Eavesdropping on a love story

I have a new toy. No, it’s not a telescope, new magnifying glasses or a writing pen turned camera (remember, Enemy of the State?)

It’s actually video and movie capabilities! I am the new Steven Spielberg!

Yes, I’m overdoing it.

But I am excited about another way to promote my book and perhaps, my blog. Or just have fun. We all know that we can make our own book trailers. And I’ve discovered a cool way to do just that, with animation.

I just happen to be browsing blogs in my Google alerts, and I ran across this cool blog where one writer made a video instead of an ordinary post.

Hmmm …the old brain starts to wonder if this might be something to look into to. It was. The site is called Storytelling: Xtranormal and it instantly turns your words into a 3D animated movie. Now, if you’ve heard of it, I have to shake my head and wonder, where the heck have I been?

It is amazing and so fun to create. There is a web version that I dabbled on first. All you have to do is create a login and password, and then you can get started. You’re given 300 xp (xtranormal points) which allows you to buy extra backgrounds, sounds etc.

The windows version of Xtranormal is downloadable, and can go on your desktop. This has a more actions for your characters to do, as well as more actors in a scene. I recommend playing around with the Web version first. Then try to download the Windows version. (Sorry Mac users, I’m not sure if there’s a version of this product for you.)

Now, nothing this cool is free. so note, that they have various plans that you can purchase for your filming needs. They also provide video tutorials and support.

I spent most of last night trying to make a video about one of the scenes in my book, (I can’t wait to get home to make another one!) and I’d like to throw caution to the wind and share it with you.

::::drum roll please :::

Be gentle with me, remember it’s my first. 😉


Why do adults like Angry Birds?

I’m not sure, but since I recently started playing I had to stop and ponder my growing addiction.

Let me start from the beginning. My precious 3-year old grandson, (yes, he’s three) was too busy to come to the phone and say hello to me. Since I don’t see him every day, I look forward to our daily chats.

“How’s my boy?”
“Ah right …”
“Are you going to school today?”
“Yes, Mommy …tyteydhq …htyouya … dhttye …the train.”
“Oh, the train? That’s nice! Well, Nana wants you to have fun at school today, okay?”
“Okay … Here Mommy: phone.”

I know, what you’re thinking. Deep. That’s why I hate to miss a conversation!

Anyway, one day he didn’t want to take the phone. My daughter said he was too busy. What could a 3-year old possibly do that was too busy to talk to his grandmother? Did he suddenly get a job? If that’s the case, I’ll retire.

Then my daughter told me he was playing Angry Birds. A what??

I love my grandson beyond reason, but there was NO way I was going to be bested by a video game and not know what it is. (I consider myself an intermediate gamer. I love The Sims, any game by Rockstar—Red, Dead Redemption is my favorite) So, I went online (Google, of course) and I found everything I wanted to know about Angry Birds.

Since I had my NOOK, (My iPad hadn’t come home just then) I downloaded the app and began playing like a fiend. Seeing the blue birds burst into three and attack the pigs who stole their eggs, is my big move. I also enjoy seeing the black bird explode, like a time bomb. Exciting. The yellow bird’s speed when you tap his little furry body is also quite exhilarating to watch.

So, after a week of practice, I tell my grandson, “Guess what? Nana, was playing Angry Birds, like you.”
“Angry Birds,” he asked. The excitement in his voice warmed my heart. I was so overjoyed to be sharing this moment with him.

That was the end of the conversation.

About two hours later, my doorbell rings. It’s my daughter and yes, my grandson! I’m so happy to see him. It’s rare that they visit on a weeknight. But my daughter had to run an errand and they stopped by on the way back home. I didn’t care. They were there!

“How’s my big boy?”
“Nana Angry Birds. Play Angry Birds.”

No, that was not an invitation for me to play with him, or to show him how much I’ve learned. But for him to have my NOOK so HE could play.

Anyway, thanks to my grandson, I’m now addicted. Oh, and I just downloaded Angry Birds Seasons on my iPad! You know, just in case.