"The Childe...More restless than the swallow in the skies..." -Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

Friday, November 25, 2011

Winner Status for a Childe Novelist

For my currently 52,610 word manuscript, I have earned the below badge from
National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo). To be a winner required writing 50,000 words during November. Today I'm thankful for my sister Andie, who reminded me about this month-long event for writers. But the work isn't done. I need to sit back down and write some more to reach the end of the story. My personal goal is to have a complete rough draft by November 30th.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Washtenaw County Leaves and Berries

But first

Much gratitude for the outpouring of support I received on Facebook earlier this week after my biggest, wordiest session of National Novel Writing Month. If all goes well, I will summit Mount Fiftythousandwordmanuscript later this week. Expect a few sneak peeks of the rough draft on a blog post coming soon. And now...

Happy Thanksgiving to All
And to All a Good Bingefest

Autumn Leaves in Washtenaw County, Michigan

When next we interact, I will likely be digesting a turkey sandwich made with leftover dark meat and a wee bit of cartilage. But in the meantime, I hope you enjoy this photo that I snagged just outside the office one afternoon a few days ago. On a bittersweet note that matches the tone of my novel, I call the above image Goodbye or See You Soon

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Blue Shift and the Penguin Cometh

I created the above starburst in Adobe Photoshop CS5. It is made entirely of fill layers, filters and effects and does not utilize a photograph. Wish I could say I did it all on my own, but I actually relied on an easy to follow video tutorial from PhotoShop Gurus Forum. The tutorial was created by site member Apengo. However, I customized the finished image to include the blue shift. In Einstein-speak, a blue shift indicates the star is moving toward you.

And Here's the Penguin

I built this fella in Adobe Illustrator CS5. I say 'built' because I didn't really draw him. He's more an assembly of shapes and gradient patterns that have been carefully assembled in layers. Kinda makes me feel like Dr. Frankenstein...y'know if Frankenstein created a cartoon penguin.

Anyhoo, I made said penguin by following a tutorial created by designer Chris Spooner over at Blog.SpoonGraphics. Thank you very much Mr. Spooner. I spent about 4 hours on this guy, and about a third of that was spent trying to figure out the mesh gradient on the darn feet. Seriously though, this one was very fun and rewarding. Don't ya just wanna snuggle him?

Now for some seriously fun (and funny) comic creation, go explore the phantasmagorical world of Dead Duck.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

My Run for the 'Rose Red'

But first...

My thanks to prolific blogger Pillownaut for giving last week's post 'Humility' a nice influx of readers via social networking. Always nice when bloggers give one another a boost. 'Humility' is the second in what will hopefully be a series of pieces that combine original poetry and pictures of the cosmos. The first was 'Pilgrimage Vignette.'

Now for a fun review!

Fables: Rose Red (Vol. 15)Fables: Rose Red by Bill Willingham

Growing restless during the final days before National Novel Writing Month, I sought a diversion. And I found it, or rather her, reposing in a literary fortress that overlooks the town in which I reside. For many months, I have gazed longingly at Rose Red, ever since her Fables compilation appeared on the New Release shelf at my public library.

Breaking the spell of procrastination, I seized Ms. Red from yon stacks and carried her to the Circulation Desk. “No, Mrs. Librarian,” I said coolly, “I don’t need a printed due date slip. Kindly demagnetize Rose Red and I will be on my way.” Once back in my lair, I set to removing layer after layer of her
engrossing back story.

Richly illustrated and finely lettered, Rose Red was as entertaining as any graphic novel I’ve ever read…and not merely because Fables is a sexy universe. The coloring and composition were enchanting, especially in proverbial locales like the forest at night. Yet more importantly, over the course of some 200+ pages, the story kept me on edge.

Alas, our weekend together was not perfect. Rose Red’s participation in the larger storyline proved anti-climactic. That doesn’t mean the story was weak or underdeveloped, just her portion of it. Red, who first appeared on the scene burnt out, soon got her act together. But then a different impossibly beautiful heroine took center stage for the grand duel with evil.

Again, I’m not complaining about the larger storyline. It was a fantastic mix of gritty contemporary motifs and traditional fairytale magic. In short, it was Fables at its best. But, as I contemplate releasing Ms. Red from my vile clutches to retake her rightful place in the library stacks, I do wish her creators had made her central to the story’s magical showdown. Nevertheless, if you’ve read and relished previous Fables installments, don’t miss this one.

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