Friday 29 July 2011

Pic of the Week . . . Lauren K. Cannon

This week I'd like to introduce to you Lauren K. Cannon. She was born in New Jersey, USA in 1986 and is fascinated with the strange, the macarbre and the beautiful.

Her work is just amazing. I love the eye of this piece. There's something mellow yet haunting about it, and I think this chance discovery is worth more than gold. Check out the website of Lauren K. Cannon to see more of her work.

Have a great weekend and enjoy!

'Her Wound'

Tuesday 26 July 2011

Vamp Lit and I . . .

Routing through some of my old writing, I come across one of my old novels written in 2001 and couldn't help but smile. It is a typical, cheesy vampire story called 'Undying Love'. Back then I was doing a lot of work for the youth group of a local amateur theatre, and we come up with the great idea of making a film.

Of course this had to be a vampire flick.

So I come up with the story line and script, we cast our movie, knew the right people with the cameras and editing equipment, lights, music, etc, and we filmed it. It was, basically, one of the best times of my life. I loved making this film and we had so much fun.

So after it was made, I decided to rewrite the thing as a novel. It's the usual vampire falls for girl, vampire friend kills girl, vampire vows revenge etc.

I don't think I'll ever write Vamp Lit again. I used to love anything vampire, but when it came to films I was fussy. I like classy vampires, and I think it's really hard to make a classy vampire flick without it being cheesy. 'Interview with a Vampire' wins hands down for me. And the books are just as good. I love Anne Rice. She's one of my favourite authors (and her son, Christopher Rice, isn't too bad either), but now a piece of Vamp Lit would have to be something really special for me to pick it up.

But at least I can say I tried it, I wrote it, but it wasn't for me. Yep, the manuscript, 'Undying Love' is one for storage.

Friday 22 July 2011

Pic of the Week . . . Trockn

I was going to give John Picacio a mention today (he is worthy, and it's a shame not to give him a mention. Check out his website. You won't be disappointed) but then I saw this piece and just fell in love with it. There's something about it and it just purrs at me . . . and no I'm not making cute lion noises.

The artist is a guy from Deviant Art called Trockn. He does a great scenery piece too which I liked, but for now, let's just concentrate on 'The Beyond Of Mystery'.

Have a grand weekend and enjoy!

Sunday 17 July 2011

Last Week's Pic of the Week . . . Michael Whelan

My apologies for the lateness of the blog. It's a fact among us all that family comes first.

Fellow blogger Michael Offutt asked in a comment if I was aware of artist Michael Whelan, and what I thought about his work. For those who don't know, Michael Whelan is a fantasy and sci-fi artist, and his works fit in wonderfully well with Pic of the Week.

By name, I hadn't heard of him. I had no idea who Michael Whelan was. Curious, I had to Google him . . . and was surprised. I knew his work. He illustrated two of the Dark Tower Books; the first 'The Gunslinger', and the last 'The Dark Tower'. I remember when reading, I had to flick through and look at the art, and thought that out of all the books (minus the first three as they were paperback and weren't illustrated) The Dark Tower was the best.

So this week's - sorry, last week's - Pic of the Week is dedicated to Michael Whelan with his depiction of Stephen King's 'Crimson King'.

Thank you Michael Offutt for pointing him out to me.


Tuesday 12 July 2011

To Write Or Not To Write . . . That Is The Question

Well, I want to write. I really do. But every time I open my WIP the words don't want to come. I don't know why. Is it writer's block? Or is it just my lazy streak being allowed more rein than usual?

I've been reading a lot of blogs just recently, as well as talking to fellow writer buddies, and they're saying the exact the same. They're going through a lull and their words just aren't flowing. Why not? Is there something in the air? Is there some conspiracy to stop writers writing? Maybe the Internet is getting so flooded with ebooks, 'they' (you know, thems) have decided to take drastic action to slow us down . . . or maybe it's just because Summer is here and people would rather spend their evenings out in the garden as opposed to cooped up at their work space.

Hmm . . . I know which theory I'd go for ;D

Or is it writer's block? I've gone from someone who couldn't put a pen down, to someone who can't be bothered to pick it up. My zessed for my WIP is still there, flowing strong. I dream and plot about it while laying in bed at night (oh, the words seem to flow without a problem then . . . grrr); I visualise my characters as if they're real people; I put them in other situations to see what they would do, hoping to get to know them better and get a feel of how their minds work.

