Feb 242014
 

KabukiKatze is a wonder_c__aceo_102014__dirty_laundry_by_kabukikatze-d76f7psful artist who was having a ridiculously low price sale for custom made sketch cards. I contacted her and had her draw my character, Holly Valentine.  I said she was a redhead reporter who gets tied up a lot and the artist did the rest.

Maybe it is because I grew up as a comicbook fan, but I greatly enjoy seeing my characters being drawn. I know that no character drawn will ever look like the character in the reader’ head which is why I take a hands-off approach to artists.  I tell them the bare minimum of a character and they create the rest.  The more artists I get, the more that the common element define a character.

Or to put it another way, there are twelve Doctor Who’s, why can’t there be twelve Holly Valentines?

Apr 112010
 


Friend, creative partner and all around awesome guy, George Sportelli, has an art book out. George drew the Claire Currie picture that I use as my blog header as well as drawing the cover to my ‘Prisoner of the Wizard’s Harem’. George has also drawn many of the character pictures that I show on my blog. Quite a few of these characters make it into the book which gives me a weirdly proud feeling. I turn the page and hey, there is the Island Princess.

The thing I love about this book is that you really get to see the range of George’s talent. He has drawn amazing murals. He has created really stylish black and white mood pieces on music and children stories. He draws wonderful pinups but he also has a great colorful style for kid themes. This book has it all and at 116 pages, it is 4 times the size of a lot of other art books you can buy.

I can’t recommend this book enough. You can order it by clicking here.

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Feb 012010
 


Last May I came up with an idea for a novella length Librarian story. I wanted to do a mystery where Claire and Mr. Dillon had to recover a stolen book. Mostly I wanted Claire to have sex with a long list of suspects. Good times for everyone!

On chapter six of my twelve chapter story, I fell out of love with what I was writing. I liked the mystery, I liked the suspects and I liked the sex, but I didn’t like what Claire was going through. Mr. Dillon held her responsible for losing the book and she spends the entire book working by herself to save her own ass.

Which actually is fine for 90% of stories featuring a submissive. Fear is a great motivator and having a dom character threaten holy hell for failure is pretty standard. As I sat down to write chapter seven however, I realized I don’t like 90% of stories I read with submissives.

See, my original premise for the Librarians back when I first wrote them was that they would be partners. Sure, one was the dom and the other was the sub but I liked the idea that they worked together to accomplish what they needed. In most BDSM stories, the dom is the antagonist who creates and sets challenges for the submissive to overcome.

This idea came about because of my personal life. I discovered that most of my submissives expected me to entertain them. They wanted the writer in me to create elaborate sexual adventures for them when what I really wanted out of a submissive was someone just did what I fucking told them to do. Maybe that makes me a bad dom but it got me thinking about BDSM fiction. It made me realize that if I wanted submissives to have different expectations, I had to write about a relationship closer to what I personally preferred. What I actually preferred was the idea of a dom and a submissive having adventures together.

So last May I understood what i had to do to fix the story. I had to go back and rewrite Mr. Dillon. Instead of a furious nag who punishes Claire in addition to the stress she is already under, I make him fucking helpful instead. I needed to add some collaboration between the two characters which quite frankly since it is a mystery I should have had that to begin with. Writing wise it is not that much work except for the fact that I am changing the entire tone of a story half way written.

It is hard for me to switch gears in a story I am working on. I decided to take a little break back in July and write this crazy Choose Your Own Porn idea I had. My estimate was that the crazy idea would only take me two months to write. Along the way I got the idea for a zombie blog and now here I am in February, almost seven months later, revisiting the Librarians story.

In the long run I think it has all been for the best. I reread what I wrote over the weekend and I am pretty excited. I did the rewriting I needed to and I think I have a very lovely story. I just need to finish the rest of it which I am hoping I can do this month. Sure it took seven months for me to relove the story but hey, writers are neurotic messes.

This lovely sketch of Claire was drawn by Arie Monroe.

Jan 042010
 


Sandra Jusino paints plates. She also paints sea shells, canvases, masks and about anything else she can get her hands on. The lovely plate to the left is my latest treasure from her and I am tickled to death to have it in my possession.

