Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Largest

Flash fiction for the Write On Purpose Facebook group. I'd love spending a day as a Supersaurus! That sounds fun.

When I was a kid, pretending to be a dinosaur was my jam.

--

My behemoth frame shifts with every lumbering footfall. Long, long neck outstretched, I survey the vast plains beyond and below me, searching for my favorite foliage. My snakelike thin tail waves behind me, buffeted by the brisk wind.

I am the largest.

A herd of Dryosaurus crosses my path. Neither party flinches—they are small and agile enough to easily slip between my columnar legs, and I am slow and careful enough to avoid them. I am almost more a piece of the Jurassic landscape than something that lives in it, a scaly ship cruising these dry lands with my constant plodding.

I come across a patch of mud and squelch through it. Every footstep creates a crater, and when the rains come again, these will become ponds that smaller creatures will gather around to quench their thirst.

I am a life-bringer.

Thick billowing clouds sail on the horizon behind distant mountains. I crane my neck to look at them and change my course. I am ever moving, not only in search of more food, but for the sheer joy of it, the joy of being. Pterosaurs wheel overhead and call out to each other with their melancholy cries. An Allosaurus passes me by, a look of respect in her amber eyes as she goes in search of a meal more her size. I return the gesture with a bellowing snort and a nod of my head, wishing her a good hunt, for she too is an important part of this world.

And then I am left alone with the earth and sky once more, to continue my work of shaping my planet to watch the little ones thrive on it, and take joy in that.

I am a titan queen.

Monday, June 7, 2021

I did some doodles for Blue Diver! I've had these characters rattling around in my head for the past few months and just needed to get them out on paper! FYI, I'm about 33,000 words into the first draft and it's looking awesome so far!


Jahaira likes to describe herself as the biggest, baddest pirate in Challinor. This is a bit of an exaggeration, as her crewmate Mireya is bigger (as seen on the height comparison chart in the next image). :) Jahaira is cocky, arrogant, and flippant, and has serious issues with the Challinor Empire... but she's also a good person deep down, and she does what she does in order to take care of her crew of misfit outlaws. She considers herself a champion of the offbeat underdog, and if she finds out that anyone is suffering because they're different, she becomes a surprisingly caring and protective person. She's been a lot of fun to write.

Height comparison chart for the main characters, and portrait of Auva! FYI, this never gets mentioned in the story, but Auva is from St. Catherines, Ontario, a city near Niagara Falls and part of the greater Toronto metropolitan area. But that's totally irrelevant to the story because it mostly takes place in another galaxy. :)


And Renny being epic! She's been a lot of fun to write, and she's probably one of the most complex characters in the book. She, Auva, and Jahaira have a good dynamic going, because Auva, being an unattached third party to the socio-political conflict happening in the galaxy, is able to be a good mediator between Jahaira and Renny when they get too lost in their own opinions to be able to communicate civilly. Will Renny ever figure out her mysterious past and clear all suspicions that she's a spy? You'll have to read the book to find out! :)

Friday, June 4, 2021

 

I got another commission from J. K. Bailey of one of his characters from his Christian sci-fi trilogy Zealot Finale! This is General Nicor, a water clan wyyrm who wields a spear made of ice. He was fun to draw!

Wednesday, June 2, 2021


Hi all, I wanted to give you a very important update on the
Kickstarter project for On Borrowed Wings.

The Kickstarter campaign has 14 days to reach the funding goal of $1,000. So far, only 18% of that amount has been pledged.

With two weeks left in the campaign, it's imperative that people help out, now more than ever. Kickstarter allows you to pledge however much you want ($1 minimum), and I'm preparing some fun prizes for donors across multiple pledge tiers.

I'm a small-time indie author with a limited budget. Part of the reason why I'm indie is so I can focus on telling the stories I want to tell, without having to worry about what publishers and agents are looking for or what's trending on the market. 

That freedom of creativity allowed me to write and self-publish a teen science fiction novel where two of the main characters have cerebral palsy and two are neurodiverse. Why? Because I strongly believe fiction needs to be more inclusive. Kids with special needs are warriors fighting some tough battles. They deserve quality stories that show people like them making a difference and being heroes.

Now, to reach out to even more of these special needs warriors, I'd love to get this book into an audio format. And I would love your help so it doesn't break my bank.

I know you're probably very busy and have plenty of your own challenges you're juggling. But if you're feeling inspired, please consider donating even a single dollar to this project. Do it for the people with special needs in your life. Do it for all the times you wanted more fictional heroes who reminded you of yourself. Do it for the love of good books.

I write books with the intention to make a difference in the lives of readers. Audiobooks allow me to expand my novels' sphere of influence and spread the good. I know that working together, we can make this happen. 🙌

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

As the Kickstarter campaign has just over two weeks to the deadline, I thought I'd put together some book trivia to share! These tidbits give some insight into how the characters were designed and what a complicated road to publication the book had. I've found it works best for me if I write a book all in one go, and don't set it aside to start other projects. It then becomes very difficult for me to re-gain momentum for it.



