Saturday, May 31, 2014

Threat or No Threat?

Over the past few days, I've witnessed another strange incident in crazy genre-land. This time, if I'm following this mess-of-a-story correctly, reactions to a certain writer's publicly-posted displeasure over comments made regarding a convention panel discussion he was part of  led to accusations that his supporters made threats, via Twitter, against the commentator. The writer made it known that he was angry and disgusted by the thought that any of his supporters might have made such threats.

Well, as it turns out, no actual threats were made. Imagine that? I gather that the writer who was momentarily caught in the center of this latest genre world shitstorm wants to draw a curtain on the whole sad affair. Frankly, I don't blame him. Of course, being a loudmouth brat with a strong penchant for histrionics, I have some words of advice for those a**holes who flung about the accusations of threats being made and the whole sorry bunch of miserable asses constantly causing trouble for other writers.

Firstly, to those in the genre world who feel threatened by loudly voiced differences in opinion and beliefs: stop being such whiny wimpy children! Stop acting like little kids! Grow up! Stop acting so damned fragile! Grow the thick skin that's required integument for all writers! Perhaps some people didn't like the fact that others may have bitched, complained, and ranted about the whole issue. Perhaps they were annoyed that opinions expressed by others didn't necessarily match their own. If that's the case, all I can say in reply is: TOUGH SHIT!

Secondly, look up the definition of the word "threat". A writer should posses a rich vocabulary and display an adept knowledge of words and their meanings. Even if you really don't understand the meaning of the word "threat", it's easy enough to to find the definition online. Personally, I like to use According to that source, "threat" is defined as:
1. a declaration of an intention or determination to inflict punishment, injury, etc., in retaliation for, or conditionally upon, some action or course; menace: He confessed under the threat of imprisonment.
2. an indication or warning of probable trouble: The threat of a storm was in the air.
3. a person or thing that threatens.
Thirdly, stop lying and/or twisting facts. Stop flinging around untrue accusations. Such things can damage the reputations of basically decent people. If you want to truly shine, rise above the mucky mire. Stop acting like pathetic pond scum!

Finally, stop being such bellicose dicks! Be constructive rather than destructive. Stop wasting so much of your precious time stirring up shitstorm, after shitstorm, after shitstorm. Spend more time writing and less time fighting. You might find that you make more of a difference actually doing something, rather than just fighting with other writers all the bloody time!

Anyway, I should thank these people for once again proving my point about how some genre writers involved in these in-fights and uproars end up looking like miserable rotten wretches, and how the genre writing world can appear to be such a nasty quarrelsome place at times. It can be a real dung heap!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Where Do Genre Writers Find the Time to Write and to Fight?

My God, genre writers seem to have an awful lot of time on their hands, with all that criticizing, crusading, and infighting! Where do they find the time for all that crap and still find time to write?

I swear, some genre writers must spend the majority of their time not on actual writing, but on searching for the next racist/sexist/whatever target. They must spend most of their time launching the latest in a long string of genre world attacks against political incorrectness, rather than spending that time working on their latest WiP. If that's not the case, if these writers have so much time on their hands that they can spend several hours a day writing and still find several hours a day to participate in the latest genre world fracas, I must reach the conclusion that writing isn't nearly as hard and time-consuming as some writers would have you believe.

I know when I'm wasting time ranting, I'm not getting any drawing done. Ranting takes time away from the more important things, like working on my latest illustration assignment.

Name-Calling and Bullying Justified? WTF?

Apparently, bullies aren't bullies if the bullying is justified (especially if it's done in the spirit of criticism). Apparently, name-calling is acceptable if the name-calling is actually true.

In other words, my fellow classmates in seventh grade were justified in chanting "Spaz, Spaz, Spaz!" over, and over, and over again anytime I walked down the hall, whenever I sat down to eat in the cafeteria, and even in the classroom, because I had been a hyperactive kid through most of grade school. Because I had been a hyper child, even though by seventh grade I had made a concerted effort to calm down and behave, even though I hated the name "Spaz", the name-calling was acceptable because it was true.

I think not!

Yeah, genre world politically correct bullies, as far as I am concerned, you just lost your argument! You lost any reason I might have to listen to your arguments. A**holes!

And, yes, I am fully aware of the irony of complaining about name-calling and then turning around and calling people a**holes, but if it's true...(See how easily such a philosophy can come back and bite you in the butt!)

