Thursday, December 24, 2020

I haven't had much time for doodling lately, but last night I decided to give it an effort! Here's some Earthkeepers sketches!

First, Yonwin! He was super fun to write. He sometimes goes by the nickname "Yon", but Fraa often calls him "Yonnie", much to his embarrassment as that was his nickname when he was little. But you know aunts, you'll always be their little niece/nephew to them. :)

Miette and Kieri couldn't be bigger opposites, but that's what makes them such great friends. :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Email newsletter!

I've finally gotten around to starting an email newsletter for my authorly deeds, including but not limited to books!

I promise I will not give your email away to anybody and my newsletters will not be obnoxious. They will probably come out every month or so, and will be fairly simple updates on books I'm working on and other projects and events related to them.

If you enjoy getting email newsletters from your favorite authors, this is a great way to stay in touch with what I'm doing!

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Which Earthkeepers character are you?

I hadn't done a personality quiz in a while, and thought it would be fun to see how people match up with the main characters from my upcoming novel!

Keep track of the letters of all of your answers, and tally them up at the end. The letter you got the most is which character resembles you most!

(If you have multiple answers for a question, that's totally okay! It means you're a blend of multiple characters and not very much like any one in particular.)

At a party, what are you most likely to be doing?

A. What party? I'm at home, reading.
B. Making friends with everyone.
C. Hosting.
D. Trying to socialize but feeling awkward.
E. Being in charge of the music.
F. Learning interesting things about people as I converse with them.

Do you like sports?

A. I find them interesting from an analytical and strategic viewpoint... but I'm terrible at actually playing.
B. Yes, I think sports are super fun!
C. Yes, sports are great exercise and a good way for me to challenge myself.
D. I enjoy sports. I may be a little shy, but I like being a team player and using my talents to contribute.
E. I'm not super interested in getting out there and actually playing. Coaching is more my thing.
F. I would not count sports as one of my hobbies.

What wouldn't you do for a friend?

A. Break rules.
B. Be mean to someone else.
C. Anything that's obviously a bad idea, whether or not a friend is involved.
D. Public speaking.
E. Lose who I am.
F. I'm not sure. I care so deeply about my friends that it's hard to imagine putting anything above them.

Which career sounds the most appealing to you?

A. Field researcher
B. Tour guide
C. Teacher
D. Professional athlete
E. Musician
F. Politician

What are your peers most likely to describe you as?

A. Intelligent
B. Friendly
C. Parental
D. Sweet
E. Quirky
F. Adventuresome

Which pet would you want most (or already have)?

A. Pets sound like too much trouble. Maybe a robot?
B. A super friendly dog
C. A horse
D. A cat
E. A bird
F. A racecar (do those count as pets?)

Which of these sounds like the most appealing place to live?

A. A sophisticated city with lots to do.
B. A countryside with lots of room to romp around.
C. Somewhere private and quiet where I can relax after a hard day's work.
D. Wherever my friends and family are.
E. Someplace really unique with lots of character.
F. An RV on an endless road trip.

In a roleplaying game, which job class would you most likely take for your character?

A. Wizard
B. Rogue
C. Paladin
D. Knight
E. Bard
F. Ranger

How would you sum up your fashion sense?

A. Classy and put-together.
B. What fashion sense?
C. Unique and eye-catching.
D. Sturdy and functional.
E. Comfortable and casual.
F. Decked out for an adventure!

What do you like doing when you go on vacation?

A. Visiting sites of historic or cultural interest to learn something new.
B. Having as much fun as possible.
C. Showing my friends around places I've already been.
D. Just going along for the ride and soaking it all in.
E. Checking out the local music scene.
F. Exploring everywhere.


Mostly A's

You are most like Miette, the main character of Earthkeepers! You are likely super smart and a little bit of a worrywart. While not the most sociable person, you appreciate the close friends you do have, as they help ground you when you get lost in your own head.

Mostly B's

You are like Kieri, Miette's BFF! You are outgoing and chipper and can make friends with just about anyone. People love you for these qualities, but you may also have a mischievous streak and aren't afraid to bend rules to get what you want.

Mostly C's

You are most like Fraa Stormcleaver, Miette's and Kieri's surrogate aunt! Responsible, hard-working, and warm, you are a powerful presence in the lives of your family and friends, who may look to you for guidance and advice. However, you also know how to have fun when the time is right.

Mostly D's

You most resemble Yonwin, Fraa's young nephew! You may feel shy and unsure of yourself at times, but you have inner strengths that make you a huge contributor to a cause. You dream big and have the ability to make those dreams come true, so long as you believe in yourself.

