Friday, January 31, 2014

"Some 16th Century Polearms" on CafePress Stuff

Yesterday, I added my "Some 16th Century Polearms" to lots of stuff in my Azure Lion Productions CafePress Shop. Depicted in the illustration are (from left to right): a halberd, an ahlspiess or awl pike, a langdebeve partisan, a military fork, and a bill.

Some 16th Century Polearms

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Vikings Down South! Well, a Viking Sword Hilts T Shirt, Anyway...

Sold today through my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store to a customer in Birmingham, Alabama: Three Viking Sword Hilts T Shirt. This is one of my works that was created on-assignment for use in a publication. It originally appeared in Flashing Swords, Issue 11, as part of a series of illustrations that accompanied Bill Ward's article "Serpents of Steel: The Swords of the Viking Age Arsenal". The illustration, which was published in black and white, depicts three decorated sword hilts of the Viking Age. I coloured and tweaked the image for use on merchandise.

Three Viking Sword Hilts
Originally published in Flashing Swords, Issue 11, August 2008.

Monday, January 27, 2014

A Reminder: Please Vote for "Father Ryan's Fright"

Please consider voting my my fairy fantasy story "Father Ryan's Fright" in The Annual Higney Fantasy Fiction Award - 2013 Poll. The story was published in the online zine back in November. I think it's my best story so far, but then I am partial to stories involving the Little People.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Eldritch Mistress

Pale maid
beneath dark boughs,
steal my heart with fey kiss,
consume my life with forbidden

Poem copyright © 2009 Richard H. Fay
Originally published in Aphelion, September 2009.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Vote for "Father Ryan's Fright"

Apparently, runs three different polls for best stories of 2013, divided by the three different genres (science fiction, fantasy, and horror). My fairy fantasy story "Father Ryan's Fright", which was published in back in November, is in the running in The Annual Higney Fantasy Fiction Award - 2013. Please consider voting for the story, which one reader called a "beautifully written Irish folk tale". The polls are located in the General Board of the Anotherealm Forum. Guest voting is enabled, so you don't even have to sign up on the forum to vote.

I always find great inspiration from fairy lore. I like to think of "Father Ryan's Fright" as my best story so far. Let's see if I'm right. Let's see if it can win in The Annual Higney Fantasy Fiction Award - 2013 Poll.

Thanks! Now, go vote!

Sold More Stickers!

Just sold through Redbubble: one Denizens of the Diabolic Wood Sticker and one In the Dragon Realm Sticker."Denizens of the Diabolic Wood" is exclusive to my stores, but "In the Dragon Realm" originally appeared on the cover of Kids’Magination Magazine, Issue 8, February 2012. It's always doubly nice to sell an item featuring an artwork that was previously sold to a publication.

A word on the stickers available through Redbubble: they're one-off die-cut vinyl stickers. Though rectangular images with a background, like "Denizens of the Diabolic Wood" and "In the Dragon Realm" come out as basic rectangles, images without a background, such as the Fleur de Lis or the Wyvern, are cut to the shape of the image (with a 3mm padding around the edge).

Also, Redbubble gives a 50% discounts on all orders of any six or more stickers. How cool is that?

New Poems of Mine Published in 2013

Thought I would mention that I had three new (as opposed to reprint)  poems published in 2013. My dark poem "The Hungering Host" appeared in Disturbed Digest, Issue 2, September 2013 (there was also a partial publication of the poem, with the final stanza missing, in the Summer 2013 Hungur, but I consider the publication of the piece in Disturbed Digest to be its first official publication). My fantasy poem "The Brownie" appeared in FrostFire Worlds, Issue 1, August 2013. My dark poem "Weretiger" appeared in Night to Dawn, Issue 23, April 2013.

I know I didn't have many new poetry publications in 2013 as compared to past years, but I haven't been writing much poetry lately.

