Thursday, 3 July 2014

Raven's Hollow Has Moved

Hello my five readers!

I am sad to say that after  more than two years of being with Blogspot that I've decided to move Raven's Hollow to Wordpress.com. It's nothing against blogspot or google or anything like that, I still have my Google+, gmail account, and all the rest, but I just don't get the traffic here I'd hoped for for this little blog.

I have three other blogs on Wordpress that get likes, shares, and comments on a regular basis and I've decided to move over my personal blog to join them. I'd love to see that kind of traffic for this baby too.

So, my dear five readers, I would like to invite you to please follow me on my new blog:

SarahWaterRaven.Wordpress.com





Friday, 27 June 2014

Comments

I keep receiving e mails that I am getting comments on posts, however when I jump on to the ol' blog here, there are none to be found. I suspect I am either getting comments from friendly spambots or my comments are malfunctioning. If you've left a comment recently and have not received a reply, I apologize. Please send me an email and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

SarahWaterRaven@gmail.com

Toodles.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Where the Heck is that Second Book?

Heeeeyyyyy guys... So, I disappeared... but have no fear! Detective Docherty and the Vampire's Mirror is on it's way! I am somewhere around 2/3-3/4 of the way finished on the rough draft. Sounds like I've got a long way to go still with rewrites and edits, and I do, but I know I can hammer this out and get this baby published this year. Right now we're looking at Fall-Winter 2014. I am very excited about it.

I have already started the new book cover and I cannot wait to finish it. Here's a sneak-peek of what I have so far. I am still toying with the idea of adding or subtracting some details:

Please accept my apologies for this crap-tastic photograph




I am going for the same look as the Demon's Tears cover, but Alexandria and Raven are featured on this cover, standing before the Toronto skyline. Her power, imagination, and thoughts, etc are rushing out as a cloud of black ink and colour (once I paint it), with a dark liquid dripping off the outline of the mirror. The hardest part has been trying to draw the damn oval, lol. Geeze, I suck :D

IN ADDITION a friend of mine, Brent Ross, has offered to help me record Detective Docherty and the Demon's Tears as an audiobook! I am very thankful and so far we've been having a lot of fun. Maybe too much fun. At the moment we have the prologue recorded and will be going chapter by chapter. We discovered early on that when my voice gets tired I lose punctuation and mess up a lot. 

The good news is, Brent has put up with my antics and mess ups quite nicely. I am looking forward to finishing this audiobook and getting it out there for the enjoyment of listeners! I have some research to do on whether I can offer it as a download on Audible.com (owned by Amazon) as readily as I am able to offer it as an ebook via Kindle. I'd also like to look into possible indie sites (hoping Smashwords will have some affiliates) for further outreach. For personal reasons will be avoiding audiobooks.com and simplyaudiobooks.com Someone also suggested podcasts, but I am not familiar and will have to research that as well.

The Story of Iolite, a short story I am publishing this summer, will hopefully be available soon. It's currently in with the editor for a copy edit and once that is done, it's cover art and away she goes for sale on all my regular e book channels.

In other news... I have met someone and am very happy. I consider myself very lucky and blessed to have him in my life. I may still be working at a gas station by day and trying to be a successful author by night, but I've never been happier. I can honestly say it was worth all the pain and struggle of the last few years to be here today.

- WaterRaven 

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Sunday Morning I'm Waking up: Where do I start? Where do I begin?



Still pretty much juggling all of the same stuff, only more piles on as my imagination runs amok. I'm having visions of mer-queens and dreams about tyrannosaurus Rex with wings. The T-Rex with wings I think I've got an interpretive-handle on though. It has occurred to me that I am like a T-Rex with wings. I mentioned this much to my manager at the gas station and she laughed until she cried. But hear me out: While I might have little arms that symbolize the common sense and practical knowledge that I lack in everyday life, I have wings. I don't need to be as good as everyone else in everyday tasks because I have an imagination that will take me somewhere higher, through the clouds of everyday life and into the stars. Definitely the stars because in this reoccurring dream the T-Rex are wearing bad ass armour, are ridden by warriors in this great army, and about to ascend to another level existence through a portal to another dimension. The answer is no, I am not on drugs. This shit happens naturally.

