Sunday, 30 December 2012

Friday, 28 December 2012

Book Review: The Postmortal by Drew Magary

The PostmortalThe Postmortal by Drew Magary
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A funny thing happened when I finished this book. Immediately after reading the final page I flipped back to the opening pages to read about John as he was in the start of the story, his reasons, his motivations, to see how much he changed.

It was an interesting read.

The world was creepy, horrific and I suppose plausible. The future was subtle but dark and hopeless and it reminded me of the film version of Children of Men where everything was just high-tech enough to communicate "future" without flying cars and cliches like that.

My one big complaint about the story, and it bugged me to the point of rolling my eyes and switching books for a short time, was that upon receiving the cure, it seemed every woman wanted to cling to her family and her husband and their comfortable domestic life while every man wanted to relive the bachelor lifestyle. I know that there's a biological theory that males want to procreate more to spread their genes around but it wasn't put forth like that. It was put forth as "Guys get bored with the same old chick."

Really?

There wasn't one female supporting character in the entire narrative that didn't just wanna live the life of their carefree 20's again? None? They all wanted to be Suzy Homebodies forever?

That seriously irritated me and it put a cloud over the middle of the story for me.

And yet, I liked the book. I liked John, even if he was rather aimless at times, which was the point of course, I liked Allison, I liked Ernie and Matt and I loved the imagery in the final few chapters.

But then, good dystopias are so hard to find.


View all my reviews

Monday, 17 December 2012

Dethklok Concert 'Review'

In November, I saw Dethklok.

We got there early-ish and bought shirts because that's just a staple of the concert going experience. The venue was basically a big room with a stage, a bar in the corner and a gently sloping concrete floor. It was standing room only, there literally were no chairs.

So my friend and I stood around for an hour and a half just chatting.

Eventually The Black Dahlia Murder opened the show and they were  fine. I'm not much for their music but in an environment like that you can't help but headbang. We were standing at the dividing line between the mosh pit and the mellow people. My friend was in front of me and served as my meat-shield.

The Machinehead came and again we headbanged but Machinehead felt like their set went on forever. Basically everyone was there for either Dethklok or Machinehead. I liked BDM better.

Then my friend went to sit this set out, which were the band All That Remains. In preperation for this concert I had listened to the three other bands in hopes of liking them and finding new music. I actually liked All That Remains. Well, some of their songs. And they sound better recorded.

They played Two Weeks, Hold On, The Last Time, and Some of the People All Of the Time, in which the vocalist held those last growling notes for what seemed like entire minutes. They also played others of course. The screen behind them showed war footage and graves and stuff. Two big metal-head guys next to me were singing along, it was kinda cute. Ah, to be a fan.
Unfortunately their set felt very short, or maybe it's because I'm a fan. Also, there was a fight in the moshpit which was distracting. Not that I could see anything, since I'm short.

So finally it was time for Dethklok!

Some Klokateers came out for sound check and I was positively charmed! I hadn't expected that.
The lights dimmed and I was standing in a place where I could see quite well and the live band comes out, and launch into the Dethklok themesong then I Ejaculate Fire. Then from there it's a blur. I know they played Andromeda, Awaken (Mustakrakish), Hatredcopter, Galaxy, Pull the Plug, Murmaider and a cool video for a song I didn't recognize but later identified as Ghostqueen. Then they started Duncan Hill's Coffee Jingle...
...and the power died.
So impromptu drum solo!
When the power came back "Nathan Explosion" said "Let's pretend that never happened, and then make fun of it later" so they re-started Duncan Hill's.
They played Bloodlines and I've said on twitter before that I love the instrumentation in that song, but it's absolutely amazing live. One of the best things I've ever heard.
They played The Gears because if they didn't we all would have rioted.
There was also an overarching "plot" to the concert which I won't go into in case you get to see it some day.
Then Nathan, Skwisgaar and Pickles talked to the audience about Elmo sucking off Skwisgaar, smearing Twinkies on boobs and how this venue had the best power ever, except when it ran out that one time...
For the encore they played Crush the Industry, Fansong and of course, Thunderhorse complete with the original demo pitch segment for the show playing!(NSFW).

Soooo Dethklok have what I call The Muppet Effect in which I completely forget about the Man Behind The Curtain. I completely immerse myself into the reality of the Klok and forgot that hey, there's Brendon Small playing guitar and singing! Right there! I can see him! Oh look Nathan Explosion is many feet tall on a big screen!!

It was great, one of the best concerts I had ever been to. If you get a chance to see Dethklok, I highly recommend it.

 

 

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Book Review: Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe #1 - #4

Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe #1Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe #1 by Cullen Bunn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This will have spoilers, but really, this is Deadpool. Killing the Marvel Universe. You know what you're getting.

I needed a Deadpool fix so I picked this up.

It was good, brutal and dark but still with a little bit of humour. The kind of humour that The Joker inspires, the kind that you laugh at, then realize what you're laughing at, then you kind of feel like shooting yourself in the head because you're an awful person.

This is one of those "Deadpool has 2 extra voices in his head that also seem to hate him" stories and I'm not a fan of that take on the character, but it used it to it's advantage here by silencing them and bringing in a new voice.

Sadly, it was rather predictable and it called to mind another Deadpool story wherein Deadpool realizes he's in a comicbook (I think it was in Deadpool #900 but maybe not.) and it just worked better in that one.

The art was kid of iffy, (Torn cloth is supposed to look like phone cords, not hula skirts! (Yep, Sam Kieth reference, aw yeah!)) not really solid and Deadpool looked kind of doughy, but the artists managed to get a lot of expression out of him. Though they seem to really like dislocating Deadpool's jaw. The opening kills were absolutely chilling, so kudos to the artist for that.

By far, (to me) the most memorable part of the whole story was how Deadpool dealt with X-23 and Daken, and it revealed something about Deadpool himself. It was horrific and sadistic and made me all sorts of "Nooo!" because I really want Deadpool and X-23 to have many angsty trysts someday. But that's what fanfiction is for.

