Wednesday, November 30, 2011

DemonMinds Declared Dead

Ralan's is declaring DemonMinds dead. If you follow the link to the zine, you get one of those website host ad pages, with a message "webmaster please contact ###".

This is kind of sad, because my first poem to appear in a zine appeared in the April 20, 2007 issue of DemonMinds. "Midnight Sabbath" was tied for 1st runner up in the 2007 DemonMinds Horror Poetry Contest. It wasn't the first of my poems to be accepted for publication in a zine, but it was the beginning of what is now a long list of published works. I didn't get paid for the publication (DemonMinds didn't pay for poetry back then), but I did receive a nifty mug with a skull design on it in honour of my poem coming in tied for 1st runner up in the poetry contest.

"Midnight Sabbath" had been taken down off DemonMinds after the site went through a few updates and changes. The poem is currently to be found in Horror Bound Online Magazine, Issue 4. It's not like my poem lost a home. It's just sad to see the apparent death of the venue that was first zine to publish one of my poems.

Goodbye, DemonMinds! Thanks for helping to give this poet the confidence to keep writing and submitting poetry!

(BTW, I did have two more poems in DemonMinds: "Darkling Dale" appeared in DemonMinds on August 21, 2007, and "The Collector" appeared in the DemonMinds Spring 2008 Issue, and also in the DemonMinds Spring 2008 print edition, featuring the best of DemonMinds, Spring 2008.)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas is What You Make of It, So Stop Your Bitchin'!

Here we go again, the Christians are already starting to whine about the "War on Christmas", while the pagans and atheists are whining about the Christians whining about the "War on Christmas". Good grief!

Frankly, I'm sick of the bitching and complaining from both sides. Both sides sound like a bunch of miserable ninnies who want to suck the goodness and fun right out of life.

Christmas is what you personally make of it, folks. Christmas has both secular and religious aspects. I learned this working many years ago in a department store chain, one that sold plenty of Christmas decor and had plenty of Christmas-time sales, one that was owned by a Jewish family.

People are trying to make a point with Christmas/Yule/Festivus/Whatever. Kind of misses the whole "love and joy" point of the Holiday Season, doesn't it? If the thought of Christmas makes you miserable, that's your problem. Stop trying to spread your misery to others. There are plenty of more important things wrong with this world than the whole "War on Christmas" issue.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Artwork on Merchandise at CafePress

My "Typhogigas" now appears on a bunch of merchandise in my CafePress store:
I rendered some clouds, and put Typhogigas in the clouds. My "Typhogigas in the Clouds" is now available on a number of items (including some iPad and iPad 2 cases):
Typhogigas in the Clouds

Monday, November 21, 2011

Azure Lion Productions Storefront at CafePress

I now have an Azure Lion Productions storefront over at CafePress. It's a work in progress, but I already got my "Typhogigas" on some T-shirts. In case you were wondering, yes, I'm planning on using different artwork in my CafePress store than that used in my Zazzle store.

Mr., Ms., or What?

If editors are going to insist on using their initials only, I'm going to start addressing them as "Dear Editor". To heck with trying to use names! To heck with trying to guess if they are a "Mr" or a "Ms"!

I'm growing VERY tired of the game. I just called a Ms. a Mr. Of course, I only found that out through following the link trail.

Nice way to make a good first impression, NOT!!! I guess I fail as a psychic, 'cause I can't tell someone's gender just by their initials.

For Those Posting Policeman's Name and Number and Doing Other Things to Try and Make His Life Hell

I hope the university policeman involved in the macing of protestors at UC Davis doesn't have a wife and kids, 'cause a bunch of you made their lives hell, too! I am saddened and disgusted by the depths some people are sinking to over this incident. You have become no better than those uniformed thugs dealing way too harshly with peaceful protestors. It's not right, and does nothing to help your cause!

The world is not black and white. Unfortunately, far too many people refuse to see all the shades of grey in-between.

Fighting a**holes by becoming an a**hole. Yeah, that makes lots of sense!

I don't think enough people think before they act. I'm seeing a lot of acting before thinking lately.

Is the Universe Trying to Tell Me Something?

My art keeps seeing success while my poetry and prose struggle. I did have success with poetry for about four and a half years, but now things have slowed on that front. My prose has yet to see much success beyond a few sales.

I think the universe is trying to send me a message.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Setting the Vampires in Daylight Record Straight

For those who think vampires in literature only recently acquired the ability to walk about in the day - go read Bram Stoker's Dracula. Yes, Stoker had the Count walking around during the daylight hours (although Dracula didn't sparkle in the sunlight like certain vampires do.) Dracula did lose a number of his supernatural powers during the day. During the day, the Count was vulnerable. Vampires being destroyed by sunlight was added to modern vampire lore thanks to movies like Nosferatu.