Scottish Thistle and Saltire Sticker Sells Down Under Yet Again!

Since I've been ranting too much lately, I thought I would take a break from posting rants and post a wee bit of good news.

Sold this morning through CafePress to a customer in Maroochydore, Queensland, Australia: one Scottish Thistle and Saltire Sticker.

Scottish Thistle and Saltire Stickers seems to be popular in Australia. I've sold several of these to Australian customers. I've lost track of how many of these stickers have sold Down Under.

I know this is just a little sale, but a string of little sales over time can add up. Besides, even a little sale is better than no sale at all.

Sigh, Yet Another Genre Writing World Pile-On

I've been made aware of yet another pile-on in the genre writing world. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, BOTH sides in these nasty attacks and counter-attacks end up looking like miserable wretches. If that means I'm sounding superior again, so be it. Though it's not always easy for me to do so, though I do find myself pulled back into the stinking mire from time to time, I'm trying to turn my back on this crap and walk away.

However, I will say this: though Bryan Thomas Schmidt might not come out of this latest genre fracas smelling like roses, I do agree with his comment that some genre writers are "like rotting meat looking for a place to stink." There are some in that realm I do not like in the least. I see them as rotten individuals.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Start With a BANG!

If ever I write stories again, I may just write one in which the first word is "Bang!", just so I can say my story starts off with a bang. Of course, it's probably been done before, perhaps lots of times, which would make it a cliche.

The closest I've come so far is probably my fantasy adventure story "An Evil in Carnlinton", which starts off with the line:
With hoarse cries of “Rape! Murder! Sacrilege!” Father Ifan raised the hue-and-cry in the village of Glannonford.
Is that attention-grabbing enough? I like to think so.

With some editors potentially judging whether or not to continue reading a story based on whether or not the first paragraph grabs their attention, I can see the reason for starting off with a bang. However, I do think some people get a little hung up on judging a story by the first paragraph or page when they really should look at the whole story. I think it's a bit unfair to judge a story based solely on whether or not the first paragraph grabs you.

Half-and-Half Face

Just because...

White Male Writers Writing "The Other": Damned if You do, Damned if You Don't

Honestly, I think the whole idea of inclusiveness in genre writing is a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation for white male writers of genre literature. On the one hand, if you avoid including "the other" in your writing for fear of getting it wrong and offending, you may be accused of perpetuating the whitewashing of genre. On the other hand, if you are a white male trying to write about "the other", you might be seen as doing something disrespectful or dangerous, which may also offend. Heaven help the white male writer who inadvertently makes a misstep writing about "the other". That's guaranteed to offend.

I gotta say, I've been reluctant to write about "the other", because I'm afraid of offending someone. I don't want to write about cultures or societies I know very little to nothing about. However, not writing about "the other" might also offend. Then one might be accused of avoiding diversity. I suppose that accusation could get thrown my way, since my handful of published stories feature mostly white male characters. Of course, that is partly due to the fact that I'm heavily influenced by European medieval history and European folklore. Those are major interests of mine, and it shows in my work.

Heck, even talking about this topic can be a hot-button issue. Such talk can lead to trouble. I'm sure I've already said something that will offend someone. I'm sure there are some out there who will say I haven't a clue. Wouldn't be the first time.

This is one of the reasons why I feel happiest when avoiding it altogether and working on art for my stores. None of my customers seem to mind that I'm a 40-something white male artist concentrating on imagery associated with white European culture. They don't seem to have an issue with the fact that my art inspired by (mostly European) history, myth, and legend might be lacking in broader cultural diversity. I do the sorts of stuff my customers seem to want. My stuff sells. I make money.

Even so, I am starting to portray "the other" in my art. I've already begun building a body of work portraying women of fantasy in reasonable garb and reasonable poses (being something of a medievalist and historic arms and armour buff, I tend to avoid the whole "chain mail bikini" thing). One of my sci-fi artworks currently in submission limbo features a black male scientist/explorer/astronaut/aquanaut alongside a while female scientist/explorer/astronaut/aquanaut. I'm hoping that one will see publication sooner or later, even if it's in a micro-press zine.