Paper thin story, brutal deaths, questionable art and I still felt satisfied in the end. So if you're a Deadpool fan, or a fan of gore, or just want to see another take on Deadpool, pick it up.




View all my reviews

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Movie Review - Silent Hill: Revelation

WARNING: Spoilers for pretty much everything to do with Silent Hill ever. Movies and games. You've been warned.

I don't have to get into my history with the Silent Hill franchise, you all know I'm a huge fan. That said, I actually don't have a lot of detailed complaining so this will just be notes.

Within the first minute the first word that popped into my head was "Cheesy". I don't know if this is because it's in 3D or if the effects were just of poorer quality. Or if it was the acting. I don't know, but ...so cheesy!
Cheesy is not the word you're supposed to associate with Silent Hill.

I was laughing when I really shouldn't have been laughing. Like when Heather was going through her dad's book with the drawings.

Everything looked cheap. Cheap, uninspired sets, nothing looked organic or tactile. It was all plasticy and fake looking. Nothing looked stinking or burning or fleshy. It was all just...fluff.

The acting was poor. No one could pick an accent so it forced a lot of the dialog to come across as unnatural. Especially "Heather" and "Vincent". Douglas just couldn't act, period. Also he was pointless.....
Aaaactually now that I say that it's interesting they had the detective work in the first movie, and the actual useless detective in the second. Just a note.

Didn't believe Vincent and Heather's friendship for a second. Not one second. Also, Heather was not challanged nearly as tough as Rose was.

The monsters were dumb looking. Even those that had semi-interesting designs, the awesomeness was killed by crappy CGI that looked like it belonged back in the original Silent Hill game. You know exactly what monster I'm talking about.

What the hell was that boss battle at the end?! Again, you know what I'm talking about.

Cenobites? In my Silent Hill? It's more likely than you think! And yes, I knew where that Cenobite was going to come from before it was revealed.

I will say however, for what it was...I kinda liked how Leonard looked. I mean, Leonard is a funky unspecific design anyway. And at least they tried. And At least the cenobite had Missionary blades...

Even the nurses phoned it in. They were shaking from standing still, and they lost their creepyness and you were all too aware that they're people in make up!

TOO MUCH FREAKING PYRAMID HEAD.

Speaking of, everything was predictable. Which might have been triggered by Heather's little "First I was Sharon, then Cathy then blahdeeblah" I don't know, I just saw things coming together miles away.

There were inconsistencies between the movies. Brookhaven was a hospital in the first movie, not an asylum.

They reused footage from the first movie! PADDING!

Dark Alessa was lame.

The music was lame and not as well adapted or incorporated as in the first film.

I was happy to see Dahlia...

Also, it was JUMPSCARE: THE MOVIE. I never realized how well the first movie built up it's pay offs. And their scares were much more atmospheric.

Also, there were three endings. Setting up at least TWO more movies. I guess this could be either A) Sequel bait. B) A tribute to 'alternate endings' or C) nods to the franchise.

The ending is thus: Christopher(Sean Bean) decides to stay in Silent Hill and look for his (dead) wife...Like James in Silent Hill 2. Then Vincent and Heather flag down a trucker and get a lift. His name is Travis O'Grady. Then a high speed police chase and a prison bus drive into Silent Hill. The End.

All in all this movie made me appreciate the first one, which I've always liked, that much more.

But I am such a fangirl that even the mention of Valtiel makes me go eeee!, so there's that.

ETA
MAJOR SPOILERS/PLOT CHANGES PAST THIS POINT BUT SOMETHING JUST OCCURRED TO ME.

Wait. If they didn't like Sharon for not having a father...why is Vincent accepted? Is it because his grandfather was the head of the order and now his mom is? Or are they going back to "Oh we burned her because God." not "She's evil because she has no father."

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Today's Theme is Mythology 101!

Earlier in the year I was killing time in the mall and wandered into the bookstore, as one does. I found The Encyclopedia of World Mythology and fell in love.

It had so much info that I needed for NEXT TO GODLINESS, much of which I committed to memory. Unfortunately I had no other choice because I hadn't the money to take the book home with me. Don't worry, I'm correcting that very soon thanks to gift cards.

Back on topic! The book also taught me a new word: Mythogenesis.
1: formation or production of myths
2: the tendency to make myths or to give mythical status to something (as a tradition or belief)

I wish I knew that word sooner because that would have been an awesome name for NEXT TO GODLINESS. Today I forgot the word, remember this was back in the first months of 2012, so through extensive searching through chat logs, I found the word again and looked it up. But from there I found other words. Words like Mythoclast: "a destroyer or debunker of myths" and Mythologize:"To explain a myth or build a myth around"

Aw, man!

Where were these words in 2008 when I needed a title?

I guess they're still usable if there's ever a sequel...

But, credit where it's due, here's a review of a book I love and set me on the path to greatly enjoying Mythology. It likely sowed the seeds of NEXT TO GODLINESS long before the idea of being a writer even entered my dark little brain. Enjoy!

Gods, Demigods and Demons: An Encyclopedia of Greek MythologyGods, Demigods and Demons: An Encyclopedia of Greek Mythology by Bernard Evslin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've actually had this book since Elementary school. I got it through the Scholastic book order things Elementary Schools offer. I was a geek, sue me.

As a kid I would read the entries and re-read my favourites. I must have read Athena's entry a hundred times, and then yell at the Hercules and Xena TV shows because they were wrong, wrong, wrong!.

While writing my own mythology epic I actually found myself running to this book, dog-eared and yellowed-paged as it is, for refresher courses on certain mythological figures or double checking things. It's a true encyclopedia that is packed with knowledge and straight-forward facts.

It's a great introduction to Greek Mythology and while it's not heavy or overwhelming, it's certainly not dumbed down for kids, making it a great read for everybody.


