Thursday, December 28, 2023

Big news! I'm visiting the Idaho Falls Public Library on January 13 and I'd love to see you there! I will be discussing some of the themes in my science fiction disabilities novel On Borrowed Wings, as well as introducing my other books. Come ask me questions, get books signed, and exchange Pokémon GO friend codes with me!

I'm hoping to have paperbacks on sale at the event, but no guarantees, so if you want a book signed, I advise buying it from Amazon ahead of time.

I'm very excited to share my work with the Idaho Falls community and I'm very grateful to the library for letting me put on this event. I hope everyone has a great time!

Monday, December 25, 2023

Wishing everyone a blessed and joyful Christmas, a wonderful holiday season, and a good year ahead!

Featured dinos are Pachyrhinosaurus and an unnamed troodontid from the Prince Creek Formation in northern Alaska. Even back in the balmy Cretaceous, those polar regions could get a bit chilly in winter!

By the way, I have an announcement to share soon, so keep an eye out for some news coming in the next few days!

Tuesday, December 19, 2023


Another sketch from the Idaho Museum of Natural History! Went for a portrait view of Oryctodromeus this time.

Monday, December 18, 2023

Crunchy Chip Cookie from Cookie Run: Kingdom--an epic bro and a great wolf dad.

Friday, December 15, 2023

Had another sketching day at the Idaho Museum of Natural History! Here's Oryctodromeus, Idaho's state dinosaur, and interestingly enough the only (currently) named dinosaur from Idaho. Quite a few dinosaur remains have been found in the Wayan Formation of eastern Idaho, but they're mostly so fragmentary that not enough material has been found yet to establish any new species. Except for the oryctos which were evidently everywhere.

Oryctodromeus means "digging runner", and most illustrations show their burrowing habits, so I thought I'd draw one living up to the other half of its name and running! They actually had rather long tails that this illustration doesn't do justice, but I ran out of room on the paper.

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Finished up another piece of paleoart for Wikipedia. Here's Tujiaaspis, a recently described galeaspid (jawless fish) that's notable for having two long ventral fins running the length of its body, giving insights into the evolution of fins. Also galeaspids are adorable.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

I actually can't stop drawing Cookie Run characters. Here's detective novelist Linzer Cookie from the new Cookie Run: Kingdom update.

Monday, December 11, 2023

I needed a break from paleoart, so here's Hollyberry Cookie from Cookie Run: Kingdom in her awesome armor from the Legend of the Red Dragon storyline.

Friday, December 8, 2023

Did another illustration for Wikipedia--this time for Dorypterus, a Permian fish whose previous illustration on the wiki was a really cursed-looking (and more importantly inaccurate) drawing from like 1907.

(It makes me kinda happy that if you do an internet image search for Dorypterus, this image is actually one of the top results.)

Thursday, December 7, 2023

The Holly and the Ivy, Chapter 2

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2

A powerful smell, acrid and rich, filled Nan’s sinuses. She sneezed—and her eyes flew open.

The world around her was bright and unfocused, but pungent aromas filled the air and something crackled and popped nearby. And she felt warm, positively hot, wrapped in an enormous fur blanket.

The blanket removed a pawful of leaves from under Nan’s nose. “Ah, there you are,” it said in a deep, husky voice.

Nan blinked and looked up into the green eyes of the dusky-furred female Werelupe that held her. Nearby sat a lighter-furred male, inspecting the chunk of meat that roasted over their fire in a forest clearing. At the sound of the female’s voice, he glanced over and grinned toothily. “It is good that we found you, little one.”

Nan knew these two creatures well. After their king had saved her village from a Monocerous the previous year, he had dubbed Kirven and Nusa the stewards of Caxton Bank.

The Techo broke into a grin. Monsters had indeed found her, much to her advantage. “I’m glad, too,” she said. “But—“ She looked at them in confusion. “I’m supposed to be asleep.”

