It’s that time of year! Here are a couple of discount codes for 20% off my work. The codes are good through 12/25/2017.
Smashwords code for Penumbra: GG62S
Fine Art America code for my art on various products: JFXGKJ
I am offering 20% off coupon codes on my art and writing for Cyber Monday, so enjoy!
Fine Art America Gallery – FNDZGR
Print version of The Little Book of Insurrection or the Poetry of My Discontent on Amazon- ZW7PQU3K
Ebook of Penumbra on Smashwords – GZ97E
A friend of mine posted a video of a rat killing a pigeon in NYC, and it started automatically playing on my Facebook page and I couldn’t stop watching even though I wanted to. And the images are haunting me. On the one hand, it’s survival of the fittest between two animals that are generally considered pests, and on the other hand, it’s a ruthless killing of one living being by another. And the action of the human that recorded the rat killing the pigeon without stepping in at all… I wonder what that person is like in life. And I wonder what it says of humanity overall that we have that tendency of not being able to look away from something brutal. It’s like people slowing to a crawl on the highway to check out an accident scene, isn’t it? And maybe it’s silly of me that the death of a pigeon is hanging around, especially when I’m still a meat-eater (albeit I try to be an ethical one as much as possible). But brutality is brutality, in any form, and it’s that I tend to try to avoid in my life.
I am concerned about the audacity and aggressiveness of the rat to kill a pigeon in broad daylight on a city sidewalk. I was a history major, and there are documented cases of people on ships or in the slums of busy cities having to have someone keep guard during the night or otherwise getting bits of their noses, eyelids, and ears nibbled off by aggressive rats. They are smarter than most humans give them credit for, and if the NYC rats are this brazen now, we could have some problems.
I also couldn’t help thinking “Oh no, Penumbra is coming true! The rats and the pigeons are at war!” And the inspiration for that part of my story actually came from my experience in Long Beach, CA. When I first started grad school for my MFA, there was a rat problem that had been an issue for years in the building. These rats were smart. The school had laid down adhesive traps, and one of the other students in my program had placed a piece of food in the center of one of the traps. A rat flipped the trap over into the dust, then walked across the dust-covered adhesive (thus no longer sticky) and taken the food. We saw the paw prints the next morning. But my second year in the program, there was an increase in cockroach activity in the city of Long Beach and the rat problem diminished, so I hypothesized that the cockroaches and the rats had done great battle, and the roaches had won. Maybe the pigeons and rats in NYC are doing the same now.
On my weekend away up at Lake Ontario a few weeks ago, I sat down and read Penumbra for the first time since releasing it back in 2013. I had a little trepidation when I started reading that I would want to give up on ever writing anything ever again, but that didn’t happen. Instead, I was actively engaged in the story! (I also only noticed two tiny formatting errors and no typos, so that was exciting.)
It was strange, though, because I realized that the tale I wrote in Penumbra was an allegory for all of the inner work I would be doing for the next year and a half. No, I didn’t have evil rat-men coming after me, nor did I enlist the help of cockroaches or pigeons, but the journey of facing down my internal fears and expanding myself, the opportunity to unlock some of my hidden talents and powers as a human being, and even the feeling afterwards that my heroine felt. It was strange. Like I could have saved myself a lot of grief and struggle if I had just paid attention to the message I had been clearly writing to myself a year earlier.
The good thing, though, is that reading my old work has given me the confidence to move onto my novel in earnest. It will be slow going, but I will finish it eventually. And knowing that feels really good.
You can download Penumbra for free now through March 8th over at Smashwords by using coupon code RW100 as part of their “Read an Ebook Week”.
I will be vending at the 2014 Buffalo Small Press Book Fair on April 5th and 6th! I will be bringing print copies of The Little Book of Insurrection or the Poetry of My Discontent, along with some prints and a few of the original illustrations. I’ll also have 1/4 sheets with info on Penumbra to pass out.
So, if you are in the Buffalo, NY area, please stop by, even if it’s just to say “hello”.
I had an author interview up a few days ago at Workaday Reads. Please check it out!
