Saturday, October 22, 2016

(1) World of Final Fantasy Dungeon Demo (PS4 Live Stream)

I don't quite understand what's happening and what I'm doing, but I can say I'm more interested in this Final Fantasy release than Final Fantasy XV (coming out on 11/29/2016).  We'll see how the rest of this demo plays out.  But if there's any FF game I'm looking forward to, it has to be Zodiac (FF12 HD re-release!)

Friday, October 21, 2016

My Images Disappeared...? UPDATE!

Vanished images update…
Well, hey.  Looks like I managed to get all the posts from 2013 reconstructed and back up.  I've been on a mission.  Yes, sir...
When you're tried, but you're still looking good!
But no–it’s been a trip.  At first I attempted to export the material from my back-up Wordpress blog.  Got the exported file saved, then found out it won’t process through Blogger’s import system.  At least without having the file converted from its original XML Document to a converted version (forgive me of the details, just know it’s been a headache).  
Terrified of finding myself hacked should I still try to convert the file via a sketchy online converter program, I’ve decided to go the long way around and just copy and paste the HTML code from posts in Wordpress to the other.  Problems: resolution of the images are no where near as crisp as the original.  Good: I can apply labels/tags to old posts, as well as incorporate affiliate links in the time before joining Amazon’s affiliate program.
I'm trying my best not to go over old post and "fix" whatever I find that bugs me in the writing.  It'll only hold up the process.  Because I have such a long way to go!
More BOOKS | DRAWING | LIFE updates underway!

Monday, October 17, 2016

My Images Disappeared...?

Okay. Here's what's happening. Some how or another (while putting together an image that wouldn't rotate) I deleted the folder containing all the blog's images. As you can see. It had me down for a minute, but I'm anything but a quitter. Especially for something I've spent hours and years developing. So with that said, bare with my maintenance on reapplying the images in these blog posts. They were stored on this wonky system Google has of combining Google+ images with Picasa. It's a system that needs a little user-friendly tweaking to help some of us understand what we're getting into when engaging with it to edit images.
How I feel about Google+ and Piscas's image system
But there's a bright side–so far. Years ago I started a back-up blog on Wordpress. That's right, I'm hosted in two different places. Periodically, I would export my blog here on Blogger, and import the entire blog on Wordpress. Now I haven't done a back-up since the early part of May, but every image/post before that is available and safely stored on Wordpress. I'm currently exporting it over onto Blogger–which looks like it'll be some time. Then, I'll have to fill in the holes that went missing.
So, that's what's happening.
In the meantime, here's the link to the Wordpress version of the blog. It's janky, but I always operated it as a back-up (you have to pay to get all the good stuff).
Until then thanks. I'll continue to post along here still.

Front-2-Back ~ Library 25 Cent Booksale Buys

I started to not even write about this, but what the hell.  So a week ago–on a nice pre-fall Saturday–my best friend and went to the public library’s 25 cent book sale.  Excitedly, of course.  We had some authors in mind, and felt like this was the perfect opportunity to dig into the shopping fray.  Nonetheless, you know how these sales go; lots of books pulled from the library’s attic, and crammed on a stream of folding tables like a flea market.  Perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  Even so, I walked in with three authors on my mind: Susan Wittig Albert, Nevada Barr, and Rita Mae Brown.  And I lucked out–and then some.  So let me share what I’ve found and why (more or less) I got them.
(I’m not going to talk too much about some of the authors, but will link their websites via their names.)
At the time I went to the sale I was in the middle of reading Doris Mortman’s True Colors.  I haven’t picked up her books in years–after spending the summer of 2011 engrossed in her second novel, First Born.  So when I found a cleaner copy of The Wild Rose at the sale, I grabbed it to replace the unread copy I bought at a thrift store a couple of years ago.  Hard to believe the copy is from the mid-80’s and in such pristine condition.  For 25 cents it was a no-brainer.  As for the copy of Mortman’s Rightfully Mine, it’s a discarded library book in decent condition.  But hey, I was enjoying True Colors so why not another Mortman book to add.  