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Did more sketching at the Idaho Museum of Natural History! One of the things I've really been enjoying about sketching fossils from... erm... life...? is the ability to actually view them in three dimensions instead of being relegated to whatever angles are represented in imagery available online. It gives me the ability to pose them much more dynamically and understand their physiology better.

Maybe I made their tyrannosauroid a bit too happy, but I just can't help but imagine him living his best dino life.

Idaho's giant oviraptorosaur! (I know the neck is a little wonky, I was trying to fit the whole thing on the page and maybe didn't succeed.) I suspect these guys had a little more of an upright posture than the average theropod, because with those relatively short tails, spending all their time with their necks extended more horizontally may have presented some balance issues. Their tails were also probably heavily feathered, which helped to provide more weight to counterbalance the front end.

Took a stab (pun intended) at Dinogorgon, one of the species featured on the museum's cool timeline wall that gives a great picture of the history of Earth's biota over the past 400 million years. I've drawn plenty of gorgonopsids before, but Dinogorgon is a rubidgeine, a subclass that were more heavily built. They also have these wide bony flanges on either side of their skulls that probably helped anchor powerful jaw muscles because they were bitey boys. I probably make my gorgonopsids look too mammalian but that's okay because it's cute.*

*This is why I am banned from professional paleoart.**

**Just kidding. I think.

Monday, December 4, 2023

The Holly and the Ivy, Chapter 1

Time for a little holiday cheer!

I really enjoyed writing the Caxton Bank chapters of Worth Searching For, and it made me want to do more with the characters. I thought it would be fun to write a Christmas Giving Day story that draws less from the Victorian Christmas traditions that much of modern celebration is based on, and more from medieval British customs and folklore, as befitting the Meridell region. "The Holly and the Ivy" (the carol) is based on very old English Christmas traditions, so it seemed suitable as the inspiration for this tale.

I also wanted to follow up on what was established about Caxton Bank in Worth Searching For, and show that although the Werelupes started off on the wrong foot with their vassals, their relationship has grown and improved, and it's making everyone's lives better.

I admit I was pleasantly surprised by how little I actually had to edit this one to bring it up to speed with my newer writing. Aside from just a handful of minor prose fixes, I also slightly altered a few details to fall in line with what I later established as canon.

Have a happy and blessed holiday season, everybody!

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2

“Don’t go outside in winter,” Nan’s mother always told her. “There’s a reason most Techos are born on Mystery Island instead of the woods of Meridell.”

“But Mum!” Nan would say, tracing pictures on their fogged-up windows with her blue reptilian fingers. “All the other children get to play in the snow!”

Her yellow Uni mother would then pause from her mending and stoke the fire. “That’s because they’re warm-blooded, love. If you get too cold you’ll fall into torpor, and you won’t wake up ‘til Running.”

“Running?! But I’ll sleep right through Giving Day!” That was all the incentive Nan needed to stay in their cottage until the snows stopped. And that was how winter went in the little hamlet of Caxton Bank, nestled in the foothills of the Werelupe Woods.

Most years, anyway.

Monday, November 20, 2023

The Spirit of Black Keep, Chapter 11

Pharazon swallowed hard and felt a pang of emotion run through him. This was who had been calling him. Quietly, he crept across the rug toward the figure.

It was a large, brown, bearded Skeith wearing black armour. Helmet cradled under one arm, he stared out at the ocean, his expression stern and melancholy. Pharazon thought he resembled Skarl and Hagan slightly, and he seemed thin somehow—not in girth, but in existence. Like a spirit.

As Pharazon approached, the Skeith’s ears pricked and he turned to regard the Draik. “Hello,” he said in a voice so tired and sad that Pharazon instantly felt sorry for him. “Are you trying to resurrect me, too?”

Friday, November 17, 2023

Did more sketching at the Idaho Museum of Natural History! They've got a lovely mount of an oviraptorosaur that hasn't been described yet. It was fun to put flesh on the bones. I took a lot of cues from cassowaries in this reconstruction because the similarities are quite striking. Maybe this fellow had bright blue skin too?