View all my reviews

Monday, 8 October 2012

The Ballad of the Renegade Subplot (The cover some no-name performs to get a million hits on Youtube)

So, a few days after I wrote this post about continuing little side-stories for NEXT TO GODLINESS, I find out that Harper Voyager is accepting un-agented manuscripts.

Because of course it was.

The bad part was that NEXT TO GODLINESS fell 4,000 words short of the minimum word count. Yeah, I had that sub-plot but there was no way I would be able to get it all out before October 14th.

I had Vcon to stress over, and an artistic deadline due tomorrow, plus Canadian Thanksgiving.

The stars just really aligned for me, right?

But I finished it, edited it, and submitted it on Saturday night.

Now we wait 3 months.

Three...agonizing...months.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Vcon Post-con Report

Finally I'm getting around to writing my Vcon post-con report. I should have done it Tuesday, having Monday for rest but Tuesday decided to be a bit of a dick. So, Wednesday it is!

Friday was extremely slow, in fact almost no one in Artists Alley really seemed to be moving a lot of merchandise. But that's to be expected. Day 1 is for browsing and budgeting, 2 for purchase and 3 for last minute spending.

I at least managed to sell (or trade) some stuff. Skull of Cthulhu continues to be my best seller. Suicide did not sell at all. Who knew?
My sketch of Algol in the church still draws eyes, and I had some of those prints left over, so I sold those at discount. I also sold my last available A Girl Called Kermit "I can't sleep..." black and white print. I will make more.

On day 2 my friend Hazel came to help me out and to be my Booth Babe. It was her first real convention but she took to it well.
On the second night I tried to convince Hazel to hang out, but she only had a vendor assistant badge and thus couldn't go anywhere else in the con. So we said our goodbyes. I poke my nose in on the dance, which looked...un-fun. So I left, about 5 minutes after Hazel caught her bus. Of course.

On the third night I went to a panel about editing your own work, then I attended the closing ceremony where they auctioned some books for charity.

Then I went to the con party.
I had never been to a con party before and Vcon felt like a safe environment to do so. No one seemed overly huggy nor hostile so I thought I'd peek in for an hour then catch my bus home. The party was set to begin roughly at 7:30, but by 8:45 they were still setting up. Since I had food welcoming me at home, plus TV to watch, I decided "screw this" and went home. So, no party for me.

There were some awesome costumes, and normally I'm not into that sort of thing. There was a little Captain America, a rainbow faerie, a little steampunk who was hunting for mermaids, Alice and Ariel from Disney, Three Jedi, a zombie Red-shirt, Captain Hammer, Castiel from Supernatural, a Silent Hill nurse, a few Dr. Whos, a plague doctor, and Darth Retribution, who carried around Jar Jar's head.

Everyone was extremely nice, and I'm going to put them on a pedestal now!

Across from me was Carson Drew It!, and they talked everyone up really nicely. I traded a very awesome sea-pirate-fish-robot print for a Skull of Cthulhu. We discussed things, like Sam Kieth and Dave McKean.
Oh, on day 2 the chick at the Carson Drew It! table asked for a copy of an A Girl Called Kermit sketch that I had in my portfolio. I said I'd look for the original to scan that night and give her a nice glossy copy.
I never found it.
My tired brain even thought "I see it all the time! Why can't I find it?" to which I realized about an hour later "I see it all the time because it's in my portfolio. Which is at the hotel...brilliant."
It wasn't all bad though, I time traveled through my art. That's always fun, or humiliating.

Next to me was an artists collective consisting of the clothes and jewelry of Radioactive Nerd Girl, Malicious Treats and Kelsey Millar Designs. They were so very nice and sweet and very talented.

Csinyo's Creations offers less expensive corsets. Their site is sparse because they recently went though some personal issues. The site should be updated later in the year.

In the Dealers room was Noah J.D. Chinn. He had a nice gimmick, his promo flier had a word-search. I love word-searches so I did it to kill the time. The only problem was his word-search listed a word that wasn't in the search! In case you were wondering, the word was "Cursed". I acquired a copy of his bookBleeding Heart Yard in exchange for a drawing, which I still have to finish.

Joseph Picard is positively awesome. The end.
No, I'll say more.
He rolled by our table (Cripple humour, I'm allowed!) and discussed video game music, the un-readability of Cormack McCarthy's The Road, and he kept trying to push candy upon us all.
But the best thing is he admitted that he "talks" to his characters, just like I do.
I suggested an art trade or an art-for-book trade but we never got to hammer out the details. But I will acquire Lifehack. I will.
I swear it.

I did have a lot of fun though, and look forward to doing it again. Debating going to Anime Evolution in November.

The plan of attack is to update my portfolio with newer/more recent images, and create a wider range of subjects on my prints. Also, maybe I should offer something a bit more chipper than my regular.

Yeah, I'm still "that girl that does dark, creepy stuff".

Monday, 10 September 2012

The Wonders of Editing and Time Gone Past

I apparently feel the need to remind readers of this every time I bring it up, but I started NEXT TO GODLINESS in early 2008. I finally finished the first draft recently and after a few weeks to get a fresh perspective, I'm now going through and editing it before I pass it off to my editor because she actually know what she's doing.

I don't know if I've changed a lot as a writer or just that the flavour of other things I've been writing at the same time crept into NEXT TO GODLINESS because the beginning of the story is intentionally heavy and verbose because, hey, gods but the end drops a lot of the flowery pretense and just gets to the point. The characters still speak in a fairly formal fashion, (alliteration!) but the narration is a lot more trimmed than it is in the beginning.

I think this is an effective way to illustrate just how broken their system becomes. I think that if one reads NEXT TO GODLINESS in one sitting the spiral into destruction and helplessness and last resorts will be an apparent but enjoyable ride. At the same time it doesn't beat you over the head, or at least I hope it doesn't. One can never really look at their creations objectively. But I like to think I'm on to something.

Friday, 31 August 2012

The Ballad of the Renegade Subplot (Dubstep Remix)

At the beginning of the month I wrote a blog post contemplating problems I was having with NEXT TO GODLINESS. Today I think I have come up with a solution.

