Dragons, Pigskins, and Murders… OH MY!!!


Wheeeeewwww, so thathappened!!!  Of course, by “that” I mean Dragon Con 2013.  
For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, allow me to defer to the always lovely and ever-talented Jewel Staite (Firefly) for a quick explanation.
“If San Diego Comic Con is your handsome older brother with a Ph.D., wearing a fancy suit and driving a Prius, Dragon Con is your loud-mouthed sister who’s dressed just a tad inappropriately and most likely coming off a bender in Vegas.” (Quote courtesy of Staite’s blog at Blastr.com)
Simply put, Dragon Con(held annually each Labor Day) is a four-day party in downtown Atlanta whereby 50,000+ of your closest geek family and friends commandeer five of the city’s biggest hotels for a weekend-long extravaganza of pop culture and art. Concerts, venders, celebrity panels, autograph sessions, author workshops, world-class cosplay exhibitions — you name it, and it’s at D-Con!
Obviously as an author, this is a prime opportunity to meet fans of my book and spread the word to others who may want to check it out (hence, the IJM free ebook weekcoinciding with the event).  Still, whether you’re an author, cosplayer, musician, or just a fan in jeans and a Skynet t-shirt, Dragon Con is a fantastic good-time, period. 
Among this year’s attendees: 
·        James Marsters (Buffy/Angel)
·        Timothy Zhan (NY Times bestselling author)
·        Stephen Amell (The CW’s Arrow)
·        Michael Dorn (Star Trek: TNG)
·        Neil Gaiman (NY Times bestselling author)
·        Brent Spiner (Star Trek: TNG)
·        Peter Davison (Doctor Who)
… in addition to all-star panels for: 
·        Battlestar Galactica
·        Smallville
·        Doctor Who
·        The Walking Dead
·        Stargate SG1
For aspiring authors, meanwhile, the Writing a Knock-Out Novel and Writing Careers in the Post-Paper Era workshops offered some outstanding insight on not only how to craft a story, but what to do with it once you’ve finished the project.
As always, pics of all above and more are up on my Facebook page, plus stay tuned for additional photos from next month’s Escapist Expo in Durham, NC. 
Pigskin Pick’em
This month also marks the glorious return of real FOOTBALL!  We’ve slaved away for the last five weeks with the garbage imitation that is the pre-season (aka the NFL’s methadone) and now it’s time for the real-deal Holyfield!  So, for any last minute fantasy footballers out there still sifting through draft intel, here are a few thoughts to consider. 
IJM’s Fantasy Bust: Wes Welker (WR, Denver Broncos)-I hate saying this because I love Denver this year, and while this should in no way be interpreted as a slight against Welker, it’s simply a recognition of the talent around him.  The fact is, Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker are great receivers, and both bring a pre-established rapport with QB-great Peyton Manning to the passing game.  Will Welker get his fair share of looks?  Sure, particularly from the slot.  However, given the players around him, it’s a safe bet he won’t see the 100+ balls a year that he saw in New England.
Welker is still a great pick in 2013, just not for the 2012 price tag.  If he falls down the board, then by all means take him.  If not, spare yourself the reach and grab an upstart back like Cinci’s Gio Bernard.
IJM’s Fantasy Sleeper: Brandon Weeden (QB, Cleveland Browns)– Do I think Weeden is a top 10 QB?  No, but I think he’s got the potential to be on account of the system he’ll be playing in and the coaches conducting it, namely his offensive coordinator. 
Listen, there are two things we know about Norv Turner: 1.) He’s a crap head coach, and 2.) he’s one helluva friend to quarterbacks as an assistant.  Troy Aikman, Phillip Rivers, Jeff Garcia, Brad frickin’ Johnson, for crying out loud!  Turner knows how to coach an offense — and if the job he did with Cam Newton in Carolina is any indication, so does his boss, Cleveland HC Rob Chudzinski.
Let’s be clear: Weeden is not a QB1 starter.  He could, however, be prime trade-bait by the end of the year which is why you grab him in the later rounds and sit on him to see what happens. 
‘Gone, baby, gone’
So, I started Gone Girl from Gillian Flynn and I’ve gotta admit, it almost lost me in the early going.  There is A LOT of marital drama in the first third of this book, so much so that it felt less like a crime thriller and more like a Lifetime movie.  
… I’m a dude, people.  We don’t do Lifetime movies…
Anyway, somewhere towards the end of Part 1, I was teetering on the verge of returning this one to Audible when it happened… the opening paragraph of Part 2, and the proverbial “HOOOOOOLY $#%T!!!!!” moment that occurs with every good murder mystery.
Folks, never in all of my years of reading have I ever seen villains become victims and victims become villains like I did in Gone Girl.  It was downright schizophrenic, I kid you not.  
Great read if you like psychologically twisted thrillers, but don’t mind a fair amount of raunchiness.
Alright gang, that’s it for another edition of the Mako Manifesto.  Thanks as always for dropping in, and to those attending the Expo in Durham next month, do stop by, say hello, and grab some swag. 
RUAH!!!
IJM
PS- You didn’t honestly think I’d wrap this without at least uttering the name, “Jameis Winston,” did you?  *deep breath followed by long exhale*  Nole fans… buckle up!  😉

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