Tag Archives: writing

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.

 

 

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A Note About My “Mission”

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I’m finding more and more that people expect me, as a woman writer, to write more things that will change the world, question cultural norms and in all other ways make the patriarchy rattle their sabers.
I’m always asked, “but what are you trying to SAY? What’s the MESSAGE?”

Really, I just want to write funny stuff with characters I like (and I hope you like), but I’m always questioned on why I wasn’t “addressing issues,” or taking a political/feminist stance on life today.
Look, guys, EQUAL RIGHTS is me being able to write something funny, and not to have people question why I’m wasting valuable time that could be spent proselytizing.
No masks and no compromises. I don’t want the only time I’m in the spotlight to be when I’m standing on a soapbox.

Character Spotlight: Carson Weedwhacker

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In keeping with the Offspring of Linus theme, this week’s spotlight is on Linus’ oldest son, and second-born, Carson. 

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Carson Weedwhacker by Monica Marier

We first get to know Carson as a sharp-tongued 13-year-old in Runs in Good Condition. Carson is in every way a typical teen-aged boy of the intelligent bookish variety. He’s opinionated, insightful, sensitive and has the cynicism of a 70-year-old crank. Carson has had frequent troubles with bullies in his peer group (as mentioned in Must Love Dragons) and it’s made him a bit fragile and distrustful of others. It doesn’t help that Carson has inherited some magical ability from his mother’s side and wants to be a wizard more than anything. His dad, Linus, (who has had more near-death experiences by the hands of wizards who “had meant well” than by any other cause) is horrified and disappointed. Carson deals with his frustrations by venting them out his mouth most of the time. If he inherited magic from his mother, he’s definitely inherited his father’s mouth and inability to know when to shut up. We all know he’ll go far one day if he can survive puberty.

FUN FACTS:

*Carson is more-or-less based off of all of my brothers (a grand total of 5).

*Like his other siblings, Carson is the spitting image of his Elven grandfather, with blond hair, long pointed ears, and green eyes. As time rolls by we’ll see that of all the children, he looks the most like Hilmiel.

*Carson’s middle name is Rudolph, after Linus’ favorite brother who died when he was a young man. 

*Carson will one day be mentor to another wizard, the Great Meriwether Maydock (his grandson) who will grow up to be the idol of Evelyn Kelly of Madame Bluestocking’s Pennyhorrid. The whole story of their meeting was written in a holiday short story Called “Meri’s Christmas.” You can read the whole story FREE on my old blog. It also reveals some later facts about Carson’s life.

*When at University, Carson has a great magical adventure with his sister, Irene, and their transvestite cousin, Kevin. That story may one day get its own book, and will not be told in any future Linus novel, since Linus isn’t in it. A rift in dimensions, a mirror, an afternoon tea, and a hedgehog are involved.

*Carson will try to learn a trade in the next book to please his dad. 

That’s about it for Carson. Next week, we’ll take a look at Thisbe, the impossible girl. 

As always, please consider donating to my GoFund me, to help me get a new computer. Every little bit helps me keep earning for my family.

 

 

 

Sounds like Progress

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So this exists:
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Coffitivity is a site that that hosts a continuous loop of ambient coffeehouse noise. The theory is that it creates an atmostpheric atmosphere that enhances your home office. I got to say, I love this idea. I always work best when there’s a clear divide between working at home and just “being at home.” Coming up with rituals, sounds, smells and other devices to make a work place special can really help you get your head in the game and work efficiently.

I love the atmosphere of coffee houses, myself and I love writing there when I can, but it’s a luxury I can only afford rarely. Usually I only get the chance when I have to take my car in for work! As much as I love this sound, I can’t help but think it’s missing the smell though. I really need the smell of fresh dark roast wafting in the air to make this experience complete. Fortunately that’s easily remedied in my house.

I’ve used atmospheric soundscapes before, actually. One of my favorite sites is RainyMood which plays the sound of gentle rainfall or storms. It’s good for decompressing and warding off headaches, and sometimes can help me feel reenergized.

Another site I love (WARNING ADDICITIVE!) is Nature Sounds For Me which gives you the chance to mix your own soundscapes! I can do anything from a medow full of sheep, to a storm on the beach, to campfire on a snowy night. LOADS of fun!

So when you eventually DO get back to writing or drawing, your mood is set.

A coffee-shop on a rainy day next to a busy street? Yes please!! 😀

All of these sites provide  their services for FREE by the way so please consider donating to their site if you enjoy it.

And please see my GoFundMe page if you want to help me out. Thanks.