BTW, at first glance, the fact that a white male writer with the last name of "Fay" wrote a tale inspired by Irish folklore might not seem like much of an example of writing about other cultures. However,
considering the fact that my mother's side of the family are Slovak-Americans and my step-father's family are Italian-Americans, I think I did a fine job of making "Father Ryan's Fright" feel like an authentic Irish tale. I'm sure I made some mistakes. After all, I was not raised Irish. My knowledge of Irish culture comes mostly from reading loads of Irish folk and fairy tales. However, I probably would make even more mistakes, including potentially offensive ones, writing about more diverse cultures or societies, since such things would be outside my realm of knowledge. I could read and research and expand my knowledge, but such knowledge could never be as deep as my knowledge of things I've been reading about for years (and years, and years). Call me someone unwilling to take risks, call me someone unwilling to stray out of his "safe zone", but I much prefer to write about what I know than what I don't know.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Even More Hostility in the Genre World?

I see on Twitter that N. K. Jemisin has called for people in the genre to attack bigotry whenever they find it. That's all fine and dandy, except for the fact that attacking bigotry in the genre almost always means attacking people in the genre. So, can we expect even more incidents like the Tim Bolgeo and Elizabeth Moon ones? Can we expect even more hostility in the genre realm?

Sigh. As far as I'm concerned, those doing the attacking often end up looking at least as intolerant and despicable as those being attacked. It's rather unpleasant to watch, and those doing the attacking can be pretty damned nasty about it.

I don't want to be a part of such a toxic community populated with such bellicose figures. My side of the family is like that, toxic and bellicose. I stopped having anything to do with them a long time ago. I've been much happier since I cut off contact with my toxic relatives.

There was a time I wished for respect from my side of the family, but I eventually came to the realization that it doesn't matter what those wretches think of me. Their opinions matter not.

I used to want to be somebody in the realm of genre fiction and the realm of SF&F art. I used to wish for some respect and recognition from others in the genre realm. I don't think I care about that anymore. I have realized that the opinions of many of those wretches in the genre realm matter not.

I'm definitely sticking to mostly commissioned art and art for my stores. As for writing, I no longer have the motivation to write. Writing would keep me in a world I no longer wish to be a part of (though I was never really much of a part of that world).

I may once again see myself called a "Grade A Five Star Moron" for saying these things. Heck, I might get called a lot worse this time. I'm waiting for the accusations that I'm a racist and a misogynist. No, I'm just someone who finds his mood adversely affected by all the nastiness and hostility in the genre world. I don't want to be miserable, I want to be happy (or as near to happy as I can come). If that means staying away from the grade-school playground that is the genre world, so be it!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Cover Artwork Accepted for January 2015

My fantasy artwork featuring the legendary sorceress Morgan Le Fay has been accepted for use on the cover of the January 2015 issue of Bards and Sages Quarterly. Yay!

My continued success on the art front indicates that I was right to concentrate on art. This acceptance means I now have an artwork slated for publication next year. It means I will have at least one cover artwork in 2015. The roll may have shifted from mainly poetry to mostly art, but the roll rolls on.

The piece accepted for the January issue of Bards and Sages is another of my works that depicts a woman of fantasy/legend clad in reasonable garb and posed in a reasonable fashion. She's also no damsel in distress. Morgan looks very much like a medieval lady, but a lady you don't mess with.

It's a pretty cool composition, if I do say so myself, but you'll have to wait until January 2015 to see it!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Quite the Sale: Sold a Crossbow Square Queen Duvet!

Here's quite the sale...sold early this morning through CafePress to a customer in Gulgong, New South Wales, Australia: one Crossbow Square Queen Duvet.

Now, I have no idea what my "Crossbow" image looks like on something as large as a queen duvet. This isn't an item I created myself; it's something available through CafePress' Listing Store. Still, if this sale clears in the end, I'll receive $15.50 in royalties. The net revenue for the sale of the Crossbow Square Queen Duvet was $154.99. That means someone liked my illustration of a medieval crossbow enough to spend $154.99 on queen duvet featuring that image. Yes, that's $154.99.

According to the Dashboard over on my CafePress account, I've already sold $576.72 worth of items this year. I believe this is excluding the $154.99 for the duvet because this most recent sale is currently pending.

I think I can safely declare adding my works to CafePress items a success.

Friday, May 23, 2014

My Cover Art for PLASMA FREQUENCY Issue 9 (Print version) a Must-See!

