PROMO: Prince Ivan, A. Wolfe, & A Firebird

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Prince Ivan, A. Wolfe & A Firebird - Eric Alan Westfall

Eric Alan Westfall has a new queer fairy tale out: Prince Ivan, “A. Wolfe & A Firebird.” And there’s a giveaway!

Dear Reader,

What do you get when you combine a greedy Great Tsar, his two cheating, bullying older sons, his youngest esser (shh! no saying that aloud) son, stolen gold apples, a Firebird quest, A. Wolfe who has the power t’assume a pleasing shape, a magickal sandstorm, as well as two bands and a full Symphony of Gipsumies?

A rollicking, roisterous Russian Fairy Tale, with vigorous esser activities in tents, halls, bedrooms and alcoves, with and without the assistance of PSTs. Plus princely parades, a duel over Gus, new lyrics to an old drinking song, and the possibility of bits of blood, gobs of gore or moments of mayhem. As required by CORA (the Code of RFT Authors), should these occur, your author will give you timely warning.

Ah. Still not ready to part with your kopek-equivalent? Consider the fun you’ll have reading chapters like:

  • “To Kvetch, Or Not To Kvetch? A Reader’s Choice”
  • “Ivan Has A Close Encounter Of The F-Word Kind”
  • “Second Direction Questers vs. The Caliph’s Sayer Of Sooths”
  • “Will Sasha Succeed In Seducing Prince Ivan?”
  • Bad Prince Ivan! No Touch Cage!”
  • “A Travel Pause For Gratuitous Sex In The Tent—Which Does Not Advance The Plot—At The Insistence Of The Characters”
  • “A Necessary Interlude To Consider The Age-Old Questing Question: What The [Expletive Of Your Choice, Dear Reader] Do We Do Next?”

If you buy it and try it, you’ll like it, or so says your most talen…er…humble author.

p.s. If Karrie Jax and I have covered you and blurbed you to buy, look for “Dear Reader, Along The Way, Did You Happen To See The Allusion To Olivier?” in the TOC. It’s a spot-the-allusions chance at gift cards of $25, $15, or $10.

166,000 words of story fun and frolic, plus a 2160-word teaser from another MM fairytale: The Tinderbox.

Amazon | Smashwords | Universal Buy Link


Giveaway

Eric is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour. Enter via rafflecopter:

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47138/?


Excerpt

Prince Ivan, A Wolfe & A Firebird meme

IVAN PUTS HIS HORSE AT RISK, AND MEETS A. WOLFE

“A wolf who talks,” Ivan said, his voice all full of surprise.

“I am not a wolf, Prince Ivan, I am A. Wolfe.”

Ivan lifted an eyebrow, in his long-perfected “inquiring princes want to know what you mean” mode, while wondering what effect it might have on such an enormous beast. Well, not a beast, exactly, since it could talk.

No reaction, except the bright gold eyes—so like one of his father’s apples, well-polished after plucking, or the gold circles in the Firebird’s tail—stared back, unblinking.

Since his eyebrow inquiry failed to a verbal response, it was Ivan’s turn to talk. Politeness had worked with the Firebird, when used in place of “I am royal, hear me roar” arrogance, and might be best for Ivan’s well-being in the current situation, conversing with a wolf, the top of whose head was above Gus’ shoulder.

“‘A wolf who talks,’” yes. My exact words, Sir Wolf.”

The wolf opened his mouth. Wide. No mere flash this time. Ivan was fully fanged. As they had only just met, he could not tell whether he was being fang-grinned for a reason he could not fathom, or fierce-fanged to frighten him. If it was the latter, there was a glimmer of starting-to-work happening.

But the wolf’s voice was neither fierce nor fun-filled when he hid most of his fangs and talked again. His tone was a goblet of great size, filled not just to the brim but overflowing—with more coming from somewhere so the over kept on flowing—with…patience. The kind of patience you use for, with, and on, those who are not very bright. Indeed, those who are so dim that if their brains were used to provide light for reading at night they’d be as effective as an inch-tall stub of a quarter-inch wide candle, set in a candlestick in the bowels of a cavern on the far side of a mountain range five-and-a-half eighths of a continent away.

