Listen To “George Winthrop Jr. Park”

When Ben and his friends notice an old man staring at their children in the splash park, he decides a confrontation is in order. But the old man has his reasons, and those reasons will resonate with you.

Listen to “George Winthrop Jr Park” at Podbean, Amazon Music, or by using the player below. If you prefer to read, check it out in my short story collection called Happy, Sad, Funny, Mad.

Immortals Fenyx Rising – A Few Thoughts

As you remember, I was crazy for The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of the Wild. In fact, once that game ended, I immediately began researching games of similar play and feel.

Immortals Fenyx Rising kept coming up as a possibility on several lists. It wasn’t rated the highest, nor was it rated the lowest.

I discovered some pretty good sales on Immortals Fenyx Rising for the Nintendo Switch. Honestly, at such a low price, I figured it was worth the risk. I placed my order.

Even through the first several hours of the game frustrated me to no end, I ended up absolutely adoring Immortals Fenyx Rising. It satisfied me just as much as Breath Of the Wild, and in many ways–even more. Let me tell you why.

Story: I’m a sucker for Greek mythology. Fenyx Rising centers on Greek myth, and though I don’t believe it’s based on any one particular myth, it references dozens of them throughout. Best of all? It creates a few myths of its own. The general premise focuses on Typhon, a mad monster out to destroy the gods and man. A lone soldier, Fenyx, must aid the gods and rally them in his final battle against the evil creature if he is to save humanity as he knows it. Speaking of “he” …

Customization: Fenyx doesn’t have to be a “he.” Fenyx can also be a “she.” You can choose Fenyx’s gender, skin color, hair color, eye color, hair style, face paint–and more. I loved that Fenyx is many different things to different players. Furthermore, as the game progresses, you can capture all kinds of armor, weaponry, wings, and helmets that are also customizable. It’s really, really fun to change the main character’s “look” any time you feel like it.

Battles: I struggled for a long time in the beginning of this game when it came to battles. It took me forever to defeat even the simplest of enemies. As the game continued, however, I began to realize how to capture more powerful weaponry, how to increase weapons’ ability to inflict damage, how to bolster my own health, and how to increase my armor’s defenses. I’ll admit there’s a steep learning curve with the controls, but once you’ve got them down, they’ll be like second nature to you. By the time I beat the game, I had my character, his weapons, health, stamina, armor, and helmets so overpowered that I could blow through enemies easily.

Myth Challenges: Again, it took me awhile to catch on, but eventually I realized solving the myth challenges enabled Fenyx to power up. It’s not a one-to-one situation, everything is a process in this game, but you definitely want to engage in the myth challenges as quickly as possible.

Far Sight: I didn’t start using far sight until over half way through the game, and that was a huge mistake. Far sight enables you to locate and mark treasure chests and vaults. Vaults allow you to collect Zeus’ lightning, which allows you to increase your stamina. Chests help you collect jewels that allow you to increase your power. Some chests provide new weapons and helmets. It’s a cool tool that will ultimately help you achieve success.

The Golden Isle: The Golden Isle is the complete world of Fenyx Rising. It’s divided into different realms, and each of those realms is special to certain gods. It is a huge landscape of every terrain and environment imaginable. If you enjoyed the huge, open world format of Breath Of the Wild, you’ll love The Golden Isle.

The Design: I think the design of the gods, the clothing, the monsters, the landscapes, the weapons, the animals, the architecture–to me, it’s all gorgeous. It’s just a beautiful looking game.

Frankly, I’m amazed this game isn’t more popular than it is. There are so many different things to do in Fenyx Rising–it’s constantly challenging and rewarding the player. I honestly loved it. If you like big open world games like Breath Of the Wild, I unabashedly recommend Immortals Fenyx Rising.

Why Should You Read My New Book?

“So you’ve got a new book out. Big deal, Foley. So does everyone and their dog. Why should I read it?”

Fair question. As an avid reader myself, I’m very particular about what amount of time I’ll allocate to what book. For those who don’t read fiction regularly, that time is even more precious.

The bottom line is this: I’ve loved super heroes, mythologies, and legends my entire life. I’ve admired epic series like The Dark Tower (King), The Lord Of the Rings (Tolkien), and especially The Chronicles Of Narnia (Lewis). Greek mythology, Roman mythology, King Arthur–these are things that have always fascinated me. As a result, I began fashioning my own heroes, legends, and comic books while still in elementary school. In fact, some of the characters in my latest book are versions of those early attempts.

The Chronicles of Purgatory Station is my love letter to everything mentioned above. This six-book series is also my take on the super hero genre. It’s my exploration into the moralities of heroes, the complexities of “evil,” and the very nature of the universe–time, space, and physics.

As I said, I created some of these characters when I was literally a child. In the beginning, they were clearly derivative of the popular icons of the era. However, as time marched on, my worldview grew more sophisticated, and so did my characters. In the beginning, they will seem quite conventional. As the series unfolds, though, they will change. Some for the better … some for the worse.

Why do good people do bad things? What makes someone truly “evil?” Is “good” and “evil” merely the construct of a society’s perspective, or does the universe itself recognize “right” versus “wrong?” These questions intrigue me–they always have and always will.

