Tag Archives: Monica Marier

INKTOBER 2016

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It’s that time of year again, folks! I might be crazy trying to do Inktober this year, but this is actually going to be less about drawing and more about learning to budget my time. It’s also about getting ready to start writing again. I’ve gotten so bogged down in old writing that I feel like I’ve forgotten HOW to write again. I really haven’t written anything new since 2014, and that’s a big problem.

So my 2016 Inktober album will be looking for inspiration and casting my book for NaNoWriMo. It’s going to be a pre-teen/teen scifi space opera, partly a comdey—you guys know me—that I’ve been sort of fleshing out with the help of my kids.

Today, I did an expression sheet for one of the main characters, Henrik Cates: the captain of the fishing star-ship, the S.S. Mallard. Want to find out more? Keep watching this site.

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Expression Sheet: Henrik Cates by Monica Marier 2016 using Prismacolor Premier pens

(Just a note: I will NOT be doing “Carpe Scream” this year. I just can’t do both projects, sadly.)

Have I Been Wrong About Fan Fiction?

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Art from my First Fan Fiction: Slayers Encore (2002)

Fan fiction: it’s something all writers do (whether they’re aware of it or not). When it’s good, it’s an innocent joyride in someone else’s vehicle. Worst-case scenario, it’s a naive early attempt to be the next ____ (Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, George R.R. Martin etc.) with new names on the characters and a worn old plot device. In both cases fan fiction is written for the sheer love of a series, created out of a desire to see our deepest fan-desires put into words. There are thousands upon thousands of forums and websites dedicated to fan fiction, probably in numbers to rival the #1 commodity: porn.

While I myself have dabbled in the art of fan fiction, I decided early on, that if I was going to be serious about my writing, I should steer clear of other people’s works and instead concentrate on my ability to write original stories with my own characters and canon. I spent years building the worlds of CRIT! and Skeleton Crew among my other works and I think I did a good job. Fan fiction helped me build those skills, but I was ready to fly on my own now.

So I said goodbye to fan fiction and never looked back. I haven’t written any since 2004. I tell everyone in my panels that fan fiction is a skill builder—an exercise to build story-writing skills without the hassle of creating a new world and characters. It can help form new authors, but no self-respecting author wastes the bulk of their effort on it. Messing with copyrighted works makes publishers uncomfortable and it’s a sign of unprofessionalism.

At least, it used to be that way.

Now more and more big-name franchises are plumbing fan fiction for writers. This decade, entertainment companies have discovered that fan fiction is an untold wealth of hidden talent, and what is more, their fiction is a testing ground for how well they work with a given canon! Doctor Who, Star Trek, and other properties are taking note and are asking to see fan fiction from future writers!

…And I don’t have any.

I’d disciplined myself for so long, with the aim of building my credibility, that I’ve shot myself in the foot. I’ve lost 3 writing opportunities so far because they’d asked for a sample of fan-fiction and I’d had no time to write any.

I’m already struggling to make my mark on the internet. This just seems like an anvil dropped on my head. I also have to admit that I was wrong about fan fiction and lament for the stories I never wrote—ideas that have long since disappeared into the ether.

The game has changed again, and I’m left holding 3 aces in a game of Jenga.

 

 

Still plugging away

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Now that the Rogue’s Guide is completed and launched, I’m turning my attention more to the Must Love Dragons relaunch and it’s been sloooooooooow going. A lot needs fixing which leads to more fixing and further flaws… you guys ever seen the money pit?

(Property of Universal Pictures)

At least the foundation is good. (I’m laughing as I type this because we just found out we have to replace the house’s trimming and get the roof inspected here at Wineberry House. Plus we have ants.)

In the meantime, here’s a draft of the new cover art we’re going to be using for MLD (some alterations in text, and art etc. pending). Overall I’m pleased with it. I love how Linus looks kind of cool, but also like you want to punch him in the face. We’re going to do similar half-face images for the other 2 books in the works. I like the half-face because it leaves a lot of room for the reader to fill in the rest with their imagination. I hate seeing an image of a character I like and not have it match the image in my head.

(Btw, my brother modeled for this. I think he did a great job)

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copyright(c)monica marier, 2016

 

The only other thing of note text-wise is that Wendria’s name will be changed back to Kiyana to match the CRIT! comic, since Both CRIT! and MLD will be launched by the same publisher, Tangent Artists. The Linus Saga, in essence, will be presented as a “novelization” of CRIT! despite the deviating story-lines. Nothing will change storywise other than the names and a few minor details, but the company feels we should unify the whole setting to better match our existing publications featuring Linus Weedwhacker.

Comments? Concerns? Think I’m out of my gourd? Leave a comment.