Character Spotlight Lynald Winguard

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Sorry for the radio silence! Between Ravencon, a lung/sinus infection and a flooded basement I’ve been running behind on stuff. But I did have time to do a little extra special art for this week’s spotlight on Lynald Winguard, the co-star of Madame Bluestocking’s Pennyhorrid.

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Lynald Winguard was the brainchild of a college bout of procrastination. Back when the internet was shiny and new I was enamoured of an image generator called “hero machine.” One day I was playing around, avoiding my assignments (like ya do) when I randomly created a peculiar looking elf. He was dressed as a 1930’s pilot, with a whip and a torch. He looked very dashing and Indiana Jones-esque. I knew immediately knew that his name was Lynald Winguard (Bad spelling was my forte back then). It looked a lot like this recreation:
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I loved it so much I printed it off and hung it on my wall. It stayed on my walls through most of college, but sadly, he had no story. Lynald had no home, no personality, no goals. 

It was only later when I was thinking of writing a weekly serial that this dashing pilot came back into my head. He was a pilot but I wanted to make this a steampunk fantasy, so rather than a plane, I decided to give him a dragon in a world of steam dragon machines. I then paired him with a conniving, selfish, cowardly Orchid Hunter from another story idea, changed him slightly into a neurotic wizard and there was my team for Madame Bluestocking’s Pennyhorrid. 

I stuck him in Tereand, because it was already there, I just set the clock forward 200 years. A lot happened to Linus’ world in that time, chiefly almost all the magic and Elves have died out. I don’t want to go into much detail on that. It depresses me. But anyway here’s some Lynald facts, including (as requested by fans) stuff his own mother doesn’t know.

 

FACTS:

 

WHAT WERE HIS EARLY YEARS LIKE?

Lynald is the only son of Sylvestir and Gwynriell, two first cousins who isolated themselves from the rest of their clan, and pretty much the world too. The Winguards decided that the ultimate way to save the dying race of Elves was to revive the old traditions of the Elves of centuries ago. They lived like hermits, communicated only with other Elves of sufficient lineage, and tried to raise their poor son as a golden epitome of the Elven Ideal.

Lynald was forced to learn fencing, bowmanry, ancient traditions and customs, and the dead Elven tongue. He failed abysmally at all of these.Lynald had no head for academics, languages, and his parents’ constant hectoring. He resolved to run away at the first chance he got. It was only when he convinced his father to let him attend university to learn more about Elven history that he got his chance. He stayed at University for all of eight weeks before doing a runner and joining a touring opera company. He spent years becoming a classically trained tenor, countertenor and actor until his company toured an Imperial Air Force base and saw a fleet of dragons flying overhead. Enamoured with the creatures he parted ways with the opera company and enlisted as a pilot in training. After going AWOL, he traveled throughout Paracelos getting by on his charm, eclectic talents (including a mastery of machinery) and the occasional confidence trick. That’s when he ran into Evelyn Kelly. The time-frame of these adventures is muzzy at best. Lynald himself doesn’t know how old he is.

At this point he has had little to no contact with his parents. He has only written them to announce that he is no longer “Sylvester’s son.”

 

HOW DID HE MEET KELLY?

Lynald’s first meeting with Kelly was pretty much a comedy of errors. Lynald was escaping another hot pursuit from the Air Force when he spotted a show by his old opera company. He slipped in the back door and made his way to the prima dona, Anwe Druhelian’s dressing room. After an *ahem* agreement was struck, the lady agreed to hide in her room while Lynald took her place on stage as the title role in “Die Dame Regina der Dreiundzwanzig Schürzen.”

 

In the audience that evening was a Byronic figure, Mr. Evelyn Kelly, an avid opera-lover who was “celebrating” the termination of another one-sided relationship with a girl. He was looking forward to seeing his favorite opera singer, Madame Druhelian on stage for the first time. He was not disappointed. Madame was radiant, stunning, and showed amazing presence while attacking her songs with her angelic, regal voice. Kelly was entranced, falling under her spell as she sang. She’s singing to me, he thought foolishly.

After the show, shocked at his own boldness, Kelly decided that he had to—he must—meet this astounding woman and tell her how wonderful he thought she was. He saw her in the grand foyer afterwards (which was oddly crowded by many men in uniforms for some reason). She was hiding demurely behind a fan and after a lot of anxiety and false starts, he managed to finally approach her. She tried to politely shoo him away, but Kelly knew his course and without reservation, snatched her fan away and blurted out, “I love you!” he was surprised to hear the good lady growl, “PISS OFF,” in a very mannish voice. 