“When you bathe, do you clean your ears, Prince Ivan?” [See above for how he said it.]

“Uh…what?”

A sigh was heard.

Ivan wished he’d brought along a sigh that big, but then, since it was a large wolf letting it loose, accompanied by, Ivan was almost sure, a hint of a scent of pasta, pesto, garlic and butter, Ivan might not have been able to use it with the same effect. The sigh might almost have been designed to complement the show-patience-to-the-afflicted voice.

“Do. You. Clean—”

“I heard you the first time, Sir Wolf. I just don’t understa—”

It was the wolf’s turn to interrupt. “It’s clear you don’t understand, young prince. I was trying to ascertain whether your inability to understand plain Russian was based on a physical defect—stuffed ears, whether unclean or for another reason, bad hearing, something of that sort—and if not, on some mental lack which in theory requires me to be considerate and gentle.”

There was a tiny pause, so infinitesimal Ivan would have had no chance to get a syllable of a word in edgewise, sidewise, upwise, or downwise, even had he tried. “You do understand kindness and gentleness are not traits associated with a wolf, and especially not A. Wolfe?”

At the end of this series of insults, the Great Tsar would have raged, calling on his ever-present Imperial Guards to “Rid me of this wolf!”

Anatol would have ranted about the presumptuousness of peasants who did not know or stay in their proper place, probably forgetting who had just offended his sense of propriety.

Vlad would have grabbed his sword, and whether from horseback, or following a grandiose leap to the ground which displayed his awesome athleticism for the admiration of any viewers lurking in the vicinity—it was his policy to always act as if he was being viewed with admiration—would have started hewing and hacking away.

In part because Ivan suspected the outcome would have been the same with all three of those scenes—dead soldiers, dead royal family, likely including bystander youngest prince—Ivan chose the fourth door…and laughed.

He couldn’t say why he saw—thought he saw—a twinkle of humor in the great golden eyes. But he must have been right, because the wolf didn’t leap up, all howling, growling and slavering, and drag him off Gus before doing the devouring which would logically follow offending laughter.

Ivan forced a halt to his own humor. With gasps interrupting his initial words, he said, “My apologies, Sir Wolf. I was not laughing at you. It was an image in my head of my family’s reactions to your words, and yours to theirs. However, with all the respect to which you are entitled, which seems to be at least a reasonable amount”—Ivan was willing to be reasonable, but not obsequious—“I have no mental or physical defect which interferes with my hearing or my understanding. Perhaps the, ah, flaw lies in your explanation of what you mean? Or, you might consider, the lack of one?”

Ivan gave the wolf a princely grin of satisfaction with his response.

Wolfe gave the prince back a wolfeish huff. “I’ll entertain the possibility you might be right, if you’ll entertain the possibility you are not listening as well as you should.”

Ivan nodded.

“Very well. Repeat after me, ‘A wolf is not the same as A. Wolfe.’”

“A wolf is not the same as a wolf.”

Wolfe sighed again. He apparently had an inexhaustible supply, in a wide range of sizes.

“A wolf is an animal, Prince Ivan. It resembles me, but is far smaller, roams the forest, howls from time to time for various reasons, and at times for no reason at all. Perhaps because it doesn’t reason. I am a wolfe—with an ‘e’ at the end. Which means I have magickal skills. My name is: A…full stop…Wolfe.”

Ivan grinned again. “Your first name is Afullstop? What an unusual name. Not Russian, is it?”

No. Not an ‘uh’ sound, but a long a-sound, which rhym… You’re teasing.”

Ivan learned another lesson in wolfe-prince relations. A wolf-with-an-e-at-the-end could grin, without his fangs looking all fearsome.

Ivan widened his own grin. “I am. So what does long-A stand for?”

“Aleksandr.”

“A handsome name for a handsome wolf-with-an-e.”

Ivan paused. He shouldn’t, he really shouldn’t, but he decided he would, anyway. “Sir Wolfe, now that I know your name is A. Wolfe, and since we are being so precise with our pronunciations, are you really quite certain I shouldn’t call you ‘A. Wolfie?’ To be sure the final ‘e’ gets its just and proper due?”

Ah. So that’s what a Wolfeish glare looked like with a fillip of fang.