Friday, November 18, 2011

"Cosmic Ship of Dreams" in APHELION

My speculative cinquain "Cosmic Ship of Dreams" now appears in the November 2011 Issue of the web-zine Aphelion. This one hasn't appeared in a zine before, but it did appear on my website, when I had a website.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

May Get Paid Yet

There is hope I will get paid yet for my illustration that appeared in the now-deceased zine! The editor responded to my e-mail inquiring about my outstanding payment, asking for my Pay-Pal info. This does look hopeful.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dark Sci-Fi Illustration: "The Iltrox"

My dark sci-fi illustration "The Iltrox" originally appeared in House of Horror, Issue 16, October 2010.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Artwork Accepted for SPACEPORTS AND SPIDERSILK Door Art, Part II

A swift acceptance of my swiftly composed artwork: my wintery sci-fi artwork "Crossing the Ertrixian Snowfields" has been accepted for use as door art for the December 2011 issue of Spaceports & Spidersilk. "Kamal Del and the Dark Elemental" will be held for use sometime in 2012, probably June or September.

Artwork Accepted for SPACEPORTS AND SPIDERSILK Door Art

Okay, it looks like my fantasy artwork "Kamal Del and the Dark Elemental" will be used as door art for an issue of the Sam's Dot e-zine for young readers, Spaceports & Spidersilk. However, I don't know which issue. The editor told me she could use it for the December issue, but she really wants something with a wintery feel for the December door art. She also said she would consider anything "cold and snowy" that I have available.

Well, I didn't have anything cold and snowy to send her way, but I do now. Not being one to pass up such an opportunity, I put off working on the other illustrations I should be working on for a couple more days and composed an appropriately cold and snowy piece of sci-fi artwork for submission to Spaceports & Spidersilk. I was up 'til two in the morning last night getting the central figures sketched and inked. I spent all of today finishing the piece. It was just sent off at 9:26 pm, 30 hrs 16 min after I received the response for "Kamal Del and the Dark Elemental".

I'm tired. I hope all that crazed drawing was worth it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Illustration Accepted for Publication in BEYOND CENTAURI

My illustration of a steampunk-ish mechanical dragon has been accepted for publication in Beyond Centauri, for use alongside my previously-accepted steampunk-ish draconic scifaiku (slated for publication in the April 2012 issue). Slowly but surely, I'm starting to build my list of forthcoming 2012 publications. The list may be start-and-stop instead of a continuous roll, but it does go on well into 2012.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Another One Bites the Dust, While I'm Still Owed Money

Just saw the news that Strange, Weird, and Wonderful has ceased publication due to financial reasons. Of course, I am still owed payment for my illustration for Matt Adams' story "Old Fashioned Police Work". I'm worried that I may never see payment for that illustration. E-mail sent, in the hope that the payment is forthcoming.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Scifaiku Accepted for Publication in BEYOND CENTAURI

A sort of steampunk-ish draconic scifaiku of mine has been accepted for publication in the April 2012 issue of Beyond Centauri. The editor asked if there was an illustration to go along with the scifaiku. There isn't, but there could be.

Of course, it's not like I need more art jobs at the moment. Another editor has told me that he is in need of filler art, and I'm really supposed to be working on the illustrations for a certain author's books. Plus, I should find the time to get my artwork on some of Zazzle's newest items. I also want to work on adapting a couple of my current designs for seasonal use.

I shouldn't complain, though. Being busy is better than being bored. Having editors and authors request my work is a very good thing. However, I worry there is not enough of me to go around! (I'm a s-l-o-w drawer.)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Queried (Again)

Query sent to a venue that has had a dark poem of mine under consideration since 28th April. This is actually the third status query I've sent to the editor of this publication. In a reply to the first query, received on 14th July, I was told that the editor was terribly behind in her responses, but my submission had been received and was still under consideration. I never received a reply to my second query. For the third query, I sent an e-mail and used the editor's on-line contact form.

I hate when my works are in slush pile limbo for an extended period of time, although it seems to be an all-too-often occurrence in the realm of publication. And, yes, I feel that six months or more is an extended period of time. I know some places take even longer to send the final yea or nay, but I also know plenty of places are much quicker to respond. Just because some places take forever doesn't mean that a long wait is the industry standard. It doesn't make it right. Frankly, I think it's rather ridiculous.

The only thing worse is receiving no reply at all (which seems to be SOP at certain venues). I can take not replying to rejections when that is the stated policy in the guidelines, but when it's not, it annoys me to no end.