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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Motivation

Recently I read this in a authors blog: ''What motivates you?'' So, here is the answer...


What motivates me? That is an interesting question.

Music: I often write to music, a novel will have several pieces that illustrate the emotion of the moment. Often it will be classic music like Beethoven and Copland. Sometimes it will be modern stuff, Selena Gomez or Green Day. After I have started a story and know what a particular scene should be, I will hear music and the scene will start to set itself. The sways of emotion illustrated by the music will bring about the changes in the moment of that scene.
While traveling home from Detroit one day, I had 8 hours to wait so I put on the headphones and turned on my ipod. I was listening to Copland’s Appalachian Spring (one of my all-time favorite pieces of music.) I had been working on a Christian novel and was lost on how to translate a scene I wanted to create. The soft, broad, beautiful tones that resonate like the sun pouring over the cliffs at dawn began to tell me what I wanted to know. I could see the scene, the characters, and the emotion. Over and over the scene ran in my head and I knew what I wanted to write. By the time I got home I could not control my fingers I got to a computer and started to write. The music played in my head, but the ipod was off, I just knew that it was right.

Art: I draw a little; it is a hobby of mine. I also am a fan of Art History. I love ancient art to 19th century art, not that big in 20th century styles. I can see a story in the background of a piece, or the emotion painted into the faces of the figures. If I know of a character I want to write, I will start to draw him or her, and pretty soon the image will tell me things about the character that I didn't know.
Once, I was working on a piece for a secondary character in a science fiction story. He was a member of a humanoid cat race. The model I used happened to be a swimmer and his thighs really showed it. After I got done with the picture, I realized that my character would have a little more depth if he loved to swim, which was contrary to many of the others of his race. It added just that much more to the story and to him.

Suggestion: Often I will hear something, or see something that will ignite that passion in me to write. About two years ago, my embroiders guild president announced that the stitching convention in 2011 would be themed ''Magic''. I knew they meant Vegas style magic, but I love fantasy and the idea of a magical stitching story consumed my thoughts. I started to craft characters and settings and eventually came up with a book. Of course this is my most recent novel;  The Crystal Needle.

For The Crystal Needle, I used Gershwin music as well as some by Miley Cyrus. I found some old Japanese and colonial American art, and I invested time in the study of unique embroidery. All of these elements came together to support this developing story. True, I will never believe it is complete, as I can always make additions and corrections. But, as it stands now, I am proud of it.
Anyone can find inspiration in meeting a person, a personal experience, or simply sitting and concentrating on an idea. I have used these methods as well. What motivations I have are likely one or more of the three I detailed.

That, in a nutshell, is what motivates me.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas everyone! It is Christmas Eve and I am sure that the stockings are hung, the cookies are made and the presents are wrapped. Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, I hope that you and your family enjoy the time together in a way that brings you closer and puts a little joy into your life.



Twas the night before Christmas and all through the land

The people were ready for the celebration to begin

Be it Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza or all three

Whether you celebrate with a candle or a tree

This night try to send a happy thought and a prayer

To everyone you know so that they know you care

Now on this Eve try to delight

And remember one and all, Merry Christmas and Good night.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

0.99 Cents Only

Yup, as the title announces my book is now set at the prince of only 99 cents. After taking some good advice from a successful author I decided to lower the price. I hope and pray that this really gets the book out there and draws a lot of attention. Tell your friends, tell your family. If they don't have a Kindle or Nook, they can download one as an app for free to their smart phones, computers, tablets, and other devices.

I want to say thank you to Louise Berry. Louise is a retired english teacher who took some time to sit down and do a fine tuning edit to the grammar and structure of the book. I feel that with her help, the book is at its best right now. Thank you, Louise, you have helped me so much.

Also I just recently made up a bunch of promotional cards for the book. Here is the card, front and back: ( I know the back is blurry on here. It is much clearer on the card itself.)

p.s. If you do pick one up and enjoy it, please 'like' and/or leave a good comment on site where you downloaded it. Word of mouth is always the best advertising.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

How I draw my drawings

Here I thought I would show you how I draw my pictures. I usually start with a picture of a model, this image is a screen shot from a movie (which one I am not sure, found the image on the internet). Then I get my rough drawning and flesh that out. It normally takes me a couple days to get from start to finish, but this was only about three to four hours work total. My larger pieces can take me a lot longer, this one is a bit on the simple side.
The rough drawing of the image

Started with the right arm.


Then fleshed out left arm and abdomen
I always start the face with th nose and eyes,
then the mouth.
Here I start to alter the image to fit the character.
 I added the mane hair, ears, and dark nose.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Oki and Yoshi


Two of my favorite characters from The Crystal Needle are Oki and Yoshi Kitsune.