UNIQUE CONTENT!

A Pause to Provide a Reassuring Response for the Horse Kvetchers in the Crowd

The author extends his apologies, dear reader, for this interruption. But the kvetchers in the crowd, whinging on and on about the horses, are a probable distraction for other readers who, unlike you, are incapable of fully focusing on the tale while extraneous noise is being made. So, if you will be so kind as to bear wi—

The horses belonging to the princes. As you will recall, the horses were…

Oh. You don’t.

Ah.

Well, in that case, this interruption will serve as a reminder for those who perhaps don’t care as much as they should about tales which seem to include the abandonment of two fine animals to an unknown, and potentially dire fate, given the RFTness going on. This will also be a reassurance for those more vocal in their concerns over the possibility of off-page horse endangerment.

As it so happened—and as you know, you may trust the author to true-tell all this tale’s events occurring on and off the pages—not long after the brothers were swept up and swirled away by the sandst…

No. There has not been a precise allocation of the passage of a particular amount of time sufficient to serve as a definition of “not long.” Suffice it to say—and with all the authorial respect appropriately due to the kvetchers in the crowd, when this author decides something sufficeth, more than a mere sufficiency of sufficing has thereby been accomplished—the not-longness was not short enough to make subsequent events even more improbable than they already are because of the fairy taleness occurring, but also not long enough for the horses to experience more the mildest need for something to eat or drink.

If the author may now proceed?

Thank you.

As the author was saying, not long after the brothers were swept up and swirled away by the sandstorm, a band of Gipsumies happened by.

A happenstance of any form, of course, is by its very nature naturally nothing more than an alternative form of coincidence, but one which carries with it far less sheerness.

The Gipsumies—sometimes referred to by the ignorant as Roaminies, which they find offensive—were experienced travelers and well aware they were well beyond the far edge of All The Russias in the third direction.

Their band arrived at the site of the happenstance—the location of two saddled, bridled, Imperial warhorses—with all its instruments in tune, and being played with vigor, especially the violins, and with the men, women, and other genders, dancing with spectacular (of the non-Russian-axe variety) leaps and bounds, swirls and twirls and intricate steps. The perfect-pitch singers sang a series of songs during the course of the happening-by arrival, with also-perfect timing so they all finished simultaneously with a final stamp of the dancers’ feet, and a long-lasting high or low note from the singers.

No. There is no definition of how long the last notes lasted.

Great Tsar’s War Hammer, as named by Vlad—the horse much preferred his actual name, Nikki, but he answered to the other one because he had no choice—had seen a Gipsumy arrival before in Moscow and was impressed. Unaware this was only a rehearsal, he rose a bit on his back legs, and slammed his front feet down, giving them his stamp of approval.

Gleb, who answered to Anatol’s choice of Imperial Storm Racer, had seen that Moscow arrival alongside Nikki, but was less impressed with this one. He gave it only a modest half-stamp of a left foreleg of approval.

Rehearsal and arrival complete, the members of the band swiftly put their instruments away, stripped off their costumes and handed them over to the cleaners, and donned working garb in dull, drab colors, designed to make them easily overlookable in civilized circumstances. That done, the pre-selected men and women—it was the other genders’ turn for a day off from this task—spread out to investigate this most excellent finding in many a happening-by.

What the surroundings said to the Gipsumy investigators in subtle signs was threefold.

First fold, “There’s no one anywhere around who might claim to be the owner of the horses.”

Second fold, “There are some owner-type footsteps leading from the horses to the edge of the desert, but there are no steps indicating an owner’s desire to return to two valuable horses before anyone happens upon them and concludes they were abandoned. There are no signs of steps to the right of the desert line, nor steps to the left, or steps out into the desert. Therefore, the only conclusion to a reasonable degree of Gipsumy investigatorial certainty, is that the owners stepped out onto the sand and were likely sucked down.” (One lithe, elegant, more fey than the Fae, Gipsumy man sighed at the thought of such a sad ending to a sucking.)

Third fold, “Inasmuch as horse abandonment is a clear sign of intent to relinquish ownership thereof to anyone who thereafter happens by, and we, having thereafter happened by, it unquestionably follows the horses, and everything on them, are ours.”