The print copy of Issue 9 of Plasma Frequency that I ordered through arrived in the mail today. I knew that my artwork for the cover of this issue was one of my best cover artworks yet, but WOW! It's fantastic to actually see it on the cover of the zine, in all its glossy glory. I definitely have to frame it sometime.

I like my art that appeared on the cover of the second issue of Plasma Frequency well enough, but I think my rendition of the wildly coloured Nump frogs from Michael Hodges' story "Swampy Transitions" is even more effectively eye-catching than my depiction of the girl and the mechanical unicorn from Lindsey Duncan's "Mythocraft". The whole composition in my art for Issue 9 just works extremely well. Not that my art for Issue 2 is bad, but I believe that my art for Issue 9 is even better. I also believe that the best way to appreciate the artwork is to see it on the cover of the print version.

I don't know, I think the winner of "my best cover artwork yet" might be a toss-up between my cover art for Issue 9 of Plasma Frequency and my cover art for Issue 3 of Disturbed Digest.

What say you?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Been Selling Knight Artworks Since 1999, And Still Selling Them

Sold today through Redbubble to a customer in Canada: one "English Knight, Circa 1430" Sticker.

I'm always pleased when I sell an item featuring my art, but I'm especially pleased whenever I sell an item featuring the sort of art that I first sold to the public, when I started Azure Lion Productions back in the late 90s. I've been selling my knight artworks since 1999, though the ones I'm selling today are mostly newer, updated versions. I know I sold an earlier version of my "Labelled Knight Diagram" in 2000 and 2001. I might have sold one or more in 1999, but I only have a record of my total sales for that year. Among the bookmarks of mine that sold, I had one of a charging knight that sold a few times.

Of course, all those sales back in 1999-2001 were local. Now my knight artworks sell through my online shops. Now my knights sell internationally.

Yes, I'm very pleased by that.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Sold a Ten Pack of Pattern Welding Magnets

Sold tonight through my Azure Lion Productions CafePress Shop to a customer in Brooklyn, NY: 10 pack of Pattern Welding Magnets.

As I say in the product description:
This detail of two Viking-era swords illustrates two different types of pattern welding.

My "Pattern Welding" illustration is another one, like my "Three Viking Sword Hilts", that I'm getting a lot of mileage out of. The illustration originally appeared, in black and white, in Flashing Swords, Issue 11, August 2008, alongside Bill Ward's article "Serpents of Steel: The Swords of the Viking Age". More recently, I added a colour version to items in my online stores. I have now sold a pack of ten magnets featuring the same illustration.

I love it when items featuring illustrations I originally sold to publications subsequently sell through my stores. I feel that it is extra validation of my work.

A Couple of Art Queries Sent Off

Today, I sent off a couple of art queries. One went off to a horror/dark fantasy zine that doesn't  commission art, so all it took was sending off a link to my online portfolio.The other went off to the art directors of Weird Tales. This is what I said (hope it wasn't too much for an art query):

Dear Mr. Wong and Mr. Buchwald:
I am a published artist/illustrator interested in composing interior illustrations or cover artworks on assignment for Weird Tales, or having previously composed pieces appear within the pages or on the cover of your magazine. My black and white interior illustrations have appeared within a number of publications, including: Issue 2 of [NAMEL3SS] Magazine, Volume 3 of Postscripts to Darkness, Issue 4 of parABnormal Digest, and Issues 1 and 4 of Plasma Frequency. My full-color artworks have appeared on the covers of several publications, including: Issues 2 and 9 of Plasma Frequency, Issues 28 and 32 of OG's Speculative Fiction, and three different issues of Bards and Sages Quarterly.

I have attached five samples of my artwork. The publication history of the works are as follows:
"Denizens of the Diabolic Wood", previously unpublished in a zine, but it does appear in my Redbubble Shop and Zazzle Store.
"Faces and Figures in the Mist" originally appeared in parABnormal Digest, Issue 4, September 2012.
"It Rises From the Ooze" originally appeared in Star*Line, Volume 36, Issue 1, January 2013.
"Legion" originally appeared in Star*Line, Volume 36, Issue 4, October 2014.
"Shedroid on Tentacles" originally appeared in [NAMEL3SS] Magazine, Issue 2 (Fall/Winter 2012), May 2013.

