Tag Archives: Hunt Press

Why I stand with Revolva

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This morning someone posted this on my wall: it’s an article from Revolva’s blog, where the contortionist was contacted by Oprah’s people to perform as a side act for the “Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend” that would draw people from all over the country with its $99-$999 tickets. Only one caveat… they didn’t want to pay her. You can read the whole account here.

A few people commented that Revolva’s response was just a temper tantrum—a beat-scene avant garde complaining when  the honor of performing for Oprah should have been enough. That this could have been a huge opportunity for her. That she was lucky to be contacted with such a huge queue of people dying to get in. That this article was simply because she felt slighted.

I saw red for a moment and then in a frenzy of rage-fueled justice I wrote this in reaction to the people who took Oprah’s side.

Revolva’s not “feeling slighted” by Oprah’s company and she makes a good point. This is about a billionaire empire that is trying to stiff a hardworking woman.

Did her booking agent get paid? Yes. Did the venue get paid? Yes. Did the roadies, the techies, the caterers, the marketers, the transport, the hair, the makeup, the wardrobe, and everyone else it took to make that show get paid? Would the show be the same if there was no one to light the stages, or put them up, or to coordinate everything? Of course not ! They’re valuable people.

So, don’t you think the people on those stages deserve the same professional courtesy as a roadie or a techie? Doesn’t she deserve to be able to pay her rent and buy food like everyone else? 

She wasn’t “slighted” by OprahCorp. A billionaire wanted services from her and thought that her services were less important than her hair and makeup. That she was less important than the people who light the stage. That she was worthless, or at the most only worth the toll for the bay bridge.

That’s what it’s like to be an artist today. We’re always supposed to be grateful to be chosen. We’re supposed to feel lucky that we’re gifted. We’re supposed to share our gift with the world… only we’re not allowed to ask for money for it. The “glory” is supposed to be enough.

And there’s very little of that too.

*mic drop*

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Hell is in the Details

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It’s NaNoWriMo time!

It’s been almost 2 weeks now since I started on this year’s NaNoWriMo. I’m busy working on a prequel to the Linus Saga, in which we get to meet young(er) Linus as he meets Deirdre for the first time. I’ve been doing NaNoWriMo’s since ’08 and it’s consistently how I get most of my writing work done.

But I get distracted, hell everyone does, but my worst foible is research. I LOVE research. I’m an absolute Hermione when it comes to getting all the facts and trying to magick up my own rules for my world. It’s led me down a few rabbit holes like the article hole, the Wikipedia hole, and the ever dreaded Elven Dictionary hole (although that one’s probably just me.)

Case in point, today I have spent an hour trying to research poop. That’s right. POOP.

I need to know how Dragons poop. Do they have pellets like raptors? Do they grind things up with gastroliths or maybe their bodies make their own calculi? Do their bodies do something incredible with the parts they can’t digest like fossilize them or do they incinerate the their waste in their own furnaces? How does that work?

dragonpoop

This doesn’t exist apparently.

Will all of this make my book all that better? Who can say? Who all out there is interested in how Dragons poop? If only one person is nodding right now, then congratulations. You’re the reason I’m looking up bezoars and mineralization. I’m doing this for you.

Okay, I got to get back to it now. I’m about 200 words away from hitting 20,000. Good luck to everyone else out there doing this! And good luck staying out of the rabbit holes!

~Monica

Inktober 30

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This 30-day horror movie challenge is starting to get to me. Guess what I’ve been watching lately? (heh)

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Vengeful Ghost by Monica Marier

Tomorrow will be the last day of this Challenge, giving way to NaNoWriMo. And I’ve decided in the vein of inktober, I’m going to try to post my “writing thought of the day,” on the blog. This will be part of the November countdown to the launch of my next book, “No Shoes No Service,” and include tips, observations and a lot of whining, as well as sneak peaks, sketches and teasers for my upcoming book. It’s book 3 in the Linus Saga, so I’ll also be constantly reminding you that the first 2 books, Must Love Dragons, and Runs in Good Condition can be purchased through Hunt Press or on Amazon.

Inktober Day 1

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Okay, hoping to bump up some traffic on here, I’m now participating in a web experiment called Inktober. Here’s the text from the original poster: Jake Parker:

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31 Days 31 Drawings

Every October, artists all over the world take on the InkTober drawing challenge by doing one ink drawing a day the entire month. I created InkTober in 2009 as a challenge to improve my inking skills and develop positive drawing habits. It has since grown into a worldwide endeavor with thousands of artists taking on the challenge every year.

Anyone can do InkTober, just pick up a pen and start drawing.

InkTober rules:

1) Make a drawing in ink (you can do a pencil under-drawing if you want).

2) Post it on your blog (or tumblr, instagram, twitter, facebook, flickr, Pinterest or just pin it on your wall.)

3) Hashtag it with #inktober

4) Repeat

Note: you can do it daily, or go the half-marathon route and post every other day, or just do the 5K and post once a week. What ever you decide, just be consistent with it. INKtober is about growing and improving and forming positive habits, so the more you’re consistent the better.

