Friday, November 29, 2013

Dwarves in Space 2: Manuscript finished

 For the first time since I started the wackiness that is writing a manuscript in a month, I crossed the line of finishing the entire book before November 30th.

To celebrate, here's the opening chapter of my next book. Dwarves in Space 2: I'll think of the colon part later.

 Rubber soles, better equipped for marching across the metal grating favored by your class b star line, splintered as a sharpened branch drove straight through and into flesh. Orn yelped, his grip stumbling as he tried to fight through the forest attacking him. His cargo slipped from his fingers and clattered onto the crunchy ground.

Variel paused, turning to her beleaguered pilot so far out of his element he was into lanthanide territory. "Pick it up."

Orn huffed, stumbling to gather what breath he once held and pouted. The thick lip of the dwarves was a difficult one to cross. "Why should I?"

A blast shattered through a trunk a foot above the wheezing dwarfs head, answering for him. His captain only raised her eyebrow as she fired back into the woodland maze. They hadn't seen their attackers for over half a mile, but they traded the occasional scream and bit of weapons fire to keep the relationship from falling stale. Orn gritted his teeth and lifted a small tree off the ground. As his fingers connected with heavy bark a pair of eyes hovered a few inches before him. The Dwarf shook the sapling and shouted "Don't do that!"

The eyes blinked softly then scattered, appearing a few inches beside Variel. She paid the child no mind, all her focus on the hunting party behind them. "We're close to the compound."

"You said that three clacks ago," Orn whined as the sapling's fingers dug into his hair and knotted around his buttons.

"It's clicks and..." another shot fired across the pair leaving a larger burn across the ancient forest. "They're closing, run!"

"I thought I was running."

"Run faster," Variel chided, and shoving into Orn's shoulder pushed him onward.
Bubble, find that stupid bubble. Orn chanted inside his brain as the small eyes darted before him. It would pause, looking at the passing clouds or the swaying leaves filtering through the high branches as senescence claimed the forest; then, after Orn passed a certain threshold, would appear in front of him again. It would unnerve the dwarf if he had time to think about it.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Date from Hell

I am a cruel cruel woman, especially when it comes to my characters.

In this scene I send my elven assassin, Taliesin, on a blind date with the female embodiment of every romcom heroine cliche one can think of.

Blind Date

With a force reserved for popping off troll heads, the kitchen airlock door slammed shut as a mopey elf dug through the cabinets looking for anything to wash away the past two hours. His fingers lingered upon a canister marked "Orn's Secret Stash! Do Not Open!" Tempting, but the handwriting looked dangerously official and he moved on.
"Nice shirt, kill someone fancy?"
Taliesin flipped around, a blot of uncategorized sauce falling onto his nice shirt staining the azure fabric. He didn't notice the Dwarf squatting at the back table when he entered the kitchen, or --sweet tree of life -- the captain sitting beside him, dropping some dice onto the table with the flick of her wrist. The elf was immersed in such a frazzled state he walked past two breathing organics without noting them. His old instructors would have his head for that. And for missing class for the past seventy four years.
"Meeting go badly?" Variel asked, casting one eye up from her game to the elf.
"What makes you ask?"
Her head tilted towards the door, but she didn't say more, letting her chips fall into a pile. It was Orn who took up the thread, "Thought you were gonna send that thing straight through the ship and onto the docking bay."
"Better than picking it up outside," Variel said.
"Yeah. You'd probably make me do it and I hate wearing those oxygen suits."
"They weren't designed to hold the massive storehouse of all things glucose that is your stomach."

Friday, November 15, 2013

Winter's coming

Long time no write, eh? That's actually because I've been using all those squid plopping abilities to fribble the gibbet of the NaNo behemoth that is the novel. Millennium hand and shrimp.

This doesn't leave much time for my brain to accurately align with that harsh mistress, English. But I did recently finish a painting. Unfortunately it also sold the day I listed it. Un-unfortunately, I have a print of it available for anyone that would like some blue trees in shadows.

There are all kind of fancy print options, like putting it on metal or in acrylics. Don't know why I didn't think to do the print of an acrylic painting in acrylic.

In other winter painting news, I finally took that tree that hangs upon my mantle every time I take down the Halloween one and pretend it's Christmas, and stuck it onto a christmas ornament.
It's in my zazzle store, along with a whole bunch of holiday cards that are extra nerdy with nerd sauce on the side for anyone that needs something both wintery as well as MST3k or Cthulhu or Doctor Who.

Back to the brain drain. It's been fun talking ball of string.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Dwarves in Space preview

I'm currently enveloped in that national novel writing month designed to drive all your friends mad with each mention of the phrase "word count." Against all common sense I'm working on a sequel to the book I penned in august. It's got yer Dwarves and yer Elves and space ships and black holes and overabundant cliches all jammed together in a blender set to crush ice.

But, because I like to challenge myself to insane degrees I also created a small scene where the Dwarven pilot Orn, tries to teach his captain how to play a game. It goes about as well as one would expect when letting a highly trained ex-solider play around with a plastic gun.

Unnamed extraneous scene!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Mass Effect Pants

N7 day is fast approaching and I have yet to dangle tinsel off the Normandy's nacelles or ask Garrus to calibrate the light show while Miranda bitches about how it isn't perfect. But I decided, rather rashly this year, that I wanted some pants to match the red striped hoodie I got last year.

The problem is that all the main bioware store offers up are black yoga pants with a small N7 on the top. Thanks to my incredibly short torso any of my shirts would cover it up, so if I got some pants I'd be left having to tell everyone "Hey, this is totally Mass Effect. I am not a fake geek girl. Put down your damn pitchforks and torches!"

So, I decided to make my own and it was better than I feared, worse than I hoped. *flashes geek card*

All I needed was a pair of pants (courtesy of Target), some spray paint (courtesy of ACE) and a tube of acrylic paint (courtesy of my paint cave) then duct tape and a cut up pop box.
 I taped my pants down to the ground outside, then kept taping them up until I had blocked off everything but the area I wanted the white stripe to cover. Putting the cardboard under the leg, I pulled out the white spray paint can. And that's when I learned that no, spray paint refuses to have a damn thing to do with cotton.

But it's okay, I know something that greedily does. Slowly hand painting, I added a white layer of acrylic. Then another later. Finally I put in a last dose of the white spray paint to provide a hard layer. This took forever to dry, so I had to leave my pants outside over night. The next morning a wind monster squatted in our tree and tried to batter every leaf down for funsies.

Taping up the pants, I pulled out the spray paint and added the red stripe, then promptly yanked the pants up and had to leave them inside lest I wind up with some camouflaged armor. The red needed another coat so it didn't look pink.
 The last bit was the N7, and there was no way I was free handing that. I did the all so exciting printing it out, then chopping the letter with an exacto blade and making a stencil. It also took a few coats, and I admit the red of the logo doesn't match the bright red of the stripe. Bite me.

And that's how I made my super comfy, super nerdy Mass Effect pants. If I can do it, I'm sure anyone else can.

Friday, November 1, 2013

This is Halloween

Prepare yourself for a heavy picture load, for we enter the land of all hallows eve.

This year I decided, damn it, I am getting all my skeletons upright. Or at least the ones that don't weigh a good 30 pounds. Buckey, I am looking at you.

It wasn't all that difficult, just the liberal use of garden stakes and zip ties. The wind made things a challenge this year as it picked up from negligible to 13 mph just before we were ready to flip the switch.