I think this subplot will be an eventual additional NEXT TO GODLINESS side story. A little bonus to read independently of the actual novel. That way I'm not holding NEXT TO GODLINESS back and this story eventually gets out into the world.

It's a possible way to have my cake and eat it too.

Feels good to play in the NtG-Verse again. I love these characters a lot and I want to get them out there, but clearly crow-barring this subplot in is not the way to go.

So now I'll comb through NEXT TO GODLINESS, then pass it off to my editor(s).

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Art: Too Much of A Good Thing

This image is a combination of factors. I was talking to a friend and told them "There are three ways into my heart: Cthulhu, Anubis and bats. And if you combine them, then well!"

"Oh no," said they, "We've created something!"

"Don't worry, everyone who spends time with me eventually ends up creating something with me." I thought about it, it was true.

So I sketched it.

Some time between sketching and inking, I read a blog post by Sam Kieth. And I think seeing such a deconstruction of his work somehow wormed its way into my subconscious (As Mr. Kieth's works nearly always do...)

Last night I inked Anuthulhu as I've taken to calling this amalgam, in GIMP, and then coloured it in Photoshop.

And I just. Couldn't. Stop.

I ended up with 5 different renditions of Anuthulhu.

Here they are, more or less in order from original idea to off-the-rails-Q. Which do you like?


Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Art: Anubis - With the Lantern I Made From My Skin

Anubis



This did noooot turn out how I wanted it to.

Anubis from NEXT TO GODLINESS, letting his heart guide him.

Will be sold for Vcon.

I'm ashamed when the flames sell me fire
for the lantern I've made from my skin
can the stitches hold on through these travels
if the hunger removes them within

As I race through the passage I find you
and we dance till eternity ends
and void is not full up nor empty
when the song of our empire begins

--RISHLOO To Tame the Temporal Shrew

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Suicide: Black and White

I finished that picture of Suicide, but it has two different backgrounds. Which do you like better?



Suicide - Playboy Bunny WHITE VERSION by ~AnarchicQ on deviantART

Suicide - Playboy Bunny by ~AnarchicQ on deviantART

Which Version of this Picture Do You Like Better
 
 
  
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Thursday, 9 August 2012

Vcon Sneak Peek!

Here's some stuff I'm planning to finish for Vcon. I felt like sharing.
These images in order from most recent to least, with some information about them.
Suicide Bunny
I have been sketching this most of the week and inked and scanned this today. I think it is officially my favorite picture of Suicide EVER. I love his fur pimp coat.

Drow Smoking
Hi Drow!
This is something I've been very slowly working on since March or April of 2012. I have very specific plans for the lighting in this image. I started inking it in GIMP because the arm flipping the bird is actually drawn on a different part of the page. Unfortunately I've gotten better with GIMP and I feel almost like I have to re-ink everything from his neck/wrists down. The proportions are wonky as heck.

GIMPy Anubis
THIS IMAGE IS A NIGHTMARE!
It's two completely different images cobbled together in Photoshop and I started inking it in Paint Tool SAI but it hurt my eyes so I downloaded GIMP and liked that better. But then I kept switching between GIMP and Photoshop (for some reason) and the image file became corrupted. I actually commented on Twitter that "I just wish this image was DONE!"...and then it never opened again. This particular picture you're seeing is a screen-grab of the GIMP interface with the lines visible. I have to re-ink this one from scratch.

I have so much aspirations for this one pic. It has a lot of inspiration behind it and I know the exact feeling I want to cultivate with it, which is why I won't give up. But it's bittersweet at this point.

So, think I'll get all this done before the end of September?

Art: Mr. Zebrocodile


Mr. Zebrocodile by ~AnarchicQ on deviantART

An image for someone I know.
Mr. Zebrocodile on Soundcloud - http://soundcloud.com/mr-zebrocodile

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Book Review: Scratch #1-#5 by Sam Kieth

ScratchScratch by Sam Kieth
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Each and every one of you who are reading this know I am a huge Sam Kieth fan. The Maxx made me aware of story telling methods and narratives that I had no clue existed, I didn't even know one could go to those places in comics or animation. In short, Sam Kieth was my gateway drug.

I had first heard about Scratch in 2003 or 2004 and I was eager to read it. I mean, Sam Kieth drawing werewolves AND Batman?! I had flipped through it several times at my local comic book store but never put down the money for it. It never grasped me enough to actually buy it.

Today I got myself the series and read through all five issues

Sadly, I found Scratch to be just...kinda...meh.

Searching the internet, I found that apparently I wasn't the only one, hell, there wasn't even a Goodreads entry on it. I had to make it. Wikipedia doesn't have anything, DC Comics wiki has nothing, the series isn't even collected in a trade paper back. There isn't even a "Scratch" tag on Kieth's blog! All I could scrounge up was a CBR interview with Kieth.

So, why is it so...meh? Probably because I know Kieth is better than this. The writing is sub-par (For Kieth's standards) and simplistic.
The story doesn't move at break-neck speed so much as it just sort of bounds along, jumping from place to place with not very much connectivity. I don't know if there were time-jumps that simply weren't labeled or if big chunks were edited out or what but it all just moved too fast for me. Kieth is great at setting ground work (The Maxx, Ojo, Four Women, the Zero Girl series, Batman: Secrets) but there wasn't enough time spent on much of anything. Who was Zack? Who was his family? Did they miss him? Did they abuse him and call him a freak? Was he emancipated? What?

The art veers too much into crazy whimsy (Batman's Chin(s)!) and not enough somber eeriness (Batman! Werewolves and Batman! And Circus freaks!), and some parts Kieth just goes into "Pfff screw it" mode and renders basically kiddy drawings of characters, which works for him a lot of the time but it simply doesn't here because it doesn't feel appropriate.

But to be fair, some shots of Sage are absolutely stunning. I love how Kieth draws women. They all look so natural and cuddly.