Tuesday, May 25, 2021


22 days to go in my Kickstarter audiobook campaign, and here's the add-on reveal! I'm offering the ability to purchase any of my Kindle ebooks for just $1--that's $2 off regular retail price! I'm also offering signed paperback copies! The ebooks are available at all prize tiers, while the paperbacks are only available at the tiers that include physical prizes--although this is subject to change if enough people ask me nicely. 🙂

If you're at all interested in what this project is trying to do - whether or not you've pledged - it would be awesome if you could please help me spread the word through your own social media channels and telling interested friends and associates! My own social circles are small, so I could really use the help of my enthusiastic readers to help widen the reach of this project. I think we can do this if we all work together!

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

 


I needed a new Facebook icon to better fit a frame I wanted to use... so of course that meant drawing up a whole new illustration. 🙂 #ArtistProblems

I needed a portrait that wasn't so pale (so it wouldn't clash with white frame text), so I did this picture of Renny Gallahan from Blue Diver. She's definitely been a very fun character to write; she's blunt and no-nonsense, but she means well, and once you earn her loyalty, you've got a very powerful ally on your side. She's become something of a big sister figure to Auva and it's adorable. 

It's going to be a lot of fun to delve into the plot-twisty secrets behind her mysterious past... 

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

 


Okay, here's the lowdown: I ran into some budgetary difficulties in my initial attempt to finance this audiobook. But I really want to see the audiobook happen because I know it means a lot to some people. So I figured, if fans want it so badly, maybe they could pitch in and help out!

So I'm very excited to announce a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the audiobook production! I only need a minimum of $1000 to fully finance everything (the actual production, Kickstarter's fees, and prize fulfillment), and I've put together some fun prizes to reward backers.

If you're interested in audiobooks, inclusive science fiction, giant robots, and/or uplifting stories of hope, redemption, and empowerment, I hope you'll consider donating and spreading the word!

Friday, April 30, 2021


Figured an update was due... I've started working on the first draft of Blue Diver! So far it's so incredibly super fun, and I'm enjoying it every bit as much as I hoped I would. Which is really my permanent writing goal after the health-crisis debacle that was NaNoWriMo 2020. Never again.

From now on, no pressure. No deadlines. No needing to write a certain amount in a day in order to feel productive. I'm just going to write when I want, and let myself have the time to rest that I need.

And lest you think this is turning me into a procrastinator--I've written 16,000 words in the manuscript and I've only been working on it for a week. In a welcome twist of irony, trying not to be so productive has made me more productive beyond my wildest dreams. 

I told myself I would get back to enjoying my job. I think I've achieved that.

As far as the actual story, it's fun times all around! The characters are extremely fun to write: nice-but-slightly-snarky test pilot reject Auva Cameron; disgruntled and conflicted alien police officer Renny Gallahan; sly but kindhearted space pirate captain Jahaira Vorrh and her quirky crew; hyperactive rabbit-thing Kee Kitwit; and kindly bookworm gorilla-crocodile Mireya Golm.

Also, it's been fun writing a girl-powered giant robot space opera--like My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic in space! With giant robots.

Really excited to share this one with everybody! I'll keep hacking away at it... on my own time, of course. Which means, evidently, an inhumanly feverish pace.

I'll allow it.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Roll for Initiative

I finally had the time to upload another Neopets fic!

There's a bit of a story behind this one. In Worth Searching For, when Hyren and Blynn are in Brightvale, I inserted what was at the time supposed to be a throwaway joke about how Brightvalians are nerds who play Neoquest, which I portray in my body of work as a tabletop roleplaying game akin to Dungeons & Dragons.

However, when I was brainstorming things for Blynn and Hyren to do in Brightvale, I thought it would be great fun - and in-character - if Blynn actually started playing Neoquest.

Then, as I was writing the very emotionally exhausting final chapters of WSF, partway through I decided I just needed a brief change of pace, and I jotted down a cute, fun little story about Blynn starting to Quest Master her own campaigns at home after the events of WSF. It was the perfect breather before I dove back in to the epic climax of WSF. In some ways, this story also serves as an epilogue of sorts in a "what are they doing now" kind of way.

The first version of this story - which got published in the Neopian Times - reads somewhat differently. That version still had Isengrim with what I'll call his "beta personality", and the main gist of the plotline was him and Hyren just barely getting along while Blynn is trying to start a Neoquest campaign.

However, several years later I decided to revise it, and most importantly give Isengrim his current personality. Doing that, I knew the original conflict was no longer workable because he and Hyren now had a very different relationship dynamic by the point the story takes place, and in fact I ended up removing almost all conflict from the story, mostly making it about how everybody enjoys each other's company, and Isengrim and Hyren barely sorta argue about Isengrim wanting to create his Neoquest character his way.

