There wasn’t exactly central heating in the drafty palace, so the fireplace was MASSIVE in order to provide heat to the entire room.
Hello My Imaginary Friends,
Two years ago I got a Baby Dragon Tattoo, in honour of the baby Dragon.
With Pegasus coming, I decided to get another tattoo to match. Again I commissioned the incredibly talented S.M. Carrière to design it and went to Living Colour Tattoo in downtown Ottawa. I requested the same artist Patrick Drouin. He and S.M. worked fantastically on the tattoo and we got a wonderful result.
Here’s what the Dragon Tattoo looked like when I first go it.
After a few years it has faded a little but still looks great.
And without further ado here is the new tattoo.
I expect that the colours will fade a little and take on the same pastel hue as the Dragon one has. Here they are together.
I’m extremely happy with them.
What do you think?
Hello My Imaginary Friends,
This was written in advance as I’m most likely scrambling to make my NaNoWriMo word count.
My good friend, wonderful human being, fantastic author, godmother to my child, and all around badass S. M. Carrière wrote the following on her facebook:
“Did your candidate win?” is a really sneaky way to try and discern my politics, sir. Let me help you out a bit. I’m so far left, you might mistake me for Scandinavia. Does that help you?
She followed up with this wonderful post: Where I Stand
Now if you’ve read my rants or posts you’ll know where I stand on most subjects…
But for those of you who don’t want to go looking let’s make this clear:
ALL HUMANS DESERVE RESPECT, HEALTH, SAFETY, AND FREEDOM!
That means that trans men are men, trans women are women. Trans, non-binary, two-spirited, gender queer, and every other form of gender identity is valid and they all deserve the rights and freedoms given to the rest of the world.
There is no weaker sex, there is no valid reason to think one is better than the other, the whole thing is a cultural construct and fuck you if you think I’m any less of a man for wanting to stay home with my child.
Healthcare is a fundamental human right. I don’t mean just emergency care, I mean all health care from teeth, to glasses, to mental health. If you’re thinking there are people who should be excluded, I disagree. Everyone!
No one should live in fear of losing everything because they get sick or can’t work. That’s total bullshit.
We have voice recognition tech, self driving cars, and other fantastical technology. There’s no reason for any community not to have safe, clean drinking water and access to food.
The First Nations of Canada (and many other countries) have been treated like crap for hundreds of years. We as a nation need to do better. I’m not well versed enough to make a detailed plan but we could start by making sure every reserve is livable and has access to water, good houses, etc. If we can declare Quebec a nation within a nation, why can’t we do the same for the First Nations? Give them their land back, induct them into the constitution, make them equal provinces and lets start fixing this shit. (Okay I have no idea if this would work or if it’s a good idea. The best thing would be to ask them what they need and negotiate fairly and actually follow through with our promises.)
Respect shouldn’t be earned, it should be the default.
The environment is essential to our survival and we can do a lot to fix the damage we’ve done.
Medical science literacy is an essential skill. If you believe GMO’s or Vaccines are inherently bad, you’re wrong and need to get a better education then Goop and other celebrity bullshit.
If your identity is defined by what you hate or by wishing the death of another, you should rethink your life choices. Humanity is humanity, there is no better combination of arbitrary genes than any others. So fuck off with this Nationalist, White Power, Proud Boys, Nazi, Autism Speaks, I’m an Attack Helicopter, etc. fuckery and learn to love something other than yourself.
I am tolerant of all people up and until they are intolerant or wish death on others. I see no issue with this.
EDUCATION is the only path to a better society. It doesn’t have to be college or university but it does have to be flexible, adaptable, and open. Libraries, colleges, universities, and other education forms should cater to the people, they should not be businesses. They should be free and they should be available to all. That random 42 year old who suddenly wants to learn about physics or art history should be free to do it.
In case you want a career that is not provided for free, there several ways to do so. You can start by using a website, a tool to help you find that college you want and take a career that you like. Lets’s say you want a Commercial driver’s license but you don’t know where to take a course. All you have to do is read review at that link and that’s it. You’ll find a place that helps you with that.
Sexual Education is important!
Capitalism and Democracy are fundamentally flawed despite being the best choice we currently have.
Billionaires shouldn’t exist.
We should be moving to a post-scarcity society instead of a feudal one.
Art and artists are valid and should be respected not derided.
People are people, they’re scared, easily manipulated in large groups, and capable of horrific injustices. BUT they are capable of great beauty, love, kindness, and creation.
