Another Inktober Over



I just want to thank everyone who supported and encouraged me this Inktober. It is never easy to complete, but y’all saw me through it! (Below is an image slideshow of what I completed this year.)

I’m happy with many of the pieces I made this year.


All the pieces are now on my Etsy account:

There you can buy them if you were one of the people interested in them.

Every piece is 6inx5.5in, Japanese black in and gold paint.


Thanks again.

I’m headed into NaNoWriMo now. Wish me luck!



Don’t Stir the Pot: letting bad reviews die

Just a rant about bad reviews, why you shouldn’t read them, and one take on (one of the many reasons) why you should never respond to a negative review on any site:
I was in a conversation with a fellow creative the other day. He was getting really twitchy about a handful of bad reviews he had gotten on one of his self-pub books. Despite having a zillion-and-one 4 and 5 star reviews, these couple of 1 and 2 star reviews were messing with him.

I think most grievous to him was the content of the reviews. The reviewers had a few harsh opinions–some even verging on troll-like behavior–regardless, a few things were said that are stuff most people wouldn’t have the balls to say to some one’s face.

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Let Go and Flow (by Guest Author, Lynn Seiser)

The following is a re-blog of a guest blog post from my sister aikido blog. Lynn Seiser sensei has been very gracious and generous with both his Aikido experience and psychology expertise. The following article is about a subject that I’ve found most useful in moving forward in my own aikido practice, and in both my professional and personal development. I know I have a quite a few readers who suffer from PTSD, whether it is combat related, or, more than likely, abuse related–so, I hope this article finds you well.

All due credits for the following article are given at the bottom of this post. ENJOY!


Let Go and Flow by Lynn Seiser

WMAlogo01This article was inspired after a conversation with Ryan and Maggie at Wave Man Aikido in Jacksonville, Florida. We were discussing a new program they want to start working with veterans. We got onto the topic of actually how to de-program and re-pattern the brain and how Aikido could be a useful vehicle and context for that change. Like Aikido, often the principles and processes are a lot easier to explain and understand than they are to put into application and practice.

Breathe in, relax the body

Breathe out, calm the mind

Let Go and Flow


Sigmund Freud (the father of psychoanalysis and modern talk therapy) stated that changed was based on making the 1126467-observation-deck-of-rockefeller-center-in-nycunconscious conscious so that we could have some new insight into what was motivating/driving us and have the option to change.

Rational emotive theory is a cognitive approach that states a similar ABC theory. First there is an external activating stimulus or event. This is followed by our cognitive beliefs or thoughts about it. Finally, there are the consequential actions we take. We may not be able to change the external environmental event, but we can change our beliefs, perception, and conceptions about it.

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Justice in Fantasy: #2 Thieves

“She is a thief. A thief is not an honest person.”– Theresa Klein

The following is the second in my “Justice in Fantasy” musings. In the first in the series, I talked about sex-offenders in fantasy and their character development (or lack of development). I think I’ve made it a point in this particular series of posts that I would focus mostly on how I see others molding criminals, their effective believably, and tropes.

In this post I want to confront the thief.

c33105d482bf7288e199f718cbfb772cI think when most people think of the thief in fantasy settings their minds instantly go to the trope: plucky, devilish fellow with a heart of gold. The word thief by itself, within fantasy, conjures images of Robin Hood: noble, fast-taking, greased fingered men who pull one over on the rich for the greater good, the people. It isn’t hard to see why readers love the thief. He is the little guy. The every-man. He’s been stomped on by the establishment, and instead of revolting into revolution, he manipulates the system and robs the robber barons blind! Who wouldn’t love that? The thief represents justice! The little guy finally getting his!

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“He was a dark and stormy knight.”

6297710000_51c48c3e54_bI’ve had the pleasure of reading some slush stories from some authors this week. Most of the authors are just starting out, and unpublished. I’m always out to support my fellow story-crafters, but I’m writing this blog entry to specifically complain about something I’m seeing popping up in these slush stories. (Like, a lot!)

My problem: weather.
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Justice in Fantasy: #1 Sex Offenders

Max Slevogt, Faun and a girl (1905)

**warning, dark subject matter**

“…we cannot protect ourselves from monsters by calling them by another name.”–Andrew Vachss, The World & I, August 1993

I’ve been putting a great deal of thought into how we, as authors, treat certain crimes within fantasy. Not necessarily how we punish crimes, but how we create and build characters who commit these acts. I think it goes without saying, you can get away with being a psychopath, and be successful, in a lot of fantasy settings. (Generalizing here–I know there are exceptions to the rule in many wonderful, unique fantasy world-builds out there. Today, I am addressing where it is not the exception.) I believe this will become a blog series for me.
So, first up: Sex Offenders

In light of the Game of Thrones phenomena, (I must state before continuing, that I think the SoI&F series by George R.R. Martin is a richly, gorgeously built setting, with amazing characters.) I wanted to cover what has been on a lot of peoples’ minds. In many fantasy settings, not just George R.R.’s Westeros, rape, incest, pedophilia(and child-brides), sexual mutilation, sex-slavery, and sexual coercion, are sprinkled liberally. Many authors, and readers, feel it adds character depth, conflict, and true grit to stories. In many (not all) fantasy worlds, harsh acts of sexual aggression–even predatory sexual aggression–is used offhandedly to help define a character. It can be used to set up a divisive flaw in a protagonist, or to make you hate a side character. It is even used, in more recent tales, to add depth to a redemption story. And, very often (not always), these acts of sexual, criminal-aggression, go very unpunished by the particular fantasy world’s own justice system. (This is probably the subject for another blog, another day, by itself!)
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Women in Fantasy: #1 A Boy and His Sex Slave

FYI : I love me some Conan!!!

I was at a writers’ group some weeks ago. Like every other group meeting, we got in a circle, read a bunch of stuff that people have been working on, and gave critical feedback to encourage and direct each other toward success. Total cuddle in a corner, Kumbaya with sorcerers, as usual. However, the guitar strumming and s’mores came to a screeching halt in the midst of one reading. It was a classic speculative, Tolkien-fantasy. Some very classic tropes. Evil wizard. Quiet, prophetic, old war-dog. Salty barrack-men. Good stuff. But then we hit it, like a mace to the face! Sitting, plainly, in the middle of a very classic story of a wizard lord, struggling with his own powers, was a sex slave. Not just a sex slave, but the trope of all sex slaves. (Submissive, frightened, illiterate, helpless, yet yearnful and compliant of her master’s desires, however barbaric they might be.)
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Mad Max: Fury Road–There and Back Again, a Harem’s Tale

(spoiler alert)

I’m sorry, but if you don’t thinks that’s bad-ass, I’m not sure we can be friends

I, with more curiosity than excitement, went to see Mad Max:Fury Road this past weekend with my husband. Something very odd struck me almost immediately with this film–this wasn’t like most modern post-apocalyptic tales. The setting was developed, subtly understood without character exposition. The characters themselves were bends on tropes, both embracing the audience expectations, while smashing it to bits. The plot was familiar, echoing toward something I knew intimately, yet couldn’t quite put my finger on.
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Creative Control (freak!)

images1In the wake of Jordan-gate (I get royalties for coining that , right?), a discussion arose among a few peers of mine. It was brought up issues of film, or TV, adaptations of books. Many of my peers are well published authors; both traditional, and self-pub. An overwhelming sentiment was expressed in this conversation. Many–I mean many–of my lovely friends were completely adamant that they would be cautious to license their work (if anyone offered, that is) off to a production company. They shared the same feelings: fears that the screen-writes, or directors wouldn’t get it right.

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