Sunday, March 31, 2013

No Will Hunting Sh*t!

On a recent podcast (Randomadness, refer to the link to the right) Tim and I were talking about how difficult it is to teach yourself how to draw at our age. We soon went from talking about that to ragging on our mutual friend who draws for fun. He is GOOD. Hell, he's excellent at drawing. That night was the first time I'd ever seen any of his work and I've known him for over a year. I knew that he sketched sometimes but I had no idea how talented he was. I was wowed.

The thing is, he doesn't draw much anymore. Last year I was looking for someone to draw a logo for my nerd group and I was kind of hoping he would offer but he said he wasn't feeling it much lately. That was last year. He still isn't feeling it. Others have also approached him about drawing a few things for websites and whatnot. He's hesitant.

I hope it isn't modesty that's keeping him away from the pad and pencil. The guy has mad skills. I kind of railed on him about it on that podcast too. Granted, I had a couple of mixed drinks in me but I think I yelled something along the lines of "TAKE THAT GOOD WILL HUNTING SH*T AND SHOVE IT UP YOUR A@$!"
Obviously, I meant that if you can draw well, you should. And often.

Now of all people I understand what it's like to be in a creative slump. I often bitch and moan about my writing and what a sadistic brat my muse is. I know how it feels to be busy and then when you finally have a minute, you sit down and... nothing. Not one good idea.
Another friend of mine complained to me about not getting a chance to write anymore because work keeps him busy. True, but he does have days off. See, you have to make time for your creative outlets. And when you do get a great idea for a sketch or a story, jot it down, wherever you are, in detail. The more detail the better you'll be able to recall that great idea later.

Having trouble coming up with ideas? Look to someone else's work. Now obviously I don't mean go copy someone else's idea. But I know that when I'm having a dry spell, sometimes reading a book from the same genre helps me get ideas. "Wow, that guy has serious OCD. Wait, what if I made that one character have an eating disorder? That would make it more interesting!" Maybe watching a movie or jogging or something helps you get those ideas flowing. Whatever it is that works for you, find it and latch on to it.

But like I said, art is one of those things that you just have to do. If you are talented in that area, go for it. Don't dawdle. Don't let modesty, apprehension or just plain fear keep you from putting your own original idea on paper. Creating commendable artwork is something that not anyone can do. And for those that have seen my deviantART account, that is quite apparent. We can't all be Picassos and Rembrandts.
So those of us that are, don't put it aside for other, more practical things. Will Hunting could have solved the national debt problem in two minutes but that bum ran off after a girl! 
Draw as much as you can while you can because you never know, one day a simple doodle could change the way someone sees the world. You could influence a president's way of thinking. You could bring about world peace!
Maybe not but hey, don't give up.

So, to my friend who I was kind of a jerk to: sorry but I just want to see you live the dream. You are talented enough to really do something with your art. I would be thrilled to see something of yours in a magazine or on a billboard. Hell, even a calendar would be pretty cool. So whatever you have to do to get those creative juices flowing again, do it and do it now!
Forget Will Hunting. He was an idiot. But if you take time from your busy schedule to do what you love, you can have your cake and eat it to. How do you like them apples?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I finally finished reading the PREACHER graphic novels. Oh, man!
It was a wild and crazy ride. Don't let the title fool you, this is not something the good Christians of any land would praise. It takes pretty much every kind of sick, twisted person that there is in this world and throws them all together in one long tale of heroism and revenge. 

But not every character has mental issues or physical deformities. Our hero, Jesse Custer, has turned out pretty well considering his violent past. Until a being from Heaven merges with his soul and blesses him with a God-like power. Afterwards, when he uses "The Word" on people, they are compelled to do whatever he says. But unlike your everyday Joe who would shout "Cool!" and go wreak havoc on the world, Jesse, ever philosophical, wants answers.
What exactly is this being? Where did it come from? Why did it choose him? Where the heck is God?

The drinking, smoking preacher soon becomes a modern day gunslinger in his quest for the answers. And the drinking and smoking do continue so there are a lot of fun bar scenes. Along the way he meets up with an old flame, Tulip, who isn't so bad with a gun herself. They rekindle their sparks into a bonfire of passion once more. And they make friends with an Irish guy named Cassidy. Who also happens to be a vampire.
Sounds pretty interesting huh? Oh, it only gets better.