Seeing My Art in Print Never Gets Old

My contributor's copy of the Winter 2014 issue of Star*Line arrived in the mail today. One of the first things you see when you open the publication is my weird drawing "In Its Eye", which appears right on page three. It looks pretty cool!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, it's always nice to see my artwork in print. Though I don't mind electronic publication of my works, there is something even more pleasing about seeing my artistic creations printed on paper in an actual hard-copy publication. I've felt this way ever since my first art publication in print back in  September 2007, when my dark artwork "Forest of the Damned" appeared in the (now defunct) print horror zine The Willows. I've seen my art appear in many print zines many times since then, but the enjoyment I get out of seeing my art in print never gets old.

More gratification to come; I should have an artwork or two in the next issue of Star*Line. The editor has also said that she would like more art. I guess I had better put that on my to-do list so I can keep seeing my art in print!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Doddering Mage

Trembling hands
Open arcane tome.
Quivering lips
Speak ancient words.
Faltering voice
Alters complex spell.
Searing bolts
Ignite flowing robes.
Blazing flames
Engulf feeble form.
Swirling draught
Blows drifting ash.

Copyright © 2014 Richard H. Fay

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Lambton Worm

youthful roguery
Holy Sabbath spent fishing
strange evil hauled in

squirming eldritch worm
a nearby well deep and dark
fell catch discarded

brave crusading knight
seven long years overseas
folly forgotten

a growing menace
wound three times around a hill
ravenous devil

woolly flocks consumed
every dairy cow drained dry
countryside ravaged

diabolic beast
severed pieces recombine
immortal terror

the castle threatened
costly daily ritual
destitute estate

lordly dilemma
wise-woman consultation
clever solution

spike-studded armour
bloody fight in the river
the worm defeated

Copyright © 2007 Richard H. Fay

Poem originally published in Aphelion, December 2007.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

More Historic Precedents for Warrior Women in Medieval Fantasy

This past September, in my entry entitled "No Women Warriors in Fantasy? What?", I tackled the concept of warrior women in fantasy fiction from a historical perspective. My entry was in response to the Amazing Stories entry "Girls, Your in the Army Now"I felt that the author of the entry paid little heed to what history and archaeology tell us about women warriors.

In my previous entry, I mentioned several historical examples of women warlords and warriors. While many of these women might not have actually participated in battle, history, legend, and archaeological evidence suggest that some did. The archaeological evidence for women warriors seems to be particular strong in the case of the Sarmatians. Some Sarmatian women were buried with battle gear, indicating that they may have been warriors in life.

Archaeological evidence suggesting that some women of the Medieval period may have fought as warriors has recently come to my attention. I have run across the information that the remains of two individuals buried with spears and knives unearthed at the Anglo-Saxon village of Heslerton, North Yorkshire (circa AD 450-650), have been identified through DNA analysis as female. Another Anglo-Saxon woman buried with dagger and shield was unearthed just outside of Lincoln.

Were these women Anglo-Saxon shield maidens? Perhaps. It does suggest that having women warriors in fantasy fiction is not as far-fetched a concept as some believe.

Looking to historical accounts, Procopius mentions the Anglo-Saxon princess from the Angilori tribe who headed an invasion of the Jutland pennisula. This "Island Girl" seems to have been a force to be reckoned with; she captured her betrothed, the German King Radigis of Varni, after he jilted her!

Gotta love historical stories like that! They certainly seems appropriate inspiration for fantasy fiction to me!

When Wizards Dream at Night

While aged heads full of magic rest
Gently upon soft feather pillows,
Magely imaginations run wild.
Released from the bounds of consciousness,
Dreams and notions wander the ether

As shadows of spirit and power.

Adrift across the vast firmament
Like dark tendrils of deeper blackness,
Nightmarish thoughts slowly coalesce
Into fanciful monstrosities.
Imbued with an ephemeral life,

Eldritch beasts battle amongst the stars.

Ebon ranks clash with silent fury.
Tentacled fiends grapple winged harpies.
A dragon’s talons rip asunder
Wispy spectres and amorphous wraiths.
Cyclopean giants wield great clubs
Against hordes of heaving, squirming things.

