January 27, 2013: Hot Chocolate Fest! Blog-hopping with Mandy Hager! Doggy Blues! Days of Stargate Atlantis Past! First Contact!


Vancouver is celebrating a month long Hot Chocolate Festival and I am trying my damndest to sample most of the 63 flavors available at the 23 locations around town.  I got off to a late start but I’m making up for lost time.  7 down, (about) 56 to go!  I’ll have a full report for you in about three weeks.

If, while you’re waiting, you too would like to check out the festival, head on over here for all the details: http://www.cityfood.com/events/hotchocolate2013/


Just received word that author Mandy Hager has posted the responses to the 10 Blog Hop questions!  Head on over to her blog to get the scoop on her latest book, The Crossing: 


Sadly, to today we bid adieu to our dog-nanny, Christine, who heads east for job training for her new career.  The dogs will no doubt miss her, but Akemi and I will miss here even more since we now have to find someone to step into her dependable dog-sitting slippers.  Yep, all we need to do is find someone with experience who we can feel comfortable leaving behind to take care of our dogs – and home – while we’re away.  Or we can put thoughts of a Vegas getaway or another Japan trip on the back back back burner.  I mean, seriously.  Jelly is almost 14!  I think she’s ready for the responsibility of taking care of her siblings.

Continuing our trip down SGA memory lane with…



Over time, writer/Exec. Producer Martin Gero became the go-to guy for our Atlantis big event episodes.  And, really, you couldn’t get any bigger than this fifth season midseason two-parter chock full of action, dazzling visual effects, shocking twists, Stargate mythology, and topped off with a visit from none other than Daniel Jackson himself. Honestly, what more could you ask for?

The thing I remember most about the shooting of this episode was the visit by a special needs boy and his family.  They’d won a set visit and, as thrilled as they were be there, they were triply delighted to be meeting and spending time with Dr. Rodney McKay.  And spending time with actor David Hewlett, I’m sure, far exceeded their expectations because he was nothing short of delightful company.  I watched him interact with the kid and his family, making the time to sit and chat with them between the various shots, genuine in his interest and enthusiasm.  And then, later, hurrying over to catch them before they left for the rest of their set tour to arrange a lunch meet-up.  Really nice to see.

Friday Night Lights alum Daniella Alonso steps into Jill Wagner’s boots as Traveler’s rep Katana Labrea (photo courtesy MGM Television)
Art Department design for Lost Tribe exo-suit.
And, the finished product (photo courtesy MGM Television)
Under all that (faux) armor = Stunts Coordinator James “Bam Bam” Bamford (photo courtesy MGM Television)
Todd adjusts his bluetooth (photo courtesy MGM Television)
Every season, we we would measure to see how much taller our guest star Asgard had grown.  Another two inches! (photo courtesy MGM Television)
David Hewlett and Michael Shanks = BFF!
Writer/Exe. Producer Martin Gero directs the Rodney/Daniel scenes.  JacKay?

Resident film reviewer Cookie Monster drops by tomorrow as our Supermovie of the Week Club reconvenes to discuss Superhero Movie. Don’t forget to watch!

No.  On second thought – don’t bother.

January 23, 2012: Blog Hopping Dark Matter!

A few weeks ago, I was invited to take part in The Next Big Thing blog hop.  And what, pray tell, is a “The Next Big Thing blog hop”?  Well, it involves me answering a set of ten questions on a recent or upcoming release on this blog, and then forwarding the same questions to other writers of my choice so that they can do the same – and keep the process going until, presumably, every living writer with an internet presence has participated.

Amanda Ball, who kindly extended the invitation to yours truly, talked about her upcoming release on her blog last week, here: http://livingforcreativity.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/the-next-big-thing-blog-hop/

I, in turn, extended the invitation to a few more writers:


As it turned out, author Ari Marmell knew all about the blog hop – because he’d already participated several months ago.  Get the scoop on the latest installment in his Widdershins series here:


1Author Dave Gross was also on my invite list but, like Ari, he was well ahead of the game.  You can find out more about his next book in The Pathfinder Tales series here:

Dave Gross: The Next Big Thing

1Author Mandy Hager has yet to participate in the blog hop (Success!). She’ll be talking about her latest release, The Crossing, over on her blog next week: Mandy Hager – Writer.  I will, of course, provide a link once the Q&A is up.


And, finally, the ever-entertaining Sam Sykes will be discussing his work here: Sam Sykes » Blog.

So, my turn.


Even though I was only forwarded ten questions, there were actually eleven I had to answer – the 11th (or, more appropriately, first) being: Which work do I choose to discuss?  I ultimately decided to go with Dark Matter, my comic book series.  Why?  Well, for starters, the trade paperback collecting the first arc came out in October.  Also, although I’ve written several “things” since, none are yet available for public consumption (I don’t believe there’s an airdate for the Delete miniseries while two of the pilots I wrote won’t be going to camera until the spring).  Finally, there’s a good chance I’ll have even more to say about Dark Matter in the near future.  And let’s leave it at that for now.

On to the questions…

1: What is the working title of your book?

Dark Matter.

2: Where did the idea come from?

The idea had been brewing for quite some time – some five years!  I developed the series while working on Stargate.  The plan was to set it up as a series whenever Stargate ended.  The only problem was (and, believe me, it was a classy problem) Stargate was in no hurry to end. Thus, I had a lot of time to really flesh out the characters, their respective backstories, and the series as a whole.

3: What genre does your book come under?

Science fiction.  Space Opera in the truest sense of the term.

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Movie?  You mean t.v. rendition, no?  Well, hard to say.  Don’t want to tip my hand just yet.

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

The crew of a derelict ship awakens from stasis with no memories of who they are or how they got onboard.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

The comic book series was published by Dark Horse Comics.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The series and pilot were five years in the making – but it took me about a month to write the first script.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Certainly Stargate.  A few of the space-based anime series like Cowboy Bebop and Trigun.  Maybe a touch of Breaking Bad (actually, reverse Breaking Bad).

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I drew my inspiration from a variety of sources: The Dirty Dozen, The Seven Samurai, The Shield, The Thunderbolts, Cowboy Bebop, Trigun.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Well, the plan has always been to produce a television series based on the concept.  Want a sneak peek at the first few episodes?  Pick up the trade paperback: Dark Matter Volume 1: Rebirth TPB :: Profile :: Dark Horse Comics