Also, something I've just now come to consider and appreciate is that, excepting their feet, birds do not have scales--under their feathers and in non-foot featherless areas, they have skin. So that's been getting me thinking that it's very probable that at least some maniraptorian groups had limited scale coverage. I find it fun to play around with different ways to reconstruct prehistoric species. Birds themselves actually have quite a range of feathering schemes, so maybe non-avian dinos did too?

Thursday, November 16, 2023

The Spirit of Black Keep, Chapter 10

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7
Chapter 8 - Chapter 9 - Chapter 10 Chapter 11

As the carriage passed over the bridge and through the city gates, Pharazon shuddered. The dark energy here seemed to dim the very sunlight. Even Neopets on the streets seemed to notice something wasn’t right, as they went about their day looking anxious and harried, like people trying to get all their business done before a storm hits.

“I get it,” Celice murmured. “Black Keep is a nexus.”

“What?” Kass asked.

“It was built with powerful magic,” Celice said, “and over a millennium it’s become a focal point for energy. The Dark Faerie Sisters are at an advantage here, not only because of the Darkest Knight but because the fortress itself amplifies their power.”

Jhudora’s lips thinned. “I hate to admit to this, but I may have underestimated things a bit.”

Monday, November 13, 2023

The Spirit of Black Keep, Chapter 9

Pharazon’s tongue felt like lead. This was the moment he and Celice had been dreading, and although Pharazon had put on a brave front earlier, the only thing he could think of to do now was, perhaps, hide under the bed. But fear kept him rooted to the spot.

“Why did you not tell me sooner?” Kass asked, tilting his head. His tone, though proud, carried no anger, just curiosity.

Everything Jhudora said ran through Pharazon’s mind. He could not keep messing things up. He forced himself out of bed and edged closer to the Eyrie. “We were afraid,” Pharazon said. “You—you’re kind of notorious, you know—and Celice has family in Meridell, so she got really scared—“ He shook his head. “But you’re right, we should have told you, and I’m sorry. We were just enjoying your companionship so much, we worried that if you knew… you’d leave us. Or turn on us.”

Kass searched his face in the dim light for a moment, then smiled and said, “I appreciate your honesty. I meant what I said, though, amnesia or no. I owe you for your kindness and I will accompany you to Black Keep.”

Thursday, November 9, 2023

The Spirit of Black Keep, Chapter 8

This was the longest Pharazon could ever recall walking. His feet hurt. He’d tried flying until his wings hurt, but his feet hadn’t stopped hurting by then, and walking took less energy anyway.

The hunger didn’t help. Their breakfast that morning, while kind of Kass to retrieve for them, had not been filling enough, and Pharazon’s stomach began to complain loudly, as did Celice’s.

“No, I will not teleport all of us to the inn,” Jhudora said when Pharazon asked her about it. “Teleporting oneself takes enough energy, but four people at once? Good glory, do you want me to have any energy left over to confront the Dark Faerie Sisters or not?” So that, once again, settled that.

Pharazon was fairly certain that Jhudora, being a being of pure magic, did not quite understand the mortal needs of hunger and fatigue, but he could not argue that she needed to be at full power tomorrow. If teleportation was easy, he thought, one would see people popping in and out of existence all the time. But one didn’t, which was testament enough that teleportation was not easy.

Kass, however, was more sympathetic, and when his two Neopet companions couldn’t take it anymore, he called a halt to the march. Pharazon and Celice collapsed on a flattish rock and a fallen log, respectively, and Kass left to find them some food.

Monday, November 6, 2023

The Spirit of Black Keep, Chapter 7

Kass looked utterly confused, while Celice’s jaw dropped. “Pharazon—“ she sputtered. “Are you quite sure you know what you’re doing?”

He grinned self-consciously. “I told you already, I’m not quite sure of anything. I’m just doing what feels right instead of waiting around for fear to drive my actions.” He looked up at Jhudora. “We should find those mushrooms first, milady.”