Mostly F's

You are like Eltas, the mysterious street musician! Your independence and free spirit is very important to you, and you hate people telling you what to do. You love creativity and the arts, and also have surprisingly good leadership skills when called upon.

Mostly E's

You are most like Zuben Elgenubi, the famed Graling folk hero! You are daring and driven, mostly by a love of adventure and expanding yours and others' horizons. Always on the go, always with at least one project in the works, you are a powerhouse of innovation and progress.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

I was chatting with my art pupil the other night, and we were doodling, and I ended up doing a bit of concept art for Earthkeepers

This is one of the main characters, Apparat Drone Model 473 Alloy, a.k.a. "Zuben". He's a friendly, energetic little fellow who enjoys perching on shoulders and exploring the world around him. Miette and her friends found him lying defunct in a secret passageway, and Yonwin restored him to working condition.

But why does Zuben have the same name as the Graling folk hero Zuben Elgenubi? And where does he come from? The answers will change Miette's world forever.

I'm not super great at mechanical design, but I actually got Zuben's design from a dream I had once about this little arthropod creature. When I started brainstorming about Earthkeepers and Zuben, I just couldn't picture him with anything but that creature's design in mechanical form. I use arthropods for mechanical design inspiration a lot because their exoskeletons remind me of metal plating. :)

Those red feather things are aether collecting vanes. Zuben uses them to collect aether from charging streams, as he and the other Apparats run on aether.

Also he speaks Old Gralish, an ancient form of the Graling language, which is represented in the book by Shakespearian English. When the idea first popped into my head, I wasn't sure how well it would work, but as I kept writing it, I liked it more and more. :)

I'm working on some revisions to the manuscript, and I hope to have it ready to send to the editor by the end of the week!

Monday, December 14, 2020

Update bits and bobs

I've been super busy lately, but things have finally quieted down enough that I could put together a coherent update on various projects! Here's what's going on:

- Last week I finished the first draft of Earthkeepers! I am so relieved and excited to move forward! I think it's looking really awesome and I'm looking forward to sharing it with readers. I think fans of Skydwellers will love Earthkeepers, and people who have never read the first book will be able to enjoy Earthkeepers as a standalone science fantasy adventure.

My next step is to go through the manuscript with a fine-toothed editorial comb and make it look as good as possible before I send it to a story editor. Already I have a list of things I'd like to change about earlier parts of the manuscript based on stuff that came up later on in writing, so during this process I will also incorporate these changes. Honestly I don't think it will take me that long, and I should have it ready for the editor by the end of the week. It's coming along!

- Production for the audiobook adaptation of Thunder Girl is projected to start in February! Benjamin Fife and I are super excited to bring this project to you, and we're hoping it can help introduce a whole new demographic of story lovers to the fun and nerdy world of Thunder Girl. I will keep you updated!

- It's looking like Pixeldust will be getting a blog tour March 8-12! I think this will be a great opportunity for Pixeldust as it will be introduced to relevant book bloggers and their followers. The world of indie publishing is based a lot on convincing people that your book is worth reading, and getting it out there and getting (hopefully favorable) opinions helps readers become informed! 

During the blog tour, Pixeldust will be featured on different book blogs every day of the tour, through content like reviews, excerpts, and author interviews. I will definitely share each of these tour stops as they happen! Right now I'm thinking I will share each tour post daily on my Facebook page, and then after the tour, compile the list of posts here on my blog. I think it will be a very exciting boost for a novel that I worked hard on earlier this year, but released to little fanfare (despite my advertising attempts).

As for what I'll be doing while Earthkeepers is at the editor's? I keep telling myself I'll take a break, but I tried that for about ten minutes and then got bored. So I'll probably do some illustration work, try to watch and work from some art tutorials, and probably put more Neopets fanfic on the blog!

I hope everybody has a lovely holiday season! Take care!

Friday, December 4, 2020

Thunder Girl audiobook!

I'm very happy and excited to announce that Thunder Girl is getting an audiobook adaptation!

I'm partnering with audiobook narrator Benjamin Fife to make the quirky, paleontology-laced alternate history world of Thunder Girl come to life! 

I'm so thrilled to have Benjamin on board, as he actually knows how to do accents and I do not, except when I'm pretending to be British which is more often than I should admit. (Mostly when I'm talking to the TV while watching back episodes of The Sky at Night.) Other authors praise his work, I myself like his work, and he just seems like a great person who likes to help the indie authors he partners with. 

I'm looking forward to working with him, and I hope this is just the first of many adaptations we can produce to help bring my work to a new audience.

Tentatively we are looking at a release date of sometime in Q2 2021. I will keep you guys updated!

Thursday, December 3, 2020

So I just sent this email to's editorial team, and, well, I felt like it was so important that I wanted to share it here. It's an example of where I feel someone's writing went wrong, and it's also an issue I feel so strongly about that I would like to share my opinions on the matter. 