Here's a look into some of the stuff I've had sporadic time for:


Almost finished my second custom Fantasia Pegasus Mother. While I wait for the paint to dry between coats I have been working on the little foals and other customs like Princess Celestia (Selling her on eBay soon).



I put some glitter in her mane for fun. I thought it matched the sparkles in her mane on the show. Hopefully she finds a new home soon.


I love these little guys. They tickle me PinkyPie. I cannot wait to have the whole family finished. I have a blue foal on the way and need to get another large Celestia to make the father. I'd like to get one more foal in a standing position to do an orange/peach foal. I love Disney's Fantasia, but sometimes there were three foals and sometimes five. Sometimes they were black, pink, blue, and yellow, and other times there was an orange one, so I'm just going to do them all. 









These are the kind of images you'll find in my sketchbook lately. Because I am working and trying to get commissions done, I only have time to flush out ideas for future paintings and drawings. The harpies I'd love to do a classic oil painting of. Just a flock of harpies on a sand and stone beach looking at a ship wreck. Nighmin, I am sure some of you recognize, and last night I had time to sketch out a mer-queen and mer-shark before I passed out. I'll pen them when I get a chance. Ideally I'd like the mer-queen to be physically larger than the other mer to show her power. She is wears an expressionless mask when in public. 

I am still working away on the cover art for Timothy Carter's Apoca-Lynn but it is proving to be more challenging than my previous covers as I am trying to meld in drawn material and an actual photograph. I am sure once I figure things out and it will come along more smoothly.

Detective Docherty and the Vampire's Mirror (DDVM) is on its way! I already sent some chapters to a beta reader to review some areas of concern. I wanted input and confirmation on some of these concerns, so I sent the chapters to my good friend and fan, Keli. While she validated one or two, she brought forth some other important insight. My emotional turmoil of the previous year was really reflected in my writing and I am working to change that and refocus my characters. Alexandria was a little too hateful at one point and Ares was entirely too emo. This I feel very much reflects the heart ache and despair I felt when I wrote those scenes. While life experiences are part of an author's story, one has to remember to stay true to their characters and how they would react and respond, rather than write how the author would. 

I'm happy to announce that I am 2/3's of the way through the rough draft and will be on moving on to rewrites and edits before summer, which makes me feel like my goal of publishing DDVM this fall is becoming more of a reality. 

Having a job is wonderful and it is good to have money again to be able to buy things and provide for myself and my dog. I am glad my book is coming along and I enjoy the artwork I am working on, but there are times I still struggle with this nagging feeling of failure and the relentless speed of time. I am 30, I live as a renter in someone else's house, and I have no savings to speak of. I am essentially single, though I am seeing someone, and there are many days that I worry about my future and how I am going to provide for Faolan and I in the coming years. Someone once told me that our greatest gift is often our greatest challenge. As someone with a limitless imagination, I work daily to control it. If I let it spiral out of control, I can be consumed by worries and fear, but if I keep in check and refocus it on fantasy and art, and fill it full of hope for a better future, I'll keep dreaming of mer-queens and winged dinosaurs. 

Anyway, I'm off to the farm to visit my beloved Shyann and get some fresh air. Hope you are well my five readers.

-WaterRaven 




Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Overwhelmed and Comic?

Hooray for new job, money is good. Plus, working at the gas station is like a re-inactment of the movie Clerks, minus the part where someone gets shot at the end. In a word: Hilarious.

-Swear Alert-

I have to say the majority of us are more like Randy. We have a good time, support each other, and laugh our asses off, and are, generally speaking, optimists-- Man, watching this really reminds me of how depressing and annoying Dante is. Geeze. You know what, don't even press play. 

