Tuesday, September 20, 2011

All About "The Fishes"

Why yes, I do write prose! And not just here, on this blog. Most people know me as a zoo keeper, or as a comic book writer. And I am those things. Well, I'm not currently a zoo keeper, except at heart. I quit my job working at a small private zoo back in May to concentrate on my writing career. It was a big leap, and a rather scary one, but so far it's going well. I'm working on a Planet of the Apes miniseries for BOOM! Comics right now, called Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes. But back in May, before I had a firm writing job lined up, I wrote several short stories that are now seeing the light of day.

One of them, called THE FISHES, was published last week in the Absent Willow Review. It's a science fiction story involving a girl living in a remote farming community on a planet where the dividing line between night and day is perpetual. It's about curiosity and above all the need to connect with other living things.  Oh, and there's a bit of scary sailing of alien seas involved too.

It's tough work, flipping back and forth between comic book scripting and prose writing, but it's rather freeing too. So much of what goes into a comic book relies on the artist to tell the story. The storytelling really works or fails depending on the skills of the artist in most cases. But when you're writing prose there's no one to hide behind. No one is going to elevate your work past what it is. And there is no one to blame for your boneheaded ideas.

That said, I hope you like The Fishes if you decide to give it a read. You can see more of my work by clicking on the sidebar to the right too, if you're so inclined. And keep your eye out for two more stories appearing next month, a horror short called "Sky Full of Fire" and another science fiction story called "Oceans of Darkness". Happy reading!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What We Found Under the House

No, not a body. Something much better! An ancient Matchbox station wagon:
It's a Mercury, to be exact:

But there's a bit of a mystery: apparently this type of Matchbox car was made only between 1955 and 1968. Our house was built in '78. Hmmm.
Anyway, it was manufactured in England, and has seen some pretty rough times by the looks of it. I think it's fabulous, all the way from its faded lime green body to its little molded plastic passengers: two happy canines peeking out the back. 
It already had a bath via the garden hose, but after a sounder scrubbing it's going strait into a display case. I dare you to prove that you found anything cooler under your house today.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bug Walk

At long last the weather has turned cool enough to go for a walk at lunch time. A lot of wildlife seems to feel the same way. Today, there were insects everywhere! We found this gal walking down the middle of the road:
She's a member of Stagmomantis californica if I'm not mistaken (someone please tell me if I am) and one of the loveliest I've seen. 
We didn't want her to get squished so we scooped her up. She immediately started walking up my arm. Perhaps she wanted to try on my hat? She's so big it almost would have fit her. 
We gently deposited her on a bush before she got to the hat though. Poor mantis. Maybe another day. Then we found this guy:
Sadly, he (or she) hadn't been plucked from the road in time. I think this is a black witch moth (Ascalapha odorata), which usually lives in Mexico but apparently migrates around this time of year. This guy was huge! Here's my foot for comparison.
Although it should probably be noted that I only wear a size 6 shoe. Still, rather impressive! I hope there are others around. I'd love to see one flying. Apparently some are so big that they're mistaken for bats.

So there you have it. A genuine insect safari, right outside the front door.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Horror, the Horror!

Fall is almost here, the nights are getting longer... It must be time to read some horror stories! Of course, you may believe (like me) that there is never a bad time to read a horror story. Only better times, and best times.

So, let me invite you to read The Carpetbaggers, an eight page creep fest written by me, with art by the talented Kyle Latino. It's available from Double Feature Comics as a PDF or as an innovative app for the iPad. Double Feature allows you to see not just the finished product but process art too, as well as commentary, all with the tap of a finger. And in case the name didn't tip you off, you get two stories for just $0.99. The Carpetbaggers was lucky enough to share this issue with Tim Seelley's newest Jack Kraken story. Now that's some bang for less than a buck!

Thanks in advance to anyone who decides to check out The Carpetbaggers. Now, I'm off to feed my black cat and pull down a few cobwebs. Those spiders seem to be getting uppity.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

If You're Working Labor Day and Making Overtime Pay...

It's true, dogs like windows.

A three day weekend... What's that? Now that I'm working freelance from home there is just no such thing as a holiday.

But that doesn't mean that I don't miss overtime pay. True, it always had somewhere to go, like towards the mortgage, but maybe I should have put some aside for the pets. I mean, just look at this brilliant idea: a little window, installed in your fence at dog-head level, so that your canine can see what's going on across the street. It's called a Pet Peek, and to be honest I would buy one of these in a minute if it didn't mean that we'd have to also build a fence to use it. I imagine the downside would be cleaning all the nose prints from inside the plexiglass bubble.

This is pretty cool too. A cat tree house. The leaves are fake, I gather, but I imagine my cats would chew on them anyway. It would take a bit more out of one's paycheck though, at $999.

Then there's this "Bowhaus" for a bit less, at $599. It's really sauve, but I'm picturing quite the disaster when that cute pup sees a toy, takes off running, flips the martini onto the white sofa, and spills his water dish all over the bamboo floor. Or perhaps I've just said too much about how my pup behaves?

Anyway, happy Labor Day, everyone. I hope you don't have to work too hard tomorrow!
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