Friday 25 February 2011

Pic of the Week . . . Alena Lazareva . . .

A picture can speak a thousand words . . .

During my weekly searches for new and inspirational artists, I've often come across this one. As a writer I've often found myself imagining scenes to go with this picture, and ask myself the usual 'Why', 'What happened', 'What will happen'. . . etc . . .

Mermaids are great fantastical creatures, but I feel are slightly overdone and stereotypical. This is one reason why, despite my new novel being based around the mysteries of the sea, I've tried to steer clear of this particular path.

However, when you find them, there is some fantastic mermaid art out there. This piece, I feel, isn't as visually stunning as some that I've seen, but the very story the picture tells speaks a thousands words . . .

Friday 18 February 2011

Pic of the Week . . .

This week I'm going back to the faithful Nene Thomas . . . Still love her work.

'Pretty' by Nene Thomas

Tuesday 15 February 2011

Sci-Fi V's Fantasy . . .

I made a discovery last night. That discovery was the fact that I would never be able to write a piece of serious Sci-Fi.

I like Sci-fi, but I mainly stick to watching movies as opposed to reading books. Having mentally scanned through my book mountain, I don't actually recall owning anything in that genre. I have horror (lots of horror), thriller, drama, historical, romance, adventure and fantasy etc - but no Sci-fi. (note to self: read a Sci-Fi novel)

I used to believe that when writing, there was a fine line between fantasy and Sci-fi. They come part and parcel. When hunting for publishers and agents, amoung their lists of accepted genres is their list of unaccepted genres - usually including fantasy and Sci-Fi.

In my opinion the two genres are very similar in that the worlds they are based in is nine-times-out-of-ten completely fictional. They have fantastical characters and aliens, robots and mythical creatures, space ships and enchanted lands, scorcery and technology. However, one happens in space and one happens on land. That's the basic difference.

So why, coming from a person who has devoted the best part of their years to writing fantasy, will I not be able to write Sci-Fi?

The truth is . . . I don't have the brains!

A few people in our writers' circle write Sci-fi, and last night we gave critique to a short piece. And it was a good piece. It was well written, easy to follow, and descriptive enough for me to imagine where we were. Okay, there were a few points regarding characterisation etc, but nothing that couldn't be fixed.

Then they decided to delve deeper into the Science Fiction of the story - and I'm not kidding, I was lost. These people were talking about the laws of physics, what decay would be like in a world with no atmosphere, how the world would differ in sight because of the lack of atmosphere (there wouldn't be a blue sky, for starters. Its the atmosphere that makes that blue) etc. I was stunned. They were discussing the reasons why a world would be desolate, what could possibly have happened to kill the entire world off, and the natural events that would follow within the next million years. I didn't know any of this - didn't even have the foggiest clue as to what they were talking about half the time.

I couldn't help but sit in silence throughout most of it. I offered my part where I could, but I soon realised that writing Sci-Fi is so much different to writing fantasy. There are rules that need to be followed to make it sound plausible and possible, whereas with Fantasy we can just add mystical reasoning - 'it's like that because it is . . .'

Nope, I'm blonde, and when it comes to Sci-Fi, it shows.

Friday 11 February 2011

Pic of the Week . . . Elena Dudina

I've always been a bit of a traditionalist, and my taste in art has never been an exception - until today. I've always liked art that's been created with a paintbrush or some other means that has relied on manual talent.

In other words, I like artists who can draw, and not the type that relies on a computer to create their artistic masterpiece (despite the fact that some of these look pretty good - I don't deny that).
Then I discovered Elena Dudina.

Elena Dudina is what you call a 'photomanipulator'. I presume this means she takes photos and alters them to create her pieces. As soon as I saw her work I instantly fell in love, and decided that she just HAD to have a mention today.

Have a look and see what you think . . .

Tuesday 8 February 2011

Doodles of a Writer . . .

Well, after my discovery on Friday of Jason Chan and his fantastic piece, I decided to go home and attempt my own piece.

As dipicted in my new novel, the King of the Seas is a legendary creature that lurks beneath the waves, consisting of the torso of a man and the tenticles of an octopus (thought I was being original...meh!). This was what my imagination saw.

Anyway, as stated in my profile I'm also a bit talented with the grahite pencil. After some time of consideration, I've decided to put to use the 'Pages' feature on blogger and create a page purly for my art.

Say Hi to the new page 'Doodles of a Writer' . . .

It's a work in progress at the moment, and I am in the process of loading pictures. Stay tuned.

I do have to warn some people though about the nudity. I love drawing the human body - what can I say . . .


Friday 4 February 2011

Pic of the Week . . . Jason Chan . . .

Look at what I found!!!

During my search through artists, I found this piece, and to my surprise it matches one of my legendary characters in my new novel. He won't be in the novel in person, but his story is well known throughout, and when I imagined him, this is what he would have looked like. Here's the paragraph from my first chapter where the King of the Sea's is first mentioned. (Click here to read the whole piece again).

'The anchor continued to drag and then came up against a large boulder that it hooked on. The boulder leered back, its shape resembling the form of the King of the Seas, with the torso of a man and the tendrils of an octopus. The anchor gripped firm, refusing to let go, and the boulder rocked with the pressure. As the Captain continued to struggle at the helm above, the boulder gave and toppled on its side. The seabed stirred, sending a cloud of sand rising up into the whirling tides, and from beneath the boulder something emerged that resembled a large bubble. It cut through the dust cloud, ascending through the stormy waters and up towards the Scarlet Sail. '

Just goes to show that you can never create something truly

Love this art...


Jason Chan

Tuesday 1 February 2011

Exercise: I Suppose It Could Have Been Worse . . .

On Monday night we pulled out the ye-oh faithful word box. Inside is a collection of random sentences used to inspire. This is the consequence of the sentence I pulled out . . .

Exercise: I Suppose It Could Have Been Worse . . .

As the door to the partitioned gangway in front of the dungeon opened, the Duke of Dorset crawled from his dark, dank corner to see his visitor. "What happened? What went wrong?" he asked.

The man stumbled into caged gangway, helped by the forceful hand of the prison guard. "We tried, my Lord. The legions were in place. The attack went as planned, but there were just too many of them to fight."

"So you failed?" The Duke's words drowned in the sound of the barred door being slammed and locked in place behind his visitor.

The man cowered to the floor and dragged himself over to the bars. Clinging onto them, he pressed his regretful, grubby face through and searched for the Duke in the darkness. "It wasn't our fault. We were misinformed. The information provided by the Duke of Buckingham was wrong. We didn't expect there to be so many Yorks."

The Duke sighed with frustration and slumped back into the gloomy shadows. "So King Henry still reigns."

The man tightened his grip on the bars, pressing himself against them as if hoping that he could pass through. "But my lord, word has spread that King Henry is of ill health and that he won't be seeing the winter through."

"And what good is this news to me?" The Duke sprung from the shadows like a demon. The man in the gangway recoiled with fright as the Duke's hand reached out for him. "Your rescue attempt for me failed. Even if King Henry were to die of ill health, what good is that to me when I am still locked in here? What good?" The Duke's fingers gripped tighter around the bars, wishing they were the man's neck.

"Well," the man replied as he made himself comfortable on the gangway floor. "I suppose it could have been worse."

The Duke's face twisted with rage. "Really? Pray tell."

The man gave a shrug. "You're being beheaded tomorrow. At least with you gone I'll be released and free to live as I please without the fear of you."

The Duke raised a single eyebrow. . .