In fact, mythologies, legends, and super heroes have consistently been a community’s means of exploring complicated issues. It’s human nature to investigate an idea through thought, imagining, and story. The Chronicles Of Purgatory Station continues that tradition.

This all sounds pretty heady, doesn’t it? Trust me, The Chronicles Of Purgatory Station can be read simply as an action/adventure story as well. The concepts I’ve discussed certainly exist in the writing, but providing a good story is my perpetual goal. In my opinion, a story should be engaging, fast-paced, and universally applicable. I want every single one of my readers to be able to see themselves in some aspect of my stories and, as a result, make it a part of their own reality. I also want them to stay up too late at night reading my work because they can’t put it down; each page needs to urge the reader forward. If my reader doesn’t really care what happens next, then I’ve failed.

So … that’s why I think you should read my book.

You can get your copy at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

You can also take a look at many of my characters here.

Thanks for reading. Let me know what you think.

The Chronicles Of Purgatory Station Now Available at Amazon.com and BN.com

Amazon.com

Barnes and Noble.com

Great Webinars by Cynthia Clay – A Book Review

When I saw the 2012 publication date in the small print of Great Webinars, I frankly thought it may be outdated. I could not have been more wrong. During the last year and a half, I’ve attending more online calls, e-conferences, and virtual trainings then ever before in my life, and let me tell you, this book proved prophetic. It still very much applies to today’s world.

Cynthia Clay takes a pragmatic approach with Great Webinars. She first addresses everything that can go wrong with online facilitation. She then provides solutions to those mishaps. She delves into audience, objectives, and interactions as well. She also lends advice concerning PowerPoints, discusses learning transfer, and offers ways to overcome technology trauma. Does any of this sound applicable to your current state?

Honestly, I didn’t even know this level of online training occurred in 2012. If you play any role at all in any method of online education, you will not be disappointed with Great Webinars.

Listen To “Cold Turkey: A Thanksgiving Misadventure”

Utterly unapologetic, Eddie stands fuming outside in the bitter cold while his son, wife, and in-laws sit silently at the dinner table, surrounding a cold turkey. How did such woeful events occur on Thanksgiving Day? Click the player below, Podbean, or Amazon Music to find out! Or, if you prefer to read, check it out in Happy, Sad, Funny, Mad.

Listen to “Follow Me”

TJ’s big brother wakes him up with a simple order: “Follow me.” By the night’s conclusion, he’ll wish he had stayed in bed.

Listen to “Follow Me” at Podbean, Amazon Music, or by using the player below. If you prefer to read, check it out in my short story collection called Happy, Sad, Funny, Mad.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – A Movie Review

(No major spoilers, but some story beats must be addressed to critique the film.)

I had the pleasure of watching Black Panther: Wakanda Forever with my daughter Thursday evening, opening night. The film instantly established that they were not going to gloss over Chadwick Boseman’s unfortunate passing. In fact, his death, obviously along with T’Challa’s, drove the heart and soul of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

That’s not to say the movie only focused on T’Challa’s death, but the plot’s circumstances arose both due to his absence and because of his actions during life. Serious character evolution occurred because of his death as well. This is the greatest compliment I can give Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. It did not try to pretend like nothing happened; it instead leaned into the tragic reality and told a story rooted in heartache.

And the film was indeed somber. It would have felt inappropriate otherwise. There were some light moments, to be sure, and I wouldn’t describe the film as dark–not at all. But there was palpable grief throughout the film, as there should be. However, thankfully, the film processed that grief, which ultimately allowed the audience to process it as well.

So, the movie did indeed hit all of the appropriate emotional notes and served as a potent requiem for Chadwick Boseman. But with that being said, was it any good?

Yes, it was good, but it was not great. Perhaps my opinion will change as time goes on and I see it a few more times, but while they nailed the story tackling grief, I do not feel they delivered on the full potential of Namor and his people. Furthermore, several characters forced into the storyline felt superfluous and slowed the movie down. I love Riri Williams’ character and I believe she has a radiant future in the MCU, but she literally did not need to be in the film. The same honestly goes for Everett Ross. The plot easily could have expelled those two with no problems. There’s a third character connected to Ross that, while I love, absolutely did nothing relevant, either.

I do want to once more commend their direction with Namor. Again, while I think they took a routine path with him, they did it with great panache. The creative team clearly understood the Aquaman comparisons were unavoidable, and so they made his underwater scenes look radically different, far more organic, and a lot more textured. I found his backstory fascinating as well. I just wish they had taken a different approach for his conflict with Wakanda.

In the end, that’s my only real complaint about Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Though a beautiful film with complex emotional moments, it didn’t surprise me. It did everything you expected it to do. I can imagine they were under immense stress to deliver a film that both honored Boseman and propelled the franchise and larger MCU forward, but that stress seems to have resulted in choosing a safe, conventional course. If you asked me to outline a plot for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever that would please everyone while upsetting no one, what they in fact made would have been my direction as well. (Or maybe I’m being petty because I liked my treatment better? Perhaps both can be true.)

I absolutely recommend Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. I would consider it a must-see in the theater if you enjoyed the first film. Just don’t expect the wonder, majesty, and charm of the first.