“Right,” Jhudora said. “Now, how to go about this best…” Cradling her chin in the crook of her finger, she began to pace around him. “I could use you as a magical amplifier to send an echo-request down the ley lines.” She tapped his head with her wand. “Stand up straight and hold out your arms.”

Pharazon wanted to ask if this was safe or if it would hurt, but he felt he owed Jhudora an implicit trust. She was not an evil dark faerie, just a grumpy one, and every faerie stuck to their bargains. He took a deep breath and raised his arms.

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Did some sketching at the Idaho Museum of Natural History! They have a lovely little mount of a native tyrannosauroid that I don't think has been named yet.

While "tyrannosaur" is popularly synonymous with "enormous", early tyrannosauroids were actually quite small. T. rex had to come from somewhere!

Thursday, November 2, 2023

The Spirit of Black Keep, Chapter 6

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 Chapter 7
Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11

Pharazon didn’t know how long he had slept, but it was still night when he found himself suddenly awake. The fire still crackled, keeping him warm enough—what had roused him was a deep and incoherent mumbling.

He looked to Celice and found the Lupe sorceress awake as well, propped up on one elbow. She shot him a concerned glance and then returned to watching their Eyrie companion.

The purple creature tossed and turned on the ground, his great claws flexing and tail twitching. His eyes were closed, and he moved with the clumsiness of someone sleepwalking. Occasionally his face clenched in discomfort, followed by a shuddering moan of misery.

“I told you he was mad,” Celice said.

“I know—“ Pharazon started to say, but then the Eyrie’s sounds began to form into words.

Monday, October 30, 2023

The Spirit of Black Keep, Chapter 5

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7

Pharazon opened his eyes to cold daylight. Above him stretched tangled, budding tree branches, and past them a cloudy sky. He had no idea what he was doing lying on a muddy forest floor. Where was he? Not home—these were not the cypresses and olive trees of his Altador, but oaks and birches of a more temperate climate.

Like the Meridell region.

Everything came back to him like a sock in the gut and he sat up from the shock, earning himself a head rush. Celice lay nearby – breathing, thank goodness – sprawled awkwardly across dead leaves, her hair and clothes in disarray.

But Pharazon had gotten them away from the Dark Faerie Sisters—for a price. As he picked himself up, he felt woozy and weak, like he’d gone days without sleeping or eating. His body seemed hollow, and he knew he’d exhausted his magical reservoirs.

Friday, October 27, 2023

The Spirit of Black Keep, Chapter 4

It really was like stepping into another world. The thick wall behind them muffled the sounds of the city, leaving the ruins eerily silent. Overgrown thickets of brush carpeted the ground, and gnarled old trees, their bare branches devoid of the slightest hint of spring, pushed their roots against cracked stone like they were attempting to escape.

And the whole place was drenched in magic, of a weird and dark flavour that set Pharazon even more on edge.

The ability to sense magic was not exclusive to mages. Just like hearing or smell or any other sense, some people had a better aptitude for it than others for various reasons. Pharazon’s Grundo brother, who had spent most of his life in Dr. Sloth’s galactic military where Neopian magic was nearly unheard of, was almost completely numb to it. Their Zafara sister Blynn—well, Pharazon rarely understood how her strange brain worked, but she seemed to have an uncanny intuition for just about everything, including magic. While Terra did not practise magic, she seemed to be just as sensitive to it as Pharazon. And for a trained magic user such as Celice, learning how to recognize and tune in to mana frequencies had been a necessary part of her education.

But strong enough magic could be felt by anyone, as evidenced by Guildswoman Griselda. The Kau’s ears flicked uneasily, one after the other, as she led Celice and Pharazon down an overgrown path that took them around roofless outbuildings and yawning gaps in the flagstone that led to who-knew-where. Pharazon knew she didn’t like the feel of this place, either.