Finally, Batman. Batman is narrating this story and I found myself asking "Why?". Why does Batman care? For that matter, how did Batman learn about Scratch/Zack in the first place, let alone go out hunting for him?

There were some good moments of course, some scenes were poignant and some of the lines were funny, but all in all it was weak and moved me very little.

It's not all bad, it's a nice little time-killer and I recommend it for hardcore fans, like myself, who want to leave no Kieth story unloved. But if for some reason you're new to Kieth, go read The Maxx, Ojo or Batman: Secrets and then get back to me.


View all my reviews

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

The Ballad of the Renegade Subplot

I know myself too well.

I know myself. I know what parts of a story not to touch until the end, otherwise I'll lose interest. It happened with Project C, it's happening with Elven Lacryment, so apparently it's just the way I work.

Months ago I thought of a new subplot for Next to Godliness but I had trouble wrangling together the logistics of it all.

In June, I was mere paragraphs away from completing Next to Godliness. The climax had been written, and everything was settling and being recollected. It was then, and only then, that I figured out how to work in this subplot. It hit me like a truck with how obvious it was. If I buckled down, I could finish it in no time.

Then I didn't touch the document for weeks.

Early in July I finalized the closing lines, as well as banged away on this elusive subplot. And I have barely poked Next to Godliness in a month.

I worked on it a bit more today but the urge isn't there, because all the important parts are already at their natural conclusion.It makes me wonder if this subplot really needs to be there. I feel it does because it has salacious Gods being salacious as well as fleshes out the reasoning or triggers behind some important events in the overall story.

But, given all that, technically, I'm finished. I got to the point.

I got to the end and this other plot is just a casualty. I'm one of those people who put in all my (obviously biased) ideas in the story and look to my editors and beta-readers to say "no, this doesn't work, take it out.", because my logic tells me that it's better to put something in then take it out rather than not having it in there at all.

So now I'm working on the plot in a separate document and am going to plug it into the main story when it's done. Given this, I can't tell you what Next to Godliness's current wordcount is but the rough approximation is 68,000 words. I can tell you the current page count is 296.

That's what's going on with Next to Godliness. I'm not done, I'm still working, but it's slow.

But I haven't given up.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Art: Side and Drow by Snowzapped


Smoking is Bad by *snowzapped on deviantART
Suicide, gay goth 'bondage elf' teasing the homophobic half-demon Drow. A commission by Snowzapped. View her commission prices here.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Art: Next to Godliness - Camazotz's Madness


Next to Godliness - Camazotz's Madness by ~AnarchicQ on deviantART

A scene from my upcoming novel NEXT TO GODLINESS. Camazotz, the Mayan goddess of Death, night and Sacrifice meets someone or something she feels a connection with.

STOCK
http://fav.me/d29v876
http://fav.me/d3cfqeg

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Art Trade: Gideon & Funday


Gideon and Funday by ~AnarchicQ on deviantART

My half of the art trade with Aaron Mocksing of Keeping Up With Thursday ).
When I saw Funday I instantly got this image in my head and asked if I could do it for my half of the trade. And then I did!

My Disney inspired character meets (one of) his (MANY) Don Bleuth inspired characters.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Art: Anubis & Eve - One Long Afternoon


One Long Afternoon by ~AnarchicQ on deviantART

I was inspired one evening, wondering what would happen if Anubis from NEXT TO GODLINESS met one of CoffinBerry's characters. Thus a scenario played out where Eve propositioned Anubis. Why? I don't know, maybe she was bartering for Max's soul?
In my mind Anubis was very unsure about Eve's advances but in the drawing he seems much more willing.

Art: Anubis by Hahahaok


Art Trade: Anubis and the Sands of the Earth by *hahahaok on deviantART

An art trade I did with the creator of the webcomic Keeping Up With Thursday. Anubis, from NEXT TO GODLINESS, of course.
I have to get on my half of the trade, it's next on my to-do list.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Art: Anubis by Kishari


Commission - Anubis by *Kishari on deviantART

Another Next to Godliness commission, this time of Anubis, done by the talented Kishari.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Next to Godliness update

Back in March I wrote a blog post commemorating Next to Godliness hitting the 50k word count. Back then I estimated that the ending was about 5k-10k away. Less than 2 months later and I've hit the 61k mark. And it's still not done.

Oh, I'm close. I'm very close to the end. But at this point I dare not guesstimate my word count. I'll be mildly shocked however, if the final count is higher than that of Project C.

A few weeks ago I set a deadline for myself, which was May 19th. Unfortunately I don't think I'm gonna have it done by then because I've been thinking, rethinking, over-analyzing parts of the climax and ...not doubting myself exactly, but I am skeptical about certain things, like how characters would act, react and what they would say in this situation or how they would say it.

Or maybe I just get squirrely near the end, but I don't remember being like this when finishing Project C or Blood in the Water.

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm a horrible judge of my own word count?

I'll let you know what the final tally is.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Skip, Skip, Skip...

I learned something about myself today.

I was complaining to a friend that I'm having a temporary bout of writer's block*. I am 99 words away from hitting the 61,000 word mark and I was stuck.  So I said to him "writer's block again!"

Then he asked me a strange question: "ever picture it as a monster?"

So of course, that made me inadvertently picture writer's block.

It's like a DVD skipping because of dust. There's a scene, then it stops, pauses, then replays the last few seconds before stopping again. Then it skips ahead to the next scene. But there are holes.

And I stare at the skipping DVD as if willing it to continue. Then I realize that it's not skipping due to dust, but that the DVD player is out of power and it needs to be recharged. So I go, or do, or think about something else. This recharges me, and the writer's block corrects itself. Eventually I'm once again inspired or the story itself is good and ready to progress. Until then I have to be patient.

 

*There's a school of thought that states "there's no such thing as writer's block". I don't want to discuss whether or not Writer's Block exists. I don't care to debate the point. I'm stuck, accept it.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Absolute Write April Blog Chain: Dead Bunnies!

