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 


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! 

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Ad Astra 2014

Peeps (my five readers) before I say anything else about the sheer awesomeness of this past weekend, I would first like to say thank you to some special people. Thank you to Mike and Ann who were the first people to come to my reading at Ad Astra in 2013. You are wonderful, to see you again and know that you enjoyed my book and keep up with me online just fills my heart. Andy and Darlene, I gotta say, you both really helped make this a wonderful and remember-able weekend as well. Seeing everyone at my reading and connecting with all of you at the con has made the last two years worth it. Darlene, when you shared with me how you've been setting goals for your writing and keeping your notebook on you-- I cannot describe the feeling that gave me. It warmed my heart and set the pace for the rest of the weekend. If I was more of weeper there would have been tears all over the place, but I'm a hugger and you know I was giving those out!

The support I have received from everyone at Ad Astra, panelists and members alike, has pumped new life into myself and my story. As you all know, I have struggled and I have been swimming against the current of life for a long time now, but this is a milestone in my journey as a writer and as a person. I was the happiest I have been in two years this past weekend.

I sold out of books five minutes before my reading and had to borrow a book from a listener (Thank you, Darlene)! Who thought that would ever happen? I certainly didn't.

I believe part of this is due to the fact that the panels and events at Ad Astra are fun, personal, and engaging. The atmosphere encourages all of us to talk and interact with each other in such a way that we want to support one another and see each other succeed.

For example, I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah and Michael. Michael is an up and coming novelist and I can't wait to see him get his work out there. We had great discussions on finishing rough drafts, social media, and the pros and cons of self publishing. Thank you, Sarah, for getting us talking and for the latte (I needed it). I hope to see you guys again next year-- and don't worry I haven't forgotten about getting a copy of Detective Docherty to you and I'll look into getting a print of the cover art ASAP.

Each panel was unique and engaging and I was happy to share space (and banter) with all the awesome authors, publishers, and artists I've met this year and last. Here's a shout out to Beverly and James Bambury, awesome impromptu panel moderators and talented writers/editors. For those of you looking for editing and publicity, Beverly's your girl and I'm not normally one for short stories, but I was talking about how much I loved Thirteen Generations by James all weekend. Tears James, seriously.

Timothy Carter, need I say anything about you? We're hilarious. We make great cover art and it's always a pleasure seeing you. I am so looking forward to the release of your new book, Apoca-Lynn.

Paul, thank you so much for stopping into my reading and letting me know you read my book and enjoyed it. Believe me, it had a profound impact, especially when your friend purchased her own copy. I watched myself get recommend (LoL). It was surreal and incredible. Thank you.

Sam, EnthusiasmGirl!!!, how hilarious was our panel on Tumblr where we talked about Tumblr for five minutes and then talked about writing/publishing for an hour instead? :D I cannot wait to read some of your stories on Tumblr!

There were just so many incredible people and it's impossible to cover all of you, but to those panelists I didn't mention, I will get to it, be it on Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook, I cannot wait to connect and promote you work.

Aside from panels, I spent a lot of time in the dealer room (maybe passing out mead from Trafalgar Brewery-- Thanks Chris-- and taking back one or two tequila shots to kick start the afternoon, with author Vanessa Ricci-Thode ;) ) with Pickwick Books and surrounding vendors. I'll never forget how Pickwick Books was not only the location of my first book signing and the first book store to sell my book, but I'll be forever grateful to them for allowing me to throw my crap under their table and cover it with my books.

While being a panelist has a lot of pros, the only real con seems to be not having enough time to join the entertainment! Luckily I was able to see the last portion of the belly dancing by Dragonfly Bellydance and Mirage (The dubstep and Hobbit dances were my fave) and I even got to catch the beginning of the costume contest. In a word: Awesome. Partly because Mike, the Kraken Not Stirred, and I were those assholes in the back  hilarious people in the back with glorious banter back and forth. Luckily he doesn't smell like Confunk and I was able to breath easy while in the audience.

Both Friday night and Saturday night I crashed hard on my friend Laura's couch (she put me up for the weekend) and slept with such a feeling of fulfilment and satisfaction. I find I am dead tired today and yet I miss it already.

I just-- Thank you. All of you.

--Sarah WaterRaven

Friday, 28 March 2014

Detective Docherty Through Music

I listen to all sorts of music, but there are times that I think trance is the only genre of music my soul finds completely relate-able. The music builds like a story line, the beat quickens my heart, activating a plethora of emotions, and the lyrics guide my thoughts. I listen to trance while I clean, while I jog or cycle, and while I write. A major portion of my ideas for Detective Docherty were mentally written while I listened to Armin van Burren and Dash Berlin. 

Scenes of Ares sitting in thought and heartbreak on a subway or walking in the city at night occurred to me while listening to the song below. The simple message is "I don't own you," and not till the very last line does it say, "but you own me." It is a perfect symbol of the relationship of those two characters. Even the background image seems to show the duality of Ares and Alexandria. 

Detective Docherty and Ares first came to mind while I was listening to music in my car. I was trying to come up with a story idea for Nanowrimo. Shortly after, I was cleaning stalls at my family farm and mentally developing my characters and storyline. It all seemed to happen so fast. Cleaning the stable is menial and repetitive, allowing my imagination to just explode. The random music I was listening to on the radio undoubtedly contributed to it, but the thing about trance is that it's not catchy ("Hey, I just met you and this is crrrraaaazzzy, so here's my number, so call me maybe") and the lyrics are never too long or complicated. It takes you on a visual journey without providing the imagery. It's all you.