Mortman writes what I would sum as the literary version of an 80’s mini-series.  Think Deceptions, Voice of the Heart, and Scruples.  Romance, drama, melodrama, family secrets.  You get it.  Oh, and of course stuck-up bitches with loads of money and attitude.  Love it!
Jackie Collins' Hollywood Husbands is finally off my Amazon wish list.  I placed it there immediately after reading Collins’ Hollywood Wives some summers ago.  Never got around to ordering the sequel, Hollywood Husbands.  But when this copy sprang up from the pile of books, I didn’t hesitate.  I’m an on/off Collins reader.  And from that experience, I don’t believe any of her titles I’ve read can top Hollywood Wives.  Here’s to hoping Hollywood Husbands can second it.  (Currently reading it and it’s selling me, but not in a “hot cakes” capacity.)

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Delilah West: One Female Private-Eye You May Or May Not Have Heard Of

I have got to admit that I love female private-eye series pre the 2000’s.  And from the 70’s on into the early 90’s is where I often find the best stories.  Unless an author has established him or herself during those periods; post 2000 female private-eye series always seem to have this distracted flavor to them.  If I could put it into words, I would say there’s hard-boiled then there’s hard-boiled just to “look cute.“  Or, to be a lot more transparent, the rash of relationship drama and sex to maintain an audience tends to kill my vibe.  (Here’s to you Stephanie Plum.)  
Though I can’t speak on this with any totality of thought (if that makes sense).  Still, hardly have I experienced the whole “once to bed, twice is enough” experience in series built in the two decades following Maria Muller’s genre-shaking debut.  You know, of her 1977-birthing of female private-eye, Sharon McCone.  And Sharon was a great protagonist to flush in writers serving the world female-led hard-boiled stories during the 80’s and 90’s.  Of course without characters tip-toeing pass hotel wallpaper to slide into bed for a clue.  Usually with the unbeknownst killer.  
Muller gave writers a model of a female private-eye, and in turn, those writers served their special and unique versions of what translated as a woman detective carrying hard-boiled stories.  Plus, stories back then knew how to fill the pages with actual words–and procedural work.
But, incidentally, Marcia Muller's Sharon McCone wasn't the first contemporary American woman taking lead as a fictional private investigator.  Apparently, Maxine O'Callaghan's Delilah West came first.  Had it not been for a recent trip to a used bookstore, where I discovered West tucked in a stack, I never would've known.

As For Delilah West Herself
First, I have got to say that while researching O'Callaghan, I noticed she has newer reprints of her series.  And I have got to say I do not like the covers.  At all.  No shade to young adult books, but that’s precisely what the new covers of her Delilah West mystery books look like; some angst-filled YA book about vampires and love gone bloody.  Thank God I ran across her original paperback covers first.  And I’ll be sure to hunt for the original covers to this series here forward.  As dated as they may appear, it’s always best to keep to the classics in cases such as this.  I really, really can’t believe how awful the new covers are.

But I digress...
As I mentioned, the character of Delilah West pre-dates Marcia Muller’s Sharon McCone.  West first appeared in a short story featured in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine back in 1974 (three years before McCone debuted with Edwin and the Iron Shoes).  I suppose the short story break sort of did a strange disservice O’Callaghan’s protagonist, as Muller’s Sharon rose to attention and commercial success three years later.  While continuing to publish yearly releases to this day.  

Nonetheless, Orange County resident and ex-cop private-eye, Delilah West, broke into her first full-length book in 1981 with Death is Forever.  From 1981 until 1997, O’Callaghan released six Delilah West mysteries and a short story collection.
I say it’s high-time we catch up with Delilah West and keep her in mind when we’re talking about the beginning of the contemporary female private-eye. 


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