Fanart? Yes.

To quote my pal CB Archer on his post about fan art:

Contrary to popular belief, no one ever writes books, makes movies, or becomes a musician for fame, power, or money. They all do it for one thing and one thing only:
Fan Art.

I got my first fan art recently and by recently I mean a few months ago but I’m a mook and totally forgot to upload it and gush like another sort of mook.

Contrary to what one might think, it isn’t PURITY fan art, but CHANGELING, unpublished and collecting dust on my hard drive while I write its threequel, I swear. CB himself actually made this art – based on one of the early scenes of CHANGELING in which main character Aisling and her band of merry soldiers gets entangled with bandits bent on assault and robbery.

Aisling and Leir
Aisling and Leir

Bandits Beware!

Aisling (orange) is a pyrophoric mage – meaning she has the innate power to produce and control fire. Leir (blue) is cryonic – meaning she is basically Elsa and can control ice and snow the cold never bothered her anyway.

Tying into this, actually… I was recently writing USURPER, Changeling’s threequel, and I wrote myself into a corner in which I needed lyrics to a ballad. Being completely nonpoetic myself, I commissioned by friend Bethany, a songwriter and poet, to come up with a few lines for me. Inspired by the idea of writing a lament and also the lure of Mars bars Bethany jumped aboard with gusto and wrote not just a few lines, but an entire song – and then decided she wanted to write lyrics to a heroic ballad I had referenced elsewhere in the same chapter.

So, without further ado, one stanza of Winter Song, written by Bethany Sanjenko for USURPER.

When the winter winds came, he put on his boots
He opened the door and tightened his noose
Now he lays in a grave, shallow and cold
No one to have and no one to hold

I’m hella pumped on all this. And according to CB Archer, now I have succeeded!

Also, you should go check out his page and Bethany’s Soundcloud, both linked. His as of yet unpublished book is hysterical, and Bethany is seriously talented.

My Head Is An Animal, an album review

My_Head_Is_An_Animal

My Head Is An Animal

OF MONSTERS & MEN

Dirty Paws
King and Lionheart
Mountain Sound
Slow and Steady
From Finner
Little Talks
Six Weeks
Love Love Love
Your Bones
Sloom
Lakehouse
Yellow Light
Numb Bears

My Head Is An Animal is the debut studio album by the Icelandic group Of Monsters & Men. You, like me, might have heard their song Little Talks all over the radio for the past year and a half. And, like me, you probably got it stuck in your head a thousand times before finally finding out what it was called and who it was by.

After finding out what it was and listening to it several times on YouTube, I decided that I needed it for myself.

Now, I’m one of those rare few who still prefers to buy music than to download it. Not just for ethics’ sake – though I do genuinely want to support artists, as I am one myself – but because I like having my own copy and because I’m paranoid about getting viruses on my beloved computer. I considered for a moment ripping the song off YouTube – then decided, without research, hey, the rest of the album must be good, too.

So off to iTunes I went, in search of glory.

And, boy, did I find it. Continue reading

Songs of the Earth: a book review

Songs_of_the_Earth_Tor

Gair is under a death sentence. He can hear the music of the earth – music with power – and in the Holy City that means only one thing: he’s a witch, and he’s going to be burned t the stake. Even if he could escape, the Church Knights and their witchfinder would be hot on his heels, while his burgeoning power threatens to tear him apart from within…

Songs of the Earth by Elspeth Cooper is an epic fantasy of, according to a Library Journal review, A Song of Ice and Fire proportions. It was an extensive story with a unique setting, and a very interesting and intricate magical system. It was a good read altogether, but it was one of the most confusing books I’ve read in a very long time. Let me explain why: Continue reading

Music, and when it blows your mind

I’ve already discussed briefly how important music is to me when I’m writing. I have folders of about 500 songs on iTunes from an assortment of sources – movies, video games, tv shows – that suit me well when I’m writing particular scenes. They’re orchestral, for the most part, scores and soundtracks, and only a few have vocals. It’s the music that makes your hair stand on end while watching a tense scene in a movie, or the peaceful melody you hear while wandering the countryside in your favourite video game.

music

On the left, you can see how my folders are laid out, according to the mood of the scene I’m writing. I also have a folder for Purity alone, which is filled with darker industrial music, like the Queen of the Damned worst movie ever but amazing music soundtrack and Marilyn Manson. Things that suit vampire stories.

Continue reading

I’m inspiring!

Guys! Guys! I got another award! And I’m being humble about it!

On Windy Days awarded me with the Inspiring Blogger Award! I’m flattered and totally deserve it and everything.

The rules!

* Display the award logo on your blog Boom, done!

* Link back to the person who nominated you Good for me!

* State seven things about yourself

* Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them

* Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements

Seven facts!