The first time I realized that trance music provided an actual trance-like state I was jogging on a treadmill. I was looking for something faster than my heart rate to get me going, so I found some trance and suddenly I was visualizing Artex galloping through Fantasia, and then it was a unicorn, and then a unicorn-pegasus. My twenty minutes on the treadmill were over before I knew it. It just kept unravelling to reveal more and more, and all because some music created without lyrics on a computer. I later discovered vocal trance which took me to a new level with a little lyrical guidance.

While I Don't Own You inspired some of the scenes and thoughts in my upcoming novel Detective Docherty and the Vampire's Mirror, here are two songs that inspired plot for later books. Have a listen and see if you can visualize a story and guess where my books might be headed:

Even though I know where the story is headed for the most part, I still like to listen to trance while I write to see if anything new comes, some other adventure I can take my characters on, or perhaps ideas for another story entirely.

So, what do you listen to while you write?


Thursday, 27 March 2014

Anniversary of the Unemployed

For many, many moons now I have wanted to update this blog more regularly, but the truth is, I don't like to spam people with nonsense. I have a preference for important things, thoughts, events etc, however this lonely blog needs a little TLC. I shall just have to find a happy medium, my five readers.

Speaking of happy mediums. I need to get my shit together already. The sad truth: I am almost at the anniversary of my unemployment-- and still unemployed... so that's tragic, however I have been surviving. I have high hopes that waiting this out will give me the opportunity to go back to school and kick some graphic design arse.

The dream, less we forget: Author and Illustrator

In the mean time I've been juggling writing, art, and working at the farm on a low-to-no-income basis. Detective Docherty and the Vampire's Mirror is currently at over 28,000 words and I am really happy with how it's coming along. Art-wise I've been trying to complete multiple projects (and mostly failing), but I am getting there, and farm-wise I almost fell off a ladder in the apple orchard and died. So there's that.

It's a bizarre and sad truth that writers and artists really do starve. I can say with all honesty that the majority of authors and artists I know that actually dedicate time to their craft are relatively poor and those that have always talked about finishing their big project (making a comic, writing a movie script, etc) but took the full time job with benefits, are still working on it (10 years later...) or they had a baby. Whatever.

I say with certainty that following your dreams and going against the grain is no easy task. Those that achieve it young started earlier. Those that achieve it later had a harder climb. Over each hill, I think to myself, "just one more step," but the truth is it is a constant climb, there's no stopping. I published my first book before 30, just as I promised myself, now it's time to publish the second before school. The more that I get myself out there with real material (more books, less twitter), the more people that will seek me out as an author and artist.

Everytime I think to myself "Damn, I really need another pair of jeans," "I wish I could go out with my friends," or "I wish I could pay off some of my debt," I shake the thoughts away and focus on what I can do. We artists of starve, we take it day by day, and chip away at the barriers that hold us back from our dreams. Otherwise we lose ourself in substance abuse and depression.

We live in hard times. There are jobs, but there are more people who need them, struggling just as we are. While waiting to get accepted to school, I spend part of my day searching for jobs, writing covers letters, and sending my resume. When I don't hear back, I add it to my list of failed attempts and submit it with my paperwork for the grant program.

But I'm going to come clean on what spurred these thoughts. The long and short of this entry is, I might be working at a gas station.  There is no shame in it, a job is a job, and living is what is important, but knowing that I completed a four year degree in Environmental Studies and that I can write and publish my own book weighs heavily on me when I think of working a till and refilling a snack bar. On the upside? I get to work with my friend, Curtis, a long time supporter and good friend.

We all start somewhere... and then sometimes we have to start again, but I am curious to see where this path leads me. I could mope and say I am too good for this, but I am not. Like many before me, this is where I am at right now and it's a stepping stone. Getting back on your feet is what counts.

So, pep talk aside, I'm looking forward to having some more money to blow on my dreams :)


Thursday, 27 February 2014

Custom Bonanza

Soooooo... I've had these ideas in my head for custom mlps for quite a while and I'd put them on the back-burner while I worked on other projects, but with a slight adjustment to my schedule, I was able to factor them in.

So here are a couple customs for your viewing pleasure! Two are for sale at my Raven's Hollow Pony Stable.

Princess Celestia 
For Sale

Large Fantasia Pegasus Colt
For sale 

Fantasia Pegasus Family 
Available for Commission

They all have pony bases. The one in the middle is actually a G3.5 pony base, where as all the others are G4's. I plan on doing more, but will need to slow it down till these ones sell or I get a commission :) Hope you like them!

Sunday, 16 February 2014

The Kingdumb

Despite popular belief, I spelled that title correctly.
Recently finished cover art for the ebook novelette, The Kingdumb. Viewable to your left.

The story is about a young man named Pierre (yes, the orange guy) who works at a place called "The Kingdom" where he serves and waits on animals, specifically three kinds: sheep, pigs, and asses. The story is a satire, so all the animals represent those three types of consumers. I think anyone in retail can relate to this idea.

I had a lot of fun with this cover and hope you enjoy it ( you wonderful five readers, you). I'll post an update when the ebook is published.

Toodles for now--