 

 

Back to the Mill

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I’m very pleased to announce that Tangent Artists has sent our newest book to the printers! This month at RavenCon we’re going to launch our newest book, Steal this Tome!

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The Rogues Book (somewhat vandalized by Bart)

This book is presented as a policeman’s instructional vandalized by a young thief and republished as his own work and is the 3rd installment in our Wolf Press class guide. If you loved the Handbook for Saucy Bards and the Cleric’s Guide to Smiting, you’ll enjoy the same snappy writing, irreverent humor, and (of course) a gripping short story featuring the cast of CRIT!

We’ll be hosting a book-launch tea-party at Ravencon with snacks, prizes, tea, and silly voices.

YOU! HEY YOU!

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Here’s a message from Linus saying “GO VOTE.”
A lot of primaries are opening tomorrow and your vote counts!
Some tips to help you:
*Check to see if you are registered
*Your registration information will tell you where your voting station will be. Be sure to check all requirements.
*Bring a photo ID and your registration card with you when you show up.
*Leave all of your support buttons and tee-shirts at home! This will help you avoid becoming a target of unscrupulous people.
*Be neat and nicely dressed when you arrive (Never make anyone be suspicious of your status or affiliations)
*Be polite to everyone. The officials are volunteers donating their own time.
*Do your research! Be sure to check for other positions/decisions that will be voted on in your area!
*TELL YOUR FRIENDS! Maybe even offer to drive them to their station or watch their kids/dog for 5 minutes to help them out!

Have a safe and wonderful day! Exercise your right to make your decision heard!

One Down, ? to Go

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Werrrrll good news for those who enjoy my Tangent Artists work. I’ve just finished my contributions and edits of our group-project: Steal This Tome, A Book For Thieves.  I hope to post a sneak preview shortly so you can see what you’ve been waiting for.

I was going to post about how I’ve been blocked and rather paralyzed by fear and doubt these last few days, but you know? Screw that. I have been busy. I’m only disappointed with myself that I haven’t done everything, and that’s frankly out of the question.

A lot of my friends are going through this right now too. The bad economy, job instability, the fear of what may happen politically this year, as well as all of our own personal problems—we all have a lot on our table. Maybe our friend got published, maybe someone we know was asked to be a guest at a convention, maybe that chance we didn’t take really paid off for someone else? We’re not them, and we can’t compare their success to our own. We all have our own stories.

We have to look at our victories, no matter how small, and revel in them. Don’t bask in the glory for too, long, you have a job to do after all, but every victory helps us launch ourselves further. More importantly, we set a precident for ourselves.

I can do this, because I’ve already done so much.

So instead of being a sad sack tonight, I’m going to celebrate. I’m still writing and drawing. I’m still hoping that someday it will make enough to help my family. I have all the time in the world, and nothing but possibilities.

Go forth and do!

On the Passing of Alan Rickman

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In Memoriam Alan Rickman, by Monica Marier

Every time someone I admire dies, I try to draw an in memoriam picture. This is the only one that’s ever come out looking right.
Writers like to have a “stock cast” when they’re looking for characters to bring to life. We’ll often enlist our favorite big screen actors to play roles to help us flesh them out.
I cast Alan Rickman several times in my books and series.

He gave Gruthsfield his deadly chilliness,

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Tyrrus Gruthsfield, by Monica Marier

Vilori his hauteur and dry humor,

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Vilori Reagan, by Monica Marier 

and Dunstan his grit and his soul

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Dunstan by Monica Marier courtesy of tangentartists.com

 

…not to mention countless other gifts to characters. And in losing him today I feel like I’ve lost a muse and an imaginary friend. I’m blubbering a bit as I type this.
God speed you on your journey, Alan, and continue to inspire from beyond the stars.

The Care and Feeding of Me

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I’ve seen so many articles in the last few years that seemed to be geared towards “educating” normal people on how to treat people with forms of anxiety. Like how to take care of introverts, hyper-sensitive people, people with anxiety, and other personalities that simply don’t tend to follow social norms. And at first it wasn’t such a big deal. I read that first one on introverts and thought, that was a nice way to break the ice. It was new and innovative and I saw no harm in it.

And then more popped up. And then more, and more again. Each one repeating the same maxims like, “don’t pressure us to talk,” “don’t take it personally if we don’t make eye contact,” “don’t be offended if I don’t want to talk to you.” Some were helpful. Some were border-line demanding/whining. At first I was happy because it was reaffirming that a lot of the things that bother me (loud noises, big crowds, talking to strangers) bothered other people and that it was okay.

But you know, the more lists I see now, the more people post about how they should be treated specially, how they require warnings and notices for everything, how they are highly intelligent and therefore deserving of more allowances, and generally how much “better” they are than normal people, I started to get annoyed by these lists. I knew they were about people like me, but I was starting to want to distance myself from these listicles.

Sure, I don’t like to be uncomfortable in big crowds, but sometimes I have to endure them—I table-run at conventions! And sometimes I don’t want to go to parties, and celebrations for my friends, but I do it anyway because my friends want me there, and people I like are worth making sacrifices for.

If I posted this list and insisted that everyone adhere to it, I’m like that one jerk who goes to a Mexican restaurant and demands eggplant Parmesan. “You don’t serve eggplant Parmesan? Well too bad! That’s all I can eat and you should accommodate me!” When in truth I should either a) try some Mexican food, or b) take my business elsewhere.

The world isn’t meant to accommodate me. I have to adapt to the world. That means pushing myself into situations where I’m uncomfortable. It means practicing until I get better. It means gathering my courage and realizing that if I want anything from the world, I have to be willing to meet it on its own terms. And if I’m not up to the challenge, I need to make a quiet retreat until I can try again.

I’m also not so arrogant to believe that I’m the only one with problems. I may hate crowds, but maybe someone else is really nervous without them. I hate loud noises, but what about people tormented by silence? I hate talking to strangers, but what about the person who’s worried they’ll talk too much? Everyone has their hurdles, and we should be insightful and compassionate enough to help people who are obviously uncomfortable.

Most importantly, we should be brave enough to be honest with our friends and family. Instead of posting passive aggressive lists online, why not try telling our friends how we feel. “Go out to the club tonight? No thanks, I actually don’t like loud places so much. Maybe we could do something else like Pho?” “Yeah, I’ll go to the Christmas party with you, but could you introduce me to some people? I have trouble striking up conversations,” and most importantly, “I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. Do you mind if I excuse myself to collect my thoughts?”

Anecdote: For the longest time I would get panic attacks at checkout counters. When I was with my husband, I’d always say, “I’ll take the kids to the car and fasten them in while you finish up here.” And leave before he got to the register. He never knew exactly what was going on, and I really didn’t want to tell him I was having a panic attack, but one day we were shopping without the kids. I didn’t have excuse to leave him so I had to be honest and say, “The checkout counter always gives me panic attacks. Can I just meet you when we’re done?”

And darling hubby, just shrugged and said, “I figured it was something like that. No problem.”

After that, I started to get fewer panic attacks. It was enough to know that he knew what I was going through and that I could walk away from the register without having to explain it or make an excuse. Our openness actually helped me with my anxiety.

Living in a bubble, untested, untroubled, and most of all, alone, is no way to live. We stagnate, we fester, we’re never forced to challenge ourselves so we never win and we never grow. I’ve seen too many people who have shut themselves off from the world because the world would never bend to fit their needs. You can’t live like that. You’re a human as much as everyone else. You’re special, but so are they. So here’s my:

CARE AND FEEDING OF HUMANS.

  1. Never assume.
  2. Ask how they feel or what they would like.
  3. Treat them like individuals with their own lives and interests.
  4. Feel free to help them understand you.
  5. Try your best to understand them.
  6. They will make mistakes. Forgive them and try again.

Carpe Scream: Last Day!

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So okay! This is the last day of my Carpe Scream blog marathon! I hope you’ve enjoyed my write-ups of these 31 Halloween Movies. Some were scary, some were not, some were old favorites, some were new favorites, some were shameful new discoveries to be hidden forever and never spoken of again.

I’m closing out this first year’s marathon with the movie that taught me to love Halloween, back when I was a little chicken scaredy-pants who was afraid of everything ghosty and ghoulie and three-leggy-beasty: Tim Burton’s Masterpiece featuring the music of Danny Elfman: The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Time Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, 1993, Touchstone Pictures

This is a great transition from Halloween to the upcoming holiday season. I’m going to disappear for a while, getting back to writing and tuning up old pieces as I start a new journey to getting published again. Hopefully I’ll devise something fun for Christmas like last year’s Advent Calendar for you all (but perhaps less ambitious).

I hope you all have a fantastic Halloween, a good NaNoWriMo, and I’ll see you all around on the vast and glorious internet jungle.

Inktober Final Day!

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Wow! Last day of Inktober and I’m finishing on a Tolkien-y bang. Here is the fab furry-footed four, Pippin, Merry, Frodo and Sam. This inktober wasn’t like last year where I tested technique and my inking limits. This one was more about finishing assignments and personal challenges. I only hope I can do another challenge month like this when I’m NOT already doing a horror-movie challenge. 2 in one go was a bit hard on me. That being said, I’m quite pleased with myself and I hope you enjoyed this challenge. Thanks for checking in with me!

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The Hobbits, Monica Marier, 2015, Faber-Castel Pen