ALL HUMANS DESERVE RESPECT, HEALTH, SAFETY, AND FREEDOM!
One last thing. If I discover that what I’ve said (above or in general) is hateful, hurtful, or just wrong; I will change my mind. (I might grumble and argue but I’ll get there.)
If you have a problem with me because of these things, leave a comment and we can discuss it. If you just want to change my mind because I’m obviously an optimistic dreamer with no sense of reality, feel free to just leave.
The rest of the painting from last week
Hello My Imaginary Friends,
Some people put a lot of effort into a baby’s room. They pick out the right colours, paint the walls, murals, get special thingies, using those small room décor tips etc. Jen and I decided that was all awesome, but felt less personal. What we did instead was ask some fantastic artists to make things for the baby’s walls.
They are all fantastically talented and you should go buy their stuff.
Big Hero 6 Painting – Gilove2dance Designs
Lindsay Coderre is a talented and versatile artist. She primaraly works digitally, but painted this amazing image of Hiro and Baymax that Keladry will always love. Her online store primarily has photo manipulation and design.
Lindsay is Keladry’s Aunt and one of her Godparents.
Dragon’s Den Painted Plaque – The Art Shop
This was given to us as a baby shower present from one of my in-law’s sisters. It’s great when even your extended family’s family know you well enough to get something so perfect.
Firefly Cross Stitch – Rebecca
My wife has an amazing super-power; it seems to run through her whole family. It’s the ability to make friends easily and anywhere. Jen met Rebecca on the bus and loved her TARDIS hat. They struck up a conversation and became friends.
Rainbow Wall Hanging
This is from Jen’s room when she was a child. We have no idea where it’s from, but it’s adorable.
Baby Dragon and Tardigrade – S. M. Carrière
The beautiful baby dragon print was painted digitally over our first ultrasound. It was done as a beautiful surprise. The Tardigrade we tried to commission, but she gave it to us as our baby shower present. Don’t you love the detail in the spacescape? So beautiful!
I’ve commissioned her to design me my first tattoo. I’m both excited and a little scared.
S. M. is Keladry’s other Godparent. She’s a talented author, artist, and all around wonderful person. Her newest book was written by votes on her blog and the profit goes to charity. Go buy it and read for a good cause!
TARDIS Lovey – Nerdy Needles
This soft and adorable TARDIS was given to us by the wonderful Nerdy Needles. She has a wide variety of knit and crotchet items. All wonderfully geeky.
Dragon Name Plaque – 9five7 Pyrography
We commissioned this piece, and boy did 9five7 do an amazing job. It has the Hogwarts motto on it, Keladry’s name, and her date of birth. The dragon in the middle is really awesome and designed especially for her by the artist.
So many talented people. Keladry is extremely lucky.
So you consider yourself a “Creative Type”? That means you’ve either spent your life being told you’re special and sensitive or you’ve been told that you’re a useless dreamer that needs to get a haircut and a real job. (Whoa flashback…)
If you consider yourself a creative type and want to feel you’re special go read this Article and don’t come back.
If you want the truth go read the article and come back to read the rest of this post.
You came back, great. Do you feel like you were just submerged into a giant vat of corn-syrup?
I’m not going to comment on all the points. Most of them are just sily.
First off there is no such thing as a creative type. It’s the same crap as the myth of “Talent”. My definition of creative type: Do you create something? Yes? You’re a creative type. The text before the list does say that everyone can be a creative type.
The biggest lie is the first point in the article:
They work when the work comes to them…meaning that they only paint, draw, write, sew, dance, or write out business plans when they feel like it. Creative people know the mind performs best in small bursts of concentrated work.
If you consider yourself creative and you only create when you feel like it then you’re doing it wrong. That might seem like a harsh judgement but it’s true. The only way to improve or get anything done is by doing it. Even when you don’t feel it!
The myth of the magical muse that will spray you with inspiration is not only a myth it’s an excuse to not create.
If creating something was as easy as waiting for inspiration or a muse, everyone would be doing it and Memes like this wouldn’t happen.
It takes ten years, or a million words, or ten thousand hours, to get good at something. If you waste your time waiting for inspiration you’ll never get to that point. (Something I wish I’d been told at 18.)
Art takes work. I know that’s not what you want to hear but it’s hard, it hurts, and it takes a long time.
If you don’t work through the difficulties and wait for magical assistance, you’ll never create anything.
That’s the danger of making creating something mystical, it gives people an excuse not to do it. Only the chosen ones can create. So many times people say, I’d love to do this but I’m not good enough.