The savage tides of war ebb and flow
Until an apocalyptic dawn
Disperses the fell menagerie
And the soundless spectacle subsides.
Waking minds rein in the wayward dreams
And call them home for another day

Poem Copyright © 2009 Richard H. Fay
Illustration Copyright © 2010 Richard H. Fay
Poem originally published in Tales of the Talisman, Volume IV Issue 4, Spring 2009; also published in the on-line version of Abandoned Towers, March 2010 and the print anthology Shelter of Daylight, Issue 8, April 2012.
Illustration originally published in the
on-line version of Abandoned Towers, July 2010.

Maginot Line Diagram (2009)

Copyright © 2009 Richard H. Fay
Originally published in on-line version of Abandoned Towers, January 2009; also illustration in How We Play Football in Alabama And Other Short Stories From Doug's World by Doug Hilton, September 2011.

Warring Ants Illustration (2009)

Copyright © 2009 Richard H. Fay
Originally published in on-line version of Abandoned Towers, January 2009; also illustration in How We Play Football in Alabama And Other Short Stories From Doug's World by Doug Hilton, September 2011.

Updated Redbubble Profile

I updated my profile on RedBubble, since it was a bit out of date. In the part where I mention publications that have used my art on their covers, I took out a couple of old now-deceased publications and added a couple of newer ones. I also updated the link to my portfolio. It now links to my Carbonmade portfolio.

The bio part of the profile now reads:

I compose artwork with fantasy, science fiction, horror, mythic, folkloric, and historic themes. Azure Lion Productions is my professional alter ego, a way to give a name to my creative endeavours.

Pen & ink (in the form of artist’s pens) is my favourite medium. It has been said that several of my pieces have a “medieval woodcut” feel to them. To add colour to my drawings, I scan them and colour them digitally.

Many of the fruits of my artistic labours have appeared in a variety of print magazines and e-zines. My art has also adorned the covers of several publications, including: Plasma Frequency, Disturbed Digest, Spaceports & Spidersilk, Bards and Sages Quarterly, Kids’Magination, and a couple of poetry collections published by Sam’s Dot Publishing.

My on-line portfolio may be viewed here:

Oh, I’m a speculative poet and writer, too.

It's Who You Know

A poet friend of mine is bemoaning the fact that the preliminary ballot for the 2013 Stoker Awards proves yet again that it's not what you write but who you know. I say this is very true of many of the awards and accolades in the writing/poetry realm. I believe that the connections you make may be at least as important as the content of your works. Sad, but true.

To be honest, one of the reasons I switched to concentrating on art is because my poetry wasn't getting the recognition I had hoped for. More often than not, awards and accolades eluded me. I wasn't hoping for an award win, but some sort of award nomination would have been nice. I had over one hundred poetry publications over the course of seven years, with several poems published more than once, with several works in "best of" anthologies, and yet not a single awards nomination of note. The best I got was probably the editor of The Monsters Next Door choosing my poem "Life is the Life" as the poetry winner in her "Through My Eyes" Contest. Considering that my poetry was obviously good enough to be published over, and over, and over again, and considering some of the dreck that does win awards, I started thinking that the connections you make are as important as what you write.

I'm actually pretty lousy at networking, and I don't always get along with people, so it's not easy for me to make the proper connections. Because of my caustic personality, I'm just as likely to earn my poetry negative attention as I am to earn it positive attention. Knowing this, I've pretty much given up writing poetry and submitting poetry for publication. It just doesn't do it for me anymore. With art, I can sell it to publications who will buy it, and add it to items sold to the general public. Somehow, I find that more fulfilling than banging my head against the brick wall of trying to earn my poetry a little positive attention beyond publication.

And then there was the insanity of trying (unsuccessfully) to get a collection of my poetry published, but that's another story! Let me just say that I came very close to seeing a collection published, but the universe had other plans.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Rune Inlaid Steel

rune inlaid steel
drawn blade spreads strife
cursed sword

Copyright © 2014 Richard H. Fay

A Three for Three Day!

