Photo Finish Friday: Hvítserkur, the Troll of North-West Iceland, by Orrin Hancock

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Click the picture below for full-size. On Photo Finish Fridays, I feature a selected piece of landscape photography that I have come across. I find that real-world photography can be just as inspirational to my imagination for crafting story settings as any piece of fantastic artwork that I might share on a Tuesday. I present these without commentary so they may inspire you without the burden of my perspective, and pictures have links to the artists’ blog or website if at all possible.

If you are ever curious as to why a particular piece is special to me, or use it for a writing prompt and want to share, please drop a comment!

Hvítserkur, the Troll of North-West Iceland, by Orrin Hancock. Click here for more of the photographer’s work!

Throwback Thursday: ‘Barbarian’, by Daniel R. Horne (1988)

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‘Barbarian’, by Daniel R. Horne (1988).

This fantastic piece by Daniel R. Horne graced the cover of Dragon Magazine 133, released in May of 1988. I’ve loved the classic sword and sorcery feel of Horne’s work here since retrieving that issue from my old mailbox and removing the brown paper wrapper it was shipped in. I became a fan of Conan the Barbarian stories back when I was a kid, and this piece calls back to the classic feel of danger and adventure evoked by them.

Officially, I don’t think this artwork has a title. When it was introduced, the editorial staff of Dragon ran an open call for readers to submit their own suggestions regarding what to name it. These were published a few months later, and I do believe my favorites were, “Tag! You’re It!” and “Conan the Orthodontist”. ;-)

WIP-it Wednesday: April 19th, 2017

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Time for a new weekly writer’s roundup of my works-in-progress and those ready to read!

A combination of events derailed my creative writing this week.

Last Monday, the writing subreddit I help to run encountered some turbulent waters. I don’t believe the details behind the drama are relevant to relay here, but its effect on my time is. As a member of the moderation team, I think that we handled a situation that could have easily gotten out of control in a very deft manner.

However, it was a skillful response that required a lot of group effort to formulate and implement.  As a result, the time I would have otherwise used preparing content for my blog was co-opted by the needs of the FantasyWriters group. That work got shoved to the weekend, a time I try very hard to block off to work on the novel exclusively.

Compounding things further, my income taxes needed to be prepared and submitted this week as well. That added stressor devoured a good chunk of time throughout the week too, and half of my Saturday was gone before I could finally be done with it.

I tried to get the blog work done Saturday evening, but not long into my efforts the wireless internet on my router experienced a severe failure. The remainder of my night was spent troubleshooting and fixing that.

So what was the net result of all this? Basically, I only had Sunday this week for any personal projects.

Of that available time, getting content for my blog ready took most of the day. By the late afternoon, I was able start edits on the additions to chapter three I made last Sunday. I completed those and reworked the flow of it into a better format than before, but finishing it and starting the next chapter weren’t in the cards.

It’s all very frustrating. Yet thanks to a very rich plate options and thinking ahead, I did manage to get two weeks’ worth of blog content (well, all the content I can do ahead of time) done on Sunday. That will free up more time than usual for me to refocus on the book this week and next, and I hope to make-up lost ground then.

So, as far as edits and writing new chapters for the book goes, it was a bad week.

Outside of that however, there were a bunch of challenges thrown in my path, and I overcame or helped to overcome them all. The forum is on a healthy path and moving in a positive direction. My taxes are done, and for the first time in years I didn’t owe anything (in fact, I’m expecting a modest refund).

I even fixed my internet and got it running better than before.

I’m accepting this as a week where all the non-book stuff ganged-up and jumped me. Now that things are under control, I’m looking forward to refocusing on the novel in a big way.

Alright, time for me to stop blogging and get back to writing some more fiction! Take care!

Mid-Week Muses: “I Thought it’d be Different”

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mwm_pngA weekly compilation of collected microfictions composed by yours truly. If your time is short, these are shorter!

"Wise?" old Jarra said
adjusting her shall. "I've
but made many mistakes, my
Prince. It's you that is
wise learning from them."

He shot the teddy
bear, and the child
behind it.

Unphased, she looked
at him. "You shouldn't
have done that."

He screamed.

Looking like a translucent
glass manikin in trunks
and a sports top, Diamond
threw a kick and showed
them she was far from
fragile.

The crow nudged game
pieces across the
Risk board, then cawed.

David grabbed the
dice. "Will you ever NOT
go for Indonesia, Corvus?