When I took another look at the story in preparation for putting it on this blog--it just sort of fell flat. The depictions of happy fun times playing Neoquest were cozy and all, but it felt like there was no real cadence to the plotline, no sense of rise and fall, conflict and resolution. Obviously that's not something all short stories need, but with my now-vague hints of Isengrim and Hyren disagreeing, I felt like the second version was missing out on a great opportunity for character development and a good Life Lesson.

So I decided to fix this, and I ended up expanding the story a bit and giving Hyren a solid and prominent character arc, and now I think the story reads much more satisfactorily. Now it's about Hyren learning that just because he's the type of person who always wants things done a certain way to his exact specifications, doesn't mean everybody else will want those specifications--but that's okay, and a lot of the time it's more important to just let people enjoy something in the way that brings them happiness and fulfillment, even if it seems nonsensical or inefficient.



It was raining.

It was a crisp Storing evening in Altador, and it was raining, and Hyren was doing his best not to catch a cold.

The blue Grundo hated rain. But he found it easier to tolerate curled up on a plush couch in his family’s library, wrapped in a down comforter, enjoying the blazing heat of the fireplace, and sipping a mug of steaming borovan while reading the Neopian Times.

The rain could patter on the tile roof of their villa and stream down the tall windows as much as it liked, but it could never get to Hyren in here, and that made him feel superior and snug.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Thunder Girl Guest Author Readup on YouTube!

The Thunder Girl Guest Author Readup is now available on YouTube! Since it was kind of a long event, it's been split into three parts: 

Part 1


Part 2

Part 3


Come geek out with us as we dress in steampunk, learn about fossils, and hear excerpts from the book from the audiobook narrator himself! I had lots of fun!

Wednesday, April 21, 2021


The On Borrowed Wings audiobook has been greenlit! 

Some fans have been requesting this one, so I'm very happy to say that everything is official, and audiobook narrator extraordinaire Benjamin Fife should be starting production sometime next month!

I'm sure he'll do an awesome job, I'm excited to listen to it, and I'm excited to share it with the rest of you! Stay tuned for further updates!

Saturday, April 17, 2021

I'm going to start working on Blue Diver very, very soon, and I'm so excited to have fun in this world and take you guys on a wild galactic adventure! Until then, here's another mech design!


The MMS (Mixam Mechanics Special)-48 Edinrog is a specialized heavy artillery and defensive PT commonly used in the Challinorean Space Navy in some sectors. Edinrogs sacrifice speed and maneuverability in return for raw power and sheer tank-ish-ness. Common armament for Edinrogs is a pair of hip-mounted railguns, as shown here.

In the book, space pirate Mireya Golm pilots an Edinrog that she stole from her world's military when she deserted the Navy for personal reasons. She doesn't particularly enjoy being a pirate, but she also hated being pigeonholed by her society and forced into a job she didn't want. Hopefully somebody can help her and her crewmates resolve their issues...

In contrast to the Glynnlunni, I went a little more "traditional" with the Edinrog, trying to evoke the aesthetic of a very function-over-form military design that's not at all trying to be sleek or graceful, just trying to get the job done with no fuss and no going outside the box. It fits well with Mireya's society and the reasons she abandoned it. Despite this, the Edinrog was what she learned to pilot in the military and it does work well with her personal combat style, so she's kept it.

 


I was doodling for my niece earlier, and she had me draw pictures of my cats. I thought these turned out so cute that I couldn't bear to delete them.

She specifically asked for sad Chewie, angry Mallow, and regular Mallow. We determined that Chewie is sad because he lost his favorite toy, a bedraggled pink rattle-y mouse named Pinkie. I try buying him other mice toys, but Pinkie remains his bestie.

Also featuring some of my niece's own line work!

Friday, April 16, 2021


Okay, I knowwwww everything is about Thunder Girl right now, but I couldn't help doing some concept sketching for my next novel!

This is an LM (Light Model)-103 Glynnlunni, a PT built for speed and agility in melee combat. The inertial stabilizing fins on its head allow its pilot to perform all sorts of acrobatic feats in space, the environment that the Glynnlunni was developed to perform best in.

Props if you know where I got the name. 😉

In Blue Diver, space pirate Kee Kitwhit pilots a Glynnlunni armed with two wakizashi (Japanese shortswords). She's decorated her unit with some sporty detailing, not shown here, but I may do an edit of this image to include her customizations.

Kee is a Gizmim, a species of cute but hyperactive vaguely vulpine aliens. She's a friendly person, but her off-the-wall personality tends to grate on the nerves of more serious sentients, and Gizmim generally have difficulty fitting in to the dignified demeanor of the Challinorean Empire. Kee turned to piracy because Captain Jahaira Vorrh specializes in taking in misfits and refugees and giving them a home and a purpose on her pirate ship. It might take a newcomer to the galaxy to convince the captain that you don't have to use crime to help outcasts find a place they belong.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

I am beyond excited to announce that the Sternberg Museum of Natural History is partnering with Brad Swift, Benjamin Fife and me for the Thunder Girl readup event!