A little while ago, I sold a Denizens of the Diabolic Wood Sticker through Redbubble. With my previous sales today of a Scottish Thistle and Saltire Sticker through CafePress and a Mechanical Dragon Wall Decal and a sheet of Griffin Rampant Or Stickers through Zazzle, I've finally seen a day with sales in all three of my online stores. I have sold stuff through all three stores, enough to receive payments from all three, but I believe this is the first time I've had sales in all three on the same day.

Always Nice to Get Paid for Creative Works

Received another payment today, this time for the combo publication of a poem and an accompanying illustration. As always, it's nice to get paid for my creative works. Actually, the second time is even better! This was the second time I made a little money from that particular poem/art combo, since they were reprints. That means two different editors of two different publications liked the works enough to publish them and pay me.

Gosh, my critics are looking sillier, and sillier, and sillier.

Sold More Stickers, This Time, Griffin Stickers!

Sold this afternoon through my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store to a customer in Fruitland, MD: one sheet of Griffin Rampant Or Stickers.

"Or" is the heraldic term for the tincture gold (yellow). It is one of two metals recognized in English heraldry, the other being "argent" (silver/white). I actually have the griffn rampant in several tinctures, not just or. I even have it in "proper", meaning in natural colours (as natural as an imaginary beast can be).

Stickers seem to be popular items. I sell stickers often, through all three of my online stores.

Love Days Like These: Sold More Merch!

Ooo, I really love those days when I sell items through more than one of my stores, and today is one of those days! Following the sale of a Scottish Thistle Sticker through CafePress earlier today, I have now sold a Mechanical Dragon Wall Decal through Zazzle to a customer in Portland, Oregon.

I've gotten a bit of mileage out of my "Mechanical Dragon" drawing. Many of the designs and artworks in my stores were created specifically for use on merchandise, but my "Mechanical Dragon" drawing originally appeared in print, as a black and white interior illustration in Beyond Centauri, Issue 36, April 2012. It accompanied my scifaiku "silver dragon" (silver dragon /steam-driven gears turn / metal maw smokes). For use on merchandise, I coloured it my drawing and added a cloudy/smoky background.

So, yes, I can sell my drawings to zines and then sell the same drawings on merchandise. For
an amateuristic, talentless, moronic nitwit, I'm pretty damned versatile!

Now, if only I had a sale today through my RHFay Redbubble Shop as well, that would make it a three for three day! (Yeah, I sell stuff featuring my art through Redbubble, too!)

Sold Through CafePress: Scottish Thistle and Saltire Sticker

Zazzle is not the only site where I've added my artworks and designs to items available for purchase. I have an Azure Lion Productions CafePress Shop, too. I also have designs listed on CafePress directly through their "List in Marketplace". And I do sell through both the CafePress listing store and my Azure Lion Productions CafePress Shop.

One design that seems to sell very well through the CafePress listing store is my "Scottish Thistle and Saltire", which features my drawing of a thistle on the blue and white saltire of the Scottish flag. In terms of popularity, I think it may be tied with my ever-popular "Red Dragon of Wales". It sells internationally, too.

Just today, I sold a Scottish Thistle and Saltire Sticker to a customer in Kent, England (the location listed for the sale wasn't more specific than "Kent"). The commission (royalty) earned for the sale of a sticker may be a mere $.40, but it's $.40 I earned because someone in Kent, England, liked my "Scottish Thistle and Saltire" design enough to purchase a sticker featuring that design.

Of course, even little commissions (royalties) of only $.40 add up over time. Since I revamped my Cafepress shop this past summer, between that shop and the CafePress List in Marketplace, I've already had enough sales to have received my first payment from CafePress. I should be set to receive a second one once my currently pending royalties clear.

Not bad for an amateuristic, talentless, moronic nitwit! It certainly seems I was smart enough to set up my shops and add my designs to items in those shops. It certainly seems I am talented enough to sell my drawings on items available for purchase through those shops.

