Before I get into this year’s post I’ll address what happened two days ago, of course I’m talking about the Fort Lauderdale Airport shooting. I’m not going to get political or into gun control, I’ll just say that the past year or more the world just seems to get more scary and more sad as terrible events/deaths just keeping occurring. I can only hope that 2017 is better but it’s certainly not off to a good start.
Life goes on and I’m going to try and move back to the positive. This blog is (mainly) about me and that’s what this post is about. 2016 was a great year for me, I’m happy with my marriage, I just started a diet (like most people after Xmas but I’m sticking with it, doing our own Biggest Loser thing at work), my third book was self-published, I went to 4 conventions (1 in the US), several trips and got to see some of my American cousins that I hadn’t seen for 13 years. Oh and now for something completely different, I’ve been listening to this podcast for years now, Geekshow, and if you’re a geek and enjoy podcast I’d highly recommend it. I mention it now because the host, Kerry, has been doing his own year-end review type thing (which he calls a fire-side chat), it’s really excellent and while often sad it always ends on a positive note.
I know though you’re here for pictures and links, so here we go. (I’m going back to month by month, cause it’s my blog and I feel like it).
Not a lot, saw a bunch of movies. I hate winter, hate snow. I did finally finish the Wheel of Time books, I enjoyed the ending (for the most part) you can read my thoughts here. There was also The Revenant, which was amazing and finally have Leonardo his Oscar.
Deadpool! I loved this movie and was thrilled to finally see an R-rated comic book movie do so well. Ryan Reynolds shook off the chain that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine (please don’t watch it) and IS Deadpool. Hilarious movie, my thoughts here. Aside from the usual drudgery of winter I was also reminded that Michael Bay can still direct a good (even excellent) movie, he did it with 13 Hours. Now why can’t he just leave Transformers alone?
Vacation! For most years over the past 8 or so I’m on vacations this month. Here’s the post I did about it.
Back home, life returns to normal. Still snowing! We actually had our biggest snowstorm of the year the middle of April, really hope that doesn’t happen again this year. Only saw one movie in theater, Eye in the Sky. As my third book wasn’t ready I didn’t have a table at Sci-Fi on the Rock but I did attend. It was a treat to see Robert Picardo and Eugene Simon (from Game of Thrones). Just a short blog post about it.
Not a lot happening this month, I continued to work on “The Gathering Dark” (my third Newfoundland Vampire book) and of course there was the majesty of Civil War. What an excellent movie! Marvel really knows what they are doing entertainment-wise. Here’s my thoughts on it.
I turned 40 this month. I’ll admit it got me down for a while, weeks, perhaps even months leading up to it. Once it came though (and I consciously didn’t have any kind of big party) I was fine. What was much more important is that for the first time in years I went to a convention outside of Newfoundland (in fact outside of Canada as well). I’m talking about Origins in Columbus, Ohio. One of the things that made me feel better about getting older (yes I know I’m certainly middle-aged now) is that I have the time, money and people do to the things I want with. This con was a great example as I got to go with two of my best friends (we even all shared a room together to save money). Of course I did a post about it. Let me tell you if you love conventions and games, you NEED to go to this sometime in your life. It was just amazing. I know I won’t be able to go every year but I’ll certainly be back, an amazing experience for a hard-core board game/RP/card game player.
My third book, The Gathering Dark, is finally released! This time I am self-published (with the help of 3 other authors in our author publishing group Four Phoenixes Publishing). This book was written back in 2014, so I was very happy to finally have it in my hands.
I was very happy with the cover as this time I had complete control and went with a local artist, Kevin Kendall. He’s an amazing artist and a great guy, if you need anything artist done, do yourself a favor and get in contact with him.
I won’t get into sales of my book (mainly because I’ve accepted I’ll never be a famous author who lives off his writing) but I will say while the reviews have been slow coming, they have been positive. You can check them out here.
One of the other conventions here in Newfoundland happens, Avalon Expo! This time I got to sell my third book and I got to meet Robert J. Sawyer. For those who don’t know he is an award-winning sci-fi author who has actually received the order of Canada! He was also very knowledgeable about Star Trek and a friendly guy. I enjoyed the convention, you can read my thoughts on it here.
My wife and I, along with another couple, went on a wonderful trip to London. London is a great place and while I wouldn’t want to live there (way too many people!) I will certainly go back some time again.
Weather was (most of the time) very good, great food, lots of historic sites, great shopping (though I only cared about the comic book and hobby stores), won money at a casino, friendly people and a truly amazing subway system. I admire a city with great public transportation and I must say London was superior even to NYC.
If you want to see more pictures and see what else I have to say, have a look here.
I also made it out to Atlanti-Con 5 (held in Corner Brook) and had a great time. Read all about that here. As if all that wasn’t enough I read a wonderful book called, “Sweet Dreams Are Made of This: A Life in Music by Dave Stewart” (well listened to it, I love Audible).
This month I had my first radio interview in years. It was with my friend Colleen on CHMR (Memorial University’s radio station), you can read about that here. Other than that Halloween and I started to get really busy at work (I didn’t dress up for Halloween).
I had to start off this month with Rogue One, what an amazing movie. I really need to see it again. If you’re a Star Wars fan you HAVE to see it, I think any sci-fi (or just action movie fan) would also really enjoy it. Of course I have a review here. This month I also had something cool happen, a fan came (at least partially) just to visit me! I was very flattered and had a good time. You can read about my American visitor (Andrew) here.
This month (aside from Christmas and New Years) I also started a blog tour for my third book. Goddess Fish Promotions have been a pleasure to deal with and are doing a great job, I highly recommend them if you have a book you’d like to promote. You really great part here is that my blog tour is still happening, so if you have a chance I’d love it for you to stop by.
My blog is not just about my writing, life and reviews. I also care about issues in the world and took the time to put up a post for WEROES. They are an interesting and worthwhile movement and I hope you’ll check them out.
The end of December saw the end to my 4th Edition D&D campaign that I had been running for 8.5 years! It was bittersweet, I loved that campaign, had a blast doing it and brought the PCs all the way to level 19 (go here if you have no idea what I’m talking about). Later this year I’ll be doing another 4th Ed. campaign (Eberron) before finally moving onto 5th Edition sometime in the future. I have been role-playing since I was 13, so 27 years now. It’s a lifelong hobby that I will always love. I’m lucky that I still play at least once a month and some months (when everything goes as planned) 8-9 times! I’ve always been an imaginative person and RP has always ignited that and given me great pleasure. I also love collecting the miniatures (as you can see below). It’s a hobby that has infinite variety, can change as you grow up (and older) and the only limit is whatever you can imagine, so I’d recommend it to anyone. It’s a very social hobby and certainly a great way to make friends (and maintain friendships).
Well that does it for 2016 (aside from the above picture as the fireworks near us did start a little before midnight). I hope everyone is having a great new year. I am to be healthier, exercise more, read more, write more and do more to promote my short-stories in particular (a new venture for me) and my writing in general. Aside form all my usual traveling, work, gaming, friends and of course my wife (that’s a last but really first priority deal!). Have a great 2017 all, I hope you made it through this lengthy post, if you did, live long and prosper.