Organic Ink 2 … and Dwarves

I was quite pleased to receive my author copies of Organic Ink, Volume 2, a poetry anthology from Dragon Soul Press.  I’m happy that the editors decided to include a bunch of my poems, including a longish one that I was hoping would find a home: “The War of the Jar.”

Yep, it’s February and the Christmas stuff is still up.

I read some of Hesiod’s work as a child and that was the second place I had heard the Pandora’s Box myth.  (I think the first place might have been Rocky & Bullwinkle.)  A few months ago, I happened to be in the middle of re-reading the bit about Hesiod’s five ages of Man in his Works and Days when I decided that it would be fun to write a longish poem set in the third or “bronze” age, and work in a somewhat different version of Pandora than the one I read/heard about growing up.

I’m thinking of doing some other Ages poems.  There is going to be an Organic Ink Volume 3, so if I’m happy with whatever I come up with then I’ll give them first shot at it since they were kind enough to print the first one.  That, and it would be fun (if I can pull it off!) to have all my Ages of Men poems appear in the same series of anthologies.

Thinking the one on the left is a wizard who casts spells from his enchanted blunderbuss!

I haven’t been playing Warhammer 40K, so I haven’t really felt much of an urge to paint more miniatures for that game in awhile.  I have been playing Dungeons & Dragons lately, so I decided to try some of those and ended up with these dwarves off of Etsy.

I wanted miniatures that were inexpensive and had some detail, but were still pretty basic and not hard to paint.  They had to not be fragile, which means being resin they can’t have thin bits that easily break.  (Especially since other people would be handling them.)  These guys at $9.99, including shipping, for a pack of six met all of my expectations.

The dwarf with the beer says, “Hey, you did say this was an adventuring PARTY!”

I’m not sure if these guys would fit into anyone’s upcoming painting challenge, but I am going to try and get the top four dwarves done this month or during March at the latest.  I am thinking of running a one session D&D game where a bunch of dwarves explore a dungeon, and the characters will be based off of these miniatures.

I also bought some goblins, bugbears and some other stuff from (I think) the same seller on Etsy.  I’ve primed the dwarves since I took these pictures and will prime a rust monster when I get home later today.

Next time I plan on getting the third issue of The Dragon Egg Gazette out.  After that, perhaps I’ll have some painted miniatures to show off.

Scary Snippets Christmas Edition Released

I’ve had a bounce in my step for awhile now what with getting some of my very short fiction out there in the world.  One of those putting-bounce-in-my-step moments was placing a short story called “Turkey Day” with the good folks at Suicide House Publishing for their holiday offering Scary Snippets: Christmas Edition.*

I received two copies of the book the other day and am looking forward to reading it.  All of the stories are very short (hence “snippets”), between 100 and 600 words.  Naturally, being a Lady of Chaos Undivided I went for excess and made sure I used all 600 words.

Reindeer is tired of being used as a book rest and thinks duck needs to take a turn.**

Monsters and mayhem, by a goodly number of authors, include such things as cannibalism (tasty presented of course), Yule Cat, Revenge of the Christmas trees, and I am pleased to report that mine wasn’t the only story with zombies.

I must confess that my zombies were an oblique feature rather than the main attraction of Turkey Day.  One possible theme for my story might be that people are just a little too hard to impress these days and it’s a damned shame.  Whatever the case, I’m one of those people (currently anyway) who usually looks for a theme after I’ve finished my work rather than when I’m writing it.

Bird thinks the Thanksgiving Day ones are the scariest for obvious reasons!

In other news, I was the dungeon master for a Dungeons & Dragons game yesterday, which went pretty well.  I haven’t DMed in many years and I was a little nervous going in, but everyone said they had fun and are looking forward to once again visiting the Enchanted Forest, so I’m pretty pleased.

Finally, I have a sorry little tale (pun not intended) about my cat catching a mouse.  That will be for next time.  I hope everyone had a nice holiday.

Christmas Bird Clip Art

*  Suicide House Publishing has since changed its name to Nocturnal Sirens Publishing.

** My mother made the little clothespin angel, which I thought was cute, and put it in this year’s Christmas box.  Thanks, Mom! 🙂

Cthulhu Pie and update on Organic Ink

My husband has been on a pie making kick lately for his vegan/plant-based weight loss Youtube Channel.  I’ve been (not surprisingly as a confirmed omnivore) enjoying the fruits of his labors.  He sent me this jewel, which though he didn’t make it he said he sure wish he had.  I’m sure most of you reading this can see why and I’m sure glad he sent me this picture.  It’s Cthulhuicious:)

“In his pie at R’lyeh, dead Cthulhu dreams for whipped cream.”

I had more than I wanted to share, but as it turns out I burned most of my time today working on my Wattpad writing and composing a little promotional doggerel to put in a section of the chapbook I’ve spent most of October and some of November working on:  Thirty-One Days of Darkness with the idea of having one offering for each day of October.