Located in historic Hays, Kansas, the Sternberg has a world-class collection of beautiful and amazing fossils found in the area. It's also right along the route that Cat and her friends travel to get to Tavakiev (Pike's Peak), which means that many of the species featured in the story can be found in the Sternberg! 

I'm a huge fan of the Sternberg Museum and I love to fangirl their fossils, so having them on board is a dream come true. Education and Outreach Director Ian Trevethan will be on the Zoom call sharing fossils and talking about the science behind the fiction!

Huge thanks to the Sternberg Museum and its representatives for teaming up with us! They've made me a very happy geek indeed.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Thunder Girl coloring pages!

A tradition of Brad Swift's readups is to have coloring pages available so kids (and parents!) can color a scene from the story while listening to Ben Fife narrate. For the Thunder Girl readup, they asked if I wanted to provide illustrations, so I put together some coloring pages!






I had a lot of fun doing these--especially Ceres, who I've never actually drawn before. I had a lot of fun making her look super alien and menacing, which of course completely contrasts with her personality.

You can download all three of these pages at full-resolution here. I've included both print-ready PDFs and the raw high-quality PNGs, whichever suits your fancy (especially if you want to color digitally).

Happy coloring, and I hope to see you on the 17th!

Thursday, April 8, 2021


Check out this brief interview I did with Brad Swift as a preview for my guest author event! You can learn some fun stuff about Thunder Girl, including how the idea came about, and some insights into the development of Hermes.

I hope it gets the gears turning in your brain for more questions to ask me on the 17th!

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Thunder Girl Guest Author Readup!

 


It's official! (Don't you just love this awesome banner they put together?!)

I'm making a guest appearance on author Brad Swift's series of Zoom events with my zany steampunk dinosaur adventure Thunder Girl!

Benjamin Fife, the narrator of the audiobook version, will be narrating excerpts from the book, and I'll be fielding questions from the audience. There will also be some other fun stuff involved, including but not limited to Thunder Girl coloring pages!

As a reminder, you can sign up here (the page is still displaying information for March's event, but the signup form will still get you registered for my event).

Hope I'll see you there! Or if you don't want to join the Zoom call, I hope you'll enjoy the event via Facebook, or later when it's uploaded to YouTube!

Monday, March 29, 2021


Hi all, thanks for your patience and understanding. I've been doing a lot of retooling, and I've gotten back to a place where my work brings me joy again, which is wonderful.

It also makes me very excited for some fun new developments happening. First of, On Borrowed Wings is getting an audiobook! I'm once again working with Benjamin Fife and his awesome narrating talents to bring to life this sci-fi thriller about ancient giant robots, psionic powers, and overcoming the things that you think are holding you back from achieving your potential. That should be happening sometime this year, so keep an eye out for updates!

Also, I'm very excited for my guest appearance on W. Bradford Swift's Guest Author Readup series! It should be a lot of fun. You can register here (note that the information for March's Readup is still there as of when this post was written, but registering should get you on the list for the Zoom meeting for my appearance).

Finally, I just got done really fleshing out the plot outline for Blue Diver, and I'm so excited for it! I got to detail some fun secondary characters, as well as sketch out the basics for all the mechs. Maybe I'll doodle some concept art at some point. Also, I'm super excited because the story will at one point feature a Thorne–Żytkow object!!! Yay!! That's going to be fun. I love when I can fit nerdy stuff into my writing.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Brother Wolf

Ben Fife did an incredible job with the Thunder Girl audiobook! But as I was listening to it, I felt like there were some things I didn't quite wrap up well in the novel. And since Ben was already recording, it wasn't like I could publish a revised edition.

So instead, I decided to write my ideas in this short story epilogue!

I also figured since I was teasing so much at Salt Lake City throughout the book, I might as well actually write about it a bit.

Please note that this story is a direct continuation of the end of the book, so please don't read it if you don't want spoilers!


The setting sun, low on the horizon over the Great Salt Lake, dyed the peaks of the Wasatch Range a deep and vivid orange. It was summer, and the mountains were free of snow, covered instead with an abstract patchwork of trees and brush.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Networking thoughts

I had a panic attack yesterday morning. I went to sleep at 11, then woke up at 1:30 am feeling completely awful all over, and wondered how my life had gotten so stressful. Two hours and a lot of prayer and introspection later, I finally figured it out and figured out what needed to change, and as soon as I acted on my decision, the panic subsided and I was able to get back to sleep.

What follows are some thoughts and feelings on what I feel was a really bad turn in my writing career, and why I am changing direction right now. I'm writing this in the hopes that you will learn from it. I'm disabling comments on this post because I really don't care to know what anyone thinks of this. I'm sharing my feelings not because I care what other people think of me, but in an attempt to help others who may be starting to venture where I did. Pull up and pull out, now. You're worth more than that. Have respect for yourself and for your work.

I also apologize if you read this and feel like I am referencing you directly. If you are reading this blog, you are most likely not one of the people who caused me so much grief and pain these past few months. The people I am referring to - most of whom I have only had brief contact with - would likely never think to look at my blog, because they're too wrapped up in their own little worlds to have any interest in anything I'm doing that isn't benefiting them.