Experienced in avoiding ownership confusions caused by returning persons denying horsical abandonment, the members of the band took the time for a brief meal and taking care of those needs which cannot be mentioned. After hitching Nikki and Gleb to the back of the chief’s caravan, and storing the saddles, bridles, saddlebags, and everything else in secret compartments scattered throughout the rest of the band’s caravans, they left the scene of the happenstance.

Some time later—

No!

they reached actual civilization, and thanks in part to the parchment provenance carefully crafted on the way, the Gipsumies made a more than healthy profit off an investment of the few rubles spent keeping the horses healthy and happy on the journey.

As paid-up members of GAPCHBOP—the Gipsumy Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Happened-By Beasts and Other Property—this band took more than the minimum amount of time mandated by GAPCHBOP rules to ensure that the new owner of both horses would treat them with love, care, and good food, water and grooming.

The author adds his personal assurances that many years after the events in this tale were concluded, Nikki and Gleb died of comfortable old age, surrounded by several herds’ worth of horsical friends, acquaintances and a great many descendants, the pair having been most active in their post-prince years.

Moving along, dear readers, moving along…


Author Bio

Eric Alan Westfall

Eric is an American Midwesterner, and as Lady Glenhaven might say, “He’s old enough to have sailed with Noah.” In the real world he writes for a living, with those who would claim what he writes is fiction. His partner of thirty years—who died unexpectedly in 1995—enthusiastically encouraged him to try to get his writing published (mostly poetry back then, plus some short stories), but he didn’t have the guts to do so until 2013. At this point he’s not sure which was officially first, The Song, or Like a Mountain, Waiting.

Starting then, he’s published 13 novels and novellas, 1 poetry collection, 2 short story collections, and 3 short stories. God willin’ and the crick don’t rise, 2020 will also see The Tinderbox out and about. But since real life is, as we all know, a pain in the (anatomical site of your choice)…no guarantees.

LOGO - Other Worlds Ink

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/Eric-Alan-Westfall-1045476662268838/

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PROMO: Of Princes False And True

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Of Princes False and True

 

Eric Alan Westfall has a new MM Historical Fantasy book out:

A tennis match? Starting a war between the Duchy of Avann and the Kingdom of the Westlands?

Only in a fairy tale.

When Prince Henry hurts a young ball boy who told him Danilo’s ball was inside the line, Danilo’s response is automatic. Punch the prince’s face, pick him up left-handed, and break the royal jaw. Unfortunately, there’s another “automatic” at work: a death sentence for whoever strikes royalty.

King Hiram can’t—won’t—change the rule of law to rule of royal whim. But he grants the Heir of Avann fifteen days to find words that will allow Danilo to live.

In those fifteen days: Magick. The gods, goddesses and gender-fluid deities on Deity Lane. Kilvar, the assassin. A purse which opens in a bank vault. A mysterious old man. The Lady of All. The Magickal Hand writing, rewriting. A fairy tale within a fairy tale. A huge horse called Brute. And at the end…perhaps the right words and a most unexpected love. Plus a deity-supplied dinner with just the right amount of garlic.

All royalties will go to a local LGBT organization.

QRI | Amazon | Indigo | Angus & Robertson | Kobo | Universal Buy Link


Giveaway

Eric is giving away two backlist eBook titles to one lucky winner with this tour. Enter via Rafflecopter:

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4724/?


Excerpt

From Chapter Three:

The Small Throne Room

The King of Westland’s Castle

Late Morning, the Day The Story Starts

“Sit,” King Hiram commanded. The young man, still head-bowed, didn’t move. The guards squeezed the prisoner’s biceps, half-marching, half-dragging to the chair at the opposite end of the table from the king. With four guard hands occupied by flesh or chains, the difficulty in moving the chair was obvious. The wizard’s spell removed the chains; they reappeared with a clunk!on the floor beside the table.

The guard on the young man’s left pressed a dagger-point against his throat. The other guard released him, stepped behind the chair and pulled it enough away for the young man to be maneuvered in front of it. Rough hands on shoulders forced him down. It was, of course, only happenstance the knifepoint nicked the neck, a drop of blood appearing when the blade was removed.

