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Sunday, October 22, 2017

What's Next?

22 OCT 17

So I'm done with the Ice Pirates story, it's released out into the wild. And we'll see how sales go. I hope it does well. I'm concerned about the cover a little bit. Should I have gone with something different? Something more professional? I do like supporting artists. In fact, I have another cover being completed, one that my daughter and a friend of hers created. I may go with that. I also have plans to do small interior illustrations for all of my stories. 


So what's next? Well, for starters, I went running again and came up with another great story idea. I really need to keep up this running inspiration thing! It's an idea (about the name and properties) regarding the ocean between the Old World and the New Lands.

Once I process this new idea, I'm going to go back sketching out some other ideas, and maybe do some actual sketching as well. I have another story that is ready for release as well. Will probably happen by the end of the year. 

Other author things done today. I got messages from a fan of Pirates & Demons! She said it was really good and was waiting for more to come. Amazing to hear from someone who liked my work. I also updated my Goodreads author page, checked for messages, created a post for this blog, and created an author Facebook page.

Well, that's all for now. Picture for today is one I shot a while ago, Halloween-themed. May your days be long and good upon this earth.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Glitter Zombie Apocalypse & Other Stuff

13 OCT 17
Happy Friday the 13th! 

If you're looking for adventure and danger, go and buy my new short story, Pirates & Demons. It's less than a dollar and you will have a great fantasy read. Here's the link:

Pirates & Demons: Eye of Dog

It's even a great story for Halloween! Has enough of a spooky element to get you in the mood for trick-or-treating!

Okay, now that I've mentioned my new short story (and feel free to order any anthology that has stories of mine in it) let's talk about other things, like the Glitter Zombie Apocalypse Ball at Artscape in Downtown Shreveport I went to. It was a lot of fun! Here are some pictures from the event. I would have more to show, but I am a little picky about which ones I end up using. On the plus side, I have other pictures from the same night to share as well.

 Love this picture! It screams Halloween to me. 

Now these crack me up. I call them the Three Stooge Hecklers. "Hey, you live guy down there! Yeah you! Can you toss my leg back up here before the dog goes and buries it?"
 
 This is a nice night cityscape picture from downtown Shreveport. I like this one a lot, reminds me a bit of some of the city scenes from Blade Runner. I'm going to see if I can play with this one and get some more color in it. 

Here are some more from the Artscape party. 

  These last two purple pictures are from the Confederate Memorial in Downtown Shreveport. The color is intentional. I think it is supposed to be pink for Breast Cancer Awareness, but it was a pretty solid purple color. Anyways, just to make sure no one gets the wrong idea, I am not endorsing the Confederate States of America or anything. Just wanted to get some cool color-filled photos of the monument before anything happens to them. I see both sides of the argument and think that while the statues should not be destroyed, they should be moved to a place of lesser prominence. The grounds of a museum perhaps.



I love how the lighter shade on the busts and statue makes it look like they are ghosts or some other spectral creature. Perfect for Halloween.

DON'T forget to purchase my short story! It's also free to read on Kindles right now I think.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Pirates & Demons!

12 OCT 17
I just hit submit and uploaded the cover and document files to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) for the Ice Pirates story, now titled

Pirates & Demons: Eye of Dog

Amazon says it may take up to 72 hours before it hits the market and boy am I already going stir crazy waiting for it to drop!!!!!

The short story features a cover drawn by Felicity Swan: 


The cover depicts a key moment in the story when the captain and crew face off against one of their own, who has been possessed by a demon from legend! Felicity read a portion of the story and captured it well. Easy to work with, she produced the artwork by the deadline and created great areas for the title and my name at the bottom! Thanks Felicity! If you look closely, you can see her signature at the bottom right corner. 

The whole process of KDP was pretty easy. From start to finish it took only a few hours to complete the whole process, and that includes going back in and creating chapters and chapter titles.

Pirates & Demons fits into my fantasy world at a time when the New Lands are being settled and explored. Sort of like the wild frontier days in the United States before, during and after the thirteen colonies as various countries explored the New World. People are making the ocean voyage hoping to start fresh in the New Lands. But there are dangers everywhere, even on the trip to get there! The story will appeal to lovers of fantasy, sea stories and exploration. Here is the description: 

Pulp Fiction for the Fantasy crowd!

A quiet day during a long ocean voyage turns into a deadly chase as pirate ships appear on the horizon. Passengers and crew band together in a desperate attempt to save their ship from the dreaded Ice Pirates. But all is not as it seems as pirates aren’t the only danger on the high seas, and one of the passengers hides a dangerous secret. 


I am so excited to finally have a short story released directly to the public. Who doesn't like pirates and demons? I have sold several short stories to various anthologies and ready to move on to bigger and better things. I have been working on and off on a long trilogy, but I love short stories and I have many more short stories in me before those book length tales gets published. In fact, I am currently waiting on a fall story to be republished, a collection to be released that will contain five stories of mine as well as other authors' stories, including several by my wife, AND another story is still out there sitting with a publisher waiting to be released. 

Picture for today: My sketch of what I was thinking for the cover. It's not complete, but it is supposed to show a lightning strike on the deck of the ship, with crew and passengers nearby. One day I may get someone to draw a complete version of this for an updated cover. 



Well, that's all for today. Feeling pretty accomplished! 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Walking Dead, Halloween, and Running Inspiration

01 OCT 17 What would Halloween be like in a world full of death and desperation like The Walking Dead? Would people still want to celebrate? Would the traditions of Halloween mean more or less if loved ones could come back, albeit as brainless flesh-eating monsters? What would the costumes look like? These are the types of questions that keep authors up at night. 