Monday, October 23, 2023

The Spirit of Black Keep, Chapter 3

The augurs were right—the next day was still overcast and cold, but the clouds looked much less likely to rain as Celice rented a carriage to take them to Market Town.

As the carriage bounced over the dirt highway that connected Brightvale’s communities, Pharazon fingered the thick woollen scarf Celice had given him. It sported a striped pattern of browns and greens, perhaps more suited for autumn than spring, but it was the largest, warmest scarf she had. He had wanted to merely loan it from her, but she insisted that he keep it, as recompense for accompanying her. After supper the night before, she’d made no further mention of Pharazon’s magical skills. It seemed as though he had at least won that round.

Now she once again sat across from him, one elbow propped on a windowsill, her fingers interlaced in front of her muzzle as she watched the trees pass by. Today she wore cream-coloured robes under a forest green, ivy-patterned cloak that complemented her snowy fur nicely. Her golden eyes gleamed, the Lupe sorceress lost somewhere in her thoughts. She emanated power, and not just in appearance alone—Pharazon could feel her magic buzzing around her.

Saturday, October 21, 2023


I've started doing paleoart illustrations for Wikipedia! I keep getting badgered by them for monetary donations, which I understand, but I decided I'd rather give back something a bit more substantial--quality original artwork for underserved species!

Here's Xiushanosteus, a newly described placoderm. More are coming soon!

P.S. I may sneak off to the Idaho Museum of Natural History to do some sketching based on their fossils. Also everyone should visit them because they are way rad.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

The Spirit of Black Keep, Chapter 2

Five days later, on a grey drizzly afternoon, Pharazon stepped off the gangplank of the sky-ship liner and into Brightvale’s bustling skyport. He pulled the hood of his travelling cloak closer around his face to protect himself from the chill air, watching his breath pool in front of his snout every time he exhaled. Spring was just getting under way here in the Meridell region, which meant the snows had left for another year, but it was still too cold for Pharazon’s liking and he envied furred and feathered Neopets in this weather. On days like today he would much rather be curled up on a couch with a good thick book.

With a sigh, he heaved his trunk into an upright position in order to sit on it and wait for Celice.

Before he could, a voice called out, “Pharazon!” He turned to see a familiar white Lupe waving at him from the window of a Uni-drawn carriage. “Get in before you catch Neomonia!” Celice said, gesturing inside with a smile.

“Coming!” Pharazon said, dragging his trunk across the wide dock where other Neopets unloaded cargo or boarded carriages. He should have brought a scarf, he decided. It had been deceptively warm back in Altador.

Monday, October 16, 2023

The Spirit of Black Keep, Chapter 1

Rather typically, it seems, for my story construction process, this tale came together from several originally separate ideas that I realized would work really well in a plotline together. 

Pharazon had gone through some very interesting character development during Worth Searching For, which also introduced the idea of him starting to use magic. The fact that his unlocking his magical potential came about during a traumatic experience begged for some follow-up. What to do when you're a budding wizard whose first experience with magic went horribly wrong? Get sent on a quest of self-discovery, of course!

I'd also been writing quite a bit about Terra, Hyren, Blynn, and Isengrim, so I wanted to challenge myself to write a story where they don't appear at all in-person, so I could focus on giving Pharazon some overdue development. I admit I was feeling a bit bad about basically giving him the short end of the stick in Worth Searching For as an utter liability of a protagonist (turned accidental antagonist), so I wanted to write about him overcoming some of his weaknesses, not repeating past mistakes, and becoming the hero of his tale. It was also nice to give Celice a bit more development, as well as being able to write her and Pharazon actually palling around, since in her debut story they got off to a quite rocky start, while they were separated for most of Worth Searching For.

I had also been wanting to try my hand at writing Jhudora; I like the idea of her not being an evil faerie, just a rather grouchy and solitary one. I thought that sort of personality would play nicely against Pharazon, as well as giving him a sketchy mentor figure to offer him vague and frustrating - but ultimately helpful - advice. And no spoilers about the other member of the main cast, but his appearance and character arc came from some musings I had about the Battle for Meridell plot, the abilities of The Three, and what exactly happened to Lord Darigan between Champions of Meridell and Battle for Meridell. I felt like these characters and what I wanted to do with them worked really well in this particular adventure.