Overwhelmed is part of the title of this post because despite not working full time on paper, I am working two to three jobs in reality. My daily tasks include updating social media: Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook etc to promote books and art as well as working on blogs and websites to make sure they are up-to-date, functioning, and continuously improving. 

The blogs/websites in combination with my new cover art and possible comic are really bringing home the reality of needing school or classes to better my knowledge and experience with digital media and web development. 

At the moment I have not heard back from any schools, however I am already looking into back-up plans. 

In addition, I am working on Detective Docherty and the Vampire's Mirror, plus the cover art,  and of course the three art commissions I have going (new book cover included).

Basically, a day off translates to taking care of the necessities of laundry, grocery shopping etc and then dividing my time between social media and projects.

It's good, but also stressful. Sadly a good portion of what I am working on is not worth the time I put into it. I love my friends and I give them good prices for a reason, because we care about each other and we're all financially strapped, but the truth is I make less than minimum wage/hr with each project. You guys know I love you and I am not complaining, but I have decided that when these commissions are complete, I am going to take a break from commission art for a while and focus on my second book. Thankfully I now have a job to give me that option. 

Once the book is published, naturally it's on to promotion and writing the third book. I am oddly incapable of working on only one project at a time, so my assumption is I will either be working on personal artwork simultaneously or doing Goddess knows what. 

The graphic novel I would like to publish focuses on an original character I created for roleplay in Secondlife, a siren named Nighmin.

Here are some photos of her in world:




I am terrible at drawing humanoids, but I have attempted several variation of her to try and find a style I can reproduce in art and comic-form:


This is an image of her and another character from Secondlife that I used to RP with. This softer-watercolor version of her takes away some of her fierceness and allure, however it's easier for me to reproduce given my limitations. 





While the colour is off, this is one of my favourite renditions of her. I adore the tail and the side-gills, however I was kicking myself for the early 90's hair-cut I gave her. I like the idea of long ears though. We'll see if I keep them. I will continue to explore this look  for cover art and inserts, but it's too detailed for the comic itself.

Again, given my limitations I have decide that most of the comic will be done in a stylized-black and white art form. I was sick last week and had time to attempt a concept drawing (below). I think this is a great start, however I hate her eyes. I'm going to do a little manga-eye research and see what I can come up with.



I do not wish to give away too much of the story, but I will say it takes place in a completely fictional world, medieval-type setting, and will be reminiscent of a dark version of The Little Mermaid (though the original story is quite dark itself!). 

One thing I am debating on is: bewbs. How much bewb? Do you think I should have her hair cover up her breasts completely or just some of the time? Personally, I don't mind nudity and being a siren, she exposes her top-half in order to lure men to the water to drown and eat them... so covering her up with seashells is not an option for this story. 

I want to be true to her nature and my ideals, but I don't want to cut off too much of a broader audience. I am thinking I should either call or pop into a comic book store and ask them whether exposed breasts are acceptable, if there's a special XXX section for that type of comic, or if a little is fine.

Thoughts? 







Tuesday, 15 April 2014

It's a Cold World Out There

As in a I have a fucking cold :( I'm so pathetic when it comes to being sick. I turn insta-baby and assume that everything I've done up into this point was useless and I'll never accomplish anything because I'm a physical failure and wont live to see the fruits of my labour, dying in a hospital bed before my time, watching my dreams of Docherty, Ares, and Alexandria fading into the consuming darkness of premature death... This kind of nonsense is why I am a writer people (Five readers). I really hope the guy I'm seeing never reads this...

Back to happy thoughts. Some photos from Ad-Astra:

I was manning a table for Neil when photos were taken.
 Someone mentioned the mirror behind me was ruining the shot, so I ducked? 

James Bambury & I in action on the Comics as Literature panel


Panel action. We had great participation and great panellists!



I'm keeping things professional 



What a sexy book that is at the Pickwick Book's table. I tell ya.
Shut up Dr. Who. 