My personal take on it, which I may work into a story sometime in the future, is that, much like Halloween today is an amalgam of superstitions and traditions from around the world, the future in a post-apocalyptic world with real dead walking around would see a mixing of old traditions and new. Sort of like El Dia De Los Muertos with a side of 'let's do things that keep them rested and in the ground'. Maybe a group of people figure out a way to keep restless spirits 'resting' and these practices spread around the world as an annual holiday tradition with some purpose. I could see dressing as outlandish dead, putting some sort of gifts on graves, to bribe the bodies to stay underground. Maybe too when people die, teeth are automatically removed when possible. That way there is no worry about getting bit. Who know. Still have much to think on this idea. Some of the stories I plan on telling will be set in a world where death is not absolute.

I had a great idea while I was running today (which means I'm limping now lol)! Those endorphins 'jogged' something loose in my brain. Can't really reveal the idea though, it's still in its infancy, but it has to do with one of my main characters, his relationship to the dwarves, and dwarven culture in general. It will help define both the dwarves and my main character quite a bit, making them more unique in my world. Looking forward to writing again. I have to go running more often, see what other ideas spring forth!  

Three pictures for today. Two of them are mine, one is from the mighty Internet. The first is a black and white pic, a root that looks like a 3. I like taking the occasional black and white. Some things just look better like that. The other one that is mine is a Dia de Los Muertos gato (or Halloween Day of the Dead Cat, as my daughter said)! Bought it and it will go on the Christmas tree this year. The last pic, not mine, is a cat with a hat! 






Monday, September 4, 2017

What Next? Artist Wanted

04 SEP 17 
Almost done with the Ice Pirates story. Looking for a cover artist now. Tried one company (Illumination Cover Designs) , nothing wrong with them at all, but I don't want a cover done with stock images. I want something simple. Below is my request...

All right all you artists out there. Creativity time! I'm looking for a cover for a short story that will be available electronically only. No print. I'm willing to pay, not sure how much, somewhere between 20-40 dollars. It's only a short story, so I won't make much on sales of the story itself. Story is a sea tale involving pirates and demons. Sea Dog is the nickname of a sailor. The story can be sent to you if you want to read the whole thing. I would like the cover to be based on one of the following excerpts from the story:

**************

It wasn’t Sea Dog anymore. There was a hellish fire coming from his eye sockets, flaming droplets a darker red than the setting sun hit the deck at his feet and caused small smolders of smoke. Whatever it was looked like Sea Dog, but it was not him. It was sweating all over, chest heaving in and out. The thing in his shape was intense evil, angry and hating everything in the world.

One look and Riley believed demons were real.

***
Or this piece:

A bolt of lightning cracked right onto the deck, blinding all who were watching. A split second later the blast of thunder knocked everyone down. Ears rang and spots danced before eyes. A deranged laughter was heard as the ringing subsided. Sea Dog was on his hands and knees, his back arching up and down. He bounced back up, shaking, laughing insanely. What was left of his peppered hair smoked. Drops of fire continued to fall down his face. He looked at Nevin with those fearsome eyes and advanced.

I was thinking maybe a large bolt of lightning coming from top center to a figure below, harsh contrast off of the light from the bolt itself showing people on a wooden deck shielding their eyes.

Or... just a pair of eye sockets, empty save for dancing flames and dripping fiery droplets.

Or...come up with your own idea! In general I would like a simple layout so that it can be recognizable at different sizes, to look good online.

Post any replies here and I'll decide. Bonus points for having it in the correct cover dimensions for Kindle Direct Publishing (and no, I don't know what those are!).

Good luck!!!!

Picture for today...A Mexican Propaganda poster from WWII! Very interesting piece of unknown history, at least to me!




Monday, August 21, 2017

Magnolia

21 AUG 17
Not a long post today. Just a few pictures of a Magnolia blossom. One might end up as a book cover someday.





These blossoms look like they could be used as a small faerie house!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Photos - Black and White

05 AUG 17 Happy Saturday to all! Here are a few pictures I took recently that came out all right, at least in my opinion. :) This set was taken this summer, in a backyard up in the Northern Midwest. Just a bunch of old cars, usually covered in snow during the winter. More can be found over at DeviantArt, just search for Montellano or click on the link below: 

Montellano's artwork on DeviantArt

Here is a tail light from an old old car. So simple when compared to today's vehicles!


Some stuff just looks better in black and white.




I have no idea why there are two gas pumps in the backyard, but it reminded me
of old times with my dad at a gas station when I was a kid.

 The focus on this picture is over to the right, on the steering wheel. If I get some more time to play with the original, I may leave color through the windshield to highlight the tree growing there.



This poor car has most of the front end off at an angle!

To finish off this set, a picture of color. One of the flowers growing around the old cars. A bright pop of light purple.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures, wherever in the world you are. 

Writing: I hope to do some more writing today as well. The story about the Ice Pirates has been read by two wonderful people, and I have incorporated feedback from one of them, going to look at the other's comments and hopefully throw a final edit on it tomorrow and call it done. It will probably top out just at 10K. There was a recent call for stories with pirates and or thieves in them that I could have submit the story to (Thanks Dave for finding that!), but it turned out I had to be an Aussie to submit (I've been there, does that count?) and the story length was capped at 5K. So no luck! Will keep looking though.