In 2008, my wife and I went to Old San Juan in Puerto Rico. We browsed hundreds of little stores and dozens of wonderful restaurants. At one point we were in a bookstore that was decorated with the most colorful and sensual paintings. For once, I ignored the books and just stared at the paintings. I loved them. Almost all of them depicted a forest scene of some kind where the trees and the human shapes were one and the same. I felt like I was looking at dryads as would really be.

I asked my wife to ask the manager where he got the paintings. I had my notebook out ready to take down the name so I can look it up online. She asked him in Spanish and he pointed out the door. She turned to me and said the artist had a shop literally across the street.

I headed over there and it was like walking into a wonderland. Art was everywhere in this tiny shop. Masks lined the walls. Gorgeous paintings covered every inch. Little figurines were sprinkled about. Jewelry, musical instruments and anything else you could think of was painted with the same sense of wonderful colors.

The artists, Sandra, was there with her daughter. Sandra and my wife spoke in Spanish as Sandra showed off her work. I could barely understand the language but I recognized the passion that artists and writers have. She loves her pieces and when we made our selections, she took a picture of us with our new acquisitions so she would have a momento of where her piece was now.

We bought a coconut shell that depicts a forest of sensual power. It hangs in our bedroom and I love it. I always meant to write about her but it was difficult to put into words what effect her arts has on me. It is sexy, sure, but it is also very magical. I write about magic and science fiction all the time, but deep down I have a personal vision of magic and her art is the closest to that internal vision. It is beautiful, sexy, natural and a little scary.

This year I couldn’t wait to go back to her store. My wife and I walked in and Sandra got very excited. She had remembered us and was delighted to see us again. We toured the store and I was stunned to see how different everything was. She still drew trees and women but she had added medusas, flowers and mermaids. I am amazed by her output.

She could speak some English and I asked her why she painted Medusas.

“Because I always have these ideas squirming around in my head all the time and I can never paint them all. The Medusa is me.”

Well damn. That is the best description I have heard of what it is like to be creative. I feel that way all the time and I thought of it as a lack of focus but any more.

Sandra had branched into drawing mermaid eyes on seashells and my wife snatched one up. I wanted the plate because it is just beautiful. We both bought a lovely beach painting and Sandra showed us some pictures of her at the beach painting it while everyone else was in the water.

Which brings me to something Sandra said. She said her daughter was complaining that Sandra is always painting and never takes a day off or a vacation. Sandra felt it was silly to take a break from something she loves doing. She loves to paint and takes her brushes everywhere.

I smiled at that because this entire vacation, I had been making notes for my next book. That book hadn’t left my side the whole trip and I did wonder if maybe I should take a break. Heck no, it is what I love.

I expressed to her how much her work inspired me and she was genuinely shocked I think. She says so many tourists come in and barely give her work a second glance. I find that to be a crime but you know, it happens. What inspires me is that Sandra says she would keep painting if no one ever bought her work again. That is something I need to know. I need to know that real artists and writers never quit.

She has a website gallery but her Facebook has more pictures.

Sep 282009
 


This week I begin work on my Fiction Blog project. The goal is to create a 3 month long blog told from the point of view of a fictional character. I am setting it in a apocalyptic setting where I will write about survival, loneliness and how much it sucks that no Chinese restaurants are open. If you thought “I am Legend” would make for an awesome blog, this will be for you.

Incidentally, this is technically Fiction Blog Project #2. A few months ago I had an idea of a fictional blog set in the world of Otto Von Madd. The problem I ran into is that I wanted it to be a 2nd person blog, where you, the reader, are reading e-mails sent to you by your coworkers and stalkers. Through these e-mail messages, you discover conspiracies and alliances. Plus, every one is fucking like bunnies.

The problem with Fiction Blog Project#1 is that 2nd person is very challenging to write, especially in a gender inclusive manner. I decided that writing a fictional blog will be challenging enough without the complication of a new perspective.

