Equus Battle Royale: Fight!

Equus Battle Royale with horse silhouettesIT HAS BEGUN.

/Mortal Kombat music plays/

I need your help! Today is the first round of the Equus Battle Royale, and my war unicorns are up! Continue reading

Contest Results: The Derpening

You might recall that I offered a prize for making fun of my awkward pictures. Because I take myself that seriously, all the time. And now, we have the results.

Tiny Laura in green dress with mushroom inside hollow tree trunkThe grand prize of three ebooks and a $20 Amazon gift card goes to Alex McGilvery, for his tasteful and dainty view of a tiny fairy Laura flaunting her tiny fairy status. Alex reports that the mushroom photo is his own, and the dress is stock. What a fun photo manipulation! Congratulations, Alex!

I did include the following guideline:

Winner will be chosen via a bizarre and wholly subjective algorithm of both execution and sheer concept, so if you aren’t sure you can nail both, just hit one or the other really hard.

1966 Batman and Robin fleeing giant head of LauraAnthony Vernon sent his submission with a bit of an apology for being new to photo manipulation, but he nailed it on concept. I love the 1966 Batman and the idea of being an over-sized and over-the-top villain watching the Dynamic Duo flee is kind of awesome. So I had to invent a runner-up prize for this one, and Anthony will be receiving two books of his choice and a $10 gift card for his work.

Oddly, no one took me up on my “any medium” provision (“Any creative take on my distress or hair flip, in visual art, words, song, sculpture, interpretive dance, whatever, is eligible”), so I have no other categories of work to share. Maybe another time!

Please join me in congratulating our winners!

Contest: Derp Me!

I was shooting some video and realized I’d accidentally bumped the selfie button while using my phone camera to check lighting. That’s how this starts.

hair flip

Accidental hair flip selfie.

And I thought that expression and that green screen were just too inviting, and so we’re going to play with them. Continue reading

Seems Legit.

There is a phenomenon in which some skeevy lowlife steals a title and often a manuscript from a published book and re-publishes them on Amazon in his own account, trying to fool readers into buying his “edition” of the story and stealing royalties from the author.

Most of the time, though, they do a better job of matching a more plausible cover. Continue reading

Never Peeve a Writer

Seat belt on an airplane, buckled-up

Seat belt on an airplane, buckled-up (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One Christmas I received a t-shirt which reads, “Careful, or you’ll end up in my novel.”

It had already been repeatedly announced that our flight was 100% full, every seat sold and occupied, no upgrades, no seat swaps, and no room for everyone’s carry-ons. So there was no excuse for the guy occupying both his seat and my own, one butt cheek planted firmly on each cushion, legs spread to encompass both seats fully. He wasn’t a particularly large individual who needed extra space, and he wasn’t resting there temporarily while tucking a bag beneath the seat; he was settled and just claiming extra territory. Continue reading

A Star Wars Roundup

English: Opening logo to the Star Wars films

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, okay, I know this is the third time I’ve mentioned Star Wars in the last two months. But it’s been kinda everywhere, y’know? And I just wanted to do a round-up of some of my favorite cultural references, from music to electric cars to party food. Continue reading

Roast Chocobo – Geek Feast Blog Hop

Geek Feast Blog HopToday I am participating in J.L. Mbewe’s Geek Feast Blog Hop, sharing fandom-inspired recipes. As we are presently between Thanksgiving and Christmas, when oven-tender fowls are traditional fare, I thought I would share a time-honored family recipe for chocobo. (Don’t miss the contests below and the fundraiser, as 100% of So To Honor Him royalties this week go to charity!)

Sephiroth’s Favorite Roast Chocobo

photo courtesy PicJumboAs the holiday season of marathon eating begins, we think not only of the loved ones no longer with us (all of them, from Aerith to Zach) but of the family and social gatherings where we will gorge ourselves on our favorite recipes. One which has been a repeated hit is Sephiroth’s favorite Roasted Chocobo. Continue reading

Wordless Wednesday: Skeleton

skeleton climbing out of holeI made the mystery trail/maze as promised, but I uncovered a significant hole left by some bank robber retrieving his stolen loot. As the trail is walked in the dark, this was a real hazard, so it had to be marked.

So we enlisted McCoy. McCoy (Star Trek fans will appreciate his name) joined us three years ago when we sponsored the 1959 The House on Haunted Hill with Vincent Price at my favorite Historic Artcraft Theater.

By the way, I’m terrible at Wordless Wednesday. I freely confess to word count issues. Let’s call this, mostly wordless.

skeleton pushes woman into acid trap

How Research Happens More Often Than We May Admit

The Dance of Death (1493) by Michael Wolgemut,...

The Dance of Death (1493) by Michael Wolgemut, from the Liber chronicarum by Hartmann Schedel. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

History lecture CD (greatly paraphrased): “And then the conspirators acted, converging in three waves, but the revolution faltered and a woman killed a conspirator in the street by throwing a pot and then a lot of people died, and an oppressive government agency was instituted which made a lot of people miserable and also dead. All this happened about the same time as this other horrible mass murder was going on.”

Me, listening in car: “YES!”

Me, looking around empty car guiltily: “I mean, yes, that’s good for my plot. Not, yes, huzzah that a lot of people died horribly. Just, um, a good convergence for that new plot I’ve been kicking around and hoped would work out with appropriate historical timing. And it does. Which is cool. I mean, cool for the story, not cool for the dead people. You know. Who wants donuts?”

Authors are weird.

More Mowing & Murder: Autumn Maze

I’ve mentioned previously that I cut an annual autumn maze. What I didn’t mention is that the last couple of years, I’ve used a secret theme.

It’s hard to invent a wholly new labyrinth each year without being repetitive, so one year I chose an usual word from a book title, a word I figured no one would recognize, and used it as the basis for my maze. It seemed to work pretty well, the maze was reported properly twisty — the word was kitsune — and no one realized they were actually walking through connected letters.

That became my private joke. Half of the maze was bizarre swirls and winding paths, meant to draw out the younger kids but not lose them, and half was a series of interlinked passages based on some personal literary reference. But last year, I was found out, thanks to Google Earth. My mother, who with my father owns the field in which the maze is cut, was looking up her property’s aerial view for some reason and realized the map had been updated after I’d done my maze. Continue reading