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Pulse-stormwork_sm

Sketch for “Stormworks”
A Pulse class freight hauler unloads and undergoes routine maintenance, before inclement weather rolls in.

The last few weeks and months have been pretty crazy for me, so I’ve had to try and find creative outlets whenever, wherever, I can in between fits of depression, high anxiety and general aloofness. So what does that mean? Well, it means that I end up having “half an idea” and the need to do something with it.

So, what can you do with half an idea?

Before that, what the hell is “half an idea?”  To me, its defined as that idea that gets you really excited, but when you sit down to capitalize on it, you realize it was an only empty shell and work on it is stalled almost as soon as you put pen to paper.  In my imagination, ideas come thick and fast, but most of them are tenuous and useless. “Half an idea” is basically the minimum that can get you anywhere, but there’s a lot of work to do with it. Given time and effort, that idea can be transformed into something worth sharing, so long as you can get over the hump of impatience that awaits you.

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Star-Trek-Into-DarknessAfter finally going to see Star Trek: Into Darkness last night, I cannot help but feel lost in its utter weirdness. I am no stranger to the idea of multiple worlds, or dimensions, alternate timelines and the like, but these Trek movies really don’t appear to be about that, yet are nonetheless.

Into Darkness appears to be an odd expression of cinematic art. Its not a remake, yet it isn’t a completely new and original movie.

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, and are worried about the plot, characters and what have you being ruined by spoilers, you should probably turn away now. There will be SPOILERS.

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The Ear of a King

Ear of a King

This fine craftsmanship…?

So, my latest e-book has finally passed Smashwords “Premium catalog” entry bar and is now available for a mere $1.25.  Yes, for the price of a reasonable coffee (I’m using a Tim Horton’s double/double as a baseline) you can have a snappy tale of courtly manipulations, corrupt nobility, degenerate torture and rampant monkeys!

This tale was handcrafted over a series of many years, its cover hand-illustrated by myself and can be yours to enjoy digitally for a mere pittance. A cup of coffee is made in a few minutes, sold in seconds and enjoyed for perhaps an hour tops – if you nurse it, yet The Ear of a King can (theoretically) be enjoyed over and over again, and took many hours of loving artifice to bring to its fevered realization.

“The Ear of a King” is a short story centered around the lowly, manipulative and sometimes ethically bereft Wannear, a jester in the court of King Ecclesiastes the 18th, more commonly known as “King Eggo.”  The Kingdom of Ulvendorf is falling apart at the seams after centuries of laziness, corruption and iron-handed military rule, but Eggo is the weakest of its rulers and many plots aim to remove him entirely. But Wannear realizes that a weak, kindly King, is better than a bloodthirsty, sadistic replacement and looks to see what he can do to preserve the peace.  With Wannear’s conniving guile, a stolen coin in the right place and a testy, territorial monkey named “Xerxes” the Kingdom couldn’t be in safer hands, right?

 

You can purchase it outright or download a small sample at the Ear of a King on Smashwords.com.

Tim-Hortons-Coffee

Or just another cup of Joe?

PS: All reviews welcome!

Image Credits:  Ear of a King cover, Ken McCulloch. Tim’s coffee is a trademark of Tim Hortons… and is damned good.

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The original text-based adventure game, Adventure by Will Crowther.

Imagination is a key element in any kind of video game, movie, novel and indeed, any creative art. With advancing technology our creative arts have found support in many new tools, making it easier for an audience to experience our visions that much more easily, but even in this age of technology, the imagination is still a vital part of experiencing this art.

When I was a kid, video-games were in their infancy, yet they still attracted my interest and kept it there as long as the photo-realistic, fast moving and beautifully crafted games of today. Games then were spasmodic blocks of monotone colour, or not even that, just plain text, but they didn’t suffer from their graphical limitations, but very possibly gained something from them. That’s not to say there weren’t bad games and that my imagination would fill in the blanks or overlook pallid art or design – far from it: imagination has to be engaged or captured, before it can be exploited, and not every game has that level of craft.

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Ear of a KingWell, in short, he’s a monkey – though you’ve probably figured that out already. More specifically, he’s a White-headed Capuchin monkey, named Xerxes and a somewhat angry, kleptomaniac, tongueless one at that. He is the companion of the “hero” of a series of stories I started to write seven years ago.  Yeah, I know you’ve heard that story before. I’ve probably told it several times on this blog already, each time about a different project.   But at least with this one, there is an end in sight, or hopefully, a new beginning for it, as I’m hoping to kick it out of the door as an e-book called “The Ear of a King.”

“The Ear of a King” grew out of a response to G.R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire.”  Though I enjoyed the series, I was frustrated with the rate of his storytelling and in some way I wanted to lampoon his work and his style.  There are still some slight barbs toward Mr. Martin’s work, but it turns out I didn’t really have it in me, and the project grew into its own kind of twisted sapling. Though this probably had  lot more to do with the tone, colours and wretched squalor of Terry Gilliam’s film “Jabberwocky” of which I’ve been a long time fan. In particular, Max Wall’s performance as a tired, disinterested King and the inner workings of his courtroom, the by the book herald and the zealous, unflappable guards, gave me the starting point I needed to put pen to paper. Metaphorically speaking, anyway, since it was a laptop computer, using Circus Ponies’ Notebook and MS Word, rather than pen and paper.

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