An urban fantasy story that will grip you and leave you wanting more.
Fed up with the dirty city and a disenchanting life as a fashion model, Beauty’s world is at least safe. But the illusion of safety shatters the night that she frees herself from her self-imposed fears only to be thrust into the magical underbelly of the city, where forces that want to save humanity and evil beings that want to feed off humanity’s despair fight for balance and power.
Driven from both the comforts and the trappings of her old life, now hunted by a cadre of sinister, rat-faced business men, Beauty’s only hope is to join with a strange magical ally. Together, with the help of fae creatures in unlikely guises, they must seek out an enchanted, improbable artifact that can heal the city before evil tips the balance, once and for all.
This powerful coming-of-age fairy tale follows the path of a young heroine who chooses to take fate into her own hands for the first time in her life, and of the consequences that her choice has on the magical beings of the city.
Why This Story?
Penumbra started as a short story years ago, but the main character got into my head. Beauty is my response against the many young heroines popular today that rely solely on other’s for their strength and happiness. In this story, on this journey, Beauty is finding herself. It’s as much an inner journey for her as it is a traditional fairy tale.
I also had lots of fun creating my own creatures of magic and fantasy and playing with traditional fairy tale tropes in a modern setting. Part of the joy of being an independent author, for me, is being able to write a story the way it wants to be written, serving the characters and the plot rather than a preconceived market put on me by an outside person. The result, in this case, is positive, and I have high hopes for my future work as well.
In celebration of Discovery 4 at Discover Authors being my first round robin blog tour, and as it is my birthday month, I will be giving away three (3) ebooks. You can enter in many ways, up to three times. First – comment on this blog. Second – link to either the Amazon or Smashwords page via social media, and either comment here or email or tweet at me that you have done so with the link to your site so I can follow you. I’ll count two social media links as separate entries. On August 20th (the day after this blog tour ends), I will do a drawing and announce the winners!
Writing of “The Cephalopod Maid” is going along swimmingly! (See what I did there? It’s a joke, cuz cephalopods live in the ocean!) I need to think a little more about where the story wants to grow, but that’s okay, because I have to focus my time and efforts on commissioned work for the next week. Well, commissioned work and drumming up more paid-for work. So unfortunately, a free short story needs to take the back seat. Which makes me sad, because I’ve also added another two layers to the cover art, and now I can’t touch that until next week either.
Here she is! I’ve got one layer of shading left to do on the maid, and then I get to add the details. You can’t see in this photo, but there is a really lovely green shade to her face that goes into her body.
In other news, our office/work space is almost completely set up. We’ve got several different pots on the fire, and we’re hoping that we can keep it all going. And we’re trying to settle into a work routine. We’re still weighing whether or not we’ll look for a part or full time job for one of us or try to push the freelancing. I think right now the plan is to keep all door opens, apply for positions as they come up and we find them interesting, and push the freelance. It’s tough to find a balance of doing paid work, looking for future paid work, and developing art and writing that will hopefully eventually become paid work and to grow as an artist.
Starting Friday, I’ll be taking part in a Discover Authors blog tour for Penumbra, so for ten days, I’ll be posting the books for the other authors on the tour. I’m excited to participate. I’ll also be running an ebook giveaway for Penumbra as part of the tour, so keep watch for that!
I received my first five-star review of Penumbra on Amazon!
“I was given the opportunity to read a pre-release version of “Penumbra,” and I should warn you: I intended to read this story over the course of the week, but I found myself so wrapped up in the unfolding mystery of Beauty’s city that I ended up finishing it in one sitting! From the crisp opening pages, I was drawn into Beauty’s life and her collapsing reality. I loved the original fantasy creatures, the villains, the strange new heroes–all of it was refreshing and engaging, reminiscent of older sword and sorcery fantasy adventures, but with the grit and immediacy of a contemporary urban fantasy. From my interpretation, there were also some highly allegorical aspects to “Penumbra” that make it a stand out work of short fiction. I felt there was much more going on there than just an adventure story, but I won’t give anything away here.
I highly recommend this to anyone looking for something out-of-the-ordinary.”