Virtual Tourist – Tales of Berseria 4/7/19

Morning!

Mini Movie Review

Shazam

Shazam – I will admit, though I love Zachary Levi, I wasn’t too sure how this film was going to turn out. Luckily, it more than met expectations. The kids were fantastic! Plus the film had other elements they did not touch in the previews, which made for some unexpected surprises. The movie has a lot of levity, but it also shows there’s darkness. Evil doesn’t just come from monsters. Rating: 3.75 out of 5. (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again.)

Tales of Berseria

This is a Japanese console game that has been converted for PC. You have the option of both English and Japanese for the voice-overs, which is nice. Unlike some games out there that have been brought to PC, they did an excellent revamp on this one.

I’ve not played this type of game before, where you have multiple characters that fight in a group, and you switch and maintain all of them. But the learning curve hasn’t been too bad. 😛

Tales of Berseria

This is Velvet. The start screen goes through a small sequence and she walks towards you as the game loads.

Tales of Berseria

There is a demon blight that has spread across the land. One that turns people into monsters. Monsters that attack everyone around them.

Tales of Berseria - Velvet's village

This is Velvet’s village. She lives here with her brother-in-law and her younger brother.

Tales of Berseria - forest

This is the forest just outside her village. The graphics are lovely. The little figure on the lower right means there’s a dialogue sequence you can start by pressing ‘T’.

Tales of Berseria - ruins

A set of ruins past the forest. They sit a top a cliff overlooking the ocean. It is here that bad things will happen and alter Velvet forever.

Tales of Berseria - night at village

Velvet’s home at the village. Places you can enter have the blue dotted ring at the entrance.

Tales of Berseria

Inside Velvet’s home. That’s her younger brother, Laphiset. He’s a little sickly, but very bright. Velvet is rather overprotective of him.

Tales of Berseria - ocean

Lovely view, no? Laphiset wants to see the world! Velvet just wants him safe.

Tales of Berseria - closeup of Velvet

A touching moment with her brother.

Tales of Berseria - ceremony

That night, however, is when everything changed…

Have an awesome week!

The Inevitability of Change 2019

2019 is proving to be a challenging year full of chaos and change. Change is not something we can always control. Sometimes it can lead to better things, and at others, not so much.

Two major items hit in the last month related to the author side of my life.

ConDFW

The first change, which was back in February (though I didn’t realize it until this week), was that one of my favorite conventions put on their last round this year. After 17 years ConDFW will be no more. I had no idea this was their last year, and I wasn’t able to attend this year and be part of the final event due to health reasons.

They went out with a bang! Which was wonderful. But I regret not having been there.

This convention meant a lot to me. Back in the day, it was the first literary fantasy/science fiction convention I ever attended. It was the year I realized I had no choice but to get out there and network if I wanted any chance at a writing career. (I tend to be something of a wallflower and quite shy.) It was at that first convention that I first met Selina Rosen, Melanie Fletcher, and Jeff Turner. Meetings that had significant impacts on my life as they led me to Yard Dog Press and Zumaya Publications and my first publishing contracts.

I wish Dan Robb and all the other wonderful people who’ve worked so hard to put such a fun convention together many thanks for all the years of hard work. Kudos guys!

Mundania Press

Mundania Press

The second change to hit this month was the closing of Mundania Press and their subsidiaries.

For the last couple of years or more, changes by Amazon to make the most of their self-publishing services , weird algorithms, the economy, and a ton of other factors have dried up revenue streams and forced many to go out of business.

Mundania having to close has orphaned two of my novels – “Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles” and “Inner Demons.” While all rights have reverted to me, it also means I need to find new homes for these two books.

I’m looking into several solutions to see which way (or ways) I want to use to bring them back in print. So do not despair! But it was definitely a shock to hear of the closing.

My fellow authors and the writing and publishing community are awesome, and several people have reached out to me with suggestions and even possible new homes for the two orphaned novels. It will mean a ton of work, research, and patience, but it’s time to look forward rather than back.

I will keep you all updated on what direction I end up taking. It could even end up being one of the best things that could have happened, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the moment. Wish me luck!

Virtual Tourist – GRIS 3/10/19

Well, between the health stuff, company merger, and daylight’s savings time, my plans today were put in peril. But I will persevere!

Mini Movie Review

Captain Marvel – Depending on who you are and how deep you are in comic book fandom will make a HUGE difference on what you’ll think about this film. It’s a popcorn flick, entertaining with a lot of cute moments. As long as you don’t look below the surface, it’s enjoyable. Seeing a young Coulson totally did it for me. 😛 I thought Brie Larson did a great job. There’s been a lot of flack about her not being able to act, but I didn’t see that. If anything, I have to give her kudos for not just acting with words and expressions but her whole body. Carol Danvers’ confident and easy attitude screams from the character just by how she walks down a corridor after the first escape.

