL] I had bought tickets a couple weeks ago but my friend Sean Becker (who is currently directing season 2 of The Guild) gave me his, so I donated mine to charity

[WoH] What was the buzz like before? 

[CL] People were excited and ready to go! When the first Dr Horrible episode came out for free, I went to iTunes asap, bought a season pass, and when the album came out I bought that, too. And there's just so much about The Guild that I love...I don't play WoW (more of a video game girl) but I dated a guy who did so I loved the veiled references and the keyboard speak.

[WoH] Did you see any of the stars of The Guild or Dr Horrible there? 

[CL] I DID! I saw Jeff Lewis, Felicia Day, Joss Whedon, and Nathan Fillion! Felicia came in disguise as a Luchador and Fillion as Ninja Ropes guy.

[WoH] Did you get to speak to any of them? 

[CL] NO, dang it. I stood 6 feet away from Jeff and Felicia in the lobby before everyone else was let in and I chickened out. I'm sure they're inundated with people everyday and would usually like a day to themselves. but next time, I'm gonna say hi!

[WoH] What was the high-point for you? 

[CL] EVERYTHING! but if I had to narrow it down I'd say three things:

1) seeing Felicia, Jeff, Joss, and Fillion.

2) knowing that a really good charity is getting some much needed help. all in all I donated about 50 bucks. Wanna check out the charity? www.PATHVentures.org

3) I won a 25 dollar gifty to Golden Apple comics

[WoH] Did people sing along? 

[CL] (They) sang, quoted lines, even hand/facial gestures...myself included! it really could be the new Rocky Horror for the sci-fi/gamer set. If they did it once a month, I'd go everytime. It was so awesome to be among like minded people and we could all be our hip, weird, nerdy selves and no one cared because they were singing/reciting lines just as loud or louder than the next person!

[WoH] Were people dressed up?

[CL]ABSOLUTELY. I came as a Jedi. I saw the Bad Horse Chorus, a girl dressed as Dr Horrible in red, quite a few Dr H's in white, a couple of Penny's, couple Guild members, oh man...SO many costumes! One of the Dr H writers came as Kurt Cobain and was DEAD on.

[WoH] What was in the goodie-bags? 

[CL] It was called Dr Horrible's Sing Along Bag and there were props to be used during the film which included little lace curtains, a penny, and a Bad Horse finger puppet.

You can find out more about Cricket on The Guild Community site and her MySpace account.

Thank you for answering the questions and sharing your pictures Cricket!

Podcasters FTW!

Here's the first of a few posts over the next couple of days - enjoy!

Metamor City: high-action, sci-fi futureworld


I love the idea of Podcasts and I listen to them whenever I can. A little while ago @etherius, a Twitter friend from the early days of me using Twitter, put out a call asking for people to do the introductions for his sumptuous Podcast, Metamor City. I answered that call and you can hear me doing the introduction to MCP 028 - MAKING THE CUT: Chapter 19. There is lots of information about the world Chris has created on the website and it's well worth checking out.

One of these days I will ask Chris Lester if he will do an interview and he will say yes and then everyone will know about the fantastic world he has created. If you read this blog then there is a very good chance that Metamor City will be the Podcast you are looking for – highly recommended! @etherius is a generous and interesting Twitterer so check him out.

Buffy: Between the Lines – so much to squee about!


Tabz and crew seem to have been in creative-overdrive these last few weeks so if you haven’t been over to the B:BtL website recently now is the time to do so! Season 2 is well under way, scripts and commentaries are available,  and they even had a spooky Halloween minisode this week. You can also vote for B:BtL on the Podcast Awards - every day until Nov 6th.  Tabz has her own Twitter account and so does B:BtL - well worth following  and don't forget to vote!

 

Young Junius – Seth Harwood’s gritty thriller

Another star in the Podcasting firmament is Seth Harwood. If you like crime thrillers with a twist then you should make your way to his website asap. And if you like to be sent threatening emails by sexy FBI laydeez then I would definitely sign up and get onto the forums quick-smart, or else! Seth is another great Tweeter so why not follow him.

Scott Sigler

Actually, Scott will have to wait his turn. Too much to say about him for this post so you’ll have to wait to find out. But I will say he offered to buy me a beer today…

So much to tell, so little time...

It's the 1st November, let's start the month well!
I have a big backlog of mini-posts and snippets for you. The list is now so long that I have 2 choices. Either just list them with links so you can pick out the ones of interest yourself or just do a series of short blogs. Decisions, decisions!

I suppose you will just have to wait until the next post to find out what I decided, but as a teaser here are some of the topics: new independent book publisher, new internet video channel, Dr Horrible, The Guild, Kim Evey, Vincent Caro, GTCMS, NaNoWriMo, Dr Who, Buffy: Between the Lines, Metamor City, Scott Sigler, Seth Harwood...