And as usual, I'm thinking about the next installation in my world. I'm plotting, planning, visualising, building and creating . . . but I'm not writing. I'm so excited about my work that it confuses me why I'm having difficulties just sitting down and doing the deed.

Maybe I've just allowed myself to get too slack. One blog mentioned that once you get out of the habit of writing, it's hard to get back into it. Maybe that's what my problem is. I need to be more strict! I need assert my authority over myself, and tell myself that I'm not leaving this desk until I've written so many hundred/thousand words. Maybe I need to be taken and shackled to the whipping post outside my house and whipped back into shape . . . (gasp! maybe that's a bit too kinky)

Either that or can somebody please track 'thems' down and tell them to stop putting stuff in the air that prevents people from writing! Thank you!

Friday 8 July 2011

Pic of the Week . . . Edgar Mueller

I've been a bit busy today, and I blame my car for today's post being late. It's off the road at the moment, but we have a wonderful friend who is in the process of giving it some tender loving care. Anyway, because I've been busy, I haven't been able to give much thought into this week's Pic of the Week. Then, reading Michael Offutt's blog, my mind was made up for me.

He used a picture on his post by Street Artist Edgar Mueller. I think he's an extremely talented artist, not just for his ability with a bit of chalk, but for the ability to get his angles spot on when looking from a specific direction. He drawers on pavements and elongates the image so that when you stand in front of it, it looks in proportion and almost 3D. Here's an example.

I couldn't find a direct website for this guy, so instead, here's a link to the website where I found these. Having said that, you could always Google Edgar Mueller and check out the images...

Enjoy and have a good weekend!

Tuesday 5 July 2011

Killing Off Characters . . .

We've recently lost a family member . . . as well as a highly valued blog follower . . . and yesterday we attended his funeral and gave him a good send off (why is it, when you concentrate really hard on not crying, you end up blubbering all over the place twice as bad? Good job my sister came equipped with a pack of tissues).

I didn't realise how big the family had grown. He left a grand total of 18 grandchildren. Some of these stood up at the funeral and read their own pieces in honour of his memory. That was the hardest part to listen to and watch when you're trying not to cry, but it was nice.

This got me thinking about death in writing. It's true what they say. You have to really hate the characters you write about. It's the hardest thing to recover from when you lose someone close to you, so why do we willingly put our characters through such pain? Why do we create someone for our protagonist to love and then cruelly rip them away - and sometimes, depending on the genre, in the most gruesome fashion?

I've created many characters who've had their lives shattered by the death of a loved one. I'd hate to meet them in person. God knows what fate they'd bestow upon me. But no matter how hard the subject is in real life, people still like reading about it in fiction.

It's called life. People can relate to it, and you can easily connect with readers using powerful, evocative emotions. By reading about a fictional death can make them realise how lucky they are to have the people they love in their lives - and make them remember those who have gone with a smile.

But I write fantasy and horror. I doubt whether some of my deaths will bring a smile to their face . . . lol . . . And I am, despite writing a piece at the moment, planning and conjuring the idea for my next manuscript which involves an assassin and, needless to say, lots of death. So I must be one wicked person . . .

Friday 1 July 2011

Pic of the Week . . . Marvel-lous Characters . . .

This week - a little different - I've decided to approach the art of Marvel Comics. I've never really got into comics, but I don't disagree that some of the art work that goes into it is fantastic.

I've recently been asked to design a tattoo for a friend involving four Marvel X-Men characters; Wolverine, Storm, Beast and Gambit. Because of the first X-men film and the children's cartoon (from what I remember of it) I'm familiar with the first three, but Gambit is a little shady to me. Anyway, my friend showed me some pictures that he wouldn't mind being Incorporated into his tattoo, and so I've been playing with photoshop and put together a quick mock of what I intend to draw. (In case you're wondering, and in case you can see, the pixel quality of Wolverine is awful, and his arms have been stolen from another picture . . . :D)

During my search into these characters, I did come across one piece that caught my eye. The piece conveys the romance between Rogue and Gambit, as well as incorporating their powers. As you can see, Rogue is reaching up with her hand, her glove being dropped behind her, knowing that when she touches Gambit she's going to drain his powers. Gambit, however, has his cards and displays what ever powers he possesses. (If someone knows more than me and can fill in the blanks here, I'd appreciate it).

Anyway, have a good weekend and enjoy!