While the errors regarding canon are many and various, some of the other problems were just lazy. For example, the Skrull Talos spoke like some punk out of the ’80s and ’90s when, if you take into account the timeline as presented, he had not yet spent much if any time on Earth. (If he had, there would have been several critical bits of information he would have already known about and therefore made the movie moot!). Another big one was with regards to the Kree. All Kree have blue skin, and all the movies and TV shows have presented them that way. The only exception is sometimes some have patches of pure white skin (which makes them looked down on). Rather than try to come up with a plausible reason to tell Carol why her skin was different, they just turned half the Kree population Caucasian. Lazy.

If you can ignore stuff like that, you should enjoy the film. It had a nice pace, cool effects, excellent combat sequences, and Goose. I did love that they let the Skrulls have their super funky chins. Rating: 3.25 out of 4 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission.)

Virtual Tourist – GRIS

GRIS - flower gardens

The gardens are a wonderful area. It is also where you pick up the ability to SING!

GRIS - the power to sing

Singing affects things and is also visual. The rings you see here are from her voice. It also makes flowers bloom!

GRIS - garden

Love the luscious colors.

GRIS - fog

The unknown. Look a the gorgeous pastels!

GRIS - garden hallway

An underwater hallway in the gardens. You can’t sing as a fish.

GRIS - flip zone

The bush is made of water, so I can swim in it. The yellow line flips the gravity. Gliding past the top drops you up to the floor/ceiling of the other side. Lol.

GRIS - moonlit garden

I love the colors, the implied textures, even the depths.

GRIS - final song

A half inverted area and major singing spot.

GRIS - meeting the self

The star path to the meeting the tortured self.

GRIS - a tomb

It is just darn pretty!

Hope you’ve been staying warm out there. Winter is still trying to hang on, but it is a losing battle. 😛

Virtual Tourist – Witcher 3 2/17/19

My apologies for anyone who went/is at ConDFW looking for ChibiChains and myself and did not find us there. Unfortunately, I’m still having the issues that cropped up after surgery in November. I’d hoped the last set of meds would let me go to the con, but alas, it was not to be.

I can go out for a bit, but sitting up straight for 8+ hours and the driving itself would have taken too much out of me. I’d thought about doing it anyway, but my family talked me out of it.

I can’t wait for them to figure out what is causing the mess and they get rid of it!

Witcher 3

Witcher 3 - Elven guardian

One of the comic book style sections. Citri and her Elven protector.

Witcher 3 - following Swallows trail

Geralt and one of his sorceress friends, following Citri’s trail. They are about to enter deeper into a set of caves used by her elven protector.

Witcher 3 - message from the elf

Pre-recorded message for Citri from the mysterious elf.

Witcher 3 - dead end?

The pictures of the Swallow are the crumbs to follow. This one, however, appeared to be a dead end.

Witcher 3 - elven portal

In reality, it was a magic portal. (And yes, that is one ugly piece of armor Geralt is wearing. lol.)

Witcher 3 - elemental guardian

The elf left some security measures in place. The earth elemental on the floor was cool looking and nasty!

Witcher 3 - a member of the Wild Hunt

I brightened the image as much as I could. This is one of the members of the Wild Hunt. One of the elves searching for Citri for her elder blood.

Witcher 3 - magic chamber

Magic flames. Nothing bad could happen here. Right? 😛

Witcher 3 - the end of the elf cave

Exit from the mysterious elf’s cave. Citri was not there, but we learned a thing or two.

Witcher 3 - Geralt

He sure is pretty! 😛

Hope you had a good weekend!

ConDFW 2019 Programming

Greetings, all!

Next weekend the 2019 conventions begin! First up is ConDFW – Feb 15-17, 2019.

ConDFW 2019

Final programming schedule came out – so I wanted to share what panels I’ll be in. 🙂

Friday

Programming 2, 4 PM

It Was A Dark and Stormy Night Panelists: Julie Barrett (M), Michael Baldwin, Patricia Ferguson, Gloria Oliver, T. M. Hunter

Whether a classic noir or modern day mystery, the weather must usually need to be accounted for. If it rained, footsteps could be lost or found. If it snowed, evidence could be missed. Our panelists debate the weather and how it affects shots ringing out. Saturday

Saturday

Programming 4, 1 PM

The mARTian Collaboration Panelists: Melia Dawn, Brad Foster, Frances May, Gloria Oliver, Mel White

They say if you ask a committee to design a horse, you’ll get a camel. Come see what happens when we team up artists and ask them to design a Martian, alien, or whatever the audience demands!

Programming 4, 4 PM

Fandom Pictionary Panelists: Melia Dawn, Brad Foster, Frances May, Gloria Oliver, Mel White Play

Pictionary or just watch as our artists compete. Come and see our artists face off against each other. Pictionary has never been this much fun!

