Wednesday, June 30, 2021

I finally finished this portrait of Kee Kitwit, one of the main characters of Blue Diver! I've been working on this piece off and on for the past month or so; I'm still working on the first draft, don't get me wrong (53,000 words and almost to the climax!), but I've had times when I've been at my computer with not much else to do but draw, and not enough brainpower to write.

Now, though, it's finally finished and ready to share! Kee's been awfully fun to write. I hope readers like her too!

Don't let her cute appearance fool you--Kee is a dangerous space pirate and part of the feared crew of the ship Sledgehammer. Whether in hand-to-hand combat with her two wakizashi, or piloting her agile LM-103 Glynnlunni, Kee is a force to be reckoned with who will make a mess out of slower opponents.

Kee is a Gizmim, a species in Challinor who are widely regarded as annoying and childish because of their tendencies to be energetic, casual, and fun-loving. Kee wanted to be a physicist, but was rejected from universities because none of them would take her seriously. Piracy was the only good job she could find. 

Except it's not a very good job. Kee doesn't particularly enjoy making a living plundering other spaceships, but she just doesn't see any place for herself in a civilization that prides itself in its maturity and seriousness. During the storyline of Blue Diver, however, she meets an unusual friend from a strange place called Earth, who convinces her that no matter how outcast you feel, there are better ways to deal with it than becoming an outlaw.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Career thoughts

I've had lots of thoughts running through my head lately. I'm sitting here typing this in the hopes that it will help someone else. Feeling stuck and confused in a career you thought you really wanted is never a fun feeling. I'm going to share what's working for me, and maybe it'll help you, too.

The past six months or so have been an interesting journey. As you may have noticed from previous posts, there's a lot I've been trying to figure out about my literary career and the "business" side of my writer's journey.

After enduring intense stress, hitting a lot of dead ends, and generally feeling a large amount of strain and turmoil, I've reached a very important conclusion:

I don't have a literary career. There is no business side to my writing.

It's all about the art.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Well, the Kickstarter campaign didn't pan out. But that's okay. It was my first time and I'm sure there's a lot I could have done better.

To show my appreciation to backers, I went ahead and put together one of the pledge prizes anyway: desktop backgrounds of Azimuth and Eloreth! I created the background as one image, and also split it into two separate images, to fit different monitor layouts.

I had a lot of fun drawing Az and Eloreth again; it's been a while, especially for Az. I removed a lot of the bells and whistles from my initial concept for him, which made him much easier to draw. I've learned a lot about mechanical design since then, and one of my cardinal rules is that if a design element isn't mechanically necessary, and is making the aesthetic too cluttered and complicated, it's got to go. I try to make designs that "read" well to the eye and also perform all necessary mechanical functions.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021


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! :)

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.