  1. I listen to score music more often than I do regular music with vocals and shit. I find listening to scores more inspiring (more on that on an older post) and just better. I feel more when I listen to a score. It’s emotive.
  2. I’ve recently developed an addiction to Guild Wars 2. I have three characters: a level 42 sylvari mesmer, a level 38 human ranger, and a level 3 (woo!) charr engineer. I don’t usually like MMOs, but Guild Wars is special in that you don’t have to pay and you don’t have to play with others. I don’t play well with others; I get freaked out whenever someone tries to add me to their group or guild, due to only ever playing single person RPGs. And I play games so sporadically sometimes that I could never pay monthly.
  3. I’m not super great at learning languages, but maybe one day I’ll shell out the cash to learn Latin and Welsh. Two of the only languages that interest me are both extremely difficult and terribly impractical.
  4. I’m a hypochondriac. As soon as one little thing goes wonky in my body, I’m convinced I’m dying.
  5. I handwrite more than I print. But I type more than I handwrite, and I get hand cramps if I write for more than a few minutes.
  6. I’m becoming Carrie Bradshaw. I have plenty of pairs of fancy, impractical shoes, I’m a writer, and I drink cosmopolitans. Now I just need a Mr Big.
  7. I have a mug collection, a shoe collection, and a t-shirt collection, and I always change my hair. I have quirks, clearly. (This isn’t a real fact, what is wrong with me.)

Elisa Nuckle

Bethany Sanjenko

Cassidy Cornblatt

Pepijn Krijnsen

Kim EA Davis

A Fettered Mind

Preston Fuller

I haven’t listed fifteen, because I am UNCONVENTIONAL.

Thanks!

The process of writing

Everyone does it differently. Some people write passionately with pen and paper, and only pump it into the computer once there’s a significant amount. Some take notes and plot the entire story out before even writing the first word. The goal is the same – write the story – but getting there is different for everyone.

I write by the seat of my pants. The one time I can remember plotting out entire points throughout a story, I veered so drastically off course from the timeline that it could have been a different story altogether. I learned then that plotting out every detail is not for me. So I changed it, and I gave up trying to write down what I wanted to happen. If I stuck to a single idea, that was all well and good, but if not, hey, as long as I ended up liking the story, I really didn’t mind.  Continue reading

Past Lives: Purity teaser

They marched down the dank tunnel in silence. The earth around them seemed to groan and curse in protest of their intrusion; with each step they took, the wooden beams let out unhappy creaks. Or was she imagining it?

Five minutes into the hike, Caitlyn was desperate to end the deafening silence. But the only thing she could think of was the song.

She coughed to break the silence and remarked, “You, um, play the piano very well.”

“I have had a very long time to practice.”

She scoffed and glared ahead. He could just accept the compliment, rather than be an a—

“I would prefer you did not finish that thought, if you please,” he said, sounding irritated. “There is a root in your path.”

Despite the warning, Caitlyn’s toe caught on the root and she stumbled. A hand grabbed her wrist and hauled her upright before she could fall flat on her face.

She straightened out, gasping. “Thanks for that,” she said, breathless. “I’ve, uh, never heard a song like that before. Did you write it yourself?”

“A friend of mine wrote it.”

“Oh. It sounded very sad.”

“It is not meant to be.”

“Oh.” Caitlyn breathed a sigh of relief when they reached the barricade at the end of the tunnel. Whoever had used it last hadn’t fully closed it, and they squeezed through before continuing into the forest.

The night was warm, and crickets sang all around them. Feeling a long-awaited sense of calm wash over her, Caitlyn looked up at the sky, at the moon smiling wanly at them and the smudges of navy and violet across the dark sky. It was peaceful, beautiful.

With this new sense of ease and the joy of the upcoming opportunity to clean herself up, she quickened her pace to keep up with Fane, almost skipping alongside him. “Who wrote it?” she asked.

“Verity Romano.”

As enlightening as it was, these short answers weren’t at all helpful. She would just have to keep pestering him. “Word around the block is that you loved her. Is it true?”

This time, his expression was carefully composed. It was a blank facade, well-practiced. “Would it change your opinion of me if I said yes?”

“No. Well, maybe. Right now it seems like you don’t have a heart. If you loved her, then maybe you have a heart. And maybe if you’d loved and lost her, it’d explain why you’re so…” She trailed off when she saw the dangerous glint in his eyes. “Um, the lovely person you are,” she recovered lamely.

“You do not know when to keep quiet, do you?”

Caitlyn smiled and felt her cheeks head up. “Not really.”

Maybe it was the shadows playing tricks on her, but she thought she saw him smile and murmur, “Neither did she. Come,” he said, louder now. “The stream is not far from here.”

“You loved her, then?” She peered up at him through the darkness, picturing him standing next to Verity Romano. The ghost was a knockout; she must have been beautiful in life. And if he wasn’t so gaunt, he would be a handsome fellow himself; though he couldn’t really help his weight, as he only had blood to keep him going. “I’d understand if you loved her. She seems like a really nice person, and—”

“If I told you I loved her,” he interrupted, voice calm, “would you stop talking about her?”

“No guarantees.”

He pressed his fingertips to his forehead as if easing a headache. “Yes, I loved her. More than life itself.”

“And you’re miserable because she died?”

“Perhaps I have always been this way. Have you ever considered that as a possibility?”

She hopped over a fallen log, using his arm as support. “Maybe, if you’re anything like your father it’s a definite possibility.”

He suddenly stopped walking, and she turned to see him scowling at her as a muscle in his jaw jumped. “Must we continue to discuss my personality faults? This is not therapy.”

“I never said—”

He waved his hand to the trees ahead of her. “The stream is just through there. Be swift.”