Wednesday, August 23, 2017

THE SECRET SOCIETY OF PIGS AND DEAD DINOSAURS

With a thunderous roar
The terrible lizard laughs.
Stomp on the tree ferns!

Here we go a wallowing
D
 o
  w
   n
in the pig pits.

Brontosaurus footsteps
Precede the savage storm.
The primeval jungle trembles.

Stuff your face with slop.
Long live the belching boar!

A comet blasted the behemoth.
A dark cloud covered the sty.
The ruling reptile lost his throne.

All hail!
The overly exalted hog!

Where is Tyrannosaurus now?
Covered in miles of petrified muck.
The sow is inspired.

A pig, is a pig, is a pig,
But a pig by any other name
Is a dirty, disgusting,
Homo sapiens.

Copyright © Richard H. Fay

This one scored a 2.5 in the Poetry Assessor!
http://www.poetryassessor.com/

Poetry Assessor Results

I entered some of my published poems into this poetry assessor: http://www.poetryassessor.com/

I figured most of my poems would score low, and I was right, especially when it came to my dark poetry:


  • "What Greets Me At The End" (originally published in the May 2011 Issue of Cover of Darkness) scored a -1.3.
  • "Life is the Life" (published in The Monsters Next Door, Contest Issue 4.5, November 15, 2008, Scattered Verses, Moonlit Curses Horror Poetry Anthology, May 2009, Aphelion, October 2011, and Night to Dawn 27, April 2015 Issue, February 2015.) scored a -0.7.
  • "Souls Adrift" (published in Fear and Trembling, April 8, 2010, Aphelion, May 2011, and Dark Metre, Issue 17, December 2, 2012.) scored a -2.8. (Please note that as this poem has fewer than 80 words the score should be interpreted with caution.)
  • "The Damnation of Daniel Brewster" (originally published in The New Bedlam Project, Vol. 1, Issue 1, April 2009) scored a -1.7.
  • "Corpse Candles" (published in the June 2008 issue of Niteblade, Lost Innocence: A Niteblade Anthology 2007-2008, and  Deadman's Tome, October 2010.) scored a 1.8.
  •  "Gathering of the Dead" (published in Tales from the Moonlit Path, Halloween Issue, October 2009, House of Horror, Issue #17, Halloween 2010, and Cover of Darkness, March 2012) scored a -1.6.


I also tried some lighter pieces:

  • "Galactic Road Trip" (originally published in Tales of the Talisman Volume IV, Issue 1, Summer 2008, also published in the on-line version of Abandoned Towers, October 2008.) scored a whopping 3.1.
  • "Amongst Faerie Oaks" (originally published in Abandoned Towers, Issue #4, November 2009) scored a 1.5. (Please note that as this poem has fewer than 80 words the score should be interpreted with caution.)
  • "The Brownie" (originally published in FrostFire Worlds, Issue 1, August 2013, and also published in also Aphelion, July 2015) scored a 0.1.


Thinking maybe my low scores are due, in part, to low word counts (my poems tend to be on the short side), I tried my longest piece to-date, "Shroudeater" (published in Hungur, Issue 10, Walpurgisnacht 2010, Thirsty Are the Damned: A True Vampire Anthology, December 2011, and Night to Dawn 25, April 2014 Issue, February 2014). Alas, that one scored a -0.9.

I tried one more long dark poem, "Never Ending Struggle" (originally published in Death Head Grin #39, October 2012 and also published in Aphelion, Issue 198, Volume 19, August 2015), and that one scored a -0.1.

It seems this assessor didn't like my dark poetry. Strange, I always thought my dark verse was my strongest verse.

Anyway, regardless of what this assessor said, my poems were good enough for the various editors who published them. That's all that really counts. (At least some of the poems I entered were published multiple times.)

BTW, since someone suggested the assessor is set up to assess contemporary poetry, not "olde" poetry, I entered my more contemporary dark poem "Your Bloody Face" (published in Tales from the Moonlit Path, Issue 9, February 2008, Scattered Verses, Moonlit Curses Horror Poetry Anthology, May 2009, and House of Horror, Issue 9, Special Valentine's Issue, February 2010). That one scored a 0.2.

I also tried three more science fiction pieces. Interestingly enough, they tended to score higher than my dark poems:

  • "Holiday on Phreetum Prime" (originally published in Star*Line, March/April 2008 and also published in the on-line version of Abandoned Towers, October 2008) scored a 2.6.
  • "The Birth of Sentience on Aggraboth V" (originally published in The Fifth Di..., Edition 10, #1, March 2008 and also published in the on-line version of Abandoned Towers, October 2009) scored a 0.6.
  • "Cosmic Journey" (published in The Sword Review, September 3, 2007, the on-line version of Abandoned Towers, August 2008, and While the Morning Stars Sing, ResAliens Press, August 2011.) scored a 1.9.

Now for a bit of irony: the poem of mine that at least one critic bashed for its archaic language, the poem of mine that received a low overall rating over on the Every Day Poets site, "Winter Crows" (published in Every Day Poets, March 10, 2009) scored a 2.2. Could the relatively high score be due to the fact that it's one of my rare forays into mainstream poetry? Hmm...

Guess again! Another of my mainstream works, "Life's Waning Season" (published in Abandoned Towers, Issue #7, November 2010), scored a -4.1!

I even tried a couple of poems by other poets. I went with two of my favourites: Poe's "The Raven", and Blake's "The Tyger". Both scored a 0.5.

I'm calling "bullshit!" on this poetry assessor!