Here we are, once again I've decided to sign up for the Absolute Write blog chain. This month's topic is "Dead bunnies".
At first I thought I'd write a small ficlet set in the world of Elven Lacryment about Issues complaining about how all they've been eating is rabbit. Rabbit skewers, rabbit stew, rabbit steaks...
But then I thought I'd do something a bit more personal. Something to help you all get to know me, Q.

Thus, I decided on a new way to approach this topic. So without further ado, I present to you...

My Top Five Favourite Dead Bunnies!

Number 5)
Frank
I'll be honest, Frank is the only thing I really remember from Donnie Darko. That having been said, he had a great design and twisted juuuuust right. He obviously left a lasting impression on me as he did with all the other troubled goth kids who thought Donnie Darko was an epic peice of existentialism.


Number 4)
Landstriders from The Dark Crystal.
I guess technically this is cheating because landstriders aren't rabbits but they're just so cool and creative. They're friendly and dedicated fighters and yes, one dies. One screams and dies. Little 7 year old me will forever have that burned into my memory.


Number 3)
Robbie the Rabbit from the Silent Hill series.
While Pyramid Head quick became an icon for Silent Hill as a whole, Robbie first made his debut in Silent Hill 3, as the Mickey Mouse-y mascot of Lakeside Amusement Park. We first found him lying around slaughtered, he was just atmosphere. But soon he showed up in extra things, other SH games, and even DDR and merchandise. He's even been spotted in the upcoming Silent Hill sequel movie!
Robbie has that perfect juxtaposition of cute and creepy that I love. It's so easy to do "Creepy kids thing" wrong but the makers of SH3 did it so, so right.


Number 2)
The Dead Bunny from DooM
12 Year Old Me: "OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD!" You must understand that this was back when I was still sensitive to animal cruelty in video games. And even then the only animals we had to hurt in serious, non-cartoony violence were dogs, which always made me sad. The final shot in the original DooM was several punches to my gut and possibly watering eyes.


Number 1)
The Maxx
All of you who know me knew this was coming as soon as you read the title. This is kind of hard to explain without getting into spoiler territory. The Maxx is a super-hero who fights evil. He believes that under the mask he is a bunny rabbit.
The Maxx was a cartoon that made me realize that animation could be intelligent, that comics were more than capes and powers, that anime wasn't the be-all and end-all of 'brain-screw' animation. The character of Maxx himself is the sort of protector I think everyone needs. Driven, moral, caring and not squeamish. Also, he'll help you pack your belongings when you're moving to a new home!


So there we are, my top 5 dead bunnies. Now, hop along down the chain and read everyone else's Dead Bunny Blogs.

orion_mk3 - http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to this month's post)
KatieJ - http://www.crystalwindchimes.wordpress.com/ (link to this month's post)
kiwiviktor81 - http://storygenerator.net (link to this month's post)
Nissie - http://www.paperheroes.net (link to this month's post)
SuzanneSeese - http://www.viewofsue.blogspot.com/ (link to this month's post)
pyrosama - http://matrix-hole.blogspot.com/ (link to this month's post)
dclary - http://www.davidwclary.com/ (link to this month's post)
randi.lee - http://emotionalnovel.blogspot.com (link to this month's post)
Turndog-Millionaire - http://turndog-millionaire.com/ (link to this month's post)
julzperri - http://www.fishandfrivolity.blogspot.com/ (link to this month's post)
Penelope - http://poet-slash-writer.blogspot.com/ (link to this month's post)
AFord - http://af12.webs.com/ (link to this month's post)
Araenvo - http://plottypus.blogspot.com/ (link to this month's post)
writingismypassion - http://charityfaye.blogspot.com (link to this month's post)
magicmint - http://www.loneswing.com/ (link to this month's post)
Anarchicq - http://anarchicq.com/ YOU ARE HERE
Ralph Pines - http://ralfast.wordpress.com/ (link to this month's post)
Joliedupre - http://www.preciousmonsters.com/ (link to this month's post)
Tomspy77 - http://thomaswillamspychalski.wordpress.com/ (link to this month's post)
Whisky - http://nopart2.wordpress.com/ (link to this month's post)
Bogna - http://bemaslanka.wordpress.com/ (link to this month's post)

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Book Review: The Strain (The Strain #1)

The Strain (The Strain Trilogy, #1)The Strain by Guillermo del Toro
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



It took me 13 months to read this book and for the longest time Goodreads shamefully displayed that I was 94% finished with it. I didn't want to finish it because I know myself and I knew as soon as I finished this book I'd want to devour the second and third book. Well, they're both out now and I got my hands on the second book last week.

Never before have I ever wanted so badly for a book to be turned into a movie.

I really enjoyed The Strain. It was creepy and atmospheric and debuted just at the right time. Vampire lore has been reduced to sparkling tween pro-marriage rhetoric or celluloid comedy. Don't get me wrong, I love me some vampire comedy. SUCK (That's "SUCK" not "Vampires Suck") is one of my favourite movies, and it would be even if Alice Cooper wasn't in it (Case in point, I'm not looking forward to Dark Shadows, despite the fact that Alice Cooper is in it...). The only recent thing we had to shelter us from Twilight was Let The Right One In. Or this.

This isn't a subversion of vampire lore, it's merely another type of vampire and vampire story, and it's great. Del Toro's vampires are gruesome, inhuman monsters and takes away anything from their once human hosts that makes them relate-able. He strips them of their cleanliness, their voice, and even makes a blatant point to take away any and all romanticism or sex appeal by reducing any sex organs to doll anatomy.

Some reviews criticize this book for having too much of a "Hollywood ending", but I feel that's alright. It's completely a "popcorn movie" type of book, a horror action/adventure, and that's fine. It is what it is. It might not be high-brow but it's not stupid or pandering, and it's very engaging.

My one issue is that, while he's a visionary, I think it's unfortunate that Del Toro's name is all over this thing. It had two writers, the other being Chuck Hogan. He wrote the book "Prince of Thieves" the book that the Afflek movie "The Town" was based upon. He's no slouch so let's just give him a nod.