"How did it end? The
gov'ment released a
counter-virus. Saved all
of us that were still
kickin'! That's 'bout
2 mill', worldwide."

"I thought it'd be different."

She looked to him, now as
beastly as he. "Our love's the
same. Now my beauty is wild
and free."

"I'm just saying it's
kind of funny to see
a 35 ton mech with
rabbit ears, Kim."

"They're heat sinks!"

"And the painted nose?"

"Aesthetic motif."

She whipped her head,
and a silken tendril
of animate hair punched
a robber. Beside her,
Beard Man watched his
daughter with pride.

A blade was drawn. "I
bring a gift from Ramesses."

He looked to her lioness
mask. "A quick death?"

She cut him free. "A rescue."

Copyright © 2017 by Jason H. Abbott, All Rights Reserved.

Art-Tastic Tuesday: Underwater Horror, by Ian Su

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Click the picture below for full-size. On Art-Tastic Tuesdays I feature a selected piece of visual art that I have come across. These are pieces that have inspired my writing or beautifully frame some concept or another that I have already written or want to write about. I present them without commentary so they may inspire you without the burden of my perspective, and pictures have links to the artists’ blog or website if at all possible.

If you are ever curious as to why a particular piece is special to me, or use it for a writing prompt and want to share, please drop a comment!

Underwater Horror, by Ian Su. Click here for more of the artist’s work!

Epic Music Monday: GRV Music – Rising Tyranny

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I love epic music! For me it is a perfect combination of the classic orchestral scoring, chorales and electronica music that I have enjoyed for decades. This stuff inspires me, and is a great companion as I write away on an exiting piece of fiction. Therefore, on Mondays I share a new piece by various artists on the blog… Epic Music Mondays!

Photo Finish Friday: Hamakua, by Ulderico Granger

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Click the picture below for full-size. On Photo Finish Fridays, I feature a selected piece of landscape photography that I have come across. I find that real-world photography can be just as inspirational to my imagination for crafting story settings as any piece of fantastic artwork that I might share on a Tuesday. I present these without commentary so they may inspire you without the burden of my perspective, and pictures have links to the artists’ blog or website if at all possible.

If you are ever curious as to why a particular piece is special to me, or use it for a writing prompt and want to share, please drop a comment!

Throwback Thursday: Godzilla vs. Biollante, by Noriyoshi Ohrai (1989)

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Godzilla vs. Biollante, by Noriyoshi Ohrai (1989)

Noriyoshi Ohrai (1935-2015) was a Japanese illustrator best known for his popular movie posters crafted for films such as The Goonies and The Empire Strikes Back.

Among the posters he created, he crafted all of the Japanese theatrical posters for the seven Godzilla films collectively known as the Heisei period. Released between 1984 and 1995, these films of the franchise were disconnected from the continuity of the earlier Godzilla movies of the Shōwa period (1954–1975)… except for the original 1954 Godzilla.

Noriyoshi brought real flair and flash to his posters. They always look grand and epic, and his work for the Godzilla films is no exception. To be honest, often they are more epic looking than the actual films themselves, but that’s hardly unique in theatrical advertisements. If anything, it’s a tradition we should expect. ;-)

I’ve chosen to share his 1989 poster for Godzilla vs. Biollante today. It really stands out from the others in the Heisei series with his overall use of cool, green colors. I’d even call it brooding. Biollante –A mutant rose infused with Godzilla’s DNA— is vivid and central with her petaled maw of reds and yellows looking unearthly. It’s an amazing introduction for a wildly different opponent to the King of Monsters… and she remains a singular and unique foe to this day within his rogues gallery.

The film itself never saw a theatrical release in the United States, instead being released by HBO in 1993 after a long legal dispute. As a young, pre-internet Godzilla fan almost out of high school, I had managed to hear of this film through fanzines and was eager to see it. When I finally snagged a copy, Mr. Ohrai’s art was what greeted me on the VHS cassette cover.

It’s a good movie that wasn’t well received in either Japan or the States at the time. As a film, its themes touch on dark undertones and fears about genetic engineering in much the same way the original 1954 Gojira did with radiation and nuclear war. This didn’t prove popular with audiences seeking more of a monster spectacle in a Godzilla film. But as a result of this tone, the movie has aged well now that we have grown more aware of the themes it uses.

And that’s not to say Godzilla vs. Biollante lacks monster-on-monster action, or that some of the action isn’t a little goofy (particularly a few of the human action sequences). But it’s one of the better –and certainly more original– Godzilla films.