Focusing on the Good Stuff

Qui-Gon Jinn - focus - reality

Your focus determines your reality. – Qui-Gon Jinn

Say what you will about Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (I’ve already said my piece), but that line is a killer. It may not be entirely accurate in a literal sense, but there’s some serious and deep truth there.

When I’m having a rough time or a bad day,* I try to meditate on the wisdom of Qui-Gon Jinn. I don’t always remember to do this, but the more times I do remember, the easier it gets. I suppose it’s like building any other habit. You have to practice.

So anyway, how do I put this into practice? Continue reading

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The Joy of Jumping In

diving in

This post was inspired by a podcast I listened to a while back. My Audio Guide to Babylon 5 cohost Shannon Sudderth guested on Random Trek with Scott McNulty. Scott and Shannon were comparing Babylon 5 and Star Trek, and observing that B5 is a commitment. In order to truly appreciate the show and know what’s going on, one must start at the beginning and watch the story unfurl episode-by-episode. You can’t just jump in in the middle and appreciate what’s going on.

But you know what? I don’t think that’s true. Continue reading

Little Women (1933) – Katharine Hepburn Project #1

Little Women 1933

Yes indeed, today marks the first official installment of my Katharine Hepburn project. I’ve started with the earliest of her films available on iTunes, Little Women from 1933. According to IMDb, this is her fourth film and only her second year of film-making. I find it fascinating that she’s already so very “Katharine Hepburn”. Perhaps I shouldn’t be. She’d been acting on Broadway for some time before this, and she won an Academy Award for her previous film, Morning Glory. I suppose it should be no surprise she’d already settled into her personal style.

I reluctantly admit, this fact makes me a bit nervous for the rest of this project. Continue reading

Cool People Doing Cool Things, Part the Second

It’s been a while, but it’s time for another post about the fantastic folks I know and the terrific things they’re working on. Read on and marvel at the talent and ambition in my circles of friends!


Cool People: The Uncanny Magazine Staff

Yes, I’m well aware Michael and Lynne M. Thomas were first on the list last time, but gosh darn it, they’re still being cool and doing an incredibly cool thing! You can read about them launching Uncanny in my previous CPDCT post. Well I’m here to tell you it’s been a rousing success! Lynne and Michael, along with managing editor Michi Trota, published some truly amazing stories and poetry as well as fascinating interviews and insightful essays about the sci-fi/fantasy community. I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this effort.

That’s right, I’m helping! I co-produce the Uncanny Magazine Podcast. My co-producer is my talented spouse, Steven Schapansky. I really like working with Steven. We make a great team, and I think we put out a darn good podcast every month. But we don’t do it alone! Michael and Lynne are charming hosts and delightful to work with. I look forward to our on-Skype recording sessions every month. There’s always as much laughter as there is Serious Podcasting.

Plus we’re lucky enough to work with some incredibly skilled readers. Amal El-Mohtar and C.S.E. Cooney bring the stories and poems to life in a way that often makes me shiver. I love every episode, but the one that’s given me the most shivers so far is this one. Do check it out if you get a chance.

As if that isn’t enough, my fabulous Verity! cohost Deb brings us meaningful and substantial interviews with the authors. These are no fluffy puff-pieces! Though she manages to work in a good deal of fun and laughter as well. I always marvel at the amount of research she must do before each one. She asks The Best questions. And her podcast interviews are just the icing on the cake. She also puts together print interviews for the magazine itself!

Yeah, I could go on about how happy I am to be a part of the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps, but instead I’ll talk about one specific thing that’s happening RIGHT NOW!

Cool Thing: Uncanny Magazine Subscription Drive

uncanny_website_banner

That’s right! We’re having a subscription drive for Uncanny through Weightless Books! Continue reading

Happy Birthday Dylan!

Dylan from 2011

Yep, it’s birthday season in the Ensign family! March, April, May, and June were always exciting months as a kid. And then expensive months as we got old enough to buy presents for each other. Regardless, it was always lots of fun.

Today it’s my brother Dylan’s turn. This one’s a little harder to write (in a sappy, emotional way) because my brother and I really suck at keeping in touch. We’re just lazy when it comes to reaching out for contact. That’s not so say we’re not close—quite the contrary. Continue reading

A (Dark) Towering Achievement

the_dark_tower_1_the_gunslinger

I finally did it. I finally finished Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series.*

This is a feat I’ve been trying to accomplish for many years now. That makes it sound like this was an onerous task, but nothing could be further from the truth! I loved it. But it did take me an excessively long time.

I can’t remember when I started reading the first book, The Gunslinger, but it must have been in the late 90s, as I think Wizard and Glass was already out in trade paperback.** My brother, Dylan, urged me to read these great books he’d been reading. I have to admit, I scoffed at first. I think I’d bought into the anti-hype that King was a bit of a hack. I’d read The Stand, but I assumed that was an outlier, a one-off. The rest of his stuff couldn’t possibly be any good. It was all about monsters and horror and clowns and stuff, right? Continue reading