Additionally, my weird dark artwork that appears on the cover of Issue 3 of Disturbed Digest may be viewed here:
And more examples of my artwork are found in my online portfolio:

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Richard H. Fay
Denizens of the Diabolic Wood
Copyright © 2012 Richard H. Fay

Faces and Figures in the Mist
Originally published in parABnormal Digest, Issue 4, September 2012.
Copyright © 2012 Richard H. Fay

It Rises From the Ooze
Originally published in Star*Line, Volume 36, Issue 1, January 2013.
Copyright © 2013 Richard H. Fay
Originally published in Star*Line, Volume 36, Issue 4, October 2014.
Copyright © 2014 Richard H. Fay

Shedroid on Tentacles
Originally published in [NAMEL3SS] Magazine, Issue 2 (Fall/Winter 2012), May 2013.
Copyright © 2013 Richard H. Fay
In both cases, the worst they can say is that they don't like my art or that my style doesn't fit.  I don't know what chance I have, but you never know until you try.

Fingers crossed!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

40-Something and Hitting My Stride as an Artist

There is an entry on the Redbubble blog talking about 6 Artists Who Started (Very) Late In Life. It has got me thinking about my own life as an artist. While I truly believe that artistic talent is inherent, and I know I displayed aptitude for art at an early age, I didn't really begin my art career until fairly recently.

I've been drawing most of my life, but for many years my art remained on the sidelines. Sure, back in the late 80s/early 90s, I made a half-hearted attempt at trying to get some art (as well as a handful of stories and several poems) published, but it went nowhere. Even though I received at least one encouraging rejection that said my bold style would reproduce well in print, I didn't keep at it. For a time, real life got in the way while I worked at various "day jobs".  

In my standard contributor's bio for publications, I like to say that I was a "laboratory technician-turned-home educator". After working in various retail positions, I earned a B.S. in Biology, and then spent several years working for the NYS Museum and then for the NYS Health Department. Then circumstances changed, and I found myself home-schooling my daughter for almost a decade.

However, becoming a home-educator wasn't the reason I left my position as a health lab tech. During off times in the lab, I used to doodle and sketch. People started asking me the age-old question "with your talent, what are you doing here?" I also began selling my art to the public. From 1999 to 2001, I sold framed art and bookmarks at a few local medieval fairs and arts and crafts fairs. Having sold some examples of my art at each of these venues, and realizing that the daily grind of the health lab wasn't for me, I decided to leave the lab to pursue an art career. Then I ended up becoming a home educator as well.

Art still seemed to be a sideline as home-school became the focus of my life. Even so, educating my daughter roused the slumbering writer in me, and I began writing again. I worked on rewriting a (currently shelved) fantasy novel. When no publisher seemed interested in my manuscript, I started writing poetry again. Then, in 2007, I caught a break which changed my creative life forever. An editor accepted a poem of mine. Then another editor accepted another poem, And it happened again, and again, and again.

One of those editors that was one of the first to accept a poem of mine noticed that I said I was also an artist. She nudged me into sending some illustrations her way. It took a couple of tries, but she liked one of my poem/illustration combos enough to publish both my poem and my artwork. Prior to that, one of the poem/illustration combos she had rejected was picked up by another editor for another publication. And then another publication accepted an artwork of mine, and then another, and then another.

One editor/publisher who voiced interest in my artwork wished to use some of my works on merchandise in her online stores. I would get a cut of the royalties. I agreed. Some items featuring my art actually sold. I remember my 14th Century Saint George was particularly popular. In June 2010, I opened my own Zazzle Store. Since then, I've opened shops over at CafePress and Redbubble.

Even though I had interior illustrations published from 2007 on, it took me a couple more years to see my art on the cover of a publication. As it was, my first cover art was a double. "
A Leviathan Ascendant" appeared on the cover of Abandoned Towers, Issue #3, published in July 2009, and also appeared on the cover page of the November 2009 issue of the e-zine MindFlights. Since then, I've seen my art on the covers of a number of publications.

Why go on about all this? Well, I turned 40 in the Summer of 2008. So, I was a few months shy of 39 when I sold my first illustration to a publication back in Spring 2007. I was almost 41 when my art appeared on a zine cover for the first time. I was almost 42 when I started running my own Zazzle store. I'm now receiving regular illustrations assignments from the editor of Sorcerous Signals/The Lorelei Signal. In some ways, the art I'm creating now is the best I've ever created. I now have numerous interior illustration and several cover artwork credits to my name. The roll that began rolling in 2007 keeps on rolling.