Sunday

Programming 2, 1 PM

What is Taboo in History? Panelists: Chris Donahue (M), Charlaine Harris, Melanie Fletcher, Gloria Oliver, Frances May

When we look back at history, there are always parts that are not for the squeamish. There are issues that are controversial, and then there are issues that just aren’t talked about in polite society. Where are the lines? Are there any lines? Why are you crossing any lines? Our panelists discuss these ideas and others. Warning: May get political and/or heated. Please keep all prejudices at the door.

Main Programming, 3 PM

Blending Steampunk Panelists: Tex Thompson (M), Larry Atchley Jr., Gloria Oliver

Using two or more genres together can make something really pop in the imagination. Whether it’s combining with Japanese culture in Jay Kristoff’s Lotus War series or combining with WWI era noir with Larry Correia’s Grimnoir series, blending steampunk with another genre can be very effective. Our panelists debate this and other topics.

Won’t you come and join the fun?

Virtual Tourist – GRIS 2/3/19

Morning, all!

I am still recuperating. There’s some inflammation the doctor is not sure why I have, so I get to do a couple of weeks of steroids. I hope this does the trick. So tired of not feeling normal. 😛

GRIS

GRIS - Bird in Red

The bird is a recurring entity. Currently helpful, though later it gets hostile.

Hitching a ride

Here I am hitching a ride on the bird to go to a new area.

GRIS - Blue

We have arrived at the color Blue.

GRIS - Blue Forest

This is the forest in Blue. They do some really neat things in this zone as they merge wood and water elements.

GRIS - Waterfall tree

This is a waterfall tree. The shrub areas are made of water, though you can stand on them as if they were solid. It gets trippy as the cloak now has the power of turning us into a fish. You can swim up the thicker waterfall sections into the cube sections.

GRIS - fish!

That’s me in the middle. Take a look at the scary shadow in the back! Eek!

GRIS - Blue Statue

The girl statues are a major element and what the voyage is about.

GRIS - Blue full moon

Isn’t that a cool visual?

GRIS - Green

Now we are in Green. The farther we go the more complex things appear.

GRIS - Green and its beautiful flowers

Red, blue, yellow and now all sorts of colors appear. This section is gorgeous. Once we get the power to sing, we will make it even more so.

Have a gorgeous Sunday!

Virtual Tourist – GRIS 1/27/19

Greetings!

It feels like forever since I’ve done a post. To say 2019 has so far been an insane roller coaster ride is an understatement. Between gallbladder surgery, year-end/ at work, the audit, some medical scares with hubby, and more, my tray has been more than filled. I am ready for things to slow down!

I did get a steam card for Christmas, so I bought several games to keep me occupied. GRIS is a platform game in 2D with lovely visuals, many giving a 3D impressions. It’s filled with puzzles and colorful changing vistas and no words. One neat thing about the game (aside from its evil imagination and lovely presentation) is how things that are a hindrance in some sections you end up having to use to help you finish puzzles!

GRIS

GRIS beginning

You begin the game just as you see above. No explanations.

GRIS landscape

You wander through a desolate landscape.

GRIS flying creature

Loads of interesting fauna and flora.

GRIS discovering RED

Once you find some stars and are able to follow the path, you will discover the color red.

GRIS - RED

You find yourself in a harsh and angry land. Yet one still filled with beauty.

GRIS columns

There are neat formations everywhere. The one constant in all the lands are the various statues of a woman crying.

GRIS duality

Neat images like this one abound.

GRIS weeping

Emotionally moving images abound.

GRIS discovering Green

Once you discover Green, the more colorful the world becomes. Each color discovered adds new depths to the surroundings.

GRIS spiritual bird

This large bird recurs many times and is one of the giant animals spurring the girl forward. It isn’t always friendly.

The music in the game is also lovely. It enhances the mood and even hints at coming changes. A super imaginative game, leaving you stumbling around much as the main character is, yet with discovery and wonder around every corner.

I hope 2019 is treating you well!

Virtual Tourist – Witcher 3 11/18/18

Morning!

I fell off the planet again and will most likely fall off again next week.

I had a gallstone attack a couple of weeks ago. First time I’ve had one! At least to where I knew something was wrong. I had some scans, and they found the stones. Now I am going to have my gallbladder removed. Whee! (Thus the reason I’ll be falling off the planet again.)  Wish me luck!

Virtual Tourist

Witcher 3

Witcher 3 - magic portal

Yennefer has opened a magic portal for travel. Whenever you interact with someone long enough or learn a lot about them, they get entered into the character entry book. (Yes, I forgot to hit the Home button to get rid of the UI. DOH)

Witcher 3 - palace

One of the large rooms in Emhyr var Emreis’s castle.

