Space… and stuff.

I just love space. That’s just how I roll. If you like space, too, then you should check out GunMetalBlack. There you’ll find a collection of short stories told from a man’s perspective with lots of girls and fighting. While my favorite of his work is one of his more emotional pieces, there’s still a lot for a guy to appreciate!

“Just A Girl” is a story about a jaz singer who was reanimated by a bunch of mini cyber bugs during an attack on her homeworld that killed the rest of her species. I won’t spoil anything else, but, it’s awesome.

I’ve followed his work for years and from time to time I like to illustrate his work. This one, a character named Kali, is from an as-yet unwritten piece in that universe. Space, guns, girls, ships and awesome. Check him out here:

GunMetalBlack

Kali, pictured below, took me 2 hours to paint in photoshop7 with a wacom intuos2.
Kali kicks some butt!

The Change – Science Fiction for the kids

The Change

Harry Hanes was an average American teenager: a scrawny, girl crazy, school skipping troublemaker. He had a mess of reddish brown hair and light skin that had not been treated kindly by the onset of puberty. His voice was becoming squeaky and an army of rust colored hairs lurked just below the surface of his skin, waiting for the right moment to break free from their fleshy prison.

He thought to himself about the awkward embarrassment he would have to endure for the next few years while he went through puberty. Becoming a man was certainly appealing to him – as it was to most boys. The squeaky voice and possible pimples, however, put him off. His private wish on his 15th birthday was that he find a way to skip the awkward years altogether and go straight to the being a man part of his life.

It seemed like he was making good progress. As his appetite grew, so did his body. Lately his parents’ grocery bills had become ever-so-slightly inflated. Harry was eating about twice what he used to. Just last month he ate one egg, one slice of toast and a bowl of cereal before going to school. Now he ate three eggs, two slices of toast and a bowl of cereal – and sometimes he still got hungry an hour before lunch was served. Each day he would eat more than the previous.

Things continued on like this for nearly three months. His parents, friends, teachers and even the school bully were concerned about the once lanky kid’s size. The coach was now considering the newly bulked boy for the football team. The doctors were baffled by his sudden appetite. It could never be satisfied.

One day after school Harry disappeared. He’d become sluggish recently and complained of stomach cramps. He had also been doing a fair bit of sleeping. Days went by with no sign of Harry. Finally, friends, neighbors, his parents and yes, even the bully, were out looking for him. They didn’t find Harry but they did find one of the Eaton’s missing cows and a stray cat. That wasn’t all they found.

Two and one half weeks after the boy’s disappearance, a call came in to the police. A farmer two miles out of town (he had no idea who else to call) had discovered something terrifying in his barn. He wanted it investigated and removed immediately.

In the barn, the police discovered what could only be described as something from a horror movie. It was a shell of solidified, sticky, dark brown plastic-like flesh. The flesh was split down the middle and completely gutted. Strings of something slimy dripped from its’ edges, crisscrossing over the opening of the stinking skeleton. The strings of liquid were coated in dust and bugs (as was everything else in the barn). There were heavy tracks in the dust and straw that lead out to pasture. The police followed the tracks through the open double doors.

Outside they saw a man in the field. He was wearing nothing. He was light skinned, well muscled and sported a mop the color of rust. He sat Indian style in the grass, surrounded by corn husks and broken stalks. He was eating ear after ear of corn, voraciously. He did not seem to notice the officers – his interest in the juicy yellow and white kernels was intense. His eyes were glazed and his skin was sticky and glistened in the sunlight.

“Hey you!”

The officer called to the naked fellow.

“I’m so hungry.”

The words were barely understandable through hurried chewing. He looked to be twenty years old. At 6’2”, sporting a fine compliment of muscle and facial hair, it looked like Harry Hanes got his wish: he’d become a man.

Sometimes overeating can do more than make you fat.

Space PuffBall

I just read “The Three Descents of Jeremy Baker”, a short story by Roger Zelazny and loved every bit of it. Therein is featured an energy creature with such a delightful, charming disposition that I read the story 3 times in a row just for the chance to have its company. It’s a hard SF short story dealing with the physics of time travel and black holes. I recommend it. This writer is getting closer to my style (I have a character something like Nik who appears in Anna’s later novels).

On another note, I plan to begin work on a web comic with a friend of mine, Ben. It will feature creatures from an alternate dimension. The story is going to be fun and casual with a balance of scientific speculation and silly explanations for life’s little idiosyncrasies.

I doodled this for a contest some time ago. She kind of looks like a trashy version of Anna, my main character!

Baby Mamma…

The Baby Mama

So I’ve noticed that in this modern day and age, young girls are being referred to as “Baby Mamas” rather than “Girlfriends” or “Wives”. As the casual, unconnected label implies, this leaves a lot of want in a relationship. Oftentimes men will have one “best girl” with whom they make children. They call her their “Baby Mama” but have others on the side. This, to me, is tragic and inspired this lyrical piece:

Image drawn by Desiree Joy (my sister) and colored by yours truely.