It's shots o'clock after some home-brewed mead tasting in the dealer's room! 



The crazy shit I was quoted saying and doing on Twitter:



As I said previously, it was an incredible experience and one of the happiest weekends of my life. Minus the time this amazing guy took me to the Ripley's Aquarium in Toronto for our first date, that was pretty damn awesome too. I'm hoping for more weekends just like that- W00t, w00t!

Looking over these photos I am reminded that one: I need a hair-cut and two: I need to try and hold on to that feeling, that special convention-high that I feel only the panellists and dealers get from a good convention weekend. The other participants get another type of high, but we panellists are consumed in this overwhelming vortex of success that tells us to press on! That we are doing well and we are being heard/seen and that it's been worth the struggle all these years!

 Sadly though, a couple days after the con you're back in your real skin and working your day job and slowly your con-high starts to chip away. Doubt sets in, there's a re-assessment of your life and where you're going, how you can get there faster, stronger, better, harder, and then you start to lose sight of short term and long term goals, but never fear five readers, I have vowed not to lose sight this time and get lost in the struggles of everyday life. 

Oh no, I shall kick ass. 


So, stay tuned for:

- Upcoming cover art for Detective Docherty and the Vampire's Mirror

- Cover art for Timothy Carter's new book, Apoca-Lynn

- A commissioned painting of two dragons

- Story ideas/concepts and the writing process of an adult graphic novel 

- The publication of my short story, The Story of Iolite with new cover art 

- Any art work I feel like doing on the side 

Peace!
WaterRaven 


P.S. I met Patricia Brigg's at Ad-Astra and while a good portion of me was screaming "Oh my god! It's Patrcia Briggs! Oh my god, get her signature, take her photos, touch her hair, get her to sign your boobs!" I kept my cool and instead we talked about books and TV shows. Turns out we both love Charles de Lint and Supernatural. Oh, and I found out that scene in her book where that scary vampire-demon summoner pressed his face against the window of Mercy's trailer is based on a true story that happened to Patricia as a kid!!! YIKES. I love how fantasy novels can be based on real life experience, even though there is magic, monsters, and fantastical hardships. Love it. 












Monday, 7 April 2014

Detective Docherty and the Vampire's Mirror Excerpt


In light of all the encouragement for my next book from this past weekend and last week's post on music and Detective Docherty, I decided to share an excerpt from my current work in progress partially inspired by the above song. Keep in mind this is a rough draft and is subject to serious errors and change due to my lack of grammar, hah! 

Here's a taste:

"Alex ran, not fast and not well, but she ran with all she had left. She cried wildly and stumbled multiple times. Onlookers who stopped and stared only frightened her more. Their faces contorted into the faces of ghouls and monsters, pressing her onward. There was nothing and nowhere safe. Her fragile hold on sanity these last few months was gone and now she ran from Ares as she ran from herself.
Somehow time passed into the hours of early morning. Whether she had gotten on a bus or a street car, she was unsure. Had she walked here? Alex walked-jogged with the enthusiasm of a zombie down the Danforth, but finally made it to the parking lot behind A Taste of India. Her shaking hands grasped for the metal door handle to the stairwell.
Mrow,” came the gargled voice of Admiral Bently. Without thought Alex bent down and picked up the black cat, cradling him into her arms. Once she held his purring-softness, a shallow calm settled over her. The stairwell was empty and her slow steps echoed as she made her way to the second floor. She let go a sigh of relief as the door opened to reveal an empty office. Bently continued to purr heavily against her aching heart as they made their way to the corner chair. Maybe here she would be safe.
Fumbling with the distorted blindness of someone trying to survive a trauma, Alex collapsed into the old chair and pulled the quilted blanket over herself and Bently. The cat readjusted himself and lay against her uncomplaining. A false sense of security slowly encased her while she wept silently into the dawn; mourning the person she had been only a few hours ago." 

Hope you enjoy and sorry for the tease!