Mental Wellness Break

Hello all,

With the release of Earthkeepers and the Thunder Girl audiobook, I have decided to shift my focus to taking care of myself and my mental and physical wellness.

I will write a more involved post about this later.

I'm off to regain my happiness.

Take care, everyone.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Pixeldust blog tour, day 5

Huge thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for organizing this blog tour for me!


Note: I am not responsible for the content of these third-party websites, and some of them may be unsuitable for a younger or sensitive audience. I have linked directly to the posts for my blog tour, but please browse the rest of the site at your own discretion.


"I really enjoyed this read and would love to dive into the story a million times over!" ⭐⭐⭐⭐


"If you’re into gaming, especially role-playing games, I highly suggest reading this one!" ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Jazzy Book Reviews - this one doesn't seem to be up yet, but I will update this post when it goes live!


"A poignant examination of the lengths we’ll go to in order to escape a draining reality, and a look at what makes a villain a villain, and a hero a hero, this story is one that will resonate with a variety of readers on a variety of levels."


"A YA book with some powerful themes that transcend any specific age designation... T.K. Arispe has written a novel with affection and heart."

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Pixeldust blog tour, day 4

Huge thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for organizing this blog tour for me!


Note: I am not responsible for the content of these third-party websites, and some of them may be unsuitable for a younger or sensitive audience. I have linked directly to the posts for my blog tour, but please browse the rest of the site at your own discretion.


"Pixeldust will appeal to the children/grand children of my friends and especially those with girls who inform me that there aren't that many books in the Urban Fantasy genre that feature female characters quite as prominently or, more importantly, as positively."


"Pixeldust is the coolest book I’ve read in 2021, so far."
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Hearthside Storytelling - this blog doesn't appear to be working right now, but I will update this post when that changes!

Book after Book - excerpt

Maria Elena’s player character has been reset by the programmers for using magic to tamper with the game’s code in an attempt to stop some out-of-control non-player characters. She logs into the game and her character Quinny meets up with her brother’s character Lorik, as well as their NPC friend, the master thief Marlowe. Marlowe can help Quinny get her magic back—but right now the thief is dealing with an identity crisis, as she’s found out that she’s just an artificial intelligence.

Mai's Musings - guest post

"Growing up, I never rooted for the villains, but I sure felt sorry for them."

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Pixeldust blog tour, day 3

 Huge thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for organizing this blog tour for me!


Note: I am not responsible for the content of these third-party websites, and some of them may be unsuitable for a younger or sensitive audience. I have linked directly to the posts for my blog tour, but please browse the rest of the site at your own discretion.


"Pixeldust is a captivating and a funny read with a perfect blend of technology, magic, dangers and friendship." ⭐⭐⭐⭐


"Argh this was such a fun read! I actually ended up reading it twice just so I could stay in the world for longer!" ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

The Magic of Wor(l)ds - interview and excerpt

"I’d love to spend time with Gandalf, because I’m sure it would be extremely fascinating just to listen to everything he’d have to say. He strikes me as the sort of person who likes to talk, but I’m the sort of person who likes to listen, so I think we’d get along well."


"If I resigned myself to always following the railway of clichés, I would never be able to explore uncharted territories. And just as bad, my stories wouldn’t give readers something new to think about. The human experience and the wonders of the universe are so much more multidimensional than how clichés narrow, rigidize, and standardize life."


In the MMO Heroes of Avonell, Maria Elena’s player character Quinny has just taken a job working as a lucent mage under the mysterious Lord Zaragoz, in an area of the game Quinny isn’t sure she’s supposed to be in. When Zaragoz’s fortress staff discovers Quinny has pixiedust, she finds out what pixiedust is used for in the dismal city of Caed Dhraos...

Thoughts on accepting critical feedback/reviews

After my musings on being on the critic's end of things, and after having gotten more book reviews than usual over the course of a book tour, I've been doing some thinking about how it feels to be on the receiving end of critical feedback. I'd previously written a post about it in a Goodreads group, and then followed it up with another post the other day. So I thought I'd share the contents of both posts here and expand on their ideas a bit.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Pixeldust blog tour, day 2

Huge thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for organizing this blog tour for me!


Note: I am not responsible for the content of these third-party websites, and some of them may be unsuitable for a younger or sensitive audience. I have linked directly to the posts for my blog tour, but please browse the rest of the site at your own discretion.


"I am so glad to have had the chance to read this and really hope you give it a go too!" 
🐻🐻🐻🐻


"Pixeldust is inspired by my fond memories of growing up playing video games with my siblings. Like Maria Elena, I found myself more interested in helping video game villains resolve their issues instead of fighting them, and it frustrated me that video game plotlines always led to boss battles. I thought it would be fun to mess with that cliché and some other ones besides."