I should mention that this fic was nominated for Most Heartwarming in the 2016 Neopian Times Awards. I'm very pleased that people enjoyed it!

As far as revisions go, there wasn't a whole lot I drastically changed about this one from what got into the Neopian Times. Besides the usual prose fixes, I toned down Celice's personality a little in the beginning chapters to make her less snide (she's still plenty bossy, though), and I also slightly altered a few conversations and inner monologues to better bring home the points I was trying to get across.

The reason he’d gotten himself into this, Pharazon decided, was because he could never say “no” to anything.

The faerie Draik perched on the edge of the bed in his cabin in a Shenkuuvian sky-ship, staring at the letter in his claws, not really seeing the words so much as coming to the realisation that he was hopelessly wishy-washy.

He’d go along with anyone just to avoid a quarrel—and even then he’d peter out somewhere along the way, retreating to the safety of merely existing. Really, he just wanted to sit and read all day. No adventures for him. The world was so much safer from the library of his family’s Neohome.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023


Happy autumn from Terra and Isengrim!

Speaking of Neopets stuff, I'm putting another fic up on the blog very soon, so keep an eye out for that! 

Also, I've just finished writing another Neopets fic because I just can't seem to stop. :) This one is just a silly little idea that wouldn't stop badgering me so I thought I might as well execute it. I don't want to spoil too much, but let's just say you know you have a well-developed cast when you can write an entire Christmas Giving Day pantomime starring most of them. I had way too much fun with it and I will put it on the blog eventually, once I get through uploading everything else. (Also I just really wanted to write Blynn wearing a black cloak and laughing maniacally.)

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Did I never upload this to the blog?! What even is my life.

Here's an illustration of Plateosaurus that I did for a defunct paleontology blog. Basal sauropods can be so underappreciated. It's thanks to them and their descendants that we have the Sinclair Oil Corporation logo!

Monday, October 2, 2023

Enough author opining--here's some Cookie Run fan art of two notable Parfaedian alumni.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Six Things Indie Authors Should Actually (Probably) Never Do

This post is going to be a bit rantier than usual, but as I've reflected on my best and my most stressful times as an independent author, I've realized that there were some key activities that stressed me out tremendously--but that I was told were absolutely necessary to "make it big" in what is, let's face it, a completely insane and unpredictable market where success is never guaranteed.

So I've composed this list as an attempt to help my fellow indie authors who may be feeling as stressed and confused as I once was. If anything on this list sticks out to you as something that's causing you a lot of grief, you may want to seriously reexamine how much good it's actually doing you. 

And if you skim this list and just think "What a load of rubbish! All of these things work great for me!", read number six and all will be made clear. (Hence the "probably" part of the post title.)

Monday, September 25, 2023

I've been trying to do more stuff, so here's a concept sketch for the novel I've been working on. Carnonos is the king of the faeries, who used to be worshiped as gods by the ancient Celts, but during the Middle Ages they retreated into another world and now only rarely interact with the mortal world. Even more rarely do they have dealings with mortals these days, but Carnonos believes that faeries and mortals can get along at least on an individual basis.

However, he's been missing for decades, ever since an usurper took his throne and threw the fae realm into disarray. Now the unrightful queen has gathered her forces and launched an attack on the mortal realm to search for a magical artifact Carnonos hid there before he disappeared. It's up to a quirky family of mortals, an eccentric author, and the king's most loyal warrior to rescue him, retrieve the artifact, and save all of Britain.

In the book, the fair folk come in a wide range of appearances, from almost human to quite monstrous (those are the ones that usually get labeled "goblins"), so I had fun playing around with designs. Carnonos's antlers are actually Irish elk antlers, because I felt that fit his status as an ancient and venerable entity, and because I just wanted to sneak in a bit of paleontology.