That’s it! Now go make something beautiful. — reblogged from http://mrjakeparker.com/inktober

Pretty fun stuff, yeah? There were a few requirements as to the types of pens to use and materials, but I can’t really afford the new equipment, so I’m making do with the pens I use every week to ink my comics. I think this would be a good exercise for me because of one key thing:

I never get to practice inking. I’m either already inking stuff, or being busy with something else. When something becomes your job, you seldom have any time to actually practice it and get better, or even to try something different. Inking has always been one of my most hated tasks (closely followed by colouring), and I think it’s time for me to try to do it to the best of my ability.So without further ado…

Day 1

Day 1, Self portrait in Ink using brush-tip pen.

I’m not going to go on with the things I don’t like. They’re glaring and obvious, but I  am proud of how the hair came out. Hair, especially short hair, has always been a struggle for me. This is also using a brush-tip pen which is a pen I usually avoid using at all costs since I tend to press down on my pens like I’m etching things in silver.

Well, that’s it for Day 1. Stay tuned for Day 2.
(Note, some days will be combined if I don’t have access to internet (like I’m at a convention or whatever).

Hope you enjoy this and FEEL FREE TO JOIN ME and post a link to your page/posts! 😀

Character Spotlight: Avery Bachhaussen

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One of the classic rules of writing is that if you want your character to have extraordinary adventures outside of the ordinary you give him a) freedom, b) drive or c) money. Linus running for Union President, like he did in Runs in Good Condition happened totally organically, since I actually hate politics and never thought I’d write about an election. But as soon as I knew that he HAD to run there was a polite knock at my brain and there was Avery again saying, “Um, excuse me? Can I be of any service to you?”

 Avery Bachhaussen

 

Avery first made his appearance at the very end of Must Love Dragons. He was just a Ranger on Linus’ side who helps him out a bit. I had no idea that he was actually going to continue on into The Linus Saga as a character. He’s just one of those ideas that took on a life of their own.

When he started out in my brain he was just an extra that was a carbon copy of Crispin Bonham-Carter’s version of Mr. Bingley in the 1992 production of Pride and Prejudice. But even if he looks identical to that in my head, he’s taken on a character of his own in the process of writing him and turned out far more interesting than I had intended.

Avery is a privileged only son of Old Money, on par with hotel magnates and electronic company CEOs. He’s your classic nice guy. He always wants to help, he’s passionate about causes he believes in and never wants to have anyone mad at him.

But like the standard ‘nice guy’ of today he has a lot of flaws. He’s naïve and easily led by other people’s opinions, ready to accept them without consulting the facts or his own feelings. He takes everything at face value and is quick to divide the world into black and white, until he gets another opinion to zealously believe in. So, basically he’s that guy on Facebook that will share every “share if you want to stop/ help/support____” post, and writes “THIS” about articles outlining the latest injustice without actually reading them or checking the sources—the headline’s pretty much said everything, right?

So, Avery is a sweetheart, but he doesn’t have a single original thought in his brain. Unfortunately that’s starting to clash with his new family. He has a young wife and a (pending) child—another decision he made because he followed societal norms. The problem is that no one is telling him how to do this “family” thing or how to feel about it. There’s no one to form his opinions for him and no one to get him worked up into a fervor about it. How is he going to keep things going without passion for his loved one—passion he instead devotes to his work?

I’ll have to find out in a future book, I guess.

 

FUN FACTS:

*The one time Avery showed the world he was his own man was when he chose to marry someone without money. It was his one act of rebellion against his family, who still constantly criticize his involvement in civil affairs.

*Avery’s very altruistic and donates regularly to causes like, homes for orphans, widows pensions, schools, and apprenticeship fees for boys who might not otherwise be able to afford them.

*He’s also slightly patriarchal, willing to defer to men and let them lead him around by the horns but never thinking that women or children have anything of value to contribute. He himself is unaware of this and would be quite shocked if you told him this.

*Avery became a Ranger to get out going to parties and stuffy mansions. He enjoys spending time outdoors and is a formidable hunter and horseman.

Character Spotlight: Tyrrus Gruthsfield

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It’s high time I covered a baddy, so this week’s post is about Tyrrus Gruthsfield. Now, I don’t like to think of him as a baddy, although he’s definitely a villain in books 1 & 2. I just dislike characters who are evil through and through. I grew up watching cartoonishly evil bad guys in movies and on TV that were evil simply for the sake of being evil, and those always bothered me a bit (I should probably write a post on this later.) The point is, Tyrrus isn’t a villain because he wants to be evil. Like all proper villains, Tyrrus thinks he’s the hero of his own story—in this case a story of loss, love and abandonment.

We first meet Tyrrus when he appears in the last act of Must Love Dragons as the ruthless head of the corrupt Rangers Union. But we also know he and Linus have a history together. Let’s look into that, shall we?