 Twin brothers of the main character, Yuki Kitsune, Oki and Yoshi were born in Japan 300 years ago. Being Kitsune, they have a human form and a fox form and can perform magic. They traveled with their parents and older sister to the east to see Europe when the explorers first came to their lands. The whole family was forced to flee Europe when their true identity was discovered and the fearful people there wanted to burn them. No sooner did they arrive in the new world did the mass hysteria known as the Salem Witch trials begin and they were no longer safe. They found refuge in Featherville Massachusetts, a place designed as a home for the condemned humans who were forced to leave their homes after accusations arose.


Oki and Yoshi are incorrigible boys who like to rough house and always get each other in a lot of trouble. They loved their parents greatly and respect their sister, but they also love to drive Yuki crazy. Wrestling, stealing cookies, or any sort of mischief, Oki and Yoshi are always partners in crime. Since they lost their father and were cursed by Adel, they have stayed at the side of their dear sister in hopes that when the spell breaks and Adel returns, they can have final revenge for what she did to their father and to them.  



( note: The picture is not in the book, just a cute set of Foxes that made me think of the characters.)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

More Art

Some more of my artwork. This was one of the earliest pieces I did of this character.


Miyagi pt2: After the village he grew up in was destroyed by a horrible bloodspeaker, and the obsidian pendant lost. He took up a new nick name, Ashinaga, and began a trip with a close friend, a girl he grew up with named Daidoji Tsuruko. Ashinaga set out across the empire in search of more than just a way to stop the evil, he had to learn from all the families and clans he encountered on his journey. His first trip led him to rescue a man by the name of Miya Shoin from bandits. Miya Shoin was of an Imperial family, and this connection gave him the ability to offer Ashinaga a great gift as thanks for saving his life. Ashinaga was presented papers that allowed him passage throughout all the lands of Rokugan without fail. All who looked upon these papers must obey, lest they slight the authority of the Imperial family Miya. With this in hand, the journey began and a two year adventure lay ahead of Ashinaga the Kitsu and Daidoji Tsuruko, the Yojimbo.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Book Info

It just struck me that I did not post the actual book description on here when I posted about my new book. So, here it is. Note: You can read this and a pretty good excerpt on the Amazon page for the book. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0069DS694

''300 years ago, in the dark shadow of the Salem witch trials, two kind stitching witches founded the city of Featherville as a haven for the unfortunate victims of the witch hunts. Soon after Featherville’s founding a father and his three children arrive seeking a safe home. They are not human, but Kitsune, a magical fox people from Japan. Their story, and the loss of their mother to hunters, tugs at the hearts of the sisters. Elsabethe comforts them, but Adel becomes angry. She uses her magic to avenge the Kitsune against the humans who had hurt them. After tasting vengeance, she begins to desire dominion over man. In her lust for power she destroys the father of the Kitsune and curses his children. Adel is ultimately magically imprisoned by her sister in the forest nearby so that she can do no more harm. But, the seal is not eternal.
300 years later fate begins to move. A family takes up residence in Adels old home and finds a friend in the little old lady living next door, Elsabethe. This family has one son, a 19 year old boy who happens to enjoy embroidery. Joseph is flirtatious, kind, and pretty good on his feet. He becomes close to Allison, the cursed Kitsune girl. Unaware of her true identity, he comes face to face with the reality when Adel makes a terrible and triumphant return. Together, they must find a way to defeat her, saving Featherville and the whole world from the wrath of the Obsidian needle''

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Art from me

Along with posting about my books, I also want to show the art I enjoy creating. Now, I do not consider myself a great artist, in fact I am only proficient in pencil. But, I do enjoy drawing my characters and sometimes the items from my stories. This way I have a visual tool to keep the character in mind properly. I have often found that after I finish an image, I can determine more story about him through some of the nuances in the art itself. So, here is my first selection.


The character I draw is the main character from another book. His name is Asahina Miyagi and the story is based on the Legend of the Five Rings storyline. If you are into CCG's, then this game and its deep storyline is one of the best.



Meet Asahina Miyagi: He was a human of the Crane Clan in the mythical lands of Rokugan. After inheriting a jade talisman from his father, he lived a simple life of a priest in training. Then, after an evil Bloodspeaker obtained the wicked Obsidian Talisman of Kumo no Oni, the spirit of the Jade Talisman went to work. It gifted Miyagi with incredible power and insight, but it also changed his physical form. He became a creature known as a Kitsu, half lion half man. With the Jade Talisman embedded in his body, and hundreds of new, ancient memories surfacing to aid him, Asahina Miyagi has set out on a path to seek a way to stop the dangerous Kumo No Oni lest all the lands of Rokugan fall into darkness forever.