Friday, September 22, 2023


First off, as you've probably noticed, the blog has a new look! I just felt like changing things up a bit and experimenting with a new color scheme. I also wanted the graphic design to better represent what my work is all about.

Also, the About page now has a FAQ section, because those are generally useful, and I realized there are some questions I actually get asked quite frequently.

I wanted to take a quick moment to address the infrequent updates lately. I've had a lot going on IRL and just haven't had much time or energy for drawing or writing. Things have settled down a bit now, so I'm hoping to be able to get back to being a little more creative going forward. 

I've also still been trying to sort out some of the career thoughts I discussed in this post. Marketing and overall trying to get my books noticed was just way, way too stressful, like the kind of stress that causes health problems and makes it very obvious that you need to immediately stop what you're doing. I'm still trying to figure out where to go from here without compromising my health again, but I think my passion for storytelling is an important part of who I am, and it's something that I worked very hard to acquire the skillset for, so I want to embrace it and make it my contribution to the world. I appreciate the support of my readers and followers who have the ability to spread their enthusiasm for my work and help me feel like what I'm doing is worthwhile.

Finally, for anyone who's interested, I made some rather extensive revisions to Worth Searching For, specifically most of the scenes involving Terra's and Isengrim's friendship. This is the second time I've revised the story, and while I felt the last revision was a drastic improvement over the original that (rather unfortunately) was the version that got into the Neopian Times, a short while ago I looked at it again and felt that I could do a better job of portraying their evolving interpersonal dynamic, playing up Terra's strengths, and exploring and explaining Isengrim's complicated psychology.

In this version, I wanted to make it clear that Terra gets caught up in a tough situation, but with her wisdom, far-sightedness, and compassion, she's quick to understand that Isengrim is the one who really needs saving. The two are able to connect over the fact that Terra is also a social reject, so she empathizes with Isengrim's Werelupe pack, knowing how it feels to be shunned for being different.

On Isengrim's part, I hopefully made it clear that from the beginning he feels conflicted about his actions and his attitude toward his new owner. His past experiences with other people have made him feel like he cannot trust Terra, but her brave and selfless actions, as well as her unconditional kindness toward him and the other Werelupes, quickly endear her to him despite his best attempts to deny it. When he hurts her feelings during the feast, he decides that he's had enough of his own poor behavior.

I think this version also better shows that after their pivotal conversation, the two become fast friends and truly care for each other not out of force of circumstance, but because they genuinely enjoy each other's personalities and enjoy taking care of each other. As I said, this part of the plot is extremely complicated, but I think these latest revisions handle it much more realistically and satisfactorily. I probably bit off far more than I could chew with wanting to write a story redeeming Isengrim, but I just felt like it needed to happen, even if my first attempts at the details were a little clumsy. He's become a fantastic part of the main cast, though, so I regret nothing. 

(Also, if you like my Neopets work, I've got another story coming to the blog soon, so keep an eye out for that!)


Doodle of White Pearl Cookie from Cookie Run. The Gem Mermaids' designs are fun.

Thursday, August 31, 2023


I went ahead and used Canva to make a version of the cover of Earthkeepers with some cleaner text design! This version will go live for both ebook and print versions very soon.

This coincides with some minor revisions I made on Earthkeepers that also should go live soon. It's nothing majorly plot-changing--mostly it's just a bit of fixing the prose and a few added conversations to clarify some things. 

It's kinda funny how you can publish a novel and think it's pretty much perfect, and then you come back to it two years later and think "wow this is a mess". #authorproblems

Thursday, July 20, 2023


Lately I've been playing way too much Cookie Run (both OvenBreak and Kingdom), and besides awesome gameplay, I love the great character design (and lovable characters)! They are very fun to reimagine as humans. Cream Puff Cookie is one of my favorites. She's adorable.

I took a dragon-girl character I created in high school and turned her into a gargoyle because it just seemed to work.