 

 

Image copyright ©2014 Monica Marier

Image copyright ©2014 Monica Marier

 HISTORY

Linus met Tyrrus when upon passing his entrance exams at the Rangers Union to become a Pre-One Ranger, or a Ranger-in-training. This is an apprenticeship period where a Ranger is usually assigned to an E-10 Ranger in good standing to have as mentor. The trainers assigned Linus to Tyrrus Gruthsfield, who was in his late 30’s at the time. Tyrrus was a rugged, jovial dandy bachelor, with a love of adventure and a lust for high living. He and Linus bonded straight away. Linus was in awe of this rugged expert of the wilderness and his bombastic personality. Tyrrus fed off of Linus’ admiration, and his youthful outlook made Tyrrus feel like he himself was a young teen again.

When Linus had finished his year under Gruthsfield as a student and graduated to E-1, he continued to travel and work with Tyrrus as a friend and compatriot. Linus became a family to Tyrrus, who had grown up as an orphan in the Rangers Union’s boys home for foundlings and had never known a family.  And Linus, who had always had to fight with his dozen siblings for attention, enjoyed the singular attention Gruthsfield was giving him and eventually left his father’s house to live at the Union boarding house with Gruthsfield and other young bachelors.

Tyrrus tried to advise Linus as best he could on how best to navigate the rocky path of his late teens into adulthood, but it was myopic and sometimes self-serving. Tyrrus had avoided growing up, and didn’t really want Linus to either. It’s possible that a lot of Linus’ early missteps (bad relationships, hijinks, faux pas, his drinking habits) were either from Tyrrus’ lack of direction or from simply bad advice.

It was about five years after their pairing, when Linus began to make friends and peers in his own age-group, that his relationship with the then 40-something Tyrrus became strained. Tyrrus became more controlling of Linus and his free-time and assignments. He subtly tried to orchestrate fallings out between Linus and his friends, and when that didn’t work, he would bombard Linus with accusations of betrayal and callousness.  

Linus didn’t take well to Gruthsfield’s constant intrusion on his life—feeling like he was tied to the apron strings of a clucking, nagging mother hen. By the time when Linus was beginning to slip into depression, alcohol, and a dangerous affair—a time when Gruthsfield genuinely wanted to help Linus—it was too late. Linus had already stopped listening to Grusthfield.

 The incident with Tchineline (as outlined in Runs in Goods Condition) was the final breaking point and, soon after, Linus severed ties with his ex-mentor. Tyrrus and Linus most likely had no contact with eachother until the events of Must Love Dragons. Linus was more than aware of Gruthfield’s rise to power in the Union, but was only a disinterested bystander at the time. He had no idea that during that twenty-some years in-between Gruthfield had spent it brooding on the loss of his only friend and family, and becoming harder and more twisted as the realization of his own mortality grew more apparent and tortured him with the passage of time.

 

Fun Facts:

*The name Tyrrus is (rather obviously) taken from the Greek tyrannos meaning monarch or King.

*Gruthsfield’s actions have always been chiefly fueled by his fear of aging and death. It’s what draws him closer to true villainy as he begins to enter old age.

*He probably assaulted Linus a few times in their younger days, but played it off later as nothing. That unrequited attraction, as well as his emotional manipulation was a key factor in their falling out and later turned into the hatred we see in the books.

*Tyrrus was the one who blackballed Linus from renewing his Ranger’s E-10 license prior to the events of Must Love Dragons. After failing to ban him entirely, he brought up the motion to make Linus restart as an E-1.

* In my head, his voice sounds like the late Tony Jay.

Back to Work Day!

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“Smile Honey!”

“Don’t wanna!”

“Ah, c’mon! It’s the first day of school!”

“I don’t want to! Everyone hates me.”

“It’s your job. You’re an internet writer and artist. And now that the kids are going to school today you have to update the blog.”

“I can’t. I’m sick. I have to stay home”

“You work from home.”

“Damn it.”

I don't want to smile.

I don’t want to smile. Smiling sucks.

 

I actually had it pretty good this summer. I spent oodles of time with my kids coming up with stories and adventures and projects, and introducing them to my MMORPGS. But I didn’t get much work done. That’s how it goes, and frankly I’m not sorry I had a blast with my kids. But it’s time to dust off the parts of the keyboard that aren’t: QWEASD and get my working pants on.

So, here’s some stuff I’m working on now:

Book 4 of the Linus Saga: Working Title “Inquire Within” It’s a more serious missal where we get to meet all of his brothers and sisters and see how they interact.

Linus Saga Prequel: I’m working on a novel where we see a young asshole-ish Linus meet Deirdre for the first time and what eventually culminates in their marriage. Should be fun.

Madame Bluestocking’s Pennyhorrid 2: Working Title: “The Lost Mines of Nadoras” in which Kelly and Lynald become claim jumpers hoping to strike magic in an abandoned zynythstite mine.

I’m also working on some commissions that I might reveal in the fullness of time, if the clients should allow it, and I’ll be bringing back Character Spotlight Wednesday this week starting with Quince.

Pass the Coffee. It’s going to be a long 9 months. Goodbye, Lord of the Rings Online. It’s been fun.