Witcher 3 - Northern Temeria

View of Northern Temeria and one of the villages.

Witcher 3 - Members of the Wild HuntMembers of the Wild Hunt looking for clues to Ciri’s whereabouts.

Witcher 3 - Leader of the Wild Hunt

This is the leader of the Wild Hunt and supernatural bad guy. Mean looking guy!

Witcher 3 - Ciri

This was an unexpected surprise. In certain points of the game, when getting information about Ciri from those who’ve seen her, you get to be her to reenact that particular set of events.

Witcher 3 - magic portal

The women mages are in hiding as their’s a price on their heads. This temporary portal belongs to Keira Metz.

Witcher 3 - Keira's secret place

This is Keira’s secret place. It’s where she goes when she can’t stand being the village witch anymore. Lol.

Witcher 3 - ruins

A gorgeous view as I approach a set of small ruins.

Witcher 3 - closer look at the ruins

A closer look at the ruins.

Wish me luck! Hope to be back to soon!

Also, next Saturday is Small Business Saturday. You can help small business and small publishers by shopping their wears.

ChibiChains - Small Business Saturday Small Business Saturday - Zumaya Publications Small Business Saturday - Yard Dog Press

Virtual Tourist – Deus Ex: Mankind Divided 10/28/18

 

Morning, all!

Mini Movie Review

Hunter Killer

Hunter Killer – a sub movie! Woot! Hubby has been chomping at the bit to see this one. 🙂 The film has all the submarine movie tropes and then some. Some of the big pieces on the plot don’t quite fit or point you in directions never followed up on, but ignoring those, you’re in for a fun ride. Multiple groups are involved in the mission, so you get action from several directions and by various groups. Rating: 3.25 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again!)

 

Virtual Tourist

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - subway trakcs

No subways are running from the station, so Jensen has to make his way over on foot.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - newspaper

The electronic newspaper in the game. Headlines and stories will change as the game progresses. Nice way to give players more info.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - main suspect

Look at the awesome wrap around screen! Sweet!

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - cabal

Close up picture of the augmented troublemaker following the orders from the cabal. 😛

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - chandelier

That is one cool chandelier!

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - cool room

The rest of the place is nice, too! This one gives a better view of the room.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - underground

A meeting underground

Deus Ex: Mankind DividedCulinary delights – grilled mouse on a stick.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Aerial view of the city of London!

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

The DNA strand buildings are too darn cool!

That’s it for this week. Hope you have a marvelous day!

Virtual Tourist – Witcher 10/21/18

 

Morning!

Weird week. All the rain and cold were trying super hard to make me sick. I muddled through – yay! But somehow though we thought we had Fan Days this weekend, we did not actually have a booth. Boo! But it’s given me time to fight against catching a cold. Yay! But I didn’t get much done this weekend. Boo! Lol.

Mini Movie Reviews

Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians – this film has been out a while, but it’s still going strong. The preview clips I’d seen were awful, but hubby had read good things about it, so we took a chance. Glad we did. Most of the film is in English with a dabbling of subtitles here and there. It’s a love story as well as a clash of old vs. new, familial responsibilities vs. self, rich vs. poor, and other clashes. All the little details and side characters made the film adorable and quite funny. There are a lot of lovely views of Singapore as well! The film was a lot of fun. Rating: 3.75 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again!)

 

Witcher 3 – White Orchard

Look at that gorgeous sky! Lots of beautiful scenery abounds!

Witcher 3 - White Orchard

As you can see in the picture, the flora is super detailed. Lovely!

Witcher 3 - White OrchardGorgeous! I could look at the clouds all day. Lol

Witcher 3 - White Orchard - horses

I took this one because of the free-roaming horses! The game also has deer, rabbits, and other fauna running around.

Witcher 3 - White Orchard - Griffin

My first main Witcher contract. Hunt down and get rid of a Griffin running rampant through the countryside. Not an easy task!

Witcher 3 - White Orchard - Griffin

An actual sacrificial lamb.

Witcher 3 - White Orchard

Geralt has been looking for his girlfriend Yennerfer, but she finds him instead.

Witcher 3 - White Orchard - YenneferYennefer – Geralt’s girlfriend before he lost his memory in the original game.

Witcher 3 - White Orchard - Yennefer and GeraltYennefer has convinced Geralt to go with her. His foster daughter Ciri has been seen and is in danger from the Wild Hunt. (I love the look she’s giving him! Hee!)

Witcher 3 - royalty and Geralt cleaned up

Geralt after a mandatory bath and shave. (Hilarious situation, really.) Emhyr var Emreis, the ruler of Nilfgaard sits in the back. He wants his daughter Ciri found. His reasons are not quite the same as Geralt’s.

Stay dry! Stay healthy! Have fun!