Of course by then, the uniformed men were starting to swarm on the two of them, (Kelly is now guilty by association) so they started running and they’ve pretty much never stopped. Kelly’s regard towards Lynald shifted to a DRASTICALLY different branch of friendship, but he never stopped being in total awe of Lynald.

 

OTHER THINGS:

*It’s pure coincidence that Lynald shared the same initials as Linus Weedwhacker. He’s actually not related to Linus at all, but he IS related (distantly) to both Bart Yenasfrin (On his mother’s side) of Must Love Dragons and Vilori Reagan (On his father’s side) of Runs in Good Condition. 

* His dragon Philomena, I named after Saint Philomena, a very minor Catholic saint who died a martyr and a virgin.

*Lynald has never married, but he’s been engaged a few times. The first was a childhood sweetheart (a cousin) that he ran away from (more on that someday), there were some whirlwind romances that were cut short by fathers, rival suitors, or the good lady coming to her senses, and most recently there was Renata, who was a loony about preserving the Elven Race as Lynald’s parents. He’s also been engaged as a “kept man” (again, more on that later).

*Despite his icy relationship with his parents, he’s on good terms with his more distant relations, who actually pity him his nut-job parents and often offer to bring him into more “liberal” Elven society.

*Lynald’s Dragon saddle is a unique design, patented by the Tereand Imperial Air Force of treated leather, wool, and canvas, all treated to be as flame retardant and insular as possible. Some good amount of stretching is needed before the pilot mounts his dragon, since their bodies are rather wide. The rider holds his seat with the help of straps and an emergency tether. The only problem is if the Dragon decides to shoot fire at anything. The seat can become very hot, sometimes resulting in dermal burns similar to a bad sunburn. There are jokes among Air Force towns about the dashing pilots and their “cooked sausages.” 

*Lynald can fly Philomena without crashing but chooses not to for the sake of comedic narrative.

Character Spotlight Deirdre the Indomitable

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I got some requests to cover Deirdre this week so here’s the lowdown on Linus Weedwhacker’s other half.

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We meet Deirdre at the end of the first book in the Linus Saga, Must Love Dragons, but she’s a constant presence throughout the book and her relationship with Linus is the linchpin in the series. It’s no secret that Deirdre is a 300-ish-year-old red dragon. Her father was a Human wizard with the gift of shape changing. Ulric the White was famous for changing into various creatures to see how they lived. He got a bit in over his head when he transformed into a red dragon and met Deirdre’s imposing mum. One clutch later, Betty took off leaving Ulric the Dragon with five baby boy dragons and one girl dragon. The boys left the nest as soon as they learned to fly,but the girl stayed with him.

Unlike her mother and brothers, Deirdre was very attached to her father and the two kept each other company. Ulric taught his daughter how to shape change and educated her as best he could. Despite their mutual camaraderie, in a few centuries Ulric began to feel old and tired. One day changed back into a human for the last time and quietly passed away, leaving Deirdre alone.

She was a little befuddled by her newfound freedom and after a few clumsy raids on neighbouring sheep, she found herself the target of several attacks by locals and treasure-hunters. She began to feel that life was nothing but a horrible struggle to defend yourself from everyone else. She was hurt and lonely and didn’t understand why everyone was determined to kill her.

That’s when a drunk Linus stumbled into her cave and did something different: he fell over and had a seizure. Most likely it was because he was the only person who hadn’t taken a punch at her, or  maybe it was her human half calling out to her, or that she felt a need to help a dying man, like she’d helped her father, she felt an instant attachment to Linus and the two were cemented together by fate.

It wasn’t exactly a love-at-first-sight, happily ever after Disney, tra-la-la, love story. There were a lot of teething troubles, as there generally is when you suddenly stop being a 12-ton fire-breathing sauroid and become a fragile, soft, pink, monkey-creature. Between complicated human mating ritual and the rather straight-forward but unfulfilling dragon rituals but after so many years and a lot of kids it seems to have worked out for them. Deidre is a stoic amazon warrior matriarch, even if she waffles between confidant and insecure frequently. The confidence comes out when she forgets that she’s not a dragon anymore. The insecurity comes out when she remembers.

 

Fun Facts:

*Her first name was Deirdre and eventually became Deirdremagorafangowenetherix (DEE-dree-ma-GO-rah-FAN-go-wen-ETH-er-ix). Dragons get bored with their names and after a long time or a great victory they like to celebrate by adding a syllable to their names. A long name is usually the sign of an old dragon or a vain one.