I won't ruin the ending for anyone but some people get dead and some justice gets served, he he.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story from beginning to end. The love story tangled up in there is just beautiful. And Jesse is truly the ideal man. He has the moral integrity of a knight or, as he would say, a cowboy. Which would usually make for boring reading but he is only human after all and he does make some serious mistakes. Plus he has no trouble killing those that he deems evil.

If you like FABLES, THE WALKING DEAD, WATCHMEN, etc, then you should definitely read PREACHER. You'll still be thinking about it days afterward. I know I am.

Monday, March 25, 2013

LEGO Red October

So here's the deal.
A couple of friends of mine decided they were going to create a scale model of the Red October submarine using Legos. The entire thing sounds weird, mostly because I didn't think of it first! I wish I had gotten in on this, I love Legos.

Anywho, the completed model should be almost thirteen feet long and have a crew of one hundred and sixty little figures. Complete with a Sean Connery looking guy! They are going to need thousands of Legos to complete this and once it is finished, they plan on auctioning it off. All proceeds will be donated to ST. JUDE'S CHILDREN'S RESEARCH HOSPITAL.
That's right, Lego fun for a good cause.

If you want to help this worthy endeavor, please donate Legos. They can be new or used, it doesn't matter. So search your couch cushions people! Scan the bottom of your kids toy box! For more information please visit
There is also a Youtube page where they will be posting updates on the project:

I donated Legos, you can too! Help the children! Help the reasearchers who may one day cure cancer! Let's make a Lego submarine!

Friday, March 22, 2013


I've read a handful of graphic novels over the years but last year a friend of mine introduced me to some series that I have really come to love. Today I want to talk about the one that touches my inner child: FABLES.

This series is basically about what every day life would be like for fairy tale characters if they were forced to move to our modern world. They call themselves Fables and they live on Bullfinch Street in New York City in a section they call Fabletown. Unless they are talking animals or make-believe creatures that can't fit in with modern society. Then they are shipped off to The Farm in upstate New York.
Why are they here? Because they were forced from their worlds by The Adversary, a mysterious tyrant who's armies sweep through every fairy tale world and who's identity isn't revealed until later on.

Some of the main charcters are great. They have the Big Bad Wolf, aka Bigby who is now usually seen in human form. There's the ever serious Snow White and her mischevious sister, Rose Red. Other characters include King Cole, Jack Horner, the Three Blind Mice, the Frog Prince, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Prince Charming, Aladdin, Mowgli, Pinnochio, etc. Other main characters are obviously there for you to despise, and despise I do!
I really love how they throw in obscure fairy tale characters sometimes. King Thrushbeard appears a few times and if you have no idea who that is, it's okay, none of my friends who read the series did either. But I knew the name immediately. He has his own short story told by the Grimm Brothers after all. And I adore me some Grimm tales.
There's also the interesting idea that many of the Fables believe: that your popularity with the humans directly affects your mortality. All Fables are immortal in the sense that they don't age and die, apparently. Or is it that they do age but super, super slow? Anyway, whenever someone is fatally injured and they miraculously survive, they believe it has to do with how popular their tale is with the "mundies", as they call us.

The stories themselves are marvelous. They are much like the old fairy tales before Disney and Studio Ghibli got a hold of them and PC'd the hell out of them. There is violence, mystery, romance, backstabbing, unlikely heroes, plot twists, gruesome murders, and more often than not, justice. Everything a good story should have, in my opinion.
I don't want to give too much away but eventually we do find out just who this mysterious Adversary is and that there are plans in motion to "take out" Fabletown. And there is an unexpected romance that I kind of saw a mile away but gushed over just the same.

I've only read the first fifteen volumes but I just can't wait to get my hands on what else is out so far. Then I will be impatiently waiting for new volumes to come out, like I do with many book or manga series that I follow. This will be my first time doing it with a graphic novel series though. The suspense, the suspense!
I highly recommend FABLES to anyone who enjoyed the Inheritance series, The Hunger Games trilogy, or anyone who just loves fairy tales from all over the world. The art is amazing, the dialogue engaging and the story itself, addictive.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Fill In The Blanks

When I get a great story idea, I have a tendency to right it down in a rush before I forget it. I'm very forgetful and the best ideas always come to me at the worst times: right before I fall asleep, in the shower, when I'm driving. So I have to try to remember everything so I can get all the 'greatness' down quickly before it's gone. Because my memory is that wonderful.