I'm 40-something, and I'm just hitting my stride as an artist. I guess you could say that I started later in life, considering that I've had a lot more success in my 40s than I ever saw in my 20s and 30s.

Two Illustrations From POSTSCRIPTS TO DARKNESS Volume 3

Here are two illustrations I did that were published back in April 2013 in Volume 3 of Postscripts to Darkness. The first is my illustration for James K. Moran's "Carl and Monty’s Prairie Wager". Out of the two illos I did for PsD 3, I've always liked this one better. I think the subject matter fit my style, and the image fit the story. It worked.

Illustration for James K. Moran's "Carl and Monty’s Prairie Wager" published in Postscripts to Darkness, Volume 3, April 2013.
Illustration Copyright © 2013 Richard H. Fay 
The second is my illustration  for Alexander Gonzalez's "Shade Creeper". I've never liked this illustration as much as the one I did for "Carl and Monty's Prairie Wager". This one gave me a bit of trouble, and it ended up kind of blah. I think part of the problem was Alexander Gonzalez's quietly creepy story of a dying/dead artist inspired me less, visually speaking, than did Jame's K. Moran's zombie tale. Still, the illo was published alongside the story in PsD 3.
Illustration for Alexander Gonzalez's "Shade Creeper" published in Postscripts to Darkness, Volume 3, April 2013.
Illustration Copyright © 2013 Richard H. Fay

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Two Illustrations From Back in July '13

Both Illustrations were published in the July-September '13 issue of The Lorelei Signal. Out of the two, I think I like the illustration I did for "Her Quest For a Beating Heart" better than the one I did for "The Specters of Haveroan". I really like the way the background and the demon came out in the former, while the latter seems a bit blah to me. Even the witch came out okay in the former, and I'm pretty critical of my figure drawing abilities.
Illustration for Erin Cole's "Her Quest for a Beating Heart" published in the July-September 2013 issue of The Lorelei Signal.
Illustration copyright © 2013 Richard H. Fay

Illustration for Heidi Wainer's "The Specters of Haveroan", published in the July-September 2013 issue of The Lorelei Signal.
Illustration Copyright © 2013 Richard H. Fay

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

My Signature Artwork?

On the RedBubble blog, there is an open discussion asking artists to share one artwork that defines their signature style. I picked my "Roman Saint George". This is what I said about my choice:

I found it hard to decide, but I went with my "Roman Saint George" because it has an armoured warrior of legend clad in historical armour fighting a dragon of fantasy. It displays both my penchant for historical details and my fondness for the fantastical. Though I also compose science fiction and horror artwork and illustrations, this one is very representative of the sort of art that has been at the core of my artistic endeavours for many years now. Though I've done a bit of work in black and white and I like to say "the line's the thing" when it comes to my artwork, I think the full-colour "Roman Saint George" is representative of my love of bold and bright hues.
I suppose that one was as good a one as any to pick, but I could just as easily have picked "Denizens of the Diabolic Wood", "Excalibur", or "Mechanical Dragon". I think the line work in "Denizens of the Diabolic Wood" is very good, and I do find myself drawing trees quite often, but I think my full-colour artwork is even more representative of my overall style. "Excalibur" happens to be another fine example of mixing historical elements into fantasy art, but it's really just a detail from a larger work of mine ("Excalibur and Arthur"). "Mechanical Dragon" is a good example of my sci-fi art, but my main focus has always been art inspired by history and legend.

That being said, I would almost have chosen my cover artwork for Issue 9 of Plasma Frequency as my signature piece, if it was in my RedBubble portfolio. It's not, so I didn't. I do think it's one of my best works so far.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Different Item Sold Today: Unicorn Toothbrush Holder and Soap Dispenser Set

Today, I sold a different item through my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store. I sold a Unicorn Rampant Toothbrush Holder and Soap Dispenser Set. I have sold other items featuring my Unicorn Rampant, but that one is a bit different than the usual stickers, phone cases, and such.

This latest sale proves one thing. It proves that at least one customer was willing to purchase a toothbrush holder and soap dispenser set featuring my artwork!

Horrorku in May 2014 APHELION

My horrorku "moonlit oak copse" now appears in the May 2014 issue of the webzine Aphelion. Check it out!