The recent command not to hurt the prisoner apparently didn’t apply to chairs in which the prisoner was sitting. The force used to propel it toward the table would have crushed the young man’s fingers if he’d rested them on the arms when he sat. Fortunately, his hands were in his lap. The young man’s head remained down as he was in effect caged by the chair and table.

He raised his head, looking straight ahead, but Hiram and his advisors could see he wasn’t seeing anything then present in the room.

Beneath the dirt, bruises, scrapes and crusted blood he was handsome. Sharp cheekbones, aquiline nose, thin lips, a faint cleft in his chin. Brilliant green eyes, flecked with gold. Unusual long hair tumbling near his shoulders, red-brown strands mixed with varying shades of gold. There was something almost familiar… The king chased a wisp of memory, but lost it.

The young man tilted his chin up enough to look at the king, apparently believing if cats could, so could he. There was no cringing in those eyes, no shame, no embarrassment. No anger or resentment. Perhaps, though, a tiny glimmer of…interest. As if this was some grand adventure and he needed to absorb everything happening to and around him for later remembrances.

Unfortunately, he wouldn’t be remembering anything again, in the not too distant future. A man doesn’t when his head has been severed from his neck, or he’s been hanged until a neck-snap or slow strangulation ends him. Hiram realized he didn’t remember what death the law required. He would, he knew, have to check.

In silence, the young man lifted his hands, and pushed the long, thick hair behind his ears, each movement telling a story of strain and pain. As did his face. One eye was swollen almost shut; a cut on his forehead still oozed blood; there was dirt on the bruising on cheeks and jaw; one lip was split.

“Captain Nichols!”

“Sire.”

“Did he resist arrest?”

“No, Your Majesty.”

“Did the prince do this?” The king refused to let himself display the tiniest glimmer of hope the answer was “yes.” The hope Henry fought back.

“Ah…no, Sire.”

“Did he attempt to flee and have to be captured?”

“He is as the Guards found him on their arrival. I am—”

The young man interrupted with a laugh—a bright, beautiful baritone, filling the room with a joy entirely out of place in the circumstances.

The king’s low and angry voice in turn smashed the laughter. “You think all this is a joke?”

The young man blinked. “No, Your Majesty. I just thought it was funny someone thought I might run away. Only a coward runs, when he knows he’s done no wrong. I did what was right.”

“You struck my son.”

The young man shrugged. “I’ll strike any bully beating a child.”

Someone in the room gasped. The king merely thanked the Thirty-Nine it wasn’t him and pretended he hadn’t heard.

But as Hiram spoke he realized he was defending his son because of a father’s obligation, not from a belief in his innocence. “Prince Henry is my heir. He would never—”

“He did.” Kings do not flabbergast easily. Hiram was rendered so. Rogermight interrupt him in the privacy of the royal chambers, but elsewhere? No one dared. Until the young man.

Who had no idea what he was facing; had no idea of the inevitable outcome of his admission of guilt. Hiram did not need to hear more. The law was clear. The punishment was clear.

Yet if he was compelled to do as the law demanded, he would at least learn the truth first.

“Do you have any witnesses?”

The young man’s response was a scoffing, “Of course. Anyone there will tell you…” His voice faded away. “But they won’t, will they? He’s a prince, I’m a foreigner, and they’ll only tell you what a kingly father wants to hear: his son is as pure and innocent as the drifting…slush would be, in a kingdom where snow is possible.”

The chin-tilt this time was defiant. “So. What’s the penalty in this kingdom for saving a child from a beating which might have left him crippled?”

“Death.”

The young man paled, but didn’t flinch, and when he moved his hands to the table, there was no trembling.

Nor was there any in his voice. It was calm, almost matter-of-fact, and he didn’t avert his eyes from the king’s. “Interesting. I thought to rescue a child and instead I start a war.”

Old Moldy heard a threat and started to bluster. Hiram heard a statement of fact, or what the young man believed was truth. He told Old Moldy “No!” and the Chancellor slumped back in his chair.

“A man admits to a crime in my kingdom, for which the law demands the severest penalty. Why should anyone go to war over just punishment?” Everyone heard the silent question, “Who are you your death would cause a war?”

The young man’s bow—so far as he could in his seating situation—was formal. An objective observer might have called it regal.