Someone suggested that I ought to shoehorn in a small advertisement for Organic Ink Volume Two so I did.  Actually I forgot but then was reminded when I was reading someone’s poetry collection in Wattpad and ran across an advertisement for their print chapbook.

So I typed up the usual sort of promotional stuff about pre-ordering it on Amazon, the release date being December 30th and so on, but thought that was kind of boring.  I kicked around a few ideas and then settled upon beginning with the lines:

I am one of the authors featured in this anthology

it’s far more interesting than a text on gnathology.

and goes from there for another nine or ten lines.  If you’re interested you can read the rest of it in my aptly titled, Organic Ink: Shameless Self Promotion, which I’ve sandwiched between some micro fiction concerning a superheroine’s first night alone on the job and a haiku involving tentacle fingers.

Click image for Amazon’s pre-order page for the Kindle version.

Finally, I did a little more work on poor, long-suffering poxwalker #17.  Alas, I don’t have time to take and post any pictures of my worthy zombie, but that will give me something for next time, hopefully before the weekend.  All I will say is that need to redo its violet belly tentacles because they came out too pretty by half.  Slaanesh will be making my poor poxwalker into an honorary daemonette if I’m not careful.  Oh, the pain, the pain!

Nurgle Blood Bowl Icon 125

Poxwalker-in-progress and more Wattpad writing

So I spiral out the long, sad task of painting my mob of twenty poxwalkers into late 2019.  I would say, “I’ll finish the lot before 2020!” but we all know that probably has as much truth in it as a short, sharp fit of sneezing meaning nothing but continued perfect health after putting in an eight hour shift driving around a bus full of sick people.*

Here we have Ole #17, who is one of my current works-in-progress.  I gave this poxwalker some attention this past weekend, sketching out the base colors on its belt and loin cloth as well as beginning a little experiment with purple tentacles.  I also put some paint on the Death Guard symbol.  Still a lot more work to go, as you can see, but it’s coming along.

Unfinished but only semi-forgotten!

So far as my Wattpad adventures go, here is what’s been going on there for me lately:

  • I’ve been sketching out the next section for the Gabby novel.  I’ll certainly post here when it goes live.
  • Another user, Microbytes, who puts out little anthologies of collected work on Wattpad, used a drabble I wrote in August, called “Survive to Swim” in their Micro-August Anthology.**
  • Microbytes struck again, this time notifying me that they are doing 30 days of writing prompts called “30 Days of Spooky Tales.”  I came to the party a bit late, but I am going to make an attempt to complete all 30 prompts and make a little Wattpad collection/book/whatever out of them.  Right now I am up to three done and collected under the dubious work-in-progress name of “Thirty Days of Darkness.”

For next time I am hoping for more progress on the aforementioned Ole Number Seventeen, and I might play around a bit with some Plaguebearer Flesh contrast paint I picked up last week.  I can always tell I haven’t been to the game store in a long time when I see a new staff member and she gives me the Welcome to the Store New Customer Speech!

Also plan to work on more of the Spooky Tales prompts and of course Gabby.  Hope everyone who managed to read this far has a good week.  May you make good progress on your varied projects, both mundane and multifarious!


* I was going to say “we all know that would probably be a lie” but I thought it best (for my own continued good relations with the Grandfather if for no other reason) to stick to a Nurgle-based (and rather familiar situation, to your Humble Bus-Driving Narratrix) rather than a Tzeentch-based figure of speech.

** A “drabble” is apparently a 100 word short story.  I didn’t know this until I stumbled upon this tidbit in Wattpad.  I found some interesting information on the subject over on Wikipedia.

Poetry and Painting Helper

This has proven a busy (in a good way) past few days.  I heard back from Dragon Soul Press yesterday.  I sent them some of my poetry for their upcoming anthology, Organic Ink, Volume 2, which is currently due to come out around the end of 2019.*  

I’m pleased to say that my work is going to appear in the anthology, and they sent me this graphic.  The book, I’m told, is going to be available in both electronic and physical formats, as the picture below suggests.

I’m particularly pleased the editors decided to use the longish poem that I wrote as a retelling of the Pandora’s Box myth, The War of the Jar. The idea came, in part, from reminding myself of Hesiod’s five ages of humanity from Works and Days.  My poem was set in his third age where (as Hesiod reports), Zeus created a “race, sprung from ash trees; and it was in no way equal to the silver age, but it was terrible and strong.”

So I am thinking that I might extend things and do some other poetry for Hesiod’s other four ages too.  Although I was never a particular fan of the Pandora myth, since I first heard it as a wee one in the late 1960’s, I am a fan of Hesiod’s Five Ages, which evokes for me vibrations of Conan and the Drums of Tombalku, mixed with a little H.P. Lovecraft, various romantics, and a dash of Blake and maybe Milton.