Of course, the poetry snob who (while in the midst of a drunken tirade) called me a poetaster might actually agree with the assessor's assessment of my poetry. wink

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

New Azure Lion Productions Business Card Design

I added my new business card design to standard cards over at Zazzle. I had to make a few minor adjustments to the bottom layers and expand them to cover the bleed area. Just now, I put in my order for my free pack of cards. They should be on their way soon!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Recent Sales

I don't think I've posted about my recent sales in a while, so I figure it's time I did.

Sold 8/6 through Zazzle (via a 3rd party) to a customer in Fort Worth, TX: 20 White Rose of York Keychains.

Sold 8/11 through Zazzle (via a 3rd party) to a customer in Fort Worth, TX: 20 White Rose of York Keychains (that's 20 more sold to the the customer as above).

Sold 8/19/through Zazzle to a customer in Waukesha, WI: one sheet of Polish Eagle Square Stickers.

Sold 8/20 through Zazzle (via a 3rd party) to a customer in Manchester, NH: one Lighthouse Air Freshener and one Irish harp Air Freshener.

Sold 8/6 through CafePress to a customer in PA, US: one Lion Rampant Gules Sticker.

Sold 8/6 through CafePress to a customer in ON, CA: a total of four Polish Eagle T-Shirts.

Sold 8/12 through CafePress to a customer in PA, US: one Thistle Sticker.

Sold 8/14 through CafePress to a customer in CA, US: one Thistle Sticker.

Sold 8/14 through Redbubble to a customer in the UK: 1x Sticker of Scottish Thistle & Saltire, Size Small (95mm x 76mm).

Sold 8/14 through Redbubble to a customer in the US: 1x Sticker of Thistle, Size Medium (5.5" x 4.7").

Sold 8/15 through Redbubble to a customer in the US: 3x Sticker of Thistle, Size Small (3.5" x 3.0").

Sold 8/19 through Redbubble to a customer in the US: 2x Sticker of Red Rose of Lancaster, Size Small (3.0" x 3.0"), 2x Sticker of White Rose of York, Size Small (3.0" x 3.0"), 2x Sticker of Tudor Rose, Size Medium (5.5" x 5.4").

Obviously, stickers remain among my most popular items, and my "Thistle" (either on the saltire or by itself), "Polish Eagle", and heraldic roses remain my most popular designs.


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Confronting the Dragon

"Confronting the Dragon"
Cover artwork for July 2013 issue of BARDS AND SAGES QUARTERLY.
Copyright © 2013 Richard H. Fay

PoD Sales Stats for July

For those who are interested in such things, my PoD sales stats for July:

Zazzle - 11 sales with 1 cancellation (the item was reordered) this July (2017), 17 sales with 2 cancellations last July (2016).

CafePress - 4 sales this July, 1 sale with 2 cancellations (the customer attempted to order the item twice before the order went through) last July.

Redbubble - 6 sales this July, 4 sales last July.

So, my Zazzle sales went down, but not by much, while my CafePress sales and Redbubble sales actually went up slightly. However, to be fair, the CafePress sales and cancellations in July 2016 reflect the hit my sales took after my failed experiment trying to sell solely through the CafePress Marketplace.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Who Knows Who Is The Dragon In “Confronting The Dragon”? Um, I Do!

Sometimes, you can get into some rather far-out discussions on the crazy-net. Last night, in a dragon group I recently joined on Facebook, another member of the group and I were discussing whether or not the magic user in my artwork “Confronting the Dragon” (which originally appeared as cover art for the July 2013 issue of BARDS AND SAGES QUARTERLY) would actually be able to defeat the dragon he is confronting in the piece. The other member of the group stated that, since dragons are high-class wizards, magic won’t work against them. I said it depends; it depends on the power of the wizard, how magical the dragon is, and the details of the particular lore or fantasy universe. I also pointed out ‘twas magic that destroyed the dragon Vermithrax in the movie DRAGONSLAYER (1981). The other member replied by stating that wisdom and huge magical powers makes dragons’ roles. I responded to that by saying that not all dragons in lore or fiction are highly intelligent or capable of speech. Therefore, not all dragons in lore or fiction are highly magical spell casters. I also asserted that there is room for ALL sort of dragons, highly intelligent or not, in greater dragon lore. The other person in the discussion then suggested “who knows who is this dragon?”

Who knows who is this dragon? Um, well, I do. To be perfectly honest, the dragon is who I say it is. As I told the person debating the point of whether or not the wizard in my artwork “Confronting the Dragon” stands a chance of defeating said dragon, I drew it. If I say the dragon is more monstrous-but-mundane animal than magical entity, if I say the wizard stands a chance of defeating it (though that’s not entirely clear from the artwork - the wizard MIGHT be toast), then that’s the way it is. My creation, my story, my rules.

I also pointed out that I tend to draw a lot of my inspiration from traditional folklore rather than from current fiction or New Age beliefs (or role playing games - forgot to mention that last night). I drew the dragon in “Confronting the Dragon” as a creeping lizard-type creature (though with wings), and I did that deliberately to reflect the dragons of European lore. Though I have drawn other dragons that I consider to be much more intelligent (I certainly think they are intelligent-looking), I intended the one in this work to be more animalistic in nature. At best, he’s along the lines of a Smaug.

Anyway, I know art is open to interpretation, but if I say the dragon in my artwork “Confronting the Dragon” may be defeated by magical means, then it may be defeated by magical means. After all, dragons ARE imaginary creations, the stuff of folklore and fiction. Within the broader parameters of what makes a dragon a dragon, dragons can be whatever their creators want them to be.