If a 5 year old kid told his parents he wanted to be a soccer player but he felt he didn’t have the talent they’d laugh and tell him to practice. Why don’t we do that with artistic pursuits?
No one is born with the talent for art. No more than they’re born with the talent to walk or talk. They are learned skills that you have to work at. I haven’t worked that hard at the walking thing and the bruises on my legs prove it.
What you are born with is an incredible mind and body that can learn and adapt. The important thing is to do it and then re-do it over and over again.
Will your first attempts suck? Hell yes.
Will it be worth it? Immeasurably! You know that feeling when you listen to a great piece of music, read a great book, see a great movie, hear a great line, or see a great piece of art? You know that feeling of elation that comes with it, and the need to share it with others? Now Imagine, that you could see that in someone because of something you created. Effectively seeing someone geek out over what you’ve created.
That feeling combined with the sense of accomplishment is one of the greatest feelings I have ever had.
Be Your Own Muse
Go out there and make something, bring something new into the world. Prove to all the evil out there that you can make something beautiful.
It will be hard but all you need is a way to make yourself do it, even when you don’t want to. Make a schedule, set up a system of awards, create deadlines, do what works to make you work.
Use Habit, Persistence, Stubbornness, and hard work to create your own muse; one of practice and experience.
And when you feel like you can’t or it’s too hard, remember the feeling of joy and power you get when you create.
Good Luck and You should be creating,
Hello my Imaginary Friends,
I may have way too many things on my mind right now. It has nothing to do with being busy and everything to do with my mind working in overtime. I blame running oneshots and preparing to run a new campaign.
After nearly four months of not running or playing in any games (pen and paper games like D&D) I ran a oneshot two weeks ago and another yesterday. Oneshots are short adventures that take an evening to start and finish.
I’ve learned some valuable lessons with both games. The first being that rules light games are harder for people to grasp as a first gaming experience. Second is that I’m very rusty with the D&D 3.5 rules. It took me forever to make characters.
I also got the Emerald Spire Superdungeon in the mail from Paizo. It’s the special Kickstarter, leather bound edition. It’s beautiful and exciting. I can’t wait to run my group through it on Thursday.
I’ve noticed most authors I know have another creative outlet. It varies from person to person, there’s gardening, sculpting, drawing, painting, music, acting, web videos etc.
I think it’s important to have an outlet that lets you do something other than writing. I’m still not an official author but I’ve noticed that writing sort of steels a section of my brain. I’m constantly thinking of scenes, stories, novels, characters and other things for what I’m writing or want to write. It’s exhausting and sometimes builds into stress.
If I don’t do something else with my mind, I often feel guilty for not writing. Writing is a combination urge, craving, and need.
The closest thing I have to another creative outlet is gaming. It allows me to use the same parts of my brain that create stories for another purpose. A good gaming session, or preparation session feels like I’ve rebooted or defragmented my brain. It’s great.
I’ve also greatly enjoyed working on my own gaming system called Four Attribute Duel Dodecahedron System or FADDS for short. I’ve talked about it before but I’ll be doing some playtest at the end of August for the game.
I’m toying with the idea of filming a playtest oneshot to see how well it plays.
On the note of writing, I’m hard at work on chapter 20 of Parasomnia. It started out as a Supernatural Suspense but I think I’ll have to re-classify it as a Drama Fantasy. I also started writing it for Adults but I’m fairly sure it’s better suited for Young Adults, or that odd new category called New Adults.
The book should have roughly 23-25 chapters and I’m going to do something with it that I’ve never needed to do before and that’s edit the crap out of it before my Weditor (Also known as my Wife) looks at it.
Unlike the Elizabeth Investigates series, I find this book needs a lot more cleanup. It might be that I have 5 POV characters instead of 2 or maybe the others need it and I didn’t notice. Either way once I’m done I’ll have a few weeks’ worth of work before I send it to the Weditor.
An author I know, and respect, sends her beta readers her new books one at a time. So she’s already edited what the first one says before she sends it to the second one. I think this is a brilliant way to get a book edited and that’s what I’ll do with this one when it’s done.
It’s been a hard book to write. Each of the five main characters is fundamentally broken. I don’t mean a fatal flaw but a mental problem that hampers their development and their ability to deal with the world. It’s hard to include those things and try to make them realistic without caricaturizing them.
There’s still a strong dose of action and adventure throughout but this book has more character introspection than I’ve ever attempted.
I’m very proud of it so far and I hope it will be well received.
That’s it for today.
See you tomorrow with more random topics.