Probably a faster painter than I am, even without thumbs!

I haven’t sallied forth onto the painting front for quite awhile, but I decided to brave the Plateau of Unpainted Models (possibly near Leng?) and pick away at a poxwalker I got about half done and then left to its own devices a few months ago.

I stepped away for a few minutes and when I came back I found I had a painting helper, who had no intention of moving from her spot.  (Maybe the plateau is in fact nearer Ulther than Leng?)

In any case, between the two of us we made some good progress on our poxwalker and hope to finish #17 this weekend.  I went to see the new Rambo movie this weekend with my husband, and afterwards bought some Plaguebearer Flesh contrast paint to experiment with on old #17.**


*  As a reader, I’m planning on checking out DSP’s story anthology, Coffins & Dragons, which as I understand features stories that have both vampires and dragons in the same tale.  At a mighty 620 pages, it is quite a hefty tome and will keep me busy for awhile, I’m sure.

**  I think poxwalkers like it when you experiment on them; at least I think they try and get into the spirit of the thing.  Still, I think it is fast approaching the time we should bring the experiment to a happy conclusion.  After all, I have been working on the wretched mob since the Dark Imperium boxed set first arrived, over two years ago now!

 

Gabby Novel: Night

I finished the next section of my novel, Gabby the Bug-Eyed Monster.  The title of this section is Night.

I decided to dispense with the idea of looking where I’d put the chapter divisions if the work were a traditional book.  Instead I’m looking at each section on Wattpad as its own chapter.  So this section is number four in the story.

I have another picture, though I haven’t worked it into the story yet but I plan on doing so fairly soon.  I experimented with including pictures in my Wattpad stories, but ended up taking them out because they apparently made it hard to load for phones, which caused a precipitous decrease in viewership.  I’m not on Wattpad necessarily to build a large viewership, because I don’t see myself having the time that it would take to do that, I don’t want to needlessly make it hard for people to view my work either.

Another offering by the talented Stefan Ljumov

I’ve been slacking off on moving forward with the story because I have had to give some attention to changes in my job situation.  The changes are good and will result in more free time, so I can work on the story more.  Wattpad has proven its worth so far.  In the past, this period of not working on the story would have probably caused me to consider abandoning the project in favor of the next shiny, new idea, but since I’ve put myself out there with it online, I find I still have the interest and energy to continue.

Finally, I started another WordPress blog.  This one is called Ann’s Physical Culture Journal and it is a place for me to keep track of my workouts and such.  I have enjoyed doing various workouts for years and have lots of old notebooks kicking around full of stuff that I have been doing from the 1980’s up until now.  This is the first time I have done a blog on the subject though.

I decided upon a separate blog instead of creating a section here, because I expect that I will be posting a lot and I don’t want to clutter this space up with lots of posts about lifting weights and such.  I want to keep the Immaterium primarily an arts space.

Finally, my husband has a lot of weight he needs/wants to lose and decided to start a Youtube channel where he does vegan recipes and every Friday posts a video detailing how his week went diet-wise, etc.  I’m proud of how he’s done so far — he’s lost 60 pounds.  So if you are interested in fairly easy-to-make vegan food and such check it out here.  Don mentioned, after I told him I was going to put out a link to his channel that a play list of the cooking videos is here.  I’ve (of course) eaten them all, some multiple times, and quite enjoyed them.  Having a husband who likes to cook is a beautiful thing.

 Gabby cover 125 wide for WordPress

Gabby: Last Shot (End of Chapter One)

I finished the next installment of my novel, Gabby the Bug-Eyed Monster.  This finishes chapter one and I achieved two of my goals: finish the first chapter and also finish with that wretched cave.  My first chapter was a bit over 5300 words, which means word count-wise I’m about 5% done.

The title of this section is Last Shot.  I decided that each of the subsections is going to be no more than two words.  I’m really only doing these chapter subsections because I’m doing this in an online format and need to break it up more than I would for a physical book.

Gabby by Stefan Ljumov

Steady but slow progress.  I’m looking forward to my schedule changing in October.  One happy consequence of that is I’ll have more time for writing on a set schedule instead of carving out some time here and there when I can, which doesn’t work very well for me in terms of completing long-term projects.

I have a pretty good idea where I want to go for Chapter Two, which will get me through the next few weeks of writing and give me some time to think about structure and plot beyond what I already have.  I have an idea for a sub-plot that I introduced the fleeting germ of at the end of the first chapter, and think I know where I more or less want to go by the end of the book though at this point that could still change.

Of course I can go back and fix structural problems and the like in a second draft at some point, but I would like to get as much right as I can on the first go.

The next section will go live on September 15, 2019.

Gabby cover 125 wide for WordPress