Maria Elena has started playing the hit video game Heroes of Avonell and created her player character, Quinny. Unfortunately, the plotline and non-player characters she encounters are painfully cliché and uninteresting. Quinny has begun to regret buying the game—and then she finds a glitch that takes her somewhere completely different...


"This is a fizzy, exciting triumph of a book." 
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Lecari.co.uk - review

"I really enjoyed the story and it was incredibly fun and original." 
⭐⭐⭐⭐

Monday, March 8, 2021

Pixeldust blog tour, day 1

Huge thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for organizing this blog tour for me!


Note: I am not responsible for the content of these third-party websites, and some of them may be unsuitable for a younger or sensitive audience. I have linked directly to the posts for my blog tour, but please browse the rest of the site at your own discretion.


"T.K. Arispe gives a fresh perspective on the typical RPG tropes, in a sci-fi/fantasy adventure that gamers – especially fans of The Elder Scrolls or World of Warcraft – will enjoy and identify with."
⭐⭐⭐⭐

also any time my writing is favorably compared to Terry Pratchett's I feel like I have accomplished a life goal


"A charming and gentle adventure story"
⭐⭐⭐½

B for Bookreview - interview

"Once I wrote a story that I got so into, I had to keep a notebook by my bed because the story was all I could think about as I was going to sleep and waking up, and I had to scribble down everything I brainstormed so I wouldn’t forget it when I went to sleep or started the day." (psst--that story was Worth Searching For, if you're curious)


"I can imagine this is a scenario a gamer would love and perhaps quite a few readers too, when the fantasy is real and being able to immerse yourself into the game is a reality."

donnasbookblog - interview

"If you could sell this book in one sentence what would it be? 

Gamer heroes, grouchy minotaurs, and tamales for Christmas."

Saturday, March 6, 2021

The audiobook is out!

 


I WAS NOT PREPARED. The Thunder Girl audiobook went through Audible's quality control much faster than I expected, and it is now OUT and available for you to download on Audible or iTunes!

If you prefer audiobooks over text, now's your chance to get acquainted with the fun-filled world of alternate-history-1894-with-robots-and-dinosaurs! 

And if you've already read the book and enjoyed it, you'll love the audiobook because Ben Fife does an excellent job bringing the characters to life. His Hermes makes me laugh out loud. It's the perfect time to experience the adventure all over again!

Easter message

This Easter season, I'd like to express how grateful I am for my Captain, Savior, and Brother Jesus Christ for all that He has done for me personally. I have felt His help and guidance through all of my challenges. He has healed my wounded and weary soul and brought new life to me. Even in the challenges I still face, I can feel him right there alongside me, laboring with me to make things better and endure trials.

How grateful I am for the Atonement He finished so that He could be the ultimate, perfect Empathizer and Healer to every single one of God's children. Because of Him, nobody has to go through anything alone.

Countless times I have prayed for the Savior's grace to help me through a moment, and immediately the peace, strength, and clarity has come. I love how He is right there with His hand outstretched for us to take it and be lifted to a higher place. I know that with His help, I will conquer all the battles I'm meant to fight in this life and return triumphant to my Father in Heaven.

#PostOfChrist

Friday, March 5, 2021

How to review a book you didn't like

Part three of my musings on how to give helpful and fair, yet kind, polite, and uplifting feedback on writing.

This part deals entirely with public reviews of books, and specifically how to tactfully review a book you did not like. By "public reviews" I am mainly referring to reviews you post on websites like Amazon and Goodreads, reviews that the author and everyone who looks up the book are going to see. Reviews that you post on your (professional) blog or social media are in a slightly different class, because these reviews will generally only be seen by either a) people who follow you or b) people who do an Internet search specifically for reviews of a given book. These reviews are not as prominent or far-reaching, but I will touch upon them briefly.

More thoughts on constructive criticism

The art of giving good literary feedback has still been the object of my study and ponderings lately, and after I wrote yesterday's post I found myself with more that I wanted to say and explore! So rather than edit the previous post and basically make it twice as long as before, I figured a part 2 was in order. In this post, I'll be talking about more ways to exercise tact when giving feedback.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Thoughts on constructive criticism

(This blog post is adapted from something I wrote in a group on Goodreads. It focuses mainly on giving con-crit, because receiving it could be a whole other essay in and of itself.)

As I network with other writers, I've been trying to find ways to give constructive criticism in a way that is honest and fair, but doesn't contribute to the writer feeling crummy about their work and discouraged. I think it's an important topic.

When I was younger, I thought giving constructive criticism was pretty straightforward: all you had to do was tell somebody everything that was wrong with their writing so they would know what to fix. Right?

BZZZT. NO. WRONG.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Pokemon-ish thoughts

I've just been sitting here, thinking about Pokemon, because that is the kind of person I am, and I had some game develop-y musings that I wanted to share. And I couldn't think of a better place for doing so than my blog, which is supposed to hold my musings.