I don't know if they'll ever reply, or if they'll just read this and laugh. But I felt I would be remiss if I didn't alert them to the fact that hey, I don't like how they're doing things right now and I don't think it's good for other people either.

TL;DR: News doesn't have to be depressing, guys. And being realistic actually means having a healthy dose of optimism.


I am a lifelong astronomy enthusiast who enjoys keeping up with the latest news on all things space-related. For a while now, I have gotten my space news from Astronomy Magazine as I find it to be reliable, informative, and interesting.

However, sometimes I am bothered by the negative, almost pessimistic tone of some of your news articles, in which I feel that the downsides or potential negative effects and implications of an event or idea are given undue emphasis, with little or no regard to positive facts or the potential for desirable outcomes.

A good example of this is the article you ran on the collapse of the Arecibo radio telescope. I found the article to be very informative as to the details of the collapse, but then it began delving too far into negative thinking for my liking.

"Too little, too late" is the phrase used to describe what the author seems to perceive as an ignorant blunder on the part of the NSF with regards to the timing of the decommissioning process. For a project of this magnitude to be carried out correctly and safely takes a lot of planning and engineering. I think it is reasonable to assume that the NSF was doing all it could to put together a plan to dismantle the telescope swiftly but safely. The platform collapse happened mere weeks after the prior cable break, which is not much time at all when dealing with an engineering issue of this magnitude.

And no attention, save a brief note, was paid to the fact that, due to the NSF's sound judgment in not attempting repairs and evacuating personnel after the cable break, no one was injured in the platform collapse. Telescopes are replaceable, but the real tragedy here would have been a loss of human life. Because of the NSF's foresight, that tragedy was averted and they should be lauded for it.

I appreciated the mention of the hashtag #WhatAreciboMeansToMe, and it is wonderful to see the astronomical community fondly remembering Arecibo, but then the article again took a turn for the negative as it quoted individuals with very pessimistic outlooks. While I understand that many are grieving the telescope's loss and need time to process their emotions, I do not appreciate that some people's emotional reactions seem to be taken as fact by the article writer, and again they were not balanced by quotes from individuals with more hopeful and resilient outlooks.

We do not know what the future holds. I firmly believe Rosario-Franco can have opportunities to work in radio astronomy in Puerto Rico if those opportunities are made available, and there is no good reason to close the door on that. She may very well be the person to spearhead such valiant efforts, if she does not allow herself to lapse into defeatist depression, but moves past this loss to see the potential of future achievements.

And perhaps the demise of Arecibo was a timely wakeup call to the federal government to pay more attention to science and education in Puerto Rico, and that has the potential to bring about wonderful change. I believe true societal progress is made when we focus less on a non-optimal current situation and focus more on the goals we want to achieve. Sitting around and complaining about current states of funding does not do much but make destructive, reactive anger and bitterness fester in oneself and others. Becoming solution-oriented, and having a willingness to forgive and move on from the mistakes of the past, is what will bring true solutions.

Overall the tone of this article struck me as hopeless, dour, and critical, and in my opinion that was wholly unnecessary. Especially in the face of everything our world is going through right now, there is no need to make readers feel that another absolute tragedy has happened, one which can never be recovered from and which also conveniently draws attention to contentious political issues, with no suggestion of solutions or the possibility that things might actually get better. Because they do. History has shown us time and time again that yes, bad things happen. But so do good things. And very often, good things come out of bad things and we would be wise to remember that.

I feel this was a grave misstep on the part of the editorial team, and I ask them to remember that in these trying times, we must all do our part to uplift and encourage each other. Writers have tremendous power over the mental state of their readers, and Astronomy Magazine does not need to slide into the sort of irrational gloom-and-doom negativity of so many other news outlets.

While I appreciate the factual quality of your articles, if their emotional tone continues to trend in this direction, I will have to seek my space news elsewhere, because I am tired of being bombarded by others' negative and despairing opinions. Space should be fun. Let's keep it that way.


T. K. Arispe

Also, if you wanted a writing update, I am getting very close to the last chapters of Earthkeepers! I am very excited. I also have some fun promotional stuff in the works, like a blog tour and quite possibly an audiobook! You can keep up with the news on that on my Facebook page.

And, if you want a sneak peek of the novel I'd like to work on next, here's a teaser: Giant robots. Space-time anomalies. Alien space pirates and lupine galactic invaders. Young adult on her way to a new job on the Moon gets thrown into all the craziness due to a space-warp quantum-entanglement mishap. Tentative title: Blue Diver, because the giant robot pilots are called Divers.

I don't even know, man. It's gonna be fun.