“Your Majesty, permit me to introduce myself. I am Danilo ys Daeaen ys Cirill. I am the only grandson of the Duke of Avann.” The young man shrugged. “They call me the Heir of Avann.”


Author Bio

Eric is a Midwesterner, and as Lady Glenhaven might say, “His first sea voyage was with Noah.” He started reading at five with one of the Andrew Lang books (he thinks it was The Blue Fairy Book) and has been a science fiction/fantasy addict ever since. Most of his writing is in those (MM) genres.

The exceptions are his Another England (alternate history) series:  The Rake, The Rogue and the Roué(Regency novel), Mr. Felcher’s Grand Emporium, or, The Adventures of a Pair of Spares in the Fine Art of Gentlemanly Portraiture(Victorian), with no way out(Regency) coming out a month after Of Princes.

Two more fairy tales are in progress:  3 Boars & A Wolf Walk Into A Bar(Eric is sure you can figure this one out), and The Truth About Them Damn Goats(of the gruff variety).

Now all he has to do is find the time to write the incomplete stuff! (The real world can be a real pain!)

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/Eric-Alan-Westfall-1045476662268838/

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/eawestfall43

!!PUBLICATION DAY!! The Jackal’s House

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A new book from Anna, the amazing writing goddess!

Anna Butler

PUBLISHED TODAY!

I’m over the moon about this book and so delighted that publication day has arrived at last. I’ve learned so much about writing since the very first of the Lancaster’s Luck books two and a half years ago, and I genuinely believe this is the best one I’ve done. It’s a romantic adventure. Or an adventurous romance? Anyhow, there are aeroships and deserts, whirling Dervishes and jackals, archaeologists and assassins, villains and lovers, love and hate.

I do hope you grow to love this as much as I do!

JUMP TO:

Buy Links

About The Jackal’s House, and an excerpt

Launch Blog Tour and Chances to Enter Giveaway

Winners of Pre-Order Prize Draw

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Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press ebook  |  Dreamspinner Press paperback

Universal link to other digital stores (not DSP)

Individual Store Links:

Amazon.com  |  Amazon.co.uk  |  Apple iBooks  |  B&N …

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Here I Am… Again.

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So I’ve tried, repeatedly, for a while now, to maintain a blog or any other consistently updated presence online. I’ve tried themed stuff. I’ve tried writing for a site with deadlines and expectations, thinking that would keep me on track. I even broke down and tried LiveJournal for a while. But you know what?

I suck at blogging.

So… I’m consolidating. Having one blog for writing and another for 3D art stuff flopped miserably. Now I’m shoving ’em together, and giving them a new face. Expect changes and updates at a snail’s pace. What I envision happening here, which may bear no resemblance to what actually happens here, is a collection of posts about writing, 3D artwork, and randomness. Like the fact that there’s a purring cat on my hand right now, making it really hard to type. Get off my hand, Puff! I’ll try to avoid political horseshit, but who knows if I’ll succeed. Hopefully I will. There’s more than enough political horseshit in the world without me adding my own two cents worth.

Anyway…

In case you don’t know who I am:

Hi, I’m Marie Brown. I write smut. Although I’m moving away from the smuttiness lately, and just focusing on the stories. So I’ll be more accurate and say I write queer speculative fiction. Lots and lots of queer speculative fiction. Every now and then a straight character slips in, but I try not to let them.

I also do a lot of 3D artwork. It’s an addiction. I used to pretend to be a “real” artist, using real-world artistic tools like paper, pencils, pastels, and sometimes even paints. But I got bitten by a cat many years ago and the damage from that messed up my hand something fierce, making “real” art extremely painful. Since I kind of sucked at it anyway, I quit doing it.

And then… along came computer art. I used to come down on the “that’s not art, it’s a program” side of the debate. But then I started doing it. And yeah, I use programs. But wow, what amazing worlds those programs can produce! I am completely addicted. I love the fact that I can get the images out of my head and have them look even better than they started. It’s just so much fun!

If I could quit my job and do nothing but write, make art, and play Skyrim, I totally would.

So there I am. A nerdy, geeky writer, with three cats. Now I’m going to get busy fixing this place up so it’s not a generic heap of blandness.