They're doing Diamond and Pearl Version remakes! Yaaaaay! Generation IV holds a fair bit of nostalgia for me; it was the first generation after I graduated high school, and it came out when I was still trying to figure out how to adult, juggling college with embarking on my illustration career. It was also the first generation where, thanks to the magic of Wi-Fi, I was able to connect with more Pokemon fans than ever before, and Platinum was the game where I came closest to ever completing my National Pokedex. (Nowadays, that's something I'd only attempt if I'm really, really bored.) My local Pokemon League had disbanded shortly after the start of Gen III, leaving me a lonesome nerd for quite a few years, until technology improved!

 


Another commission from author J. K. Bailey of one of the characters from his Christian sci-fi trilogy Zealot Finale!

This is Vic, a comic-relief antagonist who's a mercenary with a cybernetic arm capable of transforming into a machine gun. J. K. describes him as "scruffy" so I tried to make his clothing look a little worse for the wear.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Because it's clearly never too soon, here's a doodle to tease my next novel!


Auva Cameron, Earth native, was on her way to the Moon for a new job when she suddenly found herself in the Andromeda Galaxy instead. Whoops. Good thing it turns out she's got a knack for piloting giant robots! But how, exactly, will that help her get back to Earth? Well, she's got some other things she may need to take care of, first. Will she get to be the hero she's always wanted to be? With everything on the line, she simply can't afford to be mediocre, that's for sure.

Renny Gallahan is an officer in the Challinor Empire's Galactic Police Force who's been assigned to an out-of-the-way sector to hunt down space pirates. What she'd really rather be doing is gathering intel on the Lykoi, a mysterious extragalactic species of wolf-like warriors who are trying to invade and conquer Challinor. But the government has banned Renny from having anything to do with the Lykoi, because many suspect she may be a Lykoi spy. 

Sure she's not big, strong, and dark-furred like the Lykoi, but Renny also resembles them more than she does any known Challinorean species. And to complicate matters, she was adopted as a toddler and has no idea who her birth parents were, or how she ended up in an escape pod on her adoptive parents' planet. Despite Renny's overachieving in the police academy and her responsible, no-nonsense methods, many politicians still have their doubts, as do a number of her fellow officers.

When Renny gets put in charge of chaperoning Auva and a motley crew of space pirates on a quest to save Challinor, the officer knows she's purposely being sent on an out-of-the-way mission again, but sees it as an opportunity to - hopefully - prove her loyalty to Challinor for once and for all. And although she and Auva don't see eye-to-eye at first, gradually they come to understand one another and become friends.

What neither of them expect, however, is that their mission to the center of the galaxy will ultimately blow open the case of Renny's past, and with their combined courage and persistence, they might just wind up ending a war along the way.

I'm not sure exactly when I'm going to get started on writing this novel. I'm very, very busy right now. I'll definitely wait until things quiet down and I've gotten adequate rest from Earthkeepers. Still, making plans is fun. :)

Thursday, February 25, 2021

#ReadingMagic 30-day challenge, week 4

Whooooops. Totally mean to have this out sooner, but I kinda got hit by the freight train of life, and it's taken this long for me to finally get around to lower-priority things.

However, I finally (finally) have a day when I am not running around like crazy trying to do all the things, which means I can do all the other things!

(In plain English: now that I've gotten Earthkeepers out and the Thunder Girl audiobook sent to ACX quality control, I now have two extremely big projects off of my plate and my time has freed up considerably. So I'm now able to get around to the smaller, lower-priority items that have been backbuilding over the past few months.)

Anyway. Here are the rest of my questions and answers about childhood reading memories and such!


Tuesday, February 23, 2021


At long last, the eagerly-awaited sequel to Skydwellers is available as both an ebook and a paperback!

Journey along with girl genius Miette, her tomboy BFF Kieri, and warrior-in-training Yonwin as they unlock some crazy secrets behind their planet... or should I say beneath it!

The past four months of producing this novel has been quite the ride, as you can read in previous blog posts, so I'm very excited to finally be able to show the product of my labors.

Give it a read if you like fun, family-friendly science fiction!

Monday, February 22, 2021

The Scattergories Files

Okay, here's something out of left field. Maybe you just needed a diversion today.

My sister and I dug our old Scattergories game out of the game cupboard, and discovered a bunch of used game papers. For some reason I found reading through the random, out-of-context words and phrases oddly meditative. And funny.

So before I threw the papers away, I thought I'd share some of their contents here for you to peruse. I dunno, read them aloud to yourself to calm your mind or something. Or use them for creative writing inspiration.

Lists of random things are too important to go to waste!

Thursday, February 18, 2021

 


Jason Bailey ordered another commission of one of the characters from his Christian sci-fi trilogy Zealot Finale! I love dragons, so Pyre was super fun! I also love katana, and thanks to this project I know a bit more about their construction! When I studied kenjutsu we only used crossguard-less bokken (wooden swords), so trying to draw an accurate katana was a bit of a challenge for me because I was unsure about the proportions. Jason helped me get it right!

(My own katana is definitely one of the items on my extravagant wishlist.)