The best revenge against my critics and detractors is my continued success.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Polish Eagle Sells Again!

Despite what my critics say about my work, stuff featuring my art still keeps selling. One of my more popular designs seems to be my Polish Eagle. Though that design might not have a lot of "me" in it,  since the way the Polish eagle is depicted is pretty standard, the design is my own drawing of the white eagle as it appears on the Polish Coat of Arms. That design does sell well, and it has sold yet again!

Sold this afternoon through my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store to a customer in Plymouth, MI: Polish Eagle Case For iPhone 5.

The best revenge against my various critics and detractors is my continued success.

A Different Item: Door Hanger!

As I was adding my "Cute Pirate Lad" to more items in my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store, I noticed that Zazzle now sells door hangers. That's a bit different than the usual stuff featuring my art. I figured a door hanger featuring my pirate lad would be a cute item to add to my store, so I created one with the image and the text "Pirates Only!".

Cute Pirate Lad Door Hanger.

Now, what other images might work well on door hangers? Hmm...

I is a Nitwit, Apparently!

Considering that one of the current traffic sources for my blog is a forum site called "legionofnitwits", I can only assume that I have indeed been added to the infamous Legion of Nitwits. I figured I would be, sooner or later. No surprises there.

Genre writers, always reminding me that the genre writing realm is rife with a**holes!

Oh well, it became apparent long ago that certain figures in that realm have no respect for me or my abilities, so I gave up caring what they think of me. They can think what they want. I'll keep selling my creative works to editors who are willing to publish them. I'll also continue selling items featuring my art to the general public.

The world assigned me the roles of misfit and outcast a long time ago, so being an outcast is nothing new to me. I'm used to it!

(To be honest, I don't think ALL SF&F and horror writers are a**holes, I've just run into a number that are.)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Desperate Zines?

Thought the editors who have published my artwork might be interested in a comment I received on my blog regarding my artwork and the venues within which my works have appeared. Strangely enough, this was left as a comment on my post "Tipsy Rambler", which was a poem, but crazy is as crazy does:

"In my previous comment, I said your drawings were not that great. that may have been partly my fault, as I have not seen many drawings in the electronic book business before and compare them to images and drawings one sees in other collections, for instance the museum.

Still, however, if your drawings are the best the e-book and zine world have to offer, I weep for them. The same goes for the zines that are desperate enough to buy your drawings."
So, I guess the editors who purchase my art and publish my art are desperate. I suppose the people who buy items featuring my art through Zazzle, CafePress, and RedBubble are desperate, too!

At this point, all I can do is laugh. It's so ridiculous, it's funny!

Tipsy Rambler

Tipsy rambler roams
Darkened moorland.
Tricksy goblins shift
Moonlit landmarks.
Befuddled soul trips
Rocky brae.
Invisible imps

Copyright © 2014 Richard H. Fay

Friday, January 17, 2014

Gothic Armour

gothic armour
mainspring powers pulleys
clockwork knight

Originally published in Scifaikuest (print), Vol. X. No. 2, November 2012.
Poem Copyright © 2012 Richard H. Fay

Bluebell Spell

Walk amidst the nodding heads
In a secret bluebell glade.
Wander through an ancient realm
Where beings of twilight reign.
Linger beneath oak's spring crown,
Become entranced by the shade.

Spy a throng of merry sprites
Dancing a wild timeless jig.
Reel about with little folk,
Join their endless revelries.
Drain a draught of heady drink,
Become enthralled by the fay.

Hear bluebells toll a dire knell
As earthly cares drift away.
Lose yourself in blissful dreams,
Forget your troubles and fears.
Lie amongst the deadmen’s blooms,
Become ensnared by their spell.

Sleep, spellbound mortal.
Sleep eternally.

(Originally published in
parABnormal Digest, Issue 4, September 2012.)
Poem copyright © 2012 Richard H. Fay