I've written entire chapters this way. I throw down what happens with who and where. I slap in the dialogue as it comes to me. I might even chunk in a few clever pop culture references here and there. Then I move on. There is a great and terrible flaw with this method: the story sucks.

Anyone can just tell what happened to some characters. It's all about how you tell it. I'm in such a hurry to get it all down before it's gone that when you read it, you don't get a feel for the characters and situations like you need to. It's too rushed. I'm one of those authors that when it comes time to go back and edit the first draft, I have to add entire pages, even chapters. Not much cutting out extra crap for me, no sir. I need MORE.

So when I go back and reread the mess I've written, I have to ask myself some important questions:
1. What was this character thinking or feeling?
2. Is this relevant to the story itself and does it give insight to a character/situation?
3. Do I explain the situation clearly?
4. Why do we care?

These may seem like pretty obvious things to have in your writing, kind of 'duh' questions. The thing is, when a writer reads their story, they have an intimate knowledge of their characters, setting, and story line. It's all in their head so it's easy to assume that they explained themselves well enough. Not always so.

I have a tendency to tell what my characters are thinking. I like getting the reader in their heads. But I often forget to describe how they feel. Are they angry, sad, confused, delighted? Forgetting these details makes for crap writing because feelings and emotions affect every action and thought. Rage may be the entire reason the man slits his friend's throat. Joy may cause the woman to express her love for someone. Clearly expressing a characters emotions is vital to a story.

The second question just asks if this scene or chapter has an action or event that affects the story line or if it is merely there to help a reader relate to a specific character or setting. I've read books where entire chapters are dedicated to describing how a town looks or the layout of a bedroom. I've read books with pages and pages of details about a certain character down to every article of clothing and flaw on thier skin. Definitely not how I roll but you get the idea. You need to be clear about what you're trying to say and why so you won't start talking in circles, or writing in circles, whichever.

This rolls right into the next question about explaining things clearly. Remember to step out of your head and look at the story from the reader's POV. Does your wording make sense? Are you jumping around from person to person or scene to scene too quickly for the reader to be able to keep up? Maybe, like me, excessive scenery detail isn't your thing but how about we make sure that someone doesn't fall into a dumpster that wasn't there five minutes ago, okay?

And the last question which is the most important. Why do we care? I can't get into a story, no matter how interesting the situation, if I don't like any of the characters at all. I love putting some characters in my stories that are very unrelatable because sometimes you just need someone that you love to hate. It makes for fun times. But you've got to be able to relate to somebody on some level at one point. If the characters are all little clones that have no depth, who cares what happens to them?
This is the question that ties all of the others together. If I don't know what the hell is going on half the time, why would I care to continue reading? If I have no idea what the characters are thinking or feeling and therefore no insight as to why they do what they do and say what they say, what do I care if one moves away suddenly? If they don't have human qualities like depression or worry about bills or issues with their siblings, why would it bother me if you killed one off?
Because let's face it folks, it's all about drawing the reader in and keeping them there. I'd much rather have a reader say "This is trash!" because something offended them or their favorite character did something horrible than have them put the book aside because it bored them to death and they just didn't get the characters. 

If only I could take my time when I write everything out the first time. But life just isn't that simple and creativity comes and goes as it pleases. Not to mention my muse is a sadistic little thing who loves to watch me suffer before flitting away to hide for weeks and months on end. The little...

So, this is my painstakingly long process that probably needs improving but I thought I'd share just in case it helps another fellow novice writer out there. So there you go, some nuggets of wisdom from the chick who has only published a short erotica. He he.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Mirror of Aberrantine

The Mirror of Aberrantine is an e-book that a friend of mine wrote and had published last year. It's one of those epic fantasies that will sweep you away from reality and into a world of magic, mystery and peril. Hmm, that sounds a bit cliché and yet that's how I felt when I read it. Swept away. 

