Sunday, February 27, 2011


Wanting to get a few more Irish items in my Azure Lion Zazzle Store in time for St. Patrick's Day, I added some shamrock designs to various types of merchandise. I have a single shamrock on a necklace, a button, and tiled multiple times on a tie (which is pretty cool looking). I have a "Three Shamrocks" design (as above) on shirts, mugs, an apron, an ornament, a mousepad, an iPad case, stickers, cards, a hat, a magnet, and a coaster. And, I have a "Shamrocks Trio" design (the shamrocks arranged vertically on a light green background) on iPhone cases.

After all that, I close my eyes and I see fields of green shamrocks, which is a funny thing with all the snow around here.


Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, I managed to get a leprechaun drawn, coloured, and put on merchandise in my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store. In keeping with the traditional lore that says leprechauns are shoemakers to the fairies, I have my leprechaun holding a hammer in one hand and one shoe in the other. It seems they work on only one shoe, never a pair. My leprechaun may be a bit jollier than the leprechauns of lore; they often seem to be of a rather sullen disposition, perhaps out of worry that foolish mortals will try to steal their gold.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Art Published in HOUSE OF HORROR

It appears that Issue One of House of Horror is officially out (as of Feb. 24th). That should mean that my piece of Valentine's horror art, "My Macabre Valentine", has been officially published. Better add it to my list o' pubs.


My fantasy poem "Magical Meetings" has been accepted for publication in the May 2011 issue of the e-zine Sorcerous Signals and the May 2011 issue of its associated print magazine Mystic Signals (from what I gather, they're usually a two-for). As always, I'll post a link when the poem is on-line.

"Magical Meetings" is another of my works inspired by fairy lore. In case you didn't already know, I draw from that particular well of inspiration a lot. This time around, I dipped into the lighter side of fairy lore. I don't want to spend all my time sipping darker draughts.

Now I had better get that contract printed up and prepared for mailing.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

No HOUSE OF HORROR (e-zine) Issue 20

I received word today that there will be no Issue 20 of the House of Horror e-zine, which was to be the last issue of the e-zine before they switched entirely to print. What does this mean for me? Well, I think my dark and disturbing poem "Visages of Betrayal and Madness" was accepted for publication in that issue. According to the message I received, all works accepted for Issue 20 of the House of Horror e-zine have been released back to the contributors. So, my troubled dark and disturbing poem sees yet more trouble finding a second home (it was originally published in Issue 8 of the now-defunct horror zine The Monsters Next Door).

This story is more proof, if any more proof is needed, that there are no guarantees in the realm of publication. An acceptance does not guarantee publication. Too much can change between when a piece is accepted and when it finally sees publication.

Now off to see if I can find yet another potential market for this particular reprint. If at first you don't succeed, bang your head against the brick wall until you're bruised and bloodied. Bang! Bang! Bang...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Poem in APHELION'S "The Best Poetry and Filk Music of 2010"

My lycanthropic dark speculative poem "Howling on the Moor" has been included in Aphelion's "Best Poetry and Filk Music of 2010". Interesting pick. I'm happy this one was chosen, since it's one of my favourites. I tried to let the cunning of real wolves inspire me when I described the actions of my hunting lycanthropes. Their leader leads a brave but doomed tracker out onto the moor, drawing the wretch away from human habitation and potential reinforcements before the whole pack closes in and tears him to shreds.

"Who (or What) is at the Door?" Published in APHELION

My dark speculative (or not-so-speculative) poem "Who (or What) is at the Door?" now appears in the February 2011 issue of the web-zine Aphelion. Why, you might ask, do I suggest that this poem is not-so-speculative in nature? Well, I do so because this piece is based on some real-life strangeness, strangeness which may just have a paranormal explanation. I guess whether or not you view the poem as less-than-speculative depends on whether or not you believe in the supernatural.

Who is at the door? I'm not so sure I want to find out.

"Vengeance of the Alpe" Now Available Through ANTHOLOGY BUILDER

My dark fantasy short story "Vengeance of the Alpe", originally published in the All Souls' Night 2010 issue of Hungur, is now available for inclusion in custom-built anthologies created through the Anthology Builder site. The story would probably work in either a fantasy anthology or a horror anthology, since it contains both fantasy and horror elements. It would certainly work in a wizard-themed anthology, or a vampire-themed anthology, or a shape-shifter-themed anthology, or an evil dwarf-themed anthology, or even an anthology of stories about the darker side of fairy lore (the alpe are often included amongst the ranks of fairy beings).

Yeah, I covered a lot of bases in that particular story. I like to cross genre boundaries, when I can.

On the Anthology Builder site, I'm calling "Vengeance of the Alpe" primarily a dark fantasy piece, with fantasy and horror as additional genres. I'm not quite sure what to call it, genre-wise, so I'm going with what seems to be the best fit. My teaser blurb on the site reads as follows:

A dark sorcerer summons the blood-thirsty alpe to wreak vengeance upon the beautiful maid that rejected him.