It was while writing the Choose-Your-Own-Porn story that I came up with a solution for Fiction Blog Project#1. The C.Y.O.P. story was a bitch to figure out, but halfway through I knew how I could write it easier if I ever made a 2nd one. It occurred to me that maybe if I wrote a simpler Fiction Blog first, then I could learn some tips to make the more complicated one easier to write.

So starting this week, I will begin writing on a fiction blog to help me learn from my mistakes. One thing that will be different is that this blog will not be a sex blog. There will be some sex, a lot of swearing and most likely some nasty violence, but it will not be an erotica blog. The theme of loneliness is something I want to explore and it is kind of hard if the main character is getting laid all the time.

Speaking of loneliness, just plotting this blog out this weekend put me in a minor depression. Being alone is something I have struggled with all my life. Whether it is because I grew up in a hostile family, or I felt like I was the only pervert among the kids my age, or the fact that my main hobby is writing an erotic blog that I can’t discuss with my coworkers or family, I have always felt a bit separated from other people. Bei9ng married to a wonderful lady has done a lot to alleviate these feelings, but I am struck by how just thinking about the plot has made me crave human contact. I think the smart plan would be to work on some lighter material while I work on this story.

This Wednesday I will post a new story that stars fishnet stockings.

*Image is my City of Heroes character, Purple Herald, as a sketch card. It is drawn by the wonderful George Sportelli*

Sep 252009
 


This is a sketch by Rich Larson depicting Texanah. I kept the description simple for this. I wanted a busty blonde gunslinger fighting aliens that could be from a 50’s science ficiton movie. Rich asked me if I would mind of they were Mars Attacks aliens and I expressed my happy delight. He also asked if I wanted her squaring off against a single alien like in a duel. I thought about it and said I would prefer if it was crazy chaos.

He wrote the word ‘Chaos’ on his notepad. Yehaw!

The flying saucer was an excellent addition but what I love it the one alien clinging to her leg. Oh my, that is such a hilarious act of desperation.

Texanah as a character has been a strange one for me. I love tall tales and have experimented with the genre before. The Island Princess stories are very similar, but I see them as late night dirty children stories. Texanah was a character that let me mess around with the tall tales that used to circulate out of the Wild West.

Which brings me to one of my favorite topics considering the Wild West. The western territories were so untamed and fantastic, that writers would visit the area and send back stories to be published back east. The stories were exaggerations of actual events, but it helped make some people like Wild Bill Hickok and Jesse James the bigger than life figures they were. These real people were made into fantastic characters on par with Sherlock Holmes.

Considering that people on the east coast were used to reading about incredible things happening in the Wild West, I always thought it was possible for more fantastic things to exist in the fiction. A cowboy who came all the way from Krypton and was raised by good ole Americans to be a law and order type would barely be different from the other outlandish cowboys that were being written about in the 1880’s. I wish there were more crazy Wild West fiction with aliens, monsters and dinosaurs. They could exist, get reported and written about and still make little impact on history because the public would think it was standard Wild West truth stretching.

But really the reason I write Texanah stories is because it is about a hot busty blonde woman who wears a cowboy hat, chaps and sometimes not much more. That just writes itself.

Sep 112009
 


I had resisted the urge to get a commission of Erishella. She has a liquid appearance in my mind. Sometimes I picture her as a nasty Deanna Troi. Sometimes I see her as a younger Famke Janssen. Mostly I just imagine her cruel smile. I know that once I an artists attempts to create something that only exists in my head, they will fail.

But Rich Larson is no ordinary artist. His work is grounded in pulp, sex and adventure. This Dragoncon I decided I would let him do what I was afraid to do. It occurred to me that if I told him what my inspirations were for Erishella, then he would come to the same conclusion I did.

“I had been reading the old Flash Gordon strips and I am really enjoying how crazy and beautiful they were. I would like to see a female version of Ming, an evil Queen sitting on a throne with a skull theme. She just looks magnificent and cruel.”

Rich smiled and I knew he got it.

The next day I picked this up along with a Texanah picture I asked for. Wow, I was just blown away. It was my imagination. The topknot is an interesting choice but I can see her wearing it. I love how she is both relaxed and commanding on the throne. Fuck, it is just perfect.