This newly published horrorku is a slightly modified version of one I previously posted here on my blog. I changed multiple "shades" into a singular "shade". I think that gives the wee piece more of a double meaning than it had before, but I could be making a lot out of an insignificant change.

Anyway, the revised piece is out there now.

Illustrations in May - Jul '14 Sorcerous Signals

Three different illustrations composed by yours truly now appear on the Sorcerous Signals site. I did the illo for Will Maier's story "A Pale Green Blade" and the illo for M.J. Waller's story "A Plague of Daffodils" that now appear in the May - Jul '14 Issue. My illo for the Mystic Signals exclusive story "Uncle Jusquin" by DeAnna Knippling also appears on the Sorcerous Signals site in the ToC for the May - Jul '14 issue. Check them out!

In the illo for Will Maier's story, I got to draw a sword, which means I was well within my comfort zone with this illustration (once I figured out just how I wanted to do it). I based the sword in the illo  on an actual medieval sword, a sword that was once part of the collection in the British Museum and then part of the collection in The Royal Armouries, sword XVIa. 1 in Ewart Oakeshott's Records of the Medieval Sword. A pic of the sword that served as my inspiration can be found accompanying Chad Arnow's article about Oakeshott Type XVI swords on the site.

I was able to do something somewhat humourous in the illo for M.J. Waller's story. It was a nice change from more serious stuff. I had fun with it, and I think it fits the story well.

Blog Still Getting Views from Legion of Nitwits Site

Just when I thought that the people who hang out on the Legion of Nitwits forum had stopped paying attention to my Azure Lion Productions Blogger blog, I see that it got two page views from that traffic source (referring URL). Are those people still dwelling on the posts wherein which I said some less-than-nice things about a late author/publisher? I wonder. I've moved on to other things, which should be apparent considering all I've posted since then. I've also seen continued success on the art front, which kind of shoots down the claim by one of the late author's friends that my art is "amateuristic".

Art/Illustrations I've seen published since January 14th, when I was told my art is "amateuristic":

Illustration for "An Evil in Carnlinton"..........Sorcerous Signals, Feb - Apr '14 Issue, February 2014; also Mystic Signals, Issue 20, 5th Anniversary Double Issue, February 2014.
Illustration for Francis W Alexander's "My Pet, His Pet"..........Sorcerous Signals, Feb - Apr '14 Issue, February 2014; also Mystic Signals, Issue 20, 5th Anniversary Double Issue, February 2014.
Illustration for DC Harrell's "A Deal's a Deal"..........Mystic Signals, Issue 20, 5th Anniversary Double Issue, February 2014.
Reflections..........Star*Line, Volume 37, Issue 2, Spring 2014, April 2014.
Dracopterix Pursues Quad Fliers..........Star*Line, Volume 37, Issue 2, Spring 2014, April 2014.
Illustration for for Will Maier's "A Pale Green Blade"..........Sorcerous Signals, May - Jul '14 Issue, May 2014.
Illustration for M.J. Waller's "A Plague of Daffodils"..........Sorcerous Signals, May - Jul '14 Issue, May 2014.
My illustration for the Mystic Signals exclusive story "Uncle Jusquin" by DeAnna Knippling currently appears on the Sorcerous Signals site in the ToC for the May - Jul '14 issue.

Sales of items featuring my art and designs I've seen in my on-line shops since January 14th (you can tell I've been concentrating on my stores):
Jan 21st Denizens of the Diabolic Wood Sticker
Jan 25th Denizens of the Diabolic Wood Sticker
Jan 25th In the Dragon Realm Sticker
Feb 9th Tudor Rose T Shirt
Feb 24th Leek and Daffodil Crossed T Shirt
March 9th Polish Eagle Sticker
March 9th English Knight Circa 1300 Sticker
March 23rd Three Viking Sword hilts T Shirt
March 23rd Three Viking Swords T Shirt
March 24th T. rex Sticker
March 30th Mechanical Dragon T Shirt
April 3rd Tudor Rose Sticker
April 14th Denizens of the Diabolic Wood Sticker
April 15th Robin in Sherwood Sticker
April 24th Excalibur Sticker
April 25th Denizens of the Diabolic Wood Sticker
May 1st Plate Armour Circa 1430 T Shirt