(I'm open to any suggestions regarding how I might "spice up" the blurb a bit.)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Art Accepted for Publication in BARDS AND SAGES

My piece of fantasy artwork entitled "Elf and Troll" has been accepted for publication in the July 2011 issue of the speculative fiction journal Bards and Sages Quarterly. I already have at least one other piece of artwork slated for July publication; my horror illustration "An Eldritch Herald" was accepted a while back for publication in the July issue of Bete Noire. Another market cracked, art-wise. Cool! Both horror and fantasy art for July. Doubly cool!

2011 is shaping up nicely so far. I have lots coming out during the first part of the year (through July). Now I have to work on the latter part.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bumper Stickers!

I am now selling Ireland, Eire (not shown above), England, Scotland, Wales, and Cymru (also not shown above) bumper stickers in my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store. As can be seen in my sample collage above, the Ireland bumper sticker features my shamrock design, the England bumper sticker features my Tudor Rose design, the Scotland bumper sticker features my thistle design, and the Wales bumper sticker features my Red Dragon of Wales design. I realised that I had almost nothing in terms of bumper sticker designs, outside of my "Fire Drake at Rest", so I spent the past couple of days rectifying the deficiency.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Niteblade Art Blog: The Mythic Art of Warble

Earlier today, I posted a brand new Niteblade Art Blog entry. This time around, I feature the classically-styled paintings and drawings of Michael "Warble" Finucane. Fans of the myth-inspired art of Gustave Moreau and John William Waterhouse will definitely appreciate The Mythic Art of Warble.

Check it out!

Preditors & Editors Readers Poll Final Tally

The final tallies are in for the Preditors and Editors Readers Poll. Actually, the results of the P&E Poll have been in for a while now, but I only now got around to posting about those results. I suppose I should post the obligatory "how I did" entry, so here goes:

I did best in the categories where there were not that many entries, which tempers my enthusiasm for finishing in the top ten in those categories. My non-fiction article "Robert the Bruce", published in the July 2010 print issue of Abandoned Towers, came in all by itself in third place in the Non-fiction Articles category, but there were only ten entries total in that category My illustration "When Wizards Dream at Night", published in the on-line version of Abandoned Towers, also came in all by itself in third place in the Artwork category, but there were only nine entries total in that category. My poem "Shroudeater", published in the Walpurgisnacht 2010 issue of Hungur, finished tied with Thom Olausson's "Blood of Three" for sixth-place in the Poems category (there were fourteen entries in that one). I finished in a six-way tie for eighth place in the Poets category (there were fourteen entries in that one as well). In the Artists category, I just managed to squeak into ninth place, tied with two other artists (there were thirty-two entries in the Artists category ).

Alas, my works failed to finish in the top ten in both the Horror Short Story and the Book/E-Book Cover Artwork categories. My short dark fiction story "Vengeance of the Alpe", published in the All Souls' Night 2010 issue of Hungur, finished in a three-way tie for sixteenth place in the Horror Short Story category (there were lots of entries in that category). My cover-art for David C. Kopaska-Merkel's speculative poetry collection Brushfires, published by Sam's Dot Publishing, finished in a five-way tie for thirteenth place in the Book/E-Book Cover Artwork category. At least I did have entries in those two categories, which was a step or two in the right direction.

What does this all mean? Probably not much, other than I don't really have the apparatus set up to get the votes. I don't have many friends outside of the publication realm. At this point in time, I really look at the P&E Poll as more of a self-promotional tool than anything else. It's a way to say to people "hey, look what I did over this past year".

Oh well. Now that that's over, time to move on to other things...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Cover-Art for Summer 2011 ABANDONED TOWERS

I have to send the contract to the publisher yet, but it looks like my artwork inspired by fairy folklore, "An Invitation to Elfame", will indeed be used as cover-art for the Summer 2011 print issue of Abandoned Towers. It was a pain-in-the-neck to draw this one, it took me forever, I narrowly avoided a major disaster while in the middle of drawing it, and I'm not entirely happy with the end results (am I ever?), but Crystalwizard seems to like it well enough. In the end, when it comes to art for publication, that's the most important thing, that the editor or publisher likes it.

My art will be on another magazine cover. Yay! If all goes according to plan, I'm going to have quite the presence in this issue. As long as nothing gets forgotten or dropped from the line-up, the Summer 2010 issue will also contain my article "The Darker Side of Fairy Lore", my drawing of a Redcap, and seven of my fairy lore poems (five reprints and two previously unpublished). The cover-art I composed is actually meant as something of an illustration for my poem "An Invitation to Elfame".

Yes, on the forthcoming publication front, 2011 is shaping up pretty nicely so far. I'm back on a roll, and that roll will roll on at least through mid-year. Nice!