All in all this was a great book and a solid start to what I hope will be a great, horrifying trilogy.


View all my reviews

Thursday, 5 April 2012

The Basics

According to Christopher Booker, there are seven basic plots, which are as follows.


  • Overcoming the Monster A terrifying, all-powerful, life-threatening monster whom the hero must confront in a fight to the death. An example of this plot is seen in Beowulf, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Dracula.

  • Rags to Riches Someone who has seemed to the world quite commonplace is shown to have been hiding a second, more exceptional self within. Think the ugly duckling, Jane Eyre and Clark Kent.

  • The Quest From the moment the hero learns of the priceless goal, he sets out on a hazardous journey to reach it. Examples are seen in The Odyssey, The Aeneid, The Count of Monte Cristo, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

  • Voyage and Return The hero or heroine and a few companions travel out of the familiar surroundings into another world completely cut off from the first. While it is at first marvellous, there is a sense of increasing peril. After a dramatic escape, they return to the familiar world where they began. Alice in Wonderland and The Time Machine are obvious examples; but Brideshead Revisited and Gone with the Wind also embody this basic plotline.

  • Comedy Following a general chaos of misunderstanding, the characters tie themselves and each other into a knot that seems almost unbearable; however, to universal relief, everyone and everything gets sorted out, bringing about the happy ending. Shakespeare’s comedies come to mind, as do Jane Austen’s perfect novels.

  • Tragedy A character through some flaw or lack of self-understanding is increasingly drawn into a fatal course of action which leads inexorably to disaster. King Lear, Madame Bovary, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Bonnie and Clyde—all flagrantly tragic.

  • Rebirth There is a mounting sense of threat as a dark force approaches the hero until it emerges completely, holding the hero in its deadly grip. Only after a time, when it seems that the dark force has triumphed, does the reversal take place. The hero is redeemed, usually through the life-giving power of love. Many fairy tales take this shape; also, works like Silas Marner and It’s a Wonderful Life.



As well as these seven basic plots, there are said to be seven basic conflicts.


  • Character vs. Character A fight between, say, Cyclops and Wolverine.

  • Character vs. Nature The movie Castaway. Tom Hanks is stuck on an island with a soccer ball.

  • Character vs.Machine Terminator, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, The Matrix.

  • Character vs. Self  The internal conflict within his or her self. Hamlet.

  • Character vs. Supernatural Ghostbusters, Poltergiest, Night of the Living Dead, Twilight (Just kidding.)

  • Character vs. Society I'm gonna go out on a limb here and suggest Disney's Mulan.

  • Character vs. Destiny MacBeth.



So I decided it might be an interesting exercise to try to fit my stories into these plots and conflicts and see what goes where.  Let's begin, shall we?

Elven Lacryment falls under the category of  The Quest and unbeknownst to many of the characters it becomes Character vs. Destiny.

Next to Godliness is equal parts Tragedy and Rebirth story. Since they're all gods it would likely be Character vs. Supernatural

Amethyst Breed is a Quest. One of the characters is given some information and sent on a mission to recruit others to their cause. It is largely Character vs Character with a dash of Character vs. Machine, against a backdrop of Character vs. Society.

Project C I don't know if this one was the easiest to classify because it's one of my oldest or what but it's definitely Voyage and Return and the conflict is clearly Character vs. Society as well as Character vs. Self.

Blood in the Water is also a Quest, and is Character vs. Character while also being Character vs. Nature.

ABC Kid's Book Voyage and Return, and it is Character vs. Society.

So, what about you? What are the basic plots and conflicts in your stories?

Monday, 26 March 2012

Art: Nixon & Anubis Worldhop


Nixon and Anubis UniverseHop by ~AnarchicQ on deviantART

My half of a trade with a long time friend Big Josh. Nixon from his comic REEL FICTION meets Anubis from my upcoming novel Next to Godliness do some universe hopping and end up in the world of REPO! The Genetic Opera. Didn't I say the world was cruel, didn't I?

Reel Fiction http://splurd.com/reelfiction

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Tweakin'

So today I spent the day tweaking Do Not Tamper With.... I added pages for my finished manuscripts and my works in progress. I removed the wordcount gauges and added them to the individual pages. The links to the pages are on the right. This speeds up loading time.

I removed some things from the sidebar and re-arranged some stuff. I added Facebook and Twitter buttons on top of every post as well as small Pintrest and G+ buttons on the bottom.

I added a good cacheing plug in so hopefully that will also make the site go faster.

I'm also going to give the commission page a massive overhaul.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Anubis by Poo-ky


Anubis Commission
by *Poo-ky on deviantART

This fine piece of art featuring Anubis from Next to Godliness cost a mere $2.00.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Next to Godliness Milestone

I started Next to Godliness many years ago, we all know this. I began writing it in February 2008 and have been working on it, as well as other projects since then.

Today it reached 50,000 words.

I know it's nothing amazingly impressive since it's taken me four years to get that basic word-count while there's an entire month dedicated to reaching that very same count.

I don't care.

Don't worry, I'm not patting myself on the back saying "good job Q" but the fact is that 50K is the scant side of official novel length. Next to Godliness is officially the size of a novel.

This is a milestone because Next to Godliness was only supposed to be 20K-25K, a little, simple novella but I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that it was growing in scope.

I've said it on Twitter before and I'll repeat it here. Writing Gods is like herding cats. And Gods will do what they want and often I'm just demoted to transcribing.

Yet, at the same time, I am writing Next to Godliness for me. I'm telling the story I want to read as opposed to writing it because I have to get it out there as a service to my characters. That's likely why I've been much slower and steadier with it.

At 50K it is now almost finished, tonight I wrote a big reveal and tied up the fate (Badum-tish!) of another character. I would estimate that I have 5,000, maybe 10,000 more words before the end. Until recently I had been nervous about the idea of the story wrapping up but I think it was just because I had to write the big reveal, now I have. Everything else is more or less planned out already and it's just a matter of putting it down as text.

