The Hope of Art, Chapter 2

One of the highlights of last fall was being able to help out with Up in the Air, Monarch Academy‘s first art exhibit. The reception was a huge success, raising money and (much more importantly) awareness for the school’s awesome students.

So I’m thrilled to spread the word about their latest artventure.

Texas, Our Texas! opens on Sunday (February 22) at the Institute of Texan Cultures. This exhibit will spotlight the students’ visions of our state and all the different things that make up its culture, from slogans to symbols and so much in between.

There will be a reception with the artists on Sunday, April 12 (it’s also a free family day), and the exhibit will run through May 30. So I hope you’ll visit the Institute soon and see what Nikki‘s students have been up to. And of course I hope you’ll spread the word.

Thanks as always for your support, and hope to see you there!

DVR Alert: Twice Upon a Time, Once in a Lifetime

It started with this retweet:

Now, this is a HUGE deal for me, and might be for you as well. But considering how few people may even remember this film, let alone have seen it, a little backstory is likely still in order…

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The Thing About Paddington

There’s a moment in the film Paddington that you should recognize from your typical modern family film. You should recognize it, but it’s not quite what you’re used to.

The Umbrella Chase

Early in the film, there’s a chase scene in which Paddington crosses paths with a thief. Many live-action “kids’ movies” have similar set pieces, but few handle them the way this film does. The chase doesn’t rush. It unfolds. It takes its time to reveal its delights. It trusts its audience. It’s not built on mayhem, but on something we don’t see as often as I’d like: a sense of surprise and wonder and charm and joy.

And that’s the beauty of the film.

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In Which I Attempt An Upgrade

As you’re reading this, you’ve probably noticed a significant change in the desktop theme. (Much to certain Doctors’ relief, I didn’t go with Coral or Leopard Skin.)

I’ve been wanting to turn this blog into a full-on website for a while, something that better fits the whole of my writing career. And since I’ve been working on Nikki’s site at the same time, it seemed like a good idea to try out a few upgrades here and apply what I learn to both our respective URLs.

Which brings us to the all-new It’s still very much a work in progress – I’ll be trying all the myriad options out before I lock down what it’s going to be. But this seems like a good place to start. And I’d love to have your feedback.

So, feel free to look around. Try things out. Leave comments. Let me know what works for you, and what needs a little more work.

This is kind of a bravish new world, so I’m looking forward to how this turns out.

Until then, thanks for your help and support!

These Are The Musical Voyages…

Spend the briefest length of time with me, and you’ll know that I love film music. I’ve been in love with film music for the better part of my life. It’s effectively permeated my DNA.

Spend a slightly longer length of time with me, and you’ll know that it all started with Jerry Goldsmith and his iconic score for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Since I first heard “THE score” all those years ago, music has been a huge part of my Star Trek experience.

And last night, that experience took me to a whole new dimension.
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Why I’m A Sucker For Unlikely-Hero Narratives

When it comes to Doctor Who, sometimes silliness is a bug, and sometimes it’s a feature.

It’s important to keep that in mind when you’re talking about this week’s episode. “Robot of Sherwood” is a mostly ridiculous story, but it’s so by design. On its surface, it’s little more than an excuse to have fun with the tropes of both Robin Hood and the Doctor.

And I pretty much loved it.
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The Three Twelfth Doctors

“There will be plenty of time to wax rhapsodic about Peter Capaldi and his Doctor in the coming weeks, but I think it’s safe to say that he’s dazzling right out of the gate; also forceful, aggressive, and dangerous… This new Doctor runs such a gamut of emotional states and attitudes throughout the course of the 80 minutes, it isn’t so much confusing, as it is a sight to behold. You genuinely never know what he’s going to do next.”
Ross Ruediger

Except for Ross, you’d have been hard-pressed to find anyone more excited than me at the thought of Peter Capaldi taking on the most iconic role in sci-fi as Doctor Who. Capaldi’s that rare kind of actor who can elevate a scene, or an entire film, just by his mere presence (consider his previous signature role in The Thick of It, or his brief but powerful turn in World War Z). To have an actor of his brilliance as The Doctor was just better than I could hope for.

Somehow, in his first full appearance, he managed to exceed even those high expectations, with a performance at once familiar and new, at once comforting and daring. And in three incredible scenes, he became the Doctor in ways I’d never expected.
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In Great Company

It started with Orson Welles, of course.

When I was much younger, and in the earliest stages of my obsession with sci-fi, I learned about the Mercury Theatre of the Air, and their famous broadcast of The War of the Worlds.  I remember hearing it for the first time and thinking it was so cool.  (Seriously, take away all the baggage of its history, and it still holds up.)

Since then, I’ve always had a weakness for old-time radio drama.  And as I haven’t heard nearly enough of it in my life, I can’t pass up an opportunity to recreate that classic radio experience.

Combine that with one of my favorite holiday stories, then add some wonderful local actors, and you have the kind of show I can’t resist. Continue reading