Our story takes place in the Kingdom of Elordus where an ongoing war between their kingdom and the magical Aurorans has raged for decades.
There are three main characters that we follow on their journeys: Arcadius, Virilian and Lovinia.
Arcadius is an exiled Watchman; a soldier who uses magic with his mind.
Virilian is a young teenager from a town called Far Reaches. He once lived with his grandfather but after his death, Arcadius finds him and discovers that he is an empath like himself. A more powerful empath than any Arcadius has ever encountered but untrained, with no control over his powers.
Lovinia, the daughter of a miner's prefect, was once a girl who spent her days tending her mother's garden. But when her father finds a mysterious mirror that drives him mad enough to kill his wife, Lovinia is forced to kill him in self defense and flee. She must find someone who can destroy the mirror at any cost.

We soon discover that the mirror is an ancient artifact that can control the minds of those around it for it's own purposes. Can it be destroyed before the powerful Aurorans get their hands on it? What will become of Virilian and what makes him so powerful?

This book is actually the first in a trilogy called The Swords of Elordus. I am so ready to read the rest of the story! The characters are flawed and easy to relate to. The world itself is a rough yet beautiful place with exotic locales and dangerous bandits. And the story draws you in immediately with action and mystery and makes it nigh impossible to stop reading at each chapter break. Yes, I said nigh impossible. Don't hate.

I recommend this to those who love a good fantasy where the good guys have to make hard decisions that seem right at the time but may haunt them for years. This isn't a happy hobbit story folks. Bad things happen to good people and the heroes and heroines might end up being the cause of said things. But a light shines at the end of our tunnel and our heroes are ever reaching for it with hope in their hearts. Will they reach it?


Saturday, March 16, 2013

My Little Pony Doodling

Okay, I'll admit it. I thought I would hate it at first but I watched it and I really like the new My Little Ponies series: Friendship is Magic. So much so that I taught myself how to draw the ponies. Now when I'm bored and need a smile, I get the kids and we draw some ponies. Sometimes I post them on FB or deviantART since they are a quick and easy draw so I just post them to see if they get any views. There are a lot of MLP fans out there.

Since I'm still teaching myself how to draw and I haven't really developed my own style yet, I'm just kind of copying what I see. I like copying cartoons and anime the most. I remember when I was in fifth grade, I copied a drawing of Sonic the Hedgehog off of a game casing. I practiced drawing Sonic all the time and I soon became pretty decent at drawing him standing, running, sitting, and of course, talking smack. It wasn't bad for a ten year old. (If I do say so myself!)

Unfortunately, these days, drawing is more of a rushed thing. If I start something, I only have so much time to finish it before it gets put away and left for weeks or months. And then I lose interest and rarely ever finish it. I have so much going on with the kids and my other projects that drawing is kind of on the back burner. My ADD doesn't help.
So since I spend very little time on each sketch, they never turn out as well as I'd like. Maybe one day I'll take a class or something. Until then, it's just doodling. And what's wrong with that when the result is adorable ponies?

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Hello everyone!
I wanted to take this time to promote my friend's, Timothy Ruyevcan, podcast, RANDOMADNESS. The web address is .
He does live podcasts once a week and sometimes I make a guest appearance. You'll recognize me, I'm the loud mouthed chick who they like to refer to as ta-tas.

The subjects are just as the title suggests: very random. But we are rather nerdy gamers so usually discussions involve movies, games, anime and pop culture. And, of course, that one mysterious thing that all men love to discuss - females!

It does contain foul language and adult themes but we just shoot the crap and enjoy each other's company. So check out the website and listen to a few recordings to see if you find our discussions as amusing as we do. We love to laugh and if you do too, I hope you'll become a regular listener!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hello World!

This blog was once on but I've decided to move here. No offense, Webs, I have no real complaints. I just like Blogspot better. 
My blog consists of random book reviews, bitching about life in general, writing updates and maybe cute cat pics. You with me so far?

So for those of you who have followed my old blog, thanks for reading, my faithful friends! Now as a token of your undying devotion, give me your firstborn...
If you're new to my blog, be prepared for all sorts of random. I'm really into movies, books, anime, writing, art, games and well, most things nerdy. Let's have some fun!