So, let's see how much farther there is to go, shall we?

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Art: Paz Spattersona


Paz Spattersona by ~AnarchicQ on deviantART

For my friend.
Offering these for $5.00. Simple image, 3 colours (White is not a colour.)
COMMISSION INFO HERE

Monday, 12 March 2012

Post-Con Report

Once upon a time, in the magical world of My Life, I vowed never to attend a furry convention. This weekend I renounced that vow, spat in the face of old promises and I went to my very first one, VancouFur.

I figured that I had been saying for years that the next time I go to a convention, it would be to sell stuff, but it would never happen if I don't just get off my butt and actually do it. So I did.

It was relatively successful. I made sales, enough that I broke even as well as able to keep myself fed the entire weekend. I also gave out a lot of business cards and got my name out there as well as drummed up public interest for Next to Godliness.

Things I learned.

  • I am a dark artist with a dark, unique style. Yes, of course I knew this but it's nice to get re-affirmation.

  • I should be using Paint Tool Sai instead of Photoshop, apparently.

  • There is a market for photo-manipulation and blended prints.

  • There is a market for poster sized works.

  • There's less love for Anubis than I expected.

  • Paypal is a viable form of payment in person as well.

  • Paypal is Satan and no one should use it ever, viva the revolution or something like that.

  • Furries can be surprisingly way, way less obnoxious than Otaku.

  • The Poison Elves fandom is alive in Vancouver. All three of us.

  • Suicide, the gay bondage elf in my head is still relevant.

  • Someone knew my art by the title of the images. BARONESS CAMAZOTZ!! That's not something you just guess!

  • Deadpool is always relevant.

  • Darkwing Duck and Perry The Platypus is always relevant.

  • Pickles the Drummer is always relevant.

  • Holy crap The Maxx is still relevant!

  • Tim Horton's Rrrrroll Up The Rim is the most unhygienic promotional event ever.

  • I love when a non-Canadian sees The Logdriver's Waltz for the first time

  • I was the only girl in the panel for character development. I invoked Deadpool and Eragon (Thank Kips! I namedropped you.)


It was good, a trial run before Vcon, and I'm actually looking forward to going again next year.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Monday, 20 February 2012

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Book Review: Sarah's Key

Sarah's KeySarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This review WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS and CAPSLOCK because I have so much to rant about.






The first 100 or so pages of this book are good. Not particularly well written but the story is intriguing and there is some genuine emotion. I was moved when Rachel was re-apprehended by the Nazis because she fought so hard and became so ill, all for nothing, that it was tragic. More tragic than the situation with Michel if you ask me. I liked Sarah's chapters.

Where this book fell absolutely flat to me was Julia and her 'plight'. But a few things I'd like to mention about the people around Julia first.

Bertrand. I didn't understand why Julia claimed to love her husband and find him so charming but all she seemed to feel toward him was contempt and annoyance. And rightly so because he was an arrogant jerk!

Julia's daughter Zoe was ...not a child. At all. I'm so sick of the wise-beyond-her-years kids. Sarah had a reason to be mature, Zoe was just badly characterized and a tired trope.

Finally there's Julia herself. I really, really didn't like her. At first I just found her boring in a "Bleh, get back to the tragedy of human suffering!" way but as the story progressed and Sarah's chapters were dropped I began to find Julia, her problems, and her goals insufferable.

So, ok, you're pregnant after 2 or 3 miscarriages and your husband doesn't want the kid. Yes, that's a problem and I was mildly curious how it would turn out. But then you decide not to go through with an abortion because this baby is the most important thing in your life.
So you randomly fly from Paris to the USA.
Then USA to Italy.
In the matter of days.
And then you feel a little annoying 'tug' and think nothing of it.
WOMAN YOU HAVE HAD 3 MISCARRIAGES, YOU ARE IN YOUR MID 40'S AND ARE RANDOMLY GALLIVANTING ACROSS THE GLOBE GHOSTCHASEING BUT YOU CLAIM THIS BABY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU ARE A HORRIBLE, IRRESPONSIBLE, SELFISH PERSON AND A BAD MOTHER!

Seriously?!

Even all that aside, the amount of arrogant rich white woman hubris Julia has is revolting. Why should she dig up the past? What right had she? Obviously Sarah wanted to keep it behind her. Obviously she didn't want to burden her family with it, nor the Tezac's wish to remember the burden of it either.

And then of course there was all this eternal monologue about how Julia "would always remember the tragic day they rounded up those Jews" and "She knew what it was like" because she wrote an article about it. That is just as bad as "I know what it's like to be in a wheelchair/blind/raped because I played one on TV".

Finally, the writing. While the writing wasn't strong, I never really seemed to notice a problem with it until near the end. The word "Ironic" 4 times in 4 pages? Really?
And it was "ironic" that you missed Paris after moving back to New York? No it wasn't! Remember near the beginning of the book Julia, where you said you had always loved Paris, more than in the romantic cliche way, but in all the other ways? You had always felt a tug and longing from and for Paris! You met your husband there, you had friends there, you had your daughter there, you had a good career there. Of COURSE you would miss it! There is nothing ironic about that!

There was an awful lot of telling, not showing. One of the most blatant examples occurs after she almost has a miscarriage and is told to lie down and work from home. We're told that. And the time just zooms by! We don't get Julia's frustration at being bed-ridden, at her lingering pain or guilt that she almost caused the loss of a third or fourth child, or anything like that. Nope! "I remained horizontal while my 11 year old made me breakfast in bed for X amount of days."

Am I supposed to be getting some sort of parallel from all this? How humanity hasn't change much since the Holocaust? That the problems of the upper-class are just as valid as the tragedy of thousands rounded up then carted off to death camps?

You know what? I was going to give this book 2 stars but no. One. One star for Sarah and Rachel and Michel. No stars for the rest of this book.

Now I'm off to watch the movie adaptation.


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