The Baby Mamma

The baby mama lives in drama,
Cries and lies and little lives.
Silky milk within her skin,
Dimes and diapers – fight again.
She tells herself she’s tired of men-
Only lonely, lost and hurt for friends,
Her quest for solace never ends-
The lines, the hurt that never mends.
She pays her bills and fills her cart
As desperation fills her heart-
Until the day she finally may
Stand on her own, alone and strong
And learn to sing the singles’ song.

Wild Words

Wild Wolf LLC now sells “Heart of Metal” in their online store. Sean, the dude who runs the joint, is awesome. Check out WW’s line of independent, hand drawn comics for unusual stories like vampires and Nazis.
Wild Wolf

I added more artwork to the art shop. I’m including works of art done by my sister, Desiree, as well. Feel free to stop in and have a look at our husky and monster items. More to come!

Fellow Writer, Lissa Bilyk, will be showing off the illustration I painted of her character, Tina Storm, on her blog shortly. Go and check her out here:

Lissa Writes

Woos and Words


Art Shop
I started an art shop in order to use my illustration skills to further contribute to Hero’s medical care. However, I didn’t read the fine print and it turns out I can’t withdraw money for 30 days AFTER purchases were made.

Therefore, I will re-purpose the shop to sell fun stuff designed by my sister and I that we think people might enjoy having. However, if you buy anything that has the image of Hero on it we will donate all proceeds from those specific items to his shelter.

ArtShop

Hero Update
Hero has undergone surgery. He still needs $1,700 to pay down his bills. For more information you can investigate the below links to blogs and shelters involved in his rescue.

Five Sibes
Siberian Nation
Allie’s Rescue Angels(shelter caring for Hero)

Science Fiction
So why am I writing so much about dogs and charity when the goal and focus of this blog/site is science fiction? Well, for one, it’s not entirely about science fiction. It is also about character development, illustration and just a little about me. Apparently people like to know a little bit about writers who’s work they read.

I am very interested in animals and Hero is my first official attempt to involve myself actively in a rescue. In support of this interest the third book in Anna’s series features (without spoiling anything) a little drama about a sport similar to dog fighting and how it affects those involved.

A Hero for Hero

(UPDATE – WE have raised $400 for Hero in the first 24 hours! Amazing)
In an effort to find and collect Heroes to support a very unfortunate little husky, I have painted a poster that will be customized and numbered and sold strictly for his benefit. On day one we have sold 9 (under 12 hours) so that means we have made $225 in 12 hours for Hero’s medical bills. I am proud of everyone who gave of their money to help this pup. Details follow:

Hero was abandoned at a shelter when he was only 3 days old. He has been diagnosed with Epilepsy. He will have a lot of medical bills. I’m told it will take the sale of 24 posters to cover his MRI. See Allie’s Rescue Angels on facebook for more details on Hero.

Help Hero Now!

Hero The Husky Puppy!
 

Character Worksheets

I aspire to inspire! I want to make this place a useful resource for anyone interested in character design for art and/or writing. I have added a bunch of character worksheets to the site. If you’ve filled out every sheet and still don’t have a nice round character, you’ve done something wrong! Go, check them out. They are filed under Grow Your Own Character > Worksheets.  Happy creating!

What you didn’t see.

This little nugget did not make it into my book after reconsidering it, re-writing it and re-thinking it several times. The tone just wasn’t appropriate in the end (just a little too silly I think). Still, it’s interesting enough to stick up here to amuse passers-by.

I don’t know how many writers display their rough work. I’ve always had a hard time showing sketches or works in progress. In an effort to help me get over that, I present this in its imperfection for you’re entertainment.

“It was just short of fall, but a couple of dried leaves chased each other down the street anxious for the start of their season. The sun was also feeling the end of summer, but was not so excited about it. It was keeping itself busy trying to dish out a few last minute burns to unsuspecting townsfolk before the start of long sleeve season. Down the block from the leaves but not out of the sun’s site, a scruffy looking mutt was watering a fire hydrant, while some lethargic bees explored the inner cavities of a coral colored hibiscus blossom.”

Introduction

I am writing this post in order that my guests, that’s you, get a polite and proper welcome. You have found yourself in the inner sanctum of Spore Palace. Don’t stand too close to the walls and certainly don’t touch anything. Besides being sticky, the spore sacs are fragile and will burst open at the gentlest touch. They will then infect the nearest host. Again, that would be you.

Feel free to take a look around. Herein you will find my own art and writing. As you have no doubt guessed already, I prefer to work in the sci-fi genre. I seek to have my writing described as “weird but cool”. Every once in a while something closer to normal comes around, but I do my best to avoid that where possible.

I’ll be posting concept art, writing excerpts and keeping you updated on my projects from this page.