Wednesday, February 17, 2021


I listened to the first 7 chapters of the Thunder Girl audiobook last night and it. Is. INCREDIBLE. It's coming along absolutely spectacularly, and I'm so excited for everybody to hear it! I think I'll get to listen to the rest soon! That's like 3 more hours of gloriously nerdy steampunk dinosaur fun!

Today I needed to go through and add timestamps to the few lines that needed correcting in the first 7 chapters; I made note of them but didn't add timestamps, but thankfully Ben Fife let me know that would help him locate the lines easier. He is doing a totally professional job, but of course he's only human so it's not going to be 100% perfect the first time around. Just 99.9% perfect. I myself make plenty of typos in my manuscripts despite being a stickler for grammar and spelling. I mean, a number of requested corrections are actually due to my own typos in the manuscript that didn't get caught after several rounds of editing. Whoops. (Don't worry, I'll edit them and upload fixed manuscripts for the ebook/paperback.)

Anyway, this time around, since I didn't have to listen so hard for misreads, I decided to do a bit of doodling as I listened, and did this sketch of Cat and Hermes, who I think are a great protagonistic duo. Except, Hermes sometimes gets so excited that he gets carried away and starts blabbing about important secrets, and Cat has to silence him before he totally ruins everything. It's actually his fault that Mr. du Bois discovered the American Museum of Natural History had the thunder stone. But then, if Mr. du Bois hadn't learned that, Cat's whole wonderful adventure never would have happened, so it all worked out. :)

Looking forward to Thunder Girl coming out in April-ish! Gonna be so much fun!

Friday, February 12, 2021



I just finished this commission for author Jason Bailey of one of his characters from his Christian sci-fi epic Zealot Finale! This is Teneri, an eccentric alien robotics expert, and Jason asked me to illustrate her as an example of what her species looks like.

If you know me, you know that creature design is my jam, so it was super fun to take Jason's descriptions and turn them into a visual.

He says he wants me to do more work for him, so I'm excited to help him continue to visualize his universe!

Thursday, February 11, 2021

 My sister asked me to draw our family's pets as Animal Crossing characters, and I just couldn't resist!


My cat Chewbacca 


My angel cat Marshmallow


My sister's dog Pepper


My other sister's cat Muffin



Wednesday, February 10, 2021

I hung out with my art pupil today and she let me play with her Copic markers on her graytone paper! Fun times were had.


Here's Zuben being adorable.


And then she wanted me to draw a posh rabbit. Why not?


 Here's my (contemporary) design for Terros, the crystalline scorpion guardian of the Earth element from a cheesy old story I wrote in junior high. Despite the story's super cringiness, I still love the idea of a crystal scorpion, and when my pupil suggested I draw it, I couldn't resist. She also said she'd like to see a re-imagined version of the story someday, and I agree that it's not irredeemably bad. I'll have to give it some thought!

Monday, February 8, 2021

 


I'd had kind of a rough day... and then my new Paleozoic Pals plush toys cheered me up. :) I got myself a Gorgonops because I love gorgonopsids and was so thrilled when I found out they were doing a Gorgonops plush. Gorgonopsids were pretty much the tigers of the Permian. So epic. 

My reconstruction here is very, very, very hypothetical and definitely errs more on the mammalian side of Synapsida. But you never know, gorgonopsids could have been big ol' fluffbabies! 

I also kinda made this one look pretty rodent-like, but I love rodents so I'm not even mad. I had a pet rat in third grade. To me it just kinda made sense because most early mammals looked a lot like rodents, so maybe some therapsids did too.

Saturday, February 6, 2021

#ReadingMagic 30-day challenge, week 3


"Do you remember a story you wrote as a kid?"

I still have a story I wrote when I was a kid! Actually, I was 3 at the time and my motor skills were not conducive to writing, so I narrated it to my mom, who wrote it down. 

It was actually King Kong fanfiction, where Kong and Fay Wray hung out with their dinosaur buddies, defeated the bad guys, and then ate pie.

... I had a surprisingly good grasp of plot structure for a 3-year-old.

Also, does it make me a huge geek that I was writing fanfic as a toddler? Hrrrrm.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Earthkeepers cover WIP gallery

 





It's time for a cover reveal! :)

I worked super hard on this cover and had a lot of fun with it! What a relief to be done! Now all I have to do is wait for my proofreader!

I also like the hybrid painting/graphic novel approach I took with this cover. The background was considerably easier to paint than draw, while the characters were easier to draw than paint. I will likely use this technique for book covers from now on!

Excited for the book yet? :)

Monday, February 1, 2021

#ReadingMagic 30-day challenge, week 2

 

"What is a favorite location you’ve read about in a book (real or imaginary) that you’d love to visit someday?"

Since the next question is related, I'll stick with a real location for this one. I'd love to visit Prince Edward Island, the setting of the Anne of Green Gables novels. Lucy Maud Montgomery described the Canadian maritime setting so beautifully and lovingly it was as though the land itself was a character in the books.