Jan 20th Scottish Thistle and Saltire Sticker
Jan 26th Brachiosaurus Drinking Glass
Feb 11th Scottish Thistle and Saltire T Shirt
Feb 11th Scottish Thistle and Saltire T Shirt (yes, that was two separate orders)
Feb 25th Scottish thistle and Saltire Drinking Glass
March 6th Two Red Dragon of Wales Placemats
March 8th two Scottish Thistle and Saltire Stickers
March 12th Brachiosaurus Girl's Tee
March 12th two Leek and Daffodil on Green Square Cocktail Plates
March 15th two Excalibur Tote Bags
March 15th two Excalibur Tote Bags (yes, that was two orders of two tote bags)
March 26th Scottish Thistle and Saltire Sticker
March 27th Mechanical Dragon Infant T Shirt
April 16th Red Dragon of Wales T Shirt
April 22nd Scottish Thistle and Saltire Sticker
April 24th Red Dragon of Wales Sticker
April 27th Tudor Rose Greeting Card
May 1st White Rose of York Wine Charm
May 1st Claddagh and Knotwork Round Car Magnet
May 4th Red Dragon of Wales Pajamas

Jan 15th Ancient Greek Blades Sandstone Coaster
Jan 15th Corinthian Helmet Sandstone Coaster
Jan 15th three sheets of Illuminated "A" Stickers
Jan 15th one sheet of Wyvern Stickers
Jan 15th one sheet of Illuminated K Stickers
Jan 15th two sheets of Illuminated "J" Stickers
Jan 15th one sheet of Illuminated "B" Stickers
Jan 15th two sheets of Illuminated G Stickers
Jan 15th one sheet of Illuminated "D" (Knight) Stickers
Jan 15th two sheets of Illuminated M Stickers
Jan 15th one sheet of Illuminated H Stickers
Jan 15th Illuminated L Stickers
Jan 15th Illuminated "E" Stickers
Jan 15th two sheets of Illuminated "C" Stickers
Jan 17th Excalibur Button
Jan 19th one sheet of Polish Eagle Stickers
Jan 20th Mechanical Dragon Wall Decal
Jan 20th Griffin Rampant Or Stickers
Jan 29th Three Viking Sword hilts T Shirt
Feb 4th one sheet of Dragon Rampant (Green) Stickers
Feb 5th Cthulhu Card
Feb 11th Polish Eagle Case for iPhone 5
Feb 15th Cute Pirate Lad Door hanger
Feb 20th Three Viking Sword Hilts Print
Feb 21st Brachiosaurus Tie
Feb 22nd one-hundred Robin Hood Magnets
Feb 22nd three Lion Rampant Gules ties
Feb 23rd Scottish Claymore T Shirt
Feb 25th Robin Hood Keychain
March 1st Unicorn Rampant iPhone 5C Case
March 4th Robin Hood Postcard
March 5th Red Dragon of Wales Poster
March 6th five sheets of Norman Knight Return Address Labels
March 10th Excalibur Necklace
March 10th Excalibur Keychain
March 13th White Rose of York Magnet
March 13th four sheets of Robin Hood Stickers
March 13th Fleur de Lis Pillow
March 14th Scottish Claymore Button
March 21st Forest of the Damned T Shirt
March 21st Three Viking Sword Hilts T Shirt
March 21st one sheet of Lion Rampant Stickers
March 23rd one sheet of Illuminated K Stickers
March 25th Cyberdragon Postcard
March 26th Cthulhu Postcard
April 3rd Cthulhu Tie
April 6th English Knight Circa 1300 Tie
April 14th Scottish Claymore T Shirt
April 15th five sheets Shamrock Return Address Labels
April 18th one sheet Illuminated "D" (Knight) Stickers
April 18th Crossbow Button
April 20th Viking with Broadaxe Keychain
April 20th Three Viking Sword Hilts keychain
April 21st three sheets of Polish Eagle Stickers
April 22nd Norman Knight Postcard
April 22nd Crusader Knight, Early 13th Century, Postcard
April 24th three sheets of Polish Eagle Stickers
April 24th Lion Rampant Tie
April 27th one sheet of Norman Archer Stickers
April 29th Ireland Bumper Sticker
May 1st three sheets of Polish Eagle Stickers
May 1st Red Rose of Lancaster Card
May 3rd one sheet of Polish Eagle Stickers