I had brought my sketch folder with me and I told Rich that getting his art is the highlight of my Dragoncon. He was flattered, but when I showed him all of the past sketches he had done for me, he really smiled. He chuckled at the Otto sketch he did and he laughed out loud at the Island Princess being tied up by monkeys. He really opened up after seeing my folder and we talked for a bit about Dragoncon in general.

Click for the giant version.

Sep 072009
 


So I was at Dragon*con when I picked up food poisoning. I spent Saturday night in the bathroom and all day Sunday vomiting anything I tried to eat. I was achy, whiny and pretty miserable all day Sunday.

It was still the best Dragon*con ever.

They moved the comic artists out of the sub basement they usually put them in and placed them out in the open next to the artist gallery. The difference in energy was amazing. Instead of claustrophobic artists crowded on top of each other, they were spread out with big nice tables. Plus, they were smiling!

Television and Movie stars are surrounded by handlers so that you don’t get within stabbing distance. Comic artists hang out and anwser any lame question you have for them. I embarrassed Michael Golden with my praise for him. Mike Mignola talked to me about Screw-On Head and Hellboy. Brandon Peterson and I swapped stories about middle management. It was fucking fantastic.

Amanda Conner did the wonderful evil version of Power Girl drawing I have featured here. In a weird way, I am prouder that I got her to laugh when I suggested a Kryptonion Goldfish who lives in a Fishbowl of Solitude. I commissioned the piece and we both got food poisoning the same day. She still managed to get this out to me which makes her a Power Girl in her own right.

Rich Larson created two images of Texanah and Erishella for me. They are both stunning and I will be giving them their own post. The Erishella one especially is going up on my wall.

We attended the Venture Brothers panel and got a 15 minute sneak peek at the next season. We watched Shatner and Nimoy bicker like a married couple. We watched Kate Mulgrew be magnificent as usual. We also cosplayed as Fallout 3 Vault 101 people which is something I have never done before. My wife and I were adorable.

Which brings me to my anti-anxiety prescription drug, Lexapro. Holy fuck. I was a different person this year. I had the confidence to talk to people I admire. I had the confidence to talk to total strangers I met in the halls. I didn’t have a single freak out moment this year which has never happened. Heck, I actually dressed up in a costume and posed for pictures. I guess I’m just saying if you have anxiety issues, go seek out pharmaceutical options. I wish I did this years ago.

New Erishella story this week.

Aug 312009
 


I spent the weekend working on my Choose-Your-Own-Porn story. It is about Nash Nighhammer rescuing a kidnapped Princess from an evil wizard’s Harem. Holy crap, it is a pain in the butt. I’m trying to anticipate every choice the reader may want to make and resisting the urge to just railroad them through the story. Replayability is my prime concern. I want a reader to be able to solve it once, and then pick it back up and go a different way, and still solve it. Which means I often end up writing a sex scene, and then turning around writing the sex scene over with a different strategy in mind. By the time I finish an encounter, I have written about three or four sex scenes with the same character.

I have two more encounters to write and the first draft will be done. From there I may go back and add more encounters to flesh out the harem more. The modular nature of the story makes it ridiculously easy to go back and insert entire scenes between other scenes. Last night I added a magic fountain and it was a snap.

The paperwork involved in keeping all the encounters and possible decisions straight is a pain in the crotch. I keep telling myself that this will be last time I write a story like this, but at the same time, I keep getting ideas for another one. I guess it will depend on how popular this story is.

I have a new disturbing story set to go Wednesday, and then I am off to Dragon*Con on Thursday. Wohoo! Gene Wolfe, Mike Mignola, and Rich Larson are going to be there. I heard that somebody called William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy from ‘In Search Of’ will be there but shit, Mike Mignola, the creator of Hellboy will be there! Be still my fanboy heart.

I will also be there taking pictures and trying to get as many pictures of people dressed as Baroness as possible.

This drawing of the Baroness is by Steven Sanchez. He has recently been drawing my childhood with a plethora of sketches. When he put this Baroness up for sale, i had to get it.

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