*She actually LIKES being a mother of lots of kids. Dragon clutches are usually around six or seven so large families are typical in dragon family if not always so intimate. If anything she’s probably just frustrated that she has to do it in so many goes to get the family -size she wants.

* Deirdre has to be very careful about changing back into a Dragon. She misses being a Dragon a lot but since her magic is dampened in her human form, she’s worried about how it will go. She had a few close calls early on, so she hasn’t changed form in nearly 15 years. She misses flying most of all.

* Her five brothers are named (in short form) Barney, Enoch, Wallace, Carl, and Orin. Orin was Deirdre’s closest thing to a childhood friend, and her favorite brother (which is whom Orin is named after). Barney, on the other hand, keeps trying to get Deirdre to get the kids to come to his cave so he can eat them.

*Carson has inherited some of his grandfather, Ulric’s, ability to use magic and is interested in  becoming a wizard.

*Deirdre’s mum HATES Linus and he is not allowed to visit her under any circumstances. She’s a very kind grandmother to the kids, however, despite a chilly but civil relationship with her daughter. Deirdre never really forgave her mother for abandoning them.

*Her voice in my head sounds like Isabella Rossilini

 

 

Spoon Full of Sugar 2 (update)

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This is HabitRPG and it will change your freaking life.

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This image is from HabitRPG and does not belong to me.

Okay, so I’ve been doing Habit RPG for about 3 weeks now vis. my last post on it. And I’ve been doing so well that I thought it was worth an update. I LOVE THIS SITE. Can I say that enough I LOVE THIS FREAKING SITE.

Usually my daily routine involves me sitting down at 8am, fully intending to be productive…which fizzles out by about 9:30am. The following six hours will usually be me staring into space and going “what am I forgetting?” I’ll usually remember one or two things on my have-tos, but I’m pretty much in a fog all day because all the have-tos flutter around in my brain like moths, confusing me with their vast numbers, and I’m trying to drum up the motivation to even care.

Occasionally I’ll try a hand-written list, but those get lost, or quickly become obsolete and disorganized. And while I might get through the essentials I’ll forget to take care of myself and the house. That will get lost in the brain fog of trying to remember what I’m supposed to be doing. Dishes will sit in the sink and draw fruit flies, I’ll forget all the light bulbs that need to be changed, all the clothes I promised to fix sit in a pile collecting dust, etc. I’ll also forget to take asthma medicine, or use lotion on my face, or to exercise.

Besides, with all this weighty responsibility there lacks a certain thrill or flare or purpose. I can’t tell myself that I’m doing it for myself. I actually don’t like myself very much, so that’s crap motivation.

BUT now with HabitRPG, I’m a rogue named Trixie Von Klepto a party of four and we’re fighting an evil Santa Claus monster that’s threatening poor polar bears! If I don’t check off all my daily tasks than my party members will die and the polar bear will be doomed to be more white fluffy fringe on the Santa monster’s jacket! I have to save them! I have to help! My martyr complex shall come to the rescue!!

So what’s all this mean now? Nothing more than that I’m now able to do 20 pushups and 60 squats (whereas one used to make me pant and sweat 3 weeks ago). It means that i’m getting my assignments done in a timely fashion. It means I’m building up my internet presence and marketing more efficiently. It means my house is clean and inviting. It means that I’m always medicated and have glowing sun-protected skin; I’m remembering to pray more often and make smarter eating choices. I’m also happier and feeling less like a freelance sponge anchored to the couch and filter-feeding off of boredom.

Hell, my kids noticed that I was using this to keep myself organised and they begged for an account to help them remember their chores and to share games with each other! Now they’re trying to earn 100 gold so I’ll treat them to Sweet Frog FroYo.

My only complaint is that with all this rushing around working, cleaning and exercising, I’m starting to go to bed earlier… like I’m TIRED or some junk! HA!

In case you were wondering, I’m not trying to sell this to you or anything. I haven’t been contracted by the staff and I’m not doing this for money. THIS IS A FREE SITE that only runs off donations. It’s only that when you find something amazing like this you want to share it with everyone! And I do. I want this happy vibe I’m getting high off to go around to all my friends.

So, if you’ve been looking for a way to keep yourself on track (freelancers and crafters, I’m looking at you), or are looking for a new FUN way to add spice to your daily doldrums, I highly recommend this site. Go forth and do! Trixie Von Klepto and I hope to see you in the future!

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Trixie Von Klepto by Monica Marier