Achievement Unlocked: Art

I have a short list in Evernote titled “Unofficial Goals Indicating I Have Arrived :D”. There are only a few entries, formatted as a checklist, of cultural ripples I have observed around successful stories.

I keep the list a secret, because I don’t want to influence the process. I want to see the organic ripples — I want a reader to tweet my title on #FridayReads because she was enthusiastic about the book, not because a friend did it just to make me feel good. Only once an achievement has been unlocked do I allow myself to share that it was ever a goal. (Yep, a #FridayReads appearance was one!)

And today I can check off another. Fan art. Continue reading

CLAMP and CLUTCH: the art

In Con Job, Jacob and Samantha discover a gorgeous costume, based on a design by the famous artists CLUTCH. This is an unashamedly blatant reference to the famous creators CLAMP.

CLAMP is a Japanese art group knows for their characters’ distinctive elongated style and ridiculously detailed, impractical-but-drool-worthy fashions. It’s a sure bet that CLAMP art will feature ruffles, buckles, feathered wings, or all three. Also, there’s a good chance of a one-eyed character.

Watanuki, from xxxHolic, by CLAMPIt’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye; then it’s CLAMP.

— common joke among fans


Continue reading

The Greatest Show You’ve Never Seen: Remember WENN

Remember WENN

Remember WENN (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The best television series you’ve never heard of is Remember WENN.

Remember WENN holds an odd place in television history. Continue reading

Tuesday Teaser: Con Job

English: Saying grace before carving the turke...

A much more civilized family dinner…. Saying grace before carving the turkey at Thanksgiving dinner in the home of Earle Landis in Neffsville, Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just for fun today, here’s a snippet from a suspect interview, from Con Job.

“So you had nothing against her?”

“Well, this is probably stupid to say while her murder’s being investigated, but I can’t honestly say that. She wasn’t a nice person. I’d rather stick a fork in my ear than spend another Thanksgiving with her. But it’s a lot easier for me to just skip Thanksgiving than to kill her.”

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Rob Paulsen and Con Job

Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen (Photo credit: edwick)

So I’m wrapping up Con Job, a murder mystery which takes place at a fan convention which is populated by the usual assortment of fans and guests: cosplayers, actors, writers, trivia nerds, fanfic enthusiasts, photographers, collectors, executives (from a cocky corporation with the ridiculous name of MEGAN!ME) and more. It has a lot of editing yet to go, because drafts are to books as crops and live poultry are to Thanksgiving dinner, but it’s coming along.

In the scene below, three guys are talking show business, and a voice actor drops the name of one of my own favorites, Rob Paulsen. I tweeted, just in case he’d see it, because it really was meant as an honor. Continue reading

The Ragged Edge: The 10k Goal

grasp_hand_small_redder

(Photo credit: dsearls)

So to review, I noticed late last year that I had a really great year running, with over 9,000 books in paid sales. I did some very simple projections and realized that I might just break 10,000 paid sales by the end of 2013. So I announced on Facebook that if the magic number were reached, I’d release a free unpublished short story for my readers.

As we drew nearer to the deadline, I formalized the promise and sweetened the pot with another short story.

So, did we make it? Continue reading

Protected: “Teaching Seahorses” — a rewarding read

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Con Job: “Hello, my name is Laura”

Cover of "American Gods: A Novel"

American Gods:

What do you do with that cosplay idea you’ve had forever and you know you’ll probably never actually use? Write it into the novel you’re working on. Continue reading

The Joys of Research – Truth or Dare

Party 1950s Style

(Photo credit: NinaZed)

Being a writer means you get to look up all kinds of wacky stuff and pretend it’s valid work.

While researching for a story, I learned that the party game we call “Truth or Dare” is actually centuries old even in its current form. In fact, per some sources, it might be literally ancient, tracing back to ancient Greece.

Which just goes to show that people have been shameless and fearless — or drunk — for a really long time.

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Kitsune-bi and Kitsune no Yomeiri – foxfire and fox wedding

In a Western forest, when you see lights drifting over your path and beckoning into darkness, you